Tuesday, December 21, 2010

recycled plastic tote bag

I finished my friend's gift yesterday, just in time to take it over to her with a potted narcissus. It turned out pretty cute, if I do say so myself, I've decided that I really need one in my car to put the trash in.

Thanks, Dana, from made, for the great tutorial!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

coffee filter wreath

I always love a cheap, cute, easy project. I found this one on nesting place and had to try it. It's just one of those straw wreath forms, coffee filters, and hot glue. I made it while watching TV one night.

My girls made a more natural colored version by using unbleached filters. I love it even more than the one I made. Gotta love a project that anyone can make look good!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

as if I didn't have enough to do....

I have a very dear friend who is hard to buy gifts for. She's in her 70's, retired (yet volunteers 25+ hours a week) and lives in a small condo. She lives alone, and has one of the most immaculate homes ever. She doesn't like clutter.

Since we moved to Ohio almost 4 years ago, she's been like an adopted Grandma to my kids - taking them to the movies, taking the girl's shopping, coming to see their concerts and plays, etc. And she's always so thoughtful when buying them gifts.

She insists that nobody buy her anything, she doesn't like having a bunch of stuff around. She's diabetic, so homemade goodies are out. So I never know what to do when Christmas rolls around and she's so great about remembering us.

I found the perfect homemade gift to make for her and I'm working on it today. I got the idea from Dana over at MADE. Check out her tutorial.

image via MADE

I think she'll love it. It's made from plastic shopping bags, fused together and then sewn to make an ADORABLE reusable and waterproof tote.

I'll try to remember to take pictures before I give it to her, but no promises.

Monday, December 13, 2010

the lonesome gods

My mom read Louis L'Amour a lot when I was a kid, but I had never read anything by him until I read The Lonesome Gods in October. It was on the Thomas Jefferson Education reading list, and I loved it! Yes, it is a western, so there is a certain amount of gunfighting and horse wrangling. I loved it, and Erin loved it.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas...

I usually take my time decorating for the holidays, doing a little bit each day. This year, my friend Angie was in charge of the annual Christmas dinner for the ladies at church, and asked if we could use my house. I said of course, and then panicked when I found out that it was scheduled for exactly a week after Thanksgiving.

So, with the help of Eric and my sister and her family, we busted out the garland and lights and ornaments and got it done!

My entry way, with my very favorite Goodwill purchase, the peacock front and center. He inspired my dining room ceiling and niche paint over. And I love these battery operated candles from Costco! They turn themselves off after 5 hours!

I used burlap liberally. It's cheap and chic and doesn't need hemming.

My living room. This room is very hard to take pictures of during the daytime, because of all the sunlight (not complaining!) It's my favorite room in the house.

I am frequently accused of having too many decorative pillows, but I don't think there is such a thing.

My favorite new Christmas vignette. I bought the moravian star online, then Eric rewired it with this cool pendant adapter I got from Lowes, then I spray painted it to match. It was a tight squeeze getting all the wisemen, shepherds and beasts in the picture, but we managed.

Another wreath in the dining room and some plug in candles.

And my mercury glass ornaments in glass bowls on the dining room table.

The hand I got in St. John decked out with some holiday ribbon and since I needed something to go in the other cloche...

I took two of my little bird ornaments off the tree (they were very hard to see) and hot glued their little clips to the base. I think they're adorable.

A few more mercury glass ornaments and some tiny old books I found on ebay in a basket on the coffee table.

My mantel. Burlap stockings, two turtle doves (actually, quail from Eric's grandma) and capiz shell garland.

The tree. It's hard to get a good picture of a Christmas tree. I have a love/hate relationship with mini-lights.

I have a few more little things here and there, but keep forgetting to take pictures. Although it was stressful getting it all done in a short amount of time, it is so nice to be able to focus on other things and really enjoy the holiday season! I think I'll set myself an early deadline from now on!