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Monday, November 25, 2013

Ribbon Turkey T-Shirt

As promised:

You've probably seen this cute Thanksgiving Turkey T-Shirt on Pinterest.  There is still time to make one - you probably have all the things you need in your craft stuff.  It's actually really easy to make! 

For this project you'll need:
1 sheet of brown felt
1 sheet of orange felt
2 small black buttons
brown thread
orange thread
black thread
ribbon - a variety of sizes and colors
sewing machine

First make a pattern for your turkey by tracing two circles, then cut out the pattern:
Cut out the turkey out of brown felt.  Then cut a tiny triangle of orange felt for the beak.  Use your needle and orange thread to sew the beak onto the turkey.  Use your needle and black thread to sew the two button eyes onto the turkey.
My mom, hand-sewing the beak!  Pretty nails, right?

Cut lengths of ribbon and position them, to see what works.  My ribbons were a tiny bit too long, because even after the turkey was sewn over them, they would flop over.  If that happens, you can fix the flop by using spray fabric glue.

Then pin each ribbon onto your t-shirt.  As you can see, my ribbon ended up off center - if possible, try to center your ribbon!
 Then sew the ribbon onto the t-shirt.
Then sew the turkey in the center, covering all the messy stitches.
This is what your finished t-shirt will look like!  Check back in after Thanksgiving to see a VERY cute toddler modeling the shirt!

Monday, November 18, 2013

Gold Dipped Fall Leaves

When leaves start turning orange, yellow and red - they are so beautiful and I always want to hang onto the gorgeous fall colors.  I decided I would use the preserved leaves at each place setting at Thanksgiving dinner, so with that end in mind, I became obsessed with finding the perfect leaves.
For this project you'll need:
waxed paper
Mod Podge
foam brush
metallic gold spray paint
The first step in preservation is to iron the leaves between two sheets of waxed paper.

Wait a few minutes, then coat both sides with Mod Podge. 

Don't be nervous if they look like this - they will dry clear!
I collected the two leaves below at the same time and they looked about the same.  Nothing was done to preserve the leaf on the left, the leaf on the right was preserved with waxed paper and mod podge - amazing, right?!
Preserved leaves:
Gold dipped has been a trend this year (see below) and I chose that look for my family's Thanksgiving table.
I wanted to give the leaves a "gold dipped" look.  I used painter's tape and metallic gold spray paint to achieve the look.  After experimenting, I don't think the painter's tape is necessary.  Although well preserved, the leaves are still fragile and the tape needs to be pressed tight to really work.  I ended up just using a piece of copy paper, then spraying the uncovered part of the leaf.
My end result:

Have you done a DIY project following the gold dipped trend?  If so, I'd love to see it!

Monday, November 11, 2013

How to Style a Coffee Table ▬ ⑤ Easy Tips

I bought my coffee table from Craigslist and painted it, which you can read all about here.  Then it was time to style it!  I styled my coffee table based on my design instinct.  Then I started thinking about how to give my readers helpful tips - what elements make a well-styled coffee table?  I found this blog, the Everygirl, and I was so impressed - the author concisely lists the elements I chose for my coffee table and the advice I would give others.

Including these five items makes styling a coffee table an easy task:
  1. Natural elements to add color and bring the outdoors in (especially you, city dwellers)
  2. Candlelight to add ambiance and possibly fresh scent to the room
  3. Books to entertain visitors
  4. Decorative accents to spark conversation among guests and add interest
  5. Tray to organize the previously stated items
I begin with the tray.  You might be thinking - why do I need a tray? 
It adds structure and texture.  It collects the smaller elements.

Add books.  In addition to entertaining guests, I use books to add color, height and age to the room.  I went to this antique store and searched for books that, when the dust jacket was removed, would fit into my color palette.  The topics are extremely eclectic - and I love that!  And besides having a great old patina, these 4 books cost me $6.00!


Add a natural element.  Sometimes this takes trial and error.  My first thought for my coffee table was to use hydrangeas in a low bowl.  I didn't love it.  Then I wanted to use small purple-ish artichokes (which are on-trend and the right color) but as soon as I tried out this grass - I loved it and knew it was right for my space.  Flowers, branches, fruit, sea shells, pinecones - anything from nature!

Add candlelight.  This is an easy one.  This adds a glow to the room, ambience and can add your favorite scent to the room. 
Add decorative accents.  These are the pieces that allow you to showcase your personality.  These are pieces that serve no purpose other than to add visual interest. 

A great example of this is a small lion I have by my bedside table.  I (sometimes) have curly blond hair and when I was in highschool, I used to wake up with a big mane of curls around my head and my sisters called me a lion.  Then they changed it to Lyon (Lyndi+lion=Lyon) so it's always been a nickname.  Also, one of my favorite books is The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis.  As you probably know, the story is an allegory and Aslan, the lion, is a representation of Jesus.  When I found the lion, it was a green, hard plastic, antique lion.  I spray-painted it glossy white and now it is a decorative accent - with so much meaning - it reminds me of myself, my childhood and my faith.
It can also be something totally random - my brother-in-law gave my sister Laura a decorative llama for Christmas (kind of as a joke) and we all loved it - it was soft and adorable.  We named it Harriet Vanger and it became one of her favorite decorative items.


A few examples:


As the Everygirl mentions, you can't rush this process.  I don't yet have a decorative accent piece, but I tried a few things around my house as examples.


One other tip the Everygirl blog didn't mention - add coasters - when styling, we don't want to forget to be practical - that is what a coffee table is used for!  I think these agate coasters from West Elm are gorgeous - practical and decorative.

Styled coffee table:
If you found any of these tips helpful, post pictures of your styled coffee table -
I would LOVE to see them!

Monday, November 4, 2013

Turning Inspiration Into Reality

This was my inspiration pic for my new living room.  I love EVERYTHING about it. 
When using an inspiration pic, I think the most important thing to remember is - your room is NOT going to look exactly the same.  My new living room does not have plank flooring, floor to ceiling windows, an ornate, textured, vaulted ceiling or a giant chandelier.  The key to an inspiration room is choosing elements that you like and using those elements in your space.
I liked the casual elegance of this room.  I liked the use of purple, black, white and natural.  I liked the use of metallic/mirrored pieces.  I liked the black coffee table.  And the element of nature brought in with the branch.

My living room:

Not a replica of my inspiration room, but it uses elements from that room. 

By the way, inspiration does not have to come from a picture - it can come from anywhere.  Maybe you're inspired by a swimming pool.  You draw elements that you love - bold turquoise, colorful accents, low to the ground lounge chairs. 

Maybe you're inspired by a library.  You draw out elements that you love - simple wood furniture, highly organized space, quiet and muted tones and lots of books.

Tell me about a room in your house - where did you draw inspiration from?



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