Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Chevron Painter's Tape

I was shopping at Lowe's one day when I came across chevron painter's tape. It immediately struck me as something I should buy but, for some reason, I decided to wait until I knew what I wanted to paint. When I went back to make my purchase, they told me that they didn't carry such a thing. I thought maybe I confused them with Home Depot or Ace Hardware so I stopped by both places & got the same answer. Three trips later I started to think that this idea came to me in a dream so I went to the dreamiest shopping place on earth, Amazon, and sure enough, they had it.

I picked the bulletin board in my home office because it desperately needed a makeover. I spend a lot of time in there so I think it should be fun, whimsical and invoke a sense of creative chaos. For all of my creative friends, you know what I mean. It is kind of the equivalent of letting your freak flag fly in the sense that all of my weird decor resides in this room....and I LOVE it!

Here is the "before":
Another "before":

The dreamy chevron painter's tape

I highly recommend that you layout out the entire project before removing the backing

Remove the backing very slowly

Then use regular painter's tape to cover the border

At this point I realized that painter's tape doesn't stick that well to cork. I was able to smooth it all down in sections though & it held up long enough for me to spray. I only mention this so you don't think that you can put down your painter's tape then come back to paint later on. 
I am certain it would have all popped up if I had waited.

I applied three medium/heavy coats of white spray paint

Since the edges where a bit finicky, I used a q-tip to lean the edges after I painted.
This worked surprisingly well.

THE FINISHED PRODUCT!!

After I finished it, I decided that I liked it so much that I wanted a double-decker so I ordered a second board!


I can't wait to fill it with all sorts of inspirational things...and pictures of my nieces & nephews :)




P.S. I think this chevron painter's tape would make for a very fun girl's night activity re-purposing picture frames or making beverage tub. Have fun! :)





Tuesday, April 15, 2014

A Mother's Day Idea for Every Mom!

It is so hard to come up with a unique gift for Mother's Day. I would like to offer you some inspiration while at the same time showcasing some of my crafty friend's businesses. Thanks for helping support small businesses...and for giving my friends some play money so they can meet me for lunch or cocktails often :)

FOR THE TRADITIONAL MOM
BURLAP MAMAS by my friend: Stacy H.
or

You may remember from an earlier post that I don't  exactly have a knack for making wreaths. OOPS! So, when a friend of mine started making these adorable burlap wreaths, I had to pick one up for my mother-in-law. It turned out SO cute and was very affordable. I can't wait to give it to her! 
PRICING:   $55 for 24"   $45 for 20"   $35 for 16" ($12 shipping)


FOR THE PREPPY MOM
PREPPY & CO. by my friend Shannon C.


If your mom loves all things monogrammed, then this is the place for her. I bought an adorable monogrammed, straw clutch for the summer that I love! They have some great gifts ideas; yoga mats, jewelry, stationery, etc. 
PRICING:  $36



FOR THE SENTIMENTAL MOM
CUSTOM HEADBANDS FOR FASHIONABLE GIRLS 
by my friend Ann W.

A sweet lady that I have known for many years has a really neat tradition in that she buys her daughters a gift on Mother's Day to thank them for giving her the gift of motherhood. I find this especially touching so, if you have a sweet little girl that blesses your life beyond measure, consider giving her an adorable custom-made headband this Mother's Day.
PRICING: $20 for 2"     $15 for 1"     (monogram included)


FOR THE HIP & FASHIONABLE MOM
TEODORA B. by my friend Teodora B.

She's beautiful. She's Bulgarian. She has great style. What more could you ask for? I met Teodora when I was looking to hire a fashion blogger for a client. As it turned out, we had two mutual friends from two different circles so, I suppose we were destined to be friends. I absolutely LOVE wearing blazers but, in my career (public relations), the stuffy Ann Taylor version just doesn't cut it, (no offense to Ms. Taylor). I think a blazer can really pull together a casual outfit or, for those of us that aren't super-young anymore, can help us pull off a trendy look without looking like we're trying too hard. 
PRICING: $58.75

FOR THE NEW AGE MOM
YOUNG LIVING ESSENTIAL OILS by my friend Kelli W

Sign Up for Young Living Essential Oils

A friend from my home state of Alabama started using essential oils to help her daughter with asthma & had amazing results. The results were so dramatic that she started sharing her story and selling these great products. I haven't given them a try just yet but they are on my list!
PRICING:  See website

FOR THE GIVING MOM
STEPHANIE QUINLAN DESIGNS by my friend Wendy's friend :)

For many years, I worked in the non-profit sector, specifically the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. During my time there, I met so many wonderful families that were making strides to find a cure for this life-threatening disease. My friend Wendy, (who has CF), has a friend, (Stephanie), that makes jewelry. She designed a few pieces that are inspired by Wendy's struggle with cystic fibrosis. All profits benefit the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation...and they are so pretty all stacked together! (She also has an adorable one that benefits the Southern Animal Rescue). Stephanie, we have never met but, thank you for all that you are doing to fund and find a cure for CF!
PRICING: $35

FOR MY MOM
What can I tell you about my mom? She's a retired drama teacher, horticulturist, animal activist, actress, theater buff, turtle researcher, writer, lover of all things purple and recent world traveler. She let me wear makeup when I was really young which, I swear, is why I feel comfortable without it now. She taught me that personality comes before beauty & that being kind to others is important, especially animals. Lord knows we had a lot of animals around us growing up; dogs, cats, goats, cattle and an occasional turtle or tiny bird or whatever was floating around in our pool! She embraces her inner wild woman and now, in her retirement phase, is gaining so many stamps on her passport that we should all be jealous. Travelling to different cultures changes people. It helps them to understand others, relate to decidedly uncommon causes and embrace people that are different than them. What the world doesn't know, however, is that my mom already know these things & lives life loving others every day. So, Mom, you get out there & show them what a sweet lady from Bama has to offer!

Oh, and sorry to disappoint you but, your Mother's Day gift isn't being shown here since I KNOW you read all of my blogs! But I think it is something that will make you smile. Thanks for always thinking that I am great, even when, and especially because, I am not. Happy early Mother's Day!




Monday, April 7, 2014

Crawfish Boil Decor

After over a decade of working non-profit events, I suppose I picked up a thing or two about how to decorate on a tight budget. I like to create looks that incorporate things from natural settings; like the magnolia leaves from my yard, for example. I want guests to walk in and take notice but not feel like things are overdone.

I was honored to have been asked to create the d├ęcor for a corporate holiday party this past December and ended up decorating for a friend's Christmas party the next week. (I will share those ideas around the 2014 holidays) Since that time, I have found myself offering to make centerpieces for friend's parties in lieu of bringing a side dish or wine, for example. I think it is a nice gesture and takes a small, but sometimes stressful, item off the hosts "to do" list. 


This particular party was a crawfish boil in honor of our friend's 40th birthday. The backyard setting had a rustic-chic feel. My husband & I throw a crawfish boil most summers so I didn't want the decor to look exactly like mine. Since they have a sandpit in their backyard for horseshoes, I thought it would be fun to throw in some beachy elements. 



Displaying fruit can be an easy (and inexpensive ) centerpiece. I used an over-sized clam shell that I just adore! 

I chose deep pink Camellia blossoms and Acuba leaves from my yard. The key to using fresh cut flowers and fruit is Baby Oil!!
Remember this old post from 2011? Old Post About Baby Oil

Sliced lemons in a medium-sized clam shell make for a useful centerpiece on the crawfish "dump" table

One of my favorite backyard treasures is my over-sized lantern. I filled it with wheat flour (to look like sand), then dropped in decorative shells & a rustic candle.

A little tip: Before you fill a lantern with flour, or anything else, you need to line the inside of the bottom with clear tape. Otherwise it will go everywhere when you transport it.

I wrapped a plain candle in netting that I filled with seashells.

This is an old wine crate that I have been dying to use for something. I draped netting over the side and painted a loose-hand "40" on the side. It served as a gift deposit, which, at our age, is typically a nice bottle of something or a gift certificate :)


The lovely hostess found an idea for a banner on Pinterest & took the time to make it. She hand-stamped each piece of burlap. Isn't it just perfect?

She also incorporated burlap for special touches around the tables.

She got the iron "A" at TJ Maxx & used it on the dessert table.


Btw, if you ever want a custom-made metal letter (or sign), you have got to check out my friend's business. I just ordered a custom sign for a close friend that is retiring. This style is very hip right now & I just love them!

Metal and Lights Etsy Shop



                            The star of the decor at a crawfish boil is the crawfish itself.


Look at these beauties!



Wednesday, April 2, 2014

A Bird's Eye View: Making Hummingbird Food

My husband & I have loved watching birds enjoy our bird-feeders & birdhouses for some time now. We had a pair of Carolina Chickadees that stayed with us for over a year before taking off for greener pastures (ie: have I told you that one of our dogs is a bird dog?!). While I am not quite ready to invest in bird-watching binoculars, I do want to continue to add to our collection. There is nothing like waking up in the morning to the sound of our little friends chirping!

To keep the squirrels away, we use “Cajun” birdseed for all of our bird-feeders. If you have never purchased Cole’s Hot Meats, you should know two things: 1. It is a bit expensive  2. It absolutely works. Bonus: the name makes me giggle :)


I recently purchased a glass hummingbird feeder that I will place right outside my bedroom window. Keeping the steep price of our regular birdseed in mind, I thought it might be nice to try to make our own nectar for the hummingbird feeder. All you need is sugar & water, (food coloring is optional).

Boil water with sugar, let cool
Pour into your feeder & place the rest in a milk carton
I think this is adorable! And isn't this just so "green" of us? :)

I would love to share pictures of hummingbirds enjoying their yummy nectar but, what can I say? They are very fast & therefore hard to photograph! So, enjoy a few pics from my yard that celebrate Spring!









 
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