Sunday, January 30, 2011

Bud Vases

They are perfect for mini floral arrangements for a small space or dining table. I find them most useful when downsizing a declining larger arrangement, like this one from 11 days ago.

Once a few of the flowers started to fade, I quickly disassembled my large arrangement and moved it to the dining table in these cute little bud vases that I got for Christmas. I recently saw some just like them at Cost Plus World Market and I have seen them online at Crate&
These are especially nice because they have a lot of weight to them so they can hold substantial size stems and as you can see I loaded them up with filler too.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

All you need is Love

Da dadada dah!
Sorry I have been on a Beatles kick since Christmas, Rory bought us the best of the The Beatles from 1962-66 & 1967-70. So its been nothing but the boys from across the pond for over a month.

So get on with it! With Valentines Day in just a little over 2 weeks, and I am seeing some lovely decor in Blog world. Personally I have never decorated for Valentines day, probably because of my very odd and very real refusal to decorate with the colors pink and red. But it is a new year and I think its time to give a little pink a try.

Trisha at The Sweet Survival has a great tutorial on this beautiful crepe paper rosette topiary. She has an awesome blog and the step by step shows you just how to replicate these adorable and simple pink paper roses. So I followed her lead, but with a Mrs. B twist and strayed from her perfect and neat little topiary to make something of my own.

Image via The Sweet Survival

This Jumanji like Wisteria vine at my parents house has been my inspiration lately for making my own wreath bases. I made one the other day out of cut wisteria vines, it's now on our front door. It needs the trimming anyway, and the materials are free.

I clipped quite a few of the newer growth vines that were still flexible to form them into the letters for Love. The lower case "e" was the hardest!

But where the vines wouldn't bend or go my way I simply spliced the vine and used it to tie knots like twine.

Then I got out the craft supplies and got crafting. I already had the pink crepe paper from a birthday party a couple years back where I made a pink flamingo piñata for a friend of ours.
Seen here
So I used the technique of crepe paper rosette making from the blog linked above. I collected Spanish moss from the oak tree droppings out front. Heated up the glue gun, and started to decorate the vine letter wreaths.

Okay so I didn't cover them with pink rosettes, just a few for color and I went a little crazy with the pale green Spanish moss for a very weathered natural look.

The larger heart shaped wreath was also formed out of extra wisteria vines and covered in Spanish moss. I think I might just be okay with this much pink in my house for a couple weeks, after all it does a fantastic job of reminding Mr. B that Valentines Day is coming up!

Monday, January 24, 2011

The Time has Come!

Check out the new clock, we pretty much love it! I have been on the look out for a clock for our home ever since we moved in. I had the space all picked out for 18 months, but I could not find one in the right size. I knew I wanted it to be wood and rustic, also large but it had to fit the wall.

So while I waited for Pottery barn to make a perfect clock for our home, like this but 4" smaller in diameter please.

Or this beauty that is a whopping 30" in diameter and that would make it about 7" too large to fit our wall.

So what did we do? We ordered it custom! This is our carved wine barrel clock, 23" diameter just our size. Its the perfect stain color, finish, and design too. Made out of the top of a used wine barrel, so its eco-friendly as a wine barrel is used only 3 times before it has to be discarded or made into something else.
But best of all its local, and supporting a local company is something I would rather do any day than buy from a large retailer like the Pottery Barn clocks above.
Oh it also goes along with our stave coat hook that I made last month out of a wine barrel, seen here.

Here is a close up of the 3 dimensional sunburst carving.

Check out their website.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

January wreath

I have been longing for something to put up ever since all the holiday decor got packed away.
Do you think there is something wrong with a wreath in January? I didn't think so, neither did I.
So I made this stick wreath a week ago with clippings from our wisteria vine. I took the cut vines and just started forming them into a circle intertwining them into each other for structure, pretty simple and I figured I will eventually use it for something.

While at the farmers market today I picked up 2 bunches of these beautiful and what I figured are California native flowers, to me they look so tropical. Being a novice when it comes to plant names I only know some, the others I had too look up...but they are all beautiful and so large! I guess that's why they feel tropical to me, its the size and they are all so unique looking.

I also picked up a bunch of these eucalyptus branches for a couple bucks, I used some wire and cutters and I formed it into a wonderfully smelling green leafy wreath.

I stole a few flowers from the bouquet and wired them on the wreath. These Protea flowers are amazing, the tips of some are like feathers, so soft too.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Oh happy day!

I can finally take a decent indoor photo thanks to my new camera!!! (and tripod) I got a Nikon Coolpix P7000.
I picked up a much needed new digital camera yesterday. After using the same Canon Elph for over 8 years it was time for an upgrade.
Here she is! I am just beginning to learn all that it will do, so keep in mind while straying from auto on this baby I may produce some weird shots.

So I would like to share with you our new fireplace all decorated and our new window treatments! I posted the drapes last week after I thought we were finished, but I ended up ordering more fabric and doubling the panels of linen and getting a new drapery rod. So here they are, fuller and the trim has been painted around the window from where we ripped off the shutters.
You can see the accessories I have added to the mantel, a trio of pillar candles a beautiful iron cross which we received 3 unique ones for Christmas gifts this year form Rory's Aunt. I hung the other two on an opposing wall to tie them in together. Oh also a plant on the mantel in a cobalt blue pot.

Before of our fireplace & shutters

Here is a new addition to our home a Zee zee plant, I hope I can take care of it well. You can also see my new tripod sitting on top of our trunk.

Thursday, January 13, 2011


If you haven't heard of NOVICA by now I am going to introduce it to you.
NOVICA is a webstore by the National Geographic company, they have beautiful handcrafted items from around the world. These talented artisans have a safe and wonderful way to get their crafts out to the world, it benefits them as well as the consumer who is supporting them while buying items that you just can't pick up locally.

Like these!
Today I got an email telling me these were once again available to purchase. They were out of them over 3 months ago but I signed up for an email notification once they had more in. They got in 6 sets and I just ordered 1 set for us.
They are a set of 6 beautifully hand blown dessert glasses in cobalt blue (what else) from Mexico. Shown here filled with delicious piña coladas! Yum. I plan to use these beauties for desserts mainly, ice creams (our favorite is McConnel'ls Coconut) , panna cotta, flan, who knows!

I can't wait to get them and display them in our glass cabinets.
I used a coupon code I found while searching the internet "NOVICA8494" for an order over $40.00 and saved $10.00!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Refinished, for good.

I think we have almost completed our fireplace renovation. That last step basically was to cover up the existing rough stucco finish with a much smoother and more "us" version of a hand troweled plaster look. We did this with a special concrete Venetian style plaster.
But first!

We did this to our fireplace...
We turned it pink!! Its Pepto Bismol pink actually, due to the special concrete/mortar/stucco primer, you can see Rory applying it below. It was this horrendous color most of the morning today, until we got to mixing up the plaster.

Currently this is the finish. Its a little gray still as it's wet and should dry to white in the next few days. Rory is still hand troweling it as I type, which needed to be done many times over the last couple hours to get a nice smooth finish.

Here is a close up of the trowel marks.

A long way from what it once was.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Bye bye shutters

I took a plunge and decided to remove the custom shutters that covered our large window in our living room and also seen here in between our living room and sitting room. These shutters were here when we bought the home, and by the state of them they had most likely been installed over a decade ago.
The main reason I wanted to remove them was their lack of ease when trying to operated them. We spend a lot of time in this room in the evening so we preferred them shut for privacy, but during the day I would have loved to be able to open them and let the light in. Doing that was a lengthy process that usually involved me struggling with the somewhat dilapidated shutters, until frustration set in and I would just shut them.
Here they are in their lovely putty color goodness, the other option besides removal was to repair the broken parts and somehow paint them a more complimentary color of white. I started to think about how difficult it would be to paint moving shutters, and I quickly decided to take them out, it started to hurt just thinking about the free time that painting them would involve.
(the flash really makes the yellow look bright, its not really this color in real life)

So here we are today. I took out the shutters and whipped up some linen curtains last night. Now we have privacy at the flick of a wrist! Its so easy to "swish" them open and closed just like that. I even think they look better.
I still have some repairs around the window where the shutters were attached and bit of sanding & painting, but I love the difference so far.

I mean look at that view that we get to see now that the window is open, and the light poring in is great. The shutters darkened the room so much that during the day we would need the light on. So it just proves that decoration really should be based around practicality more than anything.
I love seeing our giant oak tree out front, I can't wait till there are leaves on it again.

The brown linen curtains are just more fitting in the room than the gray putty colored shutters ever were, and best of all they fit our life style.

The only thing I wish I could have done was make the drapes wider. The window is 98" wide and my linen source only has 59" width fabric. So after sewing & hemming the 2 drape panels I made just barely cover the window.
Ideally I would have just bought 2 of these 100" wide x 96" long Belgian linen drapes from RH, but at a whopping $767 + tax I thought making them myself even if they would be half the width it was good enough!
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