Do It Yourself

Centerpiece Magic

Linda  050This candle mold (or is it a sugar mold?) is one of my favorite things, and I look for any opportunity to use it.  Thanks to my friend Lynne, there is new inspiration.

centerpieceThis was her centerpiece at a recent dinner.  For me, it was instant love, and I couldn’t resist deconstructing to see how it was done.

Linda  046In addition to the mold, here’s what is needed: a candle holder and candle, florist’s foam, burlap, scissors and flowers.

Linda  047Step 1:  Cut a small piece of the foam and stuff it into a candle holder.   Wet it thoroughly and place the candle in the middle.

Linda  048Step 2: Cut flowers of your choice to a short length and insert them into the saturated foam, covering the entire surface.

Linda  049Step 3: Cut burlap strips and work them among the candle/holders.

Linda  043Step 4:  Stand back and admire your handiwork.

From start to finish, this centerpiece is a simple one, but the effect is dramatic,  magical and can be adapted to suit many occasions.  Isn’t this just the kind of project we all like?

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creativity, Do It Yourself

Let’s Make It!

Maine house/diyThis clever and cute creation has been hanging on my door for several weeks, and every time I look at it I think what a wonderfully simple idea this is that anyone could do.

Let’s take a closer look to see how it’s done.  

diyBegin with a pair of toddler overalls. Dab with paint and for fun add a few patches.  I’d iron them on with stitch witchery.  Tie the legs with twine, stuff the overalls with polyester filling and finish the overalls off with seasonal items.  That’s all there is to it.

Now, let your imagination run wild.  What changes can you see for Christmas, Valentine’s, Easter, July 4…..heck, any other holiday?  As for me, I’m already imagining candy canes, a stuffed bear with a big red ribbon, pinecones and nuts falling out of the top of the overalls.  

How is yours going to look?

I would love to give credit to the person who came up with this idea, but I don’t know who it is.

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Decorating, home

A Simple Fix

Maine houseA new sofa wasn’t the only thing the hubby felt was in order these last months.   He also thought it time for a new TV thanks to Time Warner having replaced our cable box with a new one that accommodated HD.  The result was a very blurry screen on the old TV.

Maine houseAt one time the old unit was a top of the line Sony with a big screen, and it fit perfectly into its custom space.  The same could not be said for the new shorter model which made me a little crazy.

Maine houseI guess the hubby got tired of my whining about the fit and came to the rescue with a very simple solution.  He cut a piece of 1/2″ birch plywood to fit the space above the new flat screen model, trimmed it to match the other shelves

Maine houseand mounted it inside the space on side rails.  The bottom of the shelf doesn’t show, so it wasn’t really necessary to paint the underside.

Maine houseSanded and painted it’s impossible to tell that the newly installed shelf hasn’t always been there.

Maine houseBest of all, I can now look at the TV without being distracted by the lack of perfection that existed.  Oh, and having that extra shelf provides one more surface on which to place special treasures.  A girl can never have too many flat surfaces, don’t you agree?

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Art

Sunday Afternoon Delight

The Bayou City Art Festival is one of my favorite spring events in Houston.  It is one of the country’s largest outdoor art shows and features art in all mediums by more than 400 artists from all over the country.

Daniel Ng
Daniel Ng

This year’s featured artist is Daniel Ng who is said to paint with imagination but not from imagination.  As this painting interpreting the approach to Houston’s downtown shows, he is definitely a colorist.

As much as I like paintings, prints and photographs, my heart sings when I see beautifully crafted art of wood, fiber, metal, glass and clay.  It’s hard to pick favorites from so many wonderful pieces, but these represent some of the artists who caught my eye.

Amber Marshall
Amber Marshall

Amber Marshall hails from Spruce Pine, North Carolina, and her glass creations are wonderful for their color and delicate shape.

Gregg Rasmusson
Gregg Rasmusson

Interestingly, many of the clay creations were done by men, and it was exciting to see their use of color and design.  I particularly liked the energy of Gregg Rasmusson’s work.

Sally J Bright
Sally J Bright

Every time I see Sally Bright’s work my heart beats a little faster.  Her sculptural fiber pieces are graceful and show a wonderful sensitivity to color.

Eric Ober
Eric Ober

Two Houston artists got my attention.  Eric Ober’s sculpture is perfect for outdoor installation, and I could easily imagine one in my yard.

Thomas Irven
Thomas Irven

Thomas Irven is a wood worker whose craftsmanship shows a real sensitivity to his material.

Carlos Montanaro
Carlos Montanaro

Of course, I can’t resist looking at jewelry and am particularly drawn to unusual upcycled pieces such at that of Carlos Montanaro.

I wish you had been here with me today.  It would have been fun to share the excitement and see what caught your eye. 

i so appreciate your visit and the comments you leave behind

PS  All the photos shown here are from the artists’ websites.  I hope you will take a look to see other examples from their talented hands.

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Decorating, Holidays

O Christmas Tree

Have you decorated your tree yet?  No, neither have I, and to get inspired I looked online for some ideas that would give my tree a new look.  There’s plenty to choose from, so maybe you’ll find something that gets you thinking, too.

Christmas treeLike turquoise?  It’s very popular this year

Christmas treeas is lime green which redefines the more familiar traditional green.

Christmas treeSo many looks can be created with this color, and that does make it a very appealing choice.

Christmas treeBright colored ribbons are an easy way to add a little extra pop

Christmas treeand I love the idea of mixing natural elements in with shiny ornaments.

Christmas treeThis handmade garland of banners is great, but unless I get started quick, this idea will have to wait until next year.

Christmas treeHmmm, maybe a non traditional tree would be a better choice and goodness knows I have enough wine corks to do something like this,

Christmas treebut this is a cute one, too.

Christmas tree

And how about making a tree from rolled paper pages?   The size is good, and the gift certificates I’m planning on giving this year would fit nicely under it.

Christmas treeOh, here we go.  Talk about fun, and I have a ladder, strings of lights and a very tall ceiling.  What do you think?

My head is filled now with ideas. Hope yours is, too.

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Holidays, Tablescapes

On the Porch

screen porchMost of my days start on the porch where I can hear the faint trickle of water from the fountain, hear bird sounds, think quietly, read and enjoy that first cup of coffee.

chamelionSometimes I’m joined by a little critter who found its way in and lounges above my head.  So long as he doesn’t jump down, I’m OK with that!

screen porchI had to beg and plead for this space when we built our house.  The architect and I envisioned it as something wonderful, my husband couldn’t imagine ever spending a minute there making the cost of the porch unnecessary.  I don’t remember now whether the architect just made it a part of the total design or if the hubby got so tired of my whining he gave in!  In any case, the porch has been much used and enjoyed.

screen porchUntil a few days ago, past their prime cushions were on most of the furniture and no where could I find replacement pieces.  After spending hours on the internet, I finally found Cushion.com in Sherman Oaks, CA.  Pick your sunbrella fabric, send your measurements and a couple of weeks later custom cushions are delivered.

embroidered pillowAdd to them embroidered pillows on sale at Pier One and there’s a whole new look.

holiday decor on the porchWith it being the holiday season I could see no reason for the porch not to have some festive touches.  Santa speeds by a candle lit tree, probably off to hear children’s special Christmas wishes.

holiday decor on the porchA reindeer finds its way onto the porch, no doubt waiting for Santa’s request to pull his sleigh.

holiday decor on the porchAs long as the weather stays nice, there’s no question many evening meals will be enjoyed here, and there’s no better time to use the Christmas dishes than now.

Santa platesWith their happy Santa design, these are my favorites.  They are Bella Ceramica and were ordered from an unremembered catalog some years ago.

porch tablescapeMother gave me the Spode Christmas tree glasses and taking them out of the cabinet for the season is like welcoming an old friend as well as a reminder of her.

porch tablescapeBecause they are so easy to make, I have many sets of seasonal napkins.  All you have to do is serge the edges, no hem required!

porch tablescapeIt’s time for that second cup of coffee.  If you are any where close, stop in.  It only takes a second to brew another cup, and it’s a beautiful day on the porch.

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Random, Tablescapes, Thanksgiving

What’s Old is New

The Della Robbia dishes and the dryer hose pumpkins are a Thanksgiving thing. Both are in a cabinet the rest of the year, but noThanksgiving table at our house would be complete without them.  The trick is finding something new to do with the same pieces year after year.

Looking through my stash of cloths and table runners, I came upon this wonderful handwoven fabric from Morocco.  Add an antique candle mold dotted with gourds, and there it is a new look for the pumpkins which stand out beautifully on the cloth.

There is a sparkling gold thread running through the fabric so in keeping with that the very quiet dishes are placed on a gold charger.  So far so good?

What to do with napkins to add a touch of fun?  I got the idea of using a toilet paper roll for a napkin ring here.  Luckily, I had a fabric sample book that had some just right colors that could be used to cover the cardboard and for that something extra, all I had to do was go outside and pick up acorns from the millions that are covering the ground.  With a little hot glue…..done!

Now, to put it all together and add candles that will give a soft glow at twilight.

The table is ready without too much fuss, and what will make it special are the people who will soon gather round.  Each one is so special to me, and their love and laughter will fill my heart.

Wherever you are, whatever your tradition, I hope you have a most wonderful day.

i so appreciate your visit and the comments your leave behind

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