Fall Crafts (Halloween and Thanksgiving)

Another overdue post, figured I'd better get it up before Fall was over! This year I have been trying to make/create/buy at least one decorative item for each holiday. I crafted up some small decoration for Halloween and Thanksgiving this year but forgot to post them - you know to prove to myself that I actually am following through with my promise to myself.

First up, Halloween. I knew I wanted to do something similar to this post that I saw on Pinterest, but without the $10 craft pumpkin price (our dollar tree doesn't have cool pumpkins, so the $10 Michaels pumpkins was all I could find). So I came up with this idea …

1)      Hit up Targets dollar section for two ugly glittery pumpkins for a few bucks.

2)      Get a “scary” book from the thrift store for fifty cents.

3)      Cut out a few scary sounding pages and modge podge them to the pumpkins (not pictured, my hands were covered with glue). Use some already on hand hemp to coil around the pumpkins stump.

4)      Put some dollar store moss where the stem meets the pumpkin to hide any imperfections and let dry.

Easy peasy. Some cute pumpkins to spruce up my kitchen.
Next, Thanksgiving. When I was at Target purchasing my gaudy pumpkins I also purchased a wreath and pumpkin made from some wig-like material.
 So, I needed to decorate my wreath. I decided paper flowers and a festive banner would do the trick.

1)      Use the same thrift store book from above and make paper flowers.
2)      Draw swirl on page and cut out on the lines to start your flower.

3)      Starting at the outside edge, roll up the paper to make the flower and hot glue it in place (see Pinterest or any number of tutorials for how to make paper flowers.)

4)      Glue and pin paper flowers onto wreath. Make sure the pins do not poke through the wreath all the way. If they do, cut or bench the pokey ends that are coming all the way through with some wire cutters.

5)      Make banner with felt and sticker letters (purchased at Michaels). To make flags find a perfect square you may have around the house and trace it onto felt. Cut out felt squares. Fold over hemp string creating a triangle flag. Hot glue the inside of flag to one another so that it stays in place.

6)      Glue or place on sticker letters to create your desired phrase. Glue banner to wreath on the back side of the wreath with any desired swag.
Along with a few small purchases at my local thrift store (purchased on discount days) I was able to have a few seasonal decoration sprinkled throughout the house. I think in all I ended up spending $13 for everything I made or bought this year. Everything else I had on hand. It’s amazing how even small touches help bring in the holiday spirit.

So that is it. See Amber, I did it. Glad you posted it now that you're decorating for Christmas!

Hope you all had a marvelous Halloween and Thanksgiving!


Jeff's Mystery Science Theater 30K -30th Birthday Party

This post is very overdue. My Jeffery had his 30th birthday this past October. I can’t believe we are getting so old. I still feel like we're 24 and just got married, but alas, time has caught up to us and we turned 30 this year!

I really wanted to go on vacation for his birthday and do something BIG for him, but the recent purchase of a new car squashed any travel plans (RIP my beloved Tacoma, hello new Ford truck). Instead of vacationing, I planned a party - of course! This kid gets parties like every year I swear. We had a Mystery Science Theater 30K party theme going on this year. I tried my best not to make it childish, but was only somewhat succeeded.

We started the night by opening his presents. Thanks to my amazing sister, I actually have good birthday pictures of him this year.

 The decorations were kind of science-themed. At the party we set up a handful of dinner tables in my mother-in laws back yard and with his new birthday present - a movie/tv/gaming projector- we watched Mystery Science Theater episodes while we ate and chatted. Jeff’s brother made his famously delicious hamburgers and the rest of us pot lucked goodies for everyone to enjoy.

I made sure there was a bunch of festive streamers, mysterious glowing orbs in the pool (balloons with glow sticks in them), and movie-theater-themed treats for table center pieces. Mine, and I also the party guests, favorite part was the drink table though. I put science-like labels on two liter soda bottles and had a bunch of crazy wierd straws and cups to drink with. As the guests parting gift they got to take their cup home with them (Jeff’s idea). It seemed like a big hit. All the cups were different and in some weird way - hilarious. (I scoured local thrift stores for them and washed them up before the party.)

 We all had a bunch of fun, except for poor Scout. She isn’t a fan of parties and she was getting mauled by my sisters all night- ha ha. She still is the custest dog in the whole wide world though!

 I think it helped Jeff realize he is 30? Maybe not though, his wife does still throw him child-like themed parties, but parties are just so much more fun that way! I promised him I would NOT throw him another party next year. It will be a hard promise to keep. Maybe I’ll take him out for dinner at a nice restaurant or something. He is so awesome and deserves the best! Can't wait to spend time with him and the rest of the family tomorrow at Thanksgiving. Hope you and yours also have a wonderful turkey day!


Decorating by Memory- Part 2

A couple of months ago or so I started thinking about trying to decorate my home just based on the people and places that I love, instead of trying to find my homes style inspiration in more traditional places (ie: magazines, Pinterest, blogs). I discussed the whole idea here and even made up a mood board that reminded me of my grandparents (on my father’s side) style.

I told you it would take me forever and a day to get my act together and do one for my other grandparents (my mom’s side), and it did, but I am finally done with the mood board. You can see my mom’s side is a bit more rustic. My Grandpa is the truest cowboy I know, growing up on a farm, becoming a rancher and a teacher, makes things from leather, rides horses all over timbuktu, quotes cowboy poems at random, and always wears his cowboy boots and hat (even on Sundays). He is amazing. As is his lovely wife, my Grandmother. She is one of the best cooks I know, always smiling, and talented in whatever she tries her hand at. I’ve said it before; I have the coolest grandparents ever!

1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
(Sorry, I forgot to get image sources for 1 and 12)
  When I envision my grandparents style I envision:

·         Old barn or fence post wood covering walls. Antlers strewn about the cabin or mounted on the walls. My grandparents also have a great collection of wonderful art that they have collected from friends and purchased throughout the years hung all over their places. (A lot of it looks similar to painting #3.)

·         They also have brass and porcelain figurines that my grandmother has collected. These brass giraffes pictured in #4 are the same small figurines that she has already gifted to me. She has had them ever since I can remember. She also has glass grapes from the 70’s. Got to love it!

·         My grandparents are always wearing turquoise – rings, necklaces, belts, plain stones, what have you - and they always have some strung up on hooks in their bedrooms or bathrooms. Turquoise always reminds me of them.

·         I think of classic Windsor styled chairs, rustic leather and cowhides with them as well. They have similar furniture pieces at their place. Some of it that my Grandfather made himself, was inherited, or a rug made from a cow that they use to have on the ranch.

·         My grandparents use to live by an orchard and they still have wood orchard baskets that they re purpose and use to gather up other items now. Some of my favorite memories as child are riding through the orchard on horseback and being the perfect height to grab all the fresh peaches and plums that I could stomach!

·         #9 is a saddle stool. Obviously for their saddles, but we also use them to catch a seat if needed. They even have stools made from old milk jugs. I didn't quite understand why they'd want to sit on something so uncomfortable growing up, but now I like them for their rustic charm and 'use whatcha got' spirit.

·         Lastly, BOOKS! My grandfather was a teacher so it is no surprise that he has a lot of books, but his books are amazing, hard covered, worn, and smell like travel. His books follow them wherever they go, and they go a lot. Having books around me – good books – reminds me of him.
Next up in this little experimental series is my combo mood board. I am going to take inspiration from BOTH sides of my family and see what I can come up with for inspiration in my own place. How will I get them to meld together? Will I ever actually get it DONE? Who knows. Time will tell J