Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Decorating a Kitchen Ledge

One of these days, I'm determined to have a mantel, again, to decorate. I've had them in previous houses but not this one even though I have a fireplace. I think the builders figured that since there was the big hole in the wall, ie TV niche, above the fireplace, that I mantel wasn't needed.

While I pine away for a mantel, I decorate the surfaces I do have which includes, 2 kitchen ledges, tops of my kitchen cabinets and the half wall in the "foyer" of my house.

This year, I decided to go for a bit of a different look for the main ledge in my kitchen.

For the past few years, this has been the look for the ledge.

The Singing Mice

I still love my mice but have decided to use them elsewhere this year.

When I decided that I wanted a new look, as is typical of me, I really didn't have a plan in mind. In fact, I hadn't even thought of a new look until I purchased this lantern from Ikea.

Last year, I had seen the smaller ones, which I also fell in love with, over at Thrifty Decor Chick . So this year I marched into IKEA looking for the small lanterns (got 7 of them by the way), when I discovered the papa.

I really didn't know what I was going to do with the big lantern, or any of them for that matter, but I thought he was a good price and I had to have him. After finally trying him out on my kitchen ledge, I decided I wanted to more but within the span of the 2 weeks that had elapsed during that time, those papa lanterns had sold out.

So I came up with plan 2, which was to make him the centerpiece of the ledge and go from there.

At first I tried incorporating things I already have (really didn't want to buy a bunch of new things just for this project) but to me ledges are trickier than mantels to decorate, because they are up higher. Things that look right at eye level or on a mantel often look like crap on the ledge in my kitchen. So, after much playing around, I ended up using a lot of new items but some old ones, too.

And here is the final rendition.

The white pitcher I already had (purchased from Target earlier this year for $3, it's plastic). I stuffed it with some greenery that I picked up at IKEA and berries from Hobby Lobby. The glitter star came from Dollar tree. The little read tree, I got this year from Hobby Lobby. It was on sale, so I only paid about $2.00 for it. The silver angels, I purchased a few years ago from Pier 1.

The frosty hat was purchased last year from Pier 1. I can't remember if it was on sale or not. I have it sitting atop a black bowl. The white glitter Reindeer was another Hobby Lobby purchase. On sale for 50% off. And of course the IKEA lantern.

The black lantern, I already had. I purchased it from TJ Maxx or Marshall's just before the lantern craze hit, which means I got it for a lot less than I could get it for now. I have a red Christmas tree candle, that I've also had for awhile sitting in it. The owl, purchased earlier this year from TJ Maxx / Home Goods has been a real trooper through the holidays and now seems to be a permanent fixture on the ledge. The red glitter reindeer was a new purchase and came from the Martha Stewart collection at Home Depot.

The old world Santa was another piece that I purchased this year and was also part of the Martha Stewart collection at Home Depot. And I end it with another lantern (a baby red one from IKEA).

I really like how the ledge turned out. Next year, I know I'll tweak it, adding lights and perhaps a bit more greenery. This year, I tried to add some garland but it was a bit much because you couldn't see some of the pieces. I also wanted to add some lights this year but by the time I got this all together, it seems that everyone was out of clear lights.

I hope you enjoyed the tour of my ledge

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Halloween at My House

Hey Everyone,

I'm still around. Thanks to the inspiration I've gotten through a few of my fellow bloggers' projects, I've been crafting and decorating a bit this month for a little holiday that's taking place this week, like today. Yikes, where did the month go.

I've not really decorated for Halloween in over 10 years  as I had decided to decorate for fall and not just Halloween.

Just like last year around this time, the decorating and crafting bug bit and in a big way. Even though I spent quite a bit at Michael's, a lot of my projects were from Dollar Tree or from things I already had around the house.

Next year, when hopefully I be back to blogging on a regular basis, I can share more of my decor.

Since today's the big day for ghost and goblins I'll just try to show as much as I can without overwhelming you.

Bird Topiaries - I got this idea from the Michael's website.

Another Michael's project is my crow candelabra. 

The zebra pumpkin I created last year using zebra print Duck Tape. I got that ingenious idea from ????. The silver pumpkins are just Dollar Tree pumpkins that I spray painted. The white with black polka dot pumpkins came from Kirkland's. I went back during the 50% off sale and picked up some black ones with white polka dots.

Here's an up close of my napkins, $1.99 bandannas from Hobby Lobby, and my spider napkin rings. I got the bandannas during a 40% off sale, so they were actually $1.19. The napkin rings were created using some black Poster Board I had on hand, a stapler, glue, and some glitter spiders that I picked up from Pier 1. I think the spiders were about $2.97 for a back of 12.

This is what I put together for the little baker's rack that's at the end of the piano.


The skull has to be one of my favorite items this year. The best part is it was totally free. I got the graphic from The Graphics Fairy. The frame I already had on hand.

The mercury glass pumpkin was another Kirkland's score. It was 50% off, so if I remember correctly the sale price was about $8.00. The beaded candle I already had (purchased from QVC a few years back) and the black platter and tombstone marker came from Dollar Tree. I added a bit a glitter glue to the platter to spruce it up and spray painted the marker black.

Last but not least, is my Man in the Moon wreath.

This was one of those unplanned projects that I think turned out great. I already had the black feather wreath on hand. It was purchased a few years back from Z Gallerie. I took the 2nd black Dollar Tree platter (it was a set of two) and using some glitter Mod Podge applied the Man in the Moon (another graphic from The Graphics Fairy) face to the platter. Then just place the platter inside the wreath. Why was this unplanned? Because I really wanted to use the Man in the Moon on the ledge in my kitchen but didn't have anything to hold him up. I had already hung the wreath. As I was walking by the wreath, I wonder if the platter would fit there and that's how I ended up with the Man in the Moon wreath.

BTW the desert menu came from Dollar Tree, my little pumpkin skulls came from AC Moore (on sale, I forget how much I paid for them but it was <$5.00, and "I want my Mummy" Mummy came from Pier 1. The little green bottle I already had on hand. I'm thinking I got it from Old Time Pottery years ago but could be wrong.

Hope you've enjoyed this mini trip of some of my Halloween decor. And you know what I realized during all this crafting and decorating for Halloween, that I actually miss decorating for this Holiday and have decided that I'm going to start back doing my Halloween decorations.

Praying all the ghost and goblins have fun tonight and stay safe.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

New Fall Wreath

I have really fallen in love with the Rag Wreaths. If you remember, I did a post Fourth of July Wreath Rag Wreath that I'm really loving and am looking forward to displaying next year.

But I wanted a rag wreath that I could display now, so I got started spinning my wheels and decided to do a Sunflower Rag Wreath. My mother even submitted some creative ideas to the formation of this wreath.

Without further ado, here's my new fall wreath

This will go on my front door this coming week as I pull out my fall decor and begin to decorate my little place for the holidays.

So, how did I make the wreath?

Supplies I used to make the wreath were a wire wreath frame

3-5 yards of broadcloth, pinto beans, glue, cardboard, spray paint (ORB because it's what I had on hand), and floral wire.

I cut / ripped the cloth into strips about 1 1/2" x 7" (that doesn't have to be exact). Tie the strips of cloth onto the wreath frame. (I did all 4 rows but you can probably get by only doing 3 of the rows, which means less cloth).

For the middle, I cut a piece of cardboard the size of the wreath, then drew a circle, using the wreath as a guide for the middle. Applied a ton of glue inside the drawn circle, threw the pinto beans on there and kind of pressed them down into the glue. After the glue was dry (took a couple of days) I sprayed the beans with the paint (you don't have to paint them but I thought they would look better painted). Attached the cardboard to the wreath using floral wire. I also used some of the floral wire to make a loop to hang it by.

The idea of using the pinto beans for the middle / seeds came from my formerly crafty mother.

That's it folks. Sorry I don't have any in process pics, maybe next time.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

After the 4th, Fourth of July Wreath

I don't know about you but for as long as I can remember, seems like I'm always doing crafts for a holiday, right after the holiday has passed.

I really wanted to display a wreath on my door for the 4th of July. I came across this wreath, featured on Crafts n' Coffee.

It's made from Twizzlers. It's cute and funky, and just what I was looking for for the front door. But the project ended up being an epic failure for me. I used various types of glue to try to adhere the Twizzlers to the Styrofoam wreath. They would adhere for a short while then fall off. I finally gave up on the project.

I still wanted a wreath but it was only 2 days away from the 4th when I decided to make a rag wreath. I purchased all the needed supplies but just didn't have the time to get it completed. So after the fourth, I've been working on it as time allows and finally completed my post 4th of July wreath this past week.

So even though it's after the 4th, I thought I would show my new wreath. Must say that I'm right proud of myself. This is my first time doing a rag wreath but dare I say that it will not be my last rag wreath.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Kitchen Drawers

I'm on a mini roll as far as posting. :)

Today, I'm going to show you how I tackled my kitchen drawers. Sorry I don't have any before pics, but I was well on my way to decluttering before I even thought about starting a blog about my organization, etc.

Before I organized my drawers, I can tell you that my everyday cutlery, a Reed and Barton set that I got from QVC, was in a chest. For the most part, the chest served it's purpose but the knives were too heavy for the lid and had decimated most of the knife storage after a few years. Every time I raised the lid, all of the knives would fall out. Trust me it was not pretty. At first, I thought about buying another chest but I really like having my cutlery in a drawer. So I finally figured out the best way to do this, drawer organizers, which work so much better than the cutlery trays with the slots.

For the kitchen, I settled on the Linus Collection of drawer organizers that are available from The Container Store. Folks I tell you, I never knew one product could make such a difference but these pics that follow are proof. And yes, I've managed to keep my kitchen drawers organized and I completed the organization of cutlery, kitchen tools, junk drawer, etc. about 4 months ago.

Just look at my drawers

Cutlery Drawer

Kitchen Tools Drawer #1

Kitchen Tools Drawer #2

Junk Drawer

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

The Year of Decluttering

Hey everybody. It wasn't my intention to begin a new blog and then not return to it for two months. I do apologize but I'm sure my fellow bloggers know how hard it is to keep up with a blog even when just starting out.

So without further ado, let's get on to today's topic, the year long project of decluttering my house. It's been my main focus for 2012. This project actually begin back in the fall, when I finally decided something had to be done about this.

That's my garage folks and that's an in-process pic and I can't believe I'm posting that, but it was worse than that when I begin. Now unlike a lot of folks, I've always been able to get my car into one side of the garage but the other side man 'o man. I'm actually almost through with the garage, I just have to get in there and finish it up. Don't have that much more to do but I'm down to things that are really time consuming and I haven't had or should I say set aside a big block of time for getting it done.

Sad thing is my entire house had become very chaotic, due to all the clutter that filled it. I was already struggling when I suddenly became care giver and point of contact for my dad. That was in 2006 and even though the clutter remained, I did manage to stay on top of things for awhile after dad came over. (Dad lived with me for a few months then went into Assisted Living). But by the end of 2008, seems like the avalanche that resulted from trying to stay on top of it all begin and I never did seem to recover before daddy's death in 2011.

I've tried many organizational systems through the years, including the infamous FlyLady, and seemed to fail at all of them.  Oh sure, I did good for awhile, but the goodness never seemed to last. You would think when the only other being in the house is this mostly sweet 11-year old furry wonder

that keeping my house in order wouldn't be such a big deal. No excuses but as mentioned previously, life has been crazy for awhile.

But believe it or not, I'm slowly but surely restoring order to my humble abode. The Container Store has helped out a lot. No I'm not a paid spokesperson for The Container Store, but I do love many of their products. So, in the coming days, weeks, and months, I'll show you how I'm restoring order and trying to keep it that way.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

My Easter Decor

I know Easter has already passed but I thought I would share some of the items I put out to not only celebrate Easter but Spring.

I know the table cloth is wrinkled, but I it was just my mother and me  for Easter dinner. Trust me, if I was going all out, the tablecloth would have been ironed. By the way, the cute bunny, the place mats, napkins, and napkin rings came from Pier 1. 

More Pier 1. I got the candle holder several years ago but didn't quite figure out what to do with it until last year. It's great for filling with various things for the various holidays. As you can see, for Easter, I filled it with jelly beans from Dollar Tree, and stuck in some candles I already had. Even my very practical mother commented on how cute it was.

More bunny cuteness via Pier 1. I just couldn't resist the bunnies in the carrot mobiles.

Hope you all had a great Easter!

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Introducing Random Home Endeavors

Since I'm doing such a fine job of keeping up with my genealogy blogs, Georgia Black Crackers and Conversations with my Ancestors, I decided to create  another blog.

This blog is different from my genealogy blogs in that it has nothing to do with genealogy per say although I'm sure I'll probably incorporate that somehow.

During the years when I was looking after my dad plus working crazy off shifts, job changes, etc., I didn't really have much time to work on my house. In fact, except for the genealogy, I really didn't take much time for me.

Immediately after dad's death in March 2011, I still didn't seem to have much time as I was too busy dealing with all the legal and emotional aspects that the come with the death of a loved one.

But throughout 2011 and especially the later part of the year, I found myself decorating for the holidays, taking on craft projects, finishing incomplete home projects. I hadn't done any decorating or crafting in ages. Maybe it's all part of my grieving process and reviving and focusing on these activities from my past helps me to keep my sanity. I do know that I get a joy from doing them.

When I begin crafting, decorating, again, I had no intentions of starting a blog about it. After all, I'm not a professional decorator plus I'm barely keeping up with my two genealogy blogs. But as with genealogy, I kept coming across wonderful decor blogs and thought I would try my hand at blogging in this realm, too.

I had a hard time coming up with a name for this blog. Seems like every name I came up with was already taken. I eventually settled on Random Home Endeavors because this blog will probably cover a little bit of everything. Also, seems like my projects tend to be random, just whatever seems to be on my mind at the time, hence the random part of the home endeavors.

Hope you enjoy this new blog.