Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Quick, Cheap & Easy!

It's the trifecta of DIY projects and at this time of year, aren't we all looking for quick, cheap and easy solutions to holiday decorating? I am not in my own space right now and in fact will be moving over the Christmas break, so my decorating has been bare bones minimum. We do have a tree (artificial) which my daughter convinced me to buy. Goodwill was having their yearly 50% off every item in the store sale, so the tree cost only 12 bucks! Since all my ornaments and other Christmas accoutrements are in storage, I had to decorate the tree using found objects, second hand ornaments and a garland I made using craft paper sheets, a craft punch, fishing line and hot glue. I really like the way the garland turned out and it would be a great to make for other occasions as well. It went really quick, was very cheap and couldn't be easier, so I wanted to share with you guys. Most of you will have already done your decorating, but this could be a last minute bit of bling to add to your tree, banister garland, mantle decoration or wherever!

 Found these great prismatic and glitter paper packs at Target in their scrapbook section, only .99 cents for a two pack. Cost so far: $2.97

Using a craft paper punch in a fluted edge pattern, I punched out dozens of disks in all three colors of paper I had. Paper punch was on sale for $7.00

Then using fishing line and a hot glue gun, I glued the disks on in a random color pattern. Since garland tends to twist and turn, I made the disks double sided which also gave the fishing line a place to be glued in. A disk of paper right side down, a dollop of hot glue, the fishing line run through the hot glue and another paper disk, right side up, on top. Easy and it goes really fast when you make an assembly line. I made about 30 feet of garland in less than an hour. Fishing line was $2.99 and I have hundreds of feet left for other projects.

 All the other ornaments were either from the thrift store or stuff I had around already. Another  r e e e l l y easy thing I did was throw some mini glass ornaments in a hammered silver bowl I got at Goodwill for $2.99 The mini ornaments cost more than the bowl at $5.99 for a pack of 50! Rocket Science? No. Beautiful? Yes!

LOVE the way it gleams and the bowl reflects the ornaments, doubling the sparkle! So, just a few quick, cheap and easy tricks I used to brighten up my holiday. Here's to ho ho hoping your holidays sparkle and shine!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

West Elm Wish List

Wanna win $5,000 worth of products from West Elm? As if anyone would say no! Well, get over to their site, start a wish list and you are automatically entered! Check it out here. It's so fun to pretend to be shopping for all new stuff to make a gorgeous home and the chance to win some of it is even better! But hurry....it ends December 31st.

Here are a couple of things I added to my wish list, in case anyone wants to indulge me :-)



These are just a *few* items I loved from West Elm. What would you wish for?

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Holy WHAT!??!

NOOOOO.....!!!!!! This makes me very sad and confused :-(
Word is, The Nate Berkus show is to be cancelled......BOOO! You can read the whole story here

The whole reason I started this blog was after going on the Nate Berkus Show a year ago last November and meeting some great people who had blogs. I really didn't know about the whole world of design blogs until I dove in and got started with my own, after being inspired by the people I met and of course, Mr. Berkus himself.

I had sooo much fun and Nate was so friendly and cute!

Well, Nate, we will miss you, but I'm really hoping this is just a bad hoax. 
We love you, Nate!!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011



 Driving West on the I-10 between New Mexico and Arizona, I enjoyed the scenery ;-)
Seen any good sights lately? Please share!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Giving Thanks

For each new morning with its light,
For rest and shelter of the night,
For health and food, for love and friends,
For everything Thy goodness sends.

For flowers that bloom about our feet;
For tender grass, so fresh, so sweet;
For song of bird, and hum of bee;
For all things fair we hear or see,
Father in heaven, we thank Thee!
~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Thursday, November 17, 2011

My Craigslist Affair: Deal O' the Day

Oh Craigslist, as if I even need to explain my affection for you....you lure me in with your one liners "Vintage look Mirror with hooks & shelf" or "Vintage Wooden Folding Garden Table Shabby Green Old" and then you make me laugh with your charming typos and cross cultural language phonetics. It is so cute when you say "Dinning Table" and when you let me know if something is in "good conditions."

My love, just recently you gave me two of these lamps and I only paid $30 for the pair....

You are so generous to provide two and they could have easily cost double that EACH. You also show how much you care by the quality of these lamps; No breakable glass or lightweight metal here, these are heavy, solid chrome and could be used as a weapon in the event you are not around to defend me. You knew I wasn't a fan of the black shades, but you encouraged me to try them anyway and explained I could easily change them out later...you are so positive like that! Finally, you proved to me you were really listening to my desires...you obviously realized how much I love shiny silver objects like I wrote about here and here, and these beautiful lamps combine my love of impractical decoration with a more useful purpose. Oh Craigslist, how I love you. Please, let's go on like this forever......


Friday, November 11, 2011

Does True Love Exist?

Many times while shopping for clothing for my daughter, I become envious of the cute styles and colors and have frequently lamented "Why doesn't this come in grown up sizes?!" The girl has a pretty rockin' wardrobe all in all, but my absolute favorite has to be this T-Shirt:

Like I said, I admire many pieces of clothing in her closet, but something about this T just really captured my eye. I love how it's a little bit Rock-N-Roll and a little bit Princess; Throw in some sparkly studs and I'm sold!

So when she grew out of this and couldn't wear it anymore, I couldn't bear to let it go. I just kept it in her drawer and there it sat...and sat....and sat. I decided to find something useful to do with it, but what to do with a size 6 girls T shirt?  I had seen some people make pillows out of old t-shirts, but usually in grown up sizes so there was plenty of material to work with. This shirt wasn't big enough for a whole pillow. Hmmmm.....but maybe it could become *part* of a pillow? Yes! I decided that's what I would do.

I looked in my fabric remnants and thought these two would work with each other and with the colors on the T-Shirt. I didn't have enough of either one to make a whole pillow front and back and I like the way they juxtapose each other; Playful zebra stripes and a classic brocade, just like the t-shirt: rock-n-roll meets princess! Actually, I didn't even have enough of the brocade to make an 18" width, so I had to seam two pieces together.

I decided to use this for the front, since my plan was to cut out the front portion of the T-Shirt with the design on it and stitch it to the fabric that would form the pillow. So, most of the seam would be covered anyway, and it doesn't even bother me that the pattern doesn't match up.

It was difficult, but for a better cause, so I cut the design portion of the T into a 'square'....sorta.

 All pinned and ready to stitch on. At first I tried to turn the edge under for a clean look, but that was easier said than done and so I opted for a raw edge on the T_Shirt fabric.

Sewn on and a little bit crooked, but nothing a little trim won't fix! I used the zebra print for the back and did a really simple envelope closure.

And here is the *almost* finished pillow. I plan to add some loopy fringe trim to the edge of the pink. Maybe something like this?
Or if anyone has any suggestions, please let me know!

As to the question of whether true love exists, I can only say it's different for everyone, but I do truly love this pillow and it reminds me of my daughter every time I look at it.....and that is true love indeed!

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Mercantile Muse

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