January 05, 2012

better late than never, right?

I am so sorry that I have not even dropped by to wish you all a Happy New Year!! I am a horrible blog friend!
The last few weeks have been CRAZY! I will not bore you with all the drama,  but I wanted to pop in just say Hi. I probably won't be around for the next couple weeks as the craziness continues. Hopefully the dust will settle at the end of this month and I will be back to painting furniture and tablescaping until my heart's content. Believe me, I wish I could be doing that now.

I hope you all had an amazing Christmas and that the new year has started off beautifully for you!
See you in February!
{I'm already plotting a valentines tablescape in my mind} :)


December 23, 2011

Merry Christmas!

We took the little man to see Santa last week. He's still at the age where he's a little scared of the big guy in the red suit, so mama had to sit with santa too!

I love to compare pictures from year to year. Fun memories!!

I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas!

December 19, 2011

a little christmas wrapping

Who else does "theme" gift wrapping for Christmas? I have never done it before, but this year I thought it would be fun. It's almost like tablescaping for your tree! :)

I knew I wanted just simple, neutral papers like brown kraft and I was thinking maybe a simple red and white stripe. I found rolls of brown kraft paper at the dollar store so I stocked up. I ordered the solid red ribbon and the red and white stripe ribbon from Amazon.
{Just a tip: I found their ribbon prices to be better than anything I could find locally}.


I never did come across a red and white stripe wrapping paper, but while I was at Ikea during Thanksgiving I found this icey blue paper with white dots. I used it for a pop of color against my neutrals.  I love blue accents for Christmas and I love polka dots so it's perfect. 
{why did I only buy 1 roll?} 


The red and white yarn is fun for texture and I love it mixed with the brown and blue
(yarn is from Hobby Lobby).


I ran into the brown kraft owl paper at World Market. I'm not sure where my owl fascination comes from, but I am drawn to anything with owls. So of course, I had to have it.


The gift tags are from Emily. I love all her printables, but I have especially had fun with the ones this month! There is nothing better than a little green chevron to brighten up a Christmas package!

I hope you all are enjoying these last few days before Christmas!

December 15, 2011

a christmas crafternoon

Last week we had a day of unsually beautiful, warm weather for December. I decided a little outdoor Christmas crafternoon was in order.

I found these little clay Christmas ornaments at Hobby Lobby and I knew the Grandparents would love a handpainted gift from the little man.

He went to town painting right away and loved every minute of it.

And I loved watching him explore and play in the paint.

He was having so much that when he ran out of ornaments he requested paper so he could keep painting.

I think I have created a little bit of an obsession. He now asks to paint on a daily basis.

Which works out perfect because months ago I bought him this Christmas gift at Ikea.

Can't wait for him to see it on Christmas morning!


December 13, 2011

a simple $7 DIY Christmas skirt

I've been meaning to make a tree skirt for about 3 years now. But every year Christmas comes and goes and I run out of time. Probably because the skirts I always want to make are elaborate and time consuming.
So this year I was smarter. I knew I was short on time so I decided to go simple, quick and budget friendly.
I'm pretty happy with the results. So here's how I made my $7 tree skirt.

I bought an inexpensive 70" round tablecloth at Target for $7.
I folded it into quarters and cut a quarter of a circle out of the fabric to fit over the tree stand.

Then I made one straight cut down the back side. At this point, you could hem the edge of the circle and the back slit or you could leave a raw edge. Totally up to you.

Next I cut 2" strips for my ruffles. I used canvas drop cloth because I love the nubby, slightly rustic texture and I have a ton of it around my house. I cut 4  50" pieces (about 200" total). I like to cut several smaller pieces rather than one long strip because I think it's quicker to ruffle that way. Again totally up to you.

If you have a ruffler foot for your machine then you are lucky and I am jealous of you.
If you don't than you can do it by hand pretty easily. Just sew a long straight stitch (using the longest stitch your machine allows) down one side of your fabric strips. Then pull the bottom thread as you slide and gather the fabric. Continue pulling the string and gathering the fabric until you get the ruffley look you like!


Next pin your ruffle to the skirt. I decided to pin the drop cloth ruffle around the very edge. Then I ruffled a little red and white stripe ribbon and pinned it about 1 inch above the drop cloth ruffle. Once pinned, just sew a simple straight stitch to secure the ruffle to the skirt. Add as many ruffles as you like.

If you cut 4 separate fabric strips or ribbon pieces like I did, just overlap them a little and the pin to secure. You can barely see the overlap. I promise no one will even notice!

And there you go!

A simple, affordable Christmas tree skirt.

If you make one, I would love to see it!


I'm linking up with Beth for
Home Stories A2Z

December 05, 2011

a simple, christmas mantelscape a.k.a the "emily mantel"

We had the most beautiful sunny, warm day yesterday. I was working on my mantel with the back door wide open. That's how nice the weather was. Of course, I didn't finish my mantel yesterday. And today when it was all finished and I got ready to take pictures guess what?? A cloudy, rainy day.
Please tell me I am not the only one this happens to?!
Sooo...I apologize in advance for poor lighting and shadows from the use of overhead lights. Boo!

This is a really simple, no budget, shop your house for items kind of mantel.

This is the same wreath I used for fall (which I took pictures of and never had the chance to post them and share). Nevertheless, I just pulled the fall flowers off and added a few Christmas-y ones. Oh and I added some red twine in between the layers of burlap ruffles.

This should really be called my "Emily Wreath." Almost all of the inspiration comes straight from Emily of Jones Design Company. The ruffle wreath is from her tutorials, as well as the flowers and the little Merry Christmas tag is from one of her printables.

If you aren't familiar with Emily and her blog, clearly you should be. She is full of crafty inspiration!

Oh wait, this is hers too. Might have to name the whole mantelscape after her! This art print is from her JDC Monthly printables.

I didn't want to fool with a frame, but it needed a little something to make it more substantial. I happened to have a black mat laying around in the right size. I painted it white and while the paint was still wet I sprinkled on a little glitter. I mean, it's not Christmas without a little glitter, right?!  

I made this chalkboard as a prop for some family pictures. It didn't work out so well in the pictures, but it looks cute on the mantel. :)
Are you wondering about those little Santas in the corner? I know they don't exactly go with the rest, but there's a story behind those little guys.  They are actually from the husbands childhood. Yes, he's saved those two Santa candles all these years. And every Christmas he requests they go on the mantel. How could I say no to that?

I have cabinets full of glass jars in varieties of sizes. They are so easy to decorate with. For these I just wrapped them in some fabric scraps and then some red and white bakers twine. And then I filled them with rosemary (because it reminds me of Christmas trees) and holly branches.

Please pretend my Christmas tree has ornaments on it. I have one very active toddler and not very many non-breakable ornaments. The tree may be a little sparse this year.

I threw together that Christmas tree skirt this morning. It actually isn't even finished yet. Shh...don't tell. I might do a separate post on it later because it's easy to make and only cost about $7.

Remember my grain sack table runner from yesterday? I made a pillow cover with the leftovers. And can I tell you how happy I am that I never painted this chair white?! It's perfect for Christmas with a red striped grain sack pillow!

A quick, little bunting made from burlap, red craft paint and a little red jute cording.
{I just realized as I was proofreading that these letters are done in the "Emily font". No lie!}

I am now officially naming this the Emily Mantel!

alima :)

 Check out some other great mantels at:




December 03, 2011

a christmas tablescape

There's nothing better than a little holiday tablescaping. Here's what I've been playing with this weekend.

For most of my tablescapes I just shop the house. But this one is about 50/50 on items I already owned vs newly purchased items. Only because I was near an Ikea during Thanksgiving in Florida and couldn't resist adorable white bowls with silver snowflakes, sparkly white snowflake ornaments & white wicker balls (there has to be a better name for those, right?)

Oh and then there was the most fabulous fabric store ever where I bought the beautiful grain sack inspired runner and the red and white stripe napkins. Which I think are actually dishtowels, but I like them as napkins so let's just go with it.

These antique ball jars are new to me, but I didn't have to pay for them so they don't count. Mom gave them to me. They've got the old zinc lids and everything. Super fun. What was she thinking leaving them in the garage to collect dust all these years?

I heart Ikea. And white bowls with snowflakes.

Handmade clay tags make every tablescape better!

We have a lot of holly bushes in our landscaping. I don't care for them most of the year, but right now they are full of red berries and are actually really pretty. Don't be fooled by their looks though. I stabbed myself 5,987 times while cutting and arranging them for this table.

ooh....do you spot my other new Ikea item. Yep, its my Christmas-y striped rug. How on earth do they make a rug for $4? Someone please tell me. I bought 3 of these because they were just too good to pass up. And if Sarah and Melissa have one....well then I need one too! :)

Oh and I almost forgot about the vintage-inspired paper straws - super fun for Christmas entertaining. You can buy them here

I've been working on some mantelscaping this weekend too! Hoping to show that to you this week if everything goes according to plan.

alima ;)

Head over to Layla's to see some other great Christmas tablescapes!
The Lettered Cottage

and to Sarah's for a Good Life Wednesday!
Good Life Wednesdays

five days five ways christmas linky party | because every day is different