Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Happy Holidays!!!

I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas and is getting ready for a fabulous New Year!

My wonderful husband took the week off work! So far we've spent most of our time playing games - lots of cards and a little guitar hero. When he's home I'm so lazy!!!
He's promised to help me with a new backsplash in the kitchen this week, though...

I'll be back next week with more crafty posts. In the meantime, I hope everyone is taking time to enjoy the season (now that all our Christmas projects are done!)

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Doll Clothes Armior

This is Kit.

She's a $100 doll from American Girls.  She's recommended for ages 8 and up.

This is Tessa.

She's my very destructive 7 year old who loves the American Girl books and who is cute, sweet and charming enough to get whatever she wants - despite my better judgement.

Tessa's getting Kit for Christmas.
The doll and her accessories make up the vast majority of her gifts.
I've spent much of the 3 months praying that Tessa will take good care of her doll, as she has sworn to do (should she ever receive one.) Praying that she'll not take her scissors or her markers or God knows what else to her very expensive dolly.  Because if she does, I cannot be responsible for what I might do to her.

I've also spent a good portion of the last 3 months working on a sort of armior for Kit's clothes and shoes - hoping that having a pretty place to put things will inspire my girl to keep things neat. Though it never has before.
I feel like this project took forever - first in the conception, then in the execution, and finally in taking a decent photo of the thing to post here. Ironically, creating the thing took FAR less time than the other two steps did

I looked and looked at the thrift stores for a cabinet that would work.  I had measurements, of course, and an idea of how I wanted it to work, but no real inspiration, other than the idea in my head.
I finally ended up with this piece - an old bathroom wall cabinet, solid wood and very heavy.

I removed the doors, sanded her lightly and painted her white, using Rustoleum Primer and Paint, of course.
I flipped her upside down and added a dowel to use as a clothes hanger.

Then I cut a piece of MDF to the width and length I wanted it, and had hubby give the ends a 45 degree angle so I could but them up against each other.  They got a coat of white paint, too.

I painted the doors and the front of the cabinet with butterflies, flowers, polkadots and squiggly lines...
trying to make it whimsical and little-girly...

To be honest, I'm not sure I love how it turned out.  I have very little artistic talent, and though I wanted it to be some gorgeous custom painted creation (a'la Miss Mustard Seed) it's just...not.

At this point I gathered all my pieces together...

And assembled it.

But it still looked a little...flat.
So I decided feet would help.
I picked up some unfinished wood pieces from the craft store. I think they are supposed to be for candlesticks to sit in?
I painted them white.

Then screwed them onto the bottom of the cabinet.

I plan to attach this to the wall in her bedroom - low enough that she can access it, of course - possibly resting on the floor. We'll have to see how it looks best. I just don't want it tipping over constantly.

The space in the top fits the doll perfectly.  It's like a little bed. So, if my darling daughter wants me to, I will make a little pillow to pit in the space and Kit can sleep there.

(the doll in the picture is a Target brand American Girl knock-off that Tessa has had for a few years.  It's the same size as the real deal.)

So - here it is!

I'm fairly happy with it as a storage piece, though I think my decorative painting could be improved upon. I'm just not sure how to do that. Doesn't matter anyway - this is how it will be on Christmas morning!  I am DONE for now!

(P.S. I forgot to paint the inside of the doors! By the time I realized it there was no way I was removing them to paint again, so I covered the insert in contact paper and left the outside the original oak.)

Linking up to DIY Day at ASPTL!

Friday, December 18, 2009

My Christmas House

I might be the very last blogger to post pictures of my Christmas decor...
Still, I thought I'd share. After all, if there's not blog evidence of it, who's to say it even happened? lol

It seems like half of my Christmas decor is very down-home country feeling - pine cones, burlap, wood...
the other half is super glittery, glam and/or metallic.
They never seemed to belong together.
In the past I've always tried to group the like items together - attempting to create cohesive areas, even if the majority of the house didn't "go" together.

This year, I decided my theme would be sort of a country mouse-meets-city mouse thing.  Rustic and elegant, all in the same vignettes.
Not to pat my self on the back, but I totally love the outcome.

Here's my front door.

I went wreath-crazy this Christmas, making a total of 5 from the remnants of old wreaths (and a few new things.) This one is my favorite, I think. I love the tiny gold birdie and the monogram.
I hung it from a strip of burlap straps I tied together.

Above the door I have one of those grapevine arches. Every year I tuck some evergreen branches into it (from the bottom of our Christmas tree) and some fake berries.  Super festive, super easy!
Notice the kissing ball hanging from the arch...I love me some mistletoe!

On the bench we built this summer I put a basket filled with candles and more evergreens. LOVE this <3

This is the entry way.  To the left is this table,

To the right is this dresser.

The wreath was #2 of my wreath projects

My apothecary jars are new, and I love them! One is filled with pine cones and a (fake) sprig of greenery. The other is filled with some glittery ornaments I bought from the Pottery Barn a few years ago. Both are nestled on fake snow :)

I've had the "Believe" sign for a couple of years - I re-glittered it this year, then sprinkled some of the glitter on the table top about it. It feels magical to me :)

And this is one of my chalkboards :)

The front room is where our tree is.

I mentioned this in the post about my banner, but this room is filled with books. It's sort of our "library."
The tree has a NOEL banner on it, made from vintage book pages.

And here are the gingerbread boy and girl ornaments I made earlier this year!

The book shelves have some decor on top, too.

I had to move the bench I normally have in front of the window so the tree would fit there. I put it on this wall.

Above it I put this wreath (#3.)  It was lonely looking, so I spray painted this dollar store bird and added her (and some metallic berries!)

The wall vinyl came from JoAnn's.

The card holder I whipped up with extra fabric, buttons and paperclips.  Cute, huh?

The Dining Room area is my favorite in the whole house, and where I think my "rustic elegance" came together best.

Burlap Placemats with a glittery silver monogram.
Delicate wineglasses and silver snowflake napkin rings...

The centerpiece is a rosemary bush shaped into a Christmas tree that I wrapped in dark brown burlap. I added a couple of burlap flowers, too.  It sits on a silver charger.  Later I ripped some large metallic "berries" from their stems and sprinkled them around it.

I hung snowflakes from the fan and from the curtain rod on the window behind.  They are covered in glitter...along with everything else in the area!

The buffet has my candlestick collection, of course!
I wanted something practical there, as well, and since we tend to have lots of people over this time of year, I chose my regular, everyday dishes on a short silver pedestal.
I've had the gold Christmas tree candle forever, but I've never had a place I thought it looked it here!

In the family room we have a mini tree.  My kids decorated this one all by themselves, and every morning my 3 year old rushes to plug it in.  I put this display together thinking "what does it matter if one area's not perfect?" but it turned out that I totally love it!

Above the sliding glass doors I hung a berry wreath (#4) and a garland that I "beefed up" using the Nesters method :)  More mistletoe in the center of that wreath!

Down the hallway I have this shelf

And this mirror, which I added a tiny wreath (#5) to.  The wreath is made from a small piece of leftover garland.

Our bedroom is almost entirely Christmas free...
though I could resist one more kissing ball.
Hanging this was interesting - but necessity is the mother of invention, and I NEEDED this!

So there it is...a day late and a dollar short, but posted just the same!

Linking to It's So Very Cheri!
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