Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Red, White & Ka-BOOM!

Each 4th of July is a little different in my family, due to the fact that it's my mom's birthday, so I try my best not to have her have to clean the house and prep for all of us to come over...on her own birthday. It was so hot this year, I didn't worry about any outdoor activities, and we have a pretty small place right now, but I'm thankful for a gracious family who is always up for squeezing in and enjoying each other's company! (And enjoying the air conditioning!)

Welcome to our home! (This lovely find came from Hobby Lobby.)

This is my "Holiday Shelf", decorated for Independence Day. If you'd like to see more on the Holiday Shelf, click here!

All of these paper lanterns came from The Dollar Tree. I stacked them how I imagined them, and then basically sewed them together. (This was not the best way to do things - anyone know of a good tutorial for a paper lantern chandelier? I need one!) Ended up looking pretty cool, though. See the tissue paper sticking out of the tops of a couple lanterns? That was a nice spur-of-the-moment filler!

My mother-in-law bought us a bunch of these cool Coke placemats for Christmas last year (my husband loves all things Coke), and they just happened to be red, white and blue, so I decided to use them in the food table decor. Aren't they neat?

As you can probably tell, I'm a HUGE fan of The Dollar Tree (for one-time events). The plates and napkins came from there, and the awesome Coke glasses (that I'm using here for cutlery catchers) came from my mother-in-law, as well!

The main dish was Hawiian Pulled Pork...yummy! It was a hit, and the best thing is that it was a Crock Pot dinner! Wohoo! If you'd like the recipe, click here. (This pic is from when I first put it all together...made the house smell amazing, too!)

The cupcakes were red velvet (although the decorating of the cupcakes leaves a LOT to be desired...guilty! Hey, at least they tasted good...), and the truffles were created by my sister!

And the cake. Ahhh, the cake...

Again with the decorating =( My skills are obviously lacking...I guess I should take a class or my free time...but I digress. I had this idea for the cake right after last year's celebration, and then I started seeing it on Pinterest! So I did it!

Came out pretty cool, huh? The blue really needed to be a bit more blue, but it's okay. I'll know for next time. I had so much fun cutting the first piece!!!

My poor husband is SO used to having his food photographed! He offered this plate up willingly before I even asked him =)

More fun scenes...including mom opening her Kindle Fire, our little CoCo playing in the wrapping paper, group shot and mom blowing out the candles!

Happy Independence Day, from all of us to all of you!

Monday, July 9, 2012

The Birth of the Holiday Shelf

So I'd been noticing all these Pins on Pinterest and these pictures on blogs that I follow about holiday decor on mantles. Very inspiring! Problem is, I have no mantle. Short of going out and buying one of those tacky-looking fake fireplaces, or moving to a house where there IS a fireplace, I wasn't sure how to remedy the situation. So I kept on gazing in awe at the lovely pictures all these creative folks continued to post...thinking of how I would creatively decorate my own mantle for different holidays...and decided I would do it someday when I had a fireplace!

Then I stumbled upon a lovely blog post from Brieanna over at Darling Doodles. It was called "Holiday Shelf". And THIS I could work with!

So began my quest to create my home's perfect Holiday Shelf. I explained the whole idea to my husband, who scratched his head and looked at me in confusion.

"I don't get it," he said. "We have shelves here. Why do we need a Holiday Shelf? Where are you going to put it? And are you going to change it out for every little holiday? I mean, how much is this going to cost?"

I reminded him that I had wanted to keep the Christmas tree up year round and change out the decor for every holiday, and he had very firmly told me no on that front. I explained that a Holiday Shelf would be MUCH more cost effective than a Holiday Tree...and he had to agree on that point. He still didn't understand, but I promised him that once he SAW my creation, he would love it. I knew he would!

Now, where does one go to begin any major crafting project? Why, Hobby Lobby, of course! I happened to find a lovely mirror and a nice shelf, the mirror for 80% off and the shelf for 30% off. I do love a sale! The problem was that they were both black, and I didn't want black. I wanted white. A can of primer and two cans of glossy white interior spray paint later, I was set.

Here is my lovely coat of primer being applied to my shelf. (Please excuse the garden rake and flower was windy that day and my fruit cobbler proclaiming newspaper was blowing quite violently!)

I also picked up a few different-sized frames at The Dollar Tree, and proceeded to paint those white, as well. The first picture is from before any priming/painting had begun. (Doesn't anyone sell white frames?) The second is in process. (Notice the lovely splattering? The can of primer decided to protest for some reason. Thank goodness we cleared that up.)

It would have been nice if I had remembered to take a shot of the mirror in transformation. Alas, I did not. I DID, however, happen to take a picture of how messy my hands got. Quite lovely.

After several days, several coats, several more explanations to my husband, and several very near misses with our very black kitten and this very white project (not to mention an entire episode of me trying to hang the mirror and shelf while my husband valiantly asssisted....that's for another blog)...voila! May I present, the Holiday Shelf!

Obviously it was decorated for the 4th of July when I finished with it - I was so excited with how it turned out!!!

The bunting was created with scrapbook paper from Hobby Lobby and some twine I had in my craft stash.

I snagged this cool printable from A Little Crafting and placed it into one of my new white frames.

The red vase came from Beall's Outlet, and the small blue jar from Hobby Lobby.

I LOVE this printable from Landee See, Landee Do! I inserted it into another of my Dollar Tree frames made over. Might just be my favorite thing on the shelf =) But I also really like the American flag decorative ball...another Hobby Lobby steal!

All in all, quite festive, right? I'd LOVE to see YOUR pics of your holiday mantle! Don't have one? How about a nice Holiday Shelf? =)

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Sad Yet Sweet

Last week I had to say goodbye to a very dear friend of mine =( I'm well aware of her reasons for moving away, and I understand the situation, but it was still sad to see her go. Road trip soon!!! But here are a few shots of what I did with the plain ol' classroom we used for her reception!

We both have a love for inspirational quotations, so I covered the white board in the room with all these quotes that I printed out from Pinterest. At the conclusion of the reception, everyone in attendance was able to pick quotes off the board and take them home, as a reminder of our friend!

I LOVE me some good quotes!!!

I've found that I can use things I already have to decorate - this "theme" (I guess we'll call it "Spring Lilacs") originally came from the Dollar Tree, as that's where the plates and napkins were discovered.

The vase: Given to me by my Prayer Daughter (full of fresh flowers)
These flowers: Dollar Tree (they have a great variety in all varieties and colors!)
The sign: I created it on the computer
The mosaic ball: Part of my office decor...I think it was originally purchased at Burlington?
The paper: I created it on the computer, as well.
The tablecloth: Dollar Tree

If you can tell, the sign says, "Please take time to leave a 'note' for Kristy!" (Kristy was our piano player and rehearsal accompanist for the Worship Arts Ministry at our church - Plant City Church of God), so I thought it was only fitting that we should leave her "notes" on cards decorated with music "notes". (I'm so clever...or pick!)

I created a scrapbook for Kristy using a Hobby Lobby find that already had the pages created! (We found out she was moving and planned this party in less than a week - I had to work quickly!) The scrapbook is filled with pictures of members of our Worship Arts Ministry...and I'm not posting THOSE pics, because I probably wouldn't live to see our next rehearsal :/

We always want to give our Worship Arts folks an opportunity to bless others!

The sign: I created it on the computer
The vase and flowers: I believe those were another Burlington find
The hourglass: (more like a 10-minute-glass) was a Kohl's bargain
The cute miniature green filing box: A set of these was one of my 25 gifts from two of my fabulous girlfriends for my 25th birthday! I use the set in my office currently.

The whole shebang!

Paper flowers garland: Dollar Tree

Gift basket: I believe it came from Walmart several years ago (set of three nesting baskets)

Thanks to Kathy's Cakes for the fabulous cake! It was so beautiful; everyone loved it!

Closer shot at the details - fantastic!!!

I just realized that I failed to take any pics of the other table :/ Gotta work on capturing the details!

It was another purple-clad table with lilac-themed plates, napkins and forks, the cake, some yummy sausages wrapped in bacon, a gorgeous crystal punch bowl and some clear cups for the yummy pink punch. (I think by the time it was all set up I was distracted by all the friends entering the room!)

Maybe all of this sparked your imagination a bit? I'd love to know what you thought!