Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Homefront: Valentine's Mantel Decorating

I shopped a 90% off Christmas sale recently and got tons of berry garlands and goodies for next year. So, I thought I would try and use some for my Valentine's mantel. I usually keep them fairly tame, like those from 2011, 2010 and 2009... but I really wanted to throw some pink fluff in this year. 
All I bought for this craft was the pink felt heart for $2. Everything else I had around the house, and it became this:
See? All it takes is a little bit of ingenuity, hot glue and random supplies to make something cute. That center heart is just a simple pipe cleaner. You can buy the jewels at craft stores, or order them from me here in silver or an assortment of colors!
This heart I made a few years back was cute, but I wanted to glam it up and pinkify it to match my other heart. I used red nail polish on the black outer edge and pink glitter.
 She's all new and pretty in pink.

Yes, my IKEA Expedit bookcase makes a perfect "mantel" for decorating, since I no longer have a fireplace. Hmmm... do you think I should have added more pink or red? (My husband firmly declares, "No.", though men can still like pink.) What is your color of choice for Valentine's Day?
 Here, I used simple flower vases with Valentine's socks pulled over them.
My shabby green candelabra I painted a few years is still going strong, and getting more shabby chic by the year. She has lost some prisms, so I have to do some replacing.
This is a vintage letter/napkin holder I got for .50 cents at a garage sale. I gussied her up with some ivory paint, than dry brushed her with a pinky red, (my tutorial here). Actually, I may have made the paint a little milky by adding water, but basically the same technique.

 Love this print, by The Black Apple.

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Friday, January 25, 2013

Homefront: Monster Birthday Party and Tie Dye Cake Tutorial

This monster party was mostly for me. My boys would probably choose an Angry Birds/Avengers/Minecraft party, but I still have motherly influence while they are young, so I can only do these cute themes for so long.
The tie day cake was a hit and super easy to do. Make your cake batter as directed. Separate it into bowls and color each one. Gel food coloring is brighter than the liquid drops. The more dye you use, the brighter the colors. Drop the colored batter in your pans, then take a toothpick to marble them around.

Once baked, the colors lose a bit of their vibrancy, but once you cut into the cake, the colors really pop. Slice off the round top of the bottom tier and place on cake stand. Frost the middle layer, than add the next cake on top. Use foil strips under the cake sides (as I show here) so the frosting is easy to clean off the stand.

For the monster, the edible method is to skewer two large marshmallows with a toothpick (as in this cupcake I learned to make a while back). But I was out of marshmallows, so I used a cake pick and wrapped it in foil, than just gooped frosting on it. The pipe cleaner antenna is best to wrap around a toothpick, than wrap the foil around it before frosting. I forgot about this step and added it after the frosting. So, my monster looked more like a melted alien after messing with it. For the cool fur texture on the cupcake, I used the star/grass piping tip, and a denser icing. The neat eyeballs are little monster eye candies sold in the cake decorating aisle.
These little pipe cleaner kits and monster masks were about $1 from Michael's. I let the boys glue them together with regular school glue, than I hit it with my glue gun for staying power, since we all know how they would fall apart in seconds otherwise. The boys had lots of fun making these. This was his first birthday he got to invite a non-family member. We made english muffin pizzas for dinner, though Isaac insisted on chicken noodle soup with stars. (He even asked me if he could sleep with the can.)
 Turning 7 and blowing out trick candles is lots of fun!
My 5 year old recently had a birthday in which I made a fun, sprinkle filled cake with vintage dinosaurs and we hung up tons of balloons in his doorway he could run through. Sadly, those photos got lost :( Sorry sweetie, if I ever find them hidden in a folder somewhere I will post them! When he blew out the candles, his wish was for "Jesus to come down so we could all see him and know he was there."
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Homefront: Forgotten Chairs

Over the past many years, I have moved several times, and with each move, things have to go. I am not a sentimental person when it comes to most material things (aside from my horrific, towering, craft stash), but one thing I love is chairs. I miss almost every chair I get rid of, even stinky, broken ones, because I always think they can be fixed, and can be put in a corner somewhere. I really miss this blue chair. It was $7 at a garage sale, it leaned back, it was super clean, pretty comfortable, and a neat modern shape. It would have been super easy to slipcover or fabric spray paint. Oh, I miss that spray painted chair in that post tons too! But now, I can feel a little peace in my "Chair Addiction" Pinterest board, knowing that unloved chairs are being rehomed and rescued every day. Do you have a particular item that you have regretted getting rid of?

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Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Trash the Dress Photo Soot by Downtown Studios Salon

I work with some incredibly talented ladies, remember the gorgeous Downtown Studios Salon? Well, the blonde is the owner and designer of this gorgeous place. So, their "Trash the Dress" photo shoot obviously couldn't be any less than amazing. So, if you are in the Fort Bend County, TX area, we can do one for you too! If not, take some inspiration and have your very own trash the dress shoot!

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