Category Archives: DIY
I’ve loved fall before the advent of pumpkin lattes, the tall-boot trend and the desire to add pumpkin to everything I stuff in my face.
These things have just deepened my love for fall.
In addition to these fall must-haves, I’ve discovered that I need a new fall wreath every year. Not want. NEED.
You may remember last year when I fell in love with this guy:
My heart still skips a beat when I see this. I love everything about it.
Problem was (and still is), is that it’s made out of cornstalk tops (yes, that’s the technical term). And lots of them. I don’t have access to cornstalk tops…so last year I settled for my second favorite wreath, the Nonna wreath from JDC:
I still love the Nonna, and she’s proudly hanging in our living room again. But I couldn’t get ‘ol cornstalk-top out of my head, so in an effort to deter myself from poaching a farmer’s field after midnight, I went back to Pinterest to find an alternative option.
I liked all of these options (especially the upper-right one)…but then I found this one:
And I knew it was The One. I mean, it was big, crazy, and disheveled…just like the cornstalk-top one. Plus, it’s made of raffia, which is easily-accessible. Unlike cornstalk-tops.
I’m not doing a tutorial here because the one at Stone Gable is great. I will say a couple of things though:
- I didn’t bother with hot glue. Mostly because I bought the full-size sticks instead of the mini-sticks and I was too annoyed to wait until I had time to exchange them.
- It’s a very messy project. Don’t do it on your couch while watching America’s Next Top Model. At least….I hear that you shouldn’t do that….it’s not like I watch that show.
- The tutorial only instructed you to do 1 row of raffia around the wreath. I did three. I like it big. But because of this, it took a little over 2 hours to do. Not exactly a speedy process.
- I can’t find those damn bleached oak leaves for the life of me (ok, I went to one store). So mine doesn’t have them. I wish it did though…
So…here she is in all her big, crazy glory:
(oh, and yes. I did paint my front door black. Thanks for asking!)
It’s surprising to me that I like this unruly thing….but oh how I do. The only thing that could make it better is the bleached oak leaves. I suppose I could check out more than one a few more stores. Or I could just strut around in my tall boots with a pumpkin latte eating pumpkin everything.
Yes. That sounds like a better idea.
What about you? Do you like clean-cut wreaths or crazy messy ones like this? Have you made any this fall that I need to see?
P.S. Did you know that if you subscribe to my blog, or “Like” twsst on Facebook, you’ll know there’s a new post up before everyone else? You can do either from the right hand column!
Let’s just go ahead and pretend that it hasn’t been 3 months since I’ve posted….ok?
Ok. Now that we’ve got that out of the way, I thought it was due time I shared a bit about Abby’s birthday with you. She turned 1 earlier this month and we of course had a little celebration. I actually really struggled with how much of a party it needed to be; do you keep it simple or do you go-big-or-go-home? Part of me really wanted to have a big party with a theme and decorations and everything-Pinteresty. But the other part of me just kept thinking….dude. She’s 1.
In the end, my rational-brain won and we decided to have a small family get together with our immediate family. Because when I actually sat down and thought about it, the only thing I really cared about for Abby’s birthday was (1) making it special to her and (2) making her cake. Besides, we have about 18 more years of birthdays that can be over-the-top if she wants. For now, we were keeping it simple…and just because it’s simple doesn’t mean it can’t be kind of Pinteresty (are you following me? You should!).
The Hubs and I are lucky enough that both of our parents and all of our siblings live close enough to drive to town for the day. Wait, let me rephrase. The Hubs and I are lucky enough that we have parents and siblings willing to drive upwards of 2 hours for a 1-year olds birthday party. And since her birthday is in February, we decided a sledding party might be in order (sorry Abs, you’ll probably have lots of sledding parties….at least until you can ski).
We have a big park in the back of our house with a couple of rolling hills (great for mini-sledding) and a bigger hill (great for big-kid or brave-adult sledding).
So the plan was to do some late-morning sledding, come in for some chili and then do cake. And even though nearly all of the snow melted into a giant ice/snow rink the week before her birthday (thanksalotglobalwarming) we were still able to get some sliding around done. And it was a beautiful bluebird day to boot.
I’d say she enjoyed it…..
So then it was time for chili. Isn’t chili just one of those awesome comfort foods? I love me some chili. I made our favorite elk chili and then this tasty little number:
(image from ambitious kitchen)
Sweet potato, black bean and quinoa chili with smoked chipotle. Go make it now. Seriously. Go. Now. It’s amazing. I used to think nothing could beat our elk chili recipe but I was wrong….this is just as good if not better. And it’s vegetarian (gasp).
We had all of the fixings of course, my award winning maple cornbread, fritos, sour cream, vinegar (please tell me you put vinegar in your chili too?), green onions, cheese….mmmm. Maybe what I like most about chili is all of the fixings you get to put in it. But I digress.
Birthdays are mostly about cake, are they not? And I knew I wanted to make Abby’s cakes. In fact, I hope I always make her cake…it’s something my mom used to do for me and something I want to do for her.
Hellooooooo doll cake! You were my favorite! And wow, Mom, I just realized you broke out the CHINA for my birthday. Looks like we were slumming it with the paper plates for Abby.
I’ll spare you the details of making Abby’s cake….but let’s just say making a cake from scratch is not always easy. And sometimes one itsy teeny weeny mistake like using PAM can mess the ENTIRE thing up. Don’t use Pam.
I have to say though, I am quite pleased with how this all turned out. Yes. Quite pleased. Because no matter how many awesome ombre cakes there are on Pinterest, I guarantee you there is not ONE tutorial out there for how to do it. I should write one; but who am I kidding, I don’t blog.
Gah. Too many words. Let’s just get to the pictures, shall we?
The “1” was actually a last-minute decision. But I’m glad I did it!
Don’t let these pictures fool you. She did not, I repeat not like cake. There was no smashing. No laughing. No sticking her face in it. No having to tear it away as she screamed for more. She just really wasn’t interested. Maybe next year. Or maybe it just needs to be in the shape of a doll.
And just like that, the party was over.
Sometimes I can hardly believe that she is a year old already and sometimes I think she ought to be 5 by now. In fact I ran across a quote the other day that really resonated with me…
“The days are long, but the years are short. Don’t blink.”
I try to remind myself of that often. No matter how long the day (or night) may seem, these years really will fly by.
Now can we just look at this again please?
I love fall. It’s my favorite season for sure….cool enough to wear jeans, boots and sweaters, but still sunny and warm during the day. Not to mention the beautiful colors that mark the changing of the seasons.
This year I was intent on making a fall wreath. I pinned my little heart out on Pinterest….
I actually gathered up pinecones during a hike one day to make this wreath. It feels more “wintery” to me though, so I haven’t made it yet!
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This cornstalk-top wreath (above) was my absolute favorite! I really really wanted to make it but couldn’t find enough corn stalks. Sigh. Maybe next year I’ll start rubbing elbows with some farmers to poach their stalks come fall because I seriously love everything about this wreath.
In the end, I decided to make the Nonna Wreath – from Jones Design Company (anyone surprised? I tend to always go to Emily’s site for inspiration and I’m never disappointed).
I won’t do a full tutorial here because Emily’s is great. Simply click on the “via” link above and you’ll be taken to her blog. I know it must sound like I know Emily, but I actually don’t! I stumbled upon her blog a few years ago and have been following her ever since. I find that we have the same tastes in design and her projects are always simple and classic.
Anyhoo…here’s how my Nonna Wreath turned out!
I love that it’s a bit ruffley and feminine, but not overly-so. And I do like the mustardy yellow color! It’s oh-so-fallish.
Those of you with a keen eye will notice that I’ve done a wee bit ‘o rearranging in the living room. Remember, the console table/entryway used to look like this?
(wow, and that was before my new camera, obviously!)
And now looks like this:
I decided I didn’t like the wall gallery right there, so I moved it across the room above the couch. The mirror is one I had lying around. I want to add a frame to it out of reclaimed wood….you know, make it all rustic and textured? It’s on the project list. I think it will help define the space a little bit.
And this is what it used to look like above the couch:
I knew it would happen and it did. I got sick of the fabric panels.
Don’t get me wrong, I still like the idea. But I’m giving them a rest for awhile. So here’s what it looks like now:
Let’s play “eye spy the nonna wreath…”
I like to call this look “layered neutrals.” hahaha. I’m obviously still struggling with color, but I like to think I’m working on it. For example, I have thought about adding some colored throw pillows to the couch. Just not sure what color yet (although I’ve noticed Target has some nice mustard yellow/goldish ones that might work well).
I also want to put a shelf along the length of the couch, kind of like a long skinny console table. I found this idea on Pinterest (surprise) to just attach a long board behind the couch as a place to set drinks, etc. I want to do the same rustic/weathered wood here and maybe put a lamp on each end. Plus, then it gives me a place to set my
beer water so I quit spilling it on the couch.
So what about you? Have any of you made a fall wreath this year? Done any rearranging at your house? And tell me your secrets for decorating with color…I must know!
I’ve been in desperate need of a project. Something quick and easy that could be worked on in the evenings. Something that would scratch my project itch.
Because, ya know…I haven’t really done anything DIY since a certain little pumpkin came around.
Which was fine….
Until it wasn’t fine.
Projects are an outlet for me. They keep me busy, inspire me to want to do more, give me a creative outlet, and give me a sense of accomplishment. And frankly I just like doing them.
It’d been over six months since I tackled something big. Something more than just a burp cloth, ruffled flower, or quick roman shade.
I looked around my house and my eyes landed on our rusty, scratched, dirty patio table.
Yep, this thing could use a little TLC.
I bought this table 6 or 7 years ago thinking it would be great for a summer or two. You know, until I bought real, grown-up patio furniture.
Yet here she sits.
And since grown-up furntiture really isn’t in our budget anymore, the least I could do was give her a facelift. AND, since I don’t have the luxury of (aka, time) being indecisive about things anymore, I decided I wanted this table BOLD. Something super fun, happy and springy.
Surprising, right? Given my neutral tendencies.
Brace yourself. Things are about to get cuh-ray-zee up in here.
…wait for it….
Eek! Isn’t it awesome!? I mean, it’s a little out there, but what the heck? It’s just what I wanted: bright, bold and fun.
And bonus, I finally got to introduce some ikat into my repertoire. Probably just in time for it to go out of style. Sigh.
In case you’re wondering, it’s Richloom Solarium Outdoor Sumter Ikat Sky.
It’s a breath of fresh air to get some color around here.
As for the degree of difficulty – I’d give it a one on a scale of one to ten. It just took me three nights to get ‘er done. The first night I recovered the seat cushions by simply unscrewing the seat bottoms and covering the existing grey cushion. Which was super easy and fun. Who doesn’t love to use a staple gun? The second night I disassembled the table, washed everything up and gave it a few good solid coats of spray paint. Then I ran out of spray paint. So the third day I bought two more cans and finished with a final coat that night. Easy peasy. I used the Valspar Outdoor paint which is awesome because you don’t have to do a primer or a top coat. Score.
Here’s the cost breakdown.
- 2 yrds of Richloom Solarium Outdoor Sumter Ikat Sky ($8.98 ea): $17.96 – which ended up only being $14.36 after googling around for a 20% off coupon.
- 5 cans of Valspar Outdoor spray paint in peacock blue ($4.98 ea) : $24.90.
Not too shabby for a complete update. Honestly, it made me wonder why the heck didn’t I give this thing a facelift years ago. We’ve still got a long way to go on our patio itself (I didn’t even put flowers back there this year….whoops), but our bright new table has given me renewed interest in working on a few things out there.
And to be honest again…I’m sliiiiiiightly worried I’ll be over the turquoise someday (like, maybe next spring??). Luckily I know it’s not that big of a project to tackle and it’s easy to switch up. So if I find myself longing for neutrals again (and who are we kidding; it’s just a matter of time), all it will take is 2 nights and 5 more cans of spray paint.
So for now, my project itch is satisfied. But I do have quite a few others up my sleeve that hopefully I’ll be starting on soon! I mean, it is nearly hunting season….I’ve got to come up with a few things to keep me occupied.
What say you? Do you like the bold choice of color? Do you think I’ll be sick of it next summer?