DIY Old Book Page Wreath!

I found another YouTube video DIY project. Rebecca Robeson from “Kinwoven Design” made a beautiful wreath using old book pages. It looked doable, so I decided to give it a try.

My mother-in-law helped out with this project. It was much appreciated since there was a lot of prep work before you actually put the wreath together. We started by paying homage to an old Funk and Wagnall Dictionary. This was not only for ourselves, but all my Librarian friends. Then we proceeded to rip out pages, roll pages, tape pages and staple pages to turn out one hundred and twenty cones for our wreath. Whew!

This brings back memories. Before you could Google everything, this is where you found out your information. I am glad we were able to repurpose it!

I took my Exacto knife and cut the spine. Once the spine was off, it was easy to rip out the pages.

One hundred and twenty pages.

The edges were a little ragged.

I cut them to make them uniform.

Video on how to make cones

I rolled and my mother-in-law taped. In between, we chatted!

And just like that, we had one hundred and twenty cones!

I got better at rolling with each cone. A few of the first tries needed to be redone. I used the Exacto knife to remove the tape and then rerolled.

After they were all rolled, I measured one inch from the end.

And then stapled.

I made an eight-inch diameter circle and a four-inch diameter circle on a piece of poster board. To start the pattern, I placed one cone on twelve o’clock, three o’clock, six o’clock and nine o’clock.

Using a glue gun, I filled in the first layer.

The staples really help keep it even.

Once the first layer was done, I began the four-inch layer.

This is with two layers. I wanted a third layer, so I added a two-and-a-half-inch circle to the center and repeated the process.

To add some glitter, I put ornaments and some of my mother-in-laws costume jewelry to the center.

The finished wreath was bigger than I expected it to be, but I loved the way it came out.

The wall in my front room over the couch was the perfect place. It was big enough and the wreath compliments the room beautifully!

This is a perfect project to do with family or friends. You can use smaller pages or cut larger ones to make different size wreaths.

Remember to share photos of the wreaths you make. I would love to see them!

If you enjoyed this post, please like it and share with other people who may enjoy it also!

DIY Broken Mirror Christmas Tree!

I saw a You Tube Video on how to make a Christmas Tree from a broken mirror. In the video, they took broken mirror shards, and placed them on a piece of plywood to form a Christmas tree. They then glued the mirror pieces to the plywood and filled in all the spaces with grout. Of course, they made it seem very easy.

As you can imagine, the project was not as easy as it looked. To be fair, there were three people working on it in the video and I was a team of one. Am I glad I tried? Would I do it again? The answers are yes, yes. The one thing I would change is doing it alone. Next time I will ask a friend to do it with me!

First, you need a mirror. I bought this one at Walmart for seven dollars.

Then I got to smash it. I am not going to lie, it was fun!

When I finished breaking the mirror, I took the pieces and separated them into small, medium and large groupings.

I used quarter inch plywood I found in my garage as my base and used 1 x 2’s around the edges and across the back to strengthen it.

10OZ 530 MIRROR ADHESIVE

To adhere the mirror to the board, I used LOCTITE PL 530 mirror, marble and granite adhesive.

It was difficult to put the adhesive on and keep track of the original design. This is where an extra person would have helped.

I used a shish cabob stick to clean up any excess adhesive.

It took a while to get the pieces into a design I liked.

While gluing on the shards some of the adhesive got on the outside. I used Windex to get it off.

The next step, was to fill in all the empty space between the mirror pieces with grout.

I will admit, I do not fully read directions. I based my calculations on the video I saw. It said to use half the bag of grout and a quart of water.

The grout was very soupy, probably the result of not reading the directions. Since all grout is not the same and the bag on You Tube could have been a different brand, smaller bag etc.

Because of the consistency, it was not setting like it should. I used a wet sponge to take off the excess grout. It made quite the mess. I was really glad no one was home to witness my debacle.

I wiped it down until I could see the mirror pieces. Then let it dry an additional twenty minutes.

After it was set, I wiped off the grout from the mirrored pieces.

The finished broken mirror tree. I added a bow on top to make it look more like a Christmas Tree.

I am really enjoying sharing all the Christmas projects with you. What projects have you been working on? Leave a comment and tell me about your projects. I would love to hear about them!

DIY “Dollar Tree” Holiday Projects!

This week is all about fun projects! I made a Gnome and a snowflake ornament using items from Dollar Tree. Not only are they simple and fun, but would be great to do with kids.

Below are some of the Gnomes I have seen in stores. Which gave me the idea to try doing my own!

Plush Holiday Gnome, Small

Pottery Barn

Gray Bobble Gnome

Hobby Lobby

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Michaels

Wilton Clear Treat Bags

Most of the materials I used, I purchased at Dollar Tree. I already had these bags, but I did see similar ones at Dollar Tree also .

To create the bodies, the videos online suggested using rice or sand to fill the bags. I used wheat flour.

After the bag was stapled closed, I pulled a sock over it. The socks also came from Dollar Tree.

Unfortunately, there was no white faux fur at The Dollar Tree, so I purchased this on Amazon.

After cutting the fur to size, I hot glued it to the body.

I used wooden knobs I found for the nose.

Put hot glue on the end.

Then pushed it into the fur holding it until it set.

Using a sweater I purchased at Good Will, I cut off part of a sleeve to make a hat. I applied hot glue to create a clean edge and pull the top together.

To camouflage the top I added pom poms.

First Gnome done!

Next, I made a girl Gnome. Using two pair of socks from The Dollar Tree. I cut the toe off the striped sock and glued it together and added a pom pom.

To make the hair I used twine and braided it.

I added a nose and glued on the hair.

I made shoes out of chair leg pads and cardboard. I painted them black and added bells.

Here are the Gnomes I made. The taller one on the right was made from a large Santa hat with brown fur I took apart. Using the brown fur for his beard and the top of the hat for his chapeau.

Waiting for a ride in Santa’s sleigh!

Project #2

I think this would be a great project to do with kids!

Snow flake ornaments using clothespins from Dollar Tree.

Start by removing the clips from clothespins.

The clips came off easily.

Taking the flat side of the clothespin.

Add wood glue.

Place them together wiping off any excess.

You need eight clothespins to create a snowflake.

Using hot I glue I started assembling them.

One by one: glue, hold then add another and repeat.

Once completed, then paint.

I used Rust-Oleum spray paint in white.

Once the paint was dry I glued a smaller ornament (also from Dollar Tree) on top of the snowflake. It added depth and sparkle.

I am sorry to say I did not take a picture of the ornament before I placed it on top.

I love both of these DIY’S. Every time I look at my Gnomes they bring a smile to my face and I can’t wait to put the snowflake ornaments on our tree.

I hope you get a chance to try these projects. If you do, please send me pictures I would love see them!

Santa Gets A New Ride!

I was at my garden center and I saw this sleigh in the half price section. I immediately thought, what Santa (last weeks post) doesn’t need a sleigh. With that idea and the very attractive price, I quickly snapped it up! I planned on changing the color to fit the muted tones of the Santa I transformed. I feel much less trepidation about it after that success. With that said, I will still honor the original design of the sleigh by highlighting the areas that were meant to be featured. Lets get to it!

Here is the sleigh in it’s original form. I can not believe how lucky I was to find it. It is not only beautiful, but also substantial. It weighs fifteen pounds and measures twenty-four inches in length.

I started with a base coat of Annie Sloan Old White Chalk Paint.

It took a few coats to cover the deep red.

My brush took a beating getting into to all the crevices.

After the base coat was finished, I mixed Waverly Chalk Paint in Mineral with baking soda. This is one of my go to techniques for creating texture.

I ended up putting on two coats of the textured paint mixture.

After it completely dried, I put Waverly white wax on and wiped any excess off with a paper towel.

Making sure to get into all the crevices.

I liked how it came out, but it needed something more.

I pulled out the Rub and Buff in antique gold and started highlighting.

I wasn’t entirely happy with the way it was going. I decided to walk away from the piece for a couple days. In the past, I would have kept going and probably gone too far and would have to start over. My how I’ve grown!

After my respite, I decided it needed some pizazz. I went for the gold!

I took my time here. Every time I added gold, I would step back and assess if I should continue.

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I also used white acrylic paint to accentuate the design on the body.

The finished sleigh!

Now all I need are reindeer!

First Christmas Post: Thrifted Santa Redesigned !

Whenever I am antiquing, thrifting or shopping in a regular store, I am always on the lookout for unique holiday décor. I can’t say exactly what I am looking for, but I know it when I see it. In the past, I have picked up a glass beaded garland in an antique store, beautiful mercury ornaments from Pottery Barn (end of season sale of course) and just recently an amazing wooden Santa from Good Will. It had great height and a lot of detail. I did hesitate for a moment before putting it in my cart, knowing I would be putting my own mark on it with paint. But in the end, I decided that any changes I made would be right for me and the piece would become a cherished holiday possession!

This is the original state of the Santa. It really is lovely, just not my holiday décor style.

I went with Waverly chalk Paint in Mineral, adding baking soda to give it a textured look. After it dried, I put on Waverly White Wax to lighten the color and act as a sealer.

This is where some of you may want to close your eyes!

No going back now!

After the wax was set, I lightly sanded the piece to expose some color. I was not a big fan of the results. I repainted it leaving the bow and the face as is.

I still wanted color so I pulled out my acrylic paints.

I added red to the gloves and highlighted with white and gold on the robe. Then used Annie Sloan Dark Wax to age it.

I wanted Santa’s pack darker. Before, I went ahead and painted it, I wanted to see what the actual color of the wood was. To my delight, it was a dark wood. I continued sanding until I was satisfied with the look.

I added some green and gold to the items in the pack so they would stand out.

It wasn’t an easy decision to paint the Santa. It was not only a beautiful piece, but I could have ruined it forever.

Luckily for me, I couldn’t be any happier with the results. It reminds me of an old family heirloom that has been passed down for years!

How To Organize Under The Kitchen Sink

I don’t know about you, but under the kitchen sink is one of my problem areas. I can straighten it up on a weekly basis and it inevitably goes back to its normal chaos. I have been meaning to do an organization makeover, but like a lot of things that are out of sight, its also out of mind.

I finally got motivated after seeing an Instagram post where trash bags were stored underneath the sink. It may sound like a little thing, but the trash bags in our house are not located near the trash can. They are in a utility closet and are a pain to get to. I have to take the entire box out every time I want a trash bag, which is an everyday occurrence around here. Along with moving the trash bags, I reorganized making it easier to get to everyday things like: dishwasher detergent, rags, hand soap, and cleaning items for the stove, counter etc. The first step was to take everything out and give it a good clean!

This is the under the sink area. I had to work around the pipes and electric boxes for the sink and garbage disposal.

I had the circular organizer already and purchased the other two from Bed Bath and Beyond.

I did not have room for a wide container, so I decided to take advantage of the height instead.

The circular organizer will be the ideal solution for all the cleaning supplies.

I also wanted a container with a lid in case I wanted to add storage in the future I could stack another on top.

Because the tall container has dividers, I was able to put large and small trash bags in there and still have room for the dishwasher pods.

I used the lidded container to store my microfiber clothes and scrubbies.

There is definitely room to add additional storage containers on top.

I was able to fit all the cleaning supplies on the circular Lazy Susan.

Just spin to find what you need. Fantastic!

Everything has its place and hopefully it will stay that way! One can only hope…

Next week I start my Christmas posts!

Memorial Art Gallery (MAG) Garage Sale!

In previous posts, I have shared some of the amazing venues we have here in Rochester, New York; such as the Rochester Public Market and the George Eastman House. I had planned on making it a regular part of my Blog, but because of Covid, that plan was put on hold.

Since, things are continuing to get better concerning Covid restrictions, I have decided to renew the plan of visiting different venues and share with you just some of what Rochester has to offer. Today’s post is about the Memorial Art Gallery (MAG)!

We are very lucky to have such a esteemed museum here in town. Since, the founding of the museum in 1913, the permanent collection has grown to more than twelve thousand works of art. The museum also holds many events throughout the year and offers creative workshops to adults and children.

One of the annual events they hold is the Memorial Art Gallery’s “Arts and Treasures” event. It is described as Rochester’s most prestigious garage sale where you can find gently used antiques, fine art, original artwork, jewelry, china, pottery, porcelain, silver, crystal, fine linen, housewares, books, wearable art, and small furniture items to re-purpose or add to your home.

Garage sale, repurposed items, art… it was my kind of outing!

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I have never been to this event before and was excited to see what it was all about!

The first thing I saw as I walked in were all types of artwork. There were paintings, sketches, statues, prints and more. They also had lamps and a few pieces of furniture in this area. I ended up purchasing two sketches and a Degas print.

I was drawn to both of these sketches. I find the detail and the loose movement very interesting.

I love the picture, but not the lettering on the bottom. I am going to cut out the picture part and frame it. For ten dollars, I could not pass it up.

Down the hall, they had purses, jewelry and linens. I found a set of twelve beautiful napkins. They were priced at nine dollars, but being the last day, there was a fifty percent discount and I paid just four dollars and fifty cents.

There was also an area with pottery, crystal and household items. It had been picked over and there was not much left. Next year, I will definitely come on the first day!

I use cloth napkins for everyday dinners all the time. After each use, I put them in the washing machine to soak overnight. In the morning I finish the cycle and have never had an issue with stains. It is much better for the environment!

As I was leaving the Memorial Art Gallery, I was delighted by the beautiful landscaping and works of art.

Each of the art pieces have a uniqueness of their own. I was especially taken in by the bronze and stone characters created by Tom Otterness. I attached a video at the end explaining the process and the meaning behind his work.

I hope , like me, you have been inspired to explore the many offerings of the Memorial Art Gallery. If you are not from Rochester, New York maybe you have been inspired to explore museums in your area!

The next time, I get together with my gal pals, I am going to suggest a visit to the museum and dinner after! Culture, friends and food; a winning combination in my book!

In my Instagram post today, I shared the end results of turning an old table cloth into beautiful napkins! This link will take you there!

Remember, if you enjoyed this post please “like it”! As always I would love to hear yours comments!

Family Room Refresh!

I decided to do a refresh of my family room. I rearranged the furniture by moving the couch in front of the window opposite the television and the two side chairs flanking the couch. I also switched out pillows and added some Fall décor. Everyone liked the new look including me, but the placement of the couch just did not seem right. I wasn’t sure why, so I turned to the internet and my stash of home décor magazines. I was looking for examples of couches in front of windows. In almost all of the pictures the drapes were hung so they framed the couch. In my room the couch went beyond the drapes making it look like the space was too small for the couch.

This is an example of the couch extending past the drapes. It closes off the space making the room feel small.

This picture has the drapery going beyond the couch. It immediately opens up the room giving the illusion of it being a much larger space.

To remedy the problem in our space, I just moved the drapery rod over eleven inches on both sides.

Just moving the rod that little bit changed the whole feel of the room. It feels much larger and the couch looks like it belongs now!

I really love the new set up. It is very esthetically pleasing to the eye. Of course the men in my family are in love with it for the optimal TV viewing!

I had been on the lookout for some Fall décor to display. My local grocery store had Artisanal pumpkins in beautiful shades. I liked the green and muted orange color. I surrounded it with a few golden leaves, tapered candles in an autumnal color, and my husband’s and my initials. L for Lori, M for Matt.

One of my dear friends gave me some berries from one of her trees. They had golden yellow, deep orange and red shades. I added some florals from Michael’s and it made a beautiful Fall arrangement.

Update: in last weeks post, I mentioned the green tablecloth on my dining room table and that I would explain it in todays post.

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I have mentioned in previous post that I watch the Pottery Barn website for sales. Recently, I had been keeping a watch on their Belgian Linen napkins in dark green. They went on sale, but by the time I saw it, the green napkins were already sold out. Sad face...

I looked on other sites for similar napkins which were way to expensive. I started to think (which can be dangerous) about a table cloth I had that was old and had a small hole in it. With nothing to lose, I decided to dye it.

The first color I tried was Rit Dye in Kelley green. I liked the color, but thought it was too light. I dyed it again using Rit Dye in dark green.

It is not an exact match to the Pottery Barn napkins, but it is close. I plan on making napkins out of the tablecloth. I will keep you posted on my progress.

If you enjoyed this post don’t forget to give it a like!

Table Arrangements From Thrifted Items!

In last week’s post, I introduced you to three items I purchased from Goodwill. A silver-plated Lotus bowl that holds three candles, a small antique mirror, and a five votive candle holder. As promised, this week’s Blog shows you how I might style them to use in a tablescape. Lets get to it!

I will start with the Lotus bowl. I purchased some flowers from Trader Joe’s. You can not beat their prices. A bouquet of roses at my local grocery market was twenty dollars. I got the same bouquet for eight dollars at Trader Joe’s. With that price, I do not mind having to buy them!

I got the idea to use this plant from my front porch urn. I do not know what it is, but it will make great filler. If you recognize it, could you leave a comment below? It looks great and I would love to use it again!

I also used this variegated ivy for interest.

Since the vase came above the bowl, I tucked filler around the top to help hide it from view.

Then I added the ivy.

How amazing does this look!

It would be even more amazing if I had two, so I decided to look online to see if I could find another one.

Quite a few popped up! I picked out the one closest to the patina of mine. It was not three dollars like the one I purchased from Goodwill, but thirteen dollars was still a bargain.

They are almost identical. The one I purchased online is a little more shiny than I would like, but it will age in time.

If you are wondering about the green table cloth, I will address that in my next post.

The flowers look beautiful, but you could also use small pumpkins. For Christmas, you could fill the bowl with ornaments. Easter could have grass and colored eggs, or a bunnies, chicks. The options are endless!

Next up, I decided to use the mirror and the votive candle holder together.

I placed the votive holder on top of the mirror and covered it with straw. The straw was left over from a Harry and David gift box we received. It worked perfectly to cover the votive holder base. I was also able to use the flowers from the Lotus bowl arrangements.

I cut the flowers so they would sit in the straw. I added filler and kept working it until I liked the design.

For this arrangement I would definitely not use real candles. Mine are LED much safer!

I love the simplicity of it.

Again, this too can be used for any holiday or event. Easter, Christmas, Hanukkah, birthdays, anniversaries etc. etc.!

I have to mention, it may not be a good idea to use left over straw from a Harry and David box. I was in the kitchen and I smelled salami. I traced the smell to my new table arrangement. Apparently, the straw still held the smoky goodness of the gift basket.

“Goodwill” Finds For Fall Tablescapes!

Fall is my absolute favorite season! I love the cooler weather, the beautiful colors of the changing leaves and of course the holidays!

Like a lot of people, our Thanksgiving last year was very different. We limited our celebration to immediate family. We were thankful to be together, but missed our extended family. This year however, we will be having our extended family join us and we could not be happier!

With this in mind, I am determined to make everything very special, starting with the table. Because, I am on a budget, I headed over to Goodwill. I was not looking for any particular item, just something that could be used in a tablescape. I could not believe my luck! I found an antique taper candle holder, a small rectangle mirror, and a five votive candle holder.

These items were all in different areas of the store. Each one gave me an idea for a tablescape.

I love this piece. It is so elegant and with a perfect patina

This small mirror has an antique look with wonderful detail.

The mercury glass votives are beautiful, but the base needs some work.

The only thing the mirror needs is a good cleaning!

Before cleaning I removed the sticker.

After removing the sticker there was adhesive residue. Out comes Goo Gone. It never fails!

Next, I tackled the little dust bunnies in the crevasses. My large paintbrush did the trick!

It looks great!

I started by removing the sticker and cleaning it up.

The detail is very pretty, but I did not love the silver color.

To tone it down I dry brushed it with “Rub n Buff Wax” in antique gold .

I dipped it in the wax, then used a paper towel to remove the excess for dry brushing.

The change is very subtle.

The added color ties in better with the color of the mercury glass.

The amber color of the votives reminds me of Fall.

Beautiful!

I thought about adding some “Rub n Buff to this, but the patina is too perfect to take the risk.

Next post I am going to show you some tablescapes using these items!