Friday, December 23, 2011

TGIF, 12/23/11 Edition

As I type this, I am falling more and more into the holiday spirit thanks to the original "Miracle on 34th Street" and excitedly awaiting time with family over the next few days.  Presents are wrapped, cards are sent, halls are decked and, now, it is time for reflection.

The year, and this month in particular, has moved so quickly that the next week will bring a welcomed pause from activity and that old familiar harried feeling. Posting 'round here might be light, so I hope in the meantime you will be enjoying some special moments with family and friends like I will be. 

I am so thankful for you all, for your daily visits and sweet comments. 
Whenever I see a new follower or new comment here, I feel like its Christmas.

Happy Holidays to you and yours, dear readers!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Christmas Craft #3: Foil Christmas Light Liners

I think I've already mentioned just how much I'm digging our Christmas tree this year, but allow me to mention it again. In addition to the toadstool ornaments that adorn the tannenbaum, I wanted to add a bit more sparkle to the tree.
And, even though we're just days away from the holiday, there's always time for a quick craft, am I right?

That's when I happened upon this tutorial for "twinkle lights" made with silver foil cupcake or candy cups.
(via Family Fun)
To create your very own foil star Christmas lights, you'll need:
1. Christmas lights
2. metallic foil cupcake or candy cups (I used these from Wilton, which were less than $2 at the grocery store)
3. scissors

Want to create your own?

Step #1:
Take your foil cup and flatten it. 
Then, fold the flattened foil up into eighths (so, fold in half, then in half again, and half again once more).
Step #2:
Now, you will star shaping your folded foil cups into stars. Cut off two corners so that they form a triangle, and then cut off the tip of the point (this is where the Christmas light will fit). Repeat for as many foil stars as you would like to make. Don't worry: this goes very quickly!
Step #3:
Hang your lights and, once in the tree, on the mantle or banister, slide the foil star onto each bulb so that it rests on the base of the bulb. No need for tape, glue or any adhesive.
I did not to make a foil star for each light on the strand, but chose to scatter them around the tree in a random sort of way.
The silver stars certainly add a bit more sparkle and reflective light from afar...
...and up close:
With just a detailed touch, standard Christmas lights become all the more special and festive.

Want even more foil-y Christmas inspiration?
Check out this similar-but-colorful version of the foil garland from the Martha Stewart team:
(via Martha Stewart)
Happy crafting!

P.S. Head over to Camille's blog The Vintique Object, where my custom tissue box cover inspired a post on your craziest design obsessions. Be sure to check it out!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Living Like a Rock Star

Who would have thought that this home, filled with trinkets from a worldly and a well-traveled life,
 (via xoJane)
would belong to Courtney Love?

As a fan of Courtney Love and Hole from way, way back (I was so very dark in 8th grade), it feels strange but satisfying peering into Love's NYC townhouse.

How do you picture your rock idols living?

Friday, December 16, 2011

TGIF, 12/16/11 Edition

It's Friday once again, friends! 
And this weekend is a special one for Adam and I, as we are hosting our annual holiday party tomorrow evening. We sent out invitations to our party (see above) using Paperless Post, which allows you to create and send customized invitations, cards, and save-the-dates via email. 

I'm looking forward to celebrating with friends tomorrow eve, especially because I've been sidelined this week with a bit of illness (perhaps you noticed my absence). But, I'm healthy once more and happy to welcome visitors to our apartment.

I wish you could attend our holiday party because I'd love to share some cookies, some 'nog, and some yuletide cheer with you. 
The merriest and happiest to you all.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

My Custom Fabric-Covered Tissue Box Cover

(Sister Parish-covered tissue boxes, $58, via The Zhush)

In the last week, I've been working on major, deep cleaning and redecorating my bathroom. After all of this work, I've been asking myself:  Why are tissue boxes inherently ugly? 
Would it be so difficult to offer a chic tissue box design once and awhile, Kleenex or Puffs?
 For this project, I used the following supplies:
1. fabric of your choice (I chose a sample of "Lascaux" by Alan Campbell in white/black that I had)
2. spray adhesive (optional)
3. tissue box cover (I purchased this one from West Elm)
4. paintbrush
6. scissors
7. bottle of Mod Podge

Want to jazz up an unfortunate tissue box in your home?

Step #1:
Start with crisply ironed fabric and lay it wrong-side up. Place the top of your tissue box cover face down on the fabric. Trace the top and opening the box cover with your vanishing fabric marker. Then, lean one side of your box cover (the face of the box) and trace about 1/4" larger than the edge of the box. Continue with all of the faces/sides of your tissue box cover.
Step #2:
With your outline marked, cut the edges of your box (it should look like a cross) and then snip the opening of the cover. Do not cut the opening out entirely.

 Step #3:
Put your fabric aside for a second and begin covering your tissue box cover with either Mod Podge (which I used) or spray adhesive. Start with the top of the box first and stop. Apply the fabric to the top of your tissue box facing rightside up. Smooth out bubbles as you go. Then, proceed to the next side/face of your box cover, applying Mod Podge to the cover as you go. Fold the extra 1/4" of fabric around the corners of one side.

 Step #4:
There will be 2 sides of the box cover that will have extra fabric wrapped around their edges. To create a clean edge, tuck the extra fabric you have and apply the fabric with Mod Podge. You will be left with 2 sides with crisp, clean edges.
Step #5:
Apply Mod Podge to the bottom of the box and fold your fabric over the bottom edge. Hold until adhered.
Step #6:
Brush your Mod Podge around the inside of your tissue box opening and hold the snipped fabric against it until adhered.
 Step #7:
Last and final step: apply Mod Podge to every side of the tissue box cover. At this point, be sure that there are no stray fibers on your fabric-covered tissue box because, when Mod Podge-d, they will be there forever! Also, Mod Podge dries clear so be as liberal with it as you want.
 And, voila! Like that, your tissue box is much, much more chic.
In less than 30 minutes (plus drying time), my bathroom has a fun fabric accent.
As you can tell, my bathroom is taking on a black-and-white color scheme and I'm looking forward to revealing more projects very shortly!

Would you try this easy-peasy project?

Monday, December 12, 2011

Christmas Craft #2: Holiday Song Garland

(via Katie did)

Last year, Adam and I held our first holiday party and, while looking for great festive decor ideas, I found this idea for holiday song garland over at Katie did's blog
I created several garlands for our den last year and loved the look, so I thought I'd create more for our living room!
To create these holiday song garlands, you will need:
1. 8.5" x 11" colored copy paper (no need for to spring for expensive cardstock!)
2. twine or string
3. scissors
4. clear tape

Pretty simple list of supplies, no?

Step #1:
Start by selecting the holiday song phrases you will be creating. Don't be overly ambitious; limit yourself to memorable segments of your favorite Christmas songs. Here are a few that I chose--see if you can identify the whole song:
"rockin around the Christmas tree"
"please have snow and mistletoe"
"Jack Frost nipping at your nose"
"may your days be merry and bright"

Step #2:
Now that you've decided which song phrases you will create, begin by cutting your colored paper in half, then in half again. Each sheet of paper will produce 4 letters (use this to determine how many sheets of paper you will need for your chosen phrases). Then, focus your attention on one letter at a time. Cut all the E's at once, all the T's at once, and C's at once, etc. I did not trace or draw the letters, but created simple block-style letters that were easy to create.

Step #3:
Once you have the letters prepared for a whole song phrase, clear out a large area on a table or floor and start spelling the song segment backwards (letters and words backwards!). Determine the spacing you'd like to see between letters and words in your garland, and run your string or twine continuously along the top of each letter. When you're happy with the spacing, begin taping down the portion of string that touches the back of each letter.

With every letter secured with tape, flip your phrase over to reveal it's finished look!
Step #4:
Hang your garland with the same clear tape and continue creating more until your home is a holiday song wonderland!

I have more to work on for my living room so I'm off to work.

Would a holiday garland like this put a little song in your heart?

Friday, December 9, 2011

TGIF, 12/9/11 Edition

Friday is upon us once more, and this weekend will be busy with lots of holiday activities.
I've been loving my nature-themed Christmas tree more with each passing day since Adam and I put it up on Sunday evening, so I thought I'd share it before the week was out.
I've been working on holiday projects and lots and lots of work in my bathroom (which I've never shown you all before). Hopefully it will make its first blog appearance in the very near future.

On Saturday, Adam and I will be enjoying his company holiday party at the beautiful Philadelphia Museum of Art. I'm embarrassed to admit this, but this will be my first time there! I'm a sad excuse for a Philadelphian, I know.
(via Flickr)

I hope your weekend is filled to the brim with evergreens, ornaments, cookies, eggnog, and parties.
'Til Monday, friends.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Southern Belle

I am a Yankee lady through and through, born in Connecticut and now living in Philadelphia, but I have recently discovered an deep appreciation for a certain Southern belle. It appears that there are lots of inspiring designs being produced below the Mason-Dixon.
Of course, I'm talking about Southern Living magazine. Like my love for Country Living before it, I have been pleasantly surprised at the homes featured in this publication. Each seems so beautifully composed...and don't get me started on the choice fabrics each room seems to contain.

But, it wasn't until Caroline posted this image recently that my love for our Southern friends was cemented:
Isn't this room gorgeous?

How about a few more Southern spaces for your Thursday?
 (all via Southern Living)

And, if you're looking for more inspiration from down south, be sure to check out these fab blogs:
Cottage and Vine

After all of this evidence that there are beautiful things happening in the south, are you contemplating checking out Southern Living more often?
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