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Wednesday, November 19, 2014

DIY - beautiful bleached pinecones.


Here in the Pacific Northwest, pinecone gathering can be done with your eyes closed.

I mean, they're everywhere.

Since I love decorating with natural elements, I've got a pretty big stash of these guys.

I love them natural, painted...and now bleached!

I first read about bleaching pinecones on Country Living Magazine's website.  Their instructions are wonderful and really simple...it basically boils down to this:

Step 1: place pinecones in a glass container; I chose a glass cylinder vase:
[step 1].

Step 2: fill the container 2/3 full with bleach, fill the rest with plain water
Step 3: pinecones float! place something inside your container that will keep those rascals submerged. I used a juice glass:
[step 2 and 3].

Step 4: leave pinecones submerged in the bleach mixture for 24 to 36 hours.  You'll notice I've got mine down in the garage.  No sense smelling that stuff inside the house for 2 days, am I right? Plus yikes you wouldn't want to spill it inside.

Step 5: remove the pinecones and rinse with clean water. the pinecones will be closed up.
Interesting sidenote: even after 36 hours, most of my pinecones still looked pretty dark brown and I'll admit I was disappointed because I thought it hadn't worked. so I left a couple in the bleach mixture for an extra 24 hours and the rest I put in the dryer to dry.

Step 6: dry the pinecones. I have a rack for my clothes dryer so I put them on the rack and ran the dryer on medium, checking on them regularly. After about an hour, they had turned a lovely shade of light tan and had started to open up again:
[step 6].

Step 7: display your beautiful bleached pinecones!

Aren't they the most gorgeous creamy tan color?
Here's a closeup, I love how the tips still have a bit of darker brown on them:

Remember the couple of pinecones that I said I left in the bleach for an additional 24 hours? They did indeed get whiter, but you can see this one came pretty close to disintegrating:
[creamy white pinecone left in bleach an extra day].
So I think I'll stick to the 24-36 hour rule in the future!

Have you tried this project yet? I'd love to hear about it in the Comments below and as always I'm happy to answer any questions you might have.

If you do leave a Comment: remember to choose 'Replies' from the Subscribe To pulldown, 
so you'll get an email when I reply!

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Friday, November 14, 2014

a farmhouse Christmas - creating a vignette.


Ok don't hate me.

I know it's still November.

I couldn't help it. I was putting away the Halloween decorations and mine eyes fell upon the Christmas decorations...and I just grabbed one bucket. Just one.

The magic was that bucket held the blue milk glass globes that I scored on clearance from Wisteria last year. But today is your lucky day, because they brought them back again this year!

I thought I'd do something a little different and show you the evolution of my farmhouse Christmas vignette.

For me, farmhouse is natural elements, lots of texture, rubbed and worn wood tones, with just the merest hint of sparkle thrown in for balance...

Ready? Here we go...


First, I placed a tree and a mason jar snow scene on the console table: 



Next came my rustic Target lantern [another clearance score!], filled with simple white glass ornaments:



Added another mason jar snow scene. Can never have enough of those!:


Oh hello Mr. White & Gold Reindeer, aren't you pretty?



Now how about a blue milk glass globe and a twig snowflake:


Every Christmas vignette could use a lovely soft green wreath, and more milk glass globes, right?  You'll see I also flipped Mr. Reindeer to face the other way and moved the twig snowflake down to lean against the lantern:


As of this second, this Christmas vignette is done.

Famous last words.

Who am I kidding? I'm sure I'll be fussing with it for a few more days!

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Sunday, November 9, 2014

diy lattice feature wall

[DIY lattice wall].
So after the Great Board & Batten Wall, and the farmhouse Plank Wall, my nail gun was getting antsy and looking for a new project...

Ta-da! A lattice wall at the staircase landing was born.

Before:

This is the wall at the bottom of the staircase in view of the dining room, so it was a good place to do something fun.

Cost: at $0.70 a foot,  this one came out to $42 for the lattice. I already had the paint from the farmhouse Plank Wall project.

Since I measured and cut each piece on site, I just brought the miter box up from the garage instead of using the circular saw.


I used my awesome Ryobi nail gun to tack the lattice pieces to the wall.  Have I mentioned that buying that nail gun was my most favorite-ist purchase I've made in years? I have? Ok.

I measured and put the verticals up first, then filled in the horizontals. These lattice pieces were so super-lightweight that I didn't worry that my design missed every stud in the wall :-)

Here it is nailed up and ready for paint:

Finally, it was time for a couple coats of paint.  Last step: hanging my Oregon map art:

Yes that is my gorgeous Grandmother's high school picture underneath the light fixture:

[done!]
I still can't decide whether to hang more stuff on the lattice wall or leave it empty and clean. What do you think?

Sorry for the grainy pictures, guys. One day I'll get myself a real, big-girl camera!


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Thursday, November 6, 2014

free Thanksgiving printables!

Hi friends!
One of my favorite, affordable ways to decorate is to change out the art in my frames.


So I was taking down my Halloween decorations and thinking about Thanksgiving.
And I realized that I didn't really have any Thanksgiving art.

So I whipped up these simple printables, which you can download for free below.

Just right-click on the image and choose Download Image [depending on your browser it might say something like Save Image].

Have a wonderful holiday!

 



The full size of each of these is 3200 x 4000 pixels, so they should be able to be printed up to 16" x 20".

A couple with a pumpkin-colored background:


My personal favorite:

A simple white background:

A few more pumpkin-colored ones:






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Monday, October 6, 2014

diy industrial garment rack - tutorial.

You all remember the DIY Industrial Garment Rack we made last month?
Click here if you missed the story and reveal...it's a wee insight into our household dynamic.
And my often wacky brain :-)

I promised you the tutorial so here it is!  This was a lot of fun to make and not only did it work perfectly for our overflow of guests last month, it looks awesome too.  Well, according to me at least...

Let's start with the materials. I'm listing the prices for everything [even items I already owned] so you can get a true cost of the project.
materials list and cost:
[1] galvanized pipe [cut in 2 for the vertical bars] @ $14
[1] galvanized pipe [for the top horizontal bar] @ $9.28
[2] galvanized elbows @ $1.62 each = $3.24
[2] galvanized flanges [the cool circle things in the image above] @ $5.17 each = $10.34
[4] spinning casters/wheels @ $3.44 each = $13.76 [spinners are a must especially for this particular project!]
[8] bolts @ $0.24 each = $1.92
[8] washers @ $0.11 each = $0.88
[8] nuts @ $0.06 each = $0.48
[1] 2x6 radius edge cedar plank* [cut in 3 for the base] @ $11.07
[1] 2x6 whitewood stud plank [cut in 2 for the underneath supports] @ $4.26
[1] can Minwax dark walnut wood stain [already owned; used about 1/4 can] @ $4.78
= $74.01 total out of my pocket, not bad!
[*I could've easily used another whitewood stud plank which would've been $7 cheaper, but I liked the rounded edge on the cedar plank]

optional materials, highly recommended:
GoJo pumice hand soap [easiest way to clean the pipes; already owned] @ $3.29
clear spray paint [for sealing the pipe; already owned] @ $3.76
= $81.06 total with optional items

Why I recommend the optional materials:
Have you ever handled galvanized pipe? It's dirty and greasy!
Since this garment rack was going to hold...well...garments, I definitely didn't want dirt and grease anywhere near my guest's clothes. So I wanted to clean the life out of the pipes and fittings, hence the GoJo which worked a treat.

Fair warning: the GoJo will make the pipes shiny so if you don't want that, don't use the GoJo...
but the alternative would be scrubbing those pipes with soapy water for *hours*.  I didn't think I'd like the shiny pipes but I ended up liking the contrast against the rustic wood so it all worked out.

All right! Let's get cookin', shall we?
1. measure and cut the 2x6 cedar plank into [3] 32" long pieces. these pieces will become the base of your rack.
[measuring and marking at 32" long].
2. measure and cut the 2x6 whitewood stud plank into [2] 15" inch long pieces. they will be used on the underside to join the base planks together.
3. lay the 3 top planks upside down and place some nails between the boards to provide a little spacing
4. place the the [2] 15" inch long pieces across the 3 top planks.
5. screw the 15" long pieces to the 3 planks. so not only are these 15" long pieces being used for joining, they're adding extra weight and stability to the rack.

winner winner!
[underside of the wood base].
6. screw the wheels to the 4 corners.
7. stain the wood your desired color; I dry brushed it on so the finish is a bit rustic.
8. flip the base over so it's right-side up.
9. screw the galvanized pipes together, placing the elbows at the top and the flanges at the bottom.
10. have someone hold the pipe setup on the wood base so you can see where you want to secure the flanges to the wood.
11. mark and drill the bolt holes:
[drill holes for flanges].
12. we'll be attaching the metal flange to the top of the rack with bolts, washers, and nuts. optional: drill out a recessed area so the washer is sunk into the wood. again, this part is totally optional; the washer sitting flush against the wood is completely fine.
[totally optional: drill recessed area for washer].
13. drop the bolts through the holes, slide a washer on, and tighten the nut:
[underside with bolt, washer and nut].
And voila, you have yourself a unique industrial garment rack...with wheels. shazam!

Don't you just love the base?

Thanks friends, hope this all makes sense! Of course please ask any questions you like in the comments below and I'll do my best to answer them.


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