Sunday, December 4, 2011

Mom's Minimalist Mantel

My parents have a house. And in that house there's a fireplace. And above that fireplace there's a mantel.  And every Christmas the mantel changes. It's kind of Mom's thing. Last year it was nostalgic little knick-knacks contained in apothecary jars, very whimsical. This year she went for an industrial, window display look. I love it! It looks like something you'd see in the windows at the Gap or Anthropologie. It's minimal, bold and completely Christmas. Palettes are the thing right now and this is the perfect, seasonal way to spruce them up. Go Mom! 

Monday, November 28, 2011

Maps and Mercury Glass

Ever since we moved into our new house, I've been anxiously awaiting Christmas. During the open house I mentally placed the Christmas tree to the right of the fireplace and hung the stockings too.

We have a gorgeous metallic tree, kind of copper-ish, but it's only 4 or 5 feet tall. We've used every year since we got married, and it was always perfect for our little apartments.  Now we've got the space for a big one, so we went for it. Go big or go home.

Actually, our little tree looks perfect in our dining room so it's not left out. It'll probably always be my favorite tree, so shiny and nostalgic feeling, I'll post pics of it soon. I can definitely see myself as being one of those whack-a-doo old ladies with 30 Christmas trees in her one bedroom condo. Time will tell.

Back to the new tree and the whole reason for this post. Having a new tree meant lots of empty branches to decorate. And since, our little copper tree has all our sentimental ornaments, this was a fun opportunity to play with the trends. I've always loved antiques, especially mercury glass, and luckily there are a ton of faux mercury ornament out this year. I cleaned out places like Marshall's and TJ Maxx and even found a some at Target and Walmart. I really only bought a few of each because I love the look of a tree with lots character and dimension to it. I like that the uniqueness of the ornaments keep your eyes moving from one to the next. Throw that in with the soft light coming from the tree and it's the stuff of christmas carols.

Before I threw the ornaments on, I had to add the garland. Garland...garland...what garland?! I couldn't land on anything I liked at the stores this year so I decided to make my own. My mother in law gave me a ton of maps recently and I thought I'd like to work them in. The vision came a few weeks ago and I decided I'd turn them into a pennant banner/garland thing. I also had my eye on my first sewing machine and thought this would be the perfect time to get it. 

So I bought the machine, folded up the map and cut out dozens of triangles, all the same size, but not worrying if they were perfect or not. I like the primitive/homemade look sometimes. 

Next, I threaded my machine with red thread and put it on a zig-zag setting. (I'm a sucker for zig-zags these days.) And then I put my first triangle through, then another and another and so on. This project 
really flies! 

Don't clip the thread in between triangles as this is how you hang them on the tree. (Kind of a "duh" thing to say, but you never know.) I did clip mine about every 6-8 feet or so, just to keep it from tangling en route to the tree.

Voila! What you get is an old world look, and when juxtaposed with the shine of the mercury glass, they really balance each other out. And while the tree and this post may resemble something from Norman Rockwell, let me assure you we have yet to don the Christmas PJs and sip hot chocolate by the yule log. Right after we got the tree together, we left the living room in shambles and fought with the lights on the roof for 2 days. I'm okay with that though, I think Christmas should be the perfect blend of Norman Rockwell and Clark Griswold. 

Oh and Buddy the Elf. :)

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Sweet and Spooky

Happy Halloween! It's here. FINALLY. What I've been waiting for.


Nope not a new trend in yoga, the BIG STRETCH, is what I like to think of as the Super Bowl of decor. Starting now we are in a steady stream of holiday goodness. Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year's. Boo yah! Crafty delights are around every corner and I can't keep them waiting. 

So here's what I did this year.

1. The "runner" is from Target. Actually, it's the tablecloth. I got it home and decided it was too heavy so I folded it into fourths and it made a great runner.
2. Glitter skulls were from Dollar Tree last year.
3. Striped mini pails were from Target last year too. Yay for the "Dollar Spot!" Am I right? :)
4. Various glass containers added additional structure and held the most important part. The CANDY!
5. Candles added spookiness and glittered spiders and purple sequins added the much needed magic.

Here's a close up of one of the glittered spiders. All I had to do was buy a bag of those cheap little orange and black spider rings, spray paint them green, douse them in glue and cover in glitter. Sparkly and spooky!

The banner was a pre-made one from Hobby Lobby. Well it really was just plain brown, but I covered it in green scrapbook paper, stamped on some swirly designs, and distressed the edges. I restrung it and hung it amidst the cobwebs. Super easy and I love that I have a unique banner all my own.

I may dilly dally and do a little more decorating as the day nears, but I'm pretty happy with the decor for the first Halloween in the new house.

Guess who doesn't care whether I decorate or not. This one. :)

Monday, July 4, 2011

Hola! Just popping my head back in. The last few months have been filled with furniture buying, (grrr, which I'm still impatiently waiting on) decorating, working like crazy and catching up with friends and family.

All that being said, it's easy to forget to take time to relax and center. This last weekend I got to spend a wonderful girls weekend in Dallas and I took a little break from curtains and coffee tables and got some little goodies from Lush.

I've always loved looking at Lush, but I've never straight up committed to actually buying anything there. This time instead of just sampling everything, getting the salespersons hopes up and walking out, I actually bought a few things.

Here's what I got:

-The Avobath Bomb
-The Sexy Peel Bar Soap
-The Coalface Facial Cleanser

So far I love all three. I used the Avobath bomb tonight (break it up so you don't use it all at once.) The Coalface cleanser seems weird, but the coal in it actually dries up the oil on your face, which for me is awesome. And the Sexy Peel bar just simply smells amazing. I wish I could try everything they have, I'm especially intrigued in their solid shampoo bars. I wonder how long they could really last and how well they'd lather up...oh well there's always next time!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Westside Senior Banquet 2011

Last weekend my mom and I had the privilege of decorating for the annual high school senior banquet for Westside Church of Christ.  I grew up going there and I feel like it will always be my church home. I love decorating (duh, you know this already) but I also love getting to see who's graduating. Especially, since I've known several since they were little bitty and even baby sat for them. Cuh-razy.

Anyway here's a few pictures of some of the decorations. Hope you enjoy!

 Paper fan flowers are so much fun and so easy to make. For a quick tutorial, go here.
 It's amazing what a statement yellow makes when it gets to really pop on black and gray.

 You know how I love the close-ups of the details. :)

 I was really pleased with how the bulletin board turned out. We were going to punch out letters out of white paper, but then we thought, "how about chalk?" I'm glad we went with it. Of course we could have stapled rotten banana peels to it and it would have looked just gorgeous, thanks to the graduates' awesome senior pictures. I wish I would have gotten a closer shot just so you could see how amazing they were!

 Congratulations seniors! So happy to be a part of the festivities!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

We've Moved!

We've moved! We are officially home owners! We've wanted to own our own home since we got married nearly 4 years ago, and we finally did it. But when you think about, we've never really lived in a place where we could realistically buy one. Buying a place in Japan wasn't ever an option, and as for Los Angeles...who could afford it? Well we've got one now and it's a completely charming, 3 bedroom, historical home built in 1933. We are in love with it and are excited for all the memories to be made here.

Pictures of the new place to come soon!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Saying Goodbye to the LA Nest Part 2

Here's a look at what we did with the bedroom here in our LA apartment. I haven't even left yet and I miss it already! Not really going to miss the street noise though. Apparently honking your horn until your friend comes out of their apartment building is an acceptable means of communication. Because a cell phone couldn't possibly do that job, and burning a few calories by actually getting out of your car to walk to their door is simply asking too much. And now I'm off subject...on with the before and afters!

We really lucked out and found a place with a pretty large bedroom. It was really fun to fix up and was so homey and cozy. Just our little oasis in the heart of Koreatown. :)

Here's a look from the other way. White walls kind of make me nutty nuts, so I had to get some color on them. 

Another view.

The doors to the balcony went from floor to ceiling and wall to wall. I will definitely miss this space as it was like having another living space. Gotta love LA weather!

The little furry one had a lot of fun out here too. She loved people watching, sun bathing and waiting for Jon to get home from work.

Good times. Good times.
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