Sunday, December 30, 2012

DIY Glitter Coasters

I'm making the transition from Christmas to New Year's Eve.  The entire holiday season is about food and drink but New Year's is really about cocktails and glitter.  We're heading to friends' house for an evening of dinner, drinks and tons of laughter.  Although our hostess is not a glitter kind of girl (gasp!) I do think she'll love this diy hostess gift regardless.

What you need:
12' x 12' Cork squares
Xacto Knife
Cutting Mat
Frog Tape Painter's Tape (Multi Surface & Delicate Surface)
Multi Surface Acrylic Paint - 2 colours or shades including 1 glitter
Small Artist's Paint Brush
Spray Varnish

How To:
- Use a cutting mat, ruler and an x-acto knife to cut the cork into squares that measure 4"x4"
- Tape your coasters according to the design you are creating.
- Paint and let dry.  Paint a second coat and let dry overnight.
- Give each coaster a coat of spray varnish to protect the paint and glitter from coming off when it becomes exposed to condensation from a glass.

Tip: If you want to create this coaster paint a coat of solid colour and then you will need to tape off the areas for glitter paint using Frog Tape Delicate Surface tape.  The regular won't stick to the painted cork.

Tip 2: I think it could be even better to add a square of dark blue or black felt to the bottom.  I didn't have any but may add it in the future.

So what are you plans for New Year's Eve?  More importantly, what DIY projects have you completed for the night?  I wish you all a wonderful New Year's Eve.  I look forward to many more blog friendships and adventures in 2013.

This is a sponsored post brought to you by FrogTape. The opinions are completely my own based on my experience.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

DIY Hostess Gifts

So now that party season is upon is it's our DIY responsibility to make sure that our host and hostess knows just how much we appreciate the invitation to their homes.  Sure a bottle of wine is being brought along but really we need to put a bit of effort into our thank you.  Agreed?  If so, here are some simple DIY ideas that will help you sail through the holidays.

Scented Sugar 
Ice Cream & Scoop
Painted Utensils
Spool Wine Corks
Monogram Ornaments
Glitter Candle Holders
Hot Chocolate

Got any diy hostess gifts that you rely on during the holidays?  Share with us!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Blogger Book Club Review - A Long Way Down

Happy Monday all.  Can you actually believe it's only just over a week until Christmas.  Yikes!

So did you read along with us this month?  We just read A Long Way Down by Nick Hornby.  Leave us a review either here or over at Heather's blog - Interior Groupie and let us know what your thoughts are.  You can also join us at our facebook page.

The story begins on New Year's Eve on a rooftop in London.  Four very different people at four very different stages of life meet on the rooftop when each of them intends on taking his/her life.

There is forty-something Martin, disgraced morning talk show host, ex con, who has gone to jail for sex with a minor; Maureen, middle-aged single mother, with a son who is severely disabled; Jess, eighteen, heartbroken, who wonders why her ex-boyfriend won't explain to her why they broke up; and JJ, American, wanna-be rock star, condemned to a life of delivering pizza.

The plans for suicide are thwarted when they realize they're not alone.  Bonded by their shared misery the group ends up spending the night together, telling stories and forming a new sad kind of gang.  There are plenty of quotable one-liners but the problem for me is that these people are supposed to be suicidal.  I could see barely a glimmer of the mental pain I imagine is required to underpin the decision to kill yourself.  

The four main characters take turns speaking throughout the book in the first person in a kind of round robin dialogue.  They each tell the story of what brought them to this place in life.  There are funny bits of dialogue and a lot of Nick Hornby's insightfulness in describing his characters.  Nobody in this gang has any affection or even tolerance for the other members but they continue to meet and even embark on a trip to Canary Islands which I had a hard time with.  Would they really spend that much time together when there was no real connection?  The book continues to explore the emotional growth and development of the characters.  Obviously we're not looking for spoilers here so I'll refrain from continuing. 

Overall I'll say I didn't really care for the book.  The story loses me under the weight of implausibilities.  My biggest complaint about the book is the first-person storytelling method that has been employed.  There is a desperate need for objectivity for me to be able to relate or enjoy the characters a bit more.  These four are clearly not very insightful about their own lives unless it's about their bad moods.

So now it's your turn.  What did you think?  

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Make an Easy Christmas Pillow

**Full Disclosure** - This is a project I did last year and I"m reposting it (gasp!).  It's not out of laziness but I really did have a couple of people ask about the directions so an effort to be giving and kind during the holidays I am obliging.  I do not hate the fact that I have a post for you and may otherwise have not.

Well the Christmas season is officially upon us and I'm going to kick it off with a fun diy pillow project.  It's definitely festive and just about as simple as you can get.

Supplies Needed:

Pre-made pillow cover
Felt or other stiff material
Small piece of brown or black fabric
Fabric Glue

Step 1
Create a cardboard template that is approximately 1 1/2".  Using the template, trace the circle onto the felt and cut out.  This project required 28 circles.

Step 2
Working with one circle at a time, place a dot of glue at the end and pinch the circle together.  Hold the end of the circle together until the glue is dry enough that it will stick together.  This should only be a few seconds.

Step 3
Using pins to secure your work to the pillow form, lay out the circles in a line at the bottom and decrease the number of circles in each row until you reach the top.

Step 4
Once you have a pattern that you like, start gluing the circles in place.  Using a second, lighter fabric make a trunk for the tree and glue in place.

TIP - The success of this project relies on the circles staying glued together.  Buy the very best fabric glue available.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Time for Dessert

Well hello.  Long time, no see.  I have been a bit of stranger in blogland recently and I can blame 100% of my absence on the soon-to-be new business.  Between designers, photographers, marketing classes and massive amounts of product orders I'm spent.  My house is a mess, the family is eating potato chips for dinner and I look a bit like this lady.

I plan to woo you back with ideas for desserts that will save your butt this holiday season.  I know you can't resist.

And because you worked so hard you definitely deserve to sit back, put your feet up and indulge in a little alcoholic treat.

So are we friends again?

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Make a Liner for your Plain, White, Boring Envelopes

Since it's Christmas I thought I better get into the spirit of things.  It's time to mail the cards but before they get dropped in the mailbox they need a little facelift.  Boring, white envelopes just won't do.  Making a liner for your envelope is easy and adds a whole lot of fun.

My daughter's school had all the kids make their own cards.  They drew the picture and then had them printed into cards.

Need to fix these envelopes pronto!

Supplies Needed:
 - decorative paper
 - cutting mat
 - exacto knife
 - ruler
 - double sided tape

Measure your envelope and cut the paper to fit.  You don't need to go all the way down to the bottom of the envelope.  Just enough so that when it's empty you can still see the paper.

Attach the double sided tape and stick in place.

Fold on the envelope's crease line.

If you're feeling super duper fancy you can add some washi tape to the outside so it's pretty both inside and out.

Down with white envelopes.  Let's start a revolution.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Bottle Brush Trees, A Song & A Tip

Happy Monday!!  Who's ready for a new week?  No, me neither.

I bought some bottle brush trees for Christmas over 10 years ago and loved them but was nearly ready to ditch them this year 'cause they were looking a little bo-ring.  That is until I spotted a photo of several of them sitting inside vintage silver dishes.  Just so happens I have a stash and they give the bottle brush trees a whole new look.  They're perfect grouped together and the silver elevates them to a new and glamorous look.  The thrift stores are always loaded with silver bowls.  If you want some other great ideas for how to display bottle brush trees check out Wendi's post at Classic Chic Home.

Speaking of thrift stores, I had to share this hilarious song called Thrift Shop.  There is some explicit language so if you're easily offended you might want to skip it.  But I wouldn't because really, when are you ever going to hear another song with the lyrics, "I wear your granddad's clothes.  I look incredible."  I think never!

Lastly, here's an amazing tip for how to store your Christmas ornaments after the holidays.  This definitely falls into the "why didn't I think of that" category.  Click on the name to take you to the full tutorial.

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