Feb

07

2013


Clip Clip Hooray!

Chalkboard paint opens a world of crafting possibilities, including this idea from Debbie at Happy Clippings. She explains how to make a chalkboard paint craft that’s versatile to use and easy to create. Use these fun little clips to label food bowls/trays at parties, identify stored items, hang photos or family artwork (on a string or with a magnet) or personalize gifts.

Visit Debbie’s site for the full tutorial. You’ll need some mini plywood pieces found at your local craft store (browse other shapes to change it up!), clothespins, painter’s tape, foam brushes and chalkboard paint (Rust-Oleum brand from Home Depot worked great for me).

My friend Lindsey came up with the solution to clasp newly painted clips onto a plate, making for easy drying and a handy holder for craft-night goers.

I am already putting these clips to good use and hope this project is one you’ll enjoy as well!

Jan

09

2013


Guest Room Updates

“Come on in, and make yourself comfortable!” That’s the vibe I eventually want to achieve in our little guest room. Some progress has been made since my Five-star Ranch House post. Here’s an update, plus some tips for your own guest room(s)!

Toiletry Basket
An easy addition to any guest room is a basket filled with items visitors may have forgotten or may need. Collect a stash of items during work and play travels, and replenish your guest room toiletry basket with unused mini-shampoos and conditioners, body wash, lotion and more. My itsy bitsy toiletry basket (a tin, actually) also includes a shower cap, shoe bag, nail polish remover pads, floss, tissues and a wash cloth. Other helpful items could include a toothbrush and toothpaste, mouthwash or a mini deodorant – delight guests by thinking of everything!

A Logical Layout
We recently improved the feng shui of our guest room by moving the bed in front of the window to free up some space on either side (and by removing a few unnecessary obstacles / random pieces of furniture). The windows finally received some treatment, and a transparent, geometric headboard (made locally by the friendly folks at Southern Chicks in Tallahassee, Fla., using discarded material from my friend’s remodeled home) provides a focal point without completely blocking the window. The ginormous chest moved to its new, caddy-corner spot, rounding out that area of the room.

Creature Conveniences
Guests should have space to rest their belongings, including reading materials, glasses and phones. I used some existing basket drawers in our home to create two side tables, added a lamp (for bookworm guests) and an alarm clock (for snoozy guests) to one side of the bed, and a handmade tray with some accessories to the other. Oh, and I added a waste basket – not all that interesting, but it’ll do for now.

So here’s an update on the guest room goals:

  • Rearrange layout for better use of space
  • Add curtain rod and curtains (surely this should have been the first thing we did!)
  • Replace headboard (I made current one haphazardly in 2005, pre-Pinterest)
  • Refinish and re-hinge chest + fill with guest blankets
  • Add:
    • Side tables (at the appropriate height)
    • Lamps
    • Ceiling fan
    • Luggage rack
    • Magazines
    • Candles
    • Night light
    • Mirror
    • Chair
    • Alarm clock
    • Tissue box
    • Waste basket
    • Jewelry tray
    • Guest book and pen
    • Wooden hangers
    • Robe(s)
    • Basket with toiletry supplies (soaps, shampoo, lotion…)
    • Touches like snacks, bottled waters, pillow chocolates, and flowers…
    • Local area beauty/history books and photos for out-of-town guests to appreciate
    • Guest towels and wash cloths

We’re getting there! What welcoming guest room additions have you made in your own home?

Dec

21

2012


Holiday Wrap Stars 2012

Creative wrapping makes gifts even more special. These holiday gift wrap tips are kind to your wallet and keep things simple enough to let you enjoy all of those Christmas movies in the background.

Dish Towel Wrap

I learned this wrapping technique from my friend Randi after she gave us a bottle of wine wrapped in a lovely and practical kitchen towel. It’s a great way to jazz up that fun bottle of beer for the cousins or your next holiday hostess gift.

  1. Fold towel almost halfway
  2. Insert wine/large beer bottle into the fold
  3. Flop the towel over, and begin to roll it like a burrito
  4. Continue the burrito rolling…
  5. Once you get to the end, fasten it (sneakily) with a safety pin

Add a fun ribbon at the top to finish it off, and give it to someone you like!

Basket Case

Baskets make a great presentation and can be part of the gift itself! I like bread baskets like the one below (World Market) – a great item to have around the house, plus it was perfect for the assortment of items I had in mind. When arranging, place taller or larger items first, then fill in the gaps, working to make sure everything is displayed. Straw makes a pretty, natural alternative to traditional shredded paper filler.

Quick-trim Ribbon

You’ll look like a pro with this quick ribbon technique. Using a wider ribbon (1 inch or more) and a sharp pair of scissors:

  1. Create a few loops, enough to create the number of “fluffs” you want – in this case, three on each side of ribbon
  2. Fold your loops in half
  3. At the fold, snip off each corner
  4. Unfold ribbon
  5. Attach to gift by tying a knot around the center of unfolded ribbon
  6. Arrange to desired shape, and trim ends into a sharp V

Postal Paper + Neon

Why not? First of all, look how much postal paper you get on one roll (Office Depot). Second, the khaki color looks great with a flash of neon ribbon and/or paint. Play around with colors and designs, customizing gifts with your paint brush!

Have fun, Christmas elves!

Dec

07

2012


Send a Spoonful of Comfort this Season!

There is something so darn comforting about a bowl of soup. I will freely admit I am a soup fanatic and will make it on the hottest of Florida days, but this nippier time of year makes soup that much more comforting and delicious. My affinity for soup stems from my childhood – I frequently enjoyed mom’s homemade chicken-noodle recipe with No Yolk noodles, and grilled cheese sandwiches dipped in tomato soup, perfect on rainy days before making a fort under the dining room table.


The memory of soup is what led Marti Wymer, founder of Spoonful of Comfort, into the business of sending “love by the ladle.” She wanted to send the comfort of soup to her mother who was ill and very far away at the time. In honor of her mother, Marti set out to help others with sick loved ones through deliveries of a Spoonful of Comfort (old-fashioned, handmade chicken noodle soup with no additives or preservatives) – the business now hosts a variety of treats and can be packaged for many loving occasions!

Does someone you know have the sniffles? Maybe a student or recent college grad can’t make it home for the holidays? Want to show you are thinking about a family with a new baby, but don’t want to intrude on their special time? There are so many reasons to send soup, and I love that there are so many ways to customize the packages!

A holiday gift box can include soup (of course), along with a candy cane, Christmas cookies and cozy socks…even a blanket! Maybe someone needs some sweet bread and tea? How cute is that!? Or give someone a long-distance sweet squeeze with a lemonade package! All options tie back to one thing: comfort. Spoonful of Comfort is one gift I can’t wait to give this season.

Scope it out. Scoop it up. Send some soup. A hug in a cup! 😉

Sep

18

2012


Cardstock Café

Bring new life to some of those adorable greeting cards you have trapped in shoe boxes, and reuse that cute little calendar! They are all perfect materials for creating new, customized cards.

My amazing mom made each of these examples using cardstock notes in different shapes, sizes and colors from the local craft store. She just glued bits and snips of some favorite old calendars, cards or photos to create customized greetings for friends and family. StampHandmade for you by _____” to the back for a finishing touch.

If you want to get really spiffy like mom, add details like glitter glue accents, raffia or rhinestones to create something that rivals Papyrus.

A set of cards also makes a great gift!

Aug

17

2012


Creating a Five-star Ranch House

Since settling into our mid-century modern home a few years ago, we’ve done some cosmetic home projects here and there, but our guest room leaves much to be desired. It is comfortable – decorated with hand-me-downs and featuring a great backyard view – but my goal is to make this guest room worthy of a five-star rating.

Current guest room snapshot:


Some guest room goals:

  • Rearrange layout for better use of space
  • Add curtain rod and curtains (surely this should have been the first thing we did!)
  • Replace headboard (I made current one haphazardly in 2005, pre-Pinterest)
  • Refinish and re-hinge chest + fill with guest blankets
  • Add:
    • Side tables (at the appropriate height)
    • Lamps
    • Ceiling fan
    • Luggage rack
    • Magazines
    • Candles
    • Night light
    • Mirror
    • Chair
    • Alarm clock
    • Tissue box
    • Waste basket
    • Jewelry tray
    • Guest book and pen
    • Wooden hangers
    • Robe(s)
    • Basket with toiletry supplies (soaps, shampoo, lotion…)
    • Touches like snacks, bottled waters, pillow chocolates, and flowers…
    • Local area beauty/history books and photos for out-of-town guests to appreciate

Do you have an inspiring guest room or ideas? Please contact me. I’d love to see photos and share!