Mini Winter Forest DIY

It has been an honest-to-goodness long, long time since I have posted, right?  I know… And for that I am sorry.  I have slacked off since my blogging marathon in October.  My feelings are almost entirely expressed in my blogger-friend Gillian’s recent post.  She seems to have read my mind when she mentioned feelings of anxiety over not knowing what to do next and feeling the pressure to fall into the niche the 31 Day Challenge created.  I LOVE what I blogged about and I intend to continue, but I was feeling like I ran out of steam, and that has much to do with the pest pet we adopted in October.  Talk about hard work… this little guy is making it his full time job to eat/chew on/make toys out of as many items in our house as possible!  He is a bundle of incessant and annoying wonderful energy!  All kidding aside, we have our ups and downs but we’re making our little family work!

Anyway, I mainly have not blogged out of fear that the content I have now is suddenly not good enough, and that I will let down the few of you that actually read this little tiny blog!  Silly?  Maybe… but aren’t most of our insecurities?  Leaving all negative thoughts behind, I’m happy to say that I am BACK!  I have a full month ahead with decorating an entire house (inside and out) for Christmas for the very first time ever and I intend to share all of my trials and triumphs here with you.  I hope that’s ok.

Let’s start with this little (and I do mean little) guy.  I’ve actually had this in the house for a few weeks now, and I can tell you I love it as much today as the day I made it.  It’s one of the few small projects I have actually finished on my giant blogging/decorating to-do list!  Here is the finished product:

miniature final

And here is how I did it:

part 1 - miniature forest diy

I used 3 miniature snowy trees I bought at Walmart for $1 each, a plate from my kitchen, cotton balls and the thrifted cloche I bought at Value Village a few weeks ago, which up until now had nothing but a few dead rose petals in it (don’t ask…)!  I loosened up the cotton balls a little to make them look less like what they are, and more like fluffy snow, plopped the trees on top, followed by carefully stuffing all loose bits into the cloche.  As far as my husband was concerned, the craft was finished at this point, but I was no fan of that messy/incomplete-looking edge at the bottom of the cloche.  It made the whole thing look too much like trees and cotton stuffed into a small space and less like a magical snowy forest.  Solution: cut some of the small pieces off of the pine branches I just happened to get that morning and place them around the plate.  Better?  I think so!

part 2 - miniature forest diy

And there you have it.  A very quick, inexpensive and easy way to add a little winter wonderland to your home!  I think this could be an adorable centerpiece, but for now it sits on a spot where I can see it as soon as we enter the house, which is a lovely sight!  It makes me think of fond memories of Whitehorse (which was B-E-A-utiful, BTW!).  The trees there were all gently covered with snow, and the mountains were so, so, so gorgeous.  The weather was, as expected, cold (understatement at -22° C), but the warm people definitely made up for that!

Here is where you’ll find me linking up, plus these awesome places: Cheerios and Lattes, The 36th Avenue, The Shabby Creek Cottage, House of Hepworths, WhipperBerry, Savvy Southern Style and My Repurposed Life

I gave in

So it turns out I can’t manage 31 straight days of blogging, but I can manage 2 posts in less than 12 hours.  Awesome right?  No… not so much.  I guess I still haven’t let it go!

So what did I give in to?  I made a wreath!  That’s right… and it’s NOT a Christmas one either!  HA!  Crazy right?  All my non-decorating/non-blogger friends are going “huh?”  Well you see, as soon as Halloween is over, we get started on Christmas decor, don’t we?  No…. not this gal!  I made a flowery, non-fall, non-Christmas wreath.  And I think I’m in love!  Here she is:

Not bad for my first ever wreath?  I kind of dig it! I even like it from the inside of our new door first thing in the morning!  One of the best parts about this little circle of goodness is that it cost me about $11 (before tax for all you fellow Ontarians) to make.  That may seem like a lot to you, but I had NO materials except some leftover spray paint, and my trusty hot glue gun so I think I did OK!  Let me break it down.

Grapevine wreath: $3 at Michael’s

Wooden letter “M” (pre-painted white): $2 on sale at Michael’s

White flowers and pussy willow branches: $2 at Dollarama

Purple hydrangea: $3.99 at Home Sense

And here is how I did it.  Simply put, I cut the branches for the flowers and started gluing.  The hydrangea was easy – the whole thing just came off at the top and the leaf was easy to remove also.  I did glue a few separate flowers in random spots to fill in some empty spots, but mostly the branches were just wrapped around the wreath and held with a little glue at the end.  My wreath was less of a circle and more of an awkward oval, so I really had to play with the placement of the letter and hydrangea… so silly!  I spray painted the “M” (which stands for our last name, of course) in the same shade as the thrift store lampshade.  Then I glue gunned the heck out of it!

This took very little time, little effort, and almost no thinking (minus the fact I had a faulty circle).  Just the kind of project I like!!

You may notice the wreath is slightly off center… Yeah, I didn’t account for the weight of the “M”, and it hangs funny!  I’ll fix it… eventually!  You can really see how well that privacy film works here though!

I also didn’t love the idea of a ribbon on this as it might be overkill unless it was something natural like burlap, so the wreath looks like it’s attached to the door.  I used a Command hook, so I can remove it from the outside of the door if I change my mind on the burlap/ribbon.  Though the door is not quite finished, I’m liking the colours the wreath adds to our entrance anyway.

Here’s a closer, final look.  It’s not perfect, and I love it!

Linking up at these awesome places plus The 36th Avenue, The Shabby Creek Cottage, House of Hepworths, WhipperBerry and My Repurposed Life

A little privacy, please?

We’re working on our brand spanking new door.  I haven’t shown you yet because we still need to fix the framing and get the new doorbell installed, but this is almost a separate project in itself, and you’ll see why!  The door is all glass with the exception of the 4 inch border around it.  She’s a beauty, and has totally changed the look and feel of our home already.  The light that comes into the house is gorgeous, but the glass leaves little to the imagination of passers by!  So in comes this lovely little invention. The privacy window film!

This is a picture (taken from the Lowe’s website) of what the before and after is supposed to look like.  The film we got is made by Gila, and there was enough in the roll for 2 of our doors.  Not bad for $22.97!  You need to make sure the glass is 100% clean inside and out… You don’t want to be left with dirt stuck between the glass and your pretty new privacy film.

The application was tricky, and that’s using a very nice word for it!  Luther, the relentless dog, did not help, of course.  His hair stuck to the film, which is SUPER staticky (I know… that’s not a word.  Whatever).  You have to spray the window AND the sticky side of the film with the special spray, which cost $4.97 as seen here.  Then you go on with applying.  Here’s what that looks like:

I (as usual) became slightly exasperated by the whole situation with the dog’s hair sticking to the film, and the bubbles and edges and so on… So guess who got to take over?  and he did a great job, of course!

Here is what the door looks like now versus then.  Kind of like that Lowe’s picture up there huh?

And here is the rascal doing what he does best – making everything into a toy!

And there you have it.  A little bit of privacy after over 3 weeks of having all of the neighbours see into our home night and day!!

Linking up here!

Nothing says home like… Ikea?

That’s right people… I said it.  Ikea!  I took a little trip on my own today for a few necessities around the house, and after a somewhat long drive with the husband to get something ELSE to make our place a home (it’s a surprise… you’ll have to wait to see what we got), my husband got to unpacking the car.  It only took 3 or 4 trips, so no big deal!  While I made dinner he got to work, and after a lovely steak and sweet potato supper, this is what our living room/entry looked like:

Pretty awesome, right?  So some of the new stuff is already in place at this point – the 2 wicker baskets are in their new homes.  I do love their look, and also that they are almost completely opaque – I figured if I’m going to have baskets down there, I don’t need people seeing what’s in them, and Ikea had some beautiful ones that were just too open for my liking.  This ought to be perfect for winter scarves and mittens in the next few months!

The drawer sets (which you can see Alex was dutifully putting together on the floor) are a really handy addition to the EXPEDIT units.  Seriously, these units have become quite customizable now!  The door was already put in by the time I got to taking pictures.  I didn’t want to go with 2 sets of drawers because I want the unit to be more “custom” – as if that’s really possible!  Customizable, yes.  Custom… well, it’s still Ikea, right?

Now, the project is not finished yet.  We still need some decorative items to complete the look, and I honestly have no clue what those things might be as of yet.  I added a couple of extras, but who knows if they’ll stay.

Obviously this needs a LOT of work and the “Moby Dick” print will be up around the house eventually. I did frame it, and found a crack in the frame… ugh!  Alex is the forever cool, calm and collected, saying “Babe, it’s fine.  You can’t even see it.”  I’m doing my best to let it go.  Plus, I don’t feel much like driving back to Ikea just to exchange a frame.

So here we have it.  Another work in progress, but in the end Alex and I sat on the couch, looking out at the new additions, and feeling awesome about how homey this place really is becoming.  What more can we ask for, right?  Thanks Ikea!

Check out the other posts about making our house a home here.