Google+ House Revivals: December 2011

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Best of 2011

Can it possibly be that time again?  Has it really been an entire year since we wrapped up 2010?  We started out our year behind schedule on our beach house remodel.  I spent the holidays dealing with a nightmare contractor who was supposed to have lifted our house nine feet off the ground to better capture the view.

Fortunately, after consulting a construction attorney, and interviewing and getting bids from several other contractors, we fired the old house raiser and found the perfect contractor to take on our project in January.  He squeezed us into his schedule. 

*My personal favorite post of the year was when our house was finally lifted up onto cribbing. 

During the lull between the holidays and when the remodel could resume, I was able to do a little crafting. 

*My Jimmy Choo inspired handbag was one of my most popular posts this year!   It still gets lots of hits daily, and has inspired another handbag project I'm working on, now.

*Another popular project with my readers was my Mod Podge Union Jack picture with faux tin letters.

*This nature inspired garland made from vintage crepe paper, vintage book pages, and a few other random elements was a huge hit.

This project was inspired by the Japanese Magnolias that were blooming in our rooftop garden.

*We received some delightful news, which made us re-think our plans for the beach house courtyard.

During the beach house remodel, we found ourselves house hunting.  Again.  We needed a pied-a-terre in the city.  During our search, I was struck by the number of really bad kitchens in the MLS listings.

*I decided to do a couple of virtual budget make-overs to show how, with a little DIY knowledge and elbow grease, a kitchen could be made more beautiful and more functional.

Around mid-year, things started to get a little crazy around here.  Our daughter came to stay with us, as her husband was being deployed to Afghanistan.  We had to rush the remodel, and make changes in some of our finish choices, to have the guest wing of the beach house completed in time.  After my daughter arrived, we had just a few weeks to bring the remodel in the rest of the house to a stopping point.  You see, we were expecting another houseguest to arrive, and we did not want the commotion and dust that goes along with having contractors in your house.

*I continued working on little projects around the beach house, but found I wasn't as efficient as I had been in the past.  It's just so hard to do DIY when you're snuggling a sweet little grandbaby...

By the time the holidays rolled around, I was ready for some small portable projects to work on. 

*We had recently purchased our pied-a-terre, a marina condo, with a boat slip, a parking place, and a storage locker -- but no bathroom fixtures! 

It was a bank-owned-flip-gone-wrong, so we got it for a song, and had begun renovations on it. 

*I needed to take a little break from projects involving ladders and power tools, so I did a couple of Christmas projects.

*These little mitten ornaments turned out to be really popular on Pinterest!

It was really special, putting together our first Christmas mantel at our beach house.  We were surrounded by packing boxes and unfinished projects, but we still managed to pull something together.

* Christmas morning found us all in the beach house living room, with a crackling fire, a lovely Christmas tree, and an amazing view of the Pacific.

Looking back, we didn't accomplish as nearly much as we had expected, but we also accomplished more. Funny how that works....

How about you?  Did 2011 turn out the way you expected?

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas Mantel and Beach House Tour 2011

Wishing you all a lovely Christmas Eve, and sharing a few images of our Beach House Christmas!  We are surrounded by packing boxes and unfinished projects, and have only managed to find a couple of boxes of Christmas decorations.

In spite of the chaos, we managed to put together a simple Christmas mantel to celebrate the Gift of Christmas.

We used the paper star I made last year, the honeycomb ornaments from this year, and some thrifted mercury glass ornaments.   A few layered frames created the backdrop.

The greenery was leftover from trimming down our Frasier Fir.  It smells so fresh, and I love the  juxtaposition of the vintage book pages against the greenery.

All the textures make me happy, and I think I am in love with these honeycomb ornaments.

Remember last year's "Christmas" mantel, with the brass deer head left by the previous owners?  The beach house has come a long way since then.  We even managed to put up a Christmas tree this year (last year's Christmas was spent in a temporary apartment so tiny we could either keep our dog...

... or put up a tree).  I think we made the right choice.

We only managed to locate a couple of boxes of our Christmas ornaments this year, so we filled in with some thrifted vintage finds.

Fortunately, we did find some of our most treasured ornaments....

The really great thing about living on the beach, is that you can keep your decorations really simple.  Too many chotskies would only detract from the view....
I snapped this picture of whitecaps and stormy gray skies from the deck this morning.

Which reminds me -- our clam dig on the beach was a success, so we will be having a razor clam feast for Christmas Eve dinner! (Here's a yummy recipe)

Maybe, if I hurry, I can get the galoshes and waders put away in time for Santa's visit tonight...

Thank you to all who have followed along on our beach house revival, and offered words of support throughout the year! 

Wishing you all a joyous Christmas!

This post is being linked to the following lovely places:

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Our Beach House Christmas 2011

I had planned to spend today tweaking and photographing the Christmas mantel at the beach house....

But, I have a date with my sweetheart, a sunset, and a clam bucket, instead....

I hope this is the start of a wonderful new Christmas tradition!  To see what our beach house and our Christmas mantel looked like last year, click here, and you will understand why we need to take a little break and go to the beach :)

Monday, December 19, 2011

Honeycomb Ornament Tutorial

It's taken a bit longer to pull together the tutorial for the honeycomb ornaments made from vintage book pages than I expected.

I was hoping to retake some photos, but my camera is on the fritz.   I'm freaking out just a little tiny bit, as I always have projects in the works, and it's Christmas time, and I need my camera!

Start by choosing the paper you want to use to create your ornaments.  I used pages from the same book used to create my woven stars.  These are nice big sheets that can be used whole, quartered, halved, or cut into thirds to create the desired size and shape of ornament. 

Here, I quartered the pages to create the size of paper that was needed.

The quartered sheets were then folded in half -- I folded several at a time.

Next, a pretty profile shape was drawn to create a template, and that template was used to trace the cutting pattern onto the folded paper -- again, I would cut out several at one time.

The folded shapes were then glued together, placing the leaves "back to back"....

...until I had a a stack of about two dozen pieces.  You really need at least that many pieces to create a successful honeycomb.  A few of mine were made with only eighteen pieces, and they are not as pretty as the ones created with a minimum of twenty-four pieces.  For very large ornaments, you will need even more pieces.  It is also important to have an even number of pieces.

When the glue has dried on your stack of folded leaves, bring the front and back leaves together to form your basic shape.  I clipped mine in place while the glue dried.

These ornaments look beautiful in their simple fan shape!

Seriously.  You could stop. right. here. and have a stunning display!

Or, you could create your honeycomb.  The more leaves you've used, the more detailed your honeycomb pattern can be.

Add some glitter, and add a pretty hanger, if you like, and you have these beautiful recycled ornaments.

They make lovely gifts, individually packaged in pretty gift boxes, or hang them all together from your mantel.

Be prepared for lots of oooohs and ahhhhhs, as these little ornaments are show stoppers!

Mine are displayed on my Christmas mantel, along with some mercury glass balls, and vintage frames.... wish I could show you all.  Hopefully the camera issues will be resolved in a few days:)

Love mixed media? You might like this post on how to make mixed media flowers.  Or click here for several easy art tutorials.

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Thanks so much for stopping by!