Google+ House Revivals: 2015

Monday, December 14, 2015

Make Pretty Icicle Ornaments for Pennies!

This article first appeared on House Revivals in December 2014, and is reprinted by request.

Do you love vintage spun cotton ornaments? Me too! The problem with actual vintage ornaments, of course, is that they are difficult to find and they can be expensive.

I loved the look of a Christmas tree that is just dripping with icicles, but I knew I would never be able to find dozens and dozens of spun cotton icicles -- and even if I did, it would be too expensive to buy so many vintage ornaments.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Felted Wool Mitten Ornaments

This article was originally published by House Revivals in December of 2011.

What do you get your mother-in-law for Christmas, when she really doesn't need one single thing?  That's what I was wondering when she came out to the beach house for a visit this fall. She happened to bring up some embroidered ornaments I had given her years ago, mentioning that they were her favorites.  Each of the embroidered ornaments had the name and birthday of one of her seven children. An idea formed.

Why not make little "grandchild ornaments" for my mother-in-law for Christmas?   

I had tons of small felted wool scraps leftover from the gift card ornaments I wrote about here.  The scraps were small and I was debating whether to throw them away. 

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

{14} Awesome Gift Ideas for Seniors

With the holidays fast approaching, we're making lists and checking them twice, and feeling lots of angst about what to give.

We want our friends and loved ones and neighbors and teachers to know we cared enough to put thought into their gifts, but sometimes it's hard to know what some people can actually use -- especially the seniors in our lives.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

10 Pretty Vintage Book Page Christmas Decorations to Make

You can get a head start on your handmade holiday gifts and decor, and recycle some vintage book pages with these easy tutorials!

This little slipper, cone, and top hat ornament were fashioned from vintage book pages and junk mail!

This shadowbox star was crafted from rolled from pages from a vintage prayer book.

If you're looking for a super quick project with lots of impact, this Christmas Tree banner might be perfect.  Use washi tape, or use up your paper scraps!

Here is another quick layered garland, using a recycled Christmas card and book page pompoms.

Always a classic, this Scandinavian inspired woven star is made from folded strips of vintage book pages.

These honeycomb ornaments made from encyclopedia pages look lovely hanging from the mantel!

This Celtic inspired star is an adaptation of the popular Scandinavian or Finnish Star.

If you love a good dollar stare project, you might want to give this ornament tutorial a try.

Here is yet another version of the Scandinavian woven star -- originally made from birch veneer, and containing a light inside, these were hung in windows during the holiday season. Children learned to weave the star from paper, as well, to decorate inside their homes.

Strips of vintage book pages and pretty buttons are all you need to make these pretty snowflake ornaments.

If you enjoyed this post, please subscribe to House Revivals in the sidebar, so you won't miss the fun projects we have planned. Find us on Facebook, too, so you can catch all the "in between" stuff, and see what I'm working on daily on Instagram. Feel free to link today's project to your favorite social media sites.

Thanks so much for stopping by!

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Easy Last Minute Sugar Skull Decor!

Here is an easy last minute Halloween Sugar Skull project! This sugar skull project is suitable for bigger kids or adults. Basically, if you can use scissors and fold paper, you can do this craft.

I made my sugar skulls into an All Souls Day bunting, but you can use your sugar skulls singly, as well.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Make a Pretty Garland for Fall

This post originally appeared on House Revivals in 2011, and is being re-published because it is easily adapted to fall decor. While the inspiration was a Japanese Magnolia, this process will lend itself to chrysanthemum inspired projects, as well.

While we remodel our house, we're living in a tiny city apartment with a rooftop garden.  The garden has some beautiful blooming shrubs.  They are really lovely right now and inspired me to create this simple spring garland.

The shrubs look a bit like a Pussy Willow, but the branching pattern is different.  With some research, we discovered they are a variety of Japanese Magnolia.

The buds are velvety soft, and open up for these lovely white flowers to emerge.  Eventually, the entire shrub will be covered in these white blossoms.

The garland interpretation is not literal -- it's just inspired by the simple exuberance of the blooms.

I wanted to keep the form simple, adding interest by layering texture. This was done by using a combination of vintage crepe paper, crinoline, and vintage book paper.  You don't need to use exactly what I used to create a similar effect -- just use what you have on hand.  Maybe you have an old silk blouse, some cheesecloth, and a binder of old hand-written college notes?   You could even use your junk mail!

Begin by cutting your materials into strips and cutting a fringe into both long sides, as shown here.  The size you use will depend on the width and fullness you want for your flower.  I used pieces about seven inches long by about two and one-half to three inches wide, depending on which layer I was cutting.

You can stack your strips, cutting several layers at a time, if you wish.

Then tie each strip into a little bundle, using string or thread or wire.

Layer your bundles as desired and tie them together.  Then fluff and coax your flowers into shape.

I actually added the book page layer last, gluing it to the back perpendicular to the other layers to sort of "fill out" the flowers.  The centers are simply tiny scraps of crepe paper, about three-quarters of an inch square, snipped into fringe and glued down.  You could use bits of fabric, string or yarn -- even a button or bead.

The flowers were glued to lengths of finger crocheted thread to create a garland.  Again, you'll want to use whatever you have on hand for this -- it could be torn strips of fabric, selvages, twine, even wire -- just use what's handy.

I layered my garland with lengths of torn draped crinoline.

On a difficulty scale between one and ten, I'd give this project about a three (owing mostly to having to clean up all the little snippets of string and thread and paper -- I had it all over my clothes, on my desk, and on the carpet before I was finished)!

 This is a fun, forgiving craft.  Imperfectly inspired by nature -- not a perfect imitation of nature.

What inspires you to create?

If you enjoyed this post, please subscribe to House Revivals in the sidebar, so you won't miss the fun projects we have planned. Find us on Facebook, too, so you can catch all the "in between" stuff, and see what I'm working on daily on Instagram. Feel free to link today's project to your favorite social media sites.

Thanks so much for stopping by!

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Make Your Own Paper Bead Roller!

This article for appeared on House Revivals in May of 2014.

If you love rolling paper beads -- or you just want to give it a try, here is a quick and easy way to make your own bead rolling tool using items you have around the house.

I was rolling my beads using the old school method, and it was seriously cramping my hands. I thought there had to be a better way, but didn't have the willpower to wait two days for a bead roller to come in the mail. 

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Ideas for Pretty Painted Beds

This post originally appeared on House Revivals in October of 2013.

In a couple of days I'm heading back to the beach house -- hopefully to paint some bedroom furniture! For inspiration I've been scouring catalogs, websites, and furniture stores. I don't know about you, but I love color. I have these conflicting voices in my head, saying "paint your bed a cheerful pretty color" and "paint your bed a safe color"....  Guess which voice is winning?

I know, I know, it's been two years since the major part of our remodel, and I am still working on finishes and furnishings......  

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Decorate and Organize With Repurposed Trunks

This post first appeared on House Revivals in January of 2014.

I think I will never get tired of dusty old trunks and chests. They all have stories hidden away inside. As a kid, I loved looking at the old newspapers that had been used to line some old trunks that my mother had. I used to have a hump-backed trunk that was lined with lovely old wallpaper.  I used it to store vintage linens. Another trunk was used as a bedside table. We no longer have the hump-backed trunk -- it was a victim of a cross-country move years ago, but the other trunk still serves as storage. These days we use it to store Christmas ornaments.

That's the wonderful thing about trunks. They can live so many lives.  They start out going on grand adventures, and later retire to life as an end table or are tucked away in an attic, storing treasured items. 

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

How to Decorate With Vintage Lockers

My husband has several banks of old gym lockers in our garage. He bought them at a building supply salvage yard a few years ago to use for tool storage.  They're not working out.  His tools are all the wrong sizes and nothing is fitting quite right. He's offered them to me for the beach house!

At first, I really wanted the lockers for my beach house loft studio.........., but somehow the studio got bumped for an office/ secondary family room..... sigh...., and my studio stuff is still boxed up in an attic room.  (Edit: See how we turned that little storage attic into a colorful studio!)

Vintage lockers offer great storage, and they are eclectic and fun. I love these lockers, with the top doors removed!

How about a bank of lockers, re-purposed into a credenza?

RED.... Enough said.

These lockers are built in to a beach house bathroom.

We have lots of guests, at our beach house. Many of our guests return over and over. It would be nice to offer them a bit of personal closet space. 

Just for fun, I did a little online searching for lockers. This bank of green lockers is available at a local salvage store for $225!  I LOVE the proportions of these lockers.

I scouted these awesome orange lockers on Craiglist!

Do you love the look of vintage lockers? Have you used them in your own decor? Should I use old lockers for storage in our bunk room?

If you enjoyed this post, please subscribe to House Revivals in the sidebar, so you won't miss the fun projects we have planned. Find us on Facebook, too, so you can catch all the "in between" stuff, and see what I'm working on daily on Instagram. Feel free to link today's project to you favorite social media sites.

Thanks so much for stopping by!

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Getting Love on the Side, Flower Power, and Other Groovy Stuff

This article first appeared on House Revivals in January of 2014.
Confession: I have a secret life. Sometimes I just cruise around on the internet hoping to hook up with that perfect... chair. Do you do this? I'm pretty sure, if I didn't have to come home and face my husband each night, I might become a hoarder. Actually, I'm pretty sure my husband and kids already think I am a hoarder. If they only knew how much I don't buy -- all those things I yearn for in my secret life.  Don't get me wrong, a classic Parson's, Louis, or Chippendale is great for the day to day, but sometimes a girl needs to step out on her wild side.

I think, if I brought home all that goodness and funkiness and weirdness that I sometimes want, I would end up in one of those TV shows, where your family and friends stage an intervention. And my secret life and fantasies would no longer be secret. (Seriously, though, if you staged an intervention on my behalf, I would not like it.  Don't do itJust saying....)

The thing is, it's killing me not to get in the truck right now and buy these chairs. I am not sure I am strong enough to resist their Siren call.  Can you say flower power?  Holy macaroni, you could never be sad for one single day of your life if you sat in one of these happy chairs to drink your morning coffee!  (and you could still eat dinner with your tasteful Parson's chair -- the best of both worlds!) These were listed on Seattle's Craigslist!

Of course, if you shy away from giant purple and orange flowers, but still like bright color and retro lines, how about these chairs? Sleek and modern, but still fun and funky, right?

Now, this chair is supposed to be stylishly elegant in that 1967 kind of way, what with all the tufting and buttons, but somehow the horseshoe back makes it seems weirdly... strange.  That's kind of okay, because there were FOUR of these chairs available!  FOUR of these chairs, people, FOUR! 

This smokey little Lucite backed number is kind of cool. I specified a similar set of chairs and a tulip table for a client a couple years ago -- they are great "gender neutral" pieces, for when flower power just doesn't fit the groove. The lines and Lucite material of these chairs make great conversation starters when you're entertaining!

And look!  More floral goodness!  If your taste leans more toward the blue and green end of the color spectrum, and flower power is your thing, these are the chairs for you.

Now, tell me, do you cruise the internet at night, hoping to find that perfect match? Do you constantly battle the call of Sirens? Do you secretly want to throw "good taste" to the wind, and embrace your funky side?  Do you love your classic chairs, but yearn for something a little different sometimes? Are you secretly hoping this will be the night you get lucky? Let me know in the comments below -- and don't worry, your secret is safe with me!

If you enjoyed this post, please subscribe to House Revivals in the sidebar, so you won't miss the fun projects we have planned. Find us on Facebook, too, so you can catch all the "in between" stuff, and see what I'm working on daily on Instagram. Feel free to link today's post to your favorite social media sites.

Thanks for stopping by!