Friday, December 10, 2010

Christmas Decor 2010: Greenery Wreath

One of the things I love most about seasonal decorating is making wreaths. The possibilities are endless and you can really get creative! It can be as simple or elaborate as you'd like. This time I went with a more simple style, after all, sometimes less is more!

The wreath is hung just to the side of our front door...

Faux Greenery Wreath (My mom pick a bunch up from a friend's garage sale.)
Ribbon (Hobby Lobby- 50% off)
Red Berry Picks (Hobby Lobby- 50% off)
Crystal Ball Picks (Hobby Lobby- 50 % off)
Silver Ball Picks (Hobby Lobby- 50% off)
Silver Ball Ornaments (Hobby Lobby- already had)

Did you make a Christmas wreath this year? If so, what items did you use?

Now it's your turn!!!  Share your favorite Christmas decoration from 2010!
Remember...Please link directly to your linky party post and not just to your blog.
Please link back to Cool Home Creations so other's can join in on the fun! 
Please leave comments for the authors of the blogs you visit... help our participants feel the love!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

CHC Craft Published on ThriftyFun!

On the day before Thanksgiving I got something in my inbox that gave me one more thing to be thankful for! ...It was an email from ThriftyFun that said... "Your contest entry has been published on ThriftyFun!" ...I'm not sure what the winner receives, I'm just excited to get published! ...but you can vote for my tip by clicking the Thumbs Up button!

I summited my Bittersweet Pumpkin Display... In case you missed the post on it you can check it out here.

Thanks to those who voted!!!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Thanksgiving: Thankful for Family

...And for finally getting a good picture take of all four of us! ...Thanks to my amazing photographer cousin, Tanya! 

"The best things in life are not things!"

What I love most in life is spending time with family... nothing is more precious! The world we live in today is very busy and not very "family friendly." Remember, our time on this earth is short, so cherish every moment!

If you live in the Kansas City area and need a great photographer, I highly recommend Tanya Williams with Draussen Photography!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Autumn Decor: Bittersweet Pumpkin Centerpiece

You might have noticed that I'm on a bit of a bittersweet kick (check out my front porch railing and thrifty wreath idea)! I can't help myself, I just LOVE it!

I created a display for my small front porch table, but it would also be stunning has the centerpiece for your Thanksgiving dinner or buffet table. I started with a medium-sized pumpkin...
For larger tables you could spaces a few down the center or place a smaller pumpkin on each side.

  • Pumpkin(s)
  • Wheat (from your local craft-store / or you can clip some natural, tall grasses)
  • Leaves (search your yard or nearby park... ok, or like me your neighbors yard)  
  • Bittersweet (you can use the-real-deal that can be found growing along country roads, etc. or faux)

I used wheat from Hobby Lobby that I actually got for a different project (check back to see what I used it for).

I also used leaves from our oak tree...

...and leaves from our neighbor's maple tree... they were so much prettier!

What have you used for your autumn / Thanksgiving centerpieces?

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Make-it-Yourself: Bittersweet Wreath

Pottery Barn Faux Bittersweet Wreath...$59 (more than I would like to pay)!

~Thrifty Solution~

10" Grapevine Wreath from Hobby Lobby... $3
6 ft. Faux Bittersweet Garland from Factory Direct Craft... $12
Your very own Faux Bittersweet Wreath for only $15!
You save $44, plus get the fun and pride of making it yourself!

Ready to M.I.Y.?

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Autumn Decor: A Bittersweet Ending

To me summer has a bittersweet ending... gone are the days of swimming in the warm sun and seeing life flourish all around... though they are replaced with beautiful fall leaves, cool, crisp air, holiday family gatherings, and the excitement of the first snowfall! Which is just one of the many reasons bittersweet, the vine, is great for autumn decorations!  

A few weeks ago my mom brought me a large bundle of bittersweet that her and my dad gathered from the roadside of their nearby country roads. She hung hers over her front door and I draped mine over my front porch railing...

I love everything about it... it's twisting vines, orange pods and bright-red seeds (the pods break open during autumn).

The How To: I simply selected my favorite clipping for the front-side of the porch, placed it on the railing and wrapped some twine around it .

Bittersweet is wonderful in any autumn arrangement... wreaths, table centerpieces, mantles, etc. Hopefully you now have the urge to grab your clippers, hop in the car and take a drive through the countryside... in search of some bittersweet to spruce up your home for the season! You can also look for some natural grasses while you're at it! 

...Or, you could get some faux bittersweet that you can use year after year! I prefer to use real bittersweet outdoors (for a more natural look) and faux bittersweet for indoors (since real bittersweet drops it's pods and seeds, and is poisonous if eaten... which could be hazardous with little ones). 
6 ft. Faux Bittersweet Garland from Flower Depot Store... $15!

Have you ever used bittersweet in your autumn decor? If so, do share!

Sustainable Living: Urban Chickens

For a few months now I've really had the desire to get some chickens for my backyard. My plan was to design and build a chicken coop over the winter and get the chickens in the spring. The only problem was that I wasn't sure if our city allowed chickens... that was until last week when I goggled 'Roeland Park' and came across numerous articles stating that the city is currently in the process of deciding whether or not they are going to allow it's residents to keep chickens! While reading the articles and doing some research I found a group called CHIRP (City Hens in Roeland Park), so I quickly contacted them to see what I could do to help.

Mission Statement of Roeland Park: "Roeland Park is a community dedicated to providing a sustainable quality of life by using sound fiscal policies to achieve a safe and healthy environment for current and future generations."

Benefits of Keeping Your Own Hens:

  • Fresh Eggs- fresher than any eggs you can find at a store...
  • Healthier Eggs- able to ensure proper diet and living conditions...
  • Fertilizer- their waste is great  for your lawn and gardens... 
  • Help Turn-Over Compost- they love kitchen scraps
  • Weed Your Garden- they eat sprouting weeds
  • Chemical-Free Pest Control- they eat bugs
  • Good Pets / Great for Children- they're docile in nature, fun and entertaining!
  • The wonderful, unexplainable feeling of living life like "the good 'ol days!"

Bringing Back the Pleasures of Simpler Times!

Does your city allow for you to keep chickens?
If so, and you do, tell us about it!
If not, and you wish you could, tell us about it!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Autumn Leaves: City of Trees

Yesterday the girls and I took a walk around the block and admired the beautiful fall colors. It was great to be outdoors although it did rain on us a bit. Along the way I took pictures of my favorite trees dressed for fall...

The city of Roeland Park (where my home is nestled) is known as a City of Trees. It has many beautiful trees canopying the streets and towering over the homes. Another great and unique thing about Roeland Park is that in the autumn when all these leaves fall to the ground instead of raking and bagging them we can just rake or blow them into the street and a truck comes and sucks them all up! Pretty cool, right?

Thursday, November 11, 2010

From the Garden: November Roses

Earlier this week I noticed an unexpected yet wonderful sight in my garden... Roses! They're Knock Out Roses that I planted last year. To enjoy my garden's last blooms of the year to the fullest I clipped a few to bring inside. After clipping the roses I searched the garden for something to add more interest and texture to my arrangement. Being November it was a bit more challenging... but I did find some Lavender (Lavendula) and Lambs Ear (Stachys Byzantina) that was still looking quite lovely.
Then I simply ran my fingers down the stem of the Lavender to remove the bottom leaves. Note: Toss the leaves into your sink disposal for a wonderful Lavender aroma!

I arranged them in one of my favorite Jadeite vases and placed it on my kitchen table.

I love the combination of the beautiful color and elegance of the Roses, with the soft, sweet appearance of the Lambs Ear, and texture and contrast of the Lavender.

I also made a small arrangement for my kitchen window sill, using a single Rose and three Lavender sprigs.  

Making arrangements with clippings from your garden is a great way to get more enjoyment out of your garden on many levels. Place the arrangements somewhere you'll see them often. And hopefully every time you see them they'll bring you joy... I know mine do!

What plants are your favorite to make vase arrangements, whether it be for there flowers or their foliage?

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Painting Front Door- Interior

Painting the interior of your front door is a great way to brighten, freshen-up, create a new look and make a bold statement in your entryway. The color you choose all depends on the look you're going for, your decor and your homes lighting. I prefer a white or black door, to me it looks classic, crisp and sophisticated. It will also go with most decor. While black is more bold and will hide dirt, white will brighten the space and even make it appear larger giving you that airy-feel. For my home I choose white because my house tends to be dark (due to the large trees surrounding our home) and it's quite small cozy.

This is what I started with:
The door was dirty...

it had a nail in it...

old nail holes...

old caulk...

bare wood around the door knob...

chipped and rusted hinges...

...and peeling paint!

Step 1: Choose a color (I used Chantilly Lace by Benjamin Moore, it's a bright yet not stark white).
Step 2: Clean door and trim (use a damp cloth).
Step 3: Fix caulk and fill-in any holes (if necessary).
Step 4: Tape-off or cover windows, door knobs, hardware, floor, door sweep, etc. (anything you don't want to get paint on).
Step 5: You're ready to paint!

Note: Preparation can be tedious and time consuming but don't get discouraged, once you're ready to paint it goes on quickly!

Tips: Use a semi-gloss sheen, it will be more durable, easier to clean and look more crisp. Paint from top to bottom. For flush doors, roll paint on in the direction of the grain. For doors with inset panels, paint in the order of recesses, panels, horizontal rails then vertical stiles.

You may debate whether or not to take the time to tape, but the clean lines and not having to scrape are well worth it.

Make sure to tape around the bottom if you're also painting the trim.

To keep your door knob free of paint, simply wrap it with aluminum foil.



I love how Benjamin Moore describes Chantilly Lace... "As delicate and refined as the lace it was named after, this crisp, clean white evokes images of pure silk, soft linen and simpler times." ...Now that's what I want on my walls!

What color is the interior of your front door painted?