Three weeks ago, I shared ideas for outdoor Halloween decorations. With just a month till the big day, it’s time to move it inside. I’ve gathered 4 spooktacular projects to get you started, and best of all these are projects you can knock out this weekend.
Get the kids to help create these cute mini bat pumpkins:
Whip up a spider web pillow:
If you’ve been checking out the other photos of my house (here, here and here), then you’ve noticed that my style is pretty traditional. It’s not everyone’s cup of tea but it suits me to, well, a T.
For years, as I hit estate sales, flea markets and thrift stores looking for traditional items to fill my first home, a classical bust was at the top of my wishlist, but their high price tags meant I always went home bust-less. So I was thrilled to find this one at an estate sale for the bargain-basement price of….wait for it….50 cents! Yep, that’s right, it was tagged $1 and, as this was the sale’s last day, they had marked everything half price. Best of all, she represents my favorite Greco/Roman deity: Artemis (aka Diana), mythology’s original wild woman — goddess of the hunt, chastity, childbirth, the moon and protector of women.
My bust is plaster and therefore very fragile, hence the long (character-adding) crack across her cheek:
A plaster bust is the least expensive option. My friend and fellow traditionalist, Grant, one-upped me last weekend and scored this lovely pair of bisque (or unglazed) porcelain busts at an estate sale for only $20:
One of the really great things about my job is the chance to preview new products before they make it to stores. Usually it’s a candle or pillow but every now and again it’s something unexpected but totally fun — like these pet costumes from Target!
While I don’t exactly plan on taking my pups trick-or-treating, I couldn’t resist dressing them up for fun. Target’s expanded their already (super!) adorable selection for 2012 so if you haven’t considered decking out your dog before – this may be the year.
Here’s my little girl, Sophie, modeling one of the new costumes that just hit the shelves. She’s a 3-year old Schnoodle (Schnauzer/Poodle) and, as you can tell, she’s pretty jazzed to be mommy’s little piggy:
Not to be outdone, Madeline, my 9-year-old Bichon Frise, strutted her stuff as a cheerleader:
Alright, it’s countdown time people. Just 8 weeks until Halloween; it’s time to get a jump on making outdoor decorations. You’re in luck because I’ve gathered 4 killer projects, with accompanying printable templates, so you can haunt your home in style.
You could let your yard go to the birds with our Giant Raven Cut-Out:
Or give trick-or-treaters a fright with our Life-Size (Well, at least Afterlife-Size) Gauzy Ghost:
As I’ve mentioned before: I love antiques but, in particular, my heart skips a beat when I see European antiques — French finds in particular. Years ago, I discovered a gilt Rococo-inspired wall clock at a flea market. The clock face looked to be from the ’60s but the surrounding frame was hand-carved wood with applied gold leaf and appeared to be much older. At the time, I lived in Los Angeles and really had no use for it so it languished, forgotten, in my parents’ North Carolina basement for a decade until I rediscovered it. And, let me tell you, it was a very happy reunion indeed. I had recently purchased a round needlepoint of violets at an estate sale without a frame. Once I popped out the ’60s clock, I thought the Rococo frame and sweet, little needlepoint would make a happy pair.
And so they did:
Let me start by saying that I have the best daddy in the world. Yes, I said “daddy.” I’m a Southerner through-and-through and that’s what we call our fathers — especially the doting, do-anything-for-their-kids type. There’s no home-improvement project he can’t conquer and I’m proud to say that I inherited my can-do gene from him.
My 1950′s kitchen has seen quite a few upgrades in the five years I’ve owned my home but the backsplash has always seemed lacking. So this summer, I decided the time had finally come to install a tile backsplash. Because I like to go big, I chose marble subway tile — fragile, costly, moisture-sensitive Carrara marble. Probably not the best choice for my first tiling project, but that’s how I roll.
My parents made the drive from North Carolina so my Dad could teach me the ways of the force while I did my research and sourced all the materials we’d need so we could knock it out in a long weekend.
Before: Not bad but it could be better. The paint color is Valspar Jekyll Club Pulitzer Blue, if you’re wondering:
See The After Shots
When searching for my current home (my first!), I had a pretty long list of must-haves: a fireplace, crown molding, hardwood floors, a fenced-in yard for my pups and an en-suite bath for myself. I also wanted a foyer — a separate antechamber with enough room for an entry table and a few decorations plus a closet for hidden storage. Well, as is true of many first-time homebuyers, I got most of the things on my list but something had to give. You guessed it: I didn’t get a foyer; the front door opens directly into my living room. Oh well, you can’t win ‘em all.
Luckily my living room is pretty big (15′ x 21′) so I just designated a 6′ x 10′ area to use as a foyer:
All over the country, kids are headed back to school — a reminder that fall and then the holidays are coming up fast. If you haven’t already, now’s a great time to start your Christmas crafting. To help you deck the halls with handmade goodies, I’ve gathered a few of my favorite Christmas crafts.
French for shadow or shade, ombré continues to top the must-try trends for both fashion and interior design. Which is good news because these Ombré Felt Trees are too cute to miss:
One rule I follow when thrifting is to see a find for what it can be not what it is. Take this antique drawer I found at an estate sale. It was at the bottom of a scrap wood pile in a stuffed-to-the-gills garage. The home’s previous owner had been a never-throw-away-anything-you-may-someday-need type and had seen the potential usefulness of a small drawer that had long since been separated from it’s original piece of furniture.
What sold me is its runner-less construction. Runners are the wood or metal glides that help a drawer to smoothly slide in and out; without them a drawer is just a shallow box. I was on the lookout for a small tray that could do double duty serving food and drinks at parties and was big enough to neatly store magazines on my coffee table the rest of the time – I thought I could make this drawer work. The bottom was flimsy due to water damage so I added a plywood board to strengthen it then tacked on quarter-round trim to disguise my fix and handles on each end so it could really function as a tray.
This project was a bargain costing me less than 10 bucks -- $3 for the drawer + another $6 for the handles which are actually gate pulls rather than drawer pulls. The quarter-round trim and stain I already had on hand.
I love antiques. My home is filled with them. I’ll admit that’s partly out of bargain-hunting necessity but mainly because, in many ways, I feel that antiques are better — better construction, better lines, better attention to detail — just better. They have a character, charm and history that new and mass-produced can’t match.
Take this winsome little vase. I discovered her at a rural flea market this spring covered in decades of grime. The milk glass color and classic Greco/Roman shape drew me in while the $1 price tag sealed the deal. Honestly, I didn’t recognize it as an Avon bottle until I’d cleaned her up enough to make out the label.
My vintage Avon "Grecian Pitcher" originally held bath oil when sold in the '70s, now it's my go-to vase for short-stemmed flowers like gardenias.