Tuesday, December 14, 2010

tall glass of wax: coca-cola glass candles

As I was unpacking some of the beau's boxes, I stumbled upon a collection of Coca-Cola glasses.  I was confused.  What?  Where?  When?  Why?

Apparently, he got them for cheap from an artist/student/who-knows?  These seven were in good shape, but there were a handful more that were... bad.  Very bad.  Like with a top still attached or white on the rims?  I don't really know why half-done ones were sold with the finished glasses.... people are weird.

SO, I took the good glasses, dropped a votive in there and decided my grey & yellow & red guest room should REALLY be my grey & yellow & green guest room!  Ta-Da!

The green accent is totally funner and more spring-like.  I'm a fan.  Unlike how I feel about those dressers.  Definitely NOT a fan... just counting the days until I can show those guys who's boss!!

Anyways, I find these guys totally enchanting and awesome.  The multiple, semi-clear glasses add such a twinkle to the room!!!  It's really great.  And better yet?  Don't 100% with things we had laying around the house!

Friday, December 10, 2010

dining in style: table settings and spray-painted candlestick holders

Table settings!  How exciting!!!

Cooper Cameo!

...or ya know, not.  Around October (YES, October- the month that ended 38 days ago.  Shut up,) I laid out a new-to-me (i.e. inherited), thin yellow tablecloth.  I'm really digging the pattern and I love how thin & gauzy it is- makes spills easier to get out!  I threw some small, decorative pumpkins (not pictured) on there & called it a day.

Then, I got inspired.  I envisioned a holiday table full of mis-matched candlestick holders, all in silver finish.  So after obsessing over this idea for a few weeks, I finally got to Goodwill & a local thrift store to raid their selection.

It just so happened the thrift store was having a 1/2 off EVERYTHING sale, that day... so I think I paid a total of $6 for all these candlestick holders:

To clean, I merely submerged* in a big pot of boiling water for a few minutes and wiped/dried with a paper towel.  Added bonus: fun droplets of wax floating around the pot, (and later solidifying into a filmy layer floating on top!)  A quick sanding and it was SPRAY PAINT TIME!**  A few coats of Rustoleum Metallic Silver (making sure to get all angles & crevices!) and done-zo.

*Or, submerged as much as possible, seeing as some were too tall to fit in the pot.  Others had felt bottoms, which I didn't want to get wet, so those were dunked only halfway.***  
**Yes, again with the spray paint.
***WORD TO THE WISE: be very VERY careful when taking the pieces out of the water!  ESPECIALLY with the half-submerged ones!  Water (BOILING water!) tends to collect in crevices you didn't know existed.  This means when you flip the holder right-side up, all that boiling water falls onto your hand and scalds you and then you have to fish out ice cubes from your water while dining at a restaurant with friends to cool the burn.  Seriously, be careful.  It could happen to you.

How'dya like dem, er, pumpkins??!

At first, I piled all those tiny pumpkins in the center, grouped the candlestick holders into two parts and arranged all on top a shiny, olive-y/candy-apple-green table runner (from Overstock.)

... then I got a'lil quirky:

This is how the table looked while family visited over Thanksgiving.... they were amused.  What I found fun was how much the pumpkins encourage playing and rearranging by my guests!  It was a fun conversation starter, at the least.

And then?  Then we enter the Christmas month:

The original vision was to use these candlestick holders to ACTUALLY hold candles!  Wild!  I picked up a container of candlesticks at Ikea for a song.  Went with the "chandelier candles" over pillar/long taper candles as, 1) the tapers were out of stock, 2) tapers are more prone to shifting & sitting at an angle instead of straight up at attention, and 3) I like 'em chunky.  So, literally minutes after my Thanksgiving guests left, I changed up the tablescape because I was a very eager beaver. 

And then I couldn't stop myself...

TA-DA!  This was the vision I had back in early November: 
a) Hodge-podge of candlestick holders, spray painted silver and grouped together
b) Chargers!  Like a grown-up!!  Again, in silver.
c) Lighter (i.e. NON-hunter) green table runner
d) All added to my red plates & INSTANT CHRISTMAS!

I think I did pretty well for myself.  In un-packing some of the beau's boxes, I stumbled upon a set of white, hotel napkins, which complete the look perfectly.

Yes, those are Hershey's Kisses on top of the napkins.

What do ya think?  I do a little happy dance (on the inside) every time I see this.  The runner is perfect!  I wanted a simple runner that could be used for multiple designs and seasons.  As done above, it works great for the fall with more oranges & browns.  Add some red and silver, and we got Christmas.  Maybe add some yellows and light blues or pinks & I'll be set for the springtime???  So many possibilities!

While gift shopping online, I saw Pottery Barn has the same idea... for 3-8 TIMES the cost I paid... FOR A SINGLE CANDLESTICK HOLDER!  Ridiculous.  I also saw Centsational Girl had the same idea for candlestick holders (and beat me to the posting-punch!)- don't they look awesome?  The only problem is resisting the urge to buy more....

Thursday, December 2, 2010

winter centerpiece: silver n gold pine cones!

Uh-oh, here we go again!  More of those spray-painted centerpieces!!  

So, I will spare you another full recap of how I did these- for that you can see the October pumpkins and the November fall decoration posts (hint: find objects, spray paint, let dry, and arrange.)  

For the winter months, I am all about pine cones and silver n gold.  So... that is precisely what I did.  

LOVE IT.  I plan on pulling on some sparkle elsewhere in the room, but you will have to just wait for that!  ...largely, because it isn't finished yet.  Shh!!

wishing you a very hippie holidays: peace wreath

Even hippies have holiday spirit!

So, remembering my new-found desire to decorate for the holidays, it should come as no surprise that I am hitting the ground running for Christmas and the winter months.  I got it in my head that I had to have a peace wreath.  Why?  Because the phrase goes Peace on Earth & Good Will to Man.... so, I thought I would take care of the first part.  You do the second part, and we will be good to go, k?

But then I saw Pier1 and Amazon had them!  And they STOLE my idea!!!  MINE!  The nerve.*

Anyways, a how-to:
1. Buy duct-tape in a color that will match your intended garland.
2. Buy garland.
3. Buy wreath frame & extra for center pieces.  I used straw frames- one large (~2ft) and two small (~8in) frames (these cost about $4 and $2, respectively, at your local craft store.. less if you use a coupon!)  
4. Cut the two small frames at one point and start straightening them.  The frames are held together by a wrapping of fishing line/clear thread, so I went through and snipped these lines, as well.  It takes a couple minutes to work the straw straight and clip any remaining line that's keeping the frame circular.  

5. Measure/fit the straight rods into the larger frame: start first by fitting the long center beam.  Cut to size and secure with duct tape.  Then work on the other two, smaller beams and secure, similarly.  

As you can see, I ran out of the silver tape.** 

6. Start wrapping garland!!  I used super glue to secure the ends, and just worked my way around, making sure to check for bald spots every so often.

It PROBABLY would be a good idea to plan your method of attack to minimize back-tracking and starting new pieces.  But I didn't think of this before starting, I just dove in and then contemplated my options at the first intersection.  

I think this:

...would be the optimal way to go about it.  Now, let us take a moment to bask in the glory that is Paint.

Ahhhh, Paint.

7. Trim any areas you feel the garland is too thick or obscuring the overall shape.
8. Hang on door!  I used a 3M hook (the ones where you can pull the sticky back to remove with no remaining mark or damage to the surface,) and some hanging wire. 
9. Step back & admire.  Contemplate getting some flares and a leather headband.

Total Cost: ~$26

Oh man, I love this!  I found the silver & green garland at Target for $5 or $6 per 18 yards.  I ended up using 2.08 strands of garland (so, about 37 yards; YAY MATH!)... that one last bit needed, the .08 strand, really irritated me.  Made me run back out to the store for a minuscule amount!  But, there was just no way to stretch it, and getting extra meant I could make the wreath fuller.  

Whatcha think?  I kinda love it.  Only, less "kinda" and more "really really".  It makes me happy, and I think it represents a sentiment we can all get behind (oh god, corny!)  I think it would be really cool in a bold red or blue garland, too!

*However, Pier1's cost $99!  And that Amazon one has only 2 stars.  Clearly, my version is rated A MILLION stars and cost way less than 100 smack-a-roos!
**Originally, I was going to do this in all-silver garland.  That was my vision.  But I could only find one place that had silver garland and it was sucky, and this green & silver was really awesome- bling meets homey.  Perfect!