Thursday, June 27, 2013

Take a Note!

Have you ever considered chalkboard paint?  I painted a small wall outside of my son's room in chalkboard paint.  ORANGE chalkboard paint, to be exact.  We love it and most of the children who come over love it too!  It seems someone (mostly me) is always doodling or writing something on it!

I know there is a ton of chalkboard paint out there, but this is the one that I used. 

 I just fell in love with all of their color options, and it is so easy to use.  I was considering the bakery green but ultimately decided on the safety orange, and it is awesome.  It is literally the color of a traffic cone!  The white chalk shows up really well, and it is bright enough that the wall does not seem dark.  And look at that polka dot can, seriously, how could I NOT use it!?

Hudson paint also makes a floor paint that I am seriously considering.   I am giving the floor in our bedroom the side eye, I think paint might be in it's future!

Would you ever paint a chalk board wall in your house?  Guess what, it is not as dusty as you might think!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Project Update

No power for most of the day means just a project update for today. 

Do you remember this letter "S" from yesterday's post

Well, I decided it did not have enough going on so I dressed it up with some pompoms, a tassel and a feather.  Now it is a Gypsy "S".  Much better!

<Sorry for the bad indoor photo>

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

It's a Wrap!

I am back at the rope wrapping, but this time I wanted to make a letter "S" for a cute little girl who is having a birthday today.  Hello double digits!!!  I must have been thinking about it when I fell asleep last night, because I totally had a dream about making this "S".  

You make it exactly like the wrapped rope project here.  But you add a secret ingredient, wire!!!

Isn't she cute?  Naturally, I could not stop at just one letter.  I did an "M" too, for my last name!

Then I really got on a roll and did a heart, but not just a heart.  A dolled up, pompom and tassel accessorized heart, with a tiny bell on it!  

So what originally started out as a project to use up scraps has turned into somewhat of a compulsion, or obsession.  Whatever, I can't stop wrapping things.  And I love that you can make them as plain or as fancy as you like.  I made some tassels and pompoms for this one, then I found a jingle bell, so I added the jingle bell.  And my friend had the brilliant idea of adding antique keys to her wrapped rope!!!  There is just no wrong way to make these beauties.  My kind of project!  

Look how cute the heart looks hanging on my favorite prop, the urn!

Here are some easy instructions and "how to" pictures, if you are interested.

 Before you cut your cord and wire, loosely make the shape of your letter or heart so you know how  long to make the cord/wire.  I always cut a little more than that in case something goes wrong.  Then start it by tying the yarn on the rope or cord.

 I like to make a loop on the ends, because you never know when you are going to want to hang things from the ends.

 Now just place a piece of wire (I used 19 gauge from Ace Hardware) along side of the cord and wrap over the cord and wire together.

When you are making a letter or a shape, it is a good idea to loosely make the cord/wire into that shape every now and then as you are wrapping, just to make sure you don't end up with two spots of the same color right next to each other on the final shape.   You don't have to worry about that if you are just wrapping the rope as a garland, because it is continuous.

When you have wrapped the entire length, make a loop at the end and tie the yarn off in a simple knot.  Now just reshape the wrapped rope into the letter or shape you want!  So easy and so cute!  

Wouldn't it be cute to make a giant number for a birthday party?  Or initials for a rehearsal dinner, or bridal shower?  The possibilities are endless...

Have you made the wrapped rope yet?  Would you make a letter, or number?  Or a shape, like a crown?

Monday, June 24, 2013

Things Happen!

When things like this happen in my neighborhood...

...first I worry about my neighbors.  Then, I worry about the poor tree!

Then I see this...

and this...

...and I am all wound up because, I love FREE supplies, I love working with tree wood, there is something wrong with me!  Next thing you know, this is what is happening at the Factory!

This gets fired up...

Then this ends up hanging in a tree!

And this ends up on the shelf!

Then my arm gets tired from drilling holes in tree wood, and I start planning about 400 more projects with my tree wood!

Here are some basic instructions if you are interested.

*For the tiny sticks hanging in a tree, just drill a very small hole with a tiny drill bit and string the sticks onto a thin wire, like beads.  I made this one with the sizes graduated, but it looks very cute if you just keep it random too.

*For the pencil holder, I used a 1/2 inch boring bit to drill the holes for the pens and pencils.  Then I sanded the top of the log with a medium grit sand paper.  

Do you ever make anything with tree wood?  Other than a fire!

Thursday, June 20, 2013


Have you ever heard of a wine chilling bag?  Well, before last summer, I did not know that I needed a wine chilling bag (apparently they are called ice bags here)!  But, after a trip to France, where almost every outdoor cafe served our wine bottle in one of these clever plastic bags, I knew I could NOT leave without one!  

Behold the Ice Bag!!! 

So it's pretty basic, you fill this cute little bag with ice and water, then you put your wine bottle inside to keep it chilled.

 It might not sound that special but:

1.  It looks like a shopping bag, with handles, it's totally cute!
2.  It keeps the bottle chilled and does not take up much room on the table.
3.  When you are not using it, you fold it up and it takes NO space to store.
4.  It is great for a picnic or outdoor use, it's plastic!
5.  Did I mention it is cute and it looks like a shopping bag...with handles, so you can carry your wine         
     around with you, in a tiny, clear wine purse!!! 

I brought mine back from France, but I found them for you too!  Order one here 
And at that price, don't even get me started!  You need it, trust me!!!

Do you already have an Ice Bag?  Honestly, I LOVE mine!!!

PS.  Are you seeing a connection to all of the wine corks???

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

DIY Jewelry

Do you like to make jewelry? 

I love, love, love to make jewelry, any kind of jewelry!  Earlier this week I made some cute, quick, simple necklaces out of foreign coins. I just used my trusty drill press to drill a hole in some old French Francs, I added a jump ring and strung them on some pink cord.  Totally cute, and they took all of about five minutes each to make.  They are great for layering with a bunch of other necklaces, and they make great little gifts too!

A little closer look...

Luckily I have a TON of old foreign coins left over from my Pan Am Flight Attendant days because I just never seem to get tired of working with coins.

Do you have any foreign coins laying around?  If so, what have you done with them?  

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Inspiration Everywhere

Here is some random inspiration from a day of shopping with girlfriends!  I found inspiration everywhere and lots of new project ideas are bouncing around in my head.  I took the train home from the city and spent the entire ride sketching and planning new projects.

Seriously?  A feather headband!!!  If that is not confirmation that we are going in the right direction with the teepees then I don't know what is!!!  Thank you for the thumbs up universe!  

Turquoise beads with a skull and a tassel!  Love it all, if it had a tiny pompom it would be perfect!  (Topshop)

Leather and raffia bag. 
 (Henri Bendel)

The colors and textures! 
 (Free People)

 The Window Display at Anthropologie!

 Raffia Tassels and Pompoms!

 More Tassels 

 The Fringe on the bracelet!  

 A Pompom Curtain Panel!  But I would actually throw it over the back of my sofa! 

 Neon Wire Baskets 

Are you ever inspired to make things similar to those that you find in your favorite stores?  It seems like I am always having one of those "I want to make one of those..." moments!  

*Apologies for the bad iPhone photos*

Monday, June 17, 2013


It has started!  Friday was a busy, busy day.  Wooden posts were drilled, math skills were tested (I failed miserably) and drop cloths were arranged.  I am going to be honest here, making teepees is  MUCH harder than I thought it would be!!!

  It all started with this beautiful image that a friend found...

Obviously, that teepee is spectacular!  The shape, the fabric, the details!  While we love this one, we want to get our children in on the decorating of our teepees.  So, we decided to use a drop cloth for the fabric, it was inexpensive and it will be easy for the kiddos to paint.  We have set a date for the final arranging and decorating later this week.  I promise to share pictures and instructions!  But this might be a good time to start brushing up on your math!!!

So here it is, the START of something BIG!!!

It is so exciting!   

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Wrapped Rope

I originally made this wrapped rope project to use up lots of scraps of yarn, string and ribbon that I had laying around, taking up valuable storage space.  I honestly CAN NOT seem to throw supplies away!  I guess my hoarding tendencies force me to come up with new ideas to use up "stuff".  At least that is what I am telling myself!

Here it is all coiled up hanging on the door.  I usually have it draped around the door frame in the kitchen, leading into the dining room.   I tried to get a photo of it in its natural habitat, but the light was uncooperative.  
This is a super easy project and it is one of those mindless activities that you can whip out without really having to concentrate.  

Here are the instructions, if you are interested in making one for yourself...

All you need is clothesline, or rope.  I used this one, and I got it at my local Ace Hardware.

To start this project you need to cut a piece of clothesline to the length you want.  This one is about 14 feet, because I want it to be long enough to hang around a door frame.  Bundle the excess up with a rubber band to keep it out of your way as you are working.  

Then you just tie a piece of yarn onto one end of the rope.  You basically just keep wrapping and wrapping the yarn around the rope.  I like to use lots of different colors and I try to make sure that all of the blocks of color are not the same size.   I also use things that are different textures, like yarn, ribbon, twine and even fabric.

When you want to change colors just tie a simple knot, like in the picture above, then tie on a new color and start all over again.

After you tie the knot to finish a color, just leave the tail and wrap the next color over it.   I make a loop at each end, so that I can hang some pompoms from the ends!  Easy, right?

When I tie the ribbons or fabric on, I usually leave a piece of the ribbon out, instead of wrapping over it.  Just because I think it looks cute that way.  But you could wrap over it if you wanted.  
Once I have the whole rope wrapped, I hang the pompoms on the ends and little tassels and bells here and there.  

I really can not get enough of these wrapped ropes, they are so colorful and fun.  I love to hang them all  over the place.  I have also used them as the ribbon on packages and I even wrapped them around the Christmas tree one year. 

What do you think?  Could you find a place to hang a wrapped rope?  Would you ever make one?