End of Year Organization

Does anything say “it’s the end of the year” like a little organization?  I mean, really. Clean slates and new years go together like bread and buttah.

I got my new 2012 daily calendar last week and it just made me giddy.  I’m officially ready to start the new year when I’m prepared to get it all written down in the calendar. (Did I just say that out loud?  Total dork here.)

I also make sure I shave and put away laundry before New England Patriots games start. I just don’t want anything nagging at the back of my mind.  Apparently piles of clothes and scratchy legs are my biggest nags.  Hmmm?

It’s kind of the same for me with the new year.  Who wants a hot mess of disorganization distracting from all of the new possibilities the new year brings?  I sure don’t.  🙂

Well, my mini organization actually started when I started this blog in the beginning of November.  It’s so much easier to get things done when things are in order and ready to be gotten done.  But, as I’ve mentioned many a time, we don’t exactly have a lot of space, so I need to maximize what I’ve got and just make it work.  You know?

I can dream of spaces like this:
Like Jen at Tatertots and Jello has.

Or this,
Like Stacy at Not Just a Housewife just created.  Aren’t those wood shelves the best?  She made them from old fence pickets.  I see myself making something like it very soon.  🙂

But, what I’ve got is this,

Underwhelming, I know.  Trust me, I KNOW!

But, here’s what I did.  I laid out everything that I had in terms of “craft supplies”.  You know, all of the scraps, paints, adhesives, items I’ve bought in hopes that all the little ideas in my head will actually turn into something, and all of the other randomness you see here.
Yowza!

I picked out a few bins and baskets that I had been using otherwise in the house and decided to make a little “craft station” if you will.
In the larger wire bin I layered different projects in the works.

1) Supplies I have bought for ideas I have.  2 & 3) I took 2 plastic folders that I have been holding onto but knew I would never use as is and cut them in half lengthwise. They fit perfectly in the bin and work great to hold cut up pieces that can easily get lost in a big bin and also keep parts to different projects separated. 4) In the empty space of the bin I put other supplies that are waiting to get crafted.

Here’s a pic of the folders, the blue one before it was cut in half and the green one after being cut.  This is the perfect little filing solution.

Then, in the basket I took a few glass jars I had saved, and didn’t even bother to take the labels off since I’m lazy you can’t see them once they’re in the basket anyway.  These glass jars are perfect for separating little odds and ends, and holding up side down an almost empty bottle of glue.

In the small wire bin I took a few other glass jars and put all of my supplies.  Paint, markers, adhesives, paint brushes, stencils, wire, twine…stuff like that.

I had this old photo box that I picked up a TJMaxx or Marshall’s a long time ago.  It isn’t really my style so I just painted it black and tossed in all the uglies.  Scraps that I may (or may not) use some day but are really just a box o’ ugly as is.
This little basket houses all of my sewing supplies.  Or, no-sewing supplies as the Steam-A-Seam seems to indicate.  🙂

And since I am using a bookshelf for my new “craft station” I did still need to also use it for…wait for it…my books.  Here’s what the little organization project ended up looking like.
As for the other items:

  • The Lowe’s 48 cars are included because I heart the Lowe’s 48 NASCAR team.
  • The basket under one of the 48 cars has all of our computer program disks in it.
  • The water color picture is an original piece by a friend of ours.
  • The mirror I would like to redo, so it’s kind of good looking on the bookshelf yet still a project in the works.  Oh so versatile.  😉
  • A crisp white piece of brain coral and the biggest sea urchin I’ve ever found tossed in just because we always need a little nature.

As a side note you could look at many items in our house and wonder “Is that a decoration or a project in progress?” like the mirror.  Sigh.

Just because, here are a couple of other little organizational things we’ve got goin’ on in here.

A basket my mom gave me that is supposed to be used to put silverware and napkins in for outdoor BBQs attached to the wall with an eye bolt and S hook houses all of our larger utensils.
On this beautious wall we also have a knife magnet – brilliant space saving invention – and another little hook with a small basket for all of our wooden utensils because I clearly like my items separated.  And, if you have not discovered the wonder of the Ove Glove you are totally missing out.  No joke!

And, when we were gathering driftwood for the trees I made here, here and here I found a huge driftwood board so I made her into a shelf.
Even packages of crackers don’t look totally ugly when in a clear glass jar.

But that tile.  Good.  Ness.  I told you here we had it everywhere, even the walls weren’t safe from the ambitious tiler.  :/  This wall doesn’t look 100% hideous at least because the grout is still white.  Not so true for so many other surfaces.

I just used 2 L brackets to attach the wood to the wall.  I screwed in two little hooks on the under side of the wood to hang the wire domes.  Those guys are totally necessary around here with all the flies.  They multiply like wild fire whenever there’s food around.

And no, I don’t have any labels on the jars.  Even I am smart enough to tell my beans from my pasta and my dog medication from my rice.  For the most part anyway.  😉

So, with a few simple upgrades I feel organized and ready to ring in the new year.  Reuse a few glass jars, re-purpose a few plastic folders, designate a few key spots for the things I find myself using a lot and spend zero dollars.  Time to cross this project off my list in my new daily planner and get ready for a little New Year’s Eve celebration.  🙂

What other items do you have lying around that could be used for creative storage?  I mentioned a couple of our other ideas here, but am always in need of more.

Here’s to a very festive and safe New Year for you all.  See you in 2012!

2011 Shout Outs!

As 2011 comes to an end I feel inspired to give a big fat Shout Out! to everyone who took the time to Shout Out! about me at some point this year.

Yes, I do realize that I’ve only been doing this little blog thing for a couple of months so it’s not really a year worth of shout outs.  But, it is the end of the year, and I’m all about tying up lose ends so I need to be sure to give back the love.

These lovely people took the time to feature me in one way or another and I want to shout from the roof tops how thankful I am for that.  It sure did help me reach more people than just a few family members and friends – who are basically obligated to follow along anyway.  😉

I encourage everyone who takes the time to read my blog to check out at least a couple of these guys as well.  If you click their buttons below you will be redirected to their post featuring my project (because it really is all about me) but take a minute and browse around their blogs as well.  I mean, they clearly have good taste if they’re featuring my stuff.  🙂

{Decorated Driftwood Christmas Tree} – These guys featured my post highlighting the fully decorated driftwood tree with all homemade ornaments.  Remember, the tree with lighting and ornaments cost less than $15 total.  Merry Christmas to me!
Home Stories A2Z {nifty button} As seen on CraftGossip.com Megacraftychristmastreechallenge

{Homemade Christmas Ornaments} – These guys featured my post with the tutorials on how to make a beaded snowflake, book page star and light bulb ornament.  The ornaments that only made it through the ringer one time.  One time.

Do you know the old school song that says that.  “One time.  One time.”  ???  I tried to google it, apparently the Biebs has a song called One Time so those results took up about the first 593,708 results so I couldn’t find what I wanted.  Oh to be Bieber.

New Nostalgia Tickled Pink at 504 Main

{Wedding Card Ornament} – I think it’s cute that these lovelies who featured my tutorial using cards we received at our wedding to make a Christmas tree ornament are all represented in pink.  Awwwww.  🙂

Photobucket

{Sea Urchin Snow(wo)man Ornament}

Kelly at Eclectically Vintage also featured these little gals along with a bunch of other interpretations of snow people here.

{Coral Photo or Place Card Holders}

IhookedupwithHoHlamespice

{Hockey Bag Pillow} – The bag was definitely road kill before it became a pillow.

{Driftwood Christmas Tree} – And my very first post…granted a couple of these features were solicited.  As much I would have liked to have come out of the gate as the Justin Bieber of blogging, I chose to send a few emails to do some shameless promotion to try to get the word out about my little space in the blog-o-sphere.  But, some of them liked me all on their own.  They liked me, they really did.  😉

The DIY Show OffHome Stories A2Z UndertheTableandDreaming Reduce, Reuse, Upcycle Sumo's Sweet Stuff

I do have an I’ve Been Featured! page here at the space between that I update probably a bit too eagerly every time a new feature comes up.  So please check in on it when you think about it to see what new peeps are showing off my stuff.

AND, to everyone who continues to choose to read my posts, follow along, and comment when you’re so inspired I am incredibly grateful.  This little blog and all of you have been a wonderful addition to my 2011.  I look forward to continuing to share some space with you all in 2012!

Monday Matinee – For the Love of LL Bean

Happy Happy Monday!  And Happy Day After Christmas!  I sure do hope everyone got exactly what you were hoping for, large and small.  🙂

I’m thinking a lot of people are going to want to spend more time with loved ones this week than online (hoping many of you are on vacation, fingers crossed for you) so I’m going to just do a couple quick posts on some simple storage and organization solutions.  I figure I’d consider this first one part of the Monday Matinee series that I started here.  Uhhh, this is the second one so that constitutes a series, right?!

Next week I’ll be posting about a VERY FUN project I’m working on now.  I will also be traveling to my home state of Maine and hopefully get to see some snow for the first time in THREE years.  IIIIIII’m dreaming … of a whiiiite January.  🙂

So, onto my love of all things LL Bean.  I mentioned here that I have a bag o’ bags.  Well, I actually have two.
We got two awesome monogrammed canvas bags with pictures of pups on them from my brother and sister-in-law a few Christmases ago.  I love how they represent our whole little family.  Joel, me, white dog and black dog.  🙂  They made the cut when we were packing “only the essentials” for our move to Curacao just over 2 years ago.  If you ask my husband I made all kinds of interesting choices.  Some were mentioned here, here and here. 😉

I was thinking these would make great beach bags, I was also thinking I would be frolicking at the beach quite often, moving to an island and all, right?!? Turns out, when I am at the beach, once in a great while, nothing says “American Tourist” like a monogrammed canvas bag.  For a girl trying to fit into my new country, that wasn’t really the look I was going for.  You know?!?

But, back in our little one bedroom, one bath house we are renting it’s not like I have any a lot of storage space.  Enter my cute bags.  It is relevant to reiterate that I am originally from Maine and beyond the fact that these bags were gifts from family, all things LL Bean remind me of family and make me feel at home.  Wait, was that just a wiff of pine?

This might qualify as a non-project project but I love being able to use all functional items and space we have available to us.  And any way I can get things off the ground is key. Take these bags and place them on the floor, against a wall and they look cluttered and not put away and just a hot mess.  So, I found some empty wall space, I selected groups of items that I want easy access to but I don’t want to actually see everyday.  My canvas bags for shopping (and the beach it turns out!) ,
and my variety of handbags (what can I say, I like to switch it up often).

To hang them I just measured the center of the width of the open space on the wall, held up the bags to eyeball what might look good, drilled a hole (because all of our walls are concrete) and hammered in a nail.

Easy peazy, handy dandy, bag o’ bag storage.
See what I did there?  Put the name of my blog, the space between, in the space between the bags in the pic.  Hence the literally in parenthesis.  Get it? So clever.  😉

And, obviously, they don’t have to be LL Bean bags.  You could hang any roomy, stylish bags that you don’t use a lot and would look fashionable on your wall.  I had even thought of hanging them in our bedroom with my bathing suits in one and undergarments in the other.  So many options I tell you.  😉

Since this little house is just that, little, we have gotten pretty creative with some storage ideas.  I think I’ve mentioned we turned construction doors into shelving in a walk in closet we created.  We also took apart a twin sized box spring to make an outdoor shelf to store our beach chairs, snorkel gear and other items that we don’t use often and that will hold up to the outdoor salty air exposure.  We used a metal rod and extra clothes line wire to make a pot rack and a large piece of driftwood to make a shelf in the kitchen.  Oh, and we have our Jeep doors (which we don’t ever need on the Jeep, because it’s always warm and sunny), Wii Fit board, extra bike tires and a pair of roller blades under out couches. Shhhh!

Now, I don’t consider any of these project photo worthy right now, I don’t want to scare you away.  😉  But it has helped us fit as much as we need into this little space.

I am by no means a clean freak, but I like things neat and tidy.  I think many homes’ ills can be solved with a little storage and organization.  Everything has a home and everything in it’s home.  When everything is in it’s place it just feels clean and neat and oh so livable.  Even if it’s barely bigger than a bread box.

In the new year I have plans to make some sort of probably scrap wood shelves and skirting to create even more usable space up in here.  But I want to hear your ideas.  Short of draping the ceilings in fabric and storing clothes I don’t really wear up there I’ll try pretty much anything.  I’ve thought this idea through, too much work for such a limited amount of things I could store that would be light enough to not totally weigh down the fabric, and not really easy to access.

What about you?  What creative storage ideas do you have?  You know I need ’em.

Just for fun, here is another little Curacao house, I hope the family in it had a wonderful holiday.

I am sharing this idea here, here, here and here. Check ’em out!

Mapped, Dressed and Done.

I did it.  I finally finished the dresser.
And it was really more like mapped, dressed, braided, jigsawed, sanded, painted and done.  🙂

I explained how I got it started here.  Then I got a little distracted by a little thing called Christmas (are you guys ready for it?) and went a little ornament crafting crazy.  If you haven’t been keeping up (where have you been?) I put all my projects in one handy spot for you to check out here.

Now, for the dresser, I’m lovin’ the upgrade.  It reminds me of where we have been, where we are now and makes we wonder where we’re going next.

I let the drawers sit for a bit with the maps on them.  I didn’t even put them back in the dresser to use.  I just used this always essential chair (more on that here) to toss organize what would be in the dresser.  Apparently even if I have to step over a project 10 times a day it does nothing for my motivation to finish it.  😉
One day out and about I found these letters at a local scrap booking store and had the idea to stencil on the names of the locations that each dresser represents.
They didn’t have all of the letters I needed so out of a cereal box (love me some Honey Bunches of Oats) I made an O with a little help from the C I bought and an A with some M, N and W.  And yes, the M and W are exactly the same but I didn’t realize it until I got them home.  Bamboozled by the alphabet.  Drats!

I mixed together a few different colors of craft paint I had to create a subtle color that wouldn’t over power the maps.  Honestly, each drawer came out a little different.  I needed to make a different color for the Curacao map since it was darker.  I had outlined the Maine letters darker than I wanted, the Cali letters look almost perfectly white, but the Iowa letters turned out exactly how I wanted.

And then with the addition of the twine handles.  Oh dear do I love them.

Thank goodness because they took some time to make.  Each braid is 3 pieces of twine and each handle is 3 braids braided together and there are 8 handles.  Sooooo … carry the 1, and that equals A LOT of braiding.  About an episode of Sportcenter combined with the first new episode of Fear Factor.  Mid process it looked like this.

Can I just say, as a side note, there is nothing about the eating challenges on that show that is worth $50,000 in my opinion.  But, someone I graduated from high school with is the Supervising Producer so I was supporting the cause.  Congrats Anthony!

Ok, back to the braids.  I also learned too little too late that I should have cut my lengths of twine much longer to make it easier for me to tie them together.  Of course I was being cheap responsible when cutting just the right amount of twine for the braids.  But, to attach them to the dresser I just fed the 9 ends of each handle through the existing hole and tied each end in a knot inside the drawer.

TIP!!!  In addition to making the lengths of twine longer than you think you’ll need, make them as close to the exact same length as possible.  This will make the process of feeding them through the ridiculously small holes more manageable.  When all else fails, use a narrow, pointy tipped object to force the suckers through.  I used scissors.

As soon as I had the handles finished and put the drawers back in the dresser I knew I needed to change the color.  For some reason the drawers just made that hideous detail at the bottom even worse and the green just wasn’t right with the maps.  So, without even moving the dresser out of the bedroom, I got my broom stick straight edge, drew a line from scrolly edge to scrolly edge and jigsawed a straight line.  (And yes, I know the Curacao map is on upside down, I address it here.)

Yup, jigsaw was on the move essentials list.
But then when I went to sand the newly cut edge I uncovered a little white primer and had the thought to just distress the whole thing.  And I just didn’t want that much more dust in the bedroom so we needed to move this project outside.  Amazing that this little spot of white changed my whole strategy.

So, I flexed my big girl muscles and moved the big a$$ tv the really cute accessories off the dresser and moved outside.  I sanded and re-evaluated and decided to mix a little paint, similar to the lettering color and do a little dry brushing.  And when I say a little paint, I only used about a tablespoon or two of my mixture.  Dry brushing = time and money saver with the bonus of intentional imperfection.  🙂

I tell you, the combo of distressing, maps and dry brushing just makes this guy seem so well traveled and distinguished.  This little spot shows all the layers, I love it.
She definitely brings a little character into our rental bedroom and just plain ol’ makes me smile.  Picture me opening the Maine drawer and smiling at the thought of playing soccer at Little Falls field in high school when our high school was getting a face lift. Or reminiscing of some of the fun early memories I have with my husband in and around San Fran when I go to get a tee shirt.  Just random goodness.

Here’s a reminder of the before:
And an after.
And the real after.  :/
Yes, we have a large TV in our bedroom.  And yes, we have a LARGE dog bed or 2.  And yessirree, we have a wad of cords.  They are hard to see in the pic, nicely hidden in the shadows.  But I’m just keepin’ it real for ya.

But hey, we have a neat dresser now too.  How much better is that straight line along the bottom?  I love the upgrade.

But, more importantly, what do you think?  I’d love to hear.

I am sharing this project here, here, here and here. Check ém out!

Just a Little Touch of Christmas Decor

Now, I think I’ve mentioned before that we live in a rental house that is slightly bigger than a bread box.  No?!?  Which really is awesome when it comes time for cleaning … or searching for something my husband I can’t find.  (I mean there are only so many spots he can put the clothes he had on yesterday.  Which is ALWAYS where said lost item is.)

It’s also awesome when it comes to accessorizing, especially with some holiday decor.

I’ve seen a lot of bloggers talking about how they’re going simple this year.  Understated and inexpensive.  I would say this is my decorating strategy all day everyday.  And that is even more exaggerated with such a small space.  Where exactly am I going to store bunches of holiday decorations in the off season?

I’ll have to share some of our creative storage solutions with you sometime.  Can you say construction doors turned walk in closet shelving?  🙂

So, in addition to our driftwood Christmas tree, I made just a few upgrades.

Just ignore all the cords, but hopefully the Charlie Brown Christmas on tv makes you smile.  🙂

Those tall lit things on the right are 3 bamboo poles that we keep out all year.  We picked them up at a beach here in Curacao, I cleaned ’em up and coated them with clear varnish.

For Christmas, I just strung them with lights and using really small gold clothes pins (that I also used to make photo/place card holders here) I displayed Christmas cards and photo cards from years past.  For the record we have one friend on it enough to get a card here in time.  Love the card Sue!
An easy and festive card display.  I like to think it overpowers the blank piece of plywood hanging above the tv.

What, you didn’t notice it?  Ok, pretend I didn’t mention it.  😉

And then I did just a little somethin’ on a side table.

I little ribbon on a twig. A few baubles in an apothecary jar.
And a few baubles mixed with coral and shells under a cloche.

For this I actually cheated a bit and wrapped a couple of tennis balls in a gold ribbon to take up space in the middle.  I turned the cloche upside down, lined the top (bottom when upside down, obviously!) with items, nestled the ribbon wrapped tennis balls in the middle and then filled in the rest.  I used the tissue paper to just make sure everything was nice and snug so when I flipped it all over on the white plate it wouldn’t shift too much.

Easy little touches of coastal Christmas.  And since I already had all of the items, totally free.  My favorite word!

I had bought the cloche and apothecary jar a couple of years ago on super duper discount when a home improvement store was preparing to close down and I bought the gold and white trees and baubles last year also at about 90% off after tropical storm Tomas hit the island and forced a lot of shops into big sales.  The coral, shells and even the twig were all picked up along the way at different beaches.

And this cute little pic Joel took of our wedding rings with a lobster after our wedding in Maine is just the perfect little additional touch of red.

When I posted about the decorated driftwood tree I didn’t wait and take any night pics. Well, here she is, in all of her tea lit glory.
You might notice she’s just a wee bit different than when I first posted about her with all of my fun DIY ornaments.  I set up a table at a small Christmas Bazaar recently and was fortunate enough to sell a lot of my creations.  All of the cutie sea urchin snow(wo)men and glittered shells and even the book page star and red wooden tree topper have found new homes for the holidays.  So, I just added a few little miniature mercury glass ornaments we had and one clear bauble with sand in it we had received as a gift last year.

I still love her.  🙂

It’s not much, and it’s not monumental, but it’s festive.  And it’s in perfect scale with our little space, just the right amount Christmas up in here.

Now, I would be remiss if I did not express my heart felt wishes to you all to enjoy this final week before Christmas and the rest that 2011 has to offer us.  Relish in the true spirit of the holiday.  Cherish the moments with the ones you love.  Enjoy the small stuff.  Sleep in if you can, have an extra cup of coffee, eat cake for dinner, give extra hugs.

Do whatever it is that makes your heart sing, it is the holiday season, the perfect excuse to be contentedly happy all of the time for no other reason than we are living the life we were meant to live.

Here’s wishing Happiness to all!!

I am sharing these decorations here, here, here and here. Check ém out!

Homemade Christmas Tree Finale

Hey hey!  How is everyone’s holiday prep going?  I am LOVING the holiday season this year but have to admit, I am ready to be done making ornaments and trees and move onto some other things.  I’m feeling just a little Christmas ornament crafted out, if you know what I mean.

But, first I have to sincerely thank the Mega Crafty Christmas Tree Challenge for kick starting me into the holiday spirit this year.  With a budget of $20 we were challenged to decorate a tree at least 4 feet high and this challenge was the perfect way for me to get a little Christmas going up in here.

I will recap everything I’ve made at the end of this post, but I want to first show you my scrap tree topper.

In my very first blog post evah I explained how I make Driftwood Christmas Trees and I was able to use little pieces of scrap 1/4 inch wooden dowels left over from that project to make this.
I cut 10 segments of the dowel about the same length and spray painted them red.  I first wanted to make it so the ends of the dowels overlapped and were exposed and the twine was used to connect the segments in a rustic way.  But to say I had some trouble with that strategy would be an understatement.  I don’t think the dowel segments were long enough to overlap, and I kind of lost my way on the way to making a star shape…
Uhhh, that’s going to be a star, right?!?  And yes, I started this project the same night I made the beaded star snowflake.  Somethings just take longer to come together, you know?

It was at this point that I unwrapped all the twine and decided I might have better luck hot gluing each of the points together and then just covering the glue with twine for effect. So, I glued the star shape together right before I went to bed,
and woke up to this.
Isn’t she cute?  😉  Luckily, (for her and the star) she hadn’t laid on it until the glue was dry so with a little extra glue support I was ready to re-wrap the twine.
In the end, it all worked out.  I love that it’s an open star so it doesn’t totally overpower the whole top of the tree.  The driftwood tree peaks through and even a little glittered sea shell.

And here’s how she looks all put together.
Everything on the tree (including the tree) is either made by nature or handmade by me, except for the lighting.  That statement makes me happy.  🙂

Now for a little trip down handmade Christmas tree lane…

I first went on a little “shopping spree” to gather supplies and came home with things like this,
and explained the whole experience here.  $0 out of the budget, $20 remaining.  🙂

While I pondered ideas on what to do with all this goodness I got distracted one night while organizing and made one of my favorite ornaments out of a few cards we had gotten at our wedding, I posted about it here.  This was the first time that I used the silver glitter that I had bought specifically for this challenge for Nafl 6.35 which equals $3.57. $16.43 remaining in the budget.
Then one day when I was working out on our patio a little bird’s nest literally blew right up to me so she found her way onto our tree, more on that here.   $0 out of budget, still $16.43 remaining.
Continuing to use some of the sea urchins I had found at the shore I made some cutie patootie snow(wo)men here.  This was the first project that I used the table salt and white paint.  The salt cost me Nafl 1.46 which is $0.82, and the white paint was Nafl 2.70, $1.52. Bringing my remaining budget down to $14.09.
I then played around with a few ideas that turned into my One Hit Wonders, a beaded snowflake, book page star and light bulb turned ornament.  No budget used for any of these guys.  Booyah!
Then the girls got a little tree representation with these dog bone ornaments made from a mushed up egg carton.  Again, $0 spent on these.  Still $14.09 remaining.  Woop woop!
After multiple attempts I finally came up with some salt dough starfish that were tree worthy.  You can read all about the troubles I had here.  I used the salt, white paint and glitter again here, but nothing new out of the budget.  I’m noticing a trend.  🙂

The last ornaments I made were beglittered sea shells and baubles, I really love the combination of natural element and sparkly glitter.  More on these here.

I then accessorized the tree with some sea glass and white and green sea urchins just scattered here and there.

Clearly this is not a traditional tree and stringing traditional lights doesn’t really work with the driftwood design.  With your usual pine tree you lose the green light wire in the tree when it is strung.  But, with the driftwood the wire just sticks out like a sore thumb, so I used tea lights.  They are just the right touch of light without all the stringing mess.

Now I don’t know exactly how I am supposed to calculate the cost of the items I had previously purchased and used in making some of the ornaments. My “ingredients” list includes:

    1. black paint, red rope ribbon, raffia and gold ribbon scraps for the Sea Urchin Snow(wo)men
    2. beads, wire, silver ribbon scrap and red wrapping ribbon for the One Hit Wonders
    3. red paint and red wrapping ribbon for the Dog Bone Ornaments, Salt Dough Starfish and Glittered Shells
    4. red wrapping ribbon and raffia for the scratched bauble fix.
    5. red paint and twine for the Star Tree Topper
    6. tea lights for lighting purchased for the tree but lighting doesn’t count in the budget, right?!?

Yes, I will haggle with anyone over pricing.  😉

Update:  I have to add the old baubles used for number 4 to the ingredients list.  Duh! How do you fix an old bauble without actually using the bauble?  Sometimes the brain just doesn’t connect all the dots, you know.

Truth be told, the cost of the Driftwood Christmas Tree was Nafl 4.90, $2.75 and the tea lights cost Nafl 7.00, $3.93.  So, if you add that to the total spent on supplies this year my total total spent was $12.59 (including tree and lighting).  That leaves $7.41 left to allocate to all of the scraps that I ended up using.  And, I would argue, that if you look back at the original price I paid for the items and amortize it over the life of said item and calculate depreciation…

Woah!  That’s even a little much for me, but you get what I’m sayin’, no?

I’m under budget, I just don’t know by how much.  🙂

Now, I really did think I would make a lot more different ornaments.

I thought I might try to make something like this map pine cone ornament that Barb over at Turtles and Tails made.  I could use a Curacao map and I’m from Maine.  A Curacao map pine cone ornament, seriously, how appropriate is that for me?!?  Love the idea, maybe someday.
And I had all of our Christmas cards out from last year.  I didn’t want to do exactly what I did with the wedding cards and I just never got the idea that got me crafting.In recent years I have cut the pretty pictures from each card and used them as gift tags. If I don’t come up with a creative ornament idea I can always do that again.
I pulled all of the petals off of a red rose I got here and let them dry.  I could make some kind of our ornament out of them, right?!?  I suffered from a little crafter’s block here too.  :/
Now, you know I’m going to get the perfect idea in like March. Isn’t that how it works? Ohhh, maybe if it’s February it could turn into a Valentine’s Day idea.  One can hope. 🙂

And just because, here’s another picture of our little homemade driftwood coastal Christmas tree and the projects I actually DID accomplish.
I love how it turned out.  I’m glad we have a tree representative of where we are in the world and where we are in our lives.  I do think there are plenty of ornaments on the tree as is, it’s nice to give the driftwood tree itself some room to shine.  And I’ve had a blast gettin’ Christmas crafty and again can’t thank Meg at Mega Crafty enough for giving me the Christmas kick in the butt. I am definitely in the holiday spirit and heading out to spread some cheer.

So, do you have all your holiday deco up? Have you been done forever already? Waiting until the 24th? Either way, I hope you’re loving every minute of it. Happy Holidays everybody!!  🙂

I am sharing this project here, here, here and here. Check ém out!

Glitter Makes Everything Better

I made some of the easiest coastal Christmas ornaments yet.
A few weekends ago when I went on my little shore excursion, I came home with a random collection of seaness.  I posted about the adventure here.

I even found a fully intact light bulb that I turned into an ornament here.

And used some sea urchins to make super cute snow(wo)men ornaments here.

For all of the little shells I was left with I went with a super simple upgrade.  Drill a hole, glue on some glitter, add a red ribbon hanger and voila.

Cuteness!

Now, the drilling was not fool proof.  There were quite a few shell (and even one drill bit) casualties in the process.  I ended up using a drill bit intended for use drilling concrete.  It worked to get through the shells, but sometimes the little suckers still just fell apart.

After drilling I brushed glue around the edge of the shells and just coated it with glitter.

Super simple.  And just the right amount of bling to turn basic natural items into ornaments for our rustic little coastal Christmas tree.

I also took a few shells that weren’t the pretty white color and painted them red and beglittered them for a few more coastal Christmas touches.
While doing this process I also figured I could use the glue and glitter to cover up some bauble blemishes.
Have you guys all seen the beautiful ornaments that Miss Mustard Seed has made? Including this one…
I ended up with a similar result on my green baubles, and the glitter covered up all the scratches that had been there.  Score!

I also glittered the top piece that holds the hook in because it was gold and my glitter was silver.  I just coated it with glue and let the glitter set.

All of these items were so simple it’s hard to even call it a project.  The glittered green baubles have my favorite trait of intentional imperfection and I always love when I can use natural elements in my decor.

I also played around with using sand as “glitter”.  I did it here with my salt dough starfish and I also used it on some silver baubles because it actually showed up better than silver glitter. I used the same glue and glitter technique as with the green ones and then I also created some holly on the beach baubles.

Hello reflection photography!  😉

The silver baubles actually started as scratched green baubles.  I tried to cover one with torn book page pieces but it didn’t work out that great.  And the glue/water mixture took a lot of the green covering off of the bauble.  So, I just used water to get the rest off, and actually “clean” off all the green from a few others.  That would have been an even easier upgrade, to just leave them plain silver.

TIP!!!  Keep that in mind if you find scarred baubles at discount shops or yard sales.  You could either use the glue glitter technique or maybe even just wash off the entire scratched finish to unveil a beautiful new bauble.  How easy is that?

So, what do you think of the creations?  Do you like the addition of the glitter to the shells or just prefer them au natural?  Do you think it’s the right amount of bling or just tacky? What about the sand as glitter?

I am sharing this project here, here, here and here. Check ém out!

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