Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Faux Reindeer Antler DIY

I love that antlers are making such a big appearance in decorating but I'm not a fan of the idea of a real antler sitting around.  I know I might be odd but I just am not feeling having a body part of a live animal sitting in my house. I know that deer don't have to be harmed to get their antlers but it just creeps me out...call me strange.  I do however love the look antlers give to your decor so when I ran across these silver metallic floral pick antlers at Michael's I knew I had a craft project.  I picked these up before the holidays for around a dollar each so you really can't beat that!  With the popularity of antlers I would imagine that the craft stores will continue to carry some form of antler in floral department.
As you can see it's a pretty antler even in the silver but it's not the look I wanted.  
This was the look I was going for so that it'd look a bit more realistic so out came the spray paint and wood stain.  First I used pliers to remove the floral pick by tugging it out.  It was very easy to remove but if you can't get it off you could also cut it off right at the base of the antler.  It does leave a tiny hole so if you wanted to fill that just use a little filler there.  I didn't bother because I knew my antler would be displayed with things around it and you'd never see it anyway.
To achieve the look of a real antler I used Rustoleum Heirloom White spray paint.  This is a gorgeous off white and works well for so many projects.  I didn't cover the antler entirely so that some of the silver color still showed through a tiny bit.  It's really trial and error.  I have done at least 5 of these now and every one of them turns out slightly different which I love so just play around with the coverage.  Once the spray paint is covering your antler on all sides and it's dry you will now need to use some wood stain.
For my wood stain I used Minwax Espresso and Classic Gray.  Always make sure to shake the Classic Gray stain because all the pigment sinks to the bottom and without shaking it you will get little to no coverage.  I used an old tshirt and dipped it into the Espresso stain and quickly wiped it all over the antler.  I then wiped the bulk of it right back off.  I worked quickly so the stain wouldn't get too dark but if you don't work fast and need to redo it just add another layer of spray paint and try again.  Once the Espresso stain is wiped off I then did the same thing with the Classic Gray.  After I wiped the gray back off I then took my Espresso and dabbed it onto some of the raised areas of the antler so it would have tiny bits of dark spots and did a few areas in the Classic Gray stain as well.  I let it dry and that was it.
 I know it may not be a perfect match to a real antler but I was certainly pleased with how it turned out.  So pleased that I went on to make some for my mom and more for myself.  I loved that each one turned out differently so they are unique.
Even though these photos are from Christmas I will continue to use the antlers in my decorating long after the holidays. I hope you will take a chance and give this a try if you like the look of antlers in your decor.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Pumpkin Spice Cheerios Snack Mix Recipe

If you follow along with me on Instagram, and you should, you will maybe have seen my insta-story talking about trying out Pumpkin Spice Cheerios!  I am the only one in my house that likes pumpkin so when I could only find a family size box I knew I had to come up with a way to use them up.  I really like the flavor of them since I'm an all things pumpkin lover but it was still way more Cheerios than I can eat by myself.  I pondered ideas and decided to use my Cheerios Snack Mix Recipe from several years ago but adapt it to work with the pumpkin flavor and boy did it turn out amazing!  I did a insta-story on making the snack mix and was amazed at the response and people wanting to know the recipe so I figured I would do an updated post for you all to grab this recipe but if you want to make it with the original Cheerios the post is still up and you can click HERE to get to it.
Pumpkin Spice Cheerios Snack Mix
 You can print the recipe HERE
Pumpkin Spice Cheerios Snack Mix
 This is a fun recipe for kids to help with because they love the part where you add the baking soda to the Karo mixture and it gets all foamy!
Pumpkin Spice Cheerios Snack Mix
 I just love the mixture of pumpkin spice and the dried cranberries with this new twist on the original recipe!  

This snack mix is usually a big hit and is something that a lot of people have never had so it's unique too. I hope you all enjoy it as much as my family does.

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Painted Faux Pumpkins for Succulent Arrangement

 The other day I was cruising stalking Instagram which I tend to do and came across the prettiest faux pumpkins filled with succulents.  It was done by my friend Amy @cutertudor (go follow her!) and they looked awesome.  I had bought several cheap pumpkins at Walmart and had already started painting them and bought a bunch of inexpensive artificial flowers to fill them with but then when I saw her succulents that completely changed my mind about using the flowers. So flowers were out and I headed back to the store to spend a fortune on succulents.  Let me tell you these little picks aren't cheap!  I had 20 bucks in one pumpkin so this isn't the cheapest project if you are wanting to keep it from breaking the bank. Anyone has a source for inexpensive succulent picks I'm all over it so please share!

So armed with my succulents I went home and used Robin's Egg spray paint from Rustoleum to spray one of the pumpkins.  I have never used this color before but have fallen in love with it!  It's the prettiest light aqua!  For the second pumpkin I used Martha Stewart's Vintage Chalk Paint in the color Eucalyptus and brush painted it.  It takes a bit longer to brush it on but well worth it to use such a pretty color!
Once I had my pumpkins painted I then used my Minwax Furniture Paste which is my bestest friend for all paint projects.  I let it dry and then buffed it up and it left the prettiest finish and was so silky to the touch!
Now for the fun part!  I used a serrated knife and cut a small circle in the top of the pumpkin  and scooped out some of the styrofoam.  I would start with a samll circle because it's easier to make it bigger than to try to shrink it down after you made it too big.
Then I just started placing my succulent picks where I wanted them and of course because the inside of the pumpkin is styrofoam it's super simple to dig the sticks into it so they hole well.  Once you get those arranged just the way you want them you are just about finished.
I bought a package of sheet moss and just tore chunks of it off and placed it all around the top of the pumpkin,  In between the succulents and under the succulents etc.  Just place it anywhere you think it needs a little something extra.
Um, can you get any easier than that?  This project may not be the cheapest but it sure is a pretty one that makes it worth spending that money on the succulents!
 Here are a few photos of the finished pumpkins that I hope you will like!

 I ended up having one extra pumpkin leftover so I gave it a shot of the Robin's Egg Paint.
 I then hollowed out the hole at the top and added pieces of twine down along the grooves of the pumpkin just to give it a little interest.
  Then I filled the hole with chunks of the moss and placed a small candle in the center of it and then added a little more moss so it was visible from the top of the pumpkin.  Now it makes a pretty little glow at night when I light it.  Just don't ever leave it unattended!  A little disclaimer....I am not responsible for any damage done by following this tutorial. 

I hope you enjoyed this quick little project and would love to see yours if you make one.  This idea was based on @cutertudor's original Instagram post and she said she got the idea from Pinterest.  I have put my own twist on it so they may not look the exact same but the idea is similar for sure.  I think the next one I will make will be with the faux flowers I bought to originally do mine since I have so many of them.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

West Elm Blogger Preview Event

There was a group of local bloggers that were invited to our brand new West Elm store for a preview event before the doors officially opened to the public.  We met with their PR Manager and he was fantastic with showing us around the store and explaining all the great things West Elm does to get involved in the community and some of the cool collaborations!  If you aren't aware of West Elm they have gorgeous home furnishings and have a fantastic website you can visit if there isn't a store near you.

 I will mostly let the photos do the talking but there are a few things to tell you about.  West Elm started in Brooklyn, NY and is a branch of Williams-Sonoma.  They design almost all of their products in house and believe in using organic, handcrafted and fair trade certified products.  One of the things I like most about West Elm is their support of local makers!  As a "maker" myself I think it's so admirable for a large company to give us little guys the support we need to grow and West Elm is all about that!

 Myself, Amy (Atta Girl Says) and Kristi (Chatfield Court)

 As I mentioned above that West Elm is big on supporting local artists/makers and this bag is a perfect example.  The artist lives right here in Greensboro!  How cool is that?

 They also do some very neat collaborations throughout the year!

 If you need another reason to think this company is so great they also give back!  Again another admirable action on their part.

 Kristi, Amy, Dru (West Elm PR Manager), Ashley, Myself and Jen

 Isn't my mom a cutie!  She went along with me for the preview and had such fun.
This particular West Elm is located in Friendly Center, Greensboro, North Carolina!  It's a gorgeous store and is so worth your visit!


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