Bargain Alert!

I found a great product, just arriving in The Dollar Tree stores, that won’t last!  And if you don’t think you need them, you may change your mind when you check out the suggestions I have for their use!

What is it?  Large bamboo poles (apx. 5 ft. tall x 1″ – 2″ in diameter).  Although they vary slightly, in height & diameter, I found most of them to be fairly large.  Typically, bamboo poles cost $5-$7 each in DIY, craft or floral supply stores and  make great decorative accents.  At this price ($1.00), they are very affordable and will provide inexpensive inspiration for you!

Here’s what they look like (in the store) to make it easier for you to spot them, or when asking your local Dollar Tree staff where to find them. I found them hovering between the (teeny) craft section and toy dept.

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Distance photo (for size scale)

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By the way,  I didn’t see this item on their website, so it is probably an “in-store” item only.

The first (and easiest!) suggestion I have for you is to place a few inside a large planter, vase or pot to use as a trending, contemporary and nearly care-free decoration (just a little dusting once in a while).  It would look great inside OR (because they’re weatherproof) outside, as seen in one of the photos below:

76118_0_8-8338-contemporary-living-room

Consider a greenery base to avoid dust inside the container

Great with the new, trending Asian decor

The perfect accent with the current, popular trend of Asian decor

Consider adding a light!

Add lighting (in container) for a super-contemporary look

s_vase_1_red

Because they are weatherproof, they make the perfect outdoor accent

Another great idea is to use them to create your own fencing.  There are tons of DIY instructions for many versions of this type of project (on the internet),

from easy to complex!

bamboo bountyfence

Bamboo_fence_backyard xscapes

You could also use them as inexpensive curtain rods, “as-is”, spray painted or bundled!

gardeners cottage blog_curtain rod

photo courtesy of The Gardener’s Cottage.
For a thicker rod, bundle several together & use 2 pre-made finials or unique wine bottle stoppers as finials

etsy bamboo rod

photo courtesy of etsy shop “Copper Bamboo”

And if you’re handy enough to hang a couple of rod holders on the wall, you could use them as a shower curtain rod in a tropical-themed bathroom:

Bamboo-Shower-Curtain-Rod

Create your own floor lamp!  Or cut smaller pieces for a table lamp.

lamp

Or how about an accent to a wedding reception centerpiece?

wedding reception

Need something sturdy to help you support your garden greens?

garden

How about making a DIY frame to hold bamboo creating an inexpensive Privacy Screen… inside OR outside your home?

Adding some lighting creates even more ambiance!

bamboo fencer blog_bamboo-room-divider

OR, do you need a privacy screen from the “Sun”?  Then, use them to create a cover for your pergola.

photo courtesy of Beautiful Bamboo Blogspot

photo courtesy of Beautiful Bamboo Blogspot

Ok, as long as we’re talking back yard, HERE’S a project for ya!  Buy a bunch to create your own Tiki Bar.  LOL 😉

tiki bar

I absolutely LOVE how great they look glued to the back OR front of a mirror to create inexpensive wall art!

[clicking on either of the next 2 photos will open a separate internet window with each of these creative blogger’s free tutorials]
2.15 Mirror 1

photo courtesy of Savvydesignwest.com

photo courtesy of Domestically Speaking blog

photo courtesy of Domestically Speaking blog

And, of course, my favorite…. as part of a fountain… ahhhh serenity!

safaffect blog_fountain

photo courtesy of Saaffect.wordpress blog

Enjoy the Creativity!

EILEEN

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Eco-friendly Cleaning Tips!

Contrary to popular belief, decorating is not the only thing that goes on at The Seasonal Home…… I also clean (when I have to ;-)).   But when it comes to cleaning, I will take any shortcut I can.  And my favorite “way” to clean is to use as many natural products as possible, with vinegar being one of my favorites!  The main reason vinegar is a favorite is because I have hard water.  Hard water is a bad thing to have when your bathroom features glass doors and blocks, but I’m going to share my method for combining vinegar and paper towels that works great to combat this while cutting my cleaning effort by 90%!

I begin by soaking paper towels in vinegar.  Each time I pull out a couple of paper towel squares from the vinegar, I apply it to my glass doors and block, smoothing it out (as if it were wallpaper).  Strangely enough, this part of the job is somehow very Zen! (LOL)

I also apply individual pieces (of vinegar-soaked paper towel) to my shower head, Off/On handle and drain, but you should not leave this on for more than 15 minutes OR use paper towels soaked in a mixture of vinegar and water because  straight vinegar can strip the finish off of metal.

Once I’ve covered everything in my vinegar-soaked paper towels, I walk away and come back a couple of hours later to remove them.  The vinegar has done most of the work for me so all that’s left to do is use a use a natural cleanser product (like Bon Ami powder ) and a scratch-free, scrub sponge to remove the hard water deposits and leave my glass doors sparkling clean and spot-free!  Check out the end result yourself –

I also have a lot of tile in my house, which was great when I had high traffic x 4 kids, but I would love to switch to wood floors now that they’re grown and on their own.  Oh well… maybe some day… but for now, I’ve been focused on finding ways to keep my tile clean, especially the grout lines because I really dislike how dirty grout makes my floors look like grid work.  So I tried a natural product I had on hand (Witch Hazel) and was very pleasantly surprised at the great job it did by lightening my grout at least 3 shades!  I just applied it straight to the grout line, used an old toothbrush to give it a light scrub and soaked up the excess with an old rag.  Check out the difference between the vertical and horizontal lines in this photo –

So, try out my ideas if you have some of the same issues and if you have any great cleaning tips, please feel free to share them in the COMMENTS section of this post.  I’m sure everyone would love to check them out.

Enjoy the Creativity!

EILEEN

Art Sale Alert!

When I find a nice product at a great price, I like to share…

Summer is the longest season of all and it’s the time when I take a break from seasonal decorating.  During these 4 months, I display simple, happy, cozy and/or functional things on my mantels and save up my creativity for the holidays ahead.

For several months, I’ve been considering an art purchase as something simple to hang above my family room fireplace mantel.  Specifically, I’ve been eying a print at Pier 1, titled “Happy Tree” because it is the perfect complement to my area rug.  This print already had a budget-friendly price, but once I noticed it on sale, I was off to Pier 1 immediately!  I love it when they have a sale because I love their merchandise.  As a matter of fact, it’s a good thing that I don’t work there because I would never take my paycheck home ;-).Their “Happy Tree” print measures 24″ x 24″ and is available in 4 different background colors, so you could also choose 3 or all to display together, vertically or horizontally.  The original price was $29.99 and now, it’s only $19.99.   To compare  – on-line, the cost to purchase a BLANK 24″ x 24″ canvas ranges from $33 – $39, so this is a great deal if you like the print and the price works with your budget.   Another thing I liked about this print – if some of the colors (on the tree branches) don’t work perfectly for you, but the background color does, simply grab some acrylic paint, a brush and change them (LOL)!  Here’s how it looks in my family room ….

Enjoy the Creativity!

Eileen

Recycling to create an Outdoor Chandelier

This is what I started with – a $4.98 chandelier from a thrift store

And here’s how I took it apart to turn it into an outdoor chandelier

Avoid rust (from moisture inside cups) by coating with hot glue and then time to paint!

Hang your new recycled creation wherever you need some beautiful, (non-electric) eco-friendly, outdoor lighting to create instant ambiance and…

ENJOY!   🙂

Spring Garden Project

Do you have some mis-matched plates, saucers, bowls, cups or votive cups tucked way in the back of your cabinets?  Or, maybe you have a chipped or cracked plate that you inherited from a relative and just can’t throw away?  Even if you don’t have any of these items, you can still enjoy the following project, I saw at my local garden shop, by shopping for the ingredients at thrift stores or garage sales and the end result will be an adorable keepsake for your garden.

When looking for the ingredients to make these flowers, the best combination is typically a dinner-size plate, bowl, tea cup, votive cup, old vase or salt-cellar.  Tap into your own style & creativity, however, keep in mind that coordinating colors makes for the best & most attractive combination.  Also consider colored glass (as one of the pieces) to create the most artistic drama in the sunlight.

Sometimes, people drill holes in the center of each ingredient and then bolt them together, however, it is much easier to glue each of the ingredients together using a weatherproof, clear adhesive called GE silicone II for Windows & Doors.  The flowers above were professionally made and the artist went to the trouble of crafting green metal leaves to weld onto a green metal stem, but that is totally beyond my own capability and I’m guessing yours as well.  So my solution is to purchase re bar (available at hardware stores) and spray paint it green.  I also love the ease (shown in photo on right) of gluing a small, straight-sided vase to the back plate of your flower (upside down) so your creation can be easily propped on top of your newly green, re bar stem before placing it in the garden.

Some helpful hints: 

  • ONLY work in a well-ventilated area (like outside)
  • Protect your work surface
  • Have a cloth rag handy to wipe any excess glue, especially off of you (lol)
  • Practice first!  Put your combinations together, before gluing, until you are happy with the completed flower look you create
  • As you place your combinations together, use chalk, a pencil or masking tape to mark around the outside of each area where the glue will attach, so you won’t have to re-position the pieces
  • Apply the adhesive to the back of each piece, at the highest, protruding point
  • Press each piece gently & firmly in place and wait at least 10-15 minutes between placements for the silicone adhesive to set up.  If it doesn’t set up in apx. 10-15 minutes, it may be old and you should return it to the store.
  • Wait 48 hours before placing the finished flower in the garden.  Use this time to spray paint your re bar green!
  • Consider using several different lengths of re bar to create different flower heights in your garden

Below are some closeups, you can click on to see a larger view and more detail.  Hopefully, they will inspire your own creations… they certainly inspired me! 🙂

             

Enjoy the Creativity!

Eileen

The Bench Orphan

For 2+ years of blog posts & photos, my readers have often seen an unusual “what in the world is that?!” piece of concrete outside The Seasonal Home’s front door.  And just in case you’ve ever wondered… it’s just my little Bench Orphan.  Before I explain what a Bench Orphan is, I should provide you with its background –

My sweet Grandmother (Nonie) was our family’s “Holiday Queen” and the inspiration for my love of seasonal decorating.  When she passed away 26 years ago, I asked for her concrete bench.  Ever since I can remember, this big concrete bench, with beautifully cast roses on each leg, was in her back yard.  It sat in an all-day shady spot (this is important in Florida! lol), which provided the perfect resting place after our annual Easter Egg Hunts as well as many other backyard family gatherings.  But, my fondest memory (as a little girl) is of sitting on the bench and drinking homemade lemonade, while my Grandmother told me stories or handed out sage advice as she hung up her laundry on the clothesline or gardened a little… tending to her many beautiful & unusual plants, including a small grapevine.  After she finished, she would always sit down next to me (on the bench) and finish her stories while sipping her homemade lemonade.

A few years after I became the proud owner of my Grandmother’s bench – the seat broke.  I may have positioned the bench legs too far apart… I’m not sure… but as it fell to one side, it landed on one of the support legs and also broke that.  I suppose most people would have thrown the remaining support leg away but to me, that would have been like throwing out memories of my sweet Grandma Nonie, who I dearly loved and miss to this day.  So, whenever you see the big, rose-adorned concrete bench leg next to my front door (in any of my photos), please don’t think I’ve lost my decorating mind.  It’s just an orphan from my Grandmother’s bench and having it there to greet me everyday keeps my Grandma close to my heart.  🙂

Eileen

UPDATE:  I just had to share with my readers something my 4 sweet sons gifted me with this past Christmas…. a new bench for new memories.   No wonder I love them!!!

New Wreath Trend

I’ve been noticing a new wreath trend on several front doors in my area.  It is a die-cut wooden wreath that has been hand-painted and many times, personalized.  They’re very cute, unique and would definitely be easier to store than a regular seasonal wreath, so it might be something you want to consider.  Also, as one of my Facebook Community Members pointed out… this is the perfect wreath for those of you who have a screen door in front of your entry door.

Below are a few different designs (ranging in price from $29-$79) that I found on various artist websites, ready to purchase and hang:

CLICK on photo for detail & website info

Of course, if you have some artistic ability, simply head over to http://www.ebay.com and SEARCH “unfinished craft wood wreath”.  You’ll find many unfinished versions of these wreaths in different shapes and sizes and all of them are quite reasonable ($5-$7).  Keep in mind, you’ll need paint, ribbon, a drill (for bow placement), finishing glaze to protect it from the elements (unless that’s included in your paint) and either cut-to-fit felt or these handy self-adhesive rubber bumpers (available at DIY, craft & discount stores for less than $2/multi-pack) to glue or adhere to the back of the wreath to protect your door.  At that point, you may just want to take the easy route and choose a pre-made version from one of these on-line sites I found above.  Whichever idea you choose, I think you will love the style and ease of this new wreath trend and they’d make a great gift too!

Enjoy the Creativity!

Eileen

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