Spring Table Scape

Spring is the perfect time to sneak in a relaxing, lunch with friends.  Even if it’s main purpose is a planning meeting, it can still feel special if you pull out your pretty dishes & serve something easy and yummy.  So today, I did just that… pulled out my light blue glassware and made some of my favorite recipes – Fruited Chicken Salad, which is a great Spring, Easter or Summer meal (I just added the “how to” to my RECIPE section) and for dessert, I used my old 10-minute (from start to finish) standard…. Oatmeal Fudgies…. and added some Six-lets candy in the center as they were cooling to create little chocolate bird nests (Fudgies recipe also in RECIPE section of this blog). 

Two things to remember –

  • If you have a pretty tablecloth that doesn’t cover your table, turn it so it lays in a diamond shape in the center of the table.  Everyone will think you did it on purpose and
  • Don’t forget to add a sprig of fresh mint to each glass of iced tea… it tastes SO refreshing and mint is very good for you!

Enjoy the Creativity!

Eileen

A Passion for Purple at Easter!

MOVED Note

For my front door area,  I was eager to reuse my black footed planters (to create a similar look to last years) for Easter (https://seasonalhome.wordpress.com/2011/03/28/3759/).  But of course… it had to be a brand new look AND on a budget (translation – make it myself!)  I also had a definite passion for purple this year and here’s my inspiration…. PURPLE PEEPS!

Before I could create the entire look, I first had to create a duplicate of my inspiration – the Marshmallow PEEP Bunny.

Using a 50% off coupon, I purchased a sheet of (apx.) 2″ x 12″ x 36″ white styrofoam, drew and cut a PEEP shape and used one of the discarded pieces (as a file) to create nice, clean edges on the finished product.

  Next, I painted my PEEP shape with a styrofoam-friendly brand of spray paint (Design Master) in lavender and then while damp, sprinkled it with a light coating of iridescent glitter for a sugary look.  I also painted a bamboo wood dowel that I had cut in half and once that was dry, I inserted both pieces into the bottom of my PEEP shape, to create a stand.  Chocolate brown (my name – not the manufacturer’s – but I thought that might be more helpful) acrylic paint and a small paint brush helped me create the face.  Don’t they have the cutest faces?!!  Couldn’t you picture several smaller versions of these in your front yard (maybe in different colors?)

    

Ok, back to the project (lol)…. I spray painted one of my footed, black planters white, and even reused a styrofoam circle (note the hole made by last year’s pvc).  Then, I placed & gently pushed my PEEP’s bamboo legs into the styrofoam circle to secure it in the planter, slipped a purple-themed spring wreath over his head and added extra flowers to camouflage the styrofoam.

I added a bow to my bunny and placed my large, purple yard eggs and several other decorations around to bring my purple PEEP passion together, including using one of my outdoor greenery plants.  And I love the mossy, jumping bunnies I found at Pier 1 this year.  See what you think…

 

CLICK on any photo to view it larger.

Don’t forget to check out my entire EASTER category for even MORE creative ideas and stay tuned because I’ll be revisiting this craft in Easter 2013 in a fun & fabulous way…

Happy Easter!

Eileen

Using Paper products to help decorate your fireplace for Spring & Easter

In today’s marketplace, paper comes in so many forms and is a perfect fit for my creative, yet budget-conscious, brain.  So, if you’re looking for new ways to transform your fireplace from Winter to Spring (and Easter), read on because I think you’ll like the creative way I found to incorporate 3 different paper products to create 2 new designs.

IDEA #1

For the first fireplace look, SCRAPBOOK PAPER helped me create an “Art Comes Alive” look above The Seasonal Home’s family room mantel.

Tracing around a wood butterfly shape (Hobby Lobby – 50 cents) created the large butterflies and a cookie cutter (I already owned) helped me create the smaller butterflies.  Because I have a hard surface surrounding my fireplace, I was able to use dots of hot glue, from a low-melt glue gun, to attach my butterflies to this surface.  You could also use “Tack It” (office supply dept.) or COMMAND strips to attach them to more delicate surfaces.

I found the vintage frame at a thrift store ($3), lightly spray painted it white and placed it on the mantel.  [NOTE: Typically, these are reasonable if they don’t have artwork in them].  The yellow clay pots are a recycle from a look I created last Easter (https://seasonalhome.wordpress.com/2011/03/07/yellow-at-easter-its-not-just-for-chicks-anymore/ )… so, “zero” dollars.   The aqua, polka-dotted bunnies ($3.99 each) and the yellow, polka-dotted candles ($4.99 each) are both from Old Time Pottery.  The yellow vine came from a clearance section of one of my favorite local stores ($6.75) as did the aqua birdie ($1.99).  I picked up the yellow gingham ribbon (see clay pot trim & mantel inset) at Joann’s, etc.  for only $1.75 with a 50% off coupon and the large aqua flower at Hobby Lobby for $1.99.  If you’re familiar with my blog, you’ll recognize my white candlesticks, bird nests and eggs because they roam somewhere different, every year, in The Seasonal Home.

For Part #2 of this look, I wanted to transition my fireplace hearth from Winter to Spring.  In keeping with my nature look, I thought it would be a great idea to make a cushion, flanked by some green topiaries from around the house, to create a park bench feel and also, add additional seating for my Spring and Easter guests.  The aqua gingham fabric, buttons, yellow bias tape & rope insert as well as the 2 bed pillows – $15.00 (Walmart).  So, this entire idea cost $47 to create and I love the fresh look!

IDEA #2

For the second look, I used two different paper products – Green, plaid Hallmark gift wrap (love this stuff because the lines on the opposite side make it easy to cut straight! lol) and white poster board (50 cents), both from Walmart ($4).  I taped a large piece of gift wrap to the back wall & upper inset of the fireplace and removed the logs/grate, to replace it with Dept. 56 artificial grass ($14), edged out with artificial lettuce leaves, to create a base for my 2 sitting, Mom & baby bunnies and used fuzzy Christmas snowball ornaments for their tails.  Finally, I dotted the grass with a few small daisies and also sprinkled them on the mantel and around the large, white bunny cookie jar (sitting inside the cabbage plate) to create continuity. 

CLICK on any photo to enlarge

On the mantel, I used items you’ll also recognize from previous posts, including the wreath, which is the yellow & white daisy wreath from the post I shared above.  I simply added a few different colored flowers to it.   And of course, I simply cannot decorate for ANY holiday without filling up one of my apothecary jars.  This time I added a set of glittered Easter Eggs.

On the side table, you’ll recognize another one of my white candlesticks, on top of which I placed a small clay pot of pink daisies.  You can place SO many different things on top of candlesticks during different seasons, so I highly recommend investing in a set of these to help with your decorating.

This look would be hard to price out for you because I used many items I already had, but it turned out to be one of my favorite looks because it’s so bright & cheery!

Enjoy the Creativity & Happy Easter!

EILEEN

The Easter Yard ~ 2011

Big Eggs and a new, filled Goat Cart… THE SEASONAL HOME is ready for the BIG HUNT!

“NO-Cal” Chocolate Bunnies for Easter! (LOL)

[CLICK on any PHOTO to view it LARGER]

I admit that I have a few holiday collections, but this is one of my favorites… CHOCOLATE BUNNIES!

I have them in all sizes, as you can see in the photos below – from tiny to GIANT-size.  And these are the best kind because they are faux bunnies, so there are no calories.  A few years ago, I even found a lighted “Chocolate Bunny Factory” (by Department 56 – check ebay to purchase) that is an adorable addition to my growing collection.

Combining my bunnies (gathered in a basket) with my lighted house (set on top of a cake plate to create a more equal height and scale) and finishing it off with a cute “EASTER” sign I found at Target creates a cute and YUMMY fireplace mantel scene:

I also found a (faux) chocolate egg topiary –

and a wreath that is the perfect accent to my LARGEST Chocolate Bunny –

In this same room, I also have a few “non-chocolate” decorations –

I placed my white bunny cookie jar on a nest of Easter grass, in the center of a large bowl, and dotted the grass with a few faux chocolate eggs.

And I love my stone bunny, so I added some blue eggs to his bowl to pick up on one of the accent colors in my rug.

Have a wonderful & chocolate-y Easter!

Yellow, at Easter… it’s not just for “CHICKS” anymore!

MOVED Note

Time to decorate for Easter!  And this year, I wanted a “HAPPY” color because it’s that time of year when everyone is ready for something new… Spring!  Pastels are pretty, but I wanted to choose something that would lift everyone’s spirits and “YELLOW” seems like the perfect color to accomplish that mission!

I know that yellow is typically paired with Easter “CHICKS”, but that would be too typical for someone like me…  so “BUNNIES” it is!  As I was spray painting my inexpensive clay pots white (as a primer) and then, yellow…

I couldn’t help but imagine how nice this painted pot would look with a textured rim.  I started looking around and thought of some great things (I had on hand) that would accomplish just that: rice, beans, bird seed, beads, ribbon, etc.    Because I already had some small yellow silk flowers on hand, I decided to use those –

which turned out great!   

Then, I got a little distracted thinking about what a nice, inexpensive gift container this pretty painted flower-pot would make… with a small Easter gift inside.  The first thing I placed in my new gift container was some pretty purple petunias.  Total cost for pot, paint, silk & real flowers – $5.00.  This would also be a nice “gift container” for a greenery plant; maybe an herb, like Rosemary or Parsley.  P.S. Don’t forget to include your best recipe that highlights the herb you are gifting!

For another gift idea, consider a “garden” theme!  Place garden gloves, gladioli bulbs, chapstick and sunscreen (all purchased at a dollar store, btw) and a a small jar of hand lotion.  Total Cost for pot, paint, flowers & items – $10.00

So, if your budget is tight, but you have some upcoming gift needs this Spring, I hope these inexpensive suggestions help.

Of course, I could continue coming up with more gift ideas, but it’s time to get back to decorating!

First, I spray painted 3 different sizes of the clay pots and stacked them (use styrofoam, plastic cups (hot glue these in place), sand, etc. inside each pot so the next pot will sit up higher inside the pot  beneath it).  Because I had decided to use some white bunny figurines (I already had), I decided to hot glue white daisies (found at Wal-Mart for 97 cents) to decorate 3 of my painted clay pots and a $1.00 roll of yellow & white gingham ribbon as an accent for the other 2.

I thought the yellow & white gingham ribbon might also make a nice “color” accent to my mantel.  So, using my hot glue gun, I put a few dots of glue – just enough to keep a length of my ribbon in place.  My mantel is painted in a high gloss paint, which is very forgiving and will allow me to peel off the hot glue, after Easter.  If your mantel’s surface is delicate, I would suggest that you use a safer product – removable velcro tabs (called COMMAND and made by 3M).  As you can see, the ribbon created a subtle, but nice accent and broke-up all of the white (of my mantel) –

I had no need to make a wreath this year because I found the perfect design at Old Time Pottery for less than $20 and added a wooden “WELCOME” white bunny sign I already had to it.  I also had an inexpensive white, yellow & green 6 foot daisy garland, which I laid across the front of the mantel, mixing in some plastic yellow & white Easter eggs, faux grass, (VERY) inexpensive fencing (from the DIY store) and a strand of carrot lights, all of which I’ve had for years. 

The orange BUNNY TREATS jar was an old Hallmark candy dish I got for free because the lid was missing, so I made lemonade out of lemons and popped a faux head of lettuce on top of it, but tied a bit of my gingham ribbon around it first, like a gift (for the bunnies, of course!)

The giant yellow daisies are a loan from my Creative Family Traditions and Ideas book displays. 

In the end, my total cost for this Spring’s design was $32.00 and I love the end result!  I hope you do too!

Don’t forget to check out my previous Spring and Easter decorations…. always done on a budget!  They can be found under the CATEGORIES of Spring and Easter, in the right hand column of this blog.  If you need an Easter gift, please check out my book.  Those ideas are all budget-minded too.

HAPPY EASTER!

Eileen

P.S.  If you don’t think lights make a difference, just check out how cozy the night view is:


A “SPRINGY” Easter Yard!








HAPPY EASTER!

SPRING WREATH OPTIONS

Be sure to check out my book, exclusive to my website www.creativefamilytraditions.com.  You’ll find lots of creative ideas for making memories (with family & friends) plus MORE seasonal decorating ideas!

When it comes to choosing a pretty wreath to hang outside or in your home, normally you have 2 choices:  (1) make it yourself or (2) purchase a (typically) very expensive designer wreath.  But, I have a 3rd option (for you) that you may not have thought of.

Of course, you can make your own and theme it any way you want as I did in the 3 wreaths below, but….


…. if you want the look of a custom wreath (without the expense), check out your local craft and discount home stores for one that has “potential”.  Typically, wreaths in these stores are kind of sweet (in design), but nothing special.  In that case, you may think “what’s the point (even at a good price?)”   The solution: pump up the volume of something simple by making a wreath bow out of a vibrant, coordinated color and adding it to your discount store wreath.  It will make it pop and everyone will think you worked hard creating this masterpiece.  You can equate this idea to your easiest & most highly complimented recipe ~ it always works.  All that’s left to do is hang it up and say “thank you” for all the compliments!

Below is a wreath I found for only $16.99 at Old Time Pottery, a discount home store (to check locations: www.oldtimepottery.com).  All I did was add a vibrant bow (out of ribbon also found in Old Time Pottery’s ribbon section for only $3).  When doing this, always choose a ribbon color to match the color of a smaller or less dominant flower in the wreath to bring out “that” color, which is the same process artists use to choose matting when framing artwork.  This pretty wreath is going to look beautiful on my front door this spring, for $20 and very little effort!

Versatile Table Centerpieces for Spring and Easter

Are you enjoying my ideas & designs?  Then, you’ll LOVE my book!  It’s original, full of amazing photos and even MORE decorating ideas.  It’s also entirely AMERICAN MADE and makes an AWESOME gift.  Your support is much appreciated! 🙂


This display idea can be used as a organic-style decoration on your dinner, buffet or coffee table at Easter. The squares of faux green grass are available at many craft stores (from 4”- 12” square) and range in price from $5-$14.

This fun green grass creates so much versatility for your Spring & Easter decorating! As you can see in the photo, I have loaded up 3 clay pots with the green stuff as a low centerpiece (low to create ease of conversation across the table.)
DIRECTIONS: If your container choice is deep (as in the clay pots pictured on the right), first fill them with green styrofoam blocks (cut to fit) to use up the excess depth. Place a 4” faux grass square in the center of the pot. Fill in any spots, where you can still see the green foam, with individual pieces of the faux grass, pulled from a spare square of grass. You can also add ribbon around the lip of each clay pot or even paint them. For a final decorative touch, tuck in flowers & Robin’s eggs throughout the grass.
BONUS IDEAS: position the pots on top of large faux leaves, usually available @ craft or floral supply stores, for an extra touch. Other faux grass container options: clay pot saucers, baskets, (handyman) rectangular aluminum mud pans (found in D.I.Y. stores) or planters of any shape or size.  If you want to add the faux chocolate bunnies into your design, they are easy to find at www.LillianVernon.com.
DON’T FORGET!  If  you’re like me and enjoy decorating and celebrating during the seasons & holidays, please check out my book of traditions (Creative Family Traditions and Ideas).  It’s full of my creative and original ideas that I road tested with my own family and it covers the entire year, plus MORE decorating ideas!  It’s available for preview and purchase on this site – check out the BOOK tab for a preview.