What to do with your vacation shell collection

Ahhhhh, summer!  Sooner or later, we all end up at the beach.  And if you’re the typical beach vacationer, you undoubtedly have picked up a few shells along the way, so here’s a few ideas of things you can do with them –

Apothecary Jar fillers

A conversation table

Gorgeous Summer Wreath


A simple centerpiece

An accent for a wall or door decoration

Shell candles for your outdoor OR indoor spaces

A seashell bridal bouquet and boutonniere for your upcoming wedding

A summer theme birthday! Photo courtesy of Coastal Living


A keepsake ornament. Photo courtesy of oneartmama.blogspot.com

While at the beach… don’t forget to create a cool photo for your holiday cards! [photo hint: place your camera close to a small sand snowman to make him appear full-size]
Photo courtesy of sandcastlecentral.com

HAPPY SUMMER…. enjoy the creativity!


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!


“Springy” Easter Kitchen & Chandelier

There are a lot of black (accents) in THE SEASONAL HOME kitchen.  That creates a slight decorating challenge for me, especially during the seasons & holidays, but one that I absolutely love!  There are a ton of colors that go great with black (lime, lemon, pumpkin, ruby, cornflower, lilac, etc.) and I am enjoying exploring them all.

For Spring and Easter, I am using yellow and green as my accent colors, in the form of  chicks and cabbage leaves.  I began with my black cabinets that I filled with a green soup tureen and other “cabbage” accents, alongside my bunnies (the silver couple are my fav).  I just had to add a little jelly bean display because it’s not Easter without jelly beans!

And I didn’t leave out my chandelier!  A few (faux) cabbage leaves, some chick-filled nests, a botanical garland, daisies and some black & white checked ribbon have transformed an ordinary light fixture into a Spring-y delight!



Easter Centerpiece

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) to go with my seasonal decorating ideas!

Are you searching for a unique centerpiece idea for Easter?  Start with a little imagination and a fun little figurine from your own box of seasonal goodies!  And don’t hesitate to choose one of your favorites because this idea won’t damage it.

Begin with a basket (or any other handled container) as the base for your design.   I was lucky enough to find  the one I used in my design (below) at my local Home Goods store (www.Home Goods.com for store locations) – it’s an adorable, egg-shaped basket  – perfect for a centerpiece.

Next, choose your favorite Easter figurine (from your own decorations or in a store).  When deciding, consider what the artist has the figurine busy doing.  I had 2 of the same figurine (“Gathering Treats” from the Charming Tails collectible figurine line by creative artist Dean Griff)… a little mouse carrying an armload of jelly beans… so I decided that these figurines sparked my imagination enough to create a story scene around them.

Squashville is the imaginary town the artist of these figurines created for his collection

In a dollar store, I found a small bag of glittered jelly bean ornaments, which sparked the idea that these sweet little mice could be in the process of sugaring their jelly beans to create their own sparkly Easter tree!  I purchased a small cone-shaped piece of styrofoam to add the jelly bean ornaments to and glued them on the cone base.

But, before I could put the rest of the scene together in my centerpiece, I had to fill the bottom of the container.  I added a larger piece of styrofoam, trimmed to fit inside my container and level with the bottom of the opening.  I covered the top of the styrofoam with a piece of artificial turf (from your local DIY store) before I placed it inside the bottom portion of my egg container, trimming it with tiny flowers using a low melt glue gun.

To complete the scene, I needed to create a method for sugaring the jelly beans and help tell my scene story.  I found a fashion doll lamp accessory in a dollar store and pulled off the base, which I also flowered using a glue gun, after attaching it to a spirally straw that I trimmed (most of the spiral, except 1 short curve).  Inside the base of the lamp, I added another small piece of sytrofoam and inserted clear bristles from an inexpensive hairbrush I also purchased at a dollar tree.  I added a tiny piece of floral vine to unify the lamp base & straw as one.  Then, I sprayed the whole piece with spray glue & sprinkled irridescent glitter on it.  Once I placed it into the styrofoam base (through a little slit I cut in the green turf), I had created a sugar shower these adorable figurines could  bring their jelly beans to for a generous sparkling!

For finishing touches, I added a few of the sparkled jelly beans to a tiny wheelbarrow I hand painted (available at most craft stores). Then, I made a double-sided sign (on my computer, using clip art and a tiny font), which I printed on heavy card stock, cut-out and hung inside the top portion of the basket (from tiny chains, rescued from a cheap key chain) to create more detail in my scene.  Finally, I also added some color-coordinated silk flowers (low melt hot-glued) to the top of the container and my scene was complete.   This took apx. 1 hour to make and was a big hit and the following year, it served another purpose because I donated it to a deserving, non-profit organization for their Spring fund raiser.  I’m sure your creation will make an adorable centerpiece for your Easter gathering too!

Be sure to check out my other Easter Centerpiece and decorating ideas under the “EASTER” Category.

The completed centerpiece!

Use your Easter Wreath as a Display!


Like my ideas & designs?  Then, you’ll LOVE my book!  It’s original, full of an amazing amount of GORGEOUS photos, made entirely in the U.S.A. and makes an AWESOME gift!

At only 17 cents per idea, you won’t find a better, more affordable gift anywhere!   Available ONLY at my website: www.CReativeFAmilyTRaditions.com.  Thank you! :-)

Most people display wreaths vertically on a door or wall. This unusual idea, however, demonstrates another creative use for your decoration-in-the-round! It was born from my need to display a grouping of sweet, spring ornaments. But, this design would be just as beautiful on its own or using some-thing like Easter eggs too! Since my ornament collection consisted of little animals, dressed up in their spring finery, I decided to create a tiny, flower-dotted forest. The following are the directions so you can create your own little bog:

on one side of a grapevine wreath, glue preserved green moss. Cut single stems of silk spring flowers, at varying heights.  With a touch of glue on the (non-flower) end, insert each stem into the wreath. Fill in between & underneath the flowers with faux baby’s breath or other tiny silk flowers to create a lower floral element as well. Space your ornaments (if you have a collection to use) equal distances apart. Keep them in place by using a tiny touch of (low temp) hot glue or tack-it gummy temporary adhesive (sold in office supply sections of most stores). This design idea would also be adorable stretched vertically along a fireplace mantle as a garland!
Another Option: consider featuring something in the center of the wreath, like a large candle, apothecary jar (full of glittery eggs or an Easter house on basket grass), etc.
If (like me) you 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!  It’s available for preview and purchase at www.CreativeFamilyTraditions.com.

CLICK ONHOME (above) to view all of my current ideas or choose your favorite season/holiday from the categories in the column on the right side of this BLOG Page. I’ll be adding ideas, photos & videos all the time, as each season approaches!


Spring Topiary ~ Perfect for Bridal Shower and Wedding too!

Like my ideas & designs?  Then, you’ll LOVE my book!  It’s original, full of an amazing amount of GORGEOUS photos, and MORE seasonal decorating.  Entirely AMERICAN MADE, it makes an AWESOME gift! Available ONLY on my website.

To make this quick & easy cutie, you will need:

Apx. 2 dozen 3” (flower head measurement) silk Gerbera Daisies
Clay pot or other floral container (check clearance aisles!)
Slim branch (2-1/2 x the height of your container)
4″ (in diameter) styrofoam ball
Apx. 2 dozen tiny, silk white daisies
Faux soil product (called “Looks Like Soil”) – or – preserved moss
Additional styrofoam piece (to fit inside container) -or- Plaster of Paris

Begin by placing (instant mix) Plaster of Paris inside the container, filling it apx. 2/3 full. Place one end of your branch into the center of your container (while plaster is still wet). Hold or prop-up branch vertically until the plaster dries. When filler is dry, add a small amount of glueto other end of branch. Immediately place center of styrofoam ball over top of branch & gently push down (apx. 2”) to secure stick inside styrofoam ball. Allow to dry. In the meantime, prepare faux dirt product or preserved moss and add it to the top of the container (if you do this while the plaster is still drying, it will keep the moss or dirt in place). Allow to dry (apx. 15 minutes).  Cut the stems of each Gerbera Daisy to apx. 2″ in length.  Starting at the top center, gently push each stem into the styrofoam ball, continuing until the entire ball is covered. Hot glue the small white daisies around the base of the branch & add a silk ribbon bow under the styrofoam ball for a finishing touch. This design is beautiful to display all spring and would also make the perfect compliment to a bridal shower or wedding reception too! 
I love to decorate around the seasons & holidays!  If you’d like to see more of my seasonal design ideas alongside my unique traditions, check out my book “Creative Family Traditions and Ideas”, available for preview & purchase on this website, and thanks for your support!
Here’s another version, made with live flowers –

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.