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.

s_reeds_distance_red

Distance photo (for size scale)

s_reeds_closeup_red

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

Shabby Chic Valentine Fireplace

[As always, click on any photo to view it larger]

Time to decorate the fireplace for Valentine’s Day!

It can look so much nicer to hang something large and Valentine themed over (and under) a mantel full of decorations because it enlarges the look of your festive display.  But, one problem is that Valentine themed art is very hard to find and can be expensive so why not create your own?

Step 1 – search your local thrift store for a wooden frame.

A wooden frame can be any color because it’s easy to paint.  I found this one last year (it was a dirty, dusty brown color) and painted it white to create a shabby chic look to use in some Spring themed decor.

For Valentine’s Day, I added a red, beaded garland (using spots of hot glue, here & there to secure it) to the frame temporarily and displayed a lightweight wreath of roses from a bow and ribbon in the center of the open frame.  Viola!

HELPFUL HINT:  I hung the frame on an existing nail, but you could also attach the bow to the top of the frame and lean it against the wall.

s_fireplace frame_closeup

LIVING ROOM - Tree Skirt Closeup

Step 2 – “new-purpose” old decorations!

A common thread you will notice in my style of decorating is that I re-use (or “new-purpose”) decorations I already own and many times, for a different holiday!  Do you remember the faux fern I used to border the snow under my Fairy themed Christmas tree a couple of years ago?  Check out how nice it looks along the back of the mantel with last year’s Dollar Store roses and a $1.00/pkg. of pink, glittered hearts (Dollar Tree) tucked in.  It serves as a beautiful backdrop to my sweet Cupid, 2 heart-shaped topiaries and faux rose petals on the mantel.

Roses with Lime Green (Residential Client)

And just in case you were wondering how roses might look on a tree, for Christmas, check out the rose-themed tree I designed for a client.

Also, if you have a large Valentine sign (like this “BE MINE” from Home Goods), you can use it to decorate the front of a mantel, by removing the hanger and using “Tack-it” (temporary gummy adhesive) to secure it in place for the holiday.  I just love how these 2 additions simply & inexpensively enlarged my Valentine’s Day mantel design.

s_fireplace_closer

Step 3 – Don’t forget the details!  I’ve had my sweet, little Angel for a long time, but this year (for the first time) I happened to notice that she had a tiny bird on her shoulder.  Keeping in mind that LOVE comes in all shapes & sizes, I used my hot glue gun to add a small heart to his beak because… of course, he would bring her a little Valentine’s Day greeting!

s_angel_closeup

And if you like the little glass votive candle holder I placed in front of my Cherub, it was super easy to create!  The glass votive is a plain one I purchased at the dollar store and added the word “LOVE” to, using my favorite self-adhesive vinyl letters (see office supply stores for these, in all fonts & sizes).  You could also use a stencil and paint or etching cream to add a heartfelt sentiment.  The candle was even a bargain because I purchased it after Christmas for pennies!

Enjoy the creativity, and…

HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY!

Eileen

Cozy New Year’s Eve Dinner Party (at home)

[As always, click on any photo for a larger view]

A few years ago, my hubby and I decided to start celebrating New Year’s Eve at home…. just the 2 of us.  But, instead of eating our dinner in the kitchen, I decided to create the feel of a cozy restaurant by placing a small table in front of the fireplace and Christmas tree in the Living Room…  the perfect setting for a romantic evening for two.  The dinner, decor & party favor ideas I created this year could also be used for a party of more than 2, so I’m sharing in case you’re up for an easy-to-do celebration!

PARTY FAVORS

These were soooo easy to create!   Collect empty toilet paper or paper towel rolls, to wrap, using gold, black or silver paper (it’s ok to use leftover holiday paper if it matches your color scheme), ribbon, candy, party confetti, scratch-off lottery tickets and create a personalized horoscope for each person attending (copy these from the internet & remember to keep it positive! LOL)…
s_cracker ingreds
Cut a length of gift wrap wide enough to wrap completely around the empty paper roll (I used toilet paper rolls) and 2 inches longer on each end…

s_cracker roll up

Roll up the toilet paper roll in the paper and tape closed…

s_cracker_rolled

Squish (technical term, in case you were wondering) one end and tie it closed with ribbon so you can fill the tube…

s_cracker_ribbon curled

Place inside: a scratch-off lottery ticket, the recipient’s personal horoscope (according to their Zodiac sign), a bit of the confetti & candy in the other (open) end…

s_cracker_insert ingreds

s_cracker_inside

Squish the remaining end & tie it closed with curled ribbon also.  Add self-adhesive, glittered letters to the outside, spelling out each of your guest’s names, making it easier to hand them the correct horoscope.  And if you find that some of your guests have longer names, you may want to go with their initials/monogram instead (both options show below)…

s_crackers_done

PARTY PLATES!

At Target, I found some plastic black plates (under $2.00 each) & a package of 8 clear plates for around $3.00.  I placed self-adhesive, number stickers (representing the incoming year – 2013) and some silver, mylar confetti in the center of the black plate.  Then, I turned the black plate into a charger by covering it with one of the clear plastic plates.  I held the clear plate in place using 4 glue dots…

plate assembly

HELPFUL HINT:  I love this idea because, next year, I can simply peel off the last number (3) and add the new number (4) and place a fresh clear plate on top to recycle the whole look!
And just look at how great these inexpensive items look on my cozy New Year’s table…

s_plate on table

My Christmas tree and fireplace garland was super easy to transition into a look for New Year’s because of the color combination and theme I chose this year.  So, if you’re planning a New Year’s gathering, keep that in mind when you’re decorating for Christmas.
To turn my Christmas decorations into a”New Year’s” feel, I removed: the Christmas tree candles & SEASONS GREETINGS sign from the mantle.  I added: more candles, New Year Party Hats, a “2013” I drew & cut out of a small piece of foam core board & painted gold, a few “Happy New Year” plastic light covers (to the wreath & garland) and floated 4 gold balloons on black ribbon in front of the fireplace, covering the balloon weights with gold, mylar basket shred from the Dollar Tree…

s_table best

s_balloons base

HELPFUL HINT:  If you can’t afford or don’t have time to get your balloons filled with helium, use packing tape (rolled into a circle so it will stick to the back of your balloon and a 2nd, flat surface) to keep a balloon, in place, making it appear to be floating!
To the Christmas tree, I added black, gold and silver horn cardboard blowers, a few of the “Happy New Year” plastic light covers and some cool clock ornaments I found a few years ago.  HELPFUL HINT:  Clock ornaments are in stores every year, so keep an eye out for them.  You will only need to purchase around 7 clock theme ornaments to add a New Year feel to your tree.

s_tree top

So, on a small OR large-scale… enjoy your party!

Wishing you a safe and HAPPY NEW YEAR

 and thank you for your support of THE SEASONAL HOME,

Eileen

s_full_best

Christmas Product Spotlight

Did you notice this cute little Elf, sitting on the rocking horse in my 2011 holiday video tour of The Seasonal Home?

His name is MALCOM! 

How about the sweet, little elf  (in the background) helping me decorate my tree?  His name is LEONARDO!

When I find a great, family owned company, with quality products, I like to let my friends know. And because these are Christmas Products, I’m sharing them a little early, allowing you plenty of time to consider them for your own holiday decor this year.

This company (The Whitehurst Co.) has 2 of my favorite, quality collections…

The first one is an adorable one, called THE ELVES THEMSELVES… a fun group of Santa’s helpers, of which Malcolm and Leonardo are members.

Elves understand the importance of the tasks involved in creating the festive atmosphere of the season.  Jobs like building toys, painting, baking, checking Santa’s list, alongside the day-to-day chores that keep the North Pole running smoothly.  This is a collection of those sweet elves, that range in size from 9-15″.

The Whitehurst Company is my “go to” (wholesale) source for a plentiful inventory of these jolly, little fellows.  But, if you wish to purchase them from one of their retailers, visit http://www.seasonsontheweb.com.  Here are just a few more adorable elves you’ll find there:

If you would like to check out the entire collection, including the adorable wine cellar elves, simply click on either of the photos above.

The Whitehurst Company also carries a complete line (Size & Color) of Heirloom Quality Ornaments.  Their glass ornaments come in over 112 colors and 3 finishes (Shiny, Matte and Pearl).  They have 9 different sizes, ranging from 1-1/4″ up to 7″.  These are not the glass thin, fragile, throw-away versions you find at discount stores, they are treasures that make it easy to dress up any space with an elegant look.  And because of their extensive color line (no limitations here!), it is easy to match any special color scheme, occasion or season!  You won’t be limited to one size or one shade of red, green or blue, etc.  And best of all – I have found that they stand behind their products (because of the quality); products you will WANT to pass down… a classic decoration that never goes out of style!  Just look at what you can do with nothing more than a collection of various shades & sizes of glass ornaments:

 

So, if you want to start a collection of these beautiful, heirloom ornaments, there are 2 ways to go – for Wholesale customers, visit www.thewhitehurstcompany.com and for Retail Consumers, visit www.christmaslightsetc.com.

And if you’d like to find out more about The Whitehurst Company, feel free to check out their other social media outlets:

BLOG:  http://www.decoratingeveryday.blogspot.com

TWITTER:  @glassornaments

FACEBOOK:  http://www.facebook.com/whitehurstcompany

PINTEREST:  http://www.pinterest.com/thewhitehurstco

Enjoy their Creativity!

Eileen

Spooky Halloween Fireplace

Here’s an idea for creating a spooky Halloween fireplace.  And while showing you “how” I created it, I’m also going to cover a few of the “steps” behind my design style.

In Spring 2011, I used a green bird cage as the focal point of a bird-themed design.  [By the way, the bird cage was a collectibles display that a Hallmark store was done using and decided to sell, so I picked it up for only a few dollars.  This happens often in gift shops, so you should always express your interest and leave your name & number with the manager if a unique display catches your eye.]  When I’m decorating, my first step is to find inspiration and this bird cage provided my first bit of inspiration for this spooky Halloween fireplace design.

My second step is to look for things to re-purpose, to save money.  I knew the bird cage would look very different if I simply painted it, so I covered the mirror on the back wall (to protect it) and used a can of black spray paint to give it more of a Halloween look and viola’… a bat cage was born! 

Look for decorations that provide big bang for your dollar, like this large, removable “Flying Bats” window cling.

Re-purpose, before you purchase!  I wanted to place the window cling on a mirror above my fireplace, but there was one problem – I had no mirror above my fireplace! LOL  So, I looked around and moved a mirror from another wall (this one was over a chest in my living room), leaning it up against the wall, above the fireplace.  This not only solved the problem, but once again, without spending any money.  By the way, this would also be a look you could easily create over a tabletop, in a foyer, etc.

Create stories and add “action” to make decorations more interesting.  This draws in visitors who see your seasonal decor and adds whimsy too – who doesn’t love whimsy, especially during the holidays? ;-).  Positioning the (newly painted) bird cage next to the mirror and adding a few of the window cling bats (to the mirror INside the cage) makes it look as though the bats have escaped through the open door of the bat cage.  Adding a small skeleton (inside the cage) created a little whimsy because you find yourself wondering if he was somehow helpful in unlocking the cage door, so the bats could fly free.

Include lighting (lamps, candles, etc.) in your decorations.  I absolutely LOOOOOVE these new Spider candles, so I chose them to add that eerie glow to my mantel scene.  These are some of the best battery-operated candles because they’re lightweight plastic, won’t melt, and not only does the faux wick light up, but also the silver, glittery spider on the front (creating some BONUS lighting).

Combine similar things to add layers to your look.  I got lucky and found this large, gorgeous, silver, glittered crow at a warehouse sale, for only $3.00, and couldn’t resist perching him on top of the bat cage to create even more action.

Accessorize to fill up empty spots!  I added a few small pumpkins, black twig garland (Michael’s Crafts), preserved moss and a length of wide ribbon to fill in the empty spots.

Carry the look all the way to the floor.  I placed larger pumpkins, branches (I gathered outside, spray painted black & added a couple of orange spiders to) and 3 lanterns in the fireplace opening & around the hearth. 

Again, add lighting!  To create a lit look (inside the lanterns), I took one strand of orange lights and fed a few of the lights inside each of the lanterns to give them a warm, autumn glow.

And here’s the complete look… it’s one of my favorites I’ve ever come up with… I hope you like it too!

HAPPY  HALLOWEEN… enjoy the creativity!

Eileen

P.S.  I have a limited number of a few of the items above in my SHOP, while supplies last.

FALL, in the foyer

This Fall, I’m definitely into pumpkins and the warmth of falling leaves and I think the foyer is the perfect place to display a family-representative pumpkin as well as one that says…

  “WELCOME HOME”!

             

And I wish I could shrink myself down to spend time in this sweet Craft Shop and attend the Scarecrow Festival! 😉

House – Scarecrow Harvest Festival by Dept. 56

Placing decorations on top of risers (like candlesticks and cake plates) gives them more prominence and are easier to dust around during the season.

And if you want to display a wreath in the center of a mirror or artwork and cannot hang it from ribbon, try a heavy duty (clear) suction cup!

This is another design that would also look great over a mantel.

Enjoy the Creativity!

Eileen

Annual “WELCOME FALL!” Picnic

[CLICK ON ANY PHOTO, for a more detailed & larger view]

This weekend was our Annual “WELCOME FALL!” Picnic at The Seasonal Home… a celebration that I started, several years ago, with the daughters of one of my best friends (who happens to live next door). The first year, it was simply my way of giving her a little parent-break, but has now become an annual tradition. Once my boys were grown, I really missed the creativity of doing fun things like this so now, I’m creating new memories with my 2 sweet neighbors – Emme and Gretta.

This celebration is our way of welcoming in the Autumnal Equinox (a/k/a Fall) and even though it is usually still hot outside, a good fan and our imaginations help us pretend that it’s breezy & cool. Here’s a peek at some of our fun, in case you want to start this tradition yourself.

We always have our picnic first. This year, we decided to make grilled cheese sandwiches (cut into pumpkins), homemade sweet potato fries (Sandra Lee’s recipe, Food Network), and diced apples over graham cracker crumbs with a drizzle of hot caramel (an idea we thought up ourselves). P.S. If you ever want to see a young child have fun, give them some graham crackers in a plastic bag and show them how to turn them into crumbs, using a wooden rolling pin – hilarious!

For dessert, we made a healthier chocolate muffin from a new mix called “Simple Mornings”. They served as our cupcakes, topped with a little homemade cream cheese frosting (Food Network recipe), sprinkles and a small, candy pumpkin.

We had SO much fun making all the food… together!

Of course, we decorated for our picnic too! I found over-sized, felt, fall leaves (in 3 different colors) at The Dollar Tree and we simply used a piece of fishing line to hang them from the pergola beams.

They looked so pretty (moving), when a breeze finally kicked up! Check it out in this short YouTube video I made:

With the addition of a few scarecrows, pumpkins and fall flowers, we were ready to enjoy our “WELCOME FALL” picnic.

And funny enough, every year, we seem to be visited by a representative of Mother Nature. Last year, it was a caterpillar and this year, we enjoyed the company of a beautiful & HUGE Swallowtail Butterfly, who really liked the flowers in my up-cycled wheelbarrow Fairy Garden.

And he didn’t even seem to mind that I was following him around with my camera.

The girls were really hoping he would land on their fingers.

Once he fluttered off, it was time for lunch!

Uhhh… please ignore the well done sweet potato fries – they were the unfortunate casualty of our hectic kitchen preparation.

Once we saw that a few of our fries were slightly overcooked, the girls tried to make lemonade out of lemons by suggesting that “maybe adding some ketchup will help”…. soooooo sweet!

After we ate, it was time for crafts and games! We usually have an apple bobbing contest, but little Gretta is about to lose a front tooth, so we decided to try some new things this year.

So, first up…. a little painting of face masks.

And ta-dum…. the cute, personalized results. Hey, that looks a awful lot like my hair!!

Next, a competitive game of Halloween B-I-N-G-O. Check out the concentration on their faces (LOL).

And last, but not least…. a game of PIN THE HAT ON THE WITCH.

I’m not sure who was the best spinner or worst pin-er, but when you’re having fun, the results don’t really matter.

First up was Gretta….

Hmmm… close! Then, it was Emme’s turn.

In the end, it really didn’t matter who won because I had gathered a few inexpensive, special treats, as a surprise for both of the girls.

I found a cute $1.00 pumpkin box (Wal mart) to place them all in and added a “Happy 1st Day of Fall” note to each.

Once we headed back inside (we had enjoyed the Florida heat & humidity quite enough, thank you very much!), the girls had fun opening their goodie boxes.

Two of their favorite things were the Spider rings, modeled here by Emme –

and a small bag of the newest M & M flavor “Candy Corn White Chocolate”…. YUM!

In the end, we all agreed we had tons of fun and that cupcakes taste even better in air-conditioned comfort! (LOL)

I hope we inspired you to consider starting your own “Welcome Fall Picnic” tradition. 🙂

Enjoy the Creativity!

EILEEN

Previous Older Entries