Thursday, June 27, 2013

Painted Shabbat Candles

Our friend, Beth invited us for Friday night Shabbat dinner this week. Instead of the usual bottle of wine, I decided to make these gold painted candles to bring as a gift.


It was so simple to make with things I already had in my craft closet.
The painters tape I had on hand was very wide so I cut it into thinner strips to form the stripes. The paint dries quickly so it's an easy project to do when you don't have much time.

 Glamorous, right? Who says Shabbat candles have to be plain white?

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Food Faces

Like many three-year-old's, our grandson Yosef can be a picky eater. To get him to eat better we had a fun morning creating these funny faces out of crackers, cream cheese and vegetables.  I don't know who had more fun--me or the kids!

The idea came from a favorite game I keep at my house for the kids...
we play this game over and over and over and over....

It worked--Yosef ate all his creations!

His big sister Moussia is an excellent eater...
but she joined in the fun and made her own version of funny faces.

It's a great way to keep the kids busy indoors...
on a too-hot or rainy day while getting them to eat some healthy snacks.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Dip It

Have you caught the dipping trend? It's so hot right now--everything from paint dipped furniture to dye dipped fabric. I'm thinking of dipping a pillow for the living room. Here are a few examples I found for inspiration...
How gorgeous are these wooden spoons from littlebitfunky.com?

These pots from apartmenttherapy.com are so simple but the hit of pink paint goes a long way.

A plain Ikea console table gets a dip from the sweetbeastblog.com.

Turn your white sneakers into something much chicer with a bit of fabric dye, like they did on frankie.com.au.

The folks at MarthaStewart.com show us how to dip plain wicker baskets.

Ordinary legs become much more interesting after a dip in some pastel paint at 2modern.com.

What will you dip?

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Pom Pom Placemats

I have a thing for pom poms lately--they're just so fun and colorful. I picked up a pack at the craft store and made these whimsical placemats.


I glued the pom poms on with Duco household cement so these should be spot cleaned only.

They come in a rainbow of colors so the sky's the limit with things you can create.
So festive for a summer party!

Monday, June 17, 2013

Trays for Tank Storage

I really prefer leaving the back of the toilet tank empty, but when you're working with a tiny bathroom and there is no counter space, the back of the toilet becomes prime real estate! I found my cosmetics kept ending up there so I gave in and looked for storage.

After much searching, I finally found the solution in the kitchen department.

These inexpensive bamboo boxes are from the kitchen section at Bed Bath and Beyond. The large size fits perfectly on top of the tank.

The only other storage in the room are glass shelves I installed above the toilet...

The large surface stands in for counter space...
that I wish I had!

Friday, June 14, 2013

Sukkah Planning

You probably read the title of this post and thought "she's crazy! It's only June and Sukkot begins September 18th." 

You're right. Sort of. When we moved here in November we got rid of our old sukkah. It was made of wood that wasn't designed for outdoor use and over the years it became warped and it took hours to get it up for the holiday. Also, it was super heavy so the whole ordeal of setting it up was a pain.

We could buy one of these pre-fab sukkahs but how cool would it be to have a gazebo-like structure built that we can use all summer and then just throw on some bamboo mats, close the curtains and we're ready for the holiday?

When I saw this photo from Lowe's creative ideas I was in love. Ours would sit on a concrete patio not a deck, and we would skip the fabric on the roof since it needs to be organic material.
 

I've been checking out prices and it looks like the pre-fab sukkahs cost about the same as the raw materials for this one including labor. (yay!) Our carpenter said he would come the first few weeks in August to build it so I'm really not that early at all.

For my readers who are a bit confused: Sukkot is a Jewish holiday that comes in autumn. We eat in the sukkah for seven days and invite family and friends for festive meals. You can learn more about it here.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Matches in a Bottle

If you're like me you go through a lot of matches--Jewish holiday candle lighting, birthday celebrations, outdoor grilling, the list goes on and on. I decided to transfer ordinary matches from the matchbox they came with into something more decorative.

Here's how. I started with a box of matches from the hardware store and some one dollar spice bottles I found at Bed bath and Beyond.
The matches fit perfectly in the bottles.
Then I cut a circle out of sandpaper using the top of the spice bottle as a guide.
Glue the sandpaper circle to either the top or bottom of the spice bottle. I glued mine to the bottom.
For the bottle caps, I found some leftover washi tape that I wrapped around the cap for some added color and pattern.

Print out the labels on your home printer on colored paper, then cut and paste on the bottle.
So much prettier than a hardware store match box, right?
Linked to:
House of Hepworths 
Not Just a Housewife

Monday, June 10, 2013

A Peek at jcpenny

I haven't been to a jcpenny store in years, but after seeing their ads for their new home design shops I was curious to check them out. 

There are four shops--Jonathan Alder, Conran's, Michael Graves and Martha Stewart. I was most excited about the Jonathan Alder shop ever since I once went to his store in Soho and couldn't afford a thing.
Affordable Jonathan Alder? Yes, please.

The bright clear colors and graphic shapes jumped out as I rode up the escalator. What eye candy! 

I loved the clean lines of the Michael Graves shop...I've admired his architecture for years. 

Of course the Martha Stewart shop had the cutest paper goods and party supplies...
They also sold beautiful color coordinated bags of candy ready to pour into glass containers for your party.

I ended up coming home with this duck egg blue throw from the Conran shop. 

I remember the Conran store when I lived in New York City in the late 70's early 80's. (I still have an iron bed frame I bought there and it's in perfect shape.)
There was the clean-lined modern furniture Terence Conran is famous for...
and these awesome pom pom pillows which I did not buy but now I'm having second thoughts!

Other favorites were these faux bois plates...
and nail head dining chairs.
I think I need to go back for those pillows.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Beds for the Guest Room

I've been transforming our finished rec-room in the basement into a guest room for family that will be staying here this summer. Here's an inexpensive idea I used for the beds.

I really dislike those standard metal bed frames with wheels. Instead, I picked up these chunky wood legs at Lowe's and simple screwed them into the wood of the box spring.
I screwed one leg into each corner and one in the center for extra support. I didn't have time to paint or stain them since guests were coming in a few days but I'll get to that soon.

To cover the box spring, I stapled a flat sheet (cut into strips) onto the wood frame for a more finished look.

Here's one more cheap trick...
I had three beds and three mismatched comforters. By covering all of them in matching duvet covers (I found mine at Ikea) everything looks coordinated!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Topiaries at Walmart!

Here's what I came home with yesterday from Walmart...
I ran in to return an inflatable swimming pool I bought for the grand kids and on my way out spotted these gorgeous trees. The price tag said $32.00--I've seen them elsewhere for over $100!
I even had the perfect pot I bought on sale from Ocean State Job Lot a year ago but never used--until now.  Reindeer moss covers the top of the soil and looks pretty.
Although it started out in the dining room/kitchen at the end of the day it found a home in the living room.
I think the formal vibe of the tree looks better in there. (As you can see I still have not finished painting the walls.) Who knew Walmart was so chic?

Monday, June 3, 2013

Front Doors

You know how when you're in the market for a new car, you seem to notice every car on the road?  That's how I've been with front doors.  I'm hoping to get around to painting and sprucing up our front entry door this summer so I'm noticing every beautiful door I drive pass. Here's a few of my inspiration doors from both around town and spotted on Pinterest.
Never mind that my house is a modest ranch and many of these are grand historic homes!
I can still draw inspiration from color, pots with plants, light fixtures and house numbers. Which one is your favorite?
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