DIY Pearl Daisies

Here’s a quick DIY project that you can do to bring flowers into your décor while you wait for spring to bring the real deal. I originally posted this DIY Pearl Daisies project as part of my 52 week series,
Girls Want Pearls.

For today’s project I raided my button stash and grabbed some pearls, wire, and twigs from the yard to create…

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To create the daisy I simply threaded the wire through the back of the button and, using one long continuous strand of wire, threaded pearls on and looped each petal, twisting together in the back before creating the next loop. Then I attached the flower to the twig with wire.

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You can glue on lace or burlap leaves to complete the look.

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I like the juxtaposition of the rustic twig with the fancy pearls. I placed mine in a “vase” of corroded copper pipe to give it even more of a rustic feel. The look can be easily changed up by using buttons in various styles and colors. Have fun with it!

I’m really ready for winter to be over.
I miss my bicycle.
And green grass.
And fresh air.

Only 39 days until spring!

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Heart Shapes in My Home

I’ve had the thought for a while that I wanted to go around my house and property in search of heart shapes to photograph. A few years ago I did a similar thing by looking for and photographing cross shapes in my house and posted it on a Good Friday. So this week I got a chance to look for hearts in time for Valentine’s Day. Some of the more obvious ones I was aware of but I was surprised by a few heart shapes that I found.

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This is one of a pair of French chairs that I found at the flea market several years ago. They were covered with bulky, poorly tacked on pieces of embroidery when I found them and I was thrilled to discover the heart shaped backs and (sort of) seats. The oil cloth is starting to come off and I need to decide what to do with that but I love them.

heart_shapes_candelabraA scrolly candelabra.

heart_shapes_sewing_machineThe side of a sewing machine that I inherited from my mom.

heart_shapes_iron_fence_2A cast iron fence piece used for garden art.

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Bet you have had these heart shapes in your home at some point, too.

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This metal stool is another flea market find. It sits between my kitchen and dining room.

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Hope your week is filled with love.

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Love Your Clothes Again + Shopping Checklist Printable

I posted this a couple of years ago but it is still relevant and I thought it could bear repeating. At the end of the post you can find two free Shopping Checklist Printables.

Everyone gets tired of their wardrobe from time to time. Clothing options can sometimes become boring for me even after it seems like I just shopped the mother lode. Right now I have other things I have to spend money on. Sigh. But if I had extra money to spend right now, and I were going to do some clothes shopping, here are two outfits I would put right in my closet.

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If you’re in the same boat ~ tired of your wardrobe, getting the itch to buy some new clothes but it’s not in the budget ~ allow me to share a tip I have used to reignite my enthusiasm for the clothing and accessories I have to work with. This is a great winter weekend project. You’ll need to allow about two hours (give or take) to do this exercise but it will be so worth it.

1. Pull out 4 or 5 of your favorite layering tops (underneath layer). Choose tops that have some kind of detail front and center like lace, shirring, cutouts, etc.

2. Pull out 4 or 5 top layer pieces > jackets, see-through tops, button-down shirts, low-cut tops, etc.

3. Decide if you want to put together dressy outfits or casual (or both) and choose 4 or 5 bottom pieces accordingly (pants, skirts, shorts, jeans).

4. Now comes the fun part. Take each top layer piece and pair it with any of the under layer pieces that coordinate in color or style, keeping them on the hangers or laying them down in sets.

5. Add a bottom layer piece to each paired combo.

6. This step is crucial and I urge you not to skip it: Try them on! Yes it will take time but think of it as a shopping trip. Combinations that look good on the hangers might not look great on you, and vice versa. Things like length of top, cling factor, fullness and structure dictate how they will fall and mesh together. This is where it takes patience but once you find a combo that works you’ll have an outfit that flatters and you will feel great in it.

7. In my experience, some pieces go with everything and some don’t work with anything. Those in the second category (I call them loners) are pieces that I either get rid of or, if it’s something I really love, make a note to find something to pair it with next time I go shopping.

8. This might be my favorite part of the whole process. Once you have decided what works together, lay out your winning outfits and go to your jewelry stash. Play around with different pieces, try out-of-the-box color combinations, layer up on necklaces and bracelets. Take a fresh look at your cache and use it to the fullest to bling up your outfit.

9. At this point in the process, it may be a good idea to take pictures of your outfits, because if you’re like me, once everything is back in the closet you’re likely to forget (or not see) the exact combinations you put together.

10. You will be amazed at the new outfits you discover if you think outside the box. Now you can look forward to the next event in your life, be it coffee with the girls, date night or Sunday church, knowing you will feel pulled together and polished.

Just because you don’t have any immediate plans to go on a shopping spree, that doesn’t mean you’ll never buy anything new again. With the eventual shopping splurge in mind, I created two shopping checklists ~ one for your clothing and one for your accessories ~ for you to print and keep handy to stay tuned in to your closet and accessory “inventory”.

Use this checklist to take inventory before you shop. Just write “Have” or “Need” in the spaces to help you decide what CLOTHING to buy.
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click_for_printable

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Use this checklist to take inventory before you shop. Just write “Have” or “Need” in the spaces to help you decide what ACCESSORIES to buy.
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click_for_printable

Do you have any tips for overcoming boredom with your wardrobe? Do share!

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Art Happens or Painting is Scary

I guess I’m feeling brave today. Last June I had the pleasure of attending one of Jeanne Oliver’s live art workshops. Jeanne is an amazing artist, entrepreneur, teacher, writer and human being. And I guess that’s why I ventured out in an area that I had absolutely no experience in, drove to Colorado and spent two days with a bunch of women that I had never met. It was a truly wonderful experience that I will never forget (more about my first art retreat). I said in that post that I might share my paintings some day if I got brave.

It’s not that I had never had the desire to paint, I just hadn’t taken the leap to try it. So in a setting that I knew would inspire, where all the materials I needed would be there for me to experiment with, I picked up a brush and jumped in.

Live Reflections faces

And these are some of the quirky faces that appeared. The exercise that produced these paintings stretched me a lot. I wanted to linger and try to perfect and finish each one but the quick instructions kept coming one after another and we had to act fast to keep up. It was good for me. It didn’t allow me to obsess over the details.

Live Reflections caterpillar

This painting was one on which I had more time to practice some of the techniques I had learned.

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We were instructed to bring some photos to the class with us and this caterpillar seemed like one of the easier ones that I brought to paint.

I don’t know where my painting endeavors will take me but I know that learning what I did and meeting those I met are all part of my amazing journey called life.

Even though January is almost over, I wanted to share Jeanne Oliver’s free video series, Salt + Light. I have been following along and it has blessed me, made me think deeply, brought me hope and inspired me to be more. I highly recommend it. Prepare to be challenged!

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DIY Heart Garland

My favorite kind of crafty project are the ones that are quick and easy and inexpensive. And if I have most or all the supplies on hand already, even better. Whether you already have the supplies for this project or not, there are very few things needed. With Valentine’s Day coming up (and being a lover of seasonal decorating) I went to work thinking up a simple project to celebrate the holiday. This DIY heart garland is what I came up with.

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Actually I came up with two different DIY heart garlands. It’s difficult to see the second, smaller one in this picture so I will show it again later in the post.

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Along with wanting it to be simple, I wanted it to have an organic feel. So I dug around in my craft supplies, found a bunch of leather strips and knew they would be the perfect material to use.

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And like any good hoarder crafter, I also had a bunch of neutral fabric scraps and lace that would complement the leather and soften the design.

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For the smaller garland I cut heart shapes out of an old leather belt. It was a little bit more work than the first one but I like the way it turned out.

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The belt I used had grommets which added a nice texture and also gave me a good place to string the skinny piece of leather for the garland.

You could easily change up the design with whatever colors you like. It’s a fun project to complete in an afternoon.

All you need to make your very own DIY heart garland is leather strips that can be found at your craft store, fabric and lace scraps, and for the smaller garland you’ll need a leather belt or leather scraps that can also be found at craft stores. You’ll also need glue (I used Loctite), scissors and a pair of pliers.

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Now to create. The process for the larger garland:

STEP 1: For each heart, cut two strips of leather, 7 3/8″ in length for the outer strip and 6 1/2″ in length for the inner strip. The width of my leather ranged from 1/8-3/8″.

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STEP 2:Cut strips of fabric (and leather lace if desired) to desired length for the “tails”. They will be doubled over so you will want them to be twice the length to allow for that. My cut strips ranged in length from 12-20″ and in width from 1/8-1/2″. I used 2-3 per heart.

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STEP 3: Find the center of each piece of leather and using your pliers pinch it to form the bottom point of the heart.

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STEP 4: Fold over one end of the heart and glue a little further than halfway down on the other side.

STEP 5: Allow to dry then overlap and fold over the other piece, gluing in place as shown in center picture above.

STEP 6: Once that has dried glue one end of the second (outer) strip to the first heart at the top, center.

STEP 7: Allow to dry then glue the other end in the same manner.

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STEP 8: Take the strips of fabric and/or leather lacing and attach each to the bottom of the heart with a slipknot.

STEP 9: For the final step, thread them onto the length of leather to complete the garland. I used 1/8 inch deerskin lace leather for the garland length, cut to approx. 5 ft. and I used the extra for some of the hearts’ “tails”.

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To make the smaller garland:

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STEP 1: Draw or print a heart shape in desired size (mine is approx. 1 1/2″ x 1 1/2″). Using the paper heart as a template, draw around it onto the leather to make five hearts.

STEP 2: Cut them out using heavy duty scissors or a razor knife. Don’t worry if the edges are ragged and uneven, the lace will cover that up.

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STEP 3: Decorate each heart with lace, covering entire heart or using it as a trim around the edges. Glue lace in place and trim.

STEP 4: Cut a leather lace or strip 2-3 feet long. This will be your garland base.

STEP 5: Unless you happen to have grommets in your leather hearts, you will want to attach them by punching a hole at the top of each heart. You can use a nail and hammer to do this or a leather punch. After punching a hole in each heart, attach them to the leather garland base, tying them on with small fabric strips.

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Love is in the air!

As always, feel free to ask questions and please let me know if you need clarification on my instructions. :)

Be sure to check back in a few days for more Valentine-themed fun.

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DIY Candle Holders from Everyday Objects

The ice storm that hit several areas of the map this past weekend and was supposed to hit us missed us. We’ve been in them before, losing power, tree wreckage all over the yard and streets. It’s no fun and my thoughts go out to those who were affected.

With the thought of losing electricity in mind, today I’m reposting an issue from my long-running series Girls Want Pearls where I show you how to turn ordinary objects into pearl dripping candle holders. I gathered up some of my ironstone collection, spools of string, and some glass bobeches.
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I decided to keep it all neutral, so I used off white candles. The bobeches come in handy to both bridge the gap at the top of vessels and to hold the candles in place. They also keep hot wax from dripping onto your vessels. I added stick tack to some of them to keep them even more stable. Swags can be made by hooking the pearls to the bobeches if they have holes/wire for that. Some of mine don’t so I just wrapped pearls around the candle base, then intertwined, swagged and dripped to get the desired effect.
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Here’s a view from the top.
You can see how I added pedestals to bring the height up on some of the pieces.
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Almost anything can be turned into a candle holder ~ clear glass vases, mason jars, silver or tin pieces, teapots, the only limit is your imagination. Experiment and have fun!
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You could place an arrangement like this inside of a non-working fireplace. Be sure to exercise caution when lighting the candles.

Stay warm!

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