Ombre Vase Fillers

A few years ago I put together these ombre vase fillers for a quick spring project. With spring coming soon I thought it would be a good time to re-post this project that was originally a part of my Girls Want Pearls series. It was a lot of fun choosing the colors to use and creating a custom look using my own shading.

Are you as ready for spring as I am? I’m done with winter and to prove it I’ve got a fresh new pearl project to welcome in warmer weather when it finally gets here. Welcome to Girls Want Pearls #29!
I want to show you a super easy project with high visual impact.

You’ll need:
3 straight skinny clear vases (you can find them at most dollar stores), pearls and beads in various colors, water, and 3 flower stems.
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I love ombre shading! I knew I wanted to create an ombre effect with dark to light colored pearls / beads. I went to shop for the perfect combination of colors but wasn’t quite coming up with what I needed. What do you do when you can’t find what you’re looking for? You make it!
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I did some paint mixing with my craft paints to create 4 of the colors in my design: the cocoa brown, the bright green, and the two lighter shades of pink. I would have much prefered to buy what I needed, and I’m sure you can find the exact right colors online, but in case you can’t, or you like to dabble in paint mixing, here’s the solution I came up with. I placed a dollup of the mixed color in a small plastic container with a lid (butter tub, coffee can, etc.). I dropped in the desired amount of white pearls, put the lid on and shook them up. Then I poured them out on waxed paper and let them dry, jiggling them periodically to keep them from sticking. If you want a more translucent color, add a little water to the paint.

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Once the pearls are dry, place them in the vase, add water and flowers. BTW, I did get lucky when it came to my flower purchase. I knew I wanted light pink tulips for this project. Any color would be lovely but that’s what I pictured. I went to Walmart and they had them! Exactly what I needed at the first place I looked! Bam!
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So there you have it, an inexpensive way to bring a good dose of spring to your home using pearls.

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Healthy Eating ~ Paleo PBJ

Hello! I’ve been away for a few weeks and feel like I need to explain my absence. I was hit with a long, drawn out case of flu, followed by sinus infection. That, combined with putting our house back on the market last week really took its toll on me. But I’m happy to say that, other than a lingering cough, I’m over it! The post I’m sharing today is one that I began working on in time to post for Valentine’s Day. Even though it’s late, it will hopefully be good information for everyday healthy eating.

I’ve never been a health nut until my husband’s recent diagnosis and subsequent discovery of a relevant diet. One of the things I miss since changing our eating style is an occasional PBJ. It’s not that I used to eat them a lot but once every few months I would get a craving for one and it was something I enjoyed for a change of tastes. I have come up with a substitute and it’s pretty satisfying, albeit different from my old version.

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I started with this Paleo roll recipe. I have made these a few times and they are a decent substitute for bread. For the PBJs I made them a little more flat, more like biscuits. I really didn’t like the way they came out and will go back to making them roll-shaped.

We can only eat tree nuts (no peanuts) so I buy almond butter or sunflower nut butter with no sugar added. I mixed the sunflower nut butter with a few drops of stevia to sweeten it slightly. Then I spread it on the biscuit and added sliced strawberries in place of strawberry jelly. They weren’t as sweet and juicy as I hoped, I think it will be much better when they are in season.

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Sliced bananas or sliced grapes would be good, too. We are allowed fruit in moderation and berries are the healthiest fruit, especially the dark ones. I’m sure I’ll make these PBJs again. I might even cook the berries and add stevia to be a closer substitute for jelly.

Just a quick note to all my readers that I’m hanging out on Facebook more often and would love to connect with you there.

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Just click the little button above to start or join a conversation. :)

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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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