Tag Archives: create

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.
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!
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.


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!
So there you have it, an inexpensive way to bring a good dose of spring to your home using pearls.

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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…


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.


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


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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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.


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.


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.


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.



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.


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.


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.

…….diy_heart_garland_supplies_leather_strips diy_heart_garland_supplies_fabric_lace

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″.

……………….diy_heart_garland_step_leather diy_heart_garland_step_strips

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.


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

………………diy_heart_garland_step_glue_heart_1 diy_heart_garland_step_glue_heart_2 diy_heart_garland_step_glue_heart_3

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.

……………………………………….diy_heart_garland_step_slipnot2 diy_heart_garland_step_slipnot

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”.


To make the smaller garland:


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.


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.


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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A Little Christmas Tour

Here we are less than a week before Christmas. Not sure how we got here already. The sights and sounds are bringing me joy once again, even when my world is topsy turvy. I draw nearer to Christ and think more on the reason for the season. Just wanted to pop in and share a bit of Christmas cheer from my house to yours with a mini Christmas tour.


I made this plaid garland by tearing up one of my son’s old shirts.


Last year I showed you a different display on my buffet using these same black iron lantern frames and told you there was an interesting story behind them but I never told you what it was!


Well, a few years ago my husband was putting Christmas trees in the urns on the concrete columns that flank our front steps. He noticed the top of the column was crooked and straightened it. This led to him lifting it all the way off the column and looking down inside. Guess what he discovered? Yep, the black iron lantern frames, one placed inside each column. We had lived here for almost twenty years when he made the discovery. Of course we speculated that they must have been used there at one time, lighting the path. And I of course was thrilled to put them to an entirely new use as rustic indoor décor.


I tore one more strip from the old plaid shirt to give my woodland reindeer a scarf. Doesn’t he look dashing?


I took these two pictures last year and never posted them.


I would like to wish you and yours a very Merry Christmas filled with joy and good will. Gary and I are doing well and I will give an update very soon.


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Rustic Twiggy Tablescape

With Thanksgiving upon us I would like to share a unique way to incorporate natural elements into your tablescape. There’s something romantic about bringing nature indoors. And the fact that it
costs next to nothing is a bonus.

I shared these pearly twiggy napkin rings a few years ago during my Girls Want Pearls series.



Very little is needed to make these:


Just gather some twigs and be sure to find some that are super skinny for threading pearls onto. If you can’t find any skinny enough, you can cheat and use brown wire for the ones that have pearls. Make five bundles of twigs and wrap with wire. Tie your twine around each bundle, spacing them approx. 1/2 inch apart. I found it easier to prepare the knots in advance and then slide the bundles in. Form the finished twine around a napkin and tie the ends together. Thread your pearls on and add a dot of glue if needed.



For your Christmas table you could mix in some sparkly beads in your color choice.



Add a natural-elements centerpiece, maybe vases full of twigs or a tray of hedge apples, pumpkins or artichokes for a cohesive look.


Happy decorating!
Happy Thanksgiving!

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