Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Budget Wedding and Bridal Shower Centerpieces

It's wedding and shower season again and I helped with a bridal shower for a dear friend's daughter just this Sunday.  I was in charge of the table centerpieces and I wanted to do something fun and pretty that wouldn't break the bank.  I thought I would share some of my budget ideas just in case they help someone out there who is trying to throw a shower on a budget too.
I don't know about you, but I prefer to put my money into the gift. I had 10 tables to decorate and even at a bargain basement budget of $5 per table that adds up quickly.  The bride to be is creative and fun and I wanted something that suited her personality and added some color to the tables.
 These pinwheel centerpieces got lots of compliments and they cost me a whopping 50 cents each.  The secret is to use what you have on hand.  Now, I did not have 10 matching hobnail milk glass vases in my collection, but the church did! Lucky me. But look around, do you collect vintage tins? Bud vases (very affordable and plentiful at most thrift stores and you can spray paint them!), whatever you can borrow or have on hand can be adapted.  The silk flowers and greenery were left over from Victoria's wedding last year, and the pretty paper and pearly centers cost me $5 total at the craft store.

 Pinwheels are super easy to make, I just hot glued mine, they don't have to turn to be decorative.  Look on Pinterest for instructions. Mine were cut from 4" squares of paper and they turned out to be a good size for what I wanted to do.

The ribbon and vintage earrings were in my craft stash already so the only real cost was the paper and centers.  A tip on the sticks for the pinwheels. The craft store wanted 50 cents each for small dowels, I went to the grocery store and picked up a pack of 100 bamboo skewers for $1.99.  I stuck what I needed into some leftover floral foam and spray painted them white so they would look more finished. The rest of the package will be used this barbecue season :)

While I am on the subject of great prices for centerpieces, I just got two Boston Ferns  at Home Depot (not sponsored) for $5.  Checking Pinterest  showed me a couple beautiful ideas for using them as wedding centerpieces.  I love the baby's breath added to these ferns in a rustic box.  These would look lovely with the burlap and lace trend for a rustic wedding wouldn't they?
 Or break them up and use them down the center of the table with candles. Gorgeous! And if you think ahead you can get the ferns now and just let them grow until the wedding.  Five bucks people!
I have seen a $5 deal on plants every month this year.  I don't know if that is something Home Depot is planning to keep going but keeping your eyes open and thinking outside the box could get you some great deals on wedding d├ęcor. Flowers and centerpieces are a huge expense but look how gorgeous this could be! I have even seen large Orchids for the $5 deal this January.  You CAN do the flowers and centerpieces yourself and have a beautiful, unique and budget friendly wedding.
I would love to hear any great tips you may have for budget friendly weddings or showers.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

A Litle Bit of Decorating

You all know this isn't a decorating blog right? I mean, I try to make my home warm and welcoming and a cozy place for my family, but for the most part I pick up stuff by the side of the road, and places like Salvation Army and garage sales and make it work.  When I was a young wife and mom, all of our furniture was second hand because times were hard and I chose to stay home with my babies instead of working to buy new furniture. That is pretty much how I roll. I seldom do vignettes. So when times got better and we had the budget, Earl and I went shopping for our first new furniture. I saw this red plaid set and it was set up all cottagey and pretty in the showroom, and you KNOW my aversion to neutrals and my weakness for red, and plaid, and cottagey and we bought it. And I really loved it at first. But as time went on I learned the first rule of decorating. Don't box yourself in with the expensive stuff. Sure, you can paint the room, you can change the pillows and even the accessories, but if you have a red plaid couch, well there isn't much you can do with that.
 Thank goodness the red plaid couch was poor enough quality that it did not last because I have such a hard time spending money on things that don't need replacing.  And that furniture needed replacing. So this Saturday we waved goodbye to old red and replaced it with a piece of furniture that came with a mixture of fear and exhilaration. The white sofa.  Well, it's really more of an off white or cream but you get the idea. By the way, this is not a slipcovered sofa. I know. Am I crazy?  Earl actually showered before he sat down that night, that is how nervous we were about getting it dirty.  He sat in a different chair to drink his coffee. I began to wonder if I had made another terrible mistake.  So I took the matching cushions that came with it and poured coffee on one of them. Yes I did. I had to know what would happen! The coffee beaded up and did not soak in. I let it sit for a couple minutes, then I wiped it right off! The fabric on the couch is Sunbrella fabric and it feels like soft cotton but doesn't absorb the spills.  We have our coffee on the sofa now without fear.
Why white? Because I finally realized just how fickle I am when it comes to decorating. I get tired of things quickly and want to change them up. I have a fear of commitment when it comes to decorating.  The white means I can change the pillows and art and anything else, something I was never able to do with that red plaid. The first thing I did was grab a remnant of yellow toile and whip up a slipcover for the footstool and a couple pillows.  I love how sunny they look.  Then, I got online and ordered two black and white, cotton, buffalo check tablecloths.  At $12.50 each they were super affordable and the fabric looks and feels like linen.  The length is almost perfect and I love the  boldness of the checks and the fact that, once again, I can put anything I want with them.  The company had a red and white check too, how long do you think it will be before I go back and get those for a quick change option?
 At the moment the room looks pretty bare. I have whited it out and stripped it down to the bare essentials so I can start over. I am leaning toward a much lighter, brighter look with some farmhouse touches,  I'll share as I work on the room but it is always a work in progress for me. 
I would love to hear, what is your biggest decorating revelation? Surely you have learned a thing or two through experience. Do share for those of us who aren't super decorators!

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Happy Easter!

Have a Blessed and Happy Easter!

Monday, March 30, 2015

Random Bits, and Thanks for the Inspiration

Good Monday morning! Can you believe how quickly March has flown? The sun is shining brightly here and it is in the 40's.  Earl and I took a long walk outside this morning and it felt absolutely heavenly to be walking along, breathing semi-warm fresh air and hearing the birds sing. I believe they were as happy as we were :)
I came home and decided it was time to straighten up the kitchen a bit. It's my favorite place to be in the morning because of the east facing windows, The sun just streams in and lights up the room in my favorite light. I think morning light is the best.
I washed a batch of eggs and put them in this jadeite bowl. I have to admit, I miss the days of coloring eggs with the girls when they were little. It's not the same just doing it myself. But I will say, since we keep chickens that lay so many shades of brown and blue eggs I really think it is hard to beat them for beauty.
 Fresh pink carnations in the basket by the sink. ♥
 This weekend I decided I needed to lighten things up for Spring.  These checked curtains from the thrift store are fine, but I needed a change.
 So, I dug through my fabric stash and found this lime green ticking stripe. I knew it was just what I needed.  I am on such a "spring green" kick right now. I had just enough for a simple valance for both windows. 
  I found a pale green china cup and filled it with some green and white flowers and tucked in a little nest and eggs. I hung it from the corner of the window from a satin ribbon and it makes me smile every time I go in the kitchen.
 The funny part of this post is that, because I was sharing the kitchen, I really ended up doing a much more thorough job cleaning than I had planned.  The dirty windows had been driving me crazy all winter and since I was showing you the curtains I felt I just HAD to wash them.. I washed them inside, got the ladder and washed them outside, then came in and realized they were still dirty inside, washed them again and realized there were some streaks I missed outside. That is the story every time I wash windows. What am I doing wrong when there continue to be streaks? Then when I edited the photos I realized with the light coming I probably could have left them dirty since the light washes out any detail you would see, including dirty windows!  Lol.  I will absolutely redo them when I do the rest of the windows this spring. In the meantime, shhhh, it's our little secret ;)...and thanks for the inspiration to get them as clean as I did.  Lastly, I have one more fun spring design in the etsy shop.  I love the bright colors and fun message. 
I hope you are all enjoying sunshine and warmer temps. Have a great week! What are your plans for Easter?

Thursday, March 19, 2015


 Spring has sprung! We have fairly consistent highs in the 40's now, and while that may seem wintery to those of you in warmer climates, it is heavenly here in Michigan after a winter of consistent temps considerably below zero. I have been outside without my coat and it makes me so happy! I am slowly adding bits of green and spring to the house.  I found some silk flowers left over from wedding decorations last summer and took the arrangements apart to stuff into this old green vase.  You would think that after all that winter white that brighter colors would be what I was drawn to. But the white and green somehow say Spring to me.
 I added this little mossy nest and twigs to the arrangement, along with a blue egg that I found in my stash of Spring decorations.  The lime and turquoise are so fresh together. I love it.
 Although the sunshine and balmy 45 degree temps say spring, alas, the yard and garden are still quite desolate. Thank goodness for grocery store flowers.  The last remnants of some lilies reside in the basket next to the sink...along with the gingerbread boy soap dispenser that holds the dish soap. Hmmmm, it may be time to look for a different dispenser? You have to admit though, the little guy looks so happy.
 I have begun Bible journaling.  I had a group of ladies over to my house a couple weeks ago to show them what I have learned and just as fun time together.  It was great to get to know them better and I am finding that journaling really slows me down in my study of the Bible.  It gives me the opportunity to really think about the verse and as I illustrate it, it is easier for me to remember. You can check out my Pinterest Bible journaling board here.
 I found most of the goodies that I used at Michaels and Joann Fabrics for 50 cents to a dollar each.  It doesn't have to be expensive.  The watercolor set was about $5 and I love the colors. A lot of the washi tape was 2 in a pack at Joann's on sale for 50 cents a pack.  It's the first time I have used any and I can see how some of you have started a collection! I have done so much of my design work on the computer I started to feel that I was losing my skills in hand lettering and drawing, this gets me back to that and gives me some practice that I was sorely missing. 
So there you have it. I'm back.  I know, it had been a while, and I am still working on a giveaway to celebrate 8 years of blogging. I'll be getting that posted soon.  What does Spring hold for you? Feeling overwhelmed? (I admit, I am a little, with spring cleaning, etsy, and so many other things and a certain lack of get up and go.) Are you planning a garden? So tell me, what are your Spring plans?