Home-made Pom Poms

 

Well, I try not to covet, be too envious, or have my “want button” turned on too much, but I’ve always really wanted liked one of those throws from Pottery Barn with pom poms.  They’re so cute and even whimsical.  Here’s one –

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Wouldn’t that look really cute on the end of my sofa?!  Instead, I had this warm, utilitarian cable knit throw that was useful to keep my toes warm, but once I saw how easy it was to make pom poms, I just had to do it.

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I bought a skein of off-white yarn for $3.00 at Joann’s and got to work.  This is medium weight yarn (4 oz) and I bought it solely for its cheap price.  I made about 40 pom poms and used about 3/4 of the skein.

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According to several sets of instructions on Pinterest, you simply wind the yarn around a credit card anywhere from 35-50 times, tie off, clip the stray ends and voila, pom pom magic!  If you’ve never made a pom pom, it really IS that easy!

I included some pictures with the steps and just tried several different sizes of pom poms based on how many times I wound the yarn.  I wanted them larger so I settled on 60 times for each.  Don’t wind the yarn too tightly or it will be difficult to remove from the card. (This is a standard 50×60” throw and I made ten poms for each end and eleven for each side, counting the corners.)

Next, you slip the yarn off the credit card and tie it off with a 6” piece of yarn.

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After I made several of these, I decided to tie it before I removed it from the card, then flipped it over and tied it again.  I felt that this made it easier to remove and by tying it twice, it felt more secure.  I suggest you see which works best for you.  Here’s  one after it’s tied off.

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Next, simply take your scissors and cut through all the loops. Next, I trimmed up the pom pom.  Here I suggest again you try several and see what look you want.  I wanted big and chunky so I didn’t trim too much.

Finally, I laid out the throw and started tying the two tails of the pom poms on through the loose knit cable starting at the corners. I used the note paper as a guide and figured it was around 6” long.  As long as you use some kind of guide and space them equally, it should work out fine.  If your throw isn’t loose knit, you could easily stitch them on.

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Now for a disclaimer – This isn’t my primary throw that I use all the time and I would be careful with machine washing this. Even though I tied the poms several times to make them secure, I would use this more as a layer for my sofa. Of course even though Mason has taken a liking to it, I would be careful cleaning it!

Hope you can use this little inspiration to add to a plain throw you have around your house. What’s a home without a little whimsy!?

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Cheap and Easy Christmas Decorations

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Back when my girls were little and I was a stay-at-home mother, my favorite mantra was “Necessity is the mother of invention”.  I really liked creating and decorating but was on a very limited budget and probably drove everybody crazy with my experiments creativity.  I would also paint anything not breathing – I still enjoy that even today.  So, I was always spying out things I could redo or rework that made all things new!

These little houses are an example that I posted last year. (Creating Something New From Something Old Today……..) I simply painted them white and turned them into glitter houses to use in my decorations (I didn’t add glitter since it’s so messy, but you could easily add it while the paint is wet or by brushing it on with mod podge.)   They’re some of my favorites and I’ve added a few bottle brush trees to make a little village.

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Here’s  one that I display on a cake stand in my kitchen.  Love the soft colors!

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I’m such a sucker for houses and I use them throughout the house during Christmas. This is a doll house that I built for my younger daughter that I’ve repainted for my office.  I painted the roof with glittery paint last year – she’s held up pretty well for 30+ years!  It really needs a front door and I’ll hopefully get that done this year.  The little Santa inside the house was on our tree when I was growing up, and is as old as me!  If you have little girls, you probably have one of these doll houses stuck somewhere.  Nothing like a snowy scene during the holidays.

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The last few houses are on a tray in the guest room.  I bought them a few years ago on clearance from a Target outlet and they’re perfect for my house collection!

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Enough of my house mania for today!  I hope you find something to redo, restore, refurbish to save you lots of money and add to the charm of your Christmas!

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“Vintage” Christmas Memories from Home

 

                                Vintage Christmas card, photo by Zero Discipline, flickr 

I just love seeing old Christmas pictures on Pinterest, and then seeing the word vintage beneath them.  I often wonder when I became vintage!  I remember when I would sit down at the kitchen table with a notepad, pencil and a box of Christmas cards with Santa on the cover and try to draw him.  With my parents decorating the house around me, I would zone in on copying that card.

Here’s another picture from Pinterest of Santa selling my favorite beverage.  I blame him for my addiction to caffeine – wonder if there’s a lawsuit out there somewhere?Can’t you just look at these pictures and imagine he’s real!?!  He just got home from his long trip and he’s greeted by Mrs. Claus and a Coke – plus that little reindeer!

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I loved pictures of the Nativity and the simple presentation of Baby Jesus.

 

 

But seriously, as we approach the Christmas season again, and before we get all wrapped up with presents –  yep, I said tongue in cheek – whether you’re vintage or not, I  hope you stop and welcome old childhood memories as they flood across your paths.

The pictures don’t just remind me of the symbols of Christmas, but of that sweet little family I was a part of and that I then tried to create.  They remind me of sitting around the kitchen table with those Christmas cards and limited artistic abilities as Mama and Daddy pulled decorations in cardboard boxes out of the attic.  The pictures also remind me of pulling out my Nativity and Old Santa for my own children and trying to recreate the sweet memories of my childhood.  I guess being vintage isn’t all that bad as long as I can still remember those sweet times.

 

 

Enjoying Home,

Linda

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Christmas in October

Well, not really!  I’m just getting some ornaments ready for our Cookie Swap the first of December. I usually try to make some kind of little ornament for those sweet girls who give up their Saturday morning to start celebrating Christmas – and sharing delicious cookies – with my girls and me.  This is #22 or #23 for this annual tradition but I start early getting the ornaments ready.

I went to my favorite resource, Pinterest, and found these ornaments that are easy but also use my favorite craft – embroidery.

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Resource: Flamingo Toes and Isa Sin appelido 

I thought these looked easy enough, so I ordered two sets of 3” wooden hoops from Amazon (Art Cove, 12 pieces for $14.77), pom poms (Blulu Pompoms, 500 pieces for $6.99),  and bought some black cotton fabric (1 yard was plenty for this project) from Hobby Lobby and off I went!

First, I free-handed the words onto the black fabric with a white colored pencil (if I was using a lighter fabric I could have put the pattern underneath it and traced, but the black was too dark).  I used the patterns provided by Flamingo Toes below:

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I traced around the 3” hoop and added enough to actually stay in the hoop and traced a second piece for the backing.  It doesn’t look black here, but trust me it is!

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Then I started stitching with embroidery thread divided into 3 threads.

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Once they were all finished, I hot-glued on the backing above, glued on the pom poms and looped the ribbon through.   This shows the backing via Flamingo Toes:

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Flamingo Toes used braid with pom poms attached,  but I went the cheaper route and used individual ones.   Here they are drying in my office –  24 all finished!

Hope you’re enjoying the end of October and getting some great ideas and inspiration for December!

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Fall Wreath Ideas from Home….

I was looking for some new ideas for making a new fall wreath and thought I’d share some ideas I’ve run across.   I don’t just use wreaths on outside doors, but use them inside on mirrors, windows, and on old shutters to bring a softer fall to the house. These wreaths are all a little more fragile and they’d be perfect inside. They all look pretty easy to make and as usual for me, won’t cost a fortune!

This is such a cute idea that I saw on Better Homes and Garden’s website.  It would be easy to make and you might already have a framed chalkboard sitting around the house you could use.  It would also be cute with just an empty frame with some fall flowers around it.

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Better Homes and Gardens

This one is also from BHG and is made from Pistachio shells of all things!  I love the natural look of this, but can’t imagine gluing all those little shells onto a form.  I assume this would be a straw wreath underneath and would require lots of patience  –  but how pretty when finished!

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Better Homes and Gardens

I’m sure you’ve seen these gorgeous wreaths that are made from dried hydrangeas on Pinterest lately. The first one is from BHG and the second is from Pinterest. If you’re lucky enough to have a hydrangea bush, you could pick those that are drying right now and hot glue the blossoms onto a grapevine wreath and voila- a beautiful fall wreath!

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The next one is from Pinterest and uses a 5-6” wooden embroidery hoop. I’ve seen a lot of these recently and think you could put anything on there and it would be so easy.  This is just a few eucalyptus branches and a few little faux or real pumpkins. I also like the little Hello Fall frame they attached!

 

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Pinterest

The last two wreaths can can be found on my blog, a burlap wreath and one made with a drop cloth. Both of these are simple to make and the directions are right here!

 

I hope these examples give you some inspiration to bring fall inside. The leaves aren’t changing much in my neck of the woods,  and the temp is still hovering around 90 degrees, so we get autumn around here wherever we can!

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Fall all over…..except outside!

Ok, I fought it!  I didn’t give in.  Everybody else was doing it, but I held firm.  This girl was raised better! Everybody I saw online was decorating for fall way back in August. Hobby Lobby, Dollar Store and practically everywhere I looked had their fall decor out while I was still going swimming and wearing white.

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Now don’t get me wrong – fall is by far my favorite season of the year (except Christmas week, which isn’t actually a season and I really don’t like winter very much anyway).  I love everything about fall….the smell of dried leaves, the trees changing colors, the overall change in the landscape, the quilts on the bed, the smoke from the chimneys. You get it – I’m a fall person. But, fall in my area of the south doesn’t usually arrive until late September.  Just look at this week’s weather:

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I know we get tired of the near 100 degree temps and want to usher in fall primarily to cool us off around here, but I held fast to the September 1st self-imposed rule. Fall arrived on my front door on that day,  and other decorations started piling into my home shortly thereafter. (I decided to go more simple and less like autumn threw up overtook my house this year, but as I walked by the crates in the garage I just felt guilty to think about all those leaves and little painted pumpkins I made last year, so they made their way into the house too).

 

 

Look at that little cutie peeking around the couch!  Trust me, once I started I couldn’t stop inside. I had to do both the porches!

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That’s my soap box for today – there’s a natural rhythm to seasonal decorating that shouldn’t be disturbed. Whew!  I feel better.  Now, if you’re one of those energetic “non-fall-purist”  people, just remind me of that soap box on November 1st when I start playing Christmas songs, burning those delicious smelling candles and suddenly, it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

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Why on Earth Do I Use Cloth Napkins Everyday?!

Yeah, I know…….you get asked that question every day too!  Actually, I’ve been asked that several times lately, and friends might look at me strangely and act like I’m kinda crazy to create more laundry and possibly ironing (no on the second one!).  But, yes I do use cloth napkins everyday but only for supper time. (Disclaimer:  My sweet Mother would maybe disagree with me on this.  While she taught us to embroider, cook, clean house, can and iron, she was born in the Depression era and went more with the motto – save the best for company.  In her later years, though, she saw her family as her company and started using her best china for us).

You see, I read a book almost 30 years ago that was really about waiting for the best God has for us single ladies.  It was very relevant to me at the time because I was recently divorced with a pre-teen and a teenage daughter,  and I was searching for that truth for the three of us. The book was Lady in Waiting,  by Jackie Kendall and Debby Jones.  The authors encourage us to take advantage of the waiting process and use it to become a woman of devotion, faith, and conviction.

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Those of you who know me well know that my life took a different turn while waiting – one I’m more than thankful for – but another thing that “took” from that book was to use the best things every day instead of waiting for “some” day!

While the authors had deeper more spiritual ideas in mind…. and it’s been a long time since I actually read it ….and my idea of waiting has changed drastically, I took their advice and started using my best dishes for every day, stopped waiting and saving them for some day in the future…….and I pulled out my cloth napkins.

If you’re waiting for some day, I hope you’ll pull out those cloth napkins too!

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Hello again..and a Quick and Easy Christmas Idea

Yeah, I’ve been away from the blog. Blame it on summer, getting back into a routine after the start of school (yeah, my kids are adults but when they go back to school all the swimming and other fun stops and I start my little part-time job back), blame it on a stress fracture on my foot and being in a boot for 2 weeks – which of course irritated the arthritis in my foot and caused even more pain and such irritability and immobility you wouldn’t believe. Can we repeat my motto – If You Give a Mouse a Cookie – in a really bad way!  Here are some pics of my foot – no humility at this point – old age is NOT for the faint of heart!

 

But, I have been thinking while lying here and moving from one chair to the next.  Christmas is coming!  Christmas is coming!  No, I’m not really jumping over fall – probably my very favorite season of the year.  I just did a quick little project the other day that I’ve been thinking about for a long time.  It doesn’t look like much, but it’s just what I’ve been meaning to do for a long time.  It’s a photo book for Christmas decorating.

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Every year when I’ve pulled my Christmas decorations out, I’ve thought, “I wonder where I had that last year”.  Well, last year I did something I’ve wanted to do – I took pictures of each room and where and how I decorated  each table and each specific area.  When I put away all the decorations, I packed them in smaller boxes that held each vignette and then into larger crates.

Off the pictures went to Walgreens,  and for around $6.00 (4×6 are currently 33 cents each) I had snapshots of each of those decorated tables, mantle, etc.

 

Now for those of you who like to decorate spontaneously, this idea isn’t for you.  While I definitely still like to tweak things – I always know that white reindeer will be on my dining room buffet but she may need new candlesticks around her this year – but  this helps me keep myself organized instead of starting fresh each year or re-inventing the wheel.  I got tired of bringing all those crates in and being overwhelmed by all that stuff!  Now, I do tend to move things around – A LOT – so after I pack up this year I’ll just make a few new pictures for my notebook.

Those heretofore mentioned pictures lay in my desk drawer all year long until one day this week.  Because I’ve been so immobile I was trying to be productive the other day and started going through my desk drawers.

Here comes the really easy part:  I found a tiny little notebook in there that had never been used and voila! an idea came to mind.  Just go ahead and put those little pictures in the notebook and they won’t lie there looking accusingly at me any more!

I can make notes on the empty pages next to the pictures to remind myself of changes I wanted to make or things I need to add.  You could also do this in a scrapbook, but that would be too big for my needs.  I think one of those little notebooks for $5.00 that you see in the check-out line at TJ Maxx or Home Goods would work perfectly.  Here are a few I use for other things:

 

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So, I hope this little idea will help shoot some other new idea off  in your head!  It doesn’t have to be Christmas decorations. It could help you inventory for insurance or help you with shopping for your family. I just like it because it’s quick and easy!  Hope you’re enjoying HOME!

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July 4th …..flags, parades, fireworks, and watermelon…..in America

I’m sure I got my patriotism from my daddy. He didn’t serve in the military but he was a proud American to the core. He had that choke-up reflex at the sight of a flag or anything remotely patriotic. And lo and behold – so do I!!

 

 

I was raised by him and mama in the ’50s and ’60s and even though he and I might have butted heads a bit over the culture and ideas of the time (yes, I thought I knew everything), but his beliefs really influenced my own today. (Of course, being formerly married to a sailor and living in military towns for a few years also influenced my thinking!).  I can hardly pass a flag without that pride in our country that is so deeply imbedded in my heart and bubbling to the surface.

 

Growing up, we always celebrated the 4th watching parades, shooting fireworks and cooking out with family and friends.  I raised the girls the same way, and we repeated many of these traditions over the years.   I plan to do a few of those things again this year and will probably enjoy a little watermelon too.

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This 4th of July feels quite different from those in years past.  Maybe it’s because I’m older and I realize how little I really do know and  understand.  But I do believe the flag still represents the same thing.  It represents the fact that we are free, because of the bravery and sacrifice of great men and women who have stood and continue to stand to defend our country.

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Long may she wave.   Happy 4th of July!

 

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Poster Art…All’s Well That Ends Well

I’d been wanting to add a little color to my neutral bedroom and master bathroom lately, and had been seeing some ocean prints that I really liked. Here’s one that caught my eye on Houzz:

I really like the muted colors of this one on canvas, but since we had just returned from the beach/es I scrolled through my own pictures. As I was discussing this with my daughter Sarah, she produced one of our pictures in a muted, faded way using an app she discovered a while back.  This is a picture of the old Cockspur Lighthouse at Tybee:

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While I love this picture, it wasn’t the ocean scene I wanted. To get this printed on 12×12 canvas it would cost $49.00 at Shutterfly.  Too expensive for so small.  So, Sarah kept researching until she found a company, Canvasdiscount.com,  and sent me a sample of a larger canvas.

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This 20×30 canvas was $43.00 and was the muted look I wanted of my very own print of our favorite coastline. I love that when I look at this print it brings back real memories of MY summer, not some random beach scene.  The canvas was delivered within the week and this is where the Success or Epic Fail begins!

The canvas arrived and was a HUGE SUCCESS!  It was beautiful and a perfect size!  The fail was all me – not the canvas!  As I’ve told my children many times, I don’t love canvases. To me they look a little too unfinished and even modern – so why on earth did I do that?!?!  I just got sucked into those pictures on Houzz and didn’t think about my own personal style. As usual, I should have thought it through a little better, but here’s the success……I went to Hobby Lobby, found a 20×30″ frame at half-price and this is the rest of the story!

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Even though I could have probably saved a lot of money and just bought a 20×30 print not canvas, it all turned out fine in the end. I really like the brushed metal frame and the picture will be a reminder of my beautiful beach at Tybee. I’ll just think I paid full price for the frame and imagine that made up for ordering the canvas instead of a print.  All’s well that ends well in Linda-land!

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