Tag Archives: decor

twig & doily dreamcatcher

the past couple of fridays have been a “craft night” – just me, my supplies, a bottle of wine and some tv. at 32, i find this is my preferred evening entertainment (my inspirational programming of late has been junk gypsies, project runway and most recently – project runway all-stars).

this weekend i had a few projects in mind, a rummaged through my craft drawers and found nearly all the supplies i needed – which is always a plus on the pocketbook. then after a walk out to the garden (???) and $30 spent at the craft shop i was set.

i’m going to share one of those projects with you, but first a little story (which leads into my inspiration for the project)…

i’ve always been a lover of the southwest. rustic, colorful, full of history and heat (i love any place that boasts sky rocketed temps in the summer). a couple of years ago, i did one of my famous midwest to west coast road trips – solo. on the way back east, i spent time in arizona, new mexico and texas. it was a blast. soaking up the scenery, exploring the local cuisines and taking in some of america’s most authentic culture. i can’t wait to get back.

southwest-us-2009
clockwise: eastern arizona sunset; meteor city exit (also one of my favorite joe purdy songs – i listened to it as i passed by, cheesy – i know.); abandoned souvenir shop near flagstaff; me and don henley standing on a corner in winslow, az; the most awesome tour bus ever in santa fe, nm; santa fe native american handmade vendors

while in new mexico, i bought ross a dreamcatcher. for the past 3 years we’ve had it hanging in our home(s). as a dreamer, i’ve always been in love with these native american good luck charms. my first dreamcatcher was a gift from my grandmother 20+ years ago.

for those of you that don’t know the background… certain native american tribes believed that a dreamcatcher could filter good and bad dreams only allowing the good ones to slip through the holes, down the feathers and into one’s sleep.

ok, now on to the project… a twig & doily dreamcatcher. i figure what better way to prompt only the best dreams than to make one of my own???


my handmade twig & doily dreamcatcher

what you’ll need:

  • a freshly cut branch/twig
  • a lace doily
  • leather cord
  • feathers
  • beads
  • super glue
  • string
  • ribbon

1) cut a branch off a tree… you must use a freshly cut one for flexibility and the ability to wrap into a circular wreath. 2) attach the doily to the wreath – i used some needlepoint string 3) tie three pieces of leather cord to the wreath, cut these so the middle one is the longest 4) string a few beads onto each cord 5) at your desired length lightly glue your feathers 6) pull down the beads over the top of the feathers 7) trim any excess leather cord 8) tie a ribbon around the top of the wreath 9) hang in your favorite spot 10) you’re done!

twig-doily-dreamcatcher-supplies

halloween is (nearly) here!

october. november. december.
these months are parents to my 3 favorite holidays + the prime time to purchase (in my opinion) the best smelling candle scents – pumpkin and apple cinnamon. with october here and halloween just 9 days away… i’ve been getting in a real harvesty mood lately, despite the fact the leaves here are turning green instead of crisp and multi-colorful. while halloween isn’t nearly as grand an occasion in australia as it is back home in america, that won’t stop me from celebrating the one day where kids young and old break free from conventional attire and attitudes.

last year we had a pretty elaborate gala at our home – with apple bobbing, a pumpkin carving station, costume contest and a haunted entrance to the event. i also decorated the outside of our house up in cobwebs, cardboard bats and mummy (streamer) wrapped pumpkins.

halloween house
halloween 2011

this year i’m thinking up a new, but similar plan. since our house screamed “american house with lollies (candy)” we had a few visitors – and though this year we are in a new house in a new neighborhood, i fully plan to uphold that reputation.

to get things started, we got a pumpkin this past week. it’s currently sitting on the front porch waiting to be carved. (fun fact: “american pumpkins” are very rare in australia – a standard sized one costs anywhere from $15-25).

as i plan a strategy for the exterior, here are a few festive ideas to help you (& me) get inspired! (btw, i adore the repurposed milk jugs…)

pumpkin spider tealight candles
mini pumpkin spider votives (good housekeeping)

spooky halloween terrarium
spooky halloween terrariums (country living)

ghost milk jug lanterns
ghost milk jug lanterns (suzanneprochaska.com)

it’s the little things…


relaxation was the theme of the weekend here in our household… the cold bug has been buzzing around – so rather than push it, we took the opportunity to do a bit of lollygagging which included a little tidying, catching up on regularly scheduled tv shows (project accessory, top chef texas, parks & rec and the office) and then a couple little unscheduled projects.

the projects (as seen here…)
a) a collage on the wall above the fireplace in our spare bedroom (which includes some southwest inspired goods – including metal signs (note the howdy sign!), replica longhorn skull, a hanging tin mirror i purchased in santa fe, new mexico + a vintage accordion ruler from my family, scenic tea saucer turned butterfly, pedestal mirror i purchased in india – and more…)
b) homemade sugar scrubs for the body (more to come later in the week – with an artist interview & pics)

it’s the little things like this that make me happy…

o.p.p. – chalkboard wine bottles / hair combs

my sister is a crafty girl.  much like me, she loves a good project.  it’s no doubt that we get this gene from our mother.  our mom has always been the type to strike up a passion project on a whim.  i remember sitting around the house after dinner on a weeknight and my mom would say ‘let’s rearrange the living room’… and she would (always with some ‘help’ from me & my sister – or so we thought). our mom also worked with our crafty aunt (dad’s side) assisting at her workshop (our aunt is a legit crafter whom over the years has made a business out of it).

i digress… like i always do – so, back to my sister, abby…

last week when we had one of our lengthy overseas chats – we swapped stories of our latest endeavors.  she was prepping for a bachelorette party, halloween & just some side fun… she had a trip to michael’s (the american craft superstore) on the docket for the following day.

when i spoke with her 24 hours later… she had already turned around a halloween costume, chalkboard wine bottle, hair combs + a special surprise that I can’t talk about because the recipient could be reading.
*for the original chalk wine bottle how-to from ‘the next bird’, check the link.

as for the hair combs, here is a sneak peek at ab’s little creation.  they are a perfect mix & match for today’s current latin/south american fashion favorites… all you need is a couple plain small hair combs (available at any discount store, pharmacy, hair supply spot) and some thick embroidery thread.

voila, it’s easy fashion.

until next time…

 

 

 

it’s a handmade halloween

halloween – i’m a sucker for it.

my costumes for the past 5 years have consisted of peg bundy, snl’s ‘it’s pat’ (see pic), punky brewster & most recently… snooki. in 2009, i moved to australia on halloween weekend – so while i had a costume purchased & planned (jonathan of ‘i like turtles‘ fame) i was too jetlagged to get up & out… i know, disgraceful.

this year i plan to keep the costume tradition of iconic characters alive… what? you ask – it’s to be revealed on october 29 at our halloween party (and to follow here).

since the holiday is celebrated sub-par at best in australia (no trick or treating, pumpkin carvings or haunted houses), i fully prepared myself and my suitcases for pre-prep planning while back in the US. my mother and i did a big shop at the dollar tree where i managed to score 38 items for $38. this consisted of candy, cobwebs, spider rings, paper lanterns & more. in addition, pumpkin scented candles o’ plenty smelled up my bags and have now turned the house into a full-on harvesty home (though we just started spring -and- not fall).

so this year – i’m bringing the party to our new home (while my 3rd au halloween, it’s my first living in adelaide). the shindig will be stocked with traditional festive decor, games & food.

to inspire myself i’ve taken to the creative genius’ over at martha stewart living headquarters + the old trusty stand-by of better homes and gardens. each have put out a dedicated magazine to the halloween holiday filled with ideas for decor, party, costume, food & more. i’ve got approx 100 favs from each… oh, what’s a girl to do! if you don’t have access to a newsstand – check out zinio.com for digital versions.

a couple other places for great festive finds… pinterest (search ‘halloween’) & etsy (category ‘holiday > halloween > decor’).

halloween party pics to follow + if you’d like to share your halloween ideas, email howdiyblog@gmail.com for us to post.

happy halloween!

%d bloggers like this: