Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Easy, Eco-Friendly, Ecnomic Coasters

I have issues with coasters.

I am obsessed with using them. The left side of my face starts to twitch a little when I see people not using them (at my house or someone else's.. doesn't matter). Beads of water sliding down a glass toward poor, unsuspecting wood finish is enough to send me into a tizzy.
Like this picture? Kind of makes me want to freak out.

And also....most cute coasters suck at their jobs.

It's true... anything stone (yes, even those claiming to be "absorbant stone"... still = suck), glass or plastic does nothing to help filter the water, and basically you end up with a puddle that ends up running off onto your table anyway.

So, what's something (short of sitting your glass on a kitchen sponge) that will soak up the condensation without soaking through and hurting your table?

My solution: CORK!

It's absorbant, it's eco-friendly, and it's been all over the decorating trends - I think Pottery Barn was attempting to create an entire room from cork last fall.

There are lots of cork coasters out there, but many are more expensive than they need to be. Here's my trick - plant mats!

These cork circles come in a variety of sizes. They are meant as a coaster for houseplants, in the event excess water drains out the bottom of your container or runs down the side of the planter. They are made from recycled cork, and are backed with recycled rubber so that any moisture absorbed doesn't seep through to your furniture surface.

The best part - this time of year, they're on SALE! :)

I picked up a bunch on clearance at Target for $0.68 each.

(Yes, that's totally Guitar Hero shoved in the corner there. And yes I am totally Awesome.)

On the V Side: Saving furniture from the perils of moisture, one coaster at a time. :)

DIY Hurricanes

Well, I did it. I totally succumbed to blogland peer pressure.

I had lusted over these hurricanes from Williams-Sonoma Home for some time, but couldn't physically bring myself to spend $60 for just one.

So I started searching the web for "DIY Hayden Hurricane", looking for a potential substitute option.

I know a thousand people have made these, but the first person I was inspired by was Emily (great name! :) )over at DecorChick earlier this summer. Her dollar store hurricanes were so simple, and so cute! It was one of those projects I'd been meaning to get to, but never did.

Well, after doing some rearranging and "shopping the house" for a couple updates in other rooms, I was left with a hole on top of my shelves in the office. I couldn't find an existing "something" already in my house that was working, and I wasn't in the mood to go spend a lot of money and buy something. Ding Ding! DIY Hurricanes to the rescue!

I hopped over to the Dollar Store, and instead of buying the cylinders like she did, I found they also had cylinders with fluted tops - perfect! So, I opted for those. I paired them with a couple curvy, bubbly glass taper holders that I found on the clearance shelf by accident at Menards, of all places. Who knew Menards was such a hotbed for Home Decorating? ;)

There's nothing wrong with the cut glass taper holders at the dollar store that most people are using, but they're not my style. These suited me and my decor just a bit better.

I used hot glue to adhere the bases to the bottoms of my cylinders. With most projects I typically use Gorilla Glue [which is awesome], but this time I wanted a less-permenant option. With hot glue, I get a good adhesive, it's clear (and disguised by a candle or vase filler), and if I want to seperate the base from the holder at some point in the future, it's easy to peel off without damaging either piece.

I've got to find some books to prop up the guy on the left, but for now he teeters on birch slices. I'm not patient enough to wait until things are properly styled to snap an "after". :)
From start to finish, this project took literally 3.5 minutes. Seriously. And my shelf is happy!

Budget Breakdown:

Hurricanes: $2 ($1 each), Dollar Store

Taper Holders: $4 ($2 each), Menards

Hot Glue: $0 (leftover)

Project Total: $6 ($3 per hurricane)

Friday, August 27, 2010

Fall Find

OK, so I wouldn't exactly call this a "Goodwill Transformation"... because it pretty much looks the same. Only better. And it's from Goodwill, so that half-counts, I suppose.
Anyway, it's Friday. Let's get to it.
I found this adorable little pedestal at Goodwill for $0.99:

I had lusted after a similar one at Pottery Barn last fall, but never pulled the trigger and kicked myself for it all winter. So I felt like maybe this was the thrifting god's way of showing pity. Either way. I took it and its awesome price tag home with me.
I liked the color, but there were a couple scuffs that needed touching up, and I thought a little bronzer couldn't hurt him. We could all use a little color when the weather turns colder, right?

I whipped out the Oil-Rubbed Bronze paint and I only did one coat. It didn't need two coats, and I really liked how the one coat gave it just a hint of shimmer, not a full-on BRONZE.
I added a handful of mini-pumpkins - these pumpkins are actually picks that I snagged half-off at Hobby Lobby last fall for a Thanksgiving centerpiece. I just yanked the sticks out of the bottom and went on my merry way.
He now sits proudly on my kitchen table, rescued from Goodwill.

(*and for those of you who have asked, the little wire pumpkin sitting next to the pedestal [and also featured next to the painted pumpkin on my mantle] is actually a placecard holder. It came in a set of 4 that I bought last year on clearance from Pier 1. Last year was the 2nd year in a row that they had these little guys, so they may make a return appearance closer to Thanksgiving. If you're interested, keep your eyes peeled! :) )

Thursday, August 26, 2010

The Painted Pumpkin

As I was pulling out the fall decor over the weekend, I uncovered a couple of tres cute pumpkins that I bought a couple years ago at Pier 1 and promptly forgot about. One is a deep, glossy plum with brown accents and a cute twisty stem. He found the perfect home in my buffet:

The other littly guy had a nice shape, but I wasn't feeling the color. I remember that when I bought it, I didn't think it was the prettiest shade of brown [I'm not gonna lie... I've seen the same hue inside one or two of The Redhead's diapers], but there is a candle inside that smells divine. Add that factor to the amazing clearance price -UNDER $2, PEOPLE! - and little brown pumpkin came home with me.

This weekend, he got a makeover. I can't even show you progress pictures because all it took was two quick coats of gloss Navajo White and instead of reminding me of poo, he's now an Autumn Star on my fall mantle:

He has a brother-from-another-mother who was spared the spraypaint because he's already bronze. He's cute, too:

Happy Painting!

Linking up with Thrifty Decor Chick's Fall Inspiration Party

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

A Fan of Fall

So it’s nearly the end of August, and I’m not afraid to say it:
I am So. Over. Summer.
I know people who are happiest when the sun is beating down on everything in sight, the grass is burnt and the humidity of an Iowa summer gives you what I call the “Instant Sweat”. These people are called teachers. ;) And, for the record, crazy.

You can probably guess that I’m not one of those people [teacher or otherwise]. Don’t know if it was the red hair and pasty Irish skin, or my penchant for a gnarly sunburn that gave it away. I’m a Fan of Fall all the way – Football, warm, cozy colors, leaves burning, crisp, clear air and nights tucked in around a fire pit. That’s what I’m talking about, people.

So, this weekend I said to heck with you, Summer, I’m tired of sweating. Consider this my version of a Rain Dance, inviting Fall to blow into my neighborhood and give me some snuggly sleeping weather.

It’s just a touch, here and there. I’ll save FULL-ON FALL until at least September (hee). But until then I’m totally burning a cinnamon Yankee candle. Just try and stop me.

OK. So…… Fall? The temperature outside right now is 88 degrees. I’m waiting…

And PS for what it’s worth, I do love teachers. In fact, I married one. :)

Linking up with inspired room

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Hooking Up With HOH

Today I'm linking up my Princess Chair with Allison over at House of Hepworths. Fun Stuff!


And just need to take some pictures and I'll have a couple new projects for you, pronto. Thanks for being patient!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

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Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Tuesday with the Tip Junkie

Hey there!

Today I'm linking up my magnet board and the accent table with the Tip Junkie for Tip Me Tuesday

All kinds of creative projects going on over there - check it out!

Monday, August 16, 2010

The Little Things

Happy Monday!
School starts this week, which always puts me in a contented mood; there's something about Fall being on the horizon that I love. We were also treated to some gorgeous weather this weekend, and I got to spend much time at the park with the Redhead, walking with this handsome devil

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and enjoying being able to open up the house. I spent a lot of time appreciating and being grateful for small things that I love, but I sometimes pass over.
I love [in no particular order]....
1) Lavendar soap
2) Perfect weather to eat dinner out on the deck
3) Fluffy white towels
4) An organized closet
5) New office/school supplies
6) Cinnamon-scented candles
7) Pedicures
8) Watching movies in bed
9) Crisp, clean sheets
10) The smell of burning leaves
I'm also pretty fond of:

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How about you?

Friday, August 13, 2010


I have several projects in the works right now, but unfortunately nothing that is "after"-photo-worthy, just yet. So today here's an introduction to another member of our family... one who slobbers even more than The Redhead. Meet Newman:

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Not to be confused with this Newman

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Or this Newman (though in truth, he was named after both)

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This Newman is...um, special.

He is our fearless (yeah right) guard dog

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Lover of children

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Licker of faces (look at that freakishly long tongue!)

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Destroyer of tissue

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and hatcher of babies.

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From the V Side to Your Side, Have a great weekend!

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Thursday, August 12, 2010

Wordless Wednesday[ish]

I know it's not Wednesday. I'm not even sure where Wednesday went, but as we wind down summer, here's a Wordless Wednesday for you.

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Thursday, August 5, 2010

Chalkboard Tags

This was one of the easiest projects I've ever done, and they're so cute! And versatile!

Before: $1 wooden cutout from the Dollar Tree.

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Yank off that cheesy ribbon & staple

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Drill Holes

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Primer + 2 quick coats of chalkboard paint and some cute ribbon, and there you go!

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Thanks to the lovely Allison over at HOH for the idea!