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Our baby's pink and gray nursery.

Check out our baby's simple and sweet nursery. It is filled with DIY projects plus vintage and modern touches.

Easy Concrete Decor Crafts

You can make these easy, cheap yet modern home decor ideas. Nothing says forever like a little stone, right?

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Dollar store and upcycled wearable crafts... Yes, you can make them!

December 17, 2014

Modern holiday clipboard wall decor

Madigan made…   DIY holiday kitchen décor.

Modern holiday wall decor using clipboards

There are soooo many things I love about the dollar store. The rolls of grosgrain ribbon and gift bags. The inexpensive glassware begging for a little glass paint. The boxes of brass thumbtacks that are perfect for making a wreath.

But this time of year… I love how you can find a plethora of ornaments and holiday decorations drenched in glitter.

So much sparkle in one corner of the store.  So. much. awesome.

I’m pretty sure I was the only one in our dollar store buying over 16 red glitter covered bows earlier this month. I picked up some glittery red paper from the craft store that matched the bows, too.

I had a plan. A very sparkly plan.

Modern holiday wall decor using clipboards

Using white, turquoise and turquoise striped paper, I applied strips of the glitter paper and the bows to the paper with double-sided tape and hot glue. I clipped each one to my kitchen clipboard wall.

The result?

A modern, sparkly and festive wall of presents on my kitchen clipboard wall! 

Modern holiday wall decor using clipboards

A big pile of ornaments in my candy cane DIY ribbon bowl made a simple table centerpiece that complements the bold holiday wall.

Modern holiday  decor

It all makes me smile. (Is my sparkle tooth showing? ‘Cuz it should be.)

Modern holiday wall decor using clipboards - love the graphic presents!

 

P.S. If you like the idea of holiday decorating with clipboards, be sure to check out my décor from prior seasons: my ski chalet inspired wall and the cobalt and snowflake wall.

holiday decorating with clipboards

December 15, 2014

How to make a fabric wrapped topiary tree

Madigan made…  simple fabric wrapped foam topiary trees.

simple fabric wrapped foam topiary trees

 

 

They say once you have kids, your life will change. Whoever “they” are… “they” weren’t kidding!

I’m surprised how many aspects of our lives need a little rethinking. Even though our baby is just now attempting to learn to roll over, my approach to holiday decorating and crafting has shifted with her around. As I make things for the season… especially things that may sit less than three feet off the ground … I’m attempting to consider what would happen if that item got in the hands of a curious toddler next year. Kid friendly décor is at the top of my priorities as I craft.

I wanted to make something to decorate the bench in our foyer for Christmas. I figured that simple, fabric wrapped foam trees would be fairly sturdy around a toddler old next season. Plus, these trees were super simple and fast to make! Let me show you.

Easy Fabric Covered Foam Trees

(This list contains affiliate links. Please refer to my disclosure statement for details.)

Supplied needed:

  • Foam cone shapes in three sizes (like these here )
  • Fabric of your choice
  • Scissors
  • Foam cutting tools or a strong plastic knife
  • Craft glue

Instructions:

Cut out your fabric in a triangular shape that will fully cover your cone, with several inches extra allowance. Using a cutting tool/knife, score a deep line down the length of the cone. Tuck one edge of your fabric into the crevice. Wrap your fabric around the cone and tuck the other side of the fabric into the scored line. (You may need to trim the fabric down to fit as needed.)

simple fabric wrapped foam topiary trees

Fold the top of the fabric over and tuck into the scored line, too. Apply glue down the seam to hold the fabric in place.

simple fabric wrapped foam topiary trees

Cut/score a circle around the bottom of the cone. Apply glue around the outside of this circle and then tuck the loose edges of the fabric into the cut line to secure the fabric in place. Allow the glue to dry and display.

simple fabric wrapped foam topiary trees

I love the red, white and black plaid fabrics that I used for these trees. They look great on top of our red bench and down the road will hopefully withstand the abuse of a 16 month old!

DIY simple fabric wrapped foam topiary trees

December 10, 2014

Spicy Apple and Shrimp “Martini”

Madigan made… a simple and spicy shrimp appetizer.

Spicy Apple and Shrimp “Martini”

Food always looks more festive in martini glasses, doesn’t it?

I made this shrimp salad frequently this past summer. It was the perfect dish on a warm day and a light dinner for Tim and myself. This salad looks fancy, but it is very simple to make. The recipe is inspired by a shrimp dish we ate years back at a local restaurant. I did not realize that apples, peanuts and wasabi were a fabulous combination until I had that appetizer… and they go great with shrimp!

While I love this dish in the summer, I thought I’d share it with you now in case any of y’all were looking for a new and fancy appetizer for your holiday parties. When served in pretty glassware, this dish can be eaten alone or with crackers. If you don’t want to serve it as an appetizer, this shrimp recipe is also really good on a roll or on top of a salad.

Spicy Apple and Shrimp “Martini”

Spicy Shrimp Salad Appetizer Recipe

Salad:

  • 1 pound of medium sized shrimp, cooked and peeled (and cut into bite sized pieces)
  • 1 apple, diced (I prefer Granny Smith variety for this recipe)
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • 1/4 cup peanuts
  • Juice of one lime
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Dressing:

  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1-2 teaspoonful of wasabi paste (or more if you like it very spicy)

Directions:

Combine the salad and dressing ingredients together in separate bowls. Slowly add the dressing to the salad until everything is lightly coated.

Serve with crackers or on bread or a salad.

Enjoy!

Spicy Apple and Shrimp “Martini”

December 7, 2014

Are you ready for a little Downton Abbey?

Madigan made… a recap of The Costumes of Downton Abbey.

I'd like to interrupt your holiday season for a very important announcement. Please listen up.

Downton Abbey starts back up in January! 

Many of y'all know that I am a big fan of the show. Heck, I even created crafts in honor of the show! (A Downton inspired headband and necklace.) If you follow me on Instagram, you may have seen that I had a little Downton adventure this spring.

Earlier this year I was excited to learn that the costumes of Downton were on display in our area (in Delaware, outside Philadelphia). I was excited.

Ok, excited is putting it mildly.

And I was even more thrilled to learn that my husband was willing to go with me and see the exhibit! (He watches Downton with me. He may not admit it to his friends but I'm pretty sure he likes the show, too!) So, I took my hubby and my seven month pregnant belly to Winterthur last June.

The costume exhibit is hosted on the grounds of an old estate turned museum/gardens called Winterthur. The house was originally owned by the DuPont family, and it thrived during the same period portrayed in Downton.

The Downton exhibit was filled with show costumes that ranged from the staff uniforms to the wedding dresses on the show. I was in heaven!

Memorable moments of the drama were highlighted like Sibyl’s pants and Mary and Matthew’s engagement scene.

 

Fun trivia fact I learned on the tour: Do you know the why reason many of the female characters wore a lot of lavender in season three and four? I didn't either. Apparently  lavender was the color of mourning during that time period. (Spoiler alert: If you remember, the family was mourning the death of Sibyl and then Matthew.)

We also enjoyed the grounds of Winterthur and the house tour that was included with each admission ticket. The décor and antique furniture in the DuPont mansion were gorgeous! The rooms were very reminiscent of the show.

If you live in the Philadelphia area, this exhibit is still open through early January. It might be a fun holiday trip and a way to get excited about the show's return!

Or you could just get your Earl Grey, teacups and saucers ready like I plan to do!

December 2, 2014

Holiday Baby Photo Idea and Handmade Card

Madigan made… a Christmas photo set up for baby & a DIY card.

Love this! A Baby Holiday Photo Idea (& Handmade Card)

I have a few words of warning for any new or expecting parent: Make sure your cell phone has a LOT of photo storage on it!

I can’t seem to stop taking pictures of our new baby, Little C. If you follow me on Instagram, you may have seen a few of them. Really, can you blame me? She’s just so cute and loveable!

Besides using my phone, I also break out my  DSLR camera occasionally to take “good” photos of this little gal, too. This past month I took a bunch on my good camera for the holidays.

(This post contains affiliate links for your convenience. Please refer to my disclosure statement for details.)

Remember the oversized paper mache letters that I hung on my wall for DIY holiday art? Well, the initial reason that I purchased and painted those letters red was to create this “JOY” letter holiday photo setup with our baby. I love how the photo turned out and it was really easy to create.

I took the photo on a sunny day using the white faux sheepskin rug we bought for her bedroom as a backdrop on the floor next to our bedroom window. I arranged the “J” and the “Y” paper mache letters on either side and Little C serves as the “O” in the center (in her fun red and white PJs). I did set up a white reflector to the left of the rug to bounce the window light back over my subjects. I took LOTS of photos and ended up with this one that showed our babe’s sweet personality:

JOY letters used for a holiday photo set up with baby

My husband and I went through a great deal with our infertility issues and now we finally have this little lady in our lives. “JOY” does not begin to describe how we feel about our baby! It seemed like the perfect sentiment to use for our first holiday with her.

Along with the JOY styled photo, I also took photos of Little C close up. I decided to include both poses on our holiday card.

Love this! A Baby Holiday Photo Idea (& Handmade Card)

I thought about getting the photos printed on a card through a photo website, but I knew it would be easy to create my own photo cards with some basic scrapbooking supplies. (And it is cheaper and more personal, too!)

To create this card I used one rectangle of red card stock, a simple holiday greeting printed on white stock and two photos. If you were interested in creating your own card like mine, I included the dimensions of each piece below. OR, you can get creative and make your own card design. All you really need is some paper, 4x6 photos and your imagination!

DIY Christmas card idea

Easy DIY Holiday Photo Card:

  • You will need: a paper cutter , scrapbook adhesive tape , white and red cardstock, specialty envelopes and the photos for your card.
  • Print off a holiday sentiment onto white card stock. (I used the ‘label’ generator setting in MS Word to create multiple copies of the same greeting on one piece of card stock paper and then trimmed the sayings down to size.)
  • Cut all of your pieces to the desired sizes and assemble as shown using scrapbooking adhesive.
  • Dimensions for my card:
    • Base (red card stock): 6.25” x 4.25”
      • Side one:
        • Photo 4” x 6” (I did not need to trim the photo since they printed this size!)
      • Side two:
        • Small photo: 3” x3.25”
        • Seasonal greeting: 2” x 4.25”
  • The card should fit into a specialty envelope and be ready to send! (these envelopes can easily be found at any office supply store or you can get them here .)

I’m sure I’ll be taking tons more holiday pictures of this kid all season long… but this DIY photo card was a fun and easy way to share our holiday JOY with our family and friends. (now I just have to address and mail them!)

Love this! A Christmas Photo Idea for Baby (& Handmade Card)

November 26, 2014

Super Simple (and cheap!) Ornament Wreath

Madigan made… an easy wreath with ornaments from the dollar store.

Love this easy wreath with ornaments from the dollar store

Y’all know I love simple and easy craft projects. Well, now that we have a baby in the house, I will admit that my craft projects require even more speed and simplicity!

I honestly wasn’t sure I’d still have the desire or time to craft with a wee babe around… but after the first three crazy (crazy wonderful yet crazy hormonal/sleep deprived!) months have passed,  we are all getting a little more rest and our days and nights are somewhat predictable now. So, I’m starting to find moments where I can work on something briefly during naptime. And this super simple, super easy ornament wreath is the perfect naptime craft!

I made this wreath to coordinate with the big paper mache “J” and “Y” that I hung in our kitchen for DIY holiday wall décor. (which is why it looks more like an oval instead of a circle) 

This wreath was easy to make and it only cost me about $3.50 to make. I found the ornaments and bow at the dollar store. All I needed was some thick wire that I already had on hand. My easy DIY lemon wreath inspired my assembly process.

Love this easy wreath with ornaments from the dollar store

(This post contains affiliate links for your convenience. Please refer to my disclosure statement for more information.)

How to make an easy ornament wreath

Supplies needed:

Instructions:

  • Pierce the ornament using the 18 gauge wire and push the wire through and out the other side of the ornament, “threading” the ornament on the wire. (NOTE: If the plastic of your ornaments is very thick, you may need to use an awl to create the holes first.)
  • String more ornaments onto the wire until the wreath is the size you want it. The thick wire should keep the ornaments in a circle shape but keep in mind that the larger you make this wreath, the more likely it is to sag. (I did not care too much about that since this wreath was supposed to look like an “O” anyways. The size I made mine will keep its shape but if you make your wreath much larger than mine, you may want to consider using thicker wire.)
  • Wrap the wire onto itself to close the circle.
  • Attach a bow over the exposed wire to cover it.

 

This wreath complements the big letters perfectly! It was simple, easy and quick to make… plus I love the clean and modern look of just the single row of ornaments.

Love this easy DIY wreath with ornaments from the dollar store

November 24, 2014

Simple ‘JOY’ Holiday Wall Letters

Madigan made… a DIY Christmas sign with paper mache letters.

DIY wall art: Simple ‘JOY’ Holiday Wall Letters

When do you start to decorate for Christmas? Normally, I’m a “wait till after Thanksgiving” kinda gal… but this year I decided to start decorating a little early for a few reasons. First, we ordered a new artificial Christmas tree and it seemed silly to put it in storage, so we set it up. Second, I’m still off with the baby and I wanted to get the house decorated before I go back to work. Finally, my one sister-in-law often decorates for Christmas before Thanksgiving… I initially felt the timing was a little early, but then I found it was really nice to see her house looking so festive on another holiday. One goes to all the effort to set out the Christmas décor, why not enjoy it a little longer?

So, in the past week or so we set up our tree and I started to work on a few holiday decoration crafts and projects. (This post contains affiliate links for your convenience. Please refer to my disclosure statement for more information.)

I bought these oversized 23.5 inch high paper mache letters for another little holiday project that I’ll show you soon. I loved the letters so much that I thought I’d hang them in our house somewhere to create a “JOY” sign. The wide archway into our kitchen turned out to be the perfect spot for the letters!

JOY sign made from paper mache letters

I painted the letters using very light coats of red spray paint . The “O” or wreath was very simple to make out of dollar store ornaments. I will show you how to create your own wreath in a later post.

simple DIY ornament wreath

I hung the letters and wreath on the wall using picture hanging strips and clear hooks . The hooks and strips can be removed from the wall after the holiday is over… love that!

The sign is big, bold and adds a little holiday spirit to our kitchen. I love it. And I love that I started to get out my decorations… and I hope to put more stuff out this week. (Be sure to follow me on Instagram or Facebook for a few sneak peeks!)

JOY letters -  handmade holiday sign or wall art

So, when do you decorate for the holidays? Have you started yet?