Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Christmas Mantel for 2010

I have been admiring the many wonderful Christmas mantels that everyone has shared in blog land and thought I would add mine to the mix.

This sweet 'Snowy Owl' caught my eye on a recent visit to a local antique shop. He was the starting inspiration for my Christmas Mantel for 2010.

 Actually, my husband had built the metal doors on our fireplace many years ago including the 2 antique Owl andirons on them as a decorative detail. I suppose I will have to give him the credit for my inspiration. The vintage snow shoe was a Christmas gift from him many years ago, as well - gotta give him his props!

I must also give thanks to 'Donna' at 'Funky Junk Interiors'. She has a stone fireplace and comes up with some wonderful ways of dressing her mantel. I incorporated a couple of her ideas - the 'White Star' and the 'Branches with Ornaments' - from her lovely mantel from last Christmas.

On the dumbwaiter side of the mantel, I placed an old chippy white window. It seemed like the perfect place to hang my twig wreath using a torn piece of white muslin. Using an old board, I stenciled the 'Snowy Owl Inn c.1778' sign.

I stenciled in white first and then offset the stencil with black paint to create the raised effect. To give it some appropriate aging, I lightly sanded the letters, followed with a coat of dark stain and then wiped it down.

I love using old materials to create 'new treasures'.

I hope you have enjoyed my 'Christmas Mantel'. Maybe, it will inspire you too!

 I have linked up to the following parties:
The Lettered Cottage

Until next time ~ Suzanne. Print Friendly and PDF

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Fall Mantel and the Colors of Autumn

 I made a few small changes to my mantel for the Fall season.

I wanted a simple natural look this year and this is what I came up with.

A grouping of crocks, an antique box and a dried twig wreath.

Another twig wreath simply hung on the mirror with some burlap and a basket of sweet annie that smells just wonderful. I kept my vintage spools and candles in antique boxes to complete the look.

Fall is my favorite season and each year I anxiously await the colors of the season.

The color this year is just gorgeous. This is the lake view framed in a vivid sea of color.

The mountains beyond the field are just bursting.

Nature in all its glory!

Mother Nature has come through once again. Fall in New England - such a wonderful time of year! I hope that you are enjoying this glorious season as well.

Until next time ~ Suzanne.

Linked to: Funky Junk Interiors and The DIY Show Off and Tatertots and Jello Print Friendly and PDF

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Primitive Witch Hat

I bought the pattern for this witch hat last year and figured I better 'get her done'. The pattern is appropriately titled 'Primitive Witch Hat' and is by 'Old Road Primitives'.

The pattern called for cheesecloth for the hat band but I didn't have any on hand, so I used some tulle instead. The pattern also includes instructions for staining and grunging the hat with a nice cinnamon, vanilla and coffee mix.

The hat reminded me of the 'Wicked Witch of the West' from the 'Wizard of Oz', so I used some of her famous last words on the tag.

This jelly cupboard is in my kitchen and it's the first area you see when you come in the door. I change the display on it fairly regularly. It seemed like the perfect spot for my new/old hat and some of my other treasures. One of my favorite things is the black victorian baby boots. I had been searching and searching for some vintage baby shoes and finally found these over the summer at an antique shop. I just love them!

Until next time ~ Suzanne.

Linked to: The Shabby Chic Cottage and Someday Crafts and Tools Are For Women Too and Its So Very Cheri and The DIY Show Off and Sawdust and Paper Scraps and Funky Junk Interiors and Tatertots and Jello Print Friendly and PDF

Friday, August 20, 2010

Night Stand Makeover

A friend gave this little night stand to my son but it was in need of some TLC. (Please ignore my badly worn mahogany floors. They are in need of some TLC as well, but that's a project for another day.)

After a good sanding to repair it's tattered finish, I brushed on a couple coats of some nice creamy white paint.

I decided it needed some 'character' - so, I gave it some gentle distressing with sandpaper.

For the areas that were just too hard to reach with sheets of sandpaper, I used my trusty emery board. It works like a charm.

The old tired night stand now has a new lease on life.

Until next time ~ Suzanne.

Linked to: Tatertots and Jello Print Friendly and PDF

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Dressing the Mantel

I find decorating the mantel of our fireplace to be a challenge. The family room is above the garage of our home and my 'oh-so-clever' husband built a dumbwaiter to bring the wood up. This has worked out wonderfully, but it makes for one very long mantel! My current display is shown below:

I have had this vintage dresser mirror for many years and have always loved the graceful curved lines and warm patina. I decided to give it a try on the mantel. Much to my surprise, it blended wonderfully with DH's antique gun above it.

The reflections of the mirror give a nice depth to the arrangement and the room itself.

Continuing with the theme - some nest dwellers resting on an antique box, a ginger jar filled with a few sprigs of flowers and a picture of a lone shore bird placed in a simple frame on the dumbwaiter side of the mantel.

To balance out the remainder of the long mantel, I added a gathering of vintage wooden spools and some wood boxes with candlesticks.

I am liking this arrangement, but fall is right around the corner and I know that changes are coming soon.

Until next time ~ Suzanne.

Linked to: Its So Very Cheri and Someday Crafts
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Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Favorite Places Subway Art Tutorial

I have been seeing a lot of 'Subway Art Tutorials' on different blogs such as 'Tatertots and Jello' and 'Lil Blue Boo'. I decided that I needed to make one for our home. For my theme, I used the names of some of our favorite places here in New Hampshire. The nice thing about this project is that is can be personalized to fit you.

My tutorial is similar to others that I have seen, but with some additional steps that I thought may help someone.

The supply list for this project is:

- Plywood cut to size (Mine is 20" x 30", but you can adjust this to a size that works for your list of words.)
- White Spray Paint
- Black Spray Paint
- Contact Paper
- Glue Stick
- 150 Grit Sandpaper
- Dark Stain (I used Minwax Dark Walnut)

Let's Begin!

Using your favorite word program, print out 2 sets of your selection of words in varying fonts and sizes (I used Arial, Arial Narrow and Arial Black) . 'Set 1' will be used for placement guides and 'Set 2' will be used for the contact paper.

Layout 'Set 1' of the printed words in an arrangement and size that you like.

Take 'Set 2' of the printed words and glue the back of them with a glue stick. Adhere them to the non-paper side of contact paper.

Using a sharp pair of scissors, cut each letter from your 'Set 2'.

Store the 'Set 2' cutout contact paper words in marked ziploc bags to keep them separated.

Cut your plywood to fit your particular layout of words. Be sure to leave space for a border. Give the plywood a light sanding (I wanted a vintage look to my sign, so I intentionally kept the nail holes and dings on the plywood) . Follow this with a coat of white spray paint and allow to dry overnight.

Arrange your 'Set 1' of printed words on the painted plywood to use as a reference for placement.
Draw light pencil lines for each line of text as placement guides.

Using your 'Set 2' of cutout contact paper letters, remove the glued paper and the paper backing from the contact paper and carefully stick the individual letters on the painted board.

Using your finger, press around each letter again to be sure that you have good contact with the painted surface.
Spray the board with Black Spray Paint, covering the entire front and sides. Allow to dry for a few hours.

Remove the contact paper letters carefully to reveal the white background. I found that serger tweezers worked out great for this.

Your board should now look like this with all the letters revealed.

I wanted my sign to look vintage. To achieve this, give the board a gentle hand sanding with some '150 Grit' sandpaper.

Next, give the entire board a coat of 'Minwax Dark Walnut' stain and using a clean paper towel, quickly wipe until you have your desired amount of aging.

This is my finished 'New/Old Subway Art'. It reminds me of some of the vintage signs I've seen along the hiking trails in New Hampshire. It is so nice to have such a personalized item in your home. I hope you have as much fun making yours as I had making mine.

Until next time ~ Suzanne.

Linked to: Tatertots & Jello and Someday Crafts and The DIY Showoff and Today's Creative Blog Print Friendly and PDF

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Chair Makeover

Our laptop is set up on a sofa table in the family room with a wooden bench for a seat. My kids have never liked the bench and tell me their bottom side hurts when they sit on it for any length of time.
Along comes this 'well loved' chair that I found at a local antique shop. The 'gilding' really wasn't working for me and the padded seat had been badly neglected, but I figured with a little TLC it could be 'loved' once more.

Here she is now after a fresh coat of paint and a newly upholstered seat. I knew from the moment I saw her that the printed linen from my throw pillow would be perfect for the seat.

I gave it a coat of 'Mopboard Black' followed by a coat of 'Anamite'. To give it some character, I added some 'gentle distressing' with some sandpaper - just enough to let the black show through. I finished it with a couple coats of 'Minwax Polycrylic Clear Satin'.

We saw this cute little guy the other day feasting on some ferns. We watched each other for 10 minutes before he went along his merry way. I have seen more deer this year than any other - not sure why, but it's always such a nice surprise.

Linked to Someday Crafts and Tatertots and Jello and Its So Very Cheri and Funky Junk Interiors and Thrifty Decor Chick

Until next time ~ Suzanne. Print Friendly and PDF
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