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19 December 2014

LAST MINUTE -- FIVE MINUTE Peg Doll Stocking Stuffers

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Need a last minute stocking stuffer or idea for Christmas crafting day??
Today I have a 5 minute craft that is perfect for kids AND adults that works perfectly (nd won't break the bank!!).  
Bet you can't stop at just 1 or 2 of these cute peg doll people.  You will have to make a handful!

DIY Peg People Stocking Stuffer DIY for Kids

Supplies needed to make your own peg doll people:

Instructions:

Start with your peg doll "people". (87 cents for two!)

DIY Peg People Stocking Stuffer DIY for Kids

...and then...I have the privilege today of introducing you to the "NEW" Washi Tape!

Floral Tape Alternative to Washi Tape

Ok, so officially, this is actually an OLD supply; floral tape.  I love it for all of its washi applications though.  First off, it is CHEAP!  Second, the roll is HUGE compared to the dinky washi tape rolls. Third, is has that lovely translucent, matte quality that washi tape has and finally, it BENDS.  Have you ever used washi tape on a round surface?  It buckles and wrinkles some.  Floral tape is flexible enough to go around in circles, securing flower stems into bundles.  It is slightly sticky and tacky, making the tape adhere almost more like paint than tape.  You simply wrap the tape around your round surface, using your fingers to "rub it in" so to speak for a seamless finished product.

Peg People with Floral Tape for Crafts Unleashed by Amy Renea Rolling Tape

After rolling the pegs in the color of your choice, you can add detailing with your secondary tape colors if you choose.

DIY Peg People Stocking Stuffer DIY for Kids

Then it is time to apply the faces.  Simply use markers, paint or watercolor pencils (my choice!) to draw on little faces.  After faces comes the hair and accessories.   This is where you can really get creative with your scrap fabrics.  I used this piece of rope for the hair, using the inner straight strands for short little pixie haircuts, the curly outside layers for fabulous curls and the frayed ends for long and wispy "fairy hair".

DIY Peg People Stocking Stuffer DIY for Kids

The various hair styles are simply attached with hot glue!

DIY Peg People Stocking Stuffer DIY for Kids

Here are two of my favorites: Jill and Jan.  Curly and straight sisters.

DIY Peg People Stocking Stuffer DIY for Kids

Note the little pieces of scrap wool from an old scarf for Jill's shawl and Jan's cap.
Here are the pink peg doll girls -- various hairdos on them as well!

DIY Peg People Stocking Stuffer DIY for Kids

I left a few of the dolls faceless and left out the pink for a calmer "woodland" look.

DIY Peg People Stocking Stuffer DIY for Kids

Give your peg doll people a home in a dollhouse and a special little girl in your family will have hours of fun in front of her!


DIY Peg People Stocking Stuffer DIY for Kids


**Note: If you decide to do this peg doll activity with children, make sure YOU do the rope cutting and hot gluing.  
The floral tape part is very easy for children though!!

DIY Peg People Stocking Stuffer DIY for Kids

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17 December 2014

A Red and Green Bedroom for Christmas (Yes, green carpeting...)

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Welcome to our master bedroom.
There are 1,2,3,4,maybe 5 things I love about this space.
There are 2 things I kind of hate.  Can you guess what they are?

Many thanks to Martha Stewart at Macy's Collection for providing bedding for editorial use.


Let's start out with the positives, shall we??

1.  I love our mattress and mattress topper.  It is super duper soft (and fairly cheap...a memory foam from Costco) and gets firm when the bedroom is cold.  Lovely.  In fact, we invested in good mattresses at the expense of actual BEDS.  For about 6-7 years, we have had a box spring, mattress and topper on the floor with a headboard screwed onto the wall (you can see it at our old house HERE).

2. ...which leads us to the BED.  That 4 poster was a Craigslist find.  It is an IKEA bed that IKEA no longer sells and it is EXACTLY what I wanted.  It may change colors in the future, but for now, it is the perfect shape for this large room and anchors the middle section of the room perfectly.

3. Let's dive into the bedding, shall we?  ...because we all know it matters not whether the walls are lime green or puke yellow at night, but it DOES matter how soft the blanket is you are sleeping under.  THIS blanket, dear friends, could make the ugliest room on Earth divine.


The top side is knit sweater material and the flip side is the softest, warmest plush ever.
 I want one of these throws in every room of the house.  EVERY room.
 (PS They have Fair Isle sweater PILLOWS too!)  Aren't they pretty?

Martha Stewart Macy Fair Isle Sweater Pillow

Check out the plush back -- SO soft!

Martha Stewart Macy Fair Isle Sweater Pillow

4. See that sunlight over in the corner (below)?  That is "like" #4.  This bedroom has little french doors that open onto balconies. 
 I can't wait until spring when they are open ALL the time.  For now, they are sealed shut for winter, but frame the bed visually quite nicely.


5.  THE SPACE.  This bedroom is huge.  In fact, it is far larger than we need, so I am thinking of ways to properly utilize the space.  A kid's bed for when they get scared at night?  A sewing table?  Desk for writing?  Planting station for those balconies?

The Negatives:


1.  THE SPACE.  While the space is a definite luxury, it is also a challenge design wise.

2.  THE GREEN CARPET.  You saw it right?  Yes, it is GREEN.  GREEN green.

3.  THE RED WALLS.  Red walls + green carpeting.  Hello Christmas! 
 Since neither the walls nor the carpeting was going to be swapped out before Christmas,
 I decided to jump on the holiday festive wagon and go whole hog with red and green bedding, anchored by neutrals.


The sheets are from the  Martha Stewart Collection at Macy's and are called 'Aracdia Stripe'. The adorable pine pattern pillowcase is called 'Pine Branch'.  They are currently on sale and have a 15% discount on them, so now is the time to jump on that price!  If you have purchased flannel sheets before, you know that sometimes they can be scratchy before they are washed.  By the time you wash them enough to get them soft, they start to get "pilly".  Not so with these luxury sheets.  Soft out of the package and super soft after the first wash.  They warm up the bed all winter long and serve as a beautiful base for more colorful linens on top of the bed.


 NOW.  The bed is decked out for Christmas, warm and cozy for long winter nights and there is all that space to work with.  What are the next steps for this room?  Well, the carpet is a much bigger investment to tackle than painting the walls, so the paint can will come first and I am thinking a nice fresh slate of WHITE will be the direction I go in.  (NOTE:  Our home was a Bed and Breakfast previously and the red and green worked perfectly with the classic furnishings and Victorian stylings -- just not for our style).

The carpet will stay for awhile and perhaps a rug with greens, whites and other neutrals will break up the sea of forest floor.  The windows already have new bamboo blinds that will go up shortly and there are many choices about how the room functions and what furniture will be needed to meet those functions.  Stay tuned!

Until then, grab a warm throw and a cup of hot chocolate and get ready for Christmas. 
 It is only 8 days away!  EIGHT DAYS!

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16 December 2014

Plants that Transistion through Christmas and the Tale of a Bat

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This is the story of a bat skeleton, surprise electricity, twinkle lights and pixies. THAT is where this story begins...
Thanks to The Southern Living Plant Collection for providing the following plants for editorial use.

Sunshine Ligustrum

Everillo Carex

Loropetalum Purple Pixie

Soft Caress Mahonia

 Angyo Star Fatshedera 



The real magic of plants indoors is when they are LIT UP.  Without the sun dancing hither and thither between leaves, branches and flowers, plants lose a little of their magic.  LIGHT gives it back to them.


The Angyo Star (above) really seemed to benefit from twinkle lights...but more on that later.


There are two of these stone planter areas on either side of the main staircase.  Under that brown plywood is this:


OH and a bat skeleton too :)  YAY!
On the bright side, I found two watersafe outlets on each side as well, so YAY for real!


The first thing I did was put back two Mandevilla plants that my in laws are letting me borrow for the winter.  they are quite large and have a strong deep green color.  They anchored each plant grouping perfectly.  The smaller of the two is pictured here, and I combined it with the Angyo Star Fatshedera to give the arrangement some height.


As you can see, the other side didn't need the height as much because THIS Mandevilla is HUGE, tall and very "viney".  I decided to place my second highest interest plant here, smack dab in the middle. The lime green of the Ligustrum is the sunshine punch this side needed.  Contrasting with that punch in the face is the soft and flowing purple pixie and a couple smaller greens filled out this second pot.



The purple really fades into the stone, so I combated that tendency with two techniques.  The first was to place another strong color in the same reddish tones -- in this case a seasonal poinsettia.  The second was with LIGHTS.  Adding a strand of twinkle lights through the purple pixie makes it come alive!  The ligustrum doesn't need the help, but darker foliage plants really benefit.


Case in point:

Now we take a little break, step back and evaluate.NOTE: This was NOT mess free.  NOT.

...but all worth it...

Note the teensy tiny little poinsettia on the far left -- she is a pixie!
The Norfolk Pines made an appearance too!
 ...especially at night!


See that pretty red on the right?  That is a fluffy, frilly 'Christmas Rose' poinsettia.  Pretty right?


I accented my base collection of plants with the pops of red for:

A: General Christmas FestivenessandB: Coordination with the Christmas Tree (see photo of limes and reds on tree above)


Once the poinsettias stop the color show, I will attempt to root a few while focusing on the purples and limes for winter accents.  
Here is how the colors broke down:


Note that the white poinsettia offers a yellowish counterpart to the sunshine ligustrum across the staircase.  Also note that each color has three plants flower OR leaf color) and each color forms a triangle, not a row.


The effect is a calm feeling arrangement that seems to "make sense" visually, but also feels a bit random like nature.


Time for the MVPs!

A. The Angyo Star Fatshedera.  First of all, the leaves look like stars -- how festive!  They are more beautiful in person than on film and the height they add is majestic, yet light.  I am a major fan.



B. LIGHTS.  In general ALL lights, but in particular THESE little Martha Stewart twinkle "moon lights" disappear into the foliage and twinkle and blink for utter magic.  Really.  I cannot encourage you to put lights in your plants enough.  The "uplighting" in each corner are simple cheap desk lamps and they make SUCH a difference.  Add light.  Even if it is not Christmas anymore.  Leave the twinkle lights alone.

C.  The Poinsettias.  They are so "Christmasey" and seasonal, but I love them all winter long -- particularily the "whites".  I also love the rilly 'Christmas Rose' and the "pixies".  So much more variety than the simple red poinsettias of old, yes?


Again, here are the links for all the Southern Living Plant Collection plants with notes on care and zones, etc.


Everillo CarexSoft Caress Mahonia Angyo Star Fatshedera Loropetalum Purple PixieSunshine LigustrumChef's Choice Rosemary
Also pictured:
Norfolk Pine (from THIS POST)The Christmas Tree (from Treetopia)LIGHTS including THESE Martha Stewart lights

For additional ideas and plants, please check out these Southern Living Collection partners:

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