I planted some paperwhite bulbs indoors a few months ago. By planted, I mean stuck in a container with some rocks and water. For a long time they didn’t do anything, but I finally figured out that they weren’t getting enough light and moved them in front of a window. After that, they sprung up several inches a day. Not joking, these suckers went from nothing to huge in a matter of days.
This is them on Jan 24th.
And this is them a week later. Almost four times as big and blooming up a storm.
I did realize one thing about these bulbs, however, that wasn’t so great: they are kinda stinky. This might not be a problem if they didn’t smell SO STRONGLY. I ended up having to move them into another room because they were overpowering. Next year I might try something a little more smell-friendly, like hyacinths. Anyway, I can’t complain about the looks, because they really are beautiful!
For the future, anyone have tips about getting them to spread out a bit and not grow so tall? Or is that just how they grow?
I had been looking for a small, round coffee table for our secondary seating area for some time without much luck. Then, I just happened to see one I loved on Apartment 528‘s website. Even better, it was on sale! It took a bit to get it as it had to be refinished, but it was well worth the wait.
I think it fits into the space well and will be a great place to sit and read or look at books. It’s a bit more finished looking than the ottoman we had there before, which now lives in our bedroom.
For anyone in the Chicago area, I highly recommend buying from them! India is incredibly nice and even delivered the table for free because it took longer than expected to complete the refinish. I think it came out great and I couldn’t be happier with the purchase!
With the new year comes new resolutions and one of mine was to finally tackle the numerous craft, cooking, and personal projects I keep putting off. Easier said than done, but I made a list of things I want to do to help me keep on track. A month into the year and I haven’t really gotten much done (I’ve had a lot going on at work), but hopefully I’ll pick up a bit in the coming month. Anyway, here’s some of what I hope to make/learn/do this year!
- Make my own stuffed animals. I really want to learn how to sew stuffed animals. I haven’t found any great patterns for it, but I think I could figure out how to do it on my own with a little trial and error. I also really want to try out this whale stuffed animal I saw in Pinterest.
- Sew a duvet cover for my down throw. I have a down throw blanket that is so incredibly warm and awesome. The problem is that it was never especially cute and now it has a few stains that make it look worse. A nice cover will make it both pretty and functional for the cold winter months.
- Block print towels. I saw how to do this a few months back in Martha Stewart’s magazine. It seems really easy and looks amazing when it’s done. If I get good, it could be a way to make some art for around the house, too.
- Porcelain gift tags and ornaments. I found a recipe for homemade porcelain. I thought it would be cool to make some gift tags and ornaments out of it for upcoming holidays and birthdays. Seems like there’s a lot that could be done with that.
- Custom rubber stamps. I keep pinning and pinning more examples of how to make rubber stamps. One of these days I’ll actually get around to making my own! It seems like it’s not so hard with the right tools, especially if you stick to simple designs.
- Converted cookie sheet tray. After seeing this project on Pinterest, I have really been wanting to find an old cookie sheet and turn it into a tray. No luck finding one at the thrift store yet. No luck at finding much of anything at thrift stores lately.
- Felt tissue holder. Since I have allergies and am always a bit sniffy I usually carry around a mini pack of tissues. I saw a DIY project for a simple felt pouch to house them and I soooo want to make one.
- More garlands! I still would like to make a couple more garlands out of felt. I never finished one Christmas one I had the supplies for and I wouldn’t mine crafting one with fall leaves, too.
- Use my bead loom. I got a bead loom as a gift awhile back and I’ve neglected to use it yet. I’d love to make a cool necklace of some sort to wear this summer.
- Finish embroidery project. A couple of months ago I started embroidering a feather. I really need to finish it!
- Make ice cream! We got an ice cream maker as a wedding gift and I’ve never quite gotten around to using it. I really want to though!
- Pickle, pickle, pickle. I got a book on pickling for Christmas and I plan to pickle the heck out of some stuff in the coming months.
- Bake bread. While we live close to an amazing bakery, I’d still like to try making my own. A little boule of some sort!
- Candy citrus peel. I’ve wanted to do this for a long time but never gotten around to it. Seems like a yummy holiday treat to try.
- Finally watch The Wire and Breaking Bad. Seriously, guys, I need to catch up.
- Plan out our garden. I can’t wait for it to be warm again so we can start planting our garden. We learned a lot from last year and I want to come up with a better plan for planting this year.
After a quick trip to Ikea and Bed, Bath & Beyond, I finally had what I needed to get some curtains hung in our main living area. Hanging them was pretty straightforward, and I think they help to soften up the space a bit. Here’s a before:
And the after with the curtains (both with a cat).
The curtains were pretty cheap ($25 for each set) which was great because we have a lot of windows.
I hung them up in the little reading nook area, too.
We’re considering removing the gross paper shades that were here when we moved in and just using the curtains for privacy. We may not even need to invest in blinds or any kind for awhile if that works out.
We also got this print of Rob’s (from college) framed. I think it matches the colors in the house really well and he was very proud to have it displayed.
Just trying to get the house looking good before the holidays!
I didn’t just make garlands for the house this year; some other things got decorated, too! In our living room, we cut out loads of snowflakes and hung them on the wall and the window.
I added a cute wintry plant and some mercury glass candle holders to one side. The other has a little tree with some fake snow under a dome.
I also put up my small robot tree again! It doesn’t really fit on the bar, but there weren’t any other places it really worked either, so it works. The lights are super cool LEDs on a wire from Restoration Hardware. I think it looks ready for some party times.
I picked up this festive garland at Target and mixed it with some star-shaped lights I already had (bought at Ikea several years ago). I wanted real greenery but every store was out of it, so foil garland it is!
Our dining room got some more snowflakes and a place to hang our cards. I really wanted real pine garland for in here too, but no luck finding it.
The table has a mix of mercury glass holders, glass jars and bowls with trees and fake snow, and silver deer stuff. The bowl was supposed to be filled with pine cones, but the ones I ordered took two weeks to even ship so I just ended up cancelling the order. Oh well, next year!
Our sideboard has some more garland, holly and branches in a vase, and some paperwhites I’m trying to grow.
The glasses are from my great grandma. They’re partridges in a pear tree!
My paperwhites are budding. Not sure I’m doing it right as the roots don’ t seem to be growing. Any insights are appreciated.
Finally, we did actually decorate a bit outside too. Just the classic colored lights (though LED, even though I kind of hate LED lights) on the porch. We might add more next year but we’re tapped out for this year.
It feels so festive in here! Really enjoying the holidays this year.
This is part two of my felt garland holiday awesomeness. I separated the projects into two posts because this one was much more involved to make. Not hard, just much more time-consuming. I think it came out great, however. Here’s the finished product.
To make a garland like this, you’ll need green felt, cut into leaves, felt balls, and a backing, like the one here (purchased at Joann).
I started out with cutting the leaves. I started out trying to make the leaves identical, but eventually started cutting them freehand. Why, you ask? Because you need A LOT of leaves for this project. If you’re trying to do this and you think you have enough, keep cutting because I assure you, you do not. It’s also smart to cut a few smaller and larger leaves to use in different places throughout the garland. It looks a lot more put together that way.
Once you’ve cut about one million leaves (seriously though, I probably used more than a hundred) you can cut the length of material you’ll use as the backing. I used this flat cord (no idea what this is called) but you could easily use a long thin piece of heavy fabric, too. Since I wanted it to drape on two sides, I knotted the corners and trimmed the ends to equal lengths.
For the felt balls, you can either make them or buy them. I explain briefly how to make them in my previous post.
Once everything is set, it’s time to get down to business. Start at the top of the space you want to cover in leaves.
Then, slowly glue them to the backing but ONLY AT THE TOP. You want to be able to pick the leaves up so that you can stick others underneath. If you don’t do this, the project won’t work.
Slowly add more and more leaves until you reach the end. Repeat on the other side.
The middle is a bit tougher, but how you do it is up to you. I chose to slowly have the leaves angle in, but you could also just run them straight across in one direction, too. The way I did it, the leaves widen out in the middle. Some are not even glued to the backing but just to other leaves.
A note of caution, however, be careful with the hot glue. It will burn you and bad. I got a few blisters and one place where it just took my skin off. Watch your fingers!
After I finished attaching the leaves, it was time to cover up the knotted corners with a bow. I used a length of burlap, but you can use whatever floats your boat. Simply tie it so that it covers up the backing material.
Next, it is time to attach the felt balls. I cut lengths of the same green felt I used for the leaves to act as stems for the “berries”. Then I glued the felt balls to the end.
When they’re dry, simply tie the end of the felt piece behind the bow so that it’s hidden. You could glue it, too, if you’d like.
I hung the whole thing up on the closet door for a minute so I could go over it and remove any stray glue.
You can see here that it spiderwebs over the felt, so spend some time removing it.
After that, you’re done! I made the garland for the bathroom mirror, but you could hang it pretty much anywhere. Here it is on our bookshelves (looking like an M) and on a frame in our living room.
It’s a very time-consuming process, but worth it for the finished product!
When we moved into this new house we donated our old tree. The cats had messed up some of the lower branches and it was just so tiny that we didn’t think it’d look great in our new place. So that necessitated purchasing a new tree. We opted for the tallest, biggest one that would fit in our living room (9 ft!) . This is our new Christmas baby.
It was actually a pretty great deal at Home Depot and with gift cards didn’t end up costing much at all. It’s even pre-lit so much less work for both of to do. Here’s an arty shot.
We got a few new ornaments for it, too. I picked up these cute mushrooms and leaves at Target. Target had the best assortment of Christmas stuff this year!
And, per our tradition, Rob had to buy the most ridiculous ornament he could find. We settled on this dachshund, though we ended up finding an even more crazy version of it later on.
We’ve been enjoying it every day since we put it up! Looking forward to having it for years to come.