Easy Seasonal Cottage Decor

Autumn demanded new decorations for my Cottage style home. A welcoming wreath was on the list for my front door. It’s hand crafted and turned out pretty if I may say so myself. door wreath blog sizeAn inexpensive grapevine wreath was the jump-off point for this project. I added a little pine greenery, then fall colored picks and pumpkins. A cute Welcome sign that I found at Bell’s department store fit perfectly into the center of the wreath. A big shiny copper ribbon bow completed the look.

 

Thanksgiving decor

As usual, I changed my entryway to suit the season. This time, I wanted to focus on fall colors and decor to welcome the Thanksgiving holiday.

The design is simple and was based on a couple of new text art pieces that I found at Hobby Lobby. The metal bucket and  faux foliage is also from Hobby Lobby.

Fall-floralA silver, grey and ivory beaded pumpkin place-mat was from Ross- my favorite guilty pleasure shopping store. Well- Ross, Tuesday Morning and TJ Max are equal shopping fun. Since I nearly die of sticker shock every time I go into a store with full retail prices  –  you get the picture. It’s discount and thrift stores all the way for me.

wall-decorLes made many of the elements in my wall arrangement. Yes, I’m showing off his talent again. (grin). That strange little bird assembly at the top of the arrangement? It’s made with an oak burl and root piece that he found outside. Pretty awesome, huh? I LOVE found art!Text-art

fall-sap-bucketCompleting the fall decor in the living room was a snap. Cotton ball branches, twigs and red berries were tossed into my sap bucket and DONE! Pretty, inexpensive and easy- that’s my kind of decorating.

S McCall

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Halloween 2017

A few more Halloween decor pics are in order, I think. Did I tell you that I LOVE decorating for the holidays? “Why?”,  you ask. Just because it makes me happy. I hope that the decorations make you smile too.entryway-halloweenart arrangement in entryway

 

The table in the entryway often gets a decorative refresh.  It’s a changeling for holidays as well as the different seasons. The photo above is specifically for Halloween, of course, but take a look at the before picture to the left. This was the summer arrangement with artwork from myself (center painting) and abstract landscapes from Claudia McGill. This time, the entryway went from springy-summer to the dark, spooky colors of Halloween. I love it!

decorations-above-stampsclose-up-of-collectablesI have a few purchased collectibles, but most of our decorations are made by Les or myself. Above are some store-boughts. Aren’t the little pumpkin buckets adorable?devil-bunniesThe cool devil bunnies are made by my husband Les Gains. He sculpts them of clay, then makes a mold and pours resin into that. Acrylic paint completes the look. I love his work because it is so unusual. My art always turns out “girly” no matter how edgy I try to make it.

Pictured above are more of Les’ mixed media sculptures. He most often starts with his resin creations and builds from there. So cool!halloween-collectables.jpg…a close-up of my girly assemblage with more of Les’ devil bunnies surveying the scene…my resin contribution this year is the little pumpkin in the basket. …..ah well…we can’t all be edgy.

Happy Halloween!

S McCall

Halloween Paper Rosettes

 

paper-decorations

 

This year I’ve put up not one, but TWO Halloween trees! Naturally, that gave me an excuse to make even more Halloween ornaments. I’ve been wanting to make paper rosettes for a while now, but have never had a reason to do so. You see, I’m a functional crafter. I craft when I need something, either to give away or for my own home. The rest of the time I’m pretty busy with work and home chores. Or I’m pretty lazy preferring  to sit on the couch reading or crocheting.

But this year: Let’s make Paper rosettes!

scoreboard

The very first thing that I did in preparation for my ornaments was to purchase a score-board. I knew about them, but had not needed one before now. The thought of measuring 1/4″ spaces along 12″ strips of paper and then carefully accordion folding each one was too much. Then, to multiply the strips to about 20 ornaments…argh. Nope- not gonna do that.

I tossed on some shoes and ran right to the craft store. I found several different makes and sizes of score-boards. The large one was perfect because I knew that Les would use it for his paper creations- books, envelopes, etc. The board was a steal considering how much time it would save and that I had a 50 percent off coupon for that day.

The next step was to go online to see if there were any hints or tips on making small rosettes.

Wow! There sure were and they are so much easier to make than they were way back when I first learned about them. This step-by-step-blog post is incredibly easy to understand and follow if you need. For full instructions, click the photo to the right or click on the link below.

http://penniwigs.blogspot.com/p/how-to-make-paper-rosettes.html

free-vintage-printable.jpg

 

You will most likely want some printables for the centers of the rosettes, some ribbon and assorted glitters (optional of course, but oh so cool.)

After learning to make rosettes the easy way, I scoured the internet for free printable art to attach to my creations. This sheet was put together by me and is free for you to print if you like. the sheet pictured is of a small size for the web. But if you click on it, it will take you to a page with a full sized sheet.

more-rosette-supplies

 

 

The weird but adorable cats and pumpkins in the photo on the left are by Jack Teagle. I got them way back in 2011 or 12. This was the link, but I don’t know if he sells the prints anymore. I cannot find them on his blog today. You may have to contact him or resort to the regular clip art above or search the web of course.

Paper-rosettes-for-HalloweeHere they are! TADA! A bunch of cute little Halloween rosettes that can be used, not only for ornaments for your tree, but also for gift wrapping, assemblage and a ton of other crafts.

Halloween-tree.jpg

And- tada- here’s the tree. I wanted a black tree  that looked kind of like a vintage feather tree. What I found was a green Christmas tree that I spray painted black. Turned out cute if I do say so myself.
S McCall

Halloween Assemblage

Making Halloween decorations for 2017

First of all, I have to give props to Polly’s Paper Studio.  Her post on her peat pot birthday assemblage gave me the kick that I needed to get busy on my Halloween decor. I decided, as soon as I saw Polly’s post, that I wanted to make a Halloween pot.

For the first step in this project, as in all projects, I had to make a mess. I usually drag all kinds of supplies out to see if this will go or if that will go- you know the drill.

supplies-for-web

One of the things that I knew I wanted to use was a little pumpkin that I carved out of clay. A mold was made from the clay pumpkin and then cast in resin. You can see him in the bottom right corner of the pic above. He’s painted with a coat of acrylic craft paint.

 

Halloween rosettes
Halloween ornaments

I had made a ton of Halloween rosettes for my Halloween tree, so I nabbed one of those to use in the pot as well.

My other self imposed constraint was to use only what I had on hand. A little metal pot started out as my base after I drilled holes into the side of the pot. I took three colors of pipe cleaners, twined them around each other, then fit the ends into the holes in the pot. Now I had a cute little handle.

Next, I cut a strip of scrapbook paper to length. I cut divets into the paper from the bottom up, leaving a connection point at the top of the strip- only about an eighth of an inch deep.   The divets helped to overlap the paper in the forming of the pot shapes. If you will cut those, you will have no buckling as you try to shape the paper onto the pot.

 

Halloween crafts
Components of assemblage

A little shredded paper went into the pot as a filler. That was topped with tulle and ribbon glued in with a glue gun.

The  stars were freehand cut out of glitter scrapbook paper.

The “Boo” banner is a scrap book embellishment from Recollections. The adhesive ribbon around the pot base and the banner are left-over supplies from a previous scrap book project. I used a glue gun to assemble everything and there you have it.

OH! I also lightly sanded my little pumpkin to give her an aged, vintage look. She got a body and a little paper dress with pom-pom for her outfit.

 

 

Halloween decorations
Halloween bucket nestled in with other Halloween decorations

S McCall

Birthday Fairy Peat Pot and Anything Goes Challenge

I first saw this post on Facebook and was captivated. I’m going to attempt to make a similar little pot for Halloween. I’ll post that when I’m done. Until then, enjoy Polly’s post and follow her if you’re inclined toward paper crafts. She has some adorable ideas on her blog.

Polly's Paper Studio

Today I’m sharing a sweet little project I made for my BFF Heather for her birthday. It’s not actually until the 6th of January. Guess I’m early for once : )

IMG_0333I covered the little pot with torn strips of book page then inked it heavily and stamped a dot border at the bottom.

IMG_0336The little girl is a vintage image from Graphic’s Fairy. I trimmed off her top hat and gave her a party hat complete with glitter and a pom pom top.  wings for her back make her a proper fairy. The super simple banner is just trimmed paper…inked and stamped and glittered of course. It’s held up with silver wire. I used a chenille stem as the “handle”

IMG_0337-001I made half of a paper rosette to help hold in the paper filler in the pot. for the rim I knew I wanted to add real vintage buttons…

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Grilled Sweet Corn Salad with a Kick

Grilled corn salad has got to be one of my new favorite dishes. If it’s cold and rainy outside or if you just don’t want to bother cleaning up a big ole’ BBQ grill (I hear you on that one!) , no problem. Just grill the ears on an oiled cast iron skillet. They turn out beautifully with just the perfect amount of smokey char. If corn is out of season, use frozen corn. Cook it in the skillet the same way as you do the ears. Continue reading

Vegan Root Beer Baked Beans

vegan root beer baked beans

Baked beans are super easy, hearty and filling. Perfect for lunch or dinner, these beans are great as the main event, but also wonderful as a side dish.

The added plus is that you can put them in your boxed lunch and simply microwave the beans to re-heat. Or you can put them in a baggie and freeze in single serving sizes. Then, toss into your lunch bag and they will be defrosted and ready for the microwave as soon as lunch-time rolls around. Continue reading

Entryway Featuring Artwork by Claudia McGill

Claudia McGill

entrywayFabulous artist, Claudia McGill gives away paintings! That’s right, they are free. All that she asks is that you pay the shipping fees. Claudia is probably the most prolific artist that I know. She does one small painting a day to challenge herself and then she gives them away. That is so COOL! I wanted to follow in her footsteps, but I couldn’t even get to one painting a week. Nor one a month. I am the embodiment of an anti-prolific artist- painting only when I want to change the art in my decor or when I want to gift someone. (grin)

I asked for several of Claudia’s little paintings which she graciously shipped immediately. All I paid was $12.00 for Priority shipping. AMAZING!claudia-mcgill-artworkAfter much deliberation on how to hang these little gems, I decided to use clips and push pins in keeping with my funky living room decor. I arranged Claudia’s work around a central painting that I did. I think that the colors complement each other.art arrangement in entrywayThis is my entryway where I can drop my keys and my purse. But, mostly, I can admire Claudia’s work and several other of my favorite art pieces.Bing Face vaseThe face vase was a gift from my friend, Robyn. It is a ceramic vase signed by Bing. Really cool stuff. In the next post, I will share more of Les Gains’ mixed media that is included in my arrangement.S McCall