DIY · Free Printables · Home Decor

Join Me on a Tour of My 2019 Christmas Bedroom

Approximately one year ago I decided that I was getting tired of seasonal decorating. Next year, I thought, there would be no more garlands all around the front porch- no more gigantic, overly decorated trees- no more little Christmas elements stuck on every shelf. I was as beat up as an old bat trapped outside of her cave.

Well… fast forward to this year – a lot can happen to one’s psyche in a year don’cha know. Maybe it’s the Keto lifestyle kicking in. It really does punch up the energy factor to sky high. Or, more likely, it’s retirement from the post office. Whoot-whoot! This year is the first time in many that I also decorated the bedroom for Christmas. Come along then – let me show you what I did.

Restful bed at Christmas time
The bed got the full treatment too. I usually do not go with printed sheets. It’s always plain white for me or else I wake up with nightmares that spiders are on the bed. No kidding. Too much information? LOL This year I am an adult so I figured that I could handle a plain little red and white plaid. So far, no problem.
Crafty Christmas pillows with reindeer silhouettes on them
Let’s start the craft talk with me showing off these cute little reindeer pillows. The base was a plain, square pillow cover that I bought at Ikea. My first idea was to silkscreen something onto the covers, but this year I’m pretty much into handcrafted rustic style- isn’t everybody? I searched the net for reindeer silhouette clip art. Then I printed out what I liked, cut it out and traced around the cut-out with a permanent ink pen. (Permanent Uniball-bold forever Baby!)
The last step was to sew pieces of ribbon and buttons to the cover.
And you just know that there is some other pillow stuck under the cover. Gotta save space where I can.
Comfy, cozy Christmas bedroom ideas.
Our comfy, cozy bedroom full of rustic and kitschy elements. The pops of classic Christmas red are a departure for me as I usually go with more neutrals.
childhood Christmas memories
When I see a Christmas element that reminds me of my childhood, I get it. That is what it’s all about, right? Being a kid again?
I also looked for free Christmas printables online. I found this watercolor print at Hip 2 Save
Wing back chair with Christmas decor
Notice the double garland on the mirror. This year is all about “the more the merrier” with garlands.
pillow made with placemats
This little red snowflake pillow began life as a small place-mat for the table. You can find instructions and quite a few more ideas for making fun and inexpensive pillows here.
Tall, rustic Santas grouped with a primitive, rustic Christmas tree
I try to make cohesive vignettes with my decorative smalls. That way, the overall look is not just a huge hodge-podge of stuff and things stacked everywhere.
Vintage Christmas ornaments
A charming little shadow box holds vintage smalls that my Aunt B. used to pick up for Les and I. Barbara has sadly passed earlier this year so these little trinkets are even more sentimental to us now. The mixed media ornament on top of the box was made by a local artisan here in Prescott.
Bedroom decorated for Christmas
I love how the bedroom is reflected in the closet doors. It doubles the Christmas decorations and heightens the fun for me.
Christmas shelf decorations
See that Santa on the right? When I found him at a thrift store- where else?- I thought that he was so cool and oh-so vintage. While looking through my new Country Sampler magazine, I saw him listed at $29.95. Laughing all the way, I showed the item to Les. He has always stated that I only like new- old stuff because I tend to go for “vintage look” over the real deal. It would appear that he knows me so well.

Merry Christmas everyone! No matter what holidays you celebrate, I wish you and yours the very best season and all the new year to come.

DIY · tutorials

Another Free Crochet Pattern- The Wave Stitch

Crochet in fall and winter? Oh yeah! What better craft to keep you warm while you are constructing it?

I wanted to make an afghan for my Mom that would be super soft against her frail skin but that would still keep her warm and cozy. I used a supposedly baby blanket yarn from Bernat. I say supposedly because when I was finished with the afghan, I realized that it would be too heavy and would smother my bed-ridden mother let alone an infant. The finished afghan is way heavier than expected. I’ll confess though, that was probably my fault since I used a heavily textured crochet pattern called the “Wave” stitch and a size 10mm crochet hook.

The Wave crochet pattern
Another free crochet pattern called The Wave Stitch. This one is soft and heavily textured – perfect for a chilly winter morning.
The Wave crochet pattern
Ah well, I got carried away with making the afghan too chunky, but the blanket really is soft and warm, so I’m using it on the little bed in my reading/craft room.

There are seriously thousands of free crochet patterns on the web. The variety of styles and difficulties of pattern can be mind boggling. Talk about spending hours cruising the web. This pattern comes from a square that was used in a patchwork sampler afghan. I liked the square so much that I decided to make a whole afghan out of that “Wave stitch” pattern.

The crochet pattern written instructions can be found here: Crochet Along Afghan Sampler from the Inspired Wren. Check out her blog for a ton more cool crochet patterns.

If you would prefer to see a video tutorial, I found the one linked below to be really clear and concise.

The difference between my afghan and this one is the border. I used a ribbed crochet stitch instead of the single crochet border shown here.
The Wave crochet pattern
To make the ribbed border just do a single crochet all around and then follow up with a back loop only single crochet all around. Repeat for several more rows until the border is the width that you like.

Bundle up and stay warm. Happy holidays!

DIY · Home Decor

A Sad to Glad Chair With a Thrifty Re-do

Here’s a story about a very unloved chair that found happiness under my guidance. OK, I’m just goofing. In reality though, it WAS an unloved chair. The thrift store had marked it down several times and ended at $22.00 and they still could not get rid of it. Until I happened along that is. The chair was solid, the cushions were in good shape, it was comfortable and in a style that I like. What’s not to love? Oh yeah, the totally outdated upholstery fabric and the has-been white washed finish on the pale wood. That was OK though, because I have paint and I know how to use it.

thrift store chair
I I removed the upholstery on both arms and the batting off one arm before I thought to take pictures to share. THEN I took pics at every step of the re-do. Now this is the only surviving picture of this chair from my old camera of several years ago. It is blurry, but you get the idea. The other pics are taken just last week. They are not the detailed process, but they show what happened along the way.

Les was not convinced when he came by with the truck to pick the chair up. I would not have called him because I knew what he would think- that I had lost my mind. He said as much when he laid eyes on my special find. Unfortunately the chair was just too big to fit into my car.

After stripping the blue upholstery, it looked better immediately. A coat of white paint came next and then, after that was dry, a coat of black acrylic paint followed… Oh! I left the upholstery fabric on the back side of the chair and just painted over it with the black acrylic paint.

back of an upholsterer chair painted with acrylic paint
Back of the chair with two coats of black acrylic paint. This was painted before I added the cream colored drop cloth fabric that you see in this picture.

When the paint was dry (I left it over night) I gave it a good sanding. The goal was to be able to see just a bit of white and the original wood showing past the black paint.

Now, for upholstery- my favorite upholstery fabric is a painter’s drop cloth. It is made of heavy cotton, usually unbleached and CHEAP! I get a 9‘ x 12‘ piece from Harbor Freight for $8.00 when it is on sale.

chair body covered with an inexpensive drop cloth
Chair body covered with an inexpensive drop cloth.

I covered the body with the drop cloth by cutting out pieces and stapling them right on to the wooden frame. The staples are covered with braid and a glue gun.

detail of braid covering staples on a chair
Braid covering the staples and attached with a glue gun. Some of you may wonder if that glue holds well enough. Believe me, where I made mistakes, it was nearly impossible to rip the braid off the drop cloth fabric. I should tell you though, I use a very large, hot glue gun with industrial type glue sticks that I bought in the Sears tool department years ago.

I thought that I wanted a contrasting fabric for the cushions. I sewed the top cushion and then was not sure, so the bottom cushion has just been wrapped for, oh let’s see now…about two years. Well, I have finally decided that after the holidays, I am going to cover the cushions with the more natural colored drop cloth.

Recycled chair in black and white.

The happy ending to this story is that the chair that Les hated at first sight has become his favorite because it is so sturdy and comfortable. In fact, that thrifty chair is the most popular chair in the living room with visitors. (In spite of my indecision on a cushion fabric.)

Woman reading in chair
Stephanie in “The Chair”. By the way, here a link to a free pattern for that crocheted afghan. It was the first time that I had ever done cables. They turned out to be easier than they look.
art · DIY · Home Decor

My Halloween Living Room Reveal, Part 1

Doesn’t it seem like Halloween, Thanks Giving and then Christmas decorating is too much to do in too small of a window? Or is it just me being lazy? This year, I’m putting out most of my fall and Halloween decorations at the same time regardless of style. That’s right, I’m being crazy and mixing primitive with rustic, with 50s kitsch with modern…well, you get the picture. I am also combining fall with Halloween so that as soon as Halloween is over, I can clear it out and replace just a few things like the runner on the coffee table with a Thanks Giving runner.

You may ask your self, “Why is she doing this if she just wants to be lazy?” The answer is that I still love seeing my little seasonal accessories at least once a year. Unwrapping and playing with the toys is just fun for me. You should see me with the 50’s Christmas music and the peppermint- hot chocolate come time for the Christmas decor. Oh wait! I think that you will. hahaha…I’ll get Les to take a pic this year.

Anyway, on to the before and after pics.

Here is what the living room looked like before all of my Halloween decorating. Our living room is small but so I rearranged the furniture and decorated the whole room. This is the view from the entry. Behind the sofa, you can see two of the doll houses that I’ve been working on. I have nowhere else to put them so they will stay right where they are for this season.
This is the “after” picture. First, I changed out the pillows (of course). The wall behind the sofa has become a Halloween and Fall art gallery. I put links to some of the pics that were free printables in previous posts. The chairs that are now across from the sofa are the two entryway chairs melded together with a folded quilt.
If you are looking for free printable art for your seasonal decor, I’ve put a lot of links in these three posts. They include some of my own paintings that you can print out if you like. https://sandramccall.com/2019/10/17/more-awesome-free-printables-for-your-fall-decor/ and https://sandramccall.com/2019/10/13/where-to-find-the-best-free-halloween-printables/ and https://sandramccall.com/2019/09/10/free-printable-halloween-art/.
You can see Ali patiently waiting for me to leave the room so that she can test drive the coffee table arrangement. Actually, I had a three tiered stand that she promptly knocked over, so I backed it down to two tiers. I’m happy to say that she is now leaving it alone. As soon as Halloween is over, I will replace the skull table runner with a Thanksgiving version.
Two chairs that used to be on the entry wall are now “melded” with a folded quilt and a colorful pillow. Note the cute skull table runner on the coffee table. That will be changed out to a Thanks Giving runner as soon as Halloween is over.
Halloween wall with free printables and other Halloween art
Gallery wall. The skulls that you see just above the black shelf were done by Les. His stuff is so cool.
Halloween prims
I try to wait until the end of season to buy but I could not resist the resin figures from Michael’s and this cute felt garland from World Market this year.
Halloween collectables
My little Witchy lady is a favorite and stays out all year, usually in my art studio
entryway wall
Entryway before Halloween decor. The black console table will e moved over to the concrete wall that you will see in the reveal- part two. The two chairs will be moved directly across from the sofa.
entryway ideas for Halloween decor
And after. The dollhouse shell that you see was on the dining table. I had to move it in preparation for our feasts to come, so it goes here for now. What to do with an elephant in the room? Decorate it!
Fall decor ideas
To make the entry wall look more cozy for fall and winter, I hung a rustic looking coat rack and stuck a woolen scarf on it. A couple of throws tucked into the crate under the little white table adds to the fall effect I think.
Halloween decorations and collectables
The I’m a sucker for cats so this little guy in the yellow clown costume is another favorite collectable
Halloween cats from World Market
Happy Halloween!
art · DIY · Free Printables

More Awesome Free Printables For Your Fall Decor

I WAS going to put links for the free printables that I used in my Fall/Halloween decor this year, but then the post became too long, soooo…. Here are some links that I used this year. Check out my other post on free Halloween printables too. There are some really cool and generous sites out there!

Halloween prints
Pictures waiting to see if they make the cut on the Halloween gallery wall.

Another primitive painting from me to you. Just click on the picture for a download. It is in 8 x 10 at 300 dpi, so that you can enlarge if you have a bigger printer.

Halloween primitive painting by Sandra McCall
Skull sculpture by Les Gains
Les’s little resin skull head sculpture with one of the watercolor Halloween printables.

Just click on the pictures below for the free printables/downloads.

Fall Printable 5
vintage Halloween post card
35 Best Halloween Wallpaper Ideas (27)
35 Best Halloween Wallpaper Ideas (19)
art · DIY · Free Printables

Where to Find the Best free Halloween Printables

Looking for ages through Google just to find a free Halloween printable that suits your taste? Well, let me tell you, I just found out that the best and biggest selection of printables in one place are to be found on the sites that have free downloadable wallpapers for your phone or computer.

Coolest Vintage Halloween Wallpapers R53   2016wallpaperhd.site
Really cool vintage type art on this site. https://www.desktopbackground.org/wallpaper/coolest-vintage-halloween-wallpapers-r53-2016wallpaperhd-site-867282

The wallpaper images for the computer are set as landscape. They are great because you can crop to the size that you want your picture to be. Square? No problem. Oval? No problem. Plus, the art is done in a complete range of styles. Cute to spooky. Cartoony to realistic. Vintage? Yes!

Neato Coolville HALLOWEEN WALLPAPER UP THE HILL TRICK OR TREAT 1600x900
https://wallpapersafari.com/w/nL1GUc

Another plus is that the images are in HD and they are generally large files so you could even take a flash drive to an Office supply store and have pictures printed larger than you own printer’s capabilities.

https://wallpaperaccess.com/full/86465.jpg
image from https://wallpaperaccess.com/halloween
https://wallpaperaccess.com/full/86473.jpg
image from https://wallpaperaccess.com/halloween
https://wallpaperaccess.com/full/86479.jpg
image from https://wallpaperaccess.com/halloween

One caution- the sites say that the files are downloadable for free, but I’m pretty sure that it means for your personal use, so do keep that in mind. The art to be found is so awesome that I cannot imagine that the artists would be happy if we made posters and started selling them. Oooops! But, do check the links in this post if you are looking for Halloween art. You won’t be disappointed.

DIY · Home Decor

Fall Decor 2019 part 1- Plus an Easy Project Idea

This year’s holiday decor will start off as a mix of Halloween and fall. It seems to me that the months are speeding by way too fast to be able to fully decorate for Halloween, Thanks Giving and then Christmas right on the heels of everything else.

Here’s the deal. I’m figuring that if I can combine holidays from the get-go, then I will just have to modify a little as each one arrives.

The tall cabinets get a touch of fall too.
Continue reading “Fall Decor 2019 part 1- Plus an Easy Project Idea”
DIY · Home Decor · tutorials

An Easy Way to Age Wood and Fabric

Doll efore aged transformation
Ms Pumpkin in her original condition and before her Age-It Easy application. Notice that the muslin looks too pale and new. Also note her lack of flowers and her plain hat. We’ll just SEE about THAT! 😃

When I bought Ms Pumpkin at an art booth, I thought that the style and shape was perfect for my primitive/rustic Halloween decor. I knew that she looked too new and that I wanted to tea stain her to look a little more primmy, if you know what I mean.

Once again, my mother of invention was laziness. Since I really did not want to take the time to get a good tea stain, I wondered if this aging liquid would work on fabric as well as wood.

Age-It Easy weathering treatment for wood
I love this stuff for aging my raw wood minis, but I also love it for an easy way to age cotton fabric. https://www.micromark.com/Age-it-Easy-Brown

Age-It Easy truly does make it easy to age wood. I ordered this product online at Micro-Mark. The only thing that I have thought to use it on, before this, was wooden miniatures.

Prim doll for Halloween
Notice the addition of Ms Pumpkin’s flowers and her hat enhancement too.

The process is simple. This aging liquid comes ready to apply in any way that you like. I used a paint brush. It seeped into the fabric fast. I did not have to use much of the liquid at all. Part of the reason that I did not want to make a watered down acrylic or ink wash was that I was afraid that it would come out too dark or streak beyond my control on the muslin.

Easy way to age a rustic cloth doll
A gracefully aged lady.

You can see by the results that it works great. It is not as mottled as a good tea stain or even real aging would be. However, for a quick and easy aging process, I think that it turned out to be perfect. I will admit that if Ms Pumpkin was for anything other than a once a year use, then yes, I would give her a proper tea bath.

If you already own this for wood crafts, maybe you will want to think about using it to age fabric as well.