Last Minute No-Sew Halloween Pillow

Happy Halloween everyone!  I finished this project just in time to enjoy it today and am so pleased with how it turned out I just had to share.  It started with these fun spider place mats I found in the dollar section at Target.  I think the pair were just $3.

I loved the cute fringe on the edges and that the simple pattern didn’t scream Halloween since I’ve moved to more neutral decor, even for holidays.  The place mats already had hems around each edge and had a felt backing.  I’d seen several tutorials on opening up one side of double sided place mats to make pillows but since these weren’t double-sided and I don’t sew, I took the easy route with fabric glue.

While getting a little TV time in, I put a bead of glue around three edges on the back of one place mat and carefully aligned the other one to match.

The glue instructions say to wait 30 minutes to allow a good bond.  I compressed the two place mats together under a cutting board with several heavy items on top of it for about 24 hours to make sure there was a really good bond since this would be a pillow – plus it was already late at night and I had work the next day!  I was left with this cute pocket ready for filling.

I stuffed fiber fill I’d kept from one of many pillows the dogs had worn out until it started to look like a pillow.  I ran another bead of glue along the open edge and pushed the two edges closed.  Now that the pillow was filled the cutting board compression method wasn’t feasible so I dug out a bag of clips I’ve kept and used those along the edge to keep everything together.  I let that sit overnight as well because I had to be away from the house the whole next day.  One of the clips did stick a bit due to some glue that oozed out the side, but I gently pulled the spot back and was able to remove the clip without any issue.

And here’s the finished pillow!  Isn’t it adorable?!  I was at a workshop all weekend so I took advantage of a photo shoot setup to get a couple of good daytime shots for you.

The pom pom fringe was what initially drew me to the place mats and it’s the perfect finishing touch to keep this little pillow fun rather than spooky.

And it looks awesome paired with my velvet boo pillow I got at JoAnn Fabrics this season!  They look so romantic with this set-up and yet still neutral and festive.

Once it was done the Hubs pointed out that I put the place mats together in opposite directions so when you flip it over the other side is upside down, but that’s not a big deal thanks to the semi random pattern.  Since the care instructions are spot clean I plan to keep both of these pieces up high and away from the fur babies, so they last and I can enjoy them for several years.

This was such a quick and easy project that I’m sure I’ll do more like it. In fact I have a couple of place mats from our trip to IKEA last year that I plan to do something just like this with, so stay tuned for those!  Until then go grab your costume and find some treats rather than tricks! I’ll leave you with a few more shots from my fun Halloween themed photo shoot I mentioned in my previous post to get you ready.

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DIY Witch’s Broom

With Halloween just around the corner I wanted to share a quick DIY witch’s broom project that was a happy accident.  It started with the purchase of these flower stems at Joann Fabrics.  I was working on creating a headpiece for a Halloween themed photo shoot and loved the look and texture of these flowers.

Upon closer inspection I realized that the flowers stems were just wrapped around branches and could be easily removed.  So I untwisted them, one-by-one while enjoying a little TV time.

I was left with two piles of pretty flowers destined for photo shoots and these two bare branch things.  I considered putting them upright in a vase or bucket with lights for a spooky arrangement, but when I saw the two together I suddenly saw a broom.

I grabbed some scrap black ribbon and wrapped the two stems together.  Normally I would have secured the ribbon with hot glue but I’m not sure I’ll use these the same way next year and I was at my office rather than at home so a few pieces of clear tape did the trick.

It looks pretty good in our office with the other Halloween decorations – follow me on Instagram and Facebook for peeks – but I wanted to get a nice shot of it so I took it back home and propped it up on the wood pile.

Not bad for a free project made from leftovers from another project!  I still think it needs something to finish it off.  Maybe a bow at the base of the stem or a hanging loop, but I can figure that out next year if I use it again.  If you have ideas in the meantime I’d love to hear them! And in case you’re wondering how the flower headpiece turned out here’s a peek from the session!

Isn’t she gorgeous?!  She’s a hair and makeup artist and did the makeup herself based on a couple of inspiration shots I sent her.  I’ll be sharing more of these awesome shots soon and give a quick recap of the location we used, which is a local historical park.  And I’ll be working with this lovely lady again in the future for some other fun ideas. 🙂

Bubbling Brook Farmhouse Market

Hi everyone!  I hope you had a fabulous weekend.  The Hubs and I visited family from Arizona in Kenai and I went on a wonderful garden tour.  I’ll be sharing recaps of both of those events this week, but today I wanted to share a bit about the Bubbling Brook Farmhouse Market I attended the previous weekend.  This is the 2nd year for the event, although last year it was put on by a different organizer and was called Urban Junktion.

Several of the same vendors returned this year, including one of my faves Rustique Designs, who has made a couple of pieces for our home.  I made a bee-line for her booth when I arrived and made sure to check every nook and cranny of her displays to find new unique items.  I’ll share what I got at the end of this post.  I was so busy shopping her beautiful displays and chatting with her about ideas for some more custom pieces that I  forgot to get a picture of her booth.  Although I’m sure if I’d remembered to it would have been so crowded you couldn’t see much as she was one of the most popular vendors at the show, but you can see it right after she set up here on her Facebook page.

The next booth was Sweet Louise Designs who had a variety of adorable home decor pieces and furniture.  Although I didn’t find anything that screamed “take me home” I enjoyed browsing their adorable displays.  I almost pulled the trigger on this heart piece for my nephew’s wedding in October but the colors weren’t quite right.  I’m going to check in with the bride and groom to see what they think and may order a custom one for them instead. 🙂

Another booth that drew me in was Snarl Design, eclectic industrial style.  They had some ingenious light fixtures that included spigot knobs as the switch!  I chatted with the owner for a while about the insulator lights the Hubs and I made for our island and how I loved the history behind them.  I’ll definitely be following Snarl online to see their other creations as they continue to grow.

Of course I had to stop by Brown Chicken, Brown Cow’s booth to browse.  I’ve been a fan of hers for quite some time and love her style.  Thanks to a custom order I placed, I’ll be adding a fun new sign to my kitchen from her in the coming weeks, so stay tuned to see that.

I fell in love with The Distressed Mermaid’s sign.  It was a fresh idea for an old window and a perfect fit for her style.  If I had a little girls room I’d order one of a mermaid just like that!  Although I was in the market for accessories more than furniture I enjoyed browsing her booth and will be watching her online to see what else she creates in the future.

My friend Anne-tiques had a booth full of her Harry Potter themed furniture and accessories, which was a huge hit.  I couldn’t get a shot of her booth without gobs of people in it, but you can see the details of several of the pieces on her page.

A well-known local vendor, Blessed and Distressed was also at the market, which is their last show before they relocate out of state.  Their new hometown is gaining an amazing resource!

Spunky Monkey had amazing scented candles and wine themed decor.  This husband and wife team had a great booth set-up and unique items.  I’d never heard of them before, so I’m glad I was able to meet them and add them to the list of vendors I’ll be watching for future gift and home decor shopping.

Right behind Spunky Monkey was Pioneer Peonies – which made for the most amazing aromatic combination!   I enjoyed picking a bouquet of white, blush and pink peonies to take home at just $2/stem and learned several helpful tips to plan my own peonies.

The local Hannah Yoter band was playing during the event who fit the vintage vibe perfectly.  They’ve been getting some great press recently so be sure to check them out and see them in person if you can.

Outside the event hall there were several food trucks, which was perfect because I’d sure worked up an appetite with all my shopping.  The Barbecue Babes truck was super cute, but since I’d just had BBQ the day prior, I opted to try out a vendor who is a sister to a good friend of ours.

I was pretty bummed that I missed Love’s 907 at the Palmer Garden Faire the weekend prior, so I’m glad they were at the market event.  I ordered the Philly steak, which was messy but pretty darn tasty.  I enjoyed filling my belly in the warm sunshine and wished I’d had room to try their ice cream too!

So here’s a quick look at what I got at the market.  This fun wooden bead garland with lace tassels from Rustique Designs.  They found a home on the mantel well above Brinley’s reach so it stays as pretty as I bought it!

I also got these Rea Dunn mugs from Rustique Designs.  It’s the perfect start to my collection, which will be displayed in the dining room after I pick up the rack I had to have sent to my sister’s house since they wouldn’t ship to Alaska.  First world problems here….

I also got this fun sign from Rustique Designs for the guest bathroom.  I thought it was a perfect for for the space. 🙂

And lastly here’s my bouquet of peonies in my recently upcycled vase. It’s been a wonderful addition to my desk and I love enjoying their fragrance when I’m editing photos.

It wasn’t a huge haul, but like I mentioned, there are a few custom pieces in the works so you’ll be seeing more from these talented vendors.  Next year’s market will be held June 23-24, 2018, so be sure to mark your calendars now and follow Bubbling Brook Farmhouse on Facebook for updates!

A Quick Update to the Craft Shelves

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As I mentioned when I shared our new barn doors in the office I’ve been making a few changes to the craft shelves above the craft cart.  Here’s how things looked the last time you saw this space – a random collection of containers and displays to store my finished inventory and on-going projects.

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And here’s how it’s looking today.  Much simpler and more stylish!

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A bit of purging and rearranging reduced what I needed to store here so I was able to condense it all down to two containers.  I found these cute baskets on sale at Michaels and with a coupon only paid about $10 for both.  One holds finished inventory and the other has bits and pieces of projects in the works.

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Since I’ve stopped making hair accessories and am focusing more on personal DIY and home decor projects I didn’t need the displays I’d used for the smaller pieces anymore so the mannequin was sold and my beloved metal grate became a note board rather than a display.  The rusty oil can will eventually become a small lamp for this table.  I’ve got the lamp making kit, but am still on the hunt for the right lampshade to get that project rolling.

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I shopped the house, pulling a milk glass vase, small plant and wooden caddy to arrange with the frame I already had here.  I also moved our little minion family over here from the other side of the room.  They are much more visible now, which makes me happy and reminds me that we need to have a new minion made for Brinley! 🙂

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I eventually want to get a vintage scale like this one to replace the wooden caddy, but I’m waiting to find a good bargain.  until then the caddy brings a nice balance of tones and texture to the space, so I’m happy with it.

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I still need to figure out something for the blank space next to the metal grate.  My current idea is to make a fabric canvas that can be used as a backdrop for photographing small projects, similar to one a favorite beauty blogger of mine created.  I’m thinking something a little lacy since this is one spot I could get away with it because it’s out of reach of the dogs.

I’m really loving the simple farmhouse vibe this space has now.  It’s a big change for just $10 since the only thing I bought for the update was the two baskets.  We’ve been making a couple of other simple changes around the main area of the house recently that have a similar style so things are really starting to feel cohesive.  I’ll be sharing those updates very soon, but in the meantime I’d love to hear you think of the changes so leave me a comment below.

Linking up at: Knik of Time’s Talk of the Town, Tater Tots & Jello’s BFF and Savvy Southern Style’s Wow Us WednesdayStone Gable’s The Scoop and Thrifty Decor Chick’s Before & After Party!

TDC Before and After

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re:MADE

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Today I wanted to share a fun shop I recently discovered in Anchorage called re:MADE.  I’ve been following them on Facebook for a while now but am not often on their side of town so I have’t been in until last week when I saw a post with those adorable animal pillows you see in the photo above.  I knew they’d be great for my neutral winter decor and could transition into other uses so I made plans to visit them the next day during my lunch hour.

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When I pulled up I spotted their cool re-purposed signage and immediately knew I was going to like this place.  There was so much to look at inside, but I quickly found the pillows I had come from and pondered which to get for several minutes.  I’ll share which ultimately came home with me at the end of this post.

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Nearby I spotted this fun deer art which was created with wood planks and painted license plates.  It would be perfect for an industrial or rustic style room.

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This cute antique desk held fun little paper trees.  If I’d had a spot for either they would have come home with me as well.

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These map phrase frames caught my eye too.  They were all very different, yet each inspired adventure.  My favorite was “I haven’t been everywhere yet, but it’s on my list.”

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There were several large reclaimed marquee lights available.  These would be so cool lit up on a wall to spell out words like FAMILY or PLAY!

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I giggled to see this large pile of driftwood in a back corner.  The Hubs thinks I’m crazy when I collect pieces every time we go riding on the trails in the summer, but apparently I’m not the only one fascinated wit the cool textures.

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These cork trivets and halibut pot holders were great gift ideas for the cooks in your life – or just as decoration for your kitchen.

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These vintage looking pieces were tablet pouches or covers.  The leather tab helped keep the tablet secure inside while the outside just looks totally cool and retro.

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Still wondering what came home with me after my little shopping trip?  These cuties – a bear cub and hare!  They work well with our current pillows and fit right in with the other rustic winter decor I’ve got up.  I’m excited to use the hare again for spring as a nod to Easter and the bear cub will probably move to the guest or foster room.

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I’m kinda loving how simple everything looks after the holidays, especially with the new to us sectional we found on the buy/sell page for a great price.  It’s super comfy and the new pillows just make you want to hang out on it all day.

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I also  brought home this cool vintage sled!  I spotted it as I was heading to my car after paying for the pillows and stepped into the snow bank it was sitting on to check it out.  I quickly put the pillows in the truck and headed back inside to pay for this.  It’s going to be a great prop for winter time family portraits with small children. 🙂

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I’m glad I found this new resource for unique decor and it warms my heart to know that what I spend there helps those in need.  That’s what I call a win-win!  If you’re in the Anchorage area and like upcycled decor I highly suggest you check them out.

DIY Plant Stakes

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Hey everyone!  I know it’s been quiet around the blog recently.  Life has been a bit more hectic than usual and we had a death in the family last week so I chose to take some time to rest and reflect.  Finding time to prep material for the blog is still a bit challenging and we’re currently working on a couple of projects that aren’t ready to share just yet, including one I didn’t plan on tackling this year, but I’m excited about what it means for my garden next season!  In the meantime here’s a fun, quick DIY I did earlier this summer.

Back when I had a holiday tree in our entryway I collected an assortment of cute ornaments for each season and holiday.  Now that I’ve given up the tree I wanted to reuse the ornaments in a new way so I could continue to enjoy them.  I decided they would make great plant stakes for my potted plants on the deck and couldn’t be happier with how they turned out.

This sweet little rusty bee (which ironically is the name of one of my favorite local makers!) was the first I transformed.  Although I didn’t document the steps of his transformation, it was fairly simple.  I removed the small loop at the top of his head  which was attached on the back by bending it back and forth until it popped off.  Next I dug out my E6000 glue and applied some to both the back of the bee and a small rusty rod I had in my supplies that matched perfectly.  Following the directions on the glue tube I adhered the rod to the bee and let it cure for 24 hours.

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Once cured, I tested him out with a couple forceful shakes and he held tight so I found him a home in my vintage crock planter.  He turned out so cute that I decided to do the same to the other ornaments I had in my stash.  Each had a little different set up as each was unique but they all followed the same process – remove any hanging loops or cords and glue a rod to an appropriate point.  Since I didn’t have enough potted plants to keep them all I set aside my favorites to be used in my garden and put the rest up for sale at the recent Urban Junktion show.  I sold several and still have a good inventory available for other shows next season.  Here’s the current inventory as they were displayed at the show.

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There’s a little birdhouse with a heart shaped opening.

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Several dragonflies, who may just stay and live in my garden alongside their relatives that I already decided to keep. 🙂

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This little beetle has the same patina as the bee, but I already have a lady bug plant stake so I’m helping this guy find his own home.

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There’s also a few nautical themed stakes, including these blue and green glittery seahorses.

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I had two mermaids but the red head sold at the show, so now this blonde “girl fish” as my nephew used to call them is all alone with the other sea creatures, including this glittery little fish.

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I still have a good inventory of ornaments for other holidays including Easter, St. Patrick’s Day and Thanksgiving.  I may revamp them for this purpose as well, or I might just find another option since those holidays don’t often correlate with having potted plants to decorate here in Alaska.

Stay tuned for more projects.  Posts might be a little few and far between for a while but don’t worry, we’re working on some fun stuff and will share it soon.

Our Budget DIY Wedding

Summer has arrived and along with it come wedding season.  Since our wedding was before I started the blog I’ve never shared it here but I thought you’d enjoy seeing our budget-friendly DIY details, so here’s a quick recap.

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We chose a restaurant in Boulder, Colorado as our venue because they had a beautiful garden area where we could host the ceremony.  Rather than spend money on decorations that would only be seen briefly we kept things simple and let the focus be on us and the lush backdrop.

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I ordered bouquets for myself and my sister who was my Matron of Honor from a local grocery store’s floral department and added burlap wraps with ribbon and a rhinestone pin to each.  Since the hubs wore his uniform he didn’t need a boutonniere which was an additional cost savings to not having to buy a suit or tux.  We requested his best man – who was his brother – wear a navy suit, which was readily available in his finance VP wardrobe.  I gave my sister free rein on her dress selection just asking her to pick something navy blue as well, so she found an option she can wear again at a reasonable price.  My mom paid for my dress, which we found at David’s Bridal for around $900.  I had a local seamstress add a purple sash I bought online to the waist to customize it a bit.  I found a rhinestone headband and simple veil online for a good price and bought shoes I could wear again to complete the look.

The reception was held in the restaurant’s upstairs dining room where the tables were arranged in long rows.  We placed a simple burlap runner that my mom made down each and sprinkled river rocks from the dollar store (if I remember correctly we cleaned out their inventory! LOL) between the frosted votives provided by the venue.  I ordered a bunch of daisies from the same vendor we used for the bouquets and snipped the heads off so they could be added in randomly among the rocks and candles.

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01-01The venue provided printed menus customized for us as part of the package price.  They were simple but worked well with the tone of everything else we had going on.

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Our favors were photo tile coasters I made with modge podge and my own Alaskan photography.  The place cards on top were tied with simple jute twine and the symbols notified the wait staff which entrée each guest had pre-selected.

01-01Our guest book was made of pre-cut card stock in our wedding colors where guests could leave a note and slip it into slots in a scrapbook.  I later added photos of each guest next to their cards to finish the project.  I found the scrapbook on clearance for around $15 and used a coupon to buy the card stock as 12″ x 12″ sheets that I cut down so the total cost with the photo prints came to around $30.

The frame we had nearby held the day’s schedule printed on our wedding stationary – left over stock from a DIY kit I picked up at Michaels with another coupon to make our own invitations and response cards.  The frame later became décor in our home and now holds a recipe for a good marriage which I toasted the hubs with at the reception printed on some left over stationary.

01-01The venue was able to make simple cakes so I requested a two tier Chantilly cake with berries for a garnish, which was DELICIOUS!  (FYI – We’ve since discovered that Whole Foods has a Chantilly cake that is practically identical so we order one whenever we’re in Portland to celebrate.)  The rhinestone monogram topper was another Michaels coupon bargain that ran me around $5.  It later became an ornament for our Christmas tree with the addition of a ribbon hanger so now we can enjoy it every year.

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My mom picked up these little treat bags on clearance and added some of her favorite candies.  We borrowed a basket from the venue and set them out next to the cake with a few extra daisy heads and a votive to dress them up a bit.

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We also saved by not hiring a DJ. Instead we put together a playlist of music for both the ceremony and reception.  A friend helped make sure the right song was selected for the first dance and other important moments, which only took a few moments away from her enjoying the event.

As a photographer myself, I knew the importance of having a visual memory of the details of our wedding, so we made photography a priority with a chunk of the budget (photography credit for all photos to Nicole Nichols Photography).    The other big expense was the food, but it was very good and well worth it.

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I don’t have the exact figures anymore but the final total came to around $8,000 thanks to our budget conscious shopping and DIY choices. That didn’t include the rehearsal dinner which was covered by the hub’s family, but that was something that had been saved and planned for in advance.

I encourage couples planning their wedding to prioritize what they want and compromise on the things that aren’t as important or don’t have as much of a lasting impact. It is possible to have a dream wedding on a budget, it just takes planning and determination. 😉