Winter Wonderland Decoration

As I said from my previous post, I was going to show how I decorated parts of my home after removing my Christmas items. Since I decorated for this past Christmas with mostly reds and whites, I decided to keep those colors out. White is a perfect color for winter and red is such a great bright contrast. I always think of cardinals that I usually see during the winter and they are so beautiful against the white snow. Also I think red is good to keep around since Valentine’s Day is coming up soon. So I stuck with this color scheme.

So as you can see most of my mantle decorations remained in placed. Just removed all the stocking and the holders and anything else that was obviously Christmas related. I did add these big pine cones that I purchased from an after Christmas sale in 2019. I hung on to them knowing I was going to use them somehow as trees. Well here it is. I used a mason jar lid as the base to hold up the pine cone. Does it not look like a tree? I think so. I was going to add some white paint to it to make it look like it has snow on it, but I haven’t done it yet. I love how it turned out.

So these images are from my front foyer. It is one of my favorite places to decorate. As said before, I removed all Christmasy decorations and kept what I think would fit in the Winter Wonderland theme. On the table, I added some really cute bottle brush trees that seems to fit into the theme. As well as some small pine cones that I had on hand that my mother-in-law collected for me. (If you don’t already know, you should put the pine cones, that one can collect from nature, in the oven at a low temperature for a certain amount of time. This allows for the heat to kill off any bugs that maybe in the pine cones and allows the heat to melt off any sap that could be in the pine cones as well. Please check online to see the exact temperature and length of time to do this. Being in the oven, also opens up the cones to make them look bigger.) Of course if you don’t want to go through this process or don’t have any near you, then you can simply buy the pine cones at your local store with a craft area. It’s really a lot quicker that way.

The other items in the foyer I just stayed with the red and white colors and kept some of my snowmen. Snowmen are quite wintery. I really do love how this area turned out.

These two decor items are in my dining room. I know I don’t have much in the room. I am hoping to add more for next Christmas. I really just added pine cones to the center piece. I am on the look out for winter deer for a discounted price. Once I find them, I will add them to my collection.

These are just a couple of items that I have in the living room near the fireplace.

And finally my beautiful front door wreath. I love how they turned out. I just wanted to do a little comparison of what I did for Christmas time and for winter time. I know it is somewhat similar, but I really do love the simplicity of it. I replaced the magnolia leaves for fresher ones and simply got rid of the red and replaced it with pine cones that I painted with a bit of white. I then added some white flower picks that I had on hand. There you go. That was it. I do plan to add a red heart to this for Valentine’s Day.

Well I hope you enjoyed this post. I love to decorate my home and to be creative. Check in soon to see other fun diys and creative decorating.

Happy New Year

I just can’t believe it’s 2021. A much eager year we all want to get started and leave behind a year of craziness. I do hope this year will be different and better. I guess we will see. I know it’s been a while since I’ve posted, but I am here starting it up again. So much has been going on the last couple of months as the same for many. I tell you once Thanksgiving comes around, everything is a fast blur after that.

I have been thinking for a bit of doing much more this year then what I did last year. More in creating, more in my little business and just doing more with the family. I think that’s similar for many others. For me I really do have that desire and motivation to make it happen. I really hope it does happen. For now I wanted to share what fun creative things I did in my house for the holiday season. Even though it was just a few things, I did have fun creating them in my own way.

So after Thanksgiving season, I had these beautiful white pumpkins that I really enjoyed having. It went very well with my home decor of farmhouse. My house is not totally immersed in farmhouse decor, but I am trying. I am slowly getting there.

I thought the white pumpkins were so cool. I didn’t want to throw them out because they were still in good shape. I wanted to do something with them until I thought of a snowman. I can create a 3D snowman and not have to toss the pumpkins yet. I simply just cut off the stems of each pumpkin and tried to stack them the best way they can fit. I adhered the pumpkins together with hot glue. It worked out okay, but it’s not the best way. Since pumpkins are not flat by any means, they have many gaps that made it hard to glue together. I still stuck together somewhat as long as you didn’t move it or touch it. I drew a face and buttons with a black permanent marker. You could glue on buttons. Unfortunately, I didn’t have any black buttons to do the job. The buttons would have been ideal and an added bonus to the look, but what can you do when you don’t have any. I wrapped a scarf, that I found at my local dollar store, around the neck area of the snowman. To top everything off, I added a small hat that is actually a tree ornament, that I also found at my local dollar store. (Well it looks like I didn’t get a picture with the hat.)

I also created my own Christmas wreathe that I loved how it turned out. It was beautiful and simple and fairly easy to make. I will absolutely do it again next year. I reused a grapevine wreathe that I had at home. I cut some small branches off of my grand and beautiful magnolia tree and added some red holiday picks to add a punch of color to it. So the red became the main color of my Christmas decor.

Once you enter through my front door, you come into our foyer which I love having. I have been enjoying decorating this area very much. Below are some pictures of how it turned out. I am trying to keep the farmhouse feel throughout by using black and white colors with bright punches of red. The houses you see and the tiny bottle brush trees are a new decor purchases that I felt really added to the farmhouse feel. The other items on the foyer table, like the nut crackers, ceramic trees and the Partylite deer candle holders, were older items that I usually have in the living room. The lantern, the green sled and the red ice skates were purchases from garage sales and/or second hand stores. (Cool finds in my opinion.) The little mini tree I purchased from somewhere I really don’t remember. I added pretty red and white picks and ornaments with a red star topper. I love how it turned out. Now that Santa was a purchase many years when I was into decorating in blues and silver. I can get rid of it, but I don’t want to because I still like it. Now the mini red and white wreathes are my macrame wreathes that I made.

Now the red and white mini wreathes by the door are made out of macrame that I did myself. I really into macrame. I plan to show more of my creations on future posts. I made them into these colors obviously to go with the rest of the house for this season. I actually have them up still since why not and Valentine’s Day is coming soon. Right?! Below are some close up pictures. I really think they turned out very nice. I love how simple it is and the added picks really give it an extra flair and dimension.

Sadly all the Christmas items are put away, but there are a few things that I still have out that I thought would go with a winter them. I am figuring I will go with a winter wonderland look. I plan to keep that theme until spring. I will share this particular look on my next post . Till then, I hope that this was an enjoyable quick read. Love sharing my creations and my creativity.

Dying Cords and Yarn

So I’ve been doing macrame now for a few months and I am completely enjoying it. I have made some wall hangings, plant hangers, coasters, key chains and macrame rainbows. Honestly there are so many things you can do with macrame. I am looking forward to seeing where it will take me. Here are some of my examples.

Recently I’ve been seeing some pins on Pinterest that had some amazing macrame wall hangings and some of them were dipped dyed. Oh my gosh such beautiful colors. It brings the macrame decor to another level. I truly love the ambre look that you can do with dip dying. So cool.

I wanted to try it out for myself to see how they were turn out on some of my projects. I ordered a couple of Rit dyes in the color gray and teal. Honestly I was a little bit nervous at first. So worried that it would turn out wrong and totally ruin my macrame projects. I was so concerned that I would mess it up.

Since I bought the dyes online, they came in powder form in a small box. With that, I didn’t really had a lot with each color to try dip dying on various projects. So with one package, I was only able to dye 3 or 4 items. I decided to try the gray color. I grabbed a small bundle of t-shirt yarn that I made (will share how I did this in my next post), cut out several yards of white 100% cotton 3mm single ply macrame cord that I had, a wall hanging that I had already made and a regular t-shirt.

I got the dye ready in a shallow plastic container.
Next, I grabbed my macrame wall hanging. I only dipped the lower section you see here in this photo.
Last I got a white t-shirt that was too small on my son. I did the typical tie-dye shirt. I was fun to create and it used up the rest of the dye.

I then let them dry for a good 24 hours to ensure they were completely dried.

So below is how they all turned out.

I think they turned out great. I was quite impressed on how easy it was and how well these items absorbed the color. Now they have a beautiful gray tone to them. I am quite happy with them and plan to dye more macrame projects using various colors to add a pop of color and elevate their look.

For the love of Succulents and Cacti

It’s been a bit, but wanted to chime in quickly on something unrelated to upcycling, diys, or crafting. I wanted to share my new collection that I started this late spring/early summer. I started collecting succulents and some cacti. I truly love these plants. They are really my kind of plant. They are quite resilient. You don’t have to pay attention to them much just water them every 2 weeks or so and that’s about it. On occasion, you would need to transplant them into a bigger pot to allow them to grow more. They are just perfect plants for my not so green thumbs me.

I’ve always loved these types of plants. They remind me of the desert which I love. I love hot dry heat. Perfect for me. I’ve always told myself that I would retire somewhere either in Arizona or New Mexico. That would be perfect for me. Or being by the beach is not too shabby either.

So here are some shots of my collection. I really love how it’s grown in the last month alone.

I just love them. They have such unique styles and looks. Now these are just some that I have, but I do have more. Below are ones that are my favorite succulents.

These are my favorite. I am so drawn to them. Love the colors. The cluster of succulents in a pot was a birthday gift to me from my mother in law. It is so pretty. I really enjoy it and have it on our outside patio table. It’s a great collection so far and I would love to add more.

I have some pictures of some cacti that I am adding to this group. Here they are.

These are so fun. I really want to get more. I love the spiky prickly ones. I can’t wait to see them grow.

So as you can see I have a great start to my collection. I am sure I will be adding more as I find them at my neighboring stores. Till then stay tuned and I will keep you posted.

Janette

Who loves candles? I do!

Candles. I love candles! I love the good smelling ones. I don’t think I’m a total candle snob where I only buy certain kinds or certain brands. There are ones that I favor more than others, but for the most part I buy the one that I like. I think I am the same for most candle lovers that I pick the ones that smell good to me. I do lean more towards vanilla scents and lovely light scents. Nothing too strong with floral scents or musky scents. Really nothing too strong.

Currently I have several candles that I love to light up every so often. I buy some and use them up. Unfortunately the wick gets too short making it hard to stay lit. That makes me so mad. There is still some wax that remains. It seams such a waste to just throw it away. I just want to keep enjoying the lovely scent it gives.

Well I remember a while ago, seeing a pin from Pinterest, about how someone reused the leftover candle wax and made smaller candles. I thought this was a great idea and a fun little craft project to do. Such a great way to enjoy the wonderful smells from the candles a little bit longer.

So I grabbed my candles for the project and got my supplies together. Recently I acquired some small sized mason jars (jam or jelly jars) and I grabbed them. I then remember I had some candle wicks that I purchased a while back to use. I also had some sticky dots that I can use to adhere the wicks to the jars.

Here are some of the used candles that I wanted to use. The ones that I really wanted to savor a bit longer.

Now the votives above are just fine as they are but, I really wanted to combine them to make one candle of similar scents. I really do love the way they smell. I hope to enjoy them as I put them in a mason jar and have them in my room.

To start I boiled some water in a big pot. Once it boiled, I lowered the heat and put the candles in the pot to melt them down. During this time, I prepared the mason jars with the candle wicks.

Once the wax melted, I removed the old wicks and poured the wax in the mason jars. I didn’t have enough to fill a whole jar, but that will be fine by me. In fact, I mix two of the old candles into one jar. It gives it a bit of color. I think they turned out great.

See nothing perfect but, it will do the job. As for the votives above, I needed to chop them up so they were able to melt quickly. Once they were melted I poured them in the jar.

So here are the candles that I made. There are pretty descent considering it was my first time reusing candles. It was a good experience and I would do it again.

So keep an eye out for the next post. Who knows what crafty project I will do next.

Janette

Lampshade Change Up

Oh my goodness it’s been a while. The last couple of weeks went by quickly. I have been busy with a couple of projects and buying a few things for more projects to work on. This one particular project that I will talk about covers both upcycling an item (which I try to do as much as possible) and macrame (a new love). This is an upcycle project that I’ve been wanting to do, but didn’t know exactly the direction I wanted to take it. Then I finally figured something out and it includes my new hobby.

So below is a picture of what I started with.

This was a lampshade from a lamp that I purchased last year at a garage sale. I liked the lamp based but didn’t really care for the shade.

I didn’t really like the shade. I know it would be easier to just purchase a new shade but I wanted to include my new hobby, macrame. So I gutted out the shade. It was double sided on outside and inside of the shade frame. Gutting it out was somewhat challenging but I got it all off.

On Pinterest and Instagram, I saw many examples and posts of macrame lampshades. There are so many great ideas. Such variety of styles and looks to make. I found I believe a 9mm 3-ply rope at my local dollar store. Oh my gosh, I couldn’t believe they are starting to carry this particular item. I was so excited and grabbed a few. So I cut a piece of that chunky rope and hot glued it to the top rim of the shade. I then used my 3mm 3-ply cord and strung it around the top portion of the shade. Below are some pictures of what I did.

My next step was to cut out several pieces of my 3mm 3-ply cord that was about 3-4 times the length of the lamp shade. (The length will depend on the kind of detail you want on the macrame. If it is a design with lots of detail, then you should add more cord length before cutting pieces.) I did a Lark’s Head knot on each cord piece and tied enough to go all the way around. Below is picture of what I did.

Once I did that, created a design that was simple enough to make and multiplied it around the shade. I used Diagonal Clove Hitch knots, Square knots, and Overhand knots. I then tied the cords to the bottom of the shade. Below are some pictures of what I did.

To finish things off, I added more cord using Lark’s Head knots all around the bottom rim of the shade. I cut off the cord unevenly and frayed the ends off to give it a flowing and finished look. Below is a picture of this step.

I think it turned out great. I love how it turned out. Now the lamp has a whole new look. I also changed the light bulb to a LED bulb so it wouldn’t get too hot and burn the cord. Also this lamp is not a lamp I use all the time. It’s more for when I want some dim lighting when I am watching T.V.

I had a lot of fun working on this project. It took a little bit of time but I think it was because this was my first try at it. Now I’m looking around my house seeing if I can transform other lamp shades or transform other items with macrame.

I truly hope you enjoyed this. I have done other macrame projects. If you like to check them out, you can go to my Instagram account @jscreativeinnovations.

Thanks again,

Janette

Renewing a cedar chest

Photo by samer daboul on Pexels.com

Oh my goodness I finally found a chest to put our blankets in when we are not using them. It’s been something that I’ve wanted to get for a while. Before getting the cedar chest, a lot of our blankets were either piled up on top of each other in a corner on the floor somewhere or piled on our ottoman. It was so annoying. In our house, it originally had only one narrow linen closet for the entire house with 4 bedrooms. After we moved in, we added a very small and narrow linen closet for the upstairs. Even though it helped us with a little more storage space, it didn’t really help us out much with all the blankets that we have. Our blankets are quite chunky and heavy and take a bit of space. I just knew we needed to get some sort of trunk or chest to put the blankets away when not in use.

I have to say it took some time to find what I was looking for. Getting a trunk or a cedar chest is not cheep. I’ve looked in various places for new and old ones. The new ones are way too expensive. We didn’t want to put in too much money. Some previously owned ones were not cheap either. Plus finding the one I was looking for was really narrowing down my options.

For a while, my husband and I would look on FB Marketplace to hopefully find the one we like and for a descent price. Oh my goodness what we found were quite interesting. Some were more than what we wanted to invest in. Some were just too out of shape to even fix up. Honestly this was just suppose to be a fun little project for me to do. Upcycling a piece of furniture for a low price was the goal here. Finally one day my husband found one on sale for like $30. I was perfect! The right size and the right look that I wanted for the space that I had in mind.

Well unfortunately I did not take a picture of a before cedar chest. I am quite bummed. Don’t know why, but as you can see above the beginning process of fixing up the chest. The stripping and sanding took a bit of time. More than what I was expecting to do, but it was worth it when it was all done.

Next step, cleaning up and picking the paint colors to paint it.

Thankfully it was a sunny day and perfect for painting the chest outside. As you can see I chose a white paint that we had in our garage for some time now. It was from when we previously painted a room. I painted the base of the chest white and chose a gray paint, from a previous project, to paint the top. The colors I chose goes well with the room that it will go in.

After the paint dried from two coats, I used a fine grit sandpaper to sand down the edges to give it a distressed look. I think it looks pretty cool.

Last step, finding its home and fulfilling its purpose.

Well it was finally time to put it in its new home, the family room. I am so thrilled of how it turned out. No more blankets piled around on the floor or on top of the ottoman or even occasionally just hanging out on the couch. A home for our blankets. So glad I went through this process. I was fun and gave me something to do being stuck at home.

I do have another furniture decor upcycle in the works. I hope to finish it soon to share it with you all.

See you next time,

Janette

What a Crazy Week

Man this week was a bit busy for me. What’s funny that it is always busy like this every year. It’s one of my craziest times of the year for me. It’s the week of my daughter’s birthday, Mother’s Day and my son’s birthday. Uggghhh! I’m exhausted. It really is only a few days, but it sure seems like a long time. I manage to get through it as I always do and got to do a little bonus thing for myself as a Mother’s Day treat for me.

Well to start my week was on Thursday May 7th which is my daughter’s birthday. She wanted to see her friends on her special day. We invited a few friends to hang out for a couple of hours. We kept with the social distancing bit by having the kiddos hang out on our driveway. We set up chairs, at a good distance between each other, around the fire pit. They had some pizza and roasted some marshmallows to have with their s’mores. I’d say they had a good time. Got no complaints from my daughter. She enjoyed her day.

Then Mother’s Day weekend rolled up very shortly after. I wanted to treat myself to some plants for my butterfly garden and added some plants to some empty, lonely pots needing a plant to call home. This made me so happy. I’ve been doing this now for the last 3 Mother’s Days. I was able to plant some butterfly plants and flower plants in the ground or in pots. I didn’t do them all since I am still deciding on their spots in the garden.

Now in this little garden, there is a lot of reusing going on. The pots I reused from last year. We’ve had extra stone and bricks from other house projects lying around. So I used them to elevate a couple of the pots. Also we had some pieces of wood posts that was extra from when we had our fence put up two years ago. I used a piece to elevate some pots so that they can be seen better behind the faux wood border. Now the wood border came with the house when we bought it. They were just in the corner of the shed that you see in the background. They’ve been sitting around waiting to be used. I decided to use it as a border for my cute little side garden. Really the only thing new are the plants. I really like how it turned out.

Here are some more plants that went in the ground or in pots. I still have a few that I am still deciding on where to place them. Once I feel they are in a good spot, I will plant them in the ground. It will take some time for these plants to get bigger but they will fill up the area nicely. I am looking forward to seeing them bloom and attract some beautiful butterflies and some lovely bumble bees. It will be wonderful. I also hope to add some decorative pieces that I either buy or make. I will post that in a future post.

The day after Mother’s Day was my son’s birthday. He as well wanted to hang out with his friends. He’s been anxious to hang out with them since the stay at home orders were in place. He invited a few friends. They hung out together outside and played some outside games. We then fed the boys some burgers and hot dogs that we grilled out in our patio. Thankfully the weather was cooperating and it was great. I think my son and his friends had a fun time.

Thankfully both of my kids’ birthdays did not have to be spent in total isolation from their friends. I think they had good birthdays even though it wasn’t totally how they wanted it. They were both happy and grateful for their time with their friends.

I know I wavered a bit off my typical posts but just wanted to share my crazy week and still working on some projects that I will post very soon. Hopefully in a couple of weeks I can also share with you all the progress of my garden so you can see how it’s turning out.

Enjoy the rest of your week.

Janette

Flower Vase Upgrade

So with trying to limit our outings to only when necessary, I’ve thought of another upcycling project that of course I had at home. Didn’t have to go out to buy anything that I used in this project. It’s actually quite simple, but maybe some bit of time was needed to create the project. Of course it was my very first time doing this so usually the first tries take long and are sloppy. I’m sure the next time I do this project again, it won’t take as long. I decorated a simple flower vase, that you probably get from a floral arrangement, with macrame. A project that involves two things that I like to do; reusing and recycling.

Well I started out with a floral vase that I had sitting around in my house literally for a couple of years. Don’t know why I still had it, but something told me to keep it around. I guess this is why.

I began by measuring the neck of the vase which was about 10 inches around. I grabbed my 3 strand 3mm cord and cut about 20 inches. I wrapped the cord a bit loose so that it can be a base for the other cords for the macrame pattern. I finished off this base cord with a simple overhand knot. I left a little extra cord to give a tie look

I then added 12 cords of 26 inches in length and tied a Lark’s head knot all around.

Once I got all the cords set, I worked in a simple pattern of staggering square knots all around. I did about a couple of rows of square knots. On the last row, I again I made overhand knots staggering to give it a finished look.

I think this turned out pretty cute. A very simple project using a simple item that you may have at home already. If you don’t have macrame cord, you can probably use yarn or twine. That would be neat to see how that would look. I feel this addition just gives the vase some warmth and texture to its rather cold and slick original state.

I will try this again to any more floral vases I receive. It will definitely add a little something more to those plain vases. Give it a try and see what you come up with.

Janette

Thrift Store Find

I have been getting a little more of the creativity vibe while staying at home. I’m currently into doing macrame projects. It is so fun and very hands on. I am really enjoying it and hope to create many beautiful pieces. I have been seeing lots of wonderful ideas on Instagram, Pinterest and on YouTube. Not only is it great as plant hangers and wall decor but it also looks amazing combined with baskets.

A while back I was at my local thrift store and found this cool looking faux bamboo food tray. It was really neat, inexpensive, and in great shape. So I picked it up because I knew at the time I wanted to do something with it. Didn’t knew exact what, but I had to get it. Below is what I found.

Isn’t if so cool?! I mean you can leave it just as is and use it to it’s original purpose or as a base for a center piece for a coffee table. As I said earlier, I was loving how some people were adding macrame to baskets and thought why not do the same with this piece.

I thought about stenciling an image on the tray. I figure it’s a descent size area to put something on it. First I needed to paint it so that the image can stand out. I decided to paint the base with a white chalk paint that I had. It painted on well to the tray and since I put a good 1st coat, I didn’t need to paint another coat. Loving chalk paint!

Now time to pick out an image. So I wanted something simple and quick. I looked around my stash of stencils and picked out 2 things. I went with the letter J and two little star bursts on each side of the letter. Since I will hang this in my craft room, I thought it would be perfect.

So how to incorporate a macrame design to this tray piece. Well soon to be a wall piece in my craft room. I figured I would keep it simple. So I decided to create a simple square knot design that was not so crowded but airy. I just did square knots with spaces in between each one. To add a little more interest to the design, I had the square knots taper down to create an upside down triangle shape and added regular knots on the cords that were loose.

I love how it turned out. Something so simple and yet it added an extra look to a very simple tray. Below is how it turned out all completed and on my wall.

I do plan to create little projects like this with macrame. I also plan to make more macrame projects for my craft fair. Stay tune and see what else I will create with macrame, thrift store finds or recycled items at home.

Thanks for stopping by.

Janette