DIY return address…How-to!

So, its the time of year again. Time to take the perfect Christmas card picture and spend a day addressing the envelopes, or fighting with a rubber stamp smearing it all over the place. Which brings me to the topic of this post…return address labels. With our move, I had to get a new stamp…which I didn’t do in time for the Christmas card. It seems like it always happens that you change your address soon after buying a permanent stamp or order labels, leaving the stamp useless after. Hence, why this year I didn’t buy a stamp or order labels. I hand-drew my return address and I’ll show you how. Pretty easy and the best part… FREE!!!

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Materials used:

(1) a light table (i have a table that is about 1.5′ by 1′ from Michael’s craft store

(1) Fine point pen

(?) Envelopes

(1) spare paper

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Step 1: Start by printing out a picture of an image that you want to use on your label. I went to google and found deer antlers (vector image). I then traced it onto a spare piece of paper and placed our name and address in between. I kept tracing over and over with the light table until I got the spacing just right.

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Step 2: I placed the pieceof paper underneath my first envelope, centered and traced.

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Step 3: Repeat with the envelope underneath each envelope moving forward. SUper easy. Put on that favorite movie and speed away!

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Ohh… and here’s a picture of the puppy keeping me company 🙂

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xoxo,

Gretel

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Thanksgiving duck hunt 2013

Wow, I’m embarrassed that I’m writing this so late. It seems I am getting to this blogging stuff in spurts, but I promise one day I’ll get consistent. This thanksgiving, we spent our first holiday away from family, here in Dallas. So of course, since its duck season I said “oh what the heck….I’ll go with you” to my husband. While I love my quiet time while he and the pup are gone (and sleeping in), it seemed like a fun family tradition we could start……….WRONG. Oh boy, I’m not cut out for duck hunting. Dallas had a cold snap, and it was FREEZING. Our 2:30 AM wake up call came way too early. I layered in 3 jackets, 2 pairs of socks, my camo overalls (holla to all my Adpi’s out there where I wore these overalls to our Mallard ball function every year in college), and rolled myself out to the duck blind. The sunrise was spectacular….very peaceful.

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AND I’m a sucker for watching nature. But its the COLD long wait that was just not for me.  I did love watching Nathan and Dixie in action.

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Dixie scanned the sky the entire hunt looking for ducks, and of course retrieved the ducks. Remember when I told you all about her nightmare birthing scare, she has completly rebounded and it back to her usual, determined, spunky self. Thank the Lord! All in all, it was a good time…will I be going next year?? Thats still debatable. HAHA! Here are some more shots I took while “hunting”….okay i can just call if “watching” since I didn’t do any of the cutting! 😉

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Until next time,

xoxo Gretel

Wintery burlap garland… How-to!

I’ve had a lot of interest in one of my first posts, the how-to for burlap garland (see here). Well I have revamped my garland with some wintery-christmas garland that I bought half off from Michael’s at the after Christmas sale last year. I simply wrapped the garland around the burlap in a twisting motion. Take a look…and if you don’t already, DEFINITELY stop by Michael’s craft store for the after Christmas sale.

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Merry Christmas!

Gretel

Chalkboard frame makeover… How-to!

Hello again!

This post is inspired by the winter wonderland outside this weekend in Dallas. Yes, thats right, we are locked inside due to an ice storm that hit Dallas yesterday. The weather here is about to drive me crazy, high of 80 one day and then high of 29 the next day. HOLY OVERLOAD OF EVERY SEASON OF CLOTHES IN MY CLOSET! But I can’t complain because I had an excuse to craft all day….my favorite activity. And my husband had to assist because there was nothing better for him to do outside! 🙂

In our new city apartment in Dallas, we have a much smaller dining room than our house in South Carolina. So, I’ve been going back and forth about how to decorate the space without over crowding the room. In this post, I create an end-of-the-table, holiday tablescape that is just right for this small space. See below for how-to!

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Materials used:

(1) Old painting to paint over with chalkboard paint (Home Depot) or existing chalkboard

(1) Chalk

(1) Christmas wreath

(1) Burlap ribbon 112″ long (cut into two pieces of 64″ and 48″)

(1) 6″ of rope twine

Step 1:

Begin by either painting an existing painting over with Chalk paint if you don’t already have a chalk board you want to use. My chalk board frame was an old painting that I painted over a year ago (can you believe a local antique store was going to THROW this frame and painting AWAY?!)

Step 2:

Next, cut the burlap ribbon into two pieces (one 64″ long and the other 48″ long).

Step 3:

Fold the piece that is 64″ long in an accordion fold to have three layers (each layer is 16″).

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Step 4:

Use the other piece of burlap ribbon and wind through the wreath.

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Step 5:

The next step is to pinch the overlapping (accordion) ribbon and place in between the burlap ribbon (see pictures).

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Step 6:

Okay stay with me on this one…I know it looks a mess right now. This step helps fix that. You are going to use that 6″ of twine rope and tie off the bottom of the pinched ribbon (see picture.)

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And then tie the two pieces of burlap that were overlapping the pinched accordion piece (ugh this is the reason i was not a teacher…I don’t explain things well!) haha! See the picture. This step defines the bow and you can pull the tail pieces down to really define the bow.

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Step 7:

The easiest step. Drape the end pieces over the backside of the frame and tape them down. I used tape because I will want to swap out the wreaths with the seasons and this just makes it not such a permanent fix.

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Step 8:

Write a message in the center of the wreath…I wrote “Joy” because of the Christmas season, but you could write “Love” for Valentines Day, “Give Thanks” for Thanksgiving, etc.

Here is my finished product:

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Happy DIYing!

Gretel

Tape deer antler mount..How-to!

This DIY post has been the easiest and most spontaneous project yet. While walking around Michaels, which I shamelessly do for fun, I came around the new 3M tape in fun cute patterns. The idea came to my mind and then I thought, at the very least I can use to wrap my Christmas presents, if all else fails. Well all else didn’t fail….I love the tape deer mount that I have in my entrance way. Oh and I scrapped the cute tape designs…it wasn’t visible on the wall. Black tape it is…I’ll be on the lookout for brown at some point to swap out with the black.

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Materials used:

(1) roll of tape…any color and sizes (preferably .5″ wide).

Step 1:

I free handed this deer, so literally just look at the picture below and customize where you would like. Took me 10 minutes and really fills that empty space on my wall. This would look fabulous in a baby’s room, entrance way (pictured), or office!

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Happy DIYing!

Gretel

Deer Antler Mount Makeover…How-to!

I think it is no surprise that I am obsessed with all things deer. Especially recently, I’ve been scouring the stores for anything with a deer antler on it..pillow cases, necklaces, silhouette paintings, sweaters, even down to my return address label for our christmas cards (okay i might have a problem!). Well while I’ve been buying anything with a deer on it, I’m also searching for ways to have DIY projects with Antlers and BOY have I hit the motherload. December is dedicated to Deer Antler posts, from DIY projects to Etsy finds, each post will follow the theme. So all you Antique, shabby chic, hippy lovers out there, get ready for  a month of posts right up your alley.

In my first few weeks here in Texas, I have visited a few flea markets…one visit happened to be on a day we got sleet all day and it was FREEZING. OH and did I mention, its an outdoor flea market. My husband gets big brownie points for that one. 🙂 I picked up with awesome deer mount but there was once problem. I HATE the mounts where you can see the hair from the deer’s head. So, this post is about how to take a mount that is manly and quite frankly ugly, to chic home decor for many spaces in your home.

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Materials used:

(1) Set of deer antlers

(1) Wood mount from Michaels craft store

(1) Can of chalk board spray paint

(1) Glue gun

(1) 1/4 yard of your favorite fabric (really you only need about a 1′ x 1′ square…but most places make you buy a minimum)

(1) Handful of cotton (i just opened up one of my pillows and stole a handful of cotton)

Step 1:

Begin by cutting a square of fabric big enough to overlap each side of the cap (the deer head part of the mount). Make diagonal cuts to the fabric like pictures to make room for the antlers. There is no need to cut out circles…the cuts below do the same thing.
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Step 2:

Pull the fabric around the antlers and begin by hot gluing the top of the mount by pulling the fabric tight and lying down a line of glue on the backside.

Step 3:

After gluing the top down, stuff the cap with the handful of cotton to create a smooth surface. (see picture)

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Step 4:

Hot glue the bottom next and then the sides.

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Step 5:

The next step is optional. and i maybe regret doing it to my mount. But I had some cording that was sewed in fabric already from a previous post (see post about sewing pillows on how to make cording yourself.) I simply hot glued the cording around the exterior of the cap.

Step 6:

If your antlers don’t come mounted or if you don’t like the mount it came with (like me), you can buy a wood plaque from Michaels craft store in many shapes. I bought the circle and spray painted with chalk board paint. The reason I did the circle shape mount was to draw the leave crest around the antlers like pictured. And you’re done!

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Happy DIYing!

Gretel

Hand-painted curtains…How-to!

HELLO FRIENDS!

My goodness, who thought it would take me a month to get back on here? We have been settling into our apartment in Dallas and exploring the city every chance we get, hence my delay on here. As I’m redecorating my space, one thing missing in my decor has always been cute, long curtains. I kid you not, I literally ALWAYS look for curtains..any place I go. I’ve looked on etsy, checked out Target, Homegoods, World Market, etc but they were either too short (Target), ugly patterns (Homegoods), too plain (World Market), so I decided to paint my own curtains. IKEA has 96″ curtains that come in standard white and beige for JUST $20 for pair.  Insane!

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Materials used:

(1) Mod Podge– matte finish

(1) small paint brush

(1) small paint roller

(1) paint tray

(1) 60 oz paint

(1) paint tape

Step 1:

Begin by measuring out the area that you plan on painting. I wanted the classy horizontal stripes, which I could find for a minimum of $150..sheesh! My stripes were 12 inches apart.

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Step 2:

Next, brush on mod podge all along the edge of the tape that faces into the painted area. This binds the tape to the fabric and leaves a clean line of paint once the paint dries.

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Step 3:

Once mod podge dries, paint on your first layer of your color over the mod podge, overlapping onto the tape a little bit. (see picture)

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Step 4:

After two layers of paint have dried, tear up the tape and you’ll have a PERFECT line on the fabric. I did this project in two different designs, horizontal stripes and dipped curtains. See my finished products below.

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And our bedroom outcome…

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Happy DIYing!

Gretel

Dogs need prayer too!

Wow, things have been crazy. As most of you know, we packed up our cute little home in Greenville, SC and hit the road for Dallas, TX the first week in September. But most of you dont know what happened the week before our drive that ROCKED our world. We had a planned breeding with our sweet labrador and a handsome black labrador in South Georgia, Dude. This was planned before we knew about Texas and we knew the timing of the puppies coming was a little inconvenient being the week before we were moving, but you know there are some things you can’t plan and we had high hopes that the process would be seamless and smooth.

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DIXIE

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DUDE

Well, August 23rd comes around and we woke up at 1 AM to our labby with her first baby boy. Momma and baby were doing great and we were so relieved to see she was doing it on her own and being such a good momma to her new baby. Every hour after that we woke up to see any progress, and to our surprise the next puppy wasn’t born until 6 AM. After a day of labor,  we had 5 puppies and Dixie was being the best mom. All was great in the Stone household.

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Dixie with 5 healthy puppies

August 25th was our first wedding anniversary. With 5 puppies and a tired momma pup, we were planning on celebrating later in the week…and thank goodness we did. We noticed Dixie was so lethargic and after Nate and I took our evening walk, we walked in to see a momma dog that couldn’t even lift her head. COULDN’T BELIEVE IT! We rushed her to the emergency vet and had blood-work and x-rays done. Get ready for what I’m about to say… She still had 3 unborn puppies inside and a torn uterus that made it impossible to deliver them. PLUS, she was too weak to make it through surgery that night.  The vet mentioned a 20% chance of her making it through the night for surgery the next morning. We were devastated. Our girl looked awful and we didn’t want her to continue to be in pain, but she comes from SUCH great bloodline and is such a fighter in the duck blind with Nathan, we just couldn’t give up on her.

August 26th morning– she made it through the night and they began the surgery to remove her torn uterus and the three dead babies. Minute by minute we held our breath and she made it. I’m sure you must be wanting to know what happened with her 5 puppies that she only nursed for 2 days. Well, God has a plan. My in-laws have a goldendoodle, Shug, that just had babies 4 weeks prior. She was weaning her puppies off of breast feeding, but of-course still had milk and she was our only lifeline. The puppies had been bottle fed while we were at the vet, but Nathan and I didnt have the luxury of coming home ever 2 hours to feed puppies and knew this was just a nightmare so we hoped everything with shug would work. My in-laws walked in with the pups and Shug immediately ran over and looked at those little black burritos in the basket like “Are these mine?” She whipped those little babies right up to the nipple and cleaned them like crazy. Those were her new little babies. GOD ANSWERS PRAYERS!

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Shug feeding her new “babies”. Look at that smile!

Dixie beat all odds and came home September 1st. We were THRILLED! Oh what a blessing. The pups are doing great with Shug as their new surrogate mother and all is well in the Stone household again. Thank you to everyone who prayed for Dixie and her recovery. Dogs need prayer too! We are so thankful and ready to take on Dallas together–  all three of us!

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Dixie ready to head home!

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Dixie’s only female pup, Willow!

Until next time (and hopefully there won’t be another dramatic story to tell!)

Gretel

Favorite Friday — Fall Mantles

YIPPPEEEEEE! Pumpkin spice lattes are back in Starbs and everyone is eyeing their new boot purchase for the fall. Did I say it?? YES FALL!! My favorite time of year for many reasons:

1. Comfy sweaters leggings and BOOTS!

2. ORANGE (huge Clemson fan here…)

3. Crisp air

3. Pumpkins (pumpkin spice lattes, pumpkin beer, pumpkin decor, pumpkin bread, pumpkin carving, pumpkin desserts)

4. Thanksgiving

5. Hot chocolate

6. Warm color home decor

Yes new home decor. Time to warm things up from the bright summer colors. Time to make a burlap banner, throw some pumpkins on the mantle and the table and bring in so many earthy natural colors to warm up the room. Which brings me to my Favorite Friday topic of the day… FALL MANTLES. Here are some of my favs to get you inspired.

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Love the burlap banner

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The wood adds such a rustic touch

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The monogram pumpkins are AWESOME.

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Nothing says fall better than a deer head

Okay you can’t tell me that doesn’t get you ALL EXCITED for the fall. Happy fall y’all (dying to say that!) Now go and decorate your mantles!

Happy DIYing friends!

Gretel

Too good Tuesday– Marquee Lights

Welcome to my first Too Good Tuesday. My thought is to share what I think is too good to pass up. This week I’m OBSESSING over these AWESOME marquee lights. What a rustic touch! I could think of a million places they would look great…but below give you some visuals. I can’t wait to get my hands on one of these monograms. Click here to go to Vintage Marquee Lights or follow @vintagemarqueelights to buy your own.

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Sorry I had too, state pride!

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Okay I think you get my point. These signs look great everywhere, whether a sophisticated master bedroom, a baby’s nursery, dining room, entrance way, outside patio, etc. I’m obsessed and maybe I’ve turned you on to them too!

Until next time,

Gretel

Life OF Splndor

Young southerners finding high cotton in our ordinary life

Life in high cotton

Young southerners finding high cotton in our ordinary life