decorating with dodi

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Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Not Exactly Where I Was Going

Many things about me have changed as I have gotten older but perhaps the most appreciated is my ability to be a bit more flexible. I will admit to "the need to be in control" but, as I have aged, I have mellowed a bit. And, this project, while not being anywhere near important in the scheme of things, is a good example! When I started, I was heading to a very soft, shabby chic feel. But, that being said, I guess I kind of quashed that idea when I decided that instead of the soft pinks and fuchsias that I was going to go with, I would stick to my "purist gut" and go red and white. I love red and white for Valentine's Day but I will admit that it may be a bit too harsh for the real shabby chic look I had envisioned.

Or, maybe it was just the finish that I ended up with. Even though I put on a light spray of satin finish (mostly to be sure the paint wouldn't peel off), it still gave the jar enough of a shine that it lost its shabby label.

Even after playing around with the embellishments, I wasn't sold on these things but once I filled mine with flowers and the jar wasn't the main focus, I became O.K. with them.

It seems that whenever I need skeleton keys, I have a hard time finding them. So, a number of months ago when I saw these keys in the dollar bins at Michaels, I bought a bunch of them - actually wish I had bought more! I knew I would probably use them for Valentine's Day gifts - just wasn't sure how. When these jars started giving me "trouble", I knew some major embellishing was all that was going to save them so I started by using my Cricut machine and cutting out 1 1/2 inch hearts from different Valentine colored papers. I punched in holes and threaded them on twine and hung them from the rim. I still wasn't happy with them so, even though I still feel I could have used them in a better way, I broke down and hung the keys on a piece of twine and added them to the mix and I was better with it all!

My intent had been to add some white tulips - and I still will when I find them - but there was not a tulip of ANY color yesterday in either Fresh Market or Trader Joes so I settled for some yummy scented stock. Even though they are not in my traditional Valentine color scheme, the smell is so intoxicating that I can make an exception. See, I told you I am nothing if not flexible these days!!

So, that is one gift down and hopefully tomorrow will see me completing the second. And, we still have a few more rooms to visit. Stay tuned.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Not At All...

...what I had in mind. This is just one of those times that so many things went wrong! I am O.K. with the finished product but, it is not at all where I was originally heading and, as I said previously, if I knew this was where I was going to end up, I would have used the original Mason jars with their embossed logo because I think they would look nicer with the distressed areas showing more "distress". But, I had too much time already invested in these things to totally scrap what was happening. And so, here is where I stand at the moment.

Sorry I didn't take pictures of the steps it took to get to this point but it isn't rocket science. After spraying the jars with a gloss paint and not being able to get out to buy a new can of satin red paint, I simply painted on two coats of a regular craft acrylic paint and let it dry overnight.

I liked that finish so much better so I did a bit of sanding. Here is where I would have done so much more distressing if I had had the words on the jars. It just doesn't show up as well on the flat glass.

Next, I painted on small, white hearts. I was going to try stamping them but I wanted a hand painted look so I ended up using a pencil eraser dipped in white paint and painting two touching dots and then using a VERY thin brush to pull the paint down into the heart point - easy peasy!

I gave the lids a quick coat of white. I an planning on tying on some twine and embellishments so I think I will like the hint of white. If not, I can always twist them off! I also gave the jars a light coat of a satin sealer just to be sure the paint stayed where it was!

You can see by the leaves in the picture that our weather was a bit blustery yesterday and I had two sets of company as well as an electrician here all day so I didn't get out to get the rest of what I need to finish these. I really didn't mean to drag one pitiful little project into a week's worth of posts, but somehow, I did!

I'm not the world's biggest camellia fan but I do have two bushes that, even though I totally neglect them, they do put forth some pretty blooms for me each year. I happened upon these yesterday and since it is so much nicer inside right now, I brought them along and popped them into one of the pink "Mason" jars that I found at Target the other day. I love the candy cane look of this bloom.

I know you are on the edge of your seats to see how these jars ultimately end too??!!! Hopefully I will be able to show you in my next post. Stay tuned.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Where Am I Going With This?? Or, the Saga Continues!

Sometimes things just don't go your way. That is how I am feeling right now. When I started the Valentine Mason jars, I purposely bought the WalMart brand jars so that they did not have the embossed logo on the jar. Since it was originally meant to be striped and then painted with hearts, I thought the flat glass would be easier to work with. But, that was then and this is now. I am now thinking about just painting the jars a solid red and adding tied on embellishments and I am thinking that they would now look better WITH the raised logo so I could sand a bit of it away and get the shabby chic look I want.

Since I last posted, I scrubbed all of that "expensive" paint off of the jars and I am starting over with a solid red. Not sure where I am going next...except that as I was spraying the paint began to run...I mean really run. I am once again reminded of my Brownie G.S. days when, at every investiture, we would do the Brownie story and hear the words "patience is a virtue". Guess I am not very virtuous. I am REALLY patient in lots of ways, but spraying paint is not one of them! Yes, I know, three or four or ??? thin coats is way better than one heavy one...but honestly, when I am not even sure where I am going with this, I am anxious to get there (?) quickly and see what comes of it.

Of course, that other old saying - "haste makes waste" - comes to mind as well because now I have major visible drips on these jars AND I am out of paint. The only other red paint I have is gloss which defeats my shabby look, but I wanted to see if I could get those drips covered. It looks like I may be able to - once I go buy yet more paint. Seems this project may have been doomed from the beginning.

Definitely looking more SHABBY than CHIC!

And, of course, my patient self wants to head out immediately to buy the paint and then a few other supplies I still need as well, but I am expecting an electrician "some time" today so I am housebound until I hear from him. And so it goes! Hurry up and wait! Have I told you how good I am at this patience thing? Stay tuned.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

One Decision!

I finally made a decision on one of the crafts I was going to do this year. Everyone seems to be into Mason jars and I am no exception. I have always loved Mason jars. I have a few large antique ones that I use for cut flowers all of the time and I love the cozy, comforting feel that the flowers have when in the jar versus a fancy, crystal vase - although fancy crystal vases certainly have their place when I want a more formal feel.

In any case, I found a painted Valentine jar and then had several ideas for embellishment that I was going to try to combine...but, alas, I never got that far.

The instructions I was following called for a paint that could be used on glass so I went with Krylon instead of WalMart brand just to be sure. I figured it was worth the extra expense to be sure I got a good bond. The instructions also said that more paint than was wanted pulled off but was able to be patched. Well, that was an understatement. But, having done crafts for so many, many years, there is usually nothing I can't fix in some way and, these were supposed to be a bit shabby chic so you can usually "get away" with all kinds of things. But, no matter how hard I tried, this was just an epic fail. And, to be honest, even if I could have "fixed" it, it looked like a candy cane to me and nothing I would want for Valentine's Day!

And so, I am back to the drawing board. I am rethinking what I will do but you can be sure it will involve Mason jars since I already bought them...and, whatever of the expensive paint that is left in the cans. Not sure where I will go with this but you will be the first to know! I also think I decided on my second gift project. Stay tuned.

Monday, January 19, 2015


I have had the hardest time "getting into" the new year. I like to think it is because we just had SOOOO much going on at the end of last year, but I am starting to wonder if it is because I am getting older and starting to get used to this "retirement" stuff. I have always been a "yesterday" gal. I needed to get "it" done as soon as I knew "it" was needing to be done. I am NOT a procrastinator! And yet, these days, I find myself saying "I can do that tomorrow." It used to be that if I wrote something on a to-do list for today, it WOULD GET DONE! Now I seem to be giving myself more leeway....and as much as I like it while I am doing it, I am getting upset with myself when I realize that I have not really been able to mark anything off of my list these days.

And so, we will move into the dining room. That is on my list. And, after I have shown you around a bit, I AM going to sit down and make up my mind about what Valentine crafts I am going to accomplish this year.

Still liking the PB knock-off pillow I made last year...I think...maybe 2 years ago. Time goes fast when you're having fun!

The photo holders on this shelf the girls and I made a few years back. We found it on a vintage site. We bought "old fashioned" salt shakers that we found at the dollar store, filled them with glitter, pushed in some twisted holders we made from wire and added embellishments. I still love the way they look with the rose arrangements I got at BBW oh so many years ago when they still offered lots of seasonal items.

Still loving this sign! Seems we made one for almost every holiday one particular year (BOO, JOY, 4th, etc.) Wish I could find a similar idea to get me through 2015! No wonder I have such a hard time finding crafts to do...I still seem to love most of the things we have made over the past 16 years or so - about when I started crafting with the grand kids...and even before that when I crafted with my own. There are just not many ideas around that we haven't already done...but, I will keep looking!

 Then, I will make yet another list of supplies and get out to the stores. Of course, the list will be pretty long because all of my favorite haunts have different things on sale this week and I will have to hit them all. Sounds daunting doesn't it? Maybe I'll pour one more cup of coffee....and head out tomorrow instead. There are still magazines to be perused from October....and wash to be folded and put away....and weeds to be pulled.....and!!!! Stay tuned.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

It's All About Family....

...the family room that is! This is another of those times that I think everything looks so much better "in person" than the pictures show but let's take a look anyway.

The mantle is pretty simple this year. I don't think I actually planned it this way but, the Valentine flower buckets that are usually also on the mantle behind the X and O are MIA this year! I just can't find them. I spent so much time looking for them that I got annoyed with myself and decided to leave the mantle the way it was and go on to other things needing to be done assuming that somewhere along the way, I would find them. Well, I never did and by then, I had kind of gotten OK with how things looked so that is where it stayed! Kind of "decorating for idiots" I guess! I still really love the glittered heart banner I made out of all of the crocheted hearts that my mom made for me many years ago.

Last year's palette art. I have another I want to do this year so we will see what happens. I will be sure to show you if I get it done. For some reason, I am having a harder time than usual getting into the "swing" of the new year!

Still also love the glittered letters that I made a few years back...although, now that I look at them, maybe I do miss the Valentine French flower buckets that used to be behind them...wonder where in the world they could be!!???

As I said at the beginning of this post, I think this room looks better in person. I do have the TV cabinets and the built-ins full of framed Valentine photos, but you know that so I didn't bore you with photos. I enjoy Valentine's Day but it isn't one of my favorites so I don't get overly excited about the decor either. But, I have started thinking about some crafting and that always makes me happy so we will see what I come up with. Right now I am off to other things - like, perhaps, looking for those darn buckets! Where could I have put them? I hate it when I do things like this. More than likely they are somewhere that I thought would save me some room. That's what I get when I try to be super organized! More to come I am sure. Stay tuned.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015


It is that time of year again! I love tulips and right around now, they begin popping up everywhere! To me, red tulips rather than red roses, say Valentine's Day.

 I have been putting off taking more pictures because we have had a few gloomy days, but I decided to try my luck today. Even though the sun is way behind the clouds and it really looks like it might snow...except for the fact that we live in Florida and it is about 70 degrees outside, the pictures are OK... so, on to the kitchen.

If you have been following me for awhile, you will recognize a number of past Valentine craft projects like the "antique" canvas from last year, the vintage candle jar and the cone that I made using one of my mom's many crocheted doilies.

This is the only part of my new frig that will hold a magnet, so I fill it up. Still using the clothespin heart magnets and the small wooden and dough hearts that the kids and I have made along the way.

This old box holds lots of "paper napkin" and hand painted plates that we have made to present cookie gifts over the years and still love my pot holders that the girls made one year in color combinations for every holiday! Once they learned, I couldn't get them to stop! There were pot holders for everyone!

Here is the canvas that the little kids and I did two years ago.

I love how this flower arrangement that I found on sale at Dillards many, years ago "mimics" the flowers on the canvas behind it. I can get the biggest thrill out of the littlest things...looks like this was "meant to be".

We have a super busy week this week...lots of appointments, movies to see and dinners to eat out but I will be back soon...and maybe the sun will be out so the pictures will look a bit cheerier! Stay tuned.