Category Archives: Decorating

You’re Invited!

i have become known as something of a “saver,” “coupon queen,” “knower of all discounts” among our group of friends and families.  they bring up a product / category of product / interest and i’m all, “hey, i totally saw that on xyz website you’ve never heard of, you should totally check it out!”  in essence, i’m a personal shopper without actually doing the shopping for y’all.

so i was thinking – why not share some of my go-tos with all of you guys?  not to mention, i can just name drop this post as a one-stop shop for people that need links or whatever.  if i have labeled them as a “FLASH SITE!” that means that their sales are time-restricted, from four hours up to several days, but stock is limited so time is of the essence if you see a fav brand.  here are my go-to (almost daily, sadly) websites:


Zulily
FLASH SITE! initially known as a kids’-only supply shop, now they have added sections for “moms” (i am not one but i am pretty sure i can still order clothes and shoes if i am just a female) and “home.”  generally very accessible price ranges and a great place to get gifts for little ones as well!

ideeli
FLASH SITE! this is a total one-stop shop for everything – kids, men, women, home, vacations.  they have a vast price range, from $10 flip flops up to Chanel and Hermes.


RueLaLa
FLASH SITE! another one-stop shop place, they have all the categories covered, and again, a generally wide price range.  sometimes it seems a little pricier than, say, ideeli, but it all depends on what the flash sales of the day actually are. a great feature of RueLaLa is if you make one purchase and pay their $9.95 shipping fee, shipping is FREE for the following thirty days – keep this in mind for the christmas shopping season!

HauteLook
FLASH SITE! all categories are covered here, as are most price ranges. they have a great “deal of the day” section with one item that has been vastly reduced. i got my husband a $600 Invicta watch there for only $60, so it is definitely a great spot to keep an eye on for gifts!

Gilt
FLASH SITE! one of the originals, Gilt tends to peddle slightly to greatly higher-end stock. it is a great place to go for your splurge purchase to save a little.  that is not to say, though, that everything is pricey – they have made a better effort lately to accommodate all incomes.  they also have a Food & Wine section, as well as Jetsetter (travel) and City (for those of you in larger cities, more of a local-type Groupon deal) sections. and i totally got my wedding dress through Gilt, for a beautiful $150!

JossandMain
FLASH SITE!  largely home goods-oriented, JossandMain has a great selection of gifts, decor, furniture, bedding, and all those great things everyone needs for their home.  they offer a pretty wide set of price points.


OneKingsLane
FLASH SITE!  again, this guy is mostly home goods.  they tend to offer a little bit on the ritzier side, but i have made a purchase or two through them.  today only, they are offering 30% off your purchase!

theFoundary
FLASH SITE! this is another mostly home goods-driven site.  they have occasional offerings of jewelry, tech goods, or kids’ stuff, but their bread and butter is home decor and furniture.  i have found their prices to be the most accessible of the home goods sites i check.

Save-On-Crafts
i used this site for wedding supplies.  let’s just say i spent between $450 and $500 on this site, if that is any indication!  cheapest craft supplies, home decor, DIY supplies out there.  and believe me, i price compared until my fingers and eyes bled.

MyHabit
FLASH SITE!  MyHabit offers mostly high-end merch marked down a bit – for instance, right now you can find Chanel, Elizabeth & James, Thakoon, Christian Siriano, Derek Lam, Peter Som, and See by Chloe up for sale on here. i tend to keep this site in mind if i have been or want to save up for a real splurge item and want to still get a little bit of a markdown.


BelleandClive
FLASH SITE!  BelleandClive is pretty similar to MyHabit in its offerings.  so far i haven’t found much that is in my price range on here, but they do seem to offer a wider range of price points than MyHabit. since i first started checking this site out, though, it seems that they have given more attention to offering some stuff that we peons can afford!

Fab
FLASH SITE!  are you a hipster, or want to be? fab is probably the site for you.  they offer quirky, independent, small-stock options from up and coming artists, designers, or brands.  this is the spot for a funny gift, a worldly treasure, something handmade/hand-pressed/hand-drawn.  it is a great gift site, for its unique offerings and wide range of price points!


BaubleBar
mmmm BaubleBarrrrrr.  the chicest, most on-trend jewels and baubles offered up at real-people prices.  i haven’t made a purchase yet because there are too many things i want!!


CoachFactory
lemme know if you need an invitation by email to this guy.  Coach bags marked down drastically, as well as all of their accessories, tech gear, man stuff, shoes, jewelry, and more, for those of us that don’t live in the same zip code as a live storefront.

BathandBodyWorks
ok so i know this is kind of a standard mall go-to, but let me explain.  join their email list.  follow their sales and try to shuffle your coupons.  i NEVER buy anything full price here, unless i’m getting something free on the side.  for instance, just this week i went and got the 2 for $20 3-wick candles (one for me, one for my gift closet is my mentality), and scored a free full-size hand lotion and a travel-size matching body wash with coupons (both of which ALSO went in my gift closet).  so basically, one candle and three free gift items for what i would have paid for just the one full-price candle.  also keep an eye on them because they like to change their branding – when they do, the “old” branding gets marked down to simply ridiculous amounts (think $1 for a full-size lotion).  in my mind, one of the BEST places to score stocking stuffers and other small gifts!


BedBathandBeyond
anyone who knows this store knows their coupon policy – i.e. they NEVER expire. i have a wad of mail-delivered and email-delivered coupons in my bag from them at all times. i tend to go for their WoodWick line of candles/diffusers, as well as the Tervis tumblers and other gifty items. it’s always good to have those 20%-ers on hand though!

WorldMarket
also a great sale holder.  sadly, they left the Memphis market a couple of years ago, so if i want to go to a “real” store it’s to Nashville i go.  if you sign up for their email list and their World Market Explorer program, you can get tons of advance notice on huuuuge markdown sales, especially furniture that is relatively decent quality (i’d say a step up or two from ikea).

Romwe
i am pretty sure this is a Chinese-based company, so your deliveries can take a while from them (free shipping though!).  they have cute, trend-based stuff at pretty solid prices, and offer discounts for signing up for their email program.

Asos
another long-distancer, this site is based in England, so your deliveries are not exactly quick – but hey, you don’t pay for shipping through them, so who cares?  super cute, trend-based, at great prices.  i got an oversized yellow clutch through them and get stopped all the time for compliments. a boutique employee in Austin even thought it was Celine (haaaaa cha right!)!


ModCloth
a bit hipster-ish/retro-ish, ModCloth has trendy clothing that is really great quality.  half of my bridesmaids (those in the yellow dresses) got their dresses from here for a measly $40!


Poshlocket
they don’t have the widest offering out there, but i wear their Jana Twisted Knot Studs so often i should get paid to be a walking advertisement. they have great basics at solid quality, and each piece is something you could wear againandagainandagain (like i do).

 &


Drugstore.com & Beauty.com
ok another one you should join the email lists on and keep an eye out for their markdowns.  i swear to god, i got an email from them once that was 40% off EVERYTHING on drugstore.com.  this is stuff you already buy at the tarjay or kroger, people!  i put together a huge order of detergent, toilet paper, shampoo, conditioner, etc etc and spent way, way less than what i would have in the store.  scored free shipping, too!  and same on beauty.com – if you keep an eye out for their sales, this is stuff you would be needing/ordering anyway, but rather than go in to Macy’s and spend twice as much, place an order and boom, on to your doorstep it appears!  love these sites.

Ulta
Ulta is a fantastic place to join their rewards program.  you routinely get $3.50 to $10 off of your purchases, plus they run all these lovely buy 2 get 3 type sales, AND with every online order you get 3 free samples.  i have fully stocked my manicure shelf with their buy 2 get 1 free OPI & essie sales, and it can be a great place to stock up your gift closet or your guest bathroom!

SoleSociety
beautiful shoes. what more do you want? oh, and at great prices. enjoy.


ShopStyle
ShopStyle has both a store as well as a Polyvore-type feature so you can create looks for yourself from purchase-able items (that other folks can see, so show them what you’re made of!).  they run pretty good sales on higher-end merch, so check them out!


Beso
Beso is my price comparison site. enter a specific item you are looking for (i.e. “robe” or “House of Harlow Chelsea Sunglasses”) and it runs a multi-site, internet-wide search. then simply find what you are looking for at the lowest price, and you hath saved!


Woot
while not the most user-friendly setup, woot can be a great place to score most especially techy stuff.  so if you’re looking for phone/iPad accessories, a new tv, speakers, whatever, click on their “Community-Sourced Deals” link and search away. somehow the people that run and contribute to this site find INSANE deals on stuff.  a great place to look if your child absolutely must have the brand new Nintendo DS/Wii/XBox/PlayStation/Atari whatever this christmas.


RETAILMENOT.COM
i am typing in bold here, people. this site cannot be underestimated.  are you making a purchase from ANY RETAIL WEBSITE ON THE PLANET? open a new tab, pull up RetailMeNot, and run a search for coupon or promo codes for that store.  you’re welcome.  i have used this site to get free shipping, discounts, free items, and more.  ALWAYS USE THIS SITE.

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Wedding Crafts & Personal Touches

please forgive my brief sabbatical, i wanted to keep nana at the top of the page there for a while.

the irish blessing she read at our wedding was one of many personal touches i tried to incorporate into our day.  i wanted the wedding to say, even scream, “PETE & KATIE!”  i have been to too many weddings that scream,

“Hey, this is actually my parents’ party that just happens to be on our big day!” or

“I like the most generic and trite of decor because I had no idea what else to do!”

and i wanted ours to be a 180 from that bizniss.

so here’s some stuff i put my fingers on:

our cake topper.  a friend did the illustration, i ordered the laser cutout on acrylic, and i loved the result!  patsy got to be there on our special day, if only in spirit.

our wedding party.  hello, ridiculousness.  pete had 12 groomsmen, i had 11 attendants (10 bridesmaids, 1 bridesdude).  we could not have done this without any of them.  especially take absurd pictures.

signage.  my nephews carried this particular sign, which i freehanded using a word doc on my laptop and different fonts for inspiration.  i could just hear everyone “awwwwwwww”-ing when these two came down the aisle, and they were so dang proud to have this job!  i also did signs for our photo booth, candy table, and an Avett Brothers quotation that i thought perfectly fit the day:

Always remember, there is nothing worth sharing like the love that let us share our name.”

including our bebes.  this was pre-finnigan, so these two got to get taken out of camp for a couple of hours to come be with us for our first look and some key pictures.  it wouldn’t have been a wedding day without our little boys!

ring pillow.  i hand-sewed this ring pillow that never actually carried any rings and was really just for show.  my nephew, luke, carried it down the aisle for us though!

my great-grandmother’s handkerchief.  my mom’s mom’s mom made this for my mom to carry down the aisle, and i got to carry it too – it has some yellow spots from age but you can’t beat this for “something old.”

our fire axe.  purely for show, this was our cake-cutting utensil.  it reads “ANDERSON” then the EMS/fire maltese cross, then “EST. 2012”.  i love that we will always have the thing we used to cut our cake hanging out on our wall.

centerpieces, table runners, and “chandeliers.”  as i went in to previously, i did the chandeliers by hand.  we used stitch witchery to make the table runners over an afternoon, and i ordered (and now own, anyone want one?) and arranged all of the centerpieces.  i wanted to alternate tall and low centerpieces, so the ones with willow are almost 4′ tall on the tables while the ones with yellow baby’s breath – who knew that existed? – are only about 1′ tall.

my backdrop, as previously discussed.  it looked so awesome in all of the pictures!  added the perfect touch i had hoped to achieve.

we also designed our own cakes, elected to serve moscato instead of champagne (i’m a sweet wine kinda girl), played some mega-important songs to our various friend groups like “rosanna” by toto and “like a prayer” by madonna, and reused all of the bridesmaid bouquets as centerpieces on our 2-person tables.  i’m actually pretty proud of how this turned out, and have to thank my photographers, Pablo Corona Photography, for these beautiful images (which p.s. are copyrighted by me and them!)!

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The Anderson Collection Candy Shoppe

another wedding craft i took on was our favors.  i loved the way a candy bar could incorporate your colors, some extra dessert options, and was just plain fun, so i decided early on to go with that.

several trips to tj maxx, ross dress for less, marshall’s, and target later (all over maybe a six-month period), i had a formidable glass canister/vase collection taking up space in our guest room.  some with lids, some without, different heights and volume sizes, to create as much of a visually pleasing tablescape as i could.

i am kicking myself now for not taking more in-progress pictures, but you would be surprised a. how slippery glass vases are when you are attempting to wrap them with ribbon, b. just how many hot glue spider web strings one person can create, and c. your inability to take pictures if you aren’t there during setup.

but hey, i have one picture of the final table, at least!:

step by step the process involved:

1. buying all the glass

2. ordering the candy…i used ACandyStore.com and wayyyy over-ordered – want some sixlets?  i have about 5 lbs of them!  after extensive research and comparison, plus just simple searching for stuff in my color scheme, i found this site to be the best deal and have the most diverse offerings.

3. ordering treat bags and monogram stickers…i got the treat bags (just simple silver paper sacks) from theknot.com, and we picked up some “A” stickers to close the bags with at Michael’s.

4. i wrapped each vase first with wide gray ribbon and hot glued it straight to the glass at the back, tucking the ends for a more finished look, then repeated with a slightly slimmer white ribbon.  using some textured yellow scrapbook paper, i created the little label medallions, cut them out, and hot glued them to the ribbon.

5. to make some risers (not so visible in this image, except just to the right of the sign) i simply took some super sturdy shoe boxes and wrapped them with silver dotted wrapping paper.

6. i googled for some old-fashionedy signage, and tweaked it a bit to paint our Candy Shoppe sign – a basic canvas from Michael’s, it just says “The Anderson Collection” “The Candy Shoppe” & “Sweets from Us to You.”  not perfect, but what is?

7. the table runners were a collaboration between me and my mother-in-law and her cousin, just raw fabric “hemmed” with stitch witchery.  the fabric was bought in bulk from JoAnn’s website – we had runners on every table!

8. fill the jars!  this was apparently done by my brother-in-law and some of the guys’ cousins, per my rather detailed directions.  i tried to spread the various colors around the table so we didn’t have all gray then all yellow, or vice-versa.  we ended up having: mango gummy bears, hershey’s kisses, white mints, yellow & silver sixlets, rum&butter candy sticks, licorice candy sticks, little yellow lollipops, and lemon sours.

9. eat the candy!  (which we are still doing, to this day…)

10. debrief (all by myself to the imaginary team of people in my head that are fighting each other to hear my opinion): next time (next party, not next wedding), remember: people don’t like licorice or rum&butter candy sticks (super unpopular), mints weren’t that great of a hit either, and however many sixlets you think you need, cut that amount in half.  and buy more chocolate hershey’s kisses, those were gone before we knew it!

and just as a cursory note, none of these stores have ever heard of me, except to fill my ginormous orders.  all store usage came after extensive research, review-reading, price comparison, and quality testing.

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Oh My Cheeeeeeeeese

just ordered these through the Foundary for the house with the last bit of wedding money we received.  we got four of them for our dining table….i have wanted these for.EV.errrrr!  so excited!

and how cute will they look next to our new buffet (scored at our West Elm outlet here in Memphis last weekend – i’m in total loooove):

Detailed View

we are working on a new mid-century modern and also just plain bootiful aesthetic for our house – makes me feel like a grown-up!

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His Corner

this is the corner where my husband lives when he is home.

he takes the ampersand pillow and the anniversary date pillow (both wedding gifts, Crate & Barrel and ihavenoideawhere respectively) and stacks them on the large gray pillow, so he can fully lounge back and have ample neck support.  he is always hot, so he patently ignores the Lacoste citron blanket (another gift!  this time Macy’s.)

you don’t even wanna see my corner – i have the chaise lounge end and it has served as desk, craft table, bed, snack spot, and many other incarnations since this couch came into our lives a few months ago.

i have to say, i am a total, 100%, unapologetic sectional convert.

if you’re interested in seeing the couch in full, click here.

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A Big Reveal

so remember in that post i wrote oh, i don’t know, almost a year ago me telling you cryptically that i was punching a quadrillion circles for a wedding project?  and i was all teasing and like whoooo wait til you see this?!  and then never showed it to you, because i’m awesome like that?

let’s go ahead and rectify that situation.

this project was absolutely, without a doubt, the most time-intensive and potentially dumb undertaking i…undertook for the wedding.  it all started when i walked by a window of anthropologie, that perma-creative, uber-put together store that we all love.

i saw something handmade, something similar to this:

Wall Waterfall Paper Circles

and i thought dang, man, i could totally make that!  how hard could that be?  (answer: harder than wistfully dreamt.)  when the question came up of what on earth i would do with such a hanging, i realized that our ceremony space, however beautifully lit and wood floored and white walled it was, had nothing in it to designate an “altar” area since it was not so much a church as it was a ballroom.  so my idea of an altar-defining “wall waterfall” came into being.

after some cell phone snaps of the anthro arrangement, i set out to buy supplies: yards and yards of fishing wire and card stock. it was more difficult than i thought to find bulk yellow card stock, so instead of going the colored paper route i went all-white.  i figured in the dimmed lighting against a white wall, it would look nice and shimmery, adding dimension to an otherwise blank space.

as i mentioned previously, i punched the circles using a standard scrapbooking punch.  i probably punched a total of approximately 5,000 – 8,000 circles (i lost count), storing them in gallon ziplocks as i went.

the next step was assisted by my loving fiance, who donned latex gloves (for better needle-gripping skillz) and sat in the corner of our couch threading hundreds of circles onto pre-measured lengths of fishing wire (9’4″, to be exact) while watching “the walking dead”.  he used a standard sewing needle and would thread “a bunch” (technical measurement, here) on to a thread and then pass me the line.

from there i tied each line onto a regular old 3′ dowel from Michael’s, positioned one circle at the top of the line, and added a dot of hot glue to the thread/circle on the bottom of each circle.  i went down the line, spacing the circles each about 1.5″ apart.  dot dot dot, glue web threads everywhere, new stick of glue, dot dot dot, dot dot dot, that was how my nights went for quite a while.  i watched a lot of “gossip girl” during the work.

we decided to make the hanging 9′ x 9′, and with each 3′ dowel requiring 17 strings of circles, you can imagine the time involved.  finally, all the threads were hung by the guest windows with care, and pete and i set to untangling fishing wire.  if you ever wonder if you are going blind, try untangling fishing wire and you will know for sure, “hey, self, i am TOTALLY BLIND.”  once each line was separated, pete created an elaborate system of paper tubes, one per strand, to house each strand and prevent it from re-tangling with its brethren en route to the wedding venue.

a quick spray paint of the dowels, some drilling work, and about 1.5 hours of re-hanging later, it was installed at the venue:

of course, i had to dramatically and wistfully pose with my hours and hours of work, as it was up for one evening only and then into the trash it went.  it turned out beautifully and i loved how it looked behind our minister – i can’t wait to see the professional pictures of it (picture above via instagram via our reader, lauren!)!  here are some more uses of it:

creepy wellesley grouping…

beautiful new facebook profile pictures…

attempts to hide…

backdrops for cousin portraits…

sister cuteness…

and just genuine awesomeness.

i kind of wanted to bring it home for decoration in the house somewhere (after probably 40 hours of work, you would, too!), but it was deemed just too too much to repackage it, re-transport it, and re-hang it.  wah wahhhhhhh.  oh well, now i can say i’ve done it once at least, so take that, anthropologie!

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“Chandeliers”

one of the biggest challenges when decorating a large event space is to decorate proportionally.  you don’t want a dinky little vase on each table in a room with 12′ ceilings, it gets swallowed up!

to bring my space into better harmony (who knows if i succeeded, this was just my goal) i decided to use what i called “chandeliers”  suspended from our ceilings to draw the eye down and create visual contrast against the dark ceilings and exposed brick walls.

so i first began with an armful of these – color me looking like a crazy crocheting addict wandering around michael’s with all of these hoops, i literally was asked what on earth i was doing with them all by one curious fellow-crafter:

[photo source]

take those plus spray paint, fishing wire, and a multitude of different supplies (handmade tissue paper poufs, chinese lanterns, other miscellaneous decorative shapes), and you get these:

   

as seen from below, pictured by friends nick and lauren via instagram (let’s face it, i’m not going to apologize for instagram pictures, i love em!).

from the side, they hung down about yea far:

oh hey, bridesmaids!  kate and katherine started working the room pretty early in the evening….or day (photo by lauren, again – good work, lady!).

my maid of honor and i put a TON LOAD ASS LOAD TRUCK LOAD of time into these tissue paper poufs and then resulting chandeliers – my couch was slowly consumed by tissue paper that i’m pretty sure bred behind my back.  but it was worth it, once my amazing (seriously, amazing, lemme know if you want a hook up!) day-of coordinator jonathan had them hung and pete’s aunt cricket followed after, re-fluffing.

i would estimate that each chandelier involved the following costs:

– tissue paper               $5.00
– chinese lanterns       $5.00
– accordion shapes    $5.00
– fishing wire                $0.50
– knitting hoop            $3.00

    TOTAL                        $18.50/each

plus about an hour of labor on each one, approximately.  this is all a rough estimate, though!

they were such a whimsical way to set the tone of the evening immediately – pretty, fun, in our colors, and handmade.  and there you have the end-result of one project, and you got a peek at our cake in the process!

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And So It Begins

the start of wedding DIY projects has commenced!  we are trying to keep wedding costs as low as possible by doing a lot of the decor ourselves – and also i might be a bit of a control freak? so maybe i am doing this so it looks as perfect as i want it to?  that couldn’t be it….anyway!  this is the beginning of what will likely turn out to be my most time-intensive project of them all.  the supplies are a 2″ circle paper punch, white card stock, and some sharp crafting scissors:

did i mention white card stock?  like maybe 600 sheets…you know, plus/minus:

and GO!  punch 5 times down one side of the card stock…

then turn the paper and punch five more times down the other side. start to feel the burn, mostly in the bicep area.  hope that this is all the workout you will need to do to prepare for a strapless wedding dress.

cut one of the strips of punched paper off, as closely as you can to the circles, comme ca:

punch five more circles down the new edge:

squeeze in four more punches in the remainder of the paper.  the circles don’t need to be perfect, because there will ultimately be about 11,000 of them (no, i’m not joking), so no one will be looking at each individual circle to judge your imperfections.

annnnnd, repeat. repeat. repeat. repeat.  until you think that you might be punching circles for the rest of your livelong days.  (i might be punching circles for the rest of my livelong days…)

enlist help.  they don’t do much, but they look eager to assist:

watch episode after episode of late night with jimmy fallon on hulu plus, then switch to streaming mad men season 3 on netflix.  regret the time you spent watching “little black book” starring the late, great brittany murphy.i’ll let you know what the next stage is when i get there – in approximately 4 months.  and before you ask, yes this was completely my idea, pete has nothing to do with it, and i have high hopes for the drama it will add to the ceremony.  also, our local anthropologie totally stole my idea from my head and used it in this month’s window display – just remember, it was all me first!

Christmas Decor

being that i just realized that christmas is, um, next week, i figured i ought to show you what i’ve put up for the season at the new house:

the mantel: target stockings from several years ago (i love their graphic contrast and the simple dual colors), a length of greenery with red velvet bows, my usual mantel decor (buddha, grecian, and some small accessories), noel candle holders, and a red velvet bow on each of my topiaries.  nothing too crazy, but festive.

to the right of the mantel we have the tree, up on a table to keep it away from curious paws.  all red and silver in mostly balls from walmart, beads from walmart, and a topper from target.  it’s not pre-lit, but man is it easy to string lights on a tree that weighs about 3 pounds and that you are taller than.

my fireplace arrangement.  we don’t plan on actually using the fireplace this winter (or ever), so i kept my usual four pieces in there (the topiary, the antique tongs, and the two wood sections), added the red velvet bow, a silvered votive, a mirrored ornament, and a snowman head ornament to liven it up.

my dining table centerpiece…for all the fellow OCDers out there, that red bow is crooked, and i will fix it.  moving on.  i often have that dark green iron bowl on my dining table with the faux lemons in it.  i embedded my mini evergreen in it with another red velvet bow (continuity!), and put a vintage rolling duck toy in the bowl.  the pull cord for the ducky is the “garland” of the tree.  then some red christmas balls strewn about and perched on crystal candlesticks, a gold platter, and a gold woven basket to hold my linen napkins.  for linens i pulled some things together from other spots of the house: a red round woven placemat and two green and white striped placemats to create a runner.  there are some other small things up around the rest of the house, but those are the majors!  i hope someday to be able to invest in more, this holiday is definitely top of my list!

Grocery Store Bouquet

last sunday we had a couple friends over for brunch.  i like to put out some kind of small centerpiece or something to enhance the table and my pottery barn paisley runner (man, i miss my discount there).  i figured i’d give a quick run-down on how i made a $4 bunch of carnations into something a bit more:

10126_548288563182_2102204_32275718_3757767_n

about a week earlier i had bought the “vase,” a glass pumpkin from walmart for all of $5 (you can see the lid/top of the pumpkin leaning to the right there).  i had had some fake fruit and berries in a fall theme inside, so i dumped those into another glass bowl for our coffee table and filled this halfway with water & flower food.

next i went out to my backyard and snipped the extra greenery (the long leaves you see around the base of the white flowers), so that was $0.  i tried to get a mix of dark, light, and then some were turning a kind of rust color so i threw a few of those in there, too.  i placed them in the vase all around the base.

then came the carnations: i snipped them all with about 4″ or so of stem left and arranged them into a domed bunch.  it’s solid white, which i really like.

i wanted some height to it, so i pulled one dried onion stalk (about 3′ long) from a dried arrangement i have elsewhere in the dining room and snipped it in thirds, but of unequal heights.  i slid them down into the center of the dome of carnations in a central grouping, and grabbed a single piece of dried grass from that same other arrangement.  i snapped it in two pieces and just kind of used the base of white and the green stalks to act as bases for sticking it in some sort of “artful” design.  i liked the ikebana feel to the upper half of the arrangement.

it’s nothing big or overly impressive, but it was a nice intimate piece for a smallish dining table filled with food, coffee, and friends – it worked and was a nice fall piece without being too, you know…glowing-orange-pumpkin-with-spooky-music fall.  and all for a grand total of $9.