Wednesday, November 29, 2017

How To: Ideas for Seasonal Garlands

Holiday Garlands made with Oyster shells, Pine Cones & Crystals


The cool breeze is in the air and despite the seasonal cold and flu symptoms that come along with the seasonal changes, nature also begins to unfold its fall and winter beauty. 
Lets face it, whether you celebrate the holidays or not, if you are a fan of home decor, you can't ignore that with the changes in seasons a change in your home decor concept is also a well merited visual treat. 
In this tutorial we will show you a great idea on how to create a seasonal garland out of thrifty items you may already have stored in your basement or attic. 

Some of the materials we will use for this project are: 


1. Small Pliers 

2. Nylon thread 

3. Spool of rope (thin gauge)

4. Ornament hooks

5. Pine Cones

6. Spray paint (your colors of choice) glossy and flat. 

7. Crystals, glitter ( These can be omitted if you choose) 



Here you see a garland that was purchased years ago at an arts and craft store. We became a bit weary of the look after the years and decided to do away with it by using it for parts in what will become a seasonal garland fit for a winter interior decor in the sun filled  Sunshine State. 


The foliage and the cones were pruned from the original vine by using a small needle nose plier tool. 

A photograph of pine needles used in a seasonal garland

In the above photos we used the needle nose pliers to bend the wires at the end of the pine needles foliage and cones into hooks. 

Holiday Garlands made with Oyster shells, Pine Cones & Crystals

a) In this image you can see how we used the nylon thread and grouped three oyster shells forming small clusters. 

Note: Holes were drilled into the shells by means of a rotary tool. To see this please visit our How to re-purpose a Chandelier post. 

b) Each cluster was then linked together about 3-4 inches apart by using a thin gauge spool of rope. ( We will show you how this came together as we move along.)
Painted Oyster Shells used in making a Holiday Garland


The oyster shells were then given some luster by painting them with some gloss white and pearl mist spray paint from Rust-Oleum.

Considering that this is a winter decor idea, the shimmer of the Gloss paint will add to the glitter and glam of the finished product. 

Painted Oyster Shells used in making a Holiday Garland
Here is a look at the oyster shell clusters coming together as a garland. This strand is about 4 feet in length. You may still see some hints of the details that still shows that these are indeed natural shells. 
Painted Oyster Shells used in making a Holiday Garland

Oyster shells linked by a 4feet strand of thin gauge rope is left pending from a hook allowing it to air dry outdoors. 

Painted Oyster Shells used in making a Holiday Garland on a Contemporary Wall Fireplace mantle
Painted Oyster Shells used in making a Holiday Garland on a Contemporary Wall Fireplace mantle

Once dried the garland was then placed onto the mantle of a contemporary wall fireplace. 



In the above images you can see how ornament hooks were used to thread the holes of the crystals that we will use to embellish our oyster shell garland. 
Note: (crystals already come with the holes pre drilled). HURRAY! 

 

a) The Pine Cones used in this project were clipped from its original vine leaving enough of its original wiring.

b) Wire was bent with the needle nose pliers creating a hook. 

c) Ornament hooks were then attached to a few pine cones that needed a lengthier reach. 

Holiday Garlands made with Oyster shells, Pine Cones & Crystals Tear Drops
Holiday Garlands made with Oyster shells, Pine Cones & Crystals Tear Drops
A close look at the pine cones, crystal tear drop ornaments and oyster shells in perfect harmony. 

Holiday Garlands made with Oyster shells, Pine Cones & Crystals Tear Drops
Holiday Garlands made with Oyster shells, Pine Cones & Crystals Tear Drops

In the above images we left the pine cones in their natural form (natural color). The crystal charms were hung from the pine cones creating a delightful raindrop or frozen ice drop effect, if you will.  

As seen in the photos below, we added some greenery using the remnant of the pine needle foliage. 
Some left over-oversized oyster shells were also attached to the garland in a hanging fashion, as means of adding more impactful visual interest.  
Holiday Garlands made with Oyster shells, Pine Cones & Crystals Tear Drops
Holiday Garlands made with Oyster shells, Pine Cones & Crystals Tear Drops

Holiday Garlands made with Oyster shells, Pine Cones & Crystals Tear Drops

Another close up look at the embellishments used to create the jewel filled glam look of this seasonal garland. 

Holiday Garlands made with Oyster shells, Pine Cones & Crystals Tear Drops
Holiday Garlands made with Oyster shells, Pine Cones & Crystals Tear Drops
Holiday Garlands made with Oyster shells, Pine Cones & Crystals Tear Drops

We decided to experiment a bit with the cones and the pine needles and therefore decided to paint a few sections in flat white and Iced grey spray paint.
Added a few 3 inch crystal teardrops to sit side by side of the hanging shells. 
As you can see, the outcome was truly a treat. A winter wonderland effect. Won't you say !  

The tones were subtle and blended in very well with the rest of the interior decor. 
Holiday Garlands made with Oyster shells, Pine Cones & Crystals Tear Drops as the centerpiece of a contemporary wall fireplace
Another image with the interior lighting dimmed and a pair of tealight candles flanked on each side of the fireback .  

Here is the reason we added this additional Photo: You may have also noticed the blue hue coming from the cans of (alcohol gel fuel) on each side the white fireball which is centered in the fireplace. 

A Short Video on the finished project ! 
(Note: Background music was omitted as means of displaying the natural crackle of the Real Flame gel fuel cans)

Note: For your benefit we also added some of the sites (non-sponsored) we used to purchase some of the inexpensive supplies that were used in this project.




Ornamental Hooks, Spool of rope, Nylon thread:                                                                                    www.walmart.com
Pine needles and comes:                 www.Michaels.com 
Oversized Oyster Shells:                www.homegoods.com
Crystal Tear Drops:                        www.CrystalPrismWorld.com
 FireBalls                                          www.Moderustic.com

You may also view how this Contemporary Floating Fireplace was put together by viewing our previous post here
~ ENJOY~ ! 




















Friday, October 27, 2017

How To Create a Brick Wall look in any Space

An MDF brick Panel wall in an interior wall with weathered and textured look


















When visiting an old city or country, whether it be North, South, Central America or on the other side of the world, have you ever encountered an old brick building that was just mesmerizing ! 

If absolutely love this look and wondered how you can possibly achieve the Brick Wall look in your interior space, we believe this post will provide some enlightenment.

Here are some tools and supplies you will need to fulfill this task


1. A large Vehicle (you will see why in a while).

2. Tape measure

3. Paint (white & grey) 
Note: If you have black, you may omit the grey as you can mix the black and the white. 

4. Gesso

5. Sponge

6. Paint brush

7. Elbow grease(Applicable for all D.I.Y projects) ;0)

Above you will see an MDF panel with brick like imprints we could ONLY find localy at Lowe's hardware store.  
We tried looking for these in other home improvement stores with no such luck. As you may notice above,these are very inexpensive at $11 a sheet. 

Note: Remember we mentioned needing a large vehicle as one of the tools required for this project. These are large sheets that will need to be transported therefore you will require the space to do so.



Here's another look at this panel laying flat in an angled photo. You may be able to notice the elevated (raised) look of the imprints. Later we will look at some up close views. 

Once these panels arrive to their destination you will obviously need to measure the area of interest prior to cutting these bad boys to size. 
Note: The home department store is usually very helpful in cutting these for the customer as long as it doesn't exceed a specified number of cuts. 

Seeing this great product in a photo does very little justice to how amazing it actually is. The texture and imagery is very realistic. 
Above is this Gesso product we mentioned earlier. In the photos below, the Gesso was applied to give the brick MDF panels a sort of whitewash look with some interesting added texture. 


An MDF brick Panel wall in an interior wall with weathered and textured look
In this image we wanted you to appreciate how the panel was painted with the desired colors of white,grey and some charcoal

The paint was applied with a paint brush, then smeared with a sponge along the desired areas as means of removing the brush strokes.

Note: The charcoal hues you see here was used to simply add a few hints of contrast in several areas of the panels. You may take note of the warmest, most calm colors used on your walls and go with that as means of adding these inconspicuous hues to your brick panels.  

The pasty looking white areas, is the Gesso paste we used to provide some additional weathered texture real brick structures usually tend to have. 
 

An MDF brick Panel wall in an interior wall with weathered and textured look
A close up look at the panel imprints. You may notice the dings, dents and imperfections that a real brick wall will also tend to have.  

NoteYou may choose to simply leave these panels as is, if you truly enjoy the look of orange-red bricks. In this tutorial we were going more for the weathered look. 

The Outcome
After creating the look that we were going for, the walls chosen for this project were ready to be embellished with some seasonal decor. See images below.


Hallway 
An MDF brick Panel wall in an interior wall embellished with Wall Art and nickle plated Over-sized Stop Watch


An MDF brick Panel wall in an interior wall embellished with Wall Art and nickle plated Over-sized Stop Watch

An MDF brick Panel wall in an interior wall embellished with Wall Art and nickle plated Over-sized Stop Watch

Above is a wall nestled between two doors in the small hallway area. Adding a see through picture frame ads depth without hiding too much of the wall behind, while the over-sized nickle plated stopwatch clock and beautiful clay flower wall art sets the stage for great focal point.  
  
Seating Area
An MDF brick Panel wall in an interior seating area
A photo of a wicker chair nestled in a corner and the faux brick wall panel completely redone behind it. 

An MDF brick Panel wall in an interior wall embellished with Vintage mirror and wicker seating
Added a vintage midsize mirror and some other nick knacks as you will see below. 
An added mirror will expand the space visually by reflecting light and the interior and or outdoor areas whiten the home that may sit across from it.  

An MDF brick Panel wall in an interior wall embellished with Vintage mirror and wicker seating
Added a small, mirrored, nickle platted side table from India between the chairs. Perfect for laying your favorite drink while enjoying a book or a friendly conversation. 


An MDF brick Panel wall in an interior wall embellished with Vintage mirror and wicker seating

A old vintage photo shot. We thought this particular shot sort of reflected the different tones and hues of colors used on the brick panel in a mysterious way if you will.  



Conclusion: When trying to Create a Brick Wall Look, you don't have to brake the bank or your back for that matter placing bricks in a desired interior area of your home. With a little ingenuity and here we go again, "a little Elbow Grease" anyone can turn a great product like these MDF brick panels into a project that makes "YOUR" Space Made Perfect.  


Tuesday, October 3, 2017

How To: Store Your Wine Collection in a Small Space at Home

A reupholstered chesser drawer used as a wine storage unit

Many of us that are not wine enthusiast per say, still enjoy the idea of a good glass of wine from time to time. 
If you are anywhere like us and enjoy traveling, you may encounter a good bottle of wine in your traveling ventures of which you may want to collect for that special family event. 

Conversely, many do not have the ability or the space for that matter to store their collected wine gems. With this idea in mind many may be tempted with the idea of displaying there collection in a glass enclosure for the world to see and admire. Nevertheless many wine experts will say, this is not a good idea

Conventional wisdom also teaches us that wines should be stored at an ideal humidity of 70 percent. In theory dry air will tend to dry the corks of wine bottles, which may cause air to filter into the wine compromising its quality. 

You may have already seen or heard of Thermo electric wine coolers or cellars. Now,unless you live in the desert area or in extreme arctic conditions, the possibility of humidity compromising the condition of the corks may be close to none. 
Also keep in mind that most wines are best enjoyed within a couple years (2 to 5 yrs) of their release.

Note: With that being said, If money is not an object and you are looking to buy wines to MATURE over time, you should consider investing in some professional grade storage. (A total different animal.)


Some Basic simplicity for storing wine effectively are:

1. Cool is the way to go

What ever you do keep it cool. Heat is a public enemy number one for wine. No matter what you heir about temperatures of wine storing, always remember this is not an exact science. People are different, palates are different and no wine is particularly created equal. Nevertheless, don't fret too much about a couple degrees higher or lower in temperature. 

2. Common Sense  

when it comes to storing wine, some common sense goes a long way. Your refrigerators normal temperature is 45 degrees on lower in order to prevent foods from going bad. So this option is not necessary because you are not wanting to prevent your wine from going bad per say (at least not in regards to spoilage).

Your attics temperature fluctuates way too drastically from season to season, hence storing wines in attics are a complete no,no. 

3. Flip off the switch

Potential problems can arise due to light,especially sunlight (direct or indirect). The sun's UV rays can degrade and prematurely age wine. The light emitted from indoor lighting may not necessarily damage the integrity of the wine. Nevertheless fluorescent bulbs which do emit minimal amounts of ultraviolet light should be avoided and or kept to a bare minimum.    

4. Are you seeing things sideways?

Traditionally, wine bottles have been stored on their side as means of keeping their corks from drying up (in theory that is). Conversely, if your bottles have alternative closures such as(caps, plastic corks or screw caps), this is by no means necessary. 

5. Again, Where should my wine be kept?

If your living conditions are not necessarily blessed by having a cool,basement that can be used as a cellar, you can indeed improvise by using racks. Please avoid areas like the kitchen, laundry room, sun room, etc. Have you got the drift ! 
These areas will filter in too much constant light and or sunlight, hence compromising your prized sweet tasting pleasures over time.

If you like your wine cool'not chilled'. Then you may consider investing in a wine cooler following the same guidelines. Maybe there is a small closet space you could partition for storing wine? As long as the space is deprived from constant light or any sunlight, not too damp or dry and not too warm, it should work just fine. 

If this is not the case, then a standalone cooling unit may be your best bet if you are indeed the wine aficionado.      
  


NoteIn this short post for whom I would like to say, the common non-wine experts out there like ourselves,we will focus more on the budget friendly and chic way of storing your wine collection in a small space of your home. Especially, if you have just a couple precious bottles you have collected on your most venturous travels.  



Publishers note: (Steps on how this gorgeous furniture you'll see below was upholstered and put together will be posted in the near future...) 



A reupholstered chesser drawer re-purposed  as a wine storage unit


A reupholstered chesser drawer re-purposed as a wine storage unit


Above you can admire how this gorgeous (if I may say so myself) piece of re-purposed chesser drawer furniture was transformed into a Chic Wine Storage, perfect for a small space.  
Wine Glasses displayed in an Reupholstered Chesser Drawer

We used the top drawer to store most of the wine glasses. If you place heavy wine bottles in a top drawer, it may cause the furniture to topple over if it's the only shelf that's fully opened. 

If you decide to place wine bottles on the top drawer, best practice is to keep it to a minimum (as we will show below),to avoid the topple over issue.

Wine bottles and glasses stored and displayed in a re-purposed chesser drawer

Wine bottles and glasses stored and displayed in a re-purposed chesser drawer

In the second and third drawers we began to carefully lay the bottles according to our own desire (Year, Countries visited, etc.).

How the bottles are laid into the drawers are also a matter of choice. If your drawers are deep enough, you may choose a more vertical layout as opposed to the slanted view you see here.  
A Marble 12 X 12 tile used as a cutting board & Fine Cutlery



No need to break the bank. We went for this inexpensive 12 X 12 nonporous white marble tile, and used it as a cutting board that perfectly blends in with the white upholstered color of the unit.  


A Marble 12 X 12 tile used as a cutting board, Fine Cutlery and Wine bottles stored in a Re-purposed chesser drawer


Resting on this Re-purposed drawer we simply placed some useful embellishments(white marble 12 X 12 cutting board,wine bottle opener,fine cutlery and an ornamental gold sphere)which sets the tone for the evening. 
These choices shall make this small, thrifty and chic wine storage unit a perfect " serve yourself " nook for the next gathering event.   


Food for thought ! 


When you think of wine and where to  store it, Think fruit
In other words, since wine obviously comes from the sweet grape vine, and if you have had the privilege of tasting grapes in their different environments, you will notice that the taste varies depending on where it is grown, at what temperature it has been kept and how long it has been sitting on your counter or fridge. 

If you haven't, give this little tasting experiment a test. 

The Vine
The fruit while its on the vine it's shaded by its wide deep green foliage. This protects it from the harsh sunlight UV rays. This is where the juicy taste of "new wine" per say, is the sweetest.

The Storefront 
When the fruit arrives at the store shelves, depending on its origin, it has already lost some of its moisture, therefore affecting its original flavor somewhat. Nevertheless it still tends to remain fairly tasty.

The Counter top or Fridge
when you bring these bunches of delicious sweetness home you may choose to leave them on the counter or store in fridge. Leaving them on the counter in a hot humid environment will compromise its texture and taste more rapidly than refrigerating them.

If you are eating them rather quickly, leaving them out of the fridge will be the tastier choice.

Ups,I think these are going bad !  
If left too long the grapes will become wrinkled and almost juice less. If you tried an old grape you may have left on the bunch for too long, you will notice an almost fermented raisin like flavor to it. The taste is no longer that of a grape. Hence if dried properly it may now become sweeter than its original fruit form.    

In this same manner, all wines are created differently by means of selection, process, and STORING. 

Conclusion: When you think wine storage, always keep in mind how the environment affects the fruit itself,this in turn will help you decide what's be best ambiance for your precious savory liquid goodness.