Friday, November 30, 2012

Head Over Heels DIY Friday: Wood + Yarn Advent Calendar Plus Freebie!

Happy Friday!  This week's DIY is this fun wood and yarn Advent Calendar Creation!
Here's what you'll need: Wood board (mine was 15" x 19"), yarn, scissors, sewing thread, and small nails.
Start by marking the position for your nails and hammer them in.  I made mine in a triangular tree shape with two smaller trees inside.  Once your nails are in place, start wrapping the yarn around each nail to make your shape.  Make sure to pull it very tight and tie a knot close to one of the nails so it is a little hidden.
Then, do the same thing with the sewing thread but go around the shape twice pulling it VERY tight.  The yarn and thread will help hold onto your advent numbers (you'll see when we get to that step).
You will do those steps two more times, or as many as needed depending on the size you want.
 The last step is adding in your numbers!  I made some numbers with fun frames and printed them out on cardstock paper.  I included those numbers as a FREEBIE at the end of this post :)
 Then you're decorative Christmas countdown is complete!
Pretty easy right?  Here's that FREEBIE if you'd like, just click to open it, print and cut out the numbers for your advent calendar.  Again, it will work best if you print them on cardstock paper.
Are you Head Over Heels for this DIY too?

What did you think of my DIY Advent Calendar? 
Are you going to make or use an Advent Calendar this Christmas in your decor?

Have a great weekend everybody!  Alex and I are cutting down our Christmas tree tomorrow! Eeeeek! I can't wait to decorate!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

My $3.00 Chair Gets a Modern Meets Vintage Restyle!

Remember that fantastic antique chair I found for just $3.00?   Well, I got my little redo on it finished up last night!  Here's the exciting 'before' and 'after' action!
When it came to making a decision on an updated look for the chair, I looked back on all the ideas I liked.  The chair was in great shape as is (even that white fabric, isn't that crazy?!?), but I had to make it a little less "from Grandma's house" looking in order to enjoy it in our house.  Additionally, I didn't want to make any huge change that could damage or ruin the chair.  After all it is a nice antique find! 

So, I landed on creating an updated look similar to the two chairs shown in the top right and center in the group below...
Images via One Kings Lane
Which in a nutshell meant making two changes...

First was the wood.  I sanded off the dark stain to expose a lighter toned/raw wood look.  Then we did a light stain and seal on the wood surfaces.
Second, updating the color of the piping.  I wanted the piping to be a faux black leather which seemed like it could be easy, but like most of my projects it wasn't.   I didn't want to tear off the existing self fabric/piping cording (in the spirit of not destroying or altering the antique permanently) so my idea was to cover it.  Here's how I went about it...
I found the faux leather ribbon/cording cover at JoAnne's and used a round upholstery needle to stitch it around the corded piping. 

Let me tell you, it is pretty dang hard to stitch through upholstery cording! I had to use leather gloves or my fingers would have started bleeding!
It might have been a big pain to do it that way, but at least I know I can remove the faux leather ribbon/trim someday if I get tired of the look and the chair will look just as it did before.

Once again, here is the 'before' and 'after' look!
It's a less 'from grandma's house' look right?!?!  I'm loving the black/white contrast now!  I think the freshened up wood and faux leather trim give it a modern meets vintage kind of look. 
Right now it is in a corner of our Living Room, but once I finish up my Dressing Room/Closet I think this chair will add the perfect glamorous touch for my fashionable space!

What do you think of the chair update?

What kind of decorative pillow do you think would look nice with the chair?

Linking this up!

Sunday, November 25, 2012


With Thanksgiving behind us it was time to dig out the Christmas decorations from the basement.... Which only means one thing- an EXPLOSION of Christmas is about to happen in our house.
With any kind of explosion there's going to casualties and when it comes to Christmas decor the casualty is usually my sanity.   I LOVE decorating our house for Christmas but sometimes I can go a little cuckoo-bananas-crazy about every little detail :)  I hoping I can keep things under control this year and just enjoy each little tradition of holiday decorating!  Speaking of, we will be making our annual "Griswold Style" Tree Adventure next weekend!  I can't wait to have a tree to decorate!!! Eeeeek!!!

So how about you? 

Are you starting to decorate for the holidays too?

Do you go a little nuts when it comes to decorating too?

Do you have a theme for this year's holiday decorations?  What is it?

Friday, November 23, 2012

Head Over Heels DIY Friday: Auntie Carla's Mohawk Cuts

Our nephew Henri had a "Best Day Ever!" type of day.  It started with an OVERLOAD of fun at the Mall of America....
Seriously, can't you FEEL the excitement in that smile?!?!
.... And ended with a fun new hairdo courtesy of my DIY skills :)  Yes, today called for a very special edition of my DIY Friday series because it involves a skill I haven't shared before.... Mohawk haircuts. 

I know it is random, but I am very skilled at doing some buzzed mohawk haircuts.  I'm not totally sure when I started doing them, but I've been doing them a lot more often lately since Alex prefers a mohawk during his cycling race season.  Today, our nephew Henri decided he wanted a mohawk too since Uncle Alex had one.  Auntie was happy to DIY his new 'do.
 Henri's new look is so Todd Mod  right?!?!  Especially with the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle facepaint :) 
(Todd Mod =Toddler Modern, I usually hate shortened words but it's too perfect for Henri's look!)

I know this is out of my normal DIY home related posts, but with family in town I certainly haven't been working on anything around the house (besides, this is just too fun and cute not to share)!

What do you think of Henri's fun new 'do?  Are you Head Over Heels too?!?

How did you spend Black Friday?  Did you shop?  Or did you hide?!?

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Thanksgiving Traditions to Be Thankful For

Alex and I are feeling very thankful today that our home is warm, cozy, and filled with family.
It is our fourth year hosting Thanksgiving for our sister, brother-in law, and nephew so it's feeling more like a tradition for us now. 

Alex has his groove down when it comes to cooking most of our delicious meal while I have fun setting up a few decorations in between assisting in the kitchen.  We all watch football, play a few games, and know we can always count on catching Sadie sneaking around in hopes of stealing some of our dinner.
Caught in the act!!! 

That's kind of how it goes around here and I love every minute of it!  The day fills my heart with joy and I can't wait to have a tummy full of yummy food shortly (as long as Sadie doesn't get to it first, LOL)!

We hope you and yours have a wonderful Thanksgiving! 

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

An Entryway to Make an Entrance! Check Out Our Updated Vestibule

Checking a project off the list, ahhhh love that feeling! Time to show you our finished Vestibule update!
Alex and I hatched the idea for this redo back in April when I read a Houzz article about "Vestibules from times past transitioning into entryways of the present".  The article made me realize our itty-bitty entryway space had architectural history, charm, and had the potential to be so much more- it was a Vestibule!  So we had to take it from entryway to a place to make an entrance!

From there we didn't have a whole lot to do but things got derailed when then this awful, awful cookie monster blue mistake happened (and yes I admit that was my fault, such a poor choice!).

Thankfully, we were able to recover from that low point by repainting and adding a few decorative accessories.  Once we installed the light fixture, decorative molding, and wall hooks our Vestibule finally had a finished look! 
Now, I can't think of a better way to show you the changes than letting you enter through the front door yourself! Oh, and yes Rocco and Sadie always promptly greet guests so you get that for free too :)
The main changes were the beadboard trim, new paint- Behr's Bitter Chocolate, new light fixture (found at Bauer Brothers Salvage), the decorative molding around the light fixture base, and wall hooks.
I realize you might be surprised that we didn't add any decor to the walls, but when we tried out a mirror or photos it just looked crowded.  Since it is such a tiny space I decided that less stuff would be the best way to go and if guests have an extra spot to hang coats then that is awesome!

I think my favorite part of the whole redo was adding the salvaged light fixture with the painted molding around it.  Since we didn't have space to decorate much I think it is fun that we decorated the ceiling!  I also love that the light fixture hangs and allows light to shine from the top, bottom, and all sides.  It totally brightens up the space and the antique copper metal compliments our tile work nicely! 
I'm so glad we were able to finish it up just before our out of town guests arrive for Thanksgiving!  I wonder if they will notice the change since last year, hmmmm?!?

What do you think of the updated look in the Vestibule?

Friday, November 16, 2012

Head Over Heels DIY Friday: Monogrammed Table Runner

Can you believe Thanksgiving is less than a week away?!?  Naturally, this week's DIY had to focus around some table decor! Take a look at the simple and stylish monogrammed table runner I made last night...
All it took to make it was a solid table runner (I used the reverse side of one I had at home), fabric paint, paint brush, and a stencil (or two) for the design. We had a metal "Z" stencil that I actually use for decor, but it worked perfectly to make our monogrammed Z. I printed and cut out a greek wreath pattern to use as a stencil around the Z.
I traced the stencils using a pencil and then filled in the design with gray fabric paint.  Super simple right?  
I still have to figure out my whole Thanksgiving tablescape, but I know I will be using this table runner to give our table a personalized "Z" family touch! 

Are you Head Over Heels for my DIY monogrammed table runner idea too?

Click here to see last week's Thanksgiving DIY wall art too if you missed it!

Tomorrow morning we'll be fighting the crowds at the grocery store for our turkey and other necessary Thanksgiving food goodies.  Are any of you going to be grocery shopping too?  I have to admit I am kind of scared :)  it's always a crazy crowd right?

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

A Salvaged Light Fixture, Decorative Molding, and New Paint for the Vestibule!

My Vestibule project is so much better this week!

I found these salvaged light fixture at Bauer Brothers Salvage over the weekend, they're strangely awesome right?  I thought the distressed copper metal would compliment the color of the tile work in the entryway well and I loved the unique vintage look. With the way it is designed, light will be able to come out from all sides which should help brighten up the little space too!  The best part was talking the price down from $75 to $50 and taking one of them home!  Not too bad right?

In addition to the light fixture, I picked up one of these decorative moldings from Menards for around $10.  I loved the suggestions posted in our comments (in this earlier post) to add some kind of interest to the ceiling since it is such a small space.  I thought we would paint this to match the wall color and give the ceiling a little pizazz!

As for that awful navy blue paint, I kissed it goodbye and covered it up with a couple coats of Behr's Bitter Chocolate paint.  It is the same color we used in our Master Bedroom, and actually Alex suggested this before I made the mistake of trying navy blue... so here's an official "honey you were right" for all to see :)
Haha!  It looks way better right?!?  Even has a nice shine too it like I had wanted!

We Alex will be installing the light fixture tonight.  Fingers crossed our salvaged find is in proper working condition and we won't have any strange electrical issues!  Then just a few finishing touches and we should be able to finally post some 'afters'!

What do you think of the vintage light fixtures?

Do you like the new paint?

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

A New Look For Hammers & High Heels

It felt like it might be time to do some updating around here...
Who doesn't love a good makeover montage?
I had been itching to change up the look of Hammers and High Heels for a LONG time now and I am so excited to finally see it all happen!  I know it takes some getting used to, but I hope you are digging the fresh look too!

I have to give my silly (and necessary) Hammers and High Fives to local designer Kayd Roy for developing the new concept, logos, layout, color, and everything really... oh and for putting up with me after a few rounds of revision requests, I know I can be picky and crazy :)  I wasn't totally sure where to start, or what I wanted to change, or how I wanted it to look, I just knew it needed a new look.  I'm still amazed that she zeroed in on what I wanted even when I couldn't describe or show her what exactly what it was, LOL!  Thank you again Kayd!!!   

We might be working out any weird formatting/font/layout issues for the next couple days, so be patient if you see anything funny in the meantime! 

What do you think of the blog makeover?

I will have an update on the Vestibule tomorrow, I meant to get that up sooner but I was way too excited about the new look being launched! See you then!

Friday, November 9, 2012

Head Over Heels DIY Friday: Thanksgiving Wall Art

Hello and happy Friday everybody!
This week's DIY project is a sweet little sign I made to use along with my Thanksgiving dining decor...
I thought "Gather here with Grateful Hearts" was a perfect message for the spirit of Thanksgiving and it was SUPER easy to make!

I started by using some left over wood from our basement. I printed off the message on regular paper and lined it up where I thought it'd look best. 
 Once I was happy with the arrangement I started to cut the letters to make a stencil.  It is a little tricky but if you can get a good frame to trace that is all you need. 
 I used a pencil to trace the letters then, I grabbed my white craft paint & brush to get started on filling in the letters.
 I filled in the thicker letters with a medium brush and then used a very small brush for the little details.

It took around two hours to finish but totally worth it!  Take a look...
I love the heartfelt message and handmade look, just perfect for the upcoming holiday gatherings!

What do you think?
Are you Head Over Heels for this DIY?

What DIY decor are you coming up with for Thanksgiving?

My brain is on Thanksgiving decor, I might have another decor DIY next Friday too! 

I wanted to say thank you to everyone that left a comment on my last Vestibule "Scrap That" post.  It helped cheer me up and I loved some of the new ideas!  I'll be getting at it (again) this weekend but there should be some fun changes you'll see on the blog too!  Have a lovely weekend :)

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Holiday 2012 Idea House: Cozy Up to Alpine Chic Decor

Who needs decor ideas for the upcoming holidays?!?! I do!  You do too right?
Thankfully, Bachman's 2012 Holiday Idea House started today and I got a first look! This house features "a glamorous take on a rustic lodge where a cozy up north cabin meets big city bling". (Click here to check out the Holiday 2011 Idea House).  As expected, it was full of great ideas and I am sure you will find at least one of your own after seeing these pictures!

Once again, here is the background information on the Idea House just in case:
Bachman's is a Floral and Gift Garden here in Minneapolis, and their Idea House was their original founder's house built in the 1920's. The company now uses the house for their seasonal Idea House creating entirely new rooms for each of the four seasons. Everything about each room is different for each season's idea house, right down to the paint on the walls. When you enter the house you get a brochure that lists all the details for each room including the paint color and 'ideas'. The cool part- everything in each room is for sale!

Alright, I will show each room's photos then the 'ideas' after.  Now that you have the info let's get in the holiday spirit and take a look...

Antler stems as drapery rod finials and mantel decor; Coffee table made from a wooden wagon and layered with tree rounds; Lit stems with pinecones added to decorative birch tree; Cowbells as window decor; Christmas presents wrapped with fur and burlap ribbon with ornament accents; Side table made from wood and metal sieve with glass top; End tables made from stacked luggage and glass tops; Retail jewelry case displays Dept 56 and candy mold collections; Wall embellished with hand-painted grandfather clock outline; Outdoor metal topiary lined with birch branches as tree accent; Christmas tree topped with feathers and antlers.

Wine bar made from a vintage luggage cart; Side table made from luggage and glass top; Wooden wine racks and wall vases used as mounted wall decor; Pheasant feathers as drapery finial; Vintage beverage dispenser as wine chiller; Salvaged railing post turned into a floor lamp; Vintage wooden toolbox used as wine holder; Burlap panels added to chairs.

Chair embellishments made from snowflake ornaments and earrings; Slices of tree trunks under glass as table decor; Antlers used in centerpiece, as drapery finials and chandelier accents; Scarves used as window valances; Sprayed holiday stencils on buffet mirror and windows; Chandelier decorated with ornaments, garland and antlers; Placecard holders made from bud vases, stems and envelopes; Decorative bark panels and bark ribbon on table and walls.

Metal pulleys mounted to wall as magnet boards; Oversized vintage metal sign used as recipe magnet board; Side table/storage cabinet made from incubator sections; Towel racks made from decorative sweater-covered deer heads; Chandelier decorated with kitchen utensils and dishtowels; Metal grates used as window valances with ornament accents; Curtains made from tree-themed table runners; Workbench as a kitchen island; Recipe card holder made by adding a decorative pick to an apple.

Magazine rack doubles as a towel holder; Toilet paper holder made from a mailbox; Metal grates and ropes as a window treatment; Metal pulley as wall decor.

Snowflakes made from salvaged wood pieces; Salvaged wood doors turned into mirrors

Sheet music as wallpaper; Ornament clips as shower curtain embellishments; Wall organizer made from a metal toolbox; Window valance made from salvaged decorative wood; Ladder used as towel holder; Painted holiday stencils on a vanity mirror; Wire candleholder turned into a toilet paper holder.

Headboard made from a basketball backboard and rope lighting; Basketball rim mounted to a wall as nightstand; Media unit made from vintage lockers; Basketball cage turned into a desk; Graph chalkboards hung from metal rulers as wall art; Accent pillow and Christmas tree made from a referee shirt; Mini basketball hoops and pillowcases turned into laundry bins; Basketball halves turned into table lamps, planters and valance decor; Ceiling pendant made from acrylic clipboards; Pegboard covered in contact paper with basketball court outline.

Headboard made from a cabinet and table; Chandelier made from painted and deconstructed plastic water bottles; Hose reel as tinsel Christmas tree base; Window screens as mounted on walls as decorative magnet board and wall art; Wall calendar made of clear bulb ornaments filled with candy; Wall covered with furry blankets; Floor and table lamps decorated with colored tissue paper; Wall organizer lined with wrapping paper; Window valances wrapped in yarn.

Vintage arched window as headboard; Lamps filled with holiday ornaments; Canary shipping cages as wall-mounted candleholders; Birdcage as ceiling lamp; Hand painted family tree with hanging frame ornaments; Dresser top covered in sheet music; Doilies used as floral holiday ornaments; Window valance made from salvaged decorative wood; Metal planter as nightstand; Wreath holder as scarf hook; Eucalyptus branches as fragrant Christmas tree decor; Jewelry holder made from vintage retail key tag fixture.

Metal topiary filled with pinecones as Christmas tree; Salvaged wood and oversized black and white photo turned into a wall-mounted TV cabinet; Vintage trunk as coffee table; Metal worker's cabinet as bookshelves; Birch pole and metal pinecones as wall art; Ceiling pendant made from birch poles and deer table runner; Salvaged wood and old pedestals turned into a sofa table; Birch poles as valances with pinecone finials; Vintage snowshoes and birch logs as wall sconces.

House numbers on vintage winter skis; Wall tree made from cinnamon stick bundles and ribbon; Holiday cardholders made of ribbon and magnets; Galvanized planter box turned into a coffee table; Church pews as benches; Birch logs as drapery finials; Saddlebag as wall planter; Salvaged wood rounds and lantern turned into a ceiling light; Christmas stocking used as mailbag.

Wooden skis behind wreaths as wall decor; Toboggan as valance on potting shed; Holiday "peace" sign made from metal ribbon; Birding tree made of pinecones, suet and birdfeed ornaments; Spruce tops planted into flowerbeds to create mini forests.

If you need more Holiday decor ideas, click this link to see the Holiday 2011 house.  

PLEASE NOTE: In case you didn't read the top of the post, I just want to reiterate that this IS NOT OUR HOUSE and I am not employed or affiliated with Bachman's in any way (which means I did not decorate the rooms shown). I am a HUGE fan of the Ideas House and love sharing it as long as they allow people take photographs when they visit. It seems lots of people get confused about that if they stop by via Google Images or Pinterest and I would NEVER want to take credit for something I did not work on. So I hope that's clear!

Which ideas where your favorites?!?!
Hope you found some inspiration, thanks for stopping by!