Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Starbucks DIY Ornament

While stopping in to pick up one of our guilty pleasures, a Salted Caramel Mocha Latte from Starbucks, Mr. Concrete and I decided to pick up an ornament for the tree. 
It seemed only fitting, as coffee has been quite the popular item at our house this year.
And what seemed more fitting, was that they had an ornament we {meaning me} could personalize ourselves. 

In true, me fashion, I couldn't bring myself to just grab the little gold marker and write the date or do something simple.
Nope, decided to have a little more fun with it.

I downloaded this Joy Burst design from the Silhouette Online Store and cut it out of Contact Paper with my Silhouette
{If you didn't have a Silhouette machine, I'm sure this would also work using any craft store stickers.}

My daughter told me I was nuts picking a design with so much detail.
It's possible she was right. 

The little pieces tried to argue with me about staying in place, and there was a good chance the gold marker would just bleed underneath it all anyway. 

But what the heck, it's just an ornament, right?

I got lucky!!

It turned out exactly like I'd hoped.

And of course we had to commemorate the year!

I can see using this same technique to decorate lots of things besides ornaments.
Mostly, I'm envisioning making my own coffee mug to resemble these gorgeous ones from Anthropologie, but the ideas are pretty limitless.  
Ornaments, mugs, plates, candle sticks, ceramic pitchers, etc.

Pretty much anything you can make sit still long enough to throw vinyl and paint at it.

I'm linking up to some amazing blogs! Check them out HERE or just click on the Link Parties tab at the top of the page.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Christmas at the Cottage 2013

Well after days and days of waiting for some decent sunlight, I've finally decided to just give up and take some "not so awesome" pics and just show you guys my Christmas decor.
After painting my kitchen white just before Thanksgiving, I was excited to find some of my favorite Pottery Barn stockings on sale for Black Friday. This led me to change up a bit of my decor to a more neutral palette than last year.

I had big plans to have a Woodland Christmas theme on the tree, which would have fit perfectly with my stockings, etc., but my ginger girl {in pure ginger fashion} kind of had a fit about it. 
Ok, not really a fit, but she really wanted colored lights on the tree, and I'm a sucker for making the kids happy... sometimes.
Next year though, it's all about owl tree toppers and white lights.

I hope.

Anyway, I'll spare you full on shots of the entire great room as it looks like two separate families must live here. 
Seriously, if you come in from the garage and look left, Neutral and Calm. If you come in and look right, Red, Bright and Colorful.

Bipolar Christmas decor aside, here's a look at how some of our house looks on this dreary, freezing cold day.

If you've been following me for a while, you might remember last years Christmas Tree Chalkboard that I adored. 
But after the mishap I had because of our brilliant idea to use hot glue, I decided to attach my bow with Command Adhesives this year. 
I'll let you know if this was a not so brilliant idea when I take the bow off in January.

I moved our antique sled and skates indoors this year from it's usual place on the porch. It seemed to fit perfectly with the furry stockings and conjured up images of cozying up to a fire after a fun day playing in the snow.

I'd love to someday have our new stockings monogramed, but until then, we're making due with .98 cent glittery letters from WalMart. 
And really, who doesn't love glitter??

I'll leave you with one last pic that makes me think of the perfect mix of Mr. Concrete and I.

Disco balls and antlers.
Love the mix of rustic and glamorous.
It also makes Mr. Concrete smile.

 holiday open house

I'm linking up to some amazing blogs! Check them out HERE or just click on the Link Parties tab at the top of the page.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Itty Bitty Persian Kitty

Alright, I just couldn't help myself.
I had to show you all two of the cutest pictures ever of our new boy Reedus. 


I mean seriously, does this face not just make ya kinda melt!?!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Removing Wrinkles from a Cowhide Rug

Hello again!
My goodness, was November a whirlwind or what? With our trip to New York {which was amazing by the way, still trying to decide which of the umpteen photos I took to share with you all} the Thanksgiving holiday and lots of hospital work hours, it just seemed to disappear.

I hope you all had a fabulous holiday though. I know we did!

We also decided to be crazy people and trek the 2.5 hours to Kansas City at 3 a.m. to go Black Friday shopping.

The first deal we found was this wonderful cowhide rug for $99. They were originally $300, advertised for $150, and somehow when we got there it was marked down even further!

Love it!
What I didn't love though, were the fold lines/wrinkles that were all over it when we brought it home. 

Now I'm sure given time, these wrinkles would go away on their own, but I'm impatient. Plus, I ordered a coffee table on Cyber Monday for this spot and I can't wait to see everything all put together. Sans wrinkles!

So what's a girl to do? Google for a solution.

There seemed to be only one option repeated on every sight I found for removing the wrinkles:
Lay a towel down to protect your floor, lay the rug on top of it, lay a wet {but not dripping} towel on top of that, and iron, hottest setting. 

What I wanted to do today though, is share with you a few tricks I found that made the technique work better.

The number one tip: Turn that baby over!
I started by ironing on the "hairy" side and found that it was taking forever. I decided to flip it over and iron on the "leather" side. It worked so much better!
After giving the "leather" side a good ironing, I flipped it back over and ironed again on the "hairy" side. 

Depending on how the rug was folded, you'll have wrinkles that either face up towards the "hairy" side, or face down towards the "leather" side. I found I definitely had to spend more time on whichever side the wrinkle faced up. Even if the wrinkle faces up on the "hairy" side though, it's still extremely helpful to start on the "leather" side first. 

The last thing I found was that in several of the places where my wrinkles had been removed, the hair in that spot still looked like there was a wrinkle, even though it was flat, weird.
All I had to do was lay my wet towel over the spot and move the towel and iron in the direction the hair should be going. It seemed to help the hairs lay in their original place and made the "wrinkle look" disappear.

It's not a perfect solution since I can still see some of the wrinkle lines depending on lighting and the direction I'm looking, but my rug does look a ton better.

Oh, and I should introduce you to a new member of our family.

Meet Reedus.
He matches the rug.
Our English Bulldog, Dozer, died this summer and the kids {and Mr. Concrete for that matter} have been nagging me to get a new pet. Reedus was the compromise since cats are a bit easier to deal with than puppies. 
He's a four month old Persian Kitty and he's a handful, but so lovable. 
If you wanna see more of the little guy, I've been putting pics on my Instagram feed.
One last pic before I go...
This is one of the other Black Friday deals I was thrilled to find.
Mr. Concrete and I have been checking out these Teramo curtains from Crate and Barrel each time we visit Kansas City, and they were finally on sale. They came in yesterday, and I'm loving how they look in our master bedroom. 

This is just a quick pic from my iPhone. I'll share more one of these days when the room is closer to done. 

And please tell me it's not that obvious that one side of the curtain rod is a 1/2" higher than the other.

I seem to be measuring tape challenged.

I'm linking up to some amazing blogs! Check them out HERE or just click on the Link Parties tab at the top of the page.