20 Amazing Fall Wreaths – To Buy or DIY

20 Amazing Fall Wreaths to Buy of DIYHappy Labor Day! It’s September 1st and I can now throw myself full on into fall! Yes, I know that Autumn doesn’t officially start until the 22nd, but I’m ready for fall now. And we are close enough, right?

Well, to get you in the mood for fall, I’ve curated a selection of wreaths that I feel really embrace fall, and look classy to boot. A lot of these wreaths are from stores, but I am a firm believer in making your own wreath. Seriously, you can make a gorgeous wreath for a fraction of the cost that you would pay for it at the store. They are easy and fun to make, and yours will turn out way better than a store bought one… I’m sure of it.

 

Autumn Mix Wreath - Frontgate

Autumn Mix Wreath – Frontage

Antique Bloom Wreath - Terrain

Antique Bloom Wreath – Terrain

White Pumpkin Wreath - Refresh Restyle

White Pumpkin Wreath – Refresh Restyle

Fall Colors Eucalyptus Wreath - ElegantWreath

Fall Colors Eucalyptus Wreath – ElegantWreath

Brown Bag Faux Bay Leaf Wreath - Homework

Brown Bag Faux Bay Leaf Wreath – Homework

Wheat Wreath - Crate and Barrel

Wheat Wreath – Crate and Barrel

Fall Hydrangeas Orange Pumpkin - Two Inspire You

Fall Hydrangea Orange Pumpkin – Two Inspire You

Wood and Burlap Wreath - Finding Home

Wood and Burlap Fall Wreath – Finding Home

Faux Pomegranate and Pinecone Wreath - Pottery Barn

Faux Pomegranate and Pinecone Wreath – Pottery Barn

Pumpkin Circle Wreath - On Sutton Place

Circle Of Pumpkins – On Sutton Place

White Magnolia Wreath - Frontgate

White Magnolia Wreath – Frontage

Pepper Patch Wreath  - Terrain

Pepper Patch Wreath – Terrain

Grateful Wreath Kit - PaperSource

Grateful Wreath Kit – PaperSource

Fall Wreath - Something Sweet Designs

Fall Wreath – Something Sweet Designs

Sparkle Faux Berry Wreath - Pier 1Sparkle Faux Berry Wreath – Pier 1

Eucalyptus Wreath - World Market

Eucalyptus Wreath – World Market

Paper Wreath - Crate and Barrel

Paper Wreath – Crate and Barrel

Vine, Leaves and Gourd Wreath - Pier 1Vine, Leaves and Gourd Wreath – Pier 1

Burlap Wreath Kit - PaperSource

Burlap Wreath Kit – PaperSource

DIY Sparkly Autumn Leaf Wreath sparklelivingblog.com

Sparkly Autumn Leaf Wreath – Sparkle

I’m really in love with a couple of the more unique ones, particularly the Antique Bloom Wreath from Terrain and the Paper Wreath from Crate and Barrel. Of course I can’t get enough of the fall colors, especially all the oranges and reds. There’s just too many tough decisions!

xoxo

Fresh Basil and Garlic Dip

Fresh Basil and Garlic DipLast week I received a rather large container of fresh basil in my Chow Locally box. Typically I’m super excited to get fresh basil, but this time I was perplexed. Usually the basil comes in bunches which makes it easy to store. Do you know how you are supposed to store fresh basil? It keeps best placed in a vase with water, like you would fresh flowers. I love having my bouquet of fresh basil on my windowsill, so I can pick off a couple of leaves at a time to cook with or put in my water using my ZingAnything Aqua Zinger. Oh yes, I love sipping on cucumber basil infused water. Anyhow, this basil was not in a bunch and there was a lot of just leaves, so there was no way I could put it in a vase. So I just stuck it in the fridge. I started noticing brown spots on the basil the next day. I knew I had to act fast and use it. They say you can freeze basil, but I wasn’t interested in that.

Fresh Basil and Garlic Dip

So I made a quick and easy dip, that could easily be turned into a spread for bagels or toast as well.

Fresh Basil and Garlic DipTajin

The secret ingredient to this dip is Tajin Seasoning. I found it at Costco and have been in love ever since. It’s a mixture of chile powder, salt and lime. I have sprinkled it on everything…salad, deviled eggs, popcorn. It’s amazing. It adds just a little kick to everything. I didn’t use enough to make it spicy, just to add flavor. If I wasn’t so lazy, I could probably just mix the salt, chile powder and lime juice together and add it to stuff, but Tajin saves me the work.

Fresh Basil and Garlic Dip
Author: 
Cuisine: appetizer
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6
 
Ingredients
  • 8 oz cream cheese softened
  • ½ cup real sour cream
  • 1 cup fresh basil leaves
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • ½ teaspoon Tajin (or use some chile powder, salt and a squeeze of lime juice)
  • freshly ground pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Place the cream cheese in a bowl and set aside to soften.
  2. Clean and dry basil leaves and put into a container with sour cream and garlic.
  3. Use an immersion blender to blend the basil, sour cream and garlic throughly. Mix in Tajin.
  4. Pour blended ingredients on top of softened cream cheese and blend all together with immersion blender.
  5. Add freshly ground pepper to taste.
  6. Refrigerate covered for at least an hour to let flavors mix.
  7. Serve with creudité, chips, or smear on toast or bagel

The Mr. wouldn’t even wait for it to chill in the fridge. He had his bagel toasted and ready before I was finished preparing the dip. Oh and he was super annoyed that he had to wait until I took a picture. It must be rough living with a blogger.

Fresh Basil and Garlic Dipxoxo

 

Disclosure~There are affiliate links in this post, and if you click and then buy something I may or may not get a small cut. You know, to help pay for the blog and stuff.

Linked to ~ On Display Thursday, Inspired Weekends, Link Party Palooza

Spruce Up Your Study Space With Wallternatives Decals

wallternativesframes1

We are three weeks into the school year and summer break seems like it was ages ago. I am shocked at the amount of homework that the kids need to do. I never had homework in kindergarten! It’s okay though, it keeps them busy and I know what they are doing in school.

So I decided I needed to spruce up the desk area. You know, clean it up. Make it more spiffy. Make it easier for the girls to work at. I ordered the Photo Frame WallPrints from Wallternatives. They are brightly colored and made of fabric, not vinyl, so they are repositionable and reusable! Plus they are perfect for displaying photos and artwork, then totally switching up your photos the next week. Infinite possibilities here!

You might remember that I decorated the girls’ room with Wallternatives vinyl decals a few months ago, and I am still in love with them.

wallframes

I have a history of failing at gallery walls. I mess with them. I put too many holes in the walls. I crave symmetry and I just never feel like they look right. So it took a little motivation to get this project started. I unwrapped the package and cut between the frames to separate them.

wall1

I started by taping these babies to the wall. Oh look at how uneven they are. So I pulled out my long yard stick with the level. Then I remembered some wise words from the Mr. “There’s a level on your phone.” Oh yes! There is a level in my iPhone! It’s in yours too! You should use it. I did.

use the level on your iPhone

Once straight to your satisfaction, use the little Wallternatives™ Squeegee, which comes with the decal. Just smooth it across the decal.

wallsmooth

The hardest part of using these Wallternatives Photo Frames was choosing what to put inside of them. There’s just too many possibilities!

These decals are perfect for living in the dorms or renting. Seriously, wall art with no holes in the walls!
wallframes1

I wish Wallternatives was around when I was in college living in the dorm and the sorority. I remember that we couldn’t nail anything into those dingy walls and it seems that all the posters out there were motivational, pictures of kittens or maybe a boy band (I may or may not have had an ‘N Sync poster, kidding.)

Check out some of these other decals from Wallternatives

Wallternatives Stars Vinyl

I’m in love with these gold Stars Vinyl Pattern Pack Minis. Like so in love that I’ve already bought them. Coming soon to a craft room near me.

Wallternatives Bee Sweet Bonnie Christine Removable Wallpaper

And if you really want to make your dorm room look dramatically different go for the Bee Sweet Bonnie Christine Removable Wallpaper.

Wallternatives Marilyn Quote

Of course you can still decorate your dorm room with motivational messages…but they are a lot cooler now.

 

 

xoxo

 

P.S.~ The picture of the adorable pouty little girl was taken by Marci Anne Photography and the picture of the sweet family was taken by Sweet Rose Studio. Love those ladies.

P.P.S.S. Disclosure~ I was provided product for this review. All opinions are completely my own!

 

Linked to ~ Coast to Coast, On Display Thursday, Inspired Weekends, Link Party Palooza

DIY Sparkly Autumn Leaf Wreath

I know. You think it’s too early to start thinking about fall. I’m pretty sure you think I’m crazy. I’m so over the heat and the kidlets are back in school, and it’s almost football time. (Yay!) The start of school signifies fall everywhere except in Arizona. I’m so ready.

Sparkly Autumn Leaf Wreath sparklelivingblog.com Yup, there it is in all it’s autumn glory. I love wreaths, as evidenced here and here. It was easy. AND…it has a little glitter on it. Of course it does. Must. Have. Sparkle.

Pier 1 Faux Mixed Leaves Wreath

Pier 1 Faux Mixed Leaves Wreath

It’s based off of this one that I saw at Pier 1 last year. I love it, but I can’t bring myself to buy a wreath when I know I can make one for 1/4 of the cost. Plus, I like to be able to customize my colors. Less green, more red. I really love making wreaths. I find it soothing and ridiculously simple.

DIY Sparkly Autumn Leaf Wreath sparklelivingblog.com
Get all your supplies together. I bought a ton of different leaf bunches at Michaels and Joanns. Michael and Joann are really good friends of mine. Anyhoo…basically, I wanted a decent variety and I wanted the wreath to be full.

glitterglue Make a glitter soup. That’s what I call this slurry of Decou-page, glitter and a couple of drops of water. I wanted a variety of texture with the glitter, so I used some basic gold glitter, then I added some elements from the Stampendous Encrusted Jewel Kit. The kit contains glitter, embossing powder, mica, and glass glitter. I LOVE glass glitter! Add a couple pinches to each to your glitter soup. But be sure to break up the mica between your fingers before you add it, otherwise it’ll look weird.

glitterglueleaf Paint the veins of your leaves with the glitter soup. If the soup is too thick, add water. I think I have glitter in my veins too.

glitterleaf When it dries, it looks like the picture above. Pretty huh? So now it’s time to at the leaves to your wreath. I didn’t take pictures of this part because it was too easy. Honestly, I didn’t want to insult your intelligence by explaining something so simple {I totally forgot to take pictures.} Fire up your glue gun and break up your leaf bunches with scissors, leaving the stems a little long. Weave the stems in to the grapevine wreath, and hot glue the leaf into place. You don’t have to glue every leaf in, but you want to make sure they stay in place and the leaves face outward. Work your way around the wreath. Ok, good, all done. So pretty!

autumnwreath2

xoxo   Disclosure~There are affiliate links in this post, and if you click and then buy something I may or may not get a small cut. You know, to help pay for the blog and stuff.

 

 

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10 Ideas To Help Cure Crafter’s Block

I’ve been frustrated this week. Like seriously frustrated. I suffered from Crafter’s Block last week. It was pretty awful. Notice I didn’t post anything last week. I tried, I really tried. It was like someone built a concrete wall right in the middle of my creative process. Ideas I had previously just didn’t look right and I couldn’t think of anything new. I’m always influenced by holidays, but there’s not too much holiday inspiration in late July and early August. What’s a creative girl to do?

10 Ideas To Help Cure Crafter's Block

So I searched all kinds of blogs and websites for information on creative blocks. Writer’s block, crafter’s block; there are tons of places to find information to help combat it. But all the info is the same. Go on Pinterest, buy a magazine. Blah. I love Pinterest (you should follow me!), but it’s a bunch of other peoples’ ideas. And there’s too much. Pinterest can pose a problem if you have Creative A.D.D. (Yes, that’s my official diagnosis.) Magazines are great as well, but the best ones are at the book store, and by the time I get there, deal with what the kids want to look at, find a magazine (probably British and overpriced), purchase and drive home, I’ll need a nap. So much for being creative.

So here are ten ideas I came up with that worked for me:

1. Clear your space. Sometimes when I have a creative block I look around and find clutter all over. Sometimes it’s my stuff…supplies from other projects that I didn’t put away. Sometimes Usually it is toys that belong to the kids. Regardless of who owns it, it needs to go. Clutter is distracting and really unnecessary. It’s also very hard to keep on top of. But if you can get rid of it, that clears up that much space in your brain for new creative ideas.

2. Cook something new. Cooking, baking and preparing food is creative. There is always a sense of accomplishment when someone devours some kind of culinary creation that you made for them. Use a new spice in an unexpected way. Today at Costco I had TajÍn on freshly sliced apples…common in Mexico but totally new to me. My tastebuds came alive. Play with your food.

3. Pick a color. Check out Design Seeds. It’s a site that has color palettes inspired by gorgeous photography. I often go there with a certain color in mind and discover amazing palettes based off of that one color. Or you can pick a color out of a paint deck. Do it randomly. Ask yourself what you could do with that color…

10 Ideas to Cure Crafter's Block

Chihuly Exhibit at the Desert Botancal Gardern 2014

4. Grab your camera and take a walk. You picked a color, or a palette, now go for a walk and take pictures of anything you see in that color. Take thousands of pictures.  Go to a park or the zoo. I’d hit up the Desert Botanical Garden here in Scottsdale or the Japanese Garden in Portland. But my creative works are very influenced by botanicals. Do you have an inspirational space? If your answer is no, maybe focus on finding one.

5. Take a class. Why not learn a new skill? Thank goodness for the internet. You are now able to take classes at 1:27 am via the internet for the price of  couple lattes (or Dirty Diet Coke if that’s your thing). Craftsy and Skillshare are the first two that come to mind. Oh, and the gorgeous ladies at A Beautiful Mess have online classes too! I will be taking French Macarons 101 pretty soon here. I think French Macarons are glamourous and probably calorie free. Don’t judge.

10 Ideas To Cure Writer's Block

6. Buy a box. New craft ideas delivered to your door? Yes please. Order a Whimseybox (<—shameless affiliate link!) and get a surprise craft box delivered to your door. Learn a new craft! I hear the calligraphy box was particularly popular. But branch out…try needle felting an adorable little birdie or even a happy turnip! Ok, so this isn’t an immediate fix, but it will definitely help.

7. Exercise. It sounds stupid but it’s proven that exercise helps clear your mind and elevate your mood. We all need that and a clear mind makes way for new ideas. If you don’t believe me, read this article by the American Psychiatric Association.

8. Repeat a project you’ve already done. Make it better. Chances are you have supplies left over from a project you made ages ago. You may have even blogged about it. Do it again and make it better. (And take better photos!)

9. Call your mom. Or your dad. Or someone else who knows your creative style. You’d be surprised on the input they have to give you. Even if the ideas seems stupid they are still ideas, and you can build upon them. (To my mom: Not yours! Your ideas are never stupid. Love you!)

10. Pinterest. Fine. I give in. Check out Pinterest or Craftgawker. Great ideas are posted on Pinterest every second. Just remember, there’s a difference between pinning and doing. You’re a doer.

Does this help? What do you do to inspire creativity? I’d love to know!

xoxo

10 Ideas To Help Cure Crafter's Block

 

Linked to ~ The Makers, The Creative Collection, Coast to Coast

Vintage Inspired Painted Fan

Painted Fan http://sparklepantsgirl.com

It always amazes me on how a little paint can change something from ordinary to extraordinary! At least that is how I feel about this fan. It was a basic black circulating fan that I like to use in the summer. Of course I have the AC blasting since it’s 110 degrees outside, but every little bit of circulating air helps. But this fan was dirty and filthy (5 years of dust) and I considered getting rid of it. Then I saw this…

Vornado Vintage Collection

The Vornado Vintage Collection VFAN. It’s so sleek and glamorous, if you can call a fan glamorous! I wanted it, but had no desire to spend money on it, that’s when I decided to try painting the fan that I had. I figured if I ruin the fan, it wouldn’t be too much of a loss.

Painted Fan http://sparklepantsgirl.comHere’s the before picture. This thing was difficult to clean. See all the dust on it, even after cleaning once. I had to use Q-tips to get all the dust out of the crevices of this fan. The front part of the fan snaps off so you can clean the grill and the blades. Of course, make sure it’s unplugged first.

Supplies

fan, can of spray primer, 2 cans white glossy spray paint, plastic grocery bags, painters tape, liquid gold leaf, foam brushes, clear spray sealant, hot glue gun, 1/8th inch leather lace in medium brown (50 ft)

Vintage Inspired Painted Fan Once clean, I sprayed the fan with a coat of primer, so that the spray paint will stick. I stuffed a bunch plastic grocery bags behind the fan blades, to protect the little fan engine from the spray paint. Originally I was not going to paint the blades, but then decided that I liked them better white than black. I used three light coats of the white spray paint to adequately cover the surface of the fan.

Painted Fan http://sparklepantsgirl.comAfter spray painting the whole fan white and letting the paint dry, I taped the fan to protect the side and the center. I then used a foam brush to paint on the liquid gold leaf. Brush it gently across the top of the fan. The liquid gold leaf goes on so smoothly. When dry, use another foam brush to get in between the spokes. Once adequately covered and dry spray with the clear sealant spray.

Vintage Inspired Painted Fan http://sparklepantsgirl.comOne last detail. I didn’t like the look of the black cord. So I wrapped it with 1/8th inch leather craft lace, applying glue to the leather, in spots, to hold it in place.

Vintage Inspired Painted Fan

Cute, right! It so much prettier to look at now!

 

xoxo

 

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