Sunday, December 16, 2012

Christmas Decor

This year I had a challenge in my den on Christmas decorating. I do all colors in my den, and colored lights on my den tree. It's a whimsical theme. This year I wanted to incorporate some Shabby Chic. How was I going to marry the two styles? It wasn't easy, but I think I did it! My kids still got their colorful whimsy  and I got a little Shabby Chic. I added some burlap( I've been using it a lot this year.)to the mantel and kept my star that I always have out. Instead of a wreath this year I added a wooden, outlined star with Pine cones. I bought the star and glued pine cones from ribbon, then tied them to the star. I also added real minature evergreens to the mantel They were short and squatty so I painted some logs and placed them on top. I balance the jingle bell tree on the right with a red Christmas ball on the left. I painted pine cones white and put them in my garland with all the colorful Christmas balls. I think it works.

Combining two different styles can be a challenge, but give it a try.

White tree branches in a pot with Christmas balls. I love this simple, but impacting display. Didn't cost me anything. Branches from the yard, can of spray paint I had, Christmas balls I had. Done!

This year instead of Poinsettias on my foyer table, I used all the little decorative trees I had all on one table. Instead of spreading them about, I put them all together with a deer I had (painted white of course) and a new tree I made out of chicken wire and sticks.

I shaped the chicken wire into a cylinder first, then smushed it in a the top to have a point. I then took a thin piece of duck tape and winded it down the chicken wire. This was to give me solid areas to hot glue the sticks. After covering it with sticks, I ran wire all the way down the tree (in a winding pattern) to keep the sticks secure. I did add a little grapevine also. Spray painted it white and it was finished. I like all the different textures, heights and colors of the trees. You can add greenery, but I opt for this beaded garland I had. It matched the metallic trees and I thought it completed this arrangement. Just keep going and adding layers til it seems right to you.

I hope you enjoyed my tips and craft ideas. Visit me again soon, I still have more to share. Merry Christmas from my family and MyHome@CarolinaPlace!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Merry Christmas...Let's make some crafts!

I did some changes this year in my decor. I added Burlap. I really love it. It adds just a little Shabby Chic to my style. I still want it to be elegant though. Here I bought some real shrubs and just left them in their containers. Cover the bottoms with plastic so when you water them , they will not leak. I covered them in a cream burlap, tied black ribbon around them and added these burlap letters that I made. I'm going to show you how I made them. "Joy" is what I felt after doing this craft. Burlap bow, black ribbon, pine cones;natural and some I painted white. Gold bells, lights and a little bird...can you see him?

The shrubs I got on clearance, for only two dollars. Yaaaaay!

Vintage button trees! I love making these with my kids. Well started making them with my kids, they were over it pretty quick and deserted me to finish them! Oh well!

I'm going to show you how I made these also.

Now these canning jars I made a while back. They weren't my idea, I was inspired by a friend who made one out of the vintage blue jars. I did them in my kitchen colors and added a bow, so I do not have pics to show you how I made them. I will talk you through it.

You add some fake snow stuff....I don't know what the official name is, to the bottom of the jar. It comes in a bag and it looks like flakes of snow. Then you cut a hole in the lid to string the ornament through. Secure it from the outer top and wire a bow to it. They are so cute.
Ok so I made the "JOY" out of card board from a cereal box. That's right, a cereal box! I am very frugal and have been accused many times that I can make something from nothing. This time I really did...trash. A cereal box that had been tossed. I drew the letters, cut them out, glued them to the burlap. After they dried, I trimmed them out from the burlap.
Ok so you know that same cereal box? Yea that's right, I cut some Christmas trees from it also. Just started hot gluing away all the buttons. These buttons are really old, so people like to call them vintage. It sounds far more chic. Whatever....keepin' it real, as always. After I finish the trees, I hot glued them to a piece of burlap ribbon, to make it a banner. You can easily make them as an ornament for your Christmas tree, or a great tag for a Christmas present.
This is my lovely family! My husband, our five kids and myself. Whew! just typing "our five kids" makes me tired. I love them all so much! Wanted to share one of the pics from our Christmas card. I'll share another on the next post. Have a Merry Christmas, from my family @ CarolinaPlace to your family @ your place! :)

Friday, December 7, 2012

It's Christmas Time!

It's Christmas time and I have been so busy...I'm sure you have been also! I have a few pics to share with you of my front door. I did a three tier wreath this year. I love it. I already had the other two wreaths, so I just wired them all together.
After I wired them together I wrapped ribbon around the wire, and ran a straight piece of ribbon down the back side of all three wreaths. I added real greenery to all three wreaths and pine cones. Adding real nature items to artificial greenery always "sophisticates it up". It's easier to add real greenery to artificial, rather than wire it all from scratch. I use to do it years ago, I just don't have the time now and this is easier. I'm all about easier!
Here's a closer look of the top wreath. I always use birds to decorate, so I had to put this cute little guy in. Real feathers, glitzy silk flower, pine cones and real greenery made this wreath complete. I used green this year on my outdoor decor. I preferred green velvet but only could find enough for my window wreaths and greenery swags. So I found some other ribbon that was in the same family of greens for the front door.

I put some grapevine and huge pine cones along with two different colored fresh greenery, in my artificial greenery. I love all the layers.

I had orange pansies in my pot for Fall , so I just rotated the pots around so you couldn't see them and added fresh greenery ,Christmas balls and pine cones to the front of my planters. Done!
I wanted to do something new this year, so I just changed my ribbon and revamped my front door wreath. Sometimes a little change, like ribbon color, can make everything seem new. I will be sharing a lot more of my home with you here at Christmas. Decorating ideas, DIY projects, recipes and another friend's home. So check back...Merry decorating, from My Home @ Carolina Place to your home.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Homemade Kale and Turkey Sausge Soup with Havarti Dill cheese Pumpernickel Toast!

Yuuuummmmy! Homemade soup made with turkey sausage, kale, potatoes, and green onions simmered in chicken broth! This soup was inspired by a friend's soup I had last week. I love MaryBeth's cooking and the soup she made was delicious! I always make homemade soup with the leftover chicken bones or turkey bones. What I mean is, after my family devours all the meat from a whole chicken or turkey, I boil the whole thing. I learned from my grandmother you can always get another meal out of what's left on the bones. In doing that, I get a great chicken broth! That's where you start, with this recipe.
Here's the other items, minus the butter I forgot to put it in the picture. Now I used milk because I didn't have cream, but that also means less calories. Again I didn't measure anything. I just know from my own taste about how much I want to add. I am sure that could be frustrating to those of you that like to know the very amount, so I apologize. But hang on, I'll estimate for you :) !
Potatoes, turkey sausage, kale and green onions. Cut and put into that delicious chicken broth you made prior. Bring all these things to a boil, and don't add your milk yet. Once the potatoes are soft then add your milk and 4tbsp. of butter. I used approximately 2 cups of milk to about 4-5 cups of broth. Add salt, pepper, ground mustard (just a tad). Let all these awesome flavors simmer and spend a little time with each other....I'd say about 10 minutes more. The Havarti Cheese with Dill is for the pumpernickel toast. A great addition, of layers of flavors, to this soup!
Mmmmmmmm.....sure smells good!
You'll love this soup! A great comfort meal during any cold day! A dip of the Havarti Cheese with Dill, pumpernickel toast into the soup will make you smile and fill your belly with warmth and satisfaction! Curl up on the couch and watch a movie. That's how we do it, at My Home @ Carolina Place, now you can @ your home! Thanks for visiting!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

My Friend, Angela's Place!

Welcome to my friend, Angela's place! Angela did her mantel in traditional fall colors and it is beautiful! A variety of awesomeness. I love how it's asymmetrical in design. Let's take a closer look....

If you look closely you can see how Angela stacked things on books, flipped a glass over and placed a votive candle holder on it. So cute! All the foilage she used is artificial but it sure looks like the real thing. Using two different kinds of leaves adds interest and depth to the design.She really has a good eye for decorating. Her home is always cozy and inviting and she always makes things extra special for the holidays!

Here Angela used Pinterest as a resource in decorating. She made the adorable acorn top frame. It was a craft, after seeing it on Pinterest, that she knew she could do. She started by gluing each acorn top on an old frame she had. Then she took a real leaf and twig, glued it to a piece of paper and placed it in her new acorn frame. Didn't cost her a dime! The floating candles with twigs in a vase was also a Pinterest idea. She pulled it off great!

Clustering items for an impactful centerpiece! Silk, fall arrangement with artificial pumpkins, real pumpkins, metal pumpkin, gourds, candle placed in a pool of real acorns, and that wonderful metal owl makes for a simple but elegant masterpiece! I love it!

Great planter idea! Take your summer planter , that you havn't used for fall planting, and put a pumpkin in it instead! Add some berries and leaves to finish it off. Lovely!
Angela used pumpkins on her candlestick sconces instead of candles. She even turned a wine glass upside down with berries tucked in at the bottom and a floral pumpkin, she made on top. What a great idea!
I had to share Angela's sweet potato casserole recipe. It is delicious! 3c ~sweet potato (1 lge. can, 1sm. can), 1c ~sugar, half  cup ~milk, forth c ~soft butter, 2 ~eggs, 1 tsp ~vanilla half tsp ~ salt. Mix put in  13x9 dish. Now for the topping: half stick of melted butter, 1 c ~ self rising flour, 1c ~ brown sugar, 1c ~ chopped nuts(optional). Sprinkle this topping mixture over the sweet potatoes and bake at 350 for 30-45 min. that, that is done let's chow down!
For a little extra topping, Angela drizzled some melted brown sugar with butter and Karo syrup, over the top. YUMMY! You'll have to try this one for the holidays, and maybe a glass of wine with it! Thanks for dropping in. hope you enjoyed visiting Angela's home! I know I always do! :)

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Resourcefulness at it's finest!

It's been about a year since I did these projects, but I thought I would share them with you. I totally redid Chelsey, my daughter's room. I did it "on a dime". I had to be very resourceful and I wanted as many things as I could have for free! That's right FREE! So here goes.....

Chelsey wanted a table beside her bed so she could keep her phone while it was charging through the night. It's a small area, so the table had to be narrow and FREE. I wasn't in the mood to spend money and liked the challenge to see what I could come up with. I took a log from our fire pit area outside, that we sat on, and pressured washed it, and plugged a lot of holes up, with wall joint compound. I wanted it to be smooth. Painted it with some interior, water base paint I had. About three coats. Painted a branch and birds on it! Done! Oh and I polyed it, just one coat. Resourceful and better said, FREE!

Now this awesome light was not my idea. We saw it at a store downtown and had to have it! Free of course. Now they didn't let us have it (it was $, so we studied it and came to the conclusion we could make this. Sorry I have no pics of making it, it was a while back. I literally cut a branch from a tree in my yard.  First, wire Christmas lights all the way down the branch. Then I cut scraps of fabric I had, about 2'' wide and about 2 feet long.Twisted and wrapped the fabric around the branch. I changed the fabric strips to make it more interesting. Seal the end of fabric with hot glue. After you have covered the branch with the fabric strips, wind ribbon and yarn on top for another texture and interest. We added these butterflies for a little more whimsy. Again Free! I had everything. Most things in these specialty stores are handmade, why not your hand? Be an artist.

Between my daughter and myself, we have a lot of jewelry. Again it's a small room and there is no room for  a jewelry box to go on my daughter's dresser. So a friend gave me this birdcage she wasn't using in exchange for a mini refrigerator (the ones that college students use) I wasn't using. A fair trade I thought. All I had to do was paint it cream with spray paint. I added little glass dishes inside the metal holders, where you would have put bird food and water in, for rings. I used the existing wood perches to put bracelets on. A couple of tin containers in the bottom for earrings. Now that's resourceful!

This is so cute, easy, and free! I had everything. Ribbon, to clip the birds to, clothes pins to hold the birds. The birds are made out of vintage handkerchiefs and sample boards. Sample boards are more durable than cardboard because they are made out of plastic. You can use cardboard, I happen to have the sample board. Glue handkerchiefs to board using Elmer's glue, let dry. Then draw and cut a bird shape out from the dried, glued on handkerchief board. Now if you feel you can't draw a bird, you can get one from the internet and trace it. We hung these from the it! See you can be resourceful with things you already have and make something new and wonderful. Rather it's practical reasons or just to have cute, artsy things to decorate with. I hope to show you her whole room soon...we made a lot more. Sadly her room is rarely tidy or picked up, so this is all I could show for now. :) Keeping it real!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

My Friend, Icely's Place.

I wanted to share with you one of my good friend's home. She has talent and great taste. Icely, yes Icely is her unique, beautiful name, is really into Shabby Chic. She decorated for Fall with these great, soft, white and pale blue colors. Who knew you could decorate with shades of blue for Fall. She certainly did, and it looks wonderful! Very Chic....Shabby Chic!

I love this whole table centerpiece! Burlap runner, robin egg  blue acorns in the branches. Adorable ceramic birds placed on candle holders.Cream glass pumpkin and gourd, birdcage with lit candle, a random branch, etc. etc. All placed in this wood shadow box! Awesome!

Real white mini pumpkins decorated with vintage ribbon and buttons. Oh and notice the great silk fabric pumpkin with a cork for the cute! Icely made and decorated these pumpkins with total Shabby Chic skill!

Here's some traditional orange.....Fall leaves with a pumpkin and gourds, berries placed in a old vintage Coke Cola bottle crate! So creative!

I love the monochromatic theme of the fireplace Fall decorations. Icely kept it simple and sophisticated using colors that were on the same color pallet. A log tealight log, that her good friend (me) made for her is the center point of the mantel, along with the Fall banner she made from burlap and twine. The vases filled with tall dried flowers flanking the mirror makes for an impactful and dramatic design. Love the basket filled with a variety of pumpkins and pine cones. A vase filled with branches and lights and acorns gives this fireplace whimsy.

Here's a closer look. Cute owls to left and right continue the whimsy. Candles and acorns finish the, love, love!

Icely made this wreath with feathers and cream burlap. Two adorable birds made out of sheet music holding a  Fall banner. Lovely and unique. I hope you enjoyed these ideas from Icely's home. She really thought outside the box with the blue and incorporated her gifts and talents in making homemade items. Hope you were inspired and have courage to try something new. Go be creative!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Rosemary Pork with Ginger

This pork recipe is easy!
What a great combination. Rosemary and Pork...oh and the third party, Ginger. I used pork loin, which is almost always tender. It is a cut made from the top part of the rib cage. I actually bought a roast and sliced it into chops. It's cheaper this way, and I control the thickness of the cut.
These are the ingredients I used. I didn't measure anything. Yes I am one of those people. Sorry, but I will walk you through what I basically did. I added salt, onion powder, and garlic powder. Don't judge me for using garlic powder, I was out of fresh garlic :( . So moving on.....a few sprigs of rosemary, finely chopped and fresh ginger, that I grated. Add soy sauce and a little water for the pork to cook in and sprinkle sugar over the dish before popping it in the oven. I baked it at 400 F for about 30 minutes. The sugar adds a savory, slight sweetness, which is always great with pork. I love the fresh ginger. My kitchen smelled so great while this was cooking.
Have enough of the sauce (soy, water, ginger, rosemary, garlic, salt, sugar and onion powder) to where it's not quite covering the top of the pork. Cover with foil. Now I know I didn't tell you how much of each ingredient to use, but use your own taste buds to tell you. You've used them all know what you like.
Rosemary potatoes for a side. Simply cut potatoes and red onions and rosemary. Sprinkle with olive oil, salt and pepper add garlic. Mix it well so that the oil and seasonings have covered the potatoes.  I threw these in the oven uncovered, along with the pork . They cook in the same amount of time. How great is that?!
Voila! Add some green beans( the one green veggie ALL my family will eat) with this meal to finish it off. Easy and fast. Enjoy!