161

14 Most Viewed Posts in 2014 {A Year In Review}

Hello Everyone, I hope you had a joyous and memorable Christmas!  As the year draws to a close I am taking time to reflect on the blessings, friendships, opportunities, successes and learning curves this little blog has provided in 2014.  I appreciate each and every one of you who follow, visit, comment and share my little corner of the blogosphere.

So on this New Years Eve as I look back with a smile on my face, I thought I'd share the 14 Most Viewed Posts in 2014 {A Year In Review}.

Collage of 14 Most Viewed Posts in 2014

I have to say some of the projects that made this list surprised me.  It just goes to show that I don't always know what project will resonate with others!

DIY Patio Water Wall {Most Viewed Post}
If I knew then what I know now, I would have prepared "proper" diagrams and instructions on how to build this.  It has been my most popular post!

Old louvered Bi-fold Doors Repurposed {Second Most Viewed Post}
I have to thank my neighbor once again for giving us her old bi-fold doors when she replaced hers with new ones!

Small Raised Garden Greenhouses {Third Most Viewed Post}
These are not difficult to make and they worked great for our tomato plants!

Mom's Stool Makeover {Fourth Most Viewed Post}
This stool sits in our kitchen and always conjures up memories of my Mom sitting at the sink washing dishes or peeling potatoes.

DIY Fire Bowl Table {Fifth Most Viewed Post}
We used this fire bowl more than our back yard fire pit last summer. Throw in a fire log (not wood) and it kept us cozy warm as we relaxed on the deck on those cooler summer evenings.

Outdoor Living Space Expanded {Sixth Most Viewed Post}
This patio expansion was a lot of back breaking work but so worth it in the end.  I can't believe how much livable space it added to our back yard.  The moss between each slab flourished over the summer and tripled in size.

Small Armoire Makeover {Seventh Most Viewed Post}
I had this bedroom hutch since moving out of my parent's home in 1978. It was tough parting with it but we no longer had room for it after expanding our closet space (see project up next).  I'm glad it sold quickly otherwise I may have changed my mind about selling it.

Master bedroom Closet Expansion {Eighth Most Viewed Post}
There is never enough closet space in these circa 1960's homes and so we stole a narrow space beside the original closet to create floor to ceiling shelving and concealed it behind matching bi-fold doors. I absolutely love the added storage this closet provided!

Birds of Paradise Coffee Table {Ninth Most Viewed Post}
This was definitely one of my favorite makeovers in 2014.  It sold very quickly and I was thrilled to get the opportunity several months later to see it in it's new home.

Queen Anne End Table {Tenth Most Viewed Post}
Another fun furniture makeover that sold rather quickly.

Kids Chalkboard Table {Eleventh Most Viewed Post}
I had so much fun with this makeover.  At the time I wished I had grandchildren to pass it down to. Six months after selling it we found out we have a little grandson on the way.  A good excuse to find another set to makeover.

Queen Anne Headboard {Twelfth Most Viewed Post}
I fell in love with this piece and wished we had room for it in our guest room. It's another piece I'm glad sold rather quickly or I may have kept it.

Old Violet Sideboard {Thirteneeth Most Viewed Post}
This piece had been in the same family for over 70 years! I named it "Old Violet" after the paint color I used on it's interior. I spent a lot of time on this piece because it needed some serious TLC. Later I gave it's matching table and chairs a makeover. This piece is currently for sale and I hope it finds a great home!

Thrift Store Jewelry Box {Fourteenth Most Viewed Post}
This pretty little gal was donated to a Silent Auction for the Alberta Make A Wish Foundation.  I hope a little princess was the recipient of this jewelry box!

As a fresh new year begins tonight at the stroke of midnight I welcome it with excitement, anticipation, and a list of goals.

Every New Year's Eve I have a ritual where I carve out some quiet time to prepare a Vision Board for the upcoming year.  As my eyes wander over the board from the previous year, it never ceases to amaze me how I am blessed with most of which I envision on that little 4" x 6" card!
Vision Board 2014
Vision Board 2014

Thank You to each and every one of you for your friendship, support and encouragement in 2014.

Wishing you all A Happy, Healthy, Creative, and Prosperous New Year!

Happy New Year 2015 Greeting

Read More

Festive Mini Crockpot Cover, A Potpourri Recipe, and A Holiday Message From Me To You!

Every year during the holidays I love to have festive potpourri brewing in a mini crockpot.  I love how it wafts throughout the house and it's the first thing guests smell when walking in the house.  I've used the same mini crockpot for decades but seriously, the thing is kind of ugly.  This year I got smart and took 15 minutes out of my busy schedule to make a Festive Mini Crockpot Cover!

Festive Mini Crockpot Cover

I've upgraded to a more sophisticated mini crockpot but it's usually filled with yummy goodies like baked brie during the holidays.  

Mini Potpourri Crockpot Before and After

All I needed was leftover burlap ribbon, velcro, my sewing machine and 15 minutes later voila, a festive sleeve that can be removed after the holidays!

Festive Mini Crockpot Cover Tutorial
Step 1:  I had two scrap pieces of burlap ribbon leftover from another project so I simply sewed them together to get the length I needed.
Step 2:  Fold over the raw edges so the ribbon is the same size as the crockpot and stitch.
Step 3:  Sew a band of decorative ribbon along the top edge.
Step 4:  Add velcro on each end and you're done!

Festive Mini Crockpot Sleeve

Festive Potpourri Recipe

Now it's time to crank up the Christmas music, turn the lights on the tree, brew some fresh coffee and maybe add some Baileys, put on my apron and start cooking up a storm!  This will be my last post of 2014 because this girl needs some serious chill'n, laughter, celebration, and time spent with family and friends...in "real time".  

A Holiday Message from The Interior Frugalista

May the spirit of Christmas
fill your home with joy,
your heart with love,
and your life with laughter.

Thank you so much for your kind support, encouragement, and friendship during this past year!

*** Cheers ***
I look forward to catching up with you in January!


Read More

Even the birds need some Christmas {Bird Seed Ornaments}

One of the perks of living in a mature neighborhood is having large trees. We back onto a green belt so having little creatures (and sometimes large) pay us a visit is commonplace.  One year I found a baby bunny hiding in our ferns. Another year while having a BBQ we saw a moose run through the field. We're not in the country so this big fella created quite a scene!

Besides squirrels (which I feed peanuts) flocks of birds are plentiful and every Christmas I like to leave them a special treat. This year I made Bird Seed Ornaments.  I got the idea from Jessi, the very talented blogger behind Practically Functional who recently published a book entitled 12 Easy Handmade Christmas Ornaments.  This is not a sponsored post nor have I been compensated for promoting it, I'm just sharing the love because I enjoyed making this project from her book.

DIY Bird Seed Ornaments hanging on spruce tree with red ribbon

There's a funny story behind this project. I made the mistake of doubling the recipe and so I ran out of cookie cutters before dough seed mixture so I poured the extra into a take-out container and left them on the counter overnight to solidify.

Bird Seed Ornaments using holiday cookie cutters

Early the next morning I woke up to the sight of a motion sensor going on and off on the panel of our security system. My heart was racing as I quietly opened the bedroom door and slowly tip toed my way down the hall. With adrenaline coursing through my veins I was ready to kick some serious intruder butt.  Then I heard a thump.  Lets just say Mr. Sexy Rexy, our feline child, will be pooping sunflower seeds for weeks!

Trekking through the deep snow with my ancient Sorel boots I hung the ornaments on our spruce trees using a piece of dowling rigged with an L hook on the end.  It was -20°C outside people!  I hope the birds appreciate the fact that I froze my butt off for them.

Bird Seed Ornaments hanging on the tree outside

How ironic that while writing this post I went into the kitchen to grab another coffee and what did I see, a little chickadee pecking at one of the ornaments.  I ran and grabbed my camera and just as I was about to hit the shutter button it flew away...honest...this isn't like one of those fishing tales!

It's been a week since hanging the ornaments and every single one of them, including the tray of seed, have been devoured.  As for Rex, I didn't check!

If you want the recipe for these tastey treats that the birds, and your cat, will be sure to enjoy press the picture below to link to Jessi's book.  She has loads of easy peasy Christmas Ornament ideas - a few of which I still plan to make.

Read More

Bringing A Little Sparkle {DIY Holiday Canvas and Printable}

After we put up the Christmas Tree the watercolor prints hanging on the wall looked lost.  Normally they hang above an antique radio cabinet (which we moved to another room during the holidays).  I had nothing festive to hang in it's place.  Too lazy to bundle up in my winter woolies and head over to Homesense (my Go To Source for home décor) I headed downstairs to the workshop with a hot cup of coffee to create a DIY Holiday Canvas.

DIY Holiday Canvas with a little sparkle

Let me back track here a bit. Before heading downstairs I went into my office and created a graphic using PicMonkey. Press the graphic below to download the free printable.

DIY Holiday Canvas Free Printable

This was such a spur of the moment project that I forgot to take photos of each step.  It's pretty simple really so I've provided a written tutorial.

STEP 1
I picked up a 16 x 20 art canvas at the Dollar Store several weeks ago for another project that I ended up not using it for. Using acrylic craft paint in Holiday Red I gave the canvas two coats of paint. You can see in the photo that I did random paint strokes to achieve an uneven finish.
STEP 2
Print the graphic.  I used the Poster setting on my printer so it would print on two sheets of paper to get the size I wanted.

STEP 3
Slip a piece of graphite or carbon paper behind the graphic and trace.

STEP 4
Using thinned White acrylic craft paint and art brushes I painted in the graphic.

STEP 5
Using painters tape along the outer edge and another strip the width of the tape I created a border and painted it with the same white acrylic craft paint.

STEP 6
I brushed Modge Podge onto the ornaments, border, bow, and made a swipe at the tree base and sprinkled White Glitter.

DIY Holiday Canvas

STEP 7
I had some self-adhesive silver beads from the Dollar Store leftover from another project and attached them to the word SPARKLE.

After hanging up the sign it still didn't look long enough so I attached some glittered silver bells at different lengths with white ribbon and stapled them onto the back of the canvas.

DIY Holiday Canvas with silver bells

Easy peasy Holiday Art Canvas!

DIY Holiday Canvas with a little sparkle

This is the sightline from our hallway.  Love how I don't have to enter the room to enjoy it's fun message!


DIY Art Canvas to add sparkle to our living room

Read More

How to make Burlap Holiday Flatware Pouches

This year Mr. Frugalista and I are hosting the Christmas Feast. Thinking ahead about how I'll create a festive tablescape I decided to make these easy peasy Holiday Flatware Pouches. I made three different styles and the one that wasn't my winner, I gave as hostess gifts.

Burlap Holiday Flatware Pouches

Everything I used for the pouches was purchased at Michaels on clearance...Happy Dance.

I couldn't decide if I wanted to go a Traditional Red, or Glitz & Glam, or a Natural color scheme so I made one of each.

How to make burlap Holiday Flatware Pouches


Glitz & Glam Flatware Pouch

For this style, I used 4 1/2-inch wide cream colored burlap ribbon and 1 1/2-inch gold glitter chevron ribbon.

Step 1 - Cutting burlap and ribbon

  • Cut burlap into 15-inch pieces x 8 (for a set of 8 pouches).
  • Cut chevron ribbon into 5-inch pieces x 16 (2 for each pouch).
  • Fold each end of the ribbon 1/4-inch (should have a 4 1/2-inch wide ribbon) and stitch in place.

Step 2 - Adding Top Ribbon

  • Fold ribbon in half (like binding) and place on the top of each piece of 15-inch burlap and pin in place.
  • Stitch as close to the edge of the ribbon as possible. (as pictured above)

Step 3 - Adding Ribbon To Top of Fold

  • Fold the bottom half of the burlap over 6-inches to form the pouch (see picture below) and pin to hold.
  • On the top of the fold pin a 1 1/2-inch piece of chevron ribbon.
  • Unpin the fold and sew the ribbon in place, again as close to the edge as possible.
  • Refold the burlap 6-inches and pin the side seams together.
  • Sew the side seams together with a 1/4-inch seam allowance.
  • TIP 1: I sewed the seam all the way to the top but you can stop where the fold ends.
  • TIP 2: Use a contrasting thread color like metallic gold for a decorative finish.

Glitz and Glam Burlap Holiday Flatware Pouch

I really liked the glittery gold chevron ribbon with the cream colored burlap and they pair so well with my gold placements. However, they were not the winning cutlery pouch for my Christmas Tablescape.

Natural Flatware Pouch

I'm a sucker for holly so I made these ones using a more open weave natural 5-inch burlap ribbon.

Step 1 - Cutting burlap and ribbon

  • Cut burlap into 15-inch pieces x 8 (for a set of 8 pouches).
  • Cut Red Burlap Ribbon into 5 1/2-inch pieces x 8.
  • Cut Christmas Burlap Ribbon into 5 1/2-inch pieces x 8.
  • Fold each end of the ribbon 1/4-inch (should have a 5-inch wide ribbon) and stitch in place.

Step 2 - Adding Top Ribbon

  • Place red burlap ribbon on the top of each 15-inch burlap and pin in place.
  • Stitch as close to the edge of the ribbon as possible. (as pictured below)

Step 3 - Adding Ribbon To Top of Fold

  • Fold the bottom half of the burlap over 6-inches to form the pouch (see picture below) and pin to hold.
  • On the top of the fold pin Christmas burlap ribbon.
  • Unpin the fold and sew the ribbon in place, again as close to the edge as possible.

Step 4 - Adding the Holly and Beads

  • On a tighter weave burlap, draw holly leaves using a black marker and cut them out. 
  • Iron Heat n Bond onto the back of each leaf using an iron (follow instructions on package).
  • Fuse the holly leaves to the front of the pouches with an iron (as pictured below). 
  • Sew red wooden beads in the center of the holly.
  • Refold the burlap 6-inches and pin the side seams together.
  • Sew the side seams together with a 1/4-inch seam allowance.
  • TIP 1: Use a contrasting thread color like red for a decorative finish.
  • TIP 2: Sew the seam all the way to the top but if you would prefer, you can stop at the top of the fold.

I really liked these but they were not the winner for my Christmas Tablescape.

Holly Berry Burlap Flatware Pouches

Traditional Red Flatware Pouch

I'm a huge fan of all things red, especially during the holidays. These were the winning pouches to adorn my Christmas Tablescape. Simple yet have that punch of red that goes so well with my holiday decorating scheme.

Step 1 - Cutting burlap and ribbon

  • Cut burlap into 15-inch pieces x 8 (for a set of 8 pouches).
  • Cut Red Burlap Ribbon into 5 1/2-inch pieces x 8.
  • Cut Christmas Burlap Ribbon into 5 1/2-inch pieces x 8.
  • Fold each end of the ribbon 1/4-inch (should have a 5-inch wide ribbon) and stitch in place.

Step 2 - Adding Top Ribbon

  • Place red burlap ribbon on the top of each 15-inch burlap and pin in place.
  • Stitch as close to the edge of the ribbon as possible. (as pictured below)

Step 3 - Adding Ribbon To Top of Fold

  • Fold the bottom half of the burlap over 6-inches to form the pouch (see picture below) and pin to hold.
  • On the top of the fold pin Christmas burlap ribbon.
  • Unpin the fold and sew the ribbon in place, again as close to the edge as possible.
  • Refold the burlap 6-inches and pin the side seams together.
  • Sew the side seams together with a 1/4-inch seam allowance.
  • TIP 1: Use a contrasting thread color like red for a decorative finish.
  • TIP 2: Sew the seam all the way to the top but if you would prefer, you can stop at the top of the fold.

Traditional Red Holiday Flatware Pouches

If you like my Burlap Holiday Flatware Pouches please share with a friend and/or save on Pinterest.

How to Make Holiday Flatware Pouches

Which of these would be your personal preference for your Christmas Dinner Tablescape?

If you would like more "stitched" holiday decorating inspiration, I made a Christmas Tree Skirt From Ruffle Scarves. I also made these adorable Stiletto Boot and Hockey Skate Stockings. My Skating Silhouette pillows add a nice vintage touch during the holidays.

Read More

Creative Way To Repurpose A Metal Greeting Card Holder

Remember those metal greeting card holders that were so popular in the day? Perhaps like me, you still have one. Did you know they make a perfect wreath form for creating ribbon wreaths?

Wire wreath forms are so expensive to buy but these old metal greeting card holders are a dime a dozen at the thrift store. I found mine for a whopping $1.50.

The wreaths are so easy to make using holiday ribbon, colored mesh ribbon or burlap like I used to make a Rustic Burlap Holiday Wreath with oxidized copper embellishments.
Metal Greeting Card Holder to Burlap Holiday Wreath
This is the metal greeting card holder I found for $1.50.
Metal Greeting Card Holder for Burlap Holiday Wreath

Metal Greeting Card Holder Repurposed Into Rustic Burlap Holiday Wreath

I've included a Materials List at the bottom of this post for your convenience should you want to try a non-traditional oxidized copper and burlap wreath for the holidays.

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links so you can see what products I used or recommend to complete this project. What that means is that if you click on one of the product links, I may receive a small portion of any sales at no additional cost to you to support the costs of running this site. See my disclosure policy page.

While the metal greeting card holder I found is just fine the way it is, I wanted to put a non-traditional spin on my wreath with copper elements - specifically oxidized copper.

How to achieve an oxidized copper patina

It is so easy to turn metal or wood into oxidized copper with the Modern Masters Metal Effects Kit. The first thing I did was paint the entire greeting card holder with Copper Metal Effects Primer. 

On just the Christmas Tree on the bottom, I painted it with Copper Reactive Metallic Paint. Following the instructions with the kit, I sprayed the tree with Green Patina Aging Solution before the reactive paint dried. The fun is watching the oxidization process happen before your eyes.
Oxidized Copper Greeting Card Holder Turned Burlap Holiday Wreath
Next, I simply weaved a roll of burlap ribbon loosely in and out of the cardholder loops, wrapping it about three times around for fullness, with two long strands on both ends.
Burlap Ribbon Weaved through metal greeting card holder

Oxidizing wooden ornaments

I did the same oxidization process with four wooden finial ornaments and two wooden stars. Wiring the finials onto the greeting card holder beneath.

Painted Copper Sleigh Bells

I painted seven inexpensive brass colored sleigh bells with Metal Effects Copper Primer only and wired three onto the cardholder beneath.
Rustic Holiday Wreath with oxidized copper embellishments
Using jute twine, I strung two oxidized star ornaments and four copper bells at varying lengths to the bottom of the wreath.
Copper Painted Ornaments Embellish Rustic Burlap Holiday Wreath
This wreath was finished, including painting the ornaments, in an afternoon. I love the non-traditional look of this wreath using oxidized copper elements.

Materials List

Metal Greeting Card Holder
Wide Burlap Ribbon
Wooden Ornaments
Sleigh Bells
Jute Twine
Modern Masters Metal Effects Copper Kit

Instead of oxidized copper elements, you could use rustic woodland ornaments like wooden stars or birdhouses with the burlap ribbon. The possibilities for making holiday wreaths using a metal greeting card holder are endless.

Bright and colorful mesh ribbon with candy ornaments is one idea. Or pretty holiday ribbon with mercury glass or shiny ornaments to embellish. You don't have to spend a ton of money making them either.

If you'd like to see some other projects where I used the Modern Masters Metal Effects Kit you can find them here in my 5-Panel Door Repurposed Into Flower Planter or Faux Oxidized Copper Topped Table or Tin Pumpkin Art for Fall.

Here is another non-traditional wreath idea for the holidays using small inexpensive picture frames and old brooches. You can find that tutorial here in my DIY Christmas Door Hanger post.

If you like my tip for repurposing a metal greeting cardholder or like the idea of a non-traditional oxidized copper burlap wreath, please save it on Pinterest and/or share this post with a friend.
Metal Greeting Card Holder Repurposed Into Burlap Holiday Wreath

You'll find this project shared with these fabulous Link Parties.

Read More

Thrifty Holiday Diorama Jar Craft {Guest Posting at BeBetsy}

Hello friends, as holiday decorating is in full swing I created a thrifty trio of Holiday Diorama Jars that are perfect to create a pretty Winter Wonderland vignette on a fireplace mantle, sideboard, dresser or table top. Everything you need to make them can be found at the dollar store, thrift store, and around the house.

Step-by-Step Tutorial on how to make Holiday Diorama Jars

I'm thrilled that Denise and Sharon over at BeBetsy invited me to Guest Post on their awesome blog today.  Hop on over and say Hi and check out my step-by-step tutorial on how you can easily make your own Winter Wonderland Dioramas for your holiday décor!

Press the link below

Read More

Ugly Sweater Contest {My Favorite Christmas}

If you're looking for a fun activity to do with family and friends this holiday season I highly recommend an Ugly Sweater Contest!

Graphic for our Ugly Sweater Contest

Last year we spent the holidays with our children, their significant others, and my sister and husband at Silver Star Mountain Resort in British Columbia.  It was definitely my favorite Christmas in a very long time and I so wish we could do it again this year.

Our Christmas at Silver Star Mountain Resort

There were many fun memories from that trip but one of the highlights was our Ugly Sweater Contest on Christmas Eve.  For weeks leading up to Christmas there were secret trips to the Dollar Store, no peeking behind closed doors, and lots of guessing as to who was doing what.

So when we all gathered to make chicken fajitas in our condo on Christmas Eve the laughter began as each person emerged adorned with their Ugly Christmas Sweaters.

Ugly Sweater Contest Entry 1 and 2
Our son and his girlfriend's entry

Ugly Sweater Contest Entry 3 and 4
Our daughter and her fiance's entry
(he proposed to her that evening)

Ugly Sweater Contest Entry 5 and 6
 My sister and brother-in-law's entry

Ugly Sweater Contest Entry 7
My entry

I really thought I had this contest in the bag until Mr. Frugalista stepped into the room...

Ugly Sweater Contest Entry 8 and Winning Entry
...and he abides by that slogan!

After supper we headed outdoors wearing our ugly sweaters to watch the torch light parade followed by the fireworks.   Mr. Frugalista lit the path and was probably the beacon for Santa and his ski companions as they made their way down the mountain!

Do any of you participate in ugly sweater contests?  What other fun activities or traditions do you share during the holidays?

Read More