Wednesday, October 22, 2008

A Few Quick Projects & This N That


It's only Wednesday and I already feel like saying "What a week!". I'm in the doldrums, in a funk, in other words I've got the blues. Between fighting with my daughters physics teacher about her teaching methods (I've been fighting with the public school system since she went back to school in 7th grade), wondering where we're going to come up with an extra $200 a month for a physics tutor, having to threaten one of our neighbors with calling the City Marshall about one of their dogs who is a major nuisance, I just haven't felt very cheery! That's just waaay too much drama for me! In an effort to get my mind off these things I decided to do a couple of quick projects from two books that I have, plus I stopped at the thrift store.

I found this for $1.21 and thought it would look pretty in my screened porch next spring.



Found these candlesticks for$1.91 and spray painted them black.



Everything looks better in black!



I remade a tassel I made last year from the book "Embellish Your Home" by Dena Fishbein. It's her Salt and Pepper Shaker Tassels project. She uses very cool vintage S&P shakers. I used the Salt shaker from a set I got at Target last year. It's a very easy project to do. The only thing I want to point out is that you are limited by the hole in the bottom of your shaker. So unless you have a shaker with a nice wide hole, you're not going to get a really full tassel.



1.You take a piece of wire and thread one end through one of the holes on the top of the shaker and then you add beads until you have enough to make a loop. Then you take that end through the other hole until it comes out the bottom and you twist the two wire ends together. You can adhere the wire to the inside with a drop of hot glue or just push up into the shaker. 2. You then take some bullion fringe, put a line of fabric glue on the top and roll it up until it looks like a tassel. You're limited by the hole of your shaker since you have to stick the tassel into the hole (secure with hot glue). 3. Wrap some trim around the top of the tassel where it meets the shaker and your good to go. You can hang from the beaded loop or add a small piece of ribbon to it and hang from the ribbon.




It came out pretty good - the ribbon around the bottom is a bit off. I have the other shaker so I'm going to make another one. So if you find any cute shakers - give this a try!


Then I did a little project from the "New Nesters" book I reviewed a few weeks ago. I did her monogram napkins. She uses white letters on white napkins which looks very elegant. I already had these apple green ones leftover from another project so I used them. I found 3 packages of big white napkins on clearance for literally pennies at Target a few weeks ago! Which is so great because we're cutting down on our paper products.



These are just iron on applique letters. I'll let you know how they launder. If they hold up to machine washing I think they would be really cute to add to a gift basket. You could do the initial of the recipients last name.



Let me know if you make the tassel, I'd love to see it. I'll be back Friday with Show & Tell and hopefully I'll have finished up that china cabinet!



51 comments:

Bella Casa said...

Wow, those napkins are a really good idea! I don't have an iron though, lol...hmmm...must be someone I can borrow one from :)

Love, love, love your tassel and your candlestick and bucket goodies and even the bow on your doggie:)

I know all about school issues...and even neighbor issues (but not in this house,thankfully!) Best wishes with all of that, I know how stressful it can be.

Bella

Susie Homemaker said...

I always look forward to your posts...sorry you are so down in the dumps...it's great to have a project or two to work on and forget your troubles for awhile.

Best Wishes for a brighter day,
Susie

Kathleen Grace said...

Sorry to hear about your week Manuela. I guess we all have those! But a little thrift and craft therapy does wonders doesn't it?! I would suggest rolling your fringe to the size of the bottom of the shaker and just gluing it with some E-6000 right to the shaker. I have done this and you get a much fuller tassel:>)

Kelly said...

Gotta love black spray paint! I love the napkins, I need to do some for Thanksgiving. I understand about neighbor's dogs, we have one of those next door. Hope you have a better day today.

CookinsForMe said...

Manuela, the candlesticks are great! I really like that idea and might use it. And the napkins are so pretty. What a great idea.

Melissa Wertz said...

Like the bow on the doggie! Like thtat doggie!

I need to lookout for something to make a tassel with. I have made tassels, but not like what I see on blogs. Good job!

Iris said...

Hello, I found you just recently. I love your blog, and your stlye. I hope your week goes better. Thank you for sharing the craft instructions. I'll have to give that a try. take care, Iris

nikkicrumpet said...

The napkins are darling...what a great gift idea. And I love the tassel!!!!

duchess said...

What cute projects. I love, love, love the napkins.

I feel your pain about the school issue. It's been on my heart for a while to homeschool our two but I'm a chicken & haven't tried it yet. This year we're in a new school & my son's grades aren't what I know they could/should be so now I'm considering it again.
Good luck with your situation (and the dog):)

Andrea @ Big Creek Cottage said...

Manuela
I really like the monogram napkins....your tassel is adorable...I have been thinking about trying to make a tassel, but just haven't taken the plunge....maybe your great idea will get me motivated....Your candlesticks look great too!

Vee ~ A Haven for Vee said...

Everything looks so beautiful. What bargains you find...$1.91? That's ridiculous! :D

Sorry about the little cares that are fretting you this week. Hope that they all resolve soon and don't hesitate to keep on saying what you need.

Fran said...

I loooooooove the bow on your doggie! It's amazing what a pretty ribbon can do to concrete, isn't it?

I want to try making monogram napkins! They look so cute.

I've always said...give me a can of spray paint, some ribbon and a hot glue gun and I will entertain myself for days!

Fran

Lady Katherine said...

Hey Cheer up! A few quick projects?? Wow to be down you out done your self. candles sticks, great, napkins, wonderful, I only use cloth napkins and dish towels no paper, thats geen, but living 25 miles from store makes you make choices. I love your tassel idea. We have a S&H on Wed. I finally took my girls out public and home school, never thought that would be, but it comes down again to choice. I've got 3 dogs, who's?? Scared they are going to get my chickens. In the country they travel. Be happy, its almost Friday. Wishing you the best to resolve the dogs and teacher.

sheila from life @ #17 said...

arrrrggghhhhhh...I knew I shouldn't have sent those old cat salt n' pepper shakers to GW....arrrggghhhhhhh....

and sometimes it just stinks being the grownup, doesn't it? if only people could do it our way :)

Lady Katherine said...

I hope your day is better, I have something for you on my blog.
ladykatherineteaparlor.blogspot.com/

Meredith Teagarden said...

I love these beautiful projects! I want to rush out and try them all. I have to tell you, with all the icky things you are dealing with, your creativity is NOT stifled! Manuela, Have a good week. I hope things pick up for you!

Paula said...

Dear Manuela,

I am sorry you are having and bad week and I hope it gets better soon!!!

You found some pretty things at the thrift store and the candlesticks look so good painted black.

I love the tassel!!! Yours turned out so pretty!!!! Thank you for sharing!

Your napkins are gorgeous and you stitch beautifully! I only use cloth napkins too. I always leave your lovely blog inspired!
Paula

Darlene said...

Ooooo I hope your neighbor and school issues get worked out....that would be so stressful!!

Everything looks better painted black...hehehe

Cute tassel....you could make the bottom fuller by doing what I do and that is gluing a wooden candlestick cup on the bottom (upside down where the opening is on the bottom). Then you can roll fringe bigger and put it up in there and decorate around the candle cup going up and over it until you get to the bottom of the shaker.

Debbie said...

Great candlesticks! You find great stuff. I really like the tassels. I'll see what I can find to make one.
Sorry about the school issue. Some teachers never seem to get it. Hope you can resolve the issue. Hope the project lift you spirits.
Debbie

diXymiss said...

Hope blue skies come your way again soon, kiddo! Love the cool projects you've shared here. The candlesticks were a great find ~ I just love thrifty treasures like that. ThanX for the tassle eXplanation. I was wondering where tassle queens were finding those cute toppers. It never occured to me to use s&p shakers (brilliant)! The napkins are lovely. Can't wait to hear how they hold up in the wash.

DebraK from ~the Bunnies Bungalow~ said...

Don't be down in the dumps...you got great stuff going on. Tassels, painting things black, monograms, thrift shopping!
We have an early barker in our neighborhood & I've been thinking of what we should do about it.
Take care, DebraK

Jennifer said...

Love the ideas...can't wait to hear how the napkins hold up to washing! I'd love to try that one.

Buzzings of a Queen Bee! said...

That monogram idea is brilliant! I can't wait to hear how it does in the laundry. I am so stealing that idea if it holds up!
Carrie

Penny @ Lavender Hill Studio said...

Everything you do looks so great! I didn't know you could buy iron on monograms!

Rosemary said...

Great little projects Manuela!!
I hate school stuff like that. I have had plenty of those issues over the years.
Neighbors can be the worst sometimes too!!
So sorry! Hope you cheer up soon.
Rosemary

Rhoda @ Southern Hospitality said...

I've missed so much being out of town for a few days & trying to catch up. Love your monogrammed napkins! You've been busy, busy with all the seasonal changes. Love those candlesticks you painted, I've been doing some of that myself.

glorv1 said...

Awwww Manuela, I'm sorry you have been down, but look at you. You managed to come out of the doldrums with all the things you do. Bless you. Your right about things looking great in black, I love that too. I will take the napkin with the G, thank you. I hope you don't have to pay too much for the tutoring. Have a great rest of the week.
Viva La Vida!

Kim~"HomeIsWhereTheHeartIs" said...

You are right, Manuela, everything does look better black.

Love the napkins, too.

Cindy ~ My Romantic Home said...

I love the tassel! I have those same S&P shakers and thought about doing that myself!

Linda's Blue Gate said...

Nothing like a little thrift store shopping to lift a girl..... silly old teacher and neighbor.....
Big hugs
Linda

Suzann @ Lavender and Roses said...

Love the projects. You do seem to always do the most wonderful little things to bring just the right touch to your home. Your blog is one of my happy spots. I am so sorry that you've had so much drama lately. I understand all too well. The past couple of weeks have been dreadfully difficult and this week has been full of mama drama. I was ready to throw in towel, wave the white flag, hurl myself out a window (okay, you get the picture) and that's when I realized that what I really needed to do was to take a long hard look around me and take note of all the great things in my life , all the things that bring me joy, those things that I am thankful for. I will lift you up in prayer - I hope that you are able to overcome all the negative that seems to be bombarding you right now.

BTW...I'm having a give away - if you're interested, pop by my blog.

salmagundi said...

I've been wanting to try my hand at tassels; I must find that book. Have a great day. Sally

Sweetie said...

The napkins are beautiful. I'm going to try that project. You did wonders with black spray paint. When my daughters were in school, I went back and forth with issues several times. In retrospect, I think that sometimes I gave up too easily - go for it! And - have a good week.
Sweetie

Gretchen said...

I'm so glad I don't have to deal with schools anymore. Hopefully, this week will get better.

Your candlesticks look great and you are brave to try a tassel. I may save that to try this winter.

Our neighbors have lived next door to us for 8 or 9 years. Their stupid dog barks at us every time we go outside. He'll bark the entire time we're outside. I want to say "Hello, dumb dog I'm the same person you always bark at". I actually love dogs but not him.

Gretchen

ROXY said...

That dog is GREAT!!! I love the ribbon you tied around his neck! I think Winnie would probably bark at it each time we'd come home!

mishebe said...

Hi, where did u get that harleqin ribbon, i have looked everywhere for it? mishelle ps. cute tassel by the way.

Rhondi said...

Hi Manuela
Life is a challenge isn't it? I seem to find that there is always something stressful happening and it if isn't I try to enjoy the lull because I know something else will come along again shortly.
Even though I know it doesn't change the situation I also find that doing something creative is a good remedy for stress. The other way I deal with stress is through prayer. I've been doing a lot of praying lately :)
Hope you get the school issue sorted out.
Hugs, Rhondi

Carla said...

how neat! I love your tassel bird, or maybe bird tassel? Either way what a neat little accent!

Rhonda in OK said...

Thanks for the great ideas! I got a thrift store shaker this week to try my hand at tassel making.

too bad you can't turn your pesky neighbor's pet into a cute stone dog and put a bow on his neck too!

ShabbyInTheCity said...

Doggie on the porch looks so cute! I love your tassel too.

Sue said...

Love the iron on initials. Where did you find them? I came across today something I thought you would like. I was at the Fringe and Fabric Warehouse on Canton Road (between I-75 and Peidmont) they had for $4.95 Fleur de Lis old looking iron tie-backs holders ...They also had some great hooks with the same design. Also great bargain shopping up in Kennesaw. The "Rose Cottage" is going out of business and all their merchandise is 50% off, some items are an additional 50% off. Great for Christmas shopping and worth the drive....Sue.

Dawn Gahan said...

Manuela, what a wonderful tassel idea. I'm going to add this to my Christmas gift-idea project list. Thanks for sharing!

Dawn

Emily said...

Hope things get better for you. Cute bird Tassel and I love the monogrammed napkins too!

Debbie said...

How weird! I just made my very first tassel and I used the same salt shaker birdie from Target. I did the same with the pepper shaker but it hung off balance. I even found similar candle holders like yours and I just painted them black as well. Yours turned out very nice.

Debbie in Florida

Anonymous said...

Great napkins and tassel...I wish you would do a step by step on how to make the tassel (pics)...

Have you seen The Nesters tassels ?? She gets a fortune for them.

Nice post

dixie said...

Where did you purchase the iron on monograms? I love that style and it would be perfect for a project I want to do?? I love the napkins and may want to give that a try, too.

Wish I could find some candlesticks for such a bargain!!

Rue said...

Hi Manuela :)

I have been wanting to make a tassel forever, but no one had given directions, so Thank You!! When I get the chance to do it myself, I'll post it :)

I hope those napkins launder well, because I would love to have some for myself ;)

rue

Rue said...

Oh and I almost forgot to tell you that I hope things are better since wednesday. I know first hand how awful teachers and neighbors can be.... ugh.

PamperingBeki said...

I LOOOVE popping in here every weekend to see what you've been up to.

I sit on Saturday afternoons with my coffee and blog hop in peace and quiet. It's one of my favorite times of the week. :)

Susancnw said...

Very pretty and great prices...

School issues? Do you have a charter school in your area? Check into that or a magnet school. Tuition free and they are a LOT friendlier towards homeschooling kiddos. We had one go back to our neighborhood school and my others 3 to charter school K-12 and we LOVE it.

Mrs. Querido said...

What a fun idea for cloth napkins! We are going to have to try this at our house :)