Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Mason Jar Lantern Tutorial

I first made these lanterns two years ago for my wedding.  I had seen these hanging mason jar lanterns by Pottery Barn and fell in love with them. However at $7.50 per lantern, I knew I could make my own for much less. In fact, you can probably make about a dozen of these for that price. We had an evening wedding, so we lined the aisle with these and it was just perfect.

They are also perfect for an outdoor party. You can hang them around the yard or place them on the table and not worry about the wind blowing out your candles.

What you'll need:
  • mason jar
  • wire ~ about 4 feet per jar
  • wire cutters
  • nail (optional, but highly recommended)

1. Cut the wire in a 4 foot length.

2. Bend the wire in half and wrap around the nail.

Note: I anchored the nail in a random piece of wood I found hanging out beside our shed. The purpose of the nail is to help anchor the wire in place while you're twisting. It also leaves a small loop at the end, which you'll later to wrap it around the jar. I've used tried using other things--- like my toe, with less successful results. And it hurts toes. Use a nail. Trust me. :)

3. Start twisting. . .

4. Keep twisting until just about the end of the wire.

5. Wrap the twisted wire around the jar and thread the end through the little loop the nail created.

6. Tighten the wire around the jar by pulling the threaded end back the opposite direction.

7. To make the handle, bend the wire over the jar and place one of the end under the wire jar rim, like pictured below.

8. Twist the rest of the ends together and bend them up back around the handle. Trim any excess.

Fill it with whatever you like! They would also make cute flower vases.

Linking to:

Monday, June 25, 2012

Haven 2012

 Some of you extremely observant people might have noticed this image in my sidebar the past few months:

haven conference button image

Last week it was finally Haven time!

The Haven conference was a time for bloggers to get together and learn more specifically about home/DIY projects and the more technical aspects of blogging.

Some of the most "notable" home/DIY bloggers were there:
Craziness! I highly recommend taking the time and getting to know these wonderful bloggers if you aren't already familiar with them. They really are among the best.

Going to the conference was quite an adventure for me! Originally Josh was going to be able to make the road trip with me and make a vacation out of it. However, life happens and at the last minute, he wasn't able to go. And since we were too broke to buy a plane ticket at the very last minute . . .

. . . I made the 14-hour drive to Atlanta by myself.

It was a whole lot of this:

haven roadtrip 1

And some of this:

haven mint mandms 1

It was quite a challenge to be honest, but well worth it.

The Haven conference was amazing.

I learned so much from all the sessions I attended. SEO. Social media. Advertising. Décor. PR. Photography. (How to shoot in manual!)

But the best thing about Haven was the chance to meet some incredible bloggers.

And get a bunch (!) of business cards from those incredible bloggers.

haven business cards

So I can support and build relationships with those incredible bloggers.

Which, in turn, will hopefully make me become, (at least someday) an incredible blogger.


If you didn't see my business cards earlier, here's your chance:

the happy tulip business cards

Aren't they adorable?

P.P. S.

You know how weird things usually happen when you're out of town?

The first day of the conference Josh sent this picture to me:

haven indy 1

Isn't that the most pathetic thing you've ever seen?!

Apparently Indy started having these little bumps all over his body and a few were over his eye. He started scratching his eye and within a matter of minutes, his eye looked like that. Josh immediately took him to the vet and found out that it might be a bacterial infection, insect bites, or a grass allergy.

The vet said he looked like he had been boxing. :)

He got meds and had to wear his "cone of shame" (<--- "Up" reference!) overnight, so his eye was better the next day. He still has the little bumps, but we're hoping that they'll clear soon.

Even with his bumps, I think he's the cutest puppy around!

Linking to:
Southern Hospitality's Haven Recap Party

Monday, June 11, 2012

Flag Nail Art with DIY Polish Strips

This time of year, I seem to be drawn to anything red, white, and blue. I thought it would be fun to do something fun and patriotic with my toe nails. Plus, I've been fascinated with the Beauty Department's DIY Polish Strips so I thought this would be the perfect time to give the technique a try.

The cast of characters (not shown: top coat)

I started by painting all my toes white except for my big left toe, which I obviously painted dark blue.

Then I followed the instructions on the nail art pen to draw some stars. If you're a perfectionist it isn't going to be easy. I don't usually have that problem and I kinda like the "hand drawn" look personally. You're going to want to wait a while before putting on a top coat. The nail art pen's paint needs to be completely dry or it will smear.

While my stars were drying, I created the polish strips. They actually were easier to handle than I thought they would be.

  1. Paint the polish on the scotch tape.
  2. Let it dry completely.
  3. Cut them into strips.
  4. Apply them to your nail.
  5. Trim any excess.
  6. Apply top coat!

 The Beauty Department has even more examples of the DIY polish strips, like this cute plaid one.

I'm lovin' it!

My husband says they're adorable, so I think that passes the true test. :)

Linking to:
Home Stories A to Z's Tutorials and Tips Link Party
How To Nest for Less' Party with My Peeps
Uncommon 's Uncommonly Yours Link Party

Saturday, June 09, 2012

Music for a "Summer" Day

I've shared some music from these guys awhile back, but I think they are good enough to share again.

I know it's not "officially" summer yet according to the calendar, but this teacher is on her summer break so I think it's close enough. :)

If you like what you hear, I encourage you all to check out the Piano Guys on YouTube. They have some beautiful songs, some silly songs, and some just plain cool songs. I'm fan. I think you will be too.

Happy weekend!

Thursday, June 07, 2012

The Best 4-Ingredient Summer Snack: Cucumber Tea Sandwiches

In my opinion, cucumber tea sandwiches are the best 4-ingredient summer snack ever. 
If you use low-fat or no-fat cream cheese I think you can even call them healthy!

Your four ingredients:

You can find the cocktail bread in the bakery section of most grocery stores. They usually have a few varieties. I have used rye, but pumpernickel is my favorite. And it's 100% whole grain-- so no guilt here!

Ok, here's the hard part:

  1. Spread the cream cheese on the bread.
  2. Put a slice of cucumber on the bread.
  3. Sprinkle a little dill on the whole thing.

And the hardest part of all:
Trying to not eat all 45 of these babies!

Every time I eat these sandwiches, I'm reminded of the movie, "The Importance of Being Earnest". It's hilarious.

Here's the clip:
(I'm sorry about the subtitles-- this was the only one I could find.)

Linking up to Serenity Now's Weekend Bloggy ReadingAddicted 2 Decorating's Addicts Anonymous Link Party, and Uncommon's Uncommonly Yours Link Party

Tuesday, June 05, 2012

Nothing Says "Laundry Time" Like a Vintage Viking Ship

I think some of the most interesting and beautiful homes have just a little bit of quirk. I like homes where people are not afraid to display some of the personality in their decor choices.

Case in point:

I just hung a Viking ship above my laundry room doors.

It was sitting in my closet for years at my parents' house. Then it moved with me a few times after college to my next succession of closets. It most recently has been residing in our garage for the past couple of years. Almost every time it's been moved, my husband has asked why we have this thing.

Nothing says laundry like a Viking ship, right?
The back story:

Soon after my grandfather passed away, the grandchildren were given the chance to walk through his home one last time before it was completely cleaned out and sold. We were told that we were welcome to take any small thing to have in our homes to remember him by.

I saw this Viking ship on the wall in the basement and I just liked it. I have no idea why. I just thought it was interesting. I think my family thought me a little strange for picking it out.

I still like it. I'm glad to this day that I've hung on to it.

I looked up online to see if it might have some worth, since it is stamped "MCMLX" which I believe means that it was manufactured in 1960. It isn't. Somewhere around $20.

I'm considering painting it bright red for a bit more punch, but I'm waffling because I like the details it has now too.

What do you all think: paint it or leave it?

Do you all have a quirky thing in your home?