April 18, 2014

Gone GLAMPING... A DIY Glamorous Camping Trip

When you think of camping, do you think it's messy, dirty, uncomfortable, full of bugs and lacks any kind of luxury? Many women I know don't care to go camping unless they are in a nice motor-home or RV and most would probably rather just go to a hotel or resort. A couple of years ago I set out to show that camping can be very nice, in fact this trip was the opposite of most peoples impressions of camping is!!!   Welcome to our DIY camping/GLAMPING trip...

Loving decorating as much as I do, I can't just go camping, so a couple of years ago I decided to start going GLAMPING... which translates to Glamorous Camping For me "Glamping" means having all the comforts of home all around us and decorating our surrounding space with a comfortable homelike feel.  

My Glamping must haves include a comfy bed with nice linens... also, both a shower and a flushing toilet within a couple minutes walk and restaurants in the area so we didn't have to do all of our own cooking or dishes... oh, and lots and lots of candles!!!

Above is a picture of our car at our camp site after we had already started unloading it's contents.  I had it packed literally from top to bottom.  Seriously, I could not have fit anything else inside!!!  I had so much packed and puzzled in every nook and cranny of our vehicle.  Luckily my hubby never complained and is fully supportive of all my decorating craziness :)

I will post several pictures so you can get a feel for what it was like actually being there. If you like what you see, I would love it if you could PIN them to Pinterest and share them with your friends!

A few minutes after we arrived at our campsite, my hubby scouted the campsite for a good flat spot and he got to putting up our tent.  Below is a picture of the tent about 25 minutes later.  

I realize that many people don't like tent camping, but as long as you have air mattresses or an airbed it really can be very comfortable!  Air mattresses are very easy to use and roll up small for easy transport. To see what kind I use visit HERE.

I had planned to hang mason and jelly jars from the trees with candles in them.  I used battery operated flicker candles since there were fire rules in the forest.  As you can see below all of my jars have wire hangars on them so I could hang the jars from the trees.  However, when we arrived I discovered that all of the trees were like 100 feet tall or more and I had absolutely no way to get them up into the trees, so instead I put them all over our site at different levels to add ambiance.  My husband actually went and found a tree laying on it's side in the forest and cut these stumps for me to use as tables.  He also cut us our own firewood... (I'm married to such a stud... lucky me!).

The wooden box below is an old grenade crate with rope handles that I found at a flea market for only $3.  I've since seen them for sale on ETSY and eBay for anywhere from $50 to $150... I so love finding bargains for just a few dollars!  I used the crate to transport all of my hanging mason jars and then was able to use it as a decorative piece at the camp site... love it!

This wall hanging birdcage was found at a thrift store for $3.  I painted it, added some nesting material, hung a few sparkling crystal prisms from it and popped in a couple of battery operated tea-light candles into it.  Since we were outdoors, I incorporated a few birdcages and birdhouses into the decor.

The weather was perfect and the view from our windows was stunning!

Having a bed off of the floor and having end tables when camping made it feel so much more like home!  And it's a ton more comfortable!!!  The wood end table on the left I found on clearance at Home Depot for just $11.  It folds completely flat which made for easy transport.  The little round table on the right I found at a vintage store.  It was originally black, but I painted it white for that shabby cottage chic look.

I made this battery operated chandelier from a birdcage that I found for $10 at Marshalls, a strand of LED Lights, some nesting material and a couple of faux candles that were also battery operated.  I used a bunch of crystal prisms (leftover from prior crafts) add hung them from the bottom making it feel like a real chandelier.  The chandelier added a nice touch of romance to our tent. 

Once we zipped up the windows we had complete privacy.

The entire campsite decor was initially inspired by this vintage wooden Pepsi box crate that I found at a flea market a few weeks ago.  I paid just $5 for it, and with it I was inspired to go with a red, white and blue theme.  Also being that 4th of July/Independence Day was close, I figured patriotic colors were appropriate.

Below is a wooden box that I added rose furniture appliques to and then I painted it Heirloom White and distressed it for a shabby look.  I added mason jars to it to and used them to hold our designer plastic silverware (hehe)...

I loved lighting the candles and chandelier as the sun went down. It added a warm glow and soft ambiance to our campsite. We were out in the forest with hundreds of huge trees and we had created our own wonderful romantic haven... It was our home for the weekend. 

My parents stopped in for a visit and my father said, "Wow, so you can be homeless and still live in style". He got a huge kick out of the fact that I would go to all this trouble... but he loved it!

The framed chalkboard on the table that says "welcome glampers" was made from a vintage frame I found for just $2 at a swap meet.  I spray painted the frame Heirloom White and then painted a wood backer board (that fit inside the frame) with Rust-Oleum Chalkboard paint

I love making my own chalkboards from inexpensive vintage finds!

As I mentioned earlier, I gave the chandelier light by using Battery Operated LED Lights. They put off a good amount of light and one set of batteries lasts quite a long time.

You can see how at night the campsite had a nice warm glow using different kinds of battery operated lighting.

Our favorite restaurant was only about 10 minutes away from where we camped, so the only cooking we did during our trip was make s'mores over the campfire.  We toasted/roasted marshmallows until they were oooey and gooey, put them between two graham crackers and added a square of Hershey's chocolate in the middle, waited for it to melt together and then happily indulged.  YUM!!!

Saturday afternoon we met friends at their dock on the lake, barbecued, boated and knee boarded.  Well, I didn't actually knee board, but I did live vicariously through those that did... lol.

As we sped around the lake we slowed down to see a few of the amazing homes that surround the lake.  This little mountain cabin is available for $16,000,000.  Okay, so it's a major mansion... but 16 million... That is crazy!!!  But I do imagine it has an amazing view.

I have always thought this next place was incredibly awesome.  It has a boat house directly under the house.  So very cool!
Lake Arrowhead has a village that has lots of fun shops, restaurants, a grocery store and more.  When you have a boat on the lake, you can take your boat to the village and dock while you shop, eat, stroll around the village and visit their summer concerts.  That would be so much fun... You would never have to use your car.  Imagine, just hop in your boat and run your errands.

Sunday morning we packed up our car like a puzzle filling each and every hole...  Somehow we managed to squeeze everything back in!

We had a wonderful weekend and are looking forward to going Glamping again soon!

Would you go Glamping if it was like this?


April 17, 2014

DIY Painted Front Porch Chairs

Last year I found a pair of wood Adirondack chairs at the Home Depot for only $29 each. They came in a box and required assembly, but for $29 a piece they were a steal of a deal! Assembly was easy (especially since my hubby did it for me...)  
I decided to paint them a beautiful teal color to add a fun pop of color to our otherwise boring front yard...  I love their transformation and they look fabulous on our porch.

Until next time,
Happy decorating!


April 11, 2014

How to Make Monogrammed Easter Eggs - Easy Peasy

How to make custom monogrammed decorated Easter eggs. Fast and easy... 

First you must start with hard boiled eggs that are dry and around room temperature.

I cut vinyl stickers on my Cricut Electronic Cutting Machine
in 1" and 2" heights.  I did mostly letters plus a few fun shapes.  If you don't have a cutter, you could also buy letter stickers at a craft store. 

I put my stickers onto the hard boiled eggs.  I made sure they were adhered well.  The stickers are hard to see in the picture below, so I outlined the "D" so you could see one of them clearly.

I purchased a $2.00 Paas Easter Egg Coloring Kit and that is all I used to color them.

I put an egg into each color and waited just a couple of minutes for the color to take.

I used the egg carton to space the eggs out while they dried.

I waited about a half an hour for the color to completely dry and then I removed the stickers.

I love the finished results... Simple and beautiful colored eggs with wonderful charm and character!

I wish you and yours many blessings!


April 3, 2014

DIY Five Dollar Memo Board

Take a yard sale frame, add paint, glaze and some chicken wire and you get a stunning memo board.  Can you believe that I made this beauty for only $5.

I found this frame (with a really ugly picture in it) for $2 at a yard sale..  Although it was super ugly, under the ugly I saw that the frame had good details and a ton of potential. Unfortunately I forgot to take a picture of "before".

After removing the ugly picture (and trashing it) I  painted the frame with Rust-Oleum spray paint (aqua) that was left over from a prior project.  Rust-Oleum has many beautiful colors that work great for painting (updating) accent pieces!
When shopping at flea markets, thrift stores and yard sales, be sure to look at an item for what it can be not what it looks like in it's current state.  What this looked like "before" would have scared most people away.  Remember, if an item has good bones, anything can be transformed with paint!!!

I spray painted the frame in the garage, then after the paint dried, I took it into my craft room, plopped it on an old beach towel on the floor (so the glaze wouldn't get on the carpet) and gathered all of my crafting supplies that this project would need.   

First I unrolled the chicken wire, which requires being super careful because those edges are sharp!!!  I cut it with wire cutters and then I  simply stapled it to the rear of my wood frame (note: if this were a plastic frame, staples would not work).  

After it was completely stapled all the way around, I cut the wire edges and bent them towards the frame so they would not scratch me or anyone when hanging.

I then turned it over and using my sponge brush covered everything with a thin coat of glaze (including the wire, to give it a vintage look)

I used a damp washcloth to wipe the excess glaze off of the frame and there you have it...  Notice how the glaze enhances all of the frames beautiful details.  I love this look! 

A $2 frame, about $2 worth of chicken wire and $1 worth of paint and I have this beautiful framed memo board that I can use to help me organize my craft ideas, inspirational quotes and photos.

There are tons of items that you can find at yard sales, swap meets and thrift stores for just a few dollars.  And with a can of Spray Paint you can transform them into beautiful decorative accent pieces for your home.  

Until next time,
Happy decorating!