Decorating for the Artistic Soul

Archive for February 2011

Though we grow older, we never grow too old for Easter candy. Jelly beans, chocolate eggs wrapped in colorful foil wrappers and marshmallow hens and chicks coated in colored sugars are reminiscent of childhood for all of us. If you are looking for a light-hearted gift for someone like a neighbor or coworker, a collection of these candies, served up in a cup and topped off with a decorative ribbon might be just the right gift.

First, scout around the local second hand shops and antique stores in your area. Look for mismatched tea cups, coffee mugs and matching saucers if they are available. Focus on spring or Easter themes. Mugs with pictures of Easter bunnies or tea cups with floral patterns are an excellent choice for this project. If you have trouble finding cups there, you can try your local dollar-type store for seasonal cups.

Next, purchase a variety of candies, depending on the tastes of your intended recipient(s). You can fill the cups with alone type of candy or mix and match. It’s up to you. If you’re going to use marshmallow candies, get the kind that is individually wrapped. Opening a larger package and separating the marshmallows will cause them to dry out and become stale.

Cut a length of pastel colored ribbon. Center the bottom of the cup on the center of the ribbon. Bring the ends up and tie the ribbon in place. Slip a hand-printed gift tag onto the ribbon and tie again. Curl the ends of the ribbons and let them dangle from the cup. Set the cup on its saucer, if bought one. Your gift is ready.

Candy-filled cups make nice place settings for an Easter get-together too. You can use them instead of place cards by putting each guest’s name on the tag.

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Remember this Valentine’s Day and the ones you love by making a scrapbook of all the fond memories you have of this special day. This is a time when couples look for new, exciting ways to express their love for one another. It’s a time to cherish and remember for many years to come. One of the best ways to keep these memories alive is with a Valentine’s Day scrapbook.

They’re easy and fun to make. All you need to do is visit your local craft store and pick up a few supplies. If you prefer not to start from scratch you can even pick up a scrapbook kit that has everything you need to get started. Once you have all of your supplies ready, it’s time to put together a memory you’ll cherish forever.

Things to include in your Valentine’s Day scrapbook:

  • Photos
  • Cards
  • Love letters
  • Keepsakes

Arrange these items throughout the pages of the scrapbook and write a passage about the special meaning it had for you. It makes it more interesting and easier to find what you’re looking for later if you give each section or page a title. Decorate the page with embellishments, ribbons, bows, lace and so forth that helps capture the mood of the memory. Be creative and experiment a little to come up with unique ways of displaying your memories.

The contents of the Valentine’s Day scrapbook can include memories from anyone who made this day special for you such as, children, parents, siblings, friends and so forth. However, you may want to dedicate a few pages especially for the special someone in your life. Creating your Valentine’s Day scrapbook is a tradition you can continue annually so you can look back on your life and all the happy memories you had throughout the years.

The lighting in your home can greatly affect your mood and it has a huge impact on the way your décor looks. When used correctly, lighting can enhance your room and make it look more vibrant and beautiful. On the other hand, improper lighting can have an adverse affect on your mood and surroundings.

Below are a few tips on how to use lighting efficiently that’ll help you get the most from your décor:

  • Use the right type of lighting for the job. Do you want to accent a painting or table of collectibles? If so, use accent lights. Task lights are designed to brighten up work areas like kitchens and home offices while some types of lights are designed especially for decoration. You’ll need to decide which type of lighting would be the most efficient and practical for your needs.
  • Place the light in the best location to get the most from its use. For example, use ambient lighting in the center of the room to light up the space more thoroughly making it easier to see where you’re going. Place task lighting over the area where you’ll be performing some type of duty for the best results.
  • When installing lighting, consider the location of the on/off switch carefully. An ill placed light switch can be extremely annoying and ruin an otherwise perfect floor plan.
  • Use the right type of bulbs for your fixtures. LED lights are fast becoming the most popular choice due to its energy efficient properties. They’re compatible for most all fixtures and types of lighting.

Using lighting efficiently can improve the overall quality of your life and make your home more relaxing and comfortable. The correct lighting placed in the right location will enhance your décor, improve your ability to perform task and make your home safer.

Are you concerned about showing the one you love how much you care for them this Valentine’s Day because you live on a tight budget? If so, you’re not along. Many people are struggling due to the tough economy and buying expensive gifts is not always an option. Fortunately, that’s not a problem. There are many ways you can make this one of the happiest days of year for your sweetheart and be romantic on a budget. Here are a few ideas to help you get started:

  • Be a thrifty shopper and compare products and prices before you buy.
  • Start shopping early and you can often find some really great deals on the perfect gift.
  • Instead of roses this year, consider a different type of flower that is less expensive or a plant that will last for a longer period of time.
  • Make your sweetheart a Valentine’s Day card instead of buying one or write a love poem.
  • Be creative with your gift giving. For example, some people would rather receive a gift that you made yourself from your heart instead of an expensive store bought item. Consider putting together a photo album of the time you’ve spent together or simply spend the day together without interruptions.
  • Instead of going out to dinner to a five start restaurant, make a romantic dinner at home and serve it by candlelight.

These are just a few of the things you can do to make this valentine’s Day special for the one you love without going over your budget. You’ll be surprised at all the things you can do if you put your mind to it. The main thing is that you know your partner and choose something that would have special meaning to him or her. When you do this, you can’t go wrong regardless of price.

A lot of people who have the talent for making home make crafts are often reluctant to give them away as gifts. This could be caused by a lack of self confidence. In some cases, the memory of receiving an ugly homemade gift from a friend or relative keeps us from sharing our work.

A walk through any craft bazaar or flea market will show that when it comes to homemade items, there is no accounting for taste. People will be standing in line to snap up a high priced item that would cause you to cringe if you received it as a gift, while the finely crafted and fair priced items are ignored.

Knowing the tastes of the recipient of the gift will be an indicator of how the gift is appreciated. Like all gifts, the handmade gift should be something the recipient will enjoy getting, rather than something the giver enjoys making or giving.

If you’re looking for gift ideas, check out the local craft stores. They will often offer classes to introduce new products that they sell. Many of these classes are free and the participant only has to pay for the materials used.

Keep your eyes open for free patterns as you browse the aisles of the craft store for items that you think that you can make that the intended recipient will enjoy.

Once you find the materials for the homemade gift that you will enjoy making and the recipient will get pleasure receiving, let the creativity flow. Gifts created out of love hold a special place in many hearts.

 

A little bit of knowledge can save you big money with repair bills, whether you plan on doing the repair yourself or if a professional contractor will have to be called in. With proper advance planning and preparation, you can keep a malfunction from becoming a major and costly damage crisis.

Electrical

Know the location of the shutoffs for the home electricity. Make sure the circuit breakers or fuses are all appropriately marked and that the identifiers can easily be read by the light of even a dim flashlight.

Just because you have shut off the electricity to a room or appliance, don’t assume that there is no voltage to the appliance or outlet. Check and double check to make sure that there is no electricity running through to avoid property damage or injury. Use a voltage tester to make sure you won’t get an unexpected shock.

Gas

Locate the main shut off valve for the gas line into your home. Make sure every family member knows the location. Make sure you are familiar with how the valve works. In an emergency like a leak, shut off the outside main valve first to keep leakage to a minimum. Once the main line has been closed, you will have the time to access the shutoff valve for the appliance without being overcome by fumes.

Water

A broken water line can quickly cause a lot of damage. Most sinks and toilets, as well as electrical appliances that use water have a shutoff valve in the vicinity of the fixture. But it’s always important to know where the main shut off valve is located in case the damaged water line or pipe is spewing water before it gets to the shutoff valve.

You want your home to be inviting to your guests, but when it comes to choosing a decorating style many choose trendy decorating themes. If you choose to spend your decorating budget on items that will impress your friends rather that reflecting your own flair, you may just end up trying to live your life around the home furnishings instead of enjoying them.

Have the confidence of decorating using your own flair and good taste. Most people will be happiest in a home that they decorate to reflect their own lifestyles and their families’ tastes rather than decorating to impress other people. A creative use of colors, texture and layering will make the home environment a place for your family to relax and recharge from the stresses of the outside world.

Use accessories that achieve the double function of being attractive while allowing display or storage space. If young children play in your living room or hearth area, don’t try to remove all traces of their belongings. Instead, use attractive baskets, cubes and boxes to store their toys in.

Show off the treasures you’ve acquired on family outings with strategic placement on shelves, in display cabinets or snuggled with your books. It’s true that art is in the eye of the beholder. Even an elegantly furnished room can benefit by a properly presented masterpiece created by a young child. Display the things you love with pride.

Your home décor is your personal choice, make it truly a representation of you and your family and a place that is comforting and filled with love.


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