DIY HOLIDAY: WALL HANGING

Wall hangings are all the rage right now. Especially if you are in to the bohemian decor. But with options available at Urban Outfitters and Anthropology, they are pricey. And a surprising fact, if you aren’t doing any weaving or macrame these cute pieces of wall art are extremely easy and affordable to make. No class needed for these babes.

You Will Need:

Yarn- can do multiple colors and different textures

Scissors

Wreath Hoops, rods or wood for the hanging device

You can add feathers, beads or wire accents

With all of my materials and coupons from Michaels, I was able to buy enough materials for two wall hangings for $15.00!

You will cute your yarn to desired length and start tying around your hanging device. You can do each piece or do groups of the yarn for a thicker knot. The easiest knot for this wall hanging is a Lark’s Head Knot.

Keep cutting and knotting to create any kind of design you would like. The great thing about the hoop is you can easily move your knotted sections to get the type of design you would like.

Once you get your yarn in the position you like now you can add any feathers, wire or beads to add some extra texture or fun to your piece. At this point you would also want to cut your ends the way you would like. Any way will work or you can leave it messy. Either way you choose it still looks great.

Now you are ready for gifting or hanging it in your space for yourself. Super easy and super affordable. Plus you will get a good relaxing creative hour out of this project. I also have a few more ideas linked on my Pinterest that are great ideas for your wall hanging.

If you decide to make your own, snap a picture and tag me on Instagram!

Artistically Wrapped Presents

It’s officially that time of year y’all! The holidays. I’m currently listening to Christmas music as I’m writing this and I have already put up my Christmas tree. I’ve even got some presents bought. What else can I say? I’m actually in the spirit this year, for the first time in a while (probably because I’m not stressing about finals and registering for new classes). So this year for my tree and present theme I am going for black, red, metallics and craft paper. But y’all, it’s hard to find a fun red and black wrapping paper that isn’t buffalo plaid (which I did pick up). So I decided to get creative. And make my own abstract paper.

So to make your own paper you will need:

Packaging paper or craft paper

Paint of your choices

Paint brush

Cup of Water

Bowl, plate, palette paper for your paint

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Also you are going to want to do this outside because it might just get messy.

You want to thin down your paint if you are doing an abstract splatter version like I did.

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Then just do whatever you would like. I’m actually wrapping up a painting so I channeled my inner Jackson Pollock and did a splatter design. I just get watered down paint on the brush and tap the brush for splatter designs.

My end version looked like this:

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You are going to want to let this dry for a while until the paint is completely dry to the touch. You can use a hairdryer to speed up the process if you wish. You can also let it sit over night before using it to wrap your gift with. I recommend cutting off the size you will need for your gift.

For the wrapping you will need:

Scissors

Tape

Festive ribbon

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And here is the final result!

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I think presentation is almost as important as the actual gift you are giving. This look would also be really cute done with stamps as well. This is time consuming but like I just stated it’s all about the presentation. Plus there is now some personality to the package! Happy wrapping!

 

Gift Guide: For The Artist

Gift Guide: For The Artist

I am lucky to live somewhere where I am surrounded my artist and creative minds alike. They fuel my creativity and inspire me every day. I have created a gift guide fit for artists (also everything is under $40.00) that artist could actually use besides those awkward gift sets you can find at your local craft stores. These are things artists can actually use and as an artist these are things I would love to get as a gift. If all else fails you can always opt for a gift card to your local craft store or art supply store.

Brush Cleaner– Yes it is very easy to wash your brushes with soap and water and it is done a lot. But to preserve your brushes every once in a while an artist needs to deep clean their brushes so they last longer. I really like “The Masters” brand because it works well with all mediums for deep cleaning brushes.

Palette Knives– As an artist I think a good stock pile of palette knives is needed. These things are so easy to bend so grabbing a few for the artist in your life is always a good idea. Artist use these for both mixing paints, creating their own paints and even painting with. This is also a good idea if you have an artist who is wanting to experiment with different types of painting techniques. This whole set is under $7.00!

An Art Book– Artist like to enjoy other artists work, they like to display art. Why not get them a coffee table book specifically about the kind of art they like. I like modern art so this book would be perfect for myself. This is the kind of gift that would go great with a season pass to their favorite art gallery!

Pocket Journal– It’s important for artist to have an artistic outlet any time, anywhere. Where they can make quick sketches or jot down ideas they pull from their surroundings. An unlined drawing journal that can fit in their bag or pocket is perfect. If you think they have plenty lying around, they use them and sometimes can use them up fast. It’s always good to have an extra one and especially a smaller one.

Art Palette– Some palettes are a little more expensive, especially airtight ones. Not all artists are starving but they are normally on a budget, so splurging on something like this Martin Universal Airtight Peel-Off Palette might be out of the question. These are perfect for painting not just to hold your paint, but also if an artist is working on an in depth project this conserves paint. You can store your paint overnight or for days, you can mix a unique color and not have to continue trying to get it the same because you can save it. I had one very similar to this in college and loved it if I wasn’t getting a painting done in one sitting. Plus if you buy this from Michaels you can use a coupon!

Micron Pens– First, let me just rave about these pens. I love them! These pens are a little on the pricey side for pens but they are worth it. These pens are acid free and smudge proof so perfect for art. An artist can use these for signing pieces, doodling, drawing, mixed media; the options are just about endless for these pens!

Some other great gifts for artist that are very affordable could be good soap and lotion (since artist wash their hands a lot), drop cloths, iTunes gift cards or albums (artist generally like to have music playing while they are creating), gift cards to craft stores (Dick Blick, AC Moore, Michaels, etc.), membership to a local museum or gallery or a piece of art.

 

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Styling Vignettes with Our Cozy Cat Cottage

Hey yall!

I am very excited to be doing this guest spot over here on 30 Shades of Stephanie! I hope you are enjoying your day! I just want to say pull up a chair, grab a cup of coffee or tea, wrap up in a cozy blanket, and sit back and relax!

I want to do a quick little intro of myself before we get started today on the topic at hand. Hello my name is Keeley, and I am addicted to all things antique and vintage! Phew, glad to clear the air about that! Let me tell you a few other little things about myself and we will get started!

  • I am a lover of all things chippy and rusty
  • Me and old books are best friends
  • Decorating is my passion
  • I am also addicted to coffee and early morning snuggles in a blanket watching the sun rise
  • Farmhouse style is my go to
  • I am obsessed with cats—I have 2 furry angels that my husband and I adopted named Arnold and Lenny
  • We refer to Arnold and Lenny as our children and the boys—don’t judge
  • Did I mention I love cats??

It is so nice to meet all of yall!—did I mention I am from the South and have a very strong southern accent? Ok friends, today I wanted to share with yall my easy, simple, go to tips on how to style a vignette! In design terms, this simply means grouping objects together to create a display. I am a lover of vignettes because they are an easy way to decorate, add prettiness to any room, and can be cheap to do! Follow these tips here and people will walk into your space and be amazed with what you have put together! Are yall ready? Ok, here we go!

Tip 1: Mix up your textures. Don’t feel like because you love a wooden frame that everything you put together has to be wood! Bring in that metal, burlap, plastic, glass, pottery, and whatever else strikes your fancy! I love complementing metals, woods, and glass together. This brings in a very light, airy, and refreshing sense to your space. Adding different textures will make your vignette pop, and your guests will be drawn to the pieces and the space!

Styling Vignettes with Our Cozy Cat CottageStyling Vignettes with Our Cozy Cat CottageStyling Vignettes with Our Cozy Cat Cottage

Tip 2: Add in a variety of layers! You don’t want your vignette to appear flat. Add in layers to create depth and height. Place things in front of one another—with the taller object in the back and the smaller object in the front. Stack things on top of each other. I love taking vintage books and using them as a base to sit things on top of.

Styling Vignettes with Our Cozy Cat CottageStyling Vignettes with Our Cozy Cat CottageStyling Vignettes with Our Cozy Cat Cottage

Tip 3: Add height differences. You don’t want all your pieces to be the same size. It doesn’t draw your eye to it. Mix and match different height items to draw the eye to all parts of your vignette!

Styling Vignettes with Our Cozy Cat CottageStyling Vignettes with Our Cozy Cat Cottage

Tip 4: Add in greenery and florals! This is my go to design tip for everything. Adding greenery and florals make your space look alive and fresh. It adds a sense of comfort and an overall homey-ness, lived in look. I use greenery in all my rooms in our home. Also, don’t think you have to just put them in an old vase. Think outside the box! Place them in Mason jars, pottery pieces, little wooden drawers/cubbies, and glass jugs. Whatever you think and like!

Styling Vignettes with Our Cozy Cat CottageStyling Vignettes with Our Cozy Cat Cottage

Tip 5: Use colors that complement each other and your space. I am all about mixing up colors, but you don’t want your colors to clash. If you enjoy using a lot of different colors, tie them all together by using pieces that have a neutral color palate, like cream, white, and colors to that extent.

Styling Vignettes with Our Cozy Cat Cottage

Tip 6: Vignettes can be a variety of different sizes! They don’t have to be large displays. You can have a collection of a few items that you love that you place together. There are all types of sizes of vignettes. Small, Medium, Large, all sizes!

Styling Vignettes with Our Cozy Cat CottageStyling Vignettes with Our Cozy Cat CottageStyling Vignettes with Our Cozy Cat CottageStyling Vignettes with Our Cozy Cat Cottage

Tip 7: Use what you love! In a vignette especially, pick pieces that interest you! Pick pieces that come from your travels to display. They make for interesting conversation when your guests come over! The key to design is to love what you have done. If you don’t like globes for say, don’t use them just because everyone else is using them. Pick the things you love and want to look at. If you love your design, everyone else will too!

Now I want to give you a list of places I go that never let me down for home décor! At these places you can find tons of knick knacks to work into vignettes!

There you have it, friends! I hope you found these 7 tips to style a vignette to be useful and helpful! I have so enjoyed being here, and love being able to make new friends! I would love to hear from you and talk with you some more! Here’s how you can find me:

My Website: www.ourcozycatcottage.com

My Instagram: https://instagram.com/keeleym_ourcozycatcottage/

My Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/kbmckendree/

My Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/116410922485612717043/posts

My Cozy Cat Cottage Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Our-Cozy-Cat-Cottage/850325488408728?fref=ts

Until next time!

XoXo

**30 Shades of Stephanie here! Thank you so much for Keeley from Our Cozy Cat Cottage for putting this guest blog post together. Make sure you visit all of her social media and show her some love on her blog! I’m ready to go style a vignette now since I had no idea what it was before!**.

Historic Savannah

Historic Savannah Historic Savannah Historic Savannah Historic Savannah Historic Savannah Historic Savannah Historic Savannah Historic Savannah Historic Savannah Historic Savannah Historic Savannah Historic Savannah

Since Savannah Georgia is only 20 miles from Hilton Head Island, before heading back to the mountains we made a pit stop. I officially feel southern now that I have visited Savannah. I immediately got online to see what to do in an afternoon there, and since Savannah is home to SCAD I knew of a few art museums but wanted to see where we could explore with out traveling all over town. The Telfair Academy is one of the oldest public museums in the south, and in the heart of the historic district so we decided to venture there. The old homestead and academy is now turned into a museum that displays early American artists with a few European artists mixed in. Across the street was the Jepson Center which offers contemporary modern art. I immediately fell in love. I had a Gossip Girl moment when walking inside because the outside structure is very similar to the MET, I wanted to eat yogurt on the steps there and meet there with coffee in hand every day. We were in luck when we visited because there was the largest privately own Andy Warhol collection with contemporary printmaking art as well. I was in heaven, there were so many unnoticeable Warhols. I also got to see Winston Churchill’s traveling easel. Before heading home we stopped at B&D Burgers for some awesome burgers (the meat selection was out of this world for your burgers, elk burger anyone?)..

As of Lately

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It’s felt like Spring with what I’ve been eating lately. Lots of berries for breakfast and the first cook out of the year was had a week ago. Also Rocky’s Hot Chicken Shack is so delicious and had it delivered one night when the schedule was extremely hectic. P.S. Rocky’s mac and cheese poppers and sweet potato casserole is pretty much heaven in a bite.

As of Lately

I’ve been working on a lot of art here lately! Don’t forget to follow me on Instagram because I have sales on art through Pay With Penny!

As of Lately

The weather in Asheville has been rainy, but I’ve tried to make it out to Biltmore as much as possibly to see the Biltmore Blooms this Spring.

As Of Lately

I introduced a four legged friend into my home, Maeve seems to be adjusting pretty well.

As Of Lately

I got to take a hard hat tour of the Asheville Outlets that are due to open on May 1st. It was pretty neat to see the transformation from the old mall.

As Of Lately

Cove Lake Labradoodles had a new litter of puppies on 4-15-15. They are so tiny and adorable right now.

As of Lately

I hate to admit but I will, I’m addicted to Sons of Anarchy. I can’t stop watching it. And with Netflix releasing the final season this month, it’s been about the only thing I actually sit down and watch.

Make sure you are following me on Instagram to see what I’m up to on a daily basis!.

Around the Web

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The past night and this morning I have been on the internet trying to set up a few things, get some last minute assignments submitted and do some “research”. Here’s what I keep gravitating towards and an announcement for tomorrow!

1. Image {VIA} It’s really important to stay organized but especially when you have a blog. I found this awesome planner that is free to download and extremely helpful.

2. Image {VIA} I can’t help but to re-visit this tribal print bag from Forever 21 . I’m pretty sure it’s a sign I need it and it’s under $20.00. I can already see how I will style it in my head.

3. Image {VIA} Pinterest has been my go to here lately for meal ideas. I’ve been trying to eat healtheir and I am finding some really great recipes on there. Make sure you are following me @stephf52.

4. Image {VIA} It’s official, I have a trip planned for Hilton Head Island, SC for the second week in May. I’ve been doing a lot of research on new places and sights to see because I will be putting in some work (for the blog so not that hard) while I’m there. If you have anything you love there I’d love to hear about it!

5. Image {VIA} Since there are outlet stores near Hilton Head and Asheville is getting a new outlet mall May 1st, I’ve been looking at designer bags that I may be able to score for a cheaper price. This Michael Kors bag keeps drawing me in, hopefully I can find something similar at either of the outlets for a more affordable price!

6. I’m having an art sale tomorrow and will also be having one next Friday as well on Instagram! Make sure you are following me so you can score some handmade art by me! Don’t forget to follow me at @stephf52!

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Valentine’s Day Date Ideas: Staying at Home

Maybe you are not into heading out on Valentine’s Day during the dinner rush because let’s face it, it is crowded and over priced. You may go out and do a Valentine’s breakfast, brunch or lunch so here are some ideas for staying at home on Valentine’s Day.

Valentines-Roundup

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You can always cook dinner at home. Since it’s Valentines Day, you can try something new in the kitchen, or simply go for something a little more fancy. On “Oh, Sweet Basil” I found something that has recipes for breakfast, dinner and desserts.

Love is Art, sells kits for this unusual way to make abstract paintings. I think it’s a really neat and intimate idea on how to create art. You don’t have to buy the kit to actually make a painting. All you would need is a piece of canvas, an old sheet to protect your floors, cheap flip flops to get to the bathroom to shower and some paint. I think this is romantic and creative at the same time.

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You can always plan an “indoor picnic” and never go wrong with that. It can be romantic with candles and flowers or it can be super casual with blankets and pillows. Let your meal or snacks go around the romantic/casual theme. Pick out a movie that both will enjoy and that’s a night.

I also have a list of ideas for dates that are for going out on Valentine’s Day HERE.

You only have a few days left to enter the GIVEAWAY for your chance to win two tickets to The Biltmore Estate.

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Valentine’s Day Date Ideas: Going Out

I have come up with a lists of things I have loved to do on date days that would be great for Valentine’s Day. Since the holiday is on a Saturday, generally each of us will have the entire day with our Valentine so I’ve come up with a couple ideas that can be great for the day; these are at all different prices ranges.

Life As Of LatelyLife As Of Lately

 

It’s kind of tradition to go out to a really nice restaurant on Valentine’s Day. If you are feeling the splurge, and are in Asheville, you and your Valentine should visit The Omni Grove Park Inn for dinner. The fine dining here is endless and the food is actually yummy. From almost every restaurant you have a view of the scenic mountain skyline, and after dinner you can enjoy a cocktail or hot chocolate by the roaring fireplaces (since the remodel) they offer several places to do this. This is one of the priciest restaurants around Asheville so be ready for a high bill. If a fine dining establishment is where you want to go, check out YELP for reviews of nicer restaurants in your area.

 

Fall Layers + Photo Diary of Date Day

Call me an old lady if you want, but I love going to the Farmer’s Market. It’s something about the freshness of the food and actually meeting the people who produce the food with their heart and soul while shopping. Most Farmers are still open even though it’s February, you would need to check your area though. This would be a great idea for during the day, to go together and pick out fresh ingredients for a dinner you plan on making at home together. Normally Farmer’s Markets have lunch options or snacks and drinks, and some even have craft sections, great for exploring for an hour or so, grabbing a fresh lunch, and grabbing a “farm to table” dinner. This is really inexpensive, a great date idea if you have a tight budget but still want to do something fun for Valentine’s Day.

 

Fall Layers + Photo Diary of Date DayFall Layers + Photo Diary of Date Day

 

Valentine’s Day dinner is normally over priced, packed, and generally not as romantic as you actually planned; that is if you can even get a table somewhere. A great alternative to dinner is heading out for lunch, maybe at a cool cafe or a nicer place just for their lunch menu. This is what Andrew and I did last year. He took me to a very nice restaurant in downtown around 2; it was great because there was only one other group in the place, it was a little more affordable than heading out that night, the food was still delicious and we didn’t have to wait as long. Since you are doing lunch, you might want to do some research and go to a place you both have never been.

 

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Who knows what the weather will be like on Valentine’s Day, it could change to a blizzard; but a picnic is always nice. You could spring for some nicer cheeses and meets and just have a cheese board. Go somewhere with a beautiful view of something you both love. If all else fails and it is cold, have the picnic in the backseat of the car!

A Light Cardigan

 

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If you live in Asheville or want to plan a day visit, make sure you visit the Biltmore Estate for a great Valentine’s Day! They have a new exhibit “Exploring Downton” which features period costumes, there is the winery (I suggest the Bubbles Tour), the flowers in the greenery, the scenery, and plenty of places to eat. Tickets are currently $39.00, but don’t forget to enter my Valentine’s Day Biltmore Giveaway for your chance to win two tickets to the Biltmore!

 

Beach Diaries Part 1

 

If you and your Valentine love art, head out to a local art museum to check out local and current exhibitions. You may have to do some research, but I’m sure you can find one close to you. If not, take a little drive and visit a museum. Most museums, art or not, and generally under $20.00 per person, some of them don’t even charge, they just accept donations.

 

Month in Review: June

 

Do something fun and that’s a hobby of your Valentine. Andrew and I enjoy to play golf together so this is something we might do. You can hit up a local arcade, amusement park, movie theater, or you can even take a class together (painting, cooking, photography, etc.).

Fall AdventuresFall AdventuresFall Adventures

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Like I said who knows what the weather will be like next Saturday, but it’s always nice to go exploring out in nature. You can go exploring, hiking, climbing; whatever you like, spending time with your love and getting some fun exercise in. Even though everything is dead, it’s still beautiful in nature in the winter time. Most exploring only costs you gas in the car unless you go to a state park that generally requires admission. Pick somewhere fun to explore, make a day trip of it. Western North Carolina is full of places to explore, plus if you visit, do some research on YELP and find a cute mountain cafe to have lunch at or coffee at!!

Don’t forget to enter the GIVEAWAY for the chance to win two tickets to The Biltmore Estate!

Also make sure you follow the blog next week for some Valentine’s Outfit Inspiration and some recipes if you are staying home on Valentine’s Day!.

Welcoming 2015 With Open Arms

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Happy New Year!!! I can’t believe it is 2015, can you? I’m not one to make resolutions because it just sets yourself up for failure and disappointment. So my only “hopes” for the year is to live every day to the fullest, take joy in the smaller things more, expand my painting, and explore different avenues for the blog. 2015 is going to be great! If you set resolutions what are yours for the year?.