Thursday, December 10, 2020

Christmas Time

The Decorated House - Christmas Simple White and Silver

I love the fresh green tree when we first bring it in the house. It is nice to just be
thankful to Mother Nature and the hard working tree farmers.
Then the lights go on, and they are plentiful! For a few days the tree just sparkles with the lights, and nothing else. After that the ornaments are put on. This year there are even fewer, just simplicity. 

Simply White and Silver,
Icicles and Snowflakes. 

Thank you to Christmas Tree Farmers for
a  Real Christmas Tree! 

Friday, October 16, 2020

~ Halloween Decor :: Vintage & Elegant :: Black & White with Mercury Glass :: Entry Table 2013

Entry ~ Halloween 2013

The entry table is another favorite place to decorate for the holidays.  I shared photos highlighting some of the different elements that are shown here in  previous posts that can bee seen by clicking here:  Details of My Velvet Pumpkin The Monogram Pumpkin with Paper Butterflies

The Mercury glass pumpkins and gourds are a really wonderful addition to Fall and Halloween since they add a touch of elegance and reflective light. And if you have come by in years past, you know those little silver crowns get used as often as possible when a little bit of silver is sure to add a sparkle.


The foyer table is black marble and has a simple burlap runner on the top for  texture and feeling of Fall. To complement the other black elements, there is  a tall black urn holding one of the painted white pumpkins. The pumpkins were painted a couple of years ago with ASCP and simple white paint as well. The pumpkin on the antique books and the one on the vintage silver piece are both velvet pumpkins which are newly made this year. I showed how I made mine HERE.  The small black pumpkin is a faux pumpkin that was painted a few years ago with spray paint. Look for the kind that will work on plastic, like Fusion and Universal. Both will give you nice coverage. Of course if you have some black Chalk Paint it will work too.


 Ravens wear collars, and the spiders wear glitter.

 

Antique books and a garden urn with a Mercury glass gourd on top,
with a Mercury glass pumpkin sitting on a black and white pinwheel made of wired ribbon.
A little silver crown and antique skeleton keys round out the display.


 The other raven wears a fun harlequin collar.


 The vintage mirror is lightly wrapped with white web while glittered spiders climb to the top.



 And Velvet Pumpkins add another little touch of elegance and texture.


Black and White Paper Butterflies and Spiders, too. 
These Velvet Pumpkins have real (dried) pumpkins stems. 

See Y'All Soon~


Wednesday, October 14, 2020

Halloween Decorating ~ Black and White Elegant Fun

The Decorated House :: Halloween Decorating with Black and White. Come see the funny crows all dressed up for the holiday, and get some more fun ideas for decorating Halloween in Black and White!

Those silly crows certainly enjoy a Halloween gathering. Give them a few minutes to roam freely and they are all dressed up with hats and collars, too. I think they are imitating the art of my little witch Izabella  decked out in a snazzy black hat!  For the entry table, I made a tall pumpkin topiary with white pumpkins and a more traditional orange one in the center. This way I can have some Fall color by leaving it as is when Halloween is done.

Elegant and fun Halloween Decorating in Black and White. Crows with hats, Annie Sloan Chalk Paint Pumpkin and Mercury Glass

On the mantel is another (faux - foam) pumpkin painted with Annie Sloan Chalk paint. Why? I just like the way the paint looks, it covers over orange very well, and I already had it on hand. Another crow with her party hat a few spiders, and a mercury glass gourd makes a fun arrangement. 

Decorating for Halloween in Black and White with Vintage, Milk Glass, Crows with Hats and more! from Donna ~ The Decorated House

A sister crow sits on top of a small rattan chest along with a beautiful antique vellum book and a sweet little plush velvet pumpkin with a paper clay stem. 

DIY Ideas in the post for you to try:


1. Painted foam pumpkins. Any good paint will work. You might have to use one with a primer in it to cover up the really strong orange ones. But if you have some Annie Sloan Chalk Paint, it works very well. 

2. Make some little hats and collars for your crows. Really simple to do, the hats are just a cone and a circle of black construction paper. Cut a hole in the center of the circle and attach to the cone. 

For a quick collar, you can use a cupcake paper liner or weave a wire through some vintage (or new) lace and make a circle out of it. Or you can use wired ribbon, cut off one side, and pull the wire on the other side to gather it into a circle to put around the neck. 

3. Make your own plush velvet pumpkins. 

And fill with your own style and imagination! 
 
See Y'All Soon~

Thursday, October 1, 2020

~ DIY : How to Make Velvet Pumpkins Plush & Pretty Fall Decorating - Tutorial

DIY Velvet Pumpkins Tutorial. The Decorated House . How to make these pretty and plush velvet pumpkins.

I think the lovely velvet pumpkins are still a wonderful
addition to our Fall decorating. The instructions that I posted a
while ago is still one of the easiest ones to make.
Although I have seen some highly embellished, and some
imported ones of China or wherever, to me to the simplest handcrafted ones
you can make yourself are still the nicest.
____________________________________________

 How to Make Plush and Pretty Velvet Pumpkins:

It's getting to be that time of year again! Here is an early Fall Project 
you can make now, and use through Thanksgiving. 
 
You can find so many tutorials for making these pretty velvet pumpkins, it didn't seem necessary to write another one in great detail with step by step pictures.  Pinterest has lots of examples for DIY pumpkins and they are mostly the same. I have a bit different way of making them and I'm going to share that with you along with some finished pictures of course!
 
It was tough finding velvet when I made these! I guess there just isn't much demand. The type of fabric the companies use who make these commercially, and sell for big bucks, is silk velvet. You can order it online, if you cannot find it in the store. But one of the fabric stores had a nice stretch velvet in cream, off-white which was mainly what I wanted anyway, and that is what I used.

DIY . How to make Pretty and Plush Velvet Pumpkins. Tutorial The Decorated House

Close up of Stem and Ruching Details.

Inside my pumpkin is one of those cheap dollar pumpkins. Those things are pretty ugly. They are easy to spot because they have  bulky seam running across them. Unless you decorate them in some way to cover it, they always look odd. However, used as the inside center  of my new velvet pumpkin they work great!

Here is my method of a less floppy pumpkin. But it is equally as plush!

1.  Start with a cheap faux pumpkin, and cut a circle from your fabric to cover the whole thing, plus some extra for the bulk that you are going to add. Remember you can always cut it smaller, but you can't make it bigger once it is cut.

2.  Some of the more expensive velvet pumpkins have plastic (doll making) pellets inside.  This is not my choice if there are kids or dogs around who might get them.

The best alternative that I found is to use beans instead. I used dried lentils and dried black beans. Both were equally good for this purpose. You can find large, very inexpensive bags of beans at both costco and bj's.

3.  Put your faux pumpkin in a plastic bag; I used a gallon size zip lock bag.  Then cut off the zip part of the bag,  and tape the folds of the edge of the bag up around the pumpkin to a more round shape so that the bag will lay more flatly against the pumpkin. But leave the bag open enough to put in the beans.

4.  Now fill up the between the plastic bag, and around the pumpkin, with the beans. Move them around so that you have a layer of beans all around the pumpkin.

Then tie up the plastic bag with a baggie tie around the pumpkin and the beans.

5. Take the circle of fabric, and sew a simple basting stick about 1/4 inch from the edge all the way around. Use a double thread so you when you pull, it will be less likely to break.

6. Gather the thread around the edge, making a sack or bag for the pumpkin. Leave it open enough so that the pumpkin will fit inside.

7.  Put the bean-bag-pumpkin inside the center, and continue pulling the gathering thread until it is closed and then sew it from side to side to close it tight. Now you will have a lovely ruching at the top which you can adjust after you tie off the thread.

8.  Now you can play with the beans and pinch the velvet and beans to make ribs.

9.  Hot glue, or regular glue, a real pumpkin stem on the velvet pumpkin. Be sure that has been thoroughly dried. (Do not store real pumpkin stems you collect and dry in a plastic bag unless they are very, very dry, or they will mildew.)

So now you can see that by doing your pumpkins this way they have a little different look. I like to make pretty ribs, and have them stay that way.

The stem is real, but I dry brushed some lime green on it instead of leaving it all brown. See the previous post for how to make a really pretty stem from air-dry clay.

The Decorated House :: How to make Pretty and Plush Velvet Pumpkins

You'll notice that my pumpkin is not floppy. It holds it shape exactly. If you want a floppy version, most of the tutorials I found make them so.  Some used polyester batting inside and nothing that holds the shape like the faux pumpkin and the beans. Those can be nice as well, it just  wasn't the look I was after.

See Y'All Soon~
Donna

Sunday, September 27, 2020

How to Add a Pretty DIY Stem to Your Velvet Pumpkins


Add a DIY Pumpkin Stem to your Velvet or Faux Pumpkins to make them extra special! The Decorated House

Velvet Pumpkin with Air-Dry Clay Stem

The velvet pumpkins are such a pretty addition to your Fall and Halloween décor. You can certainly have them out from September through Thanksgiving.  One of the nicest ways to finish them is by adding a real pumpkin stem which adds a touch of realism and rustic charm. You can save stems from your own pumpkins each year, or use ones you found at the market maybe.  It is so interesting to see how many different shapes the stems take on while growing.
  
Sometimes you might need a certain size or a more whimsical look than you might have saved. I had one pumpkin stem that was my favorite, but it was too large for this little velvet pumpkin. So I used the real stem as inspiration for making one the right size.. This one is made of  an air dry clay. It will say "air dry" on the package. Sometimes it might be paper clay, but there are other kinds as well. The one shown here is a paper clay type.  It is very easy to use, and you can keep it from drying out by when you store it for longer periods of time by  keeping a damp paper towel in a plastic bag with it.
 
********************************
*Start by rolling out a fat piece of clay the size that seems good for your size pumpkin.
*Adjust the size of the roll to be fatter at one end, and slimmer at the other.
*Make some lines down the sides with a knife or other slim object like a real pumpkin stems have.   
*Give it a nice twist, until you like the way the lines and curve looks to you.
*You can separate the bottom part like the one above.
*Let it dry completely.
*Paint your pretty stem with any acrylic or craft paints in the colors that make it look like a real   stem: browns,  green yellows, grays.

**********************************

(Of course you can use a clay that needs to be baked like Sculpey as well.)

Now you have no problem if you can't find just the right real stem for your pumpkins, just make your own.  Of course these work wonderfully on the foam faux pumpkins that are just perfect for painting.

See Y'all Soon~ 

Donna

Saturday, July 4, 2020

~ Liberty Enlightening the World - The Statue of Liberty ~ Happy July 4th!

Liberty Enlightening the World - The Statue of Liberty at The Decorated House

This magnificent gift from France is now a symbol that holds a special place in the hearts of many.  It is so hard to believe that Americans turned their back on this incredible gift of the statue as many proclaimed it was just plain ugly. It took the insight and incredible hard work of just a few people to build this stunning sculpture in her home where she is greatly loved today by us. If you get a chance to see a repeat of the PBS show about the statue, you might learn somethings you never knew about it.  Today she still stands as a symbol of what most Americans want for our country.


The words from a poem inscribed on the plaque read:


Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me, I lift my  lamp beside the golden door!  
(The Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation, Inc.)


Without France, our destiny may have been quite different. The French people also sacrificed greatly for our independence, even if those who were starving had little say about the help France gave to us. The gift of the Statue of Liberty is a constant reminder of
our quest for democracy, equality and compassion. 

Enjoy the vintage photos of the Statue of Liberty:

The Statue of Liberty (Liberty Enlightening the World; French: La Liberté éclairant le monde) stands on Liberty Island in New York Harbor. She is a colossal size neoclassical scuplture of a robed woman who represents Libertas the Roman Goddess of freedom. She holds a torch in one hand, and a tabula ansata, or a tablet evoking the law, in the other on which is inscribed the date July 4, 1776. A broken chain lies at her feet which Bartholdi decided not to have her holding . This beautiful piece of art was named and designed by Frédéric Bartholdi and dedicated on October 28, 1886. The statue was a gift to the United States from the people of France as a symbol of our countries' friendship.


The Statue of Liberty Paris 1886 - The Decorated House July 2014 
1886 The statue being created in Paris.



The Statue of Liberty in Paris 1886 before being gifted to the US - The Decorated House July 2015
1886 the top of the statue in Paris


The Statue of Liberty - The Decorated House July 2014
The amazing original copper finish!

  Statue of Liberty - The Decorated House July 2014

Now you can see the patina and oxidation of the copper as we see it today. This is actually after a very long and painstakingly difficult job of cleaning away years of dirt and grime. It took many, many years for the Statue of Liberty to be truly appreciated, but it certainly is today. It remains a stunning piece of sculpture and art. 


A huge Thank You! to the France for this beautiful gift. 
Happy 4th of July!

Comments are closed. Thanks for stopping by. 

See Y'all Soon~

Sunday, April 5, 2020

Easter Week ~ 2020


 Easter Week ~ April 2020. 
Let Your Light Shine. But Stay Home. 
Help everyone to stay safe.
Thank You!

Monday, March 23, 2020

March 23, 2020 ~ Staying Home


I hope you and your loved ones are keeping healthy and safe. 
Stay home if you can, protect yourself and others. 

Sunday, January 26, 2020

Valentine's Day Pillows


The Decorated House :: DIY Valentine's Day Pillow
Valentine's Day (or any day) Pillow in Neutrals
with Felt Cut Out Heart and
Fabric, Lace and Felt Flowers
----------------------------------

What is easier than changing pillows to bring in some fun for the next holiday, Valentine's Day!
Since it is just a few shorts weeks a way, linked at the end of the post are dozens of ideas for you.
See if you find something that makes you smile and maybe try something like this pretty Heart Pillow.
You can find the complete directions by clicking HERE.

The Decorated House :: How to Make Fabric Flowers

Click HERE and HERE


click on link above for pinterest 


See Y'All Soon~

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Christmas Angel ~ Shine a Light


There is no unique story about finding this Angel, or of it being a special gift. But she helps to get me in the Christmas Spirit each year. I know you've read many heartwarming stories about Christmas ornaments. Hallmark tries hard to make it seem like you need a new one each year.  This Angel has no such story. She came from a store maybe 10 years or more ago. Every Christmas she shines a little light in our home. That's all there is to her story. Maybe that's all any of us need to be. Wishing you Light.

Sunday, September 22, 2019

Fall Mantel ~ Celebrating Fall

The Decorated House . Fall Mantel. Donna Courtney

It never really feels like Autumn this time of year, but since the first day of the new season is Monday, it's time to celebrate the season just the same. People always say how Fall is their favorite season. I love it as well, but I don't play favorites. Everyday is a celebration of Life, no matter the season. 

This beautiful vase reminds me of an magic vessel that if you gently rub it, a genie might appear. 
So far none have answered the rub. There are so many art festivals this time of year, maybe you can find something handmade that  brings a some beauty to your home.

Thursday, February 28, 2019

To Our Sweet Puppy Girl Regen ~ We Love You



I confessed 10 years ago, right here, that before Cody Bear came along, I didn't really understand crazy dog people. I guess I  did think they were just a tiny bit overzealous when it came to their "furbabies." But after Cody came in the family, I totally understood. Cody had both his houses, ours and our daughter's,  much to himself as well as the people who came with each house. He spends every weekday with us, and the evenings and weekends are with his mommy at her house.

When Regen came to live with Cody and his mommy, she brought along her daddy (a human 😁) and her brother another large dog, a Belgian Malinois. Cody has taken it all in stride.

Just a few short weeks ago, Regen suddenly seemed not to be feeling well, and when her daddy took her to the vet, he found out she had a serious problem with her spleen and it would need to be removed. And that most dogs didn't survive the surgery, and if she did, the spleen could have cancer. It was a huge, and very sad, shock to say the least.

Incredibly, she went through it all extremely well, and they said she recovered better than any dog they had seen before for this surgery. We were so happy, but even more ecstatic when the test came back negative for her spleen tissue. Then we celebrated big time!

Then out of the blue, she looked a bit strange  Saturday morning 2 weeks later, and her daddy took it to the vet again. She immediately sent him to another clinic that could do a more advanced ultrasound. That day the heartbreak began again.

The vet  said Regen had a rare, very fast moving cancer of the blood. They suggested she be "put to  rest" that day. If you have, or have ever had, a dog that is/was as close as a human to you as you can imagine, then you know what that day was like. She came home with her daddy, to all the love we could give.

Regen was the puppy of the family. She was only 8 years old, and acted like 2 or 3, just a complete silly, sweet puppy girl. Her mommy and daddy were so devastated. They took her to a wholistic vet as well to see if there was anything else they could do. For about 2 weeks, she had everything we were told might help. And a few days she seemed better, not fully back, but better. She liked her special meals of homemade bone broth, grilled salmon and steak with choice vegetables. We had hope of her being with us longer.

As she slowed down, at first we brought all 3 dogs to our house during the day. When it was more difficult for her, I went over to their house and stayed during the day so she wouldn't be alone at all since both her "parent" had to go back to work. Sweet hubby spent some hours there too so I would a have a break. Last Wed, it began is seemed much closer to her going. And that night - early morning she quietly went in her sleep. Cody had stayed with her most of the night, which is very unusual for him. He likes his own space. The time went by so fast, only a few short weeks between thinking she was perfectly healthy to her being gone. We've cried for  days as everything little thing reminds us of her.

Only a week later it is so difficult. Every time an old blog friend has lost a pet over the last 10 years I could feel their pain, more after Cody came into our lives. When Regen, and her brother Timi, came along I found there was room to love even more dogs. And I am so thankful that they did come into our lives. I thank you for stopping by, and listening.

Our Beloved Regen left this world on Feb 21 2019
As we told you daily before you had to go.
Thank You! Reggie, We will love you always.