velvet inspired wrapping paper.

On Wednesday I shared our incredible tour of the Luigi Bevilacqua velvet weaving workshop in Venice.

The gorgeous velvet fabrics they create are filled with rich colors and many of them have metallic threads shot through them as well.  I especially loved this combo …

A vibrant pink with a metallic gold background.

Although their fabric is well out of my price range, I decided I could easily make my own Bevilacqua velvet inspired wrapping paper for Christmas.

I started by gathering my supplies.

I’ve got plain brown wrapping paper, Dixie Belle’s Peony, Fusion’s Pale Gold, Prima Marketing stencils in Imperial Damask and French Damask and a small foam roller.

Next I added gold ‘threads’ to the brown wrapping paper by using a cheap chip brush to dry brush Fusion’s Studio Metallics Pale Gold over the paper.  The texture of the cheap brush made it perfect for this technique.  Just use a small amount of paint and lightly brush it over the paper.

It didn’t take long to do the entire roll.  I just kept unrolling the paper as I went and stretching the roll across the room to dry.

By the time I got to the end, the beginning was dry enough to start loosely rolling the paper back up again.

Next, in an ‘it was meant to be’ sort of way, I found that the Prima Marketing Imperial Damask and French Damask stencils fit almost perfectly across the width of the brown paper.  The design portion of the stencils is about 22″ x 26″.

I like to use a small foam roller when working with these larger stencils because the paint goes on much more quickly than it does with a stencil brush.

I just pour the paint onto a paper plate and then apply it to the roller.  As always with stenciling, I used a fairly dry roller so that my paint wasn’t too sloppy.

I just kept going down the length of the paper, lining up the pattern at the edge of the previous pattern each time.  I wasn’t super careful about that, this was only wrapping paper after all.  But even so, I can’t really tell where the edges were in the finished paper.

I think the matte finish of the Dixie Belle Peony paint was perfect for recreating the look of velvet, and the Fusion Studio Metallics Pale Gold underneath adds just enough shimmer and mimics gold threads perfectly.

You aren’t limited to just wrapping paper with this technique, it also worked beautifully on a cardboard hatbox …

and also on brown craft paper gift bags.

So even if we can’t quite afford that beautiful velvet fabric from Venice, we can certainly make our own knock-off faux velvet wrapping paper at a fraction of the price!

The only problem is that these presents are so pretty no one is going to want to unwrap them!

If you enjoyed this post and you like the idea of making your own gift wrap, be sure to check out the copper gift wrap I made a couple of years ago.  I paired it up with some lengths of old player piano music rolls …

And then there are last year’s pink gift boxes.

It seems like it’s turning into a bit of a tradition for me to create my own gift wrapping each year.  I suspect it’s a bit of a luxury to have the time to get this elaborate with my gift wrapping.

How about you?  Do you take time with your wrapping, or are you up until midnight on Christmas Eve just hoping you don’t run out of tape?

 

 

traveling back in time.

I had originally planned to share the story of our recent Adriatic Explorer cruise in chronological order from start to finish, but today I simply had to jump ahead to the end.

Why?

Well, two reasons really.  First of all, our visit to the Luigi Bevilacqua workshop inspired a craft project that I want to share with you later this week.  And second, I just couldn’t wait any longer to share this post!

People always ask, ‘what was your favorite part of your trip’ and the answer this time is definitely our tour with Luisella Romeo, a private guide in Venice.

Let me start at the beginning.  Shortly after we booked our cruise, Mr. Q was chatting with someone and she mentioned having toured this incredible workshop in Venice where they still make velvet fabrics by hand.  She said it was one of the coolest places she’d ever toured.  When Mr. Q mentioned it to me, I was intrigued.  Right around that same time, not only was I looking into hiring some private guides for our trip but I was also looking for something unique to do in Venice.  Since we were going to be there on my birthday we were willing to splurge a bit on something special.

That was when I found Luisella Romeo’s website.  Her carefully curated selection of tours looked fantastic and her website was so beautiful, so I checked her out on tripadvisor.com.  She had over 650 reviews and every. single. person. rated her as excellent and many wrote positively glowing reviews.  This is almost unheard of, right?  I mean it’s nearly impossible to make everyone happy.  Usually there is at least one incredibly picky customer that you simply can’t please, but not so with Luisella.

So I contacted her via email and asked if she could arrange a tour for us that would include the Luigi Bevilacqua workshop.  Several exchanges of emails later, we had an itinerary planned and everything arranged.

Luisella met us in Piazzale Roma at the end of the Venice People Mover.  The People Mover is a monorail system that has just three stops, the Tronchetto parking island, the Marittima cruise terminal and Piazzale Roma which is pretty much the entry point into Venice for most people.

Luisella was so charming and enthusiastic right from the start.  I knew we were going to have an amazing morning with her.  She started off leading us through the Piazzale Roma which was thronged with people coming and going.  But after just a few moments we were deeper into the Santa Croce neighborhood on some nearly empty … um, what do you call them? surely not streets … alleys?  corridors?  sidewalks?  passageways?

Whatever you want to call them, there is just no other city like Venice!

Luisella led us up to this very unassuming building.  Once there I’m pretty sure she used a secret password or some kind of coded knock on the door.

This reminded me of that moment in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory when Willy Wonka opens the door to reveal the magical wonderland of chocolate inside.

Only instead of chocolate, this place was filled with delicious velvet fabrics.

And one of the other things that caught my eye immediately was this old door that was just tucked behind some equipment.

You can probably just imagine how badly I wanted to dig that door out and get a better photo of it (and then possibly tuck it into my suitcase to bring it home with me), but instead I reminded myself that we were there to see some velvet weaving, not a fabulous old door.

Once upon a time there were as many as 1,200 weavers in Venice making silk fabrics.  However, over time such things as Napoleon’s decree that such fabrics should be made in France rather than in Italy, as well as the industrial revolution and the invention of mechanized production methods, contributed to the downward slide of hand weaving velvet out of silk threads.

Then along came Luigi Bevilacqua in 1875 and he saved several 18th century wooden looms from their imminent demise.

It’s tempting to think that I took that photo in a museum, but this is no museum.  It’s a functioning velvet weaving workshop.  There were a couple of women working on the looms while we were there, although I didn’t take their pictures.

One of the many challenges facing the Luigi Bevilacqua workshop is finding craftsmen who can maintain and repair these looms.  Clearly they need a ‘Ken’, or more accurately they probably have a ‘Ken’ but simply don’t know what they will do when he gets too old to continue working on the looms (I can totally relate to this feeling).

By the way you guys, this was a completely private tour.  It was just Mr. Q and I, our guide Luisella and the Bevilacqua employee who was a lovely woman named Anna who only spoke Italian.  Luisella translated everything for us.

The first thing we saw were all of the patterns.

Don’t quote me on this, but I think our guide said they have more than 3,500 patterns.  The patterns are made with punched holes in cardboard.  Each hole in the pattern corresponds to just one thread.

Honestly, I am totally unable to comprehend how these pieces of cardboard with holes punched in them translate to these gorgeous patterns of velvet …

but somehow they do.

All of the silk threads that are used in making the velvet are hand-knotted onto bobbins, and each bobbin is individually weighted to maintain the proper tension (you can see the little lead weights hanging from each one).

The number of bobbins depends upon the complexity of the design and can range from 400 to as many as 16,000!

And then the weavers take these threads and turn them into this.

It really does seem as though there is some kind of magic at work.

Before the end of our tour we learned the difference between ‘cut’ and ‘curly’ threads.

The ‘curly’ threads are uncut loops of silk while the ‘cut’ threads started out as ‘curly’ threads but were cut by the weaver.  The same color of thread can look so different depending on whether it is cut or curly.

After seeing all that goes in to making this fabric, and learning that a weaver can only produce about 12″ of fabric in one day, I quickly realized that this beautiful handmade velvet was never going to be in my price range.  So I wondered, who buys it and what do they use it for?

Originally the velvet was mainly used for either upholstery, draperies or wall coverings.  Can you just imagine what it would cost to cover an entire wall with this stuff?  Customers have included the White House, the Kremlin, and the Göteborg Stadsteater (that’s City Theatre) in Sweden.  But these days some high end designers are using the velvet for clothing and accessories as well.

At the end of our tour we stopped in at the tiny little showroom where there were some items for sale including handbags and belts.  The one handbag I asked about was €1,500 (or about $1,700 American).

Yep, definitely out of my price range.

Still, it was amazing to tour the workshop and learn about the process of making these beautiful velvet’s.  It was perhaps the closest thing to traveling back in time that I’ve ever experienced.

This beautiful hot pink velvet on a gold background inspired me to try something creative, so be sure to check back on Friday to see how it turned out!

And if you happen to be traveling to Venice any time soon, I can’t recommend both Luisella and touring the Luigi Bevilacqua workshop enough.  They are absolutely worth the splurge!

getting a little rusty.

First things first, the winner of last week’s blogiversary giveaway no. 2 was Melanie from Virginia.  She and I have already exchanged emails and I’ll be getting her prize in the mail this week.  Congrats Melanie!

I was looking back this weekend and realized that I haven’t shared a furniture makeover since this pretty little washstand that I shared way back on October 29 (and the outdoor photos have the fall leaves to prove it).

Between taking a two week vacation, taking two more weeks to get over the jet lag (I’m finally starting to feel normal again), holiday and birthday dinners, holiday decorating, holiday shopping, holiday baking and working on a huge project at the day job that required some overtime, I just haven’t had the time (or energy) to get the paint out.  I totally feel like my painting skills are getting a little rusty.  I’m really suffering from withdrawal too.

You might think this little intro means that I’m finally sharing another piece of painted furniture with you today, but no.  I still haven’t found the time for that.  However, my painting skills aren’t the only thing that’s getting a little rusty around here.  So are my blogiversary giveaways!

Yep, in case you’ve forgotten, it’s time for blogiversary giveaway no. 3!

Today’s giveaway features one of my very favorite unique products, the Dixie Belle patina paint.

I don’t know about you, but I love rusty stuff.

If given the choice between brand new or rusty, I’ll choose rusty every time.  But sometimes you just can’t find the right rusty piece.  Or maybe you’ve got some piece that would be just perfect with a rusty finish, but it’s not actually metal.  In the past I’ve tried some of the painting kits that are designed to mimic the look of rust, but to me those always end up looking fake.

Dixie Belle’s Patina Paint kit creates actual rust.  The paint contains metal flakes and the spray reacts with the metal to create rust (or a copper verdigris, depending which paint and spray you are using).

Last summer I used the Iron paint and the Green patina spray to turn a rather hideous painted plaster pedestal into a rusty garden masterpiece.

Which reminds me, at the time I promised to report back to you at the end of the summer to let you know how well this finish held up outdoors.  I posted something on Instagram, but I don’t think I ever mentioned it here.  Here is a photo I took of it in October …

Even without a sealer, the pedestal held up incredibly well.  If anything, it got even a little more rusty looking … which is a good thing in my book.

There was just one little spot near the base where I thought the finish had worn away, but when I got closer to inspect it … well … I think something had been trying to eat it!

Seriously, don’t those grooves look like tiny little teeth marks?

How bizarre.  I’m trying not to think about what kind of critter was eating my garden pedestal!

Dixie Belle just came out with a new product called Patina Guard that is meant for sealing your patina’d pieces, so even though my pedestal held up well without a sealer, next spring I may just go ahead and seal it for good measure.

In the meantime, if you want to read more step by step instructions on how to use the Patina Paint, check out my how-to post here:

And if you’d like to win today’s giveaway prize, be sure to leave a comment today!

Today’s prize includes:  an Italian decorating magazine, Croatian soap and chocolate bar, Dixie Belle Patina Paint in Iron and Bronze, Prime Start, and Patina Spray in Green and Blue.

Thank you so much to Dixie Belle Paint Co for supplying the Patina Paint collection that I am giving away today!

The basic rules:  to be eligible to win today’s prize leave a comment of any kind on this blog post.  Your comment must be left on the blog, not on Facebook or Instagram.  You are not required to follow my blog, although it would be awesome if you did!

Normally I make a point of answering every comment left on my blog.  If someone takes the time to leave a comment, I like to acknowledge that.  I usually only get 10 to 20 comments so it’s easy to fulfill that promise.  But I suspect I’ll get a few more comments on this post so I’m going to warn you up front that I may not be able to answer each one, so I hope you guys will cut me some slack on that.

I will randomly draw the name of a winner for today’s prize from all of the comments left on this post by Friday, December 14, 2018 at the stroke of midnight (U.S. Central time).

The fine print: no purchase necessary, you must be 18 years of age or older to win, void where prohibited by law, the number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning, approximate retail value of prize is $100, if the prize is not claimed by Sunday, December 16, another name will be drawn at random to win, blah, blah, blah.

Good luck!

let the decorating begin.

Normally I get most of my holiday decorations up on the Friday after Thanksgiving.  I’ve never been a Black Friday shopper, instead I like to spend that day putting up the tree and adding other holiday touches around the house.

But this year I was traveling home from Italy on Black Friday.  Speaking of which, one thing that really surprised me on our trip was how many Black Friday sale signs we saw!  Especially in Ravenna where we spent a little time on their pedestrian shopping street.  I had to take a quick photo of this window display because it was so fab.  I love the clock and the peg board on the wall.  You can’t see them in the photo, but there was a stack of vintage books on the floor too.

In hindsight, now I wish I’d taken a photo of one of the Black Friday sale advertisements.  Many of them were painted right onto the windows of the shops.  But I wasn’t thinking ahead on that one.

Anyway, celebrating Thanksgiving on the 4th Thursday in November may be an American thing, but apparently celebrating Black Friday on the day after is universal.

So, after a bit of a travel related delay, I finally found the time to do some holiday decorating last Sunday and this year I decided to change it up a little and decorate our master bedroom.

I’ve never done much decorating in here in the past, but I’ve always thought it would be nice to have some twinkling lights and a small tree in the room.

The red and white knit stockings garland is from Michael’s.  It was on sale for only $6.  I just purchased one for our headboard, but my sister bought three of them and will use them on her tree.

The cable knit throw pillow is from Target.  The furry white throw probably was too, but I’ve had that for several years now.

I tied together small bunches of dried boxwood from my local Bachman’s, added some pretty silver ornaments that I purchased in Germany a few years ago and then hung them above my old photos on either side of the bed.

Over on the other side of the bed (ie. my side) I placed a stack of my favorite holiday decor magazines, a cup of coffee and a lavender topiary in the shape of a Christmas tree that I also purchased at Bachman’s.  I haven’t quite found the time to enjoy coffee and those magazines in bed yet, but I am determined to do that before the holidays are over.

My co-worker Jodie gave me the cute galvanized pot that the topiary is in, I just doctored it up a little with a Prima Marketing transfer from their French Pots IV set.

I added lots more holiday touches on the other side of the room too.

The little tree in the bucket is faux and I just purchased it a Target.  It was the perfect size for the old bucket.  I wrapped it with one small strand of battery operated lights which was just enough to give it some sparkle.

I also added a small strand of the same lights to the cotton bole swag that I draped over my old window.

I also purchased these cute little wooden houses at Bachman’s, one of them this year and two of them from last year.  They have little lights inside, but I’m finding that the light in the newest is one so much brighter than the other two.  Too bright in fact, so I don’t even turn it on.

My friend/co-worker/picker Sue gave me the calendar for my birthday last year.  It’s not really meant to be a Christmas decoration, but I like using it that way.

I purchased the paper tree from my friend Lori Miller at the Holly Jolly Market just before I left on my trip.  Isn’t it unique and fabulous?  Lori always manages to find the coolest things.

I’ve had this adorable little linen ‘woolens’ bag for years and I think I very well may have purchased it at Lori’s old shop, The Round Barn (it’s no longer in business).

I’d never really figured out a great spot for displaying it in the past though.  Turns out that it’s perfect hanging here on my cupboard in the bedroom.  Who knew?

The girls are not especially dressed up for the holidays, they pretty much wear their fancy jewelry all year long.

I did add a dried boxwood wreath hanging from a vintage hanger behind them.

It was fun snazzing up the bedroom with some holiday decor.  I think this just might become a regular thing from now on.

Speaking of things that become a tradition, tomorrow I’m heading over to my sister’s house for our annual Christmas baking.  I’ve pretty much perfected my ball rolling skills now, so this year’s baking should be a breeze 😉

I hope you have some fun holiday season plans for this weekend too!

the only thing that makes you richer.

I recently read a quote somewhere that said travel is the one thing you can spend money on that only makes you richer.

Hmmmm.  Well, that and possibly gambling in Monte Carlo.  But that’s definitely not guaranteed.  I wouldn’t know though because we never actually made it to the Casino de Monte-Carlo while docked in Monaco, the 2nd port of call on our recent cruise.  Instead we took a side trip to Eze (which I’ll share in another post) and then spent the afternoon wandering around Monaco-Ville on our own.

In contrast to our first port of call in rainy Genoa, we woke up to a lovely sunrise and blue skies on day two.  This was the view from our stateroom balcony.

For those of you not familiar, Monaco is 2nd smallest country in the world.  The only one smaller is the Vatican, which apparently technically qualifies as its own ‘country’.  Monaco encompasses a mere .78 square miles although it has been growing recently as they continue to reclaim land from the sea.  It is bordered on three sides by France and by the Mediterranean on the 4th side.  I suppose France would frown on them trying to expand on those other three sides, so the sea it is.

Monaco also has the world’s lowest poverty rate, highest number of millionaires and billionaires per capita, and most expensive real estate.  Accordingly Monaco also has one of the largest police forces per capita in the world, and thus an incredibly low crime rate.  And trust me, it shows.  By the way, I say ‘accordingly’ not because Monaco has expensive things to protect, but because a large police force is expensive to maintain and Monaco can afford to do that.

There was such a difference between Genoa and Monaco.  Genoa was dark, moody, gritty, and I’ll admit just a little intimidating, not to mention overcast and rainy.  In contrast, Monaco was bright, clean, very welcoming and sunny.  Yes, it’s possible that the weather had something to do with it, but I think it was more than that too.

Our ship was docked in Port Hercules, which is an incredibly convenient location.

I took that photo from Le Rocher (the rock) or Monaco-VilleMonaco-Ville is the historic district of Monaco that contains the Prince’s Palace, the Oceanographic Museum, St Martin Gardens and the Cathedral of Our Lady Immaculate where Grace Kelly is buried.

As you can see, we were the only ship docked that day.  When I was originally posting about this trip I mentioned that we were going in the off-season because it’s cheaper and less crowded.  The trade off is less predictable weather.  Our plan definitely paid off here.  It was a beautiful sunny day with temps in the 60’s, and there were no crowds anywhere.  Mr. Q and I practically felt as though we had the entire place to ourselves most of the time.

From the dock there is a series of elevators, walking paths and escalators that take you to the top of Le Rocher.  How cool is that?  They made it incredibly simple to just hop off the ship and start exploring Monaco.

Here is part of the path that takes you there.

And here’s the view looking over that little wall.

The people staying in this place must have an amazing view of the sea …

And aren’t those aqua shutters to die for?

Although we didn’t take the time to go inside, the Oceanographic Museum looks amazing from the outside.

It’s a gorgeous building that is built right into the side of the cliff.

This is one of those moments where I wish I had a drone.  As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words.  But since I don’t have a drone, I borrowed this next photo from the web so I could just show you how amazing this place is.

Incredible, right?

Once we made it to the top we wandered around in Jardin de Saint-Martin a bit.

Next we took a look at the Prince’s Palace.

We missed seeing the changing of the guard, which takes place every day at noon.

We walked around the cathedral, but didn’t go inside there either.  It was such a lovely afternoon and we didn’t want to waste any of it indoors.

And I have one last lovely building in Monaco-Ville to share with you today, the Palais de Justice.

Tourists aren’t allowed inside this one though, so I don’t have to feel bad about only having seen the outside.

After a very pleasant afternoon wandering around on Le Rocher, we made our way back to our ship where once again we enjoyed the view from our balcony as we sailed away.

We’d been sailing back out to sea for about 30 minutes when the strangest thing happened.  Our ship turned around and went back!

I’m fairly sure this has never happened on any cruise I’ve ever been on.  Had our captain forgotten something back on the dock?

The captain made an announcement at that point, there was a medical emergency of some kind on board and we were turning around to meet an ambulance boat that would off-load the person and take them to a hospital.

So we said goodbye to Monaco once again, but this time feeling a little bit sad for whomever it was that had a medical emergency only two days into our itinerary.  That being said, it is nice to know that if you ever have a serious medical issue on board a cruise ship, they are willing to turn that ship around for you!

Be sure to check back next Wednesday for the third installment in my Adriatic Explorer series!

 

blogiversary giveaway no. 2

First things first, congrats to Jamie, the winner of last Monday’s giveaway.

As you may recall from last week, a little snafu resulted in my turning what was supposed to be one big blogiversary giveaway into four smaller giveaways that I’m stretching out to one per week until Christmas.

Today I’m giving away some amazing products from Fusion Mineral Paint.

First off, you’ll receive a jar of their gorgeous shade of green called Park Bench.

I absolutely love this color, especially on mid-century pieces.

Revisiting these pieces makes me realize I need to do some more Park Bench pieces this winter!

You’ll also receive a jar of my favorite shade of Fusion white which is Limestone.  It seems to me that most people go for one of the brighter whites like the Raw Silk or Casement, but I love using the Limestone.

It’s a warm creamy white that you can bring into a room without suddenly making the other whites look dingy.

You’ll also receive a 7 oz. jar of Fusion’s Clear Furniture Wax along with the Staalmeester Series 3600 #20 brush.

I initially thought this brush was for painting, but as it turns out I love it much more for applying Fusion wax.  Because the Fusion wax is a little bit softer than some of the other waxes on the market, you don’t need to apply as much pressure with your brush.  I feel like the longer bristles make it easier to avoid over-applying the wax.

Fusion has also included a tube of their Brush Cleaner for the giveaway.  This is my favorite product for cleaning brushes.  I use it all the time and have gone through countless tubes of it.  This is what my tube looks like most of the time …

It works for cleaning paint brushes and wax brushes.  If you haven’t tried it, you really need to ask Santa to put some in your Christmas stocking this year (here’s a handy link to give Santa so he can find either a local retailer or an online retailer).  That’s assuming you’ve been good of course and aren’t going to be just getting coal.

And of course, today’s prize includes new and unused versions of these things not my well-used versions that I’ve pictured above.

Finally, I’m also including some goodies I picked up on my recent trip including another gorgeous Italian decorating magazine, some Croatian chocolate and fantastic smelling soap.

So to recap, today’s prize includes:  the Italian magazine, the Croatian soap and chocolate bar, a 500 ml jar of Park Bench, a 500 ml jar of Limestone, a 7 oz. jar of Fusion’s Clear Wax, a tube of brush cleaner and the Staalmeester brush.

Thank you so much to Fusion Mineral Paint for supplying all of their products that I am giving away today!

The basic rules:  to be eligible to win today’s prize leave a comment of any kind on this blog post.  Your comment must be left on the blog, not on Facebook or Instagram.  You are not required to follow my blog, although it would be awesome if you did!

Normally I make a point of answering every comment left on my blog.  If someone takes the time to leave a comment, I like to acknowledge that.  I usually only get 10 to 20 comments so it’s easy to fulfill that promise.  But I suspect I’ll get a few more comments on this post so I’m going to warn you up front that I may not be able to answer each one, so I hope you guys will cut me some slack on that this week.

I will randomly draw the name of a winner for today’s prize from all of the comments left on this post by Friday, December 7, 2018 at the stroke of midnight (U.S. Central time).

The fine print: no purchase necessary, you must be 18 years of age or older to win, void where prohibited by law, the number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning, approximate retail value of prize is $110, if the prize is not claimed by Sunday, December 9, another name will be drawn at random to win, blah, blah, blah.

Good luck!

a holiday play list.

Oh boy you guys.  I have been struggling to pull together some kind of blog post for today.  I so wish I had a beautiful piece of painted furniture to share.  Or even just a simple painting project of some kind.

And actually, I do have a couple of small completed projects that I could share if only I had good pictures of the finished pieces.  But these days I go to work before the sun comes up, and I return back home after it sets. I have to either take all of my photos on the weekend, or try to get home on my lunch break to take photos with natural light.  I’m playing catch up from my trip at the day job though, so that just hasn’t happened.

I was working on trying to pull together a post without good photos, but I just couldn’t do it.  I do have some standards after all 😉

In the meantime, I had gone back through my blog archives looking for something from last year and I was reminded that I did quite a few crafty projects last Christmas.  So I thought, hey, why not just recap all of them today and include links back so that you guys can revisit them as well.  Maybe you’ll get some ideas for things you want to play around with this weekend.  Let’s call it the blog version of a holiday play list.

Let’s start with the Cut & Carry Saws.

I’d picked up a bunch of old hand saws at an estate sale earlier in the year.  I transformed them into Christmas decor with some paint and a stencil.

I sold some of them at Reclaiming Beautiful, I gave one to my sister and I kept one for myself.  If only I could remember where I put it now!  I’ve been looking around for it, but so far it has not appeared.  I’m sure I’ll find it this weekend when I get serious about decorating for Christmas.

Updating a more traditional tree wall hanging was a quick and easy project last year.

The original red and green color scheme wasn’t really me.

So I painted the ‘branches’ white and added a Prima Marketing transfer.

Another black and white project involved revamping some vintage sleds.

I had simply stenciled over the original wood slats the year before, and that just didn’t have quite the right impact.

So this time I painted first and then stenciled.  I kept one, and sold one at Reclaiming Beautiful.

I also painted and stenciled some faux wooden skis.

It was another simple project that made a big impact.

Adding some Christmas spirit to a vintage wooden sock stretcher with some IOD Decor Stamps was a simple project too.

I was hoping to find more of these stock stretchers at garage sales last summer, but no such luck.

I might re-work this one this year.  I like it, but I have another idea for it too.  We’ll see if I get around to it.

And then there were the pretty in pink projects that I did using what was then a new color from Fusion called English Rose.

I painted cardboard gift boxes in English Rose and a paler Fusion pink called Little Piggy.

Then I used Fusion’s transfer gel to transfer some 12 Days of Christmas graphics onto the boxes.

Finally, I also painted a pair of ice skates in English Rose.

This was such a fun makeover, I think mainly because the skates started out so grungy …

but they ended up looking so gorgeous.

I hope you enjoyed revisiting some of these holiday projects and that maybe they’ve inspired you to create your own holiday play list this weekend.

I’ll definitely be working on a few things and hopefully I’ll have some new projects to share with you next week!