Flower-Shaped Paper Ornaments

Variety of Ornaments
In preparation for the holiday season, I’ve been making paper ornaments. These ornaments are perfect for wreaths, trees, garlands, or as my favorite use — a gorgeous substitution for a traditional bow when you wrap a gift. It’s amazing how pretty folded & cut paper can be!

Variety of Packages

Today, I’m going to just post some pictures of the ornaments I’ve made (along with a link to my Etsy shop where these ornaments can be purchased). AND tomorrow, I’m going to post a tutorial where you can learn to make these ornaments yourself. The ornaments are infinitely customizable — like snowflakes, but they remind me more of flowers in their execution.

I’ve made the paper ornaments out of patterned & solid colored papers,
Star Shaped Ornament

Cream Colored Ornament

but my favorite ornaments are made from catalog paper! (In this case West Elm & Free People; such pretty colors!)
Recycled Paper Star Ornament

Recycled Paper Heart Ornament

They’re a lot of fun to make; they’re pretty easy to make; and they can be used for so many things! If you’d like to purchase a set of these, just check out my Etsy shop here: JulepStyle.com on Etsy!

This is my first post

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Halloween Wreath

Semi-Homemade Halloween Wreath

This past weekend, we had a lot of fun getting in the spirit of the season and decorating for Halloween. In an effort to better document my Halloween exploits, I’m going to try to post a project each day.

One of the oldest projects on my Halloween to-do list was to make a wreath. Last year, I bought a spooky-ish (but plain) black wreath from CVS on 60% clearance the week after Halloween was over. The wreath sat in our Halloween bins in the attic all year. I got it out this past weekend and decided to spice it up with some dollar store items: Centipedes, roaches, a fly, spiders, a ghoul, and the dollar store spooky gray cloth. Total budget for this wreath ended up being about $5, and we’re pretty pleased with the effect.

Painting (Gilding) Ugly Furniture

When I realized that Rob and I needed a sideboard/credenza for our dining room to hold serving pieces and extra dishes, I began looking at all our options. I quickly realized that I didn’t really want a sideboard enough to part with hundreds of dollars. I wanted a stopgap sideboard that would suffice until I could afford the sideboard of my dreams.

Enter ugly dresser found from Craigslist:
Ugly Dresser 1
Ugly Dresser 2
This dresser had 4 things that made it the perfect temporary sideboard:
1. Cabinets with doors in addition to drawers. Drawers can be useful in a dining room (hello silverware storage), but for the most part they become unwieldy when filled with heavy dishes. The cabinets with doors are perfect for large heavy stacks of plates and other china. (The drawers are perfect for bulky large platters or those over-sized chip/dip trays that won’t fit anywhere else in your house.)
2. Interesting Hardware. The drawer pulls had some spunk.
3. Interesting Architecture. The cabinet doors had some intriguing ornament to them. Don’t get me wrong; it’s definitely UGLY — late 70’s/early 80’s plastic-glued-to-manufactured-wood furniture. However, when looking at the pictures of the dresser on Craigslist and later in person at the thrift store, I saw some potential.
4. Cheap price. I’m not going to euphemize this one; the dresser wasn’t affordable or cost-efficient. It was cheap. And at a fraction of the cost of my other options, I pulled the trigger.

Fast forward through the horrible difficulties of transporting over-sized, manufactured wood furniture (thanks Mom for letting me borrow your Envoy!), and I had to decide how to make this ugly dresser fit in our cute little home. I did some research online & decided on spray paint, but not just any old color. I chose silver spray paint with gold for the handles. We lugged the monstrosity outside, gave it a good cleaning, and 3 coats of spray paint later, Voilà!:
Painted Dresser/Sideboard
Painted Dresser/Sideboard
Painted Dresser/Sideboard

Gilding (silvering) makes it all look ok!

Cake Carrier

My Grandmother’s Cake Carrier

For my first five years of elementary school, I went to school about two miles from my grandparent’s home at the same school where my mother also taught. Often in the afternoon on the way home from school, we would stop by their home to chat, visit, pick something up, or drop something off. The first names that I used to call my maternal grandparents were, “Ma,” and, “Dada.” However, around the age of 9 or 10, I grew self-conscious of those names because to my ears they sounded like baby talk compared to the other names kids called their grandparents. I started using, “Grandma,” and, “Grandpa.” In retrospect, my self-consciousness probably stemmed from reading so many books where grandparents had bland grandparent names. It’s funny what kids do.

Any time that we stopped by my grandparent’s house, I would begin a treasure hunt. Grandma had all kinds of food in her kitchen that wasn’t at home: White Bread with Butter, Sleeves of Ritz Crackers, Left-over Fried Chicken or Pork Chops from the day’s lunch meal (their biggest meal of their day), or Biscos Sugar Wafers. (To this day, when I get sick, I send my husband to the grocery store after Biscos Sugar Wafers because that’s what Grandma or Mama gave me when I stayed home from school sick. I am not interested in any other brands, only Biscos are light and sweet and creamy in the exact curative proportions.)

The biggest treasure hunt score was always when I noticed Grandma’s orange cake carrier out on the counter. Cake! Usually, I would excitedly open the carrier to find pound cake; always awesome, but not the ultimate prize. The best days were the days when the big reveal exposed Grandma’s Sticky Chocolate Cake (if you click the link, it will take you to the recipe for this amazing treat). I was in heaven with a can of Diet Coke (or Tab before that) and a huge paper plate of chocolate cake.

Many years later after my grandmother died, when my Mom and Aunts were cleaning my grandparent’s house, my Mom asked me if there was anything from Grandma’s that I wanted. The only I could think of was Grandma’s orange cake carrier. It now has a treasured place on our dining room hutch, though I wish I baked a lot more, so I could leave it on the counter with cake inside. Maybe if Rob and I have children one day, I will be able to share with them the anticipation of seeing the orange cake carrier on the counter and slowly lifting the top to reveal their heart’s desire.

Other Cake Carriers
My grandma’s cake carrier was a “LookLift” Cake Carrier. From time to time, one can still be found on etsy or eBay (like the examples above).

My Sour Cream Glasses

Martha Stewart is ruining eBay for me. Every weekend, I take a moment to relax and execute two searches: 1) Sour Cream Glass and 2) Sour Cream Glasses. (For some strange reason, these searches don’t yield the same results.) These glasses are generally vintage glasses that sour cream manufacturers used to package their sour cream in as a freebie gift, like jelly jars. They come in pint and half-pint sizes; I’m definitely partial to the half-pint glasses. Over the years, I’ve found some great buys on these gorgeous little glasses that we use in our home everyday. They’re perfect for wine, juice, or a quick glass of water. I never worried about breaking these glasses because they were so ubiquitous. Sometimes, I even found the glasses at thrift stores priced at $.50 or $1.00. I fear this will never again be the case. My Sour Cream Glasses

Martha Stewart’s magazine recently featured sour cream glasses in its, “Our Finds,” section. (PS they have a new section of the same name on their website.) Martha Stewart's Sour Cream GlassesSuffice it to say, the prices for sour cream glasses are skyrocketing on eBay. I’m thinking maybe I should start selling my collection, but I’m too in love with all the patterns. Oh well, maybe this trend will die down soon, and I can go back to scoring them for a reasonable price (or at least less than $10.00 per glass)!

Knitting Bracelets

Although it has been some time since I’ve posted, I’d thought I’d feature a project that I really enjoy knitting for friends–bracelets! I recently made this bracelet for an amazing lady’s birthday present. Before sealing it up in the gift box, I took a few pictures for julepstyle. Each knitted bracelet I’ve made has been very different, but I’m pretty pleased with how this bracelet turned out.
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Weekly Sketch – my husband listening to music

We went to Brookgreen Gardens Friday evening for their summer evening concert series. It was fun, and I drew my husband as he enjoyed the scene beside me.

ETA — Is it super-obvious that I hate drawing ears?

New Rug in the Bathroom via New iPhone

I’m taking this opportunity to try out some new technology. Yesterday, I finally relented and upgraded my 16gb white iPhone 3G to the 16gb white iPhone 4. On Sunday, we were at Walmart buying our food for the week and trying to stay out of the way of all the tourists. On a whim, I asked if we could check to see if the store had any of the white phones in, now that they were being offered for $147. And although Rob had called earlier in the week (to ask the same thing) with no luck, this time we hit the jackpot! Walmart had 2! white iPhones in stock.

On Saturday, Rob and I timed the speeds it took my 3G and his 4 to perform tasks. It took 40 seconds on my phone to open the camera, take a picture, and return to the home screen. That was unacceptable. Now my cute little phone is functional again! (And it matches its sister – my white iPad 2.)

This post is really just an experiment in blogging. I’m making the whole post from my new iPhone. The star of this post is a new indoor/outdoor rug that I bought for our master bathroom. I’ve seen this rug a few places online (here and here), but I found the best price for it at OutdoorRugsOnly.com.
New Rug

Check out how it looks in our bathroom! We’re using it to replace a brown shag; I just wasn’t happy with how the shag stood up to the harsh bathroom environment. It’s a little crazy, but I think that Rob and I both like it. Even the cats are getting used to it. (Initially, they walked on the plastic material like they were walking on something very unpleasant–paws held high, nervously looking around, very careful steps.)
New Rug in the Bathroom

New Rug in the Bathroom

Deviled Eggs – with Bacon!

There’s only one kind of deviled egg recipe in the world that I’ll eat, and it’s this one. I grew up on these deviled eggs, first from my grandma, then my mother. Now I’m sharing the recipe because there are entirely too many deviled eggs recipes on the internets that don’t have bacon!
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Butterscotch Bird’s Nest No-Bake Cookies

When I was a kid, I used to love the Butterscotch Haystacks. This recipe modifies the traditional haystack recipe by shaping it like a bird’s nest and adding eggs to create a really cute (and tasty) spring dessert recipe. (I was totally inspired by the No Bake Easter Nest Cookie Recipe at Prudent Baby.)The other best thing is that it’s super easy to make.
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Changing the Curtains for Spring

Our front door has a big decorative glass window in it. To give us the feeling of privacy in the evening, we hung a curtain on the door. At night, we go into “lockdown.” This process simply entails pulling the curtains on the front door and kitchen window that looks out onto our front porch.

In the fall, I hang a gray velvet curtain (matches our couch) from Anthropologie –the Viceroy Velvet Curtain. (One of my splurges with our house). I found a matching gray curtain at TJMaxx and used the iron-on hem tape to shorten it to fit our kitchen window. (There was no way I was going to buy another Viceroy Velvet and massacre it.)

Viceroy Velvet Curtain

Viceroy Velvet Curtain Closed

Viceroy Velvet Curtain Open

Viceroy Velvet Curtain Open

Gray Curtain in Kitchen Closed

Gray Curtain in Kitchen Closed

Gray Curtain in Kitchen Opened

Gray Curtain in Kitchen Opened

When Spring comes, I switch out these gray velvet curtains for something , lighter, friendlier, and more colorful. I found two curtains at Pier One on sale when we first moved in; I loved the colors and snatched them up. I hung the one in the kitchen from it’s bottom hem instead of using the loops (again using the iron-on hem tape to shorten the curtain to fit).

Curtain at Front Door Closed

Curtain at Front Door Closed (Plus Cat)

Curtain at Front Door Opened

Curtain at Front Door Opened (Plus Cat)

Curtain at Kitchen Closed

Curtain at Kitchen Closed

Curtain at Kitchen Open

Curtain at Kitchen Open

Sorry for the poor quality of all the open curtain images; I couldn’t get my lighting settings right when I was taking pictures.

Spring Wreath (plus how-to)

Spring has definitely sprung. This weekend, Rob and I began our spring update to our home and yard. The first item of business was replacing the Winter Yarn Wreath I made in January with an updated spring wreath! I made our new wreath with a straw wreath, yarn, bias tape, paper flowers, and colorful buttons.
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Flower-Shaped Treat Box How-To

One of the blogs that I read everyday is Prudent Baby. They have really cute projects and generally inspiring posts. They also have lots of contests for various prizes, but I usually don’t enter because their contests are usually sewing-related (and I am not a sewer–yet). However, on March 17th they announced a, “Sweet on Paper Contest,” to win an 11×17 Brother Printer. I really need a new printer, so I developed this flower-shaped box as my entry. The azaleas that are starting to bloom around our yard to signal the start of spring were an excellent source of inspiration.
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Sandals with Socks

Socks with Sandals

I love, love, love the concept of wearing socks with sandals. This photo shows me trying out this style with my brand new pair of OTBT Black Trenton’s (that I got on final-pair sale for a great deal at Lori’s Shoes of Chicago).

These shoes are super-cute, comfy, and make me about 6′-4″ (eye-to-eye with my husband). They’re great, and I have no worries about wearing them without socks. But can anyone really wear sandals with socks? There are tons of article on the interwebs about how socks with sandals may no longer be a faux-pas, but I dunno. There are some days that I don’t care about breaking the rules, but there are other days that I do want to look to put together. I think I’ll err on the conservative side of this issue and opt for sandals with opaque black tights or bare feet only (most of the time).