Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Decorating With Odd Numbers

In college I loved to come home from class and watch Christopher Lowell's home decorating TV show.  I should have known I needed to change my major when all I wanted to do was watch decorating shows and read home interior magazines instead of wasting away in Organic Chemistry lab.  Oh well, I probably wouldn't have made a very good pediatrician anyway what with my internet addiction and homeschooling ways. While watching Christopher's show I learned many tricks from him.  Namely that you can make just about anything with guns of the both the staple and hot glue variety, a tip that I use to this very day.

His show was almost like a how to decorate show or Home Decorating for Dummies and I loved it.  One of the tricks of the trade that he shared was the power of decorating in odd numbers.  Be it a single picture or a grouping of 3, 5, or 9, using odd numbers often works well when creating vignettes for a mantel, side table or table scape.

To show the power of decorating in odd numbers I have pulled some photos from Pinterest to show how it can work in different settings.

However, don't think that even numbers are left out in home decorating!  In my next post I'm going to show how symmetry and even numbers can be used as well.

Here are some of the absolutely lovely photos I pulled from Pinterest.

Three throw pillows on a sofa.

Three candles on a table.

Three pumpkins for fall.

Five stems in a vase.

I love how the 7 candlesticks are broken up into groups of 4 and 3.

Three topiaries on a Christmas mantel.

Three canisters in the kitchen.

A simple but beautiful vignette of three single items.

Three pieces of artwork in a child's room.

And, of course, the power of one beautiful floral arrangement.

I can't wait to share all of the great ideas I found in decorating with even numbers.  It'll be great for all of you quasi-OCD people like me!

Happy decorating Cheap Mamas!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Williams Sonoma Inspired Pumpkin Wreath for Cheap

I would love to take credit for this idea all on my own.  I would love to tell you that I was scouring the web trying to find great fall inspiration to do on a dime.  I would love for you to think all of that and more.

But it just wouldn't be true.

This idea was sent to me from my friend Magnolia via a Facebook message.  She sent me a picture of this pumpkin wreath that she found on the Williams Sonoma website that she was planning to redo for cheap.

This wreath was listed for $99.95 which means that would have cost me one whole benjamin plus shipping so I decided that I, too, would try my hand at reinterpreting this pumpkin wreath for cheap.

One of my least favorite things is trying to glue moss to anything so I decided to use a grapevine wreath instead of a moss covered one for my wreath.  Using this method meant I only needed 3 items to make this wreath: grapevine wreath, pumpkins and brown ribbon.

The WS wreath is listed at 16 inches.  I used a 24 inch grapevine wreath.

The supplies.

I used 10 pumpkins on a stick to make my wreath.  I spaced them out evenly around the wreath, poked the sticks through the grapevine and wrapped them around the back until they were snug.  There's no perfect way to do this!  Just keeping working with it until the pumpkin feels secure.

I tied a strip of ribbon around the wreath itself and then tied my bow to that string.

Finished product.

Here is my friend Magnolia's finished product on her interpretation of the pumpkin wreath.  Doesn't it look fabulous?!  Magnolia spent just under $30 on her wreath by utilizing sales and coupons.  

I purchased all of my products at Hobby Lobby.  Here is the cost breakdown for this cheap pumpkin wreath.

Grapevine wreath: $5.99
Pumpkins: $2.99 each
Ribbon: Varies.  (Ribbon can be as cheap as you want or as fancy as you want.  I already had some brown ribbon so I honestly don't know how much the few inches I used would have cost.)

Most expensive this wreath could be: $36 plus ribbon
Cheapest price this wreath could be: $18 plus ribbon

That's a savings of $82 at most and $64 at the very least!  I could buy a lot of hoodie sweatshirts for that much money.  A lot.

Happy wreathing Cheap Mamas!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Finding the Courage to Say It Out Loud

Earlier this year the idea of homeschooling my children came barreling toward me straight out of left field.  I had never ever considered educating my children in that way.  As the child of a public school teacher and a product of the public school system from kindergarten to college degree, I had always planned on sending my children to the excellent public schools in my area.

However as we know the best laid plans can be blown to smithereens (yes, it's a word) when God intervenes.  There is no other way to explain the course we are now on than to say that God spoke to me in a big way and for once in my life I followed without questioning. 

Once I made the decision to homeschool I was blessed to find other cool moms in my area who were embarking on the same journey - and there wasn't a denim jumper to be found in the whole group.  We began talking about the how to's of homeschooling: how to choose curriculum, how to organize your day, how to fit in field trips, how to socialize your children so they don't end up nerds. 

 I'm only kidding; that's just a little homeschool humor.

And then we began discussing the inevitable small-talk question every person encounters in suburbia, "So, where do your kids go to school?"  It's an innocent enough question.  It's usually just a conversation starter and I had never given it a second thought.  That is, until we were homeschoolers.  I then discovered that this is the question every homeschool parent dreads in the beginning.  

A friend of mine who would now be considered a veteran homeschooler recounted the story of the time her then 5 year old daughter was at the dentist.  The mom was in the waiting room flipping through a magazine but she could hear the conversation from where she sat.  The dentist asked her daughter what grade she was in.  "Kindergarten!" she exclaimed with the enthusiasm only a kindergartener can muster.  "Where do you go to school?", the dentist asked.  My friend stopped flipping the pages of the magazine and time stood still for one long second.  "I'm homeschooled!" the daughter replied.  And then my friend began searching the waiting room for a hole in which to climb.  

It wasn't the daughter who was hesitant to answer the question, it was the mother.  I have since experienced the same thing with my son.  We have been asked by friends, family and complete strangers in the grocery store about where he will be attending kindergarten this year and Superman answers with the same enthusiasm, "I do homeschool!"  I smile a sheepish grin at the inquirer and give a slight nod to confirm that it is indeed true - we are homeschoolers.  It's not that I'm embarrassed of the fact that we homeschool; indeed the opposite is true.  I am excited that we homeschool!  It's the recipient I am concerned with.  Will they think we're weird?  Will they make a snap judgement of me and my family when they hear we homeschool?  Will they think my choice to homeschool is a condemnation of their decision to send their children to public or private school?  All of these thoughts and a million more are swimming around in my head as I am smiling and nodding.  

I am finding, though, that every time I have to say it out loud I gain a little more confidence.  I stand up a little straighter.  I find my voice a little stronger as I confirm that yes, we homeschool  I have found courage in the form of a brown-haired 5 year old little boy.

And a little child shall lead them.

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