Hi All!

Congratulations to the  Graduates - Class of 2012!!!
Here it is June already, May certainly flew by - like a blink of the eye.  Today I have some birdhouses to share.  We wanted some table decorations for Jess and J's (aka "the twins") Graduation Party.  Um wait - - -ummmmm... did I just say Jess and J's graduation party???  OMG!!!  Where did those 18 years go!!!  Time, just slow down some would you - here I am thinking a month flew by when in reality - I am not sure where the last 18 years went...that's scary!!! 

Reality is - I could spend the rest of this post gushing over how great these two graduates are  - - but if I do - I may not be very popular with them for a while so - - suffice it to say we are soooooooooooo proud of both of them!!!  Congratulations!!!

Since we are honoring two graduates, I decided on two birds on each  birdhouse.  Each bird is perched - ready for a little test flight (just to the beach for Senior Week though - - as long as it is okay with Mom).    
I picked up the birds, unfinished birdhouses and twig branches at Michael's. 

I thought the birdhouses looked pretty good - so I dug right in and started to spray on a coat of primer.  OOooops!  Reality is - once I had a coat of primer on the first one - - I realized they were going to need additional prep work to cover  the nail holes and some other rough spots that had magically appeared.  So I spread a little Bondo on, let it dry and sanded.  Sure it required more effort but it greatly improved the finished look (and let me tell you - these two are worth it). 

After sanding - make sure you remove all of the dust prior to applying the primer and then painting.  I keep an old hairdryer with my other tools, it works great for getting into some of the nooks and crannies that you otherwise just can't reach.  Once the paint dried, the birds were hot glued to the house and small river rocks were scattered in the bottom. 

If you decide to add a tea light (or candle) - do not  burn candles unattended and I also recommend you glue the bottom of the tealight  or votive to the bottom of the bird cage to ensure it does not become a fire hazard.  Sound like the voice of experience???  Yep...you bet - apparently one of the tea lights shifted during transportation and was toooooooo close to the side of the cage.  Fortunately our lovely daughter-in-law was standing nearby and quickly extinguished the growing flame. 

We had eight  tables so we made two birdhouses in each of the four colors.  Two green... 
I wasn't pleased with the way the twigs were fastened in that picture above - so I made a slight modification to hot glue the branches to the roof and then added a bow to look like this. 
(That's better).  Then I proceeded to make two in blue...
Two in red...
And...two in brown...
To break up the white birdhouses on the white tablecloth - we used a varigated green placemat under each of the birdhouses. 
The variations in green in the placemat tied in with the varigated greens in the candles used in the hurricanes.  I picked up the candles on clearance at Michael's for less than $2 a piece.  I already had the hurricanes and the twigs were left over from the birdhouses. 

The bottom of the hurricanes were filled with river rocks to match the flooring in the birdhouse and twisted twigs were added to further tie them into the birdhouses.   On the tables, we alternated the birdhouses and hurricanes.
We liked the way that all the materials used for the hurricanes and birdhouses tied in with the outdoor setting for the graduation party. 
While I was making these, I got to thinking you could use these little birdhouses for various events such as baby and bridal showers, weddings, birthdays, Easter or Spring... 

A word to the Graduates:  Your dedication, energy, time and other sacrifices have certainly paid off.   As you reach this milestone - you  can be very proud of your accomplishments.  As you celebrate, pause to recognize the strength within you to be everything you dream to be through self-determination.   We wish you continued success and fulfillment in all of your future endeavors.  We love you!!!Congratulations!!!

So I am curious, anybody else decorating for a graduation party?  If so, I'd love to hear your ideas. 

(aka Nan)  XOXOX  Hugs, kisses and Best Wishes!
Candace Creations
Welcome back!

We have  been busy around here and fortunately we got the shutters and doors painted just in time for the Spring blossoms to burst.  The shutters and door were previously dark green.  Ooops, no before picture - I know I have some, I just have to find them - probably on the other computer.  Anyway, this time we decided on black paint, with white trim.  I think it goes nicely with the brick.   It's amazing what a fresh coat of paint can do for your curb appeal.    

A tutorial for the wreath on the front door is here.  The only difference now is-  I took the eggs off the wreath after Easter.   

Last year was pretty crazy around here, without getting into the all of the details - - suffice it to say, the shrubs and bushes just didn't get trimmed. They normally get trimmed after the blossoms fade and before the fresh mulch goes down. With last year being a bit very hectic - by the time we realized they needed trimmed the buds were already starting to push for this year. Decision time...shape them and not have as many buds this year or let them go. Shape or blossoms...blossoms or shape...I decided I would rather have flowers and we would worry about the shape later - so we left them go. I'm not saying it was easy, there were a few times after that decision when I just wanted to had to restrain myself from giving them a good trimming.

Now looking at all the blossoms, I am glad I didn't give into temptation and trim them.  But, trust me, as they begin to fade - they are in for a good trimming.

So how about you, would you have trimmed them despite beginning to produce buds or waited it out to enjoy the blossoms?

Happy Easter to all!  I hope you all are enjoying Easter Sunday.
We started the morning with an Easter Brunch with omelets a potato, egg and cheese casserole and Strawberry/Banana Smoothies.  Yummy!

The table setting started with  a centerpiece I made from white berry branches with a layer of river rocks in the bottom.  The cute little bunnies with magenta wrapped chocolate eggs marked each place setting. 
I love the chocolate brown of the placemats and napkins with the hot pink accents. 

Yesterday, we finally got the mirror hung.  I found it a few years ago on a treasure hunt.  Until recently, we had been using it in one of the guest rooms.  I lugged it downstairs a week or so ago and propped it up on top of the buffet...and there it sat.  Until  yesterday, I enlisted the help of my husband to help me get it hung.  It looks so much better now that it's up. 
The china was also a find on another treasure hunt.
The pattern has little, light brown outlined flowers with a brown, beige and  olive vine; all is set on a creamy background.  The china and the placemats kind of meld together like a blend of white and milk chocolate.
Below is an updated photo of the buffet - after the bunny stopped by with some goodies.  Candlestick holders - you guessed it - found them on a treasure hunt.  Some other items in this room to be covered in upcoming  posts - the chandelier and the creamy bowls on the buffet.   
I picked up the fresh flowers on the buffet at Costco; they were actually the inspiration for the bright pink accents.  I love fresh flowers - you can normally find at least one vase full at my house at any given time.
It's been a really nice day the whole way around, time spent with some family (always a plus), beautiful weather for such a beautiful day and my husband made reservations for later in the day to go out to eat (again - I was still stuffed from our brunch).  We went to Harper's Tavern.

Going to Harper's is such a treat to me because a few years ago I was working on some genealogy and discovered that in 1763 my ancestors (I don't have my reference handy but that's something like my g-g-g-g-g+ grandfather) owned the property and built the original tavern on that site.  The original tavern burned down; however, in 1804, his son rebuilt the building that stands today.  It is interesting to think of my grandparents and their 10 children living on that property.  Today I couldn't help but wonder how they spent their Easter Sundays. 

Anyway, it's been a great day!  How did you spend Easter Sunday?

Decor Niche

Wow - it's been a few busy days.  Other than popping onto Pinterest a couple of times when I was in between projects or waiting for paint to dry this is the first time I have really sat down.  It feels good!!!  But I can't get used to it - because I just realized I forgot about a pie I wanted to make for tomorrow. 

So, tomorrow is Easter already.  I know Easter is early this year but wasn't it just Christmas???  Where did the time go??? 

Anyway, here's an early shot of the dining room buffet for our Easter Brunch. 
I say an early shot because the mirror hadn't been hung when I took these pictures.  It's just kind of propped there, I needed the hubby to help me though because it weighs a ton! 

Here's a closer look at the Spring bouquet.  It served as the inspiration for the rest of the details for our brunch. 
That's all for now - stop by tomorrow to see the final details for the brunch. 

Decor Niche
Here is a simple DIY project that can serve as a tabletop accent or centerpiece.  It's inexpensive, it's easy and you can easily change the look basically for the cost  of a bag of candy. 
Start with a picture frame; mine came from the Dollar Store.  You may already have a frame on hand.  Don't worry about what the picture looks like because you are going to cover it up. 

Using a screwdriver, remove any picture hanging hardware from the back of the frame.  This would also be a good time to add some small felt protectors to the back of the frame so that it doesn't scratch your table surface. 
If you can remove the back - take the picture out, cover the picture in a craft  or wrapping paper of your choice and return the freshly covered picture back   into the frame.  If for some reason you can't remove the picture - you could  spray paint the frame and glass or you could cover the top of the glass.  You  really aren't going to see the paper anyway.  I used some left over wrapping paper right over the glass (secured with double faced tape) - because as I said you won't see it, the filler will cover it up. 

Add candles and a filler of your choice and woah-lah a customizable accent for your home.  Here it is with yummy jelly beans.
And at night...
I am sure you can come up with dozens of ideas for different fillers for different holidays and seasons.  The possibilities are endless so don't limit yourself to edibles. 

Oh, and if you do go with candy or other edibles - - you might want to have some extra on hand - it seems to gradually disappear.  Hmmmm...

For another dollar at the Dollar Store, I picked up a bag of river rocks they come in handy when the edible fillers disappear!!!
Decor Niche
This is one of my favorite times of year. The trees are in  blossom, the grass is green, tulips and daffodils are displaying their spring colors - it is nature's renewal.  Early Spring inspires me for that extra deep cleaning inside because as soon as weather breaks I want to be outside as much as possible. Along with the cleaning it signals me to change the wreath on the front door to welcome our guests and complement the other sights and sounds of Spring.

This year the front door and shutters are getting a fresh coat of paint, we are going from green to black.  The black opens up more possiblilites so I decided to use green as my accent color for my Spring Wreath. 

So I gathered together a twig wreath, the glue gun, wire, wire cutters, silk flowers and sheer green ribbon.
If you are new to flower arranging - one of the simplest rules for beginners is what you do on what side do on the other side.  Following this rule will give symmetry to your project until you get more comfortable with some other designs. 

So, work your way around the wreath, using the wire cutters to separate your flowers.  Apply some glue to the stem and gently secure the stem by pushing it into the branches of the wreath. 

In the picture below, I have secured 3 stems.  Using the symmetry rule, you can see that the next stem will be placed on the left side. 
Continue filling in the wreath to achieve your desired fullness. 

Then secure a ribbon, I left the tails on my ribbon longer than I normally do - thinking I might like them to sway in the breezes (you can always trim them later). 
With Easter right around the corner, I decided to add a basket of eggs (that can later be removed) and then personalized it with a monogram.  Below is the finished wreath. 

Unfortunately, the wreath is shown on a white interior door.  It is a dreary day - so it will have to wait for a nicer day when it can be hung on the freshly painted door!

Decor Niche
Linked up at...
Spring Wreath
Donna at Funky Junk Interiors