DIY “Jolly Jack-o-Lantern” Halloween Wreath … by Trenda

“A Halloween of Memory Past” by Trenda  In just a little over a “fortnight” we will have a host of little ghosts and goblins coming to our doorstep.  Once, not really so very long ago, I was one of those happy “trick or treater’s” … traipsing down the streets, I peered to see out of my plastic mask that was always askew, had eye slots that were cut too small to properly see and was held in place by a thin rubber band that pulled my hair and I was always afraid would snap and pop me in the face!  I made sure I stayed close to my strong, broad shouldered father and seeing his comforting silhouette outlined in the shadows was particularly assuring on a night called All Hallows’ Eve!  My father carried a railroad lantern to lead his little band and family of mix-matched character’s … a hobo, a skeleton, 2 gypsies, and a clown … and I remember the red glow cast by his lantern, added to the mystique of the evening. (to be continued)piccollage

 

Remembering that feeling, I love to make our home as welcoming as possible on Halloween and enjoy creating an expectant atmosphere, befitting the night, that the children can sense as they climb up each step to our door.

Now with all that in mind … today I am writing the DIY instructions for this Jolly Jack-o-Lantern Halloween wreath that you can make and hang on your front door to welcome each of your little visitors!  The “jewel and sparkle” a wreath adds to your door, is like adding a necklace to your outfit! (: 

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Below, is a list of supplies you will need to make your wreath.

Materials needed:

  •  metal wreath form
  • up to 3 rolls of mesh in your choice of Halloween colors
  • pipe cleaners
  • glue gun and glue sticks
  • assorted Halloween decorations
  • scissors & wire cutters

Instructions:

First, make a simple loop hanger using a pipe cleaner and wrap it around the back of the wire wreath form.  This is the hanger you will use to display your wreath on your door, but it is also convenient to use while constructing your wreath.  TipI always use  pipe cleaners that match the colors I am using in my wreath.  Then, when I am finished they aren’t easily seen and “blend” right into the decorations and colors of the wreath.   Take your first color of mesh and go around the form of your wreath, bunching the mesh loosely.  To form a “poof” or segment, wrap a pipe cleaner around the mesh and wire wreath form to secure the mesh to the form.  I trim my pipe cleaners off at this point to keep things neat and so they won’t get “in the way” and snag my material.  Continue bunching and securing mesh around the perimeter of your wreath form.  Don’t be timid!  There’s no wrong way to do this! (:   

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Then, do the same thing again with the next color you have chosen for your wreath.  Gather and bunch your mesh and secure it with pipe cleaners to your wreath form.  Be sure and “stagger” where you bunch and secure your mesh, not conforming with the same pattern you used with the first color.  This will make your wreath fuller.  See picture below.

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Repeat the same procedure again, using your last color of mesh and making sure to weave and bunch your mesh in areas you see that need more fullness.  Note:  It is up to you how many colors of mesh you use.  Sometimes, I use only 2 fabrics or even one color of mesh or burlap.  Just make sure when you are using fewer colors that you bunch your fabric tighter, so you have a full wreath.

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Now, the fun part begins!  Take your decorations and just hot glue them to your wreath.  I add my biggest items first … next, any smaller items I have.

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Then … I add my “filler” last.  Filler is added to your entire wreath and “pulls” the look of your wreath together, unifying and blending all your colors and decorations on the wreath.  Filler can be any material – it adds texture and conformity.   In the photo below … see how I’ve used my neon green curly twigs as filler.

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Then, I added a few “bursts” of accent with a ribbon that incorporated all the colors of my 3 different mesh … a purple, orange and black plaid.  Wherever I wanted a little more color, I cut some random lengths of my plaid ribbon and “wove it” into the mesh ribbon, and hot glued the ends to hold.  The final step was gluing some sparkly wrapped paper candies … table confetti, that I found at Hobby Lobby for only $1.50 … in just my colors of purple, orange, and neon green! 

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Now when …

“Silent phantoms

of the night

In their robes

of ghostly white.

They are always to be seen

On the night of Halloween.”

come to your door, they will be delighted to see the wreath you made welcoming them to your haunt! 

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Thank you so much for spending some time with me today!  I’d love to hear from you and I am truly delighted, reading what you have to say.  Please leave a comment, below.  Don’t be alarmed when your comment doesn’t post, immediately.  Word Press makes sure each post I send or that I receive hasn’t any SPAM attached … “it’s a good thing!” (: 

From my cottage to yours  ~  Trenda

 

 

 

 

Part 2 of … Feathering the Nest by Trenda

In Part 1 of “Feathering the Nest” I asked … “What do you enjoy collecting?  Whatever your passion is, use those items to decorate and “cozy up” your home.” 
The most frequent question I have been asked, over my years of decorating is …  “How should I decorate my home?”  Decorate your home with the things you love!  For those of you that “need a little help” figuring out what you love in decorating or what you like to collect, that’s what I want to help you discover, today.  

Home … the perfect nest

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In Part 1 of “Feathering the Nest” I asked … “What do you enjoy collecting?  Whatever your passion is, use those items to decorate and “cozy up” your home.” 

The most frequent question I have been asked, over my years of decorating is …  “How should I decorate my home?”  Decorate your home with the things you love!  For those of you that “need a little help” figuring out what you love in decorating or what you like to collect, that’s what I want to help you discover, today.  

 A cheery welcome gleams from the lamplight reflected in the large mirror over the fireplace and again in the mirrored frame of the bird picture.  A bright green bird looks stunning, placed next to the contrasting blue and white porcelains.    

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“What do you love to collect?”  Just think what gives you a little “thrill” whenever you see that item sitting on the shelf of your favorite store or sitting in a darkened display in an antique store.  Sometimes it’s buried under a pile of “store jumble” or it’s the last item hanging on a peg, in just the color you needed!

The muted colors of this pheasant blend perfectly with my collection of loved,  worn and faded antique books.

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Whenever you see your particular “eye candy” your pace quickens, even though you remind yourself not to get too excited as you “unearth” your treasure, all the while you are hoping “it is” what you “think it is!”

These are the things you love and that you are passionate about … and what you should decorate your home with!  It may be lots of different things.  For me it’s violins, birds, feathers, bird nests, bird cages, squirrels, acorns, pencils made from branches, books, antique flower frogs … just to name a few! (;

Beatrix Potter’s “Peter Rabbit” is opened displaying the beautiful illustrations that are fitting with the garden paraphernalia I have scattered about the desk.  The little water bucket and watering can look charming holding pencils and paintbrushes instead of the “expected” flower arrangement, they usually hold.  Also fitting with  the theme of gardens, I’ve placed 2 of my antique flower frogs; one for propping the book page open, the other … just for keeping the other “frog” company! (:PicCollage[367].png

Or … you may like collecting items that follow a theme … anything associated with birds, vintage  garden tools and signs, a nautical theme, or beach themes.

This little table holds a twig lamp and all things bird-y and dear to me … a miniature and ornate cloche shelters a blown glass hummingbird that belonged to my precious sister, long-since “graduated” to heaven … a special teacup and saucer that were once my grandfather and grandmother’s that I’ve tucked a tiny nest into with a little hummingbird hovering above … and a plump, mercury glass bird, nestled between them.  Look at that beautiful, midnight twilight gleaming beyond the window!

PicCollage.pngDo you have a passion for collecting items that are a particular color?  Do you find yourself irresistibly drawn and buying collectibles and items in the perfect shade of peacock blue or sunny yellow?  Use those items you have in matching colors and group them together to make an impact and visual point of interest. 

This collection on my desk is unified in color and theme.  A chartreuse green watering can is filled with pencils and paintbrushes … another “impromptu” pencil cup is really a flower planter and is also chartreuse green.  The little frame beyond with bird houses is colored, again, in chartreuse green and complimentary shades of plum, a sweet gift from our beloved daughter that says … “A mother’s love is what makes a house a home.”PicCollage.pngSee how I unified different collectibles in my bookcase by using chartreuse green repeatedly … chartreuse green watering cans … book jackets … mossy rocks … planter … and little water pail.

An etched glass jar holds a collection of ferns and mossy rocks  and maintains the garden theme while evoking the mood displayed on the book jacket, “The Secret Garden.”  A large silver acorn and a mercury glass mushroom are all part of the magic in a “secret garden” and who else do you think resides there? … a couple of Frog Prince, of course! (:

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When you use and incorporate the items you love in decorating, your home will begin to be the haven you desire and will have the “cozy” feeling you’re longing to create.  Why? … because your home will be filled with the things you love and the collectibles that make you happy and reflect “your taste.”  A home you’ll love coming home to!

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Look how the textures of the hydrangea, the filigree on the planter, and the scrolling on the word ‘TRUST’ all compliment each other and make this arrangement visually interesting with the use of texture.PicCollage[386].png

Thank you so much for spending some time with me today!  I’d love to hear from you and I am truly delighted, reading what you have to say.  Please leave a comment, below.  Don’t be alarmed when your comment doesn’t post, immediately.  Word Press makes sure each post I send or that I receive hasn’t any SPAM attached … “it’s a good thing!” (:

From my cottage to yours  ~  Trenda

 

 

 

 

Garden-themed tabletop caddy … hold and “plant” your silverware and napkins.  

My husband, Richard, bought this darling Verdi Green planter for me from T. J Maxx, 2 weeks ago, during the hottest part of our “Dog Days of Summer” here in East Texas.  We had 8 days in a row with temperatures in the 100’s and the heat index being anywhere from 106-109 degrees!  

The following week we were blessed with much cooler weather and a week of rain! (a cause for celebration in August, typically our hottest and driest month here in East Texas!)  I was so tickled with my new planter, I couldn’t wait for cooler temperatures, or for the rain to stop, before I filled it!  

Instead of scooping up potting soil and filling the charming pots with flowers, I “planted” my silverware and napkins in the metal pots and made the planter the focal point of my garden themed tablescape and set it atop our dining room table!

 I didn’t want the top bucket to appear top-heavy, so I filled that flower pot, with napkins.

There, under the sweet little spigot and “blooming” like flower petals, I tucked in white embroidered napkins trimmed with a simple lace corner and a single, pink flower.  

Then I “planted” a few sage green napkins to match the green of the flower pots.

In the lower bucket, I “softened” the look of the metal before adding my silverware by lining it with 2 napkins, one sage green napkin and one white embroidered napkin.  

Then I randomly placed my cutlery in a seemingly haphazard way … some handles up, some down, to create a casual, but elegant display.  

I love the embellished and intricate ends of the silverware, but I also love looking at the gleaming, shiny, blades, tines, and scoops!

A crystal vase holds additional pieces of silver to the right of the cascading flower pots and keeping with my garden theme, I placed two tiny antique books and topped them with a teeny bird and a piece of bark I found in the backyard that was covered in a lovely colored lichen that blended perfectly with the green tones of the flower pots, books, and bird.

I tried out a different look and added a little color while still maintaining the garden theme.  In lieu of the crystal vase filled with cutlery, I displayed two of my favorite bird books … “A Complete Guide to Bird Feeding” and “Beyond the Bird Feeder” both wonderful books illustrated with pictures and written by John V. Dennis. 
Which display do you like better?

To balance out the left side, I placed a silver coffee pot, a silver creamer, and adding some height, I stacked some miniature silver chargers and placed the silver sugar bowl on top. 

My garden themed tabletop, a perfect backdrop for a cool summer lunch of chicken salad croissants, cucumber salad, and deviled eggs … all served with sweet Southern tea!  (:
Hope your enjoying these last days of summer and that you are managing to beat the heat, wherever “home is” for you!  I’m anxiously awaiting to see the first violas, snapdragons, pansies and flowering kale of the season … and my favorite chrysanthemums and purple asters!

Then, I’ll transform my flowering tabletop flower pots and “dress them” to go outside for autumn! (:

Thank you for spending a part of your day with me!

From my cottage to yours ~   Trenda

From My Cottage to Your’s …

A little about my life and loves on Cedar Creek Lake …

 My husband and I live in the beautiful piney woods of East Texas on the banks of Cedar Creek Lake.  We love watching and being a part of all the seasons and changes that happen on the lake.

We moved here 25 years ago … and began the mammoth task of renovating our “tired” and “brown everything” lake house that was originally built during the early 70’s.

Slowly, with each wall we knocked down, each remnant of shag carpet we removed and the many gallons of white paint that we applied … our brown house began to disappear and the “Cottage Green” we had envisioned began to emerge.

It still seems like we are always working on our “nest” but we love seeing every result and improvement we make.

My love of decorating and crafts … 
When our kids were younger, I worked evenings for an Interior Design Company accessorizing and decorating people’s homes.  I also worked for a major hobby/craft store and gave classes on how to make wreaths, flower arrangements, seasonal door decorations, gift wrapping bows, and girl’s hair bows.

Through the years I’ve continued decorating, but mostly  for our own home or for custom orders.I was blessed with a full music scholarship to college and pursued a double major of both music and education before I left my Junior year to marry my sweetheart … or as Anne of Green Gables would say … “my kindred spirit and dearest of dear husbands.”  His name is Richard.

We have been married for 41 years and he still makes my heart skip a beat whenever I catch his eye across a crowded room.

We have been blessed with 2 children, a son and a daughter and we now have 2 dear grandchildren who are running in the same footprints our children did … and we’re still making memories at our cottage on the lake.

I hope each recipe, tablescape, decoration, arrangement, landscaping idea, and the whimsical way I like to decorate our home … Cottagegreenonthelake.com will inspire you … 4 the seasons!

From my cottage to yours ~  Trenda