T‘is the season for all that sparkles and shines. We certainly have enough ornaments and decorations in our house to make the whole neighbourhood twinkle. But, for the first time in many years, I have grown tired of our decorations and am ready for something new. Odd that what captured my eye was actually something quite old. Sipping my coffee and zipping through my usual Instagram favourites one morning I stopped at a photo of a wreath my friend Janine had posted. It was made of mercury glass globes and I just could not stop thinking about it. The Happy Happy Nester had done it again. The same old tarnished and faded ornaments that I had dismissed every time I bumped into a box of them at a garage sale were now very high on my wishlist. Janine is always thinking up fresh ideas for making Home Sweet Home more festive. That wreath made me wonder where she draws up inspiration for her beautiful blog. So, we arranged for a good ol’fashioned chin-wag to talk shop for a bit while. Then, she came through with her promise to teach me how to make that wreath. It won’t be long before your see why her happy nature is so captivating.
Coco: What inspired you to start blogging?
HHN: I remember around 2002, my friend started a blog about her travels, and at the time I found it to be such a strange and foreign idea. Fast forward to six years later, I still didn’t understand the blogging world and it didn’t help that my life was more about parenting two toddlers. So, I really didn’t have much time to be at my computer, until 2 years ago. Now that my kids are teenagers, I’m able to carve out some time to pursue my own interests. My good friend, Susan was the one who kept insisting that I start a blog. My friend told me that they were also struggling with the technical side of the blogging world was taking up her limited time which she’d rather spend with her family so she decided to look into more reliable blog hosting options. I hear that hostiserver.com gave her some useful solutions. If I have similar issues at some point I might check them out. She was always fascinated by my decorating, painting, and crafting skills, and she believed others probably would love it too. Finally, two years ago, I set up my website, Happy Happy Nester, with help from my tech savvy son. Unfortunately, it took me a while to get serious about this whole blogging world. So, about eight months ago, I made a commitment to post entries on a more consistent weekly basis. I love blogging, and I’m so happy to have found my niche.
Coco: What do you find most rewarding about your blog?
HHN: I love creating and my blog is a wonderful outlet for these talents! Prior to starting my blog, my artistic juices weren’t being flexed much. Now, I have an outlet and platform for my interests, and my life couldn’t be more rewarding! I thoroughly enjoy sharing all my projects with my readers. Additionally, it is cool that this whole creative process has emerged within me! Rekindling my artistic side, has made my world so fulfilling. I know this statement sounds corny, but I couldn’t be any happier!
Coco: Do you find social media tools helpful?
HHN: Yes, I love Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. I mostly, lean towards Pinterest and Instagram. I have managed to accumulate a large Instagram following thanks to Upleap. It also helps me to keep in touch with my followers. social media tools are great when you’re growing your insta quickly. I’m a visual learner, and so it makes sense that I would gravitate towards these two social platforms. Instagram allows me to socialize with my viewers and it helps me stay tuned to their interests, likes, and current trends. Also, the social environment provides a wonderful way to get to know other bloggers, of course that is how I met Colette! Secondly, Pinterest is just a fabulous source for inspiration! It is an incredible resource, when I’m stuck on a project. It usually provides a multitude of solutions as well as many more ideas!
Coco: Are you more of a foodie or a crafty?
HHN: My husband and I were just talking about this topic the other day. Of course, I do blog about food, (My husband and I had a blogpost in which we competed with each other on our favorite Brussels Sprout recipes. Here is the link: The Best Brussels Sprout Recipes) and I really enjoy cooking and baking, but ultimately I’m more of a crafts and decor person. He wishes that I was more of a foodie, since that would mean more elaborate meals. But instead, I’m usually deep into my multiple projects and our dinner is the last thing on my mind. The other day, I was working on a project and neglected my soup that I had on the stove. I had great intentions of making a chicken soup for the family. Well, I had the chicken stock going with leftover bones, but failed to notice that I didn’t have any chicken. My husband who makes fabulous soups, had to rescue my broth. He turned it into a nicely seasoned yummy soup! On the flip side, I love making crafts and I have a gazillion ideas buzzing around in my head! I just need more time in my day and week to get them posted on my blog!
Coco: What do you want to achieve with your blog?
HHN: I want my blog to be a creative outlet for me. But, probably and most importantly, I hope that it continues to inspire others to create and make their homes and lives beautiful! I want my followers to feel like crafts and home décor are not a mysterious and difficult thing to achieve. So many of my friends would like to change up their home décor, but don’t even know where to begin. So, one of my goals of my blog is trying to figure out solutions for people, whether it involves decorating, home, garden, travel or cooking! And finally, I would love to be a weekly destination where I assist and inspire them and their home.
Coco: What makes your blog unique?
HHN: I have made an effort to write long informative blog posts that not only show a craft, recipe, or décor, but much more. For instance, on my Fall Apple post (here is the link: Apple Custard Recipe ), I picked a few popular apples and individually gave the history, origin, and a personal taste test of the apples. I love to be very thorough with my post and I hope that it would be a more personal blend of Martha Stewart meets America’s Test Kitchen approach. Every time I set out to write a brief entry, it turns out to be long and epic. Also, I’m starting a new monthly column which will highlight a fun and interesting trip into the many neighborhoods of San Francisco. My friend, Marci and I, want to explore and share all the awesome nooks and crannies of our wonderful city by the bay! So, of course this would give my website a Northern California influence and lifestyle.
Coco: What’s the weirdest email/comment you’ve received?
HHN: Sorry to report I haven’t received a weird comment on my blog! And now that I’ve stated this, I’ll probably get a storm of them!
Coco: How often do you write? Do you have a schedule?
HHN: This past summer I was writing about three times a week, but that nearly killed me! When I blog about my crafts or home décor, I have heavy planning that accompanies the post. Many times, it may take days to round up all the items for the post and then the photo session can take hours. Then comes the writing and designing the actual post, which takes another couple of hours. So, now I write a post once a week and that keeps me busy. It almost feels like if I have a week or a month to write a post, I will use up whatever time I have! I do have a wonderful dry erase board, here is the link of how to make it: Dry Erase Board. On this board, I schedule about 2 months out. Sometimes, when I have a cool project that unexpectedly pops up, I rework the schedule so I can fit it in!
Coco: Are you a shoe or handbag girl?
HHN: When it comes to shoes, I’m very plain, but I like shoes!! I’m a purse and coat kind of gal!!!
Vintage Ornament Wreath
Thank you so much, Colette, for inviting me over to guest post on your lovely blog. My website is the Happy Happy Nester, and I’m so happy to be sharing my Vintage Wreath Tutorial with all of you! What initially inspired me in regards to project, is my friend’s beautiful vintage wreath in her home. And, ever since I saw hers I’ve always wanted to make one. She bought her wreath at a really cool flea market in San Francisco that sells antiques and vintage crafts. I did happen to spy one in a little boutique in our little town, and it was retailing for $165. If you do decide to make your own vintage wreath, it is a little bit of investment. The ornaments can be found on Ebay, antique stores, and at some thrift shops. If you don’t want to make the investment in vintage ornaments, you can make this wreath with new ornaments. These days, the ornaments look so antique, so there are some nice options. You could use mostly new ones (that look vintage) and then add a few real antique ornaments. Also, I did make a few of my new ornaments look old. I’ll explain how, later in this post. Anyway, let’s get started!
Supplies you’ll need:
12 in styrofoam wreath
About 40 medium size ornaments (I bought half on ebay and half at a wonderful vintage store)
About 40 or more small ornaments
Tinsel, 12 ft
Glue gun and glue sticks
Wire to hang the wreath
Ribbon for a bow, optional
Take stock of all your ornaments and supplies.
Aren’t these the coolest, I just love the boxes too!
I bought most of my ornaments on Ebay, but I did buy a few at this wonderful shop in Danville, California. Cottage Jewel is definitely, a jewel of a shop in this quaint and beautiful town.
This little shop is packed with antique jewelry, dishes, furniture, and much more! If you are ever in the East Bay of San Francisco, you must visit this shop and the main part of Danville. You’ll have a great day shopping in all the wonderful boutique stores and then dining at all the great restaurants. And interesting little bit of Hollywood trivia, the Danville, Bridges Restaurant is where they filmed the dinner scene in the cute movie, Mrs. Doubtfire!
Not all tinsel is created equal, note how different these two are in color. Of course, you can always remove the little colorful accents, which I had to do to the one on the right. If you want to be true to the vintage, you can use antique tinsel. I did find some, and it cost $20 for about 6 feet. For comparison, Michael’s Crafts tinsel cost about $4.00 for 12 feet. I did go with the cheaper newer version from Michael’s Crafts. I ended up using the one to the right, since I wanted a lighter feel to my wreath. When, you choose one, just make sure the shade of tinsel will go with the look you are trying to achieve.
This 12 inch Styrofoam wreath from Joanne’s Fabrics is perfect. It was difficult finding the smaller wreath size. Just remember the bigger the wreath the more ornaments you’ll need. Also, the wreath does expand beyond the 12 inches, since you place ornaments on outer rim.
Wrap the wreath with the tinsel. As you wrap the tinsel, add drop of hot glue on one side of the wreath, and press tinsel into place. The tinsel adds filler and also provides something for the ornaments to attach to.
Tada! I actually think the tinsel wreath is pretty!
Next, tie the wire around the top of the wreath. Make sure to secure the loop so it doesn’t come undone. Don’t forget to do this step at this point of the process, since it will be tough to add the wire once the ornaments are attached.
Layout the ornaments on the outside of the wreath. Now, this is the time consuming part! When it comes to selecting the ornaments, I feel they should be all the same size. Once you have them organized, glue them to the wreath.
Since, I was so excited to make the wreath one night, I was unable to take photos. So, here is another wreath that I made. I’m sure you noticed these ornaments are not vintage.
Next, place your ornaments on the wreath. Also, figure out which ornaments you want to feature and where you want to place them. Then start hot gluing your ornaments. You’ll want to place colors in a balanced way. If you look at my wreath, I dispersed the greens, blues, and yellow equally. If you have ornaments with stripes make sure they compliment each other and don’t clash. For instance, if one striped ornament has stripes going one way, have the other striped ornament on the other side of the wreath mirroring it. Don’t put them close together, unless you want a busy look. Here are some close up photos of the beautiful vintage ornaments!
6. How to make new ornaments look vintage. If you run out of vintage ornaments like I did, you can make new ones look somewhat old. I created a technique uses sharpie markers and a paper towel. Start with light colors and slowly build up with darker colors. After you draw a little section, immediately smudge with a slightly moist towel. Keep adding colors until you get the whole ball covered. On the last step you’ll want to add little brown dots for that vintage look. If you look at the photo above, the ornaments have brownish specks.
Here is my version of a new ornament that I made to look vintage. I don’t think I would make a whole wreath with these, but to supplement your antique ones with this works. I did try the method of applying acetone, and it just kind of took off the paint layer and it didn’t necessarily look antique.
I placed my wreath on our dining room mirror. I attached it with a 3M temporary hanger. I’m enjoying how the colors go so nicely with the room décor. I just may leave it up during the year, in a little less prominent place.
I want to thank, Colette, for graciously inviting me to guest post! I’m so happy to share my thoughts on blogging, as well as show you how to make Vintage Wreath! Hop on over for a visit, I would love to see you at www.happyhappynester.com Happy December, and I hope you have a wonderful holiday season, filled with family and fun!