Saturday, August 17, 2013

Woodland Tea


As summer starts to come to a close, it's fun to make the most of those still light and warm early evenings by entertaining outdoors. Why not include some furry and feathered forest friends on your guest list and host a whimsical woodland themed tea party? It's easier than you may think to turn your backyard or park into an enchanting forest for the late afternoon with some simple nature inspired DIY crafts and simple "semi-scratch" recipes. 

For this idyllic setting, my gracious neighbors let me commandeer their exquisitely landscaped backyard.

Tea, sweets and fruit make the perfect late afternoon pick-me up

Mushroom Cottage 

                 Oversized Toadstools add a touch of whimsy to your decor. Of course adding a mini door and window makes it the perfect cottage abode for tiny friends.

You'll need
Pool noodle
Plastic bowls of appropriate size
Popsicle sticks
mini mirrors
Spray paint or acrylic which will work well on plastic
Glitter or sparkly paint
Moss, rocks, tiny creatures or any accessories

 wood base (on clearance) plastic bowls and a pool noodle
 Cut the pool noodle to desired lengths using a serrated knife. I varied the sizes for a less uniform look. Spray noodle "stems" and bowls desired colors. I chose a natural color scheme but you could even go with bright playful or flourescent colors depending on your event.
 Noodles soak up much of the paint so I gave mine three generous coats. Some of the original color may still show through which I didn't mind. Other items (cardboard tubes etc) could be used as stems as well, but I liked the mushroom-like texture of the noodle. I also quickly spritzed the bowls with white so the acrylic would adhere better.
While paint is drying I quickly constructed a popsicle stick door for my mushroom cottage. For more detailed instructions, you can follow the tutorial for my whimsical elf door from my Scandinavian Christmas post. Some tiny mirrors glued on a square of paper and a scrapbook flower box from the clearance section of my craft store make a little window
I used a deep red and brown for the bowl mushroom tops. Although the original bowl color was fun, a coat of paint plays down the plastic finish. I then sprayed the tops with clear coat and added glitter. For a quicker fix, keep bowls unpainted and pop on small round sticker labels as dots.
Attach window and door and moss with hot glue and let set.
After marking the desired spots on my wood base, I hot-glue two long wood screws onto the wood for extra stability. Then simply pop on mushrooms, add moss and add any finishing touches.

Woodland Log Cake 

& Five Minute Marshmallow Mushrooms

Last holiday season I made an easy "semi-scratch" Buche du Noel, or French Yule Log cake using a storebought bakery cake roll. Although traditionally frosted with sugary snow and served at Christmas time, with a few tweaks it works wonderfully with a woodland theme any time of year.
 To see the winter version, click here.

Simple supermarket supplies: a  roll cake ($3.99 at Giant) and ready to go frosting. The star icing tip is perfect for creating a bark-like texture
Once iced, cut a diagonal slice off of the cake to create a branch and attach to side of log (cake can also be left as is, if desired) Garnish with "mushrooms", berries and fresh mint.

Five Minute Marshmallow Mushrooms

Using icing, attach cookies to marshmallows (I chose sturdier ones out of the bag) Make dots with white icing "writer" and let set.

Night Lights

Extra little lights add a cozy warmth and sparkle to any event, even before the sun goes down.
Since I love the idea of reusing items, I repurposed my firefly globes from my Fourth of July post by adding a butterflies.

Moss covered glasses with flameless votives help illuminate the evening without being a fire concern. A touch of hot glue keeps greenery in place. 

Thanks so much for visiting and hoping everyone is enjoying the waning precious days of Summer!

PennyWise Tips

These woodland ideas can be adapted easily to any whimsical event: An Alice in Wonderland tea or Boy's Bug themed Birthday perhaps?

This would be a lovely theme in Fall or Spring as well: For Fall, simply add some faux leaves in orange and golds and for Spring lighten the color scheme with cheerful floral accents.

If the weather doesn't cooperate or you have limited outdoor space, set up an indoor picnic by purchasing some faux grass carpet (sold inexpensively by the yard) at your home improvement store for an instant indoor forest floor.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Getting Creative at Home Blog Tour: My Summer Recap

I'm so thrilled to be part of this fun blog tour!
Maybe it's the fact that September is around the corner, or that I've already seen Halloween and Fall decor in stores (Pumpkins, aisle five!) but it seems this summer has breezed by in the blink of an eye. So when some bloggers got together and suggested we revisit some of our favorite previous posts for the fabulous Getting Creative at Home Tour, I figured I would embrace this seemingly shortest of seasons with a quick recap of some of my favorite fun and as always, budget friendly summer projects.

In August I enjoyed the sport of kings (on a pauper's budget) and created an equine themed DIY Polo Picnic

Dollar store ponies and a faux silver plate turn into trophies with the magic of spray paint and Modge Podge (1,3). Ready made dough makes horse shoe bread twists (2) and computer printouts dress up budget bubbly (4)

Mid summer was perfect for a trip to a local lavender farm where we bought goodies for projects celebrating this delightfully scented plant in the post Lavender, Sweet Lavender
A bit of Provence in a window box. A milk carton farmhouse with a fake fingernail "tile" roof rests in a mini lavender farm of one's own. Lavender adds a unique flavor to white chocolate truffles. Photos from the farm.

We celebrated the 4th with vintage inspired candy cones, an allergy friendly and oven-less watermelon "cake" and easy DIY firefly globes. Check out these simple DIYs on the Red, White, and Blue Birthday post
Summer fruit becomes a healthy and eye catching dessert. Open face globes light up the evening with foliage and flameless votives. Images from the Graphics Fairy lend a vintage air to a bag of dollar store party hats.

I'm so delighted to be in the company of so many wonderful creative fellow bloggers on this tour! 
My Fellow Friday Bloggers
Circa 1929

To find oodles of inspiration and ideas visit the links from the weeklong tour below or if you're an avid pinner like me, on Pinterest:Haven at Home 
Many, many Thanks to Julie of Lilacs and Longhorns who came up with this idea, created the graphics and kept us all on track with grace and humor!

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Creative at Home Blog Tour

What do a group of bloggers do when their busy schedule, life or geography rule out a trip to this year's annual big blog conference? 
Why they create their own
Getting Creative at Home Blog Tour! 
This Monday through Friday you're invited to browse 24 fabulous blogs who will be revisiting some of their very favorite projects and ideas! 
You're bound to be inspired, meet new friends and ooh and aah! No travel required!
A Great Big Thank-You to Julie at Lilacs and Longhorns for keeping us all on track and making this all happen!

DAY 4 Today's Fabulous Bloggers!

Thursday, Aug. 8:

Missed Yesterday? No worries!
 for theAugust 7th - pop over to see
Bargain Hunting with Laurie
to see fabulous chalk paint chairs
2 Little Superheroes
a furniture tip from a surprising source (your pantry)
Stow and TellU
whimsical and creative projects with a story to tell
My Soulful Home
an awe inspiring sofa redo
Glitter Glue and Paint
fun with wine bottles, wall stencils a fab kitchen and more!

Missed Yesterday? No worries!
 for theAugust 7th - pop over to see
Missed Tuesday, Aug. 6:? Pop over to See
Designer’s Sweet Spot
turned a beauty store basic into the most charming garden accent
Design Dreams by Anne
shows how her amazing Craftmanship spruces up her home
Country Design Style
A fabulous and unique DIY mantelpiece
Shabby Art Boutique
shares her exquisite style in her own magazine
Cupcakes and Crinoline
Gets ready for fall with stylish pumpkins and cozy recipes

Tour for Monday, Aug. 5:
Missed Monday? No Worries - pop over and visit
Copper Roof Interiors -
 to see a fabulous table redo - British style!
The Crafty Woman-
 The most amazing kitchen remodel!
Colors Mixed Together
beautiful sunkissed artwork!
The Rustic Pig
a fabulous headboard turned porch wing and more!
Lilacs & Longhorns-
a dining room to die for!

Friday, Aug. 9:

This is a great opportunity to see some great projects, browse new blogs and make some new blog friends. It's almost like being a part of the Haven Conference.  Plus, it's FREE!  

Start here on Monday to see the first five great blogs and keep following all week.  On Monday, August 12, we'll post a round-up of all the great projects for you to see on one page.