Archive | December, 2012

Holiday “Mantel”

21 Dec

You know how I have a girl crush on Emily Henderson?  AND I can’t resist a challenge?  Well, she’s hosting a fantastic giveaway that’s not your standard blog giveaway.  She’ll be choosing 5 winners based on their mantel decor.  The top prize is the mantel that gets the most votes and the other 4 are of Emily’s choosing. What are the prizes, you ask? Good question!  Amazing vintage furniture and accessories from Emily’s amazing personal collection.  Count me in!!

I generally keep my holiday decor simple and I was trying to resist the urge to go style-crazy this year… but this is as good of an excuse as any!  Check out my version of holiday mantel decor and go vote for my mantel/piano HERE!

piano mantel

holiday piano closeup1

christmas piano closeup2

christmas piano side

Only cool people have vintage Christmas music for both piano AND accordion.  If only I could play the accordion.  What makes me smile about this is that my sister and I learned piano with that book 20 years ago, and my dad learned accordion with the other book almost 50 years ago.

Christmas music

Go vote for my decor HERE!!!  Purdy please?  What are you waiting for?? Tell your friends!  Vote!

Fast Fix: Drab to Fab

18 Dec

This side table before and after is WAY overdue.  It’s actually a project from this summer when I went to NYC to help my sister-in-law furnish her apartment, but I was so excited about outcome that I forgot to take an “after” shot and had to wait until I went back to visit last weekend (bad blogger!).

The cute little hand-me-down side table started out pretty ho-hum.

table before

It had a great shape and solid construction, so I knew it could be something special.  With a quart of “oops paint” from Home Depot for a whole $2 and spray paint I already had, this may be one of the most fabulous $2 make-overs you’ll ever see.

table painted

After 2 coats of our blue-gray “oops” paint, it was time to make it shine.  Literally.  The shelf was just held in with a few screws, so I removed it and taped off the legs using painters tape and plastic bags.

gold leg paint

Then I went spray-happy in an NYC alley way.  I’m a rebel like that.  I think gold spray paint is slowly becoming one of my favorite tools.  I might start spraying things just for fun.  You’ve been warned.  Don’t be surprised if you see a sprayed gold kitten or Hubby in the near future.

May I remind you that it only cost TWO DOLLARS!  The finished result makes me completely giddy.  I wish all my projects were this easy!

side table after

Ain’t she pretty?

Light My Fire

17 Dec

Cold weather has the same effect on me as it does molasses.  I keep on going, but my pace is significantly slower.  Unfortunately, that means that projects take longer which frustrates my urge to have everything done yesterday.

A week and a half ago, I showed you this collection of misfit thrift store candlesticks.

candlestick collection before

Today, they’re refreshed and are hanging out on the piano as a makeshift menorah.  A psuedo-menorah AND a Christmas tree??  Yup, we’re a mixed family.  Neither Hubby or I are religious, however we love honoring the traditions we were raised with.  Hubby knew that if he married me, I came with a Christmas tree.  non-negotiable.  Luckily, I’m apparently worth it.  yay!

candle collection after

Anyway… yes, I am well aware that Hanukkah ended last night, but I assure you I had these up before… even though they didn’t get lit.

closeup candles

Of the 9 candlesticks, 4 got cleaned/polished and 5 got spraypainted gold or silver.  I always loved collections of mismatched candlesticks unified in some way.  In fact, I dreamed of having them as my wedding centerpiece (sadly a venue with candle restrictions put the kibosh on that).

brass candlestick

I really love the 2 brass ones.  They polished up amazingly and will probably hang out in my non-holiday decor too.  (You can also play “find the photog” in that pic thanks to a shiny ornament)

I have a few things up my sleeve for this week including a long overdue furniture refresh how-to, so stay tuned!


Silver and Gold

12 Dec

Apparently making clay ornaments is addicting.  24 hand made clay ornaments was enough to cover the tree, although I could have kept going.

24 ornaments via yearofserendipity

I used A Beautiful Mess’ clay ornament tutorial for inspiration and went wild.  This year for our tree, I decided on a silver and gold theme (with a few splashes thrown in, cuz that’s how I roll), so once baked, I decorated my ornaments with silver and gold Sharpie paint pens.  It reminded me of doodling on middle school notebooks, but a whole lot more sophisticated.  With no “wrong way” to decorate them, the possibilities are endless.

ornaments closeup via yearofserendipity

diy clay ornaments via yearofserendipity

ornaments closeup via yearofserendipity

I used extra gray burlap fabric that I already had as a simple tree skirt and swagged my Mexican souvenir antiqued mirror star light as the tree topper.

hanging moroccan christmas star via yearofserendipity

After an initial lack of holiday decorating motivation, I think I found my mojo.  All it took was a little clay and some Sharpies to make my tree really shine.

tree 2012 via yearofserendipity

Clay Time

10 Dec

After being inspired by A Beautiful Mess’ DIY Clay ornaments, I played around with a few of my own this weekend.

diy clay ornaments via yearofserendipity

The block of clay that I had made 7 ornaments, but I’m so happy with them, I want to fill the tree with them!  I was initially planning to show you the full reveal today, but you just get a sneak peak instead.  I’ll wait until I make about a dozen more to show you the full effect.

I think I’m addicted now- they were sooo easy to make and have such a simply chic effect!

Holiday Happenings

7 Dec

I’m a little behind on my holiday decorating this year.  I was less than excited to put the same tree up with the same decorations as always, so I was waiting for inspiration to strike.  Finally the  Christmas lights in my head flickered on and I found my holiday spirit.  This weekend will be a flurry of decorating and rocking out to Christmas music on my headphones (so as to spare Hubby since he doesn’t share my love of Christmas music)

Here’s a sneak peak of a few things I have up my sleeve.

candlestick collection before

9 thrift store candlesticks for $22… I see a make-over in their future

DIY clay ornaments via a Beautiful Mess

Mirrored star that I picked up in Mexico this summer

The mirrored star that I picked up in Mexico this summer will have a very special holiday role this year.

I’m excited to see how it all comes out!

Office 2.0

5 Dec

The saga is over- the home office has been Hubby-fied.  About a month ago I claimed our guest room/den as my new office and forfeited the existing home office to the Hubs, his video games, and his music composing.  As part of his birthday present, I bought him a second monitor to facilitate his music editing and restyled the room accordingly.

I’ll admit, I’m really pleased with the space, and excited to share with you, but I’m less than thrilled about the photo quality.  Daylight is elusive for the blogger with a 9to5 job and I’m far too impatient to wait for the weekend to photo it properly first.  A proper photo-shoot will follow soon, but until then, please don’t hold it against me.

Prior to this make-over, the room had been in a bit of disarray.

office mess before

4 chairs in this tiny space was 1 too many.  Once my parents closed on their house, we sent the big beige chair to go live with them.

Office mess 2

The saga of this room was really about the computer monitors.  A comedy of errors, but less funny.  The new monitor was intended to be a surprise installed before he got home on his b-day, however the delivery man had different plans.  He ruined my surprise by delivering it a mere 5 minutes before Hubby left for work.  FIVE MINUTES!!!  Aaaanyway, the first monitor that I ordered to match Hubby’s current discontinued monitor wasn’t wall mountable.  I didn’t even know they made monitors that you couldn’t mount these days.  What is this, the ice age??  So came the second monitor.  The same model, but wall mountable.  Too bad the screen quality looked like poo and had half the contrast ratio of its discontinued counterpart.  So I gave up on trying to match the existing and ordered a 3rd of Hubby’s choice.  With new articulating wall mounts, I reworked the gallery wall to be more Hubby-oriented.  He doesn’t need pics of my sister and me at her wedding in his room.  (Sorry sis!)

gallery 2.0

Gallery wall 2.0 includes all of Hubby’s Sox tickets from the past few years, an antique painting he bought in France, a watercolor by his grandmother, a ceramic carving he got in Cancun this summer, and still a few wedding pics (can’t let him forget all about me- with his new set-up, he could spend days in there).

gallery music magic

gallery 2.0 closeup

With my books and items moved to my new office, the built-in shelves got a make-over too.

office shelf style via a year of strategic serendipity

Styling included Transformers, video games, TTRPG books, and a rock n roll piggy bank among other things…  and, yes, an adult male inhabits this space.  (If you aren’t familiar with the term TTRPG, it’s probably better you not ask.)  What make’s this all somehow work, though, is it’s juxtaposition next to some more ‘refined’, ‘adult’ pieces: an antique chair and another of Hubby’s France art finds.

office seating via year of strategic serendipity

office shelves via a year of strategic serendipity

office vignette via a year of strategic serendipity

office hobes

Why, yes, those ARE Calvin and Hobbes books hanging out with the art book.  I knew Hubby would appreciate what the association implied (think about it).

The room isn’t 100% complete just yet.  Over the winter I’ll be refinishing a craigslist desk that’s been hanging out in our basement (check it out here) to replace the aging overscaled IKEA desk.

Hubby seems to be really happy that he has a room decorated for him, and I’m happy that I have a husband who lets me ‘style’ his Transformers.  Optimus Prime’s never looked so good, if you ask me.