Decorating With Pine Cones

On our last trip to Lake Tahoe, I lugged home two grocery bags full of pine cones.  (My husband wanted to kill me by the way!)  Big ones, little ones, narrow ones, wide ones.  It didn’t matter that I didn’t have anything to do with them.  I would find a way to use them.

I ended up painting some of them and putting them in a basket with some birch logs by the mantel.

Mantel 8 wm

Here are some other ideas for decorating with this outdoor jewel.


So, next time you are up at the mountains bring some home!  The possibilities are endless for fall and Christmas decorating.  Perfect for kids crafts too!

Oh Christmas Tree . . .

Today, I thought I would share with you our family Christmas tree.  Our tree, like most, is a collection of ornaments from over the years.  It includes vintage ornaments, Target ornaments and kids ornaments (mostly hidden in the back!)

I have a thing for jewel toned ornaments as you will see . . .

848 tree


859 tree

846 Tree

Gifts 2 wm

Gifts 1 wm

Here are a few of my favorite ornaments past and present!





IMG_1054 Here are a few night shots.

1342 tree image


1357 ornament bohek

tree 1030 bokeh


This last picture I took on accident, but it turned out so cool.  I don’t even know what setting I had the camera on to recreate it.  A happy accident for the inexperienced photographer I suppose!

What does your tree look like this year?  Traditional red and green or something different?  I think it is so fun to mix it up from year to year, but buying all new ornaments in a different color scheme can get pricey.

I am linking up to the Christmas Tree party at A Thoughtful Place and Honey We’re Home .  Head on over for more Christmas Tree inspiration!



Decorating With Vintage Ornaments

vintage ornaments 4 pinterest loretablog

Vintage ornaments are so beautiful and bright and I have long been wanting a collection of my own.  They look amazing on a tree, but make an even bigger impact arranged simply in a silver or ironstone bowl.

I inherited a few from my husband’s grandmother, but have seen them at the Sacramento Antique Faire on many occassions!

Done right, they could even work in a modern setting.  So, go ask your family and grandparents if they have any of these treasures in an attic or basement somewhere!

vintage ornament 1

vintage ornament 5 sugar sugar

Vintage ornaments 3 sr

vintage ornament 2

  Do you have any in your Christmas collection?  If so, how do you use them?

DIY Faux Fur Tree Skirt

skirt final

As I was perusing holiday catalogs this season, I ran across this West Elm Faux Fur Tree Skirt and was in love with it.

fur tree skirt


Pottery Barn and Restoration Hardware have versions too.  I think the West Elm version costs about $80, but I was unable to verify because it is completely sold out online!

I thought about ordering some faux fur fabric online and making my own.  However, when I looked into it, the faux fur was about $20 a yard, so I wouldn’t be saving a ton of money making my own.

Then I ran into these faux fur blankets at Marshall’s and I knew I could use them to make a DIY version of this tree skirt.  They were only $12.00 each.



I took a major short cut and instead of sewing these from a pattern, I simply did a cut out down the middle so it would spread properly around the tree.  Here is what I did.

First, I made a small cut down the center of the throw.


Next, I continued cutting until I almost reached the center of the fabric.  I then cut a small diamond shape.


Then I pinned the fabric together all the way down the cut and around the diamond.


I then sewed it together so there would be no fraying.  I am by no means an expert in sewing, so if I can do this, anyone can! You really just need to be able to sew a straight line.

Here is the final result:

Tree Skirt WM

One throw covered the front of my tree and it requires another to cover the back!

If you can’t sew, you could always just drape a throw around your tree.

I plan to show a holiday home tour of our home next week, including better pictures of our tree. So stay tuned!!

I am linking this project up to a Holiday Craft Link Party over at Hi Sugarplum and Michaela Noelle Designs.  You should definitely check it out for tons of DIY holiday inspiration!

Target Bar Cart Styled 3 Ways

I posted here about the amazing brass and wood bar cart at Target.  I bought one myself and so did some of you amazing readers!

I have been asked about how to style it.  Well, apparently I am not the only one in love with it, as some amazing bloggers have posted different ways to style it!  Check it out.

glitter guide bar cart 1 Delbarr Moradi

waiting on martha bar cart Waiting on Martha

glitter guide bar cart 2

Delbarr Moradi

The first one is feminine and flirty.  The second rustic and the third clean and simple!

To get the details on the items used for these carts, check out the Glitter Guide.

Which one is your favorite?  Hard to choose, right?

DIY Brass Urchin Sculpture

Urchin photo final

I can’t get enough of brass accents.  I posted here about coveting an urchin (or starburst) sculpture.  I love the modern whimsy they add to a space and they are the perfect accent for a coffee table or bookshelf.  Alas, this one from Williams-Sonoma Home was way out of my budget.

williams sonoma starburst


However, I am not a girl to let my budget stop me from getting what I want.  So, I started doing some research and found a DIY version that is sooo0 easy. Therese over at Craft and Couture made an amazing knock off version.  Here is how you do it:


(makes 2 medium-sized urchins)

IMG_4078 (2)

1 pack of Sculpey oven bake clay (available at craft stores)

1 pack of mini wood dowels (I found mine at Michael’s)  Could also use toothpicks

1 can of gold or brass spray paint


First, slice the clay into two equal parts.

IMG_4080 (2)

Second, knead each half in your hand for a few minutes and then roll each half into a ball.

Then press down gently on the ball to slightly flatten the bottom.

IMG_4084 (2)

Third, starting at the top, insert the dowels.  Insert them about 1/4 inch .

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Fourth, insert the dowels in the shape of a cross and then fill in each section.  That gives it more uniformity.

IMG_4098 (2)

Fifth, it is all done and ready for some heat!  Follow the instructions on your clay packet.

I baked mine at 275 degrees for 1 hour and 15 minutes.

Place it on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil.


Finally, let it cool down completely and then spray paint it with 2 coats of gold spray paint.

urchin photo wm


This project was very easy and my 4-year-old even helped!

It costs me less than $5 per sphere

You can use styrofoam instead of clay, but it won’t hold up as well.

If the clay starts to lose its shape, just reform it as you go.

If a wooden dowel falls out after baking, just apply some craft glue on the end and insert it back in the hole.

You can make different sizes of these and cluster them together.  Simply adjust the size of the balls and wood.

I am really pleased with how these turned out and plan to make something similar for Christmas tree ornaments.  Stay tuned . . .


If Money Were No Object . . .

Happy Friday!!

When it comes to decorating, I tend to obsess over decorative accessories.  They tend to be reasonably affordable as compared to staple pieces and can really make an impact.  You can find me on any given day moving accessories around my house!

However, since decorative accessories can sometimes be trendy, I am hesitant to spend too much money on them.

But, if money were not object this beautiful brass urchin from Williams-Sonoma Home would be mine.

williams sonoma starburst

williams sonoma starburst 2


These modern urchin sculptures have been made popular designers like Kelly Wearstler and Jonathan Adler.  They are part of the retro glam trend and have been seen all over the place from bookshelves, to coffee tables, to walls.

This one from Williams-Sonoma Home will set you back $195 (just slightly out of my retro glam budget!).

But, if money were no object . . . it would be mine!

Have a great weekend!




DIY Mounted Deer Head

Oh “Deer!”  If you have opened a catalog or interior design magazine recently, you will notice that antlers and taxidermy sculpture of any type is very popular right now.  They can be found in the form of deer, bull, ram, and even moose!


You can purchase them at many retailers right now from ZGallerie, to West Elm, to Target and they vary in price depending on  the size.

These are a really fun accessory, especially around the holidays.  However, they are definitely trendy and can be expensive.

So, a few years ago, I decided to make my own.  It was so cheap and easy to do, I won’t feel bad taking it down when the trend is over.

If you would like to try this trend with minimal investment, here is what I did.  I am sorry, but no pictures because I did this so long ago.

First, I found a paper mache reindeer similar to this at Michael’s.  I think my mom had about 10 of them in the 90’s!  I look at them totally different now!!

Next, I got my saw out and chopped the head off.  Yes, I might not be getting any presents from Santa anymore!  I used the wall as a reference to see how much I should chop off to see how it would sit on the wall.

Finally, I spray painted it high gloss white and used a simple nail to hang it on the wall. I put a gallery frame around mine, but the possibilities are endless!

Such an easy and inexpensive way to work the tend into your regular or holiday decorating!

What do you think?  Are you sold on this trend?  Too hunting lodge for you?  I think it is a great way to add a bit of modern whimsy to any type of decor.


Ikea Favorites

Happy Monday everyone!!   I am going to call this “Ikea Week” on the blog because I am going to do a series of posts about Swedish retailer Ikea.  I promise not to bore you to death!!

Today, I am going to detail some of my favorite finds.  There is so much at the stores, it is easy to get lost and overwhelmed.  I have done the work for you!

I have to admit that I used to think of Ikea furnishings as something you “outgrow” or “upgrade from.”  However, these days, there are a few staples that are an interior designer’s best friend. Don’t get me wrong, I still think some of it is total crap, but here is a list of my favorite things, some of which I have in my own home!

First up is the Stockholm flatweave black and white rug.  A 5’7″ x 7’10” starts at only $299.  It is very bold and can work with both casual and sophisticated interiors.


ikea stockholm 1

ikea stockholm 2

The Rens Sheepskin rug at Ikea is a steal at only $29.00.  A similar one sells for $80.00 at Pottery Barn.  They are such an amazing way to add texture and a layer of “cozy” to your home.  I have seen them in bedrooms, offices and nurseries. I currently have one draped over my dark ottoman coffee table (in an attempt to lighted it up and hide it!)

ikea rens sheepskin

rens example


Up next is the Tobias chair and it is only $79.00.  It is a nice way to add a modern touch to your furnishings.  Also, if you have a small space, they are light physically and visually.

ikea tobias  chair 1

decor pad tobias chair Decorpad 


The Songe Mirror is a take on a French Louis Phillippe style mirror.  It is classic and timeless and a steal at only $99.00! It is quite large, so it is an inexpensive way to make a major statement in your home.
ikea songe
Ikea also has a wonderful black and white pillow collection.  These pillows make such a great impact and are so affordable, starting at just $10.  I like to pair them with higher end pillows for a luxe feel.  A girl can never have too many pillows, right?
Mix and Chic Susan Eason
ikea pillows 2
The Ribba Frame Collection is a sure-fire way to get an expensive gallery wall look for less.  They start at $14.99 for a medium size and come in a variety of sizes and come in white, black, brown and aluminum.  You could always paint them gold too, like you see below.

ribba frame general danelle oakey ribba fame Danielle Oakey Interiors

The Almsta Rattan Chair from Ikea is also a keeper.  It is $99 and is so versatile.  You could even use it outdoors!



Well that’s it for now.  Not to worry, I may find new treasures at my next Ikea outing.  I used to drive to the Bay Area to shop at Ikea. Now I have one about 10 minutes away.  It is a good and bad thing!

Stay tuned tomorrow, as I am going to show you amazing hacks of Ikea furniture.

Do you have a favorite Ikea find you can’t live without?  If so, please let us know in the comments!


Cozy Up

Fall is in the air which means cooler nights perfect for a fire and a hot beverage!

west elm throw

West Elm

Nothing makes me happier in the fall and winter like a soft cozy throw blanket to take the chill off.  I have more in my collection than I care to admit.  The kids need their own, right??

I recently bought this off white faux fur throw with a subtle quatrefoil print.  I just love it!  It is soo soft and warm.

thro thrw2

I thought I would do a roundup of some of the best deals out there on faux fur throws.  They are such a great way to add warmth and texture to a space.

First, there is this this adorable pom pom throw from  It is only $45!  Isn’t it adorable?

overstock pom pom throw

Next, there is this very reasonably priced faux fur throw from H&M.  It is only $69.95.  Don’t you just want to climb into that bed?

h and M thow

Right now, these beautiful throws are on sale at Restoration Hardware for $79.  Even cheaper than those at Pottery Barn!

rh throw

I think faux fur can make a beautiful statement and can fit into any type of design from modern to traditional.  However, I think you need to be careful in how it is placed and styled to ensure it looks more sophisticated than log cabin!

Also, if you are not careful, you can end up with too much of a good thing. The example below is why I try to stray away from prints and stick with solids.

too much faux fur

There are too many beautiful options out there, so I  have to end with one more stylish photo and not leave you with the cheesy options above.

pb throw Pottery Barn


Whew, I feel much better now!  The wave of nausea has passed.

What do you think?  Do you say “yes” to faux fur or is it a faux pas?