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Since we don’t have a real mantel – I have turned the hubby’s speaker shelf that we built out of a stair into my faux mantel!  And when I say that I turned it into a faux mantel – what I mean is that I have claimed all the space not being taken up by the speaker!   Try to ignore the large speaker in the middle! 


So on the right – we have my fantastic new Noel word art sign that I knocked off from Pottery Barn.  I love how it turned out and love all the wonderful comments you guys have left me on it! 


I also made this lovely little tree out of some of the mini ornaments they have been selling in the Target $1 bins.  Anyone else pick those up?  I will post a tutorial on it later this week! 


Now on the left hand side – to mirror the height I had with the Noel sign – I put up a wooden Santa figure that my Hubby’s Nanny made.  Yeah – you heard me – she made it.  She cut it out of wood herself and hand painted it!  Not just one – she made a bunch!  Hand painted!!!  I wish for that kind of talent!


I also put up a smaller ceramic Santa and a mosaic snowman hurricane vase!  Very festive!


So there you go – it is pretty simple. But it looks great sitting over top of my TV!   The height of the two wooden pieces is just perfect with the vaulted ceiling in the room!  I have a few more tweaks I am making and then I will show you some of the rest of the holiday touches I have added around the house. 


So what about you guys?  What kind of mantel are you planning?  Do you have a large speaker in the middle of yours?  Probably not – that is probably just me!  :)

Linking this up to

Tabletop Tuesday with Marty @ A Stroll Thru Life
Holiday Home Mantel Party with Layla @ The Lettered Cottage

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Whew – what a weekend!  I am exhausted!!  I wanted to hop on the computer several times while the family was here but I was either cooking, talking, catching up or shopping.  So my apologies for not getting to wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving on the day proper!  I hope everyone had a great time with family and friends.  And I know I have a ton of you who left comments last week that I need to stop by and see!  I am on my way!!

Now that we are officially past Thanksgiving – I am going to start posting some Holiday ideas and crafts.  I just can’t bring myself to do it until after the turkey has been served.  I drug out all my Christmas decor this weekend and have most of it up!  I also worked on some holiday crafts – one of which I would like to share with you today!  If your like me, you like to flip through your favorite decorating catalogs to get ideas or drool over the things that are perfect but soooo expensive.  One of my favorites to do this with is Pottery Barn.  So this year – when I got my first catalog – I was flipping through and saw this beauty.

   Photo via Pottery Barn

Now – their version was made from metal and cost $149.  It is no longer available for purchase – so they must have sold out.  Even at that price.  I took one look at this and thought – I can do that!  And I did.  For $8.  Here is how!

For starters – I picked up some chip board letters from Hobby Lobby for $1.99 a piece.  I laid them out in the design that I wanted.


Next I flipped them over and used some old scrap pieces of thin wood to glue the letters together at the places where they met.


Once that was dried and felt secure – I flipped it back over.  Originally, my plan was to spray paint it ORB but it was too cold today to do that.  So instead I pulled out my bottle of Raw Umber acrylic paint.  Gave it the perfect finish.


So here it is up on my faux mantel!  I love how it turned out!  Just as beautiful as the catalog version and at 95% off the cost!


Don’t you just love it?  Here is another close up!


I will show you the rest of my holiday mantel tomorrow!  Hope your excited to see it! 

What about you?  Planning any catalog knockoffs this season?  Think you might try this one out? I wanna know!

Linking this to

Metamorphosis Monday with Susan from Between Naps on the Porch
Boardwalk Bragfest with Jan from Bobbypins Boardwalk
Get Your Craft On with Kim from Today’s Creative Blog


And I am linking this up for the CSI Projects Painted Christmas Challenge!

Visit thecsiproject.com

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Black Friday – for those who don’t know it by its official industry name – is the day of mad crazy 5 am  or earlier shopping that happens the day after Thanksgiving. Love it or hate it, it has become a fixture of the American shopping landscape.   Some of us love it a little more than other – aka – the crazy Target Lady.  (Those commercials CRACK me up!)  Me – I am in the “Whoohoo – Let’s do it” camp!  This week, my mom, lil bro and I will take our trek out to hit the stores at the crack of dawn.  It is kinda a tradition we like to do when we are all together! 

If you love the Target Chick – you have to go check out her Black Friday Tip Videos!  Hysterical!

While there are always good deals out there at all the stores, we need to dig down to see if it is worth standing in line for at 4 am or if you can get there at 7 (or noon) and still get just as good of a deal.   I wanted to give you a run down of what the best strategies I think are best for planning and executing your Black Friday shopping. Having participated on both the shopping and selling side of this day, I hope I can pass around some tips you find useful!   (FYI - This is a repost of some of the tips I shared last year – with some minor tweaks and updates!)

My first resource is to go out and check some of the sites that round up copies of the ad circulars. Blackfriday.info is probably my favorite and they have all of the big players ads listed. Once you have an ad up, you need to differentiate, the limited “while supplies last” offers from the all day or all weekend deals.  Typically, the language on the page is clear with certain pages labeled with specific timelines and or limited quantity messages. The ones on the front and back covers are usually early morning specials.

Two things to note on early morning limited timeframe specials

  1. If “minimum quantities” are specified, there will be at a minimum that number at a given store. There may be more and retailers will typically parcel those out with their high volume stores getting more than an average or low volume store. Many times those minimums are in the 3-8 piece range. For the really hot deals, (i.e. big screen TVs, laptops, appliances) stores will hand out vouchers to the people standing in line ahead of opening to limit the mass hysteria. If you are not within the first 10-30 people in line, you are probably not going to get one. That said – if you really want it, you need to bring yourself and your thermos and get comfy pretty early in the AM.
  2. While the ads will normally state that it is a 5-hour special/sale and give a timeframe, that does not always mean that the prices automatically go higher once you reach the end of the sale. Most of the time those are just the items that the retailers is anticipating will sell out before the end of that time. So if you find one in the store after the sale is over have a sales person check the price for you and see if it is still valid.

As you are flipping through the circulars, it is probably a good idea to determine what you are looking for and what the priority of that item is within your holiday shopping. Is it more important to get a 40-inch TV or a bike? Are the sheets a good deal but not a holy-cow-we-need-to-get-there-first deal? I find it helpful to make a list of what I have seen in the different ads with pricing and feature details to help identify where the best deal is going to be located.

You also need to make sure to assess these potential purchases to see if they are truly a good deal. Some sites like BlackFriday.info will show you if you can get the same item cheaper online already. It is also easy to pull up a couple of sites like Amazon and Overstock.com to see if you can get these “bargains” today from the comfort of your couch. And now that we are into the week of Black Friday, stores will be trying to steal you away from the competition so if you see a great deal in the ad for Lowe’s you need to hop on over to Home Depot website now to see if they have matched it or provided a similar deal.

After you rank out all your potential purchases, you need to assess the logistics of hitting those stores. You are not going to be able to pick up a great deal on one side of town and then drive to the other to get your next top item. Typically, you will find that you will need to pair down your list to focus on the stores that are available wherever you plan on shopping. This is a good time to identify those items that are good all weekend and to pick them up later in the day if they are going to be farther away from your core shopping hub.

Next, you need to decide if this is an event you want to do solo or with another person. Both have their advantages, but I prefer the team approach as it allows you have assistance with carrying items and digging through bins! However, if you only have a few things to get, going solo may also be the best answer. I highly encourage that you do not bring your children. That is just not a good experience for them (cause you know your kids LOVE standing in line) and will normally cause outbursts and tantrums that make other shoppers stare daggers into your head.

Finally, you need to be prepared physically to shop. I am not talking about being physically fit (though I think the Target chick would disagree with me). Wear comfortable shoes and layers so you can shed as the day goes on. Make sure you take the proper precautions if the weather is very cold and you are standing in line. Also, remember to EAT something. You do not want to be in the middle of a line of people and end up getting woozy because your blood sugar is low.  (I have seen a person pass out – seriously EAT something!)

So those are my Black Friday Basics. Have anything to add? Do you go out on Black Friday or do you sleep in? Have any good stories? I would love to hear all about it!

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Wow – guys!  It was so cool getting to see what everyone would get with their $45 Gift Card!  If you were ever curious about just how much stuff CSN offers – just scroll through the comments!  There is everything on there!  Several that I had to go check out for myself!  (Hey – someone has to build her Christmas wish list too!  You guys gave me a lot of great ideas.)

But to the main point – who won???  Well I am excited to say that Random.org picked number 100 as the winner and that is

Domestic Diva

Congrats!!!  She wanted to get a Guidecraft Kitchen Helper.  I wasn’t sure what that was but how cute is this!  It helps lil ones get up to counter height so they can help!  And keeps em in there safely!  I love this! 

Great choice miss Diva!  Please send me an email with your info and I will get the details of how to redeem your card back out to you. 

Thanks again to everyone for entering!! :)


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It is Mood Board Monday time again!  I told you guys I love this party because it lets me really get creative to either think outside the box or create a space I have been dying to create anyways.  Now for this month’s challenge – we got to pick between three vignette pictures that we could either choose to incorporate in our design, use as inspiration as the room they could have been taken in, or create a pallet or design them around them.  Well, I took one look at the photos and the first one just jumped out at me.

Photo by Helen Norman

Oh I love it!!!  And since I just did a post a while back on gray rooms – I decided that I was going to use this as a color/theme inspiration picture for my room! 

So this is what I came up with – I could soooo live in this bedroom!   I started with traditional furniture in a modern gray finish.  Tarnished metal accents in the chandi and the mirror give it an antique feel.  Vintage prints of Paris and the Eiffel Tower along with a clock with vintage numbers continue that theme.  The rest of the accents in the room were either cream or black to play off those colors in the vintage prints.

Mood Board Monday - 11/22

Mood Board Monday - 11/22 by frugalflourish on Polyvore.com

I love the room!  Even better that the majority of the furniture and accents were all from discount stores! 

So what do you think?  Does the room invoke the same feeling you get from the picture?  Don’t forget to hop over to Sarah’s and check out the rest of the Mood Board Monday entries! 

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I don’t know about you guys – but I love those fancy monogrammed coir rugs that you see in catalogs. 

Pottery Barn - $59.00

Ballard Designs – Medium - $45.00

I don’t like the price though.  So when I stumbled across this HUGE rug for $7.99 at Ikea a couple of weekends ago – I decided to see if I pull one off on my own!  Seriously – this thing is 24x36!  I love it! 


I decided that I would like to do a single letter with a border.  So I grabbed a great initial that I already had – the one off my fall wreath!  


I traced out the letter with a pencil onto some card stock and then cut it out with an razor cutter.


To make my border and tape off my stencil – I used duct tape.  Seemed to stick better than painters tape!  Here is a view of the start of the taping. 


Now I forgot to take a pic of it all taped up and ready to spray but here is a look at the final project.


I really like how it turned out!  For $8 bucks – I think it works perfectly!  I will say when you spray – make sure you spray as vertically down onto your stencil as possible.  That way you won’t get spray up under your stenciling. 

So this is actually the start of my holiday entry way.  I have a couple more projects up my sleeve to put it all together.  And never fear – there will be bling!!  :) 

So what about you – ever done anything similar?  Planning your own holiday entry way?  I wanna know all about it!  :)


Linking this to

Metamorphosis Monday with Susan from Between Naps on the Porch
Get Your Craft On with Kim @ Today's Creative Blog
Make it Yours Day with Carolyn from My Backyard Eden
Power of Paint Party with Maryann from Domestically Speaking
Show and Tell with Becca @ Blue Cricket Designs

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Since we are renters, I love the way vinyl allows you to change up your decor without sacrificing your damage deposit!  It is also a great way for home owners to make a quick easy change for their home too!   With that in mind, I found eight great vinyl pieces that you can put up in your home to instantly change it and give it a whole new look! 

Love this entry way vinyl “Welcome” sign.  Would look so cute on a front door for the holidays.

Welcome Sign by Leen the Graphics Queen from my Open Sky Shop - $12

Love this giant fleur de lis – and it comes in 29 different colors!

  Fleur de lis Vinyl from Willow Creek Designs - $19.95

One of my favorite Open Sky shop items – love this set of custom number decals!  Let’s you create the chic customized numbered look on anything!

Set of Four Number Decals by Leen the Graphics Queen from my Open Sky shop - $16

Looking for a different kind of graphic initial?  Love the decorative swirls on this one!

Decorative Initial Graphic from Willow Creek Designs - $19.95

How freaking adorable are these – little etched monograms!  What a great (and cheap!) way to customize a Christmas gift this year!   A couple dollar store glasses and you have an awesome gift!!

6 One Inch Initial Monograms by Decal Monograms - $5

Ah … how relaxing … and perfect for the tub! 

Soak Bathroom Vinyl from Willow Creek Designs - $9.95

Love the message here – such a great reminder of what Home really is! 

Home Vinyl Decal by Leen The Graphics Queen from my Open Sky Shop - $22

Perfect for the holidays – love this Christmas advent calendar!  Takes up no space but still gives you that advent idea! 

24x14 Christmas Advent Calendar by Willow Creek Signs - $26.95

So there you go!  Eight great options for you!  Have any favorites??  Get any new ideas??  Lemme know!

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One of my favorite online tools is Polyvore.  What is Polyvore?  Polyvore is an online fashion and interior design site that allows you to make digital style clipboards.  It is the online version of a treasured idea board – your probably more familiar with the traditional version below with a cork board and push pins.

sfgirlbybay eclectic home office


What Polyvore lets you do is clip ideas like these straight off of websites and collect them in your own virtual clipboard like this.


It is super simple to use.  First – you sign up for an account with Polyvore.  Next – you install the Polyvore clipper to your browser.  You can follow the detailed instructions on Polyvore’s site.  Once you have the clipper installed you will see it on your tool bar on your browser.  See example below. 


Ok – once you have the clipper installed all you have to do is find a piece you love and then click on your new tool bar button.  When you do – a little grey box will pop up and then any picture you hover over will get a little green box around it.   Just like in the picture below.

Fullscreen capture 11172010 75641 PM

Once you click on the picture – another box will pop up that will let you change any of the details about the item that Polyvore will auto-populate for you. 

Fullscreen capture 11172010 80750 PM

Then you can go back to Polyvore and add that new item from your items into a new “set”.

Fullscreen capture 11172010 81003 PM

You can keep adding other items from your items or other people’s items!  All you have to do is go to “All Items” to see everything and be able to sort.  You can also resize, flip and change the background on items.

Fullscreen capture 11172010 81606 PM

Once you have your set completed you can “publish” it and share it with the world.  You have the option to share on Facebook, Twitter or embed on your blog.   I like embedding the code into my blog!  You can just copy the HTML right into your editor.

So that is your little tutorial on how to use Polyvore.  Now that you know how – I would also like to invite each and every one of you to participate Mood Board Monday this upcoming Monday (11/22) at Pewter + Sage.  Sarah hosts this little shindig and it is a blast!  I have gotten some of my best ideas there.  What you need to do if you want to participate is just hop over and look at the inspiration pictures for this month’s party!  Then come up with your own Mood Board and link it up on Monday! 

So what do you think?  Will you use Polyvore?  Want to participate in Mood Board Monday?  Lemme know! 

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*** Giveaway is now closed - Check back tomorrow for winner! ***
Whoohoo!  It is giveaway time again!  I know you guys just love that!  This time I have a great giveaway from the folks over at CSN Stores! 
If you haven’t ever shopped CSN Stores – they have it all!  They have a network of over 200 stores so they are bound to have what you are looking for at one of them.  Let’s say you need a couple extra dining room chairs for your Thanksgiving Dinner?  They have those!   The chair below – only $56 each!

They also have dishes, serving pieces, stemware, bake ware, stone ware …. the list really could go on and on!  Or if you want to get a head start on your holiday shopping you can do that too – since they have tons of gift ideas.
So for today, CSN Stores is allowing me to giveaway a $45 gift card to one of my readers!  What do you have to do to win?  All you have to do is leave me a comment below and let me know what you would get with your $45 gift card.  Easy peasy! 
You can also get an extra entry if you

  • Become a Follower (or if you already are one just let me know!)
  • Like my Facebook Page (or just let me know you already hang out there!)
  • Blog about this giveaway
  • Tweet about this giveaway
That is 5 ways you can increase your chances of winning!  Make sure you leave a separate comment for each way you have entered to win!  The giveaway will stay open until next Monday (11/22) at 8:00 pm CST.  I will announce the winner on Tuesday morning! 
Good luck!! 

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