Significance of the Name

My Blog’s name is a tribute to my Dad & my Husband. My Dad because he used to sing the song to me, "How 'd You Like to Swing on a Star?" It's about reaching for your dreams, you can stay where you are & be safe OR YOU CAN SWING ON STAR. Stars also refer to a difficult night just after my husband died. I was talking to him (I often do.) & said how I missed his "I Love You's". That night he gave me a dream... a gorgeous, bright blue night sky filled with thousands of stars, in the middle the stars formed an "I LOVE YOU"....such a gift on so many levels.

So "follow your own path, & don't worry about the darkness, for that is when the stars shine brightest”

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

The Gift Presentation Makes the Person Feel They ARE Special.....

In my last post ( Here )  I did a "Show 'n Tell" about a wedding gift bulb
I designed that made me think outside of the box.
Well this IS the box I designed to present it in. Ha! 

The person that bought the bulb was giving it as a gift to a friend just loved it and so did the friend, THANK GOODNESS!! I always stress over these things.
Anyway this is how the gift box turned out...
 I truly love doing gift wraps and table scapes, can you tell????

While I usually find these boxes at my nearby Michael's they were out and I was stressing over finding one in time. I was roaming through TJ Maxx's one day (love that place!) and saw this Halloween box.
I grabbed my trusty silver spray paint can and worked some magic 
and you know how I LOVE magic!

   I was contemplating how I was going to approach the rest of this when I saw this feather piece at Michaels.....inspiration struck and I was off and running!!!


 I added the artwork on the sides and little glitter in some of the leaves, fun. Glitter is always fun!

I also made this draw string "sock" to put it in. I liked the zebra print to go with the zoo theme which was where the wedding was held. I am not very good in the sewing department, but I think it looked pretty good. Any advice is welcomed.

I found these at "jewels" at JoAnn Fabric and loved the idea that the draw string ends were not the same.
I'm NOT a matchey-matchey person!

I just think that after you go to all the trouble to find a special gift you just can't throw it in a paper gift bag and call it a day. If you want the person to feel special, you make it put a little special touch to it that says they are special to you. It's the same as setting a lovely says you cared enough to make this pretty for them, an added gift, a little show of how special you feel about them.
I hope you try your own creative version of gift wrap and see how much your friends will love it! I'd love to hear your stories....please tell all!

If you would like to have one of these gift boxes made for you or a bulb made for a special event you can email me on my link.
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Thursday, October 20, 2011

Boy, what you can learn from stepping outside the box!

I did a previous post  Here about these 18" bulbs I've been doing for wedding or shower gifts.
I was so excited recently to receive another request to make one. I thought I'd share this learning experience.
I was told that this would be a very unique approach and boy was it!!! .The couple are both very artistic....ok now I am a bit intimidated.....AND I am told they have taken some very unique approaches to their wedding. 

Here is their invitation...while the pic sent to me came off brown it is indeed black! 
If this doesn't push my boundaries!

 These 2 very creative people drew their own invitations and made their cake topper. I was to use their artwork. The big question here is...HOW DO I USE THEIR ARTWORK AND STILL RESPECT MY OWN?? 
I am not a cartoony type of gal and while caricatures look like they may be an easy approach to art, 
THEY ARE NOT for me. 
What did I get myself into!!!???
 How would I portray someone else's art but still remain true to myself????  
It was very important to me to give them something that the gift-giver would be pleased with and would honor their art...YIKES!!!.

Can I tell about writer's block. I must have stared at that invitation for almost 2 weeks. I so wanted to honor their wonderful approach. Finally I just started sketching and painting drafts. It's funny how a concept will just crash into my head and I'm off and that's what happened.
This wedding was at the Pittsburgh Zoo, in the aquarium, so you get the subject matter.
Here is what I ended up with.....

The swirls mimic the swirls they used in the clouds. 
The font was a playful one that I found in Photoshop. It followed the swirl motif.
Using black for a wedding was pushing my norm also. I wanted to incorporate it, but a little more subtle.
The swirls have swarovski crystals in them.
The caricatures are a combination of their faces and a photo I had of their wedding outfits.
 I used the waterfall affect they used in their invitation, but a little differently.

Please note their eyes, just in case you think I forgot!
The greenery at the top symbolizes the greenery in the water and the zoo. 
Some of the leaves are glittered.

I did copy their wonderful water!!!

I believe that's their dog...cute idea! Very light  and fun approach to it all. 

What a learning experience for me!!!!  I see that stepping outside my "box" is a very good thing AND 
you need to push yourself.
It's so easy to stay in your safe little place isn't it? Stepping outside pushes you creatively, always good. 
And guess what?  What was originally stressful ended up being fun. It is good to take a lighter, playful approach to things. WOW...still learning lessons at my age. 
When have you stepped outside your box? What did you take from it? I would love to hear your experiences!!!

Email me if you are interested in a gift bulb:

My next post will feature the gift box I created to match this. It was so fun .... I love a great presentation for a gift!

Please enjoy these links to other fun blogs!

The Shabby Creek Cottage
Common Ground
The French Cupboard
My Romantic Home

Saturday, October 15, 2011


I don't know about the rest of you, but decorating for Halloween is so much fun! 
As you all may know by now I love all things magical, fairies, elves, wizards, witches and well GHOSTS too!
I thought I'd share some of my Halloween Decorations. 
Although, what you see today may not look like this in a few days as I am constantly re-arranging and re-creating! Do you do that?
For example the pumpkin above looked like this until I decided to add a mask I remembered I had stored away....

You just use masking tape, silver paint, some glitter on the top and add a mask.

This is how my mantle looks today....

I love this green and love using different versions of it in my decorating.
The old oil lamp is dear to me, it was my brother-in-law's, Tony, thanks dear Tony. 
I knew it would work wonderfully here. 

I use this cloche every season. You will see it over and over again,
used in many ways. It is a wonderful piece to have on hand, can't recommend having one enough!

I bought the spider and added green glitter!

A few other scapes.....

This is on a flea market find chair I redid. Love Mr. Pumpkin Head! 

This Apothecary Jar is another flea market find...I think I paid like $2.00,it has a chip in the back, on the lip... so just hide it in the back for $2.00!

 A kitchen counter....

It's Halloween, its a great time to let your imagination and creativity go and have fun! 
Just Remember...... 

Hope you enjoyed this post, if you did I would be so grateful if you joined my followers and please I LOVE reading your comments....they nourish me to keep on going....
thanks so much!

Hope you enjoy these links....
Polish the Stars
I Heart Nap Time
Crafts Keep Me Sane
Sumo's Sweet Stuff
Dittle Dattle
Savy Southern Style

The Shabby Creek Cottage
The Brambleberry Cottage

Friday, October 7, 2011

Adding A Little Fall Makes A Room So Warm and Cozy

Don't you just love the color and coziness of Fall!  
So many wonderful memories of past falls and Halloweens. Every year I take pictures of my tabletop designs. I like taking my regular decor pieces and  making something new. 

My Mantle

I love finding new things to this feathered garland I found at TJ Maxx.
You just never know what you are going to find there or how you will end up using it.
One of my favorite things is the old movie reel box. It is often on my mantle.
 I found it out our local Flea market, Trader Jacks for a $1.00!

You can't tell but the mantle is painted a gun metal silver.

Coffee Table

I also found the cloche at TJ Maxx. I use it in dozens of different ways.
If you remember my post about my sister friend, Jeanne, she bought me the lovely Michael Aram tray for my last birthday. It is very dear to me.
The pine cone was a Christmas Tree ornament, but I use it year round.
I love using things from nature.

I've had this burlap ribbon for a year or so and the tacks were left over from another project. Don't you love finding a new use for something you've stashed away.

This is on a giant lazy suzy on my kitchen island. It is from a wine keg.
I use it dozens of ways and you will see it over and over again.

If you enjoyed my blog I would be very happy if you joined my followers.
Hope this gives you your own decorating ideas!

Please enjoy these links
The Brambleberry Cottage
Romantic Home
The Shabby Creek Cottage
The Thrifty Decor Chick

Saturday, October 1, 2011

If you can't afford the Latest Trends, maybe we can make them ourselves

The week before last I was checking out the fall fashions at a J. Crew Store.
 On my way out I grabbed a catalog and saw these bangles....LOVED THEM. 
So sorry for the condition of the picture, it was in my purse for a few days!! 
OK...they ranged in price from $45.00 to $118.00. My budget screamed no way Shari, just sigh and move on. However my creative side said I bet I can make my own version myself!
I had a pile of bangles I had been buying at flea markets, 
thinking I would use them some day.
I painted and added vintage flea market jewelry finds that I collect.
This is my after:

I spray-painted them various metallic shades of shiny silver, black, satin silver and bronze. Do several coats and then polyurethane making sure each coat is dry. You can alway sand out a drip and repaint if needed.
It was so fun matching up all the flea market vintage jewelry pieces I've been collecting over the years, taking some apart to suit my needs. I used E 6000 glue to adhere them.

The first one is one of my favs. I loved the old vintage pin I used. I added a portion of a vintage dangle earring that I put in the center because I wanted movement.
Here are some of the others.....

 This is from a rejected piece of jewelry, not vintage, but so spectacular. Wore this just to see the responses the other night when my daughter and I went to see "Wicked".....received great reviews!
 This is from to silver colored earrings and is my other favorite.
 Still deciding if I want to part with it!

 This leaf was from a pin that had several layers of leaves. Love this antique silver look.
I believe since this one is so simple it will look good layered with other bracelets!

One of my favorite blogs, A Gift Wrapped Life discusses the trendy use of layered bracelets this season
on this, one of several posts on the subject:

So sometimes when things seem not to be in your budget you can be creative and make your own version.


If you like my post I would so appreciate if you would join my followers at the top of the right column! Thanks so much!

I would really appreciate your thoughts on this idea, thanks, Shari

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