Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Piecing Together New Bedding

Have you ever had a duvet or bedding you really loved, but it was falling apart? That was our situation with a Pottery Barn Outlet duvet we've had for nearly 10 years. (You can see the old bedding here if you'd like.) It was time for a new one, but I was totally happy with it! We occasionally looked for new bedding and even ordered a couple things here in Portugal that we ended up returning.

My husband and I happened to find a pinkish linen duvet cover we both liked at Zara Home for a good price. It felt nice to finally find the one!

For Christmas, we got a great wool blanket made in Portugal that was perfect for the end of our bed. 

These two items were great, but matching our headboard, painted furniture and rug to these things seemed to be tricky. It would be easier to just get a new rug that matched. Yet I couldn't NOT use the huge wool rug we had that is still in great shape, especially when there really isn't a budget for new everything.

Options are not as plentiful here as in America with Target or a good size fabric store in most towns. We made a trip to "fabric row" in Lisbon, and I took a leap of faith on fabrics from two separate stores in hopes that some pillow shams with these would pull things together. Here's what I came up with:

This was my first time to add navy in the room but wanted to match that in the rug. I only bought a meter of the toile fabric, so when I decided to use it for the Euro shams, I had to use some navy ticking stripe fabric I had for the backs. This meant the people in the toile were off-centered, but I decided they were not to be the focus anyway!

I would like to repair or replace the floral vintage bark cloth pillow, and I've thought about doing a little embroidery on the coral small pillow I bought on sale. 

We haven't changed much more of the decor than the curtains and the side table toppers.

I found a gingham table centerpiece at the flea market that had iconic Portuguese pictures on it. I cut the piece in two, hemmed them and made toppers for each side table. 

Curtains were an IKEA buy and some careful notions-store searches! I came up with this trio of trims to embellish the curtains on the upper portion of the curtain. Tiny tassels on the top, some large gingham, and then Portuguese handmade looking lace (I'm not sure about that, but it looks that way.). I haven't gotten any great photos of the curtains because of the sun coming in that window. Looks like I need to cut a thread too!

I am pleased with how everything has come together and seems to complement each other, but it did take some time and work!  I hope it continues to evolve as well. I'm currently painting some frames for a side wall. Maybe some new paint on the side tables along with new throw pillows next. 

Our little stinker, Lizzy, likes our room too! If you're in Portugal and are interested in a blanket like ours, we recommend the shop ours came from. 

Friday, January 15, 2016

Narnia Birthday Party

I'm back on here after a nearly two year blog hiatus! It's fun when you have special things to write about!

My nearly 11 year old daughter was having trouble deciding what theme to use for her birthday party. I listed off and asked questions about her interests when finally we came to books! We had been listening to the Focus on the Family Radio Theater Chronicles of Narnia audiobooks. A Narnia party it would be!

We looked at pinterest and found some great inspiration! See At the Picket Fence and Toni Spilsbury. I also found a lion graphic to use with my Silhouette cutting machine. I used it to make the sign on our front door, along with hand copying the Narnia font. We used the cut out lions on a banner too.

We found gold plates, utensils and paper goods, so we set places for each kid along with stick on jewels for their cups. My daughter had hoped to find some goblets as seen on At the Picket Fence. We spray painted some plastic lions from the dollar store gold to be our Aslans.

We attempted to make a wardrobe entrance like Toni Spilsbury had for the entrance into our living room. I used spray paint and the stencil that was made from the lion cut outs. Kind of shabby, but the effect was great for the kids! We cut right up the middle of the doors on the sheet, and you could walk through.

We have to get creative at times with food and ideas being that we're not in the States. Our menu included:

Father Christmas Ham

Beaver Dam Pudding
(Caramel) Apples of Youth & (Kettle Corn) Forever Winter Snow
Acorns (Dates), Nectarines and  Cair Paravel Cupcakes
Mrs. Beaver's Hot Chocolate
While the kids were finishing their snacks, we passed out the treasure boxes to paint. We got the idea from Lisa Leonard Designs blog. We found small wooden ones at our dollar store. A couple of the boys decided to use their stick-on jewels in other spots while they painted their treasure boxes!

Next, we had "Susan's Archery Practice" in our neighbors' backyard (they already had a target spot). All the kids seemed to enjoy giving it a shot! This is the birthday girl's little sister!

I did not get any great pictures of our Scavenger Hunt but wanted to tell you about it! We took copied colored illustrations from the books, cut them into puzzle pieces and laminated them. Then we hid them all over our street and outdoor spaces with Narnia-ized clues as you can see below for one of the teams. For example, number seven was in an olive tree.

Team Dawn Treader

1.     The Clawed Vine Portal
2.                  The Bashful Blush Blossoms
3.                  The Pear Postal
4.                The Elves' Correspondence
5.                  The Royal Footrest
6.                 The Electric Chest Alley
7.                   The Oil Fruit Branches
8.   The Silver Cauldron

Our last activity was freeing the animals from their "frozen" state in a balloon, in the same vein as the White Witch had turned so many of the creatures into statues in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. We had put little plastic animals in the balloons to free with darts.


One more shot of our birthday girl and her sister! She was really pleased with the party!


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