Day Trippin’ – Winter Garden Florida

I love to travel but work gets in the way.  Lately I’ve been trying to get away for at least a day every now and then.  Living in a Central Florida, we are surrounded by small towns that are just filled to the brim with character and old Florida charm.   This weekend trip to Winter Garden was a pleasant get away and a perfect opportunity to stock up on salt water taffy for our house.

salt water taffy

The best part about a quick day trip is that you don’t have to pack and you can just leave the pets at home!   This weekend we popped over to Winter Garden Florida for some lunch.   I’ve been out there a few times before and it’s a great place to stroll around and spend an afternoon daydreaming.   If you’re ever in the area I highly recommend driving through.  The main street is full of charm, some delicious eats, and a few shopping spots as well.

This trip we strolled through the main street area for a bit and took in some classic old architecture.

Winter Garden FloridaWinter Garden Florida

We spotted many adorable vintage touches throughout the city.

Vintage Tile Floors

 

vintage light

We stopped in for a bite to eat at a delicious BBQ joint called Harry and Larry’s Bar-B-Que.  They have quite possibly the best sweet potato fries I’ve ever had.  

Image

 

Image

Last but not least, we found something to take home at the Ms. Bee’s candy shop.

Candy shop Winter Garden Florida

candy shop winter garden floridaI love a quick get a way to a small town nearby!  What did you do this weekend?

 

Feeling Crafty – Extra Touch for a Homemade Gift

Image

A few years ago at Christmas I made everyone soap.  It’s  a super easy gift if you’re just using the melt and pour bases.  You choose a base, a scent (if you desire), and color and you’re done.  I purchased my products and mold for the soap from Bramble Berry.  It’s a great store with tons of options and they even had recipes!  But really who cares about the soap.  That’s the easy part.  The fun for me is coming up with a little brand for the soap.  Even though I had no intention of selling it at the time, it was fun to come up with a brand, logo, and packaging for the gifts.  I think creating great packaging makes a homemade gift feel extra special.

ImageImage

A little parchment paper, thin masking tape, butcher paper, and some ribbon is all you need.  I wrapped the soap in the parchment and placed a small piece of thin tape to hold it together.  The I placed a layer of butcher paper around it with a decorative ribbon and rolled the edges up on either side.  I placed three bars in a clear plastic and included a menu with the gift.

 

 ImageImage

Apparently the soap was pretty good.  I made some for a friend of mine to give as gifts.  One of her recipient was so pleased that she called me for an order a few months later.  The best part was I was stocked up on soap for like a year!  Have you ever made soap at home?  What extra touches do you include with a handmade gift?

*logo, brand, and soap names are mine – please don’t steal =)

Weekend Project: DIY Pulley Sconce

One of our first projects when we bought our bungalow a few years ago involved replacing light fixtures throughout the house.  For a while we were looking for some sconces to place on the walls between the living and dining rooms.  In our search, we found that light fixtures can be two things.  #1 – Way too expensive and not what I want.  #2 – Affordable and not what I want.  So…we got to work making our own.

Image

We initially got the idea for using the pulley light from a This Old House magazine.  Pulley lights are certainly not a new concept in the world of design, but I love industrial/vintage design and it was a perfect fit.

Image

Image

Image

We ordered some inexpensive pulleys from eBay and cleaned them up using Liquid Gold and a little elbow grease.  It’s amazing what a little oil can do.   I personally love the vintage look of these pulleys but you could easily spruce them up with a bright paint color and create an entirely different look.
Image

The original version that inspired us to DIY simply used a decorative bulb.  We added the cage because it added just the right industrial touch.  The options are endless for shades and covers so you can customize it to your personal tastes.  To complete the fixture, all you need are a few lamp parts.  You can find most of the items at a local lamp repair shop or online.  Simply “Google” lamp parts and you’ll be amazed at how many options there are!  I like to mix metals so we went with a nickel lamp socket, a brass cage, and a brown cord.  The cord we wired with a plug but you can find them pre-wired with plug included.

Image

You can purchase a similar type of bracket at Home Depot or Lowe’s.  We stained the wood and then beat it up a little to look like a found piece as well.

Image

Of course to finish off the look you must use a Edison bulb!  What’s a vintage pulley light without one of those.  This lamp project has led to many others which I will be sharing soon.  It is really fun to create a custom lamp that fits your style perfectly.

What’s your weekend project?  Do you like the mix of nickel and brass on this pulley lamp?

Simple Air Plant Room Divider

Many years ago my boyfriend and I purchased a black privacy screen from Pier 1 to serve as a a room divider during his art show.  After the event we put it in our closet where it stayed for several years and even made a move with us two times!  Finally we came up with a plan that would create an inviting corner on our front porch and get it out of the closet.   It now serves as an inviting air plant wall right as you enter our front door – we just painted it white to coordinate with the bright and airy yellow walls!

Image

All you need for this simple air plant DIY is an old room divider, some ball glass jars, wall hooks that screw into wood, hanging wire, wire cutters, a drill, and some air plants.  You could also substitute the room divider for a salvage piece of wood or an old window or door…you get the idea.

Image

First things first, stock up on some air plants.  They’re pretty inexpensive and you can most likely find them at a local nursery or online at a site like this one AirPlantSupplyCo.com.  Once you have a few in your house you can produce more by simply separating the “pup” or offshoots that each parent plant produces.

Image

Next gather up some Ball glass jars.  Any brand, size, or color will work.  We happened to have a large stash leftover from a canning experiment so we went with clear medium and large ones.

Image

Drill two small holes on either side of the lid and string thin metal wire through each side.  You can vary the length of the wires or keep them uniform.

Image

Hang on a wall or room divider like this one using simple wall hangers like these from Target.

You could also substitute the air plants for succulents.  They are both very easy to keep alive.  We simply take the jars off the hooks once a week and fill them with water for about an hour.  Pour the water out and put back on the hook and they are good for another week.

Do you enjoy air plants?  How do you display them?