Easter Baskets

Try a twist on Easter baskets, and make a paper basket bouquet for every place setting.

Basket Bouquet How-ToAll you need are small brown paper bags and baby-food jars or shot glasses to hold the flowers for individual place settings. A centerpiece requires a larger bag and a mason jar or drinking glass as a vase. The bags you use must be gusseted, with side pleats and a flat bottom.

1. Draw lines on a bag to make an upside-down T with a fat horizontal bar.

2. Cut along the lines with decorative-edge scissors. Open the bag. Arrange a bouquet of fresh flowers in a vessel of water; set bouquet inside the basket. Join the two halves of the handle with double-sided tape.

I found this on MarthaStewart.com.  Not having as many Easter decorations as I would like, I thought these were so cute and easy—the kids would love to help create this!  An added thought–create little bunny or cross tags with guests names to tape to the bags or hang from the handles.   Happy Easter!

Read more at Marthastewart.com: Paper Basket Bouquet – Martha Stewart Crafts

Decorating : A Spring Project


I found this adorable chair on HGTV online.   I think I gravitated towards it since we (in Colorado) are approaching that time of year when spring is still a dot at the end of a long road, but a visible dot!  It is my favorite season, filled with yard work and projects, and freshly blooming flowers and ideas.  Please let us know if you try it!!



Materials Needed:

  • Adirondack chair
  • letter or number printed on lightweight copy paper
  • pencil
  • painter’s tape
  • measuring tape
  • exterior paint
  • fine-tipped artist’s paintbrush
  • non-yellowing, aerosol wood sealer

Measure Chair Back

Use a measuring tape to determine the size of the
 letter or number.


Print Letter or Number

Use a program such as Adobe Photoshop, Microsoft Word or Gimp for Mac to print the letter or number of your choice. The letter or number should be printed in reverse so that it can be used as a stencil.
Tip: Local copy shops will also provide this service for a small fee.




Check Size

Make sure the letter or number looks like it’s the right size by holding the printout up to the chair back. If it’s too large or too small, reprint it at the appropriate size.



Create Stencil

With the paper facing printed side up, use a pencil to scribble lead onto the entire border of the letter or number.

Tape Stencil to Chair

Use painter’s tape to secure the stencil to the chair, printed side down. Make sure it’s perfectly level by using the top edge of the piece of paper as a guide.

Transfer Stencil

Use a lead pencil to scribble onto the entire border of the letter or number. Press firmly so that the lead from the bottom side of the piece of paper will transfer onto the chair back.

Check Outline

Once the entire outline is transferred, gently lift one side of the paper to make sure the lead is visible on the chair. If certain areas aren’t as visible as others, re-attach the tape and scribble on them until they are easier to see.




Darken Outline

Remove the paper stencil and use a lead pencil to make the transferred outline a little darker. That way, it will be very easy to see it when painting.




Fill In With Paint

Using an artist’s paintbrush, fill in the letter or number with exterior-grade paint.




Seal Letter or Number

Protect the letter or number by coating it with a layer of clear, non-yellowing, aerosol wood sealer. Hold the can about 12 inches away from the chair and move it side-to-side in smooth, sweeping motions. Allow to dry.

Decorating : The Green Guidelines for Tree Decorating

Classic tips on decorating your tree from the Green Family.

1. Make sure your lights follow the branches.  They go on the inside and out side of the tree.
2. Small ornaments at the top.  The ornaments get bigger as you move down the tree.  Biggest ornaments at the bottom.
3. Ornaments go on the inside and outside of the branches and, of course, all the way around.
4. Lots of ornaments.

If you are choosing a fresh tree, don’t forget to check out the Balsam Pines.  They are gorgeous.

At first when I heard these guidelines I thought it was a little crazy.  We always just grabbed an ornament and hung it where ever.  Now we implement the guidelines and I must say I think our tree looks more beautiful and balanced.

I have two trees.  One that is covered in child friendly ornaments.  The child friendly tree was made after my daughter at 2 bit into a football glass ornament, my sons repeatedly throwing glass balls and I gave up.  One year I moved all my glass ornaments (okay, all my ornaments to above my children’s reach.)  That year my tree was VERY TOP HEAVY.  Does that sound like a tired mom of young kids or what? I know if Hilary reads this she is laughing.  She still makes fun of me for how ridiculous my tree looked that year, bare on the bottom, full on the top.  I have barricaded my tree behind tables.  I just went to my friends house and hers was being guarded by a baby gate from the dog and kids.  Hilarious!  So, now have a kid tree with toddler friendly ornaments and our original tree with the glass ornaments is welcome again now that my kids are older!

Happy decorating!  What do you do with your tree?  Do they have themes?

Decorating : Choosing Colors for a Room

Design When planning colors for a room or even to carry through a whole house, keep it simple by using only three.  Three colors, woven throughout paint, furniture, and accessories creates a pleasing look for the eye.  For example, in my (Amy’s) house I interchange red, cream, and shades of brown (light to chocolate).  I have tan/brown paint on the walls, neutral/tan furniture, and cream rugs, cream pillows, red pillows (and plaid pillows with all three colors!), red candles, and chocolate brown throws and baskets.  These are my favorite colors, but pick your three and have fun!
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