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We’ve Moved

Actually, this happened a long time ago, and I kinda forgot to post about it here.

So, if you’ve been following us and wondering if we dropped off the face of the earth — we didn’t.

We just moved to a self-hosted blog. You can find us at www.attagirlsays.com. I hope you’ll follow us in our new(ish) come. And on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. Actually, we have two Pinterest alter egos, one for Amy and one for Laura.

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Somerset Bay Furniture Giveaway and The Nate Show

Believe it or not, I don’t craft 24/7. I have a real-world job in public relations. But I’m lucky that a lot of my work life and my passions align.

I live near the home furnishings capital of the world, High Point, so I do a lot of PR work for furniture companies. One of them is Somerset Bay, some of the most well crafted, beautiful handpainted furniture you’ll ever see.

Today, Nate Berkus featured Somerset Bay furniture in a bedroom makeover on The Nate Show. We’re just giddy, giddy, giddy about that.

You have to see the transformation to believe it!

(If the video below doesn’t work, just click on the link above to see the makeover.)

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And for anyone who is confused about how to use painted furniture in a room or worried that you can overdo it, Nate and his team of designers prove that different colors can coexist quite beautifully in the same room. Nate used Somerset Bay’s Savannah bed in Powdered Sugar, the Essex Chest in Jelly Bean Green, the Biscayne Side Chair in Cocoa, the a pair of Malibu Loft End Tables in Ebony and the Monterey Bureau Bookcase in Creme Brûlée. That’s five different colors in the same room!

To celebrate the big TV show appearance, Somerset Bay is giving away a gorgeous piece of its furniture to one lucky person.

The winner will receive the Newbury Cocktail Table in the beautiful Cotton Candy finish!

To enter, just head on over to Somerset Bay’s Facebook page, and click on the Win Furniture tab. Good luck!

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Atta Girl Amy’s Homemade Easter Decor

I’ve been slowly putting out my Easter decor, and I thought I’d show you some of the handmade touches I’m incorporating into my holiday decorating.

apothecary jars

These apothecary jars, inspired by Uncommon Designs and Shanty 2 Chic, are one of my favorite holiday decorations because they’re quick-change artists. Switch out the bows, hang some letters from them or add a vinyl decal, and you have a completely new look. Can you believe this originally started out as ugly candlesticks from Goodwill?

For example, here’s what my jars looked like for Valentine’s Day:

For these, I just cut out some heart-shaped vinyl decals using my Silhouette Cameo and filled them with candy. (Here’s a tip, put a juice glass in the middle of each jar and pour the candy around it. You’ll need much less to fill the jars.)

Speaking of candy, I’ve been inspired to decorate with it lately.

Peter Rabbit is a chocolate bunny purchased at Target. He’s sitting on a bed of green grass, and there are speckled eggs hidden throughout it. I though the faded Beatriix Potter book, which I used in my son’s nursery when he was a baby, was a nice vintage touch.

I also used candy in the Easter apothecary jar. Did you spot the Dove white chocolate bunny nestled in the middle jar atop the pink grass?

You’ve seen my decorated Easter jars already, but I wanted to show you them again in this post, in case you missed them.

 I used candy in this vignette, too. Did you spot it? Those are chocolate speckled eggs under the small cloche. I can report that there are fewer eggs now than when his photo was originally taken. Someone around the age of 5 has been sneaking eggs, but I catch him every time because the eggs go everywhere when he lifts the cloche.

Here’s a little “floral” arrangement I made using a metal bucket, some glittery foam Easter egg picks and some grass, all from the Dollar Store.

Speaking of the Dollar Store, I made this wreath using mostly Dollar Store supplies, with the exception of the ribbon and the spray paint.

I spray painted a grapevine wreath bubblegum pink. When it was dry, I worked in strands of raffia and two different garlands, which I picked up years ago at the after-Easter clearance sale at Target, if memory serves. I embellished the wreath further with foam easter eggs and glittery butterflies from the Dollar Store. I added a simple bow made from some antique silk ribbon I purchased at the Country Living Fair last year. I created a simple loop hanger from some velvet ribbon, purchased at the Anthropologie after-Christmas clearance sale.

I’m still decorating and crafting for Easter, so I’ll be adding lots of photos and tutorials. Atta Girl Laura will also be posting about how she’s sprucing up her home for the Easter bunny’s visit.

— Atta Girl Amy

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Getting a makeover

Atta Girl is getting a makeover soon! Please pardon our dust — and the foils in our hair — as we transform from drab to fab.

For now, here’s a sneak peek at things to come.

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Burlap Shamrock Pillow Tutorial

Last month, I spied an adorable burlap pillow with a ribbon-stitched heart from At Home in the Northwest on Pinterest.

When I saw the simple, yet elegant pillow, I knew I wanted to use the technique, but not for Valentine’s Day. I was thinking green — St. Patrick’s Day.

I embellished my pillow a bit more than the original crafter did because I wanted to add an extra punch of green. I really like the look, and I plan to use this on a bench on my front porch. That’s the perfect place for my cute, rustic pillow.

This tutorial will prove to you that the Atta Girls aren’t expert crafters. I made quite a few missteps and mistakes when crafting this, but I used that reliable crafter’s fixall — hot glue. Hell on the fingers, but a real project saver.

Supplies:

  • scissors
  • burlap fabric, cut to size
  • 5/8-inch green satin ribbon (2 6-yard rolls should be more than enough)
  • tapestry needle
  • pillow form or fiberfill
  • shamrock template
  • straight pins

You can freehand a shamrock — or a lucky four-leaf clover — or you can use my template. Just click on the image below to enlarge it, then right click to save it on your computer. This is sized for an 8.5X11 piece of paper, but you can scale it up to fit your pillow size. (The one i used is about 11.5 inches square on a 14-inch burlap canvas. I used card stock for my pattern; I wanted something stiffer than regular printer paper.)

Cut out your pattern and cut two equal sized squares of burlap. I cut my burlap to 14 inches square. (Actually, I cut it to 14X28 and folded it in half. Atta Girl Laura is the seamstress in this trio; I take every shortcut I can when it comes to sewing.) Center your pattern on the burlap. (I didn’t do such a good job with this, as you can see from the photo below. Mine was offset a bit to the right. Mistake #1.)

Pin your pattern to the burlap. If you’re smart, you’ll have all your pins facing the same way, with the sharp points going in the opposite direction that you intend to sew. I learned this the hard way. Mistake #2.

Thread your needle through a large tapestry needle. Don’t double the ribbon, just leave the tail hanging. Knot the end of the ribbon and start stitching around the shamrock pattern, going through the holes in the burlap. Try to size and space your stitches evenly and don’t pull your ribbon too tight. I think this project looks best if the ribbon is slightly poufy.

Continue stitching around the shamrock. This took longer than I thought — almost an entire two-hour episode of The Celebrity Apprentice. When you’ve stitched completely around the shamrock, tie off the end on the back, trimming it close.

My original plan was to pass the pillow along to Atta Girl Laura at this stage and have her finish it on her sewing machine. It helps to have friends who have different crafting talents than yours. But The Donald was still grilling people in the boardroom, so I decided to finish the pillow myself by whipstitching around the perimeter with green ribbon. I credit my son for this idea. Earlier in the week, I gave him some lacing cards to play with, and I expected him to use a running stitch. But he whipped out the whipstitch. My boy has good crafting instincts.

In finishing the pillow, learn from my Mistake #3, especially if you decide to whipstitch it with the ribbon, as I did.

Burlap frays at the edge, so make sure you stitch several rows back from the edge. Otherwise, the burlap will unravel and your pillow will fall apart.

That’s what happened to mine when I tried to insert the pillow form (recycled from another project.) Turns out the form was slightly too large for my pillow, and when I tried to stuff it in the cover, a few seams busted.

This is where the hot glue came to the rescue. I simply folded the frayed, split seams under and glued them down.

Since I had already confirmed that my pillow form was too large to fit in my pillowcase, I cut open the form and used the stuffing inside to fill my pillow. Then I closed the open edge and continued whipstitching around the pillow.

Now, I have a creative, handmade pillow for my front porch, just in time for St. Patrick’s Day.

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Sweet Gum Ball Wreath Tutorial

The Atta Girls have lots of craft friends. On occasion, we will ask one of them to share their handiwork with you.

Here’s a post from our friend, Amanda, who is quite the whiz at making wreaths.

“If you’re from the South or have ever visited the South, there’s a chance you’ve seen little, brown, spiky balls with stems lying on the ground.

They are known by many names,  but I call them gum balls or sweet gum balls.

While visiting, my mother mentioned I need to find a craft that involved using all the gum balls that were lying over my entire backyard. I find this tutorial from Bee Interiors via the amazing Google and off to crafting I went.

Here’s what I made:

Items you’ll need:

  • a lot of gum balls
  • clippers to cut stems
  • glue gun with a lot of glue sticks
  • a wreath form
  • burlap, ribbon or fabric to make a hanger

Sorry, I did not take pictures of the first few step… I was too busy gathering up gum balls, chasing my boys and pricking my fingers.

  1. Gather up a lot of gum balls. The boys and I filled an old grocery bag.
  2. Clip off all the stems. I sat down in front of the TV and watched Live With Kelly when Josh Groban was the co-host, and I was in clipping heaven.
  3. Bake the gum balls in the oven at 200 degrees for about 10 minutes. This is to make sure there isn’t anything living in the holes.
  4. Cut material into strips and wrap it around the form.  (I used a straw wreath form, but a foam one would probably work, too.) I used black burlap since I had it leftover from another project. I suggest you use a dark color since it might show between the spaces of the gum balls.
  5. Dab hot glue on the form and placed the ball on top of it. Continue this process until the form is completely covered — dozens of gum balls later.
  6. Make a hanger using burlap, ribbon or fabric. I tied the brown burlap around the wreath to make a rustic hanger.

I’m very pleased at how easy, inexpensive yet classy this project turned out (IMHO).

I’m absolutely tickled about how I was able to reuse something from nature, created by God, to hang in my house!!  It makes me want to pat myself of the back and say ATTA GIRL!😉

— Amanda

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Decorated Easter Jars Tutorial

With the exception of Christmas, I’m usually woefully behind on my holiday decorating. But there’s something about the promise of Spring that has prompted me to start my Easter decorating early this year. (It may also be that I didn’t get to decorate for Easter last year because we moved into our house just three days before the holiday!)

Today, I styled the handpainted buffet in the foyer for Easter, and I’m just loving the look.

Aren’t these jars just adorable? And they were so easy to make, too. (OK, two were easy to make, the third took some effort and a lot of second-guessing.)

This project started with a trip to an antique store in a neighboring town, where I scored the little bubble glass jar for $3! (This vendor had lots of glass jars similar to this, priced at around $3. I’m kicking myself for not buying more! Might be worth an Atta Girl road trip soon, because I know Atta Girl Laura wants me to make some of these for her, too! Here’s an Atta Girl shopping tip: If you live in a large or largish town, like I do, make sure to check out the home decor, antique and thrift stores in smaller neighboring towns. The prices are so much better!)

Anyway, my bubble jar was just begging for some adornment. So, one day when I should have been working, I started playing around with my Silhouette Cameo and cut out some green grass and an adorable little pale yellow chick from vinyl. I used transfer tape to place the chick on the glass. (Transfer tape is a must-have if you’re working with vinyl decals!) Then, I layered the green grass over the chick. This was a little tricky, as it can be difficult to keep your decal straight and bubble-free as you’re moving around the jar. Just go slowly and work out any bubbles or wrinkles with your fingers. A blue grosgrain hemstitched ribbon finishes the look.

I was so enamored with how this jar turned out that I immediately took it to school to show my son’s teachers and to our after-school play date at the park. I’m such a craft nerd. But the play date was with the other Atta Girls. And I am the one responsible for getting my son’s teacher hooked on Pinterest. So, it wasn’t like I was showing off to uninterested sorts.

Anyway, I decided I wanted to make more of these as part of my Easter decor. I was lucky enough to score two more glass jars of different styles at my local Goodwill store. These were even cheaper than the first jar, priced at just $1.99.

I used the same vinyl technique on the second jar, but this time I changed the color of the grass to a brighter green and nestled a pastel blue bunny behind it. (It is a very pale blue, almost white in person and in the photos, too.)

For the third jar, I wanted to continue the same “animals in grass” theme, but I wanted to try a different technique.

This time, I created a stencil from vinyl. I wiped my jar down with rubbing alcohol and let it dry well. Then, I applied the bunny stencil decal. Be sure to press firmly around the edges so your paint won’t seep.

 I painted him using Martha Stewart Crafts Multi-Purpose Paint, which can be used on good, glass, metal, fabric and maybe other surfaces, as well. I didn’t like the effect I got when I used a paint brush over the glass, so I ended up sponging the bunny. It gave him a nice, realistic texture — very important for a blue bunny!

One the bunny had dried sufficiently, I started painting in my grass. The vinyl wasn’t too sticky, so I was able to overlay it on the bunny without damaging the paint. Once I took my grass stencil off, I wasn’t completely happy with the way the jar looked. So, I filled in the grass to the bottom of the jar, using a sponge. I also used a fan brush to extend the blades of grass. If I make another one of these, I will probably freehand my grass, as I had trouble judging where to put the stencil for a realistic look. I’m no artist, by any mean, but I have taken a few painting classes, so I feel comfortable freehanding the grass.

I thought this bunny needed something more than the silhouetted ones, so I added a pink eye and some pink to his ear. As with the others, I finished the jar off with a simple bow in a coordinating color.

Here’s the finished, painted jar. The instructions on the Martha Stewart paints says it must cure 21 days on glass. So, I won’t be washing this before Easter.

Here’s a look at the trio again:

I styled my Easter vignette in front of my antique silver candelabra, and I added a Willow House cloche filled with speckled eggs. (I won a trio of these cloches from the Plate & Pattern blog a few weeks ago, and I already love them. I have one on my nightstand to hold my wedding rings and earrings, and I’m using the third on the other end of the buffet.)

I think these jars would be adorable filled with speckled eggs or jelly beans, but I also like them empty. That way, I don’t have to sorry about my son or husband eating my decor.

Tune in over the next several weeks. The other Atta Girls and I will be sharing lots of Easter crafting and decorating projects, including some fabulous projects made from dollar store materials.

— Atta Girl Amy

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