Messmatz Creativity Mat for Kids & Adults Giveaway!

Love this little mat!  I wish I had them when my kiddos were small, just think of all the places they could be used;  cookie making, play dough, bead crafts, so many ways.  I would absolutely use one in my art studio.  One Winner will have their choice of an In-stock colour!  Best of all…open to US and Canada! US/Can 10/19

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Winner’s Choice of (3) – 8×8″ prints from FoamCorePrint.com Giveaway!

This is an economical and personal way to start decorating your home.  My daughter has taken beautiful pictures from their honeymoon and made a wall collage!  What pictures would you use?  There is going to be two winners for this great package from FoamCorePrint.   US 8/04

 

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Home Sales Improve With Staging

Home Sales Improve With Staging

Home staging is the act of preparing a private residence for sale.  The goal of staging is to make a home appealing to the highest number of potential buyers, thereby selling a property more swiftly and for more money.  Staging techniques focus on improving a property’s appeal by transforming it into a welcoming, attractive product that anyone might want.

Staging a home for resale is, in many ways, the opposite of interior decorating.  With staging we want to de-personalize the home, while the interior decorating we use the client’s personal items, hobbies and interests to make an interesting and comfortable decor.  If it very difficult for a homeowner to see past their possessions to the heart and bones of the home.  This is the stager’s job  to simplify the home so that the prospective purchaser can visualize their possessions there.  By staging your home you can expect it to sell two to three times faster and for at least seven to fifteen percent more money than an un-staged home taken from a recent study by Coldwell Banker).

An empty home is more difficult to sell as it is hard for people to judge sizes without some furniture o show them how theirs will fit.  A cluttered space will look much smaller than it actually is.  It is important to simplify the home, as people will focus on personal items such as photos and trophies, and therefore losing concentration on the home itself.  We don’t want anything to distract to prospective purchaser.

A stager will go through a home with a checklist of over 30 items.  Hard to believe, but true!d  Some of these items are so simple, such as improving the lighting by upping the wattage on your light bulbs to give a brighter and warmer appearance.

No longer are realtors emphasizing location, location, location, but rather staging, staging, staging!  Now is the time to get a jump on the competition by staging your home.  You have only one chance to make a great first impression!

by Wendy Reeves Seifert

 

Wendy Reeves Siefert is a local decorator and interior designer in the Creston Valley and East Shore region of British Columbia.   You can find her web site at :  Over The Valley   For more information on staging or with any design questions, contact Wendy at overthevalley@telus.net.

Changing Mood with New Colour

Changing Mood with New Colour

 

Have you ever gone into a room and instantly felt warm and comfortable or cool and serene?  It is the colours used in the decor.  Colour can affect your mood and outlook.  You can achieve that “feel good” look with a smart use of colour.

First, determine what kind of mood you want to achieve.  Next, what direction is the natural light source?  This will tell you how much warm or cool colour you need.

Now what areas can you change?  Is there furniture that you need to keep and work around?  Some can be changed; for example, a dark wood can be refinished into a light or natural tone, or painted.  Yes, it is a shame to paint good wood; however, it is a lot less expensive than replacing it and less wasteful.

Before

Can you visualize an older kitchen in a dark oak stain changed to white, ivory or grey?  Pain the cabinets and add updated hardware  — update the back-splash and countertops and you go from dark and dated to bright and modern at a minimal expense.  If the cabinet doors are in poor condition, you can replace doors only.

Ready for Showing

Introduce your new colour scheme with wall colour and accessories — staying fairly neutral in the major items ensures a long lasting style.  You can change the wall colour years later and have a fresh new decor.  Colour can change old dated decor and give you a fresh new look without undue expense.

With spring on the way, it is a great time to freshen up your decor and leave the winter blues behind.

by Wendy Reeves Seifert

Wendy Reeves Siefert is a local decorator and interior designer in the Creston Valley and East Shore region of British Columbia.   You can find her web site at :  Over The Valley

CTMH – Layouts

When I am not working on the computer or painting in the studio, I love to scrapbook.  I have made cards for years, but the 12×12 layouts are fairly new for me.  That is what I love about Close To My Heart, the instructions are clear and easy to follow.  They are great for beginners to get started or for the more experienced to use as a platform to expand with their own creativity.

This double layout is from the Hello Lovely kit; using the instructions to create with other CTMH papers.

With the amazing contest I won last month, included was a subscription to Creative Scrapbooker Magazine.  In there I found a CTMH page with this sweet layout.  There was no instructions but I figured I could make it work.  I have been wanting to do some pages for our sweet unicorn and now was the time.  Using some papers and embellishments from the contest and maybe a few things from my stash, this is how it turned out!  Not exact, but then where would creativity be?  Are you looking for inspiration for your scrapbooking or card making, drop by Creative Scrapbooker Magazine and give them a thumbs up and a comment on one of their post.  I know they will appreciate it.

Happy Scrapping!

 

Decorating on a Budget

Decorating on a Budget

 

With over 40 years of experience in interior design, I have found many of my clients to be working on a restricted budget.  For these projects I have suggested that the majority of the budget be spent on the permanent items in the home, such as flooring, cabinets and light fixtures.

Lighting

Using neutral tones in furniture, you can add colour in your less expensive accessories such as colourful ready made drapery panels,(approximately 0 each).  For a custom look, buy an extra panel and make toss cushions.  Can’t sew?  Use iron-on seaming tape.  Simply fold the fabric like an envelope, use a costume jewelry broach to pin it together and add bling.

One of the least expensive ways of changing and updating your decor is with colour, specifically paint.  Change your wall colour to a nice warm tone to chase away the winter blues.  Almost anything can be painted – cabinets, hardware, furniture and even counter tops.  I am quite passionate about reusing and re-purposing items, as it is so much better for the environment.  As a culture we tend to waste a great deal that can be recycled.

Before and After

A change in wall colour will alter the whole feel of a room; whether you want a warm and cozy feel or a cool and serene, this can be achieved with colour at a minimal expense.  The following are some colour schemes, although there are many variations.  One colour should always dominate in any scheme.

Monochromatic:  Shade and hues of one colour, light to dark.  Use a neutral to balance the palette.

Contrasting: using opposites on the colour wheel, such as blue and red or green and yellow, always a warm with a cool colour.  One olour should always dominate.

Analogous: uses colours next to each other on the colour wheel, such as blue and green or yellow and orange.  This creates a serene and comfortable design.

The psychology of colour and how it affects our lives is quite fascinating.  A simple change in your deor can affect your mood and outlook.  There are a lot of ways of achieving this on a budget.

by Wendy Reeves Siefert

 

Wendy Reeves Siefert is a local decorator and interior designer in the Creston Valley and East Shore region of British Columbia.   You can find her web site at :  Over The Valley

 

Saying Thank You

Some of you may know that I recently won an amazing contest.  Creative Scrapbook Magazine and forty five different sponsors, (that’s right 45!) held a nine day contest called Taste of CHA.  A creative wonderland of treasures.

The delivery company arrived with a giant box today.

It was crammed to the brim, can you have a brim on a box, very full!

As I stared to pull treasures out I laid them on my ironing board;

then around my sewing machine; then on top of my printer; 

then moved over to my desk and finally piled the last on my chair and sewing stool.

It is overwhelming.  The generosity of the sponsors and the hard work that it took for Creative Scrapbook Magazine  to pull together and organize the giveaway.  If you choose, it would be wonderful to have you all to drop by Creative Scrapbook Magazine  and give their page a thumbs up.  Tell them you are looking forward to entering TASTE of CHA next year.

I know I can’t wait to get playing with all the goodies!

Quick Sew Headband – My picture!

In my little post about A Quick Sew Headband it was pointed out that I did not post any pictures of the finished product.  So I had my sweet handyman take one.

This is with my new wrap apron to keep my clothes paint free too and my quick sew headband.  I was doing the whole “inside out” thing with my serger.  I loved my little headband and I’m sure it will be useful with so many projects, like gardening 🙂  What do you think of the final outcome?

Quick Sew Headband

 

Renew a Favourite Shirt

We have heard about recycling, reducing waste and re-purposing items; and one way of helping is to renew your old clothing.  Back in the day it used to be called “mending”.  

My mom taught me this little trick for prolonging wear time out of an older shirt.  Cut off the sleeves and turn the collars.  Mysweet Handy Man loves his old shirts, ones that really have seen better days; but I thought perhaps I can try this out and save his favourite shirts.

Back or Under Collar

 

As you can see, the top of the collar is pretty worn and frayed while the bottom looks new.

The first thing to do is to carefully remove the stitches.  I used a small ripper.  Slip it between the collar and the band and gently start to pick or slice the stitching.   I only opened the seam as much as I had to, to remove the collar.

Once the collar is completely separate, iron it to straighten the seam area.  Fold the band and pin the center to mark it.  Do the same with the collar.

Mark the Middle

Using the pins as markers, pin the collar back into the band making sure you turn it around so the bottom is now the top of the collar.  Stitch closed with a narrow seam.  Give it one more ironing to fold in the right direction.

Now the shirt looks new again, as long as no one peeks underneath 🙂

Do you renew your clothing?  What have you done to reduce clothing waste?

Quick Sew Headband

When I get involved in creating, I don’t worry about where paint is going.  The fact is, I should!  My clothes, my hair, my face, pretty much everywhere.  As an artist, or painter, can you relate?  While this isn’t too bad for watercolor: acrylics and oils are something that you don’t want to get covered in.

Paint on fingers and glasses

Here is a sweet headband that looks amazing and is a practical tool.   It’s perfect for long or short hair.  It holds your hair back or ties it up so it doesn’t get in your face, and it will protect your hair from any stray paint that is flying around.  It looks pretty cute too!

Material and Tools

For a Rosie The Riveter headband you will need 2 long strips of material 7 cms (3″) wide and long enough to wrap around your head with an additional 7 cms (3″) on either side to tie the bow with later.

You can make this two different ways.  One with fibrefill for a chic and lux look or, for something more sleek and lightweight, skip the fill;  This tutorial will include the fibrefill so just leave it out if you don’t want it.

Tools:

Fabric scissors, thread, a knitting needle, an iron, pins and a sewing machine. If you haven’t got a trustworthy sewing machine, then look at something like this review here to help you decide on what to purchase.  A good sewing machine is invaluable.  You can take hours off projects like this if you use a machine rather than hand stitching all your crafts.

Step One:

Place the two long strips back to back with the patterned side facing each other (right sides together). Then sew a 1/4″ seam around the sides and at one end leaving one end open.

Step Two:

Turn the fabric inside out, so the pattern is showing.  Press the fabric.  Cut a piece of batting  a few millimeters (1/4″) smaller than the width of the band.

Step Three:

Using a long knitting needle, push the batting into the headband, making sure it reaches to the bottom seam and lies flat. Iron again to make sure all fabric is flat and straight.

Step Four:

Tuck remaining edges under by 1/4″ and sew shut with your trusty machine.

With your headband on, it should both keep your hair out of your face and protect your hair from any stray paint while you are being creative. Also because of the batting when you tie a knot in the headband, the ends with stick out and look like a decorative bow.

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