Shannon Berrey

The day after turkey day..

Friday, November 25, 2011

Pretty sure I ate too much. But it was soooooooooooooooo good. 

Unbuttoning the pajama jeans {never a good sign}, and enjoying the fact that I won't have to eat for days.   

{A huge thanks to the wonderful Murphy family for being the best host ever)


Happy Thanskgiving

Thursday, November 24, 2011

My Thanksgiving Prayer is up! I know I posted about it last year. I hope you don't mind me sharing it again. 


 I feel so thankful, appreciative and fortunate.

Wishing you a day full of Thanksgiving and the beginning of a blessed holiday season. 

Gingerbread Houses at the Grove Park Inn

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Every year, one of our family holiday traditions is to head to Asheville's historic Grove Park Inn to see the Gingerbread Houses. We are sort of crazy fans of this competition. I look forward to it for months and when I see it advertised in the news, I get busy planning our visit. When arriving at this National Event, one can not show up in just any old plain vehicle, so we got busy on doing a little decorating of our own. My tip is to start from the wheel up. 


It takes time, but it's totally worth it.

We parked that baby and headed inside.

{Graham, Jack's friend went with us. They got a little hungry on the trip and took a small bite out of the side mirror.} 


The Grove Park Inn opened in 1913 and has a wonderful thick rich history behind it. If ever given the opportunity, you should plan a visit. It has had some pretty impressive guests.



{Don't let these cute smiles fool you, Jack took the opportunity to touch his sister which is infuriating her and she is vowing, under her breath, to pop him as soon as I click the button. Even as teenagers folks. geez.}

This is the 19th year of the contest and it has gotten bigger, attracting entries from all over the US, each year. It has been featured on HGTV, Good Morning America {this year on Dec. 23rd}, the Travel Channel, and The Food Network. It's big, peeps.

But don't let the name of the competition confuse you. Yes, there are lots of gingerbread houses, but, there are lots of other gingerbread creations as well. But, every single bit of it must be edible and no entry can exceed 2' in any direction.

There are several categories: child, youth, teen, and adult

Cinderellas Carriage

The Smurfs Toyroom was really sweet. All of the little blue guys working around their mushroom table.

All of these entries had to arrive a week ago. So, some have held up great, but some suffered problems in transit or in just the sheer amount of time they have to sit and support their own weight.   


Musical Melodies, in the childs group, showcased a smarties covered piano {with a little crash of the base of the piano} sitting on a lovely patterned gumdrop rug. I see 'textile designer' in this girls future. 

Apparently this wiseguy opened his wise mouth and had his  head knocked off  bell rung.


At first look I was all 'oh, this is different'..the graffiti, the old truck...But then when I was going through my pictures, I was like 'what happened behind the truck?'. I zoomed in.

What the???! The truck has apparently run over this poor girl and she has somehow already gotten the right arm cast as well as the left hand. So, did the truck take her down in some sort of sick 'hit and run' as she reached for that little flower or did a tree fall on her?? Was she born with that chest or is it a horrible result of the accident?? { If you are the creator of this one, I need  more info}

moving on.

Let's take a look at some really pretty houses. 


 Look at the cutie pants making snow angels!




And then some of the 'not so typical' entries:

Christmas Quilts


I loved all the detail on this Teepee. Jack informed me that the top was made out of Slim Jims. cool. And check out those horses!!

Sponge Bob. {some random information: I really dislike this cartoon and my kids were never allowed to watch it} 

There were all kinds of pretty birds

As well as some Angry Birds.

I could totally see the Gingerbread family and their gingerbread dachshund cruising down I-40, singing along to 'Come on Get Happy' on the 8 track, in this happ'nen cruiser.

Clean dogs.

Snoopy's Christmas

This was one of our very favorite. An enormous carousel horse. We were sad that it didn't have a ribbon attached to it.

Another fave - an opened Bible with tiny people and pieces of the story of Christ's birth.   


Santa riding the camels through the sand pyramids. This one may have been created after a couple glasses of strong stuff.

I loved the idea of this--sweet cuddling of a mom, dad, newborn and toddler on the sofa.


If only everyone was fortunate enough to be 'Home for Christmas.' 

And the Grand Prize winner of all winners:

The old woman who lives in a shoe!!

But collectively, we had a little bit of a different vote on the entry that we felt conveyed the true meaning of Christmas.  

A Wal-Mart Christmas.

Which {obviously} includes a rooftop security camera, ginormous money-asking-Santa-Greeter and tiny amputee children playing in a parking lot of miniature cars. Heck to the yeah.

Go see it.

How to create a custom mat with fabric

Monday, November 21, 2011

I wanted to share some of the ideas used in the guest room I revealed on Friday.Today, I 'll show you how to create a one of a kind mat that really elevates artwork or a photo.

 I ordered this 12"x16" print on etsy:

 I also bought a 16"x20" frame and a 16"x20" mat that had an 11" x14" opening. The 11"x14" mat opening was a little too small and covered up some of the print. I decided to cut the inside edges of the mat to make it larger. 

I measured the print and determined how much of the mat needed to be cut off.

I used a small mat knife and a ruler. {Remember you have to cut off all the sides, not just one or your picture will be lopsided}

{I am not working on some crazy rock surface--that is the picture that came in the frame!!} I used the same fabric to cover my mat that I used to make the euro shams.

 Using a fabric with a stripe or a plaid can be good and bad. It's helpful in that you have specific lines to guide you. It can make it a bit harder in that any mistake you make is really obvious.  

Make sure that you line up your mat on the part of the fabric that you want to see. I wanted the citrus stripe to be predominant. Then, I cut the fabric, leaving about a 1" fabric overhang on both the inside and outside of the mat.

I failed to take a picture of the next step, but once you have cut out the fabric from the middle, you need to make a diagonal cut in the fabric in each corner {you can see this cut in the next picture} 

Using spray glue {outside--this stuff is sticky and stinky} I covered the mat with a thin coat and laid the sticky side down on the back side of the fabric making sure it is lined up correctly. On the right side, smooth out any bubbles. 

With a hot glue gun {I prefer the low temp} begin gluing each section by pulling it snugly to the back side of the mat.


On the outside corners, I cut out as much extra fabric as possible.


Remember that the outside 1/4" edge of the mat gets hidden behind the frame so the outside corners don't have to be perfect.

The finished back:  

There were some tiny threads on the inside corners where the fabric was diagonally cut. My method {and try this at your own risk and DO NOT try with a high temp glue gun} is to put a tiny drop of hot glue on the backside, in the corner, as close to the edge as possible. Working fast, I licked my finger and smoothed the little threads from the front to the back. It worked perfectly!   

On the back of the mat, I secured the print in place with 2 little dots of hot glue in the upper corners.   

 If fabrics not your thing, you could use wrapping paper, scrap book paper, ribbons, cork--be creative!!

Shannon Berrey Bio
I'm an artist, interior designer, wife and mom. Join me here as I share projects, ramblings, and inspirations.
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