Custom Art Print Giveaway Winner (and a Discount Code for Everyone!)

Thanks to everyone for entering the giveaway from Etsy's Here and There shop.  I have been loving all of the comments on the blog about the art pieces you would choose - with your comments about new babies, friends and family living overseas, adoptions, and upcoming weddings, I wish that each and every one of you could win! I can't swing that but I can help you get the piece of art you've fallen in love with for a great price - Etsy shop owner Carrie is offering 15% off any purchase at The Here and There shop for everyone who entered into the giveaway.  Simply use the code DBD15 at checkout between now and November 15th to get your discount. Carrie's unique art would make the perfect holiday gift!

And now on to the giveaway winner that was chosen at random by Rafflecopter - it is..... Dawn Schmidt! Dawn's favorite art piece from The Here and There shop is the customized world map with love theme:

Thanks to Carrie for this great giveaway!  I'm off to finish carving up the elaborate pumpkin design that my oldest daughter has her heart set on - wish me luck.  I hope that you all have a fun and safe Halloween!
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Creating a Beautiful Headboard from a Vintage Mantel

I came across this image on Pinterest a few days ago showing a bedroom where a fireplace mantel was used to create a unique headboard. Isn't it beautiful?
{Coastal Living}
I've stumbled upon many gorgeous vintage fireplace mantels at antique malls, flea markets, and architectural salvage stores but have left even the most droolworthy of them behind because I had no use for them.  Our fireplace is one of the few things in our home that I would say is officially "done", as we recently remodeled it with floor to ceiling stacked stone.  After seeing the image of a mantel-turned-headboard on Pinterest, I searched a little further and found image after image of gorgeous headboards created by using vintage mantels - here are my favorites:

{Apartment Therapy}
{Southern Living}
{Traditional Home}
{The Old Painted Cottage}
{A Fanciful Twist}
{Dreamy Whites}
{Gail's Decorative Touch}
{Blue Creek Home}
Stunning, aren't they?! And I love the idea of having a mantel above the bed to decorate, especially since the design of our fireplace has left me mantel-less.  Several of the images I found come from DIYers who share their methods of creating the headboards and it seems very doable. Most of them started with a plywood board that was cut just a bit smaller than the mantel opening and they covered it with foam and cotton batting followed by their chosen fabric, using a staple gun to staple the layers to the back.  Adding tufting makes it a bit more time and labor intensive but I think I would give it a shot because I love that look.  I'm pretty sure that the next time I come across a beautiful vintage mantel, I won't be leaving it behind... How about you? 
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Design Inspiration: Kitchen Chalkboards

Was this past week torturously long for you too? I'm loving that Saturday is finally here and that for once our weekend isn't jam-packed with activities.  My daughters and I plan to do some work on their Halloween costumes, we all need to do a little shopping for winter clothes, and there are a few small projects around the house to get to. One project that I'm continuing to s-l-o-w-l-y make some headway on is sprucing up our tiny kitchen eat-in area. The latest baby step in that project is the addition of a chalkboard over our upholstered bench seat:  
My original plan was to hang a series of six framed prints above it but because of a low wall vent, I realized that standard sized frames wouldn't work and that I'd have to go with custom framing to pull it off. Six custom framed prints = too much money so when I saw this inexpensive framed chalkboard (a HomeGoods find that a friend of mine had bought but then decided she wasn't going to use) and found that it was the perfect size for my space, I went with it. Yesterday, I searched around Pinterest to get some ideas about how I could use my chalkboard and I did find several good ones (grocery or to-do list, menu, calendar, an inspirational or humorous quote, drawing, etc.) but what really inspired me was seeing all of the different ways that chalkboards have been incorporated into kitchens. With a few coats of chalkboard paint, pretty much any surface can transformed into a chalkboard! Some of the kitchens had large, framed chalkboards that were simply hung on the wall, much like mine:
{House Beautiful}

{Pottery Barn}
{Amoroso Design}
while other kitchens had chalkboards incorporated into their cabinetry.  I love how this kitchen has a chalkboard calendar on the side of a tall cabinet where it would have otherwise been wasted space.  And to top it off, they also made it magnetic (which you can do by using a product such as Rust-oleum Magnetic Primer under chalkboard paint): 
{Dijeau Poage}
Several kitchens had turned recessed panels on cabinet or pantry doors into chalkboards, creating a very clean design:
{TEA2 Architects}
{Artistic Designs for Living}

{Country Living}

{Brenda Olde Photography - Houzz}
If you love the idea of a having a chalkboard in the kitchen for grocery lists and reminders but don't love the look of it on the outside of your cabinet doors, use the inside instead:
One reason that some people decide to use a chalkboard in their kitchen is to keep their kids busy so that they can keep an eye on them when getting meals ready. Having the chalkboard at a kid-friendly height is a must in this case - some options for where to place it are the side of a base cabinet, 
{dear lillie}
the back of a kitchen island,
{Design Sponge}
or the back of a kitchen bar:
{Emily A. Clark}
{House Beautiful}
{Arch Daily}
Some people have even taken their refrigerators and turned them into chalkboard canvases, which is a great idea for ugly refrigerators that you aren't ready to replace! 
{Lauren Liess}
{The Handmade Home}
I came across several kitchens that used chalkboard paint on their backsplash:
{Paint It!}

{Country Living}
and even a kitchen where a countertop was turned into a chalkboard:
Wit Behind the Ears
Another option is to transform an entire kitchen wall into a chalkboard!:
{Schappachner White Ltd}
{Caitlin Wilson - Houzz}
Are you inspired to add a chalkboard to your kitchen? Hope you all enjoy your weekend!
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Custom Art Print Giveaway from the Here and There Shop

This giveaway is now closed.

People like you and me who have a love for decorating our homes tend to have lots of other things in common too, one of which is a love of travel.  Decorating and traveling both involve an interest in discovering things that are new, unique, and beautiful so I think the two interests just naturally go hand in hand.  Someone who has combined her love for design and travel (along with some mad artistic talent!) is Carrie, who owns the Here and There Shop where she sells the most amazing custom art prints inspired by these two passions. In Carrie's words:

"I have always been intrigued with travel and maps. As a child I would spend hours staring at maps and planning my future world travels. I started the Here and There Shop after making a few maps as wedding gifts for friends. They absolutely loved them. It made me think about opening a shop centered around the idea of travel and special places. I am absolutely having a blast, making such special, personal pieces. Many of my orders are from brides or grooms who are giving the gift on their wedding day to their spouse. I am honored to make something so meaningful that is used for such a special occasion. Also, I create many maps for gifts commemorating a special trip, one's honeymoon travels, adoption gifts showing where their children were born, military families showing all the places they have been stationed, etc." 

There are so many beautiful prints to choose from at the Here and There Shop that it's hard to pick just a few to showcase!  One of my favorites is a print of Carrie's original hand inked illustration of any state or country (in this case, Texas) on a patterned background with a heart over the city that's special to you:

The print is completely customizable - not only can you choose any state or country, but you can choose the colors of the state, the heart, and the background from a palette of 52 color options to create a totally unique print:

If Candice Olson were to choose a print, I am 100% sure it would be this one - the girl always finds a way to work some damask into a room!: 

Another print that's a favorite of mine is this sweet "Made In South Carolina" print that is perfect for personalizing a nursery or child's room (and would make such a thoughtful baby or shower gift!).  As with all of the other prints, Carrie can customize this one with any state or country and with whatever colors you choose. 

The Here and There Shop also sells U.S. map prints that can be customized to highlight multiple states joined by a sweet dotted line heart. This print would make an ideal present for a military family or any other person who has done a lot of moving around the country and keeps a little piece of each hometown in their heart: 

If you're a global traveler, there's a print for you too!:

You even have the option of getting it personalized with a couple's names and a date to create a perfect wedding or anniversary gift: 

The prints are available in several sizes and are priced very reasonably, starting at only $20! There's lots more to see at Carrie's Here and There Shop so be sure to hop over and visit {click here} so that you can find the print that is perfect for you!  

Now for the giveaway - Carrie is generously giving one lucky winner a $50 credit to use at The Here and There Shop plus free shipping of the item(s) that you choose! To enter the giveaway, simply use the fun widget below to get up to four entries by (1) commenting on this post about what you would choose if you win, (2) "liking" Driven by Décor on Facebook, (3) "liking" The Here and There Shop on Facebook, and (4) sharing/posting the link for this giveaway on your Facebook page:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The giveaway ends Tuesday, October 30th at 11:59 PM EST. Entrants must be 18 years or older and residents of the continental U.S.  The winner will be notified by email and announced on the blog.  Good luck!
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Easy Halloween Snacks & Treats for Kids

The last weeks of October always include a few Halloween parties and those parties, of course, include treats! My girls both enjoy helping out in the kitchen so I like to create snacks and treats that are quick and easy enough for them to make along with me - two of my favorites are Popcorn Monster Hands and Witch Hat Cookies: 

I made the Popcorn Monster Hands for the first time two years ago when I was in charge of the activities for one of my daughters' classroom Halloween parties. In searching for ideas online, I came across several images of monster hands that were made using plain popcorn and candy corn nails. I loved the idea but thought I could make them look better by switching things up a bit - here's what you'll need to make my version of Popcorn Monster Hands:
  • Disposable gloves - you want clear, thin, gloves that have wide fingers and aren't stretchy - I got a pack of 100 "Scrub Buddies" Disposable Gloves for $1 at a local dollar store. 
  • Cheddar popcorn
  • Hershey's special dark kisses (they come in purple wrappers)
  • Halloween themed ribbon that can be bought inexpensively at Hobby Lobby or Michael's
Creating the monster hands couldn't be easier - first, pull off the little white strips of paper poking out from each Hershey's kiss and drop a kiss into each finger of your glove with the point of the kiss facing down.  Then fill up the glove with cheddar popcorn (to get the glove's fingers nice and full, it helps to squeeze the popcorn in the fingers to break it up a bit). Once your glove is full, use a fun decorative ribbon to tie the open end.  

This is a BIG hit as a classroom Halloween activity - it keeps the kids' attention because it doesn't take too long to do, it's not difficult, and it is fun for the kids to have a party favor they created to take home and later have as a snack. They're also perfect treats to give out to your most special trick-or-treaters!

Another favorite Halloween treat I make with my kids is Witch Hat Cookies, which is a Betty Crocker recipe. It's about as simple of a recipe as you can get.  All you need is:

  • Hershey's kisses
  • Keebler Fudge Stripes shortbread cookies. You can use either the Original Fudge Stripes or the new Dark Chocolate Fudge Stripes, which I used for the first time this year. I like the look of the witch hats just a little bit better when made with the new dark chocolate ones because they are dark on both sides but if you're making them for kids, you might want to stick with the original because I think most kids like their taste better.
  • A tube of orange decorating icing

To make a Witch Hat Cookie, flip your Fudge Stripe cookie over so that the back side is facing up. Then pipe a small circle of orange icing around the hole in the middle:
Finally, simply take an unwrapped Hershey's Kiss and place it down on top of your icing circle. You can easily dress the hats up a bit by adding an icing bow but we like to keep it simple:

Do you have any favorite kid-friendly holiday treat recipes?

Linking up to: Make It Monday and Craft-O-Maniac

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