Our Welcoming Home!
by Jolene Hanig-Jones
It is finally spring! At least, it is if you look at the calendar. Outside on any given day, this March has looked more like winter. I can't wait to begin planting pansies, but that will have to wait until Mother Nature gives me the OK. Until then, I have been decorating indoors and have loved adding spring, whimsical pieces to our decor. Take a look.
Vintage Books, Seeded Eucalyptus, and a Bit of Sparkle...
Vintage engineering books, seeded eucalyptus, mercury glass, and some printer's type set letters all came together to don our winter fireplace. It all started with a box of vintage engineering books that belonged to our good friend, Joe Bonk, who passed away last March. His wife, Janet, was "excavating" Joe's room, and feeling a lot overwhelmed. She turned to me and said, "and what am I going to do with these old engineering books?" I immediately replied, "Vintage books are really hot in home decor. I'll take them." We packed the books and I'm sure Janet thought I was crazy. They were old, weathered, and some were missing parts of covers. They were PERFECT!
The inspiration for our warm, winter fireplace makeover all began with a box of vintage books,...seeded eucalyptus, some sparkle, and printer's type set letters. Check it out.
Yes, you read the title of this post correctly: Planning for Christmas 2018! Do you buy Christmas cards, wrapping paper, and other Christmas items at the after Christmas sales? Have you ever packed said items away and then forgotten where you put them when the holiday comes around? Or, like me, forgot that you even purchased said items and purchase more of that item in November? I have done all of the above. I am also guilty of squirreling a few items in one closet, because I have a little space, and a few items in another drawer--because there is a little space--and completely forgetting what is where!!!
Part of my New Year's Resolution is to store all like items together, AND make a record of it. I am a visual person, so I decided to use my phone to take photos of purchased items for Christmas 2018 and store them in a folder on my computer.
It's January and time for me to dig into closets, cupboards, and pantries and begin my annual organizing, purging, and clean up! We are experiencing record low temperatures and wind chills and since, I am cooped up inside, it is the perfect time to set about these tasks.
I sat down to read a few blogs one morning with a cup of coffee in hand. I started coveting the look of organized pantries, with beautiful containers, and pretty shelf paper. My first thought was, my pantry could never look like that, and then, do "these" people really use their pantries? Next thought, "I want...I "need" to go buy all matching beautiful containers"... I "need" to purchase fun shelf paper!"
My practical voice gently reminded me I was "putting the cart before the horse." Take a look at how I applied the following principles to organizing our kitchen pantry: 1.) Use what we already had. 2.) Organize like things together in one spot. 3.) Label, label, label! 4.) Think long and hard about which items were most used and place them in the most convenient places for our use.
Read more to find out how I went from...
Spoiler Alert: I didn't buy any new containers or shelf paper...yet!
I am a list person. When it comes to getting organized for the holidays, I follow Santa's lead of making many lists and checking them twice. I get a special satisfaction from crossing off each item as it is completed. While I'm making a list, I'd also like it to "look" pretty. Subscribers to this site may download any of these pdf files for free. Click on CONTACT in the menu bar to submit your email and receive the password for PRINT IT.
The vintage truck artwork was created by Alexa, Creator and Designer at ReachDreams.etsy.com. Alexa is a very talented artist. Click HERE to see more of her work.
These plaid Christmas gift tags come four to a page. I like to print mine on card stock. They can be trimmed out and attached to packages with tape or glue dots.
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Sometimes it's the little things...
It is so easy for me to get mesmerized by all the twinkling lights, glittery ornaments, and festive store displays. Christmas is the one time of year when more ornaments and lights can transform any Charlie Brown tree into a thing of beauty and awe. The magic formula seems to be just pile on more and more "stuff". That formula does work, but sometimes, I like to step back and decorate with little touches that can add that special Christmas delight! I'd like to share a few of my favorite delights!
I placed this beautiful poinsettia in a rustic coal bucket. I like the simplicity of this pairing and also the contrast. It's got a little of a "Beauty and the Beast" vibe about it. A poinsettia this beautiful doesn't need much more adornment.
I have discovered the transformative powers of spray paint and the plethora of choices in colors and finishes! Spray paint fits right in with my desire to use what I have, recycle that which may be destined for trash, and create something that looks expensive or custom for very little money.
Today, I am going to attempt to do more of a photo montage of some of the many things I have transformed with spray paint. Preparation and patience are the keys to success with spray paint. I follow the directions for cleaning and prepping each piece, as given on the can. That usually involves a thorough cleaning with dish soap and water, sometimes alcohol, and sometimes sanding. It all depends on the object you are painting. Patience is key. Doing a few light coats helps achieve a smooth drip free finish. Then, follow the recommended drying times on the can. Most times you can give a second coat within an hour.
A Sampling of a Few Spray Painted Makeovers...
Last week I started a new page on Our Welcoming Home: Cook It! Fall weather draws me into the kitchen and I begin nesting with my recipes and experimenting with some new finds.
Today, I am sharing some of my recipes from across the web.
Zucchini-Bell Pizza by Skinny Ms.
Slow Cooker Chicken Mushroom Chicken by Skinny Ms.
Easy! Oven-Baked Cod from Genius Kitchen
Slow Cooker Honey Lime Ginger Pork by Recipe Critic
Salsa Verde Corn Chip Pie by My Recipes
Originally Featured in Southern Living Magazine
I have tried each of the above recipes and feel confident in recommending them to you. I hope you will share some of your favorites with me. Please leave a comment and a link to your favorite recipes. As I said, there is something about fall that draws me to the kitchen and recipes. I like to whip up old favorites and experiment with the new!
I love to make soup in the fall…and in the winter, too. Certain foods just set a certain mood for me. Tacos, pizza, hamburgers are all fun, party foods. Soups are part of my “cozy” food category. Making soup can require shopping for various ingredients, chopping, measuring, boiling, and simmering. That can add up to time that you may not have. Let me introduce you to one of my favorite soup finds: Cooke Tavern Soups.
I challenged myself to use a neutral palette of creams, blues, greens, mixed with some classic black and white prints to decorate our home for: Early Fall Decor Phase 1. Included in my personal challenge were a few more variables: keep it simple, shop our home for hidden treasures, (think of things stuffed into cupboards and closets), and move some thing around. Take a peak and let me know how you think I did?
Some of My Favorite Sites