I am very much a visual person and an observer. I like to take my time going through a thrift shop, farmer's market, home decor shop, or craft fair. I find inspiration all around me, and when I see something I like, I frequently begin thinking, "What can I do with this?" This indoor/outdoor tablecloth, vintage print placemat, and my beloved rooster inspired me to do a late summer update for our home.
"Anyone remember these?" I've seen granite ware roasters and canners posted on Facebook with the aforementioned question. Yes, in days of yore, these items were popular in most homes. You had your roaster for roasting meats. (I still use ours for roasting turkey.) The granite ware canner was a much needed item for sterilizing jars and "putting up" canned fruits and vegetables.
I have recently discovered the treasures to be found at consignment shops. A good friend of mine has been an avid consignment shop customer for several years. Sue always finds the cutest things for exceptional prices. I encourage you to explore your local consignment shops for home decor items as well as for clothing, jewelry, children's clothes and so much more. I've been cleaning out closets lately and took my first batch of things to a local consignment shop, Designer Consignor LLC, 2858 Washington Road, McMurray, PA 15317 (724-299-3126). While perusing the shop, I was struck by the many treasures to be had in the shop. It really got my creative juices flowing. I'd like to share some of the finds and thoughts on how to use them in home decor.
I love decorating with flowers and plants in our home. Flowers instantly brighten up any table or little corner. My Grandma Marshall loved flowers and always had gladiolus, lilacs, peonies, or whatever was in bloom in her home. Hollyhocks I associate with my Grandma Hanig. They were always growing on the side of her house. I notice that when Joanna Gaines of HGTV's Fixer Upper, decorates a home, she often uses foliage and fruit found in the yard. Some of her plant choices are pretty common and easy to grow. Check out her blog post on her plant choices for season 4.
]Flowers, greenery, and plants are a good way to bring the outdoors in. Cutting and trimming outdoor flowers is often beneficial to the plant. Plants will often become bushier and fuller after giving them a "trim". Why not use the greenery and blooms indoors?
Here is a sweet little pitcher filled with viola pansies I snipped from the front yard. The violas were actually getting rather leggy and needed a good cutting back. Instead of tossing the blooms, I took off most of the greenery, cut the stems to size, and placed the flowers in this sweet little pitcher that is part of my Fostoria American collection. It is one of the first things I see each morning and it really makes my day. It may seem like an "extravagance" to put flowers in your bathroom, but why not?
"The earth laughs in flowers." Ralph Waldo Emerson
Title: Violas and Azalea Blossoms, by Mother Nature. This lovely creation is brought to you by Mother Nature. I plant violas every spring, but the birds carry the seeds and plant them in various places around our home. These beautiful violas took root beneath the azalea plants and looked lovely among the fallen azalea blossoms. I love this display!
I think Mother Earth should be respected and celebrated every day. My mom has always been a recycler and master re-user. Glass, plastics, pop cans, newspapers are all returned or recycled, unless you can reuse them. She volunteers to help with church funeral dinners. Chinese take-out containers are perfect for packaging left-overs for families. Plastic bags are saved and given to the Farmers Market vendors. Wicker baskets have been given to me to up cycle as gift baskets and crafts. Thus, Mom has inspired me to use what I have when I am creating and recycle all things that are possible.
I had lots of fun this Earth Day planting this basket and chair that I up cycled. I was thrilled to find this chair at our local Goodwill Store for the "special price" of $3.49. I'm not sure why it was reduced. It has all four legs intact and didn't even wobble when I wiggled it. Granted the black was a little harsh, but that was an easy fix with a can of spray paint.
One of the most difficult times in life is trying to offer some words or expressions of comfort when someone is grieving the death of a loved one. Sometimes, I will state the obvious, "There are no words..." and offer a hug. Most of the time, I feel so helpless because I want to "Do" something for the grieving person. I know it is important to let a person grieve in his or her own way and time. But--I still feel the need to "Do" something. We recently lost a very, dear friend, Joe, who was an absolute delight to know. The anniversary of my dad's passing was March 25th, too. I thought I would share some things I have done, or have been done for me, or others that have been comforting.
Share a Memory: One of the most important things you can do is share a memory about the one who has passed. People are comforted by memories and often times there are memories that may have been forgotten or not even known to the loved ones family and friends. It helps one to know that loved ones were loved, honored, and admired by others. One of the greatest gifts you can give anyone is to acknowledge the person that they were.
Wheat grass is so easy to grow and such a fresh addition to spring home decor. It's been a little more than a week since I planted these cute little planters and I've already had to cut the grass. The wheat grass will germinate and sprout within 3 days and within a week it will be nice a tall.
Check out the tutorial. Click here or on any image above:
I like to think I am a master at "hiding things in plain sight". I never have enough room in closets, kitchen cabinets, and built-ins to store all of my stuff! I do try to eliminate clutter, duplicates and items that have seen better days. At the end of the day, I still need more space! My philosophy is to hide things we use, in plain sight, in practical, but pretty containers.
One case in point are these containers I purchased last fall from JoAnn Fabrics and Crafts. I had admired them and thought they would go perfectly with our family room decor, but I was hesitant to purchase them because after the fall season, I would have to store them away. That seemed like an unnecessary purchase and one that required storage space.
I really liked the shape of these containers and the faux burlap paper lid. After admiring them on each visit to JoAnn's and leaving the store without them, I came up with a way to use them in my decor throughout the year. The solution was wrapping paper! I figured I could wrap the bottom of the containers with a large rectangle of wrapping paper to match our decor and the season. I could utilize these boxes all year around! The containers were the perfect size for our family room side tables.
I was well into my love of all things in red and black buffalo plaid for winter decor. I purchased paper at TJ Maxx for a minimal amount and I had just what I needed and wanted. The paper was of a nice quality and thickness. The pattern made it easy to cut the large rectangle to wrap the container. I happen to have a full size laminator and I did laminate the paper. This is not necessary, but since I had a laminator, I laminated the paper, too. (I also planned to save the paper from season to season, since I loved it so much.) The last step was to wrap the container and secure it with transparent tape on the back.
Spring is fast approaching, so it is time to rewrap the containers. I found an apple green and white checked paper. All it took was measuring, cutting, laminating (optional), and securing with transparent tape.
Here they are on my side tables in the family room. They are a perfect height and shape. One box contains all my greeting cards. I'm trying to be better about sending cards to friends and family. I know that many people are sending e-cards, posts on Facebook, and email, but there is something about getting a card and letter in the mail. I still have my scrapbook of cards from childhood. There are the birthday cards from grandparents and aunts and uncles. Many still show the residual tape from nickels and dimes being taped to them and sent in the card. Good memories of loving people!
The second box holds "seasonal" items that I might be working on. In November and December the box contained our Christmas cards, Christmas letter, and postage stamps. Having the easy access helped me to get my cards done in a timely manner and have a place to put "it" all away in plain sight.
Check out some more examples of "my stuff" hiding in plain sight.
I will be sharing more secret and not-so-secret hiding places for containing and displaying useful and needed things in plain sight. One of my favorites is to use beautiful, holiday bags to hide and contain wrapping paper and bows during the holidays. I store the bags under the tree when I am not using them, and yet I have easy access and easy clean-up when I need them. Sometimes, I store items that I put away for the holidays to make room for the holiday decor in bags and decorative boxes under the tree. I even top them with a little tissue paper or bow. When my mom came for Christmas this year, she commented, "Oh, so many presents!" Mm-m-m-m--not as many as you might think, Mom.
How do you store your precious things in plain sight? Please share and keep on creating with everything that makes you happy!
The idea for this "Welcome Spring Bunny" centerpiece came to me when I laid out my spring decor pieces, sat back, and thought about which pieces I really loved. I knew I was going to use the pearl white cake plate that I had made from a candlestick and a plate. From there, I chose the small grapevine wreath with the decorated eggs and floral pip berries. This wreath is a favorite of mine that I purchased many years ago from a small, local gift shop. I usually hang it in my kitchen window in the spring and had fully expected to do the same thing this year. But then, inspiration and a question struck me. What if I used this wreath in an unexpected way? What if I used it for the base of my floral centerpiece? The other materials used were reindeer moss, a small, white, flat-bottomed dish, the foil mother bunny and her baby bunny figurine and a few extra floral pieces. Click here or on the image for the tutorial.
I was so pleased with the "formula" I used for the "Welcome Spring Bunny" centerpiece that I created some additional variations of this centerpiece. Clicking Here or on any of the images will take you the tutorial.
These centerpieces were very simple and quick to arrange. Please check out the tutorial for the details. Can you figure out where I used the white, flat-bottomed, cassoulet dish in the first four centerpieces? It really makes each these pieces, but it can't be seen. Check out the tutorial by clicking here or on any of the images.
Have fun creating!
I love creating, whether it is quilting, crafting, decorating, planning parties. I take inspiration from all things around me.
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