Our Welcoming Home!
by Jolene Hanig-Jones
I love the deep, rich, colors of fall, but I am reluctant to begin decorating with orange leaves, pumpkins, and acorns, too, soon. After all, it is just the beginning of September, and there is still a lot of green left where we live. So, I decided to try my hand at some "transition" decor for late summer to early fall. Pale blues, creams, and apple green are the colors I have chosen, with pops of yellow sunflowers and black grow grain ribbon with white polka dots.
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One of my very favorite home decor "items" are family photos. Maybe it's because I live 800 miles from my mom and many extended family members. Maybe it's because my siblings and I "ended up at the four corners of the earth", as my parents predicted, but were truly dismayed that we fulfilled their prediction. (Actually the four of us are all in the United States, and for a few years we were all located somewhere off of Interstate 80 in various states.) Never-the-less, I had been doing a lot of "thinking" about updating family photo displays and it was finally time to get them off the floor, out of the box, and on the walls!
Do you have a vintage piece of needlework, favorite photo, decorative plate, or piece of artwork stashed away in a closet that doesn't fit your current style? You know, the one that you can't seem to part with, because your really did like it and still like it, but it doesn't "fit in" with your current decor? I had just such a piece. My brother, Tom, gave me this sweet, Hummel, needlework kit of two children peaking over the fence over 30 years ago. I had moved to Pittsburgh and was very homesick. I suspect it was his way of helping me keep myself occupied. (He's a good brother!)
I have always like this image and I spent a lot of time and effort stitching it together. It hung in our home for many years, and then it got packed away in a closet. It wasn't fitting in with our decor, but it was too, good to throw away. I came across it again recently, and began to think about what I could do to update this piece. Want to see what I did? Check out the updated, very functional, and dare I say, beautiful bulletin board in my sewing room!
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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:
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