Our Welcoming Home!
by Jolene Hanig-Jones
Last year, I began my first year of retirement from teaching by creating "Read to Me" pillows. I was advised by former colleagues to take a trip, get out of town, have some fun, and take your mind off not starting a new school year. (Contrary to what some may think, most teachers do enjoy the excitement of opening a new school year, and welcoming another group of boys and girls.) I admit, I had my annual "back to school preparation anxiety dreams" last year, (and this year), too. I guess when you've done something for 37 years every August, it is just embedded in your personal calendar.
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After "auditioning" a few different fabrics from my fabric stash, this home decor fabric in a neutral shade with a pronounced weave texture, and just a hint of sparkle made the cut for my no sew table runner. I thought the black grow grain ribbon with white polka dots added just the right amount of whimsy to give this neutral runner some fun! The best part of this project is that it is no sew and "so-o-o-o" easy to put together!
This sweet little fall vignette was as easy as 1, 2, 3!
I am not quite ready to go full on with the rich colors of fall. I decided I would do some early fall decorating by bringing in some creams, turquoise, and pops of apple greens (or in this case "pear green".) Turquoise is a new home decor color for me. I am happy to report that I had a lot of fun with it!
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?
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