Thursday, October 30, 2014

thrifty thursday...because apparently, I only post once per week & I'm meeting Jojo {oh my gosh}

It is crazy how fast a week can go by when you are running from pre-dawn, to post-every-sane-person-is-already-in-bed every single day. I have 2 pieces of furniture that are completely finished, and I haven't even had time to post them in my shop. Anywho, before I move on to Thrifty Thursday, I have to tell you something. I AM GOING TO MEET CHIP AND JOJO FROM FIXER UPPER TODAY!!! Whew, I couldn't hold it in any longer. In case you missed the 14 times I mentioned that I had already met Chip, you can read about it here or here. I actually saw Jojo working, but didn't want to be all fangirl and interrupt her. I can't promise the same for tomorrow, although my BF and I pinky swore we wouldn't embarrass ourselves. I'll do my best (*wink).
Okay, so on to Thrifty Thursday. Since I am still dreaming of a day that actually feels like fall in this state where fall is a season that lasts a total of about 48 hours, I thought I would indulge myself (and my lovely readers) with another fall post. 
When you start decorating for the fall holidays, try to choose things that will work for Halloween (if you decorate for Halloween), that will also work for Thanksgiving, and possibly even winter. The best way to do that is by using natural elements & colors. Instead of decorating for Halloween by using lots of black, and skeletons, and "Halloweenie" (ha ha ha...couldn't resist) elements, try sticking to a color palette that speaks of the entire fall season. Think oranges, browns, and yellows. If you aren't a fan of fall colors {insert hand raise here}, then go with corals (kind of orange), greys (a neutral like brown), and gold (kind of yellow). Also, add in lots of greenery, and white. I love pheasant feathers, wood, and fallen acorns from your own tree (can you say "free") or a neighbor's (I won't tell). The white can be in the form of white pumpkins, fabrics, or dishware.

Bittersweet wreath - beautiful natural element that you could use almost year round. 
You could use this for fall, then switch out the wheat for fir branches, and the grapes and warty pumpkin for apples or pomegranates.  Yes, those are "warty" pumpkins. Not a fan, but carry on...
Natural table decorations that could transition from fall to winter with a few changes...pinecones and flowers.
How Miss Mustard Seed decorates for fall. It's pretty perfect. I love the magnolia leaves as an alternative to evergreens in the winter too. Just replace the pumpkins and BOOM, amazing winter tablescape.
Hey look...feathers and artichokes. Sweet Mother of Abraham Lincoln! Love it. (Gold star if you can name that quote.)
For many of your arrangements, you can simply remove the fall colors, and replace it with more winter things. Yes, things. I can't even think of words because I am so excited to meet Jojo. I am not a stalker. 
Anyway, you could take out the acorns and replace them with pinecones. You could replace the pumpkins with red flowers, apples, or pomegranates. You could even use natural colors (whites, greens, creams, browns, etc.) for your fall centerpieces and then just pop in some berry twigs, or holly branches to brighten them up.  
The main idea is to keep it neutral and be creative. I love non-traditional elements in design. Pomegranates for winter? You betcha. They are the most beautiful shade of red. Artichokes for fall... yep. Magnolia leaves for both fall and winter... ummm, yeah! The green and brown combination speaks to both seasons. 
Now, faux vs. real. This is a hotly debated topic in the design world. Personally, I love real, but honestly, it gets very pricey. I like to use mostly faux or dried florals, then mix in seasonal items.
For example, this arrangement has mostly real elements: dried greenery, branches, and pheasant feathers. Once winter comes, I will take out the orb, and pop in some elements of red (like faux antique roses or peonies and some berry sprigs) and white (like white feathers or some felted balls).

This one is very simple. It is a faux greenery branch (looks pretty real though...that is the key) and a real pumpkin. I always grab real pumpkins for decorating, although I am slowly building up my collection of faux ones too. 


Here are a couple of my faux ones. They look very realistic. I love them, and I can reuse them every year. Everything in here is fake besides the dried grapevine, preserved greenery, and the antler. I will take out everything but the greenery and grapevine, and replace them with some glass ornaments and twinkle lights for Christmas. Quick, cheap, and an easy switcharoo. You could even use a bunch of pinecones, or red and green apples, or fake snowballs (I will have to post a tutorial for those after Thanksgiving).


These pumpkins are fake, the reindeer moss is real. I'll just take out the pumpkins and replace them with something else (not sure what yet) when winter rolls around...or in November, when it is still 85 degrees outside. #texaswintersareforshortandflipflops


So, there you have it. Another Thrifty Thursday in the books, and oh my gosh...meeting Joanna Gaines today...breathe breathe breathe. Okay, I'll let you know how it goes and if I totally embarrass myself. #pullittogether #notastalker 

Wish me luck!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

thrifty thursday

Welcome to my second Thrifty Thursday post! This week, I am talking about wall art. When you think of wall art, you typically think of pictures, right? Mostly family pictures (unless you have ugly relatives...just kidding). I'll start there.
My favorite tip: You do not have to have custom framing for an expensive looking piece of art. Every picture in my house is framed in a store-bought frame. I take my photos to Hobby Lobby (#shoutouttoHL) and have custom mats made to fit my store bought frame. You can even use their 40% off coupon on your mat. Most mats will typically run you under $10 after the coupon. Now, I typically use their in-stock mat selection because IMPATIENT. They do a great job. Also, if you have absolutely no idea what mat will work with your picture/art and frame colors, ask them. They are really great at coming up with something that will not be utterly hideous (...and that is the ultimate goal, amiright? WRONG! Aim higher my friends!"). Below is an example of a custom framing job. It helps to have a gorgeous picture to frame. That's my Memom. Come on genes...help me out!
Oh, hello me. Nice squinty/picture taking face in the reflection. I am nothing if not incredibly professional.
My second tip of the day is to not even worry about framing. I stuck these up in my son's room with some cute washi tape. Anyone have a washi tape addiction? Not me. Nope, not me at all. Just don't look in my kitchen drawer above the dishwasher. Anywho, this is a fun, casual, non-commital, and most importantly THRIFTY way to display your art. Note the cute washi tape. Look at it. Gah, I love that stuff.
Yes, the tape is pulling up from the corner. I blame my son. He's a picker, and I won't even tell you what else he picks/picks at. Ew.
Oh, because I am real around here, let me show you the uncropped picture.
Yep, in all it's unmade glory. Oh yeah, and  by all means. watermark that bad boy. Errbody's going to want to take credit for that! Pin in, I dare you!
See the wonder of photo editing? It can make messy beds disappear with a click. To be fair, it is absolute torture to make the bed. It is a top bunk. If you have ever had one, I need not say more. 
Here is one more example. It is a $5 poster from Paper Source. That store makes me giddy. It's sad, really. 
This is from Paper Source. It cost a whopping $5! Note the gold washi tape. Look at it!
My next couple of tips are about using other items as wall art. You don't have to "stick" with pictures for some great wall art (See what I did there?). I love the use of plates. This one is by my friend Nate Berkus (Well, maybe we aren't that close. I have actually never met him, but I have seen his show...from my couch.)
I didn't even realize that the focus is on the plant and not the plate. Oops. It's cute though, right?
You wanna talk about plate wall envy...feast your eyes...
I can't locate the correct link to this. Anyone know?
Hello gorgeous! What an impact! You could find a collection of plates in your own home, at thrift shops, or even from granny's attic. Talk about thrifty!

My last tip is to just have fun! This is in my dining room. Why a basket? It has lots of texture, it takes up a lot of space (and I have a lot of space for it to fill), and it was less than $10! Yep. #targetforthewin!
Basket bigger than my head for wall art. Gooooo team!
You think this is a little funky? Hold on to your britches...


Holy wicker Batman!
So, there is my thrifty Thursday. Go put some stuff on your walls friends!

*On a side note: My heart is about to burst with love and appreciation for all of your kind comments on here, and on FB. Yesterdays post was very personal, and I never expected the response that I was given. I certainly wasn't looking for affirmation, but you really filled my "love tank". Thank you thank you thank you! 

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

that girl


This is a very personal post. I promise to lighten it up tomorrow with Thrifty Thursday (great tips coming, by the way). 
Today, I am going to be very transparent. That's who I am. 
I am a closet introvert. You might never know it since I appear to never meet a stranger. I haven't always been like this. In school, I was the cheerleader and the athlete. I was in all sorts of clubs and was usually in charge of something. I didn't mind getting attention. I didn't go out of my way to get it, but it didn't bother me to be in front of a bleacher full of people screaming my head off and tumbling across the field until my head spun. Now, I prefer to be at home. I prefer to be alone. I cringe at the thought of going to parties or, basically, anywhere that involves being around lots of people. What changed? I ask myself that all the time. 
Look at the picture above. What do you see? Go ahead...scroll up, then back down.
I see someone who doesn't like to have her picture taken. Like, if I know a camera is coming out, I immediately need to "use the lady's room", or "need to pull something out of the oven". I see someone who cries when trying to find something to wear for church. I see someone who has put on a lot of weight since those cheerleading days. I see a big scar on my arm from a cooking accident. I see huge veins and puffy swollen hands. It is sad that when I see my own picture, I cringe. I delete almost every single one I can find. If something tragic happened to me, my kids would not have many photos or videos to remember me by. Ouch. It stings. 
Instead of seeing myself as overweight, scarred, tired, and grey-haired {oh yes, I said it}, what should I see? I should see strong arms and legs that carry children to bed when they fall asleep on the couch. I should see veins that are popping out because I have been working with my hands all day to make my house a home to my family. Instead of a bulging waistline, I should see a pretty little bow tied around the waist of a woman that carried and delivered 3 beautiful babies. I should see the beautiful apron that my grandmother made me with aging hands. I should see a wedding ring that I have had for 15 years from an amazing man that actually loves ME (grey hair and all). How does God feel when I judge myself against this world of lies, Photoshopped models, celebrities that lose all of their baby weight in 4 days, and every other unreasonable expectation that is thrust upon us every minute of every day. He would say to me, "Child of mine, you are beautiful. You are fearfully and wonderfully made. You with the grey hair, and the muffin top, and the big frown lines. You are the real deal. Yes YOU!"
Friends, how do you see yourself? Do you struggle with seeing your own beauty like I do, or do you bask in God's beautiful creation? Do you struggle with the younger version of yourself and wonder where she went, or do you see that as just a long ago part of the journey? Do you wonder why your husband still looks at you like you are the 22-year-old girl he met with a tiny waist and an audacious personality? Do you wonder where she went, or do you still feel like that girl? 
I want to be that girl again. I want to see myself as The Father sees me. I want to see myself as my husband sees me. I'm no longer that 16-year-old, or that 22-year-old. I am that 38 year old. But, that 38 year old is still pretty cool. At least, that is what my kids say. Well, maybe "cool" isn't the exact word that they use, but whatever. I have 3 healthy kids, a husband who loves me (grey hair and all), a cozy home, and goats. Y'all I have the cutest goats.

Blessings to y'all. You are beautiful. You matter. You are loved. You are appreciated. Oh, and grab some tissues and watch this. 

Wasn't that awesome? Moms rock! Even with our dirty shirts, unwaxed brows, grey hair, and sweatpants, we rock!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

thrifty thursday

I am excited to begin a weekly post on decorating, organizing, and creating beauty in your home on a budget. I think we all love a beautiful home. A beautiful home can either be a minimalist loft downtown, a sprawling estate in the countryside, an attic apartment, or anything in between.
When it comes to making your house and home, think about form and function. I believe that even the most beautiful homes must be functional.
I originally used this soap mold for a floral arrangement. After a while, I decided that the arrangement was dead to me. Kidding. I just wanted a change, and I can do that because you aren't the boss of me.
Anywho, this little gem sat atop my dresser collecting dust until inspiration struck. We always have our school supplies sitting out. I do my best to tuck them away each day, but there is just too much of it. So, I thought to myself, "Self, you can totally make that soap mold into a crayon holder".






Yes I know, these are not crayons..keep scrolling down.




Yet again...nary a crayon in sight...keep scrolling.

I initially wanted to organize our crayons in there (I told you I'd get there), but the holes were too deep. You could remedy that by using one of these






Okay, so I can't find the name for this thing. It is attached to a drill bit. My internet is acting like a toddler, and I don't have 12 lifetimes to wait for it to pull up. So, just take this picture with you to your local home improvement store and tell them to direct you to "this doohickey". They will be amazed at your vast knowledge of tools and will probably hand you a snazzy red (or orange) vest and immediately put you to work. 



to create circles in some cheap wood, stain them, then pop them in the bottom of each mold. I just decided to use our colored pencils instead, since they were longer and didn't disappear into the hole.

You could also use the mold for flowers (preserved hydrangeas would be perfect), or paintbrushes, or even craft supplies (think scissors, glue sticks, and gel pens).



So, what would you use it for? By all means, dazzle me with your brilliance!



Oh, and one last thing...the inventory is my shop is low. I have a few amazing pieces that need to be finished and/or listed. Hang in there...new stuff is coming.



Jenn

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

unintended uses

Do you ever look at people's homes and say, "How did they ever think of that?" I know I do. I am amazed at how people can repurpose things into...well, other things. Wow...sometimes I am astonished by my own vocabulary...

Some people are born with that vision, while others of us need a little inspiration. Sometimes, inspiration is born out of necessity. This is true of this light fixture...
Basket as a pendant...why not?
 I had been searching high & low for a plug-in light fixture to hang in my son and daughter's room. Yes, they are 7 and 8 and share a bedroom (and yes...it's as awesome and not messy as it sounds). My daughter is not a girly girl, and my son is all boy. Trying to decorate their room has been a struggle. Let me go ahead and just tell you that this room was JUST painted and needs to be painted again. That's all I'm going to say about that because painting is not my jam. Yes, I paint furniture for a living. Whatever.

Anyway, back to the fixture. I had been searching for one and had come up empty, and by empty I mean I couldn't find anything I liked for less than about $50. So, I snagged this basket from Homegoods. Yes, it is a basket! I had a cord set from Ikea ($8), and I think the basket was under $12. So, for about $20, I had the perfect (and dimmable...boom!) light fixture.

The next idea is an easy one. When it comes to sticking plants and flowers in things, nothing is off limits. I've turned old jelly jars, mason jars, teacups, and anything else that will hold water into a vase. Take this vintage water jug for example. It is probably one of my favorites everrrrrr. (It is for sale, but I secretly hope no one ever buys it...did I say that? Shhhh, don't tell my husband.)
Vintage polar water jug as a vase...yes ma'am!
When looking for shelving for my son and daughter's room, I didn't want a regular shelf. I am picky when it comes to shelving, but when I saw this old orphaned drawer at an antique shop, I knew it could be a unique and fun shelf. I love it all dressed up with a mirror, metal truck, old books, etc.), but I'll tell you a little secret. It usually holds junky trophies and medals. Not so cute, but I can dream it looks like this all the time. Maybe I can convince them that it looks better this way. I'll let you know how that works out.
An old random drawer as a shelf...yes I can! You aren't the boss of me...
Another idea that formed out of necessity is this soap dish that I use as a chalk holder in my kitchen. I picked this up at Magnolia in Waco, Texas (yes, Joanna and Chip Gaines' shop). I think I may or may not have mentioned that I met Chip at their shop. I also may or may not have mentioned that I am going to the Magnolia Fall Workshop this month. I may or may not be so excited that I think I want to breathe into a paper bag when I think about it...but I digress.

My husband actually picked it out for our bathroom, but when I got it home, it didn't look right. My countertops are a cream, and this is bright white. It just looked...
I love this so much...(from SNL)
I knew that I could use it for something else though. It didn't take long for me to realize that it was perfect to hold the chalk in my kitchen. It keeps it close, because I use my chalkboard every single day for school. (Note the chalk nubs. Love those kids and their, um, ways.)
Soap dish as a chalk holder...you betcha!
Chalk in a soap dish...makeup brushes in a trophy. That's how I roll. This is a piece from one of my favorite little shops in Canton, Texas (home of First Monday Trades Days). They have an online shop too, so check it out. It will make your heart burst into a million pieces.
"Old" trophies to hold make up brushes...whaaaaat?
So, don't be afraid to use things for a purpose they were never intended....but don't get carried away.
Mason jar specimens
You're welcome.


Saturday, September 20, 2014

how to decorate a fall mantle with a not-paper plate

My fall mantle (contrary to what my husband thought, I did not hang a paper plate above my mantle). Bless his heart.

Decorating your mantle for fall shouldn't be intimidating. I like to have one focal point on my mantle in the center. Some people like a mirror, or a piece of art, but I went out of the box a little bit this fall. I love the size and patina of this old breadboard. I originally put it up there without the plate, but it just felt like it was missing something. I considered a wreath, but with all of the other greenery, I felt as though it would be a little too "jungly". That is totally a decorating term. So, I "shopped my home" and found this beautiful plate from The Magnolia Market. My husband said that it looked like a paper plate on my Facebook page last night, so I thought I would clarify. I mean really babe? It's like he doesn't know me at all. I don't see it on their website anymore, so hopefully she will bring it back. I actually picked it up in her shop when I MET CHIP GAINES. Did I yell that? Sorry...it was quite a moment.  So, back to the not-paper plate. It is gorgeous, and it seemed to fill the dark void in the middle of the bread board perfectly. I considered painting it, like the one in my shop, and I still might, but for now, I love my not-paper plate.

Lantern from eons ago, faux fern from Hobby Lobby, pheasant feathers from my husband's bird hunt,  the books are an heirloom from my husband's family, grapevine (deconstructed wreath from Hobby Lobby), baby shoe mold from a local import shop, and an antler from my dad's hunt. My family...we hunt.
On the right side of the mantle, I propped up a lantern on some heirloom books from my husband's family. I usually keep them on the mantle in some way. They add height when I need them to (as with the lantern), or they are just a beautiful and heartfelt reminder of the importance of family.
After I got a little height from the lantern, I just started tucking things in to fill the space. I like a color story, or a theme (without being too "themey"...again, design term). I love nature inspired decor, so the antlers, feathers, and fern fronds fit perfectly. I also tucked in the most precious baby shoe form on the far right. It just makes me smile. They key is to just move stuff around. This didn't just come together without some serious rearranging. Get your anchor piece in place (mine is the breadboard with the not-paper plate), then go to the right and left, then fill in the middle.

Galvanized bucket from a local imports store, galvanized metal spheres (Hobby Lobby),  preserved floral and faux ferns (Hobby Lobby), and pheasant feathers (again, we hunt).
To add some balance to the left side, I pulled the greenery from another vase in our bedroom, and put in in the silver bucket. I popped in the feathers, but felt like it was missing something. Again, I just stepped back and looked at it. I either know it is exactly what I want, or that is it off somehow. Then, I just played. I stuck all kinds of things in that arrangement, from small pumpkins to artichokes, to dried hydrangeas. I landed on the orb. It just worked, and it brought in another silver element. I also put its older brother to the right.

Pheasant  from Homegoods a couple of years ago. 
They key to a really beautiful fall mantle is balance. Find something large for the middle, then fill in around it. You don't want too many tall things, or a bunch of little trinkets. You want they entire space to flow and to show things that you love and make your home feel like your home.
If all else fails, and you are sitting in the fetal position rocking back and forth from the stress, go thumb through your favorite home magazine, or search "fall mantle" on Pinterest. All of us need a little inspiration sometime.

Have a wonderful weekend!
Jenn

Friday, September 19, 2014

five quick fall decorating tips for your home

I flipping love fall. I love the coolness, the falling leaves, the snuggly blankets, the ambiance of the fireplace, and the coolness. I know I said "coolness" twice, but I live in Texas and it is still in the 90s here. 
I have 5 quick fall decoration tips for those of you that are still in the grips of the insane heat ready to get your fall on...
1. Real vs. Faux...I say go for both! I absolutely must have real pumpkins. Part of the fun of the season is picking out pumpkins with your family & friends! (Tip: Soak your pumpkins in 1 part bleach to 10 parts water for 10 minutes, rinse and dry, then rub & buff them with Vaseline...it will preserve them, and make them shine!) Mix them with some that you can reuse year after year.
Here is a great tutorial to turn those dollar store pumpkins into a beautiful show-stopping mantle. {post by Susie Harris}
2. Incorporate the colors in your home...I don't have many of the typical fall colors in my home. I do use some muted orange pumpkins, but I love white. Along with white pumpkins, I use lots of greenery (mostly preserved), and other things that coordinate with my decor that you might not normally see as "fall" items. Artichokes, succulents, dried hydrangeas, pheasant feathers...they all have such soft beautiful greens, grays, browns & purples.

3. It doesn't have to be expensive to make your home feel like fall...burn a pumpkin candle, cut clippings from your tree (magnolias are my favorite with their brown and green leaves), gather pinecones and dried fallen leaves from your own yard, or feathers from your chickens (I totally did that..some are really beautiful!!!). You can even hit up the dollar store and grab those cheesy fake pumpkins and give them a faux finish. I painted a whole slew of them last year with pretty blues, grays, and creams. They are my favorite! Don't forget thrift stores too (spray paint those ugly and outdated items a glossy white. You would be shocked at how chic a 70's mustard yellow and brown owl can look painted white and perched on your mantle). 
4. Keep it simple...natural elements are always beautiful. They make a home feel warm, and not too forced. Most importantly, many of them are free. Don't overdo it or you will feel like you are in your grandma's attic (no offense grandmas, we LOVE you).
simple white pumpkins on preserved moss in and antique sewing machine table drawer

5. Lastly, build a base for your Christmas decor with your fall decor...Using lots of greenery and white, I can easily slip in some red berries, or vintage glass ornaments (or plastic that look like glass, if you have rowdy kids like mine) into your arrangements. On the rustic dough bowl arrangement in my last post, I can easily take out the pumpkins, artichokes, and succulents, and pile up some ornaments, fake snowballs (I can't wait to show you how to make those), or pinecones in their place.
I will be posting some more tips this week, as well as more photos of my own home all dressed for fall.