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.

busy as a bee

I have been so incredibly busy! The shop is open and I'm barely finding the time to actually work, but I'm steadily plodding. I have several furniture pieces for sale, several left in the shop to work on, and some smaller items that I am trying to get completed this weekend. Here is what is available...click on the picture to be sent directly to the shop.
Hand-painted drop leaf table

Personalized hand-painted chalkboard with YOUR TEAM & COLORS!

antique children's chair

Chippendale-style double pedestal dining table with leaf 

Personalized hand-painted breadboard

antique dining table (would be a great kitchen island)

Hand-painted chalkboard (approximately 11" x 14") $25

This particular chalkboard is SOLD, but I will restock another soon. If you would like a personalized wood-slice chalkboard, please e-mail me at linenandgrey@gmail.com
After this weekend, I will have at a beautiful armoire/wardrobe in the shop, as well as some fall signs.

Now, off to work :)


Tuesday, August 26, 2014

shop is open

My shop is open, although kind of bare for now. I am still working like crazy (well, as crazy as I can) to get things finished up and posted. Keep checking back to see what comes up in the next week. I have some fun things on their way!

click on picture above to go to my site