Category Archives: Decor

What a Difference a Weekend Makes

I think calling myself out her on the blog was motivating. This weekend I got in gear and did what decorating we plan to do this year. I think it turned out lovely, just enough. My biggest anxiety this year was about the fact that I will have to take it all down and pack it up in a few short weeks. I know, lame. I will say I’ve heard lots of others say they just can’t get in the spirit this year. Don’t know what’s up with that. Either way, I think I really need to sort through all my decorations and reorganize things before I put it away this year. Ugh. I don’t enjoy that part.

But I’m just not going to think about that right now. I’m going to enjoy for now.

Baskets of ornaments are always festive.


I didn’t pull out any of our traditional ornaments for the tree. We bought some new teal balls and pulled the purple ones out of the ornament bin. I wanted garland, but wasn’t finding anything I liked. Until I stumbled on this.


I just love it! It’s actually yarn with pom poms! How fun is that? Simple and a little funky.

I have lots of nativities. I only put out three this year. This traditional one.


This one is the my oldest. It’s been through a lot. And I love it.


I worked a little magic on the frame from this post. I think it turned out pretty cute.


I really love the aqua/teal. It makes me happy.


And of course, I did some fun things on the mantel!


I love the one red ornament.


The only down side….I have this to clean up!


The whole dining room table covered in stuff. Ugh! The remnants of my creativity.

And I might have a slight addiction to ribbon…


There are worse things to be addicted to:).



Filed under Creativity, Decor, Holidays

A Pinterest Christmas

Are you having a Pinterest Christmas? You know, where you get fabulous ideas and implement them all and they turn out exactly like the picture and the angels sing the hallelujah chorus right there in your house? Here’s my Pinterest Christmas.

A beautiful decoration for the front porch!

 Whip up some ribbon trees for the sideboard.

Ribbon Trees

Throw a beautiful printable in a lovely frame.

Free Chalkboard Christmas Printables

Add a little pretty to the mantel.

how to decorate a mantel

Ahh, the beauty of Christmas so elegantly displayed in my home. Warms the heart doesn’t it?

It would.

If I had done any of those things!


Not one.

Those are some really talented ladies! You should click on the pictures and visit their blogs:).

But this is my handiwork this year.

My tree. It’s looked like this for over  a week.

The mantel. I think I captured the minimalist movement quite well don’t you?


How about my dining room table centerpiece? You’re so jealous!


I did manage to change out the fabric on my board {thanks Mom for helping me pick it out!}


I do love the fabric and it’s a perfect shade of red – to match my walls!


I have gathered some things. I’m working on changing the colors for this year. When I painted my dining room/kitchen an orangey-red, I wasn’t thinking about Christmas. But I really love this teal/aqua color and would like to incorporate it. So that’s the direction I’m going. But I’m just not getting a vision. And so, this is what I have.


Do you ever feel overwhelmed by Pinterest? By Christmas? By peer pressure? Even grown ups have peer pressure. It’s called “keeping up with the Jones’!”

Guess I better get going. I’ve got a lot of work to do to get this house in shape for Christmas!


Filed under Creativity, Decor, Holidays

Graduation Decorating Highlights

Most of the graduation festivities are over (not all!) and I’ve had a little time to decompress. I thought this would be a good time to share some of the creative things we did. I really made a concerted effort to rein in all the ideas I had gathered through the years and spied on Pinterest. There are so many ideas out there – really great ideas! Things I would love to do. But a) I work full-time and have a limited amount of time to create, b) I have boys who aren’t into frills, and c) its high school graduation, not a wedding or coronation of the queen! I’m really happy with the way things went. I think it was successful for several reasons.

  1. I started early.  Of course, I was working off of a spreadsheet shared by a friend. I started looking at this last August thinking about what elements we wanted to include. What was important to me and to Oldest Son. Based on this list, I began tackling pieces right away. I ordered a book of his senior pictures last fall when I had a coupon. I order poster prints months before graduation. Those pieces really helped lessen the stress as graduation got closer.
  2. I picked the most impactful ideas. Like I said, there are so many excellent ideas out there that you really have to pick and choose. If I had a girl, it might have been a different story, but having boys it was easy to eliminate some ideas right away. I tried to focus in on things that would be simple and have a big impact. And of course, things that could be tweaked and used again in a couple of years:).
  3. I let go of needing to have everything and have it be perfect. It became very easy to remember that this was really about Oldest Son and acknowledging this milestone in his life. It wasn’t about me or my home. Keeping that in mind helped a lot. What would help mark this milestone for him?
  4. I asked for help. I asked friends to make food, asked my niece to do the slide show, Mom to help with bunting, etc. I know how much I enjoy helping others with an event like this and I chose to give my friends that opportunity too. (I hope they saw it that way anyway:)!) It lightened my load and let others feel a part of the day.

They seem like simple enough ideas, but for a somewhat controlling, perfectionist who has been known to take on way more than she can accomplish it was a challenge.

Now for some eye candy, here are a few of the ideas we implemented.

Orange snacks – the school colors are orange and black and this is what Oldest Son chose for his reception as well. So we filled containers with orange snacks – circus peanuts, candy corn, cheese popcorn, cheese crackers, etc. It was fun, colorful and easy to do. (Pardon the picture, it doesn’t do justice and makes me realize I really should have ironed that tablecloth, but it’s what I have:).)

Bunting – I’ve seen this all over blogland and love it! To keep it from getting too girly, I went with lots of black. I even found fabric with music on it -which is totally him. It’s super simple to make and I got a lot of satisfaction from tearing the fabric:). And bonus – maybe I can use it to decorate for Halloween too!

Wreath – for the front door. I wanted something to welcome people and have seen fabric wrapped wreathes. I took this idea and translated it to graduation. The letters are wooden letters I painted to give it some punch. The fabrics are left from the bunting. Super easy and a great touch of color.

Collage posters – I created these collages in Picasa then ordered poster prints from Shutterfly. They were super simple to do and made a great impact. Plus, I didn’t have the pressure to finish his scrapbook! (See, I really am letting go!)


Photo guest book – I did this through Shutterfly as well – with a coupon. I pulled together some of our favorite pictures from different aspects of his life – band, scouts, family, youth group, etc. Then we put out colorful sharpies and let people sign the book. An easy, fun way to mark who attended.


Mantle – I was excited to decorate my new mantel for the occasion too! I chose to include some things I plan on keeping up there as well as some things just for graduation. I like the way it turned out.

So there you have it. The highlights of our graduation decorating. It was fun, simple and easy to manage. Just what I needed!

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Filed under Creativity, Decor, Senior Year


I’ve been drooling over the mantels I’ve seen on Pinterest. I just love the options they give for decorating. There are so many cute ideas and I wanted one of my own. We have a fire-place in the family room that I love, but we really don’t hang out there very often. I needed a place for seasonal decor in my dining room. Two needs (ok, wants); one solution. I thought about searching flea markets for the perfect one – an old one to repurpose. But, then graduation was fast approaching and I wanted it done before that. I knew who to call.

I sent 3 pictures and some dimensions to my dad along with a request from his only daughter. Please, Dad, can you make me one of these…before graduation?

He had a few questions.

And then when they came to visit, I had a mantel! I just needed to do the finish paint. Dad had put a base coat of flat latex in dark brown over the whole mantel. Unfortunately, I don’t have any pictures of it in process or painted brown. I was, after all, trying to complete a ridiculously long to-do-before-graduation list. I didn’t even take any pictures in the process. I did the painting between finishing the concrete patio and laying the sod. I had a narrow window of time to get it done. I painted it on Thursday and the party was Saturday! Thank goodness, the technique I found on Pinterest worked BEAUTIFULLY!

Thanks to Ann at Make the Best of Things for the great information and ideas on painting with Elmer’s glue. It was so fun to do! I tried it out first on a stool I had base painted forever ago. I laid the glue on thick, really thick, then painted over it. I’m glad I tried it out on this first, because I didn’t like the effect I got. It was more streaky than crackled. I read through Ann’s notes again and decided to water the glue down for a second try. That was the key!

For my finished product I watered the glue down – about 2 parts glue to 1 part water – and brushed that on the mantel a section at a time. I did the top, then the crown moulding, then the straight parts, then the bottom. I was working outside and it was a pretty windy day. I pretty much put the paint over the glue as soon as I finished the glue coat. Then I watched it work. And it worked great! As the paint and glue dry, it crackles and looks aged.

I couldn’t be happier with the finished product! It is exactly what I pictured. How often does that happen!! And it was hung on the wall and decorated before the graduation party! Yay!


Filed under Creativity, Decor, Home Improvement

Trash to Treasure

I have a project to share! I’m so excited. I started and finished this in one evening! If you know me, you know that’s a big deal. I’m not great at finishing things. But this was so easy and turned out so cute! So here it is.

I found this shade at the thrift store and actually liked it. But when I looked a little closer I realized there were a couple of tears in it. Not big, but definitely there.

{BTW I’m still getting used to my new dining room color. I need to find the right setting on my camera so everything a photograph isn’t red – especially the people!}

I decided to rehab the shade:). To get strated I tore that paper off. This was fun – I kind of like being destructive:)!

This left me with a wire frame. I’d seen a shade on Whatever that I really liked. So that was my inspiration. She had a straight shade though and mine is tapered so I had to get creative. I started by tearing 1 1/2 inches wide strips from each cutting of fabric. I had 5 coordinating fabrics, but you could probably do it with all one or fewer patterns. I just like the variety.


I wrapped the top and bottom wires with the same fabric. It took one strip the width of the bolt for the bottom, and a little less for the top.

I picked a spot to start and wrapped the piece back over itself to hold it. I wrapped until the whole ring was covered and put a dab of glue on the end to hold it in place.

Then I took the other strips and started wrapping them around the shade. I didn’t take pictures of the wrapping part – I was too excited to see how it turned out. Because the shade was tapered, I looped the fabric around every other vertical. If you look closely you can see how one piece just goes over the vertical and the other wraps around. I did this for every vertical wire and each different fabric. When I got all the way around, I tied a simple knot.

Then the next row I used a different fabric and started one vertical support to the right. So when I looped it around every other one, they ended up alternating. This helps keep it from sliding up the frame since it’s a tapered frame.

I used the fabrics in a random way because I didn’t want it to look to matchy-matchy. When I thought I was done, I stepped back to take a look and decided it needed a couple more rows. You could see too much bulb through the shade. I think you could do this as tight or loose as you want.

I think I ended up with 12 rows of fabric strips. I also took a couple of strips and tied them to the lamp itself. I thought it needed a little something to finish it off.

And here it is with the light on.

I absolutely love it! It makes me happy every time I look at it. It has received mixed reviews from the family. Not surprising considering I live with 4 guys! I think it will go on my desk at work. I’m gearing up for an office makeover…more to come!

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Filed under Creativity, Decor

A Very Good Day

I spent a fabulous day today with great friends. There is something about hanging out with people who have known you for years.

These women are just that. We met as Moms of young children with weekends full of soccer games, scout outings, and practices. Spending our time together at Children’s Ministry Committee meetings, dinner group and church events.

And now life has evolved. Our kids are growing up, heading off to college and managing their own schedules. Which means we have more freedom! Freedom to plan girls weekends and shopping days. And it’s wonderful!

We have such different styles and tastes. But we know what each other will be drawn to. We can see something and know – that’s her! She will love that! We know who the cheapskate in the group is {hint: she’s a blogger who loves photography}. The one who will always say, “I wouldn’t pay that much.” We know who has the basement full of “consumables” – enough craft supplies to last nearly a lifetime. And who needs time to process and loves a second opinion before she buys. We know who hates clutter and gets a little crazed by too many hours at a flea market. We let each other know when to  buy and when to pass it up and we know that answer is different for each of us.

We have such different personalities, different tastes. But I can always count on these women to be there for me. We support, encourage and problem solve with each other.  They are women who understand the worries, frustrations and fears I have as a Mom. Women who support me, encourage me and check me. They will let me know when I am out of line and when I need to cut myself some slack. I can share challenges my boys are facing and they will listen without judging. They will share their experience and offer suggestions. And then they will support the decision I make.

Like my new hot pink mirror!

A very good day indeed.


Filed under Creativity, Decor, Lifestyle

Projects in the Works

I’ve made some good thrift store finds. Some things I’m super excited about upcycling. My family doesn’t love my finds. They just don’t see the potential. Bummer. But the good news is they like the finished products. My challenge is just to get to the finished product part. I’ve written before about not being a closer. Its not my strong suit, but small projects are a lot easier to finish. And I love seeing my progress.

So here’s the first one. Picked it up at Goodwill.

For $7.50!

A new coffee table for my living room. Ya, I know its kind of ugly, and a little chipped up. I don’t know if you can tell, but the door is missing on one side.

The other side has a little door that opens. It’s going away. I have a plan for it too.

There is glass in each end. That will stay. And the glass on the top isn’t even chipped! That never happens. I’m trying some things with it – think frosted glass and decoupage! It’s about half done now…I’ll show you pictures when its done:).

The other find I just picked up on my lunch hour yesterday at a thrift store near the office. It was an excellent find! And I’m so excited to get to work on it. But, I’m going to wait until the coffee table is done. I have to. Or the family might give me the boot!

So here it is. A chair with really cool lines and lots of character.

Don’t like the paint. Or the fabric.

But that can all be changed. And it will. Soon! It has great bones. It just needs some TLC.

Can’t wait to show you the after pics! Oh, and I paid a whopping $2.00 for the chair. Score!

There’s nothing like a good thrift store find with great bones and tons of potential to get the creative juices flowing.

What brings out your creativity?

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Filed under Creativity, Decor