Monday, October 3, 2022

Autumn Decorating- Kitchen & Dining Room 2022

Well! It is October already! 

How did that happen? I was ready for fall this year (believe it or not). By the second week in September I had all my summer stuff packed away and all my fall stuff down and sorted into what I planned to use for this year. 

Tip: You don't have to use everything you have every year. 

Tip: If you've grown tired of something used in previous years leave it packed away. If you find that you haven't used it for several consecutive years (3 is a good number) only then considering passing it on to someone else. Often times I find a new way to use something old or find that I do miss it after not seeing it for a while. 

Notice I do not have any of the blue pumpkins here that I used last year. They were packed back away for another time in the future. 

I love the designer blogs and instagram accounts that show all white pumpkins and accessories. Everything looks so tidy and pretty. I just can't bring myself to make that leap. There are certain pieces that MUST be used so a little color does factor in this year. 

I started in the kitchen with the beverage center where my floating shelf is.
Everything comes down, that shelf and counter top get a good cleaning. Some of the staples will stay like the cream and sugar, coffee filters, coffee and tea pots. 

The fireplace was next. I started with the leaves, chalkboard and pumpkins.

Add some twinkle lights while I am thinking about what to put on the chalkboard...

Getting closer. At this point I started looking for ideas online. And, I decided to change the logs in the fireplace. 

Tip: Take pictures along the way. Often times the mistakes or things that aren't working will show up better in the photo than while you're standing there looking at it.

Notice that the order of the pumpkins changed a bit as did the candles. When I looked at the photo I could see what looked a bit off to me and adjusted. The fire looks a lot better, I think. 
I freehanded that and the thankful piece referencing photos I had taken or found online.

On the dining table I opted for my woven jute runner and an old breadboard that has been used in several rooms in my home over the years. This year I used it to corral a small gathering of pumpkins and candles.

Chunky orange candles were added after looking at it for a while. 

One of my grandmother's paintings was added to the front of the plate rack. 

Ready for entertaining! Well, almost. I moved on to the living room next but I will save that for the next time you stop by. I am so glad you dropped in today. Hope you found some inspiration.

Happy Fall! 
Happy Decorating! 

Linking up to these parties: 


Friday, September 23, 2022

Floating Shelf DIY

Something is always changing in my home. Since we completed our kitchen renovation in 2014 I have struggled with the open shelves. 

First, they were next to the window. Then, I moved them to the adjacent wall. I took no pictures of that! It didn't last long until....

We painted that wall with chalk paint and removed the brackets. (They were only ornamental.) 

And still I was not thrilled.

I  finally got Mister on board to build a floating shelf. I have to draw it out because he needs a visual. Believe it or not my chicken scratch makes sense to him! 

He built the bracket that will support the shelf. It is anchored into the wall. This shelf will wrap around in an L-shape. 

Next up we placed the top and bottom boards to conceal the structural pieces. We used these clamps to get it set before any screws were put in.

Even though I can't see the top of the shelf or under it (unless I look up under) I do not want screw heads showing so Mister used these.

Poor picture but you get the idea.

The face of the shelf, which is really the part that is seen, is the big deal here for me. I don't want to see end cuts or raw edges which means mitered cuts for Mister. Mitered cuts on an old house are always a challenge but since we did make this kitchen from scratch we had an easier time. Again, I don't want to see screws or nails so Mister glued the face pieces on and clamped them in place. The mitered edges were glued together. 

We used painters tape to keep them drawn into place along with the clamps.

It was allowed to dry for 48 hours. Excessive? Maybe but I don't want it popping off. 
Meanwhile I found a combination of stains to match the original wood beam in the kitchen.

And the chalkboard wall got painted. Once that was dry I taped off around the shelf to protect the walls and stained the shelf. After that dried I sealed it. 

I allowed the stain and sealer to dry for over a week. I didn't want anything getting stuck to the top or messing up the finish.

We did this project during the pandemic. It's first season was Autumn.

Here is how it was decorated then. Ready for tea, coffee or a glass of wine with friends and family. Then it got the Christmas touch. 

So, what do you think? Is there a floating shelf in your future? Let me know if you decide to give it try.


Thank you for spending time with me today. 
I hope you found some ideas you can use in your own home.

Tuesday, December 21, 2021

Christmas 2021

                                                                 Merry Christmas 

Friends, it has definitely been another strange year and still nobody seems to know where we are heading or how to fix things. Many of us find ourselves feeling overwhelmed by hopelessness, despair and sadness for the loss of what used to be. How appropriate that in the middle of all these things that are out of my control the Lord brings my eyes to focus on the important things; my family, my home, my friends and the most importantly... himself. 

With those things in mind I pressed on and readied our home for the celebration of the birth of Christ Jesus. 

Do you choose a theme every year? I chose my theme for 2021 at the end of 2020. I do that so that I can take advantage of after-Christmas sales and clearances. Last year I was feeling nostalgic and this year even more so. I decided to use my collection of nutcrackers; some old, some new. In November I dug out my nutcrackers and plaid & red velvet ribbon and then Mister and I promptly proceeded to get sick.... like cancel Thanksgiving sick and everything was on hold for 2 whole weeks!
 It took the wind out of our sails but we pressed on.

With age I have come to understand the sentiment behind the words of my mother and grandmother and probably most women with adult children
What I truly want for Christmas isn't from a store. I don't care if there aren't presents under the tree for me. I just want my children around me and my husband to curl up next to. I can't wish the world back to how I used to see it. But how it is now should not (will not) rob me of my joy. My joy can't be picked out from a catalog or purchased with a credit card. 

My joy, not silly and goofy slap-stick happiness, but a peace-filled and abiding joy that does not disappoint comes from knowing the One we are preparing to celebrate. 

"So, who is this One and why do we celebrate him?", you ask?
 I wrote this a few years ago and was so thankful when it popped up in my memories this week.

 I pray it blesses you.  

Christmas is about Jesus, the Christ of God.

He did not come wrapped in beautiful wrapping or decorated in the finest array. He was wrapped in rags; swaddling clothes. He did not lay his tiny, magnificent head on a soft bed in a king's nursery but rather in a trough that was meant to feed animals. There was no pomp initiated by the rulers of the day to welcome this prophesied Savior. There was only a young mother and her husband that knew he was not the father of this baby..... and all the heavenly host! It was they who preached to the shepherds in the fields. The shepherds rushed to see this thing the angels had declared to them. They saw the Promise of the Father! They saw, with eyes of faith, the One who would secure for them a righteousness that could never be earned-the perfection that God, the Father, requires for entrance into the gates of heaven.
Wouldn't it be so sweet if that were the whole of the story?
But, Scripture tells us more. We are told that not only can we not keep the law of God perfectly but that we don't even desire fact, we break the laws of God regularly and willfully and that is called sin. Scripture also tells us the wages of sin is death and that EVERYONE has sinned. Death is not merely a physical death, which is the evidence of our sin, but also a spiritual death that separates us from the Almighty-without exception. We are bankrupt and without hope.
But God....being great in mercy sent his Son, in the form of man, to live according to all the law of God-perfectly. And here is the hard thing to remember: that baby lying in a manger, represented so sweetly in my nativity...he came to die ... not because of sin he committed but because of mine and yours. The Father poured out his wrath for our sin on his own Son! The death of Jesus satisfied the penalty for the sin of all those who would believe in him. And we know that it was an acceptable sacrifice because God, the Father raised him from the dead.

That is still not enough, though.

Remember, we have to be perfect to see heaven. A paid debt does not wipe away the fact that we had a debt or that I continue to break God's laws thus accumulating more debt. And here is the "ah-ha" that brought me a peace that knows no limits, remember the perfect life Jesus lived? He gave that to me. He wrapped me in his righteousness and presents me to the Father as his bride, clothed in white, without spot or wrinkle or blemish and I am accepted.
That is Christmas. Maybe that is why I am so enamored with the idea of white and shiny Christmas decor. Maybe that is why I would like it to look perfect and peaceful.... and maybe it is such an unattainable goal for me because that perfection has already been accomplished. It did not come wrapped in gold and silver, velvet or silk....just rags and immeasurable love.

Merry Christmas