I absolutely LOVE using natural elements in my Christmas decorations.  And the best part of using nature's gifts... they're usually free! That's a double win in my book.  Before the leaves even started to fall this year, I knew I wanted to create something beautiful for Christmas with the plethora of oak leaves from the nearby woods and gold spray paint. But, what would that be? I finally settled on making an oak leaf Christmas wreath.     Who knew the humble leaf from a stately oak could become so classy with just a few spritzes of gold spray paint? I had a pretty good … [Read more...]

  Wouldn't you love to approach Christmas with a sense of peace and purpose and less craziness? In the midst of the festivities, busyness, and sensory overload, you really can discover peace and purpose this Christmas.     I've discovered that when I plan to focus on Christ's coming and Advent... the season leading up to Christmas where we intentionally remember what it was like for people thousands of years ago to anticipate the coming of Christ... my joy and delight in Christmas and God's GIFT to us gives me much peace and purpose in spite of all the craziness of the world … [Read more...]

  What's your most favorite time of the year? Mine is Christmas.  But not for all the reasons you might guess. The days leading to Christmas are when my creative juices are at an all-time high.  You can usually find a mess somewhere in my home because I'm creating a storm of home decor and handmade Christmas ornaments and gifts.  And when I'm creating... I couldn't be happier. Whether you're creative, crafty, or simply wannabe... you will want to grab your favorite drink, get your pinning finger ready, and get prepared to be inspired.... 31 times!   31 Easy Handmade Christmas Ornaments … [Read more...]

  Would you like to give your Christmas tree a nautical look? Since purchased coastal ornaments can be expensive, I made my own driftwood sailboat Christmas ornaments, and you can too, it's really quite easy.     But, first I want to say, "Welcome!" Today is Day 4 of the second year of 31 Days of Handmade Christmas Ornaments blog hop which features 30 extraordinary bloggers, plus me.  Each day you can expect to be inspired with all kinds of lovely Christmas ornaments.     Last year I returned to living on the Lake Michigan coastline after being away for … [Read more...]

  When I wasn't looking, the lampshade industry made a big change. You might not have noticed. I think it happened overnight.     You see, in the past, I would pick up decorator lampshades at some of my favorite decorating stores to replace the Plain Jane lampshades that came with my lamps.  It was so easy.  Pull the lampshade off the bulb and clip on a new shade.  No DIY skills needed.  I loved that I could get pillows and curtains and chair pads to match, too.  Yay for Waverly. And then things got tight financially and I made do... decorating with what I had in my last … [Read more...]

  Don't you love it when you drive down the road on a beautiful breezy day when the sun is shining bright and you see one of those bigger-than-life American flags waving out over the road with all its might?  Or how about passing a house with the front porch festooned with red, white, and blue bunting, and giant urns filled with red geraniums and lots of small American flags?  These are the kinds of sightings that make my all-American heart beat faster. I wanted to create that same kind of feeling for the Fourth of July with mason jars and flowers. And I'm pretty happy with the … [Read more...]

  Hello, friends!  Thanks for coming by! Happy First Day of Summer!!  I love that it's the longest day of the year!  Yay for sunshine and staying up late and doing all things summery.  On the other hand... tomorrow begins our descent into darkness.  I'm sorry for being so dismal... but the ride up to summer is slow and wonderful and the ride down is too much like being on the highest ever rollercoaster plummeting to fall.  I just want to savor this time... forever... and the strawberries, too.  Because yes, strawberry shortcake is my favorite food and there's nothing better than local berries.  Yum! Now … [Read more...]

    Are you getting too serious with your home decor? That's an honest question.  I know I'm guilty of being too serious... of working too hard at getting just the right furniture, window treatments, colors, style, texture, and art for our homes.  It's pretty serious business just choosing the "right" paint color. Today I'm going to nudge you to put a bit of whimsy in your home and, at least for summer, have fun with your home decor. Since it's summer and we often dream of spending time at the lake or ocean... I'm going to show you how to add a whimsical coastal touch, and some fun … [Read more...]

    Mother's Day comes at one of my most favorite times of the year... flower planting time. If I could give Mom the ultimate gift for her special day, I'd create an English cottage-style garden with a white picket fence filled with all her favorite pretty flowers. It would be so fun to design, shop for, and create. Around Mother's Day all the garden shops and greenhouses are brimming over with the most beautiful flowers and plants of the season.  All that goodness makes my heart swell with joy and anticipation.  I don't know that there is anything I like better than to go greenhouse … [Read more...]

  I've been impressed with many IKEA Rast Hacks floating around the internet. There are so many truly creative ideas. So when I was approached by Hickory Hardware I leaped at the opportunity to put my creativity to work. Shortly thereafter, an IKEA Rast dresser was sent to my home along with a $25 Visa gift card to purchase supplies for the hack.  Knobs for my Rast Hack were provided by Hickory Hardware. No other compensation was received.     A new baby girl in the family gave me the perfect excuse and idea for transforming this small (24 3/8 x 27 1/2") 3-drawer pine dresser into … [Read more...]

  You know how it goes... you're out shopping... on a hunt for something specific... and out of the blue... IT calls your name! How does IT even know your name? How does IT know you are a lover of all things earthy and natural? How does IT know you would LOVE a basket that can do double duty for St. Patrick's Day and Easter? Especially a lovely mossy Easter basket! How does that happen?         IT has been one busy but smart basket! I can't say that you'll have a basket speak to you like IT did me when you're out and about. But, on the … [Read more...]

  With Easter and Spring right around the corner, I wanted to put together a super fun little mason jar project that would perfect for the season. It also needed to be colorful and a bit whimsical. Because I'm always game to experiment with something new, I decided to try something I've never done before... Mod Podge fabric to glass. Oh my! I am sooo happy with the results!     Isn't this  Easter egg mason jar the cutest thing ever? I know you'll want to make one, or three, or ten.  Okay, maybe not ten.  They would be darling for your Easter decor, or as favors, or even … [Read more...]

Would you like a great Valentine gift idea that ISN'T red or pink? Skip the Red and Pink with this Bright Valentine Gift Idea I'm so excited to introduce you to my good blogging friend who's here today with an EXTRAORDINARY idea I know you'll love... Light Bulb Valentines Hi, Malia from Yesterday on Tuesday here. I am so excited that Diane is letting me share a project on her blog today! Since Valentine's Day is coming up quickly, I thought it would be fun to create some printable valentines and pair them with a small gift. Supplies: Printable Light Bulb Valentines, light bulb vases,* Sixlet … [Read more...]

  Valentine's Day... It seems people fall into three categories:  Love it. Indifferent. Hate it. Like most holidays... we bring baggage to the day that colors the way we see it.  The twist with Valentine's Day is that it's about love and romance.  And others say it's just a commercial holiday that puts pressure on us. Where do you fall on the Valentine's Day continuum? I decided that Valentine's Day is a great time to shower love and kindness on our friends and family. Those who are indifferent or hate the day... I've never seen them protest a thoughtful gift. And the lovers.... they eat up … [Read more...]

Today I'm back with an idea for more easy to make coastal Christmas decor. Previously I shared my coastal styled poinsettia pillow which was beautiful and simple to make.  When it comes to holiday decorating, I love handmade items, but I want to get them done in a snap and I want them to look fabulous.     All the criteria were met with this whimsical art, plus it was inexpensive, too! Lucy from Craftberry Bush heard her friends ask for coastal styled art and she nailed it with this fun and FREE watercolor printable. I downloaded mine to a memory stick and drove over to Staples. … [Read more...]

  This year I'm going coastal for Christmas. My focus is Simple to Make Coastal Christmas Decor.   For this year's fabulous Home for the Holidays Blog Tour, hosted by my amazing friend, Sondra, I decided to focus on a little corner of my home where we spend a lot of time. It's filled with handmade Christmas items like this poinsettia pillow I created with a coastal flair.  And I put together a super easy tutorial so you can make your own coastal Christmas poinsettia pillow, too.  If this is your first time here... Welcome!  Be sure to take a minute to introduce yourself and sign up to receive more … [Read more...]

  My desire to make coastal Advent candles comes from some very sweet childhood memories.  Every Christmas, my parents would take me to services at the Swedish Lutheran church.  A highlight for me was observing the Advent candle lighting. The Advent candles hung near the altar in a large circle of evergreen.  There were four red candles on the wreath with a large center white candle.  And though I really enjoyed singing the Christmas carols, I was mesmerized with that wreath. Once I was an adult I realized many families had Advent wreaths and candles in their home.  Many even participated in special … [Read more...]

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