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...]

  "I just want my child to be happy." Have you said that? I think it might be the number one wish for many parents. We're all looking for happiness.     We'll feel better or be happier... if we drop a few pounds. if I could get more traffic to the blog. if we would get the yard re-seeded this spring. if my kids would do better in _______. if I could get that merit raise. if my spouse would ________. These are some of the kinds of things that we think we need or at least want.  Surely they will bring us happiness.   I see you rolling your … [Read more...]

    This fall I gathered a plethora of acorns on my walks at the local park.  I've never seen such a variety of sizes and styles and browns in acorns.  Of course, I probably never took the time to look before.  This year in my quest to decorate on less than a dime, I turned to Mother Nature.  And oh my... did she provide an abundance. I wanted to create a centerpiece for my Thanksgiving table setting.  I had already made lovely oak leaf chargers, so I did what we all do when we want inspiration, I popped over to Pinterest.  While I was looking at pretty tablescapes, I saw an acorn basket … [Read more...]

  Do you remember those days as a child when you would collect fistfuls of autumn leaves? Maybe it was just last week that you found yourself picking up pretty leaves on your walk?   Please... "Pin" - "Tweet" - or "Share" this image!   I'm always on the look out for creating home decor with nature's bounty. It does seem that Mother Nature couldn't deliver any more leaves than she's been raining down on us the past few weeks. Actually, it's all been quite convenient for me. I have been planning an autumn tablescape but feeling like there was an important missing … [Read more...]

 Please … “Pin-it” – Share it on Facebook – Stumble it! My friend mentioned to me that there just had to be something she could do with the garbage can filled with acorns she had just raked up from her yard...aside from starting an oak forest.   You too? Recently, I shared the first of several upcoming ideas for creating home decor with acorns here.     Can you imagine living in a virtual oak forest and never having crafted anything with acorns?  [guilty] This year...I'm making up for lost time.  There's a county park within walking distance and I've filled up a couple of bags of … [Read more...]

Last year I went hunting for acorns.  I walked for what seemed like miles through the woods that rimmed the cornfield, eyes to the ground, carefully searching for those little nuts with cute hats.  After expending all that effort in the hunt, I walked home with a small handful.  That's all! This year I had success and found all the acorns I ever wanted!    Please … “Pin-it” – Share it on Facebook – Stumble it!   You know how you hear that there will be a bad winter when there are lots of acorns? Last winter was the worst I've known, and there were hardly any acorns in my neck of the … [Read more...]

  Great thoughts speak only to the thoughtful mind, but great actions speak to all mankind. Theodore Roosevelt   Have your heard the expression talk is cheap? I think my dad used that expression when I was growing up.   When I look around my world...the people who are loving, serving, and caring for others at some personal sacrifice are the people who inspire me.  Great thoughts are good... but actions speak louder than words.     My heart overflows with gratitude today for the benefits I have received because of the sacrifice of a friend.  Several … [Read more...]

It's Earth Day! As a gardener and nature lover, Earth Day has mixed meanings to me.  I appreciate the beauty of nature, the first shoots of green in the spring, and the harvest of flowers and fruits as the seasons turn. One of my favorite things is to spend time at the beach and enjoy the sand, sunshine, crashing or lapping waves, and the warm breeze. And anytime of the year, I am game for a hike, or even a walk along a rural roadside. Today, we took a walk down a nearby road.  There's a small boat launch onto the river along that road and we strolled on in there to get a closer look at the now receding … [Read more...]

I love this Thoreau quote on winter... “One must maintain a little bit of summer, even in the middle of winter.” ~Henry David Thoreau     This week...my bit of summer has been bluebirds.....perched high up on the tree in front of my window. Those round feathery puffs of blue and orange are a true delight while the branches sway and the snow drives horizontal. They are the true blue promise of spring.   It may be February, but I'm counting the days 'til spring. You too?   Thank you for stopping by today. I appreciate you and your sweet comments make my … [Read more...]

Bloggy friends... There's still time to link your extraordinary posts at our Project Inspire{d} Link Party.  I can't wait to see your projects!     I'm in the midst of several projects and posts and nothing is finished. A deadline is looming ahead. We're traveling this weekend and I will be "offline" so that means I need to accomplish much. If you pray, I would appreciate your prayers. Prayers to accomplish much....all that I need to...nothing more. Prayers for sleep.  And wisdom.  And traveling mercies.  And discernment.  And dry roads. Prayers for like-mindedness … [Read more...]

It's cold here in the Great Lakes. I woke up to a fresh blanket of sparkly snow and a big fat zero on the thermometer this morning.     It was a gloriously beautiful morning with deep blue skies and sunshine casting dark purple shadows between the rows of trees.     As I ate my blueberry banana pancakes this morning, I noticed  a large flock of birds flying around the backyard.  When I got up and went to the slider, I looked up to see a host of Cedar Wax Wings* flitting around in the tops of the maple tree, their breasts a gorgeous gold, illuminated by the rising … [Read more...]

  I played with power tools this weekend. Just two.  But, one, in particular, got me totally excited. I may or may not have posted something about it on Facebook.     One tool was a power miter saw.  That wasn't a big deal.  I used to own one until I allowed some other people to use it and it came back to me in pieces.  That's a story for another day.  Maybe. I've always wanted to use a nail gun.  I can't tell you how fun it was.  It made quick work of assembling the birch branches.  But, you can make a wreath like this without power tools. So just for fun, I put together a simple … [Read more...]

  I confess I enjoy decorating my whole house for Christmas.  Nothing elaborate, just a small woodland touch here and there.     Do you decorate your whole house for Christmas? For quite a few years I hosted a Longaberger open house the first Saturday of December.  Because I was a crazy lady and because I wanted customers to see my baskets and pottery in use around the house, I decorated every room of my home.  I will confess...it was fun.   And a lot of work.  In addition to that we used to host either a dinner or an open house or both for volunteers from church as well. Our … [Read more...]

This year I have enjoyed playing with nature's elements. You might remember my pampas grass wreath here, my grapevine wreath decorated with privet berries and colorful leaves here, or my oak leaf branches here. These are all items that get pruned, raked up, composted, or burned.  But for me, they have been a treasure for creating woodland home decor.     Winterberry is my new favorite for Christmas decor. Actually it isn't a new favorite, it's just that Michigan has more wetlands than either New York or Pennsylvania where I lived for the past 13 years, and it's been that long since … [Read more...]

Are you getting excited for Thanksgiving? Usually, we gather with friends and family we rarely see and enjoy those foods we only eat at Thanksgiving. If I'm hosting the meal, I put almost as much effort into creating a beautiful Thanksgiving Tablescape as I do the meal.     I have to admit, for me it isn't all about the food.  Though I have shared a few recipes that would be a great addition to your Thanksgiving menu.  My Far East Celery is crunchy and light and makes a perfect accompaniment to turkey and stuffing.  Or a true fall dish that you can enjoy as a salad or dessert, Crunchy … [Read more...]

It's confession time. Do you ever let your feathers get ruffled by something someone has done or said? When was the last time your feathers were ruffled?     I looked out my window the other day to see a gathering of bluebirds around the bluebird house at the end of the driveway.  It's seems to be rather late in the season for birds to be checking out houses.  But, that's exactly what these birds appeared to be doing.  In and out they went. With hope in my heart, I grabbed the camera, just knowing that today, I would finally be able to snap some shots.  And yes!  I got a few. It was … [Read more...]

Welcome to Day 19 of 31 Extraordinary Days to Be...  Or...simply: Be... Together, we will learn to Be… to live fully and beautifully in our “skin” and in our homes and beyond.  If you missed The Introduction or you'd like to follow the entire series, you can find each post listed here.     What is it that makes your heart sing?   I love going for a walk in the woods, especially in the fall, camera in hand. There is so much beauty to be seen.  And captured through the camera's lens.     It isn't the walk that makes my heart sing.  It's the stopping. Maybe … [Read more...]

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