Twenty Fourteen will arrive in just a few days... Are you ready for the fresh start and opportunity she will bring?     The New Year is like a beautiful blank book..... We will open the book.  Its pages are blank. We are going to put words on them ourselves. The book is called Opportunity and its first chapter is New Year's Day. ~Edith Lovejoy Pierce What words are you hoping to write in your new book? ~   ~   ~   ~   ~   ~   ~   ~   ~   ~   ~   ~   ~   ~   ~   ~   ~   ~   ~   ~   ~   ~   ~   ~   ~   ~   ~   ~   ~   ~   Catch up on all that's Extraordinary... this week at An … [Read more...]

Are you a fan of gold or silver or some other metal in home decor? If I choose to decorate with metallic elements at Christmas, I usually choose gold. Last year I stepped out of my 'gold box' and dipped my toe in some silver spray paint. The results were quite pleasing.     To see more of this silver table setting, click here.   Are you enjoying our 12 Days of Christmas series?   ~    ~    ~    ~   ~    ~    ~    ~    ~    ~    ~    ~   ~    ~    ~    ~    ~    ~    ~    ~   ~    ~    ~    ~   ~    ~    ~   Catch up on all that's … [Read more...]

Do you love attending home tours? When you go on a holiday home tour, what are you hoping to see? Have you attended any holiday home tours this year?   I bet you'd love to take a tour of my home.  We can't do that this year since everything I own is packed up in storage, but how about we push the button on the time machine and go back in time? Are you ready? Here's a link to some holiday fun at my last house. Be sure to 'sign the guest book' and let me know if you picked up any ideas or what you most liked.   Oh...you're wondering about the 12 Days of Christmas?   We're … [Read more...]

Are you one of those amazing people with your tree decorated and all your presents wrapped the first week of December? Or maybe you haven't even begun hanging wreaths or stringing lights. Whichever camp you're in....there is still plenty of time to make a few whimsical paperback book Christmas trees. They are really popular this year, too.     How do I know this? This post from last year is currently my number one, most viewed post, hands down. The good thing....I wrote a simple and easy to follow tutorial for creating your own amazing paperback book Christmas trees for you to … [Read more...]

  It was an Extraordinary week here on the blog. Here's a rundown of this week's posts... Vintage Flow Blue Thanksgiving Table Setting ::  The Week at a Glance 11/29 Last year's Thanksgiving table with some easy how-tos for creating place card holders and napkin rings.  Plus a quick review of the past week on the blog. Giving Thanks with a Grateful Heart :: Joy Day! Exploring this grateful heart "thing" and then counting our blessings from the week, together. Thanksgiving Tablescape :: Creatively Using Woodland Elements Who knew a Wood Duck could make such an interesting centerpiece? Taking … [Read more...]

Here we are....less than a week from Thanksgiving. Are you ready? Last year I was blessed to have one of my dearest friends drive 8 hours to come for Thanksgiving.  That was an extra special gift to me.     I wanted to make everything special and so I brought out my grandmother's flow blue china and created a very dressy Thanksgiving table setting.   And yes, I even blogged about it.  But, since the post came out just two days before Thanksgiving, you might have been too busy to even notice.  So...I thought I'd link to it again.  You just might get an idea or two or three.  When you pop … [Read more...]

Last year I wrote and shared a tutorial for making Christmas stockings from a sweater. I'm not sure that it caught the attention of very many people....on December 19th. Don't you think most everyone probably already had their stockings ready for Santa? It seems to me that it would be a lot more helpful to be inspired to try your hand at creating a sweater stocking for Christmas on November 19. Or even the November 16. So...that's what I am doing here...     This was a super easy project.  Just what I like. The most difficult part of the project was drawing out the shape of the … [Read more...]

Raise your hand if you enjoy fall nesting. Do you transition your fall decor from September through Thanksgiving?   Last year I had fun playing with my then, new-to-me sideboard. I thought it would be fun to take a look back to see the process I went through. This photo is the last iteration before Christmas.     Please pop over to the post and see where it all started, and the changes that led to this. While you're at it....please let me know which version you like best.   Where are you in the fall nesting process these days?  With Halloween behind us and Thanksgiving … [Read more...]

Thirty-One Days. It went by in a flash.  Some days. Other days, every tap on the keyboard was work. But, in the end...it was so worth it. 31 Extraordinary Days to Be... The main point of this series was to write for 31 days straight.  Faithfully. The other aspect was for me to write something meaningful and somehow meld something near and dear to my heart with what we usually do here on the blog.  It wasn't seamless.  It was meaningful. Each day I read comments that touched my heart.  I could/can hardly believe that what I tapped in touched your heart.  Yet...your words told me volumes. … [Read more...]

 Welcome to Day 12 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.       I coined the phrase "Why be ordinary when you can be extraordinary." in 1992.   Every time I shared about Longaberger at a home show I also shared that phrase.  Hundreds of ladies heard the phrase and many of my friends today still might reference it on occasion.     It … [Read more...]

 Welcome to Day 5 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.       Be Extraordinary! What does that mean? I think it means that neither of us settles for ho hum. I think it's breathing deeper.  Looking harder.  And living more fully.  For starters. This weekend...remember my motto: Why be ordinary when you can be extraordinary!  ~Diane … [Read more...]

What a great week! I've had so much fun sharing Fall Nesting ideas with you the past 12 days! We're nearing the close of our 14 day #InspiredFallNesting series, but, that doesn't mean the fun has to end.... I'm excited to announce the perfect Fall Giveaway! My sweet and inspiring friend, Denise wrote a terrific Kindle book: Autumn Bliss - Over 200 ways to celebrate the Fall Harvest Season through faith, home, and family a "Family Celebration series" It's filled with delicious recipes, memory-making activities to do with family and friends, autumn nesting and home decor ideas, and underlying it … [Read more...]

Apple picking. It's easy.  It's fun. Everyone can do it!   Even me!     Pick as many apples as you like. Make applesauce...apple crisp...apple pie. Or best of all...eat an apple from your hand.   When it comes to #InspiredFallNesting...apples say, "Fall!" Their aroma, their flavor, their crispness.  Mmmmm....   What's your favorite apple? What's your favorite apple food?   ~    ~    ~    ~   ~    ~    ~    ~    ~    ~    ~    ~   ~    ~    ~    ~    ~    ~    ~    ~   ~    ~    ~    ~   ~    ~    ~   Catch up on all that's … [Read more...]

Spending the day at the beach isn't always possible. So when you find yourself dreaming of splashing waves and sand between your toes.... Put together a beach vignette. Don't roll your eyes....it really is a sweet band-aid solution.  And it's super easy to do.     Have you ever noticed play sand for sale at the garden center? When you do...be sure to buy a bag.  Yes...it may be more than you need, but I'm pretty certain that once you have your bag of sand, you'll be glad you bought it (and it certainly won't break the bank).  Plus, you'll find lots of ways to use that sand.  In … [Read more...]

  When my world gets turned upside down, I love to go on a nature walk. This quote by Sara Moss-Wolfe says it all. Nature is my medicine.   Maybe you are like me.... Or, maybe another activity feeds your soul. When you're weary and worn and need to set things right, what do you do or where do you go?   ~    ~    ~    ~   ~    ~    ~    ~    ~    ~    ~    ~   ~    ~    ~    ~    ~    ~    ~    ~   ~    ~    ~    ~   ~    ~    ~   Catch up on all that's Extraordinary...   this week at An Extraordinary Day:     Here's a rundown of  the posts... … [Read more...]

  When I came across this character quote I immediately identified with it. "Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experiences of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, vision cleared, ambition inspired and success achieved."  - Helen Keller It might not seem helpful, nor is it pleasant to go through a patch of trying circumstances.  But somewhere in the midst, it does help me to know that something good will come of these trials.  That I will be a better person because of it. At the very least I believe I will be more compassionate of others suffering through … [Read more...]

  "Never lose an opportunity for seeing anything that is beautiful; For beauty is God's handwriting -- a wayside sacrament. Welcome it in every fair face, in every fair sky, in every fair flower, And thank God for it as a cup of His blessing." - Ralph Waldo Emerson   Have you taken time to go for a walk? Not the kind where you try to see how quickly you can get the miles in. But, the kind where you try to see how much beauty you can take in. I dare you to play "I Spy" with your walking partner.     I think Emerson had it right. Beauty is God's handwriting.   Just look at … [Read more...]