Living on the edge of the woods with all that natural beauty inspires me in my Christmas decorating.  This year I purchased a skinny tree and filled it with rustic farmhouse Christmas tree decorations I made.  It's easy and inexpensive to create ornaments using the bounty of nature.   Remember the 31 Days of Handmade Christmas Ornaments that we were so inspired by back in October?  We enjoyed it so much that my friend, Mary Beth and I invited the group back for our First Annual Extraordinary Christmas Trees Tour.  Not everyone could join us, but we have 13 gals for a fabulous 3-Day line … [Read more...]

  Need a coffee table but don't have one? This DIY modern farmhouse tray is a cheap and easy solution with style.   In my home, I'm the beneficiary of a nightly ritual that will make most wives jealous...     My husband prepares a cup of cocoa or chai for me every evening before bedtime. He's been doing this for most of our married life and I love it.  It's a very special way to end the evening. Since we've been living in this postage stamp of an apartment my choice is to sit at the table or on my little loveseat.  Usually, I choose the loveseat.  But, it's risky for … [Read more...]

  Learn how to create a budget Thanksgiving table setting with dollar store items and more that is simple and elegant, plus a fun DIY pumpkin centerpiece project.   It was just the two of us that Thanksgiving. As usual, since we moved to the Southtowns of Buffalo, there was snow and lots of it.     There was no way I was going to get in the car and drive 8 hours for dinner.  So I set the table as elegantly as possible and roasted a turkey. Tim and I were having a blast in the kitchen together, making a week's worth of stuffing, potatoes, Far East Celery, two kinds of … [Read more...]

  Is there anything better than Christmas decor that's free and natural?  I think not!     That's why I'm excited to share with you my simple rustic handmade Christmas ornaments made from birch logs and pine cones.   But, before I do, if you’re here from Cupcakes and Crinoline (Didn't Mary Beth create the cutest retro vintage ornament ever?), WELCOME!  This is the 4th stop on our third annual 31 Day Handmade Christmas Ornaments Blog Hop. Just like each year past, you can expect to be inspired by all kinds of lovely Christmas ornaments created by 30 extraordinary bloggers, … [Read more...]

  This has been the summer of flowers.     It all started when my little grocery store started carrying locally grown flowers in the spring.  I almost did flips when I saw ranunculus. In the most beautiful colors, ever.  So, of course, I purchased some, and arranged them, and took their picture... over and over again. As spring became summer,  there was a constant flow of flowers each week into my store. And when I could, I purchased a bouquet and arranged it, and too more pictures.  For the past month, there's been a steady flow of sunflowers in every … [Read more...]

  Easy tutorial and TIPS for making and styling a modern farmhouse 3 tiered tray. And more farmhouse tray inspiration from 11 of my favorite blogging friends!     It was Tuesday... I dropped Tim off at work and then swung around to Walmart for a quick kombucha run, jumping back on the road for another busy day.  And then it happened! My car steered itself into a parking lot... and right into the first parking slot... smack dab in front of the Goodwill store. I looked over and a lady was just unlocking the door. There I was... the first customer of the day with the whole store … [Read more...]

  If you'd like to celebrate someone with a special gift but have no idea what to do... I've got a creative and thoughtful gift option for you.     Every Tuesday we get together with some other couples for spiritual discussion and prayer.  We enjoy the time so much, it's the highlight of our week. The daughter of one of the couples graduated from high school this spring.  She didn't want an open house, but we wanted to do something to celebrate her milestone.  Tim thought we should get some flowers. Flowers are nice... but they don't have any staying power much beyond a week. … [Read more...]

  I think we take often take ourselves and our decorating too seriously.     We have a budget and a vision in mind and we put our blinders on and focus on getting "that look." Does that sound familiar to you? I can be guilty of that for sure. Because everything I'm doing is "new" these days, I am striving to look at my home decor more purposefully.  Maybe in an upcoming post, I will delve further into that mindset, but today... Let's talk about the floor cloth I created for my balcony garden.     As you know, I am crazy about my beautiful outdoor space … [Read more...]

  Have you ever had an idea to create something and it came out even better than you hoped? This simple water fountain I created for my balcony garden is the best thing ever!  I cannot tell you how much joy it brings me to have it bubbling and gurgling all day and evening. In the process of creating a garden for my balcony, I decided that it would be fun to have a water feature.  I had no idea we would enjoy it as much as we do.     Here's How I Constructed a Simple Container Fountain   With a few ideas in mind, I decided to go online and do a little research on DIY … [Read more...]

  There's an old saying, "A bird in hand is worth two in the bush." Though we could discuss that proverb and the pros and cons of risk-taking, when it comes to thrifting and DIYing, that's really true.  When you find something you think you can work with, even if you have no idea how you'll DIY it... get it.  Who knows if you'll find another one later.     One day I hit the local Goodwill shop and found a few items for a change.  I have a blogging friend who comes home with all kinds of fabulous finds for next to nothing from her Goodwill store in the Windy City.  Here in my … [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...]

  You went to the garden center... picked out some pretty plants with dreams of having a window box garden like those on Fixer Upper... but really you have no idea what to do.  Don't worry... you've come to the right spot to learn...   What You Need to Know to Plant a Beautiful Window Box     My goal today is to show you how you too, can create a beautiful magazine-worthy window box Joanna Gaines would love.   This is a full-blown tutorial filled with planting tips!!     You Can Plant a Beautiful Window Box!   To make it easy I'll be … [Read more...]

  Are you ready for a DIY that's easy and perfect for spring?   I put together this easy spring dogwood wreath... in just thirty minutes for just three dollars... and you can make one too.   On Friday night my friend and I took a drive to the largest greenhouse I've ever seen.  On the way home, we passed countless dogwood trees just beginning to bloom in the woods lining both sides of the highway.  It was spectacular. Spring is here in full force and the dogwoods are blooming and the dogwood stems I purchased for just $3 each at Walmart were waiting in my studio closet anxious … [Read more...]

  Sigh! I just wasted two hours of a perfect day.     The kind of day you wait for because it's sunny and energizing and everything you need to get a lot of work cranked out. You should have seen my goals for the day. I even gave myself permission to take care of all the after breakfast chores at lunchtime today, just so I could knock out my work. But, it didn't happen. Instead, I allowed myself to easily be distracted.       Once I get focused on a project or my day, I can accomplish a huge amount of work. But if I get distracted... … [Read more...]

    There you are... standing in line at the grocery store. There they are... beautiful blossoms beckoning you to take them home. You hear their whispers, "I'm so pretty, your house needs me." "You know you want me... take me home with you." But, you remember that you have no idea how to make a tulip arrangement.  And you tell yourself, "Flower arranging is not for the faint of heart." Pshaw! You may never have successfully arranged flowers before in your life.  But TODAY!  Today you will make a stunning floral centerpiece and it will be the FIRST of many, many more to … [Read more...]

  Do you dread having to host a holiday meal like Easter brunch? One of my favorite things to do is to open my home to guests and serve them a delicious meal at a thoughtfully decorated table. It's an expression of my love and the creativity comes straight from my heart. Because I know everyone doesn't share my confidence, I can't wait to show you how to.... Create an Elegant Easter Tablescape on a Small Budget. You really can be frugal and fabulous!   Everything I share is easy to do... I'm not one for time-consuming and complicated projects. If you peruse Pinterest you'll see … [Read more...]

  I'm not much for pink.  Are you?  Except for pink tulips... oh. my. goodness! They totally make me weak in the knees. Today I want to show you how to Turn a Plain Pot of Tulips into a Beautiful Easter Basket Garden.     I LOVE pink tulips and my favorites are the May blooming pink Lily Flowering Tulips. I had huge swaths of them planted at my first home only to have them bloom and die in a day because of an unexpected 80-degree day in early May. Disappointing for sure, but it didn't stop my love affair with them. Pink Lily Flowering Tulips are not found in the stores, ever. … [Read more...]