What's your favorite way to decorate for the Fourth of July? Me?  I love to use American flags.  Lots of flags. The more stars and stripes the better.     Here's a little Fourth of July spectacular from the archives to inspire your holiday decorating.   Speaking of the Fourth of July.... Last weekend I shared some really Extraordinary Inspiration for decorating and entertaining for the 4th of July or any patriotic holiday. What a great round-up of festive ideas from last week's link party!! There's more.... Click here if you missed it!   This is one fun … [Read more...]

Is chalkboard art still popular? Or has it already become yesterday's news?   Seriously....I have no idea.  But, sometimes what I was in love with last year needs to stay in last year. Then again....sometimes I don't care.  Actually most of the time I don't care. If I love it...whatever "it" is...."it" hangs around until I get tired of "it." Yeah...pretty much forever. [wink]   Last summer I had a bazillion projects going on at one time. And while I was supposed to be packing for a move, I finished up my laundry room with more than just this laundry room chalkboard … [Read more...]

Mason jars are a staple of summer entertaining and decor.  Sometime ago, I was blessed with many authentic vintage Ball jars and use them as flower vases and hurricanes for tea candles all summer long.  Are Mason jars a part of your summer, too?   Last summer, I decided to dress up a Mason jar with pleated book page collars.  So many people commented that they wanted to know how to make them, that I put together a tutorial.  On the chance that you, too, might enjoy dressing up your Mason jars.... here's the tutorial.   And now...on to our party!   Mary Beth from Cupcakes and … [Read more...]

Raise your hand if you're just now getting started on figuring out your Easter table and menu. It's okay.   Today I have a few last minute ideas for your Easter table.     Generally in the blogging world these things are done in advance simply because we need time to process and post our projects.  This week I've been helping my friend put together a lovely Easter table.  We finished it on Friday.  Because my friend will be working over Easter weekend, it needed to be done ahead.  And it worked out great for me, because that meant I was able to do a photo shoot yesterday.  But, it also means … [Read more...]

Today feels like spring!  Finally! We haven't managed to keep the sun shining...but I can't complain when it's 60 degrees!! I even got a chance to get outside and play in the yard a bit.     I thought it would be fun today to revisit a popular post from last year.... This shabby spring window sings spring and the little birdies make me happy.   Right now, my window is slightly open and I can hear birdsong.  It's the most wonderful thing.  After a long winter, it's music to my ears!!   Here's a glimpse of what was extraordinary on the blog this past week.... The Promise of … [Read more...]

If you've been hanging out here for any amount of time, you've come to know that I believe that it's the little things that make life extraordinary.     There is absolutely no need to have pretty embellished valentine towels in your powder room or bath. Truly, we don't need fancy towels.   What if your friend gives you a bit of fabric? What if ivory hand towels the precise color of the fabric are discontinued and on sale for just $2.09 each? What would you do?  Get out the scissors and sewing machine and embellish a few towels for Valentine's Day? Seems like a good plan … [Read more...]

Recently I was invited to share a creative crafts tutorial over at It's Overflowing.  My mind was spinning with so many possibilities, but finally I settled on these Easy DIY Dangling Beaded Heart Ornaments.  I know, that's a mouthful!     As you know, I always enjoy sharing projects that are low or no cost and require just a few items.  I love these dangling beaded heart ornaments because they are a great example of using whatever you have on hand and turning it into something truly extraordinary. Here, the are making an appearance on my valentine mantel.   To see how I used them in … [Read more...]

Raise your hand if you have decorated your valentine mantel or some area of your house only to have members of your household tell you it's pretty ordinary? Did you see my hand go up? Yup.  It did. That's what they said in not so many words. It's not a good thing when your blog name includes the word, "extraordinary."     Remember my winter birch branch mantel with the hand cut book page snowflakes? I liked that "mantelscape."  It was different.  And it seems that since it's being featured a few places, some of you like it too. Why not tweak it just a bit for Valentine's … [Read more...]

The Valentine bug has hit me.  My head has been whirling with projects. This little project from last year is one that I enjoyed way beyond Valentine's Day.  It just made my heart smile.  So, I thought I'd bring it out from the archives.  And, since this little blog has grown a lot since last year, you probably missed it the first time around.  It's super easy and you can follow the framed dimensional heart tutorial here.     And now on to our Extraordinary Link Party....   Mary Beth from Cupcakes and Crinoline    ~   Malia from Yesterday on Tuesday Stephanie Chan from The Silly … [Read more...]

There's something exciting about the New Year and a fresh start. So many new things await us. Recently my e-mail box had a very special invitation from Mary Beth of Cupcakes and Crinoline, to be a part of the hosting team for Project Inspire{d}.  I've been linking up my projects since Mary Beth birthed this link party and through that initial invitation we became blogging friends.  So of course I said, "Yes!"   I'm so blessed to join the gals who host Project Inspire{d} and hope you will plan to meet me here each week.   If you're a blogger....bring your most inspiring projects to the party … [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...]

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...]

Welcome to Day 17 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.   My good friend often says to me, "Diane, you think too much." Have you been guilty of thinking too much?   We are creative people. Yes, even you.   The problem is that creativity gets hindered when we think too much. And that gives way to this exclamation, "I'm not … [Read more...]

Do you have those weeks...months...when everything seems to fly by and you feel like every day is a catch-up day? Yeah.  That's me. My connection to the blogging world began in the fall several years ago. I followed all the link parties...wondered what "Mr. Linky" was...and consumed tons of #InspiringFallIdeas and drooled over all the amazing fall mantels. When I finally had my own blog, one thing I wanted to do for sure was to link up to my favorite fall link parties.     Sometimes life throws curve balls and it's challenging to get back on track.  (At least no one can accuse me of … [Read more...]

  What is it about the colors of fall that make my heart sing?     Rusty oranges.  I think they just might have been my dad's favorite.     Golden yellows.  Rudbeckia and Goldenrod are two of my favorites. I couldn't believe there were still Rudbeckia, often known as black-eyed Susans, still blooming in the garden.     Greens.  The backdrop for making the colors of fall even more dramatic.     Taupe and every shade of brown.  Who doesn't like acorns and pinecones.     Table for four, … [Read more...]

Almost every where we look this time of year, nature has something amazing for us to see. Our world is a tapestry of color and texture.     I couldn't agree more with this quote: Of all the seasons, autumn offers the most to man and requires the least of him. ~Hal Borland What a feast for our eyes and our senses! And what a feast I had yesterday!! I know I talked about getting out in that world and bringing the outdoors in.  Though I went out collecting yesterday, my next step is to assemble my finds and see if I can artfully photograph the beauties.   You'll just have to wait a bit … [Read more...]

Who loves to peruse the magazine section at the local Barnes & Noble? Me!!! They have such an amazing array of magazines on home decor. You'll find all kinds of decorating styles.... cottage, country, modern, traditional, romantic, and so on. What is your style?     When I got married I began decorating my home in an early American style with a nod toward primitive. We even built a 1620's style New England saltbox. I started out as a purist. But, then I inherited my mother's parents' bedroom furniture.  Two dressers and a sleigh bed.  No...they weren't early American … [Read more...]