I am such a jar and bottle-saver! I save glass jars and bottles of all shapes, sizes, and colors. I was starting to get quite a collection and running out of space to put them, so I thought I’d make … Continue reading
Dogwood trees are starting to bloom where I live and their blooms are so pretty! The Redbud trees are also blooming and their rich color looks so striking against the other trees that are just starting to produce small leaves. I decided … Continue reading
I had to make a quick trip to the mall and ended up staying longer than I intended because I was admiring some pretty Spring and Easter tableware and decor at two of my favorite stores, Pottery Barn and Williams-Sonoma! Teal, light and bright greens, and nature-inspired neutrals seem to be big color themes for the spring season. These happen to be some of my favorite colors–no wonder I was so drawn to the store displays! :) (Photos shown in this post are from Pottery Barn and Williams-Sonoma)
At Pottery Barn, I loved all the teal in the table settings displayed right by the front entrance. The tableware looked great with the natural color and texture of woven place mats, along with some burlap and twine accents–so springy and outdoorsy! The inside store display I saw looked very much like the set-up in the photo above, featured on the Pottery Barn website.
And I thought these bunny cupcake stands were sweet–they also work great for mini pies and tarts or cookies!
I also liked these nature-inspired basket fillers…
…perfect for creating your own woodland baskets!
The teal-green-neutral combination also looked great in other home accessories…
…like this brightly-patterned pillow.
I thought this embroidered butterfly pillow had a great spring feel, too.
And I loved all the glassware in spring colors, especially the teal!
…and they have a new Botanical Citrus Collection which looks very springy.
You can always find fun baking accessories there, like this Buttercup Cakelet Pan. How cute is that?
And I saw these cookies later on their website–some great Easter cookie decorating inspiration!
Do you have Spring Fever like I do? Have you found any inspiring Easter and Spring decorating, entertaining, or gift ideas out there?
I’m linking this to Fiesta Friday at The Novice Gardener.
I’ve become a mason jar-saver, and I have a small but growing collection of different shapes and sizes that have held jams, jellies, pickles, sauces, and other homemade foods that friends have given me. So I was glad to find a helpful guide at MidwestLiving.com on 15 Ways to Use Mason Jars. Then I found more ideas at a few other sites. These are all great ideas because they’re so simple!
Here are a few from Midwest Living that I plan on using…
Silverware holders–use each jar to hold a napkin and “silverware setting for one”–the jar can also be used by your guest as a drinking glass. Or organize spoons, forks, and knives in three different jars for a buffet-style arrangement.
Or you may just want to use the jars for serving your beverages in–they’re great for outdoor parties or picnics because they’re so sturdy!
Use as containers for forcing bulbs. I love this idea!
Make an easy centerpiece–just float a pretty blossom in a jar filled with water.
Other Midwest Living ideas include:
Using jars to store dry foods like oatmeal and other grains, rice, lentils, dried fruit, sugar, flour, salt, dried beans, pasta, etc. They come in handy if you buy bulk foods. Add your own homemade labels.
Keep your desk organized–use jars for holding pens, pencils, markers, paint brushes, and scissors.
I found more uses at a site called Care2. They list 50 uses for mason jars! These are the ideas from their list that I use or will use most:
- Storing cookies
- Storing homemade mixes
- Use for “recipe in a jar” gifts
- Storing saved seeds
- Use as containers for homemade soy candles
- Holding sour dough starters
- Storing homemade cleaners for the home (make sure they’re clearly labeled!)
- Storing cotton balls on the bathroom counter
- Storing bulk or homemade shampoo
- Storing bath salts
- Storing small office supplies
- Making sun tea
- Use as vases for fresh flowers
- Use as containers for homemade candy gifts
- Storing sewing notions-buttons and other small items
- Use as containers for loose change
These uses are from a site called Keeper of the Home. Here are some ideas I like from her list of 31 uses:
- Storing leftovers in the refrigerator–soups, stews, cooked rice, veggies–pretty much any kind of food that will fit in the jar (if you need extra lids, you can purchase some like these).
- Store leftover smoothies so you can drink later in the day or take to work.
- Keep track of how much water you’re drinking–if you drink from a quart-size jar, you can easily keep track of how much water you’re drinking each day.
- Sprouting seeds or grains (you can buy these special lids if you want).
- Storing homemade juice or iced tea in the refrigerator.
- Keeping herbs fresh in the refrigerator (like green onions, cilantro, etc.) by filling a jar 3/4 full of water, then placing your bunch of fresh herbs in it-the herbs stay fresh longer than if put in the produce drawer.
- Storing homemade spice mixes–use the 1/2 pint or smaller jars for this.
- Mixing and storing homemade salad dressings, marinades, and other sauces.
- Mixing and storing homemade syrups.
And then I found a few more ideas at Yahoo Voices:
- Start plant cuttings in jars filled with water (I do this a lot!)
- To be more eco-friendly, use mason jars instead of plastic containers for your lunch–they’re a great container for soups and salads.
So all together, that’s 33 different ways to use mason jars–plus all the other ideas at those sites that I didn’t mention!
Do you have a collection of mason jars? What different ways do you like to use them?
It never fails…when Christmas is over, I come across ideas I wish I had seen earlier in the season so I could have tried them out. Well, I’m saving these ideas for next Christmas! Maybe you’ll find something here you’ll want to try next year, too!
From My Picture-Perfect Life–Top photo: display ornaments in a variety of glass containers or covered plates or stands. Even larger vases work great! Bottom photo: Silver and gold are a great combination–add fullness to a silvery Christmas tree with decorative gold stems.
From A Fanciful Diversion–a Shabby Chic lantern filled with a collection of snowy, glittery treasures.
My artistic friend Eileen had a similar idea this Christmas, making such a pretty arrangement, above, on her table!
From Carpe Diem–Glttery gold ornaments paired with rustic and natural elements–and more lanterns surrounding the bottom of the tree.
Love this outdoor lantern on a vintage sled–from Self Architecture. Gives any porch a warm and welcoming look!
A great way to add a touch of Christmas to bedrooms–hang stockings at the foot of the bed and add a Christmas pillow on top! From Passion Decor.
What a cozy entryway from Texstil Design!
Cute little Christmas trees add a nice touch on tables indoors or out. From Jaynes Cozy Corner.
A glowing, golden vintage village warms up any room. From Old, but gold.
Well, we will sure be prepared for next Christmas, won’t we? :) Have you collected some ideas you are saving for next Christmas?
As the autumn days get shorter, you may be looking for different ways to add warmth and light to your fall decor. These ideas would fit right in! Like this one from iVillage–tie fall leaves around the outside of glass jars with twine and–to be on the safe side–add a battery-powered imitation votive candle or tea light inside the jar–that way you have “candlelight” that is safe as well as pretty!
Here’s a similar idea with a fall flower tucked into the twine wrapped around the glass jar. You could also use artificial autumn leaves and flowers–that way you could use your autumn votive holder from year to year.
This is a fun candle centerpiece idea! Miniature Indian corn is arranged around a pillar candle and kept in place with twine. Make sure you keep your bow small and away from the area of the candle flame.
Or, instead of Indian corn, surround your candles with cinnamon sticks!
Turn pumpkins and apples into natural holders for your candles!
Or use hanging lanterns for a warm, homey, rustic touch.
What favorite ways do you have of adding soft, restful lights to your fall decor?
I saw some very clever DIY decor projects at Country Living recently. They look pretty easy, too. There are lots of ideas, and I’m sharing a few of my favorites! Visit CountryLiving.com for complete directions.
If you like quilts, here’s a framed quilt design made out of paper! It’s a great way to use your paper scraps from other craft projects. This design was made from four different patterned papers, and they’re just glued onto an illustration board with a glue stick. Add a frame and you have a great quilt wall hanging with no sewing involved!
I thought these Lampshade Tables were a great way to upcycle old lampshades–maybe you have some in your attic you can upcycle! Or maybe you’ll find a really unique shade to use from a flea market. All you need is a little spray paint for the metal lampshade wire, the right type of glue, and a round-cut piece of glass for the top!
I love this pillow made from an old sweater–another great upcycling idea! It sounds pretty easy to make this–just cut two square pieces from an old sweater and sew together–you’ll need a pillow form, too. The flower is a bit more involved, but it’s a really cute touch!
Hope these ideas give you some upcycling inspiration! Are you working on any fun DIY projects of your own?
I have always loved seashells and going to the beach! They add such a light summery touch to rooms! But I also like displaying shells year round, to help remind me of summer and the good times I had at the beach. So I keep my eyes open for new ways to do that. I found some ideas at several different sites that I really liked–If you went on a beach vacation this summer and collected some shells, maybe you’ll see some ideas here that will work in your home!
Take a look at the many containers you can display shells in…
Above, from Pinterest, a large round basket…
Stoneware and pottery ideas from Stone Gable…
Glass container ideas, like this fishbowl, from Coastal Living, with a candle nestled into some white sand, shells, and sea glass…
Or a rimmed glass cake plate shown on Roses and Rust…
Or crystal goblets and vases, for an elegant look, featured in House & Home…
Simple vintage glass jars seen on Better Homes and Gardens always make great decorative containers…
As well as pretty bottles, from Country Living, filled with sand and shells from your vacation and labeled if you like, so you’ll remember what beach they’re from!
Here’s a very creative way to display shells–fill a bird bath and cover with glass for a striking side table, from Completely Coastal.
And a very practical way to use shells–as a soap dish! From Martha Stewart.
These shells glued to candle jars are really pretty, shown on homedit.
Other ways to use shells in decorating…I love this wreath featured on Coastal Style…
And this shell garland from Better Homes and Gardens–the wreath and garland make great decorations year round as well as for Christmas!
That’s a pretty good start for some shell decor tips!
Are you a shell collector? How do you display shells in your home?
I took these flower pictures awhile ago…the daughter of a friend of mine had pretty bouquets in mason jars displayed at her wedding reception and I couldn’t resist taking pictures of one of them. As I was going through my photos last month, I came across these pictures and was going to post them, since it was June…because June is the most popular wedding month, right?
Well, I discovered that is changing…July has been the most popular wedding month in recent years, followed by August, September and October. So it seemed appropriate to post these pictures in July!
As I was thinking about some of the weddings I’ve been to, I remembered some songs I really liked that were sung at them.
None of these songs I’m mentioning are very new, but they are beautiful songs–maybe you’ll remember some of these. Click on the song titles if you want to listen to them.
What are some of your favorite wedding songs? What songs were sung at your wedding?
If you’re wanting to do some redecorating in your home this spring, you may want to check out Simple Sustainable Style, a Country Living Book by designer Randy Florke. It’s filled with lots of wonderful ideas and tips! The author shows you how to “decorate with style and thrift, transforming the ordinary room into into a place of extraordinary personal charm.” Florke mixes in fabulous finds from flea markets and thrift stores in his decorating. The book is wonderfully written and filled with beautiful full-color photos as well. It’s a book you’ll really want to sit down with!
I have a copy of this book to give away, courtesy of Sterling Publishing, so you can leave a comment for a chance to win it! See the end of this post for details!
Here are just some of Florke’s many helpful tips found throughout the book:
For the Kitchen:
- Liberate cabinets of doors to expose china collections.
- Display humble foodstuffs…if they have colorful or retro labels.
- Choose an accent color for a white kitchen and display it in seat cushions, throw rugs, pottery, or flowers.
For the Living Room:
- Resist buying pieces from all one period or the room will appear either “store bought” or fussy. Mixing pieces you love, of varying periods, will put a stamp of originality–YOURS– on the room.
- Use furniture where you need it, not where it’s “supposed” to be. Place a hutch, sideboard, or dresser in the living room if the look works for you.
- Splurge, if you can, on one truly great piece for the living room. It might be that dreamed-of sofa or amazing pedestal table; live with special things.
- Look for interesting lamp bases at thrift stores and flea markets, where many are for sale. Take the base along with you to purchase its shade, which should cover the hardware but not the decorative base.
For the Dining Room:
- Even if you don’t have a room relegated to dining, create a dining niche in the living room corner or in an entryway alcove.
- Home Comforts for a Dining Room: The biggest table possible. comfortable chairs aplenty, loads of fresh flowers, a sideboard (of any make) to display crystal and silver, candles and flattering light, pale walls and important art, some aromatic, homemade dish, lovingly served.
- Resist the urge to place flowers in an ordinary vase. Think enameled coffeepots, colorfully labeled cans, old milk bottles, or even olive oil tins. Place glass jars inside tin or metal containers to keep the rust away.
- Chandeliers were made for dining rooms. Don’t be afraid to mix ornate fixtures with simple surroundings or vice versa.
For the Bedroom:
- Home Comforts for a Bedroom: A comfortable bed, fresh bedclothes of natural fibers, calm, restful art, good reading light, handy bedside table, ample storage.
- One of the little things that make a room memorable is a bed lavished in wonderful linens. Layers of color and texture, and natural fibers create a beautiful, luxurious bed.
- Mix lightly used fabrics with contemporary purchases and layer interesting textures of chenille, linen, wool, felt, and lace.
- A decorative bedstead anchors a room and imparts a sense of timelessness and stability.
- The accompanying (bedside) table should be almost as tall as the top of the mattress.
For the Porch:
- Choose wrought-iron tables with glass surfaces, three-legged side tables, and plenty of Adirondack-style chairs. A porch is not a porch without a rocking chair…
- Metal furnishings work well on a porch, be they 1940s lawn chairs, more industrial-type stools, or even medical cabinets acting as storage or side tables.
- Try not to crowd too many pieces on the porch…
- Line up cast–concrete flower boxes along the perimeter of the porch and fill them seasonally with peonies, daisies, or swaths of evergreen.
There are also decorating ideas for the bathroom, entry way, staircase, and other transitional spaces, along with tips on decorating the exterior of the home and making smart flea market purchases.
GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED Comment 12–Isabel–is the winner…Congratulations!
Now for the giveaway…if you’d like to enter to win a copy of Simple Sustainable Style, leave a comment on this blog post between now and Saturday, February 23, at midnight (CST)–the random drawing will be made from the comments on this post only! The winner will be chosen randomly via Random.org and announced on Sunday, February 24. Winner will be notified via email (if winner does not respond in 3 days, I’ll do another drawing).
First entry: Leave a comment on this post telling me telling me which room in your home you love best.
Bonus entry: If you are a new or existing follower or subscriber, you can leave one extra comment telling me the way (or ways) you are following.
The giveaway is open to residents of the continental U.S. and Canada.
Hope you find these tips helpful! Are you decorating any rooms in your home now?
I found some great ideas at Better Homes and Gardens for adding shimmer and shine to your holiday decorating with ornaments! If you want to add a special touch to your Christmas table or just make your living room a little more festive when guests arrive, there are lots of easy ways to do that! You’ll find 24 ideas in all at the site, and here are some of my favorites (all photos shown are from BHG.com)…
Make an ornament napkin ring using a wide and narrow ribbon…loosely tie a wide ribbon around a rolled napkin, slide a narrow ribbon through the wide knot (then pull the ends of the wide ribbon to tighten the knot), and thread small ornaments onto each end of the narrow ribbon, tying ornaments in place with knots. Even just using a wide satin ribbon by itself tied around the rolled napkin in a knot or bow would be pretty!
Or, just use one ornament, tied around a rolled napkin with shimmery ribbon…and tie the ends in a pretty bow!
A beautiful centerpiece can be created with ornaments and candles. Just arrange varying heights of pillar candles on a round tray and fill in with a variety of shimmery ornaments. To fill in the smaller spaces, you can even add some glitzy and inexpensive costume jewelry.
Another centerpiece idea…fill a large glass vase with shiny and shimmery ornaments of varying sizes. Any large glass vase will work!
Fill a vase with natural winter greenery and shiny ornaments. If you want your display to last longer, add some water to the lower third of the vase and keep the ornaments nearer to the top.
Using an ornament as a place card holder is a great idea, too! It also doubles as a special gift your guests can take home!
Make an ornament swag, tying ornaments onto a long piece of wide satin ribbon. I have a cabinet in my living room I could do this on!
These next few ideas were in another section of the BHG website and I loved these, too! Hang ornaments from a chandelier or light fixture with ornament hooks…such an easy idea, and so pretty!
Or fill a serving tray with ornaments…how easy is that?
Mix things up by displaying ornaments with fruit, nuts, berries, leaves, or other natural decorative items in a fancy footed bowl.
And here are a few other shimmery ideas that you can add ornaments to, if you like…
Add some bling to your decor with a glistening wreath…just use a hot glue gun to attach sparkling buttons to a thin 9″ wreath form and tie a silver bow at the top. Attach a small ornament or two to the bow for extra bling!
A mirror display or centerpiece using candles, greenery, and crystal or glass also adds a shimmery, glimmery touch to your table. Some ornaments added in would be pretty, too.
Do you have creative ways of your own for decorating with ornaments?
Here’s a pretty way to fold your napkins for your holiday table or other special occasion! This Bow Fold idea is from a book called Top 100 Step-by-Step Napkin Folds by Denise Vivaldo, a seasoned food professional who has catered more than 10,000 parties. A creatively folded napkin adds such a special touch to your table setting and it’s easy to do, with the step-by-step instructions and photos that you’ll find in this book. I received a review copy of this book and it has a nice hardcover format with a concealed wire binding which lies flat when it’s open, making it easy to look at the photos and instructions while you’re trying out different folds.
I decided to try the Bow Fold, since we’re in the midst of the holidays and the bow shape reminds me of bows on Christmas presents! But it also works great for a special tea, ladies’ brunch, bridal shower, or baby shower.
Here’s the fold in a few easy steps–this is my condensed version…the book has much more detail! (Follow each row of photos from left to right).
1. You can use a plain or patterned napkin 2. Lay it out so reverse side is facing up 3. Fold napkin in half, forming a triangle 4. Fold left point over about halfway 5. Fold right edge back, cover the right tip slightly. 6. Fold right edge over left edge. 7. Fold bottom point over at an upward angle 8. Fold top point over at a downward angle 9. Pinch the center of the folded napkin together with one hand and, holding the napkin ring in the other hand… 10. …slide it through the ring 10. Pull tails of bow downward, forming a more distinct bow shape 11. Turn bow over… 12. …and arrange it on a plate!
I’m a very novice napkin folder, so if I can do this, you can, too! :) There are 99 other ideas in the book, so you have plenty of folds to choose from!
Here’s a sample spread from the book:
Have fun with your napkin folding! Do you have a favorite napkin fold you like to use?
Linked to Create With Joy.
I found some great ideas on getting organized from MarthaStewart.com. There are a multitude of ideas on her site, and these are some of my favorites (all photos on this post are from MarthaStewart.com).
Leaf Notions for Sewing Tools: A leaf needle book, pincushion, and scissors holder…so cute! These would make a nice gift, too, for any sewers that you know!
Shoe and Boot Tray: With the upcoming rainy and cooler weather, this boot tray would be really handy to keep by your door. Fill it with stones so the excess rain (or snow and ice during winter) will drain to the bottom.
HOME OFFICE IDEAS: I liked this Bookcase Desk, which is really great if you have limited space for your home office. A door laid over the bookcases makes a great desktop, and if you want to protect the surface you can cover the door with a large piece of glass or clear acrylic cut to size.
I’ve used Envelope Pockets in some of my notebooks and journals for quite awhile…it’s such a handy way of organizing clippings, photos, business cards, receipts, and other small papers that can otherwise get easily lost. You can attach the top part of the envelope by moistening the glue on the flap and folding back to attach to the inside of your notebook cover (I also add some double-stick tape to the top center flap to make it extra secure). Use double-stick tape on the bottom corners of the envelope to attach them, too.
Make a Framed Bulletin Board by covering fiberboard with pretty fabric, place in a new or vintage frame, and hang with a wide, sturdy ribbon.
If you just don’t have room for a desk, you can create this Closet Office to help keep you organized. You can make wheeled shelves and dollys, for easier mobility, by putting casters on ready-made shelving pieces. Use storage boxes, tins, and baskets to keep everything neat and tidy.
Gardeners will appreciate these next three ideas…
Seed Storage: Did you know that seeds can actually die if they are not stored properly? To keep seeds at their best, store packets in an airtight container, like a glass jar with a tight-fitting lid (you can use canning jars, but use new lids). Add moisture-absorbing sachets to the jar (wrap 2 Tablespoons untreated cat litter or powdered milk in a double layer of tulle), then close the lid tightly and store in a cool, dark place until spring.
Storing Terra-Cotta Pots: Help avoid broken pots by storing them the right way…after cleaning and drying pots, lay them on their sides in a wooden crate, nesting the pots in rows (don’t stack pots vertically, as they will be more likely to stick together). Keep out of the freezing cold when storing them.
Labeling Flower Bulbs: I didn’t realize you could label flower bulbs with a permanent marker! Isn’t that a great idea? That way, you’ll know exactly what you’re planting the following spring. Store bulbs in peat moss or newspaper in a cool, dark place over winter.
Hope you find these tips helpful as you get ready for Autumn! Do you have other special ways of getting your home and garden organized and ready for the cooler seasons?
When I was on vacation recently, I had the chance to stop in at one of my favorite stores–IKEA! They have all kinds of home decor and kitchen items, wonderfully designed and so reasonably priced! I can’t walk into an IKEA store without buying anything, so it’s probably good that I don’t live close to one! :) When I do get a chance to shop there, though, it’s a real treat.
After I got back home, I browsed a little more on their website, IKEA.com. I wish I had seen the tumbler pictured above when I was at the store…I definitely would have bought that! Here are some other great things I found…guess I’ll have to add these to my wish list for my next visit!
A fun, graphic rug…
A cool teapot (only $12.99!)…
A nifty serving bowl–I think this was just $2.99…
Colorful potato peelers…
A great chandelier…
A white chairbed…perfect for smaller living spaces…
Cupcake liners…I can always use those!…
And last but not least, ice pop makers…perfect for summer!
Hope you enjoyed this little glimpse of the kinds of things you can find at IKEA!
Do you shop at IKEA? What types of things do you buy there?
Thinking of doing some redecorating in your bedroom? Maybe you want a fresh new look for spring. A new headboard is a great place to start! If you’re wanting some inspiration, you’ll need to check out the great ideas at HGTV. They have 12 wonderfully creative headboards…made with everything from old salvaged doors and window shutters to vintage metal gates (like the door and gate shown in the photo above). I love how these rustic objects are upcycled and transformed into very appealing and unique looks for the bedroom. Even if you don’t need a new headboard, many of these ideas could add interest to other walls in your bedroom or different rooms in your home.
I thought I’d share some of my favorite ideas from the site here, and you can visit HGTV.com to see the others! (All photos shown are from HGTV.com).
I love old shutters and never realized how great they look as a headboard! The letters perched on top are a fun, whimsical touch, too! Shutters also look great in other rooms–they add interest and texture to a bare wall. And you can hang framed pictures or photos on them, or even bunches of dried flowers, for a homey cottage look.
I’m such a Shabby Chic fan…I love the look of these rustic doors as headboards, and I love all the white! The chandelier looks wonderful in this room, too…it completes the look so well. Such a dreamy combination of rustic and elegant!
The photo above shows another salvaged door upcycled as a headboard. The style of this door reminds me of an antique mantel–I think a mantel would work great as a headboard, too! I love the vintage mirror hanging above the headboard and the vases displayed on the ledge. The room feels so cozy!
Hope this gives you some inspiration for decorating in your own home! Do you have ideas of your own for upcycling some worn but wonderful treasures?