Tuesday, September 30, 2014
One day this past spring I heard quite a commotion in my yard. When I went to investigate, I found dozens and dozens of birds squawking and carrying on. It really was kind of like a scene from The Birds, and kind of gave me the eebie jeebies.
I'm much more about pretty fall decorations this time of year than all the gory stuff, but there is something kind of enticing about old, creepy houses. When I saw this image on The Graphics Fairy's site - I thought it would be fun to marry it with my bird picture to make a spooky Welcome sign. To see this image on her site, go here.
I took the color out of my bird picture and heightened the contrast quite a bit. Then I overlapped it onto the Graphics Fairy image, and finally added some texture.
You're welcome to print one for yourself, if you like. And please stop by anytime - pay no attention to my little welcoming party at the front gate. I think they'll let you enter......
Sunday, September 28, 2014
Yesterday I shared my fall mantel here on the blog with a little teaser that I had a confession to make.
I've said in the past that nothing in my house is that valuable; therefore nothing is really sacred. So, when I noticed that the feet of the ottoman I am currently reupholstering would make great pumpkins - well, off they came.
They are just perfect with these candlesticks. I get bored decorating with candles, so these feet made me happy - and they gave Edward a good laugh when he realized what they were.
Luckily, I had a spare set of feet in the garage, so the poor ottoman can still stand tall. Don't you just love them as pumpkins, though? They're such a great color.
Saturday, September 27, 2014
Yesterday, I shared how I'm trying to simplify my decorating as the seasons change. I don't want to spend days decorating for a particular season, because there are so many other things I want to do instead.
Except for the mantel!
This is my fun space.
My let's-get-creative-and-do-something-totally-new space.
My favorite thing in the world with decorating is to take something that is totally junk, and make it at home with lovely, pleasant little things.
(I have some rusty furniture springs I really, really wanted to incorporate - but they just weren't working.....at least not yet.)
Our home is pretty formal by nature, but we are not. I guess adding a little junk is my way of not taking this house, or decorating, or myself too seriously.
I can't say my dear husband is as enthusiastic about the cast-offs as I am, but it has become a source of intrigue and humor for him.
I bought this picture for the frame, but the painting is so perfect for this time of year. Isn't it pretty?
In the 2nd picture above if you look at the bottom of the large frame, it is damaged and most of the ornamentation is missing. However, it is quite old - and I love its character!
I have a crazy little confession about this vignette. If you come back tomorrow, I'll tell you what it is!
Friday, September 26, 2014
I Looooove to decorate. I do!
Especially for all the different seasons.
However, I'm learning that my decorating style is simplifying and changing. I find that I'm not as interested in spending an entire week getting out the new season's decor and packing up the previous season to stack in the garage. I seem to be migrating towards things I can change up in short time that still look fantastic for the season.
One reason I've been posting about apothecary jars/cloches of late, see here, here, and here, is because it's a great way to pull off this simplified approach.
By gathering and making a very eclectic collection of glass displays, I can update my decor for the season just by changing what's inside.
It's fun, too, because if I don't have enough variety for all the different displays, I can just walk around my yard and pull a bit of what's happening outside - inside.
I think it keeps the decorating a little fresher as I'm not just getting out all the same stuff I've used year after year.
Of course I have favorite pieces I want to hang on to and continue to use, but it does force some new and interesting combinations.
And should I decide to have some friends over for a little tea, I can replace a few decor items with some cookies or cupcakes, keep some of the decor in place - and have a special little dessert buffet.
If you decorate for the different holidays, do you like a simplified approach, or is part of the enjoyment spending several days getting your house all pretty?
Wednesday, September 24, 2014
One of my favorite places to get beautiful decorative elements for new projects - is from old lamps. They are so available and overlooked, especially if they are broken in any way.
This lamp is not the newest fashion, but look at its pretty base and other individual components. Are they not gorgeous? I can't wait to use them.
This glass sphere in my garden was once a hanging lamp. I found it at a yard sale for $1.
Lamps like this mantel lamp are not necessarily out of style, but they are inexpensive to start with. I think when people can afford to upgrade to something nicer - they do - and so many end up in the thrift pile. Yay for me, for if you take them apart and get rid of the metal tubing, you're left with a lovely little base. Glue a glass plate to that -
- and get a darling little pedestal like this!
And if you need a cloche to go with it,
click here for a few ideas on how to make one.
Not bad for something you can often pick up
for a dollar or two.
Tuesday, September 23, 2014
Not sure what to make for dinner?
Let me help - and you can thank me (and Paula) later,
for you will want to.
This is Paula Deen's Tastes Like Lasagna Soup,
and it is deeeelish!!!
It is so simple, you could actually run to the store, get anything you need, and still have dinner on the table in an hour-ish.
Here are her instructions, or you can go to her link here:
- 1 lb ground chuck
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 green bell pepper, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon thyme
- 1 tablespoon firmly packed brown sugar
- 1 (32 oz) box chicken broth
- 2 (14.5 oz) can petite diced tomatoes
- 1 (15 oz) can tomato sauce
- 2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups broken lasagna noodles
- 1 (5 oz) package grated parmesan cheese and more for serving
- 2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1 thin French baguette
- 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 cloves smashed garlic
PreparationIn a large Dutch oven, combine ground chuck, onion, bell pepper and garlic. Cook over medium-high heat for 8 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally until beef is browned and crumbles. Drain well.
Stir in thyme, brown sugar, broth, diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, Italian seasoning, and salt. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat; reduce heat and simmer 20 minutes. Add noodles, and simmer until noodles are tender. Stir in Parmesan cheese.
Preheat broiler. Ladle soup into 8 to 10 ovenproof bowls. Evenly sprinkle with mozzarella cheese. Broil soups, 6-inches from heat, 3 to 4 minutes, until cheese is browned and bubbly. Add a garlic crostini slice on top. Serve immediately.
For the garlic crostini:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Cut bread into 1/4-inch round slices. Place on baking sheet and brush each slice with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper; place in oven and bake until golden and crisp, about 15 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool slightly. Rub each side with smashed garlic cloves.
The only things I do different from the recipe are:
1. I replace half of the ground beef with Italian
2. I skip the bread/cheese melting bit.
I like it better without that.
3. I omit the green pepper
There! Now you don't have to eat out tonight.
Sunday, September 14, 2014
Something I see often when I'm thrifting are plate racks designed to hold 3 or 4 plates. I don't know if people don't want to hang plates anymore, or if they have too many racks already, or if they don't like that particular style now. It just seems you can pick up some very pretty ones fairly inexpensively.
If plates aren't your thing, you could use them to display picture frames with pictures, or even make a jewelry hanger/memo board. Here is one idea:
I took 3 oval frames and painted them to match.
Then I covered cork with burlap, and put that inside the frames.
Then I covered cork with burlap, and put that inside the frames.
To cut the cork the correct size, I placed a sheet of paper over the back opening of the frame, and did a pencil rubbing to create a pattern. I cut out the oval that appeared on my paper, and then placed that oval on my cork. By doing a second rubbing over the edges of the paper onto the cork, I could see exactly where I needed to cut the cork. It works best to cut slightly smaller than the line, and my kitchen shears worked great for the cutting.
Elmer's Glue-All was perfect for gluing the burlap onto the cork. Just spread a nice even layer. You want enough to soak into the burlap and hold it, but not so much it oozes out the front of the burlap.
That's it! I know this is kind of a no-brainer craft, but thought someone might have a plate rack in their garage sale pile who would decide to hang onto it instead. I actually find lots of uses for these racks. Here is how I used this one before I changed it up: