Spring is having the hardest time getting here in our neck of the woods. It has been so snowy and cold where we live, sometimes I wonder if warm weather will ever get here. Having said that, I decided to add some spring touches using some of my vintage finds. I love shopping around my house, and rearranging items to give the home a fresh look. One way I like to do this is by using my typewriter as a display for some spring art. This is a picture I painted of Christ Church in Oxford. When we there there, there were so many beautiful flowers blooming and a lot of greenery. I like to take some greenery, in this case faux boxwoods, and add them to one of my ironstone pitchers. Adding some Easter eggs added another spring touch. Another fun thing to use and look for in thrift shops are vintage picnic baskets. Nothing says spring like a picnic basket. I have displayed mine in the landing of my stairs. Just above, I have my floral needlework and some flowers. I found this quilted table runner at Goodwill a couple of years ago. Normally I use it on my dining room table, but it worked great here peaking out of the picnic baskets. Adding different textures when decorating always adds more intrest to the room. Another way I add a touch of spring is adding watering cans and art to my space. I had this copper watering can that I actually use to water my plants and just adding it to the top of our radio gives the room a sense of life. I also switch out my TV art. I have displayed a picture of a little village we visited in Amsterdam. I like to do something as simple as adding a little greenery to my pitcher. Baskets add some texture and also say spring to me. I added a bit of greenery to the pitcher on the other side of the room to add some balance. Decorating for seasons doesn’t have to be complicated. A lot of times you can use what you have, clean the space and move things around to give the room a fresh feel.
Years ago…I mean quite a few years ago, I happened upon what is now my absolute favorite thrift and antique store. This store is located in what we call old town. The ladies who run the store are so gifted and talented in what they do. I have relatives come from Salt Lake City (Three hours away from us) come shop in this small vintage shop. The first time I went in the doors of this little store, I came across this ottoman. There was something about it that I absolutely loved! I am weird in that I believe that things speak to us if they are to belong to us. This piece absolutely spoke to me! I loved the shape of the legs, the color of the fabric, the tufting…everything. I knew right away that this was coming home to me! Some people would be concerned that the fabric didn’t match just right, or the style was different than the couches, but let me tell you a little design secret, the more collected a room is, the more asthetically pleasing it is to your eyes. Yes, everything has to go together, but everything doesn’t have to match perfectly. That being said, after a few years I was ready to change up the upholstry on the top. One concern we had was being able to have the tufting look as good or the same. So we took off the top piece carefully removing the buttons and saving the fabric to use as a templet. When the fabric was removed, I gave the bottom a fresh coat of white paint and we added some new foam below the piece of batting that already had the button holes. After we had laid out the batting and foam, we cut the top fabric to fit across the top of the ottoman. This fabric needs to be cut a bit larger than what you would typically cut if you were not tufting. The sides of our fabric dropped down quite a bit on the sides. You will want to use an upholstery fabric for this project. I found this beautiful blue fabric in a store in Paris. It was the exact same type of fabric that was already on it, just a different color. I didn’t want to use covered buttons for this, so we found these cool antique leather buttons from a vendor at Portobello road market in London. You will need: large upholstery needles, nylon tufting twine, small buttons for the back, and buttons for the top. To begin tufting: Thread the twine in the uphlostery needle, tie a knot in the bottom. Take your small button through the needle and thread it on the twine until it stops at the knot. Put the needle through the bottom of the ottoman into the top hole. Take your top button and thread it on the needle. Take your needle and put it down through the top of the ottoman to the bottom, pulling the button tight so it indents the top fabric. Wrap your twine a few times around the bottom button and sew a knot on the back and continue until the project is finished. Make sure to manuver the fabric on top so it doesn’t dimple. Once the top is all tufted, take the excess fabric on the sides and staple it into the wood. After the fabric is stapled, trim all the excess fabric off close to the staples. We carefully removed the side cording when we took the original fabric off, and used it as a templet to sew the new fabric onto new cording. We stapled the bottom cording to the wood, then took fabric glue and glued on the top layer of cording. The project itself was less challenging than we thought it would be, and it turned out better than we expected. I love the blue color in the room. The darker color really grounds the space, and I think we kept all the charm of the original ottoman.
Are you looking for a new spin on your sour dough artisan bread? Something that you can start in the morning and have ready for dinner that night? This recipe might be just what you are looking for. It is simple, healthy, and tastes amazing. It is one of my husband’s favorites. He likes bread with substance, texture, and chew. This bread hits the spot. Start by mixing flour, warm water, sourdough starter, honey, and salt. Mix together to create a rough dough. When your dough has been stirred by hand and is shaggy in consistency, let it sit for 15 to 30 minutes. This helps the water hydrate the flour which encourages enzymes to begin to create gluten development. Now it’s time to add the texture and flavor. Add in your flax seeds, poppy seeds, sunflower seeds, craisins, and dry cherries. Now it’s time to mix it in your mixer for 5 minutes. Transfer to a lightly oiled bowl and cover for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, you will want to start turning and folding the dough. Do this four times every 30 minutes. After the dough has risen for 3 hours, gently shape it into an oval or circle shape. Place it in a banatan bowl or regular bowl seam side up, and let it rise a second time for 2 hours. After the dough has risen for 2 hours place an enameled dutch oven into a cool oven. Preheat the oven with the pot in it to 450 degrees for an hour. Dump the dough out onto a piece of parchment paper and egg wash the top. Sprinkle some whole flax seeds, sunflower seeds, and some pumpkin seeds on top. Slash the top of bread and place it into the hot dutch oven. Cook covered for 20 minutes, uncover and cook for 20 more minutes. Let it cool for at least an hour and enjoy a delicious, hearty, and nutrious loaf of sourdough bread!
Here are a couple of quick and easy ideas for some inspiration to add to an outdoor winter porch. The porch is the first thing you see that welcomes you into a home. When Christmas comes down, everything looks a bit blah to me. I wanted my porch to be inviting and fun even though it is cold and snowy. This is why I turned to textures and colors for some inspiration. When I think of colors of winter I think of cream, blue, green and gray. I think of yarn sweaters, pine, and sledding outdoors. I took that inspiration to create my fun and simple winter porch. Th first think I needed was a wreath for the front door. I took a foam wreath form and wrapped it in cream braided yarn. So fast and so simple. I took some green ribbon and a pine pick to finish the look. I grabbed my old vintage sled from the shed and propped it up in the corner with a small pine wreath. I kept the lanterns out from Christmas and added some wintery fabric to my frame. Ice skates add the final wintery touch I needed in that corner. I had this old night stand I no longer needed inside of my house and put it on the other side of the door. I made a runner with the same fabric I used in the frame, and kept the tree, lantern, and deer out from Christmas.
It’s almost Christmas. It is one of my most favorite times to decorate my home. This year I did a more traditional Christmas. I took my decor and grouped like items together. Doing this made me enjoy the collections I have collected over the years much more. I spread things out around my home to make it feel magical for my family. I love all the lights, garland, trees, and Santa’s. I hope that it helps my family feel excited for Christmas throughout this season! Enjoy the tour.
Christmas to me is a time for traditions. I feel very sentimental thinking about Christmas’s past. Having said that, I like to decorate my home with things I have gathered through the years. I change it up a bit each year placing different items in different spots or adding new garland. Our Christmas tree is an example of that. I know I have written about this before, but it has been such a great tradition in our family to collect ornaments each year, or each trip we’ve been on. I put the kid’s names and year on the bottom of the ones they pick out. It is fun to see how the style they have chosen has changed over the years. It is also so fun to put up the ornaments from the trips we’ve taken. I have ornaments from Yellowstone all the way to Rome. We get them out and talk about all the memories we have made. It is very fun, and as my kids have grown older, very special. So here are my trees this year…I have two actually. My main tree and our game room tree.
If you want a fun and easy craft, try some salt dough cinnamon ornaments. Years ago I made some cinnamon applesauce ornaments which I still use today. I was looking at Miss Mustard Seed’s blog and saw her tutorial for the cinnamon salt dough ornaments here. https://missmustardseed.com/molded-salt-dough-gingerbread-ornaments-christmas-crafts/ The ornaments were beautiful and very inspiring. I made a batch of her recipe and put my own spin on them. I did not have any cookie molds, but I had this patterned rolling pin. I rolled out the dough with a regular rolling pin first until the dough was about 1/2 inch thick. I then went over the dough with the patterned rolling pin giving the dough an embossed look. If you are going to do this, make sure that you lightly flour the top of the dough running the patterned rolling pin over the dough one time. I had to press pretty hard to get the embossed look I wanted. After your dough is rolled out, the choice of design is really yours. You can use any cookie cutters that you like. I actually used a sandwich cutter from Pampered Chef. It gave the dough detailed edges that I absolutely loved. I also did a few with my gingerbread cookie cutters. I placed them on a parchment lined cookie sheet and cooked them in the oven turning them over once after 30 minutes. I love the color of the dough, it looks like distressed wood to me. So if you’re looking for a fun and easy Christmas craft this year, try making some cinnamon salt dough ornaments!
Autumn….don’t you just love autumn. It is my favorite time of the year. I have never been a fan of winter, so it is a little bitter sweet to me. That being said, I can’t help myself when it comes to everything fall. I love the decor, the food, the activities…all of it! This year I had fun adding some autumn touches to our home. I kept things “simple” and just did a bit of cozying up in each room. I added touches of pumpkins, books, stems, and art work to my existing decor. I have a very collected decorating style. A lot of the things I have displayed have meaning or have been searched for. My vintage typewriter, old globes, old books all seem to say fall anyways so I never have to add a lot. I found a beautiful quilt on a recent visit to Salt Lake. It had all the colors that I am enjoying for my family room. I draped it across the back and added some pillows that complimented it. Blankets and pillows are a great way to add some cozy texture to a room. We recently purchaced a frame TV, and I love changing up the artwork on it to add a little bit of seasonal fun to the room too. I love adding touches to my kitchen too. I do not add a lot in this room since it is a real working space for me. I do love to add a wreath on my range hood, seasonal plates, and some dry wheat. I love seeing my dining room table while working in my kitchen. I always try to do a fun centerpiece for our table that just welcomes in the season. This year I used a lot of my ironstone collection and added berries, pumpkins, and candles to the table. My last part of my house I want to share is my stair landing going upstairs to our upper floor. When we were updating this house, we had this beautiful window and ledge to work with in a landing between the two sets of stairs. We added some molding and a ledge I could use as a “mantle.” I love displaying my vintage crewel piece of needlepoint, a vintage tool case, and some old books. I always think of different ways I can decorate it for each holiday. I added som sunflowers, stems, and my pumpkin wreath to it. The picnic baskets I have in the corner are some of my favorite vintage finds. I added some lace inside of it and some flowers. The witch sits on the oil can in October. It is a fun place to add a little charm to my home. Adding just a few touches of fall in your home helps set the mood for the season. I have noticed that my family really likes it and appreciates it. My girls will come home and be so excited to walk around and see what things have been added. It is nice as a homemaker to add some joy to the everyday.
This summer we decided to take on a project to update the room we use above our garage which we refer to as the game room. When we bought this house, the previous owners were using it as a bedroom. It had a door on it which we removed and made it into more of a family playroom space. It worked well for many years, but the kids are older and we don’t need a playroom anymore. We decided to paint, use the living room furniture we had on the main level, buy some new furniture and re purpose some other furniture to make a new more grown up space. Here is a before picture I took right before we emptied the room and began the re model. It was a fun, bright, and very colorful room which the kids loved playing in and having their friends over to hang out. It just needed a bit of an update. The first thing we did was get a rug. I knew the rug needed to be larger, and I needed something to draw some color inspiration from. I actually found a rug at big deal outlet here in town for a hundred dollars. It worked well, and I loved the colors. I decided to draw some of the blue out of the rug and paint the room the color Sir Drake from the Magnolia line of paint. Once the color was chosen and painted, we decided to add a ceiling instalation. We got some shiplap panels from Home Depot and measured out the ceiling. We used MDF panels that my husband cut to devide out the shiplap panels. I painted everything white and my husband installed them on the ceiling. I found a large glass table at a furniture store that our family could use to play games on when everyone comes home. I decided on a glass table top so it wouldn’t look too heavy. It fits beautifully in the the corner of the room and we have a lot of fun using it. I found the clock at a vintage shop and painted it. The basket in the other corner stores books, magazines and a blanket. I love the interest of the different texture creates. I was shopping with my daughter and found this cool antiqued chess set. I thought it would be a fun centerpiece for our table. I wanted a lot of seating in this room for friends and family to enjoy. I had the couches in my living room downstairs, and I loved the pop of color my orange chair in the room. I got the other two gray chairs from the same furniture store. They are so comfortable to sit in and watch a movie. The ottoman is my favorite! I found that at Home Goods on my way home from a recent trip we took. It was fun trying to figure out how to fit it in the car with all the suitcases! I am a person who doesn’t match everything in a room. I think that a good rule of design is to add different shades of colors, different styles of furniture and accessories. Maybe some modern elements along with some vintage touches. I think it makes the room feel ecclectic and homey. I wanted some visual interest at the end of the room when you looked down the hall. I got some floating shelves and placed some of my fun finds on them. I found a cool vintage radio, two antique prints I bought in Oxford, and some plants for some softness. Lighting is another good way to add hominess and comfort to a room. I love adding lamps and having them turn on at night. It adds such a cozy ombiance. We have one main light in the ceiling, which is probably my favorite light fixture in the house. It was a bit of a splurge. I found it at Rejuvination years ago, and it adds such a beautiful touch to the room. We also added some can lighting to have more overhead light. I painted the turquoise console a nice creamy color and installed some new pulls. I got this console when we were first desigining this space. It is an old Thomasville dresser, and is beautifully made. There was no reason not to paint and re use something that was beautiful and already worked just fine. I love color, moldings, vintage finds, and homey spaces. I think that by combining all these elements in any room, you can create a space that is fun, inviting, and works well for your family. If you are going to re design a room in your home, think about the colors you love, pieces that have memories and make you happy, and the function that the room needs to provide. I love the way this room turned out. It took a lot of time and energy, but at the end of the day we have a space that we can enjoy with our family for years to come.
For years, we have had a trampoline for our kids to play on in our yard. It had a designated space next to the fire pit area where we had it anchored down. Our kids are now too old to be interested in a trampoline, so we gave it to the neighbors and started thinking about something new we could create with this space in our yard. I have always wanted to have an area for a vegetable garden. In years past, I have scattered some vegetable plants here and there among my flowers. It worked ok, but I had a vision for something a bit more. The area was already round, so we decided to embrace it and keep it the same shape. I got some seeds, herbs, tomatoes and cucumbers and was excited to get this project started! We mixed in some garden dirt and compost and built the sides up for the vegetables, and mounded the middle to plant all my squash and pumpkins. I wanted the area to feel like a special garden “room” so we added an arbor and planted climbing roses on the sides for some interest in the yard. Even though it was a garden, I wanted the space to feel interesting and pretty. I planted herbs, kale, peas, carrots, green beans, tomatoes, and cucumbers along the outer portion. In the middle I planted zucchini, spaghetti squash, yellow squash, and pumpkins. We added some pea gravel for the walking path to match the fire pit. Here’s what it looks like a month later. Everything is growing in nicely. I really like the way it came together. It still flows with the other areas of the yard, and it has been fun to have a garden.