Chalkboard Art And All Things New

Even with several feet of snow still on the ground, you can feel spring in the air!

After you live in a place for a number of years, you become familiar with the ebb & flow of the seasons. The way that one season pushes while the next season pulls is undeniable, even though temperatures may try to convince us of a different story all together.

Our resident pair of crows have begun breaking twigs in the tree tops to build their nests, as they do every year. The birds are not only growing in number, but beginning to break into a joint chorus of song. Those sneaky little skunks have been spotted wobbling around the grounds at night (as if we wouldn’t notice). Numerous owls have been spotted hunting for food, a new surprise for us all this year. The sun has been giving us more than our normal share of warming rays. And the river has finally broken through it’s top layer of snow & ice. Why, I can even see a blade or two of grass in the front yard near the cottage garden.

Winter comes every year, and every year spring follows winter ~ spring is on her way!

This has all made me want to bring some “newness” into our little nest. As I looked around our home and thought about what I needed to do, I decided to bring some fresh designs to our chalkboards, put away the deep mustards found in the yellow ware collection (for now), and replace it with the antique whites found in the new & growing ironware collection. We also have several sweet little animals that join us for spring.
Here is our $2 vintage cabinet find, filled with everything white & spring!
Vintage Cabinet Decorated For Spring

“It’s A New Season” ~ I love the little vintage chalkboard that I found in an auction box last year! The galvanized metal buckets with their sweet little porcelain tags were another amazing deal! As a matter of fact, everything on this side of the cabinet was either a gift (like the beautiful white pitcher from my friend Diane) or only cost $1 or less!
Vintage Cabinet Decorated For Spring

I recently decided to keep my eyes open for vintage ironstone pieces to use in my decor. This lovely little platter was .79 at a thrift store nearby. Black wax is a weakness of mine, as you can see with these little spring lambs wearing their rusty little bells 😉
Ironstone Mini Platter

One of the fun things about decorating “you own” nest is, you can use whatever makes you happy…and moss from our forest make me happy!
Ironstone Bowl

And who doesn’t love a stack of freshly pressed French linens!
Ironstone Dish and French Linens

This ironstone platter was my most recent find at a local thrift shop, and expensive it was at $4.99! I’m kidding of course! My husband can tell you…I spotted it, scooped it up, tucked it under my arm, and smiled like a kid in a candy shop! I thought is was the perfect backdrop for one of my grandfathers vintage Easter postcards from his collection.
Ironstone Platter and Vintage Easter Postcard

Galvanized buckets in Vintage Cabinet

Here’s another black wax sheep adorned with his smart looking rusty bell. He loves his spot atop this stack of wee little miniature books (another weakness).
Black Wax Sheep and Mini Books

Some more moss from our forest tucked into these little aged terracotta pots.
Candles in Mossy Terra Cotta Pots and Wire Basket

I love the antique white color & glass glitter sparkles of this sweet little bunny.
Prim Bunny and Black Wax Sheep

Depending on the season, I have several wrought iron little animals to use in our decor, including this little dove.
Iron Bird

Our magnetic chalkboard needed a spring facelift, so I decided to display a few nest & egg pictures that I kept from a favorite old calendar, and chalk the saying – You Make All Things New.
See the tutorial for creating this chalkboard here
Chalkboard Design - You make all things new

Don’t you love all of the different kinds of eggs!
Chalkboard Design Spring

I tried to get all fancy with the word “new” LOL!
Chalkboard Design for spring

This little black wax lamb just wasn’t happy until he got his favorite spot on the red chalkboard, because it matches his collar.
Black Wax Sheep

Thankfully, he didn’t mind the vintage Easter postcard sharing the space with him 😉
Black Wax Sheep on Chalkboard

Here’s the new spring design on the big red chalkboard, before lambsie took over. The bee in the laurel wreath is one of my favorite designs!
Chalkboard Design - Bee And Laurel Wreath

Winter comes every year, and every year spring follows winter. Spring is on her way, so why not celebrate by brightening up your space with some of the things you love!

For The Love Of Autumn


Autumn Colors

As with spring, autumn brings with it a sort of nesting instinct. Kitchen gardens are giving up the last of their harvest, and cottage gardens the last of their blooms. The trees are now taking center stage with their coat of many colors, and pumpkins & mums are greeting you at every doorstep. Here and there are beautiful stacks of firewood, speaking of the cozy evenings by the fireplace yet to come, and the loving hard work that provided it.

Candles give off their spicy autumn scents, and birds are now showing up by the dozens at the feeders. Apple picking, pumpkin farms, cider, chili & corn bread, hay rides and fall festivals of every kind fill these sunny warm days, while the chill of evening is growing stronger. Squirrels & chipmunks scurry back and forth at a fevered pace not only collecting nuts & other foods for their winter pantry, but leaves and other bits for making their home more cozy place for their family during the colder season to come.
Where spring was a time of building & creating nests, autumn is a time for making the nest an even more cozy place for the family to spend their time together…kind of like snuggling into a cozy, protected, warm place… HOME.
I too feel the urge to bring bits of nature into our home. It think it reminds us to be thankful for the bounty of the season behind us, and while we’re snuggled up inside, it speaks life!
Here are a few of the beginnings of our Autumn decor <3   It has begun...   Here's a pile of Autumn goodness getting ready to be turned into our lovely fall decor. Autumn - pumpkins


I’m in love with all of the shades of white, yellow, and green that we’re seeing in the pumpkin patch this year!

Autumn - white pumpkins


My husband created this display area & mantel for me last year, and I love the light colored pumpkins mixed with a bittersweet crown & large bittersweet wreath. (bittersweet is one of my favorite things…can you tell? :)

Autumn Mantel


And here’s a close up of one of the little white pumpkins & her bittersweet crown on the mantel. I love the evening lighting in this room!

Autumn - white pumpkin and bittersweet crown


Even though it’s just begun, I’m excited about where it’s going :)

Primitive Country Decorating


I love January!

New beginnings, new possibilities, garden planning, white winter nights, snow covered landscapes, and rides through the country with the love of my life. One of my favorite things to do during these slower paced winter months, is to find new little shops to visit when Dan & I are out on one of our afternoon dates.

One of our absolute favorite shops to visit is called “Persnickety”. It’s filled to the brim with wonderful primitive country decorating goodies! Not only do they have great things to shop for, but the owner also allows customers to walk through his private home, so they can glean decorating ideas to use in their own homes. When we went for a visit this week, I decided to take some pictures so I could share them with you. They also have a brand new facebook page on which they will be adding lots of new pictures, coupons, and primitive country decorating ideas.

I hope you enjoy this peek into a lovely primitive country home.

Primitive Living Room

Primitive Country Home – Slideshow:

Creative Inspiration For Your Home and Garden

I don’t know about you, but every so often, I need a really good dose of creative inspiration! I am so thankful for the abundance of resources that we have available to us today. There was a time (not so long ago), that in order to find creative visual inspiration, you would have to order a subscription to a magazine…then hope that there were some good pictures in that month’s issue 😉 Now, our options are literally unlimited!

One of my favorite places to find creative visual inspiration is Flickr.

For your daily dose of creative inspiration… here is a slide-show of some of the photos from the group! I hope you enjoy…I know that I do!

I decided to get a professional account there, so that I can add as many pictures to my account as I’d like. I also belong to several groups, where people that share the same interests gather to share their favorite pictures. At Flickr, not only can you find pictures on any topic that your heart desires, but you can add them to your favorites, save a person as a contact if you like their pictures, add your pictures to different groups, comment on any pictures, and more! The site is totally free to start your own account, and you can use the site as much as you’d like.

One of the “slight problems” with Flickr is, there are SO MANY pictures to look through, that it might take a while for you to find the “best pictures”, and a few hours can pass by without you even noticing! This is why I created a new group called “The Best of Home and Garden.”

I created the group to give people a special dose of creative inspiration, without all of the work of sorting through thousands of pictures, while trying to find the perfect one. The group is free to join, and even though we receive many pictures to be considered for inclusion, we only allow the best of the ones we receive to be included in the group. This ensures that people who take the time to look through the group’s photos, will thoroughly enjoy their time with us!

I would love for you to take a second & join the group and submit some of your favorite pictures for possible inclusion! I only ask that you please not be disappointed if it is not chosen to be included. Because even though we love all kinds of pictures, we are trying to use discretion when deciding which ones to allow into “The Best of Home and Garden” 😉

A BIG thank you goes out to everyone who has already submitted pictures, it is really appreciated!

Create Beautifully Decorated Walls in 3 Easy Steps!

Recently, I had a reader ask me this question:

“We are a bit short of money, but I am tired of looking at the same old boring walls. I can’t really afford to buy anything (I’d feel too guilty even if I did). Is there anyway of making decorations at home?”

There are times in all of our lives, when money is tight & we are more conscious of what we spend. But, I am here to tell you… the amount of money that you have or don’t have never has to stop your creativity when it comes to decorating your home!

To be honest with you, when this question was asked, I had a flood of ideas that came to mind right away!

But, I know our minds tend work! We go into “decision mode” where we question everything so much, that we tend to just not make a decision at all! We start thinking thoughts like…

– I don’t know which is the “right” one to pick

– I don’t know if this is really a good idea

– What will my friends think of my choice

– Can I really make something look nice enough with little or no money

So… to help simplify things, and make sure that you act on your creative ideas, I wanted to pass along a few “proven ideas” that you can go create RIGHT NOW! That way, you & your family can enjoy them right away… and you won’t get trapped by overcomplicating the decision making process!

3 Simple Rules to Creating a Beautifully Decorated Wall

When decorating a wall, there are only 3 easy Steps to follow! It’s not rocket science, and you CAN do it… and do it beautifully!

And the most exciting thing? None of these concepts cost any extra money 😉

Rule #1 – Size

When you are considering ideas for decorating a “whole wall” remember that in order to get a pleasant visual balance, a larger item or collection of items is always better than one small item.

Reason? If you plop one small item in the middle of a large wall, your eye is drawn right to the small item, and your brain automatically says “wow that picture (or whatever is hanging there) is small”! Your wall is also left with a “never go around to finishing it” look.

Rule #2 – Family

Think about your family. Even though each person is different, there is still something that holds you all together and makes you a unit. This is the idea that I want you to remember when you are making your decorating choices. So with that in mind, when deciding which items will have the honor of hanging on your wall for all to see, they don’t have to all be the same (although they could be if that’s the look that you are going for), but they need to still be related in some way… even if they are distant cousins twice removed 😉

Use items that are related in either of these 3 ways:

– Color

– Style

– Theme

Rule #3 – Balance

Your goal is to try to achieve some sort of balance, so that your wall decor will be pleasing to the eye. This simply means, that instead of randomly placing things here or there, try to think of how that item looks in perspective to the other items around it, as well as in relation to the whole wall.

And that’s it as far as “how to” decorate my walls, and now it’s on to the “what to” decorate my walls with!

I want you to clear your mind of the limiting thoughts such as… “what’s allowed to be used as wall decor”!

Why? Because when it comes to “what” is allowed to be used to decorate your own walls… there are no rules!

When trying to decorate with a limited budget, we need to think differently than the “spend to decorate” mindset.

What I want you to do is:

1. Take out a piece of paper & write down the things that you LOVE!

2. Take a walk around your house/attic/basement/garage and look at the items that you already have – jot down your favs

3. If there are things on your “love list” that you don’t have, is there a way to get/make those without spending?

Now lets go through those one at a time

1. What is it that you love?

– What are your eyes automatically drawn to when looking through magazines

– Collections

– Items that belonged to loved ones

– Childhood toys

– Animals

– Gardening

Just fill in the blank & really think about what it is that makes your heart smile when you look at it.

2. After you took a walk around your house & all the nooks & crannies… what did you find?

– Maybe grandma’s collection of aprons or hankies?

– Your childhood collection of baseball cards or sports items?

– A collection of small chairs that you really didn’t know what to do with, but you kept them because you loved them?

– Some pretty scraps of fabric that you planned to make into a quilt someday?

– Some old doors / windows that you found on the side of the road – had no idea what to do with them – but they are still with you?

You see, as you go through your own home, and ask yourself these types of questions, you will start to see a common thread. You will find some things that you hang onto just because you love them. They may be tucked away in a box, stashed in a drawer, or stored in the basement. You have no idea what to do with them, you just know that you keep them because they mean something to you.

3. There might be some things that are on your “love list” that you don’t currently have. Try to think of a creative way to possibly get a few of those things to use in our project.

– Could you make it from other items that you do already have?

– Maybe a friend has one & doesn’t use it anymore?

– Could it be found curbside on trash day?

– Maybe it’s listed in the free section of Craigslist?

– After sale giveaway (when a yard sale is over, most people want to find someone to come get all the leftovers!)

– $1 box at an estate auction (I have found LOTS of treasures this way!

– I bet you could barter either an item – or a skill/talent in exchange for it!

Look at these creative ideas to help get your ideas rolling!

These vintage hand mirrors are related by theme & color

vintage mirrors

This setting is not only related by theme, but by color as well.

mini clocks

I love this display idea, because you could change up the purses each season if you’d like!

purse collection

Just a simple shelf filled with some of your favorite bowls makes a beautiful display!

yellow-ware bowls

Use bits of paper & cover a wall like Pam did here – beautiful!

scrap paper covered wall

This beautiful wall speaks of size (scale).

vintage window

This wall will give you an idea of how to balance the display.

wall decor

How about displaying your garden tools – or other similar items?

vintage garden tools

I hope these ideas have helped stir your imagination & give you a new perspective of what is possible when you open up your mind to new creative ideas!


Don’t be Sad That Christmas is Over, Decorate For Winter!

fabric birds

With Christmas now behind us, most of us will spend the next week packing up all of the beautiful bits & bobbles that have dressed our home for the past several weeks. And although it’s kind of sad to see all of our little Christmas treasures get tucked away for another year, it’s also sort of nice to have our home “freshened up” for the new year. Even so… there is still a bit of an empty feeling, when we think about having to wait another full year to display those treasures again.

Here’s a great idea to help you prevent that “empty feeling” around your home, and to help you to look forward to each new season/holiday throughout the year.

Why not keep a few of your things out & “re-purpose” them to match each new season/holiday?

For example…

I love my grapevine wreaths! So, instead of putting them away because Christmas is over, why not take the Christmas decorations off of the wreath & put some other sort of decorations on it for the rest of winter? Or, you could keep everything off for a natural look.

This year, my husband bought me a little tree for Christmas. It fits on my kitchen counter just perfectly! Instead of putting it away, I am going to dress it with items that say “winter” – instead of “Christmas”. With simple decorations from your favorite home decor store or mail order company such as LTD Commodities, you could change your decor over to “winter” in just a few minutes!

Here are some different things that say “winter” (not just “Christmas”), so instead of packing them away, you can keep them out all winter long.


We get to enjoy feeding our feathered friends during the cold winter months, so how about using little birds made from pretty paper or felt (like the ones above)? Using some scrapbook paper, you could make up beautiful little birds to match any style or color. Then use them to hang on a tree, wreath, light fixture, or across your curtain rod.

birds and snowflakes

winter bird

black birds and snow

Ice Skates

ice skates

paper skates

Snow-people can live in your decor all winter! :)


snowman in winter



mittens red and white



pink snowflake



berry wreath


winter tree

candle and greens

button wreath and greens


Also, if you’re having a difficult time deciding which colors to use, so your home says “winter” instead of “left over Christmas”, you can’t go wrong with white, silver, light blue, and green!

winter colors