DIY Christmas Plates

Every year for the past 8 years, except for one, I have hosted a table at the Women’s Christmas Tea at our church.  I attend an amazing church in Kennesaw, GA called Riverstone and the Tea is a highlight of the year.  It always sells out, and this year it sold out in just a few days.  

I love and look forward to the Tea each year and start planning what to do with my table many weeks ahead.  My wheels are spinning with ideas for the centerpiece and I will do another blog post after the Tea so y’all can see what I came up with.

I am not changing it up too much from last year.  I used black and white with a buffalo checked table cloth as my inspiration and I still love that, so it’s going on the table again this year.  I also did a DIY for the dessert plates and then I gave them to each guest as a gift and thank you.  Everyone loved them.  Well, I am doing that again too, but a little different.  I thought I would show you how I make my plates and maybe you will be inspired to try it yourself.

I decided to use black plates this time and had a hard time finding them without spending more than a couple of bucks for each one.  I finally found some from Replacements, Ltd. 

So, I first make my pattern for the plates and I use regular tracing paper that you can get at any craft store, but I got mine at Michael’s.

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To transfer the design onto the plates I use Saral Transfer Paper.  I have used this paper for years and it will transfer a design onto almost any surface including fabric.  I got mine from Amazon.  I tape the design onto the plate and used the yellow transfer paper and then simply go over the design with a pencil.

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Once you have your pattern transferred onto the plates you are ready to take the markers to the design and fill it in.  I use Sharpie Paint Markers and I like the fine point markers.  I started with the white marker.

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Then just keep going…I just used three colors on these as you can see and did every plate in one color before moving on to the next.  It dries very quickly, so you can move right along.  It’s fun to sit and watch a Hallmark movie or two while you work on this DIY.

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Once you are finished with your plates you will want to set the paint by putting them in the over at 250 degrees for half an hour.  

I’m excited to use these plates as part of my design this year, and hope you enjoyed seeing how to make them.  Maybe you can try it yourself sometime, even if it’s just one plate to give a gift of cookies to someone on or to give as a birthday present to someone special.  I don’t recommend using these to eat off of or put in the dishwasher, I’m just not sure that they are non-toxic and haven’t taken the time to test them for durability.  I think of them as more decorative.  

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving and I hope to post again once I get my Christmas decor up and finished!  I’m moving slow these days because my back is acting up, but I’m hoping and praying I’ll be doing better before it’s time to plunge into Christmas!

Many Blessings,

Brenda

This week while in prayer the Lord gave me this scripture out of Jeremiah:  For I will restore health to you and heal you of your wounds, says the Lord.  It was a big encouragement to me and maybe it’s something you need to hear too, but the most important thing to always remember is He is with you and He loves you!  

 

 

 

 

 

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Fall Is Fun

So here we are…it’s FALL…yay!  Lots of bloggers were posting their fall decor weeks ago, but I waited till October because my fall decor is going to be up until Thanksgiving and I figure two months is a long time for holiday decorations.  I’m not much for the Halloween stuff, so I go straight for the Harvest theme and I really do enjoy having the house looking all things fallish!

My daughter-in-law, Laura and my grand-daughter, Holly, came over last weekend and helped me decorate.  Holly is five and she is starting to show signs of loving decor just like her mama and I.  She was so cute as she looked for places to display pumpkins, apples and leaves and was eager for my approval.  I admit, I moved a couple of things, but I left several items where she placed them as well.  I wish I had taken a picture of her at work!  But here is one of her from a pumpkin patch she went to this past Saturday.

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I know, isn’t she beautiful?  Well, I guess I better get to the decor, I have several pictures to show you and hope you enjoy what you see.  I am a big fan of farmhouse decor with all it’s neutral’s and simplicity, but when it comes to fall I just can’t help but use fall colors.  Orange, golds and reds scream autumn, and make me smile. I guess I’ll start with the mantle in my living room.

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I actually changed the framed print after I took some of the photos, so you might notice that in the next few pictures.

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I didn’t really remove anything from the mantle that is usually there, and just added the garland, leaves and pumpkins to make it easy.  The Give Thanks on the mirror was something I made last year and still love it.

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I added more faux pumpkins and leaves in a few other places in the living room, like on the shelf across the room above my couch.

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This blue wooden box sits on a bench/table in the living room and I am in love with the single wood candle mold in this vignette that I found in a cute little shop in Acworth near me.

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I like using my stairway as a vignette too.  So now onto the dining area of the kitchen…

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I have so many pictures that I will just keep showing them to you and not elaborate on each one.  I have a few of the entryway and also my formal dining room, which is a bit more on the neutral side.  

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I just have to tell you that I found this adorable little cupboard at an antique shop in Michigan when we were there a couple of weeks ago.  I just fell in love with it as soon as I saw it and was thankful that we drove up north so I could easily get it home.  It is sitting on top of my Pie Safe in the foyer.

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I really enjoy my dining room so much since I painted my hutch and the table and chairs, it is just so bright and light in there and easy to decorate for the holidays.  

I just have a few more random pictures to show you and hope I didn’t give you sensory overload…He He.  I actually could have added my front porch too, but I am sure that definitely would be overdoing it and I plan to add more pumpkins out there after we go apple picking next weekend anyway.  Hopefully it won’t still be in the 80’s by Saturday and will actually FEEL like fall too.

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Well, that’s it, thanks for stopping by and I hope you enjoy this special time of year!  Maybe you will be inspired and carve a few pumpkins, make some spiced cider or an apple pie and enjoy some great family time as the leaves change and the temps cool off.  I’m excited to wear my sweaters again!

I was thinking about how God created the four seasons and that the fall season is about things going dormant, being suspended or slowed down for a period of time.  The thing is it is a time of sleep in a way or another way to look at it is a time of rest.  Sometimes God calls us to rest, to stop trying to be the one who is active, who is striving or working and let Him do what needs to be done.  He has a purpose in the waiting, in the letting go that only He can do!  Last year I heard the Lord tell me to BE STILL in a very hard situation in my life, a heartbreaking and very sad time for me that was out of my control.  It is NOT easy to be still, but there is no doubt in my mind that only the Lord can change this circumstance and I have HOPE that He will, all in His timing.  

If you are in a time of hardship and waiting on the Lord to bring restoration or relief just remember His words…” Be still and know that I AM God” Ps. 46:10.  After all He is our Creator and has a perfect plan for us when we let Him orchestrate it.  

Be Blessed,

Brenda

 

 

 

 

Big Changes…Little Desk

It’s so hard to believe that August has come and gone! But…I am excited for Fall and the cooler temps.  Fall is my favorite time of the year down here in Georgia.  Our summers are so terribly hot that most everyone I know looks forward to less humidity and lower temps.  Sweater weather, wearing cute boots again and drinking hot chocolate or a cafe’ mocha sounds so good.

Change can be hard, but sometimes change is a welcomed…well, change!  I love how our creator gave us four seasons and each one has something special about it.  I have been slowly making changes in my home, moving more toward the farmhouse style, out with the old and in with the new.

Not everything I’m changing is actually new though as you have seen in my previous blog posts, like when I redid my formal dining room set from the outdated stained oak finish to the white chalk painted version, and once again I am chalk painting a piece of furniture that desperately needed help!

This project has needed to be done for many many years…as many as 40 or more!  To say it was in bad shape is an understatement.  

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This is a small telephone desk.  My grandmother gave me this desk and the chair that goes with it when I was still in my teens and I have taken it with me to every place I have lived!  It has been in my basement(s), for SO long and I actually just kept forgetting about it.  

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I always thought it would have to be stripped and re-stained and it felt like it would be a lot of work, but with the genius invention of chalk paint, that needs no sanding or prep work of any kind, I decided it was the perfect thing to do to give new life to this adorable little desk and chair. 

I used a new kind of chalk paint on this project.  I found this paint at a local antique store and decided to give it a try.  It is called Dixie Bell Chalk Paint.  I love the way it covered the wood even more than Annie Sloan’s paint.  

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Isn’t it cute?  I’m so excited to have it as part of my decor after all these years.  It sits in the corner of my dining room along with the aforementioned dining room set, so it fits in well in this room.

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I found this replica of an old phone that I thought would look perfect on the desk.  I don’t remember my grandmother using this as a telephone desk, but I do remember it was in the den of her house in Kalamazoo.  I am going to guess that it is at least 70 years old.  

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I’m so thankful to have this furniture as an heirloom that I can hand down to one of my grand kids someday.  My grand parents had 20 grandchildren, so I am blessed to have been given something that belonged to them because I am sure most everyone else did not receive anything like this from them.  I also have two children’s chairs, that I think went with a small table and a rocker that were given to my brother’s and I when we were small from our grandparent’s, probably for Christmas, but I don’t plan on painting them.  

So, that’s it for today!  Happy “almost” fall y’all…the air will be crisp and cool soon!  I will be blogging on Fall decor next time….can’t wait!

There is a season (a time appointed) for everything and a time for every delight and event or purpose under heaven.  Eccl. 3:1  

He has made everything beautiful and appropriate in its time.  He has also planted eternity (a sense of divine purpose) in the human heart (a mysterious longing which nothing under the sun can satisfy, except God) yet man cannot find out (comprehend, grasp) what God has done (His overall plan) from the beginning to the end.  Eccl. 3:11 AMP.

God is in the business of making things new!  He can change the heart of a man and take him from a life of death and sin and give him new life, eternal life because of the death and resurrection of His son Jesus.  No one is like our God, our creator and He sees our beginning from our end and I can say I’m SO thankful that He showed me His love and grace and the end is gonna be good.  

Many blessings,

Brenda

 

 

 

 

 

Fun Master Bath Updates

Hey girls….the few who actually follow me! Just want to say that I appreciate you!  I started this decorating blog mostly as a creative outlet since, as you know by now, I love home decor and making things look “warm and cozy”… plus it’s just fun to do.

I have this small wall in my master bath that I have had a double towel bar hanging on since we moved into our house in 2006, and I always wanted something to hang on that wall above the towel rack, but I never came across anything that I thought would look right.  So, last week I got a brain storm and thought, ” why don’t I just take that towel rack down and give myself more options for decorating it”!?  This wall is above the tub, and has tile surrounding it too, so I had the towel rack kind of high so the towels wouldn’t hang too low and take away from the tile.

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I had my hubby remove the rack and spackle the huge holes in the wall, and thank God I still had some of the paint from repainting my bathroom about a year and a half ago.  I love the color!  #SherwinWilliams.  So now I have a lot more to work with.

 

I’m practically a Pinterest fanatic, and I had seen lots of ideas for decorating above tubs and toilets with shelves and love the look.  Last May I went to visit my BFF in CO and she wanted to do something new above her toilet in her guest bathroom and we did something very similar to what I put together in my MB.  We were very pleased with how it turned out.

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So…a trip to the decor stores was in order and as usual I had to check out Hobby Lobby first.  All their shelves were on sale…score!  Another thing I wanted to add with the shelves were a set of hooks, and I had seen some that had a vintage look that I thought would look great with my shelves.  I couldn’t find exactly what I wanted which were three to five hooks mounted on a wood board and preferably painted white.  I ended up finding the hooks I liked, but they were not attached to a board.  

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Next I was off to the craft department hoping to find some kind of wood plank boards that I could add the set of hooks to and I found the perfect thing.  It was as simple as spray painting the wood and then screwing the hooks onto it and ta-da I had exactly what I envisioned.

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Before I headed out of the fabulous Hobby Lobby I chose some accessories for the shelves that were also on sale, of course!  I knew I had a few things that would work for the shelves, but knew I would need a couple more things.  Several of them were only a couple bucks.  I like to mix different textures like glass, wood, paper or fabric to give lots of dimension to a vignette.  I bought a few glass bottles, but wanted a label for one of them.  Pinterest to the rescue again…by putting “free printable labels” into the search box.  I found some cute labels, downloaded them and printed them off and chose a cute one for my bottle.  It came out kind of light, so I used a fine black sharpie to go over the label and make it stand out more, then I used some modge podge to adhere the label to my bottle.

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With my hubby’s help we got both the shelves up and I put up the hooks.  Yay, now the fun part….decorating them.  The “bath” sign was a purchase from Kohl’s several months ago, the ceramic bunny has lived her for many years, but I think he likes his new spot…grin.  A cool rustic candle holder, a bit of greenery and at least one old book and I couldn’t be happier with the results.055

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Another change I recently made to my bathroom was this galvanized tin tray.  I had a small little white basket cubbie that sat in this spot for the past 11 years, but I’ll show you what I did with that next.  I found this tray at Love Street and had most everything else I used to put in it already.  Love Street is a shop very close to me that has the most amazing decor, but it can be pricey.  They always give you 25% off of one item when it is your birthday month, so this was what I decided to use my discount on as I just had my birthday last month.

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Since I still like the basket cubbie and the bird canisters that used to sit on top of it, I reused them in the “water closet” of our bathroom.

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The shelf has been over the toilet and the little birdie thingy that hangs from it is from my friend Irene and it says…Greet the Day with Wonder.

 

So there ya go….my updates to my master bathroom.  I spent very little with these changes, but I think they made a big impact on the room.  Finding items on sale and using what you already have by just moving it around and re-purposing it can make a big difference.  I hope you enjoyed the blog as much as I enjoyed putting it all together.

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Blessings,

Brenda

Creativity is intelligence having fun.  ~Albert Einstein

I love how God has made us creative!  We may not all be creative in the same way, but I believe we all have creativity in us because we were made in the image of God and His spirit lives in us and who is more creative than our God!!!  We have the mind of Christ and he has given each of us gifts to use for His glory!

Sometimes I think, how does my gift of decorating give You glory Lord?  I think He is telling me that it gives joy to others and even inspires some.  Also, it gives ME joy and I get blessed big time!  How sweet of God!

I hope your summer is going well and you are staying cool!  Till next time, be creative!

Decorating With Vignette’s

Hey Y’all, it’s been a while!  It’s a good thing blogging is not my job or I would have been fired a long time ago…lol.  I follow lots of decorating blogs and most of them post at least a few times a week if not everyday.  I suspect they consider it their job and most likely make an income from this job, so it’s more important for them to pump out the info.

I have been doing a bit of traveling over the last 6 weeks or so, with trips to Colorado and Virginia.  My best friend, Irene, lives in Monument, CO and was anxious for me to come visit so we could do some decorating at her house.  We mostly updated smaller areas, but she was dying to get her guest bedroom remodeled.  She has only lived there three years, but the things she decorated that room with were things she had had quite a while.  She is still working on it and should have it finished sometime in July.

Well, anyway, I guess I should get to the theme of my blog today and that is Vignette’s.  I’m a bit obsessed with doing smaller decorative design throughout my home.  Some of the definitions of vignette are:  Any small, pleasing picture or view and a small, graceful literary sketch.  

I love putting a small vignette together, grouping interesting things that catch the eye, mostly on about any flat surface.    Sometimes I know exactly what I want to do with the items I have and other times it takes me a while and I will start putting things together, but I will most likely change or add to it over time.  I just put a new one together in my master bathroom, so I’ll start with that grouping.

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I have a store very close to me that I’ve mentioned before, Love Street, that has wonderful modern decor and since it’s my birthday this month I had a 25% off of one item coupon and decided to buy this galvanized wire tray to put between the sinks in our bathroom with my discount.  I wasn’t even sure what I would do with it right away, but took it into the bathroom and started looking around at what I already had.  I had everything you see here already, although the mini plant was a recent purchase, (I’m a bit obsessed with small potted greenery lately.)  More on that later.

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I have had the small clock for many years.  I have to have a clock to glance at when I’m in the bathroom getting ready, so made sure I used it once again with this design.  

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I love the way this looks, but who knows, I may decide something else fits better with this tray, we’ll see.  Next is another arrangement that I just put together.  Little by little I am updating my home as I find things that inspire me.

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I found this very old window at Christine’s in Woodstock, GA just this week.  I originally went to her shop to buy a tobacco basket, but felt they were just too pricey, so I looked around the shop and found two much less expensive things and still spent less than I would have for the basket.  This window still has it’s hinges on the left side and the latch, so I just loved it.  

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The wire and wood basket is a new find too.  I was browsing at Hobby Lobby and it was a clearance item and once again I wasn’t sure what I would actually put in it, but shopped my house again and ta-da I filled it with no problem.  Once again there’s that fun little potted greenery.  This is a small little hallway that leads to my bedroom and the children’s/prayer room.

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I love using old books, if you haven’t noticed, and have lots of them.  I pick them up at about anywhere I can find a good deal on them.  I follow a blog by Sarah at Little Vintage Nest and she showed how she paints books sometimes to match the decor of the room she is using them in…genius, I can’t wait to try doing that.  

Now I will try not to talk so much and just show you some more areas I put together and hope you enjoy the pics.

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This is a frame lined with pages from a music book.

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Some fun groupings on the shelves beside my fireplace.

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I love trying to use unusual items and layering to give visual interest.  This wall vignette is in my half bath.  Ok, just a few more….

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A side table in the guest bedroom.

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These are a few more areas in the guest bedroom.  I have more projects to do in this room and hope to show you what I changed sometime soon.

 Well, I think that is enough for now.  Maybe you feel inspired to do a little vignetting at your house…if that’s a word?  Grin!

As much as I enjoy my home I am reminded by something Corrie Ten Boom once said, ” Happiness isn’t something that depends on our surroundings…It’s something we make inside ourselves.”  God gave me a beautiful home and blessed me with nice things that I never want to take for granted, but if it all went away tomorrow I always have Him , His Spirit inside of me, the source of all joy and contentment.  I’m so grateful!

“But godliness with contentment is great gain”  1 Timothy 6:6

Many blessings to you,

Brenda

 

 

 

 

What’s Old is New Again

I took on a big project that I started about 6 months ago.  I decided to paint my old dining room set that I have had since the 80’s.  It’s one of those solid oak sets, with a double pedestal table that holds two large leaves that make it about 10 feet long.  We only use it with the extra leaves about twice a year, but it sure is handy when my whole family gathers for holidays!  I also bought a hutch with it and still remember when we bought it that I thought it was so amazing and couldn’t wait to decorate it.

My hubs, my four boys and I used this table as our main dinner table back then as we didn’t have a formal dining room, so it had gotten lots of use until about the latter part of the 90’s.  It’s had a lot of milk spilled on it…grin!

I started with the chairs just before the holidays last year.  They took me quite a while because I was having trouble with my right shoulder and arm which sent me to Physical Therapy for a bit.  Slowly, but surely I got all six done, they were not easy with all their spindles and cut out design on the back of them!!  But then it was time to focus on Thanksgiving and Christmas, so the table and hutch had to wait.

Well, everything is done…glory hallelujah!!  I forgot to take a picture of the table before starting it, but I did take a picture of the hutch so you can see what it looked like before all my manual labor!

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I used Annie Sloan’s Chalk Paint in Old White to paint all of the furniture.  It’s such a great way to go because there is no prep work with this paint, you just dust off  your pieces and start painting.

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I had to do at least two coats of paint on everything and sometimes three, but I would water down the paint for the third coat and just go overs the spots that needed it the most.  

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After painting everything with two to three coats of paint it has to be waxed.  First a clear wax goes on and has to set just a little bit and then the distressing begins.  I enjoy doing the distressing part!  After I get done sanding and banging on each piece I go back over it again with more wax, but add some dark wax with some clear and antique it to give it that more rustic look.

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I’m so thrilled with the way it all turned out and had a lot of fun adding my white dishes to the hutch!

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Adding a little bit of greenery gives it a warmer feel and the bird sculptures that I inherited from my mother-in-law that were created by Norman Brumm, (An artist from Michigan),  give some whimsy to the design.  I also love to use old books to help give height to some of the pieces.

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Here are a few pics of my dough bowl that I put on the table as my centerpiece.  As you can see I enjoy using cute little birdies quite a bit, they just make me smile.

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I’m not quite done painting everything in this room yet.  I have a couple small pieces I want to do that I haven’t shown you yet.  Who knows when I will get to that though…he he.  

I was thinking how by just putting on a new coat of paint on my aging furniture made it look new again, bright and fitting for my space and how it parallels with how our lives are changed when we submit to our God.  In Colossians, chapter 3, these verses speak to me about just this.  “But now you must also put off all these: anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy language out of your mouth.  Do not lie to one another, since you have  put off  the old man with his deeds, and have put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him…Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another, even as Christ forgave you so you also must do.  But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection.  Col. 3:9-10, 12-14.

Just like it was a decision for me to PUT ON the new paint and refresh my table, chairs and hutch…we choose to put on love and then God can use us to brighten the space we are in and as my dining room set gives me renewed joy, so can we give joy to those around us.  It can be a process, just like it was for me to re-do my furniture, but if we determine to be all we can be for Christ and obey Him, not only do others benefit, but we do!

Grace and Peace Y’all,

Brenda  

 

 

 

 

My Sunny Guest Bedroom

Life has had quite a few ups and downs lately, so I have gotten behind on a few things like posting on my blog.  I have so many things I want to write about,  and decided since it is Spring I would show y’all my guest room today, because it kind of makes me think of spring.  This room is bright and cheery.  

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I found this quilt a few years ago and designed the room around it.  It has red, gold, black and teal in it and the reverse side is black and white.  I’ve probably said this before, but red is my favorite color.  I have been slowly re-doing my home in the farmhouse style, which means lots of neutral furniture, walls and decor and I really love that too, but I don’t think I will ever be able to completely eliminate the color red.  

Above the bed I wanted a big sign and couldn’t find one I really liked, so I made one.  There is this business near me called The Project Studio where you can go and make signs like this and they show you how to do the lettering and have all the supplies and equipment you need to make any kind of sign you want.  It’s such a great idea and lots of fun!  I didn’t need much help because I am pretty good at lettering already, but they have the wood and cut it the size you want and give you any help you need.  

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One of my best friends, Martha, bought me a very old shutter that was from a local home that is over 100 years old for my birthday a couple years ago.  It is in pretty rough shape, but I was able to sand it down a bit and clean it up.  It is very heavy because it is a solid wood shutter.  I had to make sure whatever I used to hang it with could hold it up securely!  If it falls it might break apart.  

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I found this birdhouse frame at Hobby Lobby and put a favorite picture of my brother, Mike and I in it.  We are about 4 and 5 in this picture.  Some guy came into our neighborhood with this pony and I’m assuming kid’s western wear and was selling photos to parents who were willing to take him up on his grand idea.  I’m glad my folks did.

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The other pictures on the shutter are of my dad, my mom, a grandfather and my brother and I again with my dad in our front yard.  I have quite a few old photos. Some are just copies, but I think they are so special.

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I put my grandparent’s (my mom’s parents) wedding photo along with a baby picture of me and a baby picture of my grandma Kimble (my dad’s mom) on this window shelf that a dear friend made and gave me several years ago.  I still love it, Rhonda…grin!  This wall is straight across from the bed and has a baby crib under it that has been used for all of my grand kids except our newest grand-daughter who is only 3 months old.  I didn’t show it because it desperately needs to be painted, and I will be painting it white…someday 🙂

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I have a window seat in this room and it’s great for extra storage.  This little suitcase was a fun find on a visit to my best friend’s house, Irene, in Colorado.  It had the perfect colors for the room and is such a cute size.  I think it must have been a child’s overnight case back in the 50’s or 60’s…I’m guessing.  I thought it looked great sitting on the window seat with the pitcher and bowl set my mom gave me.

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I found this antique table at a nail salon, of all places!  A local antique dealer put a few of his things at this salon for them to use and hopefully sell and I fell in love with it.  It was painted gray, but I wanted it white, of course.  I am planning on distressing it soon.  

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I have been thinking that I might go all white in this room in the near future, but keep the quilt as an accent piece.  I’d love to paint the bed, but I only have about 10 other things I want to also paint white, so who knows if I will ever get to this.  

I have lots more to blog about, so stay tuned for more rooms in my home.  I have to take more pictures, get them downloaded and edit them.  I hope y’all are doing well and are enjoying Spring in all it’s glory.

I think this is an appropriate verse for today:  “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all thing are become new.”  2 Cor. 5:17  

Grace and Peace,

Brenda