Hot Chocolate Station

Hot cocoa bars seem to be a big thing these days.  I’ve seen lots of bloggers showing their hot chocolate stations from small ones to big.  Pinterest has lots of ideas for putting together a cocoa bar and I went on Pinterest to find some free printables so I could put one together for a Christmas Party with my church small group.  I love hot chocolate especially on those cold and frigid days of winter and found an amazing recipe, also from Pinterest, to make for our party.

The free printables I found were just simple black and white in a cute font.  Labels for the goodies to add to the cocoa, like marshmallows…always a must with hot chocolate, right!?

I had a running theme of black and white checks as well as some black and red checked decor this Christmas, so I kept that going with the chocolate bar.  I took some red card stock, some black and red wrapping paper and made these little cards for each goodie and just cut the card stock so I could fold it in half, then I cut the black and red wrapping paper in squares, glued the squares to the card stock, and glued the fun little printables to each one…easy peasy!

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I had a nice 8 X 10 frame to put the big sign for the bar in and did the same thing with my red and checked papers, as you can see.  I also found these adorable cups and napkins at the Party store near me that had the red and black checked pattern on them.  I was so tickled to find something that matched my theme so well.

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My hubby, Dave and I, were at Kirkland’s one day and I saw these cute little plates.  One said, “Baby It’s Cold Outside”, and the other one said, ” Merry Christmas”.  Then I also grabbed a little ‘top hat’ and a ‘present’ tree ornament with the same pattern of black and red check and used them as part of the display.  I turned the hat upside down and put the chocolate chips on that, and as you can see in the above pictures and below,  I used the present ornament for the Hot Chocolate Mix sign.

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The Hot Chocolate Bar was a big hit and the Hot Chocolate was so rich and delicious…everyone enjoyed it.  The recipe is HERE if you would like to make it sometime.  

Our small group always has such a great time when we get together, especially for the Christmas Party and this year was another super fun time.  It all goes by so fast!  

All the Christmas decorations are put away for another year and things are getting back to normal, but as children of God, we celebrate our Jesus all year round, but Christmas is such a special time to gather and give gifts to each other, to enjoy family and friends and rejoice in the most precious gift ever given!  I am so thankful!  

Happy New Year,

Brenda

 

 

 

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RiverStone’s Annual Women’s Tea

Once again it was time for my favorite event at my church. The Women’s Christmas Tea.  We are not a huge church, but we do have about 250 women that come to the Tea and it sold out within a few days this year.  The Tea was supposed to be on Dec. 10 but we ended up getting an unreal snow storm here in the West Atlanta area and it forced us to postpone our event until the next Sat.  We got almost a foot of snow!!!  It was so pretty, but many lost power, so they were not the happiest!  I actually enjoyed it and my grand-daughter, Holly, loved it!

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So the Tea was on the 16th and there were a few who could not make it due to other plans already made.  None the less, we still had a big crowd and our speaker was still able to be with us.  This year we had Carol Aebersold , the mom of the mother-daughter duo that created The Elf on The Shelf.  She was awesome.  Her story was so interesting and inspiring!

It is always such fun to see all the decorated tables.  Each one is put together by the table’s hostess and these women are so creative.  I want to show you just a few of the tables before I get to mine.

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So now I guess I will show you my table.  Honestly I just have such a blast deciding what I want to do with my table and once I get an idea, which sometimes is just one part of it, then I go from there.  This year I didn’t even know what my centerpiece was going to be until about a week before!  I used a black and white checked tablecloth last year and still love it, so I started there.

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So I used this cool barn wood box I bought at a florist outlet in Atlanta to start my centerpiece with and then I sat my funky little topiary Christmas tree in it and surrounded it with live greenery, pinecones and the small wrapped gifts I made with craft paper.  I stamped each of them with a word like peace, joy, noel, etc., tied some bakers twine on them and added a little sprig of greenery to them.

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My place settings were so fun for me this year.  I purchased these cool chargers from my favorite website, Decor Steals, a while back when I saw them as one of their daily specials.  My favorite white dinnerware and the black desert plates that I made.  I did a post on how to make them Here if you want to see it.  

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Yay, I finished this post!  I need to tell you the reason why it is up so late.  I started this blog post a few weeks ago, but had a lot of trouble with the media not letting me insert the pictures.  They would disappear on me and then the whole thing would just freeze up!  I would try it over and over during these past weeks and it was the same every time.  Anyway, I finally figured out what I needed to do and it worked, Hallelujah!

I have another post I want to do that is from Christmas and will get that put together in the next couple of days, and then I’ll be all finished with this years, or actually last years Christmas…grin…highlights.  I usually like to end with some scripture or blessing, but I think I will just get this published and be so glad to have it completed!!!!!

Happy New Year Y’all,

Brenda

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Christmas Decor 2017

Believe it or not this is my third attempt at putting this post together for Christmas!  I am not sure if my computer was the source of sabotage or if it was a problem with WordPress, but regardless of what the issue was I decided I would try one more time and hit the Save button more so as not to lose all my work!!!

So here I go…I thought I would start with some highlights from my living room.  The mantle and the tree are the biggest focal points, of course, so I’ll show those to you first.  I kept my mantle much simpler this year.  In years past I layered lots of different elements into the garland even before I added the bigger things.  This year I went to Michael’s and bought separate boughs of greenery instead of using a bulky garland, and placed them in and around the bigger pieces!  

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I found the adorable black and white checked ball garland at Kirkland’s and thought it looked great with my tin Christmas bunting.  I incorporated more of the black and white into my scheme this year.  I’m kind of obsessed with buffalo checked decor right now, so you will see touches of it in many places.

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I love the O Holy Night print and the Felted Reindeer with the red whipped stitch on them.

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I’m enjoying my tree so much this year with the new checked ribbon and the white felted ball garland I added to it this year.  

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I also made some rag ball ornaments this year.  I just took some styrofoam balls and wrapped them in scraps of broadcloth fabric left over from making pillows, and then I used a sharpie marker to write words on them like Jesus, Peace, Joy and Love.

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I coordinated my gift wrapping to complete the look I wanted.

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Another area I had fun decorating is a shelf that is above my couch.  I found a vintage Christmas Carols book on Etsy and started with that.  Then I added this cute little pick up truck I found at Home Goods and it went from there.

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I found three adorable old fashioned stockings on one of the websites I receive daily emails from called Bits of Vintage.  They have deals each day that usually only last 24 hours.

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I thought this little tree and the spool of red and white twine was fun, so they found their place on the bench table.IMG_1675 (1)

And I know I’m kind of a goofball about my decor, but aren’t these songbooks so cute?

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Now on to a few vignette’s in my foyer.  I especially want to show you what I did up top of my pie safe.

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I bought the little cubbie in Michigan this past summer and am enjoying it a bunch.  I have thought about painting my pie safe white, but the gal I bought this furniture from painstakingly restored it to it’s original state and so I can’t bring myself to paint it again.  

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Just one more arrangement in the foyer for you to see.  I have a pretty large foyer, and showed more of it last year, so I don’t want to repeat myself.  The Gather sign is new and I found the wooden bead garland at Kirkland’s that I thought added a cute little touch to my berry picking box.

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My dining room is simpler this year too.  I usually have a 4 ft. tree in this room, but I decided to just put a smaller one on top of my antique telephone desk this year.

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Here is what I did on the top of my hutch.  Again I kept it pretty simple because the hutch already has so much on it.

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So, if I haven’t bored you too much yet, I will move onto the kitchen and keeping room.  As usual, I lined the stairway with my collection of snowmen.  They just make me smile and the grand kids always have loved them.

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Right next to the stairway is the little table I inherited from my Mother-in-law, and the lamp was also hers, so they are special.  This isn’t the best picture, but I didn’t take any others.  The Christmas Tree Sign is another item I got at Kirkland’s, it was a special of the day.

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The hoosier cabinet has a new look this year too.  

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Well, I think that is enough for this year…I hope you enjoyed all the pictures and maybe even picked up a few ideas for your own home.  Have a wonderful and blessed Christmas and a very happy 2018!   I hope to do a post on the Christmas Tea right after Christmas, so keep a look out for that.

Keeping Christ in Christmas,

Brenda

“While they were there, the time came for her to give birth.  She gave birth to a son, her firstborn.  She wrapped him in a blanket and laid him in a manger, because there was no room in the inn.  There were sheepherders camping in the neighborhood.  They had set night watches over their sheep.  Suddenly, God’s angel stood among them and God’s glory blazed around them. They were terrified.  The angel said, “Don’t be afraid.  I’m here to announce a great and joyful event that is meant for everybody worldwide:  A Savior has been born in David’s town, a Savior who is Messiah and Master.  This is what you’re to look for: a baby wrapped in a blanket and lying in a manger.”  At once the angel was joined by a huge angelic choir singing God’s praises: Glory to God in the heavenly heights, Peace to all men and women on earth who please him.”  Luke 2:6-14 AMP

 

 

 

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!  

 

 

 

 

 

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!