There’s a simple beauty in a canning jar filled with layers of dry ingredients. The old world look is the best marriage of simple beauty and utilitarian practicality. It’s why we find shelves of classic cookie and brownie recipes layered into canning jars for Christmas gift-giving. But they aren’t limited to gift giving. Sugars, dried herbs and mixes of all kinds are perfect for canning jars, or any wide-mouthed jar that has been scrubbed clean and relieved of its label. Last week I was mixing up some spices for my favorite sausage recipe and snapped a quick pic of the layers in the process. And at the request of a friend, today seems to be a good time to share with y’all what we’ll call Canning Jar Charm | Sausage Spice Mix.
This recipe is an adaptation of the Breakfast Sausage recipe found Read More
Thanks for all the love on the Chalkboard Wall project we completed this week. It’s always fun to watch something come together the way you had imagined. It’s even better when you get to do any project with your favorite people. And as far as were concerned, the challenge of thinking outside the box and using what you have requires ingenuity and leaves behind a strong sense of fulfillment. So just for fun, here’s a little run-down of what really went down in our kitchen the other day in the making of a bargain chalkboard wall.
The making of a bargain chalkboard wall | assets and liabilities
It’s always a good place to start, this listing of assets and liabilities. It helps to establish parameters and to have a starting point to launch creativity.
One of my favorite spots in our home is the skinny little chalkboard wall between our kitchen and eating area. For the past 3 years, it has held grocery lists, messages, childhood masterpieces and an assortment of random thoughts. After last week’s kitchen purge, it seemed like the right time to freshen it up a bit and shift the focus a little to make it a chalkboard wall of thanks.
You may remember this shot from last year when I armed our son-in-law with a jar of chalk and a few ideas. I asked him to do something magical and he more than delivered on that request. It took until Valentine’s Day for me to be convinced that maybe it was time to erase his work.
I hope your part of the world has enjoyed a proper hello to fall, even if it is in the form of a bag of leaves purchased from the local craft store. Here in the Bluegrass, we’ve had a few days that peaked in the high 60’s and more evenings each week that would qualify as brisk. Fashionwise it’s a bit of a limbo season. Hence the need for some great foundational pieces that transition from one day to the next, or one time of the day to the next, as the case may be. Well, you’re in luck because it’s Fashion Friday with Glamour Farmsand today I’m sharing 5 ways to style an A-line tunic dress for fall! Our featured items are the Carson Tunic Dress in taupe and the Rachel plaid scarf in navy.
Are y’all just loving all the fall home tours as much as I am? It’s such a colorful and cozy season that invites us to slow down and gather with friends and family. As much as I’m loving all the beauty and inspiration to be found, I’m starting to wonder about my own approach to decorating. What if fall decor is actually about my own vision and creating cozy spaces to gather together instead of some misguided standard I’ve devised in my own mind to use as a standard in which my own home and decor skills are always found lacking? That’s not why people share their home tours, it’s to give us a peek into their homes and special spaces. I’m choosing to enjoy these for the inspiration that they are while at the same time enjoying the beauty that fills the spaces around me.
With that in mind, I would love to offer you a steaming cup of coffee and invite you to sit and hopefully enjoy what I see when I look at our own decor for fall. Beyond that, I would love to see what makes your own decor special and what makes you smile in your own space.
Thrifted couches and a coffee table rescued from the trash pile
Bargain: Basement Cabinets! is not the same as “Bargain Basement” Cabinets …
Ever had one of those 6 weeks projects that you’re almost half way through 8 weeks later? Yeah, same here! This weekend I’m hoping to start painting our new basement cabinets. How about a quick look?
The plan is for a one wall kitchenette, as we are only allowed 2 appliances per city code. Let me add, as frustrating and ridiculous as building codes can be, we’ve appreciated the helpfulness of each inspector we’ve worked with in this process. Even when we didn’t pass the inspection the first time.
The last two cities we’ve lived in had some sort of discount building supply warehouse. They’re not always easy to find, but if you ask around you’ll learn all sorts of money saving secrets. In Lexington we have the Restore for used cabinets and entire kitchens, but we also have a place called Salvage Building Materials of Lexington.
Purchase, Return, Purchase …
We started by purchasing 4 unstained cabinets, 3 for the kitchenette and 1 for the bathroom. We brought them home, unloaded them, and decided we wanted a little higher quality.
So we loaded them back up and headed back to the store. I’m not the only one that does this, right?
We headed back to our local building salvage store but this time, we headed to the aisle they refer to as their “graveyard”.
The big difference? The plan was changed to painted instead of stained cabinets, which meant it didn’t matter one bit what color the cabinets were. We selected 4 cabinets ranging from $25 – $100 each! $200 later, the cabinets were loaded and I was on my way home.
Our Kitchenette Plan
The kitchenette cabinets include two 18″ drawer bases and a 30″ sink base and bathroom vanity.
Here’s what we “gave up” in these cabinets …
identical door fronts on all the cabinets
slightly narrower cabinets than we originally wanted
a missing door on one of the kitchen cabinets
Here’s why it was worth it …
The adventure of painted cabinets instead of the same cherry stained maple cabinets in our kitchen. Isn’t it always fun to do something a little more creative than the off-the-shelf options?
Higher quality cabinets
Soft close drawers, because we’re all about the hoity and the toity …
The $600 we saved is going into another AWESOME feature in the basement that we’re super excited about! More about that in another post.
Soon there will be a post about the painting process. And a little about the counter tops, and faucets, and fixtures ….
So, how about you? Do you have any discounted building supply sources in your area? I do hope so! Do you prefer stained or painted cabinets? If you were painting cabinets, what color would you use?
There’s just something exciting about a new chapter. Whether the previous one ended well or not so much, the possibilities of a new adventure can be quite exciting. A little scary sometimes too, but always new.
That’s where I am.
That’s another entire post in the works.
It’s quite a familiar chapter, and yet, quite new at the same time. This hanging out with cool kids is very familiar, it’s the fact that they don’t call me Mama that’s all new.
I’m sure there will be tough days mixed in with lots of sweet ones. Some longer days and others that are entirely too short. And that’s just fine with me. It’s all part of life.
Though the last chapter as part of the “my pleasure” mom squad had it’s perks and beauty, I couldn’t be more excited about the flow of the days ahead.
Here’s to adding a little “Mary Poppins” to my story.
And though I don’t exactly have a magic umbrella or carpet bag, this Amy Butler Cosmo Bag I stitched up years ago should work just fine. Plenty of room in here to bring along a bit of wonder for the days ahead.
Some seasons just call for a little improv. Our winter has been one of those so far. Technically we’ve had a few cold days and a couple of snows, but not enough to really stick around.
This obviously requires a bit of winter improv! At our house that usually involves some twinkle lights, because everyone knows they’re not just for Christmas trees. And lots of white, a bit of dazzle and, naturally, SNOW.
One of these days the Hoosier cabinet will get a new color, but first I need to decide on what color that will be. And yes, I am very open to suggestions.
I also love the way layers of textures and colors create coziness and beauty. Like this thrifted wooden tray with my new Moscow Mule Mugs, crocheted runners and some sweet mini roses.
And who made the rule that ornaments are only to be used at Christmas? That’s just silliness!
And back to the twinkle lights
And in the midst of enjoying a new season, comes the opportunities to enjoy the treasures it can bring.
Especially when those treasures come in the form of the college boy coming home for a few hours and a family dinner.
What sort of winter improv and treasures have you been enjoying around your house?
Instagram tells me I snapped this picture 36 weeks ago. That would have made it the end of February, one of those days with a beautiful snowfall … after what had become a long, cold winter. Being the texture lover that I am, I had decided that we needed faux fur throws, and most likely one for each of us. So as soon as fur was on sale at the local fabric shop, I snatched up several different colors and styles in the softest furs that I could find.
Several of them became body pillows for our bonus room couches, perfect for movies with the family, and the others became pillow covers or throws. Then I got busy and forgot to stitch up the last two throws. I’m not quite sure how I would forget such a thing, but I did.
I decided today was the perfect day to finish up the last two throws, as fall seems to have finally come to stay. One of the perks of sewing is that you have lots of license to make things exactly the way you want them. With both of my guys being over 6’2″, I knew I wanted my thrown to be longer than the usual 60″ or 72″. In fact, I purchased enough fur for two 86″ throws.
One of the throws I made last year has a microfiber backing which is nice and lightweight, but a bit more flimsy than I prefer. So, I went with fleece as it tends to be the same width as faux fur, eliminating the need to trim the fleece before sewing your throw. It’s also usually on sale this time of year.
The steps for making a fur throw are very straightforward, the only difficulties being that the fur can be very slinky and the sheer size of the throw makes it a bit awkward to pin with a bazillion pins (to counteract the slinky factor). On the upside, fur is also very forgiving and if your measurements are slightly off, you’ll have a hard time spotting the imperfection. Our son actually made one for his big sister one Christmas when he 12 or 13 and it turned out great. You can read that as, “If a pre-teen boy can successfully make a fur throw, then so can you!”
So let’s get started …
Lay out your fleece with the right side up and smooth out any wrinkles. This is probably easiest on a king size bed or clean floor due to the sheer size of the project. Lay your fur on top of the fleece, right side down and matching up the selvages and straight cut edges of the fleece and fur. Again straighten out the fur and make sure none of the fleece has bunched up in the process. Now, pin the two layers together, using more pins than you think you need to – just trust me on this, you’ll thank me later.
Another tip is to always pin fabrics along the right edge with the head of the pin closest to you. This way you can easily pull out the pins as they are approaching the presser foot on your machine.
Using your machine, stitch a 1/2″ seam all the way around the rectangle, leaving a 6″ – 8″ opening along one side to turn the throw right side out. Trim seams as needed and clip the corners, then turn the throw right side out through the opening you have left on the side.
Finally, turn in the raw edges of the opening and whip stitch it closed.
Actually the final step is to clean up the stray fur, or it will look like a fur factory exploded.
If you’re lucky, like me, then you may even have an assistant who will firmly believe that you made it just for him. Of course, he will promptly take a nap on the edge of your throw and it may be a little while before you get to enjoy your handiwork. In the meantime you can start a list of who will be getting a faux fur throw for Christmas.
Just in case the Write 31 days isn’t enough of a challenge, I decided to take on another challenge today. It’s called the Autumn Home Makeover: 90 Minute Edition.
You may or may not have heard of this one, since I pretty much made it up late this morning. See, our days have been chock full of awesome these past few weeks. It has been both a blessing and that good sort of post-workout-exhausting.
In the midst of this, my version of welcoming fall around our home has consisted of pulling out our pumpkin chili recipe and slipping on the fall pillow covers. With some fun family time scheduled throughout the weekend ahead, I just decided I would pull out our collection of fall decorations this morning and limit myself to 90 minutes to create something magical.
90 minutes is not very long for me to do such a thing, but I guess I’m all about challenges this month. So, here’s what I came up with…
Is it the best fall decorating I’ve ever done? Nope.
Am I okay with it? Yep.
Because now it’s out and we get to enjoy it. And now my girls and I get to spend the evening watching my niece play volleyball.
At this point, our girl time is the priority.
So Autumn Home Makeover: 90 Minute Edition? Challenge accepted.