Archive for Crafts and Decor

Winter Blues

winter blues

In keeping with my theme of displaying the things that I love, I wanted to share a couple of pictures of my winter display of blue glass in my kitchen.

blue glass display

I started with this framed metal piece that used to hang in our previous house. I never found a place for it when we moved, so it has been sitting on a shelf in our basement.

These 3 Ball jars were passed on to me from my mother and were collecting dust in our basement as well. Some of the blue bottles had been in my kitchen and I collected other pieces from around the house.

Again, just seeing this cozy collection of things each day, makes my heart sing. Hmmmm, what should I work on next?


winter blue glass


Displaying, Rather than Storing, Meaningful Items

winter mantelI have a lot of great stuff . . . in boxes . . . in my basement. Can you relate?

After taking down Christmas decorations last month, I was faced with an empty mantel. The thought of putting my tried and true items back in their place seemed like drudgery.  I wanted to mix it up a bit, and that set me on a mission. I began casting a new vision for different areas of my home.

I have had several items tucked away that once belonged to my parents or grandparents. I really love their look, but have always told myself that they didn’t fit the decor of my home. I have dreamed of displaying them somehow, somewhere, but in the basement they have remained.

So now I’m taking bold new steps and creating ways to get them out in the open where they can be enjoyed. And I have started with my mantel.

Here’s a view of our parlor with my newly created winter-time mantel.

parlor with winter mantelI started this arrangement with a framed print that was being stored in our basement–because I needed a large enough piece to cover a couple of large screws that had held the previous painting that hung over the fireplace.

Then, with a nod to both of my grandmothers, and a neutral palette, I began arranging other meaningful items on the mantel.

heirloom mantel

wedding dress boxI included this box, which at one time, held my grandmother’s wedding dress, her eighth-grade graduation dress, and two little outfits that her children wore as babies. She wrote a list of the box’s contents on the outside. I have always cherished this box, but had never before considered displaying it. So glad it came to mind now.

heirloom mantel2Some other items I chose to display here included a checkerboard I remember from my grandparents’ house, old books, a pin cushion, a vintage hat, a wooden storage box and this little porcelain plant holder.

I like this look. And I like the way it makes me feel when I see it. What do you think? Do you have any interesting ways to display your favorite items?

I’ve got another little project I hope to show off soon.


Mudroom Upgrade

Our mudroom/laundry room/pantry begged for some attention. As you can tell by its name, it serves many purposes and was overcrowded and under-organized.

This is where we were a few months ago:

mudroom before

This wall has generally looked this way for the past several years. Remember this winter when I had a super productive day and changed around a few areas of our house? Well, I began the ball rolling in the direction of change for our mudroom, but for several weeks it remained in this rather awkward transitional state:

mudroom temporary

Thankfully, my husband {who is a physical therapist by trade} is financially savvy and quite a talented DIY’er, so we combined some cash we received around Christmas time and took advantage of a Menard’s promotion where we could earn 11% store credit on purchases, and Ken began accumulating the supplies needed to build a shelving unit to meet our needs in this room.

We worked together to draw up a design for the space. Ken figured out all the measurements:

shelving unit blueprint

And I filled in all the spaces to make sure it could contain everything I needed and wanted it to:

pantry storage map

As he had time on weekends and after work, Ken began to build the shelving units in sections.

woodworking project in garage

We used each section as it was constructed, although not completed.

mudroom in progress

painting project

Piece by piece, it came together.

mudroom shelves in progress

mudroom lockers

completed mudroom unitI found this cute bin at Kohl’s, of all places, and am using it to hold coupons and odds and ends that would have previously stockpiled on the kitchen counter.

coupon organizer

I picked up this row of hooks at Hobby Lobby and Ken mounted it on the wall opposite of the wall unit. Here I hang aprons and the kids’ “play” coats. Now the kids know which jacket to grab when they are going outside to play. That alone has solved a great recurring problem that we had.

decorative coat hooks

mudroom coat hooks

Eventually, we hope to add some enclosed storage across the top of the shelves. I would like to store vases and out-of-season items in them, out of sight. In the meantime, I plan to use storage bins up there to keep things accessible, yet tucked away.

Everything in its place:

mudroom organized

This Week’s Projects


I’ve mentioned that I’ve had some projects keeping me extra busy this week, so I thought I’d share a bit of what I’ve been up to.

First, it’s Operation Christmas Child National Collection Week! If you’re not familiar with Operation Christmas Child, please head over to the Samaritan’s Purse websiteand check it out.  Like many others, I have been involved with Operation Christmas Child for many, many years. I don’t remember the first time I packed a shoe box full of items for kids, but I do remember the first time I was able to help deliver boxes to children in Russia and Belarus and saw the smiles on their faces. That experience has motivated me to get more involved with OCC over the years.

Here is a picture of the boxes that our church family put together this year {and of course my cute kids}:

kids with Operation Christmas Child boxes

Secondly, I have been working on decorations and centerpieces for this Sunday’s Thanksgiving service at our church. I created these mason jars with acorns and candles last year and was able to incorporate them into this year’s table centerpieces as well.



We will have straw bales and pumpkins and various other decor, but this is an example of how the individual centerpieces will look:


Also, I belong to a blogging community called Blogging Your Passion. Jonathan and Bob from BYP have helped me out so much with setting up my blog on WordPress and being there to answer any questions I have. They have started an online university which keeps me motivated and consistently offers help and insight into this blogging thing. With November being known to many as National Novel Writing Month, BYPU issued a challenge to write at least 10 new blog posts before month’s end {with the incentive of winning a nice little prize}. I had a bit of a delayed start, but I am doing my best to complete the challenge and be eligible for the prize drawing.

And finally, this is what has been slowing me down {quite} a bit this week.

bandaged wrist

I have developed what seems to be tendonitis in both my wrists, but my right wrist has been pretty painful this week, putting me completely out of commission for 1 day so far. I’ve had a bit of a reprieve from the pain today, so hopefully it doesn’t get worse as I try to make up for lost time now that it’s feeling a tiny bit better. We’ll see what tomorrow holds!

Personalized Wall Decor

DSCN3765Well, I’ve been keeping pretty busy lately creating some decorative gifts for friends and family. I hope to get some more personalized wall decor items made up and create a Facebook page to show them to the public and begin taking custom orders. Maybe even put them on Etsy. What do you think? {UPDATE: I now have a FB page and Etsy shop: Grohing Up Together}


Detail of my latest project.


I have supplies and a lot of ideas for my next projects. Just need to get creating them. Here’s one from a couple of months ago.

DSCN3500My creative clutter and current project: