I’m not Joanna Gaines…but read on!

IMG_3403So many things inspire me, but none like the known loves and passions in my life….(1) my love for Jesus Christ (2) my love for my husband (3) my love for family (4) my passion for creating & decorating (5) my passion for writing and telling a good story…

So let’s begin here…my passion for creating and decorating…  Though recently inspired by Joanna Gaines (truth be told I only learned about her and Chip this past January while inn-sitting and getting more than 5 TV channels!), my passion has deeper roots than this past winter.  Since I was quite young, I thought it “fun” to mess up my room in order to be made to “clean it”, which to me meant rearranging all the furniture, reorganizing the desk drawers and making a fun new creation to hang on my wall.  Call me weird, but these times of room cleaning at a very young age are among my favorite memories.

So let’s bring it closer to home…to today, or even this moment.

IMG_3481Sitting at my computer, I am blessed to be surrounded by  “a few of my favorite things”, and it hit me that perhaps all you need to inspire you in your own home is just that….a few favorites.  So let me help you get started!  See the pencil/pen cup?  My sister, also featured in the picture above, and I were doing one of our favorite things together…antiquing…and as we got up to the counter to check out, I spied that cup and asked if it was for sale.  “That thing?”, the owner laughed, then offered it to me for $1.00.  It boasts of pink, green and flowers….what’s not to love about it?!?  So now it has a new home.

IMG_3480I love architectural salvage, and anything dented and rusted.  So when I found this old money box, I thought it the perfect thing for my desk, with a picture of my sweet HubE perched on top and an antique frog for holding his latest “note” to me (yes, he leaves them daily with my coffee cup).

IMG_3436Often my finds just outright make me laugh…as was the case with this cow!  Found at The Tin Roof in Traceylee’s Southern Junkin Princess’s booth, both the picture and the pillows were a “must have” purchase.  My husband has worked in agriculture all his life…specifically with cattle…AND, his grandma had a pet milk cow named Bossie.  He totally understood my desire to add the photo to our bedroom, with our otherwise wall of family photos…

IMG_3438Let’s take a look at this picture…years ago I began a wall of my favorite photos….so that when I lay in bed at night, I see my family and remember….times shared  and how thankful I am for each person and moment.  The bench beneath is a “find” I actually tried many times to sell in my booth spaces of past, and finally decided it was meant to come home with me!  Someone had previously carved the word “meek” into its top slat.  Meekness (which was an attribute described of Jesus) means power under perfect control…a reminder to me of Christ’s power living in and through me.

Baskets beneath the bench hold books for my precious granddaughter…at a low enough height that she can sit on the floor and enjoy them, or bring them to Nana to read to her.  The spool is simply a decorative piece added, as is the grey wine box…also from Traceylee’s booth!  The bowl and pitcher were one of the few things I have left from  my childhood room.  At Christmas, it holds vintage Christmas balls!  A few of my favorite things…

IMG_3470When looking for pieces for your home, start with things you have and love and build from there.  This metal “wallflower” has been in our home some 30 years, inspired by my love of flowers, yes, but also my passion for metals and architectural pieces.  My husband’s grandmother used to collect pitchers, and while she must have had more than 5 dozen, I have only 5…and I use them all!  My coffee creamer goes in one every morning, and the larger milk pitcher I save for when we have guests.  And the vintage tins actually hold what they say….at an easy reach while adding a decorative touch to my 70’s kitchen.

Let me stop here to add this disclaimer…if you live in a 1970’s or 1980’s home, don’t think you have to shovel down to the bones to redecorate.  Start where you are, and add touches bit by bit.  There will be time and money down the road (after you save….and wait…and add anticipation…) to do a total makeover!  In the meantime, find what you can or must live with and build.  For example, I have orange counter tops, and while orange is not at all in my list of desired colors, I have found ways to incorporate it into my overall scheme while downplaying the fact that I have orange counters!  IMG_3472Such as adding touches of blue…

IMG_3469And even a dusty pink antique cookie jar, which pales against the orange.

IMG_3479My antique lamp, in white, doesn’t formalize things, but rather softens the color and draws your eye away from the o-r-a-n-g-e.

IMG_3467It also allows me to bring in a touch of something else I love…hobnail.  These glasses were found at a thrift store where I paid ten cents apiece for them.  They are now the perfect glass for me because the hobnail keeps my arthritic hands from sliding down the outside as it condensates from the cold liquid inside. I may actually get to keep these in the family for awhile!

IMG_3464I don’t really have a china cabinet, but my entry cabinet is the perfect storage spot for some of my favorite things….a wine decanter and glasses from my grandmother now sit ready to use at our home for communion with friends and family.  You will always find aluminum pieces at my home as well….they are quite useful and also make attractive decorating pieces!

IMG_3462Think outside the box….you’ve heard me say it over and over again.  I love to display pieces that make me happy, such as this table scarf and platter.  But we don’t have a lot of room, and we needed a place for our dog biscuits…so I just combined them all into one fun spot…just inside the front door for easy access and an attractive entryway.

IMG_3461My friends at  Southern Chicks know me well, both for my Burlap &  Lace store, and for my own home finds!  And they know, too, that often what I purchase for our home may one day end up in my booth space because I like change so much!  But this piece I may never part with!  It now holds my storehouse of china and glassware that I have accumulated since working at the Bed & Breakfast on Tiffany Hill…things I bought to entertain with in my own home after enjoying it so much at work!  And see the lamps?  Antique store finds at only $5 each, but without shades.  Trick of the trade….buy white shades at a thrift store (these from Goodwill for 50 cents each), then spray paint them whatever color you need!  I painted mine black to draw in the furniture tones in the den that offsets the entryway.  While I would love to paint every piece of furniture in our home, my husband (rightly so) puts a big “no” on some items, and we already had a lot of black furniture pieces so I decided to leave them and work with them… for example, in our guest room….

IMG_3448With all black furniture, I decided that this would make the perfect “architectural salvage” room…as both my boys love the same and I reason they will likely be our guests most often!  I stole the ladder idea from a friend of mine…then chose a family photo of us all and hung in black frames between the rungs.

IMG_3456This cedar trunk was left behind in my grandmother’s attic.  I was drawn to it because it had crackled white chippy paint on it…and check out those feet!  I LOVED this piece!  BUT, I wanted to use it as a toy box and wasn’t sure if it was lead based paint so I attempted to sand it off and start over.  Fail.  So I attempted to add stain to make it “worn” and just reasoned that I would leave the paint alone otherwise.  Fail again.  All that did was produce a very ugly creamy brown color.  So I did the unthinkable….I grabbed my spray paint cans of brown and black and went to work on this piece!  And I LOVE it!  Where there’s a will, there’s a way, right?

IMG_3476I started Burlap & Lace by making signs…wall art of many descriptions.  My son, in college at the time, took hold of my love and began painting his own creations.  For a surprise, he left me this 3-piece tree to sell in my booth….NO WAY!  This piece is center in our den, and probably will forever be!  I simply added my own interpretation of window and stars to capture the “starry, starry night”, then splashed a few colored bottles around and called it good!  And looky there….orange is again brought into the scene, but toned down by greens and blues and yellows!

I hope you’re not tiring of my home tour, but I have a purpose.  Hang on…it’s coming!  Just a few more pictures & ideas to share…

IMG_3446Don’t be afraid to mix the old with the new!  I began buying silver platters and creamers for my son’s wedding, but afterwards decided they made lovely pieces in my home as well.  And the coke crate is from my husband’s grandfather’s store of years gone by.  I wanted to use it, but was unsure how until I needed a place for washcloths!

IMG_3440Baskets are everywhere in my home..you can use them for everything!   And while struggling to find something to use in our bathroom but not yet ready to tear out the sink and start from scratch, I came across this corner shelf at Southern Chicks and grabbed it up!  Weeks afterwards, I was in there again and another vendor had the same cabinet for sale…so I bought it for my booth so you couldn’t say I wasn’t thinking about you when I was shopping!  Two other things in this picture to notice…(1) the round enamel plate.  I love enamelware, and use it in every room; (2) the picture….I bought the frame years ago at Gravy in Brevard, but had no use for it…I just loved it!  Then years after I found this tin photo, just the size of the frame!  The picture made me smile…not sure why, but some things don’t need explanation to create a warm place in your heart.  So when you find something you like, something that makes you giggle or smile, perhaps it’s meant to go home with you…for a later time! Don’t be afraid to store some things away…the challenge is not to do so in excess!

IMG_3460I appreciate old wood…even discards that no one else sees value in.  This piece, topped with my prayer scripture for about 9 years, was the first piece I made for our home.

IMG_3450Try turning books backwards to show the worn pages instead of always stacking them with the binding facing outward.  This shoe form was a bargain at $3, but I didn’t buy it for the bargain it was….I bought it because of the name “Joy” on it!  What a reminder to me….

IMG_3443A garden planter becomes a holding place for my business cards and price tags…

IMG_3444A vintage ironing board sits by my rocker as a different sort of table, complete with a coaster for my morning coffee, a favorite picture of my boys-now-men, a lamp atop yet another metal box, and my mother-in-law’s table scarf to soften the overall look. The chalkboard was made by my son and framed in my grandmother’s discarded frame.  Now it is my morning inspiration spot, placing whatever God has put on my heart to learn or remember upon it.  You can’t see it here, but I have an insulator turned upside down to hold my chalk!  You will find those in my booth this month as well…

IMG_3414So to Burlap & Lace we go….here is that corner shelf I told you about!  And many items of silver (all for $16.95 or less….unheard of!), wood and insulators, as promised.

IMG_3410Baskets to choose from, and vintage tablecloths as well.  At $14.95 each, you won’t find tablecloths anywhere at this price!

IMG_3400This vintage table would be perfect in a bathroom makeover…simply add the basin (why not an antique bowl with the pitcher sitting beneath?) and faucets and you have a dreamy new addition!  Or if you don’t want to go that far in your redecorating scheme, do as I have done here and put this piece on a deck with ice and drinks for your next barbecue!

IMG_3405For a few more weeks you will find wedding ideas and items for sale.  But get them quickly because new ideas are in the making for mid-June to usher in summer’s sizzle!

IMG_3402Let me leave you with one last view of the booth …  hopefully to inspire you, but also to encourage you to start with that one “favorite” item in your home and begin to do what you have been too overwhelmed to begin up until now.  My motto?  Think outside the box!  If you see something you like but are unsure what you could do with it, email me or write a comment here.  I love a good challenge! And stop in to the Tin Roof to check out the other vendors as well.  Like me, you may end up with a good starting place just by finding a cow!

Laughter is good medicine.