Nov 29, 2015

Chandelier Shades

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday last week!  I'm a little sad to be saying goodbye to my fall decor now that Thanksgiving is over, but at the same time I'm excited to start decorating for winter and Christmas, especially with the snow we've had.

 Before I began packing up my fall decor today, though, I took a few photos of our new dining room chandelier shades. 

Our dining room has very tall ceilings, and as we sat down to our Thanksgiving feast last week, I was reminded once again that I wasn't happy with the way the chandelier filled up the big empty space above us with harsh unfiltered light, making our dining experience seem less intimate than I would have liked. So, today, knowing my husband was making a trip to the building supply store, I made a quick search online to see if they had some of the burlap chandelier shades I've been wanting and asked him to pick some up. Better late than never! :)

Even during a cloudy day you can see how the shades direct most of the light from the chandelier bulbs down onto the table, creating the warm, cozy, intimate space I was hoping for even with the candles unlit. 

I wasn't positive I'd like how the shades would look in our dining room during the day, but I loved them right off. I think they add just the right amount of coziness beneath our ten and a half foot box beamed ceiling without making the space look busy or crowded. I also love the informal burlap texture with our rustic farmhouse decor.

The shades are easy to install with a metal clip that fits over the chandelier bulbs. Along with the dimmer we already have installed on our light switch I can now have the exact amount of soft light I want directed right where I want it, on the dining room table.

These are the shades we bought. We had to mix and match two different manufacturers to get seven in the size I wanted, but we can't tell the difference between them. And what a great price, right? These little shades can run up to four times this much at some higher-end stores. 

A great convenience that many stores offer now days is the ability to check the store's website for the availability of merchandise at your neighborhood store before you leave home. When I found what I wanted online, I just took a photo with my husband's cell phone of the computer screen showing all of the manufacturers information, so he knew exactly what to look for. He really appreciates having that information on his phone when he runs a shopping errand like this for me. And while at the store he took a phone photo of the shades and texted it to me for approval.

If you're looking for a way to create more intimacy and warmth around your holiday table this year, you might want to give chandelier shades a try, too. They also come in other fabrics, like linen, and fun colors and patterns - how about tartan for winter or red for Christmas? 


Nov 23, 2015

Thanksgiving Table 2015

Hi, everyone! Wouldn't you just know it! I came down with a doozy of a cold, and I'm stuck in front of the TV with a box of Kleenex in my lap for a few days. The good news is I shopped for Thanksgiving groceries before I got sick, and I should be feeling better in time to prepare and enjoy our Thanksgiving feast with our family. If I had to have a cold just now, 
this was very good timing. 

I still have a couple of things I finished last week to share before Thanksgiving, so I'm setting aside my box of Kleenex for my laptop for just a few minutes this morning.    

First, is my simple and casual table for Thanksgiving. 

I found this soft cotton plaid tablecloth at my favorite thrift store last week for five dollars and thought the colors would be great for our Thanksgiving table.

I also found a set of these tiny amber glass cups for fifty cents each that I thought would make cute fall place card holders. I got the idea from this wonderful Thanksgiving Table On A Budget YouTube video made by Anita of Far Above Rubies.  (Anita designs the most breathtaking tablescapes.) 

For my simple table I just tucked in some faux leaves, a small ratan ball, and a place card I downloaded and printed from Place of my Taste. Everything else in my place setting I already had, including my "working" water glasses and amber goblets from World Market along with my clear embossed salad plates and gold dinner plates from Fred Meyer and cloth napkins from Pier One Imports.

The second thing I have to share today is my Thanksgiving chalkboard sitting on the ledge above our sideboard. I hadn't changed it since I drew the American Flag for the 4th of July, and it needed a quick update for Thanksgiving. I just found a bunch of doodle ideas on Pinterest and made them really big!

And that's it! Everything's ready for Thanksgiving except for stuffing and roasting our big turkey. I'm so excited to soon be over my cold and enjoying all the food and good company that comes with the day! But, for now, I'll be closing my laptop and snuggling up with my box of kleenex to watch a bunch of The Good Wife on Amazon Prime. (ahh-ahh-ahh-choo!)

I'll leave you today with my chalkboard's sentiments. I hope you all have a very Happy Thanksgiving!  

{Note: I'm happy to report that on this Wednesday morning I'm feeling much better and about to start cooking up a storm for our feast tomorrow. Ain't life grand?! Thank you for your get well wishes, and Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!}

I'm sharing this week at 

The Scoop
Cozy Little House

Nov 17, 2015

Fall Family Room 2015

We had our first snow on the mountains last week, and it snowed down here in the valley yesterday. I love the snow! I'm all ready for Thanksgiving except for ordering the turkey, buying the food, cleaning the house, setting the table, and cooking the dinner. Wait a minute! I'm not ready! Lots of time left, though, so no worries. :)

Today, I'm sharing a few simple touches of Autumn in the family room. 

Soon the fall leaves and flowers will be traded for Christmas greenery around here, but until Thanksgiving we'll still be enjoying our fall colors inside. I'm super excited to start decorating for Christmas, though. I've been taking last year's gorgeous holiday home tours again from my Pinterest Boards, so my brain's brimming with ideas. But for now, I better go order my turkey! 

Have a great fall day!

Nov 10, 2015

Fall Living Room 2015

I have our entire house decorated for fall now, but getting it all photographed for my blog is a whole other story! My husband and I were walking out the door to the grocery store Sunday, when I noticed a bank of clouds moving towards the North End. I said, "Sorry, Honey, but I've got to get some photos before the sun goes away!" I threw my purse aside and ran for my camera! 

He's such a good sport. He went back to his man cave and watched football until the clouds made it too dark to shoot, then we went grocery shopping. I only managed to photograph the living room, so that's what's on the menu for today. It's been rainy, windy, and dark outside since then, so I'm glad I ran for my camera when I had the chance. 

Our fall decor is fairly muted this year in the living room compared to the bright jewel tones from last year. Our furniture arrangement in here is new and, while we're not in a big hurry, we are on the lookout for another upholstered chair. Our living room windows are small and spaced oddly because this used to be two smaller rooms until a wall was removed way before our time here. So, I kind of throw out all the rules and place the furniture where ever it best suits our family gatherings. 

When we ordered our leather reading chair last year, we got to choose two throw pillows with it. I chose these brown plaid ones because I thought they'd be great on the sofa for fall and tie in the dark brown of the chair with the beige sofa. I've always loved plaids. The brown velvet pillow adds a plush warm sumptuous texture. 

We've had the large sunflower Monet print from Pier One Imports for about twenty years. It was the first art I bought for the living room. It's very big and heavy and takes two of us to hang it, but the scale seemed right for this twenty-three foot long room with ten and a half foot tall ceilings.

These pretty stems are new this fall from the craft store. I purchased very little this year for fall decorating because I already have a big collection of items to use, and everything looks new to me anyway when its used in different ways for the different seasons. This big glass pitcher I'm using for a vase was my mother's. The glass is full of tiny bubbles. While we decide on a new coffee table, we brought this one (found for free on the side of the road years ago) in from the front porch. 

This little green snippet of ivy has a story behind it. When my mother passed away in 1984, my brother took her ivy plant home to live with him. When I was visiting him in California for his retirement party in 2009, he gave me a cutting from that plant, and I flew home with it in a baggie wrapped in a damp paper towel. I'm terrible at keeping house plants alive, so when the little cutting had about one shriveled leaf left on it, my daughter took it to live at her home here in Boise. Over the summer, she gave me another cutting from her now big healthy plant, and if you look closely, you can just see a few new leaves starting. I found a place in my home it does well, and my cutting is thriving. (The trick seems to be forgetting to water it!) Every time I see my little plant in this clay pot with the angels on it, I think of my mother and how her ivy is still here with us after thirty-one years, growing happily in the homes of her children and grandchildren. 

I found this black and white harvest patterned plate years ago at my favorite Red Lodge, Montana store, Kibler and Kirch. Whenever we visit family in Red Lodge, I spend an hour or two browsing this wonderful design store that furnishes some of the most beautiful cabins in Montana. I always pick out one small item to take home. On another visit there, I found these realistic faux artichokes.

This old brown and cream jug belonged to my mother in-law, and it's just the perfect thing for a fall farmhouse vignette atop my graphic painted end table.

A wood basket with slats woven into the ends and fall leaves carved onto the sides holds some faux pears. 

The gold color on the pears and pumpkins is repeated on the chair pillows and the gold tray on the coffee table. This is the chair I painted, upholstery and all, for my daughter's bedroom. 

I love the soft glow of light the gold accents add to this room.

The other side of our long living room has a lot of brown in it, and you can see why I wanted the brown pillows over on the sofa to tie them together. The sunflower pillow is new this year, a coupon steal from the craft store, and the honeycomb vase was a discount store find. 

I just love Tucker's company when I'm taking photos. He's my best bud and definitely my favorite decoration. Above the leather reading chair hangs a framed print of my favorite Diego Rivera painting.

I really poured on the fall color over here, and the hutch is the fun seasonal focal point of the house. 

I found this handsome Tom turkey art print at the Biodiversity Heritage Library. Isn't he gorgeous?

I just love my cows. I feel like they're always waiting for me to walk into the room, and they always make me smile. The last new item I purchased this fall is the green cake stand from The Pioneer Woman's new collection. Having a cake stand here on the old antique dresser in the living room may seem a bit odd, but it sort of describes the design style that I've fallen into without really thinking about it. You see, my husband and I only have things in our home that we really love and that are personally meaningful to us. It's taken a lifetime of collecting and weeding out and learning what we like, and when that's the case, when you love everything you have, it really doesn't matter where or how or in which room it goes. We love it all, and it just work for us.  

I hope you enjoyed this year's eclectic fall living room decor - our mishmash of the things we love. For last year's colorful fall home tour, just click here. And please come on back and check out what's up in the family room next week. I'll be grabbing my camera again just as soon as the clouds take a break. 

(Some of you have mentioned that my comment box has been doing a disappearing act for you before you can leave a comment. I've checked all my blog settings and don't see anything amiss, so hopefully it's one of those computer mysteries that will fix itself. I apologize for any inconvenience you may be experiencing.)  

And now, it's party time!



Nov 5, 2015

Thanksgiving Jar Craft Project

Last year my daughter made us a Thanksgiving Jar, and we have loved it so much I thought I'd share this easy project with you today.

Our Thanksgiving Jar is a jar into which we put slips of paper where we've written things we're thankful for, to be read out loud during our Thanksgiving feast.

We put our Thanksgiving Jar out in early October, but you can leave your jar out all year if you want. We found that the perfect spot for it in our home is on the kitchen bar counter where we walk by it all day long. It's easy to stop what we're doing for a moment to write out a card and pop it in the jar when we think of something for which we're thankful.

My daughter made her own stencils using contact paper and etched the designs on our jar using cream etching paste she purchased from the craft store. She etched THANKS on one side.

And she etched an acorn and leaf design on the other side. For the lid, she decoupaged a mosaic design using some squares of scrapbook paper.

Here's a video from Martha Stewart Crafts showing how easy it is to etch glass using the etching cream.

Last year I simply cut out squares from brown paper bags for our thankful notes, but this year I saw these cute I'm thankful for cards designed by Michelle of the Elegance & Enchantment blog and downloaded them for free over at Remodelaholic. I just printed some on card stock and cut them out. 

Of course, the first thankful card that went into our jar after we got it was for the jar itself and for our thoughtful daughter for giving it to us! We've treasured this gift and the opportunity it gives us to slow down and note all that we have to be thankful for. And it inspires such a wonderful conversation around our Thanksgiving table.

Wouldn't a Thanksgiving Jar make a great hostess gift for that special person who hosts your Thanksgiving dinner this year? 

Nov 3, 2015

Fall Dining Room

The day after Halloween I packed up our ghosts and skeletons and began decorating our house for fall and Thanksgiving. The first three days of November having whizzed by here so quickly have reminded me that Thanksgiving is just around the corner! 

November in Boise is usually a cloudy, cold and wet month. Bringing the warm colors of fall leaves into our little cottage creates a cozy and inviting atmosphere for welcoming family and guests indoors from the now chilly drab grey world outside.  

On the dining room table I placed our long rustic wooden box on a burlap runner and filled it with bright faux leaves, berries, flowers, pumpkins, and candles.  

This rough-hewn box is fun to decorate, and the possibilities for filling it are practically endless.

It's my favorite new thing!

Over on the sideboard I shopped my big armoire for warm colors, textures, and seasonal decor.

A wire cloche ringed with berries covers a few colorful seasonal squash nestled in an old footed iron tray.

As I pulled items from here and there around the house, family heirlooms became a theme in the dining room. This large heavy brass sign is a treasured heirloom from the barn of my old childhood home in Saratoga, California. I love using its warm glowing patina as a backdrop for vignettes like this. I bought the glass oil burning lantern from a hardware store when I was a girl of sixteen, and it's traveled the country with me. At one point, it even cast its soft glow over my college dorm room!

My husband's antique coffee grinder is a family heirloom gifted to him by his mother.

A basket filled with cloth place mats and napkins makes quick work of setting the table.

When I was growing up, my mother added to her own small set of wedding silver one place setting at a time so that I would one day have enough for big holiday celebrations in my own home. Before family dinners it was my girlhood task to polish the silver, and after dinner my mother and I would hand wash and dry the flatware while standing side by side at our big farmhouse sink and carefully place it back in the silver chest. 

I haven't used my silver too much over the years. It sadly became a way of life for which I didn't make time. Now days, I have lots of time and a strong desire for sharing my mother's and my past with my own daughters, especially over the holidays. I decided to leave the heavy silver chest right out on the sideboard where I won't forget to use it and where it's easy to reach. It makes a fine place on which to rest our basket of everyday table linens.

I also unpacked some of my grandmother's hand painted antique china into the glass doored corner cabinet where I'll see it and be inspired to use it more often. Perhaps I'm getting sentimental in my old age, but for this year's holiday season I'm loving having family heirlooms close at hand.

A grocery store chrysanthemum sits in front of the sunny dining room window on a little pine bench my husband built years ago.

The shiny finish of our old brass lamp lights up this dark corner of the kitchen bar, and the black lamp shade creates an intimate soft glow in the evening.

Behind the lamp I tucked a print of feathers I created in Photoshop for my favorite gold leaf frame.

I enjoy bringing a glowing warmth into our home this time of year using color, pattern, texture, and the soft patina of old metals. I'm so glad you stopped by to share some of my family heirlooms and what I've been up to around here as I prepare our home for fall and the holidays to come. 

Please come again soon!

{For my fall decor from last year, visit the tours on my sidebar.}

I'm sharing my fall dining room at these fabulous parties. Come join us!