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Decorating: one step at a time

I realized recently that I hadn’t been posting anything remotely crafty, just food. Perhaps that gives you a glimpse into my study habits–attempt to study, get distracted by baking, then munch on the sugary goodness all night long.

I have been working on this painting for a few weeks now and finally decided to see what it looked like in our bedroom. I am still tweaking the background but can’t seem to find time to officially finish, so up on the wall it went and I’m so glad!

Decorating our bedroom has been a painstakingly slow process. I saw a picture when we first got married of a simple color scheme, white, tan, and navy blue–the room was exquisite. Since seeing this image I have been trying to capture that same feeling in our room and haven’t quite been able to get there with our limited time and funds. However, I thought I would share a few photos so you can see some examples of turning cheap, random items into coordinated decor. We still have a ways to go but these little touches are satisfying enough for now.

I decided to hang the painting above our bed because it provides a good central focus and ties in more of the warm neutrals in the room. As with most of my paintings, I found an image online that I liked and attempted my best replication.

The pillows on the bed are probably my favorite part (see pillow tutorial here). I have been slowly collecting fabrics in a variety of patterns and shades of blue to keep adding to the mix. I want the pillows to look eclectic and be the main pop of color in the room. I currently have 3 more fabrics waiting for me to turn into pillowcases.

We have also started collecting blue glass jars mainly because I love the way the light shines through them when streaming in the back window. The trick here is to have a small collection of jars that doesn’t look cluttered.

I have made great strides in the past four years of marriage in learning to just let go. I used to have so many little collections because of my attempts to be thrifty. You never know which items can be reused or refurbished? And the items I don’t think I’ll ever use, I can usually attribute some sentimental emotion to in order to justify its continued safekeeping in our home.

However, one day you just reach a point where you must throw out everything that even partially resembles clutter and voila! A clean and clutter free home. Now the trick is maintaining that environment. All that to say, this is my one collection at the moment–blue jars.

Well, that’s just a few of the decorating elements in our room. The wall adjacent to the bed also has a large hanging tapestry that matches the center pillow. We aren’t allowed to paint so hanging fabric on the walls has been our substitute for color additions.

Hope you’ve enjoyed this small glimpse into our developing home.

Flower Pumpkin Workshop

Tuesday evening was the night you’ve all been waiting for…the pumpkin workshop. I think I say this every time but, this workshop just might be my absolute favorite. The pumpkin workshop brings a little sophistication to the traditional idea of carving pumpkins for the fall.

I went straight to the workshop from class so these photos are courtesy of Linda. Thank you Linda!

The pumpkin below was the demo pumpkin I made for the group.

Would you like to make your very own flower pumpkin? Here’s what you need and a few pointers to get you started:


1 pumpkin (any size)
1 plastic cup (like the coca cola ones from McDonalds, the height depends on how big your pumpkin is)
1 block of oasis

1. Soak a block of oasis in water.
2. Trace the rim of your cup on top of the pumpkin. Cut along the traced line.
3. Hollow out the inside of your pumpkin.
4. Cut oasis edges so it fits snugly into your plastic cup, leave the oasis slightly higher than the cup’s rim.
5. Insert cup into the pumpkin and add water to the cup.
6. Insert flower stems into the oasis as you shape your arrangement.

(Below: Kristin’s Pumpkin)

Now comes the fun part, the flowers! Don’t let a lack of flowers deter you from attempting this project. You can use pretty much anything to fill your pumpkin, leaves, grasses, bushes, dried flowers, fresh flowers, weeds, etc.

Start with a plant that will drape the top of your pumpkin, so the rim of the cup and oasis do not show. I chose peppers and weeds with berries because they are heavy enough to drape down over the pumpkin.

Next, choose 1 or 2 fillers to give some weight to the base of the arrangement and fill in the larger spaces. I used bunches of goldenrod and a few branches of leaves with a different texture than the leaves towards the bottom of the pumpkin.

Now, choose a few staple flowers to draw the eye. You want your main flowers to stay fairly low to the pumpkin, anchoring the arrangement (notice the height of my pink dahlia and Kristin’s red dahlia).

After that, I basically just add extra ornamentals of varying heights for finishing touches. There are blue berry-like pods (castor bean), cattails, and some longer stems of goldenrod for height.

And, just to prove that you can put together a spectacular looking pumpkin with a variety of plants, here are just a few of the pumpkins from Tuesday’s crew.

They were all so wonderful but I can only fit so many pictures into my post. Be sure to let the ladies know how wonderful their pumpkins look and if you put together a pumpkin of your own, send us a picture!

house becomes home: bench + lanterns

It’s the little seemingly insignificant details that make a house a home. In these posts, I will be highlighting some on the little details in our home that make it stand out as unique, creative, and simply put, ours.

I would love to also feature images from you readers, showcasing some of the little details in your house that make it feel like home. Please send me an email with your photo submissions and I will highlight a different reader’s photo every other week.