Thursday, September 29, 2011


Over the years I've saved a collection/clippings of ideas of things I liked in a note book, and also in a folder on my computer.  I've just discovered Pinterest!  It's a great way to file and organize collections of things that you love and inspire you.  It can be anything from food, books, DIY'S or a room you love.  If you’re on Pinterest or would like to try it yourself and want to follow along as I pin; join me here or click on the Pinterest logo in my sidebar.
Here's an example of a room I've pinned.

 Traci's laundry room from Beneath My Heart

Happy Pinning!!!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011


I love the change of the seasons and along with it the arrival of new fall catalogs.  I just received the new Pottery Barn fall magazine in my mail box; and it has my creative juices flowing.

I spotted these cute little rustic bronze finished pumpkin place card holders. Here's the link to see these cuties over at Pottery Barn (I'm not being reimbursed in any way by PB for this but wanted to share what I saw).  They are made of cast aluminum, and come with a price tag of $26 for a set of 4.  We'll be having 9 - 10 guests for thanksgiving dinner, so I'd need to buy 3 sets = $78!

That price being a little rich for this thrifty gal, I came up with my own version using dollar store items and paint that I already had around the house.  Here's what I did....

1. Bought 2 bags of  small pumpkins/gourds

2. Spray paint - Rust-Oleum Metallic

3. Applied spray paint to pumpkins and gourds.

4. The pumpkins didn't look quite bronze enough after the metallic paint was applied, so I added gold glitter paint that I had bought at a garage sale this summer for 10 cents!

5. Unlike the Pottery Barn pumpkins that are made from cast aluminum, the dollar store pumpkins are made from Styrofoam.  This made it very easy to make a cut with an exact o knife, and insert the place card into the slot.

Here's what they look like in a place setting.

What do you think?  Is it a good PB knock off?
My total cost = $2 for a set of 10!

Linking this post to...
Centsational Girl Fall Linky Party

Tuesday, September 27, 2011


 The Lucky Wife
is doing a series on her blog entitled ....

100 Day Count Down To Christmas.

If you recall earlier this year I gave you DIY instructions on how to make your own Picnic Basket. If you happened to miss the post you can read it here.
The Lucky Wife read my post and thought it would be a great thing to  include as a feature in her 100 day count down to Christmas.
Yah!  I'm being featured !!! 


Head on over and see the feature and while your there enjoy seeing other great features in the

A special thank you to The Lucky Wife for the feature !

Friday, September 23, 2011


While driving the countryside this past week, I was in awe of the beauty of God's handy work all around me especially with the change in seasons and all the vibrant colors.  After seeing such beauty, I decided to bring a few touches of it into my home.  Of course, we all may bring in leaves or nuts, but I found some other beauties to bring in.


 These pods are such a vibrant orange and red, the perfect color for FALL !

 I used them along with my $1 garage sale find from this summer.

If you're inspired by these beauties, you could achieve the same look by using candles you already have or dollar store candles.  To finish the look off, place them on a tray or plate and add the rose pods.
A little note of caution : I don't know if these pods are poisonous, so please keep that in mind if you have small children in your home.  Treat them as if they were poisonous by keeping them out of reach of young children just as you would other poisonous house plants, bulbs and seeds. 

Have a great weekend !

Thursday, September 15, 2011


It's official: FALL is in the air! At least at my home it is....crisp cool weather with foggy mornings and leaves turning bright colors.

When this happens, I love to add these touches of the season to my home.

Here's a glimpse of the parsonage dressed with all its
fall decor. 

Starting in the kitchen and dinning area.

 A simple fall sign is displayed above the kitchen cabinets. This was simply made using scrapbook paper and thrift store frames...while pumpkins sit clustered together on the side table.

Of course, I had to add my knock off Pottery Barn Candle that I made last fall.  If you'd like to 
read that post go

The Living Room

I found this candle holder/bowl at a garage sale for only $1 this summer. 
By changing out the decor, it will work 
well for any season.
I love bringing in natural touches when I decorate; and I did this by adding
Indian corn and a starfish.
Of course the leaves and corn where purchased second hand all for only $1.50 !

This lantern was my favorite find at a garage sale a few weeks ago.
It was only $3 candle included!  It reminds me of the Pottery Barn Lanterns that come with a big price tag of $ 39!
Adding the leaves make for a great fall vignette.

The sofa pillows received some sprucing up as well,
by adding fall slipcovers.
If you'd like to make some pocket slipcovers yourself,
go here for my DIY instructions.  They are so easy even the beginner sewer can make them.

Last but not least, a vignette was added to
the cedar chest using garage sale and thrift store finds.

I'm joining the Fall Nesting Party

I'm linking to...


Wednesday, September 14, 2011


With a lot of people downsizing and having to live in smaller spaces due to the economy, I thought it would be helpful over the next months to share a few tips we've learned living in our small space called the PARSONAGE. 

Some of you may be wondering to yourself, "what's a parsonage"?  Well, a parsonage is the house provided by the church for its pastor and family to live in. 

When living in a parsonage, you don't have the privilege of choosing your own home or the size of it. My husband and I have learned to embrace the parsonage provided for us, and make it into our home and a space we love to live in. You'll find that many parsonages are small, especially if you're  serving a small congregation on a limited budget. This makes our situation similar to those of you renting and living in a small apartment or home that you don't own yourself.

We've learned from our experiences over the years to take these small spaces, and give them the illusion of looking larger while making use of every nook and cranny the home provides.

We've lived in small 2 bedroom basement apartments with our three children as well as various other small 2 bedroom homes with four children.

One of the very small two bedroom home.

With the help of my husband's great carpentry skills, we've learned ways to add storage.  We've added portable shelving to a back entry, for example, to utilize the space and create a  storage solution for all our canned goods and miscellaneous household items

In the photo above, the window behind the children is the wall with the lined shelving we built.  Placing a full length curtain over the window was the solution to hide the shelving from the road view. 

We've also done things like making a walk in closet into a combo closet and playroom for our children.  In small bedrooms we've built a loft bed and placed our daughter's dresser and desk under it while a platform bed with drawers built underneath was the solution to a bedroom without ample room for a dresser. 

The house in the photo above, we had a second very small bath where the plumbing would freeze in the winter. To make full use of the space that was otherwise unusable in the winter, we used the bathroom for storage.  Even the stand a lone shower was used to store all our boxes of off season clothing and seasonal items. ( One problem with this is when I needed the box on the bottom of the pile, I  literately had to back out of the room backwards with each box until finally reaching the box I needed.)

As you can tell we've had some experience in small space living; and we take this with us to our present home .....
The Parsonage!

Today's tip will be on small bathrooms. 

Here's what we've done.
1. Add a larger mirror to give the illusion of a larger space at the same time reflecting the light in the room.  Adding more light will make the room feel brighter and larger.
 This mirror is like the one we had before, but it's not the actual bathroom shared here today.

 Bathroom mirror with the added lighting.
(Sorry about the poor quality of the photo, it was taken with my old camera.)

2. Place a cabinet above the toilet adds much need storage space.

Storage after...

Placing a mobile unite makes it possible to take with you if you move again.

3. Using a curved shower curtain bar can make a big impact with the illusion of a larger space.  It also adds more room while in the bathtub/shower area.

Adding a white shower curtains gives a bright and airy feel to the room.
Of course all of these items were bought on clearance, garage sales or using a 20 % off coupon making the storage solution very THRIFTY!

If you'd like to read more on how we made over this bathroom for less than $500 go here to read about it.

Have a great day!

Monday, September 5, 2011

I Made a Wreath Out of What?

Happy Labor Day Everyone!

Today I'm joining the wreath party over at

I thought it would be fun to join adding the baby shower wreath I made.

 I'm helping give a baby shower for my daughter this weekend.  I thought it would be fun to add some diy crafts to the decor.

Here's what I started with....
-baby teething ring
- baby socks
- ribbon

Starting with the teething ring as my base, I added 
sock flowers.  These were very easy to make by rolling the sock and turning them inside out.

  I fastened the flowers to the ring using ribbon, and added a bow for the finishing touch.

A very quick and inexpensive baby wreath!

Friday, September 2, 2011


I have great news to share with you .... my husband and I are going to be grandparents for the very first time!!!  Our daughters and their husbands are expecting babies. These blessings are expected to arrive sometime mid October and around Christmas!

With babies on our mind I've started looking at baby things.  I found some very cute wall art at Pottery Barn entitled " Transportation Art" for $69. You can view it at Pottery Barn.  
Instead of paying the price tag of $69, it inspired me to make some myself. 

DIY Nursery Artwork
Here's what I did.....

Purchased two 11 X 14 canvas for $3 each.
I started by painting the canvas with white paint. 

I then found some cute Peter Rabbit photos by Beatrix Potter for free. 

  I then took out my Cricut machine and cut out the letters 
r - rabbit and b - boat

For the second piece of art, I created a sail boat using card stock cutting each piece out of different paper to make the sailboat parts.

The next step was to adhere the clip art and boat parts to the canvas using mod Podge. After letting it dry, I  then added two more layers of Mod Podge  allowing it to dry between each coat.

Once it was completely dry, I added the finishing touches by giving it a distressed look using a brown glaze.

 (I'm a little disappointed with the glaze on the rabbit art. I think it looks to dark so I may redo that piece.)

Here's the boat art without the modge podge on it. I'll finish it once we know if little boys are on the way.

The total cost of the nursery art work was only $6, making this a pretty thrifty project with a savings of $132!!!

If the baby's are boys I may make a truck and airplane as well.


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