Sunday, April 7, 2024

Easy DIY Springtime Tablescape Vignettes

 Three Different Table Vignettes for Spring

Hello everyone! There's nothing like a Sunday afternoon spent experimenting with different Vignettes for our round kitchen table. I really enjoy creating vignettes out of items I already own and seeing how these items can change up the look of different stylings. The base for each of these vignettes is a colorful felt placemat that I purchased awhile back at Michael's. In this first vignette, I topped a blue stoneware plate with a wooden bunny with blue flowers and ribbon around its neck. Another smaller blue bunny stands guard nearby. This vignette is simple and yet very Spring-like. 

Next up, I replaced the plate and bunnies with some lovely carnival glass pieces that one of my sisters gave me years ago. This sugar/creamer set sits on a carnival glass tray and gives a bit of a vintage vibe to this vignette. Note how both of the vignettes so far carry out the blue theme of the felt. 

Now, in this third vignette, I carry the blue theme through by using a blue Blenko water vase. However, the green silk flowers in the vase pull out the green color of the leaves on the felt base. I really like the green and blue combination of colors which adds layers of interest to this vignette. 

And, finally, in this fourth vignette, I decided to put all of the items together for one interesting styling. I did add an additional small green bunny to balance out the green color of the flowers a bit. Notice the angle of items from left to right with the taller items to the left angling to the shorter items on the right. While I love symmetry, sometimes asymmetrical is the way to go with table vignettes!

Of course, Cassie always likes to lend a paw when I'm creating vignettes. Her opinion always counts when it comes to table stylings. But what is your opinion? Which table vignette do you like best in this post? Have you been creating any Springtime stylings in your own home? I can't wait to hear from you in the comments!

Until Next Time,

Thursday, March 28, 2024

When Accessories Become Artwork

 Accessories You Can Wear Or Use As Artwork

Hello friends! Something you may not know about me is that I occasionally enjoy accessories and clothing that are a bit on the unique side. Today, The Mr. and I enjoyed walking around Black Mountain, NC and I visited one of my very favorite shops for finding unique accessories. The shop is called Periwinkles. I saw this unique "scarf" hanging in the display window and decided it needed to come home with me. This unique scarf was created by the shop's owner. Because I own several other scarves that are different from what we might expect a scarf to look like, I decided to experiment with ways to use these "scarves" in additional ways other than wearing them. You might think some of these ways look silly but, after looking at shop displays today, I feel that these ways are great and will hopefully get you thinking in some new ways to use your own accessories! 

I think this scarf hints at a unique pastel "Easter egg" arrangement when placed in this woven basket. 

And with the bunnies sitting in front of the basket, the look is just right!

I purchased this unique scarf/necklace last Easter and have enjoyed wearing it throughout the year so much. 

I decided the colors were just right to decorate a Spring/Easter tree on top of my dining room curio cabinet. The pastel colors match quite well with the Spring snow ladies on either side. 

 And, I've had this purple/pink necklace or woven scarf for a few years and love the colors so much. Like the other scarves I'm showcasing today, this one is very lightweight and easy to wear with many outfits.

I decided it might look pretty and add some additional color draped around the woven basket with the bunny inside. The colors all compliment each other in this arrangement which could carry over past Easter and into the rest of Spring and Summer. 

Colorful bunny to add to my Springtime decor

It's fun to think outside the box with what we own and how our belongings can be used in multiple ways. What accessories do you own that might have been purchased to use in one particular way but that you might find lots of other ways to use? Share your thoughts in the comments and have a wonderful and blessed Easter weekend!

Until Next Time,

*This post will appear on the blog on Thursday but the subscription notices will announce it is posted on Friday. 

Monday, March 25, 2024

Holy Week and Recent Activities

 Catching Up With My Readers

Good Monday morning everyone!  I've been missing in action from the blog for a couple of weeks so I thought we could catch up today. I am a Certified Lay Servant in the United Methodist Church and every few years I need to recertify by taking a course. So, I have been busy with a course taken through which is an institution associated with Southwestern College, a United Methodist Institution, located in Kansas. You may recall that I taught for Be A Disciple for quite a few years. 

Anyway, the course that I took was entitled, "The Arts in Worship," and was taught by a wonderful instructor named Cindy Curtis. Cindy brought so much to the course with lots of ideas for using the various arts to enhance worship experiences and I also met many lovely fellow students who also had great ideas to share. I'm looking forward to planning with my fellow staff members at church to see what we can incorporate into some upcoming services. I'm thinking along the lines of liturgical dance and sign language used in conjunction with the handbell choir I direct. Our congregation is mostly retired folks at this point, and it's a bit challenging to find folks who can/are willing/have the expertise to do liturgical dancing and sign language. I have some feelers out, though, so fingers crossed some folks come forward. God always provides, so even though my plans may happen later rather than sooner, that's okay. God's timing is always perfect! And, one of the points that Cindy emphasized, is that adding the arts is meant to enhance the worship experience for the congregation and not to put on a show. So, that is a point to remember in the planning, as well.

I don't know about any of you dear readers, but I'm finding that I can't juggle as many things at once as I used to do. Hence, I haven't been blogging the last couple of weeks because I was doing class assignments. When I combined doing assignments with household chores, social engagements, taking care of our furry family members and church activities, there wasn't lots of time left. 

Do you find there are periods of your life when some things just have to be put on hold? 

And, now, here we are at the beginning of Holy Week leading up to glorious Easter Sunday! I'm looking forward to celebrating Easter with lots of wonderful music, including the handbell choir ringing God's praises. I'm blessed to work with a wonderful group of folks in the bell choir. They are so dedicated in coming out each week to rehearse and we have lots of laughter and fun. One of our traditions in my church is to have Lilies on the altar at Easter in honor or memory of loved ones. I have arranged to have two lilies on the altar-one in memory of my parents and the other in memory of my sister who passed away a year and a half ago. As it looks now, Easter Sunday should be warm and partly sunny. I hope that weather stands as dreary Easters are a bit depressing. But, whatever the weather, we will celebrate that He Is Risen and that is the most important thing!

You may have noticed that many of the images on this post (taken by either me or The Mr.) are water images. As I inserted these water images, I was thinking of this scripture from Ezekiel 43:2

And, behold, the glory of the God of Israel came from the east: and His voice was like a noise of many waters: and the earth shined with His glory.

There are other scriptures, such as Revelation 1:15, that speak to God's voice as being the sound of many waters or rushing waters. These scriptures are very meaningful to me. I have always found the sound of water to be calming, soothing, and exciting all at the same time. These scriptures remind me to listen for God's voice in my life. 

How is God speaking to you at this point and time?

The flowers that I planted on the back porch are doing well for the most part. I may need to add a few pansies to a planter or two for fullness. I have to keep reminding a certain four legged family member (River!!) not to eat the pansies. Wasn't there a show or song years ago called, "Please don't eat the daisies?" Well, in River's case it would be please don't eat the pansies!

I will close for now, as I am hungry and want my breakfast. Today is Monday and I will plan another post for Friday of this week so be sure to stop by then. I hope you all are well and enjoying the beginning of a fresh, new week. One of the things I learned in my course was how to construct a simple video using Canva, so I will close with the video I created. 

Please take a moment to leave a comment and let me know what you have been doing or comment on any part of this blog. You may want to give your own response to any of the questions in bold print. I always love hearing from you!

Until Next Time,

Friday, March 8, 2024

DIY Spring Wreath and Planting Pansies

 Flowers Inside And Out

Hello friends! Hope everyone's weeks have gone well and you are looking forward to the weekend. My week has been spent doing some crafting and some outdoor flower planting. So, I am going to share those items with you in today's post. We have been blessed with some lovely days this week as well as some rainy days. And that's life isn't it? You have to take the rainy days along with the sunny ones. So on that note of wisdom, let's get started!

I decided that I would like to try my hand at fashioning a new Spring/Summer front door wreath. I knew that I had lots of faux pansies on hand from past years as well as some ribbon, so it was just a matter of purchasing a new foam wreath form from Dollar Tree. I thought that this yellow ribbon would be really bright and cheerful for Spring, so I wound it around the foam form securing it with tape at various intervals. As luck would have it, however, I didn't have enough ribbon to cover the whole wreath so that decided for me the way I would attach the flowers. I used a wire cutter to cut the stems on the pansies really short and pushed the leftover stem into the foam making sure to layer the pansies over each other as I worked. After adding the amount of pansies that I thought filled the wreath fully, it was just a matter of tying a lavender lace hanger at the top of the wreath and then placing it on our front door. I'm pleased with the result and this wreath achieves the cheerful look I wanted to add to our Spring foyer display. This is not a great big wreath. But, I prefer the smaller size wreaths anyway. 

Yesterday was such a sunny and warm day that I felt inspired to do some outdoor gardening. After a stop at Lowe's to pick up mostly pansies, we headed home and I got started with the planting.

I am experimenting with planting a Primrose this year. The card that came with it says it is deer resistant and frost resistant. I'm trying it out just to see how it goes. If anyone has had experience with planting a primrose I would like to hear any thoughts you have. I love the bright yellow (I guess I'm into yellows right now!) and felt it would be a lovely addition to the back porch flowers for Spring.

 I mostly ended up planting pansies in our back porch containers. I know from previous experience that pansies can take the plunging temps and varying weather conditions that come with Spring, so hopefully these will do well. I must admit that I feel joyful each time I look out the back door and see my flowers once again! The problem will come when it is time to plant more summer-type flowers and I won't want to remove the pansies. They start to look really spindly once the hotter temps of summer arrive. Such are the decisions a gardener must make! 

As I planted the flowers yesterday, I couldn't help but think about the descriptions of Spring flowers made by my favorite British author, Miss Read (aka Dora Saint). In her book, "The Year At Thrush Green," she writes:

"Soon yellow primroses would star the woods, and the daffodils would blow their trumpets in the gardens of Thrush Green. Yellow, gold and green, spring's particular colours, would bring hope again after the bleak black and white of winter."

Flowers do bring hope, I feel, after the cold and gloominess of winter. Spring is my favorite season and, although it's not officially here yet, I am already beginning to enjoy all that this season has to offer. 

I'll close with this recent pic of me with my boy, River! He loves sitting on this large boulder in our backyard and I joined him there the other day. He's turning into a good boy and learning and growing every day. 

Flowers are appearing on the earth.
The season for singing has come.
The cooing of doves
is heard in our land.
Song of Solomon 2:12 NIRV

Until Next Time,

Friday, March 1, 2024

Easter Decor and Catching Up

 A Little Bit Of This And That

Hello friends! Wow, it's been awhile and I figured it was time to catch up. Since today is March 1st, I decided to go ahead and share some of my Easter decor on display around the house. I love to put out our fun decorations and, this year, I have a new bunny to add to the display. The bunny holding the tulips is a new purchase from Cracker Barrel. When I saw it I knew it was what I had been looking for in bunnies. A sweet expression, wooden and with colors added via the tulips. This display looks so cute on the foyer table.

And this display is on the bookcase/radio cabinet in "my" room. 

The colorful little wooden bunnies on the tiered tray are so cute and I added in the carrots from Dollar Tree just in case they need a snack! And as I have mentioned in years past, my Easter decor must include the sweet little Easter baskets that were made by my Mom and one of my sisters many years ago. I smile each time I walk into this room and see this display!

And these are the cloth bunnies I thrifted last year and am enjoying so much. I love the fabric on these bunnies and decided they would look good in this gray woven basket. At least for now, this is where they will be residing. 

In other news, I may be a bit early but I have been wearing Spring/Summer colors lately like this fuschia colored sweater that I paired with a blue turtleneck to wear to lunch the other day. I'm channeling Spring with these brighter colors!

And speaking of Spring, how about the colors in this gorgeous tunic? The colors and flowers in this tunic just said Spring/Summer to me. It took me a few try-ons to find how to best style this top but I think I have got it figured out. Playing in your closet and trying on different pants with a top is a good thing!

Aren't these roses gorgeous?! They still are looking good over two weeks past Valentine's Day. Thank you to the Mr. 

The Mr. has been busy lately performing. He recently played a concert at a local church for a music club. 

It was a lovely church with very good acoustics for the concert.

He spoke in between the pieces, giving the audience information about the musical selections and composers. He did a great job and I'm very proud of him!

I want to share these shots of Cassie taken by The Mr. We call these her "glam" photos. She is a very photogenic cat and so sweet. She has decided she loves our dog, River, and follows him around the house. They sometimes touch noses which is really sweet. Especially since he is so much bigger than she is. 

And finally, nothing major, just some good food I have eaten recently. This was a spinach salad with a side of carrots paired with morocan style falafel balls. It was quite tasty!

And when I'm in need of comfort, there's nothing quite like a veggie plate at Cracker Barrel. I call this meal choice the "Aunt Beulah Special" because it reminds me of the foods that I used to enjoy at my Aunt Beulah's house when I was growing up. Such wonderful memories of times gone by and this particular food was extra delicious that day!

So that pretty much catches us up on life recently I believe. I hope you enjoyed the Easter Decor and the general "this and that" info of how I have styled life recently. I'm very sporadic with posting these days so the best way to know when there is a new post is to either follow me (see follow me button at top of right hand column) or to subscribe and you will get an email when there is a new post. Otherwise, just check back regularly to see what's new on the blog. Let me know if you are doing any Easter/Spring decorating at your house. Or wearing Spring colors. Or........anything else you'd like to share! 

Until Next Time,
Debbie (This and That)

Tuesday, February 13, 2024

Looking For Spring In February

 Feeling In The Pink

Hi friends! I'm just popping in with a short post to wish all of you a very Happy Valentine's Day! I celebrated a bit early today with lunch out with The Mr. I'm wearing a new pink sweater with a multi-color necklace that just puts me in the mood for Spring.

I noticed this evening that it didn't get dark until well after 6 p.m. The clocks "spring forward" on March 10th which means that evenings will stay light even longer. I can't wait for that as I really dislike it getting dark so early in the evenings in the winter. Outside our church this past week, I have noticed the green stems of hyacinths starting to poke their way through the earth. All of these signs are hopeful to me that Spring isn't far away!

Pink is such a cheerful color and I enjoy wearing it a lot. It's also a Spring color in my opinion. Since Easter is early this year, on Sunday March 31st, I plan to start decorating soon for that holiday. So look for some pinks to be appearing in those decorations!

Enjoy a wonderful day and remember to love a little on yourself today! 

Until Next Time,

Friday, February 9, 2024

Faithful Friday Devotion The Greatest of These Is Love

 I Corinthians 13: Love

And now these three remain : faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
I Corinthians 13:13 (NIV)

Good morning friends! I hope your week has gone well and you are enjoying these first hours of your Friday morning. Since we are so close to Valentine's Day, I thought an appropriate devotional for this morning would be the verse from I Corinthians about Love.

Love is such a used word in our language isn't it? In terms of Valentine's Day, it typically refers to romantic love although the card sellers have cards for every relationship from friends to school classmates to our pets! It has become more of a "fun" day to celebrate. As a teacher, I always enjoyed this fun aspect and the children decorating their Valentine boxes. And of course the actual day was filled with all sorts of excitement and a party with cookies and punch with everything red! It was fun but exhausting!

During Biblical times there was no such thing as Valentine's Day, of course, and if you read the full Chapter 13 you will see that Paul was focused on relationships in terms of love. Here is what Paul says in verses 3-7:

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

I think of our world today and how, in so many ways, we seem to have gotten away from these Biblical thoughts about love. We don't always have to agree with one another. But we can still be civil and kind. 

Love takes work. And that work is not always easy. But a great place to start that work is through focusing on our relationship with God. Through prayer and reading God's word and building our own personal relationship with Jesus we can get there.

Blessings and Peace,