Tuesday, January 22, 2019

DIY Houndstooth Winter Wreath and Valentine Button Tree

Crafting Easy Winter and Valentine's Decor

Hey Everyone! I'm excited to share two do-it-yourself decor projects that I have recently completed. First off is this pretty houndstooth winter wreath that is now hanging proudly on my kitchen wall!

This project held a bit of drama as I had originally only purchased one roll of the houndstooth ribbon and found that I didn't have enough to wrap the entire wreath. Several trips ensued back to A.C.Moore, where I had purchased the ribbon, and then to other craft stores when I found that A.C.Moore no longer had the same ribbon in stock. I had almost given up hope of being able to finish the project and was about to change out to another ribbon when I checked one more time at A.C. Moore today and, lo and behold, they had one roll of the ribbon I needed on the shelf! Hooray! I came home and immediately got to work finishing my wreath!

The final touch to the wreath are these pretty clear plastic snowflakes that I added to each side of the wreath, securing them with straight pins. The wreath form that I used is styrofoam which I like to use for wreaths because it is so easy to secure the ribbon and decorations using straight pins. It is also easy to remove should I want to create a different wreath design at some point! I dearly love the houndstooth patterned ribbon and think it looks great against the brick wall in the kitchen!

I'm also happy to have created this Valentine's Button Tree craft today! I think it looks pretty in the midst of my white winter decorations on the side table in the living room. 

I've been wanting to try to create a button tree for awhile so I picked up some red buttons, a styrofoam tree form and straight pins with white balls on the end at A.C.Moore today. This was an easy craft to do. I simply picked out various sizes of the buttons and placed them around the styrofoam tree securing them in place with either one or two of the straight pins pushed through the button holes. I finished off the tree with white ribbon tied at the top in a bow with the ends cascading down the sides.

I love to do easy crafts that are completed fairly quickly (I need quick gratification!) and take pride in displaying home decor that I have made myself. Both of these projects were perfect crafts for me!

And here's another little Valentine decor idea for you. I picked up this cute glass covered in red and white hearts at the Dollar Tree. I filled it with red/white paper straws and placed it on my kitchen counter. It's easy to grab a straw for iced tea and is also an easy and cute Valentine decoration!

Do you enjoy easy DIY crafts? Would you like to make a wreath or a button tree of your own? Grab some supplies at your local craft store and go for it! And, if all else fails, stick some colorful straws in a pretty glass! Who says home decor has to be expensive? (wink)

Until Next Time,

Monday, January 21, 2019

Belting It Out

Which Belt Is Best?

Hey friends! Today, I'm belting it out. Trying a couple of belts with this plaid shirt from Tractor Supply trying to decide which belt I like best with the shirt. Yes, this is the other shirt I purchased during my after Christmas visit to the Tractor Supply Co. 

I had tried a red plaid belt on first but decided I liked this thrifted pattern belt in pink better. It adds a pop of color and a contrast to the plaid pattern. Kinda fun and different. A little unexpected!

One last look before we move on to the next belt. This is a bit different for me to try such a different belt with this shirt. But, I do like the pop of color. Hope it doesn't look too "mismatched."

OK, here's the "playing it safe" belted look. This thin black belt matches perfectly. It accentuates my waist, but no pop of color. I like this look, too. It doesn't look like I was half asleep when I pulled a belt out of the closet!

What do you think? Which belt would you choose? Let me know in the comments. I love this shirt by the way and have been wearing it repeatedly. Very warm for our 14 degree morning today! The shirt brand is Wrangler. Untucked by choice!

Hope you're having a great start to the week! Let me know which belt you like best!

Until Next Time

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Shirt Tucks and Teacups

To Tuck or Not To Tuck and Butterfly Teacups

Today's post is going to serve two purposes. One is to discuss whether or not to tuck a shirt for the best overall effect. The other purpose is to show you the sweetest little teacups I have ever seen! You may not think shirt tucks and teacups are topics that go together, but I think they are a perfect match...just like cups and saucers😉.

You know, for quite awhile now, I have stopped tucking shirts into my jeans and pants. My reasoning for doing so was that wearing the shirt untucked would cover the stomach area and make me look slimmer. Recently, however, I have decided to try tucking again and I like the result!

Buying this pretty new belt was a major influence in rejoining the shirt tucked in club! It's so pretty and I want it to show! I'm also realizing that at age 60, I can't expect to look exactly like I did when I was in my 20's, 30's, 40's and 50's! Our bodies change as we age, even if we don't add additional weight. My stomach was never totally flat, but it is much more rounded now and you know what? That's perfectly OK. I don't have to try to hide it behind an untucked shirt. 

Does this mean I'll never wear a shirt or top untucked? Of course not! But, rather than make my choice based on trying to look slimmer, I want to make my choice based on whether tucking or untucking will give the best overall effect. I like the way tucking this black/white plaid shirt looks with my jeans, belt and the longer black cardigan. The overall effect is stylish in my opinion. Casual and comfortable and yet put together. 

In a recent post, I styled a blue/white plaid flannel shirt (untucked by the way) and I mentioned that the look was a "Debbie look" in retirement. Today's post also shows a "Debbie look" with just a little more spit and polish! This look takes me to run errands, to have lunch with friends and to lounge around the house. It sometimes also takes me to church! Casual can look put together with that little something extra added to the overall effect! Kind of like adding butterflies to teacups...

Which brings me to these beauties! When I saw these gorgeous teacups, saucers and kitchen towels offered on Katherines Corner Shop's going out of business sale, I knew I had better snap them up while I could! And, I'm so glad I did. 

The teacups arrived wrapped securely in bubble wrap and kept in place inside netting. 

Whenever I have ordered from Katherine she always includes a personal note. Yet another example of that "something extra" that increases the effect. She is the sweetest person and I'm so happy to have met her via blogging! I'm very sorry that she has closed her shop, but you can still read her blog at katherinescorner.com

Aren't these kitchen towels pretty?! I can see using these as towels hanging from the oven door, napkins on a pretty Spring tablescape and even as bathroom hand towel decor. I know I will get lots of use from these pretty towels!

And the teacups will be multi-use as well. Great for sipping my breakfast tea from, but also wonderful for small flower arrangements! The teacups are by Darice and this appears to be a popular pattern. You know I have a love for butterflies, so these items are right up my alley!

Just as tucking a shirt can increase the overall effect of clothing style, using pretty teacups and towels can add to the effect of a lovely tablescape or kitchen style. It's all about noticing how little things can have big effects! 

So, tell me....do you tuck or untuck? And what is your opinion of teacups? Do you love butterflies like I do? Do take a moment to share. I love hearing from you!

Until Next Time,

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Blue Plaid Shirt

Shopping At The Tractor Store

Not a sponsored or gifted post. 

Hey Everyone! Today I'm styling a blue plaid flannel shirt purchased at the Tractor Supply Co. As you know, I don't let shopping for clothes in odd places stand in my way. I have previously shared clothing purchased at drugstores, so why not the Tractor Supply store? Never let it be said I don't bring you unique places to shop!!

When the Mr. took me to this store before Christmas to pick out some Trisha Yearwood decor items, I didn't even know that Tractor Supply sold clothing. I was pleasantly surprised to see that they carry quite a large range of comfortable and stylish clothing for women! I always enjoy wearing warm, comfortable flannel shirts like this one. It can be worn over pants as you see here, tucked in at the waist or worn under a sweater. 

This shirt by Bit & Bridle is 100% cotton and is good quality with a woman's fit. I paired it with an aqua blue tee underneath for more warmth and a bit of color contrast. I actually ended up purchasing two shirts from this store and I'll style the other one for you in another post. 

I must say that this is a typical "Debbie look" now for me in retirement. I love the ease and comfort of wearing comfy clothes, pants and shoes and adding just a touch of bling, like the blue earrings I'm wearing. If you are looking for an equally comfy look you might want to browse a bit at the Tractor Supply Company!

Do you love flannel like I do? Hope you'll leave a comment. I love hearing from you. 

Until Next Time,

Sunday, January 6, 2019

Good Reads and A Few Snowmen

Book Recommendations and Snowmen Decor

I hope your 2019 is off to a great start! I'm sharing some things I think you will enjoy in this first post of the new year. I got sidelined by a bad cold/sinusitus right before the New Year so haven't felt like posting until now. If you missed my end of year blog recap and my new 2019 word for the year post from last week, you can catch up here

Since I've been laying around a lot this past week I have had plenty of time to read! I have enjoyed these two books so much. Rhys Bowen is an author that I have shared with you before. This 2017 title, "On Her Majesty's Frightfully Secret Service," certainly did not disappoint. Bowen writes several series and this is part of her Royal Spyness series. This series is set in the 1930's and features Georgianna, a poor relation to the Queen of England. Although she is 35th in line to the throne, the Queen often calls on her to do a little spying and Georgianna always finds herself embroiled in a murder mystery. Luckily her beloved, Darcy, believed to work for British Intelligence, always comes to her rescue at just the right moment. I've read a few books in this series and found this one to be my favorite so far. Rhys Bowen also does a great job incorporating the history of the pre-WWII era into the story. 

A new author to me is Jacqueline Winspear, author of the Maisie Dobbs mysteries. Her series was recommended to me by my friend, Sharon, and I found, "Birds of A Feather," at a local used bookstore. Also set in the 1930's this book finds Maisie working to find a missing heiress only to discover that a series of murders may be connected to the missing woman. I missed reading the first book in this series, which gives a lot of background info about Maisie's early life and upbringing and her role in WW I, however, Winspear does a great job of filling in the blanks in this book so I didn't feel out of the loop at all with how Maisie came to use psychology in her role as a detective. Several side stories add to the enjoyment of this book such as the post war issues her assistant, Billy Beale, is dealing with as well as her relationships with the Inspector and her father. 

I am so delighted to have found a new series to read with Maisie Dobbs and to have renewed my interest in The Royal Spyness series and I highly recommend these books to you, too! Let me know if you give them a try! Now, how about a little snowman decor?

In anticipation of my 2019 word, Simplicity, I decided to keep it simple with winter decor this year. So, I kept a few of my most favorite, and small, snowmen and took the rest to Goodwill. The upper foyer table holds three jolly snowmen and a new piece that I thought would work well for winter. It is a vintage spice can topped with snow, a bottle brush tree and two sweet deer. I added a wooden snowflake in front of the can for good measure. 

The lower foyer table holds another snowman, my winter bears and a wooden mitten that says, "Let It Snow." My wooden sign says, "Home Is Where They Love You" and was a retirement gift from the art teacher at a school where I taught. 

The lower shelf holds my white snow deer and to the right is a snowman box that was part of a Christmas gift we received. I think the box could use something in it, but I haven't received inspiration for that yet. Can't say I love the wall vent shining through the table either, but you work with what you have, you know?!

Our side table in the living room holds an assortment of wintry items in white. This little display is my favorite! The sparkly Let It Snow sign and the polar bear snow globe have been displayed in previous years as have the clear dishes filled with small battery operated candles. I made the little rectangular snowflake sign by painting the wood and adding glittery snowflake stickers. The mesh candle holder was a gift from the Mr. that I picked out at the Tractor SupplyStore. They carry a line of home decor that I like by Trisha Yearwood and this is one of her designs. I added a large flameless candle and it is so pretty when all of the candles are flickering with all of the white in the background. A lovely winter scene! If you would like to browse the Trisha Yearwood decor you can check out the link here. I did a little more shopping at the Tractor Supply Store (including clothes) and will share that with you in some upcoming posts. Hope you have a great week ahead and please leave a comment. Read any good books? Adding some winter decor? 

Until Next Time,