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color your winter decor

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let's face it. we're all facing the same 'post holiday decor question':
what do i do NOW?
my house looks so empty after the Christmas decor is down.
do i do winter decor? if i really don't want to go with a 'snowy' look, how do i DO that?
or do i jump right to spring - or stop off for a short visit at Valentine's Day?

if you think that i don't ask those same questions, think again!
honestly? i struggle with the whole 'winter wonderland' look...
 i live in the desert in Southern California. it's cold here, but not snowy.
and i need color. the monotone snowy look isn't my jam anymore.
recently, a thought came to me:
color always inspires me, and mother nature never fails to offer inspiration
as each season unfolds with new hues, new color combinations, new life.

thing is, having color in your home doesn't have to look like my holiday theme did - 
a riot of every color in the rainbow. all at the same time.
sometimes, it is the addition of one hue to a soft neutral background
 that adds what i call 'a punctuation point' in a room.
just a touch goes a long way. and it doesn't have to cost a thing!

continue reading to see what is inspiring me this winter...


Merry Christmas!

i want to thank you so much for joining me over the past two months
as i have shared a lot of crazy colorful 'merry and bright!' inspiration for the holidays!

see all of my merry and bright! posts here

this simple nativity scene was a last-minute idea,
with a few paint chips quickly glued together in a house shape.
the figures you see are decades old, set up in our home when i was a little Debby.
saved, protected, and passed down, i set them up when my kids were small
and then watched my first grandson play with them when he was two.
they are an enduring reminder of my many memories of Christmas...

i chose a 'merry and bright!' theme this year not just because of the need for merriment,
but as my homage to creativity, to imagination, to childlike wonder.
staying creative this year has helped me more than i can explain,
to stay in a grateful and positive mindset during this pandemic.

my goal has been to use and REuse as much 'stuff' from home as i can,
shop for as little as possible, and just PLAY. it's been a fun creative exercise!

i hope that you are finding ways to express your creativity - 
and everyone is creative, in so many different ways
and that you've discovered how much joy you can create in your own life and home,
even when the world outside those doors is going a bit haywire.

let's carry that attitude into 2021, shall we?!

i wish you all a very merry (and bright!) Christmas
and a new year that holds hope, joy, and faith in your heart.

see you in January!



rainbow paint chip table runner

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the two bright, colorful tablescapes featured in my last post
are built on top of this rainbow-hued runner.

made from paint chips and freezer paper and a glue stick. SO easy!
and right about now in the holiday season....easy is good.

continue reading for the super-simple 'how-to'...


colorful holiday tablescapes

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Christmas is a time of year when adults actually get to behave like kids.
it's completely socially acceptable to love cute decor and cute wrapping paper
and watch all kinds of cute, animated movies and tv specials.

let's just take that idea and use it to fuel our imaginations
when it comes to creating a merry and bright tablescape!
it doesn't take much work - and the results are like Candyland...

continue reading to see two versions of a colorful tablescape,
along with a few 'table tips'...


diy painted gift wrap ribbon

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faced with a creative challenge, i usually turn to paint as a solution.
unable to find THE ribbon i had envisioned in my mind, i made my own.
time consuming? yeah. but very inexpensive, and totally worth the effort.

and yes, you can do this, too - no advanced paint techniques needed.

continue reading to see how completely devoted to a theme i can be!


merry & bright gift wrap

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half the fun of giving gifts at Christmas is wrapping them!
i've come up with some easy ways to make gift tags, bows, and even wrapping paper
that coordinate with my colorful 'merry and bright!' theme this year...

continue reading for some easy creative gift wrap ideas!


Target fringe tree makeover

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i don't let what's available at stores limit my decorating plans.
i just take what they provide and then add to it or rework it to make it fit MY style!

this little tree is a perfect example of that...
lots of people have the original version of this in their Christmas decor this year,
but none of theirs look like this!
some white paint and a few scraps of paint chips gave it a total makeover.

continue reading to see the before and after!


rainbow painted Target trees!

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i'm really having fun this year making current trends my own.
my DIYs fit my style, my color palette, and my budget
but give me all the fun and impact of what's hot this season...

case in point: the current Target Tree Trend.
every account on Insta is showing them.
people are ransacking their local Tarjay store Bullseye's Playground racks to get them.
along with bottle brush trees, these things are a must-have this holiday.
when i first saw them online, i knew EXACTLY what i would do to them if i could find them.

well, i found some. and then, i made them fit my style - with paint, of course.
in a rainbow array of color - of course.
in patterns that replicate paint chips because... it's a theme.

keep reading to see more of them, and what i did with 'em!


diy paint chip trees

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my most popular idea shared here last Christmas was
my faux wood trees, made from wood-print scrapbook paper. 
i could never have anticipated the response to them (thank you!!!!)

since this year my theme is all about color and creativity and paint chips,
i created this new version as a fun and easy addition to the decor...

continue reading for details plus another version!


merry mantel paint chip decor

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'merry', indeed!
in the first of three different mantel decor projects i'm sharing with you this week,
the element of paint chips in this years' holiday decor is at the fore...
both the framed art and the paper chains make use of a rainbow of colorful paint chips
(sourced from my local Sherwin Willimans dealer),
in simple art projects that both adults and kids will love.

continue reading for details! 


repurposed Christmas card wreath

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one last wreath to share,
and this one's made from something we all have: old Christmas cards!

yep, i'd bet there are a few (dozen) cards stashed in with your holiday decor,
with graphics or photos so cute that you just couldn't toss them out.
this project will get those cards out of the box and up where you can see & enjoy them!

i love projects that make use of simple materials,
and i've always liked pulling out old holiday decorations and enjoying them in 'different' ways.
this combines the two in a simple paper craft.

continue reading for the easy how-to!


paint chip advent calendar

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it's time to start the official Christmas countdown!
here's a simple way to create an advent calendar that you can personalize for your family

i've used paint chip squares, since they coordinate with my theme this year,
but other easy ways to create something similar include manila tags and post-it notes!
the process is very easy - everyone can get in on the fun!

continue reading for the how-to and suggestions for personalizing an advent calendar...


re-purposed 'ornament' doorhanger

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another of my previous diy decor projects got a quick makeover with paint,
turning it into a cute door hanger that resembles an ornament for the holidays!

i love re-using what i already have on hand,
giving it a fresh look for each season when i can.
it saves money, and storage space, and time spent shopping -
honestly, i'd rather be painting and crafting!!!

continue reading for an easy how-to...


paint chip wreath, too!

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this wreath is a makeover of a previous wreath project...
last spring, i covered a pool noodle circle with some green gingham fabric.

in about ten minutes, i recently reworked it to become something different
because that's what i do with my decor: rethink it, remake it, reuse it.

with the simple addition of paint chip strips, it brightens up the holiday season!

continue reading for an easy how-to....


diy paint chip wreath

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not just for the holidays, this wreath adds cheer in any season!

i made use of a rainbow 'ROYGBIV' color palette,
but of course you could make a similar wreath in hues that compliment your home...
it's a quick diy decorating project that is easy to complete.

continue reading for an easy tutorial!


rainbow colorized wreath

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switching up my holiday decor themes each year is a lot of fun,
and it doesn't cost a lot to make a change...

this white wreath was just $6 at a local thrift shop four years ago,
and i've reworked it with colorful ornaments to match my colorful tree.

most of those ornaments i already had,
a few i grabbed at thrift shops and Dollar Tree to fill out my color palette.
( all told, i spent less than ten dollars on this)
attaching them to the wreath was a quick undertaking,
and the impact is uplifting - indoors or out!

continue reading for a few wreath decorating tips...


diy paint chip ornaments

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nestled in with the brightly colored ornaments in my rainbow garlanded tree
are these ornaments that i made using paint chips.

a note about using paint chips, if i may....
i sauntered in to my local paint store and asked for old paint chips - 
and they handed me an armload of fan decks! FREE!
(i nearly skipped out the door...)
i highly recommend making this effort to procure paint chips responsibly.
i emphatically discourage raiding paint chip displays in home improvement stores.
just to be clear.

making these ornaments is pretty simple - it's a scissors & paste kinda' craft project!

continue reading for the easy tutorial for all three styles of ornaments... 


rainbow colorized Christmas tree

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i really think Joanna and Cleo of The Home Edit would LOVE this Christmas tree!
a brilliant white tree with bright color ornaments, arranged in rainbow ROYGBIVP order 
("it's a SYSTEM!" - if you know, you know)
a place for everything and everything in its place, right?!

okay, so, yesssss, i've been watching The Home Edit on Netflix. a LOT.
and yessssss, it has indeed had an influence on my Christmas decor this year.
i was also inspired by an Insta photo of a huge garland made of balloons...
that spurred the idea to create a 'garland' of colorful ornaments
that were arranged in color order.

continue reading to hear more about where those ornaments CAME from
and see how easy this approach to tree decorating is!


creative Christmas tree skirts

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i'm going to confess that i have never used a store-bought tree skirt
on any of my own Christmas trees. NEVER.

it's not that my trees go bare-legged, it's just that i use different things under them than most people:
vintage petticoats, silky satin formal skirts, my wedding dress!, rugs,
old wood crates, and more tablecloths than i can count. Oh, and a fuzzy blanket!.
i've even used.... wait for it... pine branches. simple, right?

this year's happy colorful theme called for some FUN under the tree,
and i've come up with two different ways to do that by repurposing other items.
one involves some crafting, and will work on any size tree.
the other is for a small tree,
and was so easy i could hardly believe i hadn't thought of it before.

i hope they both make you take a look at whatever tree skirt you've been using
and think twice... about maybe trying something different this year.
now, let's get creative!

continue reading for the easy diy tutorials...


my top tree lighting tip...

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this photo may be a bit of a surprise after my last post...
before we get to the merry & bright colorful decor,
i have a tree-lighting tip to share with you that is guaranteed to up the sparkle factor
on any tree you decorate!

continue reading to see what my no-fail tree lighting trick is...


merry and bright

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anyone else agree with me that we really need a MERRY Christmas?!

2020 has been hard. we all know that.
as the holiday season approaches, we all seem to be
looking forward to decorating our homes and trees and front doors
to welcome the joy of the season - even if we can't welcome guests.

while the holidays might look different than usual this year,
we can all certainly make the best of them - and of us.
let's look to our childhood memories to fuel our imaginations,
and create a mood that brings a smile to the faces of those we love.

let's make it merry and bright!

continue reading to see what inspired me...


fabulous faux mantel & logs

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before i ever began concepting or creating this years' holiday decor,
i decided that it was finally time to create a prop that i've longed for:
a fireplace mantel.

we don't have one - ours is just a Craftsman--style cabinet with a faux electric fireplace in it.
it's very nice, but it has no mantel. and hanging above it is a television.
not exactly picturesque.

wanting a setting that would work as a backdrop to my holiday decor content,
i looked at what i had already, and came up with a plan...
my faux fireplace mantel would live in my studio/office,
providing easy access for setups and the best light to be had around here.

scraps of wood from the garage made easy work of it,
and they will come apart easily when i decide it has served its purpose.
that's my kind of decorating!

continue reading to see details - AND how to make those fab faux logs!


diy paper paint chip leaf wreath

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as i was preparing to create holiday content for the blog this year,
i sourced some paint chips (paint color cards, etc) as supplies for my chosen theme.

and i want to be perfectly clear about WHERE i sourced them:
i didn't take these paint chips from the displays at the hardware or paint store.
i asked the manager of my local paint store if they had any OLD paint fans
that might not be in use any more (because new ones come out every year)...
and they handed them over with a smile. FREE.
a very happy Deb with arms full of paint fans nearly skipped out the door.

but as it so happens, while i was in the midst of creating decor for Christmas... 

another FALL decor idea hit me. so i stopped, and created this fall decor.
(i endeavor to NOT anger my muse!)

it's so simple, you could make the leaves from any kind of paper -
gift wrap, paper bags, scrapbook paper, wallpaper scraps!

continue reading for more details and the easy how-to...


painted toile floral pumpkins

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i continue to be inspired by the current trend of painting pumpkins
to resemble blue and white Chinoiserie ceramics.
those colors aren't in our home decor palette, however,
so i painted a few more pumpkins
to match the brown toile pattern on some vintage dishes that i have.

my small collection of toile or 'Staffordshire' English china
 includes dishes from Royal Staffordshire, Alfred Meakin, and AJ Wilkinson.
the 'Brown Tonquin' pattern on almost all of them was designed by Clarice Cliff,
including the beautiful floral on the tiny saucer that inspired my artwork.

it's a beautiful look for fall that fits into classic, boho, farmhouse, and even coastal decor.

continue reading for more details...


screen dome pumpkins & leaves

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rummaging through a cabinet one day, i rediscovered four screen food covers.
they came from Dollar Tree and to be honest, i don't think we've ever used them.
so.... me being me.... it was time to turn these unused items into something else.

continue reading to see how easily i transformed them into pumpkins!
(i feel a bit like the Fairy Godmother in reverse.....)


diy wood slat shade / privacy screen

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living here in the semi-desert of Southern California means we get a lot of sun.
for four years, i've been struggling with - and have tried - many ways to block that sun
so that we can enjoy our patio and backyard in the late afternoon.
but along with the sun is wind. Santa Ana winds and strong daily afternoon winds.
those winds have torn down every umbrella and shade cloth and curtain i've hung.

finally a bright idea dawned on me - make it wood!
the simple solution was to repeat another element of our landscaping
and create a wood screen to withstand wind and block the afternoon sun.

the best part of this project? it makes use of a pre-made element available at Lowes.
paired with an item i already had, it became the perfect shade screen for us - 
and would work as a privacy screen, as well!

continue reading to see how simple this outdoor diy project is...


painted 'autumn leaf' pattern pumpkins

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inspired by the blue and white 'chinoiserie' pumpkins i've seen online recently,
i came up with a similar idea that reflects both an autumn palette AND our family history.

a few small ceramic pumpkins from my collection were refreshed with paint,
replicating the pattern of some china that has been in my family for generations...

made by Hall China in Ohio for the Jewel Tea Company from 1920 to 1980,
this lovely 'Autumn Leaf' pattern is perfect for fall decorating and entertaining - 
my Mom's Mom, my Grandma Ward, used these pieces even before my Mom was born.
Mom has used them every fall for as long as i can remember.
and i've used the pieces that she passed down to me!
they make an appearance every autumn, especially for Thanksgiving.

continue reading to see more of our collection with my new matching pumpkins...


salvaged fan becomes a backyard table!

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this big old orange thing might just look a bit familiar to you...
it's the industrial fan housing that i grabbed right outta' my neighbors' trash can
and turned into a pumpkin in a previous post.

honestly? the pumpkin project was an afterthought.
THIS was the reason i grabbed it before the trash truck arrived...
to make an accent table for our backyard fire pit area!
it was a simple assembly, using things i had on hand already
and it makes a world of difference in this area of our yard.

continue reading to see how just three simple elements created this table...


faux terra cotta pumpkins + tutorial

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the decor is simple on our porch this year...

just a few select elements combine to give our entryway a fall mood.
(no, that's not a photo of our porch! i'll probably share that on Insta) 
however, real pumpkins are not an option when it's still over 100 degrees.

my solution to that dilemma was to gather up the pumpkins we have on hand
(plus the new-to-me 'Funkin' faux pumpkin that i found at a thrift store
and used in my recent fall harvest scarecrow project)
and give them a cohesive look... 

and i did that with paint, of course!
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continue reading for my easy 'faux terra cotta' paint' tutorial...


boho lace pumpkins

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i am always trying to find new ways to create pumpkin decor to enjoy in the fall...
i'm game to try anything to see if it will work.
i recently came across some photos of this past project, never shared here on the blog,
and thought i had better do that before the window of opportunity for fall decor closes!

these are a fun way to create pumpkins with a bohemian style vibe,
perfect in combination with the neutral hues, macrame' accents, and wood textures
in the 'of the moment' boho modern fall decorating.

continue reading for details on how easy these are...


fall flip: guest room update

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back in August, i shared the no-cost makeover i created in our guest room - 
a cool, refreshing boho mod style in tones of greens and accented with succulents.

no one has come to stay with us since then, but i've just updated the decor...
and even though there isn't a pumpkin or a leaf in sight,
adding the color orange really works to to bring in a 'fall' mood.
(it's still hot here. but it's October now, so i have to accept the inevitable!)

continue reading to see how a few small changes made a BIG difference
 in the way this room feels...


fall harvest scarecrow

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an unexpected find of a two dollar faux 'Funkin' pumpkin at a local thrift shop
was the impetus for this quick, easy fall decor project... perfect indoors or out!

(and no, i wasn't shopping. or, rather, i didn't PLAN to be shopping! i went to the thrift store to drop off three bags of used books.
but the door was open... and i was weak... and so.... i came home with a pumpkin. and three MORE bags of books. but i digress...)

that lightweight foam pumpkin became the head of this cute fall scarecrow.
made with items already on hand - including grass trimmings from our yard -
he came together really fast.

continue reading to see what's holding him up!


make a tiered tray the easy way!

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the decorating trend of the moment seems to be tiered trays!
they make arranging a selection of small items a breeze, 
pulling them all together in one display to make a big impact.

i've seen loads of great styling ideas shared all over social media,
but i came up with an approach for the tray itself that i thought might inspire you...

that tiered tray in the image above? not a tray. i didn't buy it.
i made it - using some things that i pulled out of cabinets & cupboards,
and a few drops of hot glue.
not only was it an easy project, it will come apart when i am ready for it to.

continue reading to see my easy way to MAKE a tiered tray...


funky junky pumpkin!

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this project has an interesting beginning:
i was taking our garbage cans out to the curb for pickup one morning.
and there at the curb was my neighbors' trash can...
with a fabulous, huge, ORANGE metal floor fan sticking out of it.

as i discovered upon further investigation, it was just a fan housing. no inner parts.
meaning the hard work had been done already - 
so how could i NOT snatch this thing up and repurpose it?!!!
especially when my whoooooole quarantine mission has been
to NOT spend money on craft or decor supplies. to just use what i have.
this thing shows up right in front of me, on my street. what am i supposed to do?!!!

i thought you'd agree.
so yes, in just a few seconds i did grab that fan housing right outta' his garbage can!
and i knew exactly what it was going to become...
last year, i made some junky fall pumpkins from similar salvaged metal parts.
and this version is even better!

continue reading to see several versions of 
the giant junk pumpkin that i made from it...


early fall floral tablescape

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ah, September... a fickle month that can't decide if it's summer or fall!
even between seasons,
nature never fails to delight me with new color combinations and moods,
providing endless inspiration for decorating...

inspired by a piece of fabric that evokes a late summer garden,
this tablescape includes some fall elements along with summer flowers and herbs.
it's easy to pull together a pretty table - just look outside for inspiration!

continue reading for some easy table decor tips...


'paint chip' painted pumpkins

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a recent post shared the paper paint chip pumpkins i made, 
and this project was hatched at the same time!

three styrofoam pumpkins were easily painted in the same style as paint chips,
and the multi-hued stripes just make me smile.

continue reading for tips on how to make these easy painted pumpkins...


fall decorating in gradient tones

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September rolls around and it's supposed to be 'everything Pumpkin Spice'.
but honestly, that's a stretch when it's still triple-digit summer heat outside - 
sometimes our geographic location just doesn't vibe with popular seasonal decor
and it's time to get outta' that box!

rather than go full-on with leaves and pumpkins everywhere, 
i came up with a way to use what i had on hand with a fresh look:
arranging my stash of pumpkins in a color gradient.
while the color spectrum runs from clear to brown,
arranging things this way gives a 'fall feel' with a bit of whimsy.

continue reading to see how easy this approach is!


paper 'paint chip' pumpkins

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these happy pumpkins sprang into my head one night,
and i couldn't wait to get into my studio the next day to try them out!

last spring, i shared a few projects that are based on paint chips.
although the first project - hearts - was made from real paint chips (from a client's decor project)
i then came up with a way to make my OWN paint 'chips': paint them on paper!

not only is it a perfect way to get the right colors for a specific use,
it also assures that i always have as many as i need if a project expands
(frequently!) or needs a do-over (sometimes!).

continue reading for details on making your own painted paint chip paper
AND the things i've made with them this year!


3 upcycled paint palette ideas

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it's a magical substance that can easily and inexpensively change everything it touches.

want a dark room to seem more light and spacious? paint it a light hue.
want a damaged piece of stained wood furniture to look fresh and new? paint it.
want to create stunning decor in a room without spending a lot? paint a mural or wallpaper effect.

i've been painting things all of my life, and along the way, i've learned a few things...
like supplies for painting & crafting don't have to be new and from the art supply store.
just like in diy home decor, it's easy to upcycle / repurpose household items!

continue reading for my top three ideas for paint palettes...


painterly pumpkins

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it's been over 110 degrees where i live this past week. WAY over. ugh. 
this does NOT feel like fall, my friends. not. one. bit.

so, i've been hiding in my air conditioned studio to escape the heat.
i was tidying my studio and went to toss something away, 
when suddenly a flash of inspo hit... and these colorful pumpkins are the result. 
cute? yes! painterly? yes! made of trash? yes!!
[also: completely unplanned!!!] 

continue reading to see what i repurposed to make them!


why 'seasonal' decorating?

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i get that question a lot: "why do you change your home decor with the season?"

it's not such a foreign concept, really. most people do this at certain points in the year -
Halloween, Christmas, Fourth of July, Easter.
they bring out decor elements that are specific to those holidays to enhance their enjoyment.
i grew up with a Mom who did that, making holidays special.

decorating for winter, spring, summer, and autumn is a similar approach...
simple, subtle changes in color and accessories can make a dramatic difference
in how a room feels, and how i live in it.

for example, the room shown above... it's filled with warm neutral hues and soft textures,
the perfect place to cozy up on a rainy fall day.
but i wouldn't want to live in it like that during a hot summer!
with a few simple changes, the mood shifts and the room feels appropriate to the season.
every season brings a new design scheme, refreshing the space and me with new energy. 
and when i say 'new design scheme', i'm not talking totally redecorating a room.
i'm not advocating spending a bundle - of money OR time - several times a year.
easy changes - swapping out colorful accessories and bringing in touches of nature - 
are my main methods for bringing the beauty of a new season indoors.

it doesn't take a lot of money or effort to get results like this - just imagination!
continue reading to see the room above change through the seasons of a year...


a succulent tablescape

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this final post for august wraps up my recent succulent / cacti obsession,
which i think is a great way to bridge the hot 'summer into fall' seasonal change.

today, i'll share how i took some of the elements that i created for the
no-cost, use-what-you-have guest room makeover
and found a whole new way to use them... on the dining table.

this clean, crisp, contemporary nature-based composition
fits so many decor styles: boho, rustic, industrial, modern,
and will work indoors and outdoors to make entertaining really easy!

 you'll also find a quick tutorial for making one last version 
of faux succulents to decorate with.
continue reading...


ping pong paddle painted cacti

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i sometimes see something online that inspires me, 
and i take the idea a bit further...
add or subtract or just let it jump-start my imagination,
and end up creating my own new version of something.

i thought i'd share this view of a past project with you today...
it was inspired by someone else's project, i took it further with my own idea,
and i shared the BACK side of it last fall.
(to be honest, i like this side the best!)

continue reading to see all of the prickly details of my faux cacti!


tutorial: make faux succulents from ribbons

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as i've been scouring my house for crafting / decorating supplies during quarantine,
i've unearthed a LOT of stuff that i had forgotten about!
case in point: a tin container of multicolored ribbons shoved in a box.
i pulled them out, separated them by color, and looked at the pile of green ribbons
with an eye toward using them somehow in the new guest room decor.

nothing immediately came to me UNTIL i walked outside that evening to water our plants.
i looked over at a galvanized bucket filled with succulents and BING! 
bells started ringing in my head.

a nice 'play' session ensued, where i messed around with paper, scissors, and glue
to combine with those ribbons and turn them into a decor element.
once that was done, i attached them to something already in the room -
and i really like the way this one turned out!

continue reading for the before, during, after, 
AND a tutorial to walk you through making your own faux succulents from ribbons!


painted ceramic vases = faux cacti!

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ideas for decorating with succulents and cacti have taken over my brain!
i've been sharing all of the details of projects completed as part of a recent
no-cost makeover of our guest room, giving it boho style,
and i hope you've been finding some inspiration for projects of your own!

the bowl of faux succulents/cacti shown above reveals another one, and it's SO easy. 
continue reading to see the before & after transformation...