• book pumpkin

    Mid October Break

    Hey folks! I’m taking a mid-October blog break because rest is important. Handy Husband and the kids are off of school and work parts of this week for Columbus Day or Indigenous Peoples’ Day. I’m joining them in doing…I’m not sure what. Ha! I’m sure it will be fabulous though. If you’d like something to read from the archives, I suggest one of the following: Travel: Opus 40 in New York  (The Opus 40 folks shared what I wrote when it was published.) How to Fix the Waistband “Gap” of Your Jeans Turn Old Board Games Into Coasters I’ll see you back here next week with fresh, new blog posts.…

  • halloween cauldron centerpiece
    happy list

    Happy List: #230

    Welcome to the Happy List! I hope your October is off to a good start! This week on the blog I shared some plans for the backyard. Do I know what will happen back there? No, but a girl can dream. I also shared my recent obsession with pressed flower art. There are so many cool possibilities! On a housekeeping note, I *think* I fixed two blog things this week. First, if you are signed up on my email list to receive reminders when I publish a new blog post, those should be back in your inbox now. Check your spam folder. If you’d like to sign up to receive these…

  • pressed flower art emerald rabbit store via etsy

    In Praise of Pressed Flower Art

    Pressed flower art has been around forever! Well, maybe not forever, but at least since the 1500s. So, close enough? Artists in Japan used pressed flowers as their medium for creating large-scale artwork in the 1500s. As trade between nations expanded, the practice eventually gained favor in England and the United States. Like any type of art, pressed flower art has trended in and out of style. Is it trendy now? Who knows? Who can keep up? Who wants to? Make what you like. Buy what you like. The end. I recently had the most enjoyable experience making actual pressed flower art for my home. It turned out as delicate…

  • built-in stone bench ideas
    colonial farmhouse

    Built-In Stone Bench Ideas for our Backyard

    If I was going to rank backyard landscaping features on their coolness factor, a built-in stone bench around a firepit would be near the top of the list. Not to mention, it’s an introvert’s type of landscaping. I want you to be comfortable enough, feel welcomed, and have the best time, but I don’t want you to feel so comfortable that you stay forever. Hahahaha! But, seriously, I need my sleep. We have a spot in our backyard that would be the perfect place to add a built-in stone bench. In the below photo, it’s the spot to the right of the wood steps. There’s already a rock wall there.…

  • piano wire pumpkin on the happy list
    happy list

    Happy List: #229

    Happy first day of October! Welcome to the Happy List! This week on the blog I shared our not quite fall front porch. I sit out there every morning while the kids wait for the school bus and it is lovely. I also finally shared the photos of our newly painted Carriage House. If you follow along with us on Instagram or Facebook stories, you’ll know that’s where the project sneak peeks happen because I can’t help myself! Also, here’s your weekly reminder if you create something I should see, please tag me! I really do love to see what you are making. Instead of the circle of life, it is…

  • painted carriage house
    colonial farmhouse,  DIY

    Check Out Our Newly Painted Carriage House

    Cue the celebratory dancing because I am beyond excited to be able to share our newly painted Carriage House on the blog today! I’m still pinching myself because the transformation, thanks to paint, was so dramatic. I hate to use the cliched phrase “the power of paint,” but I haven’t come up with a better alternative phrase! The power of paint is next level on this project. But first! What is a Carriage House?  It sounds so fancy, doesn’t it? Trust me – ours is not at all fancy. Originally, a carriage house would have been a building to store a horse-drawn carriage and the related horse tack. It could…

  • not quite fall front porch colonial farmhouse
    decorating,  gardening and landscape

    Our Not Quite Fall Front Porch

    We have a not quite summer, not quite fall front porch right now. Anyone else feeling like they are sitting on the fence between seasons at this very moment with their decor? No? Just me? You couldn’t even give me a shove either way off the seasonal fence because I like it right where I am at the moment. It’s just so pleasant in New Jersey right now. We can hang out outside without wilting under the intense heat and humidity of summer. It’s not yet sweatshirt weather though with the daytime temperatures still in the 70s. In other words, it is perfect. If New Jersey was always like this,…

  • pumpkin shaped Soup Tureen Fall Centerpiece
    happy list

    Happy List: #228

    Why, hello! Welcome to this week’s Happy List! I hope the week has treated you well. No, better than well – fantastic! This week on the blog I got very passionate about establishing sentimental provenance for your family keepsakes. This seemed to strike a chord with many of you, so I’m glad I finally wrote about this idea. I also shared my infatuation with embroidered pillowcases! I’m hoping to add a pair to my bed linens soon! If you aren’t following along with us on Instagram or Facebook stories, I invite you to hang out with us there. There’s a lot that happens there that doesn’t make it on the…

  • mrspetunia etsy shop vintage embroidered pillowcases

    In Praise of Embroidered Pillowcases

    All of a sudden I’m seeing embroidered pillowcases everywhere and I couldn’t be happier about it! We received a set of embroidered pillowcases as a wedding gift over two decades ago. I can’t remember who gave them to me (sorry!) or if they were even handstitched. I always thought those embroidered pillowcases made my bedding look far fancier than it really was. Unfortunately, fancy eventually turned into threadbare because we used those pillowcases so often. I don’t know how many of you learned to hand embroider, but I’d venture to say it was a much more common skill if you go back a couple of generations. Not to put an…

  • Establish Sentimental Provenance for Your Furniture and Art

    It’s Time to Establish Sentimental Provenance for Family Keepsakes

    What is sentimental provenance? It’s a term I coined to describe a historical record of an item’s origin and ownership for sentimental reasons, not monetary reasons. How many times have you bought something at a thrift store and wished you knew where that item had come from, in other words, its provenance? For me, it’s every single time! I wish I knew that table, painting, or bowl’s back story. Where did it come from and how did it end up on this dusty thrift store shelf? If that item could talk, what stories would it tell? What historical events did it witness? How much did it originally cost? I don’t…