Rod-Iron Scroll’y’ Accent Pieces & Lighting

I am going to give my hubby some of the credit for giving me the idea to accent my country decor with rod-iron pieces.  When we moved into this new house, I wanted to take my decorating up a notch, meaning I wanted to pull away from having walls full of this, that, and everything that goes with this and that. 😉  I wanted this home to look warm and cozy which of course country decor definitely invokes but I wanted to be really careful and not fill every available bare wall and tabletop with a plethora of ‘foofoo’ <~~~hubby’s word for random decor pieces~~~.  At first I was a little afraid of the rod-iron.  But, now that I’ve incorporated it into almost every room in some way in our home, I love it.  I feel as if I’ve been able to keep the warm and cozy feel of our home intact with a bit of sophistication thrown in for good measure. 🙂  I will show you how and where I’ve incorporated said scrolly’s’…but first, let me explain a bit of how I came to utilize said pieces.

When we where choosing accents for this new home with our builder, we chose oil-rubbed bronze for all of our light fixtures and door hardware.  I didn’t know it when we were making those choices, but, they provided us a wonderful pallet with which add our dark furniture and later those rod-iron scrolly pieces. 🙂  In addition, we had chosen this gorgeous mirror for over our fireplace and its design inspired me greatly (hubby picked the mirror btw…he has a great eye).

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Our builder provided the lighting over the kitchen island as an upgrade so in turn that provided us with the style that we took through the kitchen, into the dining room, and ultimately into the foyer.

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We only purchased the island lights from our builder, my hubby found the other 4 accompanying fixtures online and purchased them that way (for a good bit less than we would have paid via our builder) and he installed them himself.

Here is the light fixture that hangs over the kitchen table:

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Here is the light fixture that hangs over the dining room table:

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And this is the light fixture that hangs in the foyer.  I had to look away when the hubby was up on a huge ladder installing this puppy…talk about precarious! Whew!!

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The hubby installed one more light fixture and that was in our living room:

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As you can see, all of the light fixtures are the same style and once installed really pulled the entire lower level together.

In addition, I chose a couple of lamps that I felt paired nicely with the light fixtures…

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And we refurbished this floor lamp which is metal…

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And this is a light that sits in one corner on the kitchen countertop:

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Now, onto how I came to start using the rod-iron scrolly accent pieces.  The very first place with which we utilized some scrolly’s’ was at the top of our staircase.  You can see that space from wherever you are located in our family room and kitchen areas and it looked nekkid up there.  My hubby is the one that came up with the idea to put two scrolly pieces together to make one large wall unit.

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I love the look of that and little did my hubby know…he had created a monster! I will now show you where else I’ve placed these scroll’y’ accent pieces throughout our home. They add just a little somethin’ somethin’ to the space in which they reside…

The dining room:

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The foyer:

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The living room:

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The family room:

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Here are some examples of how I’ve used pieces in our bedrooms:

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I’ve also used black and oil-rubbed bronze metal pieces for sconces, wreath hangers, shelves, and as accents on wreaths. In addition, I’ve utilized some in lanterns and other table top candle holders to augment the wall pieces…Here are a smattering of examples:

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I am quite happy with how incorporating what one might construe as a cold accent piece into a warm surrounding upped my entire design theme throughout the house. 🙂

Until next time, y’all take good care! ❤

**In crafting there are no mistakes just unique creations**

Fireplace: Mantel & Hearth

The fireplace is usually where I start when I’m transitioning my decor from one Season to the next.  I have to admit though, that I was so happy with how my Christmas decorations turned out that I almost hated to change it.  BUT, in the end, I’m *just* as happy with how it all turned out using my everyday accents pieces.

Here is how I had the fireplace decorated for Christmas:

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The first task was to take all of Christmas decorations down and pack them away, that took 1/2 a day in and of itself…not kidding…:)  This is what I started with  IMG_3331

The first thing that I had replaced was the wreath on the mirror.  Here is a link to show you how I made that wreath, Burlap, Pip Berry, & Rod Iron Wreath

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There it is in place…

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The next thing I tackled was the mantel…

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I started with a pip berry garland that matches the staircase garland and I wrapped a set of 35 white lights around it;  I always purchase my pip berry garland from The Pip Berry Barn.  Then I made two burlap bows that I have on the staircase (here is a link for my Staircase: Lit Pip Berry Garland post). After that I added black wooden candlesticks and topped them with candles with metal stars wrapped around them.

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I got the candlesticks and candles from Piper Classics

Next, I added a couple of Dickens houses, a few electric spool candles with silicone light bulbs, a couple more plain wooden candle sticks (that I tied a bit of the ribbon around), and some pieces from my Willow Tree collection.   I stood back and took a look see and was happy with what I’d created.

Then I moved on to the hearth, the first thing that I did was to recreate a basket decor that I’d had sitting next to the hearth at Christmas; here is a picture of how I had it decorated up for Christmas…

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And here is how I recreated it using more generic accent pieces:

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I found the “Happiness is Homemade” plaque at Hobby Lobby for 40% off, and I already owned the rest of the accents which included an old pip berry garland, metal stars, a little wooden heart, and a country themed towel that I tied to the basket.  I did add a set of lights to the very top.  I found these spiffy sparkl’ies’ at Michaels, they are battery operated and have a timer (although, I will say that my hubby rigged them up with a little transformer and mine are plugged in and never go off).

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After that little project was complete, I moved to the hearth.  As I’ve explained in this How To Create Cozy Corners post, I started to build the decor on either side of the fireplace box.  If we want to have a fire these pieces are easily slid out of the way.

First, I took a moment to put together a quick little lantern centerpiece…

And then I just built the rest of the decor…I ended up with this.

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Then I moved to the other side, here is what I came up with there…

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See that “I Love You a Bushel and a Peck” lit canvas plaque? My cousin Stacey made that for me and gave it to me for Christmas (and yes, I cried like a baby when I opened it…that saying is very special to us because our Grandma used to say it to us all of the time).  If you’d like to see how she made that, here is a link to her Light Up Christmas Canvas blog entry.  Stacey is sweet enough to be a guest blogger for me every now and again. 🙂  I will cherish that piece forever and ever!! ❤

So when all was said and done, here is a look at how everything turned out…

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And how it looks in the evening hours…

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Yes, I can honestly say that I am just as happy with this look as I was with the Christmas look.  And it was so much fun to create, I truly thrive on this sort of thing. 🙂  This fireplace design set the tone for what the rest of the decor would look like. In my next post, I’ll describe how I put together that cozy little corner to the right of the tv…along with a few other little creations…

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Until next time, y’all take good care! ❤

**In crafting there are no mistakes just unique creations**

Christmas 2015: Lantern Centerpiece & More (Traditional Christmas Colors)

Continuing on with showing y’all how I am decorating our home for Christmas; I’ve been working for almost a solid week on the rooms that span the back of our home (family room, kitchen, kitchen eating area, and the staircase–all of which are completely open to one another). In this entry, I will be highlighting a couple of centerpieces that I made, one, a lantern centerpiece for the kitchen table, and two a centerpiece for the kitchen’s island.  Also, I’ll be showing you how I decorated my kitchen window sills–I change the decor on the sills with every season.

So let’s start with the kitchen island arrangement.  The first thing I do when I go to make anything like this is to gather all of the materials I *think* I might use.

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I decided to made a candle ring to go around the candle first.  I cut off some stems for the big bunch of red berries and used floral wire to hold it closed.
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Then I started to add all of the accent pieces starting with a piece of pine garland, cutting apart the red berries bunch and sticking it in here and there and finishing off with burlap poinsettia flowers (they had a clip on the back, so I clipped them to the pine garland at each corner).  It turned out to be a fun little piece one that can easily be picked up and moved out of the way when necessary.

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Next, I’ll show you how I decorated the window sills; we have large windows that crank open and the sills are really wide, so I’ve had fun changing up the decor on them; here is a link to my Ever Changing Window Decor blog post so you can see what else I’ve done in the past.

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I was really looking forward to creating a centerpiece for the kitchen table using a pretty lantern that I purchased last winter.  This would be my first attempt at creating a Christmassy arrangement. In anticipation of how I wanted this centerpiece to look, I purchased a new Christmas tablecloth and built my design around that; burgundy and white would be my accent colors.  Again, the first thing I did was to gather all of the accents that I thought I might use.  I planned on reusing the big metal and mirrored tray that I’ve used to make every other centerpiece utilizing the lantern.  Here is a link to my A Lantern Centerpiece For All Seasons blog post just in case you’d like to take a look at what else I’ve created in the past year. Anyway, back to this piece, here we go…

I purchased this candle at Lowe’s and it is so pretty!
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Now, this may seems silly, but there are times that I definitely improvise.  I needed to elevate the candle just a smidge inside the lantern, but I didn’t have a candle holder big enough (in circumference) to fit the candle, so I used this little ramekin turned upside-down. 🙂 I knew that it’d be hidden by a pine candle ring, so it worked like a charm…The candle base snugged down over the ramekin nicely.

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I used an old pine candle ring that I had in my stash to go around the candle inside of the lantern…

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My only other accent pieces were these big bunches of red sparkly berries and pine, a Merry Christmas sign, sparkly poinsettias and white burlap wired ribbon…

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This was honestly so easy to put together, I just placed a red berries bunch on three sides and placed the Merry Christmas sign on the front and cut apart another berries bunch and arranged it behind and over the sign.  I used 4 of the sparkly poinsettias, one one each side…

I made a bow, here is a link to my How To Make A Bow Tutorial (Video) if you want to know how to make one of these bow.  In addition, I made a little ‘handle’ for lack of a better word, and tied it and some red berries to the bow.  I slid that handle over the top piece on the lantern and completed the project.

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When my hubby got home from work that evening, he took a look at this centerpiece and said “Wow, that looks beautiful!!!”, I took that as a huge compliment considering he sees everything that I create on a daily basis…haha. 🙂

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I’m almost finished decorating this part of the house, in my next post, I’ll highlight a couple other little centerpieces, a couple of cozy corners, and the powder room.

Sneak Peek:

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Until next time, y’all take good care! ❤

**In crafting there are no mistakes just unique creations**

A Lantern Centerpiece For All Seasons

I cannot express to y’all just how much I love lanterns; they provide a wonderful basic piece with which to create so many pretty groupings.  I use them to accent my decor inside and outside as well.  I felt so fortunate when I stumbled upon the lantern that I will be highlighting in this post; actually I own two of the exact same lanterns and I purchased them in two different local craft stores, unfortunately, I cannot find these lanterns anywhere online or I’d leave y’all a link…my sincere apologies… <sigh>.  I buy my share of lanterns in places like Hobby Lobby, Home Goods, and Michaels, all three stores usually have a wonderful selection and I can almost always find one on sale. I use them in several different ways; some for centerpieces, some for accents in groupings, and some for side or accent tabletop decor.  For the purposes of this post, I am going to focus on this one type of lantern and show you how I use it to create my kitchen table centerpieces.

I will start with the very first lantern centerpiece that I created; last January. In addition to the lantern, I’ve used a metal mirrored tray, and a black candle holder as the anchors of every one of the centerpieces.  Here is the lantern, (it is metal btw), I’ve measured it for you so that you can see that it is quite large, I love to have a big centerpiece on my kitchen table, I’ve also measured the tray for you:

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The first thing that I did was to place the candle holder and a battery operated candle inside of the lantern, then I started to build the surrounding decor.  I realize that gerber daisies are more of a Spring flower, but I love them so much and I found some made out of burlap, so I went ahead and used them along with a few burgundy and gold ones, and I added a resin cream colored daisy at each corner as well.  I nestled all of the accent pieces in a bed of pip berries–I used a pip berries garland that matches my stair decor highlighted in my Staircase Railing Ideas blog post. OH, btw, I did cut a section of pip berries off of the garland and I wrapped it around the candle holder inside of the lantern before I started to create the surrounding decor. (I plan to give you a basic step by step “how-to” below):

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That centerpiece stayed up through the winter months until it was time to switch out the centerpiece accents to match my Easter decorations.  Here is what I came up with:

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As you can see, I used the very same lantern, tray, and candle holder…and I actually did use the same pip berries garland as well. I changed out the battery operated candle and the flowers. I purchased the tablecloth, the plates, and napkins at our local Home Goods store. I made the little napkin rings as well, I chose a pretty ribbon and tied a bow around the napkin and then hot glued little flowers to the tips of the bow…easy peezy. 🙂

A close up of the Easter lantern:

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After Easter, I simply removed the “Happy Easter” words, but I did leave the rest of it alone until it was time to switch things out for the family reunion/summer centerpiece:

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I changed out all of the decor accent pieces for this centerpiece and I created and added a top bow/pip berries piece which I’ve found that I love now. I feel as if it pulls it all together. I used a red and white pip berries garland (trimming a section off to go inside the lantern and another small piece that I added to the bow topper), gerber daisies,  a “Family” wooden word sign, and I threw in a couple of burlap birds for something a little different.

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That centerpiece stayed in place until it was time to decorate for Fall. Now, I will walk you through how I created that Fall centerpiece…Here goes:

Here is the lantern, tray, and candle holder. I used a new pip berries garland for this arrangement and again, I trimmed off a section so that I could wrap it around the candle ring inside of the lantern and another small section to be used on the bow topper:

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Next, I wrapped the rest of the pip berries garland around the lantern:

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Then I created the bow topper and pip berries design:

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I made the bow and simply attached the small section of pip berries into the pipe cleaner that I used to hold the bow together (behind the bow). Then I took a piece of the same ribbon and attached it to the back of the bow with the pip berries.  I kind of held it up to the lantern and figured out how big of a “loop” I wanted and then hot glued it shut to that size. I then slid the entire bow topper onto the top piece of the lantern.  You can see what I’m talking about here:

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Then I arranged some glass pumpkins at each corner and filled in the spaces in front, back, and on either side with Fall floral picks and a few Fall colored sunflowers:

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And here is the finished centerpiece:

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I have really enjoyed creating a new centerpiece as each Season has passed while utilizing the same basic designs and design pieces. I will admit that I spent a good chunk of change on this particular lantern (and I use one just like it on my dining room table, but, it was so worth the cost. I’ll write another post showing you all of the different Seasonal centerpieces I’ve created for the dining room table).   I was able to get the tray for 1/2 off at Hobby Lobby, and I’ve been able to get each Season’s accent pieces for a discounted price. It hardly costs me anything to change out the decor and of course from now on, it won’t cost me a penny because I will reuse the same accent pieces in the coming years.  That said, I know myself and I’m sure I will be adding or changing some things out for new things, but, I’ll already have all of the basics that I need. 🙂

Fast forward 3 months and I have now completed a lantern centerpiece for Christmas utilizing the basic pieces that I’ve used for all of the other centerpieces.  Here is a link to my new Blog post describing how I created the Christmas Lantern Centerpiece.  Here is a picture of the finished product:

I hope upon hope that one of these ideas inspires y’all to try something like this for your home. They are not hard to create and all you need to do is to trust yourself to choose accents pieces that look pretty to you and hence would look amazing in your home.  I’m always here if anyone has any questions, feel free to leave them in the comment section. 🙂

Let me take a moment to thank every one of you who has stopped by to take a peek at this blog, feel free to look around at my other posts; I have found that I am really enjoying sharing my creations with you and if one person is inspired to try their hand at creating something similar to what they’ve seen here…well, that would just touch my heart of hearts!!

Until next time, y’all take good care! ❤

**In crafting there are no mistakes just unique creations**

The Lantern Centerpiece Gift

Hi Everyone!

I always enjoy giving homemade gifts to people that I know will appreciate the planning, preparation, and plethora of work it takes to create an entirely new concept just for them. My dear friend Karen is one such person. Karen and I have been friends for over a decade now, our daughters were in the high school marching band together and Karen and I were very involved in the Band Parents Association.  She and I had much more in common than just our girls though, she is also a crafter and she can create beautiful things that I admire greatly. So, when she and her hubby built a beautiful new home my wheels started turning and I tried to come up with a new and different Housewarming gift.  What does a crafter give another crafter?  It can be tricky…luckily, our ‘talents’ lie in different realms of the crafting world.  Karen herself actually gave me the idea of what I ended up making for her.  She texted me one day to ask me if she could borrow my red gingham tablecloth to use for an upcoming get-together.  Well, when she asked me that the light went on in my head and the bells started ding, ding, dinging, I knew exactly what I wanted to make for her; a lantern centerpiece 🙂  First, I purchased her a red gingham tablecloth of her own. Then I made a lantern centerpiece with a red gingham bow, pip berries garland, red and white gerber daisies, black metal stars, a red battery operated candle, and a “Family” wooden sign, all arranged in and around a cream colored wooden tray and cream colored wooden lantern.  I also put a red gingham placemat in the tray to serve as a nice decorative base for the design.

**Side note–I love arranging my lantern centerpieces in trays, the tray provides an anchor for the entire design and *bonus* it is easily picked up and moved from place to place**

Here is that finished centerpiece:

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I then thought, well, I don’t want to pigeonhole her into having to use the red gingham accents all of the time, so I took it a step further and supplied her with the necessary materials with which to change out the red gingham accents and insert a more neutral design; utilizing the same metal stars, lantern and tray.  I made a new bow out of chevron and burlap ribbon and supplied a different colored pip berries garland, a cream colored battery operated candle, different colored gerber daisies, a different “Home” sign, and a neutral placemat. Also, I made it so that she could easily change out the bows by hot gluing velcro on the ends of a piece of the same ribbon and attaching it to the bows;  they were then secure when in place, pretty, and functional. 🙂

Here is that version of the centerpiece:

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I packed up all of the neutral design materials along with a picture of how she might want to switch out the red and white gingham elements and replace them with the more neutral elements.

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I delivered the red gingham version of the centerpiece to her with the neutral version packed in a gift bag.  I immediately knew that I had chosen right in giving her a homemade gift because when I handed it to her, her sweet eyes welled up with tears and I got the very best hug ever! My day was made, completely made!

In my opinion, it is *always* better to give than to receive, and when it comes from your heart and is made with love and with the receiver in mind,  it makes for a good day all around.

**LOVE you Karen** ❤

Hi Everyone!

My name is Arlynn and I’m a housewife and crafter from Virginia.  I moved here when I married my soulmate 33 years ago; for the 20 years prior to that I lived with my parents in Maryland.  My hubby and I have two beautiful daughters who are now out on their own and thriving in this big world of ours. I’ve done many things in my life, but, most of them revolved around raising our girls and involving myself as a volunteer in their schools.  Also, we have 2 Newfoundland dogs named Sophie and Samson and a Golden Retriever named Gracie all three of which I absolutely adore.

A bit about my background, I come from a very loving, God fearing family whose traditions run deep and love runs strong; they are all (aunts, uncles, cousins–I’m an only child) very special to me!  Unfortunately, we are all scattered and live in different States, but when we are together we make the most of every moment (we just had a family reunion here at our home last May–a blog for later).  Both of my parents were educators, and they raised me up to be a loving and honest woman. My family shaped and molded me into the woman I am today. Sadly, we lost my precious Mom a couple of years ago. My Dad is still going strong, he plays golf daily, travels extensively, and is as healthy as can be.

All of that said, I’ve been crafting for decades…literally…haha. I decided to start this blog because when I would post my newest crafting or diy project on my Facebook page, it seemed like folks were interested in what I was doing. A few friends and one of my daughters have encouraged me to try and start a blog because they feel that I have a lot to offer; I hope that they are right and that there is someone who might take one of my ideas and utilize it in their home.  I have no formal education in interior design, but I love to create warm cozy spaces and I love to decorate my home in a welcoming manner. I make wreaths and centerpieces among other things and I utilize my very symmetrical nature to create spaces within my home that are pleasing to the eye. I love to craft and create! All of that said, I am completely new to blogging, so please be patient with me as I am learning as I go.

My hubby and I moved into our retirement home a couple of years ago and I’ve been diligently working on decorating our space. I change the decor as the Seasons change. I’ve included some pictures of just some of the things that I’ve created since we moved in.

**In crafting there are no mistakes just unique creations**

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