Frayed At The Ends

>Since burlap has become one of my favorite designer fabrics of late, I've bought several yards, several times, cut by several fabric store ladies. But recently one fabric worker performed

burlap magic
right before my eyes and I just had to share!
If you want a perfectly straight edge on your burlap, you start by snipping the end with scissors.
Then you take one thread and begin to pull. The burlap will begin to gather. Keep pulling the string with one hand and push the gathered section with your other hand until the pulled string has reached the opposite end of the fabric. Straighten out the gathers and you'll notice a perfect line which is now a guide for cutting the burlap. Once cut, if you want a perfectly frayed edge, just continue to pull threads until you achieve the frayed length you desire. That's how I made my wide burlap table runner for my outdoor table. I added some cute tablecloth weights so the table will always stay perfectly dressed.

All Boxed Up

>Isn't it interesting how you can find yourself drawn to certain objects, but you're not exactly sure why. I am naturally drawn to all sorts of containers---things that contain other things. I like suitcases, picnic baskets, bowls, vases, regular baskets, trays, trunks, and old wooden boxes. My husband usually just rolls his eyes when he sees me migrating toward these things. But he's a patient man, and usually puts up with my quirkiness. He doesn't, however, understand why I buy old, beat up, wooden boxes. His argument is, "We can build one better than that." My reply is, "Yes, we can. But we usually don't." Plus, I think, because someone has built an item with their own two hands, it should be appreciated not just for it's looks, but for the energy that it took to create it. So occasionally, my husband loses the argument and the old, beat up wooden box comes home with me.
Well, you know what happens when you're drawn to certain items? Before you know it, you've got yourself a collection! This is my collection of old, beat up wooden boxes.
Right about now you're thinking to yourself, "I think I'm on her husband's side of the argument", aren't you? But remember, my philosophy:

Anything Can Be Transformed With a Coat of Paint
and a Little Creativity!

And here's the proof---
I'm going to display my old, beat up wooden boxes on my husband's side of the bed. They'll be great for containing some of his things. I think he'll be happy that he lost the "Why buy an old, beat up wooden box?" argument.

Spicy Makeover

>When I discovered this spicy orange floral fabric in the clearance pile I knew that it would look great in my family room.I pulled the perfect chair from another room in the house to give it it's inexpensive update.I removed the seat and covered the existing foam with a fresh layer of batting for a little extra cushiness.Then it was just a matter of cutting, pulling and stapling.Now I have a gorgeous addition to my family room that took me only a few minutes and around two dollars to create.

How's that for a little spice of life?

I am so happy to announce that Joys of Home has officially been declared the winner of the JDR Blogger Awards in the category of interior design!!!!!
I am indebted to those of you who took the time to vote.
Thank you,
thank you so very much!!!

Pretties to Share

>I thought I'd share a few pretties today. The first being that pretty little "J" that you notice up there by the http://.
It's called a blog icon or fav icon. It replaces the big orange square B that's next to almost every blog address. It makes my blog name stand out and be unique. I love it! Cara, the RockSTARRMom, designed it for me. Thank you Cara! She can personalize your blogicon too. Just go visit her at Your Blogicon and tell her I sent you. She'll create something wonderful for your blog and give you step-by-step instructions on how to install it. She's such a sweetie!

As you know I've been a little light on my posting lately which has given me time to catch up on things.
I've been doing some yard work (finally!). Of course there's still more to do. Lots of flowers to plant and the weeding is never done. But I wanted to share a few photos of my yard.
The roses look spectacular this year.
My clematis has never had so many blooms. I'm amazed that everything has managed to thrive even with my neglect. I learned a lesson from my flower beds. They look great because I planted plenty of perennials. I applied that lesson to my huge flower pots and planted perennials in them this year. There's beautiful hostas in the pots under the trees. And fragrant lavender in the pots out back. With perinnials in my pots I can enjoy their beauty this year and for years to come.

Heads Up


The trend this year seems to be skulls of glitter.
I had this little skull in the bottom of my Halloween box. He was calling for a glittery makeover.
However, I didn't feel like cleaning up glitter
for days (or years) to come.
So I gave him a coat of sterling silver spray paint.
Once the paint was dry,
I coated him with silver glitter spray.
Now he looks like a new man!
He has the look of glitter without all the mess.

A Side Porch: Before and After


The side porch of my clients home is where most friends
come to visit.
She wanted it warm and welcoming for visitors,
as well as a nice place
for the family to relax .(Before)
There is now no doubt that it is a place that welcomes guests.(After)
New chairs with ottomans and the window table call for you to sit and relax.
Even the birdhouse got a mini-makeover.(After)
The new porch light fixture is a beautiful addition. (Before)
Just look at the detail.Now the porch better reflects the beauty of the family and their lifestyle.

Dollar Notes


Look at what I bought at the dollar store.With a little chalkboard paint and a new ribbon,I have a fun way to remind the boys
in my house that they have a chore to do.

Eggstra Special Centerpiece


This little egg basket
almost didn't make the cut this year in my Easter decorating.
I was about to toss it back in the bin when I had an idea.
I decided to think inside the box.
I crammed it inside a vintage suitcase,
clipped off the painted criss-cross branches
and surrounded it with moss.
I thought it would be fun to place a couple of chicks,
appearing to be newly hatched from their nest.
Add in a tulip, another sure sign of spring.Of course it needed a little sparkle to prevent the whole mix
from looking like it was transported from an antique store.
Silver candlesticks and a tray would do the trick,
completed with cream colored candles.
And within seconds I had
an egg-stra special centerpiece

anchored by an item that I almost chose not to use.
Do you want to copy this idea
but you don't have the same ingredients?

Modify it!
*Try crumbling up newspaper or plastic bags as a filler in the bottom of the suitcase. Then add moss and plastic eggs.
*If you don't have a vintage suitcase, try a basket, lunchbox, bowl, urn, pail, or even a cake stand. Any container will do.
*Substitute a bunny. Or simply scatter a few more eggs around the base.
*You don't have silver candlesticks? Any candlestick will work.
*If you don't like using candles in your decor, try topping the candlesticks with small nests or an egg with a little moss tucked underneath.

If you can dream it,
you can create it!

Architecture Adoration

>Beautiful architecture fascinates me! I would love to live in a charming old building full of magnificent moldings, tin ceilings, and leaded glass. But I don't. So I do the next best thing. I put architecture in my home by adding moldings where ever possible, and collecting architectural pieces to use in my vignettes.I've been infatuated with corbels for some time now. A corbel is a bracket generally used to support a cornice or arch. I would love to find two gargantuan, old, chippy, crusty corbels! I would hang them under each end of the ceiling beam in my living room. I've searched for huge corbels, but they always cost much more than my pocketbook will allow. In the meantime, to help fuel my fascination, I pick up almost any corbel I can find at the thrift store.I was fortunate to find two more beauties recently. These are reproductions made from fiberglass. I'm not sure if I'll keep them this color, but I'll live with them a while before I decide if they need a makeover. Originally I bought just one because the other one was damaged. But when I got it home and figured a place to put two of them, another trip to the thrift store was made. Luckily I was able to repair the damage, and now my recently acquired corbels hang proudly in the hallway.

Aren't they beautiful?

***If you're in need of a beautiful Mother's day gift, Laryssa Herbert is offering 10% off your total order through May 11th, 2009.
All you will need to do is use the coupon code: MOTHER when checking out.