Speaking Hope

I am excited!  If you know me at all, or have been a keen observer of things that pop up on my blog, then you have probably figured out that three of my passions in life are family, decorating and writing.

I have always loved decorating my home and even considered majoring in interior design in college.  I have had a dream for years, at least since my teens, that I would one day write a book.  For many years all I wanted to be was a homemaker.  When I never had children, I still wanted to be at home, but I always felt guilty for having that desire to not work public work as if somehow I had to have children to justify staying at home.

No matter what my work was, or where I was those three things remained constant.  I’m probably the only person I know who moves in and has pictures hung the same night, even before all the boxes are unpacked.  I am constantly decorating in my head and moving furniture is a regular occurrence at our house.

Writing is something that I finally embraced on a fairly regular basis when we moved to Louisville and I began writing for our church devotional booklets, started a writers group and eventually started this blog.

A couple of years ago when we moved back home, I was presented with the chance to be at home and I am still adjusting.  I love being home, but it has been harder than I imagined it would be.  I have all this time to decorate, nurture family and write.  Finding a regular rhythm has been difficult, but I am so thankful for the opportunity to have the time to pursue all my passions at the same time.

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So, why am I excited you may ask?  I’ll tell you.  Two of my favorite bloggers and their father along with their families, have started a new internet adventure called Hope*ologie.  For a small monthly fee you have access to the wisdom they have garnered over the years of doing what they do best.  The father focuses on family, the older sister on the home and the younger sister on quieting the soul.

I have said before that the two sisters are like two halves of me, the best of both worlds.  One speaks to the decorator / homemaker in me and the other to the writer / soul encourager.  Add their father to the mix and he speaks to the part of me that wants family to be a top priority.  To be able to go to one place and tap into all my passions is exciting.

It is so exciting that I wanted to share it with you.  I wanted to introduce you to three people who have made an impact on my life in a positive way.  I was privileged to see them in person last November when we went to The Barn Event.  It was everything I imagined it to be.  That is why I am so excited to join them for Hope*ologie.  Every month will be like a Barn Event from the comfort of my own home.

If you don’t think a subscription website is right for you at this time, no worries, they all three have wonderful blogs with lots of good information.  Their blogs will remain free and as always, they will inspire you.

No one affiliated with Hope*ologie, or their personal websites asked me to advertise for them. I just wanted to because I love them that much.

Speaking Hope In Grace,

Teresa

 

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It’s Beginning to Look A Little Like Christmas

I decorated for Christmas Thursday evening and Friday of last week.  I still have a few ideas I want to incorporate if I decide I’m motivated enough.  If not, then what I have done will be enough.  I’m planning to reveal all of the decor next Monday, but thought I’d give you a sneak peek today.  You will notice touches of lights, silver, old fashioned.

Keep in mind that we have not had sunshine for a few days and a lot of the pictures were taken Friday evening.  Also, I am not a professional photo taker.

I hope you come back next Monday for the full tour.

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The wrapping paper has no real significance – they are leftovers from previous years and are now back in the crate. This picture is an in progress shot.

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This is a card I found while going through items from an estate.  It spoke to me so I have incorporated it into a tablescape.  You may notice a few touches of pink in my Living room decor this year.  Stay tuned.  Over the past three to four years I have found myself drawn to pink in small doses. Go figure!

 

 

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Lights showing up around my window and incorporated as part of the curtain this year.  In the picture below you will see a little pair of crocheted slippers.  They were made by my Aunt Carolyn and provide a happy little memory of her when I look at them.
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Last year I did not do a tree.  This year I graduated up to a small four foot tree in our workroom.  I love trees, but don’t think they are always necessary to having beautiful decor.  Our main tree is a little the worse for wear and due to the need to breath we don’t do live trees.  I’m not ready yet, to shop for a new tree, it’s just not that high a priority for me.  So we have a little tree with an old-fashioned, use what you have, eclectic flair.

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A glimpse of our mantel.  I’m not quite through tweaking it and this may be where a little more pink will make an appearance.  I did use some twine and silver balls to make a little garland to hang above the mantel. It is not a completely original idea as several bloggers have done something similar this year.  Nothing is ever really new.  Just the same thing, said my way.

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My little white nativity that I missed last year.  It was in storage.  I love the simplicity of white and lights and a little sparkle.  which is the look I’m going for in the living room.

If there is an overall message that I want my Christmas decor to say to you, it is peace.

I hope you enjoyed this sneak peek of what Christmas looks like at our house.

Christmas grace to you,

Teresa

On the Front Porch

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Yesterday I updated you on what I had been doing while not writing.  Today I had a break in the weather so I did some rearranging and staging on my new old front porch.    You can read yesterday’s post to see a lot of the in progress pictures and the before.

I’m linking up over at Imparting Grace so please click on over and check out the other links for more home inspiration. It’s all about “making our homes a place of grace”.  And while you are there browse around Richella’s blog – she will inspire you with her wisdom as well as her decor.

If you found your way here from the link-up party at Imparting Grace, Welcome!  I’m so glad you stopped by.  Please leave a comment and let me know you were here.  I love to meet new people.  That is one of the ways I find blogs that become my favorites.

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Just a quick (ish) update for those who haven’t been keeping up with our porch reno – We live in an older home that was our weekend home, but due to some changes last year, has become our full-time home (and here) while we wait on God’s direction for what comes next.  We lovingly refer to it as the Little House (aka StoneLeaf Cottage).

This blog was originally started to chronicle the Little House, but I haven’t’ done much of that as I have found other things to write about.  I think over the summer I am going to add more posts about the house. Stay tuned.

Our most recent project has been our front porch.  The porch ceiling was vinyl.  I don’t really care for vinyl porch ceilings, especially on old houses.  And, I desperately wanted a blue porch ceiling.  A southern porch at it’s best.  You can’t paint vinyl – yuk! And our vinyl had seen better days; it was sagging, which meant probably a leak was lurking. The floor boards were in good shape but had grayed over the years; the shutters were pitiful and the porch just was not overly inviting. I wrote a poem about it here. I’d had a swing for the better part of two years and had not hung it because one of the hooks was missing and the sag was where the hook should have been.  So, not knowing what I’d find or whether or not I’d have to replace all the old boards, we decided to do what any sane person would do.  We took the vinyl by the claw hammer and let her rip.  No going back.

That was the best decision ever.  Yes, we had to replace the old boards.  Yes, we replaced them with tongue and groove pine boards and yes, we painted them blue.  Summer Sky blue from Lowe’s.  Valspar I think.  Does Lowe’s sell any other brand of paint ;).  And yes, I have pictures to show you in a minute or two.  To make a long story as short as possible, we also freshened up the porch wall paint ( an Olympic color called Puppy Paws – not my choice, but we’re not painting the whole house, so we went with what was already established.)  And we painted the floor and today I did some “staging” and took pictures.  Lots of pictures.  I’ll try to refrain from sharing all 57 of them.  (all pictures were taken by me.  Please link back should you share any of them.)

Enjoy how our transformed front porch has helped “make our home a place of Grace”:

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100_1876I hope you enjoyed the pictures of our new old front porch.  You probably noticed how the accessories jumped around a bit. I had  fun trying out different combos.  The porch floor paint is a Glidden color, Handcast Pewter, in Valspar porch and paint from Lowe’s.  The cushions and furniture are from Oxford Garden.  You can go online to check out the where to buy link.  The rug is a lucky find at Wal-Mart.  The only one of this style left in their outdoor rug bin.  The colors could not have been more perfect for all the different blues and greens in my cushions.  It even has a beigy neutral color that picks up on the pinkish tan tones of the house color.  And, of course it compliments my summer sky ceiling paint perfectly. For now I’m ignoring the black retro railing because I can’t afford to change it to a wooden white railing and columns.  We will probably need to freshen the paint on it soon.

All the pops of color excite me and make me happy.  My swing makes me happy!

My front porch makes me happy!

click the quote for a song:

All I wanna do when the day is through, is linger here on the front porch with you

Swinging on the front porch in Grace,

Sadie

PS – The house you see behind the swing is the home we moved to when I was a teenager; my parents still live there. We’re so blessed to have them close by.

PPS – I still have a few things I want to add, like string lights and some kind of art on the wall, and maybe a hanging plant or two.  But I’m so excited for the progress.  I’ll keep you posted on any updates.