DIY Candle Holders from Everyday Objects

The ice storm that hit several areas of the map this past weekend and was supposed to hit us missed us. We’ve been in them before, losing power, tree wreckage all over the yard and streets. It’s no fun and my thoughts go out to those who were affected.

With the thought of losing electricity in mind, today I’m reposting an issue from my long-running series Girls Want Pearls where I show you how to turn ordinary objects into pearl dripping candle holders. I gathered up some of my ironstone collection, spools of string, and some glass bobeches.
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I decided to keep it all neutral, so I used off white candles. The bobeches come in handy to both bridge the gap at the top of vessels and to hold the candles in place. They also keep hot wax from dripping onto your vessels. I added stick tack to some of them to keep them even more stable. Swags can be made by hooking the pearls to the bobeches if they have holes/wire for that. Some of mine don’t so I just wrapped pearls around the candle base, then intertwined, swagged and dripped to get the desired effect.
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Here’s a view from the top.
You can see how I added pedestals to bring the height up on some of the pieces.
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Almost anything can be turned into a candle holder ~ clear glass vases, mason jars, silver or tin pieces, teapots, the only limit is your imagination. Experiment and have fun!
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You could place an arrangement like this inside of a non-working fireplace. Be sure to exercise caution when lighting the candles.

Stay warm!

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Simple Faux Floral Arrangements

I don’t know about you but once I take down the Christmas decorations I’m ready for spring. The house just looks and feels dreary without the twinkling lights and sparkling balls. And since it will be a few months until spring comes I like to incorporate a few dried and faux floral arrangements back into my décor.

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I try to hold back a little and not go full on floral but I don’t like to wait until spring to add some color.

Do you?

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This tiny fern was gifted to me by a sweet friend and the old, framed floral needlework is a piece I found last fall at the flea market for one dollar. I love it with all its imperfections.

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These little touches remind me that spring is coming.

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And that once the cold and snow has gone there will be lush greens and vibrant color to enjoy again.

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Until then, I’m content with my simple faux floral arrangements, a good book, a scented candle and if it decides to snow, a picturesque view from inside my warm home.

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Soft Goods ~ The Fabric of Our Lives

One of my favorite key components of interior design is soft goods. This is due, I’m sure, to my love for fabric. Although I don’t love to sew, the enjoyment I get from shopping for and choosing just the right fabric and playing with patterns has compelled me to sew things like curtains and pillows when it’s time to change up my décor. I often can’t find what I’m looking for “off the rack” when it comes to these soft goods.

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I have also done a small amount of reupholstering, only when it is a simple job like this chair.

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An upholstered chair is just right in this space, softening the otherwise harshness of the brick and wood tones. Placing a pillow on a wooden chair would achieve similar results.

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Frequently when a space feels like it’s cold or lacking interest, adding textiles and goods made from them is just what it needs to make it feel warm and cozy. Something as simple as a vintage umbrella or hat on a hook can do the trick.

I don’t know about you but all of the sudden I got an itch to go play at the fabric store…

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Holiday Dressed Doors

I hope you all had a joyful Christmas celebrating the birth of our Savior. Ours was very different this year but keeping the focus on the true meaning gave us a reason to celebrate. I was looking through my photos of doors gone by and decided to show you what my Christmas door has looked like over the years.

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2006, before we had new stucco put on the house. Gray door, gray stucco. I liked the weathered look but the insurance company did not (there were chunks of it missing, showing brick underneath, considered a hazard.)

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2009, same stucco, different door color, different wreath.

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2014, new stucco, teal door, tweaked wreath.

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2016, black door, same wreath. I wanted to re-do the wreath with red, green and plaid so it would pop against the black door but didn’t get it done. There’s always next year if we have a black door wherever we end up. Or maybe…it will be…a red door? And that would be okay too.

The house hasn’t sold and we took it off the market over the holidays. We’ll relist it some time in the next few months. Here’s to finding the beauty in 2017.

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Healthy Eating and a Personal Update

Since we’re coming up on the new year and many of us are thinking about changes for the better I thought I’d veer from my usual type of post and share a little bit about my journey into healthy eating. Several months ago I shared that my husband has been diagnosed with Early Onset Alzheimer’s at age 55. He is doing well. His sense of humor is very much intact, often joking and making me laugh at the most unexpected moments.

It has been over a year since the diagnosis and I don’t notice any significant difference in his behavior. He is taking the drug Aricept and along with that we have changed the way we eat. It has been a dramatic change, going from eating all manner of food (both healthy and unhealthy) to eating whole foods, no grain, no gluten, no preservatives. It took a few nudges from God to get me to make such a difficult change but I know I’m being obedient and trust God for the results.

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The impetus for our change came from the studies of Dr. David Perlmutter, a renowned neurologist whose expertise includes gluten issues, brain health & nutrition, and preventing neurodegenerative disorders. The diet we are following was developed by Dr. Perlmutter as described in his book
Grain Brain, The Surprising Truth About Wheat, Carbs, and Sugar — Your Brain’s Silent Killers.

Alzheimer’s disease represents the effects of inflammation on the brain. His studies have focused on the gut-brain connection and the fundamental role that gut bacteria plays in terms of regulating inflammation in the human body. See more from Dr. Perlmutter here.

We do indulge in foods that aren’t allowed on Grain Brain occasionally. We allow ourselves a “free day” about once a week (a little more during the holidays). Without that I don’t think we would stay on track. But we have been keeping to it very strictly the rest of the time. When we eat the “bad food” I do notice a slight difference in Gary’s speech. His words get a little jumbled. It really motivates me to make the extra effort to prepare healthy meals.

The hardest part of the new diet for me has been learning all new recipes and ditching decades worth of tried and true favorites in my recipe box. I have found a few new ones that we love and have become keepers along with a lot of duds. I have had to become much more organized with meal planning. After several months I feel like I’m over the steep learning curve for what we can and can’t eat. The first few months I spent hours in the grocery store reading labels. I now have a new set of “regulars” that I stop and pick up at the store quickly and I continue to build my arsenal of good meals that don’t require 2 hours preparation and don’t dirty every dish in the house. Keeping sweets out of the house was another hurdle that was hard to overcome but we’ve managed to do that too. When I’m out for coffee or lunch with friends I stray a bit and might treat myself to a dessert. Gary doesn’t mind that I do.

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I may occasionally share a recipe on the blog when I find one that we enjoy. Grain Brain is very similar to paleo so I get a lot of ideas from paleo recipes. If you have any favorite paleo recipes that you have tried I would love it if you would share them!

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A Little Christmas Tour

Here we are less than a week before Christmas. Not sure how we got here already. The sights and sounds are bringing me joy once again, even when my world is topsy turvy. I draw nearer to Christ and think more on the reason for the season. Just wanted to pop in and share a bit of Christmas cheer from my house to yours with a mini Christmas tour.

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I made this plaid garland by tearing up one of my son’s old shirts.

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Last year I showed you a different display on my buffet using these same black iron lantern frames and told you there was an interesting story behind them but I never told you what it was!

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Well, a few years ago my husband was putting Christmas trees in the urns on the concrete columns that flank our front steps. He noticed the top of the column was crooked and straightened it. This led to him lifting it all the way off the column and looking down inside. Guess what he discovered? Yep, the black iron lantern frames, one placed inside each column. We had lived here for almost twenty years when he made the discovery. Of course we speculated that they must have been used there at one time, lighting the path. And I of course was thrilled to put them to an entirely new use as rustic indoor décor.

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I tore one more strip from the old plaid shirt to give my woodland reindeer a scarf. Doesn’t he look dashing?

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I took these two pictures last year and never posted them.

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I would like to wish you and yours a very Merry Christmas filled with joy and good will. Gary and I are doing well and I will give an update very soon.

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