Creatively Christmas {a book, some crafting, our home and a giveaway}

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Last January Jennifer Rizzo came and captured our home still decorated for the holidays.

After months of Jen writing, photographing and creating for her book I believe we were one of the last homes that she needed to photograph.

It was a fun time of working and playing during her visit and a sweet honor to be included in her first book!

I was able to see a draft of the book before it went to print and as I looked through it I had tears in my eyes for my dear friend that had created one of the most gorgeous Christmas DIY books I had ever seen.

This book is so packed full of things you can make for your home, as gifts, with your kids and friends.

When we finally had our own copy of the book in our hands Maddy and I went through picking out all of the things we wanted to make and yesterday Ben and Maddy made a few things.

I am pretty strict about following my own rule about no Christmas until after Thanksgiving but I had to break that to share this beautiful book.

The book is full of DIY decorating and gift ideas but it is also overflowing in decor photos of different homes dressed up for Christmas and the traditions of the holidays.

This book has many layers and brings you much more than crafting.

Here is a glimpse into our creating day inspired by Jen’s new book Creatively Christmas: Inspired Yuletide Decor.

Did I mention that the first printing sold out weeks ago? Yep, it’s that good:-)

I purchased two extra copies of the book to give away!

To enter just leave a comment on this post telling me one thing you love about Christmas or the holidays in general.

We will pick the winners next week.

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Want To Get Your Heart Into The Holidays? {This year make it simple and meaningful}

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One of my most popular online course is Creatively Made Home {home for the holidays}.

This three week course is all about the heart of home and how to make the holidays all about the people you love.

I wanted to offer this beautiful and rich course at a discount for the next 72 hours.

For the next 72 hours you can get this course for $29! 

This is 50% off!

*There will be 65 videos.  30 project videos and 35 discussion videos.

These will be incredible videos that include everything from cooking, gift giving and decorating

*Tons of beautiful house photos from each of the nine women

*Supply Lists and PDFs for each project

*A digital recipe book of the recipes shared in this course

You will have access to the videos for TWO YEARS!

Course Description:

Join eight of my friends and me as we celebrate loving on your home, friends and family through the holidays.

You will be encouraged as you hear honestly from each woman about the times things did not go as planned during their holidays.

You will hear honest discussions about their own journey of hospitality.

You will walk away inspired as you hear about the traditions and special moments from their childhood and how they create special moments with their families today.

You will be able to watch beautiful videos with gift giving ideas, decorating projects and favorite family recipes.

We all want to create authentic moments with our friends and families.

We all desire for the ones we love to leave our homes knowing that they were welcomed and loved.

My hope is that this course will help you slow down and find the joy and beauty in the holidays.

I promise you that this course will help you look at your home, your traditions, your family and opening your doors in a whole new way!

Won’t you join me in Creatively Made Home {home for the holidays}?

The teachers in this course are some of your favorite bloggers (or they are about to become)!

Here is a peek into what you will create in this INSANTLY available online course.

 I am so excited to open my doors to friends and family again this year!

Just seeing these photos makes my heart skip a beat and makes me excited to love on those in my life in sweeter ways all year long.

To read more or register click HERE.

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For people that are not already in the site here are directions:

To take a class on Jeanne Oliver’s creative network please follow these instructions:

1. Become a member of jeanneoliver.ning.com (this is free)

2. Once your membership is approved you can watch free art videos, the popular free interview series Creativity Takes Courage and even pay for more in depth courses.

3. Want to take an online course?  We currently offering 30 courses and free videos and you can find them all along the left hand side of the main page under “Courses”.  If you do not see the course you are looking for please click the “View all” at the bottom of the list.

4. Click on the course you are interested in, click the +join in the upper right hand corner, pay and you will be instantly in the course.

5. If you have ANY questions please email jeanneoliverdesigns@gmail.com

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Holiday Tablescape Ideas

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One of my very favorite things in the whole world is having people in our home and feeding them well.

One of the ways I try to make the meal special is the simple details I put into the tablescape.

I rarely need to buy much and try to use what I have but make it special just the same.

I love to mix and match my dishes and to also pull elements in from the outside.

Here are some tablescapes from the past few holidays…

 

Remember to use what you have and to have fun with your decorating!

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Some of My Fall Favorites {2014}

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Fall is my most favorite season because the beautiful change in season, cooler temperatures and the desire to create a more cozy home.

This is the time I find myself cuddling next to the fireplace in the morning with my coffee, a book, devotions or just talking to my family.

My studio calls to me even more than usual when the temperatures start to drop and the light is flooding in over all of my supplies.

Sweaters, boots, hats and bonfires are the norm and the crunching of the leaves underfoot keeps you company on early evening walks.

Fall is when we were married and when two of our babies were born.

Fall to me is a reminder to me how much the Lord loves us.

Even as everything is dying is puts on the most incredible show…for us!

I went walking through our home this morning and wanted to share just some of the little things that make fall a little more cozy.

 

1. I love a day when the turntable is spinning and these records are constantly playing this fall.

* The Civil Wars

* Mumford and Sons

* Carol King

* The Lumineers

2. I love this scent from Anthro but the best part is the new copper lid. Perfect for fall!

3. I start each morning with warm water with lemon, tea or coffee and this cup is my new favorite. I don’t know if it is the cool waffle patter or smaller size but I like everything about it.

4. How can you resist a watercolor painted buck?  I know, right? This beauty keeps me company in my studio.

5. I love to cook in the fall and winter and these are a few of our favorites right now…

* Butternut Squash and Sausage Soup

* Pumpkin Pancakes and Apple Cider Syrup

* Pumpkin Spice Latte

6. I love this tea so much! I buy mine from Whole Foods.

7. This was my gift from Kelly this month for our 16th wedding anniversary.  We took it to the mountains with us when we stayed in Estes for a mini getaway and it is so fun and easy.

8. This course just helped me so much to notice this season and appreciate the changes around me. I may just need to do a course specific to fall each year:-)

9. Sure I drink Earl Grey…but did you know I wear it too?

10.  This movie is one of my all time favorites and just begs to be watched in the fall.  Who agrees?

11. I have this print on the wall heading up our stairs. I read it hundreds of times a week and love the song and the story behind it.

12. I have used essential oils in our home for as long as I can remember but I have been so much more intentional with them the past four months.  I add the lemon in my water, the deep relief on my temples when I feel a headache coming on, the peppermint in the diffuser while I am working or the kids are doing homework, Thieves to ward off sickness, lavender in the diffuser and on my skin, peace and calm in Benjamin’s diffuser to help him sleep and so much more.

13. These are one of my favorite pairs of earrings and the best part is that they were made a crazy artist:-)

14. Coolest book I have seen in awhile. My friend Danielle gave me the heads up on this one and I am so glad and listened.

***

Some of my favorite things about fall that don’t cost almost anything…

long walks and crunching leaves

hot cider

wrapped up in a blanket in front of the fire reading your favorite book

crispness in the air

leaves changing colors

bonfires and s’mores

drizzly days and time in the studio

sweaters, boots and slouchy hats

jumping in piles of leaves

pumpkin carving

pumpkin anything

gathering with family

If you want to see our home all cozied up for fall you can check out our recent fall home tour with Finding Home Blog and Better Homes and Gardens.

Fall Decorating Ideas {Finding Fall Home Tour}

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Do I get to wear boots yet?

That is what fall is all about!

OK, maybe fall is amazing for other things too.

How about I was married in October, two of my babies were born in the fall, the cooler temperatures, bulky sweaters, getting all cozy and reading a book, family and friends gathering together more, crunching of the leaves under your awesome boots that you finally get to wear again…

I’m sorry I didn’t mean to go back to the boots.

Maybe we should get on to the decorating.

I am so honored to be included again in Finding Home’s Finding Fall Home Tour!

Don’t miss out on starting the Finding Fall Home Tour from the very beginning!

This is an amazing group of talented women that I get to be a part of and I never take it for granted.

Better Homes and Gardens is a sponsor again this year and they have come up with 100 Days of Holiday Inspiration.  I love all of the ways BHG inspires when it comes to the home. To sign up click HERE.

Welcome if you are coming from The Graphics Fairy.

I love Karen’s style and I know her site is always a source of so much inspiration.

If you are new to my blog I am so happy you are here and I hope you enjoy looking around!

If you love creating I would love for you to check out my online creative network that includes over 30 online classes!

If you would like to know about upcoming retreats, online classes and my shop please subscribe to my newsletter HERE.

Welcome to our home!

I am so glad you have come by and I hope you enjoy peeking around at the clean parts of our home:-)

One of my favorite parts of our home is our front porch.  There are many mornings that you will find me on the swing with a blanket over my lap, devotions at my side and a hot cup of coffee in hand.

Now don’t judge me too quickly but all summer I dreamed about having cocktails out on the front porch with friends. I don’t know where the summer went but I had to follow through and create a mini bar to use this fall.

I have three of these carts from IKEA that I use in my studio to keep my supplies close by while I paint.  Lately I have seen so many beautiful bars created from random carts and furniture that I thought it was worth cleaning out some art supplies!  It was so easy to quickly set up the cart and this will be my go to set up when we have friends over.  Don’t think I have gone all Don Draper on you all and will be having my first cocktail right after breakfast. I may be clinking glasses with my husband though after the kids go to bed.  I think the main point here is that if you live in my area you might want to join me on the front porch soon!

{I may be getting an email from my mom later}

The first room you see when you come into our home is my art studio.  When it looks a lot worse than this it means I have been busy making stuff that makes me happy.

We recently have been working on our kitchen and we have remodeled and changed the look completely.  We still have the back counter and back splash to install but we are getting there.

If you love before and after photos you may like some of our recent projects.

*Adding Open Shelving

*Ripping out the built in desk

*Living Room Makeover

*Kitchen Remodel {before and after}

*How we built our kitchen island

This is the butler’s pantry off our kitchen that has become the perfect beverage station for tea and coffee. The kids really like this area during the holidays because I keep extra treats for their hot cocoa when their friends come over.

As a family we really spend the majority of our time in the kitchen and living room.  I love things to look pretty but what I really want is for the space to be inviting, warm and useable.

At the top of our stairs we have a window seat with storage and lots of shelves that we fill with family photos.  Today I just let the musician take the spotlight.

It seems a little weird to invite you into my bedroom but here we go…

I don’t constantly buy new things for our home or decorate much for any season except the little that I do for fall and then Christmas.  I like to rearrange what I already have and to use from nature as much as possible.

Before I set this table the kids and I went on a walk in the woods and found everything we needed.  It was free and when we are done with it we can put it right back:-)

Thank you so much for stopping by and taking a look at our home all dressed up for fall.  As soon as I can get my hands on some Cinderella pumpkins and baby white pumpkins they will be making an appearance too.

If you like the photos above of our home I think you would like these posts too…

Fall Home Tour 2013

Christmas Home Tour 2013

 

Our 13 year old son’s bedroom makeover

Our daughter’s bedroom makeover

Going from baby to big boy room makeover

Hallway collage wall

Our home decorated for Christmas

How to add character to a new home

Shop your own home (one room four different ways)

Create your own outdoor movie night

Have fun on the blog tour and I hope to see you again here soon.

The next stop on the tour is Better Homes and Gardens!

You won’t want to miss what they are sharing.

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Top 10 {Things that are making the day to day a little sweeter}

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I always enjoy seeing what others are reading, listening to, eating, watching etc.

Face it…I’m nosy!

I know you guys do too so I wanted to share my top 10 things that are making my day to day a little sweeter.

1. Last winter our home was photographed for a book and the best part of the whole thing is that my good friend Jennifer Rizzo is the author!

Her new book is NOW on pre-order and you can order it now and be one of the first to see it this October.

I am so excited for her and all the ways her business has expanded over the years.

2. I am not a morning person but I am getting better over the years. Just a bit.

Since Jack started high school I have been waking up earlier to make him breakfast, talk to him, pray over his day and read pages together from The Power of a Praying Teen by Stormie Omartin.

It is so good and I highly recommend it for any teenager you know.

3. With all the business of the past two weeks and the back to school crazy that goes on I have LOVED the peacefulness of the instrumental CD Primary Worship by Paul Cardall.

I have been listening to it while I paint, cook and pay bills.

4. Dead Poets Society has been one of my favorite movies since I was a teenager and it actually had a huge impact on me at the time and still.  I know that Robin William’s death had a huge sobering impact on so many of us and this past week I loved sharing this movie with my oldest son the night before he want to his first day of high school.  Sharing something that I love so much was one of the sweetest ways that I knew to honor Robin Williams in my own day to day life.

5. I am not a constant decorator or re-arranger of our home so when I find something soooo good that I have no choice but to add it to our decor…I have to share it with you!

I love the impact that the two vintage fabric pillows give to our living room.  It is funny how two pillows can get me in the mood for leaves, big comfy sweaters and pumpkin spice lattes:-)

6. I don’t get to read as much as I used to or as much as I would like so I am pretty picky about the books I pick up these days. I used to read a book cover to cover no matter if I loved it or not because of the principal. Not anymore.  If I don’t love it within the first few chapters I am able to put it down and walk away.  I also used to read one book at a time and now I have books all over the place with bookmarks and dog-eared pages.  I can’t say enough about Malcolm Gladwell’s book David and Goliath. Each chapter I read leaves me thinking for days and I find myself being annoying and quoting his book to whomever will listen.

7. I could pretty much steal every decorating idea, recipe or style tip that my friend Alexis has but this time I am just stealing an easy cocktail recipe.  Right now go jump in the car and get yourself a bottle (more if you are like me) of Lillet.  All you need for this one is Lillet, ice and oranges.  I am pretty generous with the Lillet and the fresh oranges but do your own thing:-)

8. Once again my friend Alexis is to blame for this spending but it will save me in the long run.  While I was teaching in California she showed me this paint tube wringer (I have the metal one) that is AWESOME!!  I am an addict going through all of my paints and making sure I will get every last drop.  Super cool and can’t believe I had never seen this before.

9. I may have worn these pants for days in a row last week.  I picked them up while I was in California (and Alexis may be to blame for these too).  I also paired them with an awesome tank and pull over from Lululemon but let’s not show anything that takes away from the pants.  I only found them in the store and could not locate them online if you are interested.

10. I know we all like to know what other girls use on their skin so if I find something I love I like to share.  I am really loving Bobby Brown’s Buffing Grain.  You can use them with soap or your current cleanser.  You don’t need much and I love how my skin feels when I am done.

I hope you all have an amazing weekend!

I am so excited to have my whole family together for the weekend and happy for Friday night pizza and movie night!

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Vintage Christmas Tree With Balsam Hill

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If you have had a chance to see our home dressed up for Christmas you will see over and over that I love vintage.

I love beautiful things that tell a story.

No matter where we travel I am always drawn to the art and the history of the culture.

If I have the choice to buy something new or go searching for something that may be a bit tarnished…I usually choose the tarnished.

Even when decorating I search for ways to incorporate my love of vintage, art, textures and layers.

I think that sometimes the holidays can feel overwhelming if you think your home, your tree or your gifts need to look like others.

We all have a style and have beautiful things that we surround ourselves with.

You don’t need to look far to find the inspiration you need for your whole home this holiday.

This year when I was offered the opportunity to try a Balsam Hill tree I jumped at the chance.

I decided to put the tree in my art studio and to make the theme of the tree the vintage items that I have around my studio.

My son and I were dumping out vintage hardware, crystals and vintage treasures from my trips in Europe, Mexico and even local flea markets.

Before long I had vintage French pocket watches, French laundry labels, French convent chore name sticks and vintage buttons ready to decorate the tree.

I found some of my favorite ornaments, some red ticking ribbon, star garland and starting playing with the tree.

It seemed perfect to make the final touch to the tree some pine cones I had collected in our neighborhood, simple cream candles, “chalkboard” ornaments created from Pickmonkey and of course the star made of twigs.

Under the tree was my beautiful vintage grain sack tree skirt and packages wrapped with our hand stamped wrapping paper.

I want to fill our home with beautiful items that we can use.

Look around your home.

What are you drawn to and what do you collect?

Have you ever thought to decorate with your vintage china, your grandma’s lace or your favorite art supplies?

Did you notice that I snuck three vintage paintbrushes in my tree?

It is in my art studio…why not!

Do you crochet or knit? Your tree would look stunning with crocheted garland and ornaments.

Your tree would look amazing with white lights, berries and a pine cone garland.

How about decorating your tree with white lights and black and white photos of your family tree?

Your decor should reflect you, your passions and your family.

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When I was asked to go to the main page of Balsam Hill and pick out a tree I felt completely spoiled.

I sat with my children looking at all of the trees and to be honest…it was hard to choose.

We finally decided on the Nantucket Blue Spruce Christmas Tree because of the color, how real the branches looked and it was a smaller tree.

We chose the 6 1/2 foot and prelit with white lights.

I thought it looked beautiful in the photo without one ornament.

I am a live tree girl so I didn’t know what to expect.

When the box arrived I asked Kelly to open the box and help me put it together because…

1) I don’t like to read directions

2) I don’t like to read directions

Kelly called me to the garage 5 minutes later.

He started to laugh and told me to look at the tree.

I was worried.

Then I saw what he was talking about.

It was perfectly put together in minutes.

I think it took him longer to open the box than put the tree together.

He told me I could have done it without reading directions:-)

The tree was gorgeous. Serious!  So pretty and came in three sections that snap into each other and it is all prelit.

When we put it into my studio to decorate it my son touched it and still asked if it was real.

I think THAT is impressive.

I think we should also go back to the fact that you won’t have to read any instructions:-)

Thank you Balsam Hill for the beautiful tree!

Here is a sneak peek at the gorgeous (and I mean gorgeous) tree of Courtney of French Country Cottage.

I am honored to be sharing my Vintage Christmas Tree as part of

Balsam Hill’s 12 Bloggers of Christmas Series!

Here are the links to all of the Christmas tree posts.

Monday December 2nd:

Vanessa (At The Picket Fence)

Ashley (Cherished Bliss)

Tuesday December 3rd:

Beth (Unskinny Boppy)

Candace (Vintage News Junkie)

Wednesday December 4th:

KariAnne (Thistlewood Farms)

Kristin (My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia)

Thursday December 5th:

Kim (Sand and Sisal)

Laura (Finding Home)

Friday December 6th:

Courtney (French Country Cottage)

Jeanne (Jeanne Oliver)

Saturday December 7th:

Jen (Jen Rizzo)

Heather (At The Picket Fence)

You will love all of the inspiration!

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