Fall, puppies & peace

Oh y’all…oh oh y’all.  We have two new puppies.  And two HAPPY little boys.

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Working from home is suddenly not as peaceful.  Pray for me and my attitude about these puppies. I know boys need puppies so here we go . . . While I am dealing with the puppy chaos, and dreaming of our North Carolina mountain trip in two weeks, I am going to repost this fall West Elm post from last year.  West Elm sponosored this great “Gather Around the Table” last year and it was fun to style with some of their goodies…and yes these photos do make me miss my old backporch just a bit.

Last but not least the “Gospel is Peace” sign pics are for you my dear friend Hadley;…remember you can get these great signs from my friend Lindsey Letters…I have been getting some emails about them and all you need to do is visit her great site!

Happy Tuesday! (and I can’t help but thinks what these puppies might do to this tablescape given a chance!)

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I am so excited to be a part of the Gather Around The Table campaign being sponsored by West Elm.  They have asked bloggers to talk about their traditions and favorite things about the holidays and share how they incoprorate some of their products with those traditions and ideas. I visited the West Elm Market store in Brooklyn in the Spring and was so impressed with the store and products.

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In South Texas, we often have warm weather off and on throughout the fall so dining on our porch is a wonderful tradition this time of year.

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We are finally getting a break from the heat down here and its a great time for my family to enjoy this space in our home.

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I also love using heirloom pumpkins in my fall decorating every year as well as my favorite Spode dishes. And every fall and winter we love to gather items from our family land for decorations whether its leaves, Christmas trees or berries.  I love your using things from nature in our decorations and going out in the nice weather to hunt for the best of nature’s bounty. My hubs might have even snapped photo of me driving our “mule” to gather leaves for this project.  Honestly, not something I do too often (are you shocked); Maybe I will share it on the next post or instagram, but for now let’s keep moving with the good stuff;

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So along with the leaves and pumpkins, I decided to use Shanna Murray plates from the West Elm collection with my Spode plates.  I like the idea of using something traditional, something we always use, with a fresh new accent from a more modern store like West Elm and West Elm Market.  In case you don’t know, West Elm is the hip cousin of Pottery Barn; Or at least that is how I see it…their products are bit younger and more modern…but they mix well with many things. AND I love that they support and feature a lot of etsy artists including Shanna Murray. I was so pleased to see these Shanna Murray plates (and coasters) in their collection and her cute teal towel in the West Elm Market.  I have been following her work for years!

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The napkins are also from West Elm’s fall collection, I love the red stitching. My mom often used cloth napkins when I was growing up and I love doing the same.  Not every night I admit but often.  And these have a casual enough feel they work with my pine table.

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 Speaking of pine tables, I have rustic farmhouse tables both outside and in our dining room.  I love the patina and finish of the wood so I rarely if ever use tablecloths or even runners, these plaid blankets from the Brown Shed worked great to add some warmth to this table but not totally cover my beloved pine.

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These old tables are a part of our family traditions as well as daily life. I love that my kids are using old items daily and are engraining a sense of history into their “growing up”memories and traditions.

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I am also adore how the Shanna Murry plates and West Elm napkins are working with my other fall decorations I already had like my burlap banners and also my new Lindsay Letters canvas. I love to change it all a bit each time so it’s great it all mixes well.

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 My new canvas is really for Christmas, its a verse from Silent Night, but I think words are perfect for fall and Thanksgiving too..being grateful for those we love and gather with to count our blessing and remember what is truly important. It used to annoy me how the seasons mingled this time of year.  More and more I am okay with it as I understand the joys of fall and gratefulness and how that all CAN and SHOULD mingle with the coming celebrations that are the core of our faith and our family.

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 I will be back to share a few more of the fall touches on the porch…and later in season I will share another festive table setting.

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 Thanks again to West Elm for sponsoring today’s discussion on fall decor and traditions.  What is your  favorite tradition or thing to use in decorating this time of year?

Decorating takes time & heart

As I move into my second month in our new old home, I constantly have to remind myself it takes TIME to decorate a home.  I recently stopped by to see a client of mine I have been working with TWO years and our progress there reminded me of that…it has taken time and their home still isn’t completely finished but it is looking great.

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The Clarke family  have a whole little gaggle of sweet kids and have added one to the family just since I have been working with them.  We have worked on their entire home..room by room.  And we have hit slow periods and then burst of “get er done” but slowly the house is taking shape and the homeowners and I are both thrilled with the results.  I want to get portfolio photos of this home at some point but here are a few shots to show how perserverance pays off!

In the dining room we paired an easy Restoration Hardware table with an antique console, word art of a favorite hymn done by the homeowner,glam lamps from Shades of Light, a sale chandelier from Horchow, and IKEA chairs!  These clients are the most hospitable family I have ever known (more on that in another post) but she wanted her dinner guests to be comfy.. She purchased the comfy and generous Hendriksal chairs from IKEA and then had slipcover artist LS SLIPCOVERS do the flax colors to “bring them up a notch”..we did them in flax color not white so guests wouldn’t feel intimidated they would dirty the perfect chairs.

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The drapes are in one of my favorite fabrics by John Robshaw called PUSHPA..its a great price point and such a pretty color.  The wonderful GRACIE did the drapes and rod.

In the adjoining formal living room the homeowner found a vintage sectional at Houston’s Lynn Goode Vintage and had it recovered..it fits the space so well.  We did the flor rug tiles in the vintage vibe pattern since she has so many small kids playing in this space, this gives her the option of replacing a tile if needed.  We splurged on one Brunschwing & Flls fabric (the yellow print) for pillows but the rest are from Tonic Living. This has taken TWO years y’all.  But you know what in that time they have been homeschooling, and hosting neighborhood BBQs, having people over and giving birth to a new baby! This was up a while;

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Decorating takes time.  It also takes heart.

The Clarkes knew they wanted to do something special on this wall and the photography by Kirby  Trapolino is perfect..it’s wonderful color and subject matter help their home reflect their heart for people.

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We wanted to have  images on our wall to engage in more meaningful conversations with our guests — to share the great joy that has changed our hearts with others.
From an artistic point of view, we love the bright colors; but then, looking closer: the little boy has such a sweet, content smile on his face — and he’s standing on a massive trash heap — probably digging through the trash to find some recyclables so he can earn some meager wages. How many times do my kids complain about being bored or I get irritated when my husband doesn’t put his laundry in the hamper! We have so much to be thankful for — and we need to be constantly reminded of this fact.  Culturally, as Americans, we tend to focus on ‘happiness’, but it is so fleeting — so temporary — and it’s based on circumstances that can change on a whim. Joy is deeper than that — it goes far beyond circumstances — and it’s based on a foundation of truth that absolutely nothing can shake.
The girls on the bottom are orphans — traded by their extended family for perhaps a bag of rice — and they are sent to work in fields  or other child labor positions. They were in such vulnerable places and could have easily been traded by their “owners” into a life of unspeakable slavery. They were rescued and are now being cared for at the orphanage — Monthly donations provide medical, food, clothing, housing, & education needs. ((Shameless plug!!…www.peacegospel.org/orphans has information on children awaiting sponsorship — check it out!!))
And the doors — we just love the doors — so symbolic for us because Jesus says “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.”
Kirby Trapolino is an amazing artist — I’ve wanted to have his work in our home for a long time. Choosing 6 images out of tens of thousands was a challenge, but we love these — it throws people off a bit to come into a home of a white family, and there are (huge!) photos of little brown children on the walls. The first question is always, “Why?” For us, “Pure and undefined religion is this: to take care of widows and orphans in their distress” —  so, that’s our goal. And loving on people. It’s just what we do.
((Kirby Trapolino (ktrap) can be found on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and all those other places!))

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So there you go..what a challenge to decorate our homes with more heart..more of who we are and what brings us joy and purpose.

More in this room later I promise! On with the sneak peeks around the Clarke home . . .

…In the other living space we did a grainsack fabric slipcover on a wing chair the Clarkes already had slipped there other club chairs as well.more in this room once the drapes are finished.  It took years for Beth to find the right piece for over the mantle..lots of texts flying between us about stuff I found at Round Top and things she found out when shopping..she finally found these pieces at Memorial Antiques and Interiors in Houston during a sale and nearly jumped through my phone when she sent texts saying YES these will work!  They were a splurge but worth the wait…they fill the brick suburban home with something unique with patina and fun.

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We also refaced her fireplace to give it new life and the pillow is from Anthropologie of course. Walls throughout downstairs are my trusty BM Revere Pewter! Like I said more on this room and the rest of the house later.  For now we are working on the master bedroom..it has been painted and has bed but needs a bolster for the bed and drapes!  We are going to use this peacock fabric from Tilton Fenwick by Duralee..I know Gracie will make her windows and bed shine with some more fabric touches!

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SO HAPPY MONDAY MORNING y’all..remember it takes time AND HEART when decorating a space and making a home.  I need this reminder too and wanted to share!

 

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