It’s been a couple months since I posted… I was planning to work on quotes about hopes and dreams in June, but early in the month June turned into a devastating time for Matt and me. My hopes and dreams had come crashing down and were burning around me. Since then I’ve had little energy to put into something as creative as lettering, not to mention lettering quotes on hope, of all things. Slowly I’m coming back to myself though, and I’m trying my hardest to harness some of that elusive thing we all need in order to keep going: hope. Something I found last month that helped me start to build back some hope was a pin on pinterest that spelled HOPE: “Hold On Pain Ends”. That really resonated with me and it has been a powerful reminder to me that pain does end. I just have to keep going and work through it. After all, according to one of my new favorite books, The Fault In Our Stars, “the thing about pain is that it demands to be felt.” Anyway, I might letter that HOPE quote… and I might not. For now, I’ll just leave those thoughts here with a different quote. It’s another one from the wonderful Jane Austen… she always seems to know what to say.
Literary Sign Post
I love reading. I also love my little slice of paradise (a.k.a. my yard & garden). So when my mom found this literary sign post on pinterest, I just knew I had to have one of my own to bring some of my literary worlds into my garden!
I ran the idea past Matt and he really liked it too. He’s not always on board with helping with my crafts, but he was excited about this one and even helped me pick out some of the locations to put on the signs! ;-)
First we got the signs ready to paint. Earlier this summer Matt tore down the old dog run in our backyard from the previous owners, so we had a pile of aged wood and he also had some scraps in the garage. I picked out a few pieces and had him cut them down into points. He also had fun ideas to give some tails and to make one look like an arrow!
Lettering & Painting
The problem was how to get the lettering on the signs. Stencils? Freehand? I wanted to use a variety of fonts and sizes and I was stumped on how to do it and be time-effective. Mom came up with the brilliant idea of printing the letters out from the computer and then using carbon paper to trace and transfer the outline of the letters! I found carbon paper at Office Max for about $7 for a pack of 12 sheets. Score.
Next, we painted! While the guys were working on my amazing deck and pergola, my mom, my sister-in-law Jillyn, and I worked on my literary signs! Mom handled the lettering and carbon paper and Jillyn and I did most of the painting. Here are my helpers! Thanks, ladies! :-)
The carbon paper worked perfectly on all but 2 of the signs — they were too dark and rough to handle the carbon transfer. On those two, Mom did cut out the letters and then use the paper as a stencil, but on all the others, the carbon paper worked like a charm. I had never crafted with carbon paper before, but I think I will probably find uses for it in the future now that I know how awesome it is.
Once all the signs were painted, Matt sprayed them all with a few coats of polyurethane from Home Depot to keep them protected in our harsh Colorado sun and weather! Then we put the post up in the garden and screwed on the signs.
I LOVE it! It’s just the cutest thing in my backyard!
Christmas Tour 2014
Since it’s our first Christmas season at our new house, I had a lot of work to do in the decorating department this year! I had to find places for all of my items. And I’m loving how things turned out. Here’s a quick little tour!
We’ll start in the entryway. I put together this adorable arrangement that makes me smile every time I pass it. :-)
From the front door you can see our Christmas tree! But before we go into the living room, we’ll visit the Jane Austen Room. I love how this room’s Christmas decor came together.
My grandmother made the ceramic angels on the piano.
Inspiration for the tray came from The Fancy Shack.
Let’s move on to the living room… It turned out really nicely too! I really wanted a bigger tree this year, but I couldn’t get Matt on board… I’ll try again next year. ;-) This living room definitely wants a taller tree! But even with the small tree, my living room is so pretty!
My favorite arrangement this year is above the fireplace. It’s so pretty. I really love the wreath on the window — it’s making me think I should do seasonal wreaths there more often! Here’s a close up:
The kitties really like it when we have the fire going. Here’s Theo being adorable.
I put some garland on the stairs. I started with really simple (i.e., cheap) garland, added some picks with pine cones and berries, some bells with red bows that used to be my grandmother’s, some beaded garland and some ornaments. Pretty!
And last, but not least, here’s an overview of the living room from the stairs:
I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas!
Jane Austen Room
So our new house has a formal dining room. I don’t have much use for a formal dining room though, since we always go home for the major holidays… and we’re pretty casual. Don’t get me wrong; I love having people over for dinner, but my eat-in kitchen table is fine for dinner parties – at least for now! Back to the dining room; we turned it into a library and music room, and since I decided to decorate the room with photos from our trip to Chatsworth in England, I decided that it needed to be called the “Jane Austen Room”.
The room is filled with my beautiful piano that originally belonged to my great-grandmother! The piano is over 100 years old. My parents recently brought it out to me from Michigan! And I love having it here.
The bookcases are filled with books, a few small trinkets from trips, and some nerdy action figures. I have Mozart and Van Gogh! I also have a Jane Austen action figure next to a beautiful cross stitch my sister-in-law, Emily, made me for my birthday!
The chairs and ottoman are just what I wanted — wild, but still elegant. I love them. :-)
I also have a small work area in this room — it’s perfect for storing business documents and materials and mail supplies!
And the new, upgraded light fixture is beautiful and will be also perfect in the future if we ever turn this room back into a dining room!
I love to sit in my Jane Austen Room to play the piano, read, and drink tea. How Jane Austen.