Chalkboards + Pep Talks

Chalkboard Love

Hello, sweet people and welcome.

Have you ever found that you just love something? A style, color or texture that, no matter its current popularity, you find yourself drawn to?

Sweet friend, indulge that love. Whether its a fascination with gingham, chickens or hand lettering, do what you enjoy. Often, we’re tempted to decorate, dress or behave in ways that are contrary to our God-fashioned nature. I can’t count the times I’ve bought something or dressed in a way simply because it’s what a darling friend does or magazine cover prints.

Confidence in being at peace with your love for chickens, English garden roses or quirky style is a sign of maturity and grace.

Chalkboard love

My style? Maryjane shoes, feminine, calf-length skirts, big headscarves, and peacoats. My hobbies? Handlettering, decorating, writing, and reading. My favorites? Sunshine, chalkboards, lattes, gifts, and country landscapes. My décor style? Cottage, Hobbit-home, Shabby, Home-y, Warm.

Chalkboard loveChalkboard loveWhen we learn to be okay with our unique personalities and enjoyments we learn to smile more, worry less and blossom right where we are at.

It’s lovely.

Be you, sweet person. Tell me, what are your favorites? I would love to know.

Love, blessings, coffee (and a whole lotta chalkboards! 😉 )

Frannie

Winter Day DIY in Our Missouri Nest

DIY in Our Nest

Ah … friends, hello. I’ve had the most glorious weekend. Good coffee and great music flowed generously during my quiet hours. I think I wore the same grey sweater all weekend but that doesn’t matter.

It’s my last day and I’m sitting with my favorite mug next to me and basking in the glory of finished projects and planning future endeavors.

Here’s what my weekend involved … I’d love to hear about yours too.

Winter Day at Home

Don’t laugh but I woke up at 4 o’clock Sunday morning, made a cup of coffee and settled onto our ottoman and played Minecraft with my beloved. (Talk about quirky!) 😉 We also watched a sermon by one of our favorite pastors and had snuggles and breakfast in bed … the perfect start for Valentine’s Day. (Waking up to a neighborhood covered in snow was also delightful.)

Our Nest

Saturday, I started the day in Hobby Lobby trying to find some crafting odds and ends I could make into loveliness.

I settled on two jars of Americana Decor’ chalky finish paint, paintbrushes, a package of nails, polished wood pieces and two doll rods for diy curtain rods.

I pinned, hot glued and banged nails into the wall (with a large rock no less … lol, were tool illiterate in this house 😉 ). In the end, I decided to copy these beautiful window swags. I keep laughing at how satisfyingly beautiful and simple the draped burlap ended up being. Hearts.

diy in our house

Next, I began a three hour drama by painting our armoire. I’m not sure if it’s forgiven me for painting it when it was already perfectly lovely. My love for shabby/recycled/cottage/hobbit-home style décor (plus our newlywed budget) means our home is furnished with many mismatching pieces. And while our bedroom furniture was already quite lovely we both yearned for a lighter hue.

Hence, the two jars of paint.

There were moments when I had my doubts and almost broke into nervous “What have I done!” tears. But in the end I’ve decided everything in our home should be painted white … I mean, look at how beautiful it is! 😉

diy in our nest

I still need to add one more coat, distress the edges and wax. But again, hearts, hearts, hearts.

Crafting in Our Nest

Friday found me sweeping, budgeting, Periscoping, and watching a delightful library find. I also needed to stock up on stationary so I busied my hands with bits of paper and glue sticks. Making my own writing supplies works a lot of delight in my heart.

Overall, the weekend was a grand success full of quiet moments, busy hands and planned out endeavors. Every once in a while this introvert needs time alone to create, read and write; thank You, Lord, for giving me these few days of quiet and rest. You are so good to know each of our delicate frames and give such tailored gifts!

What did your weekend involve? Leave me a comment and I’ll leave you a reply! 🙂 

Love, blessings and coffee,

Frannie

Decorating for Christmas on a Newlywed Budget

Christmas Decor on a Newlywed Budget

It’s a joy-filled, sunny day in our neck of the woods. Christmas is only ten days away and my little heart can hardly stand it! 🙂 This is our second Christmas as a married couple and it has been enjoyable in every way — what a blessed, love-filled month it has been!

One of the difficulties many new brides (and single folk too!) experience is decorating for Christmas on a budget. We fret, stress and grumble remembering how lovely our childhood Christmas’ were; we want our homes to be as cozy and festive as the one’s left behind. Can any one relate? Or am I alone in this? 😉

Thankfully, creating a beautiful, cozy holiday home does not need to break the newlywed’s budget. Join me as I show you eleven of my favorite affordable decorating ideas for Christmas. (This is an excellent excuse for me to browse Pinterest … cue the hot coffee, chocolate and Pinterest marathon!) 😉

DIY Advent Countdown

Isn’t this Advent calendar delightful? Start with toilet paper rolls, ribbon, tape and paper and end with something you can hide treats in. I love it! (link here)

Handmade Ornaments

Cinnamon ornaments smell yummy and add a rustic charm; I’ll be making some of these this week! (link + recipe here!)

Isn’t this little nest so sweet? Our tree is very reflective of our home and personalities; I have a few birds nest tucked away and several berries springing out of branches; this little nest would be a perfect addition! (link here)

Delightful Decorations

chr 6

Stop by Lowes and ask if you could have the pine branches left from the tree cuttings. Branches are a delicious (free!) way of bringing the natural elements of the winter season  inside. (link here)

Wrap a few miscellaneous boxes in scrapbook paper or pages of books you no longer use (if you have the heart to rip up a book!) 😉 I think these little, hanging gifts would be enchanting above a kitchen sink. (link here)

Use your library to add a unique, quirky “tree” in your home! I loved this idea and made three “trees” in the school’s library using various green books — I just love how bookish and Christmas-y it looks! (link here)

Smells for St. Nicolas

There are so many affordable, natural ways to make your home smell delicious for the holidays. Toss some apple or orange peels, cinnamon sticks and sprinkle various spices to get a yummy November smell or add pine and evergreen for a fresh Christmas smell. (link + recipe here)

Chalkboard Creations

I love Callie’s Christmas décor and her chalkboard is no exception! (link here)

Isn’t this chalkboard by Dear Lillie a delight? Add personal charm to your Christmas home by lettering a unique phrase or bit of Scripture you love. (link here)

Wreath Wishes

Again, Callie’s Christmas coziness inspires me! I love her wreath above the dining table and even the branch in the pitcher. So adorable!! (link here)

Finally, this set of wintery wreaths delight my Christmas-loving heart and have me wishing for inches of snow and never ending coats and mittens. (link here)

The wonderful thing about each of these pictures is that the sort of coziness oozing from them is available to even the tightest budget. If you crave a welcoming, wintry haven but are on a tight budget rejoice! You have the perfect excuse to use your hands and make something beautiful with them.

How do you decorate on a budget? Have you ever known a holiday where finances were tight but your inspiration abounding? Share with us, dear, and let’s grow together in grace and beauty!

Love, blessings and coffee,

Frannie

p.s. Here’s some of my own Christmas inspirations!

Our Christmas tree is very earth toned — it simply delights my heart! Glittery pinecones, bird nests, white berries and fruits of the Spirit written on log slices make it truly unique to us! <3

Of course the quirky, uneven string of lights add to the mood of sweet fun in our home. And leftover Thanksgiving pumpkins sit happily beneath the limbs; I couldn’t bare throwing them out! 😉 Naturally, Braveheart would be an excellent companion to such a wintery day.

Kitchen Table diy with One Step Paint + Alotta Love

Around these parts we believe in celebrating moments of upcycling, diy victories and decorating successes.

So, when our neighbors told me know they had a spare table they’d love to pass our way I couldn’t help but say yes. Because, #tbh, I absolutely love all things that have to do with decorating our little abode.

Thus, the story of our tiny, yellow, adorable table begins.

Yellow Table DIY

Except that it didn’t begin that way at all.

It began with a small can of Amy Howard’s One Step Paint, the cheapest paintbrush Ace Hardware had and many handfuls of excited expectations (aka me).

Step one required washing the table down and applying black chalk paint around the edges (for eventual distressing purposes).

Step two involved applying the first coat of paint — which I now love! This stuff sticks to almost anything including my little laminate table. (Without the need for primer or sanding!) 🙂

IMG_3793

Step three is a continuation of step two …

… finally, one afternoon and three coats later I had the most adorable, little table settling into its new home. I distressed the edges to give it that shabby look I love. While this little guy is just a “for now” I can’t help but be attached to him. 🙂

Every time I walk into my kitchen I can’t help but smile a little; the yellow is just perfect and the chalky finish delights. And, to be honest, it’s just fun to have somewhere to place dinner plates.

What have you been crafting lately? Any diy success stories you’d love to share?

Because I love celebrating the little things!

Love, blessings and coffee,

Frannie

p.s: tune into Friday morning’s live Periscope moment at 10:30 CST (@FrannieAnneDuncan) to see the lovely goodies I’d love to send you way! I’ll be there with a full mug of coffee! 😉

Goodbye Summer

Summertime is far behind us. My window roses are napping, fall candles are burning and the mornings are becoming bright and frosty.

Needless to say I’m in heaven.

But these pictures just make my heart smile. I took these during a late summertime downtown walk. Soon I’ll have many dried petals a friend is graciously sending me and I’ll blend several of the petals with my homegrown lavender. The joys of summertime will create a yummy blend of potpourri for the winter-ish weather.

Goodbye Summer — I’ll miss you even though I’ll be cherishing the coat-wearing, scarf tying, coffee-drinking theme of winter.