Odds & Ends.

This morning Elle woke me up at the insane hour of sometime before 6 am. We ended up downstairs (she wanted breakfast) and although I planned to go back to bed, I never did.

I loaded the washer, unloaded the dishwasher, started the coffee. Elle curled up on the couch, buried in a 100 blankets and fell asleep again– she looked cozy and peaceful. I felt jealous of her, but ready to start the day. Feeling good with starting my chores so early, I plopped down to surf a little in-ter-net. I came across this blog {The Painted Hive} and sat here feeling a bit overwhelmed.

She has a gift, I just love her style and creativity. She “gets” me somewhere deep. You know the feeling where you see something so cool and you just feel o-ver-whelmed!? I sat there and felt that way.

I wish I had more TIME. I wish my kids weren`t so little and NEEDY. I wish I had more time… I wish I had more talent…. more time to cultivate the little talent I have…

I felt stupid for having a blog at all. Little nerdy me. 🙂 Who wants to see my crap? I suddenly felt poopy. Not even in a sad way– just more like a revelation of truth that hit me for something different.

Okay, well, this is NOT meant to be a pity me post. I just wanted to share the things I feel sometimes. Then I asked God, again, for 2 things I desire so much right now:

contentment and freedom from reservation (feeling free to just be me).

I posted this on Facebook, but it has really gotten me thinking…

‎“Popularity is what people strive for when they lack the strength to be themselves.”

You know how all of a sudden maybe 5 different things you`ve seen or heard lately, make a “theme” in your life? In your own private little thoughts?

Well, contentment and freedom are the 2 things that are my theme right now.

Observing things like, watching 2 different friends in my life, living so simply and so happily. Seeming to only desire what is needed in life, yet with a joy to cultivate their gifts and bring God glory and enjoy life. Stuff like that enforces other thoughts in my mind that were already there. you know?

Last night G and I watched this video together and it really struck a cord (what does ‘struck a cord’ mean anyways?) with me.

Here it is:

Consumerism by: Chris Seay

(I will embed the video when G gets home. For some reason embedding videos is not a talent I possess.)

Anyways– please take the time to watch it…

How shall we then live? This all makes me think of this verse:

2 Peter 3:11 (The Message)

11-13Since everything here today might well be gone tomorrow, do you see how essential it is to live a holy life? Daily expect the Day of God, eager for its arrival. The galaxies will burn up and the elements melt down that day—but we’ll hardly notice. We’ll be looking the other way, ready for the promised new heavens and the promised new earth, all landscaped with righteousness.

Anyways– so I say all this to say that sometimes it`s hard to have a blog… to convey the balance between this blog being “me”– having this site be kind of a scrap-book of what I like, think, etc. And hoping that I spark a sense of encouragement and inspiration in people, not consumerism or materialism.

So with excitement and a little trepidation (a state of hesitation or concern), I finish the blogpost I started before I even wrote what I did at the top here. 🙂


I wanted to add a bit of personality to my living room. I wanted to do it for zero dollars. I love getting inspiration from friends, magazines and blogs but I am learning that most of all my home has to be “me”– or there really isn`t any point/personality in it. Even if that means things are a bit eccentric or eclectic or boring. Or whatever.

Although this was started before your “Sit in my living room” photos– I have to say they also confirmed the love in me of a place showing a picture of the people that live there. Very inspiring!


I liked this picture okay, but felt there had to be a way to insert more personality within this frame.

^^They (whoever stocks the prints at Joann Fabrics) do not make it easy to un-assemble one of their creations. I had to use an Exacto knife to cut the picture from its mat. I was also horrified to see the $59.99 price tag on the back of the picture. Was that really what I paid for it, 7 years ago, when richer and more “spendy”?

^^Yes, my “salad garden” is producing quite nicely thank you.

^^ I ended up attaching a page from an ANCIENT songbook I have. I use this old song book a lot. .25 at the thrift store, baby! You will be seeing more of it, I`m sure.

The song is called,

The Dear Ones All At Home

I thought that was so tender.

The little girl silhouettes are a blatant West Elm knock off.

Again, closer.

I love this. It`s okay if you do not. Think of a way you can make it “you”, you know? I love when different people put a different spin on the same thing.

Twine, with little,old buttons glued onto clothespins, used to attach postcards from Amazon that I had, and also one of my vintage flashcards.

I was reading lately, somewhere, that it`s fun to mix things up and do things different than what is traditional sometimes. Like, hanging the bigger item ABOVE the smaller thing would not have been done by me before, but after reading this idea, I really like the look of it.

For uniqueness sake.

Grouping collections make things less cluttery and have more “meaning”. It looks intentional.

I am learning….

It was so fun to take frames that I was ready to give away or send to Goodwill and instead, give them a new perspective. This frame was really battered, I used a perm marker to color int he broken parts and scratches. Now it looks really new again. The page I inserted here– replaced a tired picture of G and I together. Bad photography and all.

What is it? I carefully trimmed (the pages are so old they are crumbling) and inserted a page from an old music manual. This picture depicts the hand placement when learning piano. It`s odd. It`s not for everyone. My husband thought it was so cool, beings he was a Music Major in college and all. I think it fits well here in our home, somehow.

new corner.

I think something small and round would look great right above, and to the left of the cards on a string.. but oh well.. I like it the way it is for now.

I was not even going to comment on the sideways photo of the blue map. This, my hus DOES think is weird. When people ask about it he always says, ROLLING his eyes,

“My wife *thinks* she can do anything she wants and that makes it cool…”

(Insinuating huge amounts of sarcasm.)

I shrug.

I like it, is all. It`s odd at best.

Want to see an OLD picture of it before? Archives, here I come…

^^There it is, before…

^^The old pencil. I get this from my sister, Joy… If you find something of interest, display it somewhere, somehow. She is really good at doing this. Someday I need to do a photo tour of her place… It`s VERY cool!

^^Sorry about the gross old “Before” picture…

I loved this picture, and it was from a dear old friend, but the coloring wasn`t working for me anymore.


First I painted the whole thing white. 3 coats. Then glued old sheet music on– decoupage style. At the end, I added a bird silhouette. All I did was Google Image it, and trace it off the computer monitor. Since I didn`t have black paper. White paper worked okay, after I drew over it with a black marker…

^^FUN project, this idea is not original with me. I am seeing this idea ALL OVER bloggy land. 🙂


^^BEFORE: Another picture bound for Goodwill. Saved by an idea…


^^ I like it better now I  think.

3 things:

1. It`s less crinkly than it looks.

2. I like crinkly, at some level.

3. If you try this, spray the paper you use, with a gloss preserver before you glue on with Modge Podge, to minimize the crinkly look.

^^This post was called “Odds and Ends” for a reason. Wanted to also Fall-ize the mantel for zero dollars. The large pitcher now holds alive berries and Golden-rods in celebration of Fall.

^^Oh, there is a picture.

I picked these when we were away at a cabin with my family this last weekend. There isn`t much like this at my home, here in town…

Another cool (free, Fall) idea, is to gather branches with red and orange leaves and display like a bouquet. It looks SO PRETTY. I haven`t tried it yet, but have seen it done.

Happy to say that so far, all the projects featured here cost $0. My hus could get used to that, I`m sure. : )

No reason why.

I thought this was darling.

Caught her all alone, tracing pictures, like mommy. 😉 ;(

Her sweet little, happy hands.

With her finished “art”.

Excuse her short dress. She usually wears leggings with this dress, you know how things go… “around the house”.

Later, I found her finished masterpiece TAAAAAAAPED securely to the pillar in the living room. No, art on the fridge for her! haha

More random-idity.

Scored these large serving spoons at the thrift store the other day for $1 each.

G and I keep a closely watched budget here, and I can`t say I buy much deco stuff these days. It was kinda fun to bring something so sweet and cheap home with me the other day.

Tarnished beauties.

A little Bar Keeper`s Friend makes them just shiny as ever…

Stored here.

I will get them out and USE them whenever next possible…

Also scored these wooden spools .25 each. Any ideas for them? I have none.

Same day. A simple, table runner I was looking for…

Clothes Ladder. I think it actually looks “neater” (less cluttered) in real.


Another easy organization idea. Since our house is old– closets are rare.
I was looking for a sturdy, yet purdy 🙂 ladder to hang all my scarves on. Found this one for $8 at the local Antique Mall, had to dig, most were $14. I was happy.

Other ideas for using ladders to display or organize are: magazines in a bathroom, heels in a closet, books & art in the living room, dishtowels in the kitchen or towels in the bath.

Feel free to leave any great easy/free/fun Fall deco ideas in the comments. We all love to read your ideas!!

Blah, blah, blah– got to go–I am sooo sick of hearing myself talk. Plus, my baby smells like a garbage truck, got to go run the bath water.

Love, Jenny

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  1. Dorcas says:

    Oh, girl, you made me laugh today and I really needed to laugh, so thanks. 🙂 I laughed because I know exactly how some blogs make you feel overwhelmed… because some days I’m just overwhelmed with all the amazing stuff you do!
    And you do inspire and encourage! I love mixing things up for very little money out and you do the most beautiful job of that. So anyway, thanks lots, for the inspiration, for making me think, and for letting us all know its ok to be real. 🙂

  2. Dorcas says:

    P.s. I totally LOVE the old piano music with the little girls silhouettes. Absolutely darling!

  3. Sarah says:

    i meandered over there to her blog. although very vintagelly finished and nice i like yours way better. yours is inspirational and well rounded. keep up the good work!

  4. Rachel says:

    first of all, i have to address the girl getting up too early.
    that could have been my child(ren) on any given day.
    but, sadly, their mother, does not deal as lovingly with it as you did. some days, i’m okay with it, but mostly, it just drives me n.u.t.s. i like early mornings….but i like them alone for a little bit at least.
    and, then, the whole ‘little nerdy me’ and the ‘who wants to see my crap’….did you crawl inside my head and steal those thoughts? because, they could so have come right out of my mouth. and, yet! just after those very thoughts in my head, come thoughts along the same lines of yours having to do with contentment, and freedom.
    I soooo deal with being okay with me, being okay with what God has entrusted to me…and being content with my lot in life. it is way! too easy to look at everyone else and think they have it so much better, so much easier, so much more perfect. and, maybe they do. but, if I cannot be happy (content) with what God has put in my lap right here, right now, why would I think He would enlarge my territory and give me more? Why would I think ‘more’ of you name it would really make me content? ramblings…
    anyhow…i loved this odds-n-ends post.
    i’ll be back!
    love ya~

  5. diane says:

    your posts never fail to make me miss you.

    don’t give up on being you. i love the you that you are.
    i love you for you. no matter what.

    working on being yourself takes daily baby steps

  6. julana says:

    i was in AHHH of your Re-dos! awesome! but i esp. love the stuff you wrote at the top… were your at in life. your thoughts. think i could talk to you all day about thAT VERY SAME stuff right now!

  7. Thelma says:

    you stole words out of my head in the top part there….i get what you feel. but that said. I LOVE your blog Jenny, and please don’t ever feel like who wants to see it. I do!! I like how your projects seem so do-able and down to earth, yet very clever too. I love the bird silouette on the old paper–very cool. Also I like how you mix your little girls into it all, and bit of sarcasm and humor too. If I could have a grown-up blog half as cool as this, I just might…:-)

  8. kristen lehman says:

    ideas for your spools of thread? love them! when i get my dream sewing room…i plan to do this w/ those types of spools. get an old shelf or piece of wood or something and put little nails in across the board and hang the spools on for decor/storage for my threads so i can easily see them when i wanna sew…or i have already seen them hung in a girls room on the wall for decor… hope that helps or gives you an idea… love your site.

  9. Kay says:

    Jenny, keep being yourself. Your creativity absolutely amazes me. And if you need a bit of honest confirmation, your blog is among my favorite 5 on the www. Having said that, I totally get what you’re saying. Probably everyone feels like that… maybe even Miss Painted Hive!

    Oh, and I usually write it ‘struck a chord’, as in music. As in a chord of notes blending and connecting with each other. ?????

    I love the ladder ideas! As far as fall decor, I probably won’t do much more than a pumpkin/mum/hay bale display on the front porch. I know, so original.

  10. Lynnelle says:

    These “real Jenny” posts are my fave. Contentment is a slippery thing, isn’t it? Thanks for the reminder today.

  11. Shelly N says:

    Loved hearing from you once again! And next time you’re in PA, can you ‘stop over’ to help me with duplications of your cool projects and ideas?? Please!?

  12. Charity says:

    You must be doing something right–Elle wants to be just like you! 🙂 Wish I’d have the drive to decorate for fall but I don’t…this may inspire me enough to make me go get some pumpkins and gather goldenrod at least!

  13. Aug says:

    Even though I have relatively none of your creative talent, I love reading your blog and seeing your pictures.

    You have a unique talent and a unique sense of humor, so please don’t ever change that! 😉

  14. Anonymous says:

    Thanks for sharing the video. Folding laundry was not quite so boring today with this to listen to. I liked what he said about us being made to create, rather than consume, and then it was fun to go back and look at the things that you had created in this post. There’s lots more for me to think about but I feel like I’m still processing it.

  15. Gloria says:

    Kenton and I were just talking on Sunday how the older we get, and yes we’re getting older, the more we realize that the only thing you can rely on is God.

    you can’t count on good health…
    you can’t count on always having your spouse…
    you can’t rely on your possessions…
    you can’t assume that people you look up to won’t disappoint…
    you can’t count on your children always being there.

    There is simply no guarantee of anything! And the beginning thoughts of this post reminded me of that conversation.

  16. Emily says:

    Oh please, I love that you are you! It’s what makes you unique!You have become my favorite blog to follow….I’ve been inspired often.

  17. Christy says:

    I loved this post…the thoughts and the creations. I have a spool idea–I’ll send you an email.

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