Friday, January 29, 2010

Come on In!

Welcome!  If this is the first time you've stopped by my little piece of Holland, then I'm pleased to meet you.....and I should warn you that I don't actually live in Holland.  I live in the Midwestern USA.  So why do I keep making references to Holland in this blog?  Go ahead and click on the link underneath my header if you want to be in the know.

Now, let's get on to the good stuff.  I've gone through phases of my life where I just haven't had the brain space or time to energy to really enjoy homemaking.  Now is not one of those times.  It is such a remarkable experience, that I'm documenting it.  So, take a look at what I did yesterday.

This is the room you enter from my front door.
It is fun to have a fireplace in my front room, but it's a lot of pressure!  That mantle has to look gooood, since it can be seen from the front door.  So do the shelves.  I tend to think of the shelf tops as an extension of our mantle.
I love words, can you tell?  I use way more of them than I should in my writing, and my decorating.  Here we have three complete sentences on one fireplace!  I guess I'm a chatterbox, and so is my house.  These three phrases are particularly meaningful to me.
This one is our family motto:  "Choose the Right and Hold on Tight."  It's meaning?  We want everyone in our family to consistently choose right over wrong, and we want them to hold tight to the gospel of Jesus Christ and to each other.  When the children leave the house, I just say, "CTR!" and they know what it means.  

I custom designed the lettering (it's vinyl, not paint) through Uppercase Living.  The sign board is actually a maple cabinet door, which I discovered in the basement of this house after we moved in.  What a find!  Two maple cabinet doors....completely unattached to anything....just waiting for me to turn them into signs!  (I wonder, what were the previous owners planning to use them for?) This one sits on a plate holder and stays in front of our fireplace most of the year.
The quote above our fireplace is one that keeps my husband and I focused.  It was first said by Harold B. Lee, "The most important work we will ever do is within the walls of our home."

I can't remember where I found this saying, but the box reads, "Unshared joy is an unlit candle."  I love that one.  It is a great Christmas quote, but I like to keep it for my winter decor, too.  The box I made myself.  I'd seen some like it in magazines and online, and I decided that it wouldn't be too hard to make.  I had my husband show me how to use his chop-saw, then I just a 1x6 board for the base, cut 1x4 boards for the sides, nailed them all together, painted it with leftover paint from our Red Room, and roughed it up a bit.  The lettering, again, is vinyl.  I fill it with different things and move it around the looks great as a centerpiece or on my kitchen island.  

Gee, I think I need to make some more boxes!

Here are some close ups of what I use for winter decorating in my box.

Most of these items were things I found around the house.  Except the pine cones.  You can't find pinecones like these in my neighborhood, so I splurged for a bag of cinnamon scented ones.   

This is the shelf to the left of the mantle.

Here, I incorporated the woodland theme from the joy box on the mantle, as well as some of the textures.  I also threw in some Valentine touches, like the rose petals on the snow.  The "cloche" you see is actually a cheese plate I found at my Goodwill.  

This is the shelf to the right of the mantle.
I devoted this shelf to Valentine's day, but added a touch of the woodland theme with a tiny red cardinal.
I love my apothecary jars!  I bragged/blogged about how I got my entire collection for less than $20 here, and provided a tutorial so you can do the same thing!

Well, it's time to go get my kindergartener.  Thanks again for stopping by!


  1. Thank you for linking up to the Mantel Party! I love CTR. How clever and what a beautiful reminder for your kiddos. I also love your little owl and barn stars, so cute!

  2. Very cute, everything was neat to look at and brighten anyones day!!~

  3. Your home is so cute. I love the CTR sign! Do you live in Michigan? I grew up there and I remember a tulip festival every year that celebrated Holland.

    Love that little owl. Darling!

    For the fillers in the jars on my mantle, I found fillers at a store around here that are tiny little balls of styrofoam painted pink.

    Have a wonderful day!


  4. I love your beautiful blog and the mantle too! By the way; I realy live in Holland... And I can see some good things overhere too. I think that you gave your blog a great name and I also love the reason why..
    Have a lovely day, greetings from the Netherlands,(bye bye)tot ziens!
    Mama lieveheersbeestje.

  5. Ooooh, I want those apothecary jars. So beautiful. They make a great ensemble there. Pretty!

  6. What a beautiful mantle and fireplace area! Love the sign in the fireplace.

  7. Cute mantel, CTR sign and filled jars for shelf displays...great job! Come by and say hi...

  8. Hi! Thank you for your lovely comment on my blog! What good that you can speak german! Overhere we speak dutch, but I can understand german too. (like dutch almost) Overhere we learn dutch, english, german and french at school and some good students also do oldgreek, latin, chinese and spannish. Yep, we al are bilangual overhere! At least the people with an education at average level and avbove avarage and the people under 50 years old.
    What language do you speak in the US? I thing spannish and english? My daughter is learning spannish too and she wil go to Spain next month for a studentexchange exiting!

  9. Thanks so much for stopping by my blog! I LOVE all your words :) and your story behind this blog. It really is inspirational. AND...shame on me if I forget to mention how much I adore those apothacary jars of yours. I have a few of my own that need a makeover, and I think I just tapped into the perfect idea!!

  10. Very nice! I love the apothecary jars!

  11. Hi Ruth,
    This is my first time to your blog and I loved your "Holland" explanation. What a wonderful way to look at life.
    I really like your mantel and shelves. They are so warm and welcoming. I like your quotes too...very inspirational. Thanks so much for sharing!

  12. I have to keep my front room "moblie" so I can turn it into a portrait studio as needed. I can't put bookshelves or any fairly permanent furniture in there, or cute display stuff I'd have to move every week. I would love to have it look more finished like yours! Oh, well, small price to pay to be able to do what I love from home. It all looks great.

  13. Love the little Valentine's touches. I can't see the cardinal though. I searched and searched. hehe

  14. I love the signs in your house. The message in your home is clear and just what we want our kids to know too. All of you decorating is beautiful.
    Have a wonderful weekend.

  15. Lovely mantel! I like the box you made and how daring of you to learn to use a saw. I always say I want to but deep down, I don't think it is something I want to 'play' with!! But the box is cute and I will remember the saying. It's so true!! Love all your words...your kids will always remember them. And your valentine touches are sweet!!


  16. Ahhh, another perfect display. You never cease to amaze me! Looks great, and I love those Valentine's apothecary jars...

    Thanks for linking up your victory for VOTW @ Design-Aholic. Make sure to come back again, I can't wait to see what you have next!