Mad for Mason Jars, Part Two!

While skipping around Etsy recently, I stumbled across these adorable hanging mason jar candle holders by Sweet Tea Clothing Co. My adoration for this old to new, southern staple definitely warrants a[nother] feature. I’m so happy I found these treasures just as summer is around the corner. All photos link to shop. These hanging lights below caught my eye first.

Aren’t they perty?
In fact, the framed mason jar wall sconce/vase is also pretty. Place a votive or tea light in the jar and hang wood panel to an outside (or inside!) wall.And the mason jar succulent planters.And the mason jar string lights.What happened to the inside of the lids when they were replaced with breathable wire mesh? Gift tags. Adorable.All twinkly, fresh creations are by Sweet Tea Clothing Co. Visit their Etsy shop here. And while you’re there, click on the profile link for a simple sweet tea “how to”. Ah, I love the south. Why, oh why do I not live there!?

Happy Thursday!

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Vampire Pumpkin Mantel

Happy Halloween to my favorite fanged fans!

via Martha Stewart

Ghoulish whispers, foggy night
Haunted cornfield, chilling fright
Open window, creaky door
Wind-whisked curtains brush the floor

Dusty mantel, flickering glow
Chandelier swaying, Scent of snow
Muslin bandage drags the dirt
Witches cackle, bloody shirt

Rusted bed frame, dusty lamp
Torn book pages cold hands clamp
Scent of pumpkins burnin’ afar
Broken acorns fill mason jar

Thistle and dried rose stems scatter
Splintered floorboard pitter-patter
Onions, ale, and carrot stew
House to field wafts wicken brew

Haunted Eve, a Halloween poem by Fresh Cut Spaces

Mad for Mason Jars

While popping into the grocery store for laundry detergent and fabric softener (I recommend Snuggle which is what my mother in law uses and her home smells amazing), I noticed a flat of mason jars. Completely relevant, I know. With my ever-wandering mind, I realized that I never did write that feature on mason jars as I had hoped to do this summer. Since there are no rules here – and I’d be making them anyway – I’m dragging these summery staples right into fall. Here are a few of my favorite creative uses for mason jars. *Click on images for source and how-to’s where available. xo

Mason Jar as candle, torch, oil-light | via Raised in Cotton

Mason Jars as Planters | via CSI Project

Mason Jars as storage | via Lovely Little Details

Mason Jars as lighting | via Decoratualma

Mason Jars as wedding decor | via Style Me Pretty

Mason (or Pickle, or Salsa) Jars as Kids Storage | via Pinterest

Mason Jars as drinking glasses | via Style Me Pretty

And because these lyrics paint a gorgeous, Southern picture of happiness and life and love:

“An old man and an eight year old boy
Rolling down that midnight highway
Warm Kentucky memories from a winter Georgia night
I started drifting off and Grandpa tucked his coat around me
I think I tried to smile as I slowly closed my eyes
And I dreamed I was with him on the farm
Grandpa, I can hear the evening wind out in the corn
Wild flowers in a mason jar and the bus rolling through the night..”

– John Denver

Blissful Beds 2: The Headboards

While I blog about whatever I darn well please, I am so very grateful for your feedback and requests – they inspire me to blog about what pleases you. You loved my post titled “Blissful Beds” (found all neatly tucked in here) so very much so I’m sharing more! The “love” headboard below was a fan-favorite so “Part 2” is a compilation of the most fab DIY headboards. After seeking more “you-build-it” beauties, I found that when it’s DIY anything goes. Each piece below stems from a unique concept and all of them break a few rules. Tulip Tip: Click on the images for directions/source! Be inspired, friends..

The headboard you all loved to pieces | via Shelterness

The Fanciful Headboard (Really as easy as pushing your bed up to a non-functioning fireplace? Or build your own. Love this. Careful!)

Mantle Headboard, via A Fanciful Twist (See Blogroll)

The Dreamy Headboard (This is an incredible work of DIY art – use as a headboard or hang in your living room! Just conceal those cords!)

Illuminated Headboard with LED's in 2x4 constructed box | via DIYideas.com

The Soft, Simple Headboard (Adorably clever!)

Cushion + Ledge Headboard | via Modernests

The 2D Headboard (Very mod. I love this idea with a bright wall color like the chartreuse shown below! Click the photo for the template!)

Wall Stencil Headboard | via Good Housekeeping

The Natural Headboard (The wild pieces, the height variations, the texture – earthy and stylish.)

Driftwood Headboard | via Apartment Therapy

So, what is your headboard personality? I’m particular to the sparkly lights. They are soft, romantic, subtle, and special.
Have a restful weekend design fans!

Bring it Home: The Apothecary Hutch

A quick share: a modern, practical extension of my post on apothecary cabinets found here. This gorgeous piece of dining room furniture graced my screen today while scanning Hooker Furniture’s site for a particular sideboard. Yes, I will kindly share this treasure once I track it down! I am loving the incorporation of apothecary drawers on this open display hutch.

Apothecary Sideboard, Hooker Furniture

Hmm.. what could these small drawers hold in a dining room? Flatware, napkins, napkin rings, place card holders, place cards, small votives or hoards of tealight candles, salt+pepper mills, coins, crayons, silver polish, batteries, stationary.. Ok, you get the idea! Enjoy.

Apothecary Hutch, via Pinterest | http://www.pinterest.com

Hutch, See website for price, Restoration Hardware http://www.restorationhardware.com

Thanks for sharing in my current medieval storage obsession. Much appreciated!

The Elusive Tole Tray

Recognizable by its papier-mâché applied (and hand-painted!) floral design and small size, the tole tray was commonly used in Europe and hand-made in Japan. To be completely honest, they don’t teach you about tole trays in design school and thus, I had no clue what they were aside from ‘pretty’. My grandmother (she’s incredibly eclectic and stylish and currently down-sizing) dropped a few of these unique vintage trays into that goodie bag I mentioned in my previous poppy post. Her mother (my great-grandmother) used them as individual dessert trays with enough room for a plate, a cup of coffee or cappuccino, a napkin, and silverware.

In my home, I have one on my kitchen table holding a salt bowl, salt+pepper mills, a sugar bowl, and a small cup of greens. I have also placed one on the nightstands beside the guest room bed. Those trays hold lamps, a clock, and small metal pigs.

Tole Trays, Photo by Carolyn Laich ©2011

They are searchable on ebay and also may be found in antique stores.  In addition to the uses above, I’ve compiled a list of “5 Ways to Use Tole Trays.” Enjoy!

1. Individual serving trays for hors d’oeuvres during a dinner party.
2. A tray on which to serve ‘Breakfast in Bed’. Holds mimosa glass, small plate with croissant, small bowl of fresh cherries, and a cloth napkin-wrapped fork+knife.
3. A coffee table catch-all for small figures, a vase, or miniature books.
4. A kitchen catch-all for keys, wallets, and coins.
5. A pillar candle tray for your bedroom, bathroom, living or dining room. Fits 3 3-4″ (diameter) pillars of various heights. Create a row of 3 trays with pillars and cranberries or sage leaves down the center of your dining room table during a dinner party. Lovely, contained ambient lighting.

Multi-piece Coffee Tables

The concept of grouping multiple tables beside one another to create the illusion of a single coffee table is very current and very versatile. Not only are they functional and movable when entertaining, these tables provide visual interest through repetition. What is your coffee table’s primary use? A spot to set drinks or snacks? A foot rest? A horizontal shelf holding flowers, trinkets, and books? Some of these uses become difficult when multiple tables are arranged in front of the sofa. This option is either not for you or depending on the style of the table, you can make the arrangement adaptable to your use by placing a piece of glass atop the tables. The table below from Sundance would look especially fabulous grouped and with a glass top.

Colorful Cube Table, $395, Sundance (www.sundancecatalog.com)

This cube table is made from reclaimed wood with cheerful, worn touches of vintage-style paint. At 13″ square, this table would work best in a set of three placed side by side (glass top optional) in front of a long sofa or in a group of four placed in a square. I always recommend placing tables no more than 1.5-3″ apart depending on scale to avoid an odd ‘floating’ effect and attain a cohesive grouping. Turn the tables in different directions to enjoy a view of each side.

Atacama Coffee Table, $699, Crate & Barrel (www.crateandbarrel.com)

Not keen on cubes? Try this alternative option by placing two long, narrow tables (or benches!) beside one another in a larger living room or great room. You’ll achieve the look of one, but the subtle hint of two, adding a twist to the standard single table. Guests typically compliment items and concepts they haven’t seen before or a clever spin on something that’s otherwise common. They also seem to appreciate successful risks that others take. Be intriguing and let your personality shine through with fresh new concepts. If you love to entertain and appreciate eclectic decor, this most likely speaks to you. If you want to introduce more creative concepts to your space but don’t know quite how to do so, take a risk like multiple coffee tables and revel in the outcome.

This post features tables with a vintage feel and/or reclaimed wood. Many modern and streamline pieces exist at the following stores (and more!):

1. Jonathan Adler (www.jonathanadler.com)
2. IKEA (www.ikea.com)
3. CB2 (www.cb2.com)

My biggest piece of advice: NEVER settle for anything less than objects you love and find intriguing. This goes for design and life.

Something old, something new..

I’m enthusiastically announcing the addition of two new categories to the blog: ‘Very Vintage‘ and ‘The Antique Cowgirl‘.  I will happily explain a) why they are separate but equally fabulous categories and b) the naming in just a moment, but for now, be excited with me!  This is very intriguing (to me and also to you!) for two reasons:

Reason #1: Thrift shops, vintage boutiques, and antique stores/auctions are the best places to find truly one-of-a-kind items for reasonable prices.  They have personality and allure, adding impact to any space. These finds also have no limits. Keep them as they are after a gentle dusting or re-vamp them with a fresh coat of paint (furniture!), a little paper mache (frames!), or a fun new upholstery fabric (seating!). We turned a $5 chair into a beautiful new piece with a re-upholstered seat and a fun paint color, total $18.50 (including the chair, spray paint, foam, and fabric). You can, too, and so much more.

Reason #2: I love history. I love furniture. I love furniture with history. There is nothing more wonderful than hearing a story behind a piece of furniture you’ve just complimented. “Thank you, I found them in the rubble of a gutted building in Savannah while we were road-tripping in the summer of ’78. It was pouring rain, but I insisted we load them into the back seat. They barely fit, but we were determined, and we brought them home and well, how perfect are they for this room?” Furthermore, I love adding to the history by giving a piece new life, if needed of course… a new chapter.

These are similar in that they both hail from the past, but there are too many differences to count, so they don’t have to share a room. The most straightforward reason: “vintage”, as I’m approaching it, signifies thrifty, retro, and re-workable. “Antique”, again – as I make the rules here, will cover equally old and historical pieces, but they’ll typically carry a higher price tag and are considered “investments”. Persian rugs, original paintings, ornate frames, furniture, and basically anything we’d only find by *ahem* antique-ing falls here.

Why Very Vintage and The Antique Cowgirl?

Very Vintage’s name is inspired by my adoration of alliteration, simply put. Stop, yes, that’s the true reason. I know. I’m really deep here.  I’d love to add a “Valuable” and a “Vivacious” in there, but it would be too long, and really who am I kidding? I’m the vivacious one here, not the name.

The Antique Cowgirl is my alter-ego. I’m putting my Annie Oakley twist on an urban profession.  Many of the best antique stores in Pennsylvania are nestled in old and refurbished barns, in the rural suburbs. Additionally, conveniently, the really fun collections include rare farm tools, reclaimed wood, re-purposed lanterns and jars, horse shoes, and hardware. I wouldn’t think of antique-ing without my signature cowgirl boots on and a love for rustic accents, thus, when in the country, do as the cowgirls. Antique in boots.

Happy Saturday.