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Fall Mantel Decorating Ideas

Fall Mantel Decorating Ideas

After last weekend’s family gathering I asked my Mom to come home with us for the week. I was excited for her visit, but I had ulterior motives. She is a very talented quilter and has a great eye for decorating. So I hoped she would be willing to help me sew for the upcoming Market on Old Lake George. I also thought it would be fun to ask her to help me decorate the mantel for Fall.

Bright and early Monday morning, Mom and I headed out for a big shopping day. First we went to an estate sale south of the cities. We went to this estate sale specifically because of all the wedding decorations for sale. Turns out the lady having the sale was retiring from the wedding decorating business.


We got a ton of stuff for Sam’s wedding and it just so happened the sale was on the way to Ikea. We obviously had to stop by. We picked up a few things there and by the time it was all said and done, my checkbook was on fire. That meant that Fall decorating had to be done with what we already had.

“What we had” consisted of decorations I had in storage, some I had hanging on the walls, and some that were already on the mantel. My Mom went right to work and created these looks.

How creative is she, right?! I think the mantel just wants you to sit, look at it, soak it all in, grab a blanket and have a cup of hot chocolate to look at it some more.

And the next morning as I was doing just that, except with a Mt. Dew, not a hot chocolate. I decided to see if I could use all of the same items and come up with more Fall Mantel options.

Same items, different combinations.

I guess we can tell where I get all of my decorating skills from. 🙂

To see even more Fall mantel decorating jump over to my friend Jodi’s blog, Lyndale Drive, and see what she has created in her home. She is amazing. I met Jodi at the Haven Conference in August and we became fast friends.

I hope I have inspired you to decorate your own Fall mantel, I would love to see pictures of your creations 🙂


The Next Tiled Backsplash Part 1

The Next Tiled Backsplash Part 1

Prior to the Haven Conference, Wade and I had tiled our backsplash. You can read about our experience here. (I know this isn’t a super exciting way to start a blog, but hold on because this gets exciting!) After the backsplash project, Wade and I headed out to the Haven Conference in Atlanta. There we met Aspect Peel and Stick Tiles, a company that creates metal, glass and stone tiles. What is unique about their tiles is that they don’t require grout or mortar.

And believe me, that grouting process is not a fun one.

Anyone who attended the Haven Conference was sent a free deluxe sample kit, and I had been looking forward to receiving mine. When it came, I was pleasantly surprised to find a well-put together kit showcasing each type of tile they offered.

As happy as I was to receive the sample, I was disappointed that I didn’t have any more tiling projects in the works.

But I did know someone who did!

Back when we were completing our backsplash, Nikki had mentioned that she and Jimmy had been thinking about tiling their kitchen backsplash as well. So the other day, I brought over my sample kit to their house. I left it with them for a few days so they could dig through every option and play with different ideas.

Jimmy really liked the Brushed Stainless Metal Tile, and Nikki liked the Fresh Sage Glass Tile. Once I saw what they liked, I gently guided them towards the Iron Slate Stone Tile. Once they saw the Slate tile with their countertops, they knew that was the tile to go with.

The next step was to contact Aspect Tile.

Good Morning Jennifer,

Thank you so much for this great offer! I have received the sample box from your company and loved everything.

My husband and I recently tiled our kitchen backsplash. You can read the final series blog post here. That being said, I would love to help out our neighbors and tile their backsplash with your product.

Using Pinterest, Instagram and Facebook as well as our blog, I believe we can create a wealth of excitement for our two companies.

We have measured the area they need tiled and will need 35 square feet of the Iron Slate tile.

I look forward to working with you,


It was so easy to work with Jennifer. I told her what I needed and it was literally shipped out the same day!

Hi Wendy,

Great blog post and your backsplash looks great! That’s so cool you want to help your neighbors!

I will place the order for 35 square feet of Iron Slate today.

If you need anything else, don’t hesitate to ask.



Now that is great customer service.

I can’t wait to show you how to use Aspect Tiles and the process of tiling Nikki and Jimmy’s backsplash.


Farmhouse Table Take Two

Farmhouse Table Take Two

On Thursday, we did a Take Two on the farmhouse table. Take one ended up being a little bit of a mistake. You can read about it here, but sometimes a picture is worth a thousand words:

To correct my mistake, I first sanded off the bubbled paint, then mixed together equal parts of Miss Mustard Seed’s paint and bonding agent.


I didn’t notice a difference in the thickness of the paint or how the paint went on when I used the bonding agent which was great. It didn’t bubble as it was drying like it did the first time, so I could tell the paint had adhered better.

After everything had dried, I took a good look and hated it. It looked too perfect. The table needed to be taken back to its farmhouse roots, so I did a little bit of distressing.

My favorite part of any project, you might be surprised to know, is the time I get to spend styling a piece after it is finished. I spend all this time working, painting, sanding and correcting just to do a photo shoot!

Please enjoy today’s shoot: Farmhouse Harvest




P.S. On October 20-22nd, we are having a pop-up boutique in my home called “The Market on Old Lake George”. As the weeks go on, I will be showing you items that will be for sale at the boutique, the first being this farmhouse table and chairs!

Time Management

Time Management

Time management is something I pride myself on. For example, when orders come to me via or I strive to fill the orders within 24 hours.

I also take great pride in offering excellent customer service from my shops.

Before I toot my horn any further, there is an area of time management that I struggle with. I simply cannot arrive on time for anything. I have good intentions, but something always happens.

For instance, on Tuesday I delivered a wholesale order to Country Style Accents.  The drive from my house to Sondra’s shop is about an hour and forty-five minutes. I calculated that if I left no later than 8 o’clock in the morning, I would have plenty of time to get there even if I factored in time for traffic.

(Cue the “something always happening”.)

I told Wade the night before that if I wasn’t awake by seven a.m., to wake me up. (Heaven forbid I set an alarm like a fully-fledged adult.)

At 7:00 am, he gently wiggled my toes to let me know that it was time to get up. I don’t wake up very easily so by 7:10, my feet finally hit the floor.

After a quick shower, I grabbed my robe, wrapped my hair in a towel and went to the kitchen to grab my morning Mt. Dew and granola bar. Don’t judge.  🙂

From this point, the routine should be pretty efficient. Put on my face, dry and style my hair, get dressed and head out the door.

At the get dressed point of the routine, it was already eight a.m.. How does that happen? I didn’t lollygag or stop to watch Matt Lauer.

Time had slipped away from me again.

Fortunately, traffic was in my favor on the drive to Arlington, MN.

I arrived early… well, early for me, which was 9:55 for a 10 o’clock appointment. Sondra’s shop is going to be so beautiful when she opens this Friday, the eighth of July.

This is a sneak peek at the barn wood wall she created.

I am loving her FARMHOUSE metal sign that is for sale.

When I left her shop, I set my GPS for directions to IKEA in Bloomington. As long as I was that far south, I figured why not celebrate another successful sale and a great new customer.

I only planned to look shop. You know “look shop”. It’s window-shopping without the windows.

As I was walking through the showrooms, I found myself ogling over this clock.

Does this clock not exude French farmhouse décor?  Here’s where you say “Yes Wendy. Yes it does.” (So much for look shopping.)

And then it struck me where I was going to put this clock.


The clock is made of tin and is very lightweight. I wrapped a simple white ribbon around the battery holder on the back, tapped a nail into the wall, and hung it up.

Hopefully I can now keep better track of my time in the morning.

I’ll let you know how that goes.


My Blogiversary Is Around The Corner

My Blogiversary Is Around The Corner

My blogiversary is coming up soon. Make that my one year blogiversary. With almost 175 blog posts within this first year, I can confidently say that the best part about blogging is the people I have met, both virtually and in person.

Most of the people I “meet” do not live anywhere near me.

So the other day when I received an email thru Etsy from Sondra asking me if I was interested in selling some items for her new store in MINNESOTA, I jumped at the chance.

Meet Sondra everyone.

Her new shop isn’t exactly in my backyard, but an easy hour and 45 minute drive later, I met her in Arlington, Minnesota.

Here’s where the story gets interesting and defines the phrase, Small World.

As we were getting acquainted, Sondra was showing me around her shop and I was snapping pictures of the items she has created.

In the background, of which I didn’t take a picture, was her father-in-law Mark.

She introduced me to him and I asked him if he lived around here also.

No he did not. He was actually from Jackson, Minnesota.

No. Way.

My parents grew up in the Jackson/Lakefield area and my cousin, aunt and uncle still live there.

Did he happen to know my cousin Mark, Aunt Soneva and Uncle Verlin?

Of course he did. In fact, he knew them so well, and for so long that he asked me if my cousin Mark still had his ‘Cuda  (Barracuda) in storage because he has been trying for years to buy that old car from him.

I told him that as far as I knew he did and that I would put a bug in his ear that you were still interested.

So, Mark…call Mark.  🙂

I could’ve stood there all day chatting with the two of them, but they had a shop to get ready for a July 8th opening.

I hope to deliver any products Sondra will order so I can take more pictures of the shop. Seeing all of these pieces styled will be nothing short of amazing.  If her shop is half as wonderful as her personality, this will be a place to make a special trip to.

Happy Saturday everyone. Here is the link to Sondra’s blog.


Sidenote: I have all of my tiles and supplies purchased and they are patiently waiting in the garage for me to get started on the kitchen backsplash!

To Flange or Not To Flange

To Flange or Not To Flange

One of the things I really enjoy about my Etsy shop is when I get to work with customers on custom orders.

I received a conversation, which is the Etsy version of a text, from “Liz” wanting to know if I could make a European sham from a fabric I had in stock.

Of course, I would love to!

I wrote up the order and sent it to her and we then chatted about the flange of the sham. (Try and say that 10 times fast)

A standard Euro sham is 26 square inches with a flange, or border around the edge. Liz and I discussed if the finished size of the sham would be 24 or 26 inches.

She decided that she would like it to be a finished 26 inch center.

Part of her decision came from the fact that she was going to purchase a larger than 26 inch insert.

Many times people send me conversations wondering what size insert to use. A rule of thumb is to insert a pillow into the cover that is 2 inches larger than the cover. This gives the cover a nice full look and fills the corners out.

For example:

16×16″ cover should have a 18×18″ insert

18×18″ cover should have a 20×20″ insert

Now lets compare the look of a sham to the look of a pillow cover.

A Euro sham is the largest pillow and is placed closest to the headboard. The pillow on the right has a flange, 1″ sewn border vs. no flange on the pillow on the left.

I think it gives the pillow structure and definition.

What do you think?

Are you team flange or team no flange?

Do you like the look of a full/fat pillow or a softer/more loose pillow?

I’d love to hear from you,