Autumn Air

Although the Autumn Equinox will not be until Thursday in Ohio there is something in the air that tells my body that autumn has already begun. Maybe it’s the football games, tailgates, pumpkin spice lattes, or sudden appearance of harvested corn everywhere that is informing me of the swift change of season. Whatever it might be I will not complain. Late summer was too hot for me. Five minutes or more in the sun’s blaze meant unpleasant puddles of sweat in all sorts of places. I’m excited for the prospects of autumn like comfortable temperatures, cozy sweaters, and my hometown festival, The Pumpkin Show.

As the morning dew is beginning to appear and the sun sets a little earlier I’m excited to break out my autumn decor. Decorating for the seasons is an annual thing in our family. I try to buy or create something new each year to add to my collection. Here is a look at some of my fall decor for the 2016 season.

Happy fall y’all!

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My Harvest door hanger, pumpkin, and hay stack all from Michaels.

The Ameri Brit Mom

 

Seasonal Blocks

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I don’t get in crafty moods often, but when I do you better watch out. This weekend I decided to finish a DIY project I started over a year ago. This is something I saw at a craft show last Christmas and decided I would try to make for myself. It’s fairly simple and requires little time, money, and skill. And because I love to decorate for the seasons I decided to go with a seasonal theme. Here is a look at my finished seasonal blocks:

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What you need to make these seasonal blocks:

-six wooden blocks of varying sizes

-white paint (or a paint color of your choice)

-4 seasonal pages of scrapbook or patterned paper

-1 black Sharpie (or letter stamps if you prefer not to free hand the lettering)

-Mod Podge

-paintbrushes

How to make these blocks: (Warning: It make take more than one day to complete this craft due to the amount of time it takes for the paint to dry. I started out just doing each season as it approached and over the course of the year finished it. However, it can also take just two days to knock out the whole thing.)

  1. Start by painting the surface  of each of the wooden blocks. I chose to paint my blocks white to match the woodwork in my living room, but you may choose to stain or paint your blocks in other colors to match your decor. I’ve seen this done with black blocks before and I think it looks really crisp and nice as well.
  2. As the paint is drying, begin to cut out six rectangles from each of your patterned papers.
  3. Once the rectangles are cut you can go ahead and write out or stamp the letters on to each piece of paper.
  4. Once the paint has dried evaluate whether the blocks require multiple coats. Mine did. And so I really only got through the painting process in the first day of crafting.
  5. After the paint is dry, you can begin with your first side of mod podge. Before you begin with the sticking you want to arrange your rectangles in an appealing way. If they are different sizes you will want to play around with how to organize them.
  6. When you have organized the order of the blocks, you can begin with the mod podge. I always add a dab of mod podge to the block first to adhere the paper like glue. Then, once the paper is stuck onto the block go over the edges and the entire paper with the mod podge. At first it will look very gluey, but mod podge will dry clear. You want to make sure you have enough mod podge that the paper is secure, but not too much that the paper bubbles.
  7. Repeat the mod podge process for the entire name of the season.
  8. Then, before moving on to the next face or season make sure the entire mod podged face is dry.
  9. Important: When adding each new season be sure to keep the letters in the order you originally arranged!

This was a fun little project. I plan to make some more in the future because it was so simple and I like the look of it. I know people who use a similar method to create Christmas calendar blocks counting down the 25 days of Christmas. I’ve also seen this as a popular gift for new parents who use blocks to either countdown to the arrival of their bundle of joy or to announce the time since their child was born in monthly photographs. I’m looking for some new ideas so if you have any other ways that simple blocks and mod podge could be used please share!

The Ameri Brit Mom

Ringing in Spring My Way

After such a beautiful weekend of sunshine and warmer temperatures I cannot help but hope that we have seen the last of winter. We’ve consistently seen a week of spring-like weather and so (fingers crossed) my hope will become reality. Although it is not officially spring here in Ohio this weekend I had my personal unofficial kickoff of the season with my first frappucino of 2015. (I only drink frozen drinks in the spring/summer and only after 12pm. I’m kind of OCD about my coffee)

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I also ushered in my favorite time of the year with a new Jamberry manicure in bright spring colors. This is only my second ever Jamicure, but I am falling in love. The appeal: long-lasting, non-toxic, low maintenance, cute nails.

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As the last of the snow is disappearing and the grass is beginning to resemble the color of life once again I am inspired to begin new projects in the great outdoors. Although I am in love with my fresh nails, I am looking forward to getting my hands dirty and completing some of my latest pinterest-inspired outdoor projects. As the last few weeks of winter were bleak and I was forced into hibernation due to Snowmageddan I sought hope in the gardening inspiration from my pinterest board. Many an hour was spent swiping through pins and blogs in search of ideas to spruce up the yard and bring the bright curb appeal to my abode. I’ve created this yard wish list:

1. Mailbox Makeover: With it’s simple, yet cute landscaping who wouldn’t love this? It looks like an easy way to turn a potential eyesore into something happy and bright. It also makes getting the mail (AKA bills) a little more exciting.

Mailbox Garden - Spruce up your mailbox with some flowers by creating a base garden with retaining wall blocks.  Click here to check out this blog.

2. Gutter and Side Landscaping:This is our first spring in our home and our first year to complete some of the exterior cosemetics of the place. Although we already have a lot to work with in the front yard, it seems as though the side yards were neglected a bit from previous owners. This project looks a little involved, but even taking a few tips from this blog will help our bare and boring sides of the lot.

150 Remarkable Projects and Ideas to Improve Your Home’s Curb AppealClick here to check out this blog.

3. Front Porch Decor: One of my favorite ways to add curb appeal is to create an ever-changing front porch. Since our arrival in our new home I have changed the front porch decorations to match the seasons. This looks like a cheap and easy way to bring color and life to the front porch.

Planting a Perfectly Proportioned Garden Vase -- three easy steps to planting a garden vase that will be a beautiful focal point for your front porch or deck! Click here to check out this blog.

4. Fire Pit: Our backyard is absolutely bare. No trees. No landscaping. One addition I have been pushing for to begin to bring life to the back yard is a fire pit. Fire pits are welcoming and at times can be romantic. I would love to see one of these in a corner of our yard away from where our daughter plays. I think it would bring some character to the yard and also make us more likely to spend time in the backyard.

fire pit tutorial: best one I've seen with lots of photos Click here to check out this blog.

5. Porch Extension: Currently our back porch is a slab of concrete. We live in a housing development and the porch is the standard small block not even big enough for two folding chairs and a grill. The way our home sits and the type of yard we have does not easily lend itself to a raised deck or porch so this looks like a cute way to add a little space to the seating area in the back.

 Click here to check out this blog

Now that I’m inspired and the wheels are turning I’d love to ask: what do you plan to do this spring to ready yourself and your home for the beautiful weather that lies ahead? I’m hoping that if I dream BIG and work HARD some of my wish list will come true.

Happy Spring!