How to Decorate a Fall Mantel Using a Handmade Paper Wreath

The “Raven Wreath” I made at Mill Spring Makers Market. A big thanks to Prudence Greene with Sweet Tea Bohemian for teaching me how to not only make this awesome wreath, but for also getting me out of my creating comfort zone!

It’s finally sweater weather and hot coffee time here in Northeast Tennessee, which means I can finally finish decorating my house for fall *happy dance* I’ve had a really hard time getting in the spirit of all things October because the temps have been warm + there’s currently only a hint of autumn colors.

I started decorating my front porch on the first day of fall, and I honestly tried to check off my pumpkin to-do list, but it was too warm. Nike shorts and a cute tee just doesn’t get me in the mood like flannel does *wink*

Now, that’s enough chatting about the weather! Let’s grab a good cup of coffee, sit a spell together, and talk about how to decorate your mantel for fall.

The colors of fall spice up an all white mantel.

Decorating my 1920s era mantel is a challenge. From the mirror to the overall height of the entire fireplace, I struggle. Whatever I use has to be “custom” fit, and there’s lots of putting up and taking down before the right balance and look is achieved. Normally, I would head to the local flea markets looking for rusty treasures and things that remind me of my childhood back in Mississippi, but this year I wanted to challenge myself to do something different. To do something outside my creating comfort zone. I had no idea what it would be until I saw a class for making a wreath out of paper leaves. I signed up and waited patiently for the wreath-making day to arrive.

A Raven-inspired centerpiece by Sweet Tea Bohemian

Before we could make our wreaths, we had to cut lots of leaves. I thought it was going to be a boring task, but it was actually fun and a little relaxing. While we cut, we chatted about everything from our human children to our fur ones. We were disconnected from our phones and connected by our paper leaves.

Supplies for the stylized fall wreath

Step one is all about cutting the leaves from different colors and weights of paper.

For step two, we wrapped our wire form with burlap and glued down the ends using a hot glue gun.

Using a hot glue gun, we attached our leaves to the burlap. Prudence gave us tips on where to place our leaves and how to fold our leaves to give them more dimension.

Working hard on our wreaths at Mill Spring Makers Market in Jonesborough, Tennessee.

Showing off our handmade goodness! Kati, you rocked making your wreath! Keep making those keepsakes for your home *hugs*

I was so excited and proud of the wreath I made I rushed home without stopping to get coffee! I just couldn’t wait to hang it on my mantel. It was an awesome feeling knowing I had made it. Which I know sounds crazy because I’m an artist who creates daily. However, in all of my years of crafting, I’ve never made anything like the The Raven Wreath. And y’all know what? It felt good to get out of the comfort zone, more like a rut *wink* And y’all know what else? It was so much fun getting out of the studio and connecting with other makers *big smile*

I used a Command hook to hang my wreath.

Once the wreath was up, everything else just came together. I added two paintings-one of sunflowers in a pumpkin by me and the other of pumpkins by an artisan who sells at one of the local flea markets. After a run to The Fresh Market for mini gourds, tiny pumpkins, and colorful corn, my mantel was complete.

The handmade fall garland by Allison Lacey is a playful addition to my fall decor.

Thanks for sitting a spell with me today! I hope you’ve been inspired to try a new craft and to decorate your fall mantel with handmade goodness.

Click here to find out more about Sweet Tea Bohemian. To keep up with the classes offered at Mill Spring Makers Market, click here.

Do you have a favorite handmade fall decorating tip? Tell us all about it in the comment section below.

 

 

 

 

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A Little Fall Swag

It’s beginning to look a little like fall at Hathorn Hall (even though the green grass and temps in the 80s say otherwise!).

Hey, y’all! It’s fall or at least by the calendar it is *wink* Here in Northeast Tennessee it’s a bit on the warm side with grass that is still green (and in need of mowing), and trees that show little to no sign of putting on a fall foliage show. I must admit it’s disappointing because I’m ready to wear my sweaters and sip a PSL on my front porch.

I’ve tried to get in the spirit. A few days before the first day of fall, I bought a cute pillow with a bright, happy pumpkin on it. I went to the basement and found my wood pumpkins and put them out on the porch. I waited patiently for the temps to cool off, so I could get real pumpkins and mums from the downtown farmers market. All I got was disappointment.

Today, I was determined to get my fall happy pants on, and Mill Spring Makers Market was the very place to do so.

Up close look at the dried botanical swag I made at Mill Spring Makers Market

Christy Shivell with Shy Valley Plant Farm helped me create a beautiful fall swag for my front door. She had so many gorgeous dried botanicals to choose from. The colors, the textures, the smells…oh, my! The really awesome thing is all of the dried flowers and plants at the drop-in class were from Shy Valley Plant Farm. It took me about 45 minutes to make my swag, and it only cost $18!!! I’m wishing now I would have made two *sad face*

Shy Valley Plant Farm is a family-owned nursery growing nursery propagated wildflowers, herbs, and heirloom tomatoes. They also grow old-fashioned flowers and gourmet quality vegetable starts. All of their plants are produced by organic methods, and they are committed to preserving and promoting the biodiversity of the region’s native plant communities. For more info about Shy Valley, click here.

As soon as I got home, I put my fall swag on my door. The colors look amazing with the deep stain!

I had so much fun today not only creating, but also chatting with Christy and her daughter. Did I mention how much I’m loving the drop-in classes at Mill Spring Makers Market? In this crazy busy world, it’s so important for us to treat ourselves with some gather-connect-create time. And believe me, the world will continue to spin while we take a moment for ourselves!

For more info about upcoming classes at Mill Spring Makers Market, click here.

Thanks so much for sitting a spell with me today as I added a little fall swag. Now, I’m really wishing for cooler temps, a wheelbarrow full of real pumpkins, and a truck bed full of mums.

ART TO GO kits by SassyHat are currently available ONLY at Mill Spring Makers Market. More info coming soon!

I’ve been busy in the studio creating new paintings with razor blades. WHAT?! Yep. Razor Blades. Because I love to be a little edgy and dangerous in my art *wink* p.s. There are a limited number of my smaller paintings available ONLY at Mill Spring Makers Market.

A little fall swag thanks to Christy with Shy Valley Plant Farm and Mill Spring Makers Market!

 

Mill Spring Makers Market: Gather, Create, Connect

Bring all of your money because Mill Spring Makers Market is open!

Okay, okay. I know it’s been like 6 months since we last sat a spell with a good cup of coffee, but I don’t have time to explain where I’ve been and why I took a brief sabbatical in this post. We will chat about it later because it’s a really important issue affecting many, many people. *pinky promise I won’t forget* *setting a reminder in my phone right now* Now, go grab a good cup of coffee and sit a spell as we chat about a darling shop and makers space in the Historic Town of Jonesborough (which Hallmark really should just move its headquarters here).

Mill Spring Makers Market is located at 144 E. Main Street in
Jonesborough, Tennessee.

There’s a lot of stories in the building where The Corner Cup and Mill Spring Makers Market are located-which isn’t surprising considering it’s located in Tennessee’s oldest town. If you ask Melinda Copp, the owner of Mill Spring Makers Market, she will cheerfully tell you about the history of the building, and you can also take a guided Historic Walking Tour of Jonesborough to discover even more. Believe me. We could chat all day long about “if these walls could talk”-but I’d rather focus on the here and now and how much fun there is to be had.

Abby carefully making her terrarium.

Mill Spring Makers Market had me at “Drop-in Terrarium Class.” Let me give a little backstory about why I love terrariums and why I just had to go to this particular class. When I was little (perhaps 5 or 6), my parents helped me make a terrarium using moss gathered from underneath the two giant oak trees in our front yard. I had it for many years until it finally gave up on me. Thinking back, I became too busy for my terrarium garden, and it wasn’t as cool as Strawberry Shortcake. Even though I lost interest in my little moss jungle, I never forgot about it. So, when I saw Melinda was hosting a drop-in terrarium class, I had to go and take my daughter with me because I wanted her to experience making one like I did decades ago.

Christy Shivell, co-owner of Shy Valley Native Plant Nursery, and her daughter did an awesome job teaching the drop-in terrarium class.

I learned a lot in this class about how to take care of my little moss jungle.

We braved the crazy rainy weather to create our terrariums, and it was totally worth it! Thanks, Mill Spring Makers Market for hosting this class! It brought back such sweet memories and helped make new ones *big hug*

Abby’s terrarium riding front and center on the way home

Great news! You can create your very own terrarium at Mill Spring Makers Market on Monday, September 17, 11:00-4:00. The creating starts at the beginning of each hour. I’ll probably be there at 1:00 because my little moss jungle needs a friend *wink*

The cutting of the ribbon at the grand opening celebration

As I stated earlier, Melinda’s makers market had me at terrarium. From there, I just kept making and shopping (from statement earrings to itty-bitty pottery). The inspiring ambience and smell of leather goods as you walk in the door invites you to explore. It’s a place filled with local and regional talent. Artisans who take great pride in their work, and Melinda’s space perfectly captures their fine craftsmanship.

Grand Opening weekend was full of activities and demonstrations from the makers.

During the Grand Opening celebration, I painted the themes for my upcoming drop-in classes in a mini journal handmade by Terry Alexander.

My journal I crafted at Terry Alexander’s journal making class. This class was fabulous, and I really hope Terry has another one soon because it was so much fun learning about junk journals and connecting with new people and hanging out with fellow artists!

During the journal making class at Mill Spring Makers Market in Jonesborough, I learned how to make “pockets” for my pages.

Taking a class at Mill Spring Makers Market is top priority *wink*

Blacksmithing demo outside of Mill Spring Makers Market at 144 East Main in Historic Jonesborough.

Don’t miss out on a thing! Like and follow Mill Spring Makers Market on Facebook and @MillSpringMakers on Instagram.

The best thing about the classes|workshops from Mill Spring Makers Market is learning and playing in a warm and encouraging environment with all the supplies you need right in front of you. No need to stand in line at Michaels. No need to watch hours of YouTube videos by yourself. No waiting on UPS to deliver your package of supplies you’ll have to hide from your kids, significant other, or the furbabies. All you have to do is schedule a little me-time and show up ready to have fun!

One of the marble papers I created at the Japanese Paper Marbling class by Christy Shivell. This was the coolest class!!! I’ve always wanted to do this, but I didn’t want to invest in all of the supplies. This class gave me the opportunity to learn and play without spending all of my coffee money *wink*

On Point Micropainting

For the first time ever, I will be teaching my most popular micropainting themes at Mill Spring Makers Market. Join me every Thursday in September from 3:00-5:00 to learn how to illustrate and paint your very own micros *happy dance*

September 6:  On Point Cacti

September 13:  Cool Campers

September 20:  Urban Jungle with various succulents + houseplants

September 27:  Love of Coffee

Also, join me for TWO exclusive workshops:

Thursday, September 20, 6:00-8:00:  Urban Garden 

Saturday, September 22, 2:00-4:00:  Art on a String:  Fall Favs

Thanks so much for sitting a spell with me today as we chatted about Mill Spring Makers Market in Jonesborough. Be sure to like and follow me on Facebook and @ChasidyHathorn on Instagram for more details and sneak peeks of my upcoming classes and workshops.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How to Brighten a Dark Staircase

Mattie would like to welcome all of you to the staircase revamp. She is excited about it being brighter and easier for her mom to clean *wink*

Bringing “light” into my dark and semi-enclosed staircase has been on my project list since the hubby and I bought our house a little over three years ago. Yes, I have a project list that I am still working on from 2014….Most likely it won’t be completed until we decide to move again *wink* Now, this project wasn’t a difficult one. On a scale of 1 to 10 with 1 being easy-peasy and 10 being so-hard-it-makes-you-physically-ill, it’s totally an easy-peasy 1. You might be wondering–if it were so easy-peasy, why did we wait so long to do this paint project? Seriously, I have no idea!

This is the first time I saw the staircase of our current house. I say “current” because the little family and I moved a lot during a relatively short period of time.

Flashback to Fall 2013. The little family and I were house hunting in Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia. The hubby got a new job, and it required us leaving our beloved Birmingham area and moving to the mountains. It was a crazy and stressful time, but we made it through without completing losing our minds and religion. Long story short–I fell in love with an old home (which had recently been renovated) in Johnson City, Tennessee. I had to have it–the porch was perfect, the view from the upstairs was gorgeous, and the neighborhood was friendly and revitalizing. The hubby knew I would have a project list, but we agreed to tackle the list slowly because we were both tired of constant renovations.

The staircase is semi-enclosed and does not have its own light source. The lights in the hallways upstairs and downstairs provide a little light along with all the big windows in the parlor and dining room. Bad news is when the sun goes down, it is a black hole and tripping hazard!

A few weeks ago, the hubby was inspired to paint the stair risers. I use the word “inspired” loosely. Perhaps, he just wanted to cross off an item on the project list or impress the neighbors with his mad painting skills. No matter. The risers are painted, the staircase looks amazing, and the project list is now shorter by one item.

Before I get into Hathorn Hall’s stairway makeover, let us flashback to some past stair projects. It will help explain my love of stairs, and how a little paint can totally change the look of a stairway and entrance.

Upstairs railing of our former home in Trussville. The white contrasted with the stained wood is classic. Both pop against the soft yellow walls of the two-story foyer. It takes a lot of patience to paint spindles, but totally worth the time. If you are not in a hurry to finish (e.g., your mother-in-law isn’t coming to visit next week and/or you’re not hosting a dinner party in a few days), paint a set number of spindles each day. It won’t be nearly as overwhelming + you won’t get tired and grumpy wishing you would have never started!

Basement stairway makeover. For more about this project, click here (which will open up to a Sweet Sorghum Living blog post from the archives), and check out my post about the genesis of the basement revamp and how I thought it would go much faster than it did.

Okay, stairs, steps, staircases, stairways…no matter how you say it, they deserve some love and a little glam to make them feel as special as the rest of the home.

Don’t forget to add a little pizazz and character to the outside steps! The hubby built these planters for the steps leading up to the front porch of our Trussville home.

Now, enough about past projects! Let’s take a look at Hathorn Hall’s staircase + see the hot mess little projects make!

Totally against advice I gave earlier, make sure to pick a time that is really inconvenient–like preparing for a neighborhood yard sale. That way you can really have a hot mess and lose your religion *wink*

First things first. Sand the risers and leave your sander where the furbabies and the wife can trip on it.

Tape off the area around the risers and leave your paint bucket on the stairs, so the furbabies can knock it down the steps into the parlor. *Note: Thankfully, this did not happen to us. **Another Note: Do not leave paint container on stairs.**

View from above. First coat and it is already brighter! **Note: It is a miracle that the furbabies did not get into the paint or knock the bucket down the stairs.**

Pricing items for the yard sale while waiting on the first coat to dry.

We painted the risers in Bright White Gloss. Why? Ziva. Gloss is much easier to clean and really durable. It doesn’t take the best photos, but one wipe with a Mr. Clean sponge, and the furbaby dirt is gone!

This photo was taken late afternoon with no lights turned on–just natural light from nearby rooms. The bright white against the dark stain adds a bit of light to the space making it easier to see going up the stairs.

View up the stairs in late afternoon with only the upstairs hallway light on. The gloss paint reflects the light adding to the brightness.

Almost dark outside. No light on in the hallway and one light on in the parlor. The bright white gloss is shining like a beacon!

Almost dark outside. A few lights on in the surrounding rooms. The crispness of the white really makes the semi-enclosed staircase brighter.

View from upstairs. Love how the white risers stand out against the stained wood!

One more project checked off the list! Time for the next one *big smile*

Thanks so much for sitting a spell with me today as we chatted about making over a dark and semi-enclosed staircase + looking back at other stair makeovers. It feels good to do a little revamping–just remember no matter how little or big the project, there will always be a hot mess *wink*

“Solitude Ride” by SassyHat (Chasidy Hathorn) For more about my art, please visit my website Chasidy Hathorn.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Creating Beauty From Weeds | A Life Lesson On How Giving Up Sometimes Brings You Up

Hey, y’all! Long time no see *smile*

Hey, y’all! Welcome to Sweet Sorghum Living–a place to sit a spell with a good cup of coffee and enjoy good conversation about everything from home projects to easy, peasy gluten-free recipes. Just to get this out on the front in–I blog for fun and for self-therapy *wink* I just want to share my projects and life lessons–in hopes of making someone else’s DIY home renovation or day go easier and better! Consider Sweet Sorghum Living your coffee break! So, grab a cup of coffee, pull up a chair, and sit a spell because today, I am talking about weeds and how easily weeds and life can overwhelm.

Three years ago, my daughter and I created a little backyard patio. We had the best of plans–oh, how we were going to sit out there and relax. *best-laid plans of mice and men*

A little over three years ago, the hubby’s job moved us from our beloved Birmingham area to Northeast Tennessee. It was indeed a cultural shock for me. Not so much in a bad way. But still a shock. See, I love fashion and shopping. I love art and art museums. I love a fabulous girls night out event (champagne and fashion or wine and art).  While living in Birmingham, I enjoyed blogging events with my daughter–from meeting Ty Pennington and Matt Muenster to attending Ken Laurence’s premiere party and going to Birmingham Fashion Week. It was a whirlwind of fun and excitement!

Fashion event at Saks Fifth Avenue in Birmingham.

I met so many people who loved the same things I did–home improvement, fashion, and art. The family and I were always on the go somewhere doing something–mostly involving my daughter’s successful blog or the independent film in which she starred (which her moving away to college was emotionally overwhelming not just for me, but also the hubby–but that is a story for another day *wink*). Getting dressed up and going out was what we did, and we loved it!

Abby and I taking a selfie in the mirror before heading out to a B-Metro event.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I am not whining or living in the past. My life is good, and God is good. But…starting over in Northeast Tennessee has been a challenge. For three reasons.

One. I am not much of an outdoorsy girl. I love gardening and flowers. I love visiting botanical gardens and zoos. I enjoy a short hike that doesn’t involve the possibility of seeing a bear or a snake. I love looking out of my window and seeing the mountains. I love driving around and seeing the beauty of the outdoors. I enjoy a short bike ride downtown. However, I do not want to sleep in the woods or in a tent or in a cabin without electricity or running water. I do not want to potty in the woods or bury my poo or potty in an adult diaper.

Two. Access to fashion and shopping for fashion is limited. Really limited. I miss having lots of options. I miss dressing up. I miss seeing other people who love dressing up as much I do. I know this sounds petty. I realize there are much, much bigger and way more serious problems in this world. But dressing up and feeling pretty makes me happy. And happy people spread happiness *cue R.E.M. “Shiny Happy People” and take a moment to dance around the room* Now, where were we? Oh, yes! I also believe in expressing oneself through fashion–whether that is pattern mixing or wearing vintage. Fashion speaks.

Three. The acceptance of art and artists is different here. I don’t know how to explain the difference. I just know it is different. It has been a real struggle for me because I love art–all kinds–I love exploring the world of art. I love experimenting with paint and texture. I don’t want to copy. I want to create. How brave those artists were when they showed the world and those nasty critics their interpretations of nature and the human body and spirit–Pointillism, Cubism, Surrealism…the drips and splatters of those action paintings…the drawing with scissors! Oh, my! I could talk about art all day! But lately, I have struggled to pick up the palette knife because I can’t find my place in this area’s art scene, and I wonder if I am wasting my time on this art career dream of mine. Bless! I have contemplated changing my business cards to–Chasidy Hathorn–professional housewife and stay-at-home mom to three precious furbabies. I apologize. That was a bit whiny. *deep breath–cue Simple Minds “Alive and Kicking”*

Where I am going with all of this? Weeds. I am going to talk about weeds and best-laid plans.

This is what giving up looks like.

Flashback. Three years ago, the daughter and I started a backyard project. It was going to be colorful and whimsical. Full of pretty flowers and a cute table with a couple of comfy chairs. Great plan. But then life happened. I got overwhelmed and a little depressed because I was not adjusting well to an area focused on outdoors and craft beer. I kinda gave up. The daughter was super involved in college and still is, the hubby was traveling more with his job and still is, and I was stuck at home–with the reality that I hadn’t applied for a job in well over five years.

Definitely not the plan.

So, life did not turn out the way I expected it to…the plans never materialized. I rolled around in my self-pity bed wearing my ugly self-pity pjs. Sure, I have been busy doing this or that–teaching children’s art–which is totally fun. Volunteering here and there. Making new friends. As I stated earlier, life is good and God is good, but…I have been struggling. I have been hiding the struggle really well (I think). Smiling. Laughing. Going out and being social. But on the inside, I look like my abandoned backyard project. See, my backyard sadness is hidden by a privacy fence–so from the street–no one can see…Just like no one has been able to see how I really feel.

The moment you realize that you have to snap out of it before the flamingos pack up and move away.

Dirt on the door courtesy of Ziva (my Giant Schnauzer) who likes to “knock” to be let in. Bless! This rug must feel really sad….

Broken pot = broken dreams. **This photo was taken during the revamping.**

About a month ago, I tried to gussy up the little porch. Once again, life got a little overwhelming, so the porch and patio project got pushed aside. Good news is I watered that little plant–because deep down I still had hope.

The plan was to create upcycled yard art to go on either side of the walkway–junky, funky flowers. To be totally honest, it is where the furbabies potty when it is raining….Truth.

About a week ago, I let the girls out to potty in the backyard. I was standing on the patio waiting on them to do their biz, when I realized that my life was this abandoned backyard project. So, I did what any good, strong Southern woman would do. I rolled up my sleeves and went to work.

I got the hubby to create a gate between the new doggy run (potty station) and the backyard (the area with the grass that hadn’t been mistreated by pups and left forsaken by the humans).

Cleaned out all of the weeds and plants, added pine straw, and rearranged the stepping stones.

Ziva and Mattie checking things out + The daughter and hubby taking a quick break. To learn more about the basket-weave fence the hubby built, click here. (That click will take you to the post called Fence Weaving and Painting.)

Mattie prefers to walk on the stepping stones. Ziva loves it all.

There are still some little things left to do like painting the new gate and door, but I am determined to get them all done this week. The good news is the furbabies have their own little backyard spot (which prevents them from terrorizing the newly landscaped green space), and I have a renewed spirit.

“It’s easy to take the time to stop and smell the roses but one must be willing to give of themselves enough to also stop to admire and understand life’s weeds.” ― Colleen Dougherty

“When life is not coming up roses
Look to the weeds
and find the beauty hidden within them.”
― L.F.Young

If you follow me on Facebook, you know I have mentioned my strawberry plants…well, this is my second berry to harvest–the rest the birds have eaten! I don’t think I will be making jam anytime soon *wink*

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Reclaimed Wood Flower Box Reveal + Sneak Peek of the Sorghum Festival at Tipton-Haynes

A collection of little houses made from reclaimed wood + picture frame moulding samples. Artist SassyHat (Chasidy Hathorn) designs each little house and beach cottage to be fun and happy because we could all use a little more fun and happy in our lives *big smile*

A collection of little houses made from reclaimed wood + picture frame moulding samples. Artist SassyHat (Chasidy Hathorn) designs each little house and beach cottage to be fun and happy because we could all use a little more fun and happy in our lives *big smile*

Hey, y’all! Welcome to Sweet Sorghum Living–a place to sit a spell with a good cup of coffee and enjoy good conversation about everything from art to home renovation. Today on the blog, we are chatting about my love of reclaimed wood + how I use my embarrassingly large collection of it to build not only the little houses that I sell, but also for furniture (for my own home and homes I style) + random home projects.

Modern rustic console the hubby built featured with a collection of crosses built from salvaged wood.

Modern rustic console the hubby built from old barn wood featured with a collection of crosses built from salvaged wood.

There is just something about the character of salvaged wood that gets my heart to pounding and the wheels inside my head turning. The holes…the weathered grays and browns…the discolorations from water, oil, inks….Oh, the stories that old barn wood could tell! Oh, the history of old doors and shiplap! Yes,  I totally crush on reclaimed wood, and my basement is full of glorious pieces just waiting to become something new *big smile*

An end table and Tennessee sign the hubby built from wood that we salvaged from an old barn in Washington County, Tennessee. These pieces are currently available at The Local Company in Johnson City.

An end table and Tennessee sign the hubby built from wood we salvaged from an old barn in Washington County, Tennessee. These pieces are currently available at The Local Company in Johnson City, Tennessee.

Now, most of the really super awesome pieces of salvaged wood become furniture or signs; however, for the few pieces that are just a little basic, I use them for random projects around my house. Today’s project reveal is a great example of how the hubby and I take those not-so-glorious pieces and turn them into something pretty wow!

This little corner was in desperate need of some TLC.

This little corner was in desperate need of some TLC.

This reclaimed wood project became a mission–a mission to turn an awkward, ugly space into something usable and attractive using salvaged wood from my basement collection. I had no idea what I wanted to do; however, after a little brainstorming session with the hubby, we came up with a flower box.

The space was already shaped like a rectangle, so why not build a box *wink*

The space was already shaped like a rectangle, so why not build a box *wink*

The hubby built four sides and no bottom because we just used the gravel that was already there as the bottom of our flower box.

The hubby only built four sides because the gravel serves as the bottom of the flower box.

Nothing fancy, but wow! What a difference!

Nothing fancy, but wow! Boring space now has a bit of interest *big smile*

Sometimes, projects can be simple and make a big difference!

Easy, peasy projects can make a big difference!

We used the same stain on the window box as we used to freshen up the floor of the deck.

We used the same stain on the window box as we used to freshen up the floor of the deck.

The hubby staining the simple box. There was no need to build a bottom for our box because the gravel was already in place--which worked out fabulously for drainage!

The hubby staining the simple “box.” There was no need to build a bottom for our box because the gravel was already in place–which worked out fabulously for drainage!

We only stained the part of the inside that might be seen. No need to waste time or stain on something that will never be seen...unless someone decides to dig in the flower box to see if the entire thing is stained, y'all, the hubby, and I are the only ones that know it isn't stained all the way down *wink*

We only stained a small part of the inside because there was no need to waste time or stain on something that would never be seen. Unless someone decides to dig in the flower box to see if the entire thing is stained–y’all, the hubby, and I are the only ones that know it isn’t painted all the way down *wink*

After the stain dried, we added dirt and flowers.

After the stain dried, we added potting soil and pretty pink mandevillas.

More pops of pink and this once-ugly space is now ready for someone to sit a spell with a good cup of coffee!

More pops of pink and this once ugly space is now ready for someone to sit a spell with a good cup of coffee!

Thanks so much for sitting a spell with me today as we chatted about my crush on salvaged wood + how a simple project can take a dull space to a wow space. Now, y’all, come back and visit soon because I will be chatting about this year’s Sorghum Festival at Tipton-Haynes + Mr. C.B. Reese, who was born in 1922 and has seen a lot of changes in this world since he was born!

Here are a few sneak peek photos of the Sorghum Festival + my favorite photo of Mr. C.B. Reese:

Mr. C.B. Reese, born in 1922, has many stories to tell! I would love to sit a spell with him all day *big smile*

Mr. C.B. Reese, 94, has many interesting stories to tell! I would love to sit a spell with him all day *big smile*

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WCYB setting up to chat with Oscar Wagner and C.B. Reese about the importance of the Sorghum Festival.

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I wonder what he is making???? Y’all will have to come back to see *wink*

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Hmmmm, I wonder what these guys are doing???

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Oh, my! What is she cooking up in that iron skillet? Hint: it has sorghum molasses in it.

 

 

Upcycled Metal Flowers for an Urban Garden

The hubby surprised me with a stunning bouquet of flowers. He knows how much I love flowers and pink. **I think he's a keeper.**

The hubby surprised me with a stunning bouquet of flowers. He knows how much I love fresh flowers and pink. **I think he’s a keeper.**

Hey, y’all! Welcome to Sweet Sorghum Living–a place to sit a spell with a good cup of coffee and enjoy good conversation about everything from home renovation to upcycled treasures. Today on the blog, we will be chatting about a darling “bouquet” of flowers I created for my urban garden using fan blades and covers + reclaimed wood.

There are no step-by-step instructions for these flowers because I pretty much winged it…Seriously–I woke up, went to my basement, dug through my metal treasures, found some old fan blades and covers, and decided to create flowers from the pile of collected material.

Now, without further ado, let’s take a look at the making of a metal flower bouquet + a few tips on spray painting.

Orange, pinks, and poppy red--oh, my!

Orange, pinks, coral, and poppy red–oh, my! Before getting started, use a tarp (drop cloth, garbage bags…) to cover up anything you don’t want painted. You will not regret the few minutes it takes to do this *wink*

Always use spray paint in a well-ventaliated area or outdoors. Be sure to cover anything you don't want painted!

Always use spray paint in a well-ventaliated area or outdoors. Be sure to cover anything you don’t want painted! I cannot say that enough!

Spray in a steady motion. (Don't go all crazy, spraying in all kinds of directions and circles.) Be sure to shake the paint can well and often. **I always spray a little off the edge of whatever I am painting in order to keep my smooth motion going.**

Spray in a steady motion. (Don’t go all crazy, spraying in all kinds of directions and circles.) Be sure to shake the paint can well and often. **I always spray a little off the edge of whatever I am painting in order to keep my smooth motion going.**

Allow adequate time to dry before handling.

Allow adequate time to dry before handling. **Have I mentioned “Coral” is my new Rust-Oleum color crush?**

It takes a little patience to paint an object with lots of angles and grooves. On this one, I had to paint. Wait. Turn. Paint. Wait. Turn. Until it was completely covered.

It takes a little patience to paint an object with lots of angles and grooves. On this one, I had to paint. Wait. Turn. Paint. Wait. Turn. Until it was finally solid orange.

This was the hardest piece to paint. To be honest, a lot of paint was wasted while painting this fan cover. But, just look at that finished piece! Sooo pink and sooo adorable *wink*

This was the hardest “flower” to paint. To be honest, a lot of paint was wasted while spraying this fan cover. But, just look at that finished piece! Sooo pink and sooo adorable *wink*

Poppy Red. Enough said.

Poppy Red. Enough said.

Pink

I couldn’t have only one pink flower *wink* The photos do not capture the difference between the Berry Pink and Magenta, but the Magenta (in person) is definitely a bolder pink whereas the Berry Pink is a little more on the adorable side of the pink spectrum. **p.s. y’all know I am not a photographer–but good news is I will be taking a photography workshop…hold up…I can’t spill the beans on that yet!**

Just another day in the office *big smile*

Just another day in the office *big smile*

After rounding up some reclaimed wood for stems and leaves, I finally had my upcycled bouquet finished and ready to place in my small, urban garden–which the hubby and I planted on the side of our house facing the street. (Last year, I planted shrubs and flowers there. They all died. Seriously, every shrub and plant died. So, this year, we decided to try veggie and herb gardening. I am happy to say it has–for the most part–been a success.)

This area is shaded by a giant crepe myrtle, so metal flowers make perfect companion plants for our carrots.

This area is shaded by a giant crepe myrtle, so metal flowers are perfect companion plants for our carrots.

These flowers are guaranteed not to die *wink*

These flowers are guaranteed not to die *wink* The carrots are doing great…the onions…not so much!

Thanks so much for sitting a spell with me today as we chatted about my upcycled bouquet. This project was super fun, and I totally recommend looking for objects to make your own. Just use your imagination + don’t be afraid to be a little different and bold.

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