Throwback Thursday: Looking Back at 2014

2014 was a full of adventure and moving and moving on. It was a year where I had my gluten-free cupcake + I ate it *wink*

2014 was a year full of adventure and moving and moving on. It was also a year where I had my gluten-free cupcake + I ate it *wink*

Hey, y’all! Welcome to Sweet Sorghum Living! Y’all come on in and sit a spell with me *smile* Today on the blog, I want to reflect on 2014 and say a big, huge thank you to all  of you that have read and supported my blog. I cannot thank y’all enough for all the sweetness, the kind words, the encouraging comments and emails…for everything! I am getting a little teary eyed thinking about how far SSL has come since its first post. I admit that I am not very good at posting on a regular schedule–life gets in the way *wink* but y’all have stood by the randomness, and I thank y’all for that *big hug*

As I was checking out all the blogs from 2014, it was really hard to pick the top ones. The Fall Foliage Report was a big favorite–and thanks so much for all the shares on Facebook…I am blushing thinking about it! *Drum Roll* According to the readers, the top SSL Fall Foliage Report was Historic Jonesborough. I must admit that I absolutely adore that darling town.

Burst of color outside the Jonesborough Presbyterian Church

Burst of color outside the Jonesborough Presbyterian Church

The Gluten-free Top Picks of the Week was a favorite to share on Pinterest. I admit that I don’t have much time to cook, and I like to keep the food preparation easy and quick *wink* I know I must be babbling, but I really did have so much fun trying new foods, eating gluten-free cupcakes, and attending the Whole Foods Market grand opening in Asheville. I can’t wait to see what gluten-free goodie adventures I go on in 2015! Don’t fret–I will share all the details with y’all *smile*

Matt Muenster of DIY Network's Bath Crashers and Abby at the Birmingham Home + Remodeling Show.

Matt Muenster of DIY Network’s Bath Crashers and Abby at the Birmingham Home + Remodeling Show.

Last year, I went on several adventures with my favorite VIP, Abby Hathorn. We attended the Birmingham Home +Remodeling Show and the 4U Ultimate Girls Day Out. We had many more road trips, but y’all will have to head over to the Vintage Inspired Passionista for those!

Looking back, the sleepless nights...loud, creative discussions...and the back pain were all totally worth it. P.S. I am so glad that I do not have to do a major kitchen renovation in my new house. P.S. the hubby painted the walls + we put a new top on the island. I cannot wait to tell y'all about it!

Looking back, the sleepless nights…loud, creative discussions…and the back pain were all totally worth it. P.S. I am so glad that I do not have to do a major kitchen renovation in my new house. P.S. the hubby painted the walls + we put a new top on the island. I cannot wait to tell y’all about it!

Last year, the little family and I moved from Trussville to Johnson City. Whew! I am getting tired just thinking about all the renovating of Sloss Castle and the packing up to move to Hathorn Hall–a 1920 home located in the historic heart of Johnson City. Be sure to check out the blog post all about the first time I saw Hathorn Hall. Click here.

This was the first picture I took of Hathorn Hall--this was during our whirlwind house hunt in the Tri-Cities area! I immediately fell in love with the front porch *smile*

This was the first picture I took of Hathorn Hall–this was during our whirlwind house hunt in the Tri-Cities area! I immediately fell in love with the front porch *smile*

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One of the most popular repurposed projects on SSL was all about repurposing an old chain link gate. I must admit that I miss that arbor–Note to Self: find an old chain link gate and make an arbor for Hathorn Hall *smile*

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My goodness! So much happened in 2014–and honestly, it is really hard to pick the top events. I know that my perspective changed this year–while in a car wash–yep, I had an enlightenment in the car wash. I know that I struggled with being a housewife, and I know that God blessed me beyond what I deserved.

Once again, a big thanks for all of the love and support. Y’all are the best! Happy New Year!! I don’t know about y’all, but I am excited to see what God has in store for 2015.

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Building a Bookshelf with Crates, a Cabinet, and a Drawer

It is a work in progress.

Caution: Work in Progress. *smile*

Hey, y’all! Welcome to Sweet Sorghum Living–a place to sit a spell with a good cup of coffee and explore the randomness of my home renovation and decorating. This time around, I am not focusing on a project list or a must-do-this-now list. Nope. I want styling this house to be fun–to be inspired. No plan. This time around, it is not just a house that the hubby and I are flipping–it is our home. Our home. And we want to decorate it with soul. I am on a mission to conquer the odd corners and awkward spaces at Hathorn Hall–starting with the bedrooms. Both of the guest rooms upstairs are similar in size and shape. Both have a wall of windows, tall ceilings,and the character of a house built in 1920. I really don’t want to do “period” furnishings…and I do not like everything to be all matchy-matchy. I adore junk…old junk. But…I do not want my home to look like a flea market…or one of those flea market finds magazines. Nope. I want my home to have a soul. And in order to accomplish that, I must incorporate personality, family treasures, and functional art pieces.

Lately, I have been on a mission to find old crates. I had no idea what I was going to do with them, but I knew that I wanted them. I used one in the "bookshelf" that I "built" for the guest room--which the hubby and I named Winston, after our home county in Mississippi.

Recently, I was on a mission to find old crates. I had no idea what I was going to do with them, but I knew that I wanted them. I did use one in the “bookshelf” that I “built” for the guest room–which the hubby and I named Winston, after our home county in Mississippi. The others will find a special place soon. *Old crate from Sampson Mountain General Store, owners Jeanie Braden and Greg Cash

I also had a collection of new crates that I got from Home Depot last year. I was using them in the master bedroom closet because I have no idea how I want it to look or be organized. The crates were basically working as laundry baskets. Believe me, the master closet is a hot mess...and it is really a hot mess since I took some of the crates for Winston's bookshelf!

I have a “collection” of new crates, which I was using in the master bedroom closet because I had and have no idea how I want it to look or be organized…the crates were basically working as laundry baskets. No real purpose. Believe me, the master closet was and is a hot mess…and it is really a hot mess since I took some of the crates for Winston’s bookshelf! I digress. As stated earlier, I do not like matchy-matchy, so finding different pieces to make the bookshelf was important. *New crates from Home Depot

At first, the hubby and I were going to build traditional bookshelves for the room. We had priced lumber and paint–the total for what we needed for the space was just over $250. Not bad…but for ordinary bookshelves…it seemed a bit much + I wanted more for less. So, I went shopping in my basement, other rooms in my house, and Sampson Mountain General Store in downtown Johnson City for pieces to create a bookshelf + display for my childhood treasures.

At first, I had all crates--different sizes and ages. It was pretty awesome looking, but lacked a wow factor. I took the crates down. No photos were taken. I should have taken some to show y'all--but when I am creating, I am in the zone *smile*

At first, I had all crates–different sizes and ages. It was pretty awesome looking, but lacked a wow factor. I took the crates down. No photos were taken. I should have taken some to show y’all–but when I am creating, I am in the zone *smile*

I am not sure how many times I stacked and re-stacked these crates. I just could not get the look I wanted…so, I went to my go-to place for junky treasures–Sampson Mountain General Store, which is literally two or three minutes from my house. Too close for the hubby’s comfort *wink* At the General Store, I found salvaged kitchen cabinets. Perfect. The one I used in my display still has the old cup hooks! I could not bear to take them out, so I just slid books in between them.

I wish I could give y'all great tips about stacking crates and cabinets, but I don't have any. The truth is it was trial and error. There was also a lot of standing back and thinking...shaking of the head...rubbing of the forehead...walking away. In the end, you just stack and re-stack until you are in love with the result *smile*

I wish I could give y’all great tips about stacking crates and cabinets, but I don’t have any. The truth is it was trial and error. There is also a lot of standing back and thinking…shaking of the head…rubbing of the forehead…walking away. In the end, you just stack and re-stack until you are in love with the result *smile* P.S. Do you see that cute, little clay house? It is by Beth Macre from HeartHomes on Etsy. I love all of her darling clay houses and owls…well, I love everything in her shop *smile*

This is a drawer from a dresser that the hubby converted into the vanity for the master bath. He had to remove a couple of interior drawers in order to get the plumbing to work. I will tell y'all about it on another day...anyway, as I was hunting in the basement, I stubbed my toe on this drawer. I took it as a sign to include it *wink*

This is a drawer from a dresser that the hubby converted into the vanity for the master bath. He had to remove a couple of interior drawers in order to get the plumbing to work. I will tell y’all about it on another day…anyway, as I was hunting in the basement, I stubbed my toe on this drawer. I took it as a sign to include it *wink*

All of the crates, the drawer, and the cabinet are in their original states. I did not paint, stain, or even sand. If I did, I would be removing their souls, their marks and their histories.

All of the crates, the drawer, and the cabinet are in their original states. I did not paint, stain, or even sand. If I did, I would be removing their souls, their marks and their histories.

I have enjoyed filling the crates and the cabinet with my favorite things. Good news is I still have space for more treasures and books!

I have enjoyed filling the crates and the cabinet with my favorite things. Good news is I still have space for more treasures and books; however, I am not sure if that is good news for the hubby *wink*

I am still debating on wall color for the Winston room. It needs to be a sweet and rich color. Something to bring out the whimsy in the room. I also want to add art above the crates...not necessarily paintings or framed pictures...but something that reminds me of Winston County and my childhood....

I am still debating on wall color for the Winston room. It needs to be a sweet and rich color. Something to bring out the whimsy in the room. I also want to add art above the crates…not necessarily paintings or framed pictures…but something that reminds me of Winston County and my childhood….

Each and every item on display has a meaning and a story. These little things keep me connected to my roots. They make me smile. And that is what decor in one's home should do *smile*

Each and every item on display has a meaning and a story. These little things keep me connected to my roots. They make me smile. And that is what decor in one’s home should do *smile*

I did not nail, screw or even glue these crates together; however, the "bookshelf" is sturdy. I like to change things up too much.

I did not nail, screw or even glue these pieces together because I like to change things up. During Christmas, there will be a tree in this corner…shhh, don’t tell the hubby *wink* Even though there is nothing holding the shelves together (except laws of Physics…I think it is the laws of Physics…Newton, perhaps, mentioned something about things sticking together…or was that Einstein…)–where was I? Oh, yes! The “bookshelf” is sturdy.

My collection of paper dolls.

My collection of paper dolls.

IMG_6824 Thanks for sitting a spell with me today as we chatted about building a display/bookshelf from crates + cabinet + drawer. I encourage all of you to get creative with your furnishings and create something with soul. Now, I am off to work on my writing area. It is definitely a work in progress!

So far, I have decided to use a vintage ironing board as a magnet board. I also found an old window frame and a louvre door...but I am not sure if they will make the final cut.

So far, I have decided to use a vintage ironing board as a magnet board. I also found an old window frame and a louvre door…but I am not sure if they will make the final cut. P.S. I cannot wait to tell y’all about that lamp–it was a fabulous find!