Living Graciously, Artfully, Frugally.

Consciously taking notice of the gifts each day places in our path.

“I awoke this morning with devout thanksgiving for my friends, the old and the new.” R. W. Emerson

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Fall Decorating with Blush and Magenta

We will have been in the Funhouse a full year on Tuesday and we have come quite a way since moving in.
One of the biggest changes is the bookcase wall.
Our office bookcases from the farmhouse 
have been painted black and moved to the Funhouse living room.

                                             Collections are taking a prominent place here.
          I thought there would be no way to keep everything we loved best but it has worked out well.

                                      When we moved in we were in a rush to host Thanksgiving
                                               so most of our fun stuff was left in storage.
                                      It has gradually come home and guess all fits.

                                We are obviously not minimalists but with careful editing
                          we now have a wonderfully cozy space that houses beloved treasures.
                                                           Treasures to us at least.

No rules here.
If it makes us happy it stays.
I have been crazy for blush and magenta this past year.
The colors just pop against black.
So my Thanksgiving theme has relied heavily on this palette.

Another perk to the Funhouse is a little touch of seasonal decor goes a long way.
I can finally get those holiday bins whittled to a manageable size.

Turkey feathers found in the clearing at Frippery Farmhouse bring back good memories.
                      Whimsy is ever-present. More so now because like I said rules.

                                 Why is it that I feel anything goes in this new happy little house?
       Decorating feels like it can be much less serious here. Just go with whatever may strike the fancy.

                                                       A summery driftwood wreath?
                                                Deck it out in mums and feathers for fall.
                                                  Abundance in a just right space for two.
                                                With plenty of room for friends and family.

Less fuss and more fun is my motto for this stage of our lives.
I am relishing this new freedom.
More like fun sizing.

Yours in everyday pleasures,

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Monday, October 23, 2017

The Joy of Being Content

A new start in a familiar place, close to friends and family, has been consuming this past year.
I have missed this place and didn't even realize I was missing it.

As you may know we have downsized drastically. Our empty nest is no longer an oversized house surrounded by acreage. Quite a dramatic change when I look back on all of the turmoil and stress it took to get here. To here, our home, cozy and older and in need of some love and care. This little place doesn't have a ton of character, no fairy tale details or architectual embellishments.

(Scary before photos...Just a warning)

It is a lot like the house I grew up in. A brick suburban tract house surrounded by other similar houses in a neighborhood built in the middle of the last century. Where moms were home with the kids and dads went off to work each morning with a kiss and a wave and a promise of a home cooked meal at the end of the day. Of course I know that this is a Leave it to Beaver version of childhood, but in my memory it is quite close to the reality we lived as children.

We have moved back. We are very close to the place we both spent our earliest years. The area is decidedly more urban now, diverse and more densely populated. I have always tended to be more of a city girl. We now have a bit of both. A suburban neighborhood within the city limits.

Being introspective I assumed this change would be much more difficult emotionally. We raised our children in the house we built 24 years ago. There were so many happy days, shared with all of the people we care most about. So, heart wrenching, hand wringing, tears and sadness? Maybe for a moment, but this little place feels like coming home after being away for a long long time.  We are empty nesters and my only regret is that my children may have expected us to stay on and preserve their childhood home. However they have their own lives and friends and so much ahead of them that  I hope the only sadness comes from the sense of nostalgia at a time that is past. The memories will always be the best part of that place and time.

I know they are only concerned with our happiness.

We are happy. We are at age where we have freedom to enjoy life and do not want to be tied down to maintenance and mortgages and spending all our time as caretakers of a big empty house.
This little place is manageable and has enough potential as a fixer to keep my DIY and decorating addiction busy for quite a while without overwhelming every waking moment.
The best word I can think of to describe this feeling is contentment.

Sharing the progress as we update and bring out the charm of Frippery Funhouse is something I am excited to get moving on. I have been absent for a few years just dealing with a life that felt way too chaotic. There is so much to tell you about (or not) but at this moment I want to share the sheer pleasure of being happy and peaceful in a new place called home.

Yours in new beginnings, P.

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Sunday, April 23, 2017


Hello there old friends.

Welcome to the downsized version of Frippery.
We have moved on.
No longer the farmhouse.
Maybe the cozy house, the project house, I am still playing with that.
The playhouse?

I have never liked the term downsizing.
It sounds so negative.
In researching synonyms I found cut, diminish, decrease, lessen, lower, dwindle, amputate...
If you all have any great terms for what I feel is a new and freeing phase of life please share.

                We have been here since November and I am just getting around to a bit of sharing.
Our little Cape Cod style house is about a third of the size of Frippery farmhouse but has so much potential.
I am having so much fun planning all of the changes we hope to make.
It has been a learning curve on how to live with less.
(unfortunately we are still paying for two storage units full of stuff)

It shows how little we actually need.
Don't misunderstand, I still love my stuff. I just edit with more care.

I will begin to share some little peeks of our progress as we move forward,
The biggest thing I had to do was paint the entire interior.
I chose to go with Sherwin Williams Alabaster, a warm white, for every room.
In a small home it helps to have a cohesive background from room to room.
Lacking a mantle I have used the cabinet you may remember from our old foyer as my place to play with seasonal decorating.


If you have been visiting for a while you know how often this little area will change.
Living smaller makes for so much more time to play.
Stalking the decorating blogs and Pinterest has my head spinning.
So many options.

That said, I am trying my best to hold back and be patient.
Those storage units need to be emptied and other more boring things should be seen to before I really dig into the big changes.

Good to get back to the blog which also needs remodeling.
Everything in it's own time.

Yours in new beginnings, P.

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Saturday, April 9, 2016

10 New Things and 10 Lessons

So yeah, still here, literally and figuratively.
I cannot believe it has been over a year since the last post.
16 months!

What's new? Here are 10 things since last we spoke.

                               (With random photos that have made me happy. Just because.) 

1. I am healthy.
2. I am working full time.
3. We are still living in the farmhouse.
4. The house will actually be on the market in a week.
5. Hubs has a new job that he completely enjoys.
6. We are truly empty nesters.
7. Short hair.
8. I closed my antique mall space.
9. I am learning to practice meditation.
10. Pierced nose.

More importantly, 10 lessons that have come from the many changes the past several years have wrought. Yes, I have always been an optimist but I realize it is more valuable to keep facing the sunshine the older one gets. The only downside is I am much less tolerant of complainers than before.

1. No matter what the circumstance, don't panic. The Universe will provide.
2. Bad things happen but how you handle them will make all the difference.
3. Living on less is a truly freeing experience.
4. Surviving illness can bring a bright perspective to the rest of life.
5. Experiencing new things with people you love trumps wealth any day.
6. Don't whine about it, find something good in it. Negativity will crush you.
7. Learn new things and constantly widen your interests.
8. Be kind to everyone you meet. Nice really does matter. It can be life changing to someone.
9. Just because your life is different doesn't mean it's worse.
10. If you're not dead yet, you're not done yet.

Number 10 may be the best lesson of all. Keep going forward until your last breath. There is always room for good in every day. Focus on the positive and good things will come to you.
Some of you may be gagging on the happy happy joy joy here, but take it from me, it works. Some days you may slip and slide in puddles of tears but never let the "why me's" and "how could this happen's" keep you from the life you are meant to live. That life is in you and it is only through you that it will manifest itself.

Oh yes, one other lesson...
maybe I will save that for the next post. I promise I won't wait another year!

Happy to be back my friends.
I've missed you.

Yours in new adventures, P.

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Sunday, December 14, 2014

Christmas Light

Hello there faithful friends.
It's been a while.
Between the fantastic Over the Moon Designers Market the week before Thanksgiving and today life has been eventful.
(The two photos below are not my space but a sampling of the creative vendors chosen to participate.)

Pretty everywhere you turned.
What a fun show.

We are also putting Frippery Farmhouse on the market soon.
If you know anyone looking for a 4-5 bedroom, 3 1/2 bath farmhouse style home 
on 2 acres please send them my way.
We are selling our other 4 acres to our neighbor so the home will remain surrounded by nature.
It has been a beautiful home to raise our family but too large for just Joe and I.

 With all of that happening I chose to decorate very little for Christmas. 
Stress free and simple.
Now to the real news.
We need a few prayers.
As you all know last year I had breast cancer in the spring of 2013 and a hysterectomy/oophorectomy 2 days before Thanksgiving the same year.
The last few years seem to have had the theme of loss which I spoke about here.
Then in December my mom was admitted to the hospital for emergency surgery and spent the week before Christmas there.
I thought this year had to be better...

I had my breast surgeon appointment and all was well.
Happy dance, don't have to see her for a year.
Then I had my blood levels checked and because I had elevated liver enzymes from taking Tamoxifen for the BC my PCP decided to do an abdominal scan.
Lo and behold it appears I now have kidney cancer.
I have my urology appointment tomorrow.
 (As well as starting my yearly temp job because timing is everything right?)
I called my oncologist because I wasn't getting much info from my PCP and she was very helpful in telling me what to expect.
The cancer appears to be treatable with surgery and they will probably remove my entire kidney.
She suggested I look at this as a blessing because if I hadn't been taking the Tamoxifen I would not have had the scan in the first place.
I had to go back and reread my thoughts on this too.

Therefore just a light Christmas again this year and prayers for a better 2015.
I will post an update as soon as I can.
Meantime this is a hell of a way to lose weight, piece by piece, haha.

Have a Merry Christmas whether your hearts are light or heavy this season.
Each moment is a gift so savor all the good you can.
Peace and may God's light shine on you all,
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Wednesday, October 29, 2014

How to Decide When it is Time to Move

Last time I posted the leaves were still on the trees and mostly green!
Sorry it has been a while but we have been making some big decisions here at Frippery Farmhouse.
I tried to develop a logical set of questions that would get me to the end result, stay or go.
It seems that logic is always overtaken by emotion when the question is moving from the home built for your family 21 years ago.

Up and down, yes or no, I finally wrote myself a list of why we should move vs. stay.

How much space do we need?
This one is fairly easy as our kids will soon be on their own and it will just be Joe and I.
4+ bedrooms and three and a half baths will soon be unnecessary.
A waste of time to clean and money to heat and cool.

Do we want to spend our future years maintaining a large home or have the freedom to come and go as we please now that the kids are grown?
That one answers itself.

Do we want to stay more rural or move closer in to the city?
This one is a bit difficult as Joe loves being away from it all and I am ready for a more
urban lifestyle.
This is a perfect home to raise children in.
We have done that and were very happy here but we both agree it is time to shake things up.

Can we say goodbye?
We need to move past the emotion and realize we will always have our memories of the happy years we have spent here.
So yes, because saying goodbye means saying hello to a new and exciting future.

Pros vs. cons list.
We have listed many reasons to stay or go and the pros outweigh the cons by a large margin.
This will be different for everyone but for us moving at this point makes sense.
We have a lot of life ahead and we are ready for something different.

We will be prepping the house for sale in the next several months and I will share some of the process as we de-clutter, clean and make changes for the next family.
It makes me happy to think of this house seeing another family grow and play 
and share memories here.

If you are at this point in your life I would love for you to share your decision making process.
How did you get past emotion and did you choose to stay or go?

Yours in exciting changes, P.
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Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Welcoming Autumn by Bringing the Outdoors In

Happy Autumnal Equinox!
My celebration consisted of doing some organizing and a bit of fall decorating.

Free decorating.
Everything I used was either already in my home or came from the garden.

Hydrangeas and dried boxwood and some turkey feathers found in the field.

Shed antlers. 
My giant letters that I love.
They really do add pop to my gold, gray and brown family room.

A basketful of hydrangea in the hallway did not even put a dent in the blooms still on the shrubs.

Much as I hate to say goodbye to summer, the cozy fall weather has me ready to redo, clean and generally get ready to nest for the chilly months ahead.

I can hardly wait for that first fire.
Kicking back and watching an old movie with a cup of peppermint tea.
In the summer do you feel the need to be constantly moving, doing, being busy?
All that sunshine makes one feel as if they are wasting the season
 if not tending the garden or being outdoors.

The autumn weather brings crisp days and earlier sunsets here in Ohio, 
preparing us for the winter when we have permission to be lazy 
and curl up with a blanket and a good book.

Soon it will be the indoor season.
It is a time of reflection on both the past and what is to come.
It is a time to take stock of what we need to keep and what we can let go.
I am looking forward to some letting go.
It feels like the time to keep only the necessary and beautiful and let the rest find a new home.

For now, some woodland decorating feels right.
The weather is still sunny and golden. 
It isn't time to hibernate yet.
I would love to dig my feet in and stop time from moving, just for a little while.

What is your favorite part of the season? 
Do you change your decorating for autumn and then for Halloween and Thanksgiving?
Or do you just a a few warm touches and wait for Christmas to come?

If you would like to see more fall decorating from years past you can stop here, and here.

Totally random note, as I was searching for my post links I realized I had only posted 35 times last year, which of course was partially due to the upheaval of breast cancer and then a hysterectomy two days before Thanksgiving, so not a lot of decorating got done.
The big surprise was that I only posted 15 times this year.
Totally missed the fact that I was absent so often.
My Tamoxifen makes my brain fuzzy so maybe that is my excuse, but seriously I had no idea.
I love Blogland and I need to get back to posting as well for the sake of my sanity.
Do know that although I may have seemed distant I was checking in on all of you each day.

Have a beautiful week, P.

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Sunday, September 7, 2014

September Sunday Stuff

My intention is to get back to blogging soon with a whole new look and lots of my usual blather.
Meantime, just checking in. 
Celebrating 29 years of marriage to my true love and best friend.
Our daughter made this adorable gift of some of the places we have traveled as a family.

I finished Serena's 30 Day Challenge for August and I am loving my redone laundry room.
If you need some motivation, join the next challenge!

Feeling that tug that the end of summer always brings. I say it isn't over until the Equinox but I am already feeling that strange sense of yearning Autumn always brings.
There are some big changes coming to the farmhouse and I think I am ready for them.
I will try to be more present here but for now we are heading off for a two day mini getaway to celebrate our anniversary.
(After the Bengals game of course.)

Yours in beginnings and endings and the life lived in between, P.
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Tuesday, August 19, 2014

A New Look

They attract attention.
They serve as an introduction to your brand.
They help your clients recognize you in a crowd.
We set up at the City Flea this past weekend and I wanted to be sure we would stand out at an event that has so many wonderful things going on all at once. 

I have been playing with a bit of rebranding and a new sign was a perfect way to try out my new look.
This sign was ordered from Build a Sign, an online purveyor of all things messagy and brandish.
Super simple to create a look for your business using their online tool.
Just what I was looking for.

After I created my design I knew I would want business cards to keep the theme cohesive.
They do that too.
Very well I might add.

Awesomeness is definitely a Build a Sign trait.
This sign helped my space stand out in the crowd.
I love it so much that I am getting ready to place an order for this sign in a different colorway.
Subdued grey and black and white.

Thanks Build a Sign!
You definitely have a satisfied customer.
I am required to acknowledge that I did receive product from Build a Sign to review.
My opinions are my own however.
They did a great job, delivery was less than two weeks and I had tons of compliments on my new look.
Happy me.

Yours in getting the word out, P.
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