My September Shelves + Other Apple Decor

I decorate with apples in September. Okay, I know I’m a little crazy, but I just can’t bring out the “fall” stuff until it’s officially fall. As in September 23rd this year. Some years I’ll fudge a little and decorate over the weekend before, but most of the time, we do it on the day.

Problem is, by the end of August, I’m generally itching for fall. It’s my favorite season.

A couple years ago I decided that apples would make a fair bridge. They are adorable, and they don’t really match with my leaves and pumpkins (so I usually don’t use them). It’s the perfect solution. Apples in September.

Early Fall Decor | Apples in September

My husband built these shelves for me (out of American Chestnut beams he pulled out of the walls of our house) last September when he took some time off to work on the house. That means this is the first time to decorate them with apples. Most of my apple stuff came from my mom when she moved out here to be with us. Her last kitchen was decorated in apples, so she had plenty and I had my pick.

The hand lettered piece on the left side of the top shelf I created last year. The pie on the bottom shelf is watercolor on a piece of wood I did the year before that. I’d like to do that one over sometime because it smudged a bit when we added the clear finish. But for now, I like it.

Early Fall Decor | Apples in September

Under those shelves on my counter, I put my chalkboard frame (which is really just a white frame from Walmart with a black paper in it. I use white water based paint pen or chalkboard pens on it.) The design was there from my mom’s chocolate themed party, but I changed the words to “apple cider please” to match the apples. I thought the little wood apple was cute here and it all went well with my after meal clean up chart which is there all the time. (I scribbled out the names of my children for privacy.) I’m loving this set up because it mostly blocks the pencil sharpener that lives on the corner of the counter there (for lack of a better place for it). Homeschool families need their pencil sharpeners!

Early Fall Decorating for September

This cute little collection is sitting in the corner of my kitchen by the windows. Old basket with puffy red check fabric, jar, candle, plastic apple and my new favorite apple artwork (available to print… check it out!)

I moved this from the living room early last week when I moved my stack of Pergo out of there to get ready for some renovations coming up.

Early Fall Decorating for September

That’s right, the little “table” it’s sitting on is really a covered stack of flooring waiting to be installed. πŸ™‚ You never do really know what someone’s house looks like based on a blog, do you?

How do you decorate in September??

Gathering here.

Recommended Reading:

Pick Your Own Apples | Hand Painted Printable
My Shelves Dressed Up for Fall
My Shelves Done Up for Valentine’s Day

Apples – Pick Your Own Fall Sign | Hand Lettered and Painted Free Printable

I love love love these printable signs I found over at Clean and Scentsible! I pinned my favorites here. (And that towel… you’ll have to go look. It’s too cute!)

Pick Your Own Fall Apples | Free Printable with hand lettered Colossians 3:23

I tend to steer toward the farmhouse style decor… at least on Pinterest, and these cute signs planted a seed in me to make my own version of them. I just couldn’t let many days go by before I just had to try it with an apple theme. I generally decorate with apples in September. It’s not quite fall, but I’m itching for it to be… apples seem to be a happy medium before my leaves and pumpkins come out at the end of the month.

Pick Your Own Fall Apples | Free Printable with hand lettered Colossians 3:23

I started by sketching this one out. It’s not a “no-sketch” by any means. There were too many elements to get just right. I suppose if you wanted to “no-sketch” it, you could always scan each element in individually and put it together in Photoshop… but I didn’t do that this time. πŸ™‚

I love the look of all the farmhouse signs I see, but when it comes time to buy or make one for myself, I can’t make myself do it. Something always seems to be missing. First of all, I wanted to add a verse to it somehow, but I also wanted to make it more personal. I felt like putting “family farm” at the top fit us better since that’s what we pretend to be. Then I loved how “pick your own” fit the attitude of encouraging the children to help out and take initiative.

Pick Your Own Fall Apples | Free Printable with hand lettered Colossians 3:23

I tried a new watercolor paper this time around. Hot pressed. It’s much smoother and [hopefully] easier to scan and clean up in Photoshop for you all. Shayda recently did a video that talks about the differences in watercolor paper, so I was ready for it to be different. It definitely was different, and it will take some practice, but I think it worked out nicely. Nothing you should be afraid to try for sure. The main reason I decided to try it is that Eileen at My Creative Resolution mentioned in a post (no idea which one… sorry!) that the texture of watercolor paper is hard on artist pens. It was at that moment I understood why my pens never seem to last long! πŸ™‚ An ah-ha moment to be sure! The smooth finish of the hot pressed paper should help them to last longer. And it does scan much nicer!

Pick Your Own Fall Apples | Free Printable with hand lettered Colossians 3:23

I know there are already so many fall printables out there, but I don’t often see these seasonal printables with Bible verses on them, so I want to share them with you in the off chance that any of you are still in the market for a cute apple themed fall printable or have been holding out for one with a verse. Click here to download it and visit my slowly growing printables page for more!

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Pick Your Own Fall Free Printable

Gathering here.

Recommended Reading:

Get Away to the Mountains – Printable
Keep Calm and Get Cozy – Printable
God’s Got This… Let the Adventure Begin – Printable

My Shelves Dressed up for Fall

Confession: These are last year’s shelves! Somehow I never shared them with you, but I wanted to kick off this September with a little look at fall.

My Shelves Dressed up for Fall

I first introduced these shelves in my Valentine post (and again this summer), but ironically, these fall pics were taken just days after the shelves were installed. This is the first vignette I put together on them. It’s fitting that it was for fall because it is my favorite season!

My Shelves Dressed up for Fall

Rarely do I decorate the same way from year to year, so I imagine I’ll have this year’s shelf decor to share with you toward the end of the month (you know, when it’s actually fall.)

In the mean time, it’s finally September! And September is close enough to fall to start talking about it in my book! πŸ™‚

Happy <almost> fall everyone!

Gathering here.

Recommended Reading:

Hiking Theme Party with Decorated Shelves
My Shelves Done Up for Valentines
How to Style Patriotic Shelves for Cheap

How to Style Patriotic Shelves for Cheap!

Today I’d like to share the patriotic shelf decor in my kitchen. Last fall my sweet husband made me these great shelves out of beams he removed from our old farmhouse fixer upper. I really LOVE them! They are American Chestnut… just beautiful! And it has been such a joy to play at decorating them for the seasons. (Check out how I styled them for Valentine’s Day.)

I styled them easily for fall and Christmas because I have a lot of decorations for those (though apparently I didn’t blog them. Sorry! I’ll try to do better this year.) But I’ve found that I don’t have much in the way of decor for the patriotic part of summer. While I’d love to go out and get everything I “need” for an amazingly decorated patriotic house, it’s just not practical. In reality, most of my house isn’t far beyond demolition and begs more for tidiness than for decoration. These shelves are a cute little space where I can bring in some seasonal fun. And I try to do it for as little money as possible.

My picks

Starting from left to right, I found that medal, lacy looking bucket at Joann Fabrics in the spring collection 50+% off during a big Easter sale this spring. I’ve had something similar on my list for a while, so I spent the last of a gift card on it. I picked white over the mint green or pink so that I can use it throughout the year and not worry about storing it. It will probably travel around the house for various seasons and holidays.

Patriotic Shelf Decor for my summer kitchen and 4th of July

The artwork in the middle is one I created this year. (Head over here to grab up your own free copy!) I’m really happy with how it brings a summery feel to the kitchen.

The little jar with flowers in it I “stole” from my mom’s stash of little jars she keeps “just ’cause they are cute and we may want them for something.” And the flowers my 11 year old grows in our garden. Whenever they get tired looking, we just pick some new ones and bring them in. The colors are perfect! Forgive the pollen around them on the shelf… we can’t see it from where we stand. Apparently the shelves need a dusting. πŸ™‚

And that cute star is another new purchase ($3ish). Our favorite grocery store, Wegmans, is selling them this spring for the summer season. It’s melamine, which I don’t usually use, but I just bought the one for putting on my shelf. (One or two little new things each year isn’t too bad on the budget.)

Patriotic Shelf Decor for my summer kitchen and 4th of July

Negative Space is okay

I’ll admit, I was starting to fret over not having “enough” to put on my shelves. Once I brought out everything I had for the Memorial Day/ Independence Day season, I was left with a sparse feel. What I wanted was a little layering. Instead of just laying everything out in a line to fill the space, I put some things behind and others in front. And wala, I didn’t have anything on the bottom shelf. So I did one more look around my kitchen.

Patriotic Shelf Decor for my summer kitchen and 4th of July

There was that single red check napkin and a couple of little dessert bowls from my new “fancy” dish set. I put them by themselves on the bottom shelf and the negative space beside it has really grown on me. I think it gives it a clean de-cluttered feel without feeling naked or bare.

The take away

When I begin styling, I start by gathering anything I have (however little or much) that may fit the theme. For the patriotic theme, I pulled together anything in red, white and blue. Different textures, heights, and thicknesses help. You don’t have to use it all, but just seeing things together may inspire you. If something doesn’t fit, put it away again.

Begin by putting the biggest items up first, then the middle sized things, and finish out with the smaller ones. Keep moving them around until it makes you smile. Sometimes this may take a couple days of playing with it. That’s okay too.

How do you style your favorite seasonal space for summer?

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Patriotic Shelf Decor for my summer kitchen and 4th of July

Gathering here.

2019 {Hand Illustrated} Mini Doodle Calendar ~ Free Gift Printable

Mini Doodle Calendar 2019 - by mamasbrush
Mini doodle calendar by mamasbrush

Being behind seems to be my theme these days. Let me explain the lateness of this particular project. You see, I work better with a deadline. So many different things going all the time often means a given project has to wait until its deadline is looming and it forces its way to being top priority.

Mini Doodle Calendar 2019
Mini Doodle Calendars by mamasbrush

Last fall, however, I was was actually ahead of schedule. I knew I wanted to design another doodle calendar for Christmas gifts, like last year, so I made a point of designing them. Problem is, though, that printing is another issue entirely. I needed my husband to do it for me. He has the ability to do it pretty inexpensively at work, but it means adding one more thing to his work load and I kept putting off asking him. When I finally did, he sweetly did his best, but had some trouble with printing on the watercolor paper like we did it last year. The machines just couldn’t handle it. Long story short, I decided to wait until after the new year to mess with it. Too many things on our plates in December.

But the problem is, once a deadline is passed, I often just let go of something entirely. Too many things loom in the distance. New deadlines. Sigh.

Eventually, I did bring it up again and my sweet husband gave it a try. This time I told him that if the watercolor paper didn’t work right off, I’d take it on cardstock and just distribute the files for people to print themselves.

And that’s exactly what happened. He printed me one copy and I’ll just email the (now very late) 2019 Mini Doodle Calendar file to our friends and family for Christmas (in March… oops). Hopefully they won’t mind printing them on their own.

Fast forward to now, I’m finally getting to it.

On the plus side, I’ve decided to include the printable file for all of you as well. It’s my gift to you my readers! Okay, yes, it’s the middle of March. Sorry. But, hey, you still have 9 and a half months to use it. πŸ™‚

Download your own 2019 Mini Doodle Calendar.

  1. Print on heavy cardstock or other heavy paper.
  2. Cut on the lines with paper cutter or scissors.
  3. Place on small easel (I saw some at Hobby Lobby, but I’m sure other craft stores would have them too.)

They are business card size, approx 2.25×3.5 inches.

Would you please help me out by spreading the word. It is March already, but maybe you know someone (or a bunch of people on social media) who would like my little calendar to finish their year with. Please don’t distribute the file yourself, but be sure to give me credit and link back here for them to come get their own download.

And please leave me a comment to tell me where you will put it. On your desk at work? On the kitchen windowsill? If you’re on Instagram, I’d love to see a pic snapped, so leave me a link in your comment (please also leave a link to this page in your description for others to find!)

Thanks!

Mini Doodle Calendar 2019 - by mamasbrush

***Official legal stuff: Copyright remains my own. Please only use them personally in your home, office or classroom. But please don’t distribute them online or claim them as your own. If you want to share them on your own blog or social media platform, please be sure to give me credit and include a link back here. Thanks! They are my original work and I’d like to be able to continue sharing what I create with you all.

Gathering here.

Cozy Mountain Lodge Women’s Retreat Wrap Up

Cozy Mountain Lodge Women's Retreat Wrap Up

This past weekend was our church’s Cozy Mountain Lodge Women’s Retreat. We were at a new venue, which turned out just right. It was in the mountains, we were in a lodge of sorts, and once we were done with set up, it was decidedly cozy!

Decorating - Cozy Mountain Lodge Women's Retreat Wrap Up
Pre-cut fabric squares strung up with mini clothes pins were a cute and colorful addition to our mantle. The fabric was an adorable cabin in the mountains theme. Sorry, I don’t remember what it was called.

Unfortunately, though I promised myself I wouldn’t let this happen, I got so busy that I forgot to stop and take pictures of everything. These are the few there are. πŸ™‚

Lit Tree and Snow Blocks on the Piano - Cozy Mountain Lodge Women's Retreat Wrap Up
White lights added a whimsical touch. Since we used the lights and trees the church already had, it was also a huge budget helper!

When I put away my winter decor at the end of January, I put a number of pieces into our retreat box. The snow blocks, wooden trees and the jar of “snowballs” were some of the ones from my kitchen. And since the mountainside out our windows were covered with snow, it was perfect!

Centerpieces - Cozy Mountain Lodge Women's Retreat Wrap Up

The centerpieces were simple. One of the families in our church had a baby shower this past fall with a woodland animals theme. I was able to use the same tree trunk slabs they had made for that (another budget saver!) Baby’s Breath flowers in Ball jars with rocks were inexpensive and gave a lot of bang for their buck. The little birds in nests were in our decor closet at church as well. That was an exciting find. And for the tables, we used Kraft paper. Simple, less expensive than cloth, and more durable than plastic. Plus it had that rustic quality I was looking for.

Centerpiece - Cozy Mountain Lodge Women's Retreat Wrap Up

The framed cabin print was one of the ones I painted. All 7 of the tables had one and they were given as prizes as part of the “door prize drawing”. Each person got something. When it came to these prints, they were allowed to choose between one of those or one of the remaining prizes that I hadn’t painted myself. That way ladies who wouldn’t have a use for the artwork, had a choice to opt out. πŸ™‚ I was super excited to see most of them taken.

The food table we set out in the evenings was more elaborate than these pics let on, yet still simple. Not only had I brought the Birch Tree Pretzels and Mountain Rice Krispies Treats, but also some veggies and dip, chips, pretzels and popcorn. And other ladies brought things to share also. No one ever had cause to be hungry! πŸ™‚ And my kids were thrilled with some left overs!

DIY Chocolate Wrappers - Cozy Mountain Lodge Woman's Retreat

The custom chocolates I left on everyone’s pillows (read that post here) were a big hit too. And even though I had a ton to do, I disappeared to put them out myself. I’m so glad I did! I didn’t want anyone to know they were coming (even the other helpers) and I wanted a chance to pray a few words for each of the ladies who came.

The remaining artwork I created for the retreat was framed and left around the room in cozy places where the ladies sat to visit, read their Bibles, or crochet. Sorry there aren’t any pics of that. Each one has it’s own post: Get Away, Get Going, Get Cozy, and {God’s Got this} Let the Adventure Begin.

God's Got This - Hand Lettered Artwork - Joshua 1:9

I am hoping to have printable copies of all my artwork available sometime this month (Lord willing). Sign up in the side bar to follow by email so you won’t miss it! You can use them at your own Cozy Mountain Lodge retreat, in your own home, or even as cards to encourage someone you know! Stay tuned! πŸ™‚

Gathering here.

My Shelves Done up for Valentine’s Day

I love these shelves! My husband made them for me out of American Chestnut beams from our house. The holes you see there are nail holes that held the lath on. And the little bit of striping is from the spaces between the lath. No stain applied, if I remember correctly.

Valentine Shelves Decor

Apparently, American Chestnut was almost entirely wiped out in the 40s or 50s, but when our house was built around 1900, the area was full of it.

I love these shelves. They give me a place to add some seasonal fun to my kitchen. It’s just another opportunity for me to be creative. Which, for this month, includes a few ice cream dishes, some sprinkles and cookie cutters. The pink piece of wood with the xo on it was made by my 12 year old son several years ago. On the top shelf is one of my Conversation Hearts and a heart garland my 10 year old made several years ago. That one is one of the things the kids are trying to sell here locally to pay their own way to camp. The jar of candy in the back is sort of just stored there. I’m thankful it’s color scheme works. πŸ™‚

Do you have any little spots for seasonal decor??

Gathering here.