Touches of Spring

Although spring is one of my favorite seasons, I haven’t always decorated for it. Even as I collected some spring decorations over the years, I haven’t always gotten them out. But this year I was inspired by seeing blogging friends’ spring decorating, and I was just so glad for spring to come this year, even though we haven’t really had a harsh winter, that I almost couldn’t help bringing some springiness into the house.

This little table sits just inside the front door, and I was especially pleased with the decorations on top:

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The little flower arrangement on the left I got from a thrift store years ago, and the arched box on the right was a gift from Jason and Mittu some years back. It’s meant to hold Willow Tree figurines and has shelves inside, but I don’t have any that small, and don’t really want any more than I have. But I just like the box. Sometimes Timothy will tuck things in there, and sometimes I’ll put something in there for him to find. Those two are on the table year round except fall and Christmastime. The ceramic water pitcher I got at a thrift store years ago, and the little flowery bunny was a Hobby Lobby purchase a while back.

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So cute!

The little pedestal is new this year.

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I got the idea from Laura’s lovely spring decorations. I couldn’t find white like she had, but Hobby Lobby had these in pink, blue, yellow, and green, and they had all their spring merchandise 40% off last week. They had a package of ready-made nests with these eggs in them as well. I was originally looking for white or blue eggs, but liked these.

For a long time I avoided eggs and bunnies around Easter, but after a while I felt that they are fitting for spring, and spring is a picture in a way of the resurrection.

This is in the dining area and is a favorite. I forget where I got it.

I had wanted to come up with a new wreath or something for the front door – or actually for beside the front door. Our door has an oval glass insert which doesn’t seem conducive to wreaths or other decorations, and a little hanger was already installed in the brick next to the door, so we use that. In past years I’ve used this:

Roses and Hydrangea door ornament(That’s an older photo on a different door). I liked it, but somehow it looked funereal to me. Plus roses and hydrangeas aren’t blooming yet, so I wanted something a little more springy. I wrestled with whether I wanted it to look like spring in general or Easter in particular. On some of my shopping excursions last week, I looked around to see what was available. I definitely wanted tulips, but there were almost none in the fake flower departments, and what I did find, I didn’t like. I guess I should shop earlier in the year for fake spring flowers! After walking all around a few different stores, I finally found one lone tulip bunch at Hobby Lobby, a few half-off sprays at Joann’s and a small cheapy arrangement at Wal-Mart that I harvested to put together for this:

I don’t remember where I got that green pocket holder years ago, but I love it. It’s nice to just toss things in without having to use hot glue or a form to stick the flowers in. I had been considering the idea of a wreath with tulips and a little nest nestled in, and maybe I’ll try that next year, but for now I like this.

I ended up with some leftover flowers after all of that, so I put them in here:

I had an egg on a pick leftover from a flower arrangement years ago and found a package of them at Hobby Lobby, and tried a few of them in the pocket arrangement above, but it just looked too busy. I think if the flowers had been all one color, it would have worked better. I debated about whether to put any in this little arrangement, but finally settled on just the one.

In addition, these two are out year round, but they do look springy!

This is beside my kitchen sink. I don’t remember where I got the little pitcher: I’ve had it for years. But the flowers were just two picks from Home Interiors. I do change the flowers out for fall and Christmas.

The lighting wasn’t ideal for this photo – the sun was streaming in blindingly, but when I closed the blinds and turned on all the lights, it wasn’t quite enough for a clear shot. But anyway, the cloche with the bird nest in it was from Cracker Barrel (I think I may have hinted at it for a gift for Mother’s Day one year. 🙂 ) And the little birds were on sale at Hobby Lobby a couple of years ago. The little plaque is metal and I think came from a Christian bookstore in SC.

I enjoyed working on this last week, and now I feel sufficiently springy inside. 🙂

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It’s March!

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“March is a tomboy with tousled hair, a mischievous smile, mud on her shoes and a laugh in her voice.” –  Hal Borland

“It was one of those March days when the sun shines hot and the wind blows cold:  when it is summer in the light, and winter in the shade.” –   Charles Dickens

Spring Musings

March bustles in on windy feet
And sweeps my doorstep and my street.
She washes and cleans with pounding rains,
Scrubbing the earth of winter stains.
She shakes the grime from carpet green
Till naught but fresh new blades are seen.
Then, house in order, all neat as a pin,
She ushers gentle springtime in.

– Susan Reiner, Spring Cleaning

I’ve used all of these quotes before on the blog, but it has been a few years, and I wanted to share them again. I like the Borland one especially.

March sure is “coming in like a lion” here, with a severe thunderstorm warning for a good part of the day. I am hoping we don’t lose power, always a concern with this kind of weather.

We have a lot of flowers and trees budding already. I’m hoping they don’t get destroyed by a late freeze. Spring officially begins on the 20th, but I’m very much enjoying the early spring-like conditions!

I’ve got to get back to work now, but I just wanted to pop in and say I am glad it is March!

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Laudable Linkage

On Saturdays I usually share a list of interesting links I’ve discovered the previous week. I have just a short list today.

When You’re Just Plain Tired of the Sacrifice.

Hoping Your Son Chooses a Godly Woman Some Day? Teach Them Whose They Are. “As my son searches for a spouse, may God’s light in her shine through…and catch his eye.”

World Vision Reverses Decision to Hire Christians in Same-Sex Marriages. I appreciated the way they responded to godly counsel (though it would have been better to have sought it beforehand) and appreciated that they mentioned loving ways it was pointed out that their actions had not been consistent with Scripture. I’ve seen a lot of not so loving responses, so this resonated with me.

Sympathy for the Devil. I’ve not seen the new “Noah” movie yet and don’t know if I will, but I’ve seen several reviews that mention plot points that leave me scratching my head. This post points out that the writers weren’t just taking creative liberties or being neglectful of the text: there is an underlying philosophy that dates clear back to the Gnostics. I had no idea that stuff was still alive and well.

When Women Start Saying “No” to Church Activities. I have mixed emotions about some of the points in this post, as I said in my comment there. I do think sometimes we need to adapt ourselves to the need rather than wanting everything adapted to us, on one hand, but on the other hand, yes, we do need to adapt to current lifestyles and find ways of ministry that edify rather than exhaust.

Virtuous Woman Subway Art.

Sherry at Semicolon is celebrating Poetry Month by sharing different types of poetry with an example each day this month.

Found this on Pinterest and it make me smile:

fooled by spring

Seems like it has gone that way this year! But I hope winter is gone for good now (at least until next year).

I’ve listened to this several times this week. One of the most beauitful pieces of music ever written, “Gabriel’s Oboe” from Ennio Morricone’s “The Mission” has been merged with one of the grand old hymns, “How Great Thou Art.” Just lovely.

Waiting For Spring

Though cloudy skies, and northern blasts,
Retard the gentle spring awhile;
The sun will conqu’ror prove at last,
And nature wear a vernal smile.

The promise, which from age to age,
Has brought the changing seasons round;
Again shall calm the winter’s rage,
Perfume the air, and paint the ground.

The virtue of that first command,
I know still does, and will prevail;
That while the earth itself shall stand,
The spring and summer shall not fail.

Such changes are for us decreed;
Believers have their winters too;
But spring shall certainly succeed,
And all their former life renew.

Winter and spring have each their use,
And each, in turn, his people know;
One kills the weeds their hearts produce,
The other makes their graces grow.

Though like dead trees awhile they seem,
Yet having life within their root,
The welcome spring’s reviving beam
Draws forth their blossoms, leaves, and fruit.

But if the tree indeed be dead,
It feels no change, though spring return,
Its leafless naked, barren head,
Proclaims it only fit to burn.

Dear LORD, afford our souls a spring,
Thou know’st our winter has been long;
Shine forth, and warm our hearts to sing,
And thy rich grace shall be our song.

-John Newton, 1779, from Olney Hymns, vol. 2, hymn 31

Show and Tell Friday: Spring Windowsill

When I took down my “everyday” decorations last fall to decorate for autumn, I finally took apart an old arrangement on my windowsill that had dried flowers and a bird and nest and had just gotten dusty and unkempt. After putting autumn and Christmas decorations away and getting back to everyday, I pondered what to put in that empty spot. I hadn’t seen or come up with anything until the spring issue of Kelli’s beautiful Seasonal Delights magazine came out and I saw the Hidden Nest Centerpiece. A smaller version of that would be just perfect!

So I assembled the materials this week, with a 5″ pot instead of the 8″. I originally wanted to paint the flower pot a cream color and the eggs blue, but the windowsill this would be on is white, so I thought a bit of color would be better with a blue flower pot. These kinds of decisions can stall a project for me for days, but I decided since all of these materials were reusable I could disassemble it and change it if I wanted, so I went ahead with painting the flower pot blue and using cream and brown eggs I found at Michael’s.

I had a bit of a problem, though, with the garland: mine was so bushy that it lost its “arch” shape almost completely (probably because the pot was smaller, so the arch was smaller — I am sure it would have done fine with the bigger pot size Kelli’s centerpiece had called for), and then I had trouble getting the wire to stick to the flower pot with hot glue. I remembered some variegated green picks I had and got a few of them and stuck them directly in the moss, then tucked the nest under the leaves. This is finally what I came up with:

Hidden nest arrangement

Hidden nest

I love it. When I am working at the sink I can see the little nest and eggs peeking out through the leaves. We often have little birds build nests in our hanging plants outside that I can see from my kitchen window, so this reminds me of that and fits right in with the scene.

I do still want to try Kelli’s idea with the garland shaped as an arch some time!

On the other side of my windowsill is this:

Spring flowers

It’s just a couple of spring floral picks I got years ago at a Home Interiors party, stuffed into a small creamer pitcher, but it has been a long-time favorite window sill brightener. It’s getting old, too, but I keep dusting it off.

This is the whole windowsill, cheery even on a gloomy day outside:

Spring windowsill

I also wanted to share a couple of things I was delighted to find while out shopping this week.

It’s very hard to find kitchen towels and such with pink — apparently that’s not “in” as a decorator color just now. But I was delighted to find these at Kohl’s — I was shopping in the men’s department for my husband’s birthday and investigated the housewares and decorating section while I was there. I was glad I did!

Pink dish towels

They’re almost too pretty to use — almost. But I will use them!

I was also thrilled to find these chair pads on clearance. I had been needing new ones and wanted to find the kind with the non-skid surface on the bottom rather than ties (which always seem to pull out after much use at my house). I had seen some blue ones at another store that I thought were too expensive. But these were not only less, they had little pink and cream flecks in them that matched mt kitchen/dining area:

Chair cushion

And I love the non-skid underside!! It works much better than the ties at the back.

Isn’t it funny how little things can brighten an area?

Show and Tell Kelli at There’s No Place Like Home hosts “Show and Tell Friday” asking Do you have a something special to share with us? It could be a trinket from grade school, a piece of jewelry, an antique find. Your show and tell can be old or new. Use your imagination and dig through those old boxes in your closet if you have to! Feel free to share pictures and if there’s a story behind your special something, that’s even better! If you would like to join in, all you have to do is post your “Show and Tell” on your blog, copy the post link, come over here and add it to Mr. Linky. Guidelines are here