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. ๐Ÿ™‚ 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

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. ๐Ÿ™‚

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?

Pin it Button from mamasbrush
Patriotic Shelf Decor for my summer kitchen and 4th of July

Gathering here.

Nautical Repeating Pattern – Sailboats, anchors and life preservers in watercolor

Nautical Repeating Pattern - Sailboats, anchors and life preservers in watercolor

March has been a busy month with birthdays, leaving very little time for painting. I’ve been dabbling here and there on a few projects, but they always take longer to complete that way.

This one has been in the works, from idea to completion, most of the month, maybe more. It all started when Spoonflower announced their March Design Challenge Themes. This week’s theme, Nautical.

I’ve been working on the sketches and imagining the outcome in my head for weeks, but the deadline sneaked up on me. It isn’t what I had in my head (rarely does that work out), but I think it turned out cute. I didn’t have “boy nursery” in my head from the inception, but it works. I can see this on gift wrap or bedding for the crib.

What would you use it for?

Click here to vote (between 3/28/19 and 4/2/2019) or here to see my shop.

Gathering here.

Valentine Tags in Watercolor

Valentine Tags

I posted about these tags last year, so there isn’t much to say. I covered the fact that I do indeed know how to spell “delivery”, but something about the phrase “special deLOVery” just makes me smile.

These were a handful of tags I made my first Valentine’s day painting. Just 6 months in. I believe they are inspired by the beautiful works over at Elvie Studio.

I picture them tied to a gift. Maybe a box of chocolate, or bacon roses, or jerkie. Maybe in a care package for a daughter in college, or tucked in a bunch of flowers.

Where would you use them? Here is a printable sheet of them all for you to use. I hope you like them. (Click the link below the image.)

Valentine Tags Printable
Download this 8.5×11 sheet of Valentine Tags here.

I found that they printed better on card stock than on regular paper, but maybe your printer is better than mine. ๐Ÿ™‚

***Official legal stuff: Copyright remains my own. Please only use them personally or in your classroom. Print them and give them as gifts. But please donโ€™t distribute them online or claim them as your own. If you want to share them on your own blog, please be sure to give me credit and include a link back here. Thanks! They are my original work and Iโ€™d like to be able to continue sharing what I create with you all.

Gathering here.

“Cookie’s in the Oven” Gingerbread Ornament for Pregnant Moms

I could have sworn I’d shared this last year, but I guess I decided I could share it this year as part of actual Christmas. Well, I missed my chance again. But since I’m planning to reference this project in my next post, I think I’ll share it now anyway. ๐Ÿ™‚

I made this last year for my brother-in-law and his wife as they were expecting their first baby. This baby.

It’s a pregnant gingerbread lady!

With an adorable tag. I think anything is made infinitely more special when you hand letter and draw a special tag to go along with it. In fact, this Christmas, one of our gifts (not yet blogged… sorry.) got at least as much attention for the hand drawn tag as for the homemade gift inside. But more on that in coming days.

This post is about gingerbread.

Pregnant, hand sewn gingerbread.

I just love gingerbread people. ๐Ÿ™‚ One of these days I’m going to paint a gingerbread nativity a lot like the one at the end of this post… but it wasn’t this year.

Christmas isn’t over my friends… stay tuned!

Gathering here.

I Snow Love You – Hand Lettered Valentine’s Doodle

I Snow Love You!

For the last couple weeks I’ve had these cute wood blocks (in varying greens) that spell “snow” sitting in the window above my stove.ย  My son made it for me a couple Christmases ago while we were prepping for the Christmas Market we participate in at our church.ย  The “O” is just a white block with eyes and an orange triangle nose.ย  And I’ve told you, I have “Valentine’s” on the brain.

Well, that inspiration, plus my Valentine mindset became this cute little painting.ย  “With all my heart, I snow love you!”

I Snow Love You!

Adding shadow to my illustrating and painting is something that is still new for me.ย  And you can read that to say that it’s hard, or that I’m not very good at it, or better yet, that I’m afraid to do it because I don’t want to ruin the rest of it.ย  I could have left these little guys flat, but I decided to push outside my comfort zone and try to add some dimension to them.ย  I’m sure someone with more experience could have done this even better, but I like the way it turned out.

I Snow Love You!



Linked up here.