Simple Fall Mantle

Wow, I haven’t posted in two whole years! Oops. 

I really wish there was a better app to blog post while on my phone. I spend a ton of time in my car waiting on my teens, and I could totally get some blogging done that way. Super quick update on Belle & Beau: Right now I am exclusively selling on Etsy. I have a lot of long-term goals that include a brick-and-mortar store at some point. But Etsy’s working for now. I tend to update and post the most (which still isn’t nearly enough) on Facebook. So if you’re missing me, look for me there. (Thanks for making the Pages Manager easy to use, Facebook.)
Onward! I recently found an over-sized Rubbermaid bin of fall decor that I hadn’t used or thought about in 2-3 years. I figured if I didn’t miss it, then I should just get rid of it. So, off to Goodwill it is ALL going. Buh-bye!
I decorated our fall mantle by just switching out a couple of things. The vintage blue books, the old window, the jar, and the wood art that I created years ago were all already there. The frame was already there with a verse, but I just switched out the verse to one with more fall colors.

Did you know that you can click on a picture to make it bigger?
Years ago I bought a set of Bible alphabet memory cards from She Reads Truth. They fit perfectly into an 8 x 10 frame. I never really liked the colors of this one, but when I was thinking about the mantle, I realized that it is perfect for fall. I don’t know if they still sell this particular set. Try clicking the link on their name above, and you can see what’s available. 
I picked up the 3 pumpkins and the Gather sign from the Target dollar spot. But other than that, I already had everything in the pictures. Total for everything was probably under $10.
The wall color is Danville Tan by Benjamin Moore. It looks different throughout the day depending on the sunlight. Our family room gets quite a bit of light. It is kind of hard to photograph this wall color, so I am sometimes reluctant to do so.
Thanks for reading! That’s all for now. Hopefully it won’t be two years again.

It’s a Wonderful Life to Travel the World


I can’t think of traveling without thinking of George Bailey. You know, the guy played by actor Jimmy Stewart in the classic Christmas Movie, “It’s A Wonderful Life.” I think of George’s giant suitcase and all of the stickers that didn’t get put on it as he planned. George got sidetracked from his travels when he stayed in town to save the old Building and Loan. I hope George got to travel one day.

We’re just a few weeks away from sending our son to Europe for 9 days. Every scenario possible has woken me up at night over the past week. But I have always made a conscious effort not to parent out of fear. We want our kids to be safe, but we also want them to spread their wings and fly.

// think it’s funny how life goes along with little bits of fate mixed in. Last week I pick up this vintage globe bank. It reads: As you save, so you prosper. It just resonated with me that what you make a priority in life will surely be available to you. We hope our kids will make it a priority to see the world and appreciate the diversity of its people. (Interesting side note, this bank was made around the same time as the movie.)

If you’re interested in this bank, go HERE.

“And he said to them, go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.” Mark 16:15

Crafts to Make with Hymnal Pages


Yesterday I listed several vintage and antique hymnals in my Etsy shop, and I had a friend ask, “but what would someone do with an old hymnal…?”

Besides simply enjoying looking through it and being reminded of many of the traditional hymns that are no longer sung at church services, there are many wonderful ways you can repurpose them. In a way, repurposing will actually extend their “life.” Something like an old hymnal that may be worn thin and have no value to most people can be turned into things that will be used and treasured for years to come. Below are just a few of the neat crafts I found on Pinterest that use hymnal pages.

One of my favorites, Miss Mustard Seed used old hymnal pages on a lovely dresser:

Music Sheet Dresser....I would like to do this with some of the old hymnals I have
On AJ’s Trash to Treasure Blog, you can see that just about anything can get covered in hymnal pages, including lamp shades: 
10,7,10 CA projects110  SPECIAL HINT FOR LAMP SHADES:  Paper the INSIDE as well as the outside.  When the light shines through, all you seams and overlaps are OVERLY obvious.  By double layering your paper (one layer outside and one layer inside) it will minimize this.
The Picadilly Post turns hymnal pages in works of art:
I love this -- I think I would use the hymn 'The Old Rugged Cross' or 'In The Garden' or 'It Is Well With My Soul'...
Christmas ornaments seem like something doable even for the beginning crafter. These were found on Houzz
IDEA:  Hang on dining room window latches    in love with these diy cloth ornaments and color scheme for sun-room - all year
Use them to make a wreath. Here’s a How-To from HomeTalk:
A Hymnal Page Wreath :: Hometalk
Here’s an old blog post of mine where I used hymnal pages in a painting:
In my opinion the easiest and cheapest way to use hymnal pages is to simply frame them! In my home I have this framed song in our guest bedroom: 
Now let your imagination flow! 
Tips: You can link back to all sources. Hover in each introductory sentence to find the link.  If you are interested in purchasing one of the hymnals in my shop to use for a project or just to keep, go HERE. (Listed under “Books” on the left.) Depending on the day there’s usually 2 to 20 available. I’m happy to check a hymnal if you’re looking for a particular song, year, or church affiliation. 


Reclaimed & Repurposed Window Frames

I finally got some more window frames listed onto Etsy. Selling stuff on Etsy is super time consuming, so my online shop gets neglected. My space in the The Old Hardware Store is full, so Etsy is feelin’ some love this week.

These can be used for soooo many different things. Hanging jewelry, sunglasses, keys, photos. Use them for bridal or baby showers to display photos of the bride & groom or mom & dad-to-be when they were babies. You can even use them to hang gift cards for a group gift to the teacher from her class.

For your viewing pleasure, some of my favorite pics:









Putting Together an Entry Table

Recently a large portion of our home got a fresh coat of paint. We’ve all heard it before, but honestly, it’s true; Paint changes everything. And since the walls looked so fresh and clean, I procrastinated a bit to put things back together once the paint was dry. After all, I spackled all of the holes. Why make new ones?

But then the bare walls got boring. So, hello hammer.

First up was to put an entry table space together. There’s not usually a spot on the wall that says, “Put your entry table here. X” We’re lucky enough to have a large entry area, so I took a couple of things into consideration. First, I made sure that the front door had enough space to swing completely open. We have a constant parade of furniture in and out of the front door, so I needed to make sure that nothing would be in the way. Next, I have this  thing  obsession about symmetry, so I had to make sure that the table would be centered in the space.

Once I had the spot where I wanted my table, I could start hanging things on the wall above it. TI knew that I was using this mason jar lamp, so I checked was to make sure the “Family” sign was hung high enough that the lamp wouldn’t block it. Of course, I used my level to make sure it was!

Ignore the stool. I’m a shorty.

By the way, if you haven’t heard of this trick to hang pictures using tape, you should really try it. Tape in between the hold of your picture. Then use the tape on the wall to measure the distance between your nails.

The entry in our house is two stories, so the scale of this arrangement was important to me. I didn’t want to make anything too low or small and have it seem puny in the space. I added another picture to heighten the display. It goes with my “family” theme that I have going on. There are four of us and there are four birds. Awwww, so cute!

Finally, I set some items on the tabletop to complete the look: a tray to place keys and sunglasses on, a lamp to provide a little light at night, and some other decorative items.

I recently created a different display on the table to use for one of my Etsy listings. I think this turned out beautiful and functional. I love functional. This reclaimed window frame organizer is currently for sale in my Etsy shop.
I got this perfect “Family” sign from Amazon. The quote is exactly what I was looking for.

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Vintage Paper Mache Christmas Angels

My collection of paper mache angels is growing! (I posted about this last year.) Not only do I sell on Etsy, but I also love to shop there. Thanks to Etsy, this year I was able to score one playing the violin. My son and I both play the violin, so I especially love that one.

I discovered that these were also made with colorful robes, which I did not know. I’m sticking with the gold color for my heavenly hosts.

And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.
Luke 2:8-12


Entertaining with Milk Glass

Fact: My favorite color is white. Don’t get all technical on me and say that white isn’t actually a color. If you go into your local paint store and ask for white paint, you’ll get it. Why do I like white? It’s clean. It’s not complicated. After a full day of reviewing paint chips and fabric patterns, white is a peaceful spot for my eyes to rest.

Fact: There are no walls in my house that are truly white. I like to accessorize with white. White pillows, white throws, white candles. It works, no matter what your paint color is.

Fact: I also love white milk glass. (We’ve covered that, haven’t we?) If you aren’t familiar with milk glass, it was very popular in the mid 1900s. Dozen of manufacturers created products such as dishes, vases, figurines, lamps, and so on. Some of the more successful companies to create milk glass included: Hazel Atlas, Federal, Indiana Glass, Fire King, Anchor Hocking, and Pyrex.

Recently milk glass has gained popularity in entertaining decor. The simple, white, and often delicate appeal of milk glass provides a restful background for flowers and foods. Milk glass provides a non-competitive background on tablescapes, allowing the food and flowers to be the real starts of the show.

A bridal luncheon uses milk glass to create a bridge between vintage and modern touches.

 Using milk glass creates a unique look.

A lovely milk glass cake stand, a milk glass pitcher, and milk glass vases unify this tablescape.

Sometimes simple is better.

Milk glass can be found in many places. Antique stores, Etsy, your mom’s or grandma’s kitchen. If you need a large number of milk glass pieces for your special affair, here’s a tip: Don’t worry about finding identical pieces. As long as they are all the same color, once you add your flowers or food, it will all become a “set.”

For more ideas on milk glass, please visit the websites listed at the bottom in the photo credits. If you are local and are looking for milk glass, stop on by my booth at Countryside Antiques in Braselton.

I’d love to hear your milk glass stories!

Photo credits:


Can’t I have ANYTHING nice?

I’m surprised that after having four children, that my mom had anything nice and special to show for it. I remember playing with balls in the house (and being told to go outside). I remember roller skating in the house. I remember throwing spaghetti noodles on the kitchen ceiling while on KP duty. And alas, my mother somehow kept safe some beautiful treasures.

That can’t be said for everything, though. There were casualties. There were cries of “Can’t I have ANYTHING nice?” There were blank stares loaded with “why did I even bother?” when we came hanging our heads that something special had been broken.

My kids and I were doing some holiday baking with my mom yesterday. And, God love her, I think Christmas threw up in her house. I mean, the Spirit of Christmas Present had some bad egg nog and hurled Christmas. Everywhere.In.The.House. I’m surprised there is no Christmas toilet paper. But it really is a magical place for the kids to visit during the holidays. And my mother adores showing them all of her moving and electric Christmas decorations. You can literally see the memories being made in their minds as they awe in wonder at the tiny dancing Nutcracker ballerinas.

Three generations of cookie bakers: Me, my sweet S, and my Momma.

 Mixed in with the borderline coo-coo wonderful Christmas decor are things from my childhood. There are ornaments on the tree that I remember staring at as a child. Not valuable in monetary terms, just invaluable in nostalgia. There’s the nativity set with the most gentle expressions on Mary and Joseph’s faces. And there’s the retro, golden, angel playing the accordion. …..What?!?!

Yep: retro, golden, angel playing the accordion. She began as a set of three, and, you guessed it. Two fell victim to tragic deaths at the hands of four rambunctious children. I can’t pinpoint which of us children, exactly. But after so many years have passed, can’t we just lump it up to all four of us together? (Says the one who most likely broke it.)

I was commenting to my mom how sad it was that only one survived, and she is battered and chipped at that. Suddenly a light bulb! Um, hello! Why have I not researched these?! My mom purchased the set from a church tag sale and there was no marking on the bottom of the remaining angel. So into my search engine went: 1960s gold angel playing the accordion. And what to my wondering eyes should appear? A Christmas miracle.

A complete set of THREE retro golden angels playing their instruments. This lovely set of ladies is on their way to my house. I won’t get them in time for Christmas this year, but they will probably be the first things I put up next year. Again, not necessarily valuable in monetary terms, but the memories they bring for me….priceless.


P.S. LOVE YOU MOMMA, and your Christmas decorations!!//

UPDATE: These vintage Christmas angels were made by Hapco Japan in the 1960s. They are made of paper mache (papier mache). My collection has grown over the past couple of years. Here are more pictures:

If You’ve Got It, Flaunt It

I’m in the holiday decorating mood today, but Ken is at work and there is no way that I’m attempting to shop for decorations with the kids in tow. Yesterday I hit up Home Depot with them, and by the time we got home, Mama needed something a whole lot stronger than hot chocolate.

So after scrounging around the house for materials that I already had on hand, I decided to get a little creative.

First I got together some different kinds of ribbon. I already had all of these at the house. On the right is a jute ribbon that I purchased from several months ago. The other 5 types were all purchased at Michaels. The burlap style ones (all but the plaid) were purchased within the past 6 weeks. They have wired edges.

Next, I rounded up some containers. I use metal-type buckets for all of the kids birthday parties. I just change out a piece of ribbon on the handle to go with whatever the color/theme is. They’re great for utensils, etc. I also got some of the cuttings from our Christmas tree.

Three of the containers came from Goodwill: the wire egg basket, the fruit orchard basket, and the galvanized pail. The metal pail in the middle of the back row is a 2.5 paint bucket from Home Depot. It’s been a while since I bought it, but I think it was around $2. The oval shaped pail came from Target. It was in the “Dollar Spot” for $2.50.

Finally, I scrounged around and found some things to fill the buckets with.

I decided to start with the galvanized bucket. I layered two of the ribbons around it.

Proof in the background of yesterday’s Home Depot experience. Next I added some Epsom salts and a green tea light candle to a Ball jar. The jar, candle, and some Christmas tree cuttings were all nestled into the bucket. (I ended up not using the candles in the picture. I thought they were a little too big.)

Okay, so next I decided to play with the Home Depot paint bucket. He got two different ribbons layered onto the outside. He also got the same jar and candle routine.

Finally, I decided to use the orchard basket by the front door. I didn’t want to use a candle this time, so I opted to just fill it with tree cuttings.

The moral of the story is, try to use what you already have on hand. If you’ve got it, flaunt it! That’s all for now! I have some other ideas that I’m working on. Stay tuned.

By the way, if you hadn’t heard, our Etsy shop is opened! We are gradually getting lots of vintage, antique, and handmade items listed. Check it out! 🙂

Merry Christmas!