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DEBRA JERRYWebsiteFacebookInstagram
Baking, cooking, sewing, crafts, do-it-yourself projects, and photographing the flowers in my garden are my favorite things to do.
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How To Create A Beautiful Autumnal Mantel Display on

Autumnal Mantel Display

   To those who are observant, the inspiration for beautiful displays is all around us.  My husband Dave and I took a trip through Southern Indiana a couple of weeks ago.  This display was inspired by a display I saw at a restaurant.

   Sorry, the picture is grainy.  I took it from across a big room with the cell phone.  You get the idea, though.  

   It was so colorful, I couldn’t quit looking at it.

   On the way home from our trip, I started trying to remember what gourds and sunflowers were stashed away in bins in the basement.   Fortunately, I had most of the items needed for this project.  Only a bouquet of sunflowers, some interesting curly things, and a few small gourds were needed.

   Putting the display together, I realized something was needed to raise the height of the individual sunflowers.  A piece of styrofoam or floral foam small enough to be hidden would not support the stem.  
   After brainstorming for a few minutes, I found a new use for wine corks!  Gluing a few of these together and using the corks as a ‘floral frog’, worked perfectly!

   It’s funny, my eye is drawn to that colorful display on my mantel now and I smile.  The person who created the display at that restaurant has no idea he or she inspired this lovely Autumnal display!

Bathroom Makeover on

Summertime Projects


   Summertime projects were at a minimum this year!  Summer has passed so quickly!  Early summer, in June, we went to Emerald Isle, North Carolina and enjoyed a week of vacation on the beach with two of our children, the loves of their lives, and our grandchildren. 

   Back home, our oldest daughter, Danielle, who was pregnant with her first baby, ended up having severe pre-eclampsia and her daughter, Memphis Belle, was born six weeks early!  She called us earlier in the week to let us know what was happening, but Memphis was born Saturday morning just before we left for home.  She weighed four pounds two ounces and was breathing on her own!  This is a picture of the first time I was allowed to hold this little cutie the next morning!

    Summer has flown by with the new grandbaby, but I have still managed to work on the second bathroom and am almost finished!  A decorative piece over the toilet is the remaining project.

   We ripped up the vinyl flooring and Dave put down the cement backer board.  I laid the travertine tile and grouted it.  I LOVE the new floor! 

   We removed the builder grade mirror.   Crown molding was added, along with new thicker baseboards and both were painted an off-white color.  The walls were painted a Dublin gray, which was pulled from the travertine tile.  I painted the doors the same Dublin gray, following the indentations in the door.  It seems to give the door so much more character. 

   The vanity was ordered from Home Depot.  It was on sale and I love it.  Did I tell you I love the beach?  This piece reminds me of the beach because of the shutter doors, I guess. There is an understated touch of the beach in every room of our home. 

   The mirror is a purchase from years ago and has been positioned over my antique sofa in the living room, but I think it is perfect over the vanity.  I love the new look and wish I had tiled these floors long ago!

Burlap Liner DIY on

My Humble Garden

 #LetsgoOutside.  For the last few years, I have been making burlap liners for my wall planters on each side of the sliding doors from the basement to the patio.  It seemed to me that the coconut liners dried out too quickly.  Maybe I am wrong but I took a double layer of burlap and lined my planters with it. 

   Have you seen that people have been lining their planters with disposable diapers?  Well, I felt that was worth a try and used a couple in the bottom of each of these planters.  The end product was appealing and in my mind they seemed to need watering less often. One problem I had last year was that the burlap slipped down in the back.

   This year as I was preparing to line the planters, it dawned on me that a small cable tie slipped through the burlap and fastened to the metal around the top of the planter basket would hold it securely.  We bought 4” cable ties and they worked perfectly!  

     Do you have any of those cheap plastic pots lying around?  Taking some chalk paint, I transformed them into something a little easier on the eye!

   The stencils were from Martha Stewart.  I used two coats of the chalk paint for the base before applying the stencil.  Afterward, three coats of outdoor polyurethane were used.  They look great on the patio.

Lady the Little Maltese on

My Lady

#PetsAtHome This is Lady.  She came to stay with us about two years ago.  With full-time jobs, her original owners didn’t have time to spend with her and apparently she was locked up a lot. Fortunately, they realized it was not a good life for her.  They were willing to give her up and she found her way here.  She looked pretty scraggly when she first came here, but we found a good groomer and now she is pretty much a pampered pup.   Our groomer actually comes to the house!  That is the greatest service!

   When she first came she needed to have her hair shaped.  Oh, my!  I won’t even embarrass her with those pictures!  This is after one of Lady’s first groomings, with my granddaughter, Sophia.

   She is so spoiled in some ways, but she is really a gentle, loving dog, especially with the grandkids.  Dave would not admit it, but she loves to lay her head on his feet when we watch television. If his feet are on the sofa, she comes up with both paws and gives his leg a firm push.  She is not happy until he puts his feet on the floor.
   In the beginning, being a manly man, Dave said he didn’t want this little fluff ball, but she quickly grew on him and before long he was giving her nicknames and talking to her when he didn’t think I was listening.  Now, I am sure he has more conversations with her than I do and she is often sitting on the deck with him, just enjoying the outdoors.

Peonies in a beautiful pitcher on

Prettiest Perfect Pitcher and Pink Peonies

   This beautiful pitcher was given to me by Emily, my son Jon-Michael’s girlfriend.  It was such a sweet thoughtful thing for her to do. She knew I was trying to pull the blue accents on my ledge down into the family room, saw this vase, bought it, and gave it to me as a gift.

   My peonies are in full bloom and this seemed the perfect place to display them.  Perfect timing on Emily’s part.  As soon as I saw it, I envisioned beautiful flowers spilling out of it.

   I am a flower lover.  Each spring I am so elated as my flowers begin to bloom.  They bloom in waves, ever changing color waves, throughout the spring, summer and into fall.  I try to capture their beauty through my photography and especially love the pictures taken right after or sometimes, during a rain shower.

   Some more of my photographs are posted on my website,

Painted Chandelier on

Updating My Chandelier


   When we had this home built the shiny brass chandelier seemed a better alternative than the antiqued brass.  After looking at it for years and yearning for a crystal chandelier, I was inspired by a pin on Pinterest.  This person had painted chandeliers every color in the rainbow.  Well, they actually looked pretty.

   Thinking I could do the same, I bought some bronze paint and asked my husband, who has years of experience with electricity, to take down the chandelier.  After disassembling, I took my handy little drill and made holes where the strings of crystal could be attached and began painting light coats until the chandelier was covered.

   The medallion is one of those white plastic pieces I picked up on sale for almost nothing a long time ago.  Using acrylic paints, a richer wooden effect was created.  I’ll have to say I didn’t know where I was going with the painting.  Layers and layers of paint and washes later, this is what was created.  My plan is to add some stenciling to the outer border to extend it, or paint a trompe l‘oeil.

   I reassembled and Dave hung, wired, and connected it back to the electric.  (I don’t do electric!)  The crystals were bought at Michael’s and Joann’s when they were marked down 50%.  They were attached with tiny wires and fishing line.  After attaching them, the candles looked rather lame, so I bought some PVC pipe, cut it to fit over the candle like a sleeve and visually bulked them up a bit.

   Before placing the sleeves on the chandelier, I added some rhinestone trim, which mimicked the bronze color.  All in all, I think it came out pretty well.   


Our Foyer on My Humble Home and

The Entry Foyer#First Impressions

   This is our entry foyer.  As you can see there are still remnants from Easter remaining.  Our foyer opens up to the dining room on the right and the living room on the left.  Straight ahead is the family room and the eat-in kitchen to the right.

   The first two rooms get passed over a lot.  When we have a group of people over though, it seems a few of the women will always migrate to the living room.  It is much cozier and more conducive to conversation, and I suppose it is much more feminine than the other rooms.  The guys never end up there, but we do have a game room in the basement, where you will surely find them!


   As you can see, the main floor has a very open floor plan.  Confidentially, I am a bit claustrophobic and love the openness.  I suppose it can be a curse and a blessing since if there is a mess it is there for all to see.  The blessing outweighs the curse.  

    There are always things we have to do to fix or work on the house, but I love my home.  #first impressions.

DIY Moss Covered Bunny and Lantern on My Humble Home and

 Moss Covered Bunny

   This DIY moss covered bunny project was an idea I saw on a blog and was not even remotely something I was planning to do. Then I took the sled away from the fireplace hearth. Two baskets are stacked on the right side, the bottom one holding magazines and the top holding the remote for the window shade.

    Needing something to the left to balance the baskets, I started brainstorming. I have been looking for a large lantern for that spot for awhile and decided I had to find one immediately, so I went shopping. From store to store, I scanned aisle after aisle, shelf after shelf, but couldn‘t find the right one. Remembering that I had seen one at Michael‘s last week, I ended up there and found this beauty. It was the last one they had and it was marked down 50 percent! For $29.99, it was mine! 

   Anxious to see how it looked on the hearth, I pulled it out of the trunk, carried it into the house and set it on the left side. Okay, it seemed just a tad too short. Looking around I saw the book on Michelangelo. Perfect color, perfect size, yes it seemed perfect. Looking around the house, racking my brain, I couldn‘t think of anything that I had, to place in the lantern! 

   Keeping with the spring season, I visualized a bird‘s nest resting on a branch and the moss covered bunny seemed a perfect idea. Since I didn‘t have either, the nest or the bunny, I started recalling all of the aisles in the stores, where I had just been shopping. Target had a moss covered bunny and I remember thinking, “What would I do with that?“

    Nothing, it was gone by the time I got there.

   Okay, Joan‘s had three little paper mache bunnies, 60 percent off, and I remember thinking, “Who would buy those and for what?“ The wreath I reworked for the front door a couple of weeks ago has a little birds nest with moss and little eggs, all of which came from Joann‘s. Thinking of making the diy moss covered bunny and knowing that I could buy all of those from Joann‘s, that‘s where I headed. Those three little bunnies were still there! Having coupons for 40 and 50 percent off, my total was $6.67.

   We have a big river birch tree in the front yard and there is always an abundance of twigs and branches. I went in search of the perfect branch, found it, cut it to size and placed it in the lantern. The birds nest was placed on the branch after lining the nest with moss and adding the three little eggs leftover from the wreath project.

    Using tacky glue, I cut or pulled the moss apart to fit an area of the bunny and pieced it together. The moss was pretty forgiving and butting the edges up together, you can‘t see where it was pieced. It was done in no time. Well, it was done in the span of one glass of William Hill Chardonnay, sipped slowly, with the appreciation of a wine lover. 

My Favorite Corner in the Kitchen on My Humble Home and

My Favorite Corner

   In my kitchen, there is a little corner where this sideboard sits.  It is my #favorite corner.  Inside are a multitude of tablecloths, napkins, miniature spoons and napkin rings.  Above the sideboard is one of my favorite oil paintings, which I painted several years ago.

   I love flowers!  The daffodils are fresh from my garden.  One of my passions is photographing the flowers in my garden.  Spring is here and my flowers are beginning a beautiful profusion of blooms.  For the next several months, each morning will be another exercise in trying to capture the beauty of these flowers.

   The table runner is an example of candlewicking, which is a type of whitework embroidery, traditionally sewn with unbleached thread on unbleached muslin.  I made this myself in the 1980’s.  It is still one of my favorite runners.

   Because I am in the kitchen so much, I try to have something pretty displayed on the sideboard.  Even in the dead of winter, I have those beautiful tulips to remind me of spring.

Spring Mantel Makeover on

A New Look For The Mantel 

   Looking at the red vases on the mantel, I felt we needed a bit more spring in our family room.  I love the black clock and wanted to keep it, but switched out the red for the blue vases.   Standing back looking at them, it just seemed we needed more gold.  I swapped out the red candles for gold and switched out the candle holders, too.  

   Those vases just screamed out for orchids.  Okay, well in my mind they did, anyway.  The brass urn seemed like a perfect choice to carry the gold through the whole vignette, but it seemed a bit low.  Books were the perfect addition for adding a touch of color and the extra height needed.

   At this point, I walked away.  Sometimes you just need to take a break.  Coming back I realized I still needed something small on both ends.  I remembered having seen a couple of ceramic birds at ‘Tuesday Morning’, which would be perfect for those spots.

   The next day I went shopping.  As I walked straight to where I had last seen the birds and then through the entire store, not a bird was in sight!  Totally disappointed, I started for the door.          There was a display of bird baths on the right as I approached the door and in the middle of two of them were these adorable ceramic birds.

   Elated, I picked them up, bought them and I love the way they look on the mantel.  It doesn’t take much to make me happy!