The Pages of Our Lives

The Pages of Our Lives

 

A couple of years ago for Christmas, my sister, Whitney, took all my grandmother and grandfather’s love letters and made them into a book.

It was called Letters from Box 54.

There, in print, were all the everyday, the simple, the overlooked and the ordinary of our grandparent’s lives.

But in those moments–shared from letters written long ago with paper and ink, you could catch a glimpse of the overwhelming, incredible, amazing love they shared for each other….

…and see the extraordinary written in every line.

We all loved the book so much that we begged her for more history.  “Make a family tree,” we’d say. “History would come alive under your watch,” we’d encourage.  “You are the perfect family-treeer.  No one could make a family tree like you,” we’d implore.

But to no avail.

She would smile and laugh roll her eyes and shake her head and explain that family trees were a challenge she didn’t really want to take on.

Until this year.Continue reading

Thistlekeeping

Thistlekeeping

 

This was one of the Christmas presents my sister gave my husband.

It’s a fundraiser from the local library called “Blind Date With a Book.”

Someone sets you up with a book you’ve never met.

You have no idea what the title or author and you have to guess what the book is about from the clues on the front of the wrapping.

Like “spacemen from earlier galactic history” or “would an alien culture’s doom prove the only way back to their own futures.”

Not sure if I want to date an alien book.

Now if it said “duke riding on horseback” or “cliffs of Cornwall”…

…I’m all in. 🙂Continue reading

DIY Faux Bois Table

DIY Faux Bois Table

 

Today we are talking about how to paint a DIY faux bois table.

Faux bois.

It and its good friend trompe l’oeil are words I like to work into conversation whenever possible to sound like I wear berets and just flew in from the south of France.

It means “false wood” or a surface that looks like its grained wood, but it’s really something else.

Super fancy, right?

That’s how we roll here at Thistlewood.

But before we go all faux bois….

 ….can I ask you a question?Continue reading

A Journey Well-Carved

A Journey Well-Carved

 

Welcome to handmade Christmas gift edition 2016.

If you are new here and you’ve never celebrated the holidays with us, I need to start with a little explanation.

Our family makes gifts for each other every year.  We started small.  Someone made soap and then someone knitted something and then there was the year someone made trash cans with faces.

And then all that soaping and knitting and trash-can decorating turned into something a little more elaborate.

Like a picture of a thistle composed entirely of words from my blog.

Or a bowl carved from a tree that my father grew from a sapling.

Or a stone doormat created from pebbles collected from every state in the union and stamped with each state’s bird (no one actually did that, but you never know…it might happen next year).

And so it was on Christmas morning 2016….

….I opened this from my brother.

Continue reading

January Fresh Start with a FREE Mrs. Meyer’s Kit

January Fresh Start with a FREE Mrs. Meyer’s Kit

 

My heart is longing for clean.

It can’t help it…

…it’s missing Christmas lights.

My house and I are at that awkward stage where you’ve cleaned up all the tinsel and put away the jingle bell garland and the tiny red car with a tree on top and now instead of twinkles everywhere, it all just looks kind of empty.

But sometimes empty isn’t so bad.

It can be a blank slate and full of possibilities and classic and cleansing and cathartic.

Especially when it smells good.Continue reading

Smocked Burlap Curtains Giveaway

Smocked Burlap Curtains Giveaway

 

(curtains in the fall)

A long time ago in a land far away I put up these burlap curtains in the dining room…

…and then I started a blog.

The second post I ever wrote was about this room and these curtains that my mother gave me for Christmas.

At first we could all order them.

I’d send everyone over there and we’d all ohh and ahh about them and proclaim our love for the smocking and the detail and this amazing ability that the curtains had to go with not so fancy and a crystal chandelier all at the same time.

And then one sad day….

….the company stopped selling them.Continue reading

The Top Ten Stories of 2016

The Top Ten Stories of 2016

 

Somehow, inadvertently, this has turned into the week of 2016.

It kind of happened all on its own.

First, there were the top ten projects of 2016.

Then there were the top ten before and afters of 2016.

But as much as I love decorating a room or making wood slice banners or stamping silver or making bookshelf decorations out of twigs in my yard….

….my heart always has been and always will be with the stories.

I had forgotten about most of them.  That’s why I write the blog because this is where the stories find a home.

Here is my heart.

Here are my choices for the top ten stories of 2016.

Happy reading.Continue reading

Top Ten Room Before and Afters for 2016

Top Ten Room Before and Afters for 2016

 

When I was planning out my top ten posts for yesterday….

….I found all these rooms I befored and aftered in 2016.

I thought I had done one or two.  But when I looked, I found kitchens and offices and upstairs playrooms and farmhouse bedrooms and a few more.

And the best part?

I have so many more scheduled for 2017.

So maybe we should take a look back before we jump forward.  I’m lifting my coffee cup to all the rooms I’ve loved before.

Here are my ten favorites from 2016.Continue reading