All posts filed under: HOME TRENDS

My Christmas Tree is Filled With Aliens, Robots and Monsters

By LaReeca Rucker The way you decorate your Christmas tree says a lot about your personality, as do the ornaments that we choose to adorn it. More than 20 years ago, I began collecting and making my own ornaments at Christmastime. I try to make and buy a few new ornaments every year to add to my collection. I started with porcelain cherubs, leaving some white and decorating others. Then I bought traditional Christmas balls and covered them in glitter, back when you couldn’t find glittery decorations like them. I have also made ornaments for my tree that feature pictures of my late pets. In the last few years, I have taken an annual trip to Hobby Lobby to select ornaments that I like. I also look in Walmart, Fred’s and other local dollar stores. Tomorrow, I plan to attend two Christmas craft events and search for more interesting ornaments to add to my collection. There are a few things that I am fond of and always on the look out for – aliens, robots …

Create a Little Magic in Your Life This Christmas With Simple, Elegant and Inexpensive Decor

It’s that time of year when we’re all supposed to believe in and create a little magic in our lives and the lives of others. One way we can do that is by decorating. I’m so grateful to have my own house this year. I’m also grateful to have all of my holiday decorations nicely organized, so it only took one day to put up my tree and put most of it in place.

Fall into fun every year with festive decor

I tend to go a little overboard with my holiday lawn decorations. I’m no Chevy Chase, but I do like to have fun with decor. Here are pictures of my fall lawn decor at my old house. This year, I’m in a new house, and I brought the scarecrows out in September and kept them in my yard throughout Halloween and Thanksgiving. You can generally find these for sale for less than $10 each at Walmart, Fred’s or similar dollar stores. I added a new scarecrow to my collection this year. He is  currently guarding my front porch. In the next few days, I’ll try to make a new post about my current fall decor and include photos of my new scarecrow since I recently created a centerpiece and decorated for fall after putting all of my Halloween monsters back in the storage shed to live until next October. Have you done any creative fall decorating? If so, I’d love to see it and even feature it on my blog. Feel free to post a …

Mr. McCarty’s gift

It’s been a while since I wrote anything on my blog, but I thought the death of Mississippi icon Lee McCarty warranted commentary since I had the pleasure of spending time with him five years ago when I visited Merigold, Mississippi, to tour and write about McCartys Pottery. If you’ve never been, I would encourage you to put this road trip on your bucket list. I toured the pottery shop, watched pottery being made, ate at The Gallery restaurant and Crawdad’s. And some of the locals took me to the nearby Po’ Monkey Lounge, known by many as the last authentic juke joint in America. In meeting Mr. McCarty, I met an innovative and original artist who created a special place in the Mississippi Delta with his wife, Pup McCarty. As I listened to the story of how McCartys Pottery came to be, it was evident what great admiration Mr. Lee and his late wife had for each other and how their teamwork and partnership helped create a unique brand. Mr. Lee gave me a …

The metal rooster

I’m not sure if you’ve ever seen a giant rooster, but if you drive through Rankin County and beyond, you may run across this one. On one of my last trips in that direction, I stopped to take a few  photos of this rooster that is probably one of the largest lawn ornaments I’ve ever seen. The photo at left of me should give you some perspective about its height. This rooster is featured in front of a store that sells other metal decorations for your lawn. Got a comment? E-mail me at endyanna@earthlink.com or Tweet me at @lareecarucker. Save

Home of the free

My neighbors recently decided to move. They threw a lot of things away and left a lot of things behind. When I walked over to talk to them, I was told that anything left under the carport was free game, so here’s a few items I picked up. I also got an antique dresser with a broken mirror that I’d like to transform into something useful someday. Got a comment? E-mail me at endyanna@earthlink.com or Tweet me at @lareecarucker. Save Save

I own part of Square Books

My mother recently purchased this for me. It’s a piece of Square Books in Oxford with a certificate of authenticity that proves I actually own a piece of the popular bookstore. I think they were selling these as novelty items to raise funds for some kind of construction. When my mother posted on Facebook that I now owned a piece of Square Books, she received a lot of congratulatory comments. Unfortunately, this piece of wood is what she was talking about. 🙂 Got a comment? E-mail me at endyanna@earthlink.com or Tweet me at @lareecarucker. Save

Spring wreath

I like to make crafts because I feel more peaceful when I’m creating something. This is a spring wreath I made a while back for my front door. I created it by using an old wreath that I bought at a thrift store for $1 as a base. I hot-glued moss to the wreath to give it a more lively, earthy feel and color. Then I added a few craft store finds, like flowers and birds nest. I try to have a wreath for every holiday, and I usually put this one up during springtime. Save Save

Antique typewriter curtains

Name any hobby, and chances are I’ve probably devoted a little time to it at some point in my life – whether it’s drawing, painting, playing tennis or racquetball, gymnastics, collecting stamps, running, taking hip-hop and salsa dancing classes or sewing. I recently decided to cover the seat of an antique chair that I purchased with some burlap fabric that I picked up at a craft store, and when I had some left over, I used it to make short curtains for the room. Because I’ve been a journalist for the past 20 years, I picked fabric with an antique typewriter print. This was the result. Got a comment? E-mail me at endyanna@earthlink.com or Tweet me at @lareecarucker. Save

Another repainting project

This is another decor element that I found in a thrift store and thought that it might look better if the colors were tweaked. I painted over the outdated floral background and erased the picture of a window and flowers. I also bought wooden letters at a craft store, painted them black and glued them to the plaque to create a more simple, clean look. This was the end result. Got a comment? E-mail me at endyanna@earthlink.com or Tweet me at @lareecarucker. Save

A bird brain idea

On a recent antique shopping excursion, I spotted this unique ceramic bird, that must have flown into the store straight from the 1960s or ’70s. I didn’t really like the orange color, but knew that I would be able to transform it into something that looked a little more modern. This was the finished result. It reminded me a lot of the owls below that I spotted at Anthropologie, except my bird only cost a few dollars. I’m sure the store’s were $50 plus. You can modernize any ceramic that you find in a thrift store. Some people find birds or owls and paint them all white or a solid color. Keep your eyes open, and you may spot something that you can give new life with a color change. Got a comment? E-mail me at endyanna@earthlink.com or Tweet me at @lareecarucker.

Chairing up a door

OK. I have to admit it. Some people take the repurposing trend a little too far. To them, I sometimes want to say the following: Everything shouldn’t be a Pinterest project. Some things are just trash. But it’s also kind of fun to see what people creatively come up with when they recycle something kicked to the curb. Here’s my attempt at repurposing the back of an old chair that I found. I wasn’t sure what to do with it, but I liked the center design, so I decided to turn it into a decorative door sign with my house number. Love it or hate it? I, myself, am a little undecided. 🙂 Got a comment? E-mail me at endyanna@earthlink.com or Tweet me at @lareecarucker. Save

Board with decorating?

If you want to liven up your walls, but don’t want to bother with hanging wallpaper or spending a lot on pictures or art, here’s an idea: Purchase pieces of foam board at a craft store or Lowe’s. (I think it cost about $10 for a paneling-size piece.) Then cut it in half or thirds. Cover it with fabric, decorate it and hang it in your wall. I covered the foam board I bought in burlap and used wallpaper sample guides that had been sent to me by a company. The result was a colorful, modern art display. You can also cover the foam boards in fabric, wallpaper or anything you think would look like a nice art piece. Depending on what fabric you use, you can draw, paint on the canvas or add photographs. Got a comment? E-mail me at endyanna@earthlink.com or Tweet me at @lareecarucker. Save

Birds in a tree

For about 20 years, I’ve had a tree bed. You can’t see the entire bed in this photo, but it’s a headboard and footboard made of tree branches that I bought over 20 years ago in Ripley, Miss. So if you use your imagination, it’s kind of like sleeping in a tree house. Growing up, my mother had a pair of metal peacocks on our wall, so I decided peacocks would be the vintage theme of my room. I bought a pair from eBay for around $20, then I found another pair at a thrift store even cheaper. Continuing the peacock theme, I had purchased a velvet jeweled peacock picture from a thrift store. I decided to place it on top of a canvas so it would be a larger art piece in the room. I bought a piece of foam board from a craft store and covered it in burlap. Then, I attached it to the wall with a nail and hung it over the foam board. I also added a string of white …

Check out these patriotic party ideas

I’m sure many Mississippians are preparing for a July 4 holiday gathering this week with family and friends. With a busy schedule, it may seem impossible to find the time and energy to decorate for your patriotic party, but I’ve collected a number of easy ideas for you that could help make your Independence Day party a fantastic Fourth affair. Check out the video above to see some of the following decorating tips in action. And if you have tips of your own, feel free to share them in the comments section below. Ten simple and inexpensive patriotic party decorating ideas: 1. Hit up the Dollar Tree. Your first stop should be the Dollar Tree or anywhere with an assortment of holiday decorations at a low price. You don’t have to spend a lot if you’re being creative. Part of the fun is seeing what you can come up with on your own without dropping a lot of cash. 2. Blow it up. Red, white and blue balloons are cheap. Fill a few with helium …

How to party like ‘The Great Jay Gatsby’ without Jay-Z’s ‘$100 Bills’

I recently held a small party at my home for one of my dear friends who accepted a new journalism job and began packing her bags to move to North Carolina. I tried to plan ahead as much as possible to make sure I had enough food and activities to keep things moving from the afternoon to the evening. However, aside from the honoree’s closest friends from work, I wasn’t exactly sure who would show up, who would not, and how many would ultimately find their way to my house. Thinking it best to be over-prepared than under-prepared, I decided to put together a basic table of party food with chips, cupcakes, dip, fruit and the celebratory cake. I then asked those who came to bring an item to ensure we had enough. Everything seemed to be going smoothly in preparation, but around midnight before the party, I still felt like something was missing – an element that would tie everything together and make the small event more fun and interesting. That’s when it struck …

Attention all Mississippi gardeners: Check out the Crazy Yard Art video

Deep in the concrete jungles of Ridgeland, right off Old Canton Road in an urban shopping center, is a foliage-filled sanctuary of wild animals so brightly colored that passersby can’t help but turn their heads, startled by giant giraffes, zebras and butterflies. You may hear a monkey squeal, a frog ribbit, birds caw and sheep bleat if your imagination runs as wild as the yard art on display at Freshway Produce. Like other stores in the Jackson metro area, Freshway has become a colorful place where shoppers looking for unique and eye-catching art can purchase something “cra-zazy” that’s guaranteed to make your garden ferocious and fierce while your neighbors’ is tame. Want a flying pig? They got ’em. Need a weird looking metal goat? It’s there. What about a 10-foot giraffe? Check. “We have goats, rabbits, butterflies, giraffes,” said owner Richard Cockrell, adding that giant butterflies and giraffes have been his most popular sellers. The giraffes come in 4-foot, 6-foot and 10-foot sizes. Quirky yard art is so popular these days, it was recently used …

Pinterest Project # 4: Painting is For the Birds

I’ve been a big fan of the late Texas designer, Enid Collins’, quirky 1960s box purses for many years. I own a few of them, and I’ve even made a few of my own inspired by some of her designs. As I hobby, I like to search for antique furniture pieces and revive them. I recently found a boring wooden cabinet, and it reminded me, in some way, of this Enid Collins purse called “For the Birds.” So I decided to create the same design on my cabinet. Got a comment? E-mail me at endyanna@earthlink.com or Tweet me at @lareecarucker. Save

Pinteresting Projects – 1, 2, 3 and 4

I have a variety of furniture and decorating projects that I started at home and have not found time to finish them. So I decided this weekend I would devote some time to completing a few. Here they are: Table – One afternoon, I spotted this table in the back of The Salvation Army for $5 and knew it would be pretty painted. Here’s the finished result. It actually only took about 10 minutes to do using white paint.  I filled in the middle with a touch of turquoise craft paint, and now it sits in front of my bed. Not sure what I’ll put in it yet. Monogram – This was originally an antique mirror, but I broke it during my recent move. I had seen similar things done on Pinterest using letters, so I decided to create one of my own using my initials. At first, I wasn’t happy with the gold color of the letters, so I repainted them light brown. It still didn’t look right, so I changed them back to …

Decking the deck, bottle tree, door and halls

I moved into a new rental home several months ago, and became very excited about getting to use Pinterest for decorating ideas. While I’ve implemented some of the things I’ve found on the site inside, the exterior of the house remained on my mind. Because we’re all individuals, we like to change things around a bit so that the decor suits us. For a while, I’ve wanted to paint the shutters and front door to give the exterior of the home a different look. After getting permission from the landlord, I finally managed to get the paint supplies needed, and within a short time, (with the help of a family member), we changed the home’s light blue shutters to dark green. The door was also light blue, but I used two different shades of brown to try to make the metal look like wood. After changing up the color scheme, it was time to begin decorating for Christmas. First I started with outdoor lighting, converting my bottle tree into a Christmas tree out front for …

Have yourself a ‘Sippi little Christmas

When Madison resident Cathy Halford’s youngest daughter Ashley moved to Birmingham, she took her love for Mississippi with her. “I decided to make an ornament for her in the shape of Mississippi,” said Halford, a lifelong crafter and billing coordinator for a Jackson law firm. “I put a red heart in it to indicate Madison, her hometown. She loved it.” Then Halford had a Mississippi epiphany. “I thought maybe other people would like to show off their hometown and state,” she said. “I was right.” Today, she operates an Etsy business making handcrafted, state-shaped ornaments. Her husband cuts them out of wood, and Halford creates a 6-inch piece, decorating it with beads to create a mosaic. “A red, heart-shaped, acrylic gem is placed on the hometown,” she said. “I found out that people love their state and are proud of their hometown. Some are buying them for friends and family as a reminder of their home. I also think they make a great welcoming gift for someone moving into a new area.” You can find …