Best of Summer 2016

So much about summer to enjoy…so little time to take it all in. I’ve been a little absent from my various social media outlets the past few months & with good reason. My son started kindergarten this fall and I didn’t want to waste one second of my last summer as a ‘stay at home home mom’ with him. We truly had a blast and he is now loving school. As emotional as it was for me to send him off on this next big step in his little life, I have to admit it’s quite nice to have a little extra time to myself these days and as the cooler weather compels us all to spend more time indoors, I’m sure I will be reconnecting with my online community a lot more…instead of spending most of my time outside in my garden. Not that I regret it one little bit. It’s truly a labor of love and flowers like these make the hours of dirty, sweaty, scratchy work so worth it!

First Flowers of the Year

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I celebrated finally finishing my taxes by spending Sunday afternoon, bundled up against the drizzle, clearing dead leaves and stalks out of my flower garden and I couldn’t have been happier. Few things are more satisfying than uncovering new growth after a long and dreary winter. I’m looking forward to many more hours of getting dirt under my fingernails! ūüôā

DIY Pine Bough, Ribbon & Jingle Bell Swags

Real Pine Bough Swags for Front Porch with Silver Ribbon and Rustic Jingle Bells. Country cottage style Christmas & holiday outdoor decorating. By Shalom Schultz Designs.

What do you do when a big storm leaves a pile of fallen pine branches in your front yard? Make festive holiday swags for your front porch of course! After clipping off some smaller segments, I bound them together with yarn & tied them to my railings. Sparkly silver ribbon and a rustic jingle bell on each add just the right touch of Christmas curb appeal.

Christmas Cards and a Cozy Cottage in the Woods

Cottage style Christmas mantel decor with a green tinsel tree in a white pot, mini lighted paper house , a red & black fabric bird, and a wood snowflake ornament. Rustic country style holiday decorating. By Shalom Schultz Designs.

The magic is in the details! I love how cozy my little cardboard cottage in the ‘woods’ looks at night when I flip the switch on the led tea light inside. Overhead, my collection of Christmas cards is steadily growing. Holiday cheer is in the air!

DIY Mason Jar Lid + Chalk Snowflake Ornaments

DIY Mason Jar Lid Snowflake Christmas Tree Chalk Ornament by Shalom Schultz Designs

New additions for my tree this year. Mason jar lid ornaments with hand drawn chalk snowflakes! I just replaced the black paper on the lid tags I’d previously made for my husband’s graduation party back in May (used glue dots to adhere the paper to the lids & a scrapbooking punch to make the holes) & then spent an hour or so on the new drawings. They turned out so cute and add a fun, rustic element to my tree (more pics to come!).

P.S. I’ve been getting a lot of question about how to get fine detail with chalk & the trick is to use a chalk pencil, rather than a regular stick of chalk. You can find them in the chalkboard aisle at your local arts & crafts store or a white charcoal pencil from the drawing supplies aisle will work too. Then, if desired, you can seal your chalk drawings with a light coat of hairspray.

DIY Christmas Sweater Ball Wreath

Handmade Sweater Ball Christmas Wreath by Shalom Schultz Designs. Recycled holiday decorating.

I made this sweater ball wreath over the weekend as a donation for Quad City Arts Festival of Trees auction fundraiser. All proceeds support the arts in my community & I’m excited to be a part of the festivities again this year. A little sad to say goodbye to something that looks so nice on my own front door, but I hope it finds a lovely new home to adorn this holiday season.

Rustic Fall Front Porch

Fall front porch planter. Antique metal wash tub filled with pumpkins, autumn flowers & wheat stalks, and a vintage style harvest sign. Diy pumpkins studded with upholstery tacks add a touch of rustic glam to the steps bordered by lush Colius leaves. Country, cottage decor. By Shalom Schultz Designs.

I can’t believe it’s the 2nd week of November here in IL & I still have flowers! Not many, but I sure have been enjoying the nice weather & soaking up as much of the outdoors as I still can (what allergies?). Last weekend, after raking the yard, I cut down the spent blooms on my front porch planters, gathered pumpkins I had sitting around elsewhere & tucked dried leaves into the spots where dirt was showing to make the full fall transition. The pumpkins, studded with decorative upholstery tacks were decorated a couple weeks ago after family trip to the pumpkin patch. All the pretty leaves are now blowing away & it’s definitely getting colder, but it’s been a wonderful autumn season & I’m very much looking forward to the Thanksgiving finale!

‘All Things Fall’ Free Printable Chalkboard Art by Shalom Schultz Designs

All Things Fall Free Printable Chalkboard Art by Shalom Schultz Designs. Autumn illustration decor. Country cottage style rustic decorating. Falling leaves and acorns. Black and White.

Someone asked me the other day what my favorite part of fall was and I simply could not come up with just one answer. There is so much to enjoy – hot cider & warm blankets, tall boots & cozy sweaters, pumpkin patches & bonfires, colorful trees & jumping in leaves…
I love absolutely everything about autumn and make it a point to pack in as much of the seasonal fun as I can each year, since it goes by way too fast (and before you know it, we’re counting down the days to Christmas and dreading having to shovel snow for the next 4 months). As I was thinking about what to draw¬†on the little¬†framed chalkboard that sits on my hall shelf year-round, the idea of this ‘All Things Fall’ illustration came to me.

If you feel the same way as I do, you can download the printable version of my chalk art for FREE and enjoy it in your own home! Click here for the PDF file (includes an 8×10 print, a 5×7 print, and a 4×5.25 folded greeting card which will fit in a standard A2 size envelope).

I’d love to know what you think or to hear about your favorite part of the fall season. Feel free to share your thoughts by commenting below.¬†And have a Happy Fall!!

© Shalom Schultz. All Rights Reserved. For individual and small group use only.
This document may not be altered, sold or redistributed as a download. Links back
to original download page on http://www.shalomschultzdesigns.wordpress.com
are permitted with proper credit given to author.
Please send inquiries to shalomschultzdesigns@gmail.com

Fall is for Family Time

White Fireplace decorated for autumn with a grapevine wreath and a sign that says family. Firewood piled up ready for cooler days. Fall leaves and berries. Family comes first. Country cottage style rustic decor.

I love the simplicity of this photo ( @countrylivingmag on Instagram) & the timely reminder that even as our lives become busier with the approaching holiday festivities, at the end of the day all that really matters is family. So make sure that you put them first, cherish every fleeting moment & don’t stress too much about the little things.