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!

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Tropical Paradise in Winter

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There was snow on the ground last week when I took this pic of the appropriately-named ‘Pink Powder Puff’ flower hanging over the koi pond at the Quad City Botanical Center. My son played in their sand pit while I drank in all the prettiness and pretended it was summer.

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.

Not So Spooky Halloween Mantel

Fall mantel decor with country cottage style vibe, featuring autumn leaves in a mason jar, wicker and handmade fabric pumpkins, mercury glass votives and an antique frame. A black raven bird and dark brown candlesticks with black taper candles add a touch of Halloween fun to this warm & cozy decorating scheme. By Shalom Schultz Designs.

For some reason it is REALLY hard to find decorative black birds, so I had to make my own by getting creative with a paper mache egg, masking tape & fabric (Who knew I could sculpt…sort of?). While I’m not into super spooky/gross Halloween decorating with spiders & such (I have enough of the real kind, thank you very much), I do enjoy incorporating a subtle nod to horror into my fall decor. So for me, the little black ‘raven’ and matching taper candles give my fall mantel just the right touch of spine-chilling fun while not taking away from the warm and inviting scene that I look forward to creating each year.

Petunias and Pumpkins

Fall cedar planter with purple petunias and red mums. Autumn flowers accented by white and orange pumpkins. Outdoor decorating. Country, cottage style rustic decor.

The summer gardening season is nearly over, but I always look forward to adding one last burst of fresh color with a pot of fall mums. A collection of small pumpkins officially welcomes the changing of seasons as falling leaves gather on the ground. Autumn is always too short for my liking, but I intend to revel in every cozy moment.

The Last Days of Summer

Red and Gold Sunflower Bloom by Shalom Schultz Designs

I’m enjoying a particularly gorgeous crop of sunflowers in my front yard right now – the kind that just keep producing bloom after bloom after bloom. Hard to believe that by the end of this month gardening season will be over and I’ll be choosing pumpkins to top my flower pots…

Fancy a Cup of Tea?

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The teacup #painting I finished last week. It’s part of a larger collection, which is still in progress, but I wanted to get the color mixing just right on this element first. Once I’ve finished the full painting, I’ll be adding some line work on a separate layer to subtly bring out all the delicate details.