Freedom Garden

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Getting my garden in the patriotic spirit for this extra-long, all-American weekend & feeling grateful for all the sacrifices that were made to keep our great country free.

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Cozy Cottage Christmas

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The hard part is over, so now all that’s left to do is wait…and bake…and bake some more! I’ll most likely be spending quite a few evenings this week curled up on the couch with cookies, coffee & some holiday tunes while I enjoy the view…before it all gets torn to shreds. Ha ha. I’ve always admired the look of a potted tree, but could never find a container large enough for my artificial tree’s base. So, this year I decided to see how it looked if I put my presents in baskets and metal buckets around it. Love!!! Plus it’s super-easy to move them out of the way when little ones come to visit. ūüėČ

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.

Wood Block Nativity Advent Calendar

DIY Nativity scene advent calendar. Black graphics on weathered wood blocks, individually wrapped to count down the days til Christmas. Country cottage style rustic holiday decorating. By Shalom Schultz Designs.

Day 4 of December and all 3 wise men are now on their way to Bethlehem for the birth of Jesus! This is the first year I’ve done an advent calendar with my 4-yr old son, Connor and I wanted it to be a fun way to teach him about our faith, so I decided to make a 25-piece nativity set and wrap each one individually (Connor LOVES having a little present to open each day!). My husband kindly cut the wood blocks for me out of old garden fencing and then I designed the images (pasted on with Elmer’s glue) to look like they had been printed on weathered wood. The whole set will be centered under an antique wood frame I keep on the mantel, over which I have hung a rustic wood star. Stay tuned for more pics, as we get closer to Christmas!

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.

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.

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.

Fresh Art

Watercolor fruit and vegetable farmers market sign paintings by Shalom Schultz Designs. Vintage style typography design. Watermelon, peaches, tomatoes. Country cottage style art.

Look what I just found in storage! I painted these for my very first craft show back in 2005…10 years later I’m not so sure about my decision to mount them on wooden planks with twine for hanging (probably why they didn’t sell). But now I’m really glad I still have them because I still love the ‘laid back’ artistic style (which I’m trying to get back to) and now that I have better equipment I can scan them into my computer and sell them as prints. I might just have to re-frame the originals and put them up in my kitchen.