There is nothing like a spot of color to brighten the dreariest of winter days.
Our winter home needed an awakening! I decided to employ the lost art of natural decorating with things common and inexpensive, and yet true works of art.
(The operative word here is inexpensive).
The simple crimson apple by the not-so-old blue bowl holding part of my garden’s garlic harvest drew my eye and cheered me. It made the savage winds blowing outside our windows not quite so chilling.
Gone are the colorful blooms I enjoy planting in my potager garden.
Even if it’s only for the short time it takes to collect soup makin’s, the arrangement of fresh root vegetables on the kitchen counter can be as pretty as a picture to the lady of the house. Morning sunlight angling through the window panes is so welcome; it invites us to be thankful for what bounty we have.
If you have taken the time to search high and low for wonderful old books for your young students, why not set out an easel (Hobby Lobby, 9″ for $4.99) to grab their attention with a different book each week.
“Books are not made for furniture, but there is nothing else that so beautifully furnishes a house.” ~Henry Ward Beecher
Colorful piles of books atop the old piano pick up the colors in pillows on the sofa. Check out some of my book lists and FREE printables:
I look out over my modest domain and take simple joy at the beauty of a bowl of Florida oranges and grapefruits. God must have known we northerners needed some vivid color in the deep, cold winter. It is true that my Dutch father used to receive a plump orange or a lump of charcoal as a little fellow at Christmas depending on whether he was obedient or naughty that year.
Alstroemeria is a very abundant and inexpensive tropical flower that has staying power!
A bouquet will often give me 3 weeks and a couple days of glorious blooms. I can get three big bunches complimenting colors for $3-$4 a bunch (so the whole thing is right at $10). They make a wonderful housewarming gift, but they also cheer up the really dull time of low sunshine in January and February.
My birthday is in February, so I have an excuse to gift myself and put them close to the kitchen where I need a color boost every so often.
Outfitting our children in their younger years was always a game for me. Shopping second-hand stores presented me with an exciting challenge to see what I could find that was inexpensive, tasteful, well-made, and would fit for a year or two or more!
I believe that plenty of bright color can affect our mood and ability to learn, children and adults alike.
Dried flowers of the fall-blooming hydrangea make pretty bouquets and last easily through the winter. Pinky-Winky and Limelight are my low-water favorites. Paired with golden pears they are lovely.
I also grow orchids that I pick up at Trader Joe’s for under $12. They have repeat-bloomed now for a number of years using a normal orchid feeding schedule and ice cubes.
One of the beauties of fermentation is that is must sit out for a few days at room temperature, thus you can visually anticipate the work of your hands. The vibrant color of red cabbage is warm and homey!
Sauerkraut ‘working’ on the counter makes this old homemaker and her hungry family happy. That means it will soon be ready to enjoy and keep us healthy during these last few months of less sunshine.
“Life did not bring me silken gowns, Nor jewels for my hair, Nor signs of gabled foreign towns, In distant countries fair, But I can glimpse, beyond my pane, a green and friendly hill, And red geraniums aflame upon my window sill.” ~Martha Haskell Clark
Even in this bleak mid-winter with its challenges and trials, there is hope for the spring to come. There is nothing I can think of like a red geranium in your south-facing window to enliven the wintertime home. Also, don’t hesitate to display your soaps and keepers like potatoes, onions, and winter squash in old crockery.
With a little hard work, the waiting 4’x8′ garden boxes promise new bounty. With prayer and time in the Word of God, we can gain a heart of contentment. A surge of thankfulness fills the homemaker’s heart.
May we rejoice that our generous God has given us eyes to see the simple beauties around us in every season, if we but look!
“We have a mission to others ~ to add to their cheer. This we cannot do unless we have first learned the lesson of cheerfulness ourselves.” ~ J.R. Miller
We can amplify this beauty and cheer by working on being content in our lives, for if we are not, no amount of wealth, material provision, or colorful pretties will bring us or those around us happiness. None of us will ever get this totally right on this earth, but let us ask the Lord to help us be women content where we are and with what we have!
“But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that.” ~1 Tim. 6: 6-8
You may also read the original post with links to all of the books! Perfect for quick ordering, or reading reviews!
Amanda!! I was just thinking about you an hour ago!!!! No kidding! Let’s go to lunch soon :)I’ll call you!
You make me feel at home through pictures. I am so fond of simple splashes of color, especially using fruits and vegetables! Lovely post!
Thanks, Tyanne, for your kind words. I’m often looking for something pretty to take home and display. Love our Creator, the Artist!
What a treat to get a peek inside your beautiful home! I can’t imagine living where it is so cold. I have always lived in Southern CA and I freeze if it gets in the 50s! How do you eat your sauerkraut? I am not crazy about the taste alone, yet I know it is so good for you and so easy to make.
Thank you for the beautiful post! You’ve inspired me to make a greater effort in making my home more lovely.
Just the sweet pick me up I needed on this snowy Wisconsin day. Thank you Jacque for brightening my day. I love the book on the easel idea 🙂
Pretty! Pretty! Pretty! I am going to buy some easels to display books at school. GREAT idea!
Onions are the prettiest color, aren’t they?
And double yay for grapefruit. Delightful!
I found your website by a simple google search on raspberry leaves and I have enjoyed it so much. Thank you for your encouragement to us young moms and wives. We will be starting our first garden this year and I have already learned so much. Thank you. And thank you also for the link to the bulk herb store. Ive learned so much there too and hopefully will be able to make my first purchase for my birthday in a few months. You are such a blessing. God bless you.
Laura of Harvest Lane Cottage
Lovely inspiring touchs. Makes me want to spruce up a bit.
Wonderful post!!! Beautiful pictures!!
Lovely post. I think our bookshelves are twins. We love JOEL THE BOY FROM GALILEE… and the simple touches in the home are the sweetest 🙂 Have a wonderful weekend!
Simply lovely 🙂
This is only the second time I have been to your website but oh what a blessing… I am quite sure it is what I like to call “a God thing” that I stumbled upon it! Your beautiful post is inspiring and actually “calming” to me this morning on a day when I have TONS to get done. A reminder to slow down and enjoy the simple beauty and pleasures around me that our gracious Lord has provided. So glad to have found you! Thank you. 🙂
Lovely reminder of all the free beauty that surrounds us. Cheery photos for the eye on this grey rainy day. Has me wishing for a pot of geraniums! Thanks for sharing your home~
Lovely post. I read on a grey winterday … its colors my day. Thanks.
Thank you for this encouraging post and being such a good example to me. I want to grow older to be like you. I love your quilt on your piano.:)
Jacqueline, lovely post and pictures. Reminds me of Karen Andreola’s lovely blog. Thanks for the visual feast today.
Your beautiful photos cheered my heart. What a treat. Eye-candy in the truest sense. 🙂
A lovely post, indeed, and the photos are goegeous–but now I’m so HUNGRY!
I so appreciate the beauty you gather in your home.
Interest was “tickled” with your fermented vegetables… this is a food preservation we share. That is probably how I found your blog, now that I think of it!
A wonderful post! I just made up a batch of honey and cinnamon the other day, to use for all the reasons you posted. Your a lovely women of grace and wisdom to share!
Thanks so much, Blessings Always, Roxy
Hello Mrs. L!
I wanted to take a minute to wish you the very happiest of birthdays!!! <3 I hope it's a delightful one! You've blessed me over and over this past year with your wonderful blog…I was just thinking yesterday how I should come with pen and paper to take notes so I'll retain more knowledge from it. Thank you so much for the encouragement you strive to be…and ARE! Maybe someday on earth I'll thank you in person but for now this will do! =)
May God shower you with many, many blessings your 62nd year! May He continue to perfect that which concerneth you, and fill you with His fullness, and may He give you strength to continue and abound in every good word and work!
Gorgeous photos! Thanks for sharing on The HomeAcre Hop!
Jennifer in PA
Enjoyed this post very much. winter can be so dreary at time and it is a great perspective to remember this. I am enjoying looking at your blog. I found you through Wildcrafting Wednesday and the post on lemon honey marmalade. I am also a committed Christian and blog over at The Entwife’s Journal. Stop by and say hello.
Jennifer, I will, and looking forward to it!!!
Thank you for sharing, Jacqueline. I love your photography. I have so much to learn about picture taking. Thanks for linking up over at WholeHearted Home.