Category Archives: Food & Drink

How To Install Under-Cabinet Lighting

How To Install Under-Cabinet Lighting

This statement is nothing new to you if you’ve been a blog follower for a while now, but the lighting in our kitchen is really, really bad. Even with the overhead pendant on full blast, John and I feel like we’re squinting to see what we’re doing while cooking in the space. So, under-cabinet lighting has been on my to-do list for practically the entire time we’ve lived in this house.

As of this past fall, enough was finally enough, and I decided to splurge on a set of battery-operated lights for under the kitchen cabinets. Today, I wanted to talk you through the quick install process, and also share my thoughts on the lights themselves now that we’ve used them for a couple of months.

Oh, and just so you know, this post isn’t sponsored—I paid for the lights myself, and just thought you might like to know a little more about the exact ones we bought because (spoiler) they’re awesome!

How To Install Under-Cabinet Lighting

How To Install Under-Cabinet Lighting

Here’s a link to the set of six wireless puck lights I ordered off of Amazon. After reading the reviews, I decided to also order a few sets of rechargeable batteries. The puck lights themselves actually came with regular batteries, so I didn’t have to open the rechargeable ones right away, but I’m glad to know that, when the cheap batteries die, I’ve got a backup set that we can reuse over and over again.

How To Install Under-Cabinet Lighting

As for installation, all you have to do is remove the lights from their packaging, pull out the temporary plastic tabs to activate the batteries, and then decide where you want each light to go under your cabinets. Since you really can’t see the lights when you’re moving around in the kitchen, you don’t need to be super meticulous about measuring things out—unless you want to, of course. The lights are tucked far enough under our own cabinets to be inconspicuous, so I just eye-balled their placement every few feet around the L-shape of our kitchen.

You can actually tap these particular puck lights to turn each one on individually, but the set also comes with a remote so you can turn them all on at once, dim them, and even set them on a timer, which I think is pretty handy. The only thing you need to keep in mind because of the remote is that you need to install the lights with the sensor facing outward so the remote can trigger them accurately.

How To Install Under-Cabinet Lighting

How To Install Under-Cabinet Lighting

(Note: Please ignore the patchy yellowish drywall you see exposed between the backsplash and cabinets…We still need to paint it or add trim to cover it up.)

To install, I first held the assembled light up where I wanted it under the cabinet, making sure the sensor was facing forward. Then, I carefully lowered the light (with it still oriented the correct way), gently twisted the halves apart to access the screw holes on the top section, and then realigned it under the cabinet. After that, I made marks through the holes onto the cabinet with a marker, drilled through the marks, and screwed the top portion of the light to the cabinet. Finally, I twisted the bottom part of the light onto the top that I had just screwed in place.

As you can see a few photos up, I also drew on a quick arrow to help me remember which way the top portion needed to be aligned under the cabinet. This made sure the tabs that you twist the halves over are all facing the right way to get the sensor aligned properly. I promise this will make a whole lot more sense if you decide to purchase and install these exact lights, so don’t worry if it sounds confusing right now!

How To Install Under-Cabinet Lighting

How To Install Under-Cabinet Lighting

I went back and forth over whether to pay an electrician to come out and install wired lights, but am actually really glad I decided to go with battery-operated. Yes, they’ll eventually dim and die and we’ll need to stay on top of recharging batteries, but the lights cost less than $35, so the whole project came in way under budget.

Another reason I’m happy we went with wireless lights? They are an absolute GODSEND when the power goes out! That doesn’t happen too often around here, but it went out for 24 hours last month after an ice storm, and we were able to light up the entire kitchen without power thanks to our little set of puck lights. We also were able to twist a couple of them off the cabinets and keep them in the bathrooms so we had light in those rooms during the power outage, too.

How To Install Under-Cabinet Lighting

How To Install Under-Cabinet Lighting

How To Install Under-Cabinet Lighting

Have you installed under-cabinet lighting in your kitchen? If so, did you go with battery-operated lights, plug-in options, or fully wired versions? Let me know in the comments below. And, again, if you want to copy our set-up, these are the puck lights we bought, and these are the rechargeable batteries that we have on standby.

How To Install Under-Cabinet Lighting

*I earn a small percentage from purchases made using the affiliate links above. Affiliate links are not sponsored. Rest assured that I never recommend products we wouldn’t use or don’t already love ourselves.

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Reveal of DGD Pottery Collection No.3

Reveal of DGD Pottery Collection No.3

Ready to see the next new collection to hit the DGD Pottery shop?! The latest set of seven handmade pieces just went live here, and today I’m talking you quickly through each one so you can get a sense of my intention for the collection.

As with nearly everything I’ve created so far this year, my focus has been playing around with different organic shapes and working within earth-toned colors that feel really natural. Some are more minimalist than others within this group, and some look especially handmade, but each one is perfectly suited to lots of handling and daily love wherever they end up.

Reveal of DGD Pottery Collection No.3

Reveal of DGD Pottery Collection No.3

Reveal of DGD Pottery Collection No.3

Reveal of DGD Pottery Collection No.3

There are three cups in Collection No.3—a dark brown mug, one tall tumbler with a carved branch design, and a bright bluish green handle-less cup that can be used for drinking just about anything, whether that’s coffee, tea, water, or juice.

I’ve been anxious to settle on one consistent mug style, and even though I feel like I have a long way to go before I get there, I’m most drawn personally to the chocolate brown mug in this latest shop update. The ultra even sides and handle speak to me and my love for symmetry, and the dark glaze is so rich looking in person.

Reveal of DGD Pottery Collection No.3

That branchy tumbler was actually meant to be a quick exercise in seeing just how quickly and how high I could form a cylinder, but I ended up liking the tall form so much that I kept it. This style is now my absolute favorite for drinking tea out of, and I think you guys are going to love the other versions that I’ll be adding to the shop in the new year.

The minty fresh no-handle cup is done in another of my go-to glaze colors, and although it wasn’t exactly intentional, one of my favorite parts is the pool of thick glaze around the bottom. I double dipped the piece to try to get an ombre look, but ended up with that candy-like glaze effect along the bottom edge, which you can see better in the photo just below. I can’t wait to recreate that look on a few new pieces after the holidays.

Reveal of DGD Pottery Collection No.3

Reveal of DGD Pottery Collection No.3

This collection is the very first to include anything hand-built, and I really couldn’t be more excited about that. I just started dabbling in these types of free-form pieces, but have a feeling it’ll be something I start to focus on in 2019. I didn’t think I’d like the slightly uneven edges that come from working with clay on a table rather than on a wheel, but it speaks to me! The dark blue raised plate that you see (upside down) below is perfect for serving treats on a buffet, or for holding odds and ends on a coffee table.

Reveal of DGD Pottery Collection No.3

Now for the vases. There are three new ones in today’s shop update: a skinny-necked spotted one with a scallop design at the bottom, a simplified angular white vase, and a low dashed ikebana vase, which I demonstrate how to use below.

Just fill the vase with water, snip off your flower stem (it works best to use tall, thick flowers like orchids), and push the cut end of the stem onto the pin that comes included inside the vase. It makes such a cool statement, doesn’t it? I’m going to have a really hard time letting that one go, but I hope one of you will be inspired by my version of this type of Japanese floral designing.

Reveal of DGD Pottery Collection No.3

Reveal of DGD Pottery Collection No.3

Reveal of DGD Pottery Collection No.3

Reveal of DGD Pottery Collection No.3

Hop through here (or click that image below) to learn more about the collection on Etsy and to grab your favorites before they’re gone. I also have a handful of Christmas ornaments left in case you’re still holiday shopping. The cut-off for guaranteed delivery before Christmas is next Thursday, December 20, so don’t wait! As always, thanks so much for your support of the shop and my pottery—your messages, comments, and orders mean the world to me.

Reveal of DGD Pottery Collection No.3

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5 Mason Jar Christmas Gift Ideas

*This post was sponsored by Oriental Trading

5 Mason Jar Christmas Gift Ideas

I’m so sorry to keep today’s post extra short and sweet, but I just can’t ignore the fact that I’m sick any longer. I need to take a bit of extra time off this week to rest and recuperate from whatever cold or sinus infection I managed to catch because I’ve got way too much on my Christmas to-do list to stay down for long. I’ve got peppermint lattes to drink, holiday lights to see, Christmas meals to eat, and shopping still to do! But all of that must wait until I get back to good health.

The good news is that my latest project for Oriental Trading Company was finished long before I started feeling under the weather, so I’m excited to send you right on your way to check out that extension of Dream Green DIY content today.

5 Mason Jar Christmas Gift Ideas

5 Mason Jar Christmas Gift Ideas

See the full step-by-step tutorial for my 5 Mason Jar Christmas Gift Ideas right here, and feel free to let me know in the comments below which one you’d make first for someone special on your list. My personal favorite? Gotta be those pumpkin bites! Boy, could I use one of those right about now…I guess that’s just another reason to get better sooner rather than later, am I right?

5 Mason Jar Christmas Gift Ideas

P.S. There’s still plenty of time to grab a handmade ornament for Christmas from the DGD Pottery shop! See what’s left of the collection here.

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DIY Custom Photo Mug Rail For The Kitchen

*This post was sponsored by Snapfish

DIY Custom Photo Mug Rail For The Kitchen | dreamgreendiy.com + @newsnapfish #ShareWithSnapfish #snapfish

Okay, guys. No more stalling. If it wasn’t “officially” crunch time for Christmas shopping before, it definitely is now! With Thanksgiving 2018 memories in the bag, we’re turning our attention to crossing “gift hunting” off our holiday to-do list.

We actually keep things relatively low-key among our two families (John’s immediate family and my own) by agreeing to gift one item apiece to each other, but it’s still a task we take pretty seriously. We hate the idea of giving gifts they don’t really need, so we think long and hard about what we can give them that serves a purpose. The number one item on that list? Coffee!

This season, I’m teaming up yet again with my favorite folks over at Snapfish to show how you can treat the coffee lovers in your own lives to something fun (and functional!) this holiday. Scroll on to learn more about the custom photo mugs and other kitchen accessories I put together as experiments for gift ordering later this month, plus the step-by-step tutorial for our new DIY coffee mug rail in case you really want to wow them come Christmas morning.

DIY Custom Photo Mug Rail For The Kitchen

DIY Custom Photo Mug Rail For The Kitchen

DIY Custom Photo Mug Rail For The Kitchen

First, the mugs. This was my first time ordering custom mugs from Snapfish, and I’ll admit that I was a little worried about being able to find designs among their pre-built templates that would suit our mod, clean-lined aesthetic. I’m not a big fan of ultra bright patterns, but I was excited to find out that that’s not all the website offers in terms of templates.

I was able to choose four really simple designs for our mugs—one with John’s initial for his daily cup of coffee, a wood-look labeled design with my own name on it, plus a couple of custom photo mugs with our engagement pictures printed on them.

DIY Custom Photo Mug Rail For The Kitchen

DIY Custom Photo Mug Rail For The Kitchen

DIY Custom Photo Mug Rail For The Kitchen

DIY Custom Photo Mug Rail For The Kitchen

I actually kept my cart open in its own separate tab in my browser so I could refresh it every time I completed a mug design and added it to my collection. That way I could be sure that the photos and designs I chose would look good together on display in our kitchen. That might be a little too OCD for everyone, but it worked for me!

Oh, and I should mention that the interface for creating custom designs was super easy to use, too. The do-it-yourself layout allows you to get really creative with multi-photo arrangements, and, whether your style is classic like ours or punchy (think: chalkboard designs, metallics, and even botanicals), the site has plenty of design options for you to play around with.

DIY Custom Photo Mug Rail For The Kitchen

DIY Custom Photo Mug Rail For The Kitchen

DIY Custom Photo Mug Rail For The Kitchen

It’s also a cinch to upload your own photos to the product builder. You can pull directly from places like Instagram, Facebook, and Google Photos, which saved me so much time. If I hadn’t had that option, I would have had to dig out my external hard drive to access the older photos I wanted to include. Being able to pull from my social media accounts saved me at least an extra half hour of hassle.

DIY Custom Photo Mug Rail For The Kitchen

Now for that DIY I promised! I wanted to figure out a way to really show off our new collection of custom kitchen items (did you see we also picked up a custom tea towel with our last name on it?!), so I built a quick DIY Custom Photo Mug Rail to go under our new open shelves. Scroll on to learn how to recreate the project.

DIY Custom Photo Mug Rail For The Kitchen

DIY Custom Photo Mug Rail For The Kitchen

DIY Custom Photo Mug Rail

Step One: Figure out how long you want your rail to be. I ended up using a 1/2-inch unfinished copper pipe for my rail because we already had it handy, and I also really liked the look of the patinaed copper against our wood shelves with their matte black brackets. The rod was already cut to a size that worked for us (34 1/2 inches long), but if you need to trim yours down a bit, you can use a pipe cutter, like this.

Step Two: Next, choose your spot for the rail, and mark where you’d like the hooks to go that will attach it to the underside of your shelves. I used three 1-inch white hooks to support our copper rail, spacing them roughly 12 inches apart from each other under the shelves. Mark where your hooks will go with a pencil, pre-drill the holes, and then screw the hooks in place.

Step Three: Slip your rail gently through the hooks, making sure that it feels strong and sturdy. If you feel like the rail needs more support, screw in a couple more hooks between the others.

Step Four: Loop S-hook hangers over the rail, and then slip your custom mugs right over the hangers to allow them to swing freely for easy grabbing in the morning.

NOTE: When figuring out where to hang your rail, make sure you keep it away from the wall by at least a few inches. Otherwise, the mugs could bang into the wall and break.

DIY Custom Photo Mug Rail For The Kitchen

DIY Custom Photo Mug Rail For The Kitchen

DIY Custom Photo Mug Rail For The Kitchen

DIY Custom Photo Mug Rail For The Kitchen

We love how the custom collection turned out (it’s such a treat to see them swinging there on our DIY rail every morning!), so I’m definitely planning on ordering more to give to friends and family this Christmas. Wouldn’t they make for the perfect personalized stocking stuffers? I vowed that this would be the year that we finally find functional gifts that look cool, too, and I think this idea definitely nails that criteria.

What types of personalized photo gifts would your family like? I love trying to think beyond the standard photo gift (remember my custom ’12 Reasons Why I Love You’ photo book from last year?), so if you have any clever ideas, tell us about them in the comments below. Whatever inspiration strikes your fancy, be sure to use the code ‘SANTA40‘ now through December 31, 2018, to enjoy 40% off your order sitewide.

DIY Custom Photo Mug Rail For The Kitchen | dreamgreendiy.com + @newsnapfish #ShareWithSnapfish #snapfish

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Our Functional Kitchen Décor Secrets

*This post was sponsored by Tuesday Morning

Our Functional Kitchen Décor Secrets | dreamgreendiy.com + @tuesdaymorning #ad #TuesdayMorningFinds

I don’t know about you, but I really struggle when decorating a kitchen. I’m all about pretty thrifted art, overstuffed upholstered seating, and cozy textiles, but you really can’t put much (if any) of that in a kitchen. Walls are typically taken up by cabinetry so there’s no room for art, and there’s usually not enough space for a seating area filled with throw pillows and blankets. The other issue I run into when decorating a kitchen is that I can’t stand cluttered countertops, so even cute “for looks” tabletop décor makes me go cross-eyed.

As I explained last week, I decided to really buckle down and try to crack the kitchen code when it comes to décor, and today I’m excited to reveal the new updates in partnership with Tuesday Morning. After stepping back to survey the results post-styling and rearranging this past weekend, I’m finally comfortable calling this room “done”—and just in time for Thanksgiving, too! Scroll on for a few of my biggest takeaways from this project.

Our Functional Kitchen Décor Secrets | dreamgreendiy.com + @tuesdaymorning #ad #TuesdayMorningFinds

Our Functional Kitchen Décor Secrets | dreamgreendiy.com + @tuesdaymorning #ad #TuesdayMorningFinds

Our Functional Kitchen Décor Secrets

Our Functional Kitchen Décor Secrets | dreamgreendiy.com + @tuesdaymorning #ad #TuesdayMorningFinds

Hidden Storage

I figured I’d go ahead and start with one of the most obvious ways to add function to a kitchen: hidden storage. Things like lidded baskets and ceramic jars are great for hiding extra kitchen rags, dry ingredients, and even pet treats.

As an example, I picked up a tall white ceramic container at Tuesday Morning for $14.99 (compared to $36 full price!) that I’m now using to hide Rocky’s dog bones in. The retro-inspired pattern on the side is so perfect for our 1960s kitchen, and you’d never think that it held smelly, crumbly dog treats.

I also grabbed a marble jar from the bath aisle (priced in-store for $9.99, $20 retail value) that I use for sugar nowadays. The marble pattern is so much prettier than the wrinkled sugar bag I would otherwise have had to plop out on the shelf.

Our Functional Kitchen Décor Secrets | dreamgreendiy.com + @tuesdaymorning #ad #TuesdayMorningFinds

Our Functional Kitchen Décor Secrets | dreamgreendiy.com + @tuesdaymorning #ad #TuesdayMorningFinds

Our Functional Kitchen Décor Secrets | dreamgreendiy.com + @tuesdaymorning #ad #TuesdayMorningFinds

Our Functional Kitchen Décor Secrets | dreamgreendiy.com + @tuesdaymorning #ad #TuesdayMorningFinds

Our Functional Kitchen Décor Secrets

Our Functional Kitchen Décor Secrets | dreamgreendiy.com + @tuesdaymorning #ad #TuesdayMorningFinds

Our Functional Kitchen Décor Secrets | dreamgreendiy.com + @tuesdaymorning #ad #TuesdayMorningFinds

Exposed Storage

On the other hand, hidden storage isn’t the only way to make use of countertop and shelf square footage. I also love having select items at-the-ready in exposed storage—things like open bowls and metal baskets—so I can grab them at a moment’s notice.

One of my favorite purchases from my shopping trip was the wood and brass bowl we’re now using as a fruit container. The rich wood tone of the bowl speaks to our cabinetry, and the punched-out design in the brass rim accent is so eye-catching. I also love that it was marked down from $54.99 to $29.99.

Another exposed storage upgrade we made was where our coffee pods are concerned. At the last second, I grabbed an oversized serving bowl from the kitchen aisle (cost me $19.99, compared to $35 full price) that we use for our Keurig K-cups. It’s a lot easier to pick one off the top of the pile first thing in the morning instead of having to dig around in a cabinet for the box of pods. Oh, and I should mention that the name brand K-cups, themselves, came from Tuesday Morning, too—at practically half price. I’m not making this up.

Our Functional Kitchen Décor Secrets

Our Functional Kitchen Décor Secrets | dreamgreendiy.com + @tuesdaymorning #ad #TuesdayMorningFinds

Our Functional Kitchen Décor Secrets | dreamgreendiy.com + @tuesdaymorning #ad #TuesdayMorningFinds

Our Functional Kitchen Décor Secrets | dreamgreendiy.com + @tuesdaymorning #ad #TuesdayMorningFinds

Our Functional Kitchen Décor Secrets | dreamgreendiy.com + @tuesdaymorning #ad #TuesdayMorningFinds

Soft Textures

I know I mentioned that you can’t have soft textiles in a kitchen, but that’s not altogether true. I lingered for an extra long time in the towels section in-store to make sure I stocked up on pretty towels for our kitchen that would add a bit of color and texture. I also chose a pair of black and white check oven mitts while I was at it ($5.99, compared to $14.99) because we keep those out by the stove and I wanted them to look just as nice as they functioned.

Of course, another place to add softness in a kitchen is on your floors. I knew I wanted to lay down a rug in our space—something that pulled the blue color from our curtains—and I think I found the perfect one. The jute rug I grabbed has a modern zigzag pattern in it that I love, plus that blue hue I was looking for, but it’s not so bold that it distracts from the rest of the space.

Here’s another random tip for you: pick up an ergonomic kitchen mat to lay underneath your main rug! It doesn’t have to be pretty or expensive—in fact, I grabbed mine from the clearance section—because you’ll never see it, but your feet will really come to appreciate that extra cushion when you’re slaving away over dinner.

Our Functional Kitchen Décor Secrets | dreamgreendiy.com + @tuesdaymorning #ad #TuesdayMorningFinds

Our Functional Kitchen Décor Secrets | dreamgreendiy.com + @tuesdaymorning #ad #TuesdayMorningFinds

Our Functional Kitchen Décor Secrets | dreamgreendiy.com + @tuesdaymorning #ad #TuesdayMorningFinds

Our Functional Kitchen Décor Secrets | dreamgreendiy.com + @tuesdaymorning #ad #TuesdayMorningFinds

Maximize Wall Space

I finally got around to upgrading our DIY open kitchen shelving, which has really helped me maximize the empty wall space we originally had in our kitchen. Now the extra deep shelves have plenty of room for stacking extra plates, bowls, and cups on, and we don’t have to worry about opening the kitchen cabinets when we want a quick snack or easy lunch.

I bought six white plates for $2.99 a pop and a set of four cereal (read: ice cream) bowls that cost $3.99 each. I also added eight new glasses to our collection since we seem to go through those too quickly for our dish washer to keep up on a weekly basis. Oh, and don’t worry—I plan to share the full tutorial on how to hang and style those shelves in just a couple of weeks!

Our Functional Kitchen Décor Secrets | dreamgreendiy.com + @tuesdaymorning #ad #TuesdayMorningFinds

Our Functional Kitchen Décor Secrets | dreamgreendiy.com + @tuesdaymorning #ad #TuesdayMorningFinds

Our Functional Kitchen Décor Secrets | dreamgreendiy.com + @tuesdaymorning #ad #TuesdayMorningFinds

Our Functional Kitchen Décor Secrets | dreamgreendiy.com + @tuesdaymorning #ad #TuesdayMorningFinds

Blend-able Neutrals

To me functional décor needs to look nice but also serve a purpose. I’m over the whole “just for looks” decorative phase I was in for so long, and want to make sure every item in our home serves a real function. So, I tried to keep that in mind when choosing replacements for some of the pieces in our kitchen that were looking a little worse for wear.

One way I managed to make the more boring purchases for our kitchen look great, too, was through color—or, really, lack thereof. Our toaster, for example was pretty dingy, so I knew I wanted to replace it. The new one I picked up for $17.99 (compared to $49.99 originally) sports this really nice rose gold face and a white finish on the sides, so it blends right in with the subway tile backsplash. You hardly even see it! I also picked up an angular white cup that we’re using to hold our dish brush by the sink, so the dirty bristles are hidden from view and you see mostly just the glossy white finish of the cup instead.

When in doubt, grab items and containers that match your backsplash or cabinetry (like the new set of wooden-handled utensils I bought and now keep by the oven) so they don’t shout, “Look at me! Look at me!”

Our Functional Kitchen Décor Secrets | dreamgreendiy.com + @tuesdaymorning #ad #TuesdayMorningFinds

Our Functional Kitchen Décor Secrets | dreamgreendiy.com + @tuesdaymorning #ad #TuesdayMorningFinds

Our Functional Kitchen Décor Secrets | dreamgreendiy.com + @tuesdaymorning #ad #TuesdayMorningFinds

Our Functional Kitchen Décor Secrets | dreamgreendiy.com + @tuesdaymorning #ad #TuesdayMorningFinds

I know I have more to share on this topic (especially when it comes to drawer storage) but I’ve already rambled quite a bit and don’t want to overwhelm you! Did you notice our new under-cabinet lighting? I’m so excited to talk more about this extension of our functional kitchen upgrades, but the topic deserves its very own day, so stay tuned for that after we get back from Thanksgiving break.

Did I leave any advice or tips out that you put to good use in your own kitchen? Do tell in the comments below. And don’t forget to add a Tuesday Morning drop-in to your holiday shopping spree list! Find your closest Tuesday Morning store location here.

Our Functional Kitchen Décor Secrets | dreamgreendiy.com + @tuesdaymorning #ad #TuesdayMorningFinds

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Reveal of DGD Pottery Collection No.2

Reveal of DGD Pottery Collection No.2

I’m so excited to announce that a brand new collection of pottery just went live in the DGD Pottery shop on Etsy! In case you’re just catching up, this is my second shop update since launching earlier this month, and includes a whole bunch of fresh-from-the-kiln work that I made over at Make Waynesboro Clay Studio. Scroll on to learn a little bit more about the pieces in this new collection, and then click here to grab your favorite before it sells out.

Reveal of DGD Pottery Collection No.2Reveal of DGD Pottery Collection No.2

Reveal of DGD Pottery Collection No.2

Last month I started a pretty intense glazing class with a handful of other members taught by Jake, the co-founder of Make Waynesboro. I learned so much about different techniques and all the various ways a person can make their ceramics pop with hand-mixed colors, wax relief designs, and carving into glaze to create crisp lines.

The little white dish you see above is an example of my after-hours experimentation with wax over bare clay with a glossy white surround. I love the minimalist look and think this miniature bowl shape might just be my favorite to make and use around the house for things like jewelry and keys.

Reveal of DGD Pottery Collection No.2

Reveal of DGD Pottery Collection No.2

Reveal of DGD Pottery Collection No.2

Reveal of DGD Pottery Collection No.2

Reveal of DGD Pottery Collection No.2

Reveal of DGD Pottery Collection No.2

I’m excited to share about two new cups with floral carvings this go-around—one a subtle blue-on-blue look, and the other has a neutral, earth-toned vibe. The latter actually went up last-minute earlier this month when I launched my Etsy shop, and has already sold out, but the dark blue one is still available here.

Reveal of DGD Pottery Collection No.2Reveal of DGD Pottery Collection No.2

Reveal of DGD Pottery Collection No.2

Reveal of DGD Pottery Collection No.2

I also included some new watercolor-inspired work in this latest shop update. That plate above is easily my personal favorite of the entire series. I’m so drawn to the almost translucent look of the glazes, and how they layer over each other. I also feel like I’m getting closer to nailing the asymmetrical look I’ve always been aiming for with this series. See how the colors are sort of more to one side than the other? It just looks more abstract and organic to me, and is definitely something I want to try doing intentionally in my next batch of watercolor pieces.

Reveal of DGD Pottery Collection No.2Reveal of DGD Pottery Collection No.2Reveal of DGD Pottery Collection No.2Reveal of DGD Pottery Collection No.2

Another piece that snuck its way into the first collection and has since sold out is the mint “You Got This” cup. I’m absolutely smitten with that color and the calligraphy look, though, so I’ll definitely make more for later in the season. Do you have any particular sayings or quotes you’d like to see on a mug or tumbler? Do tell in the comments and I’ll work on making it!

Oh, and as for that curvy bottle with the dashes? I’m in love with that one, too! So much so, in fact, that I tried the same look on a new bottle that I made last week, so don’t worry if you miss out on it in this shop update. There will definitely be more added to the shop with this design soon.

Reveal of DGD Pottery Collection No.2Reveal of DGD Pottery Collection No.2

The two vases you see pictured above and below are some of my most ambitious pieces yet. I can’t take credit for their designs, of course, because I based them off of the work of Hsin-Chuen Lin, but it was a lot of fun to give these Asian-inspired silhouettes my own flair. It will be tough to part with them, but I’m hopeful that someone out there will appreciate the concepts and shapes as much as I do. That would make it so worth it.

Reveal of DGD Pottery Collection No.2

Reveal of DGD Pottery Collection No.2

So, there you have it, folks! Click over to Etsy here to shop the new pieces in Collection No.2, and feel free to let me know what you think (or what you’d like to see next) in the comments below. I’m still just as infatuated with pottery as ever, and can’t wait to get back to the wheel.

I’m also planning on creating a whole series of Christmas ornaments, which should be available in the shop just in time for your holiday decorating and gifting. Stay tuned for that, and thank you so much for your support—it means more than you’ll ever know!

Reveal of DGD Pottery Collection No.2

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DIY Thanksgiving Wood Ring Trivet Mat

DIY Thanksgiving Wood Ring Trivet Mat

Is it too early to talk about (let alone think about) Thanksgiving? I can’t decide, but the holiday is right there looming just one month away on the calendar, so I’m taking it as a sign that you guys have started making plans for the big event. The good news is that today’s quick craft project can really be used any time of year—Thanksgiving and beyond—so I promise you’ll feel extra productive while putting it together this month. Scroll on for the step-by-step tutorial to make your own DIY Wood Ring Trivet Mat!

DIY Thanksgiving Wood Ring Trivet Mat

DIY Thanksgiving Wood Ring Trivet Mat

Here’s What You’ll Need:

Not only is this project super easy to make—it’s also super cheap. The 1-inch wooden rings I used cost just $6, and the yarn was on sale for a few bucks. Since I used only a handful of feet from the spool of yarn for my DIY trivet mat, that figure could even be knocked down to a few pennies to be totally accurate. Other than those two main supplies, you need to grab a pair of scissors, some clear tacky glue, and maybe your phone to crank up the tunes or a podcast while you work.

DIY Thanksgiving Wood Ring Trivet Mat

DIY Thanksgiving Wood Ring Trivet Mat

Step One

Open your bag of wooden rings, and lay them out on the table so you can play around with different designs. My ultimate plan for this trivet mat is to use it under my favorite rectangular casserole dish come Thanksgiving, so I decided to follow suit with the same shape for my mat. You, of course, can run with any kind of shape you want, though—a square, a semi-circle, anything!

DIY Thanksgiving Wood Ring Trivet Mat

Step Two

Once you have your shape laid out, start connecting the rings to each other using small lengths of cut yarn. I would suggest cutting your yarn pieces a little longer than you actually need them to be, just to save you some headache while tying knots between the rings. The longer your yarn, the easier it will be to grip and tie a knot. I went with a triple knot on each, by the way, and my yarn pieces were each roughly five inches long.

DIY Thanksgiving Wood Ring Trivet Mat

DIY Thanksgiving Wood Ring Trivet Mat

Step Three

Even though I used triple knots between each ring, I still felt like my mat could stand to have a little more strength, so I dabbed a bit of tacky glue over each knot. I was careful not to get the glue on the rings, though, because I wanted the rings to twist under the yarn knots for easy folding and storing. Just dab the glue right on top of the knot to keep it from unraveling. Since it dries clear, you’ll never see it.

DIY Thanksgiving Wood Ring Trivet Mat

A Quick Note

You might have noticed that side-by-side image a couple photos up. I included that so you can see the difference between the knotted underside and the top of the mat. It’s much cleaner and less chaotic when you flip it right side up, which I was relieved to see. If you want an even more minimalist look, choose a colored yarn that matches the wood tone of your rings.

DIY Thanksgiving Wood Ring Trivet Mat

After the glue dots have dried, you’re ready to flip the finished DIY Wood Ring Trivet Mat over and use it under anything hot you might serve this season. I personally love using it under my kettle now that I’m craving afternoon cups of coffee and tea (it’s so cold here already in Virginia). Tell me what you think of our little heatproof trivet mat in the comments below, or, better yet, tell me what you’d like to serve on top of it this Thanksgiving!

DIY Thanksgiving Wood Ring Trivet Mat

P.S. Click back here to take our fall dining room tour for even MORE Thanksgiving-themed inspiration!
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Creepy Classy Black & White Halloween Party

*This post was sponsored by Oriental Trading

Creepy Classy Black & White Halloween Party

I hope that your start to October was a great one yesterday! Ours was pretty toasty at 81 degrees for a high, but it just made our anticipation of those cool, crisp days to come even sweeter. At any rate, Halloween is only a handful of weeks away now that we’re into the new month, which means that your party planning needs to start…well…now.

Back in September, I had a chance to play around with a few boxes of monochromatic Halloween décor care of Oriental Trading, and today I’m sharing pictures of the spooky (yet still sophisticated!) soirée I was able to throw together using my favorites from the collection. Keep scrolling to see a few snippets of the full party, as well as a quick rundown of the process I go through when planning these types of coordinated holiday gatherings.

Creepy Classy Black & White Halloween Party

Creepy Classy Black & White Halloween Party

As with most parties that I put together, the longest and hardest part was definitely the planning. I tend to start with a color palette in mind—this time, black, white, red, and wood tones—and then I usually go online to search out any accents and accessories I want to use. For this event, I clicked and dragged product photos right from the OTC website to the desktop on my computer, and then I pulled all of those icons into a folder on my hard drive so I could preview how everything looked together.

I pulled absolutely anything and everything that caught my eye online, and ended up with way more than I needed. That was intentional, though, because, after that, I could just drag out and trash the digital items I didn’t think I really needed until I was left with a reasonable collection of pieces to make up what I’m calling our Creepy Classy Black & White Halloween Party.

After that I submitted my order and, when everything arrived in boxes, I carefully unpacked each item and set the gathering up just as I had envisioned when I was pulling inspiration online. By pre-planning in advance and considering where everything might actually go, I was able to order fewer items and it took much less time to set up once it had all arrived.

Creepy Classy Black & White Halloween Party

Creepy Classy Black & White Halloween Party

Creepy Classy Black & White Halloween Party

Is it helpful to learn a little bit more about my party-planning process? Many of you might already do something similar, or have your own tried-and-true hostessing routines, but I thought it might be interesting for me to share my perspective on how to bring a festive fête together with minimal stress and on a tight budget, too.

Hop over to the Fun365 website by Oriental Trading to see and shop the full party, and don’t miss my step-by-step tutorial for a DIY Spooky Silhouetted Halloween Gallery Wall while you’re at it!

Creepy Classy Black & White Halloween Party

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Should We Go ‘Open Concept’?

Should We Go 'Open Concept'?

I’d love to start this brand new week off with a design question: should we go open concept between our dining room and kitchen? Call me crazy, but now that we’ve been project-free for a few weeks, I’m feeling the itch to make more changes around here. Our hall bathroom renovation is complete, and our new roof is all done, so now I’m setting my sights on something we’ve never tackled before…Removing a wall!

Should We Go 'Open Concept'?

Should We Go 'Open Concept'?

Should We Go 'Open Concept'?

One of the things I appreciated so much about this house when we first toured it was the fact that the kitchen is separated from the dining room by a partition wall. That said, now that we’ve lived here for three years, I’m wondering if this layout really is the best for our particular space.

It’s a little hard to explain without you being here, but in the front room of our house (which consists of the kitchen, dining room, and living room) there’s a wall that extends from the middle of the space to just a few feet from the exterior wall. On the dining room side, the wall has a giant framed photo on it, whereas the other side faces into our kitchen and has open shelving on it just above some lower cabinetry and the dishwasher.

As you can see in the photos above, the wall has a cool angular cut-out detail at the top to allow a bit of natural light from the open concept dining and living room to spill into the kitchen—a fact I love because that room gets very little natural light otherwise. I really do appreciate that the rooms have a bit of separation between them, but then I came across this inspiration image below and the wheels in my head started turning.

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Should we consider removing the wall to let more of that gorgeous sunlight into our dark kitchen? The inspiration photo stopped me in my feed-scrolling tracks on Pinterest the other day because it gave me such a good sense of what our own home could look like if we just removed part or all of that separating wall.

Similar to the inspiration image, we have light-colored, speckled countertops and dark wood cabinetry. We also have white walls, and a similarly angled mid-century-style ceiling. I can totally see this translating into our own retro home, but don’t want to regret embarking on another chaotic renovation project if it’s a terrible idea.

Should We Go 'Open Concept'?

Should We Go 'Open Concept'?

The picture of our home just above gives you a pretty good sense of the difference in lighting between the spaces. The dining room is filled top to bottom with glorious sunshine, while the kitchen (mere inches away!) gets barely anything because of that partition wall.

One option is to leave the wall between the kitchen and living room as it stands (the one right behind the liquor cabinet you see there), and bring the partition wall perpendicular to it down to about counter height to allow more light to get to the kitchen. There would still be a bit of separation and we wouldn’t have to move the dishwasher, but the light could be shared between spaces.

Should We Go 'Open Concept'?

Should We Go 'Open Concept'?

What do you think? Am I crazy to be considering this? Those of you who have truly open concept homes: do you appreciate being able to see right into your kitchen from the dining room, or do you wish you had more separation between the spaces? I’m dying to hear your opinions and personal perspectives, so please spill in the comments below!

Should We Go 'Open Concept'?

**See what our home looked like when we moved in here!
**Inspiration image source unknown, all other images are by Meredith Sledge
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DIY Countdown To Halloween Candy Calendar

*This post is sponsored by Oriental Trading

DIY Countdown To Halloween Candy Calendar

How is September almost over already?! Halloween is a little over a month away, and I just don’t know where the time has gone. Didn’t it feel like we were wrapping up another whirlwind Thanksgiving/Christmas/New Year’s season only a few weeks ago?

Well, that time is nearly upon us once again and, despite the disbelieving start to this blog post, today’s the day that I officially quit saying how surprised I am that we’re already in the midst of the holidays. I’ve said it (multiple times, probably), so it’s out of the way. Now’s the time to get PUMPED for another round of overindulging in the name of this extra special time of year, and I’m kicking things off with a brand new craft project for Oriental Trading: my DIY Countdown To Halloween Candy Calendar.

DIY Countdown To Halloween Candy Calendar

This numbered box project is a cinch to recreate thanks to the free printable and shopping list I made available here. But that’s not the best part, though…See those 30+ boxes? Every last one is filled with candy so you can placate that sweet tooth of yours every day leading up to Halloween at the end of the month.

You can choose to make the countdown more of a scavenger hunt by mixing up the numbers, or put them in order from 1-31 if you’d rather simplify things (great for kids, too, so my OTC editors/mamas tell me!). Let me know how you’d arrange your own DIY Halloween Candy Box Countdown in the comments below, and then hop through to Oriental Trading for the full tutorial and clickable shopping list.

DIY Countdown To Halloween Candy Calendar

*For more Halloween fun, click these links for inspiration and tutorials: DIY Halloween Pumpkins With Painted Dashes, DIY Cartoon Eyeball Halloween Wreath.
**Don’t forget to sign up for the Dream Green DIY newsletter! The next issue hits everyone’s inboxes tomorrow, and will include an in-depth discussion about my favorite essential oil blends for the home. Sign up here!
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