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5 easy tips for fall decor

October 7, 2016


For today’s Friday field trip, I am sharing 5 easy tips to help inspire you to create great fall displays.  And, even more exciting, I have included photo examples from Terrain – my favorite home and garden store!  Here goes:

Highlight one unique piece.  Find one really unique pumpkin or gourd and use it as a focal point.  It may be a gourd with magnificent coloring, a pumpkin with many bumps, a gourd with a unique shape, or a pumpkin with a really cool twisty long stem!  Put a focus on that unique piece by displaying it on its own in a basket, on a table, or under a cloche.


Stack ‘em up.  A really easy way to create some drama is to stack up some pumpkins for a fall ‘topiary.’  Since this can be done on any scale, it is a great decorating idea on any budget!





Display en masse. Using any one item in multiples makes a design statement.  Put multiples of a piece or plant in a basket or on a chair or bench for an easy but impactful display. The ‘odd man out’ is also a fun way to display pumpkins.  Add an ‘odd man’ to a display of multiples.  For example, have tons of mini white pumpkins and add one orange pumpkin – or vice versa.




Open it up.  If you are displaying a bunch of items, particularly colorful ones, use an open container to give a full view of the items on display.  If you look around, you probably already have something you can use – like an old tomato cage or some chicken wire!



Add a pumpkin.  A very simple tip, yet an effective one, is just to add a pumpkin or two to any of your existing vignettes or plantings – indoors or out.  Without much expense, a few pumpkins can go really far to transform your current arrangements for the season!  Maybe add a little hay and some Spanish moss as well…easy!




I hope I have inspired you with today’s fall design tips and a visit to Terrain!  Thanks for stopping by!


Have a wonderful weekend and remember to take pleasure in simple things, Jackie

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inital ball jar embellishment

August 2, 2016

Inital Ball Jar DIY embellishment pleasure in simple things blog

I find joy in the details and today’s simple DIY is a perfect example!

I found this raised initial Ball jar at Terrain.  I really liked the idea of an initial on the Ball jar, but I wasn’t crazy about the shiny silver lid provided with the jar.  I also thought the initial needed a little embellishment.

using gold leaf for a diy pleasure in simple things blogThese items were easy enough to remedy with some gold spray paint and a little bit of gold leaf.

A gold leafing kit is an essential part of any craft supply stash since there are tons of little uses for it. These kits are easy to find at craft stores.

DIY Inital Ball Jar pleasure in simple things blog

I first spray painted the lid of the jar with a gold metallic spray paint…easy enough!   Next, I applied the gold leaf.  I brushed some liquid adhesive provided with the kit onto the area where I wanted the gold leaf.  I purposely did a messy painting job because I didn’t want it to look too ‘perfect.’  (I thought I may even want to sand a little of the gold leaf off after I had it completed to make it look a little worn.)   I used a cotton swab for to apply the adhesive, rather than getting a brush dirty – and after the application, I just threw out the cotton swab!

 Ball Jar pleasure in simple things blog

After the adhesive got a little tacky, I carefully placed a little piece of the gold leaf over the initial and pushed it down with a clean, soft cloth.  Lastly, I added a sealant, provided with the kit, to keep the gold leaf in place and prevent discoloration.  (I applied this with a cotton swab as well.)

Be sure to follow the directions provided with your gold leaf kit for best results!

Raised Inital Ball Jar DIY pleasure in simple things blog

I love the result!  I got rid of the shiny silver lid and that little speck of gold leaf on the initial made this monogrammed jar perfect!

Thanks for stopping by!

Remember to take pleasure in simple things, Jackie

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bridesmaid proposal bags

July 12, 2016

vegan leather bridesmaid proposal bags pleasure in simple things blog

Today, brides-to-be don’t simply ask a few close friends to serve as their bridesmaids.  Rather, they create a whole “would you be my bridesmaid?” occasion to request their friends’ services.

The most popular way to do this seems to be a ‘bridal box.’  This is when a box is sent to each potential bridesmaid through the mail.  Inside each box is a gift chosen by the future bride, requesting each recipient serve as a bridesmaid.

unique bridal proposal bags pleasure in simple things blog

I thought; why not use a ‘bridal bag’ instead of a box!  A custom bag seems so much cooler than a box!

Working with the future bride and my favorite custom bag creator – Ralph & Martha – this is what we came up with! (You may remember Ralph & Martha from my anchor bag post – click here to see more on that.)

ralph and martha bridal proposal bags

The resulting custom creation was a vegan leather bag displaying each gal’s initial in metallic gold and a gilded tassel pull!  When completed, the bride enclosed little surprises inside each bag before distributing them.

tassels on bridesmaid proporal bag pleasure in simple things blog

We toyed with the idea of printing the text ‘would you be my bridesmaid?’ on a custom fabric for the lining, but decided against it.  Instead, the bride wrote an individual personal note to each potential bridesmaid and the lining fabric was used as an opportunity to give a hint of the wedding ceremony location.

fern bag pleasure in simple things blog

The same fern fabric used for the bag’s lining was used to create a surprise bag for the bride-to-be!

bride's bag pleasure in simple things blogI hope you are inspired to create, or help create, a bridesmaid proposal that is unique!

Thanks for stopping by!

Remember to take pleasure in simple things, Jackie


january book giveaway!

January 1, 2016

jan giveaway pleasure in simple things blog

Happy New Year, my friends! Not only is it the end of 2015, but it is also the end of the month and time for a new giveaway. Since it is the start of a new year, I have something different planned for this month. Instead of a book title, I am gifting a set of journals and some pretty new pencils!

giving away journals for jan 2016 pleasure in simple things blog

The idea is to start 2016 with plenty of new ideas and documented dreams right from the start! I am hoping to inspire your creative spirit and to encourage you to write about your dreams and goals instead of deciding to give up something or to come up with a resolution from the typical list of 10 or 12 everyone you know seems to also come up with.

journal giveaway for jan pleasure in simple things blog

Leave me a comment and you will be entered to win the journals and pencils. Good luck!

journal giveaway pleasure in simple things

The winner of last month’s giveaway, Birds of a Feather coloring book by Vicki Sawyer, is Mari. Mari’s name was chosen randomly from the comments I received.  Congratulations and thank you to everyone that left a comment to enter the giveaway! Send me an email Mari and let me know where to send the coloring book and coloring pencils! Enjoy!

For those with Instagram, this month’s challenge is to share a photo that gives a glimpse of your goals and dreams for 2016…use your imagination to share your dreams using hashtag #pleasuregram!  Can’t wait to see what you share!

January 2016 Instagram challenge pleasure in simple things blog

Thanks so much for stopping by!  Wishing you many new dreams for 2016!

Remember to take pleasure in simple things, Jackie


pink for breast cancer awareness

October 9, 2015

pink pumpkins for breast cancer awareness pleasure in simple things blog

A quick post for Friday field trip today…I have been busy painting and I thought you might like to see what 50 pink pumpkins look like!

pink pumpkins for october breast cancer awareness pleasure in simple things blog

overhead view of 50 pink pumpkins pleasure in simple things

Remember October is breast cancer awareness month!  Thanks for stopping by.  Have a wonderful weekend!

I believe in pink quote pleasure in simple things blog

Remember to take pleasure in simple things, Jackie

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50 shades of pink pumpkins

October 6, 2015

chalk paint pumpkins for breast cancer awareness pleasure in simple things blog

Usually, at this time of year, I am creating some pumpkins. It may be pumpkins made of velvet. It may be real pumpkins carved with sea-themed designs. Or, it may be my favorite white pumpkins enhanced with paint or decoupage.

Usually, though, at this time of year; I have given in to the idea of fall and have started creating some fun pumpkin crafts. This year, my time is particularly limited. Working three jobs and seven days a week leaves me little free time for fun projects.

annie sloan pink pumpkin pleasure in simple things blog

So, in the interest of using my time effectively, I decided to use my pumpkin creativeness in a way that will serve as more than just fall décor. I am using my limited free time to paint pumpkins pink as a way to celebrate breast cancer awareness month. My goal is to paint 50 pumpkins in different shades of pink!

Annie Sloan Chalk Paint pumpkin pleasure in simple things blog

Armed with Antoinette, Old White, and Primer Red Annie Sloan Chalk Paint and some large drop cloths, I started my project – now just 6 pumpkins in! In this way, 50 homes will display a pumpkin that celebrates more than a decorative item. It serves as a way to remind our neighbors to practice good breast health. If one person sees a pink pumpkin and takes a moment to consider what it means, I think the painting was well worth my time!

Annie Sloan painting 50 shades of pink pumpkins pleasure in simple things

So, instead of decorating pumpkins for fall décor this year, I am painting them to decorate a celebration of good breast health! Please consider displaying a pink pumpkin in front of your home this year to show that pumpkins can remind us of more than just Halloween!

Thanks for stopping by. Remember to take pleasure in simple things, Jackie

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two tons of white legos®

August 21, 2015

building in process pleasure in simple things blog

What would happen if someone dumped two tons of LEGOS® into a city park and told the public to ‘have at it?’  You can find out this summer on the High Line in New York City with The collectivity project!

lego time pleasure in simple things blog

art installation at the high line pleasure in simple things blog

The collectivity project, an installation of white LEGO® bricks, features an imaginary cityscape conceived and designed by the public.  The ever-evolving shape of the installation is at the mercy of those visiting the High Line who are welcome to play with the installation – building and rebuilding the structures over time.

building legos at the high line pleasure in simple things

The project stimulates tons of creative energy and provides a darn good time in the process!  The idea was driven by Danish-Icelandic artist Olafur Eliasson, demonstrating his desire to make the concerns of art relevant to society at large; not limited to the confines of a museum or gallery.

high line legos pleasure in simple things

Visitors are a mix – from super serious architect types to those who are just passersby and add a single brick or two.  Me? I found myself somewhere in the middle.  I wanted to make my mark on the project – to be a contributor – but, I didn’t feel the need to impress anyone with my superior LEGO® building skills!

lego sky scrapers pleasure in simple things blog

If you should visit, you may not see what is pictured here since the piece is constantly being reconfigured by those who visit and contribute to its ever-progressing contour.

building legos in nyc pleasure in simple things blog

lego tower at the high line pleasure in simple things blog

Visit the High Line now through September 30th and you will get the chance to make your mark on two tons of white LEGOS® at no charge!  How cool is that?!  Thanks for stopping by for Friday field trip!  I will post some additional photos from this great installation on Facebook this weekend.

white legos pleasure in simple things blog
Have a wonderful weekend and remember to take pleasure in simple things, Jackie

legos left at the high line pleasure in simple things
P.S.  Click here to read more about The High Line.

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jewelry holder redo with annie sloan

August 14, 2015

after of a jewlery stand redo pleasure in simple things blog

Today’s redo may seem a little unusual… Maybe not if you remember that I once turned a plastic drink container into a beautiful flower vase using Annie Sloan paint!  Today, I am again using Annie Sloan paint for a transformation.  For today’s Friday field trip, come see how I used paint, an old poetry book, a few shells, and some scraps of ribbon to turn a black metal jewelry stand into something much more ‘poetic.’

before and after jewlery stand

First, I used Annie Sloan paint in Old White to cover the entire jewelry stand.  I really did not like the grid pattern on the metal piece so, I decided to tone it down by attaching some pages I ripped out of an old poetry book.  After I liked the way the pages were arranged, I added a ‘belt.’

closeup of jewlery stand redo pleasure in simple things blog
For this, I used a glue gun to add some raffia, some seam tape (I aged using some strong coffee), a few shells, and some tulle.

jewlery stand redo on pleasure in simple things blog

I finished by adding a little bit of sparkle to the pages and a few gold accents to the Old White paint.  A much different look than the old black metal grid, don’t you think?

jewelry holder with necklace pleasure in simple things blog

The piece now looks really great to display jewelry or to display on its own!

Thanks for stopping by!  I hope I have inspired you to update your own flea market find!

redo of a jewlery stand
Have a wonderful weekend and remember to take pleasure in simple things, Jackie

Sharing with Elizabeth & Co., Coastal Charm, and Thoughts from Alice.


top 6 summer obsessions 2014

August 26, 2014

Pleasure in simple things 2014 summer obsessions

Here in Connecticut, we are not experiencing the usual hot August days this year and I have been trying to fit in as many painting projects as I can before the weather turns cool. So, I have been posting quite a few painting projects. Today, I am posting something a little different…I am sharing my top summer obsessions.

So sit back with a cup of coffee or cold drink and enjoy…hopefully, after you read this, you will be inspired to share some of your summer obsessions with me! ;)

THE BEACH  Of course, the beach will always be my number 1 summer obsession (and, clearly, this obsession is not limited to the summer!) This summer, I got the chance to visit a new beach. Although very briefly, I had the opportunity to visit St. Augustine, Florida – named one of America’s Happiest Seaside Towns by Coastal Living Magazine  When visiting a new area, checking out the local beach is always on the top of my list!  In St. Augustine, I even got the chance to visit a lighthouse!

Summer obsessions 2014 pleasure in simple things St. Augustine, FL

Oh, while I am on the subject of beaches, I must include my favorite float/beach toy this summer. Have you seen the cool pool floats at Urban Outfitters? They were a must-have this summer. Definitely obsession worthy. The donut is my favorite…I’ll take mine with sprinkles, thank you very much!

TATTOO BRACELETS   Bracelets are probably my favorite piece of jewelry. The trouble with wearing them, particularly in the summer, is that they get caught on everything! My hands are just too busy working, painting, crafting, etc. to wear a bracelet without it snagging and breaking. This summer, I came up with the perfect solution! These metallic temporary tattoos are a great alternative to a traditional bracelet and look so pretty on a tanned body! This cool arm or (insert name of body part here) candy from lulu dk is a great way to add a little bling to the ‘bod’ and a must have for the summer!

TOP CHEF DUELS  This summer another food show was added to my TV viewing schedule…Top Chef Duels on Bravo! I love watching all the Top Chefs and this show is a win-win since Top Chefs compete against one another. Also, it happens to be hosted by two of my favs – Curtis Stone and Gail Simmons.

Meeting Curtis , Gail, and many of the Top Chefs (including one of my very favorites – Richard Blais) and getting the chance to TASTE THEIR FOOD helped make my summer complete! Aaaah, the beauty of living close to NYC! Clear the couch Wednesdays at 10:00…gotta love me some Top Chefs!

pleasure in simple things summer obsession 2014 painting with Annie Sloan

ANNIE SLOAN CHALK PAINT  Painting has always been a part of my life…pretty much, you name it and I’ve painted it! And, the summer is always a great time to paint furniture since it can be done outdoors. This summer, I did tons of experimenting with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint. I was late to the game on getting started with this paint, but I think I have made up for it this summer – from accessories to furniture, I have been having a fun time with it. The little to no prep required with this paint affords so much more time for the ‘fun’ part of painting furniture – different finishes and detail painting! I have to beat the clock with furniture painting in the good weather since I really don’t enjoy it as much indoors.

FROZEN TREATS  Something frozen is always part of my summer treat repertoire! This summer, I did some experimentation with ice pops using the plastic sleeves that are now available for purchase – just the fact that the frozen treat is in the plastic sleeve makes it taste better! But, my top frozen obsession this summer isn’t made by me.

pleasure in simple things coconut lemongrass sorbet  summer obsession 2014

It is produced by a gourmet food store in Fairfield, Connecticut and is a store-made sorbet. My flavor of choice? Coconut lemongrass! O.M.G. I can eat a single serving (isn’t a pint a single serving?) plain or, at the serving suggestion of my friend Phyllis, enhanced with fruit. Either way, it is a big time winner!

Runners up in the food and beverage obsessions for me are watermelon water and (an every year summer obsession) fresh tomato pizza.

SPECIALTY STRAWS  Summer is all about frozen drinks and what could be more fun than a cool straw to add to them?! I get involved with a lot of party planning and my current obsession for any occasion is specialty straws! I like using them for every summer party!

a beach straw pleasure in simple things summer obsession 2014

Some applications include: the name of a school for a graduation party, Mr. & Mrs. for a casual beach wedding, a new baby’s name or all the possible choices a new baby will be named, etc. A party accessory that can easily be adapted to any theme and so much fun! They are really great for summer frozen drinks or for a signature drink created for a party. And, such a fun takeaway! Order the word(s) of your choice from Krazy Straws and add some extra fun to your summer soiree!

So there you go…the things I have been obsessed with this summer! There are still some summer days remaining and some time left to add a few more obsessions to my list. Do you have any contenders? Do tell!

Thank you for stopping by!  Remember to take pleasure in simple things, Jackie

The photo of the metallic tattoos is from the lulu dk website…I had a heck of a time trying to photograph my own arm! ;)

Sharing with Crafts a la Mode, Craftberry Bush, Shabby NestFinding Silver Pennies, Coastal Charm, and Sand & Sisal.


shopping coastal cool

August 8, 2014

pleasure in simple things field trip to Grace

For Friday field trip today, I am sharing a little eye candy from one of the best coastal lifestyle stores in Connecticut.

pleasure in simple things field trip to Grace

In addition to the best in home, personal, and gift wares, this store carries both Annie Sloan Chalk Paint and Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint! The only shop in my state to sell both paints, Grace in the center of Niantic, is definitely a one-stop shop for everything beautifully coastal!

Pleasure in simple things jewlery at Grace

pleasure in simple things visits Grace in Niantic

pleasure in simple things visits Grace in Niantic

I definitely needed a ‘beachy’ fix today…I hope you agree!  It is such a great time of year and I am having trouble thinking about it ending!  I am having a really tough time seeing Halloween candy in stores already! :(  Walking into Grace is like walking into a warm salt water breeze! :)

pleasure in simple things visits Grace in Niantic

pleasure in simple things Friday field trip to Grace in Niantic

a shirt from Grace in Niantic pleasure in simple things

pleasure in simple things friday field trip to Grace in Niantic

Coastal cool friday field trip

My detailed nature always prompts me to make one final observation when I leave a location – at a restaurant this is always a trip to the ladies room – was as much thought put into the ladies room decor and amenities as in the rest of the restaurant?  In a shop, this test is in the way the purchases are presented to the customer…

package wrapping at Grace in Niantic

I think Grace has it covered nicely!

I hope you enjoyed Friday field trip to Grace in Niantic.  If you are in the area, be sure to visit…Niantic celebrates Main Street’s Bargains by the Bay Tent & Sidewalk Sale now through Sunday so this weekend would be the perfect time to plan a visit!

Have a wonderful weekend!  Remember to take pleasure in simple things, Jackie

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