17 October 2013

Pumpkins, projects & what's in a name

I've been having fun decorating for Autumn this year.  I've kept it simple and natural but tried to change things a little from the usual.  I bought a dozen or so of these mini pumpkins in orange and white and placed them around the living & dining room and the kitchen.  The wire basket is new, purchased at a local craft show last month.  It's so simple and yet it looks perfect as a centrepiece on my dining room table.

I've spent a lot of time on Pinterest (who hasn't?!?) and have been pleasantly surprised at what I've been pinning.  I've always been drawn to country but thought my style leaned more towards cottage.  Nope, not at all.  I like neutral walls but prefer warm creamy white, not stark white or grey.  I like dark wood, either painted or natural but dark.  I like touches of vintage but only if it can be used.  Transferware is still my first choice for dinner ware, closely followed by white ironstone.  I lean towards clean lines.  Nothing too chippy or frilly and definitely not cluttered.  I like seasonal pops of colour, a bit of primitive and have a soft spot for 18th century English and American furniture.  It's easy to get caught up in the style du jour and lose yourself in the process.

There's been a lot of editing going on both in my life and in my home.  I want to focus on what I truly enjoy and let go of the things that no longer matter.  Once again, it's easy to get caught up in what everyone else is doing and feel that you too should tag along.  Having a serious illness really puts life in perspective.  I no longer feel that I should do something that I don't enjoy.

Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful. 
~ William Morris

My blog is reflecting these changes.  For a long time, I've been feeling the pull to get back to the things I most want to do - decorating my home, puttering in the garden, cooking from scratch.  I still enjoy photography ... as a hobby.  Since giving up selling my photos, I've been enjoying photography so much more.  I like styling my photos.  And I'm really enjoying taking photos of my home and garden.

When I returned to blogging after my Mom died, I changed the name of my blog to "Simple Things".  I felt this change reflected the direction I was heading in.  Simplify.  Focus on the simple things.  The name was taken from a favourite quote of mine by Laura Ingalls Wilder (it's on my sidebar).  I like the name, Simple Things, but lately I've been wondering if I should go back to using my name as my blog title.  I know a lot of people have a blog name that's different from their address and I'm wondering, does it really matter?  There's also the issue of my domain that's been idle since giving up my website.  It's a trivial thing but I wonder if it's confusing to have a different name from the blog address??

Recently, I added {celebrating home through the seasons} to my blog title.  It's a mouthful but it's where my heart is.  Because that's exactly what I want to do.  Celebrate home.  Celebrate the seasons.  Enjoy the every day moments.

Okay, enough of my rambling for today!  :)  I have a few more thoughts I want to share with you about blogging in general but I'll save them for another day because I promised that I was going to post a list of projects that are on my "to do" list!  This is more to help me get them done because if I post about them, I'm going to have to go through with them.  So, here are my top 5:

1. Declutter my office & craft room.  It's a mess!  Everything that doesn't have a home ends up there, along with remnants of every craft I've tried and discarded (and there are a lot of them!).  Once I clear some space, I'm hoping to do a bit of a makeover.  As much as I don't want to, I will post before (and after!) photos.  Please be kind.

2. Turn the closet off the kitchen into a pantry.  I need to organize my cookbook obsession  collection, among other things.  I added small shelves to one half of the closet several years ago but really need more storage space.

3. Create a dedicated baking space and coffee/drink space in my kitchen.  Once again, everything is all over the place.  The coffee is in two different cupboards, tea in another.  Baking supplies are spread over several cupboards.  I've wanted to do this for over a year.

4. Paint mirror frame.  This particular frame has sat behind the door in my craft room for more years than I'd like to admit.  It's pretty.  I like it but the colour?  Yuck.  I can't wait to use my milk paint but need room to get to it (see project #1!).

5. Create a gallery wall along the stairs.  Another project that's been on my wish list for years (literally).  I have the photos.  I have a lot of frames.  They just need to be hung.  The mirror mentioned above will be hung on the landing and I want to hang it before I hang the photos.

So that's my top five!  There are a lot more projects on my list, some small, some not so small, but these I want to finish before the end of the year.  The first three are pretty boring but oh so necessary for me to move on to the fun stuff.  And while they're ambitious, I can tackle them a bit at a time.  I'll be sure to post on my progress!

If you made it all the way through this post, you deserve a treat!  ;)

See you soon!



  1. Here I am just reading through your list and thinking how wonderfully intentional you're being when all of a sudden the light bulb went off in my own thinking. I have baking supplies all over the place...at least in three separate locations. I could easily consolidate them by switching things just a bit. Okay. Reading your blog is obviously dangerous. Ha!

    And I read the other day that just lifting the white or light covered books to the top shelves of a bookcase and lowering the darker colors will shift the entire sense of a room so that's weighing heavy on my mind and my bookcases.

    I learned something similar while pinning things...I am not so much a trendy gal. I like "the things" that have come to me through the years and I like wood, too. This is not to say that I want this log cabin thing going on, but just that I do enjoy wood and paint and color and traditional things. I think your taste is elegant and refined and I promise not to laugh at anything you ever do.

    Oh as regards the title...I sometimes get confused by titles a lot different from addresses, but I work it out. I like the title of your blog. What if you just added your name somewhere high on the page or something and not necessarily in the blog title?

    Have fun rearranging!

    1. Vee, you are a genius! :) Adding my name would definitely work and {hopefully} won't be so confusing. I changed it so that my name appears waaaaay up there in the upper left corner (Lynda Naranjo | Simple Things) and as my official blog title but it won't be on my banner. Thanks for the suggestion!! xoxo

  2. Lynda,
    Your photo's are so inspiring. I love the simple way you managae to deliver such impact to a photo. Through your eyes comes such beauty in the simple things. I love simple things. But I still have much clutter in my life and I so want to enjoy the simple things that really make life so wonderful. You inspire me..

  3. I read it twice, so that means I get 2 treats, right?????
    I read it twice because you sound so wonderful, and that makes me feel REALLY good.
    You are truly an inspiration, my friend! xo.

  4. I love that you call your blog Simple Things, particularly since it's a reflection of how you're feeling about your life and what's important to you. Simplicity really draws me in. I purged a ton of stuff from my home this past summer and it felt so good. I just want to focus on what's important and be surrounded by the things I love the most. Good luck with your To Do list...I'll be looking for an update ;)

  5. It's very calm and serene here on your blog Lynda. I put that down to (a) the pared down, simple things you talk about, share and your beautiful photography and (b) you -- who you are. You radiate the sense of calm and serenity. You know how I feel about blogs and blogging...do what feels right for you, what speaks to your heart...whatever that is. You can change it one way and then back again and do it three or four more times...when you are in a state of flux and change, everything feels like it needs to be given that special "touch". I'm loving the wire basket, the bittersweet and the mini pumpkins...it's adding a sense of season without going overboard. xo

  6. I first discovered your photography on Etsy, and have been following you on Pinterest, but it has been a while since I have read your blog, Lynda. Your blog is lovely; your photos and your insight on the simple things of life are an encouragement to those of us who visit. I will return often and also pray for you. And I love the quote from Laura Ingalls Wilder, one of my favorite authors since childhood.

  7. I so enjoy coming here and visiting with you awhile. Your list sounds very similar to my to-do list...closets, reorganizing, does it ever end? I am glad to hear that you are feeling good and are going ahead with what you love, getting rid of the unnecessary...and looking forward to the future. And I do love pinterest....I can really loose myself there.

  8. What a pleasure it has been to stroll through your posts and see how you are decorating your beautiful home. Sigh... how I wish I could have a craft room or creative space like that. My living space is just too small (but I do like small spaces, so it's all good). You are creating such beautiful changes in your life and moving towards the simple things, the essential things... actually, I think you have always done that, as long as I have known you. You are an inspiration, my friend. Such a creator of beauty.


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