Hi! I’m Natalie, the creator of Deerwood + Jones- your go-to site for rustic recipes, DIY, sewing tutorials, decor, simple living tips and more!
The concept behind Deerwood + Jones was inspired by my grandparents and great-grandparents, all of whom deeply influenced my life. The Joneses (my grandparents on my mom’s side) bought “Deerwood Farm” in the 70s, and my parents later built a house on that farm.
My childhood playground was 80 acres of farmland, woods and creek beds where I spent my time picking wildflowers, playing with tadpoles and exploring historic homesteads on the property. As a result, you will see the influence of natural aesthetics prevalent throughout much of my content.
GaGa and TaTa (what we lovingly called my great-grandparents on my dad’s side) gave me some of the best memories of my childhood. They made holidays magical for children and adults alike. I can still feel the warmth of the wood burning stove in their cozy home. Every Christmas Eve, TaTa would prepare homemade candy in their basement, where the walls were lined with mason jars of GaGa’s homemade jam. Gaga hand-embroidered beautiful seat covers for all of the chairs that went with her dining room table. Decades of holidays and family celebrations were spent at that table, and now my own little family gathers around this same table for meals in our home. My mom always reminds me of the way GaGa and TaTa lived: “Work hard, play hard,” they would tell everyone. They really made the most of their time and lived life fully.
My mom was a huge inspiration to me as well. When I was in middle school, she decided pursue a new career and returned to school to earn a teaching degree in Family and Consumer Sciences (aka modern day home economics). Watching her chase her dreamas a non-traditional student empowered me to know I could chase my own no matter the season I was in (aka stay-at-home mommy to a VERY active little boy). So, you can imagine her excitement when I told her about my ideas for Deerwood + Jones and that I wanted to learn how to sew! Shortly thereafter, she gifted me a sewing machine for my birthday, and the rest is history!
In addition to learning to sew, I was soon moving on to learning new recipes and looking into traditional ways of cooking along with testing my hand at numerous DIY projects. I even began looking at products differently, taking note of what textiles were used, and checking out the seams. I would look at furniture and ponder if it would be easy to replicate on my own. My free time was spent collecting knowledge on all things homemade and self-sufficient. At first it was a hobby, then it became a passion, and now it’s my obsession.
Despite being a complete amateur, I’m not easily dissuaded by my failures. Without mistakes, you can never learn or you will be paralyzed into stagnation, and there is nothing more gratifying than the moment when it finally “clicks” after a few fails (and I’ve had many!). With that, it is my hope to inspire and gather a community of women and men of all skill sets with the same desire to create and savor to join me in celebration of the old-fashioned with a modern twist.
For the amateur makers, bakers, doers and brewers who enjoy the elegance of simplicity and learning things new and “old”, I invite you to come live in the moment with me.
-Natalie from Deerwood + Jones