Sunday, March 22, 2015

Simply Spring #2: More Pretty and Practical

Welcome back to my Simply Spring series. Last week I started out with Pretty and Practical at Home, photos of lots of things I've bought or made to make our lives more lovely. This week, I have more!

When I pulled out last year's spring decorations, I noticed that my floral wreath was looking a bit bare. I could see a lot of green plastic showing through, as seen in this picture. So I bought a roll of wide satiny ribbon for about $2 at Walmart, and wrapped it around the wreath base between the flowers. Then I added a big bow at the bottom. You can see the results in the picture above!

I found the beautiful small garden flag for $5 at the Deals store. I've had the metal flag stand for a long time, but like to switch out the flags for each season or when one gets faded from the sun.

The flowers I had in my tea cup shaped pots were getting scraggly. I bought two purple torena plants at Lowe's today when I went to find something to anchor down the corner of the area rug that I featured in my last Pretty and Practical post. We were in a hurry, and my daughter picked these out. I'm not sure they are the right ones for the two pots on my garden walls. I think I will replace them with something shorter and white. I'll replant these purple ones in the ground in a slightly shady spot, since they aren't supposed to have full sun anyway.

When I go back to Lowe's for more flowers, I may just buy myself a blackberry bush or two. When my family lived near San Francisco for most of the 1970s, we had a whole fence covered with blackberry bushes and my mom made fruit leather for us. We love blackberries here, so maybe we should try growing some in a container.

Speaking of San Francisco, I was at a yard sale this afternoon and found a photo book about the "Painted Ladies" - colorful Victorian houses in San Francisco. What a blast from the past!

Which reminds me that we have some "Painted Ladies" too. My Aunt Kathy painted the birdhouses on the left and right. A few years ago at a family reunion, she brought along supplies for all of the kids to paint some, and my daughter Naomi did the one in the middle. She gave it to my elderly grandmother who later passed away. Now we have it again on top of a hutch in our dining room.

Aunt Kathy also painted this glass cookie jar, which I inherited from my mother. I love the saying - so profound! "Every flower that ever bloomed went through a whole lot of dirt to get there." Ain't that the truth!

I bought this small painted jar at Dollar General for $1. It says "Love is spoken here,"  so maybe we can use it for encouragement notes or something. Or I may put flowers in it.

Here is another one of my chalkboard creations with the same basic thought. The soft pastels give it the vibrant colors. This is one of the wooden boards that I sprayed with chalkboard paint.

I noticed after I bought these hot pads and dish towel that they have the same colors as the chalk art above. The the colors and design also remind me of this "painted lady" house I found in the book I bought.

My sweet friend Judy read last week's Pretty and Practical post and said she had a present for me. At church this morning, she gave me the tote that's on my lap in this picture. It's very lightweight, and I can pop my smaller black purse right in it when I need to carry something that won't fit in the purse. It's pretty often that I bring along a book to read if I'm waiting for my kids at youth group on Sunday evenings, so this is perfect! She also gave me the short sleeve cardigan sweater tucked inside the purse. I love it, especially since it is really long and black and so it makes me look thinner! You can read more about my friend Judy and her husband Bart in these posts:

One book that's already been on my 2015 reading goals list (to finish up) is A Thousand Resurrections: An Urban Spiritual Journey by Maria Garriott. Maria lives in the Baltimore area, where she and her husband Craig (pastor of Faith Christian Fellowship, a PCA congregation) have served in urban ministry in the blighted Pen Lucy neighborhood for decades. I visited there a few years ago when I was in Maryland to see family, as I had met Maria before and also have friends at that church. Her mom lives in the Orlando area, and this morning was so delighted that she was visiting our church as she does when she's in town. We had a lovely chat. Pretty soon I'll share some things Maria wrote about boundaries and burnout. You can read more about Maria in these posts: Weekend Gratitude: Just Beauty and Beauty and Diversity on an Autumn Sunday in Maryland.

I've been trying to catch up on my paperwork this weekend. I realize I've dropped the ball on a few things that I should have taken care of months ago. Oops.  Last night I set up the small white folding table next to my desk just to give me space to spread out the piles, boxes, folders, notebooks, and hole punch for doing the paperwork. I found these cardboard file boxes at a dollar store a couple of weeks ago, and used them for quick sorting. They remind me of the hot pads. That must be my dominant color scheme for the spring, eh?

When I went to bed last night, I couldn't find my beloved little iPod. I was a little desperate for it since it has a ton of my useful information on it. (So much easier to find things than in a pile of paper! And it beeps when I need to do something! What would I do without it?) Anyway, I looked and looked and looked and then gave up and went to bed. This morning I could hear the alarm go off across the room, but still couldn't find it for the life of me. It wasn't until the afternoon that I opened my desk drawer, and there it was next to my green tea dragon fruit mints. I must have dropped it in there absentmindedly when I was doing all the paperwork last night. Hmmph.  But don't you like the pretty yellow hard shell case I bought for it?

My final photo - the new addition to my encouragement stone collection. I got it at Ten Thousand Villages the other day when I was on the same street to go to an art festival. The FAITH heart is actually a bright pink, so I'm not sure why it's showing up red here. I used a modified picture of it in a new post on my Watch the Shepherd blog: When Abuse Leads to Cynicism. I have quite encouraging feedback on that post from friends on Facebook, so check it out. You can also read about the rest of my stones in these posts:

I have some more pictures for you, but I'll save them for another third Pretty and Practical post next week.

Meanwhile I want to share a little music video, "Beautiful" by Christina Aguilera. I heard this song on my way home this afternoon and it immediately struck a bittersweet chord in my heart, especially after writing the post about abuse and cynicism and shame last night. They are so related. Then also, some of the phrases in this post also echo the same sentiments, like "Love is spoken here" and "Encourage one another and build each other up" and even my inspirational stones that silently speak to me each day. Isn't that such a cry of all our hearts, for words of kindness and beauty and courage to help us get through life?

Grace and peace,
Virginia Knowles

No comments:

Post a Comment