Monday, May 18, 2015

Simply Spring #10: Pretty and Practical Continues

Welcome back to my Simply Spring series!

Wow! It's been another busy week! I don't even know where to start!

The most exciting event was my grandson's first birthday party on Saturday, with a very clever airplane theme. What I didn't know is that my daughter had also baked a "smash cake" for him, and the color of the cake (under the frosting) revealed the gender of his new sibling due this fall. You can see the pictures and find out whether it's a brother or sister here: An Airplane Birthday Party and New Baby Gender Reveal.

We also had an ROTC awards night at the high school, an 8th grade graduation, lots of medical appointments, a used curriculum sale, and so much more.

One trick I learned in preparing books to resell is how to remove permanent marker from a smooth cover. Just scribble dry erase marker liberally over it, then wipe with a tissue. You may need to repeat once or twice, but most or all of it will come off!  If you need to remove adhesive residue after taking a price sticker off, use a citrus based cleaner like Goo Gone or DeSolvIt. It would be better if people used removable stickers to avoid this, but this is the next best thing. Of course you can use these tricks on other surfaces as well, such as walls, windows, kitchen counters... Been there, done that.

I'm still trying to fit in time to beautify my home. Does this seem trivial when there is so much else to do? Maybe, but it's good for everyone's mental health. Beauty is restorative, bringing an essence of rightness, peace, calm, and loveliness to life. I am still thinking a lot about cozy, quaint, comfortable cottages as you might remember from my post My Cottage Dreams (Why Not Now?).

I like to visit vintage and antique stores as often as I can, even if I can't afford to buy much. I did find a used copy of Mary Emmerling's American Country Cottage book at Adjectives Market last week while I had an hour gap between other errands. I also found a book on country decorating at a thrift store recently. I like a more traditional English country cottage look rather than country cute. I despise wooden geese with ribbons around their necks.

When I get the chance, I sit down with my Home & Garden notebook and these two decorating books. I study each page spread carefully. I write down what I like, what I don't like, and what I could do with what I already own or what I could purchase inexpensively. Beyond the notes and ideas, this is an exercise in noticing beauty, in enriching my own soul. I may not ever have transom windows (sigh!) or pegged wood floors, but I can enjoy the pictures! I'm not so much into "how to" decorating books right now. I just go for the ideas and inspiration.

If you've been reading this blog for a while, you might know that I redecorated our living room last month in blues and browns. I tried to keep the cost low by shopping mainly at thrift stores and Walmart. I bought blue taffeta curtains for two large windows, but I'm not sure I like them there. They are a bit shiny for that room, and unfortunately too sheer. If anyone tries to watch TV or play video games during the day, there is too much glare from the window light. And like I said, with the kids home during summer days, that's going to be an issue. 

Anyway, I decided that I should move those curtains to the sliding glass door in another room. Then I found some other reasonably priced light blue curtains with a nubby woven texture. I'll have to get my teens to hang them soon after the rest of the panels arrive at the store. Meanwhile, here's a picture of one panel in its packaging. I think this is more the look and opacity that I want!

The newer curtains will also go better with the blue book bin and trash basket that I found at Target this week. I swapped out end tables. This mission style table, which I got at a church rummage sale for $1, is smaller and allows easier access to the adjacent book case than the previous one. The lace cover conceals a multitude of scratches. 

Another decorating idea that struck me today is that two of my adult daughters are in Europe right now taking exquisite photographs. I am utterly drooling over their dozens of pictures of their three days in Iceland. I think I'll get some of them enlarged to hang in our computer room.

Stunning, eh? Still SO jealous! At least I get to live vicariously thanks to digital cameras and the Internet!

Well, that's about it for this week. I'm tired and sore and need to go to bed. I will finally have an appointment with a spinal neurologist this week to consult about my joint damage, daily headaches, and facial numbness resulting from a traffic accident 11 weeks ago. I am hoping she can figure out what to do and get on with it!

Virginia Knowles

1 comment:

  1. I love the picture of the church with the mist in the background. Just gorgeous! You'll be in my prayers as you are recovering from your accident.