Thursday, September 10, 2015

My Blue Haven

My "blue haven"... My house is so busy and noisy that a mom like me needs a place to go to unwind and recharge: a haven at home. Mine is the master bedroom, and I've been working more to make it a calm and restful place. I love the color blue, which is supposed to be one of the most relaxing, so I've been adding new blue accents in the past few weeks. In this post, I'd like to share a few ways I'm attempting to create beauty on a budget: tie dye, chalk art, rearranging, thrifting, refurbishing furniture, and hanging pictures.

My daughter and I made tie dye t-shirts a few weeks ago (see Tie Dye Radiance), and I had extra dye left over. I decided to make a panel to mount on foam board and hang right behind my recliner. The back of the chair kept gouging the wall, so this covers the damage and protects the wall, as well as decorating the room!

This particular fabric was so resistant to the dye!

I had to work the color into the cloth with my hands, which stayed blue green for days.

Rinsed and washed, it faded to a mellow aqua.

Later, I decided to make a coordinating panel in a darker color. This time after I put on all of the rubber bands, I popped the fabric into a gallon size bag, added the dye, sealed it up, and worked the liquid in.

I found this blue recliner chair on sale for $70 at the Christian Sharing Center. It replaces a pink one bought at Salvation Army last year, but that my kids broke by sitting sideways. (I also found a nice china cabinet for $35. See here: Autumn Decorating 2015.)

The new-to-me furniture was a birthday present to myself. My little girl, knowing how much I like tie dye, picked out this balloon for me.

I used to have a tall bookcase between my recliner chair and my desk, but I kept bumping into it so I moved it across the room. This gave me room to move the bulletin board over to the right.

While I had the bulletin board off the wall, I took the time to refresh it. I removed everything, picked out new items, arranged them just so, and tacked them on the board. When my new granddaughter Lyla is born (probably this next week!) I'll take off that chalkboard from it and fill in that space with baby pics!

This is actually a vinyl pouch designed to go in a notebook. I've got it hanging on the wall for when someone wants to leave me mail or other papers and not get it lost on my desk, which is usually messy.

Blue lamp, blue stapler (stands vertically), blue mouse, blue accents...

The tall one is my coin jar. Shhh. Don't tell my kids.

This encouragement hangs next to my desk.

I visited the Pastiche Home Market decor store where they sell vintage and refinished furniture and accessories. I bought six blue knobs for my desk since the old knobs were falling off and ugly. I needed seven, but I temporarily made do with a white one for the top middle drawer. Later, I found a seventh almost matching knob at Adjectives Unhinged.

Lovely, yes?

A mini metal chalkboard for my desk reminds me to think of what I really want in life - so I can get busy working toward it! I FB messaged my sister this pic today, and she answered it for herself, "I want you to come help me do my bedroom!" I sure wish I could take a trip to Maryland to see her!

I love the vibrant colors of soft pastels for my chalk art. I have two sets! (All of these posts have chalk art in them!)

I created this board months ago, but it sat in my closet for a while after I first had it up. I had to touch up the letters and dust around them. What do I really want? In my challenging season of life, I want courage that is calm, creative, and cheerful.

Unfortunately, the board didn't have anything to hang it from on the back. I thought for a few minutes and decided to make a hanger from a piece of duck tape. I folded the middle to make a flap to hang on the nail. Voila! (Note: the tape came loose from the board the next day, after I posted this. I put it back up with LOTS more tape on it.)

Now it's by my bed where I can see it when I wake up or as I'm preparing to sleep. 

I had a dark blue plaid comforter on my bed for several months, but I brought this one back out since it fits the lighter blue spectrum. It's so comfy. It was a hand-me-down that I had to repair, as you can read about here: Refresh and Renew: Quilt and Pansies.

The bedside table (recently brought home when clearing out a storage unit to save money) has a handy drawer for my morning and evening medicines, protein bars, and other little necessities.

At night, I lay my glasses and phone on a soft blue padded box on my headboard shelf.

My little girl gave me this mug for my birthday, and it goes perfectly with the perky pad that my friend Lisa crocheted for me many years ago.

My third daughter brought back this small translucent blue glass plate from Bath, England, and gave it to my for my birthday. Perfect color for my room!

Do I look happy with my blue haven? I am!
Do I look different than in the picture near the top of this post? I'm wearing makeup here. With blue eye shadow. :-)

My previous bedroom and desk posts:

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Autumn Decorating 2015

Ready for autumn decorating? I am! I know it's still technically summer for another two weeks, but in Florida we have to make our own autumn anyway, so why not get in the spirit a little early? We celebrated my birthday today (it's actually tomorrow) so I wanted to have all of my autumn decor looking gorgeous when my adult children arrived.

I had planned to update my big chalkboard in the front entryway yesterday since it still had an Americana summer theme, but I was in a rush then and only had about 10 minutes to work on it this afternoon. I may go back later and do something a little fancier. Here it is on top of an antique cabinet with some pilgrims my sister gave me.

Also in the hallway...

Christmas Tree Shop
(just part of their autumn decor)
The dining room is next. I hadn't originally intended to decorate it for autumn, because as you can see in my last post, Reclaiming Our Real Dining Room, I just got it set up to go with the blue walls and curtain! But a little trip to the Christmas Tree Shop had me drooling over orange, red, yellow and brown. The prices and the selection are amazing for all sorts of seasonal decor all year round. 

So, blue notwithstanding... The table cloth, tray, bread bowl, and two orange acorn vases are all from the Christmas Tree Shop, all for a total of $20. Even at 102" long, the cloth still barely fit our huge table. 

My crowning joy in the dining room? I was sort of grumbling yesterday about having to drive my daughter to a friend's house, but I stopped at the Christian Sharing Center thrift store on the way home and found this beauty...

I've been wanting a china cabinet for years but until a few weeks ago, I didn't have a place for one! I've seen so many in thrift stores that were either dinged up or totally not my style. I'm picky, even when buying used furniture. When I spotted this lighted one yesterday in the thrift store, I knew it was mine. Furniture is 30% off each Saturday so it was only $35, and well, what can I say? Sweet. So happy. I also bought another recliner, but I'll show you that some other time. Amazingly, we fit all of it into my Grand Caravan mini-van (which has seats that fold into the floor) once we realized that the china cabinet is really two pieces.  Dancing a jig, I say. Dancing a jig! Now I have a place to display my pretty things like my mother's heirloom crystal!

My huge collection of company dishes (wedding china and dollar store stoneware) now have their own home in the bottom part of the cabinet instead of being stashed around the house or in high cupboards. Yay!

Ironically, even with all of our nice dishes, I chose to use paper tableware for my birthday dinner since we were having picnic style barbecue sandwiches and salads.

My youngest daughter's home school area is still in the dining room.

The picture above is detail from the framed print. I found it at a yard sale years ago, and it has our classic table grace handed down from generations past: "Give us grateful hearts, our Father, for all Thy mercies, and make us mindful of the needs of others." I am so grateful for lovely things like a china cabinet, dishes to put in it, delicious food to put on the dishes, and family to enjoy it with. I am also mindful that others do not have these things, and I try to make a difference for them through our homeless ministry and through purchases at places like the Christian Sharing Center. It is is a one-stop service center (health care, job searches, financial aid, food, etc.) for the homeless or those living in poverty. 

On to the kitchen, which I also hadn't intended to "autumnize" since I just decorated it with a butterfly theme this summer. Again, I found so many great kitchen pretties! 

Hot pad

Matching dish towel
I brought the calendar in from
my bedroom because it fits the fall theme
better than my butterfly calendar,
which is now in my bedroom.
Sign over the stove was $5 at Walmart
This was my mom's,
with the names of all of her
grandchildren on the apples.

Glass cutting board that matches the tray

And finally, a little bit of the living room! I removed most of the blue and bird decor that I put in at Easter time. The furniture and curtains are already brown, perfect for autumn. There are other decorations in here, but these are the "new" ones.

I found these antique easel frames in my grandmother's attic over 20 years ago. I created the designs yesterday on my computer but found out our printer was out of color ink so I took them to Staples to print on linen paper. The pictures in the first one are mostly from a trip my oldest daughter and two oldest grandsons and I took to see my mother and grandmother in October 2012. They have both since passed away, so these photos are extra poignant to me. 

This one is my Autumn Breeze haiku:

Dear Autumn Trees, please
Give me all your gorgeous leaves
More will grow. Love, Breeze

I will switch out these pictures for something else at Christmas time.

How about that burlap lamp?  Our ceiling fan and light unit isn't working and we haven't had a chance to call an electrician to fix the wiring yet. In the meantime, I bought a large blue table lamp at Salvation Army for $4 and a 15 foot roll of burlap at Hobby Lobby for about $8 after a 40% off coupon.

The lamp at Salvation Army

I circled the bottom edge of the lamp with the burlap spread out around it, then fastened it on with grapevine wire. Then I pulled up the burlap around it so that the wire was on the inside. This step concealed the raw edge.

Then I put more grapevine wire around the outside of the lamp at the bottom and near the top. 

I attached an eyelet lace bow and set the lamp on a vintage lace doily.

Since I didn't use glue, this means I can take off the burlap. I might wrap it in red for Christmas, which I can take off so we can see the original blue for the new year. Versatility!

So that is just some of my autumn decorating this year.

Oh, I also have this on the front door. I borrowed the picture from last year's post, which you can find here: Ready for Autumn Decorating?
Other autumn decorating posts:

I hope this is all an encouragement to be resourceful and creative in decorating your home!

That's enough for now!

Grace and peace,
Virginia Knowles