January 31, 2018:


Today is the Super Duper Blue Red Full Eclipse Partial Eclipse Moon, depending on where you may be viewing from.

Three years ago this day was my last day of working and I retired after 46 years of full-time work. I've enjoyed every single moment of my retirement since then - three years and hoping for twenty more, we'll see how things go...

February and March can be cruel months in southeastern Wisconsin where I live. January itself was nutso here weather-wise, with two separate thaws. I don't ever remember getting two January thaws before, and many years none happened at all.

Before I know it I'll be headed to Las Vegas to visit my friends and celebrate some sunshine and warm weather, and see a show (I always try to squeeze one in). Meanwhile, I am continuing, slowly, to make this smaller retirement ranch into a home that makes me smile in every room. I still have lots to do, including major painting projects. I keep putting them off. Seems at 66 I'm not so keen on painting as I was at 36. Gee, I wonder why...


Wednesday, May 2, 2012

The Look for Less: Pearson Room in Traditional Home 3

Wrapping up, I came across a few ideas today that are budget-wise!

Oriental Vases:

Back to looking at vases -- I had suggested (1) shopping at thrift stores, should also mention rummage and yard sales and (2) making a collection by painting some glass vases.  I know white is very popular right now but I also recently saw some vases that were "swirl painted" on the inside and they were very very nice! They would not be "oriental" style vases -- but perhaps some hand-painted ideograms on the outside might add to the look...

Centsational Girl had a recent blog on how to swirl paint glass vases (April 24, 2012) -- love love love how they turned out!  The vases she used are not the size of the vases in the inspiration picture -- here it is one more time:

But large relatively inexpensive clear glass vases can be purchased at lots of different places -- TJMaxx comes to mind, and I'm thinking you all will have your own favorite "go to" stores for staples like this, whether you buy new but discounted or go hunting at some thrifts, etc.  And you could always score some actual Oriental flavor vases or jars in the color-ways of your choice.

I also came across this cool blog entry today at Turnstyle Vogue (April 26, 2012), DIY: Ballard Designs Knock Off -- shows how to turn a large glass bottle (with cute little handles) into a "terra cotta" look.  This technique could be applied to probably just about any kind of vase, bottle, jar, jug, urns, etc.  Plates too -- now that would look cool -- a couple of really large plates done up like this (or clear glass swirl painted) up on black or brown "Oriental style" plate stands. 

The Painting:

Paintings are expensive -- at least, the kind I've found online, even at discount places like Overstock.com.  There is, again, the smartest option of shopping at your favorite thrift shops, rummages, etc. to find one or more paintings or prints that really ring your chimes, in the colorways of your choice.  I was trying to find something similar in content (a landscape) and color-tones (blue/green/grey/taupe) and long enough to fit over two bookcases/cabinets, while trying to stay true to the overall look/feel of the inspiration room.  Not easy!

I didn't find anything long enough, which meant shopping for two related-theme paintings -- now making the task more difficult!  I thought about a triptych but I did not see anything at Overstock.com, for instance, that I cared for.  Like I said, art is so personal!  I want inexpensive, but I don't want CHEAP LOOKING!  Minimum cost for two likely paintings at Overstock would be between $350 and $400.  No way would I pay that!  That's nearly the cost of a trip to Las Vegas to visit Isis, my honorary 'sis. 

I do dabble in watercolors on occasion and once I'm finally retired I intend to take some extension courses on how to paint with acrylics and with oils!  My intent is to fill my house with tons of paintings stacked everywhere and climbing all over the walls, and maybe fool my family into thinking that they're valuable masterpieces once I'm croaked :)  Okay, maybe not so nice but FUN!  So, I wouldn't be adverse to trying my hand at a watercolor; in fact, I've got a stash of lovely heavy-weight watercolor paper that I bought from a little shop that used to be within walking distance of my house -- but sadly, it went out of business many years ago.  That paper has been resting in a closet ever since, waiting patiently for just the right project or inspiration that I know will come, some day.

Some thrifty bloggers have tried their own hands at creating art for their walls - and who better to create art that coordinates perfectly with your color scheme, design theme(s) and tastes?  And of course, there's no law that says one HAS to copy as closely as possible an inspiration room/photo/look!  There are no rules when it comes to wall art, except to do what pleases you, and use what you have, can make/create, or if necessary, buy on the cheap.

Add Budget Art to Your Walls and Don't Spend a Fortune -- but I don't think I need to tell you where to look for inspiration.  Heck no!  You guys have ALL been inspirations to me!

This morning at the office (bad Jan, bad bad bad Jan), I got the idea to shop for those prints on canvas, figuring hey, they're just fake, they must be cheaper, right?  WRONG.  I would not have discovered that, though, unless I went looking, and so I did.

I found two canvas prints that I though would do very well in "my" version of the inspiration photo -- the same deep moody colors, and landscapes - and two of them -- because one alone wouldn't be long enough to anchor the area across two bookcases/cabinets.  Price disallows their choice, but they remind me of the background in the Mona Lisa!

This is Autumn Oasis I by St. John, $158.00. 

Here is it's companion:

Autumn Oasis III (not II, but III -- why?), $158.00.

My last stop for this challenge was at allposters.com.  I have purchased posters from this online vendor over the years and have been happy with their prompt delivery and customer service.  Could I find something that would do? 

I just went - gasp - when I saw this poster.  It's called Walkway Over the Lake, and it's $6.99.  It is 36" long and 24" high.  So, a second companion poster would be needed - or a whole lot of faces and plates to balance out the other side of those two bookcases/cabinets:

And a companion poster of the same size, Waterfall Lake, also $6.99:

These are black and white or grey-tone posters, so they would have to be put on some kind of backer-board (I've used cardboard with edges wrapped in Contac paper) or mounted/framed using a method of your choice.  You are all so creative out there, I know you'd come up with something great!

While these posters definitely play into the grey colorway, swirl-painted vases, plates and the "Ballard Designs" knock off method to do vases, etc. could be used to introduce a balancing color accent.  Not to mention what you may already have in your "shop" at home.

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