May 20, 2018:


Yesterday Prince Harry married American Meghan Markle and I couldn't get enough of the royal wedding. What a gorgeous dress, the bride was radiantly beautiful and the church at Windsor - oh my goodness, the flowers alone were soooo beautiful. There's nothing like a good love story to make one appreciate how precious we can be (and should be) to each other.

I'm glad the weather was perfect yesterday for the new Duke and Duchess of Sussex's wedding. I can't say the same for around here. Spring keeps teasing and then going away. This morning I woke up to a "balmy" 47 degrees F outside, rain, damp, and I turned the heat back on! It's May 20th, the heat. should. not. be. on. Period.

Last Thursday, however, was beautiful. I was able to get a goodly amount of yard and garden clean-up done over several days last week. I also took some photos of my flowering tree anchoring the north corner of my house and made the current collage. I think it's an ornamental cherry, and on the the other end of the house, I think that's called a purple sand cherry? I'll have to check that. The blossoms on the tree do not have a distinct fragrance, but the purple shrub that wants to be a tree (despite my hacking it back, back and back yearly - I'm losing, by the way) has myriad blossoms with a distinct fragrance. I can't decide if the scent is too beautiful to bear or too awful to smell, it certainly can be overpowering!

This coming week will be the third cut of the grass this season. We had rain late Friday night and then for several hours earlier this morning. This rain, on top of the rain we had over four days the prior weekend, and the grass is growing like nobody's business! I don't mind doing the grass, though, as long as it's not too hot, too cold, not raining, and not too windy. I'm not picky at all, am I...

I still have a lot of raking out of areas that suffered from snow mold over the winter, and have not yet really tackled cleaning out the north flower bed in the backyard. That will be a chore!

But Memorial Day weekend is coming. This coming Saturday I will be out with a friend (who has a nice large van - goody!) stocking up on potting soil, top soil to fill in never-ending low spots in the yard, grass seed, and lots of plants! For some reason, this spring seems busier than those in prior years. I can't figure out why that is...


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  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, 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  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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