December 4, 2016: Hola everyone! Winter has arrived in Milwaukee and there are snow flurries today. Despite several hard freezes remarkably my "spikes" in two of my patio planters have absolutely refused to die. The rosemary and thyme plants I nursed inside the house through last winter spent the summer in their pot outside next to the side stoop off the driveway, where they get plenty of sunshine all day long. I transplanted them into a cozy sheltered spot right next to the stoop in October and they are still green and growing, too! With the delay in getting the drywall patching done in the relatively minor "reconstruction" work I had done in my kitchen, I am way behind my time in getting the house decorated. But yesterday I got my wreath decked out with extra lights and dressed the front door of the house, and my battery-operated traditional candles were put up on the window sills all around the house Friday evening. It becomes a ritual to go around at dusk and turn the tops to the right to turn the candles "on" and at bedtime to go around and turn the tops to the left to turn the candles "off." Today I put some "glittery" throw pillow covers purchased new last month from H&M on three of my sofa pillows to glam things up a bit in the living room and add some sparkle. Later on, after I sufficiently fuel myself up with wine and snacks and probably to distract myself while I listen to the Packers game on the radio, I will huff and puff and pull my artificial tree up from storage in the basement. I will decorate it simply this year. Every year I say that, and every year I end up throwing just about everything except the kitchen sink on the tree. I am very proud of myself this year, though. I did not buy a single new ornament or Christmas doo-dad for the house (throw pillow covers don't count!!!) Happy Holidays to all, with hope and fervent prayers for 2017. I've a feeling we're all going to need a lot of help from Goddess in the coming year. Jan

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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