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, October 31, 2012

The Look for Less: Ballard Designs Calais Bedroom 4

Here are the posts thus far:

The  Challenge (Introduction) October 23, 2012.
Shopping for the Ottoman - October 31, 2012. 
Shopping for the Headboard - October 24, 2012.

Shopping for the bedding!

I spent many hours looking for a similar pattern to Ballard Design's drop-dead gorgeous Calais bedding in creamy white and shades of navy to lighter blue.  With mixed success, I confess, darlings!

I've mentioned this before -- I'm not the most patient shopper, either on-site or online!  When I find something that is good enough I usually buy it, and generally I've been very happy.  But for these challenges, I've tried to step up my game a little.  Hmmm...

Tonight, whatever possessed me - when I looked at the actual description of the Calais bedding at Ballard Designs, I NEARLY HAD A FRIGGING HEART ATTACK!

I've been shopping now for over a week thinking I was looking for something in NAVY BLUE or SHADES OF BLUE.  And - guess what - THERE IS NO BLUE IN THIS DUVET. 

Also was shocked that this is a DUVET COVER - not a comforter!  For $249 for a queen size?  With faux wood buttons?  ARE THEY KIDDING? 

Close-up of the Ballard Designs Calais pattern.  Does the dark
color look like black to you???  I thought it was navy blue!

Shock and horror, darlings!  Do I start over and toss out everything I'd done before, focusing on smokey to dark blue tones (with mixed success)?  Or do I just chuck it up to one of those things and continue onward, adjusting from this point but sticking with what I've found thus far.

I opted for the easy way.  I stuck with what I've found thus far - which is shades of blue.  Geez Louise!

So, without further ado, here is what I found while shopping for the bedding -- NOW keeping in mind that the actual colors are BLACK, CHARCOAL, TAUPE AND BROWN ON CREAM BACKGROUND.  The original look included a duvet cover (which I actually thought was a comforter and was, therefore, shopping for a comforter with one exception I found - you'll see it below) - $249.00, Euro shams (2) -- $49 each ($98.00 total), standard shams (2) -- $39 each ($78.00 total), and a bedskirt -- $199.  Ballard Designs prices are noted. Total for the look is $624.00.

Here is the opposite of dark-colored design on pale background:  it's a light-colored design on a dark background:

This is from J. C. Penney, the Linden Street Marlon Comforter SET, currently on clearance for $70 (for real) for Queen Size.  Yes, you read that correctly.  And, darlings, it is actually a comforter, not a duvet cover!  And yes, it is a SET -- the only thing not included are the Euro pillow covers!!!  Particulars:
  • all-over floral Jacobean pattern
  • blend of blue, cream and chocolate
  • soft chenille, microfiber and faux linen

    Comforter set includes:
  • comforter with neutral microfiber back
  • pleated linen-like shams with button accents
  • bedskirt has 15" drop; fits footboard

    Full and queen sets have two standard shams. Euro pillow, accent pillows and window coverings sold separately.

    Linden Street Marlon bedding is polyester with polyester fill. Washable. Imported.

  • I liked the pillow shams of the Chaps Allistair Bedding Coordinates, Kohls online.  I thought both the Euro paisely-printed shams and the dark blue-on-blue striped shams would go beautifully with the Linden Street Marlon Comforter (above), but I could be wrong because the blues might clash; I thought, however, that the relative pattern size of the paisley to the floral print was a good match-up:

    Kohls' Chaps Allistair Euro pillow sham, regularly
    price $49.99, sale price $34.99.

    Alas, the blue on blue stripped standard pillow sham only comes with a duvet set (again, a duvet cover, not a comforter -- how naive I've been!). So, I've not included it here since it cannot be purchased separately.

    Another Chaps set at Kohls Online caught my eye.  The queen-size Camellia set is a duvet cover and two shams, on sale at the time I found it for $153.99 (regular price $219.99):

    Chaps bedding is budding with beauty. Featuring a romantic floral print, this duvet cover set conveys undeniable charm. Add breathtaking elegance to your bedroom with this enchanting duvet cover. In blue/white.
    • Durable cotton construction ensures lasting quality.
    • Details:
      • Includes: duvet cover & 2 shams
      • Cotton
      • Machine wash
    Keeping in mind that I was shopping for blue and white or blue and cream, and not black/charcoal as the primary dark colors, I saw this set and thought it was so beautiful and ethereal, but definitely NOT a Jacobean print.  Nonetheless, I selected it because of its colorways and overall pattern.  I think it would take a long time before I ever got tired of looking at this set:

    Pyranees Bedding Coordinates, found at Kohls online:

    Queen size set description:
  • Vermicelli stitching lends a luxurious touch.
  • Details:
    • Includes: Queen comforter, bedskirt & 2 standard shams
    • Comforter cover/shams: cotton
    • Comforter fill: polyester
    • Bedskirt: cotton/polyester
    • Machine wash

  • Regular price is $369.99, sale price was $258.99.  While the color description was not given, I think it's light blue, dark blue, some turquoise blue in there, some charcoal, maybe some black, some lighter brown to tan or taupe tones, on a gorgeously quilted creamy background.  Soooo beautiful!  This set rang my chimes :)

    Oh yes, woman, you've strayed a long way away from that inspiration bedding! 

    I found a very expensive set at Wayfair, the queen size Jardin Bedding Ensemble, for $949.00 - which I would not pay even if I was rich, but it sort of has a Jacobean feel to it, although not as deep, dark or rich a print as Ballard Design's Calais bedding:

    • Queen size includes comforter, 2 euro shams, 2 standard shams, 2 pillow shams, 3 bed skirt with 21" drop, 6 fiber and feather filled accent pillows
    • Face and back material: 100% Polyester
    • Color: Navy
    • Reversible comforter
    • Dimensions: 92"-110" Width x 100" Depth  
    How adventurous are you?  I found this set at Aliexpress (an offshoot of Alibaba, I believe) that is a duvet cover (I think), or perhaps it is just a sheet set?  The description of the set is inadequate, not to mention you'd be ordering from mainland China, but if it IS a duvet cover with two shams the price (which includes free slow shipping), is modest at $79.99, and for a blue and white floral comforter in the Jacobean style I thought it was very nice -- but -- who knows for sure???  Here it is, for your inspection:

    100% cotton dark blue flower white background floral pattern queen bedding set 4 pieces with sheets bed linen.  Huh?

    Scrolling down the website page I came across this description:

    This set includes(1- 2cm error is permitted):
    1 * Duvet/Quilt Cover * 79 x 91 * Inch = 200 x 230 cm
    (Reversible Pattern, the cover comes with zipper closer, you can put your own duvet or quilt into it)
    1 * Flat Sheet * 91 x 98 * Inch = 230 x 250 cm
    2 * Pillow Shams * 20 x 30 * Inch = 50 x 76 cm (Due to the pillow shams fabric cuts from the full duvet cover, so maybe is not same with the pic, but always same with the whole bedding sets)

    That last part -- I think that means that pattern on the cut-out pillow shams may not match-up exactly with the pattern in the duvet cover, but it will be the same pattern and color (???)  Or it means something entirely different...  LOL! 

    I don't know - maybe I missed the boat entirely on this one.  Well, I've still got shopping to do for the lamp, the mirror and that gorgeous demilune table.  Whew!

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