Archive for the ‘Cheerfully Frugal’ Category

Autumn Decorating

November 12, 2009

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Yes, I realize winter and Christmas are only weeks away.  I’m late to the autumn decorating party.

For that matter, I’m late to the decorating party, period.  I’ve been married almost 10 years and as I wrote before, I’ve never really decorated.  Not that I haven’t wanted to.  It just seemed…overwhelming.  Scary.  And more important things (such as giving birth to several children in rapid succession) kept getting in the way.

I had a bit of unexpected time to myself, so I figured I’d bite the bullet and use that time to foray into decorating.  After spending a lot of time poking around, looking for inspiration, I cobbled together a combination  of original art, new, and vintage items.  Here’s just a bit of it.

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My rule for phase 1 was that I had to only use things in my house.  No buying anything new yet.  The pumpkins are from the dollar store, a couple dollars each.  The cross was a gift.  The box came from Christmas clearance at Hobby Lobby last year for about 30 cents.  The books are a couple from my old-book collection.  The ribbon and place mat were tucked away in drawers.  I made this little display on top of the treadle sewing machine cabinet, which I use as a table in my entry.

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Candle on a saucer from my wedding china.  I’m so glad I chose simple cream.  It’s timeless and goes with everything.  A bouquet of old silver spoons in footed milk glass that my mother-in-law gave me.  The little urn was too deep for the spoons, so I stuffed the bottom with paper towels.  No one’s the wiser.

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Jar candle from the dollar store.  An old silver plate I got…somewhere…linen napkins a neighbor passed on…place mat matches the one in the pumpkin arrangement.  I bought them cheap for a lady’s lunch years ago.  I just tied a fabric scrap and a ribbon around the candle.

Sorry for all the dark pics.  Without fail, every time I decide to take blog pictures it turns out to be a cloudy day.

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This is just a gratuitous china cabinet shot.  I really love my china cabinet which we got cheap from friends in the furniture business.  (Yes, that is a Christmas tree you see in the background.  Billy and the kids voted me down and decided it was time to put it up.  Billy promises that since we put it up early we can take it down in January this year.  That tells you how long he likes to keep it up. 🙂 )

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More than that, I love what is in my china cabinet.  My 5 place settings of wedding china (sadly, discontinued)…Tea pots and cups…cream soup tureen…cake plates…this and that…all pretty.  I’ve thought about changing the look by hanging something against the back mirrors, something that could easily be removed.  I don’t know though.  The mirrors do reflect a lot of light and I love me some light!  What do you think?

Feeling Inspired

November 9, 2009

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I love homemaking, but decorating has always frustrated me.  My mom always decorated all the bedrooms when I was at home (including mine), so I never had decorating experience during that time.  When Billy and I got married, I learned that we had dramatically different styles.  He’s Southern Living; I’m shabby vintage cottage.  Some women feel that home decor is strictly their business and some men don’t care what their wives do with the house.  As far as I am concerned, my husband lives here too and I want our home to be something he enjoys, especially because he does have specific preferences.  However, I’ve never been able to figure out how to combine both our tastes to come up with something we are both comfortable with.  To be honest, I have really felt at a loss as to how to decorate even close to “his way” because it feels so foreign.  Result: for 10 years I really have not decorated much at all.

This weekend we went to the mall (once in a blue moon thing for us) and visited a couple of home goods stores that specialize in more ornate styles (ornate being a relative term–remember, I grew up on rustic country).  I also took some time to peruse some beautiful home blogs that have an elegant feel.  I finally decided that I’m just going to take the plunge and start decorating, even though I know it will be hit and miss until I figure it out.   My goal is something like Southern Living traditional with a cottage twist.

For the next few days I’ve challenged myself to begin.  The rules for this stage are simply that I have to use things I already own.  I’m also beginning with a fairly neutral palette of taupes, creams, blacks, and whites with the goal of adding accents of color once I get the basics established.  So far I’m cautiously having fun.  I hope to post a few pictures soon and get input from some of you on whether I’m hitting the mark or not.