Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Motherly Advice...stay busy...

Some days I struggle to get anything done.
Other days I'm a whirling dervish. I don't know what that is exactly, but Mum used to say it a lot.
Mostly, my mantra is 'do one thing, then do one thing more'. Mum said that a lot too.
But still, some days it's harder to do even 'one thing'.

I do it though. Doing one thing, then one thing more is how I stay busy and productive.
Some days I choose which sort of 'one thing' I'm going to do.
Some days, cleaning and decluttering just ain't my thang, you know what I'm saying?
That's okay. I find other things to do one of, then one more of.
Yesterday I was supposed to be sewing and finding a new desk. But I didn't. I just didn't. I fluffed around on Pinterest a bit. I did a couple of loads of washing. At least I did that one thing.
Husband and I had a Thai inspired baked fish for lunch. Isn't it pretty? He's home on Tuesdays so we always try to have a particularly delicious lunch.

Other things I've baked recently, include Bacon and Egg pies, and Custard. Such simple things, yet so comforting, and full of memories.
Other things I have kept busy doing lately...
I looked at lots of tassels on Pinterest. I hate and love Pinterest in equal measure. You sit down at 11am, and the next time you look up it's 3pm. Well, not really...but it's a vortex for sure. Handle with care is my Pinterest mantra. Set the timer, Pinterest away until it buzzes, then get up and walk away.
I liked these buckled tassels so much, I made some myself.

I prefer my diamante buckle. I have no idea where to put this. But I love it, so for now, it's laying elegantly on my desk.
Other tassels I admired were these fuchsia ones on a delectably emerald lamp. Adding that to my list of Chinoiserie Things to Do.

 I admired the graceful lines of this pretty vase...

...and the Springtime colours on this antique planter...

..then found a vase the same shape, with a design in the same colours at my local op shop...lucky me!
I'll be filling it with a suitable floral arrangement today. I just looked in the garden, but it's sadly bereft of anything suitable. The Bromeliads have all finished for a minute, the Clivea are just starting, and I missed out on my heirloom Gerberas because I wasn't watching. My friend Jane says I should get some Frebeesia.
Here's the pic she sent me.
Janes' great. She's helped me appreciate my tropical garden, and weaned me off pining for the roses I am destined to be incapable of growing. I think we have some Frebeesia actually. I'll ask Husband later. We have lots of things in the garden that he just plants and waters and we have no idea what they are till they flower. Gardening in ignorance might sound strange, but it's loads of fun.
Speaking of fun, I also admired lots of things on Pinterest that I cannot possible afford.
This Italian Chinoiserie inspired sideboard caught my attention. I didn't even click on it because I just KNEW it was expensive. I'm going to have a go at making something look like it though. How hard can it be, right? A bit of gold trim, a decal or two, some faux bamboo?


I loved this fabric since I first laid eyes on it. It's out of my price range too. For now. I have a chair just like this. I'm not sure I could bear to cover it in this fabric though. Where does the eye look, really? Chair or fabric? Fabric or chair? It's a bit confusing. Mine is dark wood and dark green leather. I found it in a thrift store for $50. Bargain. I think it's staying green.

I saw this brass shell planter on Pinterest.

I wished one into my life. $6.50. You know where from.

Tassels...I love them. I do not like the price of them. I found a curtain tieback at the thrift store. $3 and with the makings of all kinds of fun.
I pulled it apart.

I got two tassels, and the makings of two more out of it. That diamante buckled tassel I made, above...that's the hollow slide adjuster from this curtain tieback, some costume fringing rolled up and wiggled inside it. I'm nothing if not inventive.

I beaded a bit of florist wire and put a loop on it to tie onto my bedside table.

 I added a potential DIY artwork to my ever lengthening list of things to help me stay busy. Because really, if you have to do just one thing, then one thing more, then surely sometimes that should be something you LOVE to do.
I tried to persuade Husband to add a Chinoiserie inspired bookshelf to his list of things to do. He wasn't convinced. He has a long list as well.

We both love being busy. We both love having a long list of things to choose from when we have a day where we just need to do one thing, then one thing more.
It's a great strategy.
How do you stay busy, when busy ain't your thing?

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Friday, September 14, 2018

Motherly Advice....Be your dream self...

Life is short.
I'd like to have fun with it.
We all here, you, me, us, try to live a frugal life, not just for the sake of living frugal, but also to allow us to splurge and have the 'good things in life' sometimes too. It's not all just endless frugality with no reward. No, no, no. What would be the point of that?

It's all a pathway to being able to live a certain kind of life, right?

If fact, many people find themselves living a certain kind of life, to enable them to talk about it.
Well, I think it's for many reasons. For admiration, for a sense of belonging, to be part of a greater cause, to be held in high esteem by others, to impart knowledge...these are just a few reasons.
But there's a more esoteric way of looking at this idea.
It's called Maslows Hierarchy of Needs.
Here's the pyramid of needs as devised by American psychologist, Abraham Maslow.
He was a clever man who also said "The ability to be present in the moment is a major component of mental wellness", "I suppose it is tempting, if the only tool you have is a hammer, to treat everything as if it were a nail", and "What we can be, we must be, in order to be at peace with our life".
I like him.
His theory is, that we all start at the bottom of the pyramid. We all need food, water and sleep to survive.
But once those needs are met, we move up the pyramid to needing a place to call home, where we feel safe.
Being loved and having a sense of belonging is our craving once we have Physiological and Safety needs covered, and I need to add, that this is not a chronological process. Many of us live through each of these stages, not once but many, many times throughout our life.
Relationship, health, and financial issues impact on each of these needs, sometimes several times in a lifetime, and interestingly, it's difficult, if not almost impossible, to meet a higher need, if our most basic ones are not being met, no matter our stage of life.
At some point we all aspire to Esteem. The esteem of others, and hopefully a healthy self-esteem. If your needs in the lower three areas of the pyramid are being met, then you should be well on the way to having this need met too.
And finally Self-Actualization where expressing one's creativity, quest for spiritual enlightenment, pursuit of knowledge, and the desire to give to and/or positively transform society becomes the force that drives us.
Those highest two, are, I think, what motivates people to share so much of their lives on social media these days. It's not really about 'look at me', it's more about 'look how high up the Pyramid of Needs I am'...even if they don't know about the Pyramid of Needs.
Here's an example of that idea in action.

I just watched the film, Florence Foster Jenkins. Have you seen it?
It's the true story of a wealthy socialite who sang opera. I'm not spoiling it for you by mentioning that she was a terrible singer, because the whole movie revolves around that fact. But it didn't stop her from singing. Not one whit. In fact she made a gosh darned good show of singing her little heart out.
Now there's someone at the peak of their Self-Actualising.
Her basic needs were met, so she was able to meet her higher ones. She was loved by many, she helped many, she lived her dream, no matter what anyone said.
Go Florence, I say.
One of the final lines in the movie is actually the opposite of a mantra I've often used. My mantra is 'just because you can do something, doesn't mean you should' and in my own context, it refers mainly to the injustices of the world.
Florence Foster Jenkins is a shining example of a kind of reverse idea that says...'don't let the fact that you're not brilliant at something, stop you from enjoying it anyway'.
I love that too, don't you?

So what has that to do with the Chinoiserie Chic bedroom at the top of my post, you ask?
Well here it is.
I've been working on a bedroom makeover. If you saw my last post, you'd be aware of that.
I'm no interior designer, but I do have a creative eye. Hence 'don't let the fact that you're not brilliant at something, stop you from enjoying it anyway'.
Secondly, life is dreadfully short. The older one becomes, the more patently aware you are of that fact.
Having entertained a pastel French Shabby Chic home décor for well over 30 years now, my mind turned towards something brighter, bolder, and more glamorous.
Because having exited my child bearing and child rearing years, I too, am becoming bolder, brighter, and I hope...more glamorous.
The outer should reflect the inner...yes?
And here's the thing in relation to that Hierarchy of needs.
For many years now, my first three tiers of needs have been met, so now, as I approach my 59th birthday, I'm working towards my final two tiers of needs.
The last two years have seen a makeover of self, and a re-establishing of who I am, post child rearing.
Now comes the makeover of home and hearth to match.
That's why this pastel arrangement...

….now boasts bold colours,
...and metallic trims....
….and these thrifted pretties...
...are being made over with bright pops of colour and accents of gold.

A blogging friend urged me this week not to change. She was finding my recent obsession with all things Chinoiserie, at odds with who she thought I was. Kind of sweet of her in a way.
But Life is Short.
Have Fun While You Still Can.
And... Just Because You're Not The Best At Something, Doesn't Mean You Can't Enjoy It Anyway.
Those are my new mantras.
I'm determined to be Bold, Bright and Glamorous for my remaining years.
I want my home to be a reflection of that.
Hopefully my blogging friend will love me all the same.

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Monday, September 10, 2018

Homespun Things...Chinoiserie Chic on the Cheap...

I'm obsessed with all things pink, gold and Chinoiserie.

It all started with a little bedroom makeover. But when I began assembling all of my favourite things, there was a definite theme emerging.
Some call this Hollywood Regency, some call it Palm Beach, some refer to it as Eclectic, and to many... it's Chinoiserie.
Chinoiserie is a European take on Chinese décor, and I think it's always been a love of mine. I just didn't realise it was a 'thing'.
So here I've found a Chinese knot doona cover for next to nix. That's getting upcycled into cushions. This fabric will be viewed on the diagonal, to resemble the trellis pattern that is so common in this décor.
See here....
...and here... just have to know what you're looking for...
This little plastic frame had all the lovely faux bamboo and Chinese inspired elements for me to snap it up at just $3.
It's just been painted pink and given a much loved family photo to look after.

Note also my new Cyclamen plants. Bought on markdown at the supermarket as they'd finished their first flush of flowering and were looking a little dowdy. $5 each, thankyou very much. These need a prettier pot, but never fear...I am on the hunt!
A pair of Art Deco-Mid Century Modern Cranes, were discovered for $8. Many thought I should leave them powder blue....
...but my heart hankered for pink...

...they've dried now, and been treated to necklaces of black and gold tassels. See that pic further down. I'm so happy with them.
Pretty glamorous.
Speaking of glamorous, it only took me a nanosecond to scrounge a polystyrene ball and some skewers from my craft cabinet to cobble together a Spiny Coral in metallic gold....

Inspiration here...
Hmmm.....I think I need more!
With all that pink abounding, Husband asked with a raised eyebrow whether we were incorporating any more Husbandly elements into this Chinoiserie Thing...
This Robert Allen fabric was just what the Husband ordered...toning nicely with the watercolour above our bed. This will become cushions, bolsters and upholstery for an ottoman...

I haven't found a bamboo mirror to paint yet, but you know me. I will...

Look! Hot pink! It's a thing in Chinoiserie. Honest. Along with Greek Key trims, ginger jars, tassels, pagodas, bamboo, and metallic finishes. Heaven.

Check out these lamps. Yummy right? I can't bring myself to have pink lampshades though. That's a bit TOO much pink.

My lamps here...they were $6 for the PAIR people...'s those Art Deco crane figurines before...note the photo frame in turquoise too (now pink)...
… and here they are after...glossy pink and lovely, looking glam with black and gold tassels...
...those lamps...they're getting a Greek Key trim on the bottom of the shades. Like this...…
The desk is an ever changing vignette just now. But I'm edging ever closer to a final fit.
Note my fab ottoman. They're all over Pinterest as Loom ottoman. I bought this beauty for $5, twenty years ago, and never finished restoring it. Now is the time. It's going to be gold with my Robert Allen fabric on top and that big, fat tassel remaining in place.
I'm having fun.
Total spend so far? $175-ish.
Husband is happy. I'm happy.
What was your last big makeover?
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