Thursday, August 22, 2013

Hidden Art of Homemaking~ Chapter 5

I'm still moving through this book at a snail's pace, but I am making progress!

This chapter on interior decoration is an easy one for me.  Of all the chapters Edith Schaeffer included in the book, this one and the next one on gardening have stayed with me the strongest.  When I was a new bride and reading Hidden Art for the first time, I was so glad to have my natural inclinations affirmed. And I was encouraged by her stories of making a home on a shoestring.  I think her shoestring was even shorter than mine!  I was greatly encouraged to use what I had available to me and that it didn't take a lot of money to make a pleasant home.  Any place can be made more comfortable and attractive with a little thought and ingenuity and maybe just a tiny bit of money for a package of seeds or a thrift shop find.  Her advice and attitude have served me well for the twenty-six (so far) years of my marriage.  Thank you, Edith Schaeffer!

I am simply amazed when I stop and take an inventory of our household goods and furnishings now. Over the years, the Lord has blessed us so much through the generosity of others, the careful use of resources, and plain ol' serendipity. We've been given pianos, coffe tables, chairs, bookcases, beds, dressers, and a Victorian parlor organ as well as smaller items such as lamps and dishes.  We've bought furniture at yard sales. Our dining table, headboard, and a bookcase, not to mention many of my beloved blue and white dishes, were found marked down at antique shops.  We bought our china cabinet secondhand from an elderly woman who was downsizing.  We've even sometimes bought furniture new~ on sale of course!  None of it exactly matches.  It's a very eclectic conglomeration, but I think our home has a feel of comfort and welcome, sort of like Bag End only with more windows and none of the roundness.

We do a lot of work for ourselves.  I have no idea how many square feet of wall space we have painted in twenty-six years, not to mention furniture.  Like some women, paint is cheap and easy.  I like to say that paint covers a multitude of sins. The one time we attempted wallpaper was the only time we contemplated divorce (just kidding!), so we have stuck with paint since then.  We've saved a lot of money that way and learned a thing or two in the process.  The result is that we have a comfortable home that pleases us and we have the satisfaction of knowing that we accomplished it on a budget and with our own hands.

Now let me show you two projects I recently completed.

Well, this one is almost completed:

We have been looking for a long time for proper kitchen chairs, but nothing has presented itself in the price range we wanted.  We'd been using old metal folding chairs for the time being, and I had the brainstorm just to paint them.  Just buy some spray paint and spray away.  So I decided to do them each a different color for a splash of fun and color.  I say these are almost finished because they all need a little touching up (except the yellow one which needs another full coast, plain and simple), but I ran out of paint.  The nearest place to get more is an hour away, so it's waiting until we are up that way for something else.  But don't they look cute?  And aren't they lots better than boring metal folding chairs even if they aren't exactly our first choice?  I can't decide which color I like best!

Here's a project I finished couple days ago~

Yes, that is two colors of light blue paint you see there on that little edging.  I like this wall color, but we did not paint it ourselves.  If we had, that wouldn't have happened.  This room is slated to be painted probably next summer.  Until then, we shut our eyes to the imperfections.

I made the window curtains two years ago when we moved here.  It took me awhile to get back to the shower curtain, but it's finally finished!  This bathroom construction has a bit of a "make do," vintage feel to it, so I thought I'd just go with it.  Hence the patchwork curtains.  They were easy enough for someone with my meager sewing skills to make, though they are far from perfect.  I just winged it as I went and they came out fine.  Good enough.  As Edith Schaeffer says elsewhere, if you insist on perfection or nothing, you'll get nothing.  This shower curtain is not perfect, but it's a dang sight better than the ugly white plastic utilitarian one that was there.

I mostly used fabric scraps from other projects, but I did have to buy some remnants and fat quarters in order to have enough.  It was still very inexpensive.

I'm sorry I can't get a picture of the entire curtain.  It's too small a space!

A close-up~

Visit Cindy at Ordo Amoris for more posts about The Hidden Art of Homemaking.

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