Category Archives: home

Summer & white lights: perfect together

I love white lights. I love color ones too but white lights go with everything. I’ve been using white icicle string lights indoors for several years. The strand I was using  in the living room area went defunct awhile ago. I just found a long, 150 light strand for under $6 on Amazon ( I can spot a bargain at 50 paces!). It was too long for the spot I’d been using so I strung it across the room – and then some – instead.  They hang down but still clear heads. 😊 The photo quality isn’t great but you can see the general idea. They’re on a timer for the evening hours & are super lovely. When they come on it’s always a happy surprise.

 

IMG_20200703_192916

IMG_20200703_192718_kindlephoto-3509978

 

IMG_20200703_192503

Fixing up a roadside metal table

The last few weeks have been overwhelming, painful, and psychically grueling. My thoughts and heart are heavy. I have yet to form a cohesive way to approach all of it – the murders and protests and upheaval coming on the heels of a brutal pandemic which isn’t over – on the blog. I’m not sure that I will or that I need to (yet/now). But I can’t post about other things, simple, everyday things, without saying something more definitive to expose where I’m at amidst so much turmoil. I want to be hopeful about this country, its ability to adapt and evolve and right wrongs of the past, but I’m afraid. There’s so much beauty and so much ugliness. I want us to be better and I’m fearful that we won’t be.

I grab onto small pleasures and diversions. It helps me cope and it’s what brings me satisfaction. Creating is where I live. I was walking along the street, dodging other people, when I saw a rust-tinged metal table tossed out with a pile of yard debris. I examined it. My hands came away rust-shaded.😐 The metal top was wicked hot from being out in the sun. The top was too heavy for its 3 skinny legs and it wobbled or rather vibrated. I almost walked away from the castoff when I remembered how I pushed similar metal legs into the soil to steady them. That sold me; the wobbly quality wouldn’t matter if I used the table outside.
IMG_20200612_140848

I had cans of black and red spray paint. I figured black would get pretty hot in the sun and red would be more interesting.
IMG_20200612_165301

I added a coat of gloss to protect the top. I added a friend too. I love it! A simple feature with a vaguely art deco vibe that raises the spirits a bit. I can’t make life beautiful but I can make little things beautiful. From trash no less.

IMG_20200614_144224_kindlephoto-21650487

My best de-cluttering tips

I know many people have spent time during quarantine cleaning out their houses. I haven’t done too much because I’ve been committed to de-c!uttering for years. I got lots of good ideas from books when I became devoted to a clutter-free home and over time I’ve come up with a few of my own.

1. Ask yourself: If I was moving would I take this with me? I find this helps me see what something means to me & how much trouble it’s worth. If it’s not worth moving, why is it worth keeping?

2. Put a date on the object & put it aside. When you look at it again it’ll give you a better idea of whether you a) use it or b) missed it. I also like to put short notes on items I have some question about. “Needs new cord” or “extra” or “jeans too loose at waist.” Waiting awhile can eliminate my indecision or give me a fresh idea. It’s useful, if possible, to keep such items together somewhere they won’t be forgotten/overlooked.

3. Think of a person – someone you know or a celebrity – whose style you admire and who, to your knowledge, lives clutter-free in a nice home. Ask yourself: would such-and-so have this item in their house?

4. Consider if the item is one-of-a-kind; i.e. if you get rid of it & regret it, how hard would it be to replace? I had a conversation once with a cousin who was afraid she might get rid of something valuable, a concern lots of us have. I pointed out that if it was a box of gold bricks, she’d probably keep it.😁 Most things can be replaced and your life won’t be a shambles but for the excised object.

5. Go through all your belongings on a regular basis. What seemed important to keep two years ago might no longer seem so now. I’ve been surprised by what the passage of time can do to my desire to hang onto things.

Fixing up a roadside table

About 2 weeks ago I found this table tossed out curbside. I thought the color was awful but saw potential. The top is a little warped but not bad and at 30″ tall (the top is 15″ x 15.5″) it’s a substantial table without being heavy. Normally when I find a treasure like this I’m anxious to fix it up but things being what they are and have been, it took a awhile to feel inspired to work on it.

IMG_20200321_173208

I wasn’t sure what color I wanted in part because I hadn’t decided where the table would be used but a coat of white primer was the first step. I figured that would help me since I was sure it should be a lighter color.

IMG_20200331_181108

I let it sit a few days while thinking about color. I had this red orange someone gave me that I’ve used on several things but I didn’t think there was enough left to paint the whole table. I decided to use it on the top and the shelf and after I’d done that, I got inspired to paint the remainder a lighter salmon color I had (which I think I found roadside several years ago but hadn’t used much yet). It’s great! This is one coat; it may need more or touch ups but I was excited to show it on the blog now.

IMG_20200409_111527_kindlephoto-7332068

The fun part is seeing where new-to-me finds might work. I tried out three ideas to show you. The best finds look good & could go in lots of places.

IMG_20200409_112231_kindlephoto-6970483

I like this because that’s the same red orange on the drawers

IMG_20200409_112835

It’s starting to get warm & a fan table works too

IMG_20200409_123347

Ooh it looks really good as an end table

 

 

Plant “children”

I don’t have children, I have plants. Seventeen house plants as of this writing. I didn’t know that; I went around and counted for the purpose of this post. A plant that does especially well with me in the conditions I can offer it is the Dracaena or “corn plant”. My Dracaena has appeared in the blog before, when it flowered.

In that previous post I wrote how I long ago bought a $4 Dracaena plant that’s been the source of several others. When the plant grows to the ceiling I have little choice but to lop off a section and root it in another pot. So um, now I have four of ’em!

The two tallest are direct “children” from the original plant (which is gone). This one below keeps hitting the ceiling. I have twice lopped off the top (which made me very nervous but it’s worked out). It’ll have to grow another 10-12″  before it reaches the ceiling again. And when I say grow I mean that after the top is cut off, the plant puts out a new shoot from the top. To be kindly, I re-potted it in a bigger pot about two years ago after which a bunch of its lower leaves died.😐 Some gratitude!

IMG_20200407_131814_kindlephoto-19621268

This other tall one has yet to reach the ceiling. I will be reluctant to ever give it a bigger pot considering how the other one reacted. It’s doing great.

IMG_20200407_131502

This one, the first cutting I took from the tallest plant, is, I suppose, a “grandchild” of the original plant. It’s on top of the freezer. ( I never include the freezer in photos I put up cuz it isn’t exactly aesthetically pleasing, but it’s fabulous to have; I understand freezers are selling out these days.)

IMG_20200407_131607

Here’s the most recent cutting, the baby. I found the black Ikea stool tossed out not long ago and was glad to have it for a plant stand – I’m not sure if that’s what it’s sold as or to sit on.

IMG_20200407_130914I love these plants and want to keep them but I’m not sure where everybody is going to fit eventually! Especially as they all get big. This place is going to look like a Dracaena store.