Remember the frames from a few weeks ago? I had the most random shapes left over from cutting out the squares from the fabric I used for that project, but it seemed a shame to just toss it. Add to that random pile SO MUCH leftover yarn from the yarn animal project and a sadly used-to-be-white lampshade and I had quite the recycle solution: A fabric scrap lampshade.
You Will Need:
fabric scraps (don’t forget to iron them!)
Cut out the fabric pieces into squares and rectangles, iron them flat and spray with adhesive. Smooth the pieces over the lampshade until it’s completely covered. To make the edge where the fabric stops and the lampshade top and bottom edging begins a little more sleek, add three to four lengths of yarn, gluing the yarn as you wrap it around the shade. And that’s it! The scraps got used, the ugly shade got a new life, and a little more of my yarn found a purpose:
I’m pretty happy with how it turned out. Plus, the scraps were SO easy to paste on. Have you ever tried covering a shade with one, big piece of fabric? The measuring and shaping to get the fabric not to pucker and bubble around the strangely shaped shade is too much for my mind to grasp. When haphazard DIY’s turn into a slick looking conclusion, I’m all over those.
portrait via / quote via vmmv / wall via / chairs via / bio info via
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow was an American poet and professor, and, despite having a rather tumultuous personal life where he endured many of his own dreary days (his first wife died after childbirth and his second from severe burns in an accident), he was able to overcome them through a lifelong study of what he loved most: writing. Probably most famous for his epic poem Evangeline, Longfellow was a prolific poet, penning many of our most famous poems and giving us many words of wisdom for when we’re faced with our own showers–whether they be in April or not:
The lowest ebb is the turn of the tide-Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Do you know how impossibly impossible it is to inexpensively decorate a man’s apartment? It’s impossibly impossible. Really. For us ladies, adorn the ceilings and walls with bunting, giant paper flowers, twinkle lights, cut outs from magazines arranged in a framed collage, and you’ve got wall-art for pennies. But a guy? Nope. To be masculine is really rather expensive. You have to have real wood, and metal, and other horrid things that make lots and lots of dollar signs…Untilllll I found this fabulous fabric that looks like architectural plans. I decided once framed it would look so sleek, classy, and masculine and I could deck a sad, blank, white wall in inexpensive fabulous, manly glory. I didn’t have a chance to hang all the frames up because I was anxiously wanting to do this post, but you get the idea from this single guy, and I promise to send an update this way once they’re gracing the wall in full splendor:
Goodwill is a mecca for inexpensive frames, I bought 12, 8″ by 10″ wooden frames at $2.00 each. With matting cut from $0.69 a sheet scrapbook paper, spray-paint, spray-adhesive, and half a yard of my fabric, I’m going to end up spending $3.90 per frame ($47 total) for each of the 12 frames andddd I get an entire wall of super chic, masculine wall art.
Framing is so absurdly expensive and it’s so easy to do it yourself I don’t know why more people don’t. I’m really happy with how they turned out. You’d never guess they had some rather humble beginnings in the fabric store and Goodwill. Now, they just look simply vintage and manly chic. That’s some pretty great framin’ for the man:
This week I’m starting a new blog-post-theme, or more like a new goodwill quest: giving vintage muses the opportunity to become part of the Pinterest world by pinning (in their honor of course) things I am certain they would adore. What would Grace Kelly’s Pinterest look like I wonder? Hepburn? Monroe? What about Virginia Woolf? Perhaps a little dreary, ok…what if Elizabeth Bennet from Pride and Prejudice were given a username? Gertrude Stein? Are you intrigued yet? To start things off and in honor of Easter peeking around the corner, today’s “guest” pinner is the brilliant and lovely Beatrix Potter.
Besides publishing twenty-three books during her lifetime and being perhaps one of the most beloved children’s book authors of all time, Potter was also a conservationist, purchasing “Hill Top Farm” in the English countryside and successfully preserving almost all of what we now know as the gorgeous “Lake District” of Britain. The scientific community during her era was also very interested in her work and illustrations in mycology, as well as her sheep breeding. During a time when women weren’t really welcome in the education and work-world, Potter successfully created her own illustration and print business with her adorable and now universally well-known creature characters and was respected in many spheres for her devotion to nature, articism, and creativity. If Beatrix Potter pinned, I’m pretty sure I’d be a devoted follower.
“Dear March- Come in-” is one of my favorite Emily Dickinson poems, and I couldn’t resist the perfect opportunity to share when all of us are saying today, “Dear March, come in.” I never remember being excited about this month in past years, but for some reason, this year I’m really rather looking forward to this month: I’ve seen glimpses of the flowers it will bring, and a few warm, sunshiny days it promises and I’m all in. A summer hat from J. Crew; a spring-print, new, lavender bra; a plant-able “tea seed paper;” a lilac goblet; and a new print for the wall is my spring-clean, just in time to have March stop by with all the freshness it trundles in. Happy Friday and happy new month everyone! I’m absolutely shocked we are at the advent of the third month of this year. Time is flying but I quite like it, there isn’t a moment to feel stagnant and stuck in this swift trot towards Spring.
Posthumously made famous by the publishing of her nearly 1,800 poems she kept mostly secret during her lifetime, Emily Dickinson is one of the most prolific poets of all time. Known for her ethereal and abstract poetry, Emily was also known for her seclusionist lifestyle and plain living. Dressing almost always in white during her later, most eccentric years, Emily became known as “the woman in white,” hardly ever seeing visitors and almost never leaving her house, she seemed to take on the ethereal nature of her poetry. Perhaps it was eccentricity, or perhaps Emily just knew the power a clean, white palette gave to the creative mind, but whatever it was, her simple life helped her to produce some of the most beautiful poetry of all time. January gets a bad rap for being glum, gloomy, and colorless. Sometimes though, white is subtly more powerful than the most vibrant red or the deepest blue. Used in the right way, as Emily knew, white can lend a pause of calm, a strong contrast, or a soft touch that no other color can.
1. Floral Milk bath soap from Anthropologie. A nice long soak in a hot bath with this mix of buttermilk powder, essential oils, and Epsom salts sounds beyond amazing and a much-needed drench of hydration in this winter weather.
2. Owl cakestand from West Elm is on sale right now! Please tell me you can’t resist this, because I couldn’t.
3. Ceramic Fox Speaker from West Elm: it’s a speaker compatible with most mp3 players! Just plug it in and you’ve got the cutest speaker I’ve ever since in my life. There’s also a bear and a squirrel if you aren’t feeling foxy.
4. Last Snow Drop earrings from Anthropologie can make you feel like spring is on the way even if the real snow drops are far from being over.
5. Peach Cloud Mobile from leptitpapillon is a mobile for a baby of course, but I don’t think babies are the only ones who need a little something to help them sleep.
6. Tail Me More Mug from Modcloth has a little fox-tail for a handle and a hidden surprise that will make you smile in the morning as you slurp down some liquid life (coffee).
7. Marshmallow nail polish from Essie. Nothing chicer than a winter white.
If you know anything about nineteenth century writer Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s famous short story “The Yellow Wallpaper,” you’re probably wondering why you would ever, EVER take tips on style from a short-story about a room that concluded in driving a woman mad. But, have you read it? Among Gilman’s subtle jabs at the patriarchal society that often misunderstood and misdiagnosed female physiological illnesses during the centuries preceding our own, there is actually a lot of design theory intermingled:
the emotional Impact of your environment
The protagonist of the story is a woman who is seemingly suffering from postpartum psychosis–assumed by the mention of a new-born, the family’s recent retirement to an obscure summer house, and her physician husband’s notions that she must remain quiet and “not think of her condition” of recurrent nervous bouts, uncontrolled crying, and frequent tiredness. While her husband apparently has locked her into a room in an attic to “recover” by sleeping off her mental distress with not much besides a hideous, yellow wallpaper-pattern to entertain her, and a large bed nailed to the floor, she longs to exchange her room for one “downstairs that opened on the piazza and had roses all over the window, and such pretty old-fashioned chintz hangings.” Though she finds herself feeling best when she walks in the garden, away from a room she garners an eerie feeling from, her husband only “laughs at her” when she suggests that the room is making her nervousness worse. The impact her dismal environment was having on her was a severe one. As the story progresses, she also progresses further into madness. Though her husband didn’t understand it, and she lacked the agency to insist upon it, “The Yellow Wallpaper’s” protagonist responded extremely negatively to the decor that surrounded her. And, it’s true, how you feel in a room may not be just “a false and foolish fancy” as the woman’s husband attempted to convince her. It may be that your room needs a bit of airing:
I fell in love with this summer house shoot over on 79 ideas. It immediately made me think of what the woman in “The Yellow Wallpaper” wanted to escape to: a space that was open, light, and the perfect mix of vintage pieces, modern, clean white, and what she described as “old-fashioned chintz hangings.” She sought, and I think would have found in this space, a warmth, expression, and softness that she couldn’t find in a world that left women who struggled to fulfill their roles as wife and mother with little other options or assistance.
Don’t forget the walls
As the short-story continues, the woman’s descriptions of the wallpaper grow continually more bizarre. After reading Gilman’s short, you might be a little nervous about adding wallpaper to your world. But don’t be! Though nineteenth century papers were rather heavy, overwhelming patterns, the wallpaper of the 21st century is definitely something to check out. And though we spend most of our design dollar on the furniture and items that fill our spaces, the woman in “The Yellow Wallpaper” could definitely tell you, don’t forget the walls! they have quite the impact (good and bad!) on your room as well:
**Did you like that last picture of Anthropologie’s “Paeonia” wallpaper? If you don’t feel like spending $148 on your walls but still want this adorable print, check out how I did it myself via this post.**
“The Yellow Wallpaper” is famous for its commentary on the ignorance of the nineteenth century, male-dominated medical community who excused real women’s issues with the idea that women were simply fragile, weak, and incapable; The cure? Force women to languish, discourage any intellectual pursuit, and avoid at all costs the horrors of a woman who would give herself an identity outside the home with her own creative success. Don’t let your rooms fall into the same madness the protagonist of “The Yellow Wallpaper” did. Mix vintage with modern to keep it fresh, don’t put up with patterns and textures that depress you, and if you’re feeling blue in your room, don’t dismiss it, accept it, and make a change!
– <3 A.
sources: “The Yellow Wallpaper,” Gilman, Anthology of AMerican Lit. vol. II, Prentice Hall | images via 79 ideas, sfgirlbythebay, anthropologie, adored vintage.
Ok, I gave up, New Years is happening so I decided to give it a nod and put up something festive.
Twine-balls are everywhere, I’ve seen them decking weddings, parties, baby showers, and now, you’ll be seeing them at your New Years party if you feel like kicking off 2013 with a little arts and crafts. It took me about an hour and a half to make these guys (not counting drying time) and they make quite the impact I think when hung over whatever table-scape you’re planning.
Mix the corn starch, water, and glue together until the mixture is starting to thicken. You might have to play around with the proportions a bit to get the consistency right. I had to make this mixture twice in order to coat enough twine for four, rather large balloons. (**confession: I wanted to make the twine-balls gold so I tried pouring gold paint in with the mixture but it ended up making a murky grey color so, don’t try and skip a step, just make the twine-balls and then spray-paint them whatever color you want later. I ended up deciding to paint them a chic black anyway.)
Place a rod between two chairs so you have something to tie the balloons on while you’re working.
Blow up the balloons to the size you want and tie them to the rod with some twine.
Coat the twine in the glue mixture and then just start winding the twine around the balloons until you have as much twine as you want coating the balloon. It’s a bit messy so put some paper down to protect your floor and it’s also a good idea to have an extra set of hands to help hold the balloon steady while you are applying the glue-soaked twine:
**A note on drying time: this really depends on the weather, how warm your house is, how much glue you have on the twine etc. You should be able to tell if it’s dry by touching the balloons to see if the twine has made a hardened shell.
After the twine feels dry, spray paint the balloons whatever color you desire. I’ve done this project before and just left them white and I thought they turned out beautiful. For New Years though, I wanted something a bit more dramatic so I went for the black. (**if you want to hang these outside, don’t forget to also add a protective coat of clear spray-paint, otherwise if the twine gets wet the balls will deflate. Trust me, I forgot to do that step before and I was left with strange, soggy, limp twine.)
After the paint dries, just cut a tiny hole in the balloon to let the air out SLOWLY. The balloon will separate itself from the twine and then you’re left with a pretty impressive globe:
I think these twineballs are so fun because they’re so versatile: you could hang them around a light bulb for a chandelier effect, make miniature ones to place over twinkle-light strands, hang outside for a garden party, or even over a crib for a mobile. I paired the balls with some vintage decanters I just discovered at Salvation Army. I got the entire tray of decanters plus the champagne glasses seen in yesterday’s post for a whopping $18! Pretty nifty, yes? Hope this inspires you and (almost) Happy New Year!
What does Perry Como and styling have to do with one another? Funny you should ask: in the midst of his Christmas album that I’ve been playing on repeat for the past few days, is Perry’s 1956 hit, “Love in a Home.” In the song, he talks about how tables, chairs, clocks, and lighting can tell you whether there’s love in a home just by opening the door. He should know a little bit about love too, he was married to his wife Roselle Como for 65 years.
Don’t just take it from Perry though, haven’t you ever been to a home where there’s a feeling of love and hospitality in every item that surrounds you? It’s subtle, probably often slides by unnoticed by less discerning people, but it’s a definite aura, a potent emotion that exudes from the things people choose to put into their homes. So, choose wisely, that little side-table no one sits by at parties may not be just because it’s in an out of the way corner, it may just be sending the wrong vibe. Here’s a few of my picks for things that I was feelin’ the love from:
“Love in a Home”
You can tell,
When you open the door!
You can tell,
If there’s love in a home!
Every table and chair seems to smile,
Do come in, come and stay for a while.
While I was reading a bit about Perry Como’s life, he had endless, adorable things to say about his beautiful wife. He often spoke of how she held the family together, how she was always there as support, encouragement, and inspiration to him as well as their three children, and despite how many of the world’s greatest talents he interacted with during the day, when he “went home to the world’s greatest woman. It was, and is, a great life.” I think Roselle, and Perry, would say that we should never underestimate the power of “Love in a Home”. What you put into it just might inspire a hit song, or, simply keep a family together for 65 years and counting.
Whatever you know of Virginia Woolf’s life and works, you probably don’t associate her with styling. Surprise, surprise: the woman knew the effects on the mind and body of a well-styled room long before Better Homes and Gardens, Martha Stewart, or HGTV filled our lives.
In my third year of college I spent twelve rather grueling weeks studying, obsessing, and making sense out of Virginia Woolf’s writing. It was quite the journey. Out of her stream of consciousness, abstract imagery, and at times rather depressing prose, two things stuck in my mind:
1.) Maintain a room of one’s own:
In her famous lecture turned essay, Virginia Woolf wrote in A Room of One’s Own that one of the most essential things to the success of an artist, and, more specifically, a female artist, was to have a space all to oneself. At the time, Woolf wrote this to point out one of the crucial reasons she believed that women had been unable to write effectively. The nineteenth century woman who “never (had) an half hour…that they can call their own,” did not possess the means to acquire a room, or time, to herself unless “her parents were exceptionally rich or very noble.” At the mercy of her husband or some male support, the average woman, if she desired to write, had to “write in the common sitting room” where of course, “dogs will bark; people will interrupt; money must be made; health will break down.” Woolf felt that, unlike the man who might wander off to an office and shut himself away to work for hours, the women of nineteenth century homes had no such place to work, create, or imagine in.
Women no longer have such restrictions. We make our own money, own our own homes, and follow our own ambitions. Yet, with no limits to our “duties” or desires, women seem to need a room of their own for entirely different, but no less important, reasons. The modern woman is fulfilling roles the nineteenth century woman never dreamed of. By fulfilling these roles though, there is little time to escape into a place where the mind can focus on self, what is important, and what needs to be culled out of a life packed to the brim of to-do’s.
So, take Woolf’s advice: steal a workplace for yourself.
Convert a closet:
Tidy a desk just for you:
Or create an inspiration board:
Maintain a room, a corner, a space all your own where, regardless of whether you are an artist or not, you can put life on pause lest your mind become “heaped…with bitterness and resentment” from the everyday.
2.) Whatever you do, do it like a woman.
In her criticism of a female novelist during the nineteenth century, Woolf noted that the novelist’s writing voice was muddled by her belief that she ought either to admit that “she was ‘only a woman,’” or protest “that she was ‘as good as a man.’” Contrasted to these women, she notes that only Jane Austen and Emily Bronte were successful in their craft because “they wrote as women write, not as men write.” They neither excused themselves for their writing because they were “merely” women, nor tried to adopt a false voice in order to be compared to a man. They were, in essence, essentially themselves. In speaking of women writers, Woolf expresses that “it would be a thousand pities if women wrote like men, or lived like men, or looked like men, for if two sexes are quite inadequate, considering the vastness and variety of the world, how should we manage with one only? Ought not education to bring out and fortify the differences rather than the similarities?”
Wouldn’t she be horrified at the current androgyny? Woolf stated that Jane Austen was one of the few successful female novelist during her time for, unlike other women, she did not try to learn from the “men’s sentences” that were her only examples. Instead, “Austen looked at it (the man’s sentence) and laughed at it and devised a perfectly natural, shapely sentence proper for her own use and never departed from it.”
Whatever you desire to do, take it from Virginia: do it as a woman would do it, not as a man would. Devise your own approach and never depart from it. Excuses and protests will achieve little, but give a woman a space to think and the confidence to think as herself, and there will be, as Virginia found, “no bolt that you can set upon the freedom of my mind.”