Archives for posts with tag: creative

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The idea for this vignette started with the wicker shelf I picked up at the thrift store for $3.99, in fact, everything in this vignette, except the tea pot on the upper shelf, and the metal bracelet on the placement were from the thrift store.  I don’t see wicker shelves as often as I thought I would, or as often as I used to, so I bought it with no second thoughts.   There’s almost always a place for cute little shelf units – because they are not large, they fit nicely on a bedroom dresser, a kitchen or bathroom counter, or in your living room and you can arrange a few items on and around them that accentuate the ambience you have, or are trying to achieve.  They also add height and interest – the interest comes from the design, the natural material, and the textures.  With the added height, your eyes wander around the grouping like they are on a little journey.  I originally began placing different colors of small pottery items but they were not working with the color of the shelf, and something else was missing.  Once I used the tarnished silver items, I realized that it was a lovely patina and reflective qualities that had been missing.  I placed a few aqua river pebbles to add a whisper of color.  The beads draping out of the hand-wrought looking metal bowl, the ivory rose and placement balance out the color from using the shabby ivory wooden box on the lower shelf.  You could still embellish more by placing an interesting item on top of the box – even a small strip of old lace, or tying something onto the wicker shelf.

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As the British explored the world, they began incorporating designs, motifs and materials of the locale they were in with their own.  Think plantation, coastal, breezy.  Antigua, Africa, Tobago, Barbados.  Rattan, leather, wicker, cottons, linens, sisal, jute.  Dark woods like mahogany.  Tropical plants. As they traveled, they drew and published prints of plants and animals.  Want more inspiration?  Motifs of pineapples, elephants.  Zebra.  Banana leaf shaped ceiling fans.  Then give it a little pop with an eclectic mix of accessories, including a little sparkle with crystal, glass, metals.  Keep your eyes open at thrift stores for items that fit into this design style as they are often available.  The woven box, pineapple base lamp, and white paisley semi sheer fabric panel were all purchased at a thrift store.   

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Although thrift stores – at least the few I go to – have a plethora of candle holders, I don’t often see any that fascinate me, and I would candle holders to do that for me.  Now this little puppy – for $3.00 caught my attention for a few reasons.  I like the gold tone in the base and on the holder, not just because it is not shiny and reflective, but it is a lovely complement to the ivory color.  The color is neither iridescent or frosty, but it hints at that.  Not overtly whimsical, the flower designs are pleasantly happy and uplifting!  The funny thing is though, I don’t burn candles, and never have,   Ah, but have you seen the wondrous candlescapes that can be put together?!  Now that seems like a fun creative time – an art form even.  I thought the candleholder looked right at home slightly tucked under the greenery, with it’s vines lovingly wrapped around!

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I was out browsing in a trendy little area of the city, and came across a new little Bali boutique, and needless to say, I pretty much galloped in!  So many interesting and unique items!  I happened upon this cute little change purse, and since my decor is eclectic and global, I thought I should be too, and this would be a good little catch.  When I got home, I put it in my purse, and pulled it out as if to pay for something to see how handy it would be.  What I discovered was that, while I adored this item, it wasn’t right for me as far as fashion goes.  Disappointed and confused, I went to set it down, but the plant was in the way so I just hung it on the lampshade.  After looking at it awhile, I grew so used to the look, that it is now a part of my home decor!  It adds a little whimsy to the table arrangement, and I’m now wondering what else might look good hanging from a lampshade!  ps it was $9.99.

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I’ve written before about setting decor items into trays – it looks polished, it pulls everything together, and brings attention, focus, and life to the objects.  Using a framed ‘picture’ has a lot of benefits, as well as versatility.  First of all, the availability of styles of frames is virtually limitless, never mind the fact that you can embellish them in your own creative way!  Then you’ve got the matte.  In the photo above, the ‘picture’ is actually a page I pulled out of a book I have on the history of carpets, but I have also used lovely scrapbooking paper, fabric, and pages from a book on the history of textiles.  Possibilities end only when your imagination does!  Finally, I adore the reflection of the bowl on the glass.  Then, when you are ready for another unique creative expression, put the picture on a wall somewhere to enjoy that way, and slip another one under your decor!

Lampshade Embellished with lace cutouts

Embellished Lampshade

I can see already that using the imagination where lampshades are concerned could become addicting! And what a fun way to change out the look of a lamp; and thus, the ambience of your room. At the thrift store, I found a nice square ‘tablecloth’ for $4.99. A small one that might fit to cover an end table or just the centre area of a dining table. Sometimes they have these in the tablecloth section, other times they are with the doilies. The centre was – for the most part – plain cotton, but the edges were lovely. I singled out this ‘motif’ and simply carefully cut them out. You should see it when the lamp is turned on in the evening – enchanting!! These would look nice on drum shades too, of course! As an aside, I want to mention that I was in a shop that upcycled vintage’y’ objects. She had a beautiful decorative umbrella that was made by sewing together a plethora of similar motifs from various lace tablecloths, and probably clothing articles too. So much to do, so little time 🙂

A table vignette with houseplant

Transform Your Space With Houseplants


Using houseplants as decorative features creates an impressive ambience, breathing new life into your rooms and transforming them into lush inviting spaces. They can make just as strong a statement as would a beautiful chandelier! For those who enjoy the feng shui way of decorating, houseplants are said to create harmony in your home. The pothos plant, shown here, is very forgiving regarding light and water – it can thrive in bright and dim areas, although with too little light, you will likely lose any variegated coloring your leaves have. To water, you can just wait until you notice that the leaves and stems appear to be getting on the limp side. Pinching and cutting back will produce a bushy full plant, and pruning is a fun artistic way to shape it. To start new plants, simply put cuttings into dirt, or into a glass with water. Did I mention that the pothos is high on the list of plants that purify the air? They are also economical, reduce sound, and can reduce humidity levels. Try using a few of your favorite decorative items in front of the plant, or create more visual interest by tucking them in slightly under the fall of leaves. Foilage add unmistakeable beauty to any home – take advantage of the earth’s gift of home decor!

Needless to say – but I will – I have a plain jane apartment bathroom that is screaming to be dressed up.  I did try lining up some decorative objects on the shelf above the toilet, and putting up a few pictures but, even though the objects were okay, it somehow seemed to draw attention to the fact that it`s a three dressed up as a nine!  As I contemplated the dilemma at hand, I realized that some of the problem lies in creating not only texture but depth, and in this regard, the large mirror was posing a bit of a problem.  If it was my own place, I might try taking the mirror down, replacing it with a smaller style appropriate mirror (ie shabby chic, modern….) above the sink, and finding a nice shelving unit to nail to the wall and place objects in.  Still – I`m not so sure that filling spaces with a bunch of small items would give me the results I am looking for – in fact, can I even describe what I`m looking for?  I want to walk in my bathroom and feel richly enveloped and welcomed in, and I want my senses to come alive.  It needs personality! I thought I wanted spa-like – a relaxing rejuvenating ambience but as thoughts swirled around, I think I will be going for happy and alive.  This is going to be a real challenge for me, especially since I want to fill the room, without having it look cluttered.   Bathroom decor planningBare apartment bathroom needs decorMy favorite bathrooms in the past were when I rented a unit in an old house 🙂  but that cannot be duplicated here.   More to come……….

Christian and collage quote 010

One of the ideas I had to either be more creative with wall quotes or simply to have the option to move them around and ‘take it with you’ was to apply it on the glass of a frame and back it with fabric collages.  Of course, paper collages, mini quilts, or a lovely picture would work as well.  Just be sure that the color changes and sharpness of what is behind will not interfere with the readability of the quote.  In this case, I tried my hand at a simple fabric and lace collage.  You can also easily cut up some lace from shirts, doilies and tablecloths that are bountiful at thrift stores.  Fabric stores may have some lovely trim that you can use as well.  I did not sew this together as I am a fairly impatient crafter in many cases.  Glue was my friend : )  In retrospect, I might have used either a different color quote or backing as I am not sure the contrast was what I was looking for, but it is still pretty enough for me to hang on my wall!

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All of us possess a creative potential unique to ourselves.  Creative expression is not limited to noble pursuits such as becoming a very talented artist, or musician.  One way our creative expressions are unleashed is through our daily activities.  Think of cooking, setting a table, arranging home decor, getting dressed.  Another avenue is considering hobbies we may take up, for some, you may need that extra sparkle of patience to find your path.   I had experienced what I think of as a dark night of the creative spirit.  Oh, the urge, desire, and passion was there, but over a few years I became so very frustrated at any lack of progress in my chosen activities.  Piano, guitar, embroidery, watercolor, acrylics, glass painting, sketching….Piano and guitar were great for a few years, but somehow the passion faded.  I was great at graphite drawings but longed for color.  Glass painting, watercolor, and acrylics were started with delight but try as I might, the fact that I couldn’t get results even close to what I envisioned was demotivating after a while.  There were times I felt despair that for all my creative adventures, I was not getting the joy that should result from such a pursuit.  I did finally find my way, so if you are ever in this boat, keep paddling!   

There is much written about igniting that creative spark.  A few things worth mentioning are to practice and be patient.  Have activities in your life that you really enjoy doing.  Give yourself quiet peaceful interludes, and always carry a notebook!  Give yourself permission to just putter about aimlessly from time to time, and know how to set up the ambience that is just right for you! Do you like music on or off?  What kind of music? Do you like white noise? The sound of a fan in the background?  And finally, disconnect from negative self-talk about your ability and keep going forward.  You ARE creative!