Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Staying Home. It's the Little Things.

Staying home. Social distancing. Self-isolating.
Whatever term you want to use we are all (most of us) doing it. 

For some it is not an option and I know many who are working tirelessly right now: medical personnel, first responders, delivery drivers, grocery store employees and more. 
All with vital roles to fill. 
Thank you.

The virus is not good.
 The reason we have to stay home is not good but staying home can be pretty good.
Even if you are an extrovert staying home can be great.

I know this because I have been here before.
More than once. 
It can be done.


When Mollie was young we had to self isolate for a month or more at a time for medical reasons. 
Twice we were on lock down at Christmastime. That was hard. 
Other times we were hanging out at home to stay well pre-op or post-op 
or because she was actually doing okay but there was a lot of "stuff" going around.

It was extra hard because we were the ONLY ones on lockdown. 
The rest of the world was full on. And we were isolated. 
There wasn't as much online - internet was still dial up at a big old desktop (and it wasn't that long ago!)
No Netflix or Hulu and Disney. No Facetime with friends because no Facetime yet!! No Instagram.
We had cable TV. And a VCR (remember that one?)

I share this with you only to say that we did it, we survived it and some of our fondest memories of good times come from those days. We don't really remember the slow movement of time or the bad parts. We remember being together, the fun and or/silly things we did to break up the boredom and what we laughed about. 
And it really was the little things.
There was stress and worry then too, because, you know,
waiting for a child to have major surgery or trying to prevent another hospital stay.

We made ice cream in a baggie. 
We made wax paper and crayon shaving hearts for Valentine's day. Do you remember that craft?? 
Old School but those are the things that are new and fresh for kids if they've never done it. 
We played with shaving cream and food coloring. 
We baked (and talked about fractions without anyone realizing we just had a math class, cooking class, and nutrition lesson all rolled into one!) 
We read and we took naps.
We set the table and did napkin folding. 
We had tea in the afternoon using my grandmother's china cups.
We played with nerf guns in the house.
We dusted. 
We made collages from magazines. 
We tried pitching playing cards into a bowl.
We danced.
We built blanket forts.
She played in the bath tub. She played with a spray bottle full of water.
We used whatever we had to keep us occupied because this was waaaay before Amazon Prime.

 And as Mollie got older and she  needed to do school work then she did it at the time of day she felt most productive. I get that some families need more structure but that worked for us and as long as it got finished I didn't care if it was after lunch and not in the morning because she had slept in. 
Working when you feel productive and not by the clock is what has made some of the greatest companies today so successful!

And we also made plans for things we were going to do when she was well and back to normal activities. We put lists on the fridge and made calendars with drawings and stickers to help her to see when exciting things were coming. We crossed off days.
That taught us to hope and to plan.
To look forward to something in this time of instant gratification is something to be learned.

And almost every day and whatever the weather we dressed accordingly and went outside . Even if it was messy and we only walked around the yard once or played with bubbles on the back porch we went out into the fresh air. If it was nice then we soaked up the sun - warm or cold weather. 
Even 5 minutes on a swing is quite therapeutic. 

So this extended stay in our own homes is possible and can be productive
and even a time to make some happy memories.
I pray you find some joy in each of these days.

Thursday, March 12, 2020

Chinoiserie Easter Eggs

UPDATE: Post your Easter Egg GIVEAWAY comments on this post. Details on Instagram.

I'm not an over the top seasonal decorator but painting is "my therapy"
 and there's a lot of crazy going on right now so late night painting sesh it is!!


I purchased plain white plastic eggs.
 They aren't the slick, shiny plastic ones that open into 2 parts.
 They have a matte finish.


They are actually pretty realistic looking 
and the same size as a real grade A large egg, I think. 


I used a small (very, very small) paintbrush and acrylic craft paint.
This is a very quick and simple project. 


The matte finish is very easy to work with and dries very quickly. 
I painted a dozen eggs in one sitting!


If you "hunt" around you will find Chinoiserie Easter eggs 
tucked in here and there all around the house!

See my blue and white Chinoiserie Christmas ornaments here and here
And my Chinoiserie Pumpkins here


Monday, March 9, 2020

Monday Blues (and White!)

We had a sunny weekend and now I reallllly have Spring Fever!
(last Monday I posted about umbrella holders because we had so much rain in Atlanta-ha!)

So, you guessed it, my Monday blue and white post is all about 
warm weather uses for blue and white.

Last Summer my asparagus fern was very happy on my porch in a large blue and white fishbowl planter.



I added some tiny, battery operated twinkle lights for the evening.


I painted my beat up galvanized watering can with a little blue and white chinoiserie design.
 Much improved!



Below are some blue and white touches 
I would love to add to my garden or porch this Summer. What about you?

Starting with this patio umbrella-
A super cute blue and white gingham umbrella would be so much fun over a picnic table!


I never pass up a blue and white chinoiserie planter.
 If you don't find them out thrifting then you can find new ones for great prices.

This one is from Walmart.com for less than $75.00.
I see a lot of these in thrift stores and vintage stores for  less than that
 but with out the stand.

I think this outdoor rug would make any porch or deck look amazing.
Just add a bamboo lounge chair, a blue and white garden stool and an umbrella drink!


Blue and white with lots of green plants is the best combination!
I'm ready for Spring!

Friday, March 6, 2020

40 Clams!

"Clams" is a slang term for dollars. 
It was used in the 1920's so I guess it's appropriate for 2020!

What I'm really talking about is neither money nor actual clams!

I'm sharing a great find - my giant clam shell that I got for , you guessed it, 40 dollars!


I have wanted a really big faux clam shell for years. Yearrrrrsss!


But they were out of my price range. Literally hundreds of dollars from some sites.

And then I stumbled across what appeared to be a large, nice looking clam shell 
on the Wal-Mart website. (I know, right??)
This was the description:

Dimensions: 22.5W x 13D x 7H in
Hand cast in cement
Antique white finish
For outdoor use

I looked at other well known decor sites and compared the details of far pricier clam shells. They seemed to be the same size, material, color, etc. 


But this one was only $40.00 plus FREE shipping!! 
This is important - it's made from concrete. 


I decided to give it a try. I was a bit skeptical but 
 I could always return it and, hey, it's only 40 clams!!

It came very quickly and is fabulous!! 
So I feel like it was 40 clams well spent!!

Here are some images from my Pinterest board of giant clam shells in use.

Is this not gorgeous?? 
Everything on @theislandstandard IG feed is beyond beautiful!


And from another favorite IG feed

They basically win "Best Use Of Seashells on IG!"



See what I mean!?!




I had to share - no reason to "clam up" when there's a good deal out there!

Monday, March 2, 2020

Monday Blues!

It's raining in Atlanta ... again. It has rained soooo much this Winter.
So it seemed appropriate for the Monday Blues to include umbrella stands. 
Blue and white Chinoiserie ones, of course!

I like the optimism I see below - they tossed a tennis racket in their umbrella holder. 
Something for the sunny days!


This umbrella holder is full of pretty plain, utilitarian umbrellas 
but the rest of this vignette is full of gorgeous things!


This homeowner used a very large blue and white jar as an umbrella holder. 
It doesn't have the classic straight sided profile but works just as well!

Bliss at Home


Hope your Monday Blues are the Chinoiserie kind!

Monday, February 24, 2020

Monday Blues!

This kind of Monday Blues is a happy thing! 
My love of blue and white Chinoiserie is well documented here on the blog
 and on my Instgram account so the Monday Blues are to be expected!

Here are a couple of favorite blue and white moments.


I love how designer Shaun Smith kept the vintage blue and white tile and made this bathroom look so fresh and updated at the same time. And timeless as well. It's impressive when someone with his training and access to everything reno and decor chooses to work with existing elements. It's something we can all relate to and use as inspiration.
And that's the kind of ginger jar I really like. Big!

And I have Spring fever (who doesn't?) so I want all the big blue and white planters
 filled with realllllly big plants!
This large planter in the home of Patrick Wade and David deMattei is really beautiful.

So besides the obvious blue and white theme
 there is also the sub-theme of wanting the blue and white pieces to be BIG!

Happy Monday.

Saturday, February 15, 2020

Round (Coffee) Table

My new-to-me, very, very old coffee table is round!
I've never had a round coffee table before.

The round part of this new coffee table situation is
 a very old copper tray from Natchez, Mississippi.
My parents inherited it decades ago and now it has come to live at my house. 

 I have always loved this copper tray 
but I never gave the fact that it was circular much thought design-wise! 

My great aunt and uncle had a lower base designed for the tray as was the style when they used it in their 50's and 60's home. 
My mom had it on a very traditional base that was a bit taller but...

I prefer my coffee tables to be a bit taller than is the norm. 
I don't know why - it just works for us.


So I have put the gorgeous copper tray on a faux bamboo end table base
 that I had hanging around. 
The original color of the base was not good at all so I have quickly hit it 
with a bit of off-white spray paint.

 We figured we'd start there and see what we all think.


I've been trying a variety of layouts on top of the tray.
 A combination of things that need to be there to help us function in this room
 and pretty items to flatter the gorgeous copper color.


It's been fun playing around with the circular shape. 


Have you ever had a round coffee table?
Would you consider using a round coffee table in your space? 

I'm liking it!


In case you are curious.
There are a few unique things on the tray right now -
The bamboo boxes hold TV remotes and charging cords. 
The basket on the left is a Charleston Sweetgrass basket and there's a cluster of Low Country oyster shells in it.
The long skinny item with holes in it is a very old Cribbage Board that was my great uncles' and then my dads'.
Coffee table books rotate often - right now it's Mark D. Sikes Beautiful which is divine and Jenny Rose Innes book about Australian design which is fantastic. 
We use the blue and white chinoiserie saucers as coasters.
And the glossy green plant is a gardenia and is about to burst into bloom and smell amazing!