So Long, Winter? The calendar says it’s Spring, but when I woke up this morning there was a layer of white stuff on the ground that wasn’t there yesterday and I was chilly enough to need my throw blanket.
I am trying to stay positive and I’m going chase the chill away by adding some Spring color to my family room by doing something a bit unconventional, but authentically in my own style –which brings me to how I even happened upon my own style – my own way of doing things – a few words – I took a risk.
A long time ago when I was first married and my hubby and I had our first home I dearly wanted to decorate it, but we had a very teeny tiny budget. My younger, inexperienced self thought I had to go to Ethan Allen or JC Penney to decorate my home to have it look nice. I also had those worries – Will it look good if I do this? Will it go out of style before I can even get it paid off? or what if I hate it after I spend good money on it? etc. etc.
That all changed for me when I decided to just do it my way. I learned that when I wanted something bad enough –in this case a pretty home that I had to look past risks and find opportunity. My opportunity came when I threw the risks of picking and choosing conventional furnishings out the window and became resourceful – which I now know is one of my greatest strengths.
I started doing things my way – unconventionally – the way I learned in my profession of retail display. I used a glue gun to make drapes out of sheets and coat hangers to make curtain rods to hang them. This was way before HGTV came on the scene and a glue gun wasn’t a household staple. The way I was decorating my home caught on and I was doing it for my family, friends, and neighbors – unconventionally and everyone was so happy and wanted to know how to do it for themselves.
It was this unconventional way that I did things that landed me a DIY decorating book contract. I stood out from the crowd, I was doing something different – unconventional that worked and that people wanted – I was making a difference in people’s homes that had teeny tiny budgets like I did – and it all started when I took that first major leap and risked – doing it my way!
That leap and the belief that yes, I could make it happen set me on my course in life. My home was like a lab – where I
took risks – experimented! It was a fun and exciting journey. I have a bigger budget today, but still rely on my resources and doing things my way – unconventionally – it has more meaning to do it this way than for me to buy something off the rack – that to me is taking a risk – not authentic enough anymore for me.
So to chase the winter blues away I went to my favorite $1 a yard fabric place – JoMar and splurged! – I bought 3 yards of $6 upholstery fabric to make 2 bright and cheery throw blankets to replace my faux animal skin fur ones that I use in the winter.
Upholstery fabric is usually stiff and has strange backing – not very soft either, but I always keep my eyes open and never dismiss any possibility – because that’s how I decorate my way. Too many people don’t realize the wonderful resource JoMar can be if they just take a little time to walk up and down the aisles to find the treasures amoungst the older fabrics. If I was one of these people, I would never have stumbled upon wonderful stuff like this upholstery fabric that was on the roll backwards and mixed in with the rows of dark brown fabrics. Stuff like this sells at Calico Corners for $36 or more a yard.
It is very soft, has a classic pattern, is in a favorite color, and looks good on both sides – so no lining is necessary – one less step to having new “pops” of spring color in my family room all because I am not afraid to do it my way. Call it El-cheap-O, resourceful, whatever – it is the way I do things and I wouldn’t want to do it any other way.
It is how I am wired.
Risk = Opportunity = Reward
- Straight edge
1. Lay your fabric out – I always do this on my floor. I used my faux fur throw as a pattern. It measured 64” long x 46” wide.
2. Use a straight edge and scissors to cut to size. I just cut length as the width of my fabric was perfect.
3. To keep the corners from getting too thick when you sew a hem on each side, I first folded and pinned each corner down.
4. Then turned over the raw edge on each side and sewed a hem.
5. Then I repeated the process – by folding over the raw edged hem again to create a finished hem.
6. So I had finished edges and flat corners.
All done and looking mighty spring-like on my chair.
Risk led me to a better way to authentically decorate for myself and others – a more creative way to do things – which is how I like to live.
If I hadn’t taken that risk a long time ago, perhaps I would just have
“An apartment with deep pile carpets
And a couple of paintings from Sears
A big waterbed that we bought with the bread
That we saved for a couple of years.”