December 13, 2017

Leveling Out Your Playing Field

 

I remember a lot of great things about my mother , but her green thumb has to be my most treasured. I learned so much from her passion for gardening, and how to tend to and appreciate the beautiful things that grow in nature! Satisfying the need to dig in her gardens gave her a quiet control. She would make time to fertilize, water and “dead head”. This is the technique of pinching off the dead blooms. The simple effort keeps the plants blooming.  For my mother an “off with the old and in with the new!” gave her a hopeful activity. No matter how tired or busy she was with the other things that can consume all of our daily lives, , her gardens always held high priority for her time and attention. Her reward was a beautiful, thriving garden, and moments of peace for her soul.  The relationship she had with nature was one that she could control and because she nurtured her garden, and it responded, she had very few disappointments in that peaceful place. I realized that her gardens were more meaningful to her sanity, a rejuvenating sanctuary of sorts. I think of all the times in her life that chaos would take center stage, and she would head to her gardens… A place she created for herself only… A place that made her smile and feel great about her success as a gardener. I often think my mother was “leveling out the playing field” in her life by spending time in her gardens. After all-controlling plants and their success was easier than trying to control the chaos of people around her. My mother had a lot of beauty in her life, some was a blessing, and some she created.  We all can learn to create beauty in our lives, we just have to remember that controlling a “plant”, is easier than controlling a person. My mother often said ,” My  life was chosen for me, and it is my responsibility to make it as beautiful as I can.” Her ability to distinguish between what she could create and control was the lesson that I learned from her. This lesson was one of many she taught me. No, I didn’t get her green thumb but I got so much more.  I recognize that we can not control people, but we can create a place to go and dwell in what we love. A place that offers us peace and beauty… We can always create a place that makes us smile and offers peace. It can be perfected with our love, and hard work. And does not have to revolve around people problems.  When you find that place visit it as often as possible… It will “level out the playing field” in your life.

Hot Staging Trends in 2013

The clutter is cleared. The house is clean. Now, what accessories and accents can you use to make a room look fresh and modern? Try chunky woven blankets, reflective surfaces and tangerine combined with neutral shades.

Other Ideas:

Mother Earth Inspired Elements. Nature is popular this year. popular color palettes are reminiscent of natural elements-reds found in earth and soli, blues of the sea, lush greens of the rain forest, and neutrals that draw from the softer, textured look of eggs, seashells, and sand. the natural tones are being paired with color accents, such as Tangerine. Also look for accessories that incorporate natural elements such as woven baskets, leather stools and cotton towels.

Fabulous Faux. Think zebra stripe rugs or leopard print votives. But beware: use animal prints in small doses only.

Digital Fabrics. Framing a piece of digital fabric is a great way to create an inexpensive piece of artwork. Try textiles with fern or tree branch patterns.

Not your grandmothers Doilies. Add lace in subtle ways-on top of tablecloths or paired with bold colors. Traditional quilts and crochet peices are also popular.

Faded Area Rugs? Vintage is in Vogue! Instead of ditching that old Asian rug, use it as the foundation for your rooms color and aesthetic palette. Add modern artwork and accessories that compliment vintage pieces.

Opposites Attract: Think silk with suede, furniture with studs, “shiny with vintage”.

Touch the Sky: Think about clouds and water when choosing reflective white, blue and silver objects and hardware. Mirrors are great for staging as they make the room look much larger. Also consider mirrors in other ways, such as for a tray holding a tea-cup and saucer or on a wall in an area where there isn’t a lot of light.

Bottom Line: Have fun and let your creativity shine.

Chabby. Southern Smarts

Photo courtesy of Elle Décor.

 

 

A “Humbleness Of Mind” About What Is FREE!

I think that one of the biggest blessings that God ever gave me was my “humbleness of mind”  I am happy with the most simplest of life’s pleasures. In my day-to-day life I find that I am aware of all things big and small. I can sit on the porch and relish in the moment of the breeze, feeling the sun on my face, and smelling the smells of nature. All of these things are free! I notice every sunrise and sunset. Some of us are not always in tune with our “humbleness of mind” to even notice these things. We need to notice! These are free gifts that are beautiful and make us “take a breath” and we all need to take a breath. It doesn’t matter where you came from or where you are going,  just be sure to enjoy the free things in nature. After all, these things can only enhance our well-being. This is not a difficult task, but for some reason it is so overlooked.  Today and for everyday hereafter smell the air, really feel the warmth of the sun, and enjoy all things that are FREE in nature! Be more than aware of the sunrise and sunset… Dance in them! I challenge you to be “humble minded” about the free things in nature . So when you notice a beautiful blue sky … say to yourself or to whomever your with “that’s free”. You will be surprised at all of the free stuff around us, and saying it out loud will help you be in touch with all things. And most of all; you will catch yourself taking a breath! And if you are really lucky you may see something “free” that will take your breath away! Stephen Spurling