Making the Home Pretty...
 Or as a woman once told me: try to make things both beautiful and useful... this is Beautility!!

Here are some ideas to "pretty-up" the home... always ask yourself: what do I have on hand?"  This will truly spark creativity, save you money and force you to use things you already have.

So here are a couple of ideas for the pantry etc. First, one thing I really like is to hot glue (or whatever glue) lace or a ruffle to the front edge of shelves. Open shelves or ones behind the doors. You can use baskets or small plastic bins to keep things neat and in order.

I may have told you that I use gallon jars for canisters…I have dozens of them. I make "toppers" for them out of fabric. I just cut 8" circles and then I hem them with bias tape and then on the underside I zig-zag very narrow elastic about 1" from the edge (pulling it toward you as you stitch… then it will gather up when you are finished). Then I sometimes loosely tie a ribbon around it on the jar… Since I have done this for over twenty years, I have experimented with different "looks" on the jars. They Look like this!


Another thing I really like is the counter that Wes made for me next to the dryer. It’s a formica counter-top which sits on a "frame" ---that is 2 x 4’s that also has a plywood shelf. The shelf is high enough that my laundry baskets fit underneath. So do several other things ( bins of flour, sugar, beans, rice, a large Rubbermaid tote that holds all my "plastics" ) Anyway, I made a "skirt" for the front of this counter and it is very easy to keep clean as I remove it from time to time to launder it and then I starch and iron it and hang it back up.

Lighting makes things pretty!

Most of our light bulbs are pink---GE makes light bulbs make everything in the home look soooo warm and cozy.  I use them in most every lamp & light.  They are a little bit spendy, but I try to stock up when on sale.  Our walls are peach & cream sponge painted---and so they sort of glow.  I like it so much and because it is often dreary here in the northwest, the pink lights give a soft warm feeling in the room.  This is especially nice on the cold & low light days!
Next, I am thinking about bedrooms... one of the favourite things we have in our bedroom is Christmas lights.  I have actually had different kinds of lights in different windows.  (Icicle lights behind a long window of white battenburg lace valance in living and dining rooms) We have really high ceilings and we have lace curtains on the windows (bcz they look old fashioned)---behind the lace curtain I put little white lights...I let the top drape down and then the lights hang down both sides.  They sometimes stay on all night.  We have as few "outside world" reminders in our room as possible.  It's a pretty comfortable room.  I always keep it pretty neat and clean bcz it opens right into our dining room and so is always in view.  I try to keep things/stuff to a minimum in the bedroom-----Bed, small night stand on one side w/ small lamp, treadle sewing machine on the other with a small lamp... old sec'y desk and a rocker.  My husband's dresser and a braided rug on the floor.  I found a dustruffle I like---it's white with lots of dark green leafy vines on it and it has a matching comforter and duvet (it's way chilly in our home sometimes!).  I have a letter basket on the desk, a little lamp, small framed pictures and candles on doilies.... and a real narrow bookshelf with some of our favourite books.  Okay---here's my romantic idea... I try to remember to perfume the bed... it's sort of an invitation... ;-)

In the bathroom, I sure think it's pretty to have baskets of bath things on a shelf.  Soaps, lotions, oils, bubbles, salts and other good smelling things... A small stack of towels... a wreath, flowers, sponges, and other things to make it all feel fresh and even romantic!   Don't forget to have candles on the counter and if you have a ledge or shelf around the bathtub, then assorted pillar candles, votive and candle sticks are wonderful to have.

In the rest of the home...

In our old farm house, we have glass front china cabinets on each side of the dining room. I have lace glued to the shelf edges… it’s pretty flat bcz there’s very little clearance for the cupboard doors… anyway, I starched old crocheted edge napkins and have them hanging point down over the edge… centered on each shelf. I try to make the arrangements look pretty.  I do this on the little pine shelves we have around, too… a handkerchief works well, too… set under a tea cup, small picture, candle, flowers…. You get the idea. Just use whatever you have in your hand… don’t be afraid to use things other than for their intended purpose.

I have tried to use Velcro behind the lace, but have not been very pleased with the appearance... it's sort of "bumpy."  But I think that was many years ago and the Velcro was very firm... maybe there are lighter Velcro products, now?
One time I was totally into ribbons and I tied ribbon bows and glued them to each corner, tied them around all the gallon jar lids, around the salt & pepper shakers... plants... every thing.  Navy ribbons everywhere.  It's funny the different creative sparks that really get carried away!


The following is from Spurgeon’s sermon,

 The Unkept Vineyard

"It is shocking to find men and women speaking fluently about
religion, and yet their houses are a disgrace to Christianity."


MORE IDEAS LATER... ktlg1a.gif