I'm feeling pretty happy to finally have this room looking like a livable space! The painters were finished many weeks ago and soon after we had a photo shoot to complete (using this room as a backdrop), and then after that - it just sort of sat in shambles. No pretty things on the wall. But slowly but surely, I've been pulling it together. Halloween was a perfect excuse to get my butt in gear and finish up all the little details. Frames got coats of pretty spray paint. The color palette I've had in my mind seemed to all come together. I'm so happy with how everything looks. When I was done yesterday, I just sat in the chair and took it all in. Even Ethan likes it (ha). The white walls have proved to be so calming.
Since we put house-hunting on hold, I've been approaching our home in a much different way. Embracing it and making it what I want it to be. It's not a place-holder anymore. Just because you've been in a house for a very long time, doesn't mean you can't see it with new eyes. All it takes is a little (or a lot!) of paint and experimenting with new things. It is incredibly fulfilling to me putting rooms together, gathering things for wall vignettes and seeing how they all go together visually. This is when I'm most in my element I think. It's like a huge canvas!
Certain elements will be replaced after Halloween, like the masks and vintage mystery novel covers. I have a stack of those I bought at a flea market a while ago. I love them so much! I'd love to scan some of the covers and blow them up for wall decor. The illustrations and spooky storylines go so well with Halloween.
The masks are all leftover from my last Halloween vignette. The Batman and Wonder Woman masks - they are actually just hung on the reverse side (the other side is full color). The red and white color palette ended up working perfectly! All the paper masks are vintage and found on Etsy. The red/orange and white typography print that says "Die gedanken sind frei" ("Thoughts are Free") is from this shop. I knew I wanted to add some bold, graphic, typographic prints to this room to introduce some modern elements (so it wouldn't be all vintage, vintage) and when I saw this on Etsy, I knew it was perfect. Unfortunately, it only came in an 11"x17" size so I had it scanned and enlarged at Staples. He has some other beautiful prints in other languages like French, but I'm not really a romantic languages kind of girl. ; ) I love the way German looks.
The rest of the artwork, as I've mentioned before, are all original drawings and paintings from Estate & Garage Sales. And then there's the Dolly record. ; ) I painted the backgrounds on several pieces so they'd match my palette better. I wanted the arrangement to have a gallery feel.
I handcut the spider webs from leftover origami paper, one from cardstock (because I ran out of origami paper, and let me tell you, origami is way easier to cut into!) and the large one was cut from BLACK VELVET PAPER. Yum. I found it at Michaels. That stuff is amazing. I want more. I like it because it's a really rich black. A lot of black paper just isn't that dark and rich. I used this tutorial for cutting the webs. Super easy and a little addictive! I hung them from clear fishing wire.
I found these light up jack-o-lanterns at the thrift store yesterday. Perfect timing. The boys of course loved these. I had some other Martha Stewart decorations and paper silhouettes I bought on clearance at Michaels several years ago, most of which I haven't put out ever. I kept forgetting I had them! I put them around the house and let the boys find them when they got home from school yesterday. Campbell said his fav is the witch. I made the fabric pumkins a few years ago. You can make some too using my tutorial here. (This is my most pinned tutorial and I'm still amazed at how many people come back to make these every year. A grandmother left a comment saying she made some with her grandson this year! Heart melt!)
(fox and owl masks are vintage)
Ok, let's talk Dolly. I love her. Many of us love her. Honestly, I think it's a bit trendy to like her these days. It's the hipster thing to do to love old school country. ; ) (That is not me being a grumpy old lady at all.)
We all have our reasons for loving certain people, certain music. I love Dolly because I grew up listening to old school country music. I know at the time I probably thought it was LAME when we'd hop in our station wagon and my Dad would turn on old country. (Where's my pop music?! Where's my Whitney Houston!?) But now I appreciate this music SO MUCH. And I appreciate that it was always playing around me, either at home, or at my grandparents' homes in Louisiana. It sort of feels like it runs through my veins. When I hear it now, it transports me back to my childhood. All those warm-fuzzy-memories.
I've gathered quite the collection of old country records at thrift stores over the past few years, and this Dolly record is one of them. I think I'm most drawn to his photo of her because she's so young, and it's before she did all those crazy things to her body (granted, I still love her crazy, plastic-surgery-inflicted body, because she's still DOLLY underneath it all. And I love that she has such a great sense of humor about her body!)
But I realized yesterday that I'm most drawn to this photo of her because she reminds me of my maternal Grandmother!
My Grandmother ("Mamaw" to me!) has always been beautiful. She still is. She's just always been striking. I always remember my Mom telling me that when she used to go places with her Mom, men would do the double-take and turn and look at her. Embarrassing for a kiddo right? Ha!
That's my Mom on the left. She will probably shoot me for posting this photo of her. I think she looks beautiful though (bitchin' specs, Mom!) And why couldn't I have inherited her rich, dark hair?!
Here's my Grandmother with my Grandfather at the motel they owned. She's definitely channeling Dolly here.
I remember my cousins and I even finding a blonde wig at her house when we were little and thinking it was SO DOLLY. (If I remember correctly, one of us donned the wig and stuffed our shirt because as you know, Dolly's boobs are FAMOUS!) I don't think my grandmother wore wigs a lot - even without the wig, she reminds me so much of Dolly (minus the boobs).
And speaking of my Mom, here she is on her wedding day. I thought it was funny that the colors in the room remind me so much of what I have in my own house. The floral print on that couch is amazing! I wish I had been so into vintage when I got married, because I would've LOOOVED to have worn her dress. Although, even as a size 8 or so when I got married, I don't think I could've fit in her dress. My Mom was teeny-tiny. So pretty.
Thanks, Dolly, for bringing back all of those wonderful memories. You make me miss my grandparents even more. I'm so happy I get to see them all soon. It has felt too long.