Thursday, March 18, 2010

Signs of Spring

Winter waves goodbye. Flowers are already in bloom. At our front door- the spicy scent of carnations rises up in greeting. Living here, where cymbidium orchids are kept outside to bloom year after year- to garden here is much like Pastor Cliff described it will be like in heaven. Enough work for everyone.

With 12 months of color displayed in our gardens, what sets spring apart is the seasonal rituals related to cleaning. Spring is the high season when us defiantly romantic juggle the homemaker's trinity of thrift, beauty and order. That, or end up deserving to be featured on an episode of Hoarders.

To be successful on a budget, the first thing is to pick where you can spend the least for the biggest impact. To be fully motivated, when everything is cleaned and put back, the result needs to be more than just cleaner. The place needs to be better.
This year, I picked the wall behind my bed for special attention. Earlier this week, the wall was the color of dried bones. The old picture matting and frame's years visually dragged down the room. Not now.
I will never part with the frame on the cross stitched homily. My father made it to house the cork board bulletin board for my childhood room. Dad was a very practical man- for him to spend time creating something so non-essential as an mahogany frame to pin school mementos to is a symbol of his love. Part of how he taught his daughter to cherish little triumphs by hanging ribbons and awards displayed there during the school years.

Back in the early 1980's, my eyesight and hands cooperated in crafting items for our home. A quarter of a century after the carved molding was stained and shellacked, the frame graduated to my married-woman bedroom.

Confession. Other than to install the mattress- the one my husband says he sleeps well in because it is so high off the ground it causes oxygen deprivation- the bed has not been moved since the year we decided we would decorate in the style of a bed and breakfast inn.
Removing the bedding and mattress to move the bed from the wall- this operation was to seek and destroy the dust bunnies underneath. It was pointless to individually them. If they left on there own, they could be known as the Thundering Herd.

At noon, the needlepoint, en frame, took a drive to Ken's Ace Hardware with me. Paint color expert Karen helped match one of the blues in the lettering to Benjamin Moore "Nantucket Fog". She sent me home with a quart of eggshell enamel to paint with and an 18" square paint chip to shop with.

A quick stop at Baxter's Frame Shop- Jill sorted through the matting samples to find a sumptuous crushed blue fabric for a new picture mat that showed off both the needlework and the new color of the wall.

If you don't think you can afford to renew a room this spring, maybe there is a tool you've forgotten. Coupons from the newspaper. This is today's actual savings at my local Albertson's.

The total time to make the room more welcoming was one day. The total expense was just the cost of one can of paint and one custom mat. The result result is rejuvenating.

Ken's Ace Hardware is on Diamond Bar Blvd., in the same shopping center as K-Mart.303 South Diamond Bar Boulevard Diamond Bar, CA 91765-1613 - (909) 861-5861

Baxter's Frame Work is at the corner of Diamond Bar and Grand, in the same shopping center as Albertson's


  1. I love spring! For someone who loves their garden as you do, you couldn't live where I do. The 4 seasons are a fact and spring is slow to arrive. It teases us and then ... boom, it's in the 20ยบ's again! All my delicate plants stay inside until about the 1st of June. At least tomatoes don't go in until then. I learned the hard way.

    I agree with you how fresh paint perks up a room, even if it's on a picture frame! Nice.
    xo Oregon Sue

  2. 'Morning Sue. Some days I believe I could live on the 20th floor of a New York high rise studio apartment with just a patio with stones to rake. However, you are probably right. I am acclimated to living where rain and snow equate with vacation.

  3. Oh Lydia, the cymbidium orchids are gorgeous! I used to have hundreds of them at my former home in Torrance. Miss that place.

    Had to laugh at your heard of dust bunnies, as I've just had the carpets cleaned, the drapes being rehung this morning, all the rugs washed and now I think as the antique bed, also a very high one, wasn't moved to steam clean the carpet, I'm going to have the gal remove all the "stuff" stored under it, and vaccuum it really good.

    Now back to the misc. things before she gets here!

    Judy, the Seal Beach Cutie!

  4. California Cutie- Glad you got the laugh out of the dust bunnies. Our bed is also way high (and way heavy) so I had hoped simply vacuuming and an occasional carpet cleaning with everything in place would do the job. Now that the workouts have me strong enough to move everything by myself- whoa. Glad I got to it in case I died and my secret was discovered by some unsuspecting grieving relative.


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