Living Room Winter Refresh with Blooming Pillows
Yesterday I went on a field trip with two of my boys to the Performing Arts Center where a man performed through a bit of humor and the touch of the ivory keys while recounting the history and anatomy of a piano. While the kids were educated and entertained, my heart was moved by the intermittent strokes of Bach and Beethoven, music I had grown up on. Perhaps that’s why I pursued music so ardently in middle school and high school; because I sensed the art inside of me, and besides art class, that was the only other venue I knew to express art. My freshman year of college I became acutely aware that although I loved classical music, it wasn’t my life calling. Upon my freshman flute solo recital; and a slaughtering of a piece I hated but played because my teacher made me. I reflected to her off stage with tears in my eyes, “I murdered Faure,” to which she tartly replied with belittlement in her voice, “Don’t worry, he was already dead.”
That night marked the end of my musical performing career. I still went on to play, but I found out, I did a lot better when I was given the freedom to scribble outside the lines, to play by ear within the bounds of musical theory and improvisation; to make my own art.
It’s taken me the better part of thirty plus years to admit that I am an artist. Emily Freeman writes in A Million Little Ways, “I don’t believe there is one great thing I was made to do in this world. I believe there is one great God I was made to glorify. And there will be many ways, even a million little ways, I will declare glory with my life.” My art is not on a canvas, nor poetry, and not often music anymore, but I make art in my home, with my sewing machine, and by ordering the endless possibility of an array of words.
My white winter tree came down the last weekend of January, and while I’m no longer starved for twinkly lights, we are still smack dab in the middle of winter. I can pretend I am warm, that tulips are blooming, that I don’t need a winter coat; however, that illusion quickly leaves when I open my eyes, look out of our picture glass windows and see snow falling or hear the wind howling. We’ve still got 2 1/2 – 3 months of winter left folks!
But even in the midst of a monotonous season, sometimes the best thing is to do a refresh, in the midst of it. We can embrace the season we are in by bringing in new life and capturing the beauty in it.
After the tree came down, I knew all things flower and spring would be a bit zealous and premature. So I compromised a bit, did a bit of blending of seasons by keeping my white winter decor up, which mimics what is outside our windows. But I did a refresh, and all it took was 1 yard of fabric and three invisible zippers! You know what I did, I went on to fabric.com and bought this lovely, too good to be true linen fabric of blues and greys and tans that looks impressionistic, where someone took strokes of water colors and brushed the promise of spring into my living room.
So out of that yard of fabric, I made three 18″ pillow covers and you know what!? It completely changed and refreshed the living room! It gave me a little jump in my step, and a giddy little tickle in my heart, because I love blue and I love flowers and I love to decorate. Spring water colors sitting on layers of throws, blue linen, a cozy Target faux fur (it’s on sale now). I’m thinking this is February decor perfection.
The fabric is by Waverly and called Cast A Spell Indigo. It’s a bit on the spendy side at $27 a yard, but when you divide that by three, and make pillow covers for pillows (use this tutorial here) you already have, that ends up being, with zippers, just a bit over $10 a pillow. Which, if you’ve been throw pillow shopping lately, you know that’s a steal!
My husband asked why we needed more pillows. True story. I told him I didn’t make new pillows, just new pillow covers. I explained to him that people need to change their clothes and sometimes pillows get tired of theirs too. So I changed them. The pillows were grateful, as was I.
I might have a slight throw pillow obsession. Any guesses on how many of my blog posts have been dedicated to throw pillows?
Anyhow, I feel refreshed, my pillows feel refreshed, and I feel like I have perfectly married the sparkle and purity of winter with the hope of a newly painted spring.
Can I ask you something? What is your art? What is that creative thing you are made to do to bring glory to God? Is it something you’ve overlooked over the years; is it cooking meals, connecting and relationships, seeing a need and serving, teaching, running a business…? What is your canvas? What are you painting?
Thanks for stopping by,
Behind the scenes:
My little one using the rocking horse and a ratty old Bible on the end table sitting next to the corner of the linen couch where I generally sip coffee and read my Bible in the morning. I smile; I’m grateful for the lived-in beautiful home.
I loved your comments on your failed “Faure”….your teacher was so kind and understanding!
Love the new pillows and yes they do need “new clothes” too. What do husbands know!!! Beautiful fabric.
My creative adventures are crocheting, sewing, drawing and organizing. Yes, I love things all lined up and in their place!!!
I wish I could say she was kind or understanding, but I can assure you, in a year’s worth of private lessons, she never was that. This comment was the cold icing on the cake. Oh well, it didn’t stop me from playing or creating art. Just no more lessons from her! And, I love the unique combinations of art expressed in you! Organizing is most definitely art, it’s a beautiful thing!
It’s taken me 30 years to say I’m an artist too. For years I told myself I wasn’t creative. The Lord began to heal some deep wounds within my little girl heart and the creativity and artistry began to flow.I suddenly had a desire come alive to write and to paint. Im not half bad either much to my surprise! I am so glad there are a million ways for us to glorify God. It makes life more beautiful to see all the different giftings and callings he places in our lives. I love reading your blog Cheryl. Much love. Katrina
Katrina! This is so sweet! Thank you for sharing! I’m so glad you’re coming more alive with all that God made you to be! That makes me so happy, I can just see beautiful art flowing out of you! If you are into reading, you might pick up the book by Emily Freeman I mentioned. It is soooo good! I just finished it for the second time and I think most of it is highlighted. Ha! It’s a good one. Thanks for reading, and thanks for the comments and encouragement, it really means a lot. Love and hugs to you!
P.S. The new pillow covers are beautiful!