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                    Rebecca Newport


                A Little reprise of Thigpen’s Wedding lyrics here (and a little background for why I like the song).

                    Photo credits: Jamie Helwick

Lyrics from Thigpen’s Wedding

by Kemper Crabb

Sung by McCayla Butler Nee Hudson on our wedding day,

Seven years ago!

Here I set my face unto you,
Here I speak my heart’s true vow.
Here I choose to walk beside you,
Loving only you, my heart speaks true,
Forever more from now.

I will love you in the dawning
And in the bright noonday.
I will love you in the even.
Everyday I live, my heart I’ll give.
I’ll love you from my grave.

I have heard God in your laughter.
I have seen on Him your face.
And it’s clear now what He’s after,
For He wrote your name on my heart in flame.
It’s a wound I’ll not erase.

We will rise on wings of morning;
We will fly before the wind;
We will dwell within the mysteries
And the glories of Jehovah’s love,
A circle without end.

We will pitch our tents toward Zion
In the shadow of His love.
We will covenant between us;
We will covenant with the earth below
And with heaven up above.

We will covenant with the dust below
And the Spirit up above.


From One Kings Lane…Charlotte Ross line.  Love the flowers, love the colors, love the whole thing.

Don’t ask me how I found this.  I’m a mom.  That’s all I’m saying.  And I’m not the one who’s constipated.  But that’s all I’m saying.    Why is this on an art blog?  I liked this picture.  It’s funny, it’s a good photo, and  I have a thing for what I call those ‘milk and honey’ colors.  

If you want to see the whole slideshow, click here.  It is actually really good info.

…call them what you like.  Make them as fancy as you like. They can be a file of tear-sheets, fancy bulletin boards or elaborate almalgamations including 3D items.  But it needs to be what you like, uncensored.  The point of the exercise is to find out what you really, really like.  Before you make any kind of decision involving anything visual, it is good to know what you really like.  Perhaps this is where a counterexample comes in handy.  I painted our back office in our old house Kelly Green.  A fine color, but not me.  I saw this amazing office in a magazine and I emulated it; even hunting down an accent fabric. It turns out I was really in love with the accent fabric, and the way the warm fabric played against the Kelly green.  But it wasn’t really ‘me.’  I once read in a book on prayer not to ever thing you are ‘above’ the Lord’s prayer.  Well, in the world of the visual creation, do not think you are above the moodboard.  I almost made this mistake, thinking I knew myself pretty well.  After all, I have collected tearsheets over YEARS now; I ought to know, right?

But when you see my large mood board, the themes are undeniable.  I like lots of white!  There are pops of color, and the warm-cool combinations I like so much.  But there are mostly quiet tones.  I also digress sometimes into rainbows; they are so happy.  But the mood board helps me understand what quantities to use–as in, much white, little color.  Also, it has kept me from getting too ‘glam’ in my furniture choices.  I like humble, earthy, rough feel; nature and flowers inspire me.  I LOVE sparkle and girly things, but usually in juxtaposition with something grounding, like a tree stump or a rock or a piece of coral.

I should mention that there is a censoring process once you’ve amassed a lot of images.  For me, it consisted of moving items to the front of my original file.  Items I wasn’t as taken with moved to the back.  I realized that some things I liked because they were trendy or well-presented, some things I liked because they were ‘me.’  And those are the things I have always liked, deep down, and always will like.  That isn’t to say our tastes don’t change somewhat overtime.  What this exercise is meant to establish is a baseline.

        For another post on this blog about learning what you like, click  here:

Dear friends, did you have a nice weekend?  Oh, is it Tuesday?  Oops.  Sorry, I went to Spokane this weekend.  More on that later.

I am starting to feel a bit better about my upholstery choices.  Exposed nailheads, see?  From bohemiennes Etsy shop.   Although, while I’m at it, might I add something to my upholstery post. If you’re doing your own upholstery, get a small hammer or a special tool for driving in the nails from afar, called a nail set. If I had done this particular couch with my rough methods, all that nice gold gilt would be dented to smithereens!  Hannah learns the hard way so you don’t have to.

Today I am starting a new post topic called Neons and Neutrals.  If you’ve seen glimpses of my house, you see that I have a lot of pale colors, raw linen, greige, whites, creams.  But I love color.  How do these two seemingly disparate concepts work together?  Well, I’m still figuring that out.  I think it has to do with creating neutral backdrops (I meant, LOTS of neutral) so that the colors really stand out.  This method isn’t for everyone, but so far, I have not gotten bored with it.  Ironically, I have gotten bored with many of my color choices. Also, with a neutral backdrop, not only do my color choices stand out more, but they are much easier to swap out when I’m feeling in the mood for something else.  Jen at Made by Girl launched her new line of paintings at Cocoa and Hearts, and I think she and I are on the same page in this department.  She has that white daybed, neutral rug and blanket and a white wall, and then Whammo!  Look at how that painting pops!  The sofas below are super neutral although a completely different style than Jen’s.  But imagine if you had one linen colored pillow with, say, a tiny hot pink heart on it.  Wouldn’t it just sing?

So, the very first  thing I did was paint the frame using my very fancy method:  a rag and paint.  Wipe it on, wipe it off, do it again after it dries.  Then, I ripped all the piping off (fabric over fat yarn, basically).  It was stapled on to cover up the staples that were keeping the fabric on the furniture.  Then out came those staples!  That’s where

1. Hammer


2. Standard Screwdriver

came in handy.  I used the hammer to tap under the stubborn staples.  I was ripping the couch apart.  It was a bit exhilarating, I must say.  They key is to keep the fabric pieces INTACT so you can use them as a pattern for your next pieces.

Oops, I forgot to mention my good friend

3.  Mr. Pliers.  He also helps get the staples all the way out.  (Below):  What I really like is when you can grab the piping and just yank it off with your bare hands.  Did I mention this is good stress relief?

Now for some more fun:

                Above: ironing new piece and cutting to match new piece (with extra around edges for attaching            to furniture)

      Leave an about an inch and a half around the edges.

    New piece.  I wish there was a magic way to get it on here.  I just finagled until it looked right.

I started with a staple gun but it was rough going, and I didn’t want to put piping over all of it to hide it.So, on the chair, I went with exposed upholstery tacks (found at Joann’s).  I should mention that the nice clean edge of the folded fabric is because the fabric is folded over upholstery cardboard, which comes in a roll, also at Joann’s fabrics.  The lady at the store said you can use whatever thin non-corrugated cardboard you have if you cut it into strips, but I didn’t want to piece cardboard.  

So, I sprung for the roll.  I mean, I had already passed up on the real upholsterer, the pneumatic nail gun, the button-covering machine…I figured it was the least I could do!

The arm of the chair was a bit difficult, as I recall.  There was some real guesswork (and, er, hot glue) involved with the pieces of fabric that were oddly shaped and difficult to place.  Buy a bit extra yardage, if you are spatially challenged, like me.  I should add, that after all my disclaimers, you can do this.  If I can do this, you can do this.  Make sure you get an external frame, though, if you are spatially challenged or not a seamstress.

I had to do some stitching here.  Don’t look too closely!  Fortunately, the cushion sits on top of this area.

Going backless!  I reused the old batting here, even though it’s kind of ratty.  See those threads hanging down?  That was where the original buttons were attached through the chair. Make sure you do the front side and buttons before the back.  The back should go on last.  Get an upholstery needle.  I just linked you to some at Joann’s and I’m not sure which is best.  Mine was not curved or straight, it was sort of…bent.  It came that way!  Anyway, I had to use pliers a couple times to get it through, I recall.  I guess I’m not the only one; I just visited Camila and Jon at effortless style.  I actually reused the buttons and glued my own fabric to it.  I reused the button thread, too.  Maybe you don’t have buttons.  Or..maybe you want to cut the  buttons off and pretend they happened, which is what I did with the couch!

                 The couch.  Want to know how I did the couch?  Lots of hotglue.  I didn’t even have to take off as much of the fabric, because I already knew what the shape of the sides were.  I had templates left over from    the chair. Tricky, huh?  And I didn’t take the back fabric off, either, no way.  I just cut those buttons off and attached the fabric right over it.  BAM!  (Sorry, Emeril).  That was where the cardboard ‘tape’ came in handy for a nice edge.

                  Photo credit: Melanie Acevedo

Although my husband lovingly refers to my chair as ‘the exoskeleton chair,’  I think I was emboldened to do the exposed nails because of this settee in J.Crew guru Jenna Lyon’s dressing room.  I just re-found this photo over at habituallychic.  Beautiful can be a bit messy as long as there are strong bones.  This settee definitely has them.

…Better, right?

Here’s some of my personal loot:

Poppy print.  Does anyone else think this is as cool as I do?

Couch, $50!  This may not be your style, but I think it’s rad.  That’s right.  I paid $150 to have it       cleaned just in case, but Becky’s only takes couches that look and smell good, so that’s a plus. 🙂 I got this couch there a while back, not recently, but the other stuff is from yesterday.

Kids’ divided plate/tray.  We only had one other divided plate, so now we have two! Isn’t this cute?

3 enormous pictures on printed stretched canvases that I will simply paint over to my liking ($90 for all 3, which even for blank canvases is pretty good.)

Finally, the right size mirror for this spot!  Can you tell I’ve been struggling?  I will move the federal mirror, take the other two back to T.J. Maxx and paint this new one my predictable white.  Does this mirror remind you of the one below?  It’s on the opposite wall, and they’re about the same size.  Except the one from Becky’s was $7.  It’s not super nice, so I won’t feel bad freshening it up with white paint. When in doubt about something, or if you hate it, paint it black or white first.  I’m telling you, it makes it sooo much better.
Am I getting a little thematic with the octagonal mirrors?  I know I’m pretty thematic with all the white, but that’s not negotiable. 

…and I am totally milking it!!  Look at the beautiful magnolias my father in law brought me!  Look at the picture my husband took of me while totally cracking me up.  And there is a cherry blossom behind my ear, because I was born in spring.  I am so glad.  Da Mee Maw baked me a cake…pink and cake and flowers….me so happy.  ALSO, I was ringing up at the grocery store today and was being carded for buying wine (I love how cheap wine is in Washington).  The cashier looked at my license, looked at me and said, “Congratulations, I never would have guessed.”  Oh, I could pass out that made me so happy.

Everyone loves a hammock, but not everyone loves and eyesore, or ropes that chafe, or dragging your butt on the ground, or not being able to get out.  This one looks like it might actually combat those problems.  Unless you really like the other person you’re in it with, it looks like a one-seater.

Here’s my recent inspiration on a perennial theme:  the color white.  I know I love loud pops of color, too, which may seem incongruous, but just hang with me.  I’m figuring out how to make the two seemingly disparate ideas jive.  It may take time.

                                         From Jason Home and GardenThis image is from my house.  I don’t have thousands of dollars to shell out on a couch, so I found this on Craigslist, did a so-so job recovering.  But the sofa cushions covered by Llena here in town and the BeStill shop pillow make it believable and serene and ahhhhh enough for me!