After I got our comfy-sitting-spot redone, I sat down for a moment with Jonathan Adler's book 100 Ways to Happy Chic Your Life, which I succumbed to on impulse at Nightbird Books a few years ago. A lot of his ideas assume home ownership, but even those are inspiring (if impractical, for now).
Some of them are doable, though. The mention of a breakfast nook allowed me to see our little dining area with new eyes. Nook is such a more flattering description than small windowless corner (although, the latter is certainly accurate). We already have a cabinet filled with board games and a bulletin board devoted to our adventures there, and I recently made covers for our stained seats, but that left two walls in need of something.
As part of Crystal Stine's Creative Basics course in April, she did a giveaway each week - and one week I won a print from Dayspring's new Friendship On Purpose collection. We have a picture frame I like that was occupied by two pictures I didn't (one was blurry and someone was caught at an awkward-face-moment in the other), so I happily replaced it with the print. I felt like it was appropriate over our collection of board games (mostly different versions of Monopoly and Scrabble).
I have always had a fascination with peacock feathers. The color, the pattern, the texture... I think it's amazing that God created such a bird. The fact that the accompanying print involved a peacock was the primary reason that I ordered the She Reads Truth study pack for their look at the book of John, back in January, but the lovely blue didn't go with anything.
Until I remembered the sheet of handmade paper that I bought on a whim two years ago and have been carefully carrying around since. I made a template and cut out pennants, stringing them onto the beautiful black-and-white twist the paper had been rolled up and tied with. They were a little curly at first, but I spritzed them with water and they flattened out nicely. It was a lot of fun, and I still have quite a bit of the paper left - I'm tempted to make the rest of it into buntings, as well. I can think of some people who might enjoy receiving a few yards of peacock-feathered pennants in the mail...
I flanked the print with two Hope*ologie printables on half-off paper from Hobby Lobby, hung using my favorite instant-gratification method: a strip of Washi tape, stuck to the center back, folded over at the top, and affixed to the wall with a clear pushpin. It doesn't have to be perfect to be beautiful, indeed.
The three quotes are all good thoughts to start the day with: "Wherever you are is a good and important place; start there," (Gary Morland, from the first month of Hope*ologie), "Abide in my love," (from John 15:9), and "It doesn't have to be perfect to be beautiful," (a favorite saying of the Nester's, handlettered by Annie Barnett).
Getting my day off on the right foot has a huge bearing on my ability to face the rest of it with a positive attitude. Tobin has settled into a pattern of either sleeping later than Brooklyn, or going back to bed for a few hours when he wakes up early, which means that she and I can have breakfast together. For the month of May, I read a Psalm or two aloud each morning while we ate - she was intrigued, and it definitely helped me. Having breakfast (and every other meal) in a happy place applies to the spiritual, mental, and emotional, as well as to the physical place.
Beautiful dwelling is seeking God's presence in my present, and recognizing the sacred service of sharing the moment.