Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Sickbeds Surrounded By Sepia Christmas Enchantment

It's a good thing I spent two days after Thanksgiving furiously Transforming Bohemian Valhalla into my Vision of Sepia Christmas Enchantment, because shortly thereafter we began dropping like flies with infirmity!  At least having sickbeds surrounded by a Serene Sepia Christmas Vibe has a Calming Healing Energy to it.  And you didn't mind so much being housebound in rotation and feeling like death warmed over when your 'turn' came to come down with whatever it was sidelining us and we were apparently 'Sharing'!?   Yes, we're such a 'Sharing Family' that way. *LOL*

I had begun on the Mantle, which didn't take long at all, since by MY Standards anyway, this was Simplicity in Styling.  *Smiles*   I know, it probably still seems like a LOT to you all and busy, but for a comfirmed Maximalist, this IS Simplifying my Vision and scaling it way back from my Urge to overdoing anything I do with Excess and Reckless Abandon.

You see... I had to PROVE that I COULD DO IT... you wanna know why?  Because when we FINALLY got Approved for the 12 measly Hours of VA Respite Care a Month for The Man, the Home Assessment was like a long grueling Brutal Interrogation and totally Stressed us out, especially me, and caused Major Anxiety with all the 'Constructive Criticism'!  Like I needed anymore of THAT, I thought this 'Respite Care Thang' was supposed to be a Help FOR ME, not causing me more Work, Stress and further Caregiving Anxieties and self Doubts!!! 

 Lord I already barely Feel Capable, Confident and Adept enough that I can continue to Physically, Financially, Mentally and Emotionally care for and cope with a Trio with Special Needs without much, if any, Help!  Now, before Help even comes there's this new Laundry List of 'Suggestions' to 'Improve the Home and my Caregiving Responsibilities'... are you freakin' kidding me?!?  I wanted to just tell the Guy to "Forget about it!" in my best Sopranos Tone and throw him out of my Home.  But I gritted my teeth and resisted the Temptation to turn any Help away, we've waited so long for any and it felt like self-sabotage if I did!  *Dammit!*  So I had to Smile and Nod and Politely take all Suggestions under Consideration, even if I felt Offended.  I felt like my Mannequin Gal, I only Hope I didn't look this Fake about my Performance and how Angry I really felt?!  *LOL*

It was so uncomfortably reminscent of when we agreed to take each G-Kid in at Birth and be Custodial Grandparents because our Daughter had been deemed not well enough to raise them.  And we didn't want Strangers making Family Decisions and putting them in the very broken System with other Strangers. We first had to have Child Protective Services 'Bless' and 'Assess' our Home and Lifestyle before their Placement could be Approved.  You feel like you're under a Microscope and that intense scrutiny and any Negative Assessment or Opinions and bias of the Rep sent out compromises your Family staying together where you're Sure they'll be Safe, Cherished and Loved and far better off! 

Though certainly I'm at the point now, all these years later, where if they wanna take everyone off my hands and Pony Up for uber expensive Alternative Placement, go for it!   I've done all I possibly can single handedly and I make no Apologies, even for my shortcomings and being Human instead of a Caregiving Machine.  Some days, in the Flesh, I don't even really want to do it anymore and it would be easier not to... so don't push me 'cause I'm close to the edge... I'm tryin' not to lose my head... he he ha ha... *Now I bet you can hear the Lyrics of 'The Message' by Grand Master Flash looping in YOUR head can't ya?  LOL*

And of coarse then there are the reasons why I do continue, which are obvious... Smiling at me with Faith, complete Trust and Love, having the utmost Confidence in me and WANTING to be here rather than anyplace else, even if our Home and my Caregiving aren't 'Perfect' and there's certainly room for Improvement.  No, I'm no Suzy Homemaker and very Bohemian to my Core of Old Gypsy Laid Back Hippie Lifestyle.

So... I set about the Improvement and put my Ego, Emotions and Dignity aside... even though the amount of Work wasn't something I felt at all up to really because it was daunting and I'm Tired all the time now.  But hey, I was Transforming the place for Christmas anyway, wasn't I, so lets just start with a Blank Canvas to build upon, I'm usually up to an Unrealistic Challenge!  I'm Crazy that way you see, especially when Provoked! *Winks*  And besides, I had the OCD Organizing Princess agreeing to Help Gramma 'Show those Guys' that this IS the Best Home for anyone to live in and we're Proud of it and Love our Home and Family enough to do WHATEVER it takes! 
 Even tho' since early July, with the Catastrophic Accidents and turn of Events, there have been Issues of Deferred Maintenance at Home as I Attended to a Tidal Wave of various Crisis and Medical Emergencies at hand unfolding for five grueling Months.  So I ran further behind the Eight Ball with Housekeeping and Maintenance of a 100+ year Old Home and I already had my own Laundry List of Projects I wanted and needed to get accomplished anyway.  I had just felt quite Overwhelmed by it all and the Magnitude of it... that's why I was Humbling myself and ASKING FOR HELP dammit!  *She stomps her foot Angrily!*  Don't they GET IT in this Crazy System?!

No... probably not... So enuf of my Excuses... however valid and how much I could Justify how things WERE... we were going to Circle the Wagons and pull it Together Miraculously.  Well, at least I was anyway... with my Cheerleading Section rooting for me since they're all rather limited in how much 'Help' they can actually be with a gargantuan Project and Grandoise Vision being Presented.  *LOL*  I'm a great Delegator, but you have to be able to have a Functional Team to Delegate to and my Team was lookin' pretty ragged and fade at the gate.  The first order of Duty was to Clean everything and put up the New Drapes my Friend Punky had Created and I bought MONTHS ago with the Intention of hanging them up right away. *Smiles, you know how it is?!*

They're Beyond Gorgeous since she's such a Talented Seamstress and Artist... and exactly what I'd Envisioned for my Livingroom's Gypsy Sepia Style Transformation with adding more Organic Hues to my existing Vivid Jewel Tone Exotic Palette.  They'd sat propped up in a back room for far too long waiting for their debut.  Just getting the drapes hung Energized me into a forty-eight hour frenzy of Complete Transformation of this particular room.
The next order of business was The Favorite Chair which BADLY needs an Upholstery Job that we can't Afford so we're always Adapting and Improvising.  So, it got another Gypsy Upholstery Job which means draping it with Vintage Fabrics in enough layers it hides a multitude of Sins, of which you don't even wanna know my Friends!  *LOL*  Seriously, this poor Chair has endured MUCH, but it's still SO comfy and well built so it's a 'Keeper'!

Vintage Tea Stained Crochet and Lace can breathe New Life into and Resurrect even the most Zombie pieces of furniture you might have in the house!  And it matched the New Drapes nicely so I was Content with the Five Minute Makeover I gave said Chair.

Vintage European Feed Sack Covers on your most cushy Down Pillows and Wallah, Informal Comfort that don't look half bad and can hold up to Men, Kids and Pets quite well and Appease picky Agency Assessments... they LOVED it all, good, Mission Accomplished!  *Winks*  This is the only pix I have of completed... and now lounged in... Favorite Chair... so we're not actually in sequence of how each Project came Together, but you get the jist.  My Smoke and Mirrors Technique of still keeping it very much OUR HOME, my Style and our Cultural Lifestyle while Appeasing Agency Critics was apparently Working.  *Whew!*

Yes, even tho' The Man was unceremoniously dumped off at Home Alone by 'Idiot Doctor' while I was Hospitalized and they didn't seem to care then what he was coming Home to... now they wanted it to resemble an Acute Skilled Nursing Home Facility for his Safety and Well Being... such Irony!   I wanted it to strike a healthy Balance for the entire Family and still be a Home, not a Sterile Hospital-Like Environment he Hated being in and I couldn't Imagine our Home looking like either.  Some things just weren't ever gonna happen regardless of their 'Suggestions' and we would hold our ground so they'll have to Deal with it as Culturally and Aesthetically Significant to US and our Idea of Home.  WE gotta Live here, they don't.

Much like the Addams Family's abode, other folks don't hafta 'Get It' or be in Agreement with how we choose to Live and how and what we most Feel Comfortable being around.  This is OUR HOME and how we've Lived for Generations... at least on my side of the Family *Winks*... and now The Man is totally Used to and Comfortable with The Lifestyle too after all these Years of Marriage!   We're Quirky and we're Kooky, altogether Ookey... and we've NEVER been Minimalists... I come from a long Lineage of Boheme' Maximalists!  *LOL*
I'd give up a Kidney before I'd give up all my Persian Rugs... and The Man reminded the Agency Assessor that he fell more while in Hospital and the Nursing Homes than he ever fell at Home... and without all the Exotic Pouffe's, Kilim Pillows and heavy Plush Rugs it wasn't even a Soft Landing!  *LOL*

Okay, next order of biz was to get the Christmas Tree up... I'd decided to house it in one of my European Vintage Olive Buckets... raising it up with Phone Books and then disguising said filling with the guts of an Old Fiberfill Pillow, so that it would resemble Snow around the Base of the Tree. If it would require more stabilization I planned to wrap some bricks in Old Burlap and tie with Tea Stained Lace Trim Bows and set it on top of the faux Snow.
So far that hasn't been necessary since the Pencil Tree is lightweight enuf it hasn't shown signs of shifting even while decorated.   All I need is the damn thing to fall over on the Agency Rep huh?  *Bwahaha!*   And we Love that it is now well over Seven  foot tall with the Olive Bucket and yet doesn't take up much room or overwhelm the smaller rooms Historic Residential Homes are inclined to have unless they were Mansions.  And small rooms can look cluttered so easily when you have accumulated a lot of Treasures.   And my cluttered existance was the primary Complaint of the Rep.  So I'm still a Work In Progress at Editing possessions, it's gonna be a Process for me to be sure!!!  *LOL*
The new Tinsel Champagne Pencil Tree lends itself well with the overall Aesthetic of our Home and took less than an hour to completely Decorate by myself.  So it was another way to Simplify the Holidays for me and yet not Compromise my Vision or Aesthetic.  Time Management when you have too much to do before the next Rep's visit is Essential after all.  With the constant Home Visits now from a Team of Occupational Therapists, Physical Therapists, Home Nurses, various Agency Reps and eventually a Respite Caregiver I've got to be on top of my Game so that they're all Appeased and not writing us up as an unsuitable environment. 

It has Helped that my Friends and Family have really been an Encouragement and bouyed my Spirits by telling me what a Good Job I'm doing, they know my Heart is always in the right place even if I lack the Stamina and Energy to do it all meticulously or to someone else's higher standards than my own would be.  My Friend Pamela has been making me these Gorgeous Altered Art Tags as Gifts, knowing I wanted to festoon this Year's Christmas Tree with some but lacked the Time now to Create some myself.

This year you see I didn't even venture into my Seasonal Storage area to take any of Christmas Past out... I didn't have the Time or Strength to... so everything was either New, Gifted or Improvised this year for Christmas Decorating.  I started from Scratch and I rather liked the Idea of that.  I had 'Picked' a Huge Bag of Antique Crocheted Trims for two bucks, more than enough to trim the Tree with as Garland and utilize to wrap Gifts with later too.  My Tree was even 50% Off on Sale.

The Cheetah Fur unbreakable Christmas Balls were a Hobby Lobby Special 50% Off too and were so stinkin' Cute and Perfect for this Year's Theme and Vision... especially since Animal Print and Burlap Poinsettia's abounded at all the Craft Stores and everyone was having Sales of 50%-80% off early!

I'd already been stockpiling Old Bohemian Images and Tea Stained Tags and Aged Flash Cards...

And I always throw Old Spiritual Books bound with Vintage Trims and Bohemian Bling onto my Trees.

I also had found some Old Child's Easter Gloves that were Sweet... which I didn't have Time to Tea Stain, so...

I just pimped 'em with a Bohemian Bling Brooch...
And I found this very Old Glass Ornament in a pile of broken ones at a Crazy Shopping Frenzied 'Pick'... Amazing that something so Fragile had Survived the manhandling it had obviously been thru... and the Golden Accents on the Design were Perfect for this Year's Tree and I got it for less than a Nickel!

You already know about the Awesome Floral I 'Scored' at my Friend Carol's Shop during Small Business Saturday's Outing.  I like that as well as being an Ornamental Clip, it's also a Brooch, so it's very Versatile for Styling. 

And no Tree would be complete without a Magpie Style Bird Nest would it?  *Winks*

Yes, I did have a lot of Fun Decorating this Tree with whatever was on hand or new acquisitions I'd gotten on Sale.

And even though we're all presently recovering from some infirmity that has made it's rounds thru the entire Family, we're Enjoying the Magical Christmas Ambiance we've Created to be surrounded by.  There's just something about the Twinkling Lights and Enchanting Visuals of Christmas that Transport you to a Fantasyscape regardless of how you're Feeling overall or what you're going thru.

And as if having five thousand existing Projects in various stages isn't enough *Winks*, I'm still busy Creating.  This Stocking isn't yet completed but still hung... with pins holding pieces in place that are yet to be hand stitched when I finally have a Quiet Moment one Evening and Relax in a Creative Project that Feeds the Soul.

I just finished Embellishing this one with Seam Binding I Hand-Dyed {Thank You Dear Pamela for Teaching me the Process and Gifting me with several Dyes}... and you can already see the Evidence of even more Hand-Dyed Seam Binding cascading to the right of the Stocking from an Old Tambourine I Embellished too... I'm Embellishing EVERYTHING with Hand-Dyed Seam Binding lately!  *LOL* 

The mini Silver Eiffel Tower is one of a pair of Key Chains I got at a Thrift Store and Deconstructed... the other Eiffel Tower is Gold and will Embellish another Stocking I shall Create later from some Old Burlap Sacks.  I was fortunate that this particular Stocking was available at Cracker Barrel on Sale and only needed minor Embellishment to Gypsify!  *Winks*

I also Embellished my New Drapes with some Bohemian Bling Brooches from my Collections.

I can't Help it, the Urge to Embellish everything I own is just too strong to leave things I buy 'As Is' no matter how Lovely they are... do you have a Tendancy to Personalize your Possessions this way too my Friends?  To put your Individual Stamp on them and make them Uniquely your own by Altering them even just a tiny bit... or a lot... depending on your Mood and how strong the Urge is and if you Resist it or just Go With It?!  *Winks*  I don't think I've ever left anything alone, if I look at it long enough I will have to do something to it!  *Smiles*

And since I Love Displaying my Collections in Rotation, I like finding ways to Showcase them rather than having them hidden away somewhere they cannot be Enjoyed or Shared.

And Sharing some of it here in the Land of Blog is also a Special Treat because so many of you Appreciate it and don't Criticize or pass Judgment.  And some of you even 'Get It'.  *Winks*  I'll be Sharing more in Future Posts... when I Feel halfway Human again and recover sufficiently from this infirmity!  And Thanks for Allowing me to Vent and Keep It Real my Friends!  You're all still way Cheaper than Therapy!  *Winks*

Blessings and Merry Christmas from the Arizona Desert... Dawn... The Bohemian


  1. Dawn - It all looks so beautiful...♥

    Your draped chair looks so fantastic and inviting...it's almost like it's wearing a doily vest top too! {All adorned to join us on Girls Day Out! LOL!} ;)

    Glad you got the thank-you note {which I was so late sending out} and tag in the mail. At first, I was going to randomly place it in your showroom so you could be surprised to find it...but, I wanted to make sure you got it. :)


  2. Very few people fit into the mold that the "powers that be" want us to be. Well, maybe those who have no creativity and act like robots,but they add little color to this world. This world NEEDS color.

    I love your chair, Dawn.

  3. Dawn -

    Your home is a three-dimensional ode to love expressed in artistic expression! Fie on the folks who are blind to its beauty! It's encouraging that the powers that peer did notice the transformation of The Chair...

    May you and your family be blessed by the healing sights and sound of the season.


A life touched by God always ends in touching others. - Erwin McManus

I will love the light for it shows me the way, yet I will endure the darkness for it shows me the stars. - Og Mandino (1923-1996)

For creativity to flourish one should try to look at everything as though it were being seen for the first or the last time. - Quote from "A Thousand Paths To Creativity" by David Baird

Is what I'm about to say an improvement on silence? ~ Galen Pearl