bows and flows and angel hair

Anybody know that lyric?  It comes from “Both Sides Now” by Joni Mitchell.  I just found out her inspiration came from a combination of personal experience and one of my favorite books, Henderson the Rain King by Saul Bellow.  I’ve always loved the song, which describes clouds as “Bows and flows and angel hair, and ice cream castles in the air, and feather canyons everywhere….”

That’s kind of how I feel when I lie here…

…under the swoopy, cloudlike canopy I’ve dreamed of.  It took my best friend’s mathematical prowess and patient hook-anchoring to bring the dream to life.  I’m pleased as punch!

When we started this project, the sheer drape (which I already owned) was stark white.  I thought it clashed a bit with the warmer white-to-cream tones on the wall and drapes–that inexplicable “apartment white” you may remember I ranted about before.  Shelli suggested tea staining the fabric before hanging it.  Genius.  One sinkful of tea…

…and one water-filled-pot/weight later…

…we were brewin’ up a new shade of white.  Off-white.  Whatever.

Drying it took a while.  First we tried hanging it off the balcony, but it hung down past the neighbor below and I worried that they’d freak out if a large white thing was flapping against their railings.  So we draped it side-to-side, but it kept blowing loose.  (Somehow in all my belongings I could find only one clothespin.)  Finally I gave in and paid for a dryer cycle.  It just wasn’t worth the constant monitoring to keep our fledging project untorn, unsoiled, and unescaped.

When it dried, we measured where we wanted the first anchor point to be and clipped the aforementioned solitary clothespin to that spot.

Then, using the clothespin as a guide, we tied twine around the spot to create a small tuft of fabric.

After securing the tuft, we tied the free ends to make a loop to slide over small cup hooks we screwed into the ceiling at measured intervals.  Actually, by the time we completed the project we had switched from twine to twist ties.  The twine immediately slipped loose; the twist ties seemed to possess greater staying power.

When every tuft was twisted, we just raised the loops up to their intended hooks and hung the canopy high.  It completely changes the feel of the room.  Of course, the symmetry of an added side table and a second oval mirror doesn’t hurt either.

The mirror was $4.95 at Salvation Army.  I could hardly believe my good luck when I saw it sitting there on the floor.  I keep my eyes open for pretty mirrors and–forget the sticker shock of retail!–the prices I see on them are usually beyond what I’m willing to pay.  But this beauty?  At that price?  Yes, please.

Symmetry is now satisfied in the bedroom, thanks to the addition of the mirror and a sewing-machine table–missing its sewing machine–that I bought for $5.38 at Goodwill.  (While we’re comparing semi-symmetrical halves of the room, look how much tidier this shelf is than it was in yesterday’s “befores!“)

Most of this room’s decor consists of rearrangement of things I already owned.  I’m totally tickled to have accomplished my goal of a polished bedroom for barely over $10.  Here’s your parting shot:

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  1. You're livin' the dream, girlfriend! (Isn't it every little girl's dream to have a canopy over her bed? ;)) Looks great though. I was just telling Chad today (while we were at Salvation Army) thrift stores are my new DIY heaven!

  1. runaway weekend « wellcrafted

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