scheming against me

Okay, never mind; no one is scheming against me.  I’m just playing victim to my proximity to one of my new favorite stores: Hobby Lobby.

I have to confess that, until a few months ago, I’d never really grasped the significance of that place.  I saw it as an overwhelming array of stuff that other people knew how to use, most of that stuff bearing little relevance to my life.  The closest I came to being loyal to Hobby Lobby was when I participated in 4-H as a kid.  My mom took us to Hobby Lobby now and then for craft items we couldn’t find at Walmart.  (I lived the typical classy American childhood.)

Now I not only live nearer a Hobby Lobby than ever before in my life, not only have several decorating projects that inspire me to visit, but also just noticed that their logo matches my living room color scheme!

Is it a sign?  Have I secretly loved Hobby Lobby so much all my life that I dedicated a room to it and am now inescapably drawn into its crafty depths?  Actually, now that I think about it some more, that poster is from Hobby Lobby.  And now that I think about how much I’ve already said “Hobby Lobby,” I’ve decided I’d prefer to avoid saying it any more in this post.  It’s starting to sound weird to me.

While we’re on that topic, usually I’m immune to the peculiarity of the name.  I was reminded of it recently when one of my co-workers at the flower shop busted up laughing after I suggested that she look at…the aforementioned store…for something she needed.  I waited until she finished chortling then asked why that was funny.  Did she not like the place or something?  Was the fit I had just witnessed a display of contempt for our ubiquitous midwestern craft outlet, which doesn’t exist where she came from?  No, no, she explained; it’s just a silly name!  I guess she has a point.

But when on any given day half their merchandise is half off, I won’t complain much.  I went in today looking for materials for a project I’ve been planning.  I didn’t find what I had in mind.  Instead, I found three things that had been on my “back burner” list–all at 50% off!  What a day!

Ordinarily I still might have passed them by, but I had in my wallet the refund I finally procured for that worthless stencil I complained to you all about.  The company that made the stencil won’t be getting my business again, but Hobby Lobby (I had to say it!) graciously re-accepted the lackluster merchandise and gave me my money back.  In a fit of gratitude I handed most of it over again in exchange for new things that I think are pretty failsafe.

Basket: $5.00.  Wreath: $2.50.  Ampersand: $5.00.  Woohoo!  I’ve wanted to play with wreaths since watching my previously-mentioned laughing coworker assemble them with apparent ease and great results.   All I have to stick in the wreath right now are fake autumn leaves.  Here’s how I displayed those last year:

This year, my balcony is too small for big old pots and dead shrubs hauled in from the woods.  (Yes, that’s the real story.  Nothing will make you feel crazy as fast as dragging dead twigs into a parking area and trying to fit them in your trunk without breaking any, all the while glancing  surreptitiously about in hopes that no onlookers have noticed what you’re doing.)  Though several of our visitors last fall thought the “trees” on our balcony were real, this year I’ll try a wreath and hope that’s a saner option.

As for the basket, it has already found a home.  Any of you who thought the plastic bins for spices weren’t my best idea ever, you were right.

I have this little character defect called impatience.  It’s quite bothersome.  It allows me to settle for second-best and worse, all for the sake of being finished–making a check in a box.  That was sort of the story here:

For sure, locker crates beat shoe boxes, but aesthetically they were still pretty dormy.  I have that problem too.  Cultivating an adult aesthetic can be challenging.  But today when I found this textured beauty, which I had admired before at full price, I decided I would like for it to come home with me.

This basket is better because each spice is already half-visible instead of being buried in a dark recess.  The basket’s also more in keeping with my vision for the kitchen, though that vision may take a long time to accomplish.  I want to keep things sort of rustic and naturey, but with a fresh palette of royal blue and grass green.  I literally have photos of grass that I’ll hang when I figure out how big I want them and what frames I want to use.  Even though they’re not in place in a decorative way, nothing’s stopping me from showing you the raw material, I guess.  Here it is:

 As for the ampersand, there’s a story behind that too.  When my love and I were planning our wedding, the only affordable cake toppers we could find were unforgivably kitchsy.  At one point I had what I thought was the genius idea of going parallel to the monogram cake-topper trend and, instead of a letter, using an ampersand to represent the “conjunction” of marriage.  He didn’t so much go for it.  Finally we just ordered some extra flowers.
In spite of our alternative solution, I remained enamored with the idea of an ampersand as a playful symbol of the marriage union.  I even saw one as decor on a grand scale–this is seen-in-real-life:
Now–almost three years later–I’ve finally gotten my hands on that beloved punctuation mark.  I haven’t decided where I’ll hang it yet.  I think it will fit right into the living room…somewhere.  Feel free to make a suggestion if you want!
Have any of you scored H**** L**** deals lately?  Deals elsewhere?  What are your go-to decorating resources?  No shame–Salvation Army is one of my other favorite stores!
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1 Comment

  1. Hobby Lobby is heaven to me! It's a dangerous place.Those are some really good steals you found. I like how you used the basket.I'm SUPER bad about impatiently wanting to have things done and settling for whatever I have around the house to get it done A.S.A.P. Which is fine sometimes. Except when I never get around to doing it properly. Oh, well! 🙂


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