Gramz's Blog

Musings of a crazy quilter

Keeping the creative juices flowing

Since I married my hubby 27 years ago, we have lived in eight houses. I did the math: that is an average of 3.375 years per location. “Setting up housekeeping” as my great-grandmother used to say, would be so much easier if each new home had rooms of similar size or color as the previous place. But I was never that fortunate.


As newlyweds, our first house together was a church parsonage and it had not been improved for at least a dozen years. It had matted gold carpet in the living room and bedrooms; the kitchen had avocado appliances and that icky green was incorporated into the designs of the backsplash, countertops, and vinyl flooring. With the exception of the gray paneled bathroom and one paneled wall in the living room, the entire house had been painted so it was easy to freshen everything up with a coat of neutral paint.


Like most people, when we started out we didn’t have a lot of nice things so we made do. My DH (dear hubby) purchased us a second-hand couch and chair he described to me in a phone call as the shape and color of a football (they were chocolate brown with edges rounded rather than squared off). He brought his queen size bed and small chest of drawers from the house he grew up in. We salvaged a rusty table from the basement of the parsonage and used it in the kitchen with some folding chairs we borrowed from the church. For end tables I set some sturdy cardboard cases on end and arranged books in them like shelves. I raided my parent’s basement and found some odds and ends furniture that I put to good use. It was during those days that I learned the joys of yard sale-ing.


I discovered a store that sold discontinued wallpaper. I remember the time I worked nearly through the night and hung wallpaper in the kitchen, cleaned up the mess, and tumbled into bed. In those days, in addition to pastoring, my hubby held a “regular” job to pay the bills. When he rose early the next morning, he discovered the kitchen had changed overnight to country blue with lots and lots of geese. I could tell from his exclamation that he was impressed with my work. I smiled and rolled over to go back to sleep. From that moment, I was hooked on decorating projects.


Thankfully, I am married to a guy who usually likes my work (sometimes my ideas are not so great). The times he is unhappy with my projects are the times when those projects disrupt life in general, and dinner in particular. So, even if I can’t get the project completed in a single day, I do make an effort to get the mess cleaned up before he sees just how bad it got. Overall, he seems to be happy and I have even overheard him bragging about me once or twice.


Getting a different house every 3-4 years has not set any records, but it has given me some experience. I have learned what is important to pack and how to protect it for the move. I have learned what to let go. And I have learned when to make do and when to buy quality.


I still enjoy decorating my home and I especially like to get creative without spending lots of money because I can think of lots of things I would prefer to spend the money on. Some friends have asked me to write down some of my ideas. To tell the truth I don't believe my ideas are particularly brilliant; in fact most of them are spawned by someone else's idea: something I saw in a magazine or on television or in a store. Anyway, I thought I would share some of them here. I hope you will share some of your in return. Sharing our ideas with each other will keep our creative juices flowing.


Happy decorating!

Published Sat, Feb 25 2012 8:20 PM by Gramz Quilts


# re: Keeping the creative juices flowing@ Sunday, February 26, 2012 7:18 AM

I have only lived in three locations since I married in 1980 - math = 32 years of marriage this year. I can, however, relate to using what's on hand. We married young & didn't have much, making do with what we could. My decorating ideas also tend from other's that I make into my own. My quilting has evolved in the same way. I also tend to recycle any quilting leftovers. Keep sharing your ideas; I'm interested to see them. Maybe even some of your current decorating ideas.

by Pamela

# re: Keeping the creative juices flowing@ Sunday, February 26, 2012 6:25 PM

Thanks, Pamela. I am gathering some of my ideas to blog about. I'll look forward to hearing what you think.