Pottery Barn is a great place for decorating inspiration, but another fun place to browse is the Ballard Designs website. I have found that generally Ballard products are more classic and neutral than PB, and less likely to follow specific current trends. I suppose if you are going to spend $400 on decor for your living room, it is better to buy something that isn't going to go out of style in 2 years. Me, however? I'd rather not spend the $400.
The first Ballard product that caught my eye were these gorgeous tortoise vases. Mostly because I knew I had this...
...in my basement. It was also partly because the cheapest Ballard vase is $39 and I had this just lying around. Not a vase, of course, but a pretty tortoise votive holder.
It still had some gunky old wax left in the bottom of it.
To get rid of wax in the bottom of a glass candle holder, just add a little water and zap it in the microwave for a few seconds.
Let the wax completely cool and harden back up. The wax will float to the top of the water and harden there.
Then you can just tip the candle holder over, pour out the water, and the wax will pop right out.
Clean as a whistle. Don't say I never taught you anything.
I am really loving the whole bird and butterfly decor trend that's been going around. It's especially nice for Easter decorations because they aren't as obvious as a fluffy white bunny sitting on your bookshelf, AND because you can leave them up after Easter is done without feeling lazy. They just blend right in!
I saw these cute Green Canary bird statues on the Ballard site for $24-$39. (Anthropologie also has these funky nomad flyers, but they are handmade, one-of-a-kind, and priced accordingly.)
I found these sweet birdies at Dollar Tree and grabbed them right up. Aren't they so cute?
They look really nice sitting next to those pictures I made which were inspired by these Ballard Designs wall hangings:
BD calls them "Whimsical Prints" and sells them for $299 for a set of 2! Wowsers!
I made mine using online images that I edited to look like they had been taken out of a entomological textbook.
Find images that you like and save them to your computer. Upload them 5 at a time to picnik.com, which is the same free online photo-editing site I used for my Personalized Alphabet Flashcards.
Open an image and resize it to fit your frame. If you are going to print out a 4x6 photo, cropping or resizing the image to 400p x 600p is the easiest way. You will have to uncheck "Keep Proportions" first.
Adjust the exposure and neutral colors until the background is as close to white as you can get it.
Enter the Create tab of picnik and use the Cross Process edit on the picture. This gives is a nice antique look without having to go full sepia-toned.
Save the edited photo to your hard drive. For my butterfly print, I used 4 saved edited photos and made a collage. Then all you have to do is send the photos to your nearest Walgreens or Walmart and have them print the photos for you. I paid something like $3 for a 5x7 and three 4x6 prints.
A Dollar Barn Easter money saved