Friday, July 27, 2012

Saudi sunset

I walked outside tonight to an unusual sight- white clouds in a blue sky is not the norm for Saudi in July.  It was 115 degrees in the shade today with 73% humidity, but somehow a sky like this helps get me set up for the week ahead...

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

the big curtain reveal

OK, I should have waited to take a picture in daylight, but I was too impatient.  I love the curtains.  They are bright and bold and full of color- a stark contrast to the Saudi desert.  I added the carpet too but don't know  if it works.  I fear it is too small.  I swear that carpet is red not black like it appears in the photo above.

The color in the second photo is better but still not quite accurate.  I like having a carpet in that room to add a little color and softness but it seems too small.  The ottoman is there because my husband likes a place to sit to put on his shoes; we really need a bench but we had that ottoman and no place to put it so for now, it serves its purpose.  I love the painting over the bed, purchased from a street artist on my 2011 birthday trip to Rome.

The bedroom is not finished, but I am a lot happier with it now than I was a week ago!

Saturday, July 7, 2012

in which I learn an exciting new skill...

you might remember that back in Sept 2011, I was suffering from angst related to my bedroom curtains.

Shamefully, that curtain situation has remained the same all these months. I didn't like the plain white curtains, so I bought these bright tropical ones on clearance at Urban Outfitters. Once they arrived, I discovered that though the pattern was great, the fact that the curtains were voile made them basically sheer, certainly too thin to hold out that strong Saudi sun. Also, you will note that in contrast to the too long IKEA curtains, these new panels are too short.  For months now I've been promising myself I would do something with them to make the bedroom less blah.

A couple of weeks ago, I got motivated to at least pull these panels out again and fiddle with them.  I thought perhaps I would like them short so I tried the arrangement on the left.  Clearly too short.  Then I thought to combine the panels to make one heavier but brighter curtain so I tested that out on the right.  Not terrible though still too short and billowing weirdly because of the AC vent that is at the ceiling just to the right of that window.  Yesterday (virtual Sunday here in Saudi), I pulled down the white curtains entirely and threw them in the wash with a bit of bleach to perk them up.  Then I threw them in the dryer- apparently a mistake as they shrunk by a few inches each.  

Then I made a bold move, and pulled out that sewing machine I got so many months ago.  The instructions that came in the box were only in Spanish (!) but I was able to find the manual in English online.  I boldly set off with no real expectations of success, but to my surprise, sewing straight lines was kind of easy.  I now have four panels each made from one IKEA panel base with one UO panel sewn to the front.  I removed the tabs and have the curtains hanging from IKEA rings.  They are still too short, but I am going to add a black band at the end of each curtain to have them hang almost to the floor (not touching though because of the dust and sand here).

No pictures because the rest of the room is a mess (husband is traveling so I've been doing lots of projects etc) but I hope to get some posted soon.  The effect is pretty close to the panel on the right above and I have to say that I really enjoy the injection of some color and pattern into this blah bedroom.  Also, I am thrilled to have used my sewing machine successfully for a home improvement project; I'm sure there will be more sewing related projects in my future!