Bellflower Blues: reconciling the reality of budgets

I’m stubborn.  I don’t think I could hide this reality even if there was a desire to.  I’m stubborn, and I embrace it for all the good and bad it brings into my life.  It’s dragged me across the finish line more times than I can count when I wanted to quit.  It’s had me smile politely when teachers, counselors, family members told me all the logical reasons what I was attempting to do couldn’t be accomplished, shouldn’t be tried, would lead to disappointment.  Set the expectations lower.  I smiled, as if I was in agreement, while all along I was thinking to myself… we’ll see.

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Galbraith & Paul . Bellflower

This same stubbornness has kept me from saying I’m sorry when I was wrong, from letting go of an idea that didn’t serve me, from accepting, and making minor adjustments when by all rights, it would have been in my best interest to do just that.  I’ll work harder to know when my stubbornness is good for me and when it is not.  That is something I am good at – hard work.

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Galbraith & Paul . Wing-backed Chairs in Lotus

I think of this now because of a Fabric and Wall covering company I stumbled across a few years ago in a new studio called 534 in the Design Center in Boston.  Galbraith & Paul has been around since 1986, though I didn’t know it.  A PA based company started by Liz Galbraith and Ephraim Paul their artisanal approach to hand block printed fabrics is oh so lovely.  This age old technique is the simplest of the printing methods, the easiest and the slowest, so patience is a must, or pre-planning essential as lead times are between 10 and 12 weeks.  I barely hang on to a place long enough for it to make it worthwhile to purchase these works of art.  Stubborn…so purchase I did.

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Galbraith & Paul . Small Star.

Now, because these are handmade, and their painted nature is evident in the alternating thickness of the paint that appears at the edge of the block print, and the watery washed out nature of the portions in between, they are all individual works of art.  This type of art is expensive.  I mean really expensive.  The kind of expense for which I wasn’t prepared.  The same kind that will make getting to the million I am attempting to get to …. really, really hard.  I did it anyway.  I acted like I was compromising when I ordered the fabric for the curtains in the bedroom.  The beautiful Lotus fabric in the color way . Dove, the sample which I have been carrying around in my purse for months, dreaming of, appreciating, bonding with.  How could you possibly expect me to say we were breaking up because of a silly thing like money?  I didn’t, I wouldn’t, I couldn’t.  I spent $3500. on what amounts to two panels – two very full panels in my defense.  Clearly, I would pay anything for love.

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Galbraith & Paul . Tusk

From this same maker I planned on using a second fabric for the Roman Shades in the living room.  A sublimely perfect pattern called Fern.  I said to myself, I’ll let this one go.  I can’t possibly afford both, but perhaps I can.  I just may have thought of a way to order the minimum lot, accent the base, and just possibly get exactly what I need.

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G & P – Parquet in Light Mineral (left) Reed in Willow (center) Sakura in Light Mineral (right)

Another way to get a little bit of this beauty in your own home, head down to Room and Board.  They have an exclusive line of pillows and lighting in their fabrics.  That’s what I call a win – win.

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Galbraith & Paul . Fern

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