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Rena’s Romance Primer: Where to Start

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Your Surroundings
I have never thought that if you want to become romantic and change your image, you have to change everything about you and around you—in short, to make a fresh start. You are the most important thing, not the masks you present or what you live with.


Your surroundings do tell people about you, though. Your home is a reflection of your personality. If you become more romantic, it will show in your home. So we will start with what you have around you. Think about what you already have, and what you would like to have, as the images are described.


Whatever people think, you can have stark modernism combined with frilly lace. If you are comfortable with it, it will be right. Your combination is special to you and so will be special to the people who come over.


If you want to change your surroundings to reflect more of the image that you want to portray, keep reading. If you want to see what image you are already headed towards, this will also help. What we gather around us can tell much about us.


A rule of thumb that is good to go by is—if it will stick out conspicuously where you want to put it, do not put it there. If you suddenly seem to have all of your pictures in antique frames where you had them all in acrylic before, this might be a bit much for one step. Go one frame, pillow, or whatever at a time. This will help you compose your image and will help save your wallet. With each piece you put in your world, you will know more of what you want.


A Bit of Crafty Organization
I suggest that you start a style book. This is a place for you to put pictures of things you have, fabric swatches of what you use, and paint chips of the colors you want to use. A 3-ring binder with paper, plastic pocket pages, and one of the plastic pencil holders is a great way to start a style book. You will want access to standard office supplies such as tape, staples, and index cards to help you keep things organized in your style book.


Take pictures of the furniture you have to put in the file, even if you eventually want to get rid of it. This will help you know what colors, styles, and general proportions you already have to work with, and perhaps want to change. Take pictures of you in your favorite image clothing and have them in your style book, too. If you just took pictures of your clothing, you would not know how it actually looks on you and anything you would pick up may not have the same style or proportions to meld with your image.


Have small samples of the fabric from your favorite clothing and your upholstery; even a few threads help. Do not be afraid to put pictures of things you want in there, too, though that would be more of a wish file at that point, which I go into in a later article. Carry around the style book with you when you know you are going to be shopping, or leave it in your car if you can. When you are shopping for paint, drapes, or a new blouse, it can help to keep hits up and misses at a minimum.


When shopping with your style book, do not be afraid to ask for catalogues or samples of what you are looking at to put in your style book. This will give you an opportunity to bring home your research and actually see if the item matches in the light you are normally in.

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