Doing Absolutely Nothing….and Doing It Well

Doing Absolutely Nothing….and Doing It Well



This weekend I sat on this couch under a fuzzy black and white blanket surrounded by down pillows and watched the temperature drop and listened to the snow predictions for Tuesday….

….and did absolutely nothing.

It was the best.

Well….okay…..maybe not exactly nothing.

Does watching the entire first season of The Forsytes from PBS’s Masterpiece Theater on Netflix count in the something category?


Have you seen it?

It is such a Downton Abbey starter kit.

And if you’ve seen season 2….don’t say anything.

I haven’t started it yet. :)


I had big plans for the weekend that involved bringing the 39 boxes of Christmas decorations down from the attic and making a burlap banner with the 12 Days of Christmas written on it and sewing stockings with ruffles and glitter trees.

But Soames was chasing Irene and I had to see if he married her and if Winifred ended up figuring out that Dartie was totally after her money…..

….and if June and the architect lived happily ever after.

Spoiler alert.

They didn’t.


And so my list went unfinished.

And the couch was so warm.

And the down pillows were so cozy.

And I actually started feeling sorry for Soames.


The temperature dropped another 10 degrees.

It was getting colder and colder and the Forsytes were scandalizing their way through the 1920’s.

And I really should have felt guilty about not doing anything.


But I didn’t.


You should see my to-do list.  And Christmas is a month away.  And I’m getting ready for actually cooking Thanksgiving dinner {gulp}.  And I have dishes to do and towels to be folded and floors to be swept.






I was so over all those ands.

There are 25 more days of busy ahead of me.

Incredible, wonderful, joyful, hectic, overwhelming busy.


But not today.

Today I sat…..

….and just was.

And enjoyed every. single. minute.

Without an “and” in sight.


PS  Just in case this is your first time here.

And you’re thinking……

…..does she ever do anything but watch Masterpiece Theater?

Here’s the Gatehouse living room as it transformed from….




….to after.

So much better for Masterpiece Theater watching.

I’ll be back tomorrow with fabric details.

To see the before and after of the front of the gatehouse….click here.

To see the before and after of the kitchen at the gatehouse….click here.

To see the before and after of the craft room at the gatehouse….click here.

To see the before and after of the office at the gatehouse….click here.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Want Thistlewood delivered to your inbox?

It's easy! Just enter your e-mail address below.


  1. I’ve never heard of the Forsyths but from the sounds of it I would be hooked too! The Gatehouse is amazing, you deserve a week, make that a month of doing absolutely nothing ;)

  2. I was happy to know you recharged, but when one realizes how much “before and after” you’ve recently done…I got tired!

  3. Loved the Forsyth’s. The second season is just as good.

  4. Ok, you just have to watch “The Paradise” on Masterpiece. LOVE.

  5. Wow! Wow! Wow! That is so beautiful. I think you are going places! What are you using the gatehouse for?

    Now that you have had a day of rest {I have many of those}, I wish for you a productive and fulfilling day today!


  6. As expected, it is fabulous!

    Question: did you remove the window (left corner of back wall in your before picture) and where are the doors (left wall of before picture) in the new and so very much improved version?

  7. A day of rest in your new room is well deserved. It is incredible, my friend. Pink can be fun, can’t it?!

    Love Masterpiece. Be sure to check out Paradise. It is another winner.

    Thanksgiving in full gear today. My TG Sunday to do list is completed, and now on to TG Monday.

    Dang, it is cold. Brrrrrrr!!!!!!!!

  8. Karianne,
    I just looooooove this room with the black and white and that beautiful Pink!!

  9. That’s a perfect room for watching the Forsytes. And season 2 is definitely worth watching!

  10. I want a Gatehouse….

  11. Good for you! You earned a lazy, cozy day ;0)

  12. Gorgeous place to do nothing or everything! Love the wallpaper!

  13. Good for you, Miz karianne! We all need to recharge our batteries at some point or another. I’ve never heard of, let alone watched, any of those shows….well, I have heard of Downton Abbey, but I’ve never watched it, either………and no, I don’t live under a rock! LOL
    I can hardly wait to see the ruffled stockings, when you get around to it…..! ;^)

  14. Sometimes we need a day or two to reboot and after we are much more productive! Now, I want to watch The Forsytes! Happy decorating!

  15. So glad you sat!! The gatehouse is so pretty and would be a wonderful place to relax and catch up on your favorite shows…I am so glad to hear that you did just that. 38 Christmas boxes ! Yikes!! Can’t wait to see what you unpack and WOW us with for the holidays!

  16. There’s always a list of “ands”!! It never stops…glad you did! Your Gatehouse is something special! I’m going to nothing today too….it’s snowing …and drifting….a good day to do nothing, but watch the snow fly! ;)

  17. Good for you! It’s so important to take time for yourself and do nothing. I’ll have to check out the Forsytes. I love Downton Abbey! I can’t wait for the new season. I’ve heard the Selfridges is another good series, but I haven’t watched it yet.

  18. I haven’t heard of that! I need to look it up because I’m having a Downton Abbey withdrawal.

    And I did almost the same thing as you this weekend. Added a little cleaning and baking in but the couch and I were good friends for sure!


  19. Beautiful…. That white rug is exactly what I’m looking for!!!…. Where is it from?

    • Airyckah,

      I ordered the rug online from Rugs USA! Super affordable! I think it was only $200 for an 8 x 10!

      It does shed though!

  20. Dear Gatehouse Gorgeous…
    Why do I have a feeling that even when you are sitting “Doing Nothing” your beautiful brain is flitting around as fast as the wings of a Hummingbird… darting from one brilliant idea to the next with lightning speed!
    Can’t wait for tomorrows post!

  21. Just keeps getting better and better, Karianne. I love, love, love it all. Can’t wait for the ‘how I going to use the gatehouse’ post. I have my suspicions….

  22. You are so talented and we have such similar aesthetics. I used to be a professional faux finisher, now turned professional food blogger. This room knocks me out and down. LOVE those drapes too.

  23. I love days like that and would love it in THAT room! So cozy and fun. Enjoy and have a blessed Thanksgiving, KariAnne!

  24. Here is to a day snuggled up and resting, an important part of the creative life for sure :)

  25. Grocery? Huh?

  26. KariAnne!- It is Stunning!

  27. good for you!!

  28. I want a nothing day, but unfortunately I had too many of them when battling walking pneumonia! Now I’m playing catch-up! Can I say, out loud, that I’m hoping for a massive January snow? ;)

    Your Gatehouse has turned out beautifully!! I love the pink splashes! :)

  29. AAAAHHHHHHHHHMMMMMAAAAAZZZZZZZIIIIINNNNGGGGGG!!!! As usual!!! I simply adore this red lipstick wearing Gatehouse. She is my kindred! :)

  30. You did an amazing job KarriAnne, it’s just gorgeous. I’ve been doing way to much PBS and BBC watching the last few days too. Netflix is too much fun. I’m going to check out the Forsytes, it sounds really good.

  31. PS have you seen Call The Midwife? I loved it.

  32. Aren’t you our hero of red lipstick? What you have accomplished in months is amazing. Oh my you deserve a break to enjoy the fruits of your creative eye and say as God said when He was done creating each day, and it was good. You must thank Him for His gift to you and stop and just shout PRAISE You for the blessing of my creativity. It is from You O Lord! And how I enjoyed Your blessing of coziness. And rest. Ill bet you did not even worry if you had red lipstick on your teeth !!! I soooo wanted to go to Hobby Lobby (but ours is new, in our old Mervyns store) and I just don’t think ours are as good as yours–I mean I went in asking for Chevron Frog Tape and the guy was clueless!!!! But back to now, I’d reeeeeally like to back my corner shelves of my ’80′s partial pieces bookcase that y’all (do you say that for I say you would) have Annie Sloan painted but its finally 29 years later gotten darker and it came distressed with this lighter painting technique in the grooves and dentin and half sunrises and this one knothole is so adorable now, I just don’t feel I can cover her up…but I reeeely want to double-side tape those corner shelf backs that are triangular…but after your sign I’m just sure there was a run on that paper at our very huge but not well stocked HL but well…I never went shopping! I put on red lipstick and we drove to the wine country mid state to see my sis and met up with family and Sunday I watched church and stayed in pjs and wanted to nap but ministered to a sweet 19 year old and arranged flowers together from my yard. A day of joy but pure tiredness. I have high hopes for later on. Ill put lipstick on and that always helps me to feel better (?) and get more done on my list. For now?!! I’m taking a nap!! All this talk of lists has me tired ~~

  33. I say it’s about time you took some time off and just enjoyed the fruits of your labor!!! so gorgeous!!!

  34. Good for you girl for taking time to relax and do nothing!!! Sometimes we just need to do that for ourselves.


  35. I was going to pull out the Christmas boxes this past weekend too… but instead stayed in pj’s under a cozy blanket while the temperatures dropped all to a backdrop of gray skies and the pitter patter of rain. The perfect weekend!

    I’m so glad you didn’t feel guilty. LOVE the room. It is so YOU….pretty, fun, and full of personality.

  36. Oh gosh!!! I need to plan some “do nothing” days so I can get caught up on all of his Masterpiece fabulousness! Have I been under a rock? Don’t answer that! ;-) Your gatehouse living room looks AMAZING my friend!

  37. I’m not exactly doing nothing–but sometimes it feels good to be home alone puttering around, making soup and bread, especially when it is blustery and snowy outside! Good for you for taking a time-out. I need to take a lesson in that!

  38. Good for you! Taking time to just “be” is important for us crafty girls that have to be going non-stop all the time! The Gate House is really great! I had a crafting day with my good friend this weekend and did some more crafting yesterday…I was tired~but a good tired, which I know you understand. My blog got a mid-life crisis facelift, haha…come see me!

  39. If I had a perfect black and white getaway with a hot pink desk I would definitely sneak away to TV land, but I would have to take down that Grocery sign! That would make me think I needed to jump up and run to the grocery store! It is so adorable, but I don’t believe for a moment that you did nothing all day!

  40. sorry I meant chest!

  41. I am aching to get to that day. When the room I am in is clean enough to not talk to me. It’s coming. I think I’ll make it back to “sanitary, but cluttered” by the end of next week. But nothing else has called loud enough to take me away from shutting down the barn sale for the year. There’s just too much that needed doing. But it’s done now. So maybe Jane Austine will call to me this week. And maybe I can get to vacuuming my family room carpet tonight. I put the ironing board away the day before yesterday. So I’m hoping…
    The Other Marian

  42. “Homeland” always makes me remember how good “The Forsyte Saga” was …..

  43. It’s absolutely stunning. I love the gatehouse! You do a great job and I love your writing, too. I’m always on the edge of my seat.

  44. I would totally have spent the weekend right there, too. :)
    xo Heidi

  45. Karianne..I can’t imagine your ever doing “nothing”..Have a wonderful Thanksgiving..

  46. No one would ever think that you do nothing but watch Masterpiece Theatre!! It’s about time you take some “do nothing” time if the rest of us have any hopes of ever catching up to you!!!

  47. This place even has a living room? Dang girl, I’d hide down there for days… I’d pound and bang once and awhile so they’d think I was busy, and totally watch a whole season of something. Probably Real Housewives of Somewhere… maybe Hoarders, that always makes me feel like a clean freak! Hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving my sweet sweet friend. xoxo

    • My thoughs exactly!!! My family would have to drag my screaming and yelling out of the lovely sanctuary. Lucky for them I don’t have a hideaway, but I can dream of a beautiful place that’s free of hundreds of shoes lying out, snack crumbs, dog toys….

  48. Ah, mental health days – they’re the BEST. Seriously we need at all slow down sometimes – esp before a huge holiday season we’re about to enter full force, yikes. Hugs.

  49. This came out so pretty! I love the colors and all the furnishings :) Oh rockstar I don’t even know what show you are talking about but you made me laugh. All you needed was a few bon bon’s ;)

  50. I’m currently obsessed with BBC’s The Paradise. Sweet indulgence to watch a few episodes wrapped in my favorite quilt.

  51. Sheryll & Critters. :

    Are you sure you really took a day off and did nothing? I don’t know how. Because I am thinking you must have a super sonic speed button you push to get all the work you do finished…… you do so very much.

    I am tired just seeing all you have finish ALREADY!

    I have a sneaky feeling you did stuff while watching TV and doing nothing.

  52. I need a do nothing day! I soooo need one! :) Maybe this weekend. I loved the Forsythe’s. I watched it on Netflix several months ago. I have this thing for historical dramas. Have you watched North & South yet? Not the Civil War one, though that IS good but the English one. It’s on Netflix too. Or Cranford? See what I mean?
    Off to see more of your before and afters.
    Happy Thanksgiving!

  53. Carol Sandretto-Unsinger :

    This is just gorgeous!! I think I’m totally in LOVE with your media buffet!! I’m on Season 2 of the Forsyte Saga… very addicting!! (London Hospital was excellent, too!)

Leave a Comment