On Family, Small Changes, and New Art (the BEST kind)

summer

Cedar Point in Sandusky, Ohio at Sunset

Well, hello there internet world! Remember me? Probably not? That’s ok. It’s only been a few months…make that 5…since I’ve written. But I’m still here, still alive and kicking, and I thought I’d pop in to share a few small changes I’ve been working on.

But first, where I’ve been. Here in Tennessee, our kids summer break is only 2 months long. Just to give you an idea of what our summer was like, we travelled 6 weeks of that 2 months. It was the craziest summer of our lives, but we had a blast. We went to Virginia, Delaware, Ohio, North Carolina and a few places in between. Once August came around, I was actually ready for my kids’ to go back to school just so we could get back to some semblance of a schedule.

I say all that not to apologize, but to explain. I’ve finally decided that I have to be ok with blogging when I can get to it, and not beat myself up when I can’t. This is actually my last year home with my baby girl, and my number one priority is enjoying this time with her because I can’t get it back. I’ve decided that, as much as I love blogging and would love to grow my little blog and make it better, family has to come first. I’ll squeeze time in whenever I can to keep up with blogging, this hobby that I love and brings me to life. So that means sometimes I’ll blog once a week, and sometimes you’ll hear from me once a month…and that’s ok. I hope you’ll stick with me, and follow our little journey, and I’d love to hear from you along the way.

All right, now that I’ve given you an unwarranted mini state of the blog address, back to the house. You may remember last year that I took an old closet door from my parents and gave it a makeover; if not, you can read about it here.

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At the time, I used it as an air plant display. I won’t mention what has since happened to those air plants, but I needed to find something else to put on display here. Let’s just say, those air plants are probably in a better place now.

At the end of last year, my then second grader came home with a portrait of our family that he painted in art class, and I flipped over it. I draw and paint portraits myself, but I couldn’t possibly have captured our family as well as he did. It is officially my favorite piece of art ever (and it’s a good thing my other kids don’t read my blog yet!).

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I knew right away that it needed a prominent display somewhere in our house. So, along with a few other changes, like these light bulbs that I love from IKEA, I made a few tweaks to our little corner. And here it is:

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They’re just small changes, but they spice things up a bit and bring me joy…especially that family portrait. In fact, just taking pictures of my house makes me relove it. In real life, it gets old and familiar and cluttered and dusty, but when I see it through the lens of my camera, it’s like I get a fresh perspective, and I’m reminded why I’ve put these things I love on display in the first place. It’s not about the things themselves, but about the memories they hold, and the joy and excitement of creating.

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In the interest of full disclosure, I feel that I should show you the set up for hanging them…it ain’t pretty. They’re hanging from little plastic hooks my husband jerry-rigged to the ceiling. The sockets are also from IKEA, and I’m not crazy about them.

setup

Eventually, I’d like do something creative with the cords; I’ve been really inspired by people using cords themselves in unique ways, instead of trying to hide them away and cover them up, as we are all in the constant struggle to do with our everyday electronics and gadgets. Here are a few great examples:

  • example
  • From Pinterest (can’t find the original)

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Apartment Therapy

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Apartment Therapy

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Apartment Therapy

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Bloglovin’

Until that moment of inspiration hits me, though, the current setup will have to work.

So that’s all for now. You’ll hear from me again sooner than five months again, I promise. Thanks for following along, and I’d love to hear from you! Let me know what you think…share some creative ideas for cords that you find…tell me how your summer went…I want to hear it all!

Rachel

 

 

Upcycled Wooden Closet Door

Hello all, writing this from a hotel in Atlanta. I just barely finished this project and took pictures just minutes before we left for a few days. We’re trying to make the most of our last few days of summer before 3 (!) of my 4 go back to school. I’m not sure I’m ready for this; I have so enjoyed having all off my kiddos home all day. However, I won’t mind the one-on-one time with my littlest.

If you’ve been following along, then you know I’ve been concentrating on finishing up my living room, and there was this back corner between the couches that really needed my attention. Here’s what I had in the corner. I don’t have any before pictures, but this used to be a bulky, black chest with doors. It was very dark and heavy, the paint was chipping, and it had seen better days. So, about a year ago, I painted it white (4 or 5 coats), finished it with polyacrylic, and painted the inside this burnt orangish red to give it a pop of color. The basket was a gift from a baby shower, and the filing boxes are from IKEA. I added the flowery details with a white paint pen.

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By itself, it’s just not very commanding.

So my next project began with my raiding my parents garage to find these old wooden closet doors covered in a few layers of construction dust.

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By themselves, the doors aren’t too exciting, but I loved the height, and knew it would really fill up that bare corner well.

I started off by rubbing Vaseline in a few spots along the edges to try to give it a more rustic look.

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I mixed my white paint with water, because I wanted the wood grain to show through just a little bit, so it wasn’t perfectly white.

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The doors were pretty just plain white, but I wanted something a little more bold and graphic and unique. I was inspired by this project from DesignSponge. While I love the fun, bright color, I needed something a little more monochromatic to go with the rest of the room, mostly black and white and neutrals.

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So, I taped off my door, and decided to go bold with black chalkboard paint. I have this love affair with black and white; in fact, I have a whole Pinterest board dedicated to black and white décor.

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Looks kind of cool with that bright green stripe, no? Maybe a future DIY project? But for now, I’m sticking with the black and white. After drying and removing my tape, the line was a bit wonky, so I had to touch it up with a very small paintbrush and white paint.

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Here’s what happens when I try to get creative. There’s not much I can do without making huge messes. My husband just loves it.

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Once the paint dried, I turned my doors around (to a very messy backside!)…

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…and my husband added hooks to hang my air plants from. Originally, we had nails, but I learned the hard way that that wasn’t very secure. My five air plant holders used to be six. I also learned to tie a mean bowline knot to hang my plants securely.

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Now that everything was in place, I added my air plants. These are such quirky and unique plants with a sculptural quality. They require no soil and little maintenance; they just need to be soaked in water once a week. I got mine from Air Plant Worlds, and they even threw in a few extras.

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My project was complete, and I just needed to put it all together.

 

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Because I repurposed items I already had on hand, the only elements I actually paid for in this whole setup were the air plants and containers, sisal rope from Lowe’s, and that sansevieria (snake) plant. I love that plant…not only is he handsome, he’s also tough. He has graciously survived me when others of his kind have not. A moment of silence for the ones who have gone on before him. I keep thinking that one day, my thumb will turn a little greener…someday.

I’ll leave you with a few more pictures, and I’m going to get back to exploring Atlanta with my kids. See you next time!

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Also sharing this project in the Pretty Preppy Party.

Less-Than-Perfect Life of Bliss