Here’s our little dinner party to get us ready for Halloween! Anyone else into Halloween??? 😉
Here’s our little dinner party to get us ready for Halloween! Anyone else into Halloween??? 😉
I struggle with a tremendous amount of anxiety when my kids are away. It’s a long-standing pattern within my persona, and my therapy of choice for stress relief is to tackle another self-created project. To my husband’s great dismay, it’s an endless task, but I do turn out some fun results at times. So when my children went away to camp this past week, I channeled that nervous energy into decorating my daughter’s room.
She had been asking me to create an ocean and beach themed room for her since we moved into this home several months ago. Her walls remained bare because I had yet to put her room at the top of the design agenda. I didn’t have a design plan in mind, but I typically don’t until I get to work on a specific space. Regardless I was certain that it was going to be a monster project. Consequently it was perpetually hanging at the caboose end of the “Rooms Still Pending Design Work” list.
Although her room was bland, she kept it lively with random and ever-changing mountains o’ crap. As the mountains weren’t her optimal theme, she patiently waited her turn. To her sincere credit, she never complained nor did she make the slightest fuss when multiple other rooms were completed long before her own. As she had no idea that I was going to do anything to her room (likely because I came up with the plan minutes before her departure), it was a tremendous surprise for her (and an excellent time crunch motivator for me).
To put it mildly, this room was a serious beast to knock out in under a week but I had been stockpiling a few ocean and beachy knick-knacks here and there. Thankfully Amazon Prime and Hobby Lobby were able to fill in a substantial amount of the gaping holes of my unplanned approach.
We also created several large display pieces with some unused distressed wood that we still had on hand from an office wall project I put together several months ago (that’s a separate post for another day). The pieces included a unique picture frame holder, a wreath display, and a name board. From a skill perspective, these weren’t difficult to complete. However from a time and pain in the butt-ness perspective, they were projects I would not recommend one do in a limited timeframe. I will write a post with DIY tips on how to create these for those who are interested.
Incredibly, we completed the room and put on the finishing touches right before we ran out the door to pick the kids up at the end of their camp week. It was exhausting beyond words, but her wonderfully shocked and ecstatic reaction made it all worth while.
More often than not, my life fails to look like the stuff of Hallmark movies. We mess up constantly. Lose our tempers. Get it wrong and then find a way to make it even worse.
But every now and then, we really get it right. And when that happens, it’s an immense gift to all of us.
I believe strongly in the value of creating a personal space that makes a person feel good, and it is extremely important to me that my family feels that their home is warm, inviting, and special. I love that I was able to create this room for my daughter because her elation with calling it her own is palpable.
Rejoice in the big parenting wins when they happen, but find joy in the smallest of good moments as well. It doesn’t have to be a room redo or a massive surprise. A simple “I love you” in the morning or a sweet note in a lunchbox is a world changer for children.
It’s not about the presents. It’s about your presence. Be there, see them, and let them know that no ocean in the world is anywhere near as deep as your love for them.
If you would like help with your kids’ rooms, drop me a line. If you have fun posts on your child room decor, I would love to hear about that, too!
I wish the very best to you all! 🙂
A couple of years ago, I nabbed a plain wood pallet for fun. At the time, I added a few additional wood panels to the back to enclose one side. A friend added some side supports to keep it from falling over, and my unique gardening box was ready to go.
The problem that I had not anticipated was that keeping the soil in an upright garden is not so easy. Every time I watered it, soil would come pouring out. It was a mess, and even the easiest of outdoor plants (succulents) couldn’t deal with the gardening madness. When we finally moved a few months ago, the last of the plants died or fell out, and I decided that it was time to send it to the big mulch box in the sky.
But this thing is heavy. Too heavy for me to move by myself, and too heavy for me to annoy my husband into moving in lieu of other projects higher up on the “Stuff to Annoy Husband With Today” list. So it has been sitting in the back unloved and janky looking as ever.
I had a funky weekend and needed something to snap me back to feeling like a normal human. I grabbed a couple of bags of dirt, several containers of small succulents, and carved up some chicken wire.
I honestly believe that the chicken wire would have been my saving grace years ago had I realized that I needed it. It’s a pain to cut it up (and I mean that quite literally so wear gloves), but it is malleable and can be sectioned into whatever size you need.
I cut enough sections of wire to fill the openings on the front side of the pallet and then cut additional smaller holes within those pieces for plant placement.
Starting from the bottom, I would insert the wire sections, backfill with soil, pack and water the soil down, and then plant individual plants into the openings. A small amount of soil would come out initially, but it was minimal once the soil was damp and firmly packed. The plants stayed in the planted easily and should have plenty of support to thrive going forward.
Succulents do best if you leave them where they can get a hint of water but otherwise ignore them. Given that dynamic, these new plants should be happy as clams here. And on my side of the deal, I feel better, too. I have a revived planted that has been spared from the environmental circular file, and my mind feels like it has come back to life, too.
If you are feeling down, try to do or create something that you enjoy. Being able to reconnect with nature and with yourself is a true gift. Take advantage of it. If you can’t figure out what to do, try this pallet project or aim for an easier project like a basic succulent garden. Just slap some of these in a decent pot, put a few river rocks around it, and smile at the outcome. So basic yet so lovely.
But whatever you do, send me pics! I would love to see the outcome. 🙂
Best wishes to all. Jo
I am constantly adding new ideas to my list of items that could add a special element to a home (mine or someone else’s). Although these projects tend to be for benefit of humans, I have been known to include bird and butterfly housing improvements as well.
To put it simply, I love butterflies. Their spectacular transformation is such a beautiful analogy to our own human journey of growth and awakening. Unfortunately all of nature doesn’t appear to be in agreement with my sentiments. To our collective horror, my daughter and I witnessed a wasp tearing a caterpillar to shreds a couple of weeks ago in our yard.
Consequently we were instantly inspired to create an impromptu monarch village via the butterfly boxes that are temporarily parked on my dining room table. Admittedly it feels a little “Silence of the Lambs” in there, but we have yet to make any skin suits out of the neighbors.
The butterflies are lovely and they bring such joy to all of us whenever we release them. However we have yet to sit for hours to watch every stage of their development. In all fairness to us, we can’t sit for hours doing anything. Given this short attention span challenge we face, I thought that it would be interesting to record one of our monarch caterpillars changing to chrysalis form so we could speed it up. The video is only about a minute long, but the actual process shown here took several hours.
Feel free to share the video with your children. It’s fascinating to watch this wild caterpillar in action.
Jo Price 🙂
This is the youtube link.
I see such potential in items that often go unnoticed. These roughed up make-over candidates are just like people to me. Their beauty is covered by the wear and tear from the years they have survived, and their youthful shine long gone. But if you are willing to look closer, to put in a little time, to see past the imperfections that mar the surface, you may find that they are not as broken as they initially seemed.
This is another window I recently added. I almost went right past it because some glass was missing, and there was a large crack traversing one of the panes. Thankfully I gave it another look and recognized the beauty beyond the cracks and the grime.
Once more I added shelf brackets to reinforce to strength of the old frame and to diminish the distraction of the missing glass in the corner. I also screwed a fun little bird wall hanger into the top of the frame so I could add a wreath. Simple wreaths are very easy to make, and they can add a nice finished feel if you have the sense that there is too much bare visual space in the layout.
Look for potential beneath the dust, the possibility beyond the years. It’s surprising how often the most unnoticeable of items are often anything but lackluster nor are they really broken. Celebrate the years and recognize the character and personality that they can bring to your walls and your life. 🙂
Best to you always. Jo
Here’s another fun idea for the crafty rustic decorator. It’s a fun visual mix and different than the other antlers that I have been seeing lately.
My initial approach was to spray paint the mounting board silver and the antlers gold. Rust-Oleum comes in an extensive array of colors and sticks to almost any surface you can imagine. If that doesn’t work, go for chalk paint.
After the paint dried, I added green crystals to the head for a little sparkle. Unfortunately the end result looked like a brain, and that was disconcerting and sad. As neurological models aren’t in my decorative palette, those stones had to go. Thankfully my final approach with the fabrics proved more successful.
Antlers definitely aren’t for everyone, and if these weren’t sassy and different, they wouldn’t be for me either. Although these still may not be your style, try to be creative with the latest trends that do appeal to you. Draw from the ideas of others, but incorporate your own flavor into your decor. Design isn’t about becoming a mimic (unless that brings you joy, and if it that’s the case, run with it 100%!). It’s about integrating your personal color and style into your surroundings.
All the best to you!
I don’t do exercise. I do projects. Although both require significant energy, I have found that my long-term results are significantly better with design. As I access my creative side, my stress dissipates and excitement takes its place. I feel reinvigorated when I can put together a unique or fun new addition that brighten up someone’s living space.
I enjoy finding items that appear to be awkward combinations and pairing them in interesting ways. My other goal is to create a high-end product via the use of low-end inputs. I firmly believe that you do not have to spend endless amounts of money to achieve beauty in your home or office. With that said, if you do happen to have endless amounts of money, please feel free to contact me at your earliest convenience. I would love to work with you and have specific helpful suggestions regarding where you can put those unused funds (make the check to “Jo Price”).
For the rest of us currently stuck in reality, there are countless ways to put together eye-catching design pieces at very reasonable prices. One item I frequently incorporate into rooms is one or more old windows. Most vintage and antique dealers have these, but there is no need to buy the most expensive window you can find. I look for windows that have interesting glass panes with minimal breakage and low levels of wood rot on the frames. If it’s truly an old window, it’s tough to avoid the wood rot, and you get better deals if you are willing to buy and clean these up a bit.
You will have to wipe off any dust, mold and general funk. As many of the old windows have lead paint, gloves and masks are a must. I sometimes redo the paint and frame, but I actually love to see the old rusty hardware and previous paint colors showing through. However even if the paint doesn’t need to be redone, I still take steps to reinforce the frame.
I typically reinforce the windows by using a screw driver to attach metal corner braces. Be careful when you do this as you don’t want to split the wood nor do you want to break the glass. As corner braces aren’t my favorite design accent, I either cover them with a few strokes of chalk paint, or I hide them altogether.
My primary window accent is typically a shelf bracket. Yes – shelf bracket. You screw them down into the window versus up into a shelf.
Attaching an intricate bracket to the corner(s) of an old beat-up window creates a surprising look of elegance while further reinforcing the stability of the window frame. I don’t mind a few cracks here and there as I feel like those give the windows more personality, but large brackets can sometimes be used to hide some defects or breaks in the panes.
If you want to attach further hardware to hang your window, be sure that the wood is strong enough to bear the weight. I spent more time than I care to admit attaching elaborate hardware to the large window pictured in this post. Ultimately, I decided that I prefered the way it looked when it was leaning against the wall. It was an annoying realization, but the end result was worth all the trouble regardless.
My style of decorating may be very different from yours, but it wouldn’t be any fun if we all danced to the same beat anyway. The point is to take a little time every now and then to make your space beautiful. We feel better on the inside when we surround ourselves on the outside with pieces that strike us as beautiful. They warm our living spaces, speak to our inner style, and give us a sense of pride. This has nothing to do with how much you spend. It’s truly about creating ways to transform simplicity to sophistication and mundane to magnificent.
Best of luck to you! Jo Price