Ok y’all, I’m going to try and do a little backtracking…So, let’s talk about teepees, and picnics, and cake smash…oh my! I know that I mentioned before that I love themes…you can see here in myprevious post about teacher appreciation week…So, you can imagine that I get a little crazy when it comes to my kids birthday parties. Only problem is that I usually can’t settle on one thing. I end up combining several random things together to get just what I want! So, when it came to planning my last baby’s 1st birthday party I really got a little spastic! I knew I was doing something with teepees and arrows, because that’s been “his theme” since he was born. His room his decorated around that and we used the same teepee that is in the pictures shown for all of his first year picture sessions. At the same time, seeing how his birthday is only a few days away from the 4th of July, I really wanted to do some kind of picnic theme also. Then there were colors…I love navy and mustard right now, so of course I had to throw in some sunflowers to bring in the yellow! And how could you leave out foxes with some splashes of orange here and there! Then there is the currently popular galvanized metal accessories that we must have…oh and antlers…and feathers, don’t forget the feathers!!! I always have a hard time finding exactly what I want, so I really just make it up as I go! My brain just goes all over the place and I know my time is limited before they want themes like…Garfield (and yes I’ve done that one too). With that said I’m sharing a few pictures from his cake smash session. I will try to post some from the party itself, but as I’ve mentioned before I’m not the best with picture quality and in usually cell phone fashion…my storage was full the day of his party. So, I’ve had to rely on pictures from friends. Am I the only one this happens too? Never fails…if it’s something I really want pictures of, my phone decides that the storage is full (insert face that says “I think my phone is lying”). So, I’m borrowing some of my photographers preview pictures. She’s always so good to put up with me and my 5 million ideas! Here is a link to my Pinterest inspiration, I just had to boy it up a little, haha!
Well y’all…I was thinking the other day as I was trying to go through the stuff that got moved upstairs to my sunroom during my recent basement flooding (did I mention my basement flooded three times in three weeks, twice from the bottom and once from the top). I am still trying to downsize from our move back in January and now that I know that there’s a chance that the stuff downstairs might get wet, I’m really having to downsize and come up with creative ideas on how to store stuff (there will be more on that in the future probably). But, as I was trying to decide what to add to the garage sale pile, I drifted off into deep thought about how we tend to not see the potential in things that we see all the time. Some of the things that I added to my garage sale pile are things I would totally pick up at someone else’s garage sale. I think maybe it’s the world we live in now. Everything is disposable and the trends change so fast! Ironically, as this was on my mind for a few days, my aunt contacted me for advice on her shelves. Now, do you remember me talking about my visit to their “small southern plantation” house in my post about gluten free mac and cheese? Well, she has these beautiful dark wood built-ins around her fireplace that she…wait for it…HATES! She has a mental block towards them and can’t even deal with decorating them. Now, I can’t judge because shelves can be cause for decorators block even for the best of ’em and I have those same kind of places in my house. I’m willing to bet you do too! Since we see it all the time, we have a hard time seeing the potential in it that other people see, so we just don’t deal with them. Well, first of all, I told her that I thought they were beautiful! Everybody has different tastes, and I’m sure they will change them up before everything is said and done, but in the meantime it can help to know that other people don’t think they are hideous. Secondly, I said take everything off and start over. Sometimes we get started on something and it’s not working for us, so it helps to step away for awhile, wipe the slate clean and try again. Lastly, I recommended using things that she loves. Nobody wants to stare at things that they don’t really like in the first place. I am a firm believe in not holding on to things that don’t bring you joy. I read a book by MARIE KONDOabout this, that is really helping me to accept this as a way of life. I’m not near where she is, nor do I think I will ever be able to be as organized as her (pretty sure she doesn’t live with kids, but I don’t know that for a fact, haha), but I have learned to let go of things that don’t bring me joy. It has been a fun journey and no regrets so far on anything that I’ve let go of! I also personally feel like, if we hold on to things for sentimental value that there must be a way to incorporate it into our everyday lives. I alluded to that in my post on using glass boxes for heirloom items. Now, once you have that done you may need fillers. Everyone’s taste is different, but I suggest for cheap “filler” décor, check out the thrift stores for old books, bottles and/or glass containers, wooden boxes, and old plates that match your décor. Be creative, but make sure it’s stuff that you love. If you pick it up and have to ask yourself if you like it… then you probably don’t like it. Beloved family pictures are also a good filler, just be sure to use coordinating frames. Now, with all that said…my own shelves are a hot mess. I’ve just kind of shoved things up there to get things out of boxes and it’s semi ok, but they could definitely be a lot better! Mine are also built-ins on both sides of the fireplace like my aunt’s and that makes them extra hard because you have to have balance not only on the shelves, but also on each side! And they are floor to ceiling, that is a lot of shelves to fill!!! So, let’s see if I can walk the walk as well as talk the talk!
I’m starting with a few pictures of what my shelves looked like. I made some effort to arrange stuff halfway decent when I originally put things on them, but they really needed some sprucing up.
So, you see that they were a tad bit hodge podge, and no they definitely don’t look like something from Pinterest because we actually use our shelves and live in our house. Now, with that said I want to tell y’all how hard this particular post has been for me. If you’ve read any of my blog then you probably know of my love-hate relationship with Pinterest. I love it for its ideas, yet I hate it for pointing out my inadequacies. So, of course, I used it to look up shelf décor inspiration! You can look at my DECORATINGBOARD to see all my shelf inspirations. This is where it gets hairy for me. Can I create shelves that look like the ones on Pinterest? The answer is…without a doubt! I can go out and buy all new stuff and arrange them to look just like shelves in a store, but how is that realistic? Where would I put all my stuff that I love, my family pictures, my heirlooms, my DVD player and Wii U?!? How much would I spend doing that just to have beautiful, but generic shelves? How, would that help my readers out who just want to make their shelves look nice without spending a fortune and losing their precious mementos? So, I decided to ditch the idea of making Pinterest worthy shelves and just be real! And, this goes for a lot more than just my shelves, really it is me trying to find my place in this world of blogging. Maybe I’m not meant to be the person who shows you how to make everything “perfect”. Maybe I’m just meant to be the person that shows you how to make things better for you and help you to realize that you’re not the only one out there trying to be “Pintastical” and not achieving it! I’ve decided my place in this blogging world is to just be me and hope that in the process I help or inspire someone else out. It is perfectly fine with me if I never achieve a Pinterest worthy life and I hope that I learn to let go of my insecurities and stop comparing myself to unachievable ideas. So, now that I’ve gotten that off my chest, let’s get back to my shelves…
Because I have a lot of pictures, I decided to try out my idea about coordinating picture frames. I wasn’t sure how I was going to achieve this without spending a fortune. I just happened upon a box full of those old gold frames (you know the ones with our childhood pictures in them and the ones that we get rid of as soon as we inherit them from family members). I probably just got rid of a few of those myself not too terrible long ago. But, really, done right, they can look really good. So, I thought I would give it a shot…especially since they were marked half price.
I got all these for $5.00!
I decided the best idea was to mix some of the gold frames and black frames that I already had with these to make it all look more coherent. The next thing I did was clear out the shelves. I didn’t take my own advice and take everything completely off. I should have because even though I thought I was going to leave the books where they were, I didn’t…
So, basically all I did was clean up some…rearrange to make things look neater, change out some frames, buy maybe $20 worth of new accessories (two gold spheres and some greenery), and add some of my vintage bottles that I realized I had not unpacked yet. Now, this wasn’t all done in a day. This process probably took me a few days and that was the hardest part with three kids running around. I had to try and keep them from messing with all the stuff I had laying around, haha! But, I eventually got it done and was fairly pleased with the outcome. I achieved my goal of cheaply decorating my shelves and arranging them where they were even on both sides of the fireplace. I don’t have anything on them that I don’t like except for necessary items. I used a stack of books to try and camouflage the DVD player and Wii U. I still use my brass pot by my desk to hold papers that need to be filed (because like I said earlier, we actually live here). If you have things on your shelves like DVD’s and CD’s then check out my poston using binders to hide them on your shelves. So, it’s important to remember there are ways to hide things that are useful, but not necessarily beautiful. So, here’s what I ended up with…
Not a huge change, but everything does look a little neater and more cohesive. I will apologize for the poor quality of pictures. I don’t plan to try and achieve perfection, but I do hope to one day get a better camera and do better with my images! All, in time though!
So here is a recap:
-Find the potential in what you already have.
-Wipe the slate clean and start over.
-Keep the meaningful items and place items of sentimental value out in a way that you can actually enjoy them.
-Get rid of the things that are not bringing you peace and add fillers that you actually love.
-Remember that you’re unique and your surroundings should reflect that (no cookie cutter décor here).
-Look to others for inspirations not comparison.
Oh…wait a minute…was I writing advice about decorating shelves or life…(insert shy smile)
So, here it is y’all…the post that took me two weeks to finish! Yep, this is it…not too fancy now is it? But, as I’ve mentioned it’s been a chicken burritos for supper and Nutella for lunch kind of two weeks. Anyway, I started this blog to share things that I love and one of the things that I love is decorating with vintage (aka old) things. Vintage décor can be tricky. Sometimes you end up with stuff that you don’t necessarily love, but it comes handed down from loved ones and reminds you of them so, therefore, you do “love” it, haha! Know what can make it better though? A clever way to decorate with it, so that it becomes a beautiful piece of vintage décor! One where you can see and enjoy it all the time rather than stuffing it away in a drawer somewhere. Now, I also love to decorate on the cheap, so all of my boxes came from hand me downs, thrift stores, and garage sales. I even found one at a garage sale for 10 cents! If you aren’t that patient then check your craft stores and gift shops. I’ve noticed that these are popular right now. I fill them with things that I wouldn’t normally have sitting out, but most of them are keepsakes. I’ll show you what I’ve done with mine to give you a better idea…
So, here is the first set I’m going to show you…I use this in my bathroom for décor. I love this because it is manly and feminine at the same time. My husband approves and it’s a good mix of his razor collection and some of my bottle collection. Here is some closer detail…
Here is another example of keepsakes from loved ones. My Memom and Pop (yes…that’s what I called my grandparents) are passed on now, but I keep a few sentimental items in glass boxes next to a picture of them from their younger days. I also made one with some stuff from my dad who has passed on now too. A few things like his baby shoes and gold ring and also some old pocket watches I found at his house. I have recently found some more stuff that I’d like to add, old stamps and such.
Now, this last one really isn’t finished…I haven’t found enough stuff to fill it with yet, but I wanted to show you how I use it to display mine and my husbands high school rings. Also, this was my most expensive box, found at a thrift store for a whooping $8.00! It hangs on the wall in our bathroom and has a mirror behind it, which made it extra hard to take a picture of! Sorry it’s hard to see…remember I’m working on my photography “skills”.
I hope you enjoyed reading about one of my decorating ideas! I’m always trying to come up with new ways to use old stuff and make it current. I hate walking into a house that looks like an antique store, but at the same time I have an affinity for old things! It’s quite the conundrum, haha!