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Woven Tennis Racket DIY

So, I’m a fitness junkie (duh) but I am not very excited about the workout “look” that is pretty much universal in the world right now, from clothing to equipment to logos.

The athletic look is basically a one-size-fits-all look. Lots of athletic stripes, lots of hardcore sweaty pics, lots of iron and heathered polyester and patterned leggings. The traditional athletic look is really not my style at all–well, except for the leggings.

In fact, in my search of interior design inspiration for my home gym on Pinterest, I came up pretty empty-handed. Everything looks like a regular jock-style gym (for lack of better terminology).

Let’s change that!

So, I’m trying to come up with some of my own decorations to fuse my love of fitness with my love of vintage and boho styles. Those things usually don’t go together. At least until I get my hands on them.

One decoration I came across on a different search were these embroidered tennis rackets I found on Pinterest. Love at first sight!!!!

 

Woven Tennis Racket DIY

So, I picked up these two old tennis rackets at a junk store for just $0.50 each! I chose two with the most vintage-y designs that I liked. And I like the juxtaposition of wood and metal. They really weren’t in playing shape anymore, so I didn’t feel bad retiring and re-purposing them.

vintage tennis rackets

Then, I just freestyled a weaving design with a “me” color scheme. I used yarn, but you could also use embroidery floss. You just weave under-over-under-over the strings. You can easily weave horizontally, vertically or diagonally.

Alternate light and dark yarn colors and alternate the thickness of each section to give it a variegated look. When you come to the end of a section, just tie the string off in the back.

woven tennis rackets for vintage home gym decor

Then, hubby helped me hang them, staggered, over my weight shelf.

repurposed tennis rackets

I love the sporty, vintage vibe these tennis rackets add to my workout space now. I can’t wait to add more elements like this!

If this post inspires you to make your own woven tennis rackets, I’d love to see them!

Would you like more ideas like these?

 

 

PS, I finally claimed this blog over on Bloglovin, and I’d love for you to add it to your regular feed. I need my workout space to fit my personality, so I have lots of styling projects to invent and potential blog material to go along with it.

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Easy Budget Picture Collage Wall

I am not very good at following strict rules when it comes to home improvement-ish projects. There was no level or tape measure used in the making of this project.

I’ve had one sad little picture hanging on my dining room wall for, like, years that needed some friends. I started to put together a few framed pretties after framing Hubster’s anniversary card and ultimately decided to make a collage wall.

Photo

To begin, gather some of your favorite photos, art prints, and original artwork with repeating themes and colors. The frames should either be all light-colored or all dark-colored or somewhere in between. If your pictures include matting, the same rule applies–go with a monochromatic color scheme. There has to be some semblance of similarity or your wall will end up looking like a hodge podge–unless you’re going for that look:)

My framed pictures include one wooden anniversary card, one wooden owl card from Mackinac Island, my official NASM certificate, one thrifted 3D picuture, one free print from here, one painted leaf and one watercolor gift from a friend. I love how each piece has a history and story behind it from family trips to personal accomplishments to wedding gifts. Each one is totally my style too with a vintage/nature theme with lots of greens. The final product matches my record player set-up perfectly with its vintage-y vibe.

Wall prints
3D vintage print
The cutest vintage 3D picture ever!

Next, I took all my framed pieces and laid them out on the floor in front of the chosen wall. It took awhile to find just the right arrangement for the wall. The trick is to find a good balance. You want to balance the bigger with the smaller. I also had to balance the white and off-white art backgrounds. Keep all frames pretty close together with about 1-2 inch gaps in between. Add and take away frames until you find the sweet spot.

Wall Collage

Now, most professional collage-ers (whoever they are) will tell you to draw out the pattern on paper and get out the level to find the most precise angles. Well, I made this wall without doing any of those things. You may want to at least take a picture of your set-up to refer back to before you get started. I just eyeballed it. I memorized right about where one picture overlapped another and got to work. I’m not the type of girl who likes to fuss over things.

Finished Collage

Then, I just hammered away until they were all secure (which is really hard for me to do because I don’t like tainting perfectly smooth walls, even if they’re my own). You’ll want to be careful with the nails too, avoiding any electrical wires and ideally pounding the nails into studs. It’s nice when your whole family takes a hunting trip and leaves you with your whole house as your open canvas. Oh the possibilities!

vintage collage wall

Now, I really love walking past this wall. It really makes me smile. Oh yeah, and the best part? I only paid about $6 for this entire project. I paid 50 cents for the vintage picture and around $3 for each of the wooden cards. The rest of the items were gifted or free!

Other good gallery collage wall resources for those who like a little more structure:

How to Hang Art Groupings
Tips for Installing a Gallery Wall
Wall Art Guide
How to Create a Gallery Wall on a Budget
Eight Ways to Display Artwork on a Budget

Easy Budget Picture Collage Wall

I am not very good at following strict rules when it comes to home improvement-ish projects. There was no level or tape measure used in the making of this project.

I’ve had one sad little picture hanging on my dining room wall for, like, years that needed some friends. I started to put together a few framed pretties after framing Hubster’s anniversary card and ultimately decided to make a collage wall.

Photo

To begin, gather some of your favorite photos, art prints, and original artwork with repeating themes and colors. The frames should either be all light-colored or all dark-colored or somewhere in between. If your pictures include matting, the same rule applies–go with a monochromatic color scheme. There has to be some semblance of similarity or your wall will end up looking like a hodge podge–unless you’re going for that look:)

My framed pictures include one wooden anniversary card, one wooden owl card from Mackinac Island, my official NASM certificate, one thrifted 3D picuture, one free print from here, one painted leaf and one watercolor gift from a friend. I love how each piece has a history and story behind it from family trips to personal accomplishments to wedding gifts. Each one is totally my style too with a vintage/nature theme with lots of greens. The final product matches my record player set-up perfectly with its vintage-y vibe.

Wall prints
3D vintage print
The cutest vintage 3D picture ever!

Next, I took all my framed pieces and laid them out on the floor in front of the chosen wall. It took awhile to find just the right arrangement for the wall. The trick is to find a good balance. You want to balance the bigger with the smaller. I also had to balance the white and off-white art backgrounds. Keep all frames pretty close together with about 1-2 inch gaps in between. Add and take away frames until you find the sweet spot.

Wall Collage

Now, most professional collage-ers (whoever they are) will tell you to draw out the pattern on paper and get out the level to find the most precise angles. Well, I made this wall without doing any of those things. You may want to at least take a picture of your set-up to refer back to before you get started. I just eyeballed it. I memorized right about where one picture overlapped another and got to work. I’m not the type of girl who likes to fuss over things.

Finished Collage

Then, I just hammered away until they were all secure (which is really hard for me to do because I don’t like tainting perfectly smooth walls, even if they’re my own). You’ll want to be careful with the nails too, avoiding any electrical wires and ideally pounding the nails into studs. It’s nice when your whole family takes a hunting trip and leaves you with your whole house as your open canvas. Oh the possibilities!

vintage collage wall

Now, I really love walking past this wall. It really makes me smile. Oh yeah, and the best part? I only paid about $6 for this entire project. I paid 50 cents for the vintage picture and around $3 for each of the wooden cards. The rest of the items were gifted or free!

Other good gallery collage wall resources for those who like a little more structure:

How to Hang Art Groupings
Tips for Installing a Gallery Wall
Wall Art Guide
How to Create a Gallery Wall on a Budget
Eight Ways to Display Artwork on a Budget

DIY Jewelry Organization Makeover

My jewelry collection was an eyesore. Let’s just put it at that (you’ll see). I would forget about pieces buried in the bottom drawer of my jewelry shelf, all those necklaces had a tendency to get clumped together, and it just gave me a headache to look at it. Finally, in an attempt to make little spaces like this of my home environment more cozy and put-together, I decided to tackle the jewelry organization project head-on. With a little perusing on Pinterest, I put together some rough ideas of what I wanted the finished project to look like and headed to the thrift store.
I went through about three phases of putting this project together over the course of about a week, so I’m going to share those with you in case it provides some inspiration for you too:
Phase I
Thrifting a jewelry holder and giving it a makeover
Thrifted wooden spoon holder
What began its life as a collector spoon holder (I think??) is now the bearer of all my jewelry.
I went to the thrift store with the sole purpose of finding some old forgotten knick-knack shelf to repurpose, since they’re usually quite easy to come by. After perusing the correct aisle, I didn’t come across any that I was satisfied with. The selection was pretty picked over at the time I got there, so I went on my next mission in the store, to find some 16×20 frames. By chance, I returned to that original aisle again to return something I decided against buying and did one more quick sweep. This ugly gem was hidden under some other nondescript wooden things. It’s really made out of some quite durable wood and had that nice drawer on the bottom for earrings and such. Score!

After work the next day, I took a trip to the hardware store and stood a full 5 minutes in the paint aisle trying to decide what color I wanted this bad boy to be. I had green in my hand, but I was still debating. Our bedroom is green, but what if it didn’t quite match? I finally thought, why not make the jewelry shelf match some of the jewelry itself with a fresh coat of silver? While I was at the hardware store, I also picked out two drawer knobs and some ring screws to add to the shelf for extra storage.

Silver jewelry organizer
The finished product. A HUGE improvement!

Hubster helped me find the right screw length for the side knobs, but I did all the work! These knobs and extra screws on the bottom provide extra storage for longer necklaces and such.
Phase II
Cleaning the jewelry
While I was going through my jewelry, deciding what to keep and what to donate, I came across a few pieces I still really like but that have become quite tarnished with age. With a little research online, I decided to try lining a glass casserole dish with tin foil, sprinkling baking soda over the jewelry, and pouring water over the top. This worked for some of the jewelry, but I had to go back and rub toothpaste on a few items to really get them to shine again. No expensive jewelry cleaner required!
Baking soda and tin foil for tarnished jewelry

Phase III
Jewelry organization

In order to tame the chaos that my jewelry had become, I wanted the finished project to be as orderly and visually appealing as possible. The first thing I did was gather some silver cardstock from my scrapbooking collection. I made these nice earring cards by simply poking holes in the folded cardstock with a thick tapestry needle that I had, but I’m sure a safety pin would’ve done the trick. I absolutely adore how my earrings are all organized and easy to grab now. I can get a good look at them all with one quick glance. And none of them are buried in a mess, only to never be used again. In fact, today I’m wearing a pair of earrings I had forgotten I even had!
Next, I strung all my necklaces on the spoon holder thingies, which turned out to be great necklace holders. Hubster happened to have a nail that perfectly matched the silver shelf, so I used that to affix the organizer to the wall behind our dresser. Now all my necklaces are completely visible, making getting dressed in the morning quick and easy.


Before

It pains me a bit to even show this (bad lighting notwithstanding) “before” picture. It’s really unnerving to keep my jewelry in such a disarray. And you can’t even see the dust bunnies collected there. *Shiver*

After

Not only does my jewelry look much better, but now my collection of glass perfume bottles is also on display again. Those pretties were kind of shoved behind my jewelry shelf and piled on with…random things. Now they’re all out for show again, just as I like them.

I’ve been collecting these pretties since High School
Ah much better

I forgot I even had this little ring holder in all my mess of things. It came in handy since I didn’t really have any other viable, convenient place to store my rings. The ring holder came with a matching vintage mirror and brush/comb set that I have on the dresser too. The vintage “dressing table” theme suits me perfectly!

Jewelry Storage Idea
That’s a wrap! I feel much more comfortable in my room now that I don’t have to look away from my dresser. Tackling these small spaces in my home, one at a time, has done wonders on my comfort level. I am so completely satisfied with these results and pretty satisfied that I tackled this project all myself.

How do you organize your jewelry at home? I’d love to see pictures or hear about your solutions too.

DIY Jewelry Organization Makeover

My jewelry collection was an eyesore. Let’s just put it at that (you’ll see). I would forget about pieces buried in the bottom drawer of my jewelry shelf, all those necklaces had a tendency to get clumped together, and it just gave me a headache to look at it. Finally, in an attempt to make little spaces like this of my home environment more cozy and put-together, I decided to tackle the jewelry organization project head-on. With a little perusing on Pinterest, I put together some rough ideas of what I wanted the finished project to look like and headed to the thrift store.
I went through about three phases of putting this project together over the course of about a week, so I’m going to share those with you in case it provides some inspiration for you too:
Phase I
Thrifting a jewelry holder and giving it a makeover
Thrifted wooden spoon holder
What began its life as a collector spoon holder (I think??) is now the bearer of all my jewelry.
I went to the thrift store with the sole purpose of finding some old forgotten knick-knack shelf to repurpose, since they’re usually quite easy to come by. After perusing the correct aisle, I didn’t come across any that I was satisfied with. The selection was pretty picked over at the time I got there, so I went on my next mission in the store, to find some 16×20 frames. By chance, I returned to that original aisle again to return something I decided against buying and did one more quick sweep. This ugly gem was hidden under some other nondescript wooden things. It’s really made out of some quite durable wood and had that nice drawer on the bottom for earrings and such. Score!

After work the next day, I took a trip to the hardware store and stood a full 5 minutes in the paint aisle trying to decide what color I wanted this bad boy to be. I had green in my hand, but I was still debating. Our bedroom is green, but what if it didn’t quite match? I finally thought, why not make the jewelry shelf match some of the jewelry itself with a fresh coat of silver? While I was at the hardware store, I also picked out two drawer knobs and some ring screws to add to the shelf for extra storage.

Silver jewelry organizer
The finished product. A HUGE improvement!

Hubster helped me find the right screw length for the side knobs, but I did all the work! These knobs and extra screws on the bottom provide extra storage for longer necklaces and such.
Phase II
Cleaning the jewelry
While I was going through my jewelry, deciding what to keep and what to donate, I came across a few pieces I still really like but that have become quite tarnished with age. With a little research online, I decided to try lining a glass casserole dish with tin foil, sprinkling baking soda over the jewelry, and pouring water over the top. This worked for some of the jewelry, but I had to go back and rub toothpaste on a few items to really get them to shine again. No expensive jewelry cleaner required!
Baking soda and tin foil for tarnished jewelry

Phase III
Jewelry organization

In order to tame the chaos that my jewelry had become, I wanted the finished project to be as orderly and visually appealing as possible. The first thing I did was gather some silver cardstock from my scrapbooking collection. I made these nice earring cards by simply poking holes in the folded cardstock with a thick tapestry needle that I had, but I’m sure a safety pin would’ve done the trick. I absolutely adore how my earrings are all organized and easy to grab now. I can get a good look at them all with one quick glance. And none of them are buried in a mess, only to never be used again. In fact, today I’m wearing a pair of earrings I had forgotten I even had!
Next, I strung all my necklaces on the spoon holder thingies, which turned out to be great necklace holders. Hubster happened to have a nail that perfectly matched the silver shelf, so I used that to affix the organizer to the wall behind our dresser. Now all my necklaces are completely visible, making getting dressed in the morning quick and easy.


Before

It pains me a bit to even show this (bad lighting notwithstanding) “before” picture. It’s really unnerving to keep my jewelry in such a disarray. And you can’t even see the dust bunnies collected there. *Shiver*

After

Not only does my jewelry look much better, but now my collection of glass perfume bottles is also on display again. Those pretties were kind of shoved behind my jewelry shelf and piled on with…random things. Now they’re all out for show again, just as I like them.

I’ve been collecting these pretties since High School
Ah much better

I forgot I even had this little ring holder in all my mess of things. It came in handy since I didn’t really have any other viable, convenient place to store my rings. The ring holder came with a matching vintage mirror and brush/comb set that I have on the dresser too. The vintage “dressing table” theme suits me perfectly!

Jewelry Storage Idea
That’s a wrap! I feel much more comfortable in my room now that I don’t have to look away from my dresser. Tackling these small spaces in my home, one at a time, has done wonders on my comfort level. I am so completely satisfied with these results and pretty satisfied that I tackled this project all myself.

How do you organize your jewelry at home? I’d love to see pictures or hear about your solutions too.

Boy Scout Log Painting DIY

I made these little log pictures as a gift for my son. His room has an outdoorsy theme, so I figured the boy scouts look would fit right in.

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The designs are loosely based on the the merit badges from the official Boy Scouts site. I chose Forestry, Astronomy and Canoeing as the three themes that I would use when designing the pictures. I wanted the designs to be simple yet meaningful. We spend a lot of time in the out-of-doors, and these are three subjects that I can’t wait to explore more with my son. We’ve already watched the Perseid meteor shower together, hiked through many-a-forest and sailed across the water in our kayaks, so these insignias hold a special connection for us.

LogSupplies

Supplies

1. Three raw slabs of wood. I happened to find these fine specimens at the thrift store for $0.50, but you could easily make your own with a thick branch, saw, and sandpaper.
2. Acrylic paints
3. Paintbrush
4. Frame hangers

Directions

1. Sketch out your designs first. It’s easier to transfer a sketch to the wood when you finally find a look you like. It may take a few tries to get there.

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2. Pencil the design on the wood and paint inside the lines as desired.

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ThreeLogs

4. I used the same color scheme across all three pictures to keep the look color-coordinated and to make them match his room.

LogPalette

5. Meanwhile, if you have an extra paintbrush and painting surface, get your child involved too. Mine wanted to paint too, so I handed him my notebook and let him explore his abstract side.

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6. Hammer the frame hangers into the back and hang as desired. If you’re hanging these in a sunny room, you might want to add a layer of finish over the top to help prevent the paint from fading.

I hope to do some more experiments with log slabs in the future. Maybe even use some leftover chalkboard paint that I have. We shall see. I really like having a few raw wood accents here and there in my home. They have a natural and raw aura about them without getting too woodsy and country for my taste.

DIY Key Peg Board Makeover

This hodge podge of keys really bothered me, especially once I started dreaming up ways to streamline the look a little bit.

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I bought a handful of these key tags and used my brand new 1-1/4″ hole punch. The circles just happened to be exactly the right size for the key tags.

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I removed all the ties that the key tags came with and replaced them with some hemp ties and matching beads. I glued the 1-1/4″ circles (with a standard hole punched out) to one side of the key tag and labeled the key on the other side. Hint: use “code names” for the keys so if any unsavory intruders happen upon the pegboard, they won’t know exactly which key is for the garage and which is for the Mercedes. You know, just in case…

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Here’s the finished look. I could’ve made it look a little cuter, but I was going for a cohesive, understated look here. Because I’m sure my husband wouldn’t appreciate his motorcycle keys all decked out in frilly pink ribbons with embroidery.

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By the way, hubster is the one who made the pegboard itself. You’ll have to ask him about those details. He got some quality scrap wood from work, drilled holes in it for the key hangers, and stained the board dark walnut. There was probably some sanding and varnishing in there somewhere too.

Eight Ways to Display Artwork on a Budget

Displaying artwork in your home does not have to be a pocket-burner. In fact, most of the artwork in my home cost less than $25 each. Let’s talk about easy ways to add art, culture, themes and color to your home for a lady on a budget:

1. Art Prints: purchasing prints of original paintings happens to be very cost-effective. The images above are prints, even though you can’t tell by looking at them. The left image on the top pic came from a bookstore in Northern Wisconsin. The one on the right was from an art auction on our honeymoon cruise. Just for attending the auction, each person received an art print for free. The bottom image shows three framed images we have hanging in our son’s room. Each frame contains a print we bought at an art store in Florida, supporting local artists. If you can’t tell, the theme in our son’s room (and most of the house) is nature-centered, and these prints pull that theme together easily.

2. Make friends with artists: this one just sort of happened by default, but my best friend happens to be an uber-talented watercolorist. She has gifted us several original paintings and prints that we excitedly hang from our walls. Her mother also gifted us an original watercolor that hangs in our bedroom. These beautiful, hand-painted images are some of the most cherished gifts we’ve ever received.

3. Scour vintage and consignment shops: The painting above was purchased for $4 at a local consignment shop. This picture hangs in our office, which is painted the same blue and yellow in the picture. Score!

4. Frame art greeting cards: This is a close-up of an image from above. Not only is this a print of a watercolor, but it also came in greeting card form. Some spectacular art can be bought in greeting card form for usually around $1 to $5. They often fit perfect inside 4×6 or 5×7 matted frames.

5. Book pages: Sometimes book pages are beautiful enough to frame, especially special vintage finds. Sometimes, even children’s book pages are whimsical enough to display. Above is a garland of pages from a $0.10 thrift store book, hanging in our son’s playroom. Who could resist that outrageous cow anyhow?

6. Mirrors as art: Mirrors have a magical way of adding dimension and extra perceived space to your home. This mirror anchors our side-by-side dining room windows. The frame also has a beautiful ornate design with an antique-y finish. Etched, vanity, or other artistic mirrors make wonderful substitutes for works of art in your home.

7. Printed book pages on Etsy: I purchased the prints above from a local brick and mortar handmade shop, but the artist also sells on Etsy. I bought three matching 8-1/2″ x 11″ frames and three coordinating vintage-y scrapbook paper pages to display the prints in. (Sorry I can’t remember the artist off-hand). These food-themed beauties hang in my kitchen, of course.

8. Pretty fabric or papers also make lovely frame-worthy art. I’ve seen a lot of vignette-style arrangements of framed scrapbook paper. In fact, I framed some ornate Oriental fabric for my sister for Christmas as part of an Oriental home decor-themed gift. This can be a great way to anchor the colors you have chosen for any particular room in your house, especially when you can’t find any artwork to match.

As a note: most of the actual frames in my home were picked up at Hobby Lobby on their 1/2-off days, which happen just about every other week.

Happy decorating!

Easiest Fall Wreath Ever!

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This rag wreath is one of the easiest decorations you could ever put together, and it will bring festive fall flavor to your front door or living room wall faster than you can say “buy it at a craft fair.”

Materials:
*about 1/4-yard fabric (or shirt material, leftover ribbons, etc) in warm fall colors
*a twig wreath
*fabric scissors

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Directions:

1. Cut your fabric into strips about 1/2 to 1-inch thick and long enough to tie around the wreath.

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2. Double-knot the strips at regular intervals around the wreath.
3. Um, wait. That’s it!!! Well, you might want to trim the bottom ties so they don’t hang too far down.

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You can vary this in so many ways. You can vary the colors and textures by alternating two, three or four different fabric patterns. You could glue an arrangement of leaves and acorns at the bottom corner. I found my twig wreath at the thrift store for $1. I already had the fabric. Keep your eyes peeled, because you can often find gaudy already-decorated wreaths at the thrift store that are super-easy to take apart. Red, orange and brown fabric can come from anything from rags to shirts to faded corduroy pants. Then, for Christmas, you can start over with red and green strips!

For the Love of the Vignette

Vignette [vin-yet] n.
1. Any small pleasing picture or view.
2. A small, graceful literary sketch.

Turns out I love a vignette in any of its forms. In high school Honors English, after reading a book, the teacher asked us what the biggest lesson we learned from it was. I was astounded to learn about a new way of writing. I never knew you could write a whole book in vignettes. What an epiphany! I never thought I could manage writing an entire novel with plot climaxes, antagonists and foreshadowing. But I knew I could piece something beautiful together with soft, intertwining vignettes.

Fast forward a few years, and I have another epiphany. What? You can create vignettes in your home too? I’ve said it before, but interior design is something I knew almost zero about. But oh, the idea of beautifully-curated little landing spots for the eyes. I had been using them from the time I had my own room growing up, but I didn’t have a name for them and I hadn’t learned the skills of scale, balance and color.

Style Your Space

In her Style Your Space e-course, Rachel Denbow makes the compilation of the vignette seem absolutely why-didn’t-I-do-this-before, do-able. My favorite part of the vignette? The way they can prevent “dumping zones.” These are my least favorite parts of the house where library books, mail, random tools and toy parts pile up like pigeons around a bag lady. And they zap my energy whenever I look at them. Place a graceful vignette in the same spot, and like magic, the dumping stops. It’s as though all the males living in the house actually realize the aesthetic they’d be destroying if they “dumped” there. Yessss!!!

So, here’s my first shot. I’m no pro, but I grabbed a few things from the house that I already had, a peacock feather my husband bought the same day for me, a thrifted pot, some acorns from one of our picnics and some little seed pods I plucked at a local corn maze. See, I’ve already started to notice the beautiful patterns and colors around me, even in subtle, easily-overlooked places.

I love the mix of feathery and sharp, round and triangular, short and tall. Obviously green is my favorite color. The pumpkin stands out a little, but is anchored back in by the peeking green ridges. Plus, this makes my least-favorite piece of furniture (an old VHS cabinet) so much easier to look at.

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