The boy’s boring bedroom- Before:
We started with this:
Back story~ Not too long ago, the boy moved to the guest bedroom because it was a bit roomier than his bedroom. Given its new occupant, it was time to change out the floral valance and paint over the yellow, white and cream sponge painting technique on the walls. Okay, maybe it was time to cover the sponge painting anyway, right?
It was time to update the bedroom for my preteen boy! First, the boy chose his colors: key lime green and bright aqua. Key lime? Bright aqua! Seriously?! Yup, and with orange and red accents, please. That’s what he wanted and, after gentle steering toward more sedate colors proved unsuccessful, that’s what he got.
Before he went to camp for a week, he helped pack up his room for the upcoming redo. We decided it would be fun for me to do the make-over “as a surprise.” He had picked the paint colors, but we planned that I would redo his room while he was gone, and then when he returned from camp we would have our own HGTV moment with a reveal!
See the desk? Oh, my. What was I thinking when I originally painted that thing?! But, sweetly, the boy said he liked it Just the way it is (he was definitely trying to save me some work, sweet boy), but it got a well-deserved make-over too.
Aside~ At the same time I was getting ready to do his bedroom, I did his bathroom. See the several swaths of more calming colors I tried to decide to use on the wall in there? Look at two posts previous to this one to see how that make-over turned out.
The preteen helped get everything in his bedroom moved, the heaviest pieces of furniture were placed in the center of the room. See the wooden bird hanging from the ceiling in the top right of the picture below? It became a bird of a different color.
The boy thought a basketball hoop at the end of his bed on his bedroom wall was a great idea. Me? Not so much. But it is his room so…
This old plastic indoor Koosh basketball hoop was a Goodwill find for only $1.50. I primed it, painted the center rim shot area with silver and red paint, and then added colorful paper I already had on hand. I used the same paper to cover the light switch (notice that during the reveal photos, later). After, covering it, out came the Mod Podge to seal everything. I turned the basketball hoop inside out so that the word “Koosh” that was splattered all over it would be less obtrusive, and I also made the bottom opening larger to accommodate a bigger ball, trimming it in coordinating orange bias tape to finish it off.
Here’s a shot of that bird of a different color! I love how it turned out. I offers a very fun punch of color! The bird was a wooden puzzle the boy’s grandma gave him to work on one day as they waited for me at a doctor’s appointment. It was lovely natural but I think it is WOW painted orange. 🙂
The abstract artwork on the orange wire shelf, made by the boy in art at school and framed in a $2 frame from Goodwill, is now proudly hung on the turquoise wall.
Allow me to interrupt this boy’s bedroom make-over to bring you a Helpful Hint: Clean up as you go! But if you plan to use the same brushes and roller for the same colors later, or even the next day, and you don’t want to wash and rinse out your brushes, simply wrap them separately in plastic wrap. That little trick works great!
There on the bookshelf headboard is the raggedy old stuffed cat my son has slept with since he was a baby. That cat used to be big and fluffy. Now it is sunken and all but bald from being petted and well-loved (I even made it a fur suit to cover its pitiful nakedness.) On either side of it are black woven baskets from the Dollar Store ($2/each), which I wove in some orange bias tape and turquoise cord– they are rather hard to see in the photo, however.
Notice the desk has been painted? And the old Herman Miller orange plastic chair I pulled out of a garbage dumpster years ago- free! To the left of the bulletin board is my son’s name in large black wooden letters, running vertically, which I blurred out. The photo on the right was taken after he got all his stuff “organized” on the desk.
The turquoise color on the side of the desk is the same paint as the turquoise wall color. It is not nearly as bright as it appears to be in the photo.
We already had the Kandinsky print in the lower level but I thought it would bring so many of the bedroom colors together so I hauled it upstairs The print and colorful paper lanterns strung across the valance mirror each other and work well together.
I still need to make the bed skirt, which will be made out of the same material as the valance and have a two-inch border at the bottom of orange fabric (the same fabric with which I covered the spray painted orange lamp).
I seriously worked the full week while he was at camp, getting the bedroom and bathroom finished. On the day he returned, we had the reveal! It was ALL worth it!
I think he likes his new room!
The painting he is holding is of his dog, which I painted in the colors of his room. Fun!
Home sweet home.
So, I am stiillll going through every room purging stuff, getting ready for the garage/yard (threatening-to-spill-over-into-the-neighbors’-yards) sale that will happen… sometime this summer- sheesh! And there was one area I had a very hard time downsizing: our books. Our books! Our lovely books.
I agree with Edan Lepucki that our books tell a story about us. Our books tell our values, interests, and life journey. Like Edan, when I go into someone’s home, I am always drawn to their bookshelves and linger there, taking in the occupants’ story through the choice of their books. After all, books on a bookshelf tell us a story, beyond the words printed on the pages between its covers.
I didn’t think I could ruthlessly part with our books, our story. But I did.
Because… there might just be such a thing as too many books. Yes, our books told our story (from college texts to my son’s board books). But the majority of our books usually sat on shelves gathering dust. Wouldn’t our books better serve someone else who would like to read a few? Wouldn’t our books be better off moving on, circulating, offering someone else: a quiet rainy afternoon’s enjoyment; information or instruction; or a tome to add to their drafty bookshelf? I thought, Yes. So, it began.
- The largest (hundreds of books!) pile was for the garage sale; after which, they will be donated to a local charitable thrift store.
- One small pile was recycling (the book pages were falling out or the books were damaged beyond simple repair)– we will recycle the paper.
- Another pile was for books to take to school for my students. I purposely tried to keep this pile manageable and smaller.
- One tidy pile of four books belong to others- I looked in the front cover of a couple books that I was unsure when or where I got them and found I had borrowed them. They are ready to be returned to the rightful owner.
- One last pile of three books will be mailed to two of my students. I believe the students would particularly appreciate owning them. I will mail the books this summer as a special surprise for them.
After I finished purging and the knee-deep piles of books were hauled out to the crowded garage, pile after pile after pile, and the bookshelves were cleaned and the remaining books were dusted and rearranged a bit, my son said, “Wow, it looks empty in here.” It did. And it felt more than fine, it felt good.
While it is true the books on our bookshelves tell our personal story, remind us of our journey, and show others we value reading and learning, for me it was time to let them go. I still value reading, learning, and growing, but I no longer have decades of floor to ceiling books packing shelves which tell my story. And it is okay.
So I’ll leave you with this~ LOVE! The good folks at the Iowa City Public Library purge books too. Here is an inspired way they recycled some of their children’s books:
The Library playhouse is child-size, of course, and built by Nathan Nissen, a University of Iowa Civil Engineering graduate student at the time. After, it was finished, it was painted by artist Deanne Wortman and her son, Eric Wortman.
Okay, so I really, really, reeeeally need to have a garage (which will definitely spill-out-into-the-yard) sale. For the last couple of weeks, between doing this & that I have been going through closets, drawers, storage rooms, cabinets, cubbies, and nooks and crannies, throwing into the garage anything and everything I don’t find beautiful, needed, or used in the last year. Believe me, the garage is filling up. Fast.
And I still have a long way to go. It feels rather endless, actually, so I may just need to start this garage sale soon, whether I have gone through every tiny little item or not. I am SO ready to see it all GO. But I still need to organize it, clean or spruce up some stuff, price it, place ads, etc.
Okay, here’s my ulterior motive for posting the picture here… sharing the picture might be the impetus I need to get it done and ready by this weekend. Also, my son is concerned the neighbors might start to think we’re hoarders.
So, you know I love my tea! But fumbling around in several different boxes to make my take on Aveda Comforting Tea was a pain, so I made a handy-dandy tea caddy to hold all my various tea bags! This is a green craft because I used boxes from various teas and a couple Quaker Oats Instant Oatmeal boxes I had on-hand. (speaking of which: I love the lower sugar maple and brown sugar, don’t you?! I add part of a packet with half a handful of steel cut oats. Yum!) Anyhoo, here’s what I did:
Gathered boxes. I thought, I betcha I can make some drawers out of these! So I put the two oatmeal boxes together, glued, taped, and added some scrapbooking paper to the outside. I sealed the outside with Mod Podge (remind me later to share my recipe for homemade Mod Podge!) and made drawers out of the original tea boxes.
See the cloudy and streaky Mod Podge? No worries, folks, the Mod Podge will dry clear. And it does a dandy job of sealing and protecting the outside from stains and smudges. I used a different, more textural, paper for the drawers, being careful to line up the fibers so they matched.
I used letters I already had on-hand to spell out TEA. (Seriously, I bought nothing to do this craft. Score!) Again, I slathered the outside with Mod Podge a couple more times, allowing each coat to dry completely between coats. Next, I used small craft charms for the drawer pulls. The top charm says, “Life is measured in moments,” and the bottom charm is a grandfather clock. Tea time! Love!
Do you like tea? Okay, so I am rather obsessed with it, of late. If I could afford to, I’d drink Aveda Comforting Tea All. The. Time. But at around $26-28 for 4.9 ounces… uhh, yeah, it is not happenin’. So what did I do? I came up with my own recipe for Aveda Comforting Tea– a LOT less expensive.
An aside, first- I had a pretty gla$$ pitcher that looked lovely holding my tea… but it cracked from the hot liquid, so I got in the car and headed to the thrift store where I bought an old 12-cup Mr. Coffee decanter for $1.50. Brilliant. It might not look near as pretty but I can always spruce it up (oh, yes I just might!) and I don’t have to worry about it cracking from the almost-boiling water.
Recipe for a 12-cup decanter. Boil the water and pour over 6 packets of the celestial seasonings peppermint tea, one packet of the mint green tea, and one packet of the licorice tea. Let it seep for 5-7 minutes and you’re good to go, but I prefer it chilled.
I would also prefer more licorice flavor, but did you know it can cause some serious side effects if too much is consumed over a period of time? Yeah, I didn’t know that either, until I started getting headaches after drinking a couple of cups of licorice tea everyday. I thought, Hm… could this be related? SoI did some checking. Bottom line: be careful with the licorice, just to be on the safe side.
(btw, now I order all my teas from Amazon… cheaper and delivered right to my door!)
After figuring out how to make a passable concoction for Comforting Tea, I decided all my little various tea bags needed a home…