So I created something yesterday that made me very happy. We were re-homing the bookcases from Eli’s room and one of them made its way down to the living room corner. I decided this wouldn’t make the living room look too crowded if we didn’t put any books above the second shelf from the bottom, but it was a perfect place to actually store music books properly and gave our small pregnancy, childcare, parenting section a home on half the shelf with the gardening books on the other half.
I’ve discovered a new kind of freedom within the constraints of a tight budget, and that is a freedom to be creative. When I crave new decorations, there’s hardly any money for them (and what we have had, we’ve spent on Eli’s room! that low VOC paint isn’t cheap…) but it’s made me branch out, figure out how to make things with things I already have, and it’s made me grateful for what I do have. Plus it keeps me from adding more to a house that is admittedly quite full. I can just figure out new things to do with what I have, or with what I can make with what I have.
Now, granted, all this stuff at some point or another was bought, the pots, the jars, the books and so forth, but it’s found new life today in this arrangement. And instead of buying new things and getting rid of the old, I’ve created new with old. And there’s something deeply satisfying about that process…
I knew I wanted to keep the top three shelves simple and decorative, and, well, the only term I could think of was “organic.”
So I went shopping. Not at the store, mind you, but in my house. I brought in some irish moss that hadn’t gotten planted in the fall inside because it was dying in its little pots outside and put two of the plants in my old terra cotta pots. I love these pots when they get to be at least a year or two old, because they naturally get all weathered because of minerals seeping through the porous clay from the soil inside.
The tea light holders are jelly jars with masonry sand in them, and a bit of jute twine tied around them. I made them in the fall and re-homed them from my kitchen (though I might make up a few more now for the kitchen!). The flowers are dried yellow yarrow from last summer? or the summer before even maybe, it holds up pretty well. The “vase” they’re in is a recycled glass soap dispenser I got at target, but the pump gave out after a couple of weeks… Disappointing, but I recycled it again into a vase.
In the process of cleaning out Eli’s room, I discovered a half dozen or so paper backs that were in no condition really to give away, so I’ve turned them into decor. Three of them with their covers ripped off and tied with hemp jewelry cord make a neat art object on the second shelf down.
And of course, there are the Christmas ornaments made with pages from a book re-homed and set in a wooden bowl.
And one I accordion folded 42 pages of into this wreath, which consequently was the only money I spent on the project. The pages are hot glued onto a 12″ wire wreath form from Joann’s that ran me $2.49.
This project was inspired by one in the latest Mary Jane’s Farm Magazine… have I mentioned I love that magazine?? So inspiring