A few of my (current) favorite things

Like I said last post, this fall I have had fun making crafty things in my free time. It’s such a fun release to make something yourself. One, because I’m cheap!–but two, because it’s satisfying to know that I have created something (that I find) beautiful.

My first project after we got back was painting the end of our hallway with chalkboard paint. Our hallway is long and narrow and goes from our living room to our bedroom, study, and bathroom. I was always uncertain what to do at the end of the hallway–I didn’t want to hang a picture because we don’t have any artwork big enough to be a focal point there and couldn’t do a small table or anything that protrudes out of the wall because that would block the doorways.

Enter, chalkboard paint. I don’t know that they sell actual chalkboard paint over here so I mixed some up myself: one cup acrylic paint + 2 tablespoons tile grout. (Thank you, Martha Stewart!) Paint on, then sand (I didn’t do this part, which is probably why the paint comes off a little still–oops), and then condition with chalk.

Chalkboard paint might be a little overdone in blogland these days but I don’t care, it makes me happy. Our wall has had different purposes in its short two-month lifespan, but this one right now is my favorite, even if it’s not the most beautiful. Every day, I try to write down at least one thing for which I’m thankful. It’s been helpful and encouraging for me to remember that I have so, so much to be grateful for. Writing it down like this, where I see it everyday and watch my list grow by the week, has been a concrete sign of the goodness I’ve experienced. I’ve especially loved my list on bad days, the days when it’s hard to be thankful. There have been times when I literally run to my chalkboard wall and stare at it blankly, knowing that remembering my blessings is how I find faith for the future.

So, chalkboard paint. Do it, love it, live with it. This may be the only DIY thing I’ve ever done that has changed my daily attitude. I recommend it.

So. Next up was recovering this old lamp in our guest bedroom. I don’t have any before pictures, but the lampshade was a dingy off-white with ugly tea-colored stains. Yuck! I got the fabric during our trip to the fabric market and hot glued it over the old shade. Super easy, and much better.

Last, I made this cardboard “&” and stuck it here, in front of the TV. Michael doesn’t understand the point, but I like it anyway. Again, you can’t buy cardboard letters here so I found a font I liked, printed it off and cut it out, and then traced the outline onto an old cardboard box that my friends at the xiaomaibu (small-buy-place) gave me from their discard pile. I glued it together, spray painted it, and then finally glued on green piping in the form of floral wire.

I’ve also made a couple of wreaths recently–one for our living room and one for the front door to our apartment. Pictures of those next time!


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