A site about our home, doing it yourself, science in schools, and the ramblings of a girl who appreciates a joy in her life.

Wednesday, February 29

Putting yourself into decorating

Part of decorating a home is putting your heart into it. Over time I learned to move away from decorating to match things I had seen in store (Eat your heart out IKEA), and taking bits and pieces I had seen to make one whole cohesive element. I literally used to take a picture of a room and try to come as close as I could to it. I can tear walls out, rebuild a room, some electrical work and drywalling, but try to get me to decorate? I thought for sure that was only for the pros or those people out there naturally gifted with artistic talents. Coming from a very strong science background, I tend more towards straight angles, matched sets, and dichromatic color schemes. Putting a little spice and personality in to a space was hanging up some pictures.

Experience has definitely taught me to take some risks and to make decorating personal. One of my favorite projects highlights my life together with my husband and takes a task we used to do in grade school to a whole new level. Collages-memory boxes, etc. These stories in a box can seem hard but when you just decide to do it, you can make a great home decoration that is not only personal but honestly really cool too!

 My favorite collage box, is the one that holds all of our tassels. We get these great tassels for graduating, but its hard to find what to do with them. We did not really need a million pictures of us with our tassels hanging off of them hanging around the house. Plus, my husband and I are really proud of our educations and what those tassels represent. They meant too much to us to throw away or put in a box. My husband holds two Bachelor's degrees, one in Philosophy and one in Biology. he also has a Master's degree in Biology. I have a Bachelor's degree in Chemistry, and see that empty space to the right, well that is going to hold the tassel to my Master's degree in Environmental Science this summer-Stay tuned!

To make the box, I purchased a shallow memory box from Joann's for about $10.00. I covered the back of the board with scrap-booking paper. Because the tassels are so colorful, I wanted a neutral paper that while it would make a great accent would not stand out too much. The black and white letters are a fun play for education. I tried to hang the gold bars of each tassel at the same height, but since they are all slightly different sizes it make it kind of hard. (The matching tassels for 2004 and 2006 are because my husband and I went to the same undergraduate college.)
This past summer we went on a road trip down to California. Lets just say there were some highlights and quite a bit of low points. The best part of the trip for us (and Yes we went to Disneyland, however it was on the same day as all of the 5th, 8th, and 12th grades in LA!)  was our day spent in San Francisco. To make the box, I gathered everything that I had gotten that day together. 

I picked up the box at Joann's for about $9. It was an accidental purchase. I had meant to get a bigger box for a different collage. I then picked items that I thought fit well together and told the story of the day. I included a couple of the ticket stubs so it would say the date we went. I also put in two pictures that we took on the day to let people know that we had gone and it was not just a shrine to San Francisco. I used sticky baked Velcro tape to make the pieces stick to the board, and then used double sided tape to layer the pictures over each other. To get the nice map in the background, I refolded a tourist map of the places where we had gone, so it stood out more.
The very first collage box that I made had to do with our Hawaii trip. In 2009, we went on our very first big vacation as a couple. We came back with a lot of great memories and knick-knacks. It’s hard to have them all over though, so I wanted a way to put a few of them together to highlight some of our great memories. I got the deepest shadow box that I could find at Michael’s Craft Store. I then just started to layer in items until it had a nice look. I tied string from the top of the box to hang the shell necklaces from. In the bottom left corner is a little statue that always makes people laugh when they notice it. I decided to not put paper on the back, because I was worried that it might take away from the great things on top of it.

So really this whole post is just about how fun it’s been to find ways to make decorating our home personal. I like having the boxes up because it’s entertaining to explain them to people and when I see them I get to remember all the great memories that we had.

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