I've learned that my penchant for DIYs is not especially common or normal. And I definitely get it--painting furniture, making things from scratch, shopping for supplies at the hardware store, it all takes time and effort and energy. I myself love to DIY because it fuels my creative juices and stimulates my brain and brings me joy but I understand that isn't the case for most people.
Under certain circumstances, though, I do think there's a pretty good case to be made for the DIY route regardless of interest level. Let me use my recent project as an example.
Our bathroom was in desperate need of a place to store shower supplies. I have mentioned before that clawfoot tubs, while charming, do present some technical challenges. I've been mulling over different options for the past few months and finally decided we needed a wall shelf on the curved end of the tub (as opposed to the shower head end).
I looked at a few shelves online and was shocked at how expensive some of them were! First point for DIY--it's almost always easier on your wallet. I also didn't want to settle for a style I didn't love. I had a vision for this shelf (that fit in with the rustic ski town spa style our bathroom reminds me of) and I was finding that what was in my mind didn't exist out in the real world. (Surely this happens to you too, right?) Doing It Yourself is wonderful because you can choose the colors, textures, materials--every inch of the design is purely your call.
And a final reason for why a DIY made sense for this project (even for someone who dislikes DIYs): it was so painless. Certain projects do take a little skill, or special tools, or might be frustrating, but this one truly was as easy as putting up curtains or hanging a piece of art. I did add an extra step by spray painting the aluminum brackets a copper color, but other than that all I did was drill them into the wall and rest this beautiful piece of floor tile on top (similar to my plant stand, where the marble is heavy enough to sit on the pipes without any actual adhesion). The tile also had to be cut to size but my trusty friends at Lowe's did that for me for free.
So that's my case for Doing It Yourself. When a purchase is prohibitively expensive. When what you have your heart set on just isn't out there. When making is as easy (or almost as easy) as buying. And maybe, just maybe, you'll discover you even have a little fun. I can just about guarantee that your pride in the final product will make it all worthwhile.
Friday, September 19, 2014
Tuesday, September 16, 2014
We had one of those good-for-the-soul weekends.
We met new people. We tapped our feet while listening to a local a capella group. We picked Mom and Dad up at the train station.
I played some Schubert, we heard some (wonderful) Beethoven.
We roasted a chicken, sampled Virginia sparkling cider, prayed in church.
I shopped with Mama, we drank lots of mugs of tea, we gulped in cool September air.
I locked my keys in the car. (Not good for the soul.)
I was rescued by a combination of Dad, Uber, and USAA Roadside Assistance. Mostly Dad. And he was repaid with more sparkling cider.
We told stories, we joked, we spit out our words during a rousing round of Catch Phrase.
I went to bed tired and thankful. Thankful that our new lives in our new home have plenty of room in them for weekends like this.
p.s. Also good for the soul--painting furniture. The above dresser is in our attic and I'm thinking of painting it in Miss Mustard Seed's "Grain Sack" and updating the hardware. What do you think?
Friday, September 12, 2014
I recently bought this pretty notebook and even prettier pencil both for practical reasons and as a little treat to myself for making it halfway to one of my teaching goals. Hooray! It's fun to celebrate little achievements, don't you think?
Thursday, September 11, 2014
Phew! Almost done with this house tour. I hope you've been enjoying it! One of my motives all along has been to demonstrate (hopefully) that renting a house doesn't have to be limiting. We've been able to make ours feel like home in no time. I think the key is not to be shy about hanging art, making (temporary!) changes, putting up your own curtains and window treatments, and not holding back from settling in and allowing it to become "yours."
Tuesday, September 9, 2014
Our living room is the beating heart of our petite little home. It's a fairly large room that you walk into as soon as you enter the front door. It's a lounging space, a writing area, an entryway, a waiting room for students and parents, a library, and a hangout/conversation space for guests and visitors. We love this room and its many purposes and the great light it gets (hard to tell from my photos, but it's been an overcast few days) and its overall comfort and coziness.
Monday, September 8, 2014
“The gospel of justifying faith means that while Christians are, in themselves still sinful and sinning, yet in Christ, in God’s sight, they are accepted and righteous. So we can say that we are more wicked than we ever dared believe, but more loved and accepted in Christ than we ever dared hope—at the very same time. This creates a radical new dynamic for personal growth. It means that the more you see your own flaws and sins, the more precious, electrifying, and amazing God’s grace appears to you. But on the other hand, the more aware you are of God’s grace and acceptance in Christ, the more able you are to drop your denials and self-defenses and admit the true dimensions and character of your sin."
Thursday, September 4, 2014
If I had three words to describe my ideal bedroom I would choose simple, luxurious, and calming. Simple because sleep and rest come easiest in uncluttered spaces. Luxurious because I learned early on that good sheets and down comforters last forever, never go out of style, and are worth the extra expense for the coziness they provide. Calming because we all need a safe haven in our home, a place to bring a cup of tea and a book on dreary Saturday afternoons, a place to get ready for the day in peace.