Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Simply Mom, Shabby Designer

After I had Jex, I struggled with not losing myself as a person. I have always made an effort to still find time for things that I love. I have always had a passion for creativity. My mind is always dreaming in fabric, and paint swatches. Even as a child growing up I loved to move furniture in my room, and paint crafts. As an adult, my wonderful friend Krysta helped me develop an even greater love for decorating.

This is how I make time for me, "by making life look pretty." It can be with fashion, jewelry, home accessories, scrapbooking, photography... and on and on. I know that all of you have something in your life, that you just love to do. It may be exercise, cooking, reading, sewing, or just anything that makes you smile. I have discovered through experience that we can all learn from each other. I have valued the "teaching moments" that I have from all of my friends who are good or have a passion for things in their life. Some of these talents, I try and I do not enjoy. Others, I have really enjoyed. I have learned so many things from wonderful people. I am thankful for the gifts, talents and passions that Heavenly Father gives us, because I have been privileged to learn so much from others.

From those experiences of growth, I have learned how important it is to share our experiences and knowledge with others. Jonathan has been prodding me to share some of my creative juices on our blog. I think I have finally succumbed, and decided that it just might be fun.

So... on occasion (when I come up with something), I will share some fun ideas about, "making life pretty." Jonathan and I have always lived on a budget, so these ideas will be cheap, and may inspire some of you to do something fun like this in your life. This is the reason for the title Shabby Designer. Most everything I have is a hand me down, is on a major sale, or something I found for free on the side of the road. Then I use my creativity to refurbish this, and "make it pretty."

I hope as I share these ideas you can find something just laying around that you can reuse in your own life. This is just a fun way to inspire you. I also hope this entry inspires you to find time to do something that you enjoy, and then share it with others.

DISCLAIMER: I do not profess to be an expert, nor have I ever taken any design classes. I am just sharing what I love, and what works for me. My motto is: it is not good design if YOU don't love it, and the only rule for design (by my handbook) is if you love it then use it. After all, my design style is called skitsophrenic, and I think it works because I love everything in my space.

Here is my SIMPLE idea for today:

Need to brighten up a space or a room.... add some flowers.

Flowers can add so much liveliness to a room. I had this empty space to fill, and I knew it needed some flowers. The color of the flowers is not matchy matchy to what I have going on in the room, but it is in the same tones. They are a nice green color, just a smidge brighter then my wall.

What makes this a cheap addition is that I already had the vase, and I bought the flowers at Hobby Lobby when they were 1/2 off. That made them $3 a bunch. I used 2 bunches. What a deal, and look at the impact it made. They make me smile every time I look at them.

I also decided it would be fun to carry them around the room a bit. So I took 3 of the flowers out of the bunch, and added them to these 3 small vases. I bought these at Walmart in the pack of 3 for $3. I also thought outside the box, by putting them on our bar. It gives a nice look to a rather overlooked place. So for $3, I carried the look around the room, and brightened up my bar.(you can also buy something called Crystal Water that looks like real water in the bottom of the vase, I did this for added effect... it is not necessary) Crystal Water gels up and will not spill. It also secures the flower in place. This will add about $12 to your project, but if you used your coupon at Hobby Lobby it would save you about $5. It was enough to do both flower projects.

One more tip on Brightening up your space:

I have this fun bookshelf in our house, but it was so boring. I scrounged around the house for some nice things I could add to bring in some color. I had the red picture frame, and I added a fun piece of scrapbook paper inside to add some fun dimension. On the top of the book shelf, I moved some candlesticks that I had in another space, and then gave new life to a pot. This pot had some greenery in it that was just done. My friend Krysta gave me the pot. It was free, and I just bought a $3 bush, and replaced it. The green really adds to the space, and actually gives the big wall some nice color. The vase with the pears in it was $1.50. I bought the pears from my favorite Hobby Lobby. They came in a pack, and of course were 50% off. Then I filled the vase that I already had. These simple tricks brought new life to my rather boring bookshelf, and it only cost me $4.50.

I hope this inspires you to find a place to add a splash of color, by using flowers. You can never go wrong with a nice vase of flowers.

HINT: Don't buy cheap flowers from a $$$ store or Walmart. Invest in some nice ones. They go 50% off all the time at Hobby Lobby. Believe me it is worth it. Also, if you do not have vases lying around like I did then check out the $$$ store or thrift stores.


Raquel (Daley) Painter said...

So I have been checking out your blog for quite sometime, and I thought I would finally leave a comment! I don't know if you remember me, but I'm from good old Payson. I found your blog through Lindsay's. I just have to say, I am so inspired by your creativity, and love looking at all of your fun ideas, and posts! You have already given me so many fun ideas (can I just say I LOVE the ABC thing you did with your kids!) I am so excited to see what you have in store as the "Shabby Designer"!

Stephanie said...

I'm so excited you are sharing your design ideas. you always do such a great job! Love it!

Eileen said...

This is the Andrea I know and love! Create something cute out of nothing. I love that you are so willing to share.

Becky and Jaron Brunson Family said...

All right! I get to learn more from Andrea about making a house a home, even from a distance! I'm excited. I like what you said about everyone having something they love. (Mine is garage sale-ing, weird, I know...) You definitely affected OP Estates with your motherly and decorative ways, I saw it many times! You're a blessing, Andrea!

Ashlee Dunlap said...

So fun! Thanks for sharing. I always enjoy your blog. Your cleaver ideas and tips for life. I bought a pack of crush orange drink in the glass bottles a while back and saved a few bottles to use as vases (IBC rootbeer bottles would be a fun twist too). I also got a Shatto milk..did you ever try that-you know the one that is from a nearby dairy farm and you pay a deposit on the bottle? Anyway..the bottle says FRESH across it, I thought that would be a fun vase too! I'm excited to see your other ideas!

Tara said...

Completely lovely, as is to be expected! Thanks for the fun ideas, Andrea - I'm looking forward to more HGTV-tips-Andrea-style. :)

Glasgow Family said...

Thanks for sharing! I would love to have you over to "teach" me new things! We are so grateful you have brought your talents to AR. By the way, e-mail me at for the website for soccer.

Todd and Leila Cahill said...

Great idea. I have never had anything but real flowers in my house. You are so right, they really do add so much to a space. Your place is just beautiful. I think I may head to Michael's and see what I can find. I certainly have plenty of empty vases just waiting to help my place look terrific! I look forward to more of your great tips!

Krysta said...

Hi my little "Shabby Designer"! I love that title...perfect. Great tips!

Donna said...

You are so right. We all must make personal time for things that we enjoy as individuals. That way we nurish our souls and become happier people... better mothers, sisters and wives.

You have a unique style and talent. Is that a mirror on the wall or a serving tray? I like the look.

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