So, I’m a teacher…and what do I have a lot of right now? TIME. I have so much time. I wouldn’t be complaining about it if I had some expendable money, or I wasn’t surrounded by cornfields on all sides. These hinder the luxury of time. Yesterday, I was in Walmart spending three hours grocery shopping just to eliminate some of that time. An hour of that was probably pushing the cart and riding it down an empty aisle. I kind of created a game with myself where I had to beat a certain time before someone turned the corner and walked into the healthy-eating cracker aisle. No one in my small town is eating healthy crackers, let me tell you. I also spent a good fifteen minutes talking to one of my students after I hadn’t showered, painted my bathroom (white paint in my hair), no makeup, and definitely nothing better or easier than sweatpants on. No matter, this is how that conversation went:
“Hey Ms. M.” | They always come up from behind so I had to turn around and see who was addressing me by my father’s family name.
“Oh Hey, K. How are you?” | Here’s where he progressed to come around my cart and hold on to the back so there was really no escape.”
“I’m good, what are you doing here?” This is my favorite teacher question. Whenever I’m out in town somewhere, usually the grocery store, my students will spot me and either A. ask what I’m doing there or B. smirk around corners and tell me the next day that they saw me out at ______ and I drive a black car, and I rock out to my music. This time K chose A. This is my favorite question because the obvious answer is, “well, I have to eat, K, I am a human being,” but my students don’t really like that answer. In fact, K responded with, “Oh that’s right, I just thought you were a teacher…hey, I might be moving.” We talked a bit about that and then I moved on to waste more time on July 4th activities like pinterest, the book I can’t seem to finish, and washing my kitchen floor. (Thanks, Mom).
Since I have all this glorious time, I decided to take on a few projects that I’ve been wanting to accomplish in my 2013 list AND BEYOND. The first was my glorious evening sky blue bathroom. Pictured to the right.
I was actually really into this color because I found a cat picture at the flea market, or the thrift store, or some store my mother and I willy-nilly walked into. My mom’s the queen of “Pull over here! There’s a sign for thrifting!” There’s something honorable about owning an old object, or an object that already has history embedded into it. My mom always picks up sweet sewn handkerchiefs, table settings and quilts at the flea market and says “Oh, some grandma made this and now it’s at the flea market.” I love to make up stories about the objects we meet on the dusty tables.
When I was in high school, I liked to buy old photographs and write stories based on the people in them. I stopped doing this after I found some pictures in an old suitcase of whole families who weren’t smiling. I’m surprised there was a time in history when people were told not to smile. Real classy, 1800s.
Anyway, it was time for a change and so I looked all over Pinterest for pictures that would inspire some sort of bathroom wonder. I found all kinds of funky guest bathrooms, some inspired, some splashed color, some were just unique in that I could never recreate an antler chandelier with things I find in the backyard. I may be a scavenger, but I definitely can’t carve things, shoot things, or skin things. That’s just not my style.
Being a teacher, I can definitely work with chalkboards though. Lucky for me, Pinterest had a number of chalkboard inspired bathrooms. They are so awesome that I’d like to share a few with you.
A | This is just a dabble in chalkboard bathroom etiquette. If you don’t want to dive right in you can make a DIY chalkboard towel rack. Directions are @ Makely Home
B | I’m OBSESSED. However, that’s definitely green chalkboard and it reminds me way too much of the Little House on the Prairie school house. Plus, am I really going to Secret Garden my bathroom wall? I don’t have a claw foot tub to make that look extraordinary.
C | This was at Intridecline and while I really loved the idea of it, I wanted to do something like this in my study. I’m currently in the process of creating a “Feminist Wall.” It’s going to be a wall of paintings and prints of women doing things that I love. It’s a little Rosie the Riveter mixed with Virginia Woolf. I have a hard time defining my womanhood anyway else. This idea came to me today by the way. I was just painting my “red study” white (it’s still got one red wall for accent, since that’s cool now-a-days) and it just hit me how many prints of women I have. If anyone wants to buy me this Virginia Woolf print or this chunk of birch wood painted with redhead, I can promise you endless letter writing.
D | Also no link on the interwebs. This is a chalkboard door. I thought this would be really interesting, but then I couldn’t decide if I should chalkboard both sides, or just one. Then it would only be fun when the door was closed. I have this wicked old wallpaper in my hallways and I refuse to take it down because it makes me feel like English royalty, but the antique mint and ivory of it doesn’t really go well with black chalk. They do make any color chalk at Lowes as far as I know.
None of these were exactly what I wanted so I ventured out to create a mix of pinterest and Cassie. I wanted a chevron wall, but a wall that was cut in half; half chalkboard, half chevron pattern. I wanted to be able to write bookish quotes on the top, but still have a fun and flirty pattern on the bottom. This is a guest bathroom and you must always keep your guests entertained. I’m sure I read that in a debutante book somewhere. I must have skipped the chapter on table manners though. The first step in creating what I wanted was taping off the wall. I’m not going to write about that because by the end I had paint in my hair, Fromage had tape stuck to her foot and she had already dipped her nose in the white cream.
Really, all you need to know is I can’t measure and I can’t tape the same amount everytime just by looking at it. Don’t they say that men are much better at spatial reasoning? This bathroom project proves that. So, I just did a kooky version of chevron that seemed to fit me better. It had a little bit of an Alice in Wonderland twist. Everything mustn’t be straight all the time, must it, it must be turned a bit to the right or made nearly impossible to look at.
After you paint the chalkboard paint, you have to wait THREE DAYS until it dries and you can write on it. Because I’m impatient and I believe rules are stupid, I went ahead and waited almost two days and then I did the damage. I have a tendency to go overboard on projects like this one. I’ll get to that perfect amount of paint, chalk, pen lines, and then I’ll just maul it with other colors and specimen and it’s all downhill from there. I really had to reign myself in with this one, but here’s what the chalk looked like after I was finished:
If you’re wondering, I stole this quote from Her Words Composition Notebooks. I discovered these little diddys when I was in Australia and they’re currently sitting on my Christmas List for 2013. They’re by Live Inspired and they have the perfect amount of line space (college ruled) and the lightest dotted lines. They’re second to my absolute favorite notebook brand, Green Room. This is a line of notebooks dedicated to women and they have notebooks for every occasion; travel, new opportunities, sea life, etc. They’re definitely a backpack full of joy. I was deciding between three or four of their notebook quotes and I thought this one went with the Alice quote, “Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.” If you’re going to go Alice, go big or go home.
I didn’t stop there though. I wasn’t done at pure chalkboard. My classroom needed a few do-dads to make it pop for next school year so I’ve been trying my hand at covering cork boards with fabric. While that isn’t going too well, I did have a fabulous idea for a picture clothesline. Guess where that idea went…guess…guess (I feel like that camel in the Humpday commercial – FAVORITE COMMERCIAL EVER). It went right into my bathroom. Thanks to My Favorite Things Blog I was able to print Instagram photos at Walmart. I printed 6 Instagram photos per page using the 8×10 collage tool. It’s really awesome, guys, if you have Instagram, you should totally try it. As the boy says, I don’t have a facebook because I fill that need with Instagram. He’s probably right, but he most likely won’t read this so I don’t have to worry about him doing a “right” dance. Also, at Walmart are tiny clothespins. They’re really adorable and you can get a pack of 20 for under $3. I then pinned a string up in the corner of my bathroom and used the clothespins to hang the cut-out instagram photos. Here’s how that turned out:
This is my first DIY project and definitely my first on this blog (I think…don’t test me). I’m pretty proud of how it all turned out and here’s one last picture. Hopefully soon guests will show up for the “ooooh” and “aaahhh” factor.
I am a writer, educator and genuine creative living on the coast of NC. Our house is built on sunshine with my husband BJ, dog named Tucker, and our two very sassy cats: Fromage and Jasper.