Archive | January 2014

Budget Botanicals

I have a long, empty hall at the top of the stairs. It is one of two interior spaces that still need to be painted and nothing has motivated me to tackle it. It is narrow and boring, and until now, I have had no desire to take it on.

The dreary upstairs hall.

The “Biohazard” sign says it all.

Then, I saw this idea: an inexpensive way to bring nature into a windowless, upstairs hallway. An idea that has put a bee in my britches. I am aching to paint the hall now, if only to properly show off my newly created (Yes! By moi!) botanical prints.

Fern.

Fern.

These botanical prints were made on my phone, with leaves from my yard. I braved the January rain and cold to bring in a bit of nature. I first saw the idea on Pinterest from Better Homes & Gardens. Below is the inspiration photograph:

Pinned from Better Homes & Gardens.

Pinned from Better Homes & Gardens.

Better Homes & Gardens suggested using a scanner to scan leaves and print them out. The scanned plants were a little too real looking (um, it’s January and everything is brown) so I went for photographs instead, brightened with the exposure altered to give them a fresh look. I then chose “gallery style” mats with a regular 8×10 opening, and was able to print the photographs using my printer and photo paper. I purchased the frames from Michael’s on sale for $18 each and used most of the ink in my printer, I’m sure.

Bringing in a bit of nature.

Bringing in a bit of nature.

The large mat emphasizes the prints and gives them the gallery look that I was after. I will hang all three prints in a nice even row and it will give the hall a feeling of light and air as you walk along it. Now, I am inspired to paint the walls Benjamin Moore’s Green Hydrangea. This is the same color as my downstairs hall, which will provide continuity, since you can see both halls from the front door.

Goldfinger.

Goldfinger.

Cedar?

Cedar?

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This project was simple and inexpensive. I used leaves, but you could easily use feathers or fabric. Let your imagination run wild!

Feathers would look good too!

Feathers would look good too!

The botanicals are just what is needed in this dull space. Hallways are an opportunity to show a little spunk and I can’t wait to get this one started!

The Botanicals.

The Botanicals.

Up next, PAINT! And I still need to hang up these pictures…

© copyright 2014 Mariam d’Eustachio at Simply Turquoise.

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A Girl, A Rag Rug, and Life

My dear readers, Happy New Year! As I sit here on a bright, snowy morning, I am contemplating BIG CHANGE. 2014 promises to be an exciting year, and I have been in a quiet, reflective mood. Prima will be entering High School this fall, and we are wrapped up in a flurry of applications, essay writing, entrance exams and deadlines. Oh my.

Prima, growing up.

Prima, growing up.

My crafty Prima made a present for me from scrap fabric. A little braided rag rug that fits perfectly in the downstairs bathroom. I added a funky piece of original art to the wall that I found in a local store, Peg Leg Vintage. Sometimes you’ve just gotta splurge. The handmade rug, with its splash of color, is cheery in this space.

A braided rag rug.

A braided rag rug.

The book she got the idea from is called, The Prairie Girl’s Guide To Life By Jennifer Worick. Every girl, prairie or otherwise, should have this book. With tips including, “arrange wildflowers,” and “practice the art of courtship,” how can you resist? This book is the key to a happy teenage girl, or at least a less dramatic one.

The braided rug.

The braided rug.

The Prairie Girl's Guide To Life.

The Prairie Girl’s Guide To Life.

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When change is afoot, I find myself rearranging my physical space, if only to impose a little order. Sometimes, I will bring in a bit of nature. Perhaps I am trying to deflect the teenage hormones that are flying through the atmosphere and bring calm to my surroundings.

A bit of nature.

A bit of nature.

My workspace is orderly with minimal distractions, my mind is clear, and I am ready to face the adventures 2014 may bring.

My workspace.

My workspace.

Simply Turquoise had an incredible year in 2013. This blog has grown beyond my expectations. I enjoy the creative outlet it provides and hope to continue to bring ideas and family life tidbits to you throughout 2014. Thank you, dear readers, you are an inspiration to me.

© copyright 2014 Mariam d’Eustachio at SimplyTurquoise.