DIY slightly unconventional wreath

IMG_5195.JPG

To create this wreath, instead of using a typical ring I used a full circle. I made a similar piece this summer and it was displayed at my sister's wedding. I love how this simple alteration changes the impact of this piece from common door decor to a piece of art.

 I kept thinking about how much I loved the design of the piece I'd made for my sister and also how therapeutic creating it was. Earlier this month, I needed a mental health day. I've been overwhelmed with work, commitments, money, relationships and just liiiife and hadn't had time to create just for the sake of creating. Weaving is so incredibly rewarding, but I can't rely solely on one hobby.

It was the last 70 degree day we'll see here in Champaign until 2017 (depressing...) and I took full advantage of this by grabbing an extension cord, a hot glue gun, a bunch of fake flowers ($6 at Michaels for two gigantic bags!), and a full mug of coffee and moved out to my back deck and just started making. A can of gold spray paint was also involved. When it comes to me and DIY, when is it not?!

Supplies I used:
-Styrofoam circle
-Fake flowers/ greenery
-Hot glue gun
-yarn (to hang)
-Gold Spray paint
-Wire cutters and scissors

This really is not a tutorial, but hopefully some inspirational insight on how to create your own variation of a wreath! 
 

IMG_5197.JPG
IMG_5196.JPG
 Displayed at my sister's wedding in June of 2016. 

Displayed at my sister's wedding in June of 2016. 

IMG_3587.JPG

Progress

Since it feels like I've made progress and have officially moved out of my apartment and into this house, I'm rewarding myself with some studio time today. I've been putting making aside in order to get everything together for the move. Organizing and designing are two of my favorite things creatively, but I am at a standstill until the master bedroom is open, so until then, boxes there will be.

 Non-working fireplace filled with Christmas lights. Super easy solution, plus you can have a summer fire. 

Non-working fireplace filled with Christmas lights. Super easy solution, plus you can have a summer fire. 

 It's coming together. Not pictured is the stack of toaster ovens, microwave, and amp right where I cut off the photo.

It's coming together. Not pictured is the stack of toaster ovens, microwave, and amp right where I cut off the photo.

 Messy or not, I can get down with mornings like this.  

Messy or not, I can get down with mornings like this.  

I'm excited to get to the studio this afternoon!  

And the move continues

image.jpg

With one week left in my apartment and lots of spackling today, I'm feeling nostalgic. I was so hopeful and excited to fill the space and see what came next in my life. It was truly a transitional space for all three of us. There were new jobs, graduations, new relationships, and new obstacles. Definitely an eventful two years for us all and I'm excited to see what new opportunities are ahead for us.

image.jpg

Last weekend we bought a couch though! Not just any couch, a velvety reclining couch. Totally not my usual style or color, but we're already making it feel like ours. Plus you can't beat $40.  

image.jpg

Soon to be photos of boxes on boxes on boxes I'm sure ;)

Life is Beautiful

image.jpg

One hundred and thirty two jumps. Thousands of feet in the air, William Todd Leslie was scared every time, he told his mother, but he did it anyway. It was his passion and love in life: flying. This is really not my story to tell at all, but he never will. Not because he won’t, but because he can’t. Not anymore, it’s too painful.

My uncle was nineteen when he last jumped. There was a tragic accident on that last go-around, his friend’s parachute didn’t release. William was the first person to get to him, just a bag of bones laying on the ground. This is what triggered it. An awful, insane tale of sadness, brought on a mind full of terror. He was nineteen. A kid. After this he left town for a while, bewildered and stirred up by these demons in his head. He decided to return home, back to Kansas. He'd left home the year before on a full-ride engineering scholarship in Colarado. How could he understand what was happening to him?

He ran away. He was robbed, beaten and left for dead on the side of a highway. His life was saved by a compassionate truck driver. My grandparents had no idea where their son was up until now, when they got a hospital bill. Finally, he was brought home. My grandfather used to squeeze him tight and hold him down, promising no one was going to hurt him. It took a long time to diagnose him with schizophrenia. My grandma says that she would hear him talking or yelling in his room, so she contacted the telephone company to see what calls he had been making from their home…none. That is when she knew something was really, really wrong. 

image.jpg

He’s turning sixty one this August. We finally moved him here with us in Illinois last year. Now he's got a little apartment all to himself and has been managing to take care of himself. No more visits to Iowa, where he ended up all those years ago in a group home. I appreciate his life so much. I listen to the hell he’s been through (and will continue to). He breaks my heart and gives me so much hope at the same time. I am inspired and humbled by this man. A real life hero, my uncle is.

He helps me understand that there is no reason not to try. Though we might not die and leave this earth, it can be ripped away from us in a split second. This might just be worse, unless you can inspire others. He has been dealt a pretty shitty hand, but is overcoming it everyday. Some days are worse then others, but that’s just the nature of life. 

We sat on his living room floor last week and he asked me to make him some artwork for his new apartment, describing in detail the style and colors that he wanted. Usually he doesn't want anything on the walls at all, so it's a big deal. The next day I brought him the original paintings and he decided where to hang them. We spent the rest of the evening downtown, sitting on the patio sipping on a couple beers. I'm so, so proud of him.

image.jpg