Home Improvement

If you’ve been with me on this blog for many years, you might remember that I used to love home projects. I love ripping out carpet, painting walls, upholstering furniture,  I’ve even stripped and refinished original baseboards (although I can’t say I particularly loved that one). Even my three rentals that followed were lovingly decorated with lots of unique furniture and artwork. Having a home filled with pieces that bring me joy has always been important to me.

However, when I moved to Bermuda, minimalism became my new mantra. I was loading a crate onto a cargo ship headed for a tropical island, remember? Plus, we’ll probably only be here for a few years. So anything that couldn’t stand the humidity, that might break during the journey, or that added too much weight to my crate had to go. I sold all of my well-curated furniture, gave away a few special decor items, and put the rest in storage in my parents’ basement. Unfortunately, this made for starker surroundings than I would like. So I did a little soul searching a few months back, and investing my energy into a few small decor projects was one of the things I decided could be easily accomplished and make a big impact on how I feel about living here.

I’ve got a few bigger projects in the works, but right away I’ve added a few small decor pieces. I’ve brought a few things from home and bought a few things when I’ve been back in the states, but the things that make me the happiest are the pieces I’ve made!

12717958_1123524741020732_1256405991863931753_nFirst up, I got my ever-growing collection of embroidery hoops arranged and hung up in our guest bedroom. I love how they look grouped together and I’m sure will be adding to them consistently!

I also hung this pomegranate stunner solo in our kitchen. This hoop took hours and hours, so I wanted to give her a special spot—at least until she sells! Want her in your own home? Available here.

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The other project is one I’ve been thinking about for a little while now. At any given time, I have a fairly good stock of paper flowers in my studio, but I’ve never really made a bouquet just for me. One of the areas in our home I’ve really wanted to do something with is our upstairs landing. There’s a funny little nook that’s not really big enough to do anything with, but looks a bit odd when it’s empty.

I recently moved a side table there, and now I’m working on creating the perfect collection to top it, so of course this was the perfect place to create a bouquet just for me! I wanted a loose, free-form arrangement that looked natural, so I created these poppies with extra long stems and just a few small leaves.

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I’ve also been wanting to experiment with some new techniques for more botanically accurate flowers for a while now, so this was a great opportunity.

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I mastered the curly stamen effect, and on this bloom above experimented with a bit of hand-coloring in the center. wild_poppies_1364

I’ve also added the criss-crossing strips of contrasting colored paper, to give the pleated effect of the poppy center. In this bloom above, I also tried bleaching the centers of the petals, to varying success. It’s a technique I’ll try again with a more saturated paper!wild_poppies_1360

I’ve also seen other paper artists add a bit of confetti to the ends of their stamens to give the effect of pollen. I like how this turned out, although I really need to find a bright yellow paper for it to look real. wild_poppies_1365

After a few tries, I also created a poppy bud I like! Although now after looking at the arrangement again, I’m feeling like I should go upstairs and bend the bud down, as that’s more typical than facing up. Either way, I’m loving how these turned out and super excited about my latest addition to my home!

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