There are lots of different ways to deal with stress. Some healthy, some not so healthy. Some people go on vacations, some run or do yoga. Others hit the bar or binge eat (I have totally eaten my feelings in the past). For me: I build, paint and create.
My outlet when I’m sad, mad, stressed, frustrated, etc., is art. That is just how my mind copes. I just came that way. It relaxes me and helps me to focus on something that I can control. I can get lost in my wild imagination as I’m creating and building my own world. It’s like reading a really good book that you can’t put down because you are so immersed in the world and characters that the author created. And that’s just it: I’m creating another world that’s out in the open for everyone to see. Art is a physical, touchable, real expression of how I’m feeling.
When my grandmother was anxious or frustrated, she would put her nervous energy into cleaning… DEEP cleaning. That was just how she decompressed and dealt with her difficulties. One time, my mom said to my grandfather, “Why is mom pounding away at the rug outside?” His response was, “Let her be. That’s just how your mother works through her frustration.”
So, when you enter my house, you’ll see A LOT of art that I’ve created. Some of my close friends and family chuckle when the come to visit and they’ll say, ” Wow, Melessa! You’ve got a bunch of new projects up in your house. You must have had a lot of frustration to work through!” If they only knew. 😉
I know that most creative/design blogs come off as a little too perfect. Let me be totally honest with you. My house is NOT perfect. I don’t have a cleaner. I do the best that I can when I can. There is no show. While I am a professional designer that is paid to make things look flawless, funky and beautiful, I am human and very flawed. I have daily struggles and I am my own worst critic. So, I share my designs and creations with you because I love art and art is meant to be shared. Please know it’s not because I’m putting on a show, but this is who I am, and it’s how I cope with my feelings.
That said, I wanted to create a funky textured wall with different pieces of trim in my entryway that served two purposes: 1) Distract from the random location of junk on the wall (I hated that the builders of this house felt like they had to place the thermostat in that location and not even line it up with the door bell or light switches) and 2) add fun texture and layers.
It’s funny, because when I was trying to describe to Nate what I envisioned for this wall, he was a little nervous. He said, “Why not just paint a large painting? Why drill a ton of holes into the wall?” I could see his point. Drilling each individual piece of wood into the wall would do some pretty serious damage if we ever decided to take the trim down, so we came up with a plan that would not damage the wall and limit the holes to only 15 anchors in the wall. Plus, the plan would add more strength and support to the wall.
We put a thin board up so I could hot glue the trim right onto the board without worrying about damaging the wall. Yes, I said hot glue! It was that easy!
Then Nate built a frame around the board. We did that because I wanted it to look like framed art.
After that, I began to start cutting, measuring and glueing the trim up on the wall. When I create for myself I don’t usually have a plan. I just jump right in and start. That’s just how my brain works because I already have a vision of how it will look when it’s finished. Only when I’m paid to do a project is when I’ll plan everything out, so my client or boss can see how it will look and give them a chance to make changes. That’s another huge thing for me! When I’m working on my own projects just for me I get to say when it’s done and I don’t have to present anything to anyone. I can just get started and finish when I want to. I LOVE THAT!!!
I found trim from lots of different places. Some pieces are scraps that were in the garage. Some were pieces from an old vintage door I bought from an antique show. Others are reclaimed wood various antique stores. I also picked up some wood from Home Depot to fill in some of the gaps.
After that, I wanted to paint some of the wood different shades of whites, ivories and soft gray tones. I also decided to keep a few pieces dark just because I thought that it would pull in the color of the floor and add a touch of modern.
Here is a little fun fact about the red paper roses. When Nate and I were just married, we were crazy poor. The paper roses were the very first decor project I made when we were married. That’s when it all began!
So there it is: creative projects help me work through stress and frustration, calm me down and make me feel better. What’s your favorite (healthy) escape?