The nature portion of our walk home is now bursting with all things spring including wildflowers! There's a huge patch of buttercups, known as boutons d'or in French, along one path. Kieran especially likes them because of the bugs that seem to live on them. Of course.
Now that the sunshine is back, I am super motivated to work on home and garden projects again. You would think that winter is the perfect time for that sort of thing, but the dreariness really affects my mood and energy level, and I feel way more creative when it is sunny and warm. What can I say? I am a tropical island girl!
Today I was able to quickly work on an idea I've had for Kieran's room: a sort ofgallery wall. He really loves to stick his art, and other bits and pieces up (hmm, where does he get that from?). He also has a mad passion for washi tape (that sounds familiar too), but we have these weird walls that aren't very smooth, and the washi doesn't stick for long.
Those two pieces of art are actually secured with clear scotch tape over the washi.
Since we rent I needed to find a temporary non0destructive solution, and one day while looking at the drawing paper I used in my office for my goal keeping I had an aha moment. So I decided to "wall paper" a portion of his wall, so he could stick things easily to it.
gummed paper tape - this is used for bookbinding and has a dried gummed side that becomes sticky when wet.
Water & Acrylic letters (not pictured)
Tip: before attempting this project, it's a good idea to test your gummed paper tape and adhesive in an unobtrusive spot to see if it will be easy to remove, and also not totally destroy your wall finish. I have found that the gummed tape comes off quite well by just spraying it thoroughly with water. I love that the same thing that makes it sticky, is what gets it off the wall!
Measure your space and cut enough lengths of the drawing paper using the craft knife and metal ruler.
The drawing paper is 18&1/2 inches wide (47 cm). I needed two 5 foot lengths to cover that spot
Cut four strips of the gummed paper tape to fit around the gallery space.
Apply some low tack adhesive to the top and bottom of each length ofpaper and stick them to the wall. I used the edge of the baseboards as a guide to place the paper as straight as possible
Now use the water to activate the adhesive on the kraft tape. I just use my fingers, but I guess a foam brush would work too. For really long strips I found it was better to wet as I went along the edge as the adhesive dries really fast. Use the strips to frame the paper like so, making sure it sticks to a bit of the paper edge as well as the wall, since it is the main thing keeping the paper up.
(Whoa! That's blurry! Sorry.)
While you're quickly wetting and sticking, make sure that you don't place your cup of water on your son's t-shirt shelf, then knock it over and get his clothes wet. And a huge puddle on the floor. Nah, that didn't happen to me, I'm just saying be careful okay?
And there she is!
You can stop here, or go a step further with acrylic letters
Trucs is French for things, stuff, crap...... Hey! If you have one of those fancy Silhouette machines, you can even cut your own letters! I'm totally annoyed that the R and U in mine have the same colour background. It's the little things....
If you were paying attention to the clock in the photos, you'll have noticed that I did this in less than 30 minutes. I love quick and easy DIYS!
Now the boy can go crazy sticking things up. I think I will have to get him his own supply of washi tape though, he keeps using up my stash.
I really love how useful that gummed paper tape is. A scrapbooking friend of mine turned me on to it several years back to use for making mini books, but it comes in really handy for other things like this
Just a simple "frame" on the wall. I used it to make this mini-album
We just celebrated a super long weekend in France. Both Kieran and Lucas were off from Wednesday until Sunday! We spent Wednesday at home working in the garden and doing other household projects, then headed into Lyon on Thursday to spend the weekend visiting friends.
There were lots of good things to eat and drink. Of course.
We went to see our old friends at Parc de la Tete D'or
While wandering around the city we came upon street art,
(That sign means "Post No Bills"!)
and marching bands
While I have no regrets about moving to wider open spaces, it is always fun to revisit our old stomping grounds. Cities are so vibrant and full of energy, you can't help but be affected by the spirit of things there!
These gorgeous trees known as l'arbre de Judée, or Judas Trees, are blooming all over the countryside right now, and they are stunning! The legend goes that this is the kind of tree Judas Iscariot hung himself from, hence the name. Morbid or not, this is definitely going on my list of trees to have once we have a permanent garden!
En avril Ne te découvre pas d'un fil
En mai Fais ce qu'il te plaît
which basically means that in April you shouldn't pack away the winter clothes yet (literally don't remove even one thread from your clothes), but in May you can do whatever you like!
This morning it sure looked like the May portion of the saying wouldn't be coming true. We've been suffering about a week of grey, wet and extremely chilly weather, with a sudden thunder and lightening storm this morning. During lunch however we noticed that we could see bits of blue sky, and by the time we were through eating, the sky was completely clear, and the sun was shining brightly!
Kieran didn't need any encouragement to finally get out of his pyjamas, and we all headed out to enjoy the garden. Our plants seem to be the only ones who enjoyed the wet week, because everything is really green and blooming.
The seedlings are popping up, and the lettuce plants are growing.
We're hoping for a bumper crop of tomatoes, and we are trying some companion planting too. Basil and marigolds in between the tomato plants.
The berry bushes are not only blooming, we even have tiny green red and black currants already!
It's been a busy month around here. I blogged every single day this month! I totally enjoyed it, but it is quite the undertaking. To end off I thought I would link to my favourite posts of the past month.
April is drawing to a close, so I am working on my plans for May. This was a busy month with Kieran's birthday, school activities, Spring vacation and visiting friends, and May seems to be at least as busy. One project that has now become a constant for me, however busy the month may be, is the Photo-a-Day challenge from Fat Mum Slim.
I started it back in October and have done it every month since. Some months I manage to actually take a photo every day, other months I do what I can. It's all good.
Chantelle posted the list for May today, which is what prompted this blog post, and jumpstarted my planning for the month ahead.
Have you ever played along with the challenge? Is there a challenge or project that you fit into your routine monthly?
I signed up for Goodreads well over a year ago, then promptly forgot about it, as I felt like I didn't need one more website to visit, update and interact on. (Exactly why I never did much with my Google+ account, but that's another story.)
This year though I knew I wanted to read more, so when I heard about the Goodreads Challenge, I decided to revisit the site. I did a quick calculation and estimated that I read around 45 books last year, without even really trying, so I set my goal for 2013 to 52. One book a week seemed pretty reasonable to me.
I gotta say the site seems to be keeping me honest. So far I have read 19 books, which puts me 3 books ahead! I should also admit that having the Kindle does help, as I still have a ton of unread books on there, courtesy of my sister, and it makes it easy to keep up.
I do my reading at night mostly, just before going to sleep. This has long been a habit of mine, in fact I find it hard to fall asleep if I don't read first. Anyone else? The only time this has not been true was during the first 18 months or so with Kieran, the only thing on my mind those days was sleep!
My latest crochet baskets, as in they were completed today! I found a source for the textile yarn online here in France, and bought a spool of black to test it out. Today I remembered that I had two t-shirts in the upcycle pile, and made them into t-shirt yarn using this tutorial from Craft Passion. So incredibly easy! I will be on the lookout for t-shirts to make into yarn now.
The baskets are perfect forstashing yarn, hooks and other craft supplies. And they work up really fast. I used techniques from a couple of tutorials like this one at Nimi Design, to help me get started on the large basket, but once I got it figured out I was able to make the smaller one completely on my own.
Actually checking it again, I realise that I totally left out the Chain 1 at the start of each row. Oh well, it still worked out!
I totally love them, and plan to get a variety of colours of the yarn (or t-shirts) to make storage baskets for the entire house. I really want to switch out the boring black bins inKieran's room to give him more pops of colour.
Welcome to Callaloo Soup, my creative lifestyle blog, where I share my crafting, photography, scrapbooking, and writing, as well as a glimpse into my day to day life in France. You can learn more about me and what I love here