I know I'm not the only one who does this.
When my family is coming to visit (which isn't frequently enough, in my opinion!), I feel the need to actually do all those little projects I have been putting off - so that mom and dad will approve of and like my big-girl house. Silly yes, but kinda true. My parents totally wouldn't care either way, but still, I think it's the deep-seated need to make the 'rents proud. My mom, Grammy, Courtney, and baby Lyla are headed our way soon, so it's go-time around our house.
Of course, my house is always spotlessly clean, so there's no need for furious cleaning prior to a visit.... cough cough...
One of my little projects has been to make a framed disply of some shells we picked up last year at Anna Maria during our vacation. Yes, a year ago. Don't judge me.
As I described in this post, we rented a boat and drove out to the shallow part of the bay - the men-folk braved it and got out and walked around - dodging crabs and rays and prickly anemones. They collected some gorgeous butterfly-winged shells - still connected in the center, and huge - compared to what you would find washed up on the ocean side.
My new motto, which might or might not be due to my husband's growning annoyance at me buying stuff and not using it, is to work with what I've got - and make use of the collection of decorative items I've got in the closet. Sometimes, you see something awesome and know you must have it, but it takes a year or so to actually put it into use... and when that something is $1 at the thrift store, it's hard to pass up... (I've perfected this argument, can't you tell?).
As part of a larger project I'm working on this week - I finally used those shells. I took a frame I've had for a year or two from Goodwill ($1) that I had previously sprayed black. I loved the intricacy of the frame - just not the gold color it orginally was. A glass-less frame was perfect for these dimensional shells - since I didn't want to break their fragile connections.
I'll tell you what I didn't do: take quality photos of my work.
What I did do: I wrapped a piece of cardboard in burlap, and attached the shells with a hot glue/ super glue mix. Who knows if they will actually stay on, but whatev. The backside is a little scary, but no one will see that anyway.
I'm really happy with how it turned out, and I know when I see that hanging I will fondly remember a great vacation. I'm hoping to add others like this with collectibles and mementos from other vacations - both past and future.