Thursday, August 28, 2014

Entry Table - Back-to-School ed.

This green entry table has created a real situation.

I can't stop doing weird things to it.
It inspires me in the strangest, most seasonal of ways.

We've lived here for 2 years now and there have been at least 8 iterations that I can think of.

We'd been in a holding pattern for the past few weeks, after I'd finally had my fill of the Nester-inspired Art Wall. Not gonna lie, it was painful taking it down. I LOVED it. Loved.

But I was also ready for a change.

Here's the thing.
I don't put a ton of thought into the stuff I do.
(Pretend this wasn't obvious.)

I don't buy new things or take great pains.

I throw a bunch of stuff together that makes me happy.
Boom. I'm happy.

In this case, I have strong feelings that the balance is all off whack. It's all sort of a downhill slide. But hey, better than an uphill climb, am I right?

Often, after I monkey around, I'll notice something I want to change.

In this case, I swapped out the old oil can for one of my beloved Erlenmeyer flasks.
It rocked a more back-to-school vibe, which was a theme that only occurred to me when I was more-or-less done with the whole deal. And now we've swung all the way back around to, "I don't put a ton of thought into the stuff I do." Endquote.

You know what else I wanted to change?
My heinous, streaky mirror.

I didn't notice it was such a problem until I took a few pictures. And then I realized that I didn't care enough to fix it.

But then, suddenly and without warning, I did care.

I cared so much that I walked all the way to the bathroom, grabbed the Windex, walked to the paper towels, tore two off, walked back to the mirror, sprayed, wiped, sprayed, wiped.

Still a hot mess.
I give up.

You win, gray mirror.
You: 1
FPFG: nada

But it's okay, because there's some distracting, homemade, 100% weird in a "where-do-I-get-these-ideas-no-really-where" kind of way.

I made pinwheels.
With the back-to-school catalogs.

Are you dying yet? From things like jealousy or fervent inspiration? No?
Does this scream e-book???? Because I think this is my 8th catalog/magazine-related craft.

Eight must be my lucky number.
Who knew?

Dear God,
I cannot handle four more kids.
Just playing straight.
Don't want eight.

It's my weirdest work to date.

Now do you believe me?

Now do you??
(see: YOUR FEET)

Hello, fancy Garnet Hill backpacks and leggings.
I cannot afford you, but you sure do make my green entry table look stunning and bright.
And odd maybe a little.

If that's your little girl on the left in the pink shirt and ombre skirt, I'm sure this is awkward.
I know my pits feel damp. Just know that I really do think she's lovely and she totally fits our vibe. In a theoretical sort of way. I won't make it weird. Promise.

There are all kinds of tutorials online on how to make pinwheels. The ones I saw were saying I needed arcane instruments such as pencils. Scissors. Rulers, for the love of the land.


They were saying this because ideally, all your paper pieces should be the same size and shape to make a non-wonky pinwheel.

Or, you could just grab your trash, tear out pages, and fold them like a B.O.S.S.

Pre-measured. Winning.

How to make a catalog pinwheel:
Tear out a bunch of pages from the same magazine. (I was going for bright and colorful, so I kept that in mind while I ripped.)

With each page, fold back-and-forth, accordion-style, keeping your folds roughly the same width but DO NOT DARE use a ruler or I will bust you up. Rulers aren't fun. Catalog pinwheels are fun. Rulers in the context of weird junk-mail crafts are inherently incompatible and might even ruin your life.

Fire up your hot glue gun.
(Prayers for safety.)

Glue the edge of one accordion page to the next. Every now and then, fan them out and see if you need more pages to make it circle all the way around. When you have enough, glue the final edges together.

Glue a small piece of heavyish paper to the back, to help it keep its shape. I also added a little dot of watercolored paper to the front center, because I'm practically the Queen of England.


Remember my croquette mallets? They were looking sad and crusty, so I painted off their stripes a few months ago and spray painted them white.

I wasn't sure if it was the right move, but now I am.
Like 'em so much.


This is a page from a big, delicious, vintage kids book I bought years ago and immediately forgot about. I probably paid a quarter for the book and IT IS AMAZING. But this was totally my favorite page.

I painted this sunburst thingy one day while the kids refused to paint one with me. Good times. Instead, they painted blocky Mine Craft figures (Calvin) a new signature "Dot" series (Silo) and Girls with Cats (Rubes).

Kid's dictionary (thrift store duh) and Calvin's Dangerous Book for Boys.

Zinnias. AKA "The Only Thing We Don't Kill".

Life Lessons:
Live with what makes you happy.
Live with what doesn't add to your debt or make you feel like you have to compete.
Be content with what you have, but fearless in switching things around, because THAT IS FREE THERAPY.

Now, go! Dig around. Move things. Do something weird. Break the rules.

I will straight-up love you for it.

*Amazon Affiliate link used.


  1. You.Are.AWESOME!!! I love it.

  2. 'Tis Beautiful!!! I must need a lot of free therapy because I move things A LOT!! : ) Been searching for an "M" like yours, if you ever tire of it (yeah right who tires of letters and typography...!) this Marshall family would be first in line to buy!! haha! It's awesome!

  3. Oh my gosh you make me so happy. I really liked your commentary *almost* more than your table, which is bright and wonderful and fully of whimsy (whimsyful??). Five stars, Shannan.

  4. You are out of control girl! Haaa!! Those pinwheels are exactly what your arrangement needed. You knocked it out of the park! Let me know when that junk mail craft book comes out. I'm all over it.

  5. LOVE EVERY SINGLE BIT OF THIS.... though I would never do it... I LOVE IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    You certainly put the "E" in edge...because you got it girl! Make that two "e's"

  6. Your posts make me smile. I love every little thing about your entry way table...even "your feet"!

  7. You are TOO COOL FOR SCHOOL (which is what we said in the 80's and I would never say now for fear of being a delinquency encourager - except to you) !!! Wonderful!

  8. So bright and cheerful- just like you! I love that you are brave and change things around. My friend bought a cheap 70s framed art picture and repainted the flowers in colors she liked. I loved it and did my own in cheery bright colors for above my fireplace. It really is rewarding to create something with your own hands, isn't it? Looking forward to the next installment of the entry table saga.

  9. I love you for this. Magazine pinwheels for the win!! I have cared waaaaaay to much what other people might think of my decor at times. And really, who even sees it but ME?! Love love love your painted croquet mallets by the way! Right move.

  10. I puffy heart your pinwheels & your change-it-up-iness. Yes, it screams ebook. Cause I love the heart garlands too! You rock. xoxo

  11. Yes E-Book!!!!!!!!! Your style never ceases to amaze me!!!! Love those pinwheels, the green entry table, the newly spruced mallots and the fabulous M reflecting in the mirror!!!!! Just can't get enough chickie!!!! Can't. Get. E. Nough!!!

  12. You must discover microfiber glass cloths! Wet it, wring it out and wipe. Glass so clean that people walk into our full glass storm doors! Run it through the washer and dryer with your cleaning rags and you are ready to go again. I have had some of mine for years. I love those things!

  13. Love Love the pinwheels! Thinking about making some Christmassy ones….

  14. This is the voice I love best. (And it doesn't sound too deep at all)

    PS-- my hubby tripped over a wicket and poked his eye out with a croquet mallet when he was 8. They fixed it. He's fine. But he has an irrational distaste for croquet now. He would shutter at the view of your entry way.

    He also hates moths. That is unrelated but I felt like saying it out loud.

  15. you win the internet today. congratulations. i love these. sign me up for some magazines so i can make these. and when are you coming to california so we can go goodwill shopping already??!

  16. One of my go-to present toppers!! If you're weird for hanging them on a wall, I don't even want to *think* about what that makes me to GIVE THEM AWAY AS A GIFT (prolly just tacky and cheap)(truth). Ignorance is bliss when it comes to the proper crafting ways...rulers really? The only thing rulers are good for is threatening to beat naughty children with. Hypothetically speaking. What was I saying? Oh yeah:

    Using decor to distractify from messes may be my most favorite truth you've ever spoken.

  17. You're actually the best. And hilarious. And when I get a house someday I'm having you and Myquillyn come over and decorate it.

  18. First of all - Even Edward. Your feet. Eight. And e-book. There is so much goodness here. I need you. That is all :)

  19. New niche: decorating sitcom! You need a show! The world needs your humor, accessible decorating tips (and faith)...

  20. I love that there is something big stuck in the Dangerous Boys book. It evokes a curiosity to open it.

    1. Ha! It's Calvin's mechanical pencil, no doubt. I should see what page he's stuck on...

    2. This just in: Morse Code!
      The page is also dog-eared.

    3. Oh, that is much irony!

  21. From here on out, I shall refer to you as the Boss of Pinwheels.
    You are awesome.

  22. This is all sorts of awesome! Thanks for the inspiration!!

  23. Shannan, This post made me laugh out loud! Your explanation is just as cheerful as your entryway & I LOVE them both. (& you too). I think your whole house/style is wonderful. Thanks for the encouragement & inspiration!

  24. Oh my goodness, I love it! You are hilarious! Couldn't love you more for it! I especially loved the Life Lessons part. and the praying for safety with the hot glue gun…the whole thing was kind of my favorite actually. And you are spot on about the ruler..not. fun.

  25. I wanted to finally write today and say how much I love you! Thank you for letting me be my own funky self and not feel judged or dumb. I so enjoy the way you change things up in your home d├ęcor and you don't go broke doing it. That is so me and I love showing off the things that bring a smile to my face and a happy heart to my home. It might be a drawing from my grown kids from the 70's when they were still my little ones or a picture of Mickey Mouse in front of his library hanging by my book shelf. I love hearing about your struggles and victories in the Lord. Thank you doesn't seem to say it all but it is the best I can do! You are in my prayers! xoxoxo

  26. YES! I have a croquet mallet I have hanging on my living wall because it makes me remember my grandma who always had time for a game with me. 8). it's looking sad and a coat of white paint is just the thing. Thanks!

  27. I so love reading your blog! You crack me up! Just wanted to share that I have zinnias in my science beaker thingy right now too! I'm so happy to be weird like you!
    Queen of England!! Your a hoot !

  28. Even Edward. :)
    i like it. all of it. and at least SOMETHING should be done with garnet hill kids catalogs! cause those are ridiculous!