thoughts while jazzing up a planter.

(not a fancy diy here, but this is what the planter used to look like)

Sometimes in a world of Pinterest and visual perfection, it's easy to give up when you're not in the perfect situation. You don't have the right room to decorate, the right body to dress, the right location to access cute things. Why try, right?

Until this week, I had not crafted anything in months...since before my move to Kuwait. I rarely even used Pinterest and I unsubscribed from a ton of cute decor blogs. They just made me feel sad about my drastic change of lifestyle. Because I'm an all or nothing girl. And if I can't make life "all" and perfect, then I'm all about "nothing". For the past few months, I was just stuck. Stuck in "nothing"...a place where I fit in neither here in Kuwait or there, in my old life. (More here.)

Life just isn't that cute or creatively easy anymore. Heck, finding a needle + thread here took trips to multiple stores! I've learned that carrying on with who you are takes a lot more work in a culture so unlike your own, in a place so far from home.

For example, our new home. Our apartment isn't exactly adorable. It's large + livable, and much cleaner than our first place in Kuwait...but it's no inspiring vintage home with hardwood floors and a beautiful porch. (I miss you, old home!) There's some cray swirly mural painting all over the living room, the curtains are from an 80's tasseled nightmare and let's not talk about the furniture. Oh, and there's a whole lot of checkerboard floors. (I'll show you a photo someday.) 

But there's an incredible beach view + a Starbucks in the basement...so that covers a multitude of sins.

Anyway, what I really want to say is...regardless of all that...I finally feel the desire to try. To try to be happy here, to make this place my own. Maybe it's Lucky or maybe my recent trip. Maybe because I finally made a good friend, a crafty Midwestern 20-something much like me, and I feel less alone. Or maybe it was just the passing of time. Growing tired of carrying sadness over all this presumed "perfect" I left behind, to come to this bumpy journey of imperfection.

But, life is imperfect...not just for me...for everyone no matter how it looks from the outside. Sometimes more imperfect, sometimes less. Right now, life just is more imperfect than it once was. But I refuse to make this year or two years a blank white wall...where I cease to exist creatively...simply because my circumstances aren't as easy as they once were. Paint, fabric and making my home feel personal brings me joy. It has since I was a 12 year old girl, painting her bedroom at midnight. Giving that up is such a cop-out. It's just a pathetic fear of not being good enough, fear of having to work harder at something than I used to...and that's a lame excuse. 

All that to say, I painted a planter and tied some ribbons around it. Not exciting. Not epic. Not pin-worthy. It wasn't much, but in the smallest way, this little planter was my first effort. The first piece of old "me" that meshed with the new "me"...a girl who's ready to make a temporary, but cute, home in Kuwait.

And I'm happy about it.


  1. you my dear, are inspiration to me !!

  2. I'm so happy that you feel like creating again! that's a big deal. and who knows if it's Lucky, or your trip, or time, but who cares. the important thing is that your soul seems like it wants to be awake again. even more awake than it has been. and I'm excited to see what comes of that :)

  3. sometimes the simple things like adding washi tape, and ribbon to a pot is the best thing in the world!!! Don't let your creativity fade away!! You have amazing talent!!! Jessica and I decided we are going to have a craft date with you when you come home!!! Glad to see you creating again!!

  4. i think you are crazy awesome my love! sending you tons of love and a push in the right direction! live boldly, the rest will fall into place. i say all of this as i just went to the local post office with my shirt inside out and pjs still on. while people want to dream that we all live these picture-perfect glamourous lives, truth is, we are just like everyone else.

    keep in mind: facebook, pinterest, instagram, and twitter are all peoples highlight reels, we never see the bloopers and behind the scenes!

    sending you wisconsin love and cheese! xoxox

  5. Oh Bethany! Your blog has been such a welcome distraction for me since I found it. Your post about the reason you went to Italy made me incredibly sad, but this post makes me so happy for you. It's the little things in life, like your new kitty and pretty planters.

    I am glad your creative self is coming out to play again!

  6. You really are such an inspiration! Thank you so much for sharing.
    PS that planter is perfection!
    Keep on truckin, we miss you!

  7. I'm really proud of you Bethany, for doing this. I know exactly what you mean about being "all or nothing", but I'm glad you found something to make pretty in your home! You deserve pretty :)


  8. i love this post, thank you for sharing! i really needed to read something like this, since i'm feeling a little lost in my own life today, trying to get back to the "old me". i wrote you an email a few months ago, and i never knew if you read it, but i wanted to say thanks again for being honest and open.


  9. I would be more than happy to send you a crafty care package if you want. Not sure what the shipping rules are for the middle east.

  10. The hardest thing to do is adjust and adapt to your situation when it's not the ideal - but in order to fill your life with joy and meaning like you did previously you need to continue doing what you love. It may be more challenging and different but I'm happy your going to work at it! {I've been in school for only more than a week -- and that was probably a very OT related comment -lol} Oh and I'd totally pin that planter - maybe its already there ;)

  11. I think this is a wonderful start. A nice small project that gives you the motivation you need. Even though it's so different here and finding the things you need can certainly be a challenge... each project you complete will definitely have a story behind it :) Then you can proudly display them all in your new home back in the U.S.

  12. I identify with this post SO much. I may have moved to Australia, not the Middle East, but I've been living with the same kind of feeling of "perfectness I left behind", and head-to-wall-banging, and a lack of desire to try. To be honest, I'm seriously thinking of moving back home soon. I'm too lonely and nothing has seemed to go my way here.

    Good for you for starting to try!

  13. Bethany, this post made me cry.

    I'm going through a very similar situation. I feel like something inside me is dying because I don't have my own space (among many other factors I won't go into detail here). Oh, it's a rough patch, for sure.

    Thanks for sharing. I wish we could be friends in real life. I just know we'd have a great time together. Thanks for your honesty & thoughts. You made my day better.

  14. i think your planter is gorgeous. i also think your blog is gorgeous and you inspire people in ways that are far beyond "pin worthy".

  15. I know what you mean. Living away from home in an entirely different culture is HARD. There's just so many new things to deal with all at once. I'm so glad you have found a like minded friend. Having a social network, even if it's just +1 makes such an incredible difference. Keep going at it hun, and keep on being the creative, lovable self you are! And ps, that pot is definitely pinnable ;)

  16. I really know how you feel.
    Moved here to italy for my husband and lived the first year in a very ugly appartment in the city. It was loud and I didn't liked anything about it. I felt so uncreative, but it is good to motivate yourself and maybe concentrate to little things who bring joy to your life.
    Looking back I was able to do some great things in this time. I made my own wedding dress and wedding and was much more productive with sewing. The part how is less nice is that I rarly documented this with photography.
    Maybe you can order your craft supplies in internet? This was just my trick to have the matrials I don't find local.
    Go ahead! Be creative and believe in yourself.

  17. I am so glad you took that first step. I think your planter is totally pin worthy too! I can only imagine how hard it is...and it's not like there is a JoAnn's or a Michael's near by. Each day will bring something new...xo


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