Mar 2, 2013

Life Lessons and a Ballard Message Board Knock Off

In case you haven't noticed, I have been loving the knock offs lately. Especially the Ballard and Pottery Barn type, because, let's face it... I will never be able to stomach paying what they charge, especially when God has blessed me with a creative mind and the ability to recreate.

You see, I've been learning a very important lesson.

Materialism = unhappiness.

It started when we attended an auction several months ago. A sweet, older lady had to move in with family because she is no longer able to care for herself. They held an auction and sold nearly everything she had. Like me, she appreciated and loved pretty things and had acquired quite a lot over her lifetime. There were a lot of antiques and collectible items as well as some really beautiful paintings and furniture. As is typical of an estate sale, most of the items were auctioned off for much less than they are worth. I felt so sorry for this lady as she watched people paying a dollar here or there for these things that had been so special to her. It made me wonder what my end-of-life estate sale would look like.

In addition to that experience, we have broken an astonishing number of things over the past couple of months (including cracking the windshield on our car just as we were getting ready to sell it). I'm ashamed to admit it, but my first thought is usually, "How much did we spend on that? Can it be easily replaced?" Most of the time, the answer is "No." And then I struggle with my attitude when I realize that money was wasted.

My conclusion?

If I am going to buy something, it has to (a) serve a legitimate purpose and (b) only cost as much as absolutely necessary. If I spend too much money on something, it becomes too special. Too precious. And then I want to protect it, because I spent all that money on it. So rather than owning material, material owns me.

Materialism = unhappiness.

If a dish I bought at Goodwill gets broken or a shirt I bought for a couple dollars on clearance gets stained or shrinks, no big loss. It can be easily and inexpensively replaced.

So there you have it. I realize this is kind of a deep preface to a message board tutorial, but this subject has been really weighing on me. Would I have spent $219 on a message board at Ballard Designs? Never. I would be tormented if it ever got a snag or stain. But I can handle covering a $2 bulletin board I found at the thrift store. If anything happens to it, I certainly won't be broken-hearted.

My inspiration:

We've always just had one computer desk, but now that Marshall is studying and preparing sermons at home, we needed to have separate work spaces. We have our desks at opposite corners of the office, and Marshall really needed to have a message board near his desk for all of the church related mail and documents that come his way. I thought this would be the perfect look- not boring but not too "pretty."

As I mentioned earlier, we found a large bulletin board for $2 at a thrift store.

All it needed was some burlap and upholstery nails to finish the look.

I laid the burlap over the board, attached it around the edges with the nails, and hot glued the extra fabric to the back. So easy.