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Bathroom Art Series

In design school I had a professor who would collect flight safety cards for their novel infographics. They are often hilariously horrible, yet interesting how the artist/designer chose to convey this important emergency information. As I started traveling internationally in 2007, I began collecting my own cards as well. I stopped after I had 14 or 15 from different airlines and plane models.

Over the years, I dreamt about making an ironic bathroom series because I thought it would be amusing for guests to ponder flight safety when they visit our bathroom.

For a long time this was impossible, because Kay refused to drill holes in a rental. Then we spent literally two years discussing and debating how to go about hanging up a series of photos on the wall. This is THE FIRST thing ever hung up in our flat after two years.

Kay’s issue was making too many holes in the wall for whenever we move out eventually. He argued that we should buy a museum-like gallery system, so we could easily hang multiple photos and change them if we like. I finally caved and gave up my multiple-holes-in-the-wall pitch.I actually bought the frames for my bathroom series in 2013 or 2014, but yes… they sat on my desk for the better part of two years before I could finally start hanging them up. And it was not easy! First I had to buy screws to hang some string in the middle for the photo to hang properly.After a lot of testing, I decided I would have to hang the frames with the string set in the lower third, because they are so small and light and bulky that they would not lay flat against the wall.Here is the gallery rail, which mind you, has five screws in it. In case that’s not clear, this is only four screws less than if we hung the photos without this rail system.…and this was my main problem. Even hanging with the hook set lower, these darn frames just flopped out from the wall. It was infuriating. I swore it then and I swear it now, it would have been SO much easier if we just drilled some darn holes in the wall. I ended up flipping every frame around and taping black electrical tape around the clear gallery cable to secure the frames. But that wasn’t enough… I needed to secure both the top and bottoms, plus secure invisible pieces of plastic on the sides to make sure the frames would stay aligned to one another and not all crooked.After all this tedious taping was done, the entire taped together grid of nine frames was STILL hanging off the wall, so I doubled up on some double-sided wall mount stuff to really secure those suckers to the wall. Yep. It’s a bit ridiculous. Now all nine frames are taped in multiple areas to another, plus these silly pads gluing the whole thing to the wall. Changeable? No fucking way. Don’t you dare touch this now that it is up!The final result looks really nice, but it took literally hours and a lot of patience… all to save making four additional holes. Gah. That’s compromise folks! Still, I do love the gallery now that it’s done. I just do not want to ever touch it again.Now guests are free to contemplate the safety measures required during a flight emergency as they relieve themselves or freshen up.And really… it is the first thing up on any of the walls. It’s great to just have something there on those stark white walls that I don’t feel like painting with that annoying-to-paint texture. 🙂I also could finally spruce up the severely lonely corner in the guest bathroom with a vase from my FIL and some fake plants from IKEA. Now I am not quite so depressed when I look over there from the throne. And for the other bathroom, even though it has a window, we have like four layers of curtains for privacy, so I also got a fake orchid from IKEA to brighten up this space as well. It’s actually a little nice not to have to worry about watering or taking care of these plants. 🙂Do you ever buy fake plants to spruce things up a bit?

Inheriting Plants

Going to my FIL’s house to go through my MIL’s things has not been the highlight of the summer, but my FIL would rather purge everything now. It’s helping him heal and we need to organize her things some time anyway, but that doesn’t make it easier.

My MIL was always the gardener and my FIL let us know he planned to get  rid of everything because he is not interested in plants, cannot keep up with the watering, and is pretty sure he would kill everything. We tried to organize a transport van in June to pick everything up, but the reservation was messed up, so we planned to do it after Luxembourg in what had to be the hottest week of the summer.

While the boys loaded the van, I stayed in the hot house and finished going through clothing, makeup, and jewelry. Below you see my sweaty face… just imagine trying on clothing in a house without AC in the high 90s. Melting!! While clothes are easy for the boys to let go, it made me sad to go through them. They all still smell like her. I can see why my FIL doesn’t want them around anymore. I saved a bunch of her scarves and now I have a lot of clothes to go through at home.

Also pinned up in the office on her wardrobe was a photo of my family from Christmas 2012. With family being so important to my MIL, she made it a priority to write down all of their names so she could learn all the names of my siblings and their spouses. It was just another sign of how much this woman truly loved and valued her family, whether it was in Switzerland, Brazil, or the US.

Back outside, the transport van didn’t have AC either and the fans were kind of broken. I was really just dreaming about jumping in lake Zurich, but we managed to transport this huge lot of plants home.The hard part was then moving them from the van to the flat, up the lift, and out onto the balcony. Kay was sweating bucket loads by the time we finished.Almost this whole line of plants were my MIL’s. She had so many! And they are gorgeous.It feels great to fill up the balcony with some pots finally, but I’m sad about the way in which we came about all the plants.

I can’t help wanting to show my MIL how the plants look here. She loved looking through my garden and seeing what I did differently. I hope I can keep her plants for awhile without doing them harm. They are so different than what I plant myself!

Garden Envy

Often in the train I look out and admire the many vegetable gardens that can be seen along the tracks. Recently I had some garden envy when I saw the setup below:It’s a work of art! Look at all of those beautiful types of plants organized and sectioned off from one another. Each type of plant has the tools it needs like stakes to grow strong and produce fruit or vegetables.

Vegetable gardening is tough and while I am still a complete newbie, I have learned a lot and love to keep on learning more each year as I try out different things. But when i see a garden like this, I am so impressed by all of the knowledge and planning that went in to get it to this stage. This person knows what they are doing!

Tell me I’m not the only one jealous of other people’s veggie gardens. I would love to have this in my someday backyard!

Funny flower pots

So, I found these really cool flower pots at Migros and they kind of persuaded me to buy a bunch of flowers to fill them up with. Yes, the flower pots told me to. Shhh.

Sigh, I fall for flowers every time.

I chose all my mixes based on what is supposed to do well with a LOT of sun, because that’s what this balcony gets. Also, preferably not daily watering. I’m a little lazy, y’all. 😉

I also chose some roses to add into the mix since the climbing roses have done so well from last year.

Now, onto the pots. These are for the banisters and they are different in that they kind of sit like a saddle on top of a banister, so you don’t have that sad probably of a wobbly, slanted hanging basket that I always had with our other row pots.

Plus, look at the cool colors they come in! Lime green and purple! Those are OUR colors! 😉

My roses are still going crazy. I’m really loving them. 🙂

View from the banister below to the courtyard.

 Yup, good purchase here.

The only problem is that they only fill up like a smidgen of our terrace. I could seriously buy like twenty more of these pots to fill the whole banister.

Right now I set them on the side next to my flower area so that I can see them from the kitchen window, and that makes me happy. 🙂

Also, check out my gorgeous roses over here. I am really in love!

We’ve had a lot of thunderstorm nights lately, but it’s great to finally be enjoying the balcony at summer again.

A warm night with a caipirinha on the terrace… ahhh.

What parts of summer are you loving so far?

June Garden Update

Things are finally starting to bloom here! Look at the clematis going wild this year:

We also have lots of happy roses, some ours and some from the neighbors, poking through the fence.

I really like the red ones. I’m proud how much they have shot up, even though I didn’t do much for them!

 This little corner with the neighbor and my clematis and the climbing roses is just lovely. Also look at that lavender at the left in the box going nuts!

My cherry tomato plants are also coming up nicely, but I’m not sure when I should transplant some to a new spot. There are too many here for one pot!

Also my lettuce, which looks a bit spotty already. I haven’t started picking it yet because I’m intimidated, but I should start.

And the pink climbing roses, which seem more like bush roses, on the other side of the balcony.

I’m really impressed how many things came back from last year and do a lot of real spring growing in April and May. It’s so fun to watch!

How are your gardens coming along this year?