The yellow walls make for a bright dining area, but even with the sunny appearance there was an empty wall. Sometimes I looked at that wall and thought how it almost felt symbolic. Even in a good life there are empty spaces we look to fill. I try to fill my empty spaces with things that make me happy, though I don’t always succeed. It is too easy to fill the empty spaces with stuff that neither enriches nor improves our happiness.
I wanted to fill that wall, but I also wanted it to have meaning. I didn’t want just anything on that wall. I wanted something that looked good, and if I could I wanted something that would last. I didn’t just want something taking up the space while I waited to find something better. That wall has been empty for almost four years. Finally I figured out what to fill it with.
My mother is constantly redecorating. She goes through changing each room of her home until everything has been changed then she tends to start the process all over again. As a result she tends to pass on pictures and things that she doesn’t want to me. Some items go perfectly with the way I decorate, other things I put aside until I can figure out how to use them or just pass them on to a friend or Goodwill with my mother’s blessing.
My mother gave me these four picture frames as you see them. I’m not much of a flower person, and I never could figure out where exactly these frames could go until I saw a few different ideas in Better Homes and Gardens and Real Simple magazine. The light blue frames actually matched my kitchen cabinets pretty well so I left them as is, removing the glass and picture. The wooden frames I painted the same Space Hero Blue I detailed my cabinets in. I also removed the glass and picture form each of those.
I purchased some cork squares from Walmart as well as some blue and yellow fabric. Using the original cardboard backing I measured out the cork, cutting it to fit and gluing it to the cardboard. I covered two with yellow fabric and two with blue fabric. This covered up the cork, hiding the jigsaw look from piecing together enough to cover the space. Once everything had been glued with good old reliable Elmer’s, I put the fabric covered cork boards back in the frames and hung them on the wall.
Each custom cork board is now a fancy display for my children’s artwork, which we can change out as often as they can create it. As an added feature of meaning instead of using thumbtacks or pins I use the hat pins I collect. This is how I fill my life with meaning. I can now look at that wall filled with love and creativity.
How do you fill your empty spaces with meaning?