Non-academic projects (AKA Hobbies): Decoupage bookshelf

I'm one of those lucky people who get to do what they love. This is why I stayed in grad school, honestly. People should think long and hard about their reasons for getting a doctorate...I'm not sure I thought enough, but I knew that there wouldn't be terribly many other opportunities to get paid to do what I love, get better at doing what I love, and live in the same city as my husband.

That being said...when I watch movies, when I read the news, when I eat, when I walk across campus, I'm in public health mode. It doesn't turn off- it's a part of me. This is why I'm good at what I do- because it's who I am. It's also what makes me crazy sometimes. So projects and conversations that *aren't* directly public health related, while often challenging, are often deeply restorative. 

Last week, we decided to move a bookshelf that was taking up room in a narrow hallway into an empty spot in the living room. When we made that decision, the bookshelf looked like this:


I'd found it out on the side of the road a couple days after moving to this city. I pulled it into my then- apartment, cleaned it up and unloaded a box of books on it. It was the most flimsy, ugly piece of furniture imaginable, and could NOT go into our living room.

I started digging around for things to do, and realized we had a stash of scrapbook paper that had been intended for cupcake wrappers for our wedding. My stepmom ended up buying cupcake wrappers (some battles you don't fight. Particularly when they mean more work for you). So we made a trip to Hobby Lobby with a giftcard we'd gotten for our wedding to grab a container of Mod Podge and a couple spongey brushes, and a couple more sheets of scrapbook paper (to change up the color scheme a bit). I spent every evening for a week cutting paper, wetting paper, covering it with Elmer's glue and/or Mod Podge and smoothing out wrinkles.


Eventually, this was what I ended up with:


We rearranged the books, so our "serious" (mostly academic) books are on our big bookshelf, and the fun books on this one. Now we've got a not-hideous bookshelf, and a cozy reading nook in our living room, and two fewer boxes of books sitting on the floor.


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