My home

At the end of 2019, we started an extensive renovation of the house that my Grandpa and Grandma had built about 30 years ago. My Grandma had draw out floor plans and designed the layout of the house. My Grandpa built all of it, using the floor of a church for a ceiling and lots of concrete. It was built into a hillside, with a spring-fed pond in the front.

There was a lot of work to be done: we replaced the entire roof structure except for the rafters. We built in a new back wall. We added windows and doors. We redid the electrical and plumbing. We finished spaces and insulated and put up drywall. We textured the walls and painted. And we did almost all of it ourselves.

So over three years later, we passed our final inspection, finished decorating, and we now enjoy our home. It’s not perfect. We still have things to do (the deck is next). But here it is:

20. How do I create a mood board?

My favorite way to make mood boards is in Sketchbook.

This is about how Sketchbook will look when you open it for the first time.

The first step is to import an image. You can do this by a copying an image from the internet or using the Print Screen feature on your computer.

You can use the magic wand select tool to select all the white space from your image. You’re going to then invert your selection (it’s in the same select toolbar, the button second from the right with a dashed square nested in another dashed square), and then just type Delete and all that white around the piece of furniture will go away so you can layer it with other things.

You need to show the Layer Editor Window, and you can do that by going to Window -> Layer Editor.

I copied in another image. When I copy it, it automatically creates a new layer. In the Layer Editor, I can rearrange the layers so that the rug goes behind the chair, instead of on top of it (I use the little button with the arrows up and down).

Do you see that circle thing on top of the chair? That’s the Quick Transform tool, and you can get to it by clicking on the button that is highlighted in blue in the toolbar. The middle of the Quick Transform tool can be used to resize. Going outward, you can rotate, and at the edge, move an object around.

As you add more layers, you eventually create a mood board. You’ll want to save it as a TIFF file to be able to come back and edit the layers. But if you want to share, you’ll have to save it as a jpeg or a png and flatten the images. Here are some mood boards I’ve created for my house:

They aren’t perfect, but they still help me visualize my space as I work on selecting finishes.

Loosing and Finding Home

I moved when I was five years old, and then I lived in the same house until I was twenty. I had the same bedroom for over a decade. Home was very much a specific place that I could rely on.

And then I moved out and I moved again and again and again.

We haven’t ever found a singular place to call home. The house I have lived in for the majority of my life still sort of feels like home in a way, but I’m now a visitor there.

For a while, my husband and I wanted to find someplace to call home. With all our moves, we knew that we hadn’t landed yet. We hadn’t found a place where we could settle down and live for years on end without thinking about moving again.

But more than that, I wanted a feeling of home. I wanted that place that was constant and unchanging. A place that felt reliable. A place that was always there. A place that felt more familiar than anything in the world.

I wanted a place where I could always feel like myself. A place I never had to pretend in. Somewhere where it was safe to laugh and safe to cry. Somewhere that would always forgive. A foundation to my life that never shifted.

Going home when I was a child was safety and peace. I was taken care of at home. I didn’t want anything more or less. I was happy.

I wanted that feeling again.

And after years of being an adult, I have realized that that feeling of home only exists when you are a child. Nowhere will ever feel like home quite like it did when you were young.

Because part of home was the fact that I had a mother and a father to take care of me and to take care of the house. Now I’m in charge.

So I’m worried about housing markets, interest rates, insurance, and bills. I’m worried about paint colors and furnishings. I’m worried about what’s for dinner and what I need to clean up next. I can’t ever sit and be completely still in my house again. Home is a feeling that doesn’t contain worry.

I can’t ever be completely at home because I am the one making the home. I am the one providing safety and peace. And while I can enjoy it in some ways, it will never be the same.

But that isn’t a bad thing. I am so grateful that I got that feeling of home when I was younger, because some people never have it in their lives.

And I know that my kids can feel how I did. That makes me happy–a different sort of happiness.

Home is different now. But different isn’t bad.

And I know that when this life ends, I’ll be able to find that feeling of home again, just like I felt as a child. Because I think that what I was feeling when I was kid–that feeling of safety and security and love–that was heaven.