Monthly Archives: February 2012

Public Display of Imperfection

About three months ago, my friend and coworker Stephanie, who is a real-deal artist, organized an amazing Arts and Crafts Show at the Handlebar.  There were all kinds of talented people there: basket weavers, jewelry makers, hula hoop makers, painters, etc.  Stephanie knew Lynne, mom, and I had been dabbling in the craft world so she asked us to participate as well.  I was extremely nervous and embarrassed because hey, these are professionals and I’m a total amateur.  But I faced my fears and wound up having a good time.  And the artists/pros were so sweet and they came by and encouraged us.  Here is a look at the goods.  I designed some onesies (mom had to help with the sewing):

And here’s a look at Barb’s beautiful wreaths:

You can see Lynne’s amazing coasters here.  Not trying to make you jealous or anything , but I happen to own a set.

And here’s what our trio’s booth looked like.  We made a deal not to spend any money on our set up, since we aren’t regular craft fair frequenters, so we only used items we already had.

Sorry for all the obnoxious “watermarks.”  I had been using Picnik, but since it’s going away, I’m trying to learn Picasa and haven’t really had time to play around with it.  I promise I’ll get better.

Here’s a pic of me and Barb manning the booth.  I wish ol’ Lynnie B was in it, but she was behind the camera, er, iphone.  If I look high it’s because I was.  On Advil Cold and Sinus.  Booo colds.

Even if you don’t plan to go in to business selling your crafts (I don’t), it’s good to put yourself out there once in a while.  It’s scary as hell, but I think honest feedback is good for the soul.  It will give you thicker skin, ideas for improvement, or a boost of self confidence.  Win-win-win.  (And the song gets stuck in my head–“All I do is win-win-win no matter what….up down up down up down.” I’m so gangsta.)

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Oh Mockingjay….

What our evenings have looked like this week.  So sad that I’ve finished the series.

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Asheville and Roosters

Usually, when my birthday comes around, I’m like a little kid and I want there to be trumpets and confetti and a parade in my honor.  I must be “maturing,” though, because this year I wanted my birthday to be very low-key, which I found out is impossible.  All I really wanted was to take a day trip to Asheville and check out some cool thrift/antique/art stores.  Instead it went down like this:

Feb. 2, Davison’s parents come into town and take me out to eat at my fave Greenville restaurant–Adam’s Bistro.  It was delicious!

Feb. 4, Lynnie and Johnny B convince me to get out of the house and celebrate, so we go get Mexican food and come back to the house to play cards.  Lesson:  Throwing up in the bathroom of a Mexican restaurant is not fun.  But playing Shanghai Rummy afterward is.

Feb. 11-13, We drive to Dillon to have a joint bday celebration (half my family is born in February), complete with shopping trip with Nichole and “surprise party” given by my 7 year old niece Raylin.

Feb. 18, Mom, Lynne and I make our trip to Asheville and shop til we drop…almost literally.  Whew, tiring but fun.

Feb. 24-26, Davison’s family (parents, sis, bro-in-law, dogs-in-law)  is coming to visit so they can celebrate with me as well.

All this to say, I’m extremely blessed with people who love me, but I’m also worn out!  And March is looking just as busy.

And because no one wants to see a post with just a bunch of words in it, here are some pics from my new fave place, The Screen Door in Asheville.  It’s a big warehouse where vendors have individual booths and sell furniture, art, home decor, etc.  Very cool.  I didn’t end up buying anything, but I did get soooo inspired by the amazing work so I’m hoping to convert this inspiration into my own home projects in the near future.

How many things do I love about the “room” above?  For starters, the end table, the couch, and the lamp behind the couch, but the white lamp, the stumps, and the pillows are also great.

How cool are these animal silhouettes?  The cow out of reclaimed wood and the other is made out of buttons!!

A U.S. map made out of fabric swatches and one out of salvaged wood pieces.

Loving every single one of these light fixtures, the metal dogs and goats, and the big letters too.

More metal art..can’t decide if I like the faces or the iron skillet turkey best.

The couch, the desk, the trunk, the two-fabric combo chair….I’m drooling.

Are you inspired?   We also went to a few other places, one being the Antique Tobacco Barn.  Most of the inventory there was waaaay out of my price range, but this $6 rooster did catch my eye.

I painted him yellow.  And here he is now.

Thanks to this hilarious but profanity laced post by the Bloggess, I decided he needed a name.   And so his name is Fred Armisen because every time I look at him, I think of this craziness.  Here’s Fred in his new home:

I put him next to the chalkboard wall so I can draw speech bubbles coming from his beak.  Obviously.

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She get it from her mama.

Any craftiness I have comes from my mother, I believe.  She loves to create.  So when we couldn’t find a cute, affordable yellow bedskirt for her bed, she decided to create one.  Behold:

(P.S. Sorry for these crazy pictures, that little chandy casts some ridiculous looking shadows.  Next time I will try to remember that.)

Of course, I have no before pictures because we started this project around midnight, but imagine that where the Ikea duvet ended, you could see a boxspring mattress and some metal feet sticking out.  It was like catching a glimpse of someone in hospital gown from behind–there was stuff hanging out that you just weren’t supposed to see.  Being the dirt cheap thrifty chicks that we are, we took 3 yards of inexpensive yellow hobby lobby fabric and made a go of it.  We roughly followed this tutorial (the coral one) that I found on Pinterest, with a few exceptions:  1. We wanted a little less permanency, so we attached our fabric to an old fitted sheet instead of directly to the boxsprings.  2. Since mom’s bed frame has ugly metal feet, we needed the skirt to go all the way to the floor, so we had to adjust to that as well.

First, we cut the fabric into the strips we needed, leaving the finished side to the floor as much as possible to minimize the amount of sewing needed.  Here are the strips laid out on top of the sheet.  We didn’t have enough uncut yardage to go all the way across the front so we had to put an extra seam there.

The next steps are kinda fuzzy because I went to bed and when I woke up the next morning, mom had finished it.  Doesn’t she know tutorials require step-by-step photos?  Amateur.  🙂  From what she told me, she used some hemming tape to attach it, and when that ran out, resorted to hot glue, because who’s going to be looking under her mattress except for the four people who read my blog?  Here’s a close up of the corner.

And here’s the final product….not bad for about 12 bucks.

The one thing mom mentioned as a “you live, you learn” moment was that when she measured the material, she didn’t account for the weight of the mattress that lays on top.  Therefore, the skirt “drags” the floor a little more than she wanted.  I think she did a fantastic job.  Also, her birthday is tomorrow so show her some love!

Stay tuned for the headboard makeover, coming soon!

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Beauty and the Beast

Please indulge me, as this is going to be a picture heavy post written by an obsessive aunt.

There once was a beautiful princess whose clothes were way too big.

This princess’s heart ached because she wanted to dance, so she told her dog about it.

As you can see, this princess did not take no for an answer when she asked you to dance.

And so she found the only male in the castle, and held him captive while she forced him to dance with her.

They twirled, he lifted, he rested, she ordered him to resume dancing, and the cycle continued for about an hour.

She sang so loudly (and so off-key) while she danced, the servant workers in the kitchen, whom the princess called Mama and Granny B, came out to see what was the matter.  Here is what the princess looked like when she was singing.

The princess had a grand time, singing and dancing, all the while watching herself on television.

Her captive had a pretty good time too.  The end.

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White Chicken Chili

One of my new favorite recipes.  It may not look appetizing, but it is delicious.  Spicy, flavorful, comforting (and somewhat healthy?) …..everything you could want in a food, except for looks.  Wah-Wahmp.  Something sad about a plate of colorless food.

Anyway, the recipe is here.  We sub one real deal jalapeno pepper for the canned stuff (and it’s plenty spicy, but not over the top).  We add an extra can of beans to make two hearty meals for three people (half Northern, half navy–the beans not the people).  We take away one can of chicken broth.  Otherwise, you get soup, not chili.  To recap:

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 (4 ounce) can diced jalapeno peppers
  • 1 (4 ounce) can chopped green chile peppers
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
  • 21 (14.5 ounce) cans chicken broth
  • 3 cups chopped cooked chicken breast
  • 34 (15 ounce) cans white beans
  • 1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
Here are the instructions.
  1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium-low heat. Slowly cook and stir the onion until tender. Mix in the garlic, jalapeno, green chile peppers, cumin, oregano and cayenne. Continue to cook and stir the mixture until tender, about 3 minutes. Mix in the chicken broth, chicken and white beans. Simmer 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  2. Remove the mixture from heat. Slowly stir in the cheese until melted. Serve warm.

 Yummmmmmmm.  If you like it go tell ChaCha.
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Peacock Pretties

For once, I am following through like I said I would.  I told you this weekend that I had plans for the hutch, and little did you know that I had this pretty peacock paper from Paper Source already waiting to be used.  I used it to line the back of the hutch since it was so dark in there.  I could have used spray adhesive, but I didn’t have any so I just used double-sided tape.  Resourceful?  Lazy?  Judge me all you want, but I have a pretty peacock feather lined hutch and what do you have?  Don’t answer that because you probably put my hutch to shame.  Anyway, most of you have probably grown impatient and skipped ahead to the pictures, but for those of you who haven’t, here she goes:

The hutch was scored a while back on Craigslist for $100.  I know some of y’all find these jaw-dropping deals out there, but I waited around for 6 months stalking Craigslist before “splurging” on this one.  $100 is still a pretty good deal if I say so myself, considering that it had already been painted and the hardware updated.  Here’s a peek inside, without the glare:

And here’s a closeup of the pretty, pretty paper:

I love the gold flecks in there, since I’m planning to make gold more of an element in that room.  The paper was $5 per 20″ by 28″ sheet.  It took four sheets, which I was able to match up nicely in a pretty much invisible seam down the middle.  I also have some decent sized scraps leftover so I can use those for some future project.

So for $20 (plus shipping but I also bought some additional pretty paper), here’s my before and after:

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I only speak the truth.

So I came inside today after getting home from work and realized my chalkboard still said this:

Please note that the Christmas lights had in fact been erased and seasonal decor put away, but the “baby it’s cold outside” remained, and it’s just not true.  It’s been sunny and in/around the 60s lately.  In fact, these beauties are already blooming in the front yard:

Even if winter does decide to make a comeback, I needed something less depressing on my board.   I don’t really decorate for Valentines day so behold my Herculean effort at trying to get into the commercialized spirit:

Taaadaaa!  Not worth a taadaa?  Yeah, I didn’t think so.  To make up for it, I will leave you with a picture of the whole wall, so you can see the type of things that actually get said out loud at our house. Oh, if these walls could talk.

Yep.  That just happened.  One minute–a deep discussion about politics and poverty, the next–potty humor.  I like to call that “well-rounded.”

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31 year old me

Who I am at 31 years of age:

Disclaimer: I'm not actually 31 in this picture. I'm 30 years, 11 months, but it's the most recent one I got.

I am changing, still.  I have become more introverted.  It is difficult for me to start up conversations and to keep up small talk.  I am still my biggest critic.  My lack of self confidence often holds me back.  However, I am growing more comfortable in my skin.  I know my strengths and weaknesses.  I am not afraid to admit when I don’t know the answer.  I still catch myself thinking, “wonder what so and so will think if I do/wear/buy this,” but now I respond with “what does it matter as long as I like it?”  Once I know someone, I am an open book.  I have an extremely difficult time keeping secrets about my life.

I am fully aware that some people do not get a fair shake at life.  We do not have equality of opportunity.  Life isn’t fair.  I grow more sensitive to this fact everyday.  It is impossible for me not to put myself in someone else’s shoes when I hear their story.  My empathy for strangers knows no bounds.  It often floods my emotions.

I am a survivor of depression.  It is always lurking, staying as close as my shadow.  Some days I hate myself.  Some days I think the world would be better without me.  However, the attacks are much less frequent and less severe than they used to be.  I credit my husband for the stability he brought to my life.  I struggle with anxiety.  I worry about things unlikely to happen and constantly prepare strategies to deal with these imaginary situations.

I love to write; I love to create.  I love color.  I am a little quirky.  I like my showers too hot, too much pepper on my food, and I am way too intense when I play games.  I do not like to wear socks or the sound of fingernails on fabric. I end telephone calls, as well as text message and email conversations, awkwardly and abruptly.

I am loved.  My life is full of amazing people who are happy when I succeed and grieve with me when I am mourning.  I am also madly in love–this is not an exaggeration.  My life is beautiful.

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Teal Trance: My New Dining Room!

So here is my starting point:

(Ignore the boxes in the corner.)

The red dining room was one of the very few rooms we have not painted in the almost two years we have lived in the house.  Most poeple loved it and complimented us on it, and it tied the rooms together nicely because we have a red sofa in the living room and a red buffet/sideboard and stools in the kitchen.  Yet it bugged me.  When it had originally been painted, it really needed an extra coat, but I’m guessing the painters had already done at least two coats and just couldn’t take it anymore.  I’ve been there.  But there were areas that didn’t look fully covered and I often thought the red looked garish and cheap.

And then came my obsession with peacock blue/teal.  I loved it; I wanted to take a bath in it.  Most of all I wanted to eat fancy dinners in my dining room surrounded in a sea of it.  Okay, we don’t really do fancy dinners, but we do play poker and occasionally eat meals in there when the extended family visits.  Anyway, with my husband’s always gracious blessing to paint yet another room,  we began to cover those intense red walls.  We decided to do white on the bottom.  We did two coats of primer on the bottom to cover up the red.  I thought one coat of white paint would do the trick, but of course, I always underestimate how much paint i will need.  After two coats of primer and two coats of paint, the wall under the chair rail was a crisp white.  I loved it.

On the top, I used my tinted primer trick (from here) and poured some paint into the primer.  We probably put more paint than we needed in there, which caused us to run out later, but I’ll get to that in a second.  Here it is after a coat of primer:

Mom said it looked like denim, and Day said, “Don’t tell her that, then she’ll want to leave it like this.”  Because who doesn’t want denim walls?  Does my hubs even know me?  The only denim I own is blue jeans.  Is this how he really sees me?

Here is our beloved dining room after one coat of paint:

After two coats of paint:

And again the golden rule of paint:  it’s always going to require one more coat of paint than you think.  And we were out of paint.  Booooo.  After a few days of building up enough motivation to finish the fight, we bought another can and finally knocked it out.  The paint is Olympic No VOC matched to Behr Tropical Skies, in case you were curious.  It is definitely more teal (a little bit of green tint) than my camera is letting on.  Here it is after 3 obnoxious coats:

And here is the finished product.  May I present my new teal dining room:

Cue angels singing.  I have some plans for that hutch coming soon.

And for that little corner table.

And a close up of the walls that hold two of my favorite Christmas presents, mentioned here.

And of course, you need a before and after comparison.

Better, no?

I’m in looooooove.  Thanks for stopping by!

teal dining room

red dining room

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