Monday, July 27, 2009

Nailed it!

Update: I am linking this post to DIY Day at A Soft Place to Land. Go check out all the other great projects!

Do you make lists? I do.


On my list of things I absolutely MUST accomplish before menopause is to rehab a cool piece of furniture and adorn it with nail head trim.


I am excited about this for a couple of reasons.

Number 1: According to my calculations, menopause for me is a solid 20-25 years away. Which means I'm waaaay ahead of the game. (Right? Is that right? If I'm off, please let me know ASAP, as the rest of my lists will need to be updated, stat).

Number 2: I am in LOVE with my finished little stool! I'm going to go ahead and give myself a pat on the back! Luckily I'm flexible like that.

I had big plans to join Centsational Girl's Nail Head Trim Party, which was slated for this Friday. It was the perfect motivation for me to focus in and complete a project, since my MO is to start about 5 projects at once, wreak havoc on our entire house and nearly give hubby a coronary with all of the disarray. It's just the way I operate and hubby's cross to bear.

Here is the sad little stool I found for a whopping $2 at the thriftique store I stalk:

A tad unsightly. But I had big plans for the little guy. Some would call me a visionary... but I don't like to toot my own horn, so feel free to come up with your own synonym.

I could see that some poor soul had tried to jazz it up previously, with their misguided magenta latex paint.. this became a real pain in the rear since I ended up having to peel and scrape it off with my thumb nails. My manicurist was NOT happy.

And where's a chimp when you need one? Without any opposable thumbs, our dog was totally useless for this project.

So, after much peeling and sanding I had had enough. Out with the spray paint!

I actually liked the rope(?) top of the stool, but since it had been painted a lovely shade of gold, I didn't think it could be salvaged. Besides, I knew I wanted to try my hand at a cushioned seat with some sexy nail head trim!

I had a piece of wood cut at Home Depot and trimmed some thick foam for the cushion.

Then I covered it with my fabric and staple-gunned the heck out of it. Add some nail head detailing and we're almost done!

And here he is!

What do you think? I am pretty happy with the way it turned out!

Hmmm... what else can I trim with nail head?..

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Happy Birthday Mom!

Today is my fabulous mother's birthday!

My mom has always encouraged me to explore my creativity and to embrace my goofy side.

She is also a wonderful example of grace, strength and faithfulness.

I love you mom! Can't wait to see you soon!!

p.s. Thanks for letting me quit ballet. :)

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Dining a go-go

I have been a busy little bee lately, working on all sorts of projects around the house. I am totally hooked on the decorating blogs floating around out there, as you can see by my blog roll. And since I am eternally on a budget and always looking for a creative outlet, all of the thrifty, Do It Yourself, repurpose/reuse ideas and inspirations have been so much fun!

And on that note, I think I am finally finished with our dining room (well, for now anyway), so I thought I would show it off!

I know I've posted some "before" pictures, but here's a quick reminder:

It was okay I guess, but just kind of dark and definitely blaaaahh. I never really put anything on the walls and it was pretty boring.

So I went an entirely different direction with things:

Muy bueno!! This is so much lighter and airier (is that a word?) and much more to my current taste.

Here are some close-ups on the details and projects I injected:

I had seen this or something similar done in a number of magazines and really liked the look of the empty frames. I added two mirrors because, well, that's my prerogative.

Hubby has already taken full advantage of the height of the mirrors and his usual dining spot directly across from them. He likes to pretend he's gazing lovingly into my eyes whilst checking out his hairdo. (I kid! I kid!)

I bought a few of the larger frames and one mirror at an antique/thrift store and on clearance at Hobby Lobby. All of the others I had lying around the house. What I like about it is that it's non-commitment art. I have a hard time buying art because I get very drawn to something and then decide I don't like it not long after. :)

Luckily this phobia does not spill over into my relationships.

Here's a look at the (back?) wall.

Plates on the wall is something fairly new to me, but I've seen it all over blogland. At first I wasn't sure if it was too country for me, but I really like these white ones. They have a raised fern imprint that leans toward my natural vibe and for only $1.50 each at Ross, I had to have them.

This is a Salvation Army frame that I salvaged and spray painted. I just put a thick white mat around one of those bamboo place mats and called it ART. Love it.

I LOVE these pillows! I just made them and am smitten. I have totally jumped on the burlap bandwagon and knew these would bring a cool, natural element to the room. I painted the designs on with a stencil and sewed them up! What do you think??

Also, it's hard to tell by the pictures, but I recovered all of the chair seats. They have very thin, faint stripes. I initially wanted something with a little more texture, but found this fabric for $9 total, so it will do just fine for now!

So what do you think of our new and improved dining room?? I will have to start throwing dinner parties and afternoon soirees, don't you think?

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

There goes the neighborhood

I want to tell you about my neighbor, Fred.

Well, I guess he's my neighbor... he lives about 3 blocks away from us.

And I really don't know if his name is Fred or not, but for the purposes of this post, that's what I'm calling him.

This is Fred's mailbox:

Unsightly, isn't it?

Hubby was the first to notice this eyesore, because if there's one thing he dislikes more than tomatoes, it's people who don't keep up the appearance of their lawn and the front of their house. For the first two months after we moved in he gave our neighbors across the street the stink eye whenever possible. Finally, after more than one awkward stare-down with their 3 year old, they got rid of the bright, plastic, two-foot slide that NONE of their children EVER played on. We had even considered nabbing it in the middle of the night, for the good of our street. Luckily it didn't come to that.

So back to Fred.

The thing about his mailbox is, his house is the very first one when you enter our addition from the south. So driving by it on the main street, this rusty old box is the first thing you might see. And it doesn't give off a good impression.

We have fantasized on more than one occasion of sneaking over there in the middle of the night (we like to do all our re-con work at night) and spray painting the heck out of. Or of doing nightly drive-by's, giving the old gal one spray of paint at a time. My personal favorite was the idea to put a can of spray paint and a note from the "neighborhood association" (our neighborhood doesn't have one!), in his mailbox, letting Fred know that his mail receptacle is not up to snuff and that we had each pitched in a quarter for this overdue update.

Great ideas, right?? We've only had 9 months or so to stew on this.

Here's the other thing about Fred. Up until last week, we didn't think there was a Fred. We were convinced that no one lived in that house. There were never any signs of life- not a car in the driveway, no festive flags hanging from the porch, no freshly planted flowers... Then one evening last week I caught a glimpse of him, seemingly just home from work.

** I feel the need to interject at this point- we are not really neighborhood stalkers. If you have suddenly realized you live in the same neighborhood as we do, there is no need to worry that we're peering in your windows or tracking your movements, I promise! Unless of course you have some ghastly, plastic, permanent lawn furniture, in which case, your time is coming.

Hubby hardly believed me when I told him I had seen the elusive Fred of mailbox fame. But he did think it was a good idea to share our shameful neighborhood secret with the blogging world, so on our way home from dinner last night, he slowed the car down so I could hang out the window and snap some photos.

We nearly wrecked when we saw this!!

It's Fred! It's Fred!!

After speeding off and marveling at our dumb luck, I convinced hubby to turn around and do another drive-by. This time we had to be quick. 'Ol Fred was hot on our scent and I'm guessing the camera flash and our vehicle at a complete stop next to his mailbox were somehow tipping him off. After a few horrifying seconds when my eyes met Fred's through our illegal-grade, tinted back windshield, I shouted "Step on it!" and hubby peeled out like a bat out of hell.

So now, besides anti-rust mailbox paint, I am on a mission to find some dull, gray, asphalt-colored spray paint to cover up our tire marks outside of Fred's house.

I'm no dummy. I watch those CSI/Law & Order shows and tire tracks are as easy to trace as fingerprints!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Your Royal AWESOMEness

Yeah, that's right kids- ME!

I have been so graciously dubbed Queen of Awesome by my friend Katie over at It's in the Details.

(Go check out her blog RIGHT NOW! Yes, I am feeling a little bossy this morning, but I have just been named Queen and I think I need to make up for lost time.)

I have to say, upon reading the news of my coronation, I pushed aside my "aww, shucks" grin and immediately went in to full-on Queen Mode.

I have been strutting around with my coffee and my chin in the air, giving scornful looks to the unmade bed, dirty dishes and wilted plants. Ungrateful subjects!

I've also already taught my dog to address me as "Your Highness." I'm contemplating some sort of a jester outfit on him to really seal the deal...

And strangely enough, I feel a new, deeper connection to Ron Burgundy.

"I don't know how to put this but I'm kind of a big deal"

This award and appointment also really appeals to my competitive side. I'm not sure if any of you knew this or not but I LOVE to win. I'm not athletic or into sports necessarily (it just wouldn't befit a queen), but take me bowling or get out the cards or scrabble board and I am ON. My husband (who is also fiercely competitive) and I nearly broke up after one maddening game of scrabble. But I WON! (Sorry babe!)

(Is it just me or do I have like, a million things in parenthesis in this post???)

Okay, back to business! Due to my Awesomeness, I must tell you 7 things that make me truly awesome. Here goes nothin':

1. I am married to a stud.

Here he is, doing what else?
Just WINNING a very competitive game of ladder ball.

2. I can make Grandma's tortillas.

And I mean make them gooooood. We could live off of these babies.

(Full post on these will come, oh I don't know, at some point during my reign)

3. I am a bargain hunter
No joke- half of my house has been furnished from craigslist, TJ Maxx, hand-me-downs and a variety of thrift stores. Or I made it with my own two hands. I could say it's because I'm green and trying to use repurposed old objects or because I am currently unemployed and trying to stretch my dollar.. but really it comes down to the fact that I am awesome. And I love the thrill of a great piece at half the price. Plus, you would never know it by looking. Come over some time and check it out!

4. My most loyal subject is this guy:

That dumb stuffed otter thought he could attack me?? Not so fast!

5. I have awesome siblings!

And soon, the sassy little gal on the left will be joining the ranks as my sister-in-law!
Woo hoo!!

6. I have been able to recite the alphabet backwards.. since the 3rd grade.
Frank, a tall black kid in my class, doubted my abilities. But lo and behold, we had an assembly that very afternoon and when they asked if anyone thought they could manage this great feat, my hand shot up like a rocket! And there, before the entire elementary school, I felt the clean rush of VICTORY.

7. I am a sharpshooter.

No, I have not heard from the FBI, the NRA or even our local police department. Yet during this, my first ever experience shooting a fire arm, I NAILED IT. Right through the bulls eye, baby!

There you have it folks! Seven reasons why I am the Queen of Awesome :)

Thanks Katie!!

Now, as I am still relatively new to blogging, I don't really have any other blogger friends to pay this Awesomeness forward to... The Pioneer Woman is definitely awesome, and so is Centsational Girl...

Who else in blog-land is awesome?? Help me out folks, I need more awesome cyber friends!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Stars and Stripes

A few weeks ago, hubby mentioned he would like to get an American Flag to hang outside of our house. Truthfully, my first gut reaction was "ehhhhh... I don't know about that.."

See, when I think of any sort of flag hanging off the front of a home, I picture pastel bunny rabbits and Easter eggs... large turkeys with Pilgrim hats... IT'S A GIRL... goofy looking jack-o-lanterns.. you get the idea.

In my personal opinion, displaying one of these theme-type flags to denote the season or a holiday is basically the equivalent of putting your house in a red sweater vest with little christmas trees hanging off and the words PEACE ON EARTH embroidered across the back under a patchwork dove.

And then sending it off to substitute teach all the 3rd grade houses.

(No personal offense to teachers OR flag lovers).

You see my dilemna. One misplaced piece of yard art and my street cred is out the window.

But since then he's mentioned it a few other times and the idea has had time to roll around in my head. And I've been noticing lots of homes that do have American flags out front. And I like it. So this week we decided to get one. We had only checked one or two places when I came across this guy at a thrift/antique store:

He immediately called to me from the little display, and being the in-tune shopper that I am, I snapped him up.

I love the fact that it's old and imperfect and made from cloth. He's got character, unlike some of the vinyl varieties that we saw at Lowe's. Plus, he's a little bit sassy. He likes to whip around in the hot breeze and show off his long stripes and twinkly stars.

I love it.

And so I am very glad that we can show our patriotism this Fourth of July by proudly displaying the American flag. I'm really glad we have this holiday to remind us of the freedoms that we are so blessed to have by living in the USA. Freedoms we take for granted every day, but that many people have died to uphold, and many others have died trying to attain.

Aren't you PROUD to be an American?? I am!

Now go forth and eat cobbler and corn on the cob and an ungodly number of hot dogs. Just remember, today of all days is a good one to lay off the hairspray. One close call with a sparkler is guaranteed to ruin your night!

Oooh, oooh!! And a quick shout-out to Mrs. Cammie P!!


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