Thursday, September 22, 2011

What's up?

Well, I've been off the grid for a li'l while now...  hanging around, trying to get into a groove now that Jon & N are back in school.  I've also been just purely enjoying the cooler weather (yes, even the rain).

Painting by Rosemary Ladd

I've also been gearing up to create, create, create!  What do you see here?  I see...  a whole lot of work, a TON of potential, and some signs of a hoarding illness (spray paint, anyone?)

The kitchen sink... and the forest that grows there.  It's not even at capacity yet!

Sadly, that is the surface of the pop-out.  It wasn't in great shape when we bought the house 8 years ago, and all those years of plants and subsequent water spill have taken their toll.  Enter this: 

I was looking for backsplash tile (for the kitchen), and just bumbled onto these recycled glass cuties.  Clearance, 99 cents per sheet... hard to beat!  They're dry fit into the space already, just to cover the ugly, but placing the thin set and grout is going to be a bear!  Access to the behind-sink area is not good!                                      

Oho! Goodwill stems to the rescue again.  My Thanksgiving/harvest table will be much enriched by these babies!  I'll be walking you through some simple crafting with these.

If you know me at all, you'll be surprised that this even made it into my house.  Primitive is beautiful, but sooo not my thing.  However, it was just what I wanted, and it will be hung with pride when I have had my evil way with it!

I don't even know what this is, but I know what it's gonna be!  I've been itching to make a super-trendy craft, and this is just the stuff to get me there.  Hopefully it's not real wool, or I'll be itching for real!

Look at that poor bedraggled thing!  Yes, summer is over, but I can't just let it die, can I?  CAN I?  No, not so much.

Um, this is most of my spray paint.  No, not all, and I couldn't pile the regular cans with any kind of order, so you don't even get to see those.

This, this is going to be such a huge help to me, once I make it beautiful (the desk, not the Big Kid's funky orange ottoman, but isn't that cool, too?).

This poor thing has been collecting dust and harboring spiders in the basement for almost a year.  She was all of 45 cents, and I knew the girls would need another nightstand, but she just got forgotten.  Well, forgotten no more!  I've already made marked progress with her, so expect a walk-thru very soon.

Last but not least... this is for me.  I couldn't even say what the main appeal is, but there was no way she wasn't coming home with me. I could immediately see what I will do to make her over, and she will sit in our redone living room, which currently exists only in my mind.  Hubs has been advised that if she "mysteriously disappears" in the way that some other potential pieces did early this summer, there will be pain for him.  I think he believed me, as he should!

And that, my people, is what I have in the works, along with a bunch of other crazy brewing ideas, as always!  What do you think?  See anything that piques your interest?  I hope so, and hope to see you back soon!



P.S.   There’s a little girl who goes to my kids' school who is very ill with an E.coli-related illness.  It's scary to hear how easily something so basic as a little infection can turn deadly, and we're all praying with all our hearts that she makes a full recovery and can get back to the playground soon.  If you're praying folk, please add Laura to your list, and any and all positive energy you wanna send her way would be greatly appreciated.  THANKS!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Where were you?

First of all, this is courtesy of my brother and his wife, who emailed it to me.  
The link is to a series of “cartoons” by the same artist, MIKE LUCKOVICH relating to the original attack and today’s anniversary.

This, of course, was just done today.  A beautiful song that will now always make me think of millions of people coming together to remember and commemorate what was lost.

So, where were you?  What have you learned in 10 years, about yourself, our nation, and humanity?  Share with us, because that is how learning happens.

Love to all,


Wednesday, September 7, 2011

What is a Bargain?

Have you ever wandered through a thrift or discount store and thought, “Oooh, only $2 (or $10, or whatever) for that wonderful _______!”, only to get it home and find it broken, damaged, or even worse, ugly?  I’ve fallen into that trap - buying things simply because they were cheap - and I’m sure y’all have, too.  Dear D would tell you that I am an indiscriminate buyer; he hates the unstarted unfinished pieces that accumulate in our storage areas.  Now, if he only saw all the things I pass up... he’d sing a different tune.  A tune of gratitude, that I don’t cart home all the crap I see...  There actually IS a thought process that goes into my buying!
Lately, I have been trying to purge - clothes, furniture, accessories, it’s equal opportunity mayhem as I fill boxes, bins, and garbage bags to get ‘em out of this seriously overfilled home.  I have one excuse in that there are several major pieces of furniture that are earmarked for our oldest when he’s ready to move (back) out into his own place.  Oh, my!  The space we will have when that happens!  And the plans we have made for those spaces...   :)
What does any of this have to do with bargains?  I’m getting there, I promise!
Since we are currently stalled with our plans to get new carpet for our living room (can’t do it with the furniture removal on hold - Gah!), I could no longer look at the nasty stains that feature prominently on our ancient used-to-be cream carpet.  The stains were bad enough in the short term, when I thought the carpet was not long for this world, but knowing we may be stuck with it for months had me searching for a carpet cleaner that I can keep, instead of renting one regularly.  Hoover & Bissell make home versions that have a decent reputation, but everyone I know who owned or has owned ANY brand has had fairly serious gripes, so I was hesitant to spend until I tried. This isn’t even about being cheap - it’s about being careful!  So, when I found this lonely baby sittin’ around this morning, I had my doubts. 
First: It’s used.  How used, I don’t know.  Second:  Why was it given up?  Does it not work at all?  I personally NEVER donate something that doesn’t work, but the proof says... other people do it all the time.  Last: There’s no way to test it in the store (water, detergent, etc), and the store doesn’t accept returns, no exceptions.  
So, what is this worth? had it listed at $139.99, before they sold out.  Is it worth $49.94, if you have to take it apart, down to the guts, in order to get it to work? (1 hour of my precious time)

What if it got a  Consumer Guide “Best Buy” recommendation? 

Is it only worth $39.93 if it’s also so dirty on the internals that you kinda want to gag as you’re cleaning it out?
I don’t know what it’s worth to you.  I know that now that it’s clean, and working brilliantly (never even needed to “fix” it, just should’ve looked up a manual before I tinkered with it!), it is worth every penny of the $9.99 I paid.  Yes, there are some spots that are being really stubborn, but they live at the crazy house, so what can one expect!  Using leftover Rug Doctor detergent, I took one of the nastiest areas from this
to this.
In about half an hour.  More passes are needed, it's true.  However, I can do them when I want, with my own machine.
And that, my people, is a BARGAIN!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Missing Freddie Mercury

Freddie Mercury would have been 65 today.

I know, that has nothing to do with me, the crazy house, or anything.  Still, his music informed my youth and is teaching my little ones to love harmony and goofy, sometimes deliberately controversial lyrics.  Freddie, along with Queen, taught me that "The Show Must Go On":

They showed me that I should cherish what I have WHEN I have it, because 
"These Are The Days":

And today, I am feeling like even though I have much more than many people, I can't help it...  "I Want It All".  All, which would most definitely include having Freddie back here, making music.

Rest in Peace, Freddie

5 September 1946 – 24 November 1991


Thursday, September 1, 2011

Time to finish the ($10 Hutch) story

Ok.  Back about a zillion years (well, several months, anyway) ago I left off in the middle of a story about my very distracted attempt to install a new hutch in my kitchen.  I had a very heavy new/old hutch in the middle of my kitchen floor, a pretty vanity sans mirror in the corner, and 3 hungry kids coming home from (summer) school.  No problem!  Except that I could barely wiggle through the kitchen, what with the salon chair busy mingling with the hutch, and the dinner table covered in tools, cleaning supplies and (mostly) various junk.  Aha! A “picnic lunch”! Points for being a cool mom, and I could use all disposable plates, cups and utensils (Green people, please don’t hate!  I am usually MUCH more environmentally friendly!).  Desperate times, and ravenous children, call for desperate measures.  
Big Jon was done eating first, as usual.  He loves to help, and in this case I really needed someone.  I very, very carefully laid the hutch on its front- thank goodness for the secure latch on the doors - and put a thick piece of fleece under the top molding. Jon was a treasure, bracing the top of the cabinet on the floor with his feet so I could lift the bottom and pull it over to the vanity and position it (almost) where it was centered.  Once the bottom was in place, I was able to let Jon move, and did what I am sure was a very attractive power squat (lift with your legs, darling...) and put my treasure in an upright and locked position.  Oooh, flashbacks to being a Flight Attendant!

Once the hard labor was done, it was time for the fun stuff.  This cabinet has been a long time coming - I’ve wanted/needed someplace to contain our stemware and party glasses, as well as the wine that D has started collecting. Hey, that sounds like we have parties and have a snooty wine habit, doesn’t it?  In reality, not so much.  Still, it’ll be pretty!  And it will free up my cabinet space, so I can have actual food in the house again.

Well, I had been hoping to find just this thing, so I had been picking up random stemware hangers and wine bottle holders from the Thrift, Goodwill and garage sales.  I figured one or two of them would fit my needs eventually  :)  These two metal glass hangers were found on different excursions and from different places, but each were a buck, and they happen to be the best fit for the space.

Unfortunately, the chrome was not the look I wanted, but I just happened to have some leftover Oil-rubbed Bronze on hand...

This is my super-fancy new paint “booth”.  After a project last month left red paint on our red brick path (Horrors!), I was in fear for my marriage if I accidentally painted any part of our yard, sidewalk, grass, etc.

After painting the glass racks, I was ready to attach them.  Except.  Well. The shelves were evenly spaced in the hutch which is great - for someone else.  I needed a shorter bottom shelf (for wine bottles) and a taller space just above that (for booze and/or taller wine bottles).  Thankfully, this old dame’s first and third shelves are fully adjustable!  

I’d never seen the pre-drilled feature in nicer wood pieces - it’s just something I associate with slap-together-MDF stuff.  I was so glad to be wrong!

I'm so pleased with the result!  Of course, the wine rack on the bottom shelf is supposed to be temporary, as I have big plans to put a custom-built rack (or at least paint it a less obnoxious color!).  I think (hope?) that that is a whole 'nother story, though, since this post is going on forever.  ;)

Nighty night, all!