Monday, June 28, 2010

En-light-ened Moments

My dear friend is moving to Minnesota. : (   She was one of the first people I met when I moved here and I feel our meeting & friendship was not an accident. Before her house went on the market she asked me to walk through it with a buyer's eye to help her get it ready to show. It's difficult when you go into a house and all you can see is LOVE & WARMTH & HOME!

As you know, I've been so inspired by all the transformations using spray paint going on in blogland that when she told me she was going to replace her brass dining room fixture with a new one I forwardly said, 'Oh! No! you should just spray paint it!' - like I even knew what I was talking about - like I had SO much spray painting experience - like I hadn't been dying to try it out on my own blah! kitchen fixture but was too chicken to do it. *At that moment all I could hear were the little voices from the Life cereal commercial 'I don't wanna try it, you try it.' Next boy,'I'm not gonna try it, you try it.' 'Hey, Mikey!'*

Well, next thing I knew, I had offered to take the light and spray it for her if she picked up the paint. I already had a spraying station set up in the garage because I was working on my 90's table makeover. * more on that here*  
Just love how empowering a can of spray paint can be!  She was so excited because she was getting rid of the brass and I was excited because I love doing this kind of stuff!  This is where I wish I could say I spayed it.  It's beautiful.  It's what clinched the sale.  We all lived happily ever after!

However... have you ever been to the store at Halloween and there are all of those graveyard accessories that are painted silvery/gray but totally look like plastic?  Uuumm - that's what I did to her light!  Seriously, in her mind's eye she thought she would be getting this:

And what I did for her was this:

I was truly horrified!  Handy Hubby : ) helpfully asked me what I was going to do because there was no way I should return the light looking like that!  There's only one chance to make a good first impression, he wisely imparted.   And when she called after her son's soccer game to get an update with her optimistic enthusiasm... it went to voice mail...

Cocky me had taken the first picture on a hardware store run with HH just to show my friend how much she was saving by spray painting her light.  I had a sinking feeling it was turning out to be a note to myself of how much it was going to cost to replace the one I ruined.  Finally I sucked it up and made the call to let her know the situation.  She said she didn't believe me, that I was too hard on myself and that at this point anything was an improvement.  So I ran right over to her house with only the ball and chain from her light and she almost fell over laughing.  She had to admit it really looked like plastic!

I took a deep breath, looked her straight in the eye and said, 'I know you trusted my advice the first time and it didn't exactly work out , buuuuut IF I may be so bold as to make another suggestion...'  At this point she should have wrapped me up with the ball and chain and kicked me out.  Kind, loving friend that she is said, 'Ok.  I trust you.'  And you wonder why I love her?! *sigh*

My idea was to respray the light with a bronze hammered metal finish like this:

The cream shades are a nice look too.
Thankfully, the second spray turned out much better!  Crisis averted!!  Yay!

Turns out she had been stashing a trio of light fixtures in her basement for a couple of years that she always meant to hang in the kitchen - wouldn't ya know, they were a bronze metal finish!  Now both rooms are coordinated!  How perfect is that?!  This light story is like a metaphor for life, isn't it? - Our prayers are always answered just not always in the way we imagined!  

And as for my dear friend, who has been a light in my life for the last few years,  she didn't want to move so far away but her husband's new job opportunity was not an accident.  They are being led there for a reason.  She touched my life during a dark period and has staked her place in my heart forever.  The distance won't change that.  Perhaps someone else needs her now.  I suppose it's time for me to pull up my big girl panties and stand on my own two feet. 

Speaking of which, we got together recently to celebrate friendship and to de-stress from the sale of their house.  We took a risk and bonded over paint again...

...but this time it was of a different variety : )


for Amy : )

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Tuesday, June 22, 2010

: ) *awarded*

Elizabeth @ Habitually Crafty has made me smile and giggle the last few days as we've been fumbling through the mechanics of blogging together. And now she's giving ME an award?! That's cRazY but I'm loving it anyway : ) To accept it, there are 3 conditions:

1) Thank the person who gave me this award.

Thank you, Elizabeth!! Finding your blog was the real award! Go visit Elizabeth's awesome blog at Habitually Crafty. She does a Good Job! *who sounds like a teacher now?* : )

2) Share 7 things about myself. Hmmmm...


- I've known Handy Hubby : ) since I was 18 *over half my life*

- My favorite shows last season were: Brothers & Sisters, Parenthood, the Good Wife, DWTS & anything HGTV

- I would love to go to Europe some day

- My favorite verse is Proverbs 3:5-6

- I love being a SAHM. Even though my kiddos are older now I'm lucky enough to maintain this lifestyle. When they are little they have little problems, when they get bigger they have bigger problems - and I always want to be available if they need/want me!

- I never expected to participate in or enjoy blogging but I love being surrounded by such awesome craftiness!

- The little things in life make my heart sing : )

3) Pass it on to bloggers that I have recently discovered.
Here goes!! So glad I found you, Ladies! You've made me smile for one reason or another : )

Ott,A at A Latte' with Ott,A
Laura at along for the ride
Susie at Blue Artichoke Interiors
Lynn at For Love or Funny
Haley at The Autocrat
Heather at View from the Shoe

Please go and check them out, if you don't know them already!!


Monday, June 21, 2010

Frilly Goodness

I'm not a super frilly gal but something about ruffles is making me say, "Serve me up a big bowl of that Ruffled Goodness and throw in a side of Cute!"

My to-do-list is brimming with ideas of the ruffled variety so I figured I'd better start on a few projects before this fancy passes...

This Vera Bradley purse was my inspiration. When I saw a picture of it
online last March *Cha Cha in Sittin' in a Tree * I knew I had to have it! I don't usually splurge like that for myself but I decided it would be worth squeezing into last summer's clothes one more year if I could carry that little cutie everyday : )

Well, as cute as it is, it doesn't work all of the time. And I've been toying with the idea of a clutch or a wristlet as a quick, summer grab & go *with ruffles, of course*. So, let's see what happens...

On my last trip to JoAnn's I found more discontinued fabric samples that were being clearanced out for $1 - more on that here. So, today I'm serving up another project using these squares. L.O.V.E. these! I got sooo excited I couldn't just pick one - or two... The top 5 samples are all indoor/outdoor fabrics so they're durable, fade-resistant & water resistant.

I also decided to try sewing a zipper because I didn't want anything falling out of a wristlet if it was dangling from my arm. *I was soooo nervous cause I was a zipper virgin* I picked the fabric sample I cared about least just in case I screwed it up - I used the black & white stripe because something black & white is really what I needed.

I watched several tutorials on zippers, wrung my hands together, took a deep breath, squeezed my eyes shut & stepped on the gas...

At the end of the day, what I ended up with was this!

The zipper still needs work but it wasn't awful for my first try!! Since the fabric had stripes I wasn't feeling the ruffles, so I used this pleated ribbon and added a yo yo flower instead. That's ok! I'm flexible.

I cut out an 8" circle from a black window sheer that I had from another project. I was supposed to sew a 1/4" running stitch around the perimeter of the circle but I don't have mad sewing skills so my stitch wobbled from 1/4" to 1" *go ahead - you can laugh*. That wonky sewing turned out to be a real plus for me! : ) When I gently pulled the running stitch and gathered the fabric to the middle I really liked how the center was frilly. And when I frayed the middle I thought it looked really cool! *who's laughing now? hehe*

Since I had nearly a whole box of Fragments left over from the key chains in my college survival kits (check it out here), I used a tiny one to replace the zipper pull just for a little pizzazz and an itty bitty punch of color.

I've been slinging this little baby around with me the last couple days to try it out. It works fairly well... except I don't know how many days I can come up with all black & white outfits. What? your not supposed to dress around your accessories?! I dunno, I thought it was kinda chic myself : )

I'm super excited that I completed this project for under $5 with just an idea rolling around in my pea brain *and once again, no pattern*. Admittedly, some of the mental gymnastics almost made my eyes pop right outta my head though! It wasn't exactly what I had originally envisioned but I'm not unhappy with where I ended up. Now I've got to grab a few more zippers so I can try a slightly different design on the really fabulous fabrics!!! : )

Warming up my pea brain with a few mental calisthenics *coffee, sudoku & crossword puzzles*... Wish me luck!!


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Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Wordless Wednesday {sUMmErTimE}


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Monday, June 14, 2010

Some Randomness

Miscellany Monday @ lowercase letters

Mondays and Randomness seem to go hand in hand...

*1* I thought I could grill hamburgers last night before the storm. I got the burgers done in time but forgot to cover the grill and the cover almost blew away - again!! It was very blustery and wet last night.

*2* Daughter S has an eye appointment today. She's had red eyes and can't get her contacts in. Hope it's nothing serious!

*3* I looked around this morning after everyone was gone and realized I haven't been alone in over 2 weeks. I also realized I've already achieved 'summer house' - where things are in a constant cluttered state because everyone's home and follows behind you undoing what you've JUST done! After a while you figure, why bother?!

*4* I didn't know I was going to do this post today until just now - how much more random can I be? : )

*5* I added this because there are 5 people in my family

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Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Summer Dinner Dilemma

Summer is upon us *although it's cool and stormy as I write this* and it's time to pull out those easy, cool dishes to serve *emphasis on easy*.

Here's my dilemma: Daughter
S decided to run cross country this year for HS. At the parent meeting recently, the coaches kept telling us they have one of the best courses in the state, but in the next breath they said the kids like to change it up and see different scenery. So, they run somewhere different every night all over the city from 6-8pm. Uuuummm - that sounds like rush hour/dinner time to me, Coach!

S has a full schedule right now. She is taking summer school in the morning and participates in work-study in the afternoon until 4:30. I pick her up, throw some food at her and race to the practice site of the day (I guess she should be doing her homework sometime too, huh?).

Monday's site was 30 minutes away. I knew rush hour traffic would make going back home impractical and unless Handy Hubby : ) was willing to eat dinner at 9pm or fend for himself, we'd have to come up with another solution. I called him late in the afternoon and said he should meet me at the run for a picnic in the park. We had taco salad w/ refried beans and Spanish rice. It turned out to be a gorgeous day and the spontaneous picnic was a date night of sorts! Maybe there's something to this change of scenery thing...

Well, if it's not raining tonight, the run is on the SW side of town 20 minutes away. The thought of doing this 3 days a week all summer long doesn't sound appealing to me, especially come late July/early Aug!! I suppose I'll cross that bridge when we get to it...

For today, I'm sending out a little cry for help! Does anyone have some great summer recipes to share with me?! Please? Perhaps we could even make it a recipe swap of sorts.

NOW we're talkin'! I'm getting my smile back *and I've noticed I'm usually very smiley in my posts* : )

OK! I'll go first - I guess I'll start with Turkey Wraps

I take a large tortilla,
spread some mayo and pesto on it,
layer turkey (or deli meat of choice) on it,
top with lettuce (iceberg, romaine, or whatever salad mix you have open),
tomatoes or sliced peppers (green, red, orange or yellow) & cheese.
Wrap and Roll, Baby! It's fast, easy and contained so you can eat it in the car...

S also likes this as a fish taco wrap - she likes the crumb-coated Tilapia from Sam's Club with asparagus sauteed with onions and garlic and diced tomatoes. This variation is a little messier but I wrap it in foil.

I would say the highlight of our hectic Monday was around 9pm when we got Ding-Dong Ditched. We opened the door to find a plate of assorted desserts! YUMMY!!!! Oh, how I wish I would have stopped to take a quick pic before everyone devoured whatever they could get their paws on first! What a fun and nice thing to do on a summer evening! I know you're not supposed to eat after 7pm but I *and I'm not gonna lie* LOVED every, finger-lickin' crumb of it! Spare-tire be darned!!

I would love to hear what kinds of dishes you'll be serving your families this summer!!!



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