Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Wordless Wednesday {cHicaGO}

(click photos to enlarge)
Go Wordless Today! *HERE*


Monday, July 26, 2010

Miscellany Monday

Miscellany Monday @ lowercase letters

*1*  When you see this are you a glass is half full or half empty kinda person?

This happened to our car on our way to visit my parents in Chicago last Wednesday.  A large object flew outta nowhere and clocked the car pretty good.  But I consider this my moment of grace!  If we had passed that point one second later the object probably would have smashed the windshield - but one second sooner it could have hit in front of the car and gotten tangled up underneath causing untold damage.  Either way that would have been the end of our trip.  As it is, although it's now an insurance claim with an undesirable deductible, the damage is cosmetic and we continued with our activities.  We feel blessed!

*2*  While we were in Chicago there was a huge storm that produced a tremendous amount of rain.  I-290 was shut down due to flooding, SR 83 was shut down due to flooding... my parents basement flooded.  It could have been worse, their basement could have been finished!  The sump went out.  The good news is Handy Hubby : ) & I were there to help clean up.  HH wasn't originally going to go with us.  He took vacation days at the last minute.  He replaced their sump, bought shelving to get all the stuff off the basement floor, hauled out all kinds of wet & nasty stuff, pulled wiring, installed a ceiling fan upstairs...  Needless to say, my parents felt blessed! *me too!!*

*3*  Daughter S has been plotting to see old friends from Wisconsin *our previous home state* but it hasn't panned out... until Friday when I talked to my old neighbor while we were on the train heading into Chicago and worked out a plan.  It couldn't have worked out better if we had tried to pre-plan this!!  Daughter S feels blessed!

*4*  I had an unexpected lunch date with Handy Hubby : ) on a beautiful Friday!  This was my view from lunch

I am literally 5 ft from the Chicago River!! From our tree-shaded table we could see the Hancock Building, the Chicago Tribune tower & the architectural boat tours.  It was absolutely delightful!!  *ok this one can be nothing but cup.runneth.over : ) *

*5*  We returned home unharmed (after nearly being run off the road by a crazy & hitting a bird)!  I would say we were a total Cr@p Magnet on this road trip but we can't help but feel blessed!!  We're safe.

*6*  It's good to be home - and I was sooo relieved that my basement wasn't flooded!  That one would have been a half.empty moment!! : /

Have yourself a blessed & random Monday : )
Share your randoms *HERE*


Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Tales of a Desk

What I'm about to share with you all is not a big deal compared to the level of Fabulousness that happens here in Blogland, but in my little world it may be one of the bigger projects I've attempted by myself.  I have reservations about delving into projects that involve large, bigger ticket items and altering them to the point of no return!! *terrifying*

This desk was handed down by my MIL.  We love it because it's solid and it's simple but pretty, although it's seen better days.

We have inherited several pieces that have all been well loved & we're starting to look a little like the Clampett's.

The desk was missing some handles, as you can see.  On the right, you had to open the drawer below the missing handle-drawer, reach in and pull the drawer with the missing handle open from below.  I finally made the executive decision to go ahead and try to glam this little baby up just a little.  Who doesn't feel better in a cute, new outfit?!

Daughter A currently uses the desk and she's been going for a vintage Parisian feel in her space.  The colors in her room are green, black & off-white.  She has a black reading chair in the corner, a black headboard, a black distressed coffee table & and a rather large room.  So I thought her room could support another black element.  To go with the black coffee table I thought I'd distress the desk too.  Then I saw what Susie at Blue Artichoke Interiors did with her porch side table & paint and I wanted to do that.  And then I saw what Brooke at The Crafting Chicks did with her stool & fabric and I wanted to do that. 

The second I saw this roll of wrapping paper at Target for ~ $3 I knew I would still borrow *steal*  their ideas as inspiration but apply it in my more frugal way.

Now I know you're probably thinking that a papered desk top may not be the best idea for writing purposes but thankfully the desk came with a glass topper so it would smooth out all of my papering sins!  And sins there were! I've never Mod Podged that large a sheet of paper before so there was definitely a learning curve involved!! *air pockets, wrinkles, Grrrr*  That's ok! It's all going under the glass : )

I sealed the whole desk from top to bottom with an acrylic spray. 

I knew I wanted clear, plastic drawer pulls & was hoping I could get a whole pack of them at Target.  I was shocked at the price - 4 for $15.  Count the drawers, My Friends - 9!!!  Always in search of a better deal, I went to all the big box stores in town, ebay & other on-line haunts.  Sadly, I ended up back at Target and bought 3 boxes.  It was just the bling the desk needed *each and every drawer got it's very own pull too!*  This was not the thriftiest makeover but we do love.Love.LOVE it!!

It is the opinion of some that the desk could use a little more distressing.  I'm sure the desk will come by that honestly.  And Daughter A has assured us that much productive studiousness will be taking place here senior year *like college & scholarship apps*  Grades are $$$$ & Baby needs some $ for school! It's just...

With the rest of the roll of wrapping paper I lined the drawers.  

With the 3 remaining pulls Handy Hubby : ) is going to help fashion a board with the pulls to be used as hooks.  I may or may not even try to Mod Podge the paper to the top of the coffee table...

Watch out all you horizontal surfaces!  I've got Mod Podge & wrapping paper and I'm not afraid to use it anymore!!

Visit thecsiproject.com


*I'm trying something new to declutter my posts*
Linking to some great parties *HERE* also.  Check them out - you'll be so inspired!

Friday, July 16, 2010

A Tisket A Tasket A Hand-Woven Basket

Maybe this is showing my age but why is it that when people talked about blow-off classes in college the example was always Underwater Basket Weaving?  Because I've attempted to weave baskets on dry land and it's really not that simple!  Is it super easy under water?!

I had the opportunity to get together with some of the neighborhood ladies a while ago and learn to weave baskets.  *Ok! you can laugh. It makes me giggle just saying it*  There was a local artist who welcomed us into her home once a week and taught us the art of basket weaving.  The best parts were making the mess somewhere else : ) and getting to chat while we created.

Here is the first basket I tried:

I applied zero technique.  I was merely trying to follow the procedure.  This one I've named 'Peanut' for it's shape.  When it's out it usually holds remotes.

Then I made a Christmas basket which turned out better:

When it's out it usually holds remotes.

 To move away from the ovular shape I did a wine basket.  It's still unfinished because it's cool but I don't know what to do with it - it's too tall and narrow to hold remotes!  Suggestions?

And my favorite and most elaborate basket that I made was the flower basket:

It held remotes but Handy Hubby : ) doesn't like having to navigate the handles to get them out.  It currently holds my palms from Lent.

Learning to weave was a fun & an out.of.the.ordinary experience.  I'm glad I tried it, but I gotta tell ya, it is truly sooooo much cheaper to just buy the dumb things with my 40% off coupon!! 

I made these long before blogging so I couldn't even begin to explain the process to you at all - poor retention...mmm, sorta like college.  Oh, hey!  I think I get it now - Maybe what happens under water stays under water!  Easy!


*I'm trying something new to declutter my posts*
Linking up to some of the best parties!  *HERE*  You should link up too!! 

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Warm-Fuzzy "Cake"

The Farewell party was coming up quickly! Time was running out to whip up the perfect going-away/house-warming gift...  My dear friend's family is moving from Indianapolis to Minneapolis.  They will definitely enjoy the moderate temps and low humidity during the summer, but you gotta pay for the lovely weather sometime & that time is winter - OUCH!  They need to start channeling Nanook of the North and thicken that blood cuz Old Man Winter comes early and stays late!! 

I've been seeing the cloth diaper baby 'cakes' in stores and on blogs.  So, I decided I would make them a Minnesota Warm-Fuzzy Cake.  Leave it to me to work with fleece on the hottest week of the year *blistering*!!  I practically had to get naked just to touch the stuff!!  *TMI.sorry*  For some crazy reason I can't stop using the sewing machine.  Sheesh!  I'm drawn to it like a moth to a flame!!  ZAP!  sizzle, sizzle

I made each family member an Indianapolis Colts scarf to wear proudly when the Colts go to the Super Bowl again : )  The girls got flowers or ruffles on their scarves to feminize it and those 2 became the top layer of my cake.

The boys got fringe and their scarves became the bottom layer.

For the cake plate I went to Goodwill and found a faux marbled candlestick and a charger - $3 for both & cheaper than a gift bag.

I inverted the candlestick so the hole on the bottom is covered, and used E6000 epoxy to bond it to the charger.

A quick spray job and Voila! (I used appliance white Rustoleum epoxy because I already had it and also so I wouldn't have to seal it. Now it's washable and moisture resistant - I still wouldn't serve food directly on it though)

I draped tulle around the cake that they can use as mosquito netting if necessary haha!

I glued paperclips to skewers with a quick spray for picture holders.

I added some pictures on the top to remind them of their time here. *I even did a stalker drive-by and snapped a picture of their house*

Goodness!  I think it looks almost good enough to eat : P

 Now if only I could get a monster snow blower on top of there!!!


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