Thursday, July 26, 2007

a brighter Thursday: scenes from a craft room

Here are some shots of my evolving craft room. The only money I've spent thus far have been paint & supplies. Several months ago, I did purchase the acrylic paper trays, but everything else I already owned. Or inherited from my grandparents. Or took from my mother.
The furniture is concentrated on the one side because I've got a gorgeous antique bed that belonged to my grandmother that will eventually be placed in this room. I'm totally putting my horse before the cart (or is it the other way around?) by trying to contain everything that does not belong in our living room, bedroom, kitchen, or bathroom into this one room so I don't have to juggle too much when & if we get to make a baby room. My grandma's bed is a 3/4 size (smaller than a full but bigger than a twin) so it's not exactly feasible as a guest bed for full-size people. It would, however, make the perfect for an afternoon nap, or for a little daughter.

I like my desk placement ~ near the window so I get good light & have a nice view, and also facing the door so no one can sneak up on me. I'd love to have a larger project table with more room to spread out, but once I get the bed in the room, I don't think there will be space for a larger table. Oh, and I'm missing a sewing station, too.

The tv is not even plugged in yet, & I don't plan on running cable to the room, but I would like to get a cheap little dvd player. I'm currently watching movies on my laptop, but that of course hinders being able to use the laptop at the same time. I've had that tv since I was about 16, one of my first "major" purchases. The lamp, which will eventually get a facelift, was purchased for $3 at the annual community garage sale a few years back.

In my attempt to contain my belongings & to downsize the amount of crap I don't use & don't need, I look at every item & analyze whether or not it's useful, sentimental, or if I really might need it someday. If it doesn't fit into one of those categories, or if I can't find a logical place for it to live, it goes in the giveaway pile. I am one of those people that believes everything should have a place, so not having my home organized after 11 months is crazy-making.

Feel free to oooh & aaaah over my supply shelf organization, though! Also still a work in progress, and once I get the shelving hung, I'll know better where stuff will live. I almost prefer that I've waited so long to put this room together because now I know how I want to use the room, what works in terms of furniture & storage & making things I use easily accessable. If it's a pain in the ass to put away my supplies, I guarantee they will wind up in a pile somewhere.

This shelf has 4 baskets: one holds glues & adhesives, one holds paints & markers, one holds miscellaneous tools, and the 4th holds random bits.

The wicker-drawer-thingy has paper scraps & card stock I've already folded for card-making. The wooden paper tray has my 8 1/2 x 11 paper, and the acrylic paper trays have my 12 x 12 paper. Watch me try to organize my 12 x 12 paper ~ solids & printed ~ into 10 slots. No easy task.

Ummm, red & white string? Check! When I first saw it being used in The French Inspired Home, I thought, I MUST HAVE RED & WHITE STRIPED STRING! Recently, I did a google search on red & white string, and saw a link to Tilda's Bake Shop in a comment on Posie's blog. At Tilda's you can get this giant spool of perfect red & white striped string for like, $12. Of course, I paid about that much in shipping, too, but I didn't mind. Jane's Apron also had a post about what looks to be the same spool of string. Who knew there were so many people who loved red & white striped string?

This is my first project created in my craft room, and I have to say, it was really nice to have a space of my own, to not drag everything out into the living room to work at the dining table, and then have to drag everything back into my craft room when I'm done. Maybe instead of thinking I'd rather do my crafting in the living room to be near Honey, what I really need is more time to myself. Plus, it obviously saves time not dragging my supplies through the house & reduces the "mess" anxiety because I don't have piles of paper & adhesives covering the dining table.

They're a set of blank-inside greeting cards for my MIL's birthday. There are 2 varieties, 4 of each, with red envelopes. The card was handmade & distressed ~ my first attempt with my new distressing kit. The card is simple, but I like it.

German raspberries, one of my most favorite candies!


First, I suppose I should have said that the gal in the middle of the photobooth photo was Jerusalem. Since she looks just the same to me, I figured everyone else would recoginize her, too!

Second, Jen is totally right in her comment about feeling bad over all the wasted money when doing these purges. I used to take a load of giveaways now & then to Salvation Army, but never before had I amassed such a large amount of stuff to get rid of. Easily hundreds of dollars. Maybe thousands when when you consider the clothes that I still need to take to consignment.

And Jen's also right that it does change one's perspective on purchases. Over the past couple years, I've become more mindful of the things I buy and try to ask myself ~ do I really need that, or do I just really want it? Not just because of the money factor, but because I knew I already had so much that I didn't need & was just taking up space in my house & in my life. I love Peter on TLC's Clean Sweep, who says you have to get rid of the old to make room for the new. So true.

Owning a house & the responsibilities that come with it changes one's perspective, as well. Now, I really try to only buy that which I feel I need because we've already had the Sunday afternoon trip to Sears because our hot water heater broke, and I now know how easy it is to have to drop $300 just like that. Now when I shop, it's for stuff like a compost bin, a wheelbarrow, a weed eater, and fun things like that. (We won't mention the other e-bay purchases on their way....Honey is going to kill me.)

Thirdly, I have to say that Thursdays are my favorite day. I just love looking forward to Fridays almost as much as Friday's themselves. And I love the idea of Sundays. Oh, that perfect, elusive Sunday. I imagine myself cuddled in my living room ~ of course, it is fall & there is a fire going, except I don't have a fireplace nor a woodstove ~ reading magazines, watching movies, relaxing with Honey, Doodles curled at my feet. On this Sunday, I am not worried about chores, or work, or money, or that I'm not a good enough wife, sister, or friend. I am happy, content, & balanced. I am not thinking that I am not taking advantage of this life, not worrying about whether or not we can afford a baby. There is no pressure to get anything done because it is Sunday & I can do whatever I want.

I know that perfect Sunday only exists in my mind, and that the reality of my perfect Sunday is some version of it. If I knew how to relax without feeling guilty, I would. I would not shower & watch HGTV or bad Lifetime movies all day. I used to have that ability. Now, there's not enough time in the day for me to feel like I've accomplished enough to go to bed guilt-free. It freaks me out to think how I will ever manage everything AND a baby if I can't even keep up now. I honestly don't know how all you crafty mothers do it.

This particular Thursday, I could do without. I have, I can only hope, PMS. PMS with drastically reduced meds & no birth control pills so my hormones & my brain are completely out of whack. Last month was my first period sans birth control, and it sucked. For over 10 years, I was on the pill & knew exactly what to expect with my body. Now, I have no idea what's going on, and as my co-worker Mary pointed out, "you hate that". She knows me so well. To say that I like to know what's going on & at what time it will be happening is a huge understatement. You're probably laughing to yourselves right now, thinking I'm in for a rude awakening when I have a baby, right?! Oh, don't think I don't know things will change! I just can't think too much about the extent to which things will change or else I will never have a baby. And if I think about it THIS week, when I'm feeling totally unappreciated & Honey is driving me crazy (couldn't have anything to do with PMS), I will surely never have a baby!

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

going crazy

Do you ever have days where you can't figure out if it's you that is speaking normally & it's the rest of the world that just can't understand, or if you really are making no sense at all? Seriously.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

garage sale

Last weekend, my mom & I had a garage sale. When Honey & I moved into our house, I quickly realized that we had A LOT of stuff that we didn't need. I started a pile in the garage of crap to get rid of, and that pile has been growing & taking on a life of its own since last August.

Here's some shots from us setting up the garage sale. It was truly overwhelming to see all that STUFF. Stuff that I had to have that I rarely or never used. Stuff I had loved & still loved, but was no longer needed. Who needs 8 sets of bedding? I do. But I still sold off most of them. That was probably my biggest letting-go-breakthrough. I love, love, love bedding.

It felt really good to purge, but since I've just been throwing stuff in the garage for all these months, the only space that really gained room was the garage! And in fact, after rummaging through my mom's items, I probably have more that I started with. And I know that totally defeats the purpose, but I had to have them! It's a disease that I inherited from my mother, who claims it was handed down from her mother. So you see, it's not my fault.

And in my defense, one lady who came said she was told we had the best garage sale of the day. You hear that? My mom & I have the best use crap!

And here's the garage after. Step back! I can still hardly believe all the space we have. I may be able to park my car in there this winter!

Some of the treasures I stole before my mom got a chance to tag them? These really cool old books. And inside the Daphne du Maurier?

This! Taken circa 1991 (I think.) from the only photo booth in town, at the Emporium Mall, which isn't really a mall at all. The gorgeous girl on the left is our dear friend Carrie McMillan. I realize now I don't know if her married name is still McMillan! But, more importantly, we are all still in touch, 20 years later.

And just for fun, here's a rare shot of Doodles enjoying the flowers. Look at that face. His eyes tell all.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

lookie what I got!

I'm not a regular e-bayer, but every now & again, I check it out to look for something specific. Random looking will only lead to disaster with that many choices. Yesterday I was looking for vintage spools, and found this little gem!
I love textiles & love to sew, but I am still learning. My sewing machine is about as no-frills as they come, and because I haven't figured out tension, stitch lenghts & all those important things, my thread jams no fewer than 3 times per project.
But really, how cute is this vintage sewing box? And since I only have, like, 4 spools of thread, this should suit my needs for a while!

And my sweet mama brought this over last night. I have already read it cover to cover, and I'm sure I will be drawing lots of decorating inspiration from it.

I am a lucky, lucky girl.

Happy Thursday!


Wednesday, July 18, 2007

laughing out loud

love dooce, love chuck, but this is my favorite chuck photo yet.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

craft room: various stages of completion

If I waited 'til I felt I was done with a room, I'd never post anything. Anyone else feel that their houses are ever really done? Maybe that's the fun in decorating, the constant changing & rearranging. My co-worker Mary (she's actually my one employee, but I feel more comfortable calling her my co-worker) asked me the other day what I will do when I am done with my many decorating endeavors. Will I actually be able to sit & enjoy my craft room? Yes! Will I find something else to paint? Probably. That's just me.

This is my craft room. Originally, this was going to be the beautiful guest room, but I doubt that dream will ever materialize. And anyway, we rarely have guests. I had set up our other spare room as the office/craft room, but I like the view better from this room. Not that I still won't drag all my supplies out to the living room to work out there, but at least everything will be organized & have a home. Right? Right.

I cursed the person who hung that awful wallpaper boarder. Not because it was so awful, which it was, but because it took me 3 days to get it all off. 3 days of holding my arms in an upright position means 3 days of soreness afterwards. I used fabric softener, the trick I had seen on so many DIY shows, but every square inch had to be scraped off.
The color is French General's Plume Bleu, and I couldn't love a shade of blue any more. It has just the right amount of turquoise, and it changes depending on the light. A crisp, white trim is the perfect accent. Eventually, I will (ahem, Honey will) replace all the trim in the house with this, taller trim. I think it looks more historic, more vintage. PS, Honey laid the laminate flooring a few months back.

The apartment building we moved from was built in the early 1900's, and it had gorgeous woodwork & built-ins. Even the glass panes in the french doors & the built-ins were hand-blown glass. Our apartment still had much of the original wood, meaning it hadn't been painted white. (Who paints 90 year old wood??) The trim was all this taller style, and I decided that our house also needed taller trim so as to make-believe our house wasn't built in 1981. A girl can pretend.

Hanging trim, as it turns out, is not as easy as I thought. Not so much the hanging of the trim, but the measuring. I suck at measuring. And trying to measure when there are 45 degree cuts involved, effectively making one side of the trim upwards of a 1/2 inch longer than the other side, is beyond frustrating to me. I was so frustrated in fact, and was afraid Honey would be equally frustrated at having to cut the same piece for the THIRD time, that I tried to sand the piece down instead. It didn't work. Honey was gracious & cut it a FOURTH time for me, and it finally fit. I gave over the task of measuring to Honey, and after a couple pieces, he had it down. More accurately, I turned over the whole trim project to Honey, and he did a really good job.

Still to be done:
hang curtain rod
make curtains
find a light fixture
hang shelves
crown molding
make a curtain for closet door? (for as long as I can remember, I have been taking closet doors off so as to maximize space, but I'm inclined to hang some pretty fabric here to hide the clutter).
bring furniture in
organize everything!


Friday, July 13, 2007

how it should be

So I just met Jerry Baldwyn and his wife Jane, & I have to say, they were nice as nice can be. But that's the way it should be, right? Just because you're a kajillionaire, doesn't mean you have to put on airs. One of my co-workers was just falling all over herself trying to impress them & it was all I could do to not say ~ who are you trying to fool?? No one cares!! Maybe if I had seen Brad Pitt when he was here last week I would have been falling over myself, too, but that's a different story.

I asked Jerry & Jane if they were here on a cruise, and Jerry said ~ A small boat, you know; just 8 of us.

I am sure that the "small boat" he refers to is probably a yacht who's dingy is fancier than any boat I'll ever hope to own.

Anyway, I just like it when the rich-folk act like the rest of us little people & wanted to share.
Happy Friday!

Thursday, July 12, 2007

4 years ago today

I vowed to love you forever.

4 years later, I love you more than I ever thought possible.
happy anniversary, honey. I love you all the bits.



Wednesday, July 11, 2007

got the time?

Anyone know of a good website for clocks? I'm looking for something along these lines to finish off my bathroom. My bathroom, sorry ~ powder room is trying to be french, and already has this lovely sign, a gift from my mama. You can get the jist of my powder room from this post. It doesn't so much have a coherent theme or style, other than it contains things I love to look at in the morning & I like to think they all go together.

Thanks in advance!

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

My journals are going to Jen at the Cottage Nest & to Lazylol ~ all the way in the UK! If you are not familiar with Lazylol's blog, take a look! I did, & instantly fell in love with her photos. I can't wait to sit down & read her posts.

Lazylol, I got your e-mail from your blog so I'll contact you for your mailing address. Jen, I didn't see your e-mail on your site, so please contact me at with your mailing address. Thanks for playing my game!

And I had 6 whole comments waiting for me this morning, which just made my day. Thanks everyone so much for your sweet comments. I started this blog to journal my life, even the silly little bits, and to feel more connected to my friends & family since I suck so horribly at keeping in touch with them.

Not only do I feel like I am able to be a part of their lives & show them a glimpse of mine, but I've found that there is a wealth of like-minded women out there who have formed a virtual community. Women who love to make things, and who can make things out of anything! Women who love to make their home something special & a true reflection of themselves. Women who freely share their ideas. Women who have bad days & sad days just like me. Women who have left their day jobs to pursue what they really love, and that gives HOPE to the rest of us!

I have always loved to see how others live (if I walk by your house & your curtains are open, I will look!) so this just brings it to a whole new level. Thank you for giving me a peeksy into your lives & for taking an interest in mine.


Monday, July 9, 2007

free for you!

To the first 2 people who comment, I will send one of these 2 notebooks. And since there are only about 3 of you who read me on a regular basis, your odds are really good!

I made these, and a few others, that I planned on putting on my etsy shop. Then I chatted with Angie, owner of The Creating Place. After I lamented over the spots on my notebooks where the glue gun got away from me, she was kind enough to give me some advice on adhesives & techniques. I have all these ideas in my head (sadly, most are already being sold on etsy ~ sigh) but what I see in my head doesn't always materialize in real life. In real life, there are glue globs, and poorly-cut felt flowers because a.) when I bought them, I thought they were stickers & now I have to cut them, and b.) I was cutting them late at night in a dimly lit room.

So, I'm not quite ready to sell my wares yet, but I will gladly give them away to 2 people kind enough to continue reading my nonsense! I do love how these notebooks turned out. Lately I've been really drawn to reds & blues, especially blues with a hint of turquoise. I think it started when Honey bought me The French Inspired Home for Christmas, and I fell in love with Kaari's Plume Bleu.
PS, I'm waiting for them to manufacture the mossy-green paint in their bedroom photo, which Jon says they hope to have out soon. Yeah, I'm on a first name basis with Kaari & Jon. I exchanged e-mails with them a while back regarding some paint samples I ordered. I was so damn excited that I got an e-mail from the real, live Kaari, that Honey teased she was my new best friend & we could surely stay at their house the next time we vacationed in California.

More recently, I e-mailed them to see what in the heck happened to their paint line as it had disappeared from their website. Rest assured, their beautiful paints have returned. Even better, is that when I told Jon my kitchen/dining room is painted in their Boulette & Lily Pad colors & that I loved what a happy color combination they made, he asked if I had pictures. Pictures!! Jon of freakin' French General wants to see photos of my kitchen! Can you imagine? That Jon & Kaari are still "real" people, who care about their customers is so great to me. Needless to say, that has kicked my butt into gear to finish the space so I can send photos & post some here as well.

ANYWAY! Talk about digressing!


The Joy notebook was made with a scrap of my fancy wrapping paper that was too small to really do anything with. I say fancy because it was ridiculously expensive, but when the kids come 'round selling gift wrap every fall, I'm a total sucker. Plus, it's really good quality wrapping paper! So, I save it for special occasions and for people who I think will appreciate it. Except now I've taken to scanning the gift table when I arrive at an event & am subsequently disappointed when someone else has brought a gift in my fancy wrapping paper. The nerve!

This notebook I am keeping for myself because even though I really love the paisley & the red polka dot ribbon, it has too many mistakes for me to even give the thing away. I am finding that it's very hard, and perhaps impossible, to be a perfectionist & a crafter. Can the two co-exist?

This notebook I made for my brother's fiance, the mother of his baby, Michelle. She picked this paper from a couple choices because she said it looked like cherry blossoms. I think this was one of my favorites.
This sweet little journal was one of my firsts, made for my mama so she could write & escape from some of the craziness from the past year. Can you tell I like rik-rak & buttons?

See, I really DO make stuff!

Friday, July 6, 2007

how the conversation went

A few weeks ago, Honey & I had a few baby-making discussions.

The first one went something like this:

"How would you feel if I went off the pill?"
No answer

No answer

No answer

"You do know you have to answer me sometime, right?"
Nervous laughter from Honey.

"You need to talk to your doctor about going off your meds first."

"And then can I go off the pill?"

"It's not like you're going to accept an answer like 'yeah, sure, I suppose so', but I don't know what to say!"

"I'll accept 'yeah, sure, I suppose so'!!"


More nervous laughter from Honey, because now he knows he's screwed & there's no going back.

I did call my doctor about a week later, and when she returned my call I was shopping in Joann's. Not exactly the place I prefer to have such a private conversation, but I realize my doctor is a very busy lady & I wasn't about to not take her call. So as I sat in the discounted fabric section, I had probably the most important conversation with my doctor that I've had to date.

Honey wasn' t feeling well that night, nor the next morning, so I waited until he was in a better mood before I dropped the life-altering bombshell on him. That evening, on the way home from work, I announced that I had spoken with my doctor.

If this is too personal, I apologize. You can stop reading now. I often have a hard time writing what I want to write without sensoring it for appropriateness or worrying what others will think. So, in the spirit of honesty & being me, I will share that I have suffered from anxiety & at times from depression, for probably more years than not. Since most days I felt ill-equipped to handle my own life & unable to accomplish half of what's rolling around in my head, I had made the decision a few years back to go on meds. I will save the details of all this for another day, but for now I will just say that I know I needed to ween myself from the anxiety medication before getting pregnant. More importantly, I needed to learn how to get through my days without the aid of medication because I know that if I am lucky enough to get pregnant, it would be at least a year without them.
In an ideal world, my body would be pure & free from anything that could harm our baby. I don't really drink, I have successfully quit smoking, & have cut the dosage in half for my anxiety medication. Since it could very well take months to get pregnant, I decided not to quit taking them altogether until I saw that little pink plus sign, or the extra stripe, or whatever the case may be.
So there you have it. This well-rested couple, who on the day this photo was taken by a kind stranger watching them take self-portraits in Seaside, Oregon on the day they closed on their first home, is trying to have a baby.


Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Happy 4th of July!

We spent the holiday camping on Shelter Island, where my dad & step-mom Jill are in the process of building a cabin. Jill's brother Rodney & his wife Mary also have a cabin on the adjacent lot, and us kids all decided that dad & Jill ought to buy us the next lot over. You know, to keep away the undesirables. Who knows what kind of crazies might build there?? Better to keep it in the family, I say.
It was Porter's first boat ride, and he handled it much better than walking on the dock, which he was not having. Honey thought I had lost my mind (not the first time) when I put a life vest on Porter. It's not like I really thought it would save his life if he were to fall overboard! Can't a girl just have some fun dressing up her dog?

Upon our arrival, this lovely plate of "sushi" was awaiting us. It was prepared by Megan, the daughter of a friend of Rodney & Mary's. I had to admire her presentation!

Fireworks & beer? Always a good combination. Luckily, everyone left the island with all their fingers & toes, and not even a singed eyelash.

We feasted on king crab for lunch. So, so good!

Michelle thought it would be funny if I took a picture of Adam in the outhouse-with-a-view, and since I take so many pictures of her, how I could I say no?

Completely off subject, but I wanted to mention that I drive past Jeru's old house every day, at least twice a day. This is the house she spent her formidable teen years in, the house in which she decorated her room just like a scene from Out of Africa, the house where I read Love Story for the first time, the house where I discovered parents DO kiss! To me, this house will always hold magical memories. It was, and I hope still is, a house full of love. Since she's feeling a bit sad & melancholy today, missing her family & the way things used to be, I wanted to share this photo I took a few days ago. Happy 4th, Jeru.
I hope everyone had a lovely holiday with their friends & family. Mom & Mike ~ we missed you today!

Monday, July 2, 2007

shopping goodness

As my mom wrote in a recent post, we have reason to celebrate in our little retail-challenged town. Ta-Da! Home Depot! The first time I saw the HD orange make an appearance on the HD building, I was downright giddy. Since HD is near Costco, I have watched it's progress on a weekly basis & was all but counting the days until June 28th, the expected opening date.

I have always loved hardware & home improvement stores (and office supply stores), and HD brings my love of hardware stores to a new level. My mind reels at the possibilities! Flooring, tile, pavers, every tool known to man, LIGHTING!, storage solutions, cabinet knobs & pulls, sink faucets, wood, oh my! Need a new fridge? There are 22 to choose from! 22!! And as my mom says, you can go in needing to purchase one thing, and you come out with a bunch of stuff that you didn't even know you needed, but now cannot live without! I was, however, disappointed that they did not have the sink I have been coveting, a farmhouse apron-front sink, but it was probably a good thing they didn't have one in stock otherwise I would have had to purchase it. And purchasing a new kitchen sink isn't really in the budget right now. And I thought I was happy with my bathroom, until I saw a faucet that would be too perfect. If I could find a picture online I'd post it, so for now you'll just have to trust me that is the cutest faucet ever.

Anyway, despite my love of home improvement stores, Honey & I did not go on opening day, but we did go Friday evening & made a few necessary purchases. By the time we were done wandering the massive store that, according to the Juneau Empire article is not the smallest HD in the country, I was using the garden stakes as a walking stick. And I know it's not like this is the first store they've opened, but thank goodness HD had the foresight to install those cute little bumper posts around the major appliances, because we did pump into a toilet or two.
Our major purchase for the evening was a garden hose rolling cart, which looks like it was made by John Deere, and I love it. Makes me feel like I'm on a farm. Except that I'm not smart enough to actually get the hose to stay on the cart, so I'd probably make a lousy farmer. You think I'm joking, but I promise you, I'm not. I just cannot visualize how the hose is supposed to connect to the leader hose, which is connected to the cart, and that's all supposed to somehow connect to the water faucet?? I don't think so.
I went back the next day while Honey was at work & bought beadboard & moulding for the kitchen/dining room, which has been on my project list since we bought the house. Prior to HD, we had 2 hardware/home improvement stores, one of which is grossly overpriced, & both of them carrying much of the same product. Because of that, I've held off on lots of projects til HD opened so as to get the most bang for my buck. Now, my dining room (if it were big enough to actually fit a dining table) is this close to being complete. Yippee! Knobs & pulls arrived yesterday & are installed on my new, freshly-painted china cabinet (a garage sale find from mom & Mike), the beadboard & trim is almost completely installed & then will get a couple coats of Benjamin Moore White Dove paint, hand-made curtains are finished & turned out fabulous, if I may say. It's just turning out to be the cutest little space, & as soon as it's finished-finished, I'll post befores & afters. I'm dying to post photos of my home so you can see how I live & get more of a sense of what I'm about, but I feel like our house has been in a constant state of re-do since we moved in last August. That's what happens when you finally get your own house, I guess. After years of renting, the weekend warrior that's been desperate to escape is finally unleashed! Watch out Home Depot, I'm coming!