Tuesday, January 31, 2012

January 365

 Another year of daily photos begins!  I love this photo, because it's an idea I had on New Year's Eve, while sitting next to my man, watching ridiculousness on TV.  I suggested that we write our goals and changes we'd like to see in each area of our life, along with hopes, dreams, and prayers for the year.  Let me tell y'all, his were so sweet they made me cry.  He wrote one about our marriage that said he wanted to learn something new about me this year, and love me fiercely.  Once we had all our little folded papers written, we sealed them in a box and packed it away with our Christmas decorations.  I jotted mine down on a paper so I could check back on it and keep myself pointed toward the goals.  Gosh I love that, and you know something?  It was actually fun!  We plan to add to it next New Year's Eve and see how we did over this year. 
 Painting for myself.  That's a new concept that I've fallen madly in love with.  Used to be, I'd paint for others, paint to give away, etc, but I've been making things I want, things I love, and it's been awesome.
 I tried a new recipe/idea.  I adapted a favorite brownie recipe, and made brownie pops with it that were gluten free and they have haunted my dreams.  Mmmmmm. 
There wasn't much excitement to photograph this day, but I have a tiny love affair with cutie oranges.  
 The most exciting thing I did all day, was clean my desk off.  It has been the clutter spot of my life for a while but since we are back in the swing of showings, I needed to find boxes to shove all the papers in. Too bad it never lasts...
 I made a new necklace.  It wasn't long enough... so it's a work in progress.  And it made me really mad while I was making it, because I wanted to use elastic cording but I had to jimmy rig a needle and thread and... never mind.... it was just a pain.  I'll leave it at that. 
 I brought my daughter to a baby shower and had some mama-daughter time doing something kind of grown up with her.  It was fun to watch her get excited about it.
Every so often, a photo perfectly captures the day.  It captures my heart and the feelings within.  This photo shows a jar, empty of everything good.  That's how I felt and that's what I blogged.  You loved me in return. 
 I made something new today. Gray eat napkins.  Lovely.
 I sought God with all my heart, chasing Him all over my house.  I suppose that's not entirely new for me... but I was having a new problem and I wanted a new answer.  Did I get it?  Time will tell...but until then, I just keep saying, "yes" to Him.
I took photos of my new creations.  I know it's rather trendy and all...but is there anything sweeter than gray and golden yellow?  Everything about it makes my heart smile.
 I sold a ton of my little VW Bus art prints to you guys!  Thank you for buying them up in bunches.  I love that little pieces of my artwork (pieces of my heart) are making their way to your homes!!
 I ran all over creation buying groceries and finishing errands, and while at the grocery store I was duped into spending $6.99 on three of the most gorgeous white hydrangeas.  They died on me by morning and I was so mad at myself.  I automatically thought, "Oh perfect. This seems to be how the month is shaping up for me..."  But then I splurged on a big bouquet of white tulips, tossed out the dead flowers and started fresh.  A new day.
Ava's into dolphins now.  So every moment of every day that she's home, is a day where she sits at the counter drawing pictures of the cutest little happy dolphins you've ever seen.  She's a bright spot in my world, that's for sure!
 Speaking of bright spots... I bought some of the prettiest golden-hued paint (I have no idea the color because I brought an envelope into my paint store and had them match the color) and covered this old gray bedside table in it.  Then I sanded spots and rubbed in a dark stain and beat it all up.  Now it's pretty and sunny.
 And then the snow fell... and fell... and fell.  Life is sweet when your biggest task all day is trying to catch snowflakes in your hand or in your mouth. 
 This photo might be my favorite one of the entire month.  See the little cutie in blue?  She's my "yes" girl.  Bless her little heart... school was cancelled for the day, so she showed up on my doorstep at 7:45 am.  I begged her to give us an hour to get moving and get dressed, then back she came.  Wearing nothing but a soggy pair of gloves, boots with no socks, snow pants and a soaking wet sweatshirt.  I yanked them off her in a heartbeat, threw them into my dryer, wrapped her in a warm coat, hat, and fresh gloves so she could go build a snow fort with my hoodlums.  She stayed most of the day, so I fed her lunch, maple snow ice cream, hot cocoa by the gallon, and watched while my man had a massive snowball fight with all the kiddos.  They loved every minute of it too!  I am beginning to love this little girl with my whole heart.  And isn't that kinda the point?  I love you guys for loving her too.
 Still home with snow day adventures all week long, and I was going absolutely stir-crazy.  Feeling like I had to create something... anything!  This baby was snatched up ten minutes after I posted it!  I love that.  I might need to make another for myself, but my barn wood is cut into shorter chunks so we'll see...
 Tea party day.  What I thought was the sweetest thing, was after they were done, the girls pushed stools up to the sink and washed their own dishes!  So cute.
 Sometimes you need a little cherry bomb red in your life.
 Inspired by Mr. Darcy.  That is all.
 Intensity with a light saber.  Oh how I love this boy with his creamy skin and green eyes.  Gangly and long, he still tries to curl up and fit on my lap sometimes.  I love those moments.
 My man went off on a business trip, so everywhere that Ava went, her little orange bear from Daddy went too.  (Adrain gave it to Ava after being gone on a trip when she was about two.  She wrapped her little arms around it, and slept with it every night for the following four years.  Now she just brings "Tennessee" out when Daddy goes to... well, Tennessee.  Isn't that cute?
 As I sat at the table eating my lunch, I contemplated the fact that I almost never sit at my table and eat my lunch.  Do you?
 Artwork on my fridge.  Love.
Can you really ever go wrong with pink iced cookies?
 I was so glad I made those cookies... because the next day, I was able to bring them with us to the hospital, where my new little niece, Berkeley Ryann, was born 2 weeks early.  We had ourselves a little party.  These are her feet, minutes old.  Still wrinkly!  You can imagine how in love I am with her.  She is precious and little... 6 pounds, one ounce!  The waiting room erupted in cheers when my brother texted from the hospital room with, "She's here!" (So glad she waited til I was present! ha!)
 Gumballs.  I was a little preoccupied with wanting to see "my" baby girl again.  And very tired... major lack of sleep going on in my house. And darnit, but this child lives an hour and a half away!  If/when our house sells, I'll be less than a half hour away.  Oh I can hardly wait for that day!
I couldn't stay away... so we went and spent a few more hours just holding her, photographing her, and watching her yawn.  Don't you just want to kiss her? (Sweet little Miss Berkeley, your auntie Sasha just loves you so!!)
Poor baby... sick little Lucy girl. 
And with this final photo... I'm personally ringing in the month of LOVE.  Did you guys know that Valentine's day is my favorite holiday?  (Okay so in all fairness, every holiday that is about to arrive is my favorite holiday.)

Anyone else doing a 365 project this year? 

Monday, January 30, 2012

The highs and lows.

 My weekend began last Thursday night when Adrain made it home in the middle of the night, after a business trip.  After some quick (and sleepy on my part) catching up, we made it to bed sometime after 1:00 am on Friday.  I went tearing out of bed when the phone rang at about 5:00 am, to the cheery voice of my sis-in-law, who was on her way to the hospital to have a baby.  Sleep was out of the question at that point, because the excitement factor was way high.

   We raced through Friday morning school routines, I went and got my hair done (photos to come soon I promise) and then grabbed the kids from school early, as her labor progressed.  All during the 3 hour drive to the hospital, I was praying, "I know she wants this baby to come, but please can You just have her wait til I'm in the waiting room?"  (I'm sorry Holli, I couldn't help it.) Sure enough, very soon after arriving in the waiting room, my little niece, Berkeley Ryann was born with no complications other than being a couple weeks early. 

 We spent Saturday in an excited stupor of exhaustion, and got a phone call that someone wanted to come see our house.  We decided it would be a great idea to race back down to spend more time with the baby on Sunday during the showing.  Sadly, the people found a different house on Saturday and bought it then and there, so they never did end up coming.  But since we'd already made plans we went to hold my niece anyway.  We brought our dog Lucy, "just in case" someone wanted to see our house, and she promptly got very sick in the car with the world's nastiest smelling vile stuff you've ever seen. We  assumed it was due to the car travel.  We headed home late in the afternoon, and went to a meeting at church after dinner.  We came home to find my entire bedroom carpet covered in tons more of her mess and blood.  (Why the carpet?  Seriously 2/3 of our home is covered in hard surfaces... always the carpet.)

 (By the way, this man is a bona fide baby stealer.)
  So... I've had my hands full.  Lucy's doing okay, the vet is running some tests, and we are hoping that we won't have to replace our carpet, but it's a possibility.  Needless to say, it's been a wild time around here since Friday.  Good and not so good.  I have a bunch of things I want to post about, but I'm overwhelmed just a little bit, so hopefully soon, okay?   And I promise to get those questions from your emails and the prevous post answered soon too! 

Thursday, January 26, 2012


 Hey gang!  I've been baking up a storm today and I have no idea why.  I just felt the need.  Nervous energy I think, because my man's been in Tennessee all week and is coming home tonight- SO EXCITED.  I do get really nervous when he's in the air, hence the baking, and baking, and baking.   I hope he wants to eat a couple dozen gluten free sugar cookies! (Icing recipe found here and cookie recipe found here)
 So...very randomly... have you guys been having trouble leaving comments?  I get people telling me that all the time and I don't know what's up with Blogger anymore... seems to be falling apart on us!  I heard that if I tweaked my comment box and made it a pop up window, that would help you guys.  So I did.  We'll see if it helps or not.

Also, have you ever read a book and wanted to just strangle the women in it, because you could clearly see what they should be thinking and doing differently?  Ugh.  I just read a book like that... drove me nuts.  And then as I was driving around today I started thinking that perhaps if someone was reading a book of my life, they might be feeling the same way about me.  Ha! Two years of struggling to be out of a funk... always on the unknown edge of life changing but never actually changing, fighting for control of an out-of-my-hands situation.  I drive my own self crazy.  Someone should write a book about me. (I'm kidding.  Please don't.  It wouldn't be a very good book anyway.)  The book was for my book club, ironically titled, "The Book Club."  (Book club girls if you're reading this, please ignore that I just said all that until book club, mkay?)

Have you ever wanted to make a cute, tiny pedestal?  You know... just on some off chance that you think exactly like I do?  I made this one using an egg cup and a small plate.  I first marked the center on the back of the plate.  Then I smeared superglue all over the rim of the egg cup, and stuck it onto the backside of the plate.  Done.  Cute huh?  (Tiny brownies in muffin cups with more of the same icing and gummy hearts.)

Also, Target was out of heart shaped marshmallows.  I almost cried.  I went there specifically to get them... and they were gone.  Nearly broke my heart. Don't laugh.  I take my marshmallows very seriously, and I've been trying to get those suckers for two years now, for my kids.

Okay lastly.. and I know this doesn't have anything to do with anything, (when does it ever?) but I'm working on a post with a bunch of your questions.  I get random questions all the time about things (Love that) and yeah... I'm kinda bad about answering them.  I'm working on getting MUCH better.  It's been a goal.  To be honest, I have a hard time imagining that you guys have many questions that I haven't already vomited all the answers to previously... but if you do, leave them in comments, and I'll do my best to answer them soon.

Fire away!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

DIY Subway art for around $10

 Who's excited?  Cause I  know I am, and I don't want to be the only one at this party.  I found a fabulous tutorial a while back, and bookmarked it because I knew in the very core of who I was, that it was a craft project that might very well change my life forever.  (Does this ever happen to you?)  Customized subway art for under $10.00.  EEEKKK!  I've been a fan of subway art for a really long time which makes sense since I'm also a big fan of words, and inspiring quotes, etc.  I just love to have things that inspire me, all around the house.  Our family adopted a family verse/motto last year, and I knew there would be a time when I'd either paint it onto a canvas, or something... and then I realized... it would be perfect as subway art. 
Any questions you have, are most likely already answered on either her post, the posts she links within that post, or within the comments of her post.  I had about eight questions before I began, but they're all answered in her tutorial.  I followed her directions, and got my $2.99 blueprint copy ordered online, from Staples.  To create the jpeg file, I took her recommendation and edited a high resolution photo that I didn't want, in Picnik, blacked it out with a great big black rectangle so none of the actual photo showed, and then added text in white over the top of the black.  Beware, you only have til mid-April to do this if you're going to use Picnik.  (I know there are other ways to do this, but I didn't have time to mess with that, so I just used Picnik.  It's what I know.  And yes, you just heard me choke back a sob.  I'm going to miss you Picnik!) I'm mainly going to show you how to make the wood box for the print, since she shows you how do pretty much everything else in her tutorial. 
 I went to the hardware store (have I ever mentioned just how much I love the hardware store?  Mmm, the smell of lumber, early in the morning) and I asked the nice gentleman working in the lumber department to cut the end of my my thin board off so it would be the correct size. (24x36") I also grabbed a couple of these pine slats so I could make my "box."  Two of them were 24" and two of them were 36".  I had to trim two of them just slightly so they would fit inside the other two, forming my frame.  I used very thin nail brads to attach everything because I was afraid of splitting the wood. 
 I recommend nailing your frame together before nailing it to the slab of plywood. 
 Start with the corners, and then once those are secure, add a bunch of extra nail brads all around the edges so it becomes a sturdy wooden box.

 I forgot to mention that you might want to make sure and measure your subway art print before you have everything cut.  Oh and... um... measure twice, cut once.  You already knew that though, right?
 Paint the edges black so that it will blend in with the paper sign that you've by now, so painstakingly created and ordered.   

Cheri recommends Elmer's spray adhesive in her tutorial, and I'm one of those girls that goes with something if someone says it's good.  I'm very trusting when it comes to crafts.  This stuff is great, but make sure and use it outside.  I'm sure you knew that too.  I'm just sayin'.

I have no photographic documentation of the following process, because it gets sticky and messy from here on out, and I was just one little woman, with two hands, and two wild and crazy children trying to devour the contents of my refrigerator at this point.  (But don't worry, Cheri documented it very well on her tutorial.)  Basically here's what you want to do.  Spray the thing down with adhesive, especially the corners.  Then roll up your print, and slowly begin to attach the bottom edge of the wood "box" with the bottom edge of the print, carefully unrolling and pressing it onto the wood as you go. Savvy? Once dry, run a piece of fine sandpaper around all the edges.  It distresses beautifully.  Wipe off, hang up, and you're done! 

Are you as happy as I am about this?  Because people, I'm happy.  (Now, I just need to sell my house so I can hang it up.)

Materials used from Lowe's:
(1) 5.2mm 2x4' birch plywood slab cut down to 36" long
(2) 3/8 2x24" pine craft slats (cut ends off just a little (measure first) so they fit inside the 36" pine slats for your frame.)

(2) 3/8 2x36" pine craft slats
Materials used from Sherwin Williams: (I already had this on hand)
(1) color to go in Tricorn Black paint
Materials used from JoAnn or Michaels: (I also had this on hand)
(1) can of Elmer's spray adhesive
Materials used from Staples:
(1) Engineering Blueprint copy of my jpeg file