4.30.2012

Love where and who you are

I've mentioned it before . . . I love yoga.  I am a new convert, but I've fallen in love.  I'm convinced that it makes me a better person.  The other day while I was doing a 20 minute yoga podcast, the instructor said something along the lines of "Take in where you are in your life.  Be at peace with the place where you are."  It really resinated with me.  Growing up in a conservative evangelical environment, I was constantly told that I wasn't enough.   At church I was told to try harder and never be happy as you are.  Most the messages revolved around the notion that I was flawed and that I needed to work, pray, study more to be a better person.  I don't totally disagree with the concept of self improvement.  I think it is important to strive to grow as a person.  What I have issue with, is living in a continual state of inadequacy.    If you believe in a heavenly creator, then I think one should be able to see the divine fingerprints in your humanity.  To be at peace with the person you are.  It is one of my favorite ideas from yoga.  Accepting your body and soul, as they are.  It isn't that you stop trying to be a better person, it is more that you enjoy the process of your life.   Basically, I am talking about warming up to all the new age crap my sunday school teacher warned me about.  

 Anyway, enough rambling.  I did a page in my sketchbook dedicated to this concept.  I did it using a frisket.  This in my new favorite art medium.  I am obsessed. I decided to use this page to fulfill the creative color challenge theme from April.  The color was mustard yellow.  I am kind of over this color.  I feel like it was everywhere for a while.  I am more of a sunshiny yellow gal.  But, I thought it was a nice complement to this page.  Speaking of the creative color challenge, so far I haven't missed a month.  I know, I am as amazed as you.  Here is JanuaryFebruary and March.  Four months down, eight more to go.  

 PS.  We celebrated Alex's first birthday yesterday! Can you believe it has been a year?  Should have a post with tons of pictures later today. 

who you are

4.27.2012

People, we have a swing set!

If I went back and searched through my archives, I would bet the mass majority of posts start with me complaining of being tired or overwhelmed.   This year has been rough and (for me at least), having two little ones less than two years apart, has worn me out.  Seriously, I just can't even imagine how people do it with more kids.  And since I am nothing if not consistent, I am going to start this post by writing about how overwhelmed I am.  This week has been full on insanity.  It all started on Sunday.  Jason hadn't been feeling well for a some time and he finally got himself to the doctor.  He has pneumonia!  I say has because apparently his case is really stubborn and he just started his second round of antibiotics.  Having a sick husband is bad enough but to make matters worse, his parents were coming up on Monday to help put together a wooden swing set that we got for the boys.  We had to have the swing set picked up by Tuesday or it would be sent back to the company, so there was no changing the dates.   But wait, it gets better . . .  . Henry woke up on Sunday night vomiting.  A lot. Like, 4 or 5 times.  And when it comes to vomit, my gag reflex is low.  That is one parenting gene that skipped me.  And then, as if he was feeling left out, Alex decided to start cutting a new tooth.  He has 7 already.  So, in between Henry's fits of vomiting,  Alex was up crying.   On monday morning I felt like I had been hit by a bus.

As for the swing set , we got the Backyard Discovery Prescott Wooden Swing Set from Walmart.  We got it because it was small.  Our yard is tiny. And because it was hands down the most affordable option as far as wooden swing sets go.  The little puppy was only $299.  If you have ever priced wooden swing sets, you would know this is pretty darn cheap.  All in all, with taxes and accessories, (we got a telescope, steering wheel and a baby swing) it came in right at $400.  Now, I know this is a splurge.  The grandparents did help us cover the cost. It was considered both Alex and Henry's birthday present.  Since I found out I was pregnant, I have had dreams of a swing set.  I had an old school metal one as a kid and I loved it.   I just wanted a little something for the boys to enjoy in the yard.  We spend a lot of time outside in our little ghetto garden and a swing set just seemed like a no-brainer.

Now let's talk about acutally putting this thing together.  Everything you've ever heard about how hard these jokers are to put together is true.  It took a day and half for Jason's dad and I to assemble it (Jason himself was forced to rest and not participate).  I will acknowledge that I might not have been the most skilled assistant.  But, it took two adults around 10 hours to complete.   Have you ever put together something from Ikea?  This is like an ikea dresser on steroids.   We opted for the site to store opion so we didn't have to pay shipping.  As soon as Jason's parents got in town, we took their truck and picked it up.  Here you can see the empty box and I am still amazed at how they could get everything in there.

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Having a table made the process so much easier (The table was Jason's idea.  Even though we didn't let him help, he still popped out from time to time to interject his "nuggets of wisdom.")  We used it to organize all of the hardware needed to put this bad boy together.  And let me tell you, it was a lot.   The picture above doesn't even show all of it. Once we cracked open the box we laid all the wood pieces out and sorted them by name (they were all stamped).  Several reviews said to do this and I think it really did help.  

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The insturctions were pretty straight foward.  We only had one real issue.  When assembleing the fort base, you had to have the outside legs turned a certain way.  The directions didn't indicate this.  Here is Jerry taking it apart so we could fix it.  The only other snafu had to do with our whishy washiness in regards to the swing set placement.   Our yard in small and we kept changing our minds.  We finally decided to put it in front of the fence seen in the photo below.  Originally, we didn't take into consideration how long the slide was and so the initial placement had the slide dumping the kiddos right near the fire pit.  Dangerous?  We thought so too (and it would have total interfered with our grown up socialization).  So we ostracized moved the kids to the other side of the yard.   This did require switching the fort around.  But, it was totally my fault.  All in all, I'd say this is a great bang for your buck.

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We opted to the leave off the trapeze and add two baby swings (the red one is an old clifford the dog swing from when Henry was a baby).  Henry is getting close to using the big boy swing so hopefully the red swing will come off soon.   And the kids . . . well . . .  they love it.

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For some reason Henry decided that thumbs up needed to be done like this.  Who knows.

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I think there will be lots of afternoon filled with playing in the yard.



P.S. Adorable right? 

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4.23.2012

Be open to happiness (free art print)

I am of two minds when it comes to the pursuit of happiness.  I like the idea of being intentional and having goals when it comes to working toward your own happiness.  Like The Happiness Project, for example.  But, then I feel like a big part of being happy is just resting in the moment.  And, for me at least, reading something like the happiness project gets me all keyed up.  I start forming check lists galore.  I need to do this or that to be happier.  I feel like trying to be happy almost makes me more unhappy at times.  I've been thinking a lot about trying to be a more open and positive person (this has a lot to do with yoga).  I tend to me a bit negative and cynical at times.  I really just want to be open to being content and happy where I am.  Openness has been on my mind because it is the monthly theme for the sketchbook challenge.  I stumbled across the site a while back and decided to play along.  I've been working to sketch more and I thought this project would help push me in that direction.  Also, they have all kinds of interesting post and tips from various artists.  Wonderful resource.   All my reflecting lead to this little painting (which you can download for free below).

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I made it using liquid frisket (the yellow painting is still one of my favorite projects).

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Honestly, I didn't even know what a frisket was until I saw in on a sketchbook project post.  Told you that site was great. I was all like, hold the phone that stuff is awesome.  I started googling like a wild woman.  My knowledge of art doesn't really extend much beyond high school art class. Then, almost like magic, Jason came home that day with a surprise for me.  He got me a hobby lobby gift card, just as a way of being sweet because I've been so warn out by our little monsters here lately.  I do love new art supplies. Anyways, this stuff is crazy fun to play around with.  I wish I had taken photos of the process.  No worries, I am sure I will being using it again really soon!

Once this was finished, I slapped it in a frame and hung in on my wall.

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I liked it to much to leave it in a sketchbook.  Besides, it is a good reminder to have around the house.  It is part of my gallery wall I am working on. That little yellow chair used be be really ugly.  Can you find the match box car and the mustache Henry snuck in the photo?  He likes to help me with decorations.  I know, sticking cute.

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I love the wall over at Young House Love, but instead of spending all the time and cash upfront I am slowing adding to it.  Peice by piece as I find things I love and then just hanging them on the wall all willy nilly.   I know, this would make some people crazy (my husband is one of them). Actually, those little white mirrors just got painted.  They had been hanging on the wall looking like this (oh and there might have been goodwill price stickers on them too).

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I think there were on my wall three months like this.  Yikes.  Slow and steady wins the race I guess.  I got them for a buck a piece and luckily the mirrors popped right out making them very easy to paint.  And behind the mirrors were little pieces of floral paper which I am hopping to put into an art project one day.

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Here is a shot of the whole wall.  Maybe you can see where I am going (and I have a long way to go).  The picture is complete with a blur of a toddler running through and clutter on my mantel.  And no, the toy on top of the xbox stand isn't staying.  More help from Henry.  Gosh, I just want to squeeze him.  Speaking of the XBox.  We aren't really 'gamers'. (  We use it to watch TV.  We don't have cable but we do have Hulu and Netflix through XBox live.  Just thought I'd toss that out there.  We don't set at home with wireless headsets shooting people and listening to 13 year old kids swear.  Okay, Jason does from time to time.  But, it is pretty rare. Back to the wall).  I need to find a different clock.  I just haven't found one that strikes my fancy yet.  The other two paintings on the wall are ones I did a while back (here and here).  I decided I might as well start hanging up some of the crap I've made.

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While I was working on the painting, I thought a lot about the things that make me happy.  And, this space makes me happy.  You make me happy.  It means so much that you are here.  I thought it would be fun to make this image available to you as a free digital download.   I know it isn't much, but just a little way of saying thanks.  You can print it, frame it, save it to your desktop or even cut it up to use in an art project of your own.  Do with it whatever makes you happy.   Please feel free to share.  Thanks for reading.


4.22.2012

Recycled Can Planters for Earth Day

I actually made these several weeks ago, I just have not gotten around to posting them.  I hadn't planned on sharing them this weekend until a kind reader pointed out that it was earth day this weekend.  Since this project has a nice green feel to it, I thought I'd share a few photos.  I know this isn't an entirely orginal concept.  In fact, I have pinned several variations of this idea on Pinterest.  Here is a really cool project using plastic bottles.  I wish I could tell you that mine is all about sustainable eco friendly gardening, but really I just want my fence to look pretty.  I've already hung a painted picture and a sheet metal flower on it, now I wanted some actual plants.   Here is what I ended up with . . .

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These are pretty simple.  I just collected cans, in both large and small sizes.  I may have also harassed friends to give me their cans too. Once I collected my cans, I cleaned them all and painted them.  Now, if you were planning on keeping these for years or were worried about rust, you might want to prime them.   Since I just used mine for some annual plants, I just decided to keep it quick and easy by skipping the primer.  Henry helped me paint them and we kept the style simple.   You can get as fussy as you want. In fact, I am sure with some time and intentionality, you could make some really creative planters.  I just tossed some paint on them.  I actually raided out a stash of leftover paint (my planters match my bathroom, kitchen and dinning room).  I didn't seal them, but since we used a high grade wall paint they are holding up great.  They've been on the fence about a month.  Once they are all painted, it is time to get drilling.

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I put three small holes in the bottom of each can for drainage and then one small hole on side about half inch from the top of the can.  I don't measure anything.  I then hung them on the fence with 's' hooks.  You can see the hooks and my drill holes in the photo above (and my grass that needs mowed).  Trust me, go with the 's' hooks.  The hooks I bought ran me about a buck a peice.  After hanging up the first few, I deiced to try some zip ties to save some money (okay, I'm cheap).  They just didn't look as good and you can't move the planters around (which, I have done several times).   In fact, at first I had these on my back fence and they just weren't getting enough sun.   I think when I moved them to the side fence, the plants gave a sigh of relief.

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I actually used them to hang around my fence art.  I decided to 86 the morning glories.  Funny story, Jason kept cutting them down with the weed eater.  So, I informed him that I was going to start doing the trimming.  Using a trimmer is much harder than it seems.  Way harder.  I mangled lots of my plants.  I'm giving Jason a permanent trimming pass.  I have rethought some of the plant placement and I've decided he can keep trimming.  I don't want anything to do with it.

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The other planters are around my sheet metal flower.  I plan on adding a few more, these are really cheap, it just takes a little time to collect the cans.

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Since we are talking about the yard, here are a few shots of the layout.  This is a major work in progress and . . . we still have a lot of work to do.  But, you can get an idea of where we are going.

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The stone pathway is more practical  than aesthetic.  Our yard gets really muddy when it rains and it occasionally floods.  The stone sets allow us to access the barn without wading through the mud.  And, best of all, they were free!!  Some friends were moving and gave them to us.  We are all about doing things cheaply and will take handouts willingly.  The same friends gave us all the brick I used to build the beds.  And, because I usally make Jason do the hard work, I would like to mention that I laid out all the stone and bricks by myself.

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And, here is the view looking at our deck.   This space needs a lot of work.  We put our deck in when I was pregnant with Alex.  We really need furniture for the deck and to fill in the landscaping.  We are thinking of enclosing the botton with lattice because we are currently using the space under the deck as storage and it looks ugly.  See my pallet?  I have got all kinds of ideas for it!  And yes, as you can see in the bottom left of the picture below, Henry was mulching the stepping stones.

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For fun, here is what the space looked like in October of 2010.

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I wish I had some before pictures of the rest of the yard.  But, I think you can get an idea what it looked like based on the photo above.  It wasn't pretty.  We aren't done, but we have made some progress.

Just for fun, I thought I would leave you with a photo of our eclectic old planter that we got from Goodwill.  I saw it and loved it.  I picked it up and turned around to show Jason. I was slightly worried that he would think it was awful.  He took one look at it and said "I love it. Let's get it."  Glad we are on the same page these days.

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4.19.2012

Naked Butt

While I was brushing my teeth the other morning I was hit with the sensation that something wasn't quiet right. Everything you've heard about mother's intuition is true.  Such a thing exists. It isn't always accurate. And sometimes it misses things, like when I went coed skinny dipping as a teenager my mom never caught wind of that one.   Somethings parents don't need to know. But on the morning in question, this morning my gut was right.  I walked into my dinning room and was confronted with my front door standing wide open, Henry in front of it and a very awkward man standing on the porch.  Dumbfounded and confused I just said "Umm, hi."  In a thick Tennessee draw the man responded "Hi mam' I am your insurance adjustor from Farm Bureau."  Let me tell you, they are true to their image.  I have never met anyone that worked there that wasn't a good ol' boy.  Before the last of his twang had left the air I had suddenly became aware of the situation before me.  My eyes started to dart around wildly.  It was Henry's preschool day.  Getting us out the door is always chaos.  The hour preceding our departure I always ask myself if it is even worth it.  My house is a disaster.  A few minutes earlier I heard Henry yell "diapers everywhere" and indeed they were everywhere.  He had emptied an entire box all over the living room while I was packing his lunch.  And there are toys all over the floor and contents of Henry's backpack are dumped all over the table.  The table that has a banana peel and cheerios all over it.  And then, I look at henry.  I can see his little naked butt sticking out from under his tshirt.  Before I can even form the thought, "where are his underwear?" I realize where they are.  They are on his head, naturally.   Then finally the biggest revelation of all hits me, henry just opened the door for a stranger.  A STRANGER.   What if it had been a pot head looking for a ride, that could happen in our neighborhood.    The only positive thing running through my head at this point is, thank god I am dressed.  If he had showed up 15 minutes earlier I would have been in my two sizes too big pajamas and no bra.  At least I am clothed.

 As everything sinks in I just start blurting out incoherent sentences. "Henry don't open the door." "We don't wear underwear on our head."  "My house is a mess."  And I think I tossed an I am sorry in there more than once.  At that point I make eye contact with the adjustor and ask "do you have kids?"  You see there is this unspoken bond all parents share.  They get that insanity.  They know the feeling of embarrassment and powerlessness that small children bring.  They have been in the trenches.  There is almost a pleading ton in my voice.  Please have children, please.  Nope.  No such luck.  No kids. As Alex starts to cry I just sigh and tell him that this is only the tip of the iceberg.  It gets even crazier.  And after he had to listen to us get ready, he looked at our roof.  At one point Henry was running through the house screaming "No pants.  No pants.  I don't want to wear pants." All this while Alex was crying and our dog (the worst guard dog ever) decided to start barking 15 minutes too late. That poor man probably left my house, went to the nearest urologist and demanded a vasectomy on the spot. Now the point of this post, other than to give you a reason to laugh at me (and laugh you should),  is to address how parenthood has changed me.  There was a time, not too long ago when I would have died if someone had seen my house a disaster.  Hell, there was a time I would have been horrifed if I had been seen without make up.  But my friends, times have changed.  I have changed.  Now don't get me wrong, I still wasn't thrilled about having someone see the insanity of my life but I am just going to roll with it.  You have to roll with it.  Kids will be kids.  I am positive this is not the last time Henry will embarrass me.    My knee jerk reaction is to lay on the floor and writhe in self pity.  My naked child opened the door for a stranger, my house was a mess, Alex was crying and I didn't have on mascara.  But instead I just laughed and strugged it off.  Learning to let things go is making me a better parent (and a better person).  Why stress?

 Oh and you know I have a picture.   Guys, I almost didn't post.  But then I thought, lets keep it real and at times my house is really a mess and my toddler looks like this . . . .

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 Of course I sensored it.  I did briefly think about the fact that when Henry is 16 he might not be so keen on the fact that there is a half naked picture of him on the internet.  Then I thought of all the sleepless nights I've had since his birth and thought he kind of owes it to me.  Besides, I can use it as leverage.   If He starts acting like a punk I can remind him of the fact that I have the unedited photo tucked away and that I am not afraid to use it. I think blackmail is always an effective parenting strategy.

 PS.  As the adjustor was leaving my dog tried to follow him and I didn't even notice.  He came back up on the porch and said "umm mam', is this your dog?"  I have no control over anything. Welcome to parenthood.

4.18.2012

Rocking Chair Refinish, take two

Here is our second chair (see the first here) that we did for Chair-ries Jubilee.  It is my favorite.

Before:

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After:

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Before I show a few detail shots, I want to talk a minute about paint . . . and I have a confession.  First the confession.  I just do the fun work.  I get to come up with the color and style for a piece (project), and then I make nicely ask Jason to sand it, repair it, prime it and paint it.  I take a little time to paint the design on the chair (fun part again!).  Then Jason's seals it.  So, when I say something is a team effort, what I really mean is that I get Jason to do the heavy lifting while I dream up ideas.  Anyways, now that I have fessed ups I wanted to talk about paint.  A year or so ago, we invested in a pneumatic paint sprayer.  Yeah, I totally didn't know what that was.  When I asked Jason to elaborate, he said "it basically allows you to turn any kind of paint into spray paint."  Oh he said the magic words!  Any artsy/crafty folks know that spray paint is the most fabulous thing ever.  Easy, quick and no brush strokes.  And so, on that very day, Jason bought one and we have never looked back.  You can find pneumatic sprayers at just about any hardware store (we recommend Ace Hardware of course).  It does hook up to an air compressor, so you kind of have to have one of those first.  Which, luckily we did have.  If you think you might refinish furniture much at all, it is totally worth the investment.  Way easier (after you get the hang of it) than painting with a brush or a roller and it looks 1000 times better.   Now, on to the close ups . . . .

This pattern was inspired by this older Dwell Studio pattern.  Oh, and I totally put a bird on it.

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The color in his bottom photo is more true to the actual color of the chair.  I know it looks a little yellow in some of the photos.  Also, I wanted to show you this pillow that I made to go with it.  This fabric was my starting point for the chair.  I don't know why, but I have an irrational love of this pattern.

All in all, we had a ton of fun working on these chairs.  And, thanks to some awesome friends, Jason and I will actually get to dress up and go to the auction.  Please note these days, dressing up involves putting on anything that doesn't have sticky toddler hand prints on it.  I promise to snap a photo (got to have a record of the fact that I put on makeup).   Now, I've got a birthday party to plan.  Alex is turing one in a couple of weeks (can you believe it has been a year!?!).  By planning of course, I really just mean having an excuse to waste an hour on pinterest.  Better go get busy.




4.17.2012

Sheet Metal Flower

Okay, remember when I mentioned coming up with a use for the circular gage Jason made when we was working on the fire pit?  No,? Let me remind you.  It looked like this . . . .

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When he finished with it, I told him to hold on to it and that I was going to do something with it.  It is three wood sticks held together with a long screw and a wing nut.  Here is it out of the fire pit and on my old picnic table.

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A fews day after we built the fire pit, we were hanging out in the yard and I was brain storming up ideas for the stick circle.  Henry said it looked like a flower, so I thought that was a good direction to take it.  But I couldn't come up with what to make the petals out of.  So, I decided to ask my handy Ace helpful husband.  I told him I wanted something like aluminum foil to make petals out of.  It needed to be strong but not so strong that it couldn't be cut.  He thought for a second and said "sheet metal?" My first questions was "is it cheap?"  Yes, it was.  My second question "can I cut it with sissors?"  Yes, I could.  And you probably guessed what my third question was .  . .  "can you go get me some?"

In case you didn't know, sheet metal is freaking awesome.  It was so much fun to work with.  Why haven't I played with it before?  The first thing I did was cut out some petals and slap on some paint.

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It was all very unpercise work.  I just eye-balled my petals and then started slinging paint.  Once I got all the paint applied, I stapled those bad boys to the stick.  And, more weird garden art was born.

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I know this might not be everyone's cup of tea, but I just love it.  It is very quirky and colorful. It was also crazy inexpenisive to make.   My favorite part is that in addition to providing the idea of making it a flower, Henry's little hands were the base of some of the petal designs.

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Can you see the loose outline of a toddler hand print?  Henry has been obsessed with having me trace his hands.   As soon as he spotted the paint brush be came over, slapped his hand on the petal (thank goodness the paint was dry) and said "mommy, draw my hand."  I hesitated for a moment and then I thought, why not?  So I traced his hand and then he watched intently has I made bigger and bigger  versions of his hand, sweeping out to the ends of the petals.  It was a sweet moment.

As for the flower itself, I intentionally scratched the paint up a bit on the petal to let some of the metal show through.  Once it was all done, I sealed it with three coats of Krylon Crystal Clear (Acrylic).  I love that stuff.

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Hopefully, the flower will serve a practical purpose. I am hoping the shinny metal will keep the birdies away from my Blueberry Bushes.  I know right now they aren't much to look at, but they should get huge.   The small green plant in the middle is a citronella plant.   And look what is on my little lovelies . . .

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Holy freaking blueberry!!!! I wasn't expecting anything this year.  Party!


I asked Henry if I needed to make any other sheet metal objects to hang on the fence and he told me he wanted an ant.  Yeah, an ant.   Not so sure about that one.   I think that I might just stick to the flower.

4.15.2012

Rocking chair refinish, take one

I really believe that being involved, even if in a small level, in your community is important.  I think that the idea of giving back is more than just a cheesy sentiment. There is something to be said for being a contributing part of the place you call home.  In my pervious life, before I became a stay at home mom, I was lucky enough to work for our local Habitat for Humanity Affiliate.  Of course, when you work in fundraising and volunteer coordination, it is pretty easy to feel like a connected part of the community.  For four years I didn't have to think much about how to feel invested in my community, in fact, I got paid to do it.  When I made the choice to be a stay at home mom, I knew I still wanted to feel engaged but it was just a matter of how.  Of course, Alex came and I've pretty much spent the last year as an island unto myself.   Forget community involvement, most days this year I have just been happy to brush my teeth.  But things are starting to settle in and I've been thinking about how to go about being an active participant in my little town again.  It just so happened that an opportunity sort of fell in our laps.   Jason's work, Ace Hardware of Cleveland, was asked to submit a refinished piece of furniture for a local fundraiser that benefits art education.   It was a no brainer, we jumped at the chance.  The fundraiser, Chair-ries Jubilee, is an auction that takes place annually.  Each year they ask different artist to submit furniture pieces designed around a theme.  This year was AnTweaks Roadshow.  The idea was taking an old chair and tweaking it.  Since, we can't do anything simple, we ended up working on two pieces.  We are gluttons for punishment.  We are in the home stretch now and I am tickeled to have photos of the first rocker.

Before:

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After:

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This was totally a team effort, besides the fact that this chair was ugly, it was also falling apart.  Jason screwed and glued to get this bad boy stable again.  He also had to cut and plane the slats for the back of the chair.  Then, we had to get them to bend to get them in place.  Do you know how to bend wood? I didn't.  He put the slat in a pot of boiling water for several minutes.  The steam and heat gave the board just enough give for him to be able to pop them in place.  Thank you google.  You really can find the answers to anything online.

Side note:  This is also a little before and after our yard that I've been rambling posting about.  The two pictures are taken in the same place.  You can see our flower beds that I have built.  Hooray for playing in the dirt!

As for the chair itself, here are some close ups.

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I was singing Edward Sharpe and The Magnetic Zreos as I painted this.  I thought this chair belonged on someone's deck. It has a very "homey like" feel for me.

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See how shiney?  Jason has polycoated the fool out of this chair.  Did you know that commerical furniture has a crap ton of layers of polycoat on it?  That is why DIY refinishined peices aren't alway as durable.  We've learned this the hard way.  Coat baby coat.  This is the hardest part for me, because it is the most boring.  All the fun stuff has been done.  You have to seal, sand and repeat. Over and over again. I might try to talk Jason into quitting with every new application. But the end result is some durable furniture, so he presses on.  There were two more coats of poly put on the chair after this picture was taken.

All in all, I am pretty happy with it.  I am more of a plain jane kind of gal when it comes to my furniture.  I probably would have skipped the design work, but painting on the chairs is kind of what everyone does for the fundraiser.  This little puppy will go up for auction on Friday (if you are local, you can get tickets at the Red Ribbon).  And, being completely honest, I am terrified that no one will bid on it.  Wouldn't that be awful?  I think I am going to pretend that I didn't make it, that way I can bid on it if no one else does.  Tomorrow I'll post the second chair. It is my favorite.   In the mean time, I will leave you with this photo which shows a hint of how gross we look when we are in the middle of a project.

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We were debating how on earth I was going to get a decent picture because the chair was so stinking shiny.   I know my pants don't look as bad as Jason's, but I totally had on a gross old shirt, no makeup and stringy hair.  Just keeping it real folks.

4.12.2012

Spring Colds and Little Monsters

I am tired.  And, as someone who has spent the last year with a baby and a toddler I know what tired feels like.  We've been running wild the last few weeks and now our sweet babies have colds.  This means we were up with fussy babies more times than I can count last night.  I think I would fall asleep if I closed my eyes.   The boys seem a bit better today which makes me hopeful.   It has been intense folks.  We did manage to have a lovely quiet easter at home.  As with all holidays, henry is retroactively obsessed.  Leading up the holiday he isn't interested in it much but after he experiences he is all about it.  We just stopped talking about Valentines.  Now, every time we go outside he says "mom, let's hide my eggs again."  So far we haven't had to hide them again because we keep finding them all over the yard.  Really glad I decided to go with fake eggs.  In fact, we didn't even dye eggs.  I know, I am awful.  It is just that Henry is still a little young for liquid dye, it would have  made a gigantic mess and I just wasn't up for it.   I did manage to make Alex a stuffed monster from his baby sweater.

This was my favorite little sweater, you can see it in these pictures.  I just couldn't bare the thought of getting rid of it.  But, I am also not really prone to keeping objects that no longer serve a purpose.   And, sweet little Alex has out grown it. So . . .

My creation

I made him a little softie monster! The eyes are from the neck buttons and the mouth is the ribbing.  So far, Henry has gotten more use out of it then Alex.  He loves it.  He calls it the little baby Alex monster.  This was really simple construction, you can google "sweater softies" and see all kinds of cool (and much more involved) creations people have came up with it.  I just wanted something easy and simple that could help me keep this sweet sweater part of our lives a little longer.

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My yard isn't always a mess, we had just been playing hard on the day I snapped this photo.  Here is the monster hanging out in Alex's basket.  This picture sucks because it was taken at close to midnight on Saturday night.  I didn't make the finger puppets or the play food, it came from Ikea.  Just don't tell Alex that Henry's first Easter basket was totally handmade.

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 And for good measure, here is Henry's basket.

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We went with more toys and less candy.  Okay, no candy.  I know, we are lame.  Between preschool and easter egg hunts, the boy got plenty of junk.  We tried to fill the basket with toys they would use. Henry got lots of art supplies and I made him some little books with blank paper. He loves to draw in note books.

I have no photos of the boys opening their basket and no pictures of our egg hunt at home.  I just tried to relax and enjoy the moment.  I did get these photos from an Easter dinner we went to at our friend Valerie's house (Stealla's mommy).

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Stella has all the good toys.  Henry insisted on pushing the tractor's gas petal with his hand.  Which was hilarious because he kept running into things.

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Alex is upset because he feels, like his mom, that Easter is kind of confusing. People tell their children about a man being brutally murdered because of their wrong doing and then they give them candy and color eggs. Or maybe he was just tired.

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Henry, on the other hand, could have cared less about why we were doing what we were doing.  The second he realized there was candy in the eggs it was on.  I now know why parents always harped on not taking candy from strangers.  Henry would totally follow a creepy person home if they had chocolate.

All in all, it was a nice weekend.  And hopefully, we will be over all this yucky cold business soon.

PS.  I know not putting candy in their Easter basket seems harsh.  But I swear I am not a total hard ass when it come to sweets.  We had cake for breakfast on Easter sunday . . .

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I had made a little vanilla cake with peanut butter frosting the night before.  It looked so yummy we decided to eat it for breakfast.  It was totally from scatch, which is how I justified it.  I mean, it has to be a little better for you than processed store bought junk?  Maybe, just a little bit better?
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