Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Spring Cleaning..

Yes, I know. You don't have to point it out to me. Spring is over and we're already a day or two into Summer. I also know that it's June and pretty sure that all the Christmas decor should have been packed away months ago. What can I say? I like to think things out a bit and have a plan before I just jump willy-nilly into something as serious as Spring cleaning. Of course, I could be really honest and admit that the thought of moving things out and really cleaning was enough for me to get out my "Queen of Procrastination" crown and wear it proudly from the cluttered end of the sofa where I had been reigning lately.

I mean really cleaning deep is such a huge job. And, as it turns out, you can't do it all in one weekend. Or should I say I can't do it all in one weekend. I kept looking at the big picture (which I know better than to do) and thinking "I'll never get this done". I finally had to step back, decide on one area and block out the rest. This weekend I attacked the living room. Can I just say....gross.

I can't remember the last time I moved the furniture and you could tell. I'm surprised the sofa even sat level on the floor with all the dust bunnies and lost magazines that I found under it. When I moved Ken's chair it looked like a family of chipmunks had been living there with all the crumbs.I felt kind of bad when I swept that mess up. Hope some poor little animal doesn't starve to death now.

Since Ken was working outside and couldn't have a fit about it, I even moved the furniture around. Last summer I traded for the most awesome chaise. Problem was the only place it would fit was in an awkward corner and I never enjoyed it much. Took care of that situation. Moved Ken away from the window and claimed the area for myself. (Don't feel bad for him. The only view he really cares about is the TV and he's got a good view of that!)

As much as I hated to have to dig in and clean up, I have to admit it feels really good. And there was a reward at the end of the day.....

...a few of my favorite things out on the trunk and a beautiful spot to nap on a Sunday afternoon. Now to just stay out of that chair long enough to get the rest of the Spring/Summer cleaning done!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Scrapbook Paper Walls

Several months ago I found a wall treatment that I fell in love with on Pinterest. They had used beautiful scrapbook papers to cover an accent wall. I thought it would be perfect for my home studio and boy is it ever. Can't tell you how excited I was when the project got far enough that I could paper my wall. And I LOVE it. Looks so cool.

The walls in the room we're making the studio/office were a bit of a mess. Since we're on a quest to use up what we have or make do, I needed a way to cover up a bad wall. So I gathered my scrapbook paper books, glue stick and scissors and spent the afternoon happily cutting and pasting. Such an easy project and there is no "wrong" way to put your papers up. A foolproof DIY if there ever was one.

What you'll need:

3-4 Glue sticks (depends on the size of your wall. I get mine at the $1 store)
A variety of 12x12 scrapbook papers. (I had three books to pull from in colors and prints that I loved.)

Before you start gluing, make sure and wipe any dust from your wall and fill any holes. The great thing about this wall treatment is that it hides a ton of flaws. I cleared a spot on the floor in front of my wall so I could lay out my papers and get an idea of how I wanted to put them. It's good to do a dry run so you can make sure that you're mixing lights with darks. (Speaking from experience here.) It's also good to draw a straight reference line on your wall just to get you started and give you an edge to work from so things stay fairly straight. Take your first piece of paper, use your glue stick and run some glue around the back edge, make a big glue "X" in the center back and slap it on the wall. Really, it's that easy.

After I got the base papers glued, I went back and added smaller accent pieces here and there in odd places just to break it up a bit. And there were little floral accents that I cut out of other papers and glued on top of the whole thing.


There were a few papers that had some glitter accents in places and I love how every once in a while the light catches the wall just right and  gives a happy little surprise.

The paper on the wall really made the space special and makes me happy just looking at it. Initially I had dug out a bucket of wallpaper paste thinking I would use that, but since it was my first time doing a wall this way and I wasn't sure it would work, glue stick was a little less permanent and easier to tear off if I really hated it. I like the idea of adding to it now and then. I can just see a Chinese fortune, a vintage postcard. Could even add a pretty button here and there. So easy to personalize for your own space.

So, it was a super cheap, make do solution to a problem that turned out even better than I hoped. Don't you just love it when that happens?!

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Father's Day

I've been trying for days now to write this Father's Day post. Fathers Day is a bit of a bitter sweet day for me. I've written and re-written and I'm surprised that this post has been one of my hardest to write. So, I've decided to write it as an open thank you note to the fathers that have brought blessings into my life.

To Troy: Thank your for the gift of our 3 beautiful children. I can't imagine a life without our kids and the grandchildren that they have given all of us. I'm so happy that you've found Sherry and found happiness in your life. Did you ever think that you would be a father to 5, step-father to 2 and grandfather to a huge bunch of grandkids? Life is good isn't it?!

To Clint: You are an amazing son-in-law. I'm so happy that you came into my daughters life and hung on through the tough times. Thank you for being a father to the twins, giving me two of the funniest, sweetest grandsons around and loving my daughter the way you do. I know things haven't been easy, but when I see you with my grandchildren gathered around, my heart fills with love for you. Knowing that you are there taking care of my daughter and grandchildren gives me comfort and eases my worry since I'm not right there.

To my Brother: I hope that your children know just how lucky they are to have a father like you. You're such a fun loving kindhearted soul and there is no doubt in my mind that your kids have been raised content in the knowledge that if they need you, you're right there for them. And even though you tell people I was mean to you (such an over exaggeration), you're still the best little brother around.

To my Son: I am so incredibly proud of you. Just a few years ago you thought that you would never have a family and now here you are father to a sweet baby girl with a little Timmy Jr. on the way. I love the pictures of you and your family and it makes me so happy to see you get to experience the love that being a parent brings. There is nothing like it. I love you son.

To My Husband: Thank you for not running when you found out that not only were you bringing me into your life, but I was a package deal with 3 kids and twin granddaughters. From the very beginning, you have treated my children like your own and been such a good role model. I love to watch you interact with your own children. You're a very good father and there have been times that I wished we could have had a child together. (Of course we have our hairy little schnauzer kid and he looks like you, so it's almost like having a child together!) We all love you very much and on this day I honor you.

To my Father: I hope you know how much I enjoy our visits. I only wish they weren't so few and far between. You make me laugh and feel very loved. I'm often amazed at how much alike we are even though I didn't grow up with you. I'm so glad that you were there for grandma when she needed you most and made her feel loved. I love you very much and hope that this Fathers Day is filled with all the things you love; fish, sunshine and a good beer or two.

And last but not least, in memory of my Dad...

On Father's Day 10 years ago, I was sitting with my husband when he told me to call my Fathers. I was busy and said I would in a bit. He asked me again a little later if I had and I finally got on the phone so he would quit nagging at me. My Dad was jut getting ready to leave for a hike with my sister and her husband. We had a great visit, laughed about the funny card that I had sent him and ended the call the way we always did; "Ok, Love you." "Ok, talk to you later." And that was it. It was the last conversation that I ever had with him. I was glad that Ken nagged me to call sooner than later. Had I waited, that conversation would have never happened. That afternoon the call came from my sister that Dad had died instantly of a massive heart attack. He was gone in a heartbeat and there was nothing that anyone could have done to save him. I can't begin to express the shock our entire family was in. One minute our Dad was hiking along a beautiful ridge, fit and full of life at 59 and the next minute he was gone.

It's a loss that you never get over. And it's made me more aware of just how fragile life can be. I try not to take the time that I have with my loved ones for granted and make sure that I never leave them or say good-bye without telling them that I love them. You just never know if it's going to be the last time. After 10 years, the memory of that phone call is still as clear as if it was yesterday.

Happy Father's Day to all of you. Know that you're loved not only on this special day, but everyday.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

One Mans Trash, Is My New Desk!

I had decided a while back to become a more responsible thrifter. And by that I mean that I had a stern talk with myself that went something like "You are NOT to go to another thrift store or drag one more thing home until you deal with the things you've already brought home!" I decided that I needed to step back for a bit and only buy things that I need, and leave the wants for a while. And I've stuck to it pretty good for the most part. Of course there were those days were I was just sure that I was missing something amazing and before I knew it I would be wandering the aisles of Goodwill or doing a drive by at St. Vinnies. But I really did manage to go look and not buy.

But the other day, with lunch hour time to kill, I happened to drive by Goodwill and sitting there, waiting to go the the dump (are you kidding me?!) were two PERFECT nightstands. Now when I say perfect, I don't mean they were in pristine condition. In fact, there were a bit of a mess. Missing veneer, water damage, drawers falling apart. But they were absolutely perfect for what I needed. So, naturally, I hauled them home. (How could I not?)

Speaking of hauling. In my dream life I have this awesome panel van (vintage of course) painted with some wonderful floral tattoo design and something clever like "Wild Wren" in script on the drivers side door so everyone would know it was me. But in my real life, I drive a Pontiac Vibe. It's a smaller car but you would be amazed at what I can get in there. Like huge nightstands...


It's probably a good thing I don't have a van!

So back to the nightstands... I'm not so sure that Ken thought they were good for much when he hauled them upstairs for me. But he's learned to just go with it. (Not that there isn't a snarky comment now and then.) I gave each of the pieces a good coat of primer and then used some leftover paint in my favorite blue/green color. I had no idea what to use for a top and didn't want to buy anything, so it had to be something we had around the house. Ken found parts to an old cabinet that was headed for the dump and it turns out that the sides pieces were perfect. A little sawing, a few screws, some leftover paint and this...

...became this...

I love the way it wraps around the corner. With the attic ceiling, it's hard to use the area close to the short wall and this desk works just perfect there. And the deep drawers give me a ton of storage for all of my supplies. The only thing missing is the perfect desk chair. Hmmmmm.....might have to run by the Flea Market this weekend. Not because I want to, you know. But because I need to...

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Love my Room...

It's been such a good weekend. I decided last week that since all the major projects were done in the upstairs room, I would work at moving my things in and making it mine. What a job! What a mess.... still have some boxes to sort and things to take to the thrift store, but it's coming together. And it's hard to believe that this...

..and this....

is now this....

And this...

...is now this....

I just love my little room. I'll post soon about the awesome new desk that didn't cost us a thing. Two ratty old nightstands and some parts from and old cabinet we were taking to the dump. And I've added touches here and there that make me smile. Will be adding more as I unpack. I really like the old window screen. Looks so sweet with my old photos. And the floral print hanging from the old pants hanger is one of my favorites.

Still can't believe that I have such a beautiful place to create. The only problem is that I'm going to have to force myself to come out now and then to work and pay attention to my family. I can't wait spend time here and share it with all of you!

Sunday, June 3, 2012

It's only two weeks...

We made a mad trip to Eastern Oregon this weekend to see our nephew Tyler graduate. We are so proud of him and can't wait to see where his life takes him. He's signed up with the National Guard so that will be the first adventure for him after graduation.

Our nephew Tyler on Graduation day.
 It was a good weekend full of family and love and, of course, good food. Lots of it. I've known for a while now that I need to get my act together and get fit and healthy, but sometimes staying chubby and eating junk is just...well....easier. I know, it's a cop out. And don't get me wrong. I do want to look great by the time I turn 50 and  I know I would feel amazing if I would eat right, but it's just so much work. And you have to sweat. I personally HATE to sweat. (Unless, of course, it's for a good reason...wink, wink.)

I don't get home often and wanted a picture taken with my sisters. I had my niece Abby take one on my Ipad. My sisters and I think this is the best picture taken of us in a long time....

My sisters Mindy, Stephi and I.
 The focus is off and it's a bit dark making it impossible to see any gray roots, wrinkles or double chins. I think I'll have all of my pictures done like this from now on!

Anyhow, I've told everyone that I'm going to do this two week challenge thing that I read about here: http://www.prevention.com/print/26102

Looking at the plan, I think I can do it. But then, as I get closer to Monday and the day I said I was going to start, I can think of every excuse not to do it. And that's what has gotten me to this place; over weight and out of shape and feeling like I'm 105 years old. So, no more excuses. I've got my gym bag packed, my alarm clock set and I'm making the commitment to do this two week thing.  My sisters have worked hard to look good and I would really like the next photo that we take together to be in focus and show off three great looking women over 40.

It's only two weeks....I know I can do it. Wish me luck!

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