My 3 Monsters: January 2011

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You Know I'm Not Here to Judge

I laugh because I care.  When people let their kids do crazy things on TV, you know you do it, too.  Why else has American Idol seen the success it has for so long?  And, pray tell, why else would a show like Toddlers and Tiaras ever have seen the light of day?  Yeah, I'm just white trash enough to watch and just classy enough to know it's wrong.  And you actually have to sit through a whole lotta' boring junk to get to the gems like these:

But, oh, when you find them . . . what fun. That second little girly went on to say, "My ni-ni's a hard workin' lady" in her little drawl. Classic.  Don't judge me for being easily entertained. {Please.  Because that first girl's a livin' doll, y'all}


New Beginnings

I'm a sucker for traditions -- a wee bit of constancy in an ever-changing world.  That's why I get so excited {as a Young Women leader} about New Beginnings and Young Women in Excellence every year.  I remember attending these events as a young woman myself and all the elaborate programs and decorations that my leaders put together for us.  It really meant a lot to me that these busy women {usually my mom} would take the time to do that for me.  Which is probably why I tend to go a little bit overboard, but whatever.  I have time to spare {sometimes} and it's fun for me and my counselors to spoil these sweet girls a couple times a year.  Anyway . . . that's a long way for me to introduce what i really want to talk about today:  these invitations I made last night {while my man and I watched Mega Python vs. Gateroid starring Debbie Gibson and Tiffany on the SyFy channel.}
I can't take credit for the idea {which is really too cute for words}.  I stole it from this adorable Tiny Party at The Pleated Poppy.  Here's what's inside that kind of plain old envelope:
But you have to go through two more envelopes to get there:
You'll note, as did my husband, the irony of this somewhat elaborate invitation.  The theme for the evening is "Small and Simple Things".  Har har.  The girls won't notice this at first {or ever -- I don't kid myself} but it represents how we have to peel off all the unnecessary things in life to get to the heart of what really matters.  They'll get the message that night.  We hope.  Also, that movie we watched last night was fab-u-lous.  You should check it out if you ever have the chance.


Something New

I'm loving these long fabric necklaces lately.  You know the ones -- usually a mix of fabric flowers, ribbons and beads and/or chains.  They're super feminine and pretty.  It's easy to throw on with jeans and a t-shirt to look a little bit fancy, but looks equally good with your Sunday best.  They can get a little pricey, though -- especially the ones I like.  Whatever.  That's why when I ran across this great Anthropologie knock-off at Flamingo Toes I was THRILLED.  It looked easy {it was} and inexpensive {that, too}.  I found a super ugly plastic beaded necklace at the dollar store and a quarter of a yard of fabric that looked like silk {but wasn't -- no one will know}

and went to town.  I loved it so much I had to make another one.
My favorite parts are these clusters of fabric "petals".

I kind of wish I had bought just a little more fabric to make these a little bit rufflier, but they're fine as-is.  I tend to over-do sometimes.  If a little is good, a lot is better, right?

So that's what I've done with the few spare hours that I haven't spent painting scenery for the school play this week.  Some of these necklaces are sure to make they're way into my shop soon, if you're interested.  I'm heading to a leadership training meeting with the Young Woman General presidency tonight.  I'm really excited about it because I'm just that nerdy.  Have a great weekend, friends!

I'll probably link up {but check out the other projects even if I don't!}:



More Onesies - My New Most Favorite

I think I say that about every new style I experiment with -- that it is the cutest thing I've made EVER!!!  But this time it may actually be true, in my oh-so-humble opinion.  See for yourself:

This is the kind of thing I would have devoured when Sis was a baby.  Seriously, I would have swallowed her whole in this.  They're so pink and petal-y and feminine.  Perfection.  I'm not tooting my own horn here, really.  I just wish I had a baby to put in one of these.  I don't really wish that.  Maybe for an hour or two.  But not at night because I get to sleep through the night now.  I'm not bragging, I'm just sayin'.  Anyhoo . . . new onesies and headbands in the shop.  Check it out.


I Whole-Heartedly Agree

Sorry this is so small -- but I'm not gonna' retype the whole thing.  Go get your glasses.  {I kid, folks. But seriously, you may need them.}  I "Stumbled Upon" this the other day and found myself nodding in agreement and high fiving myself over many of these truths.  Especially No.3,7,9 (for sure!),13,17,24, & 31. 

However, No.1 isn't so relevant to me because I don't care if people find out that I've been looking at craft blogs all this time.  No.2 isn't so relevant either since I've never been wrong, but I can see how that would really stink.  And No.5 -- I learned from "the Martha" years ago how to fold those suckers and I can teach you, too.  {And it's my secret fantasy to tie each of my sets of sheets up with pretty ribbon and have a beautiful linen closet.  But Brent would make fun.}  Finally,  No. 28 -- I work with some pretty great high school kids at church, but I think in general that may be true.

What do you think, folks?  Which one do you want to get an AMEN on?


Valentine Onesies

I have a knack for ruining really cool projects lately-- like smearing my frosted mirrored doors {see below}or smearing the wet paint on one of  my favorite onesies of all time.  Whatever.  I'll remake that one, but these others are pretty stinkin' sweet, too.

I found a bunch of really cute baby legwarmers {name-brand -- holla!}at the dollar store a while back and thought they would be perfect for some long-sleeved layered-look onesies.  I just cut each legwarmer in half and sewed the raw edges underneath the hem of each sleeve with a long zigzag stitch.  Soooo easy! Why, WHY, didn't I know how to do fun stuff when I actually HAD a baby at home?! 

The one I ruined was similar to the pink one up top, but it said LOVE in black and bug in cute pink script. It was precious.  Until I forgot it was there and put my hand down in the wet pink paint.  Ay-yi-yi. Dumb.


Frosted Mirror Closet Doors

I've mentioned before that we bought our home as a fixer-upper.  Lots of things in the house bugged me, but they were all changeable and I had a good feeling about it as a whole.  I just didn't know then that it would take 8 years to get around to changing some of the things.  Like the horrible mirrored closet doors.  I didn't take a before picture, but you've all seen 'em.  All big and . . . mirror-y . . . and slide-y and framed in brass.  About 5 years ago we replaced most of the closet doors in the house with paneled bi-fold doors, but this closet opening in particular was so wonky we couldn't get the bifolds to work, try as we might.  So the mirrors went back up.  Then last spring when we did the board and batten and the burlap floor in the master bedroom we had to take the closet doors off so we could move the dresser in there to get it out of the way.  I was determined to NOT bring them back in this time.  So they sat in the garage and the closet sat . . . wide open and ugly.  Long story short, I was looking through the Tatertots and Jello Weekend Wrap Up Party a couple of  weeks ago and saw this beautiful closet makeover at Keep Home Simple.  I instantly fell in love with the pattern she hand-painted on the walls.  It was elegant and lovely and I thought that maybe, just maybe, I could recreate it somehow.  THEN I remembered the can of glass frosting spray I bought for the windows of the french door in the bedroom {and never used . . .} and an idea was born.  It took me several more days to work out the details in my mind, but then a project was born.  FROSTED MIRROR CLOSET DOORS!!

They are still sitting out in the yard tonight because I had some . . . issues . . . with painting the frames white.  But now I know EXACTLY how I should have done it.  For next time.  Here's the process {which is where this post gets really boring unless you want to try this yourself -- because I KNOW you weren't bored with my rambling until just now, right?}  I started out by covering the mirrored part of the door with contact {shelf} paper.  I just used leftover ends of rolls from other projects, but you could go get some specially for this and make it cute. {If you're like that, I guess.} 

I tried really hard on the first door to get the paper stuck to the glass with no air bubbles, but soon decided that was a physical impossibility.  Also, it doesn't really matter in the end.  Trim off the excess paper around the edges with an x-acto knife.    Now, here is where I could have saved myself a world of hurt.  Take your doors outside and spray the frame.  NOW, while the mirror is all covered up and you don't have anything fancy to wreck.  Trust me on this one.

Once the frame is dry, measure out and mark the center line horizontally and vertically.  That will help you keep your pattern centered and straight.  I printed out the same pattern that Robin used for her closet and traced it out onto the contact paper with a Sharpie.  I just eye-balled the spacing, and, truly, it's not perfect, but it's good enough.  The finished project is pretty forgiving.  Then I used my handy x-acto knife to cut out the pattern, leaving only the skinny strips between the pretty shapes stuck to the mirror, like so {in progress on the left}:

I went back when I was done cutting and removing and pressed all the remaining strips of contact paper down really good so the paint wouldn't get underneath.  {Here is where you take care of your air-bubble situation.)  Then you take them outside and spray them with the frosting spray.  I used Valspar Glass Frosting spray and it worked great.  I did two or three coats until I couldn't see myself anymore in the mirror.  It took a can and a half to do two doors like the one below.

Once the spray is dry (after about an hour according to the can, but I could only wait about 15 minutes) peel off the strips of contact paper and enjoy the loveliness.  I learned {the hard, sad way} that Windex removes the frosting spray {even after the paint sat and cured for several days} so this is might be a project for a low traffic area that won't need to be cleaned super often.  Just sayin'.  Here's the finished door again in all it's frosted glory:

I love the little bits of mirror showing through that reflect the light without really reflecting images. 

Here's the breakdown:
Roll of contact paper:  $6 (if you don't already have some)
Two cans of Frosting Spray:  $11
Finishing a project 8 years in the making:  Priceless!


This is Me Standing in Front of You, Swallowing My Pride, Saying I'm Sorry for

sending out my Christmas cards in January.  The middle.  Of January.  They sat on my desk all throughout the holiday season, addressed and stamped.  Whatever.  The information is still current.  Except, also, I apologize for lying about getting a new dog.  At the time the cards went out to the printer, a new dog was a major part of our holiday plans.  But plans change, so . . . yeah. 

To summarize:  Love that new Taylor Swift song, Christmas cards are late, no new dog. 

And now you're back up to speed with day-to-day.


Freshening Up a Bit

In the midst of all my Christmas preparations I squeezed in a sewing project -- just didn't squeeze in the blog post about it.  Our house is bright and fun.  Well, bright at least.  I like a lot of color.  I've been feeling the need lately to add some more feminine touches, hence the mermaid blue furniture and chandeliers.  I decided my old throw pillows covered in t-shirts needed to be girl-ified, too.  Enter the ruffles:

I wasn't sure how freezer paper stencils would work on burlap.  Turns out it works great!  For the burlap ruffles on both pillows I cut the selvage edges off of my yardage of burlap (the stuff left over from the bedroom floor) so that it wouldn't fray.  Brilliant, huh?  {Also, burlap is really scratchy so the dog keeps off of it.  Bonus!} So, it's still bright and fun, in my opinion, and not so girly as to offend the male sensibilities in the room.  That's my kind of design!



Hmmmmmmm . . .

Looks like the kids at Taco Bell were getting a little creative with the wrapping today.  I hated to open it up.


I'm a Sucker for a Good Presentation

After dinner on Monday night our dear daughter sat us down for a little presentation.  She wants a cell phone.  I mean, REALLY wants a cell phone.  She has tried begging.  She has tried whining.  She has even tried verbal abuse.  This logical, business-like approach may just be tipping the scale in her favor . . .  (even if the numbers on the pie chart don't add up to 100).


A Tale of Two Chandeliers

Many of you reading this blog have never been to my home.  You may not be aware of how dire our lighting situation has become.  Ann, you are aware.  For years {since the very day we bought this home}I have looked at the 80's style track lighting in my kitchen with lights the size of #10 cans and thought, "Someday, sucker, you're goin' down".  Then, as each bulb burned out and we tried {and failed}to replace it, my disdain for that light grew.  And grew.  But it was so high up there and chandeliers are so expensive.  And there we sat, me and that ugly light fixture at an impasse.  For years.  About six months ago I bought a chandelier on Craig's List for $10.  It was nothing fancy, but it was an exact match to the chandelier in our dining room which was good enough for me at that price.  And then that new chandelier sat in the garage because the ugly old beast was STILL SO HIGH up there.  Mocking me with it's one wavering light pointed at the wall 15 feet up instead of down into my little kitchen.  So, it brings me great pleasure to share with you our projects of last weekend.  I screwed my courage to the sticking place {I love that expression} and climbed up the ten foot ladder balanced precariously on top of an old, just-barely-big-enough dining table  where, from the highest rung on which you are allowed to stand, I could just barely reach that old monster.  It came down without much of a fight and the new one was installed.  I only dropped a screwdriver on my forehead once and the teeny tiny little screws about a thousand times in the process.  But it's up and it works and now I can actually see when I cook.  I have found myself thinking, "Is that what that really looks like?" several times.  Because I've been cooking by the light of my microwave.  For eight years.  Now, before I show you the triumphal photo, let me disclaim that I know one bulb is already burned out and it needs light shades.  I'm working on that.  Also, you should know that it's hard to take a good picture of a light fixture.  OK. With that, you may now see:

In the grand scheme of things it's probably nothing special, but to me it is nothing short of miraculous. Do you love those turquoise doors up there with the book page wreath?!  Those are the doors that we removed from the entertainment center I recently refashioned.  I couldn't bring myself to throw them away because I knew they'd be good for something.  I just didn't know what until now.

Now, chandy #2.  Our home was built in the 80's and the bedrooms all have builder stock faux oak and brass ceiling fans.  Those, too, have taunted me for nearly a decade. I whipped the boys' fan into shape last spring, but Sydney's . . . oh, I've had big plans for that one for quite some time.  This uuuuuuuuuuuuhhhhhhhgly fixture was Freecycled to me back in June:
It wasn't exactly what I was looking for, but I knew with a little gumption {and spray paint} I could transform it.  So it sat in the corner of my master bedroom and waited for me to get inspired.  'Til the day I had the vision.  Not a literal vision. You know what I mean.  There is a chandelier at Ballard Design that looks like it is wrapped in gilt vines and tiny crystals.  It is stunning, as well it should be for nearly $400.
It also faaaaaaarrrrrr too grand for the scale of Sis's bedroom.  And I had my heart set on white and pink.  This is what I came up with:

I wrapped the frame of that old brass light in a couple of wired berry garland I got on Christmas clearance last year.  The garland was brown and red.  I got a few raised eyebrows from family members who weren't sure if they wanted my monstrosity hanging in their home {ahem, Brent and Syd}. No matter.  I told them to shut up and just let me finish since it wasn't costing us anything to try my genius idea out and then I took that bad boy out to the garage and sprayed it white, which immediately won them over.  To make it sparkle like the Ballard one I went to the craft store and picked up a couple strings of sparkly pink bicone beads and randomly stuck them right onto the ends of the little twiggy things {super technical process}.
You can see them in there if you look reeeeeeeealy close.  It looks all sparkly in real life.  You can also see that my paint job isn't perfect to which I say, "Shut up.  It's fine."  This light, too, needs cute little shades, but I am absolutely in love with it!!  It looks so perfect in her pink and brown "sophisticated princess" room.  See:
And then we all lived happily ever after in our BRIGHT, shiny, well-lit home.  The end.
I'm linking up!!


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