Monday, May 14, 2012

I don't like change

What is up with this "new" blogger? I say "new" because it's probably been like this for months and I have been MIA. I don't like it - it seems like all kinds of extra clicking to me.

But in general I don't like change. I like things to stay where they are, the way they are. The main thing I don't like about different things is that they're different. I have learned to recognize that my initial dislike is just to the differentness and try to give it time to see if it's good or not.

The lazy susan I have used for spices for probably the last 15 years has bit the dust (although I suspect a dab of crazy glue[which, of course, I can't find] might make it all OK, but then it could not work and I'll be right back where I started with a broken lazy susan) so I tried something new. I hate it. I am going to find the crazy glue and if that doesn't work, I'm going to get some new crazy glue and try out that road. And then, and only then, will I get a new lazy susan. Because moving the spices to a whole new cabinet is just not going to work for me.

Search "spice storage" on Pinterest. Nice stuff, but hello? practical? It seems like a massive waste of time and resources to decant all my spices into something else and chalkboard paint them and whatever else. I had a big matchy-matchy spice spinner thing when I was first married and about 15% of them were used a lot, 80% were useless, and 5% were useful occasionally. Who cares if they all match if it's not what you need and have 17 other spices in the cabinet that you use all the time?

Which brings me to my main beef with Pinterest: massive lack of imagination. You know how people will have "GREAT IDEA, WHY DIDN'T I THINK OF THAT?" under a pin? Easy answer, that one: it's a dumb idea. It will take more time to do or enact than the benefit of having it done will be. Like those spray painted sliced up toilet paper rolls. They might look OK in the picture, but that's a picture. There's lighting and photoshop to consider. Imagine what it looks like up close: spray painted sliced up toilet paper rolls.

I imagine this is a rant for another day.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

What Would {insert name} Do?

I was looking on Pinterest at someone's board of Kate Middleton and loving how thin and classy and stylish and put-together she is. The Hair. The Smile. etc.

I thought, "My new mantra will be, 'What would Kate Middleton do?'"

(It just occurred to me she's technically not "Middleton" anymore but since I'm just a Yank with no functional knowledge of royalty, we're going with Kate Middleton for now.)

Unfortunately, the answer to what would Kate Middleton do? Is more often than not "have her staff do it" or "sleep in late" or "have someone do her hair and go to a party." Since none of these things are actual possibilities, this isn't as motivating or inspiring as I hoped. There was the time I answered myself with "have better posture" so at least that was achievable.

And then when I'm biting my cuticles while I drive (or something equally unclassy), I'm glad there's no photographers following me and forcing me to be pulled together and sophisticated all. the. time.

'Cause that has to be exhausting.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

I thought it was Quiet

The children were outside so I thought I had a few minutes to scratch out a blog post (I've even made notes so I'm sort of organized when I actually go to write) but they swarmed in (there's an extra one today) and are now discussing what would be the weirdest flavors of jelly beans.

"Sandwich Flavor" is winning the grossness debate right now.

I would suggest "earwax" but that would make me laugh and take too long to explain.

On the jelly bean subject, my daughter ate all of the red jelly beans out of the container I bought yesterday.

Every.

Single.

One.

I don't know how she remembered that that was an option of what to do with jelly beans . . . it must have made a big impression on her last year that I preferred the red ones. I am trying to limit my sugar consumption so I guess it's just her way of helping me out.

The deep thoughts will have to wait for another day.

Friday, March 23, 2012

{no title}

I'm trying to convince Kate to go outside since it's a lovely day but she's glued to some Ninjago show she found ondemand. I don't have a lot of energy for it since I want to sit and read or pin so I'm just trying to cooperate with her instructions to "not look at the screen." I thought I'd try writing a blog post, if coherent thoughts would cooperate.

For one thing, it drives me nuts to come home to loads of clutter after being out all afternoon at the park. We can leave with things semi in order but return to so many little housekeeping tasks that an afternoon out doesn't seem worth it. I am tyring to find a place where I'm OK with that but some days I'm not.

Have I mentioned I have bursitis in my hip and plantar faciitis in my foot? On the same side? Add that to my carpal tunnel and there's very few workout I can do and even fewer I can do back to back. I can do weights but not push-ups. I can do core work but not cardio. I miss my endorphins.

She's agreed to go outside! I'm going with her. I bought some sunscreen yesterday and can't find it now. I sort of plan to try to write once a week. Maybe I'll tell you about spirit week.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

I'm not Dead

I just have not been interested in spending time here. I have a lot of thoughts running around my head (as always) but have been focusing on real things and pinterest.

I've been working on finishing the quilt tops (3) I have sitting around.

I've been cleaning, and folding laundry and putting it away, and being present in my life instead of pretending to be something awesome here, on the internet.

All that and pinning like crazy.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Scrapbooking

OK, so we're going to start at the end since that's how I uploaded the pictures.
These two layouts (above and below) are my first attempts at paint splatters. I splattered and dripped paint on several pieces of paper to see if it was easy or hard and also to see how big of a mess it would make.
It does make a big mess but I had a splat mat under the paper I was splattering on. Both of these are pictures from when we went to the zoo in 2008.
The rest of these are from when I went to the scrap marathon two weeks ago. I had been going twice a year to scrap, in January and June, but had to miss the last June one for a wedding. So it had been a long time since I'd had any dedicated scrap time. These layouts below are the ones I did that day.
I had a list of pages that I needed to fill in gaps in our albums, so I had pictures divided into piles like "Sam summer 2008 1 page." This helped me stay focused. I also tried to match pictures and papers so I didn't have to take so much with me.
This layout (above) is a scraplift from a layout I found on Pinterest. I'd link you but sometimes this computer acts weird about letting me highlight things. That's why sometimes there's links and sometimes there's not.
She wanted to pose with the layout since she's holding the same panda in the layout.
This was supposed to have stitching on it but I poked the holes all wrong. So I had to fix it with a patch. This one is also a Pinterest scraplift.
I don't know why she's trying to get in the picture with this one since it's Sam's layout.
These ones, above and below, have a 6-photo picture holder in between the layouts - a trick I've seen and used when there's a lot of pics from one event but too many for layouts.
Birth announcement from my new niece, Trillian. I added the "it's a girl" when I got home - I went through an added some kind of embellishment to almost every layout (the primary reason being I have massess [I mean massess] of stickers, quotes, ribbon, embellishments, etc., etc., etc. and was trying to move some of it); this is the only one that I sort of am not entirely happy with the addition.
No paper. All ribbon.
The letters on these two are cut with the Cricut. I think I went a little overboard on the BCM one but . . . it's done so I'm not that unhappy with it.
And finally, Polis (that's what Kate called her pacifier). I'm not thrilled with the picture of me on the layout but I'm holding the polis which I think is kind of funny. For about 2 1/2 years we had them everywhere and then she grew out of them . . . so I had to scrap it.
Hopefully another year doesn't go by before I have more to show you.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Love is Eternal


Last fall (fall 2010), I took off my engagement ring and wedding ring because I was getting a callus from lifting weights. My finger is much bigger than when I got married, and once they were off, they weren't going back on. I was kind of sad but figured we'd get them sized sooner or later. And I had a ring to wear, an aquamarine that fit my ring finger.

But time dragged on, and sizing the rings kept being moved down on the priority list of spending.

Meanwhile, last summer, I read I Do but I Don't by Kamy Wicoff (very interesting read; it looks at all aspects of the wedding, and why we do what we do as far as wedding traditions and expectations). In one part she talks about why she doesn't wear her engagement ring: she goes into the whole "being chosen" thing vs. being the chooser; the diamond industry in general; how the ring says things that maybe the wearer isn't wanting to say; and how gauche women can be, wanting big rings to "prove" they're "worth" more.

I realized I missed my rings and that some of her reasons for not wearing her ring were reasons I wanted to wear my rings. These rings represent our love and our vows and I wanted even the casual observer to see that.

Finally, finally, we took our rings to Barmakian in Nashua and I picked them up today. They are so shiny and glossy . . . like new. And they fit. Craig got his done, too, and we keep marvelling to each other how nice they look, how nice it is to have them fit and to be wearing them.

And the engraving survived . . . the bands were stretched and we didn't know if we'd lose the engraving. But it's there.

Love is Eternal. 10-21-00.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Took Long Enough

Not long after we finished the headboard, I found this cool old window at an antique store. It hung for a long time just the window (before pic here). Two weeks ago I (we) finally got around to putting the map behind it . . . the maps I bought off of ebay 7 or 8 years ago - the humungo maps of the coasts of Massachusetts and New Hampshire that were so huge I did not know what to do with.
It took a little planning to get all the panes filled (we couldn't just stretch the map across the back and call it a day, we cut each pane separately) and then Craig cut up cardboard to hold them in and went to a huge amount of effort to tape up the whole back (but I didn't take a picture of that).
This was Craig's idea for this window, but in the days before we did it I saw a cabinet door done like this with a map on pinterest and I was like, oh man, that was our idea. But it was the motivation I needed to get off my butt and do something.

We love how it turned out . . . I have to say, I do like it better filled than empty. It does annoy me that you can see reflections in these pictures . . . like me standing on the bed there. But glad to have another DIY crossed off the list.

Friday, January 27, 2012

In which I improve upon a good thing

(OK, I started this post on the 14th. I'm hoping to post it tonight.)
Our dining room chairs are falling apart. They creak, sway, and generally are not stable. Two of them already broke apart. We sort of half-talked about getting a new set but there's so many other things above new dining room set on the priority list.
I saw a great pic (pic 3) in Country Living of a dining room with slipcovered chairs and found them for $30 each. Plus I don't have a big white room and a big dark table like the pic, but I thought slipcovered chairs could work for us. Sure Fit had these for less so I asked my MIL for them for Christmas. She, being a generous gift giver, gave me 4 (many, many thanks).
I was thrilled and immediately put one on a chair. After looking at it for several days I began to think I should hem it to make it shorter. I realized it needed to be pulled up from the top of the chair back.
(near chair is straight-out-of-package [well, not really, I washed it]; far chair is tailored.)
First, I washed and dried the slipcovers so they if they were going to shrink, they would be shrunk. Then I measured how much they needed to be pulled up and took them down to my craft cave.
They had this funny kind of tuck in the top so I pulled that out with my seam ripper.
I marked my machine (with the water-soluble quilt marker, which smudged but lasted long enough for this project) 3.5 inches from where the seam would be - so I would have a straight seam.

Somehow those pictures are a big block that I can't space apart but I'm sure you can figure out that I sewed a seam, lining the top of the slipcover up with the marker line, and then I re-did the funny little fold thing.
Craig braced up the chairs:
And now they are covered and the whole thing is lovely. Next up, refinishing the table. Wish us luck.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Wanting to Want to

I never want to do my housework (shocking confession, I know). Never. There is always something better to do, like pinning, or reading, or crafting, or using the power tools (those things are heavy), or just whatever.

But then I get so discouraged because my house is a mess and doesn't look a nicely lit and whitewashed like those pictures on pinterest.

Last week, I thought, man, I wish I wanted to do my housework. That I wasn't always trying to avoid it and feeling bad that it wasn't done. I want to want to do it. And it was like a voice said, Just ask Me.*

*Don't get all worked up that I said I heard a voice. I didn't "hear" a "voice," but it was like a still, small voice in my soul. A quiet prodding. A reminder.

So I did. I prayed, "Lord, help me to want to want to take care of my home. I want to want to do these things before I flake off and check out."

And He answered me. He gave me what I asked for, a peace and motivation to do what needed to be done. A lovely, quiet peace about carrying on with my duties, a statisfaction of a job well done. A dedication that's lasted through this last week. If I feel it lagging, I bring it back to Him. "Thank you, Lord, for helping want to do housework. Help me still."

It's been so encouraging, too, to be reminded that I can bring everything to God; He loves me and wants to give me the things I ask for.

And wow, is my house clean.