Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Friday, November 26, 2010


Creative Every Day/Flickr Project 365 photo for 11/26/2010: 
My second ever homemade (drop cloth) slip cover!
Here's the story:

My dream chair is this beauty - the Ektorp from IKEA.  
Oh, how I drool for this chair.  It calls to me.
~A I M E E~
~A I M E E~

...we have this slightly old and tired (and grumpy looking) chair, free from Paul's grandmother.  It has only a wee hole in the top and is functioning rather well in the living room.  I can't see dropping hundreds of bucks for new furniture when this furniture still works (many hundreds if I get a matching set of chairs and the loveseat (gasp), oh Ektorp how I pine for you).  I'm just not going to do it!  Plus, we've had an eclectic mix of cast-offs and hand-me-downs for so long, I'm just not sure I could handle the newness and the matchy-matchy-ness of new and unused furniture.  While I really, really like the look in other people's homes, in mine, I'd probably miss the stories and the personality of all this funky junk!

SO...I took the lessons learned from my first slip cover, another large drop cloth, and 6 hours on Monday while Annie was home recuperating from a cold to sew up another cover.  (The pressure of imminent Thanksgiving guests kept me stitching away, no time for whining!)  The arms came out much better this time although something really funky happened along the sides, but I'm not getting into those details with y'all!  Overall, I'm very pleased with this one.  

The girls seem to like it too!
The math:
free chair = $ 0.00
drop cloth = $19.98
ikea pillow = $20.00
project cost $40.00
My beloved Ektorp chair is $400.  Cha-ching!

And, when our heavily attended and highly energetic Thanksgiving party was underway- I didn't worry one lick about messes.  These babies just get better with each wash.

I can live quite nicely with my real-life solution.  
Ektorp...I'll still visit you in my dreams!
UPDATE: The IKEA names make me giggle and I like it.  I've decided to  name my chair the "Grumptorp".

Linking to:
Transformation Thursdays at The Shabby Chic Cottage

Frugal Friday at The Shabby Nest

Flaunt it Friday at Chic on a Shoestring
Chic on a Shoestring Decorating

Thursday, November 25, 2010


Creative Every Day/Flickr Project 365 photo for 11/25/2010: 
 Our "thankful" tree...
 ...a photo of the morning sky, taken by Emma...
 ...a magical early morning visit with PopPop, Paul's grandfather (girls' great-grandfather)...
 ...lots of antics under the table, covered by 11 years of Thanksgiving signatures...
 ...and lots...
 ...and lots...
 ...of really big smiles.
 It is a blessing to be...
 ...it is a blessing to be here...
...it is a blessing to be here together.

So very  much fun was had here today!  
Thanks to everyone who came and lots of love to those far away 
(you were missed!).  
Thanks for all the food and beverage brought.  
Can I just say...*homemade wine*!  
And, thanks to Paul and the girls for ALL THE AMAZING help, 
you make it easy!  


Wednesday, November 24, 2010


Creative Every Day/Flickr Project 365 photo for 11/24/2010: 
We're hosting Thanksgiving at our house again this year.
We've been getting ready for what seems like an eternity, due mostly to the "Big Paint" that began in early September and the ensuing redecorating that has been going on ever since.  We wanted it mostly done BY Thanksgiving, not necessarily FOR Thanksgiving, but phew 
-- we've been at it for months.  
Let's do this thing!
Bring on the family and fun!
Safe travels and blessings to those who celebrate this holiday!

Monday, November 22, 2010


Creative Every Day/Flickr Project 365 photo for 11/22/2010: 
 Emma and I had the pleasure of attending our cousin's 9th birthday pool party yesterday.  Happy Birthday, Noah!
Emma had a wet and wonderful time celebrating with you!
(Annie and Paul were home sick.  Poor dears.)

Sunday, November 21, 2010


Creative Every Day/Flickr Project 365 photo for 11/21/2010: 
 Paul cleaned the chimney...
 ...and chopped and split and carted the wood.
 Annie poured the water.
 Emma found the old newspaper.
 And we fired that baby up!
For those of you keeping track: 
I did nothing provided encouragement and enthusiasm and took pictures!

Saturday, November 20, 2010


Creative Every Day/Flickr Project 365 photo for 11/20/2010:
 Last night, Annie attended a "Girls' Empowerment" event hosted and facilitated 
by Monica Dyer, founder of Walk in Beauty.
 This evening was absolutely amazing and totally empowering.  
Annie thoroughly enjoyed it and it definitely made an impact on her and 
how she sees herself in the world. 
"See those people on the billboards. I would never want to be like those people.  They are all photo-shopped.  I would photoshop a rock, or a tree, or even a popscicle stick if I had to.  But I would never photoshop a human, a dog, a cat, or a bunny, " said Annie, on the ride home.
For more information on this and future events, contact Monica at mondyer(at)optonline(dot)net.

Friday, November 19, 2010


Creative Every Day/Flickr Project 365 photo for 11/19/2010:
 It's been a hectic week with work during the day and meetings at night.
Food had dwindled down to gluten-free crumb sandwiches with a side of air.  I was shopping the snack cabinet at work making lunches of skittles and cheetos.  
I'm exaggerating slightly here, but you get the picture!
And then, it hit me: Peapod
 It was almost like getting a massage.  
A truck full of the food I ordered showed up in my driveway (not all those boxes are for me!).  My children thought this was one of The Most Amazing Things Ever Witnessed which set them in motion running back and forth with the bags of groceries.  The man never had to set foot off the truck!  

Between the cost of the fee and the tip and the increasing moral and environmental guilt (intensified with the writing of this post) - this will remain a rare occurrence around here.  
A guilty pleasure, I guess.
But, man-o-man when I need it, it's there!

I am very (and humbly) aware of how amazing it is that I live a life in which during a stressful week,  my options include ordering up a truck of food 
and having it delivered to my driveway.

Deep gratitude.

Thursday, November 18, 2010


Creative Every Day/Flickr Project 365 photo for 11/18/2010:
 This photo shows a coaster I received as a Christmas present last year.  It's rolled marble, stenciled and then heat set in the oven.  Rubber grips at the four corners underneath protect furniture.  Pretty cool, huh?
My mother became obsessed with the hand made coaster idea which turned into crafting fun for all! 
Here we are this summer trying out some different methods 
(stenciling, free painting, modge podge, stamping).  We had varying levels of success and it remains very much a quest in progress!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


Creative Every Day/Flickr Project 365 photo for 11/16/2010:
I see a fleet of dirigibles moving majestically across the sky.
You may tire of seeing them, I'm not sure, but I could take pictures of the sky all day, every day.  It's ever changing and always beautiful!  
A true display of Mother Nature's talents. 
Hope you have a great day today!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Chop! (aka The DIY Karate Board Photo Gallery Wall)

Creative Every Day/Flickr Project 365 photo for 11/15/2010:
 From Hi-ya! to Ta-da!
My crew used to take karate classes. 

At various times, mostly to advance to the next level, they broke boards - with their hands and feet!  It was totally awesome and empowering.  

It created a lot of boards.  
And, us, being the sentimental fools we are found it difficult to part with even one of them.  Lots and lots of boards.  I kept thinking I'd come up with an idea of how to upcycle them, but gluing them together to make book ends just didn't ever happen.  After several rounds of decluttering this summer and early fall, those boards were marked for destruction.  We all agreed to keep the "first break", but the rest were going to go in the wood stove when we fire that baby up in another week or so.  For weeks, the boards had been in a pile (that continuously fell over much to my agitation) in front of the wood stove awaiting incineration.   

And then I saw this:
Easy Photo Wall on a Shoestring Budget
and this:
Design Sponge Best Gallery Walls

and others which I cannot now for the life of me find to share
and my mind's wheels starting whirring.

Paul had already indicated he would like to see some of my 365 project photos displayed in our home and now I knew I'd be using those karate boards to do it.
First, I spray painted the fronts and sides of the boards, not at all worrying about perfection.  Any drips, chips, splotches just added to their overall character.  
I preserved the markings on the back of the boards indicating when they were broken.
Then, I decided to use the 3M Command adhesive tabs for hanging so I wouldn't have a zillion holes in my newly painted wall.  I tend to move things around quite a bit and wasn't sure how long I would want to remain committed to the photo wall.  What if the whole idea just didn't work and I needed to scrap it?  Better to not have all those holes in the wall.  Plus, the boards are preserved this way too.
I measured the overall space I wanted to fill and recreated it with newspaper.  I laid out all the boards so they filled the space in a nicely shaped grid.  I had not sanded or resized the boards, so they create a cool and funky grid with varying sizes, widths, and edges.  At some point my brain froze up on me and after some whining and near crying, Paul stepped in and did helped with the measuring and measuring and leveling and measuring and marking and leveling and measuring and measuring of where all those little 3M tabs should go.  
He made the marks and I stuck them all up on the wall.  Thanks, Paul!
This is the layout for the other side of the corner.  It incorporates the "chalk tray" which used to hold music on our old piano.  The chalkboard wall in the dining room is on the other side of this wall, so it is a great spot to store the chalk and highlight this cool piece of "found vintage".

So, finally, the wall was up.  It was this awesome blank canvas.  
It is a real work of art all on its own.  We were enjoying it so much blank that we contemplated leaving it that way.  
The blocks make cool shadows which Paul enjoyed photographing.  
Here it is partially done.  I put up a photo just to see how it was going to look and the family decided we all liked it better blank.  Sigh.
I was way too crabbed out from creating the thing and now was trying to acclimate to the idea that the PHOTO wall would not have any PHOTOS.  I generally don't change gears quickly or gracefully.  I hadn't even yet solved the problem of how to attach the photos so they could be changed out from time to time (thereby ditching spray adhesive or modge podge which were other ideas at one point).  I did not want to permanently adhere them to the karate boards.  So, part of my brain was still percolating a solution to that problem and the other part of my brain was trying to detach from the idea of my photo wall actually holding photos.  
I was not a happy camper. 
I needed some time and space from the project.  So for most of the week it just stayed blank and looking awesome while I worked out some gunk and waited for some more inspiration.  I found it a bit too modern looking for our "vintage, shabby, sentimental, cottage meets coastal cabin in the woods" style living room.  I checked in with the family for their input and while they did like it blank, they also loved the idea of the photos.  
I had decided, after searching for other items and tossing other ideas, to use plain old binder clips to attach the photos.  It took me a couple of days to secure the right sized clips a la Goldilocks (small ones were too small, the big ones were too big, and the medium ones were almost just right).   As it stands now, I'm using a combination of small and medium clips.  This may change if I come up with a better plan.

(Note: Deciding to permanently attach the photos would have made it much easier.  I would have just used spray adhesive or modge podge.  I think that would be a great idea for folks with kids in karate...adhere a photo of the child breaking the board onto the board and hang it on the wall!  Awesome idea, right?)

Choosing photos is another huge endeavor, so for the time being, I am using a set of flower photos I had already printed and keep on hand to use for handmade note cards that I sometimes give as gifts.  At first it just felt way too weird for me to display any of my photos.  I was feeling uncomfortable and was tuned into the mind chatter channel which plays re-runs of  the old classics "Its not good enough" and "Who Do I Think I Am, an Artist?!" 
I'm grateful for Paul and the girls encouragement and enthusiasm in this.  

After all that, here's the wall:

I am now looking forward to adding more photos and periodically changing them out for others.
 With the photos up, it fits into our funky space so much better. 
I'm really loving it!  What do you think? 

Linking to:
Metamorphosis Monday at Between Naps on the Porch 
Making Monday Marvelous at C.R.A.F.T.
mmm button
Motivated Monday at Becolorful
DIY Showoff Project Parade at The DIY Showoff  
The DIY Show Off

Making the World Cuter Monday at Making the World Cuter 
Funky Junk's Saturday Night Special: Picture Frames
A Crafty Soiree at Katie's Nesting Spot
Check out the other projects!  
Aren't people amazing?