I've been pinning photos of lovely kitchens with open shelving. Ones like this beauty
Artfully arranged dishes. Simple stacks of plates and bowls arranged in a way that pleases the eye and complements the surrounding decor. Nothing about it contrived or complicated. Like it just happened.
Well, for me it didn't just happen.
I spent two hours Friday night, (yea, I need to get a life) arranging these two shelves.
I climbed up and down from a stool so much my legs were sore the next day. (I need to get a life that involves more exercise apparently)
I'd move a piece, get down, step back and look.
It was too busy, too stark, too blue, too, too, too...
It finally came around, or else I just got tired of fooling with it, once I took all the blue dishes out. Either they looked to arranged or too haphazard. If I tried balancing equal amounts of blue on top and bottom, left and right it looked like I was trying to hard, if I didn't balance them it looked, well, unbalanced.
I really wish I had photographed each step along the way so I can share how exciting my Friday nights are. Kid you not, two hours arranging dishes, so that they wouldn't look arranged.
I didn't want the shelf to be full of stuff that isn't used to just collect dust and in the end, there are lots of things there as fillers. Now that I really look, it's mostly fillers. I do use those coffee cups and the white dish on the bottom shelf is new but I will use it.
I need to quit looking at these pictures, it only makes me want to go change things.
And a bird. Oh my! Have you seen this?
Oh what the heck, as long as I brought it up.
When we built the house, we had a white cast iron sink. I don't remember why, but at some point I decided I wanted to change it. I think it was losing some of it's shine and was hard to clean. Anyway, I got a composite sink that closely matched the lovely dark gray formica counter tops. Blackish gray composite sink with darkish gray formica, not bad. Darkish gray with butcher block, not so good.
I told my loving husband that I wanted the white sink back. It was still here, behind his barn. Yea, it looks like hoarders back there. Not really. Maybe a little. We live in the country.
I'm rambling. It used to look sort of like hoarders. Before Mitch, the loving husband took a huge truck load of junk to the metal salvage yard (he collects cars and car parts like I collect furniture and lamps) and since the sink was cast iron, it went too. That was after I told him I wanted it back in the house. After he told me there was no way he was putting that thing back in. It nearly broke his back taking it out. He said I'll buy you a new one, an acrylic one. He said that to put me off, hoping I'd just get over it. I didn't.
Long story short I have a new sink and it's big enough to bathe in. I don't know how, it is in the same hole, but this baby is HUGE. I love it.
So there you go, I walk on the wild side arranging shelves and putting birds on them and my husband buys me gifts in the plumbing section of the hardware store. Don't you wish you lived such a glamorous life?
I've been stripping again, and unfortunately, no twenty dollar bills were slipped in the waist band of my granny panties while I was at it.
The table from hell strikes again! The polyurethane topcoat didn't harden (I"m sure the 90% humidity had nothing to do with it) and scratched if you looked at it. No joke, I could scratch it off with my fingernail. I didn't get too upset, because truth be told, I wasn't completely in love with it anyway. Am I fickle or what?
I am ready for autumn. I love summer and am so glad we were able to slip in a late beach trip last week. But I'm over it. Enough summer. Enough humidity. Enough 90+ degree weather.
We had a great time. It was as bright and sunny as any time I've been in July. I loved it, but fickle me says be gone summer. 95 degrees in late September is just wrong.
One more random unrelated bit. I hit a few thrift stores this week and found some goodies. I always look for white dishes and this was my lucky day.
I also picked up this lamp.
Not too cute in this state, but it will look quite handsome orange. ORANGE? Did I just say orange? Yep, and I'm not talking about halloween decor. I'm thinking my guest room would like a pop of color. A little something like this.
I'd say that's enough random jabber for one day. Have a lovely weekend folks! I may be back later to share the progress of my stripping. Completely G rated, I promise!
I've reached that milestone when you find yourself at the mall, in the trendy stores and you can't find a thing you want to spend your money on.
Mitch gave me a gift card for Christmas so I could buy myself some jeans. Oh joy. I get to go shopping for jeans. Another sign of being old. If I weren't old, that would have delighted me to no end. Instead it felt like he had given me a gift card to go out and be tortured. Thanks honey, just what I wanted, frustration and disappointment all wrapped up with a pretty bow. In his defense, I had been whining about having nothing to wear, so he did do good, even if it meant I was going to have to brave the dreaded fitting room mirror to cash in. I suffer the same fate and so many women, be they tall or short, curvy or bony, I can never find jeans that fit. Jeans that fit, but also look good. Jeans that fit and look good and are also comfortable. Fit, look good, comfortable and don't cost as much as a small car. Too much to ask? Yea, I thought so.
On Sunday, he and I ventured out to the mall. I poured through the racks, starting in the clearance section. Hey, I wanted to make the most of my gift card. I've recently gained about 15 pounds, for me, that's a good thing. I wasn't sure what size to get so I grabbed up several pair and went to the fitting room. I went through several definitely not's, a few maybe's and finally found a pair I felt pretty good about. The rise was good, not way too low and not mom jeans. The length was good but most importantly, the butt was not bad. Alrighty, I ventured out of the fitting room to show Mitch. Pretty sure I was looking kinda cute in my nicely fitting jeans, I walk past the 20-something, perky little associate who asks, you want me to get those for you in another size? I looked at her a little puzzled. What? Was she talking to me? Ahem, they don't fit, I asked. And she said, well, duh, granny. OK, she didn't actually say duh or granny, but the look on her face said it all. Then she so gently explained how they shouldn't loose here or baggy there. (She was talking about the jeans not my butt, by the way). I was getting a jeans fitting lesson in a store I'm probably too old to be shopping in in the first place.
So what's a granny to do? Rock the skin-tight skinny jeans? Not a chance. Truth is, I have to wear what feels good to me, even if it means I'm not on the cutting edge of the latest trend. Which is apparently skin-tight skinny jeans. The helpful little sales girl could tell me all day long how they were supposed to fit, but bottom line, if I don't feel comfortable wearing them, they'll never make it out of the closet. I ended up going with a "boyfriend" fit. Slightly relaxed, so I can be comfortable crawling around on the floor with Bayleigh, or climbing up and down a ladder painting...washing dishes, taking the dogs out...or even sitting on my behind at the computer. These are the things I'm likely to be doing in my new jeans. So if I'm not keeping up with the latest trends, that's OK. I'm sure it's just another sign I'm getting old and I'm completely OK with that.
And no, that isn't a white pumpkin you see back there, under the sewing machine. It most definitely is not fall decor that was forgotten about throughout the Christmas season and still hanging around on January 12. No, it's something else altogher. I'm just not telling what it is, cause it's none of your business. So move along. I'll be seeing you later. I have things to take care of. Things that are not forgotten about pumpkins that only get noticed when taking dorky photos of myself.
Getting from my mind to my fingers and onto the computer has been the problem. My days are full, there is so much I want to save and to share. Bayleigh is 16 months old!! How did that happen? She's growing so fast and does something new and exciting every day. I should be documenting more, that's why I started this blog. To record whatever it was that I felt record worthy for that day or week. It's been mostly a sewing blog with life experience sprinkled in along the way. When I look back and read old posts, I'm almost always glad I captured those moments because in this busy life, so much gets overlooked and forgotten. It's just finding the time at the end or beginning of those full days to sit down an write. It's a challenge.
Since my last post Bayleigh stared daycare. The intention was/is (the jury is still out) for her to go a few mornings a week. This would give me a few hours to do some laundry and other housework (maybe even sew a little) and give her a few hours to play with other children. Just to explain the situation, Bayleigh's dad, Derek works in Alaska several months out of the year. Bayleigh's mom, Alyssa is in her final year of nursing school. While Derek is in Alaska, Bayleigh and Alyssa stay here with us (most of the time). I watch Bayleigh while Alyssa is in school, and try to help keep her occupied in the evenings for Alyssa to study and do homework. We are all exhausted by the end of the day. The idea behind daycare was to give me a few hours of free time during the day. She went three mornings the first week and by that Friday had a runny nose. She went one morning the next week and woke with a fever the next day. That was this past Wednesday and she's still not feeling good. She shared the cruddy love with Alyssa and myself so it's a house full of snot and tears. Nice, eh? I'm really beginning to think those few hours of free time are hardly worth it.
I've been in a real nesting phase of late, changing this, moving that, and of course painting lots and lots of this and that. Perhaps it's the changing of seasons that gets me itching to change my surroundings, I don't know. I suspect my recent addiction to some really wonderful home-dec blogs may have something to do with it. I've already shared some of the impromptu changes that my kitchen went through, the living room wasn't far behind and dining room, be warned you're next. I'll post the crafty stuff I've been up to in another post as this one is already boringly wordy and I won't wait a week to do it, promise.
A few days ago, Rachel emailed out of concern that I had fallen victim to my out of control junk drawer and was unable to find my way out. So sweet! I assured her that I was fine, that the junk drawer had not sucked me in and tossed me to the back with the twist ties and random batteries. Nope, I'm here and I'm well. I'm busy and happy and have a life full of blessings I should be documenting. I'm such a slow blog poster. I type and delete, type and delete. Stare at the flashing cursor and type and delete some more. I find it so difficult to jot down a few lines, throw in a relevant photo or two and get on with the rest of the day. I want to work on that and maybe I'll have more success at blogging on a somewhat regular basis. In the time since my last post, things have been pretty busy- where to begin...what to talk about first? Since my last post there has been a trip to the beach, Bible School crafting, some fireworks watching, transplant evaluating, and a little sewing.
In the next week, I will try to catch up and do it in brief posts, instead of the long rambling ones that take forever to read and even longer to write.
A few justcause photos, just cause I hate to post without a photo.
Here I find myself, once again, like I have many times before, thanking you guys for being so good to me. Your words of sympathy and support on the loss of our sweet little Gracie have meant so much. Truly, if you wonder if your comments matter, if they make a difference, let me say, yes! Yes they do! Your words are uplifting and encouraging and I treasure each and every one! Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!
I've been getting used to life with one less four-legged family member. I'm still so saddened by her somewhat sudden and unexpected loss, but I am smiling more at happy memories of her gentle and loving spirit. Life goes on, isn't that what they say? Here's proof.
Alyssa and I found these little guys abandoned in a parking lot. No mama in sight. I don't plan to keep them, just fatten them up a bit and find them loving homes. These photos are from their first days with us, they are eating kitty food now,
and getting fat, round little bellies. A welcome addition to their formerly emaciated little frames.
If you live in the southeastern NC area and want a sweet little kitty (or two) to love, email me. I can hook you up! Seriously.
Toby loves the babies,
and they love him.
It seems as though I've been away from this little corner for so long. There is so much I could ramble on about, life is so full. My blogging voice seems a bit horse, forgive me while I try to catch up. We were lucky enough to have Casey home for a few weeks. He was able to get recruiter's assistance duty while waiting for his class to start up in Pensacola. It was really a joy to have him home and I'm so happy to be able to say that. Even a year ago, joy would not have been a word I would have used in conversation about time spent with Casey. I don't mind admitting when I'm wrong and I was wrong in feeling that joining the Marines was a terrible decision for Casey. I don't look forward to the worry that will surely be my constant companion when the time comes for him to be deployed, but the contentment that he carries with him, the confidence. They mean so much to this mama.
His flight out left from Charlotte, so after dropping him at the airport, we visited Ikea. It was my first time. Wow! What a huge and wonderful place that was.
More random bits to come. Try to contain your excitement, but it involves cleaning my kitchen.
What do you think? I know you guys don't see me very often, and usually then, it's an obscure shot here and there. I'm not fond of most photos of myself. Very few I can even stand to look at. I'm looking pretty shabby these days, and not shabby chic. Just plain shabby. Stringy hair pulled up in a clip, no makeup, sweats. It wouldn't surprise me one bit if What Not To Wear ambushed me on my way to the mailbox. I'm home most days and have no reason to dress up, but I'm thinking I should put forth a tiny bit more effort not to look like a troll who sleeps under a bridge. For my husband's sake, at least.
I have an appointment to get something done with my hair tomorrow. I cut my hair short when Casey was a baby and kept it pretty short for years. I started letting it grow about three or four years ago. I only go a couple, maybe three times a year to get it cut and maybe some color. I don't have nice hair. It isn't thick and shiny. It's baby fine and dull and straight as a stick. My hair looked much better short, I don't think it looked that much better on me though, if that makes sense. I pulled out some pictures, with various hair styles- different lengths and colors. Trying to determine what looks best on me. I could use some help, how about giving me your opinion.
First, we can rule out any 80s hair.
As totally tubular as that may have looked in 1985, I won't be revisiting that style.
I was feeling a little like a slug and quite sure I had accomplished nearly nothing in 2008, creatively, that is. Taking a look back at my photos, I was pleasantly surprised to find I did more sewing than I thought. Of course, I knew it was a very busy year with many changes for our family. We welcomed a new member and grieved the loss of one we would never know. We celebrated as one completed a journey and set out on another. Somewhere along the way I turned 40. It was a year of some of my happiest days and also some of my saddest. It was a year of loving, laughing, growing, and learning. As a whole, 2008 was a very good year.
**Edited to add a few words about flickr. If you can upload photos onto your computer, you can use flickr. You just have to register an account. A basic account is free, but has a limit on the number of photos you can upload. I'm not sure the # I think it's 80. You can purchase a pro account allowing you unlimited uploads. I've found it to be like blogging, learn as you go. You will find all sorts of fun things to do with your photos, like the mosaic above, by going here.
Has it really been that long since my last post? Much like a body that has been sedentary for an extended period of time, my blogging muscles feel weak and out of shape. Though I have plenty to share and much to say, the blank screen before me feels like a steep hill that I must climb and I don't know where to begin or if I even have the desire to do so. Yes, I'm so out of blogging shape. Like any exercise regimen, a day or two skipped quickly becomes a week and pretty soon it's no longer a part of your routine, replaced by other demands. I have to ask myself, am I ready to move on and close this chapter in my life? Has blogging become another aspect of my life in which I feel inadequate? The answer would be yes and no. Yes, I do feel inadequate but no I'm not ready to give it up. Pull up a chair, lets catch up, shall we? Forgive me if I blabber on and jump from one topic to another, it's been a while and much has changed.
The new school year began a couple of weeks ago and for the first time in 15 years, it was just another day. There was no shopping for new shoes and pencils. No book bag to pack. No alarm clock to set. It was just another Monday, except for the sound of a school bus interrupting the early morning quiet as I had my coffee. Just another reminder that life is ever changing. My days as the mom of school children are over. My children are adults, Alyssa, a wife and mom, and in November Casey will begin life as a Marine. Sometimes I feel like life is changing faster than I can keep up with. I just want to scream SLOW DOWN!! Let me take it all in. Let me enjoy this time before it slips away. Bayleigh is growing so fast. She's so full of personality, a fountain of joy and every day when I hold her and rock her, I thank God for this gift. This time I have with her is such an amazing gift.
The photo above is Alyssa's room, the room that used to be Alyssa's. I told her it's my room now, my guest room, so I can decorate it any way I want and that's what I did- or am doing. It's not quite complete, there are a few finishing touches like hanging curtains and a mirror, but it's quite soft and lovely. I'm really happy with the way it came together. My guests seem to like it too. Derek recently took a job that requires him to be out of state. While he's away, Alyssa and Bayleigh are staying here with us. I'll share more photos soon. For now, that's about all the time I have for catching up. I promise not to stay away so long again, I've missed you all!
If you've emailed me in the past month and I've not responded, please don't think I've ignored you. Honestly, I've barely been near the computer, but I hope to get caught up soon.