Monday, June 29, 2009

Patriotic Playlist

I don't know if you have your speakers on when you are reading my blog, but I have a playlist at the bottom that sometimes changes with the seasons. This week, I put together a few patriotic songs to kick off a week of celebrating our Independence Day.

Country Living has lots of fun craft ideas that would be great for 4th of July celebrations. Joli Paquet has posted a lovely new tutorial on their blog and I hope to post an Old School Chic project this week with a Christmas in July (yikes, I know! LOL) project on the way soon.

Enjoy the music and I'd love to know what your favorite patriotic tunes are!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

And so begins a new beginning

I won't apologize for being busy because it's been with celebrating a new graduate and she is worth the time. We were so happy for her; no tears here and none from her either. Her face had a gorgeous smile on it the entire time as did ours.

And this past weekend she attended her Freshman Orientation at her new school, Mount St. Mary's ~the same school her older brother attends. (see the 2 Mounties below!) She and several hundred other Freshmen went in nervously, but by the end of the weekend, she had already found several new best friends and lined up 2 roomies for the Fall semester. While I'm an introvert, she's a social butterfly. I already predict her becoming active in about a zillion clubs, causes and crews.

Tomorrow, we leave for the Creation Festival in Mount Union, PA if the antibiotics start to kick in from whatever she picked up at orientation.

Be back on Sunday to take a breather, catch up on some serious blog love and hopefully have some time to sequester myself to just create.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

If my studio had a door, I'd lock myself in, bwahaha

Because I really enjoy the creative therapy of pulling out pretty little embellishments, doodling sketches in my idea book, flipping through stacks of old photos and fondling the paper (oh yes, as in skin to paper contact).

After a couple of high drama weeks in our lives (but not my daughter's graduation. That was a complete and glorious time of celebration!), I needed the time. Desperately. In fact, my mind & spirit still needs time, but they're going to have to take a rain check.

First, I checked out Opus Gluei
's latest challenge which is Sand and Shells. I'm doubly glad they've had a run of challenges which work so well with vacation photos because 1)it gets me off my duff about documenting the trip and 2)I'm loving flipping through the photos with the kids while we are all dying to get back to somewhere tropical. This layout is of my hottie DH who was hamming it up for the camera in front of a waterfall. He didn't think I was really taking photos, but how could I resist snapping away while he continued to strike poses much to the mortification of his daughters?
While I'm talking about the DH, we had a text discussion about Father's Day cards and he jokingly requested a 'pink one'. Never kid a kidder darling. Especially one who loves pink! This is what he's getting (snicker, snicker):
Lots of Heidi Swapp, Teresa Collins, K&Co, MM, old Imagination Project and vintage dyed seam binding. Broke out the Silver Leafing pen too; I need about 6 more of those to fill my shiny quota.
For my Daddy and Papa though, I didn't think they'd quite appreciate pink in the same way my DH (who is totally comfortable with his feminine side, i.e. Me) would, so I went manly man for their cards. I got to break out some old school techniques with Ranger Distress Inks, a water sprayer and an iron, plus play with Glimmer Mist and tools from Tattered Angels. The Club Scrap electrical tape is still a favorite of mine not only for embellishing, but for binding books.

I'm also sending on this Thank You note to friends who showed DH and I the greatest measure of grace and continue to love us during a rough time. Good friends are worth their weight in gold, but these folks are among the best of the best! I find myself more and more drawn to sunny, cheerful orange tones. Don't think I'll be brave enough to splash it on a wall anytime soon, but the small doses in projects are perfect.

Monday, June 8, 2009

The Flat Screened Elephant In The Room

Mid-summer last year, I was innocently shopping with my oldest son, when he stops me short in the middle of the aisle in my local discount superwarehouse. He had spotted several HDTVs being put on clearance as former display models. Since he is our resident expert in all things digital, technical, loud and visual; I had asked him to be on the lookout for a 27-32" tv (or so) since ours was over 20 years old and dying. That was about what would fit in our current tv cabinet. We didn't watch that much television, but the thought of being without completely brought stress frowns from the whole family (except DH who watches NO tv{I know! Freaky, eh?}. Me, I need to destress my brain every once in a while with some Food Network or HGTV or my late, beloved Pushing Daisies).

After much discussion on the cell phone with DH while he checks reviews on consumer websites and my son's wild gestures as people begin to snap these televisions up, I finally decided on a model that was much larger than I had planned on, paid the piper and toted it home.

Once home though, the men in the family wanted to flip our dining room and living room, thus creating a manly, dark entertainment Man Cave to better showcase the television. Plus, our living room was all windows which worried DH that robbers would see us watching Barefoot Contessa, get greedy and make off with our new toy some night when we're out. After initial resistance on my part, I relented and my son helped me flip the rooms.

Two ginormous sofas crowd the space. I had petitioned for a love seat or two chairs when we got our sofas, but DH felt the more butt-space, the better. Well, we have plenty of butt space, but not much room to scoot your bootie around the furniture. I also had to jettison my round coffee table since it was way too big for the room and made the traffic flow even more miserable. Fortunately, the coffee table had been a $5 buy from Goodwill which we painted and when I dropped it off to donate it back, I picked up a $3 rectangular coffee table with good lines which we then painted.

But, still, we live in an old house. Most of our household furniture and decor reflects a vintage style. Suddenly we had this bohemoth television glaring at us like Mork if he had landed at Laura Ingall's house. Sure, we loved feeling like we were in our own little movie theater, but it looked weirdly disjointed.

The question was how to tie the television in with the rest of the house. Instead of disguising it behind closed doors or turning our living room ultra modern, I tried to strike a balance that would pull together in a cohesive, pleasing layout.

I'm liking it so far. Not sure I'm finished, but the living room seems more settled and finished for now.
I picked up some prints at Chartreuse and Co. for $1.00 each that had at some point been publicity posters for a theater in the '60s. We also had an old frame lying about and another larger one from we'd picked up from Goodwill. I get mercilessly teased about painting everything white, but since I was trying to meld a super modern tv and a super old house, I went with glossy black and metallic silver paint for the frames. The paint updated them; one old, the other newer, but plain. I had picked up an oval mirror at Target several months back and had hoped to work it into the plan. Whaddya know, it worked!
I order the bejeweled chandelier and frame wall decals from House of Three. These are super easy to work with and a great bargain compared to similar wall decals from various suppliers & companies.
The cabinet the television sits upon was originally our dining room sideboard. It's been pressed into service for the cable box, game systems (yes, plural) and dusty fitness equipment. In an ideal world, it would be painted, but we haven't gotten there yet. Baby steps.

The grand total for the wall decorations was less than $50, but the visual impact really helps the television to blend into our vintage decor as well as keeping the vintage style of our home from being too precious.
This little composition notebook was done for a challenge at Opus Gluei which was at least 2 weeks ago. I've been swallowed up by graduation activities and company, so I'm running behind. The challenge was to work with colors that put you off or what you wouldn't ordinarily work with. I like purple okay, but it's nowhere in my house or clothes or art. Maybe it's the years of being forced to wear purple & gold for school colors. The purple paper from Basic Grey's Lucky line is a bit masculine when paired with the rest of the Lucky line, but I tried to girl it up with scallops, silver leafing, sparkly stuff (who can resist shiny?). The "B" monogram stands for a certain graduate. Not my own, but a friend of the family. I'll give it to her this weekend at a grad party. If I don't decide I like the purple-yellow combo so much that I keep it to my greedy little self!