Tuesday, November 29, 2011

In search of...

I like to consider myself a treasure hunter. But what I consider the most thrilling part of that job title is that what I find is usually far from treasure to most people. Sometimes the diamonds in the rough are the most valuable, and often not in terms of money.

It is pretty special to wake up each day feeling free as a bird, following my dreams, my heart, and a 35 month old (who happens to be amazingly a bird, a dream and my heart).

BUT (and that's a big but) I am not one of those people who savor every moment, although I should. I've a mind that races a million miles an hour, in a really good way, but an impossible-to-finish-one-project-before-I-start-another way. And if I were list a treasure as my greatest it would be time. I always need more of it, seem to run short of it.

Digging in the sands of time.

Because this year time seems to be going even faster than ever, as every year does, I found it hard to believe we are nearly in December already. Usually a month that brings to mind roaring fires and eggnog for me, I am not sure if I even have it in me time wise or energy wise this year to go all out with the holiday decor.

last year's ode to the season.

Plus we have two of these before Christmas. It is a lot of fun, work and family in a small window of time!

Maybe my problem is not that I don't have enough time, but that I have too many loves. My love of Sean, Wren and Mung Kee,
My love of reading and blogging alone could fill my days and nights. I often recall a beautiful autobiography I read once upon a time by Eudora Welty, famed American Author. Her most vivid and pleasant memory of childhood was that her mother was a voracious reader, never content to be without a book even sacrificing her social life in pursuit of her love of reading. I definitely do not dedicate entire days in bed reading like Eudora's mother, but the adventure, borrowed memories and experiences I've gained from reading are a part of me that is very personal. It may have a lot to do with the feeling I've often had of living in the wrong time and being able to experience my "other" self through books.

Sharing that love was one of my biggest goals as a mom, and thankfully she seems to embrace it as well. Whether it is genetics or a learned behavior, or a combination of both, I don't think I'll ever know. But it is a special gift to share with her, and another past time that eats up my days!

My least explored passion is definitely photography. I wouldn't even call myself an amateur! I have no ambitions to ever pursue it as anything more than a hobby. But it is easy to see how it can steal your heart with just a few clicks of the shutter.

Besides family and furniture my heart lies in renovating. I don't think I've embraced myself as an artist ever before but as time goes on I can see that all my passions share that as an underlying theme. Sharing myself through expression. Sean likes to remind me that I tend to have an artists disposition, disliking distractions when I'm in my zone. And canvases don't get much bigger than entire houses!

SOOOOOoooo much more gratifying when it is your own blood sweat and tears.

Part of my love of blogging is the comraderie that a blogger shares with her readers. The ability to express different parts of my personality, be light hearted and fun, or deep and meaningful as my heart desires at any given moment. For the most part I think I am a light hearted, care free person. Not because I don't have cares, in fact I am a pretty serious gal and total type A personality once you get to know me, but because I think I have a lot to be happy about. The happiest people don't always have the best of everything, they just make the best of everything!

And I am pretty darned happy! As time passes it becomes so much clearer to me that I have so much to be thankful for and I become less obsessive about what I want, what I need or what others are doing. I do tend to be a little bit like a horse with blinders in some ways because I set my sights on whats ahead and don't look back, specially to not let myself get distracted by what people think of me or think I should be doing.

For these reasons I am looking forward to 2012. Not because it is a whole new year that will soon pass us by, but because I think I am finally conquering my inner doubts. No longer holding myself back from the ledge I am ready to take that jump, take a few chances and see what happens. I am not ready yet to share all that entails, but I promise that you will all be holding my hand as I make the journeys both big and small. As you have for three years now! From having a baby to taking a chance with whiteberry you've been there and helped make my travels so much more interesting and special.

ThAnK yOu!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, November 28, 2011

In a furniture state of mind

Lately my camera is MIA when I'm in a painting frame of mind. It seems that when the mood strikes I am focused on getting the paint out, furniture finished and in the house before I realize that it is past the point of getting that repulsive before shot!

And other times there is no before shot to have because it comes home perfectly imperfect and ready to please.

This little antique dresser is one of my favorite recent finds. It is the perfect blend of rustic and rosy. I did decide to change out the hardware for more impact...

But there was no other work needed to be done for me to love it~

I REALLLLLLLY wish I would have taken a before shot of this old farmhouse table. My grandfather literally found it in a barn for me. A mix of white and grey paint were my addition, but the charm was all natural.

It has 2 leaves hidden underneath that pop out, but I think it would be a fun island or work station instead.

Just a quickie, but I have been crazy about little dresser/side tables right now so I was thrilled to find a little night stand already rocking great hardware. Just needing a little paint!

There was some chipping off the edge of the top, a perfect example of when a piece of furniture is ready for me!

A classic whiteberry vanity makeover.

This was another find already finished. The only addition I made was distressing, sanding it to give it an even finish, and sealing it up to protect it from little fingers playing dress up and doing makeup!

A blue dresser came my way a few weeks ago, but the blue was FARRRR too bright. A little white, some distressing to give the blue a peek out at the world and some cute Anthro knobs bring the blue down to my comfort level.

Just a smidge of what I've been working on lately! Hope you all had a safe and happy weekend~

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Ladies Night!

It's funny how a girl can enjoy having paint all over her face, yet have an equally good time spending an afternoon getting ready to go out.
Dedicating a few hours to painting nails, pinning up curls and trying on more than a few outfits is definitely one my funnest past times. Even when the occasion doesn't demand anything close that amount of prep... it's nice to feel like a girl. Specially when you are wiping peanut buttery faces and banana covered fingers every day. I wouldn't even consider myself someone who knows anything at all about make up (I wear the same few products daily), and my knowledge of hair styling is less than minimal, but the best part of having a few hours to play dress up is that you just keep trying until it works! And sometimes you learn a few new things.

Ready for ladies night! and by ladies night I mean a bunch of grown ups acting like tweens waiting in line for Breaking Dawn

Team Edward baby!
Rebecca Taylor dress, Juicy Jeggings, Bongo wedges.

Happy Thursday, and Thanksgiving to all our American friends!

PS: I didn't cut my hair again! I am trying to grow it out but it doesn't want to cooperate so I pin it under to look short sometimes.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Catch up and the longest post of the year!

Hi Guys! I know it's been a while, so I thought instead of slowly trickling out posts that I've been working on I would just get it all out there in one big blowout post! I thought I would start with a video post to catch you up on some fun things and recent finds, but for those of you who aren't into video posts or can't watch at work all the photos and info will be below as well~

I think Vimeo hates me because they always choose the most unflattering shot to use as the still...
Feel free to enlarge and view in HD

You may recall my mention of a fun Holiday packaging idea a few posts back and here is what Wren and I have been busy working on for our presents this year. We collected a bunch of tins at garage sales and thrift stores for 10-30 cents each that we plan to use instead of gift wrap this year.

I also found a cute old gold frame for $3 that I decided to incorporate during this craft session.

I started by giving a light coat of spray paint to the tins so that the underlying pattern/pictures didn't show through, and to make all exposed edges nice and clean.

Then we mixed half and half water and glue to decoupage old pages from a book on to the tins and the backing on my frame.

Crafting with a 2 year old means sometimes you have a swiffer full of pink glitter.

Once I had all my pages glued on I drilled a hole in the top of the lid and attached a cute knob to use as a handle. It also makes a good spot to attach your tag/card or add some ribbon.

This cute little knob is on clearance at Anthro right now for $2.95 and adds a fun touch. Now our gift wrap is as pretty as the gifts themselves, and could be considered gifts in their own right and only for a few bucks!
The other half of our craft was to use a few book pages on the backing of this old frame and then we drew a heart with glue and went to town with some red glitter. I thought it was a cheeky touch for a special corner I've been working on (which you can see more of just a little further down this post).

On to a different, but distantly related topic...

A few Fridays back I held a Stella & Dot party for the first time. It was sooooo much fun and I would highly recommend having one because a week later this giant bag of goodies arrived, all FREE!!! I also took the opportunity to do a little Christmas shopping that night and am already thinking about hosting another one soon.

The boxes are really pretty, but have nothing on the jewels inside! If you watched the video, then you might be wondering which necklace I was raving about and it is on the card on the far right. Just a simple gold chain with a delicate little arrow, but it is now an everyday staple in my wardrobe!

All that jewelery got me excited to finish up my boudoir area in the new closet, so I started by bringing home some fun items for displaying and arranging it all. This old brass stand set me back $5 at a thrift store and will get lots of use.

I was a stranger to ring dishes, but have become a big fan (no more worries about my rings going down the drain sitting on the bathroom counter!). This little crystal version was all of 50 cents and they are all over thrift stores.

Another of my finds that had my heart at hello: COMBAT BOOTS! I know, weird, but I just LOVE them. I had been hunting and hunting for some but didn't want to shell out big bucks for a trendy shoe so I was over the moon when my Sister took me into Icing by Claire's and I spotted them for only $40!! Of course Torri had to buy a pair too, so now we can make all our girly dresses just a little edgy.

Rocking my boots (as I've done pretty much every day since buying them!) with a Rebecca Taylor dress and Anthro jacket.

and yes, poor MungKee has a cast on his arm... the little lad had an infected toe nail.

If you want to protect your counters or furniture you NEED these placemats in your life! Made from recycled paper, disposable and uber cute are just a few things to love. The clearance price at Anthropologie, $16.95, was just icing on the cake!

For those of you who may be new I won't go into major details, but long story short Sean blew down a wall in our master closet about a year and a half ago to expand it into unused attic space. If you're up for a longer story just click here to see the whole progression.

After we finished the closet this is what it looked like.

This little nook was a spot we decided not to add hanging bars to so I could have a mini boudoir area.

And here it is today. Since it is my primping spot I decided to make it fun and girly. But with the kitchen budget blown out of the water I needed to keep it CHEAP!

The dresser was a free find on the side of the road that I added clearance green glass Anthro knobs to.

The mirror wasn't as cheap as the dresser but was only $14 from Goodwill and just needed a glossy coat of grey paint.

The biggest splurge were glass hooks from Urban Outfitters. They were still on sale for $10 each, but give me the perfect spot to hang accessories or dresses.

An old pewter tray was $1 and holds my favorite parfums.

My heart now hangs on the lower side of the wall.

Until Wren's party a couple of her 40 cent lanterns add a sunny touch to my dresser.
A $5 table still needs some paint but is awfully far down my list of things to do!

So that is what's new here and I am excited to know what's new in your world! Have you started your holiday decorating, done your shopping? Do tell!
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