I opened my latest issue of Romantic Homes magazine (One of my two subscriptions I still maintain as a quality of life thing. Pinterest is good, but I love me a good paper home decor magazine to take me away to Traceyville.) and right here, on page nine was an ad for Halloween decorations.
I am trying my very best to live in the here and now, and embrace today. Is it asking too much to enjoy summer (if it ever does arrive this year in the Pacific Northwest.) with all of it's seasonal pleasures before we lurch ahead to autumn?
Don't get me wrong, Autumn is my most favorite of the seasons, especially here in this part of the country, but I am still encouraging my hydrangeas to grow, and have yet to throw my flip-flops-and-lemon-drops girls night in that is fully planned in my head. I'm enjoying the longer days, and the crisp cotton sheets on my bed.
Could we just wait until the end of August to start busting out the crows, and the pumpkins? (Although, now that I am looking at my little crow that never made it back in the rubbermade tub after last Halloween, I am feeling kind of excited to make more teeny tiny hats and such...I wonder when those little crows will be back on the shelves at the dollar store?)
On false eyelashes, specifically.
You might be wondering why a woman waits until she is closing in on sixty to try false eyelashes. Well, I am not entirely sure, as I have considered them in the past, and actually even purchased some once, after a very pretty young Sephora salesgirl wearing false eyelashes told me not to waste my money on spendy lashes, but to get them at Walmart. I scampered directly over to Walmart as soon as I left Sephora, and then proceeded to wait for the "right" time to try them out. As we all know, the "right" time never comes for anything in life, and time passed without me ever trying them out, and finally I tossed them in the bathroom wastebasket during one of my what-the-heck-was-I-thinking-buying-these?! moments.
I later tried (and had an epic failure) the individual lashes put on by a professional, because my daughter had done it,and they. looked. aah-mazing. on. her. They failed for several reasons. First of all, they were quite spendy. (Seriously, the price took my breath away momentarily.) Second, no one, and I mean no one, noticed my longer lashes for some reason. Lastly, the permanent glue bugged my eyeballs, and they watered non-stop, so that a week later I was down to about 6 long lashes, total, between two eyes.
I took this as a sign from God that I was not meant to have the professionally installed (Applied?) lashes.
Time passed, and the momentary need for full, long, lush lashes was a distant memory, until two days before my recent vacation to Hawaii, when I was in Old Navy, and everything in the store was half off, because they were closing. There, by the registers, in the buy-this-stuff-on-an-impulse section, were little false eyelash kits, including lashes and glue. I grabbed two kits, thinking this might be a fun (if only to look back later and laugh at) moment (and memory) for my best-friend-since-fifth-grade and I to do one evening after dinner and cocktails.
(I realize the absurdity of my idea now, as I typed it out, but it sounded like an incredibly fun girlfriend-moment at the time.)
When I presented my let's-make-a-memory moment to my bestie, she laughed and informed me that she had skimpy lashes, and in fact stated that she thought she had five lashes total, and she was not about to risk losing any of the five to an eyelash-glue-gone-wrong incident, but assured me that I was free to have at it.
Game on, sista.
As I attempted to follow the directions on the glue package, I remembered just how bad my eyesight is these days.
(Oh the joys of becoming a more mature woman.)
I also realized at this moment that to do this job properly, I would need (desperately) my 9X magnifier mirror that I use each day at home to put on my make up. (And, it was back at home, on the mainland.)
Undaunted, I was determined to forge ahead, with my friend helping me much like a kid in the swimming pool playing Marco Polo. ( Higher..higher...to the left... a little more...to the right...oh, Gawd, no!....way off.....) followed by a burst of uncontrollable laughter.
(Okay, even I am laughing at the ridiculousness of this now.)
Finally, I threw away the two crumpled, unsalvageable lashes, slapped on some mascara, and went on about vacationing, focusing on much more important things, like hula pie.
Yesterday, when I was organizing some of my cosmetics, I spied with my little short-eye-lashed-eyes, the remaining pieces of the Old Navy eyelash kits. I was home alone, with my 9X mirror (conveniently located right there by my arsenal of make up) and thought it might be the perfect time for an encore attempt in the privacy of my own home.
Some twenty five minutes and one empty glue container later, I had manged to totally ruin one false eyelash, (I had decided trimming it with scissors might help at one point....it didn't.) and I had no eyeshadow left on my right eye.
That brings me to today's post, and the advice I am seeking.
I googled up False Eyelash Tips on Pinterest, and I found some pretty good looking tutorials on there. (Why didn't I do that before wasting nearly a half hour of my life today that I will never get back?)
Have you tried false eyelashes? If so, did you master them in a reasonable amount of time? Are they worth the spike in my blood pressure? Am I too old a dog to learn this new-to-me trick? I would most seriously love your two cents (even if it is to tell me to simply step away from the eyelash glue.) on this girl talk topic.
Pretty please, help a girl out here.
(We will return to more regular-type blog posting tomorrow.)
I got moved into my new booth space last Friday, just in time for the holiday weekend. I didn't get it quite as full as I had hoped, but I was in a bit of a time crunch, since it was First Friday, and the store was going to be open later than usual, and I didn't want to be in the shoppers way.
Still, I was pleased with the outcome, and I began prepping for Wednesday night (known as Dealer Night at Camas Antiques, where you are welcome to come in after closing and fluff up your booth to your heart's content.
Which I did, last night.
Can you see some subtle differences between Friday and last night?
I am having too much fun!
And you are probably thinking I need to make up my mind once and for all about being a junker.
And I did just that, when I moved into my sweet little alcove in the basement there. If there ever was any doubt in my mind at all that I belong in an antique mall...in my favorite-est antique mall...it has been squelched. Moving back into a booth space in the basement has been such an adventure. The challenge of the narrow booth shape, without divider walls, and the lower ceiling...a thrilling blank canvas to inspire me so much that some nights I have struggled to fall asleep because I have too many ideas.
Thrifting is in my blood.
Having left the mall (twice before) because I felt that my life was just too busy, and this was the one expendable thing on the list, and then missing it so much that I came back, has lead me to discover that this is actually the thing that keeps my creative juices flowing, and fills a happy place in my heart. (I seem to take the long route to learning things sometimes.)
It feeds my soul.
The entire process, from yard saling and thrift store shopping, to paper crafting, and display set up, to hearing someone tell me how much they love my stuff. (Can I quote Jerry Maguire here and say that it completes me? Too sappy?)
I'm wiser now. I've learned my lesson, and the lesson is this: Junkin' and creating, and stockpiling random pieces of furniture and rusty, tarnished metal pieces, turns out to be who I really truly am. Leaving oodles and toodles of piles of scraps of paper, and ribbons, and glitter, all over my home is how I roll, and I need to embrace that part of myself.
Because when I am working on these things, I am energized in a way that I cannot put into words. (If you're a junker, you know what I am saying.)
So, last night, I moved (One. Last. Time.) upstairs to my new booth in Camas Antiques. (I got moved out from downstairs, and I will be at the mall today in the morning fluffing up my new booth....completed booth pictures to come!)
Full circle you could say.
I'm excited, and inspired, and ever so grateful to JoAnn for having faith in me, and offering up this fabulous opportunity.
Come see my booth...come see everything at the shop...it's First Friday, so they'll be open late!
...or should I say re-doing?
So, I shared an idea back a couple of weeks ago on printing photos in engineered print mode from Staples. (Right here. Remember?)
Well, more than a couple of you asked if the child in the photo was a family member (Sadly, no.) and a couple more got really excited, saying they had actual family photos with American flags in them, and they were going to dig them out and copy the idea.
That's pretty awesome.
Then, my Rock n' Roll Buddy noticed the picture (three full days after it had been placed on the mantle.) and he asked if it was a family member. I said no, to which he replied, "Awe, too bad. That would have been so cool."
I thanked him for taking the zippity-doo-da out of my idea and we both chuckled. Later, when I repeated the story to my middle daughter, she cut me off before the zippity-doo-da part and interjected, "Yeah, you do. The year you dressed Lindsey as the statue of Liberty for the neighborhood 4th of July parade and block party, and she rode in the back of the Rich's convertible."
I had forgotten that fun photo worthy event, way back some thirty years ago. (I think I was so focused on the idea of "old" pictures being from way back before color photos came along....) My heart started to palpate as I remembered doing up the page in the family photo album (Oh yeah, way, way back, before digital. Using the old-school method of photography and scrapbooking.)
(And, before Pinterest, I might add. We had to actually come up with our own ideas back then, with no outside help.)
I couldn't wait to open the photo album to find the page I needed. After about 26 seconds, I found it.
Even better than I had remembered, I snapped pictures of the photos in the album with my phone, and before you could say God Bless America, I was uploading photos to Staples online.
An hour later, my prints were ready for pick up.
My Gawd, I love technology, even if I don't quite understand it.
I ended up ordering the solo shot of my first born in an 18 by 24 to go along side the big print on my mantle, and then later decided it was just too much going on. (It was a hard decision, as it was most certainly the cutest danged photo the statue of Liberty ever took, even if it kinda does look like she is headed to her first toga party, and her eyes are closed.) I'm giving it to my daughter to showcase in her home instead.
I know the first photo of the little guy with oversized dynamite was cute, but this one makes my heart well up, and my eyes overflow with happy little salty tears, remembering those precious days...those days that people tell you you are going to miss, and you don't believe them because you just want those children to stop bickering, and eat their broccoli.
I'll tell you what. Those people were right. And I'm glad I have those photos to bring back those times for me.
I have more ideas than time it seems.
And I suffer from a condition know as "Yes-I'd-love-to-do-that" which keeps me in a constant state of not enough hours in my day..week..life.
(Insert embarrassed shoulder shrug and bewildered sigh.)
It's very-nearly-almost the fourth of July, and I am looking forward to an activity packed three day weekend! (See above condition...) I thought a vintage inspired little banner would be a fun addition to the inside of the motor home, and in the process, I made some extra small flags that are made to be folded so you can wrap them around paper straws, or toothpicks to stick in burger buns, or cupcakes. Likewise, the flags can be cut in half and used solo, as I did here on a-sweet-little-garden-seedling-peat-pot-turned-nut-cup.
The e-kit is in my etsy shop, and is an instant download, (so no waiting until the very last minute!) and can be printed on any kind of paper you like. (I personally have a thing for old book pages, as you have probably noticed.) The great thing is that you can make them as plain or foofied-up as you like. It's up to you.
I have hard copies of the banner for purchase in my little booth at Camas Antiques, and I am pretty smitten with them. (Even if they are arriving the week before the holiday weekend. There's still plenty of time to get your love of America showcased around your house, or motorhome, or tent, or whatever.
You know how there are desserts, like cheesecake, or cupcakes, or ice cream, and then there are desserts that bring back feelings of comfort, like when you were a kid? Well, for me, banana pudding with Nilla wafers and cut up bananas. (That, warm dutch apple pie, and butterscotch pudding fall into this category.)
I wanted to make some for our last camping trip, and it worked out great. I ran to my local Cash and Carry, a restaurant supply store, and bout a pack of small plastic cups, and a pack of lids to go with them.
I got the cute little teeny tiny Nilla wafer cookies, and added sliced bananas as well to my banana pudding in the plastic cups, capped them, and put them in the motor home fridge. After supper the first night I whipped them out, took off the lids, and added a swirl of whipped cream.
The housing market has gone completely bonkers here in the Pacific Northwest (again....) and it's a seller's market, with homes going faster than the realtors can get the signs in the yard. Because of this, families shopping for homes are paying more than asking price, and losing homes to higher bidders left and right.
One of the guys I work with was thrilled when he and his wife finally secured a home after a pretty hairy house hunt, and they closed on it last week. I put together a quick and easy gift basket for them to be used on moving weekend, with a take n' bake Pizza gift card (with a couple coupons) a pizza cutter (because you never know if you can find a knife, let alone a pizza cutter on moving day!) some Parmesan Cheese and red peppers, and of course napkins and paper plates. I was able to purchase everything except the paper plates and napkins at the pizza place, so it was one easy gift!
I put it all in a small brown box (like a moving box...are you seeing my theme here?) and added a strip of my cute "Packed with Love" packing tape, and lastly, added a little handmade tag.
Easy peasy.And I had so much fun whipping it up.
(Judi Barbara, you've asked for more pictures of the grands, and so, today, this is for especially for you.)
Number Nine, also known as Miss Natalie Rose, has recently discovered her hands, and more importantly, her fingers and thumbs. I snapped a couple...a ridiculous amount...a few photos when I was visiting the other day, and I am positive that you will agree with me when I say she is one delightfully darling four month old, who is full of personality.
I told ya. She's one little cutie pie for sure.
While motor home camping last weekend, our friends were bidding online on some items at an auction going on in Portland, and before I knew it, I was looking through the online catalogue of items. It ranged from large pieces of furniture, to piles of Tupperware, and everything in between. Within fifteen minutes I had bid on four items.
I bid on a box of tarnished silver trays, a small dresser, an antique white iron twin bed, and an old rusted cash register, and a half hour after bidding, I rationalized in my mind that if I won them all, I could sell the items in my booth space.
Several hours later, we checked online to see the auction results. I had won the twin bed, and the cash register. My friends wondered what I might do with the cash register. I explained, with much enthusiasm, that I would use it as a cash drawer at the upcoming Camas Vintage and Art Fair at the end of August, and any and all other fairs I entered from this day forward. 'Oh, how fabulous it will be!" I boasted. Unique, and vintage, and practical at the same time.
My friends saw my vision. (Or at least humored me into believing they did.)
Sunday came, and we all stopped on our way home to pick up our auction winnings. (There were three of us bidding, and we all won something.) The twin bed was even more adorable than pictured. I was very nearly walking on air schlepping it out to the motor home, and carefully laid the headboard and footboard on top of the bed in the motor home.
My Rock n' Roll Buddy and his brother in law wheeled the cash register out on some sort of wheeled dolly, and by the time I got to get a decent look at it, they were both red faced from lifting it off the dolly and into a trunk compartment down low on the motor home.
It easily weighs well over a hundred pounds.
It never once crossed my mind it might be...heavy.
This would never do. How could I schlepp it around to shows, and lift it up on to the top of a tall dresser as a cash wrap station? If I wanted to sell it in my booth, how would I ever lift it out of my car? I decided once we arrived back at my home that we would get it into my wheelbarrow and I would post it on craigslist. It wasn't at all what I wanted to do, because once we got it into the wheelbarrow, I could see just how awesome it was. The drawer pops open and there's a sweet little marble slab area to set change or whatever.
I learned a big lesson here, and that is to really and truly take into account the measurements, and the weight of items when you are considering purchasing them, and shopping online is not without it's own risks and challenges.
That being said, I desperately want an old upright piano for my covered patio (oh! The vision I have in my mind for it!) and I am now reconsidering the weight (...and researching how to remove the innards of such a monstrous piece of furniture. It can be done.) to see if it is actually a realistic plan.
(I still think I'll go for it.)
I printed a single line on the computer cardstock in my cheesy little Broderbund Printshop Ensemble III Program (in the postcard setting) and cut each paper into four pieces. I then cut a bunch of squares, and glued them in place above the typed line. I topped the little square off with a punched heart from pink paper.
(I made the sweet little banner from scraps of paper leftover from other bridal projects...)
Do you see anything...ehem...unusual in the photo above? (Click to enlarge it)
I thought, "I think someone's been sitting in my chair."
I was right.
Two little someone's had been playing with some dinosaurs in my cottage, (While their baby sister took a nap, most likely on my bed.) and they left them right where they were playing with them.
And that made me smile.
(Insert happy sigh here.)
I think I will leave those dinosaurs right where they are for a week or so, so I will get a warm fuzzy feeling each time I look at them.
I love being a Gramma.
You can make anything nice fabulous, and take ordinary to extraordinary by simply adding a few personal touches. My latest case in point would be the wedding shower beach bag I ordered from etsy for my sweet friend who will be honeymooning in a tropical paradise this summer.
The bag itself arrived in record time, and was in an absolute perfect shade of blush pink. (So pretty it was, that I ordered one as a little surprise for myself as well!) It also came in several other mouthwatering colors! I am currently jonesing for the aqua one, but then of course I could see the practicality of the fabulous natural or grey. (Her shop is currently closed for holiday until July first, but you can click the button to have etsy email you when she returns.)
It was nicely lined with a little inside pocket. The straps are super sturdy, (Strong enough for me to carry my 15" laptop around in it.) and it was pretty just the way it arrived.
But I wanted something that subtly whispered "I'm on my honeymoon" so I needed to foofify it a bit.
I made a little pom pom out of some of my scrunchie vintage seam binding (In equally three perfect shades of pink)a fun "diamond ring" (Napkin ring) and a home crafted tag that reads "honey-moonin'.
Now, this sweet bag is unique adn special, just like my friend.
But I never got around to it.
Then, last week, in Maui, I came across the cutest hula girl tea towels, and I knew they needed to be with my wooden coasters...er postcards, so I bought them, and popped them in my suitcase.
Tuesday night I was making grilled teriyaki chicken sammies, with Swiss cheese and grilled pineapple slices on toasted buns, and I figured that was about as Hawaiian as I ever really get in the kitchen, so I should put those little treasures to good use.
I started with some old thrifted rattan trays for placemats, and added the wooden postcards, and tea towels as napkins.
I'm adding touches of red, white, and blue to my cottage with the 4th of July just a few weeks away, and I wanted a statement piece for my mantel. I found a vintage photo of a sweet little guy holding a flag and some huge firecrackers, and I had it printed in a large 3 by 4 foot size at my local Staples store as an engineered print. (Costs just a bit over seven dollars here in the pacific northwest)
The print came out slightly digitized, but I was okay with that. (Tip: if you want to do an engineered print from a vintage photo in a huge three by four foot size, try and make sure the properties of the photo show that the DPI's are at least 75 or larger.) I thumb tacked the print over my existing chalkboard print on insulation board, and got out my colored pencils.
I lightly colored in the red and blue on the flag as well as the firecrackers, and placed the poster on my mantel.(It didn't photograph too well; you have to look closely, but in person it's a little more visible.) I added a row of repurposed Starbucks frappuccino bottles with little American flags in them, and called it good.
I'm happy with how it turned out, and now I'm working on adding a few more patriotic touches throughout the cottage. (I'll share pictures later!)
Do you decorate at all for Independence Day? I'd love to hear!
I've been working on several fun crafty projects lately for two different girlfriends who are engaged. My fabulous hairstylist saw an idea on Pinterest she was wanting to do to invite her nearest and dearest friends (and sister) to be part of her bridal party.
(Of course you know I jumped on that to see if I might whip them up for her!)
A flurry of texts later, complete with photos of ideas for her winter wedding colors and style, and I was happily crafting until the wee hours because, when it comes to paper projects (Truth be told, any kind of project, for work or fun) I am a woman obsessed.
I created two tags for small bottles of champagne, and foofifiied them up with tulle and ribbon. They came out so cute that I will be adding them to my etsy shop soon as a printable kit.
Since I have multiple friends getting ready to head down the aisle, I have a few more projects to share in the wedding shower theme, so stay tuned!
First, I experience the glorious anticipation of the vacation getaway, followed by the actual trip, and then, somehow (always much faster than expected) it is over, and it's get back to the real world of setting the alarm on my iphone to wake me ay 5:30 in the morning, and laundry, and watching bad television. (The Bachelorette is my current bad-TV guilty pleasure.)
(Don't judge me.)
I always find myself caught in an odd state of turmoil as my vacation adventure comes to an end; where I am so incredibly sad for the fun to be over, while being filled with huge wave of homesickness at the very same moment, longing excitedly to return to the comfort of my little cottage. (To be clear, that is not to be confused with a burning desire to get back to daily activities like work, and errands, and chores, but rather just the familiar and cozy haven of home.)
(Do you feel that way after being on holiday?)
(Insert long, contented sigh here.)
It was a lovely, wonderful, fabulous, restful, fun trip, and I will treasure the memories for a long time to come.
Life is so good.
So, here's a fun little twist to our Maui girl-time vacation, with an emphasis on girl-time.
After the bonus vacation pit-stop at Stanford Hospital, we arrived in Maui on Saturday, got settled in at the hotel and spent the day sipping grown up drinks in the sun, while people watching and enjoying lots of girl-talk.
As we finished dinner, we discovered that we both had messages on our phones via text and Facebook from two additional high school girlfriends. They were also on Maui, vacationing with family!(They had seen my blog posts about the vacation and trip to ER posted on Facebook, and realized we must all be there at the same time.)
It turned out they were dining just two blocks away from other restaurant where we were dining, and so we skedaddled right on over to say aloha. (I know! Crazy, incredibly small world, right?!) We also discovered our hotels were in walking distance of one another, so we decided to meet up to walk the path by the beach together in the morning.
We've had a fabulous time, catching up with one another each day here in paradise.
I know i have said this before, but I just have to say it one more time...God bless the world wide web.
We will be departing for the island tomorrow morning (Saturday) as we spent all of Thursday night enjoying the plush surroundings of Stanford Hospital's ER Room, which actually includes a huge triage tent, and boasts a very strong "M*A*S*H*" style resemblance during their major remodel.
I'll keep this short, and spare you the details, as much of what went on was not for the faint of heart, nor the squeamish, nor is it the kind of thing steak lovers want to hear happens. It turned out, after many long hours, tests, and x-rays, that I had some steak from dinner out with my Dad, stuck in my esophagus.
And it wasn't going to move down to my stomach on it's own.
After a not-so-pleasant procedure that is now thankfully a really foggy memory for me, the steak bites are gone and I am back in the business of getting ready to vacation.
Note to self: Cut your food bites small, and chew your food about 25 times before you swallow.
Today's blog post is courtesy of the United States news media, that guy who was head of security with the TSA, and the fabulous Portland International Airport.
You know, the national news has been focusing on the hideous long lines for security and how folks are missing flights all over America (particularly Chicago it seems) and how it's affecting life for airline travelers in general. I'm heading out today (yay!!) on vacation, and I wanted to be sure I was at the airport early enough to avoid any of the unpleasantness the news had shared, even though I typically am given the TSA Pre-check approval and get to fast track through there. (I am guessing it is a combination of the fact that I fly fairly often, and only domestic flights, and I am rapidly approaching the 60 year mark, so it stands to reason that I have got to be considered a low risk to be a terrorist.)
My Rock n' Roll Buddy dropped me off a comfortable three and a half hours before flight time. (It may seem extreme, but from the news reports,and the fact that dropping me was on his direct path to his work, where he needs to be by 8:30, determined that my arriving at about 8:10 worked out for everyone involved.) When I checked my bag, and was given a fresh boarding pass by the skycap, and sure enough, it was the TSA Pre-check approved.
I waltzed through the airport, and since I was so early, I browsed through a few shops. (If you ever are in Portland, and at the airport in particular, you may want to arrive a half hour early to shop. We've got Powell's Books, and a pretty awesome shoe store.) I headed for the security check, and there it was.
The looming line I had heard so much about.
Only, this was the TSA Pre-check line. (Apparently the newest thing is to pay eighty-five bucks or so and get yourself pre-screened-for-five-years-in-advance, and very nearly everyone had done it.
Twice as long as the take-off-your-shoes-Target-necklace-earrings-and-worry-that-your-underwire-bra-might-set-things-off line.
It turned out that even though the TSA Pre-check line was so long, it moved fairly quickly, and I was waiting at my gate two hours and fifty five minutes before take off.
I had time for a sausage biscuit from the airport Mickey-D's.
And, I was able to write this post.
Where am I off to? You may have noticed a countdown calendar on my sidebar over there. I'm off to spend a few days with my oldest-dearest-bestest-friend-since-fifth-grade on the sunny island of Maui, (remember two summers ago when I went with her to Kauai?) with a bonus day prior to that visiting with my Dad and stepmom in the bay area.
I'll be posting while I'm vacationing, 'coz writing is one of the things I have missed so much these past few months, as life has been busier than ever, and I have ever so much to share!