I had a bunch of stuff to drop off at the Salvation Army this week, so I stopped inside too to see if they had any a) matching lamps, or b) end tables / night stands to replace the unfortunate ones Jesse and I are using.
Side note: by “unfortunate,” I mean bad. We have on one side of the bed an old pressboard filing cabinet with a “Jollygood” sticker on the front that was inherited with an old apartment, and on the other side of the bed, a really good looking, yet tall, end table that had the wood all smashed up during the great move to LA 4 years ago. The great move in which the mover, a member of family, damaged literally everything I owned. Including my clothes. I can’t complain because it was free and a huge favor, but my heart broke a little when I unpacked.
ANYWAY. That’s not what I’m trying to talk about. Just what I’m bitter about it my heart.
Thrift Store. Look what I found:
TEN WHOLE DOLLARS. THE BEST AMOUNT OF DOLLARS.
Like all good thrift store finds, they match, they are in good working condition, and all the parts are there. Except one screw on one handle, but I think I can manage with that. Those handles are what really sold me on them.
I already sanded them down in preparation for a coat of primer, but then my brand new job that pays me money got in the way, so there they sit, naked and lonely, waiting for me to make them pretty. And soon they will be.
LOOKS LIKE I AM NOT AS ORIGINAL AS I THOUGHT. Or maybe I can amend that to being equally as awesome as someone else at the very same time. I guess it’s like Edison vs. Tesla, only with crafts. Also, better photography.
I was flipping through the internet today, and happened upon this:
Also, isn’t her photography way better? And also her tutorial, because she actually documented what she did for you visually? I think she whooped me in the awesomeness factor.
Honestly, though, I am totally impressed and inspired by A Splendid Assemblage’s tutorial and blog – things to aspire to, notes to take (like not using my neighbor’s fence as a display background).
You remember the first failed spray paint issue, right? The one where my two cans of spray paint did not match? Well, I sent a very polite complaint in to the folks at Krylon, and was immediately taken care of with two brand new cans of matching spray paint. Great customer service, yo.
So I set out to finish my pretty jewelry display trays in matching colors. Well, the exact same color, really, which I guess could also be construed as matching. A couple more coats and all was golden, quite literally. Since I was doing this in the evening after work, I had taken advantage of the last remaining sunlight and left them out to dry overnight so as not to suffocate my family with paint fumes.
Turns out, and this we already knew: DEER ARE JERKS.
What Robin Williams says is true. And this I now know because of this:
That, my friends. That is where the deer hopped the OMG deer fence after eating my parents’ decorative backyard foliage and stepped his hoof right on through not one, but TWO of my trays. While I know, or at least think, that this was not a spiteful deer of vengeance and wrath, I can’t help but feel slightly as though this project was not fated to be. I mean, how many outside disasters must a project go to before a crafter decides “hm. This might not be fated to happen. Perhaps the devil is involved in my jewelry trays?”
Anyway, now I’m going to attempt to superglue them back together. I’m sure my next blog will occur once I’ve unglued myself from… most likely myself. I have a poor track record with superglue.
Now, I don’t know what these are actually called, or if they even have a real name, but you all know what I mean when I say furry knee socks:
Turns out they are “leg warmers.” Why didn’t I think of that when I was searching? My calves would DEFinitely be warmer in some pink polyester shoe covers. I found these at “discountstripper dot com. And I am not linking further to it because that could just come up as weird in the future when I could potentially attempt to have a job.
Whilst bravely searching for “fur” in the search bar of above website, I encountered a whole slew of costumes involving said “leg warmers.” Costumes I would NEVER have thought of as being sexy. Such as Courageous Lioness, THE VIKING, Cheshire Cat (deviously named “Chester” to avoid copyright issues,) and apparently an incredibly sexy Unicorn. Who knew?
What I do know is that now, in this day and age, these are what actually marks you as a stripper. They are the only difference between girl-in-a-bikini, which seems to be not shocking anymore, and Stripper. Nevermind the bared thighs or midriff, which are seen displayed prominently on many a college student, nevermind the triangle-top-as-shirt. No. Furry leg warmers.
Anyway – this is a reverse bucket list post. And I never want to be seen in these. I have been known to sport some pretty bizarre clothing – not in the “pushing the fashion envelope” sort of way, but more a “purple rayon foldover pants OMG must wear them?” sort of way. I make no claims of fashion taste and class in this blog. I’ve been known to follow a potentially disastrous fashion trend or two (overalls in the 90′s, anyone? One button undone? Hat with a sunflower on it?)
I will never wear something so blatantly stripper. I don’t even understand why these are so sexy that only strippers and people who want to be seen as strippers wear them. I didn’t know that semi-yeti-ness was a turn-on. I just don’t know.
I also couldn’t find any legitimate pictures of real-life people wearing these, though I have seen them out in Vegas and in my hometown on a Friday night. Apparently people wearing these are too afraid to exist on the internet.
I’ve been looking for more current inspiration for the pieces I’ve been making – more current than “Hey, I like purple let’s make all purple stuff,” which has generally always been my MO. But now that I’m temporarily over purple, I’m looking around me, through magazines and online to figure out what people are going to be wearing in the coming months.
Let me just say that there are thousands of “trends,” so nothing seems to ever be like “the thing” until it suddenly goes viral and everyone is like “ZOMG I love whales I really need a whale t-shirt.”
SO, beyond my future fascination with whalephernalia, I looked online to net-a-porter to consolidate the upcoming trends that I might use as inspiration, starting first with PASTELS. A color zone that I am entirely uncomfortable with, possibly due to excessive overuse during my high school years. (Like, baby blue pleated skirt with a white t-shirt adorned with pale pink rosettes, with a lavender cardigan. Ew, right?)
So pastel pink and minty blue, eh? Not my strong points, nor my stash contents at all. In fact, I have zero baby blue / minty green anywhere… except my nail polish bin. So.
Side note: after I started writing and crafting, I realized that actually, I do not own pink nail polish. I had to go buy some specifically for this project. Totally feminine, girl.
I was thinking about making a full DIY of this, but at that point I was (once again) dizzy on nail polish fumes, and had forgotten to take “during” pictures. I think one can figure out the process, though:
- Cut four pieces of small chain – mine were about 4″ each.
- Paint the ends with your desired nail polish color (minty blue)
- While that is drying, paint the adjacent sections your second color (pink), leaving the center section unpainted.
- Paint, dry, paint, dry, paint, dry.
- In between coats, it is good to flex the chain around to keep the links from sticking to each other too badly. Though, this will happen regardless.
- Hang 2 chains per earring from around the center, staggering where the ends fall for a nice uneven fringe effect.
The pink nail polish I bought? Not good. Very translucent. Looked like nonfat milk when I put it on my fingernails. But I’m not willing to purchase any additional pink polish to try to accurately represent a Spring 12 fashion trend… so there you have it. A pair of super cool, customizeable color earrings for any fashion trend that may happen upon us in the upcoming years.
My birthday gift to my mom this year was a tiny, poorly handwritten set of cards with a mighty proposal on them: A list of cluttered or poorly organized spaces in her house that I would help her clear out and reorganize.
See my mom is just like me – doesn’t want to deal with the papers and sorting of things as they occur, because she’s too ready to get started on whatever project is freshest in her mind. She is a quilter, so she’ll go the store with one fabric in mind for said fresh project, but of course will also buy four new fabrics that just call to her… and put them in a pile or stuff them in her closet.
So of course, piles have piled up and closets have become stuffed, and after looking in the craft closet yesterday, I picked up a bag of paperwork from 2008 and said “So, what do you want to do with this?” And then we gutted the closet.
And of course, unlike all good bloggers, I forgot to take a before picture because I was swept up in the heat of the moment. I found a picture of a cluttered craft closet online – please see below annotations for how bad her closet was:
So she’s been hanging out on Pinterest and in Real Simple magazine (which, as my sister aptly said, is never really that simple), and she found this:
So I spent all day yesterday helping her sort through all the clutter, deciding what goes, what she might actually use (keyword, “might”. Babysteps), and how the heck any of that got into her craft closet to begin with. I mean, a flatbed scanner from the early 2000′s? I took an entire carload of not-trash to my sister-in-law today for her church yard sale. Not like, a trunk-load. A whole car.
Then I pulled out my demolition expert hat and tore out the FOREST GREEN carpet, the padding, and the tack strip. I took off the folding reddish colored oak doors, ripped out the middle shelf and supports, and had my much-stronger husband take out the large, warped center shelf that had like 80 finishing nails and caulking holding it to the support bracket.
And I painted over the ever-so-slightly sulfurized hard-boiled-egg-yolk green paint on the ceiling and side walls. There are plans in motion for curtain colors and floor colors and back wall colors… but they are still in motion.
Do you have a good before image in your head now? Forest green carpet, egg-yolk green paint on the walls, red oak folding doors, and floor-to-ceiling folded and stacked fabrics and boxes? Delicious.
I learned some lessons today, specifically involving spray paint. My right finger is telling you so right now, complaining due the extreme stress I placed upon it whilst spraying the paint.
I got some lovely stackable jewelry trays for displaying my wares at the craft fair I’m anxiously preparing for – but they were black, which is only my style when it is t-shirt material and on my torso. So after thinking through my booth plan in my head, I decided on gold – much more awesome, all of the time.
So I happily went out and got a can of spray paint in Gold, labelled “Outdoor Spaces: Indoor Style, Outdoor Durable,” which is also grammatically incorrect. And I sprayed. Here are the first two lessons:
1: Read the “substrate” listings on the cans, which is foo-foo-speak for “what you can spray it on and get good results.” Mine did NOT include plastic – which honestly, proved to be no problem but worried me enough that I stopped mid-project.
2: Gold does not go over black. I’m sure no other colors do as well. If you want to make it solidly another color, either buy like ten cans of spray paint and a forearm massage, or a can of primer. I went back to the hardware store and bought this:
Which is a champion painting magician. GooooOOO primer! Truthfully, the whole reason I’m writing this post is for this sentence: When in doubt, primer it. It can’t hurt, and it can probably save you the two additional trips to the hardware store that I had to make.
So post-priming, I got down to bidness: I made them gooooollld, mostly… because of my pre-priming adventures, my can of paint ran out after 5/8 of the project. But those 5/8 were looking awesome. So… back to the hardware store I went, waving at all my new hardware store friends, confusing the paint department guys who I’m sure thought I was high on paint fumes which I was.
So I got my final can of spray paint back to the house and shook like there was no tomorrow so I could finish my soon-to-be beautiful gold and white display trays. The results!
Sooo… I’m sure you’re thinking that lesson #3 is “Make sure you pick out two cans of the same color of paint.” Which, yes, is a very good lesson to learn, but check it:
I checked the bottom, even, to see how vastly different the lot numbers were (if indeed that is what is on the bottom) – and they match too. So… crap. I did my best, and I have failed. Let’s take a look at this again:
It’s not quite so bad as the photo, as in the ones on the right don’t look completely white in real life, they are more like the difference between yellow gold and white gold jewelry. Which, well, I like both gold and white gold, but I was hoping for a little more continuity.
So tonight I’m going to write my very first letter to a company – I’ll let you know how it goes.
I’ve seen this a few places, and thought to myself , “I am totally like that. There are things I will NEVER try because… I just don’t want to.”
Now obviously this list is not to include things like “Have cancer, be alone for the rest of eternity, develop a hideous deformation, see an off-off-off-off-off broadway play, or any of those things that NO ONE WANTS. This is more of an experiential thing… like life goals. Of things not to do.
I was originally going to just make a list, no pictures, just bullet points of things that sound like not fun. But I think it will be more exciting spread out over time so all of you avid readers can spend time wondering “what else do you think she doesn’t want to do?”
Go to the Congo.
I mean, really. War-torn country, true, and probably in need of my tourism dollars. But it won’t get them. Not only because of the torn-ness, but also because of stuff like… the jungle. Have you ever read “Congo?” Yeah, me too, and now I’m not going even though it was fiction. Good job, Mr. King.
Also, when you google search “Congo,” pretty much what comes up are:
- Pictures of war and the devastating results
- Pictures of the jungle
- Pictures of scary fish
And so there are not any more photos that I really wish to post. There was one of happy women carrying bananas on their heads, but I’m not really sure that applies to my reasons for not going. I do enjoy bananas, after all, but I like getting them at the local organic foods market and not the jungle, so…
I was going to list a bunch of other countries surrounding the Democratic Republic of Congo that I also don’t want to visit so it doesn’t seem like I’m a specific anti-countryist, but it appears that I pretty much don’t want to go the ENTIRE CONTINENT of Africa, with just a few exceptions. My mental bucket / reverse-bucket list would do better with a list of places on the African continent that I would be okay going to.
Just you wait, now. I’ma be on a reverse bucket list roll.
I’m sure you know how I’ve been panicking about the closing of the online photo editing service Picnik. I’m not even going to post a link because it’s shutting down in less than a week (le sob). I received a farewell e-mail from them, in which they suggested that maybe I look at this:
I mean look, it says “This is your photo on awesome juice?” Is that not awesome juice in and of itself?
I’ve had minimal functional-computer time to fiddle, but I immediately saw my dream button for a future household project or two:
And after fiddling around with it some, I can achieve my dream results, which I have spent some significant hours trying to reproduce in various other free programs that have been suggested as alternatives to Picnik. ALL OF WHOM FAILED TO POSTERIZE LIKE PICMONKEY KNOWS I LIKE TO POSTERIZE.
Now, after snooping about the website, I find it’s made by two former Picnik engineers, who I now have crushes on and feel the need to write fan mail. Fan like “fanatic.” Ecstatic fanatic. The About page is headed “Photo Editing Made of Win,” and I now I’m officially in love. I guess I need to change my facebook status.
If you were a fan of Picnik, or if you were out of the loop on the great ease of placing crowns on top of dinosaur photos or eliminating red-eye or adding cool effects to your photos FOR FREE and for the photoshopally deficient like myself… please check them out. I don’t know how they make money, but I want them to, so they don’t leave me brokenhearted again. It’s always rough to see a facebook status go from “in a relationship” to “single,” especially when your relationships are in your head.
I’ve been on vacation for the last week – I latched myself for free onto the trip that my parents were making to visit my sister and fam up in Kirkland, WA. I had an entire 5 days of complete, intense 4.5 year old girly-girl favoritism and infatuation, and I have this to say to all you parents in the whole world: I do not how you do that without lots of help.
I mean seriously. I was about ready to pass out from exhaustion after ONE DAY of “ZOMG Aunt Jenny let’s play high school and pack our lunches in our pretty backpacks only I get the pink one and you get the monkey one from the back of the closet and I will take these pretty fruits and vegetables and pizza and bread and you get this plastic chicken breast and this piece of wooden tomato BECAUSE SHARING IS CARING AUNT JENNY.” I did, indeed, pack my lunch and go to high school with her. And then I took a nap.
Now the minor point of this trip for my parents, besides seeing my sister and changing a few diapers for her (not me – I’m holding out on that responsibility until I can no longer avoid it), was to take my niece on a big-girl “camping” trip with Gramma and Grampa up on the Olympic Peninsula and spend some time on the “beach.”
I fell in love immediately:
And began hatching daydreaming plans of moving there and opening my own little bead and jewelry shop in Kingston near the ferry and Jesse having a thriving practice in a town that is not already oversaturated with chiropractors and also in an area of the country and state where people have both amazing insurance policies and also the willingness to participate in their own health and… perhaps I was getting a little ahead of myself. Although jobs may have been researched and housing prices checked on my phone during spare times.
We spent two days in a little cabin right on the water on Marrowstone island, and I got thoroughly spoiled by my family, both in laughter and also in beads. YOU KNOW WHAT, the beading/quilting/crafting stores up there are SO MUCH BETTER than in Northern California. I might have been a bit flabbergasted. Or it could have been the niece induced exhaustion.
Jobs and housing prices look good…
And I’m taking Jesse up to visit in June.