Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Children's Book Love Thursday

So, let's switch gears from all of this "projecting" that's been going on and talk about some of the "life that happens in between" and one of my other FAVORITE things: children's books.  Getting to read books with our daughter was probably one of the things Mr. F and I  looked forward to most when I found out I was pregnant, and reading has been part of our bedtime routine since she was about three months old.   Since we do so much reading around here, and my daughter tends to get stuck on the same three or four books until, for the sake of my sanity, they have to magically disappear for a bit (I swear if I have to read Princess Olivia one more time I'm going to scream), I'm always looking for new books she'll love and that carry some sort of meaningful message.  I'm sure I'm not alone in this search for great books, so I thought I'd share a favorite of ours each week and would love to hear about yours too.

My first pick:

By Loren Long

This is just a sweet story about a calf and a tractor, with some of the sweetest pictures you've ever seen.  Someday I will find a way to work the art from this book into the decor somewhere in my house because the pictures of the cow and the tractor melt my heart every time I look at them.  But back to the story.  A sweet, simple story of friendship.  In the beginning, the tractor (Otis) comforts the little cow when he's left alone in the barn and they immediately become inseparable friends.  One day the farmer moves Otis out behind the barn to make room new for a big, new, yellow tractor and, try as the little calf might, he can't get Otis to play with him like the old days because Otis is just plain sad that he doesn't get to do all of his important work on the farm anymore.  One day the cow wanders down to the pond and gets stuck in the mud.  Ultimately Otis is the only one able to pull the little calf out and proves to the farmer what an important role he plays on the farm.  This is probably top five, one of my daughter's favorites and I even catch her several times a day telling the story and reenacting it with her toys.

Pick this one up at the bookstore or your library and I PROMISE you'll love it!

Happy reading!

Friday, February 24, 2012

A Simple, Sentimental Piece

When it comes to "art" in my home, I don't really use things that don't have some sort of sentimental value.  I love to be able to be anywhere in the house and look at things that mean something to me and have memories attached. To me, that's what makes it home.  So, aside from my mirror obsession, what's hanging on my walls or sitting on my table tops all has some sort of sentimental value.

That said, I've mentioned before that my mom passed away almost seven years ago, and today actually marks that anniversary.  She fought a long, courageous battle with ALS (Lou Gehrig's disease) and did quite a bit of writing during that time.  As a result, we were left with precious page after page of my mom's thoughts about life, hopes for her children and family, her testimonies of her faith,  and just day to day conversations (she had to do her "talking" through a computer in the last few years--yes, like Stephen Hawking).  As you can imagine, these writings have been invalueable to those of us who loved her. One of the things she wrote, and we have valued the most is her "Favorite Things" list, known among our family and friends as "The Infamous List."  I could go on forever about this list and what it means, but I'll just say that this list IS my mom.  In reading over this countless times in the past few years, it's become apparent to me that if you want to KNOW someone, just have them write a list of their favorite things.  I've started writing one of my own, just a few things here and there, in a book, for my kids some day.

So, a few years ago for Christmas, my dad put together a book of some of her writings for us, including The List, and I read it ALL THE TIME.  Almost every item on this list triggers some type of memory for me, whether it be something we did together, or just something I remember her talking fondly about.  And like I said, it really is the essence of who she was, the love she had for her family and life, and the attitude and grace that she carried even to the end.  Because of that, and because my child(ren) will never "know" my mom, I wanted to put the list somewhere prominent where we can all look at it and have happy, good conversation about someone who was such an amazing person.  So I made a pretty substantial piece of "art" out of it, and put it right in the dining room.

As I said, I knew I wanted it big, so I grabbed a $4 frame at IKEA in one of those odd IKEA sizes (27.5 x 19.375 I believe) and just typed it all up in a publisher document, and layered it over an old book page texture you can find here (and they have tons of awesome textures).  To personalize it even more, I bolded (is that a word?) some of the favorites that we share.  

To say this list is long would be an understatement--this is 18pt. font in an almost 20x30 frame, and this isn't even the whole list, just the general stuff.  She also has a list of favorite movies, actors/actresses, things that fascinate her (which I LOVE), and significant events during her lifetime.  In all, the list is about 10 pages long.  But I love the things on the general list like: 
The dimples in a baby's hand
Watching babies learn to walk
The smell of rain
The smell of wet cement on a hot summer day (reminded her of laying on the cement to get warm after running through the sprinklers)--I LOVE that smell!
The sound of a stream trickling over rocks
And my personal favorite: "surprising people & myself with ingenuity."  A-men!

Besides all of the other things this simple piece reminds me of, it's a daily reminder to remember the small, simple things that make life beautiful.

So here's to a beautiful, amazing woman that I miss every day and am lucky to call my mom, and to her ability to still spark great conversation!

Monday, February 20, 2012

The Couch Progress

Ok, so hopefully it won't end in disarray, but I'm seriously starting to question whether I had been drinking heavily when I decided to take this on.  I've made a little progress, but mostly I just walk by it in the basement every day and hope that somehow it will just magically recover itself.  Let me warn you now, a chair is one thing, but if you're going to do a couch prepare yourself for SERIOUS work!  I'm really excited about how it's going to turn out when I finally get it done, but sometimes I think reality and I really need to communicate better. (Or I just need to listen to Mr. Fabuless when he tells me I'm crazy.)

Saturday, February 18, 2012

I'm In!

I made it through the first round of the Creative Bloggers Got Talent contest over at Every Creative Endeavor.  This little project ...

...and great friends have been very good to me.  And now I'm sort of freaking out because I'm not sure what I'm going to do next.  I have several ideas floating around in my head, but I'm not sure if they're awesome enough.  We shall see.  Thanks to everyone who voted!

P.S.  The couch is still in the works and I should actually have some significant progress to show by Monday.  

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Pretty in Pink: A New Piece for Sale

When I saw this desk I felt like it was the perfect piece to go totally girly girl.  And the fact that my two year old is BEYOND obsessed with ballet right now may have had some influence as well.  After watching The Nutcracker literally every day since Christmas time, I think the tutus and ballerinas have gone to my head.  And I have to admit, every time we watch it, I still go back to those little girl dreams of being a ballerina--do we girls ever grow out of that?  I obviously didn't. So instead of wearing a tutu around all day (Mr. Fabuless may actually commit me for that one), I decided to live the dream through a perfectly pink desk.

This is what I started with:

And this is how she ended up:

If you'd like dimensions, purchasing info, or info on custom work, head on over to the shop.

Linking up at:
Miss Mustard Seed / The 36th Ave. / Whipperberry / Every Creative Endeavor / Primp /
Shabby Creek Cottage / A Little Inspiration

Monday, February 6, 2012

Evil Couch Chronicles: Update #1

So I didn't make as much progress as I had planned this weekend, but I got a lot of good planning and thinking in and came up with a pretty firm idea of how this is going to go down.  Like pretty much everything else I do, it's looking like this is going to be a little more difficult than what I had originally pictured in my head.

I did actually take a picture of the couch so you can really get an idea of just how awful this is. And no, that's not a dead animal on the floor, it came from inside the couch. 

Please Vote!

Have you seen this awesome contest being put on over at Every Creative Endeavor?  

I entered this project and would LOVE if you'd go vote for me.
You don't have to be a blogger to vote.  Just head here and "Like" my project.  I'm #14.

 And if you are a blogger and are entering the contest, I'd love for you to leave me a comment so I can go check out your project and return the love!

Friday, February 3, 2012

It's Not Me, It's You: A Project & Advice

I have commitment issues.  Not with relationships, that area is fine--I've been with Mr. Fabuless for 10 years--and this commitment issue of mine is why he sometimes feels like we've been together 100 years--I really test his sanity.  My commitment issues revolve around picking paint colors and committing to big projects, you know, the important things in life. It boils down to the fear of screwing up something expensive and having to replace it should the project end in epic failure. I'm also majorly lacking in the patience department.  I want immediate results (or at least results I can achieve in a day) and that's just not possible with some of these projects.   There's also that tiny little factor of Mr. Fabuless being the slightest bit upset if I do end up ruining that expensive item and having to replace it.  So, I end up avoiding these big projects altogether.  But they get into my head and it's all I think about.  Literally.  I've now had two sleepless nights contemplating a project, not doing, just contemplating.  I didn't do anything.  I haven't even slept because I'm so obsessed with it.  So, I know I want to commit, I should commit, but I just can't seem to do it.  

So why am I rambling on about this now?  I'm taking the plunge & committing to the big project that's been keeping me up at night.  I'm excited, but if I screw it up, it won't be good, because I'll have a buy a new couch.  I'm going to reupholster a couch that's been bugging me basically since the day we brought it home. And not just reupholster, but add structure, which is what's really going to screw this thing up if it doesn't turn out right.

This brings me to the advice part:
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