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Thursday, December 23, 2010

Laughing at myself...

So I have this iPod app that is called Period Tracker. Yeah, too much info if you are a guy.

Anyhoo, ladies, I have this freebie app because, you know, my mind is essentially Swiss cheese after having 4 kids. It is really nice for me to just be able to check the app and know when Aunt Flo will be here and for how long. Is that too much to ask of a simple app? I thought not.

Well, I may need to stop putting my faith in technology and go back to the good old days of a red dot on the family calendar (I know you did this too). So imagine my shock when I check today and see that I have THIS MANY days left in my cycle!!! WHAAAT???


Clearly the application is not working correctly. Or I am about to experience some serious PMS.

Thought you would enjoy my horror. Heh.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Barbie Home Remodel...

I know what you are thinking...Barbie remodel? What?

Exactly as it sounds. I remodeled our girlies' Barbie house in order to 'upcycle' it for our niece, Avery. It turned out sooooooo cute!! You are definitely going to say "Holy cats, Christine -- you are amazing!" Ah, yes. I will indeed pat myself on the back for this project.

Here is where it started (and no, that is not my daughter):

Bland, standard doll house with the room graphics plastered on the walls. Yawn...
Please excuse my blech photos - I will now give you a remodeled room-by-room overview:


The new kitchen ...I kept the background the same, just added crystals to the knobs and of course, a kitchen towel. Additionally, I covered up the 'tile' floor with a brand -spanking-new hardwood floor. Popsicle stick hardwood floor to be precise. Am I clever or what??

Finally, here is the cutie patootie kitchen table. You know you want one just like it!


ALOHA! Beach themed nirvana!! I think Barbie will thank me when she realizes that I have given her a Queen-sized bed. Now Ken won't have to sleep on the couch... Heh.

Detail of the bedroom wallpaper...

Ooh...comfy. And what is that? A tufted headboard? Why, yes it is indeed. I figured if I can tuft a real headboard, then a tiny Barbie headboard was no prob.



We went with a black,white & hot pink theme. Mod, kind of New York loft style. The couch and chair were created and upholstered from remnants I had in my craft stash. I edged the rug from another remnant as well. I think it evokes a flokati rug vibe...plus it is really soft and fur-tastic.

And did you notice the chandelier?? It is an ornament -- in Barbie pink, no less. Kismet, I tell ya.

The couch is long enough for Barbie to lay down after a long day of shopping. Or drinking.
And, hello -- a skirt with box pleats. Yes please!

I want this chair in real-people size. Never enough pink in Barbie land.


Mirrored stairs. Love em...but not so practical in the real world. Since I trudge around here like a bull elephant,  1) they would most likely be cracked from my toe-stubbing antics and  2) do I really need to be reminded with each step that I am in dire need of a pedicure?? I think not.


Shouldn't all toilets have a kicky lid and crystal flush handle? YES. I would definitely want to clean this purty little throne. Well, okay maybe not. But it would look prettier....

Sage green, so soothing and zen...Ahhh....

So there you have it. My labor of love for the last week or so. I know my niece is going to LOVE it! Shhh, don't tell her it was not Santa's Elves who worked all this magic.

Have a fabulous day!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Holiday decor pictures...

Good morning to all. It is freeeeeeezing here in Chicago. Brrr! I have never been a big fan of the arctic cold; snow - yes...cold that bites - NO-ho-ho indeed!

Picture of the Christmas decorations are here! Now, I have not completed the entire house, but I will share with you what is going on so far. I am in LOVE with my dining room this year in particular. Enjoy!

Center of our DR table -- I just love the mercury glass & crackled ornaments!

 Bottle brush trees are one of my go-to favorites...

The vignette on our antique dresser. Ooh -- Silver & Gold...
We use the dresser for linen storage because our house has the teensy, tiniest linen closet you have ever seen. Seriously -- what was the builder thinking?

In addition to the dining room, I have gotten a wee bit of the kitchen and living room decorated. You know you want to see that too...here you go:

My LR mantle -- simple and perfect.

This is our kitchen chandelier. I just twisted in a few fresh evergreen swags, added some ornaments and a cutesy clip on bird. Adorable -- and it smells good too!

My gilded birdie friend....from Target!

So there you are -- my decorations for now. I know what you are thinking...Hello??? Please include a full pix of the DR so we can see it all together?!? I will definitely post that -- but I need to remove all the holiday storage boxes from view first.  : )

Have a beautiful day -- and bundle up!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Holly Jolly weekend

How was your weekend? Ours was holiday-tastic! We started Saturday with SNOW! (fyi, I am not exclamation-point-level excited, but my kids and dogs were). I actually do love that first 'real' snow of the season. You know, the one that actually sticks and accumulates (preferably below the 2-inch accumulation point)? It looks all Currier-and-Ives and no one is complaining -- yet. Sigh...it actually was the best timing.

I say the best timing because later that morning, we attended the Elves Shelves shopping event at our school. Elves Shelves definitely needs snow -- according to my kids. Gracie was performing with her chorus club, so it was a doubly exciting day. Well, triple-y exciting if you count the snow! We adults were able to spend the morning chatting it up with our neighbors, friends, and all the wonderful teachers we have gotten to know over the years. A great start to the weekend.

After that, the hubs and I decided it was time to buckle down and buy a Christmas tree. We always try to put it off for a couple of weeks after Thanksgiving -- it seems that if we don't, we are crabbing about a dry tree right after the New Year. Really, never a good way to start off a year. So, anyhoo, we got a lovely 8-footer that is probably the bushiest tree we've ever purchased. I am serious -- when I was putting the lights on today, I was almost shoulder-deep trying to get those buggers in by the trunk! And in the end, I was also coated in sap. Which is a good thing. Not having that would mean it was already a dry tree -- and we would not want that at all! Trust me...an 8 or 9 foot piece of kindling sitting in your living room is really not festive. My only hope is that my dogs do not see it as indoor plumbing yet again. That's right. I said AGAIN. Don't ask.

Now, I will admit I tend to become a little obsessive at the holidays in regard to decorating. I literally put something in EVERY room of the house. Well, okay, not the utility room or laundry room but otherwise -- every room. Oh, and I also have 6 artificial trees that have their various set locations throughout our home. Yep -- obsessive. So far, I have only gotten the dining room completed. The whole house will be fabulous once done, but that may not be until the end of this week. My son said today -- "don't you ever get sick of holiday decorating?" Um, no. Never. Love it. Love. It.

And it is now 11:30 on Sunday night and I can't fall asleep. Visions of the festive possibilities are swilling in my head. Like sugarplums if you will. I'll post pix in the a.m. I tried to take some tonight and they are not good. Apparently lighting at 11:00 p.m. is hideous -- who knew -- I am never up this late. Lesson learned - pix during daylight only until I totally figure out my camera. So, yeah, that would mean pix only during the daylight from now on. Heh.

Hope you had a great, festive weekend!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Dog love...

If you know me personally, then you already know my love for my furry little children -- and all other dogs in the 'hood as well. We currently have three wonderful poochies, Gus - a SharPei/Rott/?? mix, Bailey - a red MiniDachshund, and Angus - a black/tan MiniDachshund and Bailey's fraternal twin. (Doesn't that sound more cozy than 'littermate'? That's what I thought.)

I am just enjoying them so much this morning -- not sure why, but they are simply melting my heart every time I look at them. Since not all of you have met them, I decided to share with you their cute-tasticness...
Here is our Gus (or GusGus, if you prefer)

Gus and Bailey...Is there a cuter picture out there? I think not. I love this pix so much because Bailey is actually the one who "chose" Gus at the shelter. All of our dogs are close, but these two have a special bond. Now, for perspective...Gus runs anywhere from 75 - 80 pounds. Bailey, a mere 9 pounds. Awww...

Mr. Angus...Regal, isn't he?

And our little Bailey -- apparently giving us his 'Blue Steel' look. Snaps to you if you get the movie reference... : )

Don't you just want to curl up with them and never leave?? Maybe this is why I sometimes have a hard time getting my caboose moving on projects. Well, wouldn't you be the same way? A cup of coffee, a good book, three dogs keeping your feet toasty warm....it's all good. I love our life...

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas...

Well, at least in our front yard.

I know I promised more pix of the curio and frames (and just wait until you see the nightstand I found -- squee!), but I gave in to Chicago's oddly warm November days this week...it was almost 70 degrees yesterday! I decided it was a sign that it was time to put up the Christmas lights. I honestly can say this is the first time that I have ever broken out in a sweat while schlepping reindeer around the front yard. It was great.

Of course, Mother Nature is finicky in Chicago and thus she blasted us with icy coldness today. I don't think it got past 40 degrees. Or maybe it did - I really should use this computer to check in on the weather before I make such sweeping statements. Anyhoo, today was a wool-sweater-and-socks kind of day. And my first official day of whining my way out of walking the dog. Heh. Hubs, if you are reading this -- it will happen again.

So, the house...want to see how it looks? Standard issue decorations but I think they look lovely. Oh, and just so you can imagine -- the bushes are all covered in white lights. I will try to take a 'night' pix to show you. Ta-da...
Our buck; Grace says it looks like he is eating the tree.

Our doe, apparently the dog left some pee-mail there. Heh...get it...pee-mail? E-mail? Well, my kids think it is funny. Of course, they are still in elementary school...

Front porch planter -- the red twigs were *FREE*  -- made possible by me slogging through the scrub-weedy field behind our house and clipping them free from their tangled mess. Festive, indeed!

My recent thrift-store find...an old Flexible Flyer. It is not in any usable condition whatsoever (so...why were they selling it with the children's toys???), but I like the effect it has in my garden vignette. And more weed-twig bundles. Oh, and those two little black buggers on my brick -- the water meters. Seriously, they could not have put them 2 feet to the right behind the bushes??

What do you think? I am nowhere near being finished decorating outside, but it is a start. And I don't have to freeze off my little fingertips this weekend. Hooray!

I hope you and your families have a lovely Thanksgiving -- just in case I don't get the chance to write until Friday. Enjoy!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

What a beautiful weekend -- and back to painting!

This weekend was just lovely -- we are in the Chicago area and today it was around 60 degrees! Dang -- that does not happen often this time of year! We had a lazy Sunday morning and then headed up for an early Thanksgiving with the hub's family in Wisconsin. Quite the relaxing day. I hope your weekend was just as nice. 

Also on the agenda these past couple of days -- painting. I really need to push myself to create a regular creative outlet schedule. I feel so much more in my groove when I am working on a piece of art or when I am refinishing an old treasure. I need to remember that feeling and get myself moving!

So, as for the painting endeavors -- I have almost finished a small curio cabinet that has sat in my foyer for years. It was calling out to me each and every time I passed it (which is about 100x per day). I finally decided to just get painting. I knew once things started rolling, it would all come together. So far, so good! I primed, painted two coats of a low-VOC (so nice!) Valspar ivory and I am  planning on glazing it and then adding some fun patterned paper to the back. I think it will be stunning. I will put up more pix in the morning.

As for the additional frames on my kitchen table (yes -- kitchen), I am not sure what their final color will be yet, but they were in dire need of paint. Solid wood, but totally blah in their previous lives. I think they look even better just with the primer.

The hubs and I are working to get my 'workspace' transferred to the garage. Until then, no laughing at my pictures of furniture propped up on paint cans in the middle of my hallway.    : )

Have a great evening!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

What was I thinking?!?!

Wondering? Well, this weekend and last the hubs and I decided to have our girls bday sleepovers. Last weekend consisted of 10 gals all 10-year-olds, 4 of whom slept over. It was girlie-tastic! This weekend (last night) was 10 girlies total, all 12-year-olds. Screaming, giggling, mayhem and worn out parents have resulted (not to mention our 16-year old son being not too happy with us- heh).

So again I ask, What Was I Thinking!!? Truth be told, it is fun to have all these mini-women hanging out at our home. I love seeing that our own girlies are well within 'normal' and that the slob-tastic-ness that I deal with on a regular basis is a teen girl phenomenon. My insanity has been justified.

If you see me later today and I look worn out, covered in Starburst candies and old pizza, you will know why. Just give me a pat on the back and direct me to the nearest Starbucks -- I'm gonna need it.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween!

Hello blog friends -- I hope you are having a happy/spooky Halloween!

My girlies are out for the first time without us...kind of. Sam and her group of gal friends are going it alone. Gracie and her friend were itchin' to fly out the door at 4:00 sharp and of course, I had told them I would be accompanying them.... yeah, that worked out well. I kept getting the "shoo shoo" sign even though I was 3-4 houses ahead of them.  I ended up looking like a creeper cruising the neighborhood. Luckily for me, I know all the neighbors! I just kept announcing "I am not walking with any children whatsoever -- none at all. Pay no attention to the two girlies following me." Because of course, giving me the shoo sign means that yes, I will be embarrassing you if at all possible. Heh. I love being a mom.

As for candy, we are handing out Air Heads, Milky Ways and 100 Grand Bars. I luh-huh-hove anything chocolate, so I figured the odds were in my favor there would be some leftover. Except for the fact that my hubs keeps letting everyone have 2-3 pieces each! Does he not understand that I was planning on having extra candy? The kids were supposed to go crazy for the Air Heads and leave all the chocolate for ME!! My plan is being thwarted as I type. I really need to work on getting my hubs in line with my mindset. Perhaps this idea is being driven by my hormones.... I can't be sure. All I want is for there to be extra so I don't have to raid my kids candy while they are at school! Is that too much to ask? Hmm..okay, that would definitely be the hormones speaking...I'll try to keep it in check.

So where was I going with this?  Oh, I know -- so, due to the shrinking chocolate situation, I decided I should try an Air Head. All I can say is -- eh. They are okay, very intense fruitiness similar to the Jolly Ranchers candy. However (and I am sure I am in alignment with most other adults out there), they have this waxy taffy-like texture that I just can't get past. Waxy fruit? If I wanted to eat that, I would have complied when I was little and my cousins tried to convince me my grandma's fake fruit was real fruit. Gaah. Next year, remind me NOT to buy treats based on pre-teen recommendations.

Okay, now my stomach feels uck. I blame the Air Heads, or maybe the Milky Ways, or perhaps the 100 Grand Bars. Or maybe the fact that I have eaten about 15 pieces of candy in the last couple of hours. Oddly enough, I think what I need now is fruit -- real fruit. Hmm. Ironic.

Enjoy the night!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


I think the post title says it all. I, unfortunately, am a migraine gal. A sinus migraine gal. And it annoys the 'bleep' out of me.

I love autumn...all the colors, the cooling weather, the wonderful smells of burning leaves, fireplaces, leaf piles. All of those things tend to trigger my headaches, which is just rotten luck. So here I sit, in day 3 of a stinkin' migraine trying to salvage the energy to just get out of my pajamas. I know, I need to take care of myself -- but hey, I am a mom and it just isn't in my nature.  Thank goodness I have kidlings and a husband who understand my distress. My lovely almost-12-year-old left for school today saying "Take care of yourself mommy...just keep sleeping in; Daddy is going to take care of everything." Awww.... I just love them all to pieces for moments like that one.

Gaah. Sinus pressure. I think I need to lay down again.
I am working on some sparkly jewelry for my Etsy site...I will do my best to get some pictures up soon.

Verifying my post for Technorati...

Wondering what this is for? I am linking my blog to a directory called Technorati. I have to verify that this is indeed 'mine' by including this code....YRD5VZJ2MGCB

Look for more blurbing later today...

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Cedar planter...

So, I took my mom a-thrifting a few weeks ago. We found this ho-hum cedar planter box at the local Salvation Army. I think it was around $3.00....had to have it. I could see the potential. And I did not take an official 'before' pix yet again -- I did include a pix of the bottom in case you wanted to know the rustic glory that it had before I whipped out my paints and sandpaper.

For your viewing pleasure -- the pix are ucky because I used my phone. I promise to use my digital SLR from now on...

I ended up painting it with Sharkey Gray -- a Martha Stewart color -- (more ivory than gray) and then glazing it first with a burnt umber and then a light gray acrylic. Topped off with two coats of poly and a few felt pads on the bottom, I think this beauteous bin deserves to stay inside as a centerpiece!

Love it.... your thoughts?

Finished projects

I just wanted to post some pix of my currently finished projects around the home. And yes, I generally forget about taking the 'before' pictures. I'll let you know when I have a before...but for now, I promise to be more diligent in the future!

I recently completed two desk chairs for my daughters. I found these two lovelies at the local Goodwill for $4.99 each...Oh you read that correctly. Five.Bucks.Per.Chair. Of course, they were *gack* hideous when I found them. Spidery, musty, gah-ross. I actually do have a before pix on my camera somewhere; I will upload it when I remember.

Anyhoo, these chairs were stuffed with -- wait for it -- STRAW. As in, horse bedding. Bug-tastic horse bedding. So, after discovering this I immediately wrapped the innards in double plastic bags and toted those off to the garbage.  I painted, distressed, re-webbed, new-foamed, and reupholstered these beauties. And yes I know some of those aren't real words, but just go with me here.

They turned out soooooo nice. Just perfect for two tween gals who needed something of their own.
Here they are --

Aren't they sweet?? Sam's green chair has a bow on the back because there is a crack under there. The spindle is broken and I wood glued it, but it is still a bit dicey. I think the bow is a nice touch.

I added fringe and tack detailing just because I thought it added a bit of whimsy.
What do you think?
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