For quite some time now, I have been forcing Axel to create art. Coloring seems logical at his age, and crayon is easy to scrub from wood floors or high-chair trays. The only problem with your child being an artist is the high cost of materials.
For a while he insisted on eating the crayons and for fear of springing for yet another $6 set of Melissa and Doug crayons, I closely monitored the problem until they stopped going in his mouth. Paper is another story.
Not only do I hate having to slash trees to create a writing surface, the paper supply in our house is 13 stairs down, in the basement. Always pondering ways to stay eco-conscious, and save myself any unnecessary calorie burn...I realized that many good people in this world are sending me coloring medium by mail. In fact, the mailman that I am constantly battling, delivers just what I need all too often.
Axel has started coloring on the backs of bills. I simply tear off the pay stub, and the rest is his. How fun my bills are now. Filing them, quarterly report time, not to mention the fun our accountant will have next January. I can only hope for an IRS audit...surely they will see the artistic potential in it all.
As he gets more advanced with the crayon...the bills will also help him learn to stay in the lines. There are plenty of "0's" for him to color in!
Rummaging through a "sale" at a neighborhood church last weekend, I found this.
I paid for it with the most under-appreciated coin in the US currency. A nickel. Thats what it cost me...just 1 of those stalky silver coins.
I don't have much to say about it accept that I don't have anything like it, and have never seen such a slender linen banner. I'm always on the lookout for that special piece to bring to the Antique Roadshow someday...me and all the senior citizens who like to stand in line. I figure anyway you see it...it's worth more than a nickel. That will save me from looking like the fool who paid dearly for a knock off Tiffany lamp.
Last week, I was sucked into the vacuum that goes by the name of "Thrift Store". This particular store is NEW to Mankato and carries only furniture.
Is it just me, or every time you are about to start something new, do you for a brief moment think you will be the best at it in the world? Upholstery was my task last week and although I don't claim to have dominated the sport, I did learn a valuable lesson...you have to be the life of your own party.
Bringing a $10 (on sale from $35) davenport home from the thrift store is something of fairy tales...finding fabric I LOVE on clearance leaves me speechless...having my husband simply sigh at the many adventures of the right side of my brain is...typical.
Amidst a household of doubt, I started the week by tearing off vomit colored, plastic-like upholstery and found a beautiful diamond in the rough piece of furniture. Not only is this sweet little LoveSeat an antique, it is also a hide-a-bed.
Spending countless hours dreaming, shopping and collecting the perfect pieces of textile for my great find, yesterday I started the process of putting it back together.
Rockin' out to some of my favorite music, I slowly decided that this couch was just for me. Being my first larger upholstery installation, I figure no one could enjoy it as much as myself...the one who tore it limb from limb, tenderly preserved the old batting and placed many stitches by hand. Each staple, stretch and fold was made by my fingers after dark; all while picturing the great literature I could enjoy atop it's cushion. Perhaps I will share Narnia with Axel on this very seat.
Upholstery can be emotional...or was that the Sheryl Crow? Late last night I hammered my last nail and received a not-so-enthusiastic "great" from Jahred. I received a fabric critique from my mother and when I asked Jahred to help me move it upstairs, so I could clean up the staples that had missed the mark, he appeared annoyed and said, "when I'm done". Well, thats when I figured that celebrating yourself may be the only celebration you get.
It lost a little of it's magic upon seeing it in the daylight this morning, but I still believe it's more than "great". In the future, you can find me on my davenport...it is uniquely mine and I shall use it as a reminder to sit down and give myself a break.
As I cleaned up the kitchen this evening, I saw Jahred looking at my handy-work and then take a seat. In his own time, he always approves.
Just passing another anniversary of our wedding, I often think about the big day. Historical buildings, a trolley, flowers keeling over on the eve of the wedding (in a "fridge" that was actually a "freezer"), guests taking someone else's date home for the night...but really, I often think about these people (see photos below).
One of the "blessings" of hosting your wedding at a landmark (Landmark Center, Saint Paul, MN) is that it stays open to the public.
Apparently, some time after the tables were set (complete with scattered disposable cameras), a few tourists wandered in. This lovely family has been saved on my hard drive for all these years and they are the only wedding guests I cannot identify. Scrolling through pictures just last night, I realized that I have a captive audience who could help me identify them.
If you have seen these faces around town, or out of town for that matter...I should properly thank them for playing a role in my wedding; and see how the kids are doing. It's not the material gifts that count at a nuptial event, it's simple showing up and giving your support. (I can tell these people were supportive by the thumbs up in exhibit 4.)
Not only was this a lovely surprise when I developed the film (yes, in those days film was processed manually), they have given me an idea should I ever come across a stray disposable.
exhibit 1 - the girls
exhibit 2 - dad
exhibit 3 - mom
exhibit 4 - must be the middle child
At the close of last week, my machine decided it had had enough. Not willing to let go of my greatest Salvation Army find, I desperately brought it to the 90 year old woman who repairs machines in my town. After a brief lecture on the complete filth my machine contained (Seriously, who has time to take their machine apart for a regular bath??), she diagnosed it with an unknown ailment and told me she "would do her best".
With all my trust in this spry old gem, I left my baby with her for the weekend, complete with notes on how it likes to be treated and all of my "incase of emergency" phone numbers. Not more than 36 hours later, my savior called and said the Singer would be just fine.
Getting my machine out of hawk cost a mere $20, but also a little shame for the abuse I bestow on it. I carefully brought the Singer back home, and just stared for the whole of 1 day at it.
Almost as exciting and nerve-wracking as driving a new car, I carefully made the first stitches on the machine. Smoothly I glided over the first zipper and cautiously I stitched even tough upholstery. For a while I'm sure I'll drive it like a new car, but inevitably things will get rough once more.
It's nice to know that a sweet old fashioned girl like myself has got my back, and values preserving the old as much as I do. I promised to be back within the year for a good scrubbing and a little TLC.
New fabric...new name. Formerly "the Girlfriend", now the "amiga" (spanish for girlfriend). The fish are FABULOUS if I might say so myself.
-a strong, innate desire to travel about
-adjective, noun, adverb, conjunction, verb
-(defined as a adjective) remaining in place or at rest, motionless, stationary, free from sound or noise, free from turbulence or motion, peaceful, tranquil, without waves or perceptible current
-(defined as forgive) to grant pardon for or remission of, to give up all claim on account of, to cease to feel resentment against, to cancel an indebtedness or liability of, to grant pardon to
Just as a precious heirloom, language was passed down to us from our ancestors. I have found words so compelling lately, that I can't get enough of defining experience or emotion with a single word. Sometimes it's the way a word sounds and often it is the definition that makes the word relevant or harmonizes with your soul.
This week, I have been in a love affair with several words, a few are defined above.
A feeling of immense control is given when you can wrap a word around what you're feeling. Language is incredibly intriguing, and one of the most ancient forms of art.
Just wanted to share these beautiful words. They are not my own, but are of a community to which we all belong.
Every autumn of our relationship, Jahred and I have found ultimate satisfaction in apple picking. On HWY 169 (the 80 mile stretch of road we figure to have driven more than 2000 times together) an orchard sits atop the hill. Along side the road, a billboard posts updates throughout the summer on the apple growth.
Starting out in early spring, the board may say "pruning the trees". "The apples are the size of golfballs"...thats the point where we get excited. Watching the sign, gazing up the hill, and driving past...this is how we spend our summer in the car.
Late August and into September we are glued to the weather radar for a glimpse of that perfect weekend to ride the hay wagon, be dropped off at the special picking location, and to hunt through acres of trees for the most perfect apples.
The real reason I married Jahred wasn't for his "awesome cleaning skills", his "mad lawn mowing skills" or his "ability to wear even my home-grown haircuts"...it was because everyone knows the best apples are at the top of the tree...Jahred is 6'4". (By the way, the first 2 example reasons to marry him are sarcastic...just wanted to clear that up.)
Today turned out to be THE day. We had the complete package; great weather, a kid that behaved, success at cramming more apples than humanly possible into the $10 all-you-can-stuff bag, and we came right home to our NEW "Ultimate Apple Peeler, Slicer, Corer" (UAPSC...as we affectionately call it). The yummiest part of our tradition is creating an apple sauce that not only adds a layer of "stick" to our kitchen, it tastes GREAT.
To spare you the details of me crying over such a divinely created machine as the UAPSC...I will just tell you that over the past few years I have lost plenty of religion over the peeling of hundreds of apples. This machine saved my life today, and perhaps my marriage.
While I was waiting for the apples to cook down into the apple sauce we LOVE because it's our OWN, Jahred took the boys for a walk. Therapeutically stirring and mashing, I wondered if the old apple trees notice all the couples like us that start with two holding hands and blossom into a family. Each year I crave the smell a little more, feel more a part the earth, become grounded once again, and then I miss it for 364 days until the next autumn.
peels are pretty...but cinnamon and sugar are yummy
My first spoonful...no matter how old you get, you never become patient enough to let it cool.
Wearing a scarf for the first time today, I feel like fall is on the way.
My favorite season deserves another favorite of mine...and thats a SALE / GIVEAWAY!
My Etsy shop is currently being worked on to lower prices (check out the SALE section) and new items will be added in bulk over the next few days.
For every purchase of $25 or more (yes, multiples of $25 will receive multiple gifts), you will receive a FREE SURPRISE SNAPPY WALLET! I know, it's exciting...but don't stalk your mail man, the surprise will arrive soon enough.
Of course I always ship worldwide and custom orders DO count towards the GIVEAWAY!
What's the deal? Axel and I flipped to channel 2 this morning, with hopes of peace and quiet, a breakfast filled with eating and counting...instead, we discovered that PBS has launched a new show called "Dinosaur Train".
Don't worry, I tell myself, these shows are only a half hour and we will return to our regularly scheduled programming in a short while.
This was not the case. Dinosaur Train has been on all morning! Axel shows no interest in these new computer animated friends and quite frankly, the show is monotonous and dull.
Who do I need to talk to about this? 3 hours strong of Dinosaur train and if it plays through the Sesame Street time slot, I am calling Barack Obama himself.
What about a mothers right to T.V?
Having denied myself the privilege of professional hair care due to budget constraints, I have taken on the task of cutting my own hair. It hasn't been colored or cut professionally in over a year and a half. I did have to splurge this week however because the hair thickening product that I thought could be nixed...turns out I really need.
Not willing to spring for the $36 Bumble and Bumble thickening product that I absolutely ADORE, I stopped in a beauty supply store and settled on a $14 bottle of the brand name "Rusk" - thickr.
I brought it home and it sat on the counter since I had no need to shower at the time; but right as I was going to bed, I thought I would take a sniff. Not sure why I needed to sniff a chemical product, but craving a salon/spa experience, I opened up the top.
With one simple wave in front of my nose, about 10,000 memories flooded my conscience. The Rusk I now had in my possession smelled JUST LIKE "ck ONE". ck meaning Calvin Klein of course and 'ONE' being the name of a fragrance that I couldn't get enough of in the 90's. I can picture the boys I crushed on, the girls that didn't invite me to birthday parties and the ads where I caught my first glimpse of men in low rise denim sans shirt.
ck ONE was the definition of sex appeal for me and possibly the first unisex fragrance to be marketed to a younger audience. Just like other popular trends, I was denied a bottle of this liquid sexiness, but wasn't stopped from peeling open the fragrance flaps in Vogue and desperately rubbing the scent on my clothes.
ck ONE advertised to the "the only one" and the commercials play in my mind as if I am watching them live.
The next day, I took just one more whiff to make sure I hadn't dreamt the smell...nope, definitely not of my imagination...it's got that unmistakable scent.
Was it a twist of fate that I should choose this brand from hundreds of others, or is it just luck that with every shower I get to think of the past, feel confident in the present and look to the future with HOT hair.
Was ck ONE "my only one"? Probably not, but it must have been something, or that scent would have been shelved in my mind with the rest of the 90's long ago.
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