Wednesday, November 30, 2011

12 Pains of Christmas

I've been feeling the pain of stupid Christmas lights this morning, so I found this on Youtube to get me laughing instead of cursing.  I was really getting pissed and spewing profanity, when I should have been counting my blessings for having more than I deserve.  I also have the pleasure of getting Junior's help every year with the tree.  As soon as the tree comes out of the box, he lays claim to it and doesn't appreciate my touching any part of it.  Yeesh.  So yeah, we're taking a little break.

It's the SIMS version, enjoy.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Need some holiday endorphins

I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving.  I hope you sat at a big table with a fat turkey or whatever kind of meat you adore, with all those awesome side dishes (that in my opinion are the best part of the meal), with family or friends around you, with football on in the background, with a table of desserts that you were too full to eat, and with stretchy pants to make the afternoon more comfortable.

In other words, I hope you had the Thanksgiving I didn't.  I'm not complaining, honestly.  I (we) just didn't have the traditional holiday.  We stayed at a hotel, ate our Thanksgiving meal at Cracker Barrel and almost every other meal out except the free hotel breakfast.  There are family issues right now, so it wasn't possible for everyone to get together.  And even if we did get together, like I said there are issues that make it WEIRD. 

But we had a wonderful time with the girls, mostly laughing or laughing at them laughing.  If you're a parent, then you know the joy of listening to your kids laughing together, no matter their age.  It's as if you gave them the best gift that they get to keep for the rest of their lives - each other.

But we're back home now, and it's time to start getting into Christmas mode.  I'm usually pretty excited about this, and you'd think with the new house that I'd be especially excited to decorate.  But I'm just not feeling it yet.  Our neighbors will likely be disappointed in the lack of lights and decorations outside, and I'm sure someone will stop by to tell me how THE PREVIOUS OWNERS had the most beautiful lights on the block.  Get over it, folks!

I'm needing some inspiration.  Maybe you are, too?  A quick visit to Pinterest might help me:

I'm putting myself on a very limited decorating budget, using mostly what I already have.  So I've decided to try using things that are readily available, like all the pine cones everywhere.  I'd be a fool to not gather a huge bag of cones along any trail and use them this year.  I think I've just decided on a theme, ha.

I like this woodsy, cabin look.  I don't have a mantel to decorate this year, because it's currently adorned with a large flat screen TV.  Priorities, you know.  But this gave me an idea for a large mirror I have, and again - PINE CONES. 

I just think this is sweet and simple.  Perfect for an apartment.  Think how inexpensively it can be done.  Buy fabric instead of a table cloth - who cares about the edges?  Just cut neatly or use my new best friend, fusible bonding web!  And those little mini trees can be bought anywhere for super cheap.

Mostly what I'm doing outside is a large garland around the door and then something on the door itself.  I bet I can come up with ornaments I don't use anymore to decorate a wreath.  And pine cones.  :-)

This door garland with pine cones is a Martha Stewart design.  It is hilarious to read how much trouble and precision she uses in creating the pine cone adornment.  It's good for a laugh if you want to take the time to find it on Pinterest.  But I'm going to steal it shamelessly!  I love it.

With my latest addiction to painting and glazing, this frame idea is really tempting.  Really tempting.  And I happen to know an awesome trading post that would have lots of frames to choose from.  I'd have to read how they attach it to the door though, so it wouldn't bang all over the place.  Those 3M sticky things maybe?

Okay, I'm a little more in the mood now.  Alan will read that and think something else. ;-)

Monday, November 14, 2011

Trekking around Tulsa

We told ourselves when we moved here that we'd get out and explore the city and its surroundings.  So we ignored the leaves that needed to be raked and the few unpacked boxes in the garage and enjoyed the outdoors this weekend (minus the wind that I thought I left behind in Midland).  We went to estate sales and the zoo on Friday, the Tulsa University game against Marshall on Saturday, and spent our morning hiking at Turkey Mountain yesterday. 

Most of the trail was pretty rocky and rugged, nothing like this path.  I often measure activities by the amount of calories burned (i.e. how much MORE I get to eat that day), and this one ranked high on my list!

We still have places to go and things to try, but at least we've made a good start. 

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Just because...

...I think it's hilarious:

And because that owl was so cool.  He was super heavy and his feathers were so silky.  I think my reaction is right after he turned and looked me in the eye, inches from my face.  It was awesome!

Monday, November 07, 2011

I'm cheap

I finished the sewing table/nightstand.  Very little sewing is probably going to occur, so let's just call it a nightstand.  Here's the before.  So someone at some point in time, really thought this looked okay?  I'm guessing it was Kenmore, since that's the sewing machine inside.

Try to ignore the dirty baseboards and stained carpet.

First I brushed on two coats of primer.  I didn't sand it or anything because it's veneer, so what's to sand?  I slapped on the two coats, not trying to cover completely.  In fact, I totally forgot to paint the inside of one section.  You'll see in a minute.

Then I spray painted the antique white base color.  This took one coat, with a few touch-ups here and there.  Again, because I knew I was applying a glaze, I wasn't shooting for perfection.  By the way, I totally recommend using Rustoleum spray paint over the others.  The nozzle is practically mess free, and you can even hold the can upside down!

Next was the really fun part - the black glaze.  You brush it on and wipe it off.  I think the only way you could mess this up would be to glaze too big a section at a time and therefore let it sit too long before wiping it off.  If that happens, you'll just get a darker color.  So here it is:

See that inside dark brown section on the right that I FORGOT TO PAINT?  I'm too lazy to drag it back downstairs and out to the garage to care.

I can ogle at furniture and design catalogs endlessly, but the fact remains that on my currently unemployed budget, Home Depot is going to win out over Pottery Barn.

Friday, November 04, 2011

Blog Title

Do I change it?  Leave it?

My cookie challenge

I got an invitation from a female coworker of Alan's to attend a cookie exchange party.  Although I really appreciate being invited, I was pretty excited until I saw all the RULES of the exchange.  I need to make 7 dozen cookies, meaning 7 different recipes.  They must be Christmasy cookies - no chocolate chip nonsense, no Pillsbury anything, not the no-bake variety, and the main ingredient in all must be flour.  They also need to be packaged in a cute/festive way, each individual dozen.  And I should also bring an appetizer, beverage, and dress Christmasy if I want to win a prize.  The dressing Christmasy part is not going to happen, folks.  Unlike some teachers, I haven't accumulated those sorts of outfits.

So almost immediately I got on Pinterest and started searching.  I found two or three possibilities so far, but that's a long way from SEVEN.  Here's one:

I don't think they have to be Christmas colors, but rather a cookie that you would associate with the holidays.  If you have a favorite holiday cookie, please send me the recipe or a link to it!  I can't even RSVP for the party until I have all seven recipes.  What is up with all the RULES?

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Double Duty Table

My mind is blank, so I'll share a project in the making.

See that ugly nightstand there?  It's not really a nightstand but a sewing machine cabinet.  It's not real wood, and it's BUTT ugly.  Even the handle is ugly.  So I'm in the middle of transforming it.  Pictures to come soon...