Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Afternoon Coffee and Thoughts on Handeling Rejection


Woke up this morning in a good mood, ready to start the day, hopeful for good things.



But truth be told, that feeling didn't last very long.  Sometimes all it takes is the smallest little event to change my mood entirely. Today, it was being "unliked" on Facebook.  Seems like when you put yourself out there for all to see, you have to be ready for some to not like you.  And on the internet its much more obvious than in real life because there aren't the same social rules upheld.  It can be cruel and cold because no one has to look anyone in the eye.  I'm so, so sensitive and it makes me mad.  Where others would turn and fight, I give up and turn on the self doubt/pitty.  I Would've almost stop blogging entirely just because a few people unlike me (I hate Facebook), forgetting that there are some who really do like my blog.  Who actually look forward to reading it and tell me so. Those are the people I write for.  But I have trouble remembering the good things and only truly believe the negative.

Source: flickr.com via Raluca on Pinterest

Sometimes its hard for me to stay positive.  Sometimes its easier and more satisfying to feel like I've done all I can and my "failures" are not my fault- to blame any saddness on someone else, something else.  To give in and hash up everything thats ever gone wrong, everything I handled poorly, everything that could've been something but wasn't.  And I find myself there, in THAT, more often than I care to admit. I truly hope you don't find yourself there too, but if you do, I thought I'd write a little something about what I do that helps in hopes that you might share what you do, too.  Maybe we can kick this together?

First step for me is to realize what I'm doing.  I've gotten better at recognizing the thoughts that pop up like cancer and grow as long as I'm careful to feed them.  I obsess and  repeat a single negative idea.  I am so close to it that I can be neck deep before I even realize it.  Then, its a matter of convincing myself I don't have to feel this way, that I have control of my thoughts, what enters, what leaves and I literally imagine myself throwing them out the window of a moving car.  Every one of them.  You see, there was a girl once, who happens to be a great friend of mine, that told me everything we do is a choice and it was the most amazing, liberating thing I've ever learned. Its simple and probably blindingly obvious to most, but to me, it was life changing.  I remember my response was--but you can't choose what happens to you.  That's 100% correct, and terrible things happen unfairly.  It took me awhile to realize that the important thing is you can choose how you handle the things that happen to you.  You can choose to let it dominate you, or you can choose to live.



Then I make myself stop.  Eat if I need to (because my moods are very tied to my blood sugar).  Breathe.  Get some perspective.  Just be calm for a moment.  Remove the negative. 

I then find something positive to focus on. I take time to thank God for all the gifts in my life (because there are many).   I remember something good that someone said.  Look at a picture that brings back good memories.  Think of why I'm a valid and worthy person.  Reset myself.  Start over.  TURN AND FIGHT.

So today, instead of rolling over and accepting defeat, I invited more friends to "like" my blog.  Instead of putting my blog aside, I decided to share more (oh lucky you:).  I feel refreshed and happy-ish again, renewed in my resolve to find my self-worth not on the pages of Facebook, or even on this blog, but somewhere much less fickle.  In God, in myself, in my family. 

What about you?  Do you notice any patterns in the way you think that may tend to enable negativity in your life?  How do you handle set backs, rejection?  I'm so, so bad at it....Wish I could laugh.  Just laugh it all off;)

Thanks for listening.  I really hope this wasn't a total downer....
k



Monday, August 29, 2011

Inspiration on Pinterest


Found this photo on Pinterest (aka black hole of time.) and I'm loving the colors, the map wall, the hanging globes and the general light and cheery vibe.  You'll see some hints of this in Sam's attic room, should it materialize.  I've been consumed with mulling over his new room.  I guess I really want it to be fun and unique for him- or maybe for me, since I don't think he cares one little bit:)  But anyway, since I make popcorn for him almost EVERY day and he goes into a mini spaz every time its mentioned, I snapped a photo and designed some fabric with it. Its one of the rare foods he actually loves.  I'm planning to use it as sheets for his bed.  Hopefully he still likes it by the time this monstrous project is completed:)  Here's what it looks like...

POP_POP_Blue_and_Green

He calls it pop pop.  I'm super excited....

Have you heard of Pinterest?  Its a great place to gather ideas and peruse some great photos.  You can pin any picture you find on the internet, or ones you have taken (i think), to create a mood board of sorts.  You can also gather craft ideas, find tips, food ideas... you name it.  I've visited a lot over the past year but resisted signing up because I know my ridiculous tendency to get obsessed. However, since I'm gunning for another house project, I thought I'd use it to keep my ideas collected.  Plus, I know a few people on there and it will be fun to see what they've got going.  So far, I've only been moderately obsessed, but I've got to keep an eye on myself:) 

What have you got going in your neck of the woods?  

Friday, August 26, 2011

Chalkboard Door

I may be rushing things, but I wanted to keep my word...  There's the door to the basement painted with chalkboard paint.  Its not up on the hinges yet because I'm waiting for Jason to come home on his white horse Toyota Corolla to save the day. 
The hardware isn't back on yet either but I'm really wanting to scrap it all and start new anyway.  I noticed that there is this goo on the knob that I always thought was permanent but when I used my nail today, it easily came off.  I could have screamed, run for dear life, put the for sale sign up, but I didn't.  I held my composure.  I was a very calm woman.  But you can be sure... I'm going to change out those knobs!  Or just clean them.  But I really want new ones. 

There's something else funny about this door.  It leads to the basement, and is fairly useless except that it keeps little stinkys from wandering where they shouldn't.  Even still its equipped with a lock on the knob, a deadbolt and a chain.  What was the previous owner trying to keep out, I wonder?  It is very curious, indeed.  Almost gives me the creeps. 

As for the chalkboard paint, it was as easy as pie.  It went on well and dried quickly.  I wish it was a little smoother finish, but I have a sneaking suspicion this particular door is not the best surface.  I will let you know how it does with chalk after Sam tries it out.


Well, that's about all I can muster for today.  Hope you all are well.  Enjoy you're weekend!

k



Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Butterfly Anyone?

Going a little butterfly crazy up in here. 
But they're just so cute...
Butterflies everywhere. 

Really excited about this one though...
It'll be on Etsy later this week, even though I'm having trouble parting with it.  But who am I kidding, no one will buy it ;)  and then I'll get to keep it...

In other news, sold my first swatch on spoonflower.  I'm doing the roger rabbit- maybe not physically,  but in spirit.  How cool is that?

Oh, and speaking of, my son says "cool" now.   He's my son alright.  He's also picked up my funny/awkward post laugh audible sigh.  You know the one I'm talking about?  Its cute coming from a toddler however, he's aware he'll get a laugh when he does it.... and you know what that means...

Hope you are well.   Working on anything lately?  Got anything you go overboard with?

Stay tuned.  Later this week I plan to paint my kitchen door with chalkboard paint "for Sam".  I don't want to play with chalk.  No way.  It's totally for Sam. I'll let you know how it goes.  Anyone used the stuff before?  Any tips or pointers?  I'm wondering how difficult it is to paint over should I decide I've made a grave error in judgment, say, two days after its done (as I've been known to do).... thoughts?

Lata.

k


Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Attic Room Inspiration

Since my husband and I are slowly coming to realize that moving is a long way off for us due to the dang economy and the fact that housing prices just aren't going to pick up any time soon (boohoo) I've started to shift my thoughts to making our current house livable without spending a huge amount on it.  This picture  from The Lettered Cottage via Coastal Living makes me a little giddy with hope for our teensy weensy little attic.  Sam could so live in a room like this (maybe not yellow and pink), don't you think?  And I don't think its an unrealistic comparison as far as size is concerned.  OHHH JAAAASOOON! He loves it when I call him like that. He just LOVES it....

BTW, if you go to The Lettered Cottage (which I recommend), make sure you check out the pictures of their house.  Specifically the kitchen redo they did (this link will take you there).  Its sick how awesome it turned out and they didn't replace any cabinets.....  kind of made me kick myself at first, but then I realized just how totally crap-tastic my cabinets were- at least that's what I'm telling myself.... 

That's all for today folks. 

Hang in there.  The weekend will be here before you know it:)

k

No Liver for Me!

Earlier this year I made a threat to myself, remember?  I said "DO IT OR ITS LIVER FOR DINNER!"  What is- it?  Well, it was the daunting and oh so scary-to-me task of signing up for a craft fair......

BUT in a moment of complete and wild abandon I signed up for my first one today! I'm happy to report that I've never eaten liver and I won't be starting now. My first booth EVER will be at the Beavercreek Golf Club's annual holiday craft fair on November 20th 2011.  Put it on your calendars, people.  For those of you who can't attend, I'll take lots of pictures and recount the whole thing with excruciating detail. woo hoo for you. 

So there, me.  Now...... I guess I've got a few things to figure out....

Hope you all are enjoying your wonderful summer. 

I'll talk to you soon.

k

Monday, August 15, 2011

Playing with Photoshop Elements

For my birthday, my awesome hubby decided to go all out and get me the Photoshop Elements program. After I told him I wanted it I proceeded to waffle back and forth (as is my custom), unsure if it was worth the investment (Elements is about $100 as compared to the full Photoshop package at $700 so its a better deal, but still a good chunk of change).  But he stood strong and got it for me anyway knowing I would like it once I had it.  He was right, as he so often is. 

Look at the difference between these photos and I'm a total novice!  I spent most of the afternoon studying up and watching tutorials.  I think its the coolest thing ever. The options are boundless!  So now I have another fun thing to play around with during nap time....(when I should be cleaning/housewifing)

What I've read is that now I can purchase things called Actions to boost my pictures even more.  I've been enjoying looking at the ones over at Paint the Moon. I might purchase one in the next few months.  The site also has tips about photoshop and I learn a lot just from looking at the pictures for inspiration so its worth stopping over for a look. 

Have any of you ever used this program?  Do you know anything about actions?  I'd love your insight. 

Hope you're having a totally wonderful day.  Talk to you soon:)

k

Thursday, August 11, 2011

New Food Friday: Kale Chips

Its a new food friday day and you know what that means!  You're in for it.  This time I thought I'd drag my good friend Jodi in with me. She's such a nice person, she said she'd participate.  Look how cute she is:

We took about five of these pictures because of my lame hair.  I finally gave up.... 
This week I thought I'd try kale chips.  Have you heard of them?  I hadn't until a few weeks ago when I saw this post on California Callahan's cute little blog.  So, apparently a lot of people think they taste like potato chips....  I was skeptical from the beginning.  I mean, come on, can anything REALLY come close to the heavenly fried, salty goodness I every so often find myself arm deep in.  And could it REALLY be something as healthy as KALE?  Wouldn't that just be the bomb.  I immediately thought I should try it and report back to you in search of the truth....

So lets start with why kale is so good for you.  A quick internet search tells me its in the family of broccoli, brussel sprouts and cabbage and that its full of tons of good things- according to self nutrition data:
The good: This food is low in Saturated Fat, and very low in Cholesterol. It is also a good source of Protein, Vitamin E (Alpha Tocopherol), Thiamin, Riboflavin, Folate, Iron and Magnesium, and a very good source of Dietary Fiber, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Vitamin B6, Calcium, Potassium, Copper and Manganese.
Visit here to see the complete nutritional profile and here to read a little bit about how great it is. So, with all this info, I now know its definitely worth it to find a way to eat it. 
Here it is washed and ready to go.  Its a hefty leaf with a tough purple stem and the smell is very vegitable-y.  I'm told I had kale once by my husband but I don't remember it.  Maybe I've blocked it out.  I ripped it into small pieces while Jodi looked on... she was hopeful, too. 

I think we were both wishing for some guiltless, decadent, crunchy goodness to mow on whilst chatting the afternoon away.  Sam didn't even want to touch it.

I followed the instructions: 1 tblsp of olive oil and some salt.  Bake it at 300 for 20 minutes.  We all waited patiently for the twenty minutes to pass whilst unidentified odors wafted through the air:

Then came the moment of truth.  The time was up and it smelled more like something I would eat at this point.  Just out of the oven it looked like this:

Jodi was there and ready to dive in.  Here's how it went down.

So very excited she was at the start.  And you can see her face drop steadily.  Oh how I love the sport setting on my camera- so fun to take sequential pictures.  She's so not joyful at the end.  Her exact words were "I don't think I would make these for myself".  So tactful.  and then "The best thing about these is the salt".  I tried one and was shocked by the amazing amount of crunch. I thought it would be a good idea to get that incredible crunch on tape... Listen to it here.  I'm serious.  You HAVE to click on the link.  Every time I listen to it, I laugh.  You can even hear me laughing in the audio.  Which makes me laugh harder.  Man.  We had way too much fun with this. 

I've been trying to think of a way to describe the texture all day- its kind of like if cellophane and cotton candy had a bitter, leafy love child.   It starts out very thin and papery and then kind of disappears in your mouth and condenses into a pulp.  The salt is definitely good.  Strangely, I found myself eating more than I thought I would though-- that crunch was both perplexing and slightly addicting at the same time.  I can see how one might find them pleasing. 

I decided to put them in a bowl for continued research but never found myself wanting to try them again.  My husband came home from work and asked what "that" was.  I told him to give it a try and his first words after taking a chip were "you're kidding me?"  So, it was not a hit.  I tasted one again to see how they faired after sitting out for a few hours and they definitely were not as "good" as fresh.  They don't store very well at all.


Here's the bottom line.  Kale is extremely good for you and it really is a good idea to find a way you can stomach it.  These chips are crunchy but in a different way than a potato chip and if that's what you're searching for then you might be a little disappointed.  But if you're looking for something easy, a little different and kind of salty- then this might be a good way to get a fix without going for the good stuff.  A lot of people love the slightly bitter taste.... 

Have any of you ever tried it?  If so, tell me what you think. 

Have a wonderful weekend, guys. 

xoxo
k


Working on Some Curb Appeal.

This is my house Right after we took the keys four/five years ago and that's me there, on the porch, filled with excitement and dreams.  I remember that day well- I just couldn't believe I finally had something I could do anything I wanted to.  So, one of my first projects was to paint the kitchen nook orange!  This was no timid orange.  I went all out with it just because I could.

This is the diagram I drew up for you all explaining my plans for the house. Nothing too crazy.... I wanted it to look like this...
or this...
And then I had it painted and it looked like this...



Remember that meltdown? PINK!  It did look very, very strawberry especially since I was expecting a nice beige with subtle hints of green and gray. Some very valuable lessons learned on that project. 
and in a rage I clipped all my hedges out.  I have a tendency to manifest my anger/worry in very physical ways...Then I calmed down a little and gathered my whits and it looked like this....
 Getting a little better... The black grounds it a little and the pink isn't so bad.  In certain lights, it actually looks good.  Now it looks like this...

 I added some window boxes this year and filled them with geraniums (which have filled in and look much better now) and I put geraniums on my porch.  Geraniums are a great stand out flower.  They really make a statement.  Next year I want the pots to be bigger...  I painted my mailbox red and the jury's out on that one.  I may be painting it black next year but I really have this feeling that it will jell better after the screen door is replaced and the house numbers are changed. I also painted the wrought iron post on the corner.  It made an amazing difference.  Sooo, its coming a long.  Truly an arduous and emotional process to get it the way I want it.  By all means, I'm not there yet.  AND, I made another diagram for you...
Oh yea, and that grass.  Something needs to be done about my grass! 

Oh.  And I'd like my backyard to look like this, please
What about you guys?  Do you have trouble with curb appeal?  It's truly kicking my butt:)

k

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Swing

 Thought you all might enjoy this picture.  Kids are so good at taking joy in simple things.....

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Greeting Card Prototypes

Have I been busy, you ask?  I have, I say.  I need your help, please.... pretty please... I'll pay you in RESPECT and gratitude- isn't that what everyone wants most? Or is it Love? Melita, this reminds me of you and the bit of earth shattering and eye opening information you shared with me... REMEMBER?  When asked, men say they'd rather have respect and women say they'd rather have love....  SO, SO SHOCKING TO ME! 

I can't give you love, LOVE as I'm spoken for:) BUT, Respect and Gratitude I have buckets of..... 

BACK TO IT THEN! My cards, your wisdom.  WILL YOU SHARE? 
 yikes, LADY!  That's too many to look at at once!  Hush, will you?  and concentrate!  Which one jumps out at you?????? (you're thoughts are in red- I know you so well I can read them.  Did you know that? I'm in blue- duh.)
I hate to tell you this for fear it will sway you from your harshest criticism... but I'm partial to this one...what do you think?  Should I erase the big, big????? and just go with LoveThat heart stinks.  I know, you're right.  I need to work on that one.  Do you think it should be snails instead of ants?  
Toying with the "show off" below this one.... What do you think?  I like it because it takes something that's so done (butterflies) and makes it a little fresh and new.... plus, its true.  Butterflies prance all around the place like they're so beautiful... That's because they are.  Whatever.  
DON'T look at the next comment until you've figured out what this card says!  I mean it!!! If you don't get it in 10 seconds THEN you can move on....


 Can you tell this is a top hat????? Does it make sense to you?
zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. Wake UP! 
  Oh, sorry.  This one may be a bit boring? What do you think?



 I like this one, because its a little weird, like me.   No, no.  Don't try and tell me I'm not....  
(No Response, crickets) 

(Shaking it off)  

What do you think?



 These babies need some HELP!  But what do you think about the general idea???  Too dark, too messy.  But all that will be fixed....

So there she blows...I'd love to hear what ya'll think....... don't be shy.  I can take it....

BTW- If you could only choose one, would you rather have Love or Respect in a marriage???  Just curious. 

 Thanks, guys, for putting up with my weird, weird ways....  

Fringe Bag

Oh fringy purse, I've decided I'm leaving my diaper bag for you.  Its time to say goodbye to that ugly thing (finally!). I'm just not happy with it anymore.  Every time I wear you I feel so WILD!   

Watch out Grocery Store, here I come.   

Thanks, Brooke!    

Monday, August 8, 2011

Zig Zag Quilt Finished (Except for the Binding)

Well people.  I'm in the home stretch.  Only the binding left but I'm struggling to find the resolve to sit down with my thread and needle and just do it.  What I need is a good CD and maybe a plane ride (preferably to Hawaii) to get it done.  And since there are no trips on the horizon.....we might be in trouble:)

I almost didn't make it past the quilting stage alive.  Kidding of course.  But I was definitely thinking of killing something.  I tried using a walking foot (pulls the top and the bottom fabric together) like I'm supposed to under the impression that my life would be sooooo much easier but instead the mechanism kept catching every few minutes.  I'm sure I must have had it threaded wrong or something, but for the life of me, I couldn't figure it out.  There were issues with the bobbin as well and issues with my inability to sew a straight line.  I started out trying to stitch in the ditch but stitch in the ditch is a four letter word, if you catch my drift.  So I ended up sewing what looks like a new seam and I'm just fine with that.  So much easier in the end.  I chose a gray polka-dot for the backing and the binding has all the colors of my quilt in it... Should look good when its all put together, I think. 

It was worth the minor lapse of sanity, in my opinion.  I am so, so happy with it.  It is so far from perfect, it isn't even funny.  But that doesn't really bother me.  Its got a home in Sam's room, on his rocker.  I don't want to give it to him as a blanket though because its white and I don't want it to get ruined.  I don't think he cares much anyway. 

Hope you all are doing well...  I'll be back again soon.

peace out.

k

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