Well hi, everybody! I thought before I started blathering on about everything and nothing, I would tie up some loose ends on some of the things that I had finished up here in Blondieville. I don't think I've ever shown you the mirror I painted actually hung up on the wall in my living room. I'm liking it and I think there just can't be enough said about rescuing something from someones trash and giving it a new life. Actually daughter Emily did the rescuing and it was one of her girlfriend's. I'm really happy with it and I added a pretty boxwood wreath to it. I found a website of a girl that is a florist and has her own shop. She custom makes all sorts of neat wreaths and arrangements and such. I personally think she has the best prices around if you are looking for anything live. Let me know if you want any information.
As far as the bedroom redo, I am just finishing up the gallery wall...it's addicting. You keep finding space for "just one more picture!" I also started out using my own photos in black and white and they just faded into the wall so I had to reorder and frame other pictures.. But The Husband did get the blinds on the second window (they only come down this far...thank goodness for ivy!). And I know this looks like an ordinary dresser but if you could have seen it before. It was definitely organized clutter. I love beautiful trinket boxes, blingy picture frames, bowls and dishes filled with sparkly jewelry and I wouldn't throw out a bottle of perfume until it was down to the last drop. Well, I made a clean sweep and I'm proud to say it has stayed this way for a month now. Shhhh...everything else is just tucked into one of those top drawers! :) The wicker basket in the background is my laundry which I disguise with folded quilts. Our closets are like phone booths.
Thank you so much for getting me out of the slump I was in on Tuesday. It really helped. And I think the best thing anyone can do when that comes out of the blue is just get outside, even to walk around the block. You have to have a change of scenery, smell the fresh air, hear the rustle of the leaves...involve all those senses that have gone dormant. My remedy was close enough, over to Katie's for my highlights and a cut (yep, two more inches off the hair, it now rests on my shoulders. I can still get it in a ponytail and I am thisclose to chic!!). Now, you know Katie is my daughter in law's sister, so we were all there eating donuts and laughing while I was being pampered. Afterward I went over to Emily's and we had pizza for lunch and headed out for some retail therapy. Hello Target! She was not such a happy camper, she had to buy a cover for her patio table as it wouldn't fit through the back door to her basement for winter storage. Nothing like having to spend good money on necessities. ;-D Well, what do you think we found next to the (pretty bare) outdoor section? The Christmas decorations! And freshly stocked I might say! We had a ball looking at everything. I like to pretend to be a consumer reporter every once in awhile, so here's my take again on what's "en vogue" for the holidays. Woodland creatures, especially deer, deer, deer. And antlers and mounted deer heads (I guess it's cool to have it in all forms of it's afterlife). Lots of felted ornaments, too, as well as knitted. You crafty ladies can do this easily. And I will also say that Target has wonderful prices compared to other stores, only rivaled by the craft stores and Marshall's, Homegoods, etc. They had a cute bin with $3.00 ornaments that were just darling.
I bought a book, too, couldn't help myself. The Kitchen House came out awhile ago but I remember my SIL raving about it, so I had to grab that. And then my friend Melanie from Comfy House knew I was getting into Elizabeth Berg and was nice enough to send me one of her copies of one of the author's earlier books. Thanks, Mel! I feel like a squirrel hoarding nuts for the winter. We could get snowed in from now until March and I would have plenty to read!
In spite of all the allure and promise of getting started on a Holly Jolly Christmas, we walked away with just 1 ornament apiece, with mind boggling plans to come back the day after Christmas to wipe the place out. As we made our way to the outdoor department and then on for me to buy toilet paper, I asked Emily, "Are we materialistic?" She never blinked an eye. "No, Mom, we just love Christmas." And all was well and good in my world.
We made our way to Hobby Lobby as Em wanted to buy a tree skirt she had seen there a few weeks ago. I'm in the process of working on a project involving stencils and I was looking for a brush when I came across these fabric pieces for making banners. They are in packages of five for $6.99. For someone like me that can't sew, these are a Godsend. See the neat edges and holy cow...grommets! I have always wanted to make a no sew garland or banner and I do have some bleached burlap, linen and drop cloth fabric. I just didn't want the frayed edges, so this is just perfect for me. I hope to get to work on these this weekend. Emily also bought a few simple supplies for a holiday project she came up with and she went home last night and finished it up by 9:00, texting a picture of it to me. I will include it in my next post. It is an amazing project for under $10.00!
Now I am going to put my Consumer Reporter hat back on because I came home to a package with a set of ornaments I ordered from World Market (we don't have one near us). I've always found their prices to be exceptional so when I saw these deer, I ordered them. I was so disappointed to see they were much smaller than I thought (READ THE DIMENSIONS!). They are not well made and after seeing something so similar at Target for half the price, I was really feeling foolish. I had also seen some really cute ornaments on the West Elm website and last weekend the Husband and I were actually going to take a trip to the store on the Northside, but didn't. The same woodland critters are everywhere and much less expensive. I have to say, when an idea catches on, it spreads like wildfire. And I'm all about unique, one of a kind things, so these deer (or moose or reindeer or whatever they are) are the end of the line for me.
I won't go on long here because this has been such an upbeat post but I had to mention that the great chef, Charlie Trotter, from Chicago passed away this past Monday at the young age of 54. If you are from Chicago, you definitely knew of him and his iconic restaurant. He was also the recipient of several James Beard Awards and a great humanitarian and philanthropist known throughout the world. I was so lucky to have met him many years ago at his restaurant. I wrote a post about it here. He signed his cookbook for me and we had our picture taken together, which you can see on that post.
Personally, I am just so, so sad. There is something very unsettling and confusing when someone you have never met, or someone you knew very little passes away. There's that distance or barrier outside of the circle where you long to be because no one else understands your own inner loss. For me, when someone dies, they leave only a legacy. The deep down pain comes from the realization that there will be nothing else forthcoming from this person; no further words of wisdom or advice. He will never make another outstanding meal, write another cookbook, open another restaurant. I had my ten minutes with him, someone I that I had admired for so long, and I will never again have that chance. This probably sounds frivolous; he has family and friends and colleagues who are in deep mourning right now, but I can't tell you how much I wish I could go back to that obliviously happy time before I heard this news.
Today is the first day of sunshine that we've had in over a week. The dogs stay in bed with me in the morning until I get up, no matter who is up or coming or going. Milo is like a sentry in my bedroom and Layla is just lazy. They are not liking the rain and cold at all. I let them out about 5-6 times a day and like clockwork, they are sitting on the back porch wanting to come in after 5 minutes, even in nice weather. They just don't like to be outside alone. So I've been pulling on my boots (or even flip flops for convenience) and taking a little stroll around the garden beds, checking out things here and there, dreaming about spring and all those shoots from the tulips and crocus and hyacinths popping up. Milo romps like a pony in the grass, and Layla has her nose to the ground like a bloodhound. We don't want to go back in.
So they pretty much get up in the morning and then head for their favorite sleeping spots; Milo, his chair, and Layla, her basket (she looks like a baby skunk in this picture!). I have decided to start walking them, Milo needs a harness first. You don't walk Milo...he walks you! And the pulling of his collar makes him gag. We never walked Layla, she didn't like it and would sit defiantly on the sidewalk while we tugged at her leash. Nope, she wasn't having any of it. But she will do it if they are together. I've felt like a negligent mother (and lazy, too) not taking them for walks. You would never do that to a baby. And they look so pathetically bored!!
Okay...off to the grocery store. As you can see I'm trying to post more. I wish you all a great weekend. I'm back to "normal" sleeping patterns and I'm feeling a lot more motivated to pick up where I left off before the blues hit me earlier this week. Thanks again for all of your words of encouragement. :)