Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Periphery

So, yeah, seems I'm *still* not totally back in beading mode, but in my defense, so much has been happening around us lately. Not complaining, just coming to that realization now. Mimi was sick for a whole week, so she stayed home. Hubby's been extremely busy at work, so I've been in single parent mode for a bit too. Though now he's home [well, technically, he's currently at the river's edge, hopefully snagging the ever elusive 'big one'...] for a few weeks for the holidays. I'm hoping we can all catch up on family time, and that Mom might, just might get a chance to be by herself for a few of those days so she can catch up on her Self? ... Would be nice...

I think I should start with one of my favorite things: Family breakfast. I've been wanting to share this with my readers, just a wee bit of insight to me, and my family life. I do this every Sunday, and it's just for Us. It gives us a chance to sit back, relax, enjoy each others' company, and catch up on our week. Here's a sample of one of my best spreads: two eggs, over easy, sprinkled with pepper, sea salt, and thyme. French toast, made with a cranberry focaccia, oven roasted herbed potato patties, and bacon. GOTTA have the bacon. And no, the turkey one won't cut it, though I have tried sneaking it in every so often, you know, for 'health' reasons. ;) Of course, we only eat this way once a week, 'cause if I ate like this every day, then it would become easier to jump over me than to walk around me... I likes me food!

Do you have a designated 'Family Day'?

Last week, I was the very surprised recipient of this wonderful gift, sent to me by Nancy, who though we've met through here, on Blogger, became closer through facebook. And though things were sorta coasting along for me here, I think Nancy sensed that I wasn't completely %100 myself. I still am not, but I'm working on it. I was totally floored by the selection of shiny things she sent me, and couldn't believe that someone whom I'd only known for a short while would take the time to do something so thoughtful and kind for me. To put together a lovely care package, just to put a smile on my face. Oh I smiled. And I cried. But just a little bit. Here's what I received:

Pretty pink crystals, fantastic pearls (you know me and my pearls!), gorgeous looooong purple briolette crystals [which are destined to become copper-wrapped earrings], and this super funky stone donut that I'm just dying to make something with.
She threw in this card of neat fibers that I'm still fondling, and thought I've had quite a few ideas for their use, I'm still waiting for that "A-ha!" idea to hit me.

Oh, I've also been bit with the 'renovation' bug. Or perhaps I should call it the recycling bug. I spied with my little eye this beautiful old sideboard at Goodwill about 6 weeks ago. I had an idea to put it in our entryway, which I thought would help with all the front door clutter. I waited and waited for the price to go down, but it just wouldn't. Until one day, I went up to the manager and asked if she'd make me a better price. As you can see, it's found a new home. At %50 the original asking price. The piece was in excellent condition, save for a few scratches and marks on the surface veneer. However, I was planning on refinishing it to a beautiful flat black, to match all of the other items that had recently received the same treatment. Here's a before.

I worked on that baby for a week straight!
Lots of work, but oh so worth it! I sanded and buffed the finish away (dirty work that is!), removed the doors, drawers and hardware, then got to work with the paint.
Lucky for me I have a drive-through garage, so I was able to leave both ends open while I worked. Must be wary of those fumes...

And here is the end result:

I have to be honest. I'm giving myself quite the pat on the back for this project. The mirror was actually salvaged from a dumpster at our old appartment. The frame was white, and it's a super thick beveled mirror (they cost a FORTUNE these days!). It had been sitting in a closet for about two years, with the specific intent to refinish it, I simply didn't know what color I would go with. I had a pile of frames kicking around as well, all white. They got the black treatment too, and now frame our family ancestry. It's very heartwarming to my D.H. and myself to see our grandparents and parents hanging out on our wall.
[That yellow/tan chair was also a roadside rescue. Someone was throwing it out. I visualize it recovered in a gorgeous black on white damask toile fabric, but that's another project, for another time... LOL!]



From a different angle.
Though I did keep the original hardware on the sideboard, I have been eyeballing some new ones from Lee Valley - one of my favorite, favorite stores to shop at for original eccentricities.
GREAT place to find storage solutions as someone who needs to house lots of tiny little bits too!

Bringing the 'new' sideboard in meant that I needed to reorganize a few other pieces of furniture. Little Highness, lucky little girl that she is, has her very own craft cabinet, and though I'd love to keep it in her room, she simply lacks the space. Armed with my trusty measuring tape and a copious amount of "hmmmmmmmm, I wonder...", I found out that it fit near perfectly in the tiny nook at the end of our front 'hallway', with exactly one inch to spare on each side! Right, here's where I'll get all 'New Agey' on you, and start talking Feng Shui. ;) I figured this was the perfect spot for it, since that corner wasn't getting any use, aside from whenever we hit the loo - 2nd door on the right... - This new location now forces us to keep the bathroom door closed in order to see the lovely Balinese cabinet, AND now the Chi is functional, as opposed to being stagnant. Bonus, when L.H. grows out of it, I can reclaim it as our linen cabinet. Maybe...

Now, as for the rest of what's been goin' on. Well, we've discovered one of the joys of home ownership involved getting used to having new little room mates... Freeloading ones. A few months ago, we all started hearing little scurrying sounds in our ceiling area. Of course, we all gave the cat a side-eye glance, wondering since he constantly chases them outdoors (and subsequently tries to sneak them back in...), can't he simply catch the indoor ones? Well, indoor mice are crafty. CRAFTY I tell you!!! And I suspect have the stomach capacity of a cow! Look at this 10 lbs bag of basmati rice, which had JUST been purchased. So here's Jewels, preparing dinner for her family, when she decides "hmmmmm, basmati rice sure would be nice with these steamed veggies and the pan fried chicken breast..." Jewels reaches for the rice, and though she expects to feel the heft of 10 lbs of rice, lifts the pouch without any resistance whatsoever... "hmmmmm, didn't I just buy this bag of rice?" Walk with me, while you hear the sound of uncooked grains of rice bouncing off the floor... "What the!? Oh! There's a hole in the bottom corner of the bag!"


OMG! THIS IS ALL THAT WAS LEFT!!!!
LMBO!

Yes, well, the remainder of the rice went to the garbage bin, and out came the vacuum so I could clean up the ricey mess... But not without some serious grumbling, and a few choice French words thrown in for good measure... ;) If the little freeloading buggers thought I was going to take this laying down, they've got another thing coming. I hear they don't like the smell of fabric softener sheets. I'll have to photographically document myself slipping those above the ceiling tiles... That's if Milo doesn't get off his duff and get them...

Speaking of Milo, he's been a very good boy otherwise. The whole week that Mimi was home sick, this is how I found them:


Look at my big boy, belly up in the air. You'd almost think they get along from this photo, but in reality, they're actually closer to acting like true brother and sister. Constantly chasing each other, and lots of "Mooooooom! Milo's chasing me!" And I swear, every time that cat lies down to sleep, L.H. just HAS to pick him up and disturb his slumber...


Oh, and here are the two lovely flowers I sent to my last contest winner. I like to host the occasional contest on my facebook pages when I introduce a new product in either of my shops. This one was for my new organza blooms, and though the winner wanted them for his new baby girl, the bloom in question would've pretty much dwarfed her already tiny head. So I decided to make a small version of the original one, for a Mother Daughter set.

Cute, non?

Well, I'm afraid that's it for today. I do have TONS more stuff I need to catch up on, and tons more to share, but I'll leave it at this for this morning, and hope to have a chance to update this blog a bit more in the next coming weeks, since it is supposed to be a holiday for all.

Supposed too...