How to make someone smile

It’s been a rough year. If you’ve been reading what I’ve written this year, you already know that, so I’m not going to rehash anything.

All I will say is that I appreciate my friends and family that have been there for me in recent weeks, and I couldn’t make it through the day without you. To those of you that chose to take this opportunity to kick me while I was down – it makes me sad that you would do that. It happens, though, and life goes on. I ask that you think about what you say to a friend when they are going through some issues. What they need is for you to lift them up, not push them back down. Push them down later, when they get out of their slump!

Anyway, today at work we were joking around and my employees came up with a list of why they loved me. It made me so happy, and it all started out as a joke – but I don’t think they know just how much it meant to me. It made me laugh! It’s good to know what it is about me that they like.

I’m thinking of making some “reasons I love ____________” lists for others. You should too. You just never know when it might be the difference that makes or breaks someone’s day. 

Who would you write your list for and what would your reasons be?

 

 

 

 


On being “mid-thirties”

I didn’t care about turning 30. I thought it would be some huge thing, but it really wasn’t. It’s funny how the older you get, the more your idea of “old” changes. I can remember being in high school, thinking 35 was ancient. Ha!

I work at a store with a few older women (no, I don’t consider any of them “old” – they don’t act it, they don’t look it) and things are changing. All of my “moms” are leaving me. Abandoning me. On October 3, my beloved manager is retiring and will leave me as the oldest person in the store. I’ve never been the oldest person at my store. I’m “only” 35. It’s been a tough year at work, and although I do not blame any of them for leaving – I feel like I’m being abandoned. It’s hard not to feel that way when you’ve worked together as long as we have – they are my people, my chosen family, my “extra” moms and sisters.

I’m not where I thought I would be at 35. I don’t know what I thought that would be, but this isn’t it. I have great friends, great husband, great family, great puppies – but I’m just unsettled, I guess. I am luckier than a lot of people, and I am grateful for what I have – but something just seems off.

I’ve been so busy trying to grow the other blog that tonight I just had to come back to my familiar little corner of the internet and talk. While I would like for the other blog to get bigger and more popular, is it wrong that I want this one to stay the way it is and has been? Everyone needs their safe place, and up until now, oddly enough – my safe place was work.

I don’t have that anymore.

I think my work life is screwing with my head. I don’t know that it’s necessarily the big 3-5 that is messing with me – it is just coincidental. It’s a year of change. Hopefully it will end up being a change for the better, but right now it sure doesn’t feel that way.

Think of me on Thursday. I have a feeling that 35 is going to hit me pretty hard.

Source: iobad.com via Jenn on Pinterest


Royal Design Studio Stencil Review

I met up with Regina from Royal Design Studio at Haven Conference – she had a booth and her booth was a popular one! They were doing a make and take craft, which is always popular with us nerdy blogger types. Everyone got to stencil a file folder to take with them, and that file folder came in handy for all of the handouts we were given at the conference!

Upon learning that they have a program especially for bloggers, I was pumped. After I got home from Haven and wound down a little bit, I emailed Regina and we worked it out. Their website showcased SO many designs to choose from, it took me days to decide which one I wanted. Royal Design Studio sent me a fun, youthful stencil to try out! I decided to use it on my chest of drawers in my craft room.

I knew I wanted a bright color for the chest, and was leaning towards green/lime green – in fact, that’s what I set out to buy when we headed to Dallas to buy our Annie Sloan Chalk Paint. Once we got to the store, my sister and friends talked me into the Barcelona Orange. I like orange, but I don’t LIKE orange – the color orange is still growing on me, but after seeing the chest of drawers finished, I think I’m a changed woman.

The chest of drawers that was transformed actually used to be in my nephew’s room, until my sister bought a different dresser and painted it. I couldn’t let a cute chest of drawers go homeless, so of course I took it. It was boring white and was begging for color – not to mention, it was going in my craft room and I want my craft room to be a fun, happy, bright room!

Once we got this beast painted (no sanding, no priming! Thanks Annie Sloan!), it was time to bite the bullet and stencil. We had spent so much time painting this chest and I had an irrational fear of stenciling and messing it up.

Armed with Frog Tape, Martha Stewart Arrowhead craft paint, daubers, and stencils, we set to work.

Since I twitch when things aren’t symmetrical (my sister’s OCD is rubbing off on me), I decided to stick with one stencil for the whole project. The stencils I chose actually came with 5 different flowers! The one I used was the smallest one since the drawers were more narrow than I thought.

(We had to do a trial stencil on posterboard to make sure we were doing it correctly!)

Action shot of the first stencil!

One down, seven to go.

I decided to center the flower stencil underneath the knob. That way, they would be evenly placed and centered. Once I got started, it went relatively quickly – I would say I finished all 8 flowers in less than 30 minutes. They’re not perfect, I got a little crazy on a few spots, but nothing major!

(Keeping it real)

My five year old nephew wanted to help, so we had him do a “trial” stencil on the posterboard. Well, in typical five year old fashion, he did great for about 10 seconds and then started dragging the paint across to finish. No! I am a sucker for my nephew, as you can see.

*So easy, even a five year old can do it!*

(That one actually turned out to be the best one on the whole chest)

After letting it dry overnight (even though the Martha Stewart paint dried pretty quickly – just wanted to be safe), my sister and I put a coat of polyurethane over the whole chest of drawers. That took about 20 minutes total.

Why polyurethane and not wax? 1) I’m lazy, hence the name of the blog, and 2) I wanted a really glossy finish. I love the way Annie Sloan wax goes on and looks on certain pieces, but it’s not what I had in mind for this project.

I purchased cheapy knobs at Lowe’s ($1.02 each) and put them on – and it was ready to go! This fun chest of drawers will have a new life as a scrapbook paper/embellishment/mod podge organizer and I can’t WAIT to put it to use. Fun fact: I also have a second chest of drawers that I am going to paint the same way this week to hold my fabric, but I needed to get one done to see how it went. It’s a win!

And now I present to you my very first sponsored blog review item -

Barcelona Orange chest of drawers with Japanese Flower Stencils from Royal Design Studio!

* This stencil was provided to me by Royal Design Studio to review and give my honest thoughts on. My honest thoughts? I can’t wait to order some more stencils from them! Thank you so much for the opportunity, Regina! You are awesome.

Follow Royal Design Studio on Facebook

How to Stencil – lots of tips and tricks for newbies like myself! Remember – if a five year old can do it…

I also posted this at my group blog! Check it out!

Which stencil is your favorite from their website? 


Martha Stewart, Royal Design Studio, and nerves, Oh My! {Sneak Peek Part 2}

Royal-Design-2082L-Lg-Japanese-Flower-Garden-Stencil

Source: whipperberry.com via Kitty on Pinterest

Here goes nothin’. Pics will be up on Tuesday, bright and early!

I will be using Royal Design Studios Japanese Flower Garden B Stencils, Martha Stewart Craft Paint in Arrowhead, and Martha Stewart Foam Pouncer Tops. Wish me luck!

PS: I would kill for that basket of Martha paint up there.


Annie Sloan Barcelona Orange – or, the day I lost my mind {Sneak Peek}

 

Oh. My. Goodness.

It’s growing on me. I wasn’t too sure at first.

I’m not finished with this beast either.

I promise.

Eek.

{Also posted over on RCHOTX}


Poor little neglected blog

I haven’t disappeared, I promise.

I’ve been busy. Starting up another blog. I might be crazy. It’s been a lot of work, a lot of begging, a lot of coordination with 5 other people, and a lot of learning. It has also been fun and frustrating at the same time :)

After attending Haven Conference, my friends were inspired to start a new group blog. We want to do this up (semi) big. The ones who have never blogged before are learning that it’s not as difficult and time-consuming as they thought it would be. The ones that have blogged before are behind the scenes, pushing for posts, tweaking the site, messing with html (yeah, that would be me), looking for sponsors, and just trying to make it work in general so the newbies don’t have to do anything BUT post. It’s still very new and there isn’t much on there {yet}, but we’re getting there.

I’m not abandoning you, Lazy Wife, just taking a little vacation. I’ll still post more personal things here and more recipes here, just as I’ve done for the past FIVE (what?!) years.

Come see me at Real {Cheap} Housewives of Texas. It’ll be fun! Come on!


My first “commissioned” jewelry order!

Since I work at a jewelry store, I am familiar with how jewelry is made/put together. As a hobby, I have made jewelry for myself – nothing crazy, just simple pieces. Obviously I don’t have a solder machine or welder at my house, so I can only do so much.

Well, my husband apparently bragged about my latest jewelry-making session to the ladies he works with. A few weeks ago, he came home with a baggie of assorted brass-colored pieces, a large octopus pendant, and a chart for a three layer necklace – from his boss.

Seriously? I do this as a hobby for myself! No pressure, right? Well, the ladies he works with made my craft room blackout curtains – he works at a rug and fabric store, isn’t that handy? – so I felt obligated to at least try to do what she wanted. After threatening him asking him nicely to not talk about my extracurricular activities while he is at work, I stared at the pieces for a week or so. Then I bought some “antique gold” chains and findings, and some sea glass looking beads. No, this is not real gold. I’m not made of money, and I’m not great at making jewelry – so this was all from Joann and Michaels. With coupons. Never pay full price at either one of those stores!

Today, I decided to get with it. I woke up in a bad mood and probably didn’t need to be around people any more than I had to be, so I locked myself up in my craft room for the afternoon and ended up with this:

I went a little crazy. I taught myself how to do a wire wrap on a bead (holy crap! Now I want to wrap everything!) and went to town. I sent my husband out to Harbor Freight, land of cheapass tools, for a precision plier kit because my tools just weren’t working out.

Once I made the necklace, I had extra chains, pendants, and beads left. I went ahead and made a matching bracelet. Then I felt like I needed to complete the set, so off I went to Joann again to buy some ear wires.

I hope she likes it – my husband says “the gaudier, the better” – since Kevin has talked me up so much, I feel like I have these really high standards to live up to!  We shall see tomorrow…

Also posted at RCHOTX


Five minute wreath

Okay, I have a problem with wreaths. I love them too much. I have (probably) about 12-13 wreaths in my craft room closet at any given time. They are easy, relatively inexpensive, and make a big impact. What’s not to love?

My sister and I decided that this type of wreath should be called the “5 minute wreath” because it takes, well, about 5 minutes to put together.

Materials needed:

Straw wreath

Fabric cut into strips (I make mine about 3″ wide – 1 yard is more than enough. For a 12″ wreath, I used about 1/2 yard)

Flowers/embellishments/what have you

Hot glue/glue gun

Okay, so you are going to wrap the fabric around the wreath. I usually start by overlapping so I don’t need to use hot glue on the plastic-wrapped wreath. Overlap the fabric a little bit, and when you come to the end of it, put a strip of hot glue and attach the next piece of fabric. Keep going until the wreath is covered completely. (For a 12″ wreath, I used 4 strips of fabric)

Place an extra piece of fabric across the back on the top part of the wreath for hanging. I use a Command hook to hang my wreaths on my front door.

Glue your flowers/embellishments on wherever you choose. I prefer to do mine on one side near the bottom, but that’s just my personal preference.

That’s it! These are so easy to whip out for gifts,  and inexpensive too.

Cross-posted at RCHOTX
Linked up at Serenity Now Weekend Bloggy Reading!
Weekend Bloggy Reading


Queen of Unfinished Projects/Keepin’ It Real

Y’all, my craft room is a hot mess. It looks like an episode of Hoarders in real life. Maybe there should be a show called Craft Hoarders? Now that I have my new badass curtains up, I need to get motivated and finish this junk that is taking up valuable real estate so I can move on to more junk. What better way to motivate than to put it all out there for the whole internet to see, a la my friend Dianthe? Don’t judge me.

On to the {scary} tour…

My awesome curtains form a lovely background for my very messy craft table/desk. This table was completely clean until Sunday, when I decided that it was time to switch out the old curtains for the new ones. Obviously, I am a child and cannot put things back when I am finished with them. Old curtain rods? Still hanging out on the table. Dowel rods from my stupid decision to try to DIY rig some cute curtain rods? Still chillin’, waiting to be returned to Home Depot. Mr. Lazy Wife wants to keep them and make something with them. I say no. He is not a project-type guy, and they will continue to sit on the table and collect dust, so off they go to the land of orange and sawdust. Also on the table is a Scout bag that I ordered on a whim called “Stand and Delivah“. It is very important, that is why it has been sitting there unopened. A real must-have, that bag. Someday. Seriously, though, I do love Scout bags. They are pretty awesome.

Awww yeah, the ultimate mess collector. My craft table/desk/bookshelves. What you see here is a bunch of sweet tea cups, a stainless bowl with popcorn kernels in it because I don’t know how to pop microwave popcorn, a buttload of pens and Sharpies, Post-It Notes, and ink cartridges that need to be recycled.  This is where I spend 90% of my time when I am at home, like a nerd. The Post-It on my laptop is a recipe that I wrote down in December. Yes, December. I do love having a table this large for projects, but it is a dining room table and I do most of my crafting while standing. I would love to have an actual craft table that is higher off the ground. First world problems.

Hi, messy printer desk. I bought this desk at Room Service Home back when they had a warehouse in Dallas. My sister and I each got one for $99, and I love it. I have 4 curtain panels folded up (those are my first curtains), things that people have given me that I just haven’t put on the wall yet, extra printer paper, crap I cut out on the Silhouette that I didn’t want to get bent, our router and modem, and my cool wireless printer. I like to keep the cords crazy, it makes it look artistic {not really}. I should bundle those or something. Also, that Scentsy warmer 1) doesn’t work, and 2) is fug. I need to chunk it. It does me no good.

 This beautiful piece of art is a crappy $12.99 lamp from Wal-mart that was bought in a mad frenzy because my craft room is dark, y’all. It holds 3 bulbs, but only has 1 in it now because Mr. Lazy Wife just takes them out and uses them in other lamps as he pleases. We can afford new lightbulbs, he just chooses not to. It also serves as a clothes hanger, as you can see. I’m gonna spray paint this beast hot pink.

This is an empty frame. It’s been empty since June 2011. See, the plan was for me to cut out the letters of our last name on my Silhouette and place them inside the frame to hang in the living room. My BFF even put burlap on the back so it would be all cute. As you can see, I have not done my part, but dammit, I HAD to have that frame because it was on clearance at the Hobby Lobby.

Ah, the Christmas light bulbs. Hundreds of them. I went to three Hobby Lobby stores after Christmas because I NEEDED bulbs for wreaths. I really need to just put them in a box until I’m ready to make the wreaths, but that would be much too easy and organized, wouldn’t it? I’d much rather have bags of them on the floor so they could be crushed at any moment.

This is my poor little chest of drawers. I am pretty sure this was in my nursery when I was born, that’s how old this is. Right now, it holds my scrapbook paper and supplies. The basket on top {that is covered by today’s work clothes} holds my many glue guns and mod podge and glue sticks. The two cute signs hanging from the handles were purchased on clearance a few months ago in a fit of random creativity. See, the plan was to make “welcome” signs out of them. I got as far as painting the wood white and printing out the word “welcome” twice on the Silhouette, but as you can see it was just way too much trouble to actually mod podge the words onto the plaques. That’s just kind of embarrassing. Five minutes is all it would take. Sheesh. Also, I really need to move my shoes because my dog will eat them.

Look! Two projects in one, and I didn’t even realize it until I put the picture up! That wreath will take MAYBE 10 minutes to put together. Have I done it? Nope. That little bench? We painted and covered that before I got married. I need to recover it with extra curtain fabric and repaint the legs in a bright color, but I haven’t bothered to do it. I think I actually have another bench just like this at my dad’s house. Hmmm…

Dun dun dunnnnnnnnnnn.This corner scares me. See, I try to organize things, and the rubbermaid shoeboxes do help, but what if stuff doesn’t fit in them? Then what? Then you get a mess like you see here. What I really need are Gadget Arms so I could utilize the top shelf properly, but that’s not gonna happen. The big rubbermaid tubs at the bottom are full of fabric, frames, pictures, yarn, felt, and other crap. I’ve obviously spent a lot of time at the mistint sections of Home Depot, Lowes, and Wal-Mart because you just never know when you are going to need purple, hot pink, or black glossy paint. I keep many cans of my favorite spray paint color because you just never know when they are going to discontinue it, or at least that’s what I tell myself. That white USPS box has letters in it that spell “WHATEVER” that my BFF sent me. Have I painted or covered those to hang up? Nope. Two stepstools from IKEA that haven’t been put together or painted? Yep. One of the kids that should be getting one is probably going to be in college before he actually gets it. An old wine crate? WTF am I going to do with that?

Well, there you have it. That’s my creative space. If I had money money money, I would organize the crap out of it with stuff, but I don’t, so I post it on the internet for you to make fun of instead. You are so freaking welcome.

PS: To my observant friend that pointed out the Genie Bra box – I do not recommend the Genie Bra. They are of the devil and will steal your soul while they smash your boobs.


No words.

OK, I lied. I do have words. I freaking LOVE my new craft room curtains! I want to paint all of my furniture in bright, obnoxious colors now.


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