Friday, April 26, 2013

Painting a $25 Thrift Store Mirror for our Dining Room

Our dining room has been a work in progress since we moved in ten months ago. Here was an early view of the room:

Mirror: 1

This setup wasn't working for me because everything in the room was so angular. There were no soft corners, just hard lines, rectangles, and right angles.

That's when I happened upon not one, but TWO giant oval mirrors in a thrift store. They matched! And they were $25 each. I snagged one of them, and continue to wonder why I didn't buy both.

The mirror originally had a black frame (upper left image), which I felt was too heavy, and drew too much attention to itself. The mirror did have a pretty inner ring of silver, which I wanted to keep.

I used painter's tape to cover up the silver part of the frame so I could paint the black section. I chose a cream colored spray paint, and used three slow and even coats to get nice, even coverage.

thrift store mirror

Here's the mirror now, on our stenciled dining room wall. I like the way that the mirror pulls light in from the window on the other side of the room, and I like that the angles now seem balanced with more round and curvy lines.

Thrift Store Mirror After 2

Thrift Store Mirror After 2

Happy Weekend!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Wednesday Wanderings: Joy

Today I thought I'd share a little Pinspiration around the word Joy. Ready? Here we go!

"Joy is prayer. Joy is strength - Joy is love - Joy is a net of love by which you can catch souls." - Mother Teresa from Pinterest

"We cannot cure the world of sorrows but we can choose to live in joy." - Joseph Campbell via Pinterest

"Joy is what happens to us when we allow ourselves to recognize how good things really are." - Marianne Williamson via Pinterest

Let us remember to slow down in these days, take a breath, and take in the sheer joy and love that surrounds us, surrounds Ian and Sarah. Let remember to soak in the tiny moments for they are fleeting.

The simple rules:

1. If you post something, please stop by and leave a comment on the 2 people that posted before you.

2. Please stop by "On Wings and Waves" and say hi to Kristen :)

3. Please share links from your blog that you haven't shared here before.

4. Please grab the Wednesday Wanderings button and share it in your post so other people can join in the fun.

Let's get linking!

Monday, April 22, 2013

My Love and Prayers to Boston

My love of Boston started when I first visited in 1996. I was on a trip to see two divinity schools, Harvard and Yale.
At age 24, I traveled alone to see the two schools; an adventure that would shape my life. I took a huge suitcase, carrying more clothes than I could wear in a short week. In my time in Boston, I walked the Freedom Trail, I ate cannolis at Mike's pastries, and I felt a sense of history, that I'd not ever experienced in either Minnesota or California.
Boston is a city that reminds me of my San Francisco. A city on water, a city with gorgeous brick, a history shaped out of a drive for freedom, and a city with amazingly authentic people.

This last week, like so many across the country, my heart ached for Boston. I can't imagine the fear that the marathon bombing created. And then as the events in Watertown unfolded on Thursday evening, I was glued to Twitter. To a news feed from Boston, and I prayed that the innocent people, the law enforcement, that they would remain safe. 

This weekend I found myself wanting to relive the good memories, to remember the happy and amazing place that Boston is and was. Sean and I went back to Boston three years ago, and here are a few of those pictures.

We arrived at South Station from New Haven:
Boston: South Station

We went to see the Red Sox play at Fenway Park:

Boston: Fenway Park
Because I really, really wanted to see the "Green Monster" (aka the 37 foot tall left field wall at Fenway Park). This is one breath-taking ballpark:
Boston: Fenway Park

We hoofed it all over town and followed Boston's Freedom Trail:
Boston: Freedom Trail

I love this area in downtown Boston on the Freedom Trail. We hid in the Einstein's Bagels to avoid a rain storm. Boston: Freedom Trail I stopped by the site of the old Filene's Basement, and recalled shopping there with my mom several years prior. Boston: Filene's Basement Demo

It was amazing to see the demolition of the Filene's building:
Boston: Filene's Basement Demo
We spent some time at the East Coast Holocaust Memorial in Boston, which was near our hotel. It was especially moving and haunting at night, when it was lit from below, with steam bellowing from underneath. In the daylight we saw it was covered in stones and flowers.

Boston: East Coast Holocaust Memorial
Today I send my prayers for Boston, that they may witness great healing, that the people retain their loving and strong spirit, that the know and can feel that an entire nation is standing in solidarity with them. And that a great peace come over those who were effected by last week's bombings and acts of terror.

Friday, April 19, 2013

$4 Bathtub Border for a Toddler

Zoom doesn't really like to bathe. I get it, he's 2 years old. He doesn't like it when we wash his hair. Maybe our bathroom is a little ... sterile? uninviting? for a two year old. Even with all of these toys, he hasn't ever really taken to the bathtub.

I was shopping at the dollar store last weekend and saw these, which were 3 for $4. Just the thing to add a little pop of fun to an un-embellished bathtub. stickers It took about 20 minutes to put the stickers up in a border around the tub.

Bathtub Border

Bathtub with sticker border
And I added these along the back.

When Zoom woke up from his nap, he saw the stickers and said "Oooh, Shark." And grabbed one of the extra turtles and slapped it up on the wall.

Bathtub with sticker border
Mission accomplished!

Linking up with:

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Wednesday Wanderings: Trust

Trust Yourself

"Trust yourself. Create the kind of self that you will be happy with all your life. Make the most of yourself by fanning the tiny, inner sparks of possibility into flames of achievement." - Golda Meir

Over the past couple of years, I've been searching for the next step in my career life. I've been a project manager since 1998; with most of my work focusing on web production. I honestly do love project management, and I really like technical projects. I feel lucky to have worked on the Olympics, to have helped launch brand campaigns (Visa!), and I've loved working with some very large clients.

It's funny how priorities can change. My former self was happy working long hours, working after everyone else had left the office, I was happy pouring everything into my work. Now that I have Sean and Zoom waiting for me at home, I'm motivated to leave at 5pm. I want to be home for the little silly moments, the hugs, to delight in the cheerful toddler who will grow up altogether too fast.

The next phase is to trust myself in doing something else. I may want to contract, to take a leap of faith that I will find work, and to work for myself if I can. This kind of trust is hard, it's unlike me, but I'm drawn to it. And I think somewhere in there are the tiny sparks of possibility...

What are you trusting in?

The simple rules:

1. If you post something, please stop by and leave a comment on the 2 people that posted before you.

2. Please stop by "On Wings and Waves" and say hi to Kristen :)

3. Please share links from your blog that you haven't shared here before.

4. Please grab the Wednesday Wanderings button and share it in your post so other people can join in the fun.

Let's get linking!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

OMD at the Regency Ballroom in San Francisco

On Friday my sister and I went to see OMD at the Regency Ballroom in San Francisco. They have been a favorite of mine for years.

The Regency Ballroom is a beautiful old venue in San Francisco. I loved the chandeliers.

The funny thing is I never saw OMD in concert in the 80s, the first time was only last year. They put on a great show. Lead singer Andy McCluskey really gets in to it, dancing nearly the whole time.

We had good seats, although the show was general admission. We lucked out and went up to the mezzanine and sat close enough to see everything. Here's a shot from my iPhone. I'm not sure why I didn't bring a better camera.


My sister and I hung out by the tour bus after the show. I had never met my favorite band. It seemed almost silly, but I was excited, honored. Music is their love, and it is obvious in the way that they perform that this is their passion. My sister and I even talked about it on the way home - that if we could just do one thing as well as Andy sings, well, it would be a proud moment.

If you are a fan, you'll know that they just released an album last week, titled "English Electric." I nerded out and downloaded it the night it came out. It's very good; I enjoy Dresden, Kissing the Machine, and Andy is a powerhouse of vocals on Metroland. At the concert, they played old favorites and newer ones. I got a picture of the play list:


Here I am with Paul:
And here I am with Andy:

*sigh* ... So in Love ...

Friday, April 12, 2013

2013 Projects: A Home Project Pinterest Board

I've been using Pinterest to list my 2013 home projects. It's been fun to go through all of my pins (which I categorize by rooms) and then moving a few to another board, when I finally decide it's a project I want to tackle. Here's a few of the items I have on my list:

Board and Batten: 
I'd seen board and batten on several blogs before we even closed on our house, and knew I needed to add some to the entry hallway. I especially like the tutorial on Centsational Girl.

Board and Batten

Built-in Bookcases:
In our dining area, I'd like to add some bookcases that look built-in. Just-a-Girl added crown molding and extra details that took Ikea Billy Bookcases and made them look custom. I'd like some cupboard doors on ours to offer additional storage.

Paint the Kitchen Cabinets:
Our cabinets are rather dull and are likely a DIY project from the previous owners. We need to repair them; and just today I had a carpenter over to get quotes on replacing the fronts of the cabinets, along with the drawers. If we paint them ourselves, I'll follow the lead of Young House Love.

I know that all three of these seem like big projects, but then I go back and look at what we have completed from my 2013 Project board. Check this out!

Fireplace in the Dining Room:
Sean and I bought this as a gift for each other for Christmas and installed it in January.

Stenciling the Dining Room and Hall:
As seen on Jones Design and Centsational Girl, I became obsessed with a punchy stencil pattern to use on an accent wall. This was completed mid January!
stencilpin Feed Sack Bulletin Board:
Also inspired by Jones Design, I liked the idea of covering a bulletin board with a feed sack. I used a bright green to work in with our kitchen.

What do you have on your Pinspiration list?

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Old Crib Turned Garden Trellis

A couple of weekends ago Sean and I were driving past a yard sale.

"Is that a crib?!?" I asked excitedly.

"Looks like it..." said Sean, rather confused by my question.

"Awesome! I've been thinking of using one in the yard," I responded as I pulled to the side of the road.

See, here's the thing. I've been wanting to add a trellis to our (ugly) cinder block fence in the backyard. Short of building a new fence in front of it, the only way I can figure to improve it's appearance is to, well, hide it.


So I asked the lady having the yard sale about how much she wanted for the crib. "Five bucks," she said.

I didn't show my excitement, but instead asked, "Does it still work?" As if perhaps I was going to use it for a baby or a child or something.

"I think so, it belongs to my cousin," she told me. I could see at a glance that it was a no-longer favored "drop side crib," which were deemed a hazard for babies only about five years ago. Frankly, I'd be doing babies everywhere a favor by taking this thing out of the furniture pool.

So I just said, "I'll take it." and we put that thing in the trunk of our Civic and I drove home cheering. Here's the crib leaning against the fence after I'd removed the hardware. On the left is one of the ends, and the right is one of the sides of the crib.


I painted it a light brown color using outdoor paint we found in the shed. Then we went to Home Depot to buy something to attach the trellis to the cinder block. We considered attaching each trellis by drilling in to the fence, but I wasn't sure how well the cinder block would hold up. So, I opted for buying some 14 gauge wire and wire clippers so I could hang each trellis from the latticed top section of the fence.


Here's how I attached one of the trellises (this was the bottom of the crib) to the top of the fence. This trellis has a false jasmine growing on it:

And here's how another one of them looks (either the back or front of the crib), this one has a purple clematis on it:

I'm really excited how this has turned out. We have three more trellises to paint and hang, and I have a clematis for each. It's great to take a $5 item and use it to turn the backyard into a pretty oasis.

These clematis seem to be loving their new home!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Wednesday Wanderings: I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For ("Search")

Years ago, I used to love watching Ally McBeal. It was back when I was at Yale, and there was a certain intrigue about lawyers, about living in Boston. About the once-in-a-lifetime kind of friendships that the characters had found in their co-workers. Even back then, I recognized that their office was different, special. And John Cage had a remote control flusher for the toilet, so of course I was enchanted by that.

At one point in the show, Ally is advised by her therapist that she should find a theme song. Something to play in her head, something to make her happy.

The thing is, ever since I was a tiny girl riding the school bus in Minnesota, I've been obsessed with this idea that my life had a soundtrack. A cheerful song would play as I ran down a hill, or turned quizzically to look at a camera, or you know, performed a peppy dance in my front yard. I'm not really sure why this idea ever hit me, or appealed to me, but it was all brought back to my mind with that Ally McBeal episode.
My theme song hasn't changed since about 1997. Perhaps it is a strange choice. But I think that in it's simplicity, it perfectly explains a life long search for knowledge, for learning to be at peace with myself, at a yearning for understanding and compassion that never seems to quite be finished. My theme song is "I still haven't found what I'm looking for."

To me, this song speaks to a life long search for fulfillment, for understanding, and ultimately for love.  It seems like a story many of us know, and one that I can relate to. As a younger person, I searched high and low for that one person who "completed me." Someone who fit the Disney version of what every little girl dreams of, and in that weird quest for a prince charming, somewhere I think I lost my way. I changed who I was to fit into someone else's idea of "perfection," and I ignored obviously problematic parts of his family and upbringing. There's no truth in a relationship like that, and it led me to a place that was as "cold as a stone."

In the years since getting a divorce, I've come to better know God, and in turn, better understand myself. It has not been an easy road. Understanding and fully embracing Jesus, and his role in our story has been another amazing challenge for me. Yes, I believe it, and yet, I feel like somehow, I am still "running."

Maybe it's been a little while since you last heard U2's song?

What is your theme song?

The simple rules:

1. If you post something, please stop by and leave a comment on the 2 people that posted before you.

2. Please stop by "On Wings and Waves" and say hi to Kristen :)

3. Please share links from your blog that you haven't shared here before.

4. Please grab the Wednesday Wanderings button and share it in your post so other people can join in the fun.

Let's get linking!