Thursday, September 27, 2012

Wild Hairs

Some time ago I heard this song and for some reason it spoke to me. 

My Mom has an expression for explaining why people do things totally out of character...that they "had a wild hair up their ass". I'm not really sure if that's an expression used in other households but I sure use it often to explain things I do! 
Every once in a while I get the urge to do something with my hair. Cut it, color it, style it...something to this mop of hair!   I've had a love hate relationship with my hair since the 7th grade.  I know what you're thinking...good grief chic that was like 100 years ago.  AND???  That was during the time of the Farrah Fawcett hairdo, the perfect wings.  Any contemporary of mine knows this iconic hair-do!

 EVERY young girl I know wanted that hair!  My BFF "Y" and I made appointments at the salon to have our tresses snipped and shaped to make us Farrah.  It didn't work out so well.  Y's curly dark hair adapted kinda good to the new look and since she was a girly girl and took the time to wash, dry, curl and spray that coiffure into submission every day it worked out pretty good...for her.  My bone straight thin blond hair...not so much.  Over the next 25 years I permed, moussed, gelled, conditioned, cut, dyed and made myself miserable over all the styles I couldn't make my hair do.  

Sometime over that 25 years and two kids my hair has changed.   I went from a toe-headed blonde, fine, straight head of hair to a course curly unmanageable thin head of mess.  I kinda prefer the wash and wear kinda hair so I've just made it work.  I've been known to go to a salon and just give the stylist creative license to do something with my mop.  I had several horrible hair cuts and even had a few great ones that  include something like this Farrah do.  It requires upkeep though...and...well...I'm lazy I suppose and didn't do it so I just let it grow.  

The desire for a change has been sparked by several recent events and the realization that I'll be 50 soon...I can't go into the next half century still feeling that that defeated 7th grader with my hair.  The build up of hair in my brush nightly, the constant rogue hairs that fall out EVERYWHERE and the fact that it felt like straw at times were my motivation for change.  My childhood friend Cindy (inserts shameless plug for her fabulous retro and vintage inspired aprons, shower caps and other goodies) recently blogged about her hair dilemma and recent cut and it motivated me. 

The other night the timing worked out and my daughter was home while I was still awake so we decided to do a little trim job on my hair.  Oy-vey   I won't go into the gory details but lets just say that wild hair got the best of me.  Needless to say my hair doesn't match the image in my head, not by a long shot.  I cried.  I made her cry and feel like crap because she cut it, although I reassured her it was at my urging that she did so.  I looked at myself in the mirror and mourned the loss of my long blond curly hair and wondered what in the world possessed me to do it.

I cried myself to sleep that night.  I tried to anticipate SF's reaction to my new do since I know he clearly has a preference for long-ish hair on women.  I threw myself the biggest internal pity party that I have for quite some time but what could I do, the deed was done. 

I woke up the next morning and took one last look at my short bobbed hair and decided that I just have to make the best of it.  There was nowhere to hide anymore, no long curls to twirl, no excuses about my unruly hair.  I never cared about my hair before so why was I making such a fuss over it now.  I was holding onto an image in my head that wasn't real, it wasn't the real me behind the masks I wear.  My hair didn't define me, cause I'm really a long way off from that carefree, beach-bum, sunshine in my face Pollyanna I thought I was projecting. 

My friend and co-worker Angel then came to my mind.  Angel is bravely battling breast cancer and has dealt with this disease with such grace and beauty.  She lost all her hair during her first round of chemo as was expected so we designated Tuesdays as scarf day and all wore a scarf on our heads or in some fashion to support her in some small way.  I'm unique I think in that during my 49 years on this earth I have no close personal friends or relatives I've had to watch suffer with this horrid disease so her diagnosis hit real close for me.  I had always thought that I'd be 'that' friend who would shave my head for a friend in support.  Kelly Pickler is THAT kind of friend as she recently did that very thing for her childhood best-friend   I'd like to think I would do that for Y if she ever faced this but honestly now I don't know.

Looking in the mirror that morning through my heavy, swollen and bloodshot eyes, the guilt over my vanity and shallowness hit me like a ton of bricks. How could I be so vain?  How could I be so shallow to believe that somehow my hair influenced who or what I was?  I know better.  I remembered the India Arie song as I looked in the mirror...I am not my hair.  I thought about Angel, who doesn't have hair to cry about through no fault of her own.  I just need to get over myself, so I did what I know how to my fingers through my short curly blond hair to ruffle it a bit and walked out the door to face the day.  

It's only hair right?

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Auction score

On a beautiful Saturday morning recently we went to an annual auction held by our local Christian broadcasting station which draws in a huge amount of donations.  They had hundreds of items to auction and most of the items were brand new or near new.  They had everything from jewelry to cars that were sold under the big tent.  They were also blessed with some gently used items that were auctioned off the back...where all great thrifty purchases are made.  I wasn't in need of anything, and we weren't looking for anything in particular but we scored none-the-less!  

As we walked out beyond the big tent into the muddy field (it rained hard the night before) these doors were the first thing I saw and I was in love.  I felt that sense of excitement when I instantly feel inspired by odd objects and trying to conceal my zeal from the Hubby I stepped right into a huge squishy puddle and nearly fell.  Oh proud he would have felt about his mud covered wife!  Luckily we didn't have to go there and I remained upright.  

Mission style pocket doors-they went for $30

I lovingly stroked the wood and ran my fingers across the textured glass trying to conjure up the history these doors may have seen.  Wondered about the home they came out of.  I even leaned over and softly said to some gentleman who dared to look at them "Stay away from my doors!"  Luckily they took it in the manner it was given and we all had a good chuckle.  Ironically they were the winning bidder, they went for $30!  
 I have to admit, I was seriously thinking about throwing caution to the wind and bidding on them higher then I did.  Since we're strapped for cash these days I really couldn't choose to spend the grocery money on them...SF might have thrown me in the mud himself if I had. 

The auction began outside and unfortunately the 70's style office furniture was a hard sell and most of the items outside seemed to be.  I say unfortunate because they weren't raising a whole lot of money from our group but they did inside I think.  We got caught up in the auction excitement and threw out a few bids here and there on stuff we really didn't need...this was one of them!

 The table top is just resting on the leg pieces because he had to take it all apart to get it home.  Did I mention we do not have a truck?  The significance of that will come to light here in a bit.

Here are the curvy legs with the carved detail.  I'm not sure even what style of furniture this is...deco perhaps?  I'm not really sure I even like it but what made us bid was the chairs.  Our current dining room table was another auction buy from years ago and it's OK, it has no sentimental value so it could be replaced I'm just not so sure this is my style.  The chairs are falling apart  so we thought they could be replaced with these.  I'm not sold yet, we'll see if they speak to me after they're transformed.  

Did I mention we paid $5 for this set?  Yea...really!

We paid $1 for this exercise thingy for my daughter (it was a pity bid but hopefully she'll use it) 

This was actually the only thing we had agreed to bid on.  It was a cabinet of some sort, perhaps office?  Someone had already put a tiled top on it and painted it a color I could live with for a while so it will be my new sewing cabinet.  A place for my machine and notions and some storage!  Not bad for $5.  Yup, you read it right, there's no other number before that 5.

Another $1 buy, a vintage radio/phonograph cabinet that still works!  We plugged it in and jammed in the back yard as we sorted through all this stuff.

Vintage stereo cabinet
This was another item we decided to bid on if the bids didn't go to high.  We originally thought it must be a California King Waterbed but it's actually twin waterbeds.  I've been in love with this Ana White DIY Farmhouse Storage bed since seeing it on her old blog Knock Off Wood.  When I saw these that's immediately what i saw in my head.  These will be re-purposed into a bed...I think.  If we can make it work.  They may just end up as one big-assed dresser, we'll see.

We bought a few other misc items and gave some away before we even left.  This white desk was one of them, another $1 buy that came with something else we 'donated' back.  The desk has a hutch with it (not pictured) that has already been chopped, hacked, rebuilt and is now awaiting it's mounting in the bathroom somewhere for some storage.  The forecast of rain that evening meant we had to put it all somewhere so we managed to rearrange our screen-room-turned-storage-room and pack it all in.

Lord help us I think we're hoarders!

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Shopping at our ReStore

Most Saturday mornings we head out on our weekly chore of grocery shopping and either stopping by a few yard sales or thrift shops.  One of those places is our local Habitat for Humanity ReStore and they've recently moved into a great new space.  If we're working on a project around the house, or as is the case most of the time for me...looking for some inspiration we stop there first since they're only 6 blocks away now! Here are a few of the things I found that inspired me, now...if I only had the money to dish out right now to buy them all!  Luckily our ReStore offers discounts on the older merchandise to keep the items flowing through their store so some were really great deals!

First thing I came across in the lighting section is this beautiful ceramic chandelier.  Cute right?  It would be perfect for a breakfast nook or even a bedroom.  

$50.00 less 25% because of the blue sticker.
 They have a great selection of cabinet doors that can be used for all sorts of home decorating ideas and I've used them to make chalk-boards as well as signs.  I'm working on one sign project now that I'll be revealing soon.   

 This beauty was just kinda stuck along the wall like someone was hiding it. 
$150.00 minus 50% for the tag color...what a deal!
 This chair could use some TLC and a coat of paint, some pretty flowers in a pot and it would look wonderful on someone's front porch!

 I've seen lots of projects on Pinterest for these old telephone benches.


 These pretty little knobs were less then $1 a piece

This beautiful blond table was a new addition and I'm sure it didn't last long there, if I could have I would have snatched it up and brought her home with me.

This beauty was $75
 Look at the gams on her!  Gorgeous spiral legs

I've been eying these tiles for while too.  I don't have a project in mind for them so I can't justify making the purchase and I keep thinking I'll get an idea if I keep looking at them long enough.

There are three boxes of them, $10 a box and with the tag color each box would be 75% off!  

I've been coveting these headboards made of old doors that I've seen on pinterest so I've been in search of something to use.  

I have my eyes on this prize.  It's a set of French doors, probably from the front door of an old house here in town and I'm sorry it's just really ugly but it has great potential!  The white carved relief rectangles protrude from the frame slightly and would look great all painted and distressed to show the delicate pattern.  Because they're a set I could make two...hear that SF...TWO really great headboards from this one item.  It's been through one round of markdowns already and it's still there, I'm taking that as a sign from the frugal goddess that it's waiting for me to take it home and give it a little crafty love.  It's $250 for the whole shebang, doors, frame and storm doors which is really probably a steal but way over my budget!  I was hoping to get it when it was 75% off but still couldn't justify spending the $75 when I don't have anyplace to store it. 

REALLY UGLY french doors with beautiful details just begging to be made over.

I know lots of DIY'ers would love to get their hands on some of these spindles and could see them making great yard-art like this butterfly and these dragonflies using reclaimed parts and pieces. 

I have a confession...I'm in the midst of a little blog crash with Lucy Designs right now.

I love our ReStore and the people who run it, they directly support such a great cause that has helped so many families get into homes of their own and by buying what we can from there we do too.  Check them out!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Garden Goodies

My garden turned out beautifully this year but that's a whole other post.  

Over the weekend we went to a community yard sale and came across a friend who told us to go raid his garden as it was being destroyed this week to make room for a project.  

Raid I did!  

To the tune of almost a bushel of plump ripe Roma tomatoes!  

I came home and promptly got to work on making some homemade Pizza sauce and some tomato sauce.  That is a post for another day but it's coming.

Today it's all about the treasures that lay beneath the maters

 These baby's right here!  See those firm bright green tomatoes?  Yup they're gonna be fried up for dinner!  Since I'm the only one who eats them I really didn't need 4 of them but...I rescued them from the treads of a dozer.  That makes me a Veggie Hero...yea, I'll go with that.  This small jewel toned beauty of an eggplant was what I needed to push me over the edge and do some frying.  Typically I stay away from frying things but some things just need to take a swim in hot oil! 

I sliced up my eggplant and salted them to draw out the moisture and bitterness and left them sit for a while as I gathered my other stuff.  I sliced the tomatoes all up and started looking for my breadcrumbs.

What?  No breadcrumbs?  Story of my life.

What I did have was frozen dried cubes of old baguettes so I pulled them out, put them in my mini-food processor and whirled them together with some fresh dried (as in from my garden) basil and garlic powder and made my own damn breadcrumbs.

For the next hour I floured, egg-washed, breaded and fried piles of eggplant and green tomatoes!


I know what you're thinking...geeze chic, that's a big ole pile of fried stuff...but this pile will get me through a long cold winter!  After eating my fill of both which is really about 2 slices of each I froze them.  The eggplant will be layered with sauce and cheese for Eggplant Parmesan and because I'm the only one who will eat it, I can just make small portions rather then a whole pan that gets half thrown away.

The fried green tomatoes were coated with a mixture of the breadcrumbs and some fish fry coating I had a little left of.  It added that little extra crunch to yummy!  You can see the different textures the coatings produce. 

Fried eggplant is just so amazing, it makes me happy. 

With all that fried stuff I didn't dare fry dinner too so I baked chicken strips using the breadcrumbs I just made and with SF's favorite, some mac & cheese (cheap ole box of Mac & Cheese is his favorite...gotta love an easy Hubby) we called it dinner!

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Yard Sale Score!

This weekend is a busy one around here if you like yard sales, flea markets and thrift shops!  
They turn the Fair Ground's into a redneck's paradise for Max's Water Dog Trials which are fun to watch, but the real attraction is the flea market.  Anything to do with hunting, guns, dogs, camouflage, and any combination of them could be found there.

We decided to forgo the redneckery and just stop at a few yard sales as we went about our normal Saturday chores, like grocery shopping etc...  The first place we stopped was in a small quaint neighborhood that still has a lot of older homeowners.  I spied a stack of books that looked like crafting type magazines.  I was right...partially.  It was a whole stack full of magazines and books for Porcelain Art.  
I hit the Jackpot!  

 Not only was there a whole stack of books and magazines but there was also a file folder holder that was full of hand-drawn patterns and folders with themed items stuffed into envelopes.  

The ladies working the yard sale saw me lovingly leafing through the books and asked if I was a porcelain artist, I'm not but I do paint other things and if you understand the process that porcelain painters use then translating the patterns to other mediums is fairly easy.  She asked if I would give her a dollar for them.  
A dollar!!?? 
No way!
They were all mine with no questions asked.  I felt a bit guilty for taking everything for a dollar but I bought my treasures and we left...before they could change their mind!

The books and magazines are stunningly beautiful


The illustrations and directions are so easy to understand.

It turns out they all belonged to a woman named Betty Taylor.  I assumed it was her kids and grand-kids who were having the yard sale and I think they were happy that Betty's things were going to someone who could use the, and love them like she did.  Her hand-drawn patterns tell me how much she loved to create beautiful things, and I have no doubt she did.

 She was a porcelain artist who had certificates to prove her hours of study and level of achievements.  She was meticulous in her filing system and had handwritten notes all over the place.

The pattern on the right above would turn out like the picture below...stunning!

I can't believe what an amazing find that was!  I already have a project on my plate that this stuff will come in handy for and I can't wait to look through it all!