Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Gourds pt. 2 (Tutorial included)

I have to say that these turned out a lot cuter than I expected. They were so fun to paint and decorate. I think I'm going to try to make some for our families, they are just so hilarious. I think I'll have us dress up in matching outfits for our next photo shoot with these guys.

(Sorry about the weird green spot near my eye...the red eye reduction thing got a little finicky).

If this is a project that you want to take on simply follow these instructions.

Supplies needed:
Dried gourd
acrylic paint
paint brushes
permanent marker or black paint pen
Spray gloss

1.Start out by drawing a simple outline and sketching out what you would like your gourd to look like.

2.Coat the entire gourd in gesso and let dry. This is not necessary but if you start out with a light colored base coat they are much easier to paint.

3.Paint your gourds (they don't take too long to dry so you can do this fairly quickly).

4.Outline and add detail with a paint pen or permanent marker (I didn't like the way the gourds were looking until I got to this step, the personality really came out here. Imagine if I could actually draw!)

5.Spray the gourds with the acrylic gloss to finish.

6.Finally take a funny picture with your gourd and the person it resembles and send it to me. I'd love to see it!

Have fun!

Gourds pt.. 1

So I finally got around to painting those gourds that Beau and I got a month or so ago. So far so good. I meant to prime them first but I forgot/got impatient so I just dove straight in. I'm using acrylics and I'll spray them when I'm finished with a high gloss acrylic so they have some shine to them. It's a pretty fun project so far. I love the idea of having a gourd version of Beau and I.

More coming soon...

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Craigs List Love!

So for Christmas Beau and I got a new tv! It's something we had been wanting for quite some time. Beau had this vision of our new tv placed lovingly in an armoire (that we did not actually have) so he hit up Craig's list and instantly found this beauty. He went and picked it up yesterday and I have to admit it looks pretty darn good!

Craig's List is definitely the way to go if you are ever looking for a good deal on furniture. To me it's always so much more fun to get a random piece of furniture than to be an Ikea repeat offender. I'm not saying Ikea isn't great for some things but I think we've all been to that friend's house that has so much Ikea furniture in it that you find yourself heading to the kitchen for some Swedish meatballs.

We're still weighing New Year's options. I don't know about you but I'm just not super excited about New Year's this year.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Christmas is near!

So Beau and I will be heading down to Griffin tomorrow so this is our last pre-Christmas night at home. To celebrate I made brie en croute...yum!!! I love nights where we just eat fruit and cheese. It feels so European. I used to do this all the time when I was single; get a yummy cheese and some delicious fruits and make a meal of it. Beau thought I was crazy at first but now he's growing fond of the idea, though he prefers that there be at least a sausage or meat of some sort.

Here are a couple pictures of our Christmas tree and dear ole Frankie poo finally getting excited about the holiday now that there are some smelly dog treats wrapped and under the tree.

Merry Christmas everyone!

Jesus is the reason for the season!

I promised some crafting coming up and here it is. Last year I got the idea to make a felt nativity scene. Felt is one of my favorite things to craft with and so why not make a nativity right? Well I only got as far as the baby Jesus. I just made a couple ovals basically and stitched them together. I only made it that far because I wasn't quite sure how to make Mary and Joseph.

Then it hit me last week. Why not use the fabric tree tutorial and adjust the sizing to make the trees in to Mary and Joseph. Well it worked and here is the end result!!!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Christmas (or it might turn in to a New Year's) card

I do have one sorta crafty thing to share. Beau and I have gotten so many silly "photo cards" from our friends. Photo cards make sense to me when they feature your children, but when it's just you and your hubby and maybe a dog, it's just a bit silly. In any case as our ode to silly photo cards Beau drew us as a photo card. We'll be sending them out soon!

It's beginning to look a lot like....

well from the looks of these mislabled photos, it's beginning to look like my parents couldn't tell me apart from one year to the next. How funny is that. These Santa photos span several years and I look the exact same in each of them. This is just more proof that my look hasn't changed in close to 29 years.

So it's almost Christmas and I'm so excited but I am a little sad too. This is my very first Christmas away from my family. I am excited to see how Beau's family celebrates the holiday and just like with Thanksgiving last year I plan on bringing some of my tradition to their table.

We watched the Julie/Julia move the other day. How inspiring! Wouldn't it be great if blogs caught on that quickly for everyone! I thought it was so cool how their friends all gathered around for home-cooked meals so often. What happened to that? I guess Atlanta happened to that. We're all so far away (because of traffic) that it is harder and harder to get everyone together.

The other thing I loved about it was the fact that on Valentine's day all of Julia Child's friends wore these giant hear pins! I think that I'll take that idea and make us all a cool, felt Christmas pin for Beau's family for us to wear on Christmas morning.

Anyway, more crafting coming soon!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Running through the wilderness

So Beau and I have had a crazy couple of weeks. Strike that months. Among everything we've been dealing with, this year has been a serious reality check that I am a grown-up. Being grown-up means learning to deal with some not-so-pleasant things and unfortunately one of those things we've been faced with lately is loss.

I've lost three wonderful grandparents this year. My mom lost her father (my Papa) around 6 months ago. My step mother lost her mother(Mema) just a few months ago and Dec. 1st my step father lost his mother (our Gem). I'm so grateful for the memories I had with each of them. Now that those reflections are all we have to cherish they mean more than ever.

Papa: My grandfather was one of the wittiest men you ever could have met. That wit was magical when I was younger. Most of the things he said left me filled with wonder. Whenever I called he would always ask how I was doing. I would reply that I was doing good and he would say "you're looking good". That joke always made me laugh no matter how many times I had heard it.

Mema: She taught me to love all things crafty. She had a creative strain that despite not being true blood relatives, I believe I inherited from her. Mema taught me how to sew, to craft and shared with me her wonderful recipes which I treasure.

Gem: Gem was a true lady. Gem or GM as we sometimes called her loved to get dressed up, loved to visit with friends and family. I had such a wonderful last visit with Gem. My step dad and I visited her in the nursing home she had to be placed in do to her failing memory and health. She grasped my hand tight, talked, hugged and made me laugh out loud. One can't ask for a more perfect last visit.

To me grief is like a kaleidoscope, constantly changing with no way of knowing what you'll happen upon from one second to the next. One day you're laughing at a shared inside joke you had with your grandfather and the next minute you're crying just knowing that he's gone. One minute your condoling a family member when the next second, they're repaying the favor. There is beauty in the most solemn moment but it's ever-shifting design makes it hard to keep focus. I understand important thing to realize is that my grandparents are no longer suffering. My faith tells me that we will meet again. My friends and family tell me to cherish the memories.

The Bible uses several different analogies for these times in our lives: valleys, wilderness, etc. I know despite the sorrow that we are currently dealing with that this sadness is a valley that we will make it through. When troubles pile up, and the hurt gets too much to bear, that is when faith takes over. It's that single set of footsteps in the sand.

When a good friend was taken from us much too soon back in college, his sister shared a wonderful story and quote with those of us attending his service. It's times like these that I can look back at that time of anguish and know I'll make it through this too.

The first was Mother Teresa's "Anyway".

The second was this quote by St. Thomas Aquinas:
“To one who has faith, no explanation is necessary. To one without faith, no explanation is possible.”

Both are wonderful examples of the knowledge that comes with strong religious faith and conviction. It is that faith that gets us through the tough times and it is that faith that will help Beau and I run through the wilderness.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Today is...

Our Frankie Monster's b-day!!!! She is two-years-old today (or 14 if you go by people years). I love this little pup so much and she has brought so much joy to our lives. More pictures coming soon but here is a little b-day cake that I made using this recipe. Oh but I used peanut butter to frost it instead of their suggestion (Frank love peanut butter).

Oh and p.s. it snowed here today! Nothing stuck but it did snow some big chunky snowflakes!!!