Sunday, December 27, 2009

Play on, Playa'!

We've been laying low, so to speak, since Christmas. I haven't even downloaded pictures and videos (Hubs got me a camcorder!) from the day's events.

Instead we've played.

Played the Wii, played games, watched and laughed as E-man played with some new toys....just PLAYED. And laughed...a lot!

I think that we needed that after the hustle and bustle that preceded our Christmas celebrations.

I've even managed to get back into my studio and sling a paint brush or three. This is a minor miracle considering all the craziness that's been goin' on. I'll have pictures of the new creations up in a future post...

I hope y'all have enjoyed your Christmas and found a chance to enjoy a few moments with your family to PLAY!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

From the Everyday Occasions family~

Have a blessed, fun and safe

Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

My In-Laws were in the news...

We got a call from my MIL today saying that the house next door to theirs had a fire around 4:30 this morning. I thought she meant something small.....

Well, it wasn't small. It totally engulfed the house the fire started in, caused damage to my in-laws, and caused a renter in the house on the other side to lose everything.

No one was hurt, I'm deliriously happy to say! Although, I know my MIL and FIL were quite shaken up, we're just happy that the damage wasn't any worse....and it easily could have been if the multiple fire departments that it took to put out the blaze were any later in showing up.

(That's their house to the right in that second picture.)

My FIL was interviewed on the news and the last comment he made was quite surprising coming from him...
"I'm not really a religious man, but it makes you think. Thank God they were able to save it."

Indeed, Thank God.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Is it possible to wrap gifts while asleep?

Oy, I feel like a juggler on speed! With the completion of the kitchen, things have kicked into high gear in the Everyday Occasions crib. We've just about finished decorating for Christmas and for the Bubs's birthday/Holiday lunch this Sunday. Now, if I could magically get someone to tackle the bathroom so I don't have to.....

I figure if I'm cooking someone else can clean the john. I'd surely "apreeshyate" it!

Anyway, I hope y'all are keeping safe as you take care of your Yuletide errands. People are drivin' like maniacs! I have the urge to roll down my window and loudly inform them that Wally World ain't goin' anywhere!

I must confess that this year the Christmas cheer that I normally have has been difficult to drum up. It's the first Christmas without Mom and she always made things so special....I'm feeling some pressure to make that happen for my family now. The Hubs would tell me that I'm bringing that pressure on myself. He's prob'ly right, the stinker. In any case, I accept that this Christmas will be difficult for all of us but there are still moments of joy to be had and have them, we will.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

The Kitchen is Finished....Finally.

Okay, I know I've been procrastinating on putting up photos of the new kitchen but, hey, the place was a wreck. Pictures were NOT an option, folks.

So, I just ran in the kitchen and snapped a few quick pics.

Dining area....and David hiding from the camera. The rescued mantle is finally in its new home. I'm looking forward to hanging Christmas pretties on it in a few days.

This is the view from the dining area into the kitchen. It's been rearranged so that we have more counter space and (drumroll please) a functional working triangle. The fridge is to the right where the new pantry cabinet is.

We also had new sliding doors installed because the old ones were no longer keeping the out, um, out and the

Anyway, thanks to the wonderful workers and some great sales people at the local home improvement stores we were able to get a kitchen that works beautifully and that we can entertain in with ease and in comfort.

Special shout out to the Hubs who helped me keep the finances/my nerves straight and to Dad for taking us out to eat and cooking Sunday dinners.

P.S. Before and after pics of the 70's hot tub room turned art nook are coming, really!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Christmas Likes and Gripes

I'm gonna get the Gripes out of the way so I can end on a kinder note with my Likes.


* Is it just me (or where we live) or do people forget traffic rules and parking lot driving etiquette this time of year?

* Elbowing me out of the way to get to something in the store aisle.....soooo not cool.

* Taking children anywhere near a toy section and then daring them to say anything.

* When people act snotty and ungrateful after receiving a gift. Adult people who know better.


*Watching my boys discover the wonder of Christmas...and the true reason for celebrating it.

*Christmas music. Especially live performances.

*Decorating and finding new ways to use what we already have.

*Hot, sweet drinks on cold, blustery days.

* Colorful scarves....and laughing when one of the boys tries to steal them to play with.

*Making plans with the Hubby and conspiring about holiday fun and surprises.

*Christmas if I could just snag an elf to do the clean up when we get through!

*Reading about all your holiday adventures.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Holiday Decorating...The Essentials

Holiday decorating fever is upon most of us...and why not? Break out those pretties and deck those halls!

I love decorating around our house and, over the years, I've come to rely on a few essentials when I get ready to trim the tree....and anything else I can get away with trimming.

Green craft wire or floral wire is one of my top essentials. Yes it's a must for those wreaths and garlands, but it also comes in handy for attaching ornaments to the keep little hands and feet safe from broken ornaments. Instead of just using a hook to hang my glass ornaments, I loop a piece of floral wire through the ornament's hoop and wrap the ends around a branch. When it's time to take everything down, I leave the wire on the ornament for the next year.

Ribbon and lots of it! It's reusable year after year and can be used in so many ways. Wreath hanger, gift wrap, tree garland, the usual bows........I've even hung a length of ribbon and paper clipped my Christmas cards to it for a card display on the cheap.

I looove these things! I use them to hang stockings, wreaths, seasonal art, garland, etc. I grab a few throughout the year whenever they're on sale and stock up for the holiday season. They're especially great when you're trying to keep your decor up and out of the way of little hands.

Then there's the less practical, but no less neccessary, item to add to my list of decorating essentials. Fireside coffee. Yum!
Mom found this part coffee, part hot cocoa recipe a few years ago and shared it with me. It's become a winter time staple in our house and it goes wonderfully with holiday bedecking.

There you have it, a few of my must haves for decking our halls. Do you have any?

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

More artful ventures...and a kitchen tease

I haven't drawn or painted faces in so long that I was nervy about how to do this piece.
While she isn't perfect, I like her quirkiness....and her paper flower barret.
Um, forgive the mess in the background.

This piece has become one of my faves and was inspired by....well, by Family. I've had this floating around in my noggin for a while and I finally figured out a way to to it. Pressed, dried leaves from our yard were used to get those leaf shapes in the background. By painting around the edges, the shape of the leaf came to life on the canvas.

I know. I used nature to cheat......but it was sooo much fun!

And now a little Kitchen Remodel Tease~

I took that mantle that my In-Laws so graciously helped me save from the side of the road and used a pickling technique on it. The pickling lightened it up while letting the wood show through. Hubs had the brilliant idea of using it in the dining area of our kitchen like a shelf since there'll be no room for a buffet, etc.

This is the light fixture that will hang over the table. It took me a while to find a fixture that wouldn't break the bank but didn't look "chinchy"....well, I don't think it looks cheap, anyway.

Chinchy? Another way of saying cheap.

Southerners and their funny ways of talkin'.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Our Thanksgiving in pictures~

There they are, the twins....
....just separated by 6 years.

E-man with his "ba-ba".
That boy is serious about his bottle time!

The Bubs asked to play a game of Scrabble. He did pretty well and the Hubs coached him on how to play the board to get the most points possible.

That may come back to bite him in the tushy.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Gratitude and apologies~

I am both giddy and humbled by all of the encouraging feedback I received about my art. Many, many thanks to you all! You've inspired me to create even more and I hope to have more ready to show y'all soon.

One minute I'm doing my happy dance and in the next, I'm biting my nails or pulling my hair. It's delightful!

I think I may have inadvertantly insulted the Hubs, though. Unintentional though it may have been, it was done and I want to come clean.

The Hubs has always supported me in all my artistic ventures. He gets me supplies, offers encouragement, a listening ear when I need to "talk out" my ideas, a gentle (but firm) shove when I need some get up and go.....and love. Unconditional, precious and uplifting love. So when I started sharing with him some of the wonderful comments you all sent, he was just as thrilled as I was. However, he couldn't understand why I didn't truly believe him when he said much the same things as y'all did.


I realized that I had, in my insecurity, done something to hurt him. My biggest fan.

Hubby, I hear you first and I hear you the loudest. I'm sorry for letting my insecurity get in the way of accepting your honest support.

I'll make it up to you later...........

Friday, November 20, 2009

I'm taking the plunge....

I've decided to take a leap of faith and share some of my art experiments with you. Art, as with many things is a journey and I feel that part of that journey (for me) should include being brave enough to share my pieces.
So, I'm sharing with y'all. Be kind and remember I'm still learning....

All of these pieces were made on old hard back book covers, an idea I gleaned from Kelly Rae Roberts (thank you, ma'am). I used a white gel pen for the curlies around the edges and the bird is drawn on a piece of notecard paper that was sandpapered and then adhered with acrylic medium.

One of my first experiments and one of my more personal. I cut out the phrase, "I want to share my heart and see joy bloom" from an old book.
The woman's skirt is a collage of papers that I painted and aged. Phrases like, "blessed journey", "beautiful courage", "passionate spirit" and "warm laugh" surround the word Mom on the woman's skirts....that's how I remember my Mom and I wanted to include her in my art.

This one says, "Even with imperfect wings~ We Fly." The Hubs likes this one.
That glare you see is from the pearlizing mist that I sprayed on it. I like the glow it gives off.

I believe that this one is one of Dad's favorites as he loves butterflies! (That strip of blue at the top of the picture is part of another painting that this one was leaning against...Oops!)

Monday, November 16, 2009

An artist who gives flying lessons...

I recently made a discovery. It wasn't earth shattering and won't be in any history books, but it was a momentous occasion for me. I, in one of my web surfing sessions, stumbled across the artist, Kelly Rae Roberts. She does whimsical and encouraging mixed-media works of art like this:

When I found out that she had a book published, I was so excited that I gushed about it to the Hubs. I thought he was listening with half an ear at the time, but he must've been paying more attention than I realized because he turned right around and ordered it for me from Amazon. It's titled Taking Flight~ Inspiration + Techniques to Give Your Creative Spirit Wings. In it she tells her story about being almost thirty and knowing that she wanted to do more with herself (um, I can identify). She talks about being nervous about experimenting with her art again after having set it to the side for so many years. She's not formally trained, but she created because it gave her joy (um, again, I can identify).

I may never sell a single piece that I create, but I'm already having so much fun creating and painting again. Even the Bubs has noticed how much fun I have when I'm painting/drawing and now he's excited about expressing himself on paper. We ooh and ahh over one another's creations and those moments are so very precious to me!

I don't have any pics of my "creations" to share with you, as yet, since the workmen are laying tile in the kitchen today and I can't get to my little studio. I'm working on finding my own aesthetic and experimenting with different techniques. The best fun, though, is when my guys just hang out in the studio with me and watch what I'm doing or ask me questions. I like that they feel included in what I'm doing....they should since they are at the heart of almost everything I do!

Friday, November 13, 2009

The light at the end of the tunnel....

I can definitely see that light at the end of the home repair/remodel tunnel. Cabinets are going up, flooring is going down and the final coats of paint are being rolled on. Our appliances are being delivered this afternoon...hopefully the weather has calmed down by then. We've been having squall like conditions for three days (thanks Ida).

I promise to share pics of the progress asap. I was going to snap a few pics this morning, but I got caught up doing silly things like making a grocery store run, doing laundry, taking care of the boys, etc. I know, that's just CRAZY.

Speaking of taking care of the boys, the Bubs has more congestion, another earache and possibly pink eye. *sigh* It's already been interesting trying to keep him from touching as little as possible while in an enclosed space as the work on the house continues. We're all in the master bedroom/home office. (The previous homeowner took two smaller bedrooms and made one big room.)

I think the worst thing for the Bubs is that he can't love on his little bro. I'm hoping that we can get him in to see a doc soon. It's always the same thing when I'm trying to get an appointment at the base clinics- too many people and not enough docs.

Anyway, we're all looking forward to getting the house back to some semblance of normality, whatever that may be, and enjoying our new space.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Just more of the same craziness, y'all...

Holy cow, people, I am all turned about! More major reno going on in our kitchen, deliveries of cabinets, scheduling kerfluffles with the contractor, E-man is cutting more teeth...and now the Bubs isn't feeling well.


The Hubs and I talked it out, and I decided that I didn't want to spend our money on a dress, etc. for the ball (as in Marine Corps). It's not mandatory for him to go and we'd both rather have some time to ourselves rather than at a "forced fun" event with other peeps that I don't know.

I'll be blogging more later, but right now I'm watching the Steelers play the Broncos with the Hubs and I wanna hang out with my man!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

This and that...

I finally got my new power cord for my laptop yesterday. *doing my happy dance* Of course, the first thing I do is hop on Blogger! The old one had frayed to the point of being useless a few days ago. I LOOOVE my Dell laptop, but putting the power cord on the side of the unit instead of the back is my only pet peeve with the design.

I don't have a cohesive post in mind, just a bit of this and that floating around in my noggin...keep the jokes down to a minimum, y'all!

Little E-man is getting longer and more mobile everyday. He now has 6 teeth at various stages of coming in. He's had his cranky moments (um, hours) lately, but we figure if we had that many teeth coming in at one time, we'd be cranky too. In between his more uncomfortable moments, I've been experimenting with my camera and light in preparations for my little photo session with the boys. I'm hoping to get some fun and nice portraits of the boys. Here's a sample of some of my "playing" as I call it~

The work on the house continues in all its dusty, messy glory. We go to purchase countertops and appliances this weekend...may the budget juggling commence! Fortunately, we talked to a very lovely sales associate last weekend who filled us in on all the upcoming sales/discounts. I coulda kissed her feet. But I didn't. Cause that woulda been weird.

The Bubs got his first report card of the year yesterday. He's doing great! I was concerned because he's already missed more time out of school than I would like, but he seems to be doing fine despite his sick days.

Well, that's all for now. I'm off to catch up on what's been goin' on in your worlds!

Monday, November 2, 2009

From the virtual dressing room....

Okay, so most of you know that I am a woman of, um, voluptuos proportions. I have a few places in town that I can find things I like but since I discovered online shopping, I have come across multiple sources from which to fortify my wardrobe. In short, I can shop in my j's with bed hair and a mug of coffee in my hand....Bliss!

It's ball season here in 'Marinesville' and I am on the hunt for a ball dress. I don't do fussy and am not into wearing a sequin factory. Add that in with being on the higher end of the dress size scale and I've got the makin's of a whopping panic attack. Yet, I have a new plan of attack this year....the internet!!

See that picture up there? I finally stumbled across that on a website and I actually like it. It's different, not black, interesting without gobs of sequins or bows (I'm not going to the prom, after all) and *GASP* it comes in my size!

The length doesn't scream formal occasion, but I'm okay with that. Some fab accessories (anyone have some site/store suggestions?), great hair and makeup.....a support undergrment....and I'm ready for an evening out with the hubs.


Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Female Hysteria (Temporarily) Averted...Male Nirvana Created

Soooooooo. We got a phone call yesterday afternoon from the cabinet company saying that they'd had a fire in the warehouse and that our cabinets would be, at best, a week later in arriving.

Um, yikes!

We talked with the contractor to let him know what was going on. I think he heard the note of hysteria in my voice over the phone (the Hubs had the phone, but I was involved in the conversation, too) because he said that he'd leave my major appliances in place as long as possible. They'd just start on other things that need to be done in the room (walls, ceiling, etc.).

Why, thank you Mr. Contractor Man...and thank you to your sense of self-preservation. That man can sure sense a woman on the edge!

So we get an extra day to get things packed and moved around in the house. I have a microwave in my living room right next to the couch......I may have inadvertently created a male nirvana with that arrangement!

Monday, October 26, 2009

"Pack it up, Pack it in, Let me begin...."

That's right, y'all! It's movin', so to speak. The workmen show up bright and early tomorrow to start the demo on our kitchen. Everything's going, right down to the studs.

And not a moment too soon. The goal is to have everything finished before Thanksgiving. For now, the microwave, the toaster and the coffeemaker are all in my living room on the kitchen table.
How many more days are there 'til the middle of November?

**My title contains the beginning lyrics of Jump Around from House of Pain.