24 January 2011

She Treasures Sea Shells

She Treasures Sea Shells

If you can say that 3 times fast, you win the prize.  

Just kidding again.  No prizes for you.  As I tell my kids, "Your prize is just in knowing how well you completed the task."  Yes, ~ I am that annoying.

Back when we started the ordeal adventure of remodeling our little cottage, I decided to revamp an old vanity I had in storage.  Although I don't happen to have any before pics; let me tell ya, she was in sad shape.  Originally she had a very dark and shiny stained was chipped up (but not in a good way).  All the hinges were loose so the mirror just sort of flopped around and the bench seat had lost all semblance of anything which could be construed as safe enough to sit on.

This is how she looked after I painted her, and shelled her, and she got a whole new lease on life in my daughter's bedroom.  I used a semi-gloss cream color which I have absolutely no recollection of at this time.  This was BB (before blog) so I had no idea you'd want to know.  I know better now.  I'll get my facts and sources straight in the future.  Hopefully I promise.

I believe this vanity may have been another inheritance from one of my dads' x-wives before her hasty escape  departure.   I've seemed to inherit a few items in this manner.  It's a good thing I can make trash into treasure.

So y'all know the DIY drill.  Gather your material and supplies, do your thang, clean it up, snap some pics and blog it up.  Which I did, as you can see from the beautiful after photo above.

Except  then we moved all our earthly belongings into a storage unit, lived to tell through remodeling hell, shlepped everything out of storage and found much to our dismay that more than one thing emerging from storage didn't fare as well as some others.  The vanity, which had after its initial revamp shown so proudly, looked a bit sad.  Most of the shells had fallen off and the hinges needed more tightening and we just plum lost the bench altogether.

So, a revamp on the revamp was in order.  First get the tools out.  I always use a straight edge razor blade when I use the glue gun.  I tend to make a big stringy mess that needs a lot of correcting when I go for the gun, and these puppies seem to get the job done.

I use shells which I collect practically on a daily basis.  I get them from beaches all over, and they sit on my window sills, in drawers, closets, jars and there is always a stray one or two somewhere in my car.  They are always on rotation for some kind of project or gift or what other.  What other?  What ever.

What is life, if there are not seashells and a bit of sand underfoot?  I dunno, but I don't want to live there.

Art is a messy process.  A 16 year olds bedroom is a work of art mess.  Even before her mother goes to work in there.  Which by the way, said daughter doesn't love, even though she loves the finished project.

A quick glimpse of the beauty and splendor  the vanity is today.  I padded and recovered an old desk chair, so there is now a comfy seat.  I never did find that old bench.  The hinges on the mirror got tightened and everything battened down.  Let your eyes feast and give it a good once over because it will never look this unfettered again.  This was for photographic purposes only.  I've been kicked out of her bedroom (for now), and here is how it has looked ever since.

Okay, so we don't have the same aesthetics, my daughter and I.  But she obviously knows how to use her new vanity.  I'd still be standing there photographing it and complimenting myself on what a great job I did beautifying it and bringing it back to life.  I'd be all, "Look how clean and pristine the vanity looks now."  Then she'd be all, "Could ya get out of my room so I can put my make-up on?"  See?  She makes much better use of it than I would.  But it sure looked prettier when I was just standing there talking about it!

Oh my.  Speaking of pretty.  I think it all worked out in the end.  She looks beautiful, has a fun place to utilize and exercise her vanity and I get to enjoy it all.  By the way, the cute little smirk smile you see here is the same one she uses when she tells me to vacate her room.  It's just enough cute that she knows, that I know, that she knows, that I know, she's only kidding.  We all know who's in charge here.  ?  .  ?  ...

By the way my friends, my camera had an unfortunate and untimely drowning accident in my purse which has resulted in its demise.  Yes, I said drowning accident in my purse.  I live a complicated life okay?  My camera is RIP-ing in camera heaven.  But that's a whole sad story for a whole other post.  At this point any blogging must be done with archived photos from my iphoto files.  Lucky for me I have 57,000 of them.  But still.

I'm now pursuing whether to buy the same camera (A Cannon-D10), or to upgrade to an SLR.  Any suggestions gratefully welcomed.

Love ya more than all the 80 degree days we've had here at the beach in the past two weeks. And I'm not bragging.  Okay, I'm bragging.  But that's because I want you to know exactly how BIG I love ya!



15 January 2011

Vintage Giveaway hookup anybody?

Today Jennifer over at the design blog Vintage Inspiration Keswick & Country is having an awesome giveaway.  I usually don't find anything that floats my boat in giveaways - except when the SITS girls were giving away that cool camera.  (I still think something went wrong there.)  I was sure that camera was mine.  No special reason, just because I wanted it so bad!

Anyhoo, I love cottage decor  since I'm in the process of decorating my cottage and all, and Jennifer's blog is that to the hilt.  Beautiful photos and genuine french decor are included in her giveaway to celebrate our friend Maria, over at her awesome blog, Dreamy Whites who has opened an amazing Etsy shop.  If you haven't met Maria or perused her fantastic blog, now is your chance.  Perhaps you can find some inspiration to start some of those projects you've been putting off, or just go buy some beautiful merchandise to make you feel better about the winter doldrums.

I love you so much I'm telling you all about Jennifer's giveaway.  But secretly I hope I win all the lovely things for myself.  Guilty?  Not even a little.  But if you didn't know about the two great blogs above now ya do and isn't that a gift in itself?

Blessings from Sunny California.  80 degrees and sunny here all weekend.  No winter doldrums and no guilt.  Just praising God for this amazing weather and that I'm lucky enough to be walking on the beach today.  But you know I love ya and I wish you were here!



10 January 2011

So Many Questions, But No Doubt

And like Christopher Robin tells Pooh you will find in that moment, "You're braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem...

Are there moments in your life when you wonder if you could have lived your life differently, would you?

 So, you believe that when God closes a door he also opens a window?  Right?

Last Sunday I reaffirmed my baptismal vows as I watched the Christening of someone else's child.  The child's name was Addison Grace.

Addison Grace.  It was like a bolt of lightening ran through me when I heard the priest say her name.  Spontaneous tears spilled from my eyes.  Memories brief, yet a lifetime, ran through my mind in the flash of an instant.

Twenty years ago I lost a baby whom I named, Addison Grace.  She was the twin sister to my son, Cooper John.  While he has thrived in our lives, Addy has lived in our hearts alone.

Is it how high you build your dreams that makes a difference or how high your faith can climb?  Is what matters how much you accomplish, or how many lives you touch?

Are you shaped by the circumstances in your life, or how you handle your circumstances?  Is your comfort zone a place where you can be you?  Is it where you are who you are?  Could it possibly define the reason you are dependable, constant, loyal and reliable or...

Are you more laid back and go with the flow?  Does that mean you're not rigid and you're fun and carefree and spontaneous?  Is that the way everyone should be?

Should you change to make someone else happy?  Do you think that people should love you for who you are, or that you should become someone that people will love?

Why do I ask so many questions?

Life is but a brief moment.  The years go by quickly and old age arrives suddenly before we have an inkling.  People desire so many things and waste their days in vain.  Some yearn for money, others for power, yet others for glory and a higher station.  But when death's moment nears and they look back at the lives they've lived, they realize they've been happy only during those moments when they have loved.  How about you?

I'm so blessed by having loved.  I have loved deeply, thoroughly and even when there is no gain but,  I've never loved in vain.  Because I am always blessed by having loved.

And ever has it been that loves knows not its own depth, until the hour of separation. "Kahil Gibran"

But, at the end of the day, there is one thing about which I have no doubt.  Quoting A.A. Milne,  when Christopher Robin tells Pooh, "You will find in that moment you're braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem...and smarter than you think.  Promise me you will always remember."

Addison Grace, I promise I will always remember.  You are written on my heart.  Because I have loved you, I am happy.

And this I know for sure ~ I'm honored that I write this little blog and can share with you my thoughts and the beauty which surrounds me every day.  You have been my heart lifters, my self esteem boosters, my dream catchers and my good listeners.  THANK YOU for hearing me when I write, for looking at my thoughts through my photos and for responding with love.  The colors in these sunsets keep me warm no matter how cold it gets outside or inside my heart.  And I love you more than that.