Friday, September 16, 2016

A Solo Kanokla Trip

For the past several years, Kanokla has been an adventure that my dad and I have taken on together.  This year, however, the pops was unable to go but I was still jonesin' for a junking road trip so I went alone.  I was thisclose to not going though.  I had invited several friends to go but nobody was able and I wasn't sure if I wanted to do it myself.  I wasn't feeling great, it had been raining heavily all morning, I was having a high-anxiety day, and I really didn't need to spend the money but the overwhelming desire for a quick road trip won out.  I'm SO glad I went.
Since I've done this trek a few times, the roads are familiar and I've become accustomed to which stops are usually fruitful for me.  The skies cleared quickly, a breeze picked up, and it ended up being a beautiful day.  I even ended up getting a little sun!  At my very first stop, I found a mint condition wig-box for $4.  I almost called it a day and turned back around because I was so pleased with that find!  Ha!  But on I journeyed.

My find of the day jumped out at me shortly after that.  It was actually found at a shop that I normally wouldn't look twice at.  It was a 'paint it all turquoise' type of store.  Not my bag.  But this beautiful little chair was sitting on the sidewalk, just calling my name.  The tag read a price that I wasn't ready to pay and that's when I saw the half off mark.  This was a good start.  Inside I went, offering a little less and to my delight, they accepted my offer!  Into the back of my car this guy went and it's been getting so much love ever since.  I'm thinking we'll get it recovered in the near future.  Time will tell!

I spent part of my car time gabbing with my best friend on the phone and the rest catching up on podcasts.  The Most Wonderful Wonder seemed like the perfect for the day.  Some stops I didn't buy a thing, I just enjoyed passing conversations with fellow hunters and eyed other things I liked but didn't need to bring home.
I only had one *weird* moment with a vendor trying to swindle and talk down to me.  Long story short, I got him down from $30 to $3 on some fabric, schooled him on the power of being a woman, and reminded him that being a creep gets you no fans - all with an audience.  Thankyouverymuch

One shop I like to stop at (seriously in the middle of nowhere - there were conflicting answers when I asked which town I was in), houses two rescue cats in their store.  You can best your cat-loving ass that was a highlight of my day!  ;)
Once upon the time, I used to travel the world.  I faced my fears, I experienced so many amazing things, and I felt like I could conquer anything.  For some reason, this particular little day trip brought back those same feelings to me.  It was empowering, motivating, and exciting.  Yup, rural Oklahoma and Kansas reminded me of world travels.  Again, I'm so glad that I went.
Enough deep mumbo jumbo, what did I find?!  Well, you've already met the chair so in addition to that, I found:  a beautiful 60s duster coat, some sheets for sewing, fabric for some new clothes (!), the glorious wig box, embroidery hoops for a future project, an 80s pattern for cat pillows, a box full of plant fact cards for the kid, a metal tray for the kid, and a Fisher Price Western Town!  I've become OBSESSED with the old Fisher Price Little People toys and have amassed quite the collection. 
That's it!  I'm thrilled with my finds, thrilled with what I spent, and thrilled with making myself go on a solo adventure.  I should really do it more often.  Ya hear that, self?  

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Our Guest Room

Ahh, the guest room.  Upon moving in, this room was nothing more than a catch all for all things random.  Extra flooring, spare drums, wayward furniture, and mismatched 'decor' were all this room knew for the past few years until recently.  I'm happy to report that this room is now fully functional, has already hosted its share of guests, and boasts some smooth calming vibes.  It's done! 
Let's take a trip back.  The walls and ceiling were the butteriest of yellows and had definitely seen better days.  The curtains did their job but didn't jive for the mister.  I, however, love the print and, after removing the pleats, have been using them as temporary window coverings in my work room.  I AM ready to replace those though and dream of making myself a dress out of these!

We had the carpet replaced in the bedrooms and in my workroom.  The original carpet had been there for decades and we knew that once we moved in, it would probably be decades later before we got to changing it out.  The air quality changed immediately once we had them replaced and I'm so glad we decided to go ahead and tackle that.  BUT, we were less than thrilled with the company we used and the wear the new carpet is already exhibiting.  It's a love/hate relationship, for sure. 
The guest room didn't get any TLC for about a year and a half.  We straight up neglected its desire for a facelift.  Finally, I couldn't take it any longer.  I needed those walls to speak and I needed that room to function.  Change was on the horizon.
So beautiful and inviting, yes?  NOT!  We started with just choosing paint colors.  I knew I wanted the closet wall to be an accent color and for whatever reason, orange and blue seemed to keep speaking to me.  All of our bedrooms have partial vaulted ceilings which are a pain in the ass to paint for a shorty like me.  I love interior painting but I don't love standing on my tippy toes atop a ladder to do so.  You can see the height in the above photo.  I painted and I painted and I painted.  At first, we decided to keep the ceiling the butter color but once the wall colors were up, the butter was unbearable.  So we painted the ceiling white after the fact.  That was fun.  To be honest, before we started decorating and putting the room together, I second and third guessed our paint color choices.  I was NOT feeling it.  Once we started decorating though, it was perfect and I was thrilled with our choices. 
Now for gratuitous photos of stuff and my babbling about it all.  You're welcome. 

Let's start with the bed wall aka the tall wall aka the focal point.
Those lamps.  Those glorious, beautiful orange lamps.  I'm sure there is some fancy, specific name for them but I do not know that elusive name.  I just know I love them.  I found them at the flea market while hunting with one of my oldest friends.  Actually, she found them and I fell head over heals with them.  I had JUST finished painting this room and was specifically looking for lamps.  Enter, fate.  I got them for a steal.  
Both pieces of wall art were found at Retro Den.  I crushed on that large piece for-evah and finally pulled the trigger.  I looooove it.  I have a soft spot for pulled fabric wall art.  Brent bought me the crewel piece for Christmas.  I was shocked and elated!  It's not necessarily his speed but it is SO mine.  That's love, folks. 
Take a wild guess where those pillows came from??  My work room!  I did not intend for any of them to permanently reside with us but who I am I to argue with such cohesion?  That black and white tree fabric is early 70s Marimekko. I bought it in shambles for $1 and made my cuts as carefully as possible to create that one pillow.  It's probably one of my favorite pillows I've ever made.  The Estruscan style horse pillow?  That fabric came from the magical warehouse.  After much research, I've discovered how rare and desired that fabric is and I have it in four different colorways.  Swoon!  Those pillow cases in the back were once my Mimi's.  She gave me the whole set 15+ years ago and I made *fabric* wall art with the sheets but never hung up my finished project.  I wish so badly I still had that entire set!  At least I still have these pillows to hug.  Enough pillow talk.  Get it? 
The curtains are actually the FOURTH set I've made for this room and I'm certain that this is the final one!  This fabric also came from the warehouse and I don't think it could be anymore perfect for this room.  They are practically black out curtains when it's light outside so daytime guest nappers should be their biggest fan. 
I'll save the story of the bed frame for another post.  The side tables and the dresser came from our old bedroom.  One day (when I talk about the bed frame), I'll share what we replaced these with.  Possibly my favorite furniture finds evah! 
The other side of the room doesn't house much but it sure is functional for our needs!  This room is actually Brent's dressing room - I know, he's fancy! - so that dresser is alllll his.  The chair was one that I grew up with in my dad's shop.  I did not realize until we were done with this project how perfectly it fit in there.  The wall o' clocks is also something my dad had tucked away at the shop.  It plugs in and all of the clocks work!  When it is running though, it is SO loud so we opted to hide the cord and have it non-functioning for now.  I made the mirror when I was 16 years old.  If you find yourself in the guest room, give it a gander and I'll tell you all about it.  Perhaps not internet appropriate.  I'll likely need to put it away when Rio really starts to read!
The Jack cribbage board was something I found at an antique store randomly.  It was another one that I found right when the room was finished.  There was an existing nail already in that spot and the piece fit perfectly between the two doors.  I have toyed with moving it higher but for now, it stays. 
Yes, there is one corner not shown!  All that resides there is a constantly-used treadmill and an old printer's press drawer that I have filled with my tiny finds.  ZB (our crazy cat) loooooves to knock things off of it. 

There you have it, our guest room!  I really love passing through there and the environment we created.  It's been an enjoyable process getting it to this point.  Who knows how it will continue to evolve?!  Want to stay the night??

Friday, September 2, 2016

A Biff Blitz!

Oh man, have I been busy!  I haven't been posting here much because all of my free time has been eaten up with sewing, school prep, sister visits, Alliday planning, or just keeping my head above water!  I thrive in these busy times though, so it's all good.  To play catch up, here's a comprehensive post of all the latest happenings in my creative world!

First, I was recently in the paper!  I was honored to be interviewed about my small business(es) and the viability of handmade businesses within our city.  I have been in the paper before but this was my first feature in the business section which was a big deal for me!  You can read the article here!
Second, I've been sewing my tail off!  I happened upon this book a few months back and have been crafting my own wardrobe from it during my free sewing time.  I looooove everything I've made and those pieces have quickly become staples within my wardrobe.  Apparently she has a good number of books out so I'm on the hunt for more that have been translated to English to add to my collection.  (The dress I'm wearing in the above shot is also from this book.)
 
I've not only been sewing for myself though.  Last week I volunteered to sew a sample dress for Owl & Drum and had so much fun with it!  The dress was the Washi Dress and, while I had heard about it and had seen it before, I'd never made one nor had tried one on before.  Well, after finishing up the sample and throwing it on, I was sold.  I'm in LOVE with those dresses!  So much so that I whipped up another one for myself the very next day.  It's a really fun, quick sew and is flattering on many body types. 
I've also been up to my ears in commissions lately which has been great!  I made another backpack, just like the one I'd made for Rio a few months back and I made some pillows out of a shower curtain for a newborn's nursery!  There have been a few other odds and ends that I didn't end up photographing but they are out there somewhere in the world, hopefully getting lots of usage!  :)
Rio has gotten a few different bags over the past few months, as well.  She's a bag lady just like her mom!  Between the two of us this morning, we brought NINE bags to work with us.  We're busy gals!  ;)  The one pictured below is the 241 Tote by Noodlehead which is a fun, quick sew.  I'd probably do the strap differently next time and would add some sort of closure but Rio sure is loving it as is!  Today it's filled with stuffed cats.  Definitely my daughter. 
 
Finally, I've been mass producing pot holders!  My goal is to make 75 by November!  I'm in the low thirties right now.  I can't say much more about this massive undertaking but I can say that's it's HUGE for me and is kind of a dream come true! 
So that's it for now!  I'm off to hand sew some potholder bindings and to google hand exercises for sewists!  ;)  Until later!

Monday, August 22, 2016

Two Years In The Ranch!

Two years ago today, Brent and I bought the greenest house you've ever seen!  I am still just as in love with this place as I was two years ago.  Thank you, estate sale gods!  Sure we've encountered some crazy things (panic button to a rooftop air raid horn?!?), we've dealt with some massive updating projects, and we've got a million things to tackle in the future, but this is home and we are enamored with it.

I'm not sure I could love our neighborhood any more and our neighbors are pure gold.  I often still find myself in shock that we live here!  And a month after we moved in, my best friend of 20+ years moved in right around the corner from us.  The walk to their house from ours is one of my favorites.
To serve my own list-making needs and to step back and applaud our own accomplishments, I give you a list of what all we've done in the past two years.  Let's see if I can remember it all.

-new floors in all but two bathrooms and the kitchen
-painting galore.  so much more to paint.  paint, paint, paint.
-the removal of five trees (still gives me the feels)
-removing at least one-thousand rocks by hand throughout the backyard to mitigate flooding
-complete electrical update and partial rewire
-converting indoor planter to bench seat
-replacing drain line and clean out
-repairing front door planter and added a seat
-replacing front door (it was hollow core!) and adding a storm door
-converting game closet into media center
-repairing and updating wall in garage - in progress
-replacing under counter lights with LED strips and connecting to switch
-updating kitchen hardware
-replacing microwave from 1982 (RIP radioactive microwave!)
-clearing chimney of a tower of newspapers from the late 80s
-obtaining a dumpster and cleaning our attic and sheds 
-replacing most of the window treatments that came with the house (don't worry, I'm putting all of that old curtain fabric to use!)

I feel like I'm missing so much so I may come back to update the list!  Many befores and afters to come!  I will refrain from starting the list of what we still need to do and will instead just focus on back-patting for what we've already done.  :)
This house was good to the original owners for 60 years and so far, it's been wonderful to us as well.  Two years?!  I'm so glad we're here. 

Friday, July 29, 2016

Ten Years

Just a couple of weekends ago, Brent and I celebrated ten years together!  I CANNOT believe it's already been ten years.  That went by FAST.  We met at the Woody Guthrie Folk Festival completely unexpectedly and have been going strong ever since.  I wrote all about our journey a few years back.  It had been a few years since I had attended the festival but this year, we made it a top priority to go. 

 
Okemah is not only Woody Guthrie's hometown but it is also Brent's hometown so it's always a small family reunion when we make our journey there.  Thanks to an awesome freak storm (a crazy derecho!), we lost power at our house for a few days which postponed our departure but it all worked out in the end.  We spent a good amount of time before and after the festival at my wonderful father-in-law's house with all sorts of characters. 



The land out there is just gorgeous.  I took a quick stroll as the sun began its descent and grabbed a few photos of the magic.  In person, it's rejuvenating.
The festival has changed over the years some, but so have we.  A few of our friends that have been there since our beginning joined us again to celebrate Woody, beautiful music, and us.  My gratitude runs deep.
I'm so glad we were able to run away together for a few days.  Ten years!  I'm proud of us, I'm impressed by us, I'm inspired by us. 

Monday, July 25, 2016

A Quilt for Myself!

This next quilt just happened. 
I was moving around some of the various trims I have on hand when I came across a small bolt of 'curtain trim' that I'd never used before but had always thought was beautiful because, green.  It was one of the many treasures I pulled from the fabric warehouse, aka the gift that keeps giving!  Ha!  So for the first time in two years, I finally started to unwrap that green fabric trim from its bolt and was floored to find it had been folded over and was twice the width it appeared to be!  I knew it would be the star of this quilt that was practically begging to be made.  I pulled out scraps from Rio's sewing basket and started piecing the main strip in fabrics that I adored. 
The bold black strips of fabric are actually the backside of a fabric that really wasn't my style at all; I probably would never have used it that way.  The backside had more of a batik/tie dye feel to it which I was all about.  Other than the black piece and the green trim, everything was scrap fabric!  This quilt was actually SUPER fast and simple to make.  It's the busy-ness of the green trim that makes it look more involved than it actually was.
For the backing, I used the same fabric that I used on the back of this quiltI have loads of it in my shop.  It's so different in person!  It gives the quilt such a fantastic weight and I LOVE the way the quilting shows up on the back.  It's a good thing I have so much of it since I see myself continuing to use it on quilts!  As you can see, I quilted the hell out of this thing.  My lines aren't straight and I did back stitch here and there (gasp!) but I LOVE the finished product.  In fact, I'm typing this post up with this quilt in my lap!
For the binding, I just used some scrap bias tape I had on hand and it turned out to be the PERFECT length for this project.  The floral binding in the corner is actually made out of the only fabric I inherited from my Great Granny so I'm quite partial to it.
I wasn't far into this quilt before I knew that I would be keeping this one for myself.  I'm not the only one in our house that loves it - it's quickly become the quilt of choice for everyone here!  It's definitely become my favorite. 
I know it may not be everyone's style but for me, this quilt is perfect and that is what matters.  :)
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