Friday, April 27, 2012

The Story of The Sign

Yesterday, a plan that has been talked about for almost 15 years began.  He moved the sign.
Let me backtrack a few years.  When I was in high school, maybe 17-18 years old, my best friend and I took her old Oldsmobile to a random mechanic's shop in Jenks (or maybe Bixby...that was a good many years ago!) to be serviced.  While we were waiting for her sweet ride, I glanced down to the stack of newspapers next to me and who did I see on the corner of the front page of the Tulsa World?  My dad sitting on a large, stone sign.  
After reading the story and grilling my parents, I learned that my dad had recently gotten word that his childhood elementary school was being demolished so, being the kind of guy he is, he scurried over as quickly as he could to check things out.  He struck up a deal with the contractor that if he could get the stone sign with the name of the school down without breaking it, he would pay him for it.  Well, the contractor got it down in one piece and the sign was his....to sit in storage for fifteen years.  Until yesterday.
All along, my dad has talked about his dream for incorporating this sign into their house somehow.  After 15 years of just talk, we wondered if that sign would ever be moved!  I was amazed to finally see it in motion.  All 3,000 pounds of it.  Now the sign sits in my folks' backyard, waiting to be incorporated into their soon-to-be constructed outdoor kitchen area.  
Who would have thought that almost 100 years after originally erected, that this 'headstone' would find its finally resting place in my folks backyard.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

One of Those Outfits: 18 Weeks

Thank goodness I went on that shopping spree last weekend because suddenly, I have a bump!  Buttoning my pants is a thing of the past (with the exception of my gigantic, old-school boy scout pants) and new bras have tremendously helped my larger ladies (big sarcastic thanks to those of you who pointed that out ;) Things, they are a-changing!
The shirt came from a thrift store for $3 and is a brand new Coldwater Creek shirt that is a few sizes larger than I normally wear.  It's got a nice weight to it that should be nice to wear while I can this summer!  The skirt was actually some old late 70s polyester grandma pants that I picked up at that huge school garage sale on Saturday for $.50.  I just picked out the inseams, sewed everything up and shortened it to my desired length!  Although, looking at these photos, I just might shorten it a bit more.  The waistband is a bit larger which leads me to believe I'll be wearing this skirt for a while :)  The shoes are Toms from a few years ago and I randomly decided to Heidi-braid my hair.  It's all sorts of kinky today from it :)

And there's the famous bump!  I can still suck in and when I do, the mister jokes that I'll hurt the baby which makes me laugh :)  I doubt I'll be able to do that much longer though!  
Yesterday was a pret-ty exciting day for us!  We found out the gender of our baby!  I haven't had a feeling either way but EVERYONE, with the exception of the mister, has said that they KNEW it was a boy.  The night before our appointment, I actually had a dream (my first 'I have a baby dream') that it was a boy named Austin (where that name came from, I have no idea) so I guess from hearing it constantly, I was convinced it was a boy.  Plus, not going to lie, I really wanted a girl so I figured it would probably be a boy for that very reason!  Don't get me wrong, I would have been thrilled either way but I don't know how to make boy things! :)  So just a few minutes into our appointment, the technician said, "well, that's definitely....dramatic pause...A GIRL!!!"  I was absolutely SHOCKED!  Even teared up which shocked me even more!  We also found out that, based on her size, I'm a week further along than we thought which means that I'm starting my 19th week today.  I'm almost halfway done and almost five months along!  Unreal!  
So now we begin the journey of preparing for our baby GIRL!

Monday, April 23, 2012

A Weekend to Breathe

This weekend was a good one.  Nothing special was planned, nothing pressing was calling to be done.  
 I spent some time out back with the mister on Saturday working on transplanting our herbs into some pots while he worked on putting in the rest of our veggies into the garden!  He plants and takes care of the garden while I harvest and cook with its bounty.  It's a beautiful balance, we've discovered.
Before digging in dirt, I had been running around town all day.  By choice.  My tummy is officially starting to stick out a bit more which means my clothes aren't as friendly as they once were.  I can still wear many of my things and will continue to do so but, they just aren't wearing quite the same which, coupled with the change in seasons, awakened the urge to marathon bargain shop.  
 I mapped out the places I wanted to hit and was on my way.  My first stop was by chance though.  I happened upon an elementary school fundraiser which had GOBS of awesome clothes for $.50 a pop.  I moseyed through the sale filling up my arms and keeping a straight face but in my head, I was skipping along and squealing each time I found a gem :)  I started altering a few pieces last night that I'll share soon.  

I also hit a local specialty thrift store that was having a sale.  I spent more than I anticipated but got some pieces that should last me throughout the 'age of expansion' and beyond.  In addition to a few other sales and thrift stores, I also stopped by Garden Ridge to stock up on cheap summer dresses.  I always get the strangest looks from people when I tell them that that is the place to go for summer staples but it's true!  
We finished Saturday off at a friend's house for an 'open grill' gathering meaning, you bring your own meats and they provide the grill.  Oh, and you bring a side to share.  It was a wonderfully laid back evening.  

Sunday was equally wonderful; I didn't leave the house all day.  Perfection.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

The New Digs

Like I mentioned yesterday, in order for us to create a nursery, LOTS of rearranging has had to happen in the rest of the house.  We've only just begun but we have made some large strides which I'm going to share with you today!  

Prior to this arrangement, my creative workspace shared our guest bedroom/my dressing room.  We intend to make that room our future nursery so the goal was to move my workspace and combine it with our office which was filled with oversized, cumbersome furniture before.  First thing first was to pick out new office furniture, an adventurous experience I shared yesterday, and get rid of the old furniture that inhabited the office before.  Then, the process of moving and figuring out how my workspace would fit.  We were done within a week.

Introducing, my new workspace.
Basically, the room is divided in half.  This first half you're seeing is my workspace side and the other half is...take a wild guess...the office side.  (Sorry for some of the darker pictures, the natural light in this room isn't the greatest for photography which makes it hard to get accurate shots!) 
If you notice behind my chair, my bead boxes are piled high.  Those boxes actually store in the tall black shelf to your left.  In my other space, that shelf was behind my chair so I could just spin around and keep them there as I worked.  Now, not so much.  Honestly, it's the ONLY drawback I've found thus far.
You may remember those black and yellow chairs from a project last summer.  It's nice to have them more functional now in this space.  So far, I've been pulling one of those chairs around to set my laptop on to watch Netflix shows while I work.  The coat rack is full of bags for sale and I've been hanging altered clothes on it from time to time.  Once the nursery is in full effect, my dress form will be squeezed in here, too.
The walls are still a work in progress, naturally.  Where the two wind chimes are hanging (one came from my Granny and Papa's house and the other a gift from an Indonesian neighbor in college), I'd love to find a new (old) swag lamp to hang.  The starburst was a cheap estate sale find, the drying rack (which I am LOVING) was given to me at an estate sale, the spice rack shelf also came from my Granny and Papa's and the drawer shelf was a cheap flea market find.  I'm on the lookout for a larger wooden shelf to go above those two little ones to help store more goodies I've got stashed away.  Underneath the shelves I'm planning on hanging cork boards.  
To the right of the shelves hangs a random assortment of goodies that inspire me.  An old Okemah Lumber Co. work apron from the flea market is first up.  In case you've forgotten, that's where the mister is from and where we met!  And check out those phone numbers - 153 or 125.  The watercolor of the face is an original from a German artist (not sure of her name) that my sister gifted to me many years ago.  Up close, you'll see that there are numerous faces hidden within it.  The painting below that is a painting done by my mom based off of a photo of tiny me and Big Dan, a fixture in Jay, OK.  Also from Jay is the weird thing hanging off of the apron.  It's actually a musical instrument made from a deer bone, deer hooves and leather, made by my relatives.  Yes, these are also the wishbone relatives :)  The horseshoe is the one that we used in our wedding, as you may remember from this post.  And the wooden mirror?  Just a little something that the mister brought along with him when we moved in together that I've always loved.  You can see my rockin' pajama pants in its reflection :)

Our guest bedroom color is blood red, and yes, I do believe we'll be keeping some of the walls that color for the kiddo, regardless of its gender.  I grew out of love with it though as a workspace color.  I am already beyond in love being able to work in lighter colors.
And I'm loving having my sewing machine to my side instead of behind me :)  My sewing machine sits on an old, metal typewriter table that came from my Papa's old machine shop.  The gate-leg table was my Mimi's best friend's table that my mom bought from her in a garage sale when I was a kid.  I've had it ever since I moved out and I can't imagine not having it to work on.  
Across from my workspace wall is the office side of things or what I stare at as I work!  The shelf, desk and side drawer thing are what we bought on our Ikea trip.  Things are MUCH more efficient than they were before, which makes this organized gal VERY happy.  Eventually, we will cover those bright white drawers with a darker contact paper to help balance out the room.  
You know, I always like the look of the rainbow organized bookshelves but I just can't bring myself to do that to my own shelves.  I HAVE to have books categorized according to topic.  And I can't just stand books up next to each other.  I must have them going this way and that.  I always have :)
One of my favorite parts about this room is the vignette on top of the bookshelf.  My aunt made that latch-hook rug in the late seventies and gifted it to me when I went to college.  I've always been enamored with it. The framed photos are a Christmas tradition - I always give the mister a framed collage of our past year.  It's fun to see them building and to see so many memories together.  Next to that are some vintage Ronson Buddha bookends and my beloved Siamese Cat TV Lamp.  Nestled behind the kitty is a Frankoma Indian Maiden that was given to me when I received my WoHeLo Medallion and finally, the globe was a beautiful surprise gift from the mister at our first Christmas together.

So there you have it, a long-winded, link-heavy tour of my most frequently used room!  There's still a few more things to be done but at this point, it's pretty close to being done!  I'm hoping to make lots of pretty things in it during my teaching break!  :)

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

A Trip South That Went South

Now that you know our big secret, I can finally tell you about our adventurous (birthday!) weekend last month!  Warning, it's a little lengthy but hopefully entertaining! :)

It was a beautiful Friday morning and the mister and I were having a slow day at work (yes, we work together, with my folks).  We'd been talking nonstop about needing to find new office furniture on the cheap to start rearranging the office to accommodate my workspace which would allow our guest bedroom to become a nursery.  We'd looked around town and just couldn't find anything in our meager price range that would work in our awkward space so we ultimately decided that Ikea was where we needed to look.  We randomly decided to ask for the rest of the day off, ran home to pack some overnight bags, wrangled a beast-sitter and were on the road to Dallas within two hours!  
On another whim, I felt the urge to make the bulk of the drive down, which doesn't happen very often.  I'm a much better passenger on long-ish road trips.  I was about three hours into the drive (chomping on Sprees the entire way...this is going to be one sugar-loaded baby!), with just about an hour left when we heard a pop followed by a sound similar to a plastic bag being drug under the car.  I quickly pulled over after a fleeting moment of panic and we got out to inspect the sound.  Yup, we'd had a blowout.  Fabulous.  Luckily, I had my hunky handyman along for the ride who knows how to deal with these sort of situations.  
I plopped myself down on the ground next to my personal mechanic, snapped some photos and enjoyed the beautiful weather we were experiencing.  We were only waylaid for about 45 minutes and were back on the road with no other problems....that day! 
We found a nice little hotel not far from our Ikea destination that seemed to be perfect for us.  Little did we know, the blackout curtains were only for show and wouldn't close (I MAY have freaked out a little about this...I need pitch black to sleep!) AND right outside our window was a gigantic LED sign that changed colors every few minutes.  All.  Night.  Long.  Oh, and did I mention that on this trip, I developed an insane case of allergies/sinus junk?!  To say I didn't sleep well was an understatement.  

Did I also mention that the following Saturday was the mister's birthday?  Another reason we jumped on this trip!  Our anny was in a few days as well so we thought it would be nice to go to a nice restaurant to celebrate both of these occasions.  Since we were in Texas, a big, thick Texas steak sounded delicious to us (sorry vegetarians!) so we got a recommendation for a 'great steak' from the hotel front desk guy.  Upon our arrival to the restaurant, we discovered it was a Texas chain but decided to dine there anyways.  We totally shouldn't have.  It was TERRIBLE.  And our dining neighbors were a family of 10 celebrating a 20-something's birthday.  Sounds innocent enough except that they were blatant, loud racists!  We were not amused but throughout everything, we kept our spirits.  
After a rocky night of snotty sleep, we journeyed down to the hotel's hot breakfast only to sit next to the most annoying man I think I've ever encountered.  He kept rudely telling his dining companion to 'Shut up!  I'm talking!' over and over again and shared thoughts on pilots, politics, 9/11, conspiracy theories and more.  It was way too early for that business.  At least the breakfast was good ;)

Shortly after we found ourselves at Ikea!  The mister had never been to one before and I'd only been to one while interning in Hungary which meant I could only buy things that I could fly home with!  I was stoked to have a large vehicle for this visit :)

Everything went according to plan on our shopping trip!  They had everything we wanted and everything fit our measurements!  (I'll share the office overhaul shortly so you can see what we got/did.)  We were out of there by noon and decided to go ahead and hit the road, stopping for lunch once we were out of crazy-town.  We also opted to try and get home on our full spare so we could go to the tire place in Tulsa where we originally bought our tires from.  We figured we could make it...
We had just gotten out of the crazy Dallas traffic when I pulled my shoes off, leaned my seat back and prepared to catch up on the sleep I lost the night before when we heard a loud BOOM.  The mister quickly pulled over while I quickly put my shoes back on and we soon discovered that our spare had blown as well.    Seriously.

We weren't able to pull as far off on the shoulder as I would have liked so as soon as we had called AAA (bless them), we trekked down just a bit to the closet overpass to hang out...FOR TWO HOURS.
Let me remind you of a few things:  this was the mister's birthday, we had yet to eat, I was horribly congested and I am pregnant.  There was NO coverage for me to pop a squat anywhere (And I'm not opposed to doing that; thank you years of camping!) so my squished bladder was a-screaming.  Also, denying a preggo their food, especially when it dictates their level of nausea, is just plain cruel.  
Luckily, the weather was again beautiful, we had all day to kill and we weren't in the crazy Dallas traffic when this blowout occurred.  Again, we kept positive spirits throughout this whole ordeal.
And it certainly won't ever be a birthday that we'll forget.
Due to a large accident up the highway, the tow truck had to detour considerably which is why his arrival was so delayed.  I *did* have a brief moment of 'woe is me' once we were inside the tow truck and he was pulling our ride onto his.  I think it was a combination of hunger, fatigue and that terrible smell of diesel that pushed me over the edge.  

The driver had to dig out a never-been-used-before seat belt for me to use, per my request.  We made a short drive to a nice tire shop and found out we would have to spend close to $500 on new tires that day.  So much on saving money on furniture!  ;)  We didn't have the option of shopping around, so new tires it was.  When we first arrived at the tire shop, I made my way to the bathroom as quickly as possible and was amused to find a HUGE line of dirt across my midsection from that brand-new seat belt.  Made me laugh :)

While we waited for about an hour to get our tires fixed, we found a GREAT local pizza place, Durkins, that  allowed us to sit back, relax and devour some good grub.  I found myself dreaming of that pizza the other day, actually.  

By the time our car was ready to hit the road, we would have ORIGINALLY been home had everything gone according to plan.  We made the drive home in record time and didn't have to stop once for me to go to the bathroom!  Amazing!  ;)  

All in all, it was a great impromptu weekend even with all of the hiccups.  While it seems that nothing was in our favor, there were so many things that WERE in our favor; us remaining safe and sound, most importantly.  It will certainly be a weekend we'll never forget and one we can tell our kiddo about in the future..."Have we ever told you about the weekend we decided to start the steps on making a nursery for you?...."

Sunday, April 15, 2012

The 365 Is Up!

Remember a few months ago when I was seeking your help on those unbelievable 1950s pamphlets that I was fortunate enough to come across??  Well, for the past two months I've been an organizing and cataloguing fiend and made the decision to go ahead and start a 365 blog with them!  
  
 It's been up and running for exactly two weeks now and will continue on until April 1st of 2013!  Every morning, right around 10 a.m., a new pamphlet cover will be shared with the date of publication, its publisher and a snippet from inside of the publication.  That is, if that information is available.  I've been trying to organize them according to topic for the season, if possible.  For example, since today is April 15th, tax focused pamphlets have been the highlight!
 I wrote a bit on my experience with the publications and what history I've been able to come across here.  To see what's been shared so far and to follow what will be shared in the future, you can start here!

I hope you enjoy this as much as I've enjoyed putting it together! :)

Friday, April 13, 2012

Two of Those Outfits: The End & A Little Fuzziness

No, not the end of outfits but the end of the semester!  Hooray!  I welcome this mental break with open arms :)  This semester was a doozy for me, a good one but a rough one.  I'm sure I'll be back at it for summer classes in a month or two but for now, mindless work and Alliday planning it will be!
Man, are those sleepy eyes or what?!  Told you I've been a nap-a-holic for the past few months!  Oh well :)
I picked this dress up at an estate sale quite some time ago.  It sat in my 'to alter' pile for quite some time until I finally got to it.  I had thought about taking it in but since I'll just be getting bigger for a while, I decided to keep it the size it is and just chop off those sleeves a bit to make it more modern.  I know, chopping off sleeves is such a new thing for me ;)  Originally, the collar was made to flip up and form a turtleneck type top but the fasterners were broken there and I liked it folded over so I kept it as is!  
I finished this one off with Target cardigan, Target flats and some earrings my dad gave to my mom in the early eighties while on a family vacation in Destin, Florida which was where we always vacationed when not camping together :)  That cute little belt came with the $1 dress and since there's no close up of the dress, you can't tell that the pattern is a small navy blue houndstooth.  Perfection.
Wednesday was the last, last class!  I had thought about wearing another sleeve-altered dress but the weather was a bit chillier than Monday so I went with this number.
Ooooooold Gap skirt and clearance sweater with Target booties, Green Couch Design necklace and oooooold vintage scarf.  
During this shoot, we invited Vera outside to join us for a few photos.  I am proud to announce that I am now the newest StreetCats board member and I'm elated to be so!  I've worked with the organization for a decade now after taking in my first two ladies from there and I've grown to strongly believe in what they do. I'll be spotlighted in their next newsletter so we needed a shot of myself and a furry lady.  Since Vera is familiar with being in front of a camera and already gets outside time periodically, we thought she'd be the perfect picture companion.
She LOVES to have her shoulder blades scratched and will lean back as far as you'll support her!
When she's in the yard, the beast ALWAYS tries to corral her back up onto the porch.  He knows that the kitties aren't allowed to stray!
I'd say she enjoyed herself  :)

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Fab Lab Presents Dale Dougherty

This past Tuesday, I was fortunate enough to be invited to the kick-off event for Fab Lab's 3rd National Symposium, presented by Tulsa's own Fab Lab!  I was absolutely thrilled to be asked to join because I knew that a very special speaker would be sharing his words, but more on that in a moment.
 The portion of the Symposium that I was able to attend was held at San Miguel Middle School, near Lewis & Admiral.  San Miguel is new to me but the more I'm learning about it, the more I'm loving it.  At this point in time, the school does not have an art program but that does not prevent the students from creating art with visiting guests!  The kids were shown a picture of Neil Gershenfeld, the creator of Fab Lab, and were asked to create these large scale representations of him which I am in LOVE with!  Pictured below are only a small portion of them.  I was quite impressed by many of them!
 The event's Keynote Speaker was none other than Dale Dougherty, the founder of the magnificent Make Magazine.  I had imagined I would be impressed with his words and I was not mistaken.  Not one bit.
 I wish I had been able to recap this event immediately following his speech so I could share the full extent of his words but alas, this busy week didn't allow it.  Dale spoke for nearly an hour (perhaps longer?!) about the maker movement, and how there are some (many) people who would rather make something themselves rather than go out and buy it.  (What a concept!  ;) How we have to realize that EVERYTHING was thought up by SOMEBODY.  How having a desire to understand how something is made, wondering how YOU can make something, should be embraced.  Not only should it be embraced in thought, but schools and families should embrace teaching through encouraging creativity, curiosity and instilling in children the belief that they CAN do it.  Anything.
Dale was such an accessible speaker that needed not a note to help him.  Not only did I leave feeling inspired but I left rejuvenated and elated to be surrounded with others who believe in the power of making.
So thank you, Dale and thank you, Fab Lab for bringing him to Tulsa!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Two of Those Outfits: Palazzo Pants

I must say, it's nice to be 'out' with our news but then again, now every time I encounter someone, they immediately look to my stomach!  Talk about making a gal feel self-conscious ;)  I know weight gain is GOOD when you're expecting but for me, I'm still having a bit of a hard time embracing it.  Perhaps it's because I'm just beginning that awkward stage right now - where I don't really look pregnant, just that I'm starting to let myself go!  Maybe when I actually look it, I'll embrace that change more openly.  Has anyone else felt these feelings through their pregnancy experience?  Am I sharing the unspoken thoughts that most keep to themselves?  Or am I just crazy?  ;)
 Ok, enough about my gut, let's move onto the clothes!  

See that wet spot on my shirt?  We can thank the beast's wet nose for that :)
 The top came from that ridiculously fun swap last year, the palazzo pants from the great beyond and the sandals from Target if I remember correctly.
 On Wednesday, I pulled out another pair of cropped palazzo pants that have served me equally as well as the black ones above.  This pair is a tad large on me so I'm thinking they'll serve me well for a few more months...fingers crossed!  I *think* I picked up this pair in a boutique in Phoenix many years ago, the sweater came from Gap clearance, the scarf I've had for eons (and has literally travelled the world with me), the flats from Target and the necklace from Green Couch Designs.
Just like last week, this week is a crazy busy one.  It's the last week of the semester which means tests, speeches and grading out the waa-zoo.  Tomorrow I'm heading to Fab Lab's Symposium and will hear Dale Doughtery, the founder of Make Magazine speak!  I'd say this is kinda a big deal :)  This weekend I will head to Oklahoma City for a professional conference where I may be presenting.  Busy, busy!  

See you on the flip side!
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