Sunday, October 04, 2015

Random Guidepost #114

There are only two options:  make progress or make excuses.


Sunday, September 06, 2015

I'm Waterlogued

The biggest disappointment with my Android phone was finding out that the Waterlogue app only works on iPhones.

Solution: relatives that have an iPhone.

I absolutely love this artistic representation of our cottage in July:

I'll be taking more photos to magically make it look like I'm an incredible watercolorist.


Sunday, May 03, 2015

Another Occasional Guidepost -- Number113

Half an hour’s meditation each day is essential, 
except when you are busy. 

Then a full hour is needed.  

~St. Francis de Sales 

Busy, but apparently still sane,

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

I've Reclaimed My Guest Room

'Way back in the summer of 2012, I worked tirelessly to transform this half-baked attempt at a guest room into a welcoming haven.

My son had moved out, my husband's chemo was over and I had the summer off.  Was I ever busy!

I sewed a dust ruffle to complement the Waverly floral duvet cover I'd made years before.  I had just been pulling the duvet long enough on one side to cover the box spring as you can see above.  Hey, the other edge was pushed up against the wall where no one ever saw it, and it was better than looking at the boxspring and frame.  Or so I told myself.

I envisioned a ticking striped fabric but found a cute botanical/alphabet print.  It was the perfect pink and the price was unbeatable.  Sold!

I painted a resin ORB yard-sale wall lamp in my favorite white ( Behr Sleepy Eyes), recovered a vintage lampshade frame with chenille (this is not it btw), rewired with white cord, then stood back and admired my handiwork with glee.

With a little ingenuity and an electric drill, I even figured out how to hang the lamp despite missing hardware.  The challenges of upcycling!

We had also been using this spare room for storage and it has a high decorative ledge that's perfect for hiding boxes behind paintings and other decor. I'm a packrat ("this might come in handy someday") and a sentimental mommy (toy trains, models, teenage odds and ends)--not a good combo.

I barely survived some hard-hearted purging and a couple trips to the Goodwill donation center but it felt good to be organized and have kept only a few choice items.  I look back at this pile and think "Yikes!"  No watermark on this photo for some reason but feel free to Pin it if you have a "Hot Mess" board!

While I was clearing the ledge, I even scraped some popcorn off one small part of the pitched ceiling and painted it--just to see what it looked like.

This was before I repainted it.  Even without any texture, it's such a nice clean difference.

I finally painted the whole room farmhouse yellow.   A warm mellow yellow that existed only in my memory of a wooden chair in my grandmother's California ranch house rather than on any of the hundred yellow paint swatches (too green, too blue, too gray, too orange, too gold) I'd been collecting.  I mixed up my perfect farmhouse yellow from my craft acrylics and then had it color-matched.  I don't know why I didn't think of that sooner, but it is the easiest way to get the paint color you want.  Duh! 

By the end of the summer I'd decorated with old family wedding photos and some of my MIL's original floral art and the room was beginning to look quite welcoming.

 I even created a sewing corner with thread, notions and a bit of Mary Englebreit happiness handy.

Two weeks later my son moved back when he and his roommate parted ways!  Let's pause for a moment of silence.

Sigh.  It was wonderful to have my live-in dog-sitter,hen-watcher and part-time chef back, they always say, every silver lining has a cloud.  

Fast forward two and a half years to last week.

The boomerang kid now has a better job and good prospects for the future, and has moved out.  Again.  Maybe for the final time? I hope so for his sake.  No one should have to move back with their parents if they want to retain their sanity.  I couldn't have!  He seems to have escaped unscathed--perhaps we are just unusually wonderful lenient, understanding, awesome parents?

Once again, I have a lovely empty room that's begging to become the guest room it always wanted to be.  I've moved out almost every lingering vestige that he has yet to transfer to his new home--blackout curtains, extra computer parts, old textbooks, navy comforter, ratty posters--and I feel like I have a bright and welcoming space to play with again.

I have plans.  Oh, do I have plans!

All the decor is still stored away because I'd just love to resume scraping off popcorn.  (It'll never be this empty again, right?)

The bed has never had a headboard and I'll be making this Ana White farmhouse versionUnless I can find an old brass one like this one during my garage sale rounds.


Minus the 70's quilt and dark gray carpet, hopefully!

I can just see plantation shutters, crown molding, new baseboards, beefed up trimwork.  My son removed the closet doors and it looks so open and spacious without them--not to mention how much easier it is to access anything inside--that I would like to hang curtains if I can find a fabric I love.

Oh, the possibilities!

I wish I could wave the magical DIY wand that so many bloggers seem to possess.  I would be able to show you a series of perfectly-styled photos by next weekend, right?  Real life just isn't like that. I have a husband and a dog, four new chicks, a job, housework and an awakening garden--all of whom need my attention.

For now, just having a (mostly) empty room is enough.

Stay shiny,

Sunday, March 15, 2015

112th Official Guidepost

Have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. 
They somehow already know what you truly want to become.

~Steve Jobs 

Enjoy the journey,

Friday, March 13, 2015

Friday Favorite--Irresistible Baby Chicks

Chick Day!  These are my four soft, adorable, sweet little ameraucana peeps. I had to sneak in this one quick bit of flash photography on the chicks' first day night in their new home.

I know from past experience that these little pullets will grow and change daily so I have to capture the cuteness before it changes!  Tomorrow they get to pose in teacups.  I hope they will be on their most ladylike behavior so I can take some memorable baby photos of them!

Stay shiny,
Sharing at My Romantic Home!

Sunday, March 08, 2015

The Weekly Guidepost--Number 111 or so

Things are looking up
I know above the clouds
The sun is shining.

Things are looking up.
Love is still the answer 
I'm relying 
~Jason Mraz

I've discovered that endings are just beginnings in disguise! And I'm enthralled with discovering the creative new possibilities and directions that life is presenting.

Stay shiny,

Friday, March 06, 2015

Friday Favorite--Redwork Dishtowels

Chickens and rickrack.  Does it get any better than that?1.  

   I think not.

Sweet vintage redwork embroidery to enjoy while I dry those few dishes, pots, pans, knives, cutting boards and bowls that don't go in the dishwasher.

Stay shiny,

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Guidepost Number 110

You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream. 

~ C.S. Lewis

I've happily tied shoes, modified pencil grips, encouraged phonetic spelling, zipped jackets, dried tears, taught playground games and generally enjoyed myself for fifteen years in kindergarten.  That all came crashing to a halt last week when I learned that our district is eliminating all kindergarten aide positions.
Hence the quote to get me thinking about what my next adventure is going to be.  It'll be hard to find something I love as much as I love my kindergarteners, their parents, and the teachers I work with.  But I'm confident that something wonderful is just around the corner!

Stay shiny,

Sunday, February 08, 2015

Guidepost Number109

Inspiration exists, but it has to find you working. 

~ Pablo Picasso

Stay shiny!

Friday, February 06, 2015

Friday Favorite - Always Good Kharma

There's nothing better than the dog at your side.

 Especially if she's your heart dog--a smart blonde, enthusiastic, smart, loving border collie cross who knows how to climb your apple tree for a snack. 

Or makes you smile when she positions herself perfectly to catch any stray tidbits that might drop when you cook dinner.

And lays her head with exactly the perfect amount of pressure on your lap as you dine just so you know she's there.  And makes you refer to a Frisbee as the "f" word so she doesn't know what you're talking about.  Who loves walks and swimming in lakes (creeks, rivers, ditches).

Who was the cutest puppy ever with her sweet little pink paws and tummy.

Today we are celebrating Kharma's ninth birthday with special meaty treats, a trip to the pasture for some frisbee, and as much love and appreciation as we can possibly show to our wonderful pup.

 It seems like yesterday...

There is nothing quite as special as the dog at my side.

Tuesday, February 03, 2015

Be the Ripple

Loved this so much I just had to share! Watch it all the way through or you won't get the punchline.

It is just me, or does it help to have a hankie too?


A simple act of caring creates an endless ripple. 

February seems like the appropriate month in which to make some ripples!

 Definitely stay shiny!

Sunday, February 01, 2015

My Guideposts--Number108

Better than a thousand hollow words, is one word that brings peace. 

~ Buddha 


Friday, January 30, 2015

Friday Fave -- Christmas in January

The nights are getting shorter and the days longer--although you can't tell if you're not paying attention because you're too busy freezing your bewhondus off.

All the twinkling lights are packed away as are the tartookers, bizilbigs, popcorn and plums. So what's a girl to do to ward off a severe case of the dreaded January Doldrums?  Funny you should ask!

It helps that I've hoarded every post-holiday sale cross-stitch ornament pattern that I've ever seen.  I have kits marked Shopko $.30--and we haven't had Shopko here for a decade, people.  And, oh, how I miss that store!  So I'm loving lots and lots of cheery projects to stitch while I watch George Eliot's Middlemarch on Netflx, with an occasional Marco Polo episode  thrown in to satisfy my sweetie's viewing habits.

It might have taken a few days of digging in various boxes and bins to round up all the kits that have scattered over the years, but I managed to herd them into one corral finally. So maybe the correct embroidery threads aren't with the right kits. Details, details.  Close enough.

I'm just started project number seven!  Which sounds impressive--especially with an exclamation mark thownin--but three of them were already mostly finished (similar to "mostly dead", but in the opposite way) and took just an evening to wind up. 

Don't you just love that little gingerbread house on the green Aida?!  It's my favorite.  Atlhough the little hen with the brown eggs that says Merry Eggsmas on it (not pictured) is darn fun too.  In a chicken-loving way.

I'm not only avoiding the post-holiday letdown but I'm a whole eleven months ahead on next year's Christmas ornaments!  Whoot!


Sunday, January 25, 2015

My Guideposts--Number 107

Fail to plan? Plan to fail!

 The saying has been attributed most often to Ben Franklin, who is also credited with having said, "By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.”

More recent variations:
“Fail to plan, plan to fail.” Carl W. Buechner

“Failures don't plan to fail; they fail to plan.” Harvey MacKay
"He who fails to plan is planning to fail." Winston Churchill (during WW II) 


Saturday, January 17, 2015

My Guideposts -- 106

Live strong.
Act bold.
Be brave.
Nothing's too hard to do.
 Always believe.

~James Hellwig
The Ultimate Warrior 

Friday, January 16, 2015

Friday Favorite -- Fuzzy Flannel Sheets

Growing up, my least favorite part of a northern California winter was climbing into a cold bed. My toes took eons to warm up in those cold sheets no matter how many of Aunt Mabell's quilts and wool blankets were piled on top!

Brrrrr.  Still makes me shiver thinking about it.

The high desert is a lot more comfy in winter even if it is a whole lot colder since we have such low humidity.  Sheets seldom get clammy-cold.  Which explains why this is only the second year we've owned a set of flannel sheets. What a luxury!

When the nights drop into the single digits or teens, I make our bed with a set from Costco.  They are the same color as a tub of vanilla bean ice cream. These sheets feel as good as ice cream tastes!

I hop into a vanilla-colored nest of warm fuzziness, top and bottom.  No cold toesies.  No shivers.

Just fine, fuzzy, furry, fluffy, fizzy, fabulous, friendly flannel.  Yum!


Wednesday, January 14, 2015

How to Easily Backup Your Blog at Blogger/Blogspot

The beginning of a new year is an ideal time to backup your blog.  

I was a good girl and just saved all my glorious pearls of wisdom from 2014.  I'm no computer whiz but it's easy!  Really truly pinky promise!  At least, it is on Blogger aka Blogspot.  

I can't speak to any other platform.  Sorry 'bout that.

First, you'll have to open your blog in Blogger (preferably in a separate window so you can read these instructions and toggle over to your blog to carry them out.)
 There on the left side, all the way down at the bottom, is a little wrench icon called SETTINGS.  You'll want to click that.

At the bottom of the menu you just opened is the completely uninformative word OTHER.  But that's the one you want. Click.

Near the top of your page you should see the title BLOG TOOLS and in blue it will say 
Import blog     Export blog     Delete blog

You want to select EXPORT BLOG.  Don't worry, your posts aren't going to disappear.  What you are doing is copying the whole shebang to a safe and secure location where Blogger can't accidentally lose every word you've ever published.  Your blog may not be Tolstoy (or maybe it is) but you've put time into selecting photos, writing and editing, reading comments and, as unlikely as it is, I've heard of bloggers whose posts that simply up and disappeared into the North Woods one day, never to be seen again.  

Big collective "ouch!" here.

A window will pop up to reassure you that you are doing the right thing and merely backing up your blog.

So select DOWNLOAD with a happy heart.

Yet another window will open asking you if you want to Open With (a default program) or
SAVE FILE.  So select SAVE FILE and push OK.

Great!  You've downloaded your blog, every comma, every paragraph, every comment.

You've essentially copied your blog from Blogger/Blogspot to your own hard drive.  But your hard drive is subject to various ills--viruses, malware, old age--so you need to find secure storage to park all the info. Here in the cottage, we have an external hard drive which is where I save my valuable photos, videos, blog data, etc.  You could choose to put yours on a DVD.  Or maybe up in the Cloud.  I share the external storage with my sweetie so I have my own section and a file I have brilliantly named Blog Backup.

Ahem...moving on.

You'll find your downloaded blog under My Documents (click),  Downloads.  I find My Documents when I push my Start button.  It's also under My Computer/Local Disc (C:)/your Documents.  There's always more than one way to access data. 

There, you'll find it listed alphabetically under "blog" along with the date you downloaded it.
i.e., blog-1-14-15

Right click on the icon or title and CUT (or COPY** if you're the nervous type), then PASTE in your chosen safe storage.

**If you selected COPY, you can now first check that you successfully exported your blog into your safe storage before you go back and hit CUT.

See, told ya it was easy. 
I'll bet the hardest part was deciding where to save it.  Am I right?

One last trick.  Copy this post onto your blog, give it a catchy title like HOW TO BACKUP MY BLOG, and save it as a Draft rather than publishing it.  You've put it into an easily found and easily remembered place so next January you can do the same thing again. 

Stay shiny,

Parties to visit for more fun, inspiration and eye-candy and how-to's: