Wednesday, January 11, 2012

My One & Only Valentine Decoration...

Last year at this time I had made the horribly painful but lovely Coffee Filter Wreath but since it was filthy with irremovable dirt by October, I spray painted it black and added mini pumpkins, to serve as our new Halloween wreath. Not wanting to go through the painful process of another coffee filter wreath, I searched high and low for a new wreath project.

I really hated to put away my Christmas wreath because I love it so much, all sparkly and bright. So after a bit of thought I decided to make a Valentine Ornament Wreath. When I began to look for a heart wreath form to build upon, I found everyone in town to be out of them, save for one smallish wreath on the bottom shelf (at the very back of the shelf) at Hobby Lobby. Of course, thinking that I could easily acquire plenty of red/reddish ornaments, I was further disappointed to discover that NO STORES had any left except for some at Target. I immediately became overwhelmed with greed and piled every single box of medium and small sized red ornaments all marked 80%, yes 80% discounted, into my basket.

Who cares if people were staring at me as if I'd lost my brain somewhere in the parking lot? I was on a mission. Assuring myself that these would be enough for the project, I checked out and raced home to get started. As usual, it wasn't enough but no place in town had any left and I went everywhere that sold (or had sold) ball ornaments, probably spending a small fortune in gasoline, right?

I worked feverishly for two days until I reached the point that I knew I couldn't finish without more red ornaments. Fully aware that there were no more to be had locally, I searched the internet for miniature red balls that would be used to fill in the gaps of my wreath. The cost was astronomical on the scale of after Christmas ornaments, so I declined. Then I did the unthinkable. Yes, I unpacked all of the ornaments I'd already carefully packed away and I robbed what few red ornaments I could find. Then I robbed the front porch decorative trees of their red ornaments as well. Frankly, I decided I could just worry about them next year when supplies are plentiful.

 Still, I had gaps that needed to be filled in on the wreath, so I finally had to break down and use some champagne colored mini ornaments I had put away for next year. I suppose I'll have to replace those as well, when the time comes. Until then, they did a nice job of filling in the remaining holes, don't cha think?

The most amazing thing to me is that you can't buy ball ornaments out of season and fleaBay is always a crap shoot. You never know what you'll end up with and it almost always costs more than it's actually sold for at retail prices. Who runs these places anyway? Don't they know that people craft 365 days of the year? They could have made a tidy sum, but they had nothing to sell. Too bad for the retailers, huh?

Did I mention we are scheduled to have another snow tomorrow night? I'm cynical but the hubby says it's guaranteed by the weather service. A guarantee from them is absolutely worthless, thank you anyway. Why does anyone believe them? Their ratio for being accurate is like 2%. Hello.

However, it turned out that they were right, for once. We received 14 inches of snow within 24 hours. Who says this is West Texas? 

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Makeover Magic In 2011....

I came late to this whole decorating and crafting thing but I think I'm here to stay! I started (and often finished) many projects during 2011 in my attempt to get our house ready to put on the market, which might be by 2015. So. Not. Joking.

When you spend 20 plus years raising children in the same house, things often tend to go into disrepair, especially when your children reach the age they become involved with sports, all kinds of sports. Everything took a backseat to what the kids were doing, so we neglected everything for many years. We always kept up with everything around here until the sports craze began. First, the yard went into a state of totally unmanageable chaos, then the interior of the house began its descent into darkness. The loss of both of our grandparents and later our parents, along with the inheritance of far too much *debris* was the stuff hoarders are made of. Still, we let it become overwhelming while we were busy doing kid stuff and living our lives.

Often, grieving for relatives prohibits us from clearing out the crap and cobwebs, although it's difficult for many to admit. Others toss stuff to charities or the dump with wild abandon. We lost hubby's parents to different cancers, 7 months apart, while our son was in 8th grade and our daughter was in 7th grade. I was PTA President that year and hubby was the president of the board of the local youth centers. It was such a crazy time for all of us. Now that our children have been gone for 6 or 7 years, we've had time to really think about what we want and we don't want this 3200 sq. foot home, situated on a double sized lot. We've reached the point that we need to downsize and move to a more manageable property to accommodate our *empty nest* years. We have 4 bedrooms, 4 baths, 2 living areas, 2 dining areas, an enormous kitchen, a ridiculously small laundry closet, huge front yard, tons of interior storage, a guesthouse (filled with stuff), a storage building (filled with stuff), a garden area, and a small playhouse that has certainly seen better days.

As we rapidly approach our 60's, this property just really freaks us out. When we were in our mid 30's (when we bought the house) we were full of life and able to do just about anything, including keeping up with this enormous property ourselves. Frankly, once I turned 50 I swore off gardening and taking care of endless flowerbeds. The hubster lasted a bit longer and was finally forced to give it all up due to his back pain. Looking back, I can't believe how much we tended to in those early days, and this house was truly a showplace in those days. These days we're spending far too much time in doctors offices, paying for the sins of our past, which I still don't regret. Yet.

Fine. Enough of reading about my excuses for the way things have deteriorated around here. What this blog is really about is trying to earnestly reverse things around here and hopefully move at some point. I want no yard, just a pool, which won't be an easy task since my favorite townhouse here just recently sold. Also, I'm not exactly the most patient person ever. At. All.

I repainted and recovered quite a few items in 2011 but will just show you the highlights (so I don't bore you right off the bat). I really don't like to pay over $15.00 for a chair or table until I hone my skills, so everything you see was from Goodwill for $10.00 or under.

I'm constantly amazed by the transformations-by-spray-paint, even my own projects. I want to run around the house spray painting all of the ugly things, but that would be a *no-no* for my lungs, right? So, I have to impatiently wait for fair weather, which seems to be elusive these days in West Texas.

Anyway, as much as I THINK I've accomplished in 2011, it really just barely scratches the surface of what we have left to do. Some days, it's totally overwhelming and other days I attack the projects with fervor. These are my Chronicles....