Wednesday, September 29, 2010
Tuesday, September 28, 2010
Then one of my readers asked about this photo:
But 10 years ago I was right in the thick of it. Although my husband didn't understand all the issues involved in my struggle, he knew I was struggling. And he wanted to help.
"I just wish you could see yourself the way I see you," he would say. He thought I was pretty, but I couldn't see myself that way. I could only see myself as the girl with the birthmark.
Finally he came up with a plan. For our 15th wedding anniversary, he bought me a lovely gift. But more importantly, he asked me to give him a gift. "I want a portrait of you," he said. "I want you to find a real photographer and have a portrait made of yourself. Not of you and the boys, not of our house, not of anything but you. I want a full-length portrait of you."
Is that the sweetest thing you've ever heard? And he was serious.
I resisted for awhile, but he persisted. He pushed. He prodded. He helped. He enlisted the help of a friend. And in the end, I got to be Queen for a Day--a day of having my hair styled, putting on an evening gown, going to the photographer's studio and out on location, and having my portrait made. I learned that a good photographer takes lots of photos and that some of those end up being good--good enough that even I had to admit that they were pretty. Even though the woman in the portrait has a birthmark, that's not what shows. In all those photos, there's not one glimpse of my birthmark. And that's the way my husband sees me.
I always see my birthmark, and I assume that's what other people see, too. I assume the worst. In his loving way, my husband wanted me to know that my vision was skewed.
Did it work? Did I learn to look at myself the way my husband sees me? Well, not completely. I've continued to struggle with this issue, and I'm still wrestling with it. But it helped. And that gesture was one of the kindest things anyone has ever done for me.
What a treat for me to be reminded--a gift gratefully unwrapped this Tuesday with Emily.
Friday, September 24, 2010
A cozy seating area:
Thursday, September 23, 2010
I love taking an old piece of furniture and transforming it into something lovely. But sometimes the supplies required for the transformation can cost more than the furniture! Not this time.
My latest Under $10 Under 1 Hour project was creating this:
Here's how I did it cheaply and easily.
Perhaps you can see that I bought that can of Krylon's "Bahama Sea" paint on clearance for $1.50. My Wal-Mart was selling odds and ends of paints, and I just happened to luck upon this color. The Minwax Wood Sheen I've had in my paint supplies for years.
I did absolutely nothing to prep the table for painting. I knew that I wanted an aged finish, so I figured it didn't matter how good the paint job was. I just sprayed the Krylon on. One can was plenty for two coats. And here she is in her bright-blue glory:
Next I took a piece of fine-grit sandpaper and distressed the table a bit. (By the way, I love distressing furniture. It seems that so many of my efforts go into trying to make myself look younger--it's fun to purposefully try to make something look older!) I just sanded some of the blue paint off on the edges, the outer margins of the curves, etc. Wherever it seemed that the table might naturally have gotten beat up over the years, I sanded. This took 5-10 minutes. And then I had this:
Then for the crowning touch, I took paper towels and smeared some of the Wood Sheen onto the table, then wiped off most of it. I can't think of any other way to describe my technique. "Smear and wipe" is exactly what I did. I just smeared and wiped until I was happy with the way the table looked:
The smearing and wiping took about five minutes. Honestly, it took longer for me to take the photos and write this post than it took to complete all the work.
Table: free (a gift from my sister's attic, several years ago)
Paint: $1.50 (regular price $2.97)
Stain: free from my stash
Paper towels: pennies
So this project was actually Under $2 Under 1 hour. That's my kind of project!
And here's the little table in her new home in my blue and brown bathroom:
If you can file your nails and wipe off the kitchen counter, you can produce a piece like this. Those are the only skills you need. It's fun! And cheap! And easy!
One of my very favorite bloggers, Melissa from 320 Sycamore, is hosting a wonderful party to showcase this kind of project: Under $10 Under 1 Hour. Check it out! I'm also joining the fun at The Shabby Nest and at Finding Fabulous. So many wonderful frugal projects! And I'm happy to link up to Amanda's Weekend Bloggy Reading round-up.
Wednesday, September 22, 2010
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
Monday, September 20, 2010
September SongWell, it's a long, long whileFrom May to DecemberBut the days grow shortWhen we reach SeptemberWhen the Autumn weatherTurns the leaves to flameOne hasn't got timeFor the waiting gameOh, the days dwindle downTo a precious fewSeptember~November~And these few precious daysI'll spend with youThese golden daysI'll spend with youK. Weill and M. Anderson