Thursday, March 14, 2013

Screen Eater

We have been contemplating getting Douges a friend recently and I have been insisting he's fine on his own and he's not bored at all. He must have heard me and decided to prove me wrong.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

DIY Kitchen Chalkboard

I had an old picture frame lying around that I just didn't really have room for in the house. I was working on a project that needed chalkboard paint so I got a little excited and decided to make myself a Kitchen chalkboard.

I always need to quickly write down grocery items and someone (joshua) always steals my notepads so I inevitably end up forgetting the grocery item when I go to the shops.

Who knew you could paint chalkboard paint onto glass! I didn't...

Anyway I just used some old paint I had lying around, baby blue and white, I think it was acrylic. I tried to highlight in white, don't look too closely with my impatient nature it is sort of messy, which I ended up liking because it gave it more of an old fashioned weathered look.

The frame was wooden by the way, I just sanded back the varnish so the paint would stick better.

For the 'blackboard' part I just used black chalkboard paint and did two coats. I think I could have done three. If you are more patient than I am I would leave the first coat to dry overnight and then apply the second, you will get a much smoother finish.

This is the finished product which I was quite happy with. Now I just need to make a little holder for the chalk and wallah!

DIY Chalkboard

Walk Please

This is part of Douges routine in the morning, drive mommy insane until she is forced to take me for a stroll.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Love at First Giggle

Have you ever wondered if the love at first site principle applies to only our romantic sides of life or if it can qualify for the first time you see your baby, the first time you meet your new puppy, the first time you take that sexy corvette you've been saving up for on a spin, or maybe even the first time you see your future best friend?

For me it was the day of registration for my 2nd grade year at Fresno Adventist Academy. I was there with my Mom, she was the librarian at my school so she already knew all the teachers and as my sister had gone through those doors only three years before she was chatting away to my soon to be teacher like they were long lost friends. But if I remember correctly that lady burned a lot bridges because she spanked a kid later that year. I was born in 1989 so if you do the math that is way past corporal punishment in schools being lifted, needless to say I don't think she taught much longer.

I surveyed the room making note of how many bouncy balls they had in the play bin, the playground currency at the time. I think half way through the year it switched to soccer balls.

The inspirational posters on the walls of fluffy orangoutang babies hanging from a tree that sang out cliched quotes like "Hang in there" which of course I found very humorous at the time as it was my first impression of such a clever anecdote.

The faded yellow paper ruler hanging on the wall were I presumed we could measure our heights. I noticed there weren't any counting blocks in this class room like I had in 1st grade. As I pondered how I was going to grow more fingers in order to compensate for the lack of counting blocks (I was never to good at the maths) I saw a young mother with jet black hair come in through the door looking flustered with two little Japanese girls in toe.

I immediately thought the taller of the two was the oldest but proceeded to watch as the littler one bossed the bigger one around as if she was in charge. I wondered what would happen if I talked to my older sisters like that.

"Jill no, we are in my classroom now, you can't go to class in this room. You're in the 1st grade classroom remember. Mom tell Jill that she can't go to class in here, she's trying to pick out a desk."

I noticed their matching Mickey Mouse t-shirts, or maybe they were just Disney themed, and was immediately jealous. At that time if you had one of those t-shirts it usually meant you had been to Disneyland. I had been to Disneyland when I was two years old, or so I was repeatedly told when I asked if I could go.

I finally went to Disneyland when I was 16 and got the Mickey ears and the whole sha-bang and despite what my parents told me it WAS the happiest place on Earth, just saying.

Despite my jealousy toward this little creature I took note of how patient she was with her little big sister and I knew I liked her.

My mom stopped her conversation to include the new comers, they introduced themselves and I heard her name for the first time. Jessica, her mom said it with an extra annunciated "CA" at the end, she still does that.

I find it funny that I even remember this encounter because try as I might I cannot remember one other registration day that I experienced throughout my schooling experience. And I didn't know then that this little girl would be the person I shared every thought and experience with for the rest of my life.

I guess thats where the love at first site comes in, my heart knew this little person was special and that I needed to store that memory away in a safe place so it wouldn't ever get lost.

Shortly after school started, it could have been the first day, I'm not sure, we had a rendezvous on the top of the jungle gym, which became 'our spot' and we decided or rather I decided (I was a bit of a pushy thing) that I liked this JessiCA and we should be friends. She complied.

And now as a forever side affect I can't pass a set of Mickey Ears without smiling.

Littler Nerds - I think about 7 or 8

Big Nerds - Day before my wedding in Aus, age 22

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

The ranting post that everyone hates including me

So I am feeling ridiculously unmotivated when it comes to writing as of late.

I think of incredible things to write about on my walks with Dougsie and then by the time I get home I remember the washing I forgot to put out or the fact that I haven't finished the 2nd season of Shameless, both equally important.

When I do feel motivated to be creative I usually spend that time making something that I can actually use, unlike words on a page (or webpage) which just sit there in cyberspace not really adding or taking away from my creative library.

I used to love to write, I would sit for hours thinking up little poems or funny stories that I just had to document because of course they were pure brilliance! Or so I thought.

I soon arrived at college all excited about where my new found joy in writing would take me. I had high hopes of becoming a journalist and reporting on the war on terror. (which I might add, I do not know how we can wage war on terror, it isn't a person) And after a few months there I wanted to write for a international aid agency, reporting on all the outstanding progress they were making overseas.

However after about one semester I realised I wasn't the writer I thought I was. I even struggled in poetry class which as I said before, I thought I was brilliant at.

Amidst all of that realisation and then devastation I did find something that clicked for me. It was the one class I actually enjoyed, actually responded to.

Funny enough I can't remember what it was called, but it was learning how to write literary non-fiction. For those that don't know literary non-fiction is literature that is about true events but you get to describe those true events in a very flowery and graphic way. Not poetic license but you definitely get to let your senses do the leading.

I loved it. Did I pursue it? No.

I quickly realised more often than not if your dreams don't make you money they can be very hard to follow, mostly because you won't eat. I applaud those that laugh at common sense and do it anyway, we can thank those looneys for all the artistic contributions in this world.

There really isn't a point to this particular rant, just wanted to share my frustration for my lack of motivation in writing. I want to enjoy it again and seek it out instead of looking at it like something I 'Should' do.

Maybe the whole idea is to 'make' myself do it and eventually it will be a joyful habit.

If so, here's to making this annoying rant the first of many. Sorry to those that actually read this blog, this is the beginning of a lot of nonsense.

Douges acting out my creative laziness. 

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Dougies Dance with Death

Brindle Great Dane Sleeping
Well it has been quite a while since I have written anything here. Much to my dismay but as life is slowly getting into a routine and Josh and I are now the only two humans living in our house, I am finding time for all of my much neglected projects.

However an abundance of time is not the reason I was compelled to write.

Yesterday while Josh, Douges and I were visiting the farm where my parents are staying while visiting Australia we all went on a lovely walk around the property.

During this walk our little explorer gave a flying leap into the big pond at the base of the property. He does this every time he goes by it so we all thought little of it. However, Dougie hates water in his ears, I mean hates!

He loves water however, so he refuses to get out and instead starts violently shaking his head while in the water which subsequently causes even more water to slip down his big floppy ears. Normally this is comical to watch.

As I was laughing at his sillyness I realised he was beginning to panic, his head started shaking more and more dramatically as he tried, in vain, to shake the water from his ears. And then he started that typical splashing that we all do, human or K9, when we are distressed in water.

By this time we are all yelling and whistling to try and snap him out of his panic. And then his head went under…

That is when I lost it, mind you I didn't go diving into the slimy pond right away but my heart jumped into my throat and I had to force my feet to stay on the ground and not panic. I knew jumping in to save him right away would probably be bad for both of us as I am not a strong swimmer and he has claws the size of Texas that would very easily scratch me to death as he tried to get to safety.

Then I noticed Josh and Dad at the waters edge preparing to save Dougie if he didn't come up. Of course he resurfaced and then finally snapped out of it and whatever evil pond creature had curled around his leg had released him. I know his short little life flashed before his eyes, needless to say he stayed close the rest of the day, soaking up the affection and concern of his humanoids.

I know this seems like a complete over reaction to a silly little "almost drowning" experience, but I think God has sent this dog to us to prepare us for kids.

Yes we may not have to wipe his bum, but we do pretty much everything else for this dog. We constantly try to manage his insecurities and reassure him that he is safe and loved. We try to balance fun time with learning time. We try to be fair and consistent so it is not confusing for him. I know he is just a dog (not that he knows that) but this pup has seriously changed our lives over the last year and half and I know God put him in our path for not only his happiness but our growth.

Happy almost birthday Dougie! Please don't jump into ponds and try to kill yourself again. Maybe it was a cry for help.

The below link is a weird thing I found on preparing for the type of situation we were in yesterday. Useful info for dog owners.

Rescuing a Dog from Drowning

Thursday, May 10, 2012

DIY PillowCase Lamp

I'm annoyed that I didn't take more photos of this project as I went along but there was a movie on while I was doing it so I was a bit distracted. 

Anyway it isn't rocket science so you should be fine. I got the inspiration for this idea from Tater Tots & Jello but she cheated because she used pre-ruffled fabric. Just saying. 

So in order to do a project such as this you will need: 

Scissors (preferably fabric)
Glue Gun 
Pillowcase (preferably with a ruffle trim, it makes it easier) or some other fabric

Start by cutting your chosen fabric into inch wide strips, make sure your fabric piece is long enough to wrap all the way around your lamp. I was only using a little lamp shade so I didn't have to worry too much about this. You can vary the width of your strips depending on what type of look you want, I wanted a textured look so I made mine fairly close together when I applied them. 

My $10 lamp from Kmart. I'm sure you can find one at an op shop (thrift store). 

A pillowcase my boss was throwing out. 
Next you can start hot glueing your pieces of fabric around the lamp starting at the top and working your way down. Be sure to keep the strips taught as you go around if you want a "Mummy" type look. I wanted mine to be flat but if you want more of a "ruffled" effect just don't be so pedantic about applying it smoothly. While applying the strips you can go perfectly across and make straight lines or you can be a little messy and make them go up and down a bit, I chose the latter. J suggested I make them straight and even, but the lamp is on my side of the bed. 

Once you are finished wrapping your "mummy" strips around the lamp you need to cap off the top and bottom to give it a finished and neat look. I used a nice even piece from my strips for the top and just hot glued it over the top of the other strips. 

For the bottom I used the left over ruffle pieces from the pillowcase. I hot glued it on as a whole piece (wish I had photos) and then trimmed it down so it just barely hung past the edge of the lamp. J liked it with the long granny ruffle but I didn't because it looked like a jellyfish, apparently that is what he found appealing about it. 

The ruffled edge from the pillowcase that I just cut down.
I made it uneven because I like the roughness. 
I love it lit up, it looks so much more textured.
I had to use my phone for this photo so it isn't the best image. Sorry.
Adds some nice colour to my bedside table
(an old box that I covered with a vintage tea towel (kitchen towel) from J's mom's house. 
I am currently trying to find a pretty ribbon to tie around it to just finish it off. But for now I am happy with my funky little lamp. I think it adds some much needed colour to our bedroom.