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Saturday, May 7, 2011

This Ole Frou Frou

Admittedly, I'm not incredibly handy. I'm clumsy and impatient and I set really high expectations for every project and person that I come into contact with. With all of these glorious faults, though, I really enjoy the occasional home-improvement project.

I've been meaning to strip the top of this dresser for a while and finally I had the gumption to get the supplies and do it. I received this dresser from a really nice lady that I worked with when she was moving into a smaller house. I was so excited to receive a free piece of furniture...as this adds to my record of every piece of furniture that I own being given to me or coming from the thrift store or Ikea (I don't know if we're really counting the Ikea pieces, are we?).

I really love this kind of arts and crafts/shaker dresser, but I wasn't digging on the stenciled top that she had applied several years ago. I would've loved to have the original finish, but it was already painted.

The stripping goop smelled like fake oranges and acid (that's probably what it's made of, too). It went on really easily, but didn't work with the zest I had anticipated (there goes that inflated expectation of life and and its products again). I imagine that part of the problem with the first application of this product was that I didn't wait long enough (there goes that impatience again). Another part of the problem were the several layers of paint that hid underneath the green stenciled layer. White maybe or blue or perhaps all of the colors layered together and I'm just really bad at home improvement projects.


After the second and third applications, I had reached the original dresser top, with a serious amount of blue paint permanently sunk into the wood grain. I also managed to drip green paint and stripping good on the carpet and the cat ran through the pile of stained towels and tracked green paint through the house. Sweet. So now I was lucky enough to have two projects! At the end, I was kind of exhausted and I think I may have had some kind of contact high from the stripping fumes and the mineral spirits.

Looking at it, I actually really enjoy the way that it looked and I'm thinking of just putting some polyurethane over the top and calling it a day. Part of me, though, wants to try another layer of stripper and stain to match it's original lustre.

With all of my picture frames, fancy tschotskes and and kitsch, I feel as though its imperfection is right at home.
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Thursday, May 5, 2011

Quiet! Mama's Busy Watching Her Stories!

I was going to write about this awesome home improvement project I did, but I'm really busy watching this Bollywood film and I'm totally enthralled.

Lucky: No Time for Love

2005 NR 132 minutes
Praying with all her might that her St. Petersburg school will be closed for the day, the naive Lucky (Sneha Ullal) is shocked to find her wish granted when a wave of insurgency sweeps the city. But escaping the rebels' clutches proves a dangerous task, one she can't accomplish without the help of a sophisticated stranger (Salman Khan). Working together, they slowly make their way to safety … but not before they begin falling for each other.

Anyway, Laura sent me a really great article about how worthless my Bachelor's Degree is. I feel like a million dollars.

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Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Definitive Dissension

So I'm not normally one to get political, because I don't like to argue with people. Well alright, I'm lying. 

I am slightly confused, though, as to people's definition of Democracy.

This is what the dictionary says (via the interwebs) ,

The political orientation of those who favor government by the people or by their elected representatives.

A political system in which the supreme power lies in a body of citizens who can elect people to represent them.

Majority rule: the doctrine that the numerical majority of an organized group can make decisions binding on the whole group.

So, I instantly think about when you're a kid and your family decides that they're going to go to dinner. Of course, when you get more than two people providing opinions about a restaurant, there's bound to be a bit of dissension so, you put it to a vote. A vote that won't make everyone happy, but that's how it works. I mean, you could live in a dictatorship with Dad deciding where you're going for every meal and personally...I can't eat that much Ponderosa without serious digestive repercussions.

 If you're on the winning side you're off to a delicious dinner at Ruby Tuesday (just kidding, that place sucks) but if you're on the losing side, you're wishing for a delightful Applebees dinner (kidding again, that place is even worse). Next time, though, maybe your Aunt Mildred is in town and it just so happens that she likes Applebees, too. That will be quite a day for the Applebees camp!

Instead of having a lovely Ruby Tuesday dinner, some sore losers can't help but complain. You know the type. They whine and piss and moan until your Mom says that she's not going anywhere, and everyone's having grilled cheese sandwiches and Campbell's tomato soup and liking it. That person has gone ahead and ruined it for everyone, instead of understanding that although you're not going to get to eat dinner where you wanted tonight, you might next week, and at least you're getting to have a dinner in a restaurant with your family.

Nobody likes that last bloke. Just saying.
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Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Guilty Pleasure Tuesday: Wrea-lly? Yes, Wrea-lly.

Today I bought this item on eBay. I haven't purchased anything on eBay in years, but in the spirit of my current obsession with the holiday season (and the fact that similar pieces are WAY more expensive than the offer that I placed), I decided to bring this wayward, plastic, vintage, ugly, fruity and totally fake-looking wreath into La Maison De Retro.

One of my favorite episodes of "The Fresh Prince of Bel Air" was when it was one of Will's first Christmases in California and Aunt Vivian sent him to pick up the super posh and Un-Christmassy Christmas decorations from some fruity Bel Air designer. Will hated the decorations and proceeded to decorate Philadelphia style with lots of plastically delicious and totally tacky Christmas finery. The neighbors, that all managed to have sticks shoved in their nether-regions, are appalled and want to have the Banks' residence restored to a more "appropriate" uppity seasonal decor (you know, that kind that doesn't look like Christmas at all...but rather like maybe you got attacked by a pseudo-crystalized forest/lovely country happiness/tres chic kind of fusion that doesn't really exude any kind of actual mirth, but allows you to look EXACTLY like you have a life-time subscription to Real Simple magazine like all of your other yuppie friends). When the family returned, they were shocked to find that the house had won a contest that was complete with a Girl-Scout troop singing Christmas Carols.

This wreath is that episode. For me, beginning a collection of superbly amazing, vintage, plastic Christmas decorations allows me to remember some of my grandmother's decorations (that I still have and use every holiday season) and allows me to contain, within my home, several lifetimes of Christmas cheer. These decorations may be on ebay now (and no longer as easy to find in thrift stores, unfortunately), but they could've easily hosted thirty previous Christmases full of drunken relatives, eggnog, ham dinners, "It's a Wonderful Life," and other holiday memories. You can't BUY that kind of karma.

With being said, I got this other fancy lot of plasticky Christmas loveliness, too (for an even better price...and combined shipping. Awww yeah). I'm planning, in the very near future, a warm-weather complete Christmas Dinner...and you're all invited.

I've even hosted a  Swap for some new recipes. Check it out, fellow Swap-Bot-ers.

Joyeux Noel.
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Monday, May 2, 2011

We (Don't) Hate It When Our Friends Become Successful

As I've said before, Morrissey will often write songs that can wholly sum up how I feel about a certain subject. With every passing album, his observational humour/wit gets keener. Taking a look at an earlier album, called "Your Arsenal," Morrissey has captured how so many of us feel about our good friends success.

"We Hate it When Our Friends Become Successful"

We hate it when our friends become successful
We hate it when our friends become successful
Oh look at those clothes
Now look at that face it's so old
And such a video !
Well it's really laughable
Ha ha ha ...

We hate it when our friends become successful
And if they're northern that makes it even worse
And if we can destroy them
You bet your life we will
Destroy them
If we can hurt them
Well we may as well
It's really laughable
Ha ha ha ...

You see it should've been me
It could've been me
Everybody knows
Everybody says so
Everybody knows, everybody says so.
They say, "Oh, you have loads of songs,
So many songs,
More songs than they can stand --
Verse, chorus, middle eighth break"
Just listen,
"La la la etc."

While this can often describe how I feel about acquaintances success (especially those friends-of-friends that are just fucking dreadful, but you have to be nice to them because they're your friends' friends and you don't want to be THAT girl that can't get along with anyone.), my closer friends are free from my ill-will. A great example is Mrs. Erin. I met Mrs. Erin at a previous place of employment and we have carried on a lovely relationship since then (I can't believe that it's almost been three years!). Erin is one of those people that likes to try lots of things and has a lot of success with many of them. Erin made pillows out of ties and tea-dyed doilies, and my mother still hasn't even given back my sewing machine. Just saying. I'm jealous of her patience and willingness to keep on going when I just get frustrated and throw something across the room ("You [Irish] are so hot-blooded!").

I know that Erin has been interested in photography for a long time, but recently, she's really started a prolific and talented portfolio that I wanted to give massive props to (props to? Today's awkward sentence structure is apparently not getting any better). So what sets Erin apart from those people that I fecking hate just because they're better than me at fecking everything? You know, I guess there's a lot of reasons. First, Erin is really good at making people feel good about themselves: no matter what they're doing with their lives. Second, she is complimentary without being patronizing. Third, even though she's a tiny little person, she doesn't dress like a cheap hooker. ha!

I hope that Erin becomes a super-famous photographer and gets to quit her day job. In fact, I hope that all of my friends get to quit their day jobs and become insanely fabulous doing whatever it is they want to do. That's what you should want for your friends, right? As for your friends-of-friends, they can still feck off.
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Sunday, May 1, 2011

Gourd-eous

Ms. Dana, the most environmentally-friendly person I know, was nice enough to let me paint one of the birdhouse gourds that she grew, dried and hollowed. I'm not really sure how she does that, but after we were finished painting, she also shellacked and sealed it and put a hook in it. I'm thinking about maybe hiring her out for a part-time handylady. She doesn't know that yet, so don't tell her.



Anyway, when I saw the gourds, I immediately thought of a Christmas ornament. Well, that's what I thought of, but I'm not so sure that that's what actually came out of the paintbrush. Actually, I've been immediately thinking of Christmas a lot lately and I'm not really sure why. It's as if my sub-conscious has already had its fill of spring and summer, and I'm ready for the Autumn and Winter holidays to begin. What is wrong with me?Best Blogger Tips
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