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You Can Hardly Call It A Tease If It’s Completely Naked, Can You?

If I had a dollar for everything I’ve told you I would post about but have never actually posted about, I’d be able to buy… like… two Starbucks lattes.


But there’s one thing I’m particularly itching to share.

And of course, since it’s still not finished, I can only give you a peek.

A teaser, if you will.

DIY Chalk Paint Dresser

A hardwareless peek.

It might just be because she’s completely naked, but I think she’s pretty sexy.


THIS is what Christmas is All About.

I think maybe my last post was a little long.  It scared me away for a few days, and I apologize for that.

Also, my little sister is in town, and she keeps me busy doing stuff like cooking.  And then eating.  And then cooking again.

And I have a cold.

And what I originally intended to become our every-other-year small dinner gathering of Christmas misfits — an intimate dinner served family style with wine and board games for those who aren’t traveling “home” this year — is now turning into a full-blown party of sorts, and I’m kind of stuck wondering how the girl who doesn’t like throwing parties (that would be me, in case you’re new here) keeps ending up throwing parties.

Not that I totally mind.

I mean, the idea that people who have no where else to go this holiday are willing to settle for our little ol’ house that can barely squeeze a comfortable gathering of 6 is kind of a heartwarming thought.  I just hope they all don’t mind confined spaces.  And a really strange medley of food.  And not moving.  Like, at all.

Other than that, it should be fun.

And the good news is, they will have a floor to stand on.

Yeah… so please ignore the unpainted door trim, odd green tinge I can’t seem to get rid of and unfinished shoe molding, and just look at the floors.

Yes, that’s a giant gear.

I’m working on my style.

Don’t judge.

We still have a long way to go, but I’m thinking the floors are a step in the right direction, no?

If you’re not convinced, here’s a closer look:

Old Carpet

Yes, I’d definitely say we’ve improved.

This is Why We DIY

Did you catch what I did there?  I rhymed “why” with the “Y” in “DIY,” which is essentially the same as rhyming “I” with “FYI” or “IDK” with “OK” or any other equally un-clever device.

Also, it doesn’t even make sense.  Why would we do it yourself?

It’s grammatically incorrect.

It should say, “This is Why We DIO.”  DIO, of course, meaning “Do It Ourselves.”  But then it wouldn’t rhyme.  And no one would know what that means.  You’d read it and be like, This is why we… dance in offices?  Dine in orphanages?  Do it orally?

And although I probably could write about any of those things, it turns out that office dancing, orphanage dining, and anything-lingus is not what this post is about.


And, come to think of it, it’s not even about why we DIO.  If anything, it’s about why we shouldn’t DIO.

And it’s about this teeny, tiny, eensie, weensie little project that involves ripping up the flooring in the main living space of our home, and the fact that we decided to take it on ourselves.  To save money.

Which kind of brings to mind that little rant I made about Black Friday and the other one about couponing and how if people valued their time as much as the cash in their wallets, they wouldn’t do silly things like… say… spend 4 solid days installing laminate flooring just to save the cost of paying a professional.

Well.  I’d like to point out that I’m not a hypocrite, clearly, because Justin is the one doing the majority of the work (with the help of some neighbors on Sunday).  All I did was spend a couple of hours painting baseboards.

Don’t judge me.

It’s not that I didn’t want to help — it’s that my help wasn’t wanted.

See, clearly I’m way too intelligent to waste my brilliant brain cells doing collaborative menial labor with the boys, and my criticism suggestions input wasn’t appreciated.  So.  I stuck to the undervalued-yet-still-completely-necessary tasks that no one else wanted to do, like painting baseboards and pulling staples from the sub-floor.  And I took photos of the boys as they compared ball size were totally awesome and installed my floors.

Which brings me to the first reason you should probably think long and hard before taking on a major DIY project.

Reason 1:  It will test the limits of your marriage/partnership/friendship.  And not in a good way.  Seriously.  When we tiled our guest bathroom and laundry room floor, the work for which was much more evenly distributed, it almost ended in divorce.  Especially when, after Justin had spent a good 45-minutes intricately cutting the last of the tiles so it would fit around the door frame between the bathroom and laundry room, I knocked it over.  Onto the other tiles.  All of which were porcelain.

FYI, porcelain cracks when it’s dropped onto porcelain.  Into like… a million tiny pieces.

But it wasn’t my fault.  I was delirious after 2 straight days of measuring and stooping and troweling and why the hell would you lay such an intricately cut tile — the last tile — up against the frickin’ door frame anyway??!

Even if you think your relationship is solid — if he asked you to be nice to his mother during your last visit and you didn’t even react when she said that she better get cooking because he’s too skinny and clearly no one is feeding him — if you forced him to watch Titanic because you just couldn’t believe that the fact that he’d never seen it was a conscious decision on his part and he actually stayed awake for its entirety without making a joke about Rose’s weight when Jack couldn’t fit on the floating board —  if he asked you to try that thing with the feathers and the ball-gag and the nipple butter just that one time to “see how it went” and you did it because you love him and you forgave him when you couldn’t stand straight for several days — even if you’ve survived all of those things, do not, under any circumstances, fool yourself into thinking that a collaborative home improvement project will be easy.

I’d be willing to bet that even John and Sherry sometimes want to smother each other while they sleep.


Aside from the relationship turmoil they invoke, which I’m willing to risk, DIY projects are worth the time they take, right?

That depends.

Reason 2:  DIY projects always take more time than even the maximum amount of time you could possibly imagine.  Does that sound worth it to you?  If you think a project like laying a click-and-lock floating laminate floor in a small rectangular room and hallway should only take you a couple of days, think again.  First, there’s the prep work:  Remove furniture, clip dogs’ toenails one last time on carpet since you don’t have to vacuum it ever again, run around blotting and spraying carpet cleaner on blood spots because you clipped one nail too far then realize you don’t even have to clean up the blood spots because they’re getting removed with the carpet, run to Lowe’s to buy a table saw, tapping block, and various other supplies that somehow add up to way more money than you expected, cut and pull up carpet, cut and pull up padding, pull eight-and-a-half-million staples out of the sub-floor, realize sub-floor is uneven, run to local hardware store and find it closed, go home because you forgot your wallet anyway, run to Lowe’s again to buy floor leveler, level the sub-floor, start painting baseboards, realize the baseboards haven’t been cleaned in about 9 months, clean baseboards, paint baseboards, then, if you’re lucky, you might be able to start the actual work.

The point is, any major project — especially one where you might be exposing the sun-deprived underbelly of your beloved home — will likely result in the discovery of a hair-riddled muffin top where you thought for sure there would exist a 6-pack of baby-butt smooth abs.

So don’t be surprised.

Okay, so I might lose my marriage/boyfriend/girlfriend/best friend and it will take me running through all 6 seasons of Dexter plus 4 showings of Titanic plus every single episode of every Real Housewives show that’s ever existed to finish it, but it’s worth it to save the money, right?

Really?  You think you’re going to save money?

Reason 3:  After you buy all of the sh*t you need to finish the project, you may as well have swallowed your pride and paid for a professional.  Really.  Table saw.  Floor leveler.  Any other tools you don’t already own (many were used for this project).  Did you take time off from work for which you might not get paid?  Not to mention the time, my friends.  The time.  Oh, I mentioned that in Reason 2?  Well it’s worth mentioning again.

Reason 4:  If you screw up, there’s no one to blame but yourself.  Enough said.

And yet.

I do have some tips for not evading, but at least minimizing the DIY effects described above:

1:  When it becomes difficult to work together, stop working together.  Period.  Take a break, and step away from the stress.  Appoint one of you the role of tool-grabbber/back-rubber/wine-drinker, if necessary, and try your damnedest to keep your mouth shut as much as possible.

2:  Plan projects before a major holiday/event/guest arrival so that you are motivated to either finish the project or forced to explain to Aunt Geraldine exactly why you keep feeding her Jell-O shots while pulling staples out from the bottom of her foot.

3:  Okay, so you had to buy a few tools, and when you add up the cost of said tools and the time it took to complete the project, you really didn’t save any money at all.  But.  You’ll at least have those tools for the next time you take on a similar project, which will probably be a cold day in hell.

But at least your neighbors will think you’re cool.

And the good news is, not all is lost.  There’s a certain feeling one acquires when finishing a major house project — a sense of satisfaction that doesn’t come with hiring a professional installer.

It’s like when veteran mothers try to explain the feeling of motherhood to non-mothers in that annoying habit they have that they can’t seem to help.  (Kidding, mothers!  You know I love you for perpetuating the human race when I’m too lazy to do it.)

That is, you just have to experience it to know how it feels.

And, by the time you do, it doesn’t really matter how it feels because it’s too late to turn back.

Every Now And Then, You Just Have to Get Dirty

Yesterday, Justin slit open the belly of our living room carpet like a surgeon cracking the chest of a heart patient, exposing all of the bloody, oozing innards of our home’s structure.

Except there weren’t any bloody, oozing innards.  Thank God.

I imagine an FBI investigation would be a major setback when it comes to finishing these floors.  Selfish bastards.

However, as you so faithfully expressed in yesterday’s Facebook poll, it would make you accurate when it comes to what the majority of you believe to be the expected completion date — sometime in mid-to-late 2012.

At first, I thought surely you would be wrong.  I mean, even though our past procrastination would suggest otherwise (a fact that Justin and I apparently forgot, but not you — not you), I thought these would be complete before my sister arrives with her 2 dogs late Tuesday evening, for sure.  That is, until today.

We spent this morning painting baseboards and pulling staples from the sub-floor.

Some of our family members were less than enthused.


Others were downright bored.

Then we discovered some problems.  Problems like one piece of sub-floor sitting nearly 1/4″ higher than another piece of sub-floor.  Two trips to Lowe’s and a smelly cement-like concoction later, good things are happening.

Really good things.

And Tuesday might be a day for celebrating, after all.

My Granite Drinks More Than Me.

It’s sleek.  Smooth.  Luminescent and lightly reflective.  Seductive.  Natural.  It moves.

And, while I try not to take the beauty of my granite for granted, I’m just going to say it — that thing that will most likely put me on the combined hit list of decorators, kitchen designers, Realtors, and people who make their living carving away the earth one layer at a time — if I had it to do over, granite is not the material I would choose for my countertops.

"Okay, now show me how something white looks next to it."

From my post, The Biggest Rock I Ever Bought

Actually, if I’m going to be really honest, I wouldn’t be picking counter tops at all.  Because I’d be living in a grass hut in Fiji. Where our counters would be made of shells and sand.  Or something.  Which totally isn’t practical, but it would be Fiji, so practicality would be like… the last thing I care about.  Because I wouldn’t cook.  I’d subsist off a diet of tropical fruit, Nutella, and cocktails made from coconuts and rum.

Image source

Do they have Nutella in Fiji?

I hope so.  Otherwise I might have to re-think this whole thing.


For the last 5 or 6 years, anyone who’s even thought about remodeling a kitchen — even if they don’t own kitchens but just like to watch HGTV — knows that granite has been like THE counter material of choice.  In fact, if you recently remodeled your kitchen and used a material other than granite (or marble, but the idea is natural stone), you’ve likely been told that you better love it because you will never be able to resell your home ever again.


It’s gotten so bad that I’ve seen people stick slabs of this gorgeous rock across the tops of old, rickety base cabinets from the ’70’s — original hardware still intact — and call it complete.

Now please don’t get me wrong.  I love the look of our granite (though I still wish we’d gone with something a bit more neutral).  I mean, I minored in Geology and had a very impressive rock collection as a kid (seriously — I had a geology reference book when I was 12), so if anyone can appreciate the beauty of this stone, it’s me.

So if there was a way to say… hang a huge slab of it on my wall, or better yet, make a whole wall out of this stuff cheaply and without tearing massive scars into the earth’s crust, I’d be all for it.  It’s like art — truly.

Millennium Cream
Millennium Cream

But for a countertop?  Just.  Not.  Practical.  Why?  Here goes.

1)  As proven by the fact that I’m not sure I want kids because it will cut into my “me” time, I am inherently lazy.  Well, that’s not exactly true.  I’m always up and doing something — it’s just that I like that something to be something I like doing.  And that something has never — ever — included granite upkeep.

See, I’m not sure if you know this, but granite is a natural stone.  Nothing in nature is constant over time, meaning its state can always change.  Our particular slab of granite happens to be grainy.  In fact, the fabricators had to come back several times to scrub it down with steel wool before it felt smooth — not grainy — to the touch.  And still, every now and then, I need to go over it with the wool to get it back to that glassy, mirrored surface we all know and love.

Also, it’s porous.  This means that unless it’s sealed really well — a process you should repeat over the course of your granite ownership — it will absorb anything that sits on its surface for too long.  Especially oils.  Oils are its drink of choice.  I’ve learned that you can “suck” them out using a combination of flour and dish soap spread over the stain and covered by a piece of plastic wrap (yes, I’ve had to do this — several times), but it’s probably best to get used to the fact that your granite may not stay pristine forever.

2)  One thing people love about granite is how hard and durable it is.  Well, just remember that means it’s hard and durable.  If you use it as a cutting board, it will turn your knives dull faster than Ben Stein can cause a roomful of students’ eyes to glaze over.

If, say… it decides to do battle with something you love, like a wine glass for example, the granite will win.

Every.  Damn.  Time.

And not necessarily just when a glass tips over onto the granite, but even if you set its fragile stem down just a little too zealously.  Wine enthusiasm is not a wise move in granite covered kitchens, my friends.

The same applies to glass bottles, fragile dishware, and your face.  Really.  If you ever dance while you cook, trip over your own feet, and find yourself plummeting all-too-quickly towards that expensive slab of rock you so painstakingly picked out, you will know what it’s like to come close to death.

3)  Sure, granite is heat-resistant.  But because you’re so afraid of doing anything else that might damage it (like leaving an unnoticed puddle of olive oil sit overnight), it takes you a full 2 years to muster the courage to set down a hot pan.  And, when you finally do, it’s not nearly as satisfying as you’d hoped.

I guess all I’m really sayin’ is, installing granite is like having a baby.  You shouldn’t do it unless you’re willing to commit the time and energy it takes to make it the best granite it can possibly be.  You have to accept the flaws you can not change, smooth over the flaws you can, and have the wisdom to know that in the end, you’ll end up spending a significant chunk of your savings on an ungrateful slab that absorbs all of your resources without ever giving back.

And it breaks wine glasses.

Broken Wine Glass

Still set on granite?  Check out how my friend Alaina went about buying her slab, and here’s my own granite pickin’ fiasco from back in the day.

Progress. It’s A Beautiful Thing.

My, oh my, my desk is finally complete.

After Justin was gracious enough to build it, I had that puppy painted and poly’d in 2-3 months flat.

Because I’m good like that.

Here she is butt naked:

And here she is all gussied up:

It’s a terrible photo because the lighting is crazy and there are cords on the floor and my dogs are performing PDAs all over the internet, but as you can see, it didn’t turn out half-bad!

I really lucked out because I used an old bucket of white paint I had sitting around, and the color match happens to be pretty close to the desk I’d already bought (the one with the drawers).

I’m not going to lie — the process of getting her sea-worthy was a long one.  Justin built her and then primed her with an oil-based primer using a high quality bristle brush.  (Oh, you didn’t know my desk was a “her”?  Well, she is.)

Then I used my leftover white, water-based (latex) paint and applied 3 coats using a brush.  I used a very fine-grit sanding block between coats (it said “between coats” on the label).  Finally, I put on 3 coats of Minwax water-based Polycrylic using a foam brush for protection (sanding between coats), since I’m pretty sure the whole office project is going to shrivel up and die by the wayside and we’ll end up using her for beer pong.

Yes, the surface has some streaks.  In fact, I’m pretty convinced at this point that the only way to avoid streaks is to spray the paint on — not brush it.  And next time, I might go with a Poly that you rub on with a cloth, rather than apply with a brush.

But overall?  I’m happy.

And since my life is made of checklists these days, and this little office project is taking longer than expected, I can’t tell you how good it feels to finally cross something off.

Office Checklist:

  • Buy small desk
  • Build large desk
  • Stain/paint and hang shelving
  • Organize
  • Paint book shelves (I’m pretty much dreading this)
  • New office chair?
  • Prettify

The Unfortunate Thing About Being Me. And Also, A Project.

First, I want to thank those of you who shared the things you keep around for when you’re feeling blue in the comments of yesterday’s post.  They were touching, heartfelt, and most important, they made me feel like much less of a freak.


The unfortunate thing about being me sometimes, is that there are so many things I want to be, that there’s never enough time to learn it all, and I pretty much end up half-assing everything as a result.

Except writing.

I’m so terrified of writing anything “real,” like a book, or a polished magazine article, that I don’t even half-ass it.  I no-ass it.  I don’t ass it even a little bit.

But for everything else, I always just go part-way.  I learn a little bit of a language.  I learn a little bit about photography.  I learn a little about cooking.  About cleaning.  About DIY projects and crafts.  I can work on websites a little.  Edit a little in Photoshop.  Train my dogs to drag me only a little way down the street when they take off after a squirrel.

In my very first blog post, I talked about a career counselor I had in college who got angry at me when I refused to write a paper for him that detailed my future career goals.  The problem is that I didn’t know what I wanted to be, so how could I possibly write a paper about it?  Add to that my abhorrence of making plans, my compulsive need to take advantage of opportunities as they arise, and my debilitating fear of commitment, and we have the ingredients for mixing together the indecisive, flighty, and noncommittal soup that is my soul.

I swatted away that counselor’s insistence like he was some pesky, know-it-all, gnat.  I somehow knew that if I just followed the direction life seemed to be taking me, everything would work out as it should, and some dream career would eventually fall on my doorstep.

Well, crap.

That didn’t happen.

Nor did I turn into a “master of all trades,” like I somehow thought I’d become.  The thing is, becoming a master of anything takes time, determination, and commitment.  (The exception, of course, being some sickening child protégé who only has to look at a piano before he composes his first symphony, but I’m not talking about that because frankly, it’s depressing and unfair.)

This is all probably pretty obvious to most people, but it’s taken me a bit longer to figure that out.

Mrs. Maetzold never gave me a “Speedy Learner” certificate, after all.

And now we know why.

And, as much as I’d like to think that I can just start making myself a schedule or a list of goals and everything will start falling into place, I’m pretty certain that once it’s thoroughly mixed, the ingredients of my soul soup can’t really be separated again.  So I guess that would make it a compound — not a mixture — for you chemistry buffs.

So I’m going to continue to carry on, learning things bit-by-bit as I tend to do.

What’s the latest little project to catch my attention?

It’s making these:

DIY Map Cutout Art

You’re probably wondering what that is.

That is a map of the city of Malaga, Spain, that I printed on card stock and then cut out the streets to give as a gift to our hosts when we visited them there a couple of months ago.


See, since I’m out of work right now, we wanted to give them something nice-yet-inexpensive to commemorate the time they’ve lived in that beautiful city.  Since I love maps, but nice ones are expensive to buy, I thought I’d make them one.

First, I used to zoom into an area of the city I wanted to print.  The closer you zoom, the more complicated the streets tend to get.  Then I saved the image and used a photo processing tool (like Photoshop) to crop it to slightly smaller than the size of my frame (or the inside of the frame mat).  Then I opened the image in MS Word or Publisher, reversed it, and printed it out.

NOTE:  It’s important to reverse the image so it prints backwards.  That way, then you cut it out, you can flip it over and none of the print lines or colors show.

The next step was tedious.  I used a craft knife and a mat I bought at Target to cut around every road.

How to cut out a map

Sorry for the blurry photo — I took this with my camera phone.  I went through a lot of wine and episodes of Sex and the City to get this done.  And I might have thrown a mild fit when I set a new blade for my craft knife on the paper and some kind of oil that was on it seeped through and ruined my 75% completed piece and I had to start over.

But we don’t like to talk about that.

Finally, I put a piece of scrapbook paper behind it as a backdrop and stuck it in a frame.

How to make a map cutout

Cut-out map laying on scrapbook paper.

Framed Map Cutout

Framed map closeup.

I’ve done some earlier versions, but the above map of Malaga is by far the most intricate.

DIY Map Cutout

Map of Austin, TX was made for Aaron and Bec, our hosts in Costa Rica who are finally realizing their dream of starting a life in Austin.  (Sorry, photo taken with my camera phone.)

DIY Map cut-out art

Map of Durham, NC where my friend Alaina and her husband are starting their family.  This is in a see-through glass frame.  (Sorry, blurry photo taken with my camera phone.)

DIY Map Cutout Art

And finally, Malaga, Spain.

I’d like to make some of these for our own home and the places we’ve traveled, and I’m sure I will be making more as gifts.  The great thing is that it’s sentimental for the recipient, and they can easily change out the frame, mat, or scrapbook paper to reflect their own personal style.

Is this a project you think you’d tackle yourself?  What kind of gifts do you like to give people?  Also, if you’re interested in having me make one of these for you because you simply don’t have this kind of time, let me know because I do have the time and I do need to generate some income.

Is this something you’d hang in your house?

Crafty McCrafterson

I have to admit — I’m feeling all kinds of inspired lately.

See, even though I didn’t get up early enough to polyurethane that desk on Saturday morning because I was sporting a massive red wine hangover headache induced by the aforementioned red wine and a couple of peer pressuring girlfriends (okay, they didn’t peer pressure me — I did it all on my own), I did have enough time to slap on a third coat of white paint before driving up to Raleigh to shoot my friend.

Again — that’s photographically speaking.

And now, since it’s too hot to polyurethane, I’ve been doing what any normal woman who doesn’t feel like she has enough time on her hands does:  I’ve been looking for more projects to not finish.

In fact, my Pinterest boards are chock-o-bock full of inspiration.

Remember when I told you about Pinterest?

From simple craft projects that make me smack my forehead and say, “Why didn’t I think of that?” and I could probably do in a day if I’d just get the stuff, like this lazy susan made to look like a wine barrel (from Lil Blue Boo):

To slightly more involved projects like this mirror made from wood shims (from Addicted to Decorating):

To ideas for repurposing stuff I already have, like turning all of those cabinet doors still sitting around in the garage into chalk boards (because you can never have too many chalk boards, right?) like this one (from Life in the Fun Lane):

Or refinishing our old, hand-me-down bedroom furniture instead of buying new, like this dresser (again from Life in the Fun Lane):

To things I’d just be better off buying than making, like this linocut typewriter from Etsy:

Don’t worry — this isn’t about to turn into a full-on design or project blog, because let’s face it — there are obviously many people out there who already have them, are awesome at it, and… you know… actually do the projects instead of just pinning them to Pinterest.

BUT, I thought it was important to share these with you on this lovely Sunday morning to prove, if nothing else, that I often at least think about being productive.

And that counts for something, right?

Life Just Got a Little Easier

**UPDATED**  Good news! It looks like my “invitations” to Pinterest regenerate each time I send one, which means I’m thinking there might not be a limit for how many I can send. So if you want one, let me know in the comments and I’ll keep sending ’em until it doesn’t let me send ’em anymore.

You seriously have no idea how exhausting it is living inside my head.

Unless you’re like me, in which case I feel for you.

I do.

It’s like this crazy, tangled mass of dreamy ideas, creative projects, and bucket list items juxtaposed with practical to-do lists, books to read, and inquiries to write.  It’s like Jackson Pollock has set up studio inside my mind and is redecorating the whole thing by tossing over neatly organized file cabinets and scattering the contents of card catalogues and painting over all of the sterile, whitewashed walls with this:

Except with more orange and less black.

If you do know what this is like, or you have no clue what I’m talking about but you love being really organized, I have found the answer, my friends.

And it most certainly is not blowing in the wind.

I realize I’m way behind the times on this discovery, but hey — I’m one of those people who stubbornly refuses to sign up for the newest “it” thing for as long as I can justify waiting ’till they work out the kinks or ’till my friends and readers start pestering me day and night and their urging voices creep into my dreams and haunt my thoughts and I finally, finally succumb to the peer pressure and add yet another user name and log-in password to my mental database of access codes because of course I’ve waited so long to sign up for the latest gimmick that the user name I’m trying to standardize for myself is already taken and the password I’m trying to standardize for myself isn’t long enough or doesn’t have a special character or has too many sequential letters and WHY DO YOU HAVE TO MAKE EVERYTHING SO DAMN DIFFICULT?!

See that paragraph above?  I don’t blame you if you didn’t read it.  That is what it’s like inside my head all. the. time.


So.  Enter the latest craze (at least in my mind) in social media and “cloud” networking:  Pinterest.

I cannot tell you how thrilled I am that I finally decided to give this a try.  Right now, I have tons of web browser bookmarks, saved file images on my hard drive, actual printouts in folders, and excel spreadsheets with links to various home improvement ideas, rooms I like, vacations I want to take, art projects I want to try, etc.

They are everywhere.

The fantastic news is that these ideas — these things I stumble across online that I like but can’t process right this second so I bookmark it to revisit at a later date that doesn’t EVER arrive — can now all be easily accessed via Pinterest.

For example, Kelly from Tearing Up Houses posted this beautiful kitchen on her site.  I love so  many things about this kitchen, that I know I’d like to save this photo for one day — in the far, far future — when Justin and I might stay put in one place long enough to build our dream home.

Rather than right-click the photo and save it to some random file somewhere on my computer (which will inevitably get lost when I buy a new computer or another hard drive crashes), I click the little “Pin It” button that’s now on my bookmark bar, and BAM!  The photo is saved on my Pinterest page to whatever “Pin Board” I designated (in this case, Inspiration Rooms), along with the link to where I originally found the photo!

So assuming Kelly’s page is still there in 50 years when we build our house, I can go back and find the source of the photo and see whether there’s any more information about it.  I can also type my own notes on each photo, so even if the original source no longer exists, I still have whatever information I bothered to note.

Also, whenever I browse my “Inspiration Rooms” pin board, I can easily delete any photos I no longer like.  Pinterest also lets me browse other people’s pin boards for a virtual slurry of inspirational goodness.

It can be a time waster,  yes.  But it also turns my Pollock’s into tranquil beach scenes complete with calming breezes and sweating bottles of Red Stripe.

And that, my friends, is priceless.

The one annoying thing I’ve found about the site so far is that you need an “invitation” to sign up.  That required me requesting one from the main page, and it took a little less than a week to receive my invitation in the mail.  I have no clue why they do this.

The good news is that it appears Pinterest has given me 6 of my own invitations to send to friends, so they can sign up immediately.  So, if any of you are interested and haven’t already joined, leave a comment below telling me so (hey, I rhyme!) and I will email the invitation to the first 6 people who ask.  Just make sure you actually want it so that it doesn’t go to waste!

**UPDATED**  Good news! It looks like my “invitations” to Pinterest regenerate each time I send one, which means I’m thinking there might not be a limit for how many I can send. So if you want one, let me know in the comments and I’ll keep sending ’em until it doesn’t let me send ’em anymore.

If Paint Could Double as Makeup and Hand Creme, I’d be in Business

Soo… does anyone know how to quickly defrost a used paint roller?


More important, does anyone know how to get paint out from under my nails?  And out of my hair?  And how the heck did it get in my bra??

What?  I have to take a shower?

Well forget that.

Paint-laced sweat is now my signature scent.

I think the customers at work tonight will really love it.  Because at this point, there’s clearly no way I’m going to have time to finish this and shower before heading to the bar.  So they have to love it.

But back to my frozen roller question:  See, after wiping down all of the trim and baseboards, removing the switch and outlet plates, taking pictures and mirrors down from the walls, patching holes I know I won’t use again, and moving some of the furniture, I only had time to do one round of cutting in with the brush and one coat with the roller before the room was full of shadows and my body gave out.

Plus, Justin had come home with Thai food and once I sat down to eat it, I didn’t really feel I had the option to get back up again.

(By the way, when I say things like “cutting in with the brush,” that’s fancy painter speak for, “I had to outline every damn inch of crown molding, base boards, inside corners, window trim, and door frames – that’s EIGHT door frames – in our living room and hallway with a paint brush before I could cover the walls using the roller.)

So when I finished Round 1 last night, I wrapped my roller and leftover paint in the tray with plastic wrap and stuck ’em in the freezer.  This usually works well for re-use in a day or two without having to wash the roller and waste all that paint, assuming you remember to… that’s right… take it out of the freezer.

**UPDATE: My friend “laxsupermom” over at Sugar & Spice in the Land of Balls & Sticks informed me in the comments that I am, in fact, a crack head and paint rollers should go in the refrigerator — not the freezer, otherwise you end up with “paintcicles” (which I did).  She also said freezers are for vodka, which would explain the looks I get from guests when I pull my vodka bottles out of the garden. Clearly, I still have some learning to do.

I finished Round 2 of cutting in this morning, washed my brush, ate some lunch, and then realized my roller was still in the freezer.


And with just over 3 hours before I have to leave for work, I’m wondering, really, if maybe a darker paint border around every wall and piece of trimwork surrounding a patchy, single coat center might become a trend if I just leave it like this and post pictures of the “finished” room all over the internet.

What?  I’m not that cool?

I bet if these guys did it, you’d think it was cool.

Whaddya say, Sherry and John?  How about only half finishing a paint job in one of your rooms to make me look good?


Well fine.

I guess I’ll have to finish.  My left bicep will thank you, but the rest of my body?

Let’s just say the road to forgiveness is a long one.