Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Christmas Countdown

So, I finally did it. I threw in the towel on the real Christmas tree. I just couldn't take the sneezing and itching and hives another year. We ordered a 7' Frasier fir from Ballard Designs, and we are very happy with it. Honestly, except for the skinny trunk that shows a teensy weensy bit at the bottom above the tree skirt, you can't tell it is a fake. 

The Darling Husband set it up for me on Sunday evening of Thanksgiving weekend and then I decorated it on the following weekend. I have to admit it was kinda nice to not have to worry about watering it!

I set up the Santa tree the dining room on Saturday. It is also artificial and is quite old (10+ years) and it still looks great!

The rest of the house got finished up on Sunday. More pics later. I love Christmas decorations! Except when I have to do it By. My. Self. 

Thursday, May 9, 2013

A little depressed, a little jealous, a little inspired...


Okay, I know.  Super weird title to this blog post.  I am losing it a little bit this time of year. Too much work.  Lots of meetings and sporting events.  Very little sleep.  I have had to put the blog on hold due to being a wife, mother, and teacher.  Which has got me a little depressed.  Because I haven't had much time to be creative.  In fact, I have had precious little time to be creative.  I think I have knit one washcloth, knit 1/2 a cowl, knit 1/2 of a chunky cable hat (that is gonna be cute!), and ordered yarn to knit some completely cool fingerless mittens from the Purl Bee.  Oh, and I knit two pair of baby booties that I need to put little buttons on.  They are adorbs.

Here is the cowl I am knitting:

And here is a picture of the fingerless mittens I am going to make:
 I have been doing some good cooking.  But not enough, because I am NEVER home.  I have made several good things from Pinterest lately, including this:

 pinner says... Oven Tacos (love these. My husband's "favorite taco ever". Made them exactly as written, and will do so many times over in the future.)

I have read some good books.  Including The Dinner (super fast read, read in one sitting on a plane from Chicago to Denver), Broken Harbor (you know I am obsessed with Tana French!), and Gods of Gotham (Loved! Can't wait for her next book to come out).

The Gods of Gotham cover
At last count, I had graded more than 900 essays.  And that was in March.  I am sure I am well over 1,000 now.  Between my senior writing classes, my AP English classes, and my junior World Lit class, that's a lot of writing.  Most of the essays average 3 pages.  So that's a hell of a lot of reading and commenting.  My writing callous is ridiculous. I am the super hero of writing callouses.

I am a little depressed because of some of the above, but I am also proud and happy because I am a happy wife, a happy mom, and a happy teacher.  I am trying to do good in the world every day.  So there's something.

I am also a little jealous and a little inspired because I was on Pinterest (avoiding work...) and I saw a delicious recipe, which led me to a really great blog, which I started reading, and then I just read that the author of the blog is going to write a book, which she describes as a "family/food memoir with recipes," which is EXACTLY WHAT I WANT TO DO.  In fact, she says that she was "discovered"on her blog.  WHICH IS WHY I STARTED BLOGGING.  But, she actually did it with some regularity.  And I did not.  Which is why I am only a little jealous.  Because I am also a realist.  And I am pretty sure that she has not graded over 1,000 essays this year, because I think that blogging is her full-time occupation (along with being a mom and a wife).  Sooooooo, I can't be too jealous.  So instead, I am going to be a little inspired...

I can't wait for summer!

Friday, January 4, 2013

A Little Project

I have not been very crafty this Christmas Break.  I have done a lot of cooking, quite a bit of cleaning, a little organizing, and a lot of grading.  Sadly, I have only knit a tiny bit.  I have also read a little, but nothing too good.  (If you have a good book recommendation, I am all ears!  Hint, hint.)

My laptop died in late November (may she rest in peace) and so that also put a damper on any potential blogging.  Combine that with teaching two AP Lit classes, two senior writing courses, and one junior English class = big loser with no life.  Anyway, I got a great new computer for Christmas from the Darling Husband and I am back in business.  Thankfully, he backs up all of my files on my computer for me at least once a month, so I didn't lose anything.  (When I say my computer died, it really died.  Like, as in a computer repair shop said no hope for revival.)

This morning I was sitting at the kitchen table (my home office... just call me Harriet Beecher Stowe), dinking around on my computer (trying to avoid starting to grade - I am super good at it) and I found some pics of a project I did last summer that I never posted.  So hooray!  I have something to blog about, other than my lame life.

I was inspired by a fellow blogger, Nicole Davis, of MeOhMy! blog fame.  She hasn't been posting much lately, since she had a second baby and had to move in with her parents while her husband is finishing grad school.  It makes me feel better when these "professional" bloggers fall off the blog wagon so to speak.  It makes me feel less pathetic.  Anyway...

I always loved Nicole's chevron painting in her living room and decided to make one for myself.  Here is the inspiration:

J√°dore Nicole's old house.  She has a great sense of formal + casual, and is super stylish.  Here is another shot:


And still another at Christmas:

Yeah, I know.  Super cute.

So, my house doesn't exactly look like this yet, but I am trying.  I decided to start with the chevron painting.  (I am eyeing that reindeer painting for next year...)

First, I went to Michael's and bought a canvas, acrylic paint, and a brush.

Then, I sketched out the design on graph paper.

Then, I measured and drew the lines on the canvas.

This part was kind of tedious and boring.  I wanted to get to the painting!

 I painted the white stripes first, then the grey.

 Here it is, almost done!

And here it is, in my very plain looking dining room last summer:

I am working on this room.  I started painting the chairs last summer, but didn't get very far.  I worked on them a little this break, but still have only one done, and one 2/3 done.  I can't decide what I am going to do to the table.  (But a new one???)  But, I am working on it...

Here is the room at Christmas:

(add pic)

Here is what I am thinking about doing with the chairs, once they are all painted shiny black.  I also wish my dining room had wood floors like the rest of the kitchen/hallway and not this super-generic khaki carpet.  Sigh.

I'll keep you posted.