Friday, October 31, 2014

Tutorial: Primitive Reclaimed Wood Snowmen

Typically, I dislike skipping right from Halloween to Christmas.  But I am so excited for this cold front coming through I want to prematurely share with you a tutorial for these adorable primitive wooden snowmen.

Tutorial: Primitive Reclaimed Wood Snowmen


Begin with reclaimed wood that is 3”x3” or larger.  Using a Miter Saw, cut two pieces of wood that are approximately 12” and 9” tall.

Tutorial: Primitive Reclaimed Wood Snowmen


Tutorial: Primitive Reclaimed Wood Snowmen


Paint each piece with two coats of pure white craft paint using quick upward strokes.  The wood should show through in some areas.  If you feel you achieved too much coverage, lightly sand the corners to give the snowman an antiqued feel.

Tutorial: Primitive Reclaimed Wood Snowmen


After the white paint has dried, gather a few small art brushes, and this pallet of colors.

Tutorial: Primitive Reclaimed Wood Snowmen


Begin with the eyes and eyebrows.

Tutorial: Primitive Reclaimed Wood Snowmen

Tutorial: Primitive Reclaimed Wood Snowmen

Give him a smile and some rosy cheeks.

Tutorial: Primitive Reclaimed Wood Snowmen



Tutorial: Primitive Reclaimed Wood Snowmen


Add the carrot nose, and then lightly outline it.

Tutorial: Primitive Reclaimed Wood Snowmen


Tutorial: Primitive Reclaimed Wood Snowmen


Don't forget the white speck to add twinkle in his eyes!

Tutorial: Primitive Reclaimed Wood Snowmen


Repeat.



Choose two coordinating fabrics.  I used a red chevron upholstery fabric and a wide turquoise burlap ribbon.


Tutorial: Primitive Reclaimed Wood Snowmen


Cut approximately two 9” long x 4” wide strip of each fabric.  You will also need two small 1”x4” strip of each.  If you are lacking patience, like me, you may find your fabric edges are raggedy – fix this easily by “hemming” the fabric inward with a little industrial strength fabric glue.



Using the fabric glue (I started with Gorilla glue, but found it didn’t bond properly with the fabric), form a hat by wrapping fabric around the top portion of the snowman.  Tie the small fabric strip around the middle of the hat.
Tutorial: Primitive Reclaimed Wood Snowmen


Tutorial: Primitive Reclaimed Wood Snowmen

Tie the other piece of fabric below the face, attaching it with the fabric glue.  If you are using a stiffer fabric, you might fashion the two fabric ends in a more attractive way, and then glue them together.

Tutorial: Primitive Reclaimed Wood Snowmen


Repeat and v
oila!  You now have the perfect Christmas gift to give someone who keeps you In Good Company.







Like this post?  Try these:

Friday, October 24, 2014

Kelsey Lately: Awkward Happenings

I am not shy.  I am anxious and incredibly socially awkward – and proficient in the language of sarcasm – but I was not blessed with shyness.  Instead I was cursed born with chronic-can’t-shut-up-itis.  The more nervous I get, the more the words just pour out of my mouth (that is, unless the anxiety gets bad enough that I just completely shut down and stop talking, but that’s a whole other topic).  In a weird twist of personality quirks, I am also like this when I am completely comfortable and at ease around someone.

Kelsey Lately: Awkward Happenings
Source

I am not always funny when I think I am – in fact, many of the jokes I tell are awarded eye rolls instead of laughter.  And, unfortunately, the best one-liners I have ever come up with have been 15 minutes too late.  But sometimes, just sometimes, my brain and mouth work together simultaneously.  And it is nothing if not entertaining.

So, in no particular order, I present you with snippets of weird/sarcastic/awkward conversations.  Because, as Robert Frost said, “If we couldn’t’ laugh, we would all go insane.”

--------

{Leaving a grocery store one May, with baby shower balloons in hand, my sister and I passed a group of scouts selling hot dogs.  The leader of the troop said to us, “Hey, you can’t go to graduation without a hot dog!”  It struck me as odd, because (a) we had baby-stroller balloons, and (b) why does graduation require hot dogs?  Also, I hate being sold things – mostly because I’m a total sucker and will buy things I don’t need. I looked at the man and said, “These balloons are for a funeral.  Our mom was a clown.”

--------

{My parents were visiting one weekend.  On the second night, as everyone headed to bed, I asked them if they had slept well the night before and if they needed anything.  My dad said they didn’t need anything, but that no he hadn’t slept well because it was too quiet in that spare bedroom without a fan.  I said, “Shall I sit on the floor and hum?”

--------

{At a casual dinner gathering one evening, a girlfriend told us her retirement plans included exploring the country for a year, while living in a recreational vehicle with her husband.  Camping and feeling trapped are such high stress situations for me that the simple thought of being stuck in a camper for days/weeks/months at a time makes me feel short of breath.  I said, “I’m afraid if I was in a travel trailer for a year with Mr. B, you would see me on an episode Snapped!”  The guy sitting next to me, whom I barely knew, eyed me warily, scooted his chair away, and said, under his breath, “Awkward…”
--------

{Me: In case you were curious, I can walk up all of our stairs just on my knees.
Mr. B: What?  Just, what?
Me: I was curious if I could walk up all of our stairs just using just my knees.  And I can.
Mr. B:  Why?
Me:  You know, in case I ever lose my lower legs in a terrible accident at like a carnival or something.  Don’t you ever think about things like that?
Mr. B: ………
Me: You don’t?
Mr. B: What is wrong with you?

Source

--------

{Me: You know who I feel sorry for?                
Mr. B: Who?
Me: Thanksgiving.
Mr. B: What?
Me:  Thanksgiving!  Christmas steals all the thunder.  People just go straight from Halloween to Christmas and forget to be thankful.
Mr. B: Alright.

--------

{Walking in a tightly-packed crowd at a recent craft show, I overheard the woman behind me, who was a complete stranger, saying, “I need to tell Dharma’s daughter hi.  Don’t let me forget to say hi to her.  I can’t, for the life of me remember what her name is, but I know she has a booth here.  I work with Dharma at the retirement center.  Gosh I wish I could think of her name.”  In an act helpfulness, I turned around, touched her arm and said, “Fanning.”  “Um, excuse me?” the woman said.  “Fanning.  Dharma’s daughter’s name is Fanning.”  “Oh.  Uh.  Maybe.”  “Okay, well I hope you find her and say hi.”  The woman was clearly freaked out.  I suppose a complete stranger who was eavesdropping on your conversation who turns around, touches you, and says a random word at you could be cause for alarm.  Lucky for me we wound up seeing that same woman at least 20 times throughout the remainder of the day.  I kept giving her my best, I’m-really-not-a-weirdo smile.  I’m pretty sure she thought I was stalking her. 

--------

{When we were younger, my sister was extremely easy to embarrass.  To the point that it became a game of trying to mortify her.  Riding in her car while wearing Billy-Bob teeth and smiling at people she knew was a clear favorite of mine.  Another was walking away from her in public places, and when she least expected for it, I would call for her by standing on one leg, flapping my arms and screeching “BAAAAAAAKAAAAAAAAAW!!!”  I have no idea why she hated me and felt like I was such an annoyance.  I was clearly mature beyond my years.

Kelsey Lately: Awkward Happenings
Source

--------

{Mr. B was in the shower right after I had replaced our loofahs.  Typically I buy a pink and a blue to make it easier for him to distinguish which one belongs to him, but those choices aren’t always available.  I hear him yell from the shower, “Hey!  What color am I?”  “Um, white?” I responded.  “No.  What color am I?”  “You’re white!”  “Rooney, no.  What color am I?”  “What in the hell is wrong with you?  You’re white.  Why are you asking?”  “Babe.  The new loofahs.  What color am I?”  “Ooooooh.  Yellow.  You are yellow.

--------

{At CrossFit my coach was helping me do a shoulder mobility exercise on the gymnastics rings called Skin the Cat.  I was having trouble getting it when, while upside down, I lost my balance, nearly kicked him in the face, and in an act of verbal diarrhea, I yelled, “Oh shit balls!”  “Did you just say ‘shit balls’?” he asked.  “I think so.

--------

{While warming up on the rowing machines at CrossFit, a fellow (male) CrossFitter told me that I looked like I had lost some weight.  Instead of saying thank you like a normal person, I said, “Have I told you I loved you?”  Looking startled, he responded, “Um, no?  No… No.”

--------

{Another time at CrossFit, in a moment of excitement while trying to cheer on a new CrossFitter who was really struggling through a tough WOD, I said, “Come on!  You can do it!  Make that bar your bitch!”  First of all, not sure where that came from.  Second of all, the man is. a. pastor.  I told a man of God to make the bar his bitch.  I said that, with my mouth.  Fortunately he turned out to be one of my favorite CrossFit friends, who turned out to also be a fan of dropping colorful word bombs during workouts.

--------

{I have an assortment of scars on my body, some large some small.  The vast majority of them are from moles that an over-zealous general surgeon removed after my sister was diagnosed with skin cancer.  The largest of them is on my bicep and, due to the development of keloid, is quite noticeable.  I like to tell people that it’s a gunshot wound.  I also have a rather large scar on the right side of my forehead.  The first time I was introduced to Mr. B’s cousin Z, he asked how I got the “sweet scar” on my face.  The sweet scar is several inches long, though it has faded with age, it used to be pretty prominent.  “I was in a bar fight.” I told him.  “Are you serious?” he asked.  “Yeah.  I was totally winning until the guy smashed a beer bottle over my head.  Sliced right into my forehead.”  “Oh my God!  That’s crazy!”  Obviously I told him I was kidding and confessed that it was from a car accident I was in as a toddler.

--------

{One evening, I danced through the living room in with a hip-shaking gliding move, while singing some Maroon 5.  Mr. B looked at me with a look drenched with fear and amusement.  “What in the hell are you doing?”  “Um... I’ve got moves like Jagger,” I said, “Duh.

--------

I suppose if the purpose of this post was to affirm your opinion that I’m peculiar, I have probably succeeded.  But really, my point was to encourage you to tell your embarrassing stories and to embrace your weirdness.  There is so much freedom, and pleasure, in being exactly who you are.

Kelsey Lately: Awkward Happenings
Source

Be awkward.  Say weird things.  And thank you for keeping me In Good Company.




Like this post?  Try these:
Viva Las Vegas
Kelsey Lately: Random Ramblings
Kelsey Lately

Friday, October 17, 2014

15 Life-Lessons CrossFit has Taught Me

I have been CrossFitting for nearly 3 years now.  At my first class, my coach said that CrossFit would change my mind more than it changed my body.  I rolled my eyes and laughed at him.  More and more I realize just how right he was.


15 Life-Lessons CrossFit has Taught Me

1. Keep Moving.  There are times when the only thing your body is telling you is to stop.  Your mind is shouting, “Lay down.”  Your soul is whispering, “Give up.”  Don’t allow the dirty waters of anger and lethargy and despair to wash over you; to sweep you away into a place of complacency.  Keep moving.  Keep fighting against whatever is fighting you.

15 Life-Lessons CrossFit has Taught Me.

2. Your Body Will Not Defeat You.  Through a struggle with infertility, I felt like my body was in control of me, and that it was working tirelessly to defeat me.  A specifically grueling workout, one full of all of the movements my body protests (thrusters, wall ball shots, running, and burpees), was poised to knock me down.  My mantra through the movements was this, “I am in charge of my body.  My body will not defeat me.”  I said this over and over and over and over.  Possibly until my lips were moving in silent conversation with myself.  But I finished.  My body did not defeat me.  Yours won’t either.  Your limitation/disorder/syndrome/injury/illness will not defeat you.  You are in charge of your body.

3.  Scaling and Modifications are Fine.  There are going to be times that you will have limitations.  That is okay.  You might have an injury that is restricting your mobility and strength.  Instead of skipping out, adapt.  In all areas, adapt.  Make modifications to allow you to do your best in a way that honors your abilities.

4.  Show Up.  When you are feeling stabby and stubborn and grumpy and pessimistic about life and activities, go anyway.  Because accomplishing something and moving and being a part of your community is an instant mood enhancer.

15 Life-Lessons CrossFit has Taught Me.

5. Suck It Up.  Just as every lift isn’t going to set a personal record, every life event isn’t going to be your best moment ever.  Deal with it.  Things aren’t always going to go your way, and that’s good – because what awful, selfish creatures we would be if they did.

6.  Keep a Positive Attitude.  If you think you are going to fail, you will surely fail and fail hard.  You mind and outlook can enhance your ability and give you the confidence to succeed, and possibly set new records.

7.  Smile (or At Least Don’t Grimace).  My coach is always telling us to get rid of our “pain faces.”  I used to think this was silly.  But, according to recent studies, smiling releases stress and increases endorphins.  If you can approach whatever is causing you stress or discomfort without grimacing, your chances for success are increased.

8. Ask for Help.  Because sometimes you need it.  And there is almost always someone willing to help carry your load, ease your burden, and bandage your wounds.

9. Try Again.  Bumps and bruises and failures are the worst.  They can knock you down both physically and emotionally.  Get up.  Try Again.  If you let all of the small disappointments control you and your mind, you will never give yourself the chance to achieve anything.

15 Life-Lessons CrossFit has Taught Me.

10.  Laugh at Yourself.  There may be a time where you are literally stuck on the floor with a sandbag on your chest – and that sandbag has knocked off your glasses – and you are kicking like an overturned turtle trying, with no avail, to get up.  It’s funny – laugh.  You are going to do and say awkward things (or maybe that’s just me), and sometimes, all you can do is laugh.

11.  Be Your Own Cheerleader.  At CrossFit everyone cheers loudest for the last person to finish.  Unfortunately life isn’t always the same.  Cheer yourself on.  My dad has this habit, when golfing and bowling, of saying, “Come on D, you can do it” or (if it’s a particularly bad shot) “Damn it D!”  We used to giggle at this.  As growing up often has it though, somewhere along the way I have picked this up (because each year I prove to be more and more like my parents).  Quite often I say, out loud, “Come on Kelsey.  You got this.”  I “Damn it Kelsey” myself sometimes too, but my attitude and performance are greatly improved when I choose the cheering rather than the criticism.

12.  Don’t Phone it in.  Anything less than your best effort is unacceptable.  A personal best, while nice, isn’t always the goal.  But your best effort for the day is what is necessary.  You are stronger than you think, give yourself the benefit of the doubt by trying harder.

15 Life-Lessons CrossFit has Taught Me.


13. Comparison is the Thief of Joy.  So maybe it was Teddy Roosevelt that said those actual words, but CrossFit has taught me the lesson instead of just the words.  You are not going to walk into a new situation and be immediately the best – unless you are some sort of prodigy, and in that case, well, good for you.  And there are times when someone new comes in and surpasses your abilities.  It can be pretty easy to let that comparison rob you of your happiness.  Don’t let it.  Be proud of your abilities and of where you are at today.  No one else inhabits your skin and bones.  Do what you can do, and that is always enough.

15 Life-Lessons CrossFit has Taught Me.

14. Breathe.  Sometimes things are really hard.  Sometimes you want to hold your breath and kick and scream and throw a tantrum that would make a toddler proud.  Take a step back, take three deep breaths, compose yourself, and carry on.

15.  Rest.  It is easy to overcommit, over-exert, and over-extend ourselves.  Rest.  Your soul and your body and your mind need rest.  Take a Sabbath, take a nap, take a moment, take a day.  Give yourself the time you need to rest, recuperate, and recover.  Lack of rest and recovery will cause you to burn-out and eventually crash.



Give CrossFit a try.  Change your body, but most importantly, strengthen your mind.  Thank you for keeping me In Good Company.


Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Lamp Makeover Tutorial

Lamp Makeover Tutorial
Lamp Makeover Tutorial
Before and After
I have a confession.  I have never, as an adult, bought a set of matching lamps.  Our house has a few sort of coordinating singular lamps that are mostly gifts or hand-me-downs.  I suppose there are other, more pressing things that need to be bought.
I set out on a mission to purchase new lamps for our grown-up bedroom, because, for the first time ever, we have room for two bedside tables.  Then I realized that lamps are effing expensive!  Possibly I have expensive taste.  But I quickly found that I am far too frugal for fancy lighting.

This set is $162.00 from Overstock.com:


Two of these are $144.00 at Target.com:

                                                                                    

Then I found these lovelies.
Lamp Makeover Tutorial


Okay so they weren’t exactly lovely when I spotted them.  But they had a great shape and were $4 for the set.  Totally worth the gamble.

I bought $12 worth of spray paint in a lovely yellow and gun-metal grey.

Lamp Makeover Tutorial

After wiping the bases down with rubbing alcohol, we (and by we, I mean Mr. B) taped off the electrical portions that shouldn’t be covered in paint.  If I knew what these parts were called, I would be an electrician, not a writer.

Lamp Makeover Tutorial

Because I selected a high-gloss paint, we began the process with a spray-on primer.

Lamp Makeover Tutorial

Once the primer was fully dry, we applied 3 coats of the glossy yellow (making sure to allow the paint to dry completely between coats).

Because Mr. B has an infinite amount more patience than me when it comes to these sort of projects, we let the paint dry overnight.  Using newspaper and painters tape, we left only the lowest portion of the base exposed and applied two coats of the gunmetal grey.

I found two lovely lamp shades costing $14 each that worked perfectly.  Voila!  Two beautiful like-new and matching lamps for $44 total.  You guys, that’s a savings of over $100!

Lamp Makeover Tutorial
Lamp Makeover Tutorial


Keep your eye out at thrift stores and re-use it centers for items with lovely shapes and spruce them up with a little rouge!  I’d love to see pictures of what you come up with in the comments section.

Thank you for keeping me In Good Company.




Monday, October 13, 2014

On Empowerment and Pride

Do you ever get a song lodged so deeply in your brain that it becomes a theme song for your daily happenings?  Secrets by Mary Lambert has been that song for me lately; only with my own words mixing with hers (not because I think I have any sort of gift as a song-writer, but because this is just what my brain does).



I find myself singing to myself and out loud:

I have obsessive compulsive disorder, my shit is all in order.
I’m overweight, I’m usually late.
I‘ve got way too much to say.
I rock mom jeans, fake earrings.
I write about my feelings.
My family’s not dysfunctional, we have a lot of fun hanging together…

I can’t think straight, I’m inane.
Sometimes I cry a whole day.
I care a lot or sometimes not, and never know when to stop.
I’m passive-aggressive, but that’s better than aggressive.
I’m anxious, always bored. 
I don’t like sports or going outdoors.”

Of course you have to belt the pre-chorus and chorus (which my brain apparently likes as is).

“They tell us from the time we’re young, to hide the things that we don’t like about ourselves,
inside ourselves.
I know I’m not the only one who spent so long attempting to be someone else.
Well I’m over it.
I DON’T CARE IF THE WORLD KNOWS WHAT MY SECRETS ARE (SECRETS ARE).
I DON’T CARE IF THE WORLD KNOWS WHAT MY SECRETS ARE (SECRETS ARE).
SO-O-O-O-O-O-O WHAT?  SO-O-O-O-O-O-O WHAT?  SO-O-O-O-O-O-O-O WHAT.”


I love this trend that of empowerment that is happening right now.  This movement of enabling women to embrace their bodies, embrace their secrets, embrace their differences, and embrace their flaws.  I love that young men and women are fighting against rape-culture, fighting against gender stereotypes, fighting against gender/orientation/race discrimination, fighting against unfair rules, both spoken and unspoken, fighting against the stigma of mental illness.

I love that people are speaking their own truths into the world, pouring kindness into the lives of others, sharing secrets with the world to help others embrace their own.

I do not own the rights to this image.
I am inspired by this flood of pride.  This pouring out of embracing one’s self and shedding shame.
Because none of us are perfect.  I am not perfect, yet I am proud of who I am.  I am not who people want me to be – but those who matter let me be who I am.  Without reminders, I am aware of my flaws.  And I am learning to embrace them.  I am not ashamed of my struggles with depression and anxiety.  I am proud that I turn away from the people who pour unnecessary negative energy into my life.  I am not ashamed to let my child be himself or to find humor in his innocence.  I will never be ashamed to stand up for my family; nor will I ever apologize for protecting them.

I do not own the rights to this image.

I am proud of my ability to find comedy in almost anything, and that I am fluent in the language of sarcasm.  I am proud that my parents taught me to be kind and courteous.  I am proud to be a loyal-to-a-fault and protective friend, wife, sister, daughter, mother, aunt, niece, etc.

I will not feel shame for my journey; not one second of it.                  

Our stories write the book of our lives.  There are ugly chapters in every book.  But even in the ugliness, you can find beauty; although sometimes that beauty is helping someone else just by simply finding the courage to share your hurt.

Unfortunately there will be times when people with small minds and cruel hearts criticize those of us who have the courage to share our secrets, share our journeys.  There is power in ignoring the hate, in not letting someone else’s words trample through your mind with muddy boots.

I do not own the rights to this image.

My gratitude pours out to the people who continually pour positivity, love, and kindness into my life.

We all have a story to tell.  And each story is worth telling.  There is healing in telling, healing in sharing, healing in helping someone else know they are not alone.  Oftentimes I don’t know the depths and truths of my heart until I read the words that have poured out of my fingertips.

I do not own the rights to this image.
Tell your secrets.  Love yourself.  Thank you for keeping me In Good Company.





Like this post?  Try these:
Perspective
Second Chance
Power Over Choice

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Tutorial: DIY Reclaimed Wood Halloween Door Hanger

I will continue to give you seasonal craft tutorials as I complete them.  Lately my Saturdays have been full of front yard baseball and painting in the garage.  My workshop has been an old door made into a table on two sawhorses.

This is one of my favorite projects to-date.  I have found a local place that is an absolute gold-mine (if, of course, your version of gold is wood that is dying to be reclaimed).



Tutorial: DIY Reclaimed Drawer Front Halloween Door Hanger

Begin with an old drawer front, or really any rectangular piece of wood with a solid smooth surface.

DIY Halloween Door Hanger

On the back, measure and mark two points that will be drilled to create holes.  These should be within an inch from the top and each side.  If it helps, you can start your holes with a tiny screwdriver.

DIY Halloween Door Hanger


Using a 1/8” bit, drill two holes.

DIY Halloween Door Hanger

With wood putty, fill any holes (front and back) that were left behind from prior drawer hardware.

DIY Halloween Door Hanger

Paint the front of the wood with an antique white.  If you choose, use the same blending technique from the Primitive Reclaimed Wood Pumpkin Tutorial, to add a bit of orange into the white.

DIY Halloween Door Hanger
While the paint is drying, select three pieces of Halloween-themed scrapbook paper that are differing, yet coordinating.  Trace, draw, or stencil backwards on the back side of your papers.  Cut them out with scissors or a sharp craft knife.

DIY Halloween Door Hanger
Lightly sand some of the paint from your drawer-front, with 120 grit sandpaper, to give it an antiqued look.  Then wipe it clean with a clean cloth.

DIY Halloween Door Hanger
Position your letters to your liking, and gently apply Mod Podge over your letters in upward strokes.  I make my own Mod Podge (you can easily find recipes for it by doing a quick Pinterest search).  So to not have differing textures, I applied one coat of Mod Podge to the entire surface of the drawer front.

DIY Halloween Door Hanger


DIY Halloween Door Hanger

Let it dry.  Apply a second coat.  Let it dry again.  Lightly coat it with a spray-on clear coat (my favorite brand is Deft).

DIY Halloween Door Hanger


Then, using wire cutters, cut 19 gauge steel wire to your desired length.  Lace it through the holes and twist it on each side to create a secure hanger.

DIY Halloween Door Hanger


Add detail and flair with the ribbon of your choice.  I would love to see how you add your own touch of personality to this, please leave pictures in the comments section.

DIY Halloween Door Hanger
Thank you for keeping me In Good Company.