Colby’s Room: Before and After

29 04 2013

I have a terrible sense of timing.

Last week was one of the most stressful of the year. I knew that. I knew it was coming. And yet I still allowed myself to begin a huge project the week prior to that because . . . the world may never know. I’m insane? That’s probably it.

Anyway, the stars aligned and the bunk bed I was buying on a Buy, Sell, Trade site for Rainbow finally became available. Because Rainbow was going to get her bunk bed, that meant Colby could have her old bed, since he was still sleeping in a crib without one side. (He is six, after all. I suppose it’s time.) But before I did that, I wanted to paint Colby’s bedroom. Why? you may wonder. This is why:


Not only was it very messy. It was also pink.


Of the Pepto-Bismol variety. It was like this when I moved into the house nine years ago. I didn’t like it even then.


I bring procrastination to a whole new level. (Colby’s so lucky he gets to share his room with all my sewing stuff. He doesn’t complain, but that might be because he’s got the vocabulary of a two-year-old . . .)

So, due to this golden opportunity, I decided to paint.


A nice, fresh white.


You might argue that white has no personality, but after all the “extra” personality from the pink, I was happy to give it up. Besides, I had a few ideas to make it Colby’s own.


(He likes it, by the way. He didn’t show any reaction to the white, but he is pretty excited about the road.)


Add a new bed . . .


A few favorite things on a magnet board . . .


And Mom’s sewing stuff (sorry, kid, there’s really no where else to put it) . . .

And you get a new room! One that was done at an incredibly inconvenient time, but that has lots of room to build trains and slide and sleep in your own bed (instead of schlepping in with Mom).


KIA Power.

7 10 2012

First off, I need to apologize for any misconceptions my last post might have given you. Especially those who visited from my Facebook feed, where I posted a link and tried to make a procrastination joke with the punchline, “I was just in a car accident.” That, of course, referred to the joke in the post proper, where I vowed to use that excuse for any and all things that weren’t being accomplished in a timely manner. Unfortunately, I forgot that the people who saw my Facebook post hadn’t read my blog post yet, so some of them were concerned for my safety. I appreciate it, and apologize for scaring you. It happened in July, I am very okay.

And so is my van. (Now.)

Good as new! Except I’m still missing a hubcap, which reminds me that I need to call the body shop and ask them about it. Maybe I’ll get some spinners!

(That’s a joke, by the way. KIA’s don’t do spinners. And if it comes to that, neither do I.)

Transcribing that last post from my journal also reminded me of this bit of wisdom:

Just think of how much saner the world would be if more people took their drama to their journals on a regular basis.

And, in a completely random turn, here’s a picture of Rainbow:

I made her dress, and my mom wanted to see a picture. Ta da!

I also need to shout out to my awesome home teacher and his wife, who came and painted my porch and trim for me (WAY above and beyond the call of duty, and for which I am extremely grateful) which inspired me to paint my front door, which has probably needed painting for five years.

People are so awesome.

Epic Fortage

20 06 2012

Despite the title of this post, I realize the picture is less than awe-inspiring.

What can I say? It’s better in person.

It’s also still up.

The kids have been sleeping in it for the past several days.

Tonight, however, is the fort’s last night. Zack’s last day of school is today (FINALLY), and so we’ll sleep in it as the final hurrah. I might even join them, although I make no promises. I’m pretty protective of my sleep.

As for tomorrow, I wish you all happy sheet washing and happy SUMMER VACATION!

Hip Hop Mixed with Bebop

17 06 2012

For her school’s spirit day “Back in the Day” Day, Eden wanted me to make her a poodle skirt.

She got her own accessories. I thought about telling her the sparkly newsboy cap wasn’t exactly what they were wearing in the fifties, but she didn’t really care about authenticity–she cared about cuteness.

Because that’s how we roll around here.

Transformation! Transformation!

10 06 2012

(Does anyone else have random Pixar quotes pop into their heads on any given occasion? Oh, okay. Nevermind, then.)

I got this little gem of a dining set about, oh, nine months ago. One table, four chairs.

I think it was originally $90, then it was marked down to $60. I was feeling like maybe I could do $60. So I went down to St. Vincent De Paul to look at it one more time, and do you know what those dear Catholics did? They marked all furniture down 50% that day. I love Catholics.

Naturally, I took it as a sign that it definitely was the table and chairs I had been looking for. After spending nine months in my garage, I spent $35 on a gallon of glossy paint, $20 on two yards of oil cloth, and about 20 hours of labor on Memorial Day weekend. (Should I have waited for Labor Day?)

But seeing them in the garage just doesn’t do them justice.

Behold, the table and chairs! Out of the garage and into the music room!

Don’t you just love that I-finally-finished-a-project feeling? Only 17 major projects left!

Um, yahoo?

“Finish him!”

27 01 2012

As I was thinking about the new year and what I wanted to accomplish, I decided that 2012 is going to be The Year of Finishing Things. My book, for one. The two tables and four chairs in my garage for another. De-cluttering my entire house. And a few more personal items, as well.

See, when I went to my writers retreat back in November, a friend asked me what I was working on. I told her (and it’s the same thing I was working on last year) and she said, “You’ll do it. You are an accomplisher.”

Accomplisher? She obviously hasn’t seen the pink walls in my son’s room.

I’ve thought about that a lot. (About what she said, not the pink walls. Although, I’ve thought about them a lot, too). I don’t know if it’s actually true. I want it to be true, though. I want it enough that my goal for this entire year is to finish things. My house is littered with half-baked ideas and partly-done projects and big plans. I’m a wonderful starter, but I don’t always finish things like I should.

What I need is a coach. A hard-nosed, show-no-mercy coach that will tell me to sweep the leg on those projects and finish them!

(Here’s where I found the shirt, in case you want to buy one.)

Okay, not really. That guy, he’s super freaky. Actually, the type of coach I need is a Mr. Miyagi. I need to build the habits of finishing (waxing, sanding, painting–wait, some of that is really true) in order to come out accomplisher.

I’m starting small. Writing every day. Setting deadlines, and actually putting them on the calendar. We’ll see how my accomplishing muscles are growing in a few weeks. I’ve already got five organized drawers, two clean cupboards, and over 4,000 new words on my manuscript to show for it.

Now please excuse me while I go work on my secret weapon: the crane.

Cheap Art

8 10 2011

I debated on the title of this post. “Trashy Art” might make people afraid to click on the link. “Recycled Art” was a better option, but the good it might do to the earth to have these bread tags and cardboard hanging on my wall instead of in a landfill is, honestly, negligible.

So I titled it in the truest way possible: cheap art. I want to thank all of you who answered the Call for Submissions way back when. I can truly say if it weren’t for Mom, Monique, Kristen, Nancy, Greg, Rachael, Sandi, Mandi, and anyone else I might have forgotten (and if so I’m sorry–I need to do better at record-keeping) this wouldn’t have been possible. Well, it would have, but just not nearly so soon. It takes awhile to gather hundreds of bread tags, surprisingly enough.

Please excuse the messy table. And speaking of the messy table–I found one at a thrift store. When I get it finished I can kiss the functional-but-not-visually-pleasing card table good-bye.

I think the piece (listen to me, talking all arty) reads better in real life. It’s big and colorful, which is just what I wanted.

And due to my many generous donors, it only cost about $10 (and a few hours) to make. That’s really  what I wanted.