Friday, December 31, 2010

What I Saw and How I Lied by Judy Blundell

I teach high school English. Reading is my favorite. Every book or two I find a young adult novel to read. I'm trying to sift through it all to pick out some great books to introduce to my students. This week I read the National Book Award Winner for Young People's Literature from 2008 (I know, I'm behind).
It is a, you guessed it: coming of age novel. Not surprising when you're in the young adult section of the book store. Anyhow, I love the time period in which it takes place. The story is right after World War II ends. Evie's dad and the oh so handsome Peter Coleridge were both in the war. Of course, for fifteen year old Evie, a man who just returned from war is much too old. Peter Coleridge somehow turned into Robert Redford in my head. Not that I think Redford is that dreamy (I'm a Paul Newman fan myself), but maybe its because he played Jay Gatsby. He has that troubled, "find me irresistible" look about him. This is a fun, quick read. Like any good book, it has a surprising twist! Don't be put off by the fact that it is "young adult." We're all young adults until we want to become old, grumpy ones. :)

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Kitchen Lamp

I already showed you a picture of my awesome hunk of wood (soon to be kitchen lamp):
Our first step was to find parts to turn it into a lamp. You can buy lamp kits at hardware and home improvement stores. Of course, I had to be picky. My countertop space beneath my kitchen cabinets is only 18" tall.  The pièce de résistance (hunk of wood) is 5.5" tall. The only lamp shade that looks right is a 10"x10" square. That doesn't leave much room for the little pole thingy (pretty technical, huh?) that needs to hold the lightbulb.  We had to find the pieces below:

 So we went to this place:
 It is called Royal Touch. I can't find a website to give you. Of course, after going there it doesn't surprise me. It is pretty incredible though. The walls are just lined with every kind of lamp or light fixture part you can imagine. Here is the info I can give you:15615 Coit Rd., Suite 210, Dallas, TX 75248 (972) 386-9189 (972) 386-6942 (Fax)
$20 bought us all the supplies we needed to turn this baby into a lamp. It is the same price as any lamp kit. Unfortunately, I wanted a brushed nickel look to all my pieces and they only carried brass and chrome parts. We threw a little spray paint on them and we're all set!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010


 This past summer Erik and I taught summer school. The school we taught at took us by a thrift shop we didn't know existed. We found this lovely table for $14!! The blue wasn't that awesome, but seriously..$14!? I really wanted a vanity as the nightstand on my side of the bed.
I love that a soccer  ball somehow got into this picture. The desk had two drawers. They are perfect for storing all the junk I need handy (hair ties for my crazy morning hair, phone chargers, etc.). Well anyhow, we sanded it down and went to Sherwin Williams to pick out a color. We ended up with "Ice Cube." It is a nice white with just a hint of gray.

Thanks to Mom's help it was done before it got too cold to dry oil-based paint in our garage.

I always love looking through the knobs at Anthropolgie but I finally had a reason! I found these adorable mercury glass knobs for my vanity. Next step: venetian glass mirror (that isn't $500) to go above it!


Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The Reason My Husband Never Wraps My Presents

Instead of moving the present to wrap it, he moves himself! It is a workout. I'd never seen him wrap a present until he was getting this one ready for a white elephant. He was laying on the other side of the present taping that corner before I grabbed the camera!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Christmas Mantel

Okay..I know Christmas is Saturday and I'm just now posting my Christmas mantel. It was up all December but I haven't been blogging all December! So, here it is:
You were just blown away, right? I know...not really.
I really only had to make the "Noel" letters. Basically I went to Hobby Lobby and picked out four different style letters around the same size. Here's how it turned out:

 The "n" and "e" were those cardboard letters and the "o" and "l" were made of wood. A little craft paint and they still look half finished somehow.... I can't figure it out.
This rotund couple were made by Mom when I was younger. She used to make all kinds of adorable Santas. They are really really cute! Mrs. Claus' apron and Santa's hat are both navy with gold stars. I wish I had more of her creations to show you. I'm not sure where they all went.
After I had those things up, it seemed lopsided. I glittered up some pinecones. I threw those in a lantern with cranberries and some silver ornaments. It was still missing something, so I added a bow. It still seems to need height. Ah year! 

I'm so excited about the item in the next pic! It's my future kitchen lamp! Do you see it? I didn't at first either. Mom saw it at the Wisteria Outlet. It's a capital...or "cool hunk of wood with my favorite colors" I'll show you pics of how it goes together when we actually get it together.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Hearts for Homes

 I sponsor an organization at school called Key Club. It is just a volunteer group for students. One of my student officers told us about a great organization called Hearts for Homes in Denton. They basically help the elderly in our city who need housework,etc. At Christmastime they make laundry baskets full of everyday items for the elderly whose homes they take care of all year. We collected items during December at school.
 Today we got to help put the baskets together! The program is directed by Susan Frank (in the pic below). It was such a great reminder of the difference between our needs and wants the week of Christmas.

If you are interested, check out their website:

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Girflfriend Gift Exchange

Every year the girls from work and I have a gift exchange during finals week. I guess it's more of a "Thank goodness the semester is almost over!" celebration. Last year I made these super delicious brownies and put them in cute cups that said "I am getting coal this year because _________." This year I wanted something they could actually use year round. So here it is:
Photo Blocks!
Aren't they cute? My friend Kacee's mother-in-law had made them for her daughter's bridesmaids. Wow...that was a mouthful! They are really easy to make too.
Here's what you need:
  • cute scrapbook paper ( I used 6x6 squares.)
  • 7x7 blocks of wood
  • 3 or 4 different ribbons tied in a knot for the top
  • modge podge (of course!)
  • craft paint
  • sponge brush
  • magnetic clips (found mine at Walmart in the home office section)
  • E6000 adhesive
My obliging husband and father-in-law cut the 7x7 blocks of wood for me. After I painted the blocks, I put the scrapbook paper on using modge podge. I put a coat on the back and one over the front. Once it all dried, I attached my magnetic clips using E6000 adhesive. Then I used the E6000 on the bottom of my ribbon knot to attach it to the top of my block. Ta-Da!