Tag Archives: creative

WRECK IT WEDNESDAY!!! (Issue No. 9)

7 Jan

Welcome back people!! So happy to see you made it to Wednesday!

Last week I promised that I would deliver a post on building an outdoor movie screen. To celebrate my 31st birthday, I decided that having a movie night in our backyard was an awesome idea. And it was. It would have been better if it hadn’t been in the high 20s temperature-wise…and having been pouring rain for a few days prior. I was picturing a fire pit, s’mores, jiffy pop popcorn (you know, the kind that comes in the package that looks like a pit tin with a handle you heat in a camp fire?) hot chocolate, the works. Between the weather and a smaller-than-hoped-for bank account, well, let’s just say things didn’t go quite as planned.

Fear not, I do have a nice little wreck it planned for you today. It’s just not the movie screen. We cheated on the screen. We simply took our staple gun and stapled a tarp to our wooden fence…then stapled a white sheet on top of it. You people are too smart to require a tutorial on how to do that. The tarp is to block out the light, the white sheet is so that the colors appear nice and bright. Easy peasy. I had plans to build a legitimate, free-standing movie screen. Perhaps when the weather gets better I can actually deliver the tutorial on that.

For now, I hope you will be satisfied with a Wreck It Wednesday on how to build a fire pit. My Handsome (and my Braun, since he’s the one that did all the work) says this Wreck should be called “How To Dig A Fire Pit In Your Back Yard So That Your Landlord Doesn’t Find Out”. So here we go:

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With a shovel of your choosing (according to the Handsome, flat shovels work best, but if you’re poor like us, whatever you have on hand will do the trick), make an outline of the shape and size of pit you want. All you have to do to accomplish this, push the spade of the shovel straight into the ground and pull it out. Keep making these cuts until you have the shape you’re looking for.

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Like so.

Next, you’re going to work your shovel under the grass, and kind of lift upwards to loosen it.

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Like so.

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Handsome discovered that it would be pretty near impossible to get the grass up in one piece, so he cut the grass into smaller pieces.

Like so.

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Next, work the shovel under the parts closer to the center. Ultimately, you need to get the grass completely released from the ground beneath it.

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Once the pieces are loose, you can start lifting them out of the pit you’re building.

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We set the pieces of grass aside because we intend to replace it once we’re done. You can do whatever you’d like with your grass, I’m not your boss or your landlord.

Now that all the grass is out, you can start making the pit deeper. Now, the depth is completely up to you. Again, not your boss. Honestly it will depend on how fancy you’re looking to make your pit. We were on a shoestring budget, so we didn’t get any super cool stones or bricks to line and fancify ours.

Here are some pretty cool ideas from around the interwebs:

LauraCatherine.com

Shelterness.com

Houselogic.com

ThisOldHouse.com

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Handsome just dug and dug. Too bad our niece Chloe refused to teach us how to do the Duggie. This might have been easier. Just as we set the grass aside, we set the dirt aside as well. (Placing it on an old sheet just will make it easier to fill the hole back in.)

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Here, you see the pit is complete. It isn’t very deep, but it suits our purposes just fine. The ground was extremely soggy from all the rain, so it was necessary to line the pit with a layer of sand. (We found bags of “play sand” at our local Home Depot. It was actually very inexpensive at about $3.50 a bag. We only used half a bag, since again, this fire pit is not going to be a permanent fixture in our back yard. It’s not our back yard, after all.

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Here is the finished pit with the fire and all. That’ll do, Handsome. That’ll do.

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Now, hindsight is always 20/20. Considering that, Handsome has a piece of advice for you good people:

If you’re going to dig it much deeper than ours (about 6 inches) make sure that the edges are dug straight. If they are not, the edges will collapse on itself, meaning the hole will fill itself in, and you might end up with a bigger hole than you anticipated.

Now, if you are planning on doing this project and you have a little extra money in your pocket, you may want to consider buying some rocks to scatter on top of the layer of sand. This will keep your firewood dryer if there’s any moisture in the pit from recent rainfall by elevating it from the ground. Also, bricks, whether plain or ornamental, to line the inside edges of the pit would be a good idea. This will help reinforce the edges and keep it from collapsing on itself.

Anyway, this is our humble fire fit. It’s not the prettiest, but it served it’s purpose well. We can’t wait to have our own home to be able to make cool updates like these permanent. Well Folks, that’s all for this week’s Wreck. Hope it inspired you to do something creative!

XOXOXO

E

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WRECK IT WEDNESDAY!!! (Issue No. 8)

27 Feb

Welcome, welcome, welcome! Here we are again, my friends, another Wreck it Wednesday. I figure the little traditions that I began not so long ago here on this blog need to be resuscitated. So here I am, attempting to breathe new life into Wednesdays.

In case you lovely people need a refresher on what a Wreck is. A Wreck is when we chat about ways to turn your life upside down. Shake up all those ideas you have about how you’re supposed to live, how you’re supposed to look at the world. Society seems to have rules for everything. But there’s not one person on this planet that should tell you how to live your life. You do not have any obligation to live up to anyone’s expectations or ideals.

Sure, it’d be nice to stroll into Lowes or Home Depot and pick up all the things your heart desires to make your home into that image of perfection from all those magazines and websites you’ve been pouring over. But who has the money these days? An even better question is this: Why in the hell would you want to make your space into an image out of someone else’s imagination?

My best friend wanted a fire pit to add to her new backyard addition. Incidentally, she also wanted the brick planter dismantled. So here’s what I did…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Some used/recycled bricks, cheap wood, a few cinder blocks, some spray paint and a little acrylic craft paint…and there you go. A fully functional and entirely customized fire pit, complete with benches. It absolutely doesn’t line up with all those beautiful images I always see on Pinterest and on the magazine racks. Nevertheless, it’s perfect. I wouldn’t want it any other way. Besides, those words painted on the benches pretty much describe the whole reason the fire pit was wanted anyway. To inspire relationships, life, love, faith, happiness and laughter.

That’s what it’s all about, kids. Hope you enjoyed today’s Wreck.

WRECK IT WEDNESDAY!!! (Issue No. 7)

10 Oct

I don’t have any children. A good friend of mine got knocked up and so we began discussing options for nursery decor. The usual came up: Baby Animals, Zoo, etc… I had an idea. Why spend money decorating a room that the baby will quickly out grow? The idea we all settled on was Super Mario Bros. We all love parkin’ our rears on the big comfy couch to play for hours. Sure, I suck big time at Mario Kart, but who cares?

Anyway, being the best friend, I set out to plan the shower. Unfortunately, planning a baby shower and nursery decor with a theme like this is not easy. Things are not, how you say, ready-made and on the shelf at your local Babies-R-Us.

No anything we found was a little too geared for much older children. But that didn’t stop us. Despite the challenge of basically creating everything custom by hand, we refused to be constrained by the meager, run-of-the mill standard offered by baby stores. We hopped right out of that box for this week’s Wreck!

Now, I’m not going to go through these photos and give detailed step by step instructions. That would defeat the purpose of this Wreck.  I want you all to be inspired to not be pigeonholed into a certain way of thinking. After all, that’s why we Wreck in the first place, right? Right. If you would like any information or tips on how these things were constructed and how you might be able to go about doing something similar, I would be very happy to guide you and answer any questions. Just leave me a comment at the end of this post.

THE BABY SHOWER:

The Invitations

I’d just like to add a couple small side notes on these invitations…First, aside from everything excluding the type is hand-made. The triangular shading on those hills were done in sharpie. For 35 invites. 7 lime green sharpies later….

Finally done.

The Shower Decor, etc.

Italian Cream Soda Bar. Genius. Really, if you ever have an Italian themed party, I highly suggest it.

Arts & Crafts time. I set up a table for the guests to decorate onesies. Onesies, puffy paint and iron-ons provided.

The result: Pure Gold.

THE NURSERY DECOR:

Two things here. My mommy made the bumper. She created that wonderful brick pattern and I love her for it. The quilt is my baby. fabric, ribbon and puffy paint (for the faces on the clouds).

I’d like to direct your attention to the bricks on the wall. My pregnant friend did a really great job!

As you can see from the center  of this mobile, it used to have a jungle animal theme. My friend purchased this on Craigslist and I went to work making the characters our of felt, floss and puffy paint…converting it into a SMB masterpiece. (I later switched out the picture for a Mario one)

Everything you see on the wall was hand-made by us.

She even added her own black-out curtains to match  the walls and quilt.

So you can see, with a little creativity and a whole lot of stubbornness, you can create the nursery you’ve always dreamed of. You don’t have to settle for what the stores have all picked out for you.

I sure hope that you enjoyed the Wreck, and I hope it sparks just a little bit of imagination in your life.

MAKIN’ IT MONDAYS (Issue 2)

9 Oct

This is the king size issue  for Makin’ It Monday. King size bed, that is.When we moved into our last apartment, our bed frame was critically injured. We nursed it back to health enough to use for the time being. When moving out of that apartment, it was clear that it was not going to make the next leg of our journey. The good news is that the major parts of the frame are currently awaiting its next incarnation. Once the transformation is made, it’ll be revealed in the next Wreck It Wednesday.

So our dilemma was a serious lack of funds and a king size mattress with no frame. Sure, we could have just purchased a metal bed frame, but we didn’t have a box spring. Besides, since when do I take the easy way out? No, the obvious solution was to build one from scratch. Obviously.

Here is the basic progression:

Basically, we took 1″ x 6″ pieces of wood, cut them to the height we wanted the head and foot boards, and arranged them next to each other to the width of our mattress (more or less, basic measurements can be found on the internet). We then sandwiched those boards between lengths of 1″ x 4″ lumber. The assembly here is nail (with a nail gun) and wood glue.

Here, I attached the legs. Looks simple, sure. I’d like to put out there that it was at this point in the construction of this project that I was ready to chop up my progress and watch it burn in the fire pit I had just built for my best friend (You’ll see that one in a Wreck It as well ::::wink::::) I went through God only knows how many screws, stripping them all. Finally, after some trial and a whole lot of error, I arrived at the solution of using a spade drill bit to bore through half of the  leg, then drilling the regular pilot hole through there. Much easier. Bonfire averted. On a side note, I really want my own set of spade drill bits now. If you have no idea what they look like,  you can see what I’m talking about by clicking HERE.

To make the head and foot boards look prettier, I added a top rail cut from a 2″ x 4″ length of lumber. This could have been executed more gracefully than I did, but I have a 1500 mile relocation looming on my horizon and a zillion other things to worry about. I basically just screwed it on and called it good. If I had it to do over, I would have used a spade bit and made a deeper notch for the screws to be sunk into, so that the holes could be covered with wood filler, then stained. That would have made for a much more professional product. But who are we kidding, I’m no professional.

As you can see here, I did added the same kind of top rail to the footboard.

I’m not completely unprofessional, I did fill in gaps and what not with a good quality wood filler. Then the entire thing was sanded down smooth. This, I learned later, is a much much more important step than you might realize. But you will realize it when you go to finish the project with stain or paint.

I decided on stain. The same color and finish I used for my coffee table in Issue No. 1. It took a lot of stain. This particular leg of the process was completed in Texas. The humidity slowed this project down to a slow crawl. But it did eventually dry. Eventually.

So, funny story. I had some great solutions when it came to the assembly of this bed. Unfortunately, with my being ready to not be sleeping on the floor, I made some less than accurate measurements. The lumber cut for the mid beam was too short. In addition to the short mid beam, the cross beams were also too short to be able to use the brackets we had purchased. In another blow to my ego, the brackets for the mid beam were for a 2″ x 8″ piece of lumber…I ended up purchasing a 2″ x 4″.

So, I put my thinking cap on. I had no more money to go buy new wood and new brackets. What I did have, like I mentioned earlier about having saved the big parts of my old frame, were the metal side rails that would hold the cross beams despite their being slightly shorter than I’d like. So that solves one problem. What to do for the mid beam? Obviously we have to cannibalize my queen-size Ikea bed frame. Psssh. Luckily the metal mid beam from the Ikea frame is extendable and the brackets and wood I had cut for the king size would work with the queen. So we did a switcheroo, as you can see here.

The only thing I had on hand that I could think of as a solution to keep the cross beams from shifting and falling through was bias tape from my sewing supplies and a stable gun. Problem solved.

Here it is, ladies and gentlemen. The finished product. Not exactly professional, but tons of character and funny, silly stories to go with it. Color me happy.

Please let me know what you think. If you’re thinking about taking on this kind of project, I welcome questions and love to hear feedback!

MAKIN’ IT MONDAYS (Issue 1, Part 4)

8 Oct

So, I’m aware it’s been more than a week. Very sorry to keep you waiting. I’ve been trying to get 20-something years worth of “household accumulation” under control in a new house. Without further ado, I give you the final installment of the coffee table extravaganza. Please let me know what you think…or if you have any questions. I have lots of tips and advice on how I would approach this differently, and I’d be happy to share.

These latches above and the pull thingy below are actual vintage pieces I found at the same Architectural Salvage as the window that serves as the lid part of this chest.

The resin I used to reinforce the window’s glass gave me quite a bit of trouble and kind of turned out a little bit funky, but luckily, it doesn’t detract much from the final product.

There it is, folks. The whole enchilada, so to speak. I hope you enjoyed the series and seeing this project start out from just an old leaded window. It was fun, frustrating, infuriating and ultimately rewarding…I made this with my own two hands. Not bad for a girl like me, I think.

MAKIN’ IT MONDAYS (Issue 1, Part 3)

2 Jul

Welcome back!! I’m so happy that you all made it back! Now we continue on our journey of self discovery and emotional growth. Wait, that’s not right….

Okay, I’ve got my head on straight now. Carpentry is what we’re working on today, right? Ooooooookay, let’s get on with it, shall we?

Above you can see that I purchased my supplies. Originally, I was going to build with oak. Boy, that would have been a mistake. Not only is it on the expensive side, but it’s also pretty much twice as heavy as pine…so pine it is!

Original plans also included square dimensions. The window measured 44″ x 17″. So I was going to make the coffee table 44″ x 44″. Luckily, my best friend talked me off of that ledge. I settled on 44″ x 34″. Thank goodness, because this sucker is heavy enough as it is.

So having had some sense talked into my silly head, I set forth to conquer my fear of using a saw. Don’t ask me why, but using power tools has always made me nervous. But regardless, I’m gonna get over it so I can finish this project. With some basic instruction on how to properly use the saws and nail gun, I went full steam ahead….

So here you can see that the wood is cut and the basic construction has begun. I’m thrilled to report that all my limbs and digits are intact. No humans or animals were harmed in the construction of this piece of furniture. I’m sure my mother appreciates that too. Love you momma!

Because of the weight of the coffee table itself and the stress it will undoubtedly endure in the coming years, it was prudent to reinforce wherever possible.

The whole thing was looking pretty plain. To me, it was lacking a little...je ne sais quoi, as the French say. So to punch it up a bit,  I added a pretty bit of decorative border around the top and the bottom.

Here’s the main table, all constructed. I placed the window and lid on temporarily to give you wonderful people a better idea of the direction this project is headed.

Now, below you’ll see glimpses of the almost finished table.

I’m so excited to show you!!

Don’t get too sad…there’s still more to see. Next week I’ll be unveiling the whole enchilada!! The  suspense is killing me!!

MAKIN’ IT MONDAYS (Issue No. 1, Part 2)

25 Jun

It’s Monday, and that means it’s time for the next installment of Makin’ It Mondays!! Please, please, contain your excitement.

I know this second part of Issue No. 1 has been a long time coming, please forgive the tardiness. (my little brother says I can’t be on time for anything to save my dang life…but what can I say?)

These are some better photos of the progress I made in my first installment. If you’d like to refresh your memory of this project, you can click here. In this photo, you can see that the window is in fact pink and yellow…not red and yellow

Okay, so I didn’t quite get the old stain off completely…but like my dad used to say, it’s good enough for government work.

Now, here are the supplies I’m using for the next step. The most important of these, aside from the stain, of course, is the gloves. If you’re anything like me, you’ll get stain on your skin, regardless of any protection you may use…but gloves will save you from a good portion of it. To illustrate the importance of gloves, let me paint a picture for you with a little story time…

Not too long ago, I had a neighbor who found an old coffee table from about the 1970s. She bought it for something silly like $5, thinking, “oh hey, I’ll just stain this thing to match the rest of my furniture and everything will be peaches and cream”. Well, bless her heart, she went out and bought a can of stain and some rags. Later that day, she came knocking on my door, covered halfway up her forearms with ebony stain. She was in tears because she didn’t know that she was supposed to wear gloves. She had tried soap and even rubbing alcohol, all to no avail. Being the good neighbor girl that I am, I did my very best to resist the “well, sweetie, the can says stain…what did you think it was going to do to your skin” reflex. You might appreciate how difficult this was for a smart ass like me, if you knew me personally, but unfortunately, you don’t. So let’s just say, it was the most difficult thing I did that week…considering I was a corrections officer in a men’s facility at the time, that’s saying a lot. Anyway, I grabbed a huge bag of cotton balls and every ounce of nail polish remover I owned (which is more than you might imagine…I like nail polish…a lot. As a matter of fact, I’ve been banned from buying anymore. A situation not unlike my sticker addiction). As she did her best to scrub up, I had her show me the project she was working on. It was at this moment that I realized that this story has two lessons to be learned: 1. always protect your hands/skin when working with stain and 2. when staining wood that has already been finished (meaning it’s already stained and/or laquered) always sand it well before applying new stain. You see, all of the stain that my well-meaning neighbor applied to her coffee table just kind of pooled unevenly on top of the varnish that it came with, as opposed to soaking into the wood. Tsk, tsk. What a shame.

So now, boys and girls, we should all understand that we should always wear gloves when working with stain and always sand before applying said stain. Now, moving on…

 Be sure to grab one of those stirry stick thingies. Stain usually sits on the shelf for a long time and settles so it needs to be stirred very well before using it.

Yes, This is a sock. Trust me on this. Don’t waste your money on a fancy sponge.

Oh, I’d like to point out that I am, in fact, wearing gloves under this sock. (And yes, I did still manage to get stain on myself. I’m just professional like that.)

Here are a couple photos of the frame after the first coat of stain.

Sure, the stain looked nice, I decided the look I was going for was something a little more broken in. What to do, what to do…

BREAK OUT THE WOOD CARVING TOOLS!!

So, you can see here, I had quite a bit of fun scraping and gouging. I’ll admit, it doesn’t look great here, but have faith my young padawans. It will look much better when I re-stain it.

 See? What did I tell you? Much better.

So now I have the window complete. Next step will be to draw up plans for the rest of the coffee table, find supplies, and start assembly. I’d like to mention again, that I’m no carpenter. Just an average girl who has no experience with saws or really any other power tools aside from a drill. Luckily my besties have the tools, I just need to learn to use them. Should be simple, right? Well, stay tuned for part  3 next week where you’ll see how well…or badly the power tool session goes. Wish me luck!!

MAKIN’ IT MONDAYS (Issue No. 1, Part 1)

18 Apr

Yes Genius, it is Wednesday. I’m aware. But I’m so excited about this project, that I just can’t wait. I am dedicating Mondays to makin’ stuff. To give you an idea of what I mean, I’m giving you a sneak peak to my new tradition to hold you over ’til tomorrow when I post this week’s Wreck…

I am so happy…I want to shout it from the top of a mountain. On second thought, maybe I’ll just stand on my bed instead. Seems less dangerous that way.

What am I shouting? Well,  I fell in love…with a piece of furniture. Yeah, yeah, yeah. I’m nuts, I know this (and so should you by now). But seriously, I fell hard for a antique-looking trunk/coffee table. I found it on Anthropologie’s website, and for any of you that have ever gawked at browsed their store, you know how dangerous that can be. Gorgeous wares, but ridiculous prices. Needless to say, I didn’t spend a grand for a coffee table. But the love is still there. I can’t get the idea out of my head. So what do I do? I concoct a crazy plan to build one myself.

I’d like to preface this project by saying three words: I’m no carpenter.

That being said, you may be wondering why you’re looking at photos of an old beat up window. What does a window have anything to do with making a trunk to use as a coffee table?

I’m so happy you asked! You see, what had happened was I went to a store called Architectural Salvage here in my ‘hood (San Diego). The plan was to attempt to find some reclaimed/vintage lumber that I could use to build this dream of mine. Although I would have loved to dismantle some of the wooden gates and doors to use for the trunk, it would have been prohibitively expensive ($300+ for a door).

The beauty of my brain, especially in places like Architectural Salvage, is that I don’t just see things for what they are. I see things for their potential. I see what I could create with seemingly random items.  As I continued my adventure, I came across piles of old leaded windows. In a stroke of genius (or insanity, I haven’t quite decided), I decided that I would use one of these windows as the lid of my new trunk.

After about an hour of combing the store, I settled on this little gem. Yeah, she’s a little worn. A little neglected, sure. Nothing a little TLC couldn’t take care of. Since purchasing this piece, I’ve cleaned the glass, I’ve also scraped the paint off the frame and sanded both sides down to bare wood.

I noticed that while the window frame itself is nice and sturdy, the glass part is a bit weak. Since this is a vintage piece, the glass is pieced together with lead. (as opposed to the glass being one solid piece with leading added for decoration) With the rowdy people I tend to have in my home, not to mention the total clutz I am, I decided that if this window was going to serve as part of the lid, it needed reinforcement. After some research, I found a product that would give me the strength without covering up that beautiful glass. I’ll be using clear polyester casting resin. If you’re interested, you can check it out online on the Blick Art Supply website.

Now that I have a general idea of where this project is headed, I proceeded with the design. The outside of the trunk will be stained to match the rest of my furniture, while all the inside parts will be painted with color enamel.

I taped off the window and painted the side of the frame that will face the inside. While I toyed with the idea of painting the entire trunk, I ultimately decided against it. Paint can crack and scratch. And with the wear this trunk is gonna get, I don’t see paint lasting too long. But since I’m crazy for color (among other things) I didn’t want to scrap the idea altogether. I decided to compromise. I thought it would be an interesting touch to have the color inside instead. Problem solved.

After finishing the frame, my little brother had the idea of painting the lead. While I wasn’t thrilled at the idea of having to tape all of the glass, I decided, go big or go home. So I’m giving it a shot…of color. Pink to be exact. (Forgive me for the photo, it definitely looks red here, but I assure you, it is not. Not that I have anything against red. My couch is solid red…and more red would just be silly.)

I will be applying a couple more coats of pink to the lead, then I’ll be staining the other side along with the edges. Once this is all dry, I’ll be able to work on reinforcing the glass with the casting resin I mentioned earlier.

Stay tuned, there’s a lot more to this project, and I intend to show you every step of my adventure!

As a side note, it’s worth mentioning that while I was sanding the frame, I tried using those fancy sanding blocks that Home Depot carries. They look a lot like a sponge; they’re kind of squishy but it has a gritty coating. I really wanted to like this product. Unfortunately, it didn’t work for this project. I think that there was just too much “give” because of its squishyness to really get the job done. So I returned to the Depot and purchased good old-fashioned sandpaper. Before I left, I headed to the lumber department and found a little piece of scrapped 2×4 to use as a sanding block. I stapled the paper to the block and it worked beautifully, with much less effort. My hands thanked me.

WRECK IT WEDNESDAY!!! (Issue No. 6)

11 Apr

Welcome to Wreck It Wednesday! This is where I show you that breaking free of the way you used to look at things can free your spirit and open up all new possibilities. Today, we’re gonna talk letters. Not emails. Not text messages. Not skyping or leaving messages on Facebook walls. Hand-written, from the heart, letters.

No fancy paper...just a wire-bound book of notebook paper. It still makes me smile every time I read it.

Staring at a blank piece of paper may induce panic attacks in some, sure. But I know that amidst all of the junk mail and bills, we all secretly (or maybe not so secretly) adore getting real people mail. There’s nothing quite like seeing your name and address, hand-written across the front of an envelope. We inspect it and wonder what’s inside. It’s a wonderful experience. It tells us that someone cares about us and took a few minutes out of their busy day to let us know that we were on their mind.

It makes me infinitely sad to think that we don’t physically write much anymore. As a matter of fact, I know a lot of people who don’t know how to write or sign their name in cursive. The problem I see with all the technology we have going on these days, is that we’re always go go go. We need a faster, more efficient way of doing every imaginable task. The problem with all this multi-tasking, we miss a lot of details. Take writing an email for example. You have your account open, typing an email–but what’s that in the background on your desk top? Oh, your Facebook account is up, so is the website for your bank account, and who knows what else. A little bit of meaning is taken away when you don’t give tasks your full attention. Your friends and family deserve that attention, right? Well, get out that paper and your favorite writing implement so we can get started.

Remember in school, all the different ways we came up with to fold notes? ahhhh...the good ole days.

 Letters don’t need to be beautiful, well thought out prose to be  handed down through generations. They don’t need to be on nice stationary, or written in pen. They don’t even need to be letters at all. As a matter of fact, I regularly write notes here and there for various reasons, and sometimes no reason at all, other than to let someone know I’m thinking of them. I also regularly use markers, crayon and even stickers.

So now that you’re ready to begin, how do you begin? Well, how would you start a conversation with the person if you were speaking face to face? You can start your letter with: “So I was walking down the street the other day, and I saw a poster of a girl holding a puppy that reminded of you…” Heck, you don’t even have to write any words at all–draw a picture. Don’t worry so much about what you think a letter should look like. This is Wreck It Wednesday! A letter is supposed to look like whatever it ends up looking like when you’re done writing or drawing on the paper. Whoever you’re writing it for isn’t going to take a look at the letter and throw it back in your face because they find it unsatisfactory. (As a side note, if they do actually throw it back in your face, you should give serious consideration to removing that person from your list of friends.) They are going to feel happiness because you took a minute to let them know you took a little time out of your busy day for them. Stop letting the fear of not being “good enough” keep you from doing things.

These are letters that my daddy wrote me while he was on deployment. They were written in 1991, and I still have them. That's how much they mean to me.

This is my favorite letter. My daddy was a great artist, and was kinda goofy.

We put a lot of unnecessary pressure on ourselves.  We feel as though we have to behave a certain way or have or do certain things to be accepted, to give meaning to our lives. That’s hogwash. Be yourself and live your life mindfully without letting outside judgement hinder your happiness. That’s how you put meaning in your life. Dr. Seuss once said, “Why fit in when you were born to stand out?” The man may have been crazy, but his words are fact. And incidentally, it’s why I started wrecking Wednesdays. Sure, my life may be a proverbial train wreck, but it’s mine and it makes me happy. Sure, people can’t take their eyes off it, but such is the life of a wreck. 🙂

Who Are You Calling Inspiring?? …Oh, Me? Well…

9 Apr

I never really expected anyone to read this blog. I first started because I love to write, and share new ideas. I have had a long difficult road, rebuilding my life from loss and depression. I found that putting my thoughts together and having a space to share helps to remind me that being genuine, loving, and forgiving is the key to happiness. Imagine my complete surprise when I received a nomination from a fellow blogger, calling me very inspiring.

Well, thank you so much to Angela, my friend at MyDailyCreativity. It means a lot from a fellow trooper to have  this “Very Inspiring Blogger Award” passed on to me. She is a strong woman taking a creative approach to grief recovery. Everyday a new post, and each one reminds me that there is not just one way to recover from a profound loss. Her journey is a personally inspiring one, and definitely one worth following. 

To accept this award I am supposed to nominate 7 other blogs that I find inspiring:

  1. TheFauxMartha – Delicious recipes and beautiful photos to match, it’ll make you embrace your inner chef.
  2. Love&aSixFootLeash – Beautifully written tales of a pit-bull rescue. It makes me laugh, makes me cry, makes me want to build a doggie-farm to take in all the neglected and abused pups. 
  3. SaraForshawsBlog – An interesting mix of posts, all of which make me smile.
  4. SimpleLifeofaCountryMansWife – Each post makes me strive harder to live my life more simply, enjoying every drop of life.
  5. MuyBuenoCookbook – Food that is as beautiful as it is delicious. These ladies have inspired me to embrace my heritage, and learn more about mexican cuisine.
  6. ThePioneerWoman – An inspiration. I can’t say it any other way. Food, life, home, family, crafts…
  7. Tom.Basson– Words that inspire me to be a better person.

I am also supposed to tell you 7 Little Known Things about me. Well, here you go:

  1. I would like to have kids some day…but I’m terrified of being a parent.
  2. I love making people happy with my cooking/baking.
  3. I am addicted to stickers and have been banned from purchasing any more.
  4. I am also addicted to books. (but I have not yet reached the point where I require an intervention)
  5. I have a very difficult following written instructions, especially recipes.
  6. Music can regulate my emotions.
  7. I can’t buy gifts too far in advance because I get so excited about it, I have a hard time keeping it a surprise.

Again, thank you so much for this honor. I am so thankful that I’ve been able to bring some sunshine into your lives.