Saturday, August 31, 2013

#50: Time Capsule

My best friend Carrie and I made a time capsule and buried it in her yard when we were in elementary school. For the life of me I cannot remember what grade we were in, but after a few years we dug it up, just to see how all the contents weathered. We immediately made another one and buried in her yard again (I'm sure her father loved our capsule holes in his perfectly-manicured lawn), and to my knowledge it is still there.

When we finally moved in to our house I was so excited for Mike and I to make one documenting the start of our new home. While he wasn't exactly thrilled to be participating in yet another list item, he helped me find some knick knacks and personal mementos from around the house.

I hope the next couple who buys the house finds a little excitement and joy when they discover this!

                 I'm participating in my third 92 Days of Summer challenge. Read about the project here.

#80: DIY Birdhouse

I bought it, filled it and hung it ALL MYSELF. That counts, right?

I'm participating in my third 92 Days of Summer challenge. Read about the project here.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Color Therapy

via indulgey

How did I make it almost entirely through the month without a color therapy!? Shame on me. Instead of just one color, I decided to go with a pattern for August. Ikat! For those of you unfamiliar, ikat is a dyeing technique, similar to tie-dye, that comes from the Malay word 'to tie.' I first saw the pattern when I was Thailand and have always been drawn to it since. The process is actually very extensive, but so totally worth it. So, on with it!
via myskyisthelimit

via lottiedababy

via tumblr

via anthropologie

via ballarddesigns

via pinterest

via belovelynow

via denise mitchell interiors

via aura home

via garoopatternandcolor

via allsaints

#53: Mike Recipe Book

Here it is, the easy, yes you CAN cook me dinner recipe book made exclusively for Mike. I wanted to get fancy with cute little illustrations and quirky sayings, but let's see if he actually uses it. If so, I'll make a second edition. To download you own copy, click here. #53 is off the list!

            I'm participating in the 92 Days of Summer challenge. To learn more about it, click here.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Thrifty Thursday: Before & After

We bought this buffet and hutch for $100 from one of Mike's Dad's contractors with the idea that we'd refinish it or sell it and make a few bucks. When Barney dropped the piece off it was in need of a little TLC, so we cleaned it up with some Old English the previous homeowners left us. Surprisingly, it looked really nice! However, it still didn't match our brand new table that looks almost identical to this one from World Market.

I listed the piece on Craigslist and it sat for about three weeks. Since our housewarming party was nearing and I didn't want this unmatching piece hogging the spotlight I got to work on researching techniques for "refinishing cherry wood to look like world market table." You can imagine how many search results I found: exactly Zero. After talking to a Home Depot employee (who didn't actually roll their eyes at this project), I decided I would have to make up my own technique. I bought black paint, black varnish and a pack of plastic gloves for $10.

We removed all the hardware and wiped down the cabinets. Then Mike got to work "distressing" the wood by take a hammer to it. We decided that using all the different edges worked best to give it the super textured look. Next, I took the electric sander and went light over the entire surface and much harder in only a few areas for that weathered look. Using a damp cloth, wipe the surface completely clean.

Instead of a "white wash" that I'm sure you've heard of, I made a "black wash." It consisted of 1 part flat black paint to two parts water. I gave it a stir and painted it on. Oh, and this would be the point you need to put on your gloves.

Because you're going to take a rag and wipe all the paint off. You want to make sure the black wash has covered all the surfaces, but don't be too worried if it looks too dark at first. I left the wash on anywhere between 5 and 10 minutes. I tried to work fast, but with the bottom it was harder to get through all the sides quickly. Just make sure the paint doesn't dry before you can wipe it off.

Here is the hutch after hours of hammering it. I'm glad this was Mike's task!

Once your black wash is completely dry, open up your can of black varnish. I cannot stress enough to make sure both hands are gloved! Take a dry rag and dip into the varnish, wipe on the wood with the grain. You're almost going to massage the varnish into the wood, I'll warn you, this is the tricky part. You don't want to use too much varnish because it'll be sticky as it dries and smudgie (trust me, I learned this the hard way). Just use a little as you go and be sure to wipe away any excess. We experimented with the drawers one day and let them dry over night, I tweaked the process from that - if you have the time, try it that way.

Grandma's mash potato dish, Great-Grandma's fondue dish, Haviland Wedding China
passed down through generations, a house warming gift, a graduation gift,
a Moroccan treasure and a gift from a strange. Everything has a story, everything has a place in my heart.

As you can see, the final product turned out pretty close to our table. The piece fits in the room much better and while we may not have it forever, I'm certainly happy with our $110 project!

Make sure you have these essentials!
Cotton rags or your boyfriend's old undershirts (lots of them)
Several pairs of rubber gloves
Electric hand sander
flat black paint
black varnish
a tarp or drop cloths
paint brushes
jar with lid (to mix the paint and keep overnight)

I am happy to use this as my "No. 27 Freebie." I'm participating in the 92 Days of Summer challenge. To learn more about it, click here.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

#66: Frozen Bananas

There are some things that end up on the list, that by the end of the Summer, I'm thinking to myself "really??" This is definitely one of them. I came home from our weekly Monday walk (perusing the neighborhood trash, of course), and got out all the ingredients. But, I don't want chocolate covered frozen bananas. Not in the mood and don't know what to do with the batch I am about to make.

So what did I do? I made them. And there they sit in our freezer just waiting to be eaten (two days later). I'll let you know how they turn out....whenever that time may come.

I'm participating in my third 92 Days of Summer challenge. Read about the project here.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Self Portrait: August

One of my best friends sent me this article earlier this month. We hadn't chatted (via the phone or gchat video) in nearly two months because our lives were just "crazy busy." Go read this article. Please, I insist. I'll wait.


Welcome back. Pretty awesome, right? I rarely read. Anything. But, I read this article start to finish (go ahead, give me a gold star, Adrienne). I found so many truths in this article. I was in that latchkey generation (as a morning attendee) and spent an equal amount time after school, outside in the woods finding the edge of the earth, or wetting my pants on the softball field. That is not something I modeled my idea of adulthood after (especially the latter), seeing that I perused a career in 'journalism graphics.' However, it definitely set the stage for the creative, inspiring, can't-sit-still type of job, I would eventually want.

After reading that article, I started paying close attention to my reaction to "How are you?", and others reaction as well. Busy literally the only thing people said. I was bound and determined not to give this answer, but found myself just dancing around the fact that I was crazy busy. Yes, it actually is all taken on voluntarily, my ambition or drive to learn or my addiction to 'busyness,' as Kreider states. And he's right, for what am I so very busy for? So people look at my blog? Repin my latest furniture how-to? Retweets, Facebook likes or networking opportunities? What does any of that actually matter?

So this month I tried to remain unbusy. Not take on any [more] obligations. Tell people 'no thanks,' with no further explanation. React with "I'm doing great", and leave it at that. It was not well received. I tried to relax on the couch a couple nights with Mike, and my legs twitched as if they need to be released of the "idle demon" living within them. So I took a step away and looked at the big picture.

Yes, I'm busy. And yes, it's all self-inflicted. But I love it. I'm becoming a part of this amazing city I call home. I'm trying my best to make a difference with serving as different roles in community organizations. I'm meeting fresh faces who are vibrant, supporting and loving people, by designing wedding invitations, flyers, logos, making handmade crafts, taking pictures and drinking! So what is the point to all of this, you ask? I've realized my role is to be who I am. I know I'm a little quirky and I have my faults,. I'm loyal and hope that others are to me. I love my family and friends incessantly, and can't get enough of them. I absolutely do not know how to relax. And, I just hope to make a tiny little difference, somehow.

I walked out of work today, got in my car and set my bags down. I turned down the music and took a deep breath. It's the minutes of serenity this that make it all okay. The one time Mike and I had a picnic at the beach and I refused to go running because I wanted to sit and watch the Ocean. And like this entire afternoon at The Hermitage (below) that balance out my life. Life is too short not to be busy.

P.S. If you made it through all of this reading, you deserve TWO gold stars. See me after class :)

Homemade Veggie Corn Dogs

I used to eat veggie corn dogs all the time, they were taken off the shelves of every grocery store around here a few years back. This summer I was determined to try and make them myself and I think I'm onto something here! The taste was exactly right, but the appearance has little to be said. I've seen people make mini corn dog muffins, but that just doesn't seem the same to me. However, they are waaaaay cuter than my attempt. Like I said, a work in progress...what would you suggest?

Here's what I did:

1. Mix together Jiffy cornbread according to directions.
2. Grease bread loaf pan. Pour 1/4 of the cornbread batter onto the bottom of the pan.
3. Cut the ends of the veggie hot dogs so they fit short-width-wise. Hold on to the ends though, you can use those! You can fit 4-5 dogs, plus the remnants can make up one.
4. Pour the rest of the batter on top of the veggie dogs. Bake in the oven at 400 degrees for 20-25 minutes. 5. Let rest a few minutes and pop out of dish. If you're so inclined, you can poke popsicle sticks into the ends...I didn't get that far though.

I'm participating in my third 92 Days of Summer challenge. Read about the project here.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Live Music

Atlas Genius at The NorVa

Gary U.S. Bonds at Norfolk's first First Fridays

Bayou Boogaloo at Town Point Park

I'm participating in my third 92 Days of Summer challenge. Read about the project here.

#42: Alchemy NFK

There is so much happening in the Arts District right now. Alchemy NFK is coming right along and is scheduled to open in September. They are asking for volunteers to come out and help do anything from painting to sweeping, so see what their needs are here. The home of Fairview Place and Glass Gardens has been rumored to be part of The Beauty Parlor's expansion, as a coffee shop (I noticed it got new windows in the second level)! The Zedd's building is set to be torn down any day, with hopes to relocate The Plot there. The Texaco Building has been purchased by The Hurrah Players for their new set- and prop-building location. A skate ramp is being added on Wilson Avenue and according to Norfolk Live, Magazine Lane Properties, LLC has purchased three properties on Magazine Street.

I took myself on a date this morning to the Arts District. With my Yorgo's coffee and camera in hand I spent about an hour and a half, walking around taking pictures. A lot of people just see buildings that haven't changed much. But if you take a closer look, there is change happening in every form - from entire buildings to rust on a lock. From lightbulbs to blooming flowers, it's all taking shape.

So, the big question is, how well do you know the Arts District? Can you easily identify the pictures below? Most of them are probably pretty easy, but go ahead, test your knowledge of the District.

top (1), left (2), right (3)

left top (4), left bottom (5), right top (6), bottom (7)

top (8), bottom left (9), bottom right (10)

top left (11), top right (12), bottom (13)

top left (14), top right (15), middle (16), bottom left (17), bottom right (18)

top (19), bottom (20)

top left (21), top right (22), bottom (23)

left top (24), left bottom (25), right (26)

left (27), right top (28), right bottom (29)
30 :)
Go ahead, take a minute to record your answers. We'll have a word from our sponsors...

#14: Take Myself on a Date, #42: Alchemy NFK, and #52: Photo Story, are off the list!
I'm participating in my third annual 92 Days of Summer challenge. Read about the project here.
Alright here are the answers!
1) the garage
2) acclaimed events
3) 734 granby st. (next to zed's)
4) oj wholesale
5) new skate ramp
6) texaco building (with the moon!)
7 the beauty parlour by q
8) 112 wilson lane (the old horse stables?)
9) 142 west olney (next to the virginia ballet)
10) bob's gun shop
11) back of studio co-lab
12) norfolk printing company
13) virginia furniture company
14) studio co-lab
15) 801 granby, residences
16) top of zedd's (from wilson ave.)
17) parking lot behind the texaco building
18) parking lot next to alchemy nfk
19) the garage
20) alchemy nfk
21) 763 granby st.
22) virginia furniture company
23) exotic home
24) texaco building
25) stark and legum
26) daevid's floral
27) wilson avenue
28) hayne photography
29) zedd's (olney side)
30) 765 granby street or glass gardens/fairview place

Talley up your score and see where you rank!

0-6: Vacant Retail
Have you been to Norfolk before? Heard of the Arts District? Appears not, but if the dilapidated buildings down here have potential, then so do you! Come out and spend a few hours perusing the neighborhood, you'll be happy you did.

7-13: Starving Artist
We understand, life is hard for you. But you owe it to the Arts District, after all, walking is FREE! Better hit the streets and get a little more familiar with a place that is being created for you!

14-20: Better Blocker
You helped build some pallet furniture, you even told all your friends about 'this art thing happening in Norfolk.' Good job! Now, go to the next level and write your city council, contact Alchemy NFK to volunteer, or get a group of your friends to donate to The Norfolk Arts District today!

21-29: Alchemist
You are a forerunner of transforming dust and dirt into murals and skate ramps. Your attempt to convert medieval city laws into a universal zoning permit elixir is almost complete. Keep up the good work!

All 30: Mayor of Arts Districtville
Really? All 30? You deserve free rent for a year, a coffee shop named after you, and a bicycle lane with your face on it. Norfolkians should aspire to be just like you, an Arts District Rockstar!