Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Happy Bloggy-versary!

A year ago I thought it'd be fun to blog.  I was super pregnant, on bed rest, and I looked like this...

Nope...not a watermelon in there.  Just a humongous child taking his sweet time.  :)

I'll never forget the night I started my blog.  Because it's also the night my water broke.  And, uh yeah, you don't forget that.  Needless to say, the blog immediately went on the back burner.  I've picked it up and set it down throughout the year, but I'm so thankful for this outlet.  I just read through some of my old posts and I'm amazed at some of the little things I've already forgotten.

If you're new here, I'm sure you've noticed my blog is a little all over the place.  Hence the name "Tids & Bits".  I like a little of everything and I've struggled to focus on just one topic, but in looking back I see that just about everything revolves around the home. Thoughts on decorating, crafting, gardening {who am I kidding, Hubster has the green thumb!}, cooking, life with a baby...the list goes on. 

I hope to have many more years together, you and me and this little blog.  So raise a glass with me {I've got coffee, of course} as we celebrate one year of Tids & Bits.  {You know I love any reason to celebrate.}  :)

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Planning for the Holidays

This is my favorite time of year, hands down.

I don't know about you but I love the relief of cooler weather after a scorching, hot summer.  That, coupled with celebrations spaced out every 3 weeks or so, makes for a very fun time of year.

This is also the time of year when I feel most pressured to make everything perfect.  The Type-A Monster in me comes out to rear her ugly head.  I must cook Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner e.x.a.c.t.l.y. as my Granny did all her years.  My New Year's luncheon must look just like my Mema's, because it won't be New Year's without the right foods.  I must bake and take cookies to all my neighbors, and send Christmas cards to everyone in my address book because that's what my mother has done all her years.  It goes on and on and on.

In addition, I have a new friend...the Must Be A Perfect Mommy Monster, who is challenging me to make my son's 1st birthday picture perfect.  Of course, if I fail he will find some way to blame his angst-filled teenage years on the time when I didn't throw him the perfect 1st birthday party.  {I'm kidding here, y'all know that right?}

It should come as no surprise that I have decided I don't want to entertain these Monsters this holiday season.  In an effort to keep type-A thoughts at bay, I am doing the following:

Splitting Thanksgiving dinner with my mom and aunt.  Many hands make light work.  This is a lesson I learned last year, when the Kiddo and I were past our due date, and I physically could not cook Thanksgiving dinner.  Instead, they brought Thanksgiving to me.  It is so freeing to choose not to care about the food being perfect, and instead, to care infinitely more about who is at my table, and enjoying my time spent with loved ones.  Granny would so approve.

Keeping Kiddo's birthday party realistic.  Food?  Check.  Keeping it simple with burgers.  Cake?  Check.  Friends and Relations?  Check.  Throw in some streamers and maybe a crafty pennant banner and some grocery store balloons and we're good.  I did not spend hours searching for the perfect invitations.  I designed them myself {BTW, easy to do even if all you have is Word}, saved the file as a .JPG, and had them printed at Walgreens for about $5.  I even used envelopes I already had.  Done.

I am not putting up my tree on Black Friday.  This is huge for me...I am the one who hates to see decorations before Thanksgiving, but the minute Thanksgiving has passed, I am out at the tree lot looking for a good one.  I am trying something new this year...delayed gratification.  I want to savor Thanksgiving and the Kiddo's birthday before decking my halls this year.  {However, I must admit that I have already introduced Christmas carols to the Kiddo's bedtime routine.  I can't help myself on that one.  ;) }
I am shopping/shipping gifts early this year.  And I'm having the mailman deliver my boxes and pick them up, too.  No waiting in line with a toddler on my hip to send something at the last minute.

 Last year's advent wreath.

I will focus on new and old traditions and making memories.  I will still bake, and craft, and make things merry, but this year we are celebrating Advent by doing a Jesse Tree.  I want to teach my son about why we celebrate Christmas...and I know that I need to be reminded daily, too.  Will the Kiddo remember this Christmas?  No.  But I will.  :)

I'm curious now - what are you doing to celebrate this year...and what have you decided is okay to let go of this year?

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Hooty-licious Makeover

I love owls.  I try really hard not to go owl crazy since they are so popular at the moment, but I really do love cute little hooty owls.  So I just couldn't pass up the opportunity to bring home Mr. Owl when I stumbled across him on one of my thrifting adventures in W-Town.

Apparently, I am also not to be trusted with a can of spray paint.  I'm not gonna argue...I have been known to be a streaky-sprayer.  Hubster maintains that it's all in the wrist, and that if I would move the can around a bit more and do several light layers I wouldn't get unsightly drips.

I won't argue.  He's quite the perfectionist and look at how lovely Mr. Owl turned out!

Quite the handsome fellow.  And he looks especially dapper next to my yellow rose painting, wouldn't you agree?  ;)

What about you?  Come across any treasure while thrifting lately?

Monday, November 7, 2011

Recovering...On So Many Levels.

I was going to leave a tiny note to say that I'm still here and that I have had a lovely, little respite from the chaotic frenzy of 31 Days.

I've been party planning for this handsome fellow and have been up to my elbows in loot from various thrifting adventures while we were visiting family in Waco.  My to-do list seems a teensy bit overwhelming at the moment...Thanksgiving in 2 weeks, then the Kiddo's birthday the next weekend, then 3 weeks to Christmas.  It is totally going to blow by SO fast.  And to be honest, I've been playing Scarlett O'Hara and telling myself "I'll think about it tomorrow" with a "fiddle-dee-dee" thrown in for good measure.

BUT I have been dying to share this lovely lady with you!  So without further ado...

I rescued her from a garage sale down the street awhile back.  She was a much loved chair who needed a new home.  And I was quite happy to oblige.  I really was drawn to her coral upholstery.  You might be thinking 60's day-glo orange...but I saw vintage coral, reminiscent of Pillow Talk with Doris Day.

I loved her just the way she was.  But a closer inspection showed her seat to be worn and threadbare.

She really deserved to be properly reupholstered, but that wasn't in my budget.  I loved the Nester's furry new friend, so I decided to try my hand with fur {faux, of course}.

I gave her legs a quick paint job.  Usually I'm one of those who loves wood grain and thinks it's a sin to cover good, solid wood with paint...but I have to say I love how the crisp white paint draws attention to the detail of the chair legs.

Then on to the fur.  Let me just say fur is not for the faint of heart.

It sheds.  Everywhere.  

But I played with draping the fabric and just started hacking away at all that fur.  Instead of using hot glue like the Nester, the staple gun was my weapon of choice.  No burned fingers for me!  When I got done, my lovely lady looked like this...

To be honest, I wasn't super thrilled.  

The seams were kind of bulky with all those staples.  It held up okay at first...but I started noticing the occasional staple sticking out {which is definitely not child proof}.  Then one day my Fabulous Aunt M came to visit, and thinking the chair was slipcovered, she pulled up the "skirt" to see what the original fabric looked like.  Oops!  Staples went flying and I was secretly happy to have an excuse to do this one over.

This time I didn't mess around.  After removing elventy-hundred staples, I decided to sew the fur on the sewing machine as if I were slipcovering the chair.  Then I used staples at the bottom and hammered them in with gusto to make sure the fur won't budge.

It's the best of both worlds - because I can guarantee you I will never try to wash this beast in my washing machine.  But the seams from sewing a "slip" look so much nicer and less bulky than the stapled seams.

Anywhere there I found a line of demarcation from a sewn seam, I used a fine tooth comb to fluff out the fur.  Never in my wildest dreams would I imagine I'd be grooming a chair.

She is pretty, though, and a household favorite.

Someday I will have her reupholstered in the most. beautiful. fabric. ever.  But until then, I think she's enjoying playing the lady in fur.  ;)