It’s Only a Phase

There are days I think I am in the running for the “Mom of the Year.”

I am quite impressed with myself sometimes.

So much so that on really good days I imagine….                                             

….as I leisurely stroll through the aisles of Wal-mart dressed to the nines,

with my obedient,

well-behaved,

neat-as-a-pin children skipping and (of course) holding hands behind me….

….I imagine that I’m going to be spotted by staffers from the Dr. Phil show.

You see, those Dr. Phil staffers are trained….trained to spot pure motherly goodness at its best.

And they will quickly and with great fanfare whisk me away to Chicago….or New York….or Las Vegas or wherever they film the Dr. Phil show.

And upon determining my general fabulous skill-set as a mother….

….immediately ask me to come up on stage to recieve my trophy.

All of the world’s eyes on me.

Mom of the Year.

And as I stand there…..hands outstretched…..ready to recieve all the praise and adulation that comes with my new title…..

…..someone will stand up in the audience waving this….

….and my dreams of glory and a starring role on the remake of “The Waltons” will come to a screeching halt.

Security team?

Walkie talkies and sunglasses and notebooks filled with top secret information?

Really?

What was it my blonde-haired, blue-eyed, smocked-dress wearing, tea-cup holding twins that brought upon this?

Too many late night episodes of Charlie’s Angels on TV Land?

Too much Sonny with a Chance?

I’m so sorry Dr. Phil and crew….

….please keep my Mom of the Year Trophy shined and ready….

….I’m sure this is only a phase.

Mini Impossible

important announcement:  management has decided to post a successful mini-impossibility to distract from the lack of progress on the bread making “impossibility.”

Mini Impossible:  How to display medals and awards

(1)  Buy an herb-drying rack at an exorbitant price at an antique store.

(2)  Pat yourself on the back at being ahead of the curve in the herb-drying rack trend.

(3)  Discover that you have no place to hang aforementioned herb-drying rack and try to sell at yard sale.

(4)  Realize that the herb-drying rack trend has yet to take off in the state of Kentucky when no one purchases rack at yard sale.

(5)  Wait 4 months and put out herb-drying rack at another yard sale.

(6)  Cringe when, surprisingly, yet again, no one buys the incredibly trendy herb-drying rack at the yard sale.

(7)  Place herb-drying rack in attic.

(8)  Wait one year.

(9)  Plan a party and realize that you have a blank space over television in playroom.

(10)  Go to attic for inspiration.  Spy neglected herb-drying rack and immediately re-purpose as medal and award display.

(11)  Pat yourself on the back on your ingenuity as children cheer and guests marvel at your incredibly unique award/medal display.

(12)  Post herb-drying/medal award display as your “mini impossibility” and return to the arduous task of trying to figure out how to bake homemade bread. 🙂

And now for those of you following along…..I would like to give you an update on some of our “impossibility” participants.  You see, unlike me, there are a host of bloggers who have been making incredible progress with their “impossible.”

They are inspiring and creative and determined and overwhelmingly optimistic.  They have embraced the challenge and emerged successful.  Please stop by to cheer them as they near the finish line.

At thissortaoldlife check out their bathroom remodel.  Great step-by-step instructions on their progress! 

Laura over at Top This Top That is re-doing on her game room.  She has already re-painted and is posting updates this week!

Laura from Whimsical Perspective is tackling her kitchen.  Check out the before pictures of the floor.

Jaime from The Bullock 5 is building a fireplace wall.  She has made great progress….the wall is in place.

Laura (I guess you have to be named Laura to participate in this challenge) from SweetPeasSamplings is stitching up a storm.  She is super-talented and creative with her needle and thread.  Stop by to check out her stockings!

Congratulations one and all on a job well done!

Remember to stop by and link up your “impossible” on January 31 at each of these incredibly inspiring blogs:

A Cottage Market

Ecelectically Vintage

It All Started With Paint

A Sort of a Fairytale

The Space Between

PS  If these ladies have inspired you and you want to participate in our challenge click here. 

PSS  I’m linking up here, here and here.

Out of Sight and Out of Smell

According to a recent survey of 2000 people, the stinkiest smell in the universe was the smell of wet dog.

Hmmmm.  Wet dog.  Stinkiest smell ever.

Really.

Have they ever smelled the socks of a teenage boy and an almost teenage boy?

I think not.

Because if they had…..trust me….wet dog would never even have topped the list.

When we re-did the upstairs for the boys.

When I spent hours ripping out blue shag carpet….

….when I tediously stripped wallpaper with a bottle of vinegar and tiny scraper…..

…when I patched and sanded and painted until I could paint no more…..

It was all done with the understanding that stinky socks were not to grace this freshly sanded and painted grey wooden floor.

T-shirts, legos, video games, cards, ball caps, books, papers, train tracks…..

                      ….even a stray remote or two.

All these were on the acceptable list.

But socks?

No way.

No how.

We do have standards here at thistlewood farm.

So far we are all on the same page.

So far the inhabitants of the second floor of thistlewood farm are keeping their socks out of sight and out of smell.

But if the day comes….

              …..when the stinky socks of the world take over the playroom.

It’s over.

And I promise you this….

                         ….. that blue shag carpet may rear its ugly head again.

PS  Don’t forget about our impossibility challenge.  We would love for you to join us.  Please note that while I do paint and sand and sew…..baking overwhelms me.  See my attempts at homemade bread with all the other “impossibles” at our linky party on January 31.

PSS  I am linking this project here.

It’s About Time

ATTENTION ALL BOOK CLUB MEMBERS

I apologize profusely….

…..that this greeted you when you stopped by.

I know it’s January 18.

I know December has come and gone.

I know Valentine’s Day is on the horizon.

I know the neighbors are talking.

Seriously.

I know.

I also know you were thinking…..

“What is the statute of limitations for Christmas decorations?”

I see.  I really do.

I understand this shameful display of wanton disregard for the timely removal of seasonal decor is beneath a card carrying member of the Livingston Literary Society….

                 ……but can’t we just overlook it this one time?

Let’s just concentrate on “The Help” and forget this little embarrassment ever happened.

I’ve Got My ISO on You

I am obsessed with photography.

Four weeks ago I had never even heard of Picasa or aperture or balance or shutter release or ISO (remember….I even had to enlist the help of an expert arrow maker)

But now….

                …..now those are words that make my heart sing. 

In the interest of full disclosure, I do not take most of the photographs on my blog.  They are taken by someone who knows far more about photography than perhaps I ever will.

But I am learning.

I’ll keep you posted.

Maybe one day I’ll be able to bake bread and take incredible pictures all at the same time.

In the meantime, I would like to welcome the super-talented Aimee from “It’s Overflowing” who truly is a talented photographer.

But rather than rest on her laurels and simply take fabulous photos…..she wanted to teach others.

So she took the “Imagine the Impossibilities” challenge…..and…..

……well…..I’ll leave the rest to Aimee……..

Hi, I’m Aimee and I blog at It’s Overflowing!
 
 
 

First of all, let me thank Karianne from Thistlewood Farms profusely for inviting me to participate in and contribute to this inspiring series!  As I look ahead in 2012, I want this to be a year that I look back on with great satisfaction because I pursued life to the fullest and refused to be inhibited by anything!  A year full of Sparks {my word of 2012}!  After hearing about Karianne’s challenge of “Imagining the Impossibilities” and the support that joining this group of sweet girlfriends would offer me, I knew exactly which challenge I needed to face! 

I guess before I go any further, I should introduce myself,  I’m a homeschool mommy with three sweet B’s!  My sweet hubby, aka Stud, and I are in the middle of completely remodeling our original 1950s ranch-style home!  Along with organizing, decorating, thrifting and cooking, I have decided it is time to take on learning how to photograph in a manual setting!  My hubby, aka Stud, is a great photographer and understands all the ins and outs.  I’ve stuck to the position of assistant up until this point because I’m naturally gifted in composition {positioning the subject and camera to get super cute shots}.  I’ve decided that it’s time I sit down and actually listen to what Stud’s been trying to teach me all along!  My impossibility for this challenge is to learn how to set my DSLR camera so I can take beautiful pictures and share that new-found knowledge with my sweet bloggy friends!!

For starters, I knew I needed to feel comfortable with the parts of a SLR camera!  It’s so intimidating to learn from a camera book.  The words are printed so small and there are tons of words they all seem to jumble together on a page!  I spent some time looking at my camera, camera book and double checking lots with Stud!  I came up with a simple ‘Parts of a Camera’ diagram and wrote Bloggy Photography Course 1 {Overview} in common day English!  This class is perfect for those like me who want to learn how to take great pictures, but are lacking the time and confidence to give it a try!  Basically, I want to relay to my readers lots on the “how to” of photography and leave out lots of the “why!”  Having this diagram at hand has empowered me to take my learning to the next level! 

Last Friday, I took a HUGE step towards imagining the impossible!  I took my camera off of auto setting and experimented with aperture.  I took notes as I learned and shared them with my bloggy friends at Bloggy Photography Course 2 {Aperture}.  It was so much fun and is really boosting my confidence!   {I even wrote a sappy note on my fb page because I felt all overwhelmed with giddiness!}  I am excited to spend this week studying hard, and preparing to share more about my new discoveries with you at Photography Friday.  Of course, in SUPER simple verbage!!!  I think this challenge is so GREAT and am thankful that Karianne and her bestest bloggy friends are including each of us in their series, Imagining the Impossibilities!  It has been fun to see the challenges that each of you are facing!  Totally inspiring for me!!!

At It’s Overflowing, life is full of DIY house projects, designing, decorating, photography, crafting, cooking, baking, organizing, teaching, learning, and thrifting!  With all that each day entails, we’re striving to keep things simple around here, so we continue LOVING every moment!  I love having my friends over for visits!   Come on over, curl up in a comfy chair and make yourself at home…I’ll share a little more with you each day. I hope you’ll visit often!

My new series on Photography:
Bloggy Photography Course 1 {Overview}
Bloggy Photography Course 2 {Aperture}
Photography Friday

United We Stand

impossibilities    noun   pl.

1.  the quality or state of being impossible

2.  something impossible

But then again, everyone has their own definition of “impossibilities.” 

For example, some might consider turning this:

into this….

…..an “Impossibility.”

Others might define….

….turning this….

…into this as an “Impossibility.”

Still others might define it as….

….turning this…..….into this.

But not me.

Nope

No way.

You see my fine blogging friend…..

….baking homemade bread…..that is my definition of “Impossibility.”

You see….I have never baked bread before.

Full disclosure:  And I have never made pork chops or lasagna or chicken and dumplings or coleslaw or ….you get the idea.  I’ll stop while I gather up the few shreds of dignity I have left.

I can paint in my sleep, glitter until the cows come home and build and create with my eyes closed…..

….but the thought of baking or cooking or chopping or dicing or frying usually overwhelms me.

But not today.

Not here.

Not now.

Today…..

             ….today I scoff at impossibility.

I am really to go forth into this great big wide world of ours and conquer the fear of the unknown.

Why?

Because of you.  Because we are all in this together.  United we stand and all that good stuff.

Oh….and I have a 100% guaranteed successful no-fail bread recipe from Revisionary Life.  It’s actually called “No Fail Bread” recipe.

It’s going to be good.  I’m thinking positively.

I’ve made a little progress…..I mean….I got the recipe, didn’t I.

For a little more progress and inspiration here’s what the blogger support group has been up to:

Karah is making great strides (check out her speck)!

Kelly is in the process of conquering her basement (check out her AWESOME before pictures)!

Linda is choosing her paint color (check out the other updates she posted)!

Stacey has some great fabric selections for her purse!

and Andrea is building her shelves!

Now in the spirit of “united we stand,” here are a few incredible bloggers who have taken the challenge:

Oakview Cottage

Three Sweet Peas

Buffalo Roam

Common Ground

Maxwell House Interiors

Take a moment to stop by and encourage them as they work on their own definition of “Impossibility.”

PS  If this is your first visit and you want to know more about this exciting, scintillating, thrilling challenge click here.

PSS  If you are not sure what scintillating means click here.

PSSS  If you are worn out from hearing about the impossibilities challenge and you just need a good laugh click here.

Call Me

The president of my fan club lives at my house.

Actually, I think she is the president, vice president, secretary and treasurer all rolled into one.

She is a fashionista, an artist, a cheerleader and could give advertising executive, Donny Deutsch a run for his money.

She never misses a post.

The other day she came running into the laundry room, bursting with excitement.  I guess she and the other members of the fan club had been in negotiations.

“Mom….what if a celebrity looks at your blog?”

Now, before we proceed….I feel it is imperative to let you know that my current readership consists of my mom, my sister and a few people who have googled “tiny little pantry.” 

But, hey, who am I to dampen the hefty expectations of my fan club?

So I replied, “Wow!  What if they did?”

It didn’t stop there. 

She continued, “Mom.  What if more and more and more people saw your blog….and then a celebrity saw it and wanted you to go decorate their house?  I mean mom, what if they saw…..and what if….

(now at this point her face is a study in concentration….furrowed brow….the works….thinking so hard about the most famous celebrity she could dream up).

“…..what if……..Christina Aguilara called you?”

Really?

REALLY?

Christina Aguilara?

Did anyone see booty shorts and red satin in that bathroom make-over?

I’m not really sure that Christina would go for vintage, chippy, shabby chalkboards made from windows, that I found in the trash.

But I can’t disappoint the fan club.

I can’t let them down.

So, Christina if you are reading this…..

I love red satin…

 ….call me. 

PS  Don’t forget about our impossibility challenge.  We would love for you to join us.  Please note that while I do paint and sand and sew…..baking overwhelms me.  See my attempts at homemade bread with all the other “impossibles” at our linky party on January 31.

Before and After

I should have taken more before pictures.

You see, a marketing genius and I were talking recently and she told me I need “before pictures”. 

Why oh why didn’t I take more?

Before I lifted a paint brush or a roller or a sander, I should have lifted my camera.

I have a few pictures.  They don’t really do the guest bathroom justice.

Why didn’t I zoom in on that shell toilet seat?

Why didn’t I know that I would have a blog and that before pictures were essential?

Really. 

I mean you barely see the wallpaper….and the sink….and the faux brass towel rings.  This is not an accurate representation.

I feel like I have let us all down.

Why didn’t I take more time with the before?

Maybe because I was too focused on the after.

I wanted clean and light and bright.

So instead of photographing terrible before shots, I painted the walls.

Instead of photographing the process and journey….I hunted high and low for the perfect baskets on clearance and filled them with tea-stained flowers.

Instead of creating tutorials and step-by-step instructions, I just painted signs.

Next time I will know. 

Next time I won’t be so unbelievably careless.

You can count on me.

NOTE TO SELF:  When starting a project…..

Take a plenty of before pictures of this….

…..before it turns into this.

If you want to see more before and after click here.

Thank goodness for next time!

PS  I am linking up to Funky Junk Interiors and Beneath My Heart.

Imagine the Impossibilites

Goals in 2012.

They are all over the blogworld.

All the goal talk started me thinking.

Should I have a goal in 2012?

Looking for general goal inspiration, I came across this quote by Doug Larson:

“Some of the world’s greatest feats were accomplished by people not smart enough to know they were impossible.”

Now I don’t know who Doug Larson is, but he is brilliant.  How many time have I said, “I can’t.”  “There’s no way.”  “That’s impossible.”

Why?

I mean….there might be some impossible things….world peace looks a little impossible right now.  And I don’t think anyone is going to create an SUV that gets 75 miles to the gallon…

….but the rest.  All of those impossibles just might be possible.

So in 2012 I decided, along with five of my best blogfriends, to take the “Imagine the Impossiblities” challenge.

We are challenging each other to do something we thought we couldn’t do.  Something we thought was impossible.  Something that we needed help and advice and encouragement….lots of encouragement.

This is the year….. this is the time…..this is it!

                         I am going to accomplish my “Impossible.”

(insert audible clapping and cheers)

That’s great you say.

So what is it?

What is your impossible?

I am almost embarrassed to say it.  For many of you it is so easy.  You have done this many, many times.

Not me.  No way.  No how.

You see, I am a terrible cook.  Not just an ordinary cook, not just an under-average cook…..but a truly terrible, terrible cook.

If we had time and I had a really good cup of coffee….oh the stories I could tell you.  Stories about “hotdog pot pie” and pancakes that I made like chocolate chip cookies with blue dough goo centers.  Stories about the time I tried to make white beans (yikes) and overly chewable potato soup.  Stories about the time I made roast and took it to gardening club to see if it was done and they told me it was gardening club, not cooking club.

These are necessary facts.  Important to the task at hand because….

…..my “Impossible” is:  Making Homemade Bread.

I commit here and now, in front of those who I hold near and dear, that I will produce one loaf of homemade bread complete with family testimonials by the end of January.

It’s at this point I can tell those of you who know me to pick your jaw up off the floor.

I’m serious.

Please don’t laugh.

You heard me.

Homemade bread.  The kind you make with yeast (I think).

And I state here on this day, January 9, 2012, I take a solemn vow that

I will do it.

 

Now here’s the part where you come in…..you knew I would eventually get around to you 🙂

We want you to be a part of this.

Join us.

Take the “Imagine the Impossibilities” challenge.

(1)  Post your “Impossible” in the comments section.

For example:

* Take on a new project

* Organize a closet

* Use a new type of finish

* Paint stripes or stencil or crackle or silver leaf or a new paint color

* Cook a new recipe

* Sew a pillow or curtain or tablecloth or runner

* Start a new nutrition plan

* Visit a new place

Whatever your “impossible” you can do it!

(2)  Grab an “Impossible” button from the sidebar.

(3) Follow along each week as we all post about our progress and feature some “impossible projects.”

(4) Join us on January 31, for a giant linky party at all six blogs so we can all share our “impossibles.”

I will be posting my “Impossible” along with my blog support group:

Kelly from Eclectically Vintage— purging and organizing 16 years worth of “stuff”
Linda from It All Started With Paint— painting a vaulted ceiling
Stacey from A Sort of Fairytale— sewing a purse
Andrea from The Cottage Market — organizing a craft room
Karah – The Space Between— making a gallery wall using only one screw in the wall

Together we can do it.  We can accomplish what we have only dreamed of before.

So start thinking!

It’s 2012.

What’s your “Impossible”?

Where All the Tiny Pieces of Paper Go

This the house where all the tiny pieces of paper go.

You know.

You’ve seen them.

The pieces of paper that show up when tiny hands wielding scissors cut and cut (and cut) to create masterpieces of all shapes and sizes..

At first there were just a few pieces of tiny paper.  Then they called their neighbors and they all came to visit.

Soon the pieces of paper were organizing supper clubs and PTO meetings and bridal showers and whatever else they do when they all get together.

It was too much.

They needed their own house.

The house wasn’t always theirs, you know.

The house started out as a beauty shop for the previous owner.

But the only thing we are cutting around here is paper. 

So it became an art house.

I love the creativitiy and incredible genius that little hands can create.

I love the excitement that is produced from a $2.00 bag of stickers from the dollar store.

I love freshly-sharpened crayons and a blank slate.

I love that pipecleaners become people and glitter makes even the humble construction paper into something special and that playdough comes in 31 flavors.

 But most of all….

I am happy that it all has its own residence.