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Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Before and After - Binky Style

I had a great week of shopping trash.  My favorite find of the weekend?
This New York fashion mannequin. 
Isn’t she special? I found her at a very artsy Saturday garage sale. 
While shopping, I noticed another girl picking out the coolest trash and I knew she was an expert.  Well, wouldn’t you know it she approached me and asked if I wrote on My Dear Trash.
“Are you Laura,” she asked a bit shy.
We hugged and got all giddy!  She told me because of what she learned on the blog, she is able to shop trash and stay home full-time with her children.  I was so happy to meet her and it made all the effort Kelly and I put into blogging worth it.
I also made it down to the shop at QcumberZ.  Here are a few photos of the space.
Don't you love the green man painting!
I’ve gone a bit crazy with color, but it makes me happy.
Here’s a dresser I finished this weekend.
And here’s Eden and Reef in there new P.J’s I picked up for .50 cents each at a garage sale.
Be ready for some pretty intense before/after photos.
Before binky is removed
Here Eden is in her new $10.00 pink troller I found thrifting.
With binky.
(Notice she's wearing her big brother's NBA wrist band).
After binky.
I'm not sure if I've ever had a before/after picture turn out so dramatic!
Getting her to give up this binky is going to be interesting.  
How was your weekend?  

Monday, January 30, 2012

Hello Craig, Remember Me?

With a larger space at Qcumberz, I haven't sold on craigslist for a while. It seems like I've been working like crazy to keep that space full. However, I've decided if an item is in the space for 4 weeks and doesn't sell- It's coming home. I turned to craigslist this weekend with excellent results. I had purchased this little desk a while back for a few dollars at a yard sale.

My kids have loved playing school with it for the past year or so, but I'm trying to simplify- especially the toy room. I took it down to Qcumberz and didn't have any luck so I posted it on craigslist for $25. Sold in 1 hour! I also recently purchased two of these french dressers at auction...

One for $50 and the other for $55. We needed them to display the food at the vintage victorian wedding so I painted them black with a little distressing. Now that event has ended and there wasn't room in the shop for 2 dressers. Again, I turned to craigslist. SOLD $165 each. Craig, I've missed you. but hopefully we will see each other more often now. Love, Kelly.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Lucky by Alice Sebold: A Book Review with some Questions?

When a book has the following as the first sentence:
"My name was Salmon, like the fish; first name, Susie."
It sure does get your attention, it did mine anyway.

Because from the very first line author Alice Sebold makes it clear the main character, Susi Salmon, is no longer living. In the book, The Lovely Bones, I instantly bonded with 14-year old Susie Salmon because of her innocence and sweetness. I just loved her and as the narrator of the book she was vibrant and descriptive and funny, but she was dead. Early on in the book I knew how she died, a horrible death that still leaves me cold inside, but I found myself wishing I didn’t know she was dead. My reasoning behind this is I wanted the chance to think she could not be dead, so I could have some relief; so I could hope. Maybe they’ll find her, maybe she’ll escape – Nope! I knew she was dead and as the reader, it was heartbreaking to deal with her parents search efforts and belief that maybe they would find her alive.

I was very taken by the book, The Lovely Bones, but truth be told, this is the only book I’ve every thrown away. Once I finished it, I didn’t leave it on my bookshelf like a trophy, I didn’t offer it to family and friends like I do other books I read, I threw it in my outdoor black city garbage can because I never wanted to think about such horrible things again. The book itself was a visual of something I never wanted to remember again.

Although . . .

I will say I was very intrigued by the author, Alice Sebold. Who was she? As a writer, how did she get to such a dark place? Was she herself Susie Salmon; young innocent rape victim?

As a writer myself, I had I to do some research and I found a book I had to read: Lucky, Alice Sebold’s experiences of being raped and how the experience shaped the rest of her life.
Why the title Lucky? Because when she reported the crime to the police, they remarked that a young woman had once been murdered in the same location. Thus, they told her, she was "lucky." Lucky had me hooked from the start. Ms. Sebold so graciously allows the reader into her mind. She doesn’t hide what happened to her, she doesn’t sugar-coat it and she never apologizes for the vulgarity of it. So, I have to ask myself; is this how she was able to write as rape/murder victim Susie Salmon? Do authors need to have some sort of personal experience to be able to write the stories they want to share?  In other words, can I write about something I've never personally experienced myself?

I’ve thought about his more then once. When I read the“Twilight” series, I remember thinking Stephenie Meyer must of have had a pretty healthy childhood. No mention of abuse or trauma. Bella is never looking back at a difficult life. Other then Bella’s parents divorce, we don’t know much about Bella “pre-Edward”. I’m convinced Ms. Meyer is a hopeless romantic who wanted to write a powerful love story and that’s most certainly what she did. Ms. Meyer needed to write, but not for the same reason Ms. Sebold needed to write or maybe the reason doesn't matter because both authors found what they were looking for: an escape.

Still, I think writing is so therapeutic for the author. When I write on my YA novels, I get to explore shady places, reveal deep inner-thoughts and travel places we’ve never been. In fiction, I don’t have to reveal my sources unless I want to. I commend Alice Sebold for her accomplishments in The Lovely Bones and Lucky. Both stories needed be told. Ms. Sebold took a risk, she put her heart on the line in hopes to help other rape victims, and for this, I thank her. She shared a difficult story that took hold of the reader’s heart. So now I know. When I was reading The Lovely Bones, I wasn’t just rooting for fictional character Susie Salmon, I was rooting for the very real Ms. Sebold’s justice as well.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Vintage Victorian Wedding Reception

I've spent the last several weeks preparing a victorian style wedding reception for a friend's daughter. So many fun projects- Here's a peek at the lights and overall look... The mother of the bride took paper lanterns and glued paper doilies to the outside. With the light showing through it gave a gorgeous lacy effect. Let's start at the entrance...
Grandmother of the bride donated her antique sewing machine for the outside entrance. We also had a poster print of the bride and groom, candles, flowers wrapped with lace and a "Happily Ever After Starts Here" sign. Here's a closer look...
The sign was made by just spray painting over an old picture that had a beautiful frame. I then applied vinyl lettering. The font is AdineKirnberg. Next we have the entrance doors...
A custom vinyl treatment was easy to remove at the end of the reception but made a big personalized impact.
In the foyer a picture of the Arizona temple- where the couple were sealed- hand painted by the mother of the bride and a little telephone table we decked out in royal purple- one of the wedding colors.
In the foyer we also hung a swing and personalized a watering can for a little vintage charm.
The bride hand carved the couples initials into the seat of the swing.
Last stop in the foyer is the sign-in table. A french dresser taken straight out of my daughters room and set walls covered with embossed wallpaper and then painted that same Royal purple. Here's a closer look...
The Mr. & Mrs. banner was made by the bride's aunt.
For the vintage typewriter I took a snippet from a letter the groom wrote the bride when he proposed. I used American typewriter font and it looked just like it could have been created with the keys.
Each table was dressed in black with vintage books (covers removed- middle book covered with "little black dress" scrap book paper) lantern, key, vintage bottle with flower, picture of the bride and groom and a personalized western union telegram.This picture shows just how striking this couple looks together.The idea for the western union telegram came when I found a few originals at a garage sale. I figured I could recreate some using real stories about the bride and groom's courtship. I started with a blank template of the telegram that I found online. I printed it, downloaded telegram font and then typed up the stories shared with me by the bride and groom. I then found an old age paper image online and placed it behind the text so that the strips of paper would look aged. We printed the lines, cut them into strips and glued them onto the blank telegram (this is actually how they used to do it) If guest went from table to table (each telegram was different) they could get the full story of the bride and groom.

Here was a little vignette to help hide some of the "basketball court". Two french doors with a shutter door in the middle. We painted the chair and table and then left the upholstering up to the professionals.
Next stop was the gift table. Another piece on loan from the Grandmother of the bride, this fantastic 10 foot table was fun to decorate and held the many gifts the couple received. The printer drawers were an auction find and looked great behind the vintage luggage. The "love" scrabble letters were such a fun project- I plan to make a few sets for the shop. Here's a closer look...Simply made using a 2x10 piece of pine. Lots of sanding, then natural stain and vinyl. I designed the letters using the font: Univers LT 47 Condensed. Another personal touch was the chalkboard door...

Difficult to see in the picture, but the couple printed out how they met, when their first kiss was, the proposal etc. I love that the guests can read more about the couple as they approach the receiving line.
For the receiving line we used 16 feet of set walls (same ones we used for my daughters 50's diner backdrop here) treated the same as the sign in walls. We collected frames at garage sales and auctions for a fun geometric backdrop.Now onto the food display...

I so wish I had a better picture of this- it was my favorite element of the reception. We took 2 10 foot tall glass doors- painted the sides black, braced them and then attached a 14 foot board across the top. We draped 5 different types of fabric (cut into 1 and 2 inch wide strips) to create a fabric backdrop. In front of the back drop we had a two tiered table (borrowed from a friend) 2 french dressers (purchased at auction a few weeks ago and painted black) and a vintage vanity we painted black. That held the ingredients to the pasta bar and salad guests enjoyed. Here's a little closer look. After food guest were greeted by out spirited bartenders...

serving up 7 different flavors of Italian Cream soda. We built the bar (which folds up easy for storage) and framed the flavors using an ornate gold frame. Here's a closer look at the backdrop...A paneled door and 2 shutters helped cover up some of the block walls. Now, onto the sweets...

Two black french doors and a purple paneled door framed the cake, cream puffs and chocolates. This cake was incredible. Take a closer look...Individual white chocolate flowers and ribbons of icing from dark purple to white. The toppers were the perfect crown.Two birds made by the mother of the bride.The water table was jazzed up with a little metal chair, iron, vintage books and a miniature version of the "love" scrabble letters.

I created a screen for the video of the bride and groom by taking a huge frame and tacking a white sheet behind it. Here's a better look...
We projected the movie from behind to hide all the equipment and cords.
On the way out guests were greeted by a vintage church pew and another custom banner from the bride's aunt. Such a fun event! So much so that the Brides mother and I are thinking about dabbling in the wedding planning business. Another fun adventure. Let me know what you think. Love, Kelly.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Cream is in.

I found this dresser a few weeks ago and listed it on craigslist.  
I had an offer for $75.00, barely making me a profit.
Should I sell it as-is?
Or should I paint it cream and then try to sell it?
The kids, and our neighbor and the dog played right next to me in my parked car while I worked on sanding, then painting.  I had the stereo on, cookies passed around, it was a grand time.
What a difference the cream-colored paint made!
It sold within 24 hours for $175.00.
So, what did I find this weekend?
These cream distressed bar stools (they came this way) were $5.00 each and thanks to craigslist, they are already sold.
This French dresser is amazing as-is, but I'm wondering if I should paint it cream too.
And what about this high-boy?  Cream might make it a "for sure" sell.
I love this cream bookshelf with wood shutters. I'm not sure what to price it at.
And this bookshelf, with this emblem is pretty cool.
Imagine it cream?  
The kids would tell you their favorite weekend trash was this race car track I found at Goodwill.