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Friday, December 11, 2015

Patterns, Stencils and Chevron - Oh my!

As an artist I find I only need a paint brush.  It doesn't matter if I'm painting on a canvas or a dresser. I'm having so much fun!

Here are a few of my favorites.

Patterned book shelf
Chevron TV cabinet
Stenciled desk
Pretty in pink

Scrap wood turned chevron art with metal swordfish

Mid century credenza gone wild
Gorgeous antique chest of drawers

Two-toned mid century cabinet
Sage high boy

Gray ombre with arrows

I've also strengthened my arms because I'm sanding and stripping plenty of dresser tops.

Behold, the butcher block top!




I loved working on this vintage bar.
A two-toned armoire.

And my favorite . . . (drum roll please)!
This is a vintage French radio cabinet.

It was huge!

I took out the speakers and added a little barnwood.
The finished piece literally took my breath away.
The metal and glass door handles I purchased at Hobby Lobby.

This starving artist is happy!

Linking up to:

Thursday, December 3, 2015

The Pasture Vintage Event - December 5th 2015- Mesa AZ

Do you love vintage, shabby chic, repurposed, industrial, antique home furnishings? 

Are you looking for that perfect vintage dresser or shabby chic frame? 

Chalk boards, handmade stars made out of vintage rulers, dream catchers, a one-of-a-kind book shelf, old doors and windows, metal lockers and more. 

So much cute stuff going on here it's ridiculous.  Photos shown are products we've sold in the past, but plenty of new stuff will be available for your pleasure. 

Over 50 vendors, food trucks, music and festive atmosphere.  Think of it as art festival meets vintage finds.  Plus, for you longtime My Dear Trash followers Kelly will be there.  Come say hello.

Come see us at The PASTURE; over an acre of beautiful urban barnyard turned vintage market boutique fair.  There's even a cow, really!!!

When:  December 5th - One Day ONLY
Where:  2156 E. Hackamore St. Mesa AZ 85213
Time:  8:00 to 2:00
Why:  Because it's awesome!

Many of the photos shown are examples of PREVIOUS work.  Not all items pictured will be available for sale, but many "like" pieces will be available.  In other words, there will be tons of new stuff we haven’t had time to photograph yet because we’re working to hard creating it for you!

Friday, October 2, 2015

Chevron Dresser

The counselor brought home a beast of a dresser a few weeks ago.  It was a dark wood midcentury thing with four wicker cabinet doors.  Problem was, the wicker on one of the doors was torn and damaged.  With a little help from a very sharp pocket knife, the wicker on each cabinet was cut out.  Behind the four cabinet doors was very sturdy panel wood. One thing you’ve got to love about old furniture is it’s built incredibly well.  About 100 staples held each wood panel in place.  Once I realized how it was all put together I had an idea.  I wanted each panel removed so I could paint a chevron pattern.


Lots of work, but totally worth it.

I loved the gray and cream look so much, I painted a French dresser in the same colors.

Linking up to:

Thursday, October 1, 2015

The Terrifying Lesson of Pain

Canyon was born weighing 8 pounds 10 ounces.  

The first 24 hours he was perfect.  He ate well, slept and cried when he was ready to eat again.  We were discharged from the hospital and I arrived home in the evening around 7:00pm.  It was busy; the kids each wanted there turn with him and I was anxious to get things situated for the long night ahead.  I’m an experience mother.  Canyon was my 6th baby.  I knew he would nurse every few hours throughout the night.  I started to do the math and was a little concerned he hadn’t nursed much since mid-morning.  He had latched on only to fall asleep.  His diapers had been wet so when I mentioned it to the nurse before we left, she reassured me to keep nursing, that I was only producing colostrum and if necessary, supplement with a bottle. 

Come 10:00pm.  The kids were all in bed and I tried to wake the baby to get him to start nursing. After all, his last serious meal had been around noon.  He kept falling asleep, but certainly any moment he would wake crying and eat again.  But nothing.  He didn’t want to latch on or suck on a bottle.  He was passed out, exhausted from the whole “just being born” he’d experienced.  Around 2:00am I called the hospital a bit frantic. 

“My baby isn’t eating.  He’s not even 48 hours old,” I said.  “What should I do?”  Again, the nurse on call asked if his diapers were wet, which they were.  She said I should keep trying and call my pediatrician in the morning if the baby still wasn’t eating.

I was up all night holding my precious son.  I rocked him in the rocking chair, holding him close, watching for him to wake up in need of food.  He would wake up groggy, latch on and than fall back asleep. 

Nothing.  He hadn’t eaten anything.
Tears poured out of my eyes and I cried in desperation.  “Please, baby eat.” 

Come 8:00am.  I called my doctor’s office, crying so I could barely speak and explained quite ineffectively what was happening.  The receptionist was sorry, but there wasn’t an opening to see the doctor for several days.  She reassured me the baby would eat when he was hungry but this didn’t bring me any comfort.  I had tried and tried and tried. With the news I couldn’t get in to see my pediatrician, I did my best to remain calm, checked his diapers, still wet and hoped he would eventually latch on or take a bottle.  I called my friend Alison who had just had a baby and asked her how soon my milk should come in.  She suggested I use a breast pump and had another friend Summer bring a pump over for me to borrow. 

At 11:00am I called the hospital again and explained the situation.  I was almost hysterical now.  Once again, there wasn’t too much concern from the nurse on call.  I asked if I should bring the baby back to labor and delivery.  Could I see the lactation consultant?  The pediatrician in the labor ward? 
“No, you can’t bring him back.  There’s nothing we can do for him here,” she said. 

Due to the difficult pregnancy I’d had and all the emotional support I needed from my mom, I was happy to finally give her some time off from worrying about me.  She’d been with me at the hospital when I’d delivered Canyon and probably felt relieved life was back to normal but I was in full panic mode.  It was now 2:00 pm, my baby hadn’t eaten for over 24 hours.  That was it.  I couldn’t take it anymore.  I was going to the emergency room when my phone rang.  Caller ID said it was my mom and I couldn’t hold back the tears.  I answered the phone in full hysteria, desperate for her to come offer me any help she could think off.   Was there still time to try something from home?  I could tell he was weak and his deep sleep scared me. 

Let me back track for a moment to my state of mind when I found out I was pregnant. 

Scared, overwhelmed, uncertain; I wasn’t even sure I wanted to be pregnant.  When I found out I was having another boy I cried for three months.  Let’s just say I didn’t handle my pregnancy very well and because of that I carried a lot of guilt.  I knew I was blessed, I knew my baby was a blessing but why did everything about having a baby have to be so darn hard.

So with this energy I delivered my baby with anxiety and uncertainty. I prayed for love and understanding, but I was still apprehensive.  I knew I could do it, I just didn’t know if being a new mom was exactly what I wanted to be doing with my life.  Well let’s just say having a new baby that wasn’t eating sure forced me to consider how much I wanted my baby.  Now I was fighting for my baby.  Oh, did I want this baby to be strong and healthy and perfect.

My mom arrived and I was a barrage of questions. 
“Will the hospital give him a feeding tube?” I cried.
“What’s wrong with him?” I asked.
“What did I do wrong?” and I felt the guilt of all the complaining and supplication I’d put myself through.

My mom calmed me down and suggested we try giving the baby a bath.  “We need to really wake him up,” she suggested.  So we stripped him down and put him in a nice warm bath.  He cried a little, not much really, but he did wake up.  After his bath I gave him a little body massage.  Each precious moment touching him, feeling his warm skin on my fingertips; I was bonding with every breath.  My baby was beautiful.  He was what I wanted.  Was it too late to convince God to give me another chance? 

Just at that moment my beautiful neighbor Kristin knocked on the door and my kids motioned her down to my bedroom where I was working with the baby.  I had tried so many times to get my baby to take a bottle, I was certain he wouldn’t latch on when Kristin asked if she could feed him.  I gently handed my baby over and Kristin put the bottle in his mouth.  With the faintest little suck, he latched on and we all cried out in joy. His beautiful little lips hugged the nipple and his tiny neck pulsed as he took each little swallow.   He drank ½ an ounce before falling back to sleep.  Relief rushed through my body and I cried like a little girl who’d just dropped her popsicle.  I cried and cried and cried.  Kristin handed my back my baby and it was all I wanted to love and nurture him.  Nothing was more important.  It wasn’t a sacrifice, but a privilege.  About an hour later, I bathed and massaged him again.  Would you believe he drank almost a full ounce.  Within the next 48 hours, his strength came back. He still didn’t want to nurse, but the bottle provided fast nourishment for his still weak body.  When I did get in to see my pediatrician, four days later, Canyon had dropped the 10 ounces and weighed 8 pounds even.  

Canyon is almost 5 months old. He is a strong healthy 16 pounds.  

He eats and nurses and I love every minute.  

I’ve asked myself why?  Why did he go through that?  Why did I have to go through the not knowing when/if he would eat or if he would be ok?  Why the pain? The uncertainty?  Strangely, it was the pain that turned my heart.  The pain of losing him was unbearable.  The pain taught me a terrible lesson and for that, I am grateful.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

My Golden Ticket

I knew Ben Carson was coming to town and wanted to hear him speak.  I have a lot of respect for the man; he’s an overcomer and I’m greatly inspired by his story of boy living in poverty to becoming one of the top neurosurgeons in the nation so I made it a priority. It was 6:30pm.  I woke my 3 month-old baby Canyon from his late, late afternoon nap and started the drive into Phoenix during the end of rush hour.   I left 15 minutes late so I was already stressed for time.  I drove into Phoenix just as it was getting dark and started to look for parking. I wasn’t exactly sure where I was going.  Downtown has a lot of one way streets and is unfamiliar to me.  I found a parking garage near the Phoenix Convention Center and it was $12 to park.  I reached into my wallet and handed the attendant my credit card.  

“Cash only,” he said.  

That morning I had given the last of my cash to my kids for lunch money.  

“There is an ATM over on Third St.,” he said.  

I backed my large SUV into reverse and slowly moved out of the parking garage, careful not to hit the line of cars already forming behind me.  I wasn’t sure which way to go when I say another parking garage advertising $5 to park.  I knew I had enough change at the bottom of my purse so I pulled into the lane.  The cashier patiently waited as I grabbed change from my purse and the glove compartment of the car.  I was like a squirrel looking for acorns at this point, searching under the floor mats and in any nook and cranny I could find.  I produced a handful of coins, mostly pennies.  The cashier patiently counted out my money.  I knew I was short but hoped if I didn’t say anything she might come up with a different amount.  In the mean time, my baby was starting to fuss. I’d already been in the car for over ½ an hour.  

“You only have $3.85,” the clerk said, jolting me out of my stressed state of mind.  

I would blame my irrational behavior on hormones, but I’m a horrible liar.  Truth is I was frustrated. For some reason, I felt like I might cry and just like that, I was crying in this sort of pity cry. Great!  I felt sorry for my self.  

“I don’t mean to cry,” I said to the clerk.  “but I have a new baby in the car, I don’t know where an ATM is and I’m late to hear Dr. Carson speak.”  She peered inside the back window and looked at my fussy baby.  Her face turned compassionate and she motioned toward the garage.  

“Just go on in, it’s all good.”  

I never intended asking her for a favor and quite honestly felt like a great big loser, but I took her kind gesture and thanked her profusely as I rolled up the window.  I drive a large SUV and there was a part of me that wasn’t even certain my car would fit, but I drove down into that parking garage and tears swelled in my eyes even more than before.   Part of it was my pride as I knew I'd taken advantage of the clerk.  Seriously, she was just a college student and because of my pity party which was now at the price tag of a indebted whopping $1.15 she’d broken some sort of parking attendant "code of conduct".  This whole night was turning out to be a giant mistake.  Still, I found a parking spot and turned off the car.  Now what?  My baby was crying and I still didn’t know where I was going.  It was dark outside but even darker in the belly of the parking garage. I opened my door as two men walked by.  I mustered up my courage and grabbed the only weapon I had; my diaper bag.  Why hadn’t I invited anyone to come with me?  Coming alone was not smart.  I walked around to the other side of the car and opened the back door.  Inside, my darling baby had stopped crying and was curiously watching me.  His innocent expression filled me with such love.  All he wanted was me.  Suddenly, I didn’t feel alone.  I had Canyon.  I was so overcome with gratitude for his companionship I started crying all over again. 

“Come here little guy,” I said as I took him into my arms.  “I’m so glad you’re here,” and I hugged his little body into mine.  

His familiar smell, the gentle way his hands reached into my hair and the closeness to which I held him was so comforting.  I literally cried on his tiny shoulder and thanked him for being there with me.  Once I started feeling better I positioned him into my baby Bjorn and took the stairs out of the parking garage onto the city streets of Phoenix.  A man walked by and stopped to comment on and look at the baby.  

“Do you know where the convention center is?” I asked after I'd answered his questions of the baby's age and name.  

“Sure, I was walking there to see Dr. Carson,” he said.  

So, we walked together as the light rail whizzed past us.  I thanked him as I entered the over-sized convention room holding 12,000plus people.   

The energy was amazing and immediately all the efforts I’d made to attend were worth it.  Dr. Carson’s heartfelt speech was beautiful.  His speech lasted another 25 minutes when he ended with a few Q&A’s.  The crowd started to disperse, but I was just getting started. Are you kidding?  Getting me downtown was like getting a race boat off the dock and into the water just to let it idle.  I had so much more to offer than turning around and driving back home.  I was energized.  While most people were leaving, I noticed a small line forming near the stage.  Was it possible to meet Dr. Carson?  I had to find out.  
I’m not sure how but many in the crowd of 1,000 people or so made way so the baby and I could be near the front and suddenly Ms. Carson reached over to me so she could see the baby.  

“He’s adorable,” she said.  “I miss my grand kids,” and she reached in to hug on my little boy.  I asked for a photo and I kissed her on the cheek.  I literally felt a transfer of energy.  Candy Carson is absolutely beautiful inside and out and I could feel her vivacity immensely.  I could barely believe what had happened and finally turned to head back to the parking garage. The baby slept the entire ride home, making the journey home much less eventful then my earlier experience.  

My baby had been my golden ticket to an incredible experience.  Because of him I'd been able to park, find the convention center and meet Candy Carson but most important was when he offered me his companionship when I felt all alone.  He is my little person.  He needs me and I need him.  He’s coming everywhere with me forever and I’ve already told him he’s not allowed to ever grow up.  
We’ll see if he follows that little rule or not.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Miracles 101

I’ve been schooled the last three months in babyness.  

It’s been absolutely blissful.  I honestly did not expect it to be like this.  As I mentioned in previous posts, I was certain this pregnancy and baby was more than I could handle, that I was too overwhelmed.  That’s not how I feel anymore.  Although Canyon is my sixth baby, the entire experience has felt brand new.

This is what I’ve learned since having Canyon.

1.  God will perform mighty miracles in your life when you do difficult things.  Having Canyon has allowed me to see what God can do for me with my unique personality and life experiences.  When I thought I was weak, He gave me strength.  What I thought I would just “get through best I could” has turned into one of the most tender and beautiful experiences of my life.  I have more love in my heart than I thought possible.  My faith has increased tremendously.

2.  The innocence and vulnerability of a baby has absolutely come alive for me.  When you look at a precious baby and the needs only you can meet for them are apparent, you have such a sense of worth and love for that baby while fulfilling those needs. I learned this right away.  When Canyon was born, he was placed on my chest crying.  I soothed his little back and spoke to my son “Momma’s here, Momma’s here.”  He immediately stopped crying.  Later when he cried, I again spoke to him.  I couldn’t believe how responsive he was to my voice.  Just speaking to him in a soft tone soothed him. 

3.  A baby can offer healing.  The recent abortion videos/controversy have left me in tears. Never have I felt the sting of innocent lives lost as I have since the videos release.  I have had the privilege and comfort of holding my newborn baby while working through my emotions over these horrific acts.  Some nights I will get him out of his crib and hold him because of the love and energy I feel from his little soul.  I tremble to think only months earlier he was the size of the babies who have been killed and body parts sold.

4.  Although I’ve never had an abortion, abortion affects me in many ways, especially as a mother. I have a respect for babies I’ve never had before.  In a very realistic way with 55 million abortions (fact found here), there are few survivors.  In some ethnicities, more babies are aborted every year than born.  I look at my son as a survivor.  He will bless me throughout my life.  Every baby is special.  I think there is light shining from new babies and their experience on earth should be loved and celebrated.

5.  A baby can change the tone of a home.  There is more patience, love and joy.  My two teenagers are smitten with their baby brother.  My ten year-old can’t get enough.  My daughter and 7 year-old son have to take turns because they are both so excited to hold the baby.  I feel the lessons learned about the dignity of life and purity of a baby will forever impact my children.

Being a new mom has been an extraordinary experience.  Pregnancy is difficult.  Looking back, I wish I could have had more vision of the joy that was to come.  Because of what I went through, I feel I’m more sympathetic to pregnant woman.  Seriously, if you are a pregnant woman and I cross your path I will caress you with affection and compliments.  I love pregnant woman.  Also, if you have a baby prepare to be bombarded with love and adoration.  I love babies.  It is my commitment to never forget what I’ve learned from Canyon.