Thursday, November 8, 2012

Decoupagers Anonymous

My name is Lara and I'm a Decoupager.

Before last month, I had never, to my knowledge, decoupaged before. I don't know what I have been waiting for. I knew I always wanted to, but I just never had the balls and opportunity to actually do it. My "This New House" project gave me the perfect excuse x 2!

My first chance came when my mother purchased a pair of fairly plain but size and color appropriate night stands for one of the bedrooms. You saw them in the previous This New House post about headboards in their final state. 

Their original state in their amazon photo.

I unfortunately did not use any common sense and take a picture of the roll of contact paper I used for this project. I got it from a bin of contact paper at a local Goodwill. Total find. You can see it fairly well in the next picture.

Starting this project, I realized that I had a problem. I fell in love with decoupage. It took two fairly boring tables and totally classed them up. Decoupage can be pretty neat, pretty tacky, or just plain pretty. I think I did a good job of keeping it  simple and not going the crazy scattered route. Maybe I can go that way another time when I sack up enough to commit. 

I don't think I really need to explain the decoupage process. There are about a thousand videos and instruction blogs for that. 

Well after I finished those little tables, I soon got another opportunity to do it again. I found this banged up coffee table at a Goodwill for $12.50. It was tagged as $25 but it was half off that day! SUPER! 

It just managed to fit in the back of the car, but only just. I got it back, scrubbed it down, oiled and shined up up, and decided it was perfect for decoupage. I got a roll of wallpaper for cheap down at Menard's and went to it! This project was a bit more difficult owing to the shear size of the surface. Air bubbles abounding. I managed though and even put on a shiny sealant coat and new knob for the fake drawer. (Why won't this section stop being centered? Weird.)

I think it turned out perfectly even though it had air bubbles. I think That's enough decoupage for me for a while. It's a pretty involved process. Maybe on a smaller scale? I don't know. 

Next on This New House: Seat cushion recovering!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Your Curvy Sisters

Because I am human, I have a Tumblr. Actually I have two, but the other is dedicated to My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic and we don't talk about that here. Anyhow, on my Tumblr I follow lots of people, friends, celebrities, scientists, journalists, and a Tumblr account called Your Curvy Sisters. If you want to check it out, you can HERE. This group addresses the everyday problems that the larger of us deal with day to day whether it's just an airing of grievances or asking for specific answers. They're not always progressive enough for my tastes, but they hit the nail on the head most times. The picture above, while dealing with the shallower side of the issue, is one of those times.

In case you can't read it...

Anonymous asked, "For me, Slim girls don't understand how lucky they have it. They are able to wear clothes that fit them and can wear clothes for women who are bigger and still pull it off. They will never understand what it's like to squeeze their figure into the biggest size of the main range before having to shop in the plus rail to get something that fits.
To which Your Curvy Sisters replied...

I think this is a case of the grass is greener on the other side. Yeah, plus size shopping can get annoying because a lot of the clothes are expensive and they aren't readily available at any store. But there's the other side of the story and that's when slim girls don't have the curves they would like to fill out their clothes. Instead of focusing on who has it better, we should all learn to be happy and appreciate our own lives in our own bodies. :D   -Olive

This kind of thin hate is pretty popular among the general fat lady community and it's distressing. I understand the reason because I am too am fat and grew up with skinny girls all around me. I understand the jealousy and the resentment that lingers on from the years of teasing. I understand the urge to pick on them and call them twigs and tell them to eat a sandwich. I get it.That said it's just as bad to say those things to a skinny girl as it is to call a fat girl a beached whale. You don't know the person you're picking on. You don't know the reason for their body size. You don't know the damage you could be doing with your hurtful words. 

Maybe your words bounce of that person, skinny or fat, with no effect, because they are indeed happy with who they are and appreciate their body but do you really want to risk it? Skinny girls are not immune to body image issues. Do not fall to the level of the children who picked on you then or the assholes who pick on you now. Rise above it. Realize how beautiful you are in your own skin. That realization is really what makes someone beautiful. Confidence is so much better than all the makeup and clothes a person can wear. 

I know it isn't always easy and backsliding is common. It isn't a goal you can reach. Just take each day as it comes and try to remember you are precious. I know because I said so. 

Love, Lara

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Everything is up to date in Kansas City

I may have mentioned that I recently went to Kansas City for the very first time. I can't say that this was on my list of top places to visit, but I was pleasantly surprised by KC nonetheless.

My gal pal, Ann, and I struck out for KC and were overwhelmed by how nice the hotel was that her company put us in. Even though it was a Holiday Inn, it was a boutique version called the Aladdin. Built in a restored and historically listed art deco building, all I can say is the Aladdin is RAD, y'all. I wish I had taken more pictures during this trip, but it was all a bit of a blur. If you want to check it out yourselves, please do at The Aladdin website.

While the free champagne, affordable valet, and cushy rooms were super nice, we were there with a purpose: to attend an art show for a sister to Ann's company, Fine Line Studios. I can't remember the name of the studio we attended off the top of my head. If I remember or get around to asking Ann, I'll edit it in later. Fine Line Studios and it's affiliates works with developmentally disabled adults to find and focus their creative side through art instruction and outreach. Also, super rad. Seriously, if you're into art and awesome people, I'd check them out. You can do that here.

Now, please enjoy some photos of us and a small sample of the art we witnessed.

Looking fine.
 I have a few of the "we're so cute" photos, so I'll intermingle them with the others. Clever, I know.

Part of the studio that was doubling as a gallery.

I told you we were cute.

That is actually a giant eyeball structure behind those paintings. 

Still cuting it up.

Some awesome ceramic work. I liked the little penguin.

After checking out the gallery and making a purchase, which hopefully I'll show on here at some point in the future, Ann, I, and her co-workers struck out into the Kansas City night to do some gallery hopping and eventually some pre-Halloween partying. 

Dramatic music plays here.

The first gallery was probably the most interesting. I was introduced to Jennifer Jarnot's work and was completely blown away. Very stylized, very fluid, and yet very pop art. I loved her concept of using such a familiar style and playing with it in ways that brought something new to the table. Some comments that were made by others included a disappointment that it seemed to be all the same. I personally disagree. It was a single show of many artists, not a retrospective on an entire life's work and development. 

The ukes were my favorite, but I'm biased.

You should seriously check her work out. This is an article and interview about her and I would highly advise reading it. If you don't, I do want to copy one of her pieces into this blog post as I found it one of the most striking things of the evening.

birds of reflection . jennifer jarnot . 2012

At the same gallery (?), I think, there was a wing dedicated to politically themed works which to me = yawn for the most part. I feel like there hasn't been anything original done with this in so long that I just don't really care anymore. How many statements about dehumanization of government and Walmart being evil can be made? No more than have already been apparently. 

There was ONE standout. A group of ladies dressed in varying historical garb with picket signs regarding women's rights. I had their card and like the responsible person I am, I totally lost it. Anyhow, their message was clear, their execution was right on, and it was fun! Cheers to them. Have a picture.

After the galleries, we all went out to various parties. People got super drunk and danced. I did neither because I'm a big stick in the mud and also the permanent DD. Also, there was a gigantic gun.

End scene. I did tons more in Kansas City, but I think that is more than enough for one blog post. Oh! Did I mention I had about 2 hours sleep before this incredibly LONG day? Now I did. 

Love, Lara

Friday, November 2, 2012

Aloha Friday Blog Hop

I'm participating in....

If you are here from the Hop, welcome and I hope you find something you like! Leave me a comment and let's get to know each other.

NaBloPoMo and other silly words

November kicks off many marathon events that are both fun and silly. There is Movember and it's brother Novembeard. There is the less popular No-shave-vember. And every writer's favorite NaNoWriMo.

I am not a writer. I have never pretended to be. I enjoy blogging, but when it comes to making things up, I absolutely fail. I can have an idea for a premise but when it comes down to the whole package, you know, plot, character, setting, etc., I totally lose it.  I got about 600 words in to some depressing drivel and remembered that.

That said, I am participating in NaBloPoMo or as my friends and I have decided to call it BloMo. It's a challenge in a similar vein to write a blog post every day for a solid month. Maybe it will be fun or interesting, but the idea is to get into a daily writing routine which has to beat my daily routine of watching America's Next Top Model and eating ice cream.

They've offered prompts to get people writing and today's is "If you could live anywhere, where would it be?" That's a toughy. I've lived a few places and have always found something to be dissatisfied with. Chicago was so dirty and expensive. Dallas was way too hot and really boring. Ireland... was really drunk? At least I was so I can't really say. I would like to live near the water, but it can't be so secluded that I don't have good internet access. If that's handled, I think I could live pretty much anywhere. Mostly I just want to live with friends nearby. A few of my friends and I have floated the idea of creating an artists' commune of sorts. Build a farm, hook it up with DSL or whatever, and all live there in self sustaining harmony. Talk about a fantasy. That would be the best though. IT'S NOT A CULT. Maybe only a little polygamy. I kid.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

OOTD: Resolutions and Rennovations

I got dressed up to do a bit of cleaning around the house and yet MORE yard work. It's been a battle and a half with all the trees on this property and, of course, the wicked winds that seem to deposit the entire city's leaves in our driveway. Luckily, since I love the fall, I also love the chores that come with fall.

Dressed warmly and ready for action.

I thought I'd use this as a nice excuse to get into what other bloggers do occasionally which is an Outfit of the Day post. This helps as a jumping off point I think. You talk about clothes if you want or just use it as an excuse to photograph your lovely self and then talk about whatever you want!

Still rocking the residual hairspray from last night.

Soo um clothes... The shirt I picked up at Goodwill a couple weeks ago on the most successful thrifting trip I've ever had. The pants are from Fashion Bug. The vest is Torrid. Shoes are... Target? Maybe? They're old, stinky, and falling apart and I love them. 

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween!

I dressed up! But I actually kind of cheated because I had just purchased this dress and ran out of time for a costume so I decided why not fat Joan Holloway? I did up with with time appropriate make up and even taught myself to bouffant with the best of them. As a non hairspray user, this is impressive.

I set up a desk, lamp, office chair, and candy little scene for myself to hint at what I might be. I even brought the sound track to Mad Men to help out. This didn't really make much of a difference in the end.

Anyhow, I look fabulous, but there are no trick-or-treaters in this neighborhood which sucks. Since this outfit deserves better than an hour out in the cold wave at rush hour traffic, I'm taking my mom out to the movies. Maybe the dollar theater will appreciate this fabulosity.

Stay safe and Happy Halloween!
Love, Lara