Embroidery Wall Art

Tis the season for finishing the project!  I’ve had this one semi-done for a while, but finally got everybody famed and hung up.

Embroidery hoops make awesome frames– they are inexpensive and they take nicely to spray paint :)  This little set is at the foot of the stairs and it still needs a little finishing (the Leaning Tower of Pisa is also a kind of Wrinkled Tower of  Pisa…) but they make me really happy every time I walk by them.

 

Weekend Update: Going off-list …

I like making lists.  I like ordering things, categorizing them, creating impossible to-do lists with way too many items on them for me to ever get through in a day.  Or a work week.  Or a weekend.  This often leads to anxiety and stress  (the very thing the list-making helps in the first place!) because at some point in the life of each list I realize I will NEVER get through everything that’s on that list and I get mad at myself for either creating such an unrealistic list or for there not being more hours in the day.  I have about the same amount of control over those two things, too — I can’t stop making unrealistic lists just like I can’t add more hours to the day.  But the lists go on.  I can’t help it!

So I was as surprised as the next gal to find myself going completely off-list this weekend.  It all started when I noticed how dirty the floor on the upstairs porch was.  So I swept it.  Then I thought …  we are NEVER going to get to this room — well, not never, but let’s be honest– buying furniture for it and painting, fixing it up, etc. are pretty low on the list.  So I thought — why not make it look a little cuter in the mean time?  Because there was a little bit of mess on the floor (oops!) and a side table that is a nice little piece of furniture that was left in the house, but it was just (literally) gathering dust.  So I found an indoor/outdoor rug we were using downstairs when we were under construction down there, and I put it on the floor.

cute(ish), right?

cute(ish), right?

Then things got weird.

I was  suddenly and completely inspired to take that little table and fix it up for the guest bedroom.  Why have I not had a nightstand in the guest room?!?!  Our friends have all been too polite to comment on this stunning lack of hospitality, but it’s been driving me crazy.  And here I had a great nightstand the whole time!  So neither of these projects were on my very long weekend list, and yet off I went, sanding and painting….

I took the little table I’ve been using in the guest bedroom and decided to paint it silver — it will live on the porch upstairs.

Hi.  I'm a cute table but I never fit right in the guest room!

Hi. I’m a cute table but I never fit right in the guest room!

I sanded and painted the night stand (still using old quarts of sample paint!) and decoupaged some scrapbooking paper to the top and inside.  I silver-leafed the drawer pulls and ta-da!  Cuteness ensues!

What do you think??

Now, if we could just get that eyesore-front-porch scraped ….

I better make a list!

 

 

Benches for which I can take no credit (Part II)

A while back, I started this fun series about benches Chris makes.  And, you guys, I haven’t even posted the amazing bench he made for the kitchen that ALSO holds books and magazines and I here I am posting about a whole other set of benches.  Can you stand it?!?  Wild, wild stuff.  But wait … there’s more …

So Chris keeps getting better and better at the woodworking stuff – -a hobby SO much better suited to life in the suburbs than life in a teeny railroad apartment in Manhattan. That was getting rough.  First it was cute, then it was comical, then it was rough, then we moved.  So, here I am, in Peekskill, with a husband who now has a basement full of saws and I say things like — “Hey, I saw this on Pinterest, isn’t it cool?”

Picnic table with drink chiller

 

And next thing I know he’s making one.  It’s almost done — big reveal to come …

But today, I helped!  I was only allowed to help with the bottom of the benches part.  But, still — I totally helped. I’m not taking it personally.  The bottom of the benches is a very important part.

I sanded!  I haven’t used the electric sander in a long time and it is my new bff.  AND i learned to stain!  Why was I so afraid of staining?!?  It’s so much easier than I thought!  Why did I think staining was complicated?  Well, my eyes were opened and my mind was changed.  Check it out!

 

 

A Crafty Tale: a pillow present

Finally finished this pillow for one of my bff’s, my birthday twin… And only a little late.

image

The top is an Urban Threads pattern that I embroidered and painted with some fabric paint. That… Fine, yes, ok… I mixed some glitter.

image

The bottom half is Sublime Stitching’s Epic Alphabet pattern.

image

image

I lots of floss to keep the lines chunky and colorful.  With this design, I didn’t want to be dainty!

 

And the back is from a store in PA where they had piles of great fabric (maybe old samples?) for $1 a piece…

image

And though we shared a birthday in June, I finally got to give it to her today at a lovely lunch her mom hosted at a classic Italian joint in Stamford.  It was wedding party part two, and it was delicious and festive and full of love. Oh, and I might have eaten some of this:

image

Woot!

Summer Weekend Trip to Albany …

 

 

IMG_0187

A couple weekends back, we hopped an Albany-bound Amtrak at Croton-Harmon and headed up to Troy, NY to visit my dear friend Jeffrey, who recently relocated there.  The train ride was a comfortable and quick 90 minutes, and the town of Troy is completely adorable.  We made it up there just in time to catch the end of the Farmer’s Market, and I loved shopping our way through town.  I especially liked the indie bookstores, the nicely curated collection of original art and posters (and welcoming vibe) at Clement, and the fun wares and equally fun owners at Weathered Wood.

One of my favorite spots was the Way Back Gallery at 169 River Street in Troy.  Definitely go like them on Facebook right now!  The space and shop in the front are beautiful.  The gallery in the back is a great space.  There is a fun exhibit there now featuring two artists who do a cool thing:

She does work like this and he does work like this and now they paint together on the same canvas and make things like this!  I just loved it, and have been thinking about those paintings ever since I saw them.

The front entrance of the shop/gallery  is also really pretty:

20140726_141149

The Way Back Gallery

I love the way the colors in the planter reflect the colors of the building– it gave me front porch inspiration!

We enjoyed some of Troy’s famous and super-delicious DeFazio’s Pizza (everything you read is true) and took a stroll …

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

And that’s not even including the seat of power… where the magic happens … the one & only Albany, New York!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

 

Garden Bounty!

We’ve had two wonderful road trippy weekends in a row (more on that later!) Came home this evening and picked this:

image

It worked! Our garden did so many things! I’m currently looking up recipes. Pickled beans, stuffed zucchini, tomato/mozzarella salad….

People Who Visit Us: Post #2/ TOM & ANDREA

IMG_0183Yup.  That’s them.  With Chris on the left.  This photo was taken during a fierce Mexican Train battle and you can tell who was winning.  That would be Tom.  And to his right, his lovely fiancee Andrea.  We had a fantastic overnight visit with them.  This gal — no relation — was also around that weekend —  Emmy7.19.14(we were dogsitting and it was some F-U-N).  But I digress…. as I often do ….

I am very pleased to bring you the Second Installment of my new hit series PEOPLE WHO VISIT US!

Here, in their (his) own words, I give you … Tom:

How do you know the Larsens? We sorta accidentally started a little artist collective where Chris played drums in a band with me and I occasionally directed plays that Bethany wrote. Maybe you’ve heard of the IT Awards??

Describe yourself in three words: Always, always nude.

What’s your favorite book?   The Holy Spirit, Your Financial Advisor by Creflo Dollar

What did you eat at the Larsens’?   There were wee quiches, and generous cheddar cheese squares that spilled over the edge of the Triscuits on which they were mounted. There was a dinner at Gleason’s downtown and a breakfast of Chris-engineered crepe-like pancakes with an enormity of bacon and the largest cherries I’ve ever seen.

(maybe we SHOULD open a bed and breakfast??)

(maybe we SHOULD open a bed and breakfast??)

Did you win at cornhole? I didn’t win at cornhole; I won cornhole. The reason is, I pioneered a new night version using citronella candles mounted safely beneath the board that led to awesome dark-play where we appeared to be tossing the bags directly into fire. Hellhole was born. What that allows one to do now is play Chris until you can beat him. Which I did at 2:30 am.

Did you leave sober, tipsy or shitcanned?  (or did you sleep over) –  Now that one can play cornhole through until morning, I predict fewer people leaving sober.

Where are you visiting next?  Costa Rica or Indiana

 

The Larsens’ Turn:

Tom has been a true blue friend to us for a long, long time.  We’ve had some road trips, some rock gigs, some late-night dart battles.  But he’s finally found his equal in Andrea — an amazingly open, beautiful, lovely person who may be kinda new to us, but her old soul, honesty & greats sense of humor have made her an instant hit around the Larsen house, and we look forward to many, many more visits!  She’s kicking our ass on the Mexican Train tournament we have running, so at the very least, we gotta finish that!!  And best of all — we will be among a select few who will get to celebrate with these two fantastic folks when they make it official and say “I DO” in NYC in September.  Oh, you know there’s gonna be a blog post about that!!!

at Gleasons

at Gleasons

 

 

Thanks for reading the blog!

 

 

Summer Fun/ Thursday Night in the Suburbs

This morning, Chris had the genius idea of going to the Italian Feast in Verplank.  It goes on for a few nights in July and is amazing in that it packs a lot into a little teeny fair. We didn’t go last summer, but we went in 2012 —   this year, I was smart enough to not win 5 goldfish (short version:  that did not go well) and we wisely spent our money on plastic cups of wine and zeppolis.  It was a lovely summer night in the suburbs and though  I have heartburn as I type this, it was totally worth it.

Did you know about Our Lady of Mount Carmel?  I didn’t, but I love that there is a fair for her right near my house!  Any excuse to have a plastic cup of wine and fried things on a beautiful summer night is fine by me.

People Who Visit Us: Post #1/ PETER

As previously threatened, I’m starting a new series called People Who Visit Us.  If you’re wondering, YES I am kicking myself for not starting this ages ago!  So that means all the people who have been visiting us since we moved are just gonna have to come back and hang out with us again.  We promise not to make you work too much!!

Each PWVU subject will have to answer the same few questions.  I reserve the right to comment.  I mean, it’s my blog, right?

Hi, Peter!

IMG_0157

How do you know the Larsens?  Chinatown gang bang club (since first gang bang)

Describe yourself in three words:  Gang bang enthusiast

(editorial note:  we met at Fordham)

What’s your favorite book?   Soap Opera Digest

What did you eat at the Larsens’?  Really good fajitas (why I’m moving to Peekskill)

(editorial note:  Chris & I also drank margaritas)

Did you win at cornhole? I lost to Chris once in a shut out and beat you because you defaulted by retiring from the match (and I had a significant lead).  In other words, you abandoned my Cornhole just as I was starting to feel good about it.

Did you leave sober, tipsy or shitcanned?  (or did you sleep over) —   Sober.  Get it in writing while you can.

Where are you visiting next?  Cape Cod:  Falmouth, MA

 

 
The Larsens’ Turn:
Peter is the best!  He is mega-talented, funny, honest and a true friend.  He is one of those friends where years can pass with a facebook check in here & there, and then you hang out and it’s like no time has passed.  I think we will be friends with Peter forever.

 

 

If you like watching paint dry …

Then you are going to LOVE my new series:  Good God What Have I Done:  The Front Porch Edition.  It really has everything  — it’s going to be a loooong journey-type tale (like how they say all good stories are road trips?), it’s got humor, it’s got drama, you are really rooting for the protagonists and none of us have any idea how it will end.

Yup.  We started scraping the paint off the front porch.

I’m really, truly having a “what have I done” moment with this one.  It might never end.

 

We started this insanity last weekend.  I would say this current before & “after” peek represents about 12 hours of work and it’s maybe a quarter scraped and we haven’t even talked about paint, stain, taking the aluminum siding off the ceiling or repairing the broken shingles.

Oh!  But speaking of broken shingles … I was scraping paint on Sunday, enjoying The Glenn Jones Radio Programme, vacillating wildly between “oh, this is such nice, relaxing, rewarding work” and “this will never end.  Never”  when I heard someone saying, “Excuse me!” at the porch railing.  So I met a neighbor, who introduced herself, said she lives around the corner and she has a box of cedar shingles she can’t use that are the same shape as our front porch, and could we use them?  I might have screamed a little and I know I said, “My husband is going to freak out!”  So she came back later with some shingles to try.  They are a little smaller than the ones on the front of the porch (which led Chris on a rant about how everything in this house is in a size they don’t make any more!  Which is actually a good rant, and I will have him guest-blog and tell you his thoughts on the matter) BUT they are beautiful and they will be perfect for repairs.  Or we will move good ones from the back to the front and put smaller ones in the back.  In any case, they are going to come in handy and HOW  NICE IS THAT that a person would stop and say they have extra of something and they would like to give it to you.  Another for the Things You Don’t See in the City series.  Oh – -I’m also all about the series right now.  I think it will give me structure.

So please stay tuned for “People Who Visit Us/ A Series,” which will debut this week. In the mean time, please enjoy this slide show.  I hope to some day find this funny.

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.