Sunday, August 6, 2017

August is the Sunday of Summer

I'm so happy to finally have time to come back for a visit on my blog!  And, I actually have some rather good news: my husband will be starting a temporary job tomorrow.  It is of unknown duration, and right here in town.  It's not a great job, and it doesn't pay much -- but it is the first job he's been offered despite his herculean efforts, so we are happy!
We found out on Friday, and that evening we'd been invited to a karaoke night at a nearby venue; I hadn't been to karaoke in 20 years, I think -- it hasn't really changed!  It was fun to be out with friends on a night we really felt like celebrating!
We had way too much fun and, gosh, did we need that!  To my left is Rebecca, her husband Conrad, and on my right is Vonnie, her husband Bob, and Dennis.  The sparkly lights on us are coming from the karaoke guy's fancy light set up.  Don't I look like I'm giving Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer a run for his money?!  We closed down the show that night and got up and sang many times!  I do love to sing, and learned in adulthood that I don't fear performing, or public speaking in front of a crowd.
Just the week before we'd managed to pull off a surprise party for Rebecca's 50th birthday!  I made the banner above over a couple of evenings the week before.  It says, 50 & Fabulous.  Which she is!  The fluffy tissue flower above the banner came from Hobby Lobby, and was one of a set of three.
I used mostly vintage elements.  It was such a joy to put together!  I love the neutral palette, but Rebecca also likes color so I threw in some splashy bright colors, too.

This was my favorite part of the banner; the little image is a shattered silk crazy quilt piece made from a cigar silk portraying a woman on the beach.  She has long dark hair, like Rebecca, who happens to love the beach like I do -- so I just had to put it on the banner!
We used the banner as a photo prop and most of the guests posed with her in front of it!  This photo is my favorite, I think!  Can you tell we're all mommies of grown-up kids, and not grandparents yet?
One last surprise was a little album of all the photos from the party that I made for Rebecca!
Do you remember the wooden piece I mosaic'd and painted that I showed you in my last post?  Well, here it is -- improved.  I like it for its cheeriness.  I would like to learn to letter better, someday.

I'm still working at my full time temporary job, and enjoying it; there is always a lot to do, everyone is chill, and the days just fly by.  At home, we're continuing the decluttering we started when we were going to show the house and move.  It's such a great feeling to let go of things!
This is about all I'm keeping from my ginormous collection of McCoy pottery!  I took it down from atop my kitchen cabinets and now have it in a display cabinet, which I like better.  I'll be listing all the other McCoy pieces in my Etsy shop as soon as I can.  My Christmas in July sale in the shop wasn't a huge success, but I did sell 6 or 7 Christmas items and there was lots of traffic to the store, so I'm as pleased as can be about that!
Another result of the almost-move is that we finally packed up Ben's childhood bedroom (I cried BUCKETS) and made it into an office.  As a matter of fact, this is where I'm sitting right now!  It is so cozy and conducive to writing; every time I come up  here I stay longer than intended -- and that's a good thing.  Another positive change.  And I'm using this area to pack up my Etsy purchases for shipping, too.

We have been having TONS of rain -- they are calling it monsoon season, and I can't remember a summer with so many heavy storms since 2004!
Of course, the plants are loving it, and everything is GREEN!

They say August is the Sunday of summer -- and that is my check in with you on this August Sunday!  How are you doing?

Monday, July 17, 2017

Unfinished works

The other day friends came over for dinner and then we did some painting. I covered this cabinet front I'd bought at the Habitat for Humanity ReStore:
Mind you, it's not yet finished -- but as you can see, I tore paper to create a mosaic-look along the border, sponged on some paint, and then I printed out some words to a song that is meaningful to me right now and adhered them to the middle of the board.  I still have to work on that section.  The song says, I'm not expecting to grow flowers in the desert/but I can live and breathe and feel the sun in wintertime.

That really spoke to me, as we live in the high desert and have, as I told you last time, been frantically packing and cleaning, because we were planning to sell our home.  But, guess what?  We changed our minds.
Everyone wants to know why we decided against moving, and we're feeling a bit sheepish for being so wishy washy, and getting everyone all up in arms about this big move, and now pulling back.   Believe me, the reasons we decided to move away still exist, but we realized that we would be giving up too much if we did so right now.
Both of us were more unhappy than excited at the prospect of moving.  Every day I spent packing I would be in tears, and it wasn't getting better as the days went on -- it was getting worse!  Once we did more math, and talked, and decided we just had to stay here, we were both so relieved!  It was a close call!  Art and Paul say, Thank goodness we're not going anywhere!
The benefit of all of this is having a half-packed home. We are taking advantage of the change to keep some of it out, as in, major decluttering!  The house feels so spacious now!  We've already given away furniture and a carload or two of other stuff, and that's just the beginning.  We'll keep going -- but we're not, for the time being, actually going anywhere!

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Plot Twist, or, Be Careful What You Ask For

I picked up a small, hand painted sign at Vintage Market Days, held in Colorado Springs, last week.  
I went to the market twice: once on my own and once with Rebecca!  It was an event I'd been looking forward to for a long time.
Here's that little sign:
I bought it because, there has been an unexpected development in our lives.
In writing, this is called a plot twist.
We have decided to put our beloved home on the market and move to a more urban area, North of Denver, where jobs are plentiful and pay better.
It's a move we've been contemplating for a long time,
but love of our home and reluctance to make such a change has always overridden the decision.
Until now.
As you know, Dennis has been out of work for more than 5 months.  I've been working for a temporary agency pretty steadily, but have not had a permanent job for 8 months despite applying everywhere, too.
It's not that there aren't any jobs here -- it's just that there aren't any jobs that pay living wages.
 Dennis and I have both endured being under-employed for many, many years now.
Even though it has felt, at times, degrading -- especially for Dennis -- it was a compromise we were willing to make because we loved where we lived, and hoped for something to get better.
But it hasn't gotten better, it's gotten worse.
So, we made this tough decision.
We are both very sad.
Just yesterday, we took a break from our frenzied packing to do some semi-serious looking around at properties.  It's a seller's market right now, so we are contemplating an apartment for a while.
This is actually something we don't agree on; I'd rather just buy a small house now, but Dennis wants to wait.  Stay tuned to find out which way we go!
It's a lovely area we're looking at, but it will be a huge adjustment.
I'm working a four-week temporary job, 40 hours a week, and we are trying to have our house on the market within the next two weeks!
There is MUCH to be done!
You cannot imagine how hard we've been working to get rid of clutter/stage the house!
On July 4, we will have friends over for what will likely be our last get-together in our beloved home.
Thankfully, Ben decided to come for a few days and will be here, too.
I hope you have a fun holiday as well!

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Jumping the Gun...

I know it's not quite July yet, but, I am getting so busy that I decided to go ahead and start my Christmas in July Sale, now!
New items being added for the next week or so!  Please share with your vintage Christmas loving friends!  Indulge Your Shelf.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Sunday, June 11, 2017

June comings and goings

Thank you for all the nice comments and likes on my Jane Austen Fabric Journal!
As you can see, Paul Simon gave me a lot of "help" when I was finishing it up.
Job Update: Dennis flew to NC for a job interview last week and we're waiting for an offer to come from them this week (the job would be in CO.)  It's not a sure thing as he's competing with three others for the job -- so we're holding out breath.
I interviewed for a local firm last Thursday, and should hear "early next week"; it would be a temp to hire job.  The "thanks but no thanks" emails keep flowing in from jobs I've applied to online.  I've been out of work for a month now.
Waiting, waiting, waiting.

But, it is FINALLY summer in Southern Colorado.  We've been enjoying some beautiful days!
 Before, during and after job hunting I am sometimes able to get Dennis to go out to enjoy our lovely area.
Hiking at Bear Creek, above, and a Dairy Queen/therapy run one day last week, below.
While Dennis flew off for his interview, I got treated by Rebecca to a night out of painting!
 I did a landscape with her, her daughter and another friend!
 I couldn't resist the chance to be Yoda.
As you can see, I didn't follow the color scheme -- but I really loved my picture and it looks great at home on the wall opposite a quilt of similar colors!
And we also took a day off to go up to our favorite shops in Castle Rock!
 Where we were inspired.

Before Ben left to go back to Greeley for the summer (and fall, and winter, and spring...not expecting to be living at our house anymore...he's MOVED OUT)
...we had a family project of painting the exterior of the house (it looks great.)
Afterwards, we had another (surprise! $$$) home project when the garage door broke.
Here are the kitties watching Dennis work on that.
Look at my scary Santa collection!  Why am I posting Santa in June, you ask?
This weekend, besides getting together with friends for some laughs and encouragement -- which we are needing lots and lots of these days -- I got out the Christmas things I'm ready to part with and had a marathon photography session for my Etsy shop!
I'm planning a big Vintage Christmas in July shebang for Indulge Your Shelf.
As always, Paul Simon was on hand to help.
And even Art couldn't resist getting in on the fun!
Even though I'm unemployed and have a lot of "free" time, I've been trying very hard to limit my shopping in the junk stores.  When I do go, though, I seem to find Vera out there every time!
 I also found this adorable little original squirrel painting in its cool frame; it's already for sale in my shop.
 And, this scarf is not marked Vera but I had to have it anyway.  I'm so in love with that era of fabric!
 Then -- I couldn't leave behind this Italian silk scarf, with its ballet dancing theme:
 I really love the drawings all around it -- and all different!

I shouldn't spend so much time looking at the 99 cent scarves!
I found a large piece of this pretty, pretty vintage fabric mixed in with the tablecloths.
It just makes me smile.
Thank you for stopping by, faithful friends!  I hope to be able to report back with some good job news very soon.
I hope you have a lovely Sunday, and week!

Thursday, June 8, 2017

My Jane Austen Fabric Journal

I finished my Jane Austen fabric journal!  I have loved just about every minute of this project -- and am happy with the results.  As you can see, this particular book has the theme of her novel Emma.
So happy, in fact, I made you a video of it!  When he was home last month, Ben encouraged me to begin videotaping my projects, including how-tos, and this was my very first attempt at it!  And, while it's not the most impressive video, as I'm still learning,  I hope you still enjoy it!

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Sale time at Indulge Your Shelf!

I spent some time yesterday marking down many of the items in my shop!  Here's a sample of what is now at a new, lower price:
Please share with your friends who love vintage!

I also made two "be well" banners for my shop, after people who saw the one I made for my friend who recently had surgery encouraged me to make some to sell!
These are introductory-priced at $19.  

I am planning to post again this week with more updates.
Nothing as yet on our dismal unemployment situation.
Thank you for the well-wishes and prayers; we are trying very hard to keep positive!