Reader DIY: Eileen's Curvy Headboard

After a swift turn of events at our house, my recently reupholstered bed was moved to Heather's room and Michael and I bought a new frame. I've had headboard shapes on the brain for the past week, so I really loved getting this email from Eileen of A Creative Day. She totally went for it with a super curvy, super awesome DIY headboard.

She was inspired by this great headboard above from the Amanda Nesbit design challenge featured in House Beautiful a couple years ago. I loved that article too.

Eileen shares more info on her room redo HERE. She deserves a trophy for nailing in her trim the hard way - one by one. And PS, she found the fabric as a remnant at a local fabric store. Do you recognize the maker?

Do you have a project you'd love to share with LGN readers? Email me!

At least he's not a gold digger

Gold diggers have a justified reputation for being some of the slimiest creatures around. They feign affection in order to entrap some successful man in an effort to gain access to his money. They tend to be very manipulative and self-centered. A lot of them are sociopaths; most are at least narcissistic personalities.

(Anna Nicole Smith, who at age 26 married 89-year-old J. Howard Marshall, who was worth $500 million)

A male gold digger, who marries a woman for her money, somehow seems even worse. Many of the most publicized cases have been of gay men who marry rich women who are either extremely old or extremely addled. When you hear about a case like this, it's hard not to think, what a slimeball.

(David Gest, who was briefly married to Liza Minelli)

Of course, straight guys who marry for the money are no better.

John McCain left his first wife, a former model, after she'd been in a disfiguring automobile accident, in order to marry Cindy Lou Hensley, whose father owned one of the largest Anheuser-Busch distributorships in the nation. Cindy helped bankroll McCain's first run for Congress in 1980.

John Kerry married Teresa Heinz, the billionaire widow of Senator John Heinz, in 1995. (Has character ever been better reflected in a face?)

Would either of these men have married their wives had those women not been extremely rich?

Both McCain and Kerry signed pre-nups before getting married, but both men still obviously benefit from access to their wives' fortunes. Kerry keeps a yacht moored in Rhode Island and McCain famously couldn't recall how many houses he owned during the 2008 Presidential campaign.

What does it say about politics that two recent major party Presidential nominees both apparently married for money? What would you have thought had Anna Nicole Smith, or David Gest, run for President? McCain and Kerry are obviously far more intelligent and far more presentable. But is their character all that different?

I've always wondered why their apparent gold-digging tendencies didn't get more attention. I suppose because it's hard to prove. (How does one prove that someone doesn't really love his wife?)

Every time I hear the Democrats excoriate Mitt Romney for being a plutocrat, I can only think, well, at least he earned his own money.

Our Quick and Easy Outdoor Lighting

This post is part of an ongoing series presented by Lowe's. Never Stop Improving

We're making some progress on the back yard!

But first, I still get a lot of questions about our renting/renovating situation here at the brownstone, so I thought I'd clarify again.

I'm sure you can imagine how expensive it is to own a home here in New York City. The prices are crazy, as well as the maintenance fees and taxes. We would love to own a home some day soon and are saving to make that a possibility, but for the next few years or so, we're feeling really lucky that we found a comfortable house in a great neighborhood, with a landlord that lets us do whatever we want.

He's giving us a break on rent in exchange for fixing and updating the home and he's paying for a lot of the renovation work we're doing. There was a long list of projects made before we moved in that the landlord agreed to fully pay for, and the things above and beyond that, we can approach him with separately. So far he's been willing to cover most of the things we felt like were his responsibility. Then there have been other random things that he doesn't care about that we've had to pay for ourselves (like refinishing the floors - which we ended up not doing. Sad, I know). We knew that would be the case though, so we don't mind still taking on many of these projects. We'll just do them for the least amount of money as possible!

The landlord is not too anxious to put money into the yard (understandably), so we're paying for everything there. I mentioned earlier this week that we don't have any lighting in the backyard. I've ordered some globe string lights for the upper and bottom decks (hopefully they'll come next week), but I also wanted something a little brighter for the upper deck.

I found these outdoor grade (which is important to have for this project) clamp lights and extension cord at the hardware store. The largest size clamp light was only $7, so I bought three.

I took off the bowl shades and spray painted them with this really pretty Rustoleum enamel called Glacier Ice. It's a soft bluey green-gray. (how's that for a description?)

I just did the outside of the bowls because I wanted to leave the inside the reflective chrome. I love how the color is so vintage looking!

At the same time I spray painted a couple of pieces of scrap wood I had left over from the bookshelf project we did this week (pictures coming soon!!), that I cut to be about 2x3. The total length with the two pieces was about 125". I sprayed the wood and some metal L-brackets with a flat black enamel.

When those were dry, we evenly spaced and screwed the L-brackets to the wood.

We drilled some pilot holes into the brick using a masonry bit and then hung the wood on the brackets using anchors and masonry screws.

Once the ledge was installed, we just clamped on the three lights. Part of the reasoning behind using a deeper piece of wood as the ledge to clamp the lights to, was so we could hide the cords easily.

I did end up putting a handful of staples down to keep some of the cords in place, but for the most part, the system is completely moveable, so if we ever want to take down the lights it would be super simple.

Here's the view from the ground. Pretty clean!

The back doors are not centered on the building, so the lights don't line up with the door, but it doesn't really bother me. I'd rather have the lights more closely centered on the house.

We ended up sort of splitting the difference.

We used the lights for the first time last night and they worked great! We even pushed the lamp heads up to have more light out in the back of the yard.

I'm so excited to get the string lights too. I think the two will look so pretty together!

We might be ready to do something different by next spring, but for about $30 in supplies, I think this was a great solution for us right now.

Easy Envelope Pillows

Did I tell you I finished reupholstering the black and white settee? I love it. The pillows are recent additions too that I whipped together at the same time, while I had the sewing machine out.

I used this silk watercolor fabric from the Brunschwig sample sale that I scored for $3 and the fabric from the other pillow was seen here. I love how they look together above!

Because I'm not the hugest fan of sewing in zippers, over the years I've come close to perfecting the art of the 10-minute envelope pillow. It's so easy! If you know how to sew a straight line, you can make this pillow fast. Here's the down and dirty:

1) For a standard 20" pillow (which works great with these $7 down inserts from IKEA, or these $14 favorites from Crate and Barrel), cut out a 20x44" piece of fabric. I cut out two pieces so I could make a pair of pillows easily at the same time.

2) On just the 20" wide ends, fold over the fabric about 1/2" and iron down. If you want to prevent any chance of messy-looking fringing, where your threads start pulling out, you can roll under the edge a little or you can serge or use a zigzag stich to bind the edges. It's not a necessary step though.

2) Sew a line down your pressed edge. (Both edges)

3) Now that both the top and bottom edges are sewn, fold your fabric like an envelope. Note that your fabric should be right-side in.

The total length of the envelope should be 19". I always sew my pillows to be an inch shorter than my insert size. I like my covers a little more taut than baggy.

4) Put in a couple straight pins to keep all the layers in place. To make it really easy to pull the pins while you're sewing always place them so the head is nearest the edge.

5) Sew a line down both edges and then snip off the fabric behind the seam on the very corners. This prevents bunching.

6) Home stretch!! Just flip the pillow right-side out and then press everything down.

I made five pillows in less than an hour for the shoot. If you're making one - you might as well make five! :)

Pretty photos taken by Nicole Franzen, styled by Kendra Smoot.

"A Look Back at the Olympics"

For swim fans only:

(There's a little stuff from the blog, but it's mostly new.)

The Balcony Floor

With Labor Day right around the corner, we are trying to get the back yard in a better place so we can enjoy the last couple weeks of great weather. We're really anxious to get a grill out on the balcony for some end-of-summer barbecues! But right now, the balcony is anything but welcoming. There's no lighting out there, so the party ends fast when the sun goes down, and worse, the ground is covered in decades-old astroturf.

I pulled back the astroturf today and the situation under the ugly astroturf was just gross. Lots of old and chipped glue.

I scraped up some of glue and a lot of it came off after only a couple minutes of work. I think I'll buy a better scraper and maybe rent a wire brush grinder and see where we sit.

I've been looking into different types of concrete filler/resurfacing products and it looks like getting a cheap and easy-to-mix bag of thin set is a good way to go. I'm not necessarily after a perfectly new floor, just something a little cleaner and more smooth... because I have a little floor painting idea that I just can't get out of my brain...

Pure Grace

Going off the beaten path on the Road back to Happy.  It's time for me to make more than a sincere attempt at attitude adjustment.  Lately, my thought process has been so convoluted that this post may require a future edit or two or ten.

Here's what started my misguided musings:  A comment from an anonymous reader chastising me for "some of the most irrational behavior I've ever heard of."  When I read the comment, it really didn't phase me much.  Even though, in the remarks, I was also told "you are more than entitled to your pain, but not to your pound of flesh."  Eeewww.
My response was extraordinarily eloquent, "DUH!"  I know I was nuts!  I post all the time about how much I know that!
But, then the black veil of guilt crept in.  I let myself fall back into a place of vicious self- doubt.

Why did I do all those cruel things?  No wonder Richard fell for a 24 year old, soft spoken hippie chick.  He must have been totally sick of my take no prisoners personality!  Then, I threw fuel on that fire by becoming Mrs. Hyde for a year!  I was a lunatic!  For good reason, sure...but SOOOO over the top!
Even though I am well aware that there is nothing good about going backward in your brain, I found myself beginning to withdraw.  Not lashing out, but reeling myself in.  More than once Richard asked, "Are you OK?"  I assured him I was fine.  Not so much.

Now, here's where it gets weird.  I bought some new lotion at the Nordstrom Anniversary sale.  I think I have mentioned how much I love me some Nordstroms!!  This particular body lotion is by a company called Philosophy.  (can you see where this is going?)  The scent is as light as the fresh smell of soap and water.  A subtle blend of bergamot, lavender, water lily and jasmine.  (Maybe I should write ad copy!) I recently found this 32oz. bottle under the sink in my bathroom.  Because I had spent more than I should on that particular day at Nordies, I forgot I bought the stuff.  Oops.

I put the big, pump bottle next to my bed.  I use it every night.  I read the black lettering on the front of the white bottle as I apply the silky, soft, product called "Pure Grace."  The company is big on sharing inspired thoughts through their bath & body line...Hence the name:  Philosophy.

There is a full paragraph waxing poetic about how walking outdoors and breathing in nature empowers our spirits.  Serenity Now prose like that makes me throw up a little in my mouth.  BUT...the bottle also reminds me nightly to reflect on the simple blessings of my life.  When we do this, we are better able to manage our troubles.  We embrace our highest potential...Our Pure Grace.

Who would've thunk it?  I am being placed smack dab in the center of the Road Back to Happy by my body lotion!  Instead of drifting to sleep with thoughts of the emails Richard wrote to Jaymie or me telling her Dad about all the reasons Jaymie surely needed to attend church more frequently, I have been making a concerted effort to focus on simple blessings.
How much I love to hear my 18 year old daughter sing.  The fact that my 14 year old son seems so eager to begin high school.  The energy and strength I gain from my dearest friends and the mere fact that Richard and I fall asleep holding hands nearly every night.

Since I read the comment accusing me of "irrational behavior", I was not drifting off to La La Land with the best of thoughts, which can cause the worst of dreams.  Then, I found the simple words on the front of a very plain bottle of moisturizer.
I am going to conquer my mental relapse:  After I smooth the floral fragrance on, and lay my head on my pillow, I come up with at least 4 simple blessings every night.  I close my eyes and focus on how damn lucky I am and the warm feel of my husband's hand.  My dreams have been much sweeter.
That might be the blessing I focus on tonight, sweet dreams and how grateful I am for those of you out there reading.  Yep.  You are truly one of my many blessings.

***An amusing afterthought:  I headed for the shower after I finished this post.  Inside said shower stall was the Philosophy facial cleanser I also purchased during my spree at Nordies.  Until today, I never read the bottle.  I don't wear my glasses in the shower so I couldn't have read it even if the thought had previously occurred to me.  After utilizing the facial wash, I brought it out and put on my glasses.
At the top, the bottle says:  Purity.  In the paragraph following....there was nothing I related to at all.
Snicker..snort!  Hehe!

Lauren Holly

Back around the time that Dumb and Dumber came out in 1994, I thought Lauren Holly was one of the most attractive women in Hollywood. Here's an early shot:

And another:

The other day, curious to see what she looked like now, I Google-imaged her. This is what I found:

No one can hang on to their youthful beauty forever. But I've never quite been sure why women do this to themselves. To me, breasts that can be seen from across the length of a football field and that feel like granite, are not attractive. Once a woman starts to look (and sometimes act) like a proud marble statue, she loses her femininity.

Had Holly simply aged, staying slim but gaining a few wrinkles, I would have still found her attractive.

Seeing that she has turned herself into a monument has cured me of that.

The full moons a commin! The blue moons a commin!

And what am I doing for the Blue moon this weekend?
Trying to sleep because I have to wake up and drive early the next morning. That's right I need to drive across the province for my 2 week vacation/ wedding planning/ visiting relatives.
Hopefully my car will be fixed by then, because so far the shop is having a hard time finding the parts it needs.

That reminds me *note to self phone the shop for update on car today*

Well what will everyone else be doing? Well L is driving with me and C of ravens is looking after our animals. I have no clue who else is doing what though.

Maybe someone can leave a comment about what they're doing this weekend?

Blessed Be

Future Creations and Harvest

Been really busy this week doing Prep work

for earrings.

 More future earring material. Cedar ones going to a Cedar shop/Chaga house.
More earrings.  Look at the cool set of allpewood that looks like a desert scene with mesa's.
 Large pieces for Inspirational Magnets/signs
 Future Maple Heart buttons, earrings, magnets and Ebony "Fairy Wings" for a gallery in Bend.
 For the cedar shop, future necklaces
 Earrings and Buttons

A few things gleaned from the garden this morning..

Silence is the Key to Peace and Inspiration.

Don't worry about the Wrongs you perceive in the World.

Add to what is Right in the world..

And Feed the Joy..

Feed the Joy!