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Monday, August 29, 2011

Two Years of Entropy, Let's Celebrate!

In honor of the two year anniversary of My Groovy Entropy, I give you cupcakes...

Kahlua chocolate with chocolate raspberry ganache

Yellow cake with lemon zest, topped with lemon curd and
cream cheese frosting

Edible flowers from mom's garden:
nasturtium, pansies, roses

Chocolate covered espresso beans and
cookies to top it off
Two full years of entropy; still looking for my groove.  Stay tuned...

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Two Roads Diverged In A Yellow Wood...

Next weekend, my husband of 11 years is getting remarried.  I learned of this two weeks ago in a conversation regarding the kid's schedules.  It went something like, "the boys don't have camp next week; will Kinsey be around on Thursday? Oh, B and I are getting married next month; do you know where Bailey's phone charger is?".

Three weeks is not a lot of time to process it all, but I think I'm doing... OK.  It's very surreal. From what I can tell, she's a nice person.  The kids love her.  I want him to be happy (except when I don't).  I hope they won't have to fight the same dragon that burned down our fairy tale.

Of course I've been playing all the memories over; usually when everyone else is sleeping.  We had a lot of good.  In fact, outside of that one beast, we were pretty great.  I held on to that greatness whenever it got dark.  I kept thinking if I just hung in there, kept fighting... loving...

I held on until I couldn't anymore.  I lost my grip.  I lost myself.  Lost hope.

So here I am, completely disillusioned about love and the institution of marriage. Wondering why I've been so unsuccessful in it.  Sometimes it feels I've got my nose pushed up against the glass of the 'Love and Marriage' shop with my pet, Bitterness, sitting at my feet.

If I hear another well-meaning, "You, know, marriage takes work...", I'll... well, I don't know what I'll do.  I know what I'd like to do, but I'll probably just nod and say, "yes, it does."

I think, however, that sometimes, deciding to let it go is the brave thing to do.  I assure you, it is not the easy way out.  It is not immediately rewarded with acceptance and understanding from others.  It required me to trust myself.  That inner voice that I hid from for such a long time.  The one that blurred away when he shined.  I had to listen to her, and do still.

So, as he takes that proverbial stroll down the aisle, away from me, I'm forced to ask myself, "Do I feel at peace, as he goes? Do I accept this road I chose?"  I have to say...

I do.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Repurposing With Flower Power

One of the casualties of our recent move was a loft bed which I had been using in the kids' room.  When we attempted to reassemble it in the new house, we quickly realized that it was too bent up to go back together properly.  So, the skeleton of said bed has been perched outside, by the garbage cans, theoretically waiting for one of us to make a trip to the recycling center.

It's hard for me to explain how my projects come to me.  Inspiration usually hits me when I'm attempting to do something completely unrelated.  I might see something, that makes me think of that other thing, that reminds me of something in the back of my garage that would be great for...  it's like that.  So, it was something like that, that lead me to my most recent headboard project, using, of course, the abandoned loft bed frame.

It started when I realized that the mattress supports for the loft bed were the exact length of a king headboard.  I liked the lines of the metal supports but didn't like the cheap Ikea metal finish, so I decided to paint.

Paint falls into one of my hoarding categories.  I like to have paint on hand, since nothing changes a look faster than a coat of paint!  Paint can get expensive, so I've made a habit of checking the rejected paints at Lowe's, Home Depot, Ace hardware, etc..  There's always a table of paint cans that were denied, generally because the color or finish wasn't what the buyers wanted.  These cans are usually $1 to $5, as opposed to $30.  Not bad.

In this case, I had a blue color that I liked, but it wasn't exactly what I wanted, so I pulled out my stash and started mixing.  I came up with a perfect gun-metal grey.

Some of you may recall the headboard project in which I layered old fabric samples.  When we moved, I collected and stored those samples, uncertain of how I was going to use them in the new house.  It occurred to me that the cold look of the frame might benefit from some fabric softening, so I started to play.

My idea was to make fabric flowers.  Then I remembered that I have a tin filled with old buttons from my mother's and grandmother's sewing days.  I was so excited to infuse some history into this project.  I also decided to use some of the yarn (which I got from freecycle a while back) for accents.

Once I started applying the flowers to the frame (I sewed them on), I realized I was going to need to make a bundle of them in order to get the effect I was looking for.  I was going for the look of scattered flowers, but I think it would also look really cool to use one to three large flowers instead.

After a lot of placing, removing, repositioning, and staring, it was time to install the headboard.  This was easy to do since the frame had perfectly placed holes which I was able to use for mounting it to the wall.  I used deck screws because I liked the rusted look of them.

I had a few flowers left over which I've had a little fun with.  There are so many fun applications for them.  One of my favorites is lampshade embellishment.  In this case I used magnets to apply the flowers to prevent damaging the shades.

Klee and I are planning to open a little on-line shop to sell some of our creations and finds.  I think I might sell some of my flowers there. What do you think?

Anyway, stay tuned my friends.  I have an obscene amount of projects to catch you up on.

Peace out!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Fast Forward

Tidbits and thoughts from my life since May-ish...

In May, we managed to find a new home to rent.

Finding a rental, in a renter-saturated market, when your credit has been obliterated, is kinda like childbirth... Ugly, painful, and better with drugs.

Fortunately, after only a few (6) denials, we were able to find a home with enough cosmetic flaws to make us look  not-so-delinquent good to the landlord.
So, we've been sanding, painting, fighting, drilling, nailing, crying, and... Repeat.  
View from my bedroom window
But you know me.  I LOVE my projects.  So, it kinda feeds my insanity.  Actually, this home is perfect.  The more we paint, prune, and prop, the more ours it becomes.  And it sits right above a creek with a mountainside of trees.  I still can't believe we live here.

June brought graduations and summer vacation.  My boys were promoted to middle school.  My daughter was promoted to high school. And I was promoted to... old.

After the graduations, we headed to Yosemite for Klee's family's annual reunion.  Apparently, the cabins, which they usually reserve, were all booked up, so we stayed in tents.
I know you die-hards think this sounds great, but from where I was not sleeping, an 8 month old baby, 30 degree nights, and bears, was just a little too close to nature.

Of course, Yosemite was amazing when I was thawed out enough to stop shaking.
We were so lucky to be invited to Morro Bay to spend the fourth of July with Klee's family.  It was amazing to be able to give my kids an actual vacation.

We spent hours on the beaches, perused the antique shops, and even saw a movie!


But the best discovery was the Affogato.  It should require a prescription as I'm pretty sure it would heal most ails.  I'm looking into it. Anyway, Affogato go now.  (snork, snork)

July 24th was my mother's 70th birthday, so we loaded up and headed down to Ventura county to throw her a birthday bash, complete with cupcakes and pinata.  The cupcakes filled my need to obsess perfectly.  The pinata was just hillarious.  It withstood everyone's blows until my brother, Darin, finally took it down to the ground Rocky style.

While we were down south, Darin and I took a day to go visit our 100-year-old grandfather, Herb Wiles, aka Papa Bear.

I treasured the chance to sit and chat with Papa Bear and his enormous cat, PrinceKit.

(My younger brother's girlfriend, Meagan, theorizes that PrinceKit is just compensating for all of the pictures, etc., of large tigers and lyons that my grandfather keeps around.)

While we were there, Papa showed us an old painting of Darin's.

We're back home now.  Back into our projects...
School starts Monday.  My baby girl is racing toward her freshman year. My boys start middle school, officially leaving me stupified by the passing of years.

Elliott is crawling, pulling up on everything that might put his life at risk, and discovering the joy of chewing his food.

Klee and I are pushing through the chaos.  Looking for our way in it all; skinning our knees quite a bit.  Wondering... if these are the dog days, what's next?
My boys and me, in the dirt.

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