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Blossoms, Bookshelves, Wedding Bells, and One Amazing Voice

Posted May 20 2009 1:24pm

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Aren't these blossoms breathtaking?  These gorgeous jewels of nature are currently gracing a huge tree near our house, and I couldn't resist (at Eliza's imploring request) plucking a little bundle.  I adore spring here - the birds are always twittering their happy songs, the bees have begun buzzing about, the air is fresh and new, and the FLOWERS!  

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I'm in flower heaven with all the spring bulb flowers taking front stage.  Then there are the countless varieties of deciduous trees which have been showering the landscape with their delicate and glorious blossoms for several weeks now.

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I almost can't get over how sweet and lacy these flowers are.  And so small that, unless one really stops to look closely at them, one would never begin to notice the intricate details of the buds and blossoms.  Studying nature always has a reassuring, calming effect on me - the world at large can be upside down with corruption, violence, and complexities, but when I stop and really begin looking at the incredible design and variety of the natural world, it reminds me that there is still much to be thankful for, and much to appreciate. 

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If God can take the time and effort to create perfectly planned natural beauties such as these flowers for us to appreciate and enjoy, then we can be assured that there is a higher plan for us as well.  I'm reminded of the scripture in the Bible about the lilies in the field (Matthew 6:28-30).   I've always loved that scripture.

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So anyway, I thought I'd share some more things that I've been working on lately, or rather things that I actually finished a quite some time ago and never got around to posting...

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Isn't this a fun red chest?  I love it now, but it didn't look so pretty when I first bought it on Craigslist last month.

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This photo actually doesn't look too bad, but it was taken after I fixed the drawers...they were all crooked and wobbly.  You can't tell, but only the drawer fronts are real wood, the rest of the piece was fake wood grain over MDF, so all you antiques enthusiasts out there, rest assured that I'm not ruining a quality piece of furniture, and this is definitely not an antique! 

It just needed a little bit of a facelift with many coats of spray paint (including the hardware) and then I went back and "distressed" the edges of the wood with sandpaper to make it look more authentic.

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Since there were all sorts of dings, scratches, and chips in the wood anyway, I just went with it and made it look "comfy" instead of an ill attempt at making it look perfect.  The distressing suits the type of piece that it is.

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Here's another "before" shot, this one of a large bookshelf.  The back of it was that nasty, plastic-y fake panelling which was so popular in the 70's, and the rest was pine that had lots and lots of varnish on it.  I had to scuff sand the whole piece very well, then it took 3 coats of black paint (the Krylon Color Creations brand that sticks so well to everything) to get it really looking nice.

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Now it's in my studio, waiting for me to finish getting things organized down there....do you like those blue buckets?  Those will be great for all my pens/pencils/brushes/scissors/etc.  I bought them at Walmart after Easter for 50c apiece, took the handles off and bent the little handle holders down so they're not sticking up.  Very inexpensive organization solution!

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I hesitate to show you this next piece, because it's far from my pride and joy, but it will do just fine at the foot of our bed.  It was originally a coffee table (go CL go), and the original color was black that had been through some rough times.  I thought that I'd save myself some time and just do a crackle coat over it with red paint, but I learned that trying to paint things with a lot of detail when you're dealing with crackle finish and a brush is not the best idea in the world.

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You can probably see what I mean by looking a the detail of it.  This is actually after I painted over the red crackle finish (it looked terrible) with a black glaze to soften the contrast a bit.  I'm planning on making an upholstered cushion to sit atop this piece to give it more of a bench look, and to hide the top of it.  There needs to be some contrast between the bench and the footboard of our bed, so putting a cushion on top will do just the trick. 

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Before I do that, though, I need to work on the decorations for my niece's wedding reception!  She chose Amy Butler's August Fields home dec collection (shown above) as inspiration for her colors, so stay tuned to see what I do with these lovely fabrics!  It's going to be a busy couple of months for me as I work on the decorations, the food, and the cake for her wedding.  It's going to be a simple affair, but very lovely too - I can't wait to see it all put together.  The trickiest part is that I'm in DC and she's getting married in Utah...so we've been doing lots and lots of emails trying to get things planned out!

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Here's the fabric gracing the table underneath the carrot cake with cream cheese frosting that I made for a get-together at a friend's house tonight.  Our husbands are all at a Boy Scouts camp-out this weekend, so she hosted a fun dinner for the wives and kids.  It was really fun, and the cake was yummy too!  The kids weren't too excited about it, what with it being "healthy" and non-chocolate and all, but I was tired of chocolate cake and it's good for them to taste new things, right?

Have you all seen/heard the youtube clip with Susan Boyle, the 47-year-old woman who bowled everyone over with her very unexpected and spectacular vocal performance?  What a lesson on not judging a book by its cover.  I've been listening to it over and over while I type this, it's so inspirational.  If you haven't heard her sing, you should.  I hope she is able to get a record deal from this, I'd sure buy her CD!  I love how spunky she is, and her voice is simply amazing.

Well, tomorrow starts early with soccer photos and game for Eliza, so it's off to bed with me now.  Have a great weekend!

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