I am often asked random questions. Sometimes I actually have the answer. I got an email the other day asking me about "favorite things". Here are a few:
Redbox Movie rentals I can pull up to the curb at McDonald's, pick out a movie, and my kids, who are 4 feet away, never get out of their seatbelts. Hallelujah!!!
Mr. Clean Magic Erasers Sometimes painting projects can get a little marked up in transit, or just by being in my house. I once had a stepstool sitting in my living room, waiting for the owner to arrive and pick it up. I had completely re-done this thing. It was beautiful.
Walking down the hall, I found the cap to a marker. A sharpie marker. You know, those permanent black ones that scare the heck out of anyone who has ever tried to remove the stains they leave behind. One of my lovely children had decided to draw all over the customers receipt, which was taped to the stool.Some of the marker bled through. Knowing the customer was on her way to my house, I freaked out. I tried 409, goo gone, OOPS, I even spit on a paper towel and rubbed it. NOTHING worked. Until..... I pulled out the magic eraser!!! She never knew....
La Croix water When it's 2am, and I am painting plate number 45 of 60, it makes me think I am drinking a coke. It's full of bubbles, but no sugar or caffeine. Yum.
Etsy So much creativity in one place! A great way to get inspired. (Or make yourself feel like a total, talentless loser)
Reprodepot I love the fabrics on this site. Lots of things you cannot find anywhere else.
Hydrogen PeroxideYeah, you read that right. A fresh bottle will get almost any stain out of carpet or car upholstry. Try it - you'll like it - and I can say I- told -you- so.
Friday Night Lights I'm a Fox News, Discovery channel girl. I don't normally follow many shows. But, I am hooked on this one. It's on channel 101 on Directv, or on DVD. Finally, a show where the southern accents don't sound completely ridiculous.
Random pictures of my kids doing strange things that make me laugh Who doesn't love stuff like that. The posed portraits are great (is this an appropriate time to plug my photographer sister??)but I think some of the real memories are made in moments of laughter. I am treating you to one of my recent additions to this category. My liitle lady in her princess dress, chasing her brother with a rubber mallet.
Green highlighters 'cause that's what I use to mark things off my to-do list.
This is supposed to be a before and after - but I can't find the before picture - you'll just have to use your imagination. This light fixture came to me off the shelf brown/bronze. The designer that brought it to me wanted it to have a french country look. She also said to keep it kind of fun, a little bit whimsical. I painted it a creamy ivory, and after some handpainting, I added a glaze. I distressed it in some random spots to show the detail. I was hoping that it was what she envisioned, sometimes it is just a guessing game. On the way to my house yesterday, she had a minor car accident. She picked it up this morning and was very pleased with it. I love happy endings. My other project yesterday was "family" plates. Lots of them. More than you see. One thing about these plates, no matter how big you are, you always look good as a stick person. If you are bald, well, that's another story.
I realize that with this post I am taking a risk. A risk of making somebody's momma mad at me. It's been a long, stressful week so I wanted to post something fun. I like an unusual name as much as anyone, I have a kid named Baker after all, but I am going to list some of the weirdest names I have come across in the past 10 years of personalizing. I can't remember them all, the world is full of poor decision makers. I decided to skip the crazy spellings - "Alicesynn" or "Jaxsyn" and the funny monograms "aSs" (as in horse's a**) and go straight to the names.
#5 Hoke - Really, what were they thinking??
#4 Hutt - Rhymes with mutt, slut, not good...
#3 Sapp and Crady - I realize these are 2 names, but they were brothers. A pair. Two eastern Kentucky boys doomed to a life of "Huh? How do you spell that?"
#2 Tupper - as in Tupperware? I'm sure there is a family meaning somewhere behind this, but didn't they have a Mary or Katherine somewhere in the family tree too?
#1 Cosmo - Yep. As in Kramer. Were they big Seinfeld fans? Is his older brother named "Seven"? If it was a nickname, they didn't tell me. My sister couldn't quit marveling over that one. She just kept shaking her head saying, "Cosmo? Really?"..
Hope you got a giggle out of them, and if you know any of these children, please don't forward this to their parents :)
I'm a bit of a wrapping paper snob. I don't do thin, flimsy paper. I don't do Elmo in a Santa hat. I don't do ice skating snowmen. I also don't do expensive. That's why I want to share my favorite wrapping paper destination.
Their paper is heavy, the designs are really tasteful, there is 100 sq. feet per roll, and it is very well priced! Right now it is 1/2 off, making it $4 a roll.
I bought this funky green paper, I think it will look great with red and chocolate bows. I was leaning toward a great black and white print, but Todd protested. Evidently, if it's not red or green, it's not Christmas-y enough. After 15 years of marriage, I never knew he had such solid opinions on Christmas wrapping. So, I smiled, and picked a green print, just thankful he didn't prefer Elmo. (and, yes, that is my finger in the picture. I'm a painter, not a photographer)
Ok, this post has nothing to do with painting, personalizing, or junky furniture. I promise to get back to the norm after this. But, since I have found I sort of enjoy writing these posts, I'm going to indulge myself.
Kelly's Korner, one of the few blogs I read, asked others to share a favorite Christmas tradition. True to form, my family has a weird one. We used to have a big meal on Christmas Eve, and Christmas day. Over the years, with the deaths of grandparents/parents, the number of adults gathering has shrunk, while the kid population seemed to explode. We had to adjust. Now, Christmas day is full of food and presents, and Christmas Eve is a little less traditional.
We eat pizza.
And we don't even make it. Pizza Hut does.
My parent's call when everyone else has arrived, and we pick up the pizza on our way to their house. The kids couldn't be happier. They even get a special treat of root beer in a bottle. The clean up is simple and quick. That way we can move on to the next event.
My sister and I each take our children to the dollar store, and let them pick out a gift for each of the 7 adults. Since we know the price will be $1, they get the pick of the store. It is so much fun to watch them shop. They really try to find something personal for each person. They even get to wrap their own presents - no matter how badly. The real fun is when the adults open the gifts. The kids are beaming with pride. They get to feel the joy of giving, and we get a few good laughs. Like the time my Jackson, 4 at the time, thought my elderly grandmother just couldn't live without those fire engine red panties, with black lace trim. Or, when my brother-in-law received a lovely cowboy figurine, and managed to look grateful without laughing. While some of the presents have been odd, some have been pretty handy. What grandad or uncle couldn't use a roll of masking tape, or a pack of gum? What aunt can resist a candle in the shape of a cherry pie? My sweet nephew even bought me a glass to rinse my paintbrushes in. I use it all the time. We occasionally throw in a game of dirty santa, but no matter what, we have tons of fun, and no stress. We save that for Christmas day.
This is one of those projects that must leave my neighbors scratching their heads. And, possibly whispering about me.
When my mom and I set up our workroom, we decided to have a lot of fun with it. It's full of polka dots, patterns, and bright colors. Lots of pink. A lot like my work. And, the exact opposite of our neutral homes. We designated one area of the space for the ever present children. The television perched on a cabinet we always felt was a bit too wobbly. So, when I saw this piece of furniture at a local thrift store for $45, I knew we had to have it.
I said, "Let's paint it pink." Mom agreed.
We put it in the driveway, and began to paint. It was pretty darn pink. It looked like that one house in a rundown part of town that someone decided to paint pink. It was ghetto pink. My husband nearly died when he pulled up after work. I had to leave it out to dry, giving anyone who passed by a good laugh I'm sure.
After a coat of glaze, and some thoughtful distressing, I loved it! I was so excited to see it in our workroom, I was not even bothered by the grumbles from my husband and brother-in-law as they heaved it up the steep, narrow stairs.
I rarely paint anything this bright, but our "pink elephant" is now our favorite piece in our Littlebits workroom.
My sweet friend, and neighbor, just gave me a midnight blogging lesson.She has a very successful, and fun to read blog, Just Me and my Life in Nashville. (her link is on my blog list) She suggested I add the comments option. I didn't add it at first. I am scared I will open my email and read something that hurts my feelings, and, really, who needs that? So, from here on, please, please be kind :)
I got more pajamas in today!! I was scared I wouldn't get any more before Christmas. I need to sew patches on them , but after last night, I think I'm gonna turn in early.
I had to stay until 1:30 to finish an order. I didn't get to start painting until around 11:00 because I was having to make a last minute Davy Crockett costume.
Jackson neede to go to school dressed as a famous Tennesseean today. Up until about 4:00 yesterday, he was going to be Sequoyah. For some reason he got the itch to be Davy Crockett, and wouldn't let up. So, I make a trip to the thrift store just before closing, and leave with nothing but a $2.50 old brown curtain. I felt sure I had a pattern at home that I could use. When I look for a pattern after dinner, I only have a pants pattern for a size 5. He wears a 12. Every store that I could possibly buy a pattern from was closed, so I totally winged it, hoping it would fit.
But I still needed a hat.
I dug around and ended up with my late aunts mink pillbox hat , (yes, mink), and pinned to the back, the fuzzy tail off of one of those little rodent toys tied to a ball from Cracker Barrell. I hung the entire outfit in his room for him to see when he woke up.
About 6:30am, he comes strolling in my room grinning from ear to ear. It was worth it. I still don't think Project Runway will be calling me anytime soon...
Baker was insanely jealous of the hat, and spent the afternoon playing in the backyard in a lovely, vintage 1960's pillbox hat. I think my aunt just rolled over......
I know, this turkey is a few feathers short. In the beginning he had 5, but over time they have disappeared. When I first started my work 10 years ago, I painted and sold TONS of these. I still remember sitting around with my sister painting feathers. My sweet Dad even made us a special little board to stand them up in to dry.
So, no matter how worn he gets, this turkey is a little sentimental.
One year, a customer told me a funny story about one of these turkeys she bought and gave as a gift. She bought it for a woman who "has everything". They were a wealthy family, and lived a pretty formal lifestyle. My customer said that shortly after Thanksgiving, she received a thank you card in the mail. The card thanked her kindly for the gift, and expressed "how much they enjoyed it in their turkey at the center of their Thanksgiving meal. They put it IN THEIR TURKEY!!! They didn't know what else to do with it.I can only imagine a beautiful table of china, crystal, and beautiful linens surrounding a turkey with a wooden head and 5 feathers sticking out. After that, I packaged them with instructions worded for a third grader.
I cannot keep them, I cannot keep them, I cannot keep them.
I have to keep telling myself this so I will post these on my website.(Or maybe I keep saying it to drown out the sound of my kids fighting over their afternoon popcorn snack). I LOVE these pink frames, and as of right now, they are the only 2 larger ones I have left. I know I could find a place for them, but I do not need them. I prefer a mix of new and old, but I keep collecting things that have more old to them than new. I don't want my whole house to look as if it is crumbling down because everything in it is crackled and distressed. You can have too much of a good thing. And so I repeat, I cannot keep them, I cannot keep them, I cannot keep them.
On the other hand, these cute little snack cups I can keep a few of. I think Lilly and Baker need their names painted on a few of them. I also have the sippy cups to match. I have decided to throw out all the yucky, old , mismatched sippy cups, (you know, the ones that get the black junk in the parts you can never reach, even with bleach and a toothpick..ugh) and treat myself to a few new, personalized ones. I am very frugal, and rarely keep much of my inventory for myself, but I am making an exception.
This afternoon I visited the guy I get a lot of my reclaimed wood and mouldings (sp?) from. He had some real goodies for me today! I got some beautiful, old door trim, that I think will make beautiful frames. It may look like junk to some people, but I love the look of the old, authentically crackled paint. I also bought something I don't really know how to describe, but I think will be hard to part with. It looks like it may have been over a door on the front of a house. I have visions of it hanging over a bed instead of a headboard.I also bought some door panels to paint names and phrases on. I've had a harder time finding these lately, so I was excited to see them. I haven't picked the stuff up yet, but I will try to post before pictures when I do. On a sad note, one of the chairs mentioned in my "ugly chairs" post has suffered an injury. I was trying to shift all the crap/merchandise in my garage, and I managed to fall off a rubbermaid tub onto one of the chairs. One arm was broken, and, luckily, it wasn't mine. I do have a lovely scratch to show for it though. It looks like Todd can fix it, but I may ask my Dad instead. Todd will view it as an opportunity to once again make fun of my purchase, and offer to put them in the dumpster for me. My Daddy will fix it no questions asked :)
What a weekend! It was Christmas Village, and I feel like I am finally coming back to the real world. Four days, and a total of 33 1/2 hours in the same chair painting names over, and over left my behind numb, and my hands sore. I am not complaining though, I am very thankful for the turnout, and all the lovely ladies that bought things in my booth. I am, however, glad to be able to eat something besides $1.00 large cokes from McDonald's. My liquid diet was beginning to get to me.
My biggest seller this year was personalized pajamas, and t-shirts with chenille christmas trees. I have never had either of these before, so I was pleasantly surprised. I was also pleasantly surprised that I didn't make as many mistakes this year. When you can take any name and spell it 5 different ways, it's easy to spell it wrong, especially when fatigue sets in. (Caitlin, Kaitlin, Kaitlyn, Katelyn, Caitlynn, you see my point...)
I only had one weird return too. A lady returned a bib, she said she didn't like the "s". it looked fine to me, but the customer is always right, right?(except for the time a lady claimed the ladybugs along the bottom of her chalkboard were too big ...did she want them in actual size??)
I hated to post the picture that shows the booth from the aisle, it looks pretty pitiful and picked over. I was surprised to see in the picture a lady walking around with a beer. In my 10 years at CV, I never knew they served beer!! Maybe that's why the "s" and the lady bugs looked funny.....
All in all it was hard work, but lots of fun. I got to spend time working with my whole family, and with friends I rarely see. I now owe lots of folks lots of favors though for helping out with my kids...you know who you are :)
This is what happens when you try to work from home and take care of little ones at the same time. I turned on a Scooby movie for Baker and Lilly, gave them some crayons and Cheerios, and went to the Dining room table to catch up on emails. Fifteen minutes later, I hear Baker saying, "Jump Lilly, you'll land on a pillow, it won't hurt." That can never be good.
When I get down to the playroom, I see my 3 year old in her pj's with suspenders between her legs, and around her waist. (the harness). Tied to the suspenders is my dressmaker's measuring tape. (the bungee cord). The measuring tape is then tied to a spindle on the staircase. Every pillow within 100 feet (and some sleeping bags) is piled at the bottom of the stairs. Yes folks, homemade bungee jumping - 5 year old style.
She was smart enough not to jump, and patient enough to stand there, tied to the stairs, while I went to get my camera. My computer time was over. In all honesty, I had finished my work and was on Facebook. I'm only human....
The $50 gift certificate winner is LJ. She is the owner of Baby Goodness Boutique. Very cute stuff, so check out her site. Thank you to everyone, and I promise to do a giveaway again soon. In a funny twist of events, my sister, the only follower not eligible, was the first name pulled in the random drawing. Isn't it always that way??
After church tomorrow, I will draw the name for the gift certificate winner. Since you guys passed the goal of 25 new followers, it will be for $50 instead of $25!! Any new followers tonight will be included in the drawing as well. I imagine most people have much more important things to do on a saturday night than read my blog, but if you don't, you might as well enter for a chance to win something.
Today was one of those kind of days. Last night, I fell asleep at my desk (really), and on my way upstairs, spotted 2 coyotes in my front yard. I spent way too much time watching them, when I obviously should have been sleeping. This morning I drove carpool in my pajamas. Baker's field trip shirt was no where to be found. I broke a customer's plate, hit my head in the attic, and to top it off my grandmother asked me if I had gained weight. I'm glad it's almost over. The good news is, I found some clearance stuff while digging thru my inventory. I will list it, but I really don't have time for pictures tonight, I have to paint :) ...and maybe watch coyotes. If you see something you want to ask about, email me.
personalized CD cases $3 ( was $6) handpainted garden clogs $6 ( was $20) personalized drawstring totebags $5 ( was $12) personalized gingham backpacks in pink or blue $15 ( was $32)
Crazy Morning! I awoke to a bird trapped in my living room, which is weird not only because birds don't belong in your living room, but because I have no idea how it got in. Our fireplace is closed off, and I think I would notice any bird sized, uncovered openings in my house. Anyway, after repeatedly slamming into windows, houdini bird finally found the door, and my morning resumed. At the top of my to do list today was to share a bargain I found. I LOVE a good deal, and love to share them too. If you have a little girl, this dress is adorable, soft, and so colorful, you cannnot tell me you don't have leggings to match. I spotted it at ( get ready), KMART!!! It was $12.99. Will it hold up for me to pass to my grandchildren, no, but it looks like it is straight from the Gap or Gymboree, and it was $12.99 folks. If you love it like I do, run, don't walk to Kmart.
How did you spend your Sunday afternoon? Crossword Puzzle? Watching the game? Napping? Lifetime Movie? Painting 100 picture frames? Well, maybe not 100, but it seemed like it. I have to admit, it wasn't that bad. I had a sweet little helper. Hopefully, in the next few days I can turn the frames sitting amongst leaves on my husband's trailer, into Christmas gifts no one can resist :)
These sweet little eyelet panties bring back fond memories of being little. My mom ALWAYS put them on under our dresses. They also bring back the disturbing memory of when my mom had the bright idea to sew the bottom of my blouse to the waistband of the panties, so my shirt would not come untucked. I guess she forgot about the fact that I had 2 working kidneys. I had to completely undress to use the bathroom. I still remember my teacher wondering what took so long. I have one - upped my sweet mom by painting on the seat, and keeping them functional. :)
Driving home today, as I pass the old bowling alley, I see 2 seriously ugly chairs at a garage sale set up in the parking lot. I immediately fall in love with the chairs. After approaching the somewhat shady looking guy in the parking lot, and a trip to the ATM for the $10 in cash, I stuff the ugly chairs into my car between kiddos. I hurry home, hoping to stash my treasures into the garage, to avoid my husband's confused looks and sarcastic questions. It doesn't work. Guess who's home early? I endure his, "What are you gonna do with those?" type questions, and put them away. I would post a picture of them , but decided to wait until I can post the before and after at the same time. Frankly, you would probably think I am crazy too. These chairs have great lines, retro, but still classic. (and they were $5 each!!)I think I am going to turn them into desk chairs for my workspace. Hopefully, they will turn out to be a great example of turning something really crappy into something awesome. We'll see....
Last Christmas we bought this kitchen set for my daughter, but it only came in red. I spent days in my parent's garage painting it pink!! Now, they have wised up and are offering them in pink. This picture doesn't do it justice. It is precious!! I order them only on request, so make sure not to wait too late. It also comes in a two piece set, pictured on my website www.littlebitsdesigns.com
I finally published my website. www.littlebitsdesigns.com . It is pretty basic, but not bad for someone as computer challenged as myself. I still have a LOT of stuff to photograph and add. I see more late nights in my future........
These are new! I wanted a way to use some smaller, dessert size plates. So, as an alternative to the family plates I did a grouping of individual children, each with a little something personal to them. I am planning on changing up the colors a bit, thay need to be a little more vibrant. Other than that I thought they were so cute. Now, where to hang them??
Since these frames are what I worked on today, I thought I would post a picture of some from last year. I love that people can request just about anything to go on these frames. Some of my favorites have been the ones with the most personal phrases. They don't actually show up as well in this picture as I had hoped. They are slightly distressed, and have a chocolate brown ribbon to hang from.
I am not a fan of jeans on my daughter, but with 2 big brothers, she needs some tough clothes to keep up. I thought this girly little top sweetened the jeans. The applique is a mix of new fabrics, and vintage quilt fabrics. I do all my appliques on my sewing machine by hand, not with my embroidery machine. That way it has the wider , softer stitches.
This is one of my top selling items. Isaiah 43:1 on a canvas with ribbon trim, and the child's name at the top. I think I have painted this in every color combination possible. (even purple and black - YUCK!)
One of my custom orders this week was for this precious table and chairs set. She wanted 4 chairs, instead of the usual 2. She also wanted them slightly distressed, which I love. To make it even better, she wanted bunnies, and I love bunnies.
For years people have been asking to see pictures of my work. Well, I have always been terrible about taking those pictures. It always seemed to slip my mind. I felt lucky to get the work done between mommy duties. I am determined to have a better relationship with my camera, and to post the pictures here.