Sunday, April 25, 2010

Take A Load Off...

Last Tuesday as my friends and I squeezed on my couch (with one or two of us having to sit on the cold, hard floor) watching Glee I thought "Self, you sure could use some more seating." Seemingly I am in the Universe's good graces because as if by simply thinking the thought I stumbled upon not just seating but golden brocade seating fit for a regal 85 year old woman (and let's not forget her 3 cats). What was the proverbial frosting to this cupcake? The $25 price tag!!

It was clear this was not a chance meeting. What I was experiencing was an act of fate. I had to act quickly and so I handed over the cash without considering where in the apartment it would go (or without doing a sniff test first). I so strongly believed in this match I would not allow common sense to play any part in our union.

When we arrived home (and thanks to the help of Colin and Alexis getting it up the stairs) it was time to figure out where the new addition would go. I tore the living room apart trying to figure it out. I knew that my shopping partners had a little bit of doubt about the chair. I had ignored it. But now that it was just me, the chair, and an already granny chic room I too started feel the pangs of uncertainty. But after rearranging a little bit I found a spot near a window that I thought would keep the chair happy...

It was still missing something though. Time to get creative...

A pop of color and contrasting textures in the pillow helped but the walls were too bare and I had run out of "spare art" to fill the space. Think. Think. Think.

That morning, at a 6 family rummage sale, I bought some incredible bird fabric (I'm a sucker for bird fabric). How is that useful??

Then I remembered that I had some extra frames from a Goodwill outing. So I cut up the fabric, stuck it in the frames, took the mirror my sister brought me back from Morocco off my dresser, put it all together, and then stepped back to see what had transpired...

That'll do. That'll do.

Now I just need to clean up the mess I made while tearing the living room / dining room apart trying to make space for my latest find. But as they always say, "Why do today what you can put off until tomorrow (or the day after tomorrow)?"

Good night.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Time to Start Planning for Retirement...

{photo courtesy of apartment therapy. thank you.}

After over 9 months of searching this Old Lady In Training has finally found gainful employment. I am talking full time, benefited, gainful employment. While I am a little sad to have to cut back on my Friday estate sales and relegate the treasure hunting exclusively to Saturday and Sundays I am THRILLED to have more money to spend at said sales as well as cash to start tackling my "When I Get A Job I Will..." list!

Time to go celebrate (thriftily of course as the first pay check won't arrive for a few weeks)!!!

Respectfully (and "employfully") yours,

Thursday, April 22, 2010

I Die...

While perusing my google reader today I found that Design Sponge posted a portal to the deepest parts of my soul with this image:

A dog in military garb with his pet dog! Oh man, nothing gets me more than anthropomorphism and what's even better is that this image did not stand alone. Along with it was a link to a certain Dorian Greyhound & CO and while the site is not fully up and running yet it shows great promise with its tag line of "Portraits for Pets of Distinction". The associates of Dorian Greyhound & Co create "ancestral" pet portraits by combining old world images and pictures of pooches (but I'm assuming other animals can be used as well). Although I don't currently have a pet for them to paint (or the $800+ price tag that goes along with the portraits) I am hoping the site will have a gallery for me to spend hours gazing at and dreaming of the day when I will be one of the lucky few with an ancestral pet portrait of my very own.... ... ...

Perhaps so that I could have a portrait with all of my many dogs in it I would opt for Diego Valaquez's Las Meninas

But then again I've always had a thing for Byzantine iconography. A nice Madonna and Child could be lovely (despite the damnation I might be tempting through my sacrilege).
Ah dreams. I suppose I have a lot of time to ponder the merits of both but it's nice to have something important to really get the ole' mind going.

Best Regards,

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Cheap Thrills...

Today I had a job interview and while it was for the program that I have spent the last 2 months volunteering 20 hours a week with I was still pretty nervous. Nervous enough in fact to on several occasions trip over my words and fill in the blanks with such eloquences as "um" and "eh" and "ahem." Despite these stumbles I think it went pretty well but two hours later I am still a little dizzy and nauseous from the experience. I am trying to think of things to take my mind off what I could have said differently. Go for a run? Well, yes. But I'm going to do that anyways today. Paint my nails? I just did that last night. Clean? Again? Do I have to? Read? Well that's a pretty good idea... but what if I want to get out of the house? Shop? OH MY GOSH YES THAT'S THE ANSWER! But wait... I think I've forgotten something. Oh that's right... what is that I spend 30-40 hours a week doing? Volunteering. What don't I have? A job. What should I absolutely not be doing? Shopping.

I have a consumption problem that I am pretty aware of. I have a love hate relationship with consumerism and I struggle with this. My recently intensified love affair with second hand shopping has helped assuage some of the guilt I associate with my love of things and the obtainment of said things but the guilt of spending money that for the most part I don't even have cannot be eased by simply buying things used. The only way to cure living beyond my means is to stop doing it. DO NOT SPEND. But even outside of standard consumerism it's difficult. My other interests require a certain amount of cash to make them possible. I have a running list of "when I finally get a job I will do..." Knowing that the job market is in the toilet and the social service positions that I am applying for don't even pay that well I need to keep the spirit of the here and the now alive and so I am trying to find creative ways to make these things happen without the job and thusly without the money.

When I Get A Job I Will...
1. Start back up with yoga.
Solution: Value Village happened to have a few exercise DVDs. I picked up a yoga one for a buck fifty. Drawbacks? Well I don't have a remote for my DVD player and the DVD won't function without one. So I have to set up my 12" computer in my living room and try to follow along while squinting from my downward dog. Verdict: This arrangement keeps the "om" moments a little fewer and farther between and since it's only one DVD there's no variety but it does get the job done.

2. Return to voice lessons / Buy a keyboard
Solution: I have started reserving music rooms at the Seattle Central Library to play piano and learn new music. I also bought an instrumental CD to play in the car (my favorite time to sing). Drawbacks? Ugh... well first there's a volume restriction at the library (go figure) so this keeps the diva from coming out. Second having to reserve a time to be creative can sometimes interfere with said creativity. Also the library is a hassle to get to. Nonetheless it's been nice to have a place to go. Verdict: Will do for now and it has definitely been a great reminder and renewal of an ignored passion.

3. Visit friends in far away places.
Solutions: I have realized that this notion is naive. When I have a job I will no longer have freedom to escape for days at a time. I am rethinking travel and what it means. I was graciously invited along on a road trip next week with my dear neighbor and am in the process of planning an Olympics Peninsula rustic get away. Verdict: Focusing on the company and the sights in my own Washington backyard as opposed to the accommodations and distance away from home is what traveling is now about.

4. Buy a bike with more than 3 speeds.
Solutions: After a little research, well more of a serendipitous meeting with a bike enthusiast, I have found out about a recycled bike shop in Portland that sells used road bikes for $75 and certified and inspected ones for a reasonable $250. Verdict: I still can't afford that. Oh well... in the mean time I can ride around the top of the hill and use my beach cruiser for grocery shopping.

I should use this new problem solving skill to figure out what to do with my post-interview afternoon. What am I going to do today as a little reward for a job medium-well done? As much as I would like to say "Buying that lovely pair of Emma Pillsbury-esque t-strap heels I saw while masochistically window shopping at Nordstrom the other days"... I am going to honor my limitations and act accordingly.
Solution: A rainy day run (let's not forget the marathon is three short months away), followed by a trip down to the 76 station to fill up on gas and practice singing Wicked's "For Good", returning home and lighting a decadent Voluspa candle (a vestige of my time as a sales associate at Anthroplogie), snuggling up and reading my newly arrived Journal of Gerontological Social Work, and topping it all of by cooking an economical dinner with friends.
Verdict: It will feel great to not have the too expensive (albeit completely adorable) pair of shoes tapping, nay stomping, their 3 1/2 inch heels and adjustable ankle straps against my conscious until I go insane which will force me ask the online Magic 8 Ball if I need to return them, which it will inevitably answer in the affirmative (the damn thing always tells me what I don't want to hear). Once I realize they must be returned in order to restore my peace of mind I will have to then make a return trip to Nordstrom tomorrow which quite frankly with all of my thrifty endeavors I do not have the time for.

Now it's time to a hitch the bus home and allow my afternoon of nearly free funtivities to commence.

Respectfully Yours,

Monday, April 19, 2010

Dog Wall Unleashed...

I actually have quite the brain-full of blog ideas right now and just have not had the time to actually post. So until my next entry (hopefully tonight or tomorrow) that will be lengthier here are a few pictures of the project that I mentioned a few entries ago.

I was inspired by a picture in Emily Chalmer's Flea Market Style to have a dog portrait wall of my very own and a few months ago when at an estate sale in a home previously inhabited by a hoarder I came across a collection of dog portraits and had to snatch them up. I purchased frames at Goodwill in Bremmerton and waited for inspiration to hit me. I decided that I wanted to use salvaged crown molding for my shelves and headed to The Re-Store in Ballard. I bought one that was perfect as is... clunky and chipped. The other two pieces needed to be painted so I headed to Lowes with my trusty Lowes expert picked up some paint and got to fixing them up. Here is the final product!

Respectfully Yours,

Monday, April 12, 2010

Is this bliss??

Despite my current state of exhaustion I am experiencing a little personal bliss. The spring cleaning that I have blogged about as needing to happen finally did last week. My apartment is impecable. I have applied for a promising job lead. I PRd at the Whidbey Island Half Marathon yesterday. My salvaged crown molding shelves were successfully hung. And best of all I have the return of Glee to look forward to tomorrow. I have been trying to think of things looming over my head to be done when I get home today but since I am in a bit of recovery state from my race yesterday a run is not mandatory and thusly I am coming up with absolutely no "shoulds" for my afternoon. What is an old lady in training to do? Well, I'm thinking yoga with my dear neighbor and probably reading while the Glee soundtrack (volume 1 as my sister has my volume 2) plays in the background. Oh yes, I also plan on taking and posting some pictures of my newest decorative endeavor!!

Respectfully yours,

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Cranky With Envy...

My neighbors (well the people in the stately home next door to my apartment building) are doing some serious gutting and remodel work. I am happy for them. That is until I am attempting to make my own shelves out of salvaged crown molding and am trying to get a GIANT nail through an even GIANTER piece of wood and I can hear their construction workers and their electric tools working away with ease as I incur wrist injuries.

That's all. Hopefully I will have pictures to post when (and if) this project is finished.


Monday, April 5, 2010

Quote I love...

While browsing a bookstore today in search of my next read I stumbled upon a quote that I keep thinking about and so I shall share it. Excuse me if it's a little heavy for a Monday but I get so excited when I find someone who has been able to put into words something I myself try over and over to articulate and cannot quite figure out what the thought sounds/looks like out loud/on paper.

"All the lives we could live, all the people we will never know, never will be, they are everywhere. That is what the world is."
- Aleksandr Hemon

Respectfully Yours,