What To Do. What To Do.

Our dog Lucy, enjoying a warm sunny day. What does she
have to do with this blog post? Nothing. But, it's the only
picture I could find to share. ;-)
Not having a working computer, these days, is like not having a working right arm (and maybe left too!). How does one get along without it?!

I shouldn't really talk. In the late 90s, I did own a pager because of my brothers' health. But, after he passed I got rid of the pager and didn't have any method of E- contact until, oh, 2009-ish? Amazing. I know this -now.

Today, I'm so enamoured with technology that I've surpassed my techy husband in knowledge and gadgets.

Our daily lives have become so entangled with computers that when they break, we're kinda lost. Or at least, I am lost. lol. Is it possible to have a love affair with a computer?

But, I will not be defeated. I've got the laptop covered (temporarily). My data and important files...that remains to be seen. (crossing fingers, crossing fingers...)

With a week of summer vacation over, I'm ready for another vacation. :-)

I had activities planned all last week. In fact, I even planned a two day garage sale. I used to pull together an annual charity yard sale many, many years ago. It was tedious work, to say the least! For the first few years, we received so many donations that we would have to hold weekend long sales for an entire month! But, it was worth it.

Today, I could do without having one. Yet, I had accumulated some items and well, my husband, wanted his basement space back. I'm okay with that since I don't like clutter. I'm forever organizing and clearing out. My motto growing up: everything has a place and for every place there is a thing. Too bad my studio doesn't adhere to this motto.

I invited my second oldest niece to help out and offered her a percentage of the sales for her efforts. I also took this time with her to teach her some marketing tips. Both days went well. The first day, the weather was way to humid but the second day, it stormed in the morning. I love me a good rain storm. Refreshing.

Anyhow, the marketing tips payed off. The second day two women came in, loved the prices we were offering and pretty much cleared us out, just a 1/2 hour before closing. I mean this almost literally. I think I only packed up three copy paper boxes to donate. In my experience, that's a successful sale!

Now, to clarify. I am not a marketer by profession. But, all the years of running my own business has forced me to learn a thing or two about marketing. Hint to my young readers: consider taking a class or two in marketing. My prediction: with the internet becoming what it is, it only makes sense that in years to come, many small and large businesses will need tech savvy peeps to market their online presence. These businesses will expect to quantify those efforts in their bottom line profits. It will become a competitive job career, for sure.

Beyond the garage sale, there were daily kids activities that included the little one signing up for and getting her FIRST library card! Yea!

With vacation over, I think it's time to finally put in the ground that lavender plant I purchased four days ago...

As I sit here typing this blog post. My faithful little dog is right next to me, sleeping.....and snoring!

I've Got Nothin'

I had two great blog posts to share and as of right now, I've got nothin'. No. Really. It's true.

Tonight I logged onto my laptop, was prepping the images for the blog, and BAM! it crashes. No blue screen or anything like that. But, after the wave of horror flowed through my body, I came to the realization I just might not be able to recover much (or any) of my data. Ahhhhhhhh!

In an attempt to be optimistic, I guess I really won't know until I get it to the "computer doctor". And I'm hoping for a full and successful recovery. (cross your fingers with me) Huh. Seems life took it literally when I said I was taking some down time. Hey, life, I meant one day!

I'm over summer vacation. I don't have a working computer (and might have just single-handedly crashed my business...which I'm sure my competitors are jumping for joy over this). I've got someone/something just stuck. in. my. head. And next week I have to face someone who causes me a great deal of stress.

Sounds like it's time for a girls night out. Without our laptops! (got that covered)

Life, boring -never! But, no worries. I always overcome any challenges thrown my way. Just might need to spend some time in the pool as I analyze and ponder how/what to post until my laptop is fixed.

Will I still be blogging? Absolutely! You just might not see the posts all jazzed up with my images and posting frequency might not be the regular schedule for the next few days. But, bear with me...

Swarovski Crystal Fireworks

Celebrating the 4th of July comes with flags; colorful fireworks; anything and everything that can be red, white and blue; spending time with family; sparklers; the list goes on.

So, in my show of support, I'm dedicating this blog post to the red, white and blue sparkling fireworks that only Swarovski Crystals can give.

Two of my favs: RED roses and Swarovski Crystal stems

Gotta have it: WHITE Swarovski Crystal encrusted bra.
Oh, the stories I could tell you about when I worked at Victoria's Secret! 

Love and Passion at its' finest: Titanic's symbolic Swarovski Crystal
BLUE Heart of the Ocean Necklace.

You can check out more of my sparkling obsessions at Behind the Designs on Pinterest. And don't miss my Sparkling Thoughts board. My fav quote: I get distracted by shiny things!

I'll be taking some time myself to enjoy a little downtime on the 4th. Even though we all know there are no vacation days for mommies. :-)

Please have a safe, FUN and sparkling 4th of July 2012!

What's Old is New Again -And Adorable to Boot!

An adorable ballerina chair for an
adorable little girl.
It may take me for.ev.er to get a project finished. But, when it's finally done -it's perfect!

This adorable chair did not look like this when I found it. I just happened to be walking the dog one day and I came across this vintage chair, just sitting at the curb. The owners of it had just had a weekend yard sale but I guess it didn't sell, or they just didn't want it anymore.

I quickly decided I could make it beautiful and it would be perfect for my little one's pink ballerina room. I made the decision that if the chair was still at the curb on my return walk back that I'd grab it. Lucky for me, it was. So, chair in one hand, dog leash in the other. I trounced home.

To coordinate with her furniture, it was painted white. I replaced the seat board, padding and added new fabric. What the picture does not capture, in the fabric, is the hint of sparkle (it's gotta have sparkle!).

I will not lie here, this project is well over a year old, but I've done my best to detail the transformation below.
Original chair. Husband was a little too efficient and had already sanded it down.
But, the wood color was a deep reddish-brown.
This first picture highlights the 1st layer of heavy needlepoint fabric on the chair.
Just another shot of the original chair at a different angle.
This second picture highlights the 2nd layer of heavy needlpoint fabric on the chair.
Both fabrics were durable and featured rose patterns.

A close up of the carved rose.

Shot of manufacturer tags showing its' origination from
Sibley, Lindsey & Curr Co.
I did some research to try and find out how old this chair was, but wasn't very successful. Sibley's, was a Rochester, New York-based department store chain with stores located exclusively in the state of New York. The Sibley Building was located on the northeast corner of East Main Street and Clinton Avenue. Sibley's was acquired by May Department stores in 1986.

Sibley's was a part of my childhood and I guess you could say, Sibley's for me, is probably like what Macy's is for others. In fact, one of my first few jobs was at Sibley's Optical. That job started a nearly 10 year career in the optical field.

When this picture was taken, the lighting was very poor. That combined with the gross-ness
of the padding itself, I decided to spare you the details and test my photoshop skills
by creating a black and white image. What you can't see here is the seat board was actually all
warped and ruined, so that had to be replaced.

After a good sanding, I applied two coats of Rust-Oleum Painters Touch,
Ultra Cover 2x Coverage, white primer.
And once again, the NEW re-finished chair. It's amazing what a new coat of paint can do
for a project. Double points because my little one loves my vision (her new chair)!

Since it took me so long to finish this project and with most of the materials being collected throughout the year, I don't have the exact details anymore. But, here's my best breakdown of it:

Chair = FREE  (score!!)
2 cans of white primer = ~ $8.00
2 cans of white pearlized paint = ~ $8.00
New chair padding = ~ $3.00
Ballerina fabric = ~ $6.50

The good news is I still have some primer, paint and fabric left over, so I can apply those to other projects. I have plans to make some coordinating pillows with the extra fabric. This ought to take a few years since I don't know much about sewing.

And "the plan" is to sand down and re-finish a little desk we already had at the house that goes perfectly with this chair. I say it's "the plan" because right now, I have four other paint projects to do (one of which includes our main hallway), two reupholster projects and a slew of miscellaneous little projects.

So many ideas. So little time.

I shared this project with:
TDC Before and After