Monday, October 19, 2009

The Joys of an Uncluttered Mind

I think this last summer was the most creative summer I've ever had. I think that because I was unemployed, my mind was a lot free-er. One of the big projects I got done was to paint our kitchen. But it wasn't just paint. Two walls in our kitchen had 1/8" thick faux brick on them. While it was a fun, kind of 70's inspired finish, it was just time to get rid of them. And let me tell you, those bricks were a bitch to keep clean! Those little edges were dust magnets! I had to break them off and then paint the wall with two coats of textured paint.

One of the things I made this summer was a faux window to go in our kitchen, as it doesn't have an actual window. It did at one time, but the back of our house was added on and the window over the sink was removed. I had been feeling the kitchen needed something more. I don't know where I got the idea for this, but I made (with my husband's help) a faux window for one wall. Personally, I think the idea probably came from Decorating Cents on HGTV. It's a show I have the DVR set to record everyday. Other than that, I can't nail down this idea to anywhere in particular. Maybe I came up with it on my own, maybe I stole the idea, who knows!

I picked up an old wooden window at Country Boy Antiques in Norfolk. It was pretty beat up and needed some TLC. I sanded it down, tightened it with some nails and gave it a couple coats of paint. (I had also picked up a set of shutters there too, but when I got home with them and started sanding them, I realized they had mold on them.) The new shutters came from eBay, since I couldn't find anything else locally.

BTW, if you are in need of some antique housewares of anykind in the Hampton Roads area, then I recommend you check out Country Boy Antiques. It's on Granby about 2 blocks away from the Va Zoo. There are LOADS of interesting items there and the store is bigger than it looks. Two words of advice: it's cash only and bring a flashlight. Some of the areas are dimly lit. If you're looking for a wood item like I was, then you'll notice a musty scent as soon as you walk in. You'll need the extra light to check for mold or mildew.)

I bought the image online from a photography site, and then had it printed at Kinko's. It's attached on the back to a piece of poster board and then stapled to the back of the window.

The whole idea of this was to create the illusion of a window and some depth (this wall is actually the shared wall with our living room) and to be an art piece of sorts. My husband attached the shutters and the hangers for me, and then hung it up for me. The weight of all this is about 5 lbs. To me, it looks like it should weigh more.

I had thought about adding a shelf on the bottom of the window, kind of like a faux sill, for something decorative, but I decided to leave it the way it is. I'm glad I did, because I don't think it would have worked with the outlet being right there.

I like this window because even with the sanding and painting, it still has a rough, old look about it. The glass still has some of the original paint and caulk on the glass. The wood itself was so old and soft (probably not a good thing) on one edge, that as I sanded it, it was stripping off like string cheese.

So that was one way I was feeling creative and uncluttered. Tomorrow, I'll post some pictures of the lamps I've been working on. I'm hoping I can keep the creative juices going for a little while...I was working on Halloween cards last night and maybe some Christmas cards tomorrow night.

Sunday, October 18, 2009


Is it normal to mourn a martial separation that is not your own? One that is not of your family, but just really close friends that might as well be family? I find myself wondering this as two different couples we know are considering this. One family will be separating, the other one is on the brink, all of this going on while another couple celebrates their one week wedding anniversary.

I find myself embarrassed, almost ashamed, when I'm around these people now. Their lives are chaotic and their marriages up in the air, while my husband and I are happy, although we're both reeling with their recent announcements. At what point do I stop talking about my marriage and relationship? I don't want to come across as bragging, because to different ears, maybe that's what it would sound like. Do we see their relationships as warning signs on what to avoid? Other than offering support and sympathetic ears, there's not a whole lot else to do. We can offer to help move when the time comes, but other than that, there's not a whole lot else to do.