July 24, 2013

Furniture Makeovers + A Giveaway


Furniture Makeovers by Barb Blair

There is a reason that my Gittin' Crafty Wid It board on Pinterest is my most popular. I love a good craft project! Okay, more accurately, I probably love the idea of a good craft project. But Barb Blair is getting me off my crafting keister with her newly released Furniture Makeovers from Chronicle Books.

Having started the illustrious Knack Studios, Barb has a long-standing reputation of being a creative genius in the furniture refinishing arena. Furniture Makeovers does not disappoint with a slew of ideas for turning trash into treasure. With 26 featured techniques, from using decals and d├ęcoupage to getting the 'dip-dyed' look, my head was swirling with possibilities. I've been inspired to tackle creating a faux inlay look to a couple of dated chairs I have that have been dying for, well, a makeover. I have my supplies lined up and will be kickin' it crafty style this weekend!

July 09, 2013

I'm strange. And I like it.


Uncle Beefy
PHOTO BY BRIAN LANE

I have been called a lot of things in my life. Some good, some not so good. But if there has been one adjective that has dutifully followed me around it's "weird". "Strange" comes in at a very close second and makes for a slightly catchier title based upon the song by Cameo (which, as it turns out, isn't really all that great despite my fond recollection). Hey, I get it. I mean, I totally get it. I am weird. And, at this point, you've probably gotten that, as well. Yes? Thought so. (God love your heart for still being here.)

Sometimes my weirdness has been my nemesis. Kids at school teased and shunned me because their poor wee brains just couldn't wrap their heads around all o' that business. And I drive myself bananas - buh-NANAS! - with the weirdness of my late bloomer ways. On the other hand, that same bizarre synapse explosion that had kids laughing at me when I was little has turned out to be the same silly freak show that has had people laughing with me and connected me with so many as an adult. Here's the one consistent thing, that little inside place that has continually gotten pegged as weird, be it good weird or bad weird, is the same place that always radiates with joy for me. I don't mean joy. I mean JOY. That utter abandonment of all cares or concerns, the I-could-give-a-rip relishing that only comes in moments where we feel completely, deeply, authentically ourselves. Why then are so many of us quick to squelch that expressiveness and abandon that feeling of freedom? Abandon ourselves?

A casual armchair psychology session would talk about our innate biological and social desires to belong and, thus, conform to a standard set by a societal majority, blah, blah, blah. So why do we also applaud and admire those who defy those set standards? Raise them up as idols of individuality? Why? Because we so desperately want to do the exact same thing. They represent outwardly the caged wonder that resides inside all of us. But as much as we may long for the radiance of those who have the courage to be themselves, most of us become inextricably torn between the contradiction of wanting to be accepted by the group as they want us to be and risking being ourselves as we were meant to be.