Friday, October 10, 2014

Early Fall Record Haul

Last weekend, Stan and I went for a Sunday sushi and excursion the other day. Our only major investment for the evening (outside of our bellies) was a pretty good haul at Omega Records. And I always enjoy sharing record covers with ya'll. So here 'tis.

Stan awoke from his afternoon nap to my booming rendition of Ole Man River.

Perfect fall piano. And look at those paws!
Do you know these people? You should. I promise they aren't twerking.
A highlight from Nerds would be the titular song. I've loved these gals for awhile, wooed through another self titled album featuring harmonies that hurt a little they're so pleasantly, & humanly dissident.
Never had any Rush, before.
Biggest investment, and great payout. Love Jazz in the fall. Or whenever else.
Good snag, husband. (Have you seen the amazing inner sleeve from this one?)
Dave and chums do it again. (53 years ago)
Bought this one for those days when I need some real patriotic music.
"Fatha" Hines' stuff is easy to find and fun to hear. He ambles casually through jazz favs.
I got this because it has Marshmallow World on it.... so sue me.
I love listening to these records in our new home. The little crackles sound like popping kindling and almost make me believe we have a working fireplace.

Hand-me-down music is the best.

Some guy (gal?) named Schumpert's collection (see his John Hancock on the Charlie Parker cover?) was recently added to the shelves. I could tell through a few minutes of flipping that he'd spent years collecting and listening to jazz especially. Think of all that record flipping! And now I'm flipping his record. I hope that if he's still around, he's still listening, just to a different format. But maybe he's not around. And I hope one day when I'm not around someone will continue to listen to my collection as well.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

First Fall Project :: Vintage Pumpkin Moon Window Painting

A beautiful late summer day is the perfect scene for a craft project. The husband outside mowing, sun tea brewing on the porch, windows open, Dizzie Gillespie on the record player. Ah, yes. 

Enter today's craft: a window painting/drawing I have been planning the past couple weeks to amp up my fall porch decor. Homeownership is so fun!

I've had four single lane old windows stored on my apartment's back patio for probably almost three years. I've had several dreams for them over that time. I used one as a makeshift light box for pattern transfer for a wedding embroidery once. I have three more, so I guess maybe this will be a repeating seasonal project.

I cleaned up the window frame a bit, but not too much since I think the dirt is charming.( You should see my house it is so "charming".) 

I added a hanging wire using a couple eye hooks and some floral wire I had on hand. I don't recommend floral wire, it's just what I had. I doubled it up to make sure it would hold the weight of the window. In case you don't know the trick to winding hanging wire: it is key to DOUBLE BACK. This locks the wire and keeps it from slipping.

I found a vintage Halloween design on Pinterest that I wanted to zeros and enlarge at work for this project, but I forgot. So this also became a drawing project But for those of you who think ahead, this could be a step to skip. Still, with a gorgeous day like this and a sunlit workstation, I was happy to be drawing.

Here's the original image I was working from.

Great, right? I wanted to find something that could stay up through Thanksgiving. I figure a plump harvest moon should do the trick.

I started out sketching the ideas and shapes of the drawing then took more time to fill it in and establish the spaces that would need paint and those that would be left bare.

The paper I drew the template on was pre-sized for the window pane. I taped it to the front of the pane . I decided to paint the back of the pane for two reasons. I thought maybe having the glass in front of it would give it extra depth and I wanted to protect the paint from the outdoor elements.

Next step is to follow the template using a paint marker. (You probably have one of these lying around now because you tried to do that marker decorated mug thing.) if you need to purchase, no fear, they are only a few bucks and you can get them other places than craft stores. Menards has them as does Walmart.

Be careful as you paint to not paint anywhere where you might need to rest your wrist. I worked from the upper left corner down to the bottom right, because I'm right handed... and a bit anal. Also, the paint pen dries very quickly. Work in small sections so you can finish before it dries. When you try to paint over dry paint it acts as an eraser. Another trick is to compress the pen tip fully and refill it with paint. This helps you go over multiple times and makes a thicker line.

It is important to stand during this craft so that you are copying the drawing directly overhead. Otherwise, your drawing will be skewed. Of course, there's room for some error here. Don't agonize over every detail. Follow the paint if it flows a little. And, if you do screw up big time, you can simply scratch off what you've done and redo.

Once the image is traced, you remove the paper and VOILA! I'm super excited about the final product and looking forward to spending a fall afternoon making a winter porch painting.

I hung the flag pole today too, and did some outdoor cleaning and decorating. it was a productive and lovely day. I am so grateful for the stage of life I'm experiencing.

Come by the house soon! the Franks are open for autumnal visitors.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Boxed up for a Wedding

Our pal, Lucas, married his bride, Nina, the other weekend. It was a beautiful outdoor ceremony held in a little glen in the woods at the end of a sweet lil hike. It was a hot summer day, but the fun couldn't be stopped by just weather. S'more roasting, dancing, and sparkler exit- without fail.

I used another of my record boxes to wrap up a quick gift for the sweet Halls.

The dish towels feature the designed caricatures of the couple from their invitations. The look was too cute not to duplicate for posterity and everyday use.

The ornament was inspired by a wedding gift we received from a friend of Stan's. It has pretty curled pieces of their invitation in it (and a little bit of baby's breath from my wedding centerpieces). We just loved having a little of our wedding on our Christmas tree this past year.

We're still working on getting moved into OUR NEW HOUSE. (I still can't believe we're homeowners!) And I'm excited to share some before and after shots as the afters start happening. It sure is a process. But a super awesome one, and it's even more so with a partner along for the ride.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Somebunny to Love

My sweet friends got married earlier this summer. They are not mushy gushy people but they do have a pretty saccharine sweet pet name for each other. "Bunny" And somehow it's not out of character to call a bearded, motorbike enthusiast a bunny. It suits them, and I wanted to pay it homage in their embroidery.

It was such an honor to witness their wedding. A creative joining of two hearts and lives. 

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

A Bookish Baby Gift

My sweet cousin had a books and bums (diapers) baby shower the other week. I didn't make it but sent along a themed package for the future reader. 

The bookworm applique was a bit of a rush job, so there's a crafty fringe edge to it all. I kinda like it, after all. And little Blythe Suzanne will grow into her little nerd shirt soon enough.

The scrabble pieces were leftovers from our wedding.

I also included a little crocheted, handmade spit rag and wrapped it up in a box I made from an old record box. The effect was sweet, fun, and bright, like a baby gift should be.

I've been away. For the same old reason of life life life. But, I promise, I've been busy completing projects for gifts, so I have plenty to post for y'all.

Also, we Franks are buying a house, and soon! So get ready for lots of home repair posts as well. Here goes!

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Writer's Self Portrait (or) Self Blogvaluation

My seester, Jess, tagged me to respond to the modern day blogger equivalent to chain mail. Remember chain mail? Those silly questionnaire tied to an empty threat of bad luck for a year if you "broke the chain"? Also, remember amish friendship bread? How sketchballs is it to make bread from  plastic bag of squishy dough ball "starter" that you can't vouch for the beginnings of? This chain stuff is a weird phenomenon. Regardless, it's an easy post topic for me. So here it is. 

1. What are you working on?
Not much lately. I have a couple wedding projects in the works, and a bike revamp project. And I plan to paint my dining room table. (as I typed those words they were said on screen my tv during a despairing scene of When Harry Met Sally! What an odd, coincidental world I live in!) But really, I don't have a big project right now. I guess my biggest new project is figuring out how to be a good wife. That's much more of a progressive task than I ever could have guessed.

2. What makes your work different from others' work in the same genre?
I'm not even sure how to classify my writing or this blog. To begin with, my idea was to write honestly about the things in my life that encourage me or challenge me. I try to look at things positively, though I go through normal phases of pessimism as well. I guess my silly asides and messy lifestyle might set me apart from other blogger/crafters.

3. Why do you write what you do?
I studied writing from my junior year of high school through the end of college. I wasn't sure what I would do with that expertise and training. I still am unsure. But, somehow, writing little bitty posts about things I make and ideas I have makes me feel good. Good enough reason to write. Besides, I also like making things look nice- layout and design and photography also pique my interest. So, blogging seems right for now. And thoughts and loves and crafts are what I have to blog about now, easy peasy.

4. How does your writing process work?
I don't have a typical process. It took me a week to set aside a half hour to respond to this call out. But, sometimes, a thought will nag me so that I can't wait to write about it. And a really fun, photogenic project can insist a blog post as well. And as for the written content. I spew. I don't edit much until I re-read later and realize that I'm crazy and have made terrible structural and spelling mistakes.

I'm gonna take a chance and let the bad luck get me. Not pass this chain mail challenge on. Still it has  been interesting to think objectively about this glasshufffull project. Why DID I start blogging? Because I wanted to write more. Because I wanted to be connected to other people more. These are good things. Why have I not blogged as much recently? Because I'm spending a lot of time with other people. Because I've had moments I've been too busy to document with photos. These are good things as well. 

Things are good. The glass is still "huff" full.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Spring Back

I love a lazy morning. The sun coming through the curtains to rouse me to wake rather than the buzz of an alarm. A few slow moments resting still tucked in my sheets, watching the sun dust slowly fall in the mid-morning sun. It is finally spring, and yesterday was my first spring morning with a slow wake. And I'll tell you what- I feel revived. 

Spring Sarah has awoken. Like one of those sleepy head daisies from the animated Alice in Wonderland. Rubbing my crusty, tired eyes. Batting my petal lids at the sun. I've unfurled myself, readying for the sun to enliven me after a long long winter underground.

Every year, sometime around February, I dissolve a little. Don't get me wrong, I love winter. I seriously cry happy tears at the sight of the first snow! But after a couple months, I become stir crazy and pudgy from a sedentary snow lifestyle. And, like clockwork, the sadness comes. It's been this way since I was a teenager. 

And this year, since I had a husband to care for me and binge watch crappy television with, I didn't find respite in the creative outlet of my blog. In fact, I've abandoned it for a good long time. At one point, I considered giving it up for Lent since I'd already gone so long without it. (I know, I'm a cheater.)

When I'm sad, I know that making something, doing something creative WILL help me feel better. I know this, and yet it's so hard to just DO it. Isn't that the way it is for you? We know what's best for us, but it's starting a new habit that's the hardest. Or even re-starting, in the case of this neglected website.

So this morning, the sun shining in, It's the first step. The tiny push to get the ball rolling. And once that ball is rolling, the inertia should pick up. But baby steps to begin with.

First, I'll wake up before my alarm. And, then -still in my pjs til 10- I'll plant some pretty spring flowers. Get things growing again.

I'll water them daily. I'll clean my bike chain. A little hard work goes a long way.

In a month's time or less, we'll all be blossoming in summer.   

Won't that be beautiful!

Saturday, March 1, 2014

A Life Full of Chotchskies

It's month 3 into the foreverwinter and I'm starting to feel swallowed by the indoors. February and March are difficult months for me, historically filled with low moments and memories of loved ones lost. Cold, dark, snow covered winters make these months even harder. And lately I feel as though I'm drowning in my own home.

Drowning in laundry. Drowning in dust. Drowning in dishes especially. (Oh, you'll see.) My wonderful new bath towels cover the upstairs bathroom with a never ending layer of navy blue fuzz. I can't seem to keep up with the mess. I'm vacuuming twice as much as I used to. (Where does the dirt come from? I haven't seen much of the ground the last couple months!) Two people make so much more of a mess than one. Not that Stan doesn't pull his weight in work, he does. But when both of us are at work all day and then come home... who wants to do dishes? Not us. Sitting sounds better. We'll do dinner on the couch so we aren't distracted by the mountains of dirty pyrex lunch containers.

So the mess feels heavy and never-ending. And right now, I think perhaps my own eclectic style is working against me. My home is jampacked full of dust-gathering chotchskies.

I went around and took pictures of my decorative clutter. Looking at them all together like this has a multiplying effect. In real life, between each of these vignettes and collections there's feet of white apartment walls. Still, am I overdoing it?

Featuring: A bottle painted by the owner of my college watering hole and a panda drink.

Featuring: antique grinder and juicer wedding gifts and a yellow rose from...what?

Featuring: old Christmas candy no one wants and a duck succulent.

Featuring: Many candles. Well, this is functional at least.

Featuring: Coasters a-plenty and overflow books. 

Featuring: Slowly disappearing candy canes, a wedding terrarium, and a child's accordion, of course.

Featuring: Too many shades on a broken clock.

Featuring: A cabinet of chotchkies I don't have surfaces for. And 200 DVDS.

Featuring: My college i.d., tiny plastic cat eye glasses, wine corks, dream catcher.

And as I look at the pictures again, I know I'd be sad to part with the items making up the clutter. Each represents some moment in Sarah-history worth remembering. A friend's visit, a first date, a music show, a school fundraiser. Perhaps when the snow stops flying, I may do a quick prune. But I'm not ready to declutter totally yet.

The same things that I love about my home in the summer are driving me nuts in the winter. I know with an ounce of perspective and a few minutes of daylight, things will sort themselves out. Soon, there will be warmth and newness and flowers to plant beside our doormat. Come real soon, spring. I'm so ready for your yearly visit.

Until then, I guess I'll just try to do the dishes more regularly. Because there's nothing positive to say about this clutter.

Featuring: Yuck.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Freezing Hot Date (and a record haul)

Took half a floating holiday yesterday (sounds like it should be an anime movie) and went on a Dayton adventure with the hubby? The cold weather has kept us inside and sedentary all too often of late. We hit up a few Dayton delights to shake things up a bit. Sushi at Fusion, frozen yogurt at Bad Frog a stop in at Omega to peruse the cheapo bins and a nice, long (and warm!) walk through the Dayton Art Institute.

In true Frank form, we didn't document the date. I really want to start taking pictures of things we do in these early days of marriage. I'm sure I will appreciate them later if we do. I'd love to see more pictures from the beginning of my parents' marriage.

No pictures, then. But we came out rich from the record store. Darn place got rid of their listening station so I couldn't preview the records. But I'm super pumped about several of them. I mean, who doesn't need atleast ONE square dancing album? When I saw the "When Harry Met Sally" soundtrack I exclaimed, out loud: "This is the best day ever!" Thank you, record collectors, for not putting a high monetary value on the type of music I adore to collect.

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