Thursday, July 28, 2011

The best laid plans................................

It matters not how much, or how early I plan, nor does it matter where the event is, everything always seems to get discombobulated in the final hours leading up to a fair, causing much chaos and usually a completely new game plan.

So, why am I forever surprised when this occurs? BarnHouse (Are you sick to death of me yammering on about this yet?) is fast approaching in less than 48 hours and I had thought I had the perfect plan in place...along with my Camas Antiques buddy, and one of my daughters. We'd rent a uHaul and do set up and big items Thursday, followed by a leisurely fill in and fluff day on Friday, followed by margaritas on the patio. (Yes, I am aware that I live in a fantasy land known as "Tracey's World".)

I won't bore you with the details...(Details involving all of us trying to fit far too many other activities into too short of a time of us needing to get her eyebrows done, one of us needing to work at the store all day and, moi, unwilling to miss a much needed hair appointment. Oh yes, details that  every girl can understand, and identify with.) Let's just say that plans needed to be adjusted, as miscommunications and overbooked lives created sped bumps....

In the end it will all be okay (Because after all, we know that if things aren't okay, it isn't the end...) I can sleep tonight knowing that my hair will look good, and the booth will be set up and looking wonderful, but the stress caused by the hiccups that always seem to occur in the final hours add lines to my face and make me feel more than a little panicky, even if it is all brought on by me.

*sigh*  Calgon, take me away.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Family ties.

Aaaah, look. (I love a spontaneous group hug.)

I took this little series of snapshots of my Rock n' Roll buddy with one of his cousins and her hubbs last weekend while at a big outdoor wedding-before-hand-followed-by-a-BBQ-potluck-bring-your-band-and-let's-jam-until-the-sun-goes-down party(hmmm, maybe that sounds a bit confusing, but trust me, it was a blast.)out in the eensy weensy town of Onalaska, Washington.(...and you know how much I love small town America, right?)

The barbeque was very good(topped off with a slice of dense white wedding cake with rich raspberry yummy!)and the company was even better. Babies, old folks and every age in between. Lots of family and friends, a smiling bride and a guitar playin' groom.

I had a delightful visit with my Buddy's nearly-90 year old uncle, (who is quite a good dancer, by the way..)and sat in the fabulously warm sun enjoying music and chatting it up with some of his cousins.(I mean my Buddy's cousins, not his uncle's...)

It was a real kick to watch the band change things up by playing with other musicians. At one point I think there were about eight of them (including a girl drummer!)in the covered barn all playing some blues together(with a guy that was pretty slick on the harmonica...)and some bluegrass,

and then some old rock n' roll,of course.
Throughout the entire day I listened as various family members recanted their own versions of the same story about my Rock n' Roll Buddy's obsession with music from his early childhood days. It seemed that every relative had their own slightly different recollection, and all of the tales were hilarious,each shared with undeniable fondness and affection.

The basic gist of the story goes something like this: After seeing the Beatles on television, he began to corral anyone and everyone to listen to him sing and wail on his guitar, along with an old school pedestal stand ashtray he drug around with him, which he fancied as a wanna-be microphone. (One cousin even reported that he was held as a "captive audience" as he was too young to get away...)The rest, as they say, is history.

It made me feel all warm and fuzzy to get to be a part of this special day, where time apart clearly doesn't actually hold any sort of value on a timeline, and good natured teasing (and poking and pinching)picks up right where it left off from the last visit. 

I am a firm believer that if you've got family and friends who love you, you're rich beyond measure,so......if, after some 50 or so years, you're still laughing and comparing memories about your "cuz" doing his best Paul McCartney way back at the ripe old age of seven?
Yeah, I'd say that you're pretty danged rich.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Why is it that when you wash your car, it always rains?

**Yeah, yeah... It is what you think it is...another shameles Gramma Bragging Post.**

We've had nothing but rain, rain, clouds, and more rain this summer. (yes, I know many of you are feeling toasted in heatwaves around the country, but that is so not the case here in the Pacific Northwest this year.) This past weekend we were very blessed to have had not one, but two full days of sweltering heat and sunshine. 

Aaah, life is good. 

Perfect weather for barbequing, and picnics, and parties and...washing your car. So, that's what I did.

Actually, let me correct myself. I didn't wash my car. No, I got my car washed this past weekend by the cutest little car-washer evah

Mmmm hmm.
I stopped by to pick his Mama up to go to his Auntie's house (a kitchen-nook decorating summit. Very important stuff...) and Carter and his Daddy were out washing the truck. They generously offered to wash my little Beetle while they were at it.

"Thank you!" I said and my lil' pint sized Casanova began soaping things up as soon as his Daddy finished hitting my Bug with the hose.

(The only thing better than having a cute lil' convertible, is having a cute lil' clean convertible, you know.)

I woke up Monday morning to thunder rolling and raindrops drizzling.

*sigh* It was so nice while it lasted.

Monday, July 25, 2011


 Okay, I know those f you that wanted me to leave the wood natural might be a little disapointed, but here is the result of my labor this weekend. (Pardon my photos. The lighting was terrible, and my place is so full of furniture and crafts that I had trouble finding a spot to take the pictures...and I couldn't take pictures on patio, 'coz it was pouring rain outside! I will try taking replacement shots later tonight after work when the rain has hopefully passed.)


I ended up painting the cart a weathered white, although you cannot really see the sanding in these pictures, and I left the brass accents alone, since the patina was so rich and warm......

  Whatcha think?

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Born on the 4th of July

 I don't think I have shared what fabulous neighbors I have here in the Barbie Condo tri-plex. An adorable couple with a sweet new baby girl who arrived on this past  Independence Day!
 I got to take some pictures of lil' Miss Isabel last night after work. Ooooooh, how I love newborns, and Isabel is a beautiful baby. She was a perfect little model...
 I played around with a mock up birth announcement (I made up the names and details since I didn't have the weight or anything.)

I played with color, black and white, and fading the colors...

I'm giving her Mama and Daddy the best shots, and I'm going to mark my calendar to take more pictures as this little sweetie hits the three month mark....I can't wait!

Friday, July 22, 2011

A lil' look at a fabulous (I think) Before............and your opinions are needed!

I snagged this diamond in the rough at a thrift shop several months ago, and have been trying to figure out exactly what to do with it for my booth space at BarnHouse....

So many ideas for this piece, and so many color choices too. Should I paint it a weathered white, and showcase it with pretty bar items, or maybe a soft dove gray with a huge beverage server, vintage silver, old chippied plates, well worn linens and whatever else for a buffet service? Maybe it would make a great patio piece, painted my signature Robin's egg blue and staged with flowers, peat pots, plants, and garden tools?

The top tray is removable, for serving from, which makes it all the nicer. Should I paint the brass the color of the cart, or keep it natural? I'm still undecided....
What's your take on this little gem? Hmmmmm?

I've linked this post to the

Furniture Feature Friday - Link Party

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Down to the wire, and hoping for some sun.

It's barely a week until the big BarnHouse Market and so my lil Barbie Condo is completely looking like some sort of distribution center for Homedepot and Crafters Warehouse, on steroids. It's gotten to the point that I am not sure if I am more excited about the fair itself, or getting all of this stuff out of my entire downstairs so that I am able to feel like it is my home again.

My Camas Antiques Buddy has got some great things stocked up at his place as well, and we will be spending two full days setting up our booth space for the big day, a week from Saturday. We will begin with loading the trucks at Oh-dark-thirty on Thursday and with any luck have things mostly assembled by Thursday night so Friday can be saved for fluffing and tweaking things, along with a list of things we forget to bring from the day before.
I am not sure exactly why we junkers put ourselves through this. It's a total love-hate relationship, I swear. We love the thrill of the hunt, and the day of the show (meeting so many friendly people!) but we have the stress-filled days leading up to an event, prepping and loading and packing.
I know that most of the nation is having record heat, but here in the Pacific Northwest, it's been more like Autumn than summer, with more rainy days than not, so we're crossing our fingers and hoping for sunshine...that's not too much to ask for at the end of July, is it?

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Maybe it's NOT about the happy ending, maybe it's about the story.

I think I think too much sometimes.

I know that I've told you this all before, but.....My life used to be a nice neat package, all tied up with a pretty organza bow. A steady stream of very predictable activities from day to day, with no major surprises. (Mmm hmm, just the way I like it.) I went about my daily duties of raising a family and keeping a home, feeling secure and blissfully content. I was one happy camper all right, filling a role that I adored and felt I was meant to be doing.

When all of that changed, about two months shy of five years ago, I started on a long and winding trail of self examination and discovery. (Oh, the things I have done in the past half decade that I never dreamed I would do!) The ups and downs, (mentally, emotionally, financially and geographically...) and the highs and lows of starting my life over at the half century mark have been anything but predictable, and full of surprises!(And I must also add, looking back over these past few years, much of it is better than I could ever have imagined.)

By far the biggest adjustment has been the fact that my future doesn't "look" like I ever expected it would look. Learning to roll with the punches is one thing,and being at peace with not knowing exactly how the future is going to look is entirely different. This being said, please understand that I am not saying I am not happy these days, I am just saying it's been an entirely different ride than I thought I had bought a ticket for....(I am guessing that many of you feel like I do, whether your life changes are brought on by divorce, death, the lousy economy, or any number of other events.)

The simple fact is that I assumed that I had the happy ending to my story all dialed in. (And we all know what they say about when we "assume" things...)Way back then,I thought I knew precisely how that ending would look,some thirty plus years ago.(Aaaah, the stuff we think we know when we are young!)

Now, not-so-much. In fact, I don't have any idea how my little story is going to end, and I realized that this is what is constantly nagging at me. That whole I-wanna-skip-to-the-last-chapter-of-my-life-'coz-I-need-to-know-now thing is not living in the present.


I am learning, ever so slowly, that maybe, just isn't about zeroing in on the happy ending. If I'm obsessed with lurching ahead and focusing on the ending, I'll miss the whole rest of the story, and that is where all of the adventure really lies.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Have you been to The Painted Home?

Just when you think you've found all the great blogs that cover vintage style, you stumble across one that you somehow missed....
I wanted to share an inspiring decorating blog that I just this week discovered through some photograph I came upon in Pinterest. Maybe you already read it, (and if you do, why haven't you told me about it?!) but just in's called
Denise does some pretty fabulous stuff. I mean, just look at the bedroom photo up there. You all know I am a huge fan of the vintage book page wallcovering, and I am lovin' the trunk at the foot of the bed, along with the splash of black on the headboards and lil' bookcase, don't you? I like her style- not too foofied up, and just the right amount of weathered charm. I am feeling incredibly motivated to redo a big list of things around my teeny tiny home now. (as soon as Barn house is past, that is!)

Monday, July 11, 2011

The post where I return from a week long sabbatical and write about apparel quandaries.

Wow. Time does fly.

It's been an entire week since I last posted. Sorry. Sorry... Sorry!
I'm not going to ruin this apology by making a bunch of excuses, rambling about how time got away from me, and my life is just oh-so-busy and all that. Just know that I am making a renewed effort about my blog posting frequency, and I am feeling very inspired about that. (By the way, did you notice that I finally got my blog roll moved over to the new blog? It's here.)

Okay, now that I've gotten that out of the way, let's move forward to today's post, shall we?

Do you know what this is?
No, my home was not ransacked.

I'll tell you what it is. It's this morning's I-can't-make-up-my-mind-what-the-heck-to-wear-to-work-'coz-I-do-not-fully-trust-the-channel-eight-weatherman-and-I-am-feeling-kinda-bloated-today pile of potential  clothing items for my workday. (and for the record, this situation also occurs on non-work days as well)
The reason there are shoes there as well (in case it isn't obvious to you) is that I need to put on the entire ensemble before I can confirm that the outfit isn't gonna work (at least not on for today......) Do you do this?

I have a fair amount of pieces of clothing that I could swear looked good on me in the store, and yet, each time I pull them from my closet and attempt to wear them I feel either: Fat, Frumpy, Dorky or simply not like "me" at all. (What is up with that?) I made a rule for myself about a year ago to not buy anything I didn't absolutely adore, and so...I really haven't bought much of anything new to speak of in a year or so. (Ehem...except for shoes. I seem to have no problem finding things I adore in this department...)

Anyway, now I had to go home on my lunch break today and spend three quarters of it reloading all of this back inside the closet...and I telling myself this is not going to happen again....

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Holiday weekend.

I hope everyone's fourth of July weekend was as fabulous as mine was! Three days and nights crammed full of good food, (and some passionate baking...cookies, cupcakes, and even some white-chocolate dipped strawberries!) lots of friends, great music, and  it all ended with a big finale!

Friday, July 1, 2011

I get by with a little help from my friends....

Thanks to a lot of help from my little buddy, I managed to get the last of my things emptied out of my booth space at Camas Antiques and stashed in my garage until the big  BarnHouse extravaganza on July 30th. (His Mama took this picture and already shared it on her blog, but I just couldn't help myself from stealing it to share here...)
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