Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Done and Done...Yay!

Can I just say, one more time, to reiterate, to clarify.....I.LOVE.DOING.THIS.  I love creating something one of a kind and meaningful for wonderful people!  I have had the priviledge to stay busy with "sign work" for months now.   It's awesome.  Did I say that already?  Just to reiterate....again.  ;-)

I'm so pleased to share Allison's sign.  Each sign I create I think THIS one has to be my favorite.  They're all my favorite...but I thought this one was really pretty too.  Okay, I think they're all pretty....but this was special because the sign is to commemorate the location Allison and her husband were married in.  Neat, huh?  So anyway, here's the reveal! 

Do you have a special wedding to honor?  I know someone who can hook you up with a cool sign.  Oh wait, you got me.  It's me. 

I'm pretty sure I'm the only one who thinks I'm funny. LOL 

I loved painting the details on Allison's sign.  Details are my favorite.  To reiterate....again.  ;-) 

THEN, I had the honor to create some fun address signs for a dear high school friend who now lives forty bajillion miles away...okay not forty..maybe twenty.  New Jersey...how far away is New Jersey? 
These will be well traveled signs. 

And the sign's mini-me.

Enjoy your signs ladies!  I've been working away at creating some signs for my Etsy shop.....hope to have the red carpet roll out by the weekend! :-)

Saturday, March 26, 2011


We were long overdue for a fun family day out.  Too bad Mother Nature has decided it's winter again in Iowa.  Oh well, that's why mittens were invented. :-)  My guys are geo-cachers...I'd never been.  We set out for the treasure hunt.....

 ....and found one. Under a bridge.  Neato.

 Treasure hunting is really hard work.  I mean, have you ever seen National Treasure?  There are car chases, bad guys, collapsing catwalks....okay our day was slightly less dangerous, but still tiring.

 I also bribed them with the thought of bulk gummy worms convinced my guys to swing by my FAVORITE bulk  Amish store, Stringtown Grocery.  I went crazy...just a little.  Seriously, who can resist organic whole wheat elbow macaroni?  Really?  You think you could?

 Hello Bear Family....I'm so happy you could visit with your cinnamony and blueberry-ey honey goodness.  Two honeys may seem excessive...but actually I had to take four others out of my cart...raspberry honey?  Strawberry honey? Shall I go on.  I'm going on a honey bender.  Keep your English muffins inside...or I'll swipe them and put honey on them. 

And the sprinkles.  They need no explanation.  Everyone needs sprinkles.

Happy family day.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Allison's Sign...A Sneakle Peakle

You're up Allison!  Here's your sneak peak! :-)  Can I just take a moment to say I.LOVE.MY.JOB.  That's what I'm calling it now....I am in the signpainting profession...self declared...that still counts, right? 
Allison's sign was really fun...a sign to remind her husband and herself of their wedding day.  I had lots of inspiration for this one....beautiful farm setting...Allison wanted "vintage" (my favorite!!), awesome piece of wood.
As soon as it finds itself in its new home I'll unveil!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Willow Avenue Pottery Sign..REVEAL

After being a tease, I can finally reveal Becky's sign!  I had the honor of meeting Becky, of Willow Avenue Pottery, yesterday.  She is delightful.  The grand opening of Willow Avenue Pottery is April 9th, and if you are anywhere near central Iowa you simply must stop out and see her amazing pottery.  Oh...and she's also hosting a giveaway right now on her blog....you don't want to miss that!

I love how this sign turned out.  I can't believe the good fortune I had several weekends ago at the ReStore.  This piece of wood practically jumped into my cart, screaming "I'M FOR BECKY!!".  Perfect size, perfect distressing, yay!   There are lots of distressing techniques for new wood, but nothing compares to aged distressed wood...the kind that happens by accident.  ALSO, this wonderful blue green background paint color hopped off the shelf at the ReStore too.  Sometimes you really have to dig through the paint pile to find the good stuff.  Wear your dirty clothes, bring a paint can opener and don't be shy. 

The sign will soon be going up in Becky's window....I'll be sure to link you to that! 
Thanks again for your patronage Becky!!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

The Best Italian Beef Ever

This recipe is for Shannon....who asked me if Italian Beef was a "Midwest thing".  I really have no clue...but I do know I tried one IB recipe that was not great...and then I got this one from a friend....this one will ROCK YOUR SOCKS MISS SHANNANIGAN.   My kids loved it, my husband loved it.....it's definitely on the list of things to pop in the freezer for our week away (to somewhere much warmer and much more palm tree-ey) when my folks will be here holding down the fort. 
 I'm going to be nice like that and fill the freezer with ready-to-go stuff. 

So now you're thinking "enough blabbering, give me the recipe already lady."  Right? 
That's okay...here you go. 

I used a two pound roast from our meat guy, Nick.  Use whatever meat guy you like....but Nick rocks.  I just like to know where my meat comes from...call me crazy like that.  
You will also need a packet of dry Italian dressing mix.

Throw the thawed roast, the seasoning packet and 2 cups of water in the crock pot.  Put it on low at 8am.  About 2pm your meat should easily shred.  Shred it up, put it back in the pot...or just shred it in the pot like I did and save the mess. 

Spill in a little pepperoncini juice....then cut up a couple pepperoncinis and throw those in....however many you like...go crazy.

Let that whole show cook on low for the rest of the day (until supper).  Lay out some nice bakery buns on a cookie sheet, plop a blob of meat on the bottoms, cover the meat with a slice of provolone or whatever cheese floats your boat, broil til the cheese melts.   Enjoy!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Willow Avenue Pottery Sign....A Sneakle Peakle

It's done Becky!!  I was so excited to get the sign done for Willow Avenue Pottery that I just went gungho into the night last night!  I think it will be lovely in Becky's front window.  I was so fortunate to find this amazing blue green paint color at the ReStore on Saturday....and the incredible PERFECTLY sized piece of "distressed" wood.  I can't wait to show you all the whole sign....but first Becky should see it.  I'll be dropping it to her studio on Saturday! 

Crystal and Allison....you're next on deck!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Baked Cinnamon Sugar Donuts

If you make donuts yourself they are zero calorie.  Did you know that? 
That's my story and I'm stickin' with it. ;-)
I'm sorry Michael...I know I'm not making it easy for you lately.

These little loverlies are baked...not fried.  Even better, no?

They look yummy, you can't deny.  Run off and make some...I'll wait.

Ours are almost gone.  Seems they are boy-approved.

We can thank Pinterest for this wonderful little recipe find....go here for the recipe!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Miss Eff's Dad....he must've been a cool cat

Wow it's been a crazy week.  I can't believe the people I've met lately....AH-MAY-ZING group of ladies....ladies with businesses...homegrown, creative, self sustaining businesses.  Businesses that need signs.  Lots of signs.....yay!  In all this creative, amazing craziness lately I forgot to show you the WHOLE sign I painted for Cathy.   This was a labor of love...Cathy is an amazing person.  You must visit her flower farm this summer if you are anywhere close to the MidWest.  Me describing her does her no justice...you have to be in her presence to experience her indomitable, effervescent personality.  Cathy's dad must have been an amazing guy himself...wish I could have met him.

Anyhoooo.....she asked me to paint a sign, in honor of her father, Dr. Linker, Veterinarian.  She provided a B.E.A.U.T.I.F.U.L. antique table leaf as my "canvas" and away we went.

The details were fun to paint. 

These are the little touches that a machine can never reproduce...only a person...with a paintbrush.

We struggled a bit to properly photograph this big thing....here Clancey, hold this for Mommy while I take a photo of it in the good light.  Too heavy?  Well put it down. (ignore the pile of laundry in the background needing folding....and the floor that's not quite done...sign painting is way more fun.)

Just look cute for a minute. ;-)

Cathy posted a beautiful tribute to her dad on her blog after our tearful exchange of this sign.  If you haven't noticed...I get a little attached to each sign I paint.  I spend a considerable amount of time with each one....we develop a relationship.  I may need to ask for joint custody with the rest of the signs that come out of my shop....at least send me a pic of the sign in its new home.  That would make me happy. :-)

Guess whose sign is next?
I can hardly believe this....but I get to paint the front window sign for Becky at Willow Avenue Pottery.  Seriously?  How much more talented can a person be?  Falling over I'm so in love with her pottery.

Goodbye Dear Aunt

Last night one of my favorite people left her earthly home.  My great aunt Glorianne struggled for years with illness but never lost her quick wit or mischevious smile. Glorianne could play ball with the boys, hold her own in any situation and had a sense of humor that kept everyone rolling on the floor.....between her and my great uncle Don you never stopped smiling on a visit to their home.  She was my kinda gal. 

We will miss you terribly Glorianne.  Stop by and see me when you have a chance.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Wood Extravaganza

The ReStore was hoppin' today.....hoppin' with lots of great wood.  This fact could perhaps be argued by some.  The gal that manages the ReStore knows me now...okay, so maybe I'm there once in a while.  She just laughs when I come to the checkout....and then tells me that half the stuff I have in my cart I can just have for free because no one else would want it.  ;-)  I just love that.  Found some great paint today and lots of cool wood.   Crystal, Allison and Becky...you're all taken care of!  Signs soon!!  I even found some lightweight wood that will be great for my Etsy store....light means cheaper to ship. :-)

Now tell me....what does that big piece remind you of? 

Maybe it's a tad of a leap in imagination.....but I might give it a try.

Good and dirty.  Just like I like it.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

The Benefits of a ReStore Table

My favorite reason for having a table in the kitchen. Two of my favorite guys hung with me the whole time I made supper.  Big brother reading...little brother motorcycling.

The story gets really good....

Back to the motorcycling.  LOVE having my guys hang.  Thanks crazy ReStore table.

Monday, March 7, 2011

CSN Review...How about them thar bar stools?

Meet my friend, CSN Stores.  Soon....very soon I will be posting another review about a very special item from CSN....shall it be a counter height stool?  I think it shall.  Do you remember the last stools I reviewed?   No....check them out....

...they're still awesome.  NOW for the tricky decision?  Should all four be MATCHING around my soon to be kitchen farm table?  OR, should I mix it up and choose something like this......

or this....

or this?

Sunday, March 6, 2011

The One That Got Away...That Didn't

 Have you ever taken a liking to something....looked it over...admired it....but then passed it up, only to get home and kick yourself repeatedly for not grabbing it while you had the chance?  So begins the saga of my beautiful table, aka workbench.  I was on a grab and dash mission into the ReStore one day...only had minutes to find some awesome sign wood while all my guys waited patiently in the car.  On my way to the "wood room" I passed by this old workhorse.  It immediately caught my eye.  So vintage, rustic, had a story to tell....it called out to me.  In my rush I didn't have time to really consider purchasing it, nor would it fit in a Honda Civic.  SO, I left it.  Then began the longest week of my life...okay, not really...
I'm being dramatic for the story's sake. ;-) 

I thought about its character and patina.

I thought about its size. It's a honker.

I thought about its awesome metal legs.  ALL.WEEK.  I tried on multiple occassions to get my husband to make a trip from work, downtown to see if it was still there.  He passed on that offer.  SOOOO.....when I thought I could hardly wait ONE.MORE.DAY.  Friday came.  My oldest had no school, my youngest was with Mema and Papa....so we saddled up the Silverado and headed into town.  EARLY.  We were in the ReStore parking lot before they opened....keeping an eye out for any other cars entering the parking lot.  I had my poor little guy so wired that someone else was going to get OUR TABLE that he nearly shrieked everytime a car pulled in.  At five til 9 we couldn't wait a minute more.  We tried the door...it opened...we walk/jogged to the back of the store and THERE.SHE.WAS.  I grabbed the tag and ran calmy proceeded to the checkout, where we were told that LOTS of people were checking out MY table just yesterday and she thought they were planning to be back Saturday to buy MY table.   Phew. 
Just in the knick of time folks.  Time to load up our gorgeous girl...in the tiniest backalley loading dock a Silverado ever did see.  I shall now proceed to thank my father for torturing my young 14 year old self with learning to back a truck down a LONG driveway, using mirrors. 
The guy at the loading dock said I had "mad skills".  **grin**

Today I sanded down the top, just a tad to get the grunge off but not take off the patina.  Cleaned it thorougly.  Brought it into the kitchen just for fun (Dad is making my gorgeous table to come later).

Trotted out some woodstain. 

Put it on pretty thick....then wiped it off.  Oh how beautiful she is now.  Poly tomorrow.
(and NO the floor isn't done yet....it's getting there.  I'm still waiting for a volunteer. ;-)

The final question....paint the legs or not?  I bought gloss black....but I kinda like their "patina" too.  Oh, and the wood slats on the bottom will be coming off too when it makes its way to its final home as my dining room side table. :-)  For now the castors on the bottom make it super easy to wheel around the house.

So what was your "one that got away" that didn't get away?

Linked to Funky Junk Interiors' Saturday Night Special
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