Saturday, April 28, 2012

Calligraphy Slave

Dear Blog,

I will be shackled to pen quills and nibs dipped in carbon black ink until mid-May. I will miss you, but all the 'finishing' of which I have spoken must be financed somehow. Therefore, I must finish well the third wedding calligraphy job of this month while simultaneously juggling preparations for two graduations, a week long trip to West Point, wedding rehearsal dinner plans, my responsibilities as the West Point Parents Club president, lots of end-of-year testing in my 'fake patient' job at the university medical center, while walking daily over Hillcrest Cottage's half-finished entry hall floor. Throw in my normal routine and ministries obligations and... well... it's kinda wild.

I have read that a normal load of 'hats' people can wear at one time is generally 4 to 5. I counted the other day, and I am currently at 11. Needless to say, I am having to work very hard at keeping focused, staying close to my to-do list, rejoicing at every task that is completed.

I am also aware that seasons of life are like a swirling tornado. I pray a lot and hang on for dear life knowing that the wildness will pass quickly. Usually, the only room left after a tornado's disaster is the bathroom, so that's a plus for me because I find that a long, hot bath can cure most anything.

Next time I see you my West Point cadet will be a Second Lieutenant in the U.S. Army.

Your Friend,
Hillcrest Cottage

P.S. I may pop in to review an awesome skirt from my friends at Fresh Produce. I currently want one in every color. This skirt will definitely be my 'go to' fashion piece from now until the leaves begin falling. It is so comfy and can be dressed up with ballet flats and a cute top or can be paired with flip flops. It is light and flirty but doesn't add 'weight' to me... a big plus. The fabric is very soft and comfy and would pack well for a trip.

Selling Art & Vintage Clothing Last Saturday at an Indie Art Sale

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

From Bed to Bench

Hillcrest Cottage heralds warmer weather by the annual 'Sprucing of the Porch Ritual'.

The porch is my favorite place in the entire cottage... a place to sit... a place to drink coffee... a place to hear the birds sing in the morning... a place to listen to summer's cicada symphony in the evening.

Yesterday, I jumped quickly into this project, neglecting the "before" pics... sorry.

This new comfy bench was once an antique bed (which I unsuccessfully attempted to sell for a friend). Rather than donate the bed to the local Goodwill, my husband built a bench.

First Step: A quick coat of Annie Sloan chalk paint (This paint has changed my life, so check it out!). No primer is needed with this awesome paint.

Second Step: Quick, light sanding to distress.

Third Step: Fun, new fabric to cover the cushions. Successful fabric store outing produced material in the exact colors and patterns for which I was looking. The striped fabric came from the $5.00 bin; the floral fabric was 50% off.

I made quick. loose covers (like pillowcase open on one end) so I can frequently wash the covers without the hassle and struggle of getting the covers off and on.

This was the result:

The dark brown unpainted parts will be cut off and an arm rest added. Also, more Annie Sloan paint on the ottoman.

Fourth Step: A Simon and Garfunkle 60's song popped into my head; Instantly the lyrics
became my new porch mantra:

Slow down, you move too fast.
You got to make the morning last.
Looking for fun....
Life, I love you.
All is groovy!

Fifth Step: Pour the coffee, prop up my feet, and experience some quiet.