Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Happiness and Four-Letter Words

There are BAD four-letter words.


 And then there are GOOD four-letter words.


And then there's... 

 It doesn’t take much to make me happy. That beautiful Blue and Yellow four-letter word will do it almost immediately. 

 I love IKEA. I think I could LIVE at IKEA. And the love affair has been going on for some time.
 I’d never heard of this amazing place in 2003, when my best friend Vicki suggested we stop at the IKEA in Emeryville on our way to The City. (If you grew up in the Central Valley of California, San Francisco was “The City.”) I’m always up for shopping, but nothing I’d experienced before prepared me for the sheer awesomeness of IKEA. I think I walked all the way through the showroom with my mouth open. (Thank goodness there were no flies.)

Because I was just visiting there (as opposed to living there) and had an 800 mile trip home and space in the car was at a premium, the only purchases I made were several wall shelves. But since Utah got their very own IKEA, I have worked very hard at not limiting myself. (I'm happy to report the hard work has really paid off!)

When I moved last year I left a craftroom that had shelves and cupboards and drawers.
 I went to a new place where the room I planned to dedicate to crafting (as you can see, formerly a bedroom) had NOTHING…except walls and a floor and two closets. (Also UGLY drapes...but those went first.)
Needless to say, I’ve been VERY grateful for IKEA.

I have been fretting over how to store my ribbon (I am the Ribbon Queen of Orem, Utah). But finally I thought to try an IKEA spice rack and it’s going to be fabulous. The 3 ¼ inch spools fit perfectly and there’s that rail thingee that the ribbon end can run under.

Just thinking about painting all those spice racks white and hanging them on the wall (above my IKEA craft tables...and Expedit cube...and Trofast storage units) makes me all warm and squooshy inside.

See? Such happiness from so little…just IKEA. I love you IKEA. If there’s no IKEA in Heaven, I’m not going.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

I Just Might Need an Intervention

I returned from lunch the other day to find the Taffy Fairy from the university's bookstore had visited my desk. 

The bookstore promotions folks are lovely people, really. They email us when there are specials and they invite us, every year, to the big Office Products Show…where we wander around checking out vendor booths with all the great new merchandise. (WOW!! Have you seen the super new file folder styles??? Gosh, look at that cute little ball point pen, what a great idea to add a lanyard so you will never lose it! I mean, c’mon guys…how exciting ARE office products???)

But it's still fun to go to the show…occasionally they do have cool new things that give me the warm fuzzies. They also have drawings for awesome stuff – like iPads or zip drives or laptop cases. And we always leave with plastic bags chock-full of give-away items (more of those nifty file folders and pens-on-a-cord type of things, but still free - and even if you don't actually NEED it, free is always good).

And then every few months they also send the Taffy Fairy around to all the offices where they fill up our custom-monogrammed (with the bookstore logo) candy jars with salt water taffy.

We’re supposed to place these jars strategically on our desks so everyone in the office can enjoy the bookstore’s largesse.

Unfortunately, this is a problem for me. I’m hooked on sugar. I know…it’s bad for you. It does awful things to your spleen…or is it your pancreas? Liver? No, that’s alcohol… But it’s bad. I have a love/hate relationship with sugar. I love it. It hates me. (That’s actually been the story of most of my relationships.)

So here is MY candy jar today:

And here are the other jars in my area:

Notice anything? Yes, their jars are still mostly full. Mine is mostly empty. (Except for the white ones – those are licorice. I loathe licorice.)

For me these randomly frequent bestowals are equivalent to someone helpfully passing out mini-bottles at the door of an AA meeting. Or a kind, generous soul cooking up some crack at the Betty Ford Clinic.

I should ask them to stop bringing taffy. But I’m not going to. 

Thursday, April 4, 2013

A Little Stone Bench

So I'm trying to fix up my "new" place. "New" being a relative term. It is, in fact, new to ME. It is not, however, "new" as in just built. It is OLD. Not as old as I am, but old enough to need fixing...a LOT.

I suppose that's the way of things, unless you build your own house from the ground up there are going to be things to do when you move in. 

And there are LOTS of things to do. Things that take money. Which is why the fixing up is not finished eight months after the move.

(Good grief, I don't have all the boxes unpacked yet!!!)

*puts head in hands*

But I understand that having unpacked boxes less than a year after a move is not unheard of. They still bug me, though.

Since the fixing is being done a bit at a time I don't have a lot of pictures yet. 

(I wouldn't publish pictures of the current state of my craft room even if you paid me money...a LOT of money...because it's awful. Horrendous. Cosmic chaos in an enclosed space. And sometimes I cannot even bring myself to look into the craft room. But next weekend I'm going to do some serious excavating in there...I promise. I SWEAR.)

But let's focus on the positive. I have accomplished some things. Had blinds installed in bedrooms and kitchen, and replaced the deplorable vertical blinds in the family room (the ones the former tenants' kids used as Tarzan vine swings).

I also did the porch. 

It was the easiest "room" to finish. It was basically empty, and I put stuff there. Et voila! A finished room. It was not a huge accomplishment, but it makes me feel pretty good to look at it every morning as I leave for work, and have it all cute and welcoming when I come home again.

Here is what the porch looked life before. 

And here is what it looks like NOW.

I waffled on the bench. When Kay and I were at Tai-Pan Trading (one of my favorite places!) there were some really cute metal benches. I found the pitcher and greenery, the stone birdhouse, the topiary and the candle stick there...but I couldn't make a decision on the bench. (A sure sign that I needed to WAIT.)

I'm glad I did. I went on line and looked at HUNDREDS of benches...but the one that caught my eye was this little English Garden Bench at Home Depot. It was small enough to not take over the space, and it just seemed to fit with the other things I'd chosen...like it was meant to be.

(It looks heavy, but it isn't all stone...just a faux stone finish, and the legs bolt on. It was light enough to assemble it inside and carry it out.)

I added a garden bell / windchime and a standing three-tiered lantern - great buys at Hobby Lobby!

And a standing garden bell in the flower bed (also from Tai-Pan Trading).

I think I might add a bit more in the flower bed to go along with the bell...maybe a critter or snail or fairy or something...but I haven't found the "just right" thing yet. I'll keep looking!

One "room" down...lots more to go! (Patio furniture next!)