Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Where in the world is Carmen Sandiago?!

(or Jamie Schmiesing, for that matter.)

Does anyone even remember Carmen Sandiago?  Or does that really date me?  Maybe she came before "Where's Waldo?"  I'm not sure.

Anyways.  I digress.

Jamie's still very much here; thinking about writing and blogposts every single day.  Thinkin' about it.  I'm thinking about lots of other stuff that isn't getting done too.  And it's pretty easy for me to get stuck dwelling in the Land of the Undone.  That's not very productive though.  Truth is, as much as I think about writing, I really haven't had much desire to write lately.  I want badly to tell everyone how life is changing here.  Some things should seem so much easier in my little world with 10 of the kids gone most afternoons.  Should.  Laundry seems more under control, I'll say that.  And I even have dinner planned by 3pm most days.  That's HUGE.  (I've always been a last minute "What the heck am I gonna throw on the table tonight?" kinda gal.  Having time to think and plan really is a good thing. For all the domestic stuff that seems to get a little easier though, life stirs up a new set of challenges.  Balancing an insane schedule that still allows time to nurture a marriage, strengthen some sort of family bond, and really builds a foundation of faith, rather than just "survive" another day seems an impossible task.  Currently I'm totally in survival mode.  I'm not giving up on that "something greater" though.  God's got a grip on my apron string...and He's promised he'll pull us through.  We're just transitioning...just transitioning.  Hold on Jamie.  Certainly we must just be "between seasons" here...and this place in our faith life is the sucky part where we clean out closets and figure out what still fits and what doesn't.   Uggh.

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding."  Proverbs 3:5

I haven't been totally sitting around eating bonbons to drown my miseries though.  In lieu of writing, I've found a temporary new creative outlet...we'll call it "nest feathering."  That's my code word for turning free/cheap items into something wonderful (or at least sorta great) to make this bigger house feel more like our cozy home.  Nope, I'm not too proud to say I've got some reclaimed items (read that: curbside treasures) that with a little love and sanding/painting are finding new life here.  Here are just a few pics of projects over recent weeks/months...

I dabbled in the art of hand-painting words onto a sign.  I really wanted this quote in our "quiet room," but just couldn't justify springing for those peel and stick words.  (I'm cheap like that.)  So I swiped the top board that wasn't being used from a shelving unit in our basement, and painted away.  Not too terrible for a first attempt, I don't think.  It's approximately 18"X36" and fits perfectly over the couch in that room.

 In that same "quiet" space...also our music room.  We have these great built-ins which include a pull-open writing desk.  All of our books are kept in the family room and toy room, so this is sort of under-utilized space.  I painted the backs of the shelves in a complimentary color (actually left-over kitchen paint...so it coordinates with the room next door...and it was FREE!) 

And then Emma helped me tear out the desk- stuff, and turn this space into our family prayer place.   It holds our rosaries, and candle, a pic of the Holy Family...well you can see for yourself.  The drawers beneath hold prayer cards, extra rosaries, etc.  It's sort of a private little retreat for prayers, if you will.

This next one is a piece I spared from the curb.  It's an old 1970's dresser (it was dark brown and legless, with a large mirror attached to the top/back.)  that my Aunt was ready to dump.  I snatched it up (Freeeee for the haulin') and added some legs, some turquoise color, and some stain to antique it a bit.  Better than new!  And now a roost for our tv in the new family room. 

Okay...seriously this one came out of a dumpster.  Someone called me from their work one day, and said they had tossed this old unfinished wood display unit into the dumpster, and if nothing else, would make great storage in the basement or something.  Well it came to rest in our shed for over a year, and now moved here, and with a little trim molding/paint/antique distressing, it's a perfect complement to my junk dresser/tv holder.  And fills a major gap in our new space.  It holds all the kids' board games and puzzles out of sight underneath.  For FREEEEE!  (Oh, and I didn't mean to include this...but check out those funky orange curtains on the side...mom and I sewed them (lined them even thanks to some tips from crafty/decorator friend Stacie) with fabric I found much cheaper online than in stores.  Mucho savings there.)

You're not going to believe that someone put this little set of chair on the curb.  Seriously AWESOME condition, and my new favorite spot to supervise the morning circus as I sip my coffee.
The table is one of the very first pieces of furniture John and I ever bought before we were married...had some wicker chairs to match from a super-cheap import store.  Those chairs didn't last though. I just repainted the table for an update.
               Wait for it...this gets better...

Here is the rest of the set (Yes...FREE...from the curb.)   I'm sorry if you're reading this, and it was from your place...you can't change your mind...it's the rules!   I didn't really need more patio furniture, but who could resist free?!   They're perched right outside the kitchen window, and I figure I can bring extra seating out or in as needed. 

Okay...this is leftover chalk board paint from my garage home-school project last spring.  The paint held up so well out there...with crashing bikes and scooter...I decided I'd love it in the house.  So I painted the pantry doors in the kitchen.  One side is my week-at-a-glance schedule, the other side is grocery list/random jokes/bible verses/whatever.  The kids get the bottom half for doodling.  Really lovin' it.  (and yes, more attempts to hand-paint words with the "What's going on?" and "What's going, going, gone.")

More hand-painting...I'm kind of getting addicted.  No, not on the door.  I was afraid I'd mess that up too bad.  I updated the mailbox with a little color, and hand-painted house numbers.  All left-over paints.  Freee.....

So there you have it... just a few of the reasons I tell myself I'm too busy to blog.   Maybe I'm just avoiding things here...maybe just enjoying a different creative process...maybe I'm nuts and need to knock it off.  Who knows.  I think about you all often.  I understand God is still working in me, and on me, and hopefully soon again, through me...to you.  Love you all.  THanks for hanging on, even when I'm a terrible blog-host.


Mari Mari said...

I so remember Carmen Sandiego. Not long ago I found its CDs, but none of our home computers could read it. shame on technology.
Well, I also feel i`m on survival mode, and I only have 3 kids, 2 of them off to school 8 hours/day. time to think - and think about which priority if more important than any other priority? and some times I catch myself priorizing priorities for 10 min instead of getting something done. Well, in portuguese we have an expression that says: lets hold hands and go around the world - used when two people find themselves in similar condition - whatever that is. so, lets hold hands!!

jamie said...

@Mari...thank you. Indeed, lets do just that!

Stacie said...

I love the crafty side of you. So, awesome. And did you see my prayer board that I pinned on pinterest. That was inspired by your daughter. So, thanks for getting me crafty again. And I love all the freebies... You shop like me.

jamie said...

@ Stacie...thank you my crafty/decorator friend! And yes, your prayer board was too cool. Loved it!

Pam Kaiser said...

Jamie ~

You silly girl -- you are so awesome!!!! You are amazing! Maybe what you SHOULD be doing is hosting a tv show showing unique ways to "do over"! :) I am in LOVE with your kitchen cupboard doors. How unique!!! And cool!

Thanks for sharing! And -- don't worry about us. Although we miss you (I guess I can only speak for myself!) I miss you -- you are doing great things. Keep on keeping on!

Pam Kaiser said...

PS Will you come redecorate my house? :) (I'm probably not kidding as much as I would like to! LOL)

Anonymous said...

It was great to hear from you. I missed reading your blog and getting some inspriration. It was wonderful what you have done with all the " treasures" you have found.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing all of your crafty ideas! You have been very busy!

Shelli said...

So what was the fabric website. I've got a DIY chair and table redo that is screaming for a "cool" fabric (as my teenager tells me)

jamie said...

@Shelli...oh, I was afraid someone would ask...I had to do some serious digging for the receipt/packing list, cause I really couldn't remember.
I ordered from onlinefabricstore.net THey have all the designer fabrics at great prices. Seriously though, do NOT try to shop for fabric online...it's nuts. Go to Joann's and look at their upholstery fabric swatches for color/weight/etc, and then take your swatch home with the name/numbers etc and look for better prices online. This particular website was 1/2 of the 40% off sale price at Joanns, and the quality was first rate...came in one piece carefully packed & on a heavy roll. Beautiful! Good luck!