The Project that Nearly Killed Me

After far more frustration and failure than should ever accompany a simple project like this, operation change the living room artwork is finally accomplished.I swear this project nearly drove me mad. It started out as a map project. I ordered a great big beautiful map from amazon and intended to cut it in thirds and glue them to the canvases. Easy peasy. What ended up happening was simply an epic fail. The first canvas I tried wrinkled and bubbled and basically turned into a red hot mess in about 5 seconds. I proceeded to turn into a hot mess right along with it, because that’s what I do when my crafty projects fail. I am a pillar of strength I tell ya’. So after the map and I finished with our meltdown I had the brilliant idea to actually hold the map up over the couch and see how it looked. It looked brown. Not the beautiful yellow that it had looked like online, or the pleasant orange that it looked like when looking at it by itself, but brown, like the walls, like the couch. The map turned the whole area into a sea of brown. Lovely.

So back to the drawing board I went, now with the determination to get some color up on those walls. After lots of time scouring the internet for ideas, I decided to stick with my original 3 canvas idea with song lyrics in the middle. So back to JoAnns I went for a replacement canvas and vinyl letter stickers.And then once again back to the land of epic failure. I measured, drew lines, carefully placed my stickers, realized that I forgot to include the actual letters in my measurement so it was uneven, remeasured, realized that my lines were going to show up when I took the stickers off (duh!!!). It was at this moment that I remembered how every single one of my elementary school report cards said “Jackie needs to check her work”. I guess some things will just never change. Even when I check my work I get it wrong so I choose to simply accept it as who I am. But eventually I figured it out. And by eventually I mean I made enough mistakes to work off of and my amazing hubby came in with a sweet L shaped ruler that saved my sanity.Then I got to actually have some fun and paint away. At least one part of this project was easy!Next up I made stencils out of painters tape. I cut a stencil out of paper, taped it on wax paper, covered the area with painters tape on the other side and cut it out. This actually worked out really well, thank goodness or I really may have thrown the whole thing in the trash. Then I painted merrily away and hung my proud new project over the couch.And it looked wrong. I couldn’t put my finger on it, it just didn’t look right. Too small, too short… I wasn’t quite sure, and neither was anyone else who walked in my house and said the same thing, until my darling BFF told me she read that artwork over the couch needs to be at least 80% the size of the couch. Bingo! So I decided the answer to my problem was to hang frames on each side of the canvases, and since the lyrics are “Home is wherever I’m with you” it only seemed fitting that the frames hold something related to places Justin and I have been together. Cue more time scouring the internet which ended at zazzle.com where I was able to have vintage postcards of places we’ve visited together printed out for less than a dollar a piece. Finally my project was complete! It may have nearly cost me my sanity but in the end, I’m pretty happy with it ๐Ÿ™‚Now the only problem is that the new artwork has called attention to my desperate need for new throw pillows. Those puppies are beyond ready for throw pillow heaven. And maybe a new couch, which will likely mean adjusting all the artwork, so a million more holes in the wall because like I said, even when I check my work I get it wrong… Will the madness never end??? ๐Ÿ˜‰

Sharing

I’ve spent a lot of time over the past few weeks thinking about what I want this blog to be. When I started it almost a year ago (oh my gosh how has it been that long already?!?!?!) I wanted it to be a place to share my journey through my medical issues, my pictures, as well as my life as a childfree girl who happens to love scrapbooking. I think I’ve done a pretty good job on the scrapbooking front, an even better job on the sharing of pictures side of things, but not such a great job on the medical end. It’s been harder than I expected to share my experiences as a “sick person”, to open up and share the difficulties that life with a disease presents. But more and more I find that I gain so much from hearing other people’s stories, that I am consistently inspired by those that do open their hearts and share. Between blogs, forum posts and books (most recently, Michael J. Fox’s latestย Always Looking Upย which was excellent) I have found a wealth of inspiration from others fighting their way through the same medical world that I occupy and felt the need to jump in and do a better job of sharing my own story as well. So I’m making a new goal for myself to share my heart more openly and more frequently. It may take me awhile to open up so bare with me, I am a work in progress! And if you’re just here for pictures of my dog, don’t worry, I won’t be the slightest bit offended if you skip over the personal stuff ๐Ÿ˜‰

I’m gonna start off towards my new goal by sharing the poem that begins Toni Morrison’s new book Home, which is also excellent so if you’re looking for book recommendations you now have two ๐Ÿ™‚

Whose house is this?

Whose night keeps out the light

In here?

Say, who owns this house?

It’s not mine.

I dreamed another, sweeter, brighter

With a view of lakes crossed in painted boats;

Of fields wide as arms open for me.

This house is strange.

Its shadows lie.

Say, tell me, why does its lock fit my key?

Let me just say that I adore Toni Morrison. What English major doesn’t? But this poem may be my favorite thing she has ever written because it so eloquently puts into words the way I often feel about this life as a patient. Don’t get me wrong, I love my life more than I can say and I am incredibly blessed. But the constant doctor appointments, the incessant waiting for test results to determine the course of my next few months, the waiting, wondering and worrying, the constant questioning of what comes next, those are all things I could do without. In many ways my life is better than I ever imagined, but it is at the same time a life filled with challenges I never dreamed I would have to face. There are times when those challenges feel insurmountable and it is at those moments when I wonder why this lock fits my key.

Fun Times

I’ve been slacking around here lately but I’m trying to get back on the ball which means I need to share the fun times we had last week. First, Justin and I went for an extra special date to see the Sharks After Dark at the Mall of America. We spent a little time wandering the mall, had dinner at Stir Crazy (yummmmm) and played in the arcade for awhile (unlimited play cards were part of the Sharks After Dark deal). And by play in the arcade I mean I beat Justin in the snowmobile race. Twice.And then it was time for the highlight of the night, hanging out in the aquarium watching the sharks get crazy after the lights went out. It was kind of like living in Shark Week for a half hour. Yes, I’m a nerd, I believe I’ve covered that a few times here. And just so we’re clear, the picture above is not of sharks, they were just the only guys I could get a picture of. I am proud to say that I actually know the difference between fresh water fish and sharks, unlike far too many parents I hear in the aquarium. I’m just sayin’.

The next night we headed out to my barn with some barn friends and neighborhood friends to watch the High School Rodeo.It is a beloved tradition around my barn, going back to my junior high days. Let’s just say that some of us girls who basically lived at the barn were a little excited to have actual boys come to us one weekend a year. Ah the life of a teenage horse nut…While the rodeo excitement has certainly changed in nature for me, it remains a happy summer tradition. Horses, cows, friends and warm summer nights. What could be better?

BBQ and Cars

Every year Minnesota’s finest cars come out to play for the Back to the 50s Car show. And every year people fill up the sides of Snelling Avenue with lawn chairs and blankets to watch.There are old cars, new cars, weird cars, funny cars, loud cars and even louder cars. You name, you will see it driving by. And every year Justin and I put our chairs in front of Famous Dave’s, load up on some of their delicious BBQ, and spend hours enjoying the view.It is one of my absolute favorite summer traditions. One of my favorite meals paired with gorgeous muscle cars. Summer at its finest.

Hello North Dakota

Sorry it’s been so long, I’ve been traipsing across North Dakota and back. Very exciting, I assure you. But we did make a fun little stop in Jamestown and visited the cutest tourist spot.We took our picture in front of the world’s biggest buffalo, because that’s what you do in Jamestown. Please note the escaped pony hanging out with us.Every time we drive through North Dakota I can’t help but imagine what life must have been out there a hundred years ago. Visiting the Pioneer Village just enhanced my imagination. We checked out an old school house and church that were both built in the late 1800s.The whole little pioneer village was just adorable.And best of all I got to spend some extra special time with this handsome guy.It was the perfect little break in our seemingly endless drive.

12 of June

I’m not gonna lie, this month’s 12 of 12 was rather uninspired, and I cheated a bit. I wasn’t feeling well on the actual 12th so I took my pictures on the 13th instead when I still wasn’t feeling awesome and definitely wasn’t feeling too terribly creative. I didn’t want to have a hole in this year long project though just because I wasn’t feeling great so I trudged through and got it done. The pictures aren’t anything amazing but I know I’ll be glad I got it done at the end of the year when I can look over the whole years worth of pictures and layouts.

Summer Slow Down

Summer.(Image from this website)

My poor little blog has been rather neglected over the last week and I have no excuse other than it’s summer and I’m feeling very little motivation to sit in front of the computer. Well, that and a week long headache. I suppose that counts for something. But I think it’s safe to say I won’t be quite as consistent around here for the next few months. So don’t think I forgot about y’all! I’m just busy swinging on the patio swing and soaking in the summer. I do have a little bit of scrappiness to share today.Hope y’all are enjoying summer as well!