Monday, July 30, 2012

Lady Monster Goes from Drab to Fab

As you might have gathered from my previous post, I maybe needed a bit of a break from the constant and unrelenting one-track mind that the wedding has become.  At the rather persistent and firm advice of BFFJ, I decided the weekend would be wedding free.  I mean, the invites were finished anyway, so nothing would fall apart too terribly, right?  Right.

I'm going to apologize up front, but I decided instead of worrying about the blog, I was just going to let my creativity lead my actions, and thus, I have no before or process pictures of anything I'm going to show you.  Just use your imagination.  I promise everything is an improvement.

It was a GREAT weekend.  It seemed like the cosmos was sending me a very loud "BFFJ was SUPER right about this break" message.

The Saturday I wandered back to Goodwill (who, you will be amused to know, has moved all the fireworks to the locked display case by the cashiers), and discovered that the last Saturday in the month = everything in the store is half-off.  Can we talk for a second how elated a bargain hunter like myself is when the bargains are even bargain-ier (shut up, it's a word because I say so.)?!  So I combed through every single aisle, not actually buying much, but pondering a lot about small projects I could tinker with, and ended up selecting some jute twine, a few wine glasses, some beads, a backpack (for what have become regular walks to Goodwill) and a few stacks of scrapbooking paper.

I maybe also wandered over to TJMaxx.  Because it's less than a block from Goodwill.  And also because my pants are getting a bit baggy again (great problem to have, but still).  What did I end up buying?  Cowboy Boots.  Which are not pants, but are still awesome.  And on clearance.

The walk home I took the long way, and had some time to think about... really anything I felt like thinking about that didn't have the phrase wedding in it.  Which lead me to think about the lady cave*, and what needed to happen to make it a functional space for me instead of just craft storage.  Thus, upon arriving home, I busted out all the spray paint and the staple gun.

First and foremost, I needed a chair for that room.  It's great to have a sewing desk, but I'm not going to sew standing up hunched over.  We have a chair in the garage, but it is a very old folding chair, and it needed a little love.  The padding in the seat had been flattened to nothing a few decades ago, and the vinyl covering on the seat and "back pad" were torn and faded.  For imaginative purposes, I looked up a picture on google of what I would guess it looked like when it was new and part of a set:
Maybe one day when time shifts and these become vintage instead of just old, I'll be mildly bummed that I covered that yellowish grey color of the frame, and that I got rid of the old green-gold vinyl.  But for right now, I'm ALL about the "after:"

The frame got a coat of Rustoleum's hammered metallic finish paint in a dark grey.  The seat and back pad were recovered in an old shower curtain I had (with extra padding added underneath) - it's a teal-blue zebra print.    Admittedly it's a little more on the girly side of things than Fiance would probably prefer, but I adore it.  And since I had the fabric, the padding, the spray paint and the chair all just lying around, this re-do had a total cost of $0.00.  

So then I was on a roll.  A craft-junkie adrenaline high, if you will.  And since that folding chair had two similarly beat-up table friends in the garage, I just kept right on going.  
(click to embiggen)

In rearranging the room, one of the tables almost immediately became relegated to wedding-stuff storage.  But in the future, now that the tables don't look quite so beat up, if we need them for company we can throw a table cloth over 'em and go.  Or if I ever get the gumption to set up a physical KpQuePasa store-monster at a craft fair, I think bringing along one of these tables to sit at with my chair would be stylistically appropriate.

Having had the thought of sitting at a craft fair selling my wares, I decided I needed a proper display as well.  So I  dug out an old, white, folding, wire magazine rack we have.  It looked exactly like this (thanks google):

A little spray paint and some left over tiles from last year's bathroom make-over came into play.  Quickly followed by the cricut (woo!) and one of the paper stacks I found at goodwill (it was called "Hippie Funk"  I bought it based solely on the name). Viola:

Once the stuff from Mexico gets here, that white thing on the top 
shelf should be just right to hold canvases of paintings for sale.

I found myself being torn on which project I was prouder of; the chair and tables, or the new KpQuePasa display.  With such great inspiration in these two new projects, I managed to find the ambition to arrange the room just the way I wanted it.

Before, as displayed by Mac:

 Please note those curtains.  Fiance, you know I love you, but your love for leopard print is staggering to a lady who likes home decor.  Also you should know I threw them out.  Don't hate me.

After (for now):

I'd really, really like to paint this room a deep purple.  But I've painted roughly 75% of this house in the past 2 months, so I'm going to wait on that a bit.  Now, in theory, on the opposite wall of the display/ easel, our wedding registry will come through with a fold-out futon for guests.  Under that futon I will store the rest of the craft stuff when it arrives from Mexico.  And Bubba/ Mac will likely spend most of their days sleeping on top of that futon.  Everyone wins.

While moving stuff around upstairs, downstairs I had left out two new projects/ KpQueProducts (see what I did there?) to dry.   I'm pretty pleased with these projects as well.  Wanna see?  Of course you do:

"fake lace" mask

"Bride" wine glass

I really hope people are as excited about these as I am, because I could make about a thousand of both the glasses and the masks without getting sick of them.

To that effect, and to commemorate the awesome weekend - I encourage you to pop over and take a peek at the etsy monster if you haven't lately.  

And if you're so inclined to make something your own, I've posted a coupon code on the KpQuePasa Facebook page (you should totally LIKE said page as long as you're over there), to get 10% off your order.


1.  Deadly 29 Update: -20, 9 to go!  I kinda don't even know what to do with such awesomeness.

2.  In theory, our stuff should be arriving at the house via Mexican customs on the 1st.  Which is Wednesday, just in case you weren't aware.  If that actually comes through, there will be no Wednesday post, because I will be unpacking.  And then sleeping on a bed instead of a couch for the first time in 2 months.  I'm not complaining, I'm just saying, if that really happens Wednesday, I think you can understand why you won't be seeing me here.

3.  Have you read the Sookie Stackhouse /Southen Vampire series (aka the books True Blood are based upon)?  I got the latest book "Deadlocked" from the library over my awesome weekend, and tore through it pretty quick.  Not as phenomenal as the beginning of the series (I think this is the 11th or 12th book), but it was still a fun read.  To that effect - I'm looking for recommendations for similarly fun and semi-trashy reads.  Hit me up in the comments if you have a suggestion!

*In a 3-bedroom house, it seemed logical that the master bedroom should be our bedroom, and the other two would become guest bedrooms/ personal offices.  Since Fiance's space has always been termed the 'Man-Cave,' I obviously coined my space the 'Lady-Cave.'  And then I went and googled the term for inspiration while I worked.  Fun Fact:  I will never say Lady-Cave and mean anything other than that room in our house where I make stuff.  NEVER.  But google cannot make that same promise.  Don't google that phrase if you're under 18 or while you're at work.  Or just don't google it period.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Blog Hop!

A twofer day?  Kind of - check out the bloghop below and enter should that fit your fancy!


Before "wedding" became part of my daily vocabulary, I used to look at brides who had very strong opinions on very specific tangental points of their events, and automatically inner-eye roll while mouthing "bridezilla" under my breath.   Living now on the flip-side of that coin, I want to throw this out there:

Yes, there are true bridezillas (TLC has a decent parade of examples on their Friday Brideday lineup) in the world and they are horrible.  But a bride with a strongly formed opinion is not so much a conclusion of them being horrible controlling people, but more a consequence of not being allowed to have a conversation with literally any single person about any topic other than her and her betrothed's impending nuptials for several months leading up.  If it's all you felt allowed to think about, you'd think pretty hard in some areas too.  Thus, I have formed some strong opinions of my own.  Allow me to share.

There is a woman on TV right now.  A "Style Expert" in a segment about what to wear to a wedding as a guest.

This expert is talking about how it's totally fashion-forward and 
appropriate to wear white to a wedding if you are not the bride.

And this single thought infuriates me so much I feel the need to clarify both on my Facebook, this blog, and probably with anyone who sees me in person the next few days that wearing white to a wedding as a guest is so incredibly rude it makes me want to punch walls.

There is something really symbolic to me about wearing white, or off-white, or cream, or whatever typically close-to-white color the bride goes with.  Sure yes, there is the "purity" aspect, but it's also that thing which makes a bride stand out from the rest.  She saved that color for that day.  It makes her look special.  It makes her the royalty of the day.  I know I can't speak for every bride, and I'm sure that there are some out there who would care little to none, but if I just spent a year+ planning a giant party for you to come and enjoy*, and you show up and steal that specialness from me, I'm going to go ahead and equate it with being punched in the face.

Oh yes, it makes a statement.  And for me that statement is: Bride, you don't deserve to feel special on this day.

How would YOU feel if someone wore white to your wedding?

WRAAAAGH.  I'm seriously hulking out about this here.  I'm going to have to look up this show's website and share my thoughts.

Let's wrap that bit up with a Jerry Springer Style Final Thought:

I don't care if you wear a formal gown, a maxi dress, or jeans and a t-shirt to my wedding (seriously, I don't.)  However, if you wear white, behind the scenes there will be a very sincere conversation with the wedding party about how to covertly spill a container full of Kool-aid on you so you're appropriately colored pink, or blue, or grape.  There are a million beautiful colors in the world, don't take the one which makes me feel special that day.  Go for jewel tones, I hear those are big right now.
don't worry, I'll make sure there's plenty of ice.
Bridezilla statement?  Hmm.  I'll probably read that back in a few months and say yes.  Doesn't make it any less true/ funny in the meantime.

Kind of along those same lines: the dreams have started.

Have you been a bride?  I've heard this reoccurring 
wedding-themed dream business is common.  
What was/ is your reoccurring dream?

I can't decide if my reoccurring wedding dream is a dream or a nightmare.  Basically the dream is "We're getting married [insert whatever the actual current date is]."

And while I'm always happy to be married (obviously), I always get these thoughts racing through my head:

  • We had vendors on contracts for October - we're not going to get those deposits back now.
  • I ordered 300 rubiks cubes and they didn't come in in time - now we have no favors and what am I supposed to do with 300 cubes!?
  • If we still have the other planned receptions, I don't need the officiant for the Detroit one any more - is he going to be mad when we cancel?
  • My friends are too far away - they didn't have time to receive their invitations in the mail.

And then I wake up. On the couch.  In the basement.  And I slowly come to the realization that not only is my proper bed hundreds of miles away in another country, but so is that fantastic dude I'm supposed to be marrying, so the wedding couldn't possibly be today, and I sigh a sigh of relief & disappointment.

... and then somewhere around 11 o'clock that night, I realize that it's not Wednesday, as I thought in my dream and consequently assumed for the entire rest of my waking day.  No no.  It's THURSDAY.  Which means I totally ditched out on a dress fitting appointment.  You know.  That dress.  That dress which is the only white dress allowed.

*I have always liked being a host for a party (though I'll admit Fiance trumps my host love x1000).  I love the planning and tweaking and themes and colors and decorations and the fun little extras and being in charge and food and welcoming people and making sure they have fun.  But trying to fit in things that make this event ours comes at the cost of listening to people be confused or upset about why it's not a certain way that they think it should be.  There is no way to please everyone and I know that, but there is an inherent need (and incredible stress) as a bride to try to make it perfect for everyone.  It comes with this being a wedding.  

Bottom line?  This party is not for us.  It's for our guests.  I am actually happy I've come to this conclusion, because it leads into our party for us being the rest of our lives instead of just those two evenings.  Though it does make a wicked good case for why we should have eloped and called it good.  </lame rant>.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

A Pinterest Experiment - Paint-chip mobile

Yesterday I stopped at our friendly neighborhood kinkos and got our wedding invitations printed.  Much of the past 24 hours has been devoted to cutting, scoring and folding card stock into wedding-appropriate stationary.

as you can see, I have been well supervised during this time.

I needed a bit of a break this evening though, first because I knew that the paragraph above wasn't really enough fodder for an entire blog post, and second because we've started receiving wedding presents in the mail, and yesterday I unwrapped a Cricut.

If you are not aware of the joy and love that is a Cricut... actually if you don't know what they are, I'm a little confused as to how this blog interests you.  But the basic just for you glibs is that it's a machine which cuts paper into shapes.  Like letters.  And numbers.  And depending on the cartridges you put in  it; animals, party hats, plants, beach balls, and really any number of fun things.  The possibilities are endless.  (fun related fact - my birthday is coming up and it only comes with the George cartridge.  Ha.)

I was itching to try it out, but I didn't have any paper in the house except for the stuff our invites are printed on, and I didn't really want to waste one of those just to test this out and clap like a seal in excitement as it made me a perfectly shaped silhouette of the word "supercalifragalisticexpialidocious" (that's not in my computer's spelling dictionary?  who knew?)  And then I remembered that I had paint chips.

If you've read this blog in the past month or so, you'll notice I painted a whole bunch of rooms in the house.  If you've seen me in person in the last month or so, I likely pulled a ziplock baggie of Perh samples out of my purse while talking to you to show off all the paint chips while pointing to each one and saying "...and this is the color of our kitchen... and our dining room... and the trim..."  And I'm probably sorry for that because it's likely that was wholly unsolicited show-and-tell.

Paintchips turned out to be the perfect paper for the maiden voyage of the Cricut.  So I started cutting out circles, and decided I was going to do something inspired by a picture I had seen on pinterest and make a mobile for above the kitchen sink.

I was really excited about that project with those paint chips because I figured using the paint chips from the colors in the house would make that mobile fit well in it's natural habitat.

After I cut our a poo-ton of paint chip circles, I glued them to strings and then made good use of the very expensive books from my time in grad school to ensure they dried flat:

Then I went out in the garage and found one of the big wire stands that are usually used for political yard signs.  Fiance did some campaigning for someone a few years back, so we have many.  It's a good sturdy starting point, but also redonkulously hard to bend when your best tools for the job are your hands and a table to use as leverage.  I made a *kind of crude* spiral, and then covered the whole thing in the same string that I used for the circles.  (yay covering up rust)

After that it was just a matter of tying the circles to the spiral, trimming the strings, and hanging the spiral in the kitchen before the sun set so I could be sure to have a finished product picture to share with y'all.

why yes, I did crop out the dishes in the sink.

I'm pretty okay with how it turned out, but I think once all the stuff from Mexico arrives and I have access to proper tools I'm going to re-do this project with a one-color ombre effect more like the original pin - too many colors in this one for it to be perfect in my mind.

Are you a pinner?  Have you had any good Pin-successes lately?  
Or more amusing, any good Pin-Fails to share?  Hit up the comments!

(and if that sort of thing amuses you, you should check out Pintester)

Monday, July 23, 2012

Forget the bridge to Canada, let's build a bridge to Wisconsin.

For those that don't follow Michigan politics, the title is a reference to a recent hubbub in the state.  The Govenor has approved the building of a second bridge into Canada from Detroit.  Many people are up in arms about this.  I don't have a dog in this fight and this isn't a political blog.  But my point is if the governor wants to try a bridge with a little less political unrest...

Governor Snyder : you need to build a bridge to Wisconsin.
You may be reading this and saying "Isn't there one of those already?"

Yeah, yeah, sure, but it's way up in the UP (upper peninsula for those not Mid-west native).  What I'm proposing is a southern bridge (see orange line) to bypass Chicago.

[If you are from Chicago, I am about to write an entire post that is very unflattering to your homeland.  I'd say I'm sorry, but you've driven through it, you have to know it's not all sunshine and unicorn farts.]

Thursday last week I drove out to Green Bay to do a tasting for our second reception.  Driving from Kalamazoo to Geebs is a 6+ hour drive.  The plus signifies whatever ass-hattery Chicago decides to throw your way.  Usually plenty of road rage in my case.

That little loop down and around the tip of Lake Michigan got all the more infuriating when, starting my return trip on Friday, I got to spend a good hour listening to WGRD radio.   That's right.  I listened to a Grand Rapids MICHIGAN radio station, clear as day, for a good hour of my drive through WISCONSIN.  If Waukesha and western Michigan are so close that I can listen to Kalamazoo radio while munching on fresh-out-the-cow cheese, I contend that there really shouldn't be a six hour drive separating the two.  But darned if that six hours didn't give me plenty of time to mind-write this post.

First things first, let's talk about Chicago.  I'm fairly convinced that the actual city is about the size of a postage stamp, but the rest of the state has learned that no one pays any mind to anything else in Illinois, so they all say they're from a "suburb" of the Windy City.  Add all those into the mix and that postage stamp expands to take up the roughly same amount of space as the entire surface of the moon.  And every square inch of that is clogged with traffic, construction, tolls up the wazoo, and people who clearly had a unit in drivers ed on how to lack any human decency whatsoever.

I don't know why Chicago has any posted speed limits.  No one pays any attention to them.  In fact, it was only because I knew I was going to write this post that I bothered to verify their existence when I drove through (they're there, but they're still a joke).  There are but two speeds in Chicago:  "Break-neck" and "Amoebas evolve faster than this."  And you know which zone you're in based on whether the other cars around you are moving.

Construction zones are never great, no matter where they are.  But sometimes you'll see people working in a construction zone, and then you can be all "oh, well, they're just trying to make the world roads a better place."  Unless you're in Chicago, a city which during the summer is always at least 67% under construction.  I have never seen a single construction worker actually constructing things while driving through the city.  But I have spent 2 hours playing red-light green-light in bumper to bumper traffic because there's only one lane open which is actually the shoulder of the road, so every time you green-light you get to listen to the rumble strip you've been forced to drive on top of for 30 miles.

Seeing people working in the construction zones might also ease my mind about all the tolls I pass on my way through.  WHERE IS ALL THAT MONEY GOING if no one is ever working on the roads!?  It couldn't possibly be construction worker paychecks or construction supplies.  My best guess is that it gets split 50-50 between building more toll booths and keeping some crazy, toothless man up to his gills in those orange construction barrels, which he distributes willy-nilly throughout the city based upon what the voices in his head tell him would make the prettiest pattern.

I wouldn't even mind how many tolls there were, if it wasn't that every toll costs a couple bucks.  Seriously?  I would totally get it if I was spending any time in the city or the state itself, but I am just passing through, and I can never manage that for less than fifteen dollars in quarters.  Even then it's not just that Chicago is robbing me of my money; do you know how many gum balls or little glitter temporary tattoos, or claw machine games I could purchase with all those quarters!?
Now we'll never know.  THANKS, Chicago.
Lastly there's the other drivers.  I'll be the first person to tell you that I have many wonderful people in my life who I consider "Friendly Illinois Brethren."  But let's be real, that's not what Wisconsinites really mean when they say FIB and we all know it.  I have to believe that not every person from Illinois is an asshole on the road, but without a doubt there are enough of them to ruin the reputation for everyone else.
  • They beep at you to go faster when there is a car 6 feet in front of you.  (apparently I will just magically drive through that truck then?  okay great.)  
  • They refuse to give you a safe amount of space to change lanes... or refuse to let you change lanes altogether.  Screw your exit coming up, they have better things to do than acknowledge they aren't the only person on the road.  
  • FIBs change lanes in front of you, while both cars are going 75+ MPH, with less than two feet of space between your vehicle and theirs, and then immediately slow down  All while you slam on your breaks, scream an obscenity, and pray that the dude in the car behind yours doesn't rear-end you.
  • Worst of all?  When you see a "Right Lane Ends 2 Miles" sign, every other person will merge left at the first safe opportunity.  A FIB waits until the lane has ceased to exist and then will drive another half a mile on the shoulder of the roads, beeping and flipping people off for not letting them into the bumper to bumper bottle-necked traffic.  Here's a pro-tip: the bottle-necking wouldn't be half as horrible if we didn't all have to stop the one open lane of traffic to let a FIB in now.
I can't even tell you how many tiny fits I have thrown in my car driving through this stupid city.

Now, let's not be cruel (er... more cruel).  Chicago is a fun place to visit.  I just no longer believe you should be forced to drive through it if you're not planning on stopping there.

So naturally, we'll need a new bridge.  Imagine how great that would be for Michigan AND Wisconsin tourism!  I could pick Michigan cherries and buy fresh Wisconsin cheese curds in the same day and STILL have time left over to catch a movie.  And you could even put a toll booth at the entrance to the bridge.  Just one on each end.  But that one could truly be "expensive" and as long as you accept debit cards instead of quarters people would still pay it in order to forgo Chicago. I would honestly pay 35 bucks without blinking an eye to drive across the lake instead of putting up with FIBs.  Probably more.  Think of all the revenue and jobs that would bring the state.

And the best part by far?  With Wisconsin starting a tourism campaign to match Michigan's regarding how the state is also shaped like a mitten*,  Michigan and Wisconsin with a bridge joining the two could TOTALLY be like a pair of those awesome mittens you had as a kid that threaded through your sleeves so you didn't loose them.

Clearly this is a win-win-win for everybody involved.

Do you live in the midwest? 
Tell the truth, how much would you happily pay to use a bridge 
that let you skip all of Chicago's stupid roads?

*If you are from Michigan and you are thinking about hitting that comment button to tell me how Wisconsin totally doesn't look like a mitten, let me politely stop you right there.
When I was growing up, Miss Wisconsin came to my classroom and taught us WIsconsin geography by having us all hold up our hands.  I come from the crux of the palm and the thumb, Green Bay.  The thumb, for those of you who don't see it, represents Door County, a tourist trap if ever there was one. 
In my opinion, it looks much more like a mitten than Michigan does.  To fit a hand in a Michigan mitten,it would have to have a super mutant thumb, like Megan Fox.  But you know what?  If it helps you explain to people where you're from within the state, more power to you.  And know what else?  Most people have two hands - why can't the nation follow suit (The UP doesn't count - there is no way anyone could ever convince me that looks anything like a hand.  Admit it to yourself and move on.)

well, maybe a hand after a horrible shop accident...  yeah still no.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Pretend I remembered to hit "Post" yesterday.

Busy week y'all! I'm running to Green Bay in... well probably within the next hour, so this post is gonna wrap up the week for us here at KpQuePasa.  If you're looking for something fun to look at while you wait for me to come back from Titletown, I suggestion clicking [HERE].

I'll have some fun stuff to report on next week I believe, but for now I'm a bit tapped out (and I still have to pack... so there's that.)  But while I'm thinking about it:
The Dreaded 29 Update: -17, 12 to go!  
Of course, I'm headed to Green Bay for a tasting, so we'll see who that number does over the next few days, haha.

Have a great weekend!