…lessons from an anti-hero

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You guys, sometimes I am so sucked in by beautiful people doing beautiful things wearing beautiful clothes and smiling beautiful smiles. I see them in magazines, on Facebook, Access Hollywood, the news and every where we turn. I can’t seem to get away from beautiful, successful people and frankly, I don’t want to see it all the time because I then start using them as a measuring stick to where and what I am supposed to be and it sucks up so much air in my space that I can’t just like what I want to like and smile the way I already do smile. It all makes me feel like I am supposed to fix something broken about me – like I better buy more and do more and say more because what I am right here in this moment is clearly not enough because it does not look the same as what they are doing over there.

Please tell me you feel me. How could you not?

I don’t blame us because we are saturated with all these messages telling us that we are not fine just as we are. Before I start sounding too cliche, let me introduce to you my hero if you have not met. My anti hero. Lena Dunham. Let me caveat this by saying that her show Girls is not for everyone. Its raw and raunchy at times and can even be too much for me, but I’m not talking about the show as much as I’m talking about Hannah, the protagonist.

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When I say I’m taking lessons from her, I’m totally serious. She is unapologetic for who she is. She is often misguided, totally irreverent, quasi childish and often inappropriate. But, she is also beautifully sensitive and in tune to what works for her despite the pressures around her. She does not even seem to let these influences affect her unless it comes in the form of her relationships, which she is often entangled emotionally. She cares deeply, talks bravely and moves through the world at her own speed, albeit often at a zig zag.

I find myself thinking about Hannah in the moments that I question myself or find myself trying too hard or shaming myself for not being something that looks more pleasing than what I present to the world. At the end of the day, no one is really is paying that much attention, are they? At the end of the day, it’s truly how I feel and what I take away from the experience. I think if we let others see our disheveled, human side more often I think we could make deeper, more meaningful connections, but also rid ourselves of the constant shame that we are the way we are. What if the way we are in all of our imperfectness is what will really set us apart from all that is perfectly beautiful and therefore lead us to live a more authentic life? Maybe the tide would turn? Or maybe it wouldn’t. But, maybe we could at least feel a bit more comfortable in our less than perfect skin and hair and enjoy the feeling of wearing something that we like vs. what someone else may think is beautiful.

I get it, Hannah. I get the too short shirts, the wide jeans, the cutout red swimwear, the exasperation, the analyzing, the parents, the tattoos and the cake. I want that cake and I will eat it all too.

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…how to refinish a needlepoint chair from the perspective of my cat

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AAAAAAAH! A large, scary monster come to hurt me!

Oh, it’s just a chair.

AAAAAAAH! She is going to smush me with that chair! But, no. She is putting it on top of the place where I sunbathe. Why would she put it way up there? Oh, she wants me to lounge on it. It’s a lounging chair for me. Yes, that’s nice. Much better than the end of the couch. Now I am high up and can view the rest of the room from up here. She wanted me to be higher than her because I am like the king in this home. How nice. Maybe I do like her.

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Green string? How stupid. I’m not playing with that and she certainly doesn’t need to decorate my chair. It doesn’t even match my fur. Maybe if she could just shift it slightly to the left so the sun could reach my belly a bit more.

Oh! I get it. She wants to play! No? She doesn’t want to play? What is that deep voice coming from her mouth, snapping my name. If she doesn’t want to play then she shouldn’t stick that paint brush anywhere near my paws. Duh.

Purrrrr. It’s Greta. Okay, Greta put that ugly green string on my throne.

DINNER! I will return.

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Blast. It is my brother Owen. He has always wanted to usurp me. Try as you may, but you will never take me down, Brother.

Oh, thank God. She’s taking off the green string. It really wan’t working for me. Wha, Wait. Where are you taking my throne? To the family room?

NOOOOOOOO!

And what is that ugly white thing?

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A stuffed lamb? A toy? I’ve been replaced by a child’s toy? She will not be finding me at the end of her bed tonight. No sir. I may even ignore her for a whole day after this. And dinner better be on time.

 

…how to spray paint a mirror

I’ve mentioned spray paint before, but did you know that it is the way I really started painting furniture about 15 years ago? DH and I purchased our first home and it was in need of a complete renovation. We were at Home Depot every single weekend and working on the house after long workdays every week night. We were animals and poured blood and tears into that house.

We also hit up every yard sale between our home and the hardware stores on weekends. I would buy anything that I could hang on a wall and ANYTHING that resembled a piece of furniture and was in the, well, $20 or under range. We were dirt poor newlyweds.

After literally 5 years of renovations, here is my very fav picture. Not every man can pull apart a mint green bathroom like Dear Husband.

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I cannot seem to find a picture of my first, little side table that I spray painted with black Rustoleum, but I was shocked that such an easy transformation could be made even then. I still love spray paint. You have to go slowly with a steady hand, but it is cheap and easy and gets you quick results.

I found a large mirror at Luckett’s that I wanted to use for my daughter’s room. It was a dull, wood and I sprayed – or DH – sprayed it gold. He loves a good spray paint.

Mirrors are a great item to spray paint because they just involved a frame. This frame is really interesting with the detail, but even a plain frame can be made beautiful with a can of spray paint.

How to spray paint a mirror:

  1. Select a wood or metal mirror (it really doesn’t matter what the material is).
  2. Tape off the mirror part so you do not get spray paint all over it. This will pose a problem if you do and you may get frustrated. Taping is annoying, but do it. We used Frog Tape, but any painter’s tape will work.

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3. Pick out a Rustoleum paint or the like from your hardware store. We used Krylon here. Use a brand that has a picture of the type of material you are going to paint or specifically says it works on it. Here is the gold spray paint that I used.

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4. Promise me that you will not spray paint indoors! You will get dizzy from the fumes and they will not go away for days! Paint outside and try not to do it on a windy day. If you paint downwind, you will spray paint everything in it’s path. You will realize this when you are sticky, the bushes are sticky and maybe your card is sticky. I may know this by experience.

5. You want to do 2 layers. Spray in a back and forth manner about 5/6 inches away from the piece. Go slowly. It looks easy, but if you use too much all at once, it will drip and it is VERY hard to fix drips from spray paint! Once completely dry and not tacky, do a second coat. That should be all you need.

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If it’s an old mirror and rather shabby you may see texture. I don’t mind that. I think this is a really inexpensive way to decorate and it takes no time at all. Here is how it turned out before we hung it.

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What do I love most about this transformation? I love that this mirror was sitting on the Luckett’s porch behind a ton of stuff just looking shabby and kinda gross. And now all I see are those lovely details displayed in a beautiful gold! Ahhhh.