Sunday, May 30, 2010

sunday funday

I have the afternoon to myself today. The Bub is on the golf course, so the house is mine too. What to do? What to work on next? What do you do when you can do anything? Decision making is not a strong point for this kid. I ponder, weight, consider, analyze, project and worry. Then I decide, then I start. Sometimes I find it helpful to go back and look at old ideas to pick up ideas and techniques laid aside. Mix the old with the new. Renew the old. One thing I will go and look at is a YouTube video I threw together featuring my journal pages from 2008. It's linked in the sidebar, but I thought it might be fun to watch again today. It always brings me back.

It's a reminder to do another one, for me. To have more and more to look back on and feel connected to. Hold me to it, please!
Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

randomness and power line magic

What is this? This is a random page from my humongous upcycled phonebook journal that I will be working on til I am 85. I mean, this is a page from my art journal that I had created a while ago. Scratch that, this is a piece of art that I was inspired to share with the interweb as a result of a blog post I just read. Or, this is a piece I want to share with an interweb person I have discussed before and chatted a bit with online (geek) who has a power line loving son that might get a kick out of it. Or, how about "hey look, a random power line piece." It's your choice, really.

It's amazing how something that seemed random now seems relevant. And how sometimes we all need to just stop and admire power lines. And how children are always the magicians who point these things out to me.


Tuesday, May 25, 2010

before & after: buffy the buffet is a beau-ty!

buffy, before

I acquired Buffy through rather dark circumstance. Buffy had been built by an old co-worker/ friend's husband. Their divorce and scenario required drastic reduction of belongings; Buffy was heading to the curb. She knew I was into finding furniture and upcycling. I just couldn't let that happen so I lovingly piled her into another friend's trailer, told her & her sweet daughter I might refinish it but that if she ever wanted it it was hers, always. They told me it was mine. I'm not sure if she'll ever want it back. That was last summer. She's been parked in my garage ever since and was on my mind all winter long. I loved it's shape and size. As it turned out, it also fit that perfectly awful *nook* thing in my living room that I hate. It would now become an excellent spot for storage. Perfection. My only hurdle? What to do.

Enter: Inspiration.

I occasionally spot something within the great depths of the interweb that immediately inspires. (if only, I'm rather crow like - shiny objects et. al) Enter one of my fave blogs, Knack Studios. Barb has the coolest design and styling finds posted as well as her own furniture transformations. I have to give her full credit on this one. I was so inspired when I saw this piece, Louie, seeing how dark and rich the black was and I loved the contrast of the white hardware she chose. Sweeeet Perfection. Holy Wow. I knew Buffy could be every bit as beautiful and boy would she ever match my black dining room table, tying together the two rooms better than ever before.

buffy, sanded
Enter: Challenges.
After breaking my own dinky sander during the first sanding, many days of rain and cold, some general laziness and the resulting frustration of not being able to find any hardware I liked in white ANYWHERE, I went ahead and got staining. That part is pretty easy. Two coats with an extra-fine steel wool rub-down in-between and after and she was ready for hardware. Hardware, like I mentioned wasn't the easiest part, but by far one of the most important to me.

hardware pieces, before

I needed something I couldn't find; I decided to make it myself. I hit the home reno place and bought 4 plain silver knobs, the largest and coolest I could find, shape wise. I found some for $1.88 each. Score! Next, I wanted a cheap ornamental backplate to match. I found one I liked for $1.37 each. Sweet-ness. Hardware for under $15. I was elated. Once I got it home I painted it a gloss white. I debated whether to paint them a deep cad yellow but went back to the original vision after a day. With the buffet completely dry we moved Buffy in. New hardware holes were drilled, hardware attached and ta-daa - Buffy became my dream come true!

buffy, after!

see? she fits like a glove

hardware, after

hardware, after
Now, to fill it up and style it! I have some pieces just dying to be hung above.
Stay tuned for *Final* final pictures. I just couldn't wait to share my new found functional friend.


Friday, May 21, 2010

another before & after vintage suitcase table? please meet :: blue footed bobby ::

I am so excited to finally share my latest vintage suitcase creation with the interweb! After completing Bambi, the first upcycle of the luggage kind and most beloved of all things I've made, I knew I was onto something. The traffic to that post is still strong. She has been featured online as well as had interest from some very cool websites and publications. thanks guys & stay tuned :)

This guy was given to me in his original pre-loved state by a wonderful man I work with during the holidays when he heard I was into 'the luggage'. He had used it and found it in the garage, unloved, and lovingly gave him to me to upcycle and make useful. Perfection.

Blue Footed Bobby, as it also turns out, is an Ikea Hack. Once I completed cleaning, priming painting and finishing up his stripes with some magic shiny tape I was on the hunt for legs. He's not a large suitcase, just the right size, medium. He needed legs that matched his style and size. I hunted and hunted for something inexpensive and suitable. What did I end up using? The base from my very own best friend of a laptop table from Ikea, Dave. Height adjustable, tiltable and so so birdlike, I loved the idea in my mind. With a little cleaning, some paint and a simple transplant of hardware he was born. Without any further explanation, let me introduce Blue Footed Bobby.

just a little laptop work in the garden, you know.

Thanks so much for stopping by!


Thursday, May 20, 2010

short & sweet: 3 ingredient peanut butter cookies. i know.

The other night my sweet food choices were down to a spoonful of jam or a spoonful of peanut butter. Neither would do (i am no joey) and I had a serious hankering for something yummy. Enter three ingredient peanut butter cookies. The back of the jar recipe is what it is, actually. I was fondling my large jar of kraft creamy pb when I noticed the recipe. I was super skeptical. 3 ingredients? Really? How am I going to hand roll balls from a mixture of only 3 ingredients? What a nightmare I envisioned. My main concerns were about texture: what about the flour, the brown sugar yumminess?

Well, let me tell you, these are the best peanut butter cookies I have ever made. I know. Who knew? They remind me of my childhood. The cookies I used to eat back then. And only 3 common ingredients. And they cook in 15 minutes! Moist, peanuty and perfect size cookies. I love them and fully recommend them for peanut butter cookie lovers.

Here is the recipe:
Heat oven to 325.

Mix together...
1 cup peanut butter,
1/2 cup sugar, and
1 egg
...until well blended.

Roll a spoon sized amount into a round ball, placing each 2" apart on a cookie sheet. Flatten with a fork.
Bake for 15 minutes (do not over bake), allow to cool a few minutes and place on a rack or plate to cool. Place cooled cookies in a sealed container for fresh cookies for days. If they last that long! Yields 24 (2 dozen) cookies.

I keep thinking of how awesome cashew butter or almond butter might be as well. Yum!


Monday, May 17, 2010

music monday :: stuck on USS ::

it's true. i'm stuck. on USS. today anyway. remember that post a few weeks ago? yah. well, it's stuck in my mind so i'm going with it. Laces Out makes me want to dance in a packed sweaty bar and/or drive a car that handles well really fast. Hollowpoint Snyper Hyperbole has a similar affect. what's not to love about that, this monday? just go and press play. trust me. really...

happy monday!

Friday, May 14, 2010

drawing comfort

When I feel a funk surround me I try and keep my brain occupied. Episodes of Top Chef online provide the neutral soundtrack for the day. Drawing keeps the other nattering parts busy too; distracted, it seems. My natural tendency is to draw circles. My new Sakura gel markers were a natural progression. Pages of circles. For me it's fulfilling in a completely pointless, non-functionary way. Comfort doodling, if you will.

Care to share? What do you comfort doodle?


Monday, May 10, 2010

music monday :: Sarah Slean

Happy Monday all! Here's hoping you each had a nice yesterday that included some warm mom moments. From the looks of things on Twitter and in the blog posts so far, it seems everyone else sure had greats days too. Mine sure was fun. We made dinner for my mom and celebrated her day. She got an original framed little p. from me, (she squealed) and a new three wheeler bike she got a couple weeks ago. It's purple. With a basket on the back. She is badass on it. You should hear her talk about her love of it. Yay us! Ok. Onward.
I had no idea what I would want to listen to this morning, so I just picked an old fave out of my music playlist on youtube and went with it. Enter, Sarah Slean.
You might be familiar with her music or name, you might not. Sarah Slean is Canadian, from the Toronto region, and someone I found by chance when she opened for Alanis at the NAC in what feels like a lifetime ago. Ok, 6 or 7 years ago. Regardless, it was her songbird voice, her emotion in her lyrics, the way she played the piano, the cabaret feel to her original style that immediately hooked me back then. I still love it today. Here's Lucky Me, the first song she played that night. Give it a whirl.

And you're sad, and you're sorry
Let it all out what are you running for?
This is your chance, be ready
I'm taking my seat o Lucky Me

Next, Day One, an animated video that i always enjoy a peek at. I just love this song. I do. Day One. What's not to love?!

I put my head back
Where it belongs up there in the clouds
I’m spreading love like
a terrorist now

Lastly, and perhaps my fave, is Sweet Ones. It's amazing to see live. Girl can bang on the piano and belt out a great song with the best of them, I say. Just try it. Go on.

They're counting on a guilty conscience to save you
But I'm bankin' on the deep blue eyes and the face too
They always said, always said, always said you were easy, oh . . .
Oh if I could have just one piece of that I'd be
Sold Over. . .

So that's what I've been listening to this morning. I hope you have a great day! If not, re-play Day One a couple times or check out last week's Music Monday post for my all time fave day-brightener.


Sunday, May 9, 2010

♥ mamas ♥

just a quick little post to say Happy Mother's Day to all people who act in a motherly way towards another thing; you mother and you sure matter.

and to my own mama, the woman i thank the universe for every day. thank you for your love.

here's to you!

with love, leel

Saturday, May 8, 2010

that bloody book challenge

So, the 52 Books in 52 Weeks challenge. It's still on, even if I am a couple weeks/books behind. But those weekly book report posts I had visualized as anticipatory? Yah, those have morphed into something more like dread. I am not a book reviewer, not do I ever aspire to be one. I like to read, I like to read new things. That's where it ends. So, from now on I am going to just list the book, perhaps a few lines, and leave it at that. I don't want to dread this challenge, just enjoy it.

So there you have it. I will be updating my Shelfari Bookshelf (see it in the sidebar there -> ?) to be more up to date. Feel free to browse it. It's a cool application.

The last 52 Books post was for the 4th book. Here are the books that followed it:

5 - Dispatches from the Edge; a Memoir of War, Disasters & Survival. Anderson Cooper
6 - Things Fall Apart. Chinua Achebe
7 - The Lost Garden. Helen Humphreys
8 - The Glass Castle. Jeannette Walls
9 - The Gum Thief. Douglas Coupland
10 - Traveling With Pomegranates; a mother -daughter story. Sue Monk Kidd & Ann Kidd Taylor
11 - Nights Below Station Street. David Adams Richards
12 - When All You Have is Hope. Frank O'Dea
13 - Ellen Foster. Kaye Gibbons
14 - The Life All Around Me by Ellen Foster. Kaye Gibbons

I am choosing book 15 as we speak. I have been finding a tonne of books on my little treaure hunts, Value Village seems to continually have great finds! I highly recommend checking out their book section before going anywhere else.

So there you have it. A catch-up post on that bloody book challenge. Phew. I feel better already!
Happy Saturday!


Friday, May 7, 2010

it's ♥ i forgot this ♥ friday

I won't lie, I was super excited to find my vintage luggage upcycle project included in a Lovely Luggage blog post by Sarah from Toodles back in April. I meant to share it when I found it a few weeks ago but, shocker, I got busy outside and forgot. Until now that is!

See that?! Recognize the black table, #1 in the picture? (I know! It's my little Bambi!!)

I have since been poking through Sarah's blog and her posts are really quite amazing. Anyone who likes to peruse style and design ideas as much as I do will be sure to appreciate her clever sense of style and editing. Go check it out!

Happy Friday all!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

random drawing: little p.

when i sit down to draw i usually have no idea what will appear.
sometimes it's shapes or patterns of colour, sometimes leaves or flowers or skies.
yesterday i sat down with sketch pad and pencil in hand and gradually this little man appeared.
i have no idea where he came from, but i love him already.
i call him little p.

welcome, little p.!


Tuesday, May 4, 2010

creativity update

Creativity has been alive and well in these parts since the arrival of the early spring. My process involves brainstorming, contemplating, logistics, multiple phases and rest periods. This works well for me since I like to work on a variety of projects at a time. When one project is ending, I contemplate the beginning of a new one entering the circle. None of this 'start one thing, don't put it down or work on anything else until it's completed' for me. I just don't work that way. i need to step back from a piece continually before it's completed. Fresh eyes are mandatory.

So what's the creative cycle look like for me right now? Something like this:

One small vintage suitcase table transformation nearing completion, but in need of the *perfect* legs. I will know them when I see them in my treasure hunts this week. Patience is key. I always find what I want, I just need to keep looking.

One vintage travel case conversion. I see this little guy with striped sides soon, and a fancy shiny top. I might like him as-is, without legs since he looks like a perfect little traveling art supply tickle trunk. Much better than the mandarin crate I drag around the house right now. I'm sure my husband will agree. So this is what it looks like now, with a base coat of gloss black.

One large vintage suitcase table in decision making mode. I love the green base coat, just thinking about what colours to use as accents and where/how I will use them. I'm not sure if I'm going to stripe this one or make the sides and top contrasting colours. Like I said, decision mode.

one pencil drawing practice exercise. I really want to work on my drawing skills and then move them into paintings. I don't do this enough. I find myself interested in honing some of those skills I've put on the back shelf for so long. I'm really enjoying the quiet simplicity of pencil and eraser, I must admit.

As well, there is the ever present ponder able buffet piece in my garage awaiting repair and a final sanding before I stain it (black!) and move it into the (awkward) main floor. I am still on the hunt for the perfect hardware for it. This is turning into a hunt of it's own. Stay tuned!

So that's what I have been up to creativity wise. I am having a blast between these guys and the gardens. I will be updating with some pics about my spanktastic b-day and the gardens later this week.

Thanks for popping by & Happy Tuesday!


Monday, May 3, 2010

music monday ♥ first love ♥

i got thinking about earliest memories and the music of my childhood. my soundtrack. musical roots.
my earliest memory of music is swift but vivid. i was in the back seat of my parents car - I remember it was yellow, with warm black bucket seats, that kind that left a woven impression on your legs. my mom was driving, the window was open, the sun shone in and she was singing this song as it played on the radio.
i still remember it like it was yesterday when i hear this song. a moment caught in a song's web. i never tire of it, my first love. it's my little happy go to place.

so, do tell, what are your first memories of music? do you still love them like I do mine? happy monday!


Sunday, May 2, 2010

night whites

the flowers around the yard this spring are all early.
the crabapple tree blooms as i type this, the first time for my birthay. i love it.
i have a lot of white in the back gardens; a night garden effect, they call it.
the whites shine bright at night, allowing the gardens that line the yard to come alive from our deck in the darkness.
i love photographing white. i just do. the colours that emerge and reflect when you look deeper always surprise and delight. here are a few i have been playing with. i can't stop looking at them!




happy sunday!


Saturday, May 1, 2010


today is the day i was born, 37 years ago. 1973.
i had a name. it was Tina Fuller. nobody except my mother knew it though.
she never touched me, she says, just saw my face as i was rushed out of the room.
for a while i lived in the hospital.
for a few weeks i lived with foster parents.
i wish i knew what they called me. who they were.
one day in late june i became Keeley D.
became part of my family.
i married and kept that name.
it is who i am.
but i always wonder about Tina.
and that other baby, who had another name for a few weeks.
and the father who knows nothing of any of it.
this year i really want to say happy birthday to them all.
i'm not sad. i mean, i love my life. my adoptive family. my husband.
i celebrate this day. but i do wonder about it all for a few moments on this day every year.



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