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Monday, March 31, 2014

How Life Should Have Been

You know how you look back at your high school dramas and realize how silly you were being and how none of your problems were even that big in the grand scheme of things? That's how I feel about my problems this time last year. 

My life has imploded. 

I had these images in my mind of what my life would be like in 5, 10, 15 years. Now, none of them will happen. I'm single for the first time in almost six years. My heart is completely crushed. I don't even know how I'm standing right now. I don't know how I'm not in pieces strewn across the room. 

I'm still here, I'm still in one piece, and I'm still breathing. Unfortunately, that's about all I can say about myself. But I am still alive and I'm going to try to get myself okay again. First step, trying to do what I love. Create.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Summer 2013


My summer 2013 project.

I wouldn't say that summer of 2013 was the best summer of my life, but looking back at the clips in this video I realize that it was pretty darn beautiful. I have amazing family and friends that I seem to always be surrounded with. New England and the places I traveled to are beautiful. I'm so glad I decided to challenge myself with creating this little video. It helped me practice my editing skills and I must say, I'm pretty proud of it. Of course, my family adored it and immediately wanted to know when the fall edition would start filming. 

We shall see...

Tuesday, October 29, 2013


So much is happening and so much more is about to change. It seems silly to update half of what is going on. I'd rather wait until everything is done and I'm settled into the ups and downs of life again. For a while there were just too many downs to even bother with trying to pretend that things were okay.

I'm okay now. The extreme anxiety is gone at least and I'm focusing on the good. It's so easy to get stressed and feel like the world is coming down on you. But it isn't. And I'm going to be okay.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Thrift Finds - Diner Sets & Vintage Glass

 The flea market has been full of beautiful 1950's dining tables with matching chairs. Swoon. The coral chairs were around $20 a piece and the aqua set with four chairs below sold for $60. I had taken a look at it during my first trip around the market and asked about it. $75 and the chairs had some pretty large torn bits. But, for a collector with the space, $60 was amazing! My cousin ended up buying the two little aqua and glass lamps on the table, below.

I can't resist colorful vintage water glasses. I got these for $1 a piece. The funky red poodle is actually a vase! I put a gerber daisy in him when I got home and the water slowly leaked all over my desk. I guess the years have made him spring a leak. But, for 50 cents he was well worth it.

The whole huge box of blue vintage glasses was only $5. It had way more than I needed so I gave quite a few to my cousin and am keeping some out to sell sometime this summer. I've been collecting this style of glassware for a while but haven't come across any blue so I was really happy with the price!

Until next time!

Monday, July 15, 2013

Lilac & Sea Salt.

My hair went lilac last week. I was a little bit anxious about it being too bold, but I love it. It's completely me and it doesn't feel odd at all.

I've been to the ocean twice so far this year (at least in New England). It's so calming and cleansing. It's by far the best therapy I've found. This month has been hard. Lots of memories and nightmares. I haven't had many restful nights of sleep. Going to the ocean and being in the sun and feeling the water washes all of that away.

Yesterday marked five years with Christopher as well. Five years ago today we spent the day at the ocean together, too.

Summer 2013 has definitely been different than I thought it would be but it's much better than I imagined it would turn out.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Thrift Finds! Vintage couches, Pyrex, and lots of lamps.

The flea market is still my favorite place to be in the summer. (Okay, maybe after the ocean. But, treasure hunting is exciting and the ocean is relaxing so they're on totally different levels.) I've found some amazing things so far this season!

 This crazy 1960's couch was at the Goodwill. The ladies at the checkout were snickering when I gasped at how awesome it was. Everyone there hated it! After I posted this photo to Instagram I had multiple people asking where it was for sale. At least my Insta-friends have taste! This gem did not go home with me for multiple reasons. It was about $150 for both the couch and the lounge chair, it was super uncomfortable, and it wouldn't fit in the car. Not to mention my storage unit is about ready to explode vintage all over the place.

I found this piece of Pyrex at a junk store in South Carolina while I was visiting my grandparents. Since we flew down and our airline only allowed one carry-on item, it stayed down there with them. Next time someone drives to visit my grandparents they're bringing it back for me! I had never seen this pattern before. It's  called Brown Onion and this one had the original caddy. I think I payed $6 or $7 for it.

I spotted this cool drawer unit at the same junk store and snapped a photo for a DIY inspiration. I love that it looks like a tool chest! It was priced really high, but I think I could recreate this with some metallic contact paper or tin ceiling tiles from the hardware store.

These drinking glasses also stayed behind on our visit to South Carolina. I believe they were once sold as promotion jelly jars. I liked the pansy pattern and thought they would be a good addition to my vintage drinking glass collection. From what I've researched, they were made by Anchor Hocking. Although, now that they are in storage in South Carolina I can't confirm! I found them at a storage unit yard sale and payed $2 for all three. I've never come across anything like those sales before. People rent these units and just open up their doors and have little shops inside where they sell things every weekend.

These two lamps were my DIY project for last month. I got them each for under $5 at the Salvation Army. They don't look like much here, but I painted them both black and they turned out pretty cool. If only I had remembered the "after" photo...

This giant black and yellow patterned lamp was only $2 at the flea market and I couldn't say no. It is massive and the pattern is really interesting. Some of the black paint is chipping to reveal more yellow where it shouldn't be, but I actually think it adds a cool look to it. 

And, last but not least - the belt buckle. I got this for my brother at a yard sale for $1. We are not Honda fans in car form, but my brother is a fan of their motorcycles and has been on a belt buckle kick lately.

Have any of you been going to yard sales/thrift stores/flea markets lately? I'd love to see your finds!

Monday, June 17, 2013

Losing a piece of me.

This post has been a long time coming. This is my therapy session. It will most likely be a mess of unfinished thoughts. But I'm getting them out there.
Saying goodbye to a pet is such a bizarre experience for those of us who think of our animals as family. People feel sorry, but don't always understand the magnitude of the situation. How unstable and lost you feel. My Pitou was my best friend. I know I'll never have the same relationship with another living thing that I did with him. He was special. And maybe you think that's what everyone thinks of their dog, but mine really was. He took care of me when I was young. When I grew up, I took care of him in his old age. 

Pitou had two near death experiences in his life. The first was a mystery disease that my family refused to give up on. Our veterinarian was all but ready to tell us to end his suffering but we insisted on a referral to another animal hospital who diagnosed him correctly and saved his life. During the time that he was sick, I said my goodbyes and distanced myself. I was younger at the time and it was too much for me to handle. Having him cured was like a new life. The second incident was more sudden and scared me to the core. It's still something I don't like to think of because it tears me up inside. Even with both of these experiences, I wasn't numb to losing him. He lived to be 15 and a half and I tried to ready myself it still shocked my system when he died.

I wanted desperately for him to fall asleep at home and not wake up. I prayed for it so often in those last few days. In the end, it more or less did happen that way. I'm having a hard time typing this post because when I start a sentence about his suffering my mind tells my fingers to erase the words. It's too damn hard to continue with those sentences.

(Pitou went through a phase of pink mohawks while I was in high school, as seen in the first photo.)

The days after he was gone were so strange. He was sick for a long time and was really all I thought of. I went to work, but that was mostly it. I called home to whomever was around while I was away to check on him constantly. I had to hold myself back from calling too often. I inspected and logged every bit of food, water, and sleep he had. I didn't sleep through the night. I woke up early in the mornings to rest my hand on his side to see if he was still breathing. He consumed my every thought. Friends and family would ask me if I wanted to go on weekend trips with them and I couldn't say yes, even if they were months away. It was hard to say the reason, but I couldn't plan them without knowing if Pitou would be gone yet or not. When he finally died I just didn't know what to do with myself. I continued to worry about him despite my best efforts to believe he was finally resting. The night he was buried I had a panic attack when it started snowing because I didn't want him to be cold. Being his care giver was hard to let go of. 

A couple weeks after he passed, my mom found a bit of his fur in the fence outside our front door. We did most of his grooming's at home and the bits of fur were from his last haircut, which hadn't been for months. Maybe that should have been a nice thing to find but it was like a punch in the gut. I remember holding it crying and saying "he was just here." It was so strange to have seem so gone and to have found this piece of him. I carry that bit of fur in a clear locked around my neck now. I get questions about it more often than I would like. It's getting easier to answer them, though. People don't have to understand. In fact, they don't need to. I'm comforted in knowing that few people have as special of a bond to their dog as I did. 

I had this portrait started before Pitou got sick and it was completed shortly after he died. The timing was impeccable. I have it framed on my desk and am also having it printed on canvas to go in a frame in my bedroom. (The artist, Gia, blogs here.) 

Sometimes getting these words out of my head helps. I still cry. I still feel like I'm forgetting to do something when I have time to relax or go away for the weekend. I still panic when I can't find my locket. I cry when I see dogs that even mildly remind me of him. I'm meticulous about the neatness of his grave, even though I've only brought myself to sit by it twice in the last four months. I cry when I hold my mom's dogs because they just don't feel the same. I still cry when I drive down certain roads because they know hold bad memories. I'll cry when it snows for the first time next winter because I know how much Pitou loved it. But the years I had with Pitou were worth every bit of pain I feel now and there's no doubt in my mind about that.