Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Lighter Fare - My Sprinkler Collection & New Family Pic

But first, because you know I can't not give a daily update of some kind.

Today, I'm rocking a mathematical vibe:

Silver Beach + 8 small children + 92 degree heat + 8 hours = My entire family was in pajamas by 5pm and we had left-overs for dinner.

Hallelujah, Summer. I think I'll keep you.

So, I wanted to thank allayall'ns for your collective radness re: my last post. I'm just plowed down by your beautiful honesty and your willingness to ask hard questions and tell the truth about yourselves. It is so freeing. You make me belong, do you know that? You make me feel less wonky. Your thoughtful responses had me keyed up to an emotional mezzo soprano. In the best kind of way. Thank you for trying with me. Thank you for sharing my little words with your friends. Thank you for loving and for making me think even harder.

I have a million more things to say about that topic, so stay tuned.

For tonight? We take it down a notch or seventy.

Because it's hot out. I'm tired. I'm sore from last night's piloxing. And I lost Silas for 3 or 4 heart-stopping minutes eternities today on the beach.

I just need a little breather.

A few years ago I randomly started collecting vintage sprinklers.

I don't know, either.

Here's the best I can come up with:
1) I truly do love Summer
2) I like having a collection to rummage around for (I'm mathematical today, not grammatical)
3) They're utilitarian
4) They're colorful
5) They're chippy
6) They're inexpensive (each under $6)

You don't even know how much angst this collection causes Silas, he of the sprinkler/all-things-water obsession. He asks me eighteen times a day if he can "take one out".

And now, a word on my decorating methodology: I sometimes get skeeved by large stretches of blank wall, so I jump the gun and ask Cory to hang the big, uber-cool "Library" sign over the TV. Because it fits.

In length.

Other than length, it just doesn't really fit. But I already asked him to put a screw in the wall, so...

I leave it for a very long time and allow random junk to collect on the shelf.

Finally, I get the gumption to take it down, and I hang my collage art on the right-most screw.

So now we have a cataclysmic lack of balance and still a bunch of junk.

So I remove the junk and I'm left with total weirdness.

(It feels like home.)

Then, late one night, the rest of the house sound asleep, I look up and realize that we should have a canvas made of the family picture Cory had just recently taken of us. We'll make it the same size as the collage art. It'll be perfect, even the colors. I think. Not that that really even matters, but still. At 1am you just never know what might matter.

Just my luck, canvases are on super sale! Boo-yah. We order a 16x24 and it costs $30, shipping and all. It's a perfect fit.
And yes, the colors are perfect and yes - it matters. Not in the scheme of life, but in the scheme of fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants decorating.
Before I know it, it's almost Summer and I'm itching to do a little preemptive celebrating, so I bust out the sprinklers. In a perfect world, there would be more space between the sprinks and the pics, but it's seasonal, okay? It's all good.


Or as I like to say, Viola! Davis!

 The whole thing makes me very happy. And that's what matters.

But please don't ask why the little #ginghamstyle curtain doesn't quite fit the cubby or I will be forced to tell you how I sew.

Okay, fine. I'll just tell you: Crouch down. Hold your right shoulder up to the edge and extend your arm. Your arms are ridiculously long, but surprisingly not long enough, so add a few inches. Or so. Hold the fabric up. Squint a few times. Hold fabric up to your arm. Add inches. Squint again. Iron edges. Sew the seams. Hang it up. Wonder why it's not quite long enough.

Just for kicks:
Curtains: Bed tapestry from Urban Outfitters. $20/window
TV cabinet thingy: $15 "desk" from Salvation Army.
Plant stand: $5 ashtray from who-knows-where
Plant: $2 from Aldi
Chair: $15 from an estate sale.
Remote control holder: $1 vintage tin from St. Vincent de Paul
2 tiny pictures: I don't recall, but I'm sure they were cheap :)
Lego creation on chair: courtesy of Calvin
Collage Art: Made here by yours truly. This was actually my craft only I ended up breaking my own rules to surprisingly happy and inspiring results. I keep meaning to tell you all about this craft. It's SO fun. Addictive, even! 
Family pic: Canvas People (60% off sale running right now plus free shipping!)

How do you decorate? Do you decorate? Is it something that matters to you? Do you wish it mattered more? Less? Are you by the book or by your britches? What's your favorite thing in your home to look at and don't say your kids because just don't. Also, no pets or spouses. Also, not the Bible because that's just not fair.

I Blame Silver Beach,

ps - This one was for you, Benjamin!

pss - Canvas People links are affiliate links.


  1. Was totally restless this weekend and reworked our TV wall. Nail holes. More nail holes. Hubs stood patiently positioning things for me to look at across the room. Finally got it right and I smile every time I walk in the room. There's nothing like happy design to soothe the soul. :)

  2. I don't decorate. I pin. I admire your blog and my real-life friend Danavee (This Vintage Grove) from my computer screen. I have a "gallery wall"-ish thing behind one of my couches that I am semi-proud of. That's it. Our decor.
    Our tv (old box, not flat) sits on a handme down microwave cart. Decorating intimidates me.
    My favorite thing in our house was from the previous owners - she painted a big chalkboard thing in the kitchen with frame and Cafe' 1234 (insert our house number instead). So I had the chalkboard thing going for me before it became trendy even though I had no hand in it. Lucky me!
    I grew up in an undecorated home, so maybe that's why it doesn't matter as much to me. Although I watched every episode of Trading Space on TLC back in my high school days, so you would have thought I would have learned something. :)

    1. Girl, please just go on ahead and rock that box tv! We had one up until this past Fall and we finally went flat-screen because the box wouldn't fit in the SA desk thingy. :) Our poor ol' box. I loved it. She got about 3.5 channels and the actual buttons on the TV didn't work and the remote only worked half the time.

      This comment made me smile. :) (see?)

  3. I do decorate, mostly wish it mattered less, and as I get older, I'm moving in a general direction away from the book and toward britches. I've found my plan is to put things where I like them, then get all antsy because they've been that way too long for the imaginary decorating police, move them around, get all antsy because things aren't where they were when I liked them there, and move them back. My favorite thing in my house is a tie between books and the picture over my couch. It was my parents', hung above our couch the whole time I was growing up, and now it's over mine. And I gotta tell ya, the first time I stretched out on the couch and looked up at it, I felt like I was home. Love your collage (and that song!) and your family photo is a jewel.

  4. I'm glad someone else measures like I do!

  5. o.m.g. i read the first part - then i had a 'heart stopping' moment. when i saw the 'let me be singing when the evening comes'. my. heart. cry. seriously i may not even be able to ever read the rest of your post. let me be singing when the evening comes. i didn't even know it was my life 'song'. verse. whateva.

    and yikes. to the 3 silas-less minutes. i feel your pain.

  6. Yeeesh, Farmgirl! Finally.
    I'm betting I've had at least as much angst about that sprinkler collection as Silas.
    Love. The. Sprinklers.
    Beyond love the family pic and your artwork too.
    And you!
    T. Benny

    1. You stalk my thoughts these days. I write you a million lines in my mind. It's true. And now, here I am, writing to you ON MY OWN DANG BLOG.

      Why are you my friend????


  7. I arm measure all the time...:)))) Made me smile...:))))

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  9. I decorate...still can't figure out if I decorate "well" but whatevs. I love our coffee table from Goodwill and a vintage trunk from my parents. Right now, I dream of decorating a house and not just our little basement apartment, but I still like our little space:)

  10. Oh decorating. I love it! And I'm definitely a fly-by-the-seat-on-the-cheap type of decorator. I have three favorite things. First, our bookshelves. We have lots of books and bookshelves and I make sure the books are well organized but not too orderly. Think fiction alphabetized by author, but not all going vertical - some horizontal or stacked or perched. Love it! Second, my faux metal letters that spell out "savor" on our dining room wall (savor as in food, not savior as in Jesus Christ - people mistake that all the time). Outrageously expensive at Anthro and a few dollars homemade. I found a little felt bird ornament for 87 cents at an REI sale which I perched in the "O" and then I made a colorful felt ball garland and strung it across. Third, a hand written copy of Master Speed that I mounted on a mirror with a "fancy" silver frame that I bought somewhere for very cheap. That hangs in our bedroom. Maybe I'll do a post sometime soon about my favorite things to look at in my home.

    1. Yes, do, cause I'm gonna need to see this. You had me at "garland".

  11. Total britches girl here. What I most enjoy about my decorating are the things I pulled out of someone's garbage. Seriously, I am totally rockin the drum that I picked off the curb, our town has a garbage clean up day, I get my most beloved treasures from that one day.

    1. Oh, don't remiiiiind me! I want a bass drum so bad it hurts.

      (Okay, now I'm just being dramatic. Must be bedtime. haha)

  12. I want to be more so much more vintagey than restoration hardwarey but I live in the OC (as in housewives) and we just don't have good thrift stores here. I've taken to Craigslist so hopefully I can add some low (in the best possible way) to my high (said apologetically).

    Sometimes I spend whole mornings drinking coffee and moving furniture around. I can be a bit obsessive about the whole ordeal. In the end, I'm a minimalist because I can't get it right. Or the rightest.

  13. Love! It! Your collage picture with THAT song; your family canvas with THAT picture. Oh, it is all so RIGHT.

  14. Favorite in the house right now, a plastic toy cow... He's not small at all, like the little's you see. He's probably from the 50's and he sits on a chippy green side table. The table is just the right height, and the cow is just the right size, that when my grandson O'Henry comes over, you can bet he carries him around all the day long...

    You know me,my decorating will always consist of some farmie, schoolhouse, chippy and now with somethin' metal mixed in, so I can stay current...

    Did I read that right, Library sign...? Made me smile.

  15. You don't know me. But I've been blog stalking you for lo, these many years, and have finally come out from the shadows to comment. That looks/sounds a lot creepier typed out than it sounded in my head. But I'm an Ohioan born bred and still residing (because really, why would anyone want to leave Ohio?), so maybe that'll give me points. Anyway, just wanted to say that that is my FAVORITE line in the whole song, and I have been looking for something new to write on my living-room chalkboard and that is it. Having the chalkboard and thus being on the chalkboard wagon might make me sound like I decorate, but unless you count the Radio Flyer bouncy horse that is in daily use, a diaper box full of books that have no current home, an excer-saucer that occasionally doubles as a side table, and sippy-cup accent pieces, I'm not. I try to be, I have great ideas in my head, my stack of old Country Living and Country Home magazines, and on my Pinterest board, but I'm a want-the-real-deal vintage/antique/just plain old sort of girl with an I'm-too-cheap-to-buy-that budget. (Read: Boy a mirror sure would look good there. Hmm. I don't have a mirror. And darn they're expensive. But I do have this leftover shirt box from Christmas and if I wipe the BBQ sauce off this piece of tinfoil, maybe I can make it *look* like a mirror...)
    I'm rambling. I do that when I'm nervous and well, I worked up the gumption to leave a comment on *THE* Flower Patch Farm Girl's blog, so I guess I am a bit. Nervous that is. I should probably stop now since Proverbs clearly states that even a fool is thought wise if he keeps his yap shut. Or in this case, his fingers still. I'll just go before I crossover into fool territory.

    Long live Ohio.


    P.S. Favorite thing in house: antique lace tablecloth folded diagonally to hide the hole and hanging over my kitchen window.

  16. You ALWAYS make me smile with your words : ) LOVE your style and how you roll, sprinklers and all. I do like to decorate, but have a hard time doing it "by my britches" (love that expression, by the way) cause somehow it doesn't turn out looking right. . . whatever right is. I'm inspired by your ability to make what you like work with what you've got. Well, that was a mouthful and hope that makes sense?

  17. I love that family photo, but my absolute favorite thing about it is Si's little piggies peeking at the bottom.

  18. I have my Great Grandmother's (Mama) clock. It is a mantle clock, and she used to wind it with this little key when I was growing up, and I loved the sound it made. She lived until she was 93, in a house right beside my parent's house, so we were super close.
    It sits on my mantle now. She never had much money, drove a car, or even cared about material things (but she LOVED JESUS)... but that clock reminds me of her, and when I touch the key I feel her strength.
    I would save it first (after the kiddos and dog) in a fire for SURE!

  19. Never thought to collect sprinklers! Brilliant!! I just painted our whole house basically so I'm left to the decorating part...which I've messed up on 30 or so times and have random holes in the wall. I had Jarrod hang a ladder on that wall. Sounds cool, but looks totally stupid so it's coming down today. Two more holes. Dang.

  20. Well, I love it. It feels like home to me.

    That picture is fab.



  21. Fun re-cap of your decor process! :D

    Your recent post on racism and poverty keeps coming back to my mind. Another judgement that people pass is on the appearance of someone's home and thinking that the people who live there just don't care about their house. Most renters are at the mercy of their landlord, and maybe the landlord won't even reimburse for the costs of putting in a little bit of grass or repainting ugly or dirty walls. Yes, a renter could do that themselves but if money is really short, how? And why would you help out a negligent landlord with your own time, money and effort?

  22. I am coercing my husband into building me a desk thingy like that for our computer which will sit in the living room to serve as Tv and computer. A. Dorable. Can you give me dimensions on it? In inches not body parts ; ) Heehee

  23. Also my favorite piece in my home is a card file cabinet my dad scored for free when the college he worked at switched to digital filing. You'd think the drawers would be handy but the rod that held the cards in place goes front to back making them not so much. They are mostly empty but it still the sweetest entry table in town.

  24. About your last post. FAT PEOPLE. I am fat. I have a list a mile long that are all credible sitting in a therapist office. If I told my story you would all nod your head and say, " she has overcome so much, too much for people to bear. I will excuse her fat"

    But nope. People stare. They give you the once over. Shopping in clothing stores is the worst. I shop. I have shopped for my grown daughters. NOT ONCE has a a clerk asked me if I need help. I am not really there. I don't belong. It's not my store.

    I do not believe obesity is a disease. I believe it is a cop out. I was a skinny minny until I started therapy. Life started to fall apart. Eating, was my control. The only thing I could control. And I did it poorly.

    But yes, there is a huge bias, judgement, racist component to obesity.

    Obesity is a symptom of a far deeper condition. Sometimes, it is just poor, choices. Sometimes it is lifestyle. Indulgence, poor economical situations......I mean the list goes on and on.

    It is just another area when another can look at one with false superiority.

    The thing is I am ok with who I am. I know why, how I got this way. I take responsibility. Now I just have to figure out how to undo the damage. And that my friend is not as easy as walking into a gym. It is as complicated as the workings of a computer network.

    I said my piece. Thanks!

  25. I have the same plant. From Aldi.

    What a deeply profound comment.

    I think I've got a bad case of the summer brain mush.


  26. I decorate mostly antique junk with the occasional barn star or twig and berry tossed in. I never measure. It drives my husband nuts. He is the laser king. I used all command strips to hang my decor. Everything has since fallen down once. Or twice. I need a new method.

    Decorating is extremely important to me. It always has been. Whether it looks good or not to someone else is another story. I am picky. I have lots of bare spaces because I can't decide what I want. I am too indecisive. I act like it's a permanent decision as if that canvas is going to be cemented to my wall and I will have to live with it for the rest of my life. But ironically, I use command strips.

    The sprinklers are fun. Thanks for sharing!

  27. I have been "blog stalker" of yours for over a year. I look forward to your writing, and am sad where there isn't a new post--Love your family, love your new home, love your work--love you--and all your quirky-ness. You are such an inspiration to me--both in decoration and in life. Been through your neck of the woods many times--I was raised a "hoosier", but reside about an hour north of Chicago...You have inspired me to blog all on my own--so here I go. Thank are simply the BEST!!!

  28. Your canvas is beautiful and I just love your art project and hope you share more about it! I have said it before but no one can random post better than you! As Ann said above, you are simply the best!

  29. My mom has been curating a sprinkler collection for years! You should come check hers out sometime. I think you know how I feel about decorating. I've decided of late that my style is "modern granny." Check out this new treasury I made with swoony home decor stuff from Etsy: . . . . . You should try to make one of your own FPFG style!!

    1. #grannystyle

      You are the BEST!!!! So lucky to have you. :)

  30. I love you. You know this right? For this post, and that other one, and all the others as well. Mwauh!

    1. This. It made me smile. And I feel the same about this girl!

    2. Me too. I'm so glad we are all sisters.

  31. Love the family picture! And you took me straight back to my childhood with that yellow sprinkler. Ours was yellow with a white top. My parents still have that baby packed up in their garage. I spent many a summer running through that thing and so did my kids. It will have to be pulled out for the grandkids now.

    Your measuring techniques sound similar to mine. ;)

  32. Please, Please, Please share how you made the canvas. I love it and love the sweet lyric that you used. What a great reminder for a tired, mom of 3 on these long summer days! Thanks for keeping it real...

  33. I noticed that you had the camera angel just right to hide the length of the curtain. I am sure that Si Pie will want to inherit the sprinkler collection one day!

  34. That family picture is reeeeeeealy good of everyone in the family.
    You can pull of sprinklers. Why can't I?
    I love that I'm commenting under your mamma's comment. I love that she reads and comments. I hope it's your mom.

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  36. Your a hoot and I love that God is working within you and you share it with all of us.It also makes me feel lil less wonky too!

    I love to decorate have changed many times but always come back to the preserve the past look.I love vintage anything and a simpler way of life.I miss the 70's and 80's alottt! I miss the days when people didn't worry about how much they have or don't have.

    My favorite item in my home hmmmm that's a hard one as I love each lil treasure but my fav must be my French Buffet/Hutch and my Grandmothers Chandelier's I simply can't choose.I have french, shabby chic, rustic treasures it's such an odd eclectic look but I love it all.I think your decor is adorable and works very well together.

    Not sure how you have time to read all your reply's maybe you don't.I sure enjoy reading all your reply's though :)not all though.


  37. I like to decorate. I love to go into a house that reflects the people who live there - their interests, their passions, their history. A professionally decorated house just doesn't do it for me. My favorite thing in my house to look at is my daughter's room. I love everything about it - the girly linens, my grandma's dressers and lamps, the bunting I made, the picture that hung in my room growing up, etc. Love reading about your struggles with this over abundant life we have been given. I have them too.

  38. Love this, and those sprinklers are rad. Also - I like looking at lots of things in my house. Mostly pictures, but also the shadows on the ceiling from the amazing chandelier Adam made me :-)

  39. LOVE the quote on the collage! It's from one of my FAVE songs. Just introduced to your blog today (in my search to make good use of my newly acquired vintage tea towel calendars)... I think we may be best friends that just haven't met yet!

  40. OH! PS, your sprinkler collection reminds me of my very awesome "chippy" metal dustpan that I HAD to buy the other day. May have just started my own unique collection.