Saturday, June 29, 2013

Princess and the Pony: A Little Girl's Confidence

As promised before in Meet Polly, the story as to how Princess and the Pony got it's name:

It was a clear spring evening. And as the sun sank behind the tree tops, there was still plenty of light to fill the sky. As we walked through the field, the last of the chickens scampered into the coop to roost for the night. Polly raised her head at the first sound of us. She stood frozen, watching our every step. She knew what time it was. Just like every other night, it was time for Polly to go to bed.

To keep from foundering, she gets put in a paddock at the end of every day. I knew immediately, that catching her was going to be a chore this particular evening. Our oldest daughter, who is holding my right hand, says, “I’ll get her Mama” as I feel her release my grip. What she doesn't know, is that while she was in the middle of announcing her plan, our youngest, at the ripe age of 3 has already beat her to it.

Without a word, I realize that she too has left my hand empty and began moving toward the horse. I say nothing, but hold up an open palm to stop Raegen from proceeding. I can tell that Reese is on a mission. She walks with purpose, her long blonde hair bouncing around her shoulders, with her soft, silky, pink princess dress gathered in one hand in front of her as not to trip. It seems as though nearly all of the things I've said about approaching a horse have been lost on her. She doesn't walk slowly to keep from spooking, nor does she offer a hand. Instead, she marches right up to that pony with a mighty heavy force for a little girl in pink princess dress. It's almost as if she is angry with her. And as Polly jerks her head up, Reese does not back down. She continues, because this little girl is on a mission. She grabs hold of the halter and begins to walk Polly to her paddock. From where I stood, I witnessed an amazing sight that I hope to never forget. My strong little girl walking along side that pony, with a puffy pink dress flouncing about, tendrils blowing in the wind, and a sense of confidence that I pray she never loses.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

It's a Sign...I should live in Texas

Last spring, my husband and I took the girls on a family vacation to Texas for my cousins wedding. 
While on this Southern adventure of ours, I fell in love with Texas. I loved the warmth and sunshine (something we only get for about 3 months of the year around here-if we're lucky). I loved the effort put into making things look pretty. Texans have a sense of pride that I found very admirable. Things like business signs weren't just plain-jane, looking like every other one on the street. They were clever, interesting, and eye-catching.
Soooo... I started taking pictures of them... to share with you...a year later :-) 

Some were very colorful:


Some were metal with a beautiful patina or rusty background:

Some were odd :

And some were just plain funny...I don't care who ya are!


It's not good food, it's DAMN GOOD FOOD

Am I the only one who still calls people Home Slice?
You know, when you are talking gangsta? No? Me either!

 Please tell me you see why the sign above is hilarious?
(look closely at the shape-I saw flipping the bird, some of you with your mind in the gutter may see something else!

I really wanted to visit the Magnolia Cafe just to ask if they were intentionally being funny, or if it were just some manufacturer's mistake that they just rolled with. 

 This one completely blew me away! I never found out what kind of establishment Mooseknuckle was, but I think it's safe to say that I am okay with the decision not to find out. But really, who names their pub, "Mooseknuckle"? I guess I should have checked to see if "Cameltoe" was next door!

Until next time,
Cheers from TFD

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Rustic Spa Inspired Window Display for Salon Mecca

Last fall I started doing window displays for my good friends at Salon Mecca.
Their new beauty lounge is located on Court Street, downtown Salem, Oregon.
With lots of foot traffic, and two huge street facing windows, their location is prime for visual advertising.

The problems I face with this particular window are this:

1. Size. Did I mention it's HUGE?!?
2. Most businesses that have storefront windows work around the merchandise. It's more tricky than you think to come up with ideas that highlight services as opposed to products.

For this window display, the gals asked that I highlight their Esthetician, Sonja John, and the facial services that she offers.

Below is a photo of the finished product. To get a little glimpse of what goes on behind the scenes, please keep reading :-)

Once a plan is devised (aka my brain goes crazy with ideas swirling around, thus keeping me from sleeping or thinking about anything else), I start gathering supplies. I try to keep the cost of supplies to a minimum, using things I already have or repurposing when possible. 

 The white Chinese paper lanterns shown above were actually left over from our wedding! 
I dipped the bases of them in silver paint then gave them a healthy dose of silver glitter.

I try to do as much of the work on the front end as possible so that tear down (of the previous window) and set up are as quick as possible. Once I arrive, I unload and the madness begins.

 Sometimes I can convey a message without the use of text, but for this one, I decided to try my hand at window painting!

It was January when I did this window, so I wanted it to have a natural, earthy, rustic feel to it.  
The salon offers a tasteful combination of elegant and rustic and I wanted to mimic that.
In all of the windows I strive to create something that is cohesive with the decor you will find inside.

I'm not going to lie to you, it is complete chaos until I'm finished!
I always have a plan going into it, but I've never certain it's going to work. There is a lot of improvising which can be nerve wracking!

For the faux massage table, I used a 6' folding table and sat it on 4 tree stumps that my hubby cut for me.
I then used our camping pads for the cushion and covered with white sheets and a vintage hobnail bedspread and topped it off with smooth black stones that I found at the Dollar Store.

Pallets standing on their sides and wood rounds offer a rustic vibe, allowing lots of white candles, fluffy rugs, and robes to stand out.

I had originally planned to stack the pallets two high, to create a full wall, but once I got there, I became deathly afraid that they might fall and take out the whole window! 
So a half wall it was, and I'm okay with that.

It sounds like Salon Mecca is going to be offering some new services and are looking for another Spa inspired window. 

Any Ideas?

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Princess and the Pony: Meet Polly

Growing up with a farrier for a father, you would be safe to assume that that also meant growing up with horses. My summer vacations as a child were typically spent in the wilderness, packing into some remote location on horseback. Even as a tiny tot, too young to ride ourselves, we were either in a backpack or sharing a saddle with an adult. Once we were old enough to ride solo, we would "pony up" on our own and down the trail we went. I remember singing songs as a family.

 "I'll Take the High Road" and "She'll Be Comin' 'Round the Mountain" bring a smile to my face still today. 

During college, I was away from home, and away from horses. I was doing what most youngsters are doing during those years, and trying to find myself. During this phase, I somehow decided that even though I had loved horses all of my life, I wouldn't need them as an adult. 

Fast forward to motherhood.
Isn't it funny how having your own kids opens your eyes to the things that were truly important to you as a child? I found myself wanting to give my children the things that had brought me such joy as a young girl.

 I wanted to give them a pony. 

 It recently dawned on me that times have changed dramatically since I was a kid. While I write that it seems so obvious...but I'm not talking about the obvious. I'm talking about the amount and age at which kids become dedicated to extracurricular activities! 

As a child, I was involved in sports and clubs, but I can't say that I started much of anything before Jr. High...nothing serious or consistent anyway. There may have been a few who did, but it was rare. 

With our oldest daughter in 1st grade taking Ballet, playing soccer, and enrolled in swim lessons, I started to feel like I was missing out on her life. Here I was doing all of these things for her, yet, all I really felt like was a taxi that drove her around and dropped her off at practices. I missed my baby girl! 

This spring we spent a day at a Ranch (see post here) in Prairie City, Oregon, and it all started to sink in.  
I saw my girls enjoying pony rides, plying in the dirt, and climbing fences, and I started questioning what was really important. No, I didn't go all extremist and pull her out of all activities, but I decide we need to cut back-for now any way. Because for now, my daughter still thinks I'm cool and likes to spend time with me. For now, I am more important than boys. I know that my days are numbered, and I am choosing to spend them differently. There will come a time when all of those activities will be all-consuming in her mind, but for now, at the age of 7, lets embrace the love for ponies and mama's! 

After a few long talks with my husband, we decided we would get a pony. 
I found a 10 year old mare on Craigslist, who was previously used for pony rides. After driving to Washington to check her out, we decided she would be a great fit for our family. 
Below is a picture of the day we brought Polly home.

That night, as I kissed the girls goodnight, Raegen said,
"Mommy, I guess dreams really do come true!"

The idea is that we will spend more time here, together, with Polly, and less time running around.
I look forward to teaching our girls about the handling, riding, and responsibility that go along with owning a horse. I look forward to the time we'll spend together and the unspoken lessons that come with this journey. 

Polly has been part of the family since (late) April of this year, and the stories are already adding up. With summer break now here, I'm sure there are many more to come. Feel free to follow along as I share snippets of our pony experience on this blog. I think I'll call it, "Princess and the Pony". You'll find out why in a future post, but for now, we'll consider an introduction sufficient :-) 

Happy Trails!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Super Easy DIY Industrial Toilet Paper Holder Tutorial

You ready for this?
It's easy. Super easy!
Here we go....

Industrial Toilet Paper Holder Tutorial

Start by heading to your local hardware store. 
You are going to want to find the plumbing section...just follow the guy whose pants are revealing the upper portion of his buttocks and he'll most likely lead you right to it. 
Ha! No, kidding, don't do that. 

If you need to ask for help, you are looking for galvanized pipe. 
I find that the help at hardware stores (especially if you are a woman) is always top notch. 
So don't be afraid to ask.

You will most likely find an isle with some really long sticks of pipe standing upright and a bunch of small bins holding different size/lengths of smaller sticks of pipe and fittings. 

Here is your shopping list:
1/2" Floor Flange (it's round, kind of flat, and has a hole 1/2" in diameter in the center)
1/2" x 2" Galvanized pipe (again 1/2" diameter and 2" in length)
1/2" Galvanized Elbow (look for the macaroni shaped piece)
1/2" x 6" Galvanized Pipe 
1/2" Galvanized Cap
1 package of Walldog screws (this isn't in the plumbing section)
Walldog screws are a screw and anchor in one, so you don't have to worry about going straight into the drywall when you hang this beauty. 

Once you have gathered all of your supplies, set them out and begin assembly.

Start with the floor flange and shortest (2") stick of pipe. 
Screw them together as tightly as you can. Use wrenches if you are an overachiever and want to get it super snug, but I used my hands and it's worked just fine. Come to think of it, my husband always says I have a problem with, "man handling" things, so maybe I have some super strength. 

Ok, moving on. 

Now it's time to grab the elbow piece, and screw it into the 2" pipe.
Once that is secure, add the 6" stick to the the other end of the elbow and fasten.
Lastly, take the cap and screw it onto the exposed end of the 6" pipe to polish it off.

For hanging, I used four Walldog anchor/screws and going through the four vacant holes on the floor flange, drilled them into place.

I also folded the toilet paper all fancy like the hotels do just for you! 
For the record, this was the first and last time I will be doing anything fancy with toilet paper. 
And to my husband, just in case you read this....
Creating animals out of towels is also out of the question :-)

Here are a few other ways I've used Galvanized Pipe:

 Legs for my little kitchen desk.

This shelving unit for Salon Mecca.

A rustic bookshelf for my husband's office (DIY found here)

A paper towel holder for my kitchen (tutorial found here)

If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to ask! 

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Confessions from The Farm Chicks Show

For the past couple of years my girlfriend and I have treated ourselves to a ladies weekend…a getaway to the faraway land of Spokane, Washington, where the junk abounds. This magical place is called The Farm Chicks Show. It’s a place for us to shop hundreds of vendors’ vintage and handmade goods that we haul back to beautify our homes. It’s a place where for just a little while, I am not required to be responsible for anyone but myself. No cries from the throne to wipe booties, no breaking up fights, and for once, I am actually not the driver of the cab. It’s relaxing, and fun. It’s being carefree and catching up with other adults-without interruptions! And as wonderful as it is, my friend and I decided not to go this year.

So, in lieu of The Farm Chicks Show 2013, I have not but a recounting of events and treasures; rather, a story of admission if you will, from a previous show. Embarrassing as it may be, it is part of my past that brings back both humiliation and gut wrenching laughter…still…to this day. And so, after years of holding onto this little ditty, I have decided to share it with you. I mean, hey, if The Pioneer Woman, Ree Drummond can belch the ABC’s and still have a huge fan base and successful career (which I find awesome by the way-that she isn’t afraid to be herself), I too should be able to tell less than flattering stories right? So as you read, please keep in mind, we are all human. 

It was June 2011, and our first night in Spokane. We had driven all day, and were anxiously anticipating the next day’s events. After treating ourselves to a wonderful dinner at Chaps, we returned to our hotel lounge. The entertainment for the evening was that of an 80’s Butt Rock Band. You know the scene…lots of hairspray, mullets, and skinny jeans. While I’m sure they were a great band ;-) it wasn’t exactly the way we had hoped to spend our precious time away. So we finished our drinks and decided to call a cab.

 Look out Spokane!

Unfamiliar with the city, we bounced from bar to bar  establishment to establishment, in search of a place where we felt comfortable. Along our quest, we found what was likely the local “college hang out” (much too young), gothic convention (dark and intimidating), and gay bar (oops, completely out of place). While none of these places offered the ambiance we were looking for, they did all offer at least one drink before we decided to move on (because let’s face it, it’s rude to walk in, look around and walk out). By now, it’s safe to say that we have both had way more to drink than either of us are used to consuming. Maybe it was due to walking blocks upon blocks, but at that point, we seemed fine. Fine, until we finally found a place that was a little bit more our pace. I will spare the rest of the details of the night, and leave you with your imagination. What I will tell you is that we ended up feeling less than parr the following morning.

Beeeeeep! Beeeeeep! Beeeeeep!

Saturday morning came so early. And while neither of us felt like dragging ourselves out of bed…we had come a long way for this, and we were not going to miss it! I remember saying, “Just push through it, and it will be okay.” WRONG. While we did “push through it”, everything was not okay. We had made a big mistake, and we were paying for it. As if the experience of feeling too old to be “out” the night before weren’t bad enough, I am now also experience first-hand, all of the reasons why I am also physically too old for such shenanigans. In the words of my friend Winnie the Pooh, I had a “rumbly in my tumbly!” I remember thinking that if I could just go to the bathroom I could rid myself of the toxins I’d introduced to my stomach the night prior, thus ridding myself of the horrendous belly discomfort that was constantly nagging at me as I attempted to shop among thousands of others. Finally, we decided to make our way to the women’s restroom, and that is when it happened.

I peered down the lengthy row of closed stall doors, awaiting my turn. I remember thinking that I was pleased to find such a spacious bathroom, because if my trip to the ladies room was a success, it would be less likely that anyone (with the exception of the gal who used my stall when I was done-and to her, I am sorry) would be able to identify me as the culprit of the offensive aroma. Finally, a door swung open, and I made my way to the vacant stall. Now, here is where I have to add in that I first took note of the toilets pre existing condition. The water level seemed to be a tad higher than it should have been, and it immediately raised a red flag. However, given my current mental state and the length of line behind me, I made the regretful decision to carry on. I covered the toilet, perched, and waited…nothing. Well, not much anyway. A little, but let’s not go into details on the specifics. Unsatisfied with the outcome, I stood, pulled up my pants and flushed. What happened next seemed to unfold in slow motion before me. Remember that “higher than normal” water level? Well, it began to rise, higher and higher and higher, until it had reached the cusp. Water was now spilling over the edge, as I stood frozen, watching the toilet paper and the remains of my feeble attempt at a bowl movement swirling about. "Dear God, I am so sorry for my immature behavior and excessive drinking last night. Please, please, pa-lease don’t let the kids go over the waterfall of toilet water onto the floor for all to see." Water was now surrounding the ground beneath my feet, and making its way under the stall door in search of a drain. Thankfully, my prayers were heard…or maybe I finally found the courage to move and turned off the water supply, but nonetheless, water was the only thing spilling out of the toilet. Okay, good. That’s taken care of. A sigh of relief comes over me and as the reality of what has just happened sinks in I can’t decide rather I should panic or burst out in laughter. My decision making process is then interrupted by the sounds of passerby. “Ewww, gross”, I can hear them shrill as they painstakingly lift their feet like flamingos and cross through the mess I have just created. Now what? Oh crap! I now somehow have to walk out of this stall at some point and time. “They don’t know you, Lindsey. Just put your big girl panties on and deal with it. You can do this.” After my internal pep talk was finished, I opened the door, walked out, and shutting the door behind me, my eyes fell upon my friend, patiently waiting for me. All I could manage was a fair warning, “You might not want to go in there!” 


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