Thursday, July 21, 2011

Yikes, Stripes!

Anyone remember that old commercial for Fruit Stripe gum that went, "Yikes, Stripes! Fruit Stripe gum!" ?

image found here

Haha, oh how I miss those days! Well, I finally jumped on the stripes-in-decor bandwagon and it totally got me thinking of that old commercial and gum :)

Although, my stripes aren't as colorful as the gum. I went for a more muted stripe effect on something in our master bedroom:

The shades on our wall-mounted sconces (I finally installed them and checked that to-do off my master bedroom list!).

It's hard to tell in the photo above and below, but the shades were a deep gold color - too gold for my tastes and they didn't really vibe well with the rest of the room. They definitely stuck out like a sore thumb.

I wanted to lighten them up and add some pizazz...So I whipped out my roll of frog tape and wrapped strips of it around the shade:

(here you can tell better how gold in color the shades were in real life)
 No measuring folks, I just eye-balled it getting each stripe's width about the same size. With other projects I'm sometimes more meticulous, but for this one I just felt like winging it, dagnabbit :)
Then I painted the exposed sections with 2 coats of the same antique white craft paint I used in my oar project...

and this is wat it looked like after the second coat:

Before the paint dried I began pulling the painter's tape off...

And voila!

Then I did the second one so I ended up with the same finished product:

Here they are, back on the sconces above the bed:

I love it!

This project was FREE (the best kind!) AND I'm swooning over how it matches so nicely with the rest of the colors and decor in the room, especially the bedding.

So that's me...finally jumping on the stripe decor bandwagon oh, about 2 years into the trend, haha!...Oh well, it feels good!

Anyone else just now getting into the stripes-in-decor trend? Don't worry - you obviously aren't the only one ;) And hey, you know the saying...better late than never! :)


Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Well, I did it...

I completed my first triathlon since 2004. It's the second one I've ever done, and I was easier AND harder than I expected :)

Here I am, still alive after it all :)

The following are a few photos my supportive hubby and his parents snapped during and after the event. There aren't any pics of the swim, which I found to be my best event of the three (it was swim, bike, then run), but it was a .8 mile swim in the Susquehanna River just of City Island in Harrisburg. I was nervous about the distance, but with the river's current, I actually really enjoyed the swim...the bike, not so much.

Here I am in the transition area just after the swim, getting ready for the 14.5 mile bike ride:

As soon as I got on my bike I knew something was wrong. Can you tell what it is by looking at the pic below?

Yep, I don't understand how (I'd checked it the night before and morning of), but I had a flat back tire right out of the gate, with 14.5 miles ahead of me.

Needless to say, fear and doubt crept into my mind saying, "This is it. I'm done. I'm not going to be able to finish."

But then my mind shut off for awhile while and I just let my body go through the actions as I pulled over, grabbed the pump my husband helped me install on the frame of my bike JUST the day before, and started filling the tire with air (hoping and praying to God there wasn't a nail or something that would let the air leak right out again.

After filling and testing it, it seemed to be holding the air, so I hopped back on and hoped for the best. I just thought to myself, "I'm gonna see how far this lets me go and then deal with whatever happens then at that moment. In this moment, I need to pedal."

So I pedaled. And around the halfway mark, I realized my tire was still holding up and I was going to be able to finish the bike, which meant I was going to be able to do the run next, and finish this beast! :)

Here I am riding back into the transition area to get ready for the run:

Even though I was happy to have been able to perservere through a flat tire, it set me back so far that I knew coming into the 5K run I was going to be one of the last people to finish:

But guess, what...I finished. And that's what matters. I ended up having a great run time (for me), and even though I didn't place well, I'm simply proud I finished, especially after thinking earlier that I wasn't going to be able to!

My total finish time was 2 hours and 7 minutes.

Here I am scarfing down a bagel afterwards...mmmmm carbs.... :)

And here's my loving husband who, without his support, I probably wouldn't have even done the triathlon.

Thanks Mikey, I love you! :)

So overall, I'd say this experience has taught me two things:

1- When faced with seemingly inevitable failure, keep going, keep pushing forward. Because you'll probably find that that seeemingly inevitable failure was just that - seemingly - whose very definition is: apparent to the senses or to the mind, but not necessarily true or real.

2- I've learned what a profound thing it is to push your body (and your mind as a result) farther, faster, and harder than you thought it could ever go. Discovering that has given me a deeper appreciation for this sport, and a sense of pride in knowing that saying is true: You really can do whatever you put your mind to :)

So, anyone else out there reading this accomplish something they didn't think they could? Any other beginner multi-sport racers out there like me? Or am I the only crazy one? :) Let's talk!


Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Summertime and the Living's Easy

I've got some summer-lovin decorations going on in the house and a new-ish finished project to show you. I did it awhile ago, but with work and life being busy (as it usually is in the summer) I haven't been able to post about it til now. That, and I JUST took the pictures - go team lazy :)

When I did our stairwell photo gallery, I showed you in that post a picture of our upstairs hallway, directly at the top of the stairs:

Well today, it looks like this:

I took a cue from the other expanse of wall in that hallway (featured in this post)...

 ...and continued the board and batten treatment so now it continues through the hallway for a cohesive look:

(The natural light coming into the hallway here is from the bathroom which directly across from that left wall)

Let's take a look what I have on the wall above the board and batten:

And another angle:

The pictures inside the hanging white frames are (from left to right)...

A pic I snapped in Ocean City, Maryland last summer,


...and driftwood.

Mounted above the pictures (which are hanging on a piece of driftwood with pegs) is an oar:

It's from Mike's grandparents and it used to be a yellowy polyurethaned wood tone. It wasn't bad but it needed some I Amy-fied it :)

First I painted it navy blue and white:

Yep, that's my ironing board with trash bags over it...multipurpose people! :)
 I was able to make vertical lines between the colors by using painters tape for a clean straight line. Then I free-handed the number 9 (as in 2009 - the year of our wedding anniversary) in a light blue. The paints I used were the little craft paint bottles you can get at A.C. Moore or Michaels.

Then I ruined it...on purpose :)  I took medium grit sandpaper and roughed it all up. I wanted that worn look, as if it had actually been used in a canoe race...which, come to think of it, for all I know it just may have  been. I should ask Mike's Nana.

Then I heavily watered down some more of the same white craft paint I originally used, and went over the whole oar for a weathered white-washed look.

Here's a little better close-up of the number after being sanded and white-washed:

So here's the before and after, side-by-side:

Oh yeah, and see the light switch in the middle of the first photo above? I spray-painted the black switch white, then disguised it (hopefully, haha) among the vertical strips of wood so it blends in better and doesn't stick out awkwardly.
Here's a view from the bottom of the staircase:

And speaking of staircase, remember what THAT used to look like?! WHOA.

Needless to say, this area of our house has come a loooooong way and I'm very happy with its progress.

Hope everyone's summer is going swimmingly! Haha, see what I did there? Summer...swimmingly...I kill myself ;)

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