we are (now) cat people

Meet Legend
Meet Dairy. Aka Mr. Fluffy.
I like to yell at them at the same time.  Not because they are bad but I enjoy exclaiming Legendary and feeling remarkable about my life. Yes, our cats are named Legend and Dairy because we adopted them at the height of watching season 5 of How I Met Your Mother. The brother/sister duo were feral kitties rescued by our friends.  Mr. W adopted them and surprised me for Christmas (2011). I was thrilled!

Baby Legend and Dairy
We tried a lot of other names (Samson and Delilha) but none of them fit their personalities. Legend sort of hates that she is someone's pet.  She gives me this look like she would rather die than sit in my lap.  But I hear that's just how cats are. She also likes Mr. W a lot more than me.  She'll dodge my hand all day but rub up against his leg.  We call Legend the Turd-burglar. That is the sort of potty humor we have in our family.

Dairy, on the other hand, is my boy.  Maybe because he is needy.  He would rather be in my lap than on the couch..  He thinks he's the size of a chihuahua but really, he is a puma. Which has led to many falls off our furniture. He runs and hides when  the mail man comes to our front door.  He has indeed tried to sniff a candle and melted all of his left side whiskers off. Sometimes I wonder if he's eternally toasted on catnip.

Legend wonders how Dairy tolerates such torture.
You can see me?
These two kitties make me talk in baby voice.  I call them "my fluffies". I remember my mom used to talk like this to our dogs.  I actually used to make fun of her for doing it.

Now look at me, meowing back to my cats.
-Mrs. W


love birds

Pretty paintings. Bad Lighting.
Art is something I haven't "done" since high school.  I did take a few art classes in college to satisfy graduation requirements but my biggest motive for taking them was 1.) I got to spend 2.5 hrs a week with my headphones on, in a semi transient state and 2.) there were no tests.

Did anyone else take courses in college to avoid tests? I felt like I took enough with my regular course work and didn't want to see a test in my electives.

Anyway, here is a DIY art project to add personal touch in your home decor.  I like having homemade pieces of art on my walls because its so personal.  The pieces all have a story and I really like talking sharing.    I also like asking other people about artwork I see displayed in their home.  
"Where did you get that? I like it." 
"Oh that? I made it!"
"No, really?! Its so cool/awesome/pretty/interesting."
 "Thanks, I just whipped it up, you know" If you want to feel like a big deal.
"Thanks, I made it because it makes me think about (insert memory)." If you want to get personal and share why its special to you.
Supplies:  I got everything @ Michael's
(2) 16 x 16" primed canvas.
(1) large straight edged brush and (1) small fine brush. I use CraftSmart brand because I like the squishy finger grips.
(3) colors of acrylic paint.  For this I used Basic Black, Lemon Custard, and Thunder Blue.  I have the FolkArt brand because they were cheapcity (on sale).
(1) piece of cardboard. I used an empty cereal box.
other items you'll need: cup of water, scissors, painters tape, Sharpies, paper towel or napkin.

Basic Black, Thunder Blue, Lemon Custard.
CraftSmart brushes.
1.) I painted 1 canvas with Lemon Custard, starting with a 2" solid section at the base of the canvas, not forgetting to paint the edges.  I forgot to take pictures as I went, hopefully this explanation helps!

Then, I cleaned off my brush in water until the water ran mostly clear.  I thoroughly wet the brush and used broad strokes to brush water onto the line of yellow I had just painted. Repeat this process several times until you've "pulled" the paint up the canvas with a wet brush.  This is how I got the ombre effect.  You might have to load up your brush with more paint, then dip in water to help things along.

2.) I repeated Step 1.) with Thunder Blue on my second canvas. I let them dry for 2 hrs.

I went back and layered up the blue with more color to match the fade effect on the yellow canvas.
3.) I did a Google search to find silhouettes of birds I liked. You could use these for inspiration and paint the birds free hand or move on to step 4 to make stencils.
4.) Trace the birdie outline onto a napkin (or paper towel). Don't be like me and use Sharpie, use pen.

Terribly blurry but this was my method of tracing.
 5.) Using a heavy Sharpie, I traced over my birdie outline onto cardboard. The entire image didn't transfer but I just filled in the missing parts.  I needed to trace the image to get dimensions. I can't free hand birds, mine always look deathly ill.
Tracing my bird.
Fill in the lines that didn't transfer.
 6.) I repeated Step 4.) and 5.) to get my second (love) bird onto the cardboard.  Here you can see I used the mirror image of the second bird so they appear to be gazing lovingly into each other's eyes.

birdie love.
7. Cut out birdies to make a (rough) stencil.

8.) I measured 7" on the side of each canvas and laid 2 strips of painters tape down to create the wire for the birdies to sit on.  I forgot to take a picture before I painted my wire with black (sorry, I got all excited to paint my birds). I let the wire dry for a few minutes before slowly peeling off the tape at an angle.  I recommend using tape to keep your wire straight.

Blue canvas with birdie wire.
9.) I used the stencil as a guide to trace out the birds.  You could try taping down the stencil onto the canvas and filling in the bird shapes but you could have issues with the paint bleeding outside of the stencil.  I went the safe route and just outlined.  Then I removed the stencil and filled in my bird.  I went back and edged out each bird to get the feather details.

love bird.
10.) I gave my birdie about 30 mins to dry before adding the second one.

love birds.

11.) I hung each canvas by hammering a short nail into the top 2 corners and wrapping twine around it.

My love birds greet me every morning on my way to make coffee.
You could give this as a gift for a friend's wedding shower? You could personalize it using each person's favorite color.  Or, perhaps a monogram or the couple's wedding date.  Endless options here, the idea is to expand your options.

I went back and forth on adding a date under the wire. Like this..

Add wedding date for personal touch.
In the end, I liked how the one, heavy image on the light and airy yellow canvas balances out the dark, stormy blue canvas.  The wire ties the two together while keeping the mood of each canvas separate. Oh boy, I say stuff like that because I took 4 years of art courses and now that's just how my brain has been conditioned to think.  It's ok if it just looks right to you as well ;) 

It's art, do whatever looks right to you
Mrs W.


Feel better box

My sister (in-law) recently had foot surgery.  I'm too squeamish to ever go into details but her foot is stuck in a large cast and I bet that's uncomfortable.  I thought she'd appreciate the cheer I could offer via surprise package.

*My sister has already received this package. I didn't want to blog about it before in case she happens to read regularly. Which, I think my dad is the only one on that list. (love you dad). 

I did what any girl does, I went to Target. I spent more than I planned but then a few things rang up on (extra) sale.  How do you say #winning.

The goods.

Everything got wrapped in snowman paper because that's how I roll ;) My rational is winter birthdays, parties, celebrations of any kind between December and March warrant Christmas wrapping. 

All wrapped up.

I numbered each of the presents and wrote a detail about why I picked it for her.

"1.) pony holders while washing your hair is a chore.  2.) face wipes to wash off cabin fever.  3.) To make baths more fun.  4.) the essentials for the day that pesky cast comes off.  5.)  something pretty for the first run on your new foot."

gift key
1.) Hair ties for pony tails that were a cinch to make.  Will do a post on these.
2.) My favorite face wipes Say Yes To brand in soothing cucumber.  They do such a good job of removing make-up, dirt and oil when I'm too tired to properly wash my face.
3.) Vanilla scented fizzy bath salt.
4.) Nail polish remover wipes, nail file, Essie polish in Smokin' Hot and A Cut Above, and man razors.  The man razors because you get more blades per razor for your buck.  Gotta pamper your toes if they've been sticking out of a cast forever.
5.) A new Champion workout tank for all the running she is looking forward to doing on her newly mended foot.

Hope you may be cheered up by something special today.
-Mrs. W


24 Years ..part II

Part I * left off with us moving to Hawaii.

*This recap of 24 started to get too long so I split it into Part I: January through September and Part II October through December.

Ok, that was a bit of an exaggeration.  We wanted to move to Hawaii but settled with promising to retire in Hawaii with a long vacation instead. We spent 10 days in Kauai and stayed at the surf cottage in Hanalei Bay. This trip was prompted by ridiculously low, direct, round trip airfare from Alaska Airlines.  We dubbed this trip our Second Honeymoon (how posh of us).  Our (First) Honeymoon was spent driving from Ohio to California.  The Second Honeymoon won out for being more relaxing.

Hawaiian Style
double rainbow.
the southern coast.
on fire.
Hanalei from above.
The Na Pali Coast (with added Helicopter perspective).
Inside Kauai's originating volcano.
Hole in one!
Mr. Dub's back flips.
en route to the lighthouse.
Touring Kauai's gardens.
Northern coast trail.
Rock beach.
blue water.
sunset for two.
Hanalei, the originator of rainbows.
We moved to a new city which involved a downsize. Our old apartment was a 2 bedroom, first floor unit.  It had just been updated and we were it's first tenants.  Our new place is a single story, 1 bedroom on a quiet street with a fenced in yard.  It took some effort to make our furniture fit.  I'll update with pictures once I get the Christmas decorations put away (I like to leave them up through my birthday for maximum enjoyment).

Right after we moved in and gave the walls some paint.
Our kitchen contained a whopping 4 cabinets.
We moved away from our beloved rock gym. I haven't climbed since and I'm very sad about that. Good thing we are even closer to this well known outdoor climbing haven. It's very sad the park is on the State list to be closed.

Mr. W's family visited, I cooked my first Thanksgiving and we slept 5 people in our tiny 1 bedroom apartment.
Traditional Italian Thanksgiving foods.
Thanksgiving al fresco.
Cheap airline tickets (do you sense a theme to our travel) brought me back to Ohio for roughly 2 weeks leading up to Christmas.  I helped my parents watch my nieces and nephew while my sister and her husband vacationed.  I love being an auntie to these kiddos.  I also reunited with my puppies, Sammie, Lucy and my sister's dog Bailey.  I spent many nights covered in dogs.

The Bean.
Baby J.
My sister with The Puff.
Skyline as far as the eye could see.
Goetta + dippy egg every morning.
Some where in between my travels to Ohio and Christmas, Mr. W's company holiday party happened. It was 20s themed.  I scored my vintage dress for $30 while shopping at a thrift store with my cousin.  Mr. W. borrowed my dad's slacks and suspenders for the evening.  What is that saying about if you don't purge your closet keep something long enough it comes back in style?

the 20-somethings are roaring.
playing El Cap-i-tan of the ship.

I surprised Mr. Dub's for his birthday and took him to Yosemite.  We stayed here and went snow shoeing in Yosemite National Park.  It was the most gorgeous way to spend the weekend leading up to Christmas.
I wear pink boots snowshoeing. 
Lovely wooded walk.
Mr. W says Merry Christmas!
We celebrated Christmas deathly ill.  Mr. W and I experienced stomach flu that lasted All. Day.

Right before ringing in 2013, Mr. W had knee surgery.  My goal has been to be a good wife and nurse him back to health.  But I am human and I've lost my temper.  We've had some very insightful and comical arguments.  The comical-ness was exploited by the pain killers he was on.  I've recapped some of our conversations with him and in his words he "doesn't " recall ever saying that". Further proof of the Lord's sense of humor.
Mr. Dubs claiming the couch.
I'm sure I missed capturing some of the adventures we've taken but I hope looking back at this list prompts more of those memories.
Dear 25,  
I hope you're just as full of life as 24. I also wouldn't mind if you decided to take me on another Hawaiian vacation on an entirely new adventure. 
Love,Mrs. W