Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Therapy donates to charity!

Therapy studded shoulder bag
I absolutely love this fabric.

Every year the Children's Orthopaedic Society hosts their Annual International Culinary Affair.  Attendees tantalize their taste buds and sweeten the senses by enjoy an evening of food and wine tasting while listening to the sweet sounds of local musician Junior Vasquez.  

All proceeds benefit the children and families of west texas and eastern New Mexico.  The Children's Orhtopaedic Society has provided countless families with food and gas vouchers, spica cast car seats which are in most cases too expensive for families to purchase on their own (the cost of a spica cast car seat is $600), and an ultrasound machine for the Children's Orthopaedics of Lubbock "COOL" clinic.  This ultrasound machine now makes it possible for families to receive ultrasounds in the COOL clinic at the time of the visit instead of having to pay for a separate visit at another facility.  This is more convenient and cost effective for patients.  Many patients that visit the COOL clinic in Lubbock, TX are from around the area and must travel to visit the clinic and receive healthcare.  Providing the ultrasound in the clinic helps these families avoid additional costs.

This year I have made a special Therapy item for the International Culinary Affair silent auction.  I am donating this blue tie died bag with studded details.  I love this bag so much I just might have to bid on it!  

Here are a few pics from the COOL clinic.  Notice the handsome doctor?  Yeah, he's awesome.  So awesome I married him :).

A Texas Tech Red Raider patient visiting the COOL clinic.
Dr. Gutheil performing surgery on a COOL patient. 
This little boy is so sweet and such a fantastic patient.
I encourage you all to volunteer in your community.  What a difference it makes in those lives that need a little help.  Get out there and volunteer at a church or school, or your local hospital.  There are countless organizations looking for people to donate their time and talents!  The reward you will feel personally is priceless. 

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Taking a "Chance"...

Blarney Stone Equestrian Center

Do you ever have a moment in your life where you just need something?  You don't know what it is.  You can't quite put your finger on it, but it's something.  And, it's there.  Always there.  Even when you have everything you could ever wish for.  I had finally come to a point in my life where I knew who I was, I knew what I wanted, and I was happy.  My wonderful husband and I had three amazing kiddos, our lives were filled with so much love and laughter.  Life was great.  But, still there was something calling me.

Was it a quarter-life crisis, a bored housewife thing, or was it just that I knew there was something else in me?  Maybe it was a little bitta' all of it.  I don't know.  All I know is I finally found what that something was and I've never been so grateful.  For me this something turned out to be horseback riding.  I think at some point or another every little girl dreams of pink ponies and riding on a rainbow.  We look at horses and imagine that we are a princess.  It is a very enchanting thing those horse dreams.

I remember having them as a little one.  I used to beg my mom for a horse.  I think she, like so many other parents, just thought it was a phase.  Well, if it was a phase I've never grown out of it.  And, I finally got to the point in my life where I had the time and the means, and finally the guts to try it out.  And, I had my husband cheering me on encouraging me to go for it!    

Every person needs a place where they can be themselves.  A place that brings out the best in you and makes you work out the worst in you, a place where you can vent.  For some it may be a gym, a yoga studio, or a pottery class.  For me this place is the Blarney Stone Equestrian Center.  I had been referred to Blarney Stone by a college friend of mine who was also a wife and mother.  She was such an inspiration to me.  I wasn't aware at the time that so many life lessons were about to come to me in the form of a horse.  The horse that was about to start teachin' those lessons was a horse named Chance.  A fitting name really.  Because, Lord knows this horse has taken a big chance on me.  

His name is Chance, but to me he is known as Sir Chancelot.  I met this horse July 2011.    I'll never forget the first time I met him.  It was a hot west texas summer day, my heart was racing, and I was scared to death.  There I was, 33, a mother of 3, and wife to the most amazing man I've ever met.  There I was, being introduced to this beast that I was to brush, hoof pick, saddle, climb on, and then tell him what to do.  I was so impressed by my instructor's faith in me.  Her name is Kathleen O'Shea.  Kathleen is the kind of woman you can trust but you don't ever cross her.  She is an amazing horsewoman, but also a pretty incredible human being.  Her patience and encouragement has meant so much to me.

After I finished brushing Chance I saddled him up and got on. As I got on him I remember thinking "What the hell am I doing?  What is wrong with me?  I have children and a husband who count on me, and here I am doin' my damndest to get myself hurt. Or worse!  I really need to get some help."  But, I also knew at that moment it was a turning point in my life.  I had finally done something I had always wanted to do.  And, I was never more scared or more excited to learn something new.  Even if it turned out I was terrible at it, I could say that I'd given it a try and I'd given it my all. 

I must have looked like one of those test drive dummies the first time I rode that horse.  I said to Kathleen "I may have looked like an idiot, but that sure felt good!"  Maybe it was a bit of a surprise to both of us when I showed up the following week for my next lesson.  Then it turned into two lessons a week.  And now, if it were up to me I'd go every day.  

I am so grateful for this "Chance" I took.  I'm so grateful that I finally had the guts to do it, and I'm so grateful that there was this wonderful place for me to go and be myself and fulfill a lifelong dream.  I've learned so much about the horse world.  But, I've learned even more about myself.  I've learned that I have to give myself a break- I can't always be perfect, I cannot control every situation, I've learned that I'm tougher than I thought I was, learned to really stand up for myself and what I believe in, that it's NEVER too late to try something new, and most of all I think I've learned to learn from my mistakes.  Lessons I will never forget.

Take a chance.  At least you wont ever have to wonder "what if?"  I took that chance, and I'm a better person for it.  I'll never be the same and I'm so grateful for that.  And, as it turns out, I'm actually a pretty damn good cowgirl. 

Sir Chancelot and me.
Chancelot and Miss Lily



Monday, January 16, 2012

DIY Wrought Iron Picture Hanger with Upcycled Frames

Wrought iron picture hanger with revamped frames.

My theme is black and white.  But this would look so pretty in other colors too.  The options are endless!

According to author's William McDonough and Michael Braungart from the book Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things, "Upcycling is the practice of taking something that is disposable and transforming it into something of greater use and value." 

Just reading the definition gives me a pronounced sense of hope and therapy.

Upcycling is not just a form of creating art.  It is a lifestyle.  Take what you have and work with it.  How many aspects in our life could we make easier if we would just take this ideal into practice?  This is my mantra for 2012.    

I tell you that story to tell you this story.  I don't know about you, but I kind of go nuts when Hobby Lobby puts their wrought iron on sale for 50% off.  Something about lovely scrolled pieces of wrought iron appeals to the old euro side of me.  I was so sure about my affinity for these lovely scroll pieces and so turned on by their slashed-in-half price tags, that I ended up with waaay too many over the years.  I also have a slew of mismatched photo frames that I've collected throughout the years.  Upon the great home redo of 2011-2012, and my new 2012 upcycle life mantra, I decided to put all of my home decor pieces to re-use.  I refused to buy new things...unless expressly needed.  Especially picture frames!  

One thing I really wanted to do in the home redeco project was display more of our family pictures on the walls with color matching frames.  My color of obsession right now is black.  The space in these pictures is of a built-in hutch in our kitchen.  It is a perfect place for a drink or dessert bar.  And, also a perfect little spot to show off pics of the fam.  

I wanted to incorporate the wrought iron as a sort of picture hanger.  As mentioned before, I have stacks of mismatched frames.  In my efforts to upcycle things, a few months ago I purchased about five cans of black spray paint and begun revamping all of the picture frames I had hung onto over the years.  Even thought they were of all different sizes I could still use them together if they were at least the same color.  

To make my new picture display I hung the wrought iron on the wall, then hung the pictures by additional nails and black ribbon.  The display turned out beautifully!  To keep with the black and white theme I also printed the pictures in black and white.  

Now when I'm at the island preparing food or working on a project this is what I see each time I look up.  I am so happy with the new display, and even happier with my new philosophy on art and life of upcycling.

Revamped picture frames.

Hang pictures with ribbon tied at the end with its own nail so that you don't pull on wrought iron piece.

Love my little redone space!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Red Wagon Ride!

Will Pie the Crazy Guy out for a red wagon ride!

Tinker was having a grand ole' time!

These two babies love each other so much.  I'm so incredibly blessed.

Yesterday was an exquisite day outside.  The babies were getting a little cabin fever so I decided it was time to break out the red wagon and take it for a spin!  They crawled on in and daddy went to pullin'.  They had such a wonderful time!  

So grateful for moments like these.  We were laughing and singing and then at the end of our little adventure they hugged it out.  My little Will Pie and Tinker make life so sweet...

Saturday, January 14, 2012

DIY Fabric Pin Board

My new studio pin board

 My sewing studio is my sanctuary.  Unfortunately proceeding the holidays it had also become one BIG hot mess.  It was like a sewing room would look after spending spring break in Cancun.  Hungover.  

So, I decided to spiff up the ole' place and give it a little touch up.  Think botox meets sewing studio.  The first thing that had to be done was the place had to be cleaned up, things put away, and I was in desperate need of a new style/pin board.  Something to pin my ideas to and display pictures of my loved ones.  

My poor sewing studio post Christmas.  Disaster.
A little nip-tuck and new pin board later and we're back in bidness!

Here is what I came up with and how.  This DIY fabric pin board was so easy to make and it only cost maybe $8.  This would be a great project for younger kiddos to work on, or is a great first time project for new diy'ers to try.  And, what a fabulous gift this would make for anyone!  The custom options are endless.  

Cork board or magnet board.  The one I used is both.  Found it on sale at JoAnn's for $7
Fabric you want to cover board with
Stud details- you can use furniture grommets or push pins (push pins are what I used.  They were what I had on hand, and you can use the remaining ones to pin things to your board.)
Hot glue gun or staple gun
Picture hanging wire (optional)

1. Cut a piece of fabric big enough to cover your board and fold behind to glue or staple in place

2. Place fabric right side down and place board right side down on top of fabric

3. Glue or staple one side of your board.

4. Begin gluing the other side of your board while gently pulling the fabric to make sure that it is tight and not loose once the board is finished.

5. In order to not fully cover board hangers just tuck the fabric under and around the hangers. 

6. Finish gluing or stapling the rest of your board being sure to pull lightly on the fabric as you attach it in place.  

7. If you prefer to hang your board by wire instead of having to measure for two holes on your wall, attach your hanging wire to the back of your board between the two hangers.  I gently lifted the attached hangers with a craft knife to allow room for the wire to go through.

8.  Now that your board is completely covered you are ready to put your decorative studs on it!

9. Place your ruler next to the edge of one side of your board.  Measure how far apart you want your studded details and begin placing them.  I did mine 2" apart. 

10.  Start pinning things to your board and enjoy the awesomeness that you've created!

A little piece of DIY awesomeness at my work station.

Monday, January 9, 2012

First Reader Giveaway!

Therapy, Card and Money Carryall
First subscriber giveaway!
In celebration of my first two subscribers, Paige Henderson and Christy Morrison will both receive a Therapy Card and Money Carryall!  These little cuties hold so much stuff!  I keep my business cards in mine and transfer my i.d., credit cards, and money to it when I'm using one of my smaller purses.  They're also the perfect size to throw in the pocket of a baby bag or work bag.  The secure snap holds all of your important goodies in place.  

Thank you, ladies, for subscribing to my blog!  I appreciate the support!  Let us know how you like your Therapy card holders.     

Check out my shop at etsy for these little guys and lots of other cool stuff: Therapy on etsy

Window Mirror DIY

My DIY Mirror Creation After

During the great "French Country" home redecoration project of 2011-2012 one of the main projects was going to be the living room mantel.  Because the room is very long but not wide I knew I wanted to go with a mirror above the fireplace to create the feeling of more space.  I found this gorgeous Jill Mirror at Ballard Design, but yikes, the price tag was $400.   In our home there are mirrors all over the place- my attempt at creating more light space.  So, I decided to take a mirror from the foyer and turn it into something similar to the Ballard mirror for over the fireplace.  $5 worth of supplies and an afternoon later, voila!  It turned out better than I could have hoped for!  Here are the steps and tools I used:

Sander or sandpaper
Your paint of preference.  I used Krylon Indoor/Outdoor in black with satin finish
Ruler or measuring device
Square dowel rods pertaining to the size of the inside of your mirror.  You can find  square dowel rods at Michael's or Home Depot 
X-acto knife or any other sharp blade to cut the rods with
Hot Glue or other adhesive.  I prefer hot glue since it comes off of glass fairly easily


1. Prep mirror for painting. Dust it & cover the mirror with newspaper and painters tape to prevent paint from getting on mirror.  If that does happen, use your x-acto to carefully scrape off paint.

2. Measure the inside of your mirror.  This will help you determine what size to trim your rods to.

3.  Sand frame if necessary

4. Paint the frame and dowels.  I did three coats.

5. Once your mirror and dowels are painted and dried, cut two dowel rods to fit inside of the mirror.  They will need to lie against the glass and fit inside the frame. DO NOT glue.

6. Using your ruler space the two dowels so that all three sections are the same width.  Imagine that you are making a tic-tac-toe board and all of the sections need to be the same size.  

7. Using your ruler determine what size the smaller rods need to be to finish the mirror.  You will need six of these. I did one piece and tried it out in between each space before cutting all of them, just to double check that I had the right size.  DO NOT glue your pieces down yet. Wait to glue pieces down until you have measured and cut each of the smaller rods to the correct size and the window is straight.  

8.  Once your window looks straight you can now begin gluing the pieces together.  Gently lift or slide the end of the rod to the side to where you can put a spot of glue on the rod.  Gently hold it back in place and let glue dry.   I found that I did not have to put glue on the end of each slat given that my pieces were pretty snug fitting.  If you use hot glue it is fairly easy to redo gluing if needed.

9.  Let glue dry and enjoy your beautiful creation! 

10. Now go get yourself a latte & massage with all that money  you saved.  You've earned it!

My DIY Mirror Redo $5
Ballard Design, Jill Mirror was the inspiration

Sunday, January 8, 2012

The tale of the piano and the 9 foot couch.

The Behemoth that changed our house and my life.

The only thing lovely about the mantel was my sister's painting.
The 9 foot couch that became the only place to sit once the behemoth piano came in.
These are some before pics of our living room.  First, you will see the behemoth piano that changed my life, then you will see the 82 foot couch, and our how our fireplace used to look. The only redeeming quality of our fireplace was that it burned wood and the gorgeous painting by my sister hung on the mantel. With the room this way the mantel did her painting no justice. The painting is much happier now in the foyer, where it is the first thing you see when you walk into our home. Pics of that later.

Who knew a piano could change everything.

It all started with my husband's talent. Not only is he an amazing surgeon, a whiz at all things smart, he is also a virtuoso on the piano.  Now, let me start by saying we have lived in our home for going on five years. We have literally done a major project once, if not twice, a year. I'm talking water heaters, hardwood floors, new swimming pool, and on and on. We had reached a point where we were ready for our next "project".  As I've said my husband is a pianist. He had a smaller piano that was in his office (also an addition to the house), but it has always been his dream to have a grand piano. So, it was natural that we were ready to take the next step in our marriage- a baby grand piano.

This lovely, large, behemoth of a sound machine literally took up an entire area of our living room. So much so that we had to move couches and chairs out, and we were left adjusting our sectional so that it was one loooong couch. I think I measured it at 9.3333 feet! To give you an idea of our living room, it is very long but not very wide. Even given the fact that our living room is long, it was not long enough for the baby grand and grand furniture. I felt like I was losing my mind. That was until I discovered Follow Me on Pinterest. Yeah, that little site. You heard of it?

Pinterest changed everything. I knew we needed something new in our home. I knew we needed a little update AND we needed to downsize on the furniture while adding seating. It seemed as though all was lost. Whoever heard of getting more, smaller furniture? Didn't make sense to the hubby either. But, I knew there had to be a way! My sister Val kept telling me about this pinterest site. Finally one day I checked it out. I sat in our bedroom, because I was literally avoiding the living room, and looked at this little site. Um- yeah.

My whole life changed.

Not only were there oodles and oodles of pictures of all sorts (I'm like a 5 year old when it comes to reading. I need pictures), it also had these virtual pinboard thingies that you could "pin" your ideas to! I kept logging off and logging on to see if it was real. A sort of pinch-me-I-must-be-dreaming scenario. I was elated.

The pinboard I became most obsessed with was my "French Country Living Room" board. Black and white the theme, neutral furniture, damask the prints, red the accent color. That's all it took and this is what we went from to where we are now. Thank you, Pinterest. You literally saved the baby grand and my sanity. Now, instead of crouching to the other room while the hubby plays piano, in an attempt to get away from the awkward living room, I now curl up on my new, normal sized couch and listen to him play. The music never sounded so sweet.

The behemoth that changed everything.  Thankfully.