Wednesday, August 3, 2016

A Black Flamingeaux Summer

*rolls rock away from cave, squints into the sun*

Look who it is, ghostbustin babes!  Feels like I've just been gone a few months but according to science it's been a year.  I have the internal clock (and body shape) of Jupiter.  If you're still here I applaud your loyalty/inability to update your blog preferences.

This year, y'all... truly the Coachella of all fuckfests.  Not only were all the planets in retrograde but everybody kept dying, we're in a severe drought and now we have Fuckface Von Clownstick with his tiny fingers too close to the nukes.  Feel the radiation burn.  I can't wait for this summer to be over.

But we did get Lemonade, Dr. Jillian Holtzmann and probably a lady president so there's that.  I had a really good hair day last month so this year hasn't been a total waste.

Turns out not blogging freed up some time to do some things like live life again, garden, write things in my MochiThings planner, renovate the Ranch and try to finds words that end in -o that I can replace with -eaux to make me sound edgier.  Pinteaux beans?  Dildeaux?

As much as we love butchering the English language, I know y'all love a rags-to-middle class makeover more.  Let me introduce you to my storage room/den/swingers' dungeon of delight that I spent six months transforming earlier this year.

This is AFTER the thrift store came and picked up tons of my shit to donate.
It was the former carport that was closed in some time 40+ years ago and never touched again. It holds my junk and Christmas decorations and Charlemagne also likes to nap in here because it gets great sunlight although you can't tell because the walls and floor are made of sadness.  Also duct tape which holds the seams together.

So New Year's day I had an itching to paint the walls and give her a good scrub down so I could quit thinking of this space as a sasquatch airbnb room.  Just a simple refresher, she said!  I'll be done by January 3rd!

Well the fresh paint highlighted just how ugly everything else still was...

Well, shit.  I guess I gotta paint my adjoining laundry room too...  And although the purists in my life wanted me to keep the original wood stain on the ceiling I just didn't have the mental strength to do any more loads of laundry under that shroud of cigarette-stained darkness.

The storage room/room of shame had an acoustic tiled ceiling which I assumed had wood underneath but wasn't sure.  I got bold after a gin-and-grapefruit one night and did some mild demo and WHEEEEE a pretty ceiling was revealed.

As was my new Spring hobby of removing hundreds of tiles and staples one by one.  
Look at that disgusting fan blade. I obviously didn't even go in this room...

My shoulders are boss now but my hands have been permanently deformed.

I have future plans for that stunning art, don't you worry.
So many tiles I had to Shawshank Redemption them and take them out in batches into my trash for a month straight.

Once all the demo was done and every staple were stepped on, each surface required three coats of Kilz and another three of Valspar's Ultra White in Satin finish.  I spent more time and money on paint than I ever have in my life.  But I LOVE the satin finish on everything.  All my future paint finishes will be this.

You have to cut in all this mess in the laundry room... Fuck me.
Time to go low.

Poor flooring dude scraping away two layers and decades of filth.
At this point since I was all in I decided to replace the disgusting old linoleum with fancy NEW LINOLEUM.  I was already spending all my tax return money so what the hell.  I didn't need that new laptop... The exact size I needed - down to the inch - was found in a dusty warehouse and that kind of serendipity can only be explained by Our Prince Who Art in Heaven and you can't say no to vinyl from the great dance club in the sky.

There were a few small hiccups to this whole process such as this disgusting brick ledge at the base of two of the walls I had to figure out how to cover nicely...

I just patched the wall holes, nothing fancy.
I found a handyman - who happened to be the kind of handsome that handyman porn cliches are pulled from - that helped take care of some of this mess.  He decided it would be easier to use a self-leveling concrete rather than building out a wood box over the brick and I didn't care as long as it was done fast and cheap.  Which is exactly how I prefer my porn.

Close enough.
It took weeks to get some concrete poured and trim installed and I'm just happy that I didn't end up in jail for murdering his handsome face.  Apparently beautiful people never developed the normal life skills that the rest of us ugly schmucks need to survive like time management, reliability and honesty. The longer I waited, the uglier he got.

Ok fine.
But in the end and after lots of paint this little ledge turned out more beautiful than he could ever be.  It's the Dorian Gray of home improvement projects.  And who would even care that this floor is basically plastic?!  Looks damn good to me.  But I'm just an ugly schmuck with Purple Jesus on my side.

Ahhh, sweet relief.  Not gonna lie, this room makes me immensely happy.  It's fairly huge - about 15x20 - and I do a lot of twirling in here.  And eventually yoga and barre and lots of crafting and other general merriment.

Don't forget about the laundry room!  I cannot believe I ever questioned leaving the dark wood ceiling.  My washing machine already leaked all over the floor and because my floor is waterproof I JUST MOPPED THAT SHIT UP NO PROBLEM.  

I haven't painted the back door yet. I just... couldn't go on...
Still looking for the perfect laundry room accessories and bins.  I think a rolling cart is in my future.  And lots of cool hooks.

The storage room of shame is now renamed the STUDIO and as soon as I get done caulking - so much caulk! Caulk everywhere! - I've got exciting things planned...

To review my extensive list of sources: Valspar Ultra White paint, IKEA Melodi pendants, brown "wood" vinyl from a local dirty warehouse, Edsal shelves I painted white and would never do again because it was awful, cheap rug from a different dirty warehouse, months of labor from myself, my dad and above handyman.

I had wanted to renovate this here blog or find another avenue for expression before I posted again but here we are.  Bloger is positively retro now.  I may not be posting mood boards and lifestyle fun times but I do want to keep a diary of home renovations.  I like to have the process all in one place and we can get all the other stuff at Pinterest.

But the exciting news is that this here studio space is going to become an Etsy shop in the next few weeks so stay tuned!  If you're still reading this you deserve a prize so expect deals and fun stuff just for you.  I might be entering an oversaturated market but I'm stoked and I have a lot of vintage beauties that need good homes like y'all's.

So I hope your year has been great so far and let me know anything I missed!  And how many Pokemon Geaux guys you've caught so far...

Sunday, August 2, 2015

You knew it was coming...

Gather round, saucy children, and let's talk about blogging.  *communal groaning* You may have noticed (you haven't) that it's been two months since I last blogged because I just ain't feelin' it this summer.  Also, I have melted from the death heat. 

In fact, I think it's time for the dreaded...*dun dun duuunnnnn* HIATUS.  

*internal screaming*
It's kinda like the kiss of death for bloggers.  Fortunately none of my income or sanity relies on blogging anymore so it only hurts my sense of duty and pride.

I feel like a completely different person than when I started this blog SIX YEARS AGO.  Back then my sanity DID rely on blogging.  At the time I was reading a lot of blogs which were wildly addictive with their sparkle and shine girl-next-door vibes but even as a counterpoint to magazines, they still felt really far away from my life.  

A life where I enjoyed pretty things but I was at the end of my quarter life crisis, just got out of therapy, hated my job, overwhelmed by my recently-purchased shit hole of a house, wildly insecure and in an emotional and creative depression (little d).  Hell, I didn't even think I WAS creative.  

I think what I was doing with blogging was asking permission - from myself and the "world" - to do the things I wanted to do even if I didn't know what they were yet.  And if I gained nothing else from blogging it's realizing FUCK PERMISSION.  Of course, there are enumerable things I gained from this here blog about vaginas and mood boards but that one seems important.

But I'll be a wise and mature 35 year old next month and what feels like way more than six years away from the person who started this blog.  I feel comfortable trying new things without being behind the protective space of this dirty computer screen and exploring creativity (that word still makes me cringe) in lots of different ways.  Blogging is just becoming less and less one of those ways.  Not because I don't like it - I DO - but I have limited time and want to branch out.  I'm gonna take ALL the Skillshare classes!

Besides, there's nothing less fulfilling than wanting to do something creative and then having to come home from work to your computer and format a contrary word document for hours.  Margins and code-writing and pixels and bullshit.  It's like if I wanted to paint abstract art and someone made me lay it out in AutoCAD first.  I die.

So long story still long, ModernSauce will continue to be my home base just not my primary focus for a while.  I have a lot of fun things I'm working on and planning to do - probably the cliche etsy shop - and I just need time to get that shit going.  

And probably some time to figure out how to blog without using this outdated format/platform.  I swear to Beyonce I've started dozens of posts in the last year that I cannot bring myself to finish just because it's like trying to use an abacus to Instagram.

So make sure to follow me over there on the 'gram and the Twitters because I'll miss y'all's comments and community and I'm greedy.  This probably sounds like a goodbye and it's NOT but all of you are amazing and I can't express how appreciative I am of all your support, comments, friendship and just general existence.  

Read the amazing story of these found negatives here.
So until we meet again, which will hopefully be sooner than later, please remember to:

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Summer dreams of calculated fug.

So I'm finishing up the last of my major yard stuff and getting ready to stay inside and settle into my summer spot (straddling the air conditioner vents).   However I have a few stray plants that I'm just throwing in the ground and wishing well.  Best of luck come August, random plant that seemed like a good idea at the time.

One of those plants is a Black-eyed Susan.  I got it at the plant swap this Spring because it needed a home and I hate seeing an unwanted thing.   I know they are super easy to care for and are good in the clay dirt around here but...  I...

...just don't like them.  Yellow and brown are the saddest color combo to me and their dumdum flower shape is just so "basic."  They're the basic bitches of flowers, if you will.  (I won't.)  But still, I was going to give them a home because all Gawd's creatures yadda yadda yadda. *makes jacking off hand motion*

And because I developed a judgey, ill-informed decision Gawd decided to remind me I don't know shit and showed me this on Pinterest today:
Well, damn!  That's a stylish mix!  And not only do I like this mix of flowers but I think the Black-eyed Susan look-alikes are the glue here.  It's the perfect amount of contrast, methinks.  I love Black-eye Susans now.  The workhorses of summer gardens.  Please don't die on me now!

The moral of this story is make room for ugly in your garden/space/life.  Or maybe redefine your definition of ugly.  One of those sounds pretty important so probably you should do that.  It's called 'calculated fug' and we will all be the masters of it.  The End.

When I found the source of this delightfully, mind-changing picture it gets even better.  It's a PRE-PLANNED garden pack that you can buy from High Country Gardens.  I didn't even know you could do that!  I'm full of awe and wonder.  

This pack featured above fits a 5' x 5' space and includes our pal Rudbeckia Goldsturm (the Black-eyed Susan-looking coneflower), the purple coneflower, Agastache 'Blue Fortune' (tall blue in the back), Solidago 'Fireworks' (the goldenrod in the middle), Physostegia virginiana 'Crystal Peak White' (Obedient plant?), 'Autumn Fire' sedum and Liastris aspera (the purple Blazing Star in front?).  

The fun thing is that I have already have sedums and purpleish coneflowers and have been looking at the blazing star so this little pack was made for me!  It's called Summer Dreams.  I'm singing it to the tune of Summer Lovin.

Check out these other non-fug garden kits:

August Afternoon. Ugh I might like this look even better.  it feels very dramatic.

Jumbo Waterwise Garden.  Not my personal fave but still an attractive grouping.

Seems like a lot of these are great for dry areas in the West but I've grown many of these here so fellow Southerners can at least get some good ideas.  They have tons more pre-planned kits to buy but these were the only group shots they had.  

I hadn't planned to talk about gardens yet aGAIN (it's really all I think about in person right now) but here we are.  

Just consider this your friendly semi-annual reminder to embrace the fug.  LOVE the fug.

And love plants that are great for pollinators.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

She sheds seashells by the she shore.

Well, it's been a hot minute since I've been here but Springtime is Busytime at the Ranch.  I went on some work trips, had a quick trip to Nashville, went to Miami for a design show and didn't get sunburned - SUCCESS.  I did sweat through my first outfit of the year and it's only May... thanks, Florida.  But I got so many damn shells from the beach Florida should start paying me to haul away their junk.  

You should follow me on Instagram - I 'gram way more than I blog!
Wait, you can take shells from the beach, right?!  It's not illegal like taking plants from a national park, right? 

*mails shells back to Florida*

And after years of traveling I've FINALLY made a permanent toiletry bag so I can grab and go - SUCCESS.  All hail the tiniest of eye cream containers!  I'm adulting all over the damn place.  It's like a bukkake of responsible decisions around here.

When I wasn't jetsetting all over the Southeast region I've been doing never-ending amounts of yardwork.  This month is just so damn sweaty!  I'm reaching the end of my giant bush removal project (for this season) so I'll post some updates on that soon.  It looks... unimpressive for the amount of bitching I've been doing.

So what happened during all this tiny shampoo organizing and endless hole digging?  The Mad Men finale which I'm a season behind on so no spoilers, Janet Jackson announced a new album and tour (!), blackhead-removing videos are my new obsession and favorite lullaby and SHE SHEDS.  


She sheds are the hot new alliteration all over the websites your mom reads.  It's the lady version of man caves... in case women were feeling left out of the home decor world?  I read some hot take about "gendered spaces" but I could only get three sentences in before I lost all interest in living life.

She sheds seem like nothing other than a catchy blog post name for the cute spaces in a lot of Pinterest folders.  I think we can attribute all of it to that NYT cottage way back when - remember this shabby chic Victorian cottage that induced much eye-rolling (probably from this blogger too?).

I don't really care anything about the concept of 'she sheds' and somehow just having a discussion about it feels like a women's studies class led by Mike Huckabee so let's just agree to let people of all genders drink wine while knitting dreamcatchers or brewing craft root beer in whatever small outdoorsy space they need.  End of discussion.

Of course, I like my own personal space so much I live alone in my own house.  IT'S THE ULTIMATE SHE SHED!

As a general rule, I'm very pro-shed.  Where I come from, 'behind the shed' is where you smoke for the first time, get fingerbanged or bury a body.  All are glorious rites of passage no matter which one you choose.  As an adult (thanks to my tween rite of passage, you guess which one), I find sheds very useful for all my dirty, dirty tools. Except for the gross barn I had removed last year...

And that's kinda the problem... sheds are gross (see above about numerous amounts of vaginal fluids and corpses) and are like poisonous hotboxes filled with all manner of critters.  I know what lives in a shed outside and it ain't ruffles.  It's spiders.  

Just some giant open walls for maximum spider passage directly into your BED.  

And if you want to have a potting shed and paint it pastel well then I hope the Lordt blesses you with a maid and a clue because obviously you've never potted a thing in your life.  My potting shed - because yeah I want one - would be made entirely of black rubber and metal so I can hose it down.  And it has air conditioning.  And a sink... ok it's just a small house filled with piles of dirt that I don't have to clean up.

Seems the UK has a huge shed movement but they are taking it to a whole other level: pub sheds!  Those squirrelly Brits also have a contest for the best sheds and they do not disappoint:

This urban bike shed is the winner of the best eco shed and it looks delightful.  Bet the British sheds are actual places to sit and have tea and probably not the prisoner of war shed like mine was...

I can definitely get behind this modern shed more than I can that lace and chicken fuckery above.  To each his own I guess.  I mean, she own...

But since this is my blog I get to feature the sheds/greenhouse/unattainable cottages I like.  .

So let's shed this bitch

Shed to the max.

 Shed is bae.

This glass shed of silence is adorable and I would like it very much.

I could practically live in this one...

I lost the source...??
This one looks like it really came from a Home Depot kit and I approve.  Home Depot hobbit.  Of course, you could grow vines over a laundry crate and I'd try to rent it on Airbnb.

San Francisco's General Store by On A Hazy Morning
A single room is nice.  Small space for potting but you could also just sit alone with a chair and shut the door.  No judgment.

This counts as a shed. I bet getting fingerbanged behind this turns you into a fairy.

Nitty Gritty Dirt Man
This half-shed, half-greenhouse is my favorite because he gives you the plans!  How super.  It's a great gardening blog too.

But don't forget the most important part of the yard: Charlemagne.

Unknown.  I probably blogged it before anyway...
Cat shed.  

Just kidding I'd make her hang out in the she shed and kill the rodents that are nesting in my daybed.

I'll probably be blogging light this summer (I don't have a blog shed) but I'll try not to let a month go in between.  That's just rude.

Hope your May was delightful!  Hope it was in a shed.

UPDATE: After I published this post about eleventeenfifty shed articles came across my dash/stream/pins within a few hours which lets me know we all got shed brains right now.  But this one was worth adding.  It's technically a playhouse but I'm saying it's a shed... 

See the whole cute place at Rue
WITH A SLIDE.  All other sheds are moot.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Bitch better have my money.

Maison Margiela for Vogue Russia here

Why is it that juuust when you're starting to climb out of the debt hole the universe starts stomping on your fingers like an angry movie villain?  So rude.  

Here I am just polishing my pearl teeth and dreaming of new gutters (glamorous dreams) after paying off the last of my kitchen loan and my car decides to pee power steering fluid everywhere.  So rude.

I'm working on multiple projects JUST FOR YOU, saucy blog readers, but shit keeps fucking up my plans.  I mean, all a girl wants is to be bedazzled from crown to ground and have nice eaves to her house that aren't covered in mold.  Simple things in life.

I'm not really whining - I'm happy digging in the dirt and enjoying this deliciously long and mild Spring we're having - but bedazzled gutters were gonna be the focal point of my new landscaping plan.  

Still happily hanging on by a bejeweled pinkie finger over here.  

Monday, April 13, 2015

Chindi Rug Hack: Crafting for Masochists!

I accidentally fell into a time warp of some kind and haven't blogged in three weeks - I done got the Spring fever!  It's been a whirlwind of day job stress, Flonase and trying to get up the nerve to give myself the first real pedicure of the season.  I still haven't done that part BUT I've been spending most of my time prepping the yard and planning for some major changes in the next month or so.

Looks like I know shit about plants, right?!
This looks waaay more professional than it actually is because graph paper makes everything look very serious.  77% of a solid legal defense is because of graph paper.  It's true.  Hopefully I won't need a legal defense for some plants because I am ripping out bushes so big I had to call the utility people to make sure I don't destroy something vital.  More on all that fucking mess project later!

I did, however, finish a crafty project that took a good chunk of my last remaining wintery nights.  My hallway is getting some love this year after getting a fresh coat of paint and now we're focusing on textiles.  

Unfortunately my hallway is incredibly long and narrow which makes shopping for a runner an exercise in frustration.  I needed a runner that's 2.5' by about 15' which is ornery as hell.  I guess I could have had a piece of carpet bound but most of that shit is boring or expensive and I really just didn't want to google for twelve hours "how to get rug cheap pretty."  

However, something that is not boring or expensive is a chindi rug!  I have a soft spot for chindis (or rag rugs) since they're handmade of recycled materials and delightfully happy for all your funkiest needs.  In this case, an aggressively long hallway.

The good about chindis is that they're knotted together with warp yarn so in (my) theory I should be able to knot them all together to make one loooong chindi, right?  This is a rhetorical question because I did it.  They above picture is a picture of a "seam" but I won't tell you where it is.  Well, I guess it's obvious to me but I'm really selling this DIY and I bet dinner guests won't notice!

What you'll need is a selection of chindis - I found a bunch at Ollie's which is a local discount place kinda like Big Lots - and a disregard for your free time.  Also a yarn needle.

I didn't know I would need this but had one because I was helping my mom with some crochet knots and it came in quite useful because my fingernails were hurting.  You'll see why.

You can see some of the rug fringe on the right that I'm untying, separating the warp and then retying into smaller knots to the opposite rug.  You'll need that yarn needle.  I tried to stitch the rugs together and then just duct taping them together and and then I tried tying them together without untying the fringe knots and nothing really worked well.  

I don't even know why I'm explaining to you how to do this like it's a real tutorial because no one else in the history of DIYing would ever do this.  Hell, I may never do this again.

This is less than a foot of knots.  I unknotted then reknotted about 10 feet of this.  WHAT WAS I THINKING?!?!?!?!  I musta been drunk on the fact that these rugs were less than $4 each because this took a long ass mothafuckin time.  Feel free to call me Unbreakable Lacy Sauce because with enough delusion and Netflix, anything is possible.

BUT at the end of it I've forgotten all the pain and the stiff neck and the nights my friends were out partying and I was home alone on the couch underneath a pile of stinky rags because I think it turned out decently (for a $25 investment).

Sorry, poor hallway lighting.
It's a little wonky at the bottom (that was my first one) and I wish it was 8 inches wider but we all have wishes.  

Best of all, now Charlemagne can run up and down the hallway with some traction rather than look like she's Wile E. Coyote running in place.

Pardon the hairball, there was a small window of time when you're photographing cats and it's shedding season.
She would walk NEXT TO the rug for a few weeks but finally has felt okay walking on top of it and dare I say napping on it.  I've since added a rug pad to help it stay put since it drifts on top of the hardwood when we play chase.

So am I happy that I have a rug in this space?  Yes, I want Julie Andrews to add chindis to her list of favorite things.  Would I do this again or encourage someone else to do it?  Only if you're recently unemployed and have nothing to occupy your time and mildly hate yourself.

Just kidding.  Kind of.

If you like to inflict pain on yourself are you a sadist or a masochist?  Or maybe just a character from the Scarlet Letter?

But I bet I have prettier floor coverings than the puritans.