Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The Madame has cabinet fever in Alabama

My kitchen remodel must have been so stressful that Nick had to take an immediate vacation to Vegas to recover.   He didn't invite me to go to the Kitchen and Bath Show 2011 debauchery and drunkfest of 2011 but he was kind enough to invite me to post at the Cupboards blog a few times this week.

Greige Design via Cupboards via just get your ass over there
First up is a smattering of lustworthy cabinets in steely shades that almost make me want a new kitchen.  Almost...  It's not Vegas but it's still pretty saucy so sashay on over to see how the Madame goes Alabama style.

Hope you're having a great time in Vegas, Nick, with your gambling and drinking and glittering and good gawd I need a vacation too!!!

I come from the water.* And an old sagging couch

I get asked all the time: Madame, how do you do the voodoo that you do?  *chuckles*  Honey, pull up a tufted wingback chair and I'll tell you some not-so-secret secrets.

You too can create voodoo!  I'm of the opinion that everyone has some of that creative sauce within them - a wellspring that’s tapped into the primordial soup of awesomeness where ideas are infinite.  Some people seem to have ideas on draught (not me) but it could also take the shape of a shallow puddle, sometimes a gushing fire hydrant of tigerblood or perhaps a giant lake full of gross things and sharktopussies.  Everyone's is different.  Mine feels like an above ground pool because I'm classy.  Maybe there's some rainbow-colored spongey noodles floating around in there too...

Usually I get inspired by other manifestations of saucy creativity including but not limited to art, music, words, YOUR blog - yes you reading this, talking to children, talking to scientists and especially talking to children scientists, really good tv like reruns of The Golden Girls, all manner of designy things and wearing sparkly jewelry.  Whatever sorts of ideas that manage to get stirred up in my head then drag themselves out of my brain's primordial soup and onto the sunny shore (or splintery deck in this case...) for distribution.  Then it's filtered through a fine sieve of my personal collection of pop culture references and tragic childhood memories, dusted with glitter, spanked and then thrown out into the world.  Only then can it evolve into a majestic unicorn of gorgeous mood board awesomeness or a badass kitchen or other general amazingness.  More times than not it's a jackalope in the form of a lame dick joke that goes nowhere.  A dickalope.  It's really anybody's guess as to what these little drops of sauce will grow to be.  I just set them free from my brain and hope for the best.  They're yearning to be free!  Spread your wings and fly to your possibly successful destiny, dickalope!!  

And freedom is the key.  Giving yourself freedom is the way you break down all the walls and baby gates in your brain that surround your above ground pool of awesomeness to let your own ideas evolve.  

As a young Madame I had the good fortune of being in one of those special programs for Smarty McNerdypants where we were embarrassingly pulled away from regular class by an eccentric teacher with frizzy hair to attend a different class full of other Smarty McNerdypants kids.  It looked like a classroom on Hoarders with piles of yellowed newspapers and puzzles everywhere, old couches rather than desks and laminated reproduction Renaissance art taped on the cinderblock walls.  

We talked about big ideas not just nouns and verbs and spent our time solving problems using lateral thinking instead of addition and subtraction.  We weren't taught how to be creative, we were taught how to navigate through the roadblocks to get to the space where creativity just happened.  We made trails to our creative juice and then paved them with practice.  We were given the freedom to throw out some possible dickalopes and a safe place for them to fall when they failed.  At least for an hour or two each week.  

Everybody has ideas - some more than others - but creativity isn't gifted upon a fortunate few, it's a skill that can be developed and refined if you allow yourself the freedom to do so.**  People might ask where your ideas come from but they’re really asking how to find their own source of sauce.  Maybe they never did logic puzzles sitting on a sagging couch next to a boy who had a weird blinking problem and smelled like peanut butter so they don't know that they have the sauce too. 

all images are Barbara & Michael Leisgen via Little Lamb
So get free, y'all!  Climb a mountain or let your mind wander while you're brushing your teeth or read a blog and then nurture whatever frivolity comes from that and then set it free upon the world!  And then do that shit every day.

And if you can’t find any freedom a menacing deadline usually works wonders for pulling something creative out of your ass.  Turns out, that’s a pretty direct route to where your ideas are too.

*If you can name that song I'll give you twelve cool points and possibly a tongue kiss.

**You can't change what your pool looks like, only how you use your noodle.  And THAT, my friends, is the lamest pun in the history of the world.  A dickalope for sure.***

***Excessive footnoting is in homage to The Monster Apathy who footnotes like a muthafucka and has a blog full of freedom and inspiration.  And dick jokes. 

Today's post was part of Let's Blog Off - a twice monthly blogging extravaganza where all kinds of bloggers mouth off about a single topic.  This week we're exploring where we get our inspiration and ideas from.  Make sure to check out the other participants at the website.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

I need some industrial strength Calgon to take me away.

Now that I have 98% of a gorgeous kitchen it makes the rest of my house look even stankier than normal.  Particularly the bathrooms.  You can fake your way around some ugly furniture but nasty grout and gross cabinets are hard to style around.  Particularly if you've just found out that your sagging bathroom floor is beyond repair.  As in the subfloor has completely rotted away due to an ancient toilet leak and just fell off onto the ground [MS sidebar: when I bought my house my home inspector was about 117 and I'm guessing he didn't get up close and personal with ALL corners of my crawl space...] and the only thing that constitutes my "floor" - a term I'm using loosely here - is the mint and aqua mosaic tile and the 50 yr old cementy stuff below it holding it together.  Oh and air.  Now, every day when I brush my teeth it's like an adventure - Will I fall through the floor today?!!!  Ooooh living in the unknown is so dangerously fun!  

Right now there's a quick and dirty temporary fix (it might consist of some cinder blocks and magic caulk - I don't really know what the contractor did) until I can sell enough plasma to pay to properly rip up the entire floor to redo it.  Maybe a whole new bathroom depending on how the plasma market is doing these days...  I made sure that I wasn't flat broke after doing the kitchen but that doesn't mean I can do two remodels back-to-back.  Houses can be such assholes sometimes.  And aging home inspectors.

While I cry and make desperate attempts at finding a sugar daddy (AGAIN!) here are some bathrooms that make me lusty.
from Cote Maison
If I'm feeling all lusty with this bathroom I'm gonna need some curtains.  Maybe a shade... something... anything to protect against the entire DECK of people out there.  Because seriously - yum.

photography by Mai Linh via Emma's Design Blogg
Since I'm still in the fantasy part of the bathroom renovation this will do nicely.

from pinterest but real source??
I found this on Pinterest and it had the caption "It looks like a mermaid does her business here."  I can't improve on that statement in any way.

via House of Turquoise
Looks too Candice Olsen-y to me but it's so SHINY that I covet it.  I bet it has 0% stained grout and 100% of a floor.  Also, apparently you can't design a bathroom without rectangular vessel sinks now.  You just can't.

Feldman Architecture via decorpad

via Mi Casa Es Su Casa
Or concrete ones.  Perhaps disastrous for putting on makeup...?  Toothpaste residue?  Questions that don't need to be answered right now because we're just fantasizing.  Also, I won't be getting either a vessel sink or a concrete one or any one that doesn't come from the Habitat ReStore so it really just depends on what they have available.

photography by Emily Gilbert via Desire to Inspire
I despise those shades but all those curves need lots of HUGS!!!

via Head Over Heels
Do you think people actually bathe here or is this just in my dreams?  

via Sacremento Street
The mix of new and old is so nice.  So very very nice.  I'm not sure how I feel about so much art in a bathroom but I know exactly how I feel about giant tubs like that.  That's right - lusty.

via Remodelista
But for the record: I.  Hate.  Dark.  Grout.

Elizabeth Dinkel via Houzz
Oh that's better.  Probably too traditional for me but after the prison bathroom above I'm easily swayed by the girly details and that tile.  My ovaries approve.

via re-nest
I'm kinda digging all this green.  Definitely digging that tile.  I'm NOT digging all that grout - Tilex Root Penetrator isn't a miracle worker y'all!

And then this:

via Full House
Sigh...  SOMEBODY GET ME AN OVAL TUB!!!  I need to just buy another home warranty and then pray I fall through the floor so they can pay for the repairs.  You can just buy a random home warranty right?!  I had one when I first bought the Ranch and those poor suckers were so sorry in the end.  Of course with my luck I'll buy one and then never fall through the floor and the quick and dirty temporary solution will last forever no matter how much tap dancing and jumping Charlemagne and I do in there.  

I'll keep dreaming.  Of bathrooms and feline/human choreography

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Jewelry for people who are cheap, lazy and easily distracted!

I'm the type of Madame that always has big dreams of all the crafty things I could make because hey, I've got a creative eye and mad skills in my hands so what couldn't I craft amiright?!  But I usually get about 75% done and totally lose interest just like the year I was going to paint watercolors for all my friends and family and only got about halfway through the first leaf before I got my ass to the closest Barnes & Noble.  Or the time I started cross-stitching a wall hanging of a wolf in front of a Southwestern sunset (DON'T JUDGE ME - IT WAS THE 90'S AND I WAS 10!) but only made it through one Kokopelli.  Let's not even mention the china cabinet that's been in storage for two years that I've been meaning to paint...  I did, however, craft the shit out some potholders and friendship bracelets in elementary school so maybe howling wolves and storage for my dining room just aren't my forte...  

So when I saw the bitchin DIY jewelry knockoffs at Honestly WTF my inner 5th grade crafty kid squeed a bit.

The original on top and the DIY hex nut bracelet version here
Well, heelllooo sexy.  I can braid things so I think I could totally make that AND wear the fuck out of it.  It's not like I'm not at the hardware store every damn day already.  I bet once you put that on you just never take it off like the hemp jewelry everyone wore when I was about 16 that you kept it on until it rotted off in the shower one day.  That's true commitment to accessories.  Also, pretty disgusting...

Original inspiration on top and the DIY version on bottom here
This one takes the best of friendship bracelets and combines it with all the tacky thrift store jewelry I may or may not already have a ton of...  The best part is the instructions seem like I could actually accomplish them before I even get bored by the Kokopelli!

But this one seems a little more time intensive...
via PS I Made This
Well damn!  It's like a cat's cradle multiplied by bling and divided by effort.  I'm not sure if I'm up to that kind of math and DIY-itude but I'd totally wear that.  Or find something that looks like that at the mall if my fingers got tangled up.

Fortunately Christmas is months away so I have plenty of time to craft some hex nut jewelry to go WITH the cross-stitched watercolor inspirational bookmarks I've decided to make for everyone! 

First I just have to tie dye the yarn... 

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

This makes me exceedingly happy.

Peabody's Penthouse from Rocky & Friends, 1959.  via Stopping Off Place
I don't know who Peabody is and I despise Rocky and Bullwinkle but if it's possible to have a crush on a cartoon dog from the 50's then I totally have one.  I think it's the glasses...  and his great taste in decor.

In related things that might make you exceedingly happy the winner of the "Lamest Giveaway in the History of the Internets" is....

ME.  Ok I forgot to eliminate the numbers that corresponded with my comments.  And also the comments of the people who just responded out of pity...

So after a couple of tries the real winner is...
I didn't rip up the paper for aesthetic reasons - the scissors were across the room...
Ginny Powell (@GinnyPowell) of the new blog A Cracked Door!  SQUEE!  Thanks for playing Ginny and I'll make sure to rub extra fabulosity on your special prize (I won't dry hump it since you're a heterosexual lady person) and get that in the mail!  

Happy Wooding!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

The lamest giveaway in the history of the internets.

Hey Madame, weren't you, like, remodeling a kitchen of amazing awesomeness just a few weeks ago?  Yeah, yeah, yeah...  We're like 95% done but still waiting on a few details to arrive.  Apparently these special items are located in Mordor and require a mythical journey of warehouse pickers to find the only microwave trim kit that fits my cabinet in all of middle earth.  Paying for expedited shipping doesn't apply to how fast this magical journey takes, only how fast the UPS man drives once they find my special part.  Good to know.   I think we will be done - for serious done - at the end of this week.  SQUUEEEEE!  

So at the end of this process I'll get a shiny new kitchen (and a few love burns from all the mad sink love that's been going down) but what do you get, dear reader, other than a sore neck from watching this trainwreck?  It's time for me to give back!!!  Because I'm a giver.  Of things.  To you.

Specifically this:

click on images for hot up-close wood action
No, it's not trash.  Well not really...  It's an 8 foot section of butcher block counter all chopped up into varying pieces.  You may remember its brief role in the countertop debacle of 2011.  So now that I have a new countertop I have no idea what to do with all this old wood.  My contractor has already made me two cutting boards, I've set aside a couple for gifts and hopefully to pay bills with (Nick, what was your address again?) and I still have about a thousand pounds of wood just laying around.  It's a shame to let all that sessy wood go to waste.  So I'm giving it to YOU!!!

For everyone who wanted a full picture of Charlemagne there ya go.  This post is full of giving!  Giving is the new winning.
It's wo-oood, wo-oood, it's better than bad it's good!!  Even Charlemagne can't get enough!  Also, she's an attention whore when the camera comes out.  So I'm giving away one free piece of wood to one of you fabulous readers do with as you please!!  Have you ever seen this kind of lameness generosity before??!!  Surely the Make-A-Wish Foundation will be calling me shortly to make other dreams come true...  All you have to do is leave a comment below (isn't that how these things are done?) and let me know you want it and I'll use one of those random number generator thingies or possibly a hat with some numbers written on post-its inside and pick someone.  You don't have to tweet it or subscribe or donate to a charity (although that's just nice anyway) because that ain't this kind of blog.  It's the kind of blog where I give you things out of my trash pile.  

But it's a sexy 1 1/4 inch thick piece of wood trash in a trapezoid shape for all your contemporary kitchen displays of geometry or a skinny piece to chop one carrot at a time on.  Big pieces, small pieces, whichever one you want.  You tell ME how to make your woody dreams come true.   Use it as a cutting board or door stop or use it as a giant plate and pretend you're a caveman when you eat dinner.  You can read tarot cards on it or use it as a stage to enact your miniature civil war reenactments with your toy soldiers or carve my avatar on it to hang in your house, WHATEVER.  I don't judge what you creepy ass stalkers do in your spare time.  What I will do is hug it tight and give it as much fabulosity by osmosis as possible and then package it lovingly in old newspapers and a shoebox and send it your way.   Fuck, I'll even sign it if either of us are actually that lame. 

Seriously, my back patio needs to be cleaned off and y'all better leave a comment even out of pity so I can get this mess out of here.  

And for all you losers who don't get a giant slab of wood here's a kitchen teaser!
Venuto is in its home at last. 

(pssst...  don't tell the winner but I'll totally send y'all pieces of wood too - seriously, these are nice cutting boards if you sand the corners a bit - but I can't pay for all the shipping because this wood weighs a ton and I think we've already established I don't shit glitter or money but we can work something out.  It's better than bad, it's meh.)

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Support the arts! And Merpeople.

I wanted to finish off the week with some super ill paintings like this:
Nicola Samori
But then I remembered that there's been so much gloomy serial killer madness around here lately that I'd just drool over this nugget by myself.

Instead, SWIMMING!
via ISO50
It's a fun way to celebrate the upcoming warm weather while completely trying to bypass the part where my lungs are coated in pollen and my Neti pot has to violate each nostril every night.    

via ffffound

ffffound via Dethjunkie so I'll never be able to find the real source...
That looks nice but it also looks like a lake and I don't swim in lakes because bad things usually happen to people that go to summer camp and swim in lakes (also the water is icky and filled with beer cans) and when you pee in a lake I don't think it just disappears like it does in the ocean because human pee is what mermaids drink.  That's a fact.  Swimming in lakes kills mermaids and if you have any compassion left in your bladder you'll do the right thing.  I'm going to design bumper stickers that say "Save a mermaid, pee in the ocean." 

Also, I think Sharktopus can live in freshwater too so you can't escape that...

Except if you're in a pool!
I'm a bit obsessed with these paintings by Sarah Harvey because they make me all floaty-feeling in a non pee cloud kind of way.

Time stops when you're underwater.  It's true.  A mermaid told me.

This is exactly how my BFF and I spent the entire summer after our 7th grade year while we developed our synchronized swimming routine.  I still have a tan in a gradient from head to toe.

last images via Booooooom
See even more here and then make sure to go straight to the "Save the Merpeople" website I'm starting right now and buy a bumper sticker for your arm floaties.  It's the least you could do.  Well, other than peeing...

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Just me, helping you, be the best Madame you can be.

Attempting fabulosity is hard and an ongoing battle against haters and, well, your own laziness and inability to arrange flowers.  I have a few standout tools in my arsenal that have made this Madame's life like buttah.  Glittery buttah.

You can control me anytime Mario.
First off: THE FACE!  Despite most of my clothes coming from the clearance rack at the Gap Outlet (if I'm feeling fancy...) I can be a bit of a product whore sometimes.  Once a Madame hit 30 my skin went to a bad place.  A scary place.  A place of flakes and blotches and OMGwhatisgoingonhere?  At the advice of a friend of the Sauce who's an expert on girl things and after reading Door Sixteen's recommendation I started using Mario Badescu products. This shit is cheap and did things to my face I didn't think possible.  I feel I'll soon be not just any product whore but a whore for Mario.  The Madame gives this 4 out of 5 pizza rolls on the scale of fabulosity importance.

Now something I probably won't be doing any whoring for:

When you live in a shithole (with a fabulous kitchen!) things are always in various stages of decline.  My bathroom is a particularly scary place that I'll totally get to right after I finish moving back into the kitchen...  Specifically I need to replace all - ALL - of the caulk because it's so degraded I think I saw a mushroom growing out of it the other day.  Also, there are parts of it that stay black no matter HOW much I clean.  UNTIL I discovered the above product!  I was enticed by the "PENETRATOR" claim and let me tell you I'm a very satisfied Madame.  Spots that no amount of bleach, industrial oxiclean, an actual exorcism by the ghost of Billy Mays himself or large amounts of cussing would whiten were gone in a few seconds with zero labor on my part.  Granted, I now have cancer of the nostrils where I inhaled the fumes because this. shit. does. not. fuck. around. but my caulk is white again probably since the first time since 1985 so I think that's a fair trade. 4.5 pizza rolls.

I also strongly recommend getting one of these:
Technically you're on Wall Street Mr. Patrick Bateman but I don't care because you're pretty and I needed a picture of a man in a suit.  You might also need the cleaner above...
Being a Madame doesn't mean you have to be good at everything, it means you have to know how to find good people that can help you.  For instance, I may be awesome at mood boards but I suck at arranging tchotchkes in my house so I have gays that do that for me.  I kick ass but can't lift heavy furniture so I have strong gays that do that for me.  I'm a master of internet shopping but I dress from the Gap Outlet so I have stylish gays that help with that  (sometimes...  I don't like their judgey eyes!).   I can't weedeat my giant yard so I have a gay that does that for me.  (I pay that one.  I pay the others in hugs and with the honor of being in my presence.)  One area that I definitely need help with my retirement and financial stuffs.  I think this dude is straight.    I hate thinking about retirement because math is hard but I do not understand people my age that do not have a retirement plan.  Y'all.  Get on this!  So I've had a financial advisor since I was about 23 when all I had was $17 and a dream of not eating cat food when I turn 65 and together we're making that dream come true.  When I remember to return his phone calls...  So I'm a big promoter of getting yourself a financial plan other than your 401k and if you happen to find an advisor that looks like Christian Bale but doesn't act like Patrick Bateman then I might want to trade with you.  Unless he acts like Christian Bale too...  I give financial planning 4.9676768787 pizza rolls.

Now that my face, shower and portfolio are in order it's time to get all science-y.  I would say I'm a health conscious person but that's pretty much where it stays - in my head - because unfortunately the universe was constructed in a way where all of your body's nutritional needs are not met with quesadillas, red wine and dark chocolate.  As a Virgo I know everything about everything particularly as it relates to health but, also as a Virgo, I'm a hypocritical harpie so I like to lecture other people about what they should do while doing the exact same thing.  "You know that Diet Coke is nothing but chemicals that will take you straight to the grave right? *sprays fake cheese in mouth*  "And don't forget your vitamins!"  *pops a gummi bear*  But this time I'm leading by example and giving you helpful - not harpie - info.  Especially for the LAAAADIEEEEES!!  After a recent trip to the doctor it turns out I was dangerously low on my vitamin D levels.  

This is the new ModernSauce font.
I wasn't experiencing any symptoms like feeling abnormally tired so the tests were just a precaution since low levels of Vitamin D are pretty common now.  However once the results came back they called in an emergency prescription that day and wondered how I was even functioning.  I exist solely on the fumes of fabulosity and glitternaise sandwiches of course!  Normal levels should be anywhere from 40-80 [insert whatever unit of measurement they use] and mine was a 12.  A fucking 12.  I guess the glow from my computer is NOT a replacement for the sun like I thought...  

I look like this by necessity.
Since the sun is my arch nemesis and ruins my delicate angel skin within about 20 minutes it makes outdoor activities a pain in the ass without SPF 240+.  That spf will - I know from experience - take off your nail polish but it's the only way I can step on a beach or mow the grass.  Or walk from my car to my front door in August.  I may not die of skin cancer but I'll probably die of sunscreen poisoning.

So after just a few doses of enough Vitamin D to possibly kill a small horse (if such a thing were possible) I feel a jizzillion times better.  I wasn't complaining of being tired before because I'd forgotten what it was like to NOT feel the bone weary, emotional roller coaster of doom and dark pissypants attitude that I had.  It was just my new normal!  Possibly it's your normal too.  So ladies you need to have your Vitamin D checked regardless of how you feel.  It happened to me and several of my friends and it can happen to YOU!  *sprays fake cheese in mouth*  I give it 12 out of 5 pizza rolls because OMIGAWD I FEEL SO GOOD NOW!  SQUEEEE!