Thursday, May 29, 2014

This cat spits on my staycation.

Just blogging in briefly to alert you to a few very important things.

#1 I'm still on staycation which means I've been in my pajamas for four days and it is magnificent.  

#2  I'm watching some mediocre show called Longmire to inspire me not to sit around in my pajamas all day.  It's not working quite as well as I had hoped.  It's like if Charlie Swan, Bella's dad, had a cop show with his Native American frenemies and CBS produced it.  Lou Diamond Phillips is in it which is kinda the highlight.

#3 June 1st, this Sunday, is the last day to enter to win an amazing handwritten letter from me!!!! (also agate knobs)  Please leave a comment here with your email and/or twitter handle if you're interested.

#4 The best thing I've seen all week is this:

Her name is Millie and she goes mountain climbing with her human.  His name is Craig.

She was an adopted kitten who he trained to follow him on his adventures.

Don't worry, sometimes she has a harness and her own rope.

I feel like these are all Instagram pics and I would follow the shit out of it if I knew what it is.  Until then please check out Millie doing more exciting things than I'll ever do in my entire life.

The cutest thing ever.

Charlemagne would be so good at this, gah!   She doesn't like new places the older she gets but she's a climber as evidenced by all the time she spends on the roof.  In our next life, kitty.  Next life.

Read and see more here at Bored Panda.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Win a handwritten letter from me! (And some West Elm hardware)

Hey remember 24 hours-ish ago when I told you about these here West Elm knobs and how sad they made me?

Well I was going to try and find a new piece of furniture for them or put them on eBay in about ten years and then I realized, "Hey, why don't I just give my castoffs to YOU?!"  That's right, I'm giving them away just like Jesus would want! 

Would you like some possibly disappointing knobs that may or may not have some cat hair on them?  Well now's your chance, sunshine!

For the record, the knobs aren't ugly in any way.  Just not what West Elm advertised and therefore made my soul sad.  As you can see above they are somewhat transparent which might work to your advantage...?

They aren't quite as green/purple as this photo shows but my phone can only do so much.  However, you can see the edge if that was the clencher for you.

This seems like a pretty accurate representation of their color.
They do look pretty on a light background.  I bet you could paint the backs of them to put anywhere... just sayin...  

Here's the original West Elm link if you need to view them how nature intended.

So I DO feel kinda like a douchebag for doing this but if someone else thinks they're perfect for them then it all worked out.  Technically you could win them (I bet three people will enter so you have a good chance) and then turn around and sell them on eBay and that would be totally fine.  Godspeed, my friend.  

If you're interested just leave a comment below (please include your email or Twitter handle so I can contact you) by, uh, June 1 and then I'll draw a winner.  Maybe I should say recipient?  

I'll make sure to put a fun note in for you so if you want to win A REALLY COOL HANDWRITTEN NOTE STRAIGHT FROM THE MODSAUCE RANCH enter to win!  As a bonus I'll send you two agate knobs absolutely free!

If you do use them I'd love to see a picture later!  Make my meh your squee!

Monday, May 19, 2014

Cloudy with a chance of elegance.

Time for another installment of "What's Happening In My Bedroom ReSaucificaiton 2014?"!!

I'm not gonna lie I have no idea how punctuation works in a situation like that so please just politely nod, process my excitement and continue.

First things first, to round up the week (or ten days...) of good things happening Yonce, the Shining Gawddess of Light and Wind Machines, decided to bless me with a gift.

Nicest thing ever.  I got a little teary...
Can you even believe it?!  It's a vintage Moroccan wedding blanket straight from Marrakech that's been reincarnated into a pillow and is now living at the Ranch and makes my heart burst with joy.

*UPDATE:  I was wrong!  This pillow was not FROM a wedding blanket, it was made specifically for the bride's bed as is.  It's a wedding pillow!  I didn't even know that happened so I learned something new today!  

*SECOND UPDATE: Is it weird that I smelled it?

Look, the sequins even have a wonderful patina... 

Are you dying? I'm dying.
Squeed so hard.  I love the texture and shine and hint of color and it's gonna look so flipping suh-WEET on my bed.  Which I will absolutely want to actually make now so I can look at it.

Thank you so, so much to M and y'all please check out Red Thread Souk where this beauty came from. (Not a sponsored plug of any kind, just a friend.)

Man, I really gotta step up my game now.  We's fancy up in herr!

Now onto things that I cannot rely on the altruism of others for, I've FINALLY started painting my new old nightstand.  You may remember this $3 find?

I've spent all my time and energy working in the yard lately so the last thing I wanted to do was come inside and work more.  But thanks to a rainy weekend I could get down to bidness.  

Which was this:

I mean, it was $3.  So I spent a few days patching and sanding the big holes and when I was done I discovered about a dozen more but those are staying as "character."  Sigh...

I set up shop in the corner of my living room because if I'm going to spend hours working at least I can watch tv while I'm doing it.  [Read: I'm super fucking lazy and can't spend an hour alone without being entertained.]

In addition to the nightstand I decided to paint one of those West Elm lacquer trays you see up there on the right.  (I got it at a yard sale a few years ago I think?)  It was cheap and useful but that blue color is the most awkward shade ever.  It's like cornflower meets Sesame Street but sadder.  

If Indigo was castrated, this is the color it would be.

If mold got turnt up, this is the color it would be.

Normally I don't sand shit before I prime it but since this was so shiny I figured I had to.  So I got out my orbital sander and kinda half-assed took off its shiny, smug awkwardness.

Honestly, even though I used a mask this was probably a really dumb and unhealthy thing to do.  When I was done all the dust was sparkly from all the finely-ground shellac and I probably have lung cancer forming as we speak so good job me.

Veep is on in the background and I'm still wearing pajamas because I didn't shower all day.

After I primed and put on one coat things are definitely looking sexy.  The color was kinda hard for me to choose (SHOCKING, I KNOW).  It's not white although the afternoon light makes it look that way.  It's actually a pale grey - not a cold grey favored by cheap chevron prints everywhere but slightly warmer and more sophisticated.  Like cloudy with a chance of elegance.  

I was really drawn to Farrow & Ball's Cornforth White which of course I can't get around here so I found a comparable color at everyone's favorite girl next door, Benjamin Moore, called Collinwood.  Maybe this will help you to see?

I'm almost 110% certain they copied Farrow & Ball's color because those names are both equally jumbled in my mouth in too similar of a way for it to be a coincidence. 

I tried to underexpose this picture a bit so you can see the grey but now it just looks like a shitty picture.  But there's Charlemagne so it's not a total loss.

Despite this terrible picture the color really is amazing - as the sun went down it got cloudier and elegancier and I tried to show a bit of the contrast against my very practical styrofoam floor protectors.  I might have to paint my entire living room this color.  I can't stop staring at it as I type this...

Also, I was so pleased with how my china cabinet in my dining room turned out (remember this?) that I wanted to do an enamel again.  The nightstand is going to get some abuse so I need PERFORMANCE. I ended up using BM's Advanced Enamel paint which I can't recommend highly enough.  

Normally I don't give a flying Purdy fuck about paint types but lemme school ya:  this paint is a water-based alkyd (soap and water cleanup for an enamel) with low VOC and, not to sound like a commercial, exceptional leveling.  Like, after one coat I can't even see the brush strokes.  That second coat is probably going to be panty-creaming awesomeness.  There's nothing I despise more than painting trim but this looks so pretty I might repaint all my trim in this paint. 

However, a quart of each of the paint and primer set me back $50 so fuuuuuuck.  So much for my $3 table remaining cheap but it's way worth it.  This is most certainly not a sponsored plug for BM but this is how much I like this stuff.

Now onto other details that I'm just embarrassingly throwing my money at...

I fell in love with West Elm's agate knobs a few months ago and ordered them sight unseen from the interwebz!  Well low and behold they were kinda underwhelming when I got them in and they were on clearance so I couldn't return them.  I'm an idiot.

They actually look pretty here but in person they are almost clear and kinda milky - just not what the picture was in West Elm.  I'll try to reuse them for something else?  

Anyway, after that crushing reveal I couldn't shake the desire for a mineral-y pull of some kind so in a shopping rush I bought Anthropologie's Druzy Quartz knobs.

Now THESE are absolutely stunning in person and I think they would work really nicely with the nightstand BUT... they were $24 a piece.  OUCH.  The closest Anthro is 1.5 hours away so I just bought them on impulse because it was now or never.  I was also thinking a "splurge" would be a cool high/lo detail for the furniture BUT... I just can't do it.  I'm returning them.

Do you know how big of a REAL geode I can buy for $50??  A really fucking big one!  So I think I'd rather do that instead.

Also, I didn't move the hardware holes so now I'm kinda committed to the OG hardware (or at least that style):

Which looks totally fine and I like it.  They're actually brass but so tarnished they look almost black and I'm fine with it.  My lamp might be brass so I don't want too much shiny.  I can always change it later.

I'm still sad about the Anthro ones but there are some really cool geodes at my local antique mall so I think I need to go visit those to help soothe the sting of disappointment.

Right now I'm waiting on the first coat of paint to cure on the nightstand before I sand then I've got one more coat of paint before I'm done!  And if you're wondering the tray is looking about a million times better.  I'll share the final results of everything later of course.

If you're wondering why this bedroom project is taking so long it's because I spent all my money on plants for my garden this Spring.  I also can't find a lamp for my dresser that I like for $11 because that's all the money I have left to spend on it...  


Oh yeah I also spent money on BEYONCE AND JAY Z TICKETS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Not ashamed even a little bit!  Ain't tryna hear none of your Elevatorgate shade neither.  

All I'm trying to do is paint some furniture and pick out an outfit for the concert.  In July.

But next week I'm on staycation so I expect my headboard and other things will be given much attention then.

Sauce On The Run!

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Charlie Sheen came back for a slow, torturous revenge.

Continuing on the theme of Good Things Around the Ranch That Make Me Want to Keep Living (TM) let's review the mini barn situation.

First of all, there is a mini barn situation.

Long time readers may remember its public debut back in 2011 with Day 1 of the kitchen remodel when the demo released a lot of evil spirits who wrecked havoc on my house.

No damage anywhere. Yes, I'm a lucky girl.
Or it was Charlie Sheen?  The post obviously included lots of really relevant pop culture references about assholes and drugs and destruction.  I completely forget what my titles are about once I hit publish.  It's a serious problem.  

But yes there's the mini barn that was once shaded underneath a weeping willow in her golden years, my pride and joy of the house.  After the tree fell that shitty mini barn was front and center for everyone to see and I felt deep, deep shame every time I had to go get my lawn equipment.

It was in a state of disrepair thanks to some ants, bees, dry rot and general neglect.  I used to lock the doors to "protect" the lawn equipment until one day I lost the key and had to rip off the entire lock out of the wood.  It just limply hangs there now... 

Your final sunset, mini barn of shame.
And sometimes random pieces of wood would just fall off as you can see on the doors...  They can go live at that weird Dutch Colonial thing across the street.

And so it sat for another two years taunting me.  Last summer I worked out a deal to donate the mini barn to a nearby church (who would then repair it - I'm not a jerk).  A church seems like the last place I would donate it considering I'm a heathen of the highest UNorder but they host our neighborhood farmer's market and marry gays and I can write it off on my taxes so it worked out for everyone!

Until it didn't.  I emptied the shed and waited from last summer until LAST WEEK for the church's handyman to come pick it up.  I groveled, I begged, I passive-aggressived, I finally sent threatening text messages promising to offer the barnette to Craigslist - or worse, the local Baptist church - if they didn't get it.  

Turns out the handyman is a junkie and what I'm diagnosing as bipolar so no matter I do I can't seem to get away from assholes, drugs and destruction.  I'm pretty lenient when it comes to working out your personal demons, dude, but not only did I miss this year's last year's tax return it's now too late to plant grass this summer so FUCK YOU.

I'm obviously very upset by the grass thing.

The track in the grass is actually from when I drove on wet ground earlier this year. Oops.
But this is what we look like now!!  Forever minty but barnless.  Somehow I have a feeling that the elation I feel following over 10 months of waiting for this empty space cannot be adequately expressed by my clunky blogging but I consider it a absolute victory.  

It's a fairly large area which means lots of space - maybe 15-20 feet along the side of the house - to create some gorgeous landscaping that I may or may not kill!  This is the view I see most when I come home so I want it to be beautiful.  

The landscaping in front of the house - that the neighbors see - can take care of itself.  It's dead to me.  Maybe literally at this point...

I think I'll want to put something big and bold right there - like maybe some limelight hydrangeas!

Fresh from last week's post is this beauty.  The grass at the bottom is Silk Tassels Morrow's Sedge I do believe and it wouldn't hurt my feelings if that got into my yard as well.  They look like muppet wigs and I'm totally down with that.

Basically I wrote this whole thing to tell you about how excited I am about some new negative space in my yard and to warn you that some plant posts will be coming in the future.  

Also writing as a warning to that gawddamn bipolar junkie motherfucker that I will seriously fuck his shit up the next time I see him.*

*not smile as big as I normally do

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Nashville: Cowboy boots, libraries and hipster WASPs.

Last week was was kinda a rough week around the Ranch - my allergies went from sniffles to sinus infection in .6 seconds, I might be living on top of a giant wasp nest because I kill some in my house every day and I have no idea how they're getting in, Charlemagne keeps bringing me dead chipmunks at 3 AM VERY LOUDLY, and my Clarisonic quit working so I have chin congestion.


I feel like I should make a WASP joke here but since I'm not Protestant does it even still apply?

But finally broke down and got some fancy doctoring/antibiotics so my attitude vastly improved.  After 7-10 days.  [MS sidebar: am I one of those people that talks about being sick a lot?  I hope not... it happens every year but somehow it always takes me by surprise. I have a short memory and constantly inflamed nasal passages so I apologize.]

So this week I'm blogging about all the happy things that are going on right now because nobody likes a complainer and also happy things are happening.  

First happy thing that happened was that I had a quick trip to our state's capital: Nashville!  Sinuses be damned!

Despite living in TN I've never actually explored Nashville.  So un-Southern of me.  First I fangirled over some lovely blogger ladies for lunch at Pinewood Social.  Thank you ModFruGal and MeYouandaWiener for your hospitality and camaraderie.

I don't bowl. Have you seen my nails?
Accio Nashville Hipster badge!

Does a Harry Potter reference negate my newly-acquired hipster steet cred?

Oil cans filled with Tender Feelings.  Because I'm the Tin Man of Faux-Hipsterdom...

We did some antiquing downtown where I bought a few small things I don't need.  

It's the American way.

Then we parted ways and I met an historic preservationist friend who was passing through the state.  This worked out well because we both love taking iPhone pictures of buildings.  Yay, dorky tourists!  Also, friendship and shit.

You know I'm a sucker for ivy on a building.  Consume us please, Mother Nature.

The back entrance.  Obviously where I felt more comfortable. (Not an anal joke.)  And no I didn't stay out late at the clubs or bars and listen to people cover Carrie Underwood songs - I had to work the next day!  Universal excuse of old, boring people.

There's a reproduction log cabin in downtown because of course there is this is Tennessee.  To the right of this building is the football stadium because of course there is this is Tennessee.

I would listen to 50 dozen mediocre Carrie Underwood covers if it meant I could see details like this.  Design nerd.

Since I only had a day, walking the typical tourist area was pretty and worth it.  I can mark it off my list.

As well as cowboy boots for miiiiiles.  It is required that every girl there - no matter what your style is in your home city - MUST buy a Forever21 floral dress and wear it with cowboy boots.  Each girl was only marginally different enough that you could TELL they all dressed each other before the trip so no one looked too close to the other one.

Of course, I shouldn't judge their outfits because while my friend and I were standing on the sidewalk some college kid took our picture on the skeevy downlow by holding the camera by his side hoping we wouldn't notice.  His giant flash gave him away and we yelled at him but the antibiotics hadn't kicked in enough for me to run him down and destroy the evidence.  I have a feeling we're on some terrible tumblr dedicated to tourist fashion.  THAT SKEEVY DUDES WANT TO FAP TOO! 

On second thought, I like being a tourist so fuck it.  But if you ever see me on a tourist-shaming tumblr please holler at me so I can cry a lot destroy that asshole.

Honestly, couldn't tell if that was Jesus or Elvis on that roof.  Does it even matter?

Obviously, Nashville is down with some murals and who am I to argue with the Man in Black?

Spent a lot of time here at the Goorin Bros hat store rubbing elbows with some guys with dramatic mustaches while looking in the mirror.  We were trying on the same hats and looking equally fetching in them.  Alas, I only left with a 100 selfies and no hats.

Nashville people hate it when you say Nashvegas.  Chattanooga people also hate it when you say Chattavegas which is why I do it.  I don't need an expensive hat to poorly practice irony.

Boring, old people get excited about library bumper stickers rather than the band directly behind it.  Sounds like me.

Despite the short stay and dangerous air quality warnings advising people to stay indoors, it was a fun little trip.  I laugh in the face of your warnings!! I took some extra nose spray and prayed those antibiotics were strong enough to help my sinuses without being strong enough to wreck havoc on my lady business while away from home.  I was 97% successful.

I hope to start making more trips to Nashville to explore the rest of the city so if you're in the area let me know and we'll hook up!  

Just please don't take clandestine photos of me on the streets.  You'll make me cry murder you.

Later this week I've got other happy things like bedroom updates and other things happening around the house!