DIY

I’m so vain

I’m so vain 10

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Some of you may recall a very important resolution I set for myself at the beginning of 2014.

And no, I’m not referring to “Achieving a cellulite-free posterior.” Let’s just say that one hasn’t been going so well.

The resolution I’m talking about is much more…well…fun.  I wanted to start painting again!

I studied art in college, and particularly excelled in painting. Time spent at the easel went quickly — the hours passed like minutes as I zoned out and let my brush do the emoting. At the risk of sounding like one of those hippie dippie art instructors with beads in her dreadlocks, painting fed my soul.

Now felt like the perfect time to head back to the easel. I have the budget for supplies, plenty of space to work, and a plethora of blank walls just begging to be decorated. I decided to jump back in with both feet — ordering a 40×40 canvas from Amazon last week.

The following day, I created a concept for my first project based off of (cringe) an Instagram selfie.

concept

Within forty-eight hours, my 10 square foot painter’s canvas had arrived. I was ready to get down to business! Halfway through the first coat, Scott inquired as to what I was actually painting.

progress

Scott: Is it just going to be a bunch of blobs? Kind of like that Pollock guy does?

Katrina: Jackson Pollock? No. It’s going to be a self-portrait. I’m just working on the background texture right now.

Scott: Seriously? A self-portrait?

Katrina: Yeah. What’s wrong with that?

Scott: Don’t you think it’s a little…I don’t know…self absorbed? It’s going to be huge.

Katrina: Not at all! Many of the great painters are known for the self portraits. Do you think Vincent Van Gogh or Frida Kahlo were self-absorbed?

Scott: They knew they looked funny–they highlighted their flaws in those portraits.

Katrina: Whatever. I would kill for thick brows like Frida.

Scott: Where are you going to hang it?

Katrina: In the space above the fireplace in our living room.

Scott: What?! No. That’s ridiculous.

Katrina: No it isn’t! I’m even using paint colors that will tie in with our decor.

Scott: Katrina. Who hangs a mammoth-sized painting of their face in the most prominent wall in their home?

Katrina: Rich people in movies do it all the time. Haven’t you seen Clueless?

Scott: We are not rich, nor are we in any movies.

Katrina: I don’t care. I’m hanging it there whether you like it or not.

And with that, I returned to my painting.

Over the next twenty-four hours, the portrait started to come to life. Being out of practice for seven years, my skills are a bit rusty, but the final result looked somewhat close to my original concept.

It ended up looking like my slightly more attractive cousin who's eyes aren't symmetrical...but I'll take it!

It ended up looking like a more attractive cousin who’s eyes aren’t symmetrical…but I’ll take it!

Scott was even impressed. “You’re really talented,” he offered, “Now we just need to set up a better space with you an invest in higher quality paints so you can sell some of these.”

“Whoa, whoa whoa…” I responded, “First things first, let’s just focus on hanging this up, alright?”

It came as no surprise Scott was resistant to this suggestion.

“It’s a beautiful painting, but I still don’t want a giant replica of your face looking over our living room. I’m saving you from you narcissism.”

I shrugged casually before sneaking out to the garage to locate a hammer and nails. It was time to take matters into my own, egotistical hands.

painting

painting2

 

It wasn’t until I saw my abstract mug perched high atop our living quarters that I realized Scott may have had a point. A giant picture of my face overseeing the main area of our home? It was a little ridiculous. And self-indulgent. And perhaps just a tad delusional.

But I still kind of love it…?

Moments later, I called Scott into the living area to admire my handiwork. “What do you think?” I asked nervously.

“No offense, but it kind of looks like Britney Spears.”

My heart melted into a puddle of flattery. It was the perfect response.

“Well,” I argue, “If you’re too embarrassed to tell guests your wife hung a giant portrait of herself above the fireplace, you can always just say it’s a painting of the Princess of Pop!”

“That would be even worse, Katrina.”

He continued ranting, but I didn’t catch much of it. I was too busy dancing around the bedroom belting “Paint me baby, one more time!”

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Let’s take a nap

Let’s take a nap 3

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This morning’s plan was to write a charming little post about the latest and greatest in my television arsenal. (Cut me some slack…there’s nothing else to do when it’s bitterly cold out.)

And then I woke up with a splitting headache. Also? Scott took my favorite cereal with him to work. All in all, a terrible start to the morning.

I’ve tried coffee. I’ve tried Tylenol. I’ve tried a heaping bowl of my second favorite cereal. Yet the throbbing in my head still remains.

So, I’ve decided forgo a “real” post, and instead am stealing an idea from an interior design blog I follow. Each week, Sarah creates a free printable to share with her readers. You simply download the PDF, print it out on some nice paper, and throw it in an 8×10 picture frame. Voila! Instant semi-art.

Today, I’ll be sharing my very first free printable with all y’all. It’s simple and graphic, inspired by the black and white gallery wall in my dining room.

I struggled with what I actually wanted the printable to say. Most of the ones I’ve seen have something positive and inspirational, like “Do what you love”, “Home is wherever I’m with you” or “Believe you can and you will”.

While these are lovely sentiments, they seemed a little too “fourth grade classroom kitty cat inspirational poster” for me. Creating a printable that said “Shine on, you crazy diamond” felt disingenuous to who I am as a person. So, I just went with the first thing that popped into my head.

printable

 

I kind of love it.

Want to hang this beauty up in your bathroom? You can download your copy here.

That’s all I got. Happy napping, friends!

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Thank you, Urban Dictionary

Thank you, Urban Dictionary 4

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Remember the time I considered getting  ”Yase” tattooed on my body while on a trip to Australia?

Ultimately, I opted to temporarily hang it on my wall, as opposed to permanently etching it on my ribcage. It seemed more logical as I’d been wanting to hang giant letters in our new house from the very first walk through anyway. The problem? Those enormous characters are pricey with a capital ‘P’! I had my eye on these beauties from Restoration Hardware, but couldn’t bring myself to pull the $400 trigger. There simply had to be a more affordable option.

After months of internet hangable-typography trolling, I came across these guys at Target.

y

 

Sure, they were the wrong color. But a 30-inch letter for just $29.99? It was too good to pass up. I whipped out my Target card, quite pleased with myself for saving nearly three-hundred bucks.

A few days later, I was delighted when the UPS man dropped my “YASE” off at the front doorstep.

yase

 

Not so delighted?

Scott.

“I hate when you do that,” he griped.

“Buy stuff online without asking?” I asked innocently.

“Well, yeah…that...but mostly when you take something I came up with and exploit it.”

“Huh?” I muttered with confusion.

“Yase was my term. Something fun and quirky that I made up for just us. And then, like always, you take it and make it a big ‘thing’ on your blog and then go hang it up in giant letters in our dining room.”

“Technically, Jolie came up with ‘yase’.” I argued.

“Whatever. You just had to turn it into this big, inside joke that’s now a really obnoxious and not all that funny outside joke. Plus…anyone who comes over to our house is going to see it and think we’re totally weird.”

“I think most people already think we’re totally weird.” I countered.

“Then we’re going to have to explain  the big giant ‘YASE’ to them, which will make us look downright delusional.”

“Do you want me to send them back?”

“No,” he grumbled, “I don’t want to have to deal with repackaging them.”

“I could rearrange them to spell something else?” I offered.

“Like what?”

“EASY?” I suggested tentatively.

{Eye roll}

What about “ESAY”? I continued.

“Essay is spelled with two esses.” Scott corrected.

“No…not ‘essay’ like a written paper…’esay’ as in the Latino word for homeboy!”

{Second eye roll followed by stomping upstairs.)

Seconds later, agitated yelling emerged from the bedroom. “Oh, by the way… the ‘Latino word for homeboy’ is E-S-E!

(This is why I never made it to the final round of the spelling bee.)

*****

Later that evening, I noticed the hashtag #yase had been used over five thousand times on Instagram. Perhaps Scott hadn’t invented the term, after all?

A quick visit to Urban Dictionary revealed my suspicions were correct.

yase2

 

I clumsily thundered upstairs to share my findings with Scott.

“Really?” he exclaimed with a hint of relief, before granting me permission to proceed with my original plan of action.

(He didn’t give me permission to drink a whole bottle of wine while panting the letters black directly above our recently polished floors…but what he doesn’t know won’t hurt him.)

paint

 

As for my method, I kept things pretty simple:

  1. Painted the tops of the letters with three coats of black, glossy craft paint from Wal-Mart. (The cheap stuff that’s three bucks for a giant bottle.)
  2. Painted the sides of the letters (which are only about half an inch thick) with the same bronze paint I used on our dining room chairs. I wasn’t at all careful with my painting as I wanted the letters to look aged and industrial. Imperfections in paint only added to the faux patina I was attempting to create.
  3. Sanded the face and edges of the letters to roughen them up a bit, and dull the glossy finish. My sandpaper wore out halfway through this step, so I started using a nail file, which ended up working even better.
  4. Pose smugly with my DIY-masterpiece while making Scott take umpteen iPhone photos. You know, to make sure I got where I “didn’t look fat and sweaty”.
pose

Slightly fat and sweaty…but at least I’m tan.

“YASE” has been hanging in our dining room for over a week, and I couldn’t be happier with how it turned out. It looks especially swanky now that our black and white gallery wall — which I’ve been chipping away at all week — is slowly starting to surround it.

yase

 

This is just a sneak peak…look for a full reveal of our oh-my-gosh-did-it-really-take-seven-months-to-finish-this dining room reveal on Monday.

In the meantime, I’d love to see photos of the giant Urban Dictionary slang words you’ve hung in your dining room! (I can’t be the only one who’s done that…right?)

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The mindful, Sporwegian painter who had no cellulite

The mindful, Sporwegian painter who had no cellulite 11

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I’m one of those people who absolutely loves ringing in the new year. It’s not the champagne, the fireworks, or even the sequined cocktail wear and ridiculous head accessories. For this girl, it’s all about the resolutions.

I’m a huge believer in goal setting, and love starting out the month of January with some ambitions I’d like to conquer during the next 365 days. It’s not that I’m unhappy with myself or my life — I just love setting my sights on a target, and chipping away until I hit my mark. Nothing feels better than accomplishing something big — especially when I’m the one reaping the benefits of the achievement.

And so, it is with optimism, drive, and just a pinch of delusion that I present to you my four major resolutions for 2014:

 

Become fluent in Sporwegian

I’ve dreamed of becoming bilingual for as long as I can remember, and have spent the past week debating whether to focus my efforts on learning Norwegian or Spanish. While Old Norse is the native tongue of my ancestors, I must remember it certainly isn’t the most practical dialect in the world. (Even if you do reside in Minnesota.)

I studied Spanish for nearly eight years in school. I’m pretty rusty, but surely I’d remember quite a bit once I started practicing, right? Plus, Spanish would be something I might actually use from time to time–even if it is just to impress my friends on vacation.  Also? Unlike Norwegian, Spanish is offered by Rosetta Stone.

(And yes…I’ve decided to go the RS route. Unless anyone has a better suggestion? I’d love to hear what methods worked best for all the bilingual readers out there.)

 

Focus on “Mindfulness”

At the risk of being one of those people who says things like “An article I read in Women’s Health magazine totally changed my life!”, an article in Women’s Health magazine has kind of changed my life.

This piece on the concept of mindfulness focuses on living in the now. Turns out people who embrace enjoying the moment aren’t only happier, they’re also healthier! I’ve blogged before about how postponing my happiness for perfect circumstances is not how I want to live. And so, in an effort to truly live in the moment, I’m planning on buying a hippie-dippie book like this one and learning to meditate.

(Please feel free to stage an intervention if I start wearing tie-dye and drinking homemade hemp milk.)

 

Start painting again

I studied art in college, and believe it or not, was a fairly skilled abstract painter.  As a senior, I was named art student of the year, which to this very day remains one of my proudest college achievements.

The early apartments Scott and I shared were littered with several of my original pieces. While he loved them, I couldn’t stop critiquing my work and obsessively going over what I would have done differently if I were to paint them again. The small “flaws” that only I noticed slowly began to drive me crazy. In a fit of frustration, I sold every last painting in a yard sale while Scott wasn’t looking. Whoops.

Not only do I miss the process of painting — our new house has blank walls to fill! After researching the price of original artwork, creating my own masterpieces seems like more and more of a viable option. I’m looking forward to creating custom home decorwhile expressing my creative side and making a mess in the garage. Stay tuned for a photo of my first project, which will most likely be a modern, graphic portrait of…you guessed it…the dogs.

 

Achieve a cellulite-free posterior

Given my genetics, age, and love for French macarons, this is basically impossible. But you know what they say: If you shoot for the cellulite-free moon you’ll land among the stars that are slightly less dimpley than whatever you started out with.

Or something like that…?

Seriously, though — I love my body and am comfortable in my skin. Cellulite and all. But it would be kind of awesome to have a booty that doesn’t violently jiggle for 7.4 seconds after it bumps into something. Even if my rock hard backside only lasts for a week. (Let’s face it…giving up macarons isn’t going to be a permanent life change. Duh.)

*****

Anyone out there making resolutions with me? I’d love to know what you’re aspiring to. And hey…maybe we can band together start a motivational group for those of us with jello booties! Strength in numbers, y’all. Strength in numbers.

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