Friday, January 23, 2009

Sideboard Makeover

My sideboard was a plain Jane. She asked for nothing, and didn't even cry when dear daughter smashed her head into her glass door and cracked it (the door). She is an old gal, of questionable background. So plain, we didn't notice her much. Well, she did have that one intersting tile inset composed of teal and white.....

I thought about getting rid of her for some flashy new thing. But, aside from the lack of redecorating funds, I decided to give her a chance. I repainted her and made her look unique. That is a nice way to put it! Anyway, if anyone is interested in the method of my madness, here is a step-by-step for painting glass doors. I really wanted to hide the secrets within (i.e. all my art and other crap stored in the shelves) and went all out on the doors.

First you pick a design. I copied some stained glass patterns. Tape the pattern to the outside of the glass. Trace the pattern onto the glass using a permanent marker. Paint the pattern with acrylics or watercolors, depending on how much transparency you want. I used both. Remember, you will be seeing the reverse side. Hang up the doors and voila! I painted the wood a cranberry red and used some antique gold paint as a highlighter.

And a big thank you to Hayley, who assured me I could do this!

No more sitting in the corner for my baby :)

Dear daughter saw the camera and insisted on a photo op for her blossoming little girl pout career. Style and pose by Ellen, age 5.

Aren't my girls somethin'?

I haven't replaced the glass since the head incident. The cats like to jump in there for now.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Mission Survival

No, not talking about cancer, blah, blah, blah on that topic. Talking winter. In Chicago. Since we are hitting 70's and 80's this week in California and the Chicago forecast is butt-ass cold, I am fondly remembering my first winter in the Mid-West.

Mission: Survive Dental School

Launch Date: Fall/Winter 1989-90

Location: lake side, downtown Chicaaaaago

Enemy: besides gnarly teeth (not mine), nazi-esque instructors and a piss-poor student budget~ the wind, the below zero cold, the icy streets, the cab drivers

Cohort: my roommate Maria, who was from Miami

Mitigating Factors: none, OK maybe our youth

Fancy Gadgets: none (no cell phones or Internet, this was still the 80's)

Maria and I were talking in our dorm room one Sunday afternoon. We were pretty sure we had the proper gear to make it through the upcoming winter.


My coat, on the left, didn't have a hood and it was BRIGHT royal blue. Remember, this was the eighties. I was sure I would be fine, but I was not so sure about Maria. She may have had to wear a pashmina to the disco once or twice on a cold night in Miami, but her heavy coat was unlined leather.

So we call the experts~ our classmates from Canada, New York and the Mid-west. We asked them to come and check our gear.

They laughed. And laughed. And belly laughed. And peed their pants. Then they asked us did we have winter boots? Boots? we say. You need boots? OK more laughing. Then we pull out our boots...



Then the experts lost it and dragged us to one of their rooms where they had actual winter gear. Their coats looked like sleeping bags with belts. They had hats. (OMG I was going to have to smush the chi-chi poof down?) and boots that were a combination hiking boot/top-siders. We had never seen anything more ugly in our lives.

We tried to be cool, and brave. But by Mid-October our chi chi was blown to bits, our feet were frozen and our dream fashion glamour was in the toilet. We had to catch the el to the Loop and buy some ugly-ass coats. We made it that first winter nicely in our ugly coats and survived many other indignities that year.

We petitioned the dean to assign dorm rooms matching each warm weather student with a cold weather roomie.

Maria, where ever you are, I hope you are nice and warm.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Camp Nukemboobies

Well, I must say the whole breast cancer thing sucks. During active treatment, I especially despised the radiation therapy. It was literally cold. and impersonal. and exhausting. and depressing. Like the rest of it wasn't? But personally, I had the most trouble with the radiation both physically and emotionally.

When I decided to make my own cancer-related designs, the radiation designs were some of the very first to come to my chemo-laden imagination. They are still some of my best-selling designs, so I know other people share my sense of humor, or pain, or both. I revamped my Camp Nukemboobies this year and I think it turned out nice with the radiation symbol on the pink tent. Going to radiation treatment is a lot like camp: you meet new people, get a sunburn, miss home, get tired. Fortunately there are no bugs, but unfortunately there is no fun either! Camp Nukemboobies shirt may help you put a little fun into the marathon of radiation treatments for breast cancer.

And my generic radiation design Been There Fried That has a big dose of reality... Put a fork in me, I'm done!

If you know anyone undergoing radiation therapy, be sure to give them lots of encouragement and hugs. But check with them on the hugs, sometimes places can be a little toasty!

Sunday, January 4, 2009


I. just. left. him. there.

OK confession... I put him in the microwave for a little bit and then put him back in the freezer. Some Rescue Hero. Can't even take on a Desperate Housewife. Or a fourth-grader's curiosity.