Thursday, June 28, 2012

It's Tour Time!

"It never gets easier, you just go faster."
-Greg LeMond

If you're a regular reader or you know me in real-life, you've probably picked up on the fact that Rob and I are bicycle enthusiasts. While Rob's a little more hardcore in the athletic department, I get just as giddy about watching a good bike race.

Needless to say, we're excited that this year's Tour de France starts on Saturday. (In fact, Rob told me he probably wouldn't even miss me much while I'm out of town this weekend!) So to celebrate, I whipped up this little banner to hang on our mantel for the next three weeks.

I happened upon just enough 4"x6" sheets of yellow paper cut from another project. Together with a couple of white sheets and some black curling ribbon, my awesome banner came together.

Click here to make one of your own: Tour De France Banner

Wednesday, June 27, 2012


"He who would travel happily must travel light." 

Time: 8:06 pm
Location: Bouncing back and forth between kitchen and living room
Watching: Olympics Swimming Trials... we've been watching all week!
Eating: Taking sneaky bites of the mashed potatoes and Parmesan-crusted porkchops that we'll have for dinner tonight
Drinking: A big glass of ice water... it's too hot for anything else
Feeling: Excited about getting to see my Mama again tomorrow!
Thinking: I can't wait until Rob gets home from his bike ride so we can eat
Wanting: To get started on my Memphis vacation minibook
Needing: Clarification from the TSA website about whether I can take scrapbooking supplies in my carry-on
Making: Our favorite meal for dinner
Loving: My new Baggallini cross-body purse... a great T.J. Maxx find!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Happy 28th!

"Nothing is worth more than this day."
-Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Cookie bowls and ice cream for Rob's 28th birthday
My 28th birthday has come and gone. And, Rob's has, too. We celebrated each other all week, and now we're eager to see what our 29th year has in store.

This past year was one of my hardest yet... definitely my toughest year of adulthood so far. At its best, it was a year of upheaval and uncertainty. At its worst, I struggled with failure and anger.

Me on my 28th birthday
With all the time I have had on my hands over the last year, you would have thought (heck, even I thought) that I would have it all figured it out by now. What I want I do. Who I want to be. Maybe even, how to do it.

But, today as I write this, I know little more than I knew a year ago. Except that I do make it through. And, that there's comfort in knowing some stuff is beyond your control, out of your hands.

As for the future, we're taking it one day at a time... enjoying the here and the now. Looking forward to the months and years ahead, but understanding that they will arrive only when they're ready.

Monday, June 18, 2012

DIY Hiking first aid kit

"Precaution is better than cure."
-Edward Coke

One of my goals for the summer (especially before our trip to Denver in August that we just booked!) was to put together a comprehensive first aid kit for our day hike adventures. I married Mr. SafetyMan, so we've always carried a little bag along. But, after our "adventure" in Yosemite last summer when we needed several of our supplies at the top of the mountain, we will NEVER AGAIN go on a hike without a full first aid kit!

And, with Rob's birthday right around the corner, it was a perfect excuse to pull this together. 

I printed this first aid checklist from REI as a guide and headed towards Walgreen's to pick up the couple of things that we didn't already have on hand.

FYI: Right now Walgreen's has a promotion for a free zippered first aid bag, if you purchase two products from participating brands. And, it's hard to build a first aid kit without purchasing Band-Aid, Neosporin, or Cortaid, so it's win-win! However, I wish I had reached inside the bag and pulled out the coupons first!

I can't wait for Rob to see our new and improved first aid kit. And, more importantly, I can't wait until we throw it in our daypack as we trudge up a fourteener in Colorado. Although my fingers are crossed that we won't need it!

Saturday, June 09, 2012

Project 52 Weeks: Pages 13, 14, & 15

“Although no one can go back and make a brand new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending.” 
-Carl Bard 

Week 13: Moving Weekend
Supplies used: Orange Lot No. stickers collected from our many moving boxes, green satin ribbon, lined paper, staples, date stamp.

Journalling reads: The moving trucks came and went, leaving behind a wake of chaos. Boxes and furniture filled every nook and cranny. We have so much stuff! It is going to be a long couple of weeks of unpacking and sorting.

Week 14: 8:30 to 5:30
Supplies used: solid yellow paper, date stamp, thread and sewing machine, my first paystub from work in the pocket, arrow designed by me.

Journalling reads: After going back and forth for months with B2B, they finally offered me a part-time position. I will go into Greenville on Tuesdays and Wednesdays to work in their Art Department as a graphic artist. My job will be to help prepare files for printing. Most projects will be advertising wraps for vehicles, but occasionally there is an environmental graphics job as well. I'm learning so much about Adobe Photoshop!! More than I already knew!!

I didn't think through where to go after walking in the door. No one was at the front desk, and I didn't know where the offices were. -- I spent an hour online with the IT people trying to set up my accounts. -- We went outside to look at a monster truck that the owner wants wrapped. We chatted about design opportunities. -- Nat (my boss) took me on a tour of the office to meet everyone. He explained the "Orders Checklist" which will be one of my responsibilities. -- President of the company came by to announce a new $750,000 project we got from AT&T.

Week 15: Fully, completely, utterly engrossed
Supplies used: Gray papers from my stash, date stamp, text and asterisk designs by me. 

Journalling reads: Easter Sunday. After introducing Thomas and Jonathan to the Draw Something app, we sat around all afternoon, challenging each other to this high tech version of Pictionary. Then the boys turned on a movie while I made our meal plan and blogged.

Friday, June 08, 2012

Project 52 Weeks: Pages 16, 17, & 18

"Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year.” 
-Ralph Waldo Emerson

Week 16: 10 on 10 [April]
Supplies used: SMASHbooks pocket, grid paper from SMASHbooks packaging, kraft paper, scalloped circle punch, date stamp, Instagram, "ten on ten" graphic designed by me.

Journalling reads: Daily fuel: oatmeal, bacon, and orange juice -- Corners are starting to fall into place -- Stuck in roadwork traffic -- Just another day at the office... Yay I'm at an office!! -- Best part of the day... Drinking my afternoon coke -- All day long... Waiting for files to save -- Picked up bike tools for Rob -- Fresh produce with dinner -- Salsa chicken from the crockpot with rice and roasted corn -- Making progress on organizing the boxes stored in the guest room.

Week 17: The Bunch Brothers
Supplies used: Paper from Basic Grey's Urban Prairie collection, royal blue paper from my stash, date stamp, tags designed by me.

Journalling reads: While the menfolk built a fence, Stephanie and I took the boys to Roper Mountain Science Center. Doesn't our backyard look awesome now?

Week 18: Just me...
Supplies used: filigree rub-ons, letter stickers, fabric flower, solid paper from stash, pages from vintage magazine, circle punch, grid paper cut from a vintage farm calendar, small brads, date stamp.

Journalling reads: I'm learning to balance part-time work with freelance work with housework with leisure time. It's a routine that I'm unaccustomed to as of yet. I feel pulled in so many directions and yet not mastering anything. My to do list is long, my Google Reader is exploding, but maybe this is how life is supposed to be!

Thursday, June 07, 2012

Project 52 Weeks: Pages 10, 11, and 12

The time for action is now. It's never too late to do something. 
-Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Although it's been a while since I posted about my Project 52 Weeks progress, I promise that I'm not as far behind as you think. Moving, unpacking, and starting a new work routine sure took its toll for awhile, but I'm catching up.

Over the next couple of days, I'll be posting my newest pages.

Week 10: Create
Supplies used: Instagram, staples, mini brads, date stamp, adhesive chipboard shapes from Big Lots, flower and CREATE designs by me, striped paper from American Crafts' Bookshelf collection. 

Journalling reads: Creativity runs deep in my genes. For entertainment or out of necessity, my mom and grandmother inspired me to be a "maker." I'm fortunate to have the opportunity to pursue creative careers, often focusing in the digital world. However, there's just something about markers and paint!

Week 11: DIY Construction Zone [10 on 10]
Supplies used: Instagram, date stamp, DIY and Home Sweet Home designs by me.

Journalling reads: Burger King breakfast * Changing batteries in smoke detector * Taping up the herringbone laundry room wall * Firehouse for lunch * Home ownership = lots of trips to Lowe's * Painting my fun wall * Our toilet's in the middle of the bathroom * It's more fun to watch them work * Overflowing trash can * DIY diva = that's me!

Week 12: Do It.
Supplies used: Yellow vellum, date stamp, DO IT journalling card from SMASHbooks, vintage Orangeade cap, transparent film, pennies roll.

Journalling reads: 1. Paint bathroom stall, 2. Epoxy coat garage floor, 3. Install fan in bedrooms, 4. Paint master bedroom, 5. Move out of apartment.

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Happy 500!

“To accomplish great things, we must dream as well as act.” 
-Anatole France

5 years, 10 months, and 24 days ago I decided to dip my toes into the world of blogs. And, thus Dancing Commas was born. I was newly graduated from college, living in my first off-campus apartment, and not even engaged yet. Wow! That was a long time ago!

Here we are 500 posts later!

Since beginning of Dancing Commas, I've moved three and a half times, gotten married, been employed, unemployed AND semi-employed, and been on at least four epic vacations. I've decorated, crafted, sewn, and scrapbooked up a storm. Partly because it's in my blood: partly because I needed blog content. 

There have been times when I've blogged everyday and times when I've been away for weeks or months at a time. 

Dancing Commas is my virtual journal of memories but also a treasury of ideas. It's my place to explore my possibilities and dreams but also to reach out into the world. I write each post for myself but also knowing that there might be others out there who enjoy reading about my experience.

My little corner of the web is dear to me. Thank you to my few but loyal readers who join me regularly in this space!

I want you to celebrate this milestone with me! I've designed several desktop wallpapers showcasing some of my favorite quotes. A little bling just for you! (Sized to fit normal width, widescreen, and even iPhone screens.)



Happy 500!

Monday, June 04, 2012

Master Bedroom Reveal...

"Don't fight with the pillow, but lay down your head And kick every worriment out of the bed."
-Edmund Vance Cooke 

Sources: wooden box found among Rob's father's things, clear glass bottle from Victoria's Secret massage oil packaging, glass vase/rocks/faux tulips from Michael's, blue shell seaglass from Salem, Massachusetts, candles from IKEA.
The other night as we were laying in bed trying to fall asleep, Rob leaned over and whispered, "Our bedroom is so comfortable. Not just our bed, but our whole bedroom." I smiled because that's just the way I want it!

Sources: East Village bedroom furniture from American Signature, bookshelf from Target, wooden lamp on left from Walmart, bedspread and pillows designed/made by my mom and I, leather ottoman from Target, custom number canvas by me, lamp on right upcycled from thrift store.
Before we moved our furniture in, we upgraded the ceiling fan and then decided on a whim to paint the walls. Rob threw out the suggestion late one night... and the next morning I picked the shade (Olympic Gray Ghost) from the handful of paint swatches I had gathered for other projects; I had a paintbrush in hand by midday. It felt a little rushed... a little daring.

While Rob worked his "weekend duty" shift on Saturday, I set to work to mask our builder's grade khaki walls with a warm gray that would complement our navy and gold bedspread. Luckily Rob stepped in the moment he got home to roll the top half of the walls, the areas I couldn't reach.

Sources: jewelry tree from Urban Outfitters, earring pottery bowl from the Greater Gift Market, green jewelry box was a gift from my mom.
This is the first room in our new house that feels done. To complete the room, a couple of weekends ago I hung our custom number canvas above the headboard and our canvas wedding photo in the corner nook. (Sidenote: All along, my bedroom vision has been inspired by this photo... yet, this is the first time I ever found a place to hang it on the wall!)

Sources: small table built by my daddy, chair rescued from the garbage from me and reupholstered by my mom, pillows made by my mom (the small one was our ringbearer's pillow), canvas wedding photo, ceramic balls from Michael's.
Down the road, we'll probably want to get new carpet (there are a couple of colorful stains left from the previous owners), but I just couldn't justify the expense before we moved in. We're also in the middle of overhauling the master bathroom... new paint and new flooring, which will totally complete the master suite. I can't wait for that reveal!

Like Rob said, I, too, take comfort in this room. It's our oasis. It feels right. It feels like us. Right down to the treasures that sit atop our nightstands. I mean, my engineer husband has a graphing calculator sitting next to our bed. (I just had to document his nerdiness for posterity's sake!)

Sources: bike chain frame similar to one found at UncommonGoods, MotorTrend and Outside magazines, remote control for our Allen + Roth ceiling fan from Lowe's, lotions and linen spray from Bath and Body Works, multi-year journal made by my mom.

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