Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Four Legged Fascinator

How is it that I had never made a fascinator?  When the Royal Wedding footage started rolling in last spring, my heart started to punch aggressively outward on itself, making room for my flourishing new love for hypnotizing head pieces.  

Beatrice got all the coverage.


But my favorite was Zara Phillips in her Philip Treacy done-right number.  Yummy.

Instead of making my first fascinator, I bought one.  You heard me, ponied up the cash because I couldn't help myself.  Amid a leisurely peruse down the unseasonably snowless streets of Luverne, MN before Christmas, my l'amour jumped out at me like rabbit in heat from the display behind the registers at the Grapevine.

Me:  <After signing the receipt for some new tiny spatulas> Wait. What is that with the glittery green olives over there?!
Sally Sales: Oh, this is our holiday martini glass headband.  <She walks it over>
Choir of Angels: "JOY joy JOY joy JOY joy JOY joy JOY"
Sally Sales: We have one with little wrapped presents too.
Me: Nope. I think I'm in love. Glittery Green Olives!
Sally Sales: Are you a martini gal?
Me: Um, I am kind of an everything gal.
Sally Sales: <Laughed as if I had just made a joke.  I hadn't>
Me: I'll take it.

Sally rang me up as I shook with excitement and anticipation.  This was really happening.  My first fascinator, from the posh Southwest Minnesota equivalent to London, Luverne.

Sally Sales: <handing me my bagged new dome decoration with a smile> I know you are an everything girl, but don't let this bring too much merry to your Christmas.
Me:  I can't promise you that.  
Sally Sales: <Laughed as if I had again made a joke that I hadn't.>

So, the whole Tini Topper experience motivated me to throw together an additional gift for my brother-in-law, Rob, whose name I had drawn for the family gift exchange.  A sort of manly fascinator if you will.

One rough pattern...


Some macho hunting fleece...



The Best Christmas Ever

Someone needs to hold my hair back.  Too much merry.

Monday, December 26, 2011

DIViji: Abhi Reveal

Happy day after Christmas; I am giving you a Percy Jackson mural.  Enjoy.  You don't know who that is?  I didn't either when Abhi told me that he wanted a room centered around Percy Jackson.  They are Abhi's favorite books.  I've never read them and had NO clue what to do.  After renting and watching the movie I still had no clue.  

Abhi's Room: In the Beginning

Abhi's Room: After Paint

At this point, my crude conclusion was that a mural was my best way to bring Percy to life.  With minimal confidence on what would be cool and appropriate, I called on a pro.  My 12-year-old nephew, Liam.

Text exchange:

Me: Hey! If you were going to paint a Percy Jackson mural what would you do?
Liam: Percy with lightening on one wall and Poseidon with his trident and dolphins on another.
Me: You rock! Thanks so much! I think that will be great.
Liam: You're welcome.  It's perfect.

I love a kid with confidence.

Abhi's Room: Video Reveal. Again, I have to start somewhere folks.

Abhi's Room: Final Product

The minimal wall space meant there was only room for Percy, so Poseidon got the boot.  I tried hard not to let Viji know that I was freaking out about doing a mural in one day. The same one day that we were putting both rooms together.  Something about painting a giant surprise on a kid's bedroom wall that they may love...or hate, was making me throw up a little in my mouth every time I thought about it.  Thankfully, she gave Abhi a peek at the mural drafts I emailed her.  He was all about Percy, but sent feedback to make the lightening thinner.  I was grateful for the insight.  So very less-acid-in-my-mouth grateful.

~ 3-hour Percy Jackson silhouette mural with glow in the dark lightening

~ Name letters in stone textured spray paint
~ New mod Ikea accent pillow 
~ New bed clip lamp

~ New Ikea Billy bookcase
~ New Ikea chair

The glow in the dark looks OK during the day.  But, at night, which was when we showed Abhi his new room, the glowy lightening rocks your world.  You need to invite yourself over to see it in person.

While we were still standing in the bedroom blackness, Abhi said, "Ahhhh! How did you do that? That's cool!" No one could see it, but I fist pumped in the air and peed a little with excitement.  Whatever acid erosion happened to my teeth enamel during my mural anxiety is cool with me now.

Thank the Sweet Big Cheese for well read 12-year-old nephews.

Friday, December 23, 2011

DIViji: Shreya Reveal

Viji and I have fully recovered from our kid's room marathon and are ready to share the fruits of our labor.  No banana fruits though. About six hours into the thirteen hour day, I dug though Viji's kitchen and stole her last banana.  Remember that if you hire me; hide the fruit bowl.

Shreya's Room: In the Beginning


Shreya's Room: After Paint

Shreya's Room: Video Reveal.  Wait.  Don't get too excited.  Just some room scans.  I've asked Santa for either a video production and film team or some recording skills for Christmas.

Shreya's Room: Final Product

~ Updated bed lamp
~ Name letters spray painted then jeweled by Viji
~ New spot for old wall decor

~ New jewel ball curtain rod
~ New curtains
~ New blinged wall hooks
~ New Ikea chair
~ New Home Depot circle wall mirrors

~ New Hobby Lobby 'Fabulous' pillow

~ Shifted dresser
~ New Fashion Design Dry Erase Station

I drew that frilly 80's number on the fashion silhouette myself so that Shreya would get the gist of how it works.  So help me God, Michael Kors, if I see that design in your runway show this spring, I am uninviting you to my 'red' party in the Hampton's.  You know, the one that I may or may not be able to afford to throw in 2045.  I will show you how I made the fashion dry erase board soon.

Shreya favored the dry erase fashion board and her name letters.  But honestly, most of all, she loved to be back in her room after an entire day of being locked out.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Hug A Reindeer

Sorry, no kid's rooms reveal update today. My editing team is off. Something about 'wanting a half day to spend time with family AND still get their two shillings and a half penny.' Can you believe that? Bah Humbug you greedy bastards.

The other day I had the privilege of displaying my craft at a holiday boutique at Ms. Ada's exquisite McMansion.  Ridiculously lovely home. I'd be lying if I said that I didn't consider riding the grand, decorative flying reindeer that was on dazzling display in the atrium in front of the spiral staircase.  On Dasher!

I digress.

The pep talk that I got from Mr beforehand was, "Don't accept any custom orders. You don't have time. Say 'no.' You can do it."

So, here is the Santa plate that I just finished for Ada.

To my defense, Ada is a mean negotiator.

Ada: Do you have another Santa cookie plate?
Me: No.  But, I could make one.
Ada: Are you sure you have time for that.
Me: Sure. I'll even send you some new design drafts so you can pick out what you like best.
Ada: Great!

See. I can't compete with that.  It was honestly the least that I could do for her opening up her home for the boutique...and the least I could do for all those naughty thoughts of doing one quick leg swing to mount and then acting out the galloping motion on her gilded deer.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

DIViji: It Hurts So Good

Coming to you live from Viji's.

Viji thought that it would be nice to surprise the kids with all of their bedroom updates before Christmas.  Marvelous.  Then we decided it would be fun to have a big reveal like on those TV shows.  Mayhem.  Today is reveal day.

Earlier this morning, I brought in all the items we purchased and the projects that had been crafted.  In that pile below is a long, slender box with bookshelf pieces from Ikea.  I am pretty sure that it is labeled as a two person lift.  So heavy.  Since it is just me right now I skateboarded it through the garage and then did the lift and flip until I got to the carpet where I could slide.  I have no patience.

I know, I know.  But, I lifted with my legs.  Even still, I think that 80-year-old Heidi might look back on this as her back spasms and give the younger Schatze a big "WTF?"  Don't worry though. Then, someone will bring her a giant bowl of ambrosia riddled with marshmallows and she will forget all about it as she gums it down and 'accidentally' drops her spoon for the male nurse to pick up.

Her room will not be the same tonight:

 Nor will his:

I sort of feel like I am on an episode of Trading Spaces.  Except:

~ No one is filming while I talk to myself
~ There is no one around to where a matching shirt with me to be Team Green
~ And my hottie carpenter is working his day job

Maybe I will make Viji put on a matching shirt when she gets here.

Part of today's transformation involves a Percy Jackson silhouette mural.  What?  I am not a crazy fool!...OK, maybe a little.  But, I will get back to work, so get off my back.  My slowly deteriorating old lady back.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Merry Stripper Table Fable

Twas the night before Schatze Christmas, and all through our diggs,
The air smelled like onion and we couldn't wait to eat like pigs.
The stockings were hung by the fireplace with a toss,
In hopes that Santa Claus would fill them with the sauce.

Roldy was nestled all snug in his bed,
And visions of that scorpion in the garage earlier stung through my head.
And Mr with his XBox controller, and I with my nightcap,
He told me how great it'd be to start the next morning with a good Christmas crap.

When out in the rocks there arose such a clatter,
I pushed myself off the couch knowing those sugar cookies had instantly made me fatter.
Away to the window I traveled with a traipse,
Stubbed my toe on the end table and threw open the drapes.

The moon on the breast of a desert without snow
Gave the lustre of a margarita to the metropolitan below.
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But Fantasia, the exotic dancer, in platforms with her big bag of stripper gear.

"Now glitter! Now sequins! Now mirrors and red velvet!
On beads! on carnations! and some rhinestones for the hell of it!
To the top of the pole! To the top of a table!
Like that time in an alley atop a Mercury Sable!"

As feathers that during a cabaret number fly,
When met with a dollar bill they stick to the thigh.
So up the side of the house on the drainpipe she flew,
Like an expert maneuvering that six inch heeled shoe.

And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof,
A prancing that could only come from a pump by Adrienne Maloof.
As I drew in my head, and was turning around,
Down the chimney Fantasia worked it with a 

She was dressed in some fur, glitter lotion, and a silver choker,
And her fingers were yellowed so you could tell she was a smoker.
Her bundle of gear she had flung on her back,
When she set it on the carpet, I thought I saw crack.

Her eyelashes how they twinkled!  Her bosom so merry!
Her lips swelled with injections! Not a spot that was hairy!
Her perky little mouth was drawn up like a bow.
How much action it's seen, I never want to know.

The last puffs of a cig she held tight in her lips,
With a figure like hers she must make a killing in tips.
Her face with good cheek bones and a taught, firm belly,
And a butt that when she grabbed her ankles shook like a bowl full of jelly.

She was slender and toned, a right hottie little elf
With red glitter boots that made me drool on myself.
A wink of her eye and a hair fling of the head,
Soon made me know I had nothing to dread.

She spoke not a word, but went straight to work.
She stripper glammed my table, glittering carnations with a smirk.
Then doing the splits with a point in her toes,
And a quick extended jazz hands, up the chimney she rose!

She sprang to the sidewalk, hailed a cab with a whistle,
And away she drove like a predator missile.
But I heard her exclaim, as she drove out of sight,
"Happy stripper Christmas to all! Now, someone give me a light."

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Ho, Ho, Hold the Tonic; Just Give Me Vodka

My Chrismas spirit is getting dangerously close to turning into Christmas stress.  Which sometimes leads to Christmas sloshed and then Christmas 'Sorry I took it too far with that joke about Rudolph's Christmas balls.'

Mr. Schatze's family comes over to our place this Sunday for our holiday celebration and there is much left to do.  This is a recent conversation that I had with the Mr.

Me: What do you want to serve for the Christmas meal when your family comes over? And don't say turduken.
Mr: <Pause for serious reflection>   Turcowpig.
Me: ?
Mr.  Yeah, we will shove a bunch of hot dogs and hamburgers in the turkey and have turcowpig.
Me:  Clink, clink <of the ice cubes> Splish, Splash <of the vodka>
I did find if terribly amusing, but you know how it goes when you don't want to be too encouraging.  If the to-do list wasn't as long I may have revamped this Zazzle shirt into a turcowpig.  Maybe next year.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Lady In Red...

When L'Wren Scott saw her red sequin masterpiece on Penelope Cruz at the 2011 Academy Awards she must have been bursting with emotion.  Feeling:






I know this because those were the same emotions I had when I saw my red sequin thong joggers appear on facebook.

I don't know Mr. Awesome above, but he is obviously the Sioux Falls, SD equivalent of Penelope Cruz.

Monday, December 12, 2011

DIViji: Girl You Look Good When You Back That Splash Up

Viji's kitchen backsplash project makes me wonder how I ever make it through the day.  How I get my pants on without falling over.  How I cook my eggs without burning down the house.  How I brush my teeth without brushing my whole face.  Just one of those tasks that makes me feel like I should have been held back longer in middle school.

It seemed fairly simple.  The white section of wall is where Viji decided to put a backsplash.  Just one wall.  No corner sections.  No curves.  Just wall.

These were the tiles that she chose.  They are peel and stick.  She wanted the pattern to alternate one row of short grain and one row of long grain.  You apply them by peeling and sticking, people.  No grout. No spacers. No brainer.

It started off smooth from the corner.  Viji had cleaned the wall well and I may have even hummed some Christmas carols while I peeled and stuck.

Once we got to the first outlet, I started taking measurements so that we could cut the tiles to meet flush with the cupboards and butt up to the outlet.

The tile instructions said that they could be cut with a razor blade or hand saw but I really wanted to use the grinder.  There may have been a tiny, little skirmish when I asked Mr. Schatze for help.

Mr: Let me try the razor blade on one.
Me: I want to use the grinder.
Mr: It's not very safe.  Let's try the razor or saw.
Me:  Can't we just try the grinder and get it done quick?
Mr.:  You're going to do whatever you want anyway, so why are you asking?
Me: <with the safety glasses on and the grinder plugged in> Why would you even say something like that?!

We tried the razor, but quickly found our way back to my buddy the grinder.

Back at Viji's, I peeled and she stuck.  She even made the effort to sand the area above the stove to make sure they would stick nicely.

Issue #1:  When we moved from right to left we didn't pencil out the grid to make sure that we stayed on track.  So, by the time we made it to the countertop on the other side of the stove we were about a quarter of an inch above it.  Viji said that she didn't mind.

I minded.  I minded a lot.

We repositioned a few of them and got it looking somewhat better.  A better that would at least allow me to sleep that night.

Issue #2.  Sleep that night was all I got.  By the next morning, most of the tiles had jumped ship, completely disgraced that we would position them in such a half-assed manner.

I set up a new grinding station in Viji's garage and got back to it.  This time, I marked out the layout so that they would end up flush on the other side of the counter as well.  Like I should have done the first time.

We bought some hardcore adhesive from Home Depot and the new process became: Peel, Squirt, Stick.

Issue #3.  Below is the outlet that just about did me in.  I reached in so I could get a good grab on the outlet, pull it out and then slide the tile piece behind.  When the current surged through me, I was sure my finger had been fried off.  I even looked for an exit point.  It was likely a fraction of a second but I still saw my life flash.

What?  I know.  When do we learn this lesson?  As toddlers.

Look, no gap.

Issue #4.  I couldn't follow the pattern.  Some have the grain going the length of the tile, some have the grain going the height.  My new process soon became:  Peel, Squirt, Stick, Pry Off.  I was paying attention, just doing the wrong thing, and kind of wanted to cry a little bit.

On the verge of an unsightly pity party, I got a little blessing from Heaven wrapped up in a text message from Mr. Schatze.  He was lamenting about the construction going on in the bathrooms at his place of work.  While the commodes get remodeled, they are left with two stalls for 100s of male employees.

I swear to God I'm going to shit in somebody's garbage can.  I can't believe this.  One guy has been in the same stall for 30 minutes.  I think he's dead...

How can you feel sorry for yourself after getting that text message?  I couldn't.  Just what I needed.