Posted: May 22nd, 2013 | Author: Becky | Filed under: Household | No Comments »
Over the weekend (and through Thursday!) my mom has been in town. We’ve been doing all sorts of things like painting my kitchen (pictures to come) and walking around a lot and doing a ton of stuff. I had read online about a technique to weather wood with vinegar and steel wool, and the surprising ingredient of tea. It will oxidize the wood and weather it without ruining it. I was eager to try it.
I had some old Heywood-Wakefield step tables that are now sans-step, due to the previous owner’s shenanigans. They had gone from the previous owner to a group of furniture finishers/resellers, and then from there, to me. When I bought them, they were already stripped and ready to be restained. I’m not a huge fan of the orange stain that comes default on that brand of furniture, so I was totally okay with this development.
Here’s the original, unfinished:
I took a salsa jar and added a thing of steel wool and a thing of copper wool, because I wanted the stain more gray/blue than brown, then filled it up with white vinegar. I left it overnight for about 24 or so hours. I brewed a giant bowl mug of black tea and then painted it on liberally. Then, once it dried, I painted on the vinegar mixture. It will just look like vinegar, like nothing happened, but things happened – you have to trust it.
The website says that you will see results immediately, and the oxidization will complete in 30 minutes. We found that the oxidization continued over a few hours, so be patient and slow about this or else you’ll end up with something darker than you were expecting. Luckily dark is what I wanted to go with, so it worked out well for me.
As you can see, it ended up a beautiful gray. It’s really hard to photograph well, but it’s more of a brown-gray, rich and silvery sheeny. I’m really happy with the results.
After it was totally dry, I added a few coats of polyurethane to seal it, and that made the color even darker and richer. The final result is nothing short of gorgeous. This photo makes it look redder than what it is, but it shows off how rich and beautiful it is.
I love it so much. Remember also, the result you get depends on the type of wood you use – I believe my tables were birch, and it ended up the shimmery gray/brown, but your mileage will vary!
Posted: May 4th, 2013 | Author: Becky | Filed under: Adventures, Fashion, Ramblings | 2 Comments »
I love spring so much. Today is Somerville Open Studios and I’m meeting a friend to check out another friend’s galleries. It’s in the 50s today and is just so sunny and beautiful outside that I can’t even imagine it. This morning I took a big stack of books back to the library and breathed in some fresh, spring air, and little flower petals were everywhere and I felt like I was in a movie. Spring used to be one of those seasons that I always would ignore, but it’s becoming my favorite season!
Today I’m wearing a very simple outfit for a very simple and good day (sorry about my messy bedroom!).
Shoes: Sparkly ballet flats, Target
Rolled navy blue skinny jeans: Thrifted
White and gray striped tank top: Thrifted
Black cardigan: Thrifted
And finally here’s a bonus blurry picture of my shallow bay window in my living room right now. I love my yellow smoking chairs – bought them off Craigslist from a VERY nice man who offered to drive me and them home, and also invited me to a party he was having. I declined, and instead took them on the subway (yes, I sat in them until I reached my stop). They’re so cheery!
Posted: April 20th, 2013 | Author: Becky | Filed under: Adventures | No Comments »
Today is raining and chilly but a few weekends ago I had a very small adventure …
Alas, today’s adventures do not include biking to the library, hardware store, and tea shop. Instead, they involve driving to get cat litter and grocery shopping and getting my water heater fixed now that we’re not on lockdown thanks to the BOSTON MARATHON BOMBERS (dun dun dunnnn). (also, you have no idea how badly I want to get my water heater fixed …)
Have an awesome Saturday!
Posted: March 30th, 2013 | Author: Becky | Filed under: Ramblings | No Comments »
Just when I thought I was done growing for awhile, I realized I still am, just in a subtler and more fiercely intense but quiet way. I’ve been thinking about happiness, especially in regards to my relationships with other people. This is kind of rambly but here’s what I think I’ve decided:
Happy people aren’t happy ALL the time.
The thing is, you can’t be. Nobody can be. I think we sort of have gotten into this trap of “positive thinking” where we think that we can be always happy as long as we just “try hard enough.” That sets everybody up for failure and pressure about how you “should” feel. You are ALLOWED to be sad/upset/angry/frustrated/helpless/whatever. My therapist told me a story about a friend who visited Tibet to work in a monastery for awhile. This friend encountered the happiest, most peaceful person he had ever met, an old monk who lived there. When the friend had asked the monk what made him so happy all the time, the monk replied, “I looked deep within me, and discovered my inner pain, and suffering, and fear, and I realized none of it ever mattered in the long run.”
Happy people don’t beat themselves up over sadfeels. Instead, they know truly and deeply that their sadfeels WILL go away and they will be happy again. So their sadfeels don’t bother them nearly as much as they bother the rest of us.
The thing is, when you’re in the thick of it, you can start to feel a sense of hopelessness or despair about your negative feelings, a kind of “I have to solve this or I will NEVER feel better.” But I think truly happy people don’t ever get to that stage. They get sad, they get angry, but in all of that, they know the feelings will pass, so they don’t ever get to the despair stage. I don’t think negative feelings are insidious, but that despair definitely is.
You CAN forgive someone and choose to forget it without allowing people to bully you.
I think we have this fear that if we let things go, we’ll give into bullying behavior and allow ourselves to be a doormat or abused. I think this fear crosses every single demographic line. It’s a human fear, pure and simple, beyond any kind of socialization. We do not want to be hurt, and opening ourselves up to our friends and family opens us up to that hurt. It’s a choice to make ourselves vulnerable when we love people. And deep inside of the fear of being bullied is the fear that the people we love will not love us back in the same way.
The only way you can solve this is by unconditionally loving the people you choose to love, pure and simple.
The question I had struggled with was “how do I forgive without opening myself to hurtful behavior?” The answer is you can’t. You CAN set your boundaries through things like distance. You can understand the behavior when you understand the fear. You can choose to walk away. But you can also choose to forgive. Remember: It feels better for YOU to forgive – it’s not “giving in.”
You can practice ANYTHING to get good at it.
Seriously. Letting go, loving, being happy, anything. Nobody’s bad enough at these things that they can never learn to do it.
All the “rationalization” and “logic” in the world doesn’t change your feelings sometimes.
And that’s okay. Sometimes you just gotta separate your brain from your feelings. But it’s important to realize that because trying to “figure out your feelings” can make things a LOT worse. Stop rationalizing it and let yourself feel it.
Posted: March 27th, 2013 | Author: Becky | Filed under: Ramblings | No Comments »
When you just got back from visiting your family and you’d been exhausted and have had a vague mini-migraine for two solid days and you had barely gotten sleep and your to-do list is getting to the point where it’s utterly absurd and they’re all huge items like “take the car in for a check-up” and “do taxes” and doing one of them takes half a week just to get done because of all the other stuff you have to do …
… That day when you actually wake up in the morning on time and you have your coffee and you actually feel pretty good and you clean up the cat toys off the floor and manage to remember to charge some batteries for later and have lunch to take to work for once and you realize you might actually have the energy to maybe go grocery shopping or buy some cat food.
Yep, that’s the day that you pat yourself on the back.
Posted: November 24th, 2012 | Author: Becky | Filed under: Ramblings | 2 Comments »
Wiped all the posts – time to start over!