Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Good Things Come To Those Who Wait

I am a Texas girl, born and raised, and like most, I love my country music.  Among my favorites are Garth Brooks, Keith Urban and Lady Antebellum, just to name a few. 


I am not a huge concert attender.  You know, there's those people that always know who is in town when and where they're playing, when tickets go on sale and the best seats to buy for that venue -- ya, that's not me. The last one I remember wanting  to go to and not just tagging along was Keith Urban way back in 2006. So when I heard Lady A would be in Dallas, me wanting tickets was unusual. 

Sometime before Thanksgiving, I asked boyfriend if we could go and he of course said yes -- probably thinking it was in February and there was a good chance I'd forget by then. I suggested we buy tickets when they went on sale and he assured me we could find better/cheaper ones if we waited and scoured Craigslist, eBay, etc.  Being the good and trusting girlfriend that I am, I said OK and waited. 

While patiently waiting, I decided it wouldn't hurt to add the tickets to my Christmas list just in case anyone was feeling generous. Sadly, this did not have the intended effect and by New Years, I was still ticket-less.  I continued to bring up the concert whenever it felt appropriate, you know, as a subtle reminder, but day after day no tickets showed.

About a week before the concert -- and coincidentally just before Valentine's Day -- we talked about going once more and by this point, I think boyfriend realized I could not be talked out of it.  On Valentines, he gave me their newest CD -- which I'm shocked I did not already own -- and mentioned he had been searching for tickets and had hoped to give them to me then but was having no luck.   He searched online ticket sellers -- sold out -- and checked Craigslist and eBay but could not find anything short of a $300 price tag for the two of us, and those weren't even decent seats.  After an unsuccessful ticket search, we decided we'd just go to an early dinner and head to AAC with cash in hand hoping for some scalpers. 

So in the midst of Saturday errands and rain, -- just what you want when trying to scalp tickets -- we went to the ATM and withdrew cash to carry out our plan.  As we talked about dinner, I realized I wasn't even positive what time the concert started so I hopped on the Internet and looked up the event. I saw the 7:30 start time and nearly shut the laptop, when the "Purchase Tickets" button caught my eye. I figured, what the heck and clicked on it, chose 2 tickets and searched for best available. I could hardly believe it when I got results back!  Two tickets had magically appeared -- they were more than half-off the price tag we were finding anywhere else, AND they were floor seats!  At this point, I was convinced anything available just 2 hours before the show started must be terrible so I immediately called boyfriend and asked about them. He was as shocked as I was when he heard they were floor seats and said "Get 'em"!  I made my online purchase and we went ahead with our dinner plans, feeling much more relaxed and at ease knowing we had tickets.  When we left for AAC and it was STILL raining, we felt even more grateful we happened across them. I'm certain trying to scalp in the rain would have been cold, wet, frustrating, and worthless.

Once we picked up our tickets and made our way to the seats, we were even more amazed by how awesome they where. We started talking to the people around us and one couple mentioned how excited they were that it was finally here since they bought tickets months ago. Another girl mentioned she was able to get her seats because she was in the Darius Rucker fan club and got to purchase them early -- little did we know he was one of the performers that night. No one could believe we'd bought ours just 2 hours before the event, including us.  We didn't dare mention what a bargain they were!

We had such a wonderful time and enjoyed all the bands.  The opening group was called Thompson Square, which I didn't think I had heard of. I'm queen of knowing every word to a song, but having no clue who sings it! I was surprised when I recognized a couple of their songs and thought they were really great.

p.s. all these photos were taken from our seats with very little zooming involved :)

Next, Darius Rucker came out. Again, I wasn't sure if I knew a lot of his songs until each one started and I looked at boyfriend and screamed, "I love this song!!!!" I have so few pictures from this part of the night because I was too busy singing along. We both really enjoyed his performance -- he has a great voice and was really entertaining. He even gave us a little flash back to his earlier singing career and busted out some Hootie and the Blowfish before ending with Purple Rain.

Last, but certainly not least, came Lady Antebellum.  They were equally as wonderful and I was so happy to see them! They played all their singles and a bunch from their new album. I managed to snap a few good pictures before singing the rest of the night away. You should know, I don't normally sing in public and only those closest to me have ever heard me try, but it was just way too much fun not to. So, I apologize to anyone around us who had to listen to my tone-deaf singing yelling :)

At one point during the show, all the groups came back out and performed together!

Boyfriend was such a great sport considering he had no clue who the opening performers would be and knew only one Lady A song -- his love of country music does not run as deep as mine :) 

All in all, it was an amazing night and I could never have imagined something working out like this.  For two overly planned people, this was one time waiting seriously paid off! Still not sure I could do it again, but luck was definitely on our side Saturday night!

Monday, February 13, 2012

My Growing List

Whoa! It's been a crazy, hectic, busy couple weeks around here. This is one of those times of the year where work seems to really inhibit my creative time and I end up spending more time compiling a list of future projects and no time actually completing them. I'm hoping things will start to slow down next week -- I know they won't be back to normal, but I'll take slower for now -- because I've got a whole list of things I want to start tackling!

For example, I've been searching for the perfect mirror to hang above my bed but can't seem to find exactly what I want in my price range.  These are a few I've considered, but somehow just can't bring myself to spend the money -- I guess that's a good thing, right?!

ZGallerie - Devon Mirror - $199

Kirkland's - Bronze Fan Mirror - $109

Kirkland's - Chloe Floral Mirror - $119

Ballard's - Bellesol Mirror - $169

Bellesol Mirror

I've also been scouring Hobby Lobby, Home Goods, etc. for some good sales, but still can't find exactly what I want. The price is either wrong, or it's too small, or the wrong finish -- which I know can be fixed, but who wants to do that when you spend money on something brand new?! -- too much mirror, too pointy -- I'll let you take a wild guess which one that might be :) etc. 

So, last week while I was doing some lunch break blog reading, I came across Katie's DIY starburst mirror and decided I'd just have to make my own!  Assuming it's a success, it would solve all my problems since it'd be completely custom.  I'm debating between her method, which I love because it's more solid and chunky, or this one, or this one.  Whichever I end up choosing, I've thought of ways to tweak it to suite me more and once decided, will begin gathering my supplies. So, here's one project that has officially been added to the to-do list!

Something else on the list for a while now is to finish up the dog crate makeover of way back when. Now that the crates are more prominently displayed in the living room, I'm dying to get some fabric on them, I just can't decide exactly what I want.  I'm leaning towards something more neutral like a geometric grey and then I can add some fun new crate pillows for a pop of color -- which I guess also means there's another project on the to-do list.

Waverly Cross Section Charcoal  Dena Fishbein - Taza - Ribbon Damask in Neutral

And, along the fabric discussion, I still need to find something fun to cover the plain white storage boxes in my craft nook along with the cork board and lamp shade.  I'm apparently leaning towards yellow...

Lotta Jansdotter - Echo - Standing Stones in Yellow Lotta Jansdotter - Echo - Standing Stones in Teal Amy Butler - Midwest Modern 1 and 2 - Martini in MustardDena Fishbein - Taza - Ribbon Damask in Yellow Joel Dewberry - Heirloom - Blockprint Blossom in Dandelion Lizzy House - Outfoxed - Pearl Bracelet in Yellow

Along with the DIY home decor things, I have a handful of sewing projects I want to get started on. I've had fabric for an infinity scarf, bed pillows, and couch pillows for months now and I'm dying to turn my stack of 30+ old sorority shirts into a t-shirt quilt. Speaking of quilts, I also bought some Christmas fabric on sale after the holidays with the intention of making myself a Christmas quilt. I haven't officially decided what I'm going to do with it, but I figure it's never too early to start!

Also on my list -- as of this morning -- is to try an upholstery project similar to this boxed ottoman.  I don't need something this large, but I'm thinking two smaller ones in my bedroom would be perfect! Ikea even sells these small side tables that are cheap enough that I'd have no guilt immediately tweaking them.  I am a beginner upholster-er -- as in never tried it, beginner -- and an average sewer so this could either be a total disaster or my biggest accomplishment thus far :)

Hopefully work starts to slow down soon and I can find the time -- and energy -- to cross some things off my list before even more get added!  Now, which to pick first...

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Sweet Sentiments

I did this project a few months ago for a close friend as a thank-you for helping out during a difficult time. It happened to be close to her anniversary, 10.10.10 -- how cool is that?! -- so I made her and her husband something sweet and personal to help them celebrate their first year of married life.  With Valentine's Day just around the corner, it seemed like an appropriate time to share and hopefully inspire some homemade, sentimental gifts.

Here's what I used to make Katie's Anniversary Art...

*a small frame -- found at Michael's  *a Texas road atlas/map -- which was surprisingly hard to find!  Apparently maps are no longer a necessity with our fancy-schmancy phones these days and when I finally found one on my fourth try, there were just a few left in the clearance section  *card stock of your choice for the background  *date label -- I printed mine on white fabric using freezer paper and my home printer, which I can explain in more detail, but you could simply use a marker, or printer, or stickers, etc.  *thread of your choice *scissors  *glue

First thing I did was cut my background card stock to the appropriate size. I did this by removing the glass from my frame, tracing around it onto the backside of the paper, and simply cutting it out with scissors. Now that I had my background, I could decide how big I wanted my label. I chose to try something new I'd heard about which allows you to use your normal home printer and print right on fabric using freezer paper.  I cut my freezer paper to 8 1/2 x 11 -- standard computer paper size -- and pressed it shiny side down onto the wrong side of my fabric. Then I cut my fabric to the same size and sent it through the printer like it was a piece of paper. Peel of the freezer paper and use your customized fabric however you choose -- in this case, for an anniversary label :)

Since I was using fabric as my label, I wanted a little stitch detail to highlight it.  I secured the fabric label with a very thin layer of glue just to keep it in place and once it was dry, began zig-zag stitching around the edges.

I wanted the stitch length closer than normal and as much thread showing as possible, so I chose these settings on my machine.

I worked my way around the label -- with just a few glitches -- and really loved how it turned out!

Now it was time for my map! Katie and Mike were married in Austin, so I thought it most appropriate to use in their anniversary art :)

I used some leftover card stock to make a heart template -- I didn't trust myself to get a perfect heart on my first try -- and traced it right on the front of my map, centering Austin as best I could.

Next, I cut it out and used glue to adhere it to my card stock.

All that was left was to let it dry, put it in the frame and wrap it up!

Other than hunting down a map, it was such a simple project and has so many possibilities.  Might be a sweet little gift for a special valentine :)