Monday, March 19, 2012

50 is Not Supposed to be HOT



I was trolling around the book store the other day and saw a magazine withDiane Von Furstenberg on the cover.Couldn't find it per se, but here's Big D with scary Ashley Olsen and lovely Sophia Coppola

She's wearing one of her own designs, some sort of short sleeve coctail-ish dress with lots o' sparkles. Her chest area looks flawless. Hair is long and chestnut brown and flowing out in curly waves behind her. The face is in great shape--- whether artificially enhanced or not---but the bottom line is she doesn't look 25. She looks like a woman who's taken advantage of everything that's out there...but SHE STILL LOOKS OLD! She's still 66. And doesn't look young OR good. It made me think that even IF I had the $$$ to Botox and lift myself up and out, maybe I just wouldn't do it.
What about just looking APPROPRIATE?? What if I just decided to look like a great old lady?
What's that thing they say about women who look 15 from the back and 50 in the front?? I know there's a clever ditty for that phenomenon, but I can't remember it. But I see 'em all the time. Low cut jeans, high heel boots, perfectly highlighted hair, IT-bag...and a face that's screaming 57!!!

OK. No more. Not for me. I'm worn out from trying to look 35 when the most powerful weapon in my arsenal is a 6 year old tube of Stri-Vectin my mom gave me. Here's what I'm going to do to change my beauty routine.
I'm throwing down some big challenges for myself. You can play along at home too---make your own list and post it. Here we go:

1. No hair dye. I'm right at that point... grays are starting, but I HAVE STAY OFF THE HAIR-DYE TRAIN. I'm going to be the hip, cool lady with the striking gray hair. I have a whole, epically long rant about hair dye, but I'll save that for later.

2. Conversely, #2 is more make-up. I'm so tired of people telling me I look so tired. If all it takes is a little concealer, eye liner and lipstick, then I'm in. I want to look better, (again that buzz word APPROPRIATE), but not dead.

3. Forget dieting. I'm 10 lbs. overweight and there I'm going to stay. What's really bad for my health is my utter lack of physical fitness. My kids are starting to treat me like they treat my 78 year old father: "Mom, should we drop you off here??" and "We're all going on a hike, Bye mom!" and, the worst "C'mon Mom, you have to push yourself". Urf.
Plus I'll bet if I felt better (and didn't get winded going out to get the mail), I'd look better too.

4. Let's dress up. I've got to face it, I dress like shit. I have no business shopping at Forever 21 (not that I could ever hope to even fit into a XL in that teeny-tiny shop). The Gap should be the youngest I dare to go. J.Crew would be better and if the sky opened up and 10K fell out, I'd be all over that Boden stuff. But jeans and a long sleeveTarget t-shirt (what? again?) should be retired.

5. Drink more wine. You know what? I really like drinking. I'm way more fun after a glass of wine. I should definitely work this in to my day.

6. And now to fly in the face of #s 1-5 and be a total hypocrite, I'm going to lie about my age. This is an old joke in my house that my kids absolutely hate, but on my last birthday, I told people I was turning 50 (I'm really 46). People went NUTS! The compliments, the astonishment/disbelief...it was a riot. I followed with the punch line "...and I'm going to be 50 for the next 4 years". But really-- why not? Voila! There's my face-lift, Botox and microdermabrasion for free! Because for 50, I look awesome.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Decoupage Basket Tutorial

So hey, I'm a child of the 70's. I know ALL ABOUT DECOUPAGE. We decoupaged everything back then!
Holly Hobbie? Spirit of '76? Anyone?
And darn it if Elmer's glue wasn't good enough for us. Ummm hummm.
But then came Mod Podge.
Actually it was there all along, but like I said---Elmer's was fine. And remained fine. My whole entire life.
Till now.
 So let's just skip the long story and say that I've fallen madly in love with Mod Podge and we're getting married. Soon. If you are feeling like your love for me is exceeding your ability to function, a case of MOD PODGE left on my porch will ease your angst. I promise...

Ahem.

How to make a Decoupage Covered Basket!!!
You can breathe new life into the rattiest of thrift store baskets with this technique that I've been doing pretty much since 1974. Yes. I'm that old.
You can use MOD PODGE thinned with a LITTLE water, or Elmer's glue, also thinned a bit. I would run far and away from Elmer's SCHOOL GLUE or anything marked "washable glue" ...Cuz, that's just asking for trouble. It's inferior. Most white glues ARE washable. It's akin to labeling soap "antibactreial soap", but don't get me started.


You'll need a basket, an upholstery needle, MOD PODGE or Elmer's (both will now be referred to as "glue") stiff bristled paint brush, say 1" or 2", and fabric scraps.

Thread the needle with a long narrow scrap. We're aiming to go all around the border here.

Stick the needle in a large gap and work your way around the edge. You can leave spaces or not. Up to you.

If you need to add on more fabric, make a generous knot and don't worry about it.

Scraps! Since this basket is round, narrow strips are best. With a square basket, you can use bigger pieces.

First, those pesky ends...dip your brush in the glue, and wet the ends down so they stick to the basket somewhat.

Paint a little glue on the back side of the fabric, and on the basket.

Paint glue on the front side of the fabric, pressing it down with the brush into the basket. Cover those pesky ends of the knot we just slicked down. See? All gone. Get the edge of the scrap as close to the sewn edge as possible. BUT! Don't paint the skinny edge we sewed on till the very end. It makes it easier to handle the basket while working on it.

Repeat with more scraps and over lap a bit. Do the inside first.

ta-da!

Do the outside. If your scrap's too big and leaves a wrinkle, you can make a slit in the scrap and then let those new ends overlap to make it lie flat. Make sure to wash/wipe off your scissors (<-- from someone who forgot to do that...:-/....)

Let it dry by propping it up. Then, give everything a good second coat of glue.
When the second coat is dry, NOW you can paint the edge its 2 coats, sanding/trimming rough spots between coats.

Bushel basket with some basket trim left exposed.

You can add shapes, letters etc. As long as it has a good top and bottom coat of glue---it all amalgamates. Think of the personalization possibilities...
Lastly, trim any stray threads, sand down any rough spots and spray or paint with a sealer. I know MOD PODGE is its own sealer, but I like the glossy look. And I want to be able to wipe the basket out with a damp cloth if necessary. I wouldn't serve wet food in it, but I sure would serve some rolls or bread in it. Probably with a napkin liner, but you get the idea.
Best part is---you can use this technique on any indoor porous surface. I've done this on cardboard boxes, walls, frames, furniture, etc. Knock yourself out!