Life | Love, Death & Sickness

WARNING: I don’t usually do this, but I felt the need to include this little warning for anyone who can be triggered by the events that have happened recently. It involves a death of a beloved pet.

Hello!

This past month has been a freaking roller coaster! There were so many random things happen that were bad and good that they’re starting to blend together. For today’s post, we are going to go back to the very beginning of the chaos and weed out the special things that happened.

We start at the last day of March. It was a bittersweet kind of day for my whole family. I was able to get on the floor early in the day to go outside and visit with the cats, and after I came back inside I decided to hang out with my mom and ChiChi The last few days, Chichi had been feeling like crap. She was having issues breathing and my dad had noticed her heart was running a lot faster than normally, to the point where my mom was having to monitor with her nursing equipment. Anyways, while I was in the living room and actually leaning up against her “step” onto the couch and as I was doing it, the little dog decided to scare the crap out of me by coming out behind me and licking half of my face until she was ready to get down on the floor again.

She was enjoying lying on her blanket basking in the sun by the front door. I had been told to not play with her because of how she’d been feeling the past couple of days, so I gave her some of her toys and we enjoyed looking at our neighborhood for a little bit. After a few minutes, she decided that it was too hot and she curled up next to mom on the couch. After a few minutes I asked my mom to help me back on top of my bed, and then all hell broke loose. Chichi had collapsed at the bottom of her step and had a seizure, which resulted in my parents taking her to the vet immediately where they made the ultimate decision to put her to sleep so she didn’t have to suffer anymore.

The best thing about this story though was what happened when they arrived at the vet’s office. He was just about to close for the day and was probably looking forward to going home, but ChiChi wanted to make sure she left this world on her own terms. She tried to bite the bastard, so they had to put her in a muzzle but I have to say, I hope when it’s my time to go, I want the same amount of spunk in my veins to do something like that!

We are still healing after her loss. The house is definitely quieter without her high-pitched barks at the poor neighbors that enter the house or yard. I’ve had the operatic J. G. Wentworth commercial eight times and I cannot tell you how many times I’ve wanted to ask my parents where ChiChi is, and I know she can’t be anywhere on the couch because my mom doesn’t keep a blanket out for her. The food bowls and pee towels are put up and her step has been fixed to match with the rest of the couch. The only thing that is still out are her toys and none of us have dared to move them yet. I actually sleep with her blanket she used to soak up the sun to cover my feet at night.

Two days later, we left home to start our road trip to visit my mom’s side up north. We hadn’t seen anybody since late September I think. The drive went pretty good, we were unable to visit our favorite Starbucks in Martinsville because they were working on the road and GPS took us on another route that really messed with us. My brother-in-law Brandon was driving and I sat in the passenger seat with limited space for my legs and feet but as we reached Indy, Brandon and I were more than uncomfortable at that point. I had to literally remind the both of us to be patient as we attempted to shift positions in our seats. Our destination couldn’t arrive fast enough for us!

Once we got there, I heard Brandon’s back pop like four times. After my sister opened my door and removed the pillows that were shoved underneath my feet for the whole ride; I was so happy to bend my legs again and they were somewhat sore for like an hour later. As we went into my aunt and uncle’s house and hugged everyone, I was busy observing my nephew have an absolute blast with my Aunt Laurie and nana. He showed them his cars and played with Myla a couple of times too. It wasn’t long before we ate pizza and had even more family come over for the evening. My cousin Amy and her wife Danielle and their kids came over. Nolan had playmates and was thoroughly enjoying himself! He was a flirt and a mooch at the same time.

However, once we began nighttime, either we were delirious after the long day with driving, playing and talking our heads off, Nolan wanted nothing to do with sleeping and he became a complete goofball. We all slept in the living room and Nolan is used to having a fan and nightlight, and as we were inching towards sleep, he wanted to argue who he wanted to sleep with and at that point, we had the lights off but one cell phone light that shone brightly on the wall and Nolan was like Peter Pan and found his shadow and we just erupted with laughter! Suddenly everything he did in those couple of minutes were hilarious and I mean, I had tears coming out of my eyes and I knew I wasn’t the only one! Thankfully, he figured out the best position was in between his mom and dad and we all drifted off to sleep.

The next morning, Laurie and Mike made breakfast of both cinnamon and orange rolls! It has become a great traditional and is the only time I get to have my favorite orange rolls because neither one of my parents like them!

On the agenda for that Saturday, once Uncle Rick came over the younger kids were going to hunt eggs all along the front yard and it was so precious to watch all three of them search for the eggs. Amy and Danielle had made Nolan special eggs and they were full of different goodies like candy (he likes gummies the most!) and little toys, but the most popular were the confetti eggs! He had so much fun and was sweet enough to share his treasures with his mommy, mimi, and his favorite bestie: Danielle.

After the eggs, we went back inside to have some lunch and I wasn’t able to eat very much but I figured it was because of the rolls I had a few hours ago. Now there was something very different about this visit, because Easter finally landed on my nana’s birthday. So, once most of the guests were finishing with their plates, the cake was brought out and it was so good! My Aunt Laurie made array of cupcakes in both carrot cake and vanilla batters. I had a vanilla cupcake and it was really good, but my eyes were still glued to my nana’s as it much larger than anyone else’s and I knew she would make it last for a while as she has her own freezer for this exact purpose! She’s smart like that but really, she just has a bad sweet tooth!

The next thing we did was make our way into the garage to paint Easter and spring-y scenes. My nana and I each had a different thing, she had this beautiful bumblebee windmill that she did very well on and I got this beautiful sign that is of a mason jar of flowers with the words “Hello Spring” at the bottom. I took my time on it, because I was working with something I don’t usually do and I am still shocked how good I was able to do the lettering, because I was going to have my sister do that part because she can do various things with this sort of thing but Danielle and I were the last ones to finish our masterpieces. I was thoroughly impressed with what I was able to do with it!

Unfortunately, I don’t remember a lot that happened after that. My uncle David made a late appearance and I remember seeing him and enjoying his voice and laughter again, and then I wanted to go on the couch and Nolan also went to lay down on the lounge chair on the opposite side of the living room, and we both passed out. I’ve been known to crash early but usually I show symptoms of it like crankiness or just being uncomfortable and since I was just painting and having a great time like not even 15 minutes before this, it was a bit of a shock for everyone. The next day I felt fine again but I just thought it was from the pain I had and took medicine for while in the garage that afternoon. We didn’t leave Sunday until probably noon but we hugged everyone and I made sure I had enough for any movement in my seat because I refused to be stuck in the same place for a 4 hour drive back home!

Sunday night, I felt pretty good overall. I allowed myself to relax and watch some TV, but honestly all I did was binge watch Criminal Minds on Netflix and had a good sleep that night. As far Monday, it was absolutely beautiful! I was able to go outside with my current Harry Potter book, journal, and camera to hang out with the cats on the deck. We have found out that sitting on a rug helps my bottom a lot especially for multiple hours! It has been somewhat odd to sit like on the wood without being in my wheelchair mainly because I am up close with our cats again and they are clearly loving this just as much as I am and really hope I get to continue to do this as we go into summertime!

And then, everything changed and time seemed to go faster than any other time, including the three day visit I just did basically, because the same day I have a steady knowledge of was the 7th of April 2021, after that, everything is a blur. In the matter of two days, I came down with the stomach flu. I hadn’t had it since possibly late 2008 or early 2009. In the thick of it though was probably the worst because I was so depressed as I was sick. I despise being sick in any form but stomach flu has to be the worst in my opinion because I was basically attached to my commode for 72 hours at best. I wouldn’t eat anything other than applesauce, popsicles, and ice cubes. I drank Gatorade and water like they were nothing and tried so many pills to make everything stop flowing out of my body. I was having to call my mom every 20 minutes or less and would have to call her in the middle of the night for the same reasons. It was so much and I just wanted out of there emotionally and mentally, and then as suddenly as it came into our house, it went away.

I have been extremely lucky at avoiding different sicknesses, except for what happened at the start of 2020. Other than that, I have not experienced anything else and I do not understand how it came about because we only had two other members come down with similar things but nothing was hardcore as mine. The first three days I started getting better, I was so hungry and would literally ask my mom if she was going to the store to look for this , this, and that. I would wake up in the middle of the night wanting food but as my body began to center again, the cravings subsided and I am not as worried about how much movement I do that could produce bad consequences for everyone!

Okay, I think I am finally done talking about everything. I hope everyone else was able to enjoy their Easter weekend and to anyone who has the stomach bug or who had it recently, I really hope you start to feel better sooner rather than later.

Photo Diary | Feeling Like Spring

Hello!

For the past few weeks, I have felt like I’m in a daze. I don’t want to do absolutely anything, and it has been very annoying! However, nothing really compares to the trouble we’ve had with out internet services. I think a big chunk of why I feel so out of it is because our WiFi will stay on for like a minimum 10 minutes each time someone goes to turn it back on; on the good days, it will be really good but those days are very rare anymore.

Thankfully, I have some things to help distract myself from it, like getting into a new TV show. I am happy to share that I am finally done with Rizzoli & Isles! As I was watching the finale though, I cried like a baby! It was like watching the episode “500 Years of Solitude” of The Vampire Diaries, where all of our favorite characters who had died came back, I was a fucking mess! On the good note though, I have been getting into the show Bones now. It has the same dynamic duo but with David Boreanaz as the officer and Emily Deschanel (plus her band of assistants) as Maura Isles! So, the teamwork and crazy banter is still there and at the moment, I am enjoying it!

What surprised me though, that while I am in this fog, I was able to do something I hadn’t done since the start of winter. I was allowed to go outside.

Despite the fact that I love the changing landscape and seeing all of the birds fight for food on my bird feeder, I really miss being outside.

I hate being away from my cats, and it doesn’t really help now that like four of them are not living at my sister’s house! Bear-Bear and Oscar have officially moved on and it really sucks because they are my social kitties, they tend to want to spend time with me the most and since they would rather stay on the block, I’ve been somewhat sad, but I have Grumpy and I think he is perfectly fine with this change because now he doesn’t have to wait in line to be the center of attention to us. We still have Stormy, Nelson, Midge, and Felix too, so it’s not too terrible, although my dad kind of wishes they would all move out but I think he would be sad for me because that’s my connection to the outdoors for now.

We were able to experience some early spring in March. It isn’t too uncommon to have a few good weather days around this time, but it is important to remind yourself that we could still have another big snow coming until the middle of April. So, when we had three days of beautiful weather, my mom put me in my wheelchair and I sat out on the deck for a little while.

For the first two days, I would bring my camera out with me, but I wouldn’t turn it on. It wasn’t because of the lack of cats coming to see me, I just wanted to enjoy being in the moment with them. I needed a change of scenery and being among the cats, trees and noisy birds was a big comfort to me in those early days. The temperature would seesaw between a good 64 degrees to a chilly 57 degrees and I would only allow myself to stay out for like twenty minutes because I felt like my toes were going to fall off because it was so damn cold!

Even though this is a photo diary, I like being able to just unleash whatever I have in my mind. I tried my best to lie and be all cheery but this is what I’m been dealing with, and I know it can stem from the fact it is five years since my papaw’s passing and I could have suppressed feelings about it. So, I feel somewhat better now that I have unleashed my thoughts before allowing you to see the pictures I took on my third day outside. If you are still reading this, thank you for listening and I hope you enjoy the beautiful photos of our cats.

Do you have any advice for me when it comes to being in a haze? What are your favorite things to do when the weather starts to warm up a bit?

Life | Meet Da Bunnies!

Hello.

Well, we have had some new additions to our family, and no, it’s not a baby!

My sister and brother-in-law have started their own little rabbit farm.

I don’t really know how it got started, but one day at the end of February, they came home from a day of doing errands and brought home a bunny from Rural King. During this time, they have a series of farm animals for sale there. They have baby chickens, ducks, birds, bunnies, and sometimes piglets. The only time I’ve been there, my mom and I spent too much time at the baby chicken station. They were SO adorable but we knew it would be a lost cause bringing them home because our cats would definitely make a meal out of them! .

Before I continue, I have to mention that we do know if they are short or long haired rabbits, nor do they know the exact breeds either! I think we should just be happy that we know each is a boy or a girl instead! My sister has never taken care off rabbits before. I’m not so sure about Brandon, but they’re making the most of it though.

151206218_3527529334039666_7867404390755435175_nHopsin

This was the first rabbit they bought, as you can see Hopsin looks like she could be a long hair bunny, but honestly she only has this in patches along her body. All around her face is short except for the very top, so she has a “woke up like this” look to her everytime of the day, but I think it gives her more personality.

The first time she came over, we kind of trapped her in my room but she must’ve like it because she never stomped the floor very much! She definitely loved my bed though, at one point after she was finished exploring every inch of my bed, she found a comfortable spot and just kicked her back legs out and laid down and we were all in love after that!

After that, my mom was a little afraid she would get too relax and pee on my bed so Blondie put her on the floor and she was back to sniffing everything in my room. She decided that lying underneath my wheelchair was the best place ever! In her defense, it is next to my closet and kind of dark in that corner so she obviously felt safe in that little space to the point where she did the same thing when she was on my bed, and just went flat on the cool floor. If we knew she wouldn’t chew on any cords or go under the door of my actual closet and get lost in there, we would have just let her stay over there for a while. She looked so content and sweet over there, it was sad when my sister decided to go back home!

I watch a lot of different vet shows on the National Geographic WILD channel, so I have learned quite a few things about rabbits in general. One thing that I remembered the most was that rabbits are very social, and they like to be in pairs, so it wasn’t too long before they went and got a buddy for Hopsin–actually, they didn’t even last a day! They came home with DaBaby.

151832882_3527529267373006_5418038604478109955_nBunz

I tried to warn you when I said they had started giving them rap names! 

When one became two, Nolan was beginning to get really interested in them. He has only been around cats and dogs, so rabbits are relatively new to him, but he seemed to form some kind of bond with Bunz. The reason why the name was changed to this, is because they are not looking to breed any of their rabbits, but wasn’t sure what sex this one was at the time so it was automatically named “DaBaby” but once they found out it was a girl, she ended up as “Bunz” . I don’t really know the significance behind it so I apologize for that!  

Bunz is absolutely adorable! Hopsin being black and white like their cat Samuel, Bunz is an entirely color to any of their animals in their house. Bunz is all shades of brown with a little bit of pink in her ears. Before bunny #5, she was the tiniest of the pack and I thought it was perfect for Nolan. He loves to give them their breakfast and thinks they eat cute and interesting! I have seen try to eat his crackers like them in the last three visits so he has been watching quite a bit but honestly it’s so sweet that as long as he doesn’t get choked, I think we’ll be okay about it.

If you didn’t know Blondie is attractive to animals. She is the main reason why Bootsie wasn’t able to leave our back yard when she first came around, our dad had told her to keep working with her to become comfortable with people, but after her dog Sydney died, nobody could bear to break her away from Bootsie so we ended up keeping her and thus, she started birthing liters and liters of kittens before we finally had to stop it and got all of the cats fixed. Funnily enough, now that she lives on the corner of our block, Bootsie now lives over there, underneath this bench that she dressed bottom part with cushions and a large blanket to shield them away from the cold. Oscar, Bear-Bear and Tavis all live over there and only come back when the humans come over to visit us!

152834021_3531959006930032_96444902443671838_nThumper & Chance 

Now, there was a reason why I mentioned about the story of Bootsie, because my sister can’t really be trusted to go on solo missions when animals, especially ones that are on sale, because if they look sweet or injured – like in this case, because she will come home with more than one species. I have to say, she’s done this before because one time we came home with 2 sets of hamsters in a number of four years! This should have been our warning that no animal is safe because she will bring it home!

So, this is Thumper and Chance the RapHare. I don’t know exactly know how they came up with Thumper, other than maybe watching Bambi recently but Brandon definitely named Chance (the bigger one!) after the actual rapper. One of the things that is both sad and special about these guys are, she got them for the fact that they were injured. You might be able to tell in the photo, as they each look like they have missing fur around their noses. As you might’ve noticed, these are both boys and don’t worry, they have their own cage. They live next door to the sorority house, so hopefully no baby bunnies anytime soon!

These guys were actually the first ones that I got to meet, because just after coming home, they came right over so I could see them. They enjoyed exploring the living room and kitchen. What we didn’t expect them to do was hang out around our fan in the kitchen. They seriously just sat in front of it and chilled out for a bit. Our dog ChiChi was curious about these guys but for the most part, didn’t mind them as much!

151797352_3522769534515646_5152127849276818603_nTrixie

I almost forgot about this one. My sister just randomly came home with her. We thought that after getting the boys, that they were done, but I know my sister too well – she has a soft spot for anything left behind and with Bunz, Trixie and Letti (as you’ll meet soon!) were all the last bunnies in the container at the store.  

This bunny is named Trixie, but I’m not too sure how she came up with that name but I wonder if our cat Tavis had inspired it as he is also black and white too! Tavis is also one of the quietest love bug out of the entire pride, and I haven’t heard too much about Trixie so I’m thinking her demeanor might be close to him. 

Personally, I think she is my favorite as she is mostly white with a tiny bit of black. She reminds me of their cat Samuel as he is all white with a few black shapes around his whole body, but Trixie is definitely smaller compared to Samuel! I think it’s far to say all of the rabbits are smaller than Samuel, because he is like a monster with a huge body and a small head!

Unfortunately, that’s all I can say about her right now. She seems to be a very chill bunny compared to all of the others, but the next one is somewhat similar too, which is how I was able to completely skip Trixie in the process!

155888494_3557424364383496_6680387382770280284_oLetti Lou

She took what our parents use to say to us ALL THE TIME when we were growing up, and that was, “when you move out of the house, you can own as many animals as you want.” It wasn’t until she took another solo trip that I begin to hear the voices of my parents saying that exact statement in my head over and over again. A part of me had to laugh because she came home with Miss Letti Lou. This one is actually smaller compared to the rest of the herd. I vaguely remember Blondie saying that she was around 8 weeks, but we’re not too sure though. She does really good with her sisters, so that’s all that matters!

Letti is the second bunny to not be inspired by a rapper, according to my sister, she named her after the character Letty from the Fast & Furious franchise. My poor sister hasn’t watched the entire series but remembers when our Uncle David took us to see the newest film at the time, and it had to been when Letty was found and Dom went to get her back, so my mind is saying Fast Five is the exact movie, but there have been so many that I’ve sort of lost track but I think I’m right though! Anyways, Letti Lou is by far the smallest and the color of her fur is the same tone as what Blondie’s hair use to be back in school, so I find it odd that she found a bunny like her in some way!

160771608_3592360780889854_8346094878614777932_nAxel & Onyx

And finally, we have hit the last two rabbits (at least we’re hoping so!) and for a few days, my dad didn’t know about these guys! For a good three weeks he only thought they had four bunnies, but Blondie and Brandon haven’t taken loads of pictures so for the most part he hasn’t seen them. I have a feeling that once this post goes up, he’ll find out all about them. 

Now this photo was taken a few days after they got them so they’ve probably put on some weight since they came home. I think Onyx is the on the left, as he is a lot darker to his brother. Axel has some brown tones in him but he is very spunky and unafraid of the cats. Blondie sent a video on Facebook to show Axel roaming around the living room and when Em called for him, he came back but first had to sniff–or at least try to!–Samuel and this seemed to spook him enough that Samuel went flying into the kitchen with Axel on his heels and what was so hilarious by it was the fact that Axel couldn’t stop, even after trying to spread his front paws out and that still didn’t help him all that much at first, but thankfully, he did figure out how to stop, but the whole thing was so cute and funny that I can’t get it out of my mind!

The rest of their household seems to mind the rabbits okay. The cats are a little unsure, especially when they are out of their cages, but for the most part the cats can tolerate them. Chipper, however, he is desperately looking for a playmate I guess and doesn’t quite understand why the new kids on the block can’t rough house with him. He is curious about them and loves to hang out by their cages, he is a very protective big brother to the cats, Nolan and now the bunnies! So far, everybody is getting along and loves to cuddle with everybody, including me! Dad doesn’t really care for them all that much but I think he’s fine with it, if he doesn’t have to necessarily have to do anything with them…

Have you taken care of rabbits before? If you have, how many did you have and what were their names? Do you have any advice for them or any other people wanting to take care of a bunny full time?

Blogmas | 2020 Christmas Tree

Hello!

I decided to write this post on the day, we finally get my little tree out from the depths of my closet. It’s been in there for around six months or so, we never packed up back in January because I originally wanted to get a tote like we have for our family tree to neatly store everything, but as time went on, my hope for that to happen disappeared so I finally had my mom store it up on the rack above my clothes so it wouldn’t get too damaged.

As my mom and I were removing the silver ornaments, we quickly realized that it might’ve been a bad idea to just stuff them onto the edge of the limbs, because the tops will break off pretty easily! However, we had extra hooks for our other ornaments, and my mom left me to put them through the holes myself, which still surprises me, but this gave me more time to listen to traditional Christmas music, which I knew she wouldn’t like to hear while doing the tree together. I also stabbed myself only a handful of times so that was cool!

If you remember, my tree is black – it’s definitely not the traditional tree like our big one in the living room, but that was the point. I saw the black trees the year before and I was like, “I need one!” because I thought I could find some Halloween-y type of ornaments to put on there and lucky for me, they were selling them really cheap at Menards so I really didn’t have to beg to my mom, because she thought they were kind of neat too! It’s like the story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears, it’s not too high or too small for me to reach around the sides or the very top to arrange something later on. I think it’s the perfect tree for me at this stage of my life.

While we were opening up the totes for the family tree, we found something slightly weird and it was a blanket, that we all thought was at my sister’s place. It is a white fuzzy throw with dressed up penguins! Last Christmas, our old sheet that was with us for decades, finally gave away and we finally had to throw it out; and that is why we started using a blanket as “snow” underneath the tree. Once we finished decorating it, my mom wrapped the blanket around the cracking stand and from there, I thought I wanted to do something similar under my tree. We have a few Christmassy blankets in our house and I have one that my nana gave me, and I think it looks fancy so I thought if we fold the blanket in half to fit that section where I decorated for fall. We moved all of the autumnal stuff out of the way and even removed the sunflower rug so that the tree was only sitting on top of the blanket and it was seriously the best decision, because it made that whole space look bigger.

Besides keeping the black beauty, there was another thing I thought belonged on this tree from the very beginning, and it was the gold glitter king’s crown. My mom managed to find at our local Dollar Store last year. It was a lot bigger than what I imagined it to be, but I loved it so much that I knew there was no way in hell I was going to get rid of it. What we ended doing with it since it clearly doesn’t fit on the branches, we use it like your angel or star at the top of your tree, and I just thought it made sense to put it there every year! My nephew’s face when he asked why it was like that, was priceless! Thankfully, he and his parents put up their tree that same afternoon and we didn’t know about the other, so I thought it was a little cool. Oh, and he told me that their pets, one dog named Chipper and four cats: Samuel, Toni, Otis and Tavis helped too!

Out of the 16 bulbs that came in the pack, I choose to use the glittery and matte bulbs but there was one glitter ball that was definitely effected by what I explained above but the cute thing about it was my nephew went into my room and snatched it off my table and my dad was suppose to fix it that evening, and so when Nolan came back into the living room with it, papaw told him to put it on the big tree since he was redecorating it all of a sudden. It’s still there on the tree I think! Anyways, I did have to use a couple of the shine-y bulbs too, but thankfully the overall design doesn’t look too chaotic and I’m happy with that!

I had decided on before I started hooking away on my silver balls, I wanted to keep things very minimalist, and I have to say, I am not about that lifestyle because mainly I’m too sentimental to do that. I barely got through packing all of my stuff to move into this house a couple of years ago. Since I am probably going to have this tree out passed New Year’s Day, I just want that area to look clean and welcoming and I think the way I decorated that space in the fall showed me that I should think about it.

As I continued my search for new decorative pieces for my room, I found a set of ornaments in mini, and as soon as I saw that you could buy a pack of them and still be dirt cheap was the best thing for this low maintenance girl. My silver bulbs are in face mini, and I am always looking for others like them. What I didn’t expect was finding these mini farm animal ornaments. Oh my gosh! They were so cute online, but once they arrived to the house, I wasn’t prepared for how adorable they would be in real life! So, I was only able to find a pack of six in the likeness of a cow, pig, and sheep! What I really love about them is that instead of using hooks, it has a little string attached to their backs and I am forever grateful for that.

I have literally told everyone that have come to the house that all I need now are chickens, roosters, and ducks! However, I started to think about it some more later in the evening and honestly, I need a horse and goats in there too. Maybe I’ll get lucky next year and find others like them!

There was a sincere meaning for me to get these ornaments though. My mom is obsessed with cows. She has a section on her way to work and back home that have a fairly medium sized amount of black cows; and she has this thing that if there are any cows in a pond or even a good size puddle, it means her day will be good! And before anybody asks, she makes us very worried whenever she is driving and trying to find her cows at the same time! Now my nana is a lover of pigs. She told me once that she use to have a piglet as a pet when she lived in Arizona on a farm. I can’t remember the actual name of it, but ever since I keep sending her pictures of pigs on Facebook. Thankfully, she’s like her daughter and adores animals just as much. As far as I know, nobody in my family loves sheep but this was the animal that came in the pack.

The final additions to that corner are my finished “bird” project. I have been working on this statue of a cardinal for years! At one time, it belonged to my nana and papaw, but once the house had to go on sale, we got the second one. A few years ago, my dad sprayed the whole thing with gray paint and I just wanted to restore it to its former glory and repaint it in red with orange legs and make the stand into a moss-y look. I recently just finished the whole thing and I’m pretty proud of myself to finally have it look like a cardinal again. The next one is a beloved dancing Santa Claus that my papaw loved to play for all of us. He had a wide range of singing and dancing kid toys and for a couple of years in a row, he would end up receiving a different one for Christmas. Unfortunately, the one I have closest to my TV, doesn’t have batteries in it and I’m taking that as a positive because then we might lose it to Nolan too.

So, that is it with my Christmas tree décor. I hope you have enjoyed hearing of this holiday tale. Now you get to see what everything looks like as I took quite a bit of pictures afterwards.

What do you think of my Christmas tree this year? Are you the type of person to plaster every ornament you have on your tree or do you like a little clean looking with the minimalist outlook?

snowflake

Blogmas | Christmas Tree Projects

Hello!

This season I was inspired to do something a little bit different.

In September, when I was able to decorate my bedroom for autumn, I went on YouTube to find tutorials on how to make my moon phase garland together easier on my mom and I. As you now know, this still didn’t really help, all it really did was my parents wish we had done it all homemade like in the video. Anyways, as I continued to look for other helpful ways, I came across four DIYers that just seemed fun and genuine with their personalities. I watched all of them for basically a least a week and afterwards, I became inspired to do a little project myself.

I’m still shocked that I came up with this so quickly, because usually it happens within two days (or nights) to finally figure out how I want everything, but not for this one. I instantly knew what I wanted to do but asking for it proved to me a little scary, because I haven’t done anything as grand as this since I was a senior in high school! I still don’t think what I did was at the same scale considering the fact back then, I made six similar portraits on larger canvases within a week apart from each other. For these projects, there were only three items on slightly smaller surfaces, but the biggest difference is that instead of drawing with pencil, pen, and pastels. I only used pencil to start and eventually acrylic paint.

I am not a painter. I’ve never thought of myself as a painter but since the videos I was watching online were in that media, and that’s how my vision was coming to me, I thought I would take a crack at it.

There was something that my mom told me on the second day that stayed with me throughout the process and made me feel at ease once I started on it again. I wanted to share it here in case anyone reading this is like me, and needs some type of encouragement.

You’re not Picasso, and we don’t expect you to be.

If you want to copy what I did or make something similar, here are the materials you will need:

  • Canvas – ours are 12×6
  • Acrylic paint – we purchased the prime colors: red, blue & yellow
  • Assortment of paintbrushes – I used both thin brushes, one a little bigger than the other
  • Paper plates or handy palette
  • Ruler
  • Water

When I officially started on them, I forgot that I never told my dad about what everything was for, and after I asked where the ruler was, he showed me how to actually use one. Honestly, I’m thankful he did it because I’ve never really used them, I usually just estimate and go from there. And after he showed me where the middle was on the first canvas, you could still see my remints on the first time I made my lines and I was off by a couple of inches! My dad was pretty impressed by it and so was I!

So, we measured the border first, and with all of my patience, I did miss the mark a couple of times, but in order to make it more about fun, I had to tell my ego to shut up to make myself keep going, especially when I got to doing the measurements for the big item that all three will have and that was a large triangle or Christmas tree in the center of the canvas. Once I figured out everybody’s shapes, I took pictures for both proof and to show you the process as I continued on this artistic journey.

The next day, I went back to it and was utterly excited to get my toes dirty!

Despite knowing I’m not a painter, I still freaking love it! It’s like glitter but more liquid-y…

Anyways, I thought the best decision would be painting all three trees first and then move on. My mom poured out my blue and yellow onto my plate and I started mixing it with the end of the brush I was going to use first and I wasn’t necessarily happy with the color that appeared first, it was more blue-green and as pretty as it was, it obviously wasn’t the shade I was going for, so I grabbed the yellow again and undid the cap and put the container on its side and squeezed with all of the strength in my feet to get a small amount of paint. Once I got what I wanted, I mixed it all again and I ended up with a very green color and it still had a little blue but it wasn’t as noticeable as the first color, so that was good for me!

I got to painting the sides of the first, I used my homemade desk that my dad made for me back in October. However, everytime I went to turn it around I would end up with more paint on my toes than I liked because that meant, it wasn’t sticking and I would have to go back over it with a second coat. Well, as I let that one dry, I looked around my room to see if I had anything to help fix this problem. So, I have another, older foam box that I have used in previous DIYs and I really needed an easel and my thought was I could prop each one up so I could see everything and allow it to dry a little bit before turning it over. The only issue was, I didn’t have anything to put underneath the canvases to make sure I don’t make a bigger mess than I was, and I grabbed my sunflower rug and flipped it upside down so that I wasn’t ruining the pretty side and this turned out to the second best idea I had that day.

Once I got everybody arranged, I was moving pretty quickly but I have found my absolute weakness with painting: borders. It wasn’t the paint this time; since I made “proper” measurements with a pencil, staying within that area was a bit difficult, but I refused to let it get to me in the end. After all of the borders were a royal blue, I got to work on giving each tree a decoration of some sort with using ideas I found on both YouTube and Instagram.

The main objective to these projects was to make them as different as possible. So, the first one looked absolutely gorgeous! There were no mistakes at all, but the other two: well, the second has one side bigger than the other and the third actually looks like a tree with branches as I was running out of green paint and it turned out better than I expected it to be. This one is actually my mom’s favorite, so go figure! I left everybody to dry for the day before I moved on to the decorations!

For the most part, I used the pencil to create the star on the first project in the way I know how and even though the yellow we had was light, after splashing two coats in that small space, it covered up the guide. I pushed it to the side to dry before doing the trucks, and I did the next with ornaments. Now in my original idea, I was only going to put three in different sizes but once I grabbed the pencil, I knew that wasn’t going to happen. The first trick I found was using the back of a pencil (I got really creative and used the back of my red colored pencil!) or small lid and just coat the flat surface in whatever paint you’re using and pressing it like a stamp on your designated area. Well, if you know me, once I get going, there’s really no stopping me. I meant to do the tree but was having so much with this trick that I kept going all around the tree. Technically, everytime I look at it, it makes me think of an apple tree because of how many dots I laid on the tree.

For the second, I had my mom grab two Q-Tips from the bathroom and I took both in between my toes and held on tightly to both and just did the same motion with the pencil, expect for having individual dots, I took the gold color paint and dotted in a line from one side to the other to the paint where it looks like you wrapped tinsel all around the tree. After I was done, I told my mom that it was my favorite because it looked like what I was initially wanted and I think the lopsided part helped a lot because it meant I could make the tinsel look long and thicker like regular garland.

The final addition that was put on all three projects was some sort of truck; in my head, I just wanted something minimalist and for the most part I stuck to that idea and two of them ended up with a L shape at the bottom of each decorated tree. I used the last bit of brown that we had for it too. As for the third, I was going to put two little vertical lines showing you the outline of a trunk but never connecting the two, but I didn’t like what I had painted on the canvas so I just gave it a full trunk and leave it to me, to place it on the tree that has an odd shape already, so the trunk isn’t necessarily in the middle as the other two but by the time we figured it out, the paint had dried up and I just waved it off.

After they were all dried, I told my mom where I wanted to hang them. There is a mini hallway in between the spare bathroom, my room and Nolan’s playroom. There is a medium sized of wall space that has always looked dull and I thought these would be perfect to hang them and make the house a little more Christmassy! My parents are not the type to decorate every space in the house like I would, especially being that this house is still “brand new” to us and I feel like it needs that sort of vibe going on. So, my mom hung all three in the order I had already picked out and since they are all unique, I thought my last wish for them are three have the same meaning but it is translated in three different languages: the top is the star and this one is called, “Merry Christmas”. the middle is the gold tinsel and full trunk and it’s name is, “Feliz Navidad” for Spanish and the third with the pretty red ornaments is German’s way “Fröhliche Weihnachten”.

Overall, the projects were a success and I am very proud of myself for not only being strong throughout the whole process, but for being committed to doing something different and definitely out of my comfortable zone. Here are the rest of the photos I took of the whole thing.

When was the last time you did something that was out of your comfort zone, but that was bigger than you would normally do? If you create your own Christmas décor, what is your absolute favorite you have made for 2020?

snowflake