Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Twenty Ten

At Christmas dinner the other day, my Dad posed the question to all of us, "What was one of your greatest memories of 2010"?  We went around the dinner table and shared a brief 'year in review'.  Most of us spoke about the blessing of family.  I have so many wonderful personal and professional memories from this past year, but one that I will never forget is the biking trip I took with my oldest daughter, Kennedy.

Here we are at 7:00 A.M. at the start of our adventure.  "Team Boeve" was mentally and physically (?) prepared for the road ahead.  We gave ourselves a black sharpie marker tatoo (with our team name and   "bib number"-our address.:) and we were ready.  We were going to attempt to copy my sister Lauri and her son's quest of biking to our favorite camping spot, Pentwater, Michigan. They had done it once before, and camped overnight halfway up with all their gear.  We had NO gear, only strong wills, and a competitive spirit.  Standing proudly next to our new hybrid bikes that we got only three weeks prior to our ambitious quest, we felt energetic and up for the challenge!  Notice the  pop-up camper in the background. Ken and Brecken would be trailering that up later in the day for a weeklong camping trip at Pentwater's State Park, so we knew if we ran into any big problems, help would be shortly on the way. We mapquested the journey and were anticipating about a 100 mile trek!

Ohhh, these helmets were seriously gonna cramp our style, but we had already discovered how invaluable they were to us the very night Kennedy had received her new bike and was telling me a story on the Lakeshore Dr. bike trail and crashed into a tree!  See reinactment below!

This was the exact tree and pretty much the exact expression from that fateful night.  The only thing missing is the pic. of me reacting to the whole thing, by slamming on my brand new very touchy brakes and flying over the handlebars!  Amazingly, after bending her tire back into place,  no harm done.

Entering Grand Haven we had a little over 20 miles under our tires.  Still smiling and feeling great.  It's about 9:30 A.M. and we're making such good time, we decided to stop downtown for a light breakfast. We decided we would also get off the bikes to stretch and take pictures of landmarks every ten miles.  At that time, we also handed off the sag bag-each taking turns putting it on our backs.  Who knew that bag didn't 'breathe' at all?? All we had in it was a wallet, a map of our route, and most importantly lip gloss! But that thing got heavy and sweaty as the day wore on!
Here's Kennedy enjoying a fruit smoothy and a bagel. She was loving life at this point!  Feeling good..only 70 something more miles to go!

Okay, so this is turning out to be a lot more humid than we bargained for. We had one water bottle mounted to my bike to share between the two of us and we couldn't seem to fill it fast enough!  Where's a camelback when you need one?
Hindsight, I guess I should have packed some healthy snack choices along.  We ended up being at the mercy of whatever convenience store happened to be on the route and gourged ourselves with carbs and trail mixes.  Here, you can see her healthy selection of Combos.  She'd pay for this later upon arrival.

This pic was actually taken in a not-so-nice part of Muskegan and I was ready to make some tracks out of there!

Still plugging along.  We tried to take pictures of the speedometer every 10  miles.  This is right after we got on the 'rails to trail' Hart-Montague Bike Trail and after surviving a very harrowing traffic experience on Whitehall Road after Muskegan.  We were so relieved to be 'off road' and nestled in the safety of a scenic bike path.

We're getting there! We were having so much fun and in good spirits at this point!  Laughing and chatting and spending time one on one...nothing could be better!

At this point, we were less than halfway there! 
And as the day wore on, our determination was beginning to wear out!

We were nearing our destination, but we were also nearing frustration.
Some of us hung in there better than others. :)

This is half of "Team Boeve" arriving at our destination!!  We made it!!  11 hours later we made it!  It took all day and lots of encouragment the last 10 miles, but we made it!  This is the precious sight we saw as we rounded the corner into Charles Mears State Park where we got to spend the rest of the week relaxing and hanging out with " the cousins". 

From left to right...Danika, Jagger, Brecken, (mine) and Kaia with paper plate signs that say "We are proud of you"!  Let the fun begin!

To keep her motivated during the last arduous 15 miles, I told her I would jump into Lake Michigan with her right when we got there, so that's exactly what we did.  It felt great!!

This is what the speedometer read as we pulled into the campground.  Not quite 100 miles, but close enough. 

It was a long day and a long trip but I won't forget the memory of it for as long as I live. One of my best days ever.  So thankful for my daughter(s), our health, the sunshine, family trips and memories like this one.  May 2011 be filled with all your favorite things as well.  Happy New Year and Happy Trails!


Sunday, December 26, 2010

Must be a Sign..

How funky and fun are these stockings?  I scored these at a furniture store of all things.  They were clearanced out long before Christmas came and I snapped them up for next year for my girls.  Come to think of it, I packed them away a few weeks ago and I have no idea where I put them.  Oh boy.
Over the next few months I'll be scouring a variety of stores scoping out the Christmas mark downs for next year's tag sale.  Hoping to head to Shipshewaunee soon for their folk art Christmas Clearance gems.  I'll keep you posted on what I find. 
Below, you'll find one of the things that kept me busy leading up to Christmas this year...sign orders.
I love making custom signs, especially the ones that are given as surprise gifts to people.  I think it's so fun to personalize/customize a gift that's unique but neutral enough to hang anywhere.  The signs below were ordered for a group of doctors given as gifts at their annual office party.  The girl who had ordered them had seen one of these "Family" signs I had made at a friend's house this fall. 
I can't take credit for the design....another PB knock-off. 2008 fall catalog? :)
I snapped the pictures before I actually took them out to the garage to finish them.  This is how they looked before I removed all the stencil inserts, (look closely at the dates) and before I sanded the edges and distressed the lettering. 

This client picked up my business card from my booth at Not So Shabby and ordered four signs in all.  "Coffee", "Keeping Room," "Antiques" and "Primitives". 
Notice anything wrong with this picture?
The sweet lady who ordered it wasn't even going to tell me that I had spelled it wrong!  I had never done that before, and we both had a good laugh about it!  Or course, I made her a new one!  It's been a little crazy around here!

Kind of fun to play around with different font styles. These were custom Christmas orders as well.

This was a housewarming gift. Hindsight, I should've lowered the darker font, but I liked that the background was subtle. 

I just had to include this four generation family picture that we had taken yesterday.  We were all so blessed to have my 89 year old Grandma with us at my Mom's for Christmas.  My two girls are in back with me, and my sisters are in the front row with Mom, Grandma (Mom's mom) and my sister Lauri's two girls. 
I hope you all had a very Merry Christmas with your family and I wish you much love and peace  in the new year!


Monday, December 20, 2010

Office Space

I was recently asked to help with an office remodel.  Commercial projects aren't usually my gig, but I have done several before and I end up enjoying the challenge.  The people at LVS Professional Services in Zeeland are much fun to work with and so complimentary about all we accomplished by just updating the paint, a few accessories and two pieces of furniture.  See below pics to see how the office looked "before". 

My first plan of attack was to take down the outdated wallpaper throughout the space, and even though 'oak' isn't my favorite wood, I knew that selecting the right color on the walls could really make it beautiful. The 'library panaling' in this space is pretty and executive looking.  We didn't want to remove that. Unfortunately for now, carpet has to stay...but I can be persuasive!

The loveseat wasn't originally slated to go, but after seeing the new paint color on the wall, it was obvious that the couch had seen better days, so I found a matching set of microsuade couches at Van Hill in their clearance area and I had the 'go ahead' needed to have those delivered.

This wall shows a better view of the original wallpaper. I've seen worse, but it is still had to go.
This is a picture of the reception area as you walk through the lobby into a seperate space that opens into individual offices.  I wanted a little color transition so I carried the "Lodge" color-(Benjamin Moore Affinity line of paints) into this little office nook as well.

The "Builders Beige" walls with Tulip Time prints had worn out their welcome. Time to warm up the space.

Another shot above of the wallpaper and another 'mauve' colored couch that had seen better days.

These were the side chairs that I was working with.  Not horrible, but a little limiting in color scheme.  I knew I didn't want to play up the 'teal', so in these seperate offices, I chose a warm beige/tan paint with almost an eggplant colored brown. This picture above is still 'before'. 

Here's what a fresh coat of paint will do....
I rearranged the seating to have the bigger pieces on one end of the room and the accent chairs together on the far end.  Originally, the 'pink' loveseat as I lovingly referred to it, covered the oak woodwork. Removing the heavy piece of furniture from that end of the room really showed off all the beautiful oak trim.
I won't even tell you how much I got the set of couches for...what a steal!

I don't even mind the floral chairs anymore.  The teal carpeting?  Well, still not a fan, but someday.....

New artwork .

Notice the color transition through the window.  The dark 'lodge color' looking through to the softer tan.

Merry Christmas LVS.  You guys are the best! 
Blog followers, stay tuned for another commerical project soon! And Merry Christmas to you too!


Thursday, December 16, 2010

Very Merry

Are you still feeling Merry with 10 shopping days left until Christmas?  If so, check out my booth at Not So Shabby for some great last minute Christmas gifts!  Here's what you'll find....while they last!

 Shabby Chic lamp in taupe/cream tones.  $45
Snowman Cup $5-fill with candy and give with a teacher gift.

Black/White graphic patterned lamp.  $38...I think. :)

Antique Cookie Cutters.  Cute and fun in the original box! Great gift for mom with a cute ruffled apron!
Handmade cable-knit sweater pumpkins!

This primitive armoire isn't at the store but will be in January.  Call me if you want it!  It will go quickly!  Has a hanging rod inside so you could use it as a wardrobe/extra closet.  $120

One Pottery Barn Pillow left

Distressed Blue Dresser-only $65!

Beautiful embossed white on white ornaments.  Three left.

Fill this mason jar with peppermints and use these candy canes for holiday table place settings.

Hasn't sold yet.  Too difficult of a message to live out or believe?

This chair isn't at the store anymore-it's at my house, but call me if you're interested.  $35.
Only one of these NOEL signs at the store. Get it before it's gone.  Neutral enough to go with any decor.

Thanks for 'virtually' shopping with me today.  Check out the real items at Not So Shabby 152 E. Main. Downtown Zeeland.