A Holiday Moment

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This is Humphrey, the Christmas tree.Β 

I think it’s a good name. Happy Holidays Humphrey!

This past weekend was filled with some fun holiday festivities. On Saturday, I went to the Renegade Holiday Craft Fair at the Pulaski Park Fieldhouse in Wicker Park. The summer edition of the fair on Division has become a favorite and I knew it would be a lot of fun. I managed to snag some cute gifts for my mom and sister and check a few off the list. The fieldhouse was PACKED and the upstairs rooms were pretty stuffy, but my friend Kate and I managed to cool off with a cold Woodchuck.

I envy people that have the ‘creative gene’. Some of the artists’ tables were stunning (especially the jewelry) and I resisted the urge to buy every cute paper product for sale (surprising).

The evening included a visit to the Lincoln Park ZooLights with a group of friends (including Team Run With Us!) and way too much pasta at Vapiano down the street. Last year, the group endured a temperature of 10 degrees, which is approximately 40 degrees too cold to be comfortable. This year, with the super warm temperatures in Chicago, was disorienting. Ice sculptures melting in the dark? Hot mulled spiced wine, causing muggy sweats? It was all too much for my body and mind to understand.

The holiday festivities did NOT stop there, however.

After a weird foggy Steven King-esque run along the lake last night, I was determined to track down a Christmas tree (Humphrey!) to call my own. And by ‘call my own’, I mean stick in my living room and watch it gradually dry out. But it’s so festive! It didn’t take long for us to find the absolutely weirdest looking one at a good price and decide to head to the register. At first sight, I said, ” I don’t know. It’s kind of weird lookin'”. To which, Manny replied, “I know. That’s why I like it”. Alrighty then!

It was a fun weekend. But it would have been a little less confusing if it were the standard 20-30 degrees out with snow on the ground! I’m going Β to punch myself in the face if I ever read this in mid-March when the chill never leaves my bones and I dream about beaches and 90 degrees 24/7. Until then! ….I want snow.

-J

Feeling Crafty: Wall O’ Frames

Now that the holidays are here and I’m in full ‘off season’, slothlike turkey-gobbling mode, I’ve been focusing more on the state of my small Chicago apartment. I’ve lived in the same apartment for 14 months, which is 2 months longer than I’ve stayed in any Chicago apartment (the post-grade live suits me just fine). When I moved from my last apartment, I ditched and pitched a ton of furniture, clothing, and other belongs that just didn’t suit me anymore. But I mostly got rid of those things because of how small my current apartment is. At 800 square feet, it doesn’t have large, airy spaces that promote afternoons of creativity and inspired thinking. But I’ve managed to keep it sleek, modern, “clean”, and (most of all) just right.

Beyond hanging some artwork and some of my favorite posters, I painted a huge accent wall in my living room bright, tomato red. I absolutely love the color and it does so much to brighten up my living room/kitchen area. But the wall opposite this red wall has been bare for the past 14 months and I thought it was time to change that. So, over the past few weeks, I set out to gather a small collection of frames to cover the wall behind the couch, with the following Pinterest finds as inspiration.

Lovely cropping handiwork by @LindseyPoore1 (http://www.about.me/lnpoore)

I’m all about saving money where I can and I knew I’d be able to find frames that would work at Goodwill and Salvation Army. I bought a total of 8 frames and spent less than $15 total. I knew I’d be painting them so I wasn’t really concerned about the ‘state’ of them or whether or not I liked the color of the wood. The color theme of the living room is tomato red, turquoise/teal, and white. To match the stainless steel appliances of the adjacent kitchen, I chose to add silver as an accent color.

Before pics of the lonely, empty wall behind the couch:

See? Isn’t it sad looking?

So, after letting the project sit for far too long, I took my cans of spray paint out to my building’s parking lot (sorry building management!) and sprayed the frames in each color.

Yes, I smuggled spray paint from Indiana to Chicago this past weekend… Gotta do what ya gotta do!

Again…sorry building management! Hope you don’t mind the colorful parking spots!

I bought Command “easy off” photo hanging strips for each frame to avoid poking holes in the wall, as well. I may be here for the next 9 months (at least) but that doesn’t mean I want to pay to have tiny holes fixed or stuff toothpaste in them to avoid a fine. One of the strips can hold an 8 x 10 frame that weighs 3 lbs so I knew they’d work well.

The next step was to arrange them on the wall. I have the tendency to overthink these kinds of things, but I really wanted to put them up and just see how they looked (another advantage of the Command photo-hanging strips!). It didn’t take long at all to hang them and I think it turned out really well.

It’s only a matter of time before I start collecting more frames to add to the wall. I want to add a lot of different sizes to make it look a bit more ‘eclectic’ or less thought out than it is now.

Ok, back to normal running-related programming… πŸ˜€

-J