Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Blast from the Past: Cigar Box ATC Armoire January 2015

This is the 3rd installment of my 'Blast from the Past" series. From October 2014-April 2015, I was chosen to be on the Splitcoast Stampers "Dirty Dozen Design Team". We did 6 projects a month. Needless to say, those were ONLY projects I did in each of those months. Since I average a project in a 7 day week, you can imagine how difficult it was to produce a project EVERY FIVE DAYS. 
These haven't been published on the blog, yet. So enjoy. Saturday and Sunday were such great days for me! Out at the barn with my histrionic mare, Coco, the weather was gorgeous! Then on Monday and Tuesday, good ol' Dercums flared up and last night, my lower back spasmed. I don't know if you've ever experienced a lower back spasm, but that's good for a 9 on the ol' pain scale. So, here's hoping for a better rest of the week, huh? Without further ado....

I have always counted myself lucky in the friends I’ve made over the years. I have been so very lucky to meet and forge relationships with some of the coolest women I’ve ever-and probably WILL ever-know. In return, I try my best to be a good friend. I’m not high-maintenance (except to the Lord and my husband-but one created me and the other married me…so, they’re pretty much stuck) and my good friends know that despite my MANY faults, I am ever loyal and will be there when I’m wanted or needed.

OR, if there happens to be really good food and wine involved. I’m absolutely ‘there’.

Or wine…just wine. And I’ll never leave.

It’s important you take the time to talk and share with friends. It’s one of the things I’m particularly good at. You see, I have NO problem totally ignoring the kids while chatting with an actual grown-up. Because a grown-up USUALLY isn't constantly complaining about lack of food, perceived lack of quality of available food, dissatisfaction with current regime and unhappiness with their current status in the hierarchy.

Of course, I do take time to communicate with my children. I admit it takes everything I have, at times, to keep the proper straight face. It's important because it convinces the little snot-noses that I’m actually concerned with their opinions regarding my parenting skills (or lack, thereof) and whether or not ‘everyone else has this game/video system/sneakers/clothing/etc. and I don’t!!!’

But I have to say, they’re ADORABLE when they’re delusional like this!

I have 3 boys at home. One is 16 and, you may not have heard…and I certainly DON’T want to brag…but he’s a genius. That’s right, I’m totally serious when I say he knows EVERYTHING. And if you doubt me, then by all means….just ASK him.
He’ll be glad to tell you how he is repressed in speech and action, as well as how he is worked to the point of exhaustion by the repressive Communist regime he is ruled by. He’s right, you know…taking out the trash, and being made to dig the dirty underwear he has hidden in his closet (and apparently, by the look of them, they’ve been there since the good ol’ days of family dinners and representative government) is completely and totally irrational on our part. Not to mention his being forced to do his homework and having one of his parental units checking his grades and whether he completes assignments…DAILY! 

The next child we have made into an indentured servant, is all of 11. He doesn’t understand why he isn’t given an allowance like all his friends. I have explained-NUMEROUS times-that one must WORK to receive money. He usually counters with the pointing out of that the government GIVES you money if you just ask them. He says that all you have to do is say you can’t work and fill out about “10 or 15 pieces of paper and explain that you can’t work because you’re too tired, then they give you a card for food AND they buy you a house and you can stay home and watch TV and play games. I know it’s the truth because my friend Tim told me and even a lot of our family do it. You know, the ones that live in the trailers over in McLeansville.”

I don’t know what bothers me more…the fact he thinks the government actually MAKES money or the fact that out of over 200 years of Conservatives, some wild and crazy gene mix-up has caused me to somehow produce a Progressive.

The last kid is 8. He’s my little high-functioning autistic minion and HIS attitude regarding his living situation is…well…to be honest, as long as he has a supply of Nerds candy and Legos, he really doesn’t have an opinion about the trifling domestic matters the rest of us deal with on a daily basis. He plays his WII, lines up his 30 plus stuffed animals in weird places. Case in point, last week, I ran into the house from the grocery store, needing to make use of the ‘WC’, if you will. I flung the door open and almost had a heart attack…there were at least 20 stuffed animals gathered around a small, fluorescent Christmas tree, with each one holding some sort of food item. Zombo the Zombie had a slice of cheese covering his face and Mario’s head had been stuffed into a Ramen Noodle cup. If that wasn’t scenic enough, he had completely ringed them in with about 10 wine bottles, arranged by size and label color.

I mean, really….where DID he get so many wine bottles?? **cough, cough**

**NOTE** I DO want to take a moment and clarify that we MUCH prefer this type of tableau to the very public ramifications his stuffed animals suffer when their disobedience elicits his disapproval. The punishments for that disobedience or non-conformity (or just when the Dictator is overstimulated) are harsh and we wouldn’t mind so much if Justice was served inside…and NOT in the FRONT YARD.

Do you have any idea what it’s like to back out of the driveway and see a stuffed animal in the middle of a thorny rose bush with a piece of packing tape over its mouth and hands tied to feet??? Or…MY personal favorite…Woody from ‘A Toy Story’ hanging upside down with an electrical cord by his feet? At the TOP of a 20 foot Maple?????

No WONDER the neighbors cross the street when they walk by our house!


I know what you’re saying…you’re speaking in that soothing voice and saying, “Now Carmen…ALL teens and pre-teens are pretty much like that! We totally understand! We’ve been through all of it, too! Well, except for the weird stuff your 8 year old does…I mean, we’ve TOTALLY never seen that in our LIVES.”

And I want you to know I appreciate those kind words of support and encouragement. But I really have most of it under control. I simply remind the 2 older kids that if I DIDN”T somewhat like them, that I would’ve already commandeered their rooms for a paint studio and sewing room, respectively. That seems to really get my point across.

I know, I know…I’ve gone even more off-topic than usual. But I DO think it’s important we share our experiences. That way, we can support one another and then, at the end of the day, have some great gossip to share with our other friends.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I believe there’s some sort of celebration I’m interested in attending, that should be well underway, and I don’t want to be late. Fortunately, I hear the party is close by.

In the downstairs bathroom, I believe.

Once again, my thanks to Laura Carson at Artfully Musing! She has great tutorials and though I’ve made a ton of stuff using them, I don’t even think I’ve scratched the surface of all the things she has done! I’ve totally been on a cigar box kick. In fact, 3 of my projects this month use them. And there might be another one…who knows?? But the ATC Armoire was something I loved because it was different, practical and downright GORGEOUS!


  1. What a wonderful opportunity to see this again! Your attention to detail is mind-boggling! Your narrative, hilarious! I so agree about the wine and now have 11 5-gallon carboys going! Next trip up north, stop on by!

  2. Carmen this is amazing. I've stopped back three time to take it all in. Fantastic job. Once again you left me in stitches with your fantastic humor and stories. I can agree with 110% about everything you said...been there, done that and over it. All kids are now out of the house, bedrooms taken over and wine always chilling but I learned one lesson the hard way...the drama doesn't end even when they are 40 years old. Haha!