Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Labor of Love: Painted Cooler Wedding Gift

Have you ever heard of cooler painting?  I hadn't until a year or two ago, when Kendall painted a cooler for a dear friend for her birthday. It's apparently been all the rage on college campuses, especially within sororities, more so in the south. There are Facebook groups filled with girls sharing their ideas and how-tos. You can spend hours checking out painted coolers on Pinterest here, too. 

This is the cooler Kendall painted for her friend.

The last scene was inspired by a photo of Kendall and her friend in Hawaii.

As you can imagine, she spent many, many hours on that cooler, 
and it was very much appreciated by her friend.

She also painted a small "bubba keg" for another dear friend...

Clearly, if Kendall really loves you, she's willing to go all out, which is why it didn't surprise me when she told me last spring that she wanted to paint a cooler for Kyle's and Alayna's wedding gift. She didn't even entertain the idea of buying them something; she wanted to do something from her heart. 

When you paint a cooler, you buy the cooler, remove the hardware, and sand the surface of the entire cooler, including signs of the brand markings. Any parts that aren't being painted need to be taped over. The prepping alone takes a number of hours (not to mention tools, lol).  She started the project in May and spent every spare minute on it in the months before the wedding. Had she had consistent time off (without commitments), she estimates that it would have taken "a couple of weeks."

The cooler that Kendall bought is medium sized, the type on wheels, like luggage almost. It's perfect for a trip to the beach. (Since Kyle and Alayna now live in San Diego, it made sense!)

Before she could begin painting, Kendall had to come up with the images and words she planned to paint. She conducted a lot of research on line after reflecting on the interests Kyle and Alayna share. Here's the finished product. Because the cooler was sealed with epoxy resin (the same coating that goes on bar tops (to make them durable), the photos show a glare at times. I took a number of snaps with my camera, but that SD card disappeared, so I'm sharing iPhone photos:

(the maps are of places Kyle and Alayna have visited together)

Binge-watching Netflix is another mutual interest of Kyle and Alayna.
(with a twist on the login screen--It is a beer cooler, after all.)

The next photo doesn't do the top justice, 
but it has a woodgrain-looking appearance that looks amazing.
What you don't see is a bottle opener attached inside the lid, too.

Just for fun, soda caps were glued into the bottom.

I conservatively estimate that Kendall spent forty hours creating this one-of-a-kind gift.

 Kyle and Alayna love it.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Fly Hunter Harassment

Two little knuckleheads wishing they had a fly to entertain them. (They're my sister's Havatons.)

Don't they have expressive faces?
I hope they made you smile :)

Monday, September 12, 2016

Oil Pulling and Pushing

So I made this entertaining oil pulling video for you guys, complete with miming, humming, talking with my eyes and hand signals, etc. Here's what happened.

Skinny and Company makes a great product for oil pulling, which apparently has many benefits for your oral health. Have you ever tried it? Do you think it's hokey, are you curious, might you try it? To get 15% off an order from Skinny and Company, you can use the code SKINNYCO15.

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Adventures with Skinny and Company

Interested in Skinny and Company's 100% virgin coconut oil? 
Use the code: SKINNYCO15 for a 15% discount on all of their products!

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

So Bummed

If you know me or have read Half-Past Kissin' Time for a while, you know that this is my favorite, favorite tree.

Right at the edge of an ever changing farm field, she has held court for years, 
catching my eye, standing proudly, showing off her quirky shape and healthy glow.

I have trouble articulating why I've loved her so much, 
but I think it's something about her asymmetry, her beauty.
She just has character, and every time I've driven past her over these past 16 years, 
she's made my heart swell a little.
If you've ever been with me in the car as we passed this beauty, you'll remember me pointing her out.
If you and I are Facebook friends, she needs no introduction.

As you probably know, I've often been compelled to pull over and take photos of "my" tree. 

Maybe I just appreciated her predicability, her dependability, 
her regular reminder to stop and admire nature amidst this busy world,
her spirit of openness, of reaching for the sky with arms outstretched, come rain or shine.

I've used the photos for my blog header a number of times, 
and my sister knew I loved the tree when she included them 
in a thoughtful photo book she once gave to me as a gift. 
I can't find the digital originals now, but here are a few snaps....

Last spring, I actually pulled onto the little lane next to my tree and studied her; 
I wanted to know why her trunk was misshapen, and I gained a whole new perspective.

I assumed she'd been struck by lightening back in the day,

and I marveled at her resilience.

I know it's crazy, but I thanked her for being awesome, and I drove home.

Today, when I passed my favorite tree, this is what I saw:

I assume she got struck by lightening, 
as I could see some raw, white flesh from a distance.
Like a rubbernecker at the scene of a car wreck, 
I was afraid of seeing too much, I guess; 
I stopped only for this quick snap and moved on. 
I didn't want to think about my beautiful tree being gone forever, not yet.

I don't know the owner of the property, 
but I hope he/she is as sad as I am; I'll bet it hurt to have to finish the job.

I loved that tree.