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Archive for October, 2010

 

Last night, we got the chance to see Barack Obama in Charlottesville. We waited in line for 2 hours and then, once we got in, were standing for another 3 hours until the end of the rally. The Charlottesville Pavilion, which normally holds about 3,500 people for concerts, was packed to hold 9,000 people, with another 3,000 people in an overflow area. Thanks to Ethan and Allison who hooked it up big time and got us tickets so we could be in a special area, closer to the Prez. Hail to the chief!!!

C&O Restaurant looking all patriotic and dapper for Obama’s visit.

E&A waiting to get in.

Success! We are in!

“Ain’t no stoppin’ us now, we’re on the move, we’ve got the groove!”


Getting closer!

Being blinded by some fancy lights and freezing our butts off.

O-man!!!!! Go Tom Go! Go Tom Go!

Yes We Can! Yes We Can!

Says it all.

I got some HD video footage of most of the rally. I think it costs too much money to upload it via my blog, but I’ll figure out if I can find a way to share some of it!

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Rachel

Wow, I have been the worst blogger this month— more on that later. But, I just had to share these pictures of my beautiful cousin, Rachel, from our outing yesterday. Rachel decided to take a random Tuesday off to come down (from Alexandria) to visit me in Cville. It was a little overcast, but that didn’t stop us from the making the most of it— and making our rounds at the local vineyards. Here are some really great shots from our day yesterday— and of my beautiful subject!

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October

It’s October. One of my favorite months of the year. To me, it’s the most “fall” of all the fall months. September’s a bit summery still and November can be too wintery. But October is all fall.

For some people, the fall is all about college football or the NFL. Not me. All I need is one big gust of smokey, chilly October air to blow against my face, and it’s like I’m right back in those squeaky, metal bleachers at a high school football game.

I’d wanted to write a song about this feeling for a while, and I finally finished the song earlier this spring. Here’s a version I recorded (at the hi-tech recording facility in my house a.k.a.— on my iphone). Happy fall.

 

Oh, October, my long lost friend
The time of year that takes me back again
Oh, October, each time you come
You bring the sweet, sweet sadness of my first true love

Leaves are falling through the cool, dry air
And a hush is all I hear
But I know there must still be here
Secrets whispered in my younger years

All the trees have changed, their bare brown limbs
Pierce the purple autumn sky
It doesn’t seem it now but they must be
The same trees that once shaded you and me

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Lacey Marie Gall

On Wednesday, Oct. 6 at 4:53 p.m., my beautiful niece, Lacey, entered the world. Ryan and I were able to go down to Raleigh for the day to meet her, watch Cam while his parents and new sister were in the hospital, and be with the Gall and Marks families. Usually, I would layout all my pictures and narrate them but, this time, there are too many, and I think the pictures speak for themselves.

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Okay, okay… I admit. I have a problem. It’s only October and I’m already obsessed with the holidays. Call it “having too much time on my hands” or a “newlywed nesting fetish”, or what have you, but whatever it is, I’m obsessed. But, I’m not willing to accept all the blame here. I think a lot of people share my illness.

It seems every year, the holiday decorations come out earlier and earlier, don’t they? And, I used to hate it! I was one of the critics mocking the Wal-Mart and Michael’s “Winter Wonderland” displays in September, complaining of mindless Western consumerism. Now, look at me, I’m a convert! I have to say, I have two theories on the matter: one general and one personal.

1) Let’s go back to the 90’s. Ahhhhh. What a great time. Back then, holidays were still in check. There were some holiday decorations out in September, but they were mainly confined to craft stores and, within those stores, the Christmas decor was limited to the silk flower section, mainly so that cat ladies could get an early start on their wreath making, bow tying, and sweatshirt puffy-painting. Then, 911 happened. That fall was so bleak. The whole country was in a state of bereavement. We were victims of war, we were mourning, and we didn’t feel comfortable or  appropriate celebrating anything. Events, gatherings, plans, projects— canceled out of respect for those who lost their lives. But by the time Thanksgiving and Christmas rolled around, people were ready to feel happy again. We needed to feel happy so badly. And, add to that another side effect of 911, many families were appreciating their families and traditions in ways that they hadn’t in years. Ever since the 2001 holidays, our society has increasingly used the holidays as our annual pick-me-up and it gets bigger and starts earlier every year.

2) But, why have I, resistant to this landslide for so many years, now converted? I think it’s because last year, Ryan and I were so busy planning the wedding (wait, did I just say “Ryan and I”?, I meant I was planning the wedding) that the holidays just kind of washed over us. We knew they were happening, we were present in body, we just weren’t really able to enjoy them to the fullest extent.

So, that brings me to this Christmas. You ask me how far gone am I? Very. I’ve already started planning our 1st Gall family Christmas card, thought about our tree (btw- in Cville Whole Foods has the best trees for the best price), and I’ve already started Christmas shopping! And, I am pleased to announce that when Alli and I were at Michael’s on Saturday I was able to buy a partial Christmas present for 32 cents! Look!

I cannot yet reveal who the very lucky recipient of my extreme generosity will be, but I can say that person will be very happy, regardless of the price tag, and I’ll reveal the mystery item in a later post.

Now, myself, my wallet and my bff’s are not the only ones who will benefit from my early Christmas shopping. I’m also planning a blog post for you, anonymous reader, sometime in November that will feature my best Christmas gift finds… I’ll do all the leg work for you and then you can simply steal the ideas and apply them to your own shopping list.

But, just so I don’t leave you hanging today, here are a few of my favorite things that I’ve seen so far to get you in the holiday mood, too.

Look at these fantastic holiday cards available from Frank and Frida on etsy for the mere design price of $14. These are so much better than those stock Snapfish cards (not that I’m knocking those, those are great for the price), these are just infinitely more personal!

And, I’m loving these Pottery Barn monogrammed ornaments. They’re both rustic and elegant, and, provided you don’t let a small child handle them and you position them high enough on the tree so that cats can’t swat them, they could last you a lifetime. They’ll never go out of style.

And, for those of you who might be in the market for a gift for perhaps… moi… or really any lovely lady in your life. I am coveting these clutches from Sew Lola, available via etsy.

They are handmade and $34 and $54, respectively. How can you go wrong? Or, as Ina Garten would say, “now who wouldn’t love that?”.

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Must be this fresh, fall air— we got so much accomplished this weekend! The main goal of the weekend was to start reupholstering this very traditional headboard that Peggy “donated” to me and Ry. Apologies! All photos in this post were taken with my iphone, so they’re a little grainy.

For the longest time, I have been pining over custom, upholstered headboards from places like Ballard Designs.  But, new and custom-made, headboards can easily cost between $300-500, so I had kind of put the thought of getting one on my back burner/ major wish list.  I had envisioned a rounded top or an interesting cut out for my “dream headboard”, but when Peggy mentioned she had this rectangular headboard sitting in her basement and offered to give it to me for free, I couldn’t say no.

I mentioned to Alli that I had this project on my hands, and she jumped at the chance to come along with me to u-fab to find a piece of fabric for it. And, we thought, while we’re at it, why not make a day out of it and hit up all the Cville diy stores that we’ve been meaning to visit? So, drawing inspiration from blogs like younghouselove, three men and a lady, and brooklyn limstone, Alli and I hit up Goodwill, Michael’s, Lowe’s and Circa to comb through Cville’s hidden treasures.

Getting back to the headboard. Going into the project, I had in mind a natural, linen fabric, but at the last minute, I decided the linen might look a little too french country and I opted for a basket-weave fabric that looks like this.

It’s very natural and organic looking but also has a really terrific sheen to it. So, with the fabric determined, I started to get the headboard prepped. I decided to leave the original fabric of headboard on (instead of stripping it down to just the foam) but I wanted to make sure we removed the decorative trim so we had a flat, smooth surface underneath.

After lots of pulling and plying (and Ry coming behind me as clean-up crew for the really stubborn staples), we finally ended up with a clean surface. Those are Ry’s hands in the picture above, by the way. Just wanted to clarify :)

The first thing I did was lay my fabric out over the headboard and align it exactly how I wanted it— making sure that the very faint lines of the fabric were not crooked. Then, working one side at a time, I began to staple the underside of the board, pulling it taught as I worked. Instead of flipping the entire headboard over (which I thought would make it harder to ensure that the fabric was still aligned), I just positioned the board off the side of my bed, so that whatever side I was working on was about 10 inches off the side of the bed. Like this.

Then, I wrapped up the corners at the top, almost as if I were wrapping a Christmas present.

That should be the end of the project, right? Oh no. I couldn’t stop there. Because this headboard is so massively tall and I chose a solid fabric, when I “finished” it, it just looked a little blah. So, taking a few tips from this three men and a lady post, I decided I’d try my hand at adding a nailhead trim.

At this point, I feel I should mention that my account of today’s events is heavily edited. This whole process wasn’t quite as easy and abbreviated as I’m making it sound. For example, once I got the headboard positioned and I was ready to start stapling, I realized that I had bought the wrong brand staples. Right size, wrong brand. Come on, give me a break! But, I guess I wouldn’t be a true Kosut if I could make it through a  home improvement project with less than two trips to Lowe’s. So, back to Lowe’s I went. But, on the bright side, it gave me an opportunity to pick up 200 nailheads.

200. Wow, I severely overestimated myself. Michelle, from three men and a lady, warned that it would take about 50 tacks to get the hang out of it, and, man, she wasn’t joking. Out of the first 25 tacks I tried my hand at, only 12 were successful. Even though they are a royal pain in the butt and it’s going to delay me getting my project done, I am already so happy with the preliminary results.

It will eventually be a solid line of tacks, but I wanted to create little “mile markers” that will help me split up the long line into manageable segments.

With the grocery shopping, laundry and fun time with E&A and Ry this weekend, this was as far as I got. If you were hoping to see “final product” pictures at the end of this blog— well, I guess you’ll just have to check back later in the week. More fun details from this weekend to come later, too! And, it’s the week of Melanie’s due date! Hopefully, in the next week we’ll have pics of the new little baby and, of course, the big name reveal.

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