Tuesday, July 14, 2009


I love a Before and After. How I love thee, let me count the ways. . .
Recently I was on a girly-girl trip with Rhonda and Bunnie involving much liquor, sun and smut mags (Us, People, Life & Style, etc., you know the ones at your hair salon, bitches!) I love when they show celebs before plastic surgery and then after and critique the work that was done (it's usually BAD). Call me shallow, but it is an in-your-face reminder (pun intended) that money can't always buy you beauty. And that, along with several beers, snack foods, and a pool equals fun, my friends.
I love the Before and After of a good makeover. It always reminds me of the transformative powers a woman has; how all she need do is flick a little makeup here and there to emphasize the good and downplay the bad, and this can make her go out in public and feel like a new person and thus, have a fantastic day. Every little step, every little transaction, every little exchange becomes magic. I don't know how, it just does.
I really love the Before and After of weight loss photos. Even though most of them are ads for herbal supplements that will turn you into a mouth-chewing, jittery insomniac with an attitude and fake orange tan and shoulders up to your earlobes and weird dried out hair and shot-to-hell adrenal glands, I still get a little inspired to step up my exercise program and shed some extra poundage because MAN it feels good to slide into those old jeans you haven't worn in forever, even if you can no longer wear them because the acid wash is no longer au currant, who cares? It feels awesome. Which reminds me, I will do my own personal physical before and after when I feel I have gotten to my "after" post-baby body. Hasn't quite happened yet, but I'm working on it. And man, that ain't easy in the valley heat. I'm far more inclined to lie around the house than run around the house if you know what I mean.
Which brings me to another beloved Before and After: Furniture. I have always far favored used, worn in, beat up furniture much more than anything I could get new at Ikea or BB&B or whatever. I'm the same way with jewelry. I want the piece to have had a past life before me or I'm just not interested. And since I am now the mother of a small chil'ren, I don't really have the time or energy to scour the flea markets and antique spots that I once did, so I kind of let the pieces find me. It's sort of a hobby, sort of an eco-passion, sort of a thing I do to keep from going completely mental.
So here are my latest transformations, and unless you are a Decor Whore (I totally ripped that off from Rhonda and fully intend to use it as the title of a used furniture decorative blog one day) you may find the below quite boring. But if you are intrigued, do continue.

I recently ran out of bra storage space. No, srsly. When you get pregs, your boobs change size. Then when your milk comes in, they change size, then when you have the baby, they change size again, then when you lose weight, but your boobs don't, they change size again. Obviously, you don't want to throw all these freaking bras out since hi, they cost money, but you can't hang them on the walls as some sort of feminist art statement either (well, I guess you CAN, but they are usually nude or white color, which is just sort of not very aesthetically appealing or conducive to any kind of relevant artistic statement), so.... You need to store them for future use. So. . .
I went into our garage and found this. This used to live in my grandfather's bathroom (before he passed, may he rest in peace). I had some sort of sentimental attachment to it because it was my grandfather's and thought, hey, it could come in useful someday. To store. Nuclear waste. In it. Or something.
You can tell it lived in a bathroom because A) It is shit brown; and B) It has this crazy orangey/red linoleum top to resist moisture, I guess.
So I took the thing, gave it a good cleaning, slapped a couple coats of girly lavender paint on it, and threw a very light sprinkling of glitter (it doesn't show up in the photo -- I wanted it very slight). I glued some adhesive mirror tiles purchased from Michael's on the front, and slapped new drawer pulls on it that are dark purple crystal. And here you go --

I wanted to do some more mirrors on the top part, or maybe decoupage, but decided I kinda like the way the goofy orange/red linoleum surface plays off the little necklace hanger I have above it. So I left it alone.

Then, there was this drunk/batshit crazy/overmedicated/weird woman who lived down the street. One day, she advertised (via spray painted words on her garage door) that she was moving and having a garage sale. Man, I wanted to be at that garage sale. Mostly out of curiosity. Why was she moving? What kind of weird shit did she own? But I was busy that day and never made it, and the next day, this poor, sad chair was in front of her house.
I dragged it home, like some forgotten, abandoned, weather-beaten beast. I hosed it, sanitized it, spray-painted it, and put a cute pillow from Tuesday Mornings on it.

A couple days later whilst stroller-pushin', I spied the chair's sad, forlorn loveseat relative also kicked to the curb.

That too got dragged home by its ass and sanitized, sprayed, and decorated with pillows from Ross. Now, it is my favorite cushy place on the whole patio.

Then we come to this little funky item. This is a milk can that Derek pinched off Grammy's estate on one of our trips there a year or so ago. It definitely has an adorable, old school quality, but you can't quite shake the feeling that the can spent a bad weekend on the street corner of Crackville and Ghetto, so. . .
. . . after a good hosing, I spray painted it purple. Why purple, you ask? It coordinates with the morning glories that have taken over our yard, and just kinda sits there and looks cute.

So there you have it. My Before and After's. Be sure and tune in for the next episode of Not-So-Queer-Woman's Eye For the Effed Up Furniture.


Kristi said...

I love it all!!!!! Especially the purple milk can, I love that color!

Soooo, when we finally move to Grammy's, you and Raimee are going to come up and help me do some redecorating, right?? I am completely hopeless and need you guys to rub off on me. And not in a skeevy way :)


P.S. When I type "right" like that, I always flash to that SATC episode with Lucy Liu, saying "rieeeet" all ghetto-from-Queens-ish. LOL

Anonymous said...

Girl, you are just too precious for words. Love you and your makeovers!


Valley Girl said...

Kristi, of COURSE I will help you with the redecorating, are you kidding!!! We will be moving in with you for awhile to get that place sorted out! Rieeeeeet????

ThatBeeGirl said...

wow! these are awesome! i hope to see more of these from you!

Valley Girl said...

Why thank you, Love! I hope to do more of them and actually have time to peel the small chil'ren off my leg and get them posted!

Jill said...

This may very well go down in history as my all-time favorite of your blogs ... Martha Stewart can eat your ass. This is just so awesome, you are so talented and yet you write with such Jenniepew-ness that it's not like Martha crap it all... This made me miss you so, so much ...