Do You Need a Rooster?

Now, when I ask that question, I am not referring to a farm animal. Rather, I am wondering if you need a ceramic rooster with a piece missing from its comb (Me being a city girl, I had to use Google to figure out what that red thing is called) painted by my great grand mother in 1973? He’s a beauty, right?! I am begging someone to adopt him!

Do You Need a Rooster?

You have to understand, I’m in a perilous place. I have to move all of my belongings in about three weeks in my cross country move, and I can’t take everything. And it’s not like this rooster fellow is my only problem. I have MANY other hand painted ceramics that I inherited after my mom died. So, some things, like this ceramic rooster, have to go.

Now, you might be wondering, “How many hand painted ceramic pieces could you possibly have?!” Well, more than you would imagine. My great-grandmother was a prolific ceramic painter extraordinaire long before Color Me Mine was a thing.

The Keepers

Some of these ceramic masterpieces will stay with me, such as this nativity scene, which was carefully unwrapped every year and displayed by the Christmas tree:

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I love this nativity scene for so many reasons. It was on display every Christmas growing up, so it holds a lot of nostalgia. But it has a couple of irregularities that make it even more amazing. Inexplicably, my grandma painted four wise men and displayed them all each year. Her explanations never made much sense. I think she just got carried away with painting the wise men and their brightly colored outfits. There are also two baby Jesus options, with one looking like a creepy old man baby. Can you guess which one?

Two Baby Jesuses

On The Chopping Block

Getting back to the rooster and his many friends… Take a gander:

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I saved them because they were like priceless family heirlooms with their own unique memories. Still, I recognized their tacky elegance, so rather than display them (as if!), I stored them in the nether regions of my closets for many years, while never crossing the Carrie Bradshaw line of storing them in an oven. Now, as I evaluate them in the broad daylight of a cross country move, I realize anything that has remained so hidden cannot be nearly as valuable as I thought. I will let them go, so as to make the ones I do keep even more meaningful.

Would you keep any of the above ceramics? See one you like? I would happily gift it to you!! Each one is signed by the artist.

Thank You for Being a Friend

With less than four weeks until my cross country move, I have been sifting through my belongings, determining what is worth moving (all my issues of Sassy, the seminal 90s teen magazine… obvi) and what to donate (old college text books… seriously, how do I still have some of these?). While I’ve pondered setting the whole place on fire rather than go through this time consuming process, it’s nothing compared to saying goodbye to friends. This is especially true of saying farewell to my friends at The Laurel Foundation, where I have had the great fortune to work for ten years. Rachel_Camp_Collage At The Laurel Foundation I honed my professional skills while working to support the needs of kids living with HIV/AIDS. But what this really means is that I got to go to CAMP!! Camp, for those not indoctrinated into this crazy world of songs, costumes, and wigs, is first and foremost a family. The staff of camp counselors and medical professionals are all volunteers. And miraculously, they return year after year to create consistency for the kids and each other. Camp is an emotionally and physically intense experience, but its magic combination of heart and camraderie creates an incomparable sense of friendship and family. I am proud to be part of this family. Over the years, I have been fortunate to meet and befriend some of the most inspiring, encouraging, loving, patient, loyal, genuine, creative, intelligent, and fabulous people on the planet. Friends from camp have become my confidantes, partners in crime and costume, and inspired me take this journey with my family in New York. Rachel_Camp_Collage_2 After attending every single one of the 37 camps that have occurred over the last ten years, it hurts to leave. And while I have a new family to discover in New York, it doesn’t make saying good-bye any easier. Where else can I wear a giant afro wig with a bird in it and be accepted? Most of all, I can’t imagine wanting to be accepted any place else.

To you, my fabulous camp friends, I dedicate the great GOLDEN GIRLS theme song, Thank You for Being a Friend! I hope to see you at camp very soon.

Packing for a Big Move Is Better Than Burning Your House Down

Most days I’d rather throw a lit match into my apartment than deal with carefully packing all of my stuff. While that may be the quickest approach, it isn’t the most productive. So, I’ve resigned myself to the sorting and packing process. With 3,000 miles to travel, I need to find a way to ensure my vintage barware, ceramic poodles, Millie, the buppy (yes, she is half baby/half puppy and no, she is not creepy), and other treasures survive intact.

Millie

As I am apt to do, I’ve done some obsessive Google research on packing best practices and present to you some of the fruits of my research.

Moving Boxes & Bins for Packing

Cardboard boxes are great for packing anything not super fragile or sentimental, such a books and DVDs. The absolute best prices are found at Home Depot. You will overspend by copious amounts at U-Haul, Amazon, or basically any other place. Sure, you can get free boxes at the grocery store, but don’t come crying to me when your moving truck opens to reveal a hot mess of collapsed boxes. I’ve read plenty of cautionary tales online! Sturdy boxes in uniform sizes allow for easy stacking and prevent any leaning towers that lead to tradgedy.

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For the really special things, like family photos or fragile items, plastic bins are best. They stack better than boxes, while preventing dents and water damage. Better yet, no assembly is required! The only downside to plastic bins is their price. I looked everywhere for an affordable 18-gallon storage bin (a great size, not too big and not too small), but most options were just crazy expensive considering I need about 20! However, Wal-Mart delivers the best price on plastic bins– a pack of eight for $39.76… that’s just $4.97 each! Crazy. I’m not typically a Wal-Mart shopper, but in this instance I made the trek to buy these bins.

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Packing Material

Now you are going to need some serious packing material. Not just stuff to wrap your breakables in, but to cushion things that can be damaged. Bubble wrap is great, but it’s expensive if you actually buy enough for a full move. Packing material can be 100% totally FREE!

You can use many of the items you are already planning to pack, including blankets, pillows, clothing and fabric. Basically, anything soft and cushiony makes a great packing material. Don’t waste space packing these items together when they can be used as packing material.

And, if you’re like me and work in an office, you probably have access to a heavy duty shredder. The one in my office would shred your fingers if you stuck them in there. Don’t try that. I collect and hoard every single piece of paper not needed in the office to save for shredding. I now have shreds for days! You can probably accomplish this with a shredder you have at home; it might just take more time. The criss-cross shredders only give you confetti, so they won’t be helpful. You need thick shreds like these that provide lots of cushion.

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In addition, save any packing materials that come from online orders. Places like Staples and Amazon include those inflated balloon-like packing materials in most orders. Save your newspapers or ask a friend who subscribes for their old newspapers. Lastly, check the free section on Craigslist, where you can find people giving away bubble wrap and packing paper. You can score free boxes on Craigslist as well, but I prefer to purchase mine so I am in control of the exact sizes and shapes of my boxes to create ideal stacking conditions in the moving truck.

Packing Boxes & Bins

Cardboard boxes should be packed so they are completely and totally filled to prevent the lid from bowing under the weight of items stacked on them. This keeps the leaning tower of boxes from happening in your moving truck. Plus, a properly packed box will prevent your items from shifting around. You might not be worried about your books breaking, but they can be damaged if they are packed too loosely. Say you’ve got a box that isn’t quite full, add shreds or other packing material until all the nooks and crannies are filled. You are now ready to tape up your box.

When packing breakables in your bins, start with something cushy at the bottom. This could be a bunch of shreds, a pillow, some clothes, or a blanket… anything that will prevent your items from touching the hard bottom of the bin. Next, put in a layer of wrapped breakable items making sure they don’t touch each other or the bin itself. You want to put packing material all around the edges and between items. You might be thinking that this is an inefficient use of space by including so much packing material, but now your items are safely nestled and unable to bump into anything that could break them.

Packing Perfection

(Could this photo be any less interesting to look at? It’s just a sea of white, grey and clear!)

Next, place a thick layer of shreds or other soft material on top of your items. Continue layering in this way until you get to the top layer, which should be a thick helping of packing material. Put the lid on and you are now a professional bin packer!

Of course, I haven’t actually moved yet, so these tips are totally untested. Everything might arrive in a heap of broken glass and ceramics. I wouldn’t trust me if I were you.

Bar Cart Obsessed!

Just like my fabulous friend Cheria, who blogs over at Love Cheria, I am bar cart obsessed! I have been hunting for a fabulous bar cart to display my vintage bar wares for ages, long before MAD MEN made all things cocktail cool. I am infinitely indecisive when it comes to purchases like these and my favorites typically come with hefty price tags. Lucky for me, I found a temporary solution that will tide me over until I can finally make up my mind.

Beautiful Bar Carts

And yet I still can’t resist trawling around on Etsy investigating current bar cart offerings. Here are a few nice bar carts I spotted today…

I prefer buying vintage furniture since the craftsmanship and style is typically not possible in similarly priced new items.  However, I can’t stop thinking about The Sedgewick from Society Social. My eye has been on this gorgeous bar cart for awhile now, and I may like it better than any of the vintage options I’ve seen, though it is quite spendy at $515. The gold and bamboo combination is to die for.

Segwick Bar Cart2

Temporary Solution

I discovered that my dad has been storing a perfectly serviceable little cart. And it comes at just the right price– FREE! The trade off, of course, is that it will require a little work seeing as it has been stored in a dank, dark basement.

My Bar Cart

Now, it may not look like much, but with a little cleaning and a fresh coat of paint, this cart will be ready to serve up cosmopolitans in no time! Yum!

Cosmopolitan Recipe

Carrie with CosmoI simply cannot end this blog post without proselytizing about the merits of a properly crafted cosmopolitan. People often assume cosmopolitans are too sweet, but I love them exactly because they are a perfect balance of sweet and tart. The key is to always use fresh lime juice!

Add the ingredients listed below into a cocktail shaker with ice and shake! My other tip is to make sure the drink is achingly cold. Basically, shake that thing until it’s so cold you can barely hold it. You will then have produced the perfect cosmo.

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 ounces vodka
  • 3/4 ounce cranberry juice
  • 1/2 ounce triple sec
  • 1/2 ounce freshly squeezed lime juice

Cheers!

Project Nova | Fixing Up a Chevy Nova with My Dad

Chevy Nova

This total disaster is a 1969 Chevy Nova and my future car. Those who know me would most likely wonder how this is possible, seeing as I barely understand how to check the oil level in a car let alone know where to begin in repairing this Chevy Nova. Lucky for me, I have an expert who wants to teach me everything he knows about cars. This expert is my dad.

My dad is a car guy. He has bought, sold, repaired, painted and wired just about every car you could imagine. Some people rescue abandoned animals, my dad rescues broken down cars and nurses them back to health. This sad little Chevy Nova has been sitting in my dad’s garage for several years waiting to be put back together, and I can’t wait to chronicle our progress here at 3 Eva Court!

More than just a car guy, my dad is an artist. He built his own hot rod, a 1941 Willys, seen here in his garage. This photo does not do it justice. It’s the most glorious shade of purple you have ever seen.

1941 Willys

While this move across country often feels petrifying, I can’t imagine a more meaningful experience than working side by side with my dad in his shop. Obviously, this Chevy Nova has seen better days, so it’s going to require many hours before it is in drivable condition. If it turns out half as cool as the Willys, I’ll be one lucky girl.

Can’t wait to share our progress. Now, I just need to learn how to drive stick!

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