Fixing a Tiny Room…

Where I started: (sort of)DSC_0030Were I finished!

DSC_0039In a small space EVERY inch is important…so I re-purposed, up-cycled and put in the time to make our little bedroom workable.

Here’s the closet process…I always say, “START IN THE CLOSET.” Organize that, and you’ll be amazed how much room you find!

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I want you to notice that the colors are easily found…it makes for a quick-ready morning. 🙂 The hangers are all hanging the same direction as well which makes it cleaner and easier to shuffle through them. Then notice the boxes…I’ve moved so many times, I had plenty of random sized boxes, so now they are storage bins! (I’ll cover them someday in prettiness) Lastly the 1970’s file cabinets. I added ribbon onto the drawers for easy open access (I added the top drawer ribbon after this pic was taken)

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I found this great blog about how to save room in your drawer, so I tested it out in my up-cycled file cabinets. I decided tank tops and other cotton shirts were the first to be tested. I couldn’t believe how much SPACE it saved! Check it out… http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vRtwq_XZEZM

I didn’t have the same luck with pants, so they are just stacked..I tried rolling it, but in these drawers it didn’t save any space.

DSC_0035I added a little glass table with a built-in lamp that previously I had in the living room. The boxes up top hold my hats, seasonsal items like swimsuits and summer covers and then there’s a gold sparkely gift bag (you can’t see) tucked on the side shelf that holds my nylons. The shag rug I’d previously had rolled up unused because I couldn’t find a place to put it…it has a new home now! Of course the work out ball is an incentive…if work out equipment is in my face, I use it!

DSC_0044I was pleased so far! 🙂

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The closet we have is smaller than a normal closet. So more room was needed! Thankfully, I found a couple of racks in the storage downstairs that I could borrow, so those needed up free for me to borrow for now! Sweet! I liked where mine was placed in the room, but Jacobs was not working out. I put it behind the dresser…that was an awkward moment…to say the least.DSC_0038

We ended up liking the wardrobe on the side next to the dresser. Then I hung jewelery on the wall and hair ties and lovely pictures of us all puzzled together. Tetres really does help in life!

DSC_0040The box held his ties until I found a cute box to use..actually the box came to me…it was a gift! It worked out well. You cn also see the second-hand store vintage jewelery boxes on the dresser. They were a gift from my boyfriend (now husband), so we both get all warm-fuzzy now that they are front and center.

DSC_0039So all in all I spent nothing, but creativity and time. I used what I had & re-purposed them. Sure I lucked out on some borrowed items, but minimal. Although, if you asked your friends, they most likely have extra unwanted bangles and tidbits that you can create magic from. Have fun!

Tackeling body issues and more via photos

What happens when you cross a strong-headed girl with an insecure one? I guess me! This photo shoot is from a while ago now, but within this past year. Not so far off from memory that it has enough distance to not sting a little. Sometimes it’s the simple things in life that result in a pivotal moment and sometimes it’s the unexpected. This moment was both of those things combined with my own focus and choices.

I met this photographer via my sisters photo shoot. I saw my sisters band pictures on-line and they were stunning. I was absolutely speechless. (Janets Vice)I’d taken pictures of my sister before and I knew how uncomfortable she was in front of the camera, but these photos looked so natural she was red-carpet worthy! I contacted her immediately to inquire about this photographer she’d worked with. The story got even MORE interesting when my sister told me this amazing photographer was not only fun to work with, but created the ball gown my sister was wearing for her steam punk theme…what my sister had on was nothing even CLOSE to a dress. Unbelievable! I decided to connect with this super-star photographer that evening on Facebook. We hit it off. I decided to make the drive North and see her as fast as I could…my dignatly depended on it. My soul needed it. My music ached for it. I was broke, but making it happen-somehow.

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I’d spent time working on my heart and focusing on reaching that overall health everyone is always talks about. I’d been through a pretty horrible divorce and gained a lot of weight. I love my mother, but at the time, she came a cross pretty judgemental of my new-found weight gain. She’s a tiny little person and let’s just say I didn’t get much from my father, but he did give me his hefty DNA (thanks for the boobs grandma) One day while going about my daily life I became so frustrated with my thoughts, I stopped myself and in what seemed to be a hollywood moment you might see on the big screen, I yelled out loud, “I AM pretty!” Almost like an acceptance of myself and who I was in that moment. I declared it to my empty room and to my noisy mind. My “wasband” took advantage of the weaknesses he married and made them worse…I knew it, but couldn’t get “over it.” I’d battled for YEARS and was somehow still gaining weight. It’s pretty frustrating when you watch what you eat (low intake of bad stuff, up the good stuff in the system) and work out 3 to 5 times a week and still see very little results. I’d been poked with needles, taken numerous tests and still nothing. No change. I’ll blog about that journey later, but you get the idea. I was getting to a point where I had to accept this new body and learn to like it. I was a bigger woman and I wanted awesome pictures to show that big is sexy. I was healthy and made good choices and was NOT lazy. I needed proof for not only others, but for myself. By proclaiming it on film, it would be settled once and for all. Overweight didn’t mean I was a bad or less than any other. I’d bring the photos to my mother and I knew she’d see me with entirely different eyes. Whenever I sang on stage, I could finally let go of the unspoken “get skinny” pressure and instead convey to the audience complete freedom. Or at least those where all my hopes.

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Research also showed me that strategic placement of outstanding video clips and photos can place/set apart anyone trying to break into the entertainment business to what I call the insta-respect-pro bar. It can literally put you on the map and set you apart as someone to be taken seriously. A female vocalist isn’t exactly highly sought after…I mean people please!! This world offers talented beautiful people (inside and out) at a dime a dozen. Anyone who thinks they are the number one female vocalist ever is probably an imbalanced individual and doesn’t have a lot of true real friends. Being lonely is standard practice in the lives of those who strive for the first position. Don’t get me wrong, go out and be confident! Be true to yourself, but be careful. The green monster is a live and well. Greed is right behind it. YUCK! Many talents and performers are insecure…who knows why. (I’m sure that will be another research project and blog someday! ha) With all my own insecurities, I knew I needed to get some amazing photos to use for flyers, my web sites and other promotional materials. I’d love fantastic video, but had no cash (just enough for gas money) so that would need to wait.

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535592_10151451198025690_1087767553_nHeidi Aphrodite photography has since taken my wedding photos, my after-wedding couple shots with my fantastic husband and The Bathtub Gin Serendars promotional pictures.

Here are the other results:

  • I did feel beautiful and began to get closer to the mental healing I was striving for. Heidi Aphrodite Photography painted me how I always felt…and now others saw it too.
  • My mother was spellbound, speechless and after I shared with her how I felt about her nit-picking, tears welled up in her eyes. Her own body issues came flooding out of her mouth and we’ve had many conversations about respecting who we are and how we look ever since. We aren’t perfect, but it’s out in the open now…and that feels freakin’ awesome. The pictures opened her eyes but even better…softened her heart and prepared her for what I had to say. It’s been a beatiful journey with her…love you mom. Thanks for being open to new talking and change.
  • Marketing myself…wow…I really dislike “pimping” myself out, but with these pictures, it’s a hec of a lot easier and I’m taken seriously.  People are sold on me now before I even open my mouth to sing. If you are marketing yourself-GET A PRO to do your photos. No joke, you are wasting everyone’s time and missing gigs by not setting yourself apart with visually stimulating promotional material…Heidi Aphrodite Photography has the gift.
  • My photo was chosen for a year-round poster at a hot local club that houses various styles of live bands every night of the week. I didn’t even submit it! I was asked because they saw it online on Facebook…wha???!? Amazing. Total honor.
  • I’ve gotten used to people giving me the “double-take” look. I see them hunt around in their minds as to why they recognize my face…check that off of the marketing list for this year! 🙂 OK..I’m not USED to it…I still giggle a little bit. I’m not that cool yet…haha
  • I’ve been loosing weight ever since the photo shoot…pretty sure I was hiding behind my body and holding myself back in many ways…including physically. The mind is epically strong…don’t test it. I’m learning to embrace all the complexities inside myself and truly be happy.

I’m a strong believer that photography can be very healing…whenever these pictures cross my eyes, my heart and body respond. I’ll never forget where I’ve come from because of this amazing life changing photography experience. It was NOT EASY, but OH SO worth it. Go do it…that’s my advice. 🙂 Musicians…it’s a MUST. It’s another layer of your artistry…the house your art is held in is just as amazing as the art that comes from it. Let it out-ALL THE WAY.

http://www.jaggerdanceandperformance.com

Photo shoot for The Bathtub GIn Serenaders

Here’s one of the bands I get to croon with…we are working on a CD, so get ready to have some toe-tapping fun with us and read all about it! (All photos taken and edited by the stupendous Heidi Aphrodite Photography…she’s on Facebook)

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Chari…washboard player and awesome person. She owns her own exceptionally professional and high class body piercing shop. RIGHT?!? She’s my emerald. Watching her play is almost like being taken away to another place…absolutely entrancing.

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That’s me, looking all happy in front of records…do you guys remember those things called records? I play flute, Kazoo (that’s right! Respect the Kazoo!), percussion and whatever else I tinker with. I’m a vocalist and song writer. I’ve danced my whole life and recently picked up ballroom dancing-Salsa, Tango, Fox Trot, East & West Coast Swing, Bolero and others…and I write this blog!

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Awwww Chris! The drummer who not only keeps us together on stage, but is one of the nicest guys in the World. VERY talented and structured man. New home owner, newly married and holds down a 9-5 while being in multiple bands…we wish we had him all to ourselves…but maybe we’ll tour enough that we can have him MOST times!

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Stephany!!! She plays piano, mandolin, the squeeze box (a.k.a. Accordion) is a vocalist and song writer! I tell yea, this girls got all kinds of talent seeping from her pores! She also works for the world famous Shakespearian Festival so…there’s THAT!1456053_10151993966795690_427842062_n

The beautiful, sweet and talented Melissa Orr. She’s our violinist, but like many other BTGS members, she plays multiple instruments, is a vocalist and writes music. I’ve lost track of everything she plays, but it includes piano, violin and Yukele. (OH! Let’s not forget she is a ballet dancer and has performed on stage with my husband.)1419823_10151990650960690_1681000266_n 1394365_10151994032180690_1548318742_n

Lawrence Newcomb will take you on a musical journey you’ve not been on (unless you lived in the 1920’s) He is an unassuming man, sophisticated and has a mystique about him. Then he starts to blow…and WATCH yourself! Saying your body will tingle is an understatement. Sax, Clarinet and an old school 1927 straight soprano sax are his weapons of mass destruction..your heart will never be the same. He is also a composer and great guy.

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There are some people that change who you are without you even knowing it because they are so gentle in their approach. Meet Eric Von Radics. He’s owned his own music shop, teaches at the local college, writes his own music and plays one mean guitar. Everything from Blues to rock n’ roll climbs from his fingers. He’s a saint. He’s amazing.

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David Orr! He stepped up for BTGS when our prohibition chips were down. He learned to play the Yukele bass in a matter of months (or less) and has been stomping the yard ever since. He also plays guitar, piano and is the self proclaimed president of the Ila Fan Club. How can you NOT like this guy?! (Yep-he’s married to the talented Melissa!)

I’m working on the new web site and will be up soon! I was  awake until 4:30 in the morning working on it the other day and am pretty pumped to get a new web site up and running.

We ARE putting a new recording together that will include original songs from myself, Eric and another tune from Stephany.

What a ride this last year has been with this group…it’ll be fun to tell you about the past as I keep you updated with what’s going on in the here and now, but at this moment I just HAD to introduce you to each beautiful face in the Bathtub Gin Serenaders band.

Make happy choices & treat others nice

Forgiveness Please

I must admitlife has taken me on a whirlwind of events, mysteries and journey’s all of which I stopped documenting here on WordPress.

PLEASE forgive me!

To make up for this horrible oversight and disrespect, I plan on writing everday…every morning and possibly evening, so that I can catch you all up. (My only time off will be once I catch-up or on big performance days)

So much has happened…for one; I’m happily married and it’s no longer a secret…yeah–THAT happened. Two; I’m singing back-up for Elvis (impersonator of course!) and we are starting to tour Casino’s…maybe one near you?? Thirdly,  I’m writing songs again….it’s pouring out of me…and I’m writing my books again too! I’ve had deep loss and pain, but then overflowing love and healing all in less than a year…and I’ll share it all with you. And don’t you worry – you’ll see all my DIY’s too! YEP…I’m one of those ladies now too…well, I’ve always been a DIY person, just didn’t know it had an official title nor was I aware of all the WONDERFUL things one is able to DIY!

It’s been amazing…and I’m so thrilled to bring you all into the studio with me, into my secret-now public-marriage, ups & downs of finding my wings as a young at heart 30’s female singer and on the ballroom dance floor as a curvy shall we say voluptuous lady. (Thank God for all those ladies of history who had volume! Let us not forget the Mae Wests, Marilyn Monroe, Bessie Smith, Ella Fitzgerald and countless others who paved away for us lady performers now…and they were not on the paper-thin side. No sir-y!)

 Hold on to your skirt honey…it’s a title wave of wonder and you know what?! For this organizational OCD freak of serious nature…I’ve gotten to hold onto the man of my dreams who is exactly OPPOSITE of what I thought I needed, discovered the greatness I kept locked up inside me wasn’t all that bad or scary AND I like mess. Why? Well, you see ladies and gents… it’s all my mess…and I FINALLY embrace it. I’ve even found my home. A very warm excepting place that is perfect in it’s imperfections…just the way I am.

Cheers to our messes! May they ever remain beautiful in our eyes.