Thursday, October 30, 2014

Rich Uncle Pennybags

I had to come up with a last minute costume idea on a very cheap budget this year. Normally I'm a planner and I've got everything picked out months ahead of time. 

This year, not so much. 

I needed something easy but original and with essentials generic enough that I could pick them up at the local holiday stop and shop. 

Rich Uncle Pennybags, also known as the Monopoly Banker Guy, was perfect.

Rich Uncle Pennybags, The Monopoly Banker Guy costume last minute halloween costumes on a budget

I already had the vest which came with my White Rabbit costume from a few years back, the hat I picked up for around $10, the bow tie $3, the cane $5 and the mustache was $8. 

Most mustaches come with a strip of adhesive but 20 minutes of wear and the sticky will start to loose its gusto. Without the mustache this particular costume is kapoot, so it is well worth it to invest in a small bottle of Spirit Gum adhesive for additional $7 including the remover. 

Spirit Gum adhesive

Good luck with the costume parties and be responsible out there! 

Rich Uncle Pennybags, The Monopoly Banker Guy costume

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Twin Peaks: See You In 25 Years

About a week and a half ago, David Lynch posted a very exciting and cryptic tweet directly in a style that only David Lynch would do. 

Those of us who have been riding along in the Twin Peaks band wagon the last few decades started getting a little hysterical.

And then...

A few days later, I see this little 60 second YouTube video pop up on the Internet:

Oh. My. God. 
You guys.
Showtime is bringing back the television show Twin Peaks for a limited 9 episode 3rd season.

I am so excited I could shit a mouse. 
My skin has goosebumps so hard I look like bubble wrap. 

Twin Peaks Laura Palmer I'll see you again in 25 years #damngoodcoffee

Well, grab yourself a cup of damn good coffee, a piece of huckleberry pie, and maybe even a double stacked jelly donut because we're approaching the quarter century mark. 

When I was 20 years old, I rented the first season of Twin Peaks on VHS from our local video store. At the time I didn't know a lot about director David Lynch except that he was a genius and that he  and Mark Frost had managed to create a show which totally disorientated me and consumed me to the core. It was creepy, it was entrancing, it was curious and hypnotizing. 

The Giant "It's happening again" Twin Peaks

Twin Peaks was totally uncommercial which is what made me fall so completely in love with it.  The characters were authentic, fresh and so very peculiar. The Man From Another Place, The One Armed Man, Killer BOB, Special Agent Dale Cooper... they all left me in a state of spellbound captivation and I wasn't the only one who felt that way. Twin Peaks was nominated for 18 Emmy awards, 4 Golden Globes, and 2 Grammys. In 2004 and 2007, it was ranked numbers 20 and 24 on TV Guide's Top Cult Shows Ever and in 2002, it was labeled as one of the "Top 50 Television Programs of All Time." In 2007, Time Magazine positioned the show on their list of the "100 Best TV Shows of All-Time."

My husband and I are currently in the middle of revisiting this series on Netflix. 

Twin Peaks drinking game #damngoodcoffee

If you're planning on doing the same for the very first time, prepare yourself for a wild ride.  These episodes are fabulous and groundbreaking entertainment which rocked the world back in their glory days. Truly a gift for all of us cult loving weirdos. 


One day, my log will have something to say about this #loglady #damngoodcoffee #twinpeaks

Crimson Tide

I've spoken before about the World's most tragic and magnificent love story playing out high in the sky above our heads.

The Sun and the Moon,
constantly chasing one another around and around, 
year after year, 
century after century.

But every once in a great while, 
they finally catch up. 

They have such a brief moment to hug, to hold one essential kiss as the entire universe slows down to watch.
And just like that, it's over.

Not by their own accord, but because a force greater than their own says it must be so.
They grip tight as long as they can until the pull is so great they have to let go.
And the chase continues.
Until the next time.

Last night we had a total lunar eclipse in the sign of Aries while the sun is in Libra. These two are polar opposites. They agree on nothing.  
What does this mean? 
Wake up calls, restlessness, rebellion. 
We crave movement. We're about freedom. We react rather than respond. We're all on fire and we're acting out of our shadow side. 

For me personally, I'm anxious. I spend my nights dealing with the lashing out of my own mind. Too much emotional turbulence.  Soon enough, we'll return to cruising altitude and the captain will take off the "fasten seat belt" sign. I just have to wait it out with my peanuts and my spilt soda. 

In the meantime,
I shop.

This week at our favorite thrift store, I found the score of a lifetime. 

Jason telescope #325

This is a 1967 Jason brand telescope and I'm in love. 
But there is a moon eclipse in Aries which I'd love to see up close.

So I bought it. 

Jason telescope #325

Sometimes you stumble on unpredicted things that you would normally never expect to go together but for whatever reason they just fit in the most beautiful harmony. 

Like a Snapple bottle into a Pringles can.

This telescope fits like that in my new space room

You are my sun, my moon, and all of my stars

As of this morning, the full moon is slowly starting his 2 week final decent to becoming new again. So for all you fellow transients out there,
take a deep breath.
The nomadic noise is going to start smoothing itself out soon enough and your mayday calls will get answered.
Don't be afraid to get up and walk around a little. You're welcome to come say hello to me while we taxi towards the gate. I'll be sitting back in coach with my headphones on typing away on my Macbook Pro. Feel free to tap me on the shoulder, I'd love to hear from you.

Krista Fuller - The Brighter Writer

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Office Space

Today is the fall equinox

It's time to align.
To coordinate.

I haven't published anything since the 4th of July.
I went all summer swinging from my hands beneath the tight rope, confusing it for a trapeze.
It's time to climb on top, position my feet, and walk to the other side.
Balance, balance, balance.

The tail end of my last writing cycle was explosive and motivating and since then everything in my brain has turned into murky waters. 
It's sort of the way I would see an old New Orleanian swamp: still mystic, still ready to cause some Creole voodoo, still dusted with very slow banjo music, still creeping with gators, but very hushed and on pause. Just cruising along in my little boat I suppose, checking out the water logged tombs, keeping quiet, sipping on my moonshine. 

We are currently in the dark of the moon which feels unsettlingly pacific considering this is the summer of the "Super Moon" and the last 3 months have been nothing but hype and over exposure. 

I'll tell ya, that last full moon was a doozy. It was the best I could do to try and get out of its way.

Lately, I've been finally piecing together the last of my home office. I knew I wanted it to be a place where I would feel comfortable and productive and above all else, inspired. What I ultimately envisioned was the Denver Planetarium but obviously, my one smallish room wasn't enough to hold the cosmic crown, so I had to make some alterations.

Originally, this area was the same crematorium grey as the rest of the house. I wanted an infinite blue color for the walls and in the end went with Regatta Bay #550F-6 by Behr. I will tell you, this particular project was the biggest bitch of our house. The HBIC, the loft, the hub of the top floor, the queen of interaction, the heart of connection. You can't get to any of the upstairs rooms without passing through her space which is kind of cool but essentially that just means painters-taping 6 doorways worth of trim and let me tell you, that sucks.

 Behr - Regatta Bay #550f-6 Home Office Space

The ace, as always, is playing dress up. Starting a room out with a clean slate makes things much easier to envision and create. This particular territory had galactic gleam built right into it's walls. I could sense it. Kalynn has made me some pretty sweet lunar masterpieces over the last couple of years and they have been waiting patiently in my filing cabinet for their chance to go on stage.

Although I don't feel the need to document every sample of her budding artistic expression, I do want to get back in to my writing groove and the only thing I feel compelled to write about at the moment is where I've been spending the most time. It seems fitting to show some of the brush strokes that have spattered my proverbial canvas.

This little waxing crescent was cut from a paper plate and covered in tin foil. The stars are a yellow construction paper soaked in glitter glue and the blue ribbon was taken off an old piece of Cabbage Patch clothing. 

kids moon craft, aluminum foil covered paper plate, yellow construction paper cut out stars, and string.

I was constructed my very own rocket ship this summer by my little aspiring astronaut. She says once she gets to the moon, she'll buy herself some space clothes so she fits in with the aliens. Space house slippers are on the top of her list. She says "there must be a store around there somewhere..."

kids rocket and moon craft

Ok, so the desk.
This monumental piece of furniture where I sit and write stories, where I pay my bills, where I piece together home videos, where I edit all of your beautiful wedding clips, where I house my photography and craft ideas, the external hard drive of my brain, my desk! 
Oh, how I love the square chair shape of my ass after having been sitting for hours talking to you guys.

This tiny little corner of my house feels just like I'm a baby being swaddled in the literary cloth of modern technology. 


 Behr - Regatta Bay #550f-6 Home Office Space

And as I sit and stare at my 4 computer screens, my framed family photos, and my adorable little mouse pad, I turn my head to the left and see one of my very favorite pieces of art of all time... a celestial bloom drawn by BJ

This world lost BJ on November 5th, 2010. It was a Friday. When I got the call, the sky was completely black. Kind of like it is right now. Not even a cheshire cat grin above us. I swear the illumination of the entire universe dimmed.

Of all the art I saved from him over the years, this is my absolute favorite.

Moon art, Celestial Bloom by William BJ Backman

However enchanting I believe my room to be in the evenings when the dimmer switch dips low, the sound of summer rain permeates the deafening air, and flickering candle light makes dancing shadows across floor, 
the ever alert sunshine comes barreling through morning after morning. 

My office stands tall, does an immediate and intense 'about-face' on its crisp black dress shoes, and selflessly makes way for Sponge-Bob Squarepants, over sized Legos and the daily My Little Pony parade. 

Thus, the circle of life is complete.

 Behr - Regatta Bay #550f-6 Home Office Space

So this is where I've been lately. In case you were wondering.

I wish you all a smooth transition from Summer to Autumn. Try to remember during this time of acrobatic swaying, not to take anything too serious on one side or the other.
It's all about balance.

"I hope that the greens, purples, and oranges of your swirls stay bright and don’t ever get too sour. Such things ruin perfectly good paintings." - BJ Backman 1978-2010

Want to hear more from me? Follow me on instagram! @thebrighterwriter

Friday, July 4, 2014

Tickled Pink

While perusing our local furniture store a few months back, I was startled to turn a corner and run right into this Victoria's Secret shopping bag display wall.

light pink and dark pink two-toned girl's bedroom wall paint

"How adorable!," I thought.
"Kalynn would love this for her room and it would be so simple!," I said to myself.
"I could knock that out in a couple hours tops!" I said to my husband.

Away my cocky self went to the home improvement store and I showed my picture to the paint man while ordering in my most matter-of-fact voice: 

"I need two cans of pink paint please. The first needs to be a shade lighter than the color of ham, closer to the most intimate cavern of a queen conch shell. The second needs to be like a dirty stripper, stiletto heels, ripped fishnet stocking, Friday night sort of pink." 

Before and After: Pewter Mug to Ballet Pink paint girl's bedroom makeover

This was the very first room to paint in our very first house and I wanted to do the whole thing without my husband's help because this was a girl's room which reasoned that the girls should do the painting. 

I popped opened the can with the enthusiasm of champagne on New Years Eve. I had my rollers, I had my tray, I had my tarp, I had my hyped up daughter with her own miniature version of a brush and we were ready to disco. 

Before and After: Pewter Mug to Ballet Pink paint girl's bedroom makeover

As we approached the half hour mark, I noticed I was missing my tiny doppelgänger with whom I was collaborating, so I poked my head out into the loft and found this display of pure slothfulness. Vivacity for paint was out and in its place was a new allegiance to the latest Sophia The First episode.

The Lazy Princess

It was clear I was on my own.

2 days and a mere half wall of taped trim later, I was apologetically and soulfully begging my husband for help. My carpal tunnel couldn't handle my 80's Pandora station any longer than my brain could take more paint fumes. Administering perfect vertical lines on a textured wall frustrated me more than my 3rd failed Algebra class in college. 

I was in tears, I was drunk, and I was donezo.

I quit.

With Jason to the rescue, I happily tootled off to work while he finished up the closet, the trim and the insides of the window sill. 

I never even made it to the Stripper Pink, just left her hanging upside down on the pole.  
Eh, such is life. 

As a result of too much wine and too little patience, Kalynn now has a blinding monotone bedroom the color of a newborn naked mole rat.    

Little girl's pink ballet and princess bedroom

I think the room looks like a royal dream. Jason says it looks like a little girl exploded in here.

Little girl's bedroom ballet barre #DIY

She's beyond thrilled with the results and she's the one who has to live in it so I suppose that's all that matters. 

I'm pleased with the way her ballet barre turned out considering it and the mirror were both scores from our local Habitat For Humanity store. She's taken up such a love of dance this year, I know it'll be something she'll continue to pursue. Every time she outgrows a pair of slippers, I'll hang them. It'll be our version of her growth chart. 

Little girl's bedroom ballet barre #DIY

Jason moved the closet organizer, which was originally in the guest room, and we somehow managed to hang all 23,000 of her dress up princess costumes and tutus. 

Little girl's pink ballet and princess bedroom

Her Josef Original Through The Years figurines have a new shelf to set up occupancy and show themselves off as the collection grows one doll larger each birthday.  

Little girl's pink ballet and princess bedroom

Now that Kalynn had been rewarded with a room fit for all the majestic tea parties her budding heart could desire, it was time to attend to our much more furry, 4 legged daughter.

Like many houses with a set of stairs, we enjoy a small curious storage space underneath.

Under the stairs dog house

As it turns out, our "storage" is really the opening to a 4 foot crawl space complete with built in descending ladder.  

It creeps me out. 

I don't want storage bins where spiders could potentially be setting up a Dexter-type laboratory and waiting for me to fall asleep. I'm afraid I will go to grab a box of Halloween ornaments and a million hatched mass murderers will jump on my face and eat me alive. Are there realistically more spiders in the garage where all the storage bins ended up? Probably. Is my fear of an under-the-stair, spider-run slaughter house logical? Nuh uh. But, it is what it is. 

So we had this unused space. The trap door was covered with a piece of wood and there was a roll of surplus carpet in the garage which Jason cut and laid on the floor. I used the remainder of the pink paint to cover the patchy dry walls. 

how to make a DIY under the stairs dog house

Once we put Guacamole's bed and basket of play pigs inside, she quickly staked claim to the room and we knew it was a match. 

how to make a DIY under the stairs dog house

After a new welcome mat and valance, she had herself a puppy house. 

How to make an under the stairs dog house

Her name plate has since been added so the spiders know who's territory this is.

How to make an under the stairs dog house #DIY

I've taken the liberty of hanging Molsey her very own sexy fireman which she can now gaze at with her one non-blind eye. No good bachelorette pad is complete without a little smut, you know.  

How to make an under the stairs dog house

Now that both of our girls had the bedrooms they've always dreamed of, it was time to start working on our own. 

How to make an under the stairs dog house

But more on that next time.

(For now, find me on Instagram! TheBrighterWriter)

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Ink A Bink A Bottle Of Ink

We go together like rama lama lama ka dinga da dinga dong. Together forever like fricks and fracks, Franny and Zooey, In-n-Out, Bill and Ted, Limbaugh and Percocet, ass and Kardashians, Garfield and pizza, Harold and Maude, hippies and patchouli, warm cookies and cold milk, pestles and mortars.

You guys are catching my drift. Presumably.

These are the exceptional godparents to our tiny Sassy Pants. On her 3rd birthday she was gifted a book of temporary "tardoos" and ever since she's been strutting around preschool like the bad ass, inked up, queen bee that she is. 

Now that she's ripened to the age of 4 and a half, my husband and I have decided she needs to start pulling some of her own weight around here. After all, 34 pounds takes a week's worth of pay to feed. 
She has designated chores like feeding the pup, dusting the tables, making her bed, re-roofing the house, re-wiring the dimmer switches, paving the driveway, and tiling the kitchen floors. These things earn her about $5 a week which she immediately tosses into her treasure box for safe keeping. 

Last month she earned enough to buy herself the much sought after Barbie Pearl Princess dress (which rocked high fashion runways around the world) and this month she has her eyes on its matching scooter counterpart. 

Once one gets that taste of success, one often finds it difficult to go back.

Enter- The Traditional Summer Lemonade Stand:

Yeah, no.
If you're going to do a stand, then do something amazing
Go big or get outta here.
There are lemonade booths on every corner of every suburb around America as we speak. But my kiddo is a savvy trend setter, a think-outside-the-box entrepreneur, and a fashion icon. She looks other kids in the face and laughs at their mediocrity due to her badassness. She never cries, she eats broken glass for breakfast and she knows how to work the system. 

Make a kid's temporary tattoo parlor booth and lemonade stand to earn extra cash for the Summer

Look at her game face. 
Stern yet fair, approachable, and totally relevant. 
"Keep your eyes on the prize," she says.

"They won't come to me?" She says. 

"That's fine. I will go to them," she says.

The girl waved down every passing car and eventually had a waiting line down the street. Motorcyclists pulled over, couples came from their houses, kids ran over from the neighborhood park. Our security was breaking up fights, people were bowled over to get to the front, elbows were thrown, punches were bountiful.  It was an anarchy situation behind the red rope. 

She made $14 in 45 minutes. 

"That's enough for now," she says. "Maybe I'll come back out tomorrow when I need cash for that My Little Pony I've been eyeballing."

She's so cool.

Monday, June 23, 2014

The Backyardigans

Ode To The Back Yard, by Krista Fuller 2014

Roses red, veggies are green
Your small army of assorted Elvis garden gnomes make you ever serene.

~The End

When Jason and I bought this house, I knew the backyard had potential to be the botanical escape which I had been longing to feel. Our buried treasure hidden under 2 feet of snow refused to reveal what kind of magic we were working with, but I knew whatever it was would be fantastic.

(And it always will be if you go in with this sort of attitude, mind you.)

BEFORE: backyard makeover

After the snow surrendered, we were left with a crispy blanket of dormant grass and a tree resembling Keith Richards. 

BEFORE: backyard makeover

And then one day...

From Keith Richards to Richard Simmons!

Half dead and snorting his father's cremated ashes suddenly transformed into glitter shorts and deep thigh lunges! Oh Huzzah!  Any shyness was thrown out the proverbial window as he opened his trench coat to reveal all the strength and beauty hiding under his knickers!

Albeit, a trip to the groomer never hurt anybody.

BEFORE: backyard makeover

Those little sucker plants at his trunk were rooted so deep, it took 3 days of chopping, cutting and axing to get down to the nitty gritty of things. We hijacked his winter coat and all of his modesty, but we got the job done. 

("Well, hello there neighbors! Charmed, I'm sure!" *blush blush*)

BEFORE: backyard makeover

Nowadays, our little tree is renting out his trunk to make a home to our personal fairy. 

It has recently become clear to Kalynn that her teeth will soon begin to sporadically fall out, and she'll be rewarded in coins as soon as this happens. 
Her logical 4-year-old brain has come to the conclusion that in order for the tooth fairy to not accidentally forget where she lives, she should probably just set up camp for the next year and wait patiently in the back yard. Just in case. 

So we've made her a place to get comfy. 

fairy garden pathway with birdhouse, swimming hole, picnic table, bridge, and raised garden bed

Our tooth fairy has stepping stones leading around back under the wooden arch to her own miniature picnic table where she can enjoy lemonade and tarts. 

fairy garden with pathway, fencing,  birdhouse, swimming hole, picnic table, bridge, and raised garden bed

Continuing to the other side of the tree, she can cross the bridge as to not get her teeny slippers wet in the enchanted river. 

fairy garden with pathway, fencing,  birdhouse, swimming hole, picnic table, bridge, and raised garden bed

And finally on the other side of her secret swimming hole, she has her very own raised garden bed, complete with itty bitty scare crow and planting tools. 

fairy garden with pathway, fencing,  birdhouse, swimming hole, picnic table, bridge, and raised garden bed

Moving along, on the opposite side yard we had this turd of an eyesore. The space conceivably had the undeveloped promise of a budding future if given the right creativity and appreciation, it just needed to be tapped into. 

The previous owners left us all this composite "better board" planking in a heap on the side of the house. My dad and my husband figured they would try the theory of resurrecting Sleeping Beauty with true love's kiss. 

BEFORE side yard deck renovation

She's alive!

BEFORE side yard deck renovation

A good strong power wash, a couple strands of clear bulbs, a "borrowed" glass table from my boss at the bar, a few plants and decorations, we have ourselves the perfect summer hang out spot!

BEFORE AND AFTER side yard deck renovation

I'm so in love with this space! Imagine a cold carafe of margaritas on a hot evening with Billie Holiday quietly playing in the background to the beat of the Summer crickets... 
It is quite possibly the most romantic place on earth. 

BEFORE AND AFTER side yard deck renovation

And all it cost us was a box of deck screws from the local hardware store. Even better. 

BEFORE AND AFTER side yard deck renovation

Looking out from our newly crafted deck was the other corner. 

You guys, do you remember the scene in the movie Pet Sematary where Rachel tells a story about being traumatized by her sister Zelda whom they hid away in a back room because she was super sick and creepy looking and she ended up choking on her own tongue and dying? Yes well, if the pretty little fairy garden corner of our house is Rachel, this other sister corner would be Zelda. 

There was a very sad and skinny willow tree surrounded with weeds being roped down to a metal pole presumably for strength, and a rectangular square of abandoned dirt where a swing set or play ground used to set. 

BEFORE AND AFTER: backyard makeover

Now here is the issue: this was supposed to be my outside movie theater spot. 
This is something I've dreamed of and wished upon a star for! 
I needed this to heal and repair quickly!
 Unfortunately, some new sod would do the trick but it was going to take a little time. 

About 6 weeks ago we watered and waited, watered and waited, watered and waited. 

Eventually, after unpacking its bags and making itself at home, it was like the sod had always been there. No ugly hemming stitches, no seams, no scars. The sister had been miraculously mended, her tongue reapplied, a makeover on TLC's What Not To Wear, and she was ready to come out of the Shame Room.  

It was time to plan our first outside family movie night.

We had BBQ spare ribs, we had coleslaw, we had blankets, pillows, popcorn, micobrews... 

And then we had this:

Colorado Rain Storm #rainstorm #Colorado

I was as sad as a Twinkie who had lost its package mate. I felt all alone in the world. My cinema dream had run off to join the circus and I was going to have to watch re-runs of Friends to keep myself entertained. 

Ho hum...

But then! There was a loud boom of thunder and a giant gust of wind and we watched in awe as the storm passed right over our heads hurrying along like it was late for a party. With the new bright sky starting to make its way over, it was time to set up for our own!

Bring on the projector and the lawn chairs and the sleeping bags and the booze! It was time to watch Barbie: The Pearl Princess!

Summer movie night in the back yard! Fun for kids and romantic for date nights! Easy set up projectors are on sale everywhere for the summer!

(Never mind our unfinished flagstone patio.)

Summer movie night in the back yard! Fun for kids and romantic for date nights! Easy set up projectors are on sale everywhere for the summer!

With our treated willow tree full and happy, our green grass freshly mowed, and faith restored in miracles, it was time to start the show!

Summer movie night in the back yard! Fun for kids and romantic for date nights! Easy set up projectors are on sale everywhere for the summer!

Summer movie night in the back yard! Fun for kids and romantic for date nights! Easy set up projectors are on sale everywhere for the summer!

Kalynn had saved her allowance for weeks in order to purchase the matching mermaid dress that went along with the movie. Once she realized she could do her ballet routine and watch her own shadows whenever a song came on, the evening pretty much went down as the coolest night in the history of the world. 

Summer movie night in the back yard! Fun for kids and romantic for date nights! Easy set up projectors are on sale everywhere for the summer!

We stayed up for a second showing of Summer School after we put Kalynn to bed and I'm pretty sure I caught some of the neighbors sneaking peeks from their upstairs windows. I mean, who wouldn't? Mark Harmon is the coolest actor ever.

Summer movie night in the back yard! Fun for kids and romantic for date nights! Easy set up projectors are on sale everywhere for the summer!

All in all, this has been one of the most productive Summers our family has ever had. Between swimming lessons, summer camps, work, day trips, picnics, and renovating, it's a shock I still find time to drink as much as I do! 

(just kidding)

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