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When I moved into my current house a badly painted statue of Our Lady of Fatima was already residing there. You can’t really tell from the picture above, but her eyes were terrifyingly black and had the strange quality of following you where ever you might be in the room. Kinda like those old portraits that always seem to be hanging in dark dusty hallways.

I had a little free time last Saturday and I decided to give Our Lady a makeover.  I can’t think of a mother that wouldn’t be pleased with a makeover, so I bought some acrylic paint and set to work. I painted the entire statue with three coats of this paint in 515 Vintage White:


I dabbed the last coat on with a foam makeup applicator so that there wouldn’t be any streaks from the paintbrush and to give the statue a nice matte finish. Finally I gave her crown a good polish and put it back on her head.

The result is lovely! Now “Scary Mary” looks serene and quite lovely! Having her all one color really calls attention to the drapery of her garments and the sweetness of her face. What do you think?




You may have noticed that I haven’t been posting as often lately. Not to worry, I am still planning to keep up my work here! The reason for my absence is that my life has undergone some crazy changes these past two months. The largest of these being that I quit my job (I wrote about it here in a guest post at LifeintheGap). I am still trying to decide if this was a brave or a crazy move, maybe it was a little of both.  I will say that it is an incredible feeling to pack up your office things into a file box and walk out the door at closing. (In this case my file box turned recycle bin, I covered it with print-outs of books because I hated the huge, ugly, industrial, blue bins they gave us that didn’t fit anywhere. My paper covered file box fit right under my desk.) If you have any ideas for my next adventure feel free to share!

In other news, Sacred Monkeys of the Vatican is only 12 posts away from 500 posts! Thank you dear readers for the all the support and encouragement! 500 here we come!


This is your summer sunscreen reminder, wear it. Wear a hat too. My pasty, white skin has now suffered two minor burns this summer, both on my shoulders where I missed spots with the sunscreen. Each burn had an area of less than a few inches, and I consider this a victory seeing that I burn very, very easily and both times I was in the direct mid-day sun for more than 1/2 hour. (My new favorite sunscreen is Neutrgena’s Liquid Sunblock 70, it layers really well under make-up.)

This is also your summer reminder to start baking cobbler. Trust me, everyone will love you and want to be your best friend for ever and ever. Unless of course you’re their roommate and you forget to make a small cobbler to leave behind when you take the large cobbler away to a family baptism. Oops, sorry roommies. I made this cobbler over the weekend and it was a huge hit! The only change I made was a fruit, I made a peach cobbler and not black berry. I dusted the peaches with cinnamon before I sweetened them to taste. Delectable.


Women are amazing. We can do anything, go us, rah, rah. However, I have noticed that sometimes we don’t certain things well or easily just because we were never taught. (And frankly we weren’t taught these things because of our own disinterest, not lack of attention on another’s part.)  Like, how does one mow the lawn? (When I was a girl, my brothers always mowed the lawn, for which I am eternally gratefully! I did mow the fields once or twice on the tractor, but I don’t think that counts as it is more like driving a really slow car, no manual labor involved. I am pretty sure my Dad would have taught me how to mow the lawn if I had said “hey, Dad, I would love learn how to mow the lawn today!” But I didn’t want to learn how to mow the lawn and I was more than happy in my ignorance.) Now, as a renter with a huge backyard, it is my job (and my roommates) to keep things tidy. Unfortunately (or fortunately, I think it is fortunate I was in my late twenties when I touched a lawn mower for the first time), I didn’t know quite how to go about this task when I finally had to do it myself. So, over the weekend I put together a little tutorial, complete with pictures. Hope it helps! And happy mowing!  Read the rest of this entry »


Okay, now that I have typed the phrase busy bee, all I can think of is that scene in Gladiator where Commodus has reached a-place-that-is-beyond-creepy and he calls Lucillia a busy bee. I always want to scream at Lucillia to just grab her kid and leave the palace.

But I wanted to pop in for a minute to once again apologize for not posting and to assure you that I am still alive and well! I’ve been in over my head in events, planning and projects. The picture above shows the sewing project I’ve been working on – 20+ Shakespearean shirts for a middle school production of Taming of the Shrew. Ooo, ooo, that Shakespearean rag. . .

And to add to the randomness of this post, here is a poem for you:


by: T.S. Eliot (1888-1965)

THEY are rattling breakfast plates in basement kitchens,

And along the trampled edges of the street

I am aware of the damp souls of housemaids

Sprouting despondently at area gates.

The brown waves of fog toss up to me

Twisted faces from the bottom of the street,

And tear from a passer-by with muddy skirts

An aimless smile that hovers in the air

And vanishes along the level of the roofs.

So this is what I’ve been up to . . .

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Okay, so all the Irish-y stuff happened before I went MIA, but I never had a chance to show you!

Just an idea of what I am up to today! If you have a snow day today enjoy!


(Just as an fyi, my livingroom isn’t that dark, it’s just a filter.)








Here comes the sun, do da doo doo! And of course I am in bed with something that makes my head fuzzy and my throat scratchy, and the world kinda wobbles as I get more tea and climb back under the covers. I am so glad my room looks to the East with Southern exposure – it’s so cheerful. Maybe I venture outside for a few minutes later today and sit on the back porch; my body is literally craving vitamin D.





I went to an estate sale over the weekend and I found a beautiful little reading chair for my room! It is so comfortable! And cute! And cheap! Just $19!

Getting to my house from the estate sale was hilarious – small as it is, the chair refused to fit in the trunk of my tiny Echo. It had to ride up in the front seat with me! On the way home it generated a lot of smiles and one stop-light converstaion. I love stop-light conversations!


Source: via Trena on Pinterest

Isn’t the cowl above just awesome? (This pinterest link above will take you to the pattern.) I think it would be perfect for Saturday morning errands and evenings in. I am going to try making it once I finish the never-ending baby blanket that I’ve been knitting for the past 100 years. Honestly, I think there is a little gnome that unravels a few rows every night.

But here is some exciting news!

Jill from Dulce Domum is going to be at a craft fair at T.C. Williams HS in Alexandria tomorrow. Jill is an amazingly talented quilter, seamstress and artist. Do you remember these invites I had custom made a while back for a bridal shower? Those were made by Jill! Be sure to check our her Etsy shop too. . .

And then Maggie Perry of Ten Thousand Places has revealed her new jams for this season! I have been known to eat her jams straight from the jar, they’re that good. Actually, now that I think about it, I almost always eat her jam straight from the jar. . . even if I am putting it on something, one or two spoonfuls unadulterated jam make it to my mouth without fail. Her Esty shop is here.

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