Monday, September 23, 2013

Pilates Reformer

I work with Lisa Green at the Greystone YMCA each week practicing Pilates. I have been going twice a week for over a year consistently and have been doing Pilates on and off for over 7 years. I always go back. Working on a reformer Machine is different than mat Pilates, but I think you need both. I currently only do the machine. (I don't practice what I preach) Lisa sends an email each week giving us tips and information on how Pilates helps our bodies and how we can work other exercises into our routine. I'm sharing with you this weeks newsletter. 

What Does a Pilates Body Look Like?

There has been a lot of buzz about the Pilates body. What is it?

First, its a terrible misnomer. There is no exercise program that would result in one body type, since everyones body is so different. Take a look at our YMCA Pilates instructors. Were all doing the same basic workouts, yet we look different because of how we build muscle (some people get more cut than others based on diet, genetics, and bone structure, for instance). Plus some of us are short, and some of are really tall.

But, in general, because of how Pilates works, there are some generalizations you can make:

1. Pilates builds strength and tone, without building bulk. Thats why the Pilates body
and dancers body look so similar. However, Pilates doesnt abuse your body the way professional dance does, so although our bodies might look the same, the Pilates body probably feels a lot better.

2. Since we work a lot on the smaller, stabilizing muscles that are often overlooked in traditional workouts, your body shape can begin to change. By focusing on the hip muscles for instance, your glutes can get a rounder, perkier shape (score!).

3. Pilates is a full-body workout, and we dont miss anything. The goal is to develop even musculature. That means were working your arms, legs, abs…, which you might be inclined to skip at the gym because you dont like it(yet).

4. Pilates builds great posture, which makes you look taller. You actually might even become taller, as you strengthen your core musculature and expand the space between your vertebrae or straighten out a crooked spine or uneven pelvis. Plus, the compliments youll get on your muscle tone will help you stand even straighter.

5. Pilates core work focuses on the deepest layer of core musculature, teaching your abs to pull inwards to your spine and stay there. Flat abs, anyone?

6. Pilates builds strength, balance, and flexibility, which helps you move (in every activity) with greater ease. So, you look more graceful (because you actually are).

So, thats the recipe. Apply it to your frame and genetic makeup, do it regularly, eat right, and voila… your very own Pilates body!

If you are interested in trying out Pilates, you can join me at the YMCA Greystone!

Lisa Green
Director of Group Exercise
YMCA Greystone
5414 Hwy 280
Birmingham, Alabama 35242

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Hays House Salvaged

When a house is being salvaged it's because it can't be repaired or someone has decided that the property can be used in a better way. We don't like to think anything can be better than a beautiful old home sitting on it's original land. Most of the time, there is a lot of time and effort into figuring out how to save the house. No one wants to lose history.

The Hays House in Cullman, Alabama has been looking for a new owner for over a year. The city owns the property that the house is sitting on and needs it for another use. They wanted to give the house away. The only criteria is you had to move it. It's a two story home and wouldn't go under the overpasses on the interstate and it would cost a lot to move it. There was some damage to the house when the tornados came through in April of 2011. It was going to be hard to move this gorgeous home.

Several weeks ago, Southern Accents Architectural Antiques acquired the home for salvage. It's controversial, but there are some amazing pieces in this house that need to be saved. If we didn't go in and break it down piece by piece, it would have been hit by a wrecking ball and those gorgeous windows would have been shattered. I love so many things about this house. Emma and I went in a little over a year ago and looked through all the rooms. There was an adorable spanish brass chandelier hanging in the living room, 5 panel, solid doors throughout and columns and hardwoods that could be saved. She stood next to a door upstairs that was a closet and was so amazed at how short the door was! She was probably around 5'2" at the she's 5'7" and looking me straight in the eye. ugh

The house was built in 1901 by Dr. Hays. He and his wife lived there and he even saw patients in the home. It was acquired by the Cullman Historic Society in 2010, who had to move out after the tornado came through. You can read more on the history of this house here

The deconstruction started last week. I was in Cullman and went by to snap a few pictures of the guys working. They are very organized. This is such a meticulous job. You can't just walk in with a sledgehammer, you have to remove nails individually and pull carefully to get the piece out without damaging the architectural details. A lot of care goes into saving these pieces. Some things are sold before they are pulled out of the house. Others will be sold through the store. I have my eye on a couple of things for MoonGlow. We'll see if I can work that out! I will let you guess what you think I want!

Antique Red Door Hays House

Antique Windows Hays House

Antique Trim Hays House

Antique 5 Panel Doors

Hard at work saving these artifacts
It will have to be de-nailed, too. 

Fireplace, floor grate and flooring all to be saved.

Antique Newel post Hays House

Friday, September 20, 2013

Honor and Heart

I can't put into words what happened to me yesterday. Laura, whom I've been working with at Papa's barn, asked me to make something for her mom for her birthday. She gave me a bag of jewelry and keepsakes. She also gave me her brother's dog tags. She wanted me to make them into cuffs. One for her mom and one for herself. Honestly, I didn't put a lot of thought into it. I knew it would be super easy to make. I did stop in to the leather store the other day and picked up some really cool hides. One was grey and I felt like it was totally different from the other leather cuffs I've done. I wanted to use it for more than cuffs, too....(handbag?) I decided to put one of the dog tags on the grey. It looked great!

I took it to show Laura to get her opinion and planned on finishing it on Monday. I didn't have everything and she said she planned on seeing her mom on Thursday. I took it home, finished it and made the second one in my traditional brown leather. When I took them to Laura today, we discussed me sharing it on Instagram and Facebook so that her mother would see them and know that I made them, but that they were from Laura for her birthday. When I got home, I uploaded the picture and wrote out something simple. I really tried to cancel it before it sent and then.....I started getting tons of comments and likes on both social media platforms. Everyone loved them, several wanted to place orders and one issue was his social security number. Yes, it's on there. I asked Laura what she thought because her mom hadn't seen it yet. She told her mom to go look and then asked her thoughts on his information being out there. They both agreed that they were ok with it staying online. As the night went on, more and more comments and then I read this....this is what it's all about. Read what Laura wrote about her brother and the lives that have touched him, these dog tags and her heart.

When I look at these tags my heart swells with gratitude and love and I think about the people they have passed through to get to where they are now.
My brother was a hero. SPC Andrew Lee Hand. He joined the National Guard in 2005 and served in 2 deployments. On his last tour his vehicle was hit by an IED and he went home to be with The Lord in 2010.
Before he left for his last deployment, Andrew gave his dog tags to my brother-in-law, Chad Davis, who Andrew also considered a brother. When Andrew passed away Chad gave them to me. They have hung on my vanity for the past 3 years. A place where I sit everyday to get ready and I can see them everyday. But as special as these are to me, they needed a better home than just hanging in my bedroom. So, I decided to have my cousin Lucy Farmer, owner of Lucy Locket's, make them into these beautiful, leather bracelets you see in the picture. One for my precious mother for her birthday and one for myself.
As you can see, from being worn around my brother's neck on the battlefield, to my brother-in-law as a gift, to me as a keepsake, to my cousin to create a cherished piece of jewelry, and last to my mother and myself. They are a sacred treasure that we are privileged and honored to wear and they will be worn proudly for all to see.
#hero #son #brother #dogtags #favoritethings #family #lucylockets

Making these cuffs is one of the most rewarding things I have done. Thank you, Laura for the opportunity and for your heart.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Lucy Lockets in Loudon, Tennessee

A few weeks ago I went to see my Mom and Aunts. My Mom and Aunt Ruthe live in Aunt Linda was just there for the Loudon Antique Show. Every year they have an outdoor antique show around the courthouse. It's a gorgeous location. Loudon is on the Tennessee river and is a  beautiful old town. Mom wanted me to come up and bring some of my Lucy's Lockets. I really have never done a show on my own with my jewelry. I was lucky to have help with a huge set up at Haven and it made the booth look full and finished. Well, this time, not so much. I didn't even have a table cloth! I did spray paint several bird cages to fill with burlap and display the necklaces on the outside. I also brought my new wrap station from Creative Co-op. Everything on the table top looked amazing! Then...there was the white table and all my stuff underneath. Some kind Facebook follower suggested I use a ruffled burlap tablecloth. I thought she was offering to send me one...not so much! Next time, I will find a cool vintage table that hides what is underneath.

At least my tags are AWESOME!

My Mom likes to paint furniture. She's got a little shop there called The Red Door. She has some really cute pieces if you want to check out her Facebook page!

 I enjoyed hanging out around the courthouse with everyone. I also loved shopping! We hit a couple of antique stores on Friday afternoon in Knoxville. Anthropologie just opened a store there and I picked up a few things for Fall!

This was just the cover of a book. Wonder what it was about? 

This metal Dr. Pepper sign was fabulous! Of course, not for sale. 

Shot glasses spelling out hot. 

 I found several pieces to use on future Lucy's Lockets and lots of other things that I would have loved to buy...but didn't!

 On my way, I was behind this cute Elsie. I couldn't resist taking her picture!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Papa's Hands

I met Laura at Papa's barn on Friday. She had a couple of projects to finish. I had no idea what I would work on. I just love going. It's very inspiring and believe me, when I left, I had lots of plans for the next time! My husband grew up in and around the barn. It's a place where he earned money helping Papa with refinishing, painting, restoring and creating furniture. I was completely enthralled when Papa came to the barn to see what we were up to! I was following him around and listening intently. His first priority is safety and wants our undivided attention when showing us how to use the tools. 

When he was almost finished, I realized there were lots of missed moments behind the camera. We were talking about making some frames and he wanted to find a box of glass he had on a high shelf. In the meantime, I picked up a scrap from one of his pepper mills, (more on that later), and asked what he would do with it. We talked about making a bowl for rings. He grabbed the piece of spalding wood. Definition: Spalding is when the wood is rotting. It's caused by insect's excrement that gets into the wood and creates amazing patterns. The piece I handed him was a little far gone. He put it up on the lathe and started turning and it was crumbling a little. He showed us how to use different tools and different angles to get the shape you want. I was in complete awe. 

One of the things I enjoyed most was how much he loves everything in the barn! He has it set up in a very organized way, but you will find a treasure hidden in every corner! We were talking about different kinds of wood and as we were finishing, he pulled out this block of wood and asked us how old we thought it was. Laura and I just looked at each other. That's when he pointed out the rings. This piece was no where near the center of that old tree. We couldn't even guess! He knows every type of wood and where he got each piece. I have a feeling I can find him a few pieces to play with! 

A few of his tools. His last name is Hall, as is my son, John Connor's middle name....named after his great-grandfather. 

Thursday, September 5, 2013

The Slaughterhouse in Downtown Birmingham

I've been intrigued with this building for over a month. Someone mentioned it to me that they did a tour. (by flashlight). Totally sounds like a haunted house, doesn't it? ;) Well, it very well could be, but I hope not. I'm intrigued because I would love to make this one of my projects!! It would take some persuading of the hubby. He's not a believer in downtown Birmingham. I know, right? He apparently hasn't been paying attention!! So, my tour consisted of flashlights and a little natural light and sky lights. OH MY GOODNESS the sky lights were AMAZING!!! I have several ideas for this building. Right now, it houses a lot of storage and a photography studio for one of the best photographers in Birmingham. I just want to share some of the photos I took that day with my built in flash and iphone.

What I know about the history of this building is that in 1910 it was a Hormel Slaughterhouse. There are 3 freight elevators and for some reason, the animals were taken to the top floor. There are also burners on all the floors. That's the part that is the creepiest!

 Burner on the bottom floor

gorgeous natural light on this floor 

love this much 

THE skylight 

hardware on an icebox 

door for a refrigerated room  

 top floor of burner

view of Sloss from rooftop 

THE skylight from the top! 

 maybe this was my favorite floor


totally my favorite floor! 

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Cool Architectural Pieces

I went to one of my favorite salvage stores, Southern Accents Architectural Antiques,  today and looked around with a list. I was looking for leaded windows, tall windows..but narrow, newel posts or banisters, a table, a pull for a door on tracks, wood slabs for a coffee table, doors, corbels and picking up an M. None of these were for me....all for other people that know I like to find unique treasures and love to share them!

Some of my favorite finds today were smalls. Or parts of something.

Corbels always inspire me. This one was really big. I can see it as a shelf. There may have been two. If so, definitely could find lots of uses for these guys!

I saw this table online yesterday and didn't realize the size. It seemed bigger in the picture because it was shown by itself. With this adorable little, yellow car on top, you could see how small it is. It almost feels like a stool or shelf for something. It would be awesome as an island. You could add legs and a bottom with casters......(I really like that idea!)

 This creeped me out a little. I immediately thought of a crematorium.....or the slaughterhouse...eek!

Probably my favorite thing! Why didn't I bring this home with me today? How fantastic is the title Southern Queen?

Lots of new keys. I love to dig through the key drawers. These were all on rings and didn't lend themselves to being perused. I didn't ask if they were sold individually. That would be a good question. 

This is from a pulley. I just couldn't resist the HH. 

I bought a pull for the barn door, sent pics of windows and newel posts and brought home a giant M, took more pics of tables and slabs of wood. It was a pretty good day out searching! I know the newel posts worked. We'll see about the other things!