These Big Strong Hands

Adagio Teas

Copyright Adagio Teas


“They look like big strong hands. Don’t they?” ~Rockbiter from The Neverending Story.

I think of my mother’s hands every time I hear this quote, or any phrase containing the words, “big strong hands.” She had beautiful hands, and they were big and strong. My mother was 5’11”, and every inch of that large frame was pure strength. However, I loved her hands the most. They were the hands that soothed me–their vastness covering my entire head as she played with my hair until I fell asleep. They were the hands that I watched intensely whenever she was teaching me something new, whether it be sewing or cooking or cleaning, whatever. While being a waitress (different times, but that is the term she used proudly), they were the hands I watched handle those giant, food-laden trays, like they were nothing more than pillows. The hands I witnessed her wash, at least fifty times a day (food industry! I am a victim of this habit as well!) The hands with long strong fingers, with which she would thump me if I were getting out of line. Piano hands, they were once called, although she never really learned–despite grandma’s dream of turning her five children into a real life Partridge Family Band. (The youngest got the accordion! But she was an award-winner, so you can’t poke fun.) Strong nails, of which I was so jealous, strong hands, that I thought would be around forever….I miss those hands…

Every woman in my family has beautiful big strong hands…except for me, hahaha! Well, they’re certainly strong–fair warning if I clutch your hand or arm for any reason, I could possibly break it, lbvs–but they are definitely more on the little side. For years I watched my mother, her sisters, and their mother, cut potatoes and the like–in their hands–with ease! I tried this method this past weekend (corned beef and potatoes, duh!) and it certainly didn’t work out the way I wanted it to! I didn’t cut myself or anything, but my quartered potatoes were all different sizes…which doesn’t cut it, according to all this stuff I watch on Food Network, hahaha. But the experience made me think of my mother, and how much I missed her big strong hands….

So here’s to all the women who possess big strong hands. Whether they are used for comfort, for child-rearing, for music, for cooking, for expression, for kneading the tar out of some homemade noodles, or for manual labor–I salute you!

Sunshine Shelves – Thrifty DIY Tutorial

My inspiration from

My inspiration from

I came across the picture above on pinterest and fell in love with how bright and beautiful the shelves were, but the Ikea VITTSJO shelves were $79 each.  That is way too steep for a girl that mostly shops at thrift stores!  I combed the internet for a cheaper alternative and found the Edsal shelves below for $26.87 on Amazon.

$26.87 on Amazon for these industrial shelves.

$26.87 on Amazon for these industrial shelves.

I bought the paint suggested from Walmart for around $3.50 a can and needed 8 cans total. 

I needed 4 cans per shelving unit.

I needed 4 cans per shelving unit.

I painted and put the shelves together two different ways.  With the first shelves I painted all the pieces and put them together as soon as they seemed dry.  Bad idea!  The pieces all got scratched as I was putting them together and because I was trying so hard to not scratch the paint, the pieces fit really wonky.

Notice how the vertical pieces are kind of bent and the shelves don't seem straight.

Notice how the vertical pieces are kind of bent and the shelves don’t seem straight.

The next set of shelves I put together completely and then laid them on their side and painted them.

Spoiler alert!  Don't lay them on their sides to paint.

Spoiler alert! Don’t lay them on their sides to paint.

This worked great for the sides and support pieces and the front and back but when I painted the actual shelf pieces it dripped all over the place.  Still the second shelf results were better than the first.

Much better and straighter than the first attempt.

Much better and straighter than the first attempt.

For best results I would suggest standing the shelves upright for painting or painting all pieces individually, waiting a day or so till they are completely dry, assembling the unit and then touching up any scratches at that point.

Even with the issues I love the way the shelves turned out and they definitely brighten up the living room!

Sunshine Shelves

Sunshine Shelves: Total cost around $82!