...a place to illuminate one's creative potential.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Twenty seconds...

Benjamin Mee's quote from the movie I BOUGHT A ZOO has become a bit of a mantra for our family. I believe that a lack of courage is all that stands in the way of full filling our greatest dreams.  My son, especially, is destined for great things and very often needs to muster up those 20 seconds of insane courage to find his way. He has seen its value lately! My daughter is quicker to act on her 20 seconds, she is an inspiration!  My husband holds back on the twenty seconds most of the time, but he tried it out this fall and was energized by its effect.  Long before I knew Mee's quote, I could summon up the courage to make changes in my career.

So, I thought this quote was a good one to try out the sign making technique that I've seen on Pinterest.
We started with a board, used a variety of scrap booking stickers, sprayed over the letters with flat spray paint, and then peeled the letters off.  I was very pleased with the professional look that resulted!

Now to find the perfect spot in the house for it to hang ... after all, it needs to be starring us in the face for it to continue to have its positive influence!

Sunday, December 9, 2012

OOOH, Were Naked!

My husband wanted me to title this picture" Clothes Pin Porn"!  
Said I would get more stats!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Paper White Gifts

I love to force Paper White bulbs during the holidays and often give them to friends as a gift in the season.  I can make 12 pretty packaged up bulbs for about $34 dollars, thats less than $3 for each gift!

Rocks, bells, ribbon, and glass vases are all from the Dollar Tree Store.

Paper White bulbs are from a local garden center.

Put about 2 inches of rocks in the vase,
tie bell into ribbon around the vase,
place one bulb on top of rocks,
and add a tag.

I used brown craft paper cut into strips for my tags.
They say "Happy Holidays" on one end
 and "Just add water" on the other end.
 I curled the ends with a pair of scissors before slipping it under the ribbon.
I now have 12 great gifts ready to go!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Chapter 4: Thrill of the Hunt!

Chapter 4 of Inspired You by Marian Parson is all about the thrill of the hunt.  I don't want junk in my home, I want good stuff!  Real wood, with dove tail drawers, and character that comes with its age.  Trouble is that the really good stuff, when its new, is not compatible with my purse.  I learned how to treasure hunt from my mom.  She has the eagle eye for great second hand clothes!  I tend to scope out the home good sections at thrift stores.  Bless the day I discovered Annie Sloan Chalk Paint!  There has been a lot of trash to treasure weekends as a result of that great paint! (I haven't tried Marian's milk paint...YET!)

I get it...the value of the dollar that is.  Treasure hunting for me isn't necessarily just about finding something good for cheap though.  I enjoy the outing to the thrift and antique malls, the piddling around by myself.  I love the extra heartbeat when you see something you were looking for....I love old metal working mans lunch boxes and little bitty oil cans!   I love having $20 burning a whole in my pocket for that special treasure to take home.  That's my rule : $20 dollars or less for something I really love!  It is even better when the treasure also becomes a new creative project to do at home.

Chapter 4 reminds me of a post I did last July.  Treasure hunting may be genetic!
See that post here!

Monday, November 5, 2012

My imperfect home, Chapter 3

Ah ha moments abound in Miss Mustard Seed's book, Inspired You .  I have underlined eleven different passages in Chapter 3!

Page 61:  "...I was never going to have a bouncy seat in my house..."

There are just some things in our homes that just have to be there no matter how much of an eye sore they create. There will always be something.... for me its the dog kennel!  It is huge, it has their dog blankets waded up in the bottom, takes up one whole end of my sun porch, which is also my formal dining room.  Because it has gotten a bit cooler, there is also a portable radiator close by so they don't get cold at night.  You should see me trying to take pictures at just the right angle as to not get the kennel in my table scape pics for blogging.   On yes, the other eye sore and my husbands prized possession, is a road bike hanging on a hook on the wall ... in the same room!   How can I complain?  The biggest thing on that porch is a 12 ft farm house table that seats 12 people.  My husband made it for me last Thanksgiving....my prized possession!  I take great joy in decorating and redecorating that table.

I think I can overlook the kennel, and the bike, because my table on that sun porch is just perfect!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Inspired You, Chapter Two

In chapter two of Marian's book she writes about a "dose of reality".... I spend countless hours fluffing the house, making it look picture perfect, and then someone comes along and messes it up.

I was a fanatic about anything left on the floor!  I would go around and pick up anything on the floor before I went to bed at night.  I wanted desperately to wake up each morning to order, not chaos in my home.  We enter our home through the garage which leads directly into my sun porch and kitchen. Both of these rooms have a dining table and chairs which are the strongest magnets in the world for my family's STUFF!  I even tried setting the tables with place mats and dishes but what do they do......scoot them over and sit there stuff down!  My family room looks cute when the pillows are propped up and the lap blankets are folded and laying over the backs of the sofa.  That only happens if I am the one that does it!  My three little dogs certainly can't fold those blankets back up or knife chop those big Ikea pillows themselves!
Do you see him?  There is another one under there somewhere.
 This is real life in the family room!

When I was younger, I thought my house had to look perfect just in case someone came over.  Not very many people come over!  The older I get, I realized that the reason I do all that I do in my house is to make a home for my family to have refuge in.  A place to escape the hustle and bustle of the world.  To feel comfortable, to be lazy, to be loved unconditional in.  That means not being so uptight that their are five drums on the porch table, cycling gear hanging all over to air dry, important papers in places that are not for important papers, power screw drivers on the family room mantle, or dog toys in the kitchen floor.

My children are both away in college now and there is not as much mess to clean up as there use to be ... I miss the mess.
My boy is home this weekend!

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Miss Mustard Seed Book Inspires

Chance, fate, God...

I was alone this week while my husband was traveling with work. I tend to roam around town, junking, etc. when he is away.  I found myself at LifeWay Christian book store.  I can not remember the last time I went into that store.....years most likely.   One of the first things I saw was Miss Mustard Seed's book.  I wasn't expecting to see it there.  Glad that it was and proud of the store!  Funny though, I had to tell the check out girl who Marian Parsons is and about her blog!

Home I went with a new treasure to read, absorb, and learn from.  Cover to cover in one sitting.  Laughed, cried, motivated.   Marian has presented the truth when it comes to how most of us must go about making our not so perfect houses into comfortable inviting homes.

I thought I would share my Ah Ha moments chapter by chapter as I go  through Inspired You the second time through.

Chapter 1:
 " I get giddy over room makeovers."  Yes I do!  It can start with finding that free chest of drawers on the curb!  The one that I pulled up the hill on hand trucks back to my house!

"I reached that moment in my life when I wasn't thriving.  I was churning through the routine of my day."  Been there, done that....about every three years there seems to be a moment like this and I realize that I did not have a creative outlet at the time.  Rearrange a room, clean something, make some small change in the house and my creativity takes shape again!

So what have I done today.....purged!  I have cleaned out a "catch all" closet, two drawers in the kitchen, and every single storage space and container in my art room!  The house is lighter and so is my spirit, creativity is bubbling, and I think I am ready to paint my home office , uhh...orange?!

Thanks Miss Mustard Seed!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Owl Therapy

There are times when I just need to do something with my hands and my mind
 that is so ultimately different than all the things involved in teaching high school science.  
A $1.99 pack of Sculpey provided the stress therapy I needed this afternoon.
Sculpey is a very soft pliable clay that can be baked in the oven.

I have used it for for making art doll heads, Christmas ornaments, 
and whimsical pins for different holidays.

I made half a dozen little owls out of one pack.  I started with a 1/4 thick circle of clay.  I folded over two sides to make the wings, and then folded over the top to make the head.  All the other details were carved into the clay with junk lying around.  Put them on a cookie sheet and bake for 15 minutes at 275 degrees.  They will cool very quickly and then you can paint them with craft paints.  I hit mine with a few swipes of sand paper to give them an aged look.

I gave them a coat of gloss spray, added a pin back, and did up a quick tag to stick them in. 
Who shall I give them to?

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Something to "Crow" about!

I thought the crows would be fun in the old tool box!

Love this last crow!  He looks so real!  Got him at TJ Maxx a couple of weeks ago.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Pumpkins of all kinds!

Seen a few post lately about pumpkins.  
Bought a beautiful Heirloom pumpkin from a farmers market yesterday in Old Salem. 
 Love the velvet pumpkins with real stems that are on Pinterest.
Thought I would spend this great indian summer afternoon painting a pumpkin.
What a glorious day it has been!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Meet Winnie!

Winnie is casting her spells all over my art room!
I made Winnie the Witch almost 10 years ago.
This is an Eleanor Peace Bailey pattern.

I take her out every fall and let her add
 a bit of magic to the season!
She just makes me smile every time I look at her!

Saturday, September 15, 2012

My new iPad!

My sweet husband bought me an iPad!  Too busy playing with it to do a real post!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Paper preserves

Made a little trip into Charlotte yesterday....Pottery Barn, j.jill, and Paper Source all provided the eye candy I needed to churn the creative juices today!

Paper Source had this cute paper and matching tea towel. 
 I just feel in love with the canning jar theme!
Bought both!

 This started out as a junked jewelry box from GW.  
I pulled out all the fake velvet from the inside and oriental fabric padded panels from the lid tops. 
I spray painted it with flat black and then distressed it a little.
I have had it prepped for a while, just didn't know what I was going to do with it!
 I have lined some of the box with the canning jar paper.
It is now a stamp box for my fruit and veggie stamps!

 The little bottom drawer holds an ink pad, tags, scissors, a pen, and the newest stamp in my collection. Which I also got at Paper Source!
I don't can things...
I don't grow things...
But I sure would like to make tags for those jars if I did!

Link Parties:
Sew Darn Crafty
funky junk interiors

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Fired up fall front porch!

Southern Living was waiting for me in the mailbox yesterday.  
 Perused it this morning with a cup of coffee. 
 Page 60!
 Todays project!

 2 cans of Regal Red spray paint
+ 6 new plants
= Fired up fall front porch!

Brown pots are now red!
 The front door got painted yellow last summer.
Home Depot had everything I needed. 
 Can hardly wait to add the pumpkins in October!
Thanks, Southern Living, for the inspiration.
I had a wonderful Sunday! 

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Taking a break...

I just sat down with a glass of sweet tea to take a little break.  How on earth can teacher workdays leave me so exhausted?  Students begin on Monday. I will be forgoing my daily blogging posts and Pinterest perusing and be back to my weekly Sunday morning post.  Oh, the withdrawal symptoms I am going to have!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Dorm Room: Sophomore Year

Moved my Maddie back to college for her second year today.  She was asked to be an orientation leader at the last minute, so she moved in about 9 days earlier than we were expecting.  Yesterday was a whirlwind of errands and packing of the car!  I didn't get the pictures I wanted to get of the room.  It was getting late and she had to get to the dining hall before it shut down.  Her roommate can't move in till next week so only half the room is done.  She was ready for us to leave anyway!  
 Head board was from last year. Just recovered with drop cloth fabric we stenciled and painted a monogram on.  It is attached with large wire ties around the regular legs of the bed frame.

 All of the embroidery hooped fabrics were reused this year as well as the wire bird memo holder.
I will get more pictures later!