Thursday, November 29, 2012

Advent Calendar Countdown

I have been doing alot of crafting lately. It's good for me, It has always been the thing that grounds me, calms me, rejuvenates me and so given the new circumstances of my life I need all of those things... daily!. I mentioned a few months back that it has been a long time dream of mine to share my love of crafting with other women. I had my first workshop back in may and then life got in the way. It's funny how we think we have a plan! Anyway, now here I set alone most every night and so now more than ever it seems like the perfect thing to do. So I am taking the plunge! I put together several projects and women have been trickling in little by little to relax and enjoy. It really is fun to watch. I've also been having private "Arty Parties" at friends homes. The hostess picks out the project she is interested in and invites a bunch of her friends and I show up with all the supplies. A couple of nights ago we made Advent Calendar Countdowns.
Don't they look great! I found this idea on Pinterest but couldn't find the original person who made it. If it's you, I'm happy to give you credit, just let me know. Mine is not exactly the same, I put a couple of twist on it and added my very favorite activity for the last day.
It's made with a mini muffin tin that has 24 cups. I raided my stash, Dollar Store, Walmart and of course Hob Lob too. This is the perfect project to do with a group because most of the stuff comes in multiples in the bag.
 I made these 3 with some things I had a round the house. The little wreath is made out of a half of a pipe cleaner and some twine wrapped around it. The middle one is a white Sharpie on black paper and the last one I embossed with a stamp I had that just happened to have the word believe. I think it may be one of my favorites. I filled each cup with an activity, something fun to do at Christmas time. I found all kinds of ideas on the internet. One of my favs was have a picnic around the Christmas tree, how fun would that be??? Now if you are thinking these cups are so small, how can I add any kind of a treat? A candy kiss works perfectly, but I also gave everyone a little bag and suggested it be the bonus bag. If you want to give your child something that is too large for the cup, just put a note in that says "check out the bonus bag or grab bag."
Here's the part that I just love. On Christmas morning have this sack filled with a horn and bells with this poem on it. Ring the bells, blow the horn, this is the day that Christ was born? When my kids were small we always did this and then sang Happy Birthday Jesus. It's a great way to remind them what the day is really all about.
So get out your stash, use up some scraps, and be creative. You will be surprised by how much stuff you already have. I should say I used  adhesive magnet sheets to keep the papers on and I printed off the numbers for each day from the computer. It is on a plate stand, which works perfectly to hold it up. I love this idea! The activities are great prompts and I think it's a great opportunity for families to enjoy the season! And as for our craft night... it was a blast! It's fun to see your dream in action. :)

Thursday, November 8, 2012


First of all I want to thank all of you for your kind words, thoughts and prayers and for checking up on me. I am doing ok, adjusting to a whole new life. I miss my husband, would give ANYTHING to be able to just sit and hold his hand and chat but that isn't going to happen. My kids are doing great and we are sticking together and taking all of this as it comes. We are very blessed to have so many that continue to check in on us and care for us.

I mentioned that I was going on a retreat a few weeks ago.  Here is the wonderful creative team that led the retreat.

It was wonderful, everything I needed. It was fun to meet new people, to create, to just relax, no concept of time or no stress. It felt like I was there for alot longer than I actually was. I have no doubt that God placed this dear sweet lady in my path.

 These are some of my partners in crime, can you tell we're all happy to be there?

Seattle may have a reputation for having not so nice weather, but I didn't see anything but blue skies.
 We spent some time on the beach.
 The weather was spectacular!!! It was a great time, everything about it was exactly what I needed!
I spent the last day in Seattle with one of my dearest friends from high school. We went to see the Chihuly exhibit. It was amazing!!!

If you have the opportunity to see one of his exhibits, go, you'll be in awwww!
As I said it was a great experience, I stretched my neck out a little, tried some new things, met new people and realized I can do this. I am already looking for my next retreat. 
So again thank you, I'm learning a new normal. 
I'm working on my dream of having some craft classes at my home. Hopefully I'll get back to blogging soon.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Moving forward...

Hello friends,

I have to start by saying thank you! So many of you have reached out and offered a virtual hug or prayers and continue to check in on me and my family. I really do appreciate it. You also have asked if I have friends and family near by that can help me through this time and I want to assure you that I do, I am blessed beyond measure, that is for sure. This experience has shown me how much I have to grow in the way of supporting and loving on those who are going through a difficult time. I have said it often and I mean it from the bottom of my heart, I know the reason my feet hit the floor everyday is because of all who are lifting us up in prayer and the fact that my kids are doing so well, I feel like who am I to not move forward as well. So moving forward is what I must do. Not to say that I don't miss my husband terribly, I do, words can't explain how much, he's in every move I make each day but I have also come to realize just how much my husband enjoyed life and I know he would want me to do the same thing.

Our plan had been to go to the beach in Florida for my birthday which is just around the corner, that isn't going to happen now, but someday I plan to go back to our favorite beach. For now I am taking myself on a little vacation. I have to be honest, I'm scared, and excited! I happened upon a retreat that is happening in Seattle this week and so I am going, alone, all by myself and I don't know another soul. Here's a peak of where we I'll be staying.
I'll be taking mixed media classes, learning yoga and meditating. Sounds amazing right? I will also be meeting 12 other ladies that are on their own journey coming from all over the US. I love Seattle and I love to be creative, as for yoga and meditation that is a bit out of my comfort zone but I am nudging myself along. Before Mike's death this is one of those things I would have said, that would be fun, but I wouldn't have signed up. I'm trying to pay attention a little more now, listen to the desire's of my heart. I'll tell you all about it when I return.
I'm really looking forward to getting creative and walking on the beach, I do know how good that is for my soul!
And I have to share a cute little bag I picked up at a local craft show. I think it will be the perfect carry on!
Isnt' is adorable!!??? It's the perfect size and has a great long handle.
And the back side, love the graphics!
Oh and I plan to hang out with 2 of my friends from high school on my last day in town. It should be a great week!

So right now, put down the computer, go tell your husband you love him and then thank God for all that he is!

Monday, August 20, 2012

There are no words...

I am not sure how to say this, how to put the words together to give some kind of explanation of what the last 34 days has been like. To say the least it is has been my worst nightmare. You see my husband was diagnosed with lung cancer. My husband, who has never been a smoker, was told he had stage 4 lung cancer that had metastasized to his brain, muscles, bowel, kidneys... just all over his body and then just 10 days later he was gone. Shock is the only word that continues to come to mind and how the hec did we get here? It is more than my heart and head can even grasp right now. So that being said, don't be surprised if you don't see me around this blog for a while.
He was my rock, he made me laugh, he reminded me to not be so serious, he believed in me and always encouraged me, he gave me 2 beautiful children and helped me raise to others. I will miss him so...
 It sounds like such a cliche until it happens to you, each day is ALL we have, make sure the people you love know it!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Easy Map Art

Maps are crazy popular right now, everywhere you look they are on Pinterest. Actually my son was all about the states when he was younger so I decorated his room with them back then. I posted this map on my blog several months ago as inspiration.
People keep sending me emails asking me how to make it. Ooooy... if only they would read. I did not make this, hence the title of the post... Inspiration, things you can buy from the catalog Nappa Style. All that being said, I do think it would be really simple to make. This one is on wood probably like pallet wood.
Ok, pardon this picture, this was taken a few years ago, before I knew you aren't suppose to use a flash. I made this for my sons room. I used artist canvas to mount it on. I took the map, wadded it up a few times to age it out and then Mod Podged it onto the canvas putting more Mod Podge on top. Once it was totally dry I took some watered down brown paint and rubbed it onto the map. The Mod Podge keeps it from really absorbing into the map which is good. This is one map that I cut in half. It really looked aged, I wish I still had it so I could take a better picture for you to see it. If you want to see more great stuff from Nappa Style check out the original post here.
Isn't this amazing!!! I actually had 4 of these a few years ago. I got them free! I just saw them listed on Etsy for 450.00 each, OUCH! I think I gave mine to Goodwill. Yep, makes me sick! I'm thinking does it pay to get rid of things??? Seems like whenever I do it becomes the next big thing! How about you, any remorse over something you got rid of?

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Where did the time go?

My daughter finished up high school this week, it's very hard to believe.! Wasn't it only a few days ago I was beaming of pride when the nurse at the hospital said she has rosebud lips! I'd never had a baby with rosebud lips before! Honestly it seems like the last 13 years flew by in a flash. I should actually say 12, she doubled her classes up this year and graduated a year early. She was done, had had it! As she put it. I've been feeling so emotional and nostalgic over the last few weeks. ( and quite honestly robbed of an extra year of high school)  Man, why didn't any of my friends give me some kind of warning how difficult all of this is??? I've mentioned it before but she is my last of 4 kids and the only girl. It will be very different with just the hubs and I wondering around this house, it's always been so full of people, noise... well just life I guess. I have a little while yet, she isn't leaving  just yet but, it is already eerily quite. (There were days I thought I'd never get this, of course now I think I prefer the noise!)

Whenever my kids graduate I fill their door up with pics of their life, there friends, their activities, their first day of school,  etc... it's a fun tradition in our house. This is Rachel's. 

This probably explains the nostalgia!

This is our front yard, and ever since she started preschool she has stood underneath that tree to take a picture of her first day of school. They both have grown so much!

See that picture on the far right? That's her with her brother, and her backpack over her head on her first day of 1st grade... under that tree. 

And this is her now! I am so proud of who she is. She is trying to figure out where she is going in life. She's feeling called to possibly be a missionary and I am working on letting that soak in. It's not what I had planned for her but maybe that wasn't part of my job anyway.  I do know this, whatever God has planned for her is far better than anything I could dream!

It only seemed appropriate for the theme for her graduation to be "Oh The Places You Will Go"  She's thinking Thailand is where she would like to serve. 

And I'm thinking... seriously? That's so far!

But this one, this one told me... "Mom, I'm not like your boys, I'm out of here!  
I've got things to do!"

They may not be my things.. my plans... not what I wanted but, I do know one thing, whatever she plans to do...... well, 
kid I know you'll move mountains!

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Working on a dream and stuff....

I've been sparse in blogland for a few weeks... for a couple of reasons. I've got to be honest here, the thing that got the ball rolling was due to the fact that we were without internet and cable for 11 days. Torture I tell you pure torture! I didn't realize how much I depend on those two things in my life. I also didn't realize how much I depend on you and again if I am being honest, my dependence had gotten to an unhealthy point. 

This is not unique to me, I've read about it on one blog after another, BUT I thought it was only happening to them, NO, never me. Turns out being without it for those 11 days showed me something different. So, I don't know where I am going with this. I wish I had some great answer, I love blogging and the friends I've made. I've often said it's a little like jammin' in a band, it's fun to have all kinds of new and different people to "jam" aka craft and share with. BUT!!!! it has become a place of feeling less than, why would I want to continue to put myself thru that? So, if you don't see me around here that's what up, trying to get some perspective and do what's right for me! 

The other thing that happened while without TV and internet is that I finally got around to making one of my dreams come true! I have dreamed for years of  have craft nights at my house with a room full of girls. I bring the ideas and supplies you bring yourself and a little cash to pay for the supplies and we'll have a great night! I launched my first idea out there last week and my class is almost full! 

I'm so stinking excited!!!

 I would really like to do this once a week but we will see where it goes. So another reason why you might not see me on here as much. I've got to come up with some fabulous ideas! Check out our first craft....

Isn't it cute? It brings a smile to my face when I come up to my front door everyday.
And by the way I want to thank all of you who stop by and comment and support me and have become friends, I really do appreciate that you spend your precious time looking at my blog!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Den Dreaming

Whew, the last few days here have just gotten on my nerves! Am I the only one that waits to do their taxes until the very last minute? Every year I swear I won't do that again and then I do! I think that is the definition of insanity! Anyway, I am glad to have that behind me. Onto much more fun things. The other day I was thinking, "why can't I find any gorgeous ikat fabric at the stores" and then a little light bulb went off and I started shopping on line for some. I rarely buy fabric on line just because I am afraid of the colors but I thought I would give it a try this time. Whew who knew there were so many choices!
I think I hit the jackpot, don't you? This is made by Robert Allen, it's perfect, love the feel and weight of it.  I bought this for a couple of pillow covers but now that it's here and I am loving it like I do, I am thinking of recovering an ottoman that will be a coffee table. But of course if I do that it changes everything! The misery of being in my mind!
You see I have had my eye on this rug for awhile, like maybe over a year! I first spied it when my sister and I were shopping. She fell in love with it and bought it for her house on sale for a steel! Well my love has only grown over the year unfortunately I have not been able to find it on sale and I am not really wanting to spend what they are asking. So I stalk online stores to see if they are having a sale, no luck yet.
I have to say this ikat has got me to kinda forget about the rug. Because if I am going to use this for an ottoman I probably need a neutral rug. I keep telling myself I can see the rug at my sister's house even though we don't live really close to each other it's not totally out of my life. I can visit it whenever I like. :D I have this feeling as soon as I make the choice this rug is going to go on sale, my luck right?
Isn't this a really good match? These are the chairs I want to make the pillows for. So tell me what do you think? What would you do? Think about the cabinet that I just finished, you can find that here. And if you want to see this rug in my sisters house, you can check that out here. I don't really have any other pattern in this room, the curtains are kinda like the blue in this fabric but more sheer.The thing I love about this room as it is now is that I can really add any color in hear thru pillows and kind of change things up, this ikat becoming permanent or that rug will change that, not sure if it's worth the trade off. Decisions Decisions!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Transformed cabinet Part 2

So, I shared a cabinet I bought from a friend and the story of how it came to be mine (thank you Tonya!) and the major transformation it underwent. Now I need to share it's final look (who am I kidding, when it comes to decorating nothing is ever final within my grip!)
I can't quit looking at it, I love it and I love how it feels, the wax finish with the ASCP is so nice! In case you didn't read the before story you can check it out here. Ignore this rug, it is about to get moved to a another room. I'm bringing in brighter greens and blues in this room.
This is my spring decor this year, I never got Easter decor out, too much going on, but this worked for me. Don't pay attention to the empty frame, I have a plan.
I recently found this wreath at Ross, I have wanted one of these rosewood wreaths forever, love the color combo in this one, perfect for my house! That lamp is one of the very first projects I did when I started my blog 2 years ago. You can check it out here. It is made from a vase I purchased at Ross also. Love that place!
 This silk hydrangea was too white so I hit it very softly with some light green spray paint. I think this is the first time in all my years of living here that I am finally happy with this wall! It's a large wall and I've had a hard time finding something to really feel the space, just goes to show you that you have to be patient and keep looking until you find the perfect piece!
Oh and the hardware, I love the rusty goodness. I shared this new product last week, called VerDay. It can turn anything into rust. It seemed like the perfect addition to my "made to look" old cabinet.
So here's the before....
And the after! Do you have a dilemma "space" in your home? One that you have given up on? Be patient the perfect piece is out there somewhere, maybe even at your friend's home! The perfect piece is worth waiting for, I promise!

Partying at...

Under The Table & Dreaming
Blue Cricket Design
Domestically Speaking

Friday, April 13, 2012

Beautified Cabinet transformed with ASCP!

Do you ever admire a piece of furniture at a friends house and feel you've got to have it and then tell said friend every time you are at her house that you want that when she doesn't? I do,  and I did and patience paid off! My friend finally tired of this piece and I was all over it.
 This was a Craiglist find for her, of course she brought it home and gave it a coat of paint and sanded it down. This cabinet is HUGE, it is 80 inches long and about 65 inches tall. As soon as I got it into my space I knew I was going to have to paint it, while is was perfect for her space the color wasn't working for me.
I decided to use Annie Sloan paint, Provence blue and to use the beadboard wallpaper on the back wall of the cabinet. ASPC doesn't require you sand or scrape but I didn't want any paint peeling up so I decided to scrape off the old paint on the shelving. This piece really has me perplexed, I cannot decide how old it is or if the top and bottom were built at different times or if it was a DIY job. Honestly is doesn't matter. In my opinion it is the best of both worlds, storage and shelving to display chach-keys!
This is the ASCP sanded down just a bit. At this point I am not sure what the final product will be. I had just been to Anthropology just before I started this project and they had a great piece that looked like it had been pulled out of some old barn. I was hoping I could fake that with this paint. 
Once I got 3 coats of the blue on I decided to sand and wax. Now let me tell you something. I think people think that ASCP is so cool because you don't have to prime and sand but what you should realize is that you have to put a few coats on so to me it doesn't really cut down the time or work on a project. The bonus is the look of the paint, it is still alot of work but it's worth it!
I didn't take pics of all the trial and error I went thru but again let's just say this piece is helping me exercise  soooooo much patience!!! I usually like a project I can do in a few hours and be done with it, but I kept telling myself do it right, take your time, don't settle for less than you want. So, finally I get to this point and I am crazy about how it's looking, this is what I had in my head, totally loving it!
I think this chunky trim is one of my favorite parts of the piece. I have only painted one other piece of furniture with this paint and my kitchen cabinets ( which I have yet to blog about). I don't really know what I am doing so I started to research it and found Shaunna on Imperfectly Perfect and she had lots of great info and even has some videos to show you how to wax and use the dark wax. Her info was so helpful with this project, I had failed when I had tried to use the dark wax before. If you are going to try this paint, you have to watch her videos.
So, here it is all done and yep I am very happy with it. I have to tell you this project took me hours, literally it is all I worked on for 3 days. As I said it's big and there were alot of steps. The waxing process takes a little muscle but I am very happy with it. Check back tomorrow and I will show you how I accessorized it. What do you think, have you ever seen a large piece of furniture like this before?

Linking to:
Tatertots & Jello
Ms Mustard Seed

Monday, April 2, 2012

I love RUST and I cannot lie!

Ivy & ElephantsI don't know about you but "all things rusty" gets my heart to pumpin! I just love em! It doesn't matter what it is... if there is rusty goodness I want it. Do you ever see those big rusty tin barns , I could cover our den in that stuff.  I promise, sometimes it doesn't take much to make a girl happy! Well, recently I found out about a paint that lets you make your own rusty goodness. Pretty exciting huh? Let me show you what I have been playing with.

This finial is from Hobby Lobby in the garden department, I bought it on clearance at the end of the season for 3.00. Doesn't it look like a chunky piece of iron rusty goodness?
Here is what it looked like before, pretty ugly huh?
And here is a dollar frame that I played with. This product doesn't just do rust, it has several colors of patina's. I've used them all on this piece.
Here are some paper tags that show the different kinds of patina you can get from the product. There is gold, iron, brass and bronze. The tag with the fleur di lis, is actually fabric canvas, like a drop cloth. It has all of the products on it. You can paint this stuff on anything (except aluminum) and it will do it's magic! Once I found it I couldn't stop thinking of all the things I wanted to use it for. My husband says "you can't rust everything"... as I have been playing with it all weekend, my response... "says who". I actually found out about this at my favorite crafty place The Little Blue House. Everytime I find a new product I say I want to paint my bathroom with it, and yes I would love to do the same with this rusty paint!
See these hooks, I have a plan for them too, but first look at the transformation...
Do you love it as much as I do? Alot of this stuff is going in my kitchen. I am kinda at a stand still trying to figure out the tile so I have been working on some other ideas I have for the room.

These actually used to hang above the pantry and the refrigerator and I originally thought I would paint them blue.
But then they looked too new, one dimensional and shiny so I sanded them and they were ok but then...
I added this new paint product and wa la, beautiful patina and rust! Is it just me or do you hear the hallelujah chorus?
The thing I love about this product is that it's not just paint, the paint actually has metal particles in it and so when you spray on the reactor it causes the paint to start to patina, so not only does it look like rust it has the texture and even a hint of the smell.
The product is called Verday and is sold by Ten Second Studios. I'm not being paid to tell you about it, they don't even know I exist. I just love it and so I had to share. So what do you think, should I paint the bathroom wall? Can you imagine one of those ugly brass chandeliers, or how about lamps, oh and hardware, yep I've already worked on that, come back soon and I will share a piece I remade the hardware. I may have to change my name to Ms Rusty Pants!

A Stroll Thru Life
Stories from A 2 Z
Sugar Bee Crafts
Crafty Texas Girls
Savvy Southern Style
Blue Cricket Design
Domestically Speaking
The Space Between
The 36th Avenue
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