Monday, September 24, 2007

Remains to be seen...

To finish decorating our bedroom has been on my mind a lot lately as I really haven't changed our decor in there since we remodeled several years ago. If I had to describe the style that I am hoping to achieve in the room, I'd have to say, it's "Antique Eclectic" for lack of a better way to describe it. The walls are a beautiful light beige with a darker beige shade in the carpet. The curtains in the room are one of my favorites features in the space and bedroom suite furnishing are "nearly" antique. I recently purchased a new set of sheets, feather pillows, and an ecru-colored down filled comforter.

I've long to fill the space with antique photographs, sun-faded roses, lace and pearls, so I really couldn't believe my good fortune when I discovered this metal branch in a "make an ofer" bin while visiting a much loved garden center recently. My mind instantly whirled with ideas for its use while the look on Don's face spoke of his wonderment of "what in the world are you going to do with that?" Needless to say, he did like it, even though I knew in my heart I coveted it a little bit more. Desiring to decorating it has been on my mind, but it wasn't until today that the opportunity to do so actually presented itself. I titled this piece, "Remains to be seen" because that is exactly what this room is to me... a space to evolve into what I envision it to be. I'm still shopping... looking for the "just right" nightstands, TV amoire, a chair, and other items but currently I'm thrilled beyond belief to be able to add this!

I decorated the metal branch using some jewelry from my jewelry box {necklaces and earrings}, the recently created cone, some tags, and a glass topped container that contains a collage inside and a magnet on the back side.I'm excited about the process of making this "one dream that will come true" as the weather won't interfere here!

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Entertaining at Home...

We've had the sweetest little visitor visiting with us! We see Alexxis almost every day, as I've offered to provide childcare while Momma and Daddy are working.
As you see, it doesn't take a whole lot to entertain her and providing for her every whim and desire is what this grandma enjoys doing. I cannot believe how fast she is growing up! One day she was crawling and scooting all over and now walking and running. She is such a happy little girl, who loves both sets of her grandparents, mommy and daddy, and, of course, "puppies"... I'd hardly consider Chaos a puppy but when she points at him and says it, you just have to believe her. And he so willing obliges, even when it means backing up into the other room to accomodate her desires. Her vocabulary is increasing everyday but we all know that "bite" means "I'm hungry", "wuv you" is sacred and usually reserved for her bunnies and babies and the rare occasion that she repeats it back to you making it even more precious, ma-ma, maam-ma, da-da, and pa-pa are some of the most important people in her life, and "No." ought to be her middle name for she's is so very opinionated of what she wants and desires. I'm certain you'll soon be seeing more photos of her.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

To celebrate my favorite season, Autumn, I create this little vignette on one of the table on our deck a few days ago. I love welcoming in the season, although my heart still yearns for more of summer.

Feeling "neglectful"

Due to my working 58 hrs. a week over the summer, our outdoor living space has been sorely neglected. I had high hopes in my heart to create "the perfect place to be" here on our deck during the spring. I so looked forward to the time we would spend here during the summer months, cooking out, having a few summer dinner parties, time spent with friends, being surrounded by pots of flowers, the sounds of nature, and the smell of lavender filling the evening air! Unfortunately, very few of those hopes and dreams came to fruitation but that doesn't prevent me from saying, "Maybe next year!" That is if God's willing, of course.

Anyways, here are some of the changes that we did manage to make. The covering over the jacuzzi has been removed; in its place, I long for a screened arbor to protect this area of our deck from the debries of the neighboring tree. We replaced our old jacuzzi with a new one and this one is fantastic! Perhaps, the bronze interior isn't what I would have choosen but when you get a great money saving deal on a new on because of a minor defect in the outer covering that won't be seen anyways due to being sunken within the deck, you really cannot complain. I've done somethings to attempt to make it all work together, although it isn't as much as I had originally intended.

I purchased this unfinished wood shelf from our local Hobby Lobby. Desiring to mimic the bronze interior of the jacuzzi, I painted and stipple brushed the shelf prior to adding a green/teal pantina glaze to it in areas. The figurines were discovered in one of my favorite stores to visit in Galion, Ohio, The Evergreen Company and at 50% off they quickly became a few of my favorite accents to the space. I am desiring to one day create an eclectic mix of a Zen-like atmosphere to our deck... somewhere tranquil that we will enjoy and desire to be. Not that we don't enjoy the outdoor living space as it is, just that it isn't quite yet what I envision it to be... does that make sense? Anyways, lets just say it is still a work in progress. I used a lot of items that we had laying around our home to re-repurpose them and provide them with a new life.

This chair is an example of that and provides us a wonderful place to sit and dry off when it isn't being used for decorative purposes. One day, I'm hopeful to actually hang the patina glazed pot and have some greenery overflowing from it to take away from the bareness of the privacy fencing walls surrounding the space.
As the long days of summer quietly fade away, so do a lot of my hopes and dreams. I quietly realize that I will continue working on some of those as days become shorter and the nights a little longer, before the cold winter winds begin to blow. I've already cut and started creating a tablecloth for our patio table from some of the fabric I discovered for my bookbinding tables within the studio. The colors and texture lended themselves wonderfully to the vision I hold within my heart. In the meantime, I've the peony plant to get planted with our backyard, and to determing a place for the lavender that never did fair too well in that beautiful garden urn. As I looked around today while taking these pictures, I thought as bleak as all this may seem to be to me, its still an enjoyable place to be.

It's a start...

I find inspiration in a lot of things that I see and read, unfortunately it's hard to find the time to create all that my heart desires. Creating an altered tussie mussie has been one of the things on my "wish-to-create" list for an awful long time. Today was the day, I decided, so out came the cardstock, printed papers, brushes, and glue. I've decided that there are other elements that I'd like to add, perhaps a charm, a short poem or quote, something to hang it with... but for now, I'm simply happy that I'm following my heart and creating once again. The beige velvet woven trim was a not so recent purchase that I made at JoAnn's Ect. Superstore. I originally purchased it to be sewn along a seam in my crazy quilt; thankfully, I purchased extra of it! Those dried-looking silk roses have been in my stash of supplies for quite sometime. Those were originally purchased to be snipped, then tucked inside of a piece of ribbon used to hold some of the assorted envelopes that I have received over the years from swapping artwork with others or to be added to the front of some embossed wallpaper journals that somehow I never got around to creating. Needless to say, I've never gathered all the envies nor completed the journal project or so many other ideas that dance around in my head like fragments of a much larger picture. I constantly think that "Perhaps, one day.... " well, today was as good as anyday to get started!

OMG! How perfect is this?

I received my bookmark from the 1-4-1 Autumn Bookmark swap and I cannot begin to describe to you just how gorgeous this piece is in person. My friend, Dymphie, truly creates some of the most beautiful pieces of art using inks and stamps that I've ever laid my eyes upon. She is truly one amazing artist!

Pictured above is the bookmark and co-ordinating envie in which Dymphie created to mail to me, both of these items are simply gorgeous! To see more of Dymphie's artwork and read how she created this, please, pay her a visit @ The stamped sentiment on the envie is perfect and you've definately inspired me throughout the years and will continue to do so. Thank you so much, hon, I'll cherish it always! I believe you've created the perfect bookmark for me to keep with this:

Now, I'll have to go digging around in the studio now in search of some charms and trinkets to rust. I love those tiny, little photo hangers which will allow me to add something onto, perhaps something created using my brown velvet fabric, it would allow me to attach the charms and a little more! Once again, "Thank you from the bottom of my heart!" I love it!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

All Ready to Mail...

I created this packaging to contain my bookmark within it. Since it is for a swap, I felt it deserved something a special as the person receiving it!

Monday, September 17, 2007

I'm feeling as if I am running behind...

in documenting what Don and I have been doing lately and the desires of my heart. So much has been happening within our daily lives, visiting and spending time with family and friends, yet some of "the-most-precious-to-me-time" has been the time I've spend with Don and my grand daughter, Little Miss Alexxis, and time spent creating some of my recent artistic endeavors. '
I've somehow managed to share a small portion of that, while other things that have occurred within our lives, I haven't found the time to document. This is important to me as I love remembering and reminiscing those moments and reliving the memories that we are creating together. I sometimes re-visit my blog archives, just to remind myself of how truly precious our lives are, share those moments that we created together, to remind myself of just how blessed we truly are, even when that road is rocky and uncertainty fills my soul. I'm often reminded of the strength and determination that both of us contain within us, even when at the time of their occurance, neither of us feel that within ourselves. But more importantly, I desire to share this with my granddaughter, Alexxis, as she continues to grow, becoming the person that God intends for her to be. I hope that somehow she will find strength, courage, and determination within her own life when the road before her feels rocky and she stumbles, falls down, and feels like we all do at times, like simply giving up. I want to instill within her that even when things don't go the way we believe they should, that it is important to remember that sometimes God has other intentions and plans for our lives, even when we, ourselves, don't see or understand them. My hope and desire is that she finds whatever it is she needs, when she needs it the most, written within my words, shared within the pictures, thoughts, and ideas that I have shared.

I often wish that I could share more of the thoughts and feelings that I have, even though, I often re-read what I've written here and wonder if I share too much? Yet I yearn to go deeper, sharing what is in my heart and in my head, especially the art that I so desparately desire to create. Creating has been on my mind a lot lately, my heart longs for days that I could spend creating within the studio, unfortunately "life" calls and I am often unable to make my way there. Just yesterday, Don and I were discussing this, we talked about my studio needing to be re-organized once again as we've allowed Amber and Chris to store some of their personal items there. My studio has been "revamped" so to speak, my leather chair and side table moved to make room for their couch which is white and has been wrapped in plastic to protect if from stray flecks of acrylic paint and ink splatters. It's hard to navigate through, let alone even consider creating something within it. My hope is to soon begin, once again, to rectify that.

Our attic and carport are also in need of some dire plan of attack. It's funny how we fight to control the clutter, sorting, purging, tossing to make room, only to have it quickly filled up once again. Amber and Chris have moved and are storing some of their belongings within the space, Shawn is in the process of moving and we are now storing some of his belongings. Our kiln is now sitting along side the carport because there isn't any room for it inside, let alone a way to actually set it up so I can begin using it.

We;ve gained another patio set, as Shawn and Tara currently have no use for it nor an area to store it, so our rear deck needs to be rearranged to accomodate it so that we can continue to enjoy it for the next six weeks before needing to store it all for the winter. I had my heart set on making my way out to the studio today to retreive some of my autum decorations to decorate our outdoor living space, only to wake up sick and feel let down. My sickness is nothing major, just a touch of a mild flu or something going around; yet it just feels like it is one more thing that is preventing from doing the things I'd love to do.

I want to share a road trip that Don and took recently, through central and southern Ohio and into northern Kentucky. I didn't take my digital camera along with me, however, I did do an internet search and discovered pictures that were taken by others that demonstrate what we saw and experienced.
I want to start working on my crazy quilt some more, continue to add on more of the patches so that I get started on some of applique, and some of the small stitcheries I am desiring to add. I want to begin working on several other projects: one is something that I've been writing and desire to illustrate using my mixed media art supplies into an altered book form, yet I'm desiring to create the actual book myself; the other, a "journey quilt" complete with photographs on fabric, journaling added in both text and in stitches. I've decided both of these projects will simply have to wait as we've already so much to do and continue working on, but I don't believe it will stop me from wishing and obtaining the materials I need to complete them, LOL!
I want to share some "happy little moments", show and tell about my new computer that has finally been replaced after the storms and show you our new ride! Yes, we finally managed to purchase a "new-to-us" vehicle, a '98 Jeep Cherokee that I'm still pinching myself over and keep peeking out the living room window in disbelief that it is ours! We are finally reaping what we've sewn over the course of the summer. I'm able to see the reward of what I worked so hard for and it is lessening the stress and all the negative feelings I associated along with that time of my life. It is more than just a vehicle to me, as it is a stepping stone to me and in my independance as I desire to once again attempt to obtain my driver's license. Can you believe I'm 46 years old and do not have them? It isn't by choice, just a result of some of the obstacles and challenges that I've faced in my life. I often look back at all that I've managed to accomplish without them and am amazed at it all but feel its a wonderful example for Alexxis as it demonstrates you can do what your heart desires if you desire it enough!
I'm beginning to feel a whole lot better and am eager to get started with the intentions that I have for my day, so I'm going to stop writing for now. For those of you who visit and share in our lives, I thank you!
It' has been so much fun to share those little things, the snippets and fragments, that are like pieces of a jigsaw puzzle, or the patches within my crazy quilt, that make up the puzzles and quilts within our lives. For it truly is within those little things , those things that we so often take for granted, that often make our lives feel so complete regardless of how scattered, torn and tattered. Until the next time.......... hasta la vista!

Friday, September 14, 2007

A Replica of an Antique Sewing Spool...

I've had this wooden prim style thread spool for quite some time. On a recent message board, someone requested ideas and suggestions for decorating some antique sewing spools so here is my suggestion in action. I couldn't resist attempting to create it and love the finished result. I tea-stained the measuring tape twill purchased from Michael's, used my hot glue gun to adhere it before winding it around the spool and a rusty pin secures the twill ribbon on the front side.
I can envision these spools with a puncushion on the tops, perhaps created using homespun fabrics, or a miniature prim stitchery. Perhaps, adding a vintage or B&W sewing photographs adhere to the top or even to a hang tag for further decoration. Wouldn't this be adorable created using some favorite homespuns cut in 1" strips and joined by sewing into one long continous strip of fabric? Can you envision a group of them in co-ordinating homespuns and cottons filling a basket? How pretty!
The tag is created using a rubber stamp; also, purchased at Michael's and discovered in the $1 bin. It reads, " Life is a great bundle of little things" Oliver Wendall Homes, which this vignette certainly is. Enjoy!

Monday, September 10, 2007

I Found "my muse"....

or perhaps, my muse found me! Either way, I had previously signed up for an Autumn bookmark swap a short while ago believing that she'd return once I set about playing with paper once again. Possessing that faith didn't let me down... at least not this time anyways. :) I titled this piece, "Reminscing Autumn" and the "snippet of text" reads, "Sweet memories felt with affection" for that is exactly what happened to me while I was rummuging for images, digging through some old photographs and scrapbooks for that "just right" image to use. I stumbled upon memories of autumn past, had the opportunity to re-visit some of the wonderful places that Don and I have travelled to, remembered the cool, crispness, the clear blue sun_filled skies, and thought about a few of the new and interesting friends we've made along the way. And, speaking of friends, this beautiful bookmark will be traveling to a new internet friend, Elaine, with whom I've never shared any artwork with before, providing me the perfect opportunity to create some new memories! Can life possibly get any sweeter?

Friday, September 07, 2007

On another note...

I've lost or misplaced my creative muse! I have all these thoughts and ideas of things that I'd love to create, I can see them within my mind's eyes, feel them in my heart, but when it comes to implementing them, I simply cannot seem to get it right.

I signed up for my first small swap, more of a mingle, exhanging an item of artwork within a close group of internet friends. Our goal is simple to create a bookmark of all things using an autumn/fall theme and exchange it with one person. Easy enough, you'd think or so I thought! Yesterday, I dug out some paper art supplies, paper, ink, stamps, adhesive, embellishments and started to create this idea I had in my head. Well one thing lead to another as I added this and that, rearranged things before I adhered them, I finally came up with a composition I liked and began adhering. Well, needless to say, one bookmark later, and I didn't like it! It wasn't what I envisioned at all. I found myself lost without the ability to use my computer to print off images, type up text and I thought about some possible solutions, so back to the drawing board I go... Thankfully, I have a week or two to get it right! So, should you see a muse out there, please send her home, I miss her dearly!

Recent Happenings....

Hello! It's been awhile since I last updated but there's been a lot of things happening and going on all at once... discussions and planning for our upcoming wedding, obstacles and challenges to be faced and dealt with, possibilities to be discussed further and, last but not least, some changes to be made...

Originally, Don and I were going to host our wedding ceremony and reception in the home of our good friends, Dennis and Sheila. We thought we'd decorate their basement into this magical Winter Wonderland using the Christmas decor that both Sheila and I already own, purchasing a little for decorating, say our "I Do's", celebrate with family and friends... it all sounded so perfect until we began discussing things further.

The first obstacle, the basement... not the basement itself for I assure you it's huge and beautiful with the walk out doors on the side of a hill, surrounded on one side by a stone wall with a large stone stairway, beautiful scenery leading out to the slooping hillside leading down to the creek below, a beautiful brick fireplace... but the problem arrived when we began considering the needs of our guests. Both my parents and Don's mom are elderly and there's a stairway leading downstairs... maybe not the best thing for either of them to navigate safely, so we began discussing other options. Having the wedding upstairs and the reception downstairs, being married in a church then returning to at Sheila and Dennis' home for the reception , having both the ceremony and the reception elsewhere, and determing where to have it, and the options available to us.

The second obstacle, would be most of my Christmas decor would be elsewhere during the Christmas season. I so love decorating and enjoying our home during that time of year., and if we had it elsewhere, we wouldn't be able to set up and take down Christmas trees in the time alloted to us so the Winter Wonderland theme would either have to be tone down on a much smaller scale or replaced with another.

So, we did some brainstorming, considering other options, and somehow things seemed to snowballing from having the small wedding and reception that Don and I desire into this huge thing of whatever, that never seemed to stop growing! Everything from where to hold the event, to the guestlist, the food and beverages we'd have served, the entertainment we'd provide became bigger, and bigger, and more complicated. The biggest problem was that although everything we discussed began sounding really lovely, the more we discussed it, the more overwhelmed I began feeling. I felt that somewhere along the way, we seemed to be losing sight of what we truly desired, a small, intimate gathering of close family and friends, and determing a place where we could have the actual wedding ceremony and reception.

So, Don and I took another closer look at our guestlist. Do you remember that we made two? One for those who MUST attend and another for those who we DESIRE and LOVE to have attend? Well, needless to say, the MUST attend list is a shorter one. It includes our parents, our children and their families, and Don's best friend, Jim and his wife, Rosella; my best friend Sheila and her husband, Dennis. That is it! Simple, uncomplicated, managable... exactly what we both want during this time of our lives! I'm not entirely certain where we began loosing sight of that, but we did, and it was like we were on a runaway train that we were waiting for it to jump off the track.

So, our solution and final decision after much discussion, is to have our wedding ceremony and reception here, in our own home, surrounded by the people and things we love dearly. A small, intimate, and more true to ourselves gathering that accomodates our wishes, and desires. Simple and not too elaborate. Sheila and I can still create and decorate for the Winter Wanderland theme, fill our home with love, warmth, family and friends, good food and good wine and the ambience can continue right into the Christmas season for all of us to enjoy! This is exactly what will make both of us happy, simple times, simple things, and simply being and becoming US! with those that matter the most to us close to our hearts and hands.