Friday, November 15, 2013

Zip It!

This past weekend, I packed my bags and headed to sunny California. Pasadena, to be exact.  The reason?  Debbie Murray and Shea Fragoso's yearly event at the Langham Hotel... Spellbound!

Even the mention of the name makes me start to swoon remembering how we all were enveloped in glitz and baubles and bling - oh, my!  Sharing five days of old friendships and new; shopping geared towards our creative natures; and crafting with all of us taking classes with amazing teachers.  

At these events, attendees are given an opportunity to participate in a swap.  I always try to partake in one as it affords me a chance to get my creative juices flowing.  I have a deadline in which I must  complete a project with specific guidelines to follow, leaving me no opportunity to veer off-course into indecisiveness.  Now that's a good thing, in my case!  This year, I chose to join Sue Elseth's, Textile Treasures Zip Bag swap. Seven bags for seven women.  Seven unique versions of a zippered bag.  Seven bags filled with
goodies that you felt each person would love to receive.  Wow!  See what I ended up with!!  

There were pink bags.....

There were white bags.....

There was a brown bag.....

There was a blue bag...

.. with vintage lace sewn all the way around the back......

And what did the ladies tuck inside?  Buttons, candy, a votive candle in a sweet tin, ephemera, laces, lip gloss, hand sanitizers, and packets of cookies.  I was so very tickled with each and every one!

So, you wonder what I created?  Here are mine.....

Shell pink silk pleated bags with a band of vintage printed fabric. Each one embellished with vintage laces and bling.  Tucked inside mine were...

.. laces wrapped around mini wooden clothespins secured with a button and twine.  Packets of old buttons.

Two small charlottes inside a brown craft paper envelope, tied with string and a single vintage, velvet posy placed on top.  Oh!  And of course, a sweet which was a snack sized peppermint patty.. my fav!

Did I mention that our hostess also sewed an extra bag from vintage fabric so all of us would have a way to hold all our treasures?? Unbelievable!  But that is what you find at Spellbound.  The unbelievable generosity of women!  Unbridled creativity displayed in so many different ways!  And tons of smiles and hugs to last you until next year!  Let's see.... that's how many days until then??!!

Monday, October 14, 2013


                      Look out any window
                      Look out any open door
                      Look out any window
        See what's going on in the air around you.

                       Lyrics to "Look Out Any Window
                                               B.R. Hornsby/John Hornsby 

 Flying down a country road, a blur of bright colors mashed together.  It caught my eye.  A sharp contrast to the dusty, muted tones of harvest fields.  Dried corn and bean crops with farmers in the midst of harvest, knowing the onslaught winter is breathing down their necks.   Those bright colors.  The unexpected.  Requiring me to turn around and capture this on film.  

As I'm viewing others who have submitted a photo to Kathy's Sunday "Song-ography" at You'll Shoot Your Eye Out,  I felt this one was worthy to be added.   With the lyrics to "Look Out Any Window" being the prompt, I focused on the line "look out any open door".  And here's where I am going to get a bit personal.  How many times have I felt locked in.  Trapped.  Blocked.  Seeing doors closed.  I sit and stare at them.  However, the reality is that I already am free.  It just requires seeing the possibilities.  Requiring a completely different mindset and point of view.  And that's what I see with these doors in the field.  These doors that you think require you to put your hand on the knob and turn it are already open.  The possibilities are right there.  I'm just sayin'. 

Linking up to: You'll Shoot Your Eye Out


Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Front Entrance .. Ready for Fall

When house hunting, we all have a list in our heads of what our
needs are, what our priorities are and, once we find the house that matches our expectations, we know there will be things we will want to change.  With this little cottage, we were thrilled that the kitchen had been updated. Check that off our list of needs.  It was enough room for two. Check that priority off our list! But the exterior?  It needed to be updated!

This home was built in 1907 but she didn't need to look dated.  What she needed was a makeover to become more stylin'!! The blue trim, which we found out upon closer inspection was interior wood trim, needed to go.  The gold paned insets in the glass front door needed to go.  Toss out the black metal railing and get rid of the cement steps! I needed to put my own touch on things! 

Brick steps would make a huge difference and, after choosing the one that would be just right, one with a vintage feel, the bricklayers got to work.

The railing was pitched and the cement was prepped. Ready to go!
Upon completion, this old house already stepped into the 21st century.  What a huge difference!  I had the glass man come and remove the 80's gold from between the two panes of glass on the front door.  Confession:  Because the door and side panels are 90% glass I now felt exposed without anything to distract an individual from having full view of the interior of the house.  Ok.  Time to get going on details to add as a distraction!

Urns filled with small boxwoods on either side of the front door.
Oil rubbed bronze door handle installed to replace the gold one.  

Still had the issue of what to do to block the view of the interior of the house.  Solution?  An autumnal wreath that I created with my own little hands!  Yes, the "garden club dropout" actually did this on her own!!

A trip to Hobby Lobby, with 40% off coupon in hand, and I selected the size of the grapevine wreath I wanted to use as the base.  

A trip to Michael's where I found all their autumn picks at 50% off.  Love, love, love a bargain!  Gathered a mix of textures and colors....

 .. and headed home.  The wreath was hung on the glass door using clear suction cup hooks. Done! I stepped back to admire the changes. 

I'm not sure if I will paint the front door or even what color I will choose. For now, I'm letting it all sink in.  In time this ol' girl will let me know what her "signature" color is. But for now we're both happy!!

Linking to:  Wow Us Wednesdays
             Be Inspired Tuesday 
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             Nifty Thrifty Tuesday  
             Tweak It Tuesday
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Sunday, September 22, 2013

Vintage Pink

                         Vintage pink.

                   Distressed with time.

                   A glittered banner

                   I wished were mine! 

I went over to Kathy's blog, You'll Shoot Your Eye Out  and found that this week's theme was "Pink".  You know I love vintage! Make it vintage AND pink?  And I'm in heaven!  Sprinkle it with a bit of glitz and I'm over the moon!!

Saturday, September 7, 2013


It was one of those mornings not unlike any other I had been having lately.  An errand needed.. no, demanded! ... to be accomplished before I could even had the time to wash the sleep from my eyes.  Weeks of non-stop projects working on our new cottage, plus, the addition of working on my mother-in-law's home in another state, were taking its toll. It was all becoming too much to bear.  I'm not the type to wake up joyless, but I was. 

Parked in front of the bank, waiting for it to open, waiting to tick this errand off my "to-do" list, I was feeling lackluster.  Feeling joyless, yet again, at the start of another day. 

My eyes were glazed over blankly starring straight ahead... feeling numb.  Waiting for the strength to venture in. Until the sight of a solitary man passed by.  He was dressed crisply in freshly pressed khaki pants and a short-sleeved, summer-white, button-down shirt with hair neatly combed back.  "Fresh as a daisy", my grandmother would have said.  I marveled at how he could pull himself together at such an early hour.  I also marveled at how his hobbling along, at a measured pace, cane in hand, didn't deny him the ability to put a peaceful expression on his face.. undeterred by a disability.  My eyes became focused.

Someone was speaking to me.

As I entered the main lobby of the bank, this gentleman was in
front of the only teller, tending to his financial business.  I slipped into a chair, glad for the chance to just sit, waiting for my turn. Hoping he would take his time.  Picking up the local paper, my eyes perused the news.  That is until a strong, male voice took over my senses.

"Beautiful morning, isn't it?"  as his voice boomed out.

The teller responded with the obligatory "Yes".

"And you know what we say?"  Not waiting for the teller to respond again, he continued on.

"We say "thank you"!  Thank you, God, for this gift!  This beautiful gift You've given us!  This gift that You have given us so that we may do great things today.  Help me make the best of this day so that I may honor You."

I didn't hear a word in response.  Perhaps the teller was taken aback.  Perhaps just a simple smile was all that she felt was needed. I really don't know. 

With that small bit of advice given to those within earshot, he turned around, and with cane in hand he hobbled back out the door.

Sitting there, I had taken in each word.  
I had been given a message.
And I heard it loud and clear!

Linking with:  You'll Shoot Your Eye Out

Saturday, August 17, 2013

It's Gonna Be A Bright Sunshiny Day!

Whack A Mole!!  Remember playing that game at the state fair?  It's the one where you pay to beat the heck out of those darn critters popping out of their holes.  Easy game, right?  Certainly seems easier than tossing a ring on a fish bowl.  Or shooting hoops with a basketball slightly larger than the diameter of the rim (they failed to mention that little detail).  Yup... should be a piece of cake!  Handing over your money, with a slightly cocky smirk, you brace yourself for the bell to ring indicating "game on"!  There's the first one!  With a large, plush mallet gripped tightly in your hand, you hit the mole so that he retreats back into his hole. One down.  Oops.. there's another.. and another.. and another!  They're popping up all over and in rapid succession!  And hitting has now turned into smashing!  Your smirk has given way to a deeply furrowed brow set with a mix of determination and frustration because you haven't been able to get every one.  Another sounding bell and game over.  Try as you might, you found this game wasn't as easy as you thought it would be.

And that, dear friends, is life!  Right now I am playing my own version of Whack A Mole... trying to handle a million things at once, hoping to eliminate each one with expediency.  It's the reason why it's been eleven days since I last posted anything.  I feel bad about that.  So, I'm sending out a river of sunflowers to you.  To thank you for your patience!  To thank you for following me! To thank you for being my ray of sunshine!

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

It Started With Paint

I was flip-flopping.  Before moving in, the cornflower blue walls in the guest bedroom were just not going to work.  I'm not a "blue" person.. at least not that particular shade.  However, with boxes unpacked and the room starting to take shape, that cornflower blue was growing on me. I was making friends with it.  Well, long story short?  Some friendships just don't get beyond a nod "hello"!

Out came the paint brushes and a fresh can of Benjamin Moore, White Cloud.  I was going to take a leap of faith and try creating a soothing palate of neutrals throughout the house.  And the guest bedroom would be my first foray into creating a home void of strong colors. 

I wanted to embrace a softer ambiance... one that would work well with accessories such as this Anthropologie ruffled comforter.  In my eyes, strong color on the walls would only fight with this softer look.

The fireplace mantel that I painted and distressed would find a home here in this room, also.  Along with other pieces I did a makeover on.

Did you notice the bed frame in the first two photos?  It was my grandmother's mahogany twin bed.  Yes, you do have to say "mahogany twin bed" as grandmother was always proud of the quality of her possessions.  Tickles me to say the string of descriptive words many years after she has passed!  But I think she's beaming up there knowing that someone still appreciates her things!  Anyway, I wanted to bring it up to date by painting it Annie Sloan's French Linen.

Annie Sloan's, Old White, was dry brushed on the detailing really making it pop!

I love how this room is coming together!  It's so soothing and I'm pleased that I took that leap of faith into a world of neutrals.  And how does the whole room look?  Not done yet.  Just a few more details and I will give you the grand tour of this darling, little cottage room!   

Linking To... Blissful Whites Wednesday
              Wow Us Wednesday 
              Be Inspired Tuesday
              What We Accomplished Wednesday 
              Tutorials Tips and Tidbits
              Creative Things Thursday 
              Feathered Nest Friday  
              Be Inspired Friday
              Simple Sweet Fridays