Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Wordless Wednesday

It's been very springlike the last two weeks. I hope it doesn't turn to this again, but it is still winter.
Have a great day!

Friday, February 24, 2017

Photo A Day Challenge

A couple of years ago, I discovered a photo a day challenge from Chantelle of Fat Mum Slim. I tried it for a couple of months but couldn't keep up on a daily basis. However, I enjoyed seeing the pictures everyone else posted each day on Facebook and Instagram.

On the first of January this year, I decided to try it again. I'm already finding it difficult to keep up daily and have missed a handful of days. On the days I wasn't inspired or didn't have time, I would go to the archives and find a photo for the prompt. I don't like making a commitment and not being able to keep it, even if the commitment was just to myself.

Chantelle posts the daily prompts a month at a time. I'm thinking I'll do this as a photo a week challenge. I can pick a prompt that interests me from each week and not feel stressed or pressured to come up with something creative every day. I'm always working on improving my photography and this challenge helps with that, which is why I'm not ready to completely give it up.

Here are a few of the pictures so far.

Photo prompt: Circle...this was looking up through a basketball hoop

Prompt: Time...time to play in the first snow of the season

Photo prompt: Path...from our trip to Denver in fall of 2015

Photo prompt: Where I Sleep

Thanks for stopping by and have a wonderful weekend!

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Lace and Fabric Book

I've been collecting vintage lace for many years. I can't resist it, and on the rare occasion that I do resist, I always regret it. And it's not just lace, but also doilies, trims and ribbons. They just beg to be reused and made into something new and pretty and feminine. Something I've always wanted to do is make a lace collage but didn't know how to go about it. I have a Pinterest board that I look at daily for inspiration.

Last summer, Suzy from Suziqu's Threadworks, offered a discount on her lace book making workshop. I have followed her blog and admired her work for such a long time. I didn't hesitate to sign up for the online workshop and learn from the best.

Usually, you see the lace collages with old pictures of women or children from different eras. I chose a flower theme. The images I used came out looking bright and new, so I used distressing ink to age them. That was something I had never done before, but I liked the way they turned out. There were many "firsts" with this project!

The next step was choosing the lace and fabric to arrange around the photo. This was quite the process for me. It was very time consuming, sometimes taking days to get just the right lace together. I was surprised to find that all laces don't necessarily look good together. There was a lot of auditioning of lace, fabric and trim. I found it annoying at first, but by the end I was really enjoying coming up with different looks.

When I had the page looking the way I wanted it, it was time to sew and glue it together. Then it was time to audition the embellishments. That was fun! I used vintage buttons, scrapbooking flowers, and little bows.

The journal pages were fun too. I chose a flower quote for each one that I distressed the same way as the photos. And of course there is some lace on each page.

All the pages are done. The only thing left to do is make the cover and back and then bind it together. I'll finish it eventually. I'm so happy to have gotten this far and look forward to doing more of the lace collages. I think it was more enjoyable and satisfying than anything I've done in a very long time.

Have you attempted anything new recently?

Continuing my thankful list
     ~ creative fulfillment
     ~ springlike weather
     ~ cinnamon orange tea with cream ~ tastes like a creamsicle
     ~ aha moments when something clicks


Tuesday, February 14, 2017

It's Been A While

Patuxent River

Chesapeake Bay

Thomas Johnson Bridge ~ Patuxent River

How I have missed this space. The last few months have been a struggle in so many areas of my life that I just didn't have the desire or energy to keep up with it anymore. It had become just one more thing to do. 

I started this blog in 2009. I had no idea what I was doing. I had opened my Etsy shop and my daughter suggested blogging as a way to get my name and handmade items out there. It never occurred to me that I would enjoy it so much. Blogging has sure changed since then. Most of the bloggers I followed have either quit blogging altogether or moved on to social media. I get it that it's quicker to just post a picture or 140 characters and be done (I'm guilty of hanging out on Instagram and Facebook a lot), or that life just becomes too busy, or you get burned out. But I miss the connections that were made through blogging. I miss reading the trials and triumphs and getting to know people through the stories and pictures they shared. It was something special and I've truly missed it.

This is me starting over here. I have changed a lot in the last 8 years and especially in the last few months. I view life differently and I think that will show up in my posts. I hope to meet up with old blog friends and make some new ones. And if I don't, that's ok too. This is my space to journal my days and express myself through photos, art, and whatever else strikes my fancy!

Thank you for stopping by!

Continuing my thankful list
     ~ the calm soothing effect of the water
     ~ alone time
     ~ good wine and good chocolate...together
     ~ weekend getaways
     ~ the beauty all around

Monday, July 25, 2016


The days are quickly slipping away while I try (unsuccessfully) to stick to a routine and provide structure for Shylee.  I decided to stop trying so hard and let go of my self imposed "rules" for each day.  After all, it is summer.  And while routine and structure are good, so is being spontaneous or just being lazy for an hour.  While I may not be getting as much done as I wanted to, like blogging, I'm making memories with Shylee and that is far more important than anything else!

Continuing my thankful list
     ~ lessons learned
     ~ cool morning breezes on the porch
     ~ kind, caring, compassionate people during times of tragedy
     ~ meeting my newest great nephew for the first time
     ~ watching Shylee meet and play with cousins
     ~ gorgeous sunsets every night of the road trip
     ~ getting to see Sean and Marie in Arkansas
     ~ flowers in my mom's yard
     ~ beautiful mountain views

Friday, June 10, 2016

Thankful Thursday

 The sky had been gray and threatened rain all day long.  It was humid and sticky and my mood was as gray as the day.  To see the beautiful sunset felt like a special gift just for me.  Sometimes God answers prayers in the most unexpected ways.  Oh how thankful I am for moments like these that remind me how blessed I am and that the sun will come out eventually.

I'm also thankful this week for
     ~ vintage flea markets with wine tasting
     ~ getting chores done early so I can play
     ~ walking is getting easier
     ~ new clothes a size smaller :)
     ~ my sister's generosity
    ~ front porch sitting

What are you thankful for this week?

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Thankful Thursday

Time just gets away from me these days. It's good to be busy, but there just isn't enough time to get to everything I want to do. School ends here next week, and I'm sure Shylee will keep me busier than ever. It's been a long time since there was a younger one to keep up with for the whole summer! I'm hoping it will be fun or both of us. I'm thankful for the opportunity to make memories with her.

This week I'm also thankful for
     ~ two whole days of sunshine
     ~ purging and letting go
     ~ pretty pink flowers
     ~ everybody's improved mood - the sunshine helps
     ~ planning a road trip
     ~ discovering new passions
     ~ having flowers in the garden again
     ~ a new doctor who is on board with how I deal with diabetes

What are you thankful for this week?

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Thankful Thursday

“Oh, the comfort — the inexpressible comfort of feeling safe with a person — having neither to weigh thoughts nor measure words, but pouring them all right out, just as they are, chaff and grain together; certain that a faithful hand will take and sift them, keep what is worth keeping, and then with the breath of kindness blow the rest away.”   ― Dinah Maria Mulock CraikA Life for a Life

I discovered this quote earlier in the week, and it just put into words what I couldn't.  Everyone should have a friend they can talk to without feeling judged or made to feel like a terrible person.  I am very thankful I have a friend like that.  

The duck couple above visit us every spring.  They hang out in the neighborhood for a few days and then they're gone to wherever it is they go for the season.  They make me smile and it's just fun to see them hanging out in different yards when I drive down my street.  I'm thankful to have this experience every spring.  After all these years, I would feel like something was missing if they did't visit!

What are you thankful for this week?

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Thankful Thursday

It has been rainy and cloudy for almost three weeks now.  I need the sun.  Seriously.  The daily darkness puts me into SAD (seasonal affective disorder) mode.  It usually strikes during the winter and subsides in the spring when the sun is out more.  Except this spring, the sun has forgot to come out.  It becomes really easy for me to be negative and depressed.  I have to make myself focus on the positive and find things to be grateful for.  As I have said many times on my little blog, there is always something to be thankful for.  Always.

This week I'm thankful for:
     ~ finding out the numbness in my feet, caused by diabetes, can be reversed
     ~ my children are happy adults
     ~ a fun birthday celebration
     ~ a low carb, sugar free chocolate birthday cake that didn't spike my blood sugar!
     ~ a husband who makes me laugh
     ~ getting out of the house and junking even though I didn't find anything

     What are you thankful for this week?

Friday, May 6, 2016

Thankful Thursday

We've had two weeks of rain, chilly temperatures and overall gloomy weather.  One evening after dinner, Shylee began yelling at us to come see outside.  None of us wanted to get up at that moment, but she was adamant about us seeing the color outside the front door.  I was the first one to get up and go see, and I realized what she was excited about.  The color was an eerie yet awesome yellow and pink glow unlike anything I've ever seen before.  I got the camera but didn't really capture the fascinating color and feel of the moment.  While I was snapping away from the front porch, Shylee was yelling at us to come see the rainbow in the backyard.  I think the whole neighborhood heard her!  It's amazing how a few minutes of watching and listening to Shylee's excitement about a rainbow, turned yet another gloomy day into one of wonder and joy. I'm thankful for days like that.

I'm also thankful for:
     ~ the brief five minutes of sunshine this week
     ~ a new computer
     ~ my sewing room to escape to
     ~ a good thunderstorm
     ~ May
     ~ my Mom
     ~ being Sean's and Erin's mom
     ~ the rainbow after the storm
     ~ seeing life through the eyes of a child

What are you thankful for this week?

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Thankful Thursday

I just have to say thank you for the honest feedback and suggestions on the last post.  I appreciate it more than you know.  I'm thankful for this awesome blogging community :)

I'm also thankful for:
     ~ the comfort of an afternoon cup of tea
     ~ morning sunshine spilling through the kitchen window
     ~ saying no and not feeling guilty
     ~ not giving in to temptation (going out for ice cream)
     ~ Shylee loves having glasses
     ~ Erin wants to do the gardening
     ~ cherry blossoms
     ~ helpers in the kitchen
     ~ Purple Heart for picking up donations at the door
     ~ family dinners around the table
     ~ second grade concerts

What are you thankful for today?

Monday, April 25, 2016

The Little Pink Box

Quite some time ago, when my Etsy shop was still open, a blog friend suggested that I sell inspiration kits to make the sachets I made and sold.  The idea was intriguing, and although I didn't do anything with it at the time, it was always in the back of my mind.  Now that I'm thinking of selling again, the inspiration kits seem more and more like a good idea.

I had an idea to spruce up a small paper-mache box that I could fill with the makings for a lavender sachet.  I first painted the box in a pale pink (because you know I love pink!) and then decoupaged a sweet vintage graphic on the lid.

I thought the picture was too lonely and needed company so I added a pretty flower lace to two sides.  Since I had the lace jar out, I found a scalloped white trim to add to the sides of the lid.  It still needed something though.

That's when I added the buttons, and that's when I was happy with it!

Well, I was sort of happy with it.  There are a few things I would do different next time.  
1. I would tear the edges of the paper so it's not so straight and perfect looking.
2. I would probably put lace or fabric under the picture.  It just needs a little extra something.
3. The trim around the lid would look better if it went around the top edge instead of being centered.
4. The inside of the box is also painted but I might decoupage something inside the box just for the surprise element when it's opened.
What do you think of those ideas?

And now I have questions for you.
1. The paper-mache boxes are not perfectly shaped or smooth.  They bubbled up in some places after painting.  They are less than perfect.  Do you think this is something a customer would be upset about after seeing it in person? 
2. Is this too much time, effort, and materials to put into a 99 cent box? 
3. Am I just over thinking?

I would truly appreciate any ideas, suggestions, comments and critiques you might have.  

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Thankful Thursday

Never let a day pass without looking for the good, feeling the good within you, praising, appreciating, blessing, and feeling grateful.
Make it your life commitment, and you will stand in utter awe of what happens in your life.
~ Rhonda Byrne

There is always something to be thankful for.  This week I'm thankful for:
     ~ my alarm clock because I'm back to getting up early again!
     ~ other people's stories - so much to learn from others
     ~ I'm able to learn new things
     ~ watching the buds on the cherry tree get a little bit bigger and open a little more each day
     ~ sidewalk art

What are you thankful for today?

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Thankful Thursday

Shylee turned eight this week.  It's crazy how fast the last eight years have gone by.  But what a joy it is to watch her grow up.  She is smart and funny, dramatic, girly, creative, full of never ending energy, and she never stops talking.  I am so very thankful to be her Grandma! :)

I'm also thankful for:
     ~ being able to do things I couldn't do two years ago
     ~ Erin got a job
     ~ cold rainy mornings that turn into warm sunny afternoons
     ~ April
     ~ Shylee's latest artwork on the fridge
     ~ happy mail
What are you thankful for today?

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Lacy Inspiration

In case you didn't know, I simply love vintage and antique lace.  It's so delicate, so feminine, so beautiful, and so inspiring!  I found this lace at an antique mall for next to nothing.  I couldn't pass it up not only for the price but because I have nothing like it.  I have lots of project ideas but I'm a little bit afraid of using it.  What if I ruin it and then it's gone!?  I have to get past this fear because my muse is whispering in my ear.  If I ignore her, she might leave again!

This beautiful lace came from one of my favorite Etsy shops, Strange Notions.  Kathy, the shop owner, also included some vintage hankies, buttons, and a book of sweet embroidery transfers.  Talk about happy mail!

I'm really hoping to start on a project this week.  It's time. :)

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Thankful Thursday

It's been a productive week and I'm always thankful for that.  Just as I'm always thankful for pretty spring flowers. :)

I'm also thankful for:

     ~ all the little things I thought were lost I found
     ~ learning new techniques with the camera that worked
     ~ long conversations with my mom
     ~ finding the movie The Slipper and the Rose after 30 years and all the memories attached
     ~ a fun afternoon out with Erin
     ~ planning for an 8th birthday

What are you thankful for today?