Monday, December 27, 2010

Year round chargers

I don't know about you but sometimes, I just have to CRAFT! 
I picked up these bright, plastic chargers at Old Time Pottery for $1 each.  They would be a perfect base for some crafting.  First, I wadded and then flattened some white tissue paper.   I used Mod Podge to apply it over the gold.
 After that dried, I glazed with some dark brown acrylic.
 Then came the fun of decorating each one uniquely.  I LOVE these papers by Jim Holtz...very vintage-y.
 I used the cricut to add our monogram.  Then I followed up with a couple of coats of polycrylic.
These turned out pretty good and they are much more interesting than our placemats were.  They were not a big investment and I had so much fun making them.  Only problem is that now my dishes don't quite measure up.  This will likely increase the total cost of the project.  (chuckle)  We also discovered a side bonus...they hold paper plates nicely when we are being bums in front of the TV. 

I am looking forward to more sewing and creating and decorating and entertaining in the new year. 
How about you?   Blessings to you and yours.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

"Merry Christmas"

Instead of a wreath on my front door (which my husband tangles with every time he comes in the house) I decoupaged some old Christmas cards around a beautiful picture.  I used the insides of the cards with personal signatures and messages.  This is a lovely way to remember some who are no longer with us.  A cricut made the letters easy.  
From my front door to yours, I wish you the most blessed Christmas season!  Take a moment to reflect on the most wonderful meaning of the season.  "For God so loved the world that he gave his only son, that whoever believed in him would not perish but have eternal life."  John 3:16
Blessings to you and yours!

Monday, December 13, 2010

A simpler Christmas!

 I am keeping it much simpler this year than I have in the past.  No Elf craziness like last year!  Be sure to check it out.
 I added a burlap garland to our tree this year.  I cut strips of burlap, frayed the edges and stamped the words to our favorite Christmas tunes all along the strips.  I used white acrylic paint and large foam stamps.  Usually, I have many strands of the red wood beads and this year I doubled them and draped them.
On my china cabinet, I put the middle size tall, skinny tree with white lights and vintage ornaments in front of a mirror.  My favorite shiny brights and santas are all grouped in this vignette.
I am going to hold my breath a few more days to add some fresh cedar and pine boughs.  And I'll kick in the cookie baking in a few days.  How are you treasuring the season?

Sunday, December 12, 2010

What you missed at our craft booth

 For the first time, I decided to have a craft booth at a couple of my favorite shows of the season.  I was able to sweet talk my mom into helping.  She made these awesome hand painted signs and was a wonderful buddy/encourager for the days.
 As you can see, we had a wide variety of "stuff" and actually did pretty well for beginners.
 This is my most recent collage, titled "His hand is on the sparrow".  I made a several cloche displays and they were well liked.
Our displays were mainly louvered closet doors in various applications.  Kinda shabby chic. 
We had a good experience with the whole thing.  Our products were well liked and Mama had several orders for custom signs.  We will definitely continue to do this stuff.
I have been checking in on my favorite blogs but, as you probably noticed, I have not posted.  Wow, all this actual "doing" of the crafts takes a lot of time!  Check back soon for some of my own Christmas decorations.

Friday, November 5, 2010

My "Spot" continues to evolve

Remember the red chaise I finished earlier this year?  It looked rather lonesome in the corner with nothing to hug it.  Honestly, I wasn't really drawn to the spot.  My junking mentor, my mom, found the old door.  I grabbed these bifold closet doors off the roadside.  The lamp is one of those "touchy" things and so far it isn't possessed (coming on by itself-bad experience with that technology).  I found it at a yard sale.  The most expensive part of the door screen is the lamp shade at $6.99.  I got a piano bench to fit between the door and the chaise to hold my cup and my books.    
It is a really quiet spot to get away from the media and really cozy.  How about you?  Do you have a "spot" that hugs you?


Friday, October 8, 2010

Hot Date = Trash Can

My darling husband called one day and says how about a date tonight?  Awww...
I suggested, how about a project together instead?
We didn't really have a plan, but there was a need.  Our trashcan was cracked, country blue, no lid (inviting the cat to rummage) and not pleasant.  We used cabinet door panels that I "just happened to have" and odds and ends lumber from the scrap pile.  There was no arguing and we had a good time accomplishing something together.  Fun!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

A sweater slipcover?

I am cheap.  Yep, I look for creative ways to make our house comfortable ...on the cheap.  I longed for a comfortable spot to put my feet up by the fire.  Enter a one dollar garage sale hassock.  That's what we call them in the south.  And one large sweater from Goodwill.
 I pulled the sweater inside out, over the hassock and carefully tailored it to fit (not really, stretchy is very forgiving.)  I went around the bottom with quarter inch elastic so it comes off easily.
 So, here is the finished project.  Very cozy and the cat loves it.  I used the leftover arms to make some more stuffed pumpkins. 
Have a lovely fall day!  Blessings.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Fall is in the air

One of my most favorite things to do for entertainment is to play with my pretty things.  These items are usually meaningful.  This old UT Vols radio was my dad's in college.  The carved bird was a gift I got for my husband when we were dating.  And the amber glass was purchased on a trip with my mom and it has acorns from lovely walks with my dogs.
 I love old landscape paint-by-numbers.  And these "treasures" just feel cozy to me.  
 This bell jar is placed on a solid walnut pedestal my husband turned for me.  I am going to have a lot of fun with the little vignettes to place under glass.  I made the pumpkin out of the sleeves of a sweater left from another project.  It won't spoil!
Last night we hosted a wienie roast for my mom's milestone birthday.  We had chili with all the fixin's too.  It is definitely that time of year.  We are starting to see some color change on the trees here in Middle Tn, too.  Ah, fall is in the air!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

YOUR style

Just have to share a couple of comments I heard this week on decorating:

"Do you think my ----- is dated?"

"I am not really comfortable because I am afraid I will mess up something."

"It feels like a magazine in your house."

"I love to look at all the interesting things around here."

Here's my decorating philosophy: If "it" (color, furniture, art, arrangement) brings beauty and function to your life, relax and enjoy it. If you are hanging onto "it" due to obligation or indecisiveness, get help to settle your space to more reflect yourself. The only time to really be concerned with what is "on trend" would be if you are trying to sell your home. That would be the time to back off on your own decorating personality to help the potential buyers see how they could live in the space. It is usually helpful to bring in a friend or professional to help you see your home's potential. You know what they say about another pair of eyes...

Have fun in YOUR home, in YOUR style.


Thursday, September 2, 2010

Door to Daybed

My son has moved into his own apartment. What a milestone for all of us! One concern was in furnishing it as inexpensively as possible. We decided to build a daybed for more seating and also sleeping. We are talking a studio apartment.
The actual build was very basic. The inspiration was to use this old door as the back. (I have had that door about 10 years, waiting for this exact moment in time, LOL.)
We started by sanding it a bit and then spray painted patches in the room colors. If I had it to do over, I would spray larger patches so they aren't so hard to find.

We painted two coats over the whole thing with Rustoleum's dark brown flat. After it was really good and dry, we sanded through the brown to expose the colors and some patches of the base color. All this was topped with a clear coat. I just happened to have some striped fabric to cover pillows and scored with this comforter at Goodwill for $3.99. We are pretty thrilled with the outcome.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Honeybees in my house!

So, one morning I was just hanging out with my BFF in our bonus room and we noticed the shadow of bugs swarming just outside the window. After much concern and observation, I called a beekeeper to confirm that is was honeybees who had made their home in mine. ^ I am allergic to bee stings.^ Calls to exterminators were futile since bees are protected in TN. Most good ole boys who do siding didn't want to shimmy up 20ft to tangle with bees. Finally, I found a siding company who would remove the siding and coordinate with a beekeeper who would retrieve the darlings. And after more calls, I found a bee suit to loan the siding guy. By now, we are into 2 months of phone calls and honey making.

Siding removed and saved, and ladders and walk board on loan, the beekeeper removed the chipboard to find that the bees were NOT under the siding but behind the bricks. Note that the guts of our home are VERY exposed. Mr. Beekeeper could not remove the bees from behind the bricks and said we would have to exterminate them. (This makes me sad, understanding that our bee population is so vital, but he did say the hive was very small. He encouraged this operation at this time so they had a chance to survive the relocation.)

It was challenging to find an exterminator to get rid of the bees. My house was hanging open for almost 3 weeks. See the trampoline under the walk board? That was my mother-in-law's brilliant idea for when I shimmied up the ladder to spray the bees myself-just in case I fell. In doing the math, at my weight, from that height, I still would have eaten concrete. What a hilarious operation it was just moving the trampoline into position! With unceasing and fervent prayer, no one was injured in this project!

Finally, the approach to the hive was through my craft room closet. (You know what a packed hot mess that must have been!)

Hopefully, it is done for now. I have seen horrible photos and read horrible stories online. I don't know what will happen with bees in the future but I am so relieved our house is sealed up and done for now! What an ordeal!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

"To the Crownless King"

Things have definitely not been boring around here! Although it has been awhile since I posted, I have been very busy. Almost everyday has involved a "project" and I will share many over the next few weeks. I have spent a lot of time preparing furniture pieces for my son's first apartment. Surely you remember those days when you are so excited to be in your own place and you want things to look great AND on the cheap. He really does have a sense of style!

In the meantime, I made this art project with the inspiration of the quote:
"All that is gold does not glitter, not all those who wander are lost; the old that is strong does not wither, deep roots are not reached by the frost. From the ashes a fire shall be woken, a light from the shadows shall spring; renewed shall be blade that was broken, the crownless again shall be king." JRR Tolkien, The Hobbit.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Birthday Banner

Recently, I went to visit my daughter for a birthday celebration...on the road! I took a pretty cake plate and candles for the purchased treat and a fun birthday banner.
To start, I bought a regular "Happy Birthday" banner at Hobby Lobby and I took it apart. Needlenose pliers made it easy to pull apart the rivets. Then I used spray adhesive to apply the letters to pretty scrapbook papers (which coordinated with the cake stand and napkins).

After I cut them out, I used regular craft paint to edge the letters and minimize the tabs. I punched holes and used some ribbon on hand to restring the letters.
I am pretty happy with the result and I will definitely do this again, just to have on hand.
As simple as can be, but it was my "craft fix" for the day, and I think it made her smile.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Bloom where you are planted

I love zinnias. With one small packet I have several cut flowers for small bouquets through the summer. This year I scattered three packets in carefully prepared areas in our front flower beds. They fill in the gaps between perennials and flowering bushes. An area I did not plant was amongst the sidewalk pavers, not even close. These beauties came up on their own and are actually thriving, with lovely red, pink and peach colored blooms. We have to notice them each time we walk by so as not to disturb them.
As he walked by them this morning on his way out, my wonderful husband suggested I blog about these flowers. Several words come to mind when I consider their situation...
Courage -because they are not sticking with the predictable path of their contemporaries.
Determination -speaks to their strength in a difficult situation.
Beauty -in their vigor and lively colors.
Contentment -as they are being what they were created to be in this moment.

"I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether wll fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength." Phil 4:12-13

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Friends, it's been a while...

It has been quite an eventful month for me! I went with a team from our church on a medical mission to Haiti. Our objective was to assess the kids at the orphanage sponsored by our church and then to open the "clinic" to the local community.

This is just one of 300 photos I took on the trip. Here are a few of my impressions:
1. God is strong when we are weak...and He has not forgotten Haiti. The worship service was lovely. Familiar hymns were sung and the people were praising!
2. The people are gracious and grateful. Our clinic offered free treatment of those things we could fix in our brief visit. Even children who waited with parents were well behaved and all were patient.
3. Although Haiti is the poorest country in the western hemisphere, the people are mostly happy. They seem to have learned to live in the "now" rather than worrying about yesterday and tomorrow.
4. Basic infrastructure issues seem to keep the people in this poverty. Water filtration and waste disposal would go a long way in helping their overall health.
5. They are real people with real love and concern for their families. Moms would wait for hours to get care for children; teens brought grandparents; most were dressed in Sunday best, even if they walked quite a distance to be seen.

Too often I have seen the news of another disaster on TV, been saddened by the images, purposefully prayed for their plight. Eventually, I have moved on to the concerns of my own world, relatively safe but narrow. My motto since deciding to go on this mission has been that "I am weak, He is strong." I don't have experience in field medicine (again only the safety of bedside nursing in a major teaching hospital) so I was very light on the value added component for the team. I was totally out of control for this entire mission and it was quite freeing. Each of us were on this team by a Divine plan. We were privileged to have briefly touched their bodies, while they touched our hearts. I have new compassion for all His people...

I would encourage everyone to watch for opportunities for God to grow you. Be warned, it will mean stepping out of your comfort zone!


Wednesday, June 9, 2010

In Pursuit of His Heart

"Trust in the Lord and do good;
dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.
Delight yourself in the Lord
and he will give you the desires of your heart."
Psalm 37:3-4
My friend and I spent several days at the beach (before the oil arrived). This photo was taken shortly after sunrise, while walking the beach and appreciating His Glory. Unlike most vacationers, we chose to drink plenty of water, to eat healthy, and to exercise plenty. I've come home refreshed and hopeful.
We are in pursuit of His heart.

Monday, June 7, 2010

A touch of red-bedroom

I have said many times that my favorite color is red. I admit that this chaise is a huge blast of bold print and color. Certainly, too much is less than calming.
I put just a few touches on the other side of the room. I added the cardinal on the limb to the collage and just happened to have some crocheted trim for the pillow.
I guess it is enough for now. Aren't all homes in continuous growth and change? Never boring!
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Sunday, May 23, 2010

Hill vs. Mountain

I was thinking about hills this morning. I live in middle Tennessee where there are many lovely rolling hills ... green pastures, trees, an occasional red barn. As you go east in our wonderful state, you see the Smoky Mountains in the distance. The Smokies are a favorite destination in our state. From the top of Clingmans Dome, you can see for 100 miles on a clear day. Of course, that is after quite a stenuous hike.

I have heard "You have to know which hill is worth dying on." This is really good advice in relationships and wars. Is is really worth the drama and ruckus to fight about which direction the toilet paper comes off the holder? To some people that is a hill. Some true hills that need to be explored early in a relationship are money and parenting. Each person needs to define their position on the hill before continuing the hike. You have to know where you stand. And hopefully, being rolling hills, you will win some and lose some and compromise some. That is knowing which hill is worth dying on. That is the give and take of relationships.

What if, after a long, long hike, climbing many hills, you reach the top to find the whole journey has been a terraced mountain after all? Sadly, you find that you didn't understand the hill or the destination. First, do what any good general would do...fall back and regroup. Pray for divine intervention. Rest and then journey forth with new definition.


Friday, May 14, 2010


Finally, the last of the Fruits of the Spirit, is Self-Control. How many times have I started a diet, doing all the things I am supposed to, including exercise, only to be de-railed by an argument? How many times have I prayed that I would guard my tongue, only to cut someone off at the knees without meaning to? Oh, my, self-control is a desirable fruit.

Thankfully, self-control is about more than my own will-power. Each person has, relationship, influence, emotions. By defining and protecting these boundaries, you are exercising self-control. When there is a hole in this wall, we react. A healthy person will monitor these walls and evaluate those reactions. This is healthy thinking. First, patch one hole at a time. Second, cultivate relationships with those who have the discipline you want. "It's hard to soar like an eagle when you are surrounded by turkeys." Finally, reward yourself with good things. My husband says I need to pay attention to what is really good for maybe the pound size bag of M&Ms would not be really good for me.

Again, we have to remember and believe, that these fruits are grown in us by God. An apple doesn't choose to be red or sweet. It is by being connected to the tree that nutrients reach the apple to make it the fruit we all love. It is by being in relationship with our Creator that He can grow these fruits in us.


Tuesday, May 11, 2010


Nope, this is not a post about the Clampetts. It seems appropriate to come to this Fruit of the Spirit near Mother's Day. I am talking about gentleness. I have heard it said that "gentleness is great strength under great control". Moms can probably identify with that as the little ones are circling while you are on the phone or asking for something while you need a moment in the bathroom or when your child survives a potentially tragic bike accident. I can say it doesn't change as they get older and leave the nest.

Elisa Morgan, in Naked Fruit, describes it this way: "Being yielded to God's desires means letting go of mine. When we admit that we don't really get to choose what will happen or not happen to our children or who they will or won't become, we recognize that what we're investing in their young days has an ending point. Eventually they will gather up the heap of stuff we've offered over the years, throw it into the trunks of their cars, and head off on their own. They might purpose to grow a life that matters-themselves-or they might not. And we don't get to choose. They do."

God has that great strength and we have to rest in the trust that He loves us. We can know that "in all things God works for the good of those who love him." We can yield.


Friday, May 7, 2010


This is Polka. She got her name at the rescue shelter where my daughter found her. At 10 weeks she was just 3 1/2 pounds and today she is more like 33 pounds. She has grown in size and in our hearts. These days she is my shadow. When I put something in the sink, she follows me. When I put something in the hamper, she follows me to my closet. While I make my bed, she stands there waiting for me to get finished. And yes, when I go to the bathroom, she is waiting for me to get out. To me, Polka is the picture of faithfulness in body.

This seventh Fruit of the Spirit is faithfulness. It speaks to our faithfulness to God and to each other. He grows this fruit in us when we are in relationship with Him. How do you do that? You seek Him sooner rather than later when you are facing a crisis; you give thanks to Him when you see how blessed you are; you talk to Him about all the little and big concerns on your heart.
In our everyday dealings, we need to be faithful to our values and to our commitments. Let your "yes" be your "yes" and your "no", your "no". Be a person of integrity. This is faithfulness to each other.
Faithfulness is a core characteristic of God. He will never leave or forsake His children. He wants a relationship.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Tweaking a common bedspread

We have a king size bed with a pillow top mattress. This has always posed a challenge for me when it comes to a comforter that would cover the sheets. I know many tuck their comforters but that is just more trouble than I am willing to commit to on a daily basis. Finally, I settled on this relatively common mattelaise (sp?) spread. I wasn't thrilled with the scalloped edging.
So here is what I did about it: I added a neutral border. It is a tan basket weave print that will do for now.Moral of the story: Be willing to look beyond the obvious that is in front of you. You probably could put your personal stamp on it and it would be special.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Kindness and Goodness

Number five and six in the list of Fruits of the Spirit are kindness and goodness. It seems proper to discuss these together because, in my opinion, one is the result of the other. Naked Fruit identifies kindness as an action, and goodness as the cause of that action. Because goodness comes from within, our actions speak of our heart. Kindness is the hands-on version of loving on others. With goodness in our heart, we are motivated to call a lonely widow, to offer words of encouragement to those struggling, to provide meals to a family who is grieving...the list of possibilities to show kindness is unlimited.

Too often, we find ourselves drained by the "stuff" imposed by our culture and we don't have the time/energy to show the kindness. I think this is one way we come up short on the Fruit of goodness. We need to keep our hearts tender to the concerns of others, ie. goodness. We need to allow others to come alongside us, ie. receive kindness, so that we can pass it on.
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Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Beautiful Blog Award

Doesn't this make for a lovely day!

Here are the rules:

1. Thank the person who nominated you for this award and link to their blog.

I am so honored to have been granted this Beautiful Blog Award by ArtsyFartsy Shopaholic. A huge THANK YOU to this lovely, classy woman. AFS has such good taste and a real talent for hospitality.

2. Pass the award on to 7 other bloggers who have a beautiful blog.

Here are my picks:

A. Artsy Fartsy Shopaholic...she has such style. Be sure to check out her posts on Create My Event on Fridays. Very clever!

B. Under the Table and Dreaming...lots of creative ideas for all ages and styles.

C. The Little Red Shop...I just love her artistic, cottage-y style and the music is a nice touch. Hope her Peep gets better.

D. Transforming a busy mom of three boys, she still has the heart and creativity for some really great decorating ideas for real life.

E. My Yellow House...she has chosen a simpler life style that emphasizes the beauty in everyday life.

F. Three Dogs at Home...She says, "Dogs don't go to college." I can't help but have a soft spot for someone who loves dogs. I find myself in a similar stage in life.
G. Rare and Beautiful Treasures...just a beautiful site in word, spirit, attitude and eye candy.

3. Contact the other bloggers and let them know they won.


4. Post 7 things about yourself.

a. Well, I am an empty nester who has lots of creative time on her hands. Hence, the blog.

b. I have been a Registered Nurse for 26 years, mostly High Risk OB.

c. Hopefully, my next career will be as a decorator. I recently became certified in redesign and staging.

d. I have over 35 hours of flight training, including a solo flight across three states.

e. I love power tools and am not afraid of trying to do any DIY, including installing hardwood floors and repairing the dishwasher.

f. I am a child of God; I have to frequently plop this lump of clay back on the Potters Wheel.
g. I am really technology challenged and this is a stretch for me.

Friday, April 23, 2010


I enjoyed a lovely Saturday morning exploring a local farm, especially their wildflowers. I took this photo of a stump that had been turned upside down because it looks very "artistic". Sometimes just looking at something, or a situation, or another person, from a different angle will help us see their beauty. Often we don't have the luxury of time to learn about the roots of the situation or how we got to this point. We need to exercise patience to really love that person. I know that I rarely have any idea what made that clerk rude or that speeding car cut me off or the string of events that led to such a snarky comment. When we remember that our Creator has such patience with us and all our missteps, it is only fair to pass this grace on to others. Patience is loving the unlovely, again and again.
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Thursday, April 15, 2010

Recipe: Crunchy Asian Salad

Occasionally I will pick up one of those little recipe books at the checkout line in the grocery store. I am really enjoying this one: "Simple Healthy Meals by Betty Crocker." My family and I have really enjoyed everything I have tried out of this magazine. Here's one we had recently:

Healthified Crunchy Asian Salad
1/3 cup canola oil
1/3 cup rice vinegar
3 tablespoons sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper

1 package (3oz) ramen noodles, any flavor
1 bag (16oz) coleslaw mix (shredded cabbage and carrots)
8 medium green onions, sliced (1/2 cup)
1/2 cup sliced almonds
1 medium red bell pepper, cut into 1x1/8 strips
2 seedless oranges, peeled, coarsely chopped
2 cups baby spinach, coarsely chopped

1. In large bowl, beat dressing ingredients with whisk until sugar is dissolved.
2. Break up noodles in bag, discard seasoning pkt. Add noodles and all remaining ingredients except oranges and spinach, to dressing, toss to coat. Stir in oranges and spinach (gently).
Note: The noodles do not stay crunchy very long, but leftovers are still delicious.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010


Third on the list of the Fruits of the Spirit is peace. A peaceful Saturday morning might look like an extra hour or two of sleep followed by an excellent cup of coffee with a good book, all still in pjs. It would seem that "the moons lined up" for a peaceful morning. True peace is really less about ideal activities and more about contentment with your reality. Peace is possible when you are resting in relationship with God. In this relationship, there is calm confidence, i.e. peace, in each turn of the path.

I am reading a wonderful book called Naked Fruit by Elisa Morgan. I don't know anyone who doesn't want more love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Luckily these fruits are produced by the Gardener, God.


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Next on the list of the Fruits of the Spirit is joy. Of all the characteristics listed, I want more of this one especially. Joy is so much more than that warm feeling when you get a present or when the dinner was (not burnt) good. It is so often confused with happiness, the root of which is hap which means chance. Happiness is a fleeting emotion that "happens" based on chance. Do you know someone who seems to be emotionally up and down like a roller-coaster, usually due to unpredictable circumstances. Joy is based on your confidence in God. In fact, it is a statement of how big you think God is in your life. Just as these wildflowers are blooming in the middle of decay, a life anchored in God can be joyful.
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