Sometimes life hands you hard things. They may be caused by illness, financial problems, loss of a loved one, trouble at work or major disappointments. This past week I experienced a major disappointment. And it was hard. Here is my first smash journal page from this summer. It explains it all.
I was totally gutted. But after a couple of days I began to accept it. And as I sat in my studio/office I realized that I feel better when I really look at all the pretty things I have surrounded myself with. So tonight I decided to just give you a quick post with some random pictures of the prettiness I’m surrounded by.
So there you have it. A small sample of the eye candy I get to look at every day. But the biggest thing I had to lift my spirits was this assurance:
And we know that ALL things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. Romans 8:28
Royal Caribbean Lines and our travel agent were able to re-book us on the Grandeur of The Seas with the same itinerary, just later in the summer. The best part is we have been up-graded to large ocean view cabins at no extra cost. God is so good!!!
Studio/Office Redo Revealed!
Well I did it. In two weeks I converted the train wreck of a room into a functioning, cute studio/office!!! Check out my post from February 9th to see the hideous before pictures.
Now before I inundate you with a lot of after pictures I have a couple things to say.
First of all, I spent hours on Pinterest (I know, I know) looking at pictures of other peoples studios. I even created my own studio board and pinned some of these pictures. You know the ones I mean. The studios overflowing with lace and flowers and ribbons and all kinds of girly goodness. The kind that make you drool. The problem is, for a mixed media artist they are impractical. Why? Well, all I have to say is paint and glue do not go well with lace, unless it’s intentional. Most of the time I am working my fingers are covered with glue, paint, glitter or all three. Things spill, things fly, things get dripped and dropped. It’s messy is what I’m getting at (at least if you’re doing it right)!
Next are the studios with thousands of matching plastic bins lined up like soldiers, corralling art supplies neatly. This is wrong to me in so many ways I don’t even know where to start. First of all, plastic bins. Really? If you are any type of artist you can do better than that. Second of all, uniformity that stiff would definitely stifle any ounce of creativity I may have. And again, I’m not going to open 1000 plastic boxes with gluey, painty, glittery hands looking for 1 white button!!!!
So all that being said (with nary a picture to be seen) I will tell you that my studio makeover will probably not make you swoon, nor will it calm your OCD tendencies. It is however, nice to look at (at least I think so), organized in a thoughtful and useful way, and inspires my creativity. So here we go…
First I will give you a 360 degree look at the studio.
You can actually see the surface of my desk!
This is a really bad photo. But I just had to tell you that with everything else I have had to do in the last two weeks, I decided this past Thursday to make valances. It could have been easy, however, I decided to make alternating fabric valances that required 28 panels to be cut out and then sewn together. You can see them a little better in the first picture. As a side note, if you are planning a studio/office redo…buy valances!
The cupboard is nice and neat, and check out the storage underneath!
The bookshelf underwent a thoughtful rearrangement with sewing supplies on two shelves and cardboard and books on two shelves instead of everything mixed up higgly piggly.
The desk got a nice coat of white paint, as did the little shelf unit on top. The desk is also covered in frosted contact paper (see the tacks?) and can be wiped down with a wet cloth.
No real transformation here, except Valentines Day is history and shop sign that I use at shows is stored on the wall. It reminds me that when I am having fun creating, I am also at work!
This little table was added as a drying space for collages and as a photo taking space for my Etsy shop.
Now we’ll take a closer look…
All kinds of goodies ready to be “altered”!
A huge jar of scrabble tiles next to one of my favorite pictures of Adam. He was quite young and is petting a chicken at the Bowling Green Harvest Festival.
I spent 8 years of my adult life doing Isshin-ryu karate. When I look at this display it brings back many happy memories. It also reminds me, that if I could survive my black belt test (4 hours of physical and mental torture) I can survive anything, even redoing my studio!
Ahhh, my cardboard collection…and other stuff.
This 1930’s mohair monkey has a cute painted face. He is my boss. He is also holding a picture of my dear departed Wally. The music on the mirror is the hymn “It is well with my soul”. And it is.
All kinds of neat storage and not a plastic bin in sight! Why do I have salt and pepper shakers on the shelf with the rosy hatbox? They are filled with white and silver glitter of course!
What’s this? Look at all that work space. I cannot wait to get a-making.
Under the desk storage of Christmas items, laces, substrates (other than cardboard) and all kinds of artsy papers.
A reminder of why I do it.
A 1950’s vanity tray with bits and bobs.
Glass jars of buttons and beads made cute by disguising that they are actually olive jars. Hey, we love olives, what can I say?
Scissors, toothpicks, spray bottle, gel pens and a jar of pink polka dotted ribbon. Who could ask for anything more????
And last but not least. I bought this little guy for resale, but gee, he’s a little pink donkey. Need I say more?
So that’s it. Well, not really. You will see another post in a couple of weeks with a few details I forgot or didn’t get to. Hint, an inspiration board would be nice Helen, you know?
In the past two weeks I have learned a lot about redoing a studio. First, it’s TONS of work. Second, you MUST get rid of stuff you are really never going to use. Third, it has to work for you and your type of art. It must be inspiring to you, as you are the one working there. And lastly, it is worth every ounce of energy you use! I cannot tell you how excited I am to get down and dirty with some art this evening!
I hope I have inspired you to look around your work space and do some tweeking so you can let your creativity soar!!!!
Just Take Five
Happy New Year to all my faithful readers and new ones alike! I hope you all had a very Merry Christmas and have a Blessed 2013!!!
I decided to get a pesky little project that was bugging me out of the way today. Most of you who are 45 and older will understand this.
It’s bad enough that I need reading glasses now, but do I also have to suffer that hideous brown polyester case too! Honestly, this is the ugliest glasses case I’ve ever seen (or felt)! Well after looking at this atrocity for several months I decided to do something about it. Now you who know me know that I am too
cheap creative to just go out and buy a new case. No, I decided to take all of five minutes to make one. This is all I used.
I used a square of old quilted fabric (with roses, of course), vintage pink and white rick rack and pink seam binding. I was throwing caution to the wind when I actually decided I would decorate the new case. Could I do this all within my attention span of five minutes?
Yes and no. It took me about five minutes to thread my stupid sewing machine even with my glasses on! After that frustrating exercise it did only take me five minutes to sew on the rick racks, sew the top of the case down (including seam binding so the glasses don’t get stuck every time I try to pull them out), and sewing up the side and bottom seams. Ta Da. What else can I beautify in five minutes?
This is my money “envelope”. I use the envelope system for budgeting and find this handy little coupon book to be perfect for dividing my $$$.
I cut up some rosy (surprise!) printed cardboard that was the packaging for some scented shelf paper to line the front and back. I also used it for the divider tabs, but as I had to write on the front of the tabs the roses only show from the back. Oh well, I know they’re there (smile). I also did this in five minutes.
I got this watering can at a thrift shop. It was okay and had some nice patina in places but I thought I could make it better. I used rub-on letters, my big muscles, some spicy language and five minutes to get the rub-ons to actually rub-on. As you can see, only parts of each letter cooperated. It’s good that I like the less than perfect look of the letters because there was no way I was going to invest another five minute chunk of my life into this project.
Your challenge in this new year is to look around and see what you can beautify, recycle, up-cycle, re-purpose or create in just five minutes!!!
I Must Be Stopped!!!!
Guess what I did today. No really, guess. I’ll give you a hint. It’s Friday so I have to go to my shop in Fredericksburg to put some stuff in and straighten it up. We have a potential hurricane about to hit and I need to get “D” batteries for our lanterns. We are out of soy milk and cat food so I have to go to the grocery store. It’s the end of a very looong month and I don’t have any money left. I have a whole bunch of linens that need ironing and pricing. I have to dust and vacuum the downstairs of the house. Oh, and Adam has a DAC playoff soccer game this afternoon. So, did you guess what I did today? This is what I did…
I went to a great big church yard sale in FredVegas. This is all the great stuff I got. I ended up spending money I had saved for something else. Don’t worry Adam, you can always go to “Bob’s School of Forensic Biology” instead of VCU!
This cute vintage piggy bank for tithes says, “For this I am thankful” on the side and, “My Blue Box” on the top.
I also got a pretty white-on-white baby gown with a slip and some vintage party noise makers.
This unopened box of Chanel No. 5 powder is staying at home with me!!!! The rosy linen towel has never been used. There is also a sparkly gold evening bag and a tiny silver plated urn. The lacy thing is like a crocheted egg cozy, however, I’m thinking it would make a great pocket on one of my upcoming homemade aprons!
Because our house doesn’t already look like the North Pole exploded, I had to get more Christmas stuff. Check out the compete box of cookie cutters and the 1950’s print cloth. How could I just leave them there? But the cream in this lot is this..
This 1950’s print hanky has all the reindeer’s names on it but it has a picture of Dancer. You can’t really tell from my award winning photograph, however, Dancer has actual googly eyes! You know, the ones that move around when you shake them. This is sooooo darn cute.
I had to display my rosy tea towel with the hamper so it didn’t look so lonely! So now you know what I did today. And by the way, the shop has been tidied, the lanterns have batteries, I got the soy milk and the FCS Eagles won the first game in the DAC playoffs. Go Eagles!!! Not such a bad day after all. So what will I be doing tomorrow? Ironing, pricing, dusting, vacuuming and going to the store to get the cat food I forgot!!!! Well, I never said I was perfect.
This Week’s Haul!
On Tuesday Martin and I went to Front Royal to see Adam play in a soccer game. The game wasn’t until 4:30PM, so we spent the early afternoon junking. As you know from a previous post, I think soccer and junking go together like wine and cheese. We hit a couple thrift shops and I scored some treasures, but it never ceases to amaze me how great everything looks at a distance and how down right awful it looks up close! We had a blast wading through the flotsam and jetsam anyway.
Usually on Thursdays I stay around Bowling Green and work at home. You can find me washing, ironing, pricing or making stuff for my shops. I also throw in some mundane housework like laundry or cleaning. Ho Hum right? Well not today people!!! Two days ago I noticed a yard sale sign a couple blocks up the street from me. It said the yard sale would be on THURSDAY, Friday and Saturday. Did you get that? Thursday!!! That was today! Did I go? Not only did I go, I went too early and they weren’t even open yet. Okay, I know, I have to chill a little. I went back at 8:15 and they were ready for me. I got some really cute stuff. So do you want to see what I got this week?
Two cute felt stockings with GLITTER accents. Two sets of plastic light up bells with tacky plastic pointsettas on top. Please note that the pointsettas have GLITTER on them. It’s hard to see in my amazing picture (I know, I should work for National Geographic, right?) but there is also a cute little plastic ornament with plastic fruit in it and half a roll of dark pink plastic tinsel cord. The operative words for what I love to sell at Christmas are plastic and glitter as long as they are
Next we have an awesome cake stand with top. I can’t leave these alone. I will add a decoupaged hang tag to the nob on top. Maybe I’ll show you in a later blog post. The pretty tin is staying in my studio. It’s hard to tell from my picture, but it is designed to look like needlepoint and is covered with roses. Need I say more? There is a little white birdhouse which will get the “Helen” touch too. A cute set of green doilies, needlepoint napkins, 2 vintage pill boxes and 2 small old powder boxes finish off this set. Nice.
Now we have a little child’s suitcase. No, I am not selling it. EVER!!! It will be a great display piece for shows. There are two vintage baby sweaters, two vintage plastic (there we go again) reindeer and the cutest “Made in Japan” vase with a mouse and a cheese wedge. I love these fun old vases, especially the ones with baby themes. I guess this would count as one of those if you were a mouse.
Lastly we have this awesome set of four 1950’s metal (not plastic) tray tables. How cute are these? The tables are black with pink and blue leaves. My heart almost stopped when I saw them at the yard sale. I had to have them. They will be going to my Fredericksburg location tomorrow!!!
All in all I had a really blessed week as far as shopping for Mossy Cottage went and I got to enjoy some of the most beautiful fall days to boot. Not bad, eh?
Today I got to do one of the things I really love to do. I went to tea. If any of you have been to tea before you know you are in for a delightful time with a girlfriend, or two, or maybe even a bigger group.
I, however, did something I have never done before. I went to tea ALONE! I know, collective gasp right? I had a good reason. I had a gift certificate that I had only one more day to use. I figured it would be too hard to try to get someone who could go with me at the last-minute. Plus Adam had early dismissal so I had to get him from school at 2:00PM making planning even more complicated. But after thinking about it for a while, I thought it would be great to see if I could handle going to tea alone. Every one else is with at least one other person. Then there is that weirdo with a camera and notebook sitting BY HERSELF. What’s up with that? Well I will tell you, I had a wonderful time. Pinkadilly is THE place to have tea in Fredericksburg and it’s good when you are with a friend (imaginary or real) or are alone.
I had the Princess Anne Tea.
My food consisted of spanikopita, cucumber sandwiches with dill, a roasted red pepper cream cheese sandwich on pumpernickel, white chocolate cherry scones, Devon cream and lemon curd, a strawberry oatmeal bar, pumpkin mousse, candy corn cake, a chocolate truffle and fresh grapes with sliced oranges. Oh and I drank a copious amount of Earl Gray tea.
My stomach was not the only thing getting full though. My eyes were treated to more “girly” stuff than you can imagine.
There are doilies, rosy china, teapots, bird houses, dolls, cups and saucers, framed photos and roses everywhere. Even the bathroom is adorable, but I draw the line at photographing that!!!
I could not eat all of my food even though I took about 45 minutes to eat and enjoy my surroundings, so I boxed up these leftovers.
I figured Adam would enjoy them when I picked him up. Well I’m sorry to say that 15-year-old boys who have just finished soccer practice do not get “doing tea”. He gobbled up the goodies out of the Styrofoam box in 5 minutes flat only stopping to get swigs of water out of a plastic bottle in the front seat of our Honda CR-V. Really Adam, really? Oh well, at least he wasn’t eating ALONE!
For your information:
Pinkadilly Tea is located at 303 Fauquier Street, Fredericksburg VA 22401. They are open Tuesday through Saturday 11AM until 4Pm. You may call for reservations at 540-361-1235. Their web address is http://www.pinkadillytea.com. They will be relocating to 707 Caroline Street. See their website for details.
How Did This Soccer Mom Score?
This weekend I got to go to Adam’s Phoenix soccer tournament in Richmond. I love watching him play soccer. He is super fast, kicks the ball really hard and has more energy than the Energizer bunny. I always pack a cooler with fun foods we don’t usually eat. And I get to socialize with the other soccer mom’s for hours on end. What could be better? WHEN I SCORE TOO!
You see, before we left for the tourni Saturday morning, I went to a local estate sale. It was packed with people but I was able to breakaway and score a bunch of goodies. Conveniently (dripping with sarcasm), the first items I got possession of were a stool and some pieces of glassware. I had to buy a big basket (all of $2.00) to assist me with all my small items. Then I had to start a pile with the stuff I scored because I couldn’t hold it all. A nice little girl marked all the stuff I scored with “SOLD” stickers so everybody would know those items where out-of-bounds. Naturally the check out table was nowhere near my score, so I paid the nice little girl $1.00 to help me schlep it to the checkout. Now I had successfully moved my mountain through the checkout, but not even close to my car. I paid the nice little girl another $1.00 to defend my score as I tackled the job of getting everything to my car (which was safely parked on the OTHER SIDE of the highway).
On the way home from the estate sale, I HAD to stop at a yard sale up the block from our house. I scored a 1960’s Samsonite train case and 36 small cookbooks there.
So I went home, picked up Adam and we went to the tourni. While we were waiting for the Phoenix to start their game, my friend Linda happened to mention that she passed a flea market on the way (thank you Linda!). My friend Barb and I made it our goal to go to the flea market between games. It was so awesome. Unfortunately it was already 2PM when we got there and people were already packing up. However, I was able to score a neat wire basket (in the background) and these.
Barb and I used caution and made it back to see the Phoenix play their second game (awesome job guys). But I was so excited about all the stuff I scored, I forgot to take pictures of either game. Bad mom!
All in all it was a wonderful day, mixing two of my favorite things, soccer and scoring great stuff. I praise God for giving me such great blessings.