Category Archives: Inspiration

If I Had a Craft Room?

If I Had a Craft Room?

Are you a Pinterest lover like me? It’s visual presence always takes my breath away. I can get lost in Pinterest land and I never know where I’m going to end up. Here’s my most repinned pin so far.

 

Do-It-Yourself Projects: Repurposed Cribs
Can you tell that crafty wall storage is made from a crib rail? Perhaps, like me, it’s repurposed appeal mixed with craft organization makes it a winner. Creative upcycling is a beautiful thing, don’t you think? I like this organized craft space as well.

DIY and Craft orgainization

 

It has a light and airy feel.

Craft organization is a big deal to me. I want to be able to grab what I need without pause; otherwise my creative productivity suffers. If I had a craft room, I’d probably never want to leave. A dedicated craft room would be my ultimate dream; however, for right now, it’s just not in the cards. But that’s okay; it just requires me to be even more creative in order to find solution that will work and fit in my home. For now, I am collecting ideas on Pinterest that’s perfect for tight spaces while I reduce my craft stash before making any changes to my existing craft storage.

craft closet - organization in a small space.  love.

Creative spaces always wow me because they are all so beautiful and unique. How’s your creative space? Is your creative space all put together or a work in progress?

How Do You Get Into the Zone?

How Do You Get Into the Zone?

book-artforger-shapiro-500

girl with brushes

I wanted to share with you my last read, The Art Forger by B.A. Shapiro. I loved it! Even though my book club met two weeks ago, I can’t stop thinking about the main character, Claire Roth, a struggling artist who supplemented her non-existent income by painting reproductions of well known artist to sell on reproduction.com. She lost her credibility in the art community when she made the decision to paint a painting for her married professor boyfriend who was lost in an artistic manic episode in an effort to save his reputation. However, it all backfired propelling her to take part in an illegal forging scheme at the promise of her own art show. Claire struggles with internal and external judgement of being considered a master artist or master forger.

But why can’t I get Claire Roth out of my head? Probably because I can relate to her creative abilities and her intense painting sessions where she could stay in the present moment and create despite all the chaos and drama in her life. Here are a few excerpts:

“The shower cleans the sweat and the odor of fear from my skin, but it does nothing to wash away the residual emotions smoldering inside my body. Once I start painting though, the feelings disappear.”

“As the excitement grows at the thought of working on my own paintings, I push myself even more. I’ve taken to sleeping in multiple, short stretches during both night and day, upsetting my natural circadian rhythms and further cutting myself off from the cadence of the world…………I remain in the zone for longer periods of time than I ever believed possible.”

“When he leaves, I go right back to work. the zone is the safe place for me now.”

I can identify with that zone, that creative place one can go to escape, a place to take a mini break from everyday life and just be, reconnecting with who you are, all the while, filling your internal cup. Like Claire, who gets into her zone when painting, I am in my zone. of course, when I dabble in DIY and pursue my creative pursuits. It’s an important part of who I am. It’s cathartic, my respite and my heaven on earth.

Can you relate? What do you get lost in? How do you get into “the zone”?

Happy 2014!

Happy 2014!

 

2014

I have a real good feeling that 2014 is going to be a great year for everyone, including you! Although I am always optimistic, this year I am over-the-top optimistic and I’m welcoming the feeling with open arms because it feels good . Every year, I take time to reflect on the past year and think about what I want to focus on in the coming new year.

This year, I decided to focus on separating what really matters from the things that no longer serve me and hampers my creativity. My creative abilities and insight is a huge part of who I am and serves me in my everyday life. Recently, I discovered a collection of podcasts at Untitled Minimalism containing very meaningful discussions about living life to the fullest.  The timing couldn’t have been any more perfect for me. By the way, please don’t let the name  or subject matter deter you; the discussions go way beyond eliminating the excess in our lives. After listening to several of the podcasts, my take away has been a heightened clarity about how meaningless stuff interferes with your life’s true path.

Spending way too much time looking for something I know I have but can’t find because it got lost in an abyss of clutter in our two problem areas, the unfinished part of our basement and the garage doesn’t serve me. Both areas have turned into a chaotic nightmare that is both overwhelming and anxiety inducing. Realizing that when you have a home, even a small one like ours, it enables one to save stuff, too much stuff, for a “maybe one day” that might never happen. What’s the point? It’s my hope and mission to have in my home only what matters.  I intend to spend the year scrutinizing everything, deciding if it has purpose and whether it serves our family. If the answer is no, it got’s to go! Hey that rhymes:) Nothing will be off limits, including my creative supplies; trust me, that’s going to be very hard but I’m ready for the challenge!  I even plan to whittle down my wardrobe even though it is fairly small to begin with. I rather have a few pieces that I wear consistently than hold on to things that rarely see the light of day and may be of use to someone in need.

As always, I plan to take a creative approach to my first steps to a clutter controlled life. You see, I always fantasize about living in a one room cottage surrounded by nature.

dream cottage
courtesy of tinyhouselistings.com

with and outdoor area that looks like this

outdoor bliss

I will keep these retreats in mind as I scrutinize my belongings. Furniture aside, I will keep only the meaningful items that I would actually take to my fantasy dream cottage. I sure hope you will check back regularly to see how I am progressing. Yes, 2014 is going to be a good year!

What are your plans for the new year? Wishing you a very Happy and Blessed New Year!

Belated Holiday Greetings!

Belated Holiday Greetings!

Post holiday greetings! I hope that you had a blessed holiday and are looking forward to the New Year. Although I adore this time of year, the holidays always seems to get the better of me. Even though my children are older, 22 and 12, and Christmas this year was very simple, I still found myself turning into the energizer bunny running on E. However, the many hours of preparation and endless tasks are a small price to pay for the joy and love floating in the air.  And the beautiful lights and decorations everywhere make my heart sing!

Speaking of decorations, I did manage to almost finish my vintage ornament wreath at the 11th hour on Christmas Eve. It was my Christmas gift to myself.  And here it is:

vintage ornament wreath IMG_9912 600x362

I love it!  Although, I had 100+ ornaments, I still had to do another thrift store run halfway through. I had too many gold ones and not enough silver. However, as you might already know, you can’t go to a thrift store and expect to find just what you’re looking for. I did find another box of pretty teal blue ornaments though, and incorporated them into the wreath as well. As for the silver ones I needed more of, I decided to strip some of the gold ones I already had.

strip ornament IMG_9827

Most vintage ornaments are usually silver on the inside no matter what color they happen to be on the outside.
After a few seconds in water, the color film crinkles and peels right off. But in order to retain the silver on the inside you have to avoid getting water inside the ornament. However, if a little gets in by mistake that okay too; If you pour it out quickly it might result in a mercury glass look like this one.

mercury glass IMG_9884

Just know that it’s not an exact science and requires some experimentation. As for my wreath, I still have a few more spaces to fill. From afar the gaps are not too noticeable but close up they stand out like a sore thumb. When I take it down, I will fill them in at my leisure.

wreath close up IMG_9912 500 x 492

While working on it,  I had a lot of casualties; some of the ornaments rolled  right over the edge of my work surface and shattered into a gazillion pieces. I will definitely have to wrap it in bubble wrap and find a sturdy box to store it in because it is very fragile. I think if I make another one, perhaps, I can find some vintage looking shatter proof ornaments instead. I’m not sure if there is such a thing but the new glittery ornaments in stores today just don’t do it for me.

As for our Christmas tree, my selection turned into a teachable and reaffirming experience. My intent was to have a cute table top tree instead of using our pre lit one. I wanted to try something different.  The tree I bought home, however,  turned out to be too big for a table top and too small for the floor. So I stacked it up on a crate to give it a little more height and called it our Charlie Brown tree. LOL. The poor thing sat bear until two days before Christmas. Finally, I asked my sons to have at it. I added a few pine cones and ribbon trim and,voila,

pinecone IMG_9878

our too-big to-be-on-the-table and  too-small-to-be-on-the-floor Christmas tree that can’t be taken too seriously.

tree IMG_9912 481x500

The last couple of years, I’ve been learning the importance of going with the flow and allowing what will be to be. The strive for perfection is so overrated and I have decided to move on and choose a different path. And although that path may be filled with many unfamiliar twists and turns, I am embracing and appreciating the imperfect goodness and uncertainty along the way. Each step brings me closer to the authentic life I want to lead.

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Let’s Hear It For the Leftovers!

Let’s Hear It For the Leftovers!

Happy Post Thanksgiving! I hope  your Thanksgiving was just what you wanted it to be. I definitely ate a little too much. But what I love more than the big day are the leftovers to be enjoyed the next day. Speaking of leftovers, I enjoy crafting leftovers too.

See those rubber remnants pieces in the background?  I just couldn’t throw them away after I finished cutting cut out the art stamps.

squared away IMG_8295

I had an inkling I could do something with the leftovers  and when I saw the holiday  Crate and Barrel catalog,  I was immediately inspired.  I love their aesthetic and I frequent their store on occasion, however, this time I was inspired to DIY instead of  BUY. I used scissors to cut and shape the pieces to mimic the images shown on this page.

stamps and CB layout 9617

Then, I used my good friend, the Dremel  Moto-Saw, to cut the plexiglass to the sizes I needed. Originally,  I purchased it to trim my art stamps; however,  I find myself using it for other things.  It is so handy when tackling a variety of crafting projects that require precision cutting.

dremmel

So from some crafting leftovers, I  now have some fun holiday inspired stamps.

acorn and pinecone handmade stamps 9578

Some stamping is definitely in order. Can’t wait to get started. Let’s hear it for the crafting leftovers! Used any crafting leftovers lately?

 

 

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Wreath Obsessed Again!

Wreath Obsessed Again!

Every year as the holidays approach, I get obsessed with DIY creative wreath ideas. This year, I have been dreaming of making an ornament wreath. But before, I set out on this creative journey, I needed some inspiration. First, there is true vintage.

vintage ornament wreath 2 mommyiscoocoo
source: mommyiscoocoo.com

I remember some of  these ornaments from my childhood; so different from the ornaments today.

georgiapeachezwreathblog

source: GeorgiaPeachezWreathBlog.blogspot.com

Georgia Peachez Wreaths is a blog devoted to vintage wreaths 24/7, 365 days a year.

ornament-wreath-2 bluevelvatevintage
source:BlueVelvetVintage

The next two are more contemporary versions if vintage is not your thing.

ornament ball wreath 2 mattandbecky
source: Matt-and-Becky.blogspot

wreath live love diy small
source: Live Love DIY

Not into ornaments?  How about frames showcasing your favorite holiday memories?

Beautiful-DIY-Christmas-Wreaths_13

source:justasmidgen.com

or buttons maybe?

wreath-white-buttons good housekkeeping-1200-fb
source: Good Housekeeping

I started out wanting to make a vintage ornament wreath, but now, I’m not too sure. I love them all! What wreath are you hanging for the holidays?

 

My Personal Project Runway Experience

My Personal Project Runway Experience

Last weekend, I had the greatest experience. I  attended a weekend class, Styling for Photography at Fashion Institute of Technology (aka FIT). About 15 minutes into the class, I realized  then content wasn’t quite what I was expecting. As a disappointing feeling started to take over, I quickly reframed my thoughts. As long as there is a take away , a bit of useful information or I walk away inspired, then it will be worth my while. And guess what? The class turned out to be fantastic and I had so much fun!

My reason for taking the class was to learn the art of styling photographs. Although effortless for some,  I find the process daunting. This class was geared toward someone who aspires to be a professional fashion stylist, however,  I walked away with helpful information and direction. There were two teachers, a professional stylist and a professional photographer. The photographer, Maria, was extremely helpful and  steered me in the right direction, suggesting the photography and still life styling classes that are more in line with what I was looking for.  She must of been a comedian in another life because she was soooooo funny.

Our assignment was to come up with a concept and message using the color brown. There were two teams of 6. Each team had to come up with a still life design and two fashion outfits. Everyone collaborated on the still life.Our concept and message was urban nesting with nature. We discussed the look we wanted to portray, decided on the items we needed and the outdoor  location for the shoot.  The next day, we collaborated some more and came up with the final still life shot and the photographer took the photos. And boy are they beautiful!  It will be a while before I will get her shots, so I snapped a few quick ones.  Here’s the still life using some of  the items we brought in.

Still life IMG_9399 copy

The bird  that looks like it’s sitting atop a nest is actually a hat that we will also used in our fashion shoot.

Still life IMG_9403

After we finished with the still life, our team broke off into  two teams of three to create the fashion looks. We had a professional make up artist and model assigned to us for the shoot. Here are some of the fashion accessories we decided to use. I apologize for the horrible photo, Iphone and florescent lighting do not work well together.

fashion accessories IMG_9416 copy

Here’s the first look styled by the other half of my team.

fashion outfit 1 IMG_9428

It was so fun to see a professional model doing her thing up close and personal.

fashion outfit 1 IMG_9431

Natural and effortless.

fashion outfit 1 IMG_9433

 

And here’s the second outfit I helped style.

fashion outfit 2 IMG_9438

 

Never in a million years would I think of putting all these elements together.

fashion outfit 2 IMG_9439

 

Love, love, love the skirt!

fashion outfit 2 IMG_9441

And that’s a crochet bikini top peaking underneath the faux leather jacket.

fashion outfit 2 IMG_9446

By the way, the paper trailing behind her was intentional.

 

fashion outfit 2 IMG_9447

As one of my teammates schooled me, “fashion doesn’t have to make sense”.

This is my favorite pose.

fashion outfit 2 IMG_9448

She was as sweet as she was beautiful.

fashion outfit 2IMG_9437

I plan to take the classes the photographer suggested, one of which concentrates on still life styling, and maybe, just maybe, I will be able pull this off all by myself.

Still life IMG_9403

This was one phenomenal experience! I felt like I was on me-cation/stay-cation. Laughing and learning are a great combo. I walked away elated and inspired.

Do you have natural styling ability or are you like me and struggle with it? Taken a me-cation lately?

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Remember to Play!

Remember to Play!

5 book steps to discovering your personal muse

It is so easy to get entangled in our everyday lives, overwhelmed  by our day to day responsibilities and consumed by the never ending “to do” list.  And if you’re a mom, your job is 24/7, period. So why not make yourself a priority, schedule a few minutes and give yourself permission to play. And by that I mean spending time doing whatever allows you to experience joy. It might mean coffee with a friend that makes you laugh, participating in an activity that keeps us in the present moment or just doing something that deviates from our normal routine. Or, it can be as simple as curling up with a favorite book or magazine and closing the door to everything else. And guess what? The world is not going to stop revolving and the “to do” list will still be waiting for you upon your return;however, it will  be easier to tackle because you took time to care of yourself. It’s not selfish, it’s selfless because now you offer the world a better you.

So my question to you is, how do you play? What is your idea of fun time? For me, in addition to the things I mentioned above, it’s getting into a zone, where I find myself creating and meditating simultaneously. Creativity isn’t limited to producing magnificent works of art – painting an impressive masterpiece, sculpting exquisite pottery or writing a best selling novel; creativity is discovering yourself from the inside out, honing your talents and gifts and using that specialness to make your personal mark on world! How you do that is a manifestation of your uniqueness. So, If you think you’re not creative, please, please, please kick that notion to the curb. I’ve written about this when I first started this blog, here and touched on it again, more recently, here. It’s part of my calling and it’s important that I write about it and put it out there. We’re all creative, just not in the same way; that’s what makes each and every one of us unique. and special beings.

But just in case you have yet to find your creative genre, no problem! You are only 5 book steps away from discovering you personal muse!

Step 1. 344 Questions: The Creative Person’s Do-It-Yourself Guide to Insight, Survival, and Artistic Fulfillment (Voices That Matter) by Stefan G. Bucher, a book full of questions designed to document who you are, where you are and where you want to go.

344 Questions_

Step 2. How to Be an Explorer of the World: Portable Life Museum by Keri Smith prompts you to be observant about your often overlooked surroundings.It provides a fun way to appreciating the tiny details in everyday life.

How To Be An Explorer Of The World_

Step 3. Finish This Book, also by Keri Smith, offers inspiring activities using found objects and writing prompts is perfect for all ages and a great summer activity for children.

Finsish This Book

Step 4. 365: A Daily Creativity Journal: Make Something Every Day and Change Your Life! by Noah Scalin provides 365 simple project ideas; however, they are just that, suggestions. He encourages the reader to incorporate their own interests and passions and/or take a theme approach to ones daily projects.

365 A Daily Creative Journal

Step 5. Living Out Loud by Keri Washington is filed with activities, games, projects and more to begin your journey to creativity and personal discovery.

Living Out Loud

Perhaps, you will find one, or all, of these books helpful in connecting with the creativity that resides within you. Please let me know your thoughts and, remember, don’t forget to play!

Getting Into the Pumpkin Groove?

Getting Into the Pumpkin Groove?

Have you started your Autumn/Fall decorating yet? Or, like me, you just can’t seem to get it together until the last minute? Either way, cyberspace is full of incredible inspiration. Here’s just a peak at a few ideas that caught my eye.

I know I will be looking at my stash of ribbon and trim in an entirely different way now that I laid eyes on this cutey.

ribbon trimmed pumkin

Better Homes and Garden

Never thought of mixing flowers and pumpkins, that is, until now.

flower embellished pumpkin

Better Homes and Garden

For a more modest approach, here is a small gesture of pumpkin decor.

gourd and eucalyptus display
Ladies Home Journal
Now this just won me over because of the color pallete but I’m digging the plaid too!

painted-plaid-pumpkin by domestically speaking

Domestically Speaking

And for a little, down home country feel, we have this arrangement by Holly over at

pumpkin by downtoearthstyle 2
Down to Earth Style.

Oh, how pretty! I just bought a white pumpkin from Michaels and it’s still in the bag! LOL

Need more inspiration? Well Donna over at Funky Junk Interiors devoted her Party Junk party to DIY pumpkin projects. But before you go, please leave a comment and let me know how your Autumn decorating is or isn’t going? Finished :) or haven’t started :( ?

Stamped Design Knockoff

Stamped Design Knockoff

I think I have a problem. Not sure how serious a problem, but I’m starting to wonder. I see shapes and patterns everywhere I go. I notice patterns, shapes and design on everything. Instead of seeing the world through rose colored glasses, I see the world through shapes. Instead of fighting it, I decided to surrender and use it to my creative advantage.

So when I saw this tray at Haus Interior, I just knew I could create an easy art stamp knock off and avoid the $70 price tag.

Squaresville Nautical Birch_tray_large

I happen to have a similar tray at home. which I painted with white acrylic paint. To duplicate the same color scheme, I would use Poppy Red, Nautical Blue and Maize.

inspiration color way IMG_9193

 

Instead, I decided to continue the color pattern I used to stamp linen fabric earlier, using Sky Mist, Nautical Blue and Maize.

tray and fabric with stamp pad IMG_9190

I’m pleased with how it turned out in all it’s hand stamped goodness.

tray IMG_9162

Eventually, I will make another throw pillow with the fabric. I’m not a fan of matchy, matchy, but I wanted to try the pattern on more than one surface type.

tray and fabric IMG_9185

So there you have it, an easy tray designed with art stamps.

tray on table IMG_9212

I’m rather pleased.

tray close up IMG_9217

So, tell me, how do you see the world? What do you gravitate toward?

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