Monday, July 22, 2013

The Building of One's Self

The current theme for Art Journal Journey is architecture.  There you'll find beautiful works of art by other participants, which include famous buildings, brilliant structures, blueprints, etc...  But then I took the idea and went along my own tangent of sorts!  My thoughts went towards the notion of building one's self..  in building one's own character..  one step at a time, one experience at a time, every mistake at a time, one small success at a time...  brick, by brick, by brick.

"Belief in oneself is one of the most important 
bricks in building any successful venture."
~Lydia M. Child

I used the Crafter's Workshop "Bricks" template to make the background.  The whole page is painted in your basic 50-cent acrylic paints, and I outlined with black Permopaque marker.  The vine of leaves I painted to symbolize personal growth.  The journaling on the bricks is done with a Sakura Gelly Roll pen, but I only showed the quote at the top.  

"We are builders of our own characters.
We have different positions, spheres, 
capacities, privileges, different work to 
do in the world, different temporal 
fabrics to raise; but we are all alike in this...  
All are architects in fate."
~John Fothergill Waterhouse Ware

I journaled more personal thoughts and feelings further down my page of bricks, but did not want to photograph that part for sharing publicly.  In short, what I'm now spiritually expressing is that I just hope, God willing, there are many more bricks I can build with, and grow with, to be all the person I hope to be in this life, before He calls me Home.  

"Everyone who hears these words 
of mine and does them will be 
like a wise man who built his 
house on the rock.  And the rains 
fell, and the floods came, and the 
winds blew, and beat on that house, 
but it did not fall, because it 
had been founded on the rock."
~The Holy Bible, Matthew (7:24-26)

I just thank God for every day he blesses me with, and I strive to make the best of it...  to be wise in my ways, as I continue building.

Thank you for stopping by today!...
I am also linking with Inspiration Avenue today,
for their Show and Tell Challenge...

Hope your day builds up to be a good one!


Saturday, July 20, 2013

Colorfully Inspired

This week marks the 6th and final week of The Summer of Color, hosted by Kristin at Twinkle, Twinkle.  It's been wonderfully inspiring, and a great deal of fun participating in this event..   It was challenging as well, but that was o.k., because when I step out of my comfort zone, then, of course, I feel like I'm learning something!

This week's choice of colors were a little more subdued, compared to the red and yellow challenge...  This week's suggested colors were sage and sepia.  Here is the journal page I painted, while including these colors into my work, and with this final week in mind...

After a long, hot and humid day, I just wanted to turn on my t.v., set myself right *smack* in front of the fan, and then have FUN with this!  I used sage green for the background, and then I went with small amounts of sepia in the artist's easel, and paint brush.  I used lighter shades of brown from there; on the toad herself, and then on her artist's palette...  Despite my amateur-level skills in painting, I think I "toad-ally" love how this came out!

In the meantime,  I accomplished another small project, in the gradual course of my creating a craftroom.  Yesterday, I hung up my ribbons!

I had a few different ideas in mind to display and organize them, but two factors swayed my decision most.  Cost, and then accessibility.  At the height I was placing the ribbons, I wanted the ease of seeing and dispensing them; so in my opinion, this was the best way to go.  Here you see I used curtain rod supports.

I felt they did the least damage to the walls, but were still the right size, strength, and clearance space for the spools I'd be hanging.  I used (2) 5/16" wooden dowels to set onto the hooks...   and I used 4 hooks, for each dowel, to keep the dowels from slumping towards the middle.  While it doesn't show well in the photo, I still have room for approximately 17 to 20 more spools of ribbon, so the two dowels seem to suit my needs.  My total expense to set this up was $4.00, and then I still had room to set up a scrap piece of wood as a shelf underneath!  The size of the wood was 35" x 3/4" x 3" deep (from front edge to wall)..  Maybe it was floor/wall molding?  I don't know, but it was free, and it was perfect for my purposes!  I used 2 L-brackets, that I already had on hand, to hang it up.  Then I transferred my 39 colorful little plastic storage containers, from the opposite wall, to this little shelf, and and it was a perfect fit!  I can see everything through the clear containers.  No need for labels!...   I'm thinking on, and looking into, which colors of paint I'd like now, for both walls and furniture... taking appearances, necessities, and expenses into account.  More on that eventually.

Never to limit (or should I say control) myself to just one project at a time, here I made up a small batch of paper magazine beads.  I've got them all lined up and set to dry overnight...

And then here you see I'm now up to 6 balls of denim strips...  wound and ready to go, for the denim rag rug I want to crochet.  I'm really not sure how many balls to make, so perhaps I'll wind up about 4 more, and then start crocheting, to get a better idea.

Of course, the more rounds I crochet, the more rag strips I'll NEED.   I have it in mind to make an oval-shaped throw rug approximately 36" long by 23" wide, to fit under the new island/table I just got for my kitchen.  In time, by trial and error I guess, we'll just see how this goes, but I'm honestly very excited about this particular project!...

Thanks to Kristin for hosting The Summer of Color..
And thank YOU for stopping by today!
Keep cool!..  And hope you're enjoying the weekend!

Friday, July 12, 2013

Making a Craftroom of My Own

Where there's a will, there's a way.  I knew I needed a better workspace for crafting, art-journaling, and scrapbooking...  a place where I could have all my tools and supplies, all in order, and all in one place.  With everything scattered around my living room, and dining room, it was a gradually turning into a hot mess, now catching up with me, leading to increased confusion and aggravation....  and probably higher blood pressure!  I knew enough was enough, and I finally decided to carry out an idea I had when I first moved into this small 2-bedroom apartment.  As it turned out, what timing, as I'd begun this project, that I found Karen, at My Desert Cottage, was hosting Where Bloggers Create 2013!  (gasp!..  and I had just two days to get ready for it, if I wanted to participate!)

First, this is LONNNNNNG, long, long!..  I KNOW!!...  

So PLEASE just skim through, read what you want, and skip the rest...   I just hope you like what you see, or that you can get to know me a little better...  one way or the other!  

This all begins with just a thought to maybe someday turn a walk-in closet into a craftroom, for both workspace and storage.  However, NOW the biggest question was, "Just how much can I really fit into that tiny space?...  AND still have room for ME to work in it?"  Well, I was determined, and the first thing I knew I needed was a desk, in just the right size.  So, Dear Son and I were walking the dog one afternoon, and saw one setting out by the trash on garbage night.  It was perfect!  I called Dear Son-In-Law to help me bring it home, and thus was the beginning of a beautiful dream!..   Well...  still in the making...  But won't you come in?

Hung on the door is a 24-pocket shoe organizer.  This is where I store my paper punches, and just a few other odd-lot items.  I'm happy with it, as it treats the door as a 4th wall; real estate, unwasted, and that makes me happy!...   Well, here it is..  Ta-dah!!  What do you think?!

Now, bear in mind that this is just a basic set up, like a rough draft.  Please excuse the tools all over the desk.  And the walls are in horrible shape.  They need to be painted, but I needed to set things up first, to clearly, without a doubt, confirm with myself that this project was even possible...   After all, this room only measures 61" back, and 54" wide!  Friends and family had their doubts, but just look, look, look!!!  It CAN be done!..   Well, as I look at this picture, right away I think I'd like to paint the chair...  So help me out.  You think in white, or in a bright color to coordinate with the polka-dot drawers atop my desk?..  What color walls?...   Decisions!  Decisions!

Well, you can learn how to fancy up your Sterlite storage drawers too, right HERE, at Kinder-Craze!  I made up a pattern, with printer paper, since I didn't have any waxed paper on hand.

I still have to do the tops on ALL of them, but I think they look so much cuter already!...   Now, on top of the the two Sterlite drawer units, I placed a wooden shelf; and on top of that shelf I placed two more plastic drawers, and other various organizers...  the whole kit and kaboodle holding stamps, inks, papers, card-making supplies, paper bags, post-its, more embellishments, etc.; etc...  On the bottom of this same shelf, I plan to place an under-the-cabinet work light (like this one).  They seem to run anywhere from approximately $11.00 and up, from what I've seen, so that's not too bad an expense.

To the right of the door, I've hung storage trays for storing odd-lot types of items, such as string, fishing line, glitters, beads, etc..  Below those is a mailbox-tin, which was a Christmas gift, filled with girl scout candy. (And I thought they just made cookies!) Well, now I'm using it to hold my embossing folders!  I only have a few; but there's room for at least 3 or 4 more, if I want to add to my collection sometime.

On to the right-side wall, I've hung a wooden shelf unit for holding paints and related supplies.  On the upper shelf I've set up tiny plastic containers, perfect for storing tiny supplies and embellies!..  Just below, is an old end table.  I took out and threw away the broken down drawers, and now just store a couple of sewing projects in the hidden space, underneath the tablecloth...  On top, I have my radio/cd player; but uh-oh.. I see wasted space!  I may want to place a storage box of some sort (probably to store laces), which the radio could still sit on later.  Next to the radio sits my new Sears Craftsman tote!  I LOVE this tote, which carries MANY of my most used tools and supplies, and which can be carried 'round the house, or 'round town, whichever I feel like doing!

Moving in counter-clockwise fashion, we now come to a metal shelf unit of sorts.  It's about 30" wide x 32" tall, and fits just PERFECT in the space that was left after placing the desk in its place!  I simply added a wooden shelf to the top, where here you see, setting atop of an old cigar box, I keep an altered Rolodex I've been working on.  It holds a combination of addresses, phone numbers, and then photos of friends and family!

Next to the Rolodex, on that same unit is a table lamp, which either needs some "altering", or out it goes, for something a little more stylish!...  Next to the lamp is my Big Shot, easily accessible for whenever I need it...

Above the Rolodex, you see my calendar, and then where I store my hole punchers, and decorative scissors.

I used two hooks and an old ruler to hold my hole punches;  and I decorated an old metal kitchen utensil holder with some lace, to hold the pairs of scissors....  Above the Big Shot, you just catch a glimpse of where I hung up more shelves, to hold a few small books/booklets, and then plastic boxes and organizers, pretty much all for flowers and embellishments.

That blue booklet you see, by the way, is really a place to keep my homemade washi tapes!  (You can find out how to make your own right HERE, thanks to Jennibellie!)

Moving on to the back wall, I'll just share a close up of what's on my desk...

My Hello Kitty Purse Tin holds small wooden block-like stamps, most being letters and numbers.  I used a vintage Southern-belle-like planter to hold some markers.  I decorated aluminum cans with more polka-dot paper, to match the drawers.  (HERE's where I got my paper.)  The beautiful tissue box should look familiar to Debbie, at Debbie Dabble!!   She was so nice to give it to me!

Just above these things, I painted and hung a shelf, which holds a beautiful, much treasured, pincushion, given to me by Tamara, at Crochet with Tamara; and then a digital photo keychain, my name spelled in Scrabble letters, and then one more very important necessity...   a portable little dvd player!...  because I always need some kind of show or movie to keep me company while I'm crafting!   Just above this shelf, I've hung a bulletin board, which I just painted pink, and made white polka-dots with the eraser end of a pencil.

Heading round to the left side of the room, I've hung up a couple of old spice racks, which hold my ink sprays, Stickles, embossing powders, etc., etc...   I hope to paint these to better match the room..  or maybe the chair..  All in good time, I guess...  Baby steps, right?!

Next to the spice racks, I hung up my paper trimmer and a couple of my bigger quilter's rulers.  Now just above these, is empty space where I intend to keep my spools of ribbons.

At first, I liked the idea of using rain gutters to place them in!  Cool, right?!!..  But at the height I'll be placing them, I think I'd prefer a way that I can SEE them better.  So-oooo,  I think I will probably go with the tried and true hooks and dowel rods to hold them all, and I'll share how that looks when I get to it...  But first I'll want to paint!

From here, we're gonna start looking upward.  Yes, I'm happy to say I've got MORE space to use, but as you can see, I'm already using it in a very cluttered and unattractive way!  Ew..  YUCK!  I just try not to look there for now! 

My plan is to invest in some medium sized, solid-colored, no-see-through, plastic bins, and to double-stack them if necessary.  I've placed a few of my Cabbage Patch dolls in here, 'cuz you know I love my dolls!...  But if later I need the space for other things, then I'll just move them to a better place.  'Round to the left wall again, where there is no shelf, way up, I hung up a few more things...   handmade looms, metal wreaths and rings, embroidery hoops, and wooden hearts...

Finally, we look below!  Under the desk I have a small garbage pail, a plastic bin of paper scraps, and another plasic bin, for...  well...  I don't know yet!  Inside the desk you see my score board, some notebooks, my Sizzix dies, and then my paper.

On the metal storage unit I have some empty jars, a huge jar for chunky stamps, a plastic box to hold my stencils, etc., etc....

Now, did anyone think for a moment that I could ever fit this much into this size of a room?!..   Honestly, I surprised myself!  I never did like empty spaces, and I sure know how to fill them up!...  Everything's subject to change, but I'm so happy with it already!...    And I KNOW I'm not the only one with limited space, longing for that crafty place to call her own!  There are so many great YouTube videos on the subject, but here are a couple that I thought were great, for those of us with limited space.  Check HERE, and HERE, just to point out a couple.  I certainly hope that those of you who are facing similar challenges, will find my post today at least a little encouraging, and that maybe you liked an idea or two...

Where there's a will, there's a way to make it happen!

Thanks to Karen for hosting Where Bloggers Create 2013!
And thanks to YOU for stopping by today!

~tina...   aka

Monday, July 1, 2013

Pinned It, Made It! Monday ~Week46~

I love Pinterest because I can be inspired a million different ways, all in one place!  Pinned It, Made It! Monday, hosted by Tammy, at Country Girl At Home, is a fun event where everyone can share how they were inspired most by a Pinterest pin, or pins, in the past week!  This time around, I was most inspired by recipes!

One pin I tried out was for Starbucks Lemon Loaf, to which I was led to On Sutton Place for the recipe.  The only thing I switched up, at the suggestion of a friend, was a half a cup of lemon yogurt in place of the half a cup of oil.

Mine had a pound cake kind of texture, and had a nice flavor to it.  I was very happy with how it came out, and Dear Son likes it too!  I would say this recipe is a keeper!

Now, you all know how much I love to bake, but the summertime heat won't often allow.  So when I saw this next recipe, for Amaretto Coffee Creamer No Bake Cookies, at Crazy for Crust, I pinned it myself, and was all for giving it a try!

No need to fire up the oven for this cookie, however the recipe does call upon using the stove top.  So, I just turned on my ceiling fan, and even with this current heatwave we've been enduring, I was o.k.!  The amount of time cooking was not long at all, and the final results were delicious!!  Trying to watch my calories, it was hard limiting myself to just one or two at a time, and I would definitely make these again!

Thanks to Tammy for hosting Pinned It, Made It! Monday,
and thanks to YOU for stopping by today!

Monday, June 24, 2013

Pinned it, Made it! Monday #45

Phew!  Hace Calor!  "How 'bout this weather?  It sure is hot!"  But it's also Pinned it, Made It! Monday; hosted by Tammy at Country Girl at Home, and so I just want to share a couple things today...

While perusing through the many wonderful Pinterest posts, I've been so inspired by a great number of things, ranging anywhere from cooking, to crocheting, to redecorating....   to, yes, even cleaning!  However, on these hottest of days, I'm afraid house cleaning takes a back seat.  All I want to do is sit directly in front of a fan...  But in doing so, I also brought out my crochet threads and embroidery flosses to whip up this pretty little patriotic outfit for a poor naked dolly that has been lying around neglected for some time.

Here she is, all set for the 4th of July!!  Now, mind you, I crochet loosely, so everything I do comes out bigger than the pattern intends.  The shorts came out looking like bermudas, nearly down to her knees.  I definitely had some altering to do.  I cuffed them and added the navy edging.  I had to cuff the collar of the top as well, but I'm still very happy with how it came out.  The patterns come by way of several posts, HERE, at a blog devoted strictly to the fashion doll icon!  At Crochet for Barbie, you can find the pattern for the Nautical Striped Top, the shorts or skirt, and several other outfit-patterns to crochet for her!  Many thanks to the author of this blog for sharing her patterns with the rest of us so generously...  My Barbie doll looks so-ooo much happier now!

In the meantime, I also pinned a blue jean recycling project.  It was very timely, actually, as a friend had just given me at least a dozen pairs of jeans she didn't want anymore.  Sadly, none of them fit me, but I now found something I could make from all this denim fabric handed to me!  Between New Old-Fashioned Gal, and Vintage Chica, I've been inspired to crochet my own denim rag rug, to go under the new table I just got for my kitchen!!!  Isn't it wonderful, how sometimes things just fall into place so beautifully?..  I don't find it happens often, but I'm definitely grateful when it does!...   So, I've begun the process of cutting all my denim strips...

I roll them into balls, just like I would with yarn, ready to be crocheted, once I feel I have enough to get started.  I have 3 rolled up so far, and now that Barbie has been well-attended to, I can go back to whip  together some more tonight.

Well, moving on to inspiration I found elsewhere...  I recently watched a YouTube video, via TracysTreasures24.  There, I saw Tracy sharing a new tote she had just purchased, to hold all the scrapbooking tools and supplies that she would often be carrying from one location to another.  Well, I place a lot of trust into the name Craftsman, and I loved the size and all the pockets this tote had, so I looked it up.  For what I thought to be a very fair price; and then looking at the quality and number of totes I had all over the place, I immediately placed my order HERE!..  for the Sears Craftsman 12" Tool Tote!

My thought was to show you a big pile of all that went into this tote, because you'd just never believe it, but I'm afraid time is not on my side for that kind of artful staging today!  All I know is I really love it!  It holds so MUCH...  In my case, both scrapbooking and art-journaling supplies, and it's all right by my side when I need it!  

So-ooooo...  Did you know, by the way, that today is Fairy Day?!..  This is for all you fans and believers!  Remember Disney's Tinkerbell... or maybe Crysta from Fern Gully, or the Sugarplum Fairies in The Nutcracker Suite...    Of course, most of us have fond memories, I'm sure, of the Tooth Fairy, right?!  Remember the fairy godmothers of Sleeping Beauty?..  Flora, Fauna, and Merryweather, and the sparks flying over the question of pink or blue?!...

Being Irish, I'm intrigued how fairies have played a prevalent role in Celtic culture as well....  So, today is the day we pay tribute..  "Fairy Day is a day for fairies, magic, and wishes to come true.  For one day, put aside the cynicism of the modern world... Embrace the possibilities of the unknown, and believe in fairies".  Relive your childhood, and celebrate! 

Thanks to Tammy for hosting Pinned it, Made it! Monday...
And thanks so much to YOU for stopping by today!

Monday, June 3, 2013

Pinned It, Made it Monday!

Over the weekend, Dear Daughter and I did a little shopping at The Christmas Tree Shops, and we stumbled on some group/collage-type picture frames we've been keeping an eye open for, for very reasonable prices!   You see, we'd found this Pinterest project we've been wanting to try together; a dry-erase weekly calendar...  really cute, but most useful for keeping track of menus, appointments, and any other little notes or reminders.

Well, I had all the paper we could possibly need, so as soon as we got back to my place, I got it all out and ready to play with!  We made quite a mess, actually, choosing from all the various colors and patterns; but the project was fun and very easy to do. Dear Daughter was quicker than I was, putting one together..   She just knows what she wants right away, and I admit that I tend to fuss a little more;  but here's what we put together...

This was cute of Dear Daughter, I thought, but it's NOT the best picture of me, as it was so-ooooo hot and humid, and my hair was going limp, and I kept wiping my makeup off..  (I have no air conditioning...  just fans that weren't helping much that day.)....    Still, I'm feeling brave enough to post this, because it's more a picture I love for the memory, than for how I looked or didn't look that day.  Now that my baby girl is all grown and married now, it was so nice we could spend this kind of time together!

If you happen to notice, compared to the original in the tutorial, we only have six window frames instead of the seven or eight suggested.  We just thought five windows would cover Monday through Friday, and that we would designate the last window/frame for "the weekend".

Now later, as I was deciding where to hang my finished project, I thought, "Oh no!  My papers all match my kitchen nice and pretty, but they may be too dark to see anything written on them!"  So I'm actually still working on mine.  Here you see I added a smaller piece of white cardstock on the blue windows of the frame, and they now have a matted look about them.

I'm wondering if I may have to do the same with the red windows.  Maybe they're o.k. the way they are... Whatever, the case, I'm very happy with how it's come out, and Dear Daughter already wants to make a second one!

Thanks to Tammy, at Country Girl At Home,
Be sure to stop there to see others projects as well!..

And thank YOU so much for stopping by today!

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Happy Easter 2013

The eggs are all colored...

The dishes are set out.

Our bunny cakes is frosted...

Lots of jellybeans, no doubt!

And while chicks and li'l bunnies are all in good fun...

Let us not lose focus, 
the ressurection of God's Son.

Praise Him; Sing Alleluia,
and God's blessings to everyone!