Thursday, January 30, 2014

Friday Ramblings: Lessons Learned.

I am learning the ropes of shipping.
The learning curve is a bit steep, but I have some fabulous friends to help me out.

For those of you that find this part of art a little daunting, let me give you a couple of tips.
Not easy, but doable.

The United States Postal Service is a sly entity, but google helps. 
So do glasses and paying attention.
Which, I am learning, I do not do very well.
Here's a newsflash:
I am not a methodical person.

For instance.
There is a difference in their "if you can fit it, you can ship it for a flat fee" box and envelope.
One says Priority Mail.
One says Priority Express Mail.
That word express?

As a non- methodical person, my "packing station" switches all over my house.
Sometimes it is on my work table in the studio.
Sometimes it's my kitchen table.
(by the way. it's not smart to package, put labels on stuff, watch American Idol and text your sister all at the same time.)

Sometimes it's the extra room upstairs.
At least I have a spot for most of my supplies.
I do love my handy, dandy digital -USPS-approved-scale.
It fits in this drawer.
I got it at Staples, where they price match.
Which is good, because if I have to step foot in Wal Mart one more time, I'm a gonner.
Plus, they had a coupon, and the one I bought for $44.99 cost me $28.85.
I may not be methodical, but I do love a good bargain.

Now that I'm getting the hang of shipping,
do I have a deal for you.......

Brenna has allowed me to use her artwork in combination with mine, and I have come up with this print. Brenna's hearts are floating all in the background over vintage sheet music and a little hedge hog has gathered up one of the hearts and is holding it close.

perfect for Valentine's day, child's room, or just because...

Here's where it gets good:
50% of all prints sold will be donated to the National Down Syndrome Society. 
Their mission is" To be the national advocate for the value, acceptance and inclusion of people with Down Syndrome."
Something a little near and dear to my heart.

{I have personally been inspired to do this by Kelle Hampton, who celebrates her daughter, Nella's life by giving back every year on her birthday.}

Now that I have the hang of this shipping thing, you can CLICK HERE to order your own.
They are 5x7 prints, set in a white 8x10 mat, ready for framing. The price is $25.00, which includes shipping. 
Cause I can do that now.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Friday Ramblings...computer glitch

I have been having difficulties with my computer all day.


So I'm editing this by my phone.

Seems I lost the last half of my post where I show you the cards and prints for sale and the print is something Brenna let me use her artwork for....and 50% of the proceeds will be donated to the national Down Dyndrome Society in honor of celebrating with kellehampton.com and her daughter, Nella's birthday.

If you follow me in Instagram or Face Book, I'll be having notices up thru the weekend

And post photos of the work. 

Confident that there is a reason for this.

Unclenching my fists and breathing.



Sent from my iPhone

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Funfetti Plus Popcorn Equals Yum.

The Bake Sale.
Twice a month Brenna and I look for a recipe that promises taste, fun for us, and sales.
This month we came up with Funfetti Popcorn.
It's popcorn mixed with cake mix.
Uh - huh, you heard me.
Popcorn. Cake. Mix.
Sweet + Salty.
I found two recipes. 
The other, from Sweet Tooth.

I made both recipes, the first using marshmallows, the second using white chocolate chips, each got definite thumbs up all though my favorite was with the marshmallows.
I tend to like rice krispie treats and it tasted similar.
I wasn't a fan of the white chocolate as it was a little too sweet for me.
Could be that I forgot the shortening in the recipe, but let's not go there right now.

I'll walk you through the first recipe.
Pop your popcorn.
(Yes, we skipped the a la natural part and went straight for the microwave bags.
Brenna could do this part all by herself, so that's what counts for our bake sale.)

Make sure all the kernels are out.
Make sure your child understands WHY you are taking the popcorn out of the bowl.
She might panic a little and think you are taking it away.



I used a double boiler for the marshmallows and it seemed to work just fine and actually gave me a little more time.
It gets a little hairy during bake sale days.
Probably because I forget about it until the night before.
This time, who knows what I forgot.

melt the butter and marshmallows,
throw in a little salt and add the 1/2 cup cake mix. 
I did not use the Pilsbury Funfetti mix.
I found a gluten free yellow cake mix and tried that.
Because, lets be honest.

I wanted some.


After it's all melted, pour it over your bowl of popcorn.
Work fast, as it sets up quickly.
I stirred and Brenna put the rainbow sprinkles in.

Now comes the fun part.
Usually for the bake sale, I stick everything in a baggie and call it good.
This would be because it's late at night and Brenna is asleep.
This time we got a little creative and made cones out of parchment paper, stapled them and 
 stamped "Funfetti Popcorn" on the paper.

I promise.
I'm not one of "those moms".
See reasoning above.

I have a great stamp Provo Crafts that I've had for several years.
It's the Circa 18 pts.

Plus, the light in the kitchen was pretty and I decided to get out my DSLR instead of the Iphone.
It's amazing how I'm used to taking photos with my phone and forgetting about the GOOD camera.

We put them in a little metal basket I had lying around and off they went into the fridge until the next morning.

We are good for the month, so if you have a fun recipe, let me know.

We still have February, March and April to go!!!

Linking to:

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Friday Ramblings, Looking To The Future

Today marks another chapter in walking my daughter, Brenna, toward independence. 

Independence looks a little different for her than most people, but she craves it just as much as the next person. Possibly more, given her personality. Ever since she was tiny, she would put her hand out to stop me and say, "I DO IT." I would be pulled up short in my tracks, and watch as she would try with all her might to master what ever it was she was determined to tackle.

That said, we went back to visit a place we have been becoming familiar with for a long term living situation for Brenna. To say this is a mix of emotions is a gross understatement.
 However, we have always known she is far too much of an independent spirit and social butterfly to stay at home with us forever. If I am completely honest, we need the help in providing things in her life that will keep her growing and learning, and sometimes it comes in the form of semi-independent living.
We drove down to see a long-time friend, who has been walking this path ahead of us.
It was such a sweet time. 
We had lunch, saw his cool room, met some friends, and got a little more familiar with the surroundings.

It gives us more determination to work on things such as going to bed on her own, packing her lunch, drying her own hair, figuring out the weather for the day, being responsible for laundry, etc.
 Small things that all add up to being able to be confident (the irony of using this word is not lost on me) in living a life that is full of purpose, meaning and well, just plain full. 

i love this photo of her.

Like any mother, the thought of her graduating and not knowing what is ahead of her makes me nauseous. Like some mothers the thought of someone else helping my child through every day life situations when I'm not there pretty much makes me want to hurl. Possibly localized to me is the sheer terror that in a strange way I'm abandoning my child. 

sacked out after first swim team practice

And aren't I so happy my word for the year is confident? 
But in a very, tiny and quiet way.....yes.

Because surely if I am confident, she too, can be confident. 
Surely, if I  am confident that my husband and I have researched, prayed, sought wise counsel, studied our child and have done all that we can to help her succeed, she will be confident.

Surely, once I'm full of all that confidence, I will rest in the trust that the timing for all of this will unfold as it should and I don't have to move heaven and earth to make the clock work the way I think it should. 

Besides, if I did that, Brenna would just look at me, put her hand straight out in the stop position and say, "I DO IT".

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Tutorial On Pinterest and Succulents

My dining room table needed dressing up just a bit after Christmas.
I was inspired by Puravida Blog after linking up with Revi last Thursday when she used plants and terrariums to brighten up her winter days.

Terrariums! Brilliant!
 Growing up, they were in our house and I had a little bit of a fascination for them. So easy to do, and even easier to take care of. Now, with all the beautiful glass out there, it's even better and I don't have to use an empty bottle of Mateus Wine to make my own terrarium. 
We'll leave that story for another time.

I went perusing Pinterest and found waaaay more inspiration than a person should have for putting together center pieces, coffee tables, and even making a book into a planter for succulents, which I love. 

HERE is my board on Pinterest for Succulent Love.

(Succulents, that is.)
(Well, old books as well.)
(Let's just throw Pinterest in that list, too.)
(GAAHH. I used sea shells with this, so my life is complete.)

 I think succulents are sturdier than most anything and can also be used in terrariums, all though you have to leave the lid off. Does it still qualify as a terrarium?
Who cares.
It puts together glass and succulents. 
So pretty.

I have several plants in my yard, some I started a long time ago from my mother's original plants.

I also have ceramic bowls that were my mom's as well and realized one in particular had the perfect color for the table.
I mixed and mingled and layered and came up with this center piece:


Get some of this potting mix:

miracle grow moisture control potting mix

Find some containers.

here, I used an old metal container I found years ago at a junk sale. 

If your containers don't have holes, which glass jars do not, find some rocks or gravel.

I grabbed rocks out of our yard.

You can either purchase small succulents at your local hardware store, (Lowe's has little tiny ones for $1.98)
or just break pieces off of a plant in your yard. 

Now you are ready!

Put rocks or gravel in your glass jars and containers that do not have drainage holes, add potting mix, wet the mix just a bit and stick the piece of plant in. 
For the containers with holes, you can skip the part of adding rocks or gravel, add soil and put the piece(es) of plant in.
Really. That's it.

Put one piece of plant in a small container, several in a larger one...

Adding little items in your containers is fun as well. I had some driftwood and a little starfish that  I put in the large bowl.

I used the old mirror I had out for Christmas, added old books for some height and a jar of shells.

With the exception of the soil, which I purchased for another back yard project, I didn't pay a thing for it.
And it was finished in about 20 minutes.
No, really. That's all the time I had, so I was a woman on a mission.

Hope this inspires you as well!


Thursday, January 9, 2014

Friday Ramblings About Love and Confidence.

I have about twenty minutes to get this out....so I’m gonna ramble fast. I do not guarantee any comprehension on your part, but we always have fun on Fridays, don’t we?

Tuesday I put up a tutorial about a chalkboard and while I was looking at the photos, it occurred to me that the birds were behind bars in my vignette. 
What. Is. That.

My husband even mentioned that the little free motion bird needed to be let out from the chicken wire, so I snipped it and made a hole for him to fly free.
If the birdhouse had a door, it would be wide OPEN, so I'm just going to pretend.

Which led me to think about my word for the year, CONFIDENT.
By the way, a year is a long time to have this word. It has made a massive impact on my life all ready and we are only 9 days into the year. Who knows what the other 356 days will bring?

My husband is a great reminder of this word, as I told him the whole deal on finding our words, etc. He now has a great way of saying to me, “Well, that doesn’t sound very confident to me.” Or, “Now that is a confident voice.” Or “Where’s the confidence in that?” 
356 days to go, my friends.

It’s a big word to step into. Do I pull up my big girl britches and put it on? Do I garner strength from within? Do I pretend it’s there? Do I pray it in, believe it’s a-comin, act like it’s there, go straight to God???? 
Here's a nugget my friend, Debbie, sent me:

"In Hebrew and Greek, as in English, the concept of confidence can be drilled all the way back to the concept of confiding. In other words, we have confidence in God so we confide in Him. Even more, we have confidence in God WHEN we confide in Him."

I think it’s all that and more. Now I'm glad I have 356 days...

Here’s where I do the switch.

I have been working on things for Valentine’s Day. A big step, due to the fact it’s January. Maybe next year I’ll start in September, but no promises. I work better under stress.

I didn’t know where to begin, so I thought, “just start SOMEWHERE!!!”
So began the doodling. It’s taken over a little, as it just keeps coming out.

Introducing the parade of Hedgehogs:

Once I started? Really. They just needed to be drawn. I confess. Even at Bible Study, (see doodle above) but I have NOTES TO PROVE I WAS PAYING ATTENTION. But isn’t he just the cuddliest of the bunch?

This one morphed into a love-drenched cupid. I adore how his nose points up to the sky like he isn’t aware of anything else in the world but looooooove.

Yes, I’m going to print these. I will possibly make cards. Maybe even free motion stitch some of them...I have great thoughts racing through my head. 

FIrst, though, I have to make dinner tonight, get through the weekend, plan a dinner for I’m not sure how many senior kids, their parents, and some of the administrative staff at our house Monday night, aaannnddd....

I get to volunteer at CHA on Tuesday!! I’m working the booth for Charity Wings, so if you are there, stop by and say hello. I’ve never been to this and I’m WAY excited. It’s kinda like being a kid at a huge toy store and you only get to look through the window and someone says, “Hey, kid. Come on in and play!”

Pretty confident it’s going to be a blast.

Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

A Little Tuesday Tutorial

Happy Tuesday!
Every once in a while I get the itch to redecorate. 
Especially after the first of January.
New Year.
New Decor.
Kind of a no-brainer around here, especially after I'm finished purging like a madwoman. 

Somehow, though, when I get the itch to do so, it's gotta be fast.
Part of it is, if I putter too much, it will never get done.
The other part is I become a woman obsessed.
It starts and then my brain just goes on hyper-speed.
It's a strange sensation.

It began like this:


I am, however in a learning mode right now, which is a good thing.
It gives one lots of room to TRY, and not beat one's self up for not getting it right the first time,
but I'll save that for Friday.

So, I kept at it.
See that little burlap covered square?
It's a rubber paver from Lowe's that I cut down to a 12x12 square to make the plant stand into a table top.
You just add burlap with the handy-dandy staple gun
I love staple guns.

No, that's not the tutorial for today.

I ended up with this:

I can't decide if my favorite part is that the chalkboard cost me zero, or that the bird cage was SUPPOSED to be a house warming gift, but when I found out they did not want gifts, I kept it.

Here's another funny part.
The gunmetal box that I painted the numbers on?
There's a number 4 after the 2 and 7 and I'll be darned if I can remember what the numbers stand for.

No wonder my dad always said it was hell getting old.

If you are still reading, the little tutorial part comes in about now.

Chalkboard frame.

Find an old frame, sand it down a little if you need to. This one had little foam football stickers all over it and the outline showed up through white paint. I sanded it down a second time and put some Gesso over it, and it helped, but it wasn't perfect. Which I didn't care because, 1. I was running out of time and 2,, it's out on the porch.

I let Brenna spray paint the frame brown. 
Brown because it seemed to warm up the arrangement and it covered the football sticker outlines a little bit more.
Who knew so much paint comes out of the spray can when you hold it in one spot?
ah, well.....
It's on the porch. 
And I was running out of time.

chalkboard frame, easy peasy.

Next, find a stiff piece of cardboard.
I used the back of an old mat and cut it to fit the frame.

I used a sponge brush and painted three coats of Valspar Chalkboard paint in Black.
First coat, horizontal.
Hit with a dryer.
Second coat goes on vertically.
Hit with a dryer.
Third coat horizontal again.
Repeat with the dryer cause you are out of time.

Run over all the surface with the flat side of a piece of chalk, then wipe that off.
(This way, you won't see left over lines when you change what you write on it.)
Put into your now dry frame and decorate.

Make about a hundred more cause they are so cute.....

linking up to: