Saturday, March 31, 2012

Beautiful Decay, My Girls, Hunger Games and a Birthday too!!

Saturday - My Style! So we are on the way to Idaho, my girls and me, to stay with my daughter Britt, and have a girl's day out, watching the Hunger Games at an Imax theater in Boise.

My daughter Nell (compliments of my son Trevor) is a pro photographer and loves a derelict.  We saw this beauty from the freeway and had to stop.  Her pictures are, I am sure, much better than mine, but the house its self is so wonderful that it can't help but show off.

The textures and colors were great, but it was the actual bones of the house that most charmed me.  If my Dh's and my job were not five hours away ....

 I love the old green paint peeking thought the newer, but long ago new, white paint.
 and this was my favorite view of all.  Thank heaven I have Nell, my other girls would have put up a ruckus if I had stopped just to indulge myself, so thanks dear Nellie!
After a night camping out all over Britt's house and we are ready to head out to see the movie.  From left to right we are; Becca, Darby, Kim, (my granddaughter), Emily, me, Brittany and Nell. 
We all loved the movie, even me, though I thought the book was overly vicious, and didn't read the others.  Now I will read the sequels, because I loved the movie.

 Before heading home on Sunday we got to celebrate Darby's birthday.  Wasn't she smart to have it on our girl's trip so we could all eat cake?  Here she is with her niece Kim whose mother couldn't get out off work to come.
Happy Birthday Darby Doll!

Britt and all her boys gathered to say goodbye, but even though Lu adores her Uncle Mike, she came home with us too, even though we all know that Uncle Mike need a little girl of his own to spoil. (We call him the baby whisperer, he definitely has skills!)

It was a lovely trip, as times with my girls always are.  Thanks for sharing it with me!

Friday, March 30, 2012

Guest Post puts FF on hold!! And Lasts Week's Winner.

My Regularly Scheduled Freebie Friday has been put on hold because I am on my way to California to do some serious junquing at the Pasadena City College Flea Market!! Hurray. 

Before I turn this post over to my guest blogger, however, I do want to congratulate  Mimi Sue on winning the sweet flower necklace. She noted that she already has it, but now she has one to give as a gift.

Now for my guest blogger.  She is my daughter Emily, she has one child and lots of wisdom, I think.  When I read this blog I asked her where she got her ideas, figuring she had spent some time gathering on Pinterest.  I was impressed when she told me they were all her own.  What a proud mom she makes me.  So, if you know some stay-at-home mom's who are interested in better using their time and energy, you might pass this along.

5 Ways to Be a More Productive Stay-at-Home-Mom.

Let’s face it- being a stay at home mom IS work- but without the regulated hours or regular pay of a regular 40 hour work week, leaves YOU, the mom, in charge setting your own work, goals, etc.

Here are 5 tips on how to be more successful as a stay at home mom

1- When possible, wake up before the rest of your family (namely children) shower, dress, and get ready for the day. This will automatically set your mind in go-mode, preventing you from being sluggish and unproductive throughout the first hours of the day

2- Any physical exercise, even just 15 minutes a day, will release extra endorphins, giving you some extra energy. Additionally, a little cardio can help you work out anger/frustration (which can’t help but give you more patience with your children)

3- Each night, before going to sleep, jot down a to-do list for the next day. Even if you aren’t able to accomplish everything on your list, you will find that simply having them written down will help you to do more than if it was just on your mind

4- Have one long-term goal (eat better, work out, finish an art project, sculpture, quilt, garden, etc.) and do a little bit of work on it each day. Stay at home moms are busier than ever, so giving just a few minutes a day over time will result in a substantial result that will surprise you.

5- Tune out the TV. Have favorite shows? Ones you can’t miss? Just choose even one hour of TV that you normally watch and substitute it with listening to the radio for an hour instead- that hour of programming that you miss will quickly turn into something far more important: an hour playing with your kids, a cleaner home, a better dinner that evening….

However, make sure to remember that as a stay at home mom, your number one priority IS your children: If you ever have something that seems to come above your children, re-evaluate yourself a bit. In five years, will you remember that half hour that you laughed and chased with your children? Or your spotless floor? Just be careful to keep a balance.
You can find more of the wisdom of Emily at her blog My American Confessions.  Thanks!! I can't wait to come home and share my flea market finds with you all.  'See' you soon!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Sweet French Chest from School Shop Project.

   Thrifty Thursday                  This sweet French blue striped chest started out life as some one's school shop project I am sure.  When I found it at the thrift store it had been decoupaged with random Christmas pictures, and trimmed in forest green paint.

After soaking and stripping the decoupaging off, it looked like this.  A plain pine box, but one with a nice trim around the base and in very sturdy condition.  I had plans for it.

It first got three coats of white paint, then I added the French Blue Stripes.  When it was dry I added the French Provincial handles.  Then it was time for the sweet reproduction of an antique trade card with roses.  Of course I found that at my go to place, Graphics Fairy.  The next step in the reinvention process was the sanding, aging and antiquing.  I used sand papers, and a butter knife for wear, and Restorafinish in an old oak for the aging.

Last of all I lined the interior of the chest with some Ralph Lauren antique reproduction wallpaper that I own. It has a tiny blue and white pin stripe with roses on it, which, I thought, was perfect in this case.

Here is an enlargement of the trade card I decoupaged on the front.

And here it is on the top of a stack of vintage and antique chests in my family room (which are perfect for the blankets we snuggle in to watch TV in the winter, old houses are drafty.)  I adore how pink roses and French blue look together, I think they are nearly the perfect complimentary colors.  I am working on a smaller project that I will show you next Monday with the same color scheme. 

Thanks for dropping by.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Wandering Around the Steampunk House

 Here we are for our Wednesday's Wanderings, back at Marci's for the last session for a while.  I have just added some random shots, this first scene (3 pictures) is set up in a corner of a hallway.

 Marci loves busts, and I noticed this time that most of them are now wearing goggles. 
 She has such a knack for finding the goods. We haven't had a pair of goggles in our antique store for a couple of years. Wait!! , another dealer at Treasures told me we DO have a pair, they are in a locked case in Dealer #313's booth, so stop by and score a pair!!
 Even her Parisian Dance Hall girl managed to score a pair of goggles for her, oh so elegant, beaver skin top hat.
Alas this gal just got the sewing notions, including a very cool necklace of vintage scissors.
A fun detail above Marci's kitchen sink.

I hope you enjoyed your tour back at Marci's.  I can't wait to go again.  If I wait a month or two I know there will be all kinds of vintage and funky goodness to enjoy... not to worry I will take you along then too.
And just for a bit of comic relief, my granddaughter, who came along for the tour, saw this wonderful deep fur rug so she snuggled into it and started making snow angels, that made me laugh, so I hope it at least makes you smile.
Now goodbye until next time.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Upcycled Fancy Eggs for Easter Fun!

Tutorial Tuesday - Blowing Out Eggs

This week I am going to tell you how to blow out the egg from the egg shell leaving it a usable item for crafting or decor .         First you take the number of eggs you want to clean out.  Colored eggs are now available at the grocery store, and look great in a basket.
I use a nail for the next part, though a long upholstery needle works too.  Start by tapping the egg, when it breaks slightly, keep tapping it to enlarge the hole until the nail can enter the hole.  Turn the egg over and repeat. 

 Next you insert the nail and stir the egg to break it up, this will allow it to run out of the shell.
Now you put you mouth over the smaller hole and blow.  Its tricky to get a good seal, but you will figure it out.

After blowing the insides out of the egg shell, (the egg is usable, no need to waste it.) place one end slightly into a bowl of water and suck the water up into the egg.     Swish the water around to clean the inside, then blow it out as well.
Now its time for the fun part.  Gather the items that you want to use to decorate your empty eggs and have fun!

I used a variety of methods, decoupaging with both book pages and sheet music, and I left my naturally pale green eggs their sweet soft color.  Then I added lace trims, and pictures that I had gathered from Graphics Fairy, as well as some lovely German glass glitter.
The pictures I chose were in a spring palate.  Some were actually from antique Victorian postcards, others were bird themed, and one was even a sweet little cottage garnered from a Valentine.

This is how they look in my antique European cupboard.

Those of you who know me, know how much I love glitter and any project that I can sneak in some of the shiny magic, so naturally this project was a blast.

Thanks for taking a peek at my 'Easter Eggs', I hope that you learned something that will come in useful someday.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Trash to Treasure Cannisters Learn French!

 Welcome to Makeover Monday: This great set of vintage canisters got a makeover this past week.  It all started with a matte white coat of spray paint to cover their funky 50's pattern. Next I printed off some reversed antique French labels from Karen at Graphics Fairy's amazing collection.  Next, using Modpodge I attached the labels print side down, to the canisters, went to book club, then came home and rubbed off most of the paper, and voila'  Cool, shabby canisters!

 Its really too bad I don't do recipes here on my blog, because my friend Ann who hosted bookclub had this amazing dessert, it was sort of like a cheese Danish ... yummy ....

Anyway, here are a few shots of some other goodies in my
vintage cupboard.  There is a fun 40's cardboard egg cartoon, a basket of eggs, and my favorite, a late Victorian (1890's) ceramic bowl with chicks hatching from their eggs on the lid.  Such a fun piece.

I am having a lot of fun with this reverse decoupage method, its a little tricky and you probably noticed that some of the label gets rubbed away completely so that  bits are missing, but I actually think the process sort of 'ages' the items I use it on .... more to come I'm sure.  Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Writing for Charity Conference at the Provo Library

Saturday, My Style!

Yes it was, on St Patrick's day, I got to attend a writer's conference with my friend Robin.  We both have a book or two in us, whether or not those books will ever be written, however, remains to be seen.

Robin and I were both English majors in College, and we both wrote for our respective college newspapers, we are both avid readers and believe it or not, we both enjoy classes on such things as:

Character Development.  This presenter put up a slide at the beginning of her lecture and when I noticed that it including both Pride and Prejudice and The Cat in the Hat, I knew I was going to enjoy her presentation, and I did.
As you can see, I was not the only one that enjoyed the presentation.  Because it was St. Patricks day, a lot of people wore green, that was kind of fun!

After the character development lecture, we broke up into small groups with a local published author and she critiqued a few pages of writing by each person in the group, while we ate box lunches.

After lunch Robin and I attended a panel of Fantasy Writers as they answered questions about publishing in general and the specifics of the genre.  Brandon Sanderson, who is finishing up Robert Jordan's series, was part of the panel.  Next we attended a lecture on rewriting by Dean and Shannon Hale, shown above, which was probably one of the most effective and concise treatments of the subject that I have ever experienced.

 After all the sitting it was great to get to go around and meet a few of the authors and have the books we had purchased signed.
This is Tess Hilmo and I had her sign her book, 'With a Name like Love', and I am looking forward to reading it.  I have loved youth
 fiction since taking a children's lit class from Marilou Sorensen at the U of U 25 years ago.  Robin and I had a chance to meet other nice budding writers while waiting.  Here we see Robin, telling one of her great stories to a current student at  BYU.  Of course the line to have books signed by the Hales was the longest line of all, but as you can see, I finally managed to get to the front of the line.  I am just glad that I wasn't behind the lady in the picture below, I might have missed my date with my dh that evening, because I definitely would have stayed the course, Shannon Hale is one of my favorite modern authors.

Robin and I both left the conference with a renewed determination to get our books out of our heads and onto paper ... wish us well!