Monday, June 30, 2014

happiest...


It is the last day of June, rolling right into July with a smile on this face of mine and hope you are smiling too today!  Been working on a dream binder/scrapbook for a class I decided to take through Brave Girls Club, thought why not.  Maybe it is a need to hear some inspirational words, layout all my hopes and dreams in one place or feel a sense of comfort knowing that I am not alone when the skies are a bit grey.  So far it has given me time to myself and think about what people, places, behaviors, outlooks I want to take with me into the future (sounds like I am going on a trip).  One thing is for sure...I enjoy creating with my family and friends nearby to share in our journey.


There is something so amazing about the ability to create anything you can dream up.  After taking a year away from my craft space I spent my days building up a functioning garden, trying new recipes in the kitchen, running outdoors and learning as a family how to make our home more eco-friendly.  Through all of those activities I have learned that I have a need to create, learn and share no matter what the subject.  As long as my hands keep busy.  So that brings me to re-opening my shop.  Creating a few pieces that take the materials I love and putting them into something that I can look back on and say that was all of me.  Not forced or reproduced, but just the way I felt at that moment.  That is the way art should feel and how to keep our hearts happy.


Giving away a set of bobby pins and heart embellishments to one winner.  Just enter a comment here and maybe share something you like to create most.  This giveaway will close on the 6th of July at midnight and a winner will be chosen on the 7th.  Here are a few coupon codes that are active in my shop through the 6th as well.

CELEBRATE - Free Shipping on Orders $60.00 or more through July 6th.
20OFF20 - 20% Off Orders of $20.00 or more through July 6th.

Friday, June 27, 2014

what was said...


There are so many encouraging words that can get you going each day, but there really isn't anything better than a collection of inspiring sayings and words to keep you motivated for days to come.  Stamp them all out, write them all down and repeat!  Playing with a little Precious Remembrance today, and hopefully this weekend to achieve just that.  Can't wait to share more!  Have a wonderful weekend.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

one step at a time...

Today is a new day, time to cross an item off the list and get ready for whatever comes my way.  The garden is a little thirsty, the boys are taking some quiet time apart (much needed) and I am looking at the rest of the day and how much is still possible to fit into the next seven hours.  It is hot here, no outside time which means plenty of inside project time.  Worked on my framed "bucket list #1" piece.


Had a frame stored away which I had repainted from Goodwill many years ago.  Found a roll of cork at the craft store, two layers for this project attached to the back of the frame.  Printed out the map in a size appropriate for the frame and added a touch of colorful tape.  Ready for my pins to arrive today and start marking off those states!

This next bucket list item is something extremely special and in need of completion.  My mother made a quilt top for my first birthday and never was able to complete it.  She passed it along to me a while back and I am ready to finish it.  Picked up a few supplies today to get started...cannot mess up this one.


This is a keeper for many years to come and want to make sure that it is done right.  Kind of neat that I grew up watching her sew and I now have found a love of it myself.   May take awhile, but will share once it is complete.  Now time to clean up a bit and then get creative with some new stamps I just got in the mail from Precious Remembrance!

oh so fun stamp set

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

the finding...


On the lookout yesterday for the perfect map for the #1 bucket list idea and found it!  Wanted something a little fun, colorful and easy to work with and this is what I discovered.

photo
Do you just love all of those colors?  Now to head out at some point to pick up the foam or cork board and pins.  Printed it out at 8" x 10" in order to add a frame around it and add it to our photo wall.  Amazing the things you can find out there be so many talented people!  So now that brings me to my next bucket list item.  Something that has been attempted many times; however, I still cannot get it right.


One day mine may look this gorgeous...I hope.  I have followed videos, printed instructions, and photos and still it just turns out like a brick.  The smell that fills the house is amazing, but that is about as far as it goes.  There will be no buying of fancy mixers or bread makers, just my two hands and a bowl. With a little practice and determination I will be baking my own bread on day.

Off to put on some coffee and get ready to be a handyman around the house hanging both window treatments and blinds.  Anything to keep the heat out more and energy costs down these days.  Started hanging some of our laundry out to dry, using up that summer sun.  Things get a little crispy feeling, but hey it is free, saves energy and environmentally friendly...just wish my clothes could be hung up in this backyard.

photo

Guess I know what one of my next bucket list items will be.  Until then, any place will do and just happy to work with anything we are lucky enough to have.


P.S.  Came across a website via Pinterest, of course, when I found this photo of Oregon.  The site is all about Portland! 

photo
My parents live just to the left in this photo and this is there view day in and day out.  So beautiful.  Ok, making me miss this all over again just when I thought I was recovering.  Just to smell the mountain air for one day.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

she reads...


Continuing to work on that bucket list when I came across one that just recently peaked my interest...books.  I've tried ebooks, but there is something about holding a book in my hands and flipping back and forth from page to page that pulls me in.  So that brings me to my #2 item on my list...

photo
We have a wee bit of space in our hallway upstairs that continues to be the dumping ground of "stuff".  I have often wondered what to do with it and maybe this is the answer.  Either that or the corner of my bedroom with a nice cozy chair.  Space is limited and precious in our home so it will take some planning but it can be done.  Then it is the next step in filling the shelves with lots of fantastic books.

Monday, June 23, 2014

add it to the list...

Do you have a bucket list?  If you do, have you started checking off items?  If you don't, have you ever thought about it?  Spent a few hours last night scrolling through hundreds of ideas, lists and photos to find quite a few to add to mine.  There were some places and activities that were completely new, but wouldn't mind giving it a go.  I am not one to jump off a cliff, out of an airplane or really anywhere.  Not much of a desire to travel all over the world, although there are a few places I woudn't mind visiting.  After moving across the country twice now I think there is a longer list of places I would like to see in the US. 

photo
This one may take awhile, but surprisingly after driving across country a couple of times we have been to most of them.  Love this idea of the pins though.  We started with a larger map and stickers.  Much more creative with the pins.  Now to find a piece of foam board and the perfect sized map.


Tomorrow I will share my second bucket list item, inspired by this newly created item above.  Something that may be a bit of a challenge, but worth the try.  Until then, have a wonderful Monday!

Sunday, June 22, 2014

to be there...


Do you ever long to be somewhere so badly it stops you in your tracks for a while. That is exactly where I find myself each and every summer.  Longing to be here...
photo credit
It is like I can smell the forest from over 3,000 miles away.  It is something that has been committed to memory and growing up a few steps from places like this one.  We have lived in Florida now for over eight years, but no matter where my family is there is always a piece of my heart that longs to be back "home".  Unfortunately, not going to happen.  Fortunately, we visit each and every year and  soak it all up in just a few weeks.  In just a couple of weeks the boys will be heading for their summer with their grandparents while I wait until the winter to take in all of the beauty and love that Oregon has to offer year after year.  Until then, time to pick myself up and carry on.  Growing a little bit of green here myself to tide me over.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

on a saturday...


Stickin' around here on this Saturday with my boys, a treat searching pup, a frisky kitty and our blueberry stealing mockingbird starting his nightly whistle outside our window.  Finished up a few projects, snapped a couple of photos and getting ready to search for a good movie to close out this day.  My garden is dry, in need of some TLC tomorrow for sure.  Butter is out on the counter to make something sweet when we wake up for us to nibble on throughout our Sunday.  Been catching up on my reading and came across a post that was oh so inspirational at the Brave Girls Club.

dreaming again and differently.
There is nothing better than to read stories shared by so many women that you can relate to, get inspired by and learn to create your own truth and self.  Somewhere I often find myself and realize I am not alone with these ups and downs of life.  Keep chasing after those dreams!
 

Friday, June 20, 2014

relaxed...

The heat is setting in, the rains are passing by and we are all cuddled up inside relaxing on this Friday.  Snapped a photo of our kitty doing some day dreaming and bird watching.  Hope you are having a wonderful day and great weekend ahead!


Thursday, June 19, 2014

in pieces...

As the days pass so do the plants in my garden.  One by one they are shriveling up and ready to be cleared out for the next growing season.  Not sure if you have ever had the chance to grow a sunflower, but I think I found my favorite.  Introducing the teddy bear sunflower.  Came across a few seed shops on Etsy, kenyonorganics and nimblenitecap, both have an AMAZING variety.  From one little seed something so beautiful can bloom.  No matter if there is a bug attack or poor growing conditions, the process of gardening keeps drawing me in.

We have not been as busy at the start of summer as I anticipated.  As the boys grow older they tend to want to stick around home most of the time, and so do all of the neighbor kids.  It is an adjustment I am trying to get used to.   The list of fun summer activities I compiled has yet to have one item checked off.  Oh well, we they get bored I will have it ready!


For now I will continue reading and learning from one of the books I recently picked up.  A way to bring the joy of cooking back to the basics, which I love.


P.S.  June 30th I will be having a grand re-opening of my shop and would love to kick off the celebration here.  Stay tuned for something fun and exciting!

Monday, June 9, 2014

with a happy heart...

Last summer we spent about a month away from Florida, back home where my heart feels the most full.  My family and I traveled to Montana, for the very first time, to celebrate my brother's wedding.  This photo was snapped on our little trek along a river and it seemed so fitting for the occasion.  This summer I am staying put while my boys enjoy their pacific northwest adventure with family.  That means some down time for mom.  It is something they treasure each and every summer.  It is their time with family who loves on them, explores with them and makes their hearts the fulliest.  There is nothing better.

Friday, June 6, 2014

scratch it...

Working in, what I like to call, my urban garden yesterday facing the fact that Florida summers are just too hot for some of my delicate plants to survive.  It was time to clean out, clear out and store away some of my pots for the time being and give more attention to those that may survive with a little extra love.  Over the past several months I have read a few books to work on this green thumb of mine, and thank goodness I came across this one...

yougrowgirl.com
An easy read for a beginner like myself and it has lead me to read her other books and start a "do it yourself" movement in our house.  Although I am the only girl in the house I am determined to pass down that from scratch attitude!  
I have really tried it all.  Okra, eggplant, zucchini, kale, cucumber, strawberries, five types of basil and the list could go on and on.  Along with it comes the adventure of learning how to cook with new ingredients.  Eggplant is one I am still trying to figure out, but I am sure once I find the perfect dish I will fall in love.  For now, I wait.
Time to put aside the gardening and sewing today to be a little creative in the kitchen, stretch a few groceries and make something yummy from scratch.  Simply in love with our sweet little life in the burbs today.

Hope you can take a moment to create something special as well!

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

stopping to listen...

So almost one year I have been away and I can truly say that I am happy to return.   It was time to unplug, take a break, draw within and really put down the scissors and glue to focus on what else makes me who I am.  Many days were spent with my boys, in my garden, and learning how to bring out the country girl while living in a big city.  Our 12' x 12' patio turned into a fully producing vegetable, flower and fruit garden with many little critters and hands helping.  I have to say watching a single seed grow into a plant that can provide nutrition for your family is probably one of the most amazing things and taught me how having patience and love is key.
So how did this return come about?  My husband was in GREAT need of studio space and I was ready to give up my crafting space to him.  I threw everything in boxes and packed them in the garage until the room was renovated.  Once we started putting things away I knew it was time to go through each box one at a time.  What to get rid of, what to keep, would I keep anything?  Well, one night a couple of weeks ago it hit me.  An idea that brought me back to my sewing machine and trying out something a little different.  This time it is with more love and attention to my artistic needs that I will be sharing more of what I have been doing soon.  Keeping it personal, keeping it simple and especially keeping the cycle of happy going.


Thank you for popping in to say hello...you have made me feel at home once again.

Andrea