Tuesday, January 26, 2010

We recently redid our bathroom. we have living in our home for about 14 years - the longest I have lived in the same house other than the home I grew up in. After 14 years, the house begins to need repairs. The floors were needing to be replaced, and that opened up a world of possibilities. I also must confess - this particular bathroom is the only room in the house that has not been painted since we moved in. It was time!

We chose a very contemporary neutral taupe with a gorgeous olive green. We wanted a spa-like feel. The backsplash was originally an oak border -kind of bulky and very dated. We thought about throwing it out, but decided instead to try and salvage it to save a few extra dollars. But, of course, it needed a little help. . .so . . . it received my personal touch!

Monday, January 25, 2010

A Beach Chair

In December, I met Lorraine. When I go to various art shows and sales, I never know who my neighbor is going to be. Sometimes I sit by someone who is friendly and chatty, and sometimes . . .not. In December, while in Seattle, my husband and I sat right next to Lorraine and her family. Lorraine does wonderful work with reclaimed fabrics, felts, and wools that she hand stitches into pin cushions, needle books, and other fabric treasures. All of her fabrics and buttons and embellishments are reclaimed and recycled. They are beautiful one of a kind creations. But the best part of having Lorraine as a neighbor was getting to know her and her family!

I have met so many wonderful people at various shows. I feel truly blessed by these new friendships.

Lorraine wanted a chair that I had. But it had unfortunately sold to someone else. I told her I had one more of this style of chair at home and would make one just for her. They have property on the coast and wanted a special chair for that home. She picked out some phrases that she liked and let me know her color preferences. This is how it turned out.

I love this style of chair - and they are somewhat difficult to find. I thought it turned out really sweet. It seems to glow when the light hits it.

I hope this chair will add to the wonderful memories that are being created whenever she spends time at her beach house.

Thanks for the opportunity to do this, Lorraine!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

The Simple Things

I am a mother. I have four children. I think of them as young children but am regularly reminded that they are no longer small. My baby is 14 . . .and a half. I no longer need to make them a peanut and butter sandwich, or fix their hair in the morning, or pour their Cheerios. I don't have to make their lunches for school or wash and fold their clothers. No diapers, bottles, or spare clothes are packed up before we leave the house. I don't have to worry about car seats, or boosters or keeping the "big" kids in the backseat because of the airbags. And indeed, I do not miss taking out a second mortgage on my house to buy diapers or formula.

But I do miss playing. I miss the trips to the library for preschool story time, sitting at the park and watching them swing from the bars, helping to dress a doll, and building a whole city out of Legos and Lincoln Logs. I miss watching them discover a new miracle on a walk. Those precious moments of time will remain in my memories and I look forward to continuing some of those things with future grandchildren.

In the meantime, however, there is still the "boardgame". There is something about the winter months that make my adult children crave playing a board game. In fact a few Christmas's ago, I reinstated the tradition of buying a new board game as a family gift. I love the simplicity of sitting around the table with my family and playing dominos or a card game or Pictionary. We laugh, we talk, we engage in healthy competition, we eat popcorn or drink tea. Sometimes on a Sunday evening, we invite the grandparents over to have dinner and join us in a game. On those nights, full of simple pleasures, I go to bed happy, content and with an overwhelming feeling of peace. I look forward to the spring and summer - but I secretly do love those long winter nights.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Finishing the Details

As the month of January marches forward, I find myself trying to catch up and finish up a variety of projects.

Much of our time has been spent doing things like replacing rotting floors in our bathrooms, painting and finishing details on home improvement projects.
As a home-owner, mom, business owner, and full-time employee at a day job - sometimes the hardest thing to do is "finish". I'm sure many others understand this dilemma. You put all of the energy into the body of a project - and then you run out of steam for the final details. One example - my husband and I replaced all of the floors in our living space about 4 years ago. It was such a big deal and looked so good - but then the base boards never got put in. Once the furniture was moved back into place, you really couldn't even see it - so it slipped to the bottom of the list. Well - we are finally finishing some of these things - like the baseboards and touching up some painting that has been "dinged" up.

Monday was a holiday for some - myself included. It was a welcomed day and I attended to several things on my art-to-finish list. Included was a
  • large picture frame that I purchased a while ago at GoodWill - it was primed yesterday and will be embellished in bright colors and paired with a canvas that was painted several months ago.
  • I went thrift-store shopping and collected a variety of vases to refurbish.
  • I painted the back of my chair that I sit in at my various sales. I am trying to work on personal branding on all of my display pieces.
  • I finished a plaque that I wanted for my kitchen.

And I even spent some time cooking dinner and playing Pictionary with the family. All-in-all, it feels like I am beginning to get back in the groove and gearing up for a fantastic 2010.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Welcome 2010 . . .

"We will open the book. It's pages are blank. We are going to put words on them ourselves. The book is called OPPORTUNITY and it's first chapter is New Year's Day." ~ Edith Lovejoy Pierce

"We usually spend January walking through our lives, room by room, drawing up a list of work to be done, cracks to be patched. Maybe this year, to balance the list, we outght to walk through the rooms of our lives, not looking for flaws, but for potential". ~Ellen Goodman

Two wonderful quotes to start the New Year off with.

I looked at this blog recently and was appalled at how long it has been since my last post. Every year, I find myself at surprised at how busy and out of control the holiday season gets. As an artist, this is my busiest time of year. I worked very diligently at getting the "have-tos" done early so that I could enjoy the season. I did a really good job . . .and then fate stepped in. I found myself with a scratchy throat the Saturday before Christmas. By the next day, I was flat in bed with a full-on case of the flu. Almost three weeks have passed and I am still fighting the residual effects. Sometimes life slows us down and we have to listen!

I spent much of my holiday break resting, reading, spending time with friends and family. I wasn't in my studio for almost 3 weeks!!! That is quite shocking, since I usually spend at least some time in it every single day. I definitely needed the break - but am now ready to get back to business!

2009 was a year full of change and challenges, hope and heartache. It was a lesson in learning to appreciate all that we have.

I felt, and continue to feel, grateful for all the blessings that I have in my life. . .my family, my wonderful husband, my talents, and my amazing friends. And I am so grateful for the opportunity that I have to create art and share it with others. Life is good!

We are finally going to jump on the bandwagon and begin to post some of our work on ETSY. Jon has been working to create a lightbox that allows him to take photos of my work and eliminate some of the harsh shadows. One of the struggles I have had with deciding to jump on the bandwagon of selling my work "online" was figuring out how to take good pictures that show the color and detail of the work. I think he is on the right track.

As we continue to grow this business, it has become more and more evident how I cannot do it alone. There are so many details to be worked out. It is wonderful having someone who can help figure things like a lightbox out and then make it happen!

I have set some goals for the new year. One of them is to become more active on this blog. I also want to network more with other artists and bloggers. There are so many out there that inspire and uplift me. I look at there blogs on a daily basis and love to see what they have created.

Stay posted and check back frequently. I will give more details on our Etsy adventure as Jon gets it up and running.

Here's to a GREAT 2010!