Monday, May 4, 2015

Take Your Kids to Work Day - Free Labor


This was the first time I was lucky enough to have a child on Take Your Kids To Work Day.  Gene's a soldier and there has always been a big day planned with workplace tours, activities, and lunch for the whole family.  The down side of that is that it is geared mostly to younger kids and ours are getting a little to old for it.  His loss is my gain!


Greta and I started our day with a working breakfast at Cafe 302, the hole in wall dinner down the street.  They make the best breakfast for $5 - two eggs, grits, sausage, and a biscuit with gravy.  I'm always waiting for Flo to come out and say "Kiss my grits!" (that's a nod to Al's Diner for all you young'ins)


Greta went to work helping me start paintings that are yet to be discovered.  We had a busy day and finished eight backgrounds. That is a big accomplishment.  It felt so good to have my helper with me but I think by the afternoon she was finished.  When we called it a day she headed to her room and announced that she needed some alone time. What?!?



Here are a few textured backgrounds.  Greta picked out the chandelier pattern and polka dots below and applied modeling paste.  The texture will be awesome on a painting... when inspiration hits and  I decide what it will become.  I do know that I plan to use the petroleum jelly painting technique so I will have layers of color but still maintain the patterns.  All in all, it was great day with my girl and hope she enjoyed it as much as I did but I doubt it.  As I watch my girls grow up, I find myself grasping for and hanging onto days like this.  I cherish them.


Thursday, April 30, 2015

My Initial Welcome Sign




I collect scraps of wood.  Nothing makes my heart beat faster than driving by a new build in the neighborhood and seeing a dumpster filled with wood scraps.  I'm a lucky girl because my hubby has not problem diving in and grabbing me the wood scraps I need want.  This scrappy gem has been sitting in the corner of the garage waiting to be made into a welcome sign for our front door.
I painted the background during a craft night I hosted with my friends (see previous post) and set it aside until I had time to add my personal touch.  Thanks to National Take Your Child To Work Day, also known as Free Labor Day in my house, I had extra time to work on my welcome sign. (There will be a post about that wonderful day coming soon)  After Greta got bored painting backgrounds for me, I asked her to pick out a collection of papers that I could use for my sign.  She did a great job, I love the colors!  It was all quick and easy...  I cut out petals for the flowers and printed positive words for the sign, distressed everything and glued it all into place.  I then did  a little shading, applied a  good coat of outdoor sealer and I glued on my initial, Like magic, I have the happiest welcome sign to place at my front door.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Initial Boards and Craft Night with friends

I realized something the other night as I was hosting a craft night with some of my friends, there are a lot of last names that start with "B".  Earlier in the day some of us were at a little antique/consignment store and we saw a simple board with an initial glued to it.  I was so cute that we decided to have a craft night and make our own version.


We collected supplies, most of them we already had at our houses.  One friend had an old board that she cut into pieces (I love a girl that uses power tools).  If you don't have scraps of wood they are easy to get from the hardware store.  I like to have my husband dumpster dive where there are new houses being built.  It's like Christmas for me but free and I am recycling. I pulled out my collection of house paint samples and odds and ends burlap pieces. The colors were mismatched but we made them work.  I recommend that you only use house paint if there is a possibility of these going outside.  Regular craft paint does not hold up well in humidity or you can buy a sealer that is specially made for outside projects.  The only thing that really cost anything was the initials and they were a few dollars from the craft store.


They turned out to be adorable!  The plan is that sometime in the future, we will drill holes and run jute or burlap ribbon through the top so they can be hung.  Maybe that will happen, probably not. 

 
It was a great night with an easy and inexpensive project and lots of laughter.  I can't wait to see what we come up with next.

If you wondered, I have started the background on one but my scrap board is a piece that I have been saving.  It is a couple feet long and I plan to paint a mixed media painting on it and prop it against the brick wall at my front door.  I'll post a picture of it when I am finished.


Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Message Boards and quotes

My memory is awful.  There, I said it.  I don't remember faces, names, movies, actors, songs, and I frequently read books twice before I realize I've read it before.  A poor memory does not go well with someone who loves quotes.  Inspirational quotes and Bible verses often help me stay focused and not become the guest of honor at my pity party.  I write them down on scraps of paper and in notebooks, which I have scattered all over.  The downfall to this is that the quote or verse that I want to focus on isn't in plain sight.  So, I decided to try my hand at making a message board that is fun and beautiful so it can do double duty as a piece of art.



These have a lot of layers and texture.  You can reach out and touch them.  The cords/ribbons/strings are removable.  I have one that I think I will hang up as a picture for a while and then transform it back into a message board.


With or without a quote or picture, this is fun.


Count The Happies!  I will be using this sentiment on other paintings.  Just reading it makes me happy.

How often does the daily chores take over life?  Sometimes I forget to do just what this message board says - Take Time To Relax & Enjoy Life.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

The Oak Sleeps In The Acorn

The greatest achievement was at first and for a time a dream. The oak sleeps in the acorn; the bird waits in the egg; and in the highest vision of the soul a waking angel stirs. Dreams are the seedlings of realities.
James Allen

 Pursue your dreams.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Mixed Media Paintings and the military home.

This sentiment is so true - "Where We Love Is Home"

The majority of military families move A LOT.  People who aren't military (we call them civilians) ask me all the time how I do it.  These two paintings are the formula of a successful military family... we make where ever we are in that moment our home.  There is a familiar saying - "Home Is Where The Army Sends Us"

The little houses in a row represent military housing.  I hadn't added the words when I took this picture.
Don't get me wrong, I haven't been completely satisfied at every single duty station.  I can think of only two out of nine or so different addresses (I lose track sometimes) that I didn't love.  I am not saying that I didn't like them - there is always something positive in each place and that is usually the great friendships that develop.  The first place we were only there for 6 months but our youngest was born during that time so it has wonderful and exhausting memories.  The second place had a lot of old memories connected with it.  It was a place for personal growth and we made fantastic friends.  I never forget the places we lived when Gene was deployed... talk about spiritual and personal growth.  I couldn't watch a single redeployment commercial during the Super Bowl this year without crying.  It gets me every time.


I will probably add a sentiment to help complete the thought/meaning.

These two paintings represent that feeling of the military home.  It's not about the house we are living in or the weather or the stores or the schools (all these things can help) but it is about the people we surround ourselves with.  I grew up in the same little town on a cattle farm.  We made a lot of memories and learned how to work hard but I have loved the adventures the Army has sent us on.  So, these paintings have special meaning to me.  One has already gone home to another military family.  They are sweet reminders of our way of life that might be a bit different from others but loved none the less.


Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Reusing Spiral Notebooks



Are you at the part of the school year when you child comes home and tells you that she/he needs a new notebook the very next day, so you run to the grocery store and pay twice the normal amount for a sad little notebook?  No one wants to be the bad parent who sends their child to school without supplies.  And then do you repeat the exact same thing the next week?   I know I can't be the only one.  Right?!?!  Please tell me I'm right.


Do you have a stack of partially used spiral notebooks stashed away in a closet that came home from school at the end of the year?  Do you try to talk your little angel into using one of those old notebooks before you pawn your wedding ring (okay, I may be exaggerating a bit) to buy the overpriced notebook at the grocery store down the street?

Do you have a box of odd and end scrap booking supplies that you can't get rid of but you probably won't use?  Or, are you like me and buy scrap booking supplies but never scrapbook?

If you answered yes to these questions then grab your Mod Podge because I have the solution for you!

This little gem was the result of  "Mom!!!  I need a new Science notebook for school tomorrow!!"  I wasn't about to leave the house without my bra on and I wasn't putting on a bra to go get another stinkin' notebook. Don't judge... the sun was down and my jammies were on.  I checked the old notebook stash and remembered that when we moved I painstakingly dismantled all the old spiral notebooks so they could be recycled... but I found an survivor.  I located a vintage notebook from when my husband was in college about ten years ago.  JACKPOT!  Take a look at what we made with a paper bag, scrapbook supplies, and Mod Podge.  She loves it.