Yesterday morning as I was sipping my coffee I was simultaneously working this old pair of torn and tattered jeans and a snagged and worn doily into an embroidery hoop. I wasn't really thinking about anything and then all at once I was thinking about everything.
This particular pair of jeans had been given to me by a friend who said they are really ripped but I KNOW you can make something out of them. Of course I thought. Truth be told that has happened more than once in recent weeks. People giving me broken or mismatched pieces of jewelry or ripped clothing. I guess my friends know me all too well. People often give me things with the hope and belief that I can do something with them and I certainly try because I have always been a glass-half-full kind of girl. Sometimes...MOST times actually....the most beautiful things, or parts of ourselves, are instinctively the very things that we toss aside or hide away from the world in a dark drawer or up on a shelf somewhere. They are the sort of things that we really should just TRY to fix, or ask for help to fix, or maybe they don't even really NEED fixing at all so much as we just thinkthat they do. When I am at my desk creating, these are the sort of materials that I LOVE to work with the most (so thank you sweet friends who know me so well.) I often find myself reaching into my stash for the pieces that may not have had a life beyond their broken points long before I will reach for something new. I have quite a collection of things with a jagged, tattered, torn, broken, worn and completely beautiful story to tell.
A mismatched broken clip on earring in the free box at a yard sale? I'm all over it. A broken necklace with perfect little beads? Hey I can recycle that into something. The stick that was nibbled on and then cast aside at the beaver pond is for sure coming home from our hike with me.
If I have learned anything through my art and in my life it is this: 1. Sometimes you have to rip the broken open even more....collect all of the pieces....dig deep and stitch....bring it into the light....and strengthen....and snip....and support....and weave....and glue....but when you are finished you will likely find a beauty like no other. 2. Most things are never too broken to be fixed over a good cup of coffee. 3. It is important to surround yourself with good people and friends who try to see the potential offerings in everything long before they will call it a loss. 4. Last, but certainly not least, true beauty is always found right there in the imperfect and broken parts....so by all means please share them with the world.
We recently found this little gem of a dresser at a thrift store for super cheap.... Super cheap is my favorite. It had good bones but it was REALLY in need of a revamp. Actually the varnish was in excellent shape...BUT... I am not much of a varnish lover....ok seriously who am I kidding I HATE that stuff! So we put the kids to work.... (sorry about the crappy basement lighting and phone pic) this is one of those perks of having tween/teenagers. They love a fun "job"... and since they are both adept with power tools...why not right? E did all of the sanding and M removed all of the hardware.... and we ended up with this....
Which meant the Mr. and I got to do the fun parts of the job... (think new hardware, paint, and distressing) instead of the elbow grease and lame parts of the job. They do nice work those two kids of mine :) A coat of white paint gave this baby a whole new look. Backstory- before we even had a "piece" to refinish we had found these drawer-pulls online. They were on sale for .60 cents a piece and I fell so in LOVE with them that I ordered 12 for a someday project because HELLO...shiny AND a sale. I love the way that they compliment the other industrial elements in the room.... but mostly I love that I was able to add important dates in our family's life to them..... I'm sometimes a sentimental dork like that. The best part was that the finished piece works perfectly for what we had in mind.... a new (to us) TV chest? Console? Thingy? Yeah we'll go with thingy. This tiny odd wall that backs up to our kitchen was so hard to work with. Also let's just pretend that our trim is back up in these pictures ok? Ahem....anyway, It was impossible to find a REAL tv console to fit here. We searched but they were all too long or going to cut into the traffic loop that leads to the kitchen...or they were too high, or too ugly, crappy, or, or, or, or..... We searched for a good long while and when we found this piece...well...let's just say it was a good day. It has character and I like character...AND It's not too deep so it allows us to have a good traffic flow.... (in other words we aren't going to stub our damn toes on this thing when rounding the corner which is my number one consideration when buying furniture. #iamkindaclumsy) I not so secretly like that it's one more piece of real estate to set one of my many vintage cameras;) Oh and the drawers are ginormous and hold all of the Wii paraphenalia..... and ya know the batteries that the Wii likes to eat for breakfast. The middle drawer is perfect for blu rays and project life/ family photo albums.... and the bottom drawer houses a sh**ugarload of my daughters legos and craft bins. I guess you can probably tell by now that I love it! And as I said before I REALLY love that it was a family affair to fix it up! This having older kids thing isn't half bad. Now, if I could just get them to be as willing to do the laundry as they are to power sand things....well....life would be pretty darn good.
Mandalas? OK....maybe not for most people but.... this nut got up super early on a SUNDAY of all days because I kept waking and thinking about putting my own spin on Mandalas. Yes....I know....I need help...and ya know sleep would help too. I have been wanting to try my hand at a mandala-type painting for quite some time now and finally decided to tackle one. I am not much of a pink fan but I had the pink canvas sitting around for....uummm forever....because I had prepped it for a custom order and then in the end the customer wanted a different background color. No problem because sooner or later all canvases get used around here. I am sort of in love with the pink on this piece even if it was "forced" and wouldn't have been my first choice given a blank canvas. These are so much fun to paint.....and honestly what better way to kick off a lazy day at home (the first in weeks) than with copious amounts of coffee, the sunrise, and paint on your fingertips? We'll just pretend the stupid kitchen wasn't a mess....because other than that it was a perfect Sunday morning. Hey....you can't have EVERYthing. This afternoon I decided to go for number 2.... I was really feeling that aqua color in the first piece and needed to use some more of it. So I came up with this piece.... It is closer to a traditional Mandala and was pretty much an experiment throughout. I had no final image in mind like I did with the first one. I just kept adding rings until I felt it was complete. After painting 2 of these I am pretty much obsessed with creating more of them. I honestly have no less than a bajillion ideas for these babies swimming around in my head. Sleep is overrated anyway. I hope you all had an EPIC and adventurous weekend!
Around here this has pretty much been the scene for weeks on end now.... white, gray, dreary, occasionally icy, so cold, inconvenient, and the past couple of weeks with temps dropping far below zero...well...somewhat depressing. While I am certain some of you will say how pretty it is.... I can assure you it starts to wear on you after awhile. So...a couple of days ago I decided it was time for this to depressing scene to just.... and off to my studio I went. I proceeded to pull out all of the Springy colors that I had in my arsenal. Supplies used: Chevron bags and flowers- Recollections/ Butterflies and banner stickers-American Crafts/ Twine-Etsy/ Washi Tape- Smashbook I had picked up these cute little polka dot and chevron favor bags on clearance at Michaels a few weeks ago and I wish I had grabbed more because they are perfect for so many little projects. I started by embellishing the front of a few of these.... and filled them all with some goodies... then I cut some twine, folded the bag down over it, secured it with pretty washi tape, and tied it all up in a pretty bow.... The result.....
pretty little bags to hang on your friends and neighbors doors.... because sometimes you have to generate your own sunshine. These are a simple, inexpensive, and quick project. They came together in under a half an hour and I made 8 of them in total. So fun and what I love most about this sort of project is that you never know when the simplest act of kindness towards your neighbor could be the sunshine and blue sky at the end of a very long, cold, and lonely road! Stay warm and share some love and sunshine today friends! Oh and when the road has been exceptionally long...bring chocolate.
Just some super simple cards to share with you today. I found these adorable little buttons at the Dollar Store a few weeks back.... they were bright and happy and fun and cute so... of course I HAD to have a few packs. I thought they would make the cutest embellies for some Valentine's day cards. Since they are so wonderful on their own I kept the other papers and embellishments to a minimum and just let them shine:)
The T-Rex is hands down my favorite. Although I still have plans for that little monster pin too. Some bright colored papers and an "I only have eyes for you" sentiment come to mind;)
This was a quick and fun little project that also happened to be a great way to use up some very old but very loved paper and ribbon scraps. Gotta love projects like that! I hope that you all have magical Valentine's Day plans in store for you this weekend. We are awaiting (and not happily) another round of snow which will add to the few feet we already have on the ground...and will likely mess up our original plans....but we will certainly make the best of it anyway! It's gotta end soon right? Have a great weekend friends! STAY WARM! Oh and if you are already lucky enough to be in a warm place could you send some sunshine our way? Pretty please.
Cannot believe that this guy is 15 today. Just like that cold January day in 2000.... true to Evan-style... he is still surprising us. Instead of getting to go to his buddies house yesterday... and in place of the fun weekend we had planned.... and instead of just plain old gifts.... he ended up gettting a sore throat, fever, and motrin for his birthday. Honestly, if it weren't for the freezing rain outside... he'd most definitely be getting a trip to Urgent Care as well. Still we are celebrating him! In the best way you can celebrate when you are sick... with pajamas all day, blankets, movies, and copious amounts of ice cream!! SO VERY PROUD of the young man he is rapidly becoming. I cannot believe how fast the last 15 years have flown by... but I am for sure excited to see the road that lies ahead for this guy. We love you Evan James!!
I normally try to keep my blog and social media posts positive and inspiring... (especially after such a long pause in blogging) afterall, there is more than enough ugly and sad going out into the world. Nevertheless....since Chewy was somewhat of a "celebrity" among my scrappy peeps who have followed our lives for a good many years....well.....I feel like I need to write something in this space. Plus, writing always soothes my soul and I could really use some soul-soothing right about now. On Friday night Chewy left us for greener pastures where his old legs and eyes would be renewed and young again. It has been a sad and eerily quiet couple of days here at our house. I never thought it would be THIS hard to say goodbye, and I think the Mr. and I are finding it even harder to deal with our heartache when we turn and see pain in our children's eyes.
Afterall, Chewy has been a huge part of all of us for the last 10 years. He has certainly brought us all many a hardy belly-laugh with his "antics" Even with his sometimes BULL- ligerant / BULL in a China Shop mentality... (yes he REALLY lived up to that whole BULLDOG image thing) I could not have asked for a better or more well-behaved and LOYAL dog. He was a complete NUT but he was our Nut....who made us complete..... and he is SO VERY missed already.
Hey where did the sun go? I thought today was supposed to be sunny and 70... but instead it's all rain, rain, and still more rain. At least it's a warm rain. Behind every cloudy, gloomy, day....well.... there's always that silver lining and something good that shines through.
Afterall, when life give you raindrops.... fill your water bowl up and get out the paints.... That's my crafty motto....ahem...that I totally just made up as I was typing it. Anyway....my point is.... since the sun is refusing to shine, I decided to paint up some sunshine of my own.
She's a super messy craft desk and a death trap of a closet.... She's a giver... She's kind.... and OH SO FUNNY. She is incredibly smart. She's appreciative.... and she's all "mom can YOU make my bed today?" She's every color of Converse.... and all of the craft supplies. She's strong willed.... and opinionated in the politest way possible. She's a gaggle of contagious giggles... and super sparkly eyes. She's a stomper down the hallway... and a slow to anger but veryfiery temper. She's "I'm sorry that I yelled at you" and a total let's hug it out. She's a lover of the color yellow.... and she's a mixer but NEVER matcher. She's a leader. She's striped socks are my favorite.... and a procrastinator of homework. She's mint chocolate chip ice cream.... and chocolate cake with chocolate frosting. She's an artist in every sense of the word. She's a pusher of the boundaries.... but respectful of the limits. She's got her next 5 years of glasses frames picked out and.... a "has it been a year (since we got new glasses) yet?" She's a protector of this planet.... and don't even think of messing with her brother. She's Daddy's sidekick.... and according to him the cause of his grays. She's "Mom can I come and paint with you?" She's a master of the legos.... and an avid reader. She's an "I love vintage" shopper.... and how can I recycle this? She's a bulletin board abover her bed filled with inspiring quotes.... and way too many stuffed animals. She's 110% about soccer. She's careful about picking out outfits.... but never overly consumed or fussy about her looks. She's laughter....SO MUCH laughter.... and when she cries (which is rare) she is a flood of tears without warning. She's in love with all of her cousins..... and all about her Ipod.... and currently she is also All About that Bass. She's dancing in the kitchen.... and "do you need help with anything?" She's an awful morning person.... for all of 15 minutes..... then she's bubbly conversation and faces in the mirror. She's still dancing at the bus stop....and also the very loudest. She's perfectly imperfect..... and the girl we always dreamed of.... with SOmany added bonuses that we never even fathomed. Did I mention she's TWELVE....holy crap 12! More important than anything she is ours.... and LOVED SO VERY MUCH. Happy Birthday sweet M.E.M. I am so lucky to be your Mama!
Ok if I were to properly title this post..... it would have to read ULTRA MESSY Worktable Wednesday.... but at least it's a pretty mess right? Well...ok that dirty paint water isn't SO pretty.... but thankfully dirty paint water can only mean one thing..... it was a super productive worktable session. Which if I am being honest hasn't really happened much this summer. New hoops up in the shop:) Thanks for visiting today and I hope you are all having a productive week as well!