Take the 2016 Challenge!

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It is hard to believe another year is over.  This year I celebrated my first year anniversary blogging – it was challenging, exciting, pushed my boundaries and has me looking at the world with a slightly different focus.  Which is a good thing.

I continue to work on my personal growth, some days better than others, and have made progress.  I can now (majority of the time) stop myself sooner from spiraling down.  I am working on “adding kindness” to everything I do and say and creating the life I want.  This blog and you have made me more accountable – if I put it out there I own it and that has always meant something to me.

So moving into 2016 myself and my friend, who is the reason I have this blog, are challenging ourselves craft wise and hope you pick up the gauntlet with us.  Wanda over at A Wandafulthing and I are picking an item each month and creating something new from it. We will post the item to use for the next month and will show our completed project on the third Monday of the month.  That will also be when we challenge ourselves with another item.

So for January 18th the item is………an artist canvass.  No rules just that the canvass has to be part of your project.  So it is unlimited what you can do with it.   On January 18th I will show you my result and Wanda will show her’s over at A Wandafulthing.

We would love for you to challenge yourself also – send us your picture and we will post and let’s see how creative 2016 will be!  

Starting now!!    Email on About page.

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How I spent November

I find it hard to believe that November is over.  Fall has raced by and I feel a bit behind the eight ball.  I thought I’d share what I have been up to and what has kept me busy this month..

November is National Novel Writing Month.  I have participated a few times and always enjoy it as I work better with a deadline.  The non-profit has a great web-site with forums both world-wide and regional.  Regional for me is my city.  I can find out where write-in are happening, how people are doing and get and give support to my fellow NaNos.  The goal is to write a 50,000 novel in a month.

National Novel Writing Month

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This is me!!

I also participated in a Christmas Table Scape over at my friend http://www.awandafulthing.com

IMG_0096My table with china my sister and mother started me on when I was sixteen.  Wallpaper up this summer with help from cousin (you know who you are!!).

This month I started an on-line screen and playwriting course that I purchased for a really good deal.   I also came across  the 101 in 1001 challenge  (over at A Rose Colored Life) which intrigued me as it had to do with making a list – which I love.   The challenge is to write down 101 things/events/challenges you want to do/see/explore in the next 1001 days.  Which works out to almost three years.  So  out came paper and pen and hmm……why is this so hard?  I started with reasonable items I could do in my own city, some travel, writing, blogging and decorating/items for home and WOW now I had 20 items.  Since I have almost three years a few items I could do more then once, right?  Back on the list.  I have to admit it was a challenge and I tried not to put wild improbable goals down.   Have a read of the link.  I think it is an interesting challenge and I would love to hear what you think.

Besides that I received my first two Christmas cards in November. I now have mine on my desk and have one envelop addressed.  I searched Pinterest and found a craft I want to try paperclip angel

paperclip angel

That is about it for me for November, besides daily living and working full-time.  Would love to hear how your November was, any ideas we should be checking out, web sites and crafts.  It is a busy time of year so take a break and enjoy.

 

 

Super easy art that makes a statement

I am always looking for crafts to try.  Often it ends up in the trash which is okay as I enjoy the process of creating.  It is a time to sit still, think, create and be in the moment.   I can across this easy way to make art – it is not original – and thought I’d share.

All you need is black paint or a Sharpie and artist canvas.  I got my 7 x 9 inch canvas at the dollar store.   I used a piece of paper to try the design first for an idea of placement on the canvas.  The first picture is mine – Chinese symbol for dream.

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It is easy and I think it looks sharp just the black and white.  Plus it is a conversation piece if people want to know what it represents.   You can find tons of Chinese symbols on the web.  Here are a few I found that would be interesting to do.  Enjoy!

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chinese symbols

Paint, Thread and Tape

I am usually more motivated and organized once September hits but for some reason this year I wasn’t and September rolled on through.  Weather wise it was beautiful on the east coast so no complaints in that area.

October started (WHAT!) and I made my “to do” list.  I was determined to get started on projects and set a deadline of the end of October to have a few things crossed off the list.  I like to make an easy Christmas craft to give to friends visiting during the holidays and already knew what I wanted to do this year.  I also knew I had to get cracking on it.   So, the week of October 5th, I commandeered the dining room table. Covering it with plastic, I brought out paint, thread, tape and other miscellaneous items.  I gave myself the rest of the week and Saturday to make a dent in things before cleaning off the table – at least for a bit.  The following sites are my inspirations of projects that I completed and/or started last week.  I have more to do and now feel motivated and ready to tackle the rest!

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I thought these were cute and I have boxes of thread/floss.  My mother was an avid crafter.  So wanted to try one.

http://honestlywtf.com/diy/diy-friendship-bracelet/

I saw these wooden spoons and serving utensils last year on my friend’s A Wandafulthing blog and knew it would be my 2015 Christmas project.

http://awandafulthing.com/2014/12/22/diy-painted-wooden-spoons/#more-927

I am not a painter by any means, but I do enjoy trying new things.   When I sit and do a craft it is a bit like meditation for me.  I get into a zone and whether I use paint, thread, glue it is the process of creating I enjoy.  Saw this on Wonder Forest and thought why not!  So it went on the list.

http://www.thewonderforest.com/2015/07/paint-with-me-watercolour-lake-scene.html

Hope this gets you motivated to start your fall or holiday crafting.  If you have any neat ideas please share.

Inspiration Board – memories to keep

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I thought I’d share my idea of a mood/inspiration board or for me it is capturing life events mine or friends.  My board has accumulated layers of pictures, brochures, quotes and more over the years.  I pick up postcards when travelling or at art shows, a few are ones friends’ sent and cards I receive.  Anything I think is pretty and/or resonates with me I put on my board.  I realized looking at it that some items are at least 15 years old and peeping underneath I see business cards and event cards from years gone by.  Also see that I have more color on my board than I have anywhere else in the home…..hmm….

So if you haven’t started or don’t want to do the work of a scrapbook just pick up a cork board and start picking up items that speak to you, events you want to remember, cards you want to keep and start pinning them on.  Think of it as your “touch” Pinterest board and enjoy the memories.

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10 Questions

Last month I was reading one of my favorite blogs Centsational Girl and she did a post on 10 questions another blogger had challenged her on.  In turn she challenged other bloggers to answer 10 questions.  Wanda over at www.awandafulthing.com and I decided it was a neat idea and we’d liked to participate so challenged each other.  Below are my answers and click over to read Wanda’s and find out a bit more about us!!

Below is the link to Centsational Girl post that started it all.

http://www.centsationalgirl.com/2015/07/10-questions/

1)   Winter or summer?   I have to say winter.  I love the heat and the sun but winter is the season when I seem to get the most done.  I’m more focused during the winter months on projects. There seems to be less distractions.   I live in a condo so no snow shoveling or mowing of grass so I know how lucky I am here.

2)  Name one thing on your bucket list you have completed.

Sedona, Arizona
Seeing the desert. Sedona, Arizona

3)  If you could rewind 20 years and give yourself advice, what would it be.   To embrace my uniqueness.  To take more risk and have more self confidence in my choices. Listen to my gut and follow what it says. I would love to live in a bigger city even if just for the experience.

4)   Share something you’ve pinned or bookmarked and why you love it.

New York City Library
New York City Library

I have been to New York City twice and love it.  Such a great walking city, so much to see and explore.  I have a Pinterest Board of my “ideal day” and this pin is on it.  I would love to spend an afternoon writing on that table in that library!

5)   Favorite room in the house and why?  This was the hardest question for me as I love my home as it is slowly evolving into me.  Final decision was my bedroom as it is where my desk is – which is my mother’s linoleum chrome kitchen table.  The room also has a wing-back chair for reading and of course my bed.  The desk is in front of the window where I look out at a row of trees so the view is different each season.  Check out my Home Tour for a few pictures of the place and backyard.

6)   What is your favorite color and where do you often use it.   I like blue.  I use it in accessories like kitchen runner and pillows.

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7)   What is my go to meal/recipe?   I am not a great baker or cook.  I do work at eating (majority of the time) right.  When I’m invited somewhere I usually make curry rice in my rice cooker.  It is easy, I add curry and thyme and some frozen vegetables near the end.

8)   What is my guilty pleasure?   It is a hot, humid Sunday afternoon.  I have two chairs and a big plush cushion set up on the balcony.  I have a decorating magazine on my seat and the chairs are close enough I can put my legs up and stretch out on them.  I move a little table out next to the chair.  My guilty pleasure sits on the table……a large glass with ice of diet coke!   My summer hot weekend treat.

9)   What is an author/book that has resonated with you and why?  I have already confessed to being a self-help junkie with books.  I  have also recommended a few books in other posts.  So I went through my bookcase and decided to choose….The Bodacious book of Succulence – daring to live your succulent wild life! by Sark.   The reason is I recommended this book to my cousin this summer.   Sark’s write-up will explain this book better than I ever could “I wish this book to free the part of your soul that longs to write epic novels, recite Yeats by heart, play a musical instrument by magic, or perform in a play about your life that you create and design.  Most of all I want this book to give you a boost up over the fence that prevents you from moving forward and inward.”   I feel we could all use help with a boost “over the fence”.

http://planetsark.com/

10)   How many items are on your project list and what are the top two.  I have different lists going all the time.  House, writing, blog, groceries you can see where I’m heading.  I might not have lipstick or make-up in my pursue but I always have paper and pen.  When Wanda and I decided to write this post my top two for the house were wallpaper an accent wall in the dining room and closet doors for my entry way.  Since we started plugging away on this post a few weeks ago, I managed to find someone to help me wallpaper (thank you Erin).  So I’ll add finding out more about Periscope to round up to my top two.

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Interview with a “vintage” hunter

Something new for me – an interview with my friend and fellow blogger Wanda over at http://www.awandafulthing.com.  She is also a vintage/antique hunter and I thought I’d share some of her thought on one of her favorite pastimes.

  1.    What got you interested in vintage items?

It stems from the fact I spent most of my childhood with my grandfather and his philosophy in life was only replace something if it is broken, can’t be fixed or is worn out. He always paid cash for everything and he never paid full price – back in those days you could barter. I witnessed his bartering many a time and I know that’s where I get it and why I love to do it – reminds me of him and they are such great memories.

So I was surrounded by what is now antique and vintage stuff – I remember his desk (he worked a lot from home) and he used a inkwell and a quill pen – I inherited that desk and it’s one of the only pieces I probably would never refinish as it has inkwell stains still on it :0 )

I also grew up around old stuff, vintage and antique stuff at my parents house (they still live there) an old two story house with original wide mouldings, hardwood floors, solid wood doors with glass knobs.  I can remember my dad always got a thrill out of finding old bottles either buried where old homesteads were or sometimes exploring the ruins of an old house.  Some of the colors always fascinated me as well as the fact it is something that keeps me and my dad close – I still get excited to phone him and tell him what my latest discover is – I had the good fortune of spending three weeks with him this summer and we spent many an hour sorting through his stuff and me showing him what I just bought. I was super excited to show him an old Javex bottle because I couldn’t remember ever seeing one before….his comment was “oh I have one of those in the barn, I’ll go get it for you dear” and he did and now I have two…lol

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Summer wreath – a twist

We are finally having a run of summer weather on the east coast.  After a brutal winter and a non-existent spring the warmer weather is much appreciated!

Wanda and I decided to do inexpensive summer wreaths for Love The Home You Have challenge “welcome home”.   I live in a condo/apartment so my front door opens up into a hallway so no natural light. Sigh.  Does face south-west so great exposure once through the front  door.

I wanted to use flip-flops for the wreath as have seen so many creative ones on Pinterest.  I looked for a wreath but couldn’t find one realizable priced, but I did find a picture frame at goodwill.  So I removed the glass and decided to go with that.  I had used a picture frame for a Christmas wreath for my front door which I saw on Pinterest in the fall.  The other items I purchased at the buck or two store. Continue reading

Summer spaces – enjoy what you have

It is officially summer. It felt like a long time coming to the east coast but the calendar says the season has started.  With warm thoughts in mind I am looking around my place to brighten and lighten up.  I have a small balcony (12 x 4 feet) which faces south-west so lots of light.  I usually put two big chairs to stretch out in and read, along with a few flower pots. It is nothing to look at but serves the purpose.  I’m thinking this year I should shake things up so I have been looking at pictures of small balcony spaces.  I thought I’d share a few I have come across.  Is anyone else thinking of “shaking” up their outdoor space this season?

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I’m liking the use of rugs, cushions and extra storage (note the bike!).  All look pretty and useable.  Definitely something to think about. While I was looking for balcony ideas I came across some ideas for larger outdoor spaces.   I’ve commandeered my friend Wanda’s site to show off these so check out www.awandafulthing.com

Original art????

I am not a DIY person by any means but I do like to use my hands and create.  When I am crafting or writing it is like a Zen moment.  I enjoy the process, regardless of the results, and it is definitely time spent in the moment.  So I’m always looking for the next fun thing and recently I found it.  Have a look at my “original” art work.   Did you ever do paint-by-numbers as a kid?  Well, maybe you should try it again.

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Remember you can always start now!