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a joyful look at daily living

Updated: 2018-02-19T10:31:42.523-06:00


Word for the 2018: The three C’s


I love words…. words to encourage, to give hope, to bring a smile.  In my home, on my walls and in my art, one can find an apt word.  On my mantel is Believe; In my breakfast room-You are Loved and gather dress the top of two of my windows; A rescued old mirror etched with sothankful, count your blessings and oh so loved hang above the refrigerator.   This is just the hem of the garment when it comes to the affirmations and encouragement in our home.  You can find words like hope, live, love and laugh, joy, quotes from scripture and songs, sayings and truths.  The words find a place in my home and in my heart. When the calendar turned the page to January 1, Words began popping up everywhere.  Questions such as “what’s your word? Have you chosen a word? How do I choose a word? Can somebody please choose my word? could be seen on Facebook. Artful pictures, calligraphy letters of words already selected were popping up on Instagram.  It seems as if the Word of the year is now a movement, an avenue to help focus our minds and thoughts and ultimately our actions.  With the new year, I knew I needed a new word, a fresh focus.  This year I wanted a word that would speak to me daily.  A word that would easily be on my heart and my mind.  One that would help focus and start my day, give me direction but would also bring my joy. I began the journey of discovery.  I read lists and lists and lists…so many good words but there wasn’t just one word that could convey what I wanted.  So as with my love for words, I chose three little words that would focus my day…Clean, Create and CalmClean – each day, something to clean out and clean up – maybe a drawer, cabinet or closet.  Just one thing to bring a little more clarity.Create- each day, find a little (or a lot of) time to spend in the studio, the sewing room or wherever I can give a little time to the art that fills my heart with joy, Calm- each day find something that brings calm, whether reading for a few minutes outside, sitting with my girls in wonderful conversation, crochet a few rows or spend a few minutes in prayer.  When I finally decided on these three little words, I wanted to see if I could choose a scripture to add to my word journey.  One that would keep me centered not just on the words but on my heart as well… I think I found it....Create in me a clean heart, oh God and renew a steadfast {calm} spirit in me.                                     Psalm 52:10 Have you found your word(s) for 2018? I would love to know what you chose and why?  Words from our heart can give us hope and healing; promise and purpose; love and light.  I hope your words bring these and so much more in the coming year!!Until next time, Find joy in the journey as you discover the words that stir your soul and make your heart happy [...]

Reminders from a Reclaimed Mirror featuring etchall® crème


I found this mirror on one of our treasure hunting days in Canton (TX). I actually passed it up (only for a moment) …the price was too good to be true so I didn’t think it was. I looked at and then moved onto the next booth. But it was just nagging at me to go back and to double check the price… So, I did “Is this mirror really $4.00?”. “Yes” was the answer and money changed hands and I was now a proud of owner of a not so perfect mirror that was going to be perfect for my new kitchen wall!Etching was immediately on my mind.  I love to etch mirrors- it can be a little tricky when removing the crème but with a little a patience and practice, it turns out beautiful every time!! With etchall®, the etching is deep, beautiful and permanent!  On mirrors, the etching also adds to the beauty as it reflects what is in view and the words or images gently create depth and richness. Reclaimed or Used Mirrors are easy to find at treasure (thrift) stores, garage sales and estate sales and sometimes it’s easier and a little less stressful to try something new on an inexpensive item.  Once you’ve finished one mirror, you will be on the lookout for that perfect looking glass to etch your next word or beautiful image!  Let’s get started….GatherMirrorPainter’s tapeStencils of your choiceetchall® stencil sprayetchall® crème- you may need a larger quantity, depending on the size of your mirroretchall® squeegeetimerspongepaper towelsglass cleanerrubbing alcohol Make1.     Clean mirror with glass cleaner and then follow it with rubbing alcohol. Make sure it is free of lint, dust and dirt.  Let dry.      Using stencil spray, spray back of stencils.  Give it a minute to get a little tacky and then place on mirror.2.     Using painter’s tape, tape securely around your stencils and cover every part of your mirror that you do not want etching.  ***This is so important.  As you can see in the photo, I covered the entire mirror.3.     Using squeegee, spread the etchall® crème over the stencils.  I try to spread it in the same directions so as not to move the stencils or accidentally spread the creame under the stencil.4.     Set the timer for 15 minutes5.     Using squeegee, pick up the crème and put it back in the jar! Remember the crème is reusable!!6.     Using a wet sponge, wipe the remaining crème. Once all crème is sponged up, remove all painters tape and stencils. You can clean it one more time with water but be sure you have all the crème up!! Let it dry.Until next time,  enjoy your beautiful mirror that also will remind you of just how loved you are!!! [...]

Pumpkin Paradise- a painter's delight featuring Fusion mineral paints and a sea-inspired finish


It is always exciting to welcome a new season and to greet it with anticipation, highlighting the uniqueness to each time of year.  In the fall, I love to see all the magazines, view Pinterest and see all the pumpkin-laden porches.  However, in Texas it is really too warm to set out the real deal, the parade of pumpkins become a mush in just a few short weeks (sometimes, days depending on the temperatures).  SO, I am so thankful to our big craft/box stores for giving us the faux pumpkins in plastic, papier-mâché and sometimes ceramic…but sometimes, they need a little help to match our décor.  For this pumpkin project, I chose the cream-colored plastic pumpkins at .98 each – I grabbed all they had and of course shared some  with my mom!! These little gems don’t need a pre-paint prep, no primer – they are a great base just as they are.  Using fusion paints, two coats was all they required.  I decided to continue with a dark wax to highlight and give definition.  Deciding what to add to give them a touch of my style was easy- a little string, wire, shells and ICE Resin® paper were the perfect palette!!  Let your style come through- in selecting your paints, choosing those things that speak to you, embellishments that you love – ribbons, buttons, vintage jewelry…the pumpkin possibilities are limitless. Since these are plastic, they are too light weight for outside but they will grace our fall table (once my kitchen remodel is finished) nestled in a wood tray that will be filled with shells and reindeer moss. My perfect blend of fall and the joy of gathering –shells, memories and more as   we gather around the table. To create your pumpkin paradise, let’s gather a few things and get started…I love these little jars!!!GatherFaux pumpkinsFusion Paints™ mineral paints  in Algonquin, Inglenook, Sterling Gris and champness or acrylic paints of your choiceSponge BrushesPainter’s tapeAnnie Sloan® Dark waxRustic wireBamboo skewersWire cuttersJuteICE Resin®Disposable cup, spongeVintage papersAdhesive such as Glossy Accents™Sea shells Glue Gun, glue sticksMake1.      Cover stems with painter’s tape.2.     With sponge brush, paint 2 coats of fusion paints on each pumpkin.  Set aside to dry between coats.  Second coat and look great!!3.     Once dry, remove painter’s tape and wrap stems with jute* and tie in a simple knot.4.     To create wire curly ques, cut a manageable length of wire and from the middle of the wire, begin to wrap around a bamboo skewer or a pencil.  Repeat on the other side.wire curly question and the start of the ICE Resin® leaf5.     Add wire to the stem. Secure by tightening the wire around the stem.6.     Using a leaf punch, punch leaves from the ICE Resin® Paper**a little light from the studio gives them a fall glow7.     Using adhesive such as glossy accents, adhere leaves. 8.     Using glue gun, glue shells to the pumpkin.*To curl the jute, wrap the jute around a pencil; spray with water and heat dry. **To create ICE Resin® paper, mix the resin according to package directions.  Laying vintage paper on a nonstick craft mat, spread the resin with a sponge gently across the paper in one direction.  Coat one side and turn over and coat the back.  Let dry on the craft mat for 8 hours.  Now it is ready to use!! Here are a few more finished.  I actually thinkthe ones my mother did!!! Until next time, I hope in addition to painting and decorating with pumpkins that you will enjoy a little pumpkin pie and enjoy not only the décor of the season but the deliciousness too!![...]

Cozy up and Enjoy your Coffee featuring Kunin® Felt and hand embroidery


Enjoy working with Kunin FeltWhen the opportunity to join the DCC blog hop featuring Kunin Felt was offered to me, I jumped at the chance to work with this ecofriendly, made in the USA felt!  I love to work with felt but so many of the craft felts disappoint as they are thinner and do not hold up well with embroidery. Also, being allergic to wool takes me out of the market to embroider with the beautiful rainbow of colors that wool offers.  Upon receiving my envelope of felt goodness, I immediately knew this was no ordinary craft felt.  Here’s a little more information from Debra Quartermain, Design Lead from Kunin Felt Product-“Kunin Felt recycles billions of water bottles every year that would otherwise be in the landfills and makes them into a product which becomes felt.  12 bottles equal 1 lb. of felt.  The felt is weather resistant and fade proof, great for outdoor décor. You can even line your garden beds or patio with it, weed free!  The felt diecuts beautifully.  You can even emboss it and stamp on it.” Beautiful colorsAs I took out the Classicfelt and the Premiumfelt, I knew this {felt} felt good in my hands, so it was going to make a great cozy to wrap around my coffee mug/tumbler which is where my hands are every morning around 5 am! I decided to run the felt through my Sizzix Big Shot and create my own embellishments and sentiment for my cozy. The Premium felt in smoke, was the perfect base piece to make the cozy and with new seasons approaching, I decided to cut leaves, a teacup and ‘Enjoy’ along with a few hearts to share my love of coffee, embroidery and Kunin Felt.  This project was a work of heart and also was finished in an evening. I love this felt so much that I am working on the second one and will hopefully keep adding to my coffee love with cozies and Kunin Felt! Pour a cup of joe, and let’s get started making a cozy –you might even be finished before your second cup!I had the beads ready but decided I liked theembroidery without the beads! This felt die cuts with ease. I loved the stitching the leaves!Gather9” x 12” Classicfelt in Olive, White, Baby Pink, Baby Blue12” x 18” Premiumfelt in SmokeCozy pattern*Sizzix dies in Harvest Pumpkin, Primitive HeartsSpellbinders die – ‘Enjoy’Provo Craft die - HeartsFabric scissorsDMC embroidery floss – white, 470, 519, 605Embroidery needle, scissorsSewing machineSewing thread in BlackPins *If you are interested in this pattern, email  me at with cozy pattern in the subject and I will send you a pdf that you can print out on heavy card stock paper for you very own use.Make1.     Place cozy pattern on Smoke. Pin in place and cut.2.     Die cut leaves, teacup, hearts and ‘Enjoy’ with Sizzix Big Shot.Arrange pieces in the center of the cozy3.     Once, all pieces are cut, find center of cozy and begin to pin all pieces in place.Close up of embroidery stitches4.     For the leaves, use 2 strands of DMC 470 and the stem stitch to outline/highlight the inner part of the leaves.5.     For ‘Enjoy’, use 2 strands of 519 placing French knots on the letters to secure.6.     With DMC in white and the running stitch, stich around the teacup7.     With DMC 605, add a few French knots to the mini heart inside the teacup.8.     Once the front is completed, pin the ends right side together, and with the sewing machine, straight stitch to create a ¼” seam and create the cozy. Turn rightside out.The back is as pretty as the front!9.     With DMC 605, secure the larger heart to the back with French knotsUntil next time, slip your finished cozy around a delicious cup of coffee and sit back and admire your handiwork! While you are relaxing, be sure to check out more projects using Kunin Felt [...]

Platters and Paints - A whitewashing technique featuring etchall® etching creme and Chalk it up paints by EarthSafe Finishes


Gather- the platter graces my China Cabinet LedgeI recently was using the paint technique of white washing on some of my older terra cotta pots.  In Texas, these pots usually do not make it through the winter as we can have freezing temps one day and then warm up in the 70’s- a major no-no when it comes to ceramics…Cracking occurs and then the pots are not really useful.  Or in the outdoors, they do not maintain the beautiful terra cotta color.  Turning old terra cotta pots and platters into new home décor pieces is my way to rescue these pots; painting them is also a fun, addictive and rewarding process.  The Earthsafe Finish Chalk it up Paints are some of the best I have worked with.  The ease in which they work and the beautiful color palette are just a few reasons I love these paints.  They are also good for the environment as well as for us! The whitewashing technique is super simple and yields a beautiful result.  The paint must be painted on unglazed pots for the technique to work.  With my platters, there was a glaze finish so I knew I had to remove it. Using etchall® crème was the answer (normally used for etching glass, slate, mirrors and more). It is a quick 15-minute process that removes the glaze and is now ready for white washing and stenciling. When all is complete, it is now a perfect addition to my dining room and greets everyone as we gather around the table.Let’s get started…Gather a few suppliesTerra Cotta platter- used or newetchall® etching crèmeetchall® squeegeeEarthsafe Finishes Chalk it up lighter colors in cheesecake, licoriceSponge brushesPaper towelsCup for waterStencil brushStencilPainters TapeWax SealerCotton Rag To remove the glaze 1.      With the etchall®squegee, spread the etching crème all over the front of the platter.  Don’t worry about using too much.  It’s all reusable!!etching creme is spread-now we wait.2.     Set timer for 15 minutes and let etchall® do its magic!3.     When the timer rings, using the squeegee, gather the crème and put as much of the crème back in the jar. *you may not get all the crème, and that’s ok.4.     Rinse in a stainless-steel sink or fill a plastic tub with water to remove any of the crème still on the surface.   Let dry. Now your platter is ready for whitewashing*This technique works on other surfaces such as china and porcelain. So be careful around sinks and countertops.  Whitewashing Technique Here, I am adding different directions with the paintfor depth and interest1.     Using a sponge brush and paint, working in small sections at a time, brush horizontally across the platter. Then go back and paint in a vertical brush strokes if you want a more random result. 2.     With a damp crumbled paper towel, wipe across the paint.  Spreading and removing as much or as little as you like.  3.     Continue to add paint and wiping with water until the platter is finished.  You can add more paint in areas if needed. Keep your brush strokes in one direction as this will give a cohesive background for the stencil or you can paint in several directions, wiping to blend.4.     Let dry. Finished projectStencil and Seal1.     Using Painter’s tape, tape down stencil to be used. Around the rim of the platter, you may need to bend and manipulate the stencil to lay “flat”2.      Using the less is more “dry brush” technique, dip stencil brush into the licorice and dab off a little of the paint onto a paper plate. 3.     Begin stenciling (pouncing) on your platter, refilling your brush as needed.  The platter can soak up the paint, you may have to go over areas again but better to start with a little pa[...]

Shake it up with Mod Podge™ and McCormick Sea Salt and Pepper Grinders


When on vacation, I always bring some Art and Craft supplies (and some sewing, crocheting supplies, too).  Whenever we stay for an extended time and have a kitchen to use, I want to make it feel  a little like home and a lot like vacation!!  Enter the Plain Grinders...The taste of freshly ground peppercorns, the twist of the sea salt is perfect for so many of our cooking needs.  But the black and red labels just don't do anything for ambience, for decor....With paper and Mod Podge™ in hand, I quickly transformed them into a beach inspired addition to our table on the balcony!  This project is what I call a snippet.  When you only have a snippet of time or a snippet of supplies, you can transform simple salt and pepper shakers to a decor element that adds to the theme of your party, your celebration, your table and most definitely your food!! Let's get started...GatherMod Podge™Sponge brushInk in a coordinating colorSalt and Pepper ShakersPaperTwine or ribbonSeashells, embellishments of choice Make1.  Cut paper to cover label and have a little overlap. Ink edges to provide definition2.  Using sponge brush, apply to Mod Podge™to the paper and then wrap around the bottle, being sure to smooth the paper as you go along.  Set aside to dry.3.  Apply 2 coats of Mod Podge™ as sealer.  Let dry4.  For my salt shakers, I added twine and seashells.  Ribbon, twine buttons, charms and even flowers can be used.  I hope you enjoy this simple project and will add these shakers to your next party!!Until next time, Shake it up!!![...]

Bibs, Blues and Banners - A DIY Baby Shower Part Two


In my earlier post (Part 1),  the baby shower we celebrated was a beautiful blend of ideas and inspirations for sweet baby Logan!  When all the pictures are taken at the shower, it captures the celebration but it doesn't share the preparation and the work (albeit enjoyed).  In Part two of this DIY series, I want to share with you a few projects and plans we made before the actual event, give you tips and ideas on how to create a one of a kind celebration and how to put your own personal touch to the day. Use a square plate or a basket to collect the wishesLet's get started with the preparation.  Our shower was to be held in July.  The timeline for invitations, whether email, evite or snail mail, the invitations need to be given 5-6 weeks in advance. So this means getting the guest list is one of the top priorities in preparation.  For our shower, we actually did both paper invitations from tiny prints and evites through paperless post.  We chose to send both because first, not all guests respond to emails (think older like great-grandmothers) and through emails, you can send reminders.  It's a win-win for everybody.  We also chose tiny prints as they had more of the design styles we liked and also we were printing "Wishes for Baby" that coordinated with the paper invitations. We chose "Wishes for Baby" instead of advice for the new momma so it would remain positive and encouraging.  Use a square plate or a basket to hold the wishes and for a fun touch, I ordered Sharpie markers in the coordinating blue from amazon.The first project was the mantle...Banners are the theme of the day. Whether they are burlap, paper or fabric; they become the focal point of the room, the celebrations.  Sometimes when the banners are hung from a mantle, the everyday decor is removed and nothing is added or the decor is still there but doesn't coordinate and compliment the banner.  To redecorate a mantle can be costly and frankly, you may love your mantle decor. I know I love mine!!  For celebrations, we want to find easy, inexpensive and elegant.  So here's what we did....The Mantle was created with treasure {thrift} store vases, glass jars, glass candle holders and Krylon Sea Glass Spray. We gathered several jars and vases that were different in shape and size.  Using the sea glass spray in blue created harmony between all the glass.  Here are a few tips on spray painting glass--*Use a box larger than the jars/vases and turn the box on it's side to create a back drop to catch the spray.*Spray in a slow, continuous motion.*Use several light coats to build up color.  let dry in between sprays.*You can spray a sealer but it is not necessary.*Turn the jar by reaching in the opening of the jar and moving it. *Try not to touch the jar when wet; it will remove the paint and you will need to respray.I found at the blue candlesticks at Hope's Closet in Florida- a beautiful treasure {thrift} store that benefits missions in Africa and around the world.  No matter where I am, I try to visit these stores and hope to find treasures as well as helping others.  The candles were the battery operated ones that had an ombre look.   Seashells were added as they are always a part of my home!! And the silver platter - always on the mantle and yes, it came from a treasure store!! Project one and done!!Stay tuned for Part three of the Bibs, Blues and Banners which will feature an etched mirror, appliqués bibs and more.Until next time, I hope you found treasure that just might need a little spray of color!!![...]

Start saving for Pumpkin Spice Lattes with your very own #psl bank featuring Mason jar makeovers with etchall® creme


It's almost #PSL coffee time!!With Fall fast approaching, so is #PSL season...Pumpkin Spice Latte for those of you who have forgotten the new flavor of Autumn.  Forget apples and caramel, Bring on the #PSL!!  To get ready for the anticipated arrival, I designed my very own #psl savings bank using a repurposed jar, a mason jar lid fitted with the coin slot accessory, stencils  and the most wonderful etching creme and liquid, etch all® creme and dip 'n etch®.  I am so honored to be on the etchall® Design Team where I can share, teach and hopefully inspire you too.a close-up of the charmsThis was such a fun project to make and shows the ease in which to transform an ordinary jar into one with extraordinary purpose...saving for the cool, crisp days of autumn and enjoying lattes by the fire...who am I kidding?  In Texas, it still will be hot and we will be in summer clothes but the lattes will still be enjoyed...Let's gather our supplies and get started.GatherSmooth jar that can be fitted with a mason jar lidMason jar bandCoin slot accessory, available hereetchall® creme, available here etchall® dip 'n etch,  available here etchmask, available hereDiecutting machinePumpkin diesalphabet stencilsPlastic containermarkermarbles- to be used as weightsPendant glass with metal frame, available in jewelry department of your local craft storesMesh RibbonPaper flowersjute ribbonGlue gun, glue sticksCreateUsing a die cut machine such as a Big Shot or Cricut, cut out pumpkin stencils and the appropriate initials.  Remove the negative space and place on the jar.  We are creating the resist- the area that is not to be etched. Measuring  and markingPlace jar filled with marbles into a plastic container (marked for etching only).  Fill with water to the the desired etching height. Remove jar.marking with a sharpie the level needed of dip"n etchUsing a marker, mark the level of water.  Pour out the water and dry the inside of the container.  The marked line will be the measurement for  the dip 'n etch liquid. The Magic is happening!!Pour the liquid in the container and then set jar (filled with marbles) inside.  Set timer for 15 minutes After the 15 minutes, take the jar out and rinse under warm water to remove any liquid.  Pour all the dip 'n etch back into the original jar.  ***Rmember it's reusable!!!**Make a "Re-Use" sign to help remember to reuse!!For the initial charms, adhere stencil to clean glass squares. Tape down onto a non stick craft mat.  Spread etchall® creme onto the stencil.  Be sure to cover generously.  Set time for 15 minutes. Once time is through, return creme to the original jar.  Rinse the stenciled glass under warm water before removing the stencils.  Then remove stencils and dry with a towel. Etching the tiny initials!!Following directions, assemble the metal square frame around the glass and adhere the flowers as desired.side view of jarAssemble the jar lid and place onto the jar.  Wrap ribbon mesh around the jar and tie in a knot.  Adhere flowers as desired.Using jute, tie the charms in a banner to go around the jar lid.  Wrap the jute banner around the jar lid and tie securely.The stencils were created with the Circuit™ MachineNow search all pockets, purses and drawers for change to fill your #psl bank and let the good times fall in to place as you prepare for the new season that is almost upon us.Here are a few more photos...this was a bit challenging to photograph..but hopefully you can see all 4 sides of the jar, the charms and even my Coffee sign!!OverviewAnother side viewLove my Coffee sign!!the pumpkin is perfect surrounded by etched glassgetting ready to etchCovering the the creme and setting the timer, along with my friendly reminder to reuse my etchall®Until Next Time, &n[...]

Life lessons from #newkitchencomingin2017 - Week Three


As we are in the midst of this Kitchen Remodel, I have been taking pictures of the process.  In my earlier  post of Week One, there was a lot of change- cabinets being taking out, countertops getting the hammer, walls coming down, holes in the ceiling, plumbers, and electricians.  Week two came with little excitement...wallpaper that seemed to resist all efforts of coming off the walls, wiring new lights and removing old lights, walls in need of new sheet rock, waiting on inspectors - all of which are part of the process.  And to aid in learning patience through this process, our main AC went out and was out for 6 days!! We had fans going, stayed out in the studio and hungout by the pool - but it is August in Texas so the pool was really a large hot tub...but we made it through.The start of Week 3 had promise...the 'drywall guy" (I really don't know his name) came Monday morning.  He and his assistant seemed to be working hard in the morning- measuring, marking, cutting...getting each piece ready for the necessary repairs and the corresponding walls.  Around 1:30, they left for what I thought was their lunch break.... Our contractors had left for the day to work on the finishing of my cabinets when they appeared around 3:30  No drywall guy in sight, no assistant and no tools in the kitchen... Their text implied to our contractors was basically - "We can't replace and repair - It's too hard."   Our contractors texted back to him "We know how to do this.  Meet us at the house and we will show you."  Drywall guy and his assistant had bailed. I began thinking of this young man and his construction/remodeling business and how he had done the prep work, worked 1/2 day and quit.  He missed out on 1/2 day's pay but really missed out on learning how to do hard things.  He missed out on growing, becoming seasoned in his profession and missed out on the rewards of finishing a job well done. Then I began thinking of our daily journey and what do we do when hard things arrive because they will.  They will knock on the door of our home and heart.  How do we not just do the prep work but how to see hard things, all things, through to the end?During the morning while the drywall guy was working, I would peek in on them - so I could see and learn the process.  I noticed that when they were trying to repair the sheet rock on our sloped ceiling, they were trying to repair it with one heavy, heavy, piece cut to the weird opening.  Heavy, hard, heavy, unyielding piece of sheet rock - did I say it was heavy? They were unsuccessful - are you surprised? In life, our hard things are sheet rock.  Heavy, hard, unyielding and seeming unmanageable, unbearable and let's face it, we want to bail, pack up our tools and leave.  But what if the way through these hard things is in how we mark, measure and cut? What I mean is what if we don't look at the hard things as one big piece..what if we took it and broke it down into manageable, bearable, not so heavy on our soul pieces.  If we didn't look at the big picture, the what if's and the never's.  If our hard thing was broken down bit by bit..choosing to work on one area at a time, so we can move forward.  Looking at the hard things and staring in disbelief or disappointment is normal, natural.  But then turn your gaze to the "What can I do? What is the next right thing ?" Sometimes, the next right thing is to empty the dishwasher, clean your room, pay the bills, call a friend, give yourself grace in this moment, ask for help.  As you and I tackle the hard things in life, we need a small plan, a manageable plan for where we are, what we can do and who can help us.  A grand design begins with small steps...Small steps that move us forward, gives us a path and a destination.[...]

Blues, Bibs and Banners - A DIY Baby Shower Part One


Recently, I hosted a baby shower for the oldest daughter of wonderful family friends.  When we heard the great news in February, I offered to host the shower and promised it would be a wonderful memorable day and we would definitely have cake!!  In April, the plans started to come together. The mother-to-be chose blues, grays and teals, elephants and giraffes;we shared a Pinterest board entitled baby;  with my experience of hosting and planning events, I also wanted to add my personal touch, things she might not find with the latest trends.  So I set out to create several designated and decorated areas in my home.  The mantle would be transformed to a sea of blue vases, jars and candles, fitted with a banner of onesies, toys and ribbons and of course his sweet name, Logan.Our breakfast room was "Bib making Central" complete with appliqués and baby photos of the soon-to-be parents.  A beautiful DIY etched mirror was part of the centerpiece. The Kitchen Island became a Taco Bar as per the request of the mother-to-be who really wanted queso (and a cake) fully decorated with gray whitewashed pallet crates, Mexican inspired gray dish towels, nacho trays, tissue paper flowers hanging form the pot rack and a children's book Dragons Love Tacos. Our entry way greeted each guest with a sign in Giraffe canvas drawn by her youngest sister.  The guests would use the ink pads to add their finger print creating the "spots" for the Giraffes;with a sharpie marker, they would add their name. On the bar, we had placed "Wishes for Baby' (printed by tiny and blue sharpie markers.  The mother-to-be didn't want unsolicited or negative advice, so we turned our wishes to the baby!  Also, on the bar, a plastic baby bottle bank (say that three times fast) filled with blue and gray chocolate drops was the focus of "Guess how many?'" The winner received handmade lotion bars and the momma got the bank!The dining room table was pure elegance.  The centerpiece was a massive diaper cake by the soon to be grandmother, filled with diapers, onesies, stuffed animals and more.  We brought out the glass punch bowl, cups and party plates.  I have been collecting these glass party plates and cups for over 25 years and we use them on all celebrations.  They bring such elegance!!  Gracing the table were chicken salad tarts, orange marmalade tea sandwiches, frosted blue sugar cookies, blue dipped Oreos, strawberries with powdered sugar, crudities on glass trays and personalized chocolate kisses.  Three children's books completed this table-If You Give a Mouse a Cookie, Paddington and If Animals Kiss Goodnight. By using glass and silver serving pieces the table was elegant and festive.Every family member from the aunts, great aunts, grandmothers and great grandmothers and momma to be received corsages starting small with the aunts having 3 small roses to the momma-to-be having 7 roses and a lot of ribbon.  Our florist was amazing!!  Each guest left with a little blue tulle bag filled with chocolate and wonderful memories of celebrating and anticipating the arrival of Baby Logan.Whew....this was a grand event! My youngest has a saying "It doesn't cost anything to Pin an idea."  In reality, celebrations do take time, money and most of all, LOVE!  So with that in mind, here are a few suggestions if you are planning a celebration or if you are the one who is being celebrated.*Begin planning early, so you can begin to gather the necessary items.*If you use Pinterest as your idea board, keep in mind that you may not be able to do all of your ideas.  Narrow your choice to your top 3 ideas.*If you are the hostess, put your personal touch on the celebration as well. *If you host celebrations often or want to sta[...]

#newkitchencomingin2017- Week One


My "before" Island Empty and Ready...This could be an intro to an HGTV show...."After 17 years, 3 kids, 16 Thanksgivings, 16 Christmases, Holidays and countless birthday parties and even more gatherings around the's time to refresh, renovate, remodel and renew!!! As my youngest discovered...after we dream of college, marriage, children....the next big dream....a new Kitchen!!!  There are actually a lot of dreams in between and beyond the kitchen.  But for me, my kitchen is where we share not only our food, we share in our thoughts; our days- the good ones and the not so good; we do homework, we learn of new worlds, and new words; the prayers that are said are sweet and the aroma of family and friends fill my kitchen, my home and my heart.  Nourish- is what comes to mind as I think of my kitchen, my home.  We nourish not only the body, but the soul, the spirit and the heart. We have planned and dreamed on how to make our kitchen even better than before.  I had a beautiful kitchen but it was in need of more than a facelift..we needed to replace the time worn and well loved floors, cabinets; we needed a flow to the wonderful traffic that enters our home on a regular basis (20 or so teenage girls, art classes and friends gathering), a place where Home Ec students can be taught the way to feed our families without a trip to the nearest fast food restaurant, a place to learn the art of celebrating and to gather once again around the island and get our hands a little messy as we knead the dough and sift through life's journey.This is week one in the journey.  This is a new process for me, seeing how the insides of the walls work, quietly and now more efficient; to see the beams that hold up my walls; the talent of men who have learned the art of plumbing, electricity, construction- it is truly an art and the men who have walked in my kitchen truly know their craft.  It has been a week of living with dust, but dusting each night (it is like shoveling snow while it is still snowing); a week of cooking creatively with the grill, crockpot and pressure cooker; a week of learning and letting go; making way for the new by removing  the old.  I feel life lessons are coming from this process- I will let those simmer just a while.Here are a few pictures of before and during....packing the last of the boxes...I had a baby shower two days before Demo Day!Before....Before....Notice the arch and the wall.....During....Demo day and Week OneHammering ...wish I could have saved the granite pieces..but oooh, so sharp and heavy!!Presleigh - ready for demo day!Savannah chipping away at the granite!Cabinet and countertops gone!Down to the cementGetting ready for the gas line and new water lines.Scaffolding up, wall down - a little mess before the beauty!Thank you for joining me on this journey...Life lessons, learning curves and creating a new gathering place, where we can feed our family, friends and find comfort not only in food but in one another.Until next time, add a little love in your next dinner as you gather around the table!![...]

Mark My Words --Creating a 6 Strand Tassel Bookmark featuring SRM Devotional Stamps


Beautiful Words to hold the special places in the WordWelcome to the DCC blog hop!  I am so glad you stopped by today for some inspiration. Be sure to check out all the other blogs in the hop for great ideas and inspiration as  we feature SRM and a few of their fantastic lines for scrapbooking and Bible journaling.  I had the pleasure of receiving a set of clear stamps entitled Daily Devotions from SRM. (Thank you SRM!!!)  It is filled with words of encouragement, affirmation, study and thought.  The words immediately brought to mind so many scriptures and beautiful hymns...His Grace is sufficient…You are a chosen people,... Seek and you shall find.. Abide with me…The steadfast Love of the Lord never ceases...Come let us adore him… and so much more.  So, I knew I had to use as many as I could!!!  They are so tiny, well-made and perfect for oh so many areas in our journaling and paper art life!!  cutest little word with a big impactGathering words is a joy of mine as I have words throughout my home, my art and my jewelry... These words from the stamp collection truly speak to me. Whatever I created I wanted to be visual and that I could see not just on one page of my Bible but perhaps throughout. I remembered a bookmark that I had purchased for my daughter with different color ribbons almost like a tassel…this sparked my creativity and I set out to gather all the supplies, stamps and ribbon.  This bookmark can hold, not just one place but 6 different places. For me, I thought that it could hold verses that hold special meaning of the words I have chosen. To me, however, the most important ones will be dangling outside my Bible, with the words Choose Jesus.  Let’s get started creating our bookmark…A close-up of the wordsLet’s Gather…-Muslin strips*- I found these as a beauty supply store. They are for brow waxing, so they come precut and very inexpensive-absolutely perfect!!!-Small scraps of fabric-Fabri-Tac by Beacon Adhesive or you could use your sewing machine-Thin ribbon, in desired lengths-StaZon Ink, Black-Faith Stamp collection by SRM -Acrylic Block for stamps-Silver head pins (2)-Glass beads (6)-Silver Charm, Bird-Scissors-Round nose pliersLet’s Create…The words           Place muslin strips on a paper pad.  Select words and place on an acrylic block (1 at a time).  Ink and practice on the paper pad, then stamp onto fabric.  Stamp the word 2 times leaving a space for the fold between each word.  Set asideStamped muslin stripsTrim word and using Fabri-Tac, adhere the words to the fabric scraps.  Set aside to dry.Using small charm squares, its easy to fit two word stripsand then cut to size.               Once dry, trim the fabric around, leaving a small border to show. Measuring to cut the fabric stripsMarked and ready to trimThe tasselThe bookmark on top of the Bible       Measure your Bible or the book that this bookmark will reside.  Add the desired length for the part that will dangle from the bottom and top of the book.  In this photo, I have already attached the beads and the charm       For a six stranded Bible, double the measurement from step 1. Cut 3 strips and fold in half; Cut one strip for “Choose Jesus” and cut one 8-12” piece of ribbon to secure the tassel.      Lay the 3 strands on a flat surface and using the 4th strip, place that at the middle, wrapping under the 3 strands.  Grab all 6 strands, leaving the 4th to be the topper.  With the small piece of ribbon, wrap several times around the top of the 6 strands and tie[...]

Zen- Inspired Necklace featured on the ICE Resin® Blog


Zen-Inspired Necklace

Happy Thursday!!  Today on the ICE Resin Blog is one of my favorite (and easy) jewelry pieces.  Zentangles are a favorite of so many.  The simplicity of  the black and white, the rhythm of the patterns and the serenity that comes as we move pen to paper was my inspiration for this necklace.  With a few simple supplies and a little time, you too can be Zen-inspired!  Hope you will take a few moments and visit the blog to see just how simple and stress-free this can be!!  Here are a few close-up photos ....

The Zen-Square Bezel

Close up of the charm dangles and the Zen Heart

Until next time, I hope you get your "zen" on and try this technique with ICE Resin®.


The Joy of Journaling - the Opposites


Recently I shared with y'all the joy of journaling with two word lists.  Each morning, before the world begins and by world, I mean, dogs, hens, children, husband and the to do lists, I sit quietly at the kitchen table.  To my left is  my special bag of pens, my gratitude journal, another study journal and my Bible.  To my right, is coffee...always coffee.  The rest of the house is dark and quiet. the light in the kitchen is all I need to see what is in front of me - the Light of the World and the whisper of the Spirit.  I start with my gratitude journal, even on mornings when I am not feeling particularly grateful...I start the same way, each and everyday.  I am grateful for this day, a good cup of coffee, and then the list begins...Yesterday, I wrote some general things and then my mind began to wonder in two different directions, as it often does...and then so did my list.  Isn't that how life is at times?   Full of faith and full of doubt.  Full of laugher and full of tears. Depending on the season of life or even in  the split second like when children are laughing together and then their laughter turns to tears... I thought about the familiar and the new... One adventourous and unknown; the other, known and safe. Here's a portion of my list..a good way to view life as not one thing or the other.  It's a blending of both, balancing mind and soul and leaning forward...all the while, being grateful for both.I am grateful for...*dreams and to do lists*the planned and the carefree*the pursuit and the pause*the do-ing and the be-ing*Highs and lows*the new and the old*the routine and the spontaneity*the tried&true and  the risk*my past and my presentThen my list shifted to this...*The Lord being in all of my opposites*Life's stages - May I play my part well*Life's seasons- May I savor and learn from each of them*Life's Opposites - May I handle them with Grace and Faith.They say opposites attract and for relationships perhaps that's true.  But I have found the in all opposites there must be a common thread that connects the two.  For me it is my faith in the Lord who has made everything perfect in his time.  In Ecclesiastes, Solomon wrote about opposites and that there is truly a time for everything. Life is filled with opposites. Life is also, filled with connections.  Connections, threads, faith - like cable wires in the ground, they are ever present but protected by the soil.  Buried but most definetly not forgotten.  We need these deep rooted connections to weather the changes, the opposites in life.  We don't want our root system to be only a few inches beneath the surface.  We want it to be well- planted, well-watered and well-protected. Each morning, as I listen for the whisper, this is where my blending of life and it's challenges happen..through time, prayer and leaning in to what the Lord has to share in the opposites in my life, he'll show me in perfect time how these opposites attract and become part of my root system, my growth, my story. It doesn't happen overnight, it takes a life- time of tending, planting and pruning. So what opposites can you be grateful for? Start a list in your journal and see how your thoughts become ways to see life not just as black or white but a blending, a time of connecting.  Some opposites are fun like our sons and daughters, new and old but some are a little more challenging such as staying and leaving, risk and routine, and some will take all of our faith to find the connection such as gain and loss, joy and sadness...and what I have found to be true, is that in all of this, the grounding of our Faith will be the rig[...]

Willow Hearts Tea Time In Texas - a mother/daughter tradition


The transformation of my backyardWillow Hearts is a love of mine.  We started this girls group almost 5 years ago with the idea of creating community, a safe place, an inviting place, an accepting place, a loving place, a fun place where we could  share, learn and grow.  We have met at least twice a month, where art, faith and friendship collide.  We also have special days and traditions such as our Costume Party,  Christmas in Mexico (a service project), Secret Santa and Summer Fun days but one of the most special of all days is our annual Mother/Daughter Tea which also includes Grandmothers.  It's a time to sit and enjoy moms and daughters, teas and scones, love and friendship.  My backyard becomes center stage for our Garden Tea Party where glass plates, teacups and pretty napkins are placed on each of the round tables,  where food is served from tiered plates and laugher is heard from table to table.  It's a moment in time that seems to stand still, no distractions except maybe a bird or two. At the end of the tea, we all participate in a teacup swap.  Each mother/daughter/granddaughter brings a wrapped teacup whether new, old or somewhere in between.  It's an exciting time to see all the teacups- the varying styles from modern and sleek to floral and elegant. The tables are setBut the most wonderful exchange is not the teacups but of  stories, friendship and love - for which I am forever grateful.   These girls and their moms have shared with me their time and creativity, their friendship and their love.  This year was no exception to the beauty and joy that was shared that afternoon.  My backyard is transformed to an elegant outing, an oasis from the busyness of life- we hide the pool rafts, clean up the flower beds and make sure there is no evidence of the three dogs that grace our yard on a daily basis.  We set rented tables with crisp white linens, fresh flowers and conversation starters.  We pull out the collection of glass party plates, teacups and vintage silver spoons, polished only on this occasion.   We begin to plate the glass tiers with chicken salad tarts, cucumber sandwiches (my mother's infamous tea treasures) and turkey triangles.  On another plate is scones accompanied with clotted cream and jam, and still on another is macaroons, cream puffs and mini Victorian sponge cakes made by Presleigh who loves all things British. Snapdragons and hibiscus planted and in full bloomthe walkway filled with purple goodnessThis year, we shared about the memories made by the exchanging not just of teacups but of time and presence.  I encouraged them to lean in and remember these special times with friends, moms and daughters, to remember the warm feelings of friendship  admist the warm Texas heat, the hands and hearts who selected the teacups.  We know that our teatime tradition only lasts a few hours, but in the moments forward, this teatime afternoon becomes a memory to savor and serve warm with a dollop of love!Mothers, Daughters, Grandmothers - Friends!!Until next time, Tea is always served at my home- join me![...]

Magazine Mosaic Necklace features in the Gallery of Belle Armoire Jewelry Summer Issue 2017


Magazine Mosaic in the spirit of MonetRecently our ceiling fell (another story for another time but it was due to our A/C).  The only thing that was ruined was.... you guessed it- my magazines that were on the coffee table.  I am so very grateful that no one was hurt. Our furniture was cleaned and restored but…. Oh the sad state of a stack of my treasures (magazines), wet and somewhat crumpled.   What was I to do?  …. Get creating!With my wet British County Living, I decided to try a paste paper technique to try and save some of the beautiful images..   What I love with this technique is that each pendant, collage or bezel will be different.  With the blending of the papers, the effects can be soft as Monet’s flower fields or vibrant as Georgia O’Keefe.   So if you are willing to part with your magazines, let’s get started and create these works of art…. if you can’t part with your treasured publications, just ask your neighbor for theirs…. Happy Creating!!GatherA few suppliesBrush the Paper Sealer onto the trimmed paperOld MagazinesPaper trimmerCollage glue stickCardstockMetal bezelICE Resin®, disposable cup, stir stick *ICED Enamels, ICED Enamels Medium, Relique Powder or Acrylic paint (*Optional)Heat toolWire, jewelry pliers wire cuttersBeadsLeather Cording or ChainMake1.  Using paper trimmer and pages from magazines, cut long strips of varying width2.  With collage glue stick, glue strips next to and even overlapping each other on the base cardstock3.  Once a large enough area is covered, lay the template down.Paper strips glued onto base yardstick and the template for the bezel4.  To cut out the bezel size, with pencil trace and then use scissors to cut out or with a Xacto knife cut around the template through the paper.  Make sure that the paper is on a self-healing cutting mat. Brush on two coats of Paper Sealer and  Set aside. The paper trimmed heart and 2 other bezels 5.  Now prepare the bezel with a little bit of ICED Enamel Powder or Acrylic Paint. Brush on ICED Enamel Medium in the bezelSprinkling on the Relique Powder.  Thenheat set with embossing/craft heat tool.  6.  Prepare the ICE Resin®  -*Mix equal amounts of part A and part B in the disposable cup.  *Using the plastic stir stick and gently fold the two parts stirring for two minutes.6.  With the stir stick, drip the Resin into the bezel and fill to the edge.  Let dry 8-10 hours Drying on the Studio Sheet7.  With annealed wire, thread through the loop on the bezel.  String 3 beads and then create a loop at the top and wire wrap the longer tail. 8.  String the wire and heart bezel onto leather or chain Sunlight  shinning on my Mosaic GardenA few fun facts about my Love of Jewelry…*When I was a little girl, stringing beads was a favorite in our home.  From there the love just grew and the little girl in me, loves to create jewelry pieces for others and myself. I was inspired to make this piece so I could rescue wet magazines that I couldn’t bear to throw away.The Best part of Jewelry making for me is the feeling of accomplishment and the absolute freedom to create each piece as unique as the person who will wear it.  Until next time, Grab a few magazines and enter Monet's Gardens or Georgia O'Keefe's flowers  A little more abstract bezel, ready for ICE Resin®[...]

Amazing Appliance Makeovers featuring a vintage 1940's Kitchen Aid mixer and a little crockpot dipper and Mod Podge™


Covered in TLC and Mod Podge®A new 1940's vintage Kitchen AidMod Podge®…. who knew it would be the go to decoupage, sealer and more way back in the 70’s when as a little girl, I remember my mom using this amazing stuff that was in a funky orange and yellow bottle!! She would use it on everything from “Decoupage-ing” recipes onto wood breadboards to sealing hand painted home décor items and more.   I love the story of how it began by Jan Wetstone in the 1960’s!!  She has made a lasting impact on crafters everywhere and also on the beautifully crafted pieces that are made.  My mom’s breadboards are as perfect today as they were when she first made them. So when I was asked to participate in this blog hop, without hesitation, I added my name to the list.  I have been “Mod Podging” since I was a little girl and it is my go-to glue, decoupage and sealer. My Goody Box!!To my surprise, I received a wonderful goody box that contained Mod Podge®, brushes that were made by Plaid for Mod Podge® and a few other treasures.  Thank you, Plaid®!! But what was I to create; the ideas are boundless, limitless…paper or fabric, glass or wood…and then I remembered how on a recent trip to London, I had fallen in love with  Liberty of London’s famous fabric patterned toasters, mixers and more. Liberty of London's Toaster and Tea Kettle!- My Inspiration!!A few supplies....Would there be a way to use Mod Podge on an appliance????  YES… it’s the Dishwasher safe Mod Podge®!! So to the treasure store I went, searching for an appliance to cover with originally designed paper and Mod Podge®!  On my first stop, I found (and purchased) a little Crockpot dipper for $3.99 and it was 30% off!!  I continued to look for more appliances but some were too big, too many hinges, too expensive… So this little dipper was just the right size to begin this endeavor.While working with this project, I decided to use the brushes that were in my goody box.  I have seen them in the stores but truthfully,  I thought all brushes were equal and I always used sponge brushes…well, not anymore!  These are fantastic brushes and brushing on even coats has never been easier!!  They wash and dry beautifully and are ready to be used again and again!  These now will be special brushes only for Mod Podge® and as for the sponge brushes- they will get to be used with something else.  Now, that I have finished this little appliance, I am onto  covering a 1940’s vintage Kitchen Aid Mixer (see pictures below-blog post to follow)and is search of the perfect tea kettle!!  I feel that if Jan and I had met in person, we would be covering everything from dishes to doors and everything in between!  Ready, Set…Mod Podge!!GatherMod Podge® brush set, decoupageMod Podge® - Dishwasher safeMini Crockpot or appliance of choiceSand block or sandpaperPaper - I used one of my Original Designs Collage Art PapersScissorsPencil or marking toolRubbing AlcoholCotton padsDamp RagMake1.  Wash and Dry appliance.  If there is a sticky residue, use rubbing alcohol and a cotton pad to remove.  Wash and dry again.2.  If the appliance has stainless steel or metal, use the sanding block to remove the finish and provide “tooth” for the paper to adhere. Sand lightly with a sanding block to remove finish3.  Lay the paper around the appliance in manageable lengths.  Use a pencil or marking tool to mark the area to be trimmed so as to fit the appliance.  Repeat this to cover entire ar[...]

Two for Texas featuring etchall® creme and two techniques for two different styles for etching glass


Two jars found there way in to my studio....what to do? etchall®!!  This was such a fun and quick project and yet the result is Texas-size beautiful!!  Using my Cricut and the etchall® etchmask, I cut a 3" stencil of Texas.  On the first jar, I used the stencil outline along with the etchall® creme...set the timer for 15 minutes...poured the creme back in to the jar of etchall®, rinsed, removed tape and stencil and....TEXAS!!!  I added some jute and a hand painted ICE Resined wood heart.  I just love this jar!!!  And whatever will go in it,  will shine as bright as the stars at night....Nestle the jars between two rolled up dishtowelsTape all around the jar so as not to spread the etchall®creme in unwanted placesPour enough creme to cover entire surface.this one couldhave even had little more creme....For the second jar, I used the solid Texas from the stencil and used a slightly different technique...texturizing or stippling for those of you in the "Stencil World." Once "Texas" was adhered to the jar, I used a sea sponge to dab etchall® creme to the entire jar (except the Texas area)...set the timer for 15 minutes... rinsed, removed the Texas etch mask and...the jar was etched in a beautiful allover textured pattern while Texas was clear and crisp just like our perfect Texas evenings in the fall.  To finish this jar, I added white seam binding, a heart etched with arrows and a little dangling heart!!In this texture technique, do not reuse the etchall® creme as it is notas thick and you do not want to smear the design!I do love all thing Texas and with etchall®, it was easy to add the great state to a few repurposed jars!!As an etchall® Ambassador, I love to share with you tips, techniques and projects for you to be inspired... Here's one more inspiration wishing you JOY as big as Texas!This jar is filled with flowers of joy---the etched background is perfect for dry erase markers!!!For more wonderful ideas for using and purchasing etchall® products and to learn more about etching, please visit their website.  Until next time, I hope your day is etched with great memories and great joy!![...]

It's in the Bag....Ribbonry and French Knots with Hand Dyed Seam Binding



Today, my sweet little linen bag is featured on Ann Butler Designs Blog.  Creating your own dyed seam binding has never been easier and it's a great way to custom color your projects.  In this tutorial, you will also learn a few other techniques as well as how to manipulate ribbon while stitching with French knots.  It's all in this bag...color, stamping, stitching and filling.  Hop on over and great ready to create your own little goody bag!!!

Until next time,  I hope you will find a few moments to sit and stitch....

Bohemian Embroidered Banner featured on Ann Butler Designs


Bohemian Embroidered Banner 
Happy Wednesday!  Being on a Creative Design team is a joy and privilege.  And one that I am  currently enjoying is that of the Creative Team with Ann Butler and her amazing designs in stamping,   her color palette in her line of inks and more.  This is my first project with this new team of 2017.  My focus will be stitching and embroidery while incorporating her products in my pieces.  In this banner, we take 2 of her faux quilting stamps to create our background.  Then to give it a focal point and share a sentiment I added french knots to one of my labels (these will be available in mid to late April- there are 4 sayings).  To complete the banner, vintage red trim, eyelets and lace create a this Bohemian style wall hanging.  To see the complete step by step tutorial, visit annbutlerdesigns 

I love that I have the opportunity to sit, stitch and share inspiration projects and little pieces of my heart!

Until next time,

Happy Stitching.

Mirror Mirror, on the Wall- I love etchall® - A DIY project using a repurposed mirror, stencils and etchall®


Etched Mirror using etchall® etching cremeI am so excited to be part of the DCC blog hop featuring etchall® and their fabulous etching products!! Today, I want to share with you the ease  in using the etchall®etching creme and the amazing results you can have!  There are many etching products available to us and I have used many of them.  But once I started using etchall®, I was hooked!!  It etches deep, leaving a beautiful shade to your surface.  It can work on mirrors, glass, slate and more.  It's reusable - can you believe it?  You just scoop the excess back into the jar!!!  For this project, the supply list is short, the time it takes to etch is short but the enjoyment will last a lifetime!!  Let's get started...Let's gather...Thrift store find mirrorEtchall® etching cremeStencilStencil tape or painters tapeGlass Cleaner and paper towelsLet's get etching...1.  Lay mirror onto a surface such as a counter top or a table.  Be sure to protect the surface where you will be etching.Taping the stencil2.  Position stencil and then with stencil/painter's tape, Tape stencil securely to the mirror,keeping the stencil tight up against the mirror3.  Pour a little of the etching creme on to the corner of the stencil.  Using the squeegee, begin to spread the creme across the stencil.  Apply this in one direction so as to not disturb the stencilbeginning to spread the cremeAny excess of creme, can go back in the jar!!!4.  Once stencil is covered with the creme, set the timer to 15 minutes. 5.  When the 15 minutes are finished, begin to rinse with warm water, the stencil areas, trying to get all the creme off before removing the stencilstencil covered in etchall® etching creme6.  Remove the stencil and continue rinsing. 7.  Once all of the etching® creme has been rinsed away, use glass cleaner and paper towels to clean up any residue.the finished pieceI absolutely fell in love with this mirror.  After is was all cleaned, I sanded the edges to reveal 4 layers of paint.  I left the patinas on the mirror to give it that vintage feel.  With the french sentiment stencil and the etchall® etching creme, this mirror could hang in the cafe or in your home!! Until next time, look for thrift store mirrors, glasses and all those etching possiblities can become reality...all it takes is 15 minutes!!!  I hope you will give it a try!!Be sure to join me on the blog hop to see what others have done with etchall® products!![...]

The Eessence of Opal - featured on the ICE Resin blog


The Essence Of Opal necklace

Today, I am thrilled to be on the ICE Resin Blog,  sharing how to create this Blue Australian Opal Inspired Trio Necklace (and  lots more pictures).  This necklace incorporates inclusion such as the new ICE Resin © Glass glitter chards, the new IR luminous papers and my go to for lots of color and texture- ICED Enamels.™  All of the supplies can be found on the Ranger © or ICE Resin© websites.  I hope you will be able to find inspiration and a little gemology in this jewelry tutorial.

Until next time,  I hope you find joy in each day!!

Petticoats on the Prairie- Vintage Market in Coleman, Texas


I am so excited to be a part of this wonderful West Texas Vintage Market that will be in just a few weeks from now!!  It will be a two day show with great vendors, food trucks and of course, great treasures!!! From handmade to antiques, you will be able to find a treasure to take home!!  I will be debuting my own paper and fabric line along with my hand painted Resined jewelry and home decor...along with a few vintage finds...I hope to see y'all here - make plans for a weekend getaway!!  For more information, check it out here

My paper pads!!! 

Until Next Time, I hope you're finding treasures in the everyday!!

The Joy of Journaling Lists – Two Words


There are many books on lists, making lists,  the top 100 lists, specific lists, a list on how to make lists…all of which are good.  I would like to share with you a simple way to add to your journaling or even to begin journaling.  When I was teaching a Creative writing class, we would do brainstorming in our journals.  It was uncensored, free thinking and I would limit the words to a few, like two.  We didn’t have to think of grammar, the sentence police or write with complete thoughts…they were truly lists of our first thoughts, first instincts, those first ripples in the river that create even more ripples…and then the beauty of fluid thoughts leap off the page into a grandeur picture of what is on our hearts. Each morning, I take a few moments to write in my gratitude journal.  It is a simple notebook from Target simply titled Notes with the months and the dates listed at the top of each page and you circle the appropriate Month and the corresponding date.  Each day, it starts the same… “I am grateful for…”I skip two lines and begin to write to the last line of the page.  Sometimes my entries are filled with sentences; paragraphs-  but more often then not, they are lists.   Limiting words, or areas of my life can help me focus on that which I have to be truly grateful—my lists could be endless but my favorites are the two word lists…it gets me thinking of powerful words, feeling, people and even places.  Here is my journal from today…“I am grateful for…”This morningLovely eveningsHearts changingThoughts sharedTears shedFeelings explainedHealing wordsHugs givenNew daysUnfamiliar routesRoad tripsSafe havensFresh starts Happy endingsJournal writingMind’s wanderingHands recordingLove’s storyGod’s storyUnending MercyGenerous GraceJesus’ sacrificePerfect redemptionSharing LivesSoul restorationHope eternalUnlimited promise....I could see a pattern in my words, the thoughts that came out of where my heart is and who I am thinking of.  You can do this 2 word lists for almost any area of your life.  From light hearted things like Favorite foods… list would begin  like this..Good CoffeeFrench breadEurpoean butterFresh eggsDark chocolate....To the power of friendship…my list would start with...Share BurdensCelebrate VictoriesListen intentlyCry togetherLaugh together....The focus of just two little words can become light-hearted, thought- filled, or perhaps, fill your heart's reservoir.  If you  are new to journaling and would like to begin ....or if you have written for years and perhaps seem to be stuck, in a rut or out of words, you only need two little words to get you started… Begin Now.     Until next time,  Sending Love!![...]

Phoenix + Art+Friends+Creativation = A happy He{art}


It's January and for the Craft and Hobby Industry-it's a new year!!! A new year that will begin with  creative inspiration mixed with creative people and creative new products- IT'S Creativation (formerly CHA). Last year, in Los Angeles,  I was able to attend for the first time and it was jaw dropping, eye opening and heart fluttering- when the whole convention center was filled with creativity!!  This  year, it will be in Phoenix and I am sure it will be just as exciting  with new creativity and new inspiration...Also this year, I will be at the ICE Resin® Booth under the big Ranger® sign....I'll be sharing the love of ICE Resin® and all that goes with it....there will be new products that you will just absolutely fall in love with...I already have...I was able to create a few projects for the booth using some of the new products...YOU are going to have so much fun creating your one of kind jewelry pieces, cast embellishments and playing with paper is so fun with ICE Resin®...If you're at the show, please stop by and say Hi and let's create something together.Susan Lenart Kazmer - What an incredible artist with anamazing heart!!!Creativation will also be a wonderful reunion of my art friends...I can't wait to connect with design team members, friends, kindred spirits..and of course, to meet new friends that will become treasured friends through this great experience...Susan, Susan and Me- Design Teammates and also, friendsWe love John Creighton Peterson --Can't wait to see him again!The incomparable Jen Cushman!! Love her!!!Classes and Workshops are held during the 4 days - this waslast year's class on Casting with ICE Resin®I hope you'll follow along this journey with me...I'll be posting on Facebook and hopefully here on the blog as well...Starting the 21st, I'll show pictures of the new projects that I made for this special event that will hang in the ICE Resin® booth....Until next time, I hope your journey is filled with creative, he{art}filled days...Chantal[...]