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Archive for May, 2012

I hope everyone had a lovely weekend. I was just so excited to be home from a vacation to the Virginia coast. Don’t you just love it…we go on vacation to relax from our normal everyday life. Then, we need a three day weekend to recuperate from the vacation.

McHubby and I rented a cottage on Chincoteague Island. Chincoteague and its sister, Assateague, were brought to America’s attention through the book, Misty of Chincoteague by Marguerite Henry. Assateague is a barrier island, the home of Chincoteague Wildlife Refuge and a National Seashore. These areas appeal to people more interested in natural settings and small towns rather than large, overcrowded, over-commercialized beaches.

The Wildlife Refuge has several paved walking/biking trails which we used every day. (Tip: wear bug spray and cover your arms and legs.) We had several nights of delicious fresh seafood. Apparently, the oysters are wonderful because they get fresh ocean water every 12 hours due to the geography and the tide. I’m not an oyster eater though. I’ll take Captain Charlie’s word for it. Our favorite treat for the week was ice cream from Island Creamery. All the flavors that we tried were rich and creamy.

Dock in to the bay

The pier from our rental cottage

Sun setting over the bay

Sun setting over the Wallops Island

Chincoteague Island Cruise

Captain Charlie explains oyster farming

Hoofprints Farm

Captain Charlie’s Oyster Farm

Nesting Osprey

Osprey Nesting next to Chincoteague

Building in water

Building in water due to beach erosion

Chincoteague Island

Tom’s Cove on Chincoteague Island

From the water, Assateague Lighthouse

Still in operation, the lighthouse on Assateague

Best darn fisherman

Captain Stanley with cooler of flounder

Butterfly on thistle

Butterfly

Goose family

Goose and goslings

bird on nest

Waterfowl sitting on nest

Raccoon

Raccoon

Chincoteague pony

Wild Chincoteague pony

Chincoteague pony

Chincoteague pony

To wrap up my vacation, I received a nomination for the One Lovely Blog Award from Thea at Organized Living Essentials. Thank you so much, Thea, for all your lovely compliments and for nominating me for this award. As a new blogger, I enjoy just having someone read what I’ve written. Being liked and hearing such kind words is icing on the cake.

Seven Things about Myself

  1. Summer is my favorite season. I love being warm, even if it means sweating.
  2. I could probably eat pizza every day.
  3. During my first pregnancy, the smell of pizza made me nauseous. I didn’t eat pizza until a few weeks before labor and delivery.
  4. I love watching the sky.
  5. I enjoy learning about other cultures, religions and languages.
  6. I’m not a big fan of heights.
  7. I am a big fan of texture. I have to touch things before I decide to buy them which doesn’t work very well for internet shopping.

What vacations and projects do you have planned for the summer?

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One of the amazing traits of being a creative person is getting tons of ideas about how to use items in different ways and how to change my spaces. Unfortunately, I can get frustrated when I decide to move a piece of art, furniture, window treatment or other decorative piece out of their original location and to the basement storage area. Luckily, McHubby is a good sport about my creative urges and fully supports my “process”. ; ) I strongly dislike wasting money; so I try to re-purpose when I can.

Recently, I re-purposed a metal art pieces from Kirkland’s into a pot (basket) rack over the kitchen island. I had been using this piece and an identical one back to back to hang from the ceiling as a visual divider between the family room and kitchen. When I switched gears and wanted a more open space between the rooms, I had two metal art pieces to store in the basement. Bummer…

Before I show you how my project turned out, I’ll show a quick survey of other creative ideas for making a pot rack.

A Ladder:

Pot Rack from Found Ladder

An old coffee table:

Pot Rack

An old door:

Creative use of old screen door

A sled:

Pot rack from sled

Here is my interpretation:

Basket rack

Re-purposed Art to Pot Rack

Hmmmmm….what else could be made into a pot rack?

Amy

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I seem to have a bit of an obsession with words. I have decorated with them everywhere in my house. I recently refreshed a piece of manufactured art that I had gotten at Kirkland’s a few years ago. Originally, the colors were gray, grayish blue and tan with a quote something to the effect of life isn’t about staying away from storms; it’s about learning to dance in the rain.

When I started tweaking the family room, I wanted to brighten the colors. While I was in the process, I decided to change the quote to the one by Henry Van Dyke that inspired my blog title. “Use what talents you possess; the woods would be very silent if no birds sang there except those that sang best.”

Update your art

Inexpensively refresh your decor

I used scrapbook papers on the inner and outer areas. I used my Silhouette Cameo to cut the quote. I had some issues with lettering, so it is a little crooked in places.

You don’t have to be stuck with a piece of art that when you have become tired of it. For a little bit of money and some creativity you can update it perfectly.

What do you do when you get tired of your decor?

Amy

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It seemed so easy…such a cool feature. What an unexpected challenge. Have you ever been excited to try a project and have it be more difficult and less lovely than you thought? I think there ought to be a Murphy’s Law corollary about this. Well, perhaps it is really about the creative process and not giving up until you get it the way you want it.

When we were building out home nine years ago, I was looking forward to decorating the niche between the family room and kitchen. The builder had cut off the right angle corner and recessed the top half into the wall. (I don’t think I have pictures from nine years ago.) “What a dramatic spot. I could do something so cool here,” I mused.

Ha, ha. I had an Asian inspired vase with curly branches there for a while. I tried faux finishes. Somehow none of these solutions was right. Then, one day I had a lightbulb moment. The niche looked a lot like my parents’ corner cabinet. Would some wood and glass knobs create a realistic look?

What do you think?

Niche all dressed up

A tricky niche turned into a corner cabinet

With details…
details: header, moulding, knobs, shelves

decorations on faux cabinet shelves

Shelves close up

I’m glad that I didn’t give up. The only changes that I might make would be to add glass paneled doors and attach a wooden decor piece on the board at the top.

What creative challenges have you had?

Linking up to the NEWBIE party at Debbiedoos.

Amy

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Yesterday, I had a wonderful time being out in the sun snapping pictures in the backyard. Our weeping Japanese Cherry tree provided the backdrop. Intently focused on getting the best picture angles and the least shadows, I lost track of my environment. To my great surprise I heard a scratchy sound almost like paper being torn. When the sound fully developed, I realized that our friendly neighborhood frog was saying , “Hello.”

He could have been hiding under the tree, in the tall grass or in our small pond. After a few moments, I found him just hanging in the pond among the water lily leaves. I think he wanted his picture taken and I obliged him.

Here he is:

Leopard Frog

Frog takes over photo shoot

Leopard frog in pond

Frog up close and personal

Shall I call him Frogbert? I kind of like that name.

Amy

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Tuesday was a productive day. One of the shops in town is expanding their space and had an estate sale to clear out excess merchandise. I scored some great stuff there.

A way cool rusty, curvy wrench.

rusty tool as art

Curvy old wrench. An art possibility.

Oblong silver tray lids.

Mantel sconces from silver tray lids

Silver lids: make mantel sconces?

Old vinyl covered chair. Dusty and torn.

Old chair with possiblities

This old chair while dusty and torn is solid.

Then, I ran over to the original shop, It’s Bazaar on 21st Street. I found a rusty, holey oval pail and two copper with green patina pails.

old junk pail

Really rusty pail with handle

copper round pots with two handles

Two handles pots/pails with copper patina

Close up of pot/pail exterior.

copper green patina

Close up of copper exterior of pot/pail

Lastly, I ran to the Hospice thrift shop and found a very colorful table runner. I’m not sure if I want to cut it up into pillows or use it as a table runner.

Striped table runner

A colorful striped table runner

Costs:

Chair- $5

Rusty pail- $8

Copper pots/pails- $3.50 each

Silver lids- $2 each

Wrench- $4

Table runner- $4

To top it all off…a beautiful day outside for taking pictures. What a great week!

How is your week going?

Amy

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Joining the Linky Party over at My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia,  Power of Paint Party at Domestically Speaking and Inspiration Friday At the Picket Fence with my Rustic Cruiser Bike Art.

Linky Button

My UnCommon Slice of Suburbia Tuesday’s Treasures

Domestically Speaking

At the Picket Fence

Inspiration Friday

Rustic Cruiser Bike Art Tutorial:

Wooden Bike Picture

Rustic Cruiser Bike Art

1. Cut wood board to length desired. We used leftover fence boards. Cut two pieces of woods to the height desired when all lengthwise piece are laid side by side. While lengthwise pieces are laid together with the backside up, nail the vertical pieces to each board. Nail twice on each board.

2. Choose an image to make into a stencil.

Cruiser bike

via google

3. Using the Silhouette Cameo software, outline image. Click here for a you tube video on how to transfer an image to you Silhouette Cameo software and outline the image.

4. Once you have the image outlined, re-size the image to your dimensions. I made mine about two-thirds of the totally artwork dimension. I used the 24 inch cutting mat. In order to make the stencil the correct size, I cut the top half of the stencil first and then the bottom half.  I fit the top and bottom together on the boards once both were cut.

5. Cut out on vinyl. Put on board.

Stencil on wood

Bike stencils on wood

6. Stencil with paint. I used acrylic.

Bike Stencil with paint

Painting bike stencil

7. Remove stencil and fill in the gaps with paint. For instance, the software did not pick up the bike spokes. I used a pencil to lightly sketch in the spokes and then painted with aluminum colored acrylic.

Finished cruiser bike image

Bike image with stenciled breaks filled in

8. I made the frame using plans from Ana White’s site. Click here for instructions.

Frame made from Ana White plans

Finished frame waiting to be painted gray

9. Paint/stain and attach with nails to artwork. Hang

Bike art hung over mantel

Finished artwork hung over mantel

Hope this was helpful.  Thanks for visiting.

Also linking to Stuff and Nonsense for Fridays Unfolded

Stuff and Nonsense

Fridays Unfolded

Amy

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