Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Downsizing: Organizing a Small Living Space

It has been a whirlwind of a fall season for us!
We moved from a 3,000 sq ft house to a 1,023 sq ft apartment.
Talk about shrinking our living space. 
I tell you it took two months just to pack up all our stuff and take it to storage. 
At the end, right before our move out, I just gave stuff away, threw some away and sold some things away.
All this experience has taught me is how we don't need so much stuff. 
I mean, my gosh, I looked through our things and I was constantly saying "Why do I still have this?"
"Why did I buy this?"
"We don't even use this!"
See where I'm going?
We ultimately would like to move to a small, one story home, because let's face it, we're getting old. 
I didn't like going up and down the stairs, not to mention all the upkeep of a house that size. 
We had some wonderful times and I enjoyed my crafting room/class room and the huge dining and living areas for entertaining. 
But sometimes, you just have to ask, is this really necessary? I mean do we really need this?
And, no we won't be joining the Tiny House bandwagon. I'm not that crazy brave.
So I've decided to share the tips and tricks I'll be undertaking, discovering, borrowing, etc with you all and see if it helps you too. 
In the meantime, I'm on the mend from a kidney infection, what feels like several hundred kidney stones, passing all at once and planning our first Thanksgiving meal in this smaller space. 
I hope you come along for the ride :)

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Fall Decor-Pumpkin Decorations

Hello friends!
Happy Labor Day to all.
It's another balmy 100 degrees here in the Dallas area. LOL
sure doesn't feel like fall to me but one can hope. 
I recently had a dear client request I make some cute pumpkin decor for her and I thought I'd share with you.
These half pumpkins can be found at any crafts store. 
They are ready to hang and so cute and realistic looking. 

You will need one or more pumpkin halves
floral wire
wire cutters
vinyl decals or stickers
Cricut Explore die cutting machine
hot glue
assorted fall foliage
clear satin or matte sealer (Krylon)

First I either cut the vinyl on my machine or bought the stickers from the craft store. 
You can find them in the scrapbooking section with all the other stickers. 
I picked some pretty flourishes for this one. 
Pick out a fall foliage bunch that you like along with some coordinating ribbon. 
Place the stickers here and there on your pumpkin half.

Once in place take the Krylon Matte sealer and spray it lightly. Wait about 20 minutes for it to dry and press down on stickers if you need to. Spray again. 

Choose the flowers that you like. 

Cut the ribbon you like and make a bow. Make a slightly larger bow to put behind that one. I chose two constrasting ribbons for this pumpkin.
Use the wire to tie them together securely. Take a piece of ribbon and blue it to the front so the wire doesn't show. 
Hot glue the bows to the pumpkin.
Next, take your foliage bush and clip flowers and leaves as desired. Hot glue around the sides and in the middle of the bows to make a pleasing arrangement. 
You're done!

 These are so easy and fun to make. Great as gifts for teachers too!

 (Please excuse the bubbles in the M. I wasn't done yet )

(what the back looks like)

See how cute the turn out! You can even buy the bigger 16 inch ones and decorate. A fun alternative to a door wreath. 

Until next time 

linking up to:

Monday, September 7, 2015

DIY Photo Christmas Ornaments with Epson LabelWorks Printer

I am super excited to be sharing a fun Christmas ornament craft with you today. 
I will be making a photo ornament that is easy to do and would make great gifts for the grand parents :)
You will need:
Assorted colors of cardstock
Glue stick or glue dots
ribbon of your choice for bow
Epson LabelWorks Printer
Die Cutting machine or scallop punches in various sizes

Please note that you don't have to make them scalloped. If you have circle or oval punches please use them.

The good folks over at Epson provided me with this neat printer to print on the ribbon. 
I love that you can make so many things with this including:
baby shower tags and ribbons
wedding shower favors
Halloween bag ties
Christmas crafting
and so much more!
The Epson LabelWorks Printer
is so easy to use. Enhance your ribbons with frames, font changes, repetition symbols, create vertical text and so much more!

Here is just one way to use this awesome little printer.
Use your die cutting machine or pre cut scalloped punches in the following sizes:
3 inch for the base 
3.5 inches for the glitter frame (x2)
photo 2 inches or so to fit into the base
Once you have cut your shapes 
type in your sentiment into the Epson LabelWorks Printer
In this example I chose "vertical" and "repeat 5 times" this way it would make a longer ribbon with the sentiment repeated 5 times. 
Now I cut it and assemble my ornament. 
I took the two glittered pieces and glued the ribbon to one of them then glued them together so as to "sandwich" the ribbon between them. 
Then I took some glue dots and put them on the back of the black shape and adhered to the glittered shape.
Next, I took my photo shape and did the same. 
I hot glued the ends at the top of the ribbon to allow for hanging.
I then made a cute little silver bow and hot glued to the front of the ornament. 
Easy peasy!

 See the ribbon printed with Christmas 2015? I even added a snowflake that is included in the machine. 

Just a simple craft to get you started :)
I'll be using this cute little printer for some more holiday 
crafting so make sure to come back to learn more about it. 

until next time

**I was not compensated by the Epson company however, I was provided with free product to write a review. All opinions are my own. **

Painting Furniture and the French Cottage Look-McKinney Furniture Painting Class

I have been so busy with life and all that comes with it that I've neglected my blog.
And since tonight seems to be another night of insomnia I thought I'd come and visit with you.
I was painting just about an hour ago. A dresser and a roll top desk. I really have come to enjoy
painting furniture, fabric, walls - really anything but especially furniture.

I also love to share my enthusiasm for this Annie Sloan Chalk Paint, that I started 
teaching a furniture painting class. Now I'm not a stockist-so I teach my students about
different ways to paint but then I let them try their hand at it using my own personal stash of paint, wax, everything!

We have such a blast! August 22nd was my last class since the beginning of the busy photography season for me is about to begin. 

I've come to love each and every furniture piece that I paint. It gives me great pleasure to know
that someone is enjoying that dresser or desk in their own home-making it a little brighter. 

I hand paint each and every piece. Every nook and cranny. Then I hand wax it then hand buff it. 
I hand sand the edges just enough so it looks like it's been worn thru time. 

Here are a few photos of my painting class in McKinney, Texas and the projects the students worked on. I think they did a great job!

Here are a few projects that I finished and have sold!

                         (ASCP in Old White with clear wax)

(ASCP in Coco with a lime wax on the front frame)

I hope to share my enthusiasm for painting furniture as the new year rolls around and teach another class.
My classes are taught in McKinney, Texas at the MPAC. 
Do stop in if you are in town. 


Thursday, August 27, 2015

Four Years Later-Brain Injury Survivor

Hard to believe it's been four years already.
 Four years of the after effects of the stroke.
The terrible monster that lurks way in the back of my mind.
The threat that creeps up every now and then and intends on keeping me hostage. I refuse to let it win. 

And yet, every week or so, it takes me down. It wrestles me to the ground and keeps me there until it feels I've had enough.
No longer can I ride my bike and feel the wind in my hair. 
No longer do I dance like I used to. I simply have no desire. 
I used to jump up and dance at the slightest beat. A happy go lucky girl full of energy, creativity and a zest for life.
Then slowly, after April 2011, the monster, the one lurking in the shadows of my mind. It kept getting bigger and stronger.
Inviting me and tricking me into believing there was nothing left to live for. 
But this was impossible. Me, a glass half full kind of person having these awful thoughts. They could not be prayed away. Good thoughts and projects and exercise could not keep them away. Until in 2013 I finally couldn't take it anymore. I sought help and ever since then the monster is in chains. Helped by medication, he can only creep out every so often but it is quickly subdued. 

SAH or sub-arachnoid hemorrhage is a very dangerous 
bleeding of the area around the brain. You can read all about my experience in the link above. 
The after effects can take months or even years to manifest. 
I have to be honest, after I got out of the hospital, I thought it was no big deal, I'd be back to normal. So I kept waiting, and waiting, and hoping, and crying, and raging and waiting. 
In 2012 a year after the incident (as I call it now) my husband and I celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary. And I danced. For that night, I danced. I was myself. Fueled by the energy our guests. Fueled by the energy given off by the sound and the lights. 
I was me again. 

(my boys and I at our anniversary)

But that was a temporary high. 
The darkness would creep in more and more often.
I couldn't sleep, I couldn't stay awake, I couldn't concentrate on my work.
I took up photography and discovered that it actually awakened something inside me. 
It gave of a creative spark. As long as I was holding that camera and instructing people to sit this way and stand that way, I had a spark of me light up. 

I then took up painting furniture. Doing everything I could to keep my brain active. I wanted both sides of my brain to be involved. I wanted both sides to work. 
I wasn't going to just lay there and take it. No sirree Bob. I'm a fighter. This would not, could not beat me.
I tell you it's a "silent" illness. 
I look "great" people say. 
"You're incredible. Always doing something! 
What energy you have! Good for you! Do you ever relax?!" 
I wish they could see what happens behind my bedroom doors. 
The day to day of my life. The depression. The sadness. 
The helplessness. 
My family sees it. 

We deal with this every.single.day.
 But who wants to hear a whiner. Someone complaining the whoa is me of facebook. 
So, I, along with millions of other illness survivors, carry on.
What else can we do?
There's nothing else I CAN do but hold on for the next day.
Keep coming up with new ideas to make a living. 
To make life fun and make memories with my children.
                               Even on a cloudy day I have sunshine!
                                                    My savior, my rock my life partner

Making memories. There's a ray of new sunshine in my life.
My grand baby was born in 2013. And I swear she's the antidepressant I always needed. By caring for her, laughing with her, playing with her, she takes the darkness away. 

I refuse to give in. I refuse to sit idly by and let the after effects of this brain injury take me down. So I continue to take pictures, continue to paint, continue to live my life. 
Continue to survive. 
What else is there to do?
But live. 

(Thanksgiving 2014)


Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Desk Transformation-Drab to Fab

As you may have noticed, I am really into refinishing furniture!
I love taking an old, drab piece and painting new life into it.
The look of happiness on my clients' faces is priceless.
I usually paint using a major chalk paint brand. 
This time I was sent a full size sample of the new Mud Paint in Manor White. 
I loved it!
This is not a chalk based paint and is acrylic based so I did notice somewhat of an odor but not too bad.
I like the way it spread and the finish was beautiful.
It does go a long way and I decided to add a little bit of water to make it go further. 
It is a bit less expensive than my normal go-to chalk paint but there are not retailers in my area so the shipping fees do add up. 
I normally buy my paint locally.
I decided to purchase an additional sample size of Manor White to do a chair and a sample of the Charcoal.
So pretty. 
Here are some before and afters:
 (please excuse the blurry cell phone pics)

Notice the ugly color.
I gave it a good wipe down with a damp cloth and got to work.
No prepping required.
I put on two coats of the paint and then 
I watered it down a bit for the final coat. 
It came out beautiful!
In progress
I took this picture without the hardware. The client who purchased this wanted to put on her own hardware.

Isn't it gorgeous?
I also recovered the chair's seat in this pretty ikat fabric.
I kept the chair for myself :D

All in all I give Mud Paint a big two thumbs up!
I'll be ordering some new color samples to try out. 
You can find mud paint info here

and check them out on their facebook page.

and don't forget to follow my vintage finds and paint rehab on facebook. You can see all my latest projects and furniture painting classes coming up.

And speaking of painting classes, my next class in McKinney, Texas is on June 27th from nine to noon in downtown McKinney. Send me a quick email to register or comment here.

Until next time!


p.s. the Mud Paint company provided me with a full size sample of the paint but I was not paid for this review. I simply love to paint and decided to give this brand a try. All opinions are mine.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Sunday Funday-Klyde Warren Park Dallas

 I remember as a child I did not like Sundays.
It meant boring days right before Monday. Mondays meant school.
Nowadays we try to make our Sundays both relaxing and fun.
Sometimes we go for a drive.
We did just that this past weekend.
My husband loves to drive us around and we ended up in downtown Dallas.
Now granted, we live in McKinney so it's not like a 10 minute drive. 
But it was so worth it. I'd always wanted to check out this cool park that is built on top of an overpass. 
It's Klyde Warren Park and it has so much to offer.
As soon as you walk up to it you can see the colorful food trucks

 You can also check out games and reading materials to play and read while at the park.
There are ping pong tables, foosball, mini golf,
checkers, Jenga, and more. 
Perfect for a leisurely Sunday afternoon.
They also have a little dog park for your furry friend. 

They have a cool kids area with family bathrooms and a splash pad too. Plus plenty of things to climb. My little guy (who isn't so little anymore) even got to play a little.

It's such a cool place built right on top of the freeway. You can see it in this shot I took of my little guy sitting in a cute orange chair.

 The landscaping and grounds are so pretty. They even have a stage for outdoor concerts. I can't wait to go to one. 

There's even a free trolley that stops in front of the park and takes you to different parts of the arts district. 
You can see the downtown area filled with sky scrapers right from the park. 

I got a good shot of the "ball" at Reunion Tower. Can you see the people on it enjoying their view ?

One day I want to go up there to see the gorgeous views of the city. 
I can't wait to go back and take my mom and grandbaby with me too.

What kind of fun things do you like to do in your town?


p.s. please do not download or copy my photos. They are copyrighted. If you'd like to link to my post please feel free to do so by copying and pasting the url link. 


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