Embroidery Hoop Memo Boards..(a tutorial)

Yes, you read the title correct.  I am getting out of the brush and metalsmithing mold and trying my hand at some crafty stuff!  And decided why not share these super fun crafts with you!  It must be all the new blogs I've found.   I am really enjoying seeing how clever some bloggers are!  So here's a fun project for you and the how-to's:

Embroidery Hoop Memo Boards
SUPPLIES NEEDED:  embroidery hoops of varying sizes, fabric, twine, glue gun and glue sticks, and fabric scissors
STEPS as photographed above:
1.  Lay the inner ring of the hoop on the ground and cover with your fabric (on a side note, I starched and ironed the heck out of my fabric first).  Cut string and lay it across the fabric overlapping in areas.  Use as little or as much string as you like.  By the time I got to #3 I laid a lot more string on than the first hoop.
2.  Lay the outer ring of the hoop over both the fabric and string and press down snugly.  Pull and stretch as needed to make it tight.
3.  Flip the hoop over and trim the excess fabric.  Leaving enough to fold in and glue down.
4.  Using a glue gun, glue the fabric to the inside of the wooden hoop.  Glue the strings down as well.  I always use a low-temp gun....always.  I think the hot temp guns get crazy hot and are dangerous around my skin and clothes!

Look how awesome they look over my art desk in the studio!

I found the cute clothespins at Michael's in the $1 bins!

The photo pinned to the hoop above is of my first studio space in the old house garage.  I like to surround myself with things that remind me of where I've been on the journey.

My crafty goddess friend Tiffin made the wreath that I turned into a simple cork board.  Since she'd used a Styrofoam wreath it was easy to push pin some favorite trinkets into it!


Puffy Heart

This year as a part of my new routine and wanting to get "out there" more I started linking up.  Yep...I am totally puffy hearting this activity.  I have no idea how I found the ones I have, but linking up is a big part of the year's goal to join the conversation.  (see sidebar for where I am linking right now)  The cool thing is most of the blogs I have found through this activity appear to be crafting mommies.  They love to share recipes, cleaning tips, decorating tips, party tips and most of all CRAFTS....and they share how to make them and where to buy the stuff to make them...it goes on and on!!  They are so generous.  As artists, we like to talk about ourselves and what we are doing.  I suppose that could get old for blog readers, right?  So to push out of the mold I've started linking in and joining some conversations on blogs I never thought to go to.  It's been really fun!  I've been most intrigued by the food links.  Holy tamoly...food links are out there peeps.  And may possibly be the reason for my skinny jeans to be...well a tad too skinny now on my thighs! Especially when I have to buy a bag of these:

 To make these hidden surprise cheesecake yummies:
 On another note, have you tried these?  Good gracious.  I wish I'd not.

In case you need a few spots to visit, here are some other goodies I'll be making in the near future:

-homemade bread in this lovely site (she also has a tutorial on knitting which Mailey wants to try...and I have no idea how to teach!)
-this chicka has a blog chopped with so many ideas I put her on speed blog for Mailey's sleepover alone!  including a cookie dough dip and borax ornaments...yes COOKIE DOUGH dip.....omg...is all I'm saying
-and the boys who slept over this weekend for William's party enjoyed this for breakfast
-speaking of parties, this blog has me dreaming of parties all day long.  in fact, we are going a wee bit overboard with the party fun this year (blog posts will be shared for sure!).  I am having the best time planning and preparing for the kiddos sleepovers.  and they are loving it too!!
-and yes I did make these for both parties!  of course my own versions...can't wait to share!!

Well...that's all for today.  I gotta go do some leg lifts now.  Just finished off the bag of above treats while typing this.  Sigh....


Musings From the Art Room

In addition to teaching a regular 8-2pm school day, I offer afterschool art classes to the kids.  We meet from 2:30-3:45.  Parents love it because the kids just stay and don't have to be carted anywhere!  I love it because they all WANT to be in the room with me making fabulous art!  Each month we focus on different mediums.  This month was all about paint. 

I teach 3 days afterschool with K-1 on Monday, 2-3 on Tuesday and 4-5 on Wednesday.  Every class has I think 23 kiddos?  Yes, I know!  But the difference between the day classes and these is that there are no discipline issues....it is fabulous!  I also have 2/5th graders in the younger two classes who help me out.  It works great.

The munchkins did a wonderful job of following my lead with their paintings.  They took two sessions to complete.  The older kids painted cardinals (which I totally spazzed on and forgot to take photos of!!) and the babies made some super duper cute portraits.  I'll be showing those off next week! Until then have a great one!! 


the Painting Binge

So this is how I roll....even before taking a 9-5er.  I am a binge painter.  Crazy way to describe it but I am.  I go through LONG periods of not touching a brush.  I have to be, surprisingly enough, motivated.  HAHA...sound familiar?  So here's my routine, literally.  Before I can paint I scour my sketchbooks and sticky note my favorite sketches (I sketch ideas out all the time.  I am a thumbnail sketcher too, I'll share that sometime later).  I also sticky note favorite sayings or quotes because sometimes I like to take que from words.  I then gather canvases, which in my case are framed pieces of wood.  For the painting above I had a new canvas which is a craft store deep cradled un-primed wood canvas.  Whew.  And it may just be a favorite new canvas.  If I am texture painting I texture and carve about 10 at once.  If I am black gessoing I do the same, prime them all, draw them all.  Multi-tasking over-organizing runs deep in my veins.  After canvases are all drawn and ready, the painting binge begins.......and I work furiously on all the canvases. Literally I paint all the cool colors on one then grab another and start it.  It's crazy I tell you how fast I paint.  Once all the paintings are done I step back and decide on the non-textured paintings if they need collage work.  Which most of the time they do.  And Stabilo pencil.  Can not live without that pencil.  If they are textured then they all get the oil stick layer.  Yep.  This is how I roll peeps.  And just like that I have a body of work ready for a new show.  Literally I now have 10 paintings done and ready ranging from tiny to huge.  Now, had I not planned, prepared and thought myself to death on these paintings I'd not get as much done.  But I find that preparing myself mentally and physically for painting makes a body of work flow  seamlessly.  And I am LOVING this new work. 

The new work.....is all about going back to where I started.  Simple compositions, little birds, simple flowers and lots of color.  This round is not textured actually, but rather simply painted.  In fact the one above I didn't even black gesso.  Making it even more simple and soft.  It makes me very happy.  So I'll show you some more over the next few days.  I've got a big show to deliver to next week, a favorite actually.  See you back here real soon!


Art and Soul Virginia..A Blog HOP!

Today you are in for a little treat! In just a few short weeks Mailey and I will be flying off to Virgina Beach to teach at Art and Soul. Very exciting indeed!! As a part of getting geared up for the retreat weekend all the instructors have been collaborating on special things just for you guys hoping to sweet talk some of you into joining us and drum up EXCITEMENT for those of you already attending. For the next week we are hosting a blog hop. So today, I get to scatter joy on my blog and introduce Kari McNight to you!
Kari will be teaching 3 classes at Art and Soul Virgina entitled: A Fluid Romance (sample photos are for this class), Stamp Carving and Beautiful Papers, and Stamps and Stencils Journal. She'll also be selling her amazing stamp line at vendor night....which is Saturday evening from 6-9. I read alot on her blog getting ready to post this and man, she is one traveling teacher! I hope to get that many flyer miles one day...and especially hope to touch as many lives with my gifts as she has with hers.

So, let's ask her a few questions and get to know her!!

Jenni: Kari, What teacher(s) lit your fire to be an artist?
Kari: I’ve loved art, and taken classes since I was a very small child. I had many art teachers at school that encouraged my Mom and Dad to put me in extra classes, but most of them I can’t remember by name. However, I am very grateful to them for recognizing what art did for me as a developing artist. Fast forward thru 2 post grad degrees in Corporate and Commercial Photography, and a career as an Architectural photographer. I was working creatively, but always came back to something that got my hands wet whenever I got the chance. I was taking small steps toward life as a full time Mixed Media Artist, when I met Anne Bagby. She encouraged me it was okay to pursue my passion, that I was more than capable, and it gave me the confidence to step out and make the big jump. She remains a treasured friend and advisor, and I still think of her as the Artist who most changed my life by helping me to have belief in myself. I try to model myself after her, providing encouragement and instruction while letting students bloom in their own paths.

Jenni: We all need a special person like this in our lives. And because she encouraged you to bloom in your own path, you are now able to share this joy with others as well! Sort of like a giant pay-it-forward moment. What 4 tools can’t you live without?
Kari: I am totally lost without gel or matte medium. I fix stuff around the house with it, I glue with it, I paint with it, I glaze with it, I prime canvas and substrates with it! Same goes for stamps of some sort. I prefer my own handcarved stamps, or the 8.5 X 11inch stamps from my stamp line, but I’ve been know to use a corn pad on a spool in a pinch! I use stamps in clay, in wax, paint, inks, and with oil bars and fabric. I am a devoted fan of Knead a Mold. Once I found this medium I went CRAZY with it! Molding antique jewelry, petrified artifacts, hand carved wood pieces…just anything that didn’t move faster than me! I can use resin, clay, paperclay, paper mache’ and even chocolate or jello in the resulting molds! Finally I love ICE Resin! Oh! What joy -what bliss when I finally got my hands on this amazing stuff! I cover anything with it! Jewelry, journals, magnets, hair accessories, ornaments! You name it, this stuff ROCKS!!! I used to fight with bubbles and leveling in other resins, and now my life is SO much easier!!!

Jenni: Wow...I wonder if I could fix the back doorlock with gel medium? Hmmm...And ICE resin I keep hearing about, so I just may have to give it a whirl. I can not wait to see your stamps at vendor night! So Kari, Where do you get your inspiration from?
Kari: I get inspiration from everywhere and everything. I can be in an airport waiting lounge and see a pattern on a scarf of someone going by and it will affect my art. I try to look at art and architecture everywhere I go. Even if it’s not my taste, I try to figure out WHY it doesn’t appeal to me, and that strengthens my own artistic statements. If you see my stamp line, you’ll notice one of the images looks sort of like Clark Gable, and another like Sam Elliot. I was sketching in my journals while watching movies with my husband, and they just sort of popped out on the pages!

Jenni: I think we artists have brains unlike the norm....it is amazing what we allow ourselves the freedom to see. After art, what else is your passion?
Kari: After Art, travel is my passion. I began travelling with my father doing mission work when I was very young. I had my 16th birthday in a thatch hut in the jungles of Belize Central America. I was living and working among the Mayan and Ketchi Indians. I’ve had the privilege of living side by side and working with the people of and traveling throughout Mexico, the Bahamas, Belize, Guatemala, El Salvador, Canada, Italy, France, Brittany, Kenya, Tanzania, Puerto Rico, the Bahamas, Jamaica and several other countries.

Jenni: No freakin' way!! How cool is that? You are most fortunate to have had these opportunities and I am sure the exposure has broadened your artistic eye as well, perhaps without your even knowing it. One last question for you....What type of classes do you like to take at Art and Soul?
Kari: I love to take classes from instructors who are open and generous with their knowledge and supplies. I love being able to try products and techniques out in workshop situations before I decide if I want to buy them for myself. I also always appreciate when they teach me new ways to use what I already have! I try to take classes with instructors who offer something fresh and varied with a good mix of demonstration/ verbal and printed instruction. I love to take new instructors workshops, you never know when you might discover your next favorite instructor! Over the years I’ve taken them all- jewelry, painting, printing, clay, fabric, journaling, bookmaking, sketching. I tend now to take process heavy classes with a mixed media focus. But who knows- tomorrow I may get a hankering for flower arrangingJ
Well, I am sure that your flower arrangements would be more than fabulous with a flair that only a woman with style like this could create!
So, I hope you've enjoyed this little hop on the blog.  I really look forward to meeting this lovely lady in person in March. For yesterday's artist, Barbe Saint John see here. And for a real treat...my interview will be here tomorrow (I just got a sneaky peeky at it and she did such an amazing job! So even if you think you know me, check it out.) See you guys later this week! Thanks for stopping by and do say hello!


Musings From the Art Room

Last week while conversing with 5th grade students around the room, I learned that one had mistletoe growing in the trees of his front yard.  Yes, conversations are like ping pong balls in my classroom.  But I enjoy getting to know the children and fortunately have the opportunity to walk and talk while they work.  "Mistletoe, really?  Cool.  Would you bring me some one day?  I love mistletoe!"  And the next day, well, he came in with a GINORMOUS grin on his face and a Ziploc full of mistletoe.  That was a puffy heart teaching moment.  Because this child is one that I think probably needs a little extra thanks in his life.  If you catch my drift.

So upon returning home I immediately placed the greenery in my favorite pitcher.  My kiddos were like Mom isn't that a Christmas thing?  No....it's so pretty!  So off to my i-pad I go and find this out:
We are all familiar with at least a portion of the mysterious mistletoe's story: namely, that a lot of kissing under the mistletoe has been going on for ages. Few, however, realize that mistletoe's botanical story earns it the classification of "parasite." Fewer still are privy to the convoluted history behind the tradition of kissing under the mistletoe. And its literary history is a forgotten footnote for all but the most scholarly.

What?  That's right: as unromantic as it sounds, kissing under the mistletoe means embracing under a parasite....  OMG.  I could have done without that knowledge it turns out!  So, another week in the art room has come and gone.  We are making amazing stuff guys.  I'll be sharing more next week in this new series.....Musings from the Art Room.  (clever no?)


Teaching Little Hands

I was about her age when my mother taught me to cross-stitch.  So I guess she's not too young to be stitching away while most of her little friends are watching American Idol or playing sports.  I kind of love that she's got my hands.

So why embroidery?  It all started while placing the finishing touches on the studio over Christmas.   I pulled out a pillow I'd embroidered a truck onto years ago.  She was smitten, much like I am when a new skill is tickling my creative bones.  So last weekend I broke down and taught...well rather gave her some tools and a fabulous book on embroidery.  She's been stitching since.  Yep.  She's my girl.  And I can hardly stand that she's making her BFF a cow stitched pattern she wants to make into a pillow for her birthday.  A 10th B'day that is.   Oh, and I should totally mention that she draws out all her own patterns.  Man, I am bubbling over right now with joy.


Puffy Heart

Anne Moore Jewelry.  Ahhh......Anne Moore Jewelry. I met this lovely artist at the Wesleyan School Art Show I guess 2.5 years ago.  We were across from each other.  And I was smitten.  She may not know the extent of the smitteness.  But it is true.  I love, love the simplicity of her jewelry.  And that logo.  Swoon.  Seriously.  I'd love to be an artist like her.  Where simplicity speaks volumes. 

Over Christmas I found her Alabama charms at a local boutique in...Alabama.  Right.  But we weren't exchanging gifts Molly and I this year.  So I passed on them.  Then Molly mentioned the charms at Christmas and I thought, heck.  I'm just going to contact Anne and see if she'll make us some.  And she did.  And I've not taken mine off since I pulled it from the manila envelope.  Well, to take the photo above I HAD to.  But then put it right back on.  What is it about this state?....I don't know.   But you seriously can not take it away from my heart.  Ever.  (or my wrist at this point)


Hallway Love and 2 Projects

We are going on a little more house tour today!  I LOVE this area. It is the entrance to our home.  From the front door one walks into a nice size area with a crazy 2 story foyer height.  It's open to the den, dining and a sneaky peak of the kitchen.  I'd always wanted a very open floor plan, and we got it with this home.  The walls are of course the khaki pants color (blogged about this before...).  Eventually I will be painting this area a cool gray to match the FABULOUS chandelier we received for Christmas from Dad and B.  It will get it's own post, and perhaps even a video blog about the installation.  Billy is a whippersnapper at light changing, but this changing will literally require scaffolding!  And since the scaffolding will be in place, I will probably paint then.  woohooo!!

I had trouble at first decided how to lay the area out.  This skinny area below actually originally led to a library, the door behind the giant birdcage leads to this.  But the prior owners turned that into a closet in the master bedroom.  Um....yes, you would think you'd died and gone to closet heaven like me when you see it (yes, I will be showing it off...I just have to.  It is fabulous.)  So I wanted to close the area off.  The birdcage needs a little something inside....I am thinking about piling it with my old books.  I recently saw this done in the Pottery Barn Catalogue.
The black hand painted sign is a favorite purchase at Marist this year.  Under this I felt I needed to show our family in some way (since the sign talks about our family).  AHA!  A bulletin board.  So here's how I made it:
1-  ran to the basement and chose a frame from the pile
2- strung twine back and forth attaching with a staple gun
3-  strung a few fabulous turquoise buttons on the twine
4-  selected a family photo and other trinkets that meant something to our family
5-  attached a saw tooth hanger
6-  ran back upstairs and hung it up!  tops...15 minutes  You could do this with any type of frame really.
Now below is another fun project, and yes those are hands...my children's hands actually.  We made the sculptures in art camp a few years back.  It's a very cool project to do. Just follow these steps:
1-  purchase plaster gauze rolls at the craft store.  at my store it's where the fimo clay and stuff is located.
2-  have your child lather their hand in good old fashion Vaseline and then saran wrap
3-  pose the hand as you want it.  Not too complicated though, it is a little tricky getting this off!
4-  according to the plaster gauze instructions wet the strips and wrap on your child's hand loooooosely.  seriously.  this is not a cast!
5-  allow to set.  warn your child it gets warm(not hot) as it is setting.  it's how you know it's working.
6-  using scissors cut a slit so your child can slip their hand out of the casting
7-  use more plaster gauze to band-aid where you cut the slit
8-  you may have to trim the bottom to get it to stand up
And that's it!  What a wonderful way to preserve your sweet child's hands.

So that's all for today.  A peek into a favorite new vignette in our home.  We continue to nest away.  Loving it more as each day passes.


Day as an Art Teacher

So I thought I'd share a timeline of a typical art day here at the wonderful Arbor Springs.  I just have to giggle at some of the lessons we are tackling right now!  I am totally out of every warm color paint and oil pastels so I had to pull out the glue and scissors until the good stuff arrives at the door.  The kids rocked the day though!
7:30 am-  Mailey and I head to school in the orange van...after eating our egg and cheese yummies.  And giving Lily her chewy treat.
7:50-8:45am-  I run around the school like a chicken with my head cut off getting organized for the day drinking water (important to know this....especially when you see my schedule)
8:45-9:35am-  4th grade/ started Chicken Little paper collages:  Yes, based on the silly story of the goofy chicken that thought the sky was falling!  This is Mailey's grade so I know like all the kids well.  They love me...and I love them. And they know it!  Their collages were adorable and none wanted to stop when time to clean the room that looked much like a paper bomb had gone off in it.
9:35-10:25-  5th grade/ started musical instrument line drawings...and well....5th grade is my fingernails on the chalk board class everyday.  I don't know what planet they are on, but geeeeesh Louise they make me nuts.  They aren't bad really, just SO FREAKIN' loud.  With everything they do.  Like even their pencil markings are louder.  And yes, I could make it silent art.  But really?  Silent art? Nah..
10:25-11:10-  2nd grade/  started paper collage Aliens.....project based on a hilarious book by Claire Feedman and Ben Cort called Aliens Love Underpants.    This is the class my stomach starts the rumble jumble.  So I am eating carrots and pickles (this week anyways) the entire class.  Seriously.  Love the second graders because they are not old enough to worry about perfection, and still have these WILD imaginations.  The book made them all giggle and inspired some serious alien action figures!  I can't wait to see day 2 on this project when we add the underpants to our aliens!
11:10-11:50-  3rd grade/  we finished our mixed media warm/cool peacocks as pictured above.  These turned out so beautiful.  Especially after I found the boxes of METALLIC oil pastels hiding in a cabinet.  Holy tamoly.  Lovely!!  3rd grade is a chanellging group, I'll admit.  Maybe it's the kids, maybe the age.  Maybe it's me....don't know.  But I do know there are some crazy talented kids in this group!
11:50-1:00-  planning and lunch.....and lunch it is.  I am ravenous by this time, and about to pop to go to the potty(you did see my schedule right????backtobacktoback??).  I usually eat at my desk, with the light out, cruising the Internet for this, that and another.  Today was Zaxby's pick up day so I treated myself to a Zalad.  Man....I love a good salad.  And then I worked on some painting ideas for a fundraiser for the school which is going to rock!!
1:00-1:45-  1st grade-  these kids have INSANE energy.  It's the end of their day and they are like little jack-in-the-boxes.  All smiles and all talkative and all want to know right this second what we are doing and how and all full of themselves BAM! energy!  Got to love that.  We started making our rain sticks today which once finished will wander over to the music room and be played with as an instrument.  Yep....crossing the lines peeps. 
1:45-2:15-  I wrap up the week, clean out caddies, listen to my male custodian talk my ear off about everything and anything and finally wrap up the week.  I turn the page in the planner and kiss the day goodbye.  With a GINORMOUS smile on my face.  Because man oh man if I don't have the coolest job in the world!

So other things that happened during the day: 5th grade kid totally missed his chair and totally fell out on the floor.  I swear I thought he'd broken his bum.  A 2nd grader bent down right as I was opening my drying rack and I knocked her head....thank goodness I didn't knock her out!  I got about 10 high fives and more hugs than I can count.  Got to see Mailey way more than normal Mommies that work all day do.  Enjoyed a bake sale turtle cookie and did my give away drawing.....

YES!!!!!!!the PARTAY is over guys.  And TIFFANY won.  She was super excited.  Please keep reading and commenting.  I love hearing from each of you on the journey.

Have a lovely weekend!!  Up next is another house tour post!


Word of the Year- Warrior

war·ri·or (n.)
1. One who is engaged in or experienced in battle.
2. One who is engaged aggressively or energetically in an activity, cause, or conflict

Some of you may be wondering a tad about my choice of word of the year.  It's not a "fluffy" word.  It's a strong word.  And one I literally could not get away from.  I fought it, and tried to come up with another.  Then I'll be darned, while at Dad's over the Christmas holiday, I found this brick in their garden!  Yes, I took this photo....so I think the word found me this year.  I am not sure why....I hope my heart doesn't know something I don't.  I do rather like definition #2....because I am certainly engaged aggressively in my art making, art teaching, homemaking and family tie building!

**this post has been linked up to the fly tribe blog....


The Partay Give-Away!

Every fun party leaves its' guests with a treat of some sort.  I've been known to give fake mustaches before!  (of course it was for a Spy Party when William turned 9)  This etsy kick-off party was an idea I decided to just roll with.  A little cheesy, yes.  A little unexpected, yes.  But for some reason I am slap happy these days!  I suppose it has something to do with, but certainly not limited to finding a rhythm finally in this new lifestyle.   So happiness I've been told is contagious.  I hope it sticks around for a spell.  Yep.

Anyways, the give-away is this new necklace style:

It was one of those laying in bed trying to figure out what the heck to do with the 100 clay birds I bought on etsy months ago that have just been sitting in egg cartons waiting for their moment "a-ha!" moment.  Love those.  So quickly I ran downstairs and tried it first with a thicker brass strip.  This was a little more complicated than I had wanted (there are 100 birds peeps, I was not kidding).  So I decided to whip out the 500 ft coil of copper wire and make more of a hanging nest!  (I tend to buy in bulk I've noticed.) And so it began.  And many birds now have sweet cages to dangle from.  And make you oh so happy to wear.  Right?

Now the good part....unfortunately I can't party favor you all.  Wish I could!  But one lucky person who leaves a comment below telling me what they are over the MOON happy about right now gets their name in the pot to win one of the birdcage hoops.  (it could be as simple as eating a yummy cupcake)  You get to the choose bird color.  We can get to that later.  Right now, you guys need to get to commenting below!!

Oh....and the drawing will be FRIDAY......happy commenting.


The Great Etsy Partay!

The cobwebs have been removed from the ETSY shop peeps!!  Woohooo....right?  I've never been a high rolling etsy seller.  Nope.  I am to blame for this lack of rolling in dough sales too.  It's because I do not show it any love.  Not one bit.  But now that I've got myself in a position to not have to do as any art shows, and have given up a booth in a store, etsy is about to be the recipient of some serious loving.  Yep.  And last night I brushed away the cobwebs and got some pretty awesome stuff into the shop.  (Yes, I am totally biased!)  So please, head on over and buy away.  Because everything is one of a kind.  Seriously.  My shop is going to be built on the integrity of a true handmade shop.   

The jewelry section is soooooo yummy.  I've worn several pieces to make sure it wears well, and receives loads of compliments!  You will love your handmade goodness for years to come!  I've added crosses, bird cage hoops with clay birds, wirey birds and Shasta daisy fields to the batch this time.

So enjoy shopping!!  I certainly enjoyed the making!  Be looking for Tuesday's PARTAY post....I've decided to make this shop re-opening a toot the party horn event.   Today is the invite.  So, readers....you are cordially invited to the artsyorange etsy shop re-opening PARTAY!  Yeah!

Seriously...check back on TUESDAY.  What's a party without gifts???  hint..hint...Oh, and want a heads up on the gift?  Then you better go to facebook and get to liking me.  Because I plan to spill the beans there.   See you Tuesday friends.  Tonight I am going to do a little happy dance in my studio that this is done.


Puffy Heart

I've decided to start a series of posts called "puffy heart". I could call it something else, yes, but since that has become my coined term for things I share here on the blog that I absolutely adore, it fits. So be looking for regular posts that are filled with joy, silliness, yumminess and home.

I just found these photos from our Canopy tour at Lake Lanier resort this summer.  This was a HUGE puffy heart family fun moment!!  It was a 2 hour tour around the lake...and sometimes OVER the lake.  I highly recommend this activity.  Highly!!  There is nothing more thrilling than soaring through the air suspended from a tiny rope.  Here's the link for the Lake Lanier's canopy tour.
I also understand that the tour at Banning Mill near where I live is amazing.  It's on the to-do list for Spring Break this year for us!  So, you guys have any fun zip line stories? 


The Studio Overhaul! Day 2

Lots of pictures for you today!  I had no idea how to go about finishing off this room, but I had a vision.  I literally had a measuring tape, heavy hammer, lots of finishing nails, pencil, skill saw(You know one of those hand held saws that has a blade that jiggles up and down to cut?)...and LOADS of determination.  Loads.  For day 1 I started with all the trim work.  It was actually really fun.  Like putting together a puzzle!  One huge lesson learned though.....make SURE the wood is flat, has no warping or twists.  It makes for trim that so doesn't want to lay like it should.  And is very frustrating.  You hammer one end, the other end pops off the wall.  And vice-versa.  Oh well.  That's what chalk is for, right?

I was most proud of the way the windows turned out.  They required a ton of pre-finishing with the Great Stuff (which is super awesome!!) and chalk.  The windows having not been finished very well were extremely drafty.  Now, they are not!
 I found this heart in the wood of one door frame.  A good sign no doubt!!
The other drafty issue was where the concrete semi wall and sheet rock joined.  This is only on the exterior wall and half the interior left wall.  Again, I Great Stuffed it and added trim on top.  Then I added chalk on the top and bottom of the trim for a super seal.
I had no idea how to finish off sheet rock with tape and stuff to create a smooth wall surface.  So instead I joint compounded the walls to look like plaster.  Yep.   Cool trick, right?  We did this at The Vintage-Flea a lifetime ago, so it was in my bag of tricks already.  And quick.   I did all the trim and joint compound layering on day 1.  Already it was feeling better to my little creative heart.
On the second day, after getting more trim wood from Home Depot I painted the walls with Pale Honey. Turns out the paint at Home Depot has primer in it!! No way....awesome! No wonder it goes on like a dream. So an hour later I had the whole room painted!

Next was painting the concrete.  This was not what I expected.  It looked a bit like cottage cheese after one coat, and was hard to edge the bottom.  So three layers of white later and tons more chalk later it looked done.
So, what does an artist do when she makes a mess on the floor with concrete paint?  She makes a scallop boarder, that's what!!  I love, love this detail in the room now!

I debated the floor issue for a spell and decided that honestly the cold floor needed carpet.  Outdoor carpet is very durable and came in a lovely shade of gray.  For lighting I added some twinkling lights!!  At IKEA I plan to purchase some floor lamps that can be moved around according to where I am at the time.

Day 3 came and went like a blur.  I hurt from finger tip to finger tip...my wing span that is.  So at the end of Day 3 I was still in a mess.  And pooped.  Turns out I had a ton of stuff I want to use in the space.  It's almost overwhelming though visually.  So I need to edit.  Edit.  Edit.  Not my forte.  Because I want to use it all!!  I got all the boxes unpacked and everything in a home....but it took until day 4.  And that day was after taking a 2 day break!!
 Graham Cracker has already found her spot in the room.  On the pink couch.  Dang I love that pink couch!
Here's the finished doorway.  And yes, the shape is on purpose.  There will be a clothesline between the posts for favorite pics and inspirations!  Also I am adding curtain doorways.   Turns out the doorways are very thick and oddly wide.  In other words, a real door would cost a fortune.  I like the idea of the soft doorway anyways.
Next up:  The FINISHED SPACE!!!  Wooohooooo!!  It may be next week though before that post is ready.  I am still tweaking the room.  And have managed to make a jewelry making bomb on the table.  I've got deadlines to meet!  I want to show it off done. :)   So be sure to keep coming back peeps.  And if you ever, ever want some help designing or creating a space to be creative, don't hesitate to email me your questions!  I am always eager to lend a hand!

I will share this....today when my 9 year old came down and my finished ceiling pizaaz was up she went, "WHOAAAAA!!!  Mom!  Wow.  I like that!!"  It's good.  Puffy heart good.  (and yes, that was on day 5...it has taken a while to finish. hehehe..)
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