Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Just Popping In To Say...

We have finally been making progress around here. Man! does it feel good to finally be able to scratch some things off that never-ending to do list! Trying to keep up the momentum from the weekend during the work week while juggling Brady's activites. Jeff's sister will be in town on Thursday and is coming for a visit so I'd like to get a few more things completed before then. Fingers crossed.

Here's a peek at our new furniture that was delivered on Friday. I think I'm really happy with it. I wanted all white Pottery Barn, but just couldn't justify the cost. So this is as close as I could get. I took this right after the carpet cleaners left on Saturday. I've since rearranged the mantle and the side table vignette and added some throw pillows--they are from Pottery Barn! ;) Not sure if it was just adding the loveseat or the colors in the fabric with our wall color, but the look of our living room has totally changed. Definitely looks more cohesive. Love spending time in there now. I'll have to post better photos later.

It's been kind of a stressful summer so far. I didn't think summer was supposed to be that way. Turns out that most every day at summer camp Brady is the only boy in his group. So needless to say, he's not thrilled about going this year. Guess it's giving us a taste of what it will be like next year when he'll be too old to go there at all. He's growing up so fast. He's really enjoying baseball this year though and I think he's going to learn and improve alot. All too soon summer will be over and we'll be headed back to school. Or so I keep telling him. In the meantime, Monday trips to the skating rink, reading Treasure Island and baseball are helping him to get through.

I'd better get going. My goal is to be able to mark something off my list tonight. Does a load of laundry count? It wasn't on my original list. But first I'm going to go watch Jeff and Brady play catch for awhile. Brady can't seem to get enough of playing catch this week. Last night they played until they couldn't see the ball any longer. I love that he's trying so hard to get better at something. WAY TO GO BRADY!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Inspiration Begets Inspiration

Did you ever play the game Telephone as a kid? Someone starts by whispering something to the person next to them and they to the next person and so on and so on. When the phrase reaches the last person it's always interesting to see how the phrase has changed as it's traveled through the "telephone". Inspiration is alot like that game. You see or hear something that moves you and then create or do something in response resulting in something your very own yet a reflection of what has inspired you.

Artists and musicians often refer to their influences. Who has influenced their style? Who inspires them? Even athletes find inspiration from their heroes. Inventors are inspired by the need to find a solution to a common need. Every successful person has had someone who inspired them to reach their goals.

So, who or what inspires you? As a creative person I long for inspiration. And I find it all around me-nature, music, print ads, movies, blogs-- inspiration is all around. At times, I'm more receptive to it than at others. Sometimes it moves me to be creative or to change my behaviors. And what a feeling when inspiration hits. It's energizing. You truly feel alive, engaged. Inspired!

I've mentioned the little indie book, Postmark LA here before. Some of my favorite mixed media artists (Theresa McFayden, Pam Garrison, Carolyn Peeler, Rebecca Sower, Amy Hanna, Charlotte Lyons) recently self-published this book about a girl's weekend they spent together. Like-minded artistic souls spending time together doing what they love-shopping, talking, working, creating, finding inspiration. As a result, they created this book for the sole purpose of inspiring others.

I was recently inspired by a project from the book by Carolyn Peeler to create this project. Carolyn was inspired to create her piece by Corey Moortgat. No doubt, Corey drew inspiraton from someone or something else when she created her pieces which inspired both Carolyn and me. See? It goes on and on.

I know. A little Circle of Life, but who or what inspires you? Who are your heroes? I love the quote I chose for this piece. I find it...inspiring!

Monday, June 16, 2008

Man! can't believe it is Monday already! In a way I'm relieved. I mean, I felt like I needed to go back to work to rest today! I definitely function better when I am on a regular schedule and that's much easier to maintain during the work week. Anyway, it's back at it for the week, but here are some of the highlights of the weekend:

Friday-went to the movies with my mom and sister. Had fun just hanging out together. I think my sister is one of the funniest people I know.

Saturday-spent most of the morning doing laundry, waiting for a repairman and working on this.
Jeff called after he got to work and said, "oops. forgot to get my dad a card for Father's day." So, no problem as things were already a mess on the island I just made this. I scanned it for posterity, but afterwards added a couple more words and embellishments (in the car on the way to meet Jeff's folks). I'd wanted to do something with this photo ever since I worked with Grandma Alice's photos last summer. Of course, most of you readers don't know Jeff's nephews, but Jeff's nephew, Grant looks alot like Jerry (Jeff's dad) in this photo. And although the one on the bottom looks SO much like Jeff, I also see Jeff's nephew, Andrew and even Morgan, a bit. Love working with family photos in collage work-one of my new favorite things. In the afternoon, we met Jeff's folks for an early dinner at Cheesecake Factory-YUM!

Sunday-after church my sister and I took my dad out for lunch-Just the three of us. I'm not sure that we had actually ever done this before ever, but it was a real treat to have this time with him. After lunch we took Dad to check out the new Dick's Sporting Goods in our area. Dad is so funny-you can tell where I get some of my wish list making. Dad had already made a list of all the stuff he was going to look for!

Too funny! Jeff and I rounded out Sunday evening with some errands, working on the garage and getting take out followed by a movie-National Treasure 2.

Although it doesn't seem like I actually did that much, it certainly was a busy weekend. This afternoon, I'm catching my breath and then I've got to keep moving. Our new sofa and loveseat is set to arrive on Friday and we're having the carpets cleaned on Saturday. The mission to continue to declutter around here continues. Have to turn my efforts away from my studio this week, but we are definitely making progress around here and that is a good thing.

<----- I leave you with this photo of a bunny I spied in mom & dad's yard yesterday afternoon. He made me laugh at how relaxed he looks all stretched out lying in the cool grass. He must have laid there for at least fifteen minutes before he jumped up and hopped away. Going to find a couple opportunities to relax like that this week and enjoy the beautiful weather they have forecast. Well, it's on the list anyway!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Happiness Is...

a kind word and good deeds. Such little things, but big in the effect they have on one's spirit. My sister is the Queen of random acts of kindness. She and a friend of hers lugged my new cabinet from the garage to my studio in the downstairs this past Saturday. It would take me awhile to list all the selfless acts like this she's blessed me with over the years. Seriously, she's a good sis!

Merci becoup, Marisa!

<-----BTW, this was a little thank you I made for my sis inspired by the Bella's new book, Postmark LA. Climbed on to the dollie head bandwagon. Love their sweet expressions and all the wear and tear from being loved.

Not quite ready to show it all, but here is a peek at some of my favorite spots in my studio. It's making me happy to see progress and imagine it finished and actually working in there. You can see the start of my dollie head collection. ;)

Here are some other things that are making me smile this week. Hope you'll share what makes you happy. Leave a comment and play along, won't you?

Happiness Is...
our new smooth operating garage door and being able to use the opener again

jack johnson playing on the radio on a balmy summer day

browsing through the kids section at barnes & noble and seeing all the titles i read as a kid-did you read nancy drew? how about the little house books? tom sawyer?

a new book = new inspiration
<-----can't wait to dive into this one

an icy cold java chip frappuccino

reading about traveling to paris-could i? will i? i just might.

lavender sachets in my dresser drawers-love the way they scent my clothes

you've got mail-the movie AND receiving an unexpected sweet note from my mom

Monday, June 09, 2008


What a weekend! Spent ALOT of time at home working on my studio and managed to get quite a bit accomplished. Still not finished, but definitely making progress. But the highlight of the weekend was going to the Fox to see Mama Mia with my mom, my sister and Shirley. What a fun show! I had been looking forward to it for some time-you know how my sister and I love ABBA.

I was very curious how they were going to work the music into the storyline. So clever. Loved the use of color to get the feel of being in Greece. There's nothing quite like live theatre. Loved the voice of the gal who played the mom-her voice was great for ABBA. She had great control. The dancing was amazing, too. My favorite part of the whole night were the encores when the entire cast performed three ABBA songs in platforms and those whild metallic space inspired outfits the Swedish foursome used to wear back in the day. Can't wait for the movie adaptation-I'm hoping they have a sing along version like they do for The Sound of Music! ;)

Hoping to share some peeks at my studio soon. Although at times it feels like all the stuff is growing, it is starting to come together.

P.S. Yes, this is the lone photo I snapped before going in. No cameras allowed so I was afraid to even snap a photo of the four of us. Oh, well-next time.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Paging Peter Walsh

Where is Peter Walsh when you need him? You know who I'm talking about, right? The Australian guru of clearing out the clutter who dares to ask the question, "Does this clutter make my butt look fat?" Well, I need him ASAP! The clutter is not only making my butt fat, but driving. me. crazy!

Seriously, we've been attempting to get a handle on the clutter around our house. Part of that is clearing out my studio. In particular for a piece of furniture I just brought home over the weekend (thanks to my dad) which will hopefully help me to be more organized. I desperately want to pare down, weed out and basically get rid of ALOT of stuff. I'm making progress, but I am so frustrated and need someone who is not emotionally attached to me or my stuff to say, "hey, get rid of it!"

Here is a BEFORE photo. Don't judge me-I know I'm not the only creative hoarder out there in blogland! ;)

These are some inspiration photos I'm carrying around with me to stay motivated. Hopefully, in a week or so I'll have IN PROGRESS photos. Once I clear everything out I still want to paint and then finish my vintage wallpaper'd wall I started.

<-----Love the open shelving and the collection of vintage containers. And of course, the wallpaper!

<-----Again, love the open shelving and that you can see what you have. Also like that it is practical yet decorative.

<-----Love the locker baskets and the little drawers. I have that very lamp only it's dark brown (and needs rewired).

I'm slowly making progress. I also picked up a set of bed risers for my desk and now I have the counterheight working space I have been wanting. I can always lower it if I decide I don't like it later. I'm a little fickle at times. I'm hoping to have my mom help me make a skirt for it. I got this idea from Colleen Moody HERE.

I just keep hammering away at it. And enjoying some positives including finally putting to use some of the items I'd purchased for organizing. I am loving the new-to-me vintage luggage I purchased for a song. Nice and clean and in great shape-storing books in these. Going to sell or get rid of the luggage pieces I purchased previously. Yep, can't get over the smell. See, fickle.

Although Mr Walsh is not by my side, I am using some of his tried and true tricks--quick sort, purge and organize and the piles-keep, toss, give away. I know this works it's just time consuming and you have to stick with it. My goal is to only have 1/3 left when I'm finished. I have a way to go so, if you see Peter send him my way. And tell him to bring Eric Strommer with him--I could use some open shelving and help getting that cabinet downstairs!