Sunday, September 27, 2009

The Thrill of It!

This past week I realized that I get a major "high" from discovering a great bargain and bringing it home. The same thing happens when a design idea pops into my head and I'm able to make it a reality. There is just something totally exhilarating about bringing a creative idea to life and in finding that perfect treasure that would be hard to live without!

For example, several days ago I was out shopping at a discount store. I went there originally to look for some jars to pot some plants in. While I was browsing the aisles I felt the presence of a "treasure" looming behind me---I turned around and saw it, standing tall behind it's fellow counterparts---a beautiful 8X10 foot rug---for only 50 bucks! I could hardly believe it, and enlisted the help of a strapping young employee to help me carry my treasure to the front of the store before anyone else could snatch it up!

After loading it up into the car I could hardly wait to get home and roll it's loveliness out on our living room floor. I seriously had to keep my driving speed in check I was so anxious to get home! Thankfully my sweet baby boy was ready to go down for his nap when we got home, and I got straight to updating our living room floor situation. After some minor furniture rearranging, I got the rug all rolled out and I was even more pleased with it than I had been in the store. I couldn't wait for my sweet husband to come home and view my find. I had a feeling that he'd like it almost as much as me...and he did!

Also, on another recent shopping excursion where I was trying to find my lil' man some fall clothing, I came across some cute white wooden letters---on clearance, of course! I knew I could do something with them, and as I fished through the stack there were only minimal words I could actually spell with what was left. So, I decided on matter that I had to make the "p" out of an upside-down "d"---for a buck 99 it was worth it. When I came home I got to brainstorming, and with a little help from my jute twine I now have my hope lettering uniquely on display below the mantle. What a wonderful reminder of the enduring HOPE that I cling to every day.

All in all this has been an inspiring week. Full of fun surprises and unique finds. Oh, the thrill of it!!!

Hope---there's always hope!

I'm slowly transitioning to a more neutral palette---white & creams fit the bill quite nicely.

Don't ya just love my topsy-turvy hope?!!

A partial view of the new rug...and yes, our couch is covered up (temporarily) with our old quilt...I am just so sick of seeing big, chunky plaid!

Another view of my lovely new floor covering! I go out of my way just so that I can walk on it! It's not super plush or anything, but it sure is softer than walking on wood all the time! ;)

Just what I wanted---a solid color with a design throughout---perfection!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Inspiration Desk

I was greatly inspired to re-make my desk area when I saw the beautiful office of Karen Russell - which I wrote about here. My desk area previously housed a year's worth of garage sale type items until just a few days ago. After bagging up 8 trash bags worth of things to give to Goodwill and 3 bags of stuff to throw in the actual garbage, I was on my way making a place where I could create what I love in a place that filled me with inspiration and peace! Within 12 hours I transformed the eye-sore of our house into one of my new favorite places! Here's the scoop...

I made curtains out of some organic cotton dish towels that I had which I found at Target last year. They are perfect for hiding the items that are stored under the table.

I decoupaged the top of an old cigar box that I got from my great-grandpa years ago. It holds some of my jewelry making tools. I added a rick-rack loop to the box for ease of opening.

My Inspiration Board! I made it by hot-gluing burlap to the back of a frame.

Used candle jars hold some of my favorite gemstones and beads. The little basket holds beading wire and a few beading odds and ends.

Pink jewelry display holds a few of my early jewelry creations.

I painted used coffee tins and they now serve as storage tins for some of my beads and jewelry making supplies.

Silver cup holds some earrings that I want to re-make. The cute red/white lamp shade was purchased for $3 at Big Lots! I painted a lamp that I thought was ugly and that I almost threw away...I almost forgot that I could paint it! The little birdie holds paper clips and the jute twine is just because...I love the way it looks!

I made a $2 plate and a candle holder into this cute tray. Silver basket holds some post-its and note cards. Vintage pill jar holds some antique white buttons. Old metal-lid jar holds I can light my candle when I want to feel inspired!

Candle in the center of the desk is Paris by Tyler Candle Company---I just adore these candles---as you can tell by all the empty candle jars!

Sepia Version of my Jewelry Display.

I love my sand dollar! I found this at the beach on my 26th birthday!

The metal tray used to be a perfume display tray---Ralph Lauren to be exact!

My place of creative inspiration!

Design, Love, Joy, Inspire, Create, Work, Make, Nest, Home, Life!

I love my desk!!!

Although this is my jewelry making desk,
I just liked the way that these brushes looked in the jar!

Friday, September 4, 2009


Yesterday while my son was napping I sat down at the computer and had my blog fix for the day. Usually I start out by reading the most recent post from The Lettered Cottage, a favorite blog of mine, and yesterday I just so happened to see this which you can read about here. If you want to see more details about the lovely room where this cute little tray ensemble is set, you can go to the owner's blog by clicking this. As soon as I saw how organized this woman is and how beautiful and functional her room is I had the de-cluttering itch...and I just had to scratch it!

Our sun room has been in some need of some major TLC. We usually lovingly refer to the room as "Bo-Bo's room", but I do a lot of my crafting and creating in there, and my craft table/desk was under a 2 foot high pile of junk. I've been collecting items to have in a garage sale for over a year now, and it has made its way onto and around this one table in the sun room. So, yesterday after several moments of world wide web inspiration, I was ready and set to go. Time to re-claim the room---though I'll still share it with my sweet pooch!

I threw the garage sale idea out of the window. I wanted the stuff gone, and I wanted it gone immediately, and having to put all of that time and effort into having a garage sale just wasn't sounding all that appealing to me. I sorted through 3 thirty gallon tubs and 3 18 gallon tubs and one huge pile of stuff that was just thrown on the table's top. I made a Goodwill pile, a maybe-I-can-sell-this-on-eBay pile, a take-to-Half-Price-Books pile, a pile to take to a local children's resale shop...and I made a keep pile...turns out some of the stuff I thought I wanted to get rid of was useful once again to me in a re-purposed way!

Most of the stuff went to Goodwill---8 trash bags full in fact! I got 14 bucks from the books I took to 1/2 Price and I have a laundry basket-full to take to the re-sale shop. I kept a few clothing items that must have been too small on me when I sorted through them post-baby/pre-baby-weight-loss, and I found an awesome lamp that I was going to get rid of because I didn't like the ugly brown color of the wood---hello, paint it! Yeah, I figured that out yesterday and today it's sitting pretty with a fresh coat of paint and a new shade on it on my desk!

And, speaking of my desk...the picture above obsessed me with wanting to recreate my own version of the table-top tray. I am still putting on the finishing touches and I'm quite happy with the outcome. I used the lovely blue color like in the picture for my main color scheme for the items on my desk---such as the lamp that I painted. I used red as an accent color and put it all together on top of a silver tray that I found lost on a shelf in my house. I painted several little coffee tin boxes the lovely blue color and organized a lot of my beading supplies in them. I figured I'd use the desk as a place of inspiration and of jewelry creation! I can't wait to show pictures of the finished project! (Going this weekend to shop Labor Day sales for my new camera!)

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

My Role Model

Today I was thinking about the woman spoken of in Proverbs 31...the wife of noble character...and after reading the passage 4 different times in 4 different translations I was more inspired than ever to become a woman just as noble...

10 A wife of noble character who can find?
She is worth far more than rubies.

11 Her husband has full confidence in her
and lacks nothing of value.

12 She brings him good, not harm,
all the days of her life.

13 She selects wool and flax
and works with eager hands.

14 She is like the merchant ships,
bringing her food from afar.

15 She gets up while it is still night;
she provides food for her family
and portions for her women servants.

16 She considers a field and buys it;
out of her earnings she plants a vineyard.

17 She sets about her work vigorously;
her arms are strong for her tasks.

18 She sees that her trading is profitable,
and her lamp does not go out at night.

19 In her hand she holds the distaff
and grasps the spindle with her fingers.

20 She opens her arms to the poor
and extends her hands to the needy.

21 When it snows, she has no fear for her household;
for all of them are clothed in scarlet.

22 She makes coverings for her bed;
she is clothed in fine linen and purple.

23 Her husband is respected at the city gate,
where he takes his seat among the elders of the land.

24 She makes linen garments and sells them,
and supplies the merchants with sashes.

25 She is clothed with strength and dignity;
she can laugh at the days to come.

26 She speaks with wisdom,
and faithful instruction is on her tongue.

27 She watches over the affairs of her household
and does not eat the bread of idleness.

28 Her children arise and call her blessed;
her husband also, and he praises her:

29 "Many women do noble things,
but you surpass them all."

30 Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;
but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.

31 Honor her for all that her hands have done,

and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.
(Proverbs 31:10-31, Today's New International Version)

I want to be this woman, and although getting up "while it is still night" hasn't become a habit quite yet, I want to continue to try to pattern my life after this woman of virtue. She seems to have it all---an awesome husband, children who bless her, a household that she loves looking after, kindness for people and wisdom to go with it, a home business and she gardens too! Most importantly, after all of the jobs that she has and the projects that she completes, you can tell that her real identity lies in the fact that she loves the Lord. It's because of that she is able to be honored and successful.

Today I've been continuing my designing endeavor, but in my frenzy of creativity I've pushed aside what's most important---cultivating my relationship with the One who designed me! In becoming the woman of virtue I need to remember to give God my time too. If I don't do that it won't matter how many amazing things I create, because I'll be denying myself what I truly need---time with The Creator of everything.