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Thursday, September 11, 2014

Touring Through Blogland

Victoria from the blog Slightly Shabby has invited me to participate in Touring Through Blogland.  It's been a while since I've done this,  so please bear with me and I hope you won't judge me too harshly for how this post turns out.  LOL

First off, I'll show a photo I took recently to give everyone something to look at and break the ice.  Everyone loves pictures and it will lighten up my answers to the questions posed.


View from Pier Park, Panama City Florida

1.) What am I working on now?

     I just recently took a hanging driftwood mobile that I had ordered that had been damaged in the
     shipment to me apart and re-purposed it by re-stringing it into one long row instead of a mobile.
     Because it was damaged, the company I purchased it from told me to keep it.
     I couldn't bear the thought of tossing it so I decided I would hang it on a hanger until I could figure
     out what to do with it.  Well, I was visiting a blog one day a couple weeks later and I saw where
     someone had taken predrilled driftwood pieces, painted them, and strung them in a long row.  (I
     wish I could remember the name of the blog to give proper credit, but the name escapes me right
     now).  I painted each piece and wiped off the excess to give it a whitewash look and strung it
     on a long piece of hemp twine, re-used the ring it was hanging on and added a pre-drilled
     starfish to the end of it.  Voila!  Here is how it turned out:

Please excuse the lighting, the room this is hanging in doesn't get any sunlight.

Here is a close-up of the beginning of it:

Much better view.
It was any easy re-purpose and I love how it turned out.  I will be making another one for a friend of mine.  Living in Florida, this piece of artwork fits in nicely with my beach themed home.

2.)  How Does your work differ from others in this genre?

     Well, I'm not sure how to answer that question???  I often try to do new projects on a smaller scale
     than others in the DYI or craft field.  I'm no expert but love a challenge and if I can use something 
     I already have to make it all the better.  It's amazing and inspiring what a bit of paint and ideas 
     you find through blogging can lead you to.  I also love taking photos and trying my hand at 
     drawing although, I'm not very good at it, I've learned not to be so critical of what I try my hand
     at.

Here is a photo of two drawing I recently did...not perfect by any means but it looks as good as some
of the prints I see available for sale on other websites.  Again, not perfect but my take and vision of
the objects I draw.

Am I a self-proclaimed artist?  Not on your life but still it was worth the effort, at least to me.


3.)  Why do you write/create what you do?

     I started out blogging, gosh, 7 or 8 years ago.  When I first started blogging I thought it would be
     fun to write and share different aspects of my life, a diary of sorts.  I didn't have a "genre" per say,  
     but would write stories about my childhood and favorite interests. As I became a bit more sure of 
     myself, (YAY, finally) I started having posts that included homes and rooms that I found inspiring.
     Adding to that, items that I was making and selling in my Etsy Shop. (which I've since closed)
     I found after a while, I started to become "burned out" i.e. trying to visit and comment on 
     everybody's posts ('cause everybody loves comments just as much as I liked receiving them)
     along with trying to keep up with my shop and trying to write interesting and informative
     posts was too much and the enjoyment of having a blog soon became work instead of the FUN
     I started out with.  So, I backed away from it and now only post when I want to or have
     something to add of value.  I still visit and comment, but just not as much as before and only
     with others who I've built up a friendship with.  Whenever something becomes WORK instead of
     fun and you begin to "go through the motions" without enjoying what you are doing, it's
     time to stop, take a deep breathe and ask yourself is this what I really wanted out of this?

4.)  How does your writing/creating process work?

     I generally have a "light bulb" ( or as others might say "I fly by the seat of my pants") moment that 
     leads me to write or try something new.  I used to think that I "couldn't do something" but then I
     thought if all the world felt that way, nothing would be created or written.  Sometimes,
     you just have to put yourself out there and give it a whirl anyway, you'll never know what you can
     achieve until you do.  I find much of my inspiration these days comes from nature.  I've been
     taking photos of the beach and printing them to sell in a craft show that a friend of mine has 
     paid to have a space in.  By far though, my biggest pleasure is watching the birds
     eat from the feeder.  If you have ever watched birds feed, they have a pecking order of sorts. The
     larger birds i.e. blue jays, woodpecker, and doves tend to dominate the feeder and bully the 
     smaller birds until they are finished.  Just watching them is inspiring to me.  I can view them from
     outside the window where my computer is so there is always a new bird that pays the feeder a
     visit.  

I would like to thank Victoria for the invitation to write for Touring Through Blogland and all of you who stop by for the opportunity to share with you my thoughts and ideas for being creative.  Here are some shots I recently took that will be shown at the craft fair.  I would have never guessed that I would love photograpy as much as I do and all it took was taking that first couple of shots and liking
how they turned out.  Which goes to show you only have to give it a "shot".  You never know what might come out of it!








     




Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Simple Cooking Techniques



A photo I took painted in Waterlogue


Hi,

I hope everyone is well and enjoying the last of the summer months before fall sets in.  I have to say that I am looking forward to cooler weather having had enough h~o~t and humid temperatures.  It also brings a desire to cook and bake recipes inside instead of on the barbecue (although, I love grilled foods and can usually grill all year round here in Florida).  But still, there is something comforting about trying out new or old tried and true recipes when the weather starts to chill and the fall season sets in.

Summers are reminiscence of back yard barbecues, cool drinks (with or without alcohol) sitting on your patio or deck and enjoying your gardens.  For me, fall and winter months are about experimenting with new recipes that can warm the house and add aromas of the foods you are preparing.

I love cooking and found the best recipes and advice come from a website called Food 52.  I subscribe to their e-mails which brings me recipes and new items that are listed in their website shop. Today's e-mail brought me simple techniques on how to be a better cook by listing tips that I had forgotten about and in some cases didn't even know about from cooking rice, steaks and pasta to brewing cold coffee.  Things that want to make you go humm, I didn't know that!

Enjoy the tips and remember, " to learn something new everyday".  Link to article here: Food 52.

My Photo



Saturday, August 23, 2014

Hanging Driftwood


Hi everyone,

Several weeks ago, I purchased a hanging driftwood mobile made from predrilled pieces of driftwood that was hanging on two pieces of cross shaped wood .  When I received it in the mail it was broken :-(.  So, I contacted the shop I purchased it from and they gave me a credit and told me I didn't have to ship it back, just to keep it.  When I first pulled it out of the box, it was A LOT larger than I thought it would be but in the spirit of not wasting it, I decided to "repair" it.  Because it was soooo large, I decided to restring it and make it smaller so it wouldn't be so heavy.  It turned out fairly good but it was still extremely heavy.  After hanging it in the closet on a hanger until I could think my way around what else I could do with it, I had visited a blog where I saw driftwood pieces whitewashed and hung in a straight line instead of on a mobile. (I wish I could remember the name of that blog to give credit but it escapes my mind)  So, with that in mind, I decided to "repurpose it" AGAIN.  (I hate throwing things away and after all someone did take lot of pains and product to make the original mobile).


So, I unstrung it and took the driftwood pieces that were already predrilled and purchased some paint from Sherwin Williams called Eider White, diluted it 4 ounces of paint to 6 tablespoons of water and with a stiff brush painted each piece of driftwood with the paint and then immediately wiped it off with a lint free cotton cloth.  And while it took 2 and 1/2  hours to do this, it was well worth it.  I reused the ring that held it and left the string that had attached the two pieces of wood that was crossway and held the pieces of driftwood.  I added a starfish that was attached to the original mobile to the one I made and PRESTO, VOILA, a hanging strip of whitewashed driftwood pieces.  I love the way it turned out and I am so glad I didn't toss it.  Please excuse the photos as the room that I have this hanging in is quite dark and after taking photos with the light on, I didn't like the yellow cast it placed upon the driftwood.

This is approximately 5 ft. long and the perfect  length for the wall.
A close-up of the top of the hanging driftwood.

The middle section.
The end.



Full length.
So, I guess persistence does pay off cause I really like my new wall art!


Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Etsy Love

I am a huge fan of Etsy and whenever possible I make purchases from there.  There is always such a nice variety of shops to browse through and I am always amazed at the talent out there.  I've been reading in various magazines and on blogs about some really cool shops that I will be showing you today.

The first one is called Eye Poetry and as of late I've been looking at prints to hang on a long chain with clips in my office.  I usually like the 5 x 7 size and have found some gorgeous photos in this shop.  Here is the link to the shop:  Eye Poetry Photography.  Here is a sample of some of my favorites:

This one is on my list of favorites


I loved this one so much I purchased it.

I've never been a fan of horse pictures but I love this one!
Hmmm, I'm thinking of getting this one!


This is such a serene photo, ethereal.  It  has a heavenly look to it.


This is another one that I purchased...I have to stay away from this shop!  LOL


I hope that you will stop by and check out her prints.

Here is another shop, a ceramic shop that has the most charming and colorful pieces. A lovely lidded jar, bowls, and vases all so bright and cheery.  You can find it here: Owl Creek Ceramics.

Love these!
One of my favorites!


For all of you who knit or crochet, I think this is pretty nifty!

Rim Pasta Bowl ~ Blue and White Handpainted

When I am looking for crafting/paper supplies and other cool items this shop is one of my favorites:  I love the twine's in linen and in the raw for wrapping gifts.  She also has tags and an assortment of painted clothespins for hanging prints etc.
Olive Manna


Belgium Linen

Raw Twine

Textile Bobbins

Wooden Buttons

More Linen Thread
She has all sorts of bits and bobbins and a designated Website which you can also visit here Shop Olive Manna that carries vintage, handmade and sundries.  I've made several purchases from her and have always been very pleased with what I've ordered.

I'm sure most of you are well familiar with Etsy and I hope you have enjoyed viewing the items from these wonderful and talented people.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Almond Cake

Hello Everyone,

So sorry for not blogging...it has been awhile.  I've been enjoying the summer here even though it has been extremely hot and humid with very little rain.  Needless to say watering the plants has been an all consuming task, among other things.

I have been doing some baking lately.  Last week I made a homemade peach cobbler which was delicious even if I do say so myself and today I decided to make an Almond Cake.  While this recipe is time consuming, it is well worth the time spent making it.  Here are a few photos of how it turned out:





I added the slivered almonds in the center of the cake to satisfy husbands desire for "nuts"  Hah

Here is a copy of the recipe from Provision 52, a website I wrote about here: Provision 52 along with another great recipe I found from their website.


I hope all of you who try this will like it, I sure did.  With summer slowly coming to an end, I am awaiting much cooler temperatures and less tourists (I haven't been to the beach or Pier since July)so that I can stroll down the Pier and window shop once again without a rush of people and long lines.

I will be writing about several new Etsy shops I have scouted out this week, so stay tuned.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

A New Website to Check-out

Hi everyone,

I have found a great website with some very cool items called Cachette, it is a French website that does ship internationally very reasonably.  You can view it here:  Cachette.  Here are a few things I think are pretty neat.

Basket with small handles


Handmade Stoneware Jug
Handmade in Provence, South of France by a Manufacturer who has been firing clay into objects since 1857.  It is a contrast between a chalky white and a glossy texture.  Because I collect creamers and jugs, this one fit in nicely with my collection so I purchased it.
Large galvanized S hooks
100% Linen Pillowcases that can be purchased in 18 different colors.
Oyster Baskets
Storage Bags in Painted Linen with three colors to choose from.
Wire Word of your Choice.
I'm thinking of getting this with letters that spell out OUI



I think this is a fun website with lots of interesting and different items to look at.

I hope everyone is staying cool in this hot humid weather.  Just walking around outside this time of year in Florida will make you sweat!  LOL

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Lazy June Days

Hi Everyone,

It's sure been H~O~T here.  For the past couple mornings, around 6:00 a.m. we awake to a 2-3 minute downpour and then sunshine and H~E~A~T the rest of the day.  Not enough water to give the plants a good drink. So, we water, and water, and water.  Already my plants could use a good pruning and some have already had that done. They are almost top heavy!!  But I take pride in the colors of the garden that is in the front of the house and also pride in the garden in the back which receives morning sun and shade the rest of the day.  I've taken a few photos of the back garden that has my ferns, gardenias, and hydrangeas.  I've added a few annuals to give the garden some pops of color.

Hydrangeas, and my Jasmine that I just transplanted and tied to the white trellis

My Asparagus and Boston Ferns

Another shot from the opposite end of the garden





I am truly amazed that the ferns even grew back because of the two freezes we had this winter but they surprised me with their hardiness.  Mother Nature never ceases to amaze me!

I did manage to make a batch of dark chocolate Brownies for Husband today to celebrate Fathers Day.  I hope all the dads out there were remembered and had a special day with their children!
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Panama City, Florida