Monthly Archives: January 2017

Art Happens or Painting is Scary

I guess I’m feeling brave today. Last June I had the pleasure of attending one of Jeanne Oliver’s live art workshops. Jeanne is an amazing artist, entrepreneur, teacher, writer and human being. And I guess that’s why I ventured out in an area that I had absolutely no experience in, drove to Colorado and spent two days with a bunch of women that I had never met. It was a truly wonderful experience that I will never forget (more about my first art retreat). I said in that post that I might share my paintings some day if I got brave.

It’s not that I had never had the desire to paint, I just hadn’t taken the leap to try it. So in a setting that I knew would inspire, where all the materials I needed would be there for me to experiment with, I picked up a brush and jumped in.

Live Reflections faces

And these are some of the quirky faces that appeared. The exercise that produced these paintings stretched me a lot. I wanted to linger and try to perfect and finish each one but the quick instructions kept coming one after another and we had to act fast to keep up. It was good for me. It didn’t allow me to obsess over the details.

Live Reflections caterpillar

This painting was one on which I had more time to practice some of the techniques I had learned.


We were instructed to bring some photos to the class with us and this caterpillar seemed like one of the easier ones that I brought to paint.

I don’t know where my painting endeavors will take me but I know that learning what I did and meeting those I met are all part of my amazing journey called life.

Even though January is almost over, I wanted to share Jeanne Oliver’s free video series, Salt + Light. I have been following along and it has blessed me, made me think deeply, brought me hope and inspired me to be more. I highly recommend it. Prepare to be challenged!


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DIY Heart Garland

My favorite kind of crafty project are the ones that are quick and easy and inexpensive. And if I have most or all the supplies on hand already, even better. Whether you already have the supplies for this project or not, there are very few things needed. With Valentine’s Day coming up (and being a lover of seasonal decorating) I went to work thinking up a simple project to celebrate the holiday. This DIY heart garland is what I came up with.


Actually I came up with two different DIY heart garlands. It’s difficult to see the second, smaller one in this picture so I will show it again later in the post.


Along with wanting it to be simple, I wanted it to have an organic feel. So I dug around in my craft supplies, found a bunch of leather strips and knew they would be the perfect material to use.



And like any good hoarder crafter, I also had a bunch of neutral fabric scraps and lace that would complement the leather and soften the design.


For the smaller garland I cut heart shapes out of an old leather belt. It was a little bit more work than the first one but I like the way it turned out.


The belt I used had grommets which added a nice texture and also gave me a good place to string the skinny piece of leather for the garland.

You could easily change up the design with whatever colors you like. It’s a fun project to complete in an afternoon.

All you need to make your very own DIY heart garland is leather strips that can be found at your craft store, fabric and lace scraps, and for the smaller garland you’ll need a leather belt or leather scraps that can also be found at craft stores. You’ll also need glue (I used Loctite), scissors and a pair of pliers.

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Now to create. The process for the larger garland:

STEP 1: For each heart, cut two strips of leather, 7 3/8″ in length for the outer strip and 6 1/2″ in length for the inner strip. The width of my leather ranged from 1/8-3/8″.

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STEP 2:Cut strips of fabric (and leather lace if desired) to desired length for the “tails”. They will be doubled over so you will want them to be twice the length to allow for that. My cut strips ranged in length from 12-20″ and in width from 1/8-1/2″. I used 2-3 per heart.


STEP 3: Find the center of each piece of leather and using your pliers pinch it to form the bottom point of the heart.

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STEP 4: Fold over one end of the heart and glue a little further than halfway down on the other side.

STEP 5: Allow to dry then overlap and fold over the other piece, gluing in place as shown in center picture above.

STEP 6: Once that has dried glue one end of the second (outer) strip to the first heart at the top, center.

STEP 7: Allow to dry then glue the other end in the same manner.

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STEP 8: Take the strips of fabric and/or leather lacing and attach each to the bottom of the heart with a slipknot.

STEP 9: For the final step, thread them onto the length of leather to complete the garland. I used 1/8 inch deerskin lace leather for the garland length, cut to approx. 5 ft. and I used the extra for some of the hearts’ “tails”.


To make the smaller garland:


STEP 1: Draw or print a heart shape in desired size (mine is approx. 1 1/2″ x 1 1/2″). Using the paper heart as a template, draw around it onto the leather to make five hearts.

STEP 2: Cut them out using heavy duty scissors or a razor knife. Don’t worry if the edges are ragged and uneven, the lace will cover that up.


STEP 3: Decorate each heart with lace, covering entire heart or using it as a trim around the edges. Glue lace in place and trim.

STEP 4: Cut a leather lace or strip 2-3 feet long. This will be your garland base.

STEP 5: Unless you happen to have grommets in your leather hearts, you will want to attach them by punching a hole at the top of each heart. You can use a nail and hammer to do this or a leather punch. After punching a hole in each heart, attach them to the leather garland base, tying them on with small fabric strips.


Love is in the air!

As always, feel free to ask questions and please let me know if you need clarification on my instructions. :)

Be sure to check back in a few days for more Valentine-themed fun.

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DIY Candle Holders from Everyday Objects

The ice storm that hit several areas of the map this past weekend and was supposed to hit us missed us. We’ve been in them before, losing power, tree wreckage all over the yard and streets. It’s no fun and my thoughts go out to those who were affected.

With the thought of losing electricity in mind, today I’m reposting an issue from my long-running series Girls Want Pearls where I show you how to turn ordinary objects into pearl dripping candle holders. I gathered up some of my ironstone collection, spools of string, and some glass bobeches.
I decided to keep it all neutral, so I used off white candles. The bobeches come in handy to both bridge the gap at the top of vessels and to hold the candles in place. They also keep hot wax from dripping onto your vessels. I added stick tack to some of them to keep them even more stable. Swags can be made by hooking the pearls to the bobeches if they have holes/wire for that. Some of mine don’t so I just wrapped pearls around the candle base, then intertwined, swagged and dripped to get the desired effect.
Here’s a view from the top.
You can see how I added pedestals to bring the height up on some of the pieces.
Almost anything can be turned into a candle holder ~ clear glass vases, mason jars, silver or tin pieces, teapots, the only limit is your imagination. Experiment and have fun!
You could place an arrangement like this inside of a non-working fireplace. Be sure to exercise caution when lighting the candles.

Stay warm!

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Simple Faux Floral Arrangements

I don’t know about you but once I take down the Christmas decorations I’m ready for spring. The house just looks and feels dreary without the twinkling lights and sparkling balls. And since it will be a few months until spring comes I like to incorporate a few dried and faux floral arrangements back into my décor.


I try to hold back a little and not go full on floral but I don’t like to wait until spring to add some color.

Do you?


This tiny fern was gifted to me by a sweet friend and the old, framed floral needlework is a piece I found last fall at the flea market for one dollar. I love it with all its imperfections.


These little touches remind me that spring is coming.



And that once the cold and snow has gone there will be lush greens and vibrant color to enjoy again.


Until then, I’m content with my simple faux floral arrangements, a good book, a scented candle and if it decides to snow, a picturesque view from inside my warm home.

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Soft Goods ~ The Fabric of Our Lives

One of my favorite key components of interior design is soft goods. This is due, I’m sure, to my love for fabric. Although I don’t love to sew, the enjoyment I get from shopping for and choosing just the right fabric and playing with patterns has compelled me to sew things like curtains and pillows when it’s time to change up my décor. I often can’t find what I’m looking for “off the rack” when it comes to these soft goods.


I have also done a small amount of reupholstering, only when it is a simple job like this chair.


An upholstered chair is just right in this space, softening the otherwise harshness of the brick and wood tones. Placing a pillow on a wooden chair would achieve similar results.


Frequently when a space feels like it’s cold or lacking interest, adding textiles and goods made from them is just what it needs to make it feel warm and cozy. Something as simple as a vintage umbrella or hat on a hook can do the trick.

I don’t know about you but all of the sudden I got an itch to go play at the fabric store…


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