A few weeks ago I told you about an amazing opportunity I was given to attend one of Jeanne Oliver’s art retreats in Castle Rock, Colorado. The whole experience was uplifting and inspiring. I think the two things that impressed me most were how comfortable Jeanne made this star-struck girl feel and the quality and character of all the talented women who attended.
We were welcomed with mimosas and croissants while we all mingled and got to know one another.
From the beautiful studio to the art instruction to the lovely people, this getaway exceeded my expectations in every way.
During one of the breaks Jeanne led us on a walk down several of the trails they have created on their property.
I plan on making time and room in the budget some time in the future to attend another event in Jeanne’s Living Studio. I might share a piece or two of art I created while there. In another post. If I get brave enough.
I’m back from Jeanne Oliver’s amazing retreat and back to real life. What an incredible time I had at the art retreat and I will share stories and photos in an upcoming post.
I mentioned previously that our beloved house is now on the market and I would like to share photos of it with you. I have shown some of them in older posts as we completed projects but I have never shown my entire house.
The Living Room
French Doors leading to the stairs
Sitting Room leading to the Master Suite
Guest Bedroom #2
Back downstairs now in The Kitchen
The Dining Room
Laundry Room right off the kitchen
2nd room in Wine Cellar
Back of House
We have poured our heart and soul into this home for the past 22 years. We took it from a house in very poor condition that nobody wanted and turned it into a home that we have loved and enjoyed raising a family in. Although it’s sad to leave, we have been house hunting and have found a few smaller homes we like, one of which I know we will enjoy making our own.
As I sit at my desk and write this post, I’m watching yellow leaves float by the window. George Winston Autumn is playing on the cd player and the most wonderful smelling fall candle is burning next to me. I want to hold onto this feeling.
I have been bringing fall to many areas of my home. I’ve concentrated mainly on the kitchen and dining areas because we spend so much of our time there.
I love repurposing frames in unique ways. With that as my inspiration for the breakfast nook table I started with a very old chippy green frame. Using it as a tray, I placed the items I gathered inside the frame.
You may recognize the tall skinny birdcage that was a recent flea market find. It adds some rustic texture and height.
This set of dishes belonged to my mom. We ate every Thanksgiving and Christmas meal on them as far back as I can remember. The color was perfect with the frame and the wonderfully gnarly green pumpkin.
The flourishes in the frame are echoed in the vines of the dishes and the raised squiggly veins on the pumpkin. I have to confess, that was a happy accident. Don’t you love it when it works out that way?!
I added the faux berries for a pop of color and a baby boo pumpkin tucked in a berry bowl with a little Spanish moss for a bed.
Switching gears now, I would like to share my weekly segment that I call “A Little Bird Told Me.”
I’m a big believer in using and repurposing what I have to create a whole new look with each new season. Storage can become an issue if one buys new things every season, not to mention the fact that it’s not a budget friendly way to decorate. But that’s only part of it.
I find that the challenge to make do with things on hand causes me to be much more creative. For my dining room table I got out an old half door that I sometimes use as a vertical backdrop.
Inspired by Stone Gable’s centerpiece found at her lovely fall home tour,
I decided to use it horizontally on the table as the base for my fall vignette.
One of the keys to making one-of-a-kind vignettes is to have plenty of unique containers that can be swapped out from room to room. I like to have a mix of new and vintage. The metal basket that now holds baby boos was previously filled with candles in the bathroom. I borrowed the granite ware bucket from my kitchen window.
This big old funnel has held baby boos in past years, so this year I filled it with
cotton stems for an entirely different look.
A little unexpected sparkle among all the rustic elements.
Don’t you love it when you have a surge of creativity and you know that all you want to do is create something beautiful? Do you ever have days (or weeks) where you feel you’ve lost your creative edge? I certainly go through dry spells and wonder where on earth my creativity has gone. On those days I have a few tricks that I find helpful in shaking it off and getting the juices going strong again.
Today I’m going to share 7 tips that have helped me and might help you if you give them a try.
1) Sit outside with a cup of coffee or glass of wine, a notebook and no agenda. Drink in the beauty of nature and allow yourself to be inspired. Write down any creative thoughts you have but don’t feel pressured to think of any.
2) Walk through a fabric store and experience the different textures and colors. This always stirs up my imagination whether I’m planning to work with fabric, another material or even if I have no clue what I’ll do next.
3) Watch an episode of Project Runway, Cake Boss or Flea Market Flip with the volume muted. You’ll be amazed at how freely your own thoughts flow when their conversations aren’t influencing your thoughts.
4) Read. The Bible and devotional books are full of artistic imagery. Jesus Calling is the devotional I am currently using and loving. When I spend time in the presence of the One who created me, I never fail to feel a fresh infusion of creativity.
5) Go to a public place and people watch. Observe the way they dress, the way they interact, their hairstyles, their smiles, the way they laugh. Humans are creative beings and their passion can be contagious.
6) Light a candle and listen to classical music. I love Vivaldi. I somehow feel like more is possible as I thrill to the sounds of the maestros.
7) Take a walk with your camera. Use your artistic eye to find and take shots of things you find interesting. Don’t worry about whether you’ll want to keep or use the photos, just snap freely. This unleashes my creativity every time.
What do you do when you’ve lost your mojo? I’d love to hear your tricks! Share what works for you in the comments and you might help someone else out of their slump!
You can see Part 1 here, including some before pictures.
My vintage GE kitchen mixer found years ago at a garage sale for $10, and yes, I use it!
My mail center consists of a vintage scale, a metal basket from Hobby Lobby painted the same color, a jar to hold pens, pencils and letter opener, and magnets to hold important things like KC Royals tickets!
You may have been expecting to see my cabinets painted white, considering that I am moving toward a farmhouse style. Don’t think I didn’t think about it! I went so far as to mention the possibility to my husband who does all the painting around here. He was against it. Not because of the work involved (he actually enjoys painting) but because he likes the cabinets in their cherry state.
I picked them out fifteen years ago when we did a complete gutting of the kitchen, but I had started entertaining the idea of painting them. Well, he gets his way this time since he hardly ever does! He very rarely has an opinion on decorating and I usually get to make all the decisions!
This is what the top of my fridge looked like before the makeover. The wine rack was never meant to stay.
I’ll eventually have a matching cabinet above, but in the meantime I discovered that this little cabinet that I previously had in my living room fit nicely in the spot. And the wine rack is much more suited to its new place above the corner cabinet.
You may remember this box from a previous flea market finds post. I white washed it and set some succulent pots inside.
To the right of my refrigerator sits my all important coffee station. I wanted to put together a little coffee mug display on some sort of pedestal stand. After trying a couple of things I already had and even buying something new only to bring it home and not like it, I decided to create my own stand. As I envisioned what I wanted it to look like the thought entered my mind that it would be cute with casters.
Everything I used to put the pedestal stand together were elements I already had, with the exception of one caster. Later in another post I’ll share how plywood circles, cane strips and a small metal candlestick all came together to create my rolling pedestal stand.
I used a small, old, zinc paper cutter as a tray to hold “the fixins”. I placed a faux flower stem in an upturned glass funnel to add softness.
Thank you for taking time to look around with me. That’s just about it for this reveal. I just have one more area to show you in another post. It involves a favorite piece of furniture and a vintage collection. Come back soon!