Monthly Archives: May 2015

Phrase Art Phriday: Creativity ~ Bud To Blossom

Welcome to Phrase Art Phriday, #19. This series is a way for me to explore photography and experiment with graphic design. Combine those with an inspirational phrase and my thoughts and writing around it all and you have Phrase Art Phriday.

This week I have squeezed every drop of enjoyment from my beautiful peonies, in my home and in my blog posts. In my two previous posts I showed you four of my five arrangements.
Here is the fifth.



Now onto the featured photo with a phrase that I absolutely LOVE.


The funny thing about this quote is that while looking for the original author I discovered that it is somewhat unknown. Almost all of the references to it that I could find online (and there are MANY) give Anais Nin the credit. But no one has ever been able to document it for a fact. I also came across an article that gives credit to Elizabeth Appell a.k.a. Lassie Benton, along with some pretty convincing documentation to back it up. For this reason I have not included an author’s name with the quote on my photo. This bit of information also served as the jumping off point for my deeper thoughts on the quote itself.

As a creative person, I have had to deal with the protective feelings that creative types feel for their creations. Anyone who is creative knows how it feels to have their work copied or “stolen”, and how the fear of that happening can cause one to hold tightly to their work and be afraid to share it with the world. I absolutely confess to having had those feelings at various times in my life. I have also fully understood what this quote is expressing and have known the freedom afforded to those who embrace its truth. I have discovered that as I share my creativity I am filled again with ideas and designs that I can’t wait to become immersed in. There is no end! Shared creativity never runs out and can never be used up. The ultimate creator, God, has an endless supply! He is an infinite source of creative thoughts and ideas. But if I keep my ideas to myself and hold onto them selfishly they can never blossom.

I find it ironic that the author of this quote is disputed. What a shame it would have been if the person who thought it never shared it for fear of having it stolen.


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Peonies in 5 Different Vessels (Part Two)

My peonies are about to breathe their last but I managed to get shots of all five bouquets in my home before they bit the dust. In my last post I showed you an arrangement in an old wooden ice cream bucket as well as a vintage coffee percolator perched on a rocking chair. I prefer to use unconventional vessels to display my flowers. Don’t you? I think of peonies as an old fashioned flower so I think it’s fitting that they hang out in vintage containers.

I chose this silver trophy coffee urn for a bouquet I placed on one of my dining room buffets. I’m not quite ready to show you the full view of the dining room until the transformation is complete. It won’t be long now!

Ahhhh, if only they could last forever. Their scent is amazing. It reaches me each morning as I approach the top of the stairs to come downstairs.

For this simple arrangement I used a bottle that I picked up at my last flea market jaunt. It sits in my breakfast nook window. I once heard peonies described as the queen of the garden. A well deserved title I think. Reign on beautiful blossoms.

I have one final bouquet to show you. It will be featured in my Phrase Art Phriday post, where I share my own photography overlaid with an inspirational phrase or thought. Hope to see you then!


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New Camera and Peonies Shots

I got a new camera! It’s a camera I have wanted for a long time. Well three years feels like a long time when you have a creative yearning to capture images in the way they deserve to be captured and your cheapie camera isn’t doing them justice. I’ve never had an expensive camera. I don’t make major purchases impulsively. I mull them over for a long time, in large part because I don’t have the budget to spend money frivolously. During that time I try to do my research until I have decided which brand, model, etc. to buy. So after three years of waiting, researching and yearning, I finally have my beautiful new Canon EOS camera. I have been playing with it for the past two weeks and I have to tell you, it’s amazing! All the tiny details I could never capture clearly with my old camera are easy to capture now. Yay! So here are some of the shots I took of the heavenly peonies I picked last week.




The bushes were loaded down and overflowing, so much so that I picked enough to fill five different vessels, give away a bouquet and still have tons outside to beautify the yard.


I bought this enamelware coffee percolator at the flea market in March knowing I would put it to use holding various bouquets throughout the year.


I have so much to learn about the camera it’s mind boggling. In the meantime as I experiment with it, taking photos indoors, outdoors, far away and close up, I can tell it’s going to be a game changer for me. I am so excited to use it every opportunity I get. I have more peony shots to show you but I decided to break them up into three different posts to avoid photo (and sensory) overload.


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Breakfast Nook Makeover ~ Before and After

Happy new week! As promised I am here to show you my breakfast nook makeover. It’s finished!! It’s a small space but it’s part of a much bigger makeover going on. There are lots of photos so let’s get started.

Here’s what it looks like now.


And here’s a before picture.

Not only did this space get a makeover, I got a new camera too. You can see that the quality of the before pictures aren’t great.


The walls were a charcoal color before the makeover. We painted them in Benjamin Moore Crystalline. In some light it looks green, in other light it looks bluish aqua and certain times of the day it looks gray. I love it! In fact, I love it so much we’re painting the entire first floor in the same color.






I’ve had this antique typewriter for ages and have always kept it on a side table or desk. I decided to show off the graphics of the numbers and keys better by hanging it on the wall.


I love projects that I don’t have to spend much money on. My pillows didn’t cost me a thing. I already had the beautiful rooster pillow that I got from Hazelnut Deux.


I pulled the green fabric out of my stash and stuffed it with poly fill that I had instead of buying a pillow form.

The other two pillows were the most fun to create. Jen Rizzo recently posted a free bird and flower printable that she created. The colors in her design were just the colors I was using to accessorize.


So I saved her printable and played around with it to create two different pillow designs. Then I printed the designs using muslin ironed onto freezer paper and my inkjet printer. Once again I stuffed them with poly fill and as a result they cost me nothing.




Sitting on top of the old school desk they’re the perfect pillows for my breakfast nook. You can see the before and after of the school desk makeover in this post.

breakfast_nook_after_pillow_3I hope you enjoyed seeing all the changes. Thanks for stopping by!


Linking with: Have a Daily Cup of Mrs. Olson,The Scoop, Mod Vintage Life, Between Naps on the Porch, From My Front Porch to Yours, Cozy Little House, A Stroll Thru LifeIvy and Elephants, Style Elixir, Shabby Art Boutique, Reasons To Skip The Housework, Classy Clutter, French Country Cottage, Amaze Me Monday , VMG206, That DIY Party

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My Ironstone Bowl Has a Secret

I have loved and collected ironstone for several years. My collection is a moderate size because I rarely pay more than $5 for any one item. Many of the pieces I have bought can be easily found at a higher price but if I’m patient I can find the types of pieces I love in that price range.

This bowl is just such a piece. I purchased it last month at the flea market for $5. Oh happy day! I almost walked right past it. I was on the lookout for plain white ironstone and this bowl was not that.

This bowl had big red flowers on it ~ poppies I believe? Not a problem I told myself. I will just place it on a shelf with the flowers turned to the back, or as my friend suggested sand the floral design off. Are you cringing? Would that be a terrible thing to do? I don’t think so. On the other hand there might come a day when the floral design works in just the right setting. What would you do?

I’m very happy to say that my breakfast nook makeover is (basically) complete. Monday I’ll show you before and after photos of the space. Woop!


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My Flea Market Finds

I’m getting ready to have a yard sale at the end of the month and will be clearing out a bunch of stuff! I will be making room for some of the new old stuff I found recently at the flea market. Twice a year, in the spring and fall my friend Joyce and I have a standing date to hit the flea market together in the nearby town of Sparks, KS. Here are some (almost all) of my flea market finds this spring.

Kitties always find the smell irresistible. My neighbor’s cat, Bella comes to see me almost every day. Sometimes I think about getting another cat but Bella’s visits give me the benefit of enjoying her company without the responsibilities that cat ownership has.

I don’t have a “Bethany” but for $1 I wasn’t about to pass up this ironstone plate. The name + the cracked place + the brown staining add tons of character!

bottles_flea_market_findsThe bottles and rusty iron screen will easily find their way into the rustic French farmhouse style I’m bringing into my décor.

If only my feet were a size 6! I would wear these vintage rubber boots in a heartbeat! I’ll have to display them instead. I think they’ll be perfect in one of the guest bedrooms when we get around to that project.

There’s a lot of cleaning to be done to these dusty treasures, especially the rustic wood box. It will make a great magazine or tp holder in the bathroom. Or maybe filled with flowers for a table centerpiece.

My irises are in full bloom now. They bloomed just a few days after I showed them in their budding state. My peonies will be in full bloom in the next day or two. What perfect timing for Mother’s Day weekend! My mother is not living but if yours is I hope you are able to enjoy the day with her. I will enjoy the day with my kids. Happy Mother’s Day!


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