I am reminded of my grandfather, whom served our country many years ago, and rarely spoke of his experiences. If he were here today, he would choose to share the good in life on this day. In honor of him, I will choose to share some of the things that make me happy today, as I am reminded of how fortunate I am to have the freedom to enjoy and share these things.
Monday, May 31, 2010
Thursday, May 27, 2010
Well, I finally got some creative juices flowing...and made some cards yesterday, and plan to make more of them today...or something.
I love the posies made from Marah Johnson's Pretty Paper Posies Kit. It took a bit of playing with them to get the hang of it, and determine how may layers of petals I needed to use, and how best to color them. After a bit of experimenting, I determine the best way to dye them was to put my Glimmer Mist in a small bowl, tilt the bowl sideways, and dip my petals down in the GM. I began by being "stingy" with the petals, but eventually determined the look called for more layers of petals. Most of these have 7 layers of petals, but even more would be better. If I had a never-ending supply, I would love to use 12-15 layers, lol. To curl the petals, I painstakingly wrapped/curled them around the small "needle-like" tool I use to punch holes in paper to insert my brads in paper. This was time consuming, no doubt, so I eventually tried simply fluffing the flat petals with my moistened fingers, and this worked nearly as well . . . and took alot less time, ;). If you would like to try making some posies, here there are three different sizes of petals in one bloom. If you have floral punches, you could make your own, I suppose, using book pages or whatever you prefer. Or, you can order the kit from Marah; for roughly $8; she will send you well over 100 petals pre-cut using her Accucut dies. I have yet to find flower punches that I like, so I will be ordering another couple of sets from Ms. Marah real soon.
This isn't the best picture, as these two do not stay still long enough to allow for focusing and zooming in/out, lol. However these are my two "children" whom desperately wanted to help making posies yesterday. Gracie is a yellow lab, and Boomer is a black lab. They are both approximately three years old, however we rescued Gracie only five months ago. Thankfully, she is doing very well in her new home today, and Boomer has grown to accept her, and he enjoys playing with her. They are both sweet doggies, and the loves of our life. After 20 years of having kitties, these two are our first experience at being doggie parents, and we ask ourselves, "why did we wait so long to get a dog?" Admittedly, they are both Alphas to my DH and I, and Cesear would die if he saw how spoiled they are!
And this is where I get creative! My "art studio." It is a 12x12 building in our backyard that I refer to as my "Hawaiian Healing Hut," named after a colorful, Hawaiian quilt that hangs on the wall inside.
I hand-appliqued these colorful Hawaiian patterns onto the black backgrounds years ago, while sitting with my Mom in various doctors' offices and/or hospital rooms when she was battling breast cancer. Thus I named the quilt "Hawaiian Healing," and when completed, I quickly discovered there was no place in my home to place it. So...when I got my "studio," it just seemed fitting that it should be the interior focal point...to "distract" from all the messy clutter!
Now you've seen my mess, and admittedly, it's awfully nice to be able to close the door and leave this mess outside of my house! This little building was one of my best "art investments," as previously all this clutter would be scattered over my dining room table when I was in the middle of an art project.
Now, I'm off to my Hut to create something! Wishing each of you a beautiful day of creativity and peace, xoxo ~~ Jeanne
Monday, May 24, 2010
Thursday, May 20, 2010
Today, I am "traveling" by way of pictures sent to me from a dear friend whom has left her homeland of Greece, (several years ago), to care for her Mum in Dorset, England. Dorset appears to hold an enchanting land...and a most thoughtful friend of mine, ;)...both of which I dream of visiting, in person, one day. These gorgeous blooms were captured in Pamphill, which I believe is in southwest England. I can only imagine the tranquility this spot holds in person, as its image is sedating, to me. I can almost smell the fragrance of these blooms.
Monday, May 17, 2010
Thursday, May 13, 2010
Monday, May 10, 2010
The sun is shining beautifully this Monday morning, as I awoke to a crisp 35 degree F temperature here in North Carolina. A gorgeous spring day awaits us here; one I am looking forward to soaking up at work this afternoon, as I know the hot, humid air will be rolling in very soon.
I spent Sunday at the shop (a local gift, garden and design shop) and was very surprised to see there were no men rushing in to pick up that last minute Mother's Day gift ~~ instead, mostly, I saw moms and daughters out browsing at their leisure. Our men are obviously getting smarter, and planning ahead, while allowing the women of their lives to enjoy Mother's Day as they wish ~~ browsing the best of local shops!
To share a peek into my work life, this is the front of the shop where you can find me four-to-five days/week, depending on the season.
faux tiger/zebra-ish print. Needless to say, its bright yellow background draws alot of attention, and I suppose that was the point. (This is the largest creative painting project I have taken on, and admittedly, it's size was a bit intimidating, as I could not see "the big picture" from below while up on the scaffolding, with paint and brush in hand.)
I love this vintage rusted iron planter, and this vintage copper-top planting bench, with the sagging upper shelf!
If I had to choose one planter as my favorite, it would most likely be this vintage rusted iron oval planter. It is missing a "leg" on its back side (not shown here), and perhaps that makes me love it even more. I propped it up with a rock and it's as good as new...at least, to me!
The location of this fountain, (behind an iron, curtained awning) does not do it justice, nor does this picture, but I had to share it nonetheless. It is one of my favorite fountains at the shop. This picture reminds me that this fountain needs to be moved to a more visible location, but it weighs a TON, and thus will most likely stay here...until the boss comes in one day, as she is famous for doing, with a big smile on her face and says, "I have a plan! Let's move this [huge, heavy item] over there [usually "miles" away, with many obstacles in between the two locations, lol!]". We (the staff) love to joke with her about these instances, and I love it when my co-worker turns to me and jokingly says, on these occasions, "is she smoking crack today," meaning "has she LOST her MIND???" Then, we all pitch in to get the job done ~~ somehow, preferably without any injuries, lol!
These pretty little fellas are my only hesitation to taking a day off. I am the self-appointed "Dead-Heading Queen," at the shop, and know these fellas will miss my obsessive five-plus-times-daily-dead-heading process when I am away. I love petunias, when properly groomed, but cannot bare to see them with dead blooms lingering. Admittedly, I go a bit overboard with them, but tell myself, "if I were purchasing plants, what would I want them to look like?" When planting any petunias, I always hope they will find a good home...soon...where someone else can care for them..or not, lol!
This Big Fella originally had a terra cotta sun face . . . that broke and fell to pieces last year, and thus has received a "face lift" consisting of the insertion of this round piece of wood. Now he sits propped up against an iron divider piece, looking pitiful, in my humble opinion. This piece has been calling me, saying, "please paint a new face on me, so I can shine again!" I'm thinking this will be my next art project at work, ;). This is part of the fun and excitement I find in working here, as there is always something that needs a creative touch, and the owner is a wonderful, creative lady with a "happy-go-lucky" personality, whom is glad to see any of the staff use their creativity on her "junk," as we like to refer to it. (She is a Junkin' Gypsy Queen, whom loves to go "Junkin'," and we love to see what she returns with! When she and her husband return with a trailer full of "junk" from the latest trip, I like to think of it as Christmas morning, as the trailer is unpacked and we get to see what she found on the latest trip. Many times there are treasures found, all on their own, and other times there are "treasures in the making," begging for some creativity.) Not to mention, the creative inspiration that abounds within the surroundings of the shop is a huge bonus within my "work"-life today. I suppose my previous 20+ years of working in office settings also give me a loving perspective of this work setting, that I often think of as more of a "play" setting ~~ I get to play with so many wonderful things here. I totally enjoy my work-life today. Having worked in not-so-inspiring-unhappy-settings for many previous years, my heart goes out to anyone working in an uninspiring, or unhappy setting. While I truly appreciate the salary obtainable in the "white-color world" (words used to express my vision of those working in much more financially prosperous positions than myself today), today I am much happier with less income and lots more peace, happiness and inspiration. It's a good trade-off, for me.
So, if you are ever in Piedmont, North Carolina, and/or should need a peaceful, inspiring break from life and can get away, please stop by and visit me and "The RT Gang" at River Twist in Jamestown, North Carolina. Not only do I find peace here, I also hear many clients and visitors express sentiments of feeling peaceful, relaxed and/or inspired when they visit the shop; many stop in just because they need a break from their hectic life, and feel rejuvenated after a visit here. (You can find us on Facebook, by searching for "River Twist," if you would like to see more of the shop.)
May we all find a way to discover happiness, peace, rejuvenation and inspiration in whatever setting we find ourselves within today. Wishing everyone a beautiful week, filled with fun, happy, peaceful and inspiring moments.
Saturday, May 8, 2010
This is Mom (center), with two friends, during one of her first years at college, showing her fun, humorous side, circa @ 1954 in Red Springs, North Carolina (near Flora McDonald College).
Posted by Jeanne Nelson at 5/08/2010 10:15:00 PM
Monday, May 3, 2010
(Pic from Southwest Library.)
What a festive occasion May Day used to be...back in "my day" of the early '70s, during my early school years. On this year's May Day, I ran into three school teacher's at work, and asked each of them "does your school still celebrate May Day with a Maypole?" I was so disappointed to hear each of them say, "no, [that is a thing of the past]." It was decided that schools simply don't have funds for such events today; what a sad thing. Truly, how much would it cost to implement a Maypole at our local schools? Surely they all have flag poles already...or I surely HOPE they do! Add a bit of ribbon, (or even inexpensive party streamers, as we used in my day), as well as the readily available students within the schools, and voila ~~ a maypole! Even though I do not have children (other than my two labrador retrievers!), I want to seriously consider making this a project for next year, at least at one of the local schools. However, I can truly imagine that "my children" would have a grand time with this also, ... although the steamers would end up shredded to bits, lol! Please let me hear from you ~~ do ANY schools celebrate with a Maypole today? Is it "unethical" or "politically incorrect" today to use a standard flagpole for such an occasion? How reasonable is my thought of providing local schools with streamers, so they can share in this celebration today?
Moving on, we have Mother's Day coming up on Sunday! I lost Mom in 2002, but she "made her appearance" in my garden this morning!
This is the St. Francis that came from Mom's garden, and I cherish it within my own garden today. It also marks the area where Mom's ashes were spread, and is one of my favorite spots within my garden because of this. The ferns growing around St. Francis were also from Mom's garden. This morning, I found this Peony bloom bursting forth beside St. Francis, and it just made me smile. While the Peony plant actually came from my DH's Grandmother's garden, to me, it said, "Hello, I Love You" from my Mom. What an awesome thing to find during the week of Mother's Day .... or anytime! I will share this with my DH when he arrives home tonite, and I feel certain that it will say, for him, "Love You, Son," from his Grandmother!
Looking further in my garden, I found these lovelies this morning, also:
Sweet William, in full bloom.
Iris in full bloom in foreground, and Wisteria arbor in background.
Variegated Hosta ... that are inspiring a collage background!
As for my art, I've been blog hopping and finding SO much inspiration! There are so many happy sites to see, and so much inspiration within them. I'm so glad to be living in this time, when blog sharing is becoming a grand way of sharing ourselves, our art, and our lovely "junkin' finds," along with so much more. My brain is overflowing with inspiration .... I'm determining that I need to keep a journal beside my keyboard so I can make notes of the inspiring things I find, and recall all of them when time allows for creativity. In the interim, they are all going into my "favorites" list and I hope to find time to flip through them again, and be inspired to take my own spin on them, and make something fun!
Last week, I began my latest "Goddess" painting. While I am not into tarot cards, or readings, I happened upon a box of tarot cards at a great price recently, thinking that their celtic patterns may inspire a collage background or some such novelty within my art. My favorite image within the cards was the "High Priestess" card, and this is my inpretation of her.
She is still a Work In Progress (WIP), mind you, but she's what I am working on currently. Happy Mother's Day, and Creating to each of you! xoxo ~~ Jeanne
Posted by Jeanne Nelson at 5/03/2010 10:49:00 AM