Spring Inspiration

Thanks to a college friend I learned the love of walking.  Not just any old stroll, but miles of placing one foot in front of the other.  While it began because her car broke down miles from our then apartment, it continued because of the wonderful chats we had and exercise’s magical ability to ease stress.

Fast forward to present day and I still enjoy my epic walks.  I try to go several times a week if schedule permits.  I’ve since discovered an added benefit: feeling a part of the changing of seasons.  Frequent walks clue me in to the caucophy of wildlife in the summer, subtle changing of leaves in the fall, expose forests in winter, and showcase new life in Spring.  Recently on a walk I came across several robin egg remnants on the sidewalk, striking because of their brilliant blue hue.  I knew immediately I had to paint my own rendition.

While Aaron took the kids to the dentist I had a free moment to render my vision.  It still needs a frame, but- just like a good walk- painting it washed away a whole week of stress.

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Take a look, it’s in a nook…

We have been out and about having fun at local museums, parks, and farmer’s markets, but I did remember to take any pictures?  Of course not.  I have a tendency to get lost in the moment as opposed to capturing it for posterity.  That means I will just have to follow up on my last week’s to-do list– specifically item numerous dos:  dress-up the home office.

First of all, this little cranny in our upstairs attic bedroom was a closet when we moved in.  I made the executive decision that it would be put to better use as a home office for Aaron. Eventually we will undertake a more comprehensive remodel upstairs, but I couldn’t stare at this any longer without taking action.

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Between the the fake paneling, cheap carpet and pure ugly of the space it was depressing to say the least.  My initial plan was simply to paint the cubby and be done, but me being me, that is never good enough.  So I ripped up the carpet.  Painted the walls. Painted the floor. Stenciled the desk top (a repurposed door).  Added a cork board and stenciled that.  Made curtains to conceal my hoard of magazines.  And…fell into a heap of exhaustion and questioned why I spent so much effort on something that will eventually be redone with the rest of the room.  Let’s see the results shall we?

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Though this is Aaron’s space i couldn’t help but add a few sentimental touches.  Like the plein air painting I did on a piece of found slate while we camped on Lake Champlain in Vermont.

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Or a little bowl of shells and sea glass from some of our favorite places: Prince Edward Island, Dominican Republic, and various Charleston barrier islands.

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Considering that this whole effort utilized materials leftover from other projects, I will consider it largely a success.  At least I don’t have stare at a nook of despair any longer! On a side note, did anyone get the Reading Rainbow reference in the title? I doubt I will ever forget that song- well played LeVar Burton.

Keeping (a) Score

It’s no secret to anyone who knows me that I adore trash hunting.  I don’t mean literal dumpster diving –yet– but driving around the area the day before trash pickup is a regular occurrence.  It’s rare that I don’t find at least one discarded gem every hunt.  My treasure this time admittedly smelled like smoke and had a disturbing grimy feeling to it, but it’s nothing a quick Dawn soap wipe down couldn’t eradicate.  Here’s my new-to-me throne freshly picked from the curb:

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It it had been visibly repaired on the legs and I needed another chair in the house like  a hole in my head.  Solution? Make it an outdoor perch since I had sold all our outdoor furniture to the folks who bought our last abode.  Two coats of leftover Annie Sloan’s  French Linen and stripes in Aubusson Blue had it looking better.  I would have preferred another color entirely, but it didn’t seem worth it to buy a new quart for a piece that I want that fond of. (Sometimes I think I only pick up other people’s discards because they are free and I love a deal!)

I always tend to go for shabby chic as opposed to a perfect, smooth finish when I use Annie Sloan.  My three kids wreak havoc on furniture as my sofa knows all too well- it had to be rebuilt after one too many run-ins.  I beat my kids to the chase by roughing up my trash rehabs first.  That way, any damage they add only adds to the “look”.  The end result?  Another perch to execute some front porch sittin’ and sippin’.

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It makes a fitting addition to the hodge podge collection on the front porch if I do say so myself!

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Goals of the Week and *BONUS* Table Revamp

Every week I begin with a list of goals I want to accomplish.  Most are house and/or art related.  I do. It always accomplish everything on said list, but it does tend to keep me more focused on productive use of my “free” time (is there really such a thing when you have kids?).  My list for this week is-drumroll please- as follows:

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My lists tend to be a reflection of my squirrel brain- all over the place.  From making macarons to lots of paint projects,  I can keep myself pretty darn busy.  I hang this on our community cork board where I am reminded of it frequently as another assurance my ideas come to fruition.  Added bonus?  I also have plenty of blog material to push on share with others.

But on to brighter things- literally.  I had been given a dining table by my fabulous MIL. We had used it for years as our primary meal space until it was usurped by another table found in an attic.  So I had a dilemma.  An extra dining table with no place to store it, but I wasn’t willing to give it away (sentimental value, ya’ll).  Solution?  Turn it into an outdoor table.

I completely forgot to take a photo before I sprayed the legs yellow so this is the best shot I got.

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I wanted to retain some of the natural wood while still getting a coasta cabana vibe so I taped off for some stripes- one of my many obsessions.

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After two coats and a quick water-based polyacrykic sealant, my former indoor table became decidedly outdoor.  After a week and a few rainstorms its repelled water just as expected and holding up marvelously.  This girl is certainly anticipating lots of al fresco dining in my future.

Cock-A-Doodle Doo

So those canvases I prepped last week?  Still haven’t touched them.  I forewent crisp, clean canvases in favor of scrap plywood that I used to catch overspray from previous spray paint projects.  My love affair with repurposing runs deep ya’ll.

My favorite painting topics are of the animal variety.  They offer a huge array of color choices, expression, and…they are fun to do (because if it’s not fun, why do it?). My subject of choice this time was a Welsummer Rooster- a handsome boy for sure.  I spread out my materials in my cramped little attic craft loft and got to work.  Over the next few days- whenever I could fit in slapping down some paint in between rearing three kids- things slowly came together.

On a whim I decided to add a background to make the bird “pop”.  Other than a frame that-will-be-added-at-a-later-date-but-I-have-no-idea-when, it’s done and hanging in the dining room.  Now to only start on the other five million images swirling in my head that I want to get painted. I am going to need a lot more scrap wood!

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Paint Prep

I am a momma to three young ones under the age of 10.  I homeschool them all. Needless to say (but obviously I am stating it anyway), stress relievers are important in my life.  I run. I see my girlfriends. I yoga.  But my favorite outlet?  Art.  Be it crafting, painting, sewing,  or other medium, I  am all over it when it comes to chilling out my anxieties.

It’s been a busy week this far with tearing down walls in our master bedroom, ripping up carpet, and teaching three kids at entirely different learning levels simultaneously.   Did I mention we moved into a real fixer upper just over s month ago?  Hence it’s time for a good art sesh.  First step, prime several canvases I picked up  on the cheap from Goodwill.  One good coat of acrylic gesso and these babies will be ready to go for  late night painting (post kids-bedtime is my time!).

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Bless My Heart

High Point, North Carolina is a small town any way you slice it.  It comes roaring to life twice a year during spring and fall furniture markets-  perhaps the only reasons most anyone outside the Piedmont Triad region have heard of it.  The rest of the year lower Main Street and most of the surrounding buildings are closed for business. That doesn’t imply that this sweet little city isn’t alive with activity and potential the remainder of the year.

I am not “from” High Point, North Carolina as most Southerners would be quick to point out.  I was not born here nor does my lineage harken back to the golden era of furniture making in its prime. I care about this place all the same and we decided it’s the place we want to raise our three kids- a place where you know your neighbors, always run into someone you know at the grocery store, and the whole town co,Es out for the local parade down Main.

Truth be told,  this is our second round of living in this small town.  Having moved from Charleston, South Carolina our expectations for living in any other place were skewed.  Gone was the near daily event calendar overload of festivals, dining experiences, and social events.  In its place was a quieter existence and relaxed living that we weren’t ready for at the time.  Now we are back and ready to embrace everything High Point has to offer.  From its graceful neighborhoods to its kind inhabitants, we love this town- and our discoveries have just begun!

This little blog is an account of our adventures in our town as well as the house/arts/craft projects we tackle on a regular basis.  In essence you will be privy to my scatter brained approach to living that makes everyday unique!