Sunday, April 27, 2008

Estate Furniture Finds

We didn't exactly go to an estate sale, rather, it came to us! My mother-in-law cleared out her mom's house so she can rent it out and had all the furniture and boxes of stuff sent to our house so we could go through it all. I thought there might be a few things, but I think I got caught up in the moment because we ended up with a lot of stuff!

We had so much fun on Friday and Saturday discovering trinkets, letters, coins and gadgets in each box. Gavin just sat and read through his grandfather's letters, journals and looked through a lot of old photos. His grandfather didn't talk much about his earlier years, but apparently he was quite the conservative Scottish rebel at Oxford - and quite handsome too!

This is Arthur's desk and chair. It has a bookcase on the other side if we wanted it to face out and the desktop is made of leather.

I was so happy to have a nice bookcase for storage.

I just love this sidetable that now sits in our bedroom. The tabletop is white marble.

This dresser was made in Sweden and is in excellent condition. I told Gavin I didn't know where to put it, but I'd find a place! Notice all the dishes I found on top of the dresser. There's a really nice cabinet with glass doors that I plan to use like a hutch. I will finally be able to display my grandmother's china!

This cute cabinet is for storing silver. I found several sets of silver (probably not complete) with interesting designs. We'll have a silver-polishing party sometime.

We also got a lot of art to put up. Most of it is very serene with muted colors. This is a large piece and will add interest to a plain wall.

Some of the styles I might not pick out if I were shopping in a store, but it's been fun getting all these eclectic additions for our home and adding character to each room.

There's another armoire we'll bring into the house when Gavin gets some help (not me!). It's pretty ugly in its current condition, but I'm planning on painting it and then distressing and antiquing it. Hope it works! But it'll be great storage for the kids' art supplies and gift wrapping materials. Ugly photo soon to come.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Worker Guy wants an apron too

So amidst all the girlie things I've been sewing lately, Worker Guy has expressed a desire to have something made for him too. I don't know why it's so hard to find a decent sewing project for boys. If anyone has ideas, please let me know!

So I bought fabric the other day and still didn't have a clue of what to make. I finally settled on this 'toy truck carrying apron' and added grommets and brass D-rings for lots of hardware. This is an improvised version of a craft apron tutorial I found from Autum at Creative Little Daisy. I've made a few of the craft aprons and really like how they turned out.

This is one of my craft aprons, but Worker was not up for a photo session - he's been this way for a little while.... can't wait for this phase to pass...

Anyway I also finished an apron for a friend's daughter - it will match the one I made for my friend at Christmas - mother-daughter aprons! I also had extra fabric and tried making some kid-sized oven mitts. I still need to finish the trim...

The birthday party is next weekend and my girls are all ready for the 'Country Picnic' theme with their matching skirts, old-fashioned aprons and eyelet-trimmed blouses. They're getting bonnets at the party. I'll be sure to have some photos!

Friday, April 18, 2008

It's been a weird week

So I had all these great creative plans for this week and nothing got done. My bad cold from last week actually turned into walking pneumonia this week! I was pretty much in bed everyday and went through lots of books and movies.
Gavin took the kids to school all week and 'Worker Boy' went to an extra day of preschool so I could rest. Sunshine and Pumpkin were very worried about Mommy and kept checking to see if I was feeling better. Pumpkin thought since my fever was gone (thank you, antibiotics!), I was not sick anymore - wish my body could have listened to that reasoning!
Alas, today I had enough energy to get a few things at the store and pick up some more books at the library - and I wasn't completely wiped out afterwards...have I finally turned the corner? I didn't dare have any type of dialogue with anyone for fear of the inevitable coughing fit that would ensue.
My girls' teachers told me to take next week off from coming into the classroom to rest - but I at least want to present the art docent project to the 1st graders! I'm very excited about it and can't wait to display all the photos here.
I even started another watercolor last Sunday of some pretty lilacs from our backyard. I'll have to cut new ones in order to finish since I didn't add water to the vase all week and the flowers dried up! oops!
This weekend I will try to lay low as much as possible, but with my seedlings bursting out of their containers, beautiful sunshine and spring fever, I only hope not to relapse from doing too much. Ugh! It's so hard to hold back. And the weeds don't slow down for sickies!

Sunday, April 13, 2008

the wraps are done

I actually finished the wrap skirts for the girls last week (when I wasn't feeling so yucky), but got around to taking the photos today. Since it was an impulsive decision to make them, I rummaged through all my extra fabric and made separate (somewhat) coordinating panels.

'Sunshine Girl' tends to like brighter, flashier prints and her skirt ended up with five panels. 'Pumpkin Girl' likes more understated prints (although the watermelon is quite bright) and her skirt has three panels.
I love that my girls still love wearing stuff made by 'Mom' and I hope that lasts for a while! I'm trying to ingrain in them that homemade is really special - even though it's not always perfect.

So yesterday while I was a 'blob' on the couch, Gavin worked with the kids in the vegetable garden. Today he's going to hookup the watering so we can put the soaker hose on a timer. There will be much less of a chance of plants dying because I forget to water or get lazy later in the summer! And I think the kids and I will plant some of our seeds (carrots, beans & flowers) in some egg cartons today too. I'm still hesitant to plant in the garden this early because, even though it's warm right now, it can still change pretty dramatically this time of year. I think we'll wait a few more weeks.

Last night I ran out of books to read, so I started sketching from some children's books and really enjoyed it. I think I'll do some more today and possibly even paint. I'll try to have some photos later in the week of these exercises.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

She finally paints!

So even though I been feeling pretty cruddy because of a bad cold, I forced myself to at least do something on Thursday (my one day when everyone is in school). These are not my original ideas - just some cool watercolors in a cookbook that I like. It's a good exercise for me to just imitate the painting style. Next time - when I'm feeling better - I'll branch out on my own as well.

Here's a closer view. I really enjoy using pen and ink with the watercolor. I still think I need to push myself to add depth to each image.
This one is pretty fun. My parents are taking a trip to France in May and I've asked them to take lots of photos of "scenes" that I can paint in watercolor. This reminds me of something they'll see at some villa there.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Thoughts for the Day...

I think this is such a cool mug! My absolute favorite color is chocolate brown, and I love this light blue with it. I'd like to think that I could've designed something like this - but I wasn't asked! When I think thoughts like this, it basically tells me that I need to be spending more time at my art table just painting. Often when I paint I'm trying to create a finished product and I desperately need to get out of that mode. I really like the combination of watercolor with pen and ink - I get inspired whenever I see that style in my kids' picture books. Ok, enough said, now go 'do.'

These were some cute 'finds' from my local thrift shop. Just fun containers to put 'stuff' in! The middle one is pretty funky, but I like the colors.

I went to the nursery the other day and practiced A LOT of restraint! I did end up with these yellow bell peppers and Sweet 100 tomatoes - yum! And also lots of seeds - carrots, beans, sunflowers, morning glories - I hope my kids can keep up with the watering because I don't have such a good track record. I have a lot of gusto in the beginning of a project, but then I peter out or get too busy! Here's the beginning stages of our garden (we have to wait a few more weeks to plant):

Thursday, April 3, 2008

I am so ready for Spring

These little cuties came out later than the others this year. The tulips are on their way now too. I'm trying to hold myself back from planting anything new right now since it's still kinda cold, but it's so hard! This year we're planning on developing our front yard area - defining different areas, planting trees, new walkways, etc. We'll see how far we get!

So instead of planting, I've been busy sewing spring things! This is the first shirt I've ever sewn for myself - not too bad. I've worn it once, but had to have a sweater on the whole day!

I've also been making skirts - no hope of wearing them unless I want to freeze! So here's the vintage tablecloth skirt I made. It has a zipper in the back. I also made a wrap skirt and have started wrap skirts for my daughters. I'll post those photos when I've finished.

It's pretty addicting to keep making more clothes - especially when they are simple patterns. So I'm telling myself to take a break so I can work on other things . . . like painting! My creativity started blossoming a few years ago when I realized how much I enjoy and appreciate watercolor. But through that process, I've also realized how I use my creativity every day!

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

I think I know what I'm doing...

So after many attempts, practice and help...I think I've made it!

I'm an at-home mom who is slowly gaining some 'me' time for exploring my creative side. Here is a photo of my art room - yea!