It Doesn’t Have to Be Perfect…

That seems to be the underlying answer to so many things, if I could just get a strong grip on that truth! [shake my head]

My home is my ultimate canvas. Unfortunately reality looks nothing like the vision in my head. But the way I look at reality is changing.
In light of creating fearlessly, I wanted to share this link-up with you. The Nester is hosting “It’s Not Perfect But it’s Beautiful”. And I love that! I’m learning to enjoy the process and the now instead of looking at what isn’t “right”… whether it’s my home or my art.

Here’s my imperfect beauty: I bought this mirror in the Outer Banks almost two years ago. It’s from England, a 1920-something original. Isn’t it lovely?! Its glass has speckles in it and is sort of fuzzy in places (like an antique mirror should be, right?). The nice lady gave me a super great deal as a wedding gift. I was ecstatic.

I bought some high gloss white paint to make it match my all white bedroom (a story for another day…). Then it sat wedged between the wall and the night stand waiting for me to paint it. It sat for a year and a half.
One day I got tired of it  marking up the wall and was trying to find a different place to put it.
It’s okay to laugh.
Thanks to a seed Nester had planted, the light finally came on: hang the mirror and enjoy it. I can always paint it later.
So I did.

This is a big deal for me on so many levels, but here are the main two: First, the paint is chipped, revealing fairy pink paint underneath.

Second, it’s cream, not white. I wanted white.

The punch line – none of the whites in this room are the same.
I must admit I was a wee bit stressed when our white furniture arrived and looked off white against the walls.  The perfect bench under my window is white… ish. It has a slight green cast to it.
The mirror’s cream color makes it a focal point of our room.  I love that.
The curtains I found on clearance just arrived. Pottery Barn says they’re white…

I love my room. The layers of the different shades of white add character and warmth.
I don’t know that I’ll ever get around to painting that mirror.

National (not really)-Take-a-Risk-Day

The Nester dubbed today “National (not really) Take A Risk Day”. Readers were encouraged to take at least a small risk in our homes – something we’ve wanted to try or paint or do that involved risk on our part. You can read more here. I didn’t take any decorating risks, per se, but I did take a creative one. This weekend some of my colleagues needed a location to film some important footage, and we agreed to let them use our home.
What’s so risky about that, right?
Usually, nothing…  but I can be am pretty OCD when it comes to my home, and I had an idea of what I might agree to before film’s end, and there lied the risk. Sometimes film-making is a risky business. When asked if we were sure, I told the producer, “It’s just paint.”
We let them sand the walls to give them a worn, battered appearance.

They covered the windows with cardboard and duct tape to complete the look. The first round of footage didn’t read the way it needed to, so the Hunk and I quickly agreed to whatever it took to meet those needs.
In the end, freshly-painted walls were sanded, painted and smeared – real dirt from the yard was rubbed across new windows (it could be removed easier than paint).
I can’t reveal the full set, but the empty room looks like this:

We then relocated to a hotel for the weekend to let them work their magic.  The film‘s creators aim to raise awareness of the growing problem of sex trafficking in the United States. The climactic scenes needed a location that would read true on film and not detract from the seriousness of its message. It’s a message the Hunk and I believe in strongly, and we felt God calling us to put our beliefs into action.
As I told the producer – it’s just paint, right?  Right?
UPDATE: You can watch the completed film, “Alone”, HERE. Yes, that’s me playing the grieving mother. 😉

Preserving Petals

It was a sad morning. I had to throw away my wedding bouquet. The lime green button mums were still alive, so I snipped them out and arranged them in a small creamer for my dresser.
As the bouquet hovered over the trash I was mentally kicking myself that I hadn’t thought to preserve some of the blooms before they browned. Right before I dropped it in I had an idea – maybe some petals could be salvaged. A good tug on a rosebud revealed some bright petals in its center. Hmmm. Some orange from a gerber daisy… I searched and pulled and carefully dropped them in a pleasing pile, thinking at the very least I could press them onto a scrapbook page.
This simple creative act felt so wonderful! I was painting with the petals!
Now I have this wonderful little pile with no clue how to preserve it. One breath and they’ll fly everywhere…. do I let the pleasure of the moment suffice? Or is there a way to save my creation?

Wedding Bells

I’ve been super busy lately, because, on top of everything else, I’ve been planning a wedding…. my own. No, I didn’t see that coming. Yes, God has a sense of humor. <3

Saturday was the big day, and it was pure magic!
It was unseasonably hot for this time of year with record-breaking temperatures. 
It even rained during our first dance (and only for that dance!) , which I have been told is good luck.
I am deliriously happy with the man who is my heart.
Now, I need to get back to creating!

Fabric Bowls

What do sewing buddies do when they get together for the first time in 9 years??

They sew! My friend April and I whipped up a couple of these between lots of catching up. I’m hooked! They are so quick and easy… the color possibilities are endless.
Mine was made from the scraps from this quilt:

Potholder Swap

I made these for the Great Potholder Swap, instigated by Malka Dubrawski. What fun!
We used InsulBrite batting for the filler, and I like this stuff. I doubled mine to give the pot holders some heft, but I don’t think I needed to. If you try it, make sure you use an extra sharp needle. There was a wee bit of punch through on the back of the first one before I figured this out.
These went together so quickly, I have the bug. I’ve already cut out a set for me. I LOVE art in the kitchen! This is my cutie new kitchen in our new home. I’m thinking of painting a mural on the wall with the quilt. Ideas, anyone?

A Place to Create

We bought a house!
And it has a room just for me! Weeee! It’s the perfect art/sewing nook with big windows and lots of sunshine.  I am already calling it The Studio. There’s a recess where the washer/dryer go, a half bath and a door to the back yard. It isn’t huge… but it’s mine. And no more set-up, take-down, set-up, take-down, set-up, take-down. I can leave a project where it sits so it’s ready when I have a few minutes to play.
I am so psyched. This is a lousy picture.  That’s someone else’s stuff. I will make it AMAZING!

Sewing, Cottage Style

New sewing machine = one more challenge of tight living quarters.
The table I sew on isn’t big enough to accommodate my new extension table, so I had to get creative. I put up the folding table, which slides nicely over the love seat.
So far so good – I still have plenty of room to live in there and keep things tidy.

Tiny Space, Perfect Place

I love my cottage. <3

I’ve put a lot of TLC into it and I love coming home.

Being so small, the whole house is a wreck when I am working on a project.  This is the quilt I made to go with my lime green wall and red chair… it’s not quilted yet.
My daughter painted the picture above the chair. :o)
I’ve made a ton of progress since I moved in!
The kitchen has been painted and the cabinets have new hinges and handles. No clouds on the bedroom ceiling yet, but I do have a lime green living room wall. With no room for a real couch, I bought a love seat that opens into a twin-sized bed.  
I’ve been here a year – no weird surprises or Jurassic-sized bugs living under the floor, my pipes didn’t freeze over winter and the septic system hasn’t backed up….  so far so good.  

No Place Like Home

I moved the first of the year into a cottage.

A real cottage.
Not one of those “cottages” in Cottage Living magazine that are 2,000 square feet.
Mine’s about 348 square feet and consists of a living room, a kitchen, a bathroom and a bedroom.
This little place was a God-send.
Not only was the price right, but it has lots of “extras” tailored just for me.
It’s tucked into the woods and covered by huge trees. 
The birds love my feeders. The deer come out to say hello each night.  We’re under the the airport so there is no light pollution and I can see every star – gorgeous!
No airport noise – the big jets use the other side.
From my front door I can watch the horses next door.
I have lots of windows and lots of light.
The country road to get here is a treat for the eyes. 
And I’m right around the corner from everything… and closer to the quilt shop. 
Living in such a small space has its challenges, but I’m adjusting quite well.  The kids laugh when I have to move something to use something else, but that’s what makes it fun.
The microwave is on my kitchen table.
My rotary mat is under the loveseat.
The ironing board is alongside the fridge.
The toilet stops the bathroom door…
I have one closet – it’s in the kitchen.
It’s home. 
I still need to paint the kitchen and hang a couple more shelves. I’m most looking forward to painting on the walls. I plan to paint clouds on my bedroom ceiling.
Any clever ideas? I’d love to hear them!