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Friday, August 29, 2014

Old Mirrors Turned Chalkboard


Sometimes this pile of mirrors gets to me, like that unsettled feeling you get when you know you have something to do but you just can’t put your finger on it.

For almost every dresser I bring home, there is a mirror included with it (sometimes two mirrors).  These mirrors are my “something to do.”  But, what do I do with them.  When I have benefit garage sales, I can barely give these old mirrors away.  I don’t think many people want an old mirror.  Truth is, I know these mirrors can be something wonderful, if only!  

The thing about me is I’m not your “attention to detail” type of person.  I’m not crafty, I don’t own all sorts of tools for up-doing and repurposing and I’m not that inventive with this type of thing.

But, still, I have all these mirrors, so I had to try something.


Chalkboards.


CHALKBOARDS!

 I see chalkboards in my sleep!

I'm in love with CHALKBOARDS!
I did keep one a mirror, but that's because it was pretty special.


And I did make some wall art, I think this would be called architectural salvage.
I want to do more things like this.

But the not crafty part is a problem.


Also, the counselor and I had a splendid yonder night at the Nickel Creek concert.  


I highly recommend I am a Lighthouse & When You Come Back Down.  The lyrics, musical talent and vocals of this group, well, I was mesmerized.  Their music is like a good massage, hitting just the right places and feeling ‘oh so good when you think you can’t feel any better.  


Yes, Nickel Creek was awesome.  

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Tuesday, August 26, 2014

My Girl


This morning, I took a picture of my daughter and was smitten.  


I love shopping for art projects with her and together we found a Frozen paint book with a watercolor kit attached.  As soon as she started painting, she was unsatisfied with the wirey paint brush. 
“Momma,” she asked, “Can I use the paints you use when you paint mermaids.”

I’ve held onto my paint kit, not wanting little hands and smudges to ruin it, but this morning I decided she was finally big enough to have a turn.  Together, we sat down at the table and started painting. 

I gave her one of my expensive paintbrushes and watched as she dipped it in water.  I knew she’d pick pink, but no, it was blue. “Light blue,” she said as she started painting Elsa’s dress. 

My daughter painting beautifully and the cares of my world faded away.  Side by side, we painted (but really I just watched her).  Her slender fingers, how she paused before selecting another color, how careful she was to follow instruction of cleaning the brush with water.  And she really made a masterpiece.

When she was finished, we went for a bike ride.  She asked about the neighbor we waved to and I told her how blessed we are to live near such kind people.  There was an overgrown plant with orange flowers we stopped to smell. 

Some day’s it hits me harder then others.  Today, the privilege to raise this little girl is as real as the shining sun is in a bright blue sky. 



E. T. Sullivan once wrote these interesting words: “When God wants a great work done in the world or a great wrong righted, he goes about it in a very unusual way. He doesn’t stir up his earthquakes or send forth his thunderbolts. Instead, he has a helpless baby born, perhaps in a simple home out of some obscure mother."


"And then God puts the idea into the mother’s heart, and she puts it into the baby’s mind."




"And then God waits. The greatest forces in the world are not the earthquakes and the thunderbolts. The greatest forces in the world are babies.” (The Treasure Chest, p. 53.)


What potential do I have with this child?  How can I influence her with my love?  What gifts can I help her cultivate?
 
I will never forget a story told by a leader in my church.  There was a story told of a group of woman from ancient Rome; some with vanity, showing their jewels one to another. Among them was Cornelia. One of the women said to her, “And where are your jewels?” To which Cornelia responded, pointing to her children, “These are my jewels.” 

Children as jewels? 

The visual of that story left a lasting impressions on me. 


I also continue to be deeply moved by the struggles girls in this world face. Last year around Mother's Day, I watched the documentary It's A Girl.   

I wrote about it on my blog here.

It’s a Girl; the three deadliest words in the world documents baby girls in parts of China and India killed through abortion, genocide and infanticide because baby boys are more desirable. In some parts of China parents can only have one child.  It’s called the One-child policy.  It’s customary for boys to take care of their parents as they age, while girls grow up, wed and leave their families to live and care for their husband’s parents.  And in some parts of India, its customary when girls marry her parents will pay a hefty dowry.  This dowry can sometimes be up to half of the family’s entire worldly possessions.  Many families cannot afford the cost to raise a girl, only to then pay and marry her off.  She will earn no money, she has little to no education and will never have the right to own property.  She may become a slave in an arranged marriage; treated poorly by her new husband and mother-in-law.   To make matters worse, many baby girls are abandoned or sold into sex slavery. 

Last Mother’s Day, I wanted to know what other resources were available for these girls (at least the girls who survived).  I think my desire started with my daughter Eden first, knowing circumstances allowed her born in America to two parents who loved and adored her.  But, what if ?  What if my daughter was in a country that wanted her dead before she even took her first breath?  I'm horrified that geography holds one girl in esteem while another has absolutely no value.  God willing, my daughter will have every opportunity life has to offer in freedom, education, religion, sports, music and art.  She will travel and see the world.  She has already learned to pray, bowing her sweet little head and folding her arms as she says thank you to God for her puppy and baby doll. She loves books, pancakes and playing in the sprinklers.  What isn’t great about a girl!

If you are a girl, you must watch this documentary.  I had to know what was happening to other girls because I am a girl; a girl born into a loving home where my family values me.  The idea that being a girl is somehow a reason to be thrown away doesn't make sense to me.  I am a human being first, girl second and in addition, I love being a girl.  

It’s A Girl completely changed my perspective on raising my daughter. I struggle, knowing every little girl is just as special but isn't treated as such.  This is where my heart is when I share my love for Eden. It’s hoping love can make a difference for every little girl in the world.  Please consider sharing this video and doing what you feel impressed to help this cause.



Friday, August 15, 2014

A Starving Artist No More

A starving artist!  That's me.  

I've painted anything from fashion design to ocean creatures, book covers and portraits of people I loved.

Here are some watercolors I've recently painted.

Can you tell I have a thing for mermaids.






But at this stage in life, I can’t afford to be a starving artist all the time.
That's why I paint furniture.



What's funny, is it doesn't really matter what I'm painting.
As long as I have a paintbrush in my hand and some paint smeared on my cheek, I'm happy.




What a joy it has been and with two shops one in Mesa at Antique Plaza (booth #52) 


and another in Chandler at Merchant Square (booth #73) , my painting is actually in demand.


I'm proud to be a starving artist, but I also enjoy actually painting for a living too.

Wow!  Imagine that!

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Thursday, August 14, 2014

A Parking Sign from JFK's Inauguration

As many of you may know, I lost my beloved mother-in-law this summer.  My husband’s parents have been a strong support in my life and we gather often for Sunday dinners and birthday celebrations.  From the day the counselor and I married, I called my in-laws “Mom” and “Dad.”  
What a blessing to have another set of loving parents in my life.


Here we are last summer in Prescott.

We also loved U of A basketball!

 But with her gone, it has left a whole in my heart.  Still, I know she is all around and have felt her presence many times. 

My mother-in-law, “Mom” loved antiques.  With all the thrifting I do, I found many wonderful Christmas and birthday presents for her.  One piece in particular I found about 15 years ago at a school benefit sale in Paradise Valley.  There, leaning against a box was this street sign.  

For $5.00, it was mine.  Mom loved anything Americana and red/white/blue.  The next time I went to Mom’s house, I told her I had a surprise and presented her the sign.

She recognized the date as John F. Kennedy’s inauguration.  


(images found here)

She shared her memories of January 20, 1961, of President Kennedy and proudly hung the sign in her kitchen.  We examined the back, 

amazed someone had taken the time to preserve their ticket and keep it with the sign.  

Often, when we gathered at her home, she would pull me aside and thank me for the sign.  It was one of her favorites.

With her passing, Dad started cleaning up the home, deciding what would stay and what would go.  Not only did I want the NO PARKING SIGN, I absolutely needed it!  I need it to hold on to her, to the memory of her and to the joy she radiated. I need it because she loved it!

I know it's just a sign, but it means so much more.


I miss her.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Merchant Square - Summer of Dressers

There are very few things I want in life - a house on the beach, the counselor home ALL THE TIME, and for quite some time now, I've wanted to get into Merchant Square.  Merchant Square, in Chandler is the largest antique boutique in Phoenix.  It's absolutely glorious.

I never realized how competitive this whole re-sale/furniture up-do has become; with so many people who are so good at it!  Do you realize how much trash has been saved because so many of us re-purpose, reclaim and restore!  Amazing.  Well, after 1 1/2 years  of being on the waiting list at Merchant Square, I was finally selected.

Here's a peak at my portfolio I submitted with my application.  I had found this old opera bill play - Carmen by Georges Bizet.  I used the colorful and dramatic pages to showcase my furniture re-do's.  Here's a few of the pages.  


  
In all, I had about 25 pages of trash turned treasure!

Payson was with me on move-in day, and so was Waffle Love. YUM!

Everything was moved in, booth 73.


Here are a few others I've painted since move-in day.  I think I should get bonus points for painting when it's monsoon in Arizona.  110 degree and let me tell you, it's NOT a dry heat for the next few months.







Every time I run down there, I have another kid join me.  It's a mom/kid date thing! :)
Things are moving pretty fast.

I'm still blessed to be in Mesa at Antique Plaza, booth 52 which has been great.
Antique Plaza was voted "Best of the East Valley" in 2010 and is the oldest antique mall in Mesa.  It's pretty cool to be the oldest at anything is you sell antiques.  One thing will compliment the other.

Matching head board.











Ha!  I actually took one down to the shop I didn't paint.

So far, I've loved being at both locations.  
My goal is to keep both spaces stocked.  Wish me luck.

I also wanted to post my new favorite song - makes me happy.  Do Life Big by Jamie Grace.  Be ready to start dancing.



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