Yard Art and Frustrations

So here I am minding my own business.  I am thrilled that for exactly one month I have been wearing a matching pair of shoes!  For the previous 14 months, I have been in and out of an air cast, walking boot, slippers, one shoe and one slipper, etc due to problems aggravated by my RSD.  So fusing my great toe on the right foot eliminated all the pain and swelling I was experiencing with the combination of rsd and aggravated arthritis.
 I have advanced to this pair of shoes---not able to wear anything else yet---but HEY they match!
 But one day last week, I stepped off our foot high porch---no problem right?  Wrong.....I landed wrong on my left foot and my ankle snapped and I went down crying in agony.  I thought I broke it but it is just severely sprained.  I am now back to one tennis shoe and this walking cast for the next 6 weeks!!!  I am trying to remain positive and find the humor in it all.  forgive me if that escapes me for the moment.....but any remarks are welcome!!! Yesterday I actually stubbed my bare right foot and broke my little toe......so am not sure I can even wear my tennis shoe for now.....sighing-----John says he is going to put me in a straight jacket......only so I will sit STILL and mend safely!!!!  HEE

Before all of this, I have been working in the yard and want to share some of my long awaited projects.

These two doors were pulled from the house fire we had years ago and have been patiently waiting for some respect ever since. This is the back door to the garage.

This door is the garage door to the patio.  I scrubbed them both up with a scrub brush and soap and water.  Then grabbed some out door paint and brushed on leaving raw and painted wood exposed underneath.
This is the first one.  John put them up against the fence and then they are secured with a bungee cord around the fence for support so they won't fall over on someone or by the wind.
                             I purchased plastic planters which were pretty inexpensive.
                               I spray painted them white with a white primer/coat of paint
                          John drilled holes in the backs and screwed them into the wood.
 I then bought some flowers and planted them in the planters.  They are placed where the automatic sprinklers will water them daily so that eliminates the chore of daily watering.
 This old window was salvaged from the neighbors wood pile.  I scrubbed it up and painted it much the same way as the doors but added some white spray paint to highlight the darker wood and painted areas.
 We had lugged this window across the patio three or four times and then brought it out to hang on the fence.  When John picked it up to hang it on the fence, the entire thing fell apart and the window panes all fell out.  Lucklily none of them broke but we decided to leave them out and nail the parts up.  I had a small metal tin to use for a planter.

I am off to work on more projects for the fence.  Hope your thinking of new ways to repurpose things in  your yard.


Liberate Your Art Blog Hop

The month of April, I participated in the Liberate Your Art Postcard Swap 2013 over at Kat Eye Studios.  Over 1200 pieces of art were sent out all over the world.  I was so thrilled to be included in this event and plan to not miss it next year.  This was my first year and so fun!  We were to take a picture of our art in any form and make it into a postcard.  We sent five postcards and received 6 back.
They arrived once a week for 6 weeks and made mail time the highlight of the week!
   Here they are in a group. I have to find a special place in my studio to display them and am still working on a plan for that.

This is the postcard I sent out.  I took this picture with my Nikon DX5100 using my 300 lens and set on continuous release mode.  I used the quote "life is the flower,  for which love is the honey" by Victor Hugo.

The first postcard I received was from Gail at OXOX in Rhode Island. She took this after stacking this cairn.  I was able to contact Gail and love this picture. A quote on the back says " Always be on the look out for the presence of wonder." by E. B. White.  I love this author and have some of her books.  It also spoke to me, because one of our sons-in-law stacks cairns whereever he is...Hi Jason.

This post card flew in on a very cold gloomy wet day and just made me smile.  It is from Janice  from jmeyersforemanphotography. 

  Thank you janice--this just makes me feel like I am out in this field watching the bird in person. It was taken in the fields in Canada....................

When this arrived I was having a very difficult time with my surgery recovery and it was so cold and wet and I love Tulips.  It gave me hope that spring was really just around the corner.  I love the details in the petals and leaves and the varigated colors.    The way we are looking down on the buds let us to see how they are starting to open.  This quote says,"with each bloom comes an openness unknown- bloom, my love.   Thank you Michelle. I am not sure where you are located but suspect the UK?  I promise to get an email to you right away.

Caroline sent this from Illinois.  She is a professional photographer where I am a beginner. It was interesting the day this arrived.  I had a best friend visiting from out of town and we were actually sitting at the dining room table drinking coffee and having a great gab fest.  Caroline included this message on the back." Find the Miracle in simple things. Rid the excess and rejoice in the freedom of lightness. We thought this was such an approriate picture and says it all.  Caroline I have never thought of such a simple, every day picture.  It speaks volumes to me.  I even love cream in my coffee....sigh
Helen sent this from England.  I am still mesmerized by the techniques here and have lots of questions.  I can't wait to go to her site and read more about it. At first glance, I thought it was a picture scratched out on black paper then I realized she must be taking a picture of the shadows in the tall grass?  I have so much to learn about photography and am so inspired by this.

This last post card is from Kat the mastermind behind this art liberation. So impressive.  I need to see what she says about the techniques she used her. The more I study it, the more details pop out that I didn't see on first glance.
 I cannot thank you enough Kat for letting me participate in this wonderful event.  You really inspired me to put myself out there and do something I truly love.  I have always been self critical about my art and am so new to photography that I don't show much because I don't want any one to laugh, you know how that goes?

But this was a first step for me and a HUGE one.  I am so excited to push myself to learn as much as I can.  I might even be brave enough to send out my real art  in the form of drawings or my mixed media next year!
For those of you I haven't contacted yet about your personal post cards, look for my emails soon.




Recently I participated in a NEST SWAP over at viv on a whim's and my partner was Debby over at Cozy Blanket.
My nest is just so darn sweet I had to show it off.  She took a small wooden box and filled it with excelsior, and a sweet old doily, then made a little paper and yarn bunting for the outside. 
She loaded it with goodies like these morning glory seeds that will be planted this weekend.
                                                            very vintage pink pearl buttons
                                                       This cute postcard that says it best..............
                                                      These adorable tags she made herself................
She also added these birdie scrapbook  goodies that I haven't put on anything yet but will.

She sent this very old glass bird that she says is older than her....and these plastic eggs--there were more  but one of our cats Mato---keeps taking them and chewing on them.  The chewed one was in her food dish the same day I put the nest on my work table in my studio.  She loves to lay up there because  it has a glass top on most of it and is either warm when the chandelier light is on or is cool when the light is off.  I don't know why she is so attracted to the plastic eggs but she is a cat and does what she likes. 
This adorable little golden book was also in my surprise and I love it. Debby sent it for my grandchildren and they will all be reading this. Thank you so much Debby I love the swap but especially love our new friendship that has grown over the course of the swap.
This is the nest I sent Debby.......................
I repurposed an old wooden bowl and covered it with the edge of an old bedpread and a vintage tea dyed doilie.  I had these letters to add, a vintage glass ornament, a vintage rhinestone earring, a 1920 post card and a LOVE IS...post card.  The dowel is from an old sewing factory.  I also sent a jar of huckleberry honey...huckleberries being wild berries from our neck of the US.


Around The House and How Make Your Own Chalk Paint

I know many of you have lists of 'to do's inside and outside and I sure do.  Recently I decided to start with the cabinets in my studio.  I scored these at a flea market for $45 and thought it was a great find.
They were originally a very mustardy yellow and they just didn't go in my hot pink studio.
 So I grabbed a can of "kilz" and covered the yellow with one coat.
 I had some hot pink outdoor paint for our little clubhouse/workshop(depending on who is in there---the   grand 'kidlets'  or myself)  so threw that in a plastic tub.
                        It was a little intense, so I toned it down with some white acrylic paint.
                                     I then pulled some plaster of paris out of the cupboard.
                                                I threw a cupful into the paint mixture.
 Gave it a good whisking to get the lumps out........ and VOILA   my own 'chalk paint'
                             I applied it to the cabinets and this is what it looks like now!!
 I had extra paint and also this little  thing I picked up at the Goodwill for $3.  I knew what I wanted to do so painted it a few coats and here it is now..............
I loved the little bottles and knew right away I wanted to turn this into a flower holder and put it on our dining room table.  So here it is with tulips from the garden.  I will be able to put other types of flowers in there from now until winter.
What all are you working  on?



I was so surprised when I received an unexpected package in the mail last week.  I didn't recognize the return address and had no idea who was sending me anything.
So I opened the package and then this box to reveal a pair of very pretty handmade earrings.
 The card inside was from Blue Finch Jewelry  and then I remembered.  A few months ago, I was involved in a "GROW YOUR BLOG HOP"  over at Vicki's site and visited   Rachel's Blog.  She is a jewelry artist and said she would make a pair of earrings for everyone who had stopped by.  I never gave it a second thought.
And now, "VOILA"  I own a very special pair of earrings.  Thank You so much Rachel! It was such a sweet and unexpected gift.  I have been working in the yard and decided to put them on immediately.
I told Rachel it is never inappropriate to look and feel like a Diva, even when you are weeding!
Please go visit Rachel, check out her jewelry and give her a shout out!