Stacys Art Studio gets ready for winter

I love the seasons, their changes make me happy. The trees, plants, sky, temperatures and colors change from season to season. I tend to change along with it, inside my house I change out comforters, pillows and curtains. Once I’ve settled on the color of my walls, I try to keep them a neutral color, because I like change so much that I’ve tried to confine those to pillows and fabrics. Things that are easy to change, unlike wall colors and furniture! Inside the studio, my paintings tend to reflect the season outside, excepting when I’m super hot in the summer, sometimes I’ll paint a winter scene, in the vain hope it will cool me down!

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This includes the walls outside in the yard as well! I finally settled on this wonderful wine red for the cement walls in the secret garden and the backyard garden spaces. I haven’t quite finished the backyard wall yet, but I’ll get there soon. I still have several projects going on as we wind down into the winter months. Here in Albuquerque we don’t get severe winters, for that reason I like to do some outdoor projects on the warmer days, to save myself back breaking work in the high heat of summer.

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Molly and I have stayed so busy this summer, building raised beds, moving tons of gravel and rocks, planting trees, herbs, bushes, flowers, working on vegetable patches and laying sod, that it just flew by! It’s also been a difficult year for our super hero son, who’s gone thru and is going thru more after affects related to treatment he had as a child for his leukemia. We’ve been focused on being of support to him. I’m very glad that the year before we finished his apartment, so he’s been able to have his own space. He’s really enjoyed that. Now, it’s time for Stacys Art Studio to settle in for winter. I’ve been doing some videos for my you tube channel and fell behind on writing the blog. However, really, I find that it’s hard for me to sit and write during the summer. Sooo many things to do you see! Anyhow, now is the time to start catching up on the blog! I’ll be sharing more of my crazy idea projects! Some that have worked out really well and some that ended up so so, but I think I can improve on them. I hope your summer has been a good one! Here are a few of our summer pictures. The Sunflowers grew strong.

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The garden did well..

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Molly had fun in the cornstalks

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more fun

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No really, I’m just chasing the squirrels away from our food!

 

It was a big summer!

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Mornings with Molly…love

Love is a beautiful thing. Love can grow immeasurably, love can give you the strength to endure great pain, and love will help you do things you never thought you would, or could do. Love will keep you from giving up, when things are too hard to face. Recently, our sweet boyo started having a new after affect condition. If you’ve read my blog, you’ll know these are conditions that appear later in life from treatment for  childhood Leukemia. I won’t explain what that condition is right now. He’s in his 20’s and I want to respect his privacy. However, it’s not life threatening at this time. It’s just another difficult after affect, that we didn’t expect.

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The cure for childhood cancer comes at a cost. First they have to endure treatment and survive it, then there’s a lifetime of after affects. I know I’ve spoken about those after affects many times here, and yet, every time we discover he has a new after affect to deal with, we find ourselves unprepared. I feel like each time as soon as we adjust to the new challenge, we figure out how to support him, to help him have some quality of life, a new one comes along and takes my breath away.

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Each time this happens without fail, love saves us. Love for our boy, love for each other. When we look at our lives, we remember all the love we have and for love, we will keep on in the fight. I remember, that I will use every breath I have left, to take care of my boy.    Over the years, I’ve discovered that to keep up the strength to be a caregiver as a mom,  I need to do some self care. There was a time when I didn’t understand how important self care is, I felt it was superfluous, but I’ve learned that if you don’t care for yourself, you have nothing to give to anyone else.

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It took a long time for me to figure out how to care for myself, so that I could take care of my boyo. What I’ve learned is, that it changes with whatever is going on at the time. Now that it’s been 17 years since he got sick,  I can look back and see what was useful and what wasn’t. Right now, I do different things to help me do what I need to do. I thought I’d share some of those things. While what my boyo goes thru is really too hard, and I marvel at his endurance, patience and strength. I can’t tell you how he does that, because that’s his story. What I can do, is tell you my story and how I try to keep up my strength to lend him the strength he needs.

The first thing is a good bed. Sleep is absolutely vital to keep up your strength. (and a sweet little doggie helps too)

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As I sit writing this, I have to confess that it’s 2 in the morning because I couldn’t sleep from being worried. That’s ok tho. It’s important to be flexible about what you need. I know that I don’t have to go anywhere early tomorrow, so I can sleep in a little. Right now I need to express myself.

Back to sleeping tho…. I need really soft sheets,  and a fluffy comforter. Of course, we moms respond,….. I can’t afford luxury linens! That’s where a little creativity comes in.  Hunt bargain stores, you can find really nice linens at Marshals, Tj Maxx and Tuesday Morning. Also second hand stores, you can find nice linens there too, all you have to do is run them thru the wash! I’ve found one of the best tools I have, is a comfortable bed. When the kiddo was first sick I didn’t have a good bed, but I worked at getting one.  I would take Sunday afternoons to sleep. While the kiddo was going thru treatment I slept only 3 hours a night. It was a grueling 3 years, and since hubby was always home on Sundays. I would crawl into bed and sleep for about 6 hrs. Honestly, I felt bad about that, not being present on a free day with hubby and kiddo, but if I didn’t get that sleep I wouldn’t be able to care for kiddo the rest of the week. I’m grateful that hubby was able to take care of the kiddos needs while I slept.

With the new challenges we have now, I still have to prioritize sleep. I’m older now, and I find my strength gets used up quicker than it used to, so sleep is very important. It depends on each person as to how you do that. I find that I have to find the time to get the rest I need. That’s my first tip on self care. I’ll be writing more tips on what I do to care for myself. I’ve found it’s not just one thing that works, it’s a variety of things that help. Also, our lives are super busy just like everyone else’s, so the things I do are small bits here and there, but I have to keep doing them or I find my strength waning and that is something I can’t allow to happen. There’s a condition called caregiver burnout, it’s when you’ve been doing it a very long time under stress and you haven’t taken care of yourself. It’s a condition I want to avoid at all costs. These things I do, are to help me to stay strong and care for my boyo who needs me.

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I call these posts mornings with Molly, because I discovered that when I sit outside in the mornings with her I have a chance to meditate on things, and what I need to do next. Today, I’m grateful for a funny little dog who is lying by my feet as I write this. I hope my tips as I write more of these will bring you some comfort as well.  I’m going to go get some sleep now and when Molly wakes up we’ll play again.

“Everything will be alright in the end, if it’s not alright. Then it’s not the end.”-John Lennon

Have a good night out there lovelies!

A Secret Garden Stage Two

This was the second stage of the secret garden. I thought I’d share a few pictures of this part of the process.

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I put in some fake grass just to brighten it a bit. I laid in a row of bricks around the edges and then thought that perhaps moss might grow along the little beds….we’ll see….

No furniture as of yet, except for the little foot stool, and the shelf unit that used to be in our old camper, that we were living in, when we were on the coast of South Carolina. I picked it up at Ikea. I had to cut the feet down on it to fit into the camper, but it works perfectly for a little place to put pots and things out here in the secret garden.

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Snickers loves the secret garden. He continues to believe that I built it just for him! We need to take down the old satellite dishes that were on the roof when we moved in. We don’t use them and I feel like they’re and eyesore. We’ll eventually get those down.

 

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Then, I started to lay these stepping stones that I found in different areas of the property. Most of them were in the front yard and I just moved them back here. I ended up having to buy about 5 more to fill it in all the way.

 

This was a temporary installment. I took an old canvas painting drop cloth and stretched it across to give us some sun protection. It really heats up that side of the house, so this  helped give us some relief until I was able to build the pergola there.

 

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This is when I discovered large tree stakes are quite useful and inexpensive, an idea began to form…..

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The little honeysuckles are going to be fabulous!  Later I ended up putting screen over them because the sun was burning them. Once they got larger I was able to take the screen down.

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Of course, if you’ve been watching my you tube channel you’ve seen the latest video of the secret garden, however I thought it would be fun for you to see the process of how it’s gotten to where it is now. Next time I’ll post how I built the pergola and show pictures of the finished product. I hope you’ve all been doing well! Thankyou for stopping in!

My Studio puts on Her Summer Attire

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As I sit at my little desk, writing this post, I’m enjoying watching the rain fall steadily on my mostly finished backyard. When you live in a semi arid desert, rain is highly valued. We tend to have some severe droughts and have been heading into a bad one. However, the summer monsoon rains will sometimes save us. I hope they will be many and strong this year. We already have a major wildfire burning called the Ute fire. It’s near Angelfire N.M. and it has spread to over 30,000 acres already. It’s about 3 hours away from us, but our air has been filled with smoke. It’s one of the few dangers for the kiddos respiratory problems we face here. Right now, the smoke has been washed from our air and I hope that there have been rains to help the firefighters up at the Ute fire.

A few days ago, I sat down at my easel to paint, but it didn’t feel right. It felt cluttered and a little closed in, so I decided to do some rearranging. Of course this is not shocking to anyone, as we all know I am always rearranging! Actually, I realized that there is a pattern to my rearranging. When winter begins to set in, I rearrange and then when summer begins, I rearrange again. For this reason, I’ve decided that, my studio should have summer clothes and winter clothes.

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Studio space should always have good natural light, I’m very grateful that my space does. It’s interesting how light changes from season to season. It’s another reason I find myself moving things around from winter to summer.

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It’s Molly approved!

I’ve been working hard on our backyard and it’s starting to show results, so I thought I would enjoy looking out at my garden while working at my computer.

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I was right! I love sitting at this desk, looking at things growing and watching hummingbirds stopping in for a meal. Sometimes there’s also a Molly to watch.

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Today there was some rain to enjoy.

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Molly and I would like to thankyou for stopping in and spending a moment with us in the studio. We hope you’re all having a wonderful weekend out there lovelies!

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A Secret Garden

 

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Everyone should have a secret garden. Whether it’s a courtyard, patio or window ledge, secret gardens bring joy to your heart. I remember my first secret garden, it was a hidden place among the woods of Wisconsin when I was a little girl. I didn’t realize that it was a secret garden but I knew it was special, so I kept it all to myself, my cat and my books. When my family couldn’t find me, you can be sure that I was hidden under the great soft fir trees in my garden.  We had about 40 acres of land there, in my home of northern Wisconsin, the back 20 were fields that led to an airport runway. It was convenient for my fathers profession of being a pilot, airplane mechanic, airplane restorer and flight instructor. However, the front 20 were a forest. On one of my ramblings thru the forest I came across an area, where it looked like it used to be a carriage lane, with rows of soft fir pine trees lining each side. It’s the first time in my life that I recall creating stories in my head, here I imagined a wonderful world filled with carriages and laughter, mice and racoons in tweed suits, cats wearing glasses and finely dressed ladies and handsome gentlemen. The pine needles had layered the lane so that is was thick and soft. It created an insulation making a peaceful quietness there. Pretty, delicate little flowers raised their heads out of those fir needles, here and there with no rhyme or reason and yet it felt to me like a lilting poem. The great trees had huge lower boughs that made for a wonderful hiding place for a girl, her cat and her books.

I treasure those memories and so everywhere I go, I create some sort of secret garden.  In this home I knew exactly where I would build a secret garden. Hubby had a hard time seeing my vision but I just knew it would be perfect. As with all gardens it’s still a work in progress, but it’s come a long way!

I started with a driveway, a driveway? Why would you pick a driveway you might wonder? Well, there was a weird quirk in our new house. We had a driveway on one side of the house that went along to the back cement fence. Doesn’t sound all that strange yet, I know. Here’s the weird part. there was a sliding glass door on that side of the house. Not that strange either right? Wrong! the sliding glass door was in our master bathroom and it led to the side driveway! Now that, is weird! You just looked out the sliding glass door to see the driveway and neighbor walking by, or anyone really could just walk up to it! Very odd indeed. However, the minute I saw it I knew, that it could be turned into a beautiful little oasis. I love when you can take a negative and turn it into a positive!

Sadly, I didn’t get a true before picture. I forgot. Here’s the closest I have to the before picture. This is  from the direction of the outside of the privacy fence we put up around the sliding glass door. We did not include a gate to add more security. This is a secret garden afterall..

courtyarddrivewayThen we added a storage shed in front of the fence. You can see how the driveway went along in between our house and our neighbors house. We also have parking in front of our house so we didn’t need the driveway all the way back.

IMG_2861.JPGNow that I had it fenced in, I needed to deal with driveway issues, like a bunch of driveway rocks and a lot of weeds with wicked stickers.

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I started by adding a layer of bamboo reeds on the fence for more privacy and then staining it.  I laid cardboard down over the stickers and rocks, then a layer of mulch over that.

Here’s the ugly frosted sliding glass door from the inside.

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Once I had the area closed in with the privacy fence, I scraped off the frost on the glass. I knew that I wouldn’t be able to put much effort into it for awhile because we were working so hard on the apartment for the kiddo on the inside of the house, so I just threw a few things in there, including hanging a paint drop cloth over the sliding glass door area. I did that because the sun is harsh on that side and it saved us on energy costs last summer.

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Then, I’m afraid it just languished away like this for a year, but I still had hope in my heart. With great joy we finished the kiddos apartment! Which meant, that this year I could work on my secret garden! I know you’d like to see how it turned out! Here it is!

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It’s just a sneak peak! I have things growing! flowers and trees, and some tomatoes too. You’ll have to stay tuned for my next blog on what else I planted and the where’s and how’s of everything and of course, more pictures! I wish for you to have a secret garden in your life!

 

 

Little Things

It’s the little things that always make the biggest impact in life and in decorating! As I’ve shared before, I love using painting drop cloths for curtains, and various other things. Lately, I made an addition to the drop cloth curtains in our bedroom. It was a small thing, but made a huge difference. I thought I’d share a few pictures. A few years ago I ran across two beautiful sheer curtain panels in my local second hand store. I wasn’t sure what I would do with them, but I had to pick them up. Then a couple years ago I found some embroidered sheer curtains on amazon. I thought I had a place for them but, I ended up not using them where I thought I wanted them. They went into the chest of, stuff I’m not sure what I’ll do with, but I’m sure I’ll use them somewhere, sometime. First, I put up the painting drop cloth curtains alone. However, I felt they were a little too plain, so I added these gray panels. I thought it would add an element of depth, but it fell flat.

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Then I put those sheers I had found on amazon up instead of the gray panels. However, while they were pretty, they were too sheer. Then, it dawned on me to use the painting drop cloth curtains in combination with the sheer curtains and wow! Did it turn out nice! Here are some pictures. I hope you enjoy!

 

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What I did was, just lay the sheer on top of the painting drop cloth curtain and snap them both into the curtain rings. No sewing, hardly any work and you have a beautiful full curtain.

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Hanging straight is how I prefer it but, here it is puffed up.

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More  of it puffed up and you can see that I hung the two sheer panels that I found a few years ago in the middle of the window, layered over a blind.

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I find that layering is a very affective tool when I decorate. First the base color comes in. In this room my base color came from the color I used in this painting. I wanted to plan the room around it. Of course, just because you have a plan doesn’t mean that everything you plan will work. I’ve found that it’s best to let things happen organically, once you have a plan in place. Try something, if it doesn’t work, then make adjustments! My life has been happier when I do it that way!

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Then the architectural elements I want to add come in, then lighting, then the basic blind for the window, and lastly the softness. Such as curtains, pillows and comforters. Oh, don’t forget a little bling and some art!

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This is my favorite way for the curtains to hang.

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And finally, from this angle.

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I have to add that, I’ve found it very challenging to photograph this angle of the bedroom as the light is coming at you so the camera makes everything around it look very dark! I hope I’ve captured it well enough to give you the idea. Hopefully, my crazy ideas will help you in whatever way you would like to decorate your home! Have a beautiful day out there lovelies!

Mornings with Molly-Joy

Joy is my favorite! Yesterday we found out that there’s nothing new wrong with the kiddo’s heart. Relief, relief is even better than joy.

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I’m not sure that I’ve ever written about the complication, that he’s had with his heart over the last 13 years. It’s something that we choose not to think about, since there’s nothing that can be done about it. About 13 years ago, during a regular checkup they found a clot that is attached to the wall on the inside of his heart. At the time, one end was attached to the wall and the other was flopping every time his heart beat. Eventually, the loose end also attached to the wall of the heart. If it ever broke off of the wall, it would  kill him.  If they were to try to do surgery to remove it, the risks are more severe than leaving the clot alone and watching to make sure it doesn’t change. For this reason, they’ve watched to make sure it stays the same. At this last check-up the kiddo’s ekg was abnormal, so the Dr. was afraid that the clot was breaking off, which is why he put him thru more tests. Thankfully, all of the tests showed that it’s staying still and hasn’t changed. Why was the ekg abnormal? Sometimes, they are for no particular reason, which is why more tests are needed. How did the clot get there in the first place? you might wonder. Well, when you have cancer, the chemo is too damaging to veins, so they place a port or broviac into the artery into the heart. For the kiddo, he had a broviac. In his case he had several different broviacs, due to many infections. One of the broviacs  must have been placed a little too close to the wall of the heart and the tip was bumping against the wall of his heart when his heart beat, which caused a blood clot. These are risks that we all accept when our kiddo’s go thru treatment.

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Over the years we’ve tried not to let it interfere with living our lives as fully as possible. As I stated earlier, there’s nothing we can do about it. Which leaves two choices. One, sit around and be afraid of doing anything, or two, live life to the fullest, enjoy what we have and not let it stop us. We chose number two.   I’m glad that we did. I would hate to look back and realize that we wasted any time, any fun, any laughter, anything in the last 13 years. I hate waste, especially wasted time. Time once lost, can never be retrieved.

bosque 8We’re beyond relieved to know everything is still ok. We still have to figure out what’s causing the other tests to come back with some problems but compared to the heart scare, it’s not too bad. I’m sure once they figure out the cause we can figure out how to manage. We always have and we always will, (with some prayer, patience, good Dr.’s and good friends of course)  Thankyou for listening to our tale, our journey. Have a beautiful day out there and have some fun!

Master Bedroom Project Complete!

I’m so excited to be able to say that the master bedroom project is complete!

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I hope you enjoy the finished project. I’ll try to explain how I put everything together, but if you have any questions be sure to post it in the comment section.  I’ll be happy to answer!

This was the beginning. It’s a perfectly lovely bedroom, but I had big plans!

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I started with my antique door headboard from our old place. I used them as a jumping off point to build the room around. I also began with painting the walls a dark blue/grey. Since it’s a bedroom I wanted it to end up feeling really cozy. I thought the dark color would help accomplish that.  Below is a picture of the wall opposite the bed wall.

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The old dresser is now in my studio. Next, I found these old beams hanging around in our back yard.  I talked hubby into helping me install them next to the old doors. I wanted an old brick wall in a couple places as well. I picked up two 4×8 sheets of brick paneling to faux paint for that purpose. I got them from either lowes or home depot. To be honest I can’t remember which one!

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I added some bookshelves on each side of the bed instead of bedside tables, because I love having books in the bedroom, well…. really everywhere. Which I’m sure you’ve noticed by now.  I found them from Walmart. It’s starting to come together.

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On the opposite wall we have our tv wall. A hubby must have. Actually, I don’t mind having it for watching movies on lazy days. I once again picked up two 4×8 sheets of brick paneling and found a few more beams laying around the backyard.

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My goal was to combine my style and hubby’s love of industrial together.  To do that I added a plumbers black pipe horizontally underneath the tv. Then I added a plumbers black pvc pipe that is vertical, in order to hide the cords inside of it. These touches added just the right amount of industrial along with the little modern fireplace hung below the tv. I found that on amazon. Then  I started faux painting the brick.

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To get the old brick look, I just use a little white paint with water, brush it on in different thicknesses, and wipe it down with a paper towel. After it dries, I take a wet scrubber sponge and scrape off pieces of paint in various places. Since the sponge needs to be wet to be affective, you need to keep a paper towel handy to catch any dripping water, otherwise the running water will ruin the look of the brick. Here it is, before I scrape it down with the sponge. When I scrape it down I focus on edges and grooves in the brick.

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This is the result.

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Another,

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and, another.

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The next step was to rearrange the room aaaaa lot!!! I could not, make up my mind how I wanted it to be set up. At one point I had two chairs in there, then I moved all sorts of stuff around. I ended up purchasing a regular bed frame. Up until then, we had just stacked two box springs on top of each other with  the mattress on top of that. However, we’ve reached a new age, where we feel aches and pains a little more. Which meant a better foundation for the bed. When we were super young and newly married we lived in Guatemala for a little over a year. For most of that time we slept on a small piece of foam on the cement floor. We didn’t mind it too much. Perhaps that’s what caught up to us! Anyhow, we ended up with a regular bed frame. I purchased it on amazon. Originally, I wanted to paint the ceiling the same color as the walls but I was hesitant to do it, so I waited. Finally, I decided to go for it.  I’m super happy that I did. It enveloped the room like a warm blanket.

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Snickers, thinks I did all of it for him.

The last thing I did was add some fantastic area rugs, lighting and some final decorating pieces to pull it all together. Here Snickers is modeling one of the area rugs along with a couple pillows.

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Now, here’s the finished room. I’m totally in love with it. This is the tv wall opposite of the bed wall.

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Another angle,

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and another,

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Here’s the bed wall,

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I love my corner, the white shelf is one of my treasures. It’s part of an antique fireplace mantel that I found in South Carolina. When we moved into the camper, my dad helped me cut it down to make a shelf to use in the camper, so that I could keep it. Now, it’s holding sweet things, and it’s a good memory.  The wood that is holding necklaces on the wall is from an old pallet.  I took it apart, then added the hooks from Hobby Lobby. I think it blends rustic with a touch of glamour.

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I added this sweet quote in this spot.

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This is the last corner. I personally hate mirrors in the house, but I have a few as they are necessary to make sure I have my clothes on the right way! This is the check and make sure, before you leave the house corner. I found the various scarves from local second hand stores. The chandelier I picked up a few years ago at Ikea. I painted it black to match all the trim.

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You’ll notice that I painted the doors and trim black. It seems like it would make the room too dark, but it actually grounds it. It’s not everyones cup of tea of course, but that’s what makes the human family so interesting. We all have different tastes.

Here’s snickers helping out along the way.

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As you can see, he worked really hard and he would appreciate it if we all acknowledged that!

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Thankyou for following our grand adventure in decorating! I hope you have a grand adventure of your own! Have a fabulous day out there lovelies!

Mornings with Molly – Gratitude Again

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Oh, my sweet Molly’s nose and her eyes. It’s amazing how a dog knows there’s something to be concerned about. What a beautiful gift we were given in the form of a dog.  I’m grateful to have her to comfort me.

It’s been awhile since I’ve written a Mornings with Molly piece. I haven’t been sure of what I wanted to say, so I’ve waited. The last few months I’ve been posting on my facebook and Instagram accounts, that there have been a lot of medical things going on for the kiddo. I should probably clarify why I always refer to my boy as the kiddo or boyo. A few years ago he wanted his privacy protected and no longer wanted me to refer to him with his name or post pictures of him now. He doesn’t mind when I post the older pictures of him. which is why I share  lots of pictures of him when he was younger. He’s also fine with me talking about our situation in my blog because he knows it’s my story too. I appreciate that very much and I want to respect his privacy, so that’s why I refer to him as the kiddo or boyo.

There was a time when we thought that perhaps the kiddos future wouldn’t be interfered with by his past health problems. This was in those few years where he was healthy and strong.

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I’m grateful for those years. I didn’t know at the time they would be his healthy years. We moved to South Carolina to be near the ocean, to play, to try to give the kiddo a normal, uncomplicated fun life. I thought that since most of his childhood up to that point had so many painful things in it, it would be good to focus on fun.  Don’t get me wrong, his childhood wasn’t all pain. We tried very hard to fill it with good things.  However, at this point he was healthy and had missed out on a lot so, we made it our goal to fill his life with adventures and fun activities. We really did! We kayaked everywhere, we saw an amazing amount of wildlife, we traveled to hundreds of beaches, toured museums, zoos, aquariums, botanical gardens, we learned a new language(American sign language), made wonderful new friends, ate out all over the place, hunted treasures, took a billion pictures and really had a wonderful family time. I look back and am so happy we did all of that, because things changed.

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When things began to change we began a new journey, in the last few years we’ve seen our kiddos health take a turn. First, came the respiratory problems that convinced us to move back west. We are so grateful that moving here has given him some relief with that problem.

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Then other problems started to come up. His neuropathy started to become more painful, then it traveled to his g.i. tract. It’s taken about 3 years, but it’s been identified as the nerve endings spasming, thus causing the pain and problems in his stomach. Next he had sleep apnea and then hypersomnia, along with a few other health problems. Every new challenge we just said ok, what is it?, Now, how do we deal with it?, How do we support him?, and moved on. We worked hard to buy a house that we could divide. We worked hard on dividing that house. We are grateful for our home and the ability to give the kiddo his own space. The last few years have been about finding the new limitations and then figuring out how to be happy and content within those limitations.

I like to use the word challenge, because we don’t let anything stop us. That doesn’t mean that it’s not hard. It is.  In my momma heart and brain, it hurts watching my boyo’s health deteriorate, it hurts knowing what he could’ve been, but what he’s dealing with is very different. It’s scary when new problems come up. It was terrifying when he was diagnosed with leukemia and the treatment was very difficult, however we felt hope that everything could be fixed. Now, these problems that keep coming up do to the treatment can’t be fixed, they can be helped, supported and relieved some but not fixed. This means we have to look at things differently. We have to retrain our brains to cope with what’s at hand now.  There are people who I admire, who seem to take every new turn in their lives with such grace. I wish I was like that! I’m not, I go thru a process of fear,  pouting, grumbling and then acceptance and lastly figuring out what needs to be done.

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Abiqui Lake New Mexico

 

When we start the medical check up process we go thru every year, I get apprehensive, but always remember how much I’m grateful for. This year I thought I had a handle on it, but I was wrong.  First, let me say how grateful I am that all his tests came back without any concerns about cancer, that is always a huge relief, so that means he’s cancer free now for 16 years. Some other tests came back with some problems that indicated heart problems.  One of the chemo’s used in his treatment is called doxyrubicin and can cause heart problems later in life. It of course caused me to be rather stressed out. No matter how old your baby gets, you never stop worrying about them. I’m feeling a little better, because one of the follow up tests to see what’s up was done and they didn’t feel the need to keep him in the hospital, which is always a good sign. He still has a few more tests to go thru and it will probably be May before we know what’s happening, whether it’s simple or complicated.

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Bosque del Apache New Mexico

What’s my point? Well, a few really. 1. It’s the reason why I keep posting that things are going slowly in my art studio. The tests keep dragging out longer than I expected. 2. It turns out that I’m human and still have difficulty dealing with my kiddos health. 3. I’m still focusing on being grateful to find contentment in our situation, and finally, it will all work out in the end.   “Everything will be okay in the end. If it’s not okay, it’s not the end.” – John Lennon  Also? It’s good to have a dog for a buddy.

The Studio is Finished! Well….

The studio is finished!

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Well….It might not ever be completely finished! I’m always rearranging and adjusting. Let’s say that, for now it’s finished! For a certainty, there’s always more room for books!

When we began the search for the right house for our family, I really didn’t expect to find one that also had the perfect spot for my studio. I figured that I would either find a corner somewhere or put a studio shed in the backyard at some point. You can imagine my pleasant surprise, when we found this house, that had the perfect foot print, to not only divide up for the kiddo to have his own apartment, but also a beautiful, well lit studio space.  I’ve had so much fun working on this space and making it exactly what I love to work in. Let me take you on the journey.

I began with this beautiful open space. It’s the room that’s on the back of the living room and the way to our back yard. It’s a long rectangle shaped room, with the back wall made up of windows and a French door going to the back yard.  It doesn’t have a door from the living side, it’s a large opening in the wall.

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This space has gone thru quite the process. I love the space, but it is a little challenging to set it up to work well. It’s long and not super narrow, but one whole side is all windows, which of course I love and the other side is broken up with a very large opening. I started by defining the living room from the studio, while not losing light from the studio by purchasing these glass French doors. I painted them and then put them on a sliding track.

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Here they are installed. It gives a little more definition to the spaces without taking anything away from them.

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Let’s go back to how I started arranging the studio. It’s taken quite awhile to find my comfort zone.   I started having my painting station here, thinking that the other end would hold more storage, however it turned out to be too much in the pathway to the back yard.  I ended up putting my work station on the other end of the room.

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Molly began moving her things in…..

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I also added the paint drop cloth curtains for the windows. I truly love them. I kept moving things around….

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and moving

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Then! I had been wanting to do a mural wall somewhere, I just decided to jump right in and do it! Hubby came home and shook his head, “always on a ladder painting walls”, he said. I grinned and said, “Well it’s my studio, so I can paint whatever I want on the walls”, to which he replied, “you’re cute and I love you, paint away my crazy girl”

IMG_0486After I finished the mural on the one end of the studio, the other end seemed off kilter, so a brilliant plan began to form…first more black paint.IMG_0556I like having things organized, but I also like to see what gives me inspiration, what I’m working on, so I created this idea wall. I knew that I wanted cork to cover the wall, but I had a hard time finding cork. What I ended up using was cork drawer liners. They have a sticky backing, but that doesn’t stick really well to a wall. To solve that, I stapled along the edges and then added burlap trim to all of the seams. It works really well.  This was just the beginning.IMG_0663Molly loves hanging out in the studio. I had this lovely grey chair in here for awhile. I  loved looking at it but, it wasn’t the perfect chair to curl up in for reading a book and sipping a cup of tea.  I ended up moving it into the bedroom, there it makes the perfect spot to put on or pull off a pair of boots.

 

IMG_20170613_091803_185At goodwill I found a truly ugly chair, but it was comfortable, and it was only $25!  I took it home, cleaned it and covered it with some of my favorite quilts. It makes the perfect spot to sit to reflect, sip a cup of tea, read a book and plan paintings.

Now that it’s all finished, I’m really enjoying working in my studio! Here  it is!  Molly and I would like to welcome you in!

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The first mural. I have great storage in this fun antique dresser I found at a garage sale some years ago. Molly has her stuff hanging around of course. Toys are of the utmost importance along with a bed and some water.studio 1 complete

Here’s the other end of my workspace.

studio 2 completeIt’s turned into my perfect spot to be. I’m surrounded by books, stars, tea cups, tea pots, quirkiness, it’s well lit both day and night. I can read, create, think, listen to the birds outside, plan my gardens, visit with molly and most of all paint!

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I hope you enjoyed the journey, I’m very grateful for this space.  Are you curious about where I’ve found things? and how it was all done? Let me tell you how. The biggest thing I’ve learned over the years is to hang out in second hand shops. You never find exactly what you’re looking for that day, but you always find something interesting. Still, you have to stay focused, don’t get too excited just because you think it’s a deal, but make sure it’s something you really love. Here are the things I’ve found and decided they were my treasures. The stained glass window on the wall I found 23 years ago in an antique shop in northern Georgia. The white chandelier was given to me by a kind friend, I painted it and added some details. The quirky hats I made myself, the books and other odds and ends I’ve found at various secondhand stores, The desk was given to me by another dear friend, I painted it. The antique inlay cabinet as well as the white dresser I found at a yard sale. I added the cool drawer pulls on the white dresser which  I purchased at hobby lobby. The book shelves are built with inexpensive 1×6’s and 1×2’s and then painted, I added the corbels that I did a paint technique to, but purchased them at hobby lobby. My working rolling chair, I found on amazon and my easel is from hobby lobby. I’m a very eclectic, quirky girl so all of this works for me. The trick is to figure out what works for you and then just start hunting yard sales, second hand shops, flea markets and then fiddle with what you have until you like it.  I wish for you, that you find the perfect spot that works for you. We all create in different ways. The important thing is to find what helps us create in our best way possible.