Monday, December 26, 2016

Merry Everything and Happy Always! {Christmas home tour}

A quick evening Christmas tour (the pictures were taken over the past week as the happiness and love of the holiday filled my heart). Welcome...  After we drove around looking at Christmas lights and listening to The Coffeehouse's acoustic mix of wonderful holiday music, this vignette on our porch just made me smile. This is on our front porch and through the window you can see the tree with presents piled around it! We spoiled our nieces and nephew for sure this year. However, don't think the presents are piled from the ground...Addison would never have allowed that. They are on an old suitcase and an ottoman so she cannot gain full and easy access to them.   
We were gifted the gorgeous poinsettia from our insurance agent and friends at his office. Very thoughtful and an amazing pop of color in our office...and it's huge (and still alive which we are pretty impressed with ourselves over)! I took this one night just before heading to bed. So peaceful. 
 Silver, white and burlap cover our tree this year while packages were wrapped in mostly red.  
 Good night, from our humble home to yours! 

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Red, White and Blue: Dinner for Two!

Just a fun dinner for two- Fajitas and a watermelon margarita for me and a New Castle for her. 

I like to keep a fun tablescape on all the time. This July decoration let's me enjoy some of my grandmother's hand me downs with some of my pieces. I love this old tray I found at an estate sale with the little buckets.  

The Cure

We are so blessed to have a dear friend who remembers our anniversary each summer. She's the friend who made my wedding dress.  At the time that we were married, only Civil Unions had gone into effect and we would wait another year for our Civil Union to change into a marriage. When she was telling friends that she was making a Civil Union dress they asked if it was blue or gray. Which isn't so far off of a question as one might think. You see, we live a block from a Civil War reenactment that occurs each year on the same weekend we were planning our ceremony. This story has brought us so many laughs over the years. 
This same awesome friend also threw us an amazing bachorlette party before our big day. I love outdoor dinner parties and she planned the perfect evening of wine and food. The music at the winery has also given us many years of giggles but we will always remember that night! 
Every year since then we have had our CURE (Civil Union Re Enactment). An evening with good food and drinks but even better friends enjoying life. This year we hosted in our gorgeous backyard. It's unseasonably cool this weekend and it was so comfortable sitting outside for an evening of wining and dining. The food was delicious- shrimp, fruit, fruit dip, lentil salad, anti-pasta platters, vegetable trays, hummus, champagne and champagne cookies. I had hibiscus flowers in elderberry syrup and had been waiting to use them in champagne. We learned about this drink while in Las Vegas a few years ago and I just love it! 
The tablescape was a simple one. I wasn't sure if it would be raining and we would have to move inside or into the cabana. The plates are actually plastic and I just got them from Pier 1 Imports on clearance! The napkins are also from Pier 1 Imports. I had fun making the place cards using wine corks from our favorite winery and old buttons. The base that I have our little flags in is candle holder that my grandmother had painted. Our wine glasses are little mason jars that we use for lots of our outdoor parties. I added the wine stem markers along with the buttons to make them fit for our theme. 

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Garden Craftiness

There is a chill in the air today so my garden craftiness will happen in my studio. Em is bundled up working in our yard and playing with the pups. I've headed downstairs with the fireplace and pulled a blanket on me. I have a garden craft I started two weeks ago, today is the perfect time to finish it. 
It all started with this jar full of wine corks! I have run out of those little white sticks you write on what you've planted in the garden so you remember what is growing in each row.  So I was looking around the studio for something I could make my own sticks from. 
So I labeled the wine corks with some of the things we will grow this year.  This is where the project stopped a couple weeks ago. I've been thinking and thinking about how to put them into the rows. Of course, during this time Em ordered the white ones for me so I could just go with those. But these would be so cute in the garden! Today when I came down I wandered around the studio wondering what I could use for a base to slip into the ground. Good thing my friends always send the things they don't know what to do with my way! 
These came from my dear kindergarten teacher friend. She used them for sorting with her students. Perfect! 
I found enough of the brown golf tees to use those with corks. They looked much better than the white ones! Just a drop of hot glue and ta-da!
Oh my goodness! Love my kitchen herb garden. When my dad comes this week I'm getting a few more herbs but this is a good start. 
I couldn't wait to see them in the garden! Love! 
Happy Spring! 

Thursday, June 18, 2015

My Summer "Off"

I learned yesterday that we have only been on summer break for two weeks. It's amazing that it feels like it has been two months! Well, at least a month anyways.  I'm sure other teachers have done this, probably on accident or regretted it as soon as they did it, where they think about how many weeks we actually have off. I did this today as the puppy took her afternoon nap in my arms. 
There are lots of links I'm stumbling past about the top five, ten or nine reasons we have our "whole summer off" and attempts to explain why it's so important for teachers to have the summer away from school. I'll jump on the bandwagon. Hey, it's summer and I actually have time to see the bandwagon AND jump on it! 
Here are how my ten weeks off this summer will be spent: 
Week 1- I cry because school is out and have a crazy weird feeling I'm forgetting something. I reflect on if I did enough for my students and make notes for next year. I wrap up any loose ends from my classroom which usually means playing Tetris with odds and ends so I can start vacation. I eat lunch without methodically planning out every minute for the next three hours. The dogs play so much because mommy is home that they are exhausted by 8:00pm. Win! 
Week 2- I rediscover my beautiful porches and all the other amazing rooms of my house. I relax in the quietness.  I blog, make art and garden. I potty train a puppy and snuggle lots with the dogs. I also pin lots of ideas for my classroom on Pinterest and read a book about writer's notebooks. 
Week 3- I miss school so much I take a week long training. I'm so lucky to work in a district with amazing technology training during the summer. I work a full day every day this week at my local high school and come away with a crazy to-do list! During this time, I learn about new curriculum, redo and update my classroom website, dream about the cool techie toys out there. 
Week 4- I spend every day with friends! So many I've missed during the year so I'm be booked for coffee dates, luncheons and dinners. When not with friends, I work on that to-do list I created last week for my classroom. Oh, and there's this great book by Ron Clark I've been wanting to read! 
Week 5- Fourth of July is already upon us. I host friends and that means all those projects I neglected during the school year must get completed before company comes! Oh, and I'll read books I've picked up for my classroom library and complete one of those projects from the to-do list for my classroom. 
Week 6- I get to travel to see my family and spend time with the littlest niece! 
Week 7, 8, 9- I take a class to learn about the new science curriculum.  I get to develop lessons for the NGSS (next generation science standards) so my students have hands-on, student centered activities. Collaboration with other teachers and dreaming big for what we want for our students is nice during this summer class. 
Week 10- Time to prepare my classroom! The students come back in a week and I have tons of boxes to unpack, a library to reorganize and all those ideas I gathered all summer get to take flight now!  

When you know a teacher "taking the summer off," realize that means we are recharging our batteries while preparing for our next school year! 

Monday, June 15, 2015

This Beautiful Life: 2015

The current collection at Kelly's Bakery & Cafe is titled The Beautiful Life: 2015. It has been awhile since I put my artwork together as a collection but they were all coming together so perfectly this time! I really enjoyed using some old letters that I bought when Blooming Grove Academy closed to create different sayings. I've used the letters on top of my upcycled cabinet and utilized various filters and editing features to get really cool images. 
I also used the letter to create parts of words in my collage pieces or to create negative space. 
{this piece has already lived several lives- it was a Christmas piece that I re-upcycled again into this! I love the square frames so much!}
This framed collage piece is one of my favorites (I know, I shouldn't have favorites but this one really hits my favorite colors and techniques).  Most of my frames come from estate sales, garage sales, friends leaving things on my porch or from roadside finds. However, sometimes stores have crazy sales on pieces. This had a horrifying pig picture in it so I got it for just dollars! Luckily, there were like three horrible pigs! I'll have to stay on the lookout for the wolf now! 

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Rainy Days and Mondays

It was a rainy week here in Illinois. We finally got some snow today but when I started this piece earlier during our winter break, it just kept raining. 
I found some paint that I had painted a cabinet with years ago! Probably nine years ago! So, when I opened the cans the paint had separated and made these wonderful colors. The density and texture of the paint was really interesting and I loved watching it on the canvas.