Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Still here, Still crazy... But Loving the Spring!



 I'm guessing you either hate me now for my complete neglect of your blog posts, or...most likely,  or you haven't even noticed because you are all out doing and keeping up with a million things too 

I'm still stuck in the whole overwhelmed with Social Media thing.. and have not in any way figured out which thing to focus my ever compromised attention span 

How do you guys do it?
Are you preferring instagram, blogs, facebook
are you keeping up with it all?

I'm kinda all or nothing, so if i get too behind on things, sometimes i just give up

 But, between working in the garden, dealing with work, mailing out prints, and generally being all over the  place, i did manage to finish a painting that i think is kinda sweet...

It's called 

"In The Moment"
  
which is something i'm actually not ever in... 

people with anxiety/panic/everymentalillness usually aren't in the moment

but when i look at this sheep, it reminds me to try         





 Speakin of the garden, ... Oh my gosh, the roses...

Mine are in their first flush of blooms and they are so wonderful

I found this new rose that i could just kiss to death it is so pretty

It is called Francis Meilland



I mean it really looks like that!

and it fades to the softest cream blush with thick velvety petals


Could you just die !  I am completely enchanted with it.  
We'll see how it performs and I'll let you know

Here is some prolific "New Dawn" growing on the arbor



This is "New Dawn" again on the corner of my lot - there must be a thousand blooms on it - It has gone so crazy wild, I'm in total awe  of how one rose could be so big!


... and I have to share one of my other favorite roses again
"Peach Drift"  
It is the best color and so hardy.  It's a frequent bloomer too !

I like to put a little cluster of them on the mantel with "Miss Daisy" because they match her pink nose



Sweet "Peach Drift" 




The window boxes are all planted full of pink geraniums 


***************************
Ok, so enough with the flowers

I'll move on to other random happenings around Rosebud Cottage

Here is the formerly brown suitcase that i painted pink
I mixed it in with all my other suitcases. 

I finally figured out that i should store all of my Christmas ornaments in these suitcases - since they are downstairs, and accessible 

The worst thing for me about decorating for the holidays was going into "that closet" upstairs that has everything stuffed in bins under bins and more bins, dragging them out and hauling them downstairs

Now, no stair climbing, no bin dragging from behind lord knows what
Just open the suitcase, and voila!
Pretty sparkly ornaments and things!


                *************************

Recently Ellie ( my daughter) and I did the funnest thing too - Mr. Fractured gave me a gift certificate to Sephora, cause he knows i love playing in there
wasn't that sweet of him 

so just for the pure fun of doing girl stuff with makeup -  I scheduled an appointment for Ellie and I,  and she had a makeover! 

It was a blast, and yes, it is a ton of makeup, but she looks like a glamorous movie star 
Just look at that face and snow white skin...  
but as glam as she looks, believe me, that girl can get some dirty work done.
She's an animal lover and works in a dog kennel 



************************

Ok, so now that i've turned into one of those people who show pictures of my cat 

Here is Willow wishing she could go outside

Poor Kitty...

We have managed to get a harness on her 
after preparing for the fight of our lives
and take her out every once in a while - 

Last night, she ate a lightening bug 
The next thing i knew she was drooling like she had rabies - 
So emergency vet???

Of course it turns out that there are a few bugs that are toxic to animals, and yes lightening bugs are!

She's ok

Good Grief -  if it's not the kids, it's the animals !  
It's always something!


Here is her luscious furry tummy of which i am never allowed to touch



And finally - here is little Daisy with her stash of nasty, stinky, chewed up stuffed animals and treasures... she puts them on our bed to save them from Willow - and we get to sleep with them

I absolutely adore this little dog...
She is the sweetest thing ever



*********************************
Gosh, I'm sorry, I know that was a lot

After not talking to you in a while, it turns out i have more things to share than i thought!


Anyway, I'll leave you guys with one more of my favorite roses 
"Abraham Darby" it's doing it's thing right now too

The roses are having a good year




xoxo's

... the end ...




Monday, April 13, 2015

Carpet Begone -The Third Attack on the Carpet ! - Painted Stairs


I am a notorious carpet ripper upper.  I'll tear that nasty stuff out any time i can and paint whatever is underneath - I don't care. 

When i showed my daughter a photo of my painted stairs this weekend she told me how much she used to hate it when they were younger and lived with me - and i tore up carpet and painted the floors.

Ok... you know, after the fifty million traumas they put me through - I guess i can just live with them not liking that habit of mine

Anyway - they still need some touch ups and some sealer but 
here they are!



I don't have any before photos, but just imagine an off white berber carpet that was about 12 years old and looking gray and dingy - 

Here it is all taped off



Doing the whole thing was more about patience than it was about being difficult.  I hired someone to rip up the carpet because it was so totally worth it to pay $20.00 an hour for the hour and a half it took to pull out the carpet,  tack strips and staples 

Then i painted the stairs white with floor and deck paint - which for some reason took 4 coats - that was torture 

then taped it off

and then.... 

had to choose the stripe color

Sooooo, why is choosing a paint color for walls and or stairs the hardest possible thing in the universe?!!!

FINALLY  I narrowed it down to two colors, started with one of them - nixed that, and then painted them this gray that looked like it would be perfect 

AND..... 

IT WASN'T PERFECT!

It was just OK

You know how you do something and you try really  hard to like it - and then you go #&!?%#?! because you know you aren't ever going to like it...

That was me

In the photo below can you see that the stripe on the left is more gray?
that is the color i did not like

the rest of the stripes that are more blue gray are the stripes i had repaint by hand AFTER i had pulled up the tape 

patience patience patience ... grrrrrr



It is pretty fun though to walk in the front door and see these pretty stairs, so it was worth it 

Alrighty then, enough about the stairs!


**************************


Check out "Willow"!
She is around 9 months old and she is so grown up!

This is a photo of Willow when she is being good...


I swear this cat has attention deficit disorder - seriously - i know cats are active, but she has no attention span
she will snuggle in with you, get all just right, and then 4 seconds later she's over it and up doing something else

leave it to me to get a cat with ADD

...and she can be so very sweet, follows us into each room we go into... so happy to see us after work and full of purrs

she's fine with face petting, and face kisses

rubbing her back is ok sort of if she's in the right mood

but don't even think about touching that cute furry tummy
 i just want to get all in there, but it ain't happenin because i don't want to loose an appendage

Willow wants nothing more in the world than to go outside, but she's supposed to be an inside cat.

It seems so wrong not to let her out to walk in the sweet spring grass - she flings herself at the storm door trying to catch moths and get outside
it's sad and it just doesn't seem natural to me

have any of you ever tried an electric fence with cats?  
I'm thinking about it and could use some advice

and now i'm turning into a person who talks about their cat
sorry...

still ... electric fence with cats? anyone tried that?

*********************

Anyway, the phlox and candytuft and viburnum are blooming and it is just all to die for... 

hope you all are having an amazing spring...




...the end...







 

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

It's Beautiful Outside Today!


Oh my gosh, it is 70 degrees here and sunny.  It's so completely wooonderful ....
This last part of winter here in North Carolina has been endless...

We had 8 inches of snow last week, and I had an extra day off of work so i was able to work on this painting and finish it up which felt so good...

I'd like you to meet "Lily and Estelle"
 - they are friends...



If you think i go into a painting knowing what the hell i am doing - you would be completely wrong!

 Honestly half the time i spend on a painting is fixing what's wrong with it...

 Let me show you all the incarnations of this painting

Below is how it started...

My inspiration was that yummy color of gray blue and the contrast with the black
sometimes i crave painting certain colors




 Ok, so phase two - I  painted in a friend in the background

but after pacing around and looking at it for a while, i decided the background cow was distracting - she just wasn't "it"
so had to wipe out a couple hours worth of work...
that's frustrating!



Next i decided to give just the impression of another cow in the background - 

at first i liked it better, it seemed easier on the eye, less distracting

but then it came to my mind it looked like a big gray male body appendage  ...

if i were talking to a friend in person i would just say it looks like a 
big _ _ _ _  !

but i can't really say that on the blog, you know

and sorry i know that's so crude... but... do you see ?

Of course, once that was in my brain I knew it had to go

you just can't unsee that




Finally this sweet girl wanted to come in for a nuzzle, and she was so cute, but she didn't quite work with the first cow...

 two cute cows, ... 
but didn't look like they should be in the same painting

hmmmm, what to do now?


so even though i liked the cow's black and gray nose, 
I decided to take a risk and blobbed some pink paint on the nose
and 
viola!
it worked!

 now they play together well

phew!

i can't tell you how many times i was ready to just call it an "ok" painting and be done with it


but now i love them both and immediately their names came into my head

"Lily and Estelle"

That's probably more than you ever wanted to know about my backwards painting techniques!

but i wanted to tell you, so you won't be nervous to try painting or just anything
and realize that we all struggle with our work, sometimes we go backwards or come in sideways 
 sometimes we almost give up, and sometimes it's ok to give up if something is pulling your creative force away

the trick is to figure out when to go forward and push through it
or to just let it go...


... the end ...










Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Carpet Begone phase 2 !



Hi Everyone!
Ya'll may remember that a couple of years ago, i yanked up the carpet in my bedroom and replaced it with plywood cut into planks so that they would look like rustic wood floors.   I still love them.  I painted the plywood with a wash of Annie Sloan paint in "Old White" and water, and then sealed them with "Stay Clear" and I'm happy to tell you that they have held up great!

Finally a couple of weeks ago i was able to do the same thing in the living room. Yay!  
I hired someone to do it because I'm getting too old to crawl around on the floor and pull up carpet and stuff, and I just didn't want to -  ya know...?!  I'm not as tough and sinewy as I used to be and i don't want to spend one minute of my what's left of my life pulling up carpet and carpet nail strips... 

I don't have many pictures to show you yet, but this will give you an idea...


the total cost for supplies, wood, having the wood cut, the nails, and the glue was $340.00


Here's how it looks before the Annie Sloan wash - I won't show pulling up that nasty old carpet!




this photo was so cloudy even after i touched it up in Picassa, my phone camera lens must have smudges on it... but you can still kinda see the floors...


sorry, i don't have better pics, but during the day I'm at work,  at night it is just too dark for photos...
and on the weekends I'm running around like a chicken with my head cut off so i forget to take good photos..




I love these floors so much better than carpet.  
They even smell good like fresh wood

Everything got stirred up and I had to move stuff into the dining room to clear out the living room.  I moved this mirrored chippy door against the wall in the dining room to get it out of the way and decided I like it there!

My daughter says i have too many mirrors in my house, and she always thinks she's going to see a ghost in them - she thinks they are all haunted

She's a nut

Wonder where she inherited those genes?

But I do remember mirrors giving me the heebeegeebees when i was young - so i don't know what that's about




**********************

ok, so check out this little boot garland i made...

it was a fun and easy project





I just used this wrapped wire i found at Michaels.
 
I love this viney wire stuff...
you can do all kinds of things with it

Then i intertwined flowers and ribbons I had into it - made a little loop on one end and hook on the other and it was done...



*******************************

Also since I talked to ya'll last I  worked on (fought with) a painting on and off for the last few weekends... 

I kept not liking it and couldn't figure out why - my daughter is my best critic and she was visiting - so i asked her "what's wrong with it?!" ...and she said there was too much brown ( the cows were brown) - so i painted the cows black and voila it all started to come together!  I love it when that happens... and she's always right!


*********************************

I received my copy of Romantic Prairie Weddings by Fifi O'Neill... and it is so pretty - every single page is just luscious.  I especially like the doors draped with pale pink rose garlands... they're just to die for gorgeous



Fifi says she might come to my house in the spring - so here come the 90 nervous breakdowns about all my messes ... but exciting too!

*************************

So finally - check this out....
 
I opened my cabinet to get some olive oil, and what did i find....

Willow - "the destructor", kitty litter flinger, and slip cover shredder...

Lord only knows how long she was sittin in there just as pretty as you please.. 

...cats!.. 





...the end...



Tuesday, January 6, 2015

I'd Like to Introduce You to Marley...



Hi everyone... 

Hope you survived the Holidays.  Gosh, it's just crazy the weeks before, with shopping and decorating, and wrapping, and getting groceries for that ONE day!  You'd think we were preparing for the Apocalypse. ...And then it's just gone.. over.. one day.. then poof!

...and I'm like what the hell just happened


***************************

Anyway, after doing a commissioned painting that about ruined me for painting forever... 
quote -  
" I am never doing a commissioned painting again !"

 I finally got my creative juices back and painted a couple of sheep paintings.  

Here is the last one

His name is "Marley"


I had been trying to think of a name for him for days. 

When my daughter came over for Christmas she saw him and she said 
"Mom you painted a rasta sheep"... 

 ... and then i knew his name was "Marley" named after Bob Marley. 

***********************

I did get some really cute pillows for Christmas from my kids
check these out...

I had seen them at Kohls one day when i was with my daughter, 
but they were too expensive, and i was like no way, not spending that much for these even if i love them

but she went back and they were on sale, so she picked them up.
It was really sweet and thoughtful of her to do that, and I was very touched...

i don't really like the feeling of my kids buying me stuff, 
it feels weird for them to spend their money on me

but if they feel they must, these pillows were the deal!



I finally switched out my iphone 4s for an android after being stranded in a different town, on a freezing cold night, in my friends car with a smoking radiator and having a dead phone battery because my iphone battery had been draining really fast since the last upgrade

for a person who is anxious about everything 
that was up there on the list of worst case scenerios

there are about a thousand things on my worst case scenerio list
the main one's involving tornadoes, throw up viruses and airplanes 

anyway my friend was standing outside of her car, and i overheard a guy nearby say to her, "do you know your car is smoking"?
and i heard her say "don't tell her that"
meaning me...
she knows me well

so the next day i went directly to Verizon and i got a Galaxy S4note 
they didn't have any ipone 6's
so anyway, so far, it's great!

I was soooo all about my Iphone
I LOVED it like my child 
and was reluctant to change 
but the Galaxy is just fine!
easy to use
great graphics
amazing battery life
just thought you might want to know

anyway, the point of this long story about the phone is this - 
check it out - 
you can take the little S pen and write on photos!



*************************

 Also, i imagine you've seen this print online of gold lips 
You can buy it at Joss and Main or One Kings Lane or one of those types of places...


I thought it was cute, soooo...

I decided to make one like it as a gift for my daughter

 ...hope i don't get sued for copying it, so don't tell anyone

i just bought a canvas 50% off for $12.99
and a gold leaf kit for around $12.00 too

and did it!


It was kinda fun to do!

I just found the center of the canvas
(believe me, find the center, you do not want to do a cute painting and then have it all off center)!

I painted on an outline to follow with pink oil paint

brushed on the glue from the kit in the lip area, leaving some areas uncovered with glue for lip cracks

peeled off the gold foil stuff, which was crazy..
it was light as air and stuck to everything

then i laid in on the gluey area and rubbed and brushed it on

that took a couple of passes

then you just brush on a sealer, and it's done!

Anyway, other than the gold leaf being floaty and wrapping around my hands and in general being tricky
It was pretty fun !
and they really ARE shiny lips!!

***************

 Looks like I'm back to my usual rambling posts for 2015 

I feel like it's ok to do that since ya'll told me to be myself and ramble if i want to and you'd like me anyway... 

...So thanks for saying that...




...the end...








Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Short and Sweet....


I'm, gonna keep this blog post short, so ya'll won't hate me for my previous unendingly long ADHD posts!

Just finished this new painting.... She is a very very shabby sheep
It was my first time painting on wood which was kind of different... (except for plywood when i couldn't afford canvases )
anyway this was way nicer than painting on plywood... ;)  



ok, that's all I'm gonna say

... you didn't expect that did you...

neither did I

I've already thought about 10 other things i want to ramble about, but resisted the urge

love to you


...the end...

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Leggings, Pink House, Faux Fur, and Fantasizing...


Hi Everyone...

Can you even believe how fast time is going and that it is almost Thanksgiving!  Christmas trees are out in the stores, and as much financial stress as the Holdays have brought me in the past,  I swear i still get excited about decorating with all the little white twinkle lights and glittery shiny baubles and fluff...
 
Whenever i see Christmas decor in stores i get this combination sick sinking feeling, nostalgia, and desire to decorate.  
It's a weird combination...

and tell me this.... there are so many faux trees out there... Michaels, Home Depot, Lowes...EVERYWHERE... but not one white flocked tree to be found!
  I mean they are literally the prettiest trees ever made, and no one sells them.  Well, except places online where they cost about $400.00 to $800.00 !  So that's not happening...

I bought a flocking kit once, and tried to flock my own tree .  I think I remember that you had to hook it somehow to your vacuum cleaner blowing the air out or something like that -  and when i did the flocking powder blew out the back of the bag thing and covered my driveway and every part of me in this crazy white f#!*&!?  flocking stuff, it was the worst purchase ever.  Don't buy one...

Ok, so i'm just gonna ramble on like i usually do when i've haven't talked to ya'll in a while

forgive me in advance...

*************
So check out the cool surprise that arrived for me in the mail the other day!  It is a pink faux fur jacket from my sister!  How great is this!!!




so fun...




Ok, next subject - 

A builder is building this darling house near where I live, and i want to sell my house right now and move into it.  It is the complete perfectest shade of pink ever - and check out those vintage looking windows they used... I could sooo rock this house...



subject number 10,333
it's not easy being like this

Ok so you HAVE to listen to this... A blogger I follow - Cara of    
Maskara  .....



... blogged about these leggings she found at Nordstrom's.  She had just had a baby and was talking about great post baby outfits and had on these leggings.  I went to Nordstroms and found a pair, and i dearly love them in every way.  Especially since my stomach has ALWAYS looked like a post baby stomach. 
They're cute, and they're cotton, so they're not itchy and don't feel like you have rubber bands on your legs... plus they have a wide soft waist band so they don't show your lumps.  And none of that crotch drop thing that is torture... They're comfortable enough to wear to bed, get up the next morning, put on a top and go... and believe me, i have... is that too gross?'

I love them - and not too bad a price at $38.00 a pair
Do yourself a favor and check them out...


this is a photo with me looking down at my boot... 
 

Anyway, even if you 're not interested in the leggings, you should check out Cara's blog, she is adorable and down to earth, and her blog is fun as anything... Plus she has great makeup tips...
*********

last subject, i promise...

So I was at a cute little shop in town 
and the lady there asked me if i sold Milk Paint... and i was like uhhhhhhh no, why do you think i sell Milk Paint?  and she told me she thought since i knew Miss Mustard Seed, and had painted her cow "Eulalie" and stuff that maybe i did because she had clients who came to her shop looking for milk paint and she didn't sell it.

and she said, why don't' you do what i did, and get a storage shed kinda like this


or this... and adapt it a little to make it more cute, and open a little studio and sell your paintings and sell Milk Paint?



and I was immediately like, no that's crazy, i have to work full time to help pay our bills etc...
absolutely not, impossible... no way...

but it put an idea in my head... like hmmmm is something like that even remotely possible?

because i could paint more and maybe sell more prints and paintings if i had time to actually paint other than on the weekends - and then have time to market myself more with all the crazy social media that's out there... which is overwhelming even if one is not working...

and then I started thinking how fun it would be to dress up a little  shed with white paint, and chandeliers and well you know, i ended up with this in my brain

Sandra Fosters victorian cottage

which i think all of us have died for since we first saw it online...


but the fact is, if i'm lucky we'd probably end up with something more like this...
maybe even not this good...

but painted pink or white, with window boxes and a crystal chandelier .. even a plain box would be cute 



...and it would use all of our teeny little savings to set something like that up...


But...in the fantasy, i would have tea parties, 
(even though i don't even drink tea, hmmmm...maybe wine parties instead...) 

and little gatherings to sell my art 
(even though i've never given a party ever not ever, and i'm a total introvert)

and i would have time to paint and sell paintings and prints, 
and do yoga, and get rested and mentally stable again, maybe (ha!)
and so on....

In reality, I know i'm lucky to have a job, and health insurance, and what if i spent our meager savings on a little shed/cottage,
and then no one would buy anything from me ever again, and i'd end up penniless and wont even be able to buy my prescriptions, or even have enough money to shop at the thrift store etc... and more of the worst thing ever etc etc.... 

But then this little thing inside keeps whispering in my ear to take a chance, do something different, be brave, have faith in the bounty and magic in the universe
you know, like Marian, Miss Mustard Seed did, when she took leaps of faith... and look at where she is now or the Nester, how great is she!?

I mean I'm scared to be stuck at work until I die dealing with BS insurance companies until my butt fuses to my office desk chair, 
 but i'm also scared to take the risk to do something different and it not work out... and if it doesn't  who is going to hire a crazy neurotic freaky 60 year old lady !!? 

and then and then I'd end up stuck at home alone all day, (at least until our home got forclosed on)  - with our cat, who by the way is insane, and become a crazy wrinkled, divorced, broke old alcoholic cat lady... who dies on her sofa and no one finds her body for 3 days

I don't know guys, what do you think about the whole idea of working less, like a lot less, maybe not at all, and painting more, and risking complete financial ruin?


  ...uhhhhh ... the end...?