Look How They Shine for You

summer stars quote

Warm welcome!  I have mentioned multiple times my obsession with heart symbols.  I promise if you tune in, you will find the shape in the form of rocks, leaves and flower petals.  It is as though nature is always in alignment with love.

This week another symbol surfaced.  It seemed as though everywhere I turned I was finding stars.  Yes, stars.  I found them tucked in unsuspecting places and marveled at those tiny silver bursts lined up across the night sky, like actors hitting their marks on the stage.



(Hint: look closely inside this cosmos.)




look at the stars quote

 - – -

This is actually the simplest project in the history of all ordinary projects featured here.  Perhaps you recall watching your children identify the alphabet with a set of these?  If your children have outgrown their magnetic alphabet, prepare to give those letters a makeover.



After two to three coats of metallic spray paint, I am equipped to create messages or write intentions on my magnetic board.



baby bird e e cummings quote

These Seussical birds hatched this week near our pier!

Several song suggestions today!

1.) Yellow, Coldplay

2.) All of the Stars, Ed Sheeran

3.) Stars, Switchfoot

4.) Counting Stars, One Republic

5.) Sky Full of Stars, Coldplay

I would love to hear what symbol is prevalent in your life.  Thanks for stopping by!





Wishy Washi: DIY Washi Tape Projects

Keats quoteI hope you are embracing the long stretch of July light.  From daybreak to dusk, summer feels like the season of bliss: layered with color and brimming with heart.


Abundant heart discoveries!

Fact:  I hunt and gather washi tape.  I even organize it!  And brace yourself friends, this just might be my first ever tip on organization.


Use a standing paper towel holder to create a washi tape tower!

Last week I found the crown jewel of washi tape.  This one little roll caused a tipping point: I transitioned from washi curator to washi creative.


I purchased this roll in Milwaukee but I found an Etsy source in case you love this royal roll. Click here.

No tutorial required:  just grab your tape and apply!




Greeting card! Even the message of love is washi tape!


Tape on a white wooden frame.


Light switch plate!



IMG_0754 Ready, set, create!

I would love to hear how you use washi tape!

Sacred Charms

sacred space quote
Recently I was searching for a specific photo of a Boston Terrier puppy from the early 1930s. I received the photo as a gift and then I promptly stored it in a special place.  But here is the thing… that special storage place is apparently so extraordinary that I uncovered a mystery I will never solve.  It is funny as I remember every detail about the photo except where I stored it!  Disclaimer: I am creative (well, I aspire to be); but not organized in the traditional Better Homes & Garden ways.  I have told you about my Humpty-Dumpty studio… It has its great falls of chaos and then my teen daughter swoops in to put it all back together again.  She has never seen the puppy photo; so it is officially MIA.

As is oftentimes the case, when we are in search of one thing,

we end up stumbling upon something more valuable.

Today’s find? Religious charms. I bought them last summer at the same antique store where I found my beloved typewriter.  You know the one.  Did you know that the ribbon still works?  It can actually spit out a few words!


The charm discovery helped me forget all about the puppy photo.

One charm was so vintage that my initial reaction was to toss it.  Then I tried a technique to save it from the rusty brink of death.


And I fell in love with the result.

IMG_9973 IMG_9986


Stay tuned as these sacred treasures just might be for sale someday.  I love the idea of moving them from an antique store or my drawer to honor their symbolic and sacred beauty.

I hope you find the sacred in the everyday ordinary this holiday weekend!

sacred flame quote

I was blessed to see Switchfoot live this week in Milwaukee.

switchfoot 2014

My sacred song tip today is the marvelous track… Only Hope*.

Sing to me the song of the stars
Of your galaxy dancing and laughing
and laughing again
When it feels like my dreams are so far
Sing to me of the plans that You have for me over again

So I lay my head back down
And I lift my hands and pray
To be only yours
I pray to be only yours
I know now you’re my only hope

*Lyrics by Switchfoot, song recorded by Mandy Moore and Switchfoot

Got Spray Paint?

love the life you live quote

Hello there!  Hope you are enjoying sunshine and stepping into summer with ease.  Unless of course you live in Australia… then I hope you are stepping into the warmth of winter with a nice cup of tea.

A delightful explosion of color is unfolding in my backyard.  Its our second spring season in this house so I am still getting acquainted with the landscaping.  More precisely, I am constantly evaluating the plants trying to determine: weed or intentional plant or flower?  Here is one thing I know for sure… last spring there was not one single blooming iris.  Today they are popping up everywhere.  Perhaps the polar vortex was just what the iris bulbs require to sing their version of Joy to the World.  I really want to show you every single iris that I have photographed but I will limit my iris gallery to two images.  Or three! IMG_1157 IMG_1164


All this color is inspiring a spray paint flurry.  I have a sweet affinity for the magic of spray paint.  Do you?  I gave my “oh-so-2013″ purple flower pots a new look this week.   This is a super simple project and I hope you take a peak and then go paint!  I started by applying a solid color to each flower-pot, covering up all that purple with lime green.  Once dry, I used painter’s tape to create the stripes and applied the final spray of robin egg blue.



I transformed the once mauve bird cage to a periwinkle planter.  You can see a tiny spec of leftover mauve on the ring at the top.  After adding a layer of sand to the cage’s bottom, I carefully moved a few plants through the cage door and tossed in a lot of moss.


The yellow iris population outnumbers other colors by a landslide. It feels like a sign.  A symbolic indicator to yield (slow down) and be present during these newborn summer days.  Did you know that yellow officially represents optimism, enlightenment and creativity?  Where is the best spot to honor the sweetness of summer?


A yellow porch swing, of course.

I picked up a raw wood porch swing kit at Menards for about $60.  Two cans of yellow spray paint were required to cover the 4 foot swing.

I will be treating the swing to a sealing coat of paint this weekend.  Have you seen the Rust-oleum product, Never Wet?  It provides a liquid repelling treatment which I hope will extend the swings’ life.  At least until I re-paint it.


Are you patiently waiting forThe Fault in Our Stars to hit the big screen?  I already bought the soundtrack.  And right in the middle of an ordinary day I discovered Kodaline’s music.  All I Want (track 5) starts with simple and tender layers of music and heartfelt lyrics.  Then midway through the song the guitar crescendos and the song transforms from great track to masterpiece.  I just can’t explain it.  This fact might help make my point: this one little song lead me to purchase every song that Kodaline has on iTunes.  True story.  Ed Sheeran’s, All the Stars is pretty amazing too.

I will leave you with a summer manifesto!  I discovered it when I received it imprinted on a t-shirt as a gift.  Wait to you get to the line about “shapeshifting from a dreamer into a doer.”   It is a precise reflection that represents every little creative project here on the blog.

love this life manifesto Click here to hop to the Love this Life website.

* Did you know that Bob Marley died at age 36 as a result of malignant melanoma?  Please practice sun safety this summer: use sunscreen, wear a hat and sunglasses.  Learn more at Ann’s Hope Foundation.

Thanks for stopping by!  Now, go paint something.

Sacred Words: Honoring a Bright Light

dance quote maya angelou

 Honoring the poetic and insightful voice of Maya Angelou today.

So many cherished quotes are rooted in her wisdom. Her lyrical words will live on and on.

creative quote

adventure quote Maya Angelou

“When I am writing, I am trying to find out who I am, who we are, what we’re capable of, how we feel, how we lose and stand up, and go on from darkness into darkness. I’m trying for that. But I’m also trying for the language. I’m trying to see how it can really sound. I really love language. I love it for what it does for us, how it allows us to explain the pain and the glory, the nuances and delicacies of our existence. And then it allows us to laugh.”
― Maya Angelou

maya song quote

maya daring to dare quote

music quote

maya quote writing

“In the flush of love’s light
we dare be brave
And suddenly we see
that love costs all we are
and will ever be.
Yet it is only love
which sets us free.”
― Maya Angelou

 What is your favorite quote from Maya Angelou?

Honoring Time: DIY Photo Clock!

time flies message

Hello and thanks for sharing your precious time here!

I am not flying a great flight plan in the time management department.  Are you?  Please share your secrets!  I would love to hear from you in the comments section.

Did I ever tell you about my adventures in ground school?  I was a great student in the classroom but my skills didn’t translate so well to actually flying a plane.  That is another story for another day.  But one thing I learned about flying that I remember vividly….

Plan the Flight; Fly the Plan.

Of course once a flight plan is filed, even the most brilliant pilots have to adjust their plans in the air due to ice, turbulence, pop-up storms or whatever obstacles emerge during the flight.  I love the concept of determining a destination and at least planning for the route to get there (recognizing course corrections are inevitable).

I landed in California yesterday.  I love the false sense of “making” time after leaving the Central Time Zone and entering the Pacific!

I wish I could plant seeds so more creative time would bloom in our lives.

I also wish that we could always, always honor time for the precious commodity that it truly is.

Just thinking about time management led me… to well, fulfilling an idea I had about up-cycling a clock.     After disassembling a clock, I gained access to the protective bubble barrier of the clocks’ mechanics. Adding a transparent photo to the inside was simple.  The challenge was putting it all back together again!  I glued a crown embellishment to the clock and called it completely customized.

This was a labor of love (it’s a gift).



I wish I could make one for you.  I just might take “orders”!  Stay tuned.  Go embrace the moments of the weekend stretching before you!

I leave you with a Green Day hit from 1997.

Good Riddance (Time Of Your Life)*

Another turning point, a fork stuck in the road
Time grabs you by the wrist, directs you where to go,
So make the best of this test, and don’t ask why
It’s not a question, but a lesson learned in time.

It’s something unpredictable, but in the end is right,
I hope you had the time of your life.

So take the photographs, and still frames in your mind
Hang it on a shelf in good health and good time.

*Good Riddance writers: Billie Joe Armstrong, Frank E. Iii Wright, Michael Pritchard.


Mother’s Day DIY Projects: Mug or Monogram?

long live the heart lyric heart

Since returning from our California vacation, every post I start has no end (or middle for that matter).  I have been in a state of stall.  Here, there and everywhere.  Perhaps the diagnosis is keyboard laryngitis or I entered a creative wasteland!

In a sun-will-come-out-tomorrow moment, inspiration arrived earlier this week.  The theme song for this happy dance?  The Heart by NEEDTOBREATHE!  I honored my heart photo (above) with brilliant lyrics from the new album, Rivers in the Wasteland.  This one little song lifted me up like faithful friend.

Have you created something for the mothers or nurturing souls in your life?

I hope you find an ounce of inspiration here with three last-minute ideas!

I love adding inspiring quotes to my photos (always crediting the genius wordsmith).  In a new twist today, I added a text overlay using my own words using Pic Monkey’s online photo editing tools.


Below you will see an image I created in Word Swag.  Have you tried this sweet little app?  Let Pic Monkey or Word Swag help you to create a custom message for the moms in your life!


Or create a simple DIY coffee mug!


Grab a plain coffee mug, an oil-based Sharpie marker and alphabet stickers.

Apply stickers to the mug to spell a word or simply make a monogram using an initial.


Use a Sharpie marker and scatter tiny dots around your stickers.  Remove the stickers and…. holy cuteness.  Bake the mug in the oven (trust me) for 30 minutes at 325 degrees.  The heat helps seal the Sharpie dots.  I recommend gently washing this mug in the sink versus placing it in the dishwasher.

Thanks to the DIY Playbook for inspiring this mug project!

If you are not smitten with the mug idea… try my next idea!


This project requires a alphabet letter, a roll of earthy moss and a can of spray adhesive.  All my supplies were purchased at Hobby Lobby.

I simply applied the spray adhesive to the giant M and attached the giant sheet of moss to the M.  I placed it moss-side down and added a few heavy books to the letter to secure the attachment between the moss to the M.  About 30 minutes later, I returned with scissors to trim the excess moss away from the letter!  I took the lazy route and skipped applying moss to the sides and back of the letter.


Joy and love to all those who nurture:

mothers, grandmothers, caregivers, volunteers, teachers, foster moms, angel moms, mom’s who have lost a child (especially those moms), moms through adoption and the endless list of lovely nurturing souls.




Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 198 other followers