DIY Spray Paint Tales

IMG_9146

I saw a tail last week in a pile of carpet samples… and I screamed (think Carrie but not quite The Exorcist).   The long brown tail initially disappeared and then re-emerged, whipping in an endless circular loop below me revealing the official origin of said tail.  A real mouse tale.  The whole incident confirmed I have an odd fear of tiny rodents.  Maybe if the mouse had jumped into a Matchbox car and driven off into the sunset…

I adore the children’s books starring characters like the clever Stuart Little or the lovely and graceful Angelina Ballerina.  Perhaps my favorite children’s book is Laura Numeroff and Felicia Bond’s award-winning, If You Give a Mouse a Cookie.

Where exactly I am going with this?  Well, if you give an eager creative a can of spray paint…

The neighbors presented me with a heavy metal chair covered in Sharpie flowers (this might sound “cute” but let’s be honest, it was so “not”).  They dared me to give it a new look and find a good home for it.

Carrying forward last year’s obsession with key lime &  aqua paint, I added a few stripes and found a home for the chair at the end of pier.

IMG_9931

Which reminded me that I should paint more flower pots with this paint combination of joy!

IMG_0128

IMG_9926

I then kicked the painting up a notch, updating another planter.

IMG_9921

Oh my gourd, I used a circular attachment for my drill to convert the gourd below to a home for birds.

IMG_9878

And then I found a can of flat black paint which reminded me I need to update a desk for my studio. After painting the legs black, I added a coat of white to the desktop.  My family suggested I stop right there.  But I didn’t.

diy spray paint desk

Don’t you love how this story ends?

IMG_9902

IMG_9897

IMG_9909

The desktop is covered with striped issue paper (source Target).  After brushing a thin layer of Mod Podge to the desktop, I attached each sheet of tissue paper.  The tissue paper is very forgiving and easily adheres to the edges and sides.  Add an additional coat or two of Mod Podge to the top of the tissue paper layer.  It seals the deal.

IMG_1570

In case you are interested in applying stripes to your flowerpots, simply apply a base coat of paint and allow drying time according to the manufacturer’s recommendation.  Once dry, add painter’s tape to segment off the stripes and then apply a second color of paint.  When dry, remove the tape and admire your creativity.   I love Rust-Oleum: especially the cans of Key Lime and Aqua.

I hope you are inspired to go paint something!  Listen to this song:  “Afraid of Ghosts” by Butch Walker (my current title twist, “Afraid of Mice”).  I am going to go hide my spray paint and bake.  Cookies of course.

And, I Quote: Wonder Words on Creativity

The Artisan Soul quote onFor four years I have been spinning a web of words here.  This is my creative anchor but I still haven’t cracked the code on a real breakthrough.  I believe it is all about the practice:  day by day (or let’s be realistic hour by hour).  The routine is simply ordinary.  Perhaps the pattern will one day give birth to something extraordinary – who knows.  I will just keep showing up with faith, honest insecurities and excellent music to accompany the work (just wait for today’s song suggestions).

Lately I have been busy reading about creativity; versus practicing creativity.IMG_3345

I sifted through my favorite photos and current stack of books to assemble this series.

 I hope you find something that resonates and ignites your creative journey.

war on art quote on creativity

true creativity quote erwin raphael mcmanus

never to late to work on creativity quote by julia cameron

If you have an idea that’s been tapping you on the shoulder consider that it just might be put there for a reason.  Maybe, just maybe, it is a divine nudge that the world is waiting for your unique gift.  As Steven Pressfield said, “Give us what you have got.”

heart of creativity quote by julia cameron

jan phillips quote on photography

creativity is subtraction austin kleonHave you have read, Steal Like an Artist: 10 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative by Austin Kleon?  He elaborates on the power of subtraction.  Essentially he says that since we live in an age when we can access an abundance of information, the key is focusing on what to omit.  According to Kleon, “Nothing is more paralyzing than the idea of limitless possibilities. The best way to get over creative block is to simply place some constraints on yourself.”

His recipe for cultivating a creative life: kindness, curiosity, and “a willingness to look stupid” — demonstrating that creativity is not some abstract phenomenon bestowed upon a chosen few.

impulse to create quote adrienne rich

To celebrate the end of my creative hibernation I used a random collection of letters, Mod Podge and tissue paper to honor my mantra below.

create

Ready, set, create with these songs:

Can’t Go Back Now” by The Weepies

and “Keep on Keeping On” by Colony House.

Rainy Days and Mondays

raindrop sunrise quote

It was a rainy Monday in my corner of Wisconsin.  During my morning commute I saw several drenched cows.  The rain fine-tuned their colors, painting the fields with shiny black and vivid chestnut.  It also transitioned the grassy fields from umber to green.

And, I swear I saw every branch transform to bud.

IMG_9573 IMG_9570

IMG_8493Last week I was painting with a sweet 2-year-old.  He dipped his paintbrush carefully into a small cup of water and then magically transformed a coloring page from black & white to a colorful masterpiece.  A bit like today’s rain.

I hope you witnessed a form of nature’s magic today.  Many days elapse in the flurry of busy – too absorbed in what’s next or examining what just happened.  And the tiny wonders slip by.  But I hope that wasn’t the case for you on this Monday.

golden hour collage

In honor of sprinkles and storms, I assembled a quick rainy day compilation.

“Rain from Heaven,” Eric Paslay

“Let it Rain,” Keri Noble

“Raining All Year,” Allen, Mack & Myers & Moore

“Right as Rain,” Adele

“Let it Rain,” Zac Brown

“Come in With the Rain,” Taylor Swift

“Feels Like Rain,” John Hiatt

“I Think It’s Going to Rain Today,” Norah Jones

“Rainy Days And Mondays,”  The Carpenters

And, my favorite song (brilliant lyrics):

“More Heart, Less Attack,” NEEDTOBREATHE

 A lyric sampler…

Be the wheels not the track
Be the wanderer that’s coming back
Leave the past right where it’s at
Be more heart and less attack.

I stuck my hat out, I caught the rain drops
I drank the water, I felt my veins pop
I’m nearly sanctified, I’m nearly broken
I’m down the river, I’m near the open.

“More Heart, Less Attack” was written by Bo Rinehart and Bear Rinehart.
IMG_3551

Maybe it is possible to seize at least a few moments each day.  Even when it is raining.

Finding Joy: DIY Easter Eggs

IMG_8264

Here we are 25% into 2015: the year in which I named joy as my companion for this trip around the sun.  The challenge so far has been connecting these three simple letters and reconciling how to honor life with a joyful heart… when some terrible situations have unfurled themselves into the lives of people I adore.

My heart and soul have been out of orbit, endlessly spinning to solve the equation of how joy and sorrow can sit on the same shelf?  It seems as soon as happiness “wins” something goes awry reminding me that worry and sadness lurk in the cracks.  It is an unapologetic and relentless twist; perhaps demonstrating the endless intertwined connection of light and dark.  No wonder a new word (to me) has been popping up in recent weeks: conflate.

CONFLATE. transitive verb. 1. a: to bring together : fuse.  2: to combine (two) into a composite whole.

The last book I read was Anne Lamott’s Handbook on Meaning, Hope & Repair, cleverly named Stitches.  It’s message is rooted in recapturing joy after loss and locating our authentic identities in chaos by “collecting the ripped shreds of our emotional and spiritual fabric and sewing them back together, one stitch at a time.”

IMG_8251

Tonight I connected with the teens over a couple dozen eggs, acrylic paint, Tim Holtz pressure-sensitive transfer words and other embellishments.  I fell in love with the ease of using these eggs (a Walmart find: empty white egg shells apparently manufactured for crafty purposes).  We applied paint (diluted with water) with sponge brushes.  Once dry we added the Tim Holtz words creating intention eggs!

IMG_8225 IMG_8218

I also experimented by applying tissue paper to the eggs using Mod Podge.  I quickly learned that small strips of tissue paper worked best.
IMG_8312
IMG_8302Inspired by the color of Kate Spade’s products, we attempted a Kate Spade twist!
IMG_8321 IMG_8329 IMG_8339
IMG_8275
 “Life is such a miracle, a series of small miracles. It really is, if you learn how to look at it with the right perspective.”― James Patterson, Suzanne’s Diary for Nicholas
IMG_8199

I hope you find layers of joy in the ordinary miracles this Easter weekend.

Heart Equation: Decorate with Wings

IMG_7453A couple of weeks ago I found the mathematical equation for a heart in the most unlikely place: at the end of The High Line taking refuge from the cold at Chelsea Market.

IMG_7476I purchased this (below) from Matt Shapoff’s shop: Handmade On Peconic Bay.  In my quest to find hearts, I have never turned to math.  Apparently there are several equations that graph the magical shape.

FullSizeRender(1) It was my first ever visit to Chelsea Market (Meatpacking District). The industrial architecture was visually beautiful with exposed brick walls, original beams and countless rivets!   I also adored Artists & Fleas.

IMG_7480—–

IMG_7685In Central Park I found solitude, confirming that maybe, just maybe, winter is a great time to visit NYC.   IMG_7648

jump for joy 2

Photo credit to my husband for my stage debut.

IMG_7663In the right light, at the right time, everything is extraordinary.  ~Aaron Rose

IMG_0009There was also a theoretical physics lesson during our NYC visit and once again the lesson arrived in an unlikely venue: the Manhattan Theater Club.  Have you seen Constellations?  If you haven’t, hurry and catch it before it closes (3.15).  Click here for an official review via the NY Times (the review provides a peak inside the theater too.)  I can’t stop thinking about these two characters, infinite possibilities and the brilliant dialogue written by Nick Payne.  During one scene, Marianne explains “the quantum multiverse,” to Roland, stating “every decision you’ve ever and never made exists in an unimaginably vast ensemble of parallel universes.”  I would love to hear from you if you saw the show!

IMG_7095Apparently physics tells us that snowflakes are nature’s finger print: composed of a unique atomic composition that is unlikely to replicate.  I snapped this ordinary snowflake photo recently. Click here for some fascinating history about photographing snowflakes; courtesy of the HuffPost Science.

Somehow this trip led me to come home and totally revamp my mantel.  True story.  All you need is love (and wings).  I found the giant letters at Hobby Lobby.

IMG_7925IMG_7948IMG_7921Where you are finding inspiration?

Can’t stop listening “Two Hearts Are Better Than One

by Katie Herzig: Live In Studio: Acoustic.

Wine Cork DIY

wine cork message 1Cheers! 

Don’t you love finding messages in unexpected places?

wine cork messages 2See the irony in my photo?  Expression: put a cork in it?!  Can’t stop, won’t stop… or so the lyrics go.

I collected corks during our Napa visit last year with the help of supportive friends.  I have been experimenting with projects to create a little something for each one of our travel mates.  Perhaps this symbol of love?

IMG_2156 IMG_2141                      Or maybe I will make them something to honor our time together?IMG_2327 IMG_2340 IMG_2330To create the cork heart, use a glue gun or tacky glue to connect the corks in the desired shape.  I re-enforced the back with extra glue.

I love that the clock and cork height were a near perfect match!  I simply attached the corks to the rim of a $7 clock I picked up at Target.

  What clever things have you created with corks?

We are still buried in white.

yellow balloon Which leaves me longing for lush color.

IMG_0036

Ferrari Carano Vineyard

IMG_0105

Francis Ford Coppola Winery

Rutherford

Rutherford

IMG_0320

Silly at Silver Oak!

IMG_0131 IMG_0280 IMG_0780IMG_0458Our mission in Napa was to shower a friend with love on her birthday.   These corks represent so many moments during our time together.  Now back to creating cork gifts….

wine cork 3The Wine We Drink Drew Holcomb & The Neighbors

Poison & Wine The Civil Wars

Winter White and The Frozen Bubble Equation

Randy Pausch quoteWe are covered in white and dreaming of a Crayola summer.  White is just the boss of a Midwestern winter.

IMG_6952 It paints the sky above and the ground below.  And, white touches everything in between.

IMG_6937

Mercury milestones create a “should I stay or should I go?” conundrum.  Go outside or hibernate?

IMG_6950 To tip the scales in favor of outside on subzero days I found a little hobby a few years ago.  You might recall other posts on the topic of frozen bubbles and my pursuit to find the most effective recipe for creating the magical spheres.  (To go back in time click here or try this click.)

Last week, I tested a new formula.

IMG_5534Success!

IMG_5472Wait for it…

IMG_5498In the snap of a second, I witnessed these bubbles freeze in mid-air and gently land as frozen gems.

IMG_5440Occasionally they shattered on impact.  But most landed intact with soft precision, as if honored to be blessed with a long life expectancy.   Sometimes the wind caught the orbs and they rolled on waves of snow.  The point is… this bubble solution worked.  Over and over again.  The temperature was likely  an important factor (it was -4 degrees), but this bubble formula produced the best results.

IMG_5471The burst of serendipity?

The magic didn’t arrive in a DIY recipe.  No creative solution to report.

I found the formula in the most unlikely place.

IMG_6871The secret ingredient is in the Crayola formula.  Not your ordinary bubbles…. Can you stand the irony?  I am giving up on my homemade bubble recipes and relying on Crayola.

IMG_6978Bubbles offer a fresh lens for seeing wonder.  I hope your weekend is filled with moments of delight.

Please check out Matthew Mayfield’s stellar song, Cold Winds.  Or try Coldplay’s new track, Miracles from the Unbroken Original Motion Picture Soundtrack.  Did you see the movie?  The power of Louie Zamperini’s survivor’s spirit is all I can think about.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 300 other followers