Thursday, January 30, 2014

One Room At A Time-Getting There!

Hi Everyone!

I've been working though the house One Room At A Time during the month of January and things are starting to take shape!   This week I'm working in the Guest room where my daughter and baby Jackson will be staying for the next two months.
I've cleared out the extra furniture so there will be room for J's pack n play; the dressers have been emptied of knitting yarns and they have been stashed away.  The carpets have been professionally cleaned and now just a bit of sprucing up is in order.

Speaking of stashing yarns, does anyone else have this problem of where to put extra skeins of yarn?

I ran across a great solution on Pinterest the other day!  Use a closet organizer to hold the yarn.
Isn't that a fabulous idea?  
I think I'm going to Bed Bath & Beyond to find one today and organize all my yarn into a hanging canvas Sweater organizer!

Happily clearing the clutter and getting organized!

Thursday, January 23, 2014

One Room At A Time-Part 2

Hi Everyone!
The good news is that I'm still working on the clutter one room at a time, working my way through the house.  The bathrooms were my prime target, mainly because they are used everyday and accumulate clutter.  Starting in the smallest but most used bathroom and working my way to the main bathroom, I've discarded two large kitchen size trash bags of miscellaneous junk from the cabinets and under the sinks and drawers.  The smallest bathroom has been given a mini-makeover with new shower curtain and rugs! 

At first I thought about painting the pale green walls but after a visit to HomeGoods and finding this shower curtain there was no need to paint! Yippee! BTW, the other shower curtain was about 10 years old! Don't worry, it isn't going to the trash yet, I have plans to recycle it for a table cloth to use in the summer months on the patio.  Sadly the pink rugs were beyond recycle or donations due to the bleach stains, they were placed in the trash bin. 

The main bathroom was in desperate need of a declutter especially the cabinets and drawers which seem to accumulate the most clutter.
Counter top Before
The cute counter top drawer unit (donated) and green ceramic fish dish (under the hand towel) was replaced with a bamboo tray and wooden basket holding guest amenities such a extra shampoos, lotions , sunscreen and wash cloths.
Counter top After
Oh yea, the 80's style clam shell sink and faux marble is my favorite as well....NOT!  If I had my way, I would replace this in a heartbeat.  That is another story for another day.  Moving on....

The drawers needed a good sorting out and decluttering, removing the expired products and things no longer used.
Lined the drawers with this paper made by sewing strips of patterned paper together on the machine.
Handmade Drawer Liners
Under the sink is not a pretty fact it is pretty disgusting!  But with a little work and a lot of decluttering it is now, clear and clean and fresh!  My friend recommended painting inside the cabinets but instead I cleaned the surface and laid down a piece of rubberized shelf liner I had left from another project, saving myself the time and expense of painting.
Under the sink....UGGGH.  
Oh my goodness, how embarrassing.  A collection of empty vases, an old Easter basket, a FISH bowl??  And electric curlers, circa 1968.   Well it is all gone now...and only the curlers remain.  Yes, I had to keep the curlers, for some reason I am not able to let those go just yet, possibly because of the memories attached to them.  But that is also another story.....for another day.

Well I am happy to report that bathroom is about 90% done.  There is still a bit of work to be done on the enclosed shower/tub area.  I'll keep you posted on it. Meanwhile check out the trunk of my car and the donations going to GoodWill!
A trunk of donations

Thanks for joining me as I go Room to Room decluttering!   Hope you will be inspired to clean up, clean out, recycle and donate!  Your donations bless and benefit others in need! 

Be Grateful, Be Generous & Be Kind! 

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Sketchbook Tuesday-Great Lakes

Welcome back to Sketchbook Tuesday!

Last week we visited Sanibel Island and I had plans to take you to Tybee Island Lighthouse but there's been a change in plans and we are heading up to the Great Lakes but don't worry, we'll circle back down to Tybee Island later in the Lighthouse Series.

I thought we'd start the Great Lake Lighthouse tour with a recent trip I took to Michigan to visit my daughter Amanda.  While we were there we visited South Haven Lighthouse on Lake Michigan.
It is a pretty interesting lighthouse located at the end of a concrete pier with steel beam structure that goes the length of the pier. The lighthouse is still active and maintained by the Coast Guard.  The day we were there it had been raining and the temperature was dropping, it was very windy out on the pier! It was a challenge to walk against the chilly wind and we took shelter at the base of the lighthouse to take in the views.

On our walk along the waterfront we took many photos!
  South Haven has a cute marina area with a dock filled with shops, wine tasting shops and a fake lighthouse.
Fake lighthouse.
I love architecture and am always on the "look out" for anything interesting especially features such as arches, cupolas and spires, etc.  I spotted this one on top of a building.

So naturally when I got home I had to paint it.

Well I hope you have enjoyed today's lighthouse tour and along the Great Lake Michigan!  Next week we'll visit another lighthouse along the shore of Lake Superior! Please join me again for Sketchbook Tuesday!

Have a great week! Grab your sketchbook and pencil and go sketch something!


Saturday, January 18, 2014


Hi Everyone!

The prompt for Journal 52 WEEK 2 is Somewhere: A Simple Place.  This could be a place you love or want to visit or a fantasy place, a place that has meaning to your life.  What came to mind immediately was the place where I have lived near most of my life, the ocean.

Did I mention about trying to use up the supplies I have on hand for this journal project? My aim this year to use up some of the supplies I've accumulated and so, there may be some odds and ends used as embellishments.  I'm good with that, hope you will enjoy it too!


Chelle asked us to build a frame around our page, add lines for text and to use magazine images.

This is how I made my page:

A very thin coat of Gesso is applied with a credit card to smooth it over the page. Gesso as a base for each page gives it "tooth" and allows colors to flow and not seep onto the next page.  I also put a piece of wax paper under the page to protect the others underneath from gesso seepage which can "glue" the papers together.

Most often I don't have a plan when I start but this time there was a sparkle of an idea in my brain (although I didn't think it through very well), that would include a starfish stamp, a painted wave, text and a border of some kind.  I thought if I laid down the blue and green in the shape of a wave cresting everything would fall into place from there.  Putting the writing on the page before more color was applied made sense.  I drew wavering lines for the text to fit in the blank space created by the wave shape, then wrote the words on each line.  Come With Me To The Sea was the title line so I printed it boldly, then the rest was written in cursive.  I used a permanent black ink pen (waterproof when dry) to thicken up the letters and lines some, and as you can see when the ink isn't totally dry it will smug! Lesson learned.

I had to hunt down (seriously) the starfish stamp and started stamping them on the page when I realized I'd gotten a bit ahead of myself and needed to create a border.  SO I dig through my box of scrappy stuff to see what can be use for the borders. Another option would have been to draw my own borders in or cut out magazine images.  A piece of a Teavanna bag caught my attention, the design was amazing, and neutral in color. BINGO!  I started cutting the tea bag into pieces fitting them together into a border that seemed to imitate driftwood.  Adding the coral seashells for a pop of color, sand dollars and some pearls to represent treasures from the sea.  If you zoom into the page you'll see the words: treasure, discover, timeless, laugh, smile and enjoy!   The dimensional flourishes represent the cresting waves and give the page a bit of interest.

Hope you enjoyed the process!  Let me know what you think about this page, I appreciate your comments.


Thursday, January 16, 2014


Hi Everyone!

 RELEASE has many meanings for me, not only am I releasing the clutter outside but also the clutter within.  You know what I'm talking about, we all have our issues!  Time to let them go just like the clutter we hang onto in our homes....time to let go and bless others.  With THAT said, one of my favorite blogs is FLYLADY!  The ultimate blog about getting rid of the excess clutter in your life.  If you struggle with this, FLYLADY has great advise on how to get back on track.

I'm getting back on track now.....One Room At A Time. LOOK OUT!!!  Mom's on A Decluttering Mission!  Yes, January is a perfect time to start thinking about how much stuff has been accumulated and if it is really of importance in our lives.

 Ok, so I thought I'd start in the guest room where my daughter and grandson will be staying but it looks like they aren't coming right away so I've been given a reprieve! LOL!   Instead, I started in one of the smallest bathrooms, eewwah, I know! how glamorous is that? But my house is tiny and the bathrooms are of importance to me (and if you think about it, everyone has one and uses it on a frequent basis).  Over the toilet resides a cabinet that holds anything the medicine cabinet doesn't, and it was crammed packed!
Hubby has the bottom shelf and yes, the top one is mine, stuffed to the max!  I threw out boxes and expired medicine (yep) and half used bottles of hair product (mousse, gel and hairspray, oh my!) and moved other health care products to another cabinet under the sink.  Truthfully, I'm the pack rat.

SO now check out the cabinet! 
Uh huh, it looks pretty good doesn't it?!? That blue bag on my shelf is a travel bag and it has been recently removed.  Onward to the medicine chest and under the sink.  I was ruthless.  When I was done releasing the clutter from under the sink, medicine cabinet and above the toilet cabinet, my husband took out a 13 gallon size trash bag, it weight approximately 25 lbs!  Also, we will be donating a 3 lb. bag of hotel shampoos, hair products and soaps to our church for the needy in the area.  Releasing the clutter never felt better!

Please join me each week as I work my way through the house releasing the clutter and blessing others in need.


Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Sketchbook Tuesday-Sanibel Island, FL

Hi Everyone!

               Welcome back to the Lighthouse Series!

This week we will be visiting Sanibel Island on the West Coast of Florida.

  This is a very popular place with the shell crowd, the best shells are to be found on Captiva.  My husband and I visited Sanibel in early June before the official summer "tourist season" and found it to be a lovely island setting, miles of sandy beaches, glorious sunrises and sunsets and a great place to "chillax".  It was pretty HOT there with little to no breeze so we did a lot of chillaxing by the saltwater pool (first time in a saltwater pool and it was fabulous) and napping under the palms; when the breeze picked up in the late afternoon hubs fished and I looked for shells.

  We found most of the larger conch style shells in the water, still alive but we weren't sure about taking them from their native habitat and so we left them for others to enjoy.

              The Sanibel Lighthouse was different from other lighthouses I'd previously visited, it is an interesting open metal framework.

Click HERE  to read some interesting history about Sanibel Light and it's keepers.  I'm always amazed by these brave men and women that are called Light Keepers and this story is no exception.  If you are interested in reading more I would suggest this book: Sanybel Light An Historical Autobiography by Charles LeBuff.  It is a fascinating look into the lives of a Light Keeper and his family.   Also it is a comprehensive History of Sanibel Island, its lighthouse, and the National Wildlife Refuge.  Worth reading!

Come back and join me next week when we head up the coast to Georgia to visit Tybee Island Lighthouse.  Until then, grab your sketch pad and pencil and head out on an adventure today!!

Sketch on!

Saturday, January 11, 2014


Hi Everyone!

I'm very excited to reveal a brand-new challenge I've begun for 2014!  It's called Journal 52 and it is a FREE workshop online with Chelle Stein.  It is 52 weeks of creative prompts and techniques to try!  That's right! It is FREE.  Each Monday Chelle announces the prompt on Face Book on the Journal52 page and there is a Flickr group also.   It's not too late to join in the fun!

This week our prompt was Up UP and Away!  Chelle posts her page and tells all about the techniques she uses, so you have a prompt and some techniques to try. If you are a newbie, then this is the place to start!  It is a very supportive group with all ranges of experience in art journaling.  Check it out HERE.

 Each week I will share with you the thought process and some of the techniques I used to create my page and I'll post them here each Saturday.

So, here is my first Journal 52 page
UP UP and Away!

Right here and now I will tell you that I struggled with the Up Up and Away prompt!  All I could hear in my head was that 60's song: Up Up and Away in my beautiful my first idea was to make a box from patterned paper with the lid opening up to balloons escaping into the atmosphere.  I made a cardboard template cloud and sprayed blue ink over it, like a stencil, moving the cardboard cloud around to make cloud banks. After it dried, I really didn't care for it, so I gessoed over parts of the page.

 My heart wasn't into it, my head was engaged but the heart, not so much.  You see, I work best without a preconceived idea or theme, more intuitive.  My box of papers, clippings and tidbits of this and that sat at my feet waiting for me to open it and discover where to take this design.  I like digging through the box, it has gum wrappers, silly paper cards, magazine clippings, tissue papers, book text, stamped tags, paper scraps even an old needlepoint canvas that I pick up along the way. Anything unusual or things that speak to my heart, go in the box for collage.

 So I dig through and start pulling out a few papers, a card and Whoo hoo! A tiny bit dress maker's pattern catches my eye and sparks something within!  Using the pattern paper over the clouds to cover them up and adding a bit of dictionary text to cover the background area, now I liked that!! After gluing down the paper in random fashion, I resumed digging in my treasure box to find other things that speak to me.  Like the flapper girls, they were on a card and I cut them out, two together to represent friends and one to represent me. They are kicking up their heels and having a grand time, they speak of fun and friendship to me.

 In my box I found a napkin with a giant purple flower and another napkin with pink flowers, text and the Eiffel Tower.  Ooohlala, that made for a bit of interest over the pattern paper and text!  Travel and flowers are two things I love, the romance of flowers and the dream of traveling to Paris....that lead me back to relationships and thus the head of the man and the thoughts of re-kindling of romance. And more flower stickers!!!

The pear represents the desire for a healthier lifestyle this year and the tag with LIFE LIFE and butterflies represents the changes coming. The words Thank You represent a grateful attitude that comes from the heart for all gifts and blessings the Lord has given to me.  In return, the tag that reads From Our Home to Yours represents sharing with and giving to others from our blessings.  

I hope you have enjoyed coming into my world of journal making and collage.  I would love it if you would leave me a comment and then join me in this adventure for 2014!  You can catch my Journal52 weekly pages here each Saturday.

Happy Journaling!

Thursday, January 9, 2014



Welcome back to Travel Thursdays!   While reading a post on Pam Garrison's blog a week or so ago, she mentioned the One Little Word project with Ali Edwards, I was intrigued by the thought of choosing One Word for the coming year.  Leading up to this point, I wasn't planning to make Resolutions for the New Year, however,  I had a few things on my personal goal list for 2014 (and yes, a list IS different from a Resolution in my world); one of those goals was: Take a class and ask a friend to join me. 

After reading about  One Little Word class with Ali Edwards I just had this feeling that I needed to sign up for the class.  Why I don't know and I'm still wondering about my impulsiveness, not only did I sign up, I ordered supplies!!  Oh my goodness, now I feel committed and THEN I asked my friend Bonnie to join with me and she DID!  So there, two little things on my list were checked off within hours of making them.

 My One Little Word is RELEASE. I didn't meditate or ask the universe or anything that weird for a word, it just came to me.  As I mentioned a few weeks ago,  my daughter and grandson are coming for an extended visit and I need to get the guest room ready for them so,  I've been in January Declutter mode. It all started with decluttering the drawers and that's when it hit me what my One little Word would be: Release.  This lead me to think that it is not always the tangible things that need to be Released.  Looking back over the past year is something a lot of  people do just before the New Year. Some analyze their past success and sometimes their failures before venturing into the New Year.  Looking back to the past has its merits unless you tend to get stuck there, looking forward is fun, unless you forget about the present.  I sometimes have to remind myself that if I'm living in either the Past or the Future I'm not connected with the Present.  Living in the present is being just that, present in the moment.  That's one way to look at it, another is this: each day is a gift, that's why it is called the Present; open it up and receive the gift you have been given today.  Be grateful, be generous and let go of the past (Release).  Obviously letting go of the past is not always easily done.  I live a lot of my life in the past, mostly in memories. It's not all bad, in fact it is fun to travel down memory lane on occasion.  But what I am talking about is getting stuck there, mired down in the bad stuff.  We all have stuff in our past that we must deal with, we all have issues, but what I am saying is it bogs us down, sucks us in like quicksand and spirals us to the depths of.....well you know, right?

So..... my focus this year is more on the PRESENT than the Past....The Present, and receiving the good gifts that God has in store for me.  I hope you will join me in receiving the Present God has given to us today!

Come back and join me as we Travel  through my house One Room At A Time RELEASING the clutter. 


Tuesday, January 7, 2014


Happy New Year!!

Come join me as we continue our Lighthouse Sketchbook tour in the little latitudes known as Key West.
Welcome to the Keys

A trip to Key West is only a hop, skip and a jump from where I live.  About six hours if you stop along the way to have conch fritters and take in the views.

Conch Fritters

Today I'm sharing some sketches of Key West Lighthouse and some history about the lighthouse keepers.

Key West Lighthouse from a distance

I love the history of lighthouses and the KW Lighthouse is no exception.  Read about Barbara Mabrity HERE. Barbara was the assistant lightkeeper with her husband and six children. After her husband died she was appointed lightkeeper.  She was the first woman lighthouse keeper. You can read about the Hurricane of 1846 HERE, that wiped out the lighthouse and part of  Mabrity's family. And what happened when the Civil War came along and the area was occupied by the Union forces HERE.
Key West Lighthouse up close

 It is all very interesting historical events and I hope you will take time to read about these brave men and women who kept the lighthouses.

Come join me next week as we explore the west coast of Florida when we visit the Sanibel Lighthouse.

Until then, grab your sketchpad and get outside and sketch!

Happy Sketching,