In April, I walked away from this blog, purged my overflowing paint room, and figuratively set my creative self aside until further notice.  I encouraged myself with thoughts like: “This is the answer.  Finally God is speaking clearly through circumstances.  Today, at this moment, I know what I am NOT supposed to do.  Stop the waffling, cease the analyzing, simply march. Onward, ho.” So I renewed my teaching credentials, clicked ‘yes’ to numerous substitute jobs in middle and high school classrooms, and marveled daily that they permitted this 40-something nobody into public classrooms with vibrant young people rehearsing for orchestra concerts, molding clay on potter’s wheels, analyzing “A Street Car Named Desire,” and chewing erasers through intense Calculus finals. It has been 16 years, people.  16 years since I’ve managed a high school classroom, stood in front of little beauty queens with perfect eyebrows, chatted with athletes shuffling their weary…

Sunday after church, we are sitting over spaghetti discussing the highs and lows of our weekend.  It takes longer when given more than one day to process, but we are in no hurry.  Sunday afternoon looms large. Popular “high” answers include a visiting nephew, a successful wrestling tournament, a new driver’s license.  The unity of celebratory events does not escape me as these moments are, ultimately, the ties that bind.  String them together and they are beaded cords of days, months, years which we will one day perceive from a distance with a piercing combination of loss and joy, this dichotomy one of the most powerful emotions of the human heart. And then the “lows:” Tales of worn-out brake pads, leaving a loved one at the airport, too much homework before Monday. It is in these precious, unhurried moments of quiet listening and reflection that it dawns on me: Today,…

I’ve been picking away at this blog for over five years now.  It began with dreams of beautiful home photos, helpful DIY tutorials, and a longing to be included in a community of like-minded bloggers whom I respect and admire. In actuality, my blogging road has been somewhat lonely. I’ve broken all the blogging rules that say I must do the following to have a successful blog: Post 2-3 times a week. Read and comment on several blogs daily to initiate and maintain relationships. Research trends, advertise, and switch to Wordpress. Write what my audience wants to hear, not what I want to write. And so on and so forth. It’s a journey, but I won’t lie and say my head isn’t constantly swirling with ideas on where I would like this blogging adventure to go, ways I would like to be more pro-active on the site, risks I would…

Life is beautiful when it’s Monday morning, the sun is rising so that every tree you see is glowing pink, and your sister texts and asks if you’re up for a run.  How convenient that you already had your running clothes on so of course you say YES, and that is just the best way to start the week EVER. Today I’m going to show you the fruit of our weekend labor: the DIY Plank Top Work Table we made for the studio.  Already loving this table.  As matter of fact, it currently sports three drawers I’m painting and is proving quite the workhorse. Plus it’s quite handsome-) I painted this table white three years ago for our homeschool room.  (If I begin to recount all the work, play and creating that occurred on this table I may get emotional, so I’ll move on quickly.) I started the transformation…

The Studio is coming along and today I wanted to share more updates with you.  Fireman and I were chuckling over our lunch break (me more so than him, I’m afraid) that when you observe room transformations online and on tv, the time frame from the Before to the After always seems to go so quickly. Well, we’re here to testify that room transformations are, in reality, many hours of often-tedious work that makes you feel like you’re not moving forward very quickly at all! But we’re pressing on.  Because in reality we’ve come SO far, and the little things that seem tedious are making are making a huge impact on our Studio space. The biggest news is that we finished the diamond-pattern floor yesterday.  I’m so tickled about it I honestly keep pinching myself.   However, if you follow me in Instagram, you know that my first attempt last Friday…

I’ve been working on a few small things around the house the last several weeks.  Seems like little projects are all I have time for lately, so I try to jump on them when my fancy strikes.Remember I completed this gallery wall in our stairway in February? As you can see, our stairway turns 90 degrees halfway up (see that bare wall at the top?)I didn’t want to continue the gallery wall onto it as that seemed like too much, but the wall was beginning to really pout and whine because it didn’t feel as classy as its bigger brother.After brainstorming for several days, I did what I always do when all else fails:  paint.Painting a pattern on a wall is a creative and inexpensive solution in lieu of wall decor.  In this case, I chose to paint stripes.Here’s another view looking down from the top:When I first pulled out…

Do you ever have one of those projects brewing around in your mind for like….EVER….and you know it won’t take long to complete but you just keep putting it off because so many other things dominate your time? Well, I finally did it. And just in time for Holy Week, too, as we prepare our hearts to celebrate the greatest Hope we have in this world:  A resurrected Savior who loves us, longs to be in relationship with us, and extends unconditional grace each and every day of our lives. Using 650 pt, Monotype Corsiva font, I painted an old scrap of wood with these life-changing words from a song written by Gloria Gaither in the mid-1960’s: Because He Lives    God sent His Son, they called Him Jesus, He came to love, heal, and forgive; He lived and died to buy my pardon, An empty grave is there…

This home project was amazingly simple. Usually when I have an idea, Fireman tells me to schedule double the time I think it will take. We were both pleasantly surprised when building our Rustic Shelves took less time than we thought. Aren’t they pretty….yet rustic…at the same time? The far corner of our living room has been an enigma to me since day one.  It’s that area above the piano in the far corner; I snapped this golden picture shortly after cleaning up our Christmas decorations in January.  Although I love the DIY mirror-turned-chalkboard that was there, it still wasn’t exactly what I wanted.  This corner receives a lot of sun in the afternoon and evening, so I can’t place artwork or pictures there because of fading. When the idea of open rustic shelving came to me, I knew I’d reached a fun solution I could change out…

I set two home project goals for spring break.  One, I wanted to install some wainscoting at the bottom of our stairway.  Two, I wanted to make some rustic shelves for a trouble-wall in our living room. I am happy to report we accomplished both in spite of a stomach virus, numerous youth group activities, two birthday parties, and feeding upwards of ten kids in this house most days.  No wonder I was relieved when school began again! I know it’s a little thing, this space at the bottom of our stairs. But every single time we go downstairs, which is several times a day because this is where we come and go to the garage, we pass this space. And every single time family comes to visit, do you think they come to the pretty front door to enter?  Of course not.  They come in this side…