Sometimes I just have to tell you about the inspiration I discover from other bloggers, especially when I’ve been unable to come up with my own creative inspiration. That happens when I have a week where the rain just wouldn’t stop so I couldn’t get out and work in my own garden, and I went on a field trip with 400 eighth graders which was great fun but exhausting, too. I also find myself running out of time, energy, and motivation to create my own new “stuff” when there are just so many other demands on my time with writing, editing, parenting, house cleaning, yard work, and spring school events.
This is the last week of school for my girls, but then we start all of the summer running from one thing to another, but in the midst of it all I remain hopeful that I don’t lose sight of some of my own goals for the next couple of months. One of my goals, and I am pretty determined to accomplish this even if it takes me ALL summer, is to paint my work shop / design studio / sewing room. It is really big for which I am grateful, but it was a woodworking shop before we bought this house so it was really not very . . . . “girly.” The walls were painted white at some time in the distant past, and there were wood stain splatters on the walls where the previous owner finished his projects.
There is lots of counter top space, with a whole bunch of cupboards and drawers, but they are painted a dismal blue (some places not painted at all just bare wood), and the floor is unfinished concrete. When we moved in we cleaned it as best we could – washed the walls, swept and washed the concrete floor, cleaned out all of the cupboards and drawers and added pretty shelf paper – but it is still rather drab and lacking in a bright, cheerful, inspirational atmosphere.
We started painting this past weekend (right after I returned from the field trip with 400 eighth graders, so I was still pretty wiped out), and we managed to finish one wall. ONE WALL. It is a lovely soft, light sage green and I am painting all of the cupboards white and painting the cupboard doors to match the walls. So we’ve started, but we have a long way to go. I hope we can make more progress this coming weekend. And I’m really hoping that it does not rain all weekend like it did this past weekend, because we have so many projects to work on outside, too.
In the meantime, I took a bit of time to visit some of the bloggers from last week’s Home Matters Party for some inspiration to keep me focused and motivated since I tend to get overwhelmed when there are so many projects that need my attention. Here are a few that I found that have given me a renewed sense of determination that I can actually do some of these things on the To Do list. They are quite random, as I usually find DIY and craft blogs to be where my attention is drawn, but this week I found a couple of other things that I want to try. I hope you have a few summer projects and goals – and that you won’t get too overwhelmed with all of the amazing things out here that we can do on a summer day!
Of course I was immediately interested in the article 6 Ways to make the Most of a Small Gardening Space from Premeditated Leftovers – even though we have a rather large yard, we just don’t have the time or energy to have a large garden, so we are working on cleaning out and reorganizing the smaller garden spaces we have around the house. This article offers ideas for making the most efficient use of a smaller space when gardening, so I am definitely interested in finding out more.
from Little Girl Designs
As a creative who LOVES to design and make art journals, I was intrigued by this post from Little Girl Designs. She has posted a “beginner friendly” tutorial for making a sweet art journal cover using a spiral notebook. I love the way she walks you through each step and keeps it so easy that anyone can get started, even if you’ve never tried making your own art journal before. I tend to over-think everything, and I love to make my art journals so complicated that it just might be way too overwhelming for someone just getting started. I know there are lots of different ways to design and create journals, and my way is just one way, but I love this tutorial to help us stay focused on the FUN of making art!
from She Saved
We don’t have a Chic Fil A near our house, but when we go into the city, we sometimes have stopped there for lunch. The girls love it, and the food is great . . . so a couple of weeks ago we stopped in I think while we were out of town for the weekend. I remember seeing the Frosted Lemonade on the menu and decided that whatever it was, it looked yummy and beautiful, so I tried it. Wonderful! So when I came across this blog post, it was definitely something that I wanted to check out. We will be making our own Frosted Lemonade this weekend when we have burgers on the grill (if it doesn’t rain again!). It looks like a pretty easy recipe, so if you love Frosted Lemonade, too, be sure to visit She Saved and check out her Copy-Cat Frosted Lemonade recipe.
from Crafts ala Mode
Meanwhile, back in my garden . . . this time of year, I am always thinking about ways to make our yard and garden “pretty” but since I don’t have a lot of extra money to spend on all of the beautiful yard and garden decorations available from the store, I love to find ideas for decorating with inexpensive stuff. This bird bath is made from a thrift store plate with marbles or glass stones in the bottom – not only inexpensive and pretty but super-duper simple to make. We have a bird feeder outside of our kitchen window and those silly finches argue and fight just like my kids over one tiny little area on the perch when there is a WHOLE feeder filled with bird seed and plenty of room all the way around for them all to hang out. But they nag and scold one another, knock each other off the feeder, then swoop off when they have conquered their territory. I think back in that corner of the yard would be a good place to add another bird bath, so I’ll be on the lookout for a pretty plate the next time I stop by the thrift shop.
from Six Figures Under
I’ve recently read quite a bit about the potential dangers of using commercial, store-bought deodorant with aluminum and parabens. Although I’ve not ever been overly concerned about every little thing that we hear is “bad” for us, I do tend to research these things and this one certainly seemed worth learning more about. I was looking for a natural deodorant without aluminum and actually found one at the store, but I was still thinking about how to make our own. When I was visiting some of the different blogs this past week, I came across this post with the recipe for making your own natural deodorant on the Six Figures Under blog. I’m going to give it a try and see if it works for us – my girls were talking with me about the aluminum, too, so they will be interested in helping me try this out. If you have been looking for a natural alternative to over-the-counter deodorant, you might want to visit Six Figures Under and check out her recipe for Homemade Natural Deodorant.
Well! I feel like this was my lucky day! When I came across THIS blog post, I couldn’t believe that I hadn’t thought of this myself – I LOVE window boxes, and had them on the house we lived in for a long time in Michigan, but the house we live in now doesn’t have window boxes. After debating what to do about that distressing situation, my husband and I talked about seeing if we could find a few free-standing planters to put under the windows. Attaching the window boxes directly to the house is challenging, and they are so heavy that it puts a lot of extra stress on the siding, so we were hoping to find a different way to achieve the same look. Some houses have wide window ledges where you can put a planter, but not this house. I looked online to see if I could even find free-standing window box planters, and sure enough you can find them. But they are pretty expensive so I was rather discouraged, thinking that perhaps I could do one or two this year and a couple next year. Still might do that, but here is an idea that might work, too. Off we go to the thrift store, garage sales, and auctions to see if we can find a few old magazine racks to upcycle. If necessary we can set them on leg extenders to make them a bit higher, but I love the look of the upcycled magazine rack so much better than the brand-new (expensive) ones. I definitely discovered a TON of creative inspiration this week!
I hope you are finding ways to make your life creative and fun – I would love to see what you are making this spring, so leave me a comment and I’ll pop over to your blog for a visit.