Friday, May 29, 2015

Downstairs Reno Update...

 I am so happy to show you the progress Mr. C and I have made with our Downstairs Renovation.  I originally posted the beginning on this link.  When you see what we began with you will agree we have entered the 21st Century and left the Mauve '80s behind.  Our home wasn't even built until the '90s.  So it was really crucial to eliminate all the Mauve we had downstairs.  I believe we have achieved our goal and exceeded my greatest dream vision.  I LOVE this new style we have now.
Greys and Taupes and a very neutral pallet now. 

I love this higher vanity with dual sinks.  We had only a single sink in a seven foot vanity before.  Mr. C actually chose the mirrors and light fixtures and I think he did a fabulous job.  We are very traditional so nothing trendy or fashion forward for us. 

I like the soft white robe hanging on the new hook.  It gives me the feeling of a nice high end hotel.

Here is the new Porcelain Tile flooring.  I really like the colors and the feel and the ease of cleaning it.  No carpeting now in the bathroom or in the hall and I am a very happy girl.  The old Mauve carpeting always attracted dirt and grease and was never really clean no matter how hard Mr. C or I would try to clean it.   On a side note we had to change out all our lighting as the previous light bulbs just washed out all the beauty of the tile and the gorgeous colors. Nothing is too detailed for Mr. C and his discerning  excellent taste.

This photo shows the curve of our stairs.  I love our antique table in this circular space.  Mr. C did a great job on all the baseboards including this curve.

Here is the view from Mr. C's Toybox aka Grease Garage.  Those steps add to the levels of our home which has no flat surfaces without stairs.  It really feels so good to have this phase of our downstairs renovation completed.  It took longer than expected and we did more than we had painting the entire hallway a different color than we painted the bathroom.  Next phase will be to gut the office and possibly paint it before new carpet is installed.  Then we re-carpet the two downstairs of which is my sewing room and I cannot imagine having to empty it.  The closet alone is a lifetime amount of fabrics and sewing supplies and I most definitely am NOT looking forward to emptying that space.  However when the time comes I will gladly do what it takes to eliminate the Mauve carpet we currently have.  Thank you for your encouragement on this renovation along the way.  I do know I did my fair share of whining about the incredible concrete dust and all the cleaning I was doing every day.  Now I am able to work outside on the weeds that have completely taken over.  I know it is overwhelming but I just do a little bit at a time.  If I only pull a handful of weeds then I am that much closer to having a clear space.  Even "inches" over acres is better than nothing!
I am happily able to spend precious time in my studio and sewing room.  I will share soon. 
Creative Bliss and EnJoy the beautiful weather most of us are having.  Prayers for Texas and Oklahoma with all the flooding they are getting.  We are still completely dry so it really makes it all the more important to de-weed our land surrounding our home.  May is quickly coming to an end and Summer is here along with June soon.  Winter for my friends across the globe.  Blessings...  

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Chalk Paint Re-Do...

As I was reading blogs one day I came across a wonderful post by Kathy of Creative Home Expressions and I was smitten right away. Her blog post title that day was "Knife Block Makeover" and it really spoke to me.  I have a knife block and love how functional it is but I have never really liked the look of it.  When you visit Kathy and see hers you will understand why I loved it.  So out came the jar of Annie Sloan's chalk paint in Paris Grey that I already owned from a previous project. 

I gave my knife block a coat of paint.  Then I gave it another coat just for good measure.  I don't know about you but my hand is not very steady when I put those sharp knives into their respective home slots.  I expect to get dings and marks over time.  Ahhh..."character".  I am old enough to appreciate "character" when it dropping a can on my wood floor...that tiny dent is now "character" and I am very accepting of it instead of freaking out like I used to do.  Life Happens!
After my two coats of chalk paint I put on a coat of Annie Sloan wax.  Then I got out my stencil and with simple acrylic craft paint I stenciled a flourish on the side.  Oops the first side got messy.  Instead of chalk painting it over I decided to lightly sand my stenciling and I liked that look.  So I did the very same stencil technique on the opposite side.  Now my block is not the same as Kathy's.  I have rounded edges so I decided no paper for mine.  I kept it simple with the stencil. 

Another coat or two of wax and Viola.  To the front I affixed a T!m Holtz frame with the word "Knives"...just in case I forget what I have in my newly painted block.  Mr. C was very skeptical but I do believe he likes the end result after all.

Here it is sitting on my kitchen counter and looking beautiful if I say so myself.  Thank you Kathy for the inspiration. what else can I chalk paint or alter?
Take a look around and see what you might be inspired to change with this simple and quick idea.
Our weather is continuing to be glorious.  The skies are clear and blue and the daytime temps are in the 70's.  Pollen season is over so the windows are open and wonderful fresh air is plentiful.  I am still cleaning and finding dust in places I guess I don't clean that often.  Reno photos soon I promise. 
Joy and Creative Bliss...

Friday, May 22, 2015

Banner Play May...

This is the banner I created in the month of May.  Then I mailed it to Jan of Jan's Arty Junk in England.  I really enjoy this swap by Linda of A Swap For All Seasons.  Each month we elect to participate or not.  Each time we create and send to one person and then receive from another person.  It really is quite fun.  The size is very doable at only 4" x 6"...the size of a standard postcard.  Jan has received this and reportedly liked it very much.  Thank you Jan.

The back of my banner.  I always try to make it pretty too.  These banners are all sewn...either by machine or by hand.  Very easy to do.  No paper or glue on these little gems.

Now this is what I received in May from Sally of Sally Annie Magundy blog.  I feel very Regal and Queenly with this lovely package of handmade treasures.  Thank you very much Sally.

Sally created this using my favorite colors of blue.  Then she also did some amazing "Blackwork" embroidery to enhance the Queen's Crown.  Just click on the photos to enlarge them and see all the beautiful details. 
Now I am signed up for June and I am ready to get my Banner Play game on.
Mr. C and I are still working on the downstairs reno.  Yesterday we painted baseboards surrounding the new porcelain tile floors.  I never knew how tedious this job is and how hard it is to be on the floor painting and scooching along for a couple of hours and then try to get up and walk!  Mr. C says I am whining to all my friends...well maybe so but the baseboards look fresh and beautiful now that Mr. C has completed them!  Photos soon I promise.
We still have had no rain however there was slight moisture on the deck this morning.  Not even enough to wet the BBQ cover but at least heavy dew on the railings.  I am still hopeful for full on rain soon.  Many of you are deluged and sick of rain and certainly Texas is drowning in floods so I pray for safety for all.  Here in California we are being warned daily of how to be prepared for fires. 
Joyful and Creative Bliss to each of you...

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Sew Happy Today...

I am "sew" happy today because I have gotten to sew!  I almost feel selfish...but not too much.  Instead of doing indoor or outdoor chores I decided to spend my time sewing.  With all the fabric I have I get to feeling very guilty because I am not sewing.  Mr. C often tells me to get rid of my fabrics and that is just not possible for me to do at this time.  Therefore I felt it was time to use some of them and sew!  Since it has been a while I of course had to make some adjustments in my project.  As a matter of fact if you look closely you will see two items with one behind the other.  I wasn't quite happy with my zipper skills on the bottom project.  I like to make these envelopes for holding projects.  Or...for holding lingerie or jewelry or scarves.  I needed another birthday gift and this is what I created for the recipient.  Sewing is truly stress reducing for me...if I am not making mistakes.  lol
Our weather continues to be dry and cool and overcast.  We almost had a couple of raindrops yesterday but they dried up on the way to the deck.  Nothing made it to the ground.  I shall need to hand water a few more plants.  I am still praying and hoping for rain!  So sad that some of you are having too much rain and flooding situations.  May you be safe from harm.
I am keeping this post short so I can get back to my sewing.  I shall share my next project soon. 
Creative Bliss in this month of May...

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Banner Swaps and Gifts...

As you know I am participating in A Swap For All Seasons monthly Banner swap this year.  I will do my very best to not miss a month however there is no pressure with this wonderful swap Linda is hostessing.  No theme each month either.  How freeing indeed.  I am not able to show you what I created and mailed because I forgot to take a photo.  However...this is the uber creative banner I received from Patty of Blooming in Kansas blog.  I am truly honored by the personal touches Patty put into this banner for me.  She did her homework and reviewed my blog posts and this is just the most perfect tribute to "createology".  This is all hand sewn and I absolutely love it.  Click on the photo to see it in more detail so you can appreciate all the elements Patty included.  Thank you beyond words Patty! 

This is a surprise gift I received from Lori of Pretty Things blog.  Her wonderful son Zack actually drew my name and they sent me this fabulous book "Pretty Birds" by Virginia Lindsay.  It has lots of patterns and ideas to stitch up cute little birds in fabric.  And speaking of fabric...Zack personally selected these beautiful fat quarters for an extra surprise in my package.  Thank you sew very much Lori and Zack.  You do know how much I love sewing and fabrics and birds and anything creative.  Pretty Birds Creative Bliss...
We are having the most strange weather here.  There are very grey clouds overhead and the temps are chilly.  There has been light snow in the Sierra's and over Truckee Donner Summit.  All surrounding areas and towns have gotten rain and some of them up to 2 inches.  Here...totally dry and not a drop of rain at all!  I stopped dancing thinking that is what was upsetting the Rain Gods.  I am merely keeping my prayers held up high for rain to drench our desperately drought dry land.  This morning I had to water my Whooly Thyme at the pond as it looked near death.  The rest of the yard I turn a "brown" eye to.  I am keeping close watch on Mr. C's rose bushes in the back fenced area.  I can't let them die off.  I see lots of you are now well into Spring or Fall if you are across the seas.  Flowers blooming everywhere and a chance to enjoy the outdoors. 
Creative Bliss to each of you.  Thank you for your wonderful comments...Mr. C really enjoyed them on the previous post about Clara the Rumbler.  He is busy working on the reno and hoping it gets completed soon.  I will share photos.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Mr. C's Project...

This is Mr. C in his "Toybox".  It is a small single car garage however he works huge magic in this small space.  Mr. C is an engineer...a double engineer!  He and I are as opposite as it can get but somehow we work well together as a team.  Of course this is my version of this story...his would be slightly different I am certain.

Mr. C loves to have a project and he loves to engineer solutions.  The more complicated the better!  So a few years ago he decided to begin a very interesting project.  With lots of research we realized what he had in mind was not economically feasible and there would be little reason to throw good money away.  Aha...and he re-engineered his plan and began.  Here he is with his engine and drive-train portion of the plan.  Now not to bore you I have skipped through hundreds of photos and two years of very diligent work on his part (there was a long delay during his trauma accident recovery) and I introduce you to known as THE RUMBLER.

This is our 1969 Rambler American.  We bought it years ago as a one-owner and she only had 28,000 miles on her.  As you can see she has a few different shades of "Surf Green" on her fenders due to the original owner, "Clara" driving well into her nineties and unfortunately her garage walls kept getting in her way.  What I forgot to find out before sending Mr. C to another state to pick her up is that she was not an automatic but a "three on the tree".  Mr. C could drive her quite well but I never got the hang of it and living here in the hills I couldn't do more than drive her downhill knowing I live uphill!

Now that Mr. C has rebuilt her into a "Big Bad Corvette Killer" for his track racing days she only looks original...until the trained eye gets a good look under the hood and chassis.  Now most of you are yawning and leaving...however if you have any techno buffs they will appreciate these photos. 

Clara is now awesome in her transformation.  Mr. C has engineered every element down to the finest details.  Guys absolutely drool over this stuff when he opens the hood!

Did I mention Turbo power?  Oh Yeah!!

Nothing is beyond Mr. C and his capabilities and I am so thankful.  I truly never understand all that he is doing or having me help with but I am truly grateful for what he is able to do.

So when you see us out on the highway...we may look old and poor and sad however you just might want to move out of the fast as you can...because Mr. C will "dust you off" in a throttle blast of awesome power!  Well Done Mr. C!!!
Monday we had the Amgen Tour in our little town.  I was at my Chamber and got to enjoy all the spectacle and efforts of so many people who make this event possible.  We are very fortunate as this is the third time in 10 years that Amgen has come to our beautiful town of Nevada City
Today I have lots to get accomplished so let me get busy.  I will be visiting blogs as I "earn" time.  I am trying to be more productive and not allow myself to get lost in my computer world for the entire day and night.  Our weather is glorious and I have outdoor things I have ignored too long.  So with my new narrow rake I bought yesterday I shall be found at the pond airing out the bogs so the plants can get fresh air and sunshine.  This is really just raking leaves and debris and bagging it for pickup.  What are you enjoying in this lovely Summery weather?  Oh and please send us rain as we are still desperately dry.  Creative Bliss and I look forward to sharing your comments with Mr. C...

Saturday, May 9, 2015

ATCs, Hearts and Love...

I have shared many times how much I love making ATCs.  Artist Trading Cards are very specific in size...2.5" x 3.5" and they are not to be sold but merely traded/swapped as I do.  Kim over at ArtJoyStuff blog does the most efficient and amazing swaps every month and I love to participate.  These are the French General theme ATCs I created. 

Here are my ATCs in process.  I like to gather a few items and then let the theme speak to me.  I have been using picture framing mat board for my bases.  You can use playing cards or cereal boxes or just about anything however I like the firm base of the mat board.  Many framing shops give free scraps.

These are the beautiful and amazing ATCs I received in return.  The swap is actually three for three however I have an extra from a dear friend who makes certain to share her creations with me.  This month Kim generously gifted everyone with a French General themed baggie of banners in case we wanted to display our ATCs this way.  Thank you Kim for always going above and beyond.

Do you know Skittles candy?  These hearts remind me of those candies.  I actually purchased these ceramic hearts from my favorite bead only...Fire Mountain Beads and Gems.  As much as I love hearts of all types and styles I just couldn't pass these up. 

And here are some earrings I created and gifted a recent birthday girl.  I love how the birthday card is also the display and carrier for the earrings.  I also made a set for myself out of the coral hearts as this is such a popular color this Spring.  And I just bought a fun new top in coral color.  They will also go with some new coral linen slacks I bought but have yet to wear.  I might be a little bold and bright this year which is not my normal comfort zone.  I tend to mostly wear black or grey and try to blend into the background wherever I am.  Thankfully coral is a very complimentary color on me as I am a true Summer girl.  I love warmth and sunshine!
I would like to extend Happy Mother's Day to all who celebrate.  This really should be everyday of the year.  Being a Mother is the hardest job on the planet.  It is also a very rewarding blessing!  I am so thankful I have a Daughter and am able to experience being a Mother.  I also have two Granddaughters and I love being a Grandma.  Love and Hugs to my Jenifer, Amber (Happy Birthday today!) and Amy.  You make my world complete.
Creative Bliss to every single one of you who take the time to read and leave me comments and thank you for being part of my blogging experience...

Monday, May 4, 2015

Pocket Letter Mail...

My goodness April came and went very quickly.  I signed up for National Letter Writing Month and was given a pen pal.  This year I truly enjoyed my pen pal and her creative artistic fun mail she sent to me.  I tried to reciprocate in kind.  I made her this "pocket letter".  This is the front and the photo was taken while it was in its nine pocket plastic page protector. 

Here I have taken each pocket note out of the plastic for a better photo.  This is the front of the page.

Here is the back of the page...out of the plastic.  I added little gifts within some of the pockets.  This was fun to make and I can honestly say I was focused on my pen pal through each and every square.
If you would like to make something similar merely "Google" Pocket Letters and you will get lots of ideas from private blogs, YouTube and Pinterest.  I did my very own version rather than spend all my time researching.

Here is some fun mail I received during April.  The month actually was a lot of fun and because I kept it to a smaller list this year I was able to completely mail to everyone.

Here is another batch of fun mail I received.  Yes, that is a small wooden surf board from my pen pal.  I told you it is lots of fun. 
Now I think I have a defective wall calendar this year.  Well actually each of my calendars seems to be defective this year.  They each are rushing through the days weeks and months far faster than in years prior.  I truly need track shoes to keep up however I don't own track shoes and thankfully do not run at this age.  I do more of a saunter or this why I can't keep up?
May is already showing me I am behind.  However I do have plans to be very busy and check things off my May list.  After a little rest and recuperation from being gone for a few days visiting the young newlyweds.  The bride let me help her select materials for a couple of wedding albums for family that wasn't able to attend.  I truly enjoyed spending time being creative and reliving all the wedding fun in photos with our lovely bride.  The groom and Mr. C spent quality time together doing guy stuff! 
I shall be visiting your blogs and seeing what you are up to in this month of May.  I also have some additional letters to write and mail that I promised.  And I have some beading and hand-stitching plans which I will share later when I have something to photograph. 
Creative Bliss and Joyful May Days...