Wednesday, March 31, 2010

An Artist's Window

Over the last few months I shared with you a few projects we built for our friends cabin. We built a hall tree out of an old door,and changed the look of their fireplace from this...to this...
Across from the fireplace is an open staircase, a perfect little spot to tuck in tables an chairs for their grandchildren. To make it even more fun we created
an art center
made from an old wooden window frame.
One side of the window we made a chalkboard and the other side we cut a piece of metal to fit for a magnet board.We built and attached a little window box out of cedar to hold plastic flower pots filled with oodles of art supplies.
A perfect spot for inspiring little artists!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Comfort Zone

I am a creature of comfort.
I prefer to stay in my little cocoon
where I can be safe and warm and comfortable.
There is only one problem with that attitude.
I do not grow.
And even though growing can be painful,
it is also a necessary part of life.


Today I find myself in an uncomfortable but necessary position.
I have determined that it is time for me to
stretch my wings and fly
.
As scary as it is for me to do,
I fear that it will be more scary not to.

Recently I quietly celebrated my blog's second anniversary.
Like most events in my life the celebration included
a time of reflection.
It also caused me to visualize what I want in the future.

Blogging has taken me to places I never anticipated.
It is time for me to go further.
Time to leave my comfort zone.
To push myself.
To become more.
I know that if I can become more
I can have a greater impact on others.

That's the scary part!
I would much rather be a hermit
than put myself out in the world.
But the time has come.

Please be kind.

I have decided that it is time for me to
ask for sponsors.
Although I hesitate to charge people money
I know that it is a means to help others grow.

Okay, (deep breath!)
that is not where my stretching ends.

For several years now I have done design consultations
for friends and friends of friends.
It has become a small business.
A business that I really enjoy.
It is time for me and my business to grow.
If you live in my area
(Northern Utah, USA)
I am available for hire.

Please contact me at
joysofhome@gmail.com
if you are interested in advertising
or a design consultation.

Wow!
Getting out of your comfort zone
is both scary and exhilarating!

What will you do today to get out of your comfort zone?

Friday, March 26, 2010

Budding Plans

I woke this morning to a Hollywood snowstorm. You know the kind where the flakes are so large and float down so gently that they seem too beautiful to be real? The storm was short lived and as I walked out to check the mail I got a glimpse of my forsythia bush abundant with buds ready to burst into bloom. Upon further inspection I noticed one little branch snuggled into the grass. The warmth of ground has caused it to blossom prematurely, becoming
a ray of hope of good things to come
.
I feel very much like that budding bush. I too am waiting for warm days. I have many craft and home improvement plans ready to burst from the cocoon of the doldrums of winter into the beauty and splendor of springtime projects.
I hope that you'll find it worth the wait.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Tres Chic

Looking back at my blog I remembered this oldie but goodie.
I hope you don't mind that I share a little re-post.


I bought a very large tray at the thrift store. It was rather plain and was stained an orangish color.
This is how it looked after I sanded it and primed it.I spray painted it Heirloom White
and sanded the edges for a distressed look.I added some retro hardware that I sprayed
black with a bronze metallic dusting.
I spray painted four finials.And ABRACADABRA!
Those pretty finials are now fancy legs.
Then just to make it "tres chic",
I added some fleur de lis rub on decals.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Eggstra Special Centerpiece

This little egg basket
almost didn't make the cut this year in my Easter decorating.
I was about to toss it back in the bin when I had an idea.
I decided to think inside the box.
I crammed it inside a vintage suitcase,
clipped off the painted criss-cross branches
and surrounded it with moss.
I thought it would be fun to place a couple of chicks,
appearing to be newly hatched from their nest.
Add in a tulip, another sure sign of spring.Of course it needed a little sparkle to prevent the whole mix
from looking like it was transported from an antique store.
Silver candlesticks and a tray would do the trick,
completed with cream colored candles.
And within seconds I had
an egg-stra special centerpiece

anchored by an item that I almost chose not to use.
Do you want to copy this idea
but you don't have the same ingredients?

Modify it!
*Try crumbling up newspaper or plastic bags as a filler in the bottom of the suitcase. Then add moss and plastic eggs.
*If you don't have a vintage suitcase, try a basket, lunchbox, bowl, urn, pail, or even a cake stand. Any container will do.
*Substitute a bunny. Or simply scatter a few more eggs around the base.
*You don't have silver candlesticks? Any candlestick will work.
*If you don't like using candles in your decor, try topping the candlesticks with small nests or an egg with a little moss tucked underneath.

If you can dream it,
you can create it!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Seeing The Full

Earlier in the week I met with a friend, a mother of three young boys. She asked me to help her with a few design dilemmas. We had just discussed what to hang on two of the three walls in an area in her home when she pointed to the third wall and asked what she should do. In an effort to teach her that often times in design it's nice to leave open spaces, a spot for the eye to rest, I blurted out the sentence, "You are so busy seeing the empty that you can't see the full." My friend looked at me quizzically, pausing as she gathered her thoughts, and then wittily replied, "Did you read that in a fortune cookie?!?" to which we both burst out laughing!
A few days later I met with another friend. I sat and listened as she related all of her problems, listing them one by one. Please do not misunderstand, I love my friend and have deep empathy for all that she is going through. She has her share of trials (as do we all) but she spends much of her day fretting about them. Again I wanted to blurt out the sentence, "You are so busy seeing the empty that you can't see the full!" I managed to hold my tongue, not wanting to offend, but our meeting has been on my mind in the days hence.
Posted on my bathroom mirror is scribbled a reminder:
Life Is Full!
I have it there to remind me that although life is full of trials, it is also full of blessings. It is up to me each day, each minute, each second to choose to see the "full of blessings" part of life. Some days it is very difficult to see, but still it is there.
Yes, life is very much like a roller coaster.
It has it's share of ups and downs.
It is up to us to make the choice to throw up our arms and

ENJOY THE RIDE!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Hoiliday Decor Hoarder

If you are not already aware, I will make it clear,
I am a hoarder of holiday decorations!
Each holiday I find myself with more decorations than I care to admit. Many gathered over the years, most acquired on closeout sales or at thrift stores. Admittedly I own decorations that I don't use. I try to cull a few to donate to the thrift store or give to family and friends. Or I try to find ways to re-purpose them into something new.
Such was the case with these mismatched wreaths and little blocks. I laid the two wreaths together
and thought that the pairing looked quite nice.
I would just need a way to keep them snugly attached to one another.
That's where this shutter (found by a dumpster) came in handy.
A good cleaning, a fresh coat of spray paint,
and a little sanding, makes it the perfect backdrop
to tie and hot glue my forlorn holiday decorations,
transforming all of these orphans into one big
holiday wow factor.Unfortunately it's a bit too heavy to hang on my front door
(believe me, I tried).
But it does make the perfect centerpiece
for my dining room mantle/shelf.
Add in some eggs, chicks, bunnies,mixed amongst a few potted faux flowers, electric candles, and books.
And I present the perfect example ofHow to Decorate with
Things You Already Own
.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

A Better Way

Oh I am so excited, as well as honored and humbled!!!
My blog has been featured at Better Way Moms website.
It's an awesome website that provides a source of
honesty and humor about
the true trials and emotions of being a mom.

Please take a moment to visit their sight.
You'll be happy that you did!

An Edgy Easter Mantle

I loved my Easter decorated mantle last year and was very tempted to repeat it this year. But I didn't want to miss out on the challenge and joy of creating something new. To enliven things a bit I decided to decorate the mantle for this Easter in non-traditional spring colors. I thought it would be exciting to incorporate a couple of shades of turquoise, the 2010 color of the year.
I started by gathering two empty frames. The smaller frame came out of the guest bedroom and the larger one (which was once painted black) is making it's debut appearance in a new coat of spray paint.
A couple of candle sticks also got a spray paint makeover and were topped with ceramic egg candle holders nestled in spanish moss.
The bunnies received a fresh coat of bright white spray paint. With the addition of a couple of chicks and a vase of faux tulips, this year's Easter mantle has just the edge I was looking for!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Get A Handle

A few years ago we remodeled our kitchen for just around a thousand dollars. Of course that price did not include the appliances or new cabinetry. But it did include light fixtures, beadboard, glass, primer, paint, glaze, poly, granite tiles, grout and all the materials for the new underlayment that's required when you tear off the existing counter tops. Then there was the cost of the trim at the top of the cabinets, tile for the edging, and hardware for the drawers and doors. And when it was finished I was pretty proud of our "new" old kitchen. However, there was one element that I felt we could improve on if we could find another bargain. The white hardware.

I had purchased a big bag of white handles at the thrift store for three dollars. Who can pass that up when there's twenty-six handles that need to be replaced? It looked fine enough until I came across another
bag-o-hardware last week at the thrift store for four dollars.
The new handles match perfectly with our lighting fixtures
and the lead on the stained glass door.
I think the kitchen is complete. . . .
at least until we get weather warm enough to throw open the windows and break out the paint brushes because there's just one more element that I need to improve upon!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Budding Plans

It's a gorgeous day today!
The sun is shining, the birds are singing, and I have plans to make my little corner of the world a bit more beautiful.
I'm going to plant these (once centerpieces) little pretties.Then I'm going to take some trimmings from my forsythia bushes and do this to their little ends, plop them in water, and bring them into my warm home so that
in a few days I can have a lovely display like this! It would make me so happy if your plans would include
clicking here to vote for Joys of Home.
Thank You
, so very, very much!
!!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Did You Hear That?

Did you hear that? That was a huge sigh of relief coming from me! The church dinner is over. I finished making nearly seventy favors and eight centerpieces and everything went well. It was a really nice evening. Aaaaaahhhhhh!
I chose to decorate for the event with a spa/spring theme---representing a time to renew & rejuvenate. The centerpieces were hurricanes made from dollar store vases glued a top dollar store candlesticks (I saw the idea on several blogs). Inside was a pansy, still in it's plastic nursery container, wrapped with moss. A mirror and dollar store rocks gave it the finishing touch. Yes, the dollar store is my go-to place for budget decorating!I wanted to send a little something home with each lady based on the theme of the evening. A little reminder that it's important for us, especially as women, to take time just for us. I know that when I do something just for me---be it reading a book or magazine, thrift shopping, lunch with a friend, whatever it is that makes me feel renewed---I am more able to meet the demands of life and give of myself to family and others.
Based on that thought, I put together these little favors made from mouding pieces mod podged with fabric and paper and embellished with rick rack and a metallic scrapbook dot.


A little reminder to do what it takes to
RENEW your spirit every day
.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

In Deep

Right now I'm up to my eyelids
making favors for a church dinner.
I'll be back tomorrow with photos
of the whole table setting.
(I hope they turn out as well in real life as I see them in my head!)
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