Friday, August 22, 2014

Sugar Moon Tea Roses - Divine!

I'd like to share a lovely breed of rose with you today 
- the Sugar Moon Tea Rose.

 To me, it is the most angelic of roses.  
The petals are such a pure pearly white, 
enhanced even more by their blush pink edges.

Even more delightful is their smell.  
When you bury you nose in, 
this rose does not disappoint.

My favorite!  
They are so pretty, I just had to share.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Junk In The Garden

Junk is hot.....or have you noticed?

I've always been a person who decorated with 2nd-hand, possibly broken, overlooked, outdated treasures.  It's so nice that it is actually in vogue now, because you can make a fun friends' outing by going to Junk shows.

But what do you do with that junk once you find 
something really interesting and fabulous?

I especially love junk in the garden - so today I thought I would share some of the gems tucked in my garden areas in my backyard.  Almost everything featured was either picked up for free, or was less than $3.


Lest you think my entire backyard is really cluttered and junky - here are a couple of views to show that is it fairly contained.  Edward, my neat CPA hubby, does need some visually clean spaces.  I could go crazier, but I do try to keep him happy, too.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Oklahoma Skies

I think many people think of wind when they think of Oklahoma, and it is absolutely TRUE!  They didn't just write "where the wind comes sweepin' down the plain"  for the sake of a good rhyme.  You couldn't live in a windier place.

But I don't think many realize just how gorgeous our Oklahoma skies are.  We are blessed with them so much that we honestly take them for granted.  It is not until we travel to other places that we stop and think, "Where is the beautiful sunset I'm so fond of?"

Last week, a summer storm came and went rather quickly, but WOW what it created as it went.  In this picture you can see a rainbow on the left as the rain was leaving, the Asperatus clouds that followed the rain, and the blue sky edging its way in on the right.  It was truly a magnificent sight.

Thanks for letting me brag a little about our lovely state.
Y'all need to come visit! 

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Doing What I Love Most In The World

Today was such a wonderful day for a DIY blogger

I painted.....

Worked on plumbing.....
(you have to be fast when working on this little guy)

Shopped at Hobby Lobby.......

Plugged a hole......

Was on the laptop.....
(Actually, the laptop was on my leg and my grand daughter 
was in my lap watching it on her head)

Decorated for my favorite team.......

(lots of kisses)

It was a very productive day, if I do say so.
Playing with my two grand babies is the best job there is!
They are the decorations of my world.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Gift Idea - Watercolor Paintings

My hubby's birthday is August 25th.  It is such a mile marker for me because once his birthday is here - I blink and it is Christmas.  No kidding!  I'm always amazed how quickly time flies the rest of the year.

So, the way I look at it - Christmas is next week and I've got lots of gifts to get!

I think a wonderful gift I would like to give would be a watercolor of something special for someone I love.  The only problem is - I can't do watercolor......

No worries in this techy age.  There is an app out there called Waterlogue that turns your pictures into watercolor paintings.  It is such a fun, fun app - you've got to try it.

Here are a few of my favorites:

Our home.  
Wouldn't it make a nice gift for your neighbors
to photograph their homes?

This is my grand daughter sitting on the floor in 
Target reading books.  I think this is a gift to me.

 This is an oil rig, and it happens to be one my 18 year 
old son helped to build this summer.  What a great gift 
for a guy who has everything - a painting of his workplace,  
or maybe a favorite sports stadium.

I hope this will give you some good ideas for getting your Christmas gift giving season started.  Handmade gifts are so much more personal and special.  I don't know about you, but I would love a watercolor painting like this.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

TKO Orange Oil: The Most Awesome Annie Sloan Dark Wax Tip - Ever!

OK, that is just my opinion, 
but it has been so wonderful for me

I have to share this!

Annie Sloan Chalk Paint is by far one of the best things to ever hit the furniture painting world.  You don't have to sand or do much prep - you just paint with ASCP and finish it with wax.  The results are so, so pretty.  Here is an example of a china cabinet I recently finished  with it.  You can see the full post here.

The paint does take some adjusting to because its covers a little differently and it can dry out on your brush.  You will adjust to that fairly quickly, though.  The wax, however, is another story.  For me, the learning curve on waxing has been a big one - especially the dark wax.  Let me explain - when you paint a piece it will look something like this (paint color:  Old White):

For some pieces, this is great.  You just wax with 2 coats of clear, and you are finished.  However, sometimes you want to bring out the ornamentation and details of a piece, so you use a dark wax for your 2nd coat.  Supposedly you can thin the dark down with clear wax if it is too dark, or you can use clear wax on a rag to wipe off whatever dark wax you don't want.  On some furniture this seems to work fine.  Others, not so much.  Unfortunately, regardless of how many tutorials I read or watched, my china hutch was waaaay too dark and streaky for what I was after.  Even after wiping and wiping and wiping with clear wax on my rag - I still got this (This is Old White with dark wax):

Uuuugh!  After so much work - this really discouraged me.  I tried every technique  I found, but felt like my only option was to repaint over the wax (which is something you can do with chalk paint) - but then what?  Plus, I've had this issue on other pieces.  In desperation, I decided to start trying things to see if I could come up with something that worked for me and gave me more control.  

You know what?
I found something 
and it works amazing!!!

I get this oil at my local health food store.  It has many, many great uses.

I found that by using a tiny amount of TKO, an orange cleaning oil, I could greatly control my dark wax.   

I simply tipped the bottle onto my rag covered finger tip and immediately began lightly, lightly rubbing over the dark wax in long streaks.

Here you can see how easily it rubs off on the rag.

This oil is not cheap at $24.95, but you will not use very much.  In fact, it is a fraction of the cost when you compare this technique with using the clear wax (which didn't work for me anyway and it is $30 a can), plus this is a natural, nice-smelling product.

Can you see where I gently rubbed off some of the dark wax?

Bonus:  it doesn't matter if you wait weeks before you apply the oil - it still works.  Another bonus:  your piece will also have an amazing smooth feel without the tackiness you can get with waxing.  And fyi - there is still plenty of wax on the piece to protect it, but you could add another clear coat, if you like.

I removed some of the dark wax on the upper right corner in this picture.
If you have been frustrated with dark waxing, perhaps this will be the answer for you, too.  I can't even begin to tell you how pleased I am with this TKO oil.  

Lavender Tub Tip:  Pour some of the orange oil into a smaller bottle to work with.  You'll be very unhappy with yourself if you knock over a full bottle.

I'd love to hear your thoughts!

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Today Is A Good Day For A Good Day - 8x10 Printable

Today Is A Good Day For A Good Day!

I saw this quote this week, and it really spoke to me.  With so much sadness in the world - suicide, senseless deaths overseas and at home, a devastating virus, loved ones lost in car accidents - It almost feels like there is no room for anything but despair.

I know grief, and there is definitely a time for grieving.  It is one of the things that makes us human.  In my own life, I have found when you lose someone very dear to you - there really is no end to grieving.  Deep Love = Deep Grief.  And yet, after a long while, you just learn to live differently.  I think that is why this statement means so much to me, because it is a reminder that even in the midst of the sadness and loss - it is OK to give or take permission to have a Good Day.  My loss will not be less over time (that is such a lie - don't believe it), but it does not have to have victory over me.

What about you?  
Are you in need of permission to have a Good Day?  
Please do, my dear reader.  

Today IS a Good Day For A Good Day!

The picture above was taken by my lovely husband in Eureka Springs, AR.  I saw the gate and was immediately drawn to it.  It is old and weathered and worn, but it is still standing looking gorgeous.  I love how welcoming it is to a soul, as if it is saying, "Come venture past the weeds and the shadows - do you see that beautiful day just ahead?  It is all yours 
to enjoy."