Friday, May 27, 2011

Serendipitous Moments

It hasn’t been a week I’ve overly enjoyed. Quite frankly, much of it I would rather forget, but there were a few quiet moments that through tiny whispers reminded me that I can, and will keep following my heart on this journey and finding out how I truly wish to spend my days. 

Serendipity struck when: 

Picking Lily of the Valley in the yard. They are a fleeting, but joyful flower for me and they reminded me to look for the good, sweet parts of life. They bloomed at a much needed time. 

In the midst of reading a new book (Art at the Speed of Life by Pam Carriker) a sweet, “heart” felt treat was delivered from my husband at the exactly the same moment I was reading this page. Certainly a sign not to be denied.

Writing this post. I “happened” to look up at my memory board and notice a quote that I haven’t noticed in quite a few months. “The way I’ve operated my entire life is, Do your best. I’ve learned you run your own race, do your best and people will notice,” said Oprah in a recent interview this year. Good advice from a lady who certainly has seen her share of success. 

It's time I own this race. 

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Projects of the Week

Are the weeks flying by for anyone else or is it just me?!  This past week was over in the blink of an eye.  I seriously had a hard time believing it was the end of the week on Friday. Looking back on the week I’m actually quite pleased to remind myself I managed to fit it some me time/project time.

I took an art class and learned how to make paper out of deli wrap paper…who would have thought? It was quite the simple process too. I was going for a vintage, muted color palette that can be used in background collage pieces. You choose your favorite acrylic paint, water it down a bit and paint the deli paper. With a heat gun, you can speed up the drying time, which is perfect for an inpatient grasshopper like me. Add a few stamps and a black stamp pad into the mix and voila – custom made paper!

We whipped out quite a few pieces. I realized that not thinking about what you’re doing and letting the creative juices roll can be a great way to create a piece of art. That’s how this French inspired, mixed media color palette piece on foam core came to be. And now, every time I look at it, it brings me a little bit of peace because it reminds me of the Zen-like state of being I was in when I made it. Plus it has one of my favorite color palettes…cream, pale yellow, pink and little bit of sea foam green.

Going into this week maybe, just maybe I will be able to hold on to that, "just let it be state-of-mind." 

Have a lovely week!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Memories Galore

These past few days have been unforgettable. They are permanently strung together like pretty white lights in my memory, sparkling and dancing as I drift to sleep each night. Thursday marked my birthday. To me, birthdays are less about getting older and receiving presents and more about celebrating and creating memories that mark the passing of your special day. And that’s exactly what I did with the help of my husband, family, friends and those I met along the way.

The sun graced the day with brilliant, warm rays from sunrise to sunset. I couldn’t help but think that the weather was a sweet wink from Mother Nature saying, “happy day to you.” There’s nothing I like more than being able to frolic in a park on a beautiful day. Storm King provided rolling hills and meandering paths scattered with art sculptures and many picturesque photo opps. 

After a few hours of walking around there was no avoiding the grumbling in our bellies. As a wedding gift, we received a gift certificate to the Culinary Institute, which was a short drive from the sculpture park. How was the food you may ask? Let’s just say, I’ll be going back!

If one wonderful day wasn’t enough, we also spent part of the weekend in Rhode Island! Another park was on the list, Green Animals Topiary Garden in Newport. In my ‘younger’ days I was quite taken with these formal plants. They are a horticulture wonder and when trimmed into whimsical shapes I am quickly won over. And yet, the fun still doesn’t end there (I know, I much more fun can a girl have?!)!

I had the pleasure of meeting one of my favorite bloggers, Christine Chitnis, at her first book signing for Markets of New England. This was truly the icing on the birthday cake. She’s as lovely in person as she is on her blog. After chit chatting for a few and hearing how far we had come, she was utterly gracious and introduced us to her family and friends. The evening and weekend proved that friends, fun adventures and inspiration are still in abundance if only one looks for them. 

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy Mother's Day

Hope all you mom’s out there are enjoying your day! My parents came over this morning for baked stuffed French toast with scrambled eggs, coffee and Bellini’s. The best part, for me, was I did all the fussing and setting up last night so all I had to do was get up this morning and put the French toast in the oven (recipe below – courtesy of a friend).

I was quite pleased with the fresh, French country look of the table. Pulling out the China was a last minute decision, but it was well worth it. My mom loved it and it paired well with the recently made Pottery Barn inspired burlap table runners. Theirs are $48 each; mine cost $5 for two!

After a recent trip to Pottery Barn last week for a rug, I was left with the wants as I always am after being in their store. But the runners were just way too much for this girl and I know burlap is super cheap at the craft store, which is exactly where I headed. Two yards of burlap, one package of no sew tape and four buttons from one of my button jars = happiness in the form of two brand new table runners. I think the table loves it too. It's looking a bit worn since its been in the family since I was five and if you look closely enough you can see where I learned to write, but it spruces up well and still proves to be a nice gathering place for family meals and celebrations. 

As promised, Baked Stuffed French Toast Recipe:
1 cup brown sugar
1 1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup butter
12 slices of white bread
5 eggs
1 1/2 cups milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp salt
1 pint of blueberries

Combine brown sugar, cinnamon and butter. Spread 1/3 of mixture in the bottom of a 9x13 pan. Cover with 6 slices of bread. Sprinkle another 1/3 of sugar mixture over bread and scatter blueberries on top. Place remaining 6 slices of bread on top of the fruit. Sprinkle the remaining sugar mixture on top.
Beat remaining 4 ingredients together. Pour mixture evenly over bread layers. Press bread down lightly. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes or until puffed and golden.

Bon App├ętit!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Tags Galore

Captured Moments hosted a wonderful class today with the fabulous Kerri Stabile. Boy, time does truly fly when having fun! Three hours was over in the blink of an eye.

The class was a gathering to make 1’’ x 1’’ paper houses, but I felt the need to be a rebel I guess and make some two-sided gift tags instead. For me, it’s delightful to carve out a few hours creating with others. There's nothing like being in a room that’s buzzing with energy and letting your stream of consciousness creativity take over and see where it takes you. Today it was all about muted colors and whimsical images.

Happy May ladies :)