Monday, August 24, 2015

Retro Sunroom Makeover and Reveal

My daughter decided that since her husband was going to be out of town for a week that she and I should get together to remodel their sunroom as a surprise for him.  She gets that from her mother!  I've been known to move a waterbed by myself when my husband was out of town, rip out carpet, or redo an entire room because Rick really doesn't like the idea of change until he sees it finished and he's always been happy with the results.

First things first, she removed the blinds before I arrived.  We headed for Ikea to purchase curtains and a few other things.

Amber was so excited to try out her skills with power tools!

We also went to the hardware store to purchase 1/2" electrical conduit and some other items to make the rods and curtain brackets.  She had so many windows that we had to keep it within her budget and this was the best and least expensive method.  We she cut the conduit with a hack saw to length.  My girl is a beach body coach and has the muscles for such activities.

At Ikea we found sheers for $4 a pair and each panel is 103" wide.  Yes, I said $4 a pair!  If Amber's cat who looks like a complete angel in this photo, tears up the shears, she can afford to replace them at that price.  They were 98" long and we had to cut off several inches.  We put up several pairs to cover the entire area.  The curtains in the corner were on sale for $15.95 and she bought 3 pairs.  

This old metal table belonged to my mom and dad when we were kids, but the chairs didn't survive, so she purchased two clear lucite chairs to put on each end, also from Ikea.  They are hardly noticeable.

The comforter and pillows for the daybed were purchased at Target.  The comforter was on sale for around $16.  The black and white polka dot rug came from Ikea for $20.  That black desk chair was replaced by an aqua chair shown in the prior image from Target. We couldn't use another lucite chair because it wouldn't have slid in all the way and it's a narrow room.

The pictures are a little dark because we were in a hurry to get everything finished before Scott returned home and had to use Amber's cell phone to take pictures.  I love the soft glow from lamp light!

We kitty proofed these two curtains because her cat, Birdie, loves to sit on the little stove and kept going behind the sheers to get to the glass table.  

It was a pretty productive weekend and her husband was very happy with the results!  I love helping out my kids!

Thursday, August 20, 2015

A Final Salute to a Veteran

I've been away from blogging for a while because we spent a few weeks at the Veteran's Home where my father in law, Jim, was struggling with kidney failure.  The family was at his side continually sharing our love and goodbyes with him.  He entered his heavenly home on July 31st a few days after his birthday, July 24th.  

This picture of my husband, Rick, holding his father's hand during those difficult days reminds me that our parents take our hands when we are children to guide us through life and we then grasp their hand as they leave our lives.  

Jim had a stroke 5 years ago and went to live at the Veteran's Home in Cameron, MO where he was surrounded by the most loving family of care givers I have ever met.  We hear so many horror stories about Veteran's hospitals and the wait time, but I'm happy to report that this beautiful Veteran's Home is a haven to our military veterans.  They are treated with dignity and respect from the cooks to the nurses.  

One of our favorite memories was when a veteran motorcycle group came to visit at the VA home.  Rick decided to ride his Dad's Harley knowing the group would be visiting with their motorcycles that day.  He wheeled his dad's wheelchair out to see all the cycles and Jim immediately began tapping his chest and pointing at his bike which meant he knew it was his.  Rick asked his dad if he'd like to go for a ride and one of the guys loaned him his helmet.  

Rick forgot to sign his father out, but the nurses were standing there cheering them on when he returned.

The VA home would take the guys fishing at a local lake.  Jim lived his retirement years in Rockaway Beach, MO and was an avid fisherman.

A couple times Jim signed up to go to the Royal's game and the veteran's were treated like royalty.  They were given a suite, a tour, and tons of food.  

Jim wanted to sit outside the suite.

At the Cameron Missouri Veteran's Home when a veteran passes a bell rings with the announcement and then the staff and saluting veterans line the halls as the deceased, draped with a flag, is wheeled out of the building while taps is being played.  I'll never foget that final salute to my father in law.  

We will return to the Veteran's Home to visit with the guys because we love the staff and our wonderful veterans.  Rick spent four years traveling 40 minutes to Cameron and back each night after work and most weekends.  He was very dedicated to his dad and made a lot of friends there.  I couldn't be more proud of him.  

We love you Jim and will be with you again someday.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Maybe I Can .....

Do you ever dream of being multi-talented?  I know I do!  Once I get on Pinterest my mind runs wildly through all the wonderful decorating and craft ideas.  I pin this and that knowing full well that I don't have time or the talent to make everything I would love to try.  Then, yesterday I came across Marian's post on her blog Sweetopia and thought for one moment, maybe I could.  Maybe I could make these beautiful cookies shaped like a paint palette.  Wouldn't that be perfect since I so adore painting!  Maybe I could do these gluten-free since I don't eat wheat based products.  I may give it a try at some point, but for now I'll just share the visual beauty of these little cookie palettes.  Stop in and check out Sweetopia's wonderful cookie creations by the oh, so talented Marian.  

She has so many beautifully decorated cookie ideas on her blog that you will be totally captivated, especially if you are like me and think "just maybe I could do that."  She has the tutorial and recipe so you can give it a try.  

I can paint desserts, but can I actually decorate real cookies that look like art?

Stop in and tell Marian I sent you. 

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Dreaming of Cooler Weather

 I'm thinking of painting a nice cold winter scene to help with the oppressive heat this week similar to the bottom image, but of course, change it up.

First I have to get outside and trim my lilac bush that has taken over my sidewalk area, cut back my iris, and weed.  Before this week we had experienced several flash floods and rain every day.  This made it impossible to get outside and do any long overdue yard work.  My yard went from looking waterlogged to dry and dusty in a matter of a couple days.
As I've probably mentioned before, my favorite seasons to paint are autumn and winter.  Christmas scenes though are my all time favorite

What are you doing to keep cool or dry?  

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Folk Art Bookmark For You

My blog has address has changed to:

So, if you have been using the old blogspot address you may have noticed that you are being redirected to my new address.  As a gentle reminder I'm giving my blog readers a free bookmark with my new address on it.  Enjoy!

Oh, and yes it's raining again today!  My husband and I sat through the rain at the Royals game last night, but it was worth it.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

A Love For Color

As one can tell from the title of my at home business, "Pigment of Your Imagination", I have a love for color.  Whether it is painting or my new love, quilting, color plays a big part in the design.  Neutral or white backgrounds with pops of color make my heart sing.  The only color I'm not in love with is that pink countertop beneath all that wonderful color in the image below.  You can read about those countertops at my blog post "Living With Pink Kitchen Countertops".

In that post I was amazed at the people who loved my pink countertops as you can see from the comments.    I've learned to deal  love them and simply tie them in with other colors.  One thing I've learned over the years is don't be afraid of color.  Color is generally easy to fix and inexpensive to change (except when it comes to countertops with a built-in hutch sitting on top of them).

These pinwheels are so fun and easy to make using precut charm packs.  Simply sew a solid color and a printed five inch square with right sides together around all four sides.  Then using a rotary cutter, ruler, and cutting mat, cut them on the diagonal both ways (like a big "X"). Press the seams to the dark side.  Arrange the four sections into a pinwheel and sew together.  I plan to sew all these pinwheels into another lap quilt and will share as I go along.  

On another thought, we survived another horrible storm yesterday with tornado sirens blasting their warning.  I'm thinking fall looks pretty good right now.  I don't want to sound like a whiner so I will thank the good Lord for seeing us through this wild ride this summer.  What are you thankful for today?  Oh, and I'm also thankful for all this beautiful color in my life!

Monday, June 29, 2015

Make a Friendship Braid Quilt

Normally this time of year I would be sharing pictures of my garden and flowers shining in all their glory, but this year I felt like I should be standing side by side with Noah and his family building an ark.  Needless to say we have lost several plants as well as new grass due to several flash floods in our area this spring and summer.  We sit high on a hill, but the ground can only take so much water in such a short amount of time.  I will stop complaining right here because so many people have had it so much worse.

Therefore, since there is no point in trying to garden, I have spent more time painting and sewing.  I'll share my paintings soon, but today since the sun was shining for a few hours, I decided to photograph my "Friendship Braid" quilt that I just got back from our local quilt shop.  I had them machine quilt it for me and I put the binding on myself.  

I love the name of this quilt as well as the design.  I think of great friendships woven together when I look at this design and the title seems so fitting.  

I love bright colors combined with crisp white and have decided to use this lap quilt at the foot of my bed ready to grab for a quick power nap.

I've added the video instructions to this post in case you want to give this quilt a try.  

It's sink or swim here and I decided to get my act together and get some things done despite the weather!  What do you do when the weather keeps you inside?  Keep your chin up and your nose above water!

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

A Summer Bouquet Surprise

Rick and I came home from a weekend trip to find this beautiful bouquet on our back porch.  A beautiful red headed angel of two adorable children thought of us and dropped it by.  

It's one of those arrangements that's so artfully put together that you can enjoy it from all sides, but I couldn't put it on my dining room table because my cat, Bailey, also loves flowers and would have taken it apart.  It's much safer in it's current location on the buffet.

You really topped off our weekend Kerry!  Hugs from both of us!

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Winter Clean Up

Instead of painting I've been busy cleaning up my yard and trying to clear the mess from all the oak trees.  Weeding is a top priority right now too.  I love getting outside and breathing in the fresh air even if I do have severe allergies.  It really clears my mind and restores me.  Oh how I wish I could drag my paints and brushes outside and not worry about particles landing on my canvas.  Hey Rick,  I need a screened in porch.

This is the second year for my clematis and it has performed extremely well.

The flowers are huge!

I was able to capture this butterfly in my lilacs, although he was not cooperating when I asked him to spread his wings.

I'll be planting these soon.  

My poor weeping cherry tree didn't make it through the dry winter, but my columbine survived as the dogs trampled over it all winter.  Did your trees and flowers survive the weather?

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Early Signs of Spring

Today I'm painting sunflowers along a winding roading through a little village.  Summer scenes have never been my forte.  I've always been more inspired by snow scenes, Christmas, autumn leaves, but generally not spring or summer.  But, today, kids playing outside, bikes, swings, flowers, aprons hanging from a clothesline and gently blowing in the breeze have been guiding my brush through this new scene.  As I got up from my table I was greeted by the sun shining through the trees and making the chartreuse green of the budding leaves and the lavender shades of the redbud blooms contrast against the dark shadows.  This has always been one of my favorite color combinations!  This is God speaking to me through the mess of leaves piled up and needing to be bagged.  Today I was able to see the beauty through the mess.  

I can see the beauty of His creation in the clematis vines with the buds soon to bloom.  Sometimes it's hard to see the beauty for the mess of weeds and dead branches, but if we look close enough it's there.

Yes, there are weeds to pull in my front corner flower bed, but I focused instead on the blooming dogwood tree in contrast with the red, white, and blue of the flag, I see the beauty.

I love my dogwood tree and it's lovely creamy white blooms and my neighbor's little white cottage. 

Here is a view of the dogwood from the window seat in my bedroom.  His beauty is all around us if we pay attention, even in the middle of our messes.

Friday, April 3, 2015

Favorite Corner in My Home

Melissa Michael's blog has been a favorite of mine since I first starting blogging a few years ago.  I was so excited to receive my copy of her new book in the mail this morning, "Love the Home You Have".   

If you're feeling your home is less than "Pinterest Worthy" or have the tendency to be envious and maybe even a little jealous of how bloggers decorate their homes, this is probably the book for you.

Melissa has asked us to share our favorite corner in our home on her Home Love Stories website and I decided to share it here too.

I seriously need to paint the walls in this room again, but try your best to ignore the walls and focus in on this rustic desk that my sweet sister, Patti, passed on to me when she sold her house.

This piece was handmade by a friend of hers.  I adore all the little cubby holes and drawers and this makes the perfect spot for me to fill and ship all my print orders from my Etsy Store.  Another reason I love this corner of my home so much is that it reminds me how blessed I am and thankful for each customer that chooses to hang my artwork in their home.  The little wooden chair came from Grandma's farm and that makes this space doubly blessed by these two special ladies in my life!

These little cubbies are the perfect spot for special items like the set of Jacks my sister gave me for Christmas one year.  We are still kids at heart!  I found the brass "Public Schools of New York" doorknob years ago and it fits here perfectly.

Before Christmas, I found this bundle of twig colored pencils at T.J. Maxx  and they've found a home on the corner of my desk.

Do you have a favorite corner in your home?  If not, gather some special pieces with memories and create one!

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Halloween Painting On It's Way To A New Home

So long "Echoes of Trick or Treat"!  
I will miss this painting and seem have become attached to some of them lately.

I'm sure it will provide much joy to it's new owner and that makes me very happy.  This painting is available as a print in my Etsy shop and now is available in two sizes:  8 x 10 inch and 11 x 14 inch.  If you're looking for a larger size you can purchase it in my FineArt America shop or have it printed on a pillow in my Pixels store.  

As much as I'll miss this painting, I have a new Halloween painting ready for it's reveal and will share it later this year. I can't wait for you to see it!  

Ideas for new paintings keep running through my head and plans to redesign my art studio hopefully are in the near future.  

Friday, February 13, 2015

Learn Something New!

This story starts many years ago when my daughter, Amber, came to me wanting to learn to knit.  She was young and didn't have the patience to get past the point where she wasn't so tense and her knitting so tight that you couldn't get the needle to slide under the stitches.  Step forward a few years and she is now a knitting animal!  We call her the bag lady because she takes a large bag of knitting everywhere we go.  She even knitted through the Royals games this year and that's hard to do when you're screaming and cheering on your favorite baseball team!

Now lets go back several more years.  Melissa, a painting pal of mine, started taking acrylic folk art classes with me when Amber was just a youngster.  I hadn't seen her in years even though we live in the same small town.  Isn't it sad how we lose touch with people we enjoy?  Step forward several years once again and I found Melissa on Facebook.  I found out she had a Facebook page called Barefoot On The Farm and started reading up on what she'd been doing all these years.  Melissa is one of the most talented down to earth people I know.  She and her husband built a house in the country and added a studio for her to practice her many talents.  

We like so many of the same things.  The difference between us is that she isn't afraid to dive in and try something new.   She thinks big.  Where I love to go out and buy beautiful yarn, Melissa raises sheep, spins her own fleece, and on and on until she has a finished product.  She also has several looms and weaves beautiful items as well.  Melissa, as I mentioned, has many talents including photography.  Me, I just steal my daughter's photos for this post from Facebook!   Being an artist, I don't encourage this kind of behavior.  Thanks Amber!  

Amber has been wanting to learn to dye her own yarn and when I talked with Melissa she said that she would love to teach us how to do that.  

In these top two photos we are learning to kettle dye our wool skeins.  We felt like chemists with all the bottles, adding a splash of this and a little of that.  Someone mentioned on Facebook that the photo above looks like a large pot of pasta!

Here I'm learning to hand paint my yarn.  Fun!

This is Amber's hand painted yarn.  I love this one and can't wait to see what she makes with it!

The one with the arrow is the same one in the previous photo.
We each finished 6 skeins of yarn and we were like kids in a candy store!  The colors were so yummy!

After all this fun we then went out and got introduced to the sheep, chickens, and pigs.  My  friend Melissa is living the life on the farm and knows how to live her dream!  Don't be afraid to dream and go out and learn something new!  

Melissa also creatively named all her sheep after herbs.  Sweet don't you think?