Thursday, March 30, 2017

Half Price Spring Weekends!

If you are like me, spring is a busy time full of spring cleaning, planting the garden, potting flowers, re-painting patio furniture, family birthdays, events and of course Easter. Mother's Day soon follows, it's the end of school & just like that... spring turns into summer! 
Take a breath.
Take a weekend with a few friends to get away. 
Our last minute retreat prices sweeten the temptation:) 
Call me!

Friday, March 24, 2017

Avery Rose, a granddaughter is born


I cannot think of anything more precious than a new baby 
fresh from heaven. Avery Rose, our 10th grandchild, 
a vision of pink perfection,  graced the world 
with her presence on March 21, 2017. 
She is the fourth and final perfect addition to her family. 
I often think of the challenges and stress involved in raising children. Looking back I see many epic failures as a mother, 
and yet still consider my role as a parent to be the crowning achievement of my life. Watching my children bring babies 
into the world is so very humbling with tender moments 
that cannot be replicated any other way.

This raw emotion on the face of my son Aaron and his beautiful wife Janene, capture the intense relief and joy for another healthy baby, felt more especially after a long and arduous labor. The miracle and mystery of birth is filled with a wonder even our modern sophisticated world cannot dim. 

A new life, full of hope, promise and possibilities. 
Is it really any wonder that babies 
are so treasured and beloved. 

Wouldn't it be interesting to know what babies are thinking? Imagine the shock of entering the world! Avery seemed to take it all in stride...I imagine her saying "Hello world, I am ready for adventure!"...which she will most certainly
 experience with her three older siblings:) 

Janene noticed every 10-15 minutes Aaron would hover over Avery gazing in wonder. My Michael did the same with our daughter Brittany who came after two boys. My dad who is no longer with us also loved to admire babies and would sit for ages staring at our newborn Brittany. A picture like this uncovers a thousand emotions for me. Having survived four teenagers, not the least of which drove my sanity to the brink is this handsome man. The tender look on Aaron's face fills my soul with unmeasurable joy compensating for every moment of frustration over broken curfews, speeding tickets, and unauthorized midnight rides on the four wheeler:) 
Life is a wonderful evolution of self discovery and progress if we accept the challenge. Parenting provides a fast track course from self interest to unselfish love and service. I freely acknowledge that the most important lessons to improve my character were learned at the hands of my children. 
Oh a mother's anticipation of siblings greeting the new baby, though imagining is often better than the actual event:) Savannah 5, Ethan and Charlotte 3, are truly thrilled with baby Avery who has been much anticipated. Keeping Avery safe from such adoring and over enthusiastic fans will be a constant challenge for 
mommy and daddy! Good luck:)

What will you be my darling granddaughter? Will you be soft spoken or outlandishly gregarious? Will you play piano concerto's or dance ballet? Will you run everywhere like the wind as sisters Savannah and Charlotte or be a bit more cautious and measured as brother Ethan? I look at your soft skin and adorably chubby cheeks and feel nothing but love and hope for your future. You have been born to a family who treasures your very existence, a family that believes nothing is more important than success at home. You came to a country that is free, where women have unlimited opportunity. You came in a time when disease has limited power, and advances in technology boggle the mind. You my darling granddaughter can be anything you want to be... and that makes my Grammie heart unbelievably grateful and filled with joy. Avery Rose...bloom where you are planted and just be perfectly you:)


a letter to my granddaughters

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Spring banner...birds in foil



Spring is such a glorious time of year! I had a set of chipboard birds languishing in my craft closet begging to be set free! A banner seemed like the perfect creation for my spring mantle.



These particular chipboard birds were from Maya Road. They no longer have these on their website but you may try and find them on Etsy, or Ebay. A simple bird shape in chipboard could easily be cut on a Cricut as well.


The birds were first run through my Xyron adhesive machine. Foil (colored side up) was then laid on the sticky side of the birds and they were run through the minc machine. 


I purchased a Heidi Swapp minc machine last year which works with heat reactive foil. It is simple and super fun to use! There are many colors of foil that can be purchased seperately. I chose pink, mint green, and rose gold for this project.


I have granddaughters that live just down the driveway who frequently burst through my door with a vigorous request for a project:) It make my heart happy to know that they love creating! Scarlett was fascinated with the minc machine.


After the birds were foiled I realized they needed a wing! I traced the wing and then cut generously around the outline. Each wing was attached to the bird with regular adhesive.


Ink was then added to the edges of the birds right on top of the foil to add a subtle outline and a bit more dimension.


Annabelle & Scarlett wanted to have a "shiny bird" too, so I cut pieces of foil from the scraps which they laid on top of the adhesive side of the bird. A pass through the machine and viola...a shiny bird of their own:)


Twine is handy to have on hand in a craft stash and my usual choice for hanging banners. The birds were lined up on the countertop with the tail on the edge for consistency. After the twine was hot-glued to the bird I went back and added another layer of hot glue on TOP of the twine on the bird for a more secure hold. 


The birds were foiled, hot-glued and hung on the mantle...but I felt like they were missing something, so down it came. Enter my collection of spring paper flowers by Prima which has the most divine paper flowers:) I have a suitcase full!


I lined the birds back up on the counter top and scattered flowers over the wings with hot-glue until that magical crafting moment when it seemed complete:).....but hang on to your hat...


A second layer of mini flowers were added as centers to the some of the larger flowers...finding that sweet spot to stop can be a challenge for an embellishment lover such as me!


How do I hang the banners? Packing tape. It works for me:)







I found the field flowers at Hobby Lobby...they are perfect in these urns! Last year I made flower arrangements for each season. It is so nice to walk into the attic and retrieve a ready to go seasonal display:)


These metal and ceramic birds make me smile:) I picked them up from Hobby Lobby, Tuesday Morning & a local garden center.


And there you have it...chipboard, paper flowers, & foil...a cheerful and hopeful tribute to spring!



p.s.The small paper bird banner was created last year with my Fiskars Fuse machine which cuts, and embosses in one pass. 

Here is the post of that project...
https://nelliescottageretreat.blogspot.com/2016/02/birds.html


Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Altered glass jug in shades of blue



Behold the blue jug:) I have a friend who occasionally supplies me with wine jugs courtesy of an ex-mother-in-law (that's another story!) I was dying to try my hand at bottle alteration after seeing so many on Pinterest:) This bottle is part of my "spring decor" collection. I have decor collections for each season...don't tell the hubby...he's not much on storing stuff but never notices...hahahaha!

We begin here...
Primer is always a good place to start with any painting project.

Shades of blue are kind of my thing at the moment, and I had this chalk paint from Hobby Lobby on hand called "escape"...perfect!

                                     

After the blue base was dry, an Inka Gold teal metallic rub was brushed on in several passes around the jug. Once the metallic rub is dry, it can be buffed to a sheen. This is a German made wax based product that comes in many colors. There are several you-tube videos that are helpful:)

As you can see from the picture below, a metallic coppery brown paint was dry brushed as the final layer.
                                   
After the paint was completely dry, layers of washi tape were wrapped around the jar, beginning and ending on the designated back to hide the seams. Mod Podge over the washi tape is recommended since washi has a tendency to peel away over time.



An aqua burlap flower procured from my extensive flower stash was secured with hot glue. A perfect finishing touch!


Various shades of aqua, turquoise and teal are liberally and consistently placed around my home as THE preferred accent color...can't get enough:) These colors are also usually worked into any seasonal decor displays.




This blue cabinet can most often be found sporting seasonal and holiday decor. I did a fun paint and stencil furniture makeover on this piece passed down from a sister-in-law. We are one of those revolving furniture diy families:)

You might enjoy the cabinet paint and stenciling project link below. 
The lighting of the cabinet in the kitchen corner does not do it justice!

https://nelliescottageretreat.blogspot.com/2012/01/still-feeling-bluedecoratively-speaking.html









































The soda bottle above was also wrapped with washi tape, sealed with Mod-Podge, and then wrapped with twine. Pastel field flowers fill the vases, bottle and jug with spring time joy!


I have 3 more of these jugs begging to be painted....thinking  one each for a the other seasons:)





Friday, March 17, 2017

Spring, washi, & twine!



Spring is my favorite season...okay...and fall:) They are both mild and cool which is much desired in southeast Texas! Winter isn't cold...it's just ugly;-} Summer, well... it's like Papa Bear's porridge- TOO HOT! To create a bit of kitchen cheer I often create seasonal countertop paper-craft art. I created this spring display layout a couple of years ago, but added the frame a few days ago (more about that in a minute)...


This spring layout was created with Bazzill cardstock (love the thickness and texture), Martha Stewart butterfly border punch, Prima flowers, & Jolee's paper birds....plus some ribbon, rhinestones, and a couple other things:)


I googled spring quotes, found three I loved, typed them out and printed them on aqua paper to "blend" into the layout.




Chipboard flocked letters were a lovely gift from a long ago scrapbook convention...I'm a bit of a letter hoarder...hahaha
By the way...if you look closely at the S, it is pieced from cuts of other hardly ever needed letters like Q and J.


Michael built me a stash of 12x12 wooden frames for my countertop paper craft art. My washi tape stash had just the perfect shades of turquoise and aqua to decorate this frame..yes I hoard wash tape too;-}

Wrapping washi tape around a frame is do-able but challenging at an angle without too many wrinkles (some wrinkles are good!) so I decided to layer the washi in straight pieces of various length on the surface of the frame which created a crafty patchwork feel.




What did the world do before Mod Podge? Our family has been using it for almost 50 years...so I can't imagine life without it:) Sealing washi tape in place is always a good idea, especially when one has curious and destructive toddler grandchildren afoot!


Spring paper art paired with fuzzy pussy willow stems and coral field flowers in a rockin' vintage metal fire extinguisher... I am in spring kitchen happiness:)
p.s. that turquoise metal ornament with clear beads came from Buc-ee's...if you don't know what Buc-ee's is...google it, or better yet head to Texas, it's how we do convenience stores in big Texas style:)


In my humble and totally unbiased crafty expert opinion...this frame perfectly completed the spring layout:)




Happy Spring again:)...
"Let your joy burst forth like flowers in spring!"