I am glad you chose to visit! My blog is a compilation of the many hats I find myself wearing. On any given day I may be an encourager, an instructor, or just a lady who is venting. You, dear reader, will probably identify with my triumphs and my tribulations! These snapshots fit into my Life Scrapbook I have named A. McInnis Artworks. I hope you will find something worth your while.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Mini Kitchen Spruce Up!

Well, with the old knee giving me fits, I've had lots of time to sit around and stare at the living room and the kitchen...that's NOT a good thing. After my mini-redo of the guest bedroom, the hubster said, "I like this bedroom better than any room in our house." Oh, no...WHAT? Something that took me 1 hour compared to days of agonizing in other parts of the abode and he likes the 1 hour job better?

So, it began...another Mini-Makeover...the kitchen. Maybe not a make-over, maybe a "spruce up" explains it more correctly.

Before I begin, I have some "splaining to do"... 1. HE will NOT allow me to paint the kitchen cabinets and thinks that they are just fine (they are NOT fine); 2. HE feels that once a paint color is selected that it should stay that way for life (he doesn't adjust to change the way I feel he should); and 3. HE likes his decor tidy and neat (AKA: BORING). I say all that to say that my home in NO showcase...just your average house that I am constantly trying to upgrade... sometimes without much luck...but I keep on keeping on. Who am I trying to impress anyway?!

Here are the Before's & After's...

Shot of the right corner BEFORE. Not much happening.

Added the picture and the salt and pepper shakers. The bunny container holds my coffee sweetner and the little coffee maker is a 4 cup one for #1 grandson and me!

Left corner BEFORE...pottery overload!!

Left corner AFTER...some green majolica, trio of green birds holding my tiny silver spoon collection, new pic and Gail Pittman cookie jar...a little lighter and brighter, I think.

Boring Buffet BEFORE...

Happy Buffet...AFTER....small berry wreaths, 3 paperweights on pewter oval platter.

Hutch BEFORE...it's a wonder it didn't crash under its own weight! (Reminds me of my knee.)

Hutch AFTER...just a slight diet made a difference. (Bet that applies to knees, too.)

You may disagree with me here...but all those feathers, berries, candlesticks, bamboo runner and straw chargers were giving me the heebie geegies.

Table AFTER...now we can concentrate on the food!

When driving in from a doctor's visit, I noticed the old wreath by the backdoor was looking like the Last Rose of Summer...so I freshened her up too!

Hope you take a minute and "spruce up" something,

Saturday, June 25, 2011

It's My Birthday, Let's Party!

So it's my birthday today... and to blunt the pain of getting older and older, the hubster generously suggested that a shopping trip was in order. After he fixed breakfast and served it on the patio, he offered to drive me to Monroe, LA to Paul Michael's. With my knee thing that's going on, I truly didn't feel like it...but maybe I could just stay in town and I could limp around HOBLOB and check out their 80% off area. Sniff, sniff...poor old lady.

So limp, I did.

Now you remember yesterday's post...don't you?

I tore the guest bedroom apart and did a quick "re-do"...from this...

To this.... sort of "summer-ized" it...no pun intended.

While shopping, I proceeded to Ross Dress for Less...and the oddest thing happened. While diving through all the stuff, I heard my name. At first it was softly spoken, then a little louder...oh, no somebody knows it's my birthday! I hope the men in the sombreros don't come prancing out...nope, no men...there it is again....Can you guess who it was?

Anyone who REALLY knows me, knows that I can't leave well enough alone when it comes to decorating. I promised...NO MONEY SPENT....but what????

"Angela, it's your birthday"...there it goes again..
I glanced around..nobody.........except a white quilt with all these brown flourishes...OOOOHHH, NOOOOOOOOO! I turned and ran (well limped) away from that thing as fast as I could. I did find a couple of pillows and a brushed nickel garbage can for the computer room. Checked out and headed for the ranch.

Got home...and I'll be darn...the voice followed me....

"You'll be sorry you didn't get that quilt."

Spooky! Yikes! It was hounding me.

Let's cut to the chase...hubs took me back out there and I got my "birthday" present. Doesn't it just do wonders for that "no money spent" re-do?

Oh, stop it....Come on, admit it...it's great, isn't it?

Linking to Funkyjunk Interiors and Metamorphosis Monday tonight..come visit!

Happy birthday to me,


Friday, June 24, 2011

Houdini Ain't Got Nothing On Me

"What exactly do you mean by re-purposing?" asked an interested friend the other day. I keep talking about re-purposing (nowdays it's called upcycling) and I guess it IS Greek to many.
I decided to give you an example. Here were my rules for this post (teachers must always have rules, you know):

1. Re-purpose (or re-do or re-arrange) my guest bedroom.

2. I couldn't spend one red cent...nada...nothing. (Love a challenge.)

3. I had to use everything I already had and that included inside or outside the house. In other words, I had to "shop" the old homestead.

4. I gave myself an hour to finish.

Now your rules could be different, but if I came to your house and you told me you couldn't afford ANYTHING except what you already had..then rules #1, 2 and 3 would apply. I would then set out to re-use what you already have.

Here's front bedroom before. She's all dressed up for...fall and winter NOT 100 degrees in the shade...too dark, too cozy, too heavy for summer.

Here she is...dressed for summer! Ahhhh, I can breathe
I keep two matelasse bedcovers for re-dos all the time. One is cream and the other white. They launder beautifully and I love the look. I've had these for years. I also added two matching shams that had been waiting in the closet since last summer!

I borrowed pillows from my computer room and the zebra came in from outside for a few.
The two side lamps came from other rooms. Out with the round side table and in with a small oval straight leg table. Better proportion and better size for this area. I also changed the picture above the bed...old window with grandchildren...much better.

I layered a crocheted coverlet over a dark brown throw...I liked the look. Just for fun I added the McGuffey Reader and my great grandfather's reading glasses.

A coffee cup on a silver tray might be needed!

Now, let's tackle that dresser. I won it at an auction 10 or so years ago...I think it might be ready for a coat of paint...but not today...the clock's a tickin'.

Lamp change, two milk glass vases filled with thistle from outside and tray with my clear paperweights visually make the space seem lighter...even if she is still brown.

Milkglass makes anything look prettier.

I love my redware plates, but they just gotta go...for now.

I found the two faux bois vases at Paul Michael's ... gold and silver leafed...had every intention of returning them until I saw how pretty they looked on the ledge and on the small oval table by the bed.

A few fresh flowers and crepe myrtles in the smaller vase by the bed and I'm through with a few minutes to spare!

Now this (re-purposing) is what I want to do full time, when I retire from teaching. I am doing it now part-time. "Using What You Already Have"... it's a challenge, but a worthwhile one. Bet your husband would agree with me!

As I was completing the photography for this post, the "hubster" (aka: Ralph Lauren) came in, looked around the bedroom, and said, "Well, this sure looks better! What did you do?"

Gotta love him.

May all your changes be quick ones,

You've Got to Make the Moment Last

For those of you who remember Simon & Garfunkel, I always liked their kicky little tune, "Feelin' Groovy".... ah, does this date me or what? But it's still as relevant in 2011 as it was in 1966. The beginning line is "Slow down, you move too fast....You've got to make the moment last.." and then after explaining what a good day the singer has had, it ends with "Feelin' groovy"...

I had one of those "groovy" moments yesterday. I had an appointment with a delightful client to help her re-arrange and re-purpose her accessories in her home. On the drive home, I had that feelin'... groovy. Why? Because I had worked and I enjoyed the work. Let me rephrase, I LOVED the work. It wasn't just a way to put food on the table...I actually had a blast!

Now, the teaching profession (which is my full time profession) has been good to me...I am beginning my 31st year this fall...and I appreciate the fact that I've been able to contribute to our income all these years however, the feeling I had when I drove out of that driveway yesterday was different.

Let me explain...

1. I felt that I had done something that someone really appreciated;

2. I felt "at home" in what I was accomplishing;

3. I wasn't tired, as a matter of fact, I could have gone on for several more hours!

The best reward was her statement as we completed the task at hand..."I can't believe that I actually have to buy so little...we used what I had!" (I am certain her husband was happy with that conclusion.) I can NOT wait until I can do this type work full time. Don't get me wrong, I like my "day" job, but I think my part time job is "who I really am"!

Feelin' groovy,

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Fun For Kids...Texture Collage

When summer days begin to stretch waaayyy too long, take a walk around the yard, or better yet, take the kiddos to a park where there is some new ground to explore.

Our grandchildren love to go to a little waterpark (not the kind with slides, etc.) just a natural water hole with trees, running water and large rocks to splash around. We took a lunch and lots of pictures and came home happy and NOT BORED!

We named our resulting artwork..."Textures".

I copied the pictures from my camera to the computer printer. Using regular copier paper we cut each pic to 3 1/4" x 2 1/2". I used a 16x20 canvas and painted it dark gray. I scuffed the edges to give more dimension. The margin between the 28 photos was pretty small..about 1/4". Margins were: top, bottom, left side=1/2" and the right margin was 2".

Using Word, we selected a font and wrote the word TEXTURES....copied it, cut it out.

At this point we selected the pictures for our composition. Some pics looked better next to others...good lesson in composition, varying textures, spacing, etc. Then we got out the Mod Podge and modpodged away. We used Flat MP.

Guess what these images are!

Lichen, mimosa leaves, algae, oreo type cookie, grass, rust on garbage can.

Shoestring, gravel in concrete, pine, top of picnic table (ugh), spiderweb with cedar needles and raindrops, plant with water droplets.

Surely you can guess these!

In addition, tops of nails, chainlink fence, pinecone upclose are all good pictures to add. They had great fun trying to get others to guess what each thing was. Fun and quick little project for a summer day that went from boring to a blast!

We also did a smaller collage of pictures I took of them during the day!
Same thing...just smaller! Their daddy got that!

I am joining the Big Blog Party over at The Picket Fence. Please, join us!

Hope every summer day is filled with fun,

Saturday, June 18, 2011

A Summer Coffee Wedding Shower

A dear friend's son is about to enter the world of weddings...today was an important day as several friends of Linda, the Mother of the Groom held a Coffee Shower at our friend, Pam's lovely home. The honorees were Walt and Farris.

Pam makes it look easy... everything was in perfect order......

The beautifully appointed serving table was covered with an Army Navy cloth.

Pam's home is older and exudes charm and character.

Upclose view of the centerpiece...beautiful silver container!!

We did it the old fashioned way...silver, crystal, and china.

Every detail was special...for the special couple...Walt & Farris.

Even linen napkins for each guest...when is the last time you had this treatment?
The menu included:

Tiny open faced tomato sandwiches...combine 2 c. mayonnaise, 1 c. sour cream, chopped green onions and bacon bits. Cut bread into desired shape, smooth on mayo combo and top with tomato. Easy and delicious.

Homemade quiche...no frozen anything would do!!

Blueberry muffins and their sweet counterpart, banana muffins peep out from under a lace lined antique container.

Sliced fresh fruit in a vintage cut glass bowl.
And last but not least...cheese straws. What self respecting southern bridal shower does NOT have cheese straws?

The happy couple and their mothers arrive! (And may I say, that I taught the groom and he is without a doubt one of the finest young men on the planet!!) Look at those happy faces.

Pam's house has many areas for entertaining.

The smaller dining area held a wonderful green birdcage all decked out for the occasion.

Lemon water, a fruited punch and water were served from this table.

I "sneaked" a few other pictures of areas of the house that I LLLOOOVVEE!

My friends are very patient with me and this blog business...they just let me do what I want and wink at each other behind my back...I saw you winking...I know who you are.

Living room paper weights...if you read this blog, you know my love of the things!

Another rosie arrangement.

After a morning of good food and the fellowship and love of great friends, I thought to myself, "You know...times may change, but it just doesn't get any better than expressing your love and affection for others by going the extra mile. I think the old fashioned way IS the better way. Really, don't you?"

I am joining Pink Saturday, click on the button on the right and come by.

May all your friends be loyal ones,