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.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Do You Feng Shui?

I've been investigating Feng Shui. Some parts of it seem, well, a little loony, but other parts are very interesting. I find some things about the concept just common sense, at least to me. For instance, order and having an overall design concept is important in FS.The picture below would be very UN-Feng Shuish.

My bedside table looks even worse than this, but I couldn't ruin my rep by actually showing it to you in its unvarnished state. So I tidied it up a bit before the BEFORE picture. This state of affairs would, according to FS, make my ability to peacefully sleep diminish.

So I cleaned out my top drawer and stored the most recent magazines right beside me and now...

I only keep 4 or 5 magazines close at hand in the drawer which is now tidy and straight. I know exactly which magazines I am looking at and the others are stored neatly.

Now, look closely at the traffic wreck above, and I must say that the "hubster" is mostly responsible for the mess on the dresser. Unclosed drawers, change, old permission slips, junk, junk, junk...all strewn about the top. This situation would make our life just one big bundle of negative energy. And heaven knows, I don't need that. So after a little adjusting....

Now positive energy just flows around like a tornado. Very important for your bedroom...it should be a place of quiet and comfort. (FYI: FS says to sleep with the bedroom door closed and the door to your master bath closed also...the FS people seem to really dislike the bathroom and all it stands for. PS: Keep the toilet lid closed. Not sure why...but it seems reasonable plus you won't fall in if you get up in the middle of the night and the "man of the house" has "forgotten" to put the lid down.)
Moving on to the outside front of your house...orderly, inviting and tidy...hmmm, mine is just as bland as unsalted grits. I really have trouble at this time of the year..things are so bleak and dismal outside. The outside of my house lends itself to spring and summer...not winter...at all.

So out with some black spray paint and sprayed the two rockers.

Someone gave me an old stripped rocking chair (above) and I added it to the other lone one. Brought out an iron shelf and placed some pillows on the chairs. Not perfect, but certainly a little better!

Next, I will address the front door, but first, I need to do some reading on what a FS front entrance should possess. Yikes! Now, this is depressing!!

I even did a little FS-ing to #1 Grandson's room...Some of you may remember when I did this Pottery Barn Knock off typewriter...

I hung this on a wall where there was once a portrait of a solitary child...not good FS...solitary indicates lonely....this typewriter is a sign of productivity and order.

I added the black vintage Century fan and exposed the Mickey Mouse tin....red is good...fan surely will help positive energy flow. Books are now more orderly. Closet is cleaned out and all clothes and shoes hung and straightened. Can't wait to ask him in the morning if he slept well.

A few nice marbles in the window...not too much in the window...but the light filters through some of them nicely.

Now, lest you think I've totally lost all MY marbles, I found this experience rather calming. It was an interesting exercise. Have you ever tried to Feng Shui?

Here's hoping you have good Tai Chi,

Sunday, January 15, 2012

* The Great Cappuccino Incident

For those of you who have been loyal followers for the past few years, thank you. I have been very negligent of my blog and I apologize for the missed opportunities to make you smile or those moments you needed encouragement and I was "out in the work world" and not here. Thank you for continuing to "follow"... I WILL do better, I promise.

And for those of you who regularly read and follow this thing I call "My Life...It's the Only One I Have, Thank you very much"... you will already know that "the Hubster" aka "The Coach" does our grocery shopping. Now, don't start with me about this...he LOVES it. So I say...go for it, Coach!

Well, Saturday, he was preparing his grocery list and asked me to add my needs. I listed a few things... diet Green Tea, Little Debbie's, and so forth, and then I made THE fatal mistake. I added Cappuccino. (Let me enlighten those who don't read this blog regularly...the Hub will NOT use a cell phone so when he enters the electronic doors of Wal Mart, he's on his own.) "How bad could that be?"you ask. Read here, here and here and see. Those of you who know him well, know that he LOVES to please me and he really IS a sweet thing...but I have finally given up on the grocery drama and I just let him alone to do his damage to the check book.

When he read Cappuccino, he began to pace around the kitchen...."You know that they never have the same selection"... "I'll do my best, but they don't have English Toffee"... "What if the hazelnut is an off-brand?" On and on... the fact of the matter is, I just need something in the coffee...it really doesn't matter. Once I made the mistake of saying, "I really like this cappuccino you got me, thanks." From that day forward he has tried in vain to find that exact kind...to no avail.

When I pulled out the pantry shelf this morning to get my coffee making supplies, I could hardly pull the shelf out it was so heavy! Oh, no.... in addition to the coffee (both instant and regular..another story for another time)...there they were...Creamy Hazelnut Cap., Chocolate Mocha Cap., Hazelnut Creamer, Mocha Peppermint Creamer, on and on. One thing for sure, I won't need to make a Cappuccino or Creamer request until 2013.

We were laughing and talking about which muffins to bake this morning as I was fixing my coffee (he doesn't drink coffee) and suddenly I noticed that I had put all the sugar and anything else I was adding to the coffee into the Cappuccino container, not my coffee cup. He asked me why I thought that action was so funny. All I could think of is that we are both getting so old that things that would normally send me around the bend, have sort of become funny. I think I've morphed into my mother. Everything she did like putting something in the wrong container or calling all the grandchildren by the wrong name, I now do. I used to roll my eyes heavenward and pray that I'd never do stuff like that. Oh, well... All's well that ends well.

You might enjoy my business blog, Dwellings Re-fined Post: here.

May all your coffee be flavored to your taste,

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Book Bundles at the Shop!

In the December 2011 edition of Southern Living magazine, there was an article about a lady who collected only red books...this grabbed my eye immediately and the wheels began turning.

(I hope I'm not doing anything wrong by showing a tiny part of the page)...please, get the Southern Living Dec. mag and read this article. It's a lovely writeup about a collection that has never occurred to me. I love red and I love the look of the all red book collection. I began looking at my own books and discovered that I have some really pretty books. Not just red books, mind you, but turquoise, blue and greens also!
I had purchased a small two tier antique table from myself (lol...at Dwellings) and I decided to do a little arranging of a red vignette featuring my books, paperweights and a piece of McCarty pottery.

Then I had an idea! Why not take the labor out of the project for my customers and sell bundles of color coordinated books for decorating purposes? Wha...La...the Book Bundle was born!

Here are two examples...the red and blue bundles. Four nicely sized vintage books bundled and ready for use for $5. I did the legwork and the coordinating...all you have to do is purchase them and use them as you see fit.

Three book black bundle is $4.

The green bundle is lovely with an assortment of green shades.

Some books can be purchased individually like these blues.

Or these with the pretty spines and fronts and backs!
I enjoy the hunt, but you may not have the time or the inclination...if not, I've done it for you!
Before I sign out...look what arrived in the shop today!

OLD red ladder...

it won't stay long and I love it so! I might have to interview potential ladder owners for this one. It MUST go to a good home!

Hope you can see the value in my latest nutty project,

Thursday, January 5, 2012

"Scatter Shooting" & Decorating Tips for the New Year

A quick post to wish you all a Happy New Year and some ramblings from me to you...My son and his family will soon be moving into a home that was built a number of years ago...we've been mulling over color choices and I thought you might enjoy seeing the process unfold.
We are dealing with 1960's and 70's colors...particularly avocado green in a bathroom! So daughter in law, Robin and I pulled this avocado Fire King cup (shown below) from one of the display tables in our shop, Dwellings, and began formulating a design plan and color palette. (Click on image to see close up.)

This green is so very 60/70'ish that we decided to treat it as the "neutral" in the room. Below you will see the fabric that I am using in my "office" at the shop and we decided on that color palette which uses medium blue, turquoise, avocado and lime.

(To make shelves in the office, I turned dresser drawers on their sides and stacked them in the corner.) If you will look closely you will see the colors we chose.

Precious melmac plates from the era give us good strong shapes to use.

The little girl with the goose statue adds orange as the contrasting "pop" of color!

Close up of the colors we like.

My motto has always been, when you are handed a decorating problem (ie avocado) and don't have a million bucks to throw at it...use common sense and incorporate the "offending" color. But make sure you use colors you do LOVE with it! We will show you how this works as we move along.
Moving right along...I found this cute little white hamper this weekend

and have it priced reasonably at the shop.

It is small and would make a wonderful little addition to a little girl's room

...or maybe painted and put in your little ball player's room!

Next...onto my latest obsession...teabag roses! Heavens!

It's always something!

I can't say I'm responsible for this idea,

but these are the cutest little paper roses!

Let me tell you how they were made.


To make, use a "used teabag".

Cut off the string and top of the bag,open the bag,

empty the grounds into the garbage, and rinse the bag well.

Then let the bag dry.

(The steeped tea dyes the paper a beautiful aged color.)

When dry, cut the paper in half lengthwise.

You will have two sides to make two roses.

At this point, fold one of the papers lengthwise.

I begin rolling the paper around a toothpick to make the center of the rose, remove the toothpick, and then continue scrunching and rolling the paper until it makes a little rose.

I trim off the bottom and hot glue the rose to the desired surface.

If you want to make roses for later use,

I'd suggest paper clipping the bottom to hold it until you need it.

Above are the roses used on my wicker baby shoe tassels. (For sale at Dwellings.)

Below are the roses used in small silver baby cups

with tiny bird's nest and a card of welcome.

(These are also for sale.) Cute baby gift!

I also decided to make a small sewing basket containing old wooden thread spools.

For these roses, I used old dress patterns!

Enough of my "scatter shooting"!!
Hope you're all healthy and happy!