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.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

"Talk To You Soon!"

Before signing off for a few days (due to knee surgery) I wanted to touch base. Sitting here listening to the rain I thought how ironic is it that 7 years ago today another hurricane just about took out the coast of our little state and today...well, here we go again. We were without power for 5 days..and it was awful. I can't imagine how terrible it was for those who were without power for weeks, without food and water and who lost everything they had. Please, add Mississippi and Louisiana to your prayers. While Isaac wasn't nearly as devastating as Katrina to most, it is still devastating to many.

Just a few more odds and ends until we chat again...
I have worked on my collection of pine needle baskets this summer. I found these two miniature ones this year and have enjoyed them so much. You don't just find these baskets around any corner and I felt like I struck gold with them! I wonder if anyone else collects pine needle baskets?
I recently saw an advertisement for covered match boxes. The price? Try $16 per box!
Couldn't believe my eyes! So I sat down and covered about 15 boxes for almost free.
I bought a bunch of the little boxes at Dollar Tree for $1 and I had all the trimmings.
These would be cute as place cards or accompanying a pretty gift candle.
Last but certainly not least. I "ran into" a flower weaving thingy at Hob Lob
a few weeks ago and couldn't resist. I found the pillow reduced awhile
back. Gathering purple yarns and beads, I dolled up the little gray
tucked pillow!
Why do you begin liking the color purple when you get older?

Until next time,

Monday, August 27, 2012

Another Annie Sloan Before and After

Trying to tie up loose ends before knee surgery at the end of the week.
One of the Mississippi Annie Sloan distributors asked me why I didn't
Annie this wonderful old print!

Indeed, the glass is old and slightly wavy and the print is beautiful...
but that frame! Yikes!
Someone painted it with gloss white and then antiqued the details with a horrible gold.
out came Annie in Old White....

and 45 minutes later...isn't she lovely?!
I love her so much I might keep her...but I think you'd like to see it at the shop!

Annie can transform anything!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

What Is HOPE Really?

In the hot, humid summer, we long for the coolness of fall.
In the midst of swirling emotional crises, we long for peace and quiet
and a sense that all will be well.
Just as surely as these leaves will turn scarlet, Christians have a HOPE.
Not a hope as today's world defines hope.
Today's "hope" is a wish for something that we have no real assurance of getting.
Our HOPE is different.
Those who possess this HOPE understand.
Biblical HOPE is "an indication of certainty..a strong and confident expectation."
HOPE isn't "a static passive thing...it is dynamic, active, directive
and life sustaining."
 HOPE is
"a confident expectation,
the sure certainty that what God promised in the Word is true,
has occurred,
and or will in accordance with God's sure Word."
HOPE is a sure anchor.

Don't just hope...instead HOPE.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Beginning to Look Like Fall!

We've had two days of cooler weather (in the 80's) so, of course, it's imperative
that some the "fall" stuff comes out!
 Yay for Fall!!
Because I am having my second knee surgery of the summer next week,
I've got to get it in gear a little early!
I found these leaf and grapevine pumpkins last year at the end of the season!
Pretty napkins and my fall china are all in place.
I have been working on my Indian and pine needle basket collections this year.
McCarty Raccoon family is preparing for winter.
Found these feather wreaths that can also double as candle rings.
A sale Pottery Barn metal basket with burlap liner holds fabric pumpkins.
Love, love, love the scent of Bath and Body Works Pumpkin candle!
Will add more next month...leaves and more, you guessed it...pumpkins!

Hope the weather is cooler in your neck of the woods, too!

Monday, August 20, 2012

If You Need Happy, Don't Read This...

Let's don't beat around the bush here. I've always been sort of a "bottom line" kind of girl...let's get to the point. Getting old is THE pits. Now, don't message me with "you are only as old as you feel" comments. If that were the truth, I'd be 999.

The past few weeks have NOT been good ones. I must admit, I tried to keep a stiff upper lip through it all, but that's just not cutting it anymore. Let me recount for you.

It began a Sunday or two ago with my 84 year old father saying that he didn't recognize the "little old lady" getting HIS laundry basket out of MY car...lo and behold it was little ole me! Then he advised me to dye my hair. Strike one.

Then some old (and I say that kindly) friends dropped by the shop and in the conversation one friend mused that she would have never recognized me. Well, what can I say? It HAS been 45 years since I last saw her. However, I WOULD have recognized her right away. Now, this means that either she hasn't changed very much or I look like an 18 Wheeler has hit me. That was strike two for the week.

Now for strike 3. As I sat with the frozen vegetable pack on my bum knee, trying my best to get the swelling to go down so I could limp to work on Saturday, I caught a glimpse of my hands. I've always had bad cuticles but on the good side, I've had great strong nails...that's the problem, I use them for things like turning screws when a screwdriver isn't handy...but those two items aside..my hands look, well...OLD. And they aren't strong anymore...sort of frail and "veiny". I can't open the pickle jar and have to have help opening locks on some doors..what's happened?

I'VE BECOME OLD..THAT'S WHAT'S HAPPENED!!!! Now, I ask you...is old so bad? And now I answer that...YES, it is. Gray hair, a changed face and frail hands. So very NOT me...but now so very me. Tears flow more easily than they used to; pains occur in places I really never noticed I had; and time is spent reflecting on the past...Before "old", I never had much time to reflect. Now reflecting is helpful and reflections (in a mirror)..not so much. I have to admit...I am a little afraid of the future. (I used to charge forth like a warrior...now, I couldn't do any charging except to hand my charge-card to someone.)

I say all that to get to this bottom line...enjoy your youth. Don't waste it on vain and useless pass-times. Old age creeps upon you suddenly and you will take comfort in memories and worthwhile endeavors. Try to cultivate and use your sense of humor, believe me, you will need it! And gray hair? Well, that's something I've been giving some thought to...not sure about that.

P.S. If you see me...DO NOT tell me you would have never recognized me. Even if you don't. Pretend.

                                                         Thank you for letting me vent, 

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

No More "Dead Space"

Dead space...ugh. What a name for something. I was caught up listening to an HGTV segment of Design All Stars on Tuesday evening. Hillary, one of the contestants, spoke about "dead space" usage in a room she was helping to design. That triggered a thought as I sat and watched more of the show. I began assessing my own home for those "nooks and crannies" that had no real life...they just sat there gobbling up space and had no apparent reason for living...thus, "dead space".

Now, this does NOT mean that every square inch of wall space needs to be covered up with stuff. However, sometimes there is a space that needs to be filled and we tend to just fill it, even if filling it doesn't serve any real purpose. The idea of vanquishing dead space is to color in the areas so they become useful, functioning components of a room....not just a place for clutter to land. My theory is that any area that attracts clutter IS a dead space. You must figure out how to re-think and organize the space to function properly.

One such space was found in #1 Grandson's room. There was a wall to the right of the entry door which had an unused space between the entry and the closet. I had put a small table there ( well, it NEEDED something) and it quickly became a catch-all for everything from unused phone cords to packages of bubble gum. What to do? What to do?

First, I looked at the room's overall use. He needed a computer and chair for school work (check); two book shelves hold books and the t.v. for Play Station (check); an overstuffed chair and a half  makes down into his bed (check); proper lighting (check); bedside table (check).

What was missing? Oh, yes. A study area. He has been studying in the dining room. The light isn't conducive to study and the t.v. noise from the next room is a distraction.

I had a 42"x18" mini island made for my kitchen. IT, too, quickly became a catch-all and I was constantly bumping into it (and the "hubster" didn't like it at all.) Wonder if that might fit into the dead space? Well, guess what...it was a close call. But, if I must say so myself, the island was converted to quite a handy desk area.
We have about two inches between door and desk. (Whew!)
From left to right:
closet, desk, entry door = NO DEAD SPACE!
I had a vintage stool that was Ryan's great grandmother's and we placed it as an economical seat.
Since he is left handed, his lamp was placed on right. Pencils, rulers and extra paper is to the left.
Pictured above the desk are his baseball plaque, a "Dwell in possibility" saying, and
my Pottery Barn knock off typewriter key picture.
(Psst...guess what? He is actually using it!!)

What areas of your house need re-vitalizing?

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

* Live and Learn

You know what my husband says,
" It only takes one compliment on something you have made and you immediately make 100 of said item."
Somebody on FB said something nice about my pumpkins and I launched into an all out offensive.
We now have gone pastel pumpkin crazy!
Cute in a little girls's room or anywhere you need a spot of color.
Pardon the price tags :(
Then, of course, there are the more "dressed up"  non-pastel versions...below.
I had the old cutter quilt cut to ribbons, but couldn't bear to throw away
the raggedy squares...thus, the tattered pumpkin below.
(I believe I may be becoming a hoarder.) 
I found some of the fabrics to be easier to work with than others.
Burlap may look neat, but it's not neat to work with..achoo!
Linen, on the other hand, is. Painter's canvas is also difficult.
Nevertheless, I have given my customers a wide range of pumps from which to choose!
On to today's post!!
I have been reading a small book by H. Jackson Brown, Jr. entitled
Live, and Learn and Pass It On.
Funny little quotes from lots of different people from 5 years old to 90.
I decided that this is a great idea, so today I'd like to share some things I've learned.
(Some I learned the HARD way!
When you have a minute why don't you add your "learnings" in the form of a comment?

Let's begin:
1. There is nobody more intelligent than the following groups: those who have NO children or who are brand new parents; 9th grade boys; second semester 12th grade girls and boys; and parents who coach from the stands. (Just sayin')
2. If you love any makeup item, buy it in bulk, because they will surely discontinue it.
3. Drinking diet beverages and continuing to eat Ding Dongs does NOT equal a happy outcome.
4. When you laugh or make fun of someone about a physical feature, you will end up with that feature.
    (This applies to even "thinking" something unkind about someone.. like a double chin of theirs will turn into a triple on you. Remember those Ding Dongs?)
5. For every lie you told your parents, your child will surely look you straight in the face and tell the same whopper to you. (I don't care what church you go to.)
6. Parents who think that the sole reason they have a great child is because of their parenting skills will at some point in their life be taken down a peg or two or three.
7. When you want rain, you get sunshine and vice versa. Adjust and live with it.
8. Nobody is ever satisfied with what they have been given physically...blue eyes? want brown; short frame? want tall; muffin top? want a six pack; big eyes? want slanted with extra long eyelashes. Answer? Wear brown contacts, get acquainted with Spanx, buy false eyelashes and walk on stilts...uncomfortable but do-able.
9. If you want something very badly (like a new couch) and your husband says, "NO!" and you whine and pout until you get it, you will NOT ever love that couch. There will always be that thing running around in your brain telling you, that you acted a fool to get your way. Nobody enjoys anything that was gotten by acting a fool.
10. When you don't water the ferns, they die. When you don't cut the grass, your home looks like a jungle. When you don't pluck your eyebrows or shave your legs, you look like a cavegirl. Bottom line here is: everything worthwhile in life takes some care and time. Always depending on someone else to "take care of business" for you isn't very smart. Hairy legs  = gross. So is a life that could have been worthwhile with some tender loving care that was neglected.

Now what have you learned and want to pass on?

I am linking to Beverly's Pink Saturday...please, join the fun!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

A Little Bling Has Entered the Pumpkin Patch!

I have been having a "running fit" to make some fabric pumpkins this year. Last year is just a blur and I didn't have the time nor the energy to research, gather materials, sew and fluff, but this year, I really didn't have an excuse. So it was to the garage I went...early in the morning...while it was still cool. Years ago, I bought a huge rolling garbage container and took it directly to the garage and promptly stored all my fabric in it.
Well, most of my fabric.
This time I was on the hunt for heavy upholstery fabric in seasonal colors for my pumpkins.
I had researched Pinterest for the quickest, most cost effective way to construct these little "pumps".
 Here are the "fruits of my labor"!
You know the first thing "the hubster" said, don't you?
"Whoever heard of a leopard pumpkin?"
Then..."Why can't you just make them look like regular pumpkins?"
Some people have NO imagination whatsoever!
I was showing a teenage girl these at the shop, and the first thing she said was,
"Oh, I looove the leopard one!" Yep.
Sparkly and shiny...I love these, too.
I am on a mission to see how many different types of pumpkins I can do this season.
I will post as I go! Next up...burlap...the new southern linen!

Hope you have a terrific week!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Hark! The Honk of the Duck!!

Guess I should apologize in advance, but I've found when in the retail business,
 you gotta do what you gotta do.
 I suppose you've noticed that the "big box" stores have already got their Christmas items on display
and while I'm not jumping that far out there, I AM putting out our Autumn things in the store.
I have almost Pinterested myself to death...and I found some really neat ways to use Duck Tape. Yes, I know the old gray stuff is Duct Tape, but the new cute stuff is Duck Tape. While Duck didn't have the camo tape I wanted, back in Wal Mart's hunting department, I did find Allen's Camo tape.
Home Depot's website had a tutorial on this duct tape wreath...I added my twist with the raffia, polka dot feathers, burlap and silk flowers and preserved leaves. The little terra cotta quail was a thrift store find.
(I will tell you that the wreath construction may look simple, but it isn't...the tape is very sticky to work with. Plus, the roll is rather pricey.)
This wreath is on sale at the store for $20... a buy, if I must say so myself.
I also found these little vintage wicker ducks below for a thrifty price
and put together the two flower arrangements.
If you have a duck hunter or just want to spruce up a little area in your home for fall,
either of these will do the trick. ($15 each.)
What about the hunter's tiny son? Several pair of camo boots for little ones.
Cute fly swatters for the cabin or coffee table books Wildlife South!
Below you will see my rendition of the ManCave sign...
big ole hunk of wood with painted camo and vinyl letters in brown..
$25.00...make him happy...also hand carved decoy, some
vintage turkeys to the left and a few arrowheads.
I also found two beautifully painted oils of mountains and  one of the ocean
last week. They are 8x10's I think...would look so pretty along side the ducks!
I painted these "girlie" canvases below this a.m....too much macho
and not enough girlie for me!
Also made two door wreaths...love the silk  bittersweet I found!
I can NOT wait for some cool fall weather....drinking coffee on the back porch
will be a pleasure again...changing colors and gentle breezes, mums of every color..
MY time of the year!!

Honk if you love pumpkins,

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Greenhouse Basil "Pops"

Does anyone else recognize that this is the hottest summer since I was expecting a baby back in 1974? Whew!! It's mighty toasty down here in Mississippi!
The hubster and I tackled a long overdue project at the shop...
painting the two long church pews sitting out front under the windows. 
Poor, Poor thing...she looks bedraggled and bewildered!!
So did we when the painting job was finished. 
Off to pick out a "popping" color for the porch!
The "turquoise" door and trim  paint is on the left;
my choice for the benches is on the right.
Ooh, lala! Much better!
 (You must understand that 
...I was down for the count with the knee thing
and my son and his wife were running the place, doing all the buying and trying to manage
5 days a week with little to no help from me.) So "cutsey pieing" it up was low on the totem pole.
However....I am back and feeling much better...it's time I contributed.
So the hubster and I spent the better part of an afternoon cleaning and painting.
Next will be addition of shutters, repainting the doors,new topiaries and wreaths for fall
and an 8 ft. Antiques sign for the front!
Inside things are changing also...
Reproduction football players and frames and desk set for baseball lovers are
set on my barn wood tray.
A quilter's delight (below)...
a vintage Singer Featherweight sewing machine with carrying case!
A centerpiece anchored by an old milkman's crate..
Another cutter quilt...piles of individual squares to be used in a variety of ways!
Priced at only $1.50 per square...better snap these up quickly!
Below is a McInnis and McInnis collaboration on a farmhouse wood coat/jewelry rack...
(and remarkably, we are still speaking!)
Vintage children's dishes
(& a little china tea set is in another room!)
Look at the little mixer...it still turns!
Do you remember any of these items?!
All the above items (except for the Featherweight) are on "my" side of the store.
The "sonster" (aka: my son) and his wife have tons of new collectibles on his side, too!
Their new "man cave" room is a big hit...
and I am getting ready to produce some Man Cave signs
for the holidays.
As you can see, life is gradually getting back into high gear for us!!
Thanks for all the prayers and good wishes!

Hoping you had a great weekend!