Sunday, April 13, 2014

Cultivating Moments

Her words crushed.
Hitting hard and sinking deep.
Stealing joy.

Breathing in surprise,
I exhale unwanted anger.

Staring at blurred letters.

"Strike back," Blackness screamed, demanded.

I instinctively wanted to.

"Turn inward," Soul whispered gently.

I reluctantly balked.

This world.
So hard and rough.
I wanted no more of it's darkness and biting ways.
No more of it's beating me down.

I said, "I can not figure things out."
God whispered, "I will direct your steps."

I said, "I can not manage."
God whispered, "I will supply all your needs."

I said, "I am frustrated."
God whispered, "Cast all your cares on ME."

He humbles me.

Quote from book by Rachel Ashwell

Resting in faith.
Relaxing in His Presence.

My heart moves toward Him,
in sync with His steps,
 embracing His love.

"What if the art we make – whether the work of our hands, the words of our mouth, the simple movement towards others in our ordinary days – 
what if these are the ways Jesus wants to show Himself to a weary world?
What if the art we make and live is a daily grace God has in mind for someone else?
And our way of living art is one of the million little ways God wants to show himself in the world?"
~ author unknown

No thinking.
No wondering.
No imagining.
No obsessing.
No apologies for being me.
I will make art
and live gracefully.
Not asking for nor expecting recognition or praise.
Shutting out the loudness of the world.
Inviting in the quietness of the Holy Spirit.

My heart...and my blog...will continue to be a garden where faith is grown.
A place to continue to cultivate friendships.
A place to gather words...

and to spread His Word.

East garden 2013

"You are exactly where you are supposed to be.
If you are happy...revel in it.
Appreciate the moment.
If you are unhappy...take note.
Try to figure out what you are supposed to be learning from this moment.
For each and every moment woven together over time
is your life.
Each moment matters.
Each moment has something beautiful to teach us."
~ Simple Daisy

~ Eucharisteo ~

Linking to the linky parties on the lower right of my sidebar.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Boho-Funky Prairie Shutters

As early spring sunshine filtered through the studio window,
sitting amidst pretty roses and prairie curtains...

RA curtains in my studio. These are staying here.

I brainstormed.

I drew sketches.

I played with pieces of wood.

The Husband and I trekked to Home Depot and spent hours sorting through planks
and picking through hinges.

And then we started playing.
Visually laying out the plan.

Prairie shutters were on the docket for the day.
Another dream was coming to fruition,
and I could barely contain myself from doing the happy dance ~
while The Husband threw numerous raised eyebrows my way.

However, we had to finagle these shutters.
Get creative.
Really creative.

Since our sofa backs up against one window and the chaise arm is close to the other window,
we had to rethink having full planks
because we wouldn't be able to open them all the way.


So I decided to design a 3/4 over 1/4 shutter for these windows. 
Something different.
Something a little funky bohemian.
Something that could be opened up behind the furniture.
The top double 3/4 length planks would move as one piece.
The bottom tri-fold planks would fold in together to clear the furniture
and then could be folded out again to lay flat against the wall. 

I stained them with Minwax 'Early American' first
followed by a light coat of homemade chalk paint in the same creamy white shade I've used throughout the house.

Of course, I didn't have any of my favorite 'prairie pink' paint that I used on the kitchen and bathroom shutters (that you can see here and here and here).
So, I pulled on my creativity cap and mixed and stirred and mixed and stirred
like a mad scientist.
Adding a little brown, a little black, and a little white to a base of bright pink "oops" paint that I nabbed at The ReStore last month for $10.

(I never said I was a neat painter, you know....)

The soft lilac-pink shade that I was waiting for gradually appeared,
(in the bottom can above)
and I swished it haphazardly all over the shutters.

At one point, I thought I was finished with painting them and was ready to move into distressing mode.
But just to be on the safe side, I thought I'd haul one inside to see if it was "pink" enough for me.

Not by a long shot.

I lugged it back outside to the work room,
and as I retrieved my pink-covered paint brush,
I mentioned to The Husband,
"They aren't pink enough.  Gotta add more."

The Husband:  "I kinda thought that myself."

Thank you, Lord, for a husband who doesn't mind pink!

Palm-sanding and random distressing revealed a vintage look,
followed by a waxing and buffing of clear Annie Sloan Wax to seal it.
I let them set overnight.

After church service on Sunday morning, we had a very quick lunch
(because I was so anxious to get these beauties up).
I don't think I've eaten a piece of left over seafood pizza so fast in my life.

While refraining once again from doing the happy dance,
we used t-strap hinges that I had painted with Rustoleum spray Chalkpaint
to attach them to the wide vintage oak trim that surround our windows.

We installed the bottom shutters first,
and my toes began to tap....

and then we tackled the top set.
My legs were now twitching to the music in my head.

You can see how the top shutters can swing open freely,
while the bottom sections tri-fold in on each other
clearing the arm of the chaise.

They kind of remind me of a little picket fence.  :)

Ok, I can't stand it any longer.
I'll take a moment to do the happy dance
while you take a look at our work.

{Cue happy feet!}

Thinking of moving the RA banner to the other side of the sofa by the lamp.  Thoughts...?

A peek through the shutters at the springtime decor on the front porch.
(The snow is just about gone now, thank goodness.)

The large tri-fold door filled with rose prints that stood in the corner behind the table the alabaster lamp is on was finally moved and stored in the attic for now.
The absence of it made the entire room feel larger.

I wanted the prairie shutters to take center stage now.

And even though the grocery store brand sheer drapes that hung on the windows previously weren't heavy or stifling by any means,
without them, the room felt lighter.

The shutters will provide privacy at night,
and are the perfect shabby prairie chic way to keep out the cold winter winds
and hot summer sun.

I love the clean, airy, prairie look they lend to the living room.
There's just something homey and comforting about opening them each morning
and closing them up at night.

The Husband:  "You know...they're even cool when they're not closed all the way."
Me:  "Really.  Who are you and what did you do with my husband...?"

A little pink.
A little boho.
A little funky.

A lot prairie.

And Husband Approved, too.

~  Eucharisteo  ~

[Thank you, Tausha, for your barn-room inspiration for these shutters!]

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