Welcome! I'm so glad you stopped by today! If you're inspired by what you see, I invite you to follow along via one (or more) of the options on the side bar below.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Inspired by... serendipity

Welcome to another...

I'm excited to share with you these unexpected and wonderful things I found this week:

As many of you know, my brother and his girlfriend are visiting this week from Phoenix.  Yesterday we drove up to Lake Travis.  With over 270 miles of shoreline, Lake Travis is a fishing and water sport mecca.  However, with our current drought conditions, we weren't sure what to expect.

It was sad to see the lake so low.  From what I can determine from reading online, the lake is about 20ft below it's normal 10-20ft flux.  So about 40ft below it's "full" level.  You can see the tree line along the banks in the distance.

As sad as it was to see the lake so low, it's present condition was what created the opportunity for me to find something unexpected and wonderful!


Yes, you read rightly.  Rocks.

I realize the average normal person is not excited by rocks.  But I like rocks, especially unexpected and wonderful rocks!  
Hopefully, when I'm done sharing my rocks, you'll like them too!

The lake is so low, we had to drive down a boat ramp (getting the visual here?) and then walk a bit to reach the water.  As I walked along I began noticing the most interesting rocks!  After filling my mother's camera bag (I had no pockets, bag or anything) I realized I would have to be more discriminatory in my pickings.

Here's a look at the collection I ended up with.

I have no idea what they are, but they don't look average to me...

 Lovin' the shells!

 The texture of the one on the right is really strange, like a caramel candy!

That yellow just pops!

I have the rocks setting on a bed of glass shards, covered in water.  The detail and colors in the rocks really pop when they are under water!

So, what am I going to do with them?

For now, they are on display in my kitchen under a couple floating candles.

Their color is not as vibrant when dry, but they're still pretty and would look nice in other (dry) displays as well.  Combined with some drift wood, perhaps... or more shells.

Do any of you collect rocks? have any on display? I'd love to hear!

Anyone know anything about rocks?  I'd love to learn what some of these are.

So, what serendipitous finds did you have this week?


Friday, July 29, 2011

Inspired by... before and after {3}

Hi everyone! Happy Friday!
Well, I survived the caverns and they were awe some!
I'll be sharing my pictures of that adventure with you soon!

But today, I'm really excited to be sharing with you my final before and after re do!

But first, a review.





Here was the first project:

 and the second:

and last but not least:

 It's hard to see from the photos what a difference painting these frames made in our bedroom.  There was just too much white going on!  And the sage green really compliments the greens in our bedding.

  I had to photograph them from an angle because they face several windows and the reflections were impossible!  Photographing them in a better location wasn't an option, because the whole point is for you to see the difference they make where they are!  

So please forgive the photos, I know they are not the best.

Here are a couple of detail shots:

We are thrilled with the results and have a few other picture frames we'll be painting as a result.  This project was a little more expensive, because the frames were not wood and had a high gloss, we had to purchase a primer and spray paint.  But it was still under $10!

I hope my three little projects have inspired you to look for "little" things (simple, inexpensive, practical) that you can do that will make a big impact.

And I'd love to hear how you've put this inspiration into practice!

Today, we're off to explore Austin via Lake Travis.  What are your plans?


Linking up here:

Tidy Mom      Join  us Saturdays at tatertotsandjello.com for the weekend wrap 
 up           party!   

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Inspired by... family

Taking a little family time this week.

As I mentioned before, my brother and his girlfriend are in town.  Today we're going for a drive around Canyon Lake...

 ... and then...

Would now be a good time to mention that I'm claustrophobic?

So...anyway... it should be a fun day and the Caverns are a good way to get out of our nearly 100 degree weather... they maintain a pretty constant 70 with 99% humidity.

If they let me bring my camera in I'll post some pictures for you tomorrow.

Thanks for being patient with me this week.  I just finished the last Before and After project, so I'll be posting that for you soon.  I just love how it (they) turned out!!

I also have another fun project just about finished that I can't wait to share with y'all!

In the meantime, here's a layout I finished earlier this week with photos from our mini vacation last month...

...using the kit A Quiet Place by Dancing Princess Designs.  The colors in Jenn's kit are just perfect for the clear aqua tones of the Alto Frio river. 

And finally... I have a confession to make...

I blew it.

Remember Lizzie?  The precious little girl I told you about yesterday?

Her birthday was LAST month - double ugh!

Her daddy was extremely gracious with me, saying, "Don't worry about it.  She will be excited to open a gift."

Love him!

It's true, she's too young to understand that I missed her birthday and I didn't know about the blankets a month ago, so it all worked out for the best!

But you can bet her birthday gift will be EARLY next year! 

Have you blown it recently?  Just to make myself feel better, I'd love to hear about it!


Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Inspired by... Lizzie

Someone very special is turning 2 years old this week!

Say hello to Lizzie Bug!  Isn't she adorable?  Love her! 
She's our nephew's daughter and I think it is a downright crime that I have never met this precious little blessing in person!  (We're hoping to correct that very soon!)

She has good taste, too... she likes frogs.
Don Farrall/Getty Images
Here's what I made her for her birthday.

I fell in love with these blankets when I saw them over on Katie's Craptastic blog.  (Katie has a great tutorial so I won't repeat it here.)  When I saw this fabric at JoAnn's, I just knew I had to make one for our Lizzie Bug!

My friend, M.E., embroidered this for me using her "fancy" machine - I just love how it came out!  Thanks, M.E.!

We shipped it off to the birthday girl today!

Of course, Aslan, aka baby kitty, had to help with the packing.
Tissue paper in a BOX!  Who can resist that!

So, what projects have you been working on this week?


Sharing inspiration here:

   Somewhat Simple     
Whipper Berry

Inspired by... salad

Love salad?
Me too!
But often sometimes it's a pain I don't have time to chop and cut up everything to make one.
Love cucumbers?
Me too!
I used to slice them up and make sandwiches.
But often sometimes those sandwiches just weren't enough to fill me up.

Somewhere along the way I came up with the idea (by no means an original idea)  to make a mini version of the salad I wanted (less work), with lots of cucumber and stuff it in a pita!

These babies fill me up every time!

Here's my recipe:

Garden Salad Pita Pockets

2-3 Tablespoons feta cheese, crumbled
1 cup shredded lettuce
1/2 cup chopped cucumber
1/2 cup chopped tomato
1/2 cup chopped avacado
1 tsp dill
1 Tablespoon mayonnaise
1 whole pita (2 halves)
Prepare first 5 ingredients and add to mixing bowl. Add dill and Mural of Flavor.  Add mayonnaise.  Mix well.  Stuff, gently, into pita pockets.  Enjoy!

Notes:  I love to make these when we have leftover salmon in the house.  Double yum!  I've also been known to boil up 4-5 shrimp, dice them small and add them to the salad.  Feel free to substitute to your own tastes, just make sure you dice/chop things small to avoid tearing the pita pocket.

About Penzey's Spices:  My friend, K., introduced me to Penzey's two Christmas' ago.  I compared them to what I could buy at the local grocer, both price per ounce and quality - in my opinion Penzey's wins hands down.  Everything they make is gluten-free with the exception of a couple of their soup starters.  This is a down-to-earth, love to cook - cook to love business and I highly recommend them!  They've recently expanded into several new markets.  Check their website, they might have a store near you! (they have no idea I'm saying this or even have a blog, they simply know me as a customer)

I'd love to hear about any recipes you've "invented."

What's your favorite way to make a salad?

On another note:

My brother's in town this week.  I'm super excited to have him here!  

Please forgive me if it takes me longer than usual to respond to your comments.  I read every one and am always blessed by what you have to say! 

We're heading out to lunch now... 
Hmm, maybe I'll have a salad, since someone else will have to do all the prep work! 




Monday, July 25, 2011

Inspired by... dreams

If you've reviewed any of my past posts, then you'll know that dreams are pretty important to me. 
The Books all started with a dream and much of my inspiration still comes that way.

So I was pleased when Kim Klassen announced her photo challenge for this week:
 I used her Golden Texture as a color layer, opacity 86% and then masked back in the ocean.  This picture was taken on the north shore of Hawaii (Big Island)

Here is the original:
Yes, the colors are real.  So real, they take your breath away.

I chose this picture because, even though I've been there in real life, Hawaii is still like a dream to me.  Everything about it is just a little bit surreal.  Kinda like looking across the Grand Canyon or up at the red rocks of Sedona.

Do you know places like that?

I'm curious to see the other photos that are posted in the Dream challenge.  I would venture to guess that when most people think of dreams, they think of the things they wish they could do, or want to do someday rather than the "while you are sleeping" kind of dreams that I tend to think of.
Not that the other kinds are bad.  
They can help us set goals and give us something to aspire to.  But I tend to be a more "in the moment" kinda girl.  Some of this, perhaps, comes with age.  Looking back, I can see I spent a lot of my life wishing for something different, better, etc.

I don't know about you, but I don't want to wish the rest of my life away.  I don't want to miss one single thing that God has for me...  
To be Content in my present circumstances, grateful for what I have, finding JOY in each moment.
I think these are attitudes that please Him.
And I guess, if I were to have a dream, that's what it would be...  
To hear Him say, "Well done, good and faithful servant."

What about you?  What's your dream?


Linking up here:


Sunday, July 24, 2011

Inspired by... serendipity {freebie}

Welcome to another...
  I am so excited to share with you an unexpected and wonderful thing that happened to me this week!

Jennifer, with Dancing Princess Designs, graciously accepted me as part of her Creative Team!
Her kits are beautiful, whimsical, fun, chic, inspiring, oh, I could go on and on!  I'm so excited to be part of her team!  Thanks again, Jenn, for having me!

Here are two layouts I created using her Marshmallow World kit:

This is such a fun, whimsical kit!  Lovin' me some penguins!  

Being part of the team also means I'll be passing along the great free downloads that DPD offers from time to time.

Here is DPD's latest, adorable, freebiet:
My Dino Pal
You can download it for free, for one week, from the Dancing Princess Designs blog, HERE.

As my portfolio expands, I'll be adding a gallery page to my blog which will, hopefully, inspire you in your own designs.

Thanks for letting me share my good news with you!

I'd love to know how many of you are into digital scrapbooking.


Saturday, July 23, 2011

Inspired by... before and after {2}

Happy Saturday!
Sorry to be late posting this... Hubby and I spent the afternoon at the Riverwalk yesterday, celebrating our 15th anniversary.

  We never get tired of the Riverwalk!  If you're ever in San Antonio, it is a must see!  We recommend Casa Rio Mexican restaurant, great salsa, good food, every time!

Here's my 2nd before and after project.




 I saw this idea on another blog, unfortunately, I can't remember where. If any of you know, please comment, so I can give proper credit.
The blonde wood on the original holder was really an eye-sore in my kitchen where all the accents are dark.  The "mocha" spray paint cost me less than $3 and I have almost a whole can left to use on other projects! 
I took these shots from a distance so you could see the overall affect that the color change had on the space.  

Such a minor, easy fix and it made a huge difference!

If you have an example of how a small, inexpensive change made a big impact in your home, I'd love to hear it!