"Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal, and give strength to body and soul."
Last week I joined Melissa of The Inspired Room for sharing goals in the new year for creating a beautiful life. You can read the details of my goal list here. Each Friday she will have a link up post for sharing ideas for creating a beautiful life, things like trying to add more beauty to every day, creating ambiance in her home, living a life of contentment, nurturing an attitude of gratitude, incorporating goals for healthy living, focusing on financial freedom, creating a welcoming home, organization, and practicing regular solitude and quite times. Feel free to join in and share your simple steps for creating a beautiful life.
Also, Julia of Hooked on Houses is having a link up event called Hooked on Fridays: Keeping Cozy on Cold Days today. To keep cozy on cold days I like to spend time being creative. Below I am sharing one of the ways I kept cozy this week by creating some sassy storage boxes!
This year I chose five areas of my life to set goals in, Heart, Mind, Emotion, Body, and Environment as well as a focus Scripture for the year and a simple sentence prayer to accompany it. In these Friday post as often as I am able I will share with you my successes and near successes (I don't like to call them failures!). I have been amazed this week as I narrowed the focus on what I want to accomplish and publicly stated my goal in each area that I am actually moving forward and feel motivated with every tiny baby step. It tend to be a strong starter and a staggering finisher so I don't expect success at every leg of this journey but I am willing to make the effort. As to the outcome, we will see.
This week I practiced redirecting my thoughts when they leaned to the negative side. Instead of being a Winnie the Pooh at everything that went wrong this week and thinking, "Oh bother!" I simply made a redirect of, "Oh Father!" and turned those thoughts into prayers. This goal was put to the test with three of our three vehicles deciding to get sick and go to where sick vehicles go to recover, incurring major medical bills, one (mine) even requiring a specialist to be flown in to take care of her, there was a whole lot of "Oh Father!" going on around here! I think I made one little step towards beautiful thinking!
My Scripture verse was key to heightened my awareness of even the smallest of decisions I make on any given day. I have had to examine my motive several times this week to make sure I was on track. One simple crossroad this week was what activity to pursue. I had planned to work on an art/organization project but a piece of inspirational writing was floating around in my head. Upon examination I realized that my plans came from my head, I had just decided what I was going to do, but the writing came from my heart, a message that needed to be captured before it was lost. I chose the writing path and it was a pleasant path indeed. Oh, I so want that beautiful heart!
My treadmill and I did not get on friendly terms this week, it was clear enough and dry enough to walk outside so Sophie and I logged in some woodland walks along the trails on our property. Did I do a much and should have, no, but it was more than I did last week. I declare that progress! Healthy snacks like these were placed in a clear glass bowl front and center for easy access. A smaller bowl with fruit sat at its side. The family gravitated towards them because they could see them and I quite liked looking at the pretty colors every time I opened the door! One positive step in being beautifully healthy!
This week I received a message of comfort and encouragement that helped me to cling to joy despite what might be swirling around me or inside me. The thought was this: "Our emptiness is the optimal condition for being filled with God's peace." It is so easy to stow away my emotional baggage, touch up my outward appearance with a smile, and to look as if I have it all together in order to fool people. It is all pretense. I am not fooled. God is not fooled. A brand new car looks really great, but if there is no fuel in the tank, it won't start. It can't be driven. It won't get anywhere. It looks great but is not functional. If I don't take time out to refuel I stall out, I have no drive, I don't get anywhere, and am not functional. (Sorry about the car analogy, with all three of ours in the shop that seems to be what is on my brain!) In order to work on some emotional issues I spent a good deal of time this week quietly refueling by reading and studying Scripture and journaling. A good start to beautiful healing!
THIS was the play and fun part of my week! I am continuing to focus on one area of organization in my home, my art studio space. In a post earlier this week I said I would share a bit of sassy stylish storage with you so here is a little how-to! I had a stack of mix matched boxes that hold bits of this and bobs of that scattered around the room. I am a matchy matchy kind of gal and I like symmetry, coordination, and a sassy style, if it includes paint, paper, and glue, all the better! I decided to group all these boxes together on one handy dandy (on sale!) rolling storage cart. They did NOT inspire me when I saw them all together in their hodge podge outfits. I decided they needed a makeover post haste! Below you will find step-by-step instructions for creating your own sassy storage boxes. Enjoy!
BEFORE & AFTER...MATERIALS:
(click on any photo to enlarge for detail viewing)
(click on any photo to enlarge for detail viewing)
Recycled Cardboard Storage Boxes
Primer or Gesso
Foam brushes or mini foam rollers, 1 for priming, 2 for base coating
Low tack Painters Tape
Acrylic Craft Paints ~ I used Anita's Morning Blue and Silver Metallic, Folk Art Hauser Green Light and Wicker White
Artist Brushes - #2 flat brush and a Script Liner OR Green Gel Pen or Marker and a Bamboo Skewer, *omit green paint if you choose to use marker or pen*
Rub 'n Buff Silver Leaf
Bird Rubber Stamp ~ I used INKADINKADO Birds Galore clear stamps, can be purchased online, Hobby Lobby, or Target
Brown Pigment Ink Pad ~ I used Stampabilities brand purchased at Hobby Lobby
Tracing Pattern Paper
Graphite Paper ~ I used white
Pencil or Stylus
Water Based Sealer of your choice, brush or spray on
OPTIONAL: Scrapbook Paper or Old Book Pages, Pinking Shears or Decorative Edge Scissor, Matte Gel Medium or Spray Glue or Thinned wallpaper paste and brush to apply glue, Brayer and Bone Folder
*Lay box on its side on tracing pattern paper and with a pencil trace around the box shape, repeat for box end, marking off the area for the lid.
*Draw or trace a scroll design onto box patterns in your choice of placement and cut out patterns and set aside.NOTE: If boxes you are using have a glossy finish you will need to used a super fine grit sandpaper and gently go over all surfaces to be painted to give the surface some tooth for the paint to adhere to.
*Using a foam brush or mini foam roller, prime or gesso the outside of the box sides and bottom as well as the lid top and sides, allow to dry.*With a foam brush or mini foam roller paint box lid with Anita's Silver Metallic paint, I used three coats, allowing drying time between each coat. Follow the same process with the box using Anita's Morning Blue.TIP: While waiting between coats seal brushes or rollers in zip food storage bags, this will keep the paint moist on the brush or roller until you are ready for a second coat and no messy washing out in between! Use this tip with a regular paint roller when painting your walls only use a trash bag or plastic grocery sack with the same result!TIP: You will know your coat of paint is dry when it no longer feels cold to the touch. Acrylic paint drys in layers, while the top may feel dry, the underneath layer may still be wet. If it feels cold it is not dry. If you try to paint over it the paint may lift off the surface. You can quick dry the paint with a hairdryer on low if desired.
*Using low tack painters tape, tape around the metal plate holder to prevent getting rub 'n buff on the box surface. Put a dab of silver rub 'n buff on the end of a q-tip and gently rub over the metal to apply. Use the other end of the q-tip to buff the excess off and gently remove tape.TIP: If you have regular painters tape to make it low tack, tape it to your shirt or a piece of fabric, rub the surface, pull away and then use. The lint fibers reduce the tack of the tape and decrease the chances of the base coat surface pulling away when you remove the tape.
*Using low tack painters tape, tape pattern over box surface. Place graphite paper, graphite side towards the box under the pattern. Trace over the scroll design, repeating on all sides of box as you desire.*Mount clear stamp to mounting block as per instructions on package. Ink stamp with brown ink and stamp bird design on box. You may need to gently place the stamp down, holding in place, using your fingers from the free hand to apply gentle pressure to the inside of the box to get a clear stamped image. Allow to dry thoroughly. You can quick dry the ink with a heat tool if desired.NOTE: The first one I did slipped and left an extra smear of brown ink on my box. When ink was thoroughly dry I used the #2 brush and went over the goof with a bit of primer, allowed it to dry, and then painted over it with the Morning blue.
TO PAINT DESIGNS:
*Using Hauser Green Light paint, thinned with a bit of water to the consistency of ink, and a Script Liner Brush, paint over traced scroll design on all sides of box.*Using Wicker White paint and a #2 flat brush, paint on small teardrop shapes. Use the handle end of the paint brush to dot on white dots at the tip of each tear drop.
*Using Hauser Green Light paint and #2 flat brush, paint on small teardrop leaves placing randomly, allow to dry.*Using the Script Liner and the Silver Metallic paint, highlight each white petal with a stripe of silver paint, allow to dry.If you prefer you can make dot flowers by using the handle end of the brush dipped in Wicker White paint, make five dots, dotting the centers with Hauser Green Light.IF USING MARKING PEN:
*Trace over scroll design with marker or gel pen. Draw on leaf shapes and fill in with marker or pen, allow to dry.*Make Wicker White dot flowers as described above, allow to dry.
SCROLL WORK ALTERNATIVE: If you do not feel comfortable painting you can buy scroll work rubber stamps and green ink to achieve the same effect.
*Seal exterior of box and lid with one to two thin coats, allowing to dry between coats.
You can consider your box complete or, take it one step further and decorate the inside too! I found this necessary as my boxes have a black interior and I noticed that the interior coating was leaving a residue on anything I stored in them. I tried painting the inside but the black residue mixed with the primer and paint and made a streaky mess! To solve the problem I chose to paper the inside of my boxes.
*Paint around the inside upper edge of box and lid with the Morning Blue paint.*Use Exacto knife to cut out pages from the book.*Lay pages on waxed paper and use your sponge brush to swish on Morning Blue paint at random, allow to dry.*Trim to fit lid and box bottom using a decorative scissor, I used a pinking shear.
*For the sides of the lid and box trim to fit using a decorative scissor, being sure to leave a little excess to lap onto the flat bottom of box or lid top.
*Brush on matte gel medium or thinned wallpaper paste, or use spray glue to adhere papers, starting with the sides first then place the large sheet in box bottom and lid top. Roll with brayer, using a bone folder to smooth and seal down paper edges, allow to dry.For an added touch I stamped a bird on the inside lid and the inside box bottom, allowing to dry. I free handed more green scroll work (you can trace this on also), adding flowers and leaves as described in the previous steps. When completely dry, seal inside of box with sealant. One down, seven more to finish!Yes, yes, yes, I could have just went out and bought eight new matchy matchy boxes and been through in a jiffy but I believe in using what I have and repurposing was the answer in this case. I already had most of the supplies on hand, however, I did purchase the stamp, clear block, and new ink pad on sale for half price. I was able to redo the boxes for $10.00 rather than $40.00 to replace them. In the next few days I will have an efficient cart full of beautiful storage!
For more tutorials here at the Quill click on my Tips, Techniques, and Tutorials photo on my bottom side bar for a link list.
If you would like to participate in a fun challenge to create something beautiful and festive for your home I encourage you to visit Chantilly Grace where Bre is hosting a Romantic Valentine Wreath challenge. Just click on the highlighted link and it will take you to her post for details, simply leave a comment if you wish to join in.
Also, don't forget that Joli Paquet is back in full swing today with great tips, techniques, and tutorials for Valentine's Day as well as a great give away!
Wishing you a beautiful week,