Monday, May 24, 2010

ENTRANCE EXAM...


(Interior door - painted this green this morning)

Today I am taking an entrance exam. This is not your typical exam where you pen the answers to questions on paper, this is more of a hands on decorating exam. I am literally examining the entrance to my home. Now that it is empty of Handy Hubby's mini office I need to rethink the space.(Area where Handy Hubby's desk used to be)

Now, while I would adore having an entry that is a fully functional foofed first impression kind of space, I have to carefully consider the tiny footprint of this small home and it seems it is always function over form.

The newest issue is a growing family of tiny tots who love to come to Hannah's house to play. Tiny tots come with stuff and need stuff to play with. Their stuff needs a place to be stored in between visits, so, while not the ideal area, half the entry will now house a special space for the sweet grands things. The other half will be a seating area for putting on shoes or curling up with a book.(Playing with the setup of the childrens corner)

I like that this space is adjacent to the living room and we can see them. There is a lot of natural light so it is a bright space. They can play, have snacks, do art projects, or watch the birds at the feeders. There is not a lot of floor space but that is not the issue, they can play in the living room, the issue is the storage of stuff for them play with.

I am on a tight budget so I spent the afternoon yesterday shopping my storage building and unearthed a little doll bed that was handmade by my paternal grandfather...An old bookcase...An old brass lamp...
A vintage suitcase stand...An old picture frame given to me by my friend, Pam...And a wicker suitcase...From the linen closest I snagged the rugs that were in my old studio space...From the woods I brought up the old iron bed bench...My mother recently gave me my old table and chairs from my childhood...In order to get a good grade on my entrance exam I need to combine all this stuff into room decor. I spent this morning cleaning the room from ceiling to floor and painting the inside of the door. I am now ready to move on to the fun stuff. My plan is to give the table and chairs and doll bed a face lift with a coat of gel stain and sealer. The bookcase I am just going to clean and oil.

The bench will get a fresh coat of black paint and a new fabric covered seat. The rugs will get a dye bath to make them a deeper green. I'll use the suitcase under the bench for extra storage for bulky toys. The suitcase stand will get a coat of paint, I think it will be black too. The frame will be cleaned and sealed, I'll add a piece of wood to fit the frame and give it a decorative treatment to turn it into a table top to rest on the suitcase stand in front of the bench.

I am a little iffy about using the suitcase stand and frame for a table, I also have the option of a small handmade trunk that I could install a safety hinge on to add more toy storage. I'll wait and see if I need or not. I do like the idea that the table is easily removed and folds up to move out of the way for play.

After all that, all I have to do is gather up the toys and group them on the shelves. I might purchase baskets to fit the shelves and have the toys a bit hidden. I won't be using any cutesy colors or go crazy with a childlike theme. My plan is to blend the child friendly elements into an adult decor. I think it is important that every family member feel valued and cherished. I don't want this space to scream so much that children frequent here but more importantly that children are loved here.

What might you ask prompted this self imposed exam? I agreed to host a party here this coming Saturday so I am in a cleaning, decorating, fooffing up frenzy. I hope to get the entry and two other rooms freshly foofed by Friday. I have four days for crazy decorating projects and one day for yard work with a half day left for setting up the party. Break time is over, it is back to my entrance exam, wish me luck!

Hope you are in the midst of happy plans too!

Blessings,
Miss Sandy

Friday, May 21, 2010

TRANS-FARM-ATION...

Beauty saves. Beauty heals. Beauty motivates. Beauty unites. Beauty returns us to our origins and here lies the ultimate acts of saving, of healing, of overcoming.

-Matthew Fox-
(Neighboring Farm)

Pointing northward with each humming roll of the tires against the tarry asphalt I now make the weekly trek up to the farm. The first few times the singing of the tires was a soulful sorrow filled sound that accompanied the lump in my throat. I dreaded the trip, and yet, I let the tune carry me mile after mile to the place I least wanted to be.(Hay barn and tractor shed nestled in buttercup covered field at our farm)

Those first few times were the worst. I either put on an armor of anger or buckled under the weight of my grief spilling tears upon the thirsty red clay drive, unable to even enter the house. In subsequent visits I tried putting on a brave face and shielding myself with a protective cover of busyness, cleaning and repairing at a frenzied pace. And still the sadness lingered, whispering memories through the wind blown hay fields, rustlings and longings for what used to be.
(Golden windswept hay in the back hayfield at the farm)

As this second springtime of her passing arrived I began to sit up and take notice of the changing landscape. The humming tune of the tires began to take on a happier note with each new bloom that sprouted from the earth, especially those in her own garden, planted by her own hands. Roses, Peony's, and plump purple Iris, evidence that she was here and that a part of her still lives on.
(My grandmothers roses, peony's, and iris at the farm)

Somehow this last visit was like a cloudy haze lifting off the distant mountains as the tires hummed with a happy tune of anticipation. The sorrow and lingering sadness had begun to evaporate like the morning mist.
(Distant mountains behind the farm house)

I didn't feel quite so little and lost without her physical presence. I felt sheltered by its nearness in my heart.
(Wild brown bunny in the field)

There was no blur or prickle of tears behind my eyes.
(Thistle just beginning to bloom by the roadside at the farm)

Nor was there the thorny presence of grief. Somehow, without my notice, I had begun to grow beyond the matted tangle of emotions, and in spite of them, blossom above it all.
(Wayward thistle patch in the hay field at the farm)

The first fruits of loss and grief were slowly passing with each rotation of the tire, with each hummed note, with each visit, without my notice.
(First fruits on the peach, grapevines, and apple tree at the farm)

I no longer feel like I am drowning in despair.
(Pond at the farm)

Life is teaming to the surface.
(Reeds and water lilies on the pond)

Desolation has turned into trans-farm-ation.
(Old barn down the road from the farm)

This beautiful farm that I find myself in possession of is filled with healing transforming powers where green growing things have been a restorative balm to my aching soul. A gift from both the Creator and the one who so closely nurtured me here on earth.
(Sweet green grass on the pond bank at the farm)

A gift that the casual onlooker would not, could not see, because it was an internal healing that could not be penetrated by the most discerning of stares.
(A neighbors cow and calf)

It is a gift of healing inside the heart that has allowed me to bury my sorrow deeply into the beauty of the land that greets me at the end of the ribbon-ed road that ties me to her. I am now able to graze on the goodness of the past without the bittersweet sorrow.
(Horse grazing by the roadside)

I can lift my head and gaze into the future...
(Horse gazing across the roadside fence)

Where I am anticipating the sweet tomorrows that promise to be as fragrant and abundant as the sweet purple clover of the fields.
(Sweet purple clover covering both fields and roadside on the way to the farm)

Where I remember that " She loves me!" still...
(Wild daisies in the hay fields of the farm)

The shadows of grief have dissipated and softened like the fading day sky...
(The tucking in of the day over the farm)

Softly tinted peachy pink tones of pain are all that remain. Sweet new memories and brighter days are a promise on the horizon as I soar above the shadows cast by her passing. I rejoice in the blessing of our two lives touching.
(Bird soaring over the shadowy back hay field)

I don't know what tune the tires will sing as I point myself northward for the next trip but I hope that I hear in it the sweet throaty hum of her voice as so oft heard in the past... " In the sweet by and by; we shall meet on that beautiful shore..." For now, the farm is that beautiful shore, where my spirit sorrows no more. I sigh from the blessing of rest from the grief. To my bountiful Father above I offer a tribute of praise for the glorious gift of my grandmothers love and the sweet trans-farm-ation that will hallow the rest of my days.


For what do you give praise?

Blessings,
Miss Sandy

P.S. Sorry I have been away so much this week. I have had some writing to catch up on and was in the zone to get a good bit of it done. I am feeling so much better with my energy returning. I hope to spend the weekend in the studio to finish settling in. I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

BLENDING BEAUTY...

We spent the weekend unwinding at the farm...Which allowed me time and space to uncork a few new thoughts and ideas...That gave me back a little sparkle and shine...Pinning on new hope...That the passing of time will indeed renew both frail body and creative spirit...Life is sometimes a beautiful mess that cannot be controlled or contained no matter how pretty we try to package it...But whose contents must be spilled out in a bright, brilliant, beautiful mixture of whatever comes our way - sickness, health, poverty or wealth... Each facet has a joy or sorrow all its own. How we spend our time, on what we pin our hopes, and the way in which we uncork our dreams all become a beautiful part of who are meant to be. We entwine our lives with that of others, giving and receiving, blending the beauty, making a interesting assortment encouragement among the vast contrast of experiences that we share.

I thought about you all while we were there and wished that we were physically walking side by side through the countryside seeing the same sights and experiencing the same pleasures. It dawned on me in that moment...that is what we indeed do, this is the very essence of blogging - walking alongside one another sharing encouragement, cheering one another on, sharing the unique facets of our individual lives, forging friendships which otherwise never would have existed due to geographical constraints, communicating the joy of who we are, and sharing the hopes and dreams of what or who we wish to become. A perfect blending of beauty and bliss - thanks for being a part of the beautiful mixture of my life!

What beautiful bountiful treasure have you discovered in your blogging experience?

Blessings,
Miss Sandy

PHOTOS:
Flea Market finds - Vintage Hat Boxes, Crazed Platter, Glass Bottle Stopper, Watch, Ball of Twine, Large Metal Pin, Pearl Necklace, and Large Peach Pearl Hair Clip

Family Treasures - Paste Jeweled Necklace, Pink and Silver Necklace, Gold Filigree Pearl Studded Hair Clip, and Buckle Ring

Friday, May 14, 2010

WITH HEARTFELT THANKS...

If instead of a gem, or even a flower, we should cast the gift of a loving thought into the heart of a friend, that would be giving as the angels give.

-George MacDonald- Thank you, you sweet wonderful friends, for casting the gift of loving thoughts into my heart and giving as the angels give! I am so honored that you would take the time out to send them my way. I did see the doctor yesterday and am trying out another combo of meds and they seem to be taking hold. I am slowly climbing out of the sticky web of sickness...Heading down the path to wellness...My every step feels as if it is being closely watched...Sickness still stalking...Ready to pounce again at any moment...Like the pale little primrose I lift my face to the sun...Tilting it upward to receive the full warmth...
Of the strength I have gathered around me...In your friendship, through your prayers, well wishes, and good thoughts...My heart bursts with gratitude...As I count each one you as a beautiful flower...In the bouquet of blessings in my life...The stony weight of unwellness seems to be lifting...I am beginning to feel as light as a feather...Or at least, pointed in the right direction...You truly are a bunch of good eggs...
I can't think of anyone I d' rather share my nest with here than you... As you can see, I managed a little walk about this afternoon. I found a few gifts from nature to play with. I happened upon a spark of inspiration in this little piece of wood... Can you guess what it will be?

Happy guessing and many blessings,
Miss Sandy
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