Friday, January 30, 2009

It's A Beautiful Life Lessons and Decor...

"You learn something every day if you pay attention."
~Ray LeBlond~
Beautiful living is sometimes a very messy thing. This week in keeping focused on my beautiful living goals, emotions have been messy as acceptance of a life long fractured relationship is what it is and due to the circumstances it will not change. I know that nothing is beyond the scope of God's power but in order for Him to work there has to be cooperation on our part. The person involved wants no part of me or of God. This weeks lesson has been to accept what I cannot change, to have the wisdom to realize that I have no power to change the other person, and to persevere in hope through prayer. Only God can change a heart and that is my hope.

Beautiful living is also sometimes identifying what is and what is not working for you. This week in the area of environment some things were not working. One of those things was this messy basket of shoes.
This has been an ongoing battle for me. I have tried many solutions for storing our outside shoes. Living in a rural setting requires old and often dirty outside shoes plus a pair of work shoes or boots for Handy Hubby's daily trek out into the world of gainful employment. We don't have the luxury of a mud room to hide them away from view so they reside in the front entry of our home, a lovely sight to greet our guests to be sure. NOT! I have been scouring shoe storage solutions in both stores and online but nothing has appealed to me. I wanted them out of sight but within easy access.

Yesterday I left home to peruse my favorite flea markets with my wish list, paint chips, and swatches in tow.
Foremost in my mind was the design philosophy of Sue Whitney and Ki Nassauer, authors of the book, "Junk Beautiful", "When you look at junk, forget what is was and think about what it could be." With this mind set I discovered a delightful shoe storage solution, a very affordable antique music cabinet. It is in need of some very minor repair which my Handy Hubby will see to this evening, a thorough cleaning, and new screws on the handle. What was intended to hold records will now serve as a quaint shoe caddy. I can well imagine a large vase of fresh flowers resting atop this little cabinet greeting my guests rather than the former mess.

Now that I have beautiful shoe storage I needed something to fill the void at one end of the entry. We used to have a lovely iron bench that was made from an antique bed. While it was ornate and beautiful it was the most uncomfortable thing to sit on. It has retired to the garden and the space has stood empty for some time now. I had a dream piece in mind which would have been equally as pretty but not practical. Sometimes beautiful living means letting go of something or adjusting our expectations which can often lead to the surprise of something equally delightful to fill that space. This was my discovery this week.

Friends of a newly combined household were getting rid of excess furniture and I was able to purchase a chair from them that is fashionable, functional, and fits our needs.
Now we have some place lovely to sit to put on our shoes, to curl up to read, or to watch the wildlife. I shopped my home and moved a few pieces around to create a seating area. A narrow folding table from the hall, a lamp from the living room, old favorite books from various places about the house, a pair of corbels from a shelf, a rug from the kitchen, and an old unused Italian bed spread from the closet were used to cozy up the space.A stop in Hobby Lobby netted more beautiful abundance than I could ever imagine possible in such a short span of time to complete this space. Usually when I decorate a space it evolves over time as budget allows. It so happens that I have been setting aside a bit of savings here and there for a decorating fund. With funds at the ready I was able to purchase the music cabinet for shoe storage for 10% off the tag price, three decorative pillows at half price, and fabric and trim for window treatments at 30% off with a bit of savings left over. Generally I enjoy making pillows and such but figuring fabric, trim, pillow forms, and thread, buying them was actually a savings in this case. In the very near future I will give you the two cent tour of the completed space.

Beautiful living is often seeing the potential in people and and the spaces we occupy. Beautiful living is an every day learning process. These were some of the beautiful lessons in my week. To me beautiful living is also in sharing and giving. To incorporate the giving aspect of beauty into my week next week, I will be having a give away! You might remember when Queen Winter first paid me a call, well, she has returned and I have completed the collage I started on that day and it is the prize for the give away! Check back next week for sign up details and to see the completed project.
In the spirit of sharing I will have a project how-to for you week after next and the sample I make up will be a Valentine give away prize! I hope you will drop in for that too. For more ideas on beautiful living, please visit Melissa at The Inspired Room where you will find a link up post to share or gain beautiful living tips.

Miss Sandy

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Crazy Busy and Thank You.....

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your paths."
Proverbs 3:5-6
In case you are wondering, I did not fall off the face of the earth, this week has just been crazy busy! Thanks so much to all who have prayed on my behalf. The situation has not resolved itself but I am fine. I very much appreciate your care and concern. This week was a very hard lesson in learning the meaning of the Serenity Prayer:

God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.

Living one day at a time;
Enjoying one moment at a time;
Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
Taking, as He did, this sinful world
as it is, not as I would have it;
Trusting that He will make all things right
if I surrender to His Will;
That I may be reasonably happy in this life
and supremely happy with Him

Forever in the next.

--Reinhold Niebuhr

I seemed to be having trouble with the "wisdom to know the difference" and "accepting what I cannot change" parts. A dear friend gave me some very wise counsel and after much prayer and seeking the Lord's guidance I gained the wisdom I needed to accept that I cannot change the person or the situation and I must accept things as they are, grieve the loss, and let go.In the meantime life goes on. I am practicing blooming where I am planted like the lilies in the photos from Darling Daughter's garden last season. Trivial things are taking place, like, ottoman shopping and can you believe that Handy Hubby has put in his two cents worth on the subject? Can you say super size AGAIN! Have mercy! I am off the shop while he is at work. I will be back soon to regale you with the tale as well as a hint at not one but two upcoming give aways here at the Quill.

Miss Sandy

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Serendipity Sunday: Faithfulness That Reaches The Clouds

Serendipity: Making a delightful or unexpected discovery

"Your mercy, O Lord, is in the heavens; Your faithfulness reaches the clouds."

~Psalm 36:5~
The other evening I stood in the field gazing upward over the tree covered hills at the colorful clouds. A chill was in the air and a tickle of wind sent a shiver down my spine but could not chase me back into the warmth and shelter of my home. I was admiring the silhouette of the dark bare trees against the pastel backdrop of the evening sky. As I gazed at the branches I studied the tip of the tree limbs and noted their upward lift as if they were reaching for the sky. A snippet of Isaiah 55 (verse 12) came to mind, "...And all the trees of the field shall clap their hands..." They did look as if they were rejoicing over the beauty of the sky at the close of the day. I noted that the sinking sun had under lit the light areas of the clouds with a golden tint and deepened the gray areas, both being equally beautiful to me, the dark and the light. I admired the solid expanse of brilliant blue backdrop that the clouds rested upon. I thought about the shading of those clouds and how they are often like our life, times that are highlighted or deepened by the experiences we have on any given day. The day for me had been a dismal one with the delivery of unsettling news and the knowledge of the next steps that would need to be taken. Maybe the shiver was not from the wind after all but from fear and dread of the outcome of the situation before me. In the midst of watching the changing light and shade, God gently whispered fresh hope to my weak and wounded heart. He nurtured it and grew it with each shift of cloud shape and each hue of light and darkness. That tiny sliver of hope assured me of a solid foundation that I could rest upon. The One who paints the sky with such brilliant colors, casting light and shadow upon each is the same One who paints the days of my life with experiences of light and shadow also. Behind them both blaze a brilliant backdrop upon which I can rest, the very arms of God. Peace flooded my soul as breath from heaven assured me the He had the situation in hand and the outcome would indeed be His will. He was calling me to rest in him.
I continued to stand and stare at the evening sky drinking in the colors, learning a lesson from the trees. Even though they are barren they lift their branches upward in a posture of praise, knowing in due season they will bloom again. I turned homeward with a lighter heart and the praise of promise a stepping stone to hope, the words of Isaiah 55:11-13 adding a spring to my step...

11 so is my word that goes out from my mouth:
It will not return to me empty,
but will accomplish what I desire
and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.

12 You will go out in joy
and be led forth in peace;
the mountains and hills
will burst into song before you,
and all the trees of the field
will clap their hands.

13 Instead of the thornbush will grow the pine tree,
and instead of briers the myrtle will grow.
This will be for the LORD's renown,
for an everlasting sign,
which will not be destroyed."

Wishing you the peace of His presence in your deepest time of need,
Miss Sandy

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

My Zoo Nest...

"Everything in a bedroom should contribute to an atmosphere of peace."
~Billy Baldwin~
(photo, former bedding at Quill Cottage)
I so admire everyday bloggers! I have been trying to figure out what I could post on for a couple of days now. Not much is happening in my world as I am still stranded here at home, although one vehicle was released from the hospital yesterday, but it wasn't mine. I have been filling my time with the usual stuff, chores, a little writing, and assembly line style storage box production. The closest thing I've had to an adventure is buying a new mattress. A process which has turned my house into a zoo nest! Blogger even said so see:Pretty dull huh?

Have you ever heard of or read the children's book "If You Give A Mouse A Cookie" by Laura Joffe Numeroff? It is a quaint little story about a boy who gives a mouse a cookie. Once he has the cookie he wants a glass of milk, followed by requesting a straw to drink the milk, then he needs a napkin, and on and on the story goes. Not only does the little mouse need one more item each time, he makes a huge mess in the process. This is exactly what happened when we purchased a new mattress.

Handy Hubby is very rarely insistent upon anything that has to do with the home. I ask his opinion but he usually defers to me in all things domestic, until recently when he insisted we get a new mattress. Not just any mattress mind you but a super sized one. Never mind the fact that none of the bedding we own would fit the monster or the fact that we live in a cottage of small rooms. He patiently explained to me that it is called a BED room for a reason. I am kind of silly that I want other things in the room like a dresser and chest of drawers to hold our clothing. I felt like I had stepped into the pages of my very own version of "If You Give A Mouse A Cookie" only my title would be, "If You Give a Man A Mattress"!
The story goes something like this:
(photo, sneak peek at new bedding, Garden Dreams, I only purchased the quilt and two matching shams, I mixed and matched the rest of the pieces)

If you give a man a mattress, he will super size it.
And chances are if he asks for a mattress,
he will want some sheets.
(For the first time ever he steps into my domestic domain and goes with me to purchase bedding, have mercy!)

He wants sheets, any old sheets will do, the cheaper the better.
You must educate him in the fine art of purchasing bedding, standard vs. deep pocket vs. extra deep pocket as well as patiently explaining the benefits of a high thread count, cotton vs. organic, what wrinkle free means, pima cotton vs. Egyptian cotton, and that color most certainly does matter!
He will look at you helplessly, you will select the sheets, without even gasping over the price, after all it was he who insisted on the super size model!

Once he has the sheets he will want warm blankets, after all it is winter!
You must educate him once again, micro fleece vs. cotton knit vs. micro plush vs. down vs. vellux vs. acrylic vs. electric. His eyes will glaze over, no worries, this is normal.
He will defer to you, you will choose, and color most certainly does matter!

Once he has his blankets he will want new pillows to fill out those super sized pillow cases.
You must educate him in the fine art of selecting pillows, allergen free, firm, medium, or extra firm density, down vs. poly fiber vs. memory foam vs. feather, standard/queen vs. king size.
He will punch a few pillows and look to you for guidance. Make him choose his own, if the choice is wrong, he cannot blame you.

When he has his pillow, he will think he is off the hook on the shopping expedition.
Gently explain to him that he will also need a mattress and pillow covers. Be prepared for a very scared look to cross his face.
Gently lead him through the choices of poly cotton zip allergen free, stretch knit zip, waterproof, baffle channel feathered, cotton blend, terry cotton blend, and Egyptian cotton blend. Color does not matter, they all come in white!

Once this choice is made, he will think he is through at long last.
Smile sweetly as you remind him that pretty matters and must also purchase the icing for the king sized cake!
Once he enters the land of lovely bedding choices he will sweat profusely, mop his brow, pat his back, take his hand and lead him through lovely land! Ever so gently explain bedding collections, duvet cover vs. comforter vs. quilt vs. coverlet vs. bed in a bag. Smile at him sweetly and exclaim that you sincerely hope to find something that will match your hand painted furniture, wall color, and window treatments, if not they will have to be changed too! Gently remind him that your custom built headboard will no longer fit and you will sketch a new design and put his handy skills to good use in the very near future. It might not hurt to remind him that this was HIS idea!

Let the poor guy off the hook and take him home with the assurance that you can choose the icing for the king sized cake on your own. Once there, a frenzy of flying bedding will take place, everything and I mean everything will have to be moved and your man will make you house look like this:

A corner full of cords!
A pile of pillows!
A not so inviting entry! Although the light shining on the plastic is kind of pretty.A new nook look! Sunshine on sheets is pretty too! After all I am in search of everyday beauty and this is the best I can do in chaos!A clump of quilts! Hey was he using these to drag furniture across the wood floors and is that a dog toy I see near them? What were those two up to while I was gone? I about fainted when I saw this mess and this is just the tip of the iceberg. Poor velveteen rabbit did faint when she saw it or was this hammer used to keep her quite of the activities in my absence?Not domestic bliss! A blur of bedding, OK, I admit I did this! While he is making a mess you will escape in a borrowed car to select icing for that king sized cake! You will arrive home with a beautiful vintage look coverlet in tow, more pillows to fill out the pillow shams you purchased, a new dust ruffle to hide those storage containers under the bed, and new curtains, (that you will later return because you lived with them for one day and they were not a good choice, the current ones you made get to stay), rods, and rings (they get to stay too). You will live with the current small decorative pillows for a day or two and see if they will do. The paint is perfect and the furniture will not need to be redone. A headboard is in the works!

If you give a man a mattress, he will super size it.
And chances are if he asks for a mattress,
he will want some sheets...

I don't think Handy Hubby will be stepping into my domestic domain again any time soon. Although when he came home from work and I had the new bedding in place, the curtains washed and line dried, with the smell of sunshine permeating the room, he exclaimed, "That's pretty! I really like it and it looks old." We both have a love for vintage things and the icing choices I made make his cake choice a perfect recipe for domestic bliss and contribute to the atmosphere of peace!

I'll post pics of the finished room once we have time this weekend to put up the new curtain rods, move my wall desk to another spot in the room and do a bit of rearranging. My comfy reading chair got booted and is in the entry until I can get it to the resale shop or I may slipcover it and leave it for a bit until I save up for the piece that I really want in there. Anyway, that is all that is happening here. I'm off to straighten up my zoo nest! Until next time...

Miss Sandy

Visit Melissa of the Inspired Room on her link up post to Finding Inspiration When You Feel Overwhelmed and enjoy a visit with a link list of other inspiring posts as well!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Serendipity Sunday: God With Us...

Serendipity: Making a delightful and unexpected discovery

"He shall cover you with His feathers, and under His wings shall you take refuge: His truth shall be your shield (the One who protects you) and buckler(the One who supports you)."

~Psalm 91:4~
This weeks delightful discovery is the following poem by Joseph Beaumont (1615-1699).

Fountain of sweets! eternal Dove!
Which leav'st thy glorious perch above,
And hovering down, *vouchsafet thus
To make thy nest below with us.

Soft as thy feathers, may
We find thy love to us today;
And in the shelter of thy wing
Obtain thy leave and grace to sing.

*to bestow a privilege upon
Praying your day is filled with peace, rest, and praise.

Miss Sandy

*photos ~ mourning doves visiting Quill Cottage this past spring

Friday, January 16, 2009

A Beautiful Life Goals & Sassy Storage Box Tutorial...

"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."

~John Muir~
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.

Heart Collage
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!

Mind Collage
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!

Body Collage
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!

Emotion Collage
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!

Environment Collage
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!

(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.

*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,
Miss Sandy
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