Tuesday, February 7, 2012


(Recycled tin cans - from studio scraps to stylish storage)
 "A little railroad engine was employed about a station yard for such work as it was built for, pulling a few cars on and off the switches..." and so begins the tale of a little blue engine who faced a very big task that those larger, more powerful, and better equipped than he refused to do for fear of failure.  This story is about the value of optimism and hard work.  In some ways it is a metaphor for reaching our goals and dreams.
(Achieving a stylish, inspiring, and organized studio on shoe string budget has been a big dream of mine)
Many times the path to achievement looks too difficult, like the steep grade the rail cars needed to be pulled up and over, so we don't even try.  In order to make it over difficult terrain much effort is going to have be exerted to get to the desired destination.  We have to be agreeable to the struggle to get there.  We have to be like the little engine that could, harboring a positive attitude to think that we can.
(At times it has seemed impossible and discouraging)
While he was small and seemingly inadequate for the task he was willing to try.  He was reaching to overcome what appeared to be impossible odds while repeating the mantra, "I think I can, I think I can..."  He did not make excuses as to why he could not meet the challenge or be up for the task.  He did not refuse to try despite his inadequacies or inexperience.  He positioned himself in the forefront with bravery.  He got up his momentum and kept puffing along, faster and faster, "I think I can, I think I can, I think I can..."

 (I have been trying to keep my momentum, I think I can, I think I can, I think I can...)

And just when he could clearly see his goal in sight, suddenly he started to lose steam. Progress began to go more slowly, which is where discouragement often sets in.  It is almost at the pinnacle when we so often give up.  This is when we have to draw on that positive attitude and belief in ourselves and our abilities.  It is where we find out if we really have the staying power to reach outside our comfort zone into the unknown where goals are met and dreams come true.

(There were days when I would lose steam and want to forfeit the dream, too much work)

Sometimes it takes much longer than we think it should.  Our progress is impeded in some way, there are interruptions in our daily lives and schedules that hinder progress.  Obstacles surmount and we gradually give up and slide back down the grade letting the dream fade, sighing and thinking, "Would that not have been lovely, Oh well, I guess it was not meant to be."  

(By keeping my eyes on the prize, the view from the top, I have chugged on)
Do you give up or do you chug on?
(Sifting through disturbing mess to feeling incredibly blessed)
Do you think you can? 
(Not letting the overall work at hand interrupt the flow of creativity)

I know you can!
(I have just about untangled myself from stressed out mess to place of creative rest)
If you could do something and know you would not fail what would it be?

P.S.  I was inspired to make these simple cost effective supply storage cans after seeing the ones that Sonya (Counting My Blessings) made HERE.  Thanks Sonya for a great idea!


Ruth Kelly said...

Very creative idea and useful too.

Vee said...

Wow, they certainly are adorable. What would I do if I could not fail? Interesting question...

Dorthe said...

Dear Sandy,
going from I think I CAN`T -to I think I CAN, is sometimes in some situations demanding too much power ,here and now.... but when first there at : I can- I truly try to hang on to it-even, as you say, it may take some more time than planned . I try to chug on...but if giving up, I know I tryed my best :)
I can`t wait to see part 2- of what you achieved, dear.
Hugs and a blessed day to you.

Gail said...

I would swear sometimes that you must be a little birdy peeking into my studio windows! I too have run 2 perfectly sized metal cans through my dishwasher that used to house dog food......they will soon become re-purposed storage for either my studio or someone else's if I decide to sell them.....I love this post.
It's so true that we can easily get bogged down, but by keeping our eyes on the end prize we'll get there, not in our time but in His time.
P.A.T.I.E.N.C.E.~~~~~how I wish I had more of it...;)

Vickie said...

Hi Miss Sandy! It's called "getting over the hump". It's SO hard sometimes, but with perseverance and the Lord's help, we CAN CAN CAN!

Cute little CANS! I'll have to dig some dogfood cans out of the trash can... hmmmm....

JD/ Jill said...

All so adorable...You are so very creative...Interesting question...Perserverance...is so difficult for me...I give up much too easily. I just wish I could think more outside of the box, and not fail with that...So I have to Believe that I can do that...Believe ....My word for this year...

Sonya Badgley said...

Hi Sandy,
I love your cans! They are so cute. You are so welcome for the idea. Thanks to Nancy's class too! ;)
And we just have to remember with God ALL things are possible. :) We just have to have faith.
I really enjoyed your I think I "Can" post. Can't wait to see your next post.
Happy week to you,

Vesna Maric said...

Beautiful! I was just doing similar thing yesterday with my old sugar and spice jars. Now I got more inspiration from you.

Robin said...

What an inspiring post, and beautiful transformations from ordinary cans to beautiful containers. Have a wonderful week.


Alison Agnew said...

what a delightful blog you have

i am a new follower
via GFC and LF
and hope you will return the favor!

i look forward
to seeing more of your


Thespoena McLaughlin said...

You go girl! chug on! Getting the creative space we want is always a work in progress. I just try to think of it like a piece of art, I'm never really satisfied but if I keep adding and working it will get where I want it to be. Hugs!

Unknown said...

Inspiration from others helps me DO things I didn't think I could. Your paintbrush holder is amazing! Your example and sharing your project has sparked new ways to decorate a throw away. Thank you!

Createology said...

Your post is very clever. Fabulous inspiration for the lowly can I always feel badly about throwing out. Your creativity and can- do attitude is blissful.

Rhonda Cable said...

now I know what to do with all those cans I've been saving cause I just knew there was something to be done with them.....thank you for such an inspirational idea and such a shot in the arm to get back to my work bench and finish up all the little projects sitting there.

Anne said...

Just found your lovely blog...and am your newest follower!

Fete et Fleur said...

What a lovely way to get the creative juices flowing. These are not only pretty, but useful. I love that.

Happy Valentine's Day dear, Sandy! May your day be filled with romance and inspiration.


Ruth Kelly said...

You're it. You've been tagged. Visit my blog today for the rules. If it's too much, don't feel obligated but it is just a bit of fun.


PS. Happy Valentines Day

Anonymous said...

I love them, Sandy! Also can relate to your other blog about reality collisions! Online meetings have been taking a back burner for me too and I feel so out of touch with all my blogging friends. But I made resolutions this year to simplify and that means relaxing at day's end, not blogging. And it means attending to real business, my painting, during the day. So, sadly, I've been lax in visiting and I do miss you all!
Lovely to stop by today and see what you've been up to. These can's are exquisite!

XO Diane

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