Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Shabby Chic Blessing Tree .... Altered Vintage Bottle and Wishes For the New Year

With the new year comes 
reflections of the one 
that came before. 
And hopeful thoughts for
 the days ahead. 


It's full of WISHES OF GOODNESS for



I found this sturdy, vintage bottle at the
thrift store and thought it would be the perfect
base for my tree.
I filled the bottle 3/4 of the way full with sand
to stabilize it. I thought it might fall over otherwise!

The "tree" is a branch from
our apricot tree. I painted it with
white, acrylic, craft paint.
And then I just let my heart take over.
The gray beads are strung on black wire and the
chain is glued on with E-6000.

It was one of the most fulfilling projects
I've ever worked on.

{The key is special to me.
I found it at The Mouse House
antique barn near my home-town. It still had the
tag attached. It was from The Strand Theatre
where I used to usher for productions when
I was in high school. They have replaced all
the old locks and this one was from the
box office. I was so thrilled to find it!

Now the theatre is called
Cambridge Performing Arts Center.
I took my daughter there this past fall
 for her 18th birthday.
Jane Eyre, the musical, was the production.}
The white pieces are cut from old corks
and painted white. I put a hole through them
with a small nail.
The little "ornaments"
are beads and jewelry pieces that
I strung on the black wire.
I cut the sentiments from old Christmas
Cards and attached them with a jump ring.

I realize that some of the photos are somewhat
"Christmasy". I hoped that no one would mind.
I want to savor the Christmas spirit and keep it in my 
heart all year long. 

After all, doesn't it embody all the 
that we wish for others?

Many blessings to you all. 
Sweet wishes for all that you hope 
for 2015 to be.

Thank you so much for stopping by.


Saturday, December 20, 2014

Shabby Angel Wing Ornaments

"Angels We Have Heard on High"

What a peaceful way to depict Christmas.
"With Angels all around."

Raising their beautiful voices in song
to declare the coming of the Messiah..

Watching over us all..
Taking the utmost care to guard and protect.

I can remember when I was a little girl,
the thought of Angels at Christmas
always gave me the warmest, most peaceful
feelings inside.
A feeling that I was in the best of care
and no matter what,
everything was going to be ok.

Today, I'm sharing with you some ornaments
that I have made.

They would make wonderful gifts or little additions to
a Christmas shop display to sell.

I used an angel wing die to cut the shapes. First, out of
some stiff cardboard that I had saved and then
from the vintage sheet music to cover the cardboard.

I cut popsicle sticks and I hot glued them to the
back to hold the wings just the right 
distance apart.

I used a glue stick to adhere the paper to the cardboard.

And then I began the fun process of 
decorating them with vintage doilies, buttons, and 
 other things that I had on hand.

The embellishments were attached with 
Tacky glue and hot glue.

For the hanger, I tore a strip of white sheet and
and after centering the strip, I used hot glue to attach 
the strip.

Here they are!

I hope that your Christmas celebration 
has already started and the 
stresses of the season are few
and the blessings be many! 

Here's a thought for the season:

"What is Christmas?"

It is tenderness for the past, 
courage for the present,
hope for the future.
It is a fervent wish that every cup may
overflow with blessings rich and eternal,
and that every path may lead to peace. 

Thank you so much for stopping by!
 Love...Joy.. and Peace to you,

I'm joining the party at:
Songbird Christmas Vintage Inspiration Party

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Inexpensive Christmas Decor...Silver Tray Re-Purposed With Christmas Joy


It's the season for it...

(actually, it's always a good time for spreading a little JOY!)

Several months ago, I found this pretty, little
tray at a thrift store.
It was painted white 
around the edges and the center was
was painted very sloppily with
chalkboard paint.
The cost was 50 cents.

I painted it with white, homemade chalk paint
and glittered the flat surface. 

The red ruffle that you see is made from some
red burlap that I also found at a thrift store.
I bunched it up as I attached it with hot glue.

And I used some of the threads from the burlap to make
the sweet little bow on the pinecone pick.
The cute burlap canvas was a clearance item at
Wal-mart for 1 dollar! I'm not sure
why they were on clearance but there were
several and I thought they
were a real find and so I bought 6!

The little pinecone arrangement is a pick from
 from my Michael's crafting drawer.

I dry-brushed the canvas with a little white,
acrylic paint, stenciled the
on and added a few sequence.
And lastly, I attached some
 red grosgrain ribbon for the hanger.

I didn't "go out" and buy any of this for this
little project. I just see items at thrift stores
and I often check the clearance aisles
where crafting and art supplies are sold.
It really is surprising what a person can find.

You don't need a lot of money but you
do need a little space for
keeping things on hand.

I have collected most of what I have by browsing
for bargains and unique or interesting items.
I hope that your Christmas season
has been Merry and Bright and that
your heart and home are 
full of the warmth and special
that this season brings!

Many blessings and wishes for a
beautiful, blessed Christmas.

Tamara xo

‘Fear not: for, behold, 

I bring you good tidings 

of great joy.'

Luke 2:10

Friday, December 5, 2014

Thrifted Red Toolbox With a Christmas Message

This is one of my favorite projects
so far this year. 
I found this old, red, rusty toolbox at
a thrift store. $2. It's been sitting in
my stash room waiting for a purpose.

The brilliant, festive red made it a perfect fit
for some kind of Christmas fun.
The greenery is from an old garland
that I had. I attached that and the moss
with hot glue. 
Burlap... rusty metal... pinecones.
And a little, lettered message.
Remembering why we celebrate
the season.
 My Angel is made from an old
hammer handle partially covered with
old sheet music. 
Her wings are folded
coffee filters with little ruffles made from
an old paper tape measure.

I found the brass corner in my
basket of metal treasures.
I loved the star for Christmas 
and I used E600
to keep it in it's place.

 I hope that your Christmas season
has been full of joy and memorable times
so far... with many more to come.

May the wonder and love of 
the season fill your heart.

Thank you so much for stopping by.
Be blessed!

I'm joining lovely bloggers at:

My Salvaged Treasures
Vintage Inspiration Party

( You'll have to search for it. 
I tried and tried to get the URL link to work! ! I'm sorry.)

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Chic Handmade Pumpkins

Hi everyone.
It's that wonderful time of year again when 
many families are completing their 
Thanksgiving plans and working on 
putting everything in place for the big day when
family and friends come together
to celebrate the abundance
of blessings. 

Today, I wanted to share this 
fun project with you. 
It is:
Fabric Pumpkins. 
I realize 
that they aren't a new "thing". 

I've seen so many of them around and
was inspired by Becky at Timewashed.
She had a pumpkin give away. 
Her pumpkins were so pretty that I wanted to 
try making some for myself!
Thank you for the inspiration, Becky!

I wanted to share them 
because they were a real pleasure to make,
I liked the way they turned out
and the attached sentiment is
particularly meaningful. 

Gratitude has been my 
"word" this year. 
There's so much to be
grateful for and it's
the time of year that most people 
are counting their blessings.

The pumpkins are all made from 
thrift store fabric and the embellishments
are vintage, jewelry pieces
salvaged from there as well. 
Some of the pumpkins have crocheted, 
vintage lace around the stems which were
 found treasures also.

The cream fabric 
came from a thrift store shirt and the
black and tan fabric with roses,
used to be a vest that I
disassembled. I've had the pieces for years and
was waiting to use it for something special.

They are super-easy to make and would 
make a great craft for kids just learning to
sew by hand. 

"It's not happiness that makes 

us grateful, but gratefulness 

that makes us happy." 

Brother David Steindl-Rast

I hope you like them.
Thank you so much for stopping by!


Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Give What Lasts... "Living" a Gift For Others (and Ourselves)

It's a very cold, frosty morning here in the 
White Mountains
and we've had our first snow.

This morning, I've been thinking about 
what's important to leave behind. 
I've always thought that it
 would be a good thing to 
leave some kind of legacy.

 Some strong sense of something to ground,
enrich or inspire those who follow. 
And being so close to the holidays,
I'm also considering the possibility of these things
as gifts. Something that will make 
a difference to those that I
have the privilege to encounter.

Obviously, this type of gift isn't quite as convenient 
to give as one that can 
be wrapped in pretty paper.
So, I guess, they become a challenge as
well as a gift to ourselves.
Because, in order to "give" them
we have to be living them.  
So, hmm....I guess you could call it..
"Living" a gift instead of 
"giving" a gift.   
Gift Living.   

Wouldn't it feel amazing to give something 
like this to someone
that we knew would hopefully be passed
down for generations?
We do that with heirloom pieces and 
handmade gifts. Wouldn't it be wonderful to
gift a person with some intangible "heirlooms"
as well?

Such as;
A sense of humor~ 
(Which is a little ironic.
Because I've never had one.
Hah! But I'm learning!)
What a great thing it would be to 
inspire someone
to laugh or be able to look at
circumstances from 
a "lighter perspective." 
Something that could help a person get 
through the tougher times of life.
And help someone else do the same!

There's something else that I feel
that I am having have had to "grow in to."
What a comforting thing to be on the
recipient of this loving attribute. 
Everyone needs compassion.
Kindness shown in a time of pain.
No matter what the source of that pain is.

Another name for this could be:
Problem solving.
Being a thinker and then taking it a 
step further to the "doing" stage. 
What a fun way to stretch the 
imagination and be creative!
To apply gifts... talents and knowledge.
An opportunity to learn something new!

Of course, I enjoy going to concerts, movies and
and plays. They are fun, interesting and
 enriching. However, I don't want my life to
be characterized by that.

And it's so much more satisfying to use
what I've learned and the skills that I 
have acquired to enrich someone else's life! 

Everyday is filled with multiple opportunities
to apply this or to grow in it.

These are just a few that are important to me.
You've probably thought of your own while 
reading through this.

I'd love to hear your thoughts.

Thank you so much for stopping by and
have a beautiful a day!


Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Being Present in the Moment

It's been a beautiful fall this year.
 Long on color, warmth and gorgeosness.
And though I've been thinking a lot about
making Christmas especially
meaningful, and working on Christmas
offerings for my upcoming
craft show,
I'm  consciously working at savoring.
Living in the now.
Being present in the moment.
The beauty.
Parties and music with family.
Walks and chatting with friends.
Noticing the small things.
The ordinary.
Because isn't that what life is
 actually made of?
And If I miss that..
I feel like I miss it.
I know that this isn't a new concept.
It's just become very obvious to me
that my quality of life
is greatly diminished if I neglect...
the present.
I have to practice this...
and when I do,
I find that I worry a lot less and focus
so much more on what matters ....
to me and others.
 Here is photo of some beautiful Side Oat
grass that grows native here in the
mountains of  Arizona.
And the verse..
A reminder that though
our world changes so much everyday,
this doesn't.
I hope you're having a peaceful and amazing week! 
Blessings to you,
Tamara xo

Friday, November 7, 2014

Shabby Chic Christmas Angel

 Here is a project that I salvaged from my give-away pile.
 I can't believe I even thought of giving it away!
I have also come to like angels a lot.
I'm so glad I kept her.)

I had had it for many, many years.

I've been trying to be more frugal and use what I have
for decorating, gift giving and selling.
I had so much fun working on this.
With some paint, pinecones, buttons, old jewelry,
shabby flowers, hymn pages and lace, she was transformed!
(I forgot to take a before picture, But I'm sure
most of you have seen these sweet little angels around.
She's a little over 2 feet tall.)

Thank you so much for stopping by and
have a blessed day!


I'm linking up at:

Friday, October 31, 2014

Antiques and Nature for a Fall Centerpiece

It's been a beautiful fall this year.
The leaves have really hung on and no
frost yet! The basil and petunias
are still going strong.
I love nature and as I write this, I'm in my bedroom
looking out my sliding glass doors watching the
little sparrows and juncos drink at the rock
that sits just outside.
I also love to bring nature inside.
Flowers.. Leaves.. Sticks..
They are some of my favorite things to use
to add warmth and charm to my home.
And my family seems to really enjoy it as well.
(I told my husband today that I would like to
decorate more with sticks and would he mind?
"No", he said. What a guy. I'm so blessed!)
I'm also very fond of using old things
to decorate with. And my habits could be
 called "impromptu design"
because I forget to pick up what
I wanted at the store.
 Like... fresh  flowers.
So, this is my new fall centerpiece.
(Anything wooden, with a past, catches my eye when
I'm browsing. I was taken with this unusual,
antique desk drawer.) You can't tell from the
photo, but the sections are dished inside.
Like someone could just scoop out whatever it held
with the tips of their fingers. 
The sweet, little antique bottles were just
perfect for holding a Marigold or two.
And the beautiful, golden leaves
are from our Apricot tree.
This was so simple to put together.
I added the little, bird salt shakers
for a bit of color
(and to make my daughter feel special
as they were a gift from her)
and some candles for a touch of
light and warmth.
Decorating like this, for me,
is such a joy.It's stress-free, fun and I'm able
to use what I have.
Thank you so much for stopping by
and have a beautiful weekend!
Tamara xxoo
linking up at:

Monday, September 22, 2014

Art Inspiration: My Journey-- Trust God's Timing In Our Lives

Hello Beautiful Ones...

Isn't it a glorious day to bring to life that
creative gift that is wanting to
burst forth with
beauty and inspiration?


Do you think it's too late?

To follow your path, somewhat obscure at times,
to find yourself and lose yourself at the same time.

To find the part of you that is waiting to be unbound by the
misconceptions of life that restrict your
thinking and doing.

And that's the part that we want to lose.

Do you look at your situation in the here and now
as if they are abstract and think that they don't fit
into the plan that you had or the
time frame within which you were hoping for
 things to happen?

Do you ever feel like time is running out?
That these things can't or haven't happened
 fast enough?

Or maybe, you're like me, and you've been busy living life.
Following through with the choices that you've made.
Being a responsible, dependable person.

Like...for the past 25 or 30 years!

And now, in the, past little while, your life has come to a point of drastic
change and you're beginning to realize that there's a you
in there that you didn't even know?

Or maybe they are dreams that were buried deep in the
 mire of yours (or someone else's) practicality.

(Somewhere in your memories of the past, you remember
getting excited about making things.

Drawing, playing music, painting
singing. Or taking sticks, feathers and colored
string..  putting it all together to make something beautiful.)

As I look backward through the windows of my childhood,
there's a little girl who used to make up songs.
Draw birds on pieces of leftover sheet rock.
Make rings out of old, pretty colored wire
that came out a telephone system somewhere.

Things that I'd forgotten, even until now!

I really wanted to be an artist.
Of the singing, drawing kind.

So, in the reality of NOW...
you have time.
To reflect.
To feel.
To breathe and just be.

 begins to awaken in your heart and soul.

A hunger begins to stir.

This has happened to me. 

And I have begun to follow the calls of my heart to
follow this path.

To unpack these treasures...these desires
that have been stored away for decades.

my hopes..

And though I feel very blessed to see my opportunities
grow and my heart become more full of ideas
and dreams,
there has been one nagging thought
that I fight often.

It seems very late.
I'm too late.
I've missed it.
I will never have enough time to do all
that I want to do.


One night, I was sharing these thoughts with my husband.
I was almost in tears and feeling somewhat bitter about it.
And admittedly, having some selfish regrets about what I had spent the last
30 years of my life doing.
(Even though I loved what I was doing.
Raising our children and teaching them at home.)

I have really have had a difficult time with this.

He assured me that my life was spent doing very worthy things
and it was all a sum of who I am.

I had my priorities right.

I fell asleep feeling more at peace.
Trying to hold on to the truth of what he had said and not be
a doubter or negative about things that I
couldn't change anyway.

The next morning,
I picked up the new magazine that I had just bought.
My favorite publications come from Stampington.

It was the most recent
 Where Women Create Issue.

I turned directly to the Barbara Rainey
article. (I am travelling and don't have that issue with me right now,
or I would share more of her lovely, truth-packed thoughts
about this subject.) 

A beautiful, Christian woman full of Godly wisdom,
wonderful talents and she also has a successful business.

She had written a quote..
Her words resonated in my heart and soul and caused
hope to spring up like a shoot

She had stated..

"Trust the timing of your life.
There is a Master Designer who
makes no mistakes."

This was for me.
 I had no doubt and I felt so

It was just what I needed to hear.
A truth that I needed to be reminded of.
I know that God in His abundant love and infinite wisdom
is ordering my steps.
And that includes my time as well.

God is ever-watching..
not in an 
'I'm going to get you for that'

kind of way but in the gentle,
attentive way that a father
watches over his own.


trust your heart.

Trust God..

and take the advice of
Winston Churchill.

Never,  Never
Give up..

Trust the process.
Keep at it.
Enjoy it.
Don't fret.
  And remember...

That He makes all things beautiful in His time.
Ecclesiastes 3:11

This is a re-peat photo.
I hope nobody minds.
But it's such a beautiful time of year.
And the flowers are so inspiring.
I hope you're touched by their beauty!
Life is good and through it all,
blessings gather.

Wishes for a wonderful week.

Tamara xxoo