Thursday, January 29, 2015

Vintage Finds and Peaceful Words For A Winter's Day

A friendly welcome to my 
friends and new followers.
I'm so glad that you're all here.
Thank you for coming by.

I hope your week has been filled
with wonder and delight.

New experiences and a quiet
contentment with the familiar.

I do enjoy winter very much.
 Walks in the chilly air.
A good game of Fox and Geese
Campfires in the cold
Steaming cups of tea
 Neatly stacked fire wood

What good is the warmth of summer
without the cold of winter
to give it sweetness.
~Author Unknown

And another thing
that I enjoy is thrift store shopping. 
It's one of my favorite 
things to do.

Do you find it relaxing or exciting to look?
It can be both for me! 

A few months back,
I found these old hymnals. I like most old books
 and music is such a big part of my life. 
I am a gatherer..

  Sheet music or any kind of 
book that is related. 
I love the look of aged paper... 
especially with notes. 
I have seen crafters and artists 
   use it for creating many different projects. 
I enjoy using it for that as well and 
some I just collect.

These two are too special to take apart.

(I find it really hard pulling books apart anyway.
They just seem sacred to me...
 or something like I strange? )

I have never seen a Psalter Hymnal..
I was very excited o find it.

The gilding and details on both of these
books are so special.
The edges and corners are so tattered  
and torn from hands taking them from
their place in the back of the pew. 

And possibly from falling to the floor from
the hands of little ones that are so
eager to read and sing along...

When I thought of these photos, 
 the colors of winter came to mind...

creamy white
even green.

 The words still read the same.
Bringing peace and hope.
And the old scratched teapot. 

It's lid wouldn't stay on but it really
was a beauty to me with all of it's
scrolling details...
the pretty botanical handle and tarnished finish.
Winter days just seem to call 
to my heart to be still.
 Here's a handmade, cotton apron with it's 
corn flower-hued roses and 
vintage green leaves. I knew it was very old when 
I saw it and I couldn't resist bringing it home.
The cotton fabric is so soft 
and the added ribbons are so nice.

(The apron is tied on my thrifted wedding
dress that I found for a dollar. 
But she deserves a post
all her own and so that will come later!)
Hydrangeas from a family picnic last fall.
Winter is a time for comfort,
For good food and warmth,
For the touch of a friendly hand
and for a talk beside the fire:
It is the time for home.

It is no season in which to
Wander the world as if one 
Were the wind blowing aimlessly
Along the streets without a place to rest
Without food and without 
meaning anything to one.
Just as time means nothing to the wind.
Edith Sitwell

How many lessons of faith and
beauty we should lose,
if there were no winter in our year!
Thomas Wentworth Higginson
April Days, 1861

I hope you've enjoyed your visit.
Stay warm and be safe.

Tamara xo

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Grow Your Blog 2015

Hi.. My name is Tamara.
Welcome to my blog and thank you for 
stopping by.

I've never done anything like this before so I'm
a little unsure of how...
but I'm looking forward to being a part and
excited to make some new
"blogger friends" and share the goodness.

Thank you to Vicki and her helpers
  for giving me the opportunity.


My blogging journey has been rather
slow-paced. I have a very large family. A mix of 
wonderful, adopted children and 
wonderful, birth children! And
though I love the connections I have made
through blogging, 
most of my time
has been happily immersed in family
life and church ministry.

We're a home-schooling family and 
the youngest will graduate this spring.
And with this exciting event,
there opens a door 
into a new season in my life.
It's very bittersweet.

(We do still have precious, little ones 
running about.. 8 grand children
and another coming in April!)

Just mentioning the blogging friend 
connections that 
I've made isn't enough.
I am very grateful to all of those in the
blogger world that have 
been so kind, 
and are so talented 
and inspiring. 

It's been so fun, encouraging,
educational...and well... just
 a real pleasure to get to know some 
 other creative souls to share interests
and passions and friendships with!

(I have spent so much time reading 
and watching artist/craft videos that I feel
that I've taken at LEAST a 101 course! :)

 from these wonderful, 
 gracious folks!

It really has taken me a long time to 
"find my style" and get to know myself.
I have learned so much and I'm
still learning to follow my heart
and listen to the little whispers
that lead me. This journey of crafting
has truly opened up my life in so many ways.

(I have an ongoing series called "Art Inspiration" where I share
more of my thoughts about my journey.)

It's been discouraging at times
and the encouragement that I have found from 
other bloggers..artists.. God and my family 
has been priceless.

I'm so thankful that I have a supportive husband
 that sees the beauty in what I do.  What I make
and the entire journey itself. He's so sweet.


I've always enjoyed writing and
 the name of my blog reflects my belief
that there are beauty and blessings everywhere.
 And as I try to focus on the
 positive things, I hope to encourage people
and bring inspiration to others,
if even in some small way.

What do I like to write about?
There are many things that I 
find inspiration in..

Handmade treasures
Books or 
just words..

(my list could go on and so I'll
 say "just life in general")

I love life ...even in the hard things,
inspiration can be found..if I'm willing

 "There is such 
beauty and inspiration in 
the every day." 

I have to work each day at making choices
that allow me to take them in.

{The tricky part is having enough time to write 
about all of the things that i find 
interesting and inspiring!}

And one of my 
blog goals for 2015 is to...

add pages...
and write more..
(I guess that's two)

There's another part to my blog....

and that's about 
making beautiful 
and inspiring things.

My main thing seems to be 
shabby and vintage.
But I love paper...string..rust..
chippy wood.. wire..
fabric, glitter... and more.

 Up-cycling or re-purposing.
However one wants to say it. 
It's a fun and satisfying way to create.

I love to thrift store shop and once found a 
beautiful wedding dress 
with a gorgeous hat...
for... a dollar..

I am learning to make all sorts of things..
weathered wood signs..
jewelry... paper crafts, 
 altered things..
and sticks.
Furniture re-dos 
and so much more.

I really love the neutral colors 
and very soft pinks
but there's 
somewhat of a gypsy in me also.. 
I love traveling and those beautiful,
vibrant, flowing, Bohemian colors!
(This will shed some light on my 
"venture" name.) 

I have been selling a few things here and there,
and now that I have more time,
I have given my venture a name.

The Shabby Gypsy

Here are some photos of some of 
the things that I have made ..
I apologize for the quality of some of the 
photos.. I am still learning.

 An altered matchbox. 
(a not so good photo)
 An altered antique bottle.
Another not-so-good photo

An altered book.
 My first attempt at a mixed-media journal.
It was a lot of fun but I was advised by a very sweet,
licensed artist friend of mine that it's 
too busy. There is too much to focus on! 
Very true.

I find myself very 
drawn to nature.

the quiet..

the beauty..

 and all the little
lessons of life.

The following are some photos of 
some of my wanderings.. 
and findings..

I live in the beautiful White Mountains of AZ.
It's not always this green. These were taken
after the summer rains.

And are a few of my other projects.

My husband is excited to retire 
so we can do this full time.

But that won't be for several years yet!

So.. for the time being,
 I will be working on my projects
 as much as I possibly can.
Enjoying my family and life while
 learning more and being open to the
opportunities that I have.

 My creative space is a work in progress
and I hope to have it 
ready for Karen Valentine's next
"Where Bloggers Create" party in July.
Here is the link to last year's party.

Well, thank you so very much for stopping by.
I hope you enjoyed your visit. 
(I hope I did ok and that it's not too long.)

Blessings to you,
and I look forward to our "meeting!"

Tamara xo

Friday, January 9, 2015

A Salvaged, Weathered Wood Sign Embellished With Rusty Goodness

Making signs is one of my favorite ways to be creative.
I believe that I've mentioned before that we "inherited"
  a lot of wood when we bought our place. Which is 
perfect because I can use it for my wood projects!

 This piece has so much character. 
I wish now that I would have gotten some
close-ups of some of the details. 
But I'm sure you get the idea. 
I just love the rough edges and 
you can kind of see the broken knothole
on the left. The grain of the wood is 
so visible from the years of weathering.

I just dry-brushed the lovely gray with some
Antique White acrylic craft paint.
After that dried, I lightly brushed on some
Lagoon acrylic to add a little color. 
I really like that with the 
rust, white and gray.

And I didn't notice at first, but it actually matched 
the patina coloring in one of the rusty pieces that
I chose from my junk stash.
And I just happened to grab a shot of that
because I thought it was so neat.

There are some criss-crossed rusty nails
in one corner. (I'm sorry I didn't get 
more detailed photos. I get so impatient sometimes
that I forget that.) The rest pretty
much speaks for itself.

It's been one of my favorite words for 
awhile now. I just keep having so many reasons for it.

My life is so blessed. 

And in December, my husband, of
almost thirty years, survived a terrible
accident in which he totaled his pick-up.
He sustained only a few minor injuries and
was treated and released that same morning.

And that is just ONE thing.
And so I have 
adopted GRATEFUL to be
my word for 2015.

Here is one of my gathered quotes..

 Gratitude unlocks the fulness of life.
It turns what we have into enough and more.
It turns denial to acceptance,
chaos to order, confusion to clarity.
It can turn a meal into a feast,
a house into a home,
and a stranger into a friend.

Gratitude makes sense of our past,
brings peace for today
and creates a vision (of hope)  parenthesis mine
for tomorrow. 

{ Melody B. }

I hope you've enjoyed your visit and 
found it to be inspirational.
Thank you so much for stopping by!


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