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


Karen B. said...

Hi Tamara,
so nice to see you here again.
Karen B. ~ Todolwen

Debbie said...

Good morning and welcome to party. I really enjoyed your beautiful blog. I am one of Vicki’s helpers and we are thrilled to welcome you to the Grow Your Blog party. I hope you have a great time with it!! Debbie (SunflowerHouseArt)

Jennifer LaVite said...

It is nice to meet you in this blog hop. I think you are so very talented. I love your cards with the lace and your upcycled projects. I am also a homeschool mom with 5 still in grade school. I am a paper addict and I make jewelry every day. Enjoy the hop! Jennifer

DD's Cottage said...

Nice to meet you Tamara-I think we have a few things in common! I am a teacher for families that do school at home, I am adopted, grew up on a ranch, love take things!

Marsha said...

I like your unique sense of style, you had me at "Cowgirl"! Hope you have a great party.

Tamara said...

It's always nice to visit with you, Karen! Thank you for stopping by!

hugs to you..

Tamara said...

It's nice to meet you Debbie and thank you for helping with blog party! It's going to be so fun. Thank you for stopping by..


Tamara said...

Hi Jennifer..It's nice to meet another homeschooler.. and I see we share the love of paper! :) Thank you for stopping by and visiting. Have fun at the party..


Lupe Meter said...

Hi Tamara! Nice to meet you here on "Grow Your Blog Party"! Love all your now I have become a follower of yours! I love the White Mountains (I live in Surprise, AZ) and have always enjoyed camping out there with my many wonderful memories in Big Lake! Looking forward to seeing all that you create this year! If you have an opportunity, please come visit me at my blog:

Fil said...

Hi Tamara
It's great to meet you here and thank you for the lovely comment - I look forward to reading lots more in the coming weeks and months. Your photos are great ... and those boots are fabulous :) :)
Best wishes
Fil’s Place - Old songs and Memories

Judy Goddard said...

The quiet and the beauty. A lovely string of words! That's the way I feel about January.

My name is Judy. You have a lovely blog.
I hope it brings you lots of love!

God bless!

Stephanie said...

My dear Tamara, what a blessing to my heart to come across your sweet blog via the Grow Your Blog party. I barely started scrolling down the page when I knew you were a kindred spirit.

I am happy to be following along and I look forward to visiting again.

May you have a blessed week! Hugs! Stephanie - The Enchanting Rose

Sylvia said...

Hi Tamara, I have enjoyed reading your blog. Your crafts are very good. I am now your newest follower and hope to get to know you better. Please visit me on my blog.

Christine said...

Hello Tamera and thank you for deciding to share your creativity on this blog! I have so enjoyed seeing your photos and been inspired by your creations! Hope to follow along with you on your journey and hope you'll pop over for a visit too!
Have a blessed week!

Asia King (aka Joanna K) said...

Hello Tamara!

I found you through Grow Your Blog event. I enjoyed reading about you and your blog :). I too love all things vintage and shabby chic, a touch of rust here and there and I must have a gypsy in me as well because I love playing with colour. I would like to wish you every success in your blogging adventure.

Have a fabulous weekend and a happy GYB! Hugs, Asia

If you'd like to visit me back and find out more about my blog Under a Creative Spell, that would be fab!

Julie's Lifestyle said...

Hi Tamara, I am visiting your blog through the GYB party and I love it. You are very talented and creative. I am following you now through Google friend connect! I do hope that you can stop by my blog Julie's Lifestyle and visit and enter my giveaway. I look forward to becoming blog friends.
Hugs, Julie at Julie's Lifestyle

Bleubeard and Elizabeth said...

Tamara, you had me at RUST. Then you threw in vintage and all the lovely art you make. Next, you talked about recycling, something I am BIG on, especially since I was born on Earth Day.

Your photos are fantastic. You have such a good eye. Wouldn't you just love to wrap some fabric around those old bed springs and turn them into rusty goodness?

I really enjoyed visiting your blog. It was a genuine breath of fresh air.

CatieAn said...

Hi tamara what a beautiful and lovely post. I love your blog and am a happy new follower. I am looking forward for all you have to share.

Sue Kosec said...

You throw a great party. Thank you for inviting me!

So that you know, I've become a Follower and when time permits, I'll be back to see what other beautiful things were made by your hands!

What this party is all about is to GROW your blog and I'm hoping to do the same. When you get to Section One, check out A Country Chic Retreat and SuZeQ Creations, my personal blog, in Section Fifteen I'd love for you to follow and subscribe to.

Happy crafting!

Tamara said...

Thank you so much ladies.. My heart is so overwhelmed by all of your kind comments and support! I have enjoyed visiting and been so blessed by each of your blogs. You all have such talent and sweet spirits. I look forward to spending more time getting to know you and following your creative journeys in the coming years!

Hugs and many blessings to you all,

Jeff LeFevre said...

WOW! That is some post! So personal and really shows what a thoughtful and beautiful soul you are.....I love you!

Wilma said...

Hi Tamara,

What a wonderful post. You are great with words. So true and peaceful.
I love your blog and photo's. You make beautiful things.
I will be following you. Hope you will visit my blog.
Blessings to you and your loved ones !!

Cozy Expressions said...

Blog hopping with “Grow Your Blog”. Its so great to meet you. Wishing you the best!!

Magpie's Mumblings said...

Definitely not too long - I enjoyed meeting you and reading about your life. Thank you for having us over!

Laura Quaglia (Fun With This and That) said...

Great job on your things.
I follow you now hope come by often

Tamara said...

Thank you so much Laura..It's very nice to meet you and welcome!

Carole @ From My Carolina Home said...

Wow, you are really talented, love all your projects. I really like the Harvest Blessings plaque with the buttons, so creative!! Your pictures are beautiful, looks like you have that nailed.

suziqu's thread works said...

Such a beautiful blog - love your images and all the things you collect and create as well as your writing. You have so much talent!
I am your newest follower!

Tamara said...

So many kind comments..Thank you so much. To my new followers ...thank you for joining me on my creative journey. I look forward to new friendships..

Tamara XO