Monday, February 20, 2017

Vintage Suitcases, Books and the Mysteries of the Past ~

It was a cloudy morning that has turned into a sunny 
Monday here at our mountain home. 

And there are little surprises popping up in my flower gardens.
Hyacinths... Poppies and Lilies 
are peeking out to see if it's safe to 
come out and say a proper hello! 

It's all very exciting.
And there is talk about
additions to the gypsy camp.

It's one of my places to dream. 
It's there that I play
so much music and even make believe. 

Even though.....
 I love the winter months and
 the magic and beauty of snow is one 
of my favorite things!
 The handsome and lively elk and deer visitors 
come to call, too and it's so fun
 to watch the young ones 
run down the pond hill and 
play chase around the field!
And then to watch that herd of fifty 
run all together as one is a beautiful sight, indeed!

Even though ... 
all of that will have to wait until
another time,
I do hear the gypsy camp beckoning...
Such excitement in the air!

Today, I have a couple of photos of a decor change that 
I made with some thrifted, vintage suitcases and some of my favorite books. It was a much needed change as I hadn't changed it
for several years. 
(I won't tell you how long.. I'm too embarrassed!)

They sort of embody that adventurous, wanderlust spirit that
stirs up the gypsy in me. 
Do you ever look at them and wonder?

Who packed them?
Where they travelled and why?

Was it their honeymoon...
a business trip?
Were they traveling with the circus?

Oh my.. Don't you just love the mystery?
My husband and I really like the change. 
I like using what I already have and I'm learning to
just switch things around. 

I like the neutrals here with just a splash of color.
I'm starting to hang some of my art around the house.
I also really like plants blended in with neutral colors.
Wooden boxes and crates are another favorite to use in
my home. I love the history that they represent.

I am not very good at decorating but 
I'm learning. I use to think that I had to be loyal to one
color palette but my gypsy soul loves 
it all! So I'm learning to create
small places with groupings of colors that I love.
It usually has some sort of quirky twist.
That's just me. 

Books are not just for reading.
They can be such lovely things to decorate with. 
I have stacks of them all around my house. 

Do you like books?
What are some of your favorites?

I hope the beginning of your week is off to a 
good start. Thank you for coming by.

I hope your week is lovely with an 
element of enchantment and beauty.


Thursday, February 16, 2017

Winter Days at Our Mountain Home

Winter greetings from the AZ mountains 
which is like a high desert.

We've been having many gray days here
with rain and snow. 
It's been wonderful.

Cloudy days are rare here in the southwest and being 
an Ohio girl, I relish them.

I haven't been working on many projects lately because
I have been doing a lot of deep cleaning
and ordering of our home. And I've been obsessing
over music and playing guitar for hours.

Do you follow any of the music awards?
I don't always but some of my favorite singers and
songwriters are among the nominees so it's been exciting!

Lori McKenna is one. 
She wrote Tim McGraw's hit,
Humble and Kind.

You can watch her singing at the Opry here.
Beautiful words with a timeless message.
She has already won a Grammy and was nominated
 again today by CMA. 

Here are some winter moments of our life in the mountains.
 A little snow fairy..
 I had to laugh at this snowman. He looks look 
one that Pigpen might have made. When you don't have a lot of 
grass, this is what your snowman looks like. Haha!
But the giggles had so much fun making it.
 I'm not the only one who likes to huddle 
up close to the wood stove.
Just some cheering up in my craft room. 
That lovely pillow was made by my sweet friend, 
Stephanie from The Enchanting Rose
You can find many beautiful shabby, 
handmade items in her Etsy shop 
 One of my favorite singers. 
I spend a lot of time listening to and playing her music. 
What a great inspiration she's been to me~
beginning in my early teens. 

Early morning visitors. When it snows, they are forced to come down from the high country to feed. Such beautiful animals. 
The other night, there was a herd of fifty in our field! 
It was quite a sight. 
They were running and frisking around.

I hope your world is bright and full of hope as this new
 year is speeding ahead.

Please pray for my friend, Kris as
she heals from a knee injury. 

Do you have goals and dreams that you 
have resurrected in this new year? I hope so.
Never let your dreams die..

Fan the flames of your dreams with 
the hopes for your future and feel yourself soar~

Heres a quote that I'd like to to leave you with. 

I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes. 

Because if you are making mistakes, 

then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, 

living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, 

changing your world. 

You're doing things you've never done before,

 and more importantly.... 

you're doing something. 

--Neil Gaiman. 

Have a lovely weekend and thank you for coming by~
Tamara XO

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Art Inspiration: My Quest ....A Winter Canvas Collage and Keeping Inspired

 I hope that your week has been happy and inspiring. 
Inspiration is one of the staples that I live on.

It's so easy to get in a rut with everyday things. Not that we aren't thankful but it's good to have new experiences. 
I like to work at conjuring up happy thoughts 
and fresh things to do.

How do you keep inspired?

I am trying to work hard at learning new things
and today I wanted to share my winter canvas
with you. It started as a Christmas project but quickly was
set aside for seasonal activities.
So, I turned it into a winter project.
Isn't that one of things that is so lovely about art?
There are really no rules.

Allow yourself a lot of grace, flow with the 
circumstances and  follow your heart.

It's one of things that keeps the inspiration coming.
And how amazing to not have any boundaries or rules but full
freedom through creativity!
This is just one of the wonders of it all.

This project was inspired by 
Vanessa at A Fanciful Twist.

She is an artist of many talents! Lovely, creative and
whimsical. A person who celebrates life at every turn
and shares her inspiration with such generosity of spirit
through her beautiful photos. 
Thank you, Vanessa!

I saw one of her canvas' in a magazine and decided to 
try my own with a little different approach.
 How magical it was to enter this little world of make believe
with pretty papers, glitter and colorful paints to create 
a fairytale story through my imagination and art!
To get lost in it all was simply blissful.

Here are a few new things that I learned..
*large collage piece
*planning a story to tell in the picture
*drawing with detail
*painting animals with acrylics

I learned so much and it gave me confidence to keep moving forward.
By some miracle, I inspired myself.

Isn't it a good feeling to have dreams in front of you and 
to accomplish something that brings you one step closer?
Even if it's just a tiny step?
Most big things are accomplished through small steps.

Have you ever experienced that?
I would really love to hear about yours!
Thank you..
Below are just a few photos of my life..

A bear sighting! :)
I was picking this up for my daughter at Christmas.
One of the ways to get inspired is to do something out of the
ordinary fun or even
a little crazy; like push a bear around the grocery store 
while getting your groceries. 
That is a very large grocery cart with a very 
large bear inside!
Reading this Renoir book has been very inspirational.
I learned that many of the artists 
of his time carried their knapsacks 
to the fields and forests to 
paint because having a studio was a luxury.
One of the most fulfilling, inspirational ways to stir up creativity is to be someone else's inspiration and then help THEM accomplish
what you inspired them to do. 
I made a pillow.
My grand daughters saw it and wanted to make one, too.

So the other day, they spent about four hours learning how to hand sew these little pillows.
They did a beautiful job and were so pleased with their work.
It made me so happy to be a part of this 
fun and enriching time! 

Thank you for coming by.  
I hope you find some very lovely inspiration
and then have a wonderful time inspiring someone else.

I find so much creativity on many friend's blogs.
So thank you for sharing your talents and lovely ideas
so that others can be inspired and learn new 
ways to enrich our lives.

Wishing you a happy weekend!
Tamara XO 

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

You Are Loved.... A Simple Decoration with a Sweet Reminder

 Hello everyone...

It's the month of love. 
Isn't it wonderful to think of all the ways that we are loved and that 
we can show love to others?

Here's something that I put together and that I have displayed on a little
 bench in our sitting room.

 The carnations are a gift from my sweet husband.
He is so thoughtful~

"If I had a flower for every time I thought of you, 
I could walk through my garden forever."
Alfred Tennyson
I just stamped on a vintage, dictionary page and used a pin to fasten an
antique key and some small pieces of seam binding to this
 sparkly, sweet pillow that I found at Target.
I loved the champagne color!
 I needed something simple to make to update my seasonal tree.
So I made these pipe cleaner hearts to hang on it. 
So easy...
"Love many things, for therein lies the true strength and 
whosoever loves much, performs much and can accomplish much. What is
 done in love is done well."
Vincent Van Gogh

And of course, what would my post be without a little bit of 
nature from a recent walk?
I wanted to bring it home for my collection, but it was 
frozen in the dirt!

It takes great sacrifice to truly love and I want to remember the love of God.
He gave so much.

I hope you're having a good week so far and feeling very loved!
Cherished ... treasured and adored.

What have you been doing? Projects?
Travel? Garden planning, perhaps?

I have been trying to get perspective.
I need to let go of a lot of things
to get my time and expectations in order.

My life in general is a bit chaotic.
Some of it is circumstances that I can't change but I can
make wise decisions in other areas that bring more
peace and calm.
It's coming along and I'm encouraged!

Life is hard work but laced with so much to enjoy mixed 
with joy and satisfaction!

Have a lovely week and thank you for coming by to visit!

Tamara xo

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Our Family "Holiday" Trip Part 1

Hello to you and Happy February!

A lovely month filled with thoughts and little reminders
that say I LOVE YOU and promises of spring. 

I hope this finds you well.
I am doing well. 

I'm very behind in my blogging because of some internet problems and a little discouragement combined. I'm going to work hard
at catching up. And I'm going to be working on the blog a little.

I'd like to change the name. Is that bad?
I want to change it to match my instagram 
account and the name of my business.
In case you don't know what that is, it's 
The Shabby Gypsy.
I would really appreciate your thoughts on that.

I have not had good experiences with posting lately.
I lost my last post that took me three hours to

But I'll not whine about it ;) I know everyone has
their issues with theses things from
time to time.

So... Here I am being brave..well not too.
It's taken me a week to feel like doing this again!

I'm going to share about our Nutcracker trip and then 
there will another post about the For King and Country
Christmas concert that we adults attended.

How fun it was to surprise our grand 
daughters and our youngest daughter!
We made a mini-vacation out of it because Phoenix is 220
miles from our mountain home.
Not a very good picture but who doesn't love a giant peppermint cookie? 
It was delicious! The six of us shared it.... We were saving our 
dessert allowances for later.
Driving into Phoenix many times offers a lovely sunset.
The Saguaro cacti add such beauty to the landscape. 
A timeless desert treasure. They are actually protected by laws.
Our motel room was lovely. My husband always does a great job of choosing our accommodations. Thank you, Honey!  
I brought a long all kinds of food, Christmas books to read, cozy throws and decorations to celebrate the holiday experience. 
It made it much more like home.
I wanted to have a little something for the girls
and were the giggles excited to see gifts under the tree! 
This sweet threesome came from the holiday craft show that I went to.
They are on my list of favorite things.
Hungry munchkins enjoying a snack. Jeff had picked this little party
tray up and it was perfect!
This little peanut LOVES her hot cocoa! It's not just the lovely flavor but 
I'm sure, in her little heart, that she associates it with celebrating cozy, family times.
Don't most of us? I do for sure. She was so happy that we brought some along. 
Can you tell? It just makes me smile!
Jammied, snuggle bugs with their new stuffed friends. 
 Getting ready for the Nutcracker Ballet. Even that part was so special. Isn't there just a magical excitement in the air while getting all dressed up to attend a special event?
The little princesses. The tiaras were a bit of a challenge to
 keep on their heads but it was so worth it! Every little girl deserves to feel 
like a princess many times over.
The tree in the motel lobby. I always enjoy traveling during the holidays. The festive feeling seems to envelope everyone and transport us into a happy bubble of time. The lights..decorations and the anticipation of holiday gatherings, celebrations, special events,  food and the giving of gifts. I love it all!
I apologize for the quality of some of my photos. Sometimes you're 
feeling thankful and doing good just to capture the moment!
The excitement is building as we leave in the motel shuttle. Jeff was particularly thankful for this because our 15 passenger van does not fit in the parking garages! Also, finding a good spot in the downtown area during a big event,
 can be a real challenge.  
Those are some happy faces!
My daughter liked the bathroom mirrors. 
Oh.. what a gorgeous smile she has and those eyes just light up!
(hmm.. does she look a little mischievous?)
 Sorry... A proud, mama moment.
Here we are about to enter into another world. As the orchestra music begins
 and fills the room,  you hold your breath and wait for the magic to unfold. 

The following photos are property of the Ballet Arizona website gallery.
As I'm sure you know that cameras are not permitted during the performances.
Words cannot express the feelings I had while watching as these dancers took on their roles so perfectly and led us through this outstanding and most beautiful production.

The lighting, costumes and stage sets were so magnificently created and we were drawn into the drama, suspense and gloriousness of each scene!
The grace, poise and energy of every dancers flowed to every 
corner of that hall and left us in awe. 
The curtain call. 
What a triumphant accomplishment and unforgettable experience
 to be part of something so utterly perfect and divine.
What a wonderful time we had. 
It was a delight and such a privilege to be able to attend.
 I would love to see it again and again!


Here are a few facts about the Nutcracker.

Ivan Vsevolozhsky and Marius Petipa adapted Hoffmann's story for the ballet. Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky wrote the music. Marius Petipa and Lev Ivanov designed the dances. The Nutcracker was first performed at the Mariinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg, Russia, on 18 December 1892.
(from simple Wikipedia)

While reading through the program, we learned that
 a pair of pointe shoes costs
about 75 dollars and they only last for one performance. The AZ Ballet budget for these special shoes, alone, is 200,000 a year!  
Our tickets were quite pricey and we learned that the cost 
of our tickets covers only a portion of the cost of the production.
The company is sustained mostly by donations.
This photo speaks for itself!
So sweet!

Thank you for being so patient. It was not my intention
 to be posting about Christmas on the first day of February!
But I hope you enjoyed it.

Now to share just a tad about what's happening currently.

I've been deep cleaning and de-cluttering and doing some decorating. When I 
declutter my house, it also de-clutters my head. 
(Did you know that clutter has been named as one of the #1 stressors for women?)
It's been much needed and I'm enjoying the moving around 
of some of my vintage
suitcases and books. 

I'm putting the finishing touches on my winter canvas and enjoying the elk
in our fields. The heavy snow has driven them down to the lower country
to feed. They are so beautiful!

I'm also working hard at focusing on my work and making better use of my time
Puttering is such a robber.

What have you been doing?
 I hope you're staying warm and enjoying 
this last little bit of winter.

Thank you so much for coming by.
Peaceful wishes for your week.

Tamara XO