Friday, May 18, 2012

From a Child's Voice

There are a lot of times when the start of a conversation with a child can turn into a time to teach one of life's valuable lessons.  Yesterday proved to be one of those between Nic and me.  She began with the exciting news of being amongst a team of 3 kids that were named as having the most spirit in a school competition.  Participating in her team was a classmate who has been repeatedly shunned by the other students, as kids will unfortunately do when they don't understand another individual's learning difficulties.  Especially with autism, since it can facilitate so many different characteristics from one child to another.

I certainly don't know enough to become the teacher in this area, but yesterday I found out that I was really more of the student.  Nic expressed her amazement at the artistic aptitude of this child and was very put off by the other students behavior toward him..."he's a great artist, Mom; why can't they see that?"  We talked about taking the stance, being the one voice that can maybe get the other students to consider that we are all different, but we all deserve respect.  Then, we spoke about how standing up for someone doesn't always make you the popular kid; sometimes others with turn away.  Sometimes you will lose friendships over these types of issues, but then, maybe they weren't really your true friend.

Then it happened.  Call it the light bulb burning brightly, but Nic just amazed me with her determination to put together an award honoring this student for the next assembly.  She sat down and wrote out a very passionate tribute to all students in compassion, understanding and overall, respect.  She is utilizing her last days as Student Body President to attach a message of hope to everyone; after all, as she points out, "you voted me as your president because I truely care about our students."

Eleven years old, and I couldn't be prouder.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Prim Up That Modern Home

Do you have a modern, contemporary home and a love for primitive style decor?  The two sometimes clash like oil and water, but they can also work together quite well.  Today I thought I'd share how I decorated a few areas of my home with a bit of a primitive touch.

This corner counter is in my kitchen, a thoroughly modern design, with clear maple cabinets, granite tiles and stainless appliances.  Not too much old style here!  I took a red/gold/ cream round penny rug that I made and layered up a wooden paddle (found at a thrift store) filled with rosehips and orange peels.  Three small styrofoam balls have a variety of seed pods from the farm store thoroughly glued in place (plus a brushed on coating of glue to seal them).  The seeds are deep purple, yellow gold and dark red, which brings together my rather modern attachment to the color purple (which I've blogged here before).  The three chicks are resin pieces I picked up a few years ago, along with a tin gold star.  The rusty scale adorns a pip berry and star candle ring along with a gorgeous local handcrafted candle with dried fruit imbedded in the wax.  Remember these important guidelines as you create your centerpiece:  use odd numbers of items when grouping like things together; layer up the height to bring the eyes to the focal point; and be sure that the colors work together (watch to make sure that your bright colors don't put everything else off); and offset your design...if it's too symmetrically perfect, it won't look primitive.

Next is something I love to decorate with...candle rings!  I have a formal six light chandelier in my dining room which is brushed nickel.  Not exactly primitive or country!  So I purchased multi colored pip berry candle rings (enough for each light), removed the light's cover and bulb, and threaded the candle ring to rest just below the frosted glass shade.  These stay up until fall, at which time I change them out for fall covered candle rings, and then again at Christmas for some bright red berry candle rings.  It adds a bit of texture and color to an otherwise ordinary place.  And I really like being able to change up the look quickly and easily.

And, though I didn't plan to photograph this, behind the light you can just make out a very high window sill that we have in a couple of rooms.  The windows are a good eight feet wide by only two feet tall.  Impossible to decorate with a window covering, so I gave up and just decorate the sill itself!  I have small bird houses, prim candlesticks, even some old books up there!  The look is cozy, yet not cluttered, since the pieces are way above eye level.  Plus it frees up more space at the lower levels to make and buy (!) new prim pieces.  And who doesn't love that!

Friday, May 11, 2012

Happy Mother's Day

I remember my first Mother's Day.  Nic was barely 3 months old, and I was unfortunately dealing with the medications and side effects of a blood clot, post pardom depression, and lack of ability to produce breast milk thanks to the steroids I had to take.

But through it all, the very precious life that Matt and I brought into this world bonded together with me so readily.   Nic was the ultimate gift even when the situation seemed less than a happy time.  Even though those days are a part of me, the wonderful child that we're raising is proof that life is always moving along to another chapter full of experiences and reflections.  In other words, a chapter in one's life simply does not tell their whole story.

Today I found myself face to face with another new mom.  It was just such a beautiful sight to see this soon-to-be new momma deer peering up at me from the pasture.  She moved slowly, with deliberate attempt to evade my presence, but there was no leaping away from my picture snapping frenzy by this doe.  Ah yes, those uncomfortable last few days.  I wonder if that little one will arrive before the day we celebrate our Moms.  A new life; a new chapter; a new day.

Happy Mother's Day!

Saturday, May 5, 2012

A Lace-y Dilemma

Look at this lovely stash of lace that I just received from a friend who is in the process of doing some spring purging!  There's eyelets, trims, sheers and even a very unusually large panel of lace depicting a holiday scene.

Wow, what shall I create?  I don't work with lace a whole lot and have really only used it to embellish a dress (for a doll, of course...since I can't stitch a garment for the life of me!).

I did use a pretty eyelet trim on the top border of this shabby chic quilt, and it turned out real cute.  So, that got me to thinking...

Some of the larger pieces would look great overlaying a dark solid tone quilt block and then made into a pretty tote bag.  That would sure show of the delicate design in the lace's pattern!

Since lace is so easy to dye, why not color a few lengths of the trim pieces and create flower pins by rolling up the trim and stitching together the ends and then fanning out the 'petals'.  These are always so popular to attach to jackets, purses, etc.

And what a cool texture lace would provide to a needle felted design on a small candle mat.  Hmmm...guess I'd better get busy!

If you have any great ideas that you'd like to share, I'm all ears!  Have a wonderful day!