Tuesday, June 13, 2017

This That and Other Changes

There's one thing for certain in life, 
changes do happen.
Life evolves and nothing stays the same forever.

Some things we wish stayed the same, but the truth is
we learn, grow and find better ways to direct our lives.

The one true constant however,
is our Lord's love and faithfulness.
For this and more, I have a grateful heart!

For many of us, blogging has certainly changed or at least the time spent here
posting and visiting.
Good or bad, it's the way it is.
Well, again we grow in and out of our journey and our direction changes.

Lately, I've been working in many old and new areas that take time and lots of effort.
Long hours on the computer at times and lots of studio time designing.

Yes, as many of you have noticed,
I'm here less, but will continue to post when their is something to share 
and catch up on!!
I've heard that many of you are doing the same thing.

Instagram has truly helped on this path.
Continuing to stay in touch with so many dear friends from blogland that have also joined IG
has been great.
Sharing our daily lives, creations, photos, events and more.
like the name implies,
 it's Instant!
If you are already there, I would love to follow you.
My link for IG is HERE!

My shop on etsy,  Rose Garden Market started off a bit slow for spring,
but after some marketing redirects, I'm busier then ever and loving every minute 

Lots of new goodies are on the way to the shelves
and signs are some of the latest styles.

some of you have seen on line,  2 months ago, I was invited to design for

After lots of research, Q&A's with the company and so on,
I joined the team and having a great time.
My designs range from my original hand paintings, photography and more
changing them to high resolution images to be used on
home decor and apparel.
The above collage of pillows is a little preview on some of my designs.
These pillows are created and sewn using high quality fabrics
and available with or without the inserts.
Being custom orders, most items in my collection take 4-6 or 6-8 weeks.
Others like totes, are usually about a week to manufacture.
So far, this has been a great new challenge.
I will see as time goes along how it  will continue to flow with my schedule!

In other areas, I am also working for my hubbies company,
LJS Consulting LLC.
At the moment, I am designing his website 
and traveling along at times when business takes us out of town.

On the home front,
we completed many home projects and one of those being
my garden bike created for the front yard under the Magnolia tree.

This bike was actually my son's bike for his 13th birthday years ago.
When I shared with him, I was on the hunt for a vintage bike to garden up, 
he offered me his old bike to re-purpose.
Being a racer style, we took off all the brakes, wires and extras,
then spray painted it in this wonderful aqua.
I found the baskets at Hobby Lobby and fashioned them with wire 
to the front and back.
Lastly I created this little "garden tour" sign and it was
ready to anchor to the tree.
You can't see the security anchors,but they are there
to keep the bike from falling over 
and well, 
someone liking it to the point they decide to walk away with it.

Being on a roll with the color aqua 
this pretty shade of blue found it's way to my red front door.
I loved the red but after 20 years, it was time for a change!!

Later I couldn't stop there 
so I carried the color to my beloved vintage metal chairs.
These beauties belonged to my mother and dad
and are in perfect condition.
They've been ever color over the years
but I'm loving the aqua!!
Think I need to add some pretty lumbar pillows.

Along with my designing journey and manufacturing approval
from etsy, I have adapted my photography and paintings
into high resolution canvas watercolor designs
and  bringing them to my shop as well.
Here are a few I'm enjoying right here at home.

This rose above was grown in my garden,
picked and enjoyed in a flower arrangement,
photographed, changed to watercolor then worked 
and manufactured into a 30" by 30" painting!

The canvas watercolor below was done the same way.
I'm a decorator who changes wall decor with the seasons.
This will take me through the summer!
Keeping a neutral background gives me the palette for change
by swapping out the accents and art.

When there is time to relax,
you can usually find me off  junkin, meeting with friends, reading, crocheting, sewing, cooking,
walking, swimming, decorating, church events and right here on the back porch!

The red rose pillows on the love seat are from my VIDA collection.

or here recharging in the sun!

 or gardening
tending the fairy gardens!

So there you have it,
This That and Other Changes.

I'm still here but will be posting less for now.
I hope you'll stop by now and then.

And in the meantime.
Wishing you Blessings and Blue Skies!

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Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Washboard to Herb Garden

Hi Friends,
Today I'm sharing a fun project
changing an old washboard to a Herb Garden
for the fence.

One of my dearest friends  turned sister, gave me this old washboard to redesign.
I looked at it awhile before I decided on taking it outside
and creating a planter of sorts to hang on the fence.

The washboard had an ad graphic on both sides
and this is actually the back.
I liked the vertical wood members and the graphic better here
so I turned it around.
Sorry I don't have a before pic.
My friend really took good care of this treasure
as you can see the metal area is still like new.
Being outside it will show some patina soon and be perfect.

The planter box section has been added by my talented hubby.
He cut fence wood and formed a box and drilled drainage holes at the bottom.
He then added the wood box to the legs of the board. 
Next I stenciled the word, Herbs to the front and we added dirt then planted a few herbs.

I love how it's begun to weather a bit and show some distress around the box.

Perfect little herb and flower garden in my side yard.
I planted, basil, thyme and parsley.

Soon a lot of growth will take over
and it will be lush and full.

You can see I had some fun with photo editing too.
Hope this gives you an idea for a washboard if you have one
and no place to display it.
Take it outside and let it be pretty in the garden.

Have a great last couple days of May!!

~See you soon~

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Friday, May 26, 2017

Happy Memorial Day 2017

In Remembrance and honor 
to those brave men and women who have served our country to keep us free 
and to those that continue to sacrifice each and every day for America,
 we give our heartfelt thankfulness.

As we celebrate our nations hero's, let us give thanks for their military dedication and safety.
 We can never be thankful enough to those that serve America, 
but we can lift our prayers for them each and everyday. 
When you see a military person, take a moment and say thank you. 
The encouragement will honor them as they realize people care and remember.

My Father Joseph,fought for this country in WWII on Omaha Beach in Normandy France. 
He used to say, "I wouldn't give you a nickle for my experiences, but, I wouldn't sell them for a million dollars either"

 Words from a proud and glad to serve, American! 
I dedicate this Memorial Day to him and the bravery he carried as he jumped off the ship and swam to land on Omaha Beach with his fellow soldiers.
 God was with him that day as he ran forward to defend America.

When I saw the movie, Saving Private Ryan,
 I realized for the first time, what he must have faced that day.
 I thought, Wow Dad needs to see this movie. 
Then I realized, he doesn't need to see this, He was there! It just gave me chills.

Whatever your long weekend plans, enjoy, be safe and be grateful!

In Remembrance
Happy Memorial Day!

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Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Creating a Fresh Magnolia Wreath

Living in Texas
we enjoy gorgeous Southern Magnolia trees
and right now they are blooming beautifully.

This gorgeous Southern Magnolia stands in our front yard and is nearly 40 feet tall.

I love to decorate with the trimmings
and here is an example for creating a
Magnolia Wreath using fresh leaves.


To begin, I take a trimming of branches from the tree,
then I lay out all the gatherings
by sizes for easy reach.

I use a simple green Styrofoam round  wreath
from the Dollar Store.
This one is about 14" round.

Next, I begin to cut the leaves and stems
and hot glue them on the wreath.

Going in one direction, I hot glue the leaves
to the top, front of the wreath
 and all around the sides and inside area.

Moving the leaves up and down for interest and a natural flow.

Once completely covered, it looks something like this.
The bottom leaves are placed in a cluster of three, 
where I plan to place a simple silk ribbon.
You can design your wreath with or without that area.

This is the backside.
No need to glue leaves to the back.
Just place enough around so you do not see the Styrofoam wreath.
The hot glue works great with
these strong thick leaves.

Once complete and the ribbon in place,
I hang it over a picture in our family/library room
using an over the door hanging hook.

You can also add a string of jute or wire wrapped around the ring 
before adding the leaves, creating a hook of sorts if you want to
display and hang from a nail.

The fresh wreath will last a couple weeks. 
As it dries the color will fade and sometime
I brush on an acrylic paint in dark green to brighten.
It looks pretty dried too but will become brittle,
so care in handling has to be used when moving etc.


So there you have it.
Designing a fresh magnolia wreath.
Easy, fun and free
 using hot glue,ribbon and 
a Styrofoam  wreath from the Dollar store!

Thank you for stopping by.
Happy Mid May!

See you soon!

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Wednesday, May 10, 2017

One Last Mother's Day Dinner!

Happy Mother's Day
Mother's Day is special to me,
 not only because my family blesses me with their thoughtfulness,
but because remembering my mother is a gift that I can reopen each year. 
A treasured gift that lives in the depths of my heart.

This story begins on a gorgeous Mother's Day in the year 2000. 
The day was warm and sunny accompanied by plans for a special dinner for my mother in our home.
You see, after my father passed away in 1998, 
I brought my mother from Michigan to live with me in my home in Texas. 
God brought my family 2 years earlier to this very home that would have a room just for my mom.
 A home where just outside our subdivision, and across the road, was a care facility.
 Little did we know at the time, there would be a need for that care.
 But God knew and was preparing us for what lay ahead.
At that point, mother settled in with me and my family and life continued by the grace of God. However, little by little my mother's health was failing. 
She had medical issues and needs that I could no longer meet.
 I tried, I really tried. I cried and  prayed for the strength and courage to continue, but that was not going to be the plan.
 Now the help of that very care facility in our area was needed. 
So close by and so easy to visit every day. 
What a blessing it was.
Mom once again settled into her new home. I decorated her pretty space, with all her treasures to give her comfort and feel like home.
 Not a word of complaint was ever spoken from her lips, 
not a discouraged attitude was ever reflected in her pretty face. 

She was showing us the grace and dignity of a life in its final days.
 It had to be difficult for her making this huge change.

The grand lady who worked and retired from the Veteran’s Administration Hospital, 
 was also a homemaker, gardener, decorator, crafter, cook, wife, mother, sister, church faithful and friend to all.
As time went by, my family and I spent every day stopping in to visit my mother.
 Mornings, afternoons and evenings we all stopped in to spend time with mom.
 I planned special events, picnics outside mom's room,
 sing  a longs, birthday parties and so forth. 

It was still a time to soak up much to learn about life and the fragility of our days on earth. 
Mom still had so much to tell me and show me. 
She was an angel on earth and her work here not yet complete.
By now the first Mother’s Day after mom’s move was approaching. 
Mom was doing well enough to come home for the day to enjoy dinner 
and spend time with the family. 
We all were looking forward to the outing mom would take to be with us.
 I cooked and cleaned to make everything just right.
 I prayed for our day to be as special as could be, and it was.
I can still see mom as my husband brought her home for the day visit.
 He wheeled her up the walkway in her wheelchair and my heart beat quicker with the excitement to entertain my mother. 
She was dressed in a pretty lavender suit. 
The color was gorgeous against her pretty silver hair.
 A little blush on her cheeks brought out those gorgeous brown eyes that danced and glistened like the pearls around her neck.
 It was easy to see how happy she was to be in our home for Mother’s Day.

Dinner was wonderful as we all talked and laughed sharing family memories.
 I played the piano for mom and we sang her favorite hymns. 
We went outside on the patio to enjoy the sunshine of this perfect day continuing the laughter and family stories.

As the day came to an end, I cleared the dining room table and cleaned the kitchen as mom sat by talking and laughing just like many times before. 
What a gift when I look back. How fast time marches on as life moves us forward.
When it was time to take mom back, we all rode along to settle her in her pretty room for the night. We gathered to say a prayer as we always did in parting, knowing we had been blessed once again with a memory that would last us forever. 

Mom passed away just 3 and half months later.
 Just 14 weeks from that special Mother’s Day and last dinner.
The last time she would ever be in my home. The last time I would see her in that gorgeous lavender suit, hear her voice at the dinner table and see her generous smile. 
 With fragile hands, mom stroked my hair as we said goodbye.
 Thanked me for a lovely dinner and special day.

 I can still see her hand wave as we walked out of her pretty room.
 “See you tomorrow, we all said.”  
Tomorrow's did come and go in those weeks before mom took her final move to heaven.
 Looking back  on those days were the best of my life.  Times in which I learned so much from my mother.  
The one who always had a smile on her face and kind word for all.  
Generous to a fault and a giver of time.  
 Encouraging and a cheerleader to everyone.
Learning's that will never have a last time!
This Mother’s Day will once again give me the moments to look into my heart and reopen that gift from the past. 
 It will be a time to be thankful for the dear mother I was blessed with and the mom I hope and pray I can be, set by her example.
Mom used to say to cherish the moments, 
take time to be kind
 and in all ways ask God to direct our path.
 Insightful words from a wise lady. 

I hope your days are special
 and blessed by gifted moments
 shared with family, friends and Mothers.     
 (c)Celestina Marie

Many Blessings Always.

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