Pretty Housekeeping

I like this idea to display regular, everyday used, items as decoration – to recognize the simple beauty of a mundane thing like a handbroom! I’ve never been one to display things just for show…they have to have a history, significance, and/or purpose. What do you think?

There’s this trend for fancy, upscale-utilitarian cleaning tools – there are more beautiful housekeeping tools available everywhere! I think it’s partly the eco-friendly natural and the minimalist long-lasting fashions that have swept the world by storm! I found this darling broom and dustpan and now sweeping feels like a special occation ; )
Also, thanks to Marie Cando and the *spark joy* trend, I’ve been organizing, cleaning out, and re-evaluating all the spaces in our home too! It’s the perfect activity for these winter days when cabin fever is at it’s pitch!!

How about you? Are you ready for spring cleaning?! Or, like me, just couldn’t wait and have spent the winter digging out the recesses of every closset to discover what’s hidden inside!

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February

This month is always the longest feeling – ironic since it’s actually the shortest! But, it’s the middle of winter here with the cold days and snow. I haven’t done any painting in a while, but I’ve had other illustration work and I’m enjoying a beautiful butterfly puzzle! I have made my own matcha cheescake, a linen spray with essential oils, a card for a friend, and I’m started on a second rag rug! Handicrafts are a great diversion from the cabin fever that threatens to settle in this time of the year! What do you like to do in the winter months?

Winter Decorations

It’s time to put up the snowflakes and twinkle lights! I love to see all the snowflakes silhouetted in the windows – reminding me of how beautiful the snow is about the time in the winter that I start resenting how long and cold winter is!

Views from Life

My current living room is the old dining room – so the coat rack is now a decorative element instead of functional – until we switch the rooms back again ; ) I’m enjoying the change for these winter months!

My sketchbook fills up with flower doodles when I’m missing my garden and all the beautiful visitors that come to it: the hummingbirds, the butterflies, bees, ladybugs, etc. I’m already planning what flowers I can plant for them this summer!

My kitty needs her daily love-cuddles – have to watch out for her claws when she kneads with her paws!

I’ve been cleaning and organizing our little RV…getting ready for a cross-country trip this summer! The whole family is so excited about the trip. I’m going to journal about it all over HERE if you’d like to follow along!

Vacation Paintings

We did two different types of painting on our winter vacation! The first was a lot of work – we finished our west front room – painted ceiling, trim, and walls. Also, we finally hung proper curtain rods and curtains, mounted the pictures on the walls, and got a hutch we always had planned to have for the stereo…so this room is officially finished!!

The other painting was much more fun! I had a little watercolor class with Kaya, my son’s fiancee. We did johnny-jump-ups and I love how hers came out! She deffinately has an artistic eye for composition, proportions, colors, etc.

New year!

I found a perfect calendar for this year! I have a few resolutions that I’m looking forward to tracking in the pages of these months. I like that there’s space for doodles, quotes, reminders, and inspirational notes!

I’m also using a free printable template for weekly meal planning – this year is going to be for better, healthier, tastier foods for the whole family! After an elimination diet I did this summer I’ve been finding ways of feeding all of us better!

I’m excited by all the possibilities that the year ahead holds and I hope to be mindful and present in each moment. Savour, Cherish, and Choose Well – those are the words I’m starting the year with. What words are you living by today?

Current Projects

I’ve been doing a little bit of different things this month: a new embroidery technique, a flannel drawstring skirt with a kangaroo pouch (so cozy!), planting bulbs for some winter color, and some graphic design for a friends business branding!

Wintery Desk

These beautiful, fragrant, white tulips came from my husband for my birthday last week! He knows just what I like and also got me chocolate and paint pens! I’ve been having so much fun labeling everything with the pens ; )

I’ve had my 37th turn around the sun and feel so grateful for all the amazing blessings in my life – I’m looking forward to this year to come with joyful anticipation!!! Winter is NOT my favorite season…but I’m finding special beauty in it and thankful for all the good things that come with being cozy inside with dear friends and family! 

Blue Knit Maxi Dress

This is a break from my normal art related posts, but it is a creative craft: sewing!

I’ve been shopping for a knit maxi dress for months now, without success. I was looking for a neckline that wasn’t too low, with the flattering/right fit of the bodice, material not too thin, and at the right price (I may have set my expectations a bit high!) I was lamenting about it to a friend yesterday, and she said, “Oh, it wouldn’t be hard to make one – you should try it!” I have had a nice piece of knit yardage languishing in the basement, so I thought I’d rather make a dress (even if it didn’t work out) then leave the fabric in storage for years!

I apologize for the quality of photos – it was snowing today, so I took the pictures inside ; ) I had a long sleeve knit top that I just layed out flat on the yardage and cut out around it to make my ‘pattern’. It’s possibly the easiest thing I’ve ever sown – front and back bodice, two sleeves, gathered skirt, and neckline trim. I didn’t even hem the sleeves or skirt – just leaving them to roll naturally!

Please excuse my awkward selfie photos! Fellow seamstress will be interested in the details: I did normal shoulder seams and extra long sleeves. One of the things I’m used to now with retail clothes is that long sleeves are rarely long enough for me…but these sleeves are plenty long! I did a simple strip of fabric around the neckline – left raw so it will roll – it’s top stitched to the neck opening to keep the neckline from stretching too much. 

In just a couple hours I had a comfortable dress with the neckline I wanted and a proper fit! This knit fabric was a medium weight  and not super stretchy, so it should hold it’s shape well. This dress has the long sleeves for winter, but I plan to make a couple more (in peach pink and sage green?) with short sleeves for summer!

Minimalist Culture

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There’s been an exciting trend growing in our culture to have quality over quantity and to value what you have rather then accumulate the next best thing.  I’m not a minimalist, though I tend to live by the “everything in it’s place” rule.  What I do cultivate in my own life/home/etc is to count my blessings and purpose to share those blessings I’ve been given with others.  For me peace and prosperity is found in living simply.  It takes diligance and purpose to limit yourself and say no to the extras life has to offer – so that I may fully enjoy the essentials in my life.

Have you had to make those choices?  To cultivate those things that bring joy into your life, and let go of those things that would prevent you from having peace and contentment?  Sometimes it is almost a daily task!