What a Man!

Today, I have to say thank you to my husband, for trying to help me dig out of the wreck of last week. I’ve almost thrown him back in a couple of times, but decided he was a keeper! And, I’m glad I did.

The sweetie brought me a big bouquet of flowers to put on the table where the tile disaster happened, to try and put a smile back on my face. He fixed the dishwasher, fixed the fridge, scraped off the tiles so that I could redo them, and this on only a couple of hours sleep. So, in homage to his kindness, I created a free printable for my Brag Monday entry. The print is from the Graphics Fairy (see her button to the left) and the quote from Barbra Streisand, of all people. I hope you enjoy and have a chuckle!

As always, this is for personal use only. Feel free to click and then right click to save to your computer or print for non-commercial use.

Au revoir mes amies!!

Lorraine

Who Knew Marie Antoinette could be so Motivating?

So, today is Brag Monday, once again, on the Graphics Fairy’s blog (see her button to the left), and I wanted to do something a little different this time. Most often I tend to post a piece of jewelry, or one of my coaster designs. This time, I decided to create something that “I” needed, rather than something that would eventually end up in one of my stores.

So, what to make … what to make? Well, I have this little problem … or rather a little bit of a big one. I have paper clutter like no one’s business. It seems as though just as soon as I get my papers under control, I get a whole bunch more in the mail or create a whole bunch more that need to be filed. And, as I now am self-employed, it is absolutely crucial that I keep my financial papers in order. You wouldn’t necessarily guess that I have a problem, because I’m really good at hiding them in beautiful storage boxes. But, “I” know that they are just thrown in there until I can’t put it off any longer.

So, I decided to psychologically trick myself. Who better than Marie Antoinette to put a smile on my face as I file my store receipts? I mean, the irony is absolutely perfect!! I love all things french. I even sympathize with Marie, and love that her style “Iconishness” (is that a word?) is still just as prevalent today as it was when she was alive. But, let’s face it … she wasn’t known for her thriftiness or her attention to financial details.

So, I’ve created a financial journal and proceeded to design and create the cover for it. Now, I don’t think it will be as difficult to file those business receipts away. I’ll look at Marie and think … “Wow” I’m really on the ball. No one is going to chop off my head now that I have this receipt put away in the proper place. LOL!!

So, here are some pictures of my brag entry (many thanks to the Graphics Fairy for her beautiul graphic of Marie). I hope you enjoy. It isn’t necessarily overly embellished, I tend to prefer complexity in design, not in a lot of doodads. But, I’m rather proud of her, if I say so myself.

and here’s another angle:

So, I must ask … What tricks do you do to motivate yourself into doing those things that you don’t want to do? Oh, do tell!!
Au Revoir, mes amies. A bientot (until next time).
Bisou Bisou,
Lorraine

But do YOU LOVE it?

Before I get to my Brag Monday entry to the Graphics Fairy (see her link in my sidebar), I wanted to share an experience I had recently that prompted some thoughts … hmmmm …

I’ve been helping my son and his fiance with their wedding planning, and it has been a pleasure to help them.  But, throughout the process, I’ve been asking them … “But, do you LOVE it?”  Or, “but, do YOU love it?”  I finally started thinking I’m crazy, why do I keep need reassurance as to whether they love it or not.

The answer is … I think, as an eldest child, and the typical “people pleasing” person that I am, I often compromise on what I LOVE because I’m too worried about others being happy.  Please tell me I’m not the only one out here in blogland that feels that way.  Here I am, [she clears her throat] nearly 50, and I still find myself thinking about what would make everyone else happy, and not myself.

So, for my challenge today … I want you to think of something … anything really, either in your house, clothing that you wear, or I don’t even care what … but something that you have compromised on.  You may not even be consciously aware that you’ve compromised or that your thinking is squeued to thinking about what everyone else loves before thinking about what you love.

So, go around your house, your closet, you, whatever, and ask yourself “but do I LOVE it?”  If not, chuck it.  I mean it … get it out of your life.  Life is too short to compromise on things just to please others.  Because, this is the funny part … generally speaking I think we compromise on things that are usually (and I know I’m assuming here, but I have this gut feeling that I’m right) not as important to the other person as we think it is.  At the very least, open up some dialogue and see if it means as much to the other person as you think it does.  You might be surprised!!

Now, here is my Brag Monday entry to The Graphics Fairy (www.graphicsfairy.blogspot.com) … every week I enter something new that I’ve made, featuring one of her free graphics. You can also see more views of this particular piece by clicking on my store link.   And why do I do this you might ask?  Because I LOVE making jewelry.  LOL!

Image

Bonjour mes Amies,  have a wonderful week!!

Brag Monday Entry

It’s a rainy, cloudy, Monday morning (whoops it may actually be after noon now) and I’m still in my jammies, trying to be “inspired” for the day. But, it’s not really working. I got enough rest, I should be raring to go, but it’s just one of those days when you want to stay in bed, eat chocolate and watch “Sleepless in Seattle” or something else where you get to cry!

But, a promise is a promise, and I’ve made a commitment to myself that I would get my Brag Monday entry in every single week to the Graphics Fairy, so here I am … following through (but still in my jammies – isn’t the internet wonderful!!).

So, here is a picture of my entry:

I chose a graphic from the Graphics Fairy (thank you Karen) that is from an old birthday card, probably from the Victorian era. During that time, giving flowers meant more than just a flower, each flower had a meaning. I almost wish we lived in that time, where a bouquet not only meant that we were loved or admired, but that each flower in the bouquet had a hidden message for us.

Well, the Iris is the national flower of France, and is, in fact what the Fleur de Lys was taken from. I feel silly that as much as I love all things French, I didn’t know that the Fleur de Lys was an Iris!! Hopefully I’m not the only one out there my age that didn’t know that. The Fleur de Lys was traditionally named after King Louis, because as royalty he represented perfection, light, or life. Joan of Arc carried a flag showing a Fleur de Lys being blessed by God to inspire troups as they marched to victory.

So, that is why I’ve chosen the word “Inspire” to put on this graphic. I hope that it inspires you to learn a little more about flowers. I had a wonderful time learning about their names, the history behind them, etc.

I love flowers, particularly since I was able to live in Holland for a year when I took a year break from college. It is traditional there, that if you go to anyone’s house that you bring a bouquet of flowers. Everyone has flowers in their home, and it is amazing what that one little touch can do to brighten and beautify a home.

Later, I read one of Alexandra Stoddard’s books about decorating (she is an amazing author if you haven’t read her works yet, you should) and one of the suggestions she had to beautify your space, was to have real flowers in your house. I have never forgotten that, because I knew exactly what she meant after having lived in Holland. So, my challenge to you this week is to go out and get some flowers (even if it means getting them out of your yard (not your neighbor’s, unless you ask) and bring some into your home. I promise you, your spirits will lift from that one little touch in your home.

Which reminds me … I think I’m going to go out and pick some of my hydrangeas and take some of my own medicine!

Bonjour mes amies,

Go out and inspire!!

Brag Monday Entry

I thought I’d share my Brag Monday entry with you. I’m pretty proud of this Tile Coaster set, and have to admit that I was really having some difficulty with this particular tile. But, the Graphics Fairy came through for me!! I was able to find just the right Marie to put on this tile. Here’s a picture of what I ended up with:

You know when you have something “just so” in mind, but you can’t find the reality of what you have envisioned? That’s where I was. But, I was finally able to find the right Marie, and it all came together.

I’ve been having a lot of fun designing digital designs, because I have to admit that my hands are a little tired from the 200+ marathon of jewelry making that I did to get ready for my Italian festival. But, I’m really having a ball now designing digital art and then translating that onto tiles. I have some ideas of other projects, but I’ll keep that secret to myself.

Oh, and just so you can see, here is the entire set of my 1st French series:

See what I mean … it needed just the right Marie! Thanks again Graphics Fairy for coming to my rescue.

And, if you’d like to see the whole set in more detail, head on over to my store and you’ll see more photos.

A Bientot!!

Lorraine

In the Leafy Treetops

Growing up, one of my favorite songs in church was called “In the Leafy Treetops.” the first line was: “In the leafy treetops the birds sing good morning.” We had hand motions and it was a wonderful way to get the children involved and to say hello to everyone. I had to title this blog by that name, because I thought it was a great way to start the week and also wanted to share my Brag Monday entries with you.

Those who know me will understand that, bien sur, I had to do something with a bird theme!!

I created a coaster tile set using Victorian ephemera scraps from the Graphics Fairy (her link is to the left in my blog list). My second love is music, so of course I had to include musical quotes. I think they speak for themselves. I used a new type of lacquer varnish, which is extremely thick, and I’m very pleased with the results. If you have any questions about how I made them, please feel free to ask, and I’ll share my dark and dirty secrets!! Here are my pictures:

What type of music do you have in your life? I ask this, because my husband tried an experiment this past couple of weeks. He is an ER physician and works in a highly stressful environment and encounters all types of people in his interactions. Needless to say, many of them are not at their best on any given day, much less in an emergency. He had been bringing music to work to get him “pumped up” (in his words) and to try to stay energetic. It did work at first, but then his attitude would slowly deteriorate as the day or night went on. So, he went 2 weeks without music at all, to (in his words) detox. He then only played uplifting and soul-speaking music in preparation for work. He was amazed at the difference in his ability to keep a positive attitude.

It is amazing how powerful music is. It can create beauty in our lives and help us maintain a beautiful attitude. What type of music do you listen to? Is it contributing to the beauty in your life? I challenge you to experiment with the types of music you listen to and see if it is pulling your attitude up, or down.

Au Revoir Mes Amies … have a wonderful week!

Lorraine

A New Week a New Brag – in Living Color

I thought I’d share my Brag Monday entry with you, mes amies. Please feel free to check out The Graphics Fairy (her site is to my left in my blog list). She has the most amazing free vintage graphics. If you like creating with graphics, then she is your woman!! The tile pendant you see, is a vintage french graphic I found on her site. I don’t know about you, but I’m loving this summer’s color: Coral! Coral and watermelon pink are probably two of my best colors to wear, so I’m having a ball. So, with that in mind, I created this tile pendant. Now the hard part … parting with it! It is, after all, listed in my Etsy store. But, at least I can always make a new one.

What are your best colors to wear? Do you even know? Henry Ford would tell you that you could wear any color if it was black. But then, he designed cars, not clothing. Although I must say, most women should have that one little black dress.

When I worked at a quilt shop, I was called on all of the time to help women pick the fabrics for their quilts. It was amazing to me how many women were petrified of picking out colors. As though it was a matter of national security and if they got it “wrong,” then all was lost.

I’m a firm believer that everyone can learn to pick out what looks best on them (unless you’re color blind, and then you might need some real help).

What makes your eyes stand out? What makes your skin look great and not sallow or dull? What brings out the colors and highlights in your hair? A great place to figure out those types of questions, is to take a friend with you to a quilt shop and play around with the colors there. You might be surprised at what you’ll find. It might be a color that you had never thought of before. If so … be fearless, get a swatch and keep it in your wallet. The next time you go shopping, pull out your swatch and forge ahead. I promise, wearing the right colors can make you look younger, more vitalic, and even more so, feel great!

Have a wonderful week mes amies!!

Love,

Lorraine

Singing Our Own Song

I absolutely adore birds. Not necessarily in my house, but I love watching them outside and appreciating all of the beautiful colors, plumage, and songs that they sing. I grew up in Oklahoma in a large city, and really didn’t realize there were so many birds (other than sparrows, cardinals, bluejays, and scissortail flycatchers) until my husband and I moved out into the country. I was immediately amazed at the amazing array of birds. Suddenly I was exposed to nuthatches (they walk upside down a tree!), chickadees, meadowlarks, hummingbirds, whipporwills (louder than all get out!!), and a myriad of other wonderful and beautiful birds.

As I thought of our journey to find beauty, I was reminded of birds. Each has it’s own beauty, whether it is their song, their grace, their antics, their actual plumage, etc. So, when I did my new weekly challenge over at The Graphics Fairy (which you should definitely check out if you like free vintage prints and printables – the picture above is from her website), I decided to make a bird bracelet and earrings. Did I mention before that I LOVE to make jewelry?

Anyway, you can check out my entry at: http://graphicsfairy.blogspot.com/, my entry is number 50. (and if you like, please press the like button, *wink*wink*).

Here’s a larger picture for you to see:

When I wear this bracelet and earrings, I’m going to remind myself of my own personal song, my beautiful plumage, my antics or things about me that might be funny or charming to someone else, and the joy that I can bring to others.

What makes you sing? What special antics do you have or do? What beautiful, or subtle plumage do you wear? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Bonsoir Mes amies. Until Next time … a bien tot.