Beauty Within, Without, or Not at All

I believe I may have mentioned earlier that I have been really working hard on finishing up some projects in my home. It is truly coming together, and I’m so excited about how I feel when I open my door, walk into my home, and just feel … aaaahhhhhh … I’m truly home. Not only is this transformation the result of trying to create a beautiful home, but it is also an internal transformation … a realization of who I am and what makes me happy — what “speaks” to my soul.

I’m in my late 40’s and it has taken some time for me to figure out what truly is me, what truly makes me happy, what truly speaks to my soul. There have been several times in my life when I thought I had figured it out.  However, what “spoke” to me at 20, isn’t what speaks to me at 48. Too much life has happened in the meantime.

I’m reminded of the analogy of us starting out as lumps of coal, and through life, God creates a diamond … something that He saw in us from the very beginning, but that we aren’t able to see in ourselves. At least for many, it takes a long time, for others, they never see their full glorious worth. How incredibly sad that is.

So, today, for my Brag Monday, I’ve created a free printable to help remind us that we have to carry the beauty within to see the beauty outwardly. I particularly hope that it will inspire you to remember how beautiful you are … and that you will believe it!

I love this quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson. I created the printable using a peacock graphic (with many thanks) by the Graphics Fairy. As always, feel free to click on the printable and right-click to save to your computer. It is for personal use and you may not mass-produce or use in any commercial way. Please feel free to send people my way so that they may download their own copy.

Au Revoir mes amies … have a wonderful week!!

Lorraine

It’s All About the Head … or the Neck (as the case may be)

It’s been a bit of a tough week for me, and so I knew I needed to blog … not to vent, mind you. I’ll spare you that … but I needed to create my Freebie Friday printable for you and pour some humor into my life. Hopefully, it will offer you a chance to chuckle as well … and yes, I give you permission to laugh at me, I’m laughing at me while I write this.

As I said, it’s been a bit of a trying week. But, I’ve realized that it’s all about perspective. I was griping to a friend of mine about some of my troubles and then promptly moved into another stresser that just popped up, albeit a good one. As any good friend would do, she promptly said “Boo Hoo … it must be rough to have Google wanting to promote you on the internet, I’m sure that’s really terrible.” And … boom … it hit me. What the heck am I complaining about?

See … it’s all about perspective. I’m worrying over my house being perfect for a photographer that Google is sending to my home as they are highlighting me for the state of Indiana with one of their ad campaigns. Who freakin’ gets to do that? Me!!!! I can’t believe it’s happening to me. So, why am I stressing out?  I should be jumping up and down, thrilled beyond my wildest dreams … and GRATEFUL!!!!

Some people don’t even have a home right now thanks to Hurricane Katrina, and I’m freaking out about what is probably the chance of a lifetime, business-wise. So … as I thought about what I could use for inspiration for my Freebie Friday, I turned to Marie. We always think about the fun she had, fashion, wearing anything she wanted, escaping to Trianon to get away from the court politics, and we promptly forget the woman lost her head … literally. So, while this picture is not Marie, it is Marie-esque (do you like my made up word?). I hope you enjoy and get a laugh out of it.

As always, feel free to click on it and then right-click to save to your computer. You may only use it for personal use (print or as a wallpaper for your computer) but may not mass produce. Fee free to send anyone my way to get their own copy.

Have a wonderful weekend mes amies … and keep your perspective straight (and your heads on!).

Lining Your Nest

I have been busy the last several weeks working on decorating and updating my home. I have been having a wonderful time, and I have to say that when I walk into my house now, it truly feels like coming home. I know that probably sounds cliche, but let me elaborate.

Years ago, I decorated my bedroom based upon some fabric that I really loved. I’m a red girl, but very much aware that red is not the color choice for when you want to relax and go to sleep. So, I chose one of the other colors in the fabric … a smoky dark blue to paint my walls. In theory, it was absolutely beautiful. I had two very large windows that brought plenty of light into the room, so I knew I could pull it off without feeling like I was entering a cave.

Well, folks … it didn’t work. It was beautiful. It was coordinated. It worked with the fabric I had used on the drapes and the red cornice boards. But, I realized after several months, that I NEVER spent time in my bedroom. I’d leave it as soon as the day started and never return until the end of the day. It really wasn’t “Me!”

At the time, however, I was younger (around 28) and didn’t really know yet exactly what was me. So, I started reading the “Simple Abundance” book by Sarah Ban Breathnach that was so popular at the time. One of the prompts in the book was to start a scrapbook and whenever something “spoke” to you, you put a picture of that in your scrapbook. So, that is what I did, and “Voila!” Over time, I realized what truly was me. So, I painted over those blue walls, they became a soft creamy ivory and then I sponged a soft sage green very delicately on the walls. I kept the red cornice boards, and then changed my bedding to a creamy ivory background with red and yellow toile style flowers and, you guessed it probably … sage green leaves. At the time I don’t think anyone knew the phrase “Shabby Chic” but that is what my bedroom became.

Afterwards, I couldn’t stay out of that room! I wanted to be in my room all day long, every day … but alas my children and husband needed me to function outside of my bedroom.

So, here I am, once again, making my house uniquely mine. I’m having a ball, and … when I come into my home, I once again have that feeling of “Aaaahhhhhhhh,” I’m really home now. This space is “ME!”

So, my brag Monday entry is actually some placemats that I’ve designed to use on my new dining table (I’ll post picks after I finish a few things so that you can see). And they are … you guessed it … red!! But, I promise … there is no dark steel blue, as pretty as that color may be, on the walls of my home!

So, my challenge to you is … how do you feel in each space of your home? Is there a room that you love, and why? Is there a room that you don’t spend any time in? I know why! It isn’t you. And, if it isn’t you, and you don’t know what is … I promise that if you start making a scrapbook (you could even update that by using a Pinterest board) of anything that “speaks” to you, you’ll start to see some patterns, and you’ll realize what you need to do to make your living spaces create that feeling of “AAaaaaaHhhhhhhh” I’m finally home.

So, here is my brag Monday entry (Many thanks to the Graphic Fairy for her generous use of the nest graphic). Let me know what you think!!

If you click on the picture, it will take you to my Zazzle store, where you’ll see some of my other designs. Maybe it will give you food for thought for your journaling to find out what is “YOU!”

Have a wonderful week Mes Amies!!

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

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.