Sunday, January 31, 2010

Classic Country

I've just put together my 'special place'. A place to relax, enjoy, and feel refreshed. I can usually do this in the great outdoors as nature is what enriches my being and stirs my creativity. But I stay indoors as much as possible when the cold weather hits here at Lakewood. So what's a gal to do? Well, knock out a wall and get busy.

The above room was an unused and very small bedroom. It felt very claustrophobic, so opening it up to the kitchen made it just right.

As I pulled this room together, I have discovered my style of Classic Country with all its comfort and charm. It is a simple elegance with a lived in look. I can mix it up and do not have to follow any specific rules. This way, I have the opportunity to think outside the box and allow my creativity to flow. I can express myself with my Classic Country decor.

I started with painting the room a yummy color. Then I wrestled with a couple of my favorite big pieces and arranged them for a perfect fit. I had to go  shopping...down in my basement (whole other post). My objective was to spend no money or as little as possible. My out-of-pocket was $65. Not bad for a complete redo.

I also had to work on a few projects to pull the room together. You can always give a new life to any object you currently own. I love having a stash of stuff to pull from. I will reveal how I acquire my decor items and my stash for little or no money in a future post. 

So there you have it...from a Classic Country gal!
Linking up to:
Made It Mondays
Its So Very Creative
Blue Monday
Met Monday
Make It For Monday
Make Your Monday
Visit these great hosts for fun and creative ideas!

Check back this week for more details regarding my reveal.
Thanks for the visit!

Living it up at Lakewood,


Let the Sun Shine

Looks like it's going to be a beautiful Sunday here at Lakewood.

Hope your day is just as beautiful.

Living it up at Lakewood,


Thursday, January 28, 2010

I'm Addicted

I have a new addiction. Nothing serious really. And it is fun. It's a perfect solution for a homebody and allows one to deal in trash and treasures from the comfort of  home during the cold season. What is occupying some of my time? Etsy!

Most of you know that Etsy is an online avenue to sell and buy handmade and vintage merchandise. I casually took the plunge and listed a few things to
sell at the end of 2009. I chose Shop At Lakewood (see right sidebar) for the name of my online presence. 

Since January has arrived and it is the down season for auctions and flea markets, I have devoted some of my time to immerse myself in vintage, antiques, and handmade at Etsy. I go window shopping and there is so much to see. I mark my favorites and I'm inspired by the ingenuity of others.

As the former owner of a brick and mortar country store and of a gift shop...Etsy is heaven sent!!! The expense of time and money put into a physical location can drain you. On Etsy, I can buy and sell and never leave my home.

I'm just now starting to develop an online presence and it is a humble beginning for me. I had over 30 people visit my store the other day (don't laugh) and realized that it was rare to get that many people through the doors of my physical locations on a daily basis unless it was seasonal or for special events.

What is fun is to see what people will look at within your shop and what they are interested in buying. My first sale was a teacup that I was afraid to list. It was such a misfit...the artist didn't paint it correctly, it had defects when made, and the glazing was a mess. I mentioned all of the above in the description and stated it was up for adoption and needed a good home. It sold!

The other day I listed an old wooden, carved dough bowl. Very primitive, but cool. I then checked my shop to see how it looked and to see if I needed to make any changes. My wooden bowl was missing. Shoot...did all that work and lost it? Then I discovered that someone bought it. What?!? That quickly someone found it, liked it, and paid for it. Now do you see why I'm addicted?

Nothing brings me more pleasure than bonding with others over trash and treasures. I will be adding more vintage items to my shop and hope to soon start working on handmade items. So many ideas, so little time.

How about you Etsy?

Living it up at Lakewood,


Tuesday, January 26, 2010

In Search of Spring

As the wind howls and the snow drifts down from above, I stand at my window longing for spring. I envision the warmth on my back as I tend to my garden. I believe I can catch the aroma of flowers emerging from the freshly thawed ground. I think I can hear the symphony of my feathered friends as they rejoice with me...spring is here.

I am jolted back from my endless efforts of wishing and decide I need to just bring that fresh feeling of renewal to me. I can enjoy my version of spring during this winter season while I hibernate. I can capture the joy of nature within my own surroundings.

I just read somewhere in which it stated, 'Don't hibernate, decorate'. Can't I choose to do both? My definition in hibernating is my choice in how to face the harsh winter while enjoying a more relaxed pace indoors. It's about acceptance, do what I can while I can. So I have been decorating...feathering my nest. I've been working, no, I've been puttering as if I have no other obligations. I don't feel guilty as it brings me purpose. And this is good.

Right now, I'm creating my own space. It's a room just for me to allow for relaxation and creativity. I am surrounding myself with what brings me pleasure here at Lakewood. I will benefit from bringing spring to me while I wait for the official season to arrive. 

As far as gardening...I will plant seeds indoors so I can get that natural high when the heads of the plants break through the dirt.

In trying to smell the flowers...I will buy fresh flowers from the store the next time I run errands so I can enjoy their beauty and take in their fragrance for now.

And my feathered friends...I have invited them to feed on my deck by the back door. And they have accepted. This morning I had close to 25 birds at a time, delighted in the variety of seeds they had to choose from. I could sit here and watch them all day.

So don't wait for spring...go embrace it and bring it to you. 

Living it up at Lakewood,


Monday, January 18, 2010


This is a time for reflection. With the chill in the air and frost/snow upon the ground, I find myself in hibernation. It is not the form that our animal friends seek for survival. It is my own take to remain snug and secure during a season that I am not fond of. So I have discovered that the rhythm of how I approach my day is evolving. 

I do depend on nature and my natural surroundings to bring me comfort. I embrace the seasons of spring, summer, and fall. I need to now accept the gifts of winter. How? By slowing down, taking the time to reflect, and to energize my being.

Everything in nature tells us that winter is the time to slow down. The majority of humans cannot hear the cycle of the seasons or of the earth. They are too busy. As I look at all my possibilities, I question myself and contemplate if my values always align with my actions. Have I become too busy with things that do not matter?

I prefer my simplistic lifestyle yet I find myself straying from it due to outside influences. I need to stay true to the journey I've set for myself. You have probably noticed that I have not blogged for almost a week. I have been doing what is of the utmost my life in balance. I've discovered life goes on if I don't post everyday. This blog began so I could  find me again, to plant some roots, and become better at who I am.
So what does one do while in hibernation? Whatever I want. I am feathering my nest, making it more comfortable to endure these days of winter when the prospect of spring seems so far in the distance. I hold onto hope that spring will arrive early this year. 

This season...I'll have an extra hot chocolate if I want it. I will enjoy completing my indoor projects because as soon as my surroundings thaw, I will be in the great outdoors again. For now, I will throw on an extra blanket and read a book or watch an old movie. I will let go of control and go with the flow of the universe. That is how I will hibernate and reconnect with my creative being.

And how about you? Are you hibernating?

Living it up at Lakewood,


Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Seven Projects

I've been busy doing a slew of projects that have been on my to do list for way too long. So I thought I'd share bits and pieces now while I'm inhaling paint fumes and then share the finished projects as they are completed.

1. Love this chicken incubator that I picked up at an auction on an Amish farm.

2. Hmmm...this would be a good chair for my desk. Auction find again.

3. How dirty can a broken shelf get? Yard sale find a few years ago.

4. This is a curbside find and I finally decided what to do with it.

5. Yuck! Why pick up this throw away? I have a vision.

6. This was my 'I want this for Christmas' marked way down piece.

7. I bought this at a flea market and will jazz it a bit.

There we things that need makeovers while I'm also making over a room. Some of the above projects will be going into my new space.

I thought I would just list seven projects today because I was nominated for the Kreativ Blogger award by Jenna at Pieces of Me . Thanks, Jenna! Please pay her a visit. For that award, you list seven things that your readers may not know about you. Well, I just recently received this award and you can find that post here. So this is my version today by listing my seven projects. If you have not received this award, please grab it and have fun with it. 

Gotta go, my projects are waiting...

Living it up at Lakewood,


Friday, January 8, 2010

Oh Yeah...

Girls just want to have fun!

Today is a work play day!
Really busy painting having fun and working enjoying some other projects, too!

If I can't hear you, it's cause the music is turned up way too loud!
Okay, I have to get back to painting dancing...

Having a fun about you?

Living it up at Lakewood,


Thursday, January 7, 2010

For The Birds...

Quick project for the birds...

Grapevine Wreath + Birdseed

Smear the wreath with peanut butter and add seed...

Add some birdseed to any container and sit it outside with the wreath. 

A bird doesn't sing because it has an answer, it sings because it has a song.

-Lou Holtz

Living it up at Lakewood,


Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Walking on Water

Out and about this Wednesday with lake views from our backyard.

Temperatures are below normal here. Even the geese look cold.  
Are you staying warm?

Living it up at Lakewood,


Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Baking, Booze, and the Bowdabra

What does baking, booze, and the bowdabra have in common? Coming up with any ideas? No? Well I don't drink while I'm baking. And for those of you who don't know what a bowdabra's a thingy that helps you make bows. So what do these three things have in common? Answer: the potential for you to be the Martha Stewart in your neighborhood. Yep, that is what my neighbor called me and she is tough competition with her blond hair and all! Who would have thought, that is all you need to be Martha Stewart...baking, booze, and a bowdabra!

It all started when I needed to come up with a Christmas gift for my neighbors. Baking is always the first thing that comes to mind, but that is so boring. I just needed to jazz it a bit so I chose a recipe that is easy and something not really Christmasy.

Enters the booze. Not any booze, but good old Jim Beam, Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey. I live in bourbon country here in Kentucky. Now Jim Beam, to me, is a man's drink. But let me tell you is a great accessory for a woman to have in the kitchen. It adds the right flavor to many dishes and desserts.

So out come my Kentucky cookbooks and my collection of area recipes. And hands down, it had to be thoroughbred pie. Even sounds like a winner, doesn't it? Now there are many versions and many names to this pie...including derby pie (trademarked) and Kentucky pie.

The recipe I used is from a newspaper clipping and here it is for your file...

1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
2 eggs
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 1/2 cups chopped pecans
2 tablespoons Kentucky bourbon
Beat eggs with completely cooled butter. Add flour and sugar. Beat until mixed well. Gently fold in pecans, chocolate, and bourbon. Add mixture to your pie shell. Bake at 350 degrees for 30  minutes ( it sets up more upon cooling).

And that is it! So easy! Now the bowdabra comes into play. I came upon this little baby when I owned a gift basket shop. Bows...I made hundreds of bows. It's the easiest, fastest, and cheapest solution to bedazzle those gifts you give. Make your bow and pull out your favorite embellishments and go for it.

To give your pie as a gift, you can buy the tin foil pie pans with the disposable lids or buy thrifty pie plates throughout the year and wrap with cello or box them up. I used the tin foil pie pans, wrapped ribbon around them and added the bow on top.

Unfortunately...I was in a hurry and took no pictures!!! I know, I know. I'm still new at this blogging thing and when I get to my one year anniversary, maybe then I'll be seasoned enough to always remember that the blog comes first...or close to it!

Just wondering...are there any Martha Stewart's out there who bake with booze?

Living it up at Lakewood,


Monday, January 4, 2010

Bird and Flower Tutorial

Some visitors are asking me to provide a tutorial for the project I did at 'this post' in regards to the cute little bird, the flowers, and the bow that I added to my wreath.

 I did forget to mention in my original post that some instructions would be coming as I found the plans online and just had to find them again to give the original person credit and link to her. I've been blog hopping too so much lately...!

Luckily she found me so that helped speed the process up, I have to give the credit to Stephanie Lynn at Under The Table & Dreaming who provided the tutorial for the bird and the flowers. Her tutorial is very easy to follow. I did make one slight change to the flower. For the spiral,  I did not cut on the lines. I cut a wavy pattern back and forth over my drawn line and just used the line as a guide. That way the flowers are not straight across the top edge, but are more wavy like petals. Either way looks good. The top flower on the left is the straight cut. I also tucked in and glued a tiny piece of dryer sheet for the center of each flower. 

And the bow...I just eyeballed it and did it. Ripped some strips from a book. Took two strips and made a loop with each and fastened the ends with glue, then fastened those two ends together. Did a mini strip, looped it around the middle of the two loops for a center and glued it on the back. I then ripped two strips to be the tails for the bow.

It is all given a distressed look with gently rubbing on some brown paint. So easy! I hope this all makes sense. Now go visit Stephanie and make your own! 

Living it up at Lakewood,


Pop of Color

I finally feel I can create. New year. Clutter gone. Organized craft room.
So here I go.

I had an area that needed a pop of color. I love aqua. I hate hunter green. What do I have in my home? Yep, hunter green. Not going to beat myself up about it. Watch me this year as I rid my space of hunter green...and have fun doing so by bringing in the colors I love.

Now back to my project. I wanted aqua. I wanted something simple. 

How much did it cost? Nada. The wreath and book were an auction find. My trusted aqua spray paint I already had. When I buy at auctions, it is for resell. I buy a box for something specific, resell it, and the rest of the goodies within the box is for my pleasure. The wreath is one of those goodies. It was brand new with the price tag still intact.

I sprayed the wreath aqua and liked it so much better. I took the book and created my flowers, a bird , and the bow. I distressed them with brown paint and attached them with hot glue. It was that easy.

It is...making my Monday!
Living it up at Lakewood,


Sunday, January 3, 2010

One Word, New Year, No Way

Okay...someone, somewhere has started this 'one word for the new year' trend. And some are jumping on board. Let's talk about it and the good, the bad, and the ugly that accompanies it.

I'm assuming that using 'one word' is to replace those nasty old resolutions. Yuck, kinda leaves a bad taste in my mouth even as I type it. Resolutions never work...who started that anyway? It's taking the negatives in our lives and promising to do better next time around. Oh, I'm seeing failure hovering over those resolutions as soon as they are declared.  So replacing resolutions with something else is better, more positive, and more doable. That is good.

Now the bad. I find it difficult to use one word. Okay...if you know me, you know I can talk nonstop. It is who I am. So one word is not possible. And I have to word cannot embrace one's true intentions when it comes to life. Oh it can to a point, but humans need better direction or we just get sidetracked. If we can't stick with resolutions, how can we stick to one word? Example: 'resolution-to lose weight' compared to 'one word-health'. See, not enough info for success.

My solution...choose a phrase or a quote so you can use it in every instance in your life. The ugly part is that it may not work if you don't use the right phrase or quote. I came up with my own for 2009. It was '2009 is mine by design' meaning if I plan and work hard, I will achieve what I want. I thought it was quite clever. Well, it was a big ugly. God has his own plans and if you are going in a different direction...let's just say the rug was pulled out from under me. I went from being an entrepreneur in marketing and starting new adventures to walking away from it all and coming home. So be the theme of my blog...plant some roots.

If you told me a year ago that this was going to be a part of my life and I would be blogging, I would have laughed at you hysterically and declared 'never'! But even though that was my 'ugly' at the moment, God had a better plan. So all is well. I just had to see it, understand it, and appreciate it.

You may be wondering what my phrase/quote is this year. It was by accident, not planned at all so it may be best that way. Drum roll is...'Girls Just Want to Have Fun'.  Do I hear someone laughing. I'm sure I heard a snicker out there!?!

Maybe it's not clever or seems frivolous (don't tell Cyndi Lauper), but it has plenty of depth when applied properly. I'm not a fun person by nature. And when you are not fun, life can pass you by. I'm a planner and a doer, but because of this new direction...a better person is emerging or maybe I'm just rediscovering a lost self. I just need to allow fun so my creativity can emerge,  flow, and expand.

I can apply the 'girls just want to have fun' to all that is important in my life. Some of you already know my top ten values. If I apply that phrase to every value then not only I can benefit from it, but those around me, including my family and friends, will benefit also.

My top ten values are:
1. Gardening to produce fresh and healthy foods
2. Turning trash into treasures
3. Saving energy and becoming earth friendly
4. Experimenting in the kitchen to entice the taste buds
5. Making our house a home and a haven
6. Connecting and playing with nature
7. Creating and crafting
8. Becoming self-reliant by making soap and such
9. Participating in fun with the family
10. Educating myself and hopefully others

It's just about enjoying my life more while embracing what I value. Now that is better than any old resolution!

Living it up at Lakewood,


Friday, January 1, 2010

Girls Just Want to Have Fun!

Do you remember that song by Cyndi Lauper from 1983? So how about it, girls...are you planning any fun for 2010? Yes, you have your goals, your resolutions, and your to do list...but do you have any fun penciled in there?
Do ya?  

See this pic? Does it look like we're having fun? I'm the one on the right...not the fuzzy one with the apron and black nose. I'm with my 'little' sisters on our special weekend that we started as a tradition this past year. We had fun...junking through piles of good stuff and special finds...and sitting on the beach drinking wine...then running into Snoopy in the hotel....LOL!!!
Having fun and creating memories.

So will your 2010 be filled with fun and special memories? Let's face it...2009 was tough for many of us. We need 2010 to be just a bit better.
And if ya pencil it has a better chance.

Hmmm...I may pencil in a party this summer...maybe for the 4th of July...maybe a 50's theme...hmmm...

Oh girls, we just want to have fun!!!

Living it up at Lakewood,

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