Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Are You Blazing Your Trail?


Here I am in the good old days. I was a country gal then. I'm a country gal now.

I strive to blaze my own trail...seeking simplicity and down-to-earth pursuits. I want to awaken those good old days and not have them just be memories, but everyday occurrences that I can celebrate in and be thankful for. Know what I mean?


With that being said, I often find myself losing my focus. I can easily become distracted. I have often found myself lost in a maze of trends, expectations, and tribulations. I'll even stray from my passion and purpose. I become confused. That's when I find myself coming back to the comfort of my country roots. 
  
With this past weekend of springlike weather, my inner being emerged once again. You know that feeling. I know you do. There's that sense of rebirth, celebration, and life is good as the birds sing again and the blades of grass become a little more green. I realized as I was taking in the sunshine and inhaling the possibilities of spring, that we can all have that special feeling year round. We just need to be in touch with our values, our passion, and our purpose. 

Blogging has helped me with that. It has made me be more mindful about my beginnings and my direction. Does blogging or journaling do that for you? I've determined I need to start sharing more on my blog about simplicity and how it really isn't so simple of a choice. It is hard work. It is a life that when you lay your head on your pillow at night, you feel good. You know you've made an effort. You have made a contribution.


So are you getting up every morning ready to engage in life and do things that bring you joy? Have you decided it is time to blaze your own trail?

That is my wish for all of us...

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Monday, February 22, 2010

Spring is a Tease

After many cloudy days...
With numerous snowfalls...
And forever feeling chilled to the bone...
Hope has emerged these last few days.


The skies have blazed a brilliant blue...
The ground underfoot has again become a familiar green...
And the continuing need to protect against the cold no longer exists...
As the smell of spring has playfully teased me.


The cold grey skies will probably return...
Falling snowflakes may pay a visit again...
And my winter garb will remain close at hand for now...

But I do not care.
I have thoroughly enjoyed my weekend of spring...even if it only was a tease.
Did you enjoy yours?

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Wednesday, February 17, 2010

What a Country Gal Needs

I am a country gal. Plain and simple. Nothing fancy for me. So...

Do I need roses?


I prefer the sweet smell and simple beauty of daisies, thank you.

Do I need designer clothes?


Just allow me to thrift and I'll come up with an outfit that will knock your socks off. And it's one of a kind.

Do I need expensive chocolates?


Heck, pass me that bag of M&M's or better yet, I'll whip up a quick batch of my homemade brownies. A girl needs her chocolate.

Do I need the latest sounds from the music store?


Not really! I enjoy music that is inspirational, but some of my favorite tunes are by my backyard birds and our lakeside creatures. If you never heard peepers in the spring, you are missing a real treat.

Do I need a nice dinner in a fancy restaurant?


Oh come on, let me pack a few things in my basket and let's find the perfect spot outside to have a picnic. That's much better.

Do I need jewelry or expensive gifts?


Make me something from the heart. That is a gift I can truly remember and cherish.

Do I need a big, fancy house?


No and no again! It would never be a home to me. I need my house to reflect me and what I value.

Do I need to go on and on about being a country gal?
No, I'm a country gal, plain and simple...thank goodness!
I am blessed!!!

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Tuesday, February 16, 2010

I Bet You Are Prolific

A prolific blogger is one who is intellectually productive… keeping up an active blog that is filled with enjoyable content. The Prolific Blogger Award is for all the prolific bloggers, who read voraciously, blog tirelessly and have made the blogging community such a vibrant place. That describes you, doesn't it?

Thank you Sitka at All God's Creatures for this award. Sitka is a furry friend of ours here at Lakewood. Don't be shy. Go on over and say hi!

So here are the rules for this award...

1. Every winner of the Prolific Blogger Award has to pass on this award to at least seven other deserving prolific bloggers. Spread some love!
 Whoo-hoo...I choose everyone who has taken the time to read my blog and this post. Snag this award for your blog. Yes, do it right now! If you let me know that you've accepted, I'll come on over for a visit.

2. Every prolific blogger must link back to the blog from which he/she has received the award.
That would be here at Lakewood. Oh so easy!

 3. Each prolific blogger must link back to this post, which explains the origins and motivations for the award.
Get to know the person who started this recognition.

4. Every prolific blogger must visit this post and add their name in the Mister Linky so that we can all get to know the other winners.
Go ahead and make some new friends.

Easy as one, two, three...um...four! Thank you, Sitka and to all my blogging friends! 
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Monday, February 15, 2010

Warm Thoughts


"Winter is the time for comfort,


for good food and warmth,


for the touch of a friendly hand 


and for a talk beside the fire,


it is the time for home." - Edith Sitwell


Just sending you warm thoughts...

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Friday, February 12, 2010

Calling All Chicks!!!

Calling all chicks...am I talking about my female blogging friends or about barnyard feathered friends? Well, a little of both. And you are thinking that I may have been hibernating just a tad too long. That could be another story, maybe another time. Right now I want to talk about decorating and chickens. And I am not talking about decorating with a chicken/rooster decor. I'm talking about finding items that are not meant for the home and having something totally unique that no one else has.
So here she is....


What is she? How about a chicken incubator? And if that is not unique enough, how about that it is one I picked up at an Amish auction that was in a barn covered in filth and grey paint that had been splashed upon her great bones.


 Bones that the majority of people there could not see. They could not understand her potential beyond the use of a chicken incubator.


See this little contraption sticking out of her? What is that, you say? Amish do not use electricity so this was the source of heat. An oil based lamp was attached here. Light it and you have enough heat to hatch the eggs within the incubator. The lamp had to be removed for functionality and it was a leaky mess.


Next, I wanted to keep it to its original finish as much as possible. See the sides? They have not been finished yet as I'm waiting for spring to haul her outside. I took the plunge to do the top for now. After many hours of chemically stripping and sanding the top, I applied a few layers of red mahogany stain and a few coats of wipe-on poly clear stain. I would have never thought I would like a finish in red mahogany, but I love it and will be able to keep the lettering on the front intact.


For now, this makes a great table between my wicker chairs. A perfect place for reading or to sit back with a friend for some tea. Depending on your space and its use...how about as a coffee table, a bench, throw some cushions and pillows on it, or as a kitchen island? This beauty did come with legs so it could be easily converted into an island. My cost for this find...$70. I could have had this for less...except there was one other 'chick' who saw the potential. There's usually never any hard feelings if you lose out on bidding. After her loss and my gain of the chicken incubator, she immediately came to my side to discuss decorating possibilities. Now that is my kind of 'chick'!!!

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Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Warm Up With Color


Time to change it up after all these years with some color. White walls are great. They truly are. I've had white walls for many years, but...time to warm up my world. I'll keep and enjoy a variety of whites and creams in my furniture and accessories to balance my color palette. White is pure. It is uncomplicated. And it is simple.



Now about that color! I want warmth, especially with all the snow and cold outside. How to choose the perfect color? The only way is to play roulette. Game of chance, exciting, and not much money involved. How? I love it when people return their paint to the store. I come along after them and swoop up their 'whoops' and pay $5.00 for a full gallon of possibilities. Saves me time, money, and energy. And you know what...I have yet to be disappointed.


This new shade of brown on the walls that you see in these pictures is something I picked up before I knew what I would use it for. I admit to having a stash of paint in delightful shades to pull from. This is a light chocolate brown with a blush undertone when the light hits it. Notice the difference in the pictures? I took them at different days and times. 


Coupled with painting my woodwork from its dull stained surface to a new white state equals a match made in heaven.


I'm also waving goodbye to all the hunter green in my home to be replaced with a variety of blues. Thanks for stopping by to warm up with color.

Click here for the before picture of this room.
Click here for directions for the book page wreath.

Linking up to: 
Go have fun and visit these fab hosts!

My next post will showcase my furniture transformations.
Come back soon to see my chicken incubator!

Living it up at Lakewood,
Cindy

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Monday, February 1, 2010

Book Adventures


Using books and/or their pages within give me an inexpensive, creative outlet for my decor. I acquire a great number of books (old, new, used, and abused) through auctions. This past summer I hit it big with hundreds and hundreds of books. I sold some through flea markets, some through Ebay, and will soon list some in my Etsy shop. So what do I have left? Let's say lots of opportunities for crafts and projects.

I wanted a wreath made of book pages to display with my Classic Country decor. Click here to see the before and after of my room makeover. I really didn't want the cone shape for a wreath, but one with a softer effect. Now I could have figured it out myself, but chose to take a quicker route and do a google search. I found a great tutorial at Living With Lindsay. I put my own twist on it and came up with this.

Now if you want some great hot glue burns...go for it. Proceed with caution...this is dangerous. It helped when I gathered each page with a twisty tie from my floral supplies, then hot glued each page to my wreath. I varied the folds and lengths of my pages. I also used a book that was already starting to yellow so I did not have the extra step of aging it. I used a straw wreath that I had in my stash so this project cost me no money.

And see the dried roses? Those are the flowers I wore for my daughter's wedding last year. The perfect touch!

Linking up with:
Talented Tuesday
Second Time Around Tuesday
Trash to Treasure Tuesday
Get your Craft On
Toot Your Horn Tuesday
DIY Day
Visit these blogs to see more inspirational ideas!

Thanks for stopping by!
Living it up at Lakewood,
Cindy

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