My Inner Artist

A few weeks ago, I joined a few friends for a class called Design with Wine.  It’s in downtown Greenville and the basic concept is that we bring the wine and they supply everything else you need to create your own little masterpiece.  Living Social had a great deal so we scooped it up and took our amateur painting skills out for a night on the town.

Here are some in process shots with the girls.  You can see our “teacher” in the background.  Her day job is preschool photographer so my biggest complaint of the night would definitely have to be being talked to like a 4 year old.  Other than that I think a good time was had by all.

Don’t ask me what Lynne is doing in that shot, because I don’t know.  Maybe trying to avoid a super-up-close picture.

About midway through my creative process:

And here’s my final product:

I was pretty pleased.  I mean, it’s not the Van Gogh that my sweet adorable husband made it out to be, but it’s something I would hang up in (a less frequented part of) my house.   And if you have classes like this in your area, I encourage you to try it out, particularly if you can find a discount.  I can assure you it takes no real skill and everyone’s paintings (there were probably 40-50 of us) looked roughly the same (i.e. no one screwed it up).  Not a bad deal to spend $15 and get a 2 hour class including all supplies and come out with something you can hang in your home.  Plus time with friends and wine is an added bonus.  That’s what I call money well spent, folks.

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Public Display of Imperfection

About three months ago, my friend and coworker Stephanie, who is a real-deal artist, organized an amazing Arts and Crafts Show at the Handlebar.  There were all kinds of talented people there: basket weavers, jewelry makers, hula hoop makers, painters, etc.  Stephanie knew Lynne, mom, and I had been dabbling in the craft world so she asked us to participate as well.  I was extremely nervous and embarrassed because hey, these are professionals and I’m a total amateur.  But I faced my fears and wound up having a good time.  And the artists/pros were so sweet and they came by and encouraged us.  Here is a look at the goods.  I designed some onesies (mom had to help with the sewing):

And here’s a look at Barb’s beautiful wreaths:

You can see Lynne’s amazing coasters here.  Not trying to make you jealous or anything , but I happen to own a set.

And here’s what our trio’s booth looked like.  We made a deal not to spend any money on our set up, since we aren’t regular craft fair frequenters, so we only used items we already had.

Sorry for all the obnoxious “watermarks.”  I had been using Picnik, but since it’s going away, I’m trying to learn Picasa and haven’t really had time to play around with it.  I promise I’ll get better.

Here’s a pic of me and Barb manning the booth.  I wish ol’ Lynnie B was in it, but she was behind the camera, er, iphone.  If I look high it’s because I was.  On Advil Cold and Sinus.  Booo colds.

Even if you don’t plan to go in to business selling your crafts (I don’t), it’s good to put yourself out there once in a while.  It’s scary as hell, but I think honest feedback is good for the soul.  It will give you thicker skin, ideas for improvement, or a boost of self confidence.  Win-win-win.  (And the song gets stuck in my head–“All I do is win-win-win no matter what….up down up down up down.” I’m so gangsta.)

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Asheville and Roosters

Usually, when my birthday comes around, I’m like a little kid and I want there to be trumpets and confetti and a parade in my honor.  I must be “maturing,” though, because this year I wanted my birthday to be very low-key, which I found out is impossible.  All I really wanted was to take a day trip to Asheville and check out some cool thrift/antique/art stores.  Instead it went down like this:

Feb. 2, Davison’s parents come into town and take me out to eat at my fave Greenville restaurant–Adam’s Bistro.  It was delicious!

Feb. 4, Lynnie and Johnny B convince me to get out of the house and celebrate, so we go get Mexican food and come back to the house to play cards.  Lesson:  Throwing up in the bathroom of a Mexican restaurant is not fun.  But playing Shanghai Rummy afterward is.

Feb. 11-13, We drive to Dillon to have a joint bday celebration (half my family is born in February), complete with shopping trip with Nichole and “surprise party” given by my 7 year old niece Raylin.

Feb. 18, Mom, Lynne and I make our trip to Asheville and shop til we drop…almost literally.  Whew, tiring but fun.

Feb. 24-26, Davison’s family (parents, sis, bro-in-law, dogs-in-law)  is coming to visit so they can celebrate with me as well.

All this to say, I’m extremely blessed with people who love me, but I’m also worn out!  And March is looking just as busy.

And because no one wants to see a post with just a bunch of words in it, here are some pics from my new fave place, The Screen Door in Asheville.  It’s a big warehouse where vendors have individual booths and sell furniture, art, home decor, etc.  Very cool.  I didn’t end up buying anything, but I did get soooo inspired by the amazing work so I’m hoping to convert this inspiration into my own home projects in the near future.

How many things do I love about the “room” above?  For starters, the end table, the couch, and the lamp behind the couch, but the white lamp, the stumps, and the pillows are also great.

How cool are these animal silhouettes?  The cow out of reclaimed wood and the other is made out of buttons!!

A U.S. map made out of fabric swatches and one out of salvaged wood pieces.

Loving every single one of these light fixtures, the metal dogs and goats, and the big letters too.

More metal art..can’t decide if I like the faces or the iron skillet turkey best.

The couch, the desk, the trunk, the two-fabric combo chair….I’m drooling.

Are you inspired?   We also went to a few other places, one being the Antique Tobacco Barn.  Most of the inventory there was waaaay out of my price range, but this $6 rooster did catch my eye.

I painted him yellow.  And here he is now.

Thanks to this hilarious but profanity laced post by the Bloggess, I decided he needed a name.   And so his name is Fred Armisen because every time I look at him, I think of this craziness.  Here’s Fred in his new home:

I put him next to the chalkboard wall so I can draw speech bubbles coming from his beak.  Obviously.

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Peacock Pretties

For once, I am following through like I said I would.  I told you this weekend that I had plans for the hutch, and little did you know that I had this pretty peacock paper from Paper Source already waiting to be used.  I used it to line the back of the hutch since it was so dark in there.  I could have used spray adhesive, but I didn’t have any so I just used double-sided tape.  Resourceful?  Lazy?  Judge me all you want, but I have a pretty peacock feather lined hutch and what do you have?  Don’t answer that because you probably put my hutch to shame.  Anyway, most of you have probably grown impatient and skipped ahead to the pictures, but for those of you who haven’t, here she goes:

The hutch was scored a while back on Craigslist for $100.  I know some of y’all find these jaw-dropping deals out there, but I waited around for 6 months stalking Craigslist before “splurging” on this one.  $100 is still a pretty good deal if I say so myself, considering that it had already been painted and the hardware updated.  Here’s a peek inside, without the glare:

And here’s a closeup of the pretty, pretty paper:

I love the gold flecks in there, since I’m planning to make gold more of an element in that room.  The paper was $5 per 20″ by 28″ sheet.  It took four sheets, which I was able to match up nicely in a pretty much invisible seam down the middle.  I also have some decent sized scraps leftover so I can use those for some future project.

So for $20 (plus shipping but I also bought some additional pretty paper), here’s my before and after:

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last Christmas post this year…I promise…until Christmas.

My homemade gifts…..

Sports coasters.  My family is full of sports fans so I made these out of scrapbook paper and porcelain tiles. I learned how to make them from this girl:

Who happens to be sporting another one of my DIY Christmas gifts…a t-shirt scarf…while making her typical awkward picture face, which I adore.  Tutorial (for how to make the scarf, not the awkward picture face) found here.

First Christmas Wedding Invitation Ornaments for my newlywed cousin and his beautiful bride…Inspiration found here.  Wish I would have taken a before pic of the invitation…I adored the navy and yellow color combo.
My mom and I also made fabric beaded necklaces a la here, and sadly, I seem to have forgotten to snap a photo.
I spruced up the plain white and brown paper gift bags from the dollar store with my Hobby Lobby (half off) stamp.

During our visit to Dillon,we danced via my nieces’ Kinect.  Isn’t that the most precious picture?  My three loves.  I took about ten pics and someone was blurry in each of them.  Mostly, Brylee just ran around in circles while Dora the Explorer politely told her to stay in view.  Sidenote: Isn’t my cousin’s mantle absolutely beautiful?

Every year, my church does a live nativity scene outside before and after the Christmas eve candlelight service, so people can observe as they enter and leave.  This deceptively sweet-looking rascal took the baby Jesus (a baby doll) out of the manger while the rest of the nativity actors (actual humans) were inside listening to the sermon.  When they came out to resume the nativity scene as the churchgoers were leaving the service, it took a while to find and recover the baby Jesus from my niece.  Don’t let her within 20 feet of a baby doll unless you don’t plan on getting it back.

And with that, I’m officially closing out the 2011 chapter and opening a new one for 2012.  I’ve got big plans, y’all!

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