Thursday, September 29, 2011

Little slices of inspiration…

Hidy-ho friends!!! How is your week going? Marvelous? Wonderful? AWESOME!
I’m creeping up on the middle of my first semester of grad school…and by the grace of God. I’m doing it. Hanging in there. So far…fingers, ears, and toes crossed…I have all A’s. For a single Mom of a toddler with everything on my plate…I have to revel in it just a smidgen. Life’s not easy. But the little moments that we can celebrate our victory's…make it a little bit more HAPPY! When I get through the entire semester I’ll really celebrate…but I’m celebrating the little steps too. LOL.


I wanted to keep talking about my awesome experience at the Shooting West Texas Photography Symposium too. I think you MUST share GOODNESS and INSPIRATION!

I met such amazing people there…this you know. Let’s take it a notch closer and talk about a few of them and their AWESOME talents!

The first one I’d like to share is Rachael Waller. I instantly felt connected to her. She was RAD, INSPIRING and TALENTED and just AWESOME. Really. 

This is from her website -
“Rachael earned her BFA (2002) and MFA (2004) in film from the world renowned California Institute of the Arts
where she studied under some of the great masters of light, cinematography, documentary film, and photography.
Rachael's passion for photography is driven by dust, natural light, and powerful music.”

Okay so like the TOP Art school in the US. Yep. Ah-mazing!

She was the MOST down to EARTH and INSPIRING person! You could just feel her POSITIVE energy!

Totally loved her outfit and jewelry too. GROOVY!

Her work is primarily equine based. She raises and rescues horses of various types. Did I mention instant connection with her? My little parents have 5 – yes 5 rescued Mustangs.

The way she talked about her photography work while showing it to us really got me going. I also loved how much she loved her horse babies.

As a photographer, so many other fellow photogs can be so “tight” and “narrow” in their work and even just talking about their work. She was absolutely the opposite. She said that she loved just running with her horses and holding the camera out to see what happens. Really? I just started beaming and had goosebumps!! Photography embraces so many things beyond just a posed, predictable image. I’m so going to run around with my camera and take some awesome, crazy, unplanned rad photos! And guess what…it’s art too!! Awesome art!


I wanted to bottle her inspiration up…and take it home…so I didn’t forget to let loose and just be authentic with my work…and hang my camera out and do some crazy stuff…and OWN IT. So…being the little single Mamma I am…my budget was teeny but I lucked out and found an awesome card of hers in a local gallery. Jackpot for me!

I took it home…put it in a frame…and put it on my desk with one of my heart-shaped rocks I found recently. I love the print too. It’s a little mystical and mysterious. Perfect reminder to just be different…be me…and embrace my authentic artist soul.

I so love that I have a piece of that INSPIRATION right where I need to see it daily. I look over at those precious babies and I want to RUN and PLAY with HORSES! It’s a subtle nudge for me to remember…to be artistic with my photos…with everything really.

My Mom was so super inspired too….I’m betting if you could go spy on her…she’ll be running around with her camera…and her horse babies too!


If you want to see more of Rachael’s awesome work you can visit her webpages by visiting these links:

She has some AH-mazing stuff for sale. Someday I will own a big canvas of one of her prints. They are gorgeous!!

You can also find her on Facebook and keep up with her daily adventures!!

Have a SUPER – INSPIRED – and BLESSED day friends!!!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Tutorial: Salt Dough Necklaces

necklace title
Happy MIDDLE of the WEEK! Yahoooo! Last week of September…isn’t that JUST CRAZY! My goodness! The holidays are right around the corner!!
I am playing “catch up” this week on blogs and tutorials. I finally put together our salt dough necklace tutorial! I’m SUPER excited about it too! I loved this project and most importantly, Jaxon LOVED this project. He had a BLAST and when he sees my necklace he still tells me all about how he made it. Pretty SWEET! So let’s not delay any longer….here we GO!
Here is the recipe for the project:
dough recipe
A few side-notes: Do not allow your children to eat the dough. It’s VERY salty and not EDIBLE. Yucko!! Keep them from rubbing their eyes while working with the dough – it might burn little peepers! No one, including pets, should eat the dough yo!
Just look at my cute helper!
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This is such a great project because kiddos can help all the way through and participate in every aspect of the creation…and they LOVE it!
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As the dough gets thicker, Mamma needs to help mix it thoroughly! I let Jaxon knead the dough too.
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He really got into it.
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Too SWEET! Loved it!!!
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I let him pick out whatever shapes he wanted from our cookie-cutter collection. And then showed him how to push them into the dough to make the shapes. He LOVED it!
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I so love those little fingies!
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After we made our shapes I went through and poked a hole in each shape with a toothpick! And made a HUGE mistake…so learn from me!! Make your holes BIG…a lot BIGGER than you think you will need. You have to account for shrinkage when they dry out…and I didn’t. A teeny toothpick hole will not WORK! LOL!
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I also laid out each shape to get an idea of where the hole should be so that each shape looked right on a necklace.
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Another note…for the round beads…make sure each shape is completely pressed together without cracks…the cracks get BIGGER as it dries. LOL.
After I baked our beads I set them out on a long piece of butcher paper and let Jax go to town painting them.
He loved this as much as he loved making the shapes. You don’t have to ask him twice to PAINT!
I used craft paint and glitter paint for our bead deco.
These are some of my most favorite pictures of Jaxon painting…so cute. And so shows how much he loves to paint and create!
And so just like his Mamma…get’s paint on everything during the process.
He LOVED squeezing the glitter paint on the beads too. So HILARIOUS!
This one is HYSTERICAL.
I did help him out a little bit. It was fun to sit down and paint with my lovebug. Precious memories!
Here’s our final product!
Another learning mistake – paint both sides of the flat beads so if they flip they are still PRETTY!
I forgot to on some like the big hearts..doh!
Now…here comes the funny part. Because I forgot to account for shrinkage…my Dad had to drill holes in each one for me with a pre-drill bit. LOL. This turned into an entire family project. My brother was here on leave before he went to Afghanistan and he even helped. We used fishing line to string the beads. And he helped me put them on!
I told him he was going to be a blog celebrity now. LOL.
It’s funny to me a fly swatter is in the picture…where the heck that came from I’m not sure. Ha ha ha ha ha.
Here’s the necklaces all together! LOVE THEM!
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I had planned on keeping them and giving them as Christmas gifts. But I’m terrible at holding on to a gift…I need to give it AWAY ASAP! LOL!
My Mom and Sister-In-Law LOVED their gifts!!!
I kept one for me too!
They have really special meaning now! There are SO MANY things you could do with this stuff. I’m seeing a Christmas ornament tutorial in our near future for sure!!!
Your kiddos will love the project and you will have fun too!!! It’s a SUPER CHEAP and PRECIOUS project to make special family artwork.
Hope you make some soon!!!!
And don’t forget to send me your pictures…or post them on our Facebook page!!!
Love and Hugs!!!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Tutorial: How to Make a Custom Souvenir Postcard Gallery Wrap

Happy Tuesday me dears!! Hope your week is going MARVELOUS! Sending lot’s of LOVE your way!! Today I wanted to share with you a CUTE tutorial that is super easy and SUPER FUN!


Have you ever bought postcards from a favorite travel destination but not sure how to use it as a decoration when you were home? I recently bought some gorgeous postcards as mementos from my precious Alpine. I wanted them by my desk to remind me to follow my heart, be myself and just CREATE.

Being in Alpine brings out my best artist vibes…you can’t help but be inspired when you are there. And I wanted to bottle it up…bring it home with me…and put it by my desk so that when I’m tired….when I’m overwhelmed…and when I feel like giving up or being an imitation of my authentic self…I can see my postcards and R E M E M B E R my true spirit.

Maybe a place does that for you…and you too can BOTTLE IT up and KEEP IT NEAR for INSPIRATION!



Holy cow that says gallery wrap! LOL! Yes we are making a gallery wrap from our POSTCARDS! Have you seen the pricing on these babies?? I have…and it’s not PURDY. But…I have a solution!


Keep any eye out at your favorite junkin’/thriftin’ spot for ARTIST CANVASES! These babies were half of what they would be in the craft store. LOVE IT!

All you need to do this project is:



♥Paint & brushes

♥Modge Podge

Here are my postcards and canvases!


My little artist was working on his art as well. Love his HEART!


Eeeeeep!!!! A blank canvas makes me giddy! I’ll be in a good mood for a week (I hope!) after being able to put some color on a blank canvas. Art is SO GOOD for the SOUL!


Here’s the after….


Just pick a few colors and start pushing it all over the canvas. Just be FREE and CREATE!

I used a smaller one that Jaxon painted on for my second post card. LOL…we are not wasteful! And canvases can be reused so easily!



Put some color on it! And GO with IT!




Tack your postcards to your canvas by smearing a dab of Modge Podge on the back and then putting them where you want them. Paint entire canvas with Modge Podge.

Here are my honeys with Modge lovin’!



And the FINAL result! Both crooked pictures…I was SO EXCITED about these I didn’t even pay attention to my WHOPPER-JARRED photos! LOL! SO funny!


This one is - “Spring Pasture Near Alpine, Texas” by Nancy Whitlock.


This one is – “Chisos Mountains, View from Indian Head” by Bonnie Wunderlich.

I love them OH SO much! They are PERFECT for my office area INSPIRATION.


Now I have my INSPIRATION ready to go…all day…every day…I can see them and SMILE! Gallery Wraps – MY WAY – for under $10 for the whole project. Love that!


I’ve been doing a little more changes to my office area too…LOL. I always am I think??

Took my oldy-ratty desk from this…..


to THIS!


I will FO SHO tell you how SOON! I have like 3 tutorials I need to post to be caught up on all my HOW-TO promises! So she’s on her way!!! P R O M I S E!

Hope you have an INSPIRED day!



Monday, September 26, 2011


Happy new week everyone! Oh my goodness. Pardon my lack of posting last week. I had back-to-back trips to Alpine for the past 2 weekends. With class this weekend…and every thing else in between!

Soooo…to say I have been busy is an understatement! Good gravy!! Busy and BLESSED!

I thought we should just look at some pretty FALL stuff to start the week off and get back in blogging action!



I made whoopie pies last Fall but these are WAY CUTER! What a cute and easy way to JAZZ them up!


image via: Martha Stewart


Super duper cute – glittered Dollar Store pumpkins!


image via: Tatortots & Jello


This just so pretty….


image via: Better Homes & Gardens


I adore love and LOVE the Dia de Los Muertos skeleton images and this pumpkin reminds me of them! TOO CUTE! Not a creepy skeleton…a CUTE HAPPY one!


image via: Better Homes & Gardens


Cute and frugal Halloween tee! Way CUTE!!


image via: Cut Out and Keep


Yummmmm…Pumpkin Bundt Cake…with a Pumpkin glaze….


image via: Dine & Dish


SUUUUPER CUTE leaf garland tutorial!!!!


image via: Lora Jean’s Magazine

And to close…this one makes me say “aahhhhhhh”…I can just smell the fresh air…let’s pretend to sit under this tree on our favorite quilt and read a book…or just RELAX!


image via: Yein - Flickr

Have a BLESSED day!!