IT’S ABOUT TIME . . . I Took My Own Advice!

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DON’T STRESS TOO MUCH . . . JUST START SOMETHING!

How many times have you heard me say that !?

There’s been a lot of extra stress lurking around here lately!  Vehicles down, allergies up (WAY up) and a couple short-check weeks, just for a few examples.  Oh, and that nasty neighbor (who of course, lives right next to us) in our otherwise amicable neighborhood!  Doesn’t it seem like every area has one stinker in the bunch.  Ack!

The blog and accompanying social sites have kept me very up and down i.e. great then lousy, and quite literally UP at night!  That isn’t new of course, but continuously stressful.

Well, I’m thinkin’ it’s about time I followed my own advice!  I’m tired of stressing out.  Just tired period.  So I sat myself down, took a bit of “me” time with the little notebook . . .      and started a list.

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OK, I hear some of you groaning … “Cheryl, you’re always making lists”!   But hey, most times IT HELPS ME!  I’ll thank you to cut me a little slack this time.

First, I affirmed that these would be concise notes.  When writing anything, I always have to remind myself to edit, edit, edit.

              Beginning, I jotted down three presently good specifics. Thought it would help to start on a positive note.

  1. Summer has finally come (though up here, who knows for how long!)
  2. Excluding the allergies (irritating but normal for the season), we’re in decent health
  3. I have fun company visiting soon, and YES . . . company is good . . . this company anyway because it means . . . SHOPPING!

Courtesy of Dreamstime.com

Okay, those are self-explanatory. Lets get to the crappola.  Next, I listed 3 big stresses.

  1. The Blog
  2. Money issues and/or retirement
  3. A certain personal relationship in our lives

Yes, THE BLOG is still very troublesome.

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Traffic and interest are very inconsistent, which I almost dread saying for fear I may get even more of those “Pitch emails or supposed new followers who say  “I/We can make your blog wonderful . . . for just a few hundred dollars or so”.

I KNOW

I need assistance, but am very picky about where to find it, and also very self-critical that I can’t do everything myself.  It still isn’t quite the look I’m going for.  I’m not particularly thrilled with some of my posts.   And although I’m venturing to more outlet exposure, most of the Social Media Tools are frightening to me!

I AM VERY REALISTIC

in knowing that odds are slim of making any measurable amount of monies from the blog.  But I was hoping for a little mad money or occasionally enough for a minimum household payment or two.

That leads us to the other money issues . . . which are MORE than just a bit scary, especially when full retirement is looming. Once we decide what things we can create and sell when Hubs retires, we should be okay but It will be a penny-pinching ride all the way,

Last, the personal issue.  Don’t worry, Hubs and I are fine; just celebrated 29 years of marriage and nearly 31 years together . . . and NO . . .

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. . . this IS NOT our wedding picture!

Source: THE GRAPHICS FAIRY

The stress is another relationship that has changed drastically for us in the past few years and seems headed for a complete breakdown.  Something once loving, caring and sharing, has become discounted with limited contact, little sharing or inclusion and too often, rudeness with no consideration or caring shown us.  We’re told we are at fault, yet NOT told the why or what of the matters.

So there you have it.  I’m STRESSING . . . a lot, and I always tell you NOT TO STRESS.

WHAT DO YOU DO

in stressful situations?  How do you approach the problems?  There aren’t any magic solve-all formulas for any of us.  Just curious to know what helps others.

My list did help.  The physical writing then reading, helped me – shall we say- get a grip on things.

  1. Considering positives first allowed me to calm down, take a few healthy deep breaths, and reach a more reasonable demeanor.  Stress just tends to freak us out doesn’t it?! Who can function like that?
  2. I was reminded to be appreciative of good things in my life, of which there are many.
  3. Reviewing main stress factors assisted me in evaluating and devising helpful alternatives.  We can’t just have a nervous breakdown .. . seriously.

For all of us, it’s a very personal journey.  We are the prime players in our lives, and so must be the primaries in how to handle the problems in those lives.

WOULD YOU AGREE

that there is no such condition as a stress-less life?  That said we do have choices.  Perhaps I should say we can give ourselves choices.

I chose to stay with the blog . . . and what do you know. A few nice “someones” came along with some helpful advice and encouragement.

And instead of brooding, Hubs and I have been scouring Pinterest and our own project notebooks and compiling a nice list (yah, yah . . . another list) of cost effective items that would be sale worthy in our direct area, and others that would have a broader, more urban appeal in the cities.

The more personal area is a toughie.  No one can control someone else’s behaviors, especially if communications aren’t welcomed.  But we can lean on others who do care, and try to toughen up when people get hurtful.  We can let them know we continue to care about them and will be as supportive as possible.

BUT (and that’s a BIG ONE HERE)  if/when people become abusive . . . and YES, verbal and/or emotional abuse count … I’ve learned to not allow it and remove myself from the situation  IMMEDIATELY.  Many wise people have shown me that over time.

Thanks so much for visiting.  Hey, let’s talk more about this stress stuff.  Leave a note.

As always, don’t stress too much . . . just start something!   Geez, did I really just say that!

Later – Cheryl

*** This original article “IT’S ABOUT TIME. . . I Took My Own Advice!” appeared first on Artzzle.com. No included content or photography can be used elsewhere without specific permission and accreditation. Outside sources are marked when available.

Copyright © 2013-2014 Artzzle All Rights Reserved

Reader’s Wreath

Hi All.

Here’s a short post today to share a shot of a reader’s project. This was made from our Wreath for All Seasons post tutorial.

This was made by some special Iowa readers; my step-daughter Cindra and granddaughter Brianna. They found their fabric at Walmart. It was one of those little scrap bundles for quilting. The bundle had several different patterns in colors they liked, so strips were cut, and they developed a design going around the wreath.

Reader's Wreath

Their wreath was done on a 9 inch frame. This was their first attempt and it was made to hang in Bri’s bedroom. The gals worked together and the project took just a couple of hours. It was so easy and fun, they’re going to do another one for the holidays! Send more pictures ladies.

Also coming up this week, Thanksgiving printables and some “fun find” projects.

As always, don’t stress, just start.

Later – Cheryl

This original article “Reader’s Wreath” appeared first on Artzzle.com.

No included content or photography can be used elsewhere without specific permission from said originators.

Copyright © 2013 Artzzle All Rights Reserved

Friday Features

It’s Friday. Yep, it rolls around every week about now.

Friday is (usually) my “go to town” day. I’m trying to become a “scheduler” type. You know … organize my time, supposedly to control it and maximize use.

This is the day I schedule for away trips … get groceries, run errands, and do a little side shopping when the budget permits. Aby over at SIMPLIFY 101 has lots of sensible tips for organizing. Her info has concise, to-the-point suggestions that can be read quickly and applied easily to your home routines. Best of all, she allows for flexibility with schedules and rules. Aby knows, as do we all, that everyday, things just happen that weren’t on the schedule, and we have to adapt … go with the flow.

Today’s Friday for me, is flowing more towards staying home. It’s a gorgeous, sunny day and I’m in the mood for … well, I’m not exactly sure what I’m in the mood for, but it isn’t going to town and dealing with “places packed with people”.

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My Newfie/Lab mix Fozzie is keeping me company this morning. Our Gracie is very much a “girly girl”. She’s sleeping in.
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I started my Friday morning out at my computer, in my “new-to-me” desk chair. Isn’t it bootyful? And it fits my booty so comfortably.
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Mr. Chair and Miss Mirror were found at a favorite area store, DISCOVERY THRIFT My local readers love Discovery, but it’s also proof positive for everyone else, that you should investigate any/all thrift stores in your own area because there are big deals that don’t need big budgets. Okay, so I have to share what I paid (and make everyone jealous). The mirror was … wait for it … $15 … YES, just fifteen dollars! It is heavy glass with solid wood framing. If you’ve ever searched for mirrors of this quality, used or otherwise, you know what a bargain this is.

And the super comfortable, clean and adjustable desk chair (in excellent repair) … are you ready? My chair was only $35 and worth every penny. I’m at my desk, enjoying it right now.

I’m thinking of putting my mirror on top of this piece. Will probably do some sort of paint treatment on both to bring them together.
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Everyone is budget concious now days, even bloggers and DIYers. That’s why I wanted to share another online find today, for you artistic types. Karen, THE GRAPHICS FAIRY is one of my featured favorites today. We seem to have quite a bit in common; blended families, graphics design; dog lovers. and Karen shares oodles well tons, let’s just say LOTS of wonderful graphics images for just about any project a person can think of … and they’re FREE. Plus there are DIY projects, tutorials and all kinds of fun stuff.

Do you notice how most blogs are about more than just one thing? They are a wonderful way for us to share, care and learn about many interests. That’s why I began Artzzle, because I’ve always truly felt that Life is a “Giant Puzzle of Art and Design”.

Hope I’ve added a few pieces to your puzzle today! Visit these features and let me know what you think. And tell them Cheryl at Artzzle sent you over. Be sure to share your favorite posts with friends so they can join us too!

As always, don’t stress, just start.

Later – Cheryl

This original article in “Friday Features” appeared first on Artzzle.com.

No included content or photography can be used elsewhere without specific permission from said originators.

Copyright © 2013 Artzzle All Rights Reserved

Featured Favorites

Hi all. My computer and my printer/scanner still aren’t playing nice together, so thought I would share some wonderful web inspiration I’ve found this week.

The “Eyes” Have It
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One of my favorite haunts is over at DOGS DON’T EAT PIZZA. Karen loves kids, dogs and home projects … just like me! You have to check out her latest cute idea, which looks like Halloween but has a special treat at the end!

The Art Part
Tondro Treasure

Those of you who have been asking for more Art articles will like this site. When I found Cassandra Tondro’s work, I immediately asked for permission to share it. Visit here CASSANDRA TONDRO Green Art and learn about her philosophy of “green art – art with a concience”. And take plenty of time to browse as there are lots of “Ooh Ahh” moments.

Mixed Bag
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I could just go on and on about this next site. .129 Twig and Vine

Sue over there, is a multi-talented gal. Her photography amazes, her collage work is such fun, but don’t miss her “Henhouse Fibers” spot.
vintage-wine1 Collage from 129 Twig & Vine

My post could be as endless as the internet … but I have to go (eat as it’s 2:13 p.m. and I’m starving). I’m going to make “Featured Favorites” a weekly column. Let me know what you think.

Big THANK YOU’s to Karen, Cassandra and Sue for allowing me to share with you their wonderful work.

As always, don’t stress, just start!
Later –

Cheryl

This original article “Featured Favorites” appeared first on Artzzle.com.
Copyright © 2013 Artzzle All Rights Reserved

No included content or photography can be used elsewhere without specific permission from said originators.

Easy, Quick Floral Projects

SAY IT AIN’T SO. It can’t be Labor Day already!

Autumn isn’t fast approaching … it’s here … well, in just a couple days. And in Minnesota it entered early with a little help from the extremely dry summer. Lot’s of yellows and browns on the scene now, so we’re all anxious to capture as much living color as possible, before it’s gone.

Most people consider “flower arrangements” strictly as something that someone else does and you buy it commercially. Well, I’m here to say “that ain’t so!” You don’t have to be a trained, professional florist [like me 🙂 ] to bring beauty into your home, and you don’t have to pay a fortune either.

All you really need are containers, water and flowers.
But here are some EASY and INEXPENSIVE TOOLS to help polish your look.
* Floral Tape
* Floral Wire
* Clear Glass Containers

Pictured is green floral tape. I also use a clear, top coated floral tape (sorry didn’t have any today). Both can be purchased at big box or craft stores, usually no more than $1-2, as can the wire.

Floral wire comes in several widths, strengths (gauges). I usually keep on hand one light weight and 1 heavier gauge. Pictured is 26 gauge (a light wire).

Also shown, are clear glass containers. These are use when you want to set your flowers inside another container. I use clear, unornamented glass when my display containers are see-through, such as two of the three in the featured arrangements. I have a set of 5 small, clear glass bowls (with orange flowers here) that are handy. I got mine at DISCOVERY THRIFT in Milaca, MN, for $3. They have black lids and I’ve seen them commercially as well, just can’t recall the name. I also use several sizes of tube vases, which I pick up at garage sales and thrift shops. You can buy them at the store, but for a lot more moola.

TIPS: STEM WRAPS are a great technique to help give your flowers more form (instead of just setting loose in the vase of water). You can use tape or wire.

1. Here, I’ve used the green tape to wrap my stems, because while the seedum stem is wide, it is a SOFT stem, and the tape or wire might damage the flower(s). EXAMPLE: In the supply photo earlier, notice that I’ve done a wrap to demonstrate.

2. The clear tape is used to criss-cross over the top of your container, making an open grid that you can use to help place and support your flowers, in a wide-mouthed vase. I didn’t need that technique here. This tape is double-duty, as it is strong and nearly invisible. You can also use it to do a small stem wrap when using heavy, wooded stems in your arrangements.

Finally, for the fun part, FLOWERS and FILLERS. Here I used what was available in my garden and yard.

Flowers
* Seedum (brown vase)
* Marigolds & seedum Leaves (low bowl)
* Wild flowers (orange vase)
[I don’t know the name here; these were plantings from a friend that took over a large space in my garden JOIN MEon HOUZZ Discussions tomorrow, as I submit a question, to see if anyone can tell me what they are.]

Fillers
2 kinds of wild grasses

TIPS:

1. Don’t always think you have to do big, tall or wide arrangements. Get creative. The marigolds here are mini’s from my garden, but I cut them clear down to the end of the bud and just floated them in the water. Also, remember with ANY kind of flowers, silk or live, I keep everything until the project is done to my liking. Today, I wanted more colorful, taller seedums with bare stems because they would show. Their leaves are pretty too, so I stripped the stems and surrounded my marigolds with the indiviual leaves.

2. STORE BOUGHT FLOWERS Don’t have a garden available (yours or anyone else’s)? Buy one of the $4.99 tub bouquets available at stores and markets everywhere. Then get creative! Often these have lime green, mini button mums, which would work instead of my marigolds here, as would mini carnations.

For taller flowers, vary your heights (3 different heights, remember). Hold them in the arrangement you like, then do your stem wrap to keep them there in your vase.

Containers
Aw, come on. You’ve got this by now. Use your imagination here: cans, baskets, pretty glasses and bowls. What about a pretty box (using your separate inside containers). If you have a see-through metal basket, float two or three kinds of small blooms in random little bowls. Very rustic look there.

The key with loose, casual arrangements like these, is to keep it simple. If they look too bare and empty sitting alone, put them together as the 3 here. Hey, my old magic number. 3 objects, 3 heights, 3 different kinds of flowers; the unifier is the use of the similar type containers (decorative, colored glass).

That’s it. Quick, easy decor projects to brighten up your place when those holiday guests stop over.

Remember, don’t stress, just start.
Later – Cheryl

Thanks for visiting. You’ve just read “Easy, Quick Floral Projects” my original article, first seen on Artzzle.com. I love comments and questions so send “em” my way. And be sure to spread the word about Artzzle to your friends. The more the merrier!

Copyright © 2013 Artzzle All Rights Reserved

Remember, all content on Artzzle, text and photography, is copyrighted and cannot be used in any form, without my expressed permission, or approval from material’s originator(s). You can leave a comment below with any questions on this.