Tuesday, November 25, 2014

One Wall Living Room Makeover

A hastily taken before photo of the fireplace wall in my living room.

Our living room is the room that puts the "cab" (short for cabin) in "the cabbage" (short for cabagelow).  It is a spacious room with log walls that serves many functions and It has been a huge decorating challenge for me since the first day we moved here.  I've just never had a clear vision for the whole space and probably couldn't afford it if I did.  So I decided recently that I would just start with one wall and go from there.  I chose the wall with the fireplace because I want that to be more of a focal point.

My decorating projects always start with a big dream.  Basically, I ask myself what I would do if I were to win the lottery and then I try to scale it back to something more realistic.  In this case, my lottery budget would go to hiring someone to bump out the walls on either side of the fireplace and building in some custom bookshelves (all my dreams involve bookshelves).  My realistic alternative to this was to enlist Hippie to help me remove the log panels from the walls and put up some narrow display ledges in their place.

Display ledges instead of log cabin walls.

Ideally I would have covered the plywood you see in the photo above with something else but, to save time and money, I decided to just paint it for now.  This kept my budget for this part of the makeover at a very realistic $75 and I was pretty happy with the results.

The Fireplace wall after painting.

I then had a nice blank canvas to fill in, just in time for holiday decorating.  I started with the mantel.

My holiday mantel

A closer view of my holiday mantel.

Next, I started filling in the display ledges.  I actually determined the spacing of the ledges on the right with my Three Kings paintings and my Wise Men collection in mind.

I think my Three Kings and Wise Men look right at home here.

On the left I placed some lovely Leland Brewsaugh owl prints I found at a thrift shop along with more Holiday decorations.

Owls and Santas.

In my lottery dreams, I would have bought new chairs for Hippie and I to lounge by the fireplace in but instead I splurged on some new blankets and pillows from Target.  Our cats Motley and Isabelle had to test them out to make sure they were good enough for us.

I think this means Motley approves.

Isabelle is ready for tea time.

And with that essential stamp of approval, I believe we are all ready to settle in for the winter.  At least until I get an idea for the other three walls.

After: One wall down, three more to go!

After: Still cozy in the daytime.

Three Kings Christmas Art Mugs
Three Kings Christmas Art Mugs by Victoriart
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Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Until Spring

Some of my magical garden friends hanging out together in their winter home.

I spent some time in my garden today doing some chores I probably should have gotten to sooner.  Mainly, putting some things away for the winter.  Unfortunately, there are no colorful blooms or beautiful butterflies to keep me company this time of year.  However, all the faded flowers and seed heads reminded me of all the beauty I enjoyed in my garden these last few months and how much more I have to look forward to in the coming seasons.

So while I am definitely going to take advantage of the time off from gardening chores this winter, I really can't wait until spring.

I hope you enjoy these "now and then" photos from my garden:


Ballerina Roses


Limelight Hydrangea

Blue Mist



The Purple Garden 2015
The Purple Garden 2015 by time2see
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Tuesday, November 18, 2014

My Art: Treasured

"Treasured" Acrylic on 11x14 Canvas

How do you know your own worth? Where do you look to see your own value? Is it in the mirror? On the scale? In your bank account? In someone else's opinion of you?  How many social media likes would it take for you to feel acknowledged or appreciated? How many items checked off on your to do list would make you feel like you did enough today? How many gold stars would you need to feel truly special?

Try this instead: Close your eyes and just breathe. Let yourself feel the power of your own breath, the dynamic vibration of your own being. Contemplate the endless space within your own imagination and all the possibilities there. Consider the infinite measure of the love you have in your heart - for your family and friends, for your pets, for a song or a flower or an idea - and see it glowing within and from you, surrounding you in a golden light...

and know that you don't need any gold stars because you are a gold star.

So treat yourself like the treasure that you are and don't forget to shine.


Thursday, November 13, 2014

Making Clutter Vanish

Keeping it real before photo of my cluttered guest room.

I wish I could tell you that what is pictured above was the work of evil fairies but I have to admit, it was all my fault.  You see, instead of dealing with the clutter as I've been renovating or redecorating various spaces in The Cabbage over the last year, I've been putting everything I wasn't sure what to do with in our guest room and this was the result.

Not very pretty or calming, is it?  Wouldn't you like to see all that clutter vanish?  Okay good, here we go:

I feel so much better now.  Don't you?

Of course, I don't recommend you getting yourself into a similar predicament, but in case you ever do, here are my six steps to making a room full of clutter vanish as quickly as possible:

1. Get Mad

The worst part of dealing with a huge amount of clutter is how emotionally draining it can be. You really need to be extra motivated to even get started and this is one case where looking on the bright side or writing in your gratitude journal is not going to help you. Instead, write down or think about all the ways clutter is disrupting your life or keeping you from reaching your goals. Let yourself get really fed up with it and let that fuel your determination to do something about it.

2. Get A Vision

Getting rid of clutter isn't just about what you don't want anymore but also about the lifestyle you will be able to live without it. Get really clear on what that could look and feel like. Imagine yourself walking through a space without having to step over things, see a room full of light and air and enough space for you to do jumping jacks in. Give yourself a vision to aspire to. Again, this is going to give you some much needed motivation as well as help with making tough decisions later.

3. Get Prepared

Obviously you will need some empty bags and boxes. Gather as many as you can find. Another thing you are going to need is a sanctuary, a place of relative calm that you can escape to when the chaos of sorting through clutter starts driving you mad. For me that place is my bedroom and master bath. I always make sure those two rooms are in order before I begin any kind of big project around the house. Having a couple of prepared meals in the freezer or the Chinese takeout menu handy helps as well because you are not going to feel like cooking after a day of dealing with clutter.

4. Get Going

Now comes the hard part: the physically and emotionally demanding process of actually figuring out what to do with all of this stuff! Make the easy decisions first. Box or bag what absolutely has to go, using your “mad” for extra energy if you need it. Then remember your vision of the space and lifestyle you want and let it guide you in dealing with what is left. If it doesn't fit into that vision, let it go. However, If you find yourself agonizing over anything, just set it aside. The closer you get to making your vision a reality, the easier it will be to figure out what fits and what doesn't.

5. Get It Out

Once you have filled a bag or a box with things you don't want or need anymore, get it as far away from you as possible. We live about ten minutes away from a Goodwill so I just carried my boxes right out to my car. If you are having a garage sale or if you scheduled a donation pickup, just get everything as far away from the space you are working on as possible. You need the gratification of seeing the extra space in your room to keep you going.

6. Get Creative

Once you are done ridding your life of all that superfluous stuff, you can get creative with the space and the things you value. For me that is going to mean completely redecorating the guest room (I can't wait to get started). Another idea would be to hang an attractive shelf on the wall to display some favorite items or turn a now empty corner of a room into a reading nook or a meditation area. It doesn't have to be a big project, just something that brings your vision into reality and rewards you for a job well done.

After photo of my not so cluttered guest room which is also a before photo.

I hope that helps you with your mountain of clutter, if you have one. Also, if you have any tips of your own for dealing with clutter, please share them in the comments as I still have our basement and our garage to tackle and can use all the help I can get!

Update: click here to see the redecorated guest room.

Cool Cat Reading Knowledge Is Power Grocery Bag
Cool Cat Reading Knowledge Is Power Grocery Bag by Victoreeah
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Wednesday, November 12, 2014

My Many Muses: Neil Young

Some Neil Young inspiration and motivation on the chalkboard wall in my art studio.

Since today is Neil Young's Birthday, I decided to begin what I hope will be a series of posts about people who inspire me.  Mr. Young is the perfect person to start with because he is the ultimate "Slave To The Muse" role model.  I can't think of anyone who is more dedicated to his muse than he is.  My own muse just adores him and often sings his praises to me.  In fact, when I am being stubborn about carrying out her orders she will sometimes say to me, "WWNYD?", meaning What Would Neil Young Do?

The answer is always the same:  Neil Young would follow his muse.

Here's what his CSNY band mate Graham Nash has to say about Neil and his muse:

Graham, Endora and I may love Neil for being true to his muse but not everyone does.  I'm sure you can find a lot of angry fans and musicians who have been extremely disappointed by the changes that Neil Young's muse demanded (not to mention David Geffen).  However, it is exactly his willingness to risk failure and disapproval for the sake of creativity and innovation that I find so inspiring.

So while Neil Young may not make being a "Slave To The Muse" look easy, there isn't anyone who makes it look cooler or more worthwhile.  

Happy Birthday Neil.  Long may you run.

Rock & Roll Revolution Canvas Print
Rock & Roll Revolution Canvas Print by kchippie
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Thursday, November 6, 2014

Printable: Instructions For Living A Life

A couple of weeks ago I told you how inspired I was by these words from the poem Sometimes by Mary Oliver:

Instructions for living a life:
Pay attention.
Be astonished.
Tell about it.

I was so inspired that I made myself a little poster with those words and some of my watercolor designs to frame and display in my home office/gallery (pictured above).  It then occurred to me that some of my fellow bloggers and artists might like it too, so I decided to offer it as a printable.  You can download the file by clicking on the link below and print it out to display in your home or office if you so choose.  Please note that the file and image is for personal use only and is not to be used or redistributed for any commercial purpose.  Thanks and enjoy!

Starflower Pattern
Starflower Pattern by Cabagelow
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