“Give. Inspire. Connect. Receive…Pass It On.”

Soulku

Namaste

“Give. Inspire. Connect. Receive…Pass It On.”

This is their mantra.

How beautiful is that.

Elise and John  Van Arnam were my son’s soccer coach this fall.
A wonderful, positive, encouraging pair.
I loved that they had such a positive influence over my son.
The kind of people you want in your life.

Elise and her friend started a business call SoulKu.  This is the link to see the product and purchase. 
 It’s a little blurry  (snagged it from their website)

They created these beautiful cards to pass on to others to encourage connecting with people that we meet.
         Each product is created to bridge the gap between wanting to say/do something kind and actually doing it.

We are interacting with people constantly but how often do we really acknowledge when someone really touches us personally.

They also have blog of photos their sharing here.

So Elise gave me these and I have had them on my desk for far too long.
Why?
Because I loved them so much, they were so wonderful that I wanted to do something really special with them.
Well that kind of defeats the purpose doesn’t it?

 The New Year is almost here and I cannot think of a better way to start it off.

“Give. Inspire. Connect. Receive…Pass It On.”

Meeting Santa for the first time

I had a photo shoot last week to do a company Christmas Party. I love these kind of jobs because it is all candid photos  and little kids. Well there are a few adults but for the most part kids and the Big Guy!

Some kids want nothing to do with him.
Some will sit on this stool, right here.
Close enough thank you very much.

Happy to be in mom’s arms because that guy is pretty scary to a three year old.

But then something really sweet happens.

Isabelle meets Ivy and starts to tell her all about the BIG GUY.

Ivy is skeptical but listens.

Isabelle is an old pro now.
She has experience with the BIG GUY.

I will take you to him.
It will be OK.

He is right over there, I will show you.

We are going to go meet Santa Claus.
Ivy is a little nervous but I will take care of her. Promise.

It’s a long walk without mom but Isabelle is going to take care of her.

Stinky boys are blocking the way but they patiently wait.
You cannot rush these things you know.

 
Isabelle waits for Santa to be done with the stinky boys and tell him about her friend Ivy.
 


Well Santa is so excited to meet Ivy.
He gently tries to encourage her to come closer so that she can tell him what she would like for Christmas.

Ivy is nervous so Isabelle takes her hand and encourages her.

Telling her it is okay.
Just sit on the stool.

Or you can sit on his lap.

Santa senses her reluctance, but is patient.
We can talk right here.

Isabelle bravely climbs up onto Santa’s lap.
This gives Ivy the encouragement she needs.

It is all good.
Everything is OK.
My friend showed me the way.

 
They chat.
They talk about Christmas.
About whether she has been a good girl this year, which there is no doubt.

 
She tells him about her brother,
but that will obviously have to wait until next year.

Because she will be experienced in these this area and will show him the way.

Smartrac Christmas photos on smugmug  here is the link

Words from a nine year old

 
This little monkey wrote this for school, obviously before Thanksgiving and I just found it now.
I wanted to share this with you even though the Thanksgiving has passed. All spelling and punctuation is as written.
 
 

Thanksgiving reminds me of all the things I’m thankful for.  I appreciate family, God and, school.

I’m especially thankful for family because they care for me and give me love and keep me alive. They provide me food and shelter.

I also appreciate God because in my world he created life and made the world. Without him we wouldn’t be here now.

Finally, I’m grateful for school because if i stay in school I will get a good education and maybe a job.  And with a job then i get money to keep me alive.

As I enjoy this holiday season. I relize that I have may reasons to be thankful. Family, God and school are very important to me.



Wrestling Season Has Started

Wrestling season has started.

With two kids in the sport it makes for a very busy season.

This OK, because I really love watching them wrestle.

But let me tell you it is stressful.


It is great when they are winning.

Because you are so happy for them.

Relieved actually

If they are losing, well that is a whole different story.

There are matches that they will lose.

Their opponents could be stronger and better trained.

Or they could just be a dirty wrestler. (does not happen a lot)

The ref could miss something or choose not to call it.  (as a mom you think this happens more than it really does)

That is really hard to watch.



Especially when they are putting it all out there.

There is no equipment.

There are no team mates helping you out.

It is one on one with strength and skill.

When they win you are so happy and so RELIEVED.

But when they lose, well we just won’t go there.



P.S. My kids are in the green.

Way to go guys! So proud of you both.

Saturday Morning Motivation

Saturday morning.

It is really pretty outside right now and I am stopping myself from going out in the garage and painting the 2 huge dining room tables I have sitting out there.

They are taking up an incredible amount of room and I would really like the space back.

But I must get the Christmas stuff up.

UGH!

And the kids always want to help. I try to encourage them to go play in traffic while I am doing this but it does not seem to help.

I did do a little Christmas shopping yesterday.

Why is it that shopping any other day is no big deal but Christmas shopping can leave you exhausted and laying in the aisle having a temper tantrum.

I went to one store and by the time I was done I was practically in the fetal position mumbling incoherently.

I left the store, came home and hid the presents that I had purchased and went out to the garage.

I wanted to finish this crazy little table.

 
This little three legged table is just a little different from the others.
I really liked the big chunky ornate leg. I think it may be from an antique organ or piano.
But honestly I have no idea.
It is a little funky and a little strange.
I felt a little sorry for it sitting in this warehouse and no one buying it.
Kind of like a three legged dog.
So I bought it.
Why not.
 
I painted it in French Linen and waxed it with a combination of clear and dark wax.
Not too bad.
The French Linen is a lot like the Paris Grey but darker.
 The before….
With just paint…cell phone photo…sorry
And waxed….
Well I am off to put up the tree…there may be alcohol involved.

Painted Red

This is a great little nightstand that is made by Stanley furniture.
Little bugger is heavy, I know this because I have lugged it in and out of the house.
Into the back of the truck, out of the truck, back into the truck and back out again.
I would really like to NOT have to move it again.

Standard procedure on the painting…
Did a little sanding on the top because the original finish was flaking a bit.

 
Pretty exciting huh?
 
Can hardly contain yourself right? Thought so.
 
 

Martha was hanging around while I was taking pictures.
Martha is always near me because I may do something crazy like leave and never come back.
Because I always leave and never come back.

She is guarding the driveway.
Because she is so ferocious. Serious eye rolling here.

So I have my furniture in a Antique Store here in Asheville called Bittersweet.
It’s not going great.
I have sold 2 peices in the store.
Everything else has been sold through Craigslist and is selling well.

I have since given  my notice at the store.
Have to say this kind of bums me out. They have done very little advertising. No website up and running. I have sent people to the store and they have not been open. I would put out my business cards in my booth and they would collect them and put them up front of the store.
Anyway, I have 15 days left.

So for now, this nightstand that used to look like this.
That has been transformed to this…
Is listed on Craigslist….

English Family {Asheville Family Photographer}

A quick peek at a photo shoot I did this afternoon.

JUST warm enough to take the pictures outside.

Just cool enough to want to hurry up and put our jackets back on.

A new little boy with two big sisters.

With BIG blue eyes.

and sassy little flair.

 
Honestly, so adorable in your sparkly high tops and leopard patterned top!
 
 The link to view the rest of the photos below…
 
 


Old White You Are So Reliable.

Annie Sloan’s Old White does it again.

It is consistent.

I am always thrilled with a piece of furniture that is covered in Old White.

It can bring a nightstand out of the dark and gloomies. (one thing great about having your own blog is you can make up your own words)

When it is sanded and you drag you hand across top it is as smooth as butter.

Absolutely beautiful.

You cannot get that with latex paint, just does not happen.

Ever.

After the wax is brushed on I rub it with an old t-shirt.

Then the best discovery ever…an old shoe shine brush.

It gets into all the nooks and crannies.

Buffs all the fingerprints out.

Gets all the wax out of the tight little corners.

Another one I wish I could keep.

A solid well made piece of furniture.

Thanks for visiting.

Maison Blanche’s Wrought Iron on a Repurposed Map Desk

This little jewel received a new home today.

It started out as a very rough and abused map desk that has found it’s way to being a TV stand in a guest bedroom.

The before picture shows it fresh out of the Goodwill.

The front drawer looked as though it had seen better days. Reattached a few times I am sure.

Everything that I have painted has been with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint. I really like it, have zero complaints.

But Maison Blanche Paint has come out with a chalk paint called La Craie and they have a black called Wrought Iron. It is much darker than ASCP before it is waxed.

You still have to wax the paint to get the depth of the paint to come out but I waxed in clear instead of dark. The difference is a much more even color, not as many variations in the shading of the black. 

When you have a piece to paint that has spots that make it very difficult to wax it is nice. 

Clear as mud,  I know.  Sorry.

 
The wood on the desk was stained with a red hue so that when it was distressed and waxed  that color came through and it really looks nice next to the black.
 
 
 
The inside of the drawers were painted with a mixture of ASCP Old White and Country Gray. I had a little bit of both so I mixed it up.
 
Worked pretty well.
 
 
Love the color of the wood coming through on the knobs.
 
 
 
I really like the unique look of this piece also.
 
I do wish there was an easy way to date these pieces though. I would love to  know the year it was born.
 
 I really liked using this paint for the color. The consistency is different that ASCP. Thicker than what I was used to but I just added water to thin it out.
 
 
Unfortunately I had to order it and have it shipped to the tune of   $97.00 for 2 quarts of paint.
 
Yup, you read that right.
 
That is a lot of money.
 
Cannot do it again unless I can pick it up directly and no one in Western North Carolina carries it.
 
**update** I now have a supplier in Asheville…WOOHOO!







How to Get Rid of Bingo Wings

I have figured out exactly how to get rid of BINGO WINGS.

You know what I am talking about.

These beautiful horrible things. UGH!

They tend to show up around 40 when everything starts to go to hell in a hand basket.

So if you are 39, guess what you have to look forward to.

Not kidding.

Anyway…this is the answer.

Gather your husband, leave the kids at home and jump in the truck.

Jump in the truck and head to the nearest Estate Sale, Thrift Store or Goodwill.

That is my husband.

He keeps asking why I didn’t pick up a “lighter” hobby like tatting lace or something weird like that.

So to get back on track.

You have your husband, you have a truck load of furniture and you have one of these…..

With a can of this…

And after sanding the rough and bumpy spots, no cheating by using an electric sander.

You start to paint.

Back and forth with the brush.

Back and forth, feel the burn.

Once it is dry and looking wonderful you are going to make it even more wonderful by grabbing one of these…..

A SANDING BLOCK.

Again, sand every surface of the paint you have just applied.  

Heavier in some areas.

Make it smooth.

Are you starting to feel the burn?

Switch arms every so often to spread the joy.

You are heading to the home stretch….

Grab your wax and round brush..



and rub that wax all over the entire surface of the dresser, small sections at a time.

Then take your rag and rub the entire surface AGAIN.

Seeing a pattern here?

Bet you look like this now don’t you….

I am telling you….gets rid of Bingo Wings.

That is what was running through my head as I was finishing this piece.

There is a lot of surface to cover on this baby.

The Coco Dresser with its Old Ochre on the drawers.

Isn’t she pretty?

With her original hardware,

and her swivel mirror.

Just beautiful.

The before….

The after.

And now she needs a home.

Her job is done, she got rid of my Bingo Wings!