Makes Me Happy Monday ; Nippon Condiment bowl

There is always a “to go” bag near my door for donations. I will swing it by Goodwill or Julie’s House Thrift Store when it gets full. I downsized a LOT (probably by 3/4 of my belongings) when I moved a little over a year ago, but I still have too much (or it HAS ME, as the philosophy goes).

And I don’t yard sale or thrift shop much any more. I have an on-going list of things I’d love to have … most of which are power tools, if I’m totally honest. I keep this list above my desk and add to it as something new comes up that I know would be super helpful in my creating endeavors. When I find that I need something time  and time again (like the palm-sander!! I NEED), I plan it for next month’s budget.


My new home is much smaller than the house we left last February. So, the things that are decorative have fewer spots to be displayed. Thus, there are fewer of them.

A few weeks ago, I was downtown at one of my favorite plunder shops, Ray’s Estate Sales, when I spied this beautiful little treasure.

Nippon China Condiment Bowl

I didn’t buy it immediately because ….
I didn’t “need” it.
But, after I left the shop, I couldn’t get it off my mind.
I love the shape, the color, the design and the sweet feel of this beautiful ceramic china.
After days of remembering, I messaged Ray and asked him to set it aside for me
and when he opened back up (he’s only open a few weekends a month),
When he was open next, I dropped by to pick it up.

Nippon China Condiment bowl

A little research tells me that Nippon is the Japanese name for Japan. And this style bowl set is marketed as being a mayonnaise bowl … but …. I don’t think of mayonnaise as being a Japanese staple. Am I wrong? I’ve seen this bowl also called a condiment bowl, which makes a little more sense.

But, whatever others call it, I call it stunning.

Nippon China Condiment bowl

I won’t use it for condiments or mayonnaise very often. More than likely, it will be filled with acorns or some nature treasures
or it will simply sit empty on my shelf to be adored.

Just look at that pretty hand-painted edge!
This style of painting is actually one that I use in my own artwork at times. I like really loose color with broken, fine, loose lines to give the illusion of an outline. I’m really just learning how to paint this way (with watercolor and usually black pen). It’s a strong contrast to my patterned, heavily textured, mixed media acrylic work.

Nippon China Condiment bowl

It’s a tiny thing …. painted bone china, fired and antique ….
but it makes me happy.

Nippon China Condiment bowl

As always, my reason in sharing some little something in my life
that makes my heart feel happy
is to spread a little joy
and challenge you to find beauty in the little things
that surround you in your every day life.

May your Monday be wildly blessed
and graciously lovely.
What makes YOU happy this marvelous Monday morning?

Nippon China Condiment bowl


May Your Weekend be New

#Cilantro flowering
May your weekend be
new like fresh blooms on fertile greenery
blossoming full of potential and life-giving newness.
Do what you need to re-ground
repair and recover
from the busy that makes the week.


{{{hugs}}}, blessings & peace to you,








I painted my guitar!

I sanded her first.

Sanding my guitar #paintedguitar

It’s an amazing thing, really. It didn’t bother me that I might “mess her up.” I didn’t care. It was worth the risk. I felt pretty confident that the after would be better than the before.

You see,
I own two guitars … but I don’t play often.
Years ago, I committed to playing 15 minutes a day.
After spending about six months playing these few minutes a day,
I realized that I should stop working at something that I want to do
….. but don’t do well …….
and spend my time focusing on what do well.
I put my guitar down … for the time being.

My sweet worn neck #paintedguitar

A few years ago, I loaned her to a friend who
lovingly played her
for enough time
that she became the best kind of worn.
As the Skin Horse told the Velveteen Rabbit,

“It doesn’t happen all at once,” said the Skin Horse. “You become. It takes a long time. That’s why it doesn’t happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real, you can’t be ugly … except to people who don’t understand.”

Yes. My guitar became realer when she lay in the hands of my friend, Travis
who played her often and played her well.
I’ll forever treasure those shallow trenches love made.

This is one of my favorite little snippets that he put on Instagram … playing my girl.

After I sanded, I traced her shape on a pieced together piece of paper.

Outlining #paintedguitar


I hung up that blank, empty outline
right there in my office/art area
where I could see it daily …
pondering what patterns might fill that fresh, clean space.

My youngest – whom I shall now call Indie, rather than Joy, to honor the determined, independent spirit locked within that earthly body – teased me.

“Mom, You sanded down your guitar before you had any kind of idea what you would paint on it?” Why, yes. Yes, I did, thank you.

Sometimes, you have to courageously step out and create a beginning
before you have a vision of what the end will look like.

My favorite tissue paper #depoupage #paintedguitar

Then, one day it came.
The most pressing of the design came from a painting that I created a few years ago and remains one of my favorites because of the movement – and the subject.
Can you see it over behind the posable mannequin?
Leaves attached to undulating stems.

#pattern #paintedguitar
I taped and then painted off and on for an entire weekend
with my palette of autumn
leaving plenty of room for drying between layers.

#painted guitar

The little bit of tissue paper glued into place just below the sound hole is one of the few pieces I have left from a package of tissue paper I bought at least a decade (or two?) ago.

#paintedguitar #decoupage #tissuepaper

To think that I lavishly used it in presents that I GAVE AWAY …. unsettles my heart today. I love that paper. I love the design, the words, the dribbles, the color, the flowers …. and there are only a few square inches left. *sigh* So, I decoupaged it right upon my guitar so that I might have at least a sliver to enjoy for many, many years to come.

#paintedguitar #leaves #decoupage #foliage

This little shape is one of my favorites
so I built a stencil and used it to create many pieces
to decoupage onto the guitar.

When I finished my little stack of cut-paper leafed sticks,
I got teary.
Why they moved me, I don’t know.
But, they did and they do.
I think they’re stunning. #absolutlybeautiful

And there they will remain … glued into place
right beside Thomas Edison
who is quoted as saying
I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”
“Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.

He is one of my heroes. He was a man who wasn’t afraid to fail …
and actually saw failure
as one step closer to success.
#sorefreshing #attitudegoals


The design above right to the left of the sound hole
is one of my favorites. I used something similar to it on my painted boots, as well.
I really love it!

BedStu hand painted boots

And on the neck, I added lyrics from the pen of Robert Lee Castleman
and sung by the haunting voice of Alison Krauss 
while accompanied by Union Station
in the song Gravity.
These words resonate with my soul … like no other line I’ve ever read
from a book,
within a poem
or in a song.
They read from the sound hole of the guitar
up the neck
because that is the direction that the emotion of the music moves … up, out and beyond.

“All the answers that I started with …. 
turned out questions in the end.” 

I have a much nicer guitar, but this inexpensive China-made Gremlin has been my favorite. I bought it at a yard sale across the street from my house in Valdosta for $40 … about 18 years ago. I think it’s more comfortable to play than my other instrument and I love the mellow, rich sound. Honestly, I wasn’t sure if changing the finish by layering on paint, paper and glue would change how it sounded, but I was willing to take the risk. I’ve come to truly understand that all these things we collect and love … are just things. So … why not? The potential for the joy it would bring far outweighed the risk of messing it up!


After sanding, gluing and painting, I coated the top with four or five layers of satin polyurethane ….


and I love her.

After re-stringing came the big test; would she still sound yummy and rich?
Here, Indie plays just a little bit. Her sound is still the same; beautiful!




I am beyond pleased.

May your weekend

May your weekend
be just what you need ….
whether your hours are mapped out with commitments
or you are left to your own devices,
may you find a way to see the beauty
and experience the joy
that refreshes your soul.


{{{hugs}}}, blessings & peace to you,


Makes Me Happy Monday ; Paper Craft

I can’t stop crying.
And it’s wonderful.

I spent years and years stuffing my emotions
because they made some people uncomfortable.

It was made known to me that I was too emotional.
There was no arm-around-the-shoulder, “Awww, come here.”
I received more of a “You’re crazy. Stop being emotional” response.

So, I learned to hold it in.
and I was proud of myself.
I could keep myself together in any situation.

Anybody could say or do whatever they wanted.
I wouldn’t cry. I wouldn’t get emotional. I’d just keep going.
You could even walk out on me and leave me all alone …
and I’d just keep moving ahead. No tears.
I was a well-conditioned machine …. numb.
It’s tragically sad, really.

But, oh how weary and dull that leaves us …. living like zombies going through life.
But, God is ever-so-gently tearing down more walls. I am grateful.

As I worked last weekend on a project, I chose to add some decoupaged little foliage in patterned paper. I knew the shape I wanted. So, I drew out the shape, drew it onto a piece of plastic and formed myself a little stencil.


I cut out the stencil and began working on making a small handful of these precious little shapes for my project.

Paper cuting

In the most giddy sort of way, I got so excited. I’m not sure why but I LOVE this shape. It really makes me happy.

As I finished with that sharp x-acto, I sat there amazed at the paper pieces
in different colors
and patterns
but all the same

and I got teary. Patterned paper pieces

I mean …. look at those. ^^^ Just LOOK at them!!!!
Aren’t they gorgeous? I LOVE them! LOVE them!!!

With little tears welling up in my eyes, I sat there asking God “WHY?”
Why does this move me? What is it about patterns … paper … and nature
that stirs something within? Guitar front - close up - patterned paper pieces

I found no answers
but I’m ever-so-grateful.
Days move ahead.
I take steps daily to live in greater freedom
from the nay-sayers out there
and the gremlins within
that want me to live quiet, hidden and paralyzed by trying to please others.

And today, I am reminded that these tiny patterned cut outs of nature
make me really, really happy.
I don’t know why, but I don’t HAVE to know the why to know that it’s real.

What about you?
What has made you happy recently?

Makes Me Happy Monday : “Weird” Gifts

When the children were younger, Christmas gifts were more plentiful … but money was, as well. Now that I’m a single mom, I’ve had to make some major changes. And like so many things that come with divorce, these forced changes
have proven to be very, very good.

My two oldest children are adults on their own and my youngest is working now and making a wage. So, the biggest change we’ve made in gift giving is that we now draw names for gifts. Each person draws one name and we focus on creating a special gift for the person that we choose. My oldest received a huge stash of socks, boxers, t-shirts and pajamas for Christmas. They were deeply and enthusiastically appreciated because they were thoughtful to his needs and desires. My youngest got an amazing jacket that has been on the wish list for several years. It is a perfect fit and was excitedly received. My gift will be a tattoo that I’ll be getting after the start of the year. Rather than having no gifts to open, Glory gave me a few smaller items, too.

Our sweet little tree with a few, carefully chosen gifts beneath

Glory went to Final Cut to shop. Final Cut is a dumping-ground, so to speak. I say that with the idea of a grand, exciting treasure hunt in mind.

It is a huge store full of boxes and piles of home decor, rugs, kitchen accessories, jewelry, shoes/boots, furniture, clothing, bedding and window treatments. All these items come from Anthropologie, Urban Outfitters, Free People and BHLDN. My understanding is that some things are overstock, some are from runway shows, some are from store displays and some are clothes that were being fitted and altered before mass production. But … all are at excellent prices!!

And Final Cut is the only store of its kind on the east coast. I don’t know if there is anything like it in other parts of the US, but it’s the only one like here in the east. I’m SO excited we have it here … I love to shop there! You are guaranteed to find something interesting … if you have the time to dig.

If you know anything about the stores that supply Final cut,
you know their items are unusual.
So …. Glory said, as she was out shopping
she decided to head to Final Cut to “look for weird stuff.”

And she bought me this incredible plate.
Isn’t it gorgeous? It’s green
(“autumn” is my favorite color … but any shade of green is my favoritest).
It is clay (my favorite dish type).
And it looks organic and natural *swoon.*

It reminds me of a lily pad.
Lily Pad plate

But, when it is stacked
it reminds me of a leaf of cabbage.
Cabbage plate

It is stunning to me.
And Glory knew me well enough to know that
I would love it.

She also bought this little metal grid. She said
“I don’t know what you’ll do with it, but I know it’ll be neat.
Use it in art. Or hang it like an ornament. Or do whatever you want.
I just knew you’d like it.”

One of my "weird" gifts - a 3x3 metal grid

And I do! I love it.
Right now, it’s on a wooden crate with other things I adore
so I can look at it all the time
until I decide how to work it into a piece of artwork.

I think I’ve done well when I have been able to impress upon my children
that gift giving … like so many things in life …. isn’t about you and your likes and your desires …
it’s about the recipient.
To love on someone else,
we must figure out what they need to feel loved and seen.
Do they need to be heard? Touched? Receive a physical gift?
A letter? An act of service  … like a dirty job they keep procrastinating?
We all receive love with the most ease
when the gift given speaks to our heart, our soul, our spirit … our needs. 
My daughter knows me well and she “sees” me for who I am
so she gave me unusual gifts
that she knew would bless me.

I am so thankful for”weird” gifts this Christmas
and children who can see and understand what others need to feel accepted and loved.

Yes, weird gifts make me happy as I look back our Christmas.
What about you? What gift did you give or receive that made you happy this year?

Makes Me Happy Monday : Pillow Talk

I have learned to love my weekends.
In fact, I look forward to  the weekend all.week.long.
My weekends are now about wonderful outdoor adventures
or house chores and projects  … the ones I want to do
rather than the kind that I need to do or have to do.
After becoming a single-mom who owned a home,
all the responsibility of every.thing fell upon my shoulders.
After my move in February of 2015,
it is such a relief to be in a much smaller home
with a landlord who keeps everything up and running.

This weekend embraced several projects.
I wanted SO BADLY to join in a MeetUp adventure
that involved kayaking on the Augusta Canal!
The weather was in the 70’s this weekend .. with cloudless skies. *swoons*
That would have been the perfect trip to close out the fall and start the winter.
But, my common-sense gene over ruled and I stayed home to finish projects.

Woven, appliqued, rag-strip Magpie pillow

One little project was finishing up the pillow that I mentioned last Monday. 
I would have finished it quicker, but I ended up making two runs to two stores
to secure a good match on thread that needed to hide the closure stitching.

Woven, appliqued, rag-strip Magpie pillow

I love how raw strips of different patterns look when they are woven together.
I’m all about loose ends, frayed edges and lots of pattern.
It’s so intricate and interesting!

Woven, appliqued, rag-strip Magpie pillow

This pillow fits perfectly in the sitting area in my bedroom …
and it makes so very happy.

What about you, my friend?
What makes YOU happy this marvelous Monday morning?