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Harmony Art Mom Creative Month – October

Creative Mom – October 2017

Harmony Art Mom Creative Mom October 2017

Creativity comes from within but is inspired from our experiences. I tend to be inspired by natural wonders so I aim to be outdoors as much as possible. The things I see and experience are then translated into little bursts of creativity…whether in crafts or cooking or decorating.

The weather here has been unpredictable with periods of snow and then sunshine. It’s so very different here than California but I’m enjoying it tremendously. It distracts me from doing too many traditional crafts but as I’m writing this entry I’m reminded that I NEED to make time for creative outlets.

Here are a few things I’ve been working on over the past month or so.


Creativity in the Kitchen

Huckleberries! I was able to purchase a bunch of these sweet little bundles and I decided for convenience that I would make syrup. I have never made syrup from berries in my whole life so I had to do some research on the internet for recipe and method. I had my husband with me for the process as moral support and for his muscle in smashing the berries through the strainer.

huckleberry syrup

Success! We are enjoying the yummy taste of the huckleberries on our Kodiak cakes.

Trader Joe Pumpkin Scone

We live pretty far from town and there are no bakeries within 30 miles or so. I’ve been craving a pumpkin spice scone and was thrilled to spy out a box mix at Trader Joe’s. I whipped these up for breakfast one morning and they were heavenly.

Trader Joe Pumpkin Scones

I’m going to stock up on a few of these mixes for the pantry so when the urge hits I will have a super easy way of satisfying my pumpkin spice craving.

home depot fireplace

Creativity Around the House

We have procrastinated finishing up the decorating of our bedroom. There is a huge, tall wall opposite our bed and I’ve spent much time staring at it trying to come up with a plan. It struck me a few weeks ago that an electric fireplace would add a touch of coziness and warmth to the room. Home Depot online to the rescue! I found this fireplace with the stone finish and wood mantel. We just got it installed a few days ago but already it has helped to transform the room.

hobby lobby

I made a trip to Hobby Lobby for inspiration. Do you all take photos of things at Hobby Lobby too? I have a whole collection of things I want to eventually get (or make myself) to finish up the room.

You can see in the image of the fireplace that I purchased some farmhouse style mirrors with window panes for either side of the fireplace. I also have a framed photo of my family to hang up there but it seems a bit small. I am thinking I may need to find some things to place on the mantel to pull it all together.

Random Creative Thoughts

I read on Renee Tougas’ blog a while back that she chooses a few colors for each season to use in her journal. I am thinking that is a super good idea and may even carry it over to my crochet projects and decorating choices for things like candles and flowers. Immersing myself in the colors of the season just feels comforting right now.

autumn color collage

If I had to pick a few colors from my autumn habitat to use in my journal I would choose evergreen, gold, and a rusty brown.

How has your creative month gone?



Notebooking Pages Membership Sale

Harmony Art Mom’s Journal September

Mother’s Journal – In Admiration of the Season

September 2017

“It’s on the strength of observation and reflection that one finds a way. So we must dig and delve unceasingly.” Claude Monet


Looking around my room this morning as I write this, I see a scene that tells the tale of my life right now. There is a box with summer clothes stacked on top of it because I haven’t taken time to fold them as I swap out my summer and cold weather clothes. I see a stack of framed photos that are still, after five months of living here, sitting on the floor. My nightstand is piled up with my Bible, my planner, a bunch of pens, and my diffuser. There is a fleece blanket on the big chair and the down comforter is on the bed.  Everything seems in transition.


It is the change of the season, a time for reflection.

It also is a time for planning and anticipating a new adventure that will include colder temperatures and snow, lots of snow.

But in the meantime, I have other things swirling around in my mother’s head. Serious things that make me think about who I am as a mother right now. And, it is as always, the realizing that I am not in complete control of everything and even though it’s hard, I will be okay if I just don’t give up.

I consider myself an experienced mom. For a while now, I have even thought that I had being a mom to grown children sort of figured out. The last month has dissolved that notion. My two youngest boys, now in their twenties, have moved back home as they shift from one phase to another in their lives. Just like the physical season, it’s a time of family transition as well.


My husband and I were just establishing a routine with the two of us since his retirement. Our daily rhythms were fairly easy going and we accomplished a lot both around the house, in our volunteer work, and in having a really good time exploring our new area together on foot and in our kayaks.

I did not anticipate how much having the boys at home would make us reshuffle our lives again.


So once again I am writing a new chapter in my “mother’s journal”.  This is the chapter where I humbly accept that the modern family is very different than the one I grew up in and my children need to have support a little bit longer than expected. I need to accept that I’m going to be the “sandwich generation” where, on some level, I’ll still be supporting my grown children at the same time as I’m caring for my parents.

All of this does not mean that I’m unhappy. Rather, it has made me be firm in my resolve to simplify my life enough that I can remain flexible to take advantage of snatches of time during each day that I can enjoy this amazing place that we have moved to in Oregon, remain resolved to continue my activities that nurture my needs like my volunteer work, and still have time to enjoy having my family around me.

So for now, I’ll be trying to create a positive attitude about our family situation and savor the moments of time I have with us all here in Oregon. The photos will be hung soon enough and the boxes will be packed and stored away. In the meantime, I’ll be gathering memories of this first autumn we have in our new home next to the willows and river.  I’ll watch as the birds migrate through (like the Sandhill cranes!) and hang up extra feeders for the ones that want to stay awhile.

Maybe I should welcome my two boys as migrant birds; they are here for a season and then they will fly off to a new place.

Remembering Our Visit to the MET in NYC

Remembering Our Visit to the MET in NYC

Gauguin at the MET

A few weeks ago, my grown up daughter Amanda who lives in New York, made a trip to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. She had visitors from California who wanted her to play tour guide and the MET was on their list of places to visit. The visitors paid for an official tour but Amanda wanted to browse the museum all on her own.  She enjoyed three glorious hours wandering by herself through the galleries. Afterwards, she sent me some images and her comments reminded me of my visit to the MET a few years ago with my boys.

She felt that many of the paintings were her “old friends” since we had studied them in the past as part of our art appreciation. She actually felt a connection with several of the paintings and marveled as I did that seeing paintings in person had such an emotional impact on her.


I shared our experiences at the MET in this entry: Metropolitan Museum of Art – Harmony Art Mom’s Visit.

Here’s what I wrote in that entry about seeing a particular painting by Renoir:

“Renoir’s brushes painted this painting. He stood right where I was standing to create this artwork, capturing a moment in time for me to enjoy over a hundred years later. How awesome is that?”

I invite you to click over and read the entire entry…so many great thoughts to encourage you to visit the MET.

Art appreciation is something our family has enjoyed for many years together. It has created a bond and mutual respect and awe for many artists and styles of art. We didn’t do anything extraordinary to make this happen; just by taking a few minutes on a regular basis to view a piece of artwork, we were able to grow a love of great art.

Favorite Klimt

My daughter sent me a postcard from the MET of one of my favorite paintings…which just happened to be her favorite of the day. Here is a bit of what she wrote on the postcard:

“I bought this postcard to send to you before we talked and you said it was your favorite Klimt….I kept wishing all day you were here with me. Thank you for teaching me about the great artists. I love that I can recognize different painters’ styles from across the gallery.”


You may also be interested in reading this entry:

Tips for a Family Visit to the Art Museum

Harmony Fine Arts What is in each plan

I would love for you to consider using Harmony Fine Arts plans in your family to create a love of great art and music. The plans are flexible and can be used by multiple ages all together in a matter of minutes per week. Each grade gives you specific artists and composers to study by giving you links and resources in a simple format. You really can just open the plans, click, and view/listen. You can download sample weeks and see the plans in action by visiting the Harmony Fine Arts store and clicking the particular grade you are interested in using. Make sure to click the “more information” link found on each product link for more details about each year plan.

Harmony Fine Arts Grades 1 thru 8 Button




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