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Harmony Art Mom – Creative Month April

harmony-art-mom-creative-mom-april-2017

First of all, thank you to my many followers, here and on Instagram, who have sent your well wishes for my up-coming move to Oregon. This business of selling a house is such a roller coaster ride, even from one minute to the next.

Leading up to listing our home for sale, I spent a lot of time decluttering, cleaning, and staging the home to help potential buyers see our cozy, bright, and inviting home at its best. We have lived in this house for over 30 years, so going through every nook and cranny was emotional and exhausting.  I parted with many items by giving to friends, selling at a garage sale, and gifting to our local hospice thrift shop. I tried to be practical and used many of the ideas found online for making decisions about whether to keep something or let it go. Sigh. The process is draining but now that I am living in a more minimalistic space, I see the wisdom in going through this exercise more often than once every 30 years.

Depersonalizing our home was not an easy task. I have lots of family photos decorating our walls and bookshelves. Once I cleared them away there were huge expanses of blank walls. My daughter and I used Pinterest to find fresh ideas that would make the house still look inviting and far less like a hotel.

In the end, creating a new living space was very satisfying and many of the ideas we implemented will be carried over to our new home. Here are a few of the areas we spruced up.

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We added some small potted plants, arranged interesting books, and created an inviting dining table.

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My daughter picked out some artwork that complemented things we already had in the house to fill up the large blank walls.

I took a quick trip to our local Big Lots and found a few items to give the bar area a little island appeal. I had the basics, but found the wall art and trays to pull it all together.

Other than revamping our house, my most creative activities this month have been scrapbooking and working in my nature journal.

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My sister plans a scrapbook retreat once or twice a year and this time I worked on our family vacation album almost the whole time. I was behind quite a bit and I made a great dent in creating a keepsake album of our travel to the Oregon Coast.

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I was able to keep up my once a week nature journal goal this month which makes me happy; not only that the pages are getting done but that I have made time to actually get outside to find things to journal about that are interesting.

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My husband and I had the opportunity to spend the day with our two oldest sons hiking in Southern California. It was timed perfectly to see the “super bloom” of wildflowers with hills covered in masses of coreopsis, lupine, yarrow, mustard, Mariposa lilies, poppies, blue dicks, Indian paintbrush, and more.

All of our hard work has paid off and we had an offer within a week of listing the house. Unfortunately, that deal fell through. We turned around and relisted the house and that afternoon we had another offer! See what I mean, roller coaster ride of ups and downs.

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I am dreaming of the day that all this will be behind me and I will be living in my new Central Oregon home. Buying a new home was such an emotional experience. But, I knew the minute I walked into the door of the house we purchased that it was my heart home…a place that our family now can make new memories in as time goes on.

 

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What Does a Retired Homeschol Mom Do?

What Does a Retired Homeschool Mom Do @harmonyfinearts

What does a retired homeschooling mom do? Well, this retired homeschooling mom just started tutoring a few students AND acting as an advisor to a new homeschooling mom. What fun! I didn’t think this was something I ever wanted to do but it in fact has become a great joy…something that brings me such satisfaction. I love it when life opens a door of opportunity at just the right time.

I have missed teaching so much, and so far I am only tutoring math but it’s enough to add a missing element to my days. It’s easy to step back into the role of teacher and guide and it feels “oh so right” to use the skills I have developed over the past two decades to benefit another homeschooling mom who is overwhelmed and struggling a bit.

I had forgotten the way it feels to have someone look at you after a tutoring session and utter the words, “I get it!” You feel good and they feel empowered.

As far as advising a new homeschooling mom, it’s a situation where she is new to the idea of homeschooling as a lifestyle. She felt trapped in a “school at home” model and was unhappy with that method of teaching. I explained that she could change a few things in the way she presented her subjects to make it more in line with her family’s style and interests. She is clearly on the right path now and I look forward to talking with her again soon to see how things are going.

Word of mouth has brought me another opportunity to help someone locally with homeschooling.  I’m passionate about learning and teaching and am pleased that others have found value in this as well.  I’m not sure where all this is heading, but for the first time in a long time I’m beginning to see a path beyond where I am now. I was feeling a bit like a horse put out to pasture, long before I was ready for that to happen.

 

Stay tuned to see how it all turns out!

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Harmony Art Mom – Creative Month February

creative-mom-february-2017-harmonyartmomCreative Mom – February 2017

So far February has been a great month for creative occupations. I participated in an online course that was aimed at beating the winter blues with creative ideas, recipes, and musings on the beauty of winter. It wasn’t a really good fit for me so I was only able to glean a few new ideas but I can imagine that in years to come I will be pulling up downloaded activities to use in winters to come.

Get real Barb!

I had to be realistic. I was not ready to invest in soapmaking supplies, learn to knit more complicated items like gloves, make cheese, or create my own teas. Sometime in the future I will be more in a position to tackle a few of them but now it seemed like way above my skill set (and ability to financially invest).

In a way though, it made me think about the creative activities I already enjoy and find great pleasure in doing for myself and my family.

scrapbook work

Since I have a spot to leave my scrapbooking supplies out at all times, I sit down more frequently to work on my pages. I made a trip to Hobby Lobby for some new paper and a few stickers and this stimulated my creative juices once again. I finished my Hawaiian album and now I’m working on family events in my personal album.

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I baked some yummy treats this month for my sweet husband. He does so much around here that to repay him I will often take his suggestions for a recipe to try. I made him flourless peanut butter cookies, almond shortbread, and biscuits so far this month. The trick is then for my hand to stay out of the cookie jar!

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Sketch Tuesday and my nature journal have kept me drawing and painting each week. I try to keep both simple and focus on the relaxing aspects of drawing. If things don’t turn out perfectly, no big deal.

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Shutterfly has shared so many coupons and free items with me in the past few months that it is an easy afternoon of creating that fits my budget. This wall calendar was a lot of fun to design and customize with my photos. It now hangs right next to my desk and it makes me happy to see my loved ones smiling back at me.

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Here are a few more ways I have been creating during this past month. I have customized my little mini travel watercolor palette for my nature bag. I got my passport renewed and my kids and I have been planning a trip to Canada! I have been taking lots of photos from my window during the rainy days. This California towhee was right outside my office window and I was able to snap a few photos before he flew off. I am working on my picture wall and updating my images to fit my current interests.

So, although I had planned to follow the online creative course, I stuck to my basics and feel like I truly accomplished some great creative energy. That really is what it is all about!
So what have you been doing this month to be creative?

Have you participated in Sketch Tuesday?

Have you listened to Music Monday?

 

Art Show Wall Display 1

You may wish to read this entry from my archives:

Creative Atmosphere in Your Home

 

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