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Harmony Art Mom – Creative Month April

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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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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.

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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

 

Harmony Art Mom – Creative Month January

 

harmony-art-mom-creative-month-januaryThe cold wet weather has been conducive to staying in and being creative. As I look over the past few weeks and what was accomplished all tidy in this post, it appears as if I am a really crafty artsy person. In reality, all of these projects were done with small snatches of time. It all adds up.

Making time for drawing and other creative pursuits is reachable for most of us if we keep it accessible. I like things put away but if I leave the art supplies sitting out I am more apt to sit and work for a few minutes.

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I am trying to participate in Sketch Tuesday every week. Right now I am keeping it simple with a simple notebook and a pencil. So far I have completed 2 of 2 Sketch Tuesday assignments. If you want to join us this week, the theme is art studio. Click the link for more information.

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Over on my nature study blog, I made a goal for 2017 to sketch in my nature journal every week. I was actually at the point of finishing up one nature journal and starting a fresh one so I had to create a cover for the filled one. I decided to go whimsical.

instagram-outdoorhourchallenge-smallWhile I am thinking about it, you may wish to follow my Instagram account for more nature images and nature journal pages. You can click the graphic above to find me on Instagram or search for my account outdoorhourchallenge.

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I always have a scrapbook project to work on and this month I finished up our last trip to Hawaii from 2014. I decided to use an 8″ by 8″ Creative Memories album with spargo pages. I thoroughly enjoyed working with these photos and recording the experiences. It must be time to go again!

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I am always taking photos in my yard. Winter time can be a challenge to find something interesting but I wanted to take an image of the paper white growing and blooming in between the pavers. Someone decided to do a photo bomb and get in the shot. Miss Cocoa is our front yard greeter…such a sweet thing.

harmony-art-mom-creative-month-january-1My husband and I took an early morning hike in the rain down to the river when it was at close to flood stage. The adventure was recorded in my nature journal along with a page on some lichen that I brought home on an oak twig. It is hard to sketch lichen! Secretly I am struggling with my drawing skills and have a plan to learn more by studying other journalers and books I have on my shelf and some ordered up from the library. The one book that has the deepest impact on me is the Laws Guide to Nature Drawing and Journaling. He suggests sketching every day to improve so I am trying my best to complete something daily. (Affiliate link above to Amazon to a book I have used and love!)

Read my complete review of this book over on my other blog: Laws Guide to Nature Drawing and Journaling.

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So what have you been doing this month to be creative?

Have you participated in Sketch Tuesday?

Have you listened to Music Monday?

Don’t forget to do something to feed your creative soul!

Art Show Wall Display 1

You may wish to read this entry from my archives:

Creative Atmosphere in Your Home

 

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