findingsomethinglovely

Beauty lives all around us.

A cup of encouragement makes the medicine go down

When you’ve exhausted all possibilities, remember this—you haven’t.

*Robert H. Schuller*

I love dandelions. I’ve explained why before– to me they represent wishes- and wishes are really just secret scary dreams. The dreams that we are too afraid to admit. The ones we acknowledge only over birthday candles or shooting stars. The ones that someone might make fun of us for or tease us about. You know the dream you’ve been carrying.

By the time we reach adulthood and marriage, and we get sensible jobs and start doing the responsible thing, we have starved that dream. Maybe we tried once or twice. Perhaps we tried many times and this dream just didn’t come to be… and we gave up.

I had given up the dream of being an artist… having tried twice and failed…but I was recently inspired to try again.

Let’s chat friends. What dreams have you pretty much given up on… that maybe might just spring back into being if you just tried?

 

 

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For the love of type

Can I just say that I love that typography is still a huge trend? It is slowing making its way into South African stores too and *sigh* I am in love.

Loads of Living’s summer collection has some beautiful examples of how international trends are filtering through with that distinct South African flavour.

(Via Loads of Living)

(Via Loads of Living)

But at R500 (almost $100) per pillow, it is more of a dream than a reality. I love the vibe of typography around the house and with its international trend appeal it isn’t difficult to find a style to suit your tastes. Here are a few SUPER cute ways that other people around the interwebz have integrated the love of type into their everyday decor.

(Via House*Tweaking)

Here we have an example of large-scale typographic DIY art made by Dana at House*Tweaking. Painted letters on a large canvas? Cute. Don’t be afraid to personalise your art like Dana did. I am certain her little boys feel special knowing that this words come from a song their mommy sings to them.

Here is another example of inexpensive typographic art:

(Via Knack Studios)

This would be simple to replicate… Grab a piece of delicious wood or a fat canvas and paint away!

How about some functional type? Here are some single character coasters. I would LOVE a set of these!

(Via Evil Mad Scientist)

Grab some cork, some wood and a jigsaw if you don’t live around a laser cutting facility. The straight letters would be a breeze while the curvier shapes might better left to the more adept at hand.

Oh and have a look at these adorable pillows too! I would love to have two pillows on a chair like this one with an “X” and one with an “O”… mmmm hugs and kisses on the couch!

(Via Design*Sponge)

Aren’t these just the loveliest examples of typography in the home? They make me squeal on the inside!

 

What do you think of this type trend? Big fan? Or OVER IT?

Finding Light in the Piranha Tank

This post was started as a calm encouraging light in the dark world that creatives face. Artists are too often enchanted by the sexiness of darkness- the ease of negativity that seems to fuel the anger that ‘creates’. But this, my friends, is a sad dark path to travel.

The powers of creativity are much stronger in the lightness of loveliness than in the depths of darkness. Darkness loses power when faced with light. Positivity is more difficult to embrace and yet stronger than the ties of Darkness.

Sometimes, the sex appeal of darkness is very seductive. Sometimes I can barely pry myself away. Sometimes the comfort of gloom is much too enchanting. And I justify it as benefit to my art…

 

But is it really benefiting anything? In the same way piranha’s feast on prey, that darkness consumes the best ideas-the purest forms of delight and leaves nothing but the carcasses for viewing. Is this the art we want to create?

 

I do not want to leave a legacy of death and decay in my wake.

DIY- Glittering Lightscape

When I saw this post on Apartment Therapy I was immediately in love.

(via Apartment Therapy)

Oh! How amazing is the hardware on the credenza, the wallpaper on the walls and the textured tile on the floor!  But it was the lightscape that I adored more than all. The site lacked decent instructions on how to construct a lightscape like this so after a few trial and error attempts, I thought it would be fun to put together a quick tutorial.

Supplies

– One large stretched canvas. For this project, I recommend the type that is stretched over the wooden frame. I chose to get the primed canvas too. My theory is that the primer helped keep the edges from fraying excessively.If you wish to paint the background you may do so now- just be sure your paint has dried several days before continuing

– 100-200 Fairy lights or Christmas lights. I worked with two strands of 100. Choose these lights carefully. First I tried the micro bulbs but found that the connection between the lights was terrible and I kept blowing the strand. This is not ideal! Eventually I landed on the long traditional ‘fairy’ bulbs and these worked better (although I preferred the glow of the micro bulbs, the risk of fire and death just didn’t make up for it 🙂 )

– A pencil and a pen or other pointy object with the approximate diameter of the glass part of your bulbs

Method

Keeping note of how many bulbs you want to use, draw out your pattern. I wanted my bursts to look like explosions of joy so I just put dots where I felt it left balance. Don’t forget about under the wooden frame too! That area is very visible from the front but difficult to push bulbs into- practice balance here! It would also help if you ensured there was a feasible way to maneuver the bulbs around the holes.

After drawing my pattern, I started at the top middle of my canvas and poked three holes at a time with my pen. Go slowly to avoid making tears or splits in the canvas. Using the bulb in the middle of your (unplugged) strand, carefully insert the glass portion of the bulb into the hole. It should fit tightly- but if you are concerned, white craft glue smeared around the base will hold that sucker in place. Place all three bulbs in the holes and continue to the next three holes. I found that operating in a zigzag pattern left me with the best maneuverability to get the lights into the holes without stretching the cords or the canvas.Plan the use of the bulbs so that the final bulb would be the last bulb on the strand nearest to the plug. Any leftover bulbs can be strung loosely around the anchored bulbs for additional glow.  If you are having a hard time pocking the holes, I found the best results when I was sitting on the chair without a table. The canvas balanced on my legs and I could poke and insert away without things getting pear-shaped.

Once the glue has dried thoroughly, prop your lightscape up and plug-‘er in!

(Excuse the poor picture from my Blackberry)


What do you think?

Displaying precious momentos

This is the poem I wrote Hubs for our first wedding anniversary.  It’s a dorky little love poem – I’m no Browning or Parker. But it’s cute and was inspired by my darling so I swallowed my pride and displayed it on my TV cabinet. I spraypainted a frame I has laying around the house and filled it with the printed poem. Nice and easy.

And everyday Hubs gets to read about how much I adore him- which I consider a bonus.

Doesn’t it look so cheerful with a Gerber Daisy and sweet crystal shoe?

What small mementos do you frame around your house? It’s these little touchings that really add  a homey feeling to a beautiful space.

Charming Wooden Keyrings

(Via How About Orange)

How adorable and cheerful are these key rings? Jessica Jones has a great eye for kitschy little designs, don’t ya think?

She mentions her process here but really it’s just little doodads she found laying in a craft bin and a couple of permenant markers.These would look so wonderful as a zipper-pull on a sweater or adorable little handbag!

I think it’s these little details that makes life so charming and sweet.

How lovely.

2011 in three words

Plan’s the man. I love a good plan around these parts- and boy, do I need a good one right about now.

This year is packed with many many commitments, some for work, some for university, some for personal and spiritual growth and others for the wellbeing of my little family and homestead. I’m excited for the growth this year will bring- but just a little terrified at the steps we are taking.

If I could boil my plan down to three simple words (thanks to Chris Brogan) they would have to be:

Love. Enjoy. Streamline.

Love:

First and foremost, this new year will be able being with those I love and care about. With so few hours in the day, I believe it is important to invest in those around you right now. Not on Saturday, not after the laundry, but right now. Sometimes that looks like a sister date. Sometimes it sounds like a phone call. But always, it focuses on love and blessings.

Enjoy:

Saying ‘Yes’ to things instead of hunkering on the sofa to ‘relax’. Enjoy purposeful relaxation. Enjoy crafting and making beautiful things. Enjoy making mistakes. Enjoy trying something new and scary. Enjoy daily exercise.

Say yes to life and enjoy more beauty in everyday than in dreamland.

The consequences are fairly high. 🙂 That’s right. I went there.

Streamline:

When it comes down to it- there are a lot of things that happen to run a healthy household- even without children. And there are many things that we do that A. don’t benefit us or B. don’t bless those around us. Those things have got to go! Out with the clutter, in with the homemade bread. Out with the takeout and fast food, in with a clean kitchen ready for gourmet cooking (mac and cheese anyone?). I’ve got a plan to use less chemicals and more hot water. It is all about habits. Time to create some good ones.

I know, I know. These are not goals. They are not going to help me lose 10 pounds or give me a boost in my career. They will, however, give me the direction forward.

And going forward is so much better than staying put (and letting flies lie on my eye).

What words do you envision for life in 2011?

My aversion to duplicate digits makes me fearful of 2011.

Hands up to anyone else who is terrified of 2011…Don’t leave me hanging here-

Zoe the Dog gives a hands up

"Me me me!" - Zoe the Dog

God knows and loves me enough to have given me a strange and unlikely coping mechanism in times of turmoil and distress- like taking odd photos of my darling pup (featured beautifully above).

This is the year I turn 23. The year, according to the life-plan of my 18-year-old self, that I was going to have my things in order.

My things are, of course, not in order and this leaves me feeling terrified. And a bit silly for being so terrified.

I’ve got a date with my planner to, well you know, make a plan. How did you break through the initial panic change (and duplicate digits) bring?

There is just so much beauty in the world.

Sometimes there’s so much beauty in the world I feel like I can’t take it, like my heart’s going to cave in.

American Beauty came out in 1999 when I was far too young to be allowed to watch it.  With all that nudity and controversy it wasn’t even a blip on my 5th grade radar screen. It was only  in High School that I first watched the film and was immediately in love. Who needs to date high school boys when there were all these great movies suddenly available?!  My appreciation of the  film, while late, is certainly vast. And this scene is  by far my favourite. (Although the close runner up is the scene, “Uh, whose car is that out front?” “Mine. 1970 Pontiac Firebird. The car I’ve always wanted and now I have it. I rule!” I, too, feel victory when he says the ‘I rule’ bit.)

This scene with the plastic bags, it really is a beauty. The whole idea of watching life so much closer than we currently do  is a terribly romantic thought, isn’t it? It reminds us to stop moving so fast. Slow up and take some notice!

Sadly, I do miss the electricity in the air before a storm- sometimes I forget to watch the sunset or kiss my husband goodnight. Instead of being in the now, I am in dreamland, somewhere between the past and the future where things happen but through a misty overhang of nostaglia and sweet imagined regret.

Christmas is tomorrow and this film is my Christmas reminder that the land I physically inhabit is not imaginary. It is a place where plastic grocery bags dance in the wind and friends and family gather around the dinner table to celebrate this wonderful season.

This reminder is today’s something lovely- Today is all we actually have.

Merry Christmas.

Perspectives of Dandelions

When we moved into our home last year, we realised the previous owners had forgotten to plant plants in the flower beds. The flowerbeds became dirt beds.

I’ll let you in on a secret. I am not a gardener. Blame it on allergies or fear of the strange African insects, it doesn’t matter. Truth is, I avoid gardening outside at all costs.

My darling Hubs mows the lawn every week keeping the lawn nice and neat, and he does a great job keeping the trees and other plant life alive but those dirt beds are in bad shape. They are covered in weeds and malnourished dirt. Flowers? Nope. Living plants? Doubt it.

Sometimes I feel so frustrated that I am not a gardener who can whip out the spade and the trowel and dig and plant and water and life springs forth. But maybe this is a matter of perspective.

What do you see?

(Via Fibre Active)

Do you see weeds or wishes?

A little punk rock band from the early 2000s released this song that points to Dandelions as the proof of perspective. A little boy journeys into a field and collects little yellow dandelions for his mom. His mom sees loves in the weeds. Personally, I see Benadryl and a nap.

What weeds do you grumble about that maybe might be flowers with another perceptive? For me, it is literally the weeds in my garden. With a different perceptive, I can choose to see that life maybe lives in that soil after-all.

How are  you choosing to view your ‘weeds’?