Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Now & Zen(tangle)

Oh. MY. GOD!!!  I just received one of the best gifts!!!! I have recently discovered the art of zentangling and a very special person was paying attention and gifted me with the Zentangle Kit...

It comes packaged in its own gorgeous hand-made dark teal paper box... complete with step by step instructions on creating tangles, pencils, pens, hand crafted die cut papers and a mini dvd ... what a treat!

I am excited to be on this journey and can't wait to see where these tangles take my artistic endeavors...

and No... you don't NEED this kit to zentangle... their home site gives plenty of info to be able to strike out your own tangles and there are many other sites devoted to showcasing other artists' tangles.... but I sure am excited by this gorgeous gift!

And here is a piece of functional art.... a bookmark I tangled yesterday afternoon... too fun!

What inspires you?

...scatter joy...

Monday, December 28, 2009

An Ugly Creation

So another Swap-Bot swap.... This one to Create an Ugly Doll.... I'm not exactly sure what drew me to this swap... I do not want to begin collecting these dolls.... although there is something weirdly appealing about them.... maybe it was just the opportunity to craft one and then be able to send it off to someone.... of course, that doesn't account for the fact that another will be finding its way to me.... lol....

My swap partner had in her profile that she likes fairies.... and so I made mine a Fairy Ugly Doll.....

This was a very quick and easy craft and if you have tweens/teens/ or people who just like to collect unusual things, this could be just the thing. (This could also make an awesome Doggie Toy... Bax was utterly disappointed that he wasn't the recipient of this doll!)

1. Use a felt or wool fabric... a scrap will do as these are not huge dolls... 8-11" on average probably and can be any color.

2. You do not need a pattern.  I REPEAT: YOU DO NOT NEED A PATTERN.... simply lay out a double layer of fabric and then roughly sketch the shape you'd like your Ugly Doll to be.... (if you don't know what Uglys are, do a simple google search for 'Ugly Doll' and take a look.

3. Cut out the fabric leaving aprx 1/4 for seam allowance.  Because they are not always exactly symmetrical you don't have to worry (although this part would definitely bug some of my more perfect friends ---and you know who you are!)

4. Sew (but leave an opening to put in the stuffing), stuff (lightly... not packed firmly), sew closed and embellish.   Ohhhhhhhhh and don't forget to name your Ugly....

This project took me aprx 1 hour to complete. ; ) 

What would your Ugly look like... and what would its name be?

...scatter joy...

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Pillow Punch

My wonderful friend beat me to the punch and crafted some fabulous felted pillows upcycled from old wool sweaters! (I have felted the sweaters, and have yet to utilize in a project.)  She gifted me with this one after she saw me lusting after it.... isn't it just adorable with the button placket down the front??? (Thanks, Fran!)

I think this Punch of Orange is going to be simply luscious with the lime green, chocolate, and blue color scheme!

What colors are dancing in your dreams?

...scatter joy...

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Dancing the zenTANGO

I love arts.  I love crafts.  And I really LOVE learning something new... so my new fascination continues to grow... zentangles.  I am new new new so judge not too harshly.... and have to say... I love it.  It's easy... anyone can do it... and you end up feeling very artistic...!  I am currently in a couple of swaps involving the exchanging of these mini works of art on swap-bot (another new fascination...)

What has caught your fancy?

... scatter joy...

Monday, December 21, 2009

a merry mummy christmas!

I did it!  I finished my mom's christmas pressie and now it's on it's way to florida to arrive just in time for the festivities!

As many of you can relate to, each year it becomes increasingly difficult to figure out just what to give our parents for the holidays.  I came up with this idea last month while at the Craft Social... as I was learning how to make artistic doodles (aka zentangles) a million ideas on how to use this artform came flooding in... among them the brill idea I had for gifting my mumma.

As I reflect on my own life stories, it occurred to me that I really knew too few of my mom's stories and so what better way to get her to tell them to me than to present her with a 'journal' for writing them down.... including some touches of art throughout to keep it interesting.

It's easy peasy:

1. Buy a suitable notebook to use for the journal.  (I chose spiral bound because it will lay flat, and lined for ease of writing.)  I found this one in the clearance cubbies at Paper Source.
2. Modify and embellish at will (keep in mind how long it will take because once you start you'd hate to only get 1/2 way through)
3.Compile the thought starter questions and write them throughout the journal. ( It's much much easier to tell you a story if you ask me a question first, to get me started.)

If you'd like to use my questions to start from, just email me and I'll send you the file. 

There are so many stories we need to share with each other and this really is a great idea not only for our elders but also think about writing your stories now... as you live them... what a wonderful gift for your own family members and friends.

How does your story begin?

...scatter joy...

Friday, December 18, 2009

... and MORE JoY!!!

I knew that I was probably ordering from my fave Thai restaurant a little too often when, on a rare occasion I would change my order and they would ask, 'aren't you going to order Tom Kahr?' lol.... but I LOVE Thai, and I love Cozy Thai in particular.... so imagine my delight at being 'gifted' with a cute little canvas bag (really, it's CANVAS and not that cheap fused stuff that falls apart after using it 10 times...) and it contained cookies. 

And anyone who has ever visited Cozy's knows just how kitchy and kookie it is (in the very best way...) so my delight was doubled when upon opening the bag I discovered there was a container of DANISH cookies inside.... LOL

And now I MUST go watch the penguins dance!!!

What unexpected gesture made you smile today?

...scatter joy...

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

After a long, hard, day....

Well... okay... maybe it wasn't all THAT long... and definitely not hard... but you know what I mean... !  Anyway, imagine how incredibly fun it was when I opened my mailbox to find nothing but holiday greeting cards..... no bills.... NO JUNK MAIL.... simply envelopes filled with sweet messages......  !  The universe conspired to scatter joy my way today!

What kind of cards do you like to give.....?  to receive....?

...scatter joy...

Friday, December 11, 2009

"Drum" roll, please..... or should I say Drum Shade???

I'm not sure if it's retro, modern, or funky.... I just know that I like it....  and the great thing is that I see it from the living area as well as the kitchen.... !  It makes me smile.  I picked this beautiful light up at Stacy O's in Saginaw.... she has great style and wonderfully unique items... I love her AND her store.

What lights you up inside?
...scatter joy...

Thursday, December 10, 2009

simple & quick holiday decor

Sometimes it takes very little effort to add some twinkle and merriment to your space... check out this cute little holiday decoration that is also quite FUNctional..... and you KNOW functional art is my favorite...  I have this on the little cupboard that greets you as you enter my space!

1. Take one gorgeous jar... any jar will do... I used an antique canning jar I had on hand
2. Hang beautiful candy canes (ORGANIC!) around the rim
3. Enjoy!

I added a cut-out snowflake.... you could also add dried berries, or twigs or holly to the jar for added flair.

What makes your holiday spirit soar?

...scatter joy...

Friday, December 4, 2009

swap bot

I don't know why I didn't know such things existed, but I stumbled upon this very cool site... it took me back to the childhood years of penpals..... this site has a very straightforward premise.... swap crafts, ephemera, postcards, art, books, and the list goes on.... any number of things with another partner.

There are hundreds of swaps going at any one time, and its almost a guarantee to find a swap that strikes your fancy (strikes your fancy???? what year is this.... 1957???) Anyway, the swaps have a host and guidelines, a description of the swap, sign up date and send out date.... the host matches you with someone ( you send to your match, someone else sends to you, this way it is not dependent upon having even numbers of people participating ).  I have signed up for 3 already.... lol..... and the cool thing is, some are US only based but many are international...

If it sounds intriguing, check it out here:

What kind of things would you swap?
...scatter joy...

Friday, November 27, 2009

Cotton Candy Cable

I just finished the muffler with the cable stitch that I learned last Friday at our little craft get-together.... I LOVE IT!!!! Don't look too closely for the flaws.... they are too numerous to count... I chose to leave them in..... it adds a bit of character... ; )  If you know how to knit and purl you can learn how to do this, too... it's easy peasy!  And... bonus, I found the button in my stash......

Tomorrow... I'm going to tackle that big mess of a closet..... I don't know if I'll be brave enough to post a 'before' but I'll definitely show off my 'after'......

What is your 'before and after'?

...scatter joy...

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Kitchen/Dining Re-Do ---Continued

The make-over continues.... As I continue to refine the kitchen and dining area I decided to change the gorgeous green on the side board to a beautiful chocolate cream.... I mixed some chocolate mousse from the bedroom with some marshmellow from the kitchen to create this luscious color.... and changed the hardware from small pewter knobs to long brushed nickel handles.  I LOVE the result.... it now feels more like a 'sideboard' instead of a dresser...!

And... thanks, Jane, for suggesting the idea of simply unplugging the TV and storing in the closet when I'm entertaining.... I did that this weekend and it worked perfectly!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

girls night in

One of my favorite fabulous femails recently hosted a craft evening in her home.... the art of knitting was the craft dejour .... there were many highlights to the get together not the least of which was a reminder of just how incredible women are and how much I love the creative energy when we spend time together.

Fran also schooled us on the art of hosting.... she had a space all set up for our evening of crafting...and imagine our delight when each of us had 'prizes' waiting for us.... she stunned us all with individualized hand-painted signs, calendars, socks and gloves....

These thoughtful touches really made a huge impact.  We were all simply delighted.....   We feasted on vegan delights AND we learned how to knit (I learned how to 'cable stitch' and knit on circular needles.... )  it just doesn't get any better.....

How do you show your friends appreciation?

...scatter joy...

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Craft Social Part II

Reduce, REUSE, recycle (upcycle)... 

A fun twist at Friday's Craft Social was the swap table.... people brought in their extras and everyone was invited to take what they would be able to use and anything left over at the end of the night was to be donated.  I could not pass up some great 'green' fabric.... it's upholstery swatches that will be perfect for the cell phone holders we made.... and the yarn... lol.... well, knitting IS my new fave, so how could I possibly pass up this yarn that is the perfect mix of my favorite colors (and coincidentally matches my favorite winter puffy vest!)

What is something old that you could make new again...?

...scatter joy...

Monday, November 16, 2009

My Corner of the Closet

As part of my ongoing quest to tame my small space I feel as though I'm in a constant state of 'reorganization'...  lol... this weekend I tackled the bedroom closet and dressers making the switch from spring/summer to fall/winter. There is something to be said for the feeling of 'new' as everything gets sorted.... 'Donate' and 'KEEP' are my two main categories.... very little gets tossed because even if a garment isn't wearable in its original form, it can often be recycled into fabric or material for something else.

And Baxter likes to help.... here he is sorting through my clothes on the bed... he ultimately created a very nice fort and promptly took a nap!

Best new 'old' find..... Charcoal flannel trousers that I'd bought off-season!  YAY!!!!   And if you hear me dare utter the words 'I have nothing to wear' please nudge me in the direction of my closet....!

What are your favorite season-changing rituals?
...scatter joy...

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Craft Social Successes....

Well last night was Craft Social time again.... I really have so much fun at these events.  The women attending as well as leading are phenomenal.  It's worth it just to feel the energy and inspiration.  Last night I attended as a participant and was able to experience 4 different crafts.... !  I started at the doodle-icous table of Julie (visit her blog) made my way over to make a cute felt hair pin (thanks Krissy!), wandered over to the fabric cell phone holder table led by Jen and then ended up making a yo-yo holiday card led by another Jen (yo-yo mama!)  

and bonus.... I finally figured out a great gift to give my mom.... (but more on a future post!)

Well done, once again, to Jess & her fabulous friends for hosting a wonderful Craft Social!

What hand-made gifts are you making this season?

...scatter joy...

Saturday, November 7, 2009

A Day at the Beach with Bax

Sometimes you just gotta go with it.... today (and this weekend) we are being blessed with gorgeous sunshine and temps nearing the 70s even though we're entering the 2nd week of November... so home redesign be damned (oh yeah, I said it)... it's off to the lake we went for a lot of walking, running, and doggy fun in the sun.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

knit two, purl two....

I met up with a friend last weekend and she helped reintroduce me to a craft I've always loved.... knitting.  I started with a very easy project...... and have already completed it....!    Isn't it amazing how it can go from this.....                                     

to this?!

 Another fabulous friend has organized a craft evening in her home... we are going to be knitting a cowl scarf, simply perfect for the beginner.... Mmmm... I have to pick out yarn.  I think that warrants a trip to Sister Arts Studio......

My hint:  Choose an easy project, aka a scarf and make it a little on the narrow side (I only cast on 16 stitches...)... the benefit is it doesn't take long at all to see progress and that motivates you to keep going... and before you know it, fini!  Amy's hint:  If you make the scarf as long as you are tall, you'll have enough length to wrap or loop with ease...!  I made mine a little longer than that and I still didn't finish the skein of yarn.... !!!

What childhood craft would you like to rediscover?
...scatter joy...

Friday, October 30, 2009

Baxter's new Bath

It finally happened... my new kitchen faucet was installed today.... oh. my. god.  Gorgeous.  and the best thing is the pressure of the spray... it is going to be wonderful to prep with that faucet... the fruits and veggies will be in water heaven and I can't wait to give Baxter a bath.... !  I'm sure he's going to love the spray, too... 

These seemingly small things, for me, are what all combine to make it right.... I am loving how the space is coming together.  I wonder if I should do a video of it all when I'm finally complete?

Although those who know me well tell me that I am never fully 'done' with anything... that one project merely leads to the next...'s probably true.

What kind of 'project' person are you?
...scatter joy...

Monday, October 26, 2009

bax's new bowl

CUTE CUTE CUTE ... found Bax a bowl that matches the new dishes and the new colors in the kitchen.... It is the small things that help pull the whole look together and add a bit of whimsy!  Don't forget the small stuff....

What is your color?

...scatter joy...

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Don't Read this Post, Mom...

I am reinventing the art of crocheting the granny square.... this due in large part to the fact that I, number one- cannot read a pattern to save my life and number two- couldn't figure it out.... (YET)  I am making this for a Christmas present for mom.... she has lovingly made countless blankets for people through the years... now it's her turn...

and of course, since she's a mom she will love it no matter how crazy it ends up looking......! ; )  The secret ingredient is love!!!

What is your secret ingredient?

...scatter joy...

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Needle Felting... Finally!

I recently discovered a gorgeous shop in Chicago called Sister Arts Studio ... the owner, Donna could not have been nicer.  I have been longing to take a felting class and she offers up several different options (who knew there were so many different kinds of felting techniques??) She has a seriously grand list of offerings for the beginner as well as advanced knitter, crocheter, needleworker, .... well, crafter/artisan.  I encourage you to check it out... in addition to adult classes, she also offers classes for kids & tweens and her passion is bridging the adult/child gap by offering classes aimed at building those relationships through a craft/artistic experience.

In addition to the classes, her shop boasts some of the most beautiful yarns I've ever seen...

And... drum roll, please.... here is my first effort for felting... it is a bookmark!  I'm pleased and dare I say, proud?! lol....  now you all know what your holiday gifts will be.... ; P

What small shop speaks to your heart?
...scatter joy...

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Flippin my Lid!

A major part of designing my small space is the purging of all things 'clutter'.... but at the same time I need to find creative ways to store items. 
I do not have a candy bowl, but I had these wonderful small hard candies I wanted to have out ... so I dug out a jar from the cupboard and did a quick recycle art project on the top to add a little 'new' to something old...

Easy Peasy:  Took the lid, turned it over on top of a gorgeous card (from one of my fave stores, Paper Source) and traced the lid on the paper.  Cut out a smidge inside the mark... I did not measure this, I eyeballed it.  Took some Mod Podge (because it was what I happened upon first when digging through anything that I could use to 'stick' the paper to the lid) and smeared it on the lid.  placed the cut out on the lid then smeared a little more over top of the actual paper. Let dry. The actual 'art' part of this project took me less than 5 minutes...

Isn't it cute??? I think this would be a really fun and easy thing to do for a multitude of things... and of course using papers that coordinate with either the holiday or the contents would be superb....

What ordinary object can you transform into functional art?
...scatter joy...

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Awesome Autumn!

Yesterday and today were simply glorious... we've had a very wet and cold start to our fall this year and it must be said, Autumn is my favorite season... it always has I felt overjoyed at the sunshine and blissful weather... and since I had the luxury of working from home today, Bax and I escaped to the lake for lunch today.....

I have no idea what I am going to do with all these beautiful leaves I brought back, but I needed the beauty of the season back home with me... and they were calling out to be part of a collage... if I come up with something fun, I'll post it here!

what is your favorite season?
...scatter joy...

Tuesday, October 13, 2009


You know the mess that happens when you are re-organizing and re-decorating??? Well I'm in the midst of just such a mess!

I am seeing progress, however, and here is a bit of a 'before & after' shot of the open shelving in my kitchen...  isn't it delicious???  It's just enough to keep me motivated to work through the rest of the chaos....

What spurs you through your mess?
...scatter joy...

Friday, October 9, 2009

purse pause...

Well... it's been just over 4 months and the thing we've all been waiting for has finally arrived.... (well, the thing I'VE been waiting for anyway....)... 4 months ago I decided I was going to create some purses.... I had everything... fabric, thread, and desire... the only thing I needed to find were the frames... and so I did. 

I found them online and ordered them.

and then I waited....
and waited...
contacted the company who said they had sent them and they had been returned (!) and they would resend....
and so I waited.    and waited.     and waited.
and then today.... ta-da... they arrived!  so just in time for something fall or winter-ish.... hmmmmmm... maybe I'll figure out something with a recycled wool sweater.... !!! And maybe this will be my first foray into Etsy....

Thursday, October 8, 2009

rugamarole part II

One of the best things about spending design time on my space is watching the seemingly random choices all come together in an eclectic beautiful harmony..... this rug is from Stacy O's and is called Cat's Paw, although Baxter has asked for it to be renamed.... *grin*
I love the colors of the circles.... they are happy and vibrant yet soothing all at the same time...

what soothes your senses?
...scatter joy...

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Plates a Plenty

I've always enjoyed having friends over... cooking, eating, sharing.... and one of the things that makes it so fun is in the presentation.... I admit it... I LOVE dinnerware.... and have some fabulous new finds for the new look of my kitchen & dining area.... here's a sneak peek....

What would you like for dinner?
...scatter joy...

Sunday, October 4, 2009


My current design obsession is the kitchen dining area... so for the next bit of time I'm sure it will also be the focus of my blogging....  I felt as though I accomplished a lot this weekend and yet still had a lot of fun as well... it was the perfect blend. 

I found a rug for my kitchen... it is wool... felted wool.... and baxter approves....  

I think one of the most important things when designing-decorating on a budget is knowing when to invest money in quality pieces and when and where to shop for deals (and still get the look and or quality you are going for...)!  One of my favorite places that delivers on that is Crate and Barrel Outlet.  I'm lucky enough to live in a city that actually has an outlet storefront, but shopping them online is almost as much fun and can definitely garner fantastic finds....  (a few others I'll be sharing with you later this week...).

What do you do to design on a dime?
...scatter joy...

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Lights.... Camera.... AcTioN!

I love being able to say 'I did that' or... 'I made this'.... but sometimes, it's just as great having a handywoman who can do 'it' for me.... my new island pendant lighting for example....  she removed an ugly ceiling fan (err... wait a minute, I forgot, I'm trying to sell it on craig's list... so really it's a gorgeous, beautiful ceiling fan)... and then did some sort of electrical magic to install the lighting!  AND... she installed dimmer switches... oh so cool....  I am loving re-doing my whole place... sort of like 'The Antonio Project' but not.  (My place is much much smaller and it is taking me much much longer than 5 days.... )

What project currently has your attention?
...scatter joy...

Monday, September 28, 2009


All it takes is a quick trip back to Michigan to add fuel to the flames of design inspiration.... I have a vision.... and of course it includes green in all its fabulous shades with a special emphasis on my current favorite color 'celery-lime' (thanks, Stacy, for the perfect descriptor name....)... here is a preview of some of the fabric I'll be using to create new beauty...

...visions of slipcovers, valances, & pillows are dancing in my head....

What is YOUR favorite color?
...scatter joy...

Friday, September 25, 2009

Fun & Fabulous

I get to live part of my fantasy this weekend... I'm going to Michigan to help one of my nearest and dearest in her fabulous wonderful shop, Stacy O's.  If you're ever in mid-michigan it's soooooooooo worth the visit... definitely something for everyone!  Stacy has been a part of my life for a long time and has influenced my sense of decorating style more than she knows. 

Oh... and the fantasy part... well... to be able to help decorate and be surrounded by all things fabulous.  I think I might pretend to be hosting a new HGTV program..... yes.... one where I find these small business owners who have these fantastic shops.... and highlight ways that the every woman (or man) can make her space just as she has always wanted it...   incorporating what the home owner already has with some fresh new bold pieces that help with that transition.....

Hmmmm... now for a great name that is NOT cutesy......
oh... and I wonder if she will have a carpenter there helping us get everything together in this tight timeframe??? hey... a girl can dream, can't she???

what is the name of your fantasy show and are you the star?
...scatter joy...

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Going Green...

I have long been the queen of re-purposing... long before it came into style (although I LOVE that more and more peeps are finding ways to reduce/reuse/recycle/repurpose/upcycle/bicycle??? .... lol... ANYWAY........ here is my latest transformation... I've been wanting a sideboard for the dining area for the longest time...  I had a na-kid chest that I was wasn't sure quite what to do with it.... and now.... a splash of color and I've breathed new life into this gorgeous piece..... this brings a whole new meaning to the words: going green!

here are the before and afters....can you tell which is which??? (and isn't Bax just the cutest???)

what are some of your favorite repurposed pieces?

...scatter joy...

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

gorgeous in green...

Small touches can really make a big impact.... it's the little things I surround myself with that bring me daily joy.... fresh cut flowers is just such a joy.  I recently had a small dinner gathering and this was our centerpiece... my friends thought the blooms were great because they actually are a 'lime' green and notice what I've added to the jar vase.... LIMES!!!!

What have you recently used in a non-traditional way?
... scatter joy ...

Monday, September 21, 2009

5 minute valance

I am loving the process of changing my space to truly reflect me..... and I am closer and closer each day.  There are still a couple areas that are causing me pause.... one of these areas is my kitchen window. 

Because my kitchen and dining area are really one large space I feel as though I can't have competing fabrics (although coordinating or complementary are perfectly fine....) and now that I've found out I can go crazy with a pendant lamp that I've been jonesing for (oh. my. god.  ... I think I just got that reference.... lol) which has a gorgeous shade options and I'm talking retro mid-century modern chic....................................! 

I'll be choosing it this weekend as I help one of my dearest friends celebrate 'It's a Brand New Day' with her big reveal.... visit Stacy O's to read more!

To get me through til I finally figure out what the perfect window covering is, I sewed up this cute little valance with a scrap of fabric... seriously It wasn't even 1/2 yard... lol and it took me less than 10 minutes.  (I didn't even press the seams before sewing... ) and.... it must be said... I'm loving it... ; )

What has brought unexpected joy into your life recently?
....scatter joy...