About Me

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I LOVE to design and to paint whimsical items that will put a smile on your face. Each day I share my simple life with you as I try to encourage, to inspire and sometimes JUST to make you smile as I recount my life growing up on a dairy farm! I've never had many material items in my life, BUT I have been blessed beyond words with love and encouragement from WONDERFUL Parents who instilled in me WHAT was important. I have had EVERYTHING that I needed and WAY too much of what I wanted. I am slowly learning to be a better person each day through my interactions with my friends on Facebook. Some day I hope to be as good as people seem to THINK I am! I am BLESSED! Welcome to my little corner of the world...Please stop by and visit often!

Friday, January 31, 2014

THAT KISS...tutorial...Friday, January 31, 2014

I thought I would show you the process I went through to paint this heart that is featured on my Facebook post today.  As you know, I paint and design QUICK and EASY projects that can often be finished in a matter of moments, but I LOVE to use BRIGHT, Happy Colors and designs that, while simple, will make you feel happy...

The First thing that I do is gather my supplies...This is a picture of the actual plate I used to paint the design...You will notice the edges of the plate where I rubbed MOST all of the paint from my brush to "dry brush" the design...I try my best NOT to waste paint, so seldom is there a lot of paint left on my pallet. 

I use Americana Paints by DecoArt.  I LOVE the color selection and when I open a bottle, I KNOW exactly what the paint will be like~~it is consistent and covers so well!  I've been using this brand for over 20 years AND they are made in the USA!

I've been painting these 4x4 "coasters" so that I could make them into a pattern packet.  This is the 6th and final design that will be included in the pattern packet that will be ready in a few days.

I sanded the coaster and painted it with my base coat...it always takes two coats on this surface and I sand between coats.

I use old pieces of cardstock to cut my hearts...I cannot draw a balanced heart for anything...I get it a little closer by doing this...

I then trace around the heart...

I paint the heart...it will take two coats...

I could float a darker color around the edge, but I decided that I wanted to double load my brush to give some more texture to the piece...I load my flat brush with the base color and drag the edge through the darker color, keeping the darker color on the edge of the heart.

This is what the heart should look like....

This would have been fine to leave it like this, BUT I added more paint and re-painted the entire heart, hoping that I could leave several shades of color showing...I call this process wet-on-wet because I am mixing wet paint INTO wet paint, whereas, I usually add wet paint onto dry paint...I also added some light colors to the center of the heart to add highlights...DO NOT over mix your paint or you will end up with MUD...but don't worry if you do...let it dry and try again...it is JUST paint! 

I cut some lips from more cardstock...I normally would just paint them directly onto my design, BUT this gives me a chance to SEE the design BEFORE I paint it and tweek (no, I am NOT twerking) my placement of the lips...

I painted the lips with the darkest color and used the double-load process again to add a line to separate the lips...I used a light color to do this...I could EASILY have done this by floating a wash onto the lips, BUT I want to show you the process of wet-on-wet for those who have not yet mastered floating colors...The is such an easy technique, but like everything else, it does take some practice and you might have to play with your colors to get it as you like it...NOTICE the lighter and darker colors on the lips...


The above picture shows that I DID float around the edge of the piece so you can see what the float looks like...the picture below shows that I floated a dark color around the designs...see how the color FADES and should leave no harsh lines...

This picture shows what I was talking about earlier when I mentioned dry brushing...It is similar to stenciling...I got as MUCH of the paint off of the brush as I could and lightly DRY BRUSHED some highlights...DO NOT worry if you got them TOO light, just go over them with the darker colors...I tell you again...IT IS JUST PAINT!...don't stress...you WILL learn by making mistakes...embrace them and get out that blow dryer and just try again!  HAVE FUN!  =)

I printed off a font from the computer to add the writing...I usually freehand most of my writing, BUT I have used the computer a LOT of times...no need to be embarrassed...LOTS of people do that...it is STILL hand painted!  =)  I used Curlz~my FAVORITE font!

That is IT...I will attach a hanger before too long and it will be a small sign...I'm happy with it...I HOPE you have enjoyed seeing HOW I create a design and how simple it is WHEN you break it down step by step ...

I BELIEVE that anyone can do ANYTHING they WISH to learn...It might NOT look like someone's design, BUT I love the idea of making something YOUR OWN...we are ALL UNIQUE INDIVIDUALS and WHEN we learn to LOVE ourselves and learn to EMBRACE our talents, THEN we are on our way to being the WONDERFUL REFLECTION of our MASTER CREATOR....Blessing to YOU...~charlotte ♥

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Christmas Swaps and Gifts...Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Holidays are NOT my favorite things anymore...Since it is only me now, they seem to be days to just REMEMBER how things WERE...I'm not saying that is BAD, because I've had a great life, but they just make me miss having a family.

WITH that said, I ALSO am aware now, probably MORE than ever before at how GREAT my friends are!  I'm in the process of trying to Re-invent holidays and these friends put a smile on my face that helped me get through the long holidays of Christmas.

I was in my first ever ornament swap with a painting group I am in, Tole Painters Unite.  Because of this group, I have made friendships that are as real as the people whom I see on a regular basis...We have laughed and cried together...we have shared JOYS and disappointments...failures and successes and have loved each other through some of the hardest events of our lives...WE ARE BLESSED!

I received cards and wishes from people ALL over the world...a reminder of how important technology can be!

My FIRST swap was with my new friend, Ann Setaro, from Florida.  She has become a cherished lady in my life.  This gingerbread girl is ABSOLUTELY adorable and I look at it and smile...it is still hanging in a special place because I think it can stay out ALL year...

These next ornaments were a swap that I did with a friend that I met in TPU...Malinda Watkins...I just love her and she lives in West TN, not TOO far from where I went to college...What was so cool about this exchange, was that I CHOSE the pieces that I wanted to paint and then I sent them to her...SHE then painted ME the same pieces and sent them to me...

She even painted the BACK of the SNOWMAN!  
how sweet is this!

This is how I painted the star that I sent to Malinda...

And here is the snowman that I painted....

I don't think that I have the Santa Face that I did...It wasn't very cute...I'm sure Malinda will put THAT one on the VERY BACK of her tree...ROFL...it's ok...I sent her another cute one to make up for it...;)

Suzanne Bills from California sent me this darling sticker...I can't wait until it gets WARM so I can put it on my car...I LOVE THIS!

Next came this SILLY ornament from My friend, Ramona...I am STILL not sure that it isn't a replica of HER as she is in ALL of her GLORY!

This is another ornament that was sent to me from a SECRET SANTA from my TPU Groupies!

This is from another friend that I met in Facebook.  His son proudly serves in the Military.  I had the honor of having lunch with Mother's cousin, Richard and his wife when they came to Nashville during the late summer...WHAT a great family...Richard's work is AMAZING....Click HERE  to go to Richard's Facebook page.

My friend, Janice from Colorado sent me this ornament that made me REALLY LAUGH out LOUD...sadly, I don't think I HAVE changed my ways, BUT Janice and others remain HOPEFUL for me...Click HERE to go to Janice's Facebook page...her work is SUPER DOOPER CUTE!!

Another one of my dearest friends that I have met on Facebook is an AMAZING artist...her scroll work is WONDERFUL...she is a contributor to a popular woodworking magazine and well, I don't need to go on and on about her because you can visit her page by clicking  HERE AND also by going to her blog...I have the link on the right side of my blog...PLEASE visit and see for YOURSELF!

I was HONORED to have one this WONDERFUL piece on Facebook by another great friend, Wendy...I told her that people SAY that a picture does NOT do something justice and they say it JUST to have something to say, BUT oh my GOODNESS...this picture does NOT do this piece justice...the details are AMAZING...WHILE I KNOW we all are given different gifts, I wouldn't mind being given a LITTLE BIT of the sculpting gift, BUT NOW I have a REAL gift of this awesome snowman candle holder!  Click  HERE to go Visit Wendy's Facebook page to see more of her AMAZING creations...

The last thing I want to share is from the Adorable Nicole...NOW not many people KNOW her name is NICOLE because her Facebook name is Jandn...LOL...she is our very own WELL KEPT secret.  I have given her the hardest time about her wearing her BIG-A$$ Glasses in ALL of her pictures...she is a BEAUTIFUL lady--inwardly and outwardly--and NOT many people get to see her...SO she sent me this pair of GLASSES so I could be like HER when I grow up...we MIGHT have to wait awhile for THAT to happen...Funny thing about the glasses, Charlie seems to LIKE them too!!

Do you UNDERSTAND WHY I say I am so blessed?  I LOVE my friends...I am THANKFUL for each and every kind act that has been shown to me...THANKS, GUYS...YOU ROCK!  I will have MORE to share before too long because I am currently in four different swaps!  I LIKE to spread the LOVE...I HOPE that EACH of you FEELS the LOVE that surrounds YOU...Blessings to YOU...~charlotte♥

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

To Dream...Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Quick, without thinking, Say the ONE thing that you wish you had RIGHT this very moment….ok…GO….(silence as I wait for you to answer…I’m singing Happy Birthday to you…WHY?  Because that is what we are told to sing when we wash our hands so that we wash them long enough…SOOOOO, I thought it would give you enough time IF I sang it now as a way to TIME myself as I wait in SILENCE for YOU to answer….Happy Birthday, dear…hmmm…wonder if anybody I know has a birthday today?....dear….LA LA….Happy Birthday to YOU…)  =)

Ok…THAT one THING that you wished to have…can you get it?  Is it possible to get it today?  Or tomorrow or is it something that will take a while to get?  PROBABLY, MANY of you wished for the cold weather to GO AWAY…WELL, hang on, it won’t be LONG until YOU are complaining about being TOO HOT…sigh…


I think a lot about dreams and goals.  I wonder what I can do to make some of my dreams a bit more profitable.  I wonder how to make my goals productive.  I wonder HOW I keep getting myself into doing MORE work that feels AS IF I am simply spinning my wheels and going in circles getting nowhere…BUT THEN, that one little sale happens and I smile and think:  AH, this is it!  I’m on my way again…

I posted the other day on Facebook that I miss the days when I could simply sign my name WITHOUT shamelessly promoting myself…yes, I laugh, but part of me misses those days of olde…sigh…the GOOD OLE DAYS…ROFL…

For Facebook, click HERE
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It is a fine line to PROMOTE oneself without being too pushy or getting on someone’s LAST nerve…it’s that nerve BEFORE the last nerve that we are targeting!  =)

Dreams are what gets us through the tough times.  Life without dreams is sad…BUT again, we have that “fine line” that we need to keep in mind—we MUST be content and appreciate WHERE we are and WHAT we have, BUT with a desire to obtain a bit more…hmmmm…clear as mud, right?

I wonder how many of us have the same dreams we had when we were younger?  I also wonder how many dreams in our life that we have obtained…how many dreams that we no longer wish to reach…how many dreams we have allowed OTHERS to destroy...

My DREAM for the moment is a Banana Split…WELL, it is obtainable, BUT it is 11:30 at night, 15 degrees and I have NO desire to take a shower and get dressed to go get it, SO where does that place MY dream…PERHAPS as a Dream Deferred…
These were created by my SWEET friend, Maria Willtrout
I guess you can tell that I LOVE to laugh…THAT is what has gotten me through some tough times…I’ve lost my ability to laugh and I hope to NEVER have that happen again…

Yesterday, I shared a punch line that Mother and I would say MANY times.  I commented that I didn’t remember the joke, well, most of it, but I remember the punch line.  Somebody shared the Joke with me, so I wanted to make sure that you have ONE opportunity to laugh today…Life is hard enough, so we need to grab ALL of those funny moments that we can…Enjoy your day and I wish you MANY MANY dreams and…Blessings to YOU…~charlotte♥

The joke is:  A woman with a humpback was sitting like a wall flower at a dance. No one asked her to dance because of her back. A man with a wooden eye finally worked up the courage and said "Would you like to dance?" And she said "Would I, WOULD I!" And he yelled back" Humpback, Humpback!”

Monday, January 27, 2014

Random Ramblings...Monday, January 27, 2104

WELL, I think I have officially BECOME my mother…I watched the Grammy’s last night and I found Beyonce’s opening act to be offensive to being a LADY and found it QUITE Vulgar and crass…Don’t bother sending me nasty comments, I don’t CARE…It is MY opinion…ugh…Boy, I’m glad MY MOMMA never acted like that!!!!!! As Mother would have said, TRASH, TRASH, TRASH…she would have been right…

I did, however, find many moments that brought a smile to my face.  I LOVED what LL Cool J had to say in his opening about MUSIC and how it joins us TOGETHER…I was proud of the way that most people acted in being respectful of each other.  It was good to see so many different genres of music being performed and how much respect was shown to the performers…NO, I do NOT get heavy metal…and most hip hop makes me grab the remote control so fast, your head will spin…BUT all in all it was a good show.

I love music and I have had YEARS of taking piano, organ, and voice lessons…NO, I’m no expert, but I DO understand Music and have a WORKING knowledge of music…I KNOW when someone is FLAT, or off-key and I can tell when voices blend and when they don’t…I’ve directed too many choir numbers to count…I’ve played so many preludes, postludes and offertories that I would need LOTS of people to lend me their fingers…I had someone IMPLY that I didn’t know what I was talking about recently when I made a comment about a singing show when I shared my opinion…ODD thing is, I DID know what I was talking about, but even with THAT, it was JUST my opinion.  It SURE was NOT worth arguing about…

I’ve learned that there is no need to argue with people in life…We believe what we believe and SELDOM do we care to change our beliefs…Sad, huh!!  We have so much to learn from each other when we open our ears, hearts and hard heads…When we apologize to someone that we offend, THEN that is really all we can do…it is THEIR problem at that point…

I’ve also discovered that there are SOME people out there who DON’T care about my Opinion…GASP!!!!  ROFL…

When I would make comments about a certain singer, my mother would often say, WELL, they are singing ALL the way to the BANK…yep, I reckon…;)

I love to learn about other people and what makes them tick…I’ve learned which friends I can have these discussions with though…LOL…I enjoy hearing what and WHY people believe as they do, and I have found that SO MANY people really have no clue WHY they believe in something…FEW have ever done the research…THAT frustrates me…

I can go along with MANY things that people say, BUT NEVER will I be able to ACCEPT those who BELIEVE that the KING JAMES VERSION is the ONE and ONLY Bible…sigh…Repeat after me…THE KING JAMES VERSION OF THE BIBLE IS A TRANSLATION…IT is NO different than ANY other translation…I always thought this was something that people said, UNTIL one day, I had left my car radio on a country, small town radio and I turned the car on and could NOT move BECAUSE the preacher was telling ME and every other listener that THEY WERE going to HELL IF they did NOT use the KJV…REALLY?  I always ask people WHY they believe this and they have NEVER been able to tell me WHY other than that is just what they have been taught…THAT is another subject I’ve learned to leave alone…WELL, except for JUST now…LOL..I DO WONDER if these people realize that what we call the BIBLE, was originally written in Greek and Hebrew…HOW many people do YOU know that KNOW Greek and Hebrew…;)…I wonder if they REALIZE that there are BOOKS that were CHOSEN not to be included in the Bible that we have today?

I guess I’m in a ramblin’ mood today…I NEED to go to sleep, BUT as soon as I do, then MY BOYS start acting up…Roamie GUARDS his food bowl from Barney…He sleeps RIGHT next to it most of the time…AND Roamie will start eating his food when Barney gets on HIS blanket…Barney just sleeps and Roamie eats and BARKS at the cat…the CAT does NOT care…What Roamie does NOT understand is that WHEN he goes to sleep, THEN Barney comes and eats the food, or takes it out with his paw as he looks for that PERFECT piece to play ice hockey with on the floor…I can’t win..

Roamie is eating EVEN thought Barney has moved on...
This is Barney's reaction to Roamie Barking at him...NOTHING!

Tonight Barney came over to the couch walking around with a mouse in his mouth…After playing with the mouse and knocking over my artwork, I am sure the mouse escaped…THAT is now two for two that has gotten away…grrrr…WELCOME to my corner of the world…

This is what happens when Roamie goes to sleep...yep, that the beginning of the PILE he takes out...

I hope that Today will be a GREAT DAY…STAY WARM and safe and HAVE FUN…Listen to the Music that makes YOU happy…Read the translation of the BIBLE that makes YOU happy…Snuggle with THOSE that make you happy…JUST BE HAPPY…Blessings to YOU…~charlotte♥

Sunday, January 26, 2014

After Church Dinners, Sunday, January 26, 2014

Sundays take me back to times gathered around a table sharing a meal with friends or family.  When I was younger, people would go to each other’s homes after church, but as we got older, this practice stopped…a lot of things have stopped from the “old days”.

I can remember the hustle and bustle of Mother in the kitchen trying to get things ready for the meal after church as she tried to hurry us along to get up and get ready.  At my house, the meal wasn’t the problem, the CLEANING of the house was the problem…As a FLETCHER, I BELIEVE it is our heritage to NOT throw anything away…sigh…

In TRUE SOUTHERN form, a meal was not merely a meat and three, but at LEAST a two meat and eight…HEAVEN forbid that one should serve SOMETHING that was not liked by SOMEONE…In my family alone, choosing two meats was not easy for I had a brother who ate NO chicken and NO soup or Gravy and another brother who ate EVERYTHING, EXCEPT liver…My Father liked what he liked and he had NO problem with the things he didn’t eat, he just left them for others, BUT he DID want his gravy with EVERY meal that warranted gravy!

Country Ham, Roast and Chicken were staples at my house.  Hot Chicken Salad was gobbled down as LONG as nothing crunchy was put in it…sigh…yep, that was DADDY…Personally, I love water chestnuts as long as they are cut into smaller pieces…I don’t like the BIG pieces…Celery just adds to the flavor in my opinion!

Mother was one of the BEST bread makers around and thought NOTHING of getting up and making biscuits…and her yeast rolls were some of the best things to EVER be placed in your mouth—EVER…That was most everyone’s favorite part of having company, because she would have at least four pans of rolls…Toasted Buttered rolls the next morning is a TREAT that I still miss.

Two of my favorite things to have when we had company was a spinach salad with HOMEMADE Poppy Seed dressing and then to have Homemade Shortbread served with fresh fruit…oh my…I’m hungry JUST thinking about it.  Oh, and frozen Cranberry Salad is ALSO one of my favorite things too…it is SO pretty on a plate.

Mother taught me that making food PLEASING to the eye was just as important as it being healthy AND if you would choose foods from all the color groups, then usually you would have most of your vitamins covered.

I thought I would share some recipes today for quick and easy things that I LOVE…To me, taking time to prepare a HOMEMADE meal for those you love is just one of the best things you can DO…AND when you place your feet together under a table, I think there is NO PROBLEM that can’t be solved by sharing the burdens of the day…TOGETHER really is the BEST place to be…Enjoy being with those you love and don’t FORGET to tell them that you love them…Blessings to YOU…~charlotte♥

Poppy Seed Dressing
½ cup sugar
1 teaspoon grated onion
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1 teaspoon celery seed
¼ cup vinegar
1 cup salad oil
Approximately 1 Tablespoon Poppy seed (optional…and LESS if you don’t want as many…well, duh, huh!!)

Combine all ingredients except vinegar and oil.  Beat thorough as you dribble oil and vinegar alternately.  This makes a grand glossy dressing to serve over fresh or canned fruit.

My favorite SALAD to use this dressing on is:
Baby Spinach Leaves
Slices of well-drained Mandarin Oranges
Pecans that have been toasted

Scottish Shortbread
1 cup of BUTTER (NOT margarine), softened
½ sugar
2 cups of flour

Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Gradually add flour and beat on medium until smooth…It will take about 5 minutes to beat this with your mixer.  Spread evenly in a ungreased 9x13 pan.  Bake in 300 degree oven for 30-40 minutes until lightly brown.  Immediately after removing from the over, prink all over with a fork and cut into small squares.  BEST served at room temperature.

Avis’ Chicken Casserole
1 cup cooked rice
½ cup chopped celery (finely chopped)
2 cups cut up cooked chicken
2 Tablespoons of chopped onion
1 can cream of mushroom or chicken soup
¾ cup mayonnaise or salad dressing.

Mix all together and place in a baking dish.  Top with
1 cup corn flakes (crushed)
2 Tablespoons of melted butter…Mix these two together and place on top of the chicken.

Bake 40 -45 minutes at 350.

Frozen Cranberry Salad

1 can of WHOLE cranberries—mash with a fork to break up the big pieces
1 large can of crushed pineapple, drained well
2 large Bananas, mashed
1 Regular Sized contained of Cool Whip, thawed (the original recipe called for REAL whipped cream, but Mother couldn’t have dairy food, so I made this change)
A couple of hands of mini marshmallows
A dash of salt
IF you wish, you may add chopped pecans, toasted
AND if you really like SWEET, add a can of Eagle Brand milk…I don’t, but it is good!

Mix together and place in cupcake wrappers placed in a cupcake pan to hold their shape…You can also place this in a square container…just be sure to remove for a bit so you can cut it!

This recipe can be served frozen…BUT if you want to make it a refrigerator Salad, use a can of Cherry Pie filling INSTEAD of the Cranberries…My niece LOVED this and she called it PINK SALAD…for some reason, I don’t like the cherries frozen as well as the cranberries!

Happy cooking QUICK and EASY!  =)

Both of these patterns can be found as INSTANT downloads in my etsy shop...click  HERE to go directly to MY SHOP...=)