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!

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Thanksgiving on the Back Porch, Thursday, November 26, 2015

Blogger must be off for the holidays, so no cute inspirational graphics...just me and my words..

I don’t think it is a great secret that I wish I could just scooch past holidays without having to comment to individuals…the questions of DID YOU HAVE A GOOD DAY…WHAT DID YOU DO…and so forth, you know, those words we offer out of kindness…Those words almost push me into a state of SHEER FEAR, for I have no satisfactory answer, other than fine…

USUALLY, the day was NOT fine, but who really wants to hear that! I have learned that is the simplest way to have people exit your life…who wants to have a “Debbie downer” around~~ my apologizes to all those named “Debbie”.

I feel great sadness as I see the postings of wishes for the day…of talk of family gatherings…or the food that is being prepared to share with a family…Tears flow quite easily…I numbly scroll through them TRYING to muster the joy that they were meant to illicit…I don’t begrudge their wishes, they are just painful for me to see.

I have spent most of the day on the back porch throwing a rawhide (yes, for those of you who are my FB friends, it IS the one with Parfum De Urine {said in my sexiest French voice, but remember, I am 53 and single, so it isn’t very sexy}) with Charcoal.  I have enjoyed the warm sunshine (don’t hate on me because it is around 70 and I am sitting outside barefooted with my pjs on) beaming down on my face.  As I sat here with my eyes closed and them glowing orange from the beautiful sunshine, I have, once again, been transported to the days of having a family…

I looked at the cabin~~old and falling down, like many of the memories~~ and flashed back to the numerous times I was on my belly trying to lure some new kittens out for me to play with…I was AMAZING at catching new kittens.  I could out-wait those little suckers like a Hawk eyeing its prey…funny, for a gal who has no patience!  Having my hands scratched and bitten until bleeding was never a deterrent for me.  I would hold the kitty, pat them and talk soft words of reassurance to them until I felt I had to let them go, only for the chase to begin a little later…poor kitties…

I remembered the days of playing catch with the middle child…I was and am still AWFUL at catching.

Most days were spent playing with Brian, my brother who is 2 years older. I recounted the games of HORSE…jumping off the roof of the small shed…swinging until the swing set shook…walking to the pond to watch the bullfrogs jump in and hoping to see a turtle…skimming stones into the water…running into the house crying because Brian was trying out his “ras-lin” moves on me or giving me an Indian burn…watching the spiders weave their webs or catch their prey…following Daddy around like a little puppy…being awakened as he carried me back from the field because I feel asleep to the hum of the tractor (BEST pacifier for a kid EVER)…running into the house to show Mother something I had found~~she was NEVER too busy to stop and look and to comment…countless walks down the road (barefooted) on the blazing hot blacktop to go to the milk house to see Daddy, Son and Bob and to put the feed into the trays for the cows…

I recalled the SOUNDS that once were in our home…the family gatherings that were filled with laughter…conversations…food…love…Now, the silence aches.

I have reflected on the posts about the “empty chairs” and have come to the conclusion that those empty chairs, through death, are often a part of the scheme of life, BUT what saddens me more, is how those “empty chairs” should have been filled with new life…new children…new in-laws…new friends and the fact that they remain empty, breaks my heart…

I don’t think I will ever understand the dynamics of a family.  To have had such a wonderful group of Godly people who taught us what is important and how we are to act, and yes, THREATENING to haunt us if EVER we fought over material things…HOW could it have gone so wrong?  But then, I realize, we all make choices and choices ALWAYS have consequences…There is no fighting…only deafening SILENCE…

Thankfully, tomorrow is another day (SCARLET…um, Sheila)…and with it will come the newness of the day…a clean slate…another chance to make a positive difference in the world…to try just a bit harder, to accept the consequences of the choices I have made or have had to accept because of the choices OTHERS have made…it is all just called LIFE…

We take the good, we take the bad, and there we have~~the Facts of LIFE!  ;)  
Lest I be accused of being the Thanksgiving Grumpy Green Guy, I DID fix me and Charcoal some crunchy cornbread and some cream of chicken to go over it...He liked it VERY much...we also had popcorn with butter and Coke (he eats the ice).

My apologizes for those feeling sad for me right now…please don’t because I REALLY am FINE…I just have a little problem with 3D people, these days.  I do much better with the flat-screen type!

I have counted my blessings and have prayed several prayers of Thanksgiving…I am glad that I have chosen to live my life THANKFULLY each day, not relying on only ONE appointed day to Give Thanks.  

Challenges are not unique to only me…we all have them~~some by our own choice, and some just because LIFE happens and we sometimes, really do reap what we sow!  BUT most of the time, I think we are granted GRACE and MERCY and given SO MUCH BETTER than we deserve…

I am one who has gotten SO MUCH BETTER than I deserve!  The foundations laid for me in my past have helped make my journey so blessed.  I am counting my blessings today…YOU have crossed my path and have made a difference in my life, so I offer THANKS for that…I’m not so sad…just waxing sentimental…

IF you are reading this, MAKE TIME for those you love…if you are in a relationship that makes you CHOOSE to leave your family or friends, PLEASE get counseling, because that is NOT how God wants us to be…STOP nit-picking your family apart…support them…accept them…love them, because I PROMISE the things you don’t like in someone else, can be FOUND in YOU (my momma taught me that!)…the next time you get ticked because your husband left his dirty socks on the floor, just throw yours down there with them and laugh your butt off instead of being angry over something that does NOT matter in the grand scheme of life.  Quit telling your friends what is WRONG with your spouse, or making sexist jokes, because they destroy a relationship…Tell your friends about the AMAZING things that you love about your spouse, your in-laws, your children and extended family! It is a HABIT…make it a good habit.

Oh my little peeps, life is so short…so fragile…so important!  SEEK ye FIRST, the kingdom of God and ALL these things will be added unto YOU…I send Blessings to You that are too many to count!...~charlotte

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

I just wanted a sandwich... Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Funny how the most mundane of tasks can conjure so many memories...

I seem to be remembering lots of things here lately and I'm not sure why.

I think a lot has to do with all that is going on in the world and being reminded that all we have is this moment and it seems so many of my moments are in the past.

Don't get me wrong, I am doing the best I can to live in the present, because I DO believe that life is a GIFT.  I am trying to be the example I was raised to be and to reflect the values that I was taught.  

I am having a great time thinking of new things to create...to try new products...new styles...still learning!

My heart breaks at the tragedies~~both natural and man made~~ that happen on a daily basis...

Lately, my heart is heavy with the posts I have been seeing...it has caused me many moments in deep prayer WONDERING what I can do to make it better... 

My soul is CONFUSED at those who CLAIM to be Christians, but at the same time, posting the most HATEFUL, NASTY, non-accurate, posts about our President...You do NOT have to like Him or HIS politics, but you do NOT have the right to say MEAN-spirited HATEFUL things about him and his family and if you think you do, you BEST pull out that Bible of yours that MUST have dust on it and READ and READ and LEARN what the Bible says about HOW we are to treat people...EVEN our enemies...I am not sure how many more people I can unfollow on fb, but it seems to be a daily event...I have NO DESIRE to have THAT FILTH to infiltrate my mind and creep into my soul, because IT WILL...hate breeds HATE, even in what we post...

Mother taught me that LITTLE EYES ARE WATCHING YOU and she was right...EVERYTHING we do, someone is sitting on the sidelines looking at us, and MANY are just waiting for us to mess up.  Christians have enough trouble, by nature, with others wanting us to fail, so when we hand them the ammunition, we have no one to blame but ourselves.  I pray for all of us because WE ARE WHAT WE POST...Is THAT what you would want posted about YOU or YOUR family?

Oh, well, I will just keep trying my best to be a better example for people and MAYBE, just MAYBE someone will want to learn about the God that I do my best to serve...I sure am HUMAN, and I fail daily, but I get up and try again...and I try not to use that stupid excuse of "we are just human", all the while not even TRYING, because EVERYONE is human, but as a Christian, we HAVE the example to follow and we have a God who thinks we are worth it, so I will do my best to be a better example each minute that I am given.

As I was making a tuna fish sandwich tonight, I separated half for Charcoal and he likes the liquid (ok, so I GIVE him the liquid and he eats it...LOL), I instantly flashed back to spending Sunday afternoons with my friend, Teresa, at her house.  Her mother would have chicken salad and tuna salad for us to make our own sandwiches.  Sometimes, she would have the "fancy" chicken salad made with french dressing and celery~~yummy...we only got that at my house when we had a Bridal Tea...I LOVE celery!

I was taken back to lazy days with my friend, who had a cat that looked just like MORRIS on the cat food commercials...we would walk to her Grandparent's house and "break in" and "steal" a frozen fruit pop...we would pick strawberries to eat from their patch out back...we would just laugh and share silly girl hopes and dreams and all the time swearing to NEVER leave each other because we would always be best friends...

BUT things change, as we cynical adults know...people go different directions...get different friends...develop different values and interests...and then one day, you get a call that your friend has been killed in a wreck...and the pain is still present after 32 years as you realize just how important those little girl hopes and dreams really were!

We only have the moment...

HOW do you WANT to be remembered?  

HOW do you WANT people to KNOW WHO YOU ARE?  Look at your FB WALL and see if it is a TRUE REFLECTION of the LOVE that you have deep inside...

Remember, that so many men and women have given their time and in many instances, their lives, in SERVICE to give us the FREEDOM to disagree with each other, but as I UNDERSTAND it, it is OUR responsibility to HONOR their service by the WAY we treat OTHERS...

People are not only killed with weapons, but by our WORDS...Remember when someone said something bad about you?  Did you enjoy it?  Remember THAT FEELING before you hit SHARE...

One of my favorite songs that I used to sing was "Don't Let Another Wounded Soldier Die"...MANY are fighting on the front lines for our freedom...HATE has no place in this world, because it will FESTER and well, the horrible slaughter in Paris is what can happen...

KINDNESS MATTERS...LOVE your NEIGHBOR as yourself...and that just MIGHT be the problem, because if we don't learn to love ourselves, then is there hope?

Be a Reflection of the LOVE that God sent in His Son, Jesus Christ..If your words are not a reflection of Him, then don't hit SEND....I wish Blessings to YOU...~charlotte

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Peter Piper Painted Pumpkins, a Peck of Painted Pumpkins... ;) Saturday, November 14, 2015

Do NOT say you CANNOT, instead TRY!

 When I had my make it/take it classes, I had several people who told me that I had a gift to break down steps that helped to make painting simple.
 I took that as a great compliment.

DecoArt is my favorite brand of paints and I have used them for over 20 years. I added Fabric Painting Medium to my regular acrylics.  I am so happy to be a Helping Artist with DecoArt.
 I recently got an order for 36 of these little bitty canvas bags (about 5 inches square) and I thought you might like to see how easy it is to paint a pumpkin on canvas...well, actually, you can paint it on ANYTHING, but if you do, you will probably need to use better brushes.
draw an squished circle...and color it in
 Canvas is a rougher surface and I find that those CHEAPO white bristle brushes are perfect for painting on canvas...sure they shed like crazy, but just let it dry and wipe them off~~no biggie.

I turn my surface in all directions when I paint...draw the right "hump" onto the center "hump" and color it in
 I was out of those cheapo brushes, so I just used what I had...something we should all learn! (preaching to the choir, huh?)

Draw a left "hump" onto the center hump and color it in...that is the shape of your pumpkin!

IF you absolutely do not wish to paint, you can create these using your favorite medium of choice~~these would look GREAT made with bling~~draw on the pumpkin and glue the rhinestones/sequins/glitter on...

With the same brush you were using, draw the corner through the brown paint
 Or you could use fusing material (yep...it has a name~~no clue at the moment WHAT it is!) and add fabric pumpkins...again, you can outline them with bling...

I showed how to shade each section, but if you wish, you can go around the outside edges and then add the two center lines

Do I seem to be stuck on BLING???  
Hey, a girl can NEVER have too much bling...or can she??

with the edge of your brush that has the brown paint on it, shade the outline of the pumpkin...this is just exactly like taking a pencil/marker and drawing around something, only you are doing it with a brush.
 If you stitch, then stitch on a pumpkin...or use whatever YOUR FAVORITE craft is...just USE your talent.
add some lines to add some dimension to the painting...you don't have to do this, but I think it adds a lot for such a simple step.
I think these would make awesome gifts for your upcoming Thanksgiving Holiday...or make them with Christmas designs (by ALL means, do NOT leave them simply painted RED...I don't think my soul could stand the stampede of HATERS...)
using a liner to add the stem and the fancy smansy line, which is easy to do if you go slowly!
 SO, I have all these bags, what do I do with them? 
Pulling your work TOWARD you is so much easier, so again, upside down the pumpkin goes as I add the line work,  The stem is simply the dark chocolate.
 WELL, you can fill them with pip berries, as I have~~hang them on a doorknob, the spindle of a chair to help decorate the table area...hang them on a peg or the knob of a side table/dresser...

Add Honey Brown to the stem to add a highlight
 OR fill them with: Candy, a candle, supplies to make one of these, a piece of  jewelery, supplies for a cheeseball or your favorite spice mix...really, any small gift can fit in these and if you wish, personalize them~~EVEN ADULTS love to get personalized gifts!!
With an old scruffy brush, load some Marigold on the bristles, but wipe almost ALL of the color off...then scrub this in the middle of each section as a highlight.
 In each of the pictures throughout this post, I have shown you step by step how to paint a pumpkin...it really is that easy!

 The pumpkins are painted wet on wet...meaning the paint is wet when you do the next step and this helps to blend the colors together and makes them very fast to paint....but be very careful not to get your hand in it and smear it...but if you do, take a clean cloth and wipe off the mess and continue...

You don't have to worry about the shape of your pumpkin because they come in all shapes and sizes!!

Have fun creating...Get family and/or friends to have a craft night or day...it builds friendships and gives you LOTS of laughs...

Do not worry about not being a pro...the only way I know to get better at something is to keep practicing, unless, well, you are a GENIUS and able to create on demand, and in that case, you are one lucky dog!!

Embrace the creativity in YOU...Share what you love to do...and ALWAYS pay kindness forward....Blessings to YOU...~charlotte

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Serendipity ... Tuesday, November 10, 2015


What a frustrating day trying to find the note that was enclosed!!

Yep...the pup...I had opened the box on the back porch as the pup played and he brought me a stick only to promptly get it wrapped in my purse and dump EVERYTHING on the ground...sigh...

After searching high and low and outside again and again, I found the note INSIDE my purse...I guess Charcoal was just helping me to put it in a safe place...silly pup!

The note read:  This is made of cedar and finished with Danish oil.  The little bird is cut from Tru Stone, a material turners use to make pens.

And then the cute little Pup...oh dear me!!

The note continued:  The other two items I left unfinished in the hopes you will enjoy painting them.   

Me:  I think I should name this pup FRECKLES!  

And THEN to be able to see how she cut this cute little owl was amazing to me!!  Funny, My scroll saw doesn't do ANYTHING like this!  =)

The note continued: I left one enclosed in the block to show how they are cut.  Open it up, there's a surprise inside!  Just throw away the pieces that fall out.  They were all made on the scroll saw, which is my area of expertise,  I only dabble at painting and it isn't something I'll ever do that well...lol  But it's given me something to do while being sick so long.

The owl and puppy are made of sugar pine (smell it, it's my favorite perfume...)...Diana

This package smelled like the stripping room where Daddy cut wood...nothing smells better than fresh cut wood!

I have had a woodsie candle burning tonight in hopes of bringing more memories to my mind...aaaaaahhhh~~peace....

Thank you, Diana...you have no idea how special this was to me!

What a TREAT...Today, I am thankful for serendipitous gifts...I hope that all who read this KNOW the joy of getting something like this in the mail for absolutely no reason...Be sure to live your life paying it forward.  The one thing I am sure about that has been proven to me time and time again, is that you CANNOT OUT GIVE GOD...I wish BLESSINGS TO YOU...~charlotte

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Embrace Life, Thursday, November 5, 2015

I fear I will have to apologize in every post until I do better, for the poor pictures…Taking a picture without being able to SEE what you are photographing is quite adventurous, but it is what it is and it will do until I find a new camera…so Use your imagination that the colors are bright, vivid and have no glare!

It started on an unseasonably warm November Day in Middle Tennessee. 

Everything was going well when I decided that I wanted to give Tracy’s stamp that I had won a try.  I just had a simple project in my mind and knew it wouldn’t take too long.

I began to read the directions on the back of the stamps, and that is when I took a turn down the daisy hole (sorry, there were no rabbits in sight)…

The directions said to  “stamp on scrap paper the very first 2 or three times to prime the stamps”.  I had no scrap paper where I was sitting, so I just decided to try them on my 8x10 canvas that was in my lap and I would just paint over it~~no biggie.


I stamped and stamped and stamped, and then ONE MORE stamp for good measure…I got up to go wash off the stamps because I was not going to use them until I had, in my mind, covered the canvas in pretty bright colors and then I was going to STAMP on top of that for a hippie-style daisy…it was going well…

I came back and pulled out the white gesso and painted it in criss-cross patterns to give some texture….still going well as I pulled out ye olde hairdryer.

Things suddenly took a turn…not your normal style of painting…after all, I have been creating something since a little kid, and I am now OLD and know that all projects have a proper logical order and in painting, one should always paint the back ground FIRST and build from there…yeah, Momma said that since I was a baby, if she said the sky was BLUE, I would say, “No, it’s (insert color here)…”  I am saying that I knew my colors as a small child and THAT is the story I am sticking to (it had nothing to do with me being a disagreeable child who argued since she learned to speak…heavy sigh.)

I thought I would just pull out a color and paint the petals and the center and it would give me a direction to go to when I would place the flowers at their proper time~~LAST.

Diarylide Yellow filled the centers/leaves/stems and  Pyrrole Orange colored the petals (ok…I painted 38 pumpkins for an order yesterday and I needed to know that Orange could be used for more things than just a pumpkin!)

Ok…I kinda like that…so I pulled out some of my favorite colors and just started painting in the background  (careful and don’t get on my petals, the mind YELLED!) with Quinacridone Violet (what is wrong with just saying VIOLET??) and then Quinacridone Magenta (really?  I’m Southern…what do you think that is going to sound like when I attempt to say it???)

Next came some Cobalt Teal Hue and some Blue Green Light on the leaves/stems….OH YES…Pretty colors…see how they change colors as I add layers…I love playing with these paints!

 I roughly dry-brushed my favorite color, Phtalo Turquoise (again???...what is that word…ok…so, I am at least familiar with this word from my one watercolor class in college…see Mom, I did learn something other than to burp on command!)…Look how it changes colors with each color I paint over…isn’t that the coolest thing ever!  Can I tell you how much I love COLORS!

I thought I might as well go with it now, so I pulled out the Carbon Black and outlined the flowers…I really should have taken more time with this, but I was just playing…still learning how to do this style…

This experiment sure had taken a dark tone, so I pulled out the drywall tape and scruffed in some Titanium White and added the word to the top…added some curly q’s and I am calling it DONE and you know what…I LIKE IT!!  I did attach the “embrace Life” with Matte Medium.  I had stamped it on the envelop that my stamp came in…I need some more work on stamping the words…so I went over the words with my black pen…

OK, Tracy, I will absolutely understand that the next time you have your husband pick a number, that you will tell him to pick a number between 1-100, but stay as far away from 79 (or whatever my number happens to be) as possible…I’m sorry…I KNOW this isn’t how we are SUPPOSED to use stamps, and MAYBE one day I will do better, but I sure am not going to promise that!

Thank you, Tracy, for the inspiration that you give to me and to countless others…your caring heart shines in your creations and I am so glad that our paths have crossed…

If you don't, Please follow Tracy on her website/blog to learn the PROPER way to do things!  =)  This will take you to Tracy's website.  You can also join her on many Monday Nights to see her create a project in about 1 hour (find them on You Tube)...You can LIKE her also, on facebook...she is EVERYWHERE and of course, she is the DecoArt Education Coordinator...my FAVORITE products and I am so happy to be a Helping Artist with DecoArt!!  Yippie Skippie!

I know, Tracy is thinking “please, don’t let anybody see this, please, don’t let anybody see…OH HI, everybody!”  but you are far too kind to ever utter what is going on in your head out loud (well, most of the time.).  Thanks for letting me play with some of your toys.

Tonight, I embraced LIFE…I LOVE life and am so blessed to simply create…I wish Blessings to YOU…~charlotte

My supply list: I apologize for any misspelled words...

DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics:

Diaryliade Yellow,

Pyrrole Orange

Quinacridone Violet

Quinacridone Magenta

Cobalt Tea Hue

Blue Green Light

Phthalo Turquoise

Carbon Black

Titanium White

Gesso White and Matte Medium