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, April 29, 2016

Food Friday

Oh, yeah baby!

How many of you have summer foods and winter foods? You know, like soup is only for when it is cold, or meat/gravy chicken/dressing...

Mother laughed at me because I did. I didn't want soup in the summer, or really heavy foods, which is kind of silly, since we have air conditioning! I might have forgiven an occasional bowl of soup, but don't ever try serving chili once the temps are about 30°!

This only led to the conversation of "Betty B (mom's friend, and not so good cook) made a pot of chili most every week of the year!"

Good for her, but please don't try that around here!

Lately, I have become salad obsessed.  That is nothing new for me, because, never, have I met a salad of any kind that I didn't like, well, ok, everyone with me--unless it has coconut or raisins!

But with this salad obsession, I have found myself wanting only the most simple of salads--lettuce (romain, iceberg), cucumber, roma tomato--sprinkled with Italian seasonsings, a pinch of salt, a shake of lemon pepper, drizzles of balsamic vinegar and canola oil! Toss really well, and taste the freshness!

As I placed the first bite in my mouth, I found myself praising God for His goodness to me and the ability to taste!  Leave it to me to be brought almost to tears for something so simple. Yep, You are right. It is quite possible that I have crossed the cra cra line!

I am reminded, so often, that so many people have no clue what fresh food tastes like. They have no clue of walking into a store, that we constantly complain about, to see the array of variety. Heck, even the pet aisles are filled with choices, and we throw our own special kind of craziness onto our pets, who, on most days, could care less.

We are spoiled.
We are ungrateful.
We are filled with entitlement, since we seldom have to settle for something as simple as rice or beans, well, unless we WANT rice or beans.

The next time you find yourself complaining because you have to go grocery shopping, stop yourself and offer a moment of praise for the abity to buy most anything you want...and throw in a couple of cans of some good stuff, not the cheapest stuff you can find, to take to someone, or to a food pantry. I think, most of us would be surprised at how many among us are hungry...

Thank You, God, for giving me what I need. Thank You, for loving me, even when I am unlovable. Let my heart reflect the things that matter to YOU. Amen

Have the bestest of days, filled to over flowing with blessings~~charlotte♡

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Whacky Wednesday

This is how Wednesday started at my house. 

Can it get any whackier? 
Silly pup...

On Tuesday,  I have to admit, in the whacky moments,  I had some frusting times that left me crying and missing my Daddy.  As I sat on the lawn mower, with jumper cables attached, I found myself in tears, as I begged God to please, somehow show me what to do.  I was defeated. It was a feeling that I had come to accept far too many times in the last 14 years as I struggled with tasks that were so mundane to Daddy.  Finally, it started. While it was progress,  and I gave thanks to God, after working on this for about 4 hours, I knew that probably, it would mean I must buy a new battery, because it would not hold the charge, which leaves me with more obstacles, but that is just my life, as I have come to accept. I have one more thing to try before I give up.

Lest, I leave you thinking, "poor charlotte", oh, no, let's find the humor in all of this, because another reality I have accepted, is that LAUGHTER is my sanity! One of the last lucid remarks Mother said to me was, "I LOVE to hear you laugh." Sadly, the last months of her life were filled with me crying in hopelessness. I wondered if I would ever laugh again.

My adventure began yesterday with having to cut down those millions...oh, I can hear my "literal mother's" voice ask, "how many?"...ok, thousands...again, "how many"...well, hundreds..."were there really a hundred?"...sigh, no, maybe 10, BUT there were DOZENS of branches on those stupid saplings, and honestly, at what point are they just dumb trees! 

So, I cut the first sappling...the second...third, when all of a sudden, here came the stick man himself to "haul off" the sticks and THUD...onto the ground I went! Holy moly. When da boy works, he works. 

I got those few cut and moved to the side to beging cutting again...whack--stick boy needed THAT STICK, and be dern, if my head was in the way, I would  either move it or get hit..I got hit...

The cutting was enough to get the car moved close, so I gathered da boy in the car, because I would not be driving with him running wild, and oh, what joy to be riding with momma.

Oh, how I need to learn JOY as  Charcoal knows joy! 

Each time, as I went to turn the car on/off to try to get a connection with the jumper cables, Charcoal scampered to crawl in before me--drool dripping off his hassling tongue...how could I stay angry.

Ok, I admit, I wanted to strangle him as he crossed the cable  for fear of him knocking them from the connection.

As the lawn mower started, the conversation from Charcial turned to disdain! He shouted, "For this, I have been helping you! You KNOW how I hate this thing."

Yes, Charcoal, for this...

As I uttered thanks to God for getting me this far, but for a ways to go yet, I was glad that He allowed me to see some good in the four hours of TRYING. Sometimes,  we must find postives in just TRYING. 

Keep praying for me, and let's pray for each other, because this is just how life is. We don't get immunity from things breaking, from bad moments, but what we do get, is an assurance that EVERTHING works out OK, IF you will trust the words of God, that HE WILL provide our every need! Can I get an AMEN! 

Now, here is a WHACKY thought...the next time you get angry with your helper, STOP and think how blessed you are to have him/her, because life is too short and too fleeting to waste on pettiness.  Accept that YOU are not perfect and that same grace given you, must be given to others. GIVE PRAISE for your imperfect helper! 

I'm thankful for Charcoal...he reminded me that all this is just STUFF and JOY is found in the simple things. Just being together is invaluable! 

May you find laughter in those moments of utter despair, because God promised--He PROMISED, you would be OK IF you answer His call to accept Him! 

I pray for you and hope you are finding PEACE and all those blessings around you~~charlotte♡

And I really am fine!♡

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Technique Tuesday

I read the other night that the success to a good blog that grows, is to be consistent…

Ok, I understand that, and I get it…BUT really…ME?  Consistent?

I have been thinking about this “blog thang” for a while.

You know, I have STUFF to share with people, but get frustrated trying to find a way to share…

I was very consistent in posting on my FB business page, but when I get less than the 100 of the 1800 who see it, and am lucky to get 15 LIKES, then why bother?  Don’t get me wrong.  I value those 15 LIKES and who sits behind them because they are somebody who took the time to see what was happening in my little corner of the world.

I want to reach people who NEED to hear what I have to type…who WANT to stop for a moment to visit.  If I can help one person, then that is success in my book.

I realize that if I would simply share my art, and not my faith, I would probably get more people to stop by, BUT you know what, that is NOT my goal.  My faith is every bit a part of me as my art, and if doing one or the other means having to quit doing one or the other, then my FAITH is going to win because without it, there is no art.  My art comes from the gifts that were given to me by God and it is to HIM that all glory and honor belongs, so you see, not sharing ME and my beliefs is not possible.

I get frustrated with blogging because it is kinda silent and gets very little feedback.  I can’t seem to buy a follower, and let me be clear, I have NO DESIRE to have this blog saturated with ads so that it is impossible to read the blog.  I don’t know if I should respond to comments, because I am not sure that people ever see the replies, so what to do about that?  BUT, the numbers show that every post I do gets at least 100 visitors, so I think this might be the winner winner chicken dinner for awhile.

SO, with all these thoughts in mind, I have in my head, come up with a Daily Schedule.  SURELY, I can post at least ONCE a week on ONE of those subjects…I don’t have the goal of posting every day, but would LOVE to have the discipline to post once a week.

These are my thoughts, so far, and yes, they are apt to change if I don’t like them!

Sunday Serendipities~~I remember when Mother discovered this word and its meaning.  I was probably around 13, but it made an impression on me…unexpected blessings…so, when I find an unexpected blessing in my life, I will schedule it for Sunday.

Monday Musings~~This can be anything that comes to my mind…Now, STOP IT…it isn’t that scary~~shame on YOU! ;) (I really do get it, though…ha ha ha ha )

Technique Tuesday~~A day to share how to do something!!  WOW…I know, right!

Whacky Wednesday~~I will try to be Witty…(oh, this can go wrong on so many levels)

Tutorial Thursday~~Yep, same as Tuesday, but on Thursday

Food Friday~~BUT WHAT if I cook something that I want to share on another day?  (tough…it will be Friday!)

Saturday???~~ Oh, dear, I don’t think I got that far…do you see a pattern yet?  I need an S word~~NOOOOOOOO, not that WORD, but it would make me GANTSA, Sheila!  =)  Ok, I will work on that one…

SO, Today is Tuesday, and if I keep going, I will have already blown my attempt at being consistent, so quick, let me share SOMETHING…not just SOMETHING, but a TECHNIQUE.

Remember my friend, Erin, that I told you about last post?  Well, she was buying art supplies and said having a kid in school sure is expensive with all the “extras” they have to do.  I told her, and I meant it, that if she needed something ARTSY sometime, to let me know, and I would help her out…crap…she already asked…BWAH…I don’t mind.  My only problem is getting it where it belongs at the proper time, BECAUSE I have discovered that not everyone is up at 2am on purpose…What is up with that??

SOOOOOOO…grab yourself a piece of scrap wood, and join me.  Grab DecoArt Americana Tuscan Red, DecoArt Americana Lamp Black and DecoArt Americana Titanium White and a piece of dry wall tape~~yep, the kind that you use to repair dry wall. (OK, if you grab different colors, I won’t tell, and I won’t know, unless you tell me.)

JoByrns School colors are Red/Black (I hope, still, cause they are the Red Devils, maybe still?). 

I thought I would show you an easy background to make for a sign.

First, I stippled (this basically means that I pouched the paint on without brushing it on…this helps to give it some texture)Red all over the little sign.  I bought these pieces of wood at one of the craft stores.  It is about 3 x 7…This would be a great sign to tie on the outside of packages.

Since I didn’t want the colors to mix, I let the red dry, and YEP, I used my ever faithful hair dryer to speed the process along…Patience in not one of my virtues, at all.  I have accepted that. IF you are using other colors, and not keeping your background to specific colors, by all means, let the colors blend together to form other colors~~that is more fun that I can explain!

Next, I took Lamp Black and stippled it randomly on the piece, but not too much since the lettering was going to be Lamp Black also. Again, out came the hair dryer to speed things along.

I took the dry wall tape and used it as a stencil to add Lamp Black…Dry again…Then add the Tuscan Red, being sure to stencil over those Lamp Black blotches you added.  This ensures that the Red Texture will show, and yes, stencil some Tuscan Red over the Tuscan Red.  It adds texture.

I pulled out a stencil I had gotten as a gift in an order from Laurie Speltz.  I used a make-up sponge (those rubbery triangles) and used them to stencil on the words…whew, it was a tight squeeze, but was just perfect!

Now, this is the word of advice that I will offer to all who want to create with paint.  ALWAYS have a NICE LINER.  This is the work horse of doing good painting.  I don’t think anyone has to ever be able to draw a straight line, but I do think one must learn to use a liner.  Learn to properly thin your paint and then, you can conquer the world, as long as it means knowing how to use a liner brush (see, I’m trying to squeeze Whacky Wednesday in here, too…I see trouble ahead.)

My other word of advice~~if you mess up, make it look like it was MEANT to be that way.  I did a HORRIBLE job of stenciling, and I sure wish I had taken the picture to prove how bad I am at stenciling, but you might get the idea by just looking.  To cover up this mess that I didn’t correct with my liner brush (see, gotta have a good liner), I thinned my White paint and outlined the letters.  I PURPOSELY (wink wink) made broken lines to look like it was on purpose and to hide where I really messed up by having a broken line where I didn't want it broken.  If my brush went splat and made a thicker line than I wanted, I was sure to add some more of those thicker lines on other letters.  I added lots of lines around the letters, so you wouldn’t know where I really did mess up…get it??  I finished by adding more “hashtag” type lines around the lettering to tie in the white with the other two colors.

I will drill two small holes in the top and add wire for hanging.  Finishing will involve me painting DecoArt DuraClear Matte Varnish on top for protection. 

This should work for either a girl or a boy who might get this little sign…simple and easy.

I hope this will help you in seeing that we all can create with paint…and that texture is SO FUN to add to our art.

So, I am ONE for ONE this week~~score!

Thank you all for visiting my little corner of the world…Blessings to YOU…~charlotte

I am a proud member of the DecoArt Helping Artist Program.
I get some products free or at a discount, but really, that is not the reason I use DecoArt Products.  I have used them for over 20 years and they are my favorites, and the best products that I have used.  I encourage you to give them a try when you get the opportunity to do so.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Serendipity Sunday

It was bound to happen.

I have spoken my mind on many of those silly posts about getting road rage in a store…I KNOW, people are just being funny, but some of the comments are so rude, I just can’t “move on” without speaking for the voiceless.
For the life of me, I wonder why simple things like that cause so much distress.  Say “excuse me” and move on. 
As someone who was honored to push both parents in wheelchairs, I have received the heavy sighs, rude crossings to get past us, and nudges in my butt from carts and doors slammed in my face by impatient shoppers.  I have sat in the truck as my Daddy drove way too slow, and prayed for the drivers behind us to be blessed in some unexpected way for having to slow down because of my Daddy, who served his time in this life, and deserved to be on that road just like everyone else…
If we are so lucky, we will each get old and someone will have to push us, or wait for us to get out of their way…BE KIND…If you are running behind, then leave earlier next time…stuff happens, you know!
Well, now, back to my story.

It happened.
Here I was stuck behind a lady with about 25 items and 30 coupons.  She had 4 children, who thankfully, were not with her.  She was on the phone.  I bet she REALLY spoke a foreign language…and now, great, she was pulling out a card to pay, which I am sure, was a food stamps card…sigh…

No, wait…I MIGHT have exaggerated just a wee wittle bit…let’s flash back a few minutes.
As I was coming around the corner, heading to the check out, I saw one of my favorite people~~Miss Mary Schott.  I LOVE Fred and Mary.  They have been in my world my whole life, because He was the pastor of the church my family attended when I was born.  I have been referred to my entire life by him, as BABY CHARLOTTE, because that is what my brother called me when I was born.  Fred and Mary have tirelessly served our community. He was a State Trooper, and she was in charge of our county election office.  They are two of the most talented and loving people and it breaks my heart to know that “Pappy” is entering the end of his life with such a tough time.  Miss Mary, I believe, is as beautiful as she was 30 years ago.  Oh, how blessed I am to have had them in my life.  Fred was famous for telling jokes, and it finally got to the point that Mother had to tell him to STOP telling a joke before the choir went out for the service!  She also said, she would HATE to be stopped by him to get a ticket, because she is sure, he could make someone feel two inches tall, and not be unkind!  What a man…what a friend…Oh, and one last thing.  It was his Aunt Sophie who gave us the saying, “hurt in the fracus”.  When asked if someone was HURT IN THE FRACUS, she said, “no, I think it was a couple of inches below.”  BWAH HA HA HA HAAAAAA
See, it was people like this who gave us plenty of words to use without cussing!! 
As I was chatting with Miss Mary, Who came around us, but one more of my most favoritest people in the world~~Erin.  I have known this child her whole life.  Her grandparents, Reese and Lois Earheart, attended the same church as we did…they had a bunch of kids (maybe 6?  Les, Joel, Mark, Andy, Terri, Susan…are there more?), and no, we are not Catholic!  I can vividly remember the going away service when they moved to Camden~~it was one of the saddest days of my childhood, plus Andy was the age of me and my brother, and we were losing a play mate.  Back when church members actually knew each other and supported each other, we were attending the wedding of one of that bunch, when we got the SHOCKING NEWS that Les and Linda had married earlier in the day!!  WHAT??? NO fancy invitations, parties and receptions?  HOW DARE THEY~~LOL…it was the beginning of how they would live their lives.  They went on to populate the church, as his parents did, with Chuck, Emily, Ellen, Chris and Erin…That bunch of kids was brilliant, just like their parents.  It has been fun to watch them grow and have their own children.  Luckily, Reese and Lois moved back to our neck of the woods, and we got to love them, all over again.   Miss Lois had a stroke and became unable to speak for us to understand, but that brilliant smile on the front pews as she joyfully sang is still a cherished memory.  The humor of Mr. Reese and Les was priceless.  It was NEVER a good thing when Les sat behind me in the choir…his running commentary and pokes caused me much laughter.  Dr. Linda Earheart, is one of the neatest ladies (and a beloved educator) I have ever met and I so enjoyed our after church conversations, just about random topics.  The world is BETTER for having had all of these saintly folks (well, we are using the word “saintly” in a reverent way) in it, and the world is a sadder place without Miss Lois, Mr. Reese and Les~~tears fall as I type about them.

I could go on for pages about the antics and my love for this family, but I know, you all have things to do~~not better things to do, but just things to do.  I just want you all to know that these folks have made my life better. I hope you have people like them in your corner of the world.
SO, I let Erin in front of me at the checkout, because I knew we would get to chat and laugh some more, and YES, she has 4 children~~one is her husband, and then 3 little girls, that look JUST like those Earthearts that I remember growing up.  Yes, She really was on the phone with her husband, and she was trying to get him OFF the phone because she KNOWS how rude it is to talk on your phone as you check out…AND yes, she really had about 25 items and 30 coupons, but in all fairness, she told me she had coupons!!  LOL…

Another lovely day seeing 2 of my favorite people and remembering that not all 3D peeps are scary, well, wait, Erin IS kinda scary, but boy, do I love her.  She is my kinda people. AND what a sweet and kind cashier we had to put up with us.  I think I can easily say, it was another pleasant day of shopping.  

Thank you, God, for friends and for people who get up each day and go to their jobs and make the most of what lies before them…Thank you for the example of service that YOU gave us through your Son, Jesus Christ, my Lord and my Savior.  May I have a heart  like YOU to share WHAT matters and to reflect what YOU have taught me, and Lord, please help me to be a better student and remove the stones from my often hard heart, to see things through Your eyes and to help where I am needed.  Thank you for the teachers, like Les, Fred and Mary, who have taught me of Your love…AMEN.

Oh, and YES, We were some of those people who were BLOCKING the aisles, and I did my best to apologize and to be my funny self…REMEMBER, next time you get frustrated with people blocking the aisle, YOU should be so blessed to stop for a moment to chat with someone that is important to you.  Do your best to get out of the way, and apologize to others, but do NOT let a small aisle stop you for spending a moment with someone you love, and don’t begrudge others the same.  LIFE is too freaking short to get so out of whack over something so silly, AND don’t worry about those “old people” who are eating all the samples~~it might be all the food they get for the day, and besides, what business is it of yours??  Say a prayer for them the next time you see hate boiling up inside you…it MIGHT be YOU one day…carry on…
How little effort it takes to be kind. How little effort it takes to find beauty.
How amazing that even though we do little to deserve them, blessings drop round us like manna. Find them! ~~charlotte♡