Significance of the Name

My Blog’s name is a tribute to my Dad & my Husband. My Dad because he used to sing the song to me, "How 'd You Like to Swing on a Star?" It's about reaching for your dreams, you can stay where you are & be safe OR YOU CAN SWING ON STAR. Stars also refer to a difficult night just after my husband died. I was talking to him (I often do.) & said how I missed his "I Love You's". That night he gave me a dream... a gorgeous, bright blue night sky filled with thousands of stars, in the middle the stars formed an "I LOVE YOU"....such a gift on so many levels.

So "follow your own path, & don't worry about the darkness, for that is when the stars shine brightest”

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Go for it, quit letting it intimidate you!

So after about 15 years I decide I am going to go back to my "roots" and try a painting. 
It was my concentration in college....oil painting that is.
Since Fred died I have had to learn to do so many things that intimidate me. So far figuring finances (dear God how I hate numbers), running our tractor mower, the blower, power washing the deck and even cleaning out the gutters for a few. Well if I can do those things why not an acrylic painting? 
So off to Michael's with my 40% off coupon I went.
So there it was...a 2'x3' wrapped canvas. 
It might have well as been Mt. Rushmore, honestly!
Nothing is more intimidating for a creative person than staring at a blank canvas, a blank page or whatever beginning of a creative project it is.
Dawn, from The Feathered Nest, a blog I have been following for years just spoke about this on her lovely blog:
She is the kindest most giving person and does beautiful things with vintage pieces.

 She had just purchased a melting pot for beeswax to use on a piece. She spoke about how she had put off trying the new process like me.
I felt like, thank God, I am not the only person who continually puts off her creative pursuits until after the wash, the cleaning or whatever because we get intimidated. I thought well what a relief, I'm not the only one...another lesson learned!

Ok now what subject, well, I love flowers and I love painting iris's and I had done a tromp l'oell iris mural for a client  that I loved doing so there was my subject. That is only the many decisions....colors, composition, size and more. 
Let the sketching begin....

At first I thought a collage type approach using vintage sheet music. But I decided to keep my first adventure on the simple side, but I am definitely pursuing this collage concept later especially since I got so many positive reactions to these posts on my Facebook. (Thank-you MJ, Heather and Debbie)
Somehow I always am happier with the sketchy first stages of a painting. I often dislike all the painterly midway steps. Maybe I should listen to that.

I love the look of pencil, charcoal and paint.
Now I can't seem to put it down and work late at night...remember I have a job too so time is limited.So after weeks of work I think it have decided I need to stop and call it finished.

So there it is after 15 years, I've completed an acrylic painting. It is hanging in my great room for now although I may sell it, I don't know. So if you are procrastinating something that may be intimidating you, I hope you go after it and pursue your passion. Don't let the everyday obligations prevent you from going for it. 

Hope you enjoy the links:
The Common Ground

Thursday, July 14, 2011

A Gift for My Sister Friend Jeanne

Every year at this time I start on a quest to find a gift for my very dear friend Jeanne.
Do you have a friend that you just love and treasure so much that it is difficult to find something that portrays that. 
Jeanne is my sister-friend. 
I first heard the term from Maya Angelou. 
As I start on this quest again this year I thought I'd post what I did for last year's gift.
Jeanne and I both love to decorate with things from nature. After going to my favorite "go to places" for "Jeanne Gifts" I remembered that I hadn't hit Mt. Lebanon Floral. I have struck gold with unusual gifts there so often.
I walked in and there on the shelf was this beautiful picture frame and it was like lightening struck and I saw EXACTLY what I was going to do. I had used this little chickadee in my art and some murals before. I found some really earthy paper to paint him on.
I added 3 swarovsky crystals to the wing to tie in the frame.(sorry you can't see it in the photo).
I love making the packaging presentation an important part of your gift.
It just shows you have taken the time to make this special for the person.
First I placed the frame in a blank natural tone box I found at Michael's. I placed upon I think it is deer moss (also at Michael's).
I then hand painted the top. These are her favorite colors. Colors she uses not only in her house, but in her lovely gardens too. If you love gift wrapping ideas one of my favorite blogs is . She has beautiful ideas!
I put glitter in spots which sadly I can never get to photograph right. 
I am a real rookie in the photography department. My son Bryan, who is a wonderful photographer gives me pointers from time to time. You can see his creative work at !! 
Sorry I do tend to wander off point sometimes.... 

I was so excited to give it to her I couldn't stand myself. Yet,I always know I've done well with a gift if part of me thinks I'd like to keep it!
Last September I gave this to her and I have to say she just loved it!! 

I think I actually took her breath away!
I'll keep you posted as I start on this year's quest.
I'd love to hear about your special gift quests and your special places to find them.
I need ideas!!!

Please Enjoy These Links, I do!
The Common Ground

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Gift Box for the Wedding Bulb

I hope everyone had a wonderful Fourth of July weekend. 
I love celebrating with family and friends. 
Don't you love these hot, hazy days and warm summer nights?   
We had sweet corn, roasted potatoes with peppers and onions, caprese salad and baby back ribs. I steam them in beer for 3+hours at 275* and rub with my favorite spice rub. Then they are all set to grill later. 

I made this gift box for the first wedding bulb I posted about, the one with the pink and green roses. This was so fun to make. Sometimes an idea or vision just floods into my head and I know exactly how it will look. That doesn't always happen believe me.

I found the plain, round box at Michaels and spray-painted it silver, let the outside dry and then did the inside. I hand painted the trailing vines down the sides and added some green glitter to the leaves. You could so easily do this yourself.
The flowers (glue gunned) and satin ribbon were also found at Michael's. I made the gift tag and added the  vintage chandelier crystal. I love adding a bit of vintage to what I do.

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