Simple Art for Non-artists

My need to create art is overshadowed only by my complete lack of artistic ability. Almost daily I’ll see something on Pinterest or on Facebook that makes me think, “hmmm, I can do that,” only to discover that no, I can’t. But that seldom keeps me from trying, and subsequently failing again.

One day last week I found this video on Facebook:

It looked foolproof, so I gathered a sketchbook, some paints, and a bit of embroidery floss. Guess what? Not only is it foolproof, it’s great fun.

My first attempt. I love that I get two prints in one go.

I tried two colors on my second piece. I’m calling this one “Angry Parrots.”

And three colors on my third. The black just looks muddy, though.

Here’s my favorite:

This will be fun to do with visiting grandkids. I used washable paints, and all my work surfaces survived unscathed. Yay, me!

I won’t be opening a gallery any time soon, but I am going to keep experimenting.

Peace, people!

Minimalist Challenge Day 2

Today I have to rid myself of two items in keeping with the rules of the minimalist challenge group I’ve joined on Facebook. Yesterday I had planned to take a green bath rug that didn’t match anything I owned and hadn’t been used in years to a charity run thrift shop, but someone in the group said she needed the rug, so I’m sending it to her.

For today I’m cleansing my home of this container of unsharpened colored pencils and a random piece of purple gingham fabric. I bought the pencils a couple of years ago unaware that they weren’t pre-sharpened. I don’t own a sharpener and don’t plan on buying one. Okay, that makes me an idiot, I know. As for the fabric, I have absolutely no idea why it was in my arts and crafts supply box. Aliens? The GOP? Who knows?

Technically I suppose I could count the pencils individually and use them later in the challenge, say, on the 48th day of February (!) or so. But they were sold as a set and thus count as one item.

Exploring Mule Days (So You Don’t Have To)

Calvary, Georgia, is a small town about 30 minutes from Doright Manor. Once a year they celebrate Mule Days with a parade and crafts show. A friend thought I might find the celebration amusing, so I set off on Saturday morning to explore.

I began to wonder if Mule Days was my kind of event as I neared the venue. There were confederate flags aplenty on either side of the highway, and an ample showing of Trump t-shirts and hats on scruffy looking rednecks. I’m not easily intimidated though, so I kept driving.

Once at the parking area, I realized that Mule Days draws folks from many miles away. I spotted cars with license plates from Alabama and Mississippi in addition to those from Georgia and Florida. 

The walk from the parking lot to the actual Mule Days location was long, unpaved, and arduous. I was immensely proud of myself for having worn tennis shoes rather than my flip flops. 

What I found as I made my way around the acres and acres property was a random mixture of Flea Market, garage sale, crafts, and food vendors.

I tried gator on a stick today. Honestly, it did taste just like chicken. 

There was live music. ‘Nuff said.

I did find a small gem:

I’ll put chrysanthemums in this for my front courtyard area. 

Chances are I’ll never go to Mule Days again, but given the throngs of people in attendance I doubt they’ll miss me.

Peace, people!

Faerie Dwelling Construction Continues

After a rigorous and righteous game of golf (he shot four over par), Studly Doright led the grandchildren and me in completing the building of a faerie home. 

Dominique and I placed pebbles strategically.

We added a door and a mossy door mat.


Then we headed out back to place the house on the stump of a tree that Jackson had chopped down earlier this week.
 After much trimming, the house was secured to its stump. 
 Tomorrow, we’ll add decorative items to welcome our wee friends.

Peace, people!

Making Stuff

When I get bored I start thinking about making something. Unfortunately, I’m not very adept at making anything other than a mess.

For example a couple of summers ago I decided that I could paint. These resulted from my delusions:


I call the first one “A Brace of Fairies” while the second one is called “Pinterest Fail.”

I do have them on display at Doright Manor. There’s no charge for viewing them. By that I mean I won’t pay you for your waste of time should you happen to stop by.

One summer I found a jewelry making kit at a yard sale, and for six weeks I made the ugliest jewelry imaginable: Earrings that didn’t dangle evenly, anemic looking bracelets, necklaces that appeared capable of attracting the evil eye.

Another summer, at the urging of our daughter, I decided to create family scrapbooks. After several weeks of sorting through stacks and stacks of pictures I created one page. At least one batch of photos got organized for a brief time as a result.

Yesterday I told Studly I was thinking of creating something artistic. He told the cats to hide and he’s secluded himself in a guest bedroom. I think he might have heard me say I was going to attempt nude drawings next. Good thing he didn’t notice my fresh stash of glitter. 

Peace, people!


Studly Doright and I married on July 30, 1976. We were young, in love, and profoundly broke. I hadn’t really noticed just how broke we were until our first Christmas rolled around.

We managed to buy a sad little tree, but we had no ornaments. I know now there existed women who could whip up some crafty ornaments using a mixture of baking soda, grape jelly, and crushed leaves, but I was not one of those women. And this was way before Pinterest. 

My mother came to the rescue. She bought me two kits of do-it-yourself felt ornaments. At first I was overwhelmed. I couldn’t, and still can’t, sew, but I began working on the ornaments a little bit every evening, hanging them on the tree as I finished. 

In the beginning there were twelve ornaments, but after 16 moves in 39 years of marriage a couple have gone missing. One wreath shaped ornament was last seen being tossed around by our Siamese cat, aptly named Holly. Said wreath had a decidedly bedraggled air before it disappeared for good around 1996. The other missing ornament just went A.W.O.L. one year, perhaps fearing it would meet a death similar to that of the mangled wreath.

My favorite of the lot are the scarecrow and the angel.

Poor scarecrow is holding on, but just barely. He is missing an eye and his hat has undergone drastic alterations, but he continues to smile. I feel like scarecrow is my spirit animal. 

The angel has fared better than the rest of the crew. All but one of her sequins remain intact. She’s still praying for peace, and she means it. 

After my mom passed away I began collecting angels. Some are intricately carved, others beautifully crafted. A few were quite expensive. But this little felt angel, given to me that first Christmas of my marriage by my mother and sewn imperfectly by me, is the one I cherish most.

Peace, people.

John Scalzi Presents Day 3!
Are you the artistic type? Do you create art for others, either photography or paintings or any other item that the public needs to know about?

Here’s your opportunity to get attention on a site that receives literally thousands of views every single day. I’d like to say that describes my blog, but no. It’s John Scalzi’s “Whatever” blog site. 

Scalzi is a science fiction author who has followers all over the world, and who at this time of year accepts submissions from writers and creative types who want to get their work in front of a wider audience. Go to the link above and get your name out there. 

He explains the submission criteria in detail, so go. Tell him I sent you. That won’t help your chances of being accepted because John Scalzi has no idea who I am, but if he reads my name often enough he might just remember me next year when I have something to submit.

Good luck, and as always, Peace, people!

Irrelevant photo of me in Guatemala

Here’s My Sign

Finally I had the opportunity to get out and do something crafty in Tallahassee at Another Time Around, a wonderful shop specializing in repurposed and rescued furniture.

Kim Parr, the shop’s owner and furniture refinisher extraordinaire, guided me, along with several other participants, through the fundamentals of chalk painting. The process is easy. I was pleasantly surprised.

My friends know that while I’m not particularly gifted in the visual arts, every now and then I have delusions of grandeur and decide to create something.

In my imagination I’m always going to be super surprised and pleased by my efforts, but I just didn’t inherit any artistic genes. That didn’t keep me from having a great time though, and I learned a lot in the process.
Plus I created a cute item to take for our family reunion auction:

Everyone seemed to have a positive experience, and I’ll attend another session. Who knows, next time might be my big breakthrough.

Other participants let me snap photos of their finished projects to share with my readers. I think they turned out beautifully:  
If you live in the Tallahassee area I highly recommend a visit to Kim’s shop Another Time Around at 4523 N. Monroe. 

She’s has a beautifully eclectic collection of furniture for customers to browse and she’ll do custom work, as well. I took a few pictures on my way out last night:   

After taking two full hour to create my little sign, I’m in awe of these larger projects. She has given me some ideas I might need to pursue. I wonder how Studly Doright would feel about having his motorcycle lift chalk painted? You know what they say–it’s easier to ask for forgiveness than for permission.

Here’s a link to Kim’s page on Facebook. Check her out. I don’t normally promote businesses on my blog, but I think Kim’s got a great business. She’s a keeper.
Peace, people!


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