Thursday, May 31, 2012

A Year by the Sea ~ Joan Anderson

There are people, places and things that can some how grip your soul.  They somehow reach in and you have one 'a-ha' moment after another.  It helps too if you are open and willing to see yourself and take a chance to move forward.  I was at that time in my life and my journey had just taken a zig instead of a zag and I was so searching... who the heck am I going to be when I grow up? who the heck am I? what am I going to do?

Do you know what I mean?  Joan did!!  And she wrote about it in the book: A Year by the Sea!

I first wrote about her books here.  I guess I needed a refresher!
A Year by the Sea: Thoughts of an Unfinished Woman gradually evolved. I didn’t run away to write a book. I was too brain dead to do that. I ran away to get rid of the clutter in my life and listen to what my heart was trying to tell me. My two sons were out of the nest, my husband was pursuing his dreams, and I needed to ask myself some hard questions without relying on the input of others. So I retreated to our Cape Cod cottage (off season) and gradually-- as I walked the beaches, ran into a fascinating mentor, and took a job in a fish market--came up with some unconventional answers for a new life.

It was when my best friends came to visit me and saw how different I was from the person that left them behind that they wanted me to tell them just what I had done to change. With their encouragement I began to retrace my steps and put my thoughts on paper. Several years later my first book, A Year by the Sea: Thoughts of an Unfinished Woman was published.

After 36 rejects and 10 rewrites the book met with tremendous success. Women write to me from all over the world asking, “How did you know what was in my head?” The connection with these women has been more of a reward than I had ever imagined.

Praise for A Year by the Sea
"In this accessible memoir Anderson shares the joy and self-knowledge she found during her time spent in semi-isolation. Through vivid and meticulous observations about the natural world, Anderson makes clear her strong affinity for the ocean, with its changing tides, subtle colors, and burgeoning life."
—Publishers Weekly

"Curling up with this autobiography will refresh readers’ souls and adjust their attitudes. During her year-long separation from family she was able to reestablish her connection to nature and discover new hope. She swam with seals, ran a mini-marathon, worked in a fish market, and earned extra income clamming—activities that gave her the opportunity to shed her image as a family nurturer and allowed her to grow as an independent woman. Anderson’s story reminds readers not to overlook their personal needs. This is a good choice for discussion and a companion piece to Anne Lindberghs’s classic Gift from the Sea."
—Library Journal

If I had to sum it up, it would be more in line with that of the Library Journal.  I lost my job due to the company's bankruptcy in 2008 and wound up disabled due to a work related injury.  I moved basically because of a choice of no other.  I was wrapped up in NOW WHAT'S like an old blanket that I couldn't get out of.  I took this journey with her uncertainty lifted, so did mine. I could totally relate as I read her story.  I listened, I laughed, I cried and the end of the book left me wanting more.  Luckily, she has written more. 

I am so appreciative of the sign she left in the fork in the road... the journey continues.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Working on A Wall...

I'm working on a my living room.  It's been a stormy weekend, so I am putsing around the house from one thing to another.  So this is my inspiration:  Casual Beach Inspired Living Room see this link for before and after photos of the living room below.  There are so many details to see which I love and I love the casual-ness of it.

I am liking the use of letters, IE:  SEA on a photo wall, on a shelf, stencilled on walls and/or pillows, etc.  It's an easy enough up-date.  I can't find it but I saw a gallery wall that had painted letters, NY, among pictures.  I can't remember where "she" was living but she was from New York, and the pictures were of favorite places and people in New York.   I thought it was a wonderful idea and decided to do something similar.  I decided on the letters:  NYC and KSC... they are the same number of letters and I am obsessed with the grounds of Kennedy Space Center and it's Wildlife Refuge.

Here's my wall:

some photos I'm thinking of using

I am painting the letters.  I stained them, but they match the wall too closely, so I am painting over with white and then I will sand some edges.  Easy enough.  One side I will put some NY beach pictures and on the other Florida beach pictures...and the shuttle fly over Patrick's AFB (good-bye) and Statute of Liberty (hello). 

"N" at top of picture fades away

stained, now painting white

I want to give a white coat of paint over the brown wood frame and 2 black shelves for under the picture. 

the way I'm thinking of laying it out

I'm looking forward to pulling it together!  My living room, my journey in pictures, one wall at a time.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Official Start of Summer

I hope everyone had a wonderful and safe weekend.  I hope everyone that began their summer with a storm, made it through to sunnier skies this morning.

Coastal Living Magazine has a list of  99 Days of Summer  to live the coastal way.  I am all about lists and started mine on May 1st.  You can check it out here.

Mistake! My attempt at a Decorative Twine Ball...

There are always things that look easy but when I actually do them, they just don't seem to come out right.  Here is one for the record book!

This was going to be so simple!  All I needed was balloons, twine, and white glue and water.  Don't let anyone tell you that it isn't messy... it is very messy!

You will want to.

not exactly what I wanted...

I didn't exactly pay attention to the directions.  And it was my first time, so what did I know....
  • first, I didn't use as much twine as most of the pictures I'd seen;  I don't think that matters;
  • to keep the dripping mess to a minimum inside, I clipped them to a bamboo and left them to dry OUTSIDE; that may have mattered;
  • I forgot about them till the next day; that could have mattered;
  • and this is what I found - a hard jumble @!#!?
I'm not sure whether it was the wind, the air coming out of the balloons, or what but that's what they looked like.  I didn't know what to do so I left them there and after the rain, there was a puddle of white glue and water and straight twine attached to the deflated balloon!

Do as I say, not as I do!!  Follow the directions above - let them dry on a plate or waxed paper.

Do over!

Monday, May 28, 2012

Just a quick post - from inspiration to reality

I am in love with Pinterest... as many of you may be.  You can check out my boards here .

While looking around today and not finding what I was looking for, I did come across something I did like:

And from there, I went here: Using Inspiration Photos to Create your Home's Best Look
That's how I get lost; one click to another; read; click and so on.  Without repeating the whole article, I hope you'll read it if you find lots of inspiration but get stuck on how to implement it.

Their 5 Step approach:
  1. Break down each imagine...what draws you in.
  2. Now that you know what you like, create a mood board.
  3. Go shopping with your board; bring real fabrics and paint samples.
  4. Put your spin on it...
  5. Don't be afraid  to edit.
When I was re-doing my kitchen on Long Island, it was basically from scratch and I wanted to bring in things and the feel of Prague.  I carried around paint samples, cabinet piece for color, paint samples, napkins, curtain valance, tile... each time I added something to the kitchen I added it to my collection so when shopping, I could easily see if it would match.  Even when I thought so, I'd take it home and lay the things out (in the kitchen light) and see if it still matched... Don't take the tags off or throw away packages until you are absolutely sure.  And even then hold on till you have lived with it a while.  One of those recycle shopping bags are good for carrying these things around and easy to grab to go out the door, (many times I left it in the car for shopping).

I painted that kitchen yellow, walls and ceiling and never got over how happy and bright that kitchen was.  I had to paint this kitchen yellow too.  This time, the ceiling and walls and cabinets are a pale yellow, while the cabinet doors are a brighter yellow.  And I am trying to work around things that I have and "put my spin on it".  See my kitchen ideas.

What I am doing now with my living room is burning that Living Room into my brain and putting my spin on it BEFORE going shopping, and will edit as I put it together.  I'm not sure why exactly but I am working in sections.  (Maybe it has something to do with clutter I create due to lack of room and my disability to move what needs to be moved.)  Right now, I have 3 walls painted a brighter aqua color...the ceiling will be the same pale yellow as the kitchen ( they run into each other).  I keep playing (in my head) with the 4th wall.  There is a break-thru on the wall between the living room and kitchen; so I go over whether to just paint the wall the aqua or the lower half aqua and the top yellow or all yellow.  I'll figure it out, meanwhile, I'll keep working on painting wall accessories from black to white (frames, shelves).

Stay tuned as I go along on this journey.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Practical Tips for Productive Living

From time to time people ask me how I hold my head up so high after all I've been through, and I always tell them the same thing:  
“It's because no matter what, I am a survivor, not a victim.”
Never let go of hope. Remember what you deserve and keep pushing forward. Someday all the pieces will come together. Unimaginably good things will transpire in your life, even if everything doesn’t turn out exactly the way you had anticipated. And you will look back at the times that have passed, smile, and ask yourself,
“How did I get through all of that?”
- via:  Marc and Angel Hack Life

I can, now, relate to this so much!  I remember being told I was a survivor way before I believed it myself.  My mother told me that I came from a stock of strong women, and thinking:
"what the hell does she know?!"
Well, it takes one to know one.  SHE is a survivor!  And there are those that don't even realize it. 
I just called her... I asked her who she sees when she looks in the mirror?  She sees her mother (my grandmother).  I told her, I didn't now what coma I just woke up out of or when it happened but this morning, I was looking in the mirror and looking became staring because I didn't see "me"  I was staring at her!  She use to tell me I look like my father, BUT somewhere along the way I look just like my mother!!  That is NOT a bad thing, just surprised me.

Not what I was looking for but I posted this to Mom's wall with "Thank you!"  Destiny's Child - Survivor

and I wish they all knew my mother or had a mother that kept them from the edge so they would believe they are Fukin' Perfect - (Pink).

It is so good to know not to ever give up hope and things do get better... not how you planned BUT better!

Love ya Mom...have a great weekend!

Saturday, May 26, 2012

My Memorial Day Weekend

I just want to take this time to thank all our military, past, present and future, and their families for their service and sacrifice so you and I may continue to live in a free country.  My Great-Uncle Joe was killed by a sniper during World War 2, after getting his men to safety.  My mother says that you don't know what it does to a family unless you live it.  After being killed-in-action, you are never the same.  All gave soon, some gave all.

RIP Uncle Joe
January 15, 1918 NYC;
October 3, 1944 St. Antonis-Overloon, Holland

So much about inside the military is unspoken in all generations, but what each solider lives through, we must not forget their sacrifice for our lives. There are things we just shouldn't take for granted.

Above is this week-end's friend, Brenda, in Texas, posted this to my FB page.  I am in the cone of the path.  It has been windy here and with gusts from the northeast.  Yesterday while I was spray painting, I did it in a corner with the drop cloth trying to block the breeze.

We didn't have a winter here; our winter, so to speak, was very mild and warmer than usual.  Our winter was more like our (normal-ish) spring and spring has been more like summer!  Having had gotten used to the weather pattern, our winters are usually by New York standards are a wonderful spring or fall time (depending on which way the wind blows- north, chillier, and south- warmer)  The air conditioners are off, windows open and really great sleeping weather!   I have been lucky since I moved to Florida.  With the exception of Tropical Storm Fay, where I am sure it rained for 40 days and 40 nights, when I lived in Vero Beach, there haven't been any major hurricane hits here. 

so began my understanding that rain alone could disrupt your days

and my fascination with clouds.

But this year has been different ... too hot, too soon, too long, keeps the water temperatures up.  That is one of the factors that make good TS travelling and feeding.  Hurricane Season starts June 1st and runs through November, and I think we are up to the 3rd named storm.   So this weekend, I will be keeping an eye on the weather!

Today's advisory for Brevard County is:
Hurricane Statement
Gusty Winds And Squalls Expected From Beryl Sunday Night ...Precautionary/Preparedness Actions... Precautionary/Preparedness Actions... Persons Should Check Outdoors Today For Loose Items And Secure Them Or Bring Them Indoors As They May Be Tossed About By Gusty Winds Starting Sunday Afternoon. Take Advantage Of This Opportunity To Review Your Hurricane Disaster Plan And Evaluate Your State Of Readiness For This Season. If You Do Not Have A Plan...Make One.
You can check Central Florida here.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Sightseeing in my own town...

Downtown, NYC

I find it amazing how much you neglect when you are born and raised in one place and all the things you missed and miss once you've moved.  My sister has lived in Manhattan since she graduated college.  One particular evening, we were walking from her apartment on West Street to the South Street Seaport. I think she knows it  the streets BETTER than the back of her hand!  As we walked and zig and zagged, I was completely taken by the architecture of lower Manhattan and the ages of some of the buildings.  I was so sorry I wasn't carrying my camera and playing tourist.  At that time, I walked the NYC pace which is not slow enough anyway.  (These days I have no choice but to walk slow. 

This is something I didn't do as much, if at all, before I moved to Florida.  But, not on a schedule, no where to be by a certain time, living on beach time, gives me the opportunity to just drive leisurely along and stop when something grabs my attention.  There are still places I want to check out more closely and take pictures, so there's always more to come. 

In the meantime, as much as I can't stand moving, I became okay about the move to Titusville. I was going to be right THERE when shuttles launched!  No more driving an hour to see it and more than hour back (traffic is unbelievable).  I had just moved in and was out trying to find the insurance office and went right past it and wound up on this road under construction and found a spot to pull over.  To my amazement, I was across the river from Kennedy Space Center and was staring at the Vehicle Assembly Building!

It excites me to drive down there.  I find the drive invigorating...

To get there, I still drive east over the railroad tracks where an old train station has been converted for businesses but the inside of the insurance company is still in old decor.  It's funny but you hear the swinging doors and expect an old cowboy to come by, spurs a spurs click or do they clack??  anyway...

Instead of turning south to the historic part of town, I continue east and over the Indian River on the new Max Brewer Bridge.  On the other side, to the left and to the right there are cars and trucks pulled over on the side, fishing and sail surfing and para-sailing... I've always said some day I am just going to hang out here and watch.

I am now on Canaveral National Seashore/Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge and NASA property.  I'm on the north side of what you would know as Kennedy Space Center.  As I continue to drive, if there is anyone behind me, they are passing me.  I just love the drive and I'm constantly looking back and forth to see what I can see.  Usually a hawk or a vulture for sure.  I pass the Refuge Center.  It's a great place for a walk or just to get maps and information for walking and sighting and/or  a guided drive it yourself ride... that's pretty neat.

But as I get further east, I have to stop at a security booth and show my pass, or you could pay an entrance fee.  Soon we come to these little labeled pull over spots.

There's a sign that tells you about the area;
plants, animals...

This is the first parking lot.
There was a shuttle on both launch pads.

From the Indian River
cell phone

It was a very sad day for the finial launches and then again when Enterprise was loaded on top of the jet to fly to New York and Discovery to Washington, DC.

Photo Credit: NASA's Kennedy Space Center
Enterprise (left) and Discovery at KSC

Photo Credit:  NASA's KSC
Discovery's arrival to Washington, DC

Photo Credit:  NASA's KSC
Enterprise's arrival to New York

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Bits and pieces of my journey...starting my living room

Well, when you have no computer for 5 days, besides just going with the flow with the withdrawals, you have to come up with something to do... something constructive. 

I started with my bedroom drawers and closet.  I threw out, bagged for donating and put away.  I did laundry; I shopped and did returns Monday.  I finished painting around the kitchen fan and painted the medallion the same color as the table top.

Then I went on to the living room:  The front door was panelled.  I washed it, primed it and painted two coats of Going My Way from ACE Hardware.  Then I decided to paint the wall behind the couch...after washing and priming, two coats of paint...and then the wall to the door. 

This was the plan with up-dates:
THIS  WAS  A SUMMER PROJECT:  It was almost 90 and going to be over 90 this week...with the air on when it is too hot for working outside.  As I've said, every thing has a story, especially my living room.  Where do I start?  My immediate family is all on Long Island, NY and I am here.  I love to get pictures and frame them but I am running out of wall space!  We now have 2 one year olds and 2 more babies on their way.  I need a plan!  For the most part, besides organizing better, this is my TO-DO LIST:
  1. Paint walls and ceiling; sea foam walls, ( Going My Way, ACE Hardware) yellow ceiling (do accent wall in coral?)   >  maybe the far wall in yellow to help bounce some light!
  2. Possibly, add molding around the windows, and paint (coral) and/or possibly do board and batten
  3. Recover the back couch pillows
  4. Recover toss pillows
  5. Decide on black furniture: book shelves, couch table, small paint or not to paint
  6. The 2 sea grass trunks; keep both together or one as coffee table
  7. Create a family photo wall
  8. Create a NYC  and KSC (Kennedy Space Center) wall on each side of Captiva picture; add shelves under;  I was just trying to keep them the same amount of letters.
  9. Decide on curtains.
  10. Cut out rug in front of door and replace with tiles.
  11. Get another book case for other side and balance.
  12. decoupage the small trunk

  My living room is my hub.  It is my everything room right now.  I have a couch table which is doing duty as a desk.  A night table as a printer stand.  I have 2 sea grass chests that right now are pushed together as a very large coffee table.  I have a book case and a decorative open shelf.  A couch, what I want to re-cover the pillows with beach fabric.

15 feet long by 8 feet wide
3 feet x 4 feet by door to tile

So back to what I did accomplish.  At this point I have 3 walls painted. 

I started with the door

Then went to the wall that goes back to the door

I love the color and I love how it brightens up the room.  I took down the vertical blinds again and have yet to figure out what I'll do there and on the opposite window, but I like the blinds down... just not my style.

That's as far as I got.   I'll share as I go but I am hurting after I have not had much of a break.

I am liking the colors that just brighten up this space.  I want to be surrounded by family photos, especially the little ones that make me smile.  There are certain photos that take me to a place, usually by the water, that bring back memories and all my beachy finds.  And I want my books close by.  I want to walk into this space and feel the outside came in and comfortable enough to almost feel the sand under my feet.  And if you come in, I want you to feel just as comfortable and enjoy my vignette around the room.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

What's your Ocean Style?

Hi, Hope everyone is doing well today.  I am trying to catch up and take it easy today.  Usually, when I am doing something, I have my lap top to take a break with.  Without the lap top for 5 days, my breaks were fewer and further between... needless to say, I am a hurting puppy!  To walk is such an effort... so I am just going to skip around the world on the web today... not complaining, that's life, and I am so glad to be hooked up again.

There is a site that has wonderful ideas for decorating and purchasing some wonderful beachy treasures for every room.  If you haven't been there, please check it out for yourself :  Ocean Styles: Beach, Coastal and Tropical.

Take a look at this: Beach Fence Photo Collage.  I was so going to do this and use it for a head board when I got to re-doing my bedroom.  I just loved the idea!  But while working on the yard and shopping at Lowe's, I found the fence already made and painted white!  I was so inspired by the 'beach fence',  I used it upside down to have that dune beach fence look.  I love it!

There are some other articles that give you such great ideas on decorating any room whether it be Beach, Coastal and/or Tropical... I think I've evolved into a combination of all three.  As I've said before, I don't live on the beach and that is my favorite place, I am in the process of making my home as beachy as I can... to make it my second favorite place.

Some articles you may enjoy and get inspiration from:

Decorating with Seashells  I think this is probably the quickest and simplest way of adding  a beachy nautical feel to any room.  I just can not have enough shells so much, that I was looking into having a pallet delivered but the minimum is 5 cubic yards; so I put it on hold.  I have shells in different glass containers, baskets...around the top in flower pots.

Shine the light onto your Home with Beach lighting...  another way to add that touch to a room... I love all their lamps. 

Glass Float String Lights   But this is one of my MUST HAVES!

Cover Those Bare Walls...  I don't know why but I hate bare walls!!   I found I can get more on a wall by going higher.  I want to be surrounded by things I love:  people, places, things... As I've said, I am here with Heidi, my Chihuahua, while the rest of my family is up north.  I love to be surrounded by pictures and those silly and nice phrases that keep me focused and positive.  Although I do buy when I see something that I must have so many are just so easy to make.  Check out that article for a few... let your imagination go.

Small Hanging Beach Signs are a great find as reminders and laughs and are so reasonably priced at $8.95 each.

and Wipe Your Flip Flops (top).

Still one of my favorite things:  (2) Silver Flip Flops Trinket Dish Set   (ABOVE) I love and live in flip flops!  As soon as I saw these, I pinned it, Facebook'd it, and now blogged about (I was waiting for my living room post).  I do have a running "Wish List"  for each area of my home for as I get to that point.

I want to leave you with one more article :  The Basic Rules To Get It Right which also puts it simply how to get your mind set, especially if you can't look out the window and find your beach.  My living room focal point is a picture I took in 2005 on  North Captiva Island Club Resort (another highly recommended vacation spot.. but that's another story).  I do think to get it right, "it" should feel right to YOU!  If it doesn't, change it.

The color on the wall totally changed the colors in the picture but it pops.  It may be leaning a little bit more towards tropical but it's a happy brighter room now.

I haven't decided on my bedroom yet but leaning towards these colors:

I hope you enjoy the articles from Ocean Styles and browse and shop there... perhaps you'll have your own running wish list too.  Don't forget to "like" them on Facebook too:  Ocean Styles Beach Decor
Have fun and let the inspiration flow!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Lazy Susan... who is she?

Instead of doing some fancy work on the table, I decided it was safer to do something on my Lazy Susan.

Who knew?
The term "Lazy Susan" made its first written appearance in a Good Housekeeping article in 1906, although their existence dates back to the 18th century. Prior to the use of the term 'Lazy Susan', they were referred to as dumbwaiters, a term today applied to a small elevator for transporting food.  There is no clear evidence as to the origin of the Susan part of Lazy Susan.

It started off in pencil and then I used a Sharpie over the design.  I used black Folk Art paint and then accents of bronze paint.

I stencilled and painted black : PRAGUE   2005  at what would be the bottom.  2005 is when my sister and I went to Prague.

I rolled over the top with the Brushed Orange paint that I used on the table. Let it dry and then lightly sanding with 120 grit sand paper and then 320 sand block.

Because this will be used more often I decided to use the wipe-on poly coat.  I think I liked it better before I put a coat of paint over it, but for now...

At this point, I am looking forward to it being done and on the table, so I can check off another thing off my list! 

And... there it is!  I put some of my great-grandmother's glasses on it....done for now.

_/ check!