Tag Archives: FUN

Back to the Future…

Back to the Future…

Looking back I could see it coming. Burn out….I was going to need a break.  How about a four month hiatus from blogging?  Last year was much like juggling flaming knives while studying for finals during a hurricane while riding a roller coaster… in a kilt.


(Photo credit  here…)

I hit a wall. I needed a LONG hot bath and a nap!  Real life had left little time for Art. Or teaching. Or cleaning.  Or thinking.

Honesty, I did not plan to take the break.  It was forced upon me. One week led to two weeks to a month and well, you know….

I did have every intention of continuing my 365 project on Instagram as a means of staying in the loop. That lasted about a month or so until my 2 year old smartphone – 187 in cell phone years – stopped wanting to upload, download, or otherwise communicate with the internet.  It was in my face….take a break!


Did I do a ton of art in the meantime?  Not as much as I could have.

Is my house super clean and ready for a magazine photo shoot?  Not so much.

Have I been teaching classes in art/history/math/science.  Well, yes. Yes, I have. I am a homeschooling mom.  But even that hasn’t felt as complete as I would have desired.

Maybe it was that long cold winter we had here in the mid-Atlantic…DSCN8452Too much snow time?DSCN8619Feeling a bit confined….So exactly what have I been doing with all this “extra” time?DSCN8857Reading!  I read a stack of books. More than what’s here. Art books, business books, fun books, life books.  Some on a device, but lots of real, hold it-in-your-hand, turn-the-page kind of books. live with art lampRepurposing some tattered IKEA lamps headed out to Goodwill….StevensonL_EdwardsCreating a little mixed media statement art for a friend….DSCN8850Handcarving stamps…Hines bath (2)Adjusting to our newest family member, my Christmas present….Big Daddy Hines….sweet, but maybe a tiny bit overenthusiastic…Experiencing dog parks for the first time – ever…wow!  Add dog training books to the list above.Hines mirror (2)He’s a good-looking lad. A tad narcissistic? Maybe just confused…big head (2)He is a kind of big-headed….those itty-bitty little feet, though!…perspective is everything!GOLD window seats (2)Helping my girl figure out how to make these window seat box cushions for her Girl Scout Gold Award project!!! Thanks to the most generous donation of cabinetry for the entire room from Closet Factory, our church’s youth space is handsomely outfitted for the many uses it must handle. These cushions were just one part of the many pieces of this project that was completed in March.  Yay!  Girl Scout Gold Award…Check!  DSCN8512 (2)Celebrating her 17th birthday with some FUN fool-the-eye cupcakes made with rice cereal/marshmallow-type toppings with all kinds of flattened, cut up, dipped and sugared candies pretending to be Chinese take-out…Cupcake fortuneThe broccoli is really lime Tootsie Rolls split and dipped in green icing then dipped in green sugar.  Flattened and folded caramel squares made up the fortune cookies with special custom birthday fortunes….DSCN8831Teaching…did I mention that I am teaching Driver’s Ed to this one? (add dyeing my hair to the list!) This mode of transportation was a tiny bit less stressful of a ride along….a blast actually!DSCN8786Spending time with these girlies doing RVA!  This is their last year together as Girl Scouters.  Some have been with us since Brownies….sniff.DSCN8794Checking out the Girl Scout Commonwealth Council of Virginia Century of Leadership display at VCU Branch Cabell Library…DSCN8816Posing at the Jefferson Hotel…DSCN8825and lunching at Tobacco Company in Shockoe Slip…


Restarting a yoga practice abandoned long ago after a neck injury, which led to a weekend trek to Yogaville with a group of wonderfully adventurous women.   We laughed, meditated, hiked, did a little yoga, slept in dorm rooms and made new friends.Gorilla

The latest project has been working with my girl on gorilla costumes for an upcoming production of Tarzan. Not the greatest cell phone picture but I can’t blame it on my shiny new device….DSCN8849She’s a beaut!  We have four of them in our family now (and one S4 for the black sheep)…Pretty stunning the advancements in just two years…  Crazy good stuff!sam bday cakeBaking and decorating what I am sure is the first ever backwards birthday manatee cake in our house…colored coffee filters (2)Dying coffee filters to feed my apparent obsession with paper flowers.coffee filter flowers 1 (2)….more about that project in my next post….

Looking to start up some more workshops and classes to get an Art in Real Life Revolution started.  Been spending a lot of time looking around the area for the kind of art experience I want to have.  Looking and looking.  There are things going on in RVA, for sure.  But nothing that felt like the right kind of space for the FUN ART experience I have been searching for.

It’s possible, though, that the space has found me.

….more about that in a future post, as well…. promise it won’t be four months!I

Hope you have spent the first months of 2014 doing something good for your soul….


Handmade Wedding: Photo booth

Handmade Wedding: Photo booth

When you are planning a DIY wedding, or any wedding for that matter, you have to prioritize where to spend your budget and decide what you can get the most value from with your dollars. Personally, my advice to brides is to focus on the atmosphere, the ring and the photographs – they will be with you the longest.  That’s not to say everything else should be skimped on, but let’s face it, 10 years later, even one year later the decorations will be trashed and your memory blurred, you will most likely never wear the dress again, the flowers will be dust, the food will be ….well you know… but get the overall mood of the event right, the perfect ring along with professional high resolution photographs and memories of perfection will be with you forever.


In that spirit,  a photo booth is a fun way to capture some of the sweeter and sillier moments of the day.  They have been become very popular at weddings in recent years and our bride definitely wanted to include one at their event. But commercial photo booths can be pricey…

A stand-alone photo booth with some digital background options rents somewhere in the neighborhood of around $700. for 4 hours  PLUS delivery and set-up – can only imagine how much that would have been as we were an hour from the nearest vendor – but who’s got time for THAT!!?   We knew this was a place to be inventive and create our own.

wide photo booth (2)What our room lacked in warmth, it had in space. It is used as a multi-functional all purpose meeting space/venue several times a month as an auction house, for weddings, family reunions, meetings, etc. Just sitting back in the corner, being very plain and quiet, was a storage area for the items not in use during a particular event.

Storage area for extra chairs and catering supplies

Storage area for extra chairs and catering supplies

 The space was created by suspending black curtains on rods from the drop ceiling and it was exactly what we would need for the perfect backdrop in a photo booth.  Done!


Being at the beach with a military groom we decided to use two backdrops reflecting those aspects of the wedding as our backdrop themes.


The American flag we used was bought with a donation to the USO, the groom has signed it (along the left edge there) and it has hung  at the front of my house in his honor since his enlistment last year and will hang until his return when I can present it  to him for his new home. I love the idea of creating a history for special things like that.

dog tag start (2)

We had some military props – jacket, wooden rifle, hats, etc. as well as an over-sized dog tag that was made by the groom.

photobooth2 (2)

The beach background was a simple striped beach towel in the bride’s colors and the props did the rest – small beachy signs, a pool float, hats, sunglasses, etc. . And just for fun, words, symbols, masks and colorful feather boas the bride picked out just for the fun of it!

stashes (2)

Of course, we had the requisite mustaches & such(cut out by my girl out of black craft foam), hot glued to bamboo skewers. 

photobooth4 (2)

Artfully arranged with a small white board and the instructions to write a word or two of advice for the couple as they go forth in their new life.  Great plan! We were ready.  My girl was the “official” photographer.  She was available to take the photo in front of your background of choice, with your chosen props and your words of advice.  Sounds good…but we all know what happens to the best laid plans!  Let’s just say, the results were sometimes spontaneous and off center, but always, always perfection and the greatest memories of the day.  Shall we?

bridesmaids gun couple with out rifle couple with rifle dog tag boys group Lindsey howard carol jen paul jim katherine backs kent fan couple green matt girls2 relaxing Sam Lindsey stacy lee2 swimmer   steve photobooth (2)

you think this is a game amber jazz fah andrew la jayben flip me over2 girls with beak group baby lauren gun couple

lee lindsey JIM who ordered troube

latb photobooth (2)

Of course, once things got “flowing” at the wedding and the bar, the props did not stay at the photo booth but the photo opps followed the props…. it’s pretty evident the bride enjoyed the day.  



sam moustache eyebrow (2)

bride in red



So fun! Photos – whether professional, photo booths, candids by friends…it’s these moments that keep the mood of the day alive and enables the memories to be so vivid many many months and years later.

I am grateful you stopped by.  See you next time…