Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Always Learning

There's something about New Years that gets me every time. I could sort of care less about the party and the ball drop and all the sparkly dresses - my New Year's kiss was Charlie - but there's something about the new year that makes me want to start fresh.

I'm really into brush lettering right now. It's all over the internet and I'm loving it. I found a few guides that got me started (like this one) but my real goal is to find my style. And that is proving to be difficult.

Practice usually includes picking out words from the show I'm watching and writing them down. Can you guess what show I was watching? This was early on in my practicing and I actually feel like I've come a long way since then.

It took at least 20 tries to get a "February" that I was happy with. I had to throw out at least half the tries because I spelled it wrong. I've noticed that I'm not the best speller when I'm working on brush lettering. Oh well. One skill at a time. Once I get the letter's down, maybe I'll be able to focus on the words I'm putting together.

I really, really, really like using watercolors and a brush. It is so smooth and I can go back and hide the mistakes.

Plus, the texture of the colors and paper is just awesome. I love the way the color spreads and moves as you write.

The ombre that happens naturally is pretty much the best thing ever. It makes mediocre lettering look deceptively good. And I'm totally fine with that.

I recently bought some brush pens and I'm really excited to try them out, though I don't know if anything can top watercolors.

This is one of those skills that I'm not sure what to do with yet, but I'm sure I'll figure out something. And I haven't found my style yet, but I'm certainly having fun trying.

Have you been learning a new skill in this new year?

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Our 2015 Christmas Card

Whenever I see a beautiful image or video, I'm always interesting in the behind the scenes. I love that what seemingly looks effortless usually comes out of chaos. This is most definitely true of this year's Christmas card.

I spotted some ugly sweaters at Target and knew I had to get one for the photo. The look on her face says it all. This dog hates wearing anything. She hated this sweater so much that she nipped at it when I took it off of her. She wore it for all of 10 minutes, so I don't feel bad. And she got a ton of treats. 

She also hates wearing her rain coat. But! She won't go outside in the rain unless she's wearing her coat. Oh my little, over dramatic terrier. 

So here's what you don't see - 

The camera is only a few inches off the ground. To get it there, I had to put it on my tripod, then put the tripod on it's side, then put it on a low box. 

I couldn't find the remote, so I had to use the 10 second timer. I'd get a treat in my hand, push the timer, run over to Charlie, plop her into position and then say "Stay. Stay. Stay. Stay..." until the camera took the photo.

Every time I moved, Charlie moved. With each try I had to reposition her.

After 20 tries, I was sweating like a maniac. 

Some photos ended up great. Others ended up like this. The brown on the bottom is from the box I had my camera on. Oops.

I do love this photo, though. It's sort of a fail, but I love it. I love all the curls in her hair. I will admit that I photoshopped out one of her nipples. What is it about nipples that makes them so weird? And it's black so it was super obvious. #awkward

This is another favorite. Maybe it's that I think this little butt is adorable, but I also just like that it is unconventional. I love that this photo is a little weird.

So I used it as my Christmas card. Well, one of them. I couldn't decide on just one photo, so I went with three options. I gave this one to the people that I knew would love how weird it is. 

This is card number 2. This one is a little more traditional. Along with many other people, I gave this one to Cameron and Hannah. Charlotte sent me a video of Hannah opening the card. I think she was really thrown off by Charlie in a sweater. She basically didn't recognize Charlie. Once she figured out who was in the photo, she loved it. 

This is the last photo I chose. This one is all about the ugly sweater. This is one of the cards I gave to people who I know actually really like Charlie. Like my mom said "I like the one of her butt, but I want to see all of her." 

People that meet Charlie tend to really like her. And I've always really appreciated that. It really wonderful when the people that I love and that love me - also love my dog. This pup is a big part of my life and I really appreciate when others take an interest in her. 

So with that, I'd like to wish you very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! I can't wait for 2016 and all the possibilities it holds. 

Ginner & Charlie 

Monday, December 7, 2015

December Desktop Wallpaper

Let's go with "better late than never". Yes, yes - I think that will work. Sorry these are coming a week into December. This holiday season is flying by and I'm just trying to keep up!

So allow me to get to the point with as few words as possible - 

In this post you'll find 5 desktop wallpapers - without and without the calendar.

I could overanalyze these puppies and cringe at all the mistakes (like how grainy they are), but when it comes down to it, I really do like these photos. Frost is my favorite and I love seeing it up close. I hope you do, too!

Click "read more" for download links.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Learning to love my home

Let's be honest here, folks. This homeowner thing isn't all hearts and rainbows and fresh paint. It can be a real struggle and sometimes it can feel more like a burden than a blessing.

But when it's all said and done, I love this house. 

If I'm being really honest - I haven't always been able to say that. Not too long ago I was researching apartments. But under all of the repairs, time, money and stress, I have a home that I love and it's time to remember that. So today I'm going to tell you what I love about this home of mine.

I love the light. The light in this house is one of the main reasons that I bought it. It's a row home, but being on the end, I've got extra windows. Being in my home during daylight is one of my favorite things and even after almost 3 years, that hasn't gotten old - not even a bit.

I love that it's just the right size for me and my pup. Parties here can be tight and I don't have much seating. But when it comes down to it I only need 2 seats - one for me and one for my best pup. The kitchen can feel tight at times, but there's plenty of room for dancing.

I love that all of the walls are full. Everywhere I turn is another photo or piece of art that I love - even in the bathroom. Everywhere I turn there are photos and art that I love. Filling my home with meaningful art has been a joy.

I love the yard. It's tiny and cute and perfect for us. Outdoor movie nights are my new favorite thing and will be happening on the regular next summer.

I love the potential in this house. I'm not quite sure how to explain it, but I feel there's potential in more than just how it looks. I just feel like this house is going to be used for something greater than I can imagine. It's my motivation to be more involved in my church and community. When it's needed, I want to make sure I'm ready to say yes.

I love the lessons I've learned in this house (even though I didn't enjoy the process of learning them). I've learned to be more assertive and responsible. 

Maybe it's the time of year. Maybe it's the new Adele album on repeart. Maybe it's just time. Either way, I'm ready to start loving my home again.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Brightening Up the Bathroom

My bathroom is my favorite room in this little house. I know that sounds a little strange, but allow me to explain...

This room, this semi-clean, mostly-empty room is the only room in my house that is done. It needs no work. It requires no attention. And (knock on wood) nothing has broken yet. It gets some of the best light in the house. It's the most low-stress room in my house. It also happens to be where I spend the majority of my time in the morning.

BloomNation inspired me to create a post showing how I would use flowers in my home. Until they approached me, I hadn't heard of them, so I did some research. They are a flower delivery service that supports local florists through their online market place. I popped my zipcode into the box and a second later had list of arrangements available from a local florist. Very cool!

With the evenings being so long these days, I was looking for a way to brighten up my space. I read a long time ago that flowers in a room can have a positive effect on your mood. I don't know about you, but mornings tend to be the toughest time of day for me. It seems to take me a long time to wake up. So if there's any room that could use a mood-booster, it's this one.

My dear friend came over for brunch on Saturday, so I got flowers for the table. Once we were done, I decided to spread them around. I didn't have any bud vases, so I used bowls from the kitchen.

Kitchen bowls weren't exactly what I wanted, but I'm really trying to stay on top of my budget. It's easy for me to say no to hair cuts, pampering and new clothes, but I find it very difficult to say no to things for my home. I had to control the urge to get on pinterest and look up adorable little glass bud vases.

(Like this one, this one and this one.) Oops.

Owning this home has been a big challenge for me. It's been in a constant state of being worked on for the last year and a half. And not the fun stuff like painting and new kitchen cabinets. The short version - oil tank, water heater, leaky faucets, broken doors. As much as everything is fixable, it's never fixable alone. I can rarely handle it on my own, let alone fix it on my own. It's a real struggle to be independent and completely dependent at the same time.

But maybe that's what this is all about. Maybe I need to learn to let others help me. Maybe this was just what I needed to help me get better at budgeting. Maybe I'm learning patience and trust. Maybe I'll sell this house one day never fully understanding its importance in my life.

I fully believe God has a plan for this little house of mine. I know it even more when I look at these flowers he gave me that, no matter what they are in, brighten my day and my mood.

Until I can see the future, I'm going to live in the present and enjoy each day in my home. I'm going to decorate for Christmas in November and put flowers in my bathroom. Whatever makes the day brighter is a good thing.

It's amazing what a few small petals can do.

How do you use flowers in your home?