Tuesday, March 24, 2009

creAtiVe PlAy w. RachAeL rAy

I was fortunate enough to be asked back for another round of creative projects for the Rachael Ray Show and this time we celebrated spring (my favorite time of the year) diy style. They wanted to share a few expensive catalog finds and then show people how they can create their own versions for A LOT less. The cool things (I think) about the projects that I hope everyone walks away with are these:
1. Cement Mix is AWESOME to play around with and a $4.00 bag of mix can reap 6 or 7 great looking planters using nothing more than old plastic containers for your forms. The hardest part of this project is hauling home the 60lb bag of mix!

2. Using what Mother Nature so generously provides for us in your decorating is fun and CHEAP....I've built many wonderful things using nothing more than branches I've collected from my yard. Experiment with different building techniques or come up with a few of your own!

3. The backside of linoleum is a fabulous, inexpensive canvas to paint on. You can customize your own area rugs, placemats, tablecoverings and doormats for little $$$.

Shortly before we went on, they asked me to make sure I threw it to the video screen before and after each project and I think I was so focused on not forgetting to do that and getting the price points right, that I skimmed over a few of the things I was wanting to mention within the projects themselves. Like the fact that you need to let the cement mix completely cure (all moisture out) before applying your finishing products, and a great way to score inexpensive paint is to look for mistints or returns at paint stores and home improvement stores. I've bought quarts and gallons of high quality paints for as little as $1 - $3. There are more, but they always say that no one will ever know what you didn't tell them. The only problem with that is, that I do know, and man it drives me crazy! But you can't blame a girl for caring. That's what step outs are for: to fill in the blanks!

The biggest thing I neglected to mention at the end of the segment was "look to the catalogs for inspiration, but don't forget to inject your own style and personality into everything you do!"

Cheers to creative spring projects and a shout of thanks to the gang at the RR show for letting me play along again! Love it.


Thursday, March 19, 2009

poLiSh PaRTy

My Aunt DeDe is always looking for an excuse to throw a party and recently her and my mom threw together Polish Night for all of us to enjoy to celebrate our 'polish parts' as I like to call them. The affair was complete with polish food, music, jokes, traditions, decor, prizes, and of course, beverages!

Let me say, the food ROCKED! YUM-E
Pierogies with cabbage are my absolute fave!

The angel wings were MESSY! Everyone was sporting the tell tale signs of eating them. Can't sneak those and get away with it!

The music was less than stellar -- had my fill of the polish polka for a while!
The jokes were hilarious.

My Grandma (our polish leader) mixed up some secret polish drink concoction that she served all of us in shot glasses. It was strangely good, and no one has any idea what was in it.

My cousin angela has luck running through her polish veins because she always seems to win at the game 31, (she apparently uses her winnings to buy shoes) and she won the polish prize which was a sweet piece of pottery.

I'm not sure why we've never done it before, but I'm pretty sure we'll be doing it again! We've decided to keep partying until we've made our way around the world and back! Good Times! Do one up with your family!

Cheers! (Na zdrowie)

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

ceLeBraTE ThE maNy sHaDeS Of grEEn ToDaY!

Top of the mornin' all and CHEERS to the many shades of Green on this festive, sunny St. Paddy's day! Enjoy them ALL!

To close: An Irish Blessing my mom shared with me.

May there always be work for our hands to do.
May your purse always hold a coin or two.
May the sun always shine on your windowpane.
May a rainbow be certain to follow each rain.
May the hand of a friend always be near you.
May God fill your heart with gladness to cheer you.


Thursday, March 5, 2009

tHe LitTle b'S ThAt lEad To biG tHinGs

Over the past couple of weeks I've had several inspiring chats with radio folks from around the country to help our friends at Nature Made® promote: Fuel Your Greatness™. The Documentary.

Everyone approached the interviews with the same questions in mind......How do we stay above water during challenging times? What tips from a creative living point of view are there for everyone right now? As crazy as it sounds, I look at all challenges and struggles I'm faced with as exciting opportunities. I really don't know any other way. Every situation is viewed as an opportunity to try something new, to make a change, to approach things differently, to take action. It's a positive mindset that always produces solutions. I also make a point to not worry about things that are out of my control. It is wasted energy that could instead be applied to something I can control, and that's me and my actions. I live by the 'little b's of life', as I like to call them, and here are a few of them: Take any, all, (or none) of them and make them your own. Whether you're doing artwork, looking for a job, starting a business, running a household, being a parent.....they can be applied to anyone or anything!

b. courageous -- do not let fear hold you back from something. not everyone, and sometimes no one, will like your ideas. first and foremost, do it for you, because of you. go outside your comfort zone. great things happen when you challenge yourself.

b. unique -- inject a bit of yourself in everything you do. don't try to copy what someone else is doing. be inspired by it, but always try to do it up differently.

b. curious -- never lose that natural interest you have in things. question things. find out more. explore the 'what if's'

b. knowledgeable -- never stop learning. be a lifetime learner by taking classes; reading books; use online resources to your mindful advantage.

b. resourceful -- this is a big one for me. you are in charge of you. get rid of the words "I can't" or "I don't know how". don't wait for others to make things happen for you...(or you'll generally be waiting a very long time!) where there's a will, there's a way. nothing lends itself to clever ideas better than not having a budget, or not having access to certain things..it forces us to come up with other ways. sometimes, these turn out to be better ways.

b. open -- open your eyes and gain an appreciation for things that are different. you'll be inspired by everyone and everything around you.

b. handy -- no matter what it is, it takes hard work. be able to DO for yourself.

b. collective -- share your ideas, your discoveries, your experiences. surround yourself with positive people who are like-minded, have the same interests, are supportive. it's true...it takes a village.
reminds me of a quote I read somewhere....."what you keep to yourself, you lose. what you give away, you keep forever"

b. friendly -- share genuine smiles. it's contagious.

b. ready -- carry a small sketchbook/journal with you at all times. thoughts come unlooked for and when they show up, you need to capture them or they'll be lost forever. nurture and grow those thoughts & ideas.

Cheers to everyone I spoke with out there in radio-land and a huge shout of thanks for your time! Enjoyed every minute of it.