Thursday, May 31, 2018

BFF Open House Link Party

Happy Friday Eve and welcome to another link party! Can you believe it's June tomorrow? I can't! Here are some features from last week's party. 

With Summer right around the corner garden parties and Summer entertaining are on the menu. Take things up a notch with this gorgeous Rose and Lavender Ice Bucket from Satsoma Designs. 

Also great for outside decorating is this Weathered Galvanized Bucket idea from Fluster Bluster. 

If you want to switch things up inside, how about changing up some light switch covers like this Steampunk idea from Surviving A Teacher's Salary

Finally, with Summer on the horizon, so are lots of Farmer's Markets, flea markets etc. and you can always use another bag. See what Lisa from Fresh Vintage by Lisa S did to transform these basic burlap bags from the the 99 Cent Store. 

Now let's see what everyone's been up to this week!


Thursday, May 24, 2018

BFF Open House Link Party

Happy Friday Eve and welcome to another link up. As always, thanks for choosing to share your creativity here! Here are some great ideas from last week's party. 

I love a good no sew project and especially when it comes to pillows. Changing throw pillows can change the whole feel of a room. These from Repurpose and Upcycle are perfect! 

Floating frames are so ethereal but can get pricey. Faeries and Fauna shared how to make your own using a repurposed frame. 

With hand lettering , coloring and doodling being so popular,  buying sketchbooks to fill can add up. Hazel and Gold Designs shows how you can make your own. Great to keep or give as gifts! 

Finally, with yesterday being "National Iced Coffee Day" this Greek Frappe from All That's Jas would have been the perfect treat. Given how fueled I am by coffee, this is definitely on my to make list!

Now, let's see what you've been up to this week! 


Thursday, May 17, 2018

BFF Open House Link Party

Happy Friday Eve all! Hope you've had a good week and all who celebrated had a wonderful Mother's Day! 

Here are a few features from last week's party and as usual can't wait to see what everyone's been up to this week !

Sometimes I buy a new creative tool and use it right away. Other times it sits in the package but I know I have it when I am inspired to use it. Such is the case with a woodburning tool I have and this gorgeous DIY Wood Art from Hazel and Gold Designs may just have given me the inspiration to break that bad boy out! Hers was one item in a challenge, all of which you can see at the link. Some VERY cool ideas!! 

Wouldn't that DIY Wood Burned Art look great in this Boho Themed Guest Room? See Little Brags for the before and after and I adore the after!!

Or maybe you're making over an office ( or putting a desk in your made over guest room). This Chalk Painted Desk & Chair makeover from Repurpose and Upcycle is another must see before and after! 

Finally, I love cinnamon rolls. Muffins? OK. Donuts, take them or leave them. But cinnamon rolls? Oh yes. Check out these from Lamberts Lately made in an InstaPot!!! I have not tried baking or making desserts in mine yet so these may be the first I try! 

OK! Time to party :) 


Monday, May 14, 2018

Easy Nature Wreath

I hope everyone had a nice Mother's Day doing whatever made you happiest. I was excited to spend it with my Mom for the first time in a long time including getting to do what I love which is making things. 

Coming from the PNW I have a natural affinity for pine cones. I think it's a rule or something!  I confess my ignorance, but didn't expect to find so many so easily in the desert.  Sure, I knew there would be a lot of pine trees in Northern Arizona,  but even with all my trips to the Phoenix area prior to moving here, I guess I never noticed how many there are here in the Valley. 

The Mumster had an old wreath on her back door that had seen better days so I decided to make her a new one. I got the idea for this one  while out on a walk one day and started picking up  a couple of "matching" pine cones each day. 

I didn't take pictures as I made it since I just kind of winged it. I picked up an oval grapevine wreath on sale at JoAnn's, along with some brown burlap ribbon. The eucalyptus came from my Mom's backyard, and I picked up some pine needles along with the pine cones and bound them together in clumps.  These are very different from the short needles I'm used to and now want to see what other things I can use them for. 

The needles will continue to dry and change color but remain natural looking. I just kind of let the materials go where they seemed to fit, wanting to keep it simple. 

Happy to say that The Mumster loves it as much as I loved making it for her. 

Thursday, May 10, 2018

BFF Open House Link Party

Happy Friday Eve and the start of what I hope is a lovely Mother's Day weekend. I won't be with my "baby" but I'm so excited that for the first year in many I get to celebrate with The Mumster. 

Let's take a look at some fun ideas from last week's party. 

I feel like you can never have too many memo boards. Whether for reminders or pictures, there's always something you want to display. Hazel and Gold Designs has this fun idea (and a video tutorial) for one using bent wire formed into a word. Think of all the possibilities! Names, favorite places etc. 

I tend toward matte finishes so I love the look of chalk paints. From Play Dates to Parties  has 4 great project ideas using chalk paint. 

I love that Lisa from Fresh Vintage by Lisa S figured out what to do with Vintage Glass Insulators that I've picked up and put down at flea markets a million times. Check out her adorable bottle and light garden!  

Finally, YUM check out this did I say YUM Oreo Parfait from A Sprinkle of Joy! Yes please. 

Now let's see what everyone's been up to this week! 


Thursday, May 3, 2018

BFF Open House Link Party

Happy Friday Eve all ! Welcome to another party here at The Answer Is Chocolate. Glad to see Spring is finally starting to arrive in parts of the country it seemed like it was skipping this year. 

Here are some fine ideas shared at last week's party. 

Let's start with this simple but gorgeous wreath from Suzer Space made from found twigs in the yard coupled with paper flowers and a butterfly! Almost makes doing yard work fun right? 

Bring the outdoors inside (real or faux) with ideas from Penny's Treasures. I love how she combined succulents with roses for this centerpiece and she has a beautiful array of other ideas. 

Also loving these French Lavender Pots from Follow The Yellow Brick Home. They're beautiful and fit my favorite crafting criteria : fast and inexpensive! 

Finally, Faeries and Fauna shared 10 Terra Cotta Pot Painting tutorials. I love terra cotta pots because they are so versatile and inexpensive.  

Now, let's see what everyone's been up to this week! 


Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Art In The Desert

Being a creative, I've always loved Art. Fine Art, Casual Art, Indigenous Art, Nature get the picture. 

Needless to say, finding "new" Art in our new home has been fun. Sharing some pics from some must see places in the greater Phoenix area we've visited since we've gotten here. 

If you come in the Winter, Spring or Fall, a trip to the Desert Botanical Garden is worth the time. You can of course go in the Summer but you need to be appropriately prepared for the heat!! Hat, water, etc.  It's filled with native desert plants, more of which bloom than people think, and has all the varieties of cacti and succulents from the Sonoran desert. 

But this is about Art, and it was wonderful to see a bit of the Northwest in the Southwest with this Dale Chihuly installation at the entrance. Consistent with what Chihuly does in using natural elements as inspiration, glass was blown into these giant cacti that blend right in to the garden. 

Selfie time!

Right now the Garden also has an exhibit by artist Jun Kaneko. We went just in time since the exhibit ran from October through April.

“Kaneko’s sculptures challenge the physical limitations of the ceramic firing process and are meant to spark interaction with the natural environments,” says Director of Planning and Exhibits Elaine McGinn. “His bold forms and dynamic colors will be stunning juxtaposed among our desert landscape.” 
The attraction of Kaneko’s ceramic art is that it can be viewed without much contemplation. The gently shaped forms are glazed with colorful stripes, dots, spirals and squares. Kaneko uses the surface of the large shapes as a canvas for painting. Included in the exhibition will be artwork of his most recognizable Dango, (Japanese for “rounded form”) and Head sculptures, which range as high as 11 feet tall. 
Naturally, I loved this black and white sculpture. My signature colors! 

Paolo Soleri's Cosanti Wind Bells

In the heart of a lovely residential neighborhood in Paradise Valley, you'll find the studio of Paolo Soleri, an Italian Architect who moved to the area in the 1950s and began Cosanti which is parts working studio, art  exhibit, experiment, kind of hard to describe. What they make there are ceramic and bronze bells that are beautiful in their organic nature and are both perfect and imperfect at the same time. They also have olive trees throughout the property and the olives are pressed into oil by another local place we're going to visit soon. The bells range from small to huge ; inexpensive to "art collector prices". 

 You can see in the background how art is incorporated into the structures that house the studio. No surface is left untouched.

The day we visited , there were no artists in residence but you can often see them actually making the bells.

I love how nature is incorporated.

Selfie time again!