Creative Living: Home & Lifestyle

Escape to a blog where you can nurture your CREATIVITY and FRUGALITY for a better "Quality of Life".  From tips, thoughts, projects and inspirations in the areas of Home Decorating, Fashion, Culinary and Health Awareness, to Internet Marketing and Business Enhancement.  
Re-gain control of the QUALITY of your LIFESTYLE

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Thank You For Sharing, Dear Sister...

  While sitting here, snow-bound in the cabin amongst the cornfields of Central Illinois, my dear sister Jill and husband are on a trip get-away… somewhere on the Gulf of Mexico, bummer!  

   Her e-mail with “warm” greetings this morning set the mood for her day and mine. Complaining a bit about the nip in the air (71 degrees) and looking forward to sitting by the poolside sipping on tropical drinks with their friends… while I lace up my ice skates and do a few spins on mine, with a stiff Captain to warm me up when finished.  Thank you for sharing, dear sister.  Love you, mean it.

Virtual Valentine???

When your significant other is not in the same state or country as you are on VALENTINE'S DAY, don’t despair.  Here’s a way you can still celebrate Valentine’s Day with your honey.  By adding a little CREATIVITY to the situation, you can enjoy being on “Cloud 9” and celebrate it together as if you were sitting at the same table.  If you are not in this situation, but know someone who is… please pass this on to them. 

1. Make sure that both of you are signed up for Skype (and have video capabilities on the computers that you are using).  Skype is a social networking software application for making free calls over the Internet to anyone else who has Skype.

2. Decide what time your Valentine date will take place, mark it on the calendar and have all of the steps below completed and ready for your romantic virtual date at the exact planned time.  It is essential that you plan ahead so that you are ready and on-time.  Being late will not be acceptable. 

3. Plan your menu ahead of time, such as a filet, baked potato, salad and a bottle of your favorite champaign or wine.  Don’t forget to have candles on hand as well.  Each of you, wherever you are will get the items from the store ahead of time.

4. Ahead of time, each of you should write a special poem for the other.  Don’t worry if you’re not the greatest writer, it will be the effort and thought put into it that counts.

5. On February 14th, Prepare your meals so that they will be ready just before date time.  Try to out-do each other with your romantic presentation.  Lower the lights, light the candles and have the wine ready to be opened.  Don’t forget to have your poem handy.

6. Skype your "Doll Face".  Once both of you are on the screen, touch fingers or lips to the screen. Let each other know how special the other is in your life and take turns reading your special poems to each other.  Focus upon how happy you are to be with each other on this special occasion, rather than how sad you are to be apart.

7.  Pop the corks on your champaign/wine bottles, pour a glass and have a toast.  Enjoy your meal ‘together’ and just have a wonderful time.  Get silly, drink the whole bottle if you want to.  Remember, you don't have to drive home.  How cool is that!  And by all means, save any confrontational or unhappy conversations for another Skype session, but not on this special date. 


Monday, February 1, 2010


Just a note to let you know that I've been working on writing a series of articles on How to GET THE LOOK of different DECORATING STYLES.  

There are hundreds of styles out there that are being used these days.  So far I've just tapped the surface with Traditional, Contemporary, Retro, and French Country Styles.  I'm currently getting ready to finish one on Coastal Living.  Others that will be coming soon are:  Mediterranean, Tuscan, Cottage, African, Art Deco, British India, Victorian, South Western and Man Cave :-)  If there are any in particular that you are interested in, please let me know and I will add them to my list!

The series can be found on my Springfield Interior Decorating Site  for

Lively Bookends

  While taking a journey through cyber space this morning as I was researching information on the Coastal Style of Decorating for my GET THE LOOK Series, I landed on a page from where this picture of “lively” bookends” caught my eye.  For goldfish or tropical fish fans, this is a really cool idea.  My idea of the best way to enjoy fish is sitting at the sushi bar, and I certainly don’t have any interest in feeding any more critters than I’m already committed to.  Balking at the $59 price tag as well, my mind was captured with thoughts and ideas as to how I could get this look by making my own.  

In a whirlwind of brainstorming, I’m asking myself… What else could I fill the clear jars with and where in the world would I find flat-sided jars?  After doing more on-line research, Target and Pottery Barn have square shaped clear vases.  Other options would be to use antique glass bottles or if you’re patient enough, wait until the garage and estate sales start up again in the Spring.  I’m not that patient, however. 

Options for filling would be sand and a few shells for a Coastal look, clear glass marbles with candles, potpourri, or partially filled with river rock for a neutral, natural look as shown above.  The possibilities are endless.  Let me know what ideas you’ve come up with!  

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Vintage Recycled Neck Warmers

Following a trip to the second hand-store where I stuff as many sweaters and other wool garments as I can into a grocery bag for $3, I set home to work on my latest recycling project.   After having designed a pattern using triangle shapes, the one-of-a-kind patchwork neck warmers and scarves come to life, each one with its own unique features. 

The ends of some of the scarves are fashioned from unique sweater cuffs, or pockets from a jacket. A blanket stitch, hand-covered buttons or the original buttons from the garment are added to complete the look. 

I will soon have a pdf pattern available for making one.  It will include 4 pages of easy-to-follow directions with pictures for each step.  If you have any further questions, please feel free to leave me a note or send me an e-mail at

UPDATE:  2/6/10... With the honor of being "Guest Diva" on the Domestic Diva  website, the pdf pattern to make the Vintage Recycled Neck Warmers is currently being made available at no charge.  When you get to the home page, click on Diva's Closet.

On The Edge of Frugality

Having had a love for art and anything having to do with creating “stuff” has been a passion of mine from an early age, through art school, a career in teaching art, and continuing into the present as I gracefully mature into the golden years.  Today the passion is no different, if not stronger. I thirst to learn more, continue exploring new concepts and techniques, and yearn to share my experiences, knowledge and passion with others. I’m also a firm believer that the camaraderie of creativity and frugality walk hand-in-hand, feeding each other’s purpose and needs.

It’s always been a secret thrill for me to find a bargain at Worn Again and a personal satisfaction to re-purpose something that would normally be thrown away. I guess you could say that I’ve always been on the edge of frugality.  The truth is, for many years I really didn’t want anyone to know about this secret passion of mine.  First of all it wasn’t considered cool to be frugal, not to mention the confusion between being frugal and being cheap.  I’ll never forget my mother telling me that it was “cheap” to use the word cheap, use inexpensive or thrifty, but never cheap! 

To put the difference between FRUGAL and CHEAP into perspective, basically frugal actions are those that save money or are being resourceful in doing so, without harming anyone else.  Cheap actions on the other hand usually occur at the expense of others, oftentimes damaging relationships in the process. To put it in simple terms, it’s like the difference between saving extra napkins given to you to use later, instead of throwing them in the garbage (being frugal), compared to stuffing a handful in your purse at a restaurant so that you don’t have to buy them (being cheap).  You get the picture.

Today, frugality is not only in vogue, it’s becoming the necessary path to take in making smart and resourceful choices within every facet of our lifestyles. Having hugged the closet on this issue in years past, it felt good to finally emerge, knowing that it’s okay and highly acceptable to carry on with my best-kept secret.

When you get a chance, take a peek at an excellent article by Nancy Twigg, an expert on the subject.  Nancy’s post details the issue of “Being Frugal without Being Cheap”.   

If you’ve ever wondered whether you are frugal or cheap, click on the link for a quiz to find out. Answer the 10 questions, writing down your answers on a sheet of paper, then discover your results on the graph provided.  I scored a 24, placing me just on the edge of frugality.  Go figure!  Are You Frugal or Cheap? 

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Birthing Your Creativity

Hang on to your hats, as we emerge into the birth of this blog that will be delivered with inspirational ideas, tips, sharing and support within the important aspects of our lives that we deal with daily.  Nurturing our creative abilities with a frugal approach is quickly becoming a necessity in our lives.  My aim is to provide a place of escape, to nurture and motivate each other towards the quality life that we deserve.

To nurture and achieve CREATIVITY, one must meld their THINKING SKILLS; learning to think outside the box and put existing ideas together in a new combination, with RESOURCES; gaining knowledge to new and relevant information, along with MOTIVATION; finding the motivation and passion from within.  Nurturing creativity is an essential trait that any one of us can give birth to.  All it takes is a little feeding, an occasional burping and giving the encouragement needed to grow into something that will be useful and that we can be proud of.  There are some that have more creativity in their pinkie than others have in a lifetime.  However, there is virtually no problem that we can’t solve, no goal we can’t achieve and no obstacle we can’t overcome if we know how to apply the creative powers of our minds to move forward, bringing it to life.

Life doesn't always hand us solutions to go with the problems and situations we encounter. When we’re in a pinch, sometimes we have to use what we have, along with a bit of creativity and ingenuity, to get through it.  When life gives us lemons, folks, let’s make lemonade, set up roadside stands and divide our profits by sharing some with friends, contributing some to those in need and by all means saving some for a rainy day.