For the Love of – Love!

Happy Valentines Day!

Valentines Day is the day we are supposed to celebrate Love.  There is a lot of hype and pressure from the  card, flower and candy companies, not to mention the media.  Even so  Mothers day holds the record for the most flower sales, and Halloween for the most candy sales.  Personally I prefer my Husbands thoughtfulness of bringing me flowers and gifts when ever he feels the urge, as I am assured it is from his heart and not because society reminded him to.

As I’m watching the news and advertisements about Valentines day, I begin to think we should take a new approach to this special day and make it more about how we can show our love for our fellow man.  We are encouraged to “Keep the  spirit of Christmas” in our hearts through-out the year.  Well  then Valentines day would be a good time to show our love for all mankind, regardless of gender, race or religion.Listening to the news lately I have been inspired to change our family traditional celebration of Valentines day.  In one story some elementary students decided to sell their handmade cards and flowers to raise money for a local charity.  They had a special event at the school the Saturday before Vaentines Day  to sell their items and with the communities support, they were  able to raise a considerable amount for their  charity.

Yesterday Justin Bieber went to visit a little girl he heard about, who was such a big fan that she referred to herself as Mrs. Bieber!  The darling Mrs Bieber is a six year old cancer patient.  He spent some time with her taking pictures and sharing hugs, he tweeted the experience saying: “this is one of the best things I have ever done!”  I am sure it is one of the best experiences in “Mrs. Bieber’s”  young life as well!  Here is a young man blessed with talent and a great career, taking time from his busy schedule to share his loving spirit with another, who, I am sure, really needed that burst of joy his visit brought her.  What better way to celebrate Valentines day?!

Another example of this is Julianne Moore, who has arranged a collection of Valentines Day cards created by fellow Childrens books Authors and Illustrators.  They come in a box of 20 for $25.00 and can be purchased on Opensky.com.  All proceeds are being donated to Save the Children, to help kids living in poverty across the United States. Did you know that the amount of children living in poverty in our country is now up to 25%?  Thats right 1 in 4 children in our country – the United States of America, are living in poverty!!

So instead of spending your money on flowers or candy, ( and who needs to add that to our waisteline!), why not reach out and do something to show love for others. It doesn’t have to be costly, volunteer your time at a V.A. hospital, make some bright, cheerful pillowcases for cancer patients, or send a child in Haiti a cheerful blanket, or some shoes.
A little bit of Love shared, goes a long way!

Be Creative and share some Love today with someone in need, then make a family plan for next year and have fun with it!!

Kerry♥

For the Love of it! Decorating with Themes

There are interests, hobbies and crafts that we all do just for the love of the creative process it entails.  Decorating is one of mine.

Though I studied Architecture and Interior Design in college, it does not compare to actually doing it in your own home, and especially for your own children!!  Decorating, depending on how involved you get, can combine many creative outlets.  Being the type of creative person I am- I insist  on doing it all!! I enjoy learning new processes, like when we remodeled our home, I decided to learn how to tile and lay wood floors, but thats another story!

In decorating my children’s rooms, I have employed sewing, painting and furniture refinishing.   I love to decorate their rooms in themes that they like, to give them a feel of owning their space in our home.  Amazingly this also inspires responsibility for their rooms, which they take more pride in and try harder to keep clean. Yes! it really does work!

We have had many themes through- out the years: Paddington Bear Nursery, a Teddy Bear Picnic Nursery, a Garden Nursery.

Then as they grew up, for the boys, Buzz Lightyear, Woody, Harry Potter and now  a Beachy/ Nautical theme due to my boys involvement in Rowing for Crew.

Many times we have used the redecorating of a childs room to help them transition into a new phase, like giving up the crib and moving onto the toddler bed

This was Andrew’s transition from the Nursery above- “Teddy Bear Picnic” to  a Woody theme with a special “Woody” Toddler bed, since we needed the crib for his baby sister.

In Andrew’s Woody room I tried color washing the walls, that is why they look a different hue in places. It adds a softer touch of color and has an aged look.  Then I stenciled the “Woody” motif and rope design.  On the bed I used a wood graining tool to add that western feel.  He was so excited about his “new” room and bed!

My daughter progressed to a Tinker Bell theme.

I used a wavy vine to accent the top of the wall as a boarder so that the flowers would stand out more, then I sketched out the flowers using a Tinker Bell coloring book as inspiration.  These walls were also colorwashed, I just love the soft layers of color that come through with this method

Now being all of 8 years old,  she is requesting a more sophisticated “Paris ” Theme, with all the Glam of course!!

I have learned many painting techniques through-out the years; Pickling, Weathering, Glazing, Crackling, Ragging, Sponging, Color washing, Stamping, Stenciling and Woodgraining, using them on walls as well as furniture. Unfortunately, due to a computer virus we lost a lot of our family pictures, so I only have a few left to show.

Our latest transition was from a Harry Potter theme to a Beach theme.

Here we tried a new technique called “weathering” usually done on furniture, but my son wanted his walls to look like an old weathered Beach shack. Along the way through all our redecorating,  I have taught my children how to do it as well.  The boys started as young as three years old.  There is nothing as exciting or scary as handing your three year old a loaded paint roller or brush and telling them to “go to town!”.  At eight and thirteen my boys learned how to pull up carpet, nail strips and three layers of old linoleum, they loved the crow bar action!!   Meanwhile my daughter was working on coloring my bedroom walls with her crayons!  So she was given a paint brush too!

The only downside to inspiring my childrens creativity this way, is that they frequently come up with new ideas for their rooms.  they love the process so much that they want to do it frequently!!

I am always on the look out for  inspiration and ideas for decorating with new window treatments or accents that we can work on together.

These are two of my favorite books that have inpired me:

Rooms your kids will love, by Paige Gilchrist and Mary Engelbreit’s,  Childrens Companion

I hope this has inspired you to collaborate with your child on a room of their dreams. I promise you it is a rewarding teaching and bonding experience.  Have fun exploring your creative urges together!!

Kerry ♥