Shopping in the West Bottoms antique district...
And lots of laughs!
I'd asked my family to demonstrate the circus apparatus in our new room, and was happily surprised when they generously showed up with costumes, music, and an entire performance for my guests.
We even got lessons on doing some tricks ourselves.
Kia showed me how to do this move.
And Sugarwings taught me her favorite one, "Man in the Moon." More like, "Crazy Old Grammie Who Will Have a Stiff Neck the Next Day".
Afterwards, we had dinner at the museum across the street from Angie's apartment.
We squeezed a lot into the few days they were here, and most important for me, we had some studio time. I feel like I've been away from creating time too long because of the renovations we've been doing to the cottage. Now that those are behind me, I'm looking forward to being out there beading, painting, cutting, and gluing a LOT. It was great to be in the workroom with a few friends and a glass of wine. While I often have the grand fairies as company while making things, the wine was a rare treat. Hmm, I wonder if I should keep some stashed in the treat cabinet on a regular basis?
Our weather was ideal for boating on Saturday, but cool enough on Friday that a soak in the hot tub was refreshing. More wine -of course- and steam rising as the heat from the water met the chilled air was a relaxing way to end a day spent finding treasures at Good JuJu, Top Hat, and Bottoms Up. We had trudged from one end of the antique warehouse district to the other and the jacuzzi was appreciated afterward. Shopping there is practically an endurance sport and we needed the pt after it was over!
Here is what I bought. Now that I am a full fledged circus performer like my kids, I'll probably need it, huh?
Our time flew by too quickly, like fun times seem to do.
I'm lucky to have found such nice friends to get together with, even though it is not for as long as I'd like.
And to know that even if we aren't together often, when we are, we take off right where we left off, with lots to laugh about, family stories to share, and arty interests to talk about. We spent over an hour in Michaels discussing beads, favorite supplies, and resources for them on our way to the airport. It is good to have someone to share complaints with about too small holes in pearls. Who else would listen to me go on about that?
(We came across Jenn's cover story in Romantic Homes at Michaels too!)
And it was nice to have my family get to know some of my favorite people. And for my friends to hang out with my loved ones.
I am FINISHED!!!!!!!!!
The builder was done with our new space a while ago, but I still had landscaping, my sons and husband built a fence, and the mosaics on the floor needed to be completed. I'd gotten behind on my end, but just yesterday, all of the last items were checked off the list. I'd still had all of the supplies for the floor piled up and laid out on tables, plus a couple of boxes of odds and ends that needed to be returned were by the door, so even though the room was mostly done, it had been messy. All of that clutter was carried out to the garage.
The room is tidied up and feels homey.
This is what took so long. I purchased river rock floor tiles, and pulled all of the stones apart to rearrange into a floral motif mosaic.
Once laid out on the floor, I started gluing them down with mastic, but soon switched to silicone, it was easier to use.
By each door, I just used rocks in a random pattern. I wanted the fireplace to be the main event.
Honey kept me company while I worked.
The fairy is made of rocks I'd found in the river at the camp ground where my son's family was hosting their event. She'd pretty sentimental to me.
The flowers were quick and easy, but it took me two weeks and shopping in about 10 stores as well as searxhing online to find the right background stones for contrast with the river rock.
Those jelly beans aren't exactly what I was looking for, but the style was okay. I'd hoped for larger rocks to make the process of adding them one at a time go faster. Instead, I had about 2-1/2 days of adhering these little beans by hand as my back cramped up and I began to wonder what on earth I'd been thinking of to start a project like this. It was harder than I thought it would be, and I am not a mosaic artist.
Then, my son came to visit and brought me a bagful of labradorites, and some other crystals. That cheered me up and revved up my resolve to finish the monotonous bean job.
My good friend, and professional mosaic artist, Shanna, offered to help with the grouting. I hate grouting.but she made it look easy.
We chose charcoal for the grout color and it was exactly right to blend in with the itsy bitsy, back achingly applied, little beans.
The dark color sure made the gems stand out too.
The grout also caught in the imperfections of the stones and darkened them, but in a good way.
When I first came up with the idea of a mosaic in front of the fireplace, I wanted it to look like an antique rug, but have a rustic feel. Then, I thought it could use a bit of sparkle, and when my boy showed up with the glittering gems, I was thrilled. The look is even better than what I'd planned.
Now, I'm ready to kick back and enjoy the room, with some good friends who are coming to visit for a long weekend. All of the loose ends got tied up just in time.
Isn't this cute as a bug?? We got it so we could go to the performances that our kids do at festivals.
I even hippy-ed it up with some swirly lights for the weekend that we were at Tri-Unity.
It is small, only 16', but with a canopy and a pop up tent out front, we had plenty of space. Will I fix it up? I'm not sure. After the big remodel job we just went through, redoing something isn't feeling all that enticing right now. We'll see after I recover. For now, it's pretty cozy and nice inside.
And when we will camp, we won't spend much time inside. I know we didn't this time. The grounds were beautiful, and the event was child friendly, with a cute area set up just for the little ones.
And it was even prettier at night.
The Sacred Circus rig was under a lit tent and the silhouettes of the performers were mesmerizing.
Watching the aerialists through the tent was almost like watching mermaids swim in a colorful sea. Their movements were graceful and flowing.
There was non-stop entertainment, too.
A series of musicians filled the stage late into the night, and the day was started with a drum circle.
During the days, there were workshops. I took the nature walk and learned about edible plants. You could learn to belly dance, hula hoop, fly through the air on a trapeze, meditate, drum, among a few dozen other classes.
Or just hang out with the kids and get your face painted.
And then join them in a parade.
And relax with yoga.
I liked watching the many painters, and petting dogs.
There were some interesting painters there.
But the best part? Time with family.
I'll leave you with some more pictures of the weekend, and will show you the circus performance in an upcoming post. Be prepared for lots of grammie style gushing over grand fairies!
Over the weekend, we visited Ava, MO again for a festival my son's family was co-hosting. While there, I spent some time down in the nearly dry creek bed gathering stones to make a fairy to leave on the beach. And just like last time I was there, I found one, single, tiny shell for the fairy to hold.
As I played with pebbles, I had a view of the circus rig and could watch the kids practicing up on the bank of the creek.
My grand fairies were giving lessons to the campers' children and at the big performance the next night, all the little ones got to come on stage and show what they'd learned.
I was serenaded by one of my favorite singers. Michael Lay, who was up on the nearby stage. His voice floated down to the shady spot along the bank where I was searching for the perfect set of wings for my fairy.
The stage itself was pretty cool, my son draped it in fabric, and did this string art installation on each end.
Dewdrop and a few friends joined me and created their own magical creatures.
They helped me put a ring of rocks around my own sprite. She is placed right by the foot bridge.
There was a larger river on the other side of the campground, where I spent hours walking through the crystal clear water, and parking a lawn chair in the shady shallows to watch kids and dogs splash around.
As I found the most perfect wing shaped rock, I got excited about making more sprites, and as I waded along, I quickly spied all of the bits that I needed to make another one. I figured I was on a roll and would have a whole flock of fairies!!! But all of a sudden, the river bed no longer had rocks that stood out as wings, faces, dresses, etc, all of them started to look like plain, old rocks and nothing stood out to me.
I decided to pocket the pieces I'd found to make the second faye, and brought her home to assemble in the mosaic I'll be doing in front of the fireplace. After all of the beach fairies that I've left behind on various shores, I figured it would be fun to have one in my own home. I think she'll be very happy living here with us, and I'll have pictures to show you when she is grouted down. Although, I do feel a little odd about locking her in place, all of my previous fairies have been thank yous to the beaches I've loved spending time on. I guess I'll think of her as a love token to my home instead, and a memento of the weekend with family in Ava.
I'd been hoping to add some old trim to the new room, to age it up a bit. There were quite a few options I'd seen, but I kinda knew what I had in mind and didn't want to rush a purchase just to have something on the wall, I was willing to wait for ideal, not just okay.
Beth was setting up a booth at Sandy's annual show in Lee's Summit, and I went to help her. I was standing in her spot and said, that I'd bet this show was a good place to look around for trim. As I said it, I saw these pieces directly across the aisle in a booth by some Good JuJu ladies. I ran right over and snagged them before the show even opened. (if you are ever invited to help a friend set up a space in an antique show, jump on the opportunity for some pre-show shopping! Better yet, volunteer your services so you know you won't miss out)
Normally, I'm not driving my husband's truck. The show was over an hour away, it wouldn't have been easy to run home to get the truck, but luckily I'd taken it that day to pick up some chicken feed. The trim is very light weight and was too long for me to shut the tail gate. It was lucky that I had that chicken feed back there to use as an anchor to keep the trim from blowing away on my way home.
This is probably the only time I'd ever gone to the feed store on my own, my husband always picks up the bags, so yes, this was a very lucky happenstance to have both the truck and the heavy bags of grain in the back of it so I could take these perfect strips of tin home with me.
See what I mean??!! Perfect for the spot. Rustic and old, but with a pretty design. Ryan and I used tin snips to cut them to fit and then hung them on screws. We didn't have a drill bit for metal, so we simply put screws in the wood wall and hung these onto them. Someday, I'll get the right drill bit and put them up better.
For now, I'm happy with them as they are, and I doubt if they will fall down.
Well, this seems to be more of a photo of the puppeesh than of the new chairs, but I do LOVE these seats! I'm not a fan of recliners, but my husband is. I was thrilled to find a couple of them in slightly distressed leather that look more like club chairs than recliners. And they were on sale. At least I thought they both were, one was on clearance and the salesman was kind enough to give me a second for the same price.
We haven't had a fire in the new, built in woodstove, yet I'm already enjoying snuggling up in my cozy chair in front of the hearth. It surprises me how much I like them, considering the grumbling I did while shopping around for a recliner I could stand. Who knew I'd find some I loved? The dark leather seems ideal in this room, even with all the whites and roses. Actually, I think the contrast makes the whites prettier and the roses rosier.
Once again, this isn't exactly a picture of the chairs, but you can see them a little better here. The table in the background is full of tiles, I'm planning a mosaic on the floor in front of the fireplace. So far, I haven't gotten very far on it.
There is always something waiting to be done, huh?
Sugarwings and Dewdrop are learning how to do aerial tricks.
Dewdrop has a natural grace and already has rhythm and good dance moves, so it is coming natural for her.
Sugarwings is more like my son, who we used to say looked like a muppet tossed in the air when he danced. But as he matured, he shocked us with his gracefulness and athleticism. That guy is as smooth as a cat now. Funny, how I never matured into any level of coordination, I still look like Jerry Lewis on a dance floor.
We call her act, freestyling. She has a flair, and is fun to watch, but makes it up as she goes. Still, she is paying attention and working on some moves. Both girls get a lot of tutoring from their big sisters and are learning a lot.
They have no fear of being on stage, and both know how to put on a show.
And are pretty brave up in the lira!
I'm very proud of them both. And so impressed that they are learning these skills!
One of the things we splurged on for the new addition was having a concrete patio in place of a wooden one. It wasn't that much more, but a few hundred dollars here and there add up if you aren't watching your invoices while remodeling. There are some areas that we went cheap on, and others that we didn't. Over all, I think we made some good choices. (although, the ceiling fan is a different story, more about that later)
While the 8'x4' porch with two steps was still wet, I picked up a nail and added some flowers, along with "Welcome."
Earlier, I'd sketched out an idea that I wanted to use, kind of in a chalkboard style, with the words, "Welcome to our Home" on the porch part. Then, I realized that my ams weren't long to accomplish that, and I could only draw along the steps and corners, the porch itself was out of my reach.
Wet cement has a very short window of opportunity to draw in. No time for planning, I just started drawing. It is far from perfect, but it is cute. There were only a few minutes to get it done before the material started to set up and I had to stop.
I'm happy with the choice of concrete and gravel for the front of the building. The cottage is not fancy and this seems to fit it just fine.