The Artful Life
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Life Notes From + For Those Who Live + Desire To Experience An Artful Life

We travel through this life for the most part in a repetitive fashion. Nothing much changes. Get up at the same time, eat the same breakfast, drive the same way to work and clock in, work, travel the same route home, eat at the same time, and then go to bed only to get up and repeat it all again tomorrow. A lot of us try and change things up on the weekend. We try to do something different to keep the mundane of life from bringing us down. We end up doing the same things on the weekend too though.


But, there are these moments that change everything from that moment in time until forever. These are what my wife calls aha moments. The moment when you see what is right in front of you with new eyes. The world doesn’t change, you do. It may be something physical like seeing your home in a new light, possibly by using unused bedrooms as a B&B. Or it can be solving a nagging problem with a change in perspective. So many things about life begin to make sense when you live these aha moments. I have had several of these moments in my life. The crazy thing about aha moments is that they are usually the beginning … not the thing… but the beginning of something new. My most recent aha moment came with my writing. I stared at some of my musings and thought there is great potential in life. I can keep my thoughts to myself (and some should be kept to myself) but if I can express myself in these blogs with the encouraging and helpful thoughts then, I hopefully can encourage one or two people along the way.


That is potential.

Potential to take something rolling around in my noggin and express it to help others.

Potential to get thoughts from my head to paper (so to speak) and leave a legacy.



Another aha moment in my life came with the passing of my brothers. I was wallowing in self-pity, missing them and their presence and wasting precious minutes, days, and hours when suddenly it hit me. I am allotted only so many of these minutes, hours, and days so I should... must make the most out of these moments. I can feel sorry for myself and do no one any good or spend my precious time lifting others up and show them that this life is a gift, and we should use this gift to make a better place for our family and friends.


Well, that is my perspective, and I am moving forward to live my best life and leave a legacy like my brothers and so many others have left.



Tina's paintings lately have captured these aha moments in the faces of ladies she has painted. Someone will one day see their aha moment reflected in the image of her subject and identify with it and make that painting their own as a reminder of that moment in their lives when everything changed or became clear. This is what drives my amazingly talented wife to keep creating. To touch the lives of others and point them to the Creator.



Keep your eyes open for these aha moments my friends. And when you have one, take the time to think, “What can I do to make the world a better place with this thought?” “ How can I lift someone up that is having a rough time right now?” This will replace the mundane with purpose and with purpose we will all thrive, not just survive.


Ted


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Spring, a time of renewal, reawakening, growth, and refreshing. The spring of 2021 feels much different to me than many recent springs. We have come through a rough 12-13 months as a country and world and my family has come through a very rough 4 years. We, like so many of you, have experienced loss at every turn. Siblings, grandparents and even career losses have occurred. Hospitalizations from various infirmities have piled up recently as well. So, my friends, this Spring is a time of setting our sails and heading into the wind of the new.

God has been faithful through these dark times and He wants us to awaken anew, having endured, the pain, show the world that we are ready to shine like never before.


I have been thinking about a metaphor of these hard, dark, difficult times being like the sand in a rock tumbler.










If you put a piece of granite or a precious stone in a rock tumbler with the sand and turn it on, over time the granite or precious stone will polish and when taken out at the proper time, will shine like never before. If you put a stone in the tumbler that is like the sand, say limestone or sandstone, it will most likely become like the sand and just fade away. I have even read that the grit that comes off these stones can ruin the other stones in the tumbler.


We are the precious stones, and the sand of hard times has not broken us but rubbed off the rough edges.


Embrace the warming weather and the new flowers and yes, even the weeds. Enjoy the potential that this Spring represents.


I follow a risen Savior and, through Him, Spring also means change, rebirth, and overcoming to me. Jesus overcame the grave and death and we have new life because of Him. Unlike the natural world we live in, where if a rock is sandstone, it will always be sandstone until it is sand again, Jesus can take that piece of sandstone that is you and make it into a precious stone. We don’t have to stay what we are or where we are. Grab hold of the gift in front of you and receive the change. It is time to shine!


Ted

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Hey There!

I've been wanting to share this with you for awhile.

So, We live and love our life in this 175 year old Church/School house here in Ohio. We love this place as I said, but there are just some things with an old place with lots of character that pose some issues.

We purchased this dwelling when it was just at the end of being renovated by the previous owner. He did a beautiful job of opening it up and creating some space, but I longed for some of the sweet character of a historic home that was edited out of the reno.

One of my loves is brick. I don't believe there was ever brick in this place but it was about to happen because well, we love it.



Here was where we began...plain gray drywall and cherry cabinetry. Neither of which I would have chosen, but, not wanting to paint these cabinets just yet, I knew that brick would warm it up and relate to the wood of the floors and cabinetry.

After researching, we felt that even doing a brick veneer could add some weight and create other issues so I began to do research. There is a lot of examples out there....Here is mine. I'll share what I discovered.


Supplies,

*Long Level *Painter's Tape (Narrow)

*Measuring Tape *Pencil *Spatula

*Drywall Compound (LIghtweight)

*White Latex Primer *2" Paint Brush


*Acrylic Craft Paint colors

Yellow, Red, Blue, Green, Brown, Black

*Paper Plate *Smaller Round Brushes

*Optional - Clear Sealer (Brush on)



First, I went out in the yard and got a real brick from the landscaping and measured it. It was about 8" long and 3" wide so that was what I went with.


*I began by creating a straight line using my long level. Don't trust that your house is level. If it's not, you can fudge a bit, but create a good level line visually. I started at the backsplash and went up. I measured up 3", marked it in a couple spots and drew a line with the level.


*I taped all the horizontal lines first....measuring each line from the previous taped line.



Once they were all done, I then measured and placed a vertical piece of tape every 8"


This created my brick pattern and when it's all taped, you can get the vision of the taped lines being the grout.

The next step was so fun


*Get your Lightweight drywall compound and a flat spatula and begin to smooth on the compound into the brick spaces.

Leave high and low spots, divots and peaks. The more texture gives the final result the character. You can use plastic forks and other tools of your imagination to create texture. It's kinda fun!


*After you have each brick covered (Just go to a zen place), You can begin to gently pull the tape off to reveal your brick while the compound is still wet. This gives you the opportunity to shape any edges etc.



Take a moment and just appreciate the look. I must tell you that I left it this way for a few days, but depending on the thickness, it should dry in 24 hours.


*TIP* If you touch it and it feels cold, it's probably not dry just yet.


*I primed my brick texture with a flat primer before moving on to painting the brick.


SO, Here is where I began to contemplate...Do I want red brick?, Whitewashed? A Farmhouse look? A warehouse loft Look? The possibilities are endless. All I knew was that I wanted to have the experience, being an Artist, of creating a realistic looking red brick, but I loved the whitewashed look.


Here's what I did...

*I put several primary colors on a paper plate to create a palette. I used Red, Green, Yellow, Blue, Brown, White, and Black.

*A fuzzy little brush, even a stencil brush would work and I promise anyone can do this.

* I made sure the darker colors were dabbed in the divots and just dabbed in the paint and with a stippling motion, I covered a brick, then moved on to the next, doing a different color combo each time. The brick took on the reddish brown tones due to mixing all the colors together as I went along, but it still maintained variety in each brick. So fun!

Don't worry about that grout area.


Whatever your wall color is, you'll change that grout in the end.


In the meantime,

Just enjoy the journey. You will notice changing things up as you progress.


If you have any perfectionist tendencies, this should pretty much take care of that. lol






Don't forget to create darker and lighter spots and work with those deep divots with the darks, even black and high spots with the lighter brighter moments.


It'll begin to look like a real brick in no time.


You got this!






Now, you are ready for grout.


I even got crazy and added texture to that.


*Choose your grout color

I chose a darker gray that I had on hand and took a brush that would fit into the space between the bricks ,

I added some sand to the gray paint in a cup and brushed that mixture into the spaces even getting a bit messy and going up on the brick in spots.


I have to say that the brick, as it was, was a bit dark for my taste so I decided a whitewashed vibe would be good for us.



When all was dry, I took some white paint that I had leftover from another wall project. This was Sherwin Williams Alabaster wall paint.


*Pour paint into a roller pan

- use a regular roller, keeping the paint load on the dry side meaning just load it and roll it in the pan to make sure it's not drippy and get as much of it out as possible before going to your brick


*Lightly with little pressure, roll over the texture of your brick hitting those high spots.


I found that being a bit here and there with the transparent and opaque areas gave it more interest and I liked the look of the Alabaster paint so much, I carried it onto the walls.


Make sure you step back and treat it like the art piece it is and look for areas that might need a bit more wash.


*for those areas, I changed up the texture by not using the roller and picked up the spatula again, dipped it into the paint and troweled it on like you would plaster.






All in All,

I loved the whole process!


You can use your artistic license as I did and change it up and be creative as you go, but you really can get a good textured brick look and up the visual value of a room, an accent wall, or any little spot that needs a little somethin- somethin.


for very little money, I might add.


This is a lot of look for the effort and expense.

I even did this in a Client/Friend's home recently. See that post Here







It can take on any vibe you truly want.


*TIP*

Search Pinterest, get ideas, collect photos of brick that you like and spaces that have the brick that you are drawn to.


*Be flexible and know that, in the process, magic happens and just push through and create the home in which you want to live your best life.


*Never let the excuse of cost, weight of the project, or the word..."can't" stop you from giving it a shot.


Feel free to reach out at Tina@TinaLawver.com

and I'd be thrilled to answer any questions you might have.


P.S. We are more creative than we know.


Blessings, Tina






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