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How to Make a Super Easy Ornament Garland

Last year we really didn’t do much of anything for Christmas. Our only decoration was a strand of lights around a curtain rod and my husband and I didn’t exchange gifts with one another. It was my first holiday season since loosing my dad and I really wanted to keep things low key. This year we’re still not getting a tree, but we have stepped things up a bit! We currently have a lovely ‘real’ wreath decorated with a strand of adorable battery operated lights, decorations on the table below the wreath, and the easy ornament garland I’m demonstrating in this tutorial along our giant front widow.

Super easy ornament garland tutorial [click to continue…]

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Wellbeing Wednesday – Find the Beauty

I think people frequently associate death and decay with fall, but last week I realized that fall is also a beautiful beginning. Even as trees shed their leaves and prepare for winter, you can see the buds for next year’s growth on so many plants. Yes, fallen leaves decay, but it’s nature’s compost that prepares the ground for future flora.

This realization is the inspiration for today’s free printable “Find the beauty in everything.”

Find the beauty in everything - free printable

I truly do believe there is something beautiful in virtually every situation and that you can train your mind to see the silver lining in the each cloud. Some days it’s easier than others, and the ‘good’ doesn’t have to outweigh the ‘bad’ for every situation, but as you go through your week I challenge you to find the beauty in everything. =)

As always, this is available as a high-res printable in the “Printables for Members” section of the blog!

What situation have you managed to find beauty in lately?

Natasha - The Artisan Life

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What kind of person takes a girl’s unicorn hat and coffee pot?

I mean, those are some seriously important things. Especially that coffee pot.

unicorn hat

As some readers already know, we arrived in West Virginia to discover that the family house there had been broken into. It isn’t the first time this has happened in the house’s long life – an earlier break-in caused my grandfather to create a system of plywood and 2x4s to help secure the windows and doors. Unfortunately, we didn’t realize the wood in a a window overlooking the back porch was actually very old particle board. Womp womp. I can’t imagine it put up much of a fight. Once inside, the intruder eventually literally broke the door frame to get the back door open to haul out our portable generator, some various electronics, and a large plastic bin containing spare batteries, a small fire extinguisher, my beloved unicorn had, and our percolator. Truth be told, I’m glad he (I say ‘he’ because the Deputy Sheriff I spoke to thinks it was probably the same person they suspect of breaking into other properties nearby for items to sell for drug money) didn’t take anything of sentimental value.

back-door

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DIY Sweet & Simple Motivational Pen Cup

I’ve mentioned my ‘problem’ before, but I have a seriously difficult time getting rid of glass jars. They’re just so nice and useful! We eat protein pancakes every single morning for breakfast (yes, every single morning) and my husband puts a teaspoon of creamed honey on his. I love the jars his favorite honey comes in and always save them, which is why this jar may seem familiar! It’s the ‘same’ jar I used for this shabby chic painted jar a little while ago. In that post, I showed ways to help acrylic craft paint adhere to a jar and mentioned that I didn’t have chalk paint. Since that time, I’ve actually started using some chalk paints, so I decided to do another variation on the painted jar project! This time I’m showing how to DIY and sweet and simple motivational pen cup:

DIY Sweet & Simple Motivational Pen Cup

Sorry my handwriting isn’t exactly the best – I’m sure many of you can do a far nicer job of it than me!

[click to continue…]

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Friday Photoshare – Sweeping Changes

Hello and welcome to another “Friday photoshare!” This week I’m trying something a little different and explaining the various elements in this image, Sweeping Changes.

sweeping changes - fine art self portrait

I typically prefer not to explain all the elements in a photo because I think it kind of detracts from the experience. Once I’ve spelled out exactly what I intended, it feels like some of the magic has left the room and I’ve taken the opportunity for interpretation away from the viewer. I personally believe that many of the most powerful images are ones that are more abstract or leave something up to the imagination because they can mean different things to different people.

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How to Make a Magical Fairy Snow Globe

Living in Hawaii without air conditioning tends to make ‘traditional’ Christmas decorations feel a bit silly! I do still like to decorate, though, but I try to come up with less usual projects that make them suit our space a bit better. That’s how the idea for this magical fairy snow globe came about!

I know there are approximately one zillion snow globe tutorials out there already, but I haven’t seen a fairy snow globe quite like this before! Plus this lovely lady has the added benefit of being appropriate all year round so you don’t have to pack her away in January. =)

DIY Magical Fairy Snow Globe Tutorial [click to continue…]

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Free Blog Planner Printables for December

It’s almost December, so that means it’s printable time!

As always, I have a blog stats tracker and a blog calendar for y’all. I’m really happy that I actually did use my November blog calendar! Posts got moved around quite a bit, but I was able to keep track of things and get several posts, including this one, scheduled for while we’re away. (The reverse also makes a great place to jot down notes and ideas for future posts.) Now we’ll just have to see how many days it takes me to recover and get back to posting after we return. Am I the only one who frequently feels like I need a vacation to recover from vacation?

Anyway, here are the blog planner printables for December, starting with the monthly stats tracker printable:

December blog stats free printable

And then the blog post calendar:

blog post schedule printable

I hope you enjoy and I look forward to “seeing” y’all again soon!
Natasha - The Artisan Life

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Friday Photoshare – Cathedrals of the Mind

Hi, everyone! I hope US readers had a delightful Thanksgiving and that you’ve managed to avoid being trampled by Black Friday crowds. We’re spending the day in airports, which are theoretically pretty empty on Black Friday because everyone is queuing at big box stores and malls instead of traveling. Or, at least, that’s the hope!

Today I wanted to share a photo from last week and talk about it’s meaning to me a bit. I’m not really going to go that much into the creation process for this one because the file is absolutely gigantic and the image has over 30 layers. It actually took about half an hour to save the final time. Yikes! Anyway, without further ado, here is “Cathedrals of the Mind.”

Cathedrals of the Mind - Fine art self portrait

I wanted to share this picture for a couple different reasons, but mostly to explain how an image can simultaneously have multiple meanings to me. To me, this image expresses both: [click to continue…]

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When I was in middle school, one of my parents’ goals at Christmas was to give me enough books to keep me occupied until school started back. In sixth grade, they sent me a not so subtle hint to not wake them up too early by putting a paperback in my stocking and hanging the stocking on my doorknob! Unsurprisingly, I’m always on the lookout for more books to read (and listen to – I adore my Audible membership), so today I decided to share what I’m calling 5 fantasy series to read now that you’re finished with Game of Thrones. Or maybe ‘5 fantasy series to read if you enjoyed Game of Thrones’ would be better?

5 Fantasy Series to Read if you Enjoyed Game of Thrones

So what on Earth does that mean? That means these are fantasy series that are more…gritty? I also really enjoy reading ‘young adult’ sci-fi and fantasy, but none of these books would fall into that category. Like GoT, these books have ‘good guys’ that aren’t particularly good, ‘bad guys’ you can empathize with, and some pretty brutal battles. They are also well written with unusual turns of phrase, interesting characters, and unique metaphors that make them really stand out as well-crafted books to me. However, if this style of fantasy really isn’t your thing, I totally understand! I plan to write more more themed book lists in the future, so just check back in later. =) [click to continue…]

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Do you remember earlier when I said I wouldn’t have any yoga videos scheduled for while I’m away? That turned out to be incorrect – hooray! My bee sting healed enough to allow me to make one yoga video shortly before heading out, so I’m excited to share this yoga for gratitude and an open heart with you today. =) That’s a perfect fit for Thanksgiving week, don’t you think?

Even though, as I’m writing this a couple of days ahead of time, I’m not looking forward to our incredibly long Sunday/Monday as we travel across the country, I am grateful for so many things. When this post goes live, we’ll hopefully be enjoying breakfast at my grandmother’s. I’m grateful that we’re able to visit her for Thanksgiving this year and that she’ll be home! She’s had a rough year that’s involved two broken hips and accompanying surgeries. She was worried she might not make it home from rehab before our visit, but it looks like everything worked out. I’m also thankful that we have the opportunity to take this trip to FL & WV – being able to actually use accumulated days off is still a fairly new thing for us since my husband had adifficulty getting any leave while on the submarine. Additionally, I’m thankful that we were able to cover most of our travel expenses with frequent flier miles! I’m also pretty excited about shopping at Publix in Florida. Publix is definitely my favorite grocery store! We’ll probably also eat at a Panera while we’re away…yum. Oh, and I’m also thankful I have a new winter coat and warm boots to wear in WV.

backlit leaves

Wow – when I stop to think about all the things I’m grateful for, I keep thinking of more and more things to list! It hasn’t always been that way for me – actively working on my daily gratitude practice has helped me cultivate an ‘attitude of gratitude’ that enables me to notice all the things I have to be thankful for instead of fixating on the negatives. If you’re working on bringing more gratitude into your life, I hope you take a look at all my free resources including a printable gratitude journal you receive simply for enrolling in my newsletter and free e-courses Taking Time for Thanks and the 5 Day Mindset Reset. Oh! And let’s not forget this free printable gratitude journal page and the gratitude jar class. =)

gratitude jar

Whether or not you’re celebrating Thanksgiving this week, I hope that you find a few minutes to stop and think about all the wonderful things to be thankful for that are present in your life. =)

Natasha - The Artisan Life

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