Parker and Tyler provide an update for our little family since leaving Overland Park, Kansas.
Inside this beautiful magical house
Is a wonderland the size of a mouse!
There's a table, a chair and a dresser so small
It's amazing in here, come see it all!
There's tiny prayer bottles filled with love
Filled so tight with a tiny fairy glove!
Come grab one if you need good luck today
The fairies will send their magic your way!
A house has come for those magical things
those with feet and those with wings!
Those with feet have come from afar
to visit this house where the fairies are!
There's even been visitors with furry feet
keeping watch over this beautiful house where friends meet!
Come take a peek through the window at dusk or dawn
the light shines just right and sparkles on the lawn!
The joy has been felt and memories it brings
a house has come for those magical things!
Have you ever wondered how you can change the world? Most of us want to make a difference but the world is a big place and human beings are complicated. How can I expect to make a difference on a global scale if I can barely get my boys to mow the lawn?
For those of us who want to make a difference, it's natural to think big. But what if the smallest acts bring about the biggest changes?
Utah County just didn't feel right, so this little fairy traveled north through the night. Some call her a rebel. perhaps you agree but Salt Lake County is where she's meant to be be.
Where will the next fairy appear? Watch the video to find out.
Two weeks ago we woke to an amazing surprise in our yard--some fairies decided to make our flower bed their home! There were many questions from neighbors, and we told them all we knew--we went to bed one night and woke up with a fairy house the next. We're not sure why the fairies have chosen us, but we hope that they will stay around!
Over the last two weeks, kids have been doing little things to welcome the fairies to our neighborhood. The fairies have received a few notes--including one asking if the fairies had a friend who could move into his yard. My daughter, Charlotte, painted a rock garden to help decorate their yard, and Gibson, a little boy down the street, left a snack for the fairies. He was so surprised when he came the next day to find his snack eaten.
Our family has been dealing with some stressful times over the last two weeks. A dear family member has been hospitalized in the ICU. Even though it's something so small, seeing the fairy house each day has brought smiles to our faces. A moment to forget all that is happening and remember that our world is full of beautiful, magical creations.
The Angel's Cottage is one step closer to being complete!
If you’ve never used mistinted paint, give it a try. Mistints can be found at most home improvement stores. Prices vary, but generally mistinted paints are marked down by more than 50% and let's face it, every penny counts.
There is, however, one caveat. When layering paint, you really need to use the same brand of paint for the entire project. So keep this in mind if you decide to use mistinted paint.
Glaze is the final step and, in my opinion, the secret to making each project magical. Dries slower than regular paint so you have more time to work with it. You can buy glaze premixed but it tends to be pricey.
I mix my own using an un-tinted can of DEEP BASE and whatever color you want the glaze to be (darker colors work best for me). Mix together in a 4:1 ratio. I use general purpose brushes that I buy at Walmart (5 for $8) to brush on the glaze.
I discovered clay when my boys were toddlers. Of course it started with Playdough but quickly progressed to Sculpey. Together, we've created all manner of dinosaurs, superhero's, and animals.
Clay is an amazing toy/tool/medium! It's generally inexpensive, easy to find, and a fantastic way to make a little magic.
Another added benefit is that it provides an amazing opportunity to spend quality time, facilitate conversation, and strengthen relationships with kiddos.
A few of my favorites: Polyform clays & Magic Sculpt
Model Air and Sculpey are both polyform clays. The difference is that Model Air doesn't require baking. It dries in about 24 hours and doesn't require baking. Whereas Sculpey will not harden until it is baked. Both are non-toxic, can be painted with latex paint, and are easy to find. The only downside is durability.
Magic Sculpt is a two-part epoxy clay. The only downside to this particular clay is that it is expensive. That being said, Magic Sculpt is my favorite clay to work with. I use it for all sorts of things (presentation models, accessories, construction repairs, architectural elements, swords, replicating lost board game pieces...I could go on). Seriously, the potential uses for this clay are absolutely endless and I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE it.
There are plenty of options when it comes to clay tools. A few of my favorite tools: A pastry cutter, a thin sharp blade (box cutter, exacto, even a butter knife works great), and a pencil. Not impressed by the pencil? You should be. I consider a sharpened pencil to be one of my most valued tools when working with clay.
The strawberries are made of epoxy clay (Magic Sculpt). As I said, I absolutely ADORE this clay. It dries hard as a rock (and I do mean hard as a rock). This is not an option for little kiddos simply because it's epoxy, it's expensive, and once it hardens, it hardens and sticks for life. This includes furniture, floors, countertops, pet fur, you get the point. BUT...for me, this is often the best option.
Be sure to check out my video with the young and talented Super Sculptress Susie Clark.
We had such a good time with the What's Inside Family!
Several years ago, little Parker, little Tyler and I discovered something unexpected...
Firefly Forest was brought to life by the power of kindness. Like a magical seed, a tiny red door fixed in the hollow of oak tree brought the forest to life. Visitors were drawn into the forest hoping to catch a glimpse of the mysterious creatures. It became a place of connection, a place of belonging, a place to dream, a place to find relief, and a place to find hope.
I believe that as we share the very best of ourselves with others, we can make the world a better place. By using our individual talents and abilities, each one of us has the power to lift another and make a difference.
Please check out my GoFundMe Campaign. Be sure to share it on social media to help me get the word out.
Reeling from the overwhelming changes and uncertainty that consumed me after my divorce, I reluctantly made the decision to relocate my little family to Utah. Our last two days in Kansas felt like a blurred frenzy of packing and impossible decisions. While I was indeed grateful for the help of friends and family, as the boys and I drove away, I felt stripped and exposed. To make matters worse was the realization that the whole thing had been caught on film (nothing is better than knowing that such a difficult and personal experience had been documented for all the world to see . . . just sayin).
It was late when we finally arrived at our new address. We stumbled to bed exhausted and slept hard. The next day I woke up to find that the reality of my life was still there. Towers of boxes waiting to be unpacked, the inevitable and torturous trips to Wal-Mart to stock the empty refrigerator, hours of phone calls to set-up utilities and services.
None of this should have felt so overwhelming (at that point I was literally an expert at moving), but this time was different. To me, coming back to Utah represented my failures. I felt broken and ashamed. There were so many important decisions that needed to be made and I knew that those decisions would affect my children. I felt frozen. Tears streamed down my face as I stared out the window into the blinding desert sunlight and whispered:
“What have I done?”
Nearly 3 years later, I stare out that same window and proclaim:
“Look at what I’ve done!”
For me and my boys, the last three years have been filled with hard work, sacrifice, success, and failure. Has it been difficult? You betcha. Have I made mistakes? Too many to count.
The towels aren’t perfectly stacked but our laundry is clean (most of the time). The lawn isn’t always green, but it gets mowed (eventually). We may have stumbled along (when I say “we”, I mean mostly “me”), but we stumbled together (here “we” means “we”) and I can say that these experiences have been valuable, for us individually and as a family. And while it is true, that divorce can leave deep, deep scars. . . together we can proclaim “Look at what we’ve done!”
When I’m feeling a bit testy, I remind myself of this experience because it has become such a lovely reminder to be kinder to myself. Has life gone according to my original master plan? Not hardly. Plans B-W didn’t turn the way I had hoped either, but each experience is not without purpose. So I will keep moving forward and be grateful for the gentle voice that reminds me to look at what I’ve done.
What is “creative expression”? When I was a kid, I believed that only real artists had the ability to creatively express anything. Furthermore, if you couldn’t draw, paint, or sing, you had no business trying to be creative in any way.
But the truth is that creative expression is not limited to any one person’s definition or artistic skill set. And therein lies the real beauty and the magic of creativity. It only needs permission by its creator. Brought to life and unleashed, to tickle and delight, to excite and ignite.
Sometimes it ain’t easy and certainly it takes courage, but I believe that there is freedom in creative expression that provides a direct path to a better understanding and acceptance of one’s self.
Chilliwack, British Columbia. Never heard of it? Neither had I until I had an unexpected opportunity to visit.
On the map, it seems unremarkable, isolated, and difficult to reach. What I discovered was a picturesque town nestled in a valley surrounded by breathtaking mountains that were almost impossible for me to resist. While it was indeed stunning, the mountains would have to wait. I wasn't there to sightsee or explore, I had come seeking knowledge.
I was there to work with Dan Sawatzky: Magic Maker and Patriarch of Imagination Corporation (it's literally a family affair).
Situated just off of the main road through town sits an unusual home that looks as though a child's storybook has come to life (Click here to see photo's of the Sawatzky Family's enchanted home). As I pulled onto the property it was clear that I was about to experience something extraordinary.
Situated just off of the main road through town sits an unusual home that looks as though a child's storybook has come to life. As I pulled onto the property it was clear that I was about to experience something extraordinary. To get to the shop, I tiptoed passed a giant T-Rex that stands guard at the gate toward a delightful dragon that most certainly was enticing me further in.
As I stepped into a workshop that would make Santa and Walt Disney proud, I could barely contain my excitement. Every square foot was buzzing with activity as Dan's talented team worked to bring his latest vision to life.
During my visit, Dan and his crew welcomed me into their magical world. They patiently taught me the skills that I had come to learn. For me, the most valuable part of the experience was Dan himself. He shared his gifts, talents, expertise, and was willing to invest in both my professional and personal development. He even taught me how to weld (that's right everyone . . . I'm finally weldin' stuff)!
Have you ever wanted to make a difference? Spend 10 minutes watching the news and it's likely that you'll be left feeling depressed, overwhelmed, and wondering if it's even possible for one person to change the world.
The good news is that it is absolutely possible to change the world. Watch the video to find out how.