Friday, January 30, 2015

Book Review: Me Before You by Jojo Moyes

My book reviews will not tell you what happens in the story. 
Just a brief SYNOPSIS 

Take a "Bridget Jones" sort of vibe: With lots of blocs, bloody hell's and small town village pubs and mix it with brit sarcasm, love and understanding.

Synopsis:  Lou, a late 20 something woman who has a mediocre life (and boyfriend) finds herself out of job.  And Will, now wheelchair bound due to a freak accident who used to live a HUGE life. Adventurer, World traveler, cutting big deals is now quadriplegic.  Lou, grabs a job as a caregiver to take care of Will and the book! 

Me Before You is a story about choice, love and understanding. 

The story has its witty parts and I found myself laughing at some of the sarcasm and crying at its parts of heartache.  I have respect the author for writing a love story that's at the heart of love.  An intimacy that's not the obvious "sex" part.  A friendship developing between not only a man and a woman.  But a friendship developing among the classism between working class and ultra wealthy.

The Power of Choice

The story plays with the power of choice. Many of us ignore the power to choose how our lives will go.  We will make a ton of excuses on why we won't take:

A vacation
Take those swimming lessons
Start a business
Take an adventure out

etc, etc, etc.

Because we lack the resources, or time, or money.  But what if you lived your life without any excuses. The excuses that we've made for ourselves to not do the following, aren't they choices?  Who is really going to  stop you from making time, making more money and acquiring the resources to enjoy a better quality of life?

Overall it's a great book with great lessons of life, love and happiness.  You may need to break out tissue for some parts but this book is a recommended read!  Especially before the movie comes out!

Have you read it? Let me know in the comments below!  I'd love to hear what you thought of it.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Book List for 2015

"Whenever you read a good book, somewhere in the world a door opens to allow in more light."

–Vera Nazarian

This year my goal is to read more and watch less.  That's watch less Netflix, Hulu, Cable.  All of them will just have to wait. It's time to activate the brain to learning, experiencing and tuning up the ol' imagination.  I have a passion for reading and found myself lacking in the exercise of reading.  I've missed it and so my resolution or my promise to myself is to read! 

Join me, every month I will be debuting a new book I am reading you will find what's new on what I am reading in the sidebar under Book of the Month

My critique and book review will be at the end of the month.  I also encourage discussion to those who may have read too. 

Below is the 2015 Reading List that I have been encouraged or recommended to read but just haven't

Next month's book:The 5 Love Languages By Gary Chapman
Do you know your Love Language?  Take the Test and find out:
Love Language Test

Friday, January 23, 2015

DIY: How to Create A Money Tree


All  items were purchased  from Jo-Ann Fabrics!  But I am sure you can get all if not at least some of the items from any craft store. 

Really easy to find, most items are in the florist section.  Don't forget your coupons for an even better deal at check out! 

1. Take your Green Foam Block and chop it up into pieces to fit into your 6" Clay pot or plastic pot

2. Make sure the Green Foam Block pieces fit all along the bottom to the top of the pot. 
  Flip the pot upside down to make it is secure. 
*Nothing should fall out

3. Take the wooden dowel and puncture a hole in the middle of one of the
 Green Foam blocks.
(Make sure its deep enough to hold the dowel without leaning)

4. Take out the wooden dowel an pour Elmer's All Purpose Glue inside the hole for better security.

Now it's time for the Pot Topper (Fake Moss)

5. Place Pot Topper around the secured wooden dowel to cover your green foam blocks.

* I used a little bit of Elmer's All purpose glue on the bottom of the pot topper
 (fake moss) to secure it in place.

Placing the Styrofoam Ball on top's a bit tricky

6.  I recommend buying more than one wooden Dowel. Most come in packs of 3.
Use the extra wooden dowel to puncture just enough to place the Styrofoam ball  on top of the  planted wooden dowel. 

7. Place Pot Topper (fake moss) around the Styrofoam ball for a mix of greenery.  

Elmer's All Purpose Glue worked just fine, for extra security I used a little bit of my glue gun but it's really not needed.  

PLEASE NOTE *I did not place the Pot Topper (moss) all over the Styrofoam ball because the next step is where the real fun begins!!!

Dollar Bills, Leaves and Florist Greening pins

8.  Fold your crisp currency like a fan.

Fan yourself with your money

9. Take the end of the fanned money and wrap the end of the dollar around the florist greenery pins and push the ends of the Florist pin into the Styrofoam ball. 

10.  To add more greenery to your Money Tree, take your florist greenery pin and wrap around your leaves around the push pin and PUSH inside the Styrofoam ball OR...push in your leaves stems into the Styrofoam ball. 
I did both

and TA-DA! 

Your MONEY TREE has Blossom!  

May it bring prosperity in everything you do!
It makes a great gift!  I made this particular one for one of my sisters for Christmas and she loved it!
Have Fun with it!  Let me know how it turns out.  Comment below!

Next D.I.Y. Project scheduled for February 9th!  Just in time for Valentine's Day! 

Monday, January 19, 2015

5 Ways to Maintain your Creative Space

Rule #1 Cleanliness

Keeping your creative space clean is in reason.  Your creative ideas need good energy to flow! Like a blank canvas, clean brushes with a clean palette or a threaded sewing machine no matter what kind of creative  person you are,  you can NOT possibly create at your best with the remnants of yesterday's, last weeks or last month projects scattered around.  

Cut the Chaos! Prep for your next project by keeping your space clean!

Rule #2  Organize (in your own way)

Let's face it, we as artists, designers, creatives: We are messy and organization for some of us is not a strong suit. 

My Gouache and Watercolor organizer

But think of it this way: Creativity takes time ,time waits for no one , so why not take the time to put all of your creative tools in designated areas for specific projects to cut down the time and stress.  

If you are a seller like me, I like to keep my shipping supplies and materials separate from my other materials.  It also helps with inventory counts so your not purchasing over and over again.  Saving money and time all at the same time!

Shipping Stuff! Photo boxes are great for storage!

Rule #3 Hydrate

I recommend getting a fun tumbler, water bottle or cup to keep yourself hydrated while your working on your projects. Water has a flow and the flow keeps your creative energy going!

Tumbler! A.K.A. my sippy cup

Rule #4 Keep some company 

Meet Foxy!

Foxy hanging out

I had created him about a year ago.  I don't have a pet of my own yet so Foxy is it right now. He keeps me company and makes sure things are going smoothly with my business.  If you have a pet (maybe not a Fox)  they are great to have around.  Of course if you are working with harmful materials you may want to keep them away but pets are nice to have around you while you create.

Rule #5  Music: Create A Playlist

It can be sort of a project in itself but you can thank yourself later for creating them.  Pick your favorite artist, your genre, your favorite bands or songs and just like working out at the gym,  push play and go at it!  My favorite is Spotify. They have monthly subscriptions for 9.99 a month but you can create an account for FREE.  Just download it to your computer and there you have it with millions of songs that you can share with friends! And its mobile too!  You're welcome to listen to my playlists if you'd like :)

Want more inspiration of creative spaces?  Check out these 40 AMAZING creative spaces of some very famous creatives! 40 creative spaces of famous writers, illustrators and artists

Friday, January 16, 2015

My Art of Bookmarks

Nothings better than me and my Micron pens 01, 05, 08 in red, green, blue and black along with my gel pens and my blank pre-cut card stock bookmarks.  It's so much fun and can be challenging but that's the fun of it all. 

The challenge to create something within a limited space. 

Pups be knowing....

I love to read and anytime I would put down my new book I used to(like I'm sure most people do) fold the corners of the pages where I would leave off. Although its not a crime to do that unless your borrowing from the public Library in which they may fine you...

Bookmarks? For What?

 I certainly wasn't thinking about purchasing any bookmarks....until the day I had put down an awesome book entitled Gone Girl (ya know, life happens......... then Netflix happened) I didn't pick it up for about a month saw the trailer to the movie and thought oh yeah, I was reading that book let me finish it. And of course with all of the  pre bent corner of pages I had no idea where the heck I had left off ...
Origami bent corners didn't help at all.  

Elephant-ly reading.

Bookmarks are great!  

They keep your books intact and saves you the embarrassment of having someone borrow a book only to find it's corners are all bent up.  Bookmarks can also make great novelty gifts for the book lovers in your life.

Cat, Paw Prints Bookmark

My unique illustrated bookmarks are one of kind and one the of Best Sellers within my Etsy shop.   I will certainly be creating many more.  

I am currently reading Me Before You by Jojo Moyes.  The Book of Month and it's really good so far.  At the end of this month look for a special blog post with my review of the book!

Tell me about what you are reading and if you use bookmarks or not?  

Take my quick survey, just for fun

Create, Share and Grow!

Xoxo, Robin

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Sunday, January 11, 2015

Welcome to LeMahogany Art Blog

Hello! Welcome to LeMahogany Art Blog!  Thanks for cyber stopping in! This blog will feature my behind the scenes art work and projects that I am working on, a D.I.Y. series in which I will test out those really cool Pinterest projects entitled "Does it really, Work?" #DIRW  and my love of books! I love reading and I am a strong believer that reading not only enhances your mind but also your beauty! 

My Place of Work (part-time at the moment)
Gouache! Love working with it!

Believe or not, this is my fifth attempt at creating a blog.

Yes, fifth time.  Just about every year I had started and stopped and made it more complex then it had to be.  I've bought URL's, built a website myself (Frustration to the max!) but I had no interest in it anymore and I would just quit.  
Not this year, though.  
Here's the timeline of  LeMahogany Art

Subscribe TODAY! To get the latest on LeMahogany Art. So Much to share with you and much more in store!  I will write to you, Friday.