November 17, 2010

Painted Journal Project

Hello Friends!

I'm back from my glorious honeymoon and have access again to my crafty supplies!  Yea!  While Mark and I are waiting for the details of our house to come together, we're staying with my mom.  I have taken over the back room and turned it into my sewing-craft-and-psychic-bidness room.  Frankly, it's a mess right now.  Or at least it looks like one to the untrained eye :)

The other day I was really craving something to paint, so I started digging around in my mom's garage.  I found a journal I'd gotten years and years ago but never used and decided to give it a face-lift.  Here's the before:

It's just not my style.  First, I coated it with blobs of color...

Doesn't look like much at this point, I grant you.  By the way, I found this tray in our cabinet years ago and started using it to mix all my colors on.  I LOVE it!  It has plenty of space, it's super easy to clean, and it's bright and colorful.  The old spaghetti jar is filled with water for my brushes.  Makes me feel more like a real painter to use things like old spaghetti jars :)  Then I decided to write positive messages all over the cover.  I used quotes from my Spirit Guides, Rumi, and other positive quotes from my My Magical Journey newsletters.

Kitty Cosmo decided to drop by and say hello...

Doesn't she look like a sweet little kitty there?  Secretly, I think she might be a little bi-polar.  One minute she'll be sweet as pie, looking like a little sophisticated lady, and the next she gets possessed by demons and has to be tip-toed around.  It also makes sense because she has one green eye and one blue eye, half black fur and half white fur.  She practically screams bi-polar kitty.  Not that there's anything wrong with that (as long as you keep your fingers out of reach), it's just her unique personality.  One time (at band camp) I was telling a lady about how traumatic it was when I first moved in and Cosmo was attacking me all the time.  You know what this lady did?  She laughed!  Can you believe it?!  I couldn't believe it.  Although I just realized I laugh my way through weddings and funerals and any other event that I'm not supposed to laugh at.  But I digress...

After writing all over it, I decided it needed some splatter paint!

Splatter painting is super easy and a lot of fun. Add a small amount of water to your acrylic paint, wet your brush, saturate your brush in the paint, and fling or tap your brush over the surface you're painting.  (I know I said fling, but you still hold onto the brush the entire time).  At this point I realized I'm heading toward the grunge look, and I suddenly get the idea that I can finish this and give it to my sister-in-love, Elle, who appreciates the bold, energetic, grunge style.  I decided to add brightly colored vines, leaves, and roses as a nod toward Romeo & Juliet, which for some reason had popped into my head at this point.  I was thinking of the rose vines leading up toward the balcony.

My roses changed into hearts (easy to paint), and I added her name and some dots in metallic bronze paint.  You may wonder why I went though the trouble of writing all over it if I was just going to cover it with splatter paint.  I feel that the energy of the quotes will come through the journal, whether or not she can actually read them.  There are short phrases that still show through, though.  I found out that Elle in Greek means shining light, and there's a quote at the very top that didn't get fully covered up that says, "You are a bright, shining light in the world."  Which, of course, is true for all of us.  

I am pretty excited that this is a personalized, unique, and totally free Christmas present.  I wonder if I can be uber creative this year and make gifts for everyone that they will enjoy and be totally free.  Hmm...what a fun challenge that could be.

By the way, I realize these pics are slightly blurry, even though I sharpened them on picnik.  My camera has been funky blurry for several weeks now and I couldn't figure out why.  Just before I looked it up online, I turned my camera around and saw a huge fingerprint right over the lens!  Hello obvious!  Hopefully you won't have to strain your eyes in the future.  


Melanie Jade  

November 5, 2010

Halloween in Granbury

Hello Friends!

Back from our wonderful wedding and honeymoon, and now we're...still going with the flow.  My sewing machine is still in storage, so the crafts in my head (I'm skipping Christmas and moving right onto Valentine's Day) are staying in my head for now. However, I do have some photos to share with you from our recent visit to Granbury, TX.  I had never been there before, but they have a super cute historic downtown.  Come window shopping with me!

This was the cutest, most colorful store.  They had brightly colored Christmas trees (hot pink, sky blue, etc.) that were so wild and happy.  Unfortunately, none of my photos turned out well : (

I love "The Witch Is In".  My mom said I could get this and put it outside our home if I was in a bad mood.  Ha.  Ha.  Very funny.  :-b

I LOVE this little witch.  There were several different ones, and they have the most animated faces.

As we were leaving, all the shop owners came outside in their costumes and had a trick-or-treating party for the children.  It was so cute!  I really loved that all the shops decorated outside with natural materials.  Most of them had hay bales, pumpkins, and cornstalks, along with colorful fabric and cloth Halloween characters.  

And check out this cool sign:

I would hang this on my wall if I had it.  Maybe I'll make something like this when we get our home.  Love the 20s look.

I was also inspired by some of the cute crafts in the stores, many of which were made by local artists, like this little tack board (or whatever you call it).  Just a cork board covered with burlap and painted.  Cute.  I would make a more colorful version, but it's still a cute and easy idea.

I'm pretty sure the same artist made these painted burlap pillows

The burlap was a little rough for my taste, but I like the idea of painting on fabric because I love to paint.  There's also something peaceful and elegant about the monochromatic silhouettes of the birds and letters.  They remind me of another pillow I saw recently in the Pottery Barn catalog...

Laughter Sentimentl Lumbar Pillow, 12 x 24"

I was so inspired by this pillow.  I love the typewriter print and the happy message.  I could think of lots of different words to copy the same idea with, and then I'd have a super happy couch.  Actually, I loved all sorts of things from the Pottery Barn holiday catalog.  I could just picture decorating our future house.  If you're wondering whether I would go on a shopping spree at Pottery Barn if we had our house now, I'd say that just isn't my style.  I would find what I like and then figure out how to make it myself : - )  I used to drive my mom nuts in stores because she would pick out something pretty, and I'd say, "I could make that."  

Thank you for coming along with me on my tour of Granbury!  I hope you had a happy Halloween!


Melanie Jade

July 9, 2010

Wedding Photos!

Hello Friends!

Our wedding was everything we dreamed of and more!  Every aspect of it was so wonderful and perfect!  I have a few photos to share with you!

13 of 25 family members arrived in Newport Thursday night.  We had an amazing drive down the coast from Portland.  We took the scenic route through Cannon Beach and down highway 101.  Beautiful drive!  Oh My GOSH!  Towering evergreen trees, mountains, ocean...simply incredible.  We even stopped at a roadside stand to get some cherries.  Yummy!  I loved how the farms were so varied.  In Texas, farmers strip a huge plot of land and plant one crop.  Not so pretty.  Most of the farms we drove by and flew over in Oregon were planted with different vegetables, grapevines, had cute roadside signs, and looked so natural and earthy.  Wonderful!  They blended in with the landscape.

Thursday night we went to Cafe Mundo for dinner, which had rave reviews on  I was not a fan of the food.  We had fun anyway, just because that's how we roll :)

Friday dinner was at Bay 839, right on the water, and it was FABULOUS!  I can't say enough how great the food was, the view of the water, and the owners are.  Danielle, Ian, and Arlene were fabulous!

Mark and I are on the left.  

My mother-in-love, Aunt Alaire, and cutie Evie practiced their act for the talent show on the Bay 839 patio.

While waiting for her food, Evie browses the Toys R Us catalog.

After having a fabulous dinner, we went back to Ocean House Bed & Breakfast (DIVINE!) for the talent show!  That's right!  We convinced all our wonderful family members to participate, and we had an awesome time

Saturday morning, my grandmother surprised me in the spot where our ceremony was to take place in a Glenda the Good Witch/Fairy Godmother costume.  I was so thrilled!  When we first started talking about our wedding, I had asked if she would wear that costume to perform the ceremony.  Later, we decided against that, but she still made my costume wish come true, magic wand and all! I don't have the photos from that initial meeting yet, but I do have one of Grandma Petey, Me, and My Mom at breakfast:

At one o'clock, my mom and I were ready to come down the stairs and walk to the garden.  However, several members of Mark's family (who shall remain anonymous) were not ready yet, so my mom harassed them until they took their seats :)

Mark and I walked with our parents to the back of the ceremony site, walked a short distance by ourselves, and then walked to my Grandma Petey (officiating the ceremony) together.  We wanted to symbolize that our parents guided us through the first part of our lives, then we had many years as single adults, and finally enjoyed the past several years as a couple.  It was very important to us to recognize the beautiful journey we've been on for the past two years.  (By the way, my top is from the etsy dealer Plum Pretty Sugar and was a gift from my mom).  

The necklace was worn by Mark's grandmother (MamaMama) at her wedding and cousin Kelly at her and Ethan's wedding.  It matched my dress perfectly.

We had so many moments of laughter in our ceremony, which I loved :)

Mark and I stood next to each other during the ceremony, which was just perfect.  

Beautiful photo of saying our vows that shows the back of my dress.  At this point in the ceremony I looked over and saw Evie, the beautiful girl in the photo.  She sprinkled her magic and fairy dust and we continued.  It is one of my favorite memories from the ceremony.

Here's a photo from our reception.  We left our beautiful homemade streamers up from the talent show the night before.  So lively!

After the reception, my Grandma Petey, Jim, my mom, and my brother provided our getaway car to go to town and enjoy the Newport Seafood BBQ and Clam Bake, which is an annual food, crafts, and music festival in Newport.  We had a fabulous time!

Saturday night we had a bonfire at the beach and watched the sunset.  It was the perfect fun, romantic, and relaxing end to the day.

Mark and I are wearing our Bride and Groom hats from Mark's mom.  My mom's in red in the middle, and Petey and Jim are on the right.  I'm enjoying leftovers from the cheese tray at the reception, and Mark's enjoying even more champagne :)

We had a wonderful day Sunday, relaxing, hiking to the lighthouse and tidepools, and enjoying the rest of the time with our family.  We drove back to Portland on Monday and headed home to 90 degree Texas weather.  Ha!  What a difference!

So what's next?

Mark and I bought tickets to Dublin last night to start our tour of Europe.  We don't have anything planned except our one-way plane ticket, but everything in due time, right?  We bought hiking backpacks and boots last night, and we're going exploring!

I hope you've enjoyed our wedding adventure!


Melanie Rummel (!)

June 30, 2010

Homemade Streamers from Junk Mail

Hello Friends!

I think I mentioned before that we're having a talent show the night before our wedding.  We think this will be a great time for our family members to get to know each other, share laughter, and have fun.  We're having the talent show in the living room of the bed & breakfast we're getting married at, and we decided to decorate the room with fun streamers, twinkle lights, and a table of yummy candies and treats.  Mark and I are making our wedding as eco-friendly as possible, so I was thrilled when I saw Alisa Burke's tutorial about how to make bunting flags from junk mail.  I just LOVE Alisa's website, and I read it all the time.  I decided to modify her idea a bit to make streamers for our talent show.

First, I dug through our paper bin in the office (where we keep paper to be recycled) for sturdy paper.  Then, I spread them out in the living room, turned on some Netflix, and started painting!  I painted both sides of the paper.  Now, I think Alisa's version is so super cute and fun, and she cut hers into triangles.  Well, after I'd spent DAYS painting (which I loved, but it did take much longer than I thought it would), I loved all our artwork (I say "our" because Mark joined me for several hours) so much that I didn't want to cut any of it up.  I left the paintings in their original shapes (various sized rectangles), used a hole puncher to put holes along the top, and strung them on ribbon.  Alisa sewed hers together, which looks great, but Mark and I thought thick ribbon would hold up better.  Plus, we decided we would keep our streamers and use them at parties for years to come.  Here are the pics:

This is a small example of the 66 pieces we painted and strung.  We have SO many streamers now!  We'll take pics once we decorate for the talent show, and you'll be able to see them in all their glory.



June 27, 2010

Handmade Thank You Cards

Hello Friends!

I have a new project to show you!  Mark and I are sending out lots of thank you cards lately (what a blessing!), and I was scrounging around looking to see what our stash looked like.  Slim pickins, lemme tell ya.  However, we did have a box of fortune cookie cards.  It sounds like a neat idea, but when I opened them up to look at the cards, I was not impressed.  Plus, Mark reminded me that I threw out all the fortunes long ago because I thought they were crappy.  Although this sounded like something I would do, I didn't remember this at all, so I looked on the box to see what the fortunes were.  There were two options.  The first read, "Those who have wealth attract love beyond measure."  The second read, "Those who have love have wealth beyond measure."  Yeah, I still think those are crappy fortunes.  I considered creating new fortunes for the cards, but I didn't care for the design anyway, so what did I do???  I spread out my paint supplies on the living room floor, turned on a fun movie, and went to town!  (As a side note, one of the reasons I may be subconsciously coming up with a lot of fun projects to do is because they create a great excuse to watch Netflix for hours).

Without further ado, here are the pics:

Before painting...

and after...

and painted envelopes too!

June 26, 2010

Wedding Update

Hello Friends!

It's getting so much closer --- 8 days until Mark and I get married!!!  We're both really looking forward to it (obviously), and we're still having so much fun in the planning process.  I finished painting my dress, and spent over 12 hours beading it last weekend on the way to and from Lubbock.  Mark and I decided to take a road trip to see his father's side of our family before the wedding, and it was the perfect opportunity to finish beading my dress.  We had such a wonderful time!  Mark and I listened to the first Harry Potter audio book while we were in the car - great choice by my honey!  We had a marvelous time in Lubbock, and Mark's aunt, Phyllis, gave us a beautiful card she made to congratulate us on our wedding.  It was so thoughtful and beautiful, I cried! I love handmade treasures.  I can feel the love that goes into them.  Thank you Phyllis!

Then, a few days ago I went shopping with my mommy.  We had such a great time!  We found my wedding shoes, had a wonderful lunch together (and a much needed pina colada - hehe), and spent hours lounging and watching Monarch of the Glen together on Netflix.  Monarch of the Glen is a BBC show that my mom used to watch when she was a teenager (she's British).  I asked if she ever thought then that someday she would be watching it with her daughter.  It was really nice to have the mother/daughter time.  I have the best mom.  We have always been best friends.

What other news???  Oh yeah, back to my dress.  So, today I am going to work on the bodice of my dress and sew a bra into it.  Everything else is done!  Well, except the hem.  Technically the hem is done now, but I think I'll have to shorten it a bit because my shoes are flats, and although it seems very princess-y to lift up my dress when I walk, it's not practical.  Plus, I'd probably end up with a plate of chocolate covered strawberries in one hand and a glass of champagne in the other, and then I'd trip on my hem and fall flat on my face.  Not so graceful.

I have to apologize for my writing.  I start writing a sentence, and then my thoughts just float away on something else, and finishing each sentence feels like trying to hammer a round peg in a square hole.  I've just got a lot on my mind.  That's why I haven't been blogging on any of my blogs much.  I haven't even done my monthly newsletter for My Magical Journey yet.  Doh!  I have the idea of what I'm going to write about, got great inspiration for it, but the actual writing bit is sludgy.  I would rather convey my ideas telepathically for the moment.  Sometimes when I get messages from my guides, it's like a gentle wave of information comes into my body.  I feel it and know the entire message all at once, rather than it being delivered in a stream of words, like writing.  What if you picked up a book in the library, and you instantly felt the entire story?  After this happens (the wave message - not the library book thing) sometimes my conscious, logical mind pauses and rewinds the message, then replays slowly, breaking it into frames of meaning and dissecting each frame.  Sometimes I wonder why the knowing isn't enough?  Why does it need to be dissected and inspected if the message has already seeped into every cell?  You know why?  Because then I usually have to put it in verbal form to communicate it to someone else.  I usually find that it's easier to do if I sit and feel the message, rather than think about it, before communicating verbally.  Anyhoo...

Okay, so what's next?  I'm going to write a blog right now about my handmade thank you cards!  I found a box of cards I didn't like in our cabinet, so instead of buying new ones, I painted over them!  Now they look great!  I've taken lots of photos, so I'll show you all of them and post it for tomorrow.

Also, Mark and I have spent days painting streamers to decorate for the talent show we're having the day before our wedding.  That's right, we've suckered all our family members into performing for us to kick off our wedding weekend.  It's going to be so much fun!  Anyhoo, I'll post photos of that project in a few days, too!  I'm going to use the handy dandy feature of blogger where I can write a bunch of posts one day and schedule them to go online several days later.  I love technology!

Thanks for reading!


June 11, 2010


For about a week, I've been painting my wedding dress.  I'm planning on being finished painting today!  Yea!  It looks awesome!  And this time I'm keeping it a secret until I walk out on my wedding day to marry Mark.  I know I said that last time, but I'm serious this time!  No previews, and no peeking!

Okay, back to work...