Life on the creative side

Archive for January, 2013

A Thankful American Moment

displaying the american flage

From my window I am witness to a thankful American moment.

displaying the american flag

My neighbor at the beach is an elderly man in his eighties.  As a young man he immigrated from Portugal to the United States, three times, twice ill-legally then finally legally. Everyday since he was given the opportunity  to become an American citizen he has taken a moment to give thanks for that privilege.  Now seventy some years later he still puts out his American flag each morning and takes it back down each evening; a ritual I often noticed from my window. The amazing thing is that after all these years it hasn’t become just another of his daily chores. Each time this grateful American puts out the flag he takes a moment to give thanks; he wraps himself in his flag, says a small prayer and raises a corner of the flag to his lips for a kiss; then, more often than not, he subtly wipes a tear from his eye.

displaying the american flage

God bless America

Moment Number Three And Counting

Moment number three of my year in moments came when this sweet little guy became the newest member of our family.



Another Moment For My Collection

Collecting moments is easy when you surround yourself with good people.


Hubby and I have been fortunate to have had our lives filled with good people. Great friends – both new and old – families and neighbors have made for a moment filled life. For our children, the best memories of growing up are populated by aunts with Barbie dolls in balloons, uncles with cool antique cars and four wheelers, grandmas with warm hugs, grandpas with walking sticks and mischievous smiles and dads of “The Camping Group”.



As young new parents a group of our friends formed a father/children camping group. Once a month the moms escaped life’s routine at a mom’s-night-out-dinner, while our hubbies let the children run wild through various state parks and camp grounds. There are countless stories, that have grow bigger with each retelling, of gators, bears, rope swings and camp fires. Eventually the group grew to more than a dozen dads and their kids, which lead to the creation of a custom  camping grill – “the camping trailer” – to feed the growing number of mouths. Now, with countless camping trips, almost as many tailgate parties, numerous end-of-the-school-year parties, and one wedding later the old camping trailer found itself in need of repair. So this weekend the dads came together once again to give the old trailer a new life; and me, moment number two for my collection of moments, 2013.


Who knows maybe there will be a second generation camping group.

Painted Christmas Ornaments

Painted Christmas Ornaments
During the rush of the Christmas season a reader contacted me concerning a recent post about my hand painted Christmas ornaments. As it so happened she had been trying to paint an ornament of her own but with frustrating results. Each time she attempted to paint the image the paint would slide and streak over the glass; she wondered if I could make any helpful suggestions. Later It occurred to me that perhaps other readers could garner some helpful insight from the correspondence that followed between Amber and myself – I’m certain all will find inspiration from the beautiful results of her creative efforts. Thanks Amber for sharing

Hi Mrs. Lundberg, Wow!! Those are amazing! You are so talented! It’s funny that you posted these ornaments because I sat down last night with the intent of painting on plastic ball ornaments, like these (although I do not know if your ornaments are glass or plastic…that might make a difference). I had such a difficult time – and truly with awful results! If you would offer your expert advice, what paint do you use and do you have to prime the surface at all? I found that the Martha Stewart acrylic paint (one pearl finish and the other course glitter) rather smeared than held a tight, clean line. It also took me about 3 coats to make it opaque. I plan to paint my home (our 2012 new home) onto a ball and this is how I was thinking of approaching it. Since the paint doesn’t seem to adhere well to the plastic, I painted a white/pearl circle on the ball to act as my base coat/canvas. And then I’ll continue painting from there. I don’t plan to go into as much beautiful detail as you do by adding dimension with shading…but I’d just like to have a straight, clean line if at all possible! Any suggestions are warmly welcomed and anticipated ;)

Awe thanks Amber, Here is my brief tutorial on painting an ornament. I use acrylic craft paint on glass or plastic bulbs. I don’t prime the bulb but I do use a square soft brush, 1/2 inch or so wide, to carefully apply the base coat of paint (it may streak a bit but the image I apply next camouflages this); if you want it more opaque apply more layers, letting paint dry between layers. After the base coat has completely dried I use detail brushes to paint on the scene (take care not to overwork the surface, as it may cause the base coat to lift). Finally, once I am satisfied with the image, I dip the entire bulb into a water /based sealer. Also I have used white or silver bulbs to begin with, such as the ornament featured in my post (the one with the image of the Christmas tree hunt) because it was a snowy scene. Happy painting Amber, and feel free to contact me if you need any help.

I finally got to painting (I painted my church’s future building instead of my home, like I planned) and I am so happy with the results! Painting the base coat like you suggested really helped. My only step left is to coat it with sealer. I bought Mod Podge (satin or semi-gloss) but I am too frightened to go through with it. Do you have any suggestions on how to proceed? Will the ornament not last if it isn’t sealed?

Thanks so much for your help earlier,

hand painted christmas ornament


hand painted christmas ornament

Amber that looks beautiful. You did a great job! I would suggest that you seal it with a water based Polyurethane. I like to dip the entire ornament into the polyurethane then hang it to dry. A satin finish creates a soft coating and a gloss finish creates a glass like top coat.

Do you mean you use regular water-based polyurethane from a can, like what you’d buy at a paint store? I was thinking it was a special product found at craft stores…wow. I believe I have some and I’ll give it a try tomorrow.

Yes it comes in a can and u can find it at a paint store or home improvement store. Let me knw how it goes.

I dipped it about 30 minutes ago and it’s in the garage drying. I was little apprehensive to make the initial plunge, but I’m so glad I did! It was very simple and easy and it gave the ornament a gorgeous glossy shine. But more than that, I have the peace of mind that the ornament is protected for years. I intend this ornament to be a gift to my pastor and his wife. If I have enough courage left, I’ll get to painting my home for my husband and self.

hand painted christmas ornament

Collecting Moments

Cabin Christmas 2012

Collecting moments

I hope you had a wonderful Christmas, we certainly did. Our cabin on the ridge was overflowing with Christmas spirit, family, friends and joy. After months of renovating the studio loft into a guest room; the  modest kitchen into my dream kitchen; and assembling enough beds and linens to accommodate an extra ten plus guests, we were finally ready to celebrate; and celebrate we did!
Cabin Christmas 2012
 I had intended to share the holiday activities and festivities with you, but I got so caught up in the moment, the season and our guests that I didn’t even pick up my computer. Before I knew it, the days of my impromptu sabbatical had passed and it was time to say good-bye to our guests, the season and 2012.
Gingerbread build-off
Today, with the moments of the season and of the past year nestled in my memories and the promise of new ones stretching into the new year, I’m inspired to make this new years challenge: seek-out,  live-in and capture the big and small, planned and unexpected moments of 2013;   So begins “A Year of collecting moments!
pappy van winkle arrives at the cabin
# 1- Gathered around a bonfire with dear friends of twenty-five+ years to
 say good-bye to one year and welcome in another. HAPPY NEW YEAR!
Friends around bonfire