Thursday, May 31, 2012

Celebrate, Remember, Fight back....a night for Hope

All, this is not a usual post, but is undoubtedly the most important one I will do this year.  Thank you in advance for taking the time to read it.

If you have been walking this journey with me for a while, you'll know our family recently dealt with the very essence of ugliness - cancer (you can read about it here and here).  

On February 2, 2012, my dear Father in Law and beloved Gramps left us after having fought a courageous battle for many years.  It's hard to believe nearly four months have passed since we said good-bye; the emotions that fill my heart while writing this post make it seem as though it were only yesterday.

As you may know, I belong to a woman's soccer league and every year a group of us gather for a very important event - The Canadian Cancer Society Relay for Life.

It's an all-night fund raising event to celebrate the lives of those who are living with cancer, remember loved ones lost to cancer, and fight back against the disease.

When I first began attending the relay a few years ago, I was one of the fortunate few who could claim to not have been directly affected by cancer.  But what initially began as a means of supporting my fellow teammates has now become a mission - a mission to pick a fight with cancer and do whatever little I can to help raise awareness and funds towards finding a cure.

These are some of the luminaries that represent a life lost to cancer. They are lit at midnight and a minute of silence is observed.  It is truly a life changing experience.

This Friday, beginning at 7:00pm, I - along with family and teammates - will walk through the night along with thousands of others willing to sacrifice one night of their lives for HOPE. 
I don't know if those who pass look down upon us, but I do know they never leave our hearts and thoughts.  This Friday, I will have him in my heart.  This Friday, I will walk for him and for all of those who have been touched by this horrible disease.

And now here's the tough part (at least for me).  Those who know me personally know I don't have an aggressive bone in my body.  The thought of asking for support is completely outside my comfort zone, yet here I am - on the cusp of what will be the most important event of my life this year - doing just that.  

We all live within a budget and I appreciate the economy has been difficult for many of us.  But if after reading this you feel in your heart the need to donate, please do.

You can simply click here, or on the button that will remain on the sidebar of my blog for the next week.  The link will take you to my personal participant centre, where you can choose to give a pledge.  All you will have to do then is search my name (Lucy Akins) and the site will prompt you for other details.

I read this quote once and it stuck in my head "If you think you are too small to make a difference, than you've obviously never been in bed with a mosquito"- Michelle Walkeris

Thank you so much for taking the time to read this very important post, and a special thanks to those of you able to make a pledge.

much love,
Lucy (and Family)

The winner is....

ps - on a previous post, I had mentioned I would be sharing details on an event I will be attending that is very dear to my heart.  I will be posting details immediately following this post and it would mean so much to me if you could come back so I may share with you.

Thank you

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The little hutch that could....a makeover

Hi friends - I hope you are all doing well!

This is the type of post I get excited about.  Not because it's authentic and revolutionary, but because I don't often work on refinishing furniture and I feel a little closer to becoming a 'real DIY blogger'.

A couple of months ago I saw this sad little hutch at our local thrift store.  I inspected it and soon saw right into its soul.  Its sad looking scratched up surface hiding beauty.  But despite its already low price, it had an additional 50% off tag adorning it, trying to tell the world 'I really want to go home with you', yet I still walked away. 

We left the store with more items than intended, but I still couldn't get this little hutch off my mind.  So I asked my sweet hubby if he could go back and get it for me? Once at the store he called me.
hubby: ' babe, what does this hutch look like?'
me: 'it's brown and it has glass doors and....etc'
hubby: 'I'm looking at it right now, but are you sure you want this?  It's kinda...'
me: 'don't worry, I can make it beautiful'

So, hubby comes home with the little hutch that could and a couple of weeks later....

 It holds some of the pretties I have been collecting.

 Remember the burlap place mat? 

Some beautiful serving dishes my sweet mother-in-law 
has given us look perfect holding some old silver cutlery... 

I never get tired of the beauty of the blue 
jars. This one I found recently for $1.99.

 And here he is again...

A lot of the items are simple dishes that I have either 
collected from thrift stores or had in my kitchen pantry. 

 I love the little 'pop' of colour from 
The PoP Shoppe bottle (also seen here)

New knobs, and a little distressing on the doors and edges...

I didn't want too much for this piece...

I used the beadboard wallpaper by Martha Stewart. We had bought it for a different purpose, but I love how it looks on the little hutch...:)

And there you go...the little hutch that could.  I'm sure this little hutch will become a focal point in our home and will change with the seasons...

I hope I didn't bore you with too many pictures; I guess I'm a proud momma...:)

As usual, thank you for calling today. I hope to see you very soon. 

Remember to come back as I will announce the winner of the hand painted tote as well as I will be sharing with you a very important and dear to my heart event I will be attending. 

sending you much love,

Funky Junk Interiors
Carolyn's homework
Home stories A to Z
The 36th avenue
Someday Crafts
French Country Cottage
Tatertots and Jello
The girl creative
Chic on a Shoestring decorating
Finding fabulous
My Romantic Home
Simply designing
The Shabby Nest
I heart naptime
Today's creative blog
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Thrifty Decor Chick
Cedar Hill Ranch

Creating a colour palette without Photoshop...

As someone who enjoys art and whose fingernails are constantly covered with various colours of paint, I love not only looking at colour palettes but also creating my own.

I often make little colour palettes
right beside my paintings as I go along

(ombre giraffe project for Bella's room)

But I love the computerized colour palettes found throughout the web.  I particularly have a favourite site called design seeds.  I have arranged some of my Pinterest boards using some of their colour palettes.  Colour palettes can be very useful when decorating and can assist when choosing paint colours to decor accessories. 

You can easily make your own palettes with PhotoShop or Illustrator, but I unfortunately do not have either.  So today, I wanted to show you how I make my own colour palettes using various free tools found around the web.  All of these websites require you to download an image or the image's URL. 

(click on image to enlarge)

You acquire the image's URL by right clicking on the image and selecting 'Copy image URL'. Please note that not all websites allow you to copy their images and this particular feature might not work as it has been disabled by the user.

(Click on image to enlarge)

1.  Let's start with This website provides you an immediate colour palette by simply pasting the image's URL and clicking the 'color-palette-ify' button.
This is the palette I created using DeGraeve.
 It provides me with colours both dull and vibrant .

2. CSSDrive
The next one is more well known by photoshop users as it allows you to download your palette right onto Photoshop.  It works in a similar manner as the DeGraeve but with this particular colour palette generator, you can upload your own image.  It also gives you a large selection of colours which you can click and drag to make your own palette based on the colours of your image or the colours you like. 

After some cropping and collaging in Picmonkey (which now offers a new free collage feature, YAY!), this is the palette I created.  As you can see, it provides you with a light, medium and dark colour palette as well as a complete colour palette.
Here is another example using the same website... pretty huh?

3. Big Huge Labs
Let's now move onto Big Huge Labs.  This site is a lot of fun as it not only has a palette generator but also allows you to play around with your images and make photo booth style collages, puzzles, calendars, frames etc.

Here is the palette I made using this
website.  I love the calmness of this palette.

And lastly, Colour Lovers.  This one is another favourite website of mine.

This site allows you to make your own colour palettes from both preloaded images or your own images.  You can then share your palettes with others or just browse through the community of 'palettiers' (they don't call themselves that, I just made that up, ha). You can also make patterns which can be a lot of fun.

This is probably my favourite method but it is also the most complicated.  But the site allows you to work at your own capacity by providing you with a basic or advanced feature.  You can pixelate the photo and simply choose the colours from your image or if you are a little more colour savvy you can manipulate the colour wheel to pick the colours that match your palette. 

So let's take a look at the palette generators one more time...


So what do you think?  Have you ever used one of these palette generators?  Do you have a favourite?
As mentioned, colour palettes can be a very useful tool for decorating.  Try uploading one of your favourite photos into any of these and have fun! 

To my friends in the U.S., I hope you had a great Memorial Day weekend! Thank you all for stopping by. I'll be back tomorrow with a little furniture makeover.

much love,

Saturday, May 26, 2012

The weekend...and gratitude

I am humbled by your kind words in regards to my little surprise giveaway.
 Thank you from the bottom of my heart..xo
have a beautiful weekend. 

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Watercolour on Canvas and a little surprise...

I continue to experiment using watercolour
paint right onto untreated canvas...

 ...and love the softness and effect the paint has on the fabric.
I posted some of these pictures on my fb page a couple of weeks ago...
Here is what I was working on.  I cut the vinyl handles that originally came attached to the bag and sewed these pretty wooden handles from an old purse I bought at a thrift store.

I also painted a couple of pillows, which
I will share with you at a later time.... 

I'm not sure why, but I find working on fabric a little easier than paper(?).  Perhaps it's the way the paint is absorbed by the fabric and the water colour effect is more prominent....

And here is my surprise...

This bag was hand painted with love for one of you.

I would be honoured if you considered entering this little surprise giveaway.

To enter, all you have to do is leave a comment letting me know that you would like to participate in the draw.  That's it!

Comments left thru 12am EST May 30th will be eligible and I'll announce the winner Thursday, May 31. 

If you happen to be new to Craftberry Bush, welcome.  I hope that you come back again soon or keep in touch by becoming a part of the creative team. 

Thank you friends for keeping me company today!

much love,

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