Around & About

How can it be Friday already?  Getting back from our trip late Monday night sure made the week fly by for me. To start the weekend off, I have something that is a little different for you today.

hhow-to-turn-hydrangeas-pink

How To Cut Hydrangeas So They Won’t Wilt

Most of the time when I am working on creating blog posts, I am physically doing the project, taking photos and then in the back end of my own site getting the post written.

While I am doing this I need a break sometimes and go on what I call.. “Around & About” on the internet looking for inspiration and eye candy in the way of decor and lifestyle ideas. Since Fridays are usually very quiet in the online world as everyone is getting ready for the weekend, I thought I would share some recent inspiration I found.

Have you seen this?

Swing over water
visitmexico.com

I told Ed I want to add one on our dock. :-)

Lake house cottage-dining-room-white-oak-flooring
The Lily Pad Cottage

And talking about docks…

I have followed Kelly’s blog for years, but am really enjoying watching her build a brand new lake house. She just moved in and revealed her dining room.

I learned how to do traditional flat nib calligraphy and fancy printing when I was in college, but I never quite mastered using a brush pen to create the more hip and happening pretty hand lettering that is popular today and all over Pinterest. This tutorial and short video will have you creating beautiful brush script in no time.

Now I want to get brush pens in every color.

hand lettering 101

If the lettering video inspired you to learn more…  I am giving away this book that offers a slightly different approach to hand lettering.  GIVEAWAY for this book has ended.  Congratulations to Pam Clark.

I have never started a journal, but I sure would like to create something like this, not for recipes, but for all my creative ideas.

Stop saying sorry… Let’s Stop Apologizing 

If you are crafty and enjoy using your computer and printer to create gifts… here is a really cute and clever gift idea.  Ashley made these with her kids for Father’s Day, but I see many other gift giving possibilities, too.

Do you like to doodle? I do and find myself always drawing eyes and flowers. My friend Gail introduced me to the world of Zentangle. I had never heard of it, have you?  Now I am hooked.  I do it in its simplest form especially when I am talking on the phone, I grab a scrap piece of paper and start Zentangling. It is amazing what you can create with a small piece of paper and a pen or pencil, even if you have no artistic talent.

Since moving to SC, Ed and I are having a hard time finding a family doctor nearby.  Our previous one in Pennsyvania was terrific. When I read about this book in a magazine  I wanted to learn more and bought it.  I think it makes a lot of sense.

How to get peonies to bloom longer

If you like or shall I say LOVE peonies as much as I do and want them to last longer, this post will help you make them last for up to a month!

Thats a wrap for today.

Happy Friday…Happy Weekend!

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103 Comments

  1. Hello,
    I am just stunned with these products. These art images will be all what an artist may look at. I would love and adore to win this book. How ever, Yesterday I was visiting a site which is full of home decor which perfectly goes with any house interiors. Want to share with you guys too.

    HomeDecor

  2. What lovely lettering it makes a person feel good when you see something divide full to the eyes ! Can you garden makes me miss living in Scotland ! Thank you so much for the chance to win ❤️???

  3. Hi Diane, I’d love to win the book and try something new. I’m feeling lucky! Thanks.

    1. Diane, I completely agree with you regarding the book. Four years ago I went to my doctor with complaints about terrible joint pain. He ordered blood tests which ultimately ended up revealing that I had two autoimmune diseases (Lupus and Sjogren’s Syndrome). I made an appointment with a rheumatologist, but had to wait about 8 weeks to get in. In the meantime I started investigating these diseases and found a lot of articles regarding the effect of diet on inflammation and autoimmune disease. I began following a Paleo diet and within a few days my pain was gone. When I finally was able to see the rheumatologist she wasn’t impressed with what had happened with my diet change and wanted me to start taking medication, which I declined.

      I’ve continued this diet ever since and continue to be pain-free! We all have to be our own health advocates.

      1. Hi Bonnie –

        This is wonderful to hear, I love hearing about these kind of changes that people go through when they take health matters into their own hands. I applaud your moxie to do it your way. Your story sounds like one of my good friends. She finally had enough and went to a naturopath. He had her first do an elimination diet and her body responded right away. She now eats very close to Paleo and can’t believe that her illness was coming from the food she was eating. To put a cheery on the top she has never looked or felt better and all her blood work numbers are fantastic without any medication. She only wishes now that she would have know this sooner instead of living with health problems since she was a kid. Cheers to feeling great and being pain-free. Thanks for sharing your story with me.

  4. I love calligraphy.Basically, I try to learn on the net by watching videos.This book would be a great treat during the summer.The girls playing in the garden and mom sipping her smoothie with this lovely book!

  5. Love hand-lettering. I, like you, learned calligraphy in college. I do my own “version” of lettering but would
    love some new ideas. Thanks!
    PS…absolutely LOVE the “sea swing” or whatever it would be called!

  6. I’d love to try my hand at being more creative, especially in a medium like writing that doesn’t take many supplies! Love the hydrangeas and peonies also!

  7. What a fun giveaway! I would love to greatly improve my handwriting especially for very important pieces of stationary!

  8. I have always wanted to learn calligraphy or, really, any kind of attractive hand lettering. I would love to win this book. Thank you for the giveaway!

  9. I love your decorating style but what I really like is the way you show us how to have a cute home without spending a lot of money. Thank you.
    I would love to win the book.

  10. Hi, Diane! I really enjoy reading your blog! I have been wanting to learn hand lettering and am so happy to learn there is an instruction book–and a giveaway. Thanks for the opportunity to win, and for your interesting entries!

  11. Diane, my mother also had a tough time finding a good doctor in SC – Greenville , to be exact. They had excellent care in TX. The link for the Undoctored book is the most important piece of info in your post, in my opinion. The medical community passes out meds and people think they are cured……but…..the meds mask the symptoms and not cure the problem. The gut is where it all happens – good or bad – depending on what you eat. Happy weekend!

    1. Hi Terry – The book really does open your eyes and makes things clear about doctors, big pharma and more. It has me looking at all products now… from household products to skin care…do we really need any of them when simple basic stuff will work just as well and not cause problems. It is all marketing and money makers that are just adding chemicals into our bodies and not really doing much. We are what we eat and put into our bodies. Thanks for reading.

  12. Getting back into the art of personal letter writing – the book would be a great way to make them elegant and stylish. Thanks!! Love the swing idea.

  13. Lettering is on my list of things to learn now that I’m done with working. Pick me! Pick me!

  14. I would love to win it! I have it marked as a favorite in Amazon waiting to purchase it one day! What a great giveaway! ?

  15. What an awesome book. I would love to learn how to do hand lettering. I think it would be relaxing which I need more of.

    I loved the variety of content in this list!

  16. I would love to win the book! I have always wanted to try my hand at hand lettering. I started playing around with Zentangles a few years ago. It is such a relaxing way to stay on focus in meetings, traveling…It is something you can do anywhere.
    I clicked on the link to view the lettering tutorial but it took me to a FTD advertisement. Am I the only one getting that? Thanks for sharing your life and all of the wonderful ideas.

    1. Hi Amy – The link for the lettering is on the FTD site. They have a really good tutorial video that shows how to use a brush pen. I am not sure why you got an ad, but the link opens to a post on the FTD blog. I just checked the link again and it took me right there. I enjoy Zentangle and like you stated…you can take and do it anywhere. :-)

  17. How did you know??? I bought a whole set of brush markers because I saw them and, well, had to have them, but have no idea how to use them!

  18. Oh how I would use this book! My mother and I are committed to lifelong learning and would love to work on this. I am left-handed, so full calligraphy is difficult. I send cards to all my family and friends for every holiday, so the techniques would get used a ton! I am so excited to learn more about this! Inspiring, thank you!,

  19. I won’t get all wordy here, but stress relievers is what I am needing right now. The book would be wonderful! Also, I have been on Eni Oken’s email list for Zentangle for awhile, but never could get all that interested. Now it is beginning to dawn on me. Thanks!

  20. I followed the link to Zentangle and still don’t understand what it is. There are no pictures of Zentangle on the site. What is it? A form of doodling? Why do I need a kit? I’m confused.

    1. Hi Brenda – When my friend first showed me Zentangle, it took me a while to understand the concept. In a nutshell, it is a form of doodling, but one that you can create pretty art from. Basically you grab a piece of paper. Draw a horizontal and vertical line that connect in the center of the paper to create 4 square spaces on the paper. Pick something to doodle, it can be anything… a letter, shape, flower, whatever you like. Start drawing the shape in line over and over in the first box until you fill it up. Then turn the piece of paper one turn to the right or left and repeat in the filling in the second box, turn the paper again and repeat in the third and then again in the forth box. Now look at the paper, it will be covered with your doodle. Now pick something else to doodle and repeat drawing it in each box, remembering to turn the paper when you start filling in a new box. You can keep adding a new doodle over or to connect the previous doodles. There is no right or wrong, you are just doodling, but in line. When you look at the piece as a whole, it can begin to look pretty cool. Many then color them in and draw very complex doodles, but it is just doodling. :-)

  21. My handwriting has never been great … but taking shorthand in high school didn’t help at all! I would love to be able to make beautiful signs with special sayings.

  22. This looks like a really good book! Thanks for offering a giveaway….my skills could use some help! I love the idea of a swing on your dock.

  23. This would be something I would love! I need to improve my lettering so much! Thanks! So enjoy your blog…

  24. I would love to win the book. My daughter enjoys fancy writing and its something we could do together.

  25. Would love to win the book, always enjoy your posts and love your creativity! Enjoy your weekend!

  26. I’m retiring in two weeks and hnd lettering is on my list of things to learn – would love to receive the book!

  27. Oh you guys definitely should have a swing! Wouldn’t it be wonderful to revisit childhood things and swing out over the water & let go? If not a swing, even a rope with just a round seat would work. Your kids would love it when they visit, and in the meantime, you and Ed could just be young & foolish at heart! I dare you to do it, and then let us see a picture!

  28. Diane,
    Funny I understand you using the Nib and ink … I used the same tools many years ago. Its funny all the things we did in our younger days, its on pinterest and now cool Glad to know that some art is not dying out.

    I’m lucky I can spell, let alone write fancy quotes. I passed down my lettering skills to my daughter and she is in love with it and has her own lettering instragam- lettersbylite. I that book would be Ideal.

    your fav blog by kelly has a great lake house!
    Thank you for the posts and your blog.. I think the swing on the water is !!!!!!!!!
    Hope

  29. I would love to win the book because years ago I used a calligraphy pen with liquid ink. It was a skill I never quite mastered but would love to try again!

    I love seeing your home change to your look via your blog.

  30. Hi Diane,

    Oh most definitely yes!! I would love to win this book : ) I also enjoyed this fun post.
    Have a great weekend

  31. Yes! I would love to win this book! I practice my hand letter writing every chance I get to add character, flourishes and loop-do-doos! I need this book!

  32. I’d love to win this book for my daughter. She’s a college student and it seems that every cute decor has some type of hand lettering, so she’d like to learn it to make her own decor.

  33. I’ve tried to do lettering with very limited success. This book looks like a winner. Maybe I could even get good at it. Wow, that would be awesome.

  34. My Dad was a printer and I’ve always LOVED anything to do with letters, topography, hand lettering, vinyl cutting, etc.! Never mastered the art of hand lettering, but would love to learn!
    Thanks for the chance to win this book!

  35. Hi Diane! Your creative ideas always give me something new to think about and try! I have been trained by the creators of Zentangling, Maria Thomas and Rick Roberts, and am a certified Zentangle teacher (CZT). Just drawing each line and stoke creates such unbelievable mini creations! Zentangling is fun, creative, and relaxing! I have been wanting to use fancy lettering in my Zentangle designs, so I would love to win the Hand Lettering 101 book! Thank you for offering this book to your readers!

  36. Hi Diane, Thanks so much for offering the opportunity to WIN a book on lettering. I have been trying to learn some of this from my SIL who is wonderful at it. I guess practice makes perfect and having a book with the techniques….well that would be AWESOME!! I would love to win the book! xo

  37. Hey Diane, I’d love to win the Calligraphy book. Thanks for the give away. Have a great weekend.

  38. Hi Diane, I found Zentangle a bit ago and loved it. There are lots of ideas for them on Pinterest and Youtube, if you’re interested. I did a lot of calligraphy back in the 60’s and really enjoyed it. It makes for pretty hand made cards. I never tried the brush version though.

  39. Oh, I would love to win this book. I have been looking at for at least a month, thinking about buying.

  40. Oh, I would love to win this book. I have been looking at for at least a month, thinking about buying.
    Darn that budget!

  41. As a young girl, I would spend hours writing in my best handwriting and incorporating things I had seen in other’s writing to get a style I liked. I do believe I have very nice handwriting and I enjoy writing letters and cards by hand. I made a commitment in the months of April and November to write 30 letters in 30 days and I have found that writing letters to folks telling them why I am thankful for them has been life changing for me. I have had such a beautiful response from those I write to. One auntie, who I have admired for years was so moved she told me that no one had ever said such wonderful things about her before. I am now trying to learn calligraphy. I would love to have this hand lettering book.

  42. I would love to win! Beautiful handwriting has always impressed me. I need to take the time to make mine better. Thanks for always sharing great ideas!

  43. I would love to win the book, Just starting an interest in lettering and penmanship!….I liked this post, lots of topics…I found a new blog to follow…what a beautiful lake house. Have you ever tried putting the peony in the refrigerator?

  44. Would love to win the book!!

    Wondering if I could do the swing on a river bank….hmmmm…

    Have a great weekend!

  45. I would love to win! I am trying to teach my 10 year old how to have nice handwriting!

  46. I would love to win this book! I learned calligraphy in high school but haven’t done it in many moons! As I near 60 I feel like I’d like to revisit some things that I learned when I was younger!

  47. I would love to win the book to give to my 16 year old daughter who is taking an interest in lettering and watercolor (and who is trying to use watercolor to paint words). I think it would be a great summer activity for her.

  48. I would love the book. I used to have great handwriting, but using a keyboard all day every day and not using a fountain pen (which we used in school every day) every day has ruined my handwriting. This would be an amazing way to get back into it.

  49. I would love to win this book! I draw almost daily and would like to be able to incorporate lovely lettering with my illustrations. The video was great and I enjoyed the music, too!

  50. I did not know William Davis wrote another book. Thanks for mentioning this. My son moved out of state and has no health insurance, waiting for it to kick in on a new job. Maybe this will help in the meantime with his health issues! thanks so much..

  51. I would love to win that book!! I also appreciate the links, which I can’t wait to dive into and see new things :-)

  52. I would love to win! Maybe it would help me learn to letter instead of scribble like a little kid!

  53. Winning the book will help me stop eating between meals!

    Thank you for consistently sharing posts that inspire and educate. I enjoyed this Friday post exploring ideas from
    Several sources.

  54. Ohhhh!!! Calligraphy!!!! Such a beautiful art/technique I’ve wanted to learn forever……I certainly would love this book!! ❤️

  55. Hello! I love your blog & I this book – I would love to win it! One of my favorite things to do is create collages & do art journaling. What a fun addition to creating on pages.

  56. Oh wow-I’ve been wanting to learn how to do this new lettering- it’s so pretty! So I’d LOVE to win a copy of this book! Thanks so much for the opportunity! ❤️

  57. I also took calligraphy in college so this book would be wonderful to win to learn a new form of beautiful lettering. Thanks for all your creative inspiraton!

  58. I would love to win this book! I have several weddings comings up with a need for lovely hand lettering. This book sounds perfect.

  59. Since I do believe you can teach an old dog ? new tricks, I would love ❤️ to win this book ?!!!

  60. Oh this book looks wonderful! Always look forward to your inspiration and “how to’s”!

  61. Brush pen lettering sounds intriguing and is certainly lovely. Thank you for the chance to win a copy, Diane!

  62. I am forever journaling!! Then I lose my journal and start another!!! I would love to have it to keep ALL of my thoughts in there!!! Thanks for the chance and thanks for the great blog. I LOVE your new house and all you have done to it. You have a true gift!!

  63. I put calligraphy on the back burner when computers came out but I’m ready to try this and would love to have the book for ideas and motivation. Thank you!

  64. The idea of learning about hand lettering sounds very exciting. Would love to win the book! Thanks for the great opportunity. Thanks for the fun links too. Have a wonderful weekend.

  65. would LOVE to win this book !!!!!!!Thank you so much for your wonderful website!

  66. I would love to win the book! I hope you someday get an over-the-water swing by your dock – how fun are they?

    Joanne