Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Culture of Art


Sometimes you see in life what you think is exactly what you’re going to do. You’ve been handed this amazing opportunity and you grab it. This is a good thing, a really great thing! You run with it, not blindly but in a focused intentional manner. You have all the giddy feelings that come with a new project. It’s almost like being in love…it’s all you can talk about, all you think about, drives your friends crazy as they are so tired of hearing about how great it’s going to be and your loss of appetite, well, sometimes is a good thing!

Then, when your in the thick of it, suddenly, it morphs. Right before your eyes it morphs into a whole new creature. It becomes more than you thought you saw the first time you jumped into it. Much like watching a sweet newborn baby and as if you had the ability to speed up time morphing this bundle of joy into a 5 year old. The same lovely child only older, more active and more engaging.

A year and a half ago I started out with what I believed to have presented itself as a little Bed and Breakfast. A fun way to meet people, entertain and start a new life, that’s what I thought I saw.  The whole project was so much more than anticipated but isn’t that the way life is? Through all of the remodeling, repairing, land clearing, planning and research there just seemed to be something missing. There was plenty DIY to be done, which I dearly love as I’m a carpenters' daughter but still something wasn't quite as it should be.


After sharing time with the property, observing the many animals, the abundance of birds, including 5 species of Wood Peckers and just the general culture of the land I realized why  this place had spoken to me in hushed tones of new life. There is that small part in each of us that says… “you are more than you think you are”. The part that reminds us our life here is but a one time affair and very short. I have learned so very much about myself while creating CedarBerry and possibly just allowed more of myself to surface. This has given me opportunity to find my “voice” so to speak. Not the voice so much in “blogging” but in life. This voice is the one of an “Un-Validated Artist”. The person that creates for themselves, not given to any fad or market. Just for the pleasure of creating. This is an artist. Creating the life you want, that makes you an artist. Un-Validated artist…That’s me. Except, I have now learned validation comes from myself not any one else. I am a "Self-Teaching Artist". Not "Self-Taught". My desire is to continually learn new techniques, mediums, and accept new challenges. Sharing this is what CedarBerry has become about. I will not impose art, I will help others discover the art in their own heart, validate their art and enjoy their creative life.

CedarBerry’s metamorphosis from cocoon to butterfly has revealed a multi-colored  Creative Arts Center. A place to connect with yourself. A chance to re-examine your life and your heart and align them both for your best life. CedarBerry will encourage this through Art sessions for the novice and seasoned artist. Meta Health classes are offered to help discover the Beauty, Balance, and Breathe in your life by participation and 15 minute brain/art sessions followed by a 30 minute non-traditional Tai Chi for Better Balance and Movement class.

Lifesize Chessboard for Birthday Celebrations
 CedarBerry strives to celebrate the joy in everyday life. So many times this joy includes special occasions providing us with memories that last a lifetime. The creativity and imagination of a child is a bright spark in our lives and one to be celebrated and encouraged. CedarBerry will provide Themed Birthday Celebrations for kids of all ages. Costumes, yummy food, art projects and exciting decorations are all part of the fun celebrating.

The ideas for a place to celebrate life in the moment and to find new moments to celebrate became a massive and glorious show of shooting stars as I recognized what CedarBerry really would become. A culture of learning, health, celebration and acceptance.

Information about these and other programs at Cedarberry LLC can be found at

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Dragons and Trolls

Dragons and Trolls, oh my! CedarBerry is becoming more magical than even I thought!
At last posting, the dragon was about to be revealed to Blogland. Intently bent over the computer, thinking furiously, attempting to craft the most mystical and enchanting revelation of the illusive dragon, I was interrupted. Abruptly. Captured! Abducted, I tell you! Taken from the wonderful world of blogging in a most unceremonious way!
Now, I have heard of such beings before. I knew they were pranksters and prone to ornery little fits of mischievousness. I also had suspicioned them to be lurking around CedarBerry in the hidden crevices and underbrush. Especially when  awakening to such a fine mess as this!
troll mess
Only a stinky Troll would pull tricks like this. Like I said, I knew they were hanging about but seriously???
So, yes, I was captured by Trolls… Oh, the stench! Oh, the heat! The hours of torturous labor, unspeakable! How I survived, Heaven only knows. Survive I did and escape from my month long prison of forced labor. So very traumatic!
Happily, I have returned. The identity of the dragon finally to unveiled! The guesses have been wonderful ranging from smelly dog’s breathe to a raccoon, so fun.
At last, may I present to you the Infamous Dragon of CedarBerry. Well, what’s left of him. This was his clawed and scaly foot.
dragons foot
The next view is somewhat… just don’t look if you have a weak tummy.
dragonn entrails
This would be his ahem.. insides… yuck..

Oh wait I’m supposed to be showing his REAL identity. Oops!
dragon for real
If you guessed burn pile, your correct! You can see the dragon is creeping back on the left side of the picture, ARRGGHHHH This is a large branch from one of the many downed trees on CedarBerry.
dragon entrail not burn
Dragon Entrails??? Yup, stuff that doesn’t burn and goes to the Recycle Castle. 
We are in a continual clean up phase it seems. You’ll have to forgive me for having a little fun with the Dragon. The first time we set the pile on fire last summer it was piled a wee bit too umm… high. And we kinda, sorta, singed one of the extremely tall trees beside it. So this year the first burn was much better but the minute it started to burn the placement of the logs and brush leapt into the shape and size of a dragon. Of course, my imagination is generally running on overdrive, and viola! Dragon of CedarBerry.
Actually, there are many more characters that are yet to be revealed…
And the Trolls, well, I don’t think I have seen the last of them..
Thanks for playing along and for the fabulous guesses!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

The Dragon

CedarBerry has a dragon. I know it's hard to believe but yes, it's true. Every few months we defeat the monster only to have him return again and again.

He creeps back ever so slowly, just showing himself a little more and a little more. Then one day he is a full blown, fire breathing dragon with smoke swirling about his head and covering CedarBerry with such a stench. We battle on and on for hours at a time with rakes, waterhose and shovels fighting back his nasty snarls and the vicious heat he sets forth. Finally, just as day ends, success! He is defeated, til the next time.

Cedarberry is a magical place, no doubt! Without a free hand to wield a camara, you'll just have to guess what this monster really looks like.  Can you see him?

Tell me what he is and why he keeps coming back to terroize us...

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Oh, the Places You'll Go!

Oh, the places you'll go! The places you'll go that you would otherwise never know!
You'll go down a stretchy dirt road
A lining of trees are what grow
Searching for new friends that glow

You'll come to a place that speaks of quiet grace
The Ozark National Science Center will slip into view
Here you'll find the Arkanas Women Bloggers Unplugged
With a big hug from Beth just for you

You'll soon discover a room full of bloggers all a chatter
Leaping from subject to subject
Having far too much to cover in such a short time
This is crux of the matter

Happy, happy, joy, joy!!
Herbs and Eggs and The Parkwife

SEE?? Cool, Huh
Dannie McCLain and Robyn aka Kinda a big deal 

You'll travel to Gener O City with AWBU
Amazing sponsors and parteners share an unending swaggy array
Ghiradelli Chocolate (oh yum), Off Botanicals and SC Johnson
offer their goodies while Field Notes, Petit Jean Meats, Heinz
And Collective Bias want also to play

The amazing swag!!!

You might even be lucky
Like me and win something just ducky
A wonderful smellorific gift of Mrs. Mayers Clean Day fun!
Shared from the ever thoughtful  NWAFoodie 

You'll go to AWBU for the sessions
Blogging 101 and Pulling Blog Topics Out of Thin Air
You'll hear eloquent speakers like Gwen and Shannon
You'll listen intently taking it all to heart
Only to realize blogging is really an ART

You'll go for three meals a day
Prepared in an old fashioned way
Food to be savored moment by moment
 With richly brewed coffee helping you stay awake 

 You'll meet one fiesty Bovine ready to help you craft a memory
Paper, pens, paint markers
What more could you ask
Elmers will supply it quick as a flash

You'll snip and fold, cut and scrunch
Getting just the right look for your
Memory board masterpiece from AWBU

Jodi creating a masterpiece

And take home you will
All the supplies for your creation
Elmers freely gives for further crafting adventure

Ladies please!!!
Britney and Jennifer

How many places can you go
So very many indeed
ONSC has trails for hiking
Turtles for liking
A luna moth or two

Beautiful grounds to roam
Decks to take in the view

Heidi and Kelly

Janie and Jackie

The cabins are cozy and quaint
Tucked away from it all
The education building, dining hall and common areas
They are beyond compare
But you could go futher than there
Much further if you dare
Especially with the Murphy Oil card
Given to one and all
Given at the AWBU 2011 affair

You'll find at AWBU 2011
The people who really do care
Who are making a difference
Arkansas Women Bloggers will be revered
As the most innovative and sincere group of women
In all of Blogosphere
You will be honored, as I, to have spent
A few short hours with these
The remarkable women of AWBU 2011 

The places you will go
You will have to go
When it comes round again in

This Dr Suess-ism is in honor of The Lorax performed by Ros and the gang at ONSC
Huge thanks to AWB
Also thanks to
ONSC for hosting and @bethanystephens
And all the lovely bloggers who attended this fabulous event!
You have all touched my heart and taught me so much more about blogging.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Back to The Regularly Scheduled Challenge

  A wow and crazy week has passed since the very challenging guest room remodel. Let's recap shall we? I really need to see that I have made progress here!

  This was the beginning. messy, messy.

  Popcorn on the floor. Pain in the neck to remove, literally!

  There goes the closet studs! This was cause for celebration!

  Now, we move onto today. There was unusually high humidity and very warm temperatures today which made priming the walls a miserable task. The removal of  years and layers of wall paper really added to the challenge. Well, that and my absolute impatiant self to ~ahem~ rip it off the wall. Yes, there is a better way. Did I do it in that manner? Of, course not. The end result is more work and having to wait even longer to have this room completed.

  This is wonderful! The closet is removed, the walls are repaired and all that is left here is to have the corner on the left repaired. I also need to add a second layer of mud onto the ceiling before painting.

  The whole room is now a lovely white. Primer that is. There are still remnants of the wallpaper around the room but as the oil primer dries it will either seal those pieces to the wall or I will remove them. After the primer dries, I'll be doing a mud-plaster technic possibly with fabric. (haven't decided yet on the fabric)

  If anyone has any suggestions on paint colors clue me in, please! I love paint but with this room gets so much evening sun the paint needs to be cool and welcoming. Not in the mood for purples or blues though, so I'm a bit stuck.

  Thanks for checking in with this over due challenge!

Monday, May 23, 2011

I Interrupt This Challenge to Bring You...

    Aw yes, life. It appears to remind us "best laid plans of mice and men" well, you know the rest. This wonderful rain that I so heartily embraced quickly put the kibosh on the challenge. No, we were blessed to not  have any damage or flooding. There is a funny thing that happens, well that could and probably would happen...

  When replacing things like closets and studs in ceilings for closets there are holes to be repaired. These holes are repaired with a substance known as.. wait for it...  "mud". Yup, affectionately known as "mud". There are technical terms for this but I like "mud" better. I am sure you are aware of this but "mud" is well, like mud. Humid weather, rain, will cause it to languish in it's dampened state. It is slothfully slow to dry in this weather.

  The studs came down without too much fuss and the drywall (sheet rock) hopped right into place.

   The ceiling studs are gone, woohoo!! Happy Dance! With tons of help from sweet hubby! The sheet rock is in place and ready for the "mud".

  It is official, there is no longer a closet in this room! Which in most places, this would not be a good thing but at CedarBerry, I love the spaciousness this removal lends!

  This brings us to the interruption. The next step for this lovely room is the special wall treatment I have planned. It will entail mudding the walls along with some "blingy" ( is this even a word) effects. Mud, in high humidity, somewhere around 100%,  just beckons to nightmares of mud melting off walls onto hardwood floors. I will, this one time forfeit, my timeline in lew of common sense.

 I am.though, so happy to have gotten this much accomplished! As soon as the humidity drops, I will be revealing more of the rooms transformation and it's name christening!

 In the mean time. I will share a couple of photos of future posts. Just a smidgen of a tease here.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Challenge: Day 2

      What started as an early day quickly became a long day. But a very good one. The popcorn came down easily enough. Removing it from the ceiling is not a difficult job just very messy.

Popcorn partially removed

Using a squirt bottle and a four inch blade it just piles on the floor. Normally I would cover the floor with plastic and anything else in the room. Since I want to re-poly the floor I was not too concerned with covering it.

Messy, messy popcorn floor

After the ceiling, it was onto the closet space. Oh my, so much to discover. First making sure the closet wall was not a load bearing wall. Would not be good to have the roof come down on in mid project. So house is built on trusses so we're good. Then the attack...UMMM where to start? I have tried before to just muscle these 2x4's apart, hehe.. yeah! Not a powerhouse here. SO bring in the saws-all. OK honestly, I really wanted to play with this thing. I love power tools! I know, not normal. Hubby comes in just to make sure I don't cut something off (leg, hand, foot, power chord). Of course, that means, he looks at the 2x4's from the closet, grabs the 3 ft crow bar and umm, yeah, pretty much demolishes the whole thing in 15 minutes!!! My ego? shot!! My new power toy? No need!  He then proceeds to say " you know, there's some dust on that saws-all. I don't think you can return it" Yup, that's code for "I really want to keep the shiny new power tool".. Anywho..

This is what is left of the closet today. On to the next problem, as you look at the remains of the closet, the back of the 2x4 at the left of picture of the ceiling is up into the attic space. Hmm... wondering how I can fix that without getting in the attic! The frame of this closet on the ceiling isn't going to come out so I'm open to suggestions about how to camouflage this.

Lastly, the day ended with the painting of the ceiling. I completely forgot to list this on the project list! At least I didn't forget to do it! On to tomorrow!! Now let's cross some items off this project list!

Clear room...uggghhhh
Remove popcorn from ceiling-dirty nasty neck pain job
Paint ceiling -YAY forgot to put this on means I finished extra right?
Take out studs where closet used to be-remember to by beg or borrow a saws-all Bought!!
Search for new wall coverings-might throw me off schedule
Apply wall coverings-another time scare Oh, Plaster, Fabric, Create something cool?
Clean hardwood floor- the cracks, yuck!!
Change out light receptacles & switches-bat eye lashes and ask hubby sweetly
Seal hard wood-easy-peasy
Furnish and style- FUN! FUN! FUN!
Go to Starbucks for celebratory Mocha!!

Wow, that doesn't look like much does it? According to my neck and shoulders it's plenty!!

Continuing the Challenge

    Yesterday's challenge is in full swing, with hammer I might add. After a slight false start caused by the HUGE delivery of rock for the parking lot the game was afoot. I think time wise I was finally able to jump in around 1:15. This puts my desired finish time somewhere around 1:00 on Monday.

    The clearing of course took far too long. I am determined to find a place for everything as I remove it from the room. Unfortunately, no luck with hubby's Indian War making paintings. A couple of snafu's that always something unexpected when pops up when uncovering walls and ceilings and such. One not so quick trip to Lowe's, yeah it's about a half hour from where I live, to purchase the much needed Hitachi saws-all. That definitely eats up some time. But I think I'm in good shape. Today will be a long one and that is a very good thing!

Pictures to come this evening!!

OK the updated list of projects to tackle:

Clear room...uggghhhh
Remove popcorn from ceiling-dirty nasty neck pain job
Take out studs where closet used to be-remember to by beg or borrow a saws-all Bought!!
Search for new wall coverings-might throw me off schedule
Apply wall coverings-another time scare  Oh, Plaster, Fabric, Create something cool?
Clean hardwood floor- the cracks, yuck!!
Change out light receptacles & switches-bat eye lashes and ask hubby sweetly
Seal hard wood-easy-peasy
Furnish and style- FUN! FUN! FUN!
Go to Starbucks for celebratory Mocha!!

A Great Challenge

            When you discover you work best under pressure it might be a good thing. And, yes, that is what I've discovered. I can achieve huge and colossal undertakings when given just the right amount of pressure. I have decided this will be a blessing to me and not a hindrance. I will change my focus and adjust my lens in order to see more clearly. Wipe the fog from the mirror and blow the mist away to remove the distortion that is the image of me.

So now to apply the slightest amount of pressure.. a little more...just a wee bit more. There, perfect!

Are you totally confused? Good! The location is the upstairs guest room. Brace yourself it is not pretty.


  A year ago I attempted to remove the wallpaper border, chair rail height, no big, right? Ha, yeah, right. Seems there were actually three layers of wallpaper dating back to the mid country-fied 8o's. Not sure what they applied wall paper with back then but may have been super glue. As you can see more than just the paper came off and this was with a steamer.

               So yes, picture me walking out with a huge HARRUMPH! of disgust. Fast forward almost a year. It has become the cat off room. The room that collects. Granted it was a mess before. The last inhabitant was a smoker, hence the hurry to get the wall paper out, and was, shall we say not friends with cleaning tools?


            This brings me to the challenge. We are forecast rain for about the next three days. I am challenging myself to finish this room in three days, top to bottom. Most of this remodel will be done by myself but I'm not into electrical yet so hubby will help. SHHhh!!! he doesn't know yet. I will post the articles to be transformed and the time I actually start and cross off what is finished as each is completed.

       The pressure, well blogging about it. Can you imagine being on one of those HGTV timed design shows? Having the world watch your almost every step or mis-step? Add to this the fact that I am not the most constant blogger in Blogland. OK,well I sometimes lose my map to Blogland and get lost somewhere in the land of Good Intentions.

Ok the list of projects to tackle:
Clear room...uggghhhh
Remove popcorn from ceiling-dirty nasty neck pain job
Take out studs where closet used to be-remember to by beg or borrow a saws-all
Search for new wall coverings-might throw me off schedule
Apply wall coverings-another time scare
Clean hardwood floor- the cracks, yuck!!
Change out light receptacles & switches-bat eye lashes and ask hubby sweetly
Seal hard wood-easy-peasy
Furnish and style- FUN! FUN! FUN!
Go to Starbucks for celebratory Mocha!!

Here goes!!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

The Reluctant Blogger

 So this is the part when I admit that I, yes, me, Sandy, is a reluctant blogger. Of course, if you have ever stumbled upon my blog you would see that very quickly. I mean, my last post was somewhere in the world of December 2010. And yet, I really love to blog, in my head that is. I have all these awesome stories to share and funny anecdotes and great tutorials!! No really, I do! It's just that by the time I get to the computer a week or two later.. I have talked myself out of them. So, my original excuse is I don't really have time to blog since I am remodeling and landscaping CedarBerry constantly and usually into the wee hours of the morning. That excuse doesn't hold water, though. I do have time to drive 30 minutes to Branson at least three times a week for a mocha. Man, they even have WiFi so I could blog there. I could pretend to be the very chic and cosmopolitan Abby Kerr Inc, blogging ala coffee shop style. So hip, so now! Lack of time excuse doesn't hold water or coffee, rats.


Ok, next excuse, please. Well, I really don't have any uber family history or regional claim to fame. The completely charming and lovely Southern Belle Simple is oh so southern and sweet, why sugar wouldn't melt in her mouth, I do declare! She rocks the regional blog world of the beautiful south. Me, I'm not even from Arkansas, I just moved here to take advantage of an opportunity to make a life long dream come true. Oh, wait, I just blew a hole in that excuse, didn't I? That whole lifelong dream thingy... Umm yeah.. Next!!!

One of CedarBerry's neighbors

Here's a good one. I know this excuse is perfect. I have not found my voice yet.. Nester is an awesome voice! Her blog just resonates with her beautiful voice. She really sounds like that in person...Yes I have met the gracious lady and she is as compassionate and amazing in person as she sounds on her blog. As for me, I just sound ...goofy and like I don't always think things through before I say them and I talk in run on sentences and when I get reaLLY EXCITED SOMETIMES I TALK WAY TOO LOUD like I... just ... did and crud. There goes another excuse. I pretty much sound like this all the time so I guess that would be my voice. ARRGGHH!!

Maybe I should just list my excuses for reluctance...quicker, right?
Not as creative as The Pink Couch
Not as talented as Melissa Dinwiddie
Not as spunky as Citizen K
Not as accomplished as My Heart 4 Him
Not as nurturing or insightful as Some Girls Website

Gosh, that's a whole bunch of "not as's".. Maybe the real issue here is I consider my blog to be like CedarBerry. My personal and intimate creative world that I really have never shared with anyone. It's my art in word form. It's my heart in word and place. It's the one time in my life that I am opening up to me and discovering who I really am. I am also hoping to be accepted and make CedarBerry an escape for artists and those who are like me - just discovering they are artists..

I was once told by the precious and encouraging Stress Free Baby to post everyday. No excuses, just do it, no matter what. Then, of course the brilliant Scott Stratten of Unmarketing shared at Blissdom "Don't post unless you've got something to say". Wow! Amazing insight, right? I also read a great blog that I cannot for the life of me remember who or where that said "It's your blog" That simple.. own it. So I think I am going to take the advice of all three of these fabulous people. I will post when I have something to say, I will plan for it to be everyday and I will claim it as my blog. 

And someone please tell me I am not alone in this blog swamp!! Anybody know where I read the "It's your blog" Help me please..Really want to read it again and give credit!