And Add a Bit Of Sauce...

OK I may have been a little to quick to say I needed to stop whining... Remember the sad whiny tone of yesterday? "Sometimes a day just seems hard. That's it. There are days just harder than others. You start by critiquing yourself in the mirror, then burn the toast, didn't sleep well, someone leaves stinky socks on the chair."  Yadda, Yadda, Yadda.

Ya I remember now, because the day didn't stop till five-thirty this morning. Awake from 11:00 PM till 5:30 AM when hubby gets up for work. I have no idea why I am awake, just one of those sleepless nights I guess. Mind quietly spinning.

I slip into a light slumber and awoke screaming at being doused with cold water. I hop outta bed discovering the cute little claw foot tub in my room was exploding, water fountaining to the ceiling, which proceeded to shower back down on me as I am innocently minding my own business.

Dear Deer

Sometimes a day just seems hard. That's it. There are days just harder than others. You start by critiquing yourself in the mirror, then burn the toast, didn't sleep well, someone leaves stinky socks on the chair.

You know the day I mean. This is how my week has been. "I'm to fat, my gray hair makes me look older than Methuselah. And I feel like a toad." On an on we go. A slow tortuous dance of self annihilation . No good, no fair, life is rotten...

Painted Toenails

Painted Toenails
OK, OK I know the title is silly. But upon digging further you'll understand the reasoning. So I have warped sense of laughter. What new?

Pixie Paige

Our little Paige has decided she wants Nana to paint her new room purple...She claims to be a purple princess and needs her room to be as fairy tale as she. we go. The walls were painted a light mushroom color then at 43" high we taped off a wainscoting. It was painted a light lavender and let dry. We used a 6" roller and a level and painted darker purple stripes. Darcy Jackson did the hardest parts. Thank goodness.

How Grateful Am I?

As a creative person, apparently my mind works and sees life differently than others might.  I want to surround myself with people whom are creative, but also have a knowing faith of the gift.

I have always had  faith to follow this creative vision, and been grateful for the challenge of not becoming too worldly in the process.

How do we be "in the world, but not of the world"? I have often questioned my motives for a creation. Am I doing this for the pure love of creating or am I after a worldlier goal?

Can I create, enjoy the creating and the attention it can bring, yet be eternally grateful from Whom it was given?

I have given some thoughts to my creations.

A Summer Cake

A Summer Cake

Summer Heather’ cake was a three-month production from start to finish.  I actually was trying re-invent the wheel with this eye-popping cake.

SK's Bull Frog Log (Blog)

I was thinking about my journaling (blog) in the middle of the night last night and wondered why I hated the term 'blog'.

Everyone uses the word and I bet most don't have a clue where this nonsense, no-meaning, made-up word comes from. Well here ya go:

A blog (a blend of the term web log) is a type of website or part of a website. Blogs are usually maintained by an individual with regular entries of commentary, descriptions of events, or other material such as graphics or video. Entries are commonly displayed in reverse-chronological order. Blog can also be used as a verb, meaning to maintain or add content to a blog.

Most blogs are interactive, allowing visitors to leave comments and even message each other via widgets on the blogs and it is this interactivity that distinguishes them from other static websites.[2]

Many blogs provide commentary or news on a particular subject; others function as more personal online diaries. A typical blog combines text, images, and links to other blogs, Web pages, and other media related to its topic. The ability of readers to leave comments in an interactive format is an important part of many blogs. Most blogs are primarily textual, although some focus on art (art blog), photographs (photoblog), videos (video blogging or vlogging), music (MP3 blog), and audio (podcasting). Microblogging is another type of blogging, featuring very short posts.

As of 16 February 2011 there were over 156 million public blogs in existence.

So that's that. a blog is a way for us to write our histories, our thoughts, share a bit, question even more. I think we should come up with a better, classier word to describe what we are doing hour after hour.

What about,  let's say 'bogus log', 'begging log',  'blaring log', 'blathering log'', 'but log'. Or even 'barely there log' or maybe 'BS log'?  Sorry just had to do it.

Maybe something more positive in nature such as: 'Baron log",  'beautiful log', 'bonefied log'.

Do I have too much time on my hands? Be Specific Log...

Alright maybe I spent to much time thinking and not enough time writing. I'm number 157 million.
I actually like: Bullfrog Log after Barney the Bullfrog in our pond out front.
Bibbit, bibbit.

See You Soon! Bibbit or should I say ribbit

Crafty Flypaper?


With spring coming quickly and wedding season right behind, I had to get the gate designed, built AND installed. Poor Ron. We hear this comment often "Poor Ron".

A bride has chosen White Oaks for her June wedding. Oh My... The grass looks terrible, the garbage cans show between the empty fence posts... So we have replanted grass and now have a garden fence and new gate.

As you might know, flat anything is liable to catch my interest. So I go looking for cool stuff to attach to my new (new looks old) gate. Friends call it the crafty flypaper syndrome. Hey....I like it. See what you think.

This could be used as my headstone very appropriately.

See You Soon!

Dumpster Diving?

Oh come on. You know stuff is thrown away which shouldn't be. Most of the time we're  too distracted, too tired or just can't come up with an idea of "what the heck can ya do with this piece of junk"?

A huge amount of my creativity comes from others throw-a-way stuff. I want to re-use, re-furbish and the old green word "recycle" I was doing this before they went and ruined the word...

These solid oak deck chairs had seen better days. Left to rot in the sun and figured for lost. Use some common sense, practicability and fun. What can you do with it? Will it still look like old junk when your finished? Did you waste your time?

Sometimes a little elbow grease, tongue between the teeth work will reward you with a prize. Sometimes all the hard work in the world can't save a piece. This time I won...Yee Haw.

See You Soon!

Through A Mothers Eyes

As a professional artist and designer I find myself eying other artists work. I have been astounded by my own children's creativity. I want to share them with you. I'm not a bit proud now am I?

Sean (oldest son) has given me such a hard time as he grew up. Never wanting to take part in anything creative. Wow, look what he does now. Don't ever call him an artist though...

Jared (second son) has become an amazing outdoorsman. His love of nature is captured as he fishes (catch and release) the Pacific Northwest fish. His brother, Sean, and he are determined to catch and release every native fish they can find. You can see their adventures on Youtube at:

He uses his bit of spare time teaching himself to play the guitar and  creating marvelous wood crafts with his Shopsmith. Don't call him an artist either. Hmmmm. This is getting old.

Darcy Kay Sartell Jackson (third child, oldest daughter) OK, OK. So I just want to talk about my kids. I guess I have artists in the family whether they want to be or not.

Darcy is a Chef, a creative paper crafts artist , designer, artist, and who knows what else is yet in store.

She has a blast designing and creating cakes. She can design that amazingly specific cake for just about any occasion. Her home is  fun with creative and inexpensive touches everywhere.

Texas and Lizzie (her little ones) benefit from her creativity as well. When do you find the time? Breathe, just breathe.

You can visit her latest creations at:

As my children get older I have to catch my breath at what they accomplish. Self-taught or maybe a little inherited talent?

Summer Heather lakey (Second daughter and youngest) Of course being the youngest gets Summer the privilege of being called "spoiled" by her older siblings. I disagree. She is just different. And How!

A sociology major, painter, photographer and all around artist, Summer leaves the cake decorating up to her big sister Darcy. She took four years to design her very own wedding cake, which then all three Sartell girls put their hand too.
Summer designed the cake, we  had her hand drawings silk screened in chocolate onto Mylar. I then transferred the designs onto white chocolate and applied the solid white chocolate to the walls of her cake. I added the fresh flowers and put the cake together. Darcy then topped it off with her fancy frosting bead-work.
I have posted a complete "How in world we did it" at the following address. Feel free to take my ideas and run with them. I hope you have three months to spare.

Take a look at some of her photography at:


I can honestly say " where in world do they get it?"  Lemme' guess... I simply love creative people, whether they admit to being an artist or not! Poor Ron...

See You Soon!

SKs Tree Of Life

Blank spaces whisper to me...Why? I have no clue. I just can't seem to leave things well enough alone. I want everything around me to make me smile. To interest me and keep me guessing.

This little shower held such promise. What could I do to create a sweet space? Some fun. Sooo...I went through buckets of broken tile, granite and marble and found an idea.

Can we create something new and wonderful from leftovers and scrap? Broken junk others would just throw away? I have found this throughout my life. Creating from leftovers or scrap. Make something beautiful, workable and worthy of a smile.

A small rounded corner shower would be fine with simple tile and grout. But what If??? What if I could make it have a life of it's own? A tree built into the corner of this little shower. How do you do that? Hmmm...

Just do it. Make a simple plan and begin. I started drawing a tree on the blank sub-surface of the tile. A brown trunk emerged. A trunk with dark brown marble and granites. Cut them into different shapes and linear forms. Glueing these tiles to form trunk as tree trunk would grow. I then started to add different greens. My plan started to come together as I glued the lighted greens on the left side and added the darker greens going to the right side. I hoped this would add light as if from the sun going from the left to the shadow to the right.

I hand crafted clear round glass tiles with leaves, bugs and textures attached to the back of each clear tile. I then sealed these tiles to be waterproof. I added sparkly jewels and mother of pearl adornments for interest.

I can get over zealous and must remind myself of correct composition and areas which the eye may rest.
I had fun with this and worked many hours so my creation would make me smile for many years.

Have some fun. Create from nothing. Enjoy the scraps of life.
See You Soon!

This Old House Deserves A New Life

Tiling has become a new treat for me. I have no idea how it is supposed to be done properly, so I just go ahead and try lots of different ideas and styles.

Courtney Jones

We have a wonderful guest who keeps us company often. She sings as she makes cookies for White Oaks Bed and Breakfast.

Not just anyone can do both at the same time. But Courtney can dance as she does it. And makes me laugh at the same time. Dizzying.

Courtney Jones New Living Room
 We had the opportunity to give her a hand on one of her many latest projects.

As her husband is gone, this remarkable woman buys and closes a house. We had such fun picking out her colors from her mothers hand-crafted quilt and arranging this cute little bungalow for her husbands return and birthday.

New granite and green glass tile for the hearth and fireplace. Paint colors picked, master bedroom made beautiful and comfy. All for a specially talented girl.

Courtney's Living Room After Being SK'd. She is currently working on her third CD. Check out her last two CDs at

See You Soon!

Check out SK’s interior design
You can follow SK on her Ehow posts and Twitter

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SK’s Home Sweet Home

Sk Sartell's Bath Fairy

  Most of you know how I think. I would like to believe I have a right to choose what and who, surround me on a daily basis.

  I like my clients and MOST like me in return. Hmmm… I’ll have to check on the validity of that statement. Maybe some of you will respond?

  Anyway, I love gathering stuff which makes me smile. Laughing cheers the saddest of hearts.

  If I’m having hot chocolate, I serve myself from an old and beautiful china cup. The chip on the edge is a nostalgic memory or question as to what the past held for this sweet china cup.

  As I enter a room or our home, I want to smell something wonderful. See something wonderful.

  I make a date with myself. A time to pamper myself. You have to make, and take time for yourself.

 Make it a point today to do something special. Even if it’s only to stand in front of a mirror and smile at yourself. The little things we choose to surround ourselves with make a difference in the joy of life. It keeps us young.

 Make a choice with little things which make you smile. It lightens your world for a moment. We need these moments in times of stress and concern. Think of it as filling your cup for the times when things are a bit parched.

See You Soon!

Check out SK’s interior design
You can follow SK on her Ehow posts and Twitter

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SK's Orange Chicken

Good Morning!I have been asked to post my Orange Chicken recipe. Yum. We use this recipe constantly because it's easy and fast and served it comes off as being a fancy dinner.

Once Upon A Time

Once upon a time there was a do-it-yourself home built. This fairy tale home is unlike any other. A practical very un-witch-like artist/designer named SK built this solid concrete home from the ground up. Using self-taught design and building skills, this practical magic home came to be.

Gazing at the home from the street you feel as if stepping back in time and place to a country farm in 19th century France. Fantasy begins at the curb and continues as you walk across the bridge to the front door, the gentle sound of waterfalls lull senses as you pull the chain attached to a bell. The unique doorbell is another indication imagination, fantasy and fun have had full reign as this home was built.

SK’s diminutive stature makes you think she’d be more comfortable sitting in a turret serving tea or curds and whey. As you survey this innovative, charming and fanciful home you’ll be surveying the talents of an artist whose energy is boundless.

For instance, the front door is absolutely charming with its curved top and antique finish. When SK couldn’t find the perfect front door for her home, she built the door herself.

As we enter the whimsical home in this magical, Victorian town we wonder if we have left the land of "ordinary" and entered the land of make-believe where all the charming ideas you ever dreamed of in a home were made possible. Architectural pieces were purchased and stored for years before finding their perfect place in the home. Antique Doric wood columns define living and dining space. Copper that was hand-pounded into an embossed design came from France. The kitchen boasts French country cabinetry, hand-built by the owners. The varying heights of the cabinets, antique glass fronts and antique finish give you the impression of being shipped from a farmhouse in Provence. Counter tops are made of concrete and acid stained to give an older appearance. Copper was chosen for the many qualities for chefs. The antibacterial properties of copper contributed to their choice in this custom chef’s kitchen. These copper counter tops were handed pounded by SK.

The French glass pantry doors are sand blasted and feature bouquets of massive sunflowers through which you can peek into the interior of the pantry. Again, designed and done by SK. As a practical interior designer SK has designed age into her home, making it look well loved and well used.

In her guest bath, SK’s imagination worked overtime. While walls are painted in deep and misty forest murals, fairies peek impishly from behind painted ferns. Warm mist rises as the large soaking tub is filled by a rock waterfall. From this woodsy bath you relax looking out upon a roof garden overflowing with wild strawberries...

SK’s talents are innumerable and she isn’t afraid to tackle a new media. With her forty years of design and remodel experience SK is tackling the newest of many projects.  Her personal fairy tale home projects are the topics for  Do-It-Yourself e-books.

See You Soon!

Eliminate Interior Design Disasters

With thousands of websites, articles, newsletters and blogs on interior design, is it any wonder home design is confusing? As an artist and designer, it never ceases to amaze me the amount of fabulous information available for the curious and motivated homeowner. And Free to boot!

Keeping it simple is a little more difficult. I have visited many "designers" client homes, just to see the designers particular brand or style stamped all over the place. How do we keep our homes in the realm of our own personalities?

When you are searching for a design and or designer, first look at their product. Talk to past clients. Visualize the designers work in your private space. Does it work? Or could you have done a better job on your own and a whole lot less expensive?

I have designed many different styles. Each as individual as the client themselves. How is this done? First, you have to do the homework. A client whom states : Do whatever you like, I trust you and I will be back from Bermuda in six weeks" might be a client I may choose to steer clear of.

I will not brand my personal style on a clients home. Your home should and must reflect your personality and uniqueness. With excitement and motivation, create something totally yours, you can learn how to build a truly stunning environment all your own.

Magazines, websites other design information can be your very best friend. You have done it before, I just can see both of us searching magazines, ripping out the cool stuff and making piles...This is your start to discovering your personal style.

Build a book on these pictures. Study each picture. Circle the idea or picture which caught your eye. Put you piles of pictures in categories. i.e. living, bath, family, kitchen. Then go back and cull out the pictures which may not be as appealing. Only keep the very best. You will eventually discover what you love, whether in color, shape, size or style name. My personal style is called European Recycled...No joke. Or French Farm.

Keep your first trial and run, simple. Paint is the least expensive re-do and has an amazing impact. A fresh coat of paint is magic. Interior design can be a simple act of re-arranging or de-cluttering.

Find your magic. Love where you live. make it a peaceful and creative environment all your own.

See You Soon!
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