My 3 yr old daughter took this pic of me

Friday, August 26, 2011

Faux Window Insert

Once a year (or so) I get super motivated to do a ton of projects around the house......for about a month. Well, this is that month, I guess. :) For quite awhile now, I've wanted to fake a window insert in the girls' bedroom window, but wasn't sure how I was gonna do it. My thoughts were: cheap/use what's on hand. As usual :)

Luckily I couldn't find my white electrical tape anywhere (don't think it would've turned out as good as what I did use) and so I opted for this......

Silver dollar store curling ribbon...Yay! I should write a book for all the uses for ribbon lol

So this is the window before (which you can't see very well since it is daytime and there is so much light coming in)

They're old, dirty, and inefficient, with holes in the screen - yuck. boring. 

I used my "new" handy-dandy glue gun (thanks Dad #2) and measured and hot glued the ribbon in place. I opted for gluing it onto the back (outside) part of the window, instead of on the inside where the girls could rip it off. Plus it should hold up fine since there's another window panel between it and the outside.

I got my diamond shapes a little off, but what I learned about measuring for them was:

I measured my Left Height and divided that number by 3.
I measured my Bottom Width and divided that number by 3.
I measured from the Bottom to the Top on the Left side and marked every 9 1/4 in.
Then from Top Left to Right every 7 1/4 in.
Then from Top to Bottom on the Right side every 9 1/4 in.
and from Bottom Right to Left every 7 1/4 in.
Then I used a blue marker and marked the window frame with little dots where I would need to put glue.
I started by gluing a piece of ribbon from Bottom Left corner to Top Right corner and then another piece from Bottom Right corner to Top Left corner.

Then I glued my ribbons on diagonally. For the criss-crossing ribbon (the ones going in the opposite direction to the ones already glued on) I didn't have to measure, just line it up with the existing ribbons. Hope that made sense.

I like how the silver ribbon matches the windows so well :)

End result (after cleaning windows, of course):

It gives the room more of a girly/castle feel :)

Changed the curtains for now - made these a couple of years ago.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Logan's New Study Nook

So I got MOTIVATED today to do something, but I didn't know what. The list of what needs/I want to be done is seemingly endless......
  • organize my storage area
  • organize and CLEAN the laundry room
  • weed the gardens - I think that's useless at this point in the season
  • scrub down and fix up the "new" bbq I got off freecycle
  • facelift my kitchen - without spending any money (haven't figured out how yet)
  • paint the chairs to Sarah's kid's table
  • refinish our kids' table and chair set
  • refinish the computer desk
  • refinish our dining table
  • finish the walls in the entrance
  • fix the gate on the deck
  • create a bench in the entrance
  • ........
and so on and so forth.

So around noon I picked this closet that I didn't know what to do with......It's changed it's purpose so many times, but usually looks something like this........

or worse.

I don't have a whole room to dedicate to homeschool, so I have never really had a place for Logan to do his work. He just sits on the couch or at the dining room table - which has been fine. But the other day, I again asked him to take his books down to his room so the girls won't get them and he said, "Mom, I don't have anywhere to put my stuff up here. It's all your guys' stuff. Can't I have a shelf or something?" To which I didn't have an answer at that moment.

So.........inspiration + motivation + 2 hours + napping babies =

I used a can of paint I found in my basement that I didn't even know I had - I think I picked it up a couple years ago at the ECO station. I also had half a can of chalkboard paint left. I didn't have any rollers and I couldn't find my large paintbrush, so I was stuck with 2 options: Postpone the project until I had the proper tools (yeah right), or paint the closet with my 2" brush. I chose the latter - OF COURSE!!!

I used a couple pieces of wood from the yard to make a shallow shelf and grabbed Matthew's cork board off the wall in the hallway (shhhh...don't tell!) and found a piece of fabric in my sewing closet that I like - ripped it to size and tacked it onto the board with thumbtacks. The bottom shelf in the closet is now his desk. I would've painted it white instead of blue but I didn't have enough white paint left. So I might do that later just to brighten it up a bit. I also need to put a light of sorts in there. I'm thinking a battery operated wall sconce from Home Depot. I'm quite happy with this project - fast and fun and functional  - my fave!

Jasna is a great little helper :)

The boys aren't home yet and haven't seen it. I really hope he likes it! So yeah, I've been super motivated lately.....who's gonna come pick up the pieces when I crash??? ;)

Dollar Store Clothes Line & Our Family Name Scrabble Board

Hey! 2 more projects that I did recently........

I REALLY wanted to hang our clothes on the line (my favorite summer activity) and we don't have a clothes line, so I looked around to see what I could use and found this.........

(Actually the one I used was yellow but that one just rolled off the deck and I didn't feel like going to get it for the picture)
Fabulous eh? Got this for free, but it was from a dollar store originally. So I wrapped it around this a few times and stretched it across my deck... 

and wrapped it around another one over here......

(you'll notice that there's rope in the pic, too, but that didn't come until after - explanation to follow)
And it works great! See?

There are 4 lines to use

So Matthew came home and I very excitedly showed him my creation and he promptly went out to the garage and found me some rope that he wasn't using - nice guy :) and so I actually only got to use the ribbon version once, so I cannot guarantee how long it would've lasted. But I LOVE my rope clothes line! (we're thinking of getting a real one soon, but this is working great, so we'll see)

Project #2: Family Name Scrabble Board.

I stole this idea from Matthew's parents, who have one hanging in the entry at their home.

Things you will need for this project:
  • Scrabble game
  • A family (preferrably one with people that have first names)
  • White school glue or any kind of glue really
  • 15 minutes of your time
And you figure out how you want your names configured on the board and glue them on. Then I glued our last name onto the thingy (don't know what it's called) and glued that on. Ta da!

Like it? (That's a question - me likes comments)   :)

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

From Bed to Gate and Our Latest Craft!

Hey, so I had these leftover parts from a taken apart IKEA twin bed that have been sitting in my basement for......well, a long time. And I NEEDED another baby gate cuz Daisy LOVES to run down the hall and go in the bathroom after someone leaves the door open and splash in the toilet. YUCK! We've kept this bucket of blocks in the hallway to keep her out....

but it's annoying to move or jump over (especially for Jasna) and Daisy is so strong that she is starting to be able to move it just enough to squeeze thru!

So I took a headboard and a footboard like this one (only red)

and flipped one of them upside down and attached them to each other. (To keep Daisy from crawling underneath) and this is how it looks in our hallway....

I may paint it at some point, but I'll haven't decided.

The other project for the day was inspired by this......

given to me by my good friend, Amber, from her trip to Africa. I thought it was so cool so I decided to help Jasna make one to hang on her door. So out came the old sheet

and some cut off dowels from my last project (that I didn't blog about - a spring horse that needed new dowels to be functional. It sat on my deck for years, waiting patiently for it's turn to get fixed and now it is - see!)


spring horse with new dowels (and so faded from sitting in the sun for years)

I sawed one of the dowels by hand cuz it was the wrong size and I couldn't find my extension cord for my table saw, and then I grooved each dowel on each end with........yeah, my serrated kitchen steak knife - I'm just a "use-what's-on-hand" kind of girl ;)

I ripped my sheet into a long rectangle and folded over the edges and then ironed the edges down.

Then I let Jasna have-at-it with the paint - she loved the green

Then when it dried, I glued the sides down and glued the twine between the cloth on each end. Then tied the twine into the grooves on the dowels, and glued a piece of twine for the handle. Outside it went to dry again.

And this is the finished product........

pretty cool eh? Favorite craft to date :)

A Woman's Face

So we've all got faces and we use 'em for many things. Mainly they help us to portray to others how we are feeling. Facial expressions can help or hinder us in our attempts to communicate, though.  Here's an example from my life that I've run into countless times..........

I was really busy, running one of my fundraising things (there was a lot going on), when someone said to me, "Hey, it's ok to smile!" I was a little stunned. I had no idea that my face was communicating misery! I was having a fantastic time, but I forgot to consciously make my face reveal that.

Sounds dumb, I know, but I've gotten this one a lot in my life. Friends often asking, "what's wrong??" when life couldn't be better!

When I was younger, early 20s, people often thought I was mad or upset because of the tone of voice I used. That was just how I had always talked. That's just the way I was. I wasn't upset, I was just me. But I had to make a decision to change that about myself because I want to be a better person. I don't want to stay in the muck just cuz that's where I've been for a long time. That doesn't make any sense.......unless you like muck, I guess.

So I will keep this one short and sweet, but I want you women to do a couple of things this week....

1. Go in front of a mirror and make all of your typical facial expressions at yourself and see what they really look like. Then pick out the ones you'd like to drop and make an effort not to let those expressions cross your face.

2. Pay close attention to the tone of voice you are using when you are talking to your family members. Who you are at home is who you really are. When you combine the harsh tone of voice with the bad facial expression - that can be pretty uninviting. 

 Who would wanna kiss THAT face??

 Proverbs 15:1
A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.

3. Be positive. There is sooo much negativity all around us and it isn't doing anyone any good! Some people like to call it "realism" but we already know that the world is a bad place sometimes, so why focus and dwell on that?? Being positive enables you to have peace in tough or unpleasant situations and it helps the people around you, too. So choose a positive thought, choose a positive word, choose a positive action. No one wants to be around a complainer - so don't be one.

The End.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Kids' chairs project!!!

Hey! It's THE NEXT DAY since my last post! Aren't I doing good!!? :) So, on you can get anything and everything for FREE! You DO have to offer some things from time to time to keep things fair and flowing, of course, but it's fabulous! So I found these little kids' chairs on freecycle last week and they looked great.....BUT they had no seats. No problem. I asked for them, went and picked them up, and got to work. They are in great shape....see?

So I started by using a flat screwdriver to scrape the remnants of the old, missing seat off of the front and back edges of the chairs....

Then I found a board from an old Ikea bed I had laying around. I'm sure you've all seen these before :) I have an abundance of them and they are GREAT for stuff like this :)

I used my handy-dandy, scary table saw to cut the board in 3 pieces - each 10 1/2 inches long....

I had to use pliers to pull out those staples and fabric.
The edges were really rough and splintery, so I used my green sandpaper (given to me by my sister, Gerda - thanks, G!) and sanded the ends smooth....

Then I used these finishing nails to nail them onto the edges of the frame. I was a little worried that the wood might split, but I just tried to nail the boards in an area that wasn't right on the grain......

And VOILA! A beautiful, little kids' chair - perfectly functional and safe :)

I may woodburn my kids' names in the backs of the chairs and maybe even do a woodburned design on the seats, but we'll see :) If I do, I will for sure update this post and add those pics! I just LOVE a fun + quick project! This project took me about 20 minutes per chair.....

Monday, August 15, 2011


Wow. I'm a bad blogger! I guess I have just gotten caught up in all the summertime stuff and let this slide - sorry guys! I am making a commitment to writing at least once a week - here goes!  So as promised, I will say a few words about my couponing experiences so far :) I've bought an album from Walmart and the wallet size photo sheets and the dividers. I've categorized my coupons that I'll be using and I put 2 empty sheets in the front of my binder. So I plan my shopping trip and meals around the stuff that's on sale in the store flyers, then I add coupons, then I try to go shopping on the 15 percent off day (which I just heard may become a no-no - using coupons on 15 percent off day. at Saveon anyway) I planned which coupons I would be using and put those IN THE FRONT SHEET OF MY BINDER, still categorized - like with like - so they'd be easy to find.

SO......trip # 1 I didn't write my shopping list til I was IN THE STORE PARKING LOT!!! lol silly me, but I needed to go that night and I really wanted to try out couponing. It was not a 15 percent off day, but I saved $29 using coupons and another $33 using my saveon card, equalling a total of $62 of savings! Yay for my first attempt! It was fabulous. And worthwhile :)

Trip #2 I also saved about $69 but I could've saved more if I had planned better. I went to three stores (all near each other) First Walmart (cuz there are certain things I buy there - like bread) but I bought too many things at Walmart since that is what I am used to doing. I should have bought a lot more of those things at Saveon since it was 15 percent off day - but I still saved lots, so I am happy. Oh if you are wondering how much I would've spent - the bill was $309 and I only paid $240!

I can think of SO many things I would rather spend that $69 on! Where do I get my coupons? Well, so far,,,, and You can also get them in the weekend paper and at the stores you shop at. I am starting to get the hang of it and am glad to save some dollars here and there - it makes a big difference in the long run!

My favorite savings so far is on formula. I buy Enfamil A+ which is about $28.95 a can! It was on sale for $24.95 + I had a coupon for $5 off + I had another coupon for $3 off + it was 15 percent off day at Saveon so that equals a savings of $14.54 and I paid $14.41 for the can!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

There. That's my post. As promised and very late :) Cheers!