My 3 yr old daughter took this pic of me

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Yucky Dresser to Rustic Entry Table

I bought this dresser about 10 years ago for $5. 

I call it the "gack" dresser because I painted a gack from a Dr. Seuss book on the side when Logan was a baby. 

The dresser is well made, but the drawers always stuck, so I hated using it. The only reason I've kept it for so long is because of the gack I had painted on it. So for the last year and a half it has sat outside my back door, slowly weathering away. 

I decided a couple weeks ago, to tear it apart and make something out of it AND save my gack painting. I ended up replacing all the pieces except for the top and the front (where the drawers used to slide in) which I made into the back of my new entry table. It was a learning experience but I love the end result! Here are some pics of the transition:

A piece of old horse tack 

view from the back

Now the question is: Do I sell this beauty? Or do I keep her? Hmmm.......thoughts?

Monday, September 19, 2011

My Fabulous Secret....EXPOSED! ;)

I am in love.....with wood.  I am sooo passionate about woodworking and I've made 2 little things so far and working on a 3rd bigger project that I won't tell you about yet. I will show you the things I've finished, though :) cuz I'm nice like that ;)

So the first is a gift for Marla (shhhh! don't tell her, cuz I haven't given it to her yet!) I saw this cute saying online and just HAD to make it my own! Marla has 3 boys and I wanted it to be a personalized gift, so I altered it a bit......You'll see what I'm talking about in just a minute. So I grabbed the side piece from an old drawer and the piece that the drawer would slide on......

and I turned it into this........

I hope she likes it :) Her kids names are River, Roman, and Jack, and thus came the "new" dictionary definition of Boy.

Second thing I made is the COOLEST. THING. EVER.  I am truly in love with this project and I will let you in on a little secret at the end of this post! They are ancestor blocks. Know how we have these old pics of ancestors and we don't really know who they are or when they lived or how we're related to them? And we never really look at the pics and who wants to put up a framed pic on our limited walls of people we don't actually know? Well, I made this ancestor block, which sits on a shelf in my living room and I am making tons more! It is a pic of my (I think) great great grandfather, Edgar Saunders. He is my grandmother's (on my dad's side) grandfather. I say I think because she had an uncle with that name, so he could be my great great uncle, but I am going with grandfather for now, until I find out otherwise. Here's the block, front and back.....

I am planning on adding the year of birth/death under the name. Anybody related to me out there that happens to be reading this and happens to know that particular info - please let me know! lol thanks!

So wanna know my secret? 2 of my sisters and I are opening our own online store! It is in the works right now, so I will keep you posted. We will be handcrafting things out of natural materials as much as possible. I will be making things with wood, refinishing vintage furnishings etc (Marla will be working with me on this) and Gerda will be making jewellry and other accessories, all of which you can order for yourself! Yay! The online store will be coming very soon and is called .........(drum roll please!).....Wood Island Wonders! Wood Island is where our ancestors on my father's side were born and raised. It's a tiny Island in the Bay of  Fundy, New Brunswick, about a mile long and half a mile wide. No road, just a path, and no electricity or running water etc.  I will let you know when it's up and running! Yay! We are starting a new Blog called Wood Island Wonders and will be putting up pics on there and you can order what you like. If you like something you see and want me to custom make something for you, let me know and I'll see what I can do. Still working out pricing and shipping costs and the like. Have a fabulous week!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

My Woodworking Dream

When I was a kid, I was amazed by my mother's many talents. She was a teacher, had taken dancing, fencing (the fighting kind, not the building kind), had made a cool bookcase and a baby cradle BY HERSELF, and was a wealth of knowledge. She always had an answer for everything - unless it was something we wanted to do, in which case she would most often say, "Ask your father." And she had lots of kids. 8 to be exact. (I know cuz I was there)

It must be noted here that I am a little bit like my mother.

I remember ALWAYS wanting to be a mom when I grew up. (But I wanted more like 97 children, not 8) I wanted to be a nurse. Or a doctor. Or a carpenter. Or an artist or a missionary. AND I wanted to run an orphanage. I had decided all this by about the time I was 5 years old. What I didn't know is that I could (and would) be ALL those things.

I am a Mother to 2 beautiful, biological children.

I have been Mother to 4 beautiful foster children.

My children and my friends and neighbors are my mission field.

I've given medications, cleaned and bandaged woulds, cleaned up bodily fluids, pulled out splinters, tended to fevers and colds and rashes.

I am a teacher. (I know that one wasn't on my list, but I'm enjoying it!)

I am an artist and thrive with creativity.

But what about carpentry? I have dreamed and dreamed of adding this to my repertoire, but to date it hasn't happened.......until this week!

I discovered (thanks to my dear husband) a GOLD MINE in my own backyard! In the form old shed. Actually 2 old sheds. He hauled them down with his truck (cuz he's cool like that...wink)  and I have spent the last few days dismantling and de-nailing all the boards and shingles that I want to use for my projects. There's some pretty cool stuff out there! More weathered, distressed wood than I could use in a lifetime! I am ecstatic. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

And of course we discovered all this on our first day of school, so bookwork went out the window on Day 1 and we had the kids out there learning about wood :)  in the great outdoors. The weather has been perfect and it's been a perfect family activity to start off our school year.

Coolest First Day of School Ever.

They were eager to help!

Jasna wanted to help with everything :)

Working with my kids is so fun!

Logan worked really hard!

Jasna surprised me with her nail-pulling capability! She just grabbed a hammer and jumped right in! (has to be the yellow one, though)

Daisy liked being with us while we worked :) And we liked being with her :) She rewarded us with lots of smiles!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Family Rock Magnets

I wanted to do an easy, fun craft with the kids that would not end up being thrown out. I wanted it to cost nothing (use stuff on hand) and not be too difficult for Jasna, who is only 4, but fun enough for Logan, who is 10. This is what I came up with! (inspired by a blog I follow: and varied a bit)

Kids got some rocks from the driveway - small and smooth.

They washed them in warm, soapy water. 

Got out the paints and brushes and paper plates and napkins (cuz I don't have paper towel) and cups of water.

Put a napkin or papertowel on the plate and wet it a little - this will keep your paints from drying up too soon. 

Let 'em at it! Let them use their imaginations! 
(Like her "blue" shirt? lol she took her shirt off so she wouldn't get it messed up with paint) 

Mixing colors.....

It turned into finger painting....

And then hand painting......

And then ARM painting LOL!

Wash up your kids. 

I encouraged Jasna to put her fingerprints on her rocks, since they were just solid colors. And Logan painted a design on each of his.

Then we painted on a clear coat of Varathane. 
Next, glue them each onto a magnet. I used school glue and it worked just fine. 
Top row: Logan's
Bottom row: Jasna's
These ones weren't dry yet, so they hadn't made it onto the fridge.
Left: Logan's
Right: Jasna's

I decided to do one for each of the children we have had in our home. 
This is before I put the clear coat on......
and after the clearcoat.......

Put 'em on the fridge!

I LOVE these :)