Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas!!

      The last of the presents have been wrapped, the stockings stuffed to capacity, and I am warm and snug in my new Christmas pj's looking every inch like a large, plaid Christmas present. When I was kid, my Dad would read us kids a story on Christmas Eve. No one, absolutely no one can read A Christmas Carol like my Dad! Why, when he read it, old Marley might as well been standing right behind my chair! My favorite part of the story is the very end, when Scrooge changes. He finds out that loving others, and giving, brings a satisfaction and joy that all of his money never did. He says, "I don't deserve to be so happy"...that is how I feel this Christmas. While so many are lacking, so many hurting, and so many lost and lonely, I am as safe in my Heavenly Father's care as a little bird in it's mother's nest. My little family is all together, and we have been so blessed. I want to wish you and your family the very best Christmas Day, and I do thank you so much for stopping by my little blip of the blogosphere.

Matthew 1:21   And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins. 
Pin It

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Personalized Calender - Simple Gift Idea

    Well hello there! Merry almost Christmas! So, if you are like me, a perpetual gift procrastinator, here is a simple little calender to put together with a nice personal touch for someone on your list.

      All you need is a wood picture frame, a picture to put into it, two hooks, and a calender that's size fits with your frame. Screw the two hooks into the bottom of your frame. (That's why it has got to be a wood frame!) Make sure they are closer together than the width of your calender.

     Separate the calender from it's cover, like so.

      Punch two holes on the top of the calender where it will hang on the hooks. When the month changes, just unhook the calender, and flip the page.

     So there, short and sweet, just how I like my projects! Christmas is seven days away...ready or not, here it comes! =) Have a lovely rest of your week!

Deuteronomy 7:9   Know therefore that the LORD thy God, he is God, the faithful God, which keepeth covenant and mercy with them that love him and keep his commandments to a thousand generations;
Pin It

Friday, December 14, 2012

Change of Address - Week one in review

       It finally happened, one week ago today. Over a month late, we finally got to let the ink dry on the closing papers for our new home. "New" as in "new to me"... this house is in fact, the exact opposite of new! Of course I couldn't just be normal and fall in love with regular house; one in great shape and ready to move into. Oh, no, not me. That would just be too easy. Instead I fell in love with an old creaky house built in the 50's...that has no heat/air, old dim lights, no appliances, pink counter tops,  avocado green bathroom, and enough dust to make a small mountain! Oh, but I just love this old drafty house! It has stories to tell, it has unique features not found in modern houses, it has it's own personality. It also LOTS of work to be done in it...I now have blogging content for the next century at least! =)
      I thought I'd round up what we have accomplished on it, just in the first week we've had it. The goal is to at least get it clean and livable by the end of next week. So, here we go!

     1.  Day One: Have locksmith come out to install door locks. Investigate house throughout.  Decide red carpet must go. NOW.

      Pulled out carpet...happy to report I did not suffocate on the dust that came flying out!

     2.  Day two: Decide damaged parquet that was found under carpet must also come out. Learn all sorts of new respect for wood glue. Very nearly broke my hand by putting it at the end of the crowbar where it gets the most force....I do NOT recommend doing that!

      Decide I never want to see a jenga puzzle again. Small wood pieces are evil! I recommend having a husband handy to do most of the hard stuff.

     3.  Day Three: Electrician consulted with to determine wiring issues. He proceeds to pop all of my bubbles about installing new lights seems this old house has all of it's wiring buried under solid wood. Intense cleaning from ceilings, to walls, to windows, to floors begins.

      I decided to use a sponge mop for walls and ceilings to save my back, and the trouble of climbing up and down ladders.

     4.  Day Four: Chimney man arrives to clean/inspect chimney. He adds a rain cap to help keep the water out, and takes out the old gas logs/connection for me so we can burn wood in it. Contractor arrives to discuss putting in appliances and HVAC system. More cleaning....I rediscover my hatred for scrubbing old window screens.

     5.  Day Five: Contractor and AC guys arrive to determine how to get AC installed. I discover my "cost researching" is no where near accurate. Major bummer. More cleaning.

     6.  Day Six: I have used more cleaner in six days than I have in my entire life! This stuff works wonders for getting unidentifiable gunk off of walls.

     Don't use it where you don't intend to paint...this is what it will look like.

      So there you go....what my life looked like this last week. I'd say we are off to a pretty good start! I will feel much better when I am sure everything is clean and sanitary...the cosmetics will come over time. I have decided for the time being, to close my shop. Between two little ones, and this house, I just don't have enough hours in the day! Once it is cleaned up and habitable, I think I'll be able to get back on track with my shop. So how's your Christmas prep coming? I'm thinking I'll get to mine...oh, say around Christmas Eve or so! =) Have a great weekend!
P.S. You can follow me on facebook for current updates!

Ecclesiastes 3:1   To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: 
Pin It

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Simple "I Spy" Alphebet Quiet Book for Kids

       One of our family's Christmas traditions is that at least one gift per person must be handmade. It's a fun way to make a gift personal, and not just throwing money at more stuff. I decided my handmade gift for the little girls would be a book. The rules for the book were: it must be water (slobber) proof, rip proof, interesting enough for my oldest and simple enough for my youngest, easily transportable, and be somewhat educational.

        I really liked some of the handmade quiet books I found on Etsy. I figured I could come up with my own version that was personalized to my kids. I put each girls picture on the front page so they would always know which book was whose.
       To make the book itself, I used plastic badge holders and book rings. Both of which I found, very inexpensively, in the office section at Walmart.

       For the page fillers I used a small wooden alphabet set, buttons shaped like objects, and random items I had on hand.

       I laid out the alphabet set and then matched up the objects that started with that letter.

       I stuffed each page and then sewed the page shut. I absolutely do not wish for the small objects inside to be accessible in any way, hence the sewing shut of each page.

      After each page is sewn shut, put them in order on the rings. Lastly I sewed a clip clasp on with elastic to the first and last page so that it can be kept shut. Besides, clasps are fascinating to small children so that in and of itself will be a hit I'm sure.

      I think all the little things to look at will fun for them.

       I tried to use real objects whenever possible. "L" for "label"....

...."E" for "earring".

      I used colors on some of the letters that I was just plan stumped on, like "O" for "orange". I mean really, do you have any octopuses laying around your house? Ya, me neither!

       I hope they will like it. Judging from how much attention the little bags of buttons were getting from them when I was buying them at the store, I think they will.
      Do you have any fun family Christmas traditions?

  2 Corinthians 9:15   Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift.
Pin It

Friday, December 7, 2012

Sewing Tip - V necks

      Happy Friday! It's the most marvelous happy day here, because.....We got to close on our house today! Whoop whoop! Best Christmas present ever! I'll have loads to tell you about that house a little later, but for right now I have got a quick sewing tip I wanted to share.
      I used to have this irrational fear of sewing a V-neck. For some reason I thought it was super tricky and should be avoided at all costs...only I really actually prefer V-necks to round ones! By looking at my store bought shirts, I realized most of them have a center seam., and that actually would make a V-neck no more tricky than a round one. You can make a v-neck super easily by cutting the front side of your shirt on a raw edge instead of the fold. cut the "V" and then hem it before you sew up the center of the shirt. It's pretty much fool proof, and you can't really see the seam much at all.

      I used this method to make this top, and I used a nice soft sweater fabric. If you want the sleeves to be kind of "cape-ish" like this shirt, don't cut the shoulders straight across. Cut them slanted down so that the arm hole is actually more to the middle of the side of the shirt rather than at the top.

       My V-neck isn't very pronounced because I spend a lot of time doing this....

....and there is nothing more annoying in my world than a shirt that can't stay on when you bending over a million times a day! (By the way, like my paint chip display on the door? I'm not impatient to paint walls or anything!)
      Hope your weekend is wondrous! I think I'll be spending most of mine hanging out at the hardware store! =)

 2 Chronicles 16:9   For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to shew himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him.
Pin It

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

50 Stocking Stuffers for the Man


     Are you getting ready for Christmas? I am, ever so slowly. (Emphasize on the slow part!) Brain storming is always a good start, don't you think? Since sometimes the man in your life can be the trickiest to buy for, so here are some ideas for small, stocking stuffer type gifts to help get you started. Keep in mind, mine is a outdoorsy type, so this list is geared for more that type of guy.

  1. Coffee mug
  2. A roll of duck tape (bonus points if its camo!)
  3. Ball cap with favorite sport, or hunting brand on it
  4. Pocket knife (For a nice extra touch, have his name engraved on the handle.)
  5. Mini tool sets
  6. Water proof matches
  7. Updated pictures of you and kids for his wallet
  8. Money clip
  9. Something noisy (duck/deer/turkey call, whistle, harmonica, etc...)
  10. Something to play with (puzzle, airplane kit, brain teaser puzzle, etc...)
  11. Batteries
  12. Nifty nut cracker with a small bag of assorted nuts
  13. A beanie
  14. Work gloves
  15. Fat pencils or wood marking crayons for construction projects
  16. Collapsible ruler
  17. Laser level
  18. A lighter
  19. A strap on ipod/iphone holder for the arm to use during work outs
  20. Flashlights of any shape or size
  21. Vintage wrapped candy or candy in cute tins (check the shop section at Cracker Barrel restaurants)
  22. A box of Ammo ( I would recommend knowing which one to buy if you are going to do this one!)
  23. Water proof case for valuables to use on camping trips
  24. Card game
  25. Roll up a hunting/sports magazine
  26. A knife sharpener block
  27. A tire pressure gauge
  28. Finger nail clippers
  29. After shave
  30. Beef Jerky
  31. A nice pen (there are some really neat handmade ones on Etsy!)
  32. Boot polish
  33. Leather belt
  34. Plastic safety glasses to use while doing messy projects
  35. Earplugs to use while shooting
  36. A small leather notebook
  37. Pocket scripture verse cards
  38. Hand held radios
  39. Tie tack
  40. A pack of multi-colored sharpies
  41. Chocolate covered coffee beans
  42. A box knife
  43. Mini energy drinks
  44. A music CD
  45. A rolled up T-shirt
  46. Key chain
  47. Pocket watch
  48. House slippers
  49. A book mark
  50. A handwritten Christmas card

      Who is the hardest on your list to shop for? Do you plan before you shop, or just go see what you find? Have a happy rest of your week!

Zephaniah 3:17

The LORD thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save , he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing.

Pin It

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

A Mini Merry Christmas - Simple Style

     Have you ever strung popcorn for your Christmas tree? I've always loved the old timey look of it, but I've never tried it till this year. It's simple, and I love it. Sometimes simple is just the way to go. "Simple" says relax, you don't need to have everything as perfect as everybody else. "Simple" says stop, enjoy the living part of life.

        "Simple" makes memories and giggles.

         "Simple" also reminds you that you don't have to have everything that you think you have to all my belongings, and Christmas decorations, that are locked away in storage because we are still working on getting permanent housing.

       "Simple" reminds me that there was a time when people were so much more grateful...and had so much less. "Simple" helps me remember what exactly I'm celebrating in the first place.

        We can make Christmas so much more complicated than it needs to be...if we let ourselves.

       This housing delay makes me want to pout and cancel Christmas. I could do that, and make everyone around me miserable. Or. I can remember that Christmas started all because of the simple gift of love....not stuff. It was all about a person, Jesus, who loved people, and chose to live a simple life for my sake. So here's to Christmas, whether glitzy and huge, or simple and small, lets keep the main thing the main thing this season.

       A 2 foot tall Christmas looks just the same as a 10 footer if the Christmas spirit is there. Although I must say, if I get to have a decent tree this season I certainly won't be complaining! =) Have you started your decorating yet, or are you a December decorator?
(p.s. the tree and do-dads to make decorations were all gleaned from the craft store. The popcorn is holding up nicely! I recommend!)

Psalms 21:3   For thou preventest him with the blessings of goodness:

Pin It

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

     Happy Thanksgiving! If you're traveling, stay safe... if your eating turkey, don't forget the gravy (and if possible, have your sister make it for you like I plan to!)...if your hanging out with relatives, don't talk politics...and if you can't find something to thank God for, just take another deep breath. Life is a wonderful gift. 

picture courtesy of my 3 year old

Jonah 2:9   But I will sacrifice unto thee with the voice of thanksgiving; I will pay that that I have vowed. Salvation is of the LORD. 

Pin It

Friday, November 16, 2012

Coziness for $10 or less...

       It's almost Thanksgiving people! This is a big news flash to me actually. With all the chaos of moving, I've not done a single solitary piece of Fall decorating, much less paid any attention to a small thing like a calender! I have, however, noticed it's chilly outside. I also noticed I forgot to pack long sleeves before sending all my belongings off to temporary storage. That, is a MAJOR bummer, I assure you, and I do not recommend anyone making that unintelligent mistake. Some warm winter coziness is definitively in order, on a budget of course! I recommend...

  1. Over the knee cable knit socks from Kohls. On sale for $7.00. Even on a tall girl like me, they still went over the knee, and are sooooo comfy! They are my new favorite boot socks!

     2.   Coffee is wonderful all year, but it is absolutely essential in the winter. I tried this creamer the other day, probably shouldn't have. It makes coffee taste like fancy fall party, even it its an off-brand, not even sure it's actually coffee brand.

International Delight Presents: Heath<sup>®</sup> Coffee Creamer
      3.  Cute soft slippers are must, cold floors are ick! Walmart $9.97.

Women's Soffee Fair Isle Ballerina Slippers
     4.  Lotion. Make sure it smells nice. Flaky, cracked skin is not cute. Target $8.99

Burt's Bees Almond Milk Beeswax Hand Creme

     5.  Red beans and rice. Best meal ever, super cheap, fairly healthy. Make sure to go heavy on the Cajun seasoning!

beans and rice slow cook
       Hope you are enjoying your Fall. Thanks for being a great bunch, blogging would be no fun without readers! =)

1 John 1:7   But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.
Pin It

Monday, November 12, 2012

Just saying Hi!

       Well hello there! How have you been? I realize I have quite disappeared from the old blog as of late, and thought I should pop in for a quick update. We've made the jump from south Mississippi to the east side of South Carolina. As you might know, moves rarely are seamless (Haha...get it? Seamless?? HA!) ..and it seams it is an unwritten rule of nature that house purchasing can be neither quick, nor simple. We are in that wonderful state of transitional chaos as we await our house closing date. After that, I assure you, I will have no shortage of blogging content...our future house is quite in need of a MAJOR attack with paint brushes and all the "fix it up" imagination I can muster! I. Can't. Wait!! I did plan to plan ahead with pre-scheduled blog posts, but, uh-hum, as you can see, I might have failed to do that. Whoopsy! Sorry! =))
       In an effort to distract you from the lack of a decent post, have a listen to this little song I've had stuck in my head for the last week. It's quite thought provoking, and helps me to remember what are my most important goals. Have a fabulous rest of your week!

John 8:12   Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life. 
Pin It

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Sweater Knits and why you should love them!

     I've discovered something just grand! As I have mentioned before, I'm a big fan of shopping local for fabric...I like to see it and feel it, before I buy it. That is a handicap in it's own way, because fabric stores don't always pick fabrics to sell that I happen to like! (or that are very current colors and prints!) But, this year, fabric stores are carrying a much larger selection of sweater knits than I've ever seen out before in previous years. So why is this so earth shattering??? Well my dear, sweater knits mean that you can sew anything you can buy in a store, all year long! From scarves to cardigans to sweater dresses...the sky is the limit! Fabulous, no?! To illustrate, here I have a sweater knit skirt, and a sweater knit top that I made myself. Super easy, super fun!

      Excuse the bad picture and apparent broken ankle...I didn't have time to fuss with pictures, and my ankle is in fact, not broken. So here's the deal with sweater knits...they are just like any other knit. If you've ever made anything from any stretchy knit, the same rules apply to sweater knit. Use a serger or a zigzag stitch, a walking foot is really helpful, and pat with a steamy iron when you are done. For a skirt or a dress, I would highly recommend lining it. A lining will help stabilize the sweater knit from stretching out too much as you wear it, and it will also alleviate the need for a slip.
     You know what I am dying to make with sweater knit? Leggings! How cute would that print that's on my skirt be on leggings with a grey tunic dress?? I see a new project in my future! Have you made anything with sweater knits? Did you like it?
P.S. I used the same method as this skirt to make the above...if you want to make one too!

Hebrews 13:15   By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name. 
Pin It