March 31, 2014

Time For A Change: Stage Two

Please forgive me for the tardiness of this post.  My husband and I lost two very special loved ones in the last 10 days and things that didn't have to do with sickness, funerals, and family came to a grinding it should when you lose a loved one.  
With out further ado: here's stage 2!
Once the walls were painted and dry it was time to start organizing and getting things together.  As I went along I figured out what I needed (and what I needed the hubby to build). 
Here's the finished (mostly finished - I'm still tweeking things a bit) product:
You can see (bottom right hand corner) that I still have a few things that I am finding homes for.  I decided to keep my totes as storage for fabric. Although it isn't my favorite look it gets the job done AND keeps mice/ spiders / dust off my fabric.  I had decided on a folding table to put my sewing machine on.  I used it once that way and there was way too much vibration so I went back to this ugly old heavy as crap desk that I had been using.  I am going to try and spruce it up but haven't decided how yet.  

Here are some close ups on the desk we "made":
Scrapbooking items moved to the back and sewing to the front.  We used 8 scrapbook organizing cubes from Micheal's and three four foot by 10 inch shelves from Home Depot to create my desk.  I believe that you can buy the piece to make the cubes into a desk but we were having difficulty finding them (and the price was high).  Hubs screwed the shelves to the top 4 cubes to make my desk top.  It is super sturdy.  
Here are the four sets of two cubes high that make up the desk: 
  There are shelves for paper/ Cricut boards. There are drawers for scraps, punches, Cricut cartridges, paint, markers, cards, stickers - just about anything that you want to put in a drawer. I've never been so organized!

On the left hand wall - I have my scrapbooks on a floating shelf built from pine by the hubby, 8*10 pictures that I have entered in the fair and couldn't stand to put in folder, tote storage for fabric, and of course - my peg board that we made for my thread and bobbins.  

I love this room and hopefully the organization will help me.

And of course after you organize - you must accessorize. This was quite possibly my favorite part!

 The shelf is an old wood crate screwed to the wall.
The coffee cans are holding adhesives, pens and punches (I may modge podge these later).
The cute red clock is from Hobby Lobby.
The jar is full of random buttons - for decoration and use.
The "S" is a large cardboard S that I modge podged book pages onto over the period of a few days.  
I had bought the chalkboard thinking I would use it to make a gift but it's found it's home here. 

I hope that you like my craft room make over!

I certainly do!

March 23, 2014

Celebrating the life of Debbie Stoddard

Today our family mourns the loss of my mother in law, Debbie Stoddard.
But we also celebrate her life and the lives of all those she touched through the years.  
Child of God, Daughter, Mother, Wife, Sister, Aunt, Cousin, & Friend.  

I know that Debbie knew the Lord. Today is the sweet day when she gets to sing that song of victory.
Victory over cancer and the pain that was in her body.  We know that her body was merely a vessel.  her soul now dances on those streets of gold and her voice sings with the angels.

From one of my favorite church songs:

I heard about a mansion
He has built for me in glory.
And I heard about the streets of gold
Beyond the crystal sea;
About the angels singing,
And the old redemption story,
And some sweet day I'll sing up there
The song of victory.

O victory in Jesus,
My Savior, forever.
He sought me and bought me
With His redeeming blood;
He loved me ere I knew Him
And all my love is due Him,
He plunged me to victory,
Beneath the cleansing flood.

Composer - Eugene Monroe Bartlett, Sr


March 14, 2014

Time for Change: Stage One

It's beginning to feel like SPRING which after this cold winter sure is a welcome feeling. 
Every year in the spring I get the itch to do something to brighten up the house. 
A friend at work showed me the pictures of where she painted an accent wall in her living room and foyer.  It was a bright and sunny teal that just made me smile when I saw it.  This got my brain churning but it hasn't been long since we painted most of our upstairs walls so I couldn't imagine repainting there.  So my ideas of painting something to freshen up the house kind of died.  

Then I walked into my basement (where I have my craft/ sewing / scrapbooking room set up) and looked at all the junk I had piled on my tables.  I haven't worked on any projects lately and it is very easy to just lay down whatever you have in your hands on the closest stable....which happen to be my work stations.  Then it hit me.... I need to get organized in my craft room.....and this could entail my painted wall. Because we all know that painting helps with organization! 

To start you off - my house was built in the 80's.  It has light colored paneling as its walls in the basement.  We don't have any windows - which is great for storms but kind of depressing when it is so nice outside & I want to be inside working.  
So the hubs and I moved the bed frame, headboard, foot board, and box springs that had so conveniently gotten propped up against the back wall in my craft area.  It went to storage and out of my way.  Then I started stripping down everything on the walls.  I pulled out my craft tables out and made a huge I could start painting.

You can laugh at my huge mess you can see in all the pictures.  I do!

With paneled walls (unless you are going to replace them with dry wall - so not happening at my house) you have to prime them before you can put on actual paint so that your paint will stick.  After talking to the guy at Lowes I went with this Bulls Eye Primer.  I didn't have it tinted so that if there was any leftover I could use it on another project.  The picture on the right is my 80's paneling.  

I started with a brush and painted in each "crevice" in the paneling.  I also did the tops and bottoms of the boards.  Our basement isn't finished so there is exposed ceilings.  I doubt we'll ever finish in the ceiling because it is easy to get to when we have issues.  After painting all the crevices, tops, and bottoms of the board I broke out the roller and rolled on two coats of primer.  I have a nice primed white wall.  I really liked how it already brightened the made me almost a little remiss to want to paint it the teal color.   

But after one coat of teal I knew it was a good idea.  I used the same process for painting the satin paint.  Brush to fill in all crevices and then rolled two coats of paint on the whole wall.  (don't you love all my junk piled sky high?!?!?!?!)  The cabinets on the right are ones that my husband built for storage and I LOVE them.  I have a floating shelf on the left hand wall that he also built to hold my 12*12 scrapbooks.  You can't see it really good here.  I am thinking that I MIGHT paint the wall on the left.  What do you think?  Paint it also (because I have the supplies still) or leave it the natural wood paneling color? 

Tune in soon for Stage 2!  I am using cube storage from Micheal's to make a desk and for scrapbook paper/ item storage on the back wall.  I also have a super cute red clock from Hobby Lobby,  A modge podged S and a vintage crate to use on the wall.  Can't wait to get my craft room organized and sunny.


February 7, 2014

Share the love - angels among us

It's amazing how friends, coworker, and strangers can even be angels among us in our everyday life.  
I asked a few friends for help in finding an Origami Owl designer that would be willing to have an impromptu Origami Owl party at my mother in laws house sometime soon.  Debbie had been showing me her Origami Owl jewelry and telling me how much she loved it.  She talked about how she wished that we could go to a party even though she hasn't felt much like getting out lately.  I thought it was a long shot but I decided to try & find someone local that would come to the house.  I shot a message to a few friends and within 24 hours I had 2 consultants willing and ready to come on such short notice.  These two ladies aren't just selling jewelry - they're serving a higher purpose to make someone who is feeling pretty crappy some days to have a few hours of fun.  I can't thank either of them enough.  I'll try to post some pictures from our party that we have this Sunday but in the meantime I am going to share their Origami Owl websites with you.  

Thank you Heidi for so readily agreeing to do what ever you had to in order to make this work and for sharing your story with me.

Thank you Aurora for also contacting me back and for the words of encouragement and light that you sent to me.  

These two ladies are angels in disguise just like the sweet friends that jumped at the chance to help me find someone to make this party happen so quickly.  My friends know me.  They know my life.  They know when a simple call, card, or word of encouragement will push me through the day.  These ladies didn't know me but they did the same for me.  God puts people where you need them them most.  

I have had the love shared with me today in so many ways it's hard to count.  
Please go out and share your love!  The world needs it.

February 5, 2014

Share the Love 2014

Last year I participated in a February Share the Love event.  February so far has been super busy so I haven't even looked at many blogs lately to know if there is an event going on. 

So - I am challenging YOU during the month of February to SHARE THE LOVE.....

We all lead super busy lives (as evidence above) but if you can slow down for a minute to do just a little something nice for someone - a friend, family member or even a stranger - it'll make your heart full.  I am not talking about spending tons of money, in fact you don't have to spend any at all...just do a random act of kindness

Let that person with 3 items check out in front of you at the store
Help someone less able to pump their gas or open a door
Send cards to friends just to say thanks for being my friend 
Bring donuts / bagels to your office
Call someone who you haven't spoken to in a while
Spend uninterrupted time with your spouse / children / grandchildren
Pay for the next person in line's coffee 
Offer your time to a charity - or to a friend with kids in need of a night out
Visit with family for no special occasion

So often we let these types of opportunities pass us by because we simply don't have time.  I challenge you to make time. 
So take one step back from your day to day...slow down...and make someone else's day.

January 29, 2014

How to clean blood from your carpet....

...after you've gotten mad and rampaged...Just kidding - about the rampage part anyways.

 After letting our sweet doggie out to do his business last night, my hubby let him back in and sat down on the couch.  It was late.  I was already asleep. Nothing unusual going on....until 11:00 when I hear the carpet cleaner going.  Now I have had some issues with our carpet cleaner in the last month and I had sat it on the back porch because it was leaking when I used it....and I THOUGHT that the hubs had decided to try to fix it at 11:00 last night.  I rolled out of bed and walked down the hallway all groggy eyed to see him scrubbing the carpet.  My next thought is that Hunter(sweet doggie of ours) has gotten sick and hubs is trying to clean it up.  Then I look down and realize that there is blood...trails of blood...puddles of blood...smears of blood all over the couch, the linoleum in the kitchen and down the whole length of our house in the carpet...WHAT HAS HAPPENED!??!?!

Well what has happened is that the ground is frozen solid at home and while our dog is out running hot laps around the yard he broke one of his toe nails plum off.  The lights were off in the living room so hubs didn't notice it until he got up to come to bed.  There was literally blood all over.  

For accidents on the carpet I normally use this stuff that we get at Ace Hardware called Carpet Butler Enzymatic treatment.  It's a little spray bottle and I use it for stains on the couch and misc carpet issues.  We only had half a little bottle left so at a little after 11 I traveled to the local WalMart to find more carpet cleaner.  I picked up Oxiclean(which we didn't open), two bottle if 409 carpet cleaner, & Bissell carpet cleaner foam (with its own little scrub brush attached).     
Just in case you're ever in a similar situation here's what we found out:

Don't even buy the 409.  It worked but only with REALLY vigorous scrubbing that is likely to damage your carpet. 

The Bissell Spot and Stain foam worked well and the attached brush is very convenient & not too stiff to damage your carpet.  There is still a good bit of scrubbing involved but all the spots came up using this.  It even worked on the upholstery on our couch.  

The Enzymatic by Carpet Butler from Ace did the best job - especially on the pools of blood.  
You could spray (or pour - some spots were really bad) this on the stain and it would start dissolving really quickly.

My only request of the hubs today was to go and get several more bottles of the Enzymatic from Ace so we have it on hand for future spills, spots, or blood stains.   

Hunter is fine.  He has a sore toe.  
We put some baking soda on it last night to clot any remaining blood.  It looked a little tender this morning but nothing he won't get over.  

Oh what a fun night of carpet scrubbing.  



January 13, 2014

Mississippi Chicken

We've been making Mississippi Roasts at our house in the crockpot.  They are super tasty and I found the recipe through pinterest here.  We've used both beef and pork.  What we've liked best thus far is getting pork picnic.  Admittedly I don't love having to cut the skin off because I am slow at doing so but it really has been the best tasting meat we've done.  I normally get bone in and when it is done cooking I can grab the bone and it pulls straight out - no cutting involved.  

After making a roast with the pork picnic last week the hubs asked me if I thought it would work with chicken...well - there's only one way to find out.  
And the answer is YES!  It makes quite a tasty chicken.  
1 five to six pound chicken - skin removed
Sit it right down in your crockpot.  DO NOT ADD ANY WATER
Lay 1 stick of butter on top.
Sprinkle 1 package dry Au Jus seasoning and 1 package dry ranch seasoning over the top.
Add 7 - 10 pepperocini peppers (I only had 4 or 5 left in my jar).
Cook on low 8 - 10 hours.  

When I got home from work my plan was to pull the legs and wings off and then strip & shred the rest of the meat.  I grabbed a hold of the leg bone and it came out clean.  This chicken was super tender and plenty moist.  You can see in the picture on the right how much juice it made.  
The only change I would make is that instead of using the seasoning packets I would probably just season with salt and pepper.  The chicken didn't absorb the seasoning well like the roasts do so next time I may just make my own seasoning recipe to see how it turns out.  There was not an ounce of waste with this chicken.  All the bones fell out and the meat shredded super easy.  
Yummy chicken night at our house! 

January 10, 2014

A Christmas Decoration Story

Background Story  
Several years ago when I first bought my sewing machine (and I had never sewn anything in my life) I decided to make Christmas stockings.  (see original stockings here)
They were super cute stockings but not very functional due to the fact that I was VERY inexperienced sewing.  Although the pattern was probably plenty big the stockings kept "shrinking" because I wasn't getting all the layers in my seams and kept having to re sew and re sew seams.  Please keep in mind that I was self / blog / online tutorial taught to sew.  I had a little instruction at the store where I bought my machine but it was more of a "how to turn your machine on and make it go" than a class of how to make items.  I have a great friend Kathy that I email with questions and send pictures of all my sewing projects because she KNOWS how far I have really come in my sewing skills.      
The Christmas Tree Skirt and Stocking Story
Once upon a time on a day very close to Christmas 2013, the hubby and I visited the local craft / fabric store to look for fabric for stockings and a tree skirt because it was on sale (one of my favorite words).  Our fake tree had bit the dust this year and I wasn't motivated to start or finish this project because the tree that we had up was about a foot and a half tall and had a total of 10 ornaments on it. I was waiting for the after Christmas sale (there's that word again - I got my $359.00 tree for $97.00!) to get the tree that I really wanted.  So making a tree skirt for a tiny tree was NOT high on my priority list.  We got the fabric that we liked(on sale!!!) and when I got home it was just laid to the side.  
Too many other fun Christmas things to be opening gifts with these three cutie pies.
The story continues on cold night in Tennessee weeks later.  I was putting away stuff (you know - the stuff that you just lay down when you come in a room) and picked up my Christmas fabric to take it to my sewing area.  I picked up the retiring tree skirt because for some reason it didn't make it into the Christmas boxes that had been put away.  I knew that I was eventually going to make the tree skirt and I wanted to get the diameter from my old tree skirt before putting it away.  I went ahead and started measuring then just decided to make a tree skirt. 
I've never made a tree skirt. I don't have a pattern for a tree skirt.  I did know what I wanted so I jumped in feet first.   
     Things I wanted in a tree skirt:  double sided, a ruffle, & ribbon closures.
I used my old tree skirt for the size estimates.  Cut my circles. Made my ruffle. Made my quilt sandwich with a layer batting, ruffle, and ties included.  Then I started sewing.  I think the end product turned out quite nicely.     

The next day it was time for new stockings because if I don't finish them now they may never get done. 
I went back and used the same tutorial that I had on my original stockings.  I only made two changes.  1. I put the stocking pattern onto a piece of card board and made my pattern an inch wider ALL the way around.  This allowed for bigger stockings which we find more user friendly. 
2. Then I matched a cute little green ruffle from my tree skirt onto my stocking.
Here's the result. 

    And they all loved happily ever after.
The End

Cold Saturday

Well - It's been a while.  The last couple months of the year are always a busy time for us and more so this last year than ever before.  I go back in my head to my New Year's resolution to do one tutorial blog every month in 2013.  That SO did NOT happen.  It was a great goal just not one that I was able to make happen.  Too many other things were more important and hey - we all have to prioritize.  

One of the things that I also let fall behind this year was my scrapbooking.  I love to have a full 12 * 12 album with pictures of events and special occasions that have occurred through the year.  I old fashion scrapbook with paper and adhesive and actual printed off pictures.  Don't get me wrong.  I have some digital albums and I think that they are wonderful but I like taking the time to embellish pages and tell stories from my pictures.  I love sitting down with family and friends to look them over and see the laughs and smiles that they bring.  But it too was something that I let fall to the side.  

A couple of Saturdays ago I was unexpectedly NOT BUSY!  Alone in the house, crappy weather outside, no where I had to be, nothing I had to get done so I glided down to the craft room for a little bit of scrapbooking.  It was wonderful!  I had to put away the sewing and fabric paint supplies to make room.  I flipped on the TV, made a cup of hot cocoa and got started.  
First I sorted....
       Not only do I print pictures but I keep mementos from our trips.  Ten years can pass and I will look back in a scrapbook and say oh remember that - but I might not necessarily have a picture of something but a memento that reminds us of a good time.  I sorted all my pictures and mementos.  
Then I prepped my work area...
I had to clear a space off my tables.  My scrapbooks - top right- stay near my work area.  I ran out of bookshelves for them in our living room plus they are great inspiration when I get stuck.  If I don't clear everything out and have a good clean space to start in I get way off track. I hot cup of coca was also a yummy way to start off the morning. Got me energized and ready to go. 

Then I worked.  I stopped and changed out a few loads of laundry.  Stood up for some stretches.  Worked a bit longer.  Ate some lunch.  Came back and worked some more.  
And the end result was - 25 pages done and a feeling of accomplishment. 
I was able to get all my events done that I had the pictures printed for except our vacation to Las Vegas.  That will be another cold wet Saturdays work.  

Things really haven't slowed down but  I also know that some days I need to take a little time for myself.  This particular Saturday was one of those days.  I ended the day with supper with the hubby and a chance to show off what work I had done.  It was a day for Stacey...that I really needed.  
Cheers to the new year friends!