Friday, March 27, 2015

A Designer Spring

Day1 of this blog entry:

We have officially hit the magical number on the calendar this past week that says spring is here but looking out my windows and door you would not know it. Just Monday  the temperatures  were 30 degrees with a wind chill factor. The news reports are calling for rain tonight. There is still a measurable amount of snow on the ground from the "most snowfall ever recorded" winter. I can see the grass in some areas, like over the septic tank. While it is not an ideal location I will take what I can get at this point.

Easter is a week away and not one crocus has popped. Not one tulip has forced its head above the dirt. The forsythia bushes that line the back wall have no buds readying to burst open at the first warm day. My lilac bush looks cold and dead.

It has been a hard winter and I am ready for the springtime so I prepared my home for it and will wait for it to show up.

I started in the dining room. It is the first room you see when walking into our home and it is the first room I walk into in the morning. I want it to greet me with the excitement life and of spring!

Next into the kitchen I go. Still love my ever-changing chalkboard.

Before last week....

...and today!

Then into the living room; there is not much to do here. I replaced certain pictures and changed the hutch shelves a bit. Arranging them always proves a challenge for me. I have learned to take pictures and then adjust based on what I see in the photos. I changed the pillows and put away the winter throw though it is still in reach to grab on rainy days.

Christmas in the living room

Ha-ha out the windows there was no snow yet! This was in December-the only month of the year that I like snow.
Spring shelves, cleaned up and edited. Still not liking the arrangement.
Better, for now....

My favorite painting from my grandmother....

I had the pitcher and flowers long before I received the painting. 

I made a wreath for my front door following this blog post from Polka Dot Chair.


It rained last night and the temperature stayed above freezing! Today’s temps are to be in the low 50’s and more rain is on the way in. That means more snow is on the way out! Yay! My gardens and shrubs have taken a beating this winter and I can’t wait to get out there and tend to them. Maybe a crocus or two will finally emerge.

The tulips are another story because the rabbits usually get to them just as they are ready to open. Cute as bunnies can be I have no love for them in the spring. My vegetable gardens are now all raised and fenced in because of said bunnies. Bunnies represent springtime for me because that is when I see them (or evidences of them) in my gardens most. I prefer my bunnies in the ceramic form with a bow around their neck.

What am I saying! Silly me! I prefer my bunnies in the chocolate form! Some of you are not surprised at that, I know.

That being said, we don’t do The Easter Bunny and egg hunts anymore. In our home, we celebrate Resurrection Day. As Christians, this day we celebrate is the very reason and assurance of our faith. I used to make resurrection cookies with the girls when they were little-not so much now that they are older . They always got new outfits-usually matching- (and accessories) to wear to church. 


As they get older many things changed. They still get new outfits but shopping for them requires their input and is thus a bit more challenging at times. I will add a picture to this post later from Easter Morning 2015.

 As our younger girls enter the “springtime” of their lives I watch with a similar anticipation to that of my gardens. What will they bloom into?  I don't know what that will be for either of them but for now they bring a beautiful array of color to our lives that cannot be achieved with even the best crafters and designers on this earth. Their Designer is unmatched.

Horray for the promise of Spring! Horray for the shadows in this life that excite my anticipation of a day in the future when Christ will make all things perfect and new.

Link Parties:

This post was featured on The Dedicated House!

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Something for almost nothing

When we renovated the kitchen we installed new cabinets. One of the cabinet doors had a funky finish flaw in it. When the pot lights were on in the evening you could see a ripple in the finish that made it look like a zebra skin. During the day you did not notice it but at night I could not overlook it and had to fix it. It was a simple phone theory. I talked to a representative that really didn't listen and I kinda felt like I wasn't going to get what I needed. Sure enough, a week or so later my new door arrived but it was the wrong size. Another call and another door arrived.....and fit.

I was left with two doors. The company wanted neither of them back. Mr. wanted to toss them but not me, no sir! I had plans.  I thought they would make lovely chalk boards. I taped off the inside the panel and applied the chalk paint. It took two coats of paint. I painted the first coat in one direction and the second coat I painted perpendicular to the first coat. Now, this is where I know better but, well, oh! I know! I left the tape on and didn't take it off when I was done painting and a few days later when I got back to it the tape took what should have been nice pretty edges and ripped jagged edges. Ugh. Walk away.

Remove the tape before the paint completely dries! 
That took the wind out of may sails. Fast forward six months later. I came up with a fix. (That did not take six months but the desire to come back to the project did.) I had some copper tape that I had used in a project we did for art in school. The kids had made stained glass panels and we taped the edges of the glass to make them safe.

I cut the top and bottom straight then mitered the side strips, overlapping the the corners.

I used the tape to frame out the chalk paint. It covered the jagged edges and added a nice finishing tough. I used a brayer to help adhere it well. Be careful because the edges can be sharp. Afterwards I used a spoon to burnish fit onto the board.

Some clean up is still needed-see the chalk paint outside the tape?

If you are going to make a chalkboard be sure to rub your chalkboard down with a stick of chalk and then erase off. This primes your board so that the first thing you write on the board doesn't end up being there forever. After that- go wild!

I added a knob to hang my chalk from.

The doors were free. I had the chalk paint and the copper tape. The only thing this cost me was some time! The plan is to sell them because I have my eye on a paint sprayer.......

Link parties I am joining:

Monday, March 16, 2015

The Gift of Marriage

I seem to not be good at keeping a steady schedule with posting. It isn't that things aren't happening around the house it is just that time constraints and a stupid computer conspire against me to discourage me from wanting to take the time to write a post. My computer has been acting up for a while and I cannot seem to figure out how to fix it. Truth is I have no idea how to fix it. My touch pad is super touchy, it moves things and erases things if my fingers even as much as hover over it in typing. I think that is probably what happened to my last post. The Mr. has not been able to figure it out even though he is pretty savvy with these machines that now we cannot seem to live without. It is a love/hate relationship. Grrr.
Anyway..... the snow is finally starting to melt here in New England. I can now see part of the arbor gate in our front yard. I have seen and heard the beautiful song of cardinals in the trees around our house. Spring will come. Winter cannot hold her back much longer! Today it is raining and thus it is a good day for a shower.....a wedding shower that is.

Isn't she sweet?!
A young woman in our church is to be married next month and today we will shower her with gifts that she will need in her new life as a wife, homemaker, and helper to her husband. I thought I was all ready with a gift for the bride-to-be but a technical difficulty sent me in a different direction than I had started in. 

I like to give something personal. And have become rather fond of doing something on canvas. I used the picture from the couples "save the date" card and superimposed the lyrics to the song that will be their first dance as Mr. and Mrs. but I needed a frame and that!

Printed onto tissue paper then Modge-Podged onto canvas
with a coating to seal it.
I thought I remembered conversations with her in the past about different antique stores and what a coincidence, it was the weekend for Vintage Thymes!

They let me take pictures again! Come see!

Love everything!


The theme this month was Weekend in Paris-yay! I shopped and took pictures and got to talk to some lovely ladies and yes, I did find a frame that I could paint and make up nice. Happy, happy.

When I walked out of that shop and turned the corner I came face to face with the perfect frame at 23rd & Bird. It was already finished and a little more ornate which was perfect for the black and white canvas that I had aged a bit with paint and artists chalks. I had a wonderful conversation with the owner, Mary Ellen. She was so helpful and encouraging. She even offered to show my girls how to paint furniture when I told her we are home-schoolers; saying it could be an art lesson. She was very sweet and talented. Her work is beautiful!

Thanks, Mary Ellen!
Here is the finished canvas, mounted into the frame:
The song is by Steve Green titled Holding Hands

Random, but note worthy photos from the days trip:
One of my girls fell in love with this.

I like giving gifts but nobody ever gets really thrilled to see the new whisk or the baking dish that was already on their gift registry so I like to try to make the wrapping pretty, you know, oooh and aaah worthy. 

I was wrapping a cooling rack and two different sized cake pans. Awkward and bulky!  After a few attempts it dawned on me to wrap them to look like a cake! Duh. The cooling rack would be the foundation board and I stacked the pans upside down to look like layers. It still looked small so I headed off to the store to pick up some cake decorating bags and tips. I stuffed them into the box and ta-da!

The bride is a sweet girl that likes lace and flowers but she is down to earth and so I decided a little brown wrapping paper would suit her "cake" and then I could figure a way to dress it up.

I had ribbon from a Victorian Christmas tree that I used to put up many years ago and used it to decorate her cake but it still seemed a little plain so I pulled out some rose ribbon-y stuff that I had gotten on sale a few years back. (Never know when you might need it, right?) And, with my trusty hot glue gun I went to work.

I dabbed hot glue to stick the layers together. Made a bow for the top and scattered a few paper roses. I have made them numerous times throughout the last couple years. Here is the tutorial where I first saw them done. I strategically placed a few on top of the cake and done. I was happy with the results. It got the okay from Mr. and my girls.

So happy for her response!
We are so happy for her! The day was wonderful. Good food and dear friends and much to be thankful for, like the gift of marriage.


Praying for the newlyweds-to-be that their marriage will be used by God to exalt the glory of Christ as they seek to honor him in their life together.