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. 
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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;
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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: 
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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.
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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.
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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.

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