Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Ring Day - She said YES!

Oldest asked his girlfriend to marry him!!!  

Exciting times ahead!!!  

Monday, July 2, 2018

Kitchen Island - June 2017

When I sold our massive china cabinet last summer, I knew I wanted to replace it with something much smaller, but struggled to find exactly what I wanted and needed without spending hundreds of dollars. 

Honey suggested an island that his work was no longer using after their remodel, and the dimensions were perfect!   It was somewhere in one of their seven storage units and they said if we could locate it, we could have it.  We were fortunate to find it in the second unit, but it was in the VERY back of the large unit.  We spent an hour moving boxes of documents and office chairs and desk and there it was... A tad bit of water damage on the top, but that was okay.
Water damage

It was so heavy that we had to put it on a small furniture dolly we have, so I could move it around.  Some of the gems we discovered was a piece on the back that would extend out an additional 27" if it had the piece attached.  We thought it would fit just right into our kitchen style and the spot we needed it to go. Turns out it was worth over $1,000, but we got it for free!  I love a great bargain! 
back extension

First thing was adding knobs so I could access the draws as I started on the make-over.  I started with a coat of regular teal wall paint to match our kitchen cabinets, added a little burnt umber to antique, and finished with some white to transform it to it's new version. 

The top was a bit more tricky as it was glossy.  A little sandpaper to rough it up did the trick and painted it white.  Honey liked the natural wood look for the top at first, but he eventually, he concluded, the painted version was great. i added a little burnt umber to highlight and add details to the top, and now it looks like it's always been distressed. 

The back
My adorable new helper

I must have missed a spot

The final version

 We decided it was time to move some pieces around to make everything look better and give us more space, and we were very pleased with the final look.

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Sewing Relief

After more than five years hiatus, due to a family illness, from sewing and quilting, I began again.
I connected with the designer from Blue Moon Embroidery  from Malta, near Italy, with fantastic embroidery designs, that I have started testing designs for. I love how her  designs stitch out! It’s still sitting on my shelf, folded and ready to leave my sewing room. 

For nephew and niece on Honey’s side of the family that has twins.
For Dear Daughter and Son-in-love, using fabric from their Pinwheels and Postage Stamps wedding Quilt Four years ago.

For a sister of my heart, has been there for me through so many hard times and the good, yet she still chooses to be my friend.

For The QL... who has taught me so much and challenges me to learn more and challenge myself

Under my needle on Francis, my sewing machine. QL challenged me with sketching out the FMQ designs before stitching them out.  Admittedly, she was right on this one (as always).  I noticed a new FMQ design called Onion Peel.  It's hard to find a good tutorial or example on how to achieve this, so I cornered QL in church (shameless, I know).  She quickly whipped out a scrap of paper, and it suddenly made sense.  I'm such a visual person.  Working on matching quilt. Hope to sell it.

Branching out on paper piecing with this boy quilt. I’m still working on how I’m going to quilt it. I'm thinking of clouds and a flight path for each paper plane. Hope to sell it as well...

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Daycare Cubby Storage

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It was getting out of hand and my frustration was growing.  Toys.  Because I own and run my daycare business from my home, the kids live here daily and they come to feel that it's their home as well, which I love.  The big issue is dealing with the things I need daily to use for my daycare.  Things are stashed here and there.  Mats, cribs and blankets in the spare room, puzzles and kitchen type toys in the hall bench, but the majority of items occupy a space in our living room, or Playroom as the kids refer to it as.

The Bin system I found at a yard sale years ago was not really working and the space was not being utilized very well, but alternatives were expensive to purchase and they were not made of real wood. I got some inspiration after seeing a cubby system that Honey's nephew had built for their home, and began researching.  After talking to Honey about it, he told me to draw out what I was thinking and he would take it from there.  He's a keeper!  He quickly drew up the plans and confirmed that is what I needed and off to Lowes for a date night we went.  Are we the only ones who spend a date at a home improvement store?  We spent one Saturday morning building the Cubbies with really nice quality pine and I'm so happy with the results.  
Hand sanding
As Honey cut the boards, I began hand sanding with a block sander because Honey couldn't find his palm sander.  It was a ton of work, but we are both pleased. The boards were almost as smooth as a baby's bottom!

There are two sets of cubbies: Set one  has six storage spaces and Set Two as four normal spaces and two double spaces.  The double space will allow for a hidden space in the corner.

I was able to find fabric baskets at Target just the size and price I needed.  I looked at Amazon, but was wary of the thin fabric that so many seemed to be made of. After going through, sorting, getting rid of some, and putting other toys in plastic and fabric bins, I still have organizing and rearranging to do, but I'm pretty pleased with the results. I love that I have such a wonderful space now to store and organize toys, puzzles, and things I use for daycare, but I LOVE the nice flat top surface to place those bulky toys that won't fit in the baskets or plastic bins. I originally planned to paint it, but I'm not sure if I'll do that now.  Running out of time and steam for completing projects this summer.
Set two
Set one

Told you it was a mess of toys! 

without backs so you can see the hidden space

Adding backs to each cubby cabinet

Finally finished  

Monday, June 19, 2017

Mowing by Osmosis

Growing up, I was expected to help out around the house.  I never got an allowance or was paid to do those jobs, but incurring the disappointment of Mom by not doing them or doing them not to her expectations was not a good thing.  Typically resulted in completely redoing the chore or a really good chewing out. Being a single mom most of her Mom years, meant she needed help and I needed to learn these things. I wasn't always the brightest star in the sky.

  Webster's Dictionary defines Osmosis as this: :  a process of absorption or diffusion suggestive of the flow of osmotic action; especially :  a usually effortless often unconscious assimilation 

Smart Tutor states: “Learning through osmosis” is an analogy for natural, organic and  indirect way of learning. To learn through osmosis means to learn by immersion an exposure. For example, children learn their family’s native language through osmosis.
So if you want your child to learn something, immerse them as much as possible in whatever it is as a way of learning seamlessly. Learning a language is a prime example of this, however it can apply to anything, through a gradual, unconscious process... You never know what they will pick up and what connections they will make."  
While I do agree that kids pick up on things they have observed, some things just need to be outright taught.  As a mom, I understand this completely. It's the countless hours of doing and folding laundry, vacuuming and moping the floors, putting away dishes, brushing their teeth, making their beds, driving to them to various functions and so much more.  You think they would observe you doing these things daily, but these are things we've had to teach our kids. Sometimes, they pick up on things we never knew they were observing, and it befuddles us. 
Mom, brother, and myself (at the wheel)
Every time I help Honey mow the yard,  I am reminded of my mom.  In fact, I remember the first time I was allowed to use the riding mower and it was not good.  My mom had mowed the yard hundreds of times, but I didn't sit there observing her while taking notes.  That's where she went wrong.  That red Snapper mower was a work horse, but the secret to a nicely mowed yard and making it work efficiently was due to my mom's persistence to details and taking care of her equipment.  I remember standing by her side as she showed me how to clean the under carriage of the mower, scraping off all the moist grass and dirt, hosing it down with a strong stream of water, and leaving it clean and ready to go the next time.  She showed me how to add gas, oil, check the spark plugs,  lower the mower deck, etc, but I not ever remember her teaching me specifically how to mow the yard.  
similar to my first mowing
Disaster in the making. We had over 10 acres to mow of our yard, grandma's yard, and pastures, and she couldn't do it by herself.  She told me what section to start on, made sure the deck height was just right, told me to stay on speed 3, and walked off.  I wonder if she watched from a distance or just hoped I was listening.  It was pretty fun and I thought I was doing pretty good until I heard her yelling at me while waving her arms.  Her face conveyed she was pretty upset and I had no clue.  Did you know that you're not supposed to mow your name in the yard, do great spiral designs, and not run over her favorite blooming flowers?  Yep, I told you it was a disaster!  After I got a fantastic chewing out and precise instructions that I wasn't to nick the trees, to follow a pattern, not mow in the center to a wide piece leaving a small section on either side of the mower, to set my eyes on a marker in the distance and mow straight towards it, so I would mow in a straight line. You get the picture right? With instructions, I actually did pretty well, but I'm not an osmosis learner by any means.
  I love mowing actually.  It's me time.  I put on my earphones, set my Mamma Mia music to play and sing madly along as I go, but I always am reminded of my mamma and that first time I ever mowed.  I now set my eyes on a marker, as I make each turn, but every once-in-a-while, I am tempted to mow my name in the yard... 

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Magic little word of purging

It all started with nine little words: "I'm having a garage sale, want to join me?"

Honestly, I've wanted to have one for so long.  I feel like I live in clutter, and it really does bother me.  Some of the clutter has come from 27 years of marriage, three kids, two parents passing away and acquiring some of their belongings, and having an in-home daycare. I was pretty giddy when Honey suggested we work on cleaning out the garage.  So we only cleaned out 1/3 of the garage, but it's a start!

When the garage sale came up, I was so excited!  I'd not had one since the kids were little and there was so much I wanted to purge.  First was the antique china cabinet and former front storm door sold, then we wanted to get rid of our Big comfy Couch.  We attempted to list it on a local on-line garage sale, but we found that people want to low ball, no matter what something is really worth.  Something for nothing.  Grrrr...  It didn't sell at the garage sale, even though we had a live model sleeping on it.  Eventually it did sell and we were beyond excited.  We were so tired of hauling that thing back and forth.

What I did love was the openness that we suddenly had in the living room.  We have been longing to replace the old massive entertainment center we purchased over 25 years ago.  I knew we wouldn't be able to re-sell it, so re-purposing was perfect. Some of it became a new storage center in the now empty bedroom after Oldest moved out of state.  It still needs to have a cap put on the top, but I'm pretty happy.  I may use another portion to make another storage bookcase if needed.
The search began for a new entertainment center and we wanted to go small.  We are working towards the empty nest and paring things down.  It's really kinda exciting!  I found a cute antique dresser for $50.  I can't figure out why someone would paint over the beautiful pulls, but after cleaning up the beautiful handles, Honey reconfigured the drawers, and drilled two holes in the back for cord access. I repainted and distressed it, before setting it up.  We're quite pleased with the final look!

Hidden beauty

We have since purchased brand new couch and recliner, and filled up that wonderful open space we made. My mom's piano now occupies part of one wall, and a major tuning needs to happen, but I am really looking forward to playing it once again. I plan to purge the daycare toy area, getting rid of needless toys, and hang some pictures before I'll be finished, but it's a start!

Now if I could only get the spare bedroom cleaned out!!!!  Guess we need to hold another garage sale!