Friday, November 30, 2012

Craft Finished Product

I showed you how to make this craft with a cabinet door, but all my pictures showed the still wet mod podge.

I wanted you to see a shot of it all dry.  I am loving this $5 piece of personal art and am getting really excited to get it up on the wall.  It's going to live right next to this piece.  Okay, I'm super-duper excited to showcase the whole wall....This is what it used to look like.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Our Hearts/Our Homes Mod Podge project

"Where We've Lived" family wall art

This is a Mod Podge project.  I love the stuff and this is a great way to use it to personalize your home.  I used a heart shape from an applique in a pattern.  I've not made the crafts the pattern was for but it came in handy for this!

My mother had several old maps and I had a few and together we came up with one for each of the states our family has lived in.  I  went in chronological order with the last one being Nebraska where we are now.

Are you wondering what the wood base is and how we made that? It was simply a cabinet door already stained this color--just an old cast-off at the Habitat for Humanity re-Store.  An awesome find because they are just $5!  I love having things to decorate our walls with but I held off putting anything up that wasn't completely personal that we love.  This fits that bill and I can't wait to see it up!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Free {recycle} ornament

Long ago I made the call to let my 6 year old daughter read the Harry Potter series.  It's obviously not written for 6 year olds, but her tastes and skills are unique (just like every child) and it worked for us.  She's read each book in the series almost 20 times now!  I don't regret it at all and love how much her world is opened up by books.

Reading, carrying, packing, holding and loving a book for that long can take its toll.  A few have no covers as well as torn and missing pages.  She was going to throw them away, but I decided to give them a new life - just like literature does for us.


  We cut shapes out of the page, two at a time, and then stitched them together with a little cinnamon in the middle and a knotted piece of jute twine coming out the top (the loop is what is showing and the knot is stitched into the tree).

I think its the perfect touch for our rustic, personalized tree.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Daring Greatly

I just got done watching some of this woman's TED talks and thinking about courage and vulnerability.  I, as do probably a lot of others, feel like the poster child of hiding from things due to fear of being vulnerable.  I've been job hunting for about a year now, and learning a lot about myself in the process of rejection.  I haven't seen really any financial success to speak of but I've felt the thrill of being rewarded for my own creation and creativity via this blog.  It's something I wanted to really say I tried this year and that is why I have posted almost every day since Jan 1.  I figure good, bad, ugly or boring I'm gonna post what I have to post, because if I don't I won't have ever really tried this thing.

My top sources of vulnerabily as a blogger are this:

1.  Picture quality, blog layout, blog provider, cool sounding URL, amount of times a project is pinned, number or lack of comments.

2.  Saying my truth rather than saying something catchy that I think people want to read

After watching the thought provoking talks by Brene I think if I'm really going to DO THIS the way I want to I'm going to have to let those fears go and keep doing it my way.  Trying to make something I think people want wears me out, but tapping into my own creativity is re-generating.  I feel so much pressure to have the time I spend show some kind of financial gain for our family and that's probably the biggest thing that keeps me from pursuing what I find invigorating mentally.  But a year later, with nothing to show from pursuing the *normal* way of making a living, why the heck not?!  Working for free better be fun work!

Friday, November 23, 2012

For being dairy, gluten, egg, and soy free (and vegan!), this is an amazingly easy and delicious recipe.  It's a dessert, but also quite healthful and comforting when served warm.

Coconut Pudding

1 can coconut milk
2 1/2 T corn starch
1/4 C sugar

Mix all ingredients in a bowl, with a whisk.  Microwave for 3 minutes and then stir.  It may have already boiled and be thickening.  If so it is done. If not, microwave more a minute or 30 seconds at a time until it does start thickening.  Let cool and enjoy! 

P.S.  I ate it hot for breakfast this morning.  I threw in some chocolate chips which melted as I stirred it.  Coconut + chocolate = swoon...

Showing Up (adult female friends version)

So, I have been reading the momastary blog again, and as always she speaks to me.  I'm not sure it was the most recent post but she spoke about showing up, and what I felt was it was about being real.  Not everybody wants real, but some people need real.  

I have a really tough time connecting with someone who is trying to appear a certain way or put off a certain image.  One of the mistakes I made in the last couple of years was trying to win people over to the "real" side.  I would smile and joke and join in positive discussion with their mylifeisperfect face hoping that with enough sharing on my part there would eventually be enough trust on their part to be real with me.  Either I saw it as a challenge or I just didn't have a lot of options and wanted to rush friendships.  I haven't analyzed my reasons fully, but suffice it to say "people as projects" is so not a good idea.

As a mom I think I am desperate for some female camaraderie   Desperate as well as a little hopeless.  It is so hard to have anything to give to a friendship after pouring myself out to 5 other people day and night.  I don't know how to have friendships without givinggivinggivinggiving till this is all that is left of me.  I miss the youthful innocent days where relationships were just about being.  I am me.  You are you.  And we are together.  Cool, huh?  It seemed that simple.  If I could find the adult version of that it'd really help.  I guess the adult version of that is the workplace.  Has anyone found a good way to handle this as a stay-at-home mom?

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Showing I am

Showing up is the new fad inside my brain.  I think that phrase several times a day.  Maybe its because I have spend almost two years doing the very opposite:  trying to avoid contact with people, trying to avoid conflict, trying to not look like any not showing up at all.

I've decided its high time for that to end.  Why?  Because life is short and I want to get all I can out of it.  If I have some potential I don't want to squander it hiding in a self-made hole.  Sometimes I think hiding is more comfortable for others.  Especially by someone with a great big (maybe overwhelming for others?) personality.  I have so much I like, so much I care about, it just spills over.  And I am afraid the mess it makes is too much for others to handle.  And I get afraid of rejection so I try to hold it in, hold it in.  But that is discouraging to I just want to spend the rest of my life living in this big personality and enjoy it.

That's why there is a de-friend button on facebook and that is why I keep a blog.  I can explode with personality and if it bothers someone they can simply not read.  It's freeing, really.

So, I'm HERE!  Today's pleasures are sunshine and unseasonably warm temperatures.  That's 3 beautiful autumns in a row, Omaha!  I'm loving it!  You're getting points ol' girl!  Also on today's pleasure list is the realization that the huge pile of branches in my yard from this weekend's trimmings have all kinds of artistic potential!  I can't wait to create some crafts with them.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

For the love of {Water}!

Being the mother of a toddler, the idea of bodies of water near the house doesn't appeal to me at the moment.  But it's fun to dream, right?

The view and sound of rushing water is so relaxing.  When my hubby and I worked on a ranch one summer in Jackson, Wyoming there was a creek that ran outside our bedroom window.  I can still remember the sound and the beauty it stirred in my heart.  Part of my love of the west is because of mountain streams.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Paper Bag garland

This is easy and fun!  I'll walk you through step by step:

1.  Trace stars, Christmas trees, circles or whatever you want the garland to feature on any kind of paper you have on hand.  I like the rustic look brown bags give.  The tracing was my daughter's idea.

2.  I ended up just cutting free-hand.  One reason is I wanted a rustic/shabby look to the stars.  Another is that I just get impatient when crafting and want to hurry and see the finished product!

3.  Start stitching!  Didn't know you could sew on paper?  Well, now you do.  Look how your crafting world just opened up!  Since you want some "string" between pieces of the garland stitch for an inch or so before putting the next piece under the needle.  Don't go for too long or the machine will start knotting up.  Through trial and error you'll quickly get a feel for the perfect amount ;).

4.  Have a kid take your picture.  Look down at your feet to try to avoid showing off your double chin and then see peanut butter on your legs.  Laugh, cause you just don't care!

5.  This picture would be so much better showing the garland around a lush, green pine tree...but alas, I am on strict instructions to wait for Thanksgiving to end before displaying such an item in this household...

My Week's sewing

Shabby Frills etsy shop

There are weeks I've noted that no box is safe from me and my duct tape ;0.  Well, this weekend no sweater was safe from my stocking designs...

Sunday, November 18, 2012

DIY Steam Mop rags


It's hard to tell from these pictures, but our white towels at nearly 10 years of age are starting to have holes and are raw and raveling at the edges.  

I've already once re-hemmed them, so its more than time for their "next hurrah."

I purchased steam mop covers at wal-mart at 19.98 for two, thinking somehow that was a good price.  Hubby quickly pointed out that they could be had at 4 for 19.98 online.

So I had to pull-out the sewing machine and one-up him right???

It was as simple as cutting around the outline of the old one adding about 1/4 inch for seam allowance on each side.  They used velcro as the fasteners on top.

I went all redneck and just pulled out the safety pins.  I'm not about to go spending $5 or more on velcro when I'm proving a point  saving money!

Turns out our old towels' texture does a lot more for cleaning than the store bought ones.  If you've got a Shark Steam Mop and you need refills...don't look past your old towel closet!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Weekend Warmth

I'm excited to start something near and dear to me here on this site. Starting this weekend I am going to be collecting donations (no matter how big or small) to go towards buying coats for very young children here in Omaha where I live.  

Our local school system is gathering them because of a *known* need among the littlest kids they serve in their homes (think 3 and under).  These are kids right here that I see every day.  When we've been at our poorest coming up with coats and boots for these harsh winters was a big concern for me, especially for our really little ones.

Will you help my kids and I with funds to go buy some nice (little!) coats for some of our neighborhood toddlers?  Any amount would be so appreciated!  I'll share pictures of the outing I plan to take my kids on to pick out those little coats.

If you can't help, don't worry, I still want to see what you've showcased on your blog this week.  But if you can, click here:


Even if 10 or 20 of you could only do $1, that could still buy a coat.  And one little guy that is warmer would be a blessing.  Thanks!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Update on Duct Tape Pumpkins

Remember when I showed you how I covered one of our Halloween pumpkins with decorative Duct Tape?

I wanted to report that we decided to bake some pumpkin and puree it because the kids were craving pies (by we I mean my mom...she did all the work!).  The pumpkin I painted with chalkboard paint simmered in the sun since it was black and shriveled and rotted :(.  

But this bad boy was perfectly preserved!  I actually think the duct tape protected it from the elements and kept it fresh.  It was easy to remove the tape, and then bake.

Just thought I'd let you know, because not only was it cute, it worked well in other ways.  I'm totally doing this again next year!

Monday, November 12, 2012

So Easily Solved

I haven't been shy about sharing my mental health struggles this year for two reasons:

1.  This blog is my scrapbook and journal and it helps me process my feelings when I write them.  I also like it being a social outlet where others can read and comment, which further helps me make sense of it.

2.  I wish more people were more open about this stuff.  I hate struggling alone to call the right person, to know who/what kind of Dr. to approach about it, etc.  Especially when you are feeling very sensitive, its a difficult thing to face.  I figure my being open might give others license to do the same.

I don't regret sharing this stuff with the world at all, even though it makes me vulnerable.  That said, I'd like to share with you how I found my cure.  

It isn't what I expected.  I've started taking higher doses of Vitamin D after some bloodwork revealed that I am low in it.  That simple.  I've gone off of my {three!} different psych medicines and am feeling more healthy and myself than ever.  Simply a vitamin deficiency it appears to have been.

I want to emphasize that I am not sharing this as a prescription for others with mental illness.  I am too well aware of its dangers to ever give advice.  I just wanted to share one person's story, so that in the "getting of help" I could urge people to make sure all medical issues are checked.

In the beginning of my breakdown (for lack of a better word) no medical checks were even discussed or encouraged.  Just one heavy hitting medication after another were tried, along with their myriad of side effects.  If they didn't work the dosage was increased....along with....more side effects.  So much of the previous months were spent in a fog just trying to put one foot in front of the other.  I'm not resentful of the medical path taken, but feel more educated about the possibilities behind certain situations I might find myself in.

Vitamin D deficiency seems to be getting more press these days, as I feel it should.  I think a number of factors contributed to mine.  First of all the lack of sun in the area I am in, and the way we live in our culture.  But secondly, nursing for two years (this time) drained my body in ways I didn't expect.  As much as I believe in breastfeeding and encourage it for all moms, sometimes the way our bodies give more than they have to ensure the survival of the species :) can deplete us a lot.

Be careful, ladies.  And, as always, thanks for reading!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

A Sewing Weekend

I was so pleased that the Christmas tree skirts I had made this fall finally sold on etsy that I got excited to make a few more!  It was really fun to create new designs and have some meditative time at the sewing machine this weekend.  To check out what is new for sale you can visit my shop {here}.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

From Cabinet Door to Wall Art

I bought this at the Habitat for Humanity Re-store:

It's a square kitchen cabinet door.  Unfinished.  Price:  $5.00

My husband was kind enough to rub some stain on it while he was working on some other wood projects.

I added fabric and an old ripped calender page (with a picture of a barn we lived by one summer as newlyweds) that I crinkled first for a weathered effect.  I stuck it all on with the wonder that is Mod Podge:

In case you are new to Mod Podge here is a quick tutorial...basically its glue you do on the bottom of what you are glueing and over the top.  Don't worry, it dries completely clear.

So, this is the final result of my $5.00 cabinet door.  Whaddya think?  I'm quite pleased to have something personal to hang on our walls.