Friday, March 29, 2013

how does your garden grow?

This week we had a splendidly sunny day and I was able to get out to the garden to plant the early veggies.


On the way out, I remembered my garden helper pictures from last year, which are among my favorites. 

I ran back in for my camera.

She’s actually becoming quite useful now…



I started pounding all the stakes and she finished them.


We got the garden plotted and planned and a got the first batches of romaine, mixed lettuce, brocolli and green onions planted.

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And I let Susie go to town planting the cucumbers wherever she wanted in a big plot…




Making holes and sticking the seeds in held her interest for a little bit.

But it’s pretty fun to bury yourself with dirt.

When I took over the seeds for her, she found a huge sliver lodged in her finger.


She was highly offended.


I asked her if she could tough it out until I finished the broccoli and she said she could.  She did.  We went in and got her all fixed up.  And dad came home with the cinderblocks for us to make garden borders.  We’ll be planting Marigolds (hubby’s favorite) inside the cinderblock holes which aid in keeping pests away and happen to be Ty’s favorite annual.It turned out pretty good.  I’ll have to show you an update after we get the Marigolds going and get some more veggies going in the garden. 


A little burst of sunshine was all we needed for a highly productive day of sowing. 

Are you all gardeners?  What have you planted so far?

Monday, March 25, 2013

pew bench

So I showed you the pew bench we made a while back, and you saw it the other day in my entry uplift

But this here’s the whole story. 

First of all, our church decided to clean out and renovate our old chapel which had become a glorious early 1900s storage unit.  As a fundraiser, they offered the pews from the chapel for a recommended donation of $100 each.  I had a serious case of the covets for one but at the time I couldn’t afford it and with a rare spurt of budgetary self control, I restrained myself from buying one.  Self control isn’t usually my thing; cookies? sure!  I always kind of regretted having that rare burst at that specific time.

Many, many months later, my good friend from church was getting ready for her wedding to be the first event in the restored old chapel when, lo and behold, there was a pew left in the old chapel that was, and I quote, “in the way”.  They called me and asked if I would like to come pick it up.  As in: for free.  I most eloquently responded, “Uh, YEAH!!”  I had no idea how I was going to accomplish the acquisition of this 13 foot solid oak bench… in a minivan… with at least one backseat in it for the kids… by myself…  so the wedding planning ladies had to nag me a couple few several times to go and get it.

Finally I told the hubby he was helping me one night, and that he couldn’t argue.  He didn’t dare.  He could see the desperation in my eyes.  We had no vehicle or trailer long enough to haul it and decided we would have to remove the van seats, cut the pew inside the church and put the pieces side by side in the back of the van.  But when we got there, we agreed it was way too scary to fire up a chainsaw in the historic old chapel… with our church’s bible school meeting in the new chapel next door… surely there must be some moral code violation involved with running a chainsaw inside a historic building???  And a church, nonetheless.

We just couldn’t do it.  We went with the redneck method.

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We hauled the whole thing out and shoved it as far as we could into the van, with about a third of it hanging out the back, untied, with the doors flapping – we hadn’t brought a rope since we planned on cutting it into smaller pieces and being able to close the doors.  I held onto it from the front seat so that it might not fly out.  I was sure we were going to get in some immoral / redneck / or in the very least, unsecured load kind of trouble trouble.  Have I ever mentioned I am a rule follower by nature?

We got home with no problems, though I kept waiting for a sheriff to pull up.  I know - something is wrong with me. The minute we set the pew down in the garage, Ty told me to draw a line where I wanted it cut and grabbed for his chainsaw.  For some reason unknown to me, I nonchalantly did as he said while he fired up the saw.  He cut off one end, so the pew would fit in our entry.  We took the arm rest off the scrap end and attached it into the piece cut to fit our entry, and wa-lah! 


We now have a pew bench in our entry. 

And loaded with sentimental value at that!!  What are your most sentimental pieces in your home?

Thursday, March 21, 2013

entry uplift


My color schemed entry has been bugging me for a while now.  And it wasn’t just any color scheme… the same maroon/orange/yellow/green I had going on in my kitchen for the longest time.  What was I thinking?  Okay, I know a couple friends and family thought I was crazy.  Sometimes that means I’m doing something edgy, or at least unique and unexpected.  Not so much this time.  It got old fast the latest T-Swift song (except for Trouble, that one never gets old). 

Well recently I have made strides to overcome this most undesirably outdated scheme.  Or schemes in general, really.  I like the vintage, colorful, anything-goes, free-flowing carefree style now.  I’ve made changes in the kitchen, though I’m not sharing yet because I’m contemplating further changes still. 

But I have the entry pretty much where I want it.  I made a couple recent changes, adding to some accessories in there that I still love.  The Entry got (half) repainted, a chalkboard wall, a new rug, some new linens on the door and the cabinet doors… and so far, I’m loving it so much better.

I’m not going to hurt your eyes with the before pictures.  But here are the after shots…



That old tennis racket is supposed to have a mirror in it like in this pin, but I called a local glass shop and they said it would be $60.  Um, must keep looking, I guess.



When we get some nice weather that little window will get trim in the style of the door trim.  It is really bothering me!  I wish I could do every window in the house.  And the floorboards.  And crown molding.  :/

I blogged a long time ago about the buffet, which is an old Ikea craigslist find, painted with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in “Old Ochre” and clear wax.  I distressed it quite a bit because I knew it would take a beating.  It has.  And it’s taken it well.




Yes we have a BB gun hanging in our entry.  I need it handy because I am an avid hunter of neighbor dogs that poop in my yard.

And that farmhouse in the picture is my DREAM farmhouse.  Simple.  White.  Plain.  Symmetrical windows.  <3




I usually have a little doodle on the chalkboard wall on the left hand side, but the other day I got crazy and wrote out my favorite Bible verse all over the whole wall.  It takes people a long time to read it when they walk in – it’s a little awkward.  But writing this verse was my initial idea when I did the chalkboard wall based on this pin.  So it’s there for now.



The plate arrangement needs more colors!  I’m hunting!




I’m loving the buffet now with these flour sacks in the doors (hiding my canned and surplus goods, onions and potatoes).  Plain, dark maroon used to line those windows, and it was so dark and drab.  I love the subtle vintage lettering on these flour sacks.  They were a Farm Chicks find last year.



The glass jars in the background hold gardening gloves, twine, labels and sharpies and seeds, for grabbing on my way out the door on the rare sunny day when I get a chance to work outside.


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I made the door curtain from a vintage queen-sized sheet.  I used the top trimmed edge of the sheet as the bottom edge of the curtain, and made the curtain the full width of the sheet, so it is very full and fluffy when it’s not pulled back to the side.   The tie back is simply a piece of neutral twill ribbon (saved from some packaging), the center is literally tacked to the door, so it’s always easy to grab and tie.  Works for now.



They key hanger was another Farm Chicks find from last year.  Actually I suppose it is not called a key hanger… I don’t really know what it is supposed to be.  But it’s useful and old and chippy and I love it.



The numbers over the door (more numbers and letters for sale in my shop) are actually going outside above the door after we paint the house white this summer.  At that time I may repaint the dark green in this room to be a medium gray (between the chalkboard wall and the wall color) and either carry that onto the outside of the door (which is dark green) or I  may do just the outside of the door a nice dandelion yellow.  But either way I have to wait for warmer weather, so I have some time to decide.  Good thing; I obviously need it.



So that’s about it.  A quick freshen up. 


I think the only things to source are:

Rug: World Market, on sale for $64 with coupon

Annie Sloan Chalk Paint: in Old Ochre $40 for a quart (which will cover multiple furniture projects)


Have you freshened up any rooms lately?  Or is do you have a room in dire need of a freshen up?

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

caramel wafers


Sunday I had looked forward to a forty  minute drive to the nearest World Market that had the rug I wanted in stock… without the children… just me, the iPod, quietness and some good ol’ retail therapy.  It had been a long week.

Then the husband informed me that he was working that day.  Happy feelings gone.

So I did what any good mother would. do.  I told the kids to be quiet and don’t break anything and I would buy them a treat.  Okay, so maybe I didn’t say it exactly like that.  Maybe just a little bit like that.

Anyway, by the end of the shopping trip I, myself, was in need of a treat too.  Even though it wasn’t the kids but me who tipped over our bottled pop which exploded all over the aisle and all over one leg of my jeans.  Yeah.  So I picked a treat for myself…


Yes, partly because it was in a sweet little tin.  They’re Daelman’s Caramel Wafers.  Mine were a dollar more and came in the tin, but they’re the same variety as online.  That link shows “honey wafers” as well, which I haven’t tried- yet.

I opened them up and I thought… ‘wait, where’s the carmel?’


I even checked the label and it said “caramel”.  At first I thought I got the short end of the caramel wafer.

And then I bit into one anyway…


And then three of them were gone instantaneously.  Do you see the caramel now? 

It’s like that little layer of caramel becomes one with the wafers.  I cannot be held responsible.


I don’t even know how it happened.  Maybe it was a dream.  Or maybe I was unconscious.

Either way, I can assure you, they were divine.

And, I feel the need to admit to you that, yes, I hid them in my closet.  That’s normal, right?

I’ll be back later.  I need to go spend some time in my closet.


Wednesday, March 13, 2013

thrift junky chronicles { 22 }


Don’t choke because I’m here two days in a row, okay?  Thanks.  I would hate to be the cause of esophagus distress, or irritated sinuses because you sprayed your coffee on your poor keyboard.  Keyboards have it hard enough already.  …Oh I guess it was two days ago, so no worries.

So, lots of people tell me they have trouble thrift store shopping.  I have shared some tips before.  

I have come to realize there are actually a few different levels of thrift shopping success:

1.  I am so happy I found this item, I know just what to do with it!

2.  This is awesome!  I have no idea what to do with it but I’m getting it anyway.

If you come across the category-

3.  Hmmm.  This is neat but I don’t know what I would do with it.

-you might consider leaving that item behind.  Or at least pull up Pinterest on your mobile device and see if you can copy someone else’s ingenious idea which they copied from someone else! 

If I was clueless, wishy-washy or undecided about an item and purchase it anyway, I often end up finding no use for it and regret buying it.  But if it was something on my thrifting list, or something I immediately loved, I’ll always find something to do with it.  So I am getting even better at predicting that level of success and knowing when I need to walk away from something.


So here are some successful items from recent trips.  First, from a trip with a friend to the antique stores in town…


And where they found fulfilling employment around the house…

These are the things that fit into the “I am so glad I found this, I know just what to do with it!” category…





I also got some scrabble tile letters I didn’t show in the original picture…


I had used a white board for my weekly menu but it was getting grungy and looking messy, so I copied this pin.  I especially love my version because my meals are written on restaurant order slips.  I feel like such a waitress.  It’s a life dream of mine to be a waitress.  For someone NOT related to me.


This one was a “This is awesome, I have no idea what I’m going to do with it but I’m getting it anyway” item…


It is a an old wooden stamp that was used for stamping textiles. If you search “textile stamp” on Etsy you will find many. This one happens to be pretty large and also sports a quite trendy chevron pattern. I splurged on it because I knew if I decided to resell it I could easily make a profit. It’s a fun addition to my crafting supplies, and I may actually use it for some projects! It’s a keeper.


This was an instant love at a thrift store on a different trip…



Instant love for Susie’s room, even though I don’t really have a place for it since the kiddos are sharing a room right now.  But I spray painted the frame white and stuck it on the wall in her lower bunk.  I’m sure it will have a great place when she has her own room someday.  $14.  I am a sucker for educational posters. 


These bowls were something I’ve been thrifting for and not finding lately and I found tons at an estate sale…


All for $5.  Score!  I think I will have them be our everyday bowls since I have so many now.


Okay, now a couple examples from the “I love this but don’t know what to do with it” category…


A Restoration Hardware vase that I thrifted for $1.99 which actually used to be silver.  I finally spray painted it with some primer and then glossy “biscuit” white and as soon as I did, and it was drying in the garage, I suddenly envisioned my paint brushes in it.  Love it.  But it took buying it and waiting for it to settle down and find a purpose somewhere.


And I found a super use for one of my many jelly jars found at a yard sale which have been holding random candles or just empty, stacked in the cupboard (though cute, even then)…

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In this pin I happened to notice from afar that she used a jelly jar and its lid for a salt dish (see it way over on the left?  it’s also in a later picture on that post).  <3.  I instantly ran and got mine and did the same and I love it.  Now it doesn’t get food splattered in it and get crusty.


So anyway, there you have it; some thrifted items put to good use.  Do you enjoy thrift store shopping?  Do you find good things and put them to use or are you still stuck in the sometimes paralyzing “I don’t know what to do with this but I like it” phase?

Monday, March 11, 2013

Tasha of Green Gables… could have been.

This is a random post. 

Did I ever tell you guys when we stayed at my mom’s last summer we were looking for jobs in that area and I actually went and looked at three houses with a real estate agent? Yeah, it was a briefly researched idea. No jobs. And now hubby got a new job here so we are anchored for a while!

But this was the farm house I looked at that was built in 1900 and made my heart swoon…


Oh, be still my heart. How Anne of Green Gables is that!!?? I was soooo in love with it. It has double decker covered front porches (the corner closeset in the pic).  And the back right corner… see those walls of windows?  The lower one is the laundry room and door to the yard; the upper one is a nice sized bonus room that would have been my crafting and homeschool room.  SO charming.  Except for the kitchen in all its 50’s metal cabinet charm, and all the bathrooms needed updating.  Other than that, refinish the floors upstairs, and a bunch of paint and elbow grease and it would’ve been so sweet.  Even hubby was thinking about fixing that yard up! But, we both agreed it was located too close to the freeway. On like 20 acres of farm land but too close to the freeway.  So sad. It was so huge and old and could have been made so lovely.

I admit, I do still think about this house, freeway and all!  Maybe someday.

What do you think?  Am I crazy!??