Thursday, March 31, 2011

Just Your Average Day

I love being a stay at home mom. I get to do what I want to do almost every day. I say almost because who really wants to clean up vomit?
People are amazed at what I can accomplish in a day. I love to multitask. There's a lot you can do while waiting for the paint on the kitchen cabinets to dry.
Yesterday, I was exhausted after my usual day, and had a date to go out with a friend for some frozen yogurt to celebrate my birthday which was last Saturday. I got to bed about 10:30, and Hubby let me sleep until 7 today. Bless him!
In an average day I get up at 6am, clean up the kitchen from the night before, hang out a load of laundry (since my drier broke. Hopefully this is not a forever thing), pick up the living room, and get a couple of girls dressed. Sometimes I'm in charge of making the boy's lunches and breakfast for myself and the hubby. A protein smoothie is the perfect on the go breakfast. Sometimes the clothes go in the car with the girls to be dressed later.
On the good days, I get up at 5:30am and go  to the gym to work out for an hour before coming home to help everyone else get ready for school and work.
There's a lot of yelling in our house in the mornings. And usually the phrase is " GET DRESSED!" I don't know why it's so difficult for my boys to get themselves dressed, but it is.
After dropping everyone off, I get to either go grocery shopping with the girls, or come home for more cleaning up and whatever else I feel like doing. 
So what are we up to now? Somewhere around 10am? Today I was scrubbing the kitchen cabinet to prime and paint it. The 2 year old runs in carrying a bottle of shampoo, which she has drizzled across the house and is covered in. This is why I buy Suave at less than $1 a bottle! The four year old is naked and sitting in a doll chair in front of the front screen door. My neighbors do NOT need to see this! I yell at her to get dressed, and she just giggles at me. After cleaning up the 2 year old and getting the 4 year old dressed again, I put a coat of primer on the cabinet. Then a neighbor drops by and gives me a HUGE bag of lemons and 4 dozen eggs from her chickens. I can see lemon curd on the schedule for tomorrow, and another cabinet being painted. I get a phone call from another neighbor. "I found the box of lemons we were looking for yesterday. They were in the garage." LOTS OF LEMON CURD...
And maybe some lemon juice for the food storage.
It's about 11am. I've put another load of laundry out on the line, put a clean slipcover on the loveseat, and put the 2 year old down for a nap, after picking up their room. Time to fold some more laundry and put a coat of paint on the cabinet, since the primer is dry.
Check the e-mail, and see that there's a shut off notice for our city utilities, but the check is in the mail and they should get it today. It's now about 12:30, and time for some lunch. I guess I'll go fold that laundry on the couch. The 4 year old wants some eggs for lunch. Sounds good to me. So does a nap!
And the day is not yet over.

So what is your average day like?

Faux Mercury Glass Bird

Posted by: Paulette

I found this cute ceramic bird at my favorite thrifts store for a dollar the other day. Someone had painted it with craft paints. Ewww! Yuck. I thought I could scrub the paint off. I used a wire brush and plenty of elbow grease and still couldn't get the red paint off of the flower and the leaves still had dark green veins on them.
So much for that idea!
Then I remembered seeing somewhere that you could do a faux mercury glass look with spray paint. I have lots of metallic spray paint leftover from making the trophies for Pinewood derby, so I thought I'd give it a try. If I didn't like it, I could always spray primer over the top and spray it white again.
So I started with the bronze spray paint. Then I spritzes it with water, and while it was still wet, gave it a shot of silver. Before the silver paint dried, I took a damp paper towel and pounced off the water bubbles. 
I don't know if it looks like antique silver or mercury glass, but I like the effect a lot better than the white bird with orange beak and mint green stand with red flower and dark green leaves. LOL!

$.15/LB Zucchini Makes a Lot of Relish

Posted by: Paulette

I'm still on the look out for great deals at the supermarket on produce and meat to bottle and add to our food storage. Last week my local farmer's market had zucchini on sale for 15 cents a pound. And they were firm beautiful squash, not bruised and rubbery. I knew what I wanted to do with them. Make sweet relish.
I pulled out the jars, and some and supplies and got to work.

The night before, I grated 2 large bags of  zucchini, and chopped the bell peppers (the recipe called for 5 for each batch, but colored bell peppers can be expensive. I only used 1 for each batch) and 4 HUGE yellow onions and sprinkled with salt, and let it sit, while I got some much needed rest. This step pulls out the excess liquid so that the veges are able to take on the vinegar and sugar mixture.

The next  morning, I rinsed the salt off of the veges and drained them. While they were draining, I mixed up: 3 cups of vinegar, 3 cups of sugar, 1 tsp dry mustard, 1tsp celery salt, 1 tsp turmeric, 1 Tablespoon of cornstarch, 1/2 tsp whole cloves, and 1 tsp caraway seed, in a large stock pot on high heat.
I let the sugar melt and then added the veges.

While the veges heated up to simmering, I washed my jars and put them in the oven to warm, and popped the lids into a simmering pot of water to soften up the rubber seals.

Then, each jar was filled and sealed, and popped into a boiling water bath for 6 minutes.

I had enough veges for 2 batches, so repeat the above steps.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Art as Art

Posted by Jvona

I have 5 children, 4 of which are of school age. My eldest is 15, and my youngest school goer is 8. Every year, at the end of the school year, the elementary school they have all attended sends home with them a portfolio of all the art work they have done through out the year. I've kept the majority of the art work in the portfolios in storage bins in the closet so they can look back at it in coming years and reminisce.

I recently came across several picture frames with the glass still in them at a garage sale. They wanted a quarter or so a piece for each of them so I snatched them up real quick.I painted each one black, and finished them with poly spray. I chose art work from each of the kids portfolios and displayed them in my hallway. The best part of this whole project was the kids actually remembering when they had done each piece.

I also have enough art to be able to switch the current ones out when we want to see something different.

(Side note: To hang the pics, I cut out paper the same size as each frame, and taped it to the wall until I achieved the arrangement I wanted. I then just nailed directly through the paper, pulled the paper off the nail and hung the frames. I am so very proud of myself for taking the time to do this, thus saving my wall from many, many unnecessary holes!)

Linking up to here

Robin's Egg Blue Dresser

Posted by: Paulette

I remember when I bought this dresser about 15 years ago. It was my first furniture purchase. I paid $25 for it.  The dresser was a beautiful maple color. Someone had taken the time to strip off the white paint and refinish it. I could tell all of this from the insides of the drawers.Originally it had a plaque of a covered wagon on the top drawer, and it was cracked.That was the first to come off. I bought a small rectangular plaque, stained it with some watered down paint and then painted a flower motif on it. The original knobs were replaced with porcelain knobs with roses on them. I painted a vine of flowers around the wagon wheel on the bottom. I can't believe that I can't find a before picture.
So 15 years later, when I am repainting almost all of the furniture in the house, this little beauty becomes a perfect candidate for a new paint job and new knobs.
If anyone can tell me how to remove the roses off of the original ones so that they can be reused, I'd appreciate it.

Miss Mustard Seed has been such an inspiration for me. All of her pieces of painted furniture are coveted. But I knew that I could do this myself. I bought a pretty Robin's Egg blue paint in Semi-Gloss at Walmart. Fortunately for me there was a gallon can of Kilz base on clearance for $9. I wasn't sure what I would do with all of the extra paint, but it was cheaper than buying a quart.
I also bought he small wood medallion, and used wood glue to a affix to the front of the plaque. Then the dresser got 2 coats of paint. It was sanded, paying closer attention to the areas that would naturally get bumped or rubbed a lot. Then I used a dark brown glaze all over the dresser, using a paper towel to rub into the finish. If there was too much in a certain area, I used a damp paper towel to remove the excess.
The knobs were purchased at Hobby Lobby (my favorite store).
I LOVE my new dresser, and can't wait to repaint the other bedroom furniture.
And as for all of that extra paint, I have plans for that too!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Easy Update

Posted by: Paulette
I'm sorry I don't have a before picture of this range hood. Trust me. It was U-G-L-Y! It was a shiny black inset with a thin border of silver. Not the look I'm going for, but for very little money, I was able to make it pretty. And it will be gorgeous when I finish painting my cabinets the same color.
Here's what I did.
Wood applique and trim
 I started by buying some 1/2 inch molding and a wood applique. Then I tried cutting the trim in my miter box with my jig saw. Oops! Wrong saw for this project. You can skip this step. 
Oops! Not a jig saw project!

I mitered the corners to the correct measurement of the hood using a coping saw.
coping saw
I probably could have used a hand saw, if I had a decent one. I'm just using what I have on hand. This is the first time I've used my miter box. So, I am learning as I go.
Since I was attaching the trim to metal, I washed it really well. Vinegar and baking soda did a great job at cutting through the grease. 
Then I used tile adhesive to glue the trim and applique on. When it was set, I filled in the gap between the trim and the front of the hood with caulk, and cleaned off the excess.
I let it set up overnight, and then primed the entire hood with a gray tinted primer. 
When that was dry, It got two coats of Color Place (Walmart brand) Semi-gloss paint in dark Coalmine.
I let that set up overnight and distressed the wood with some sand paper and then stained the bare wood parts with a dark brown glaze.
Since I had some of the supplies already this project came in under $10. A lot cheaper than a new hood! 

Distressed and stained
 I am now in the process of painting the cabinets. My kitchen will be so pretty when it's done. I am so excited!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Square Spring Wreath

Posted by : Paulette

I thought it was about time that the front door got a new wreath. It's the end of March and the Valentine's wreath is still hanging up. I was looking through some blogs and found this post on Frou-FrouGal, and knew that I had to copy it. I even told her so. 
Frou-frou Girl

She started off with a homemade foam base made from a pizza box lid.
I thought the pizza box lid was a great idea, and made mine from stacks of cardboard. I cut them all to the same size, and then hot  glued them around the edges, measured a square for the inside, and then cut it out with a utility knife.
If you've been following my posts about making pillows, you know that I have a lot of polyester batting that I've been reusing. I hot glued some of that to the top of the base, and then used a moss matting found at Hobby Lobby or Michael's over the top, just as if I was upholstering a cushion for a top of a chair, wrapping it around and hot gluing on the back.
Moss matting

Then I cut an X in the center and wrapped each of the inside edges around to the back. The rest was copied from her. A few twisty roses from fabric scraps, a small nest filled with eggs made from polymer clay and then painted, and some feathers. I made my pussy willows from sticks from the back yard, and pulled apart cotton balls. The only thing I had to buy was the moss, so this was a cheap project for me. I know mine isn't exactly like hers, but I like it anyway! I think it's funny that our front doors are the same color!

Sunday, March 27, 2011


Posted by: Paulette

It's been a while since I've had my feelings hurt so bad that all I want to do is cry about it. I have an inner dialogue that says something like this, " What is your problem? Get over it! It's really not that big a deal."
And then the other me says, " I don't know why it hurts. It just does."
It's times like these that I have to remember that the Lord of all Jesus Christ suffered in the Garden of Gethsemane for not just the sins, but also all of the pain of mankind. He suffered this same pain that I'm feeling right now, so that I don't have to. If I can just give it to him, he will take it. So, how do I do that? I pray for a softening of my heart, and for forgiveness for my pride that allowed me to feel offended. I remember that no one is perfect except Him. And that my own forgiveness of my sins is dependent upon my forgiveness of others.   I also start anew remembering all of the blessings I have been given. I imagine myself wrapped up in His arms, and take that comfort that he so freely has given me. Tomorrow is a new day.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Fun With A Sharpie

Posted by: Paulette 

I love to have a sharpie around the house for putting names on lunch bags, labeling canning jars, and just about anything else you can think of that the things are useful for. But, when the kids get a hold of them, I almost want to cry! Case in point, here are some of the things my little artists have done.


It did not come out with a professional carpet cleaning. Ugh!

the line that stretches all the way to the door

And it didn't stop there. It goes all the way across the room to the door. So, it's what? A traveling carrot, perhaps?

I like the distressed look on furniture, but this is not my style. It was a bit distressing to me. 

Not my idea of  "distressing"

I was bored a few nights ago, and decided to do a little sharpie art myself. I got my new Ballard designs catalog in the mail. It's a great inspiration book. So, I did this:

Knockoff Ballard shade

And  this was my inspiration:
Ballard Document shade
The buffet size retails for $22. My shades came with the $12 lamps from Wal-mart. So, really, to me they were free. Do you think I can tell the hubby that I saved him $44? He he he!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Fresh Great Room

Posted by: Rachel

Since my living room and dining room are just one big room I'm having to blend my color palettes together. The slip covers for the chairs from IKEA were made by our Mom for me. I picked out the fabrics which is an art deco design with lime greens and soft blues. My favorite color scheme is turquoise, lime green and white. So this is what I'll be doing the "great room" in along with gray.  So the dining room has mainly lime green. The leaf and bird painting was done with a small projector and a stamp collection I have. That took me a good 2 hours to draw and paint. 

Master Bedroom

Posted by: Rachel

This is our master bedroom. Its not even close to what I wanted but made it work. The pink first of all was just too pink. Its more of a 5 year old princess pink. Im not 5 or a princess. Neither is my husband. But I tried to make it work. So to try to mature this room I put up very dark gray curtains, black furniture and accessories. This is the cream oval mirror I painted black to add a bit of drama to the room. Then added more by adding a design behind it with black acrylic paint. Im still not happy with the pink but Im having to live with it until I can sneak a new paint color in there. 

Goodwill Hunting

Posted by: Rachel

Bird house painted white

When I lived back in Phoenix/Mesa/Tempe, AZ I would go to Deseret Industries (a LDS Goodwill) and Goodwill all the time to find furniture  and accessories for my apartments. It saved me tons of money when I didn't have tons of money to spend.
Since I moved to New Jersey with my hubby I hadn't been to our local Goodwill. Finally after procrastinating and getting fed up with spending full price and too much money on trying to decorate our new home - I found my way to Goodwill
I was really quite bummed out with how small this GW was. I mean the ones back in AZ were HUGE! Basically a department store. This one was more like the size of some people's backyards. As disappointed as I was, I still weaved along each tiny aisle to find the treasures they were hiding. 
Going to GW you have to have an open mind. See things for what they can be and not for what they are (kinda like men).
Haul #1

Haul #2

I found beautiful picture frames and milk glass vases( which I love) and other oddities. So this is what I got on two different trips. And then the afters.

Turning a blah space to a beautiful space

Posted by: Rachel

So I got impatient with waiting to paint the living room/ dining room area and decided to do a painted square in the "living room" part of the space. I had gotten a paint sample from Home Depot(around $3 for 8oz) months ago but decided that it just wasnt the color I wanted for the entire space but still loved the color. I also didnt want to put newly painted white frames on a dingy white/cream wall. It would just look blah. So I blocked off a 40in by 50in rectangle on the wall with painters tape and went at it. I still had some paint left over too. Once that dried I took my pictures and silver "oddities" and hung them in a pattern that i decided on on the floor earlier. It defiinitely adds character and warmth to an otherwise blah space. 

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Taking A Risk

I already told y'all about how I pulled out the carpet in my living room, and you've seen the ugly concrete floors that I'm currently living with as I've slipcovered the living room furniture. I do have a plan...sort of, of transforming my concrete floor into one of beauty. I have researched how to paint concrete floor on the internet, and I have some experience with faux finishing. It was on a doll house though! No risk there, right? So This is what I want to do: (the lower part. not the stairs.)

Easier said than done. How do I keep 5 kids and a husband off of it while I paint? I'm pretty serious about this being what I want, and I know it's going to take a lot f time on my knees painting. I also know that there's no turning back, because I will not have carpet in my living room again. Let me restate that. I WILL NOT HAVE CARPET IN THE LIVING ROOM AGAIN! It's a mess. And I can't keep it clean. But I've told you all of that already. That said...I am getting a little too comfortable with the current state of the living room floor, paint splatters, and paint can rings, and all. LOL!

Pinewood Derby Preparations

Posted by: Paulette
I thought I'd share a few things I've been making up for this Saturday's Pinewood Derby.

The invitation:

I am not a scrap booker, so I'm sure if you have one of those die cut machines this would be a whole lot easier. This could have been more old school though, if I'd drawn the images. I didn't. I used ones from the web. Good ol' copy and paste. I pasted the images of the car into Paint. The information for the meeting is on the reverse side of the card. 

The Trophies:


Couldn't be easier, or cheaper! I found some great plastic taper candle holders at Goodwill. I got them on sale for $.50 each! I already had the cars from last year, so I didn't have to pay for those. I alreafy had the little disks for making kerchief slides. If you've ever been in scouts, you know that they are the party favors of almost every Pack meeting. The paint is somewhere around $3.50 a bottle. The winners cup, is literally a cup. It's also glued to the plastic taper holder.  I have a plan to fill it with gold wrapped candy. The inscriptions are done in sharpie marker. EASY! If you mess up, you can always spray paint over the top and start over. 


 My kids love them and won't leave them alone. I hope I can still find them intact for Saturday. In the above picture my two year old, (we call her our destroying angel) has already taken off with one of the cars.
Back to work! (or maybe a nap)

Pillows make a home cozy

Posted by: Paulette
So, since I was tired of all of my dingy pillows, I decided to make some new ones, with as little cost as possible. No cost, really. I used some saved fabric scraps, An old curtain that I'd bought at a garage sale, and all of the stuffing, and notions from the other pillows. 

 Not much special about this one. I just used some ticking in leftover toile from an upholstery project.

 For this pillow, I printed an image from the Graphics fairy onto fabric, by using spray adhesive on a piece of card stock, and trimming the fabric to fit. Then I sewed it to the center of the pillow top, and unraveled the seam allowance. After putting the pillow together and stuffing it, I sewed the bow on as an after thought.

 The bird on the next two pillows was made by printing the image of the script or sheet music, and then placing a silhouette of a bird over the top, and cutting the two papers together. When the image was cut out, I removed the paper from the back of the bird, and then top stitched it to the pillow top, and then assembled the rest of the pillows.

The red ticking pillows in the background were made using the cord from the wefting on the old pillows. 
A whole couch full of new pillows for no cost. I'm one happy lady!

Sunday, March 20, 2011


 Posted by: Paulette
Have you noticed that when you  think that you are doing everything right, more things seem to go wrong? I've been focusing more on my personal and my family's spiritual heath. I am studying my scriptures, almost every day, and we are having family home evening more consistently.  And things are really getting hard! The trials are piling up. Do you know what this is causing me to do? Hit my knees more often and for longer periods of time. For some reason, I'd aways thought that a busy mom really didn't have time for lengthy personal prayers. A prayer always in my heart is kinda the way I did it. I'd pay my evening devotionals with the family as a duty, and most of the time it was the same with my husband when we said our couple's prayer. A few things have changed my attitude lately. One of them is feeling that I need the Lord's help to be a better, more compassionate, involved mom. I want to be able to help the kids with their homework without feeling like it's an imposition, and make dinner for my family without feeling like it's a duty I have to perform each night. I want the services that I give to my family to be given in the spirit of love. In the Book of Mormon, in 2nd Nephi chapter 32, verse 8-9, it says:
"8...For if ye would hearken unto the Spirit which teacheth a man to pray; for the evil spirit teacheth  not a man to pray, but teacheth him that he must not pray.
9 But behold, I say unto you that ye must pray always , and not faint; that ye must perform any thing unto the Lord save in the first place ye shall pray unto the Father in the Name of Christ, that he will consecrate thy performance unto thee, that thy performance may be for the welfare of thy soul."
 It seems like people in church have been talking a lot about prayer lately. I watched a program on BYU TV today, and the talks that were given were about prayer. Do you think that someone is trying to tell me something? 
 In my facebook status I was talking about what's been happening this week, and my Mom said she was worried, that so many things were going badly for me. But, you know what? While I'm in the moment, I feel bad, but for the most part I feel good. I get on with life and just do the best I can, and thank my Heavnly Father for the good life I have. Mom said she was going to start praying for me in the morning. I sure do appreciate that. I believe in the power of prayer.
 Recently, I received a phone call from my brother in law who was watching the news about what was happening in Japan. I have a brother who lives in Okinawa, and my BIL was worried about him. I told him that we would pray for my brother, and that was all we could do at the moment. Prayer has some awesome power! It can heal the sick, bring comfort and aid to those who need it, and change hearts. And to think that God has given this power to all of his children is truly humbling to me. The fact that it has taken me so long to tap into this power is even more humbling. I'm hoping that this is one of those lessons that will stick. 

The Puzzle Chair

Posted by: Paulette

The first wing chair that I covered was relatively easy. This one was such a puzzle! The open arms on this chair made it very difficult to figure out how everything needed to go together. I ended up making small ties on the sides to tie the cover on under the arms and the sides to the back. You can barely see some of them on the left side in the back. I didn't want them to be a decorative feature, just functional. Basically I made some double fold bias tape, and then top stitched it closed. The arm pieces have a couple snaps under the arm to hold them on. Hopefully this works. I would hate to use Velcro. It gets so messy when you wash it. 
I made a shorter skirt on this one, so that it would compliment the other chair, but not exactly match it. And the legs on this one are prettier any way. I still have quite a supply of the mother of pearl buttons. I got such a great deal in those, I couldn't believe it! They were in a bag with the crafting plastic buttons, not hanging on cards, and I have to be careful which ones I use, because some are fragile because they're too thin. 
 I'm in the process of making new throw pillows. You can see the one I made with the red ticking, in this picture. I have quite a bit of that stuff. I was going to make a slipcover for another smaller chair and then changed my mind. I'm reusing the stuffing from the old pillows. Even the cording in the welting is reusable. It's so nice not to have to go and buy more stuff. I have so much stuff that it's nice to be able to use some of it up! 

Obviously, my living room floor is still unpainted. And you can't see it in this picture, but my fireplace looks like it's floating. The slab of marble that it was set upon was installed on the carpet!. Dumb, huh? Well fortunately we were able to remove the carpet from under it, and now the slab is leaning against the wall. Have you ever noticed how home improvement projects have a way of coming up with new and unexpected things to do? I have a friend who does trim molding, and has told me he has a solution to the "floating fireplace problem." Thank goodness for friends! By the way, the fireplace is fake. LOL!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Spring Mantle

Spring Mantle

Posted by : Paulette

Don't you just love it when everything comes together just right? I have been so inspired by the wonderful talented bloggers out there, and my house thanks you for it! Several times, I've been reading how about so-and-so found this item at the thrift store, and had this thing-a-ma-jig laying around and thought they would go perfectly together. Well, you know we all do it, don't we? We hold on to something we love, knowing that it can be used somewhere, we just don't know where yet. And then there's that something that we like, but don't love, and give it a new coat of paint, and ZAP! It's one of our new favorite things. 
That's how this whole mantle has been for me this week. 

Moss square wreath

I saw a beautiful  moss, square wreath in one of my journeys through the blogosphere. I wish I could give credit for where I found it, but I don't remember. I bought a $1 square wood frame at Michaels, and covered it with batting from an old pillow, and then used my hot glue gun to cover it with moss matting. Have you tried this stuff? It's amazing, and considering how messy moss can be to work with, it's really not that messy. I added a simple burlap bow, and some branches with fake tissue paper flowers on it, and it was finished.


The cloche is a compilation of a large chippy tea cup, and saucer, super glued together for the base, and a candle holder turned upside down with a finial from a  tie back super glued to it. The original nest had candy eggs, but the kiddos weren't happy with the entire leftover BAG! they had to have ALL of them. So, I made these eggs from Super Sculpey ( a polymer clay) and painted them. 

I wrote about the spring branches here

Why Seek Ye

I wanted to include something about Easter, so I printed "Why search ye among the dead? He is Risen!" on a transparency sheet and then stuck it behind the glass of a frame that I painted black. The print of Mary looking into the Tomb is by Liz Lemon Swindle. I love this woman's art work. Her paintings always touch my heart. 

birdie candle stick

The birdie candle stick is one of a set of three that I found at Hobby Lobby at 90% off, after Christmas. They were originally a cheap looking gold. I painted them a flat black to look like wrought iron, and liked them that way for a while. but I wanted something more calming. I spray painted them white and then used acrylics to paint them a bluish gray, and then dry brushed them with some brown. 

I look forward to more inspiration to come. I hope I've inspired one of you!