Monthly Archives: July 2012

Easy Pillow Craft


Have you ever seen something that just immediately brought a friend’s name to mind?  A while back I saw this awesome pillow at House of Fifty and LAUGHED OUT LOUD.

It had my friend Susan’s name ALL. over it.  You think so too, don’t  you?

So, I set about deciding how I was going to make my own version.  Mini Manor Blog did a great tutorial on envelope pillow covers here.  You can check that out to see how to make your own.  It’s okay, I’ll wait……*hmmm de dumm*…you back?  Told you it was a good tute.

Sooo, back to my DIY version of the House of Fifty Magazine pillow.  Because I don’t have a silhoutte, and can’t seem to win one on anyone’s giveaway I just did things the old fashioned way.  I chose a font I liked in Word and printed out the phrase on regular old paper.  **Get ready for some fabulous photography, folks!**

Then I got out my little projector

ran around the house looking for things to prop the pillow on and put the paper under the projector.  Once my pillow was propped up in front of the projector, I just used a Sharpie and traced the outline of the letters.

**Note:  Be careful doing this.  The pillow will squish down if you press too hard with the Sharpie and then some letters may or may not be a little thicker than you planned.  And you will find  yourself quoting from your pillow.  🙂
Once you’ve traced everything, just fill it in carefully & you’re done!

I used canvas for the pillow cover and just a fine tip Sharpie to write.  Mine’s smaller & more “home made” looking, but Susan liked it & that’s what matters.  If you ever meet her,  you will just KNOW this had to be hers!

What fun, easy things have you made lately?


Linked up to the party at Sew Many WaysSew Many Ways


DIY Kitchen Remodel Update – Painting Cabinets


The upper cabinets are painted!  Yay!  We are so stinkin’ excited to get at least the upper cabinets painted.  Oh.My.Word! They look a million times better already & we don’t even have doors yet!  You can see some fabulous before pics here.  Just, um, brace yourself before you click over to that….yyyeeeaaaahh.  ANYway, here is where we are now:

The lovely microwave cord is one of the fun things we will fix in the near future.  Be glad you can’t see the holes some knucklehead literally knocked into the wood to put that outlet in.  Mercy.

And here is the fridge side.

Those 3 drawers held EVERYTHING from the entire upper cabinet section while we were painting!  Crazy!! The new cabinet Jimmy built over the fridge is PERFECT for my cooling racks, baking stones and muffin tins.  We’re just using some stand alone pot racks to keep them upright.  That will give me more freedom, since I have small commitment issues when it comes to organization.  And paint colors.  And furniture placement….Let’s talk about painting those babies, shall we?  🙂

The first thing we did was remove the old doors and clean the fronts and sides of the cabinets.  The insides are not real wood & had been covered by doors, so no cleaning.  I also did not clean the old shelves as they were particle board & we were replacing with new wood shelves.  I used TSP to clean.  It’s fabulous & a little goes a long way.  I got it at Benjamin Moore.

Once the fronts were clean & dry (wait at least a day to be on the safe side), we primed with Prime Loc.  (Again recommended by & purchased at Benjamin Moore.)  May I just say that I.hate.priming.  I just do.  It’s gooey and we clean the brushes with smelly gas.  Gross.  Not to mention we use old brushes and they are just no fun.  And fun is important to me.

After the yukky priming stage comes the paint.  We decided to go with Benjamin Moore’s Navajo White.  I used it in our Master Bath & we love how it looks.  We tested some grays & greens on the old doors, but just didn’t think we’d love any of them for very long.  Here are some we tried:

The darker green on the left had a fighting chance until we hung it up to see it in place.  No go.  So, white it is.  The Navajo White is more of an off-white with a slight tinge of yellow.  It’s not working well with the yellow walls, so those will be going Realist Beige (Sherwin Williams) along with the rest of the main floor.  It’s a really good greige that I have fallen in love with recently.

Hubs cut new wood shelves, put up the crown molding & helped paint this weekend.  It finally looks like we’re actually making progress!

So what did you do this weekend?  Please don’t say you got to lie around on the beach and read all weekend.  That would just be mean.  🙂

Organizing Kids’ Chores


It’s FRIIIIDAAAYYY!  Woo Hoo!  Hope your week went well!

Yesterday, after I mowed our 1/2 acre backyard (with the push mower), I sat down to scroll through some of my favorite blogs until I could breathe againIHeart Organizing, of course, was the first one I visited.  Courtney from A Thoughtful Place was guest posting and talking about organizing kids’ chores, which inspired me to share how we handle chores.  I touched on my new system here.  You can check that out to see how I made the cards.

We went through a LOT of attempts to organize our chores.  A lot.  Honestly, as your children grow, so will their responsibilities, which means changes to how you handle that.  We used craft sticks in a flower pot when they were younger.  They would pick out a craft stick, go do the chore, and come back for another craft stick.  These chores were things like “put books on shelf” and “make bed”, “put away stuffed animals”.  That worked for a brief time, then I went to cards, then I went to spreadsheets.  I just love spreadsheets.  Now we have chore cards that look like this:

Those are their daily chores.  At the end of the day, they pass their card to the next sister.  So each week they end up doing the same chores on Monday & Thursday, Tuesday & Friday, and Wednesday & Saturday.  We don’t do chores on Sunday.

They also have a weekly chore card that looks pretty much the same:

These also rotate so they aren’t doing the exact same thing every week.  I have a large dry-erase calendar on the kitchen wall with each week labeled “A”, “B”, or “C”. It was hard to get a good picture….

The letters are written in dry-erase marker to the left of each week.   You could add or subtract letters depending on the number of children you have.   I also use this calendar to keep track of who sits in the front seat each day, who is responsible for feeding the dog, etc.  Calendars & spreadsheets eliminate a LOT of squabbles around this house!

So, how do YOU keep track of your children’s responsibilities?  I’m always looking for new ideas!


Fan Redo…Again


So, I spent about 45 minutes putting up a post on a fan redo.  And when I hit “Publish” it disappeared.  Grrrr….  For real, this “redo” thing is just going a little nuts!  Let’s try again…

We have a workhorse of a box fan.  It’s been through a LOT and it looked like it!  Here it is before:

So, I removed the grates and gave them a good scrub…

Then I showed that rust a little steel wool love.  Wear gloves when using steel wool.  Trust me.

Once that was done, I took the fan motor off the frame and wrapped it in a garbage bag.  Then I lightly sanded the frame and swiped on some metal primer.  Note to self – ALWAYS use spray on primer.  You’ll see why in a minute.  Once the primer dried, I sprayed on several coats of Krylon gloss paint in Banner Red.  It looked a little like a crime scene….

Once that dried I put everything back together and here she is…..

Well, phooey!  The tape I wrapped around the handle & knob obviously wasn’t on good enough.  Nothing the hub’s favorite screw driver a little nail polish remover and cotton swab can’t fix.  Those swirly paint brush marks around the handle and knob?  Yeah.  That’s why spray on primer is better.

Here’s our little workhouse after clean up:

Cute!  And it only cost me a little blood (inner frames are a tad sharp!) and a lot of sweat (it’s hot in the South, honey!).  The paint and primer were already on hand from other projects.

Now to go work on the kitchen.  Again.

Weekend Recap


Hola, amigas!  Aaaannnnddd, that’s about it for my Spanish.  Except that I can order in a restaurant.  Because food is very important to me.  🙂

So, this weekend we piddled around here & (of course) worked on the blasted kitchen.  We did some other things too, but I think I’ll stick with kitchen stuff for this post & put the others in another day’s musings.  Otherwise, all 4 of you would seriously fall asleep and never come back.  And we don’t want that.

For some reason, I don’t have a “before”.  So, just use your imagination & remove that white horizontal bar and then insert a brown vertical bar in the center.  That’s the “before”.  See how good you are!  Hubs removed said vertical bar with some cool little tool (that of course required a trip to Lowe’s).  But, it WAS a cool little tool.  Then he cut that white bar & put it in.  That will be between the two drawers.  The top drawer slot was actually two drawers, but I wanted one wide drawer instead.  So I got one.  ‘Cause I’m the Princess.

There was also one looong shelf that ran the length of the cabinet.  Hubs cut that out & put in the 2 pieces of plywood to use for securing the drawer slides.  So, now instead of one open bottom cabinet, we have 3 sections.  The left section was supposed to have a shelf in it.  Hubs cut a wood support to match the one that was already there & primed it.  I painted it when I painted the interior of the cabinet (that he had already primed).  *Side note: I don’t mind painting, but I can.not.stand. oil based primer.  Yuk.*  Anywhoo, the support looked like this, all ready to go in….

Just one itsy bitsy issue.  We painted the wrong side.  So it looked like this when he put it in..

Being the sport he is, he tells me I should get a picture to put on the blog, ’cause this is really how we roll.  Do.and.redo.  A lot.  But, never fear, because there is a semi-matching section on the OTHER end of this cabinet.  And, lo & behold, if we put this support on THAT side, then it’s painted correctly.  Woo Hoo!  So, that’s what we did.  The shelf was a little shy on length, but nothing a good caulk gun can’t remedy.  Whew!  Now for the drawers.  Hmm..This is a familiar scene..

He’s a licensed engineer, so he thinks a lot.  It’s okay, I make up for it by just slapping stuff together.  Hee hee!  BUT, he built me some great drawers that will hold my awesome cookware in the near future.  Keep in mind there are no fronts on the drawers just yet, but they are painted and in.  As soon as we decide on a style of cabinet doors, we will make drawer fronts to match.  Yes, he’s doing all that himself.  He’s good like that.  Which saves us a LOT of $$.  Which is good, because we have 3 GIRLS about to be teenagers……Let’s not think about that.  Let’s just look at what the cabinet looks like as we wind down the evening.

Yyyeeess!  I have drawers!  I LOVE the wide drawer at the top, as opposed to the 2 narrow drawers that were there before.  The left side will not have a shelf *ahem* so we can fit taller stuff like the Mr. Coffee Iced Tea Pot that we use EVERY day.  The right side will have the beautifully, correctly painted shelf & support (ha!) for shorter stuff.  We will put the other 2 smaller drawers back in on either side.

So, that’s where we are!  Have a great night!  Feel free to comment with your kitchen (mis)adventures!

Growing Girls & Chore Cards


I thought about titling this “Growing Up Girls”, but then the English teachers of the world would cringe.  “Growing Girls” fits just as well.  My girls ARE growing.  And it’s hard – on me at least.

This week, I taught one how to use a drill and hang a curtain rod.  We discussed the need for sheet rock anchors and how to insert them properly.

She also learned how to remove a wire shelf & fill in the holes that sheet rock anchors leave when you remove them.  Next she’ll learn how to install adjustable shelving in her closet.  And the whole time, I will be wondering how that grown girl above could possibly be the same sweetie below:

My girls are growing up SO fast!

The other two learned how to sort laundry and load/run the washing machine and dryer.  (They have less interest in tools.)  I also gave all 3 of them new “big girl” chore cards.  To say they were excited about the new cards would be……wrong.  Especially when they saw “scoop poop”.  🙂  But, the dog has to go somewhere & although we have a HUGE yard, I don’t really want to risk stepping in his business.

The cards are laminated so they can check off their chores, then wipe the card clean and pass it to the next sister at the end of the day.  Chores rotate just like days to sit in the front seat of the van and days to be first in the shower.  I declare my life is RUN by spreadsheets!  But, hey, if it helps me keep my hair a little longer I’m all for it!

Here is what their cards look like:

I couldn’t edit that pic to save my hide!  Hopefully it is clear enough.  I just typed up their chore rotation & printed to fit in one of these:

Then you just cut it out, lay it on the non-sticky side of the pouch and put the sticky side down on top.  Easy, peasy!

I would like to note that “Bible/Prayer Time” is on their card.  Every time.  Is it because that’s a chore?  No.  Is it because they need to check that off to be saved?  No.  All 3 of my girls have chosen to follow Christ.  (Hallelujah!)  Having “Bible/Prayer Time” on their card is a gentle reminder that following Christ is an every day thing.  Not a once-and-done thing.  And you can’t follow the Leader if you don’t know where He is going, am I right?  The only way to know where He is leading is to read/study and pray.  Every day.  I wish someone had made that clearer to me when I was younger.  It would have saved me a LOT of heartache and mistakes.  If you have questions about that, I will be more than happy to try to answer them.  You can put them in a comment, or email them to

So, anyway, that’s part of what I’ve been doing.  There are also some pantry organizing projects and little painting things here & there, including part of the kitchen cabinets.  Hopefully I’ll have the fan painting project done & posted tomorrow.  (By the way, most of my organizing projects are fueled by iHeart Organizing.  You should check her blog out if you like organizing.)

Weekend Recap


Hope you had a wonderful weekend!  We got a few things done around here & actually RESTED on Sunday.  Yep, we did.  But on SATURDAY, we did not really rest.  I did laundry, laundry & some more laundry.  I also made some happy surprises.  Remember my flea market finds?  Well, I washed & wiped everything down AND discovered that the linen, king-size duvet cover is from POTTERY BARN!  And I got it for less than $7!!  YEEEESSS!  Um, I was a little excited.  Anywhoo, the sweet little embroidered pillowcases are hand made and have a cute little overlap that hides the end of the pillow.  How great is that!?

After ironing for HOURS on Saturday, I wiped down my metal baskets & put them to work.  Here they are in their new homes:

Kind of a fuzzy pic, but the larger basket is perfect for holding my favorite magazines and planning binder.

My little basket holds extra t.p. for the 1/2 bath.  It needed some steel wool TLC and then I sprayed a clear sealant on it.  Not sure if I should have, but we’ll see what happens.  Once we put up some shelves, it will sit on a shelf alongside my favorite little sign.  I like having it there as a gentle reminder that I am NOT the only one capable of changing out the rolls of toilet paper.  The little sign came from a store in Birmingham called Swoozie’s.

Hubby built 3 new drawers that will go in the kitchen eventually.  Our bottom cabinets are just funky & these drawers will really help maximize use of the space. Here’s how they look for now, without the fronts:

He’s just so great!  They will be painted & have fronts put on them eventually.

I went to Target on Saturday as well.  They had these cute chair cushions marked down to $5!  They are perfect for these old chairs that will go in the kids’ treehouse.

Yes, I know the chairs need to be painted.  Did I mention they were headed to the kids’ treehouse??

There’s more to tell, but this is getting lengthy & I don’t want to bore you tire your eyes!  Have a fabulous day & come back real soon!  I’ll leave you with a pic of my oh-so-helpful assistant……