Tag Archives: diy

Busy Busy as a Bee

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I’ve had a lot on my to-do list as of late. But, luckily, I’ve also been making steady strides toward checking that list off.

Special Kids Race

Check.

It was cold. Really cold. So my goal of less than 45:00 for the 5K went out the window somewhere near the 1-mile marker. I made it in 47:29, which is 2:36 faster than last year… overall, I’m happy. Anyone interested in being inspired should check out Special Kids Inc. They are truly a fantastic group of people.

Garage

Check. {kinda}

Mom & I finally finished my work table. We also hi-jacked two small cabinets that were being utilized as catch-all’s, and will be most likely storing sewing related, umm… clutter-junk. I’m really excited to have at least something completed in the mess I’ve made in the garage. Weather permitting, I will have a major purge party this Wednesday and Thursday. This needs to extend to my room upstairs, too… but let’s not do anything rash. I have 3 shelving units of garage stuff that needs to be condensed and organized. Once I’ve finished with that, I can give everything a thorough scrubbing and decide where my craft goodies can be stored.

Feeling Fat

Check-in-progress.

I just started the 30 Day Shred. I hurt. A lot. It’s a good hurt. I’m finally doing something {besides whining } about the way I feel. My clothes don’t fit right. My “girls” don’t sit right. I can’t play with my son without needing a literal breather after just 15 minutes or so. And thank you, American Dream, for conditioning my self-worth to be based on my physical aspects. As much as I want to tell myself that I am more than a pretty face or a dress size… it still makes me feel like crud to realize I’m getting older & the things I took for granted are slipping away. I know that I will never, ever, ever squeeze into a size 2 again. I’m fine with that. Really. What I’m not fine with is the fact that just a year ago I was able to {comfortably}  wear a size 4, and I have now had to throw out that size 4 because my thighs rubbed a hole in the inseam. The easy solution is to throw in the towel and buy bigger clothes. The harder, but more rewarding, solution is to work hard and get healthy. I really am doing this more for health than vanity. There are a lot of scary things out there for people who let their health get away from them. While, yes, I’m getting older… I’m still too young to just not do something about it.

Right. So now to “The List” {Dun Dun Duuun!}

Tea Party – After school lets out. Several DIY tutorials. Lots of fun for the kids & us.

Home Décor – More DIY tutorials. I’m really excited because the two projects I’m currently working on were practically free.

Crochet – I’m slightly overwhelmed with projects, but there’s an end in sight! And some fun, nerdy projects I’m going to start after these are done.

Prayer Squares – My church’s ladies ministry is going to start making lap quilts for the sick and recovering members of the congregation. I’m really looking forward to this endeavor, and hoping it will bring some unity to our group. Can I ask for prayers for our group leader Linda as she follows God’s call in her life?

Purge – There are a lot of things in our house that have outlived their usefulness. We need to do a major purge from one end to the other. I say “we” but it will likely be “me” and that’s perfectly fine with me.

Doctor Who – A little nerdy fun. I started watching the show a few weeks ago on Netflix. I’m somewhere in Season 4, and really really excited {I need to find a new word. I get “excited” a lot… } to get caught up to the current season. It’s fun. Not sure why I never got into it before. I always wrote it off as being “very British” and maybe it is, and maybe that’s why I like it… Hubby Dearest & I tend to fall into a TV rut where all we watch are crime dramas. They are rather predictable after a while. The Doctor is a lot of things, but predictable is not one of them.

Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – Hubby Dearest bought it for me on Amazon for next to nothing, after a friend of mine threatened to revoke my Nerd Card for not having read it. It should be in my mailbox soon. I’m excited! {See! There it is again!}

And so, in closing, I wish everyone the very best of luck with their own Lists. Time to tackle a few more bits of mine. Do what you love!

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Re-Fueling

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I have several plans for my blog this year. Hopefully, I will write them all down soon so I can remember them all. I just bought my very first DSLR!!! and I’m hoping to play with utilize it for a more “put together” feel on my blog and on my etsy shop. Let’s be honest, there’s only so much you can do with a camera phone. Appearances are important, and I’m going to be tackling lots of eye sores for a while. Some on the blog, and some in my life. One of these sores… is my social life. It’s not a huge priority to me right now, but my friend and I were talking about our lack of other friends. While he can count his list of friends {family doesn’t count} on one hand, I topped him because I can count mine on one finger. He’s it. I have my husband, my sisters, and my mom… but he’s the only person outside my family that I count as being a friend. Maybe I could re-assign some of my acquaintances as friends, but a friend has a very high-ranking in my terms and not many people meet that standard. Instead of lowering my standards to fill a “friend quota” I think I will just make myself more available to a higher quality of persons with whom I can become friends. I’m going to do this in bloggyland as well. I plan to join {and maybe even host} more linky parties. They really are a great way to “meet” like-minded people, and see what inspiring things they’re doing.

I mentioned the image quality issue previously, but there’s also a product quality issue. I’m going to be taking a break from blogging for a bit {I’ve sort of already started, hence several weeks between posts} to spend some quality time making & doing some quality things. I need to get a few things done so I can come back with gusto and say:

Behold that which I have created!

Only in my own, slightly more reserved, way of saying it. The point is, it’s hard to blog about the stuff in your life if there’s a… deficit, I suppose… of stuff actually in your life. So, I’m gonna go do stuff, and make stuff, and plan stuff, and try stuff, and then I’ll be back to share it all with you.

Please excuse me a moment while I try to remember what else I had to say. Oh, yea! Eye sores. My house is a big one. Like really big. Like the stuff of “Yo mama” jokes, big. So I’m going to do something about that. Actually, a lot of somethings. My house is cluttered, and dirty, and not at all cohesive, and there’s a tiny part of me that would love to just move and start over… but we still owe a lot of money for the place, and I don’t know about the rest of you, but where I live, houses are sitting on the market for a long, long, long time. So I’ll just fix what I’ve got. Kidding aside, we’ve been very blessed with a wonderful home, and I have plenty to work with… it’s just going to take work.

I’ve been busy taking baby steps here and there, and have found help along the way. I’ve got posts planned for some good Before & After bits. Hopefully, It won’t take too long to get things in order & share them with all of you. February is going to be a BIG month for doing stuff. I’m moving my craft room into the garage to make room in my current craft room for a second baby {should the Mr. and I come to an agreement on whether or not we’re having said second baby} and that means the garage has to be completely cleaned out. I’ll be sure there are lots of Before’s of that transformation so everyone gets the full grasp of this endeavor.

So, for now, I hope you are all out there doing what you love & finding inspiration to do more of it. I shall return…

Then She Was Hooked…

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I’m supposed to be cleaning. I didn’t make it very far, but I did at least clean up our breakfast dishes. That just leaves… everything else. But I’ve been meaning to write this post for weeks now. So here it is {finally}

In high school, I decided I wanted to learn how to crochet. Well, at the ripe old age of 17 or 18, I didn’t have the patience for it… or any concept of gauge. I still have the “scarf” I started & I have a craft/inspiration project waiting for it.
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When I found this, I was attempting to clean my craft room {the new nursery} and all progress was halted. In the box where I found this, I also found my “I Taught Myself To Crochet” kit… and a partial skein of yarn. Nothing else was accomplished that day… except that I re-learned how to crochet, and went to the store to buy some pretty yarn. When I got back, I hit Pinterest {if anything productive was going to happen the rest of the day, now any chance was shot} and found this amazing scarf pattern from Jenn Ozkan. It works a half double crochet the length of the scarf for a ribbed look that you would get from knitting. The scarf was eventually dubbed “The Scarf That Never Ends” because the project felt like it took forever. My younger sister had her baby, and my older sister and I were sitting together “yarning”… I looked at her work, then at mine, then back at hers… well, poo! I’m doing it wrong. I don’t know how else to explain it, but there was NO slack in my work. I held everything tightly, and as a result I got very stiff, dense results. So  “The Scarf That Never Ends” got a little longer… because I pulled the entire thing and started over.

Luckily, I had been working half double crochets for so long it was like muscle memory. I focused on keeping my stitches loose and soft, and was able to make the same scarf with a skein and a half versus needing a third skein. I added a little fringe to the ends and put it on…. {face-palm }it was too short. My mom just happened to be with me, and she bought it as a Christmas gift for my 7-year old niece. I also made her a matching hat {that I didn’t take a picture of}

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Back to the craft store for more yarn… I have fallen deeply in love with Lion Brand Homespun Yarns. They’re extremely soft, chunky, and the colors are mind blowing! Take a look!

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I’m working on several scarves and other goodies for the {long neglected}etsy shop. That’s another resolution, in conjunction with getting my craft area moved to the garage & in some semblance of order, I need to get the stuff I’ve made out of totes & onto the interwebs. Now, I leave you with a cuteness factor of 11! My partner in crime…

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A Quilt for My {not a} Baby – Part 1

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I’ve been saying for a little over 2 years now that I want to make a quilt for my little bud. Well, since hubby dearest & I now agree that we will indeed try for a second child {this was an epic battle, btw} I have decided I need to make bud’s quilt before said baby arrives. I am going to use mostly blue and green, but possibly red and yellow should the notion strike me. The next dilemma was finding a pattern that doesn’t scream TWO-YEAR OLD so that he can continue to use it well into his youth {let’s be real, I’m probably only ever making him one quilt}so I began my search several weeks ago. Today, I found it…

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Thank you sooo much to Helping Little Hands for the idea. I played around with some pieces of paper until I got the pattern down. Once again, I was over thinking the whole thing. It’s actually going to be rather simple. Time consuming, but simple. Here’s the gist of it:

You will start out with a square. Cut the square into 3 equal strips. {I plan to use a 15 x 15 square, so each strip will be 5″ wide.}

From the center strip, you will cut 2 small pieces from either end. I think 1/4 of the strip would be reasonable, but I am still playing with the pattern.

The layout may be better shown in a picture.

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If you look at the black pieces, the two “male” ends of the piece were cut from the center piece. Each “puzzle piece” will alternate directions, and will be interlocked. And then I hit a wall trying to figure out how they did it. I looked and looked… and looked. I kept seeing the puzzle piece as a whole instead of looking at it from a quilting perspective. Guess what?! It’s a bunch of squares!

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It’s going to be crucial that I lay everything out before I piece together a single square, but that’s all it is! I can’t wait to get started! Unfortunately, It will be at least January before I can have a go at it, because the holidays just wipe me out.

Keep Calm and SPARKLE!

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As you venture into the uncertain world of motherhood, you find yourself overwhelmed by feelings. One of those feelings is back pain from carrying SO MUCH STUFF! I didn’t realize how much I put into my satchel purse to cut down on the number of bags I carry. I have the monster’s diaper bag {Praise God for potty training! This bag will be gone soon!} plus my purse. That doesn’t sound too terrible until you take a look at my purse and all the stuff I think I need to carry with me at all times. Take a peek…

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So I decided to bite the bullet and get another bag. I’ve set a goal recently to read at least one chapter of my Bible everyday. Some days that is easier said than done… but I’m working on it. That being said, Bibles are heavy… and bulky… and I don’t like the verision I downloaded to my Kindle {still searching for a better version} So I decided that I need a bag specifically for my Bible, devotionals, and journal/notebook. Just those three or four books would be a huge weight-loss for my purse {and the back carrying it } so it was decided. One Bible bag coming up. Only… the ones I saw {in my price range}kind of reminded me of a grandma… and not the “new” trendy grandmas that are sporting their Vera bags and matching accessories… I mean the way grandmas used to be with lace and floral and cross-stitched kittens.

There was a split second where I didn’t know what to do… and when I snapped out of it, my body had teleported to the Clearance aisle at Wal-Mart. Not a lot going on there, but my store is set up brilliantly with the clearance right next to the crafts {it’s like they know me}so I popped over to see what caught my eye. A 3-pack of canvas totes. Pink, grey, and turquoise. $6 for three bags… that’s a no-brainer. So I took them home and raided my art supplies. GLITTER!!!Oh, yes, this will do nicely. Now I just have to figure out what it is I want it to be doing…

To make a rather long process into a shorter, easier to follow process, I will just line up a bunch of photos of the different stages. I had two inspirations when I started; bubbles, and ombre.

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I really liked it… but it was not actually my style. It was a lot of fun to make, but not something I would carry. So it was donated to a good cause… my little sister.

Fortunately, while I had been waiting for all that glitter to dry, I had been playing with the grey tote. And through a little trial and error, came up with a bag that was much more “me”.

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I also added one of my favorite verses to the back side. “Trust the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and he will make straight your paths. Proverbs 3:5-6”

It is a lesson I struggle with daily, but I am also finding it easier to let God have it. There’s little I hate worse than feeling helpless, and for a long time that’s what I thought of when people said “Give it to God.” It felt like giving up. Like I was too weak to push through it, and expected someone to do it for me… and in a sense, that’s exactly what I’m doing. I am constantly saying “I need Your help. I don’t understand, and I can’t do this on my own.” And do you know what He says? In John 15:4-5, he says, “Remain in me, and I will remain in you. For a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine, and you cannot be fruitful unless you remain in me. Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing.”

That last part is where I find comfort, oddly enough, because in those words – apart from me you can do nothing – He is telling me that it’s ok. I can’t carry my burdens alone, and I shouldn’t try. He is prepared to handle any and everything, but he’s also prepared to wait until I ask for help. I have to give up that ego, that pride that says I’m a big girl & I’ll handle it. Just a hint, for those who also struggle with this, it really is much easier to let Him handle it. {He can also do a much better job. Just sayin’.}

Well, I wasn’t planning a sermon, but sometimes they just come. I hope that means that one of you needed these words, and I hope they find you.

Thank you for today, Lord {Nov 3}

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Thank you for today, Lord, and the warm sun shining down.

Thank you for my dreams, in the garage and strewn around.

I love the creativity you’ve blessed me with, Dear Lord.

As for finishing tasks… I’ll work on that some more.

Thank you for that extra dollar that bought a can of paint,

And for people who throw out goodies thinking they’re garbage when they ain’t.

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Thank you, Lord, for vision. For seeing what’s not there.

 For sandpaper, and patience, and the ability to share.

I’m sorry, did you say glitter shoes?!!

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I’ve been sucked in to the glitter-everything-in-sight bandwagon. It’s so sparkly I’m not sure how I avoided it for so long. Several of my beautiful bloggy buddies {say that five times fast } have done some spectacular tutorials for all kinds of glittered goodies. Check out Vanessa’s Mod Christmas Art or her Glitter Snake Wreath. Both are adorable and easy! Another blog mom is Jenilyn, and I absolutely adore all of her fashion adventures. She makes the cutest clothes for her little girl, and I’m really excited to see what she whips up for the baby boy on his way. Anyway, she also has big girl projects like her Glitter Shoes. I just had to do some of my own.

Here’s a very quick how-to for my shoes.

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I told you it was quick! I only used one coat because I liked the subtle sparkle in the black.

Here’s a sneak peek at my next sparkly project…

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See Vanessa Craft