Wednesday, April 30, 2014

A Beautiful Day

The Peter Iredale

running from the waves

The waves were huge - check out that mist!

Hmmm, ladybugs at the beach!

This is how geeks play at the beach! 

The temperature today was in the 80's here! So hot for us - a little *too* hot for me. My carpal tunnel and the heat are not friends. Yesterday I couldn't do anything with my hands, and it stunk. I was worried about today, because yesterday wasn't even as hot, but David saved the day. After taking the kids to lunch at Dairy Queen, we took the kids to the beach, where it was still warm, but had such a wonderful breeze! It wasn't too crowded, which was so nice. We live very near the coast - this is Fort Stevens, about 15 minutes from our home. At this spot, what's left of a ship, The Peter Iredale, sits. It's amazing to know how much of it has deteriorated just in our lifetime. I can remember playing around it as a kid, when it was still so much bigger. I  wonder if it will completely erode in our lifetime. The ship was named after  Peter Iredale, who owned a shipping company in Liverpool, England. It was built in 1890, and crashed ashore during a foggy storm in 1906. The kids had such a good time running back and forth, building more of a moat around an island than a castle. We brought plastic cups, candy molds, bowls, and buckets. They made designs more than structures. Owen buried his legs, though not too deep. He and Amelia loved running into, then from the waves. Aidan had brought an action figure, and he and David took some pictures that came out looking surprisingly real. Geeks. About the time Alan could barely keep himself from fully jumping in ( I do sympathize with the temptation!), we had to go home, where we cleaned up and got ready for AWANA (a children's club at church). The weather was still so nice, Owen's teacher (who I help) took the class outside. Before too long, the other classes followed suit. David teaches Aidan's class, and they found a a huge, leafy tree to sit under. All the kids loved being outside after all the rainy cold we've had! Afterward, we had our favorite pizza for a late dinner. Mmm, so good!!  I believe we are actually due for more rain this weekend, but we've had a lovely few days to tuck away in our memories!

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

A "Niceful" Ladder

Pre "niceful" ladder, not pretty, but good for action figure adventures!

 I've needed shelves here for a while, and had a partially dismantled dresser that was served the purpose, but was just too big, so I never finished it. I've also had this old ladder that came with our house, and I wanted to use it for something, but never had the right project for it, when I realized it was the perfect size for our needs. After fighting with it a bit, hubby saved the day and took the rungs out for me. I loved the look of them, and wanted them to show. I like the metal rusty metal rods, too.

The top two shelves are just boards screwed directly into the ladder, since they're small and not going to hold a lot of weight.

For the bottom shelves, we ran narrow pieces of scrap wood across for support, then used wider pieces of scrap for the actual shelf. While we were working on it, Amelia would come out, touch it, and say, "Niceful! It's so niceful!" She knows beautiful, and declares many things to be beautiful, so apparently our ladder doesn't fall into that category, but it is very nice, so, niceful. I love it, and our house has a new word!

 Finished - and, good grief, I need to fix that hanging piece on our old stove! We don't actually use this one, just have it out for decoration. It was in our kitchen hooked up and sharing a chimney with our working wood stove - a no-no if we want homeowner's insurance!

David removed the fold down shelf bit for me, and I screwed it in upright for a bit of a backer.

You can just make out the star and the word STAR. I also like all the chippy paint.

Here's a downward view of how the shelves were attached, and how we used the rungs as a facing.

Here it is filled - perfect for our coloring books, crayons, and movie books.

I haven't looked up what this box was originally for, but it works wonderfully for holding crayons!

I was using these for magazines, but have purged most of them (there are so many wonderful blogs, I can't really see the sense in spending money on too many of them anymore!). These magazine holders are some metal ones I found at Goodwill, and they were covered in that wood grain contact paper. Well, I used one of my favorite/scary ways of aging metal, and tossed them into the fire outside, pulling them out when the paper was burned off and they had a nice texture and rusty-ish finish. Then I scrubbed them a bit and sealed them with a clear finish.

Apparently this little guy likes it here, he was back before I knew it! I know I am very pleased with how it turned out, and so grateful to have a husband who is willing to help when I've overdone with my hands (boo to you, carpal tunnel!).

Quite niceful!
Linking up with:   Revisionary Life, Thrifty Thursday
                          Funky Junk Interiors, repurposed ladders
                          Ivy and Elephants
                          Knick of Time Interiors
                          Beyond The Picket Fence

Friday, April 25, 2014

Easter and a Baby

Ha! Judging from this guy's smile, he thought he was safe, after making it through the potluck.
 We had a lovely Easter, even the weather was beautiful! First, our church had a breakfast potluck with some yummy food. I made my version of the Pioneer Woman's blueberry lemon sweet rolls. I am impatient, and use a 90 minute cinnamon roll recipe for the actual rolls, then use her recipe for the filling and glaze. So seriously yummy!! I also made an egg casserole that I fell in love with. One of the ladies at church asked for the roll recipe, and amazingly, I copied it and left it in her box on Wednesday - I can tell you that this is a huge feat for me, I am so good at forgetting! After breakfast together, we went up to hear the choir's cantata, with our pastor's message interspersed. It was really lovely.

David worked on Sunday, so we left the egg coloring for after church, to give the kids something to fill the time with -  I wanted to give out baskets and hide eggs when dad was home, so he could get in on the fun, too.

I did not sew any dresses this year, and only bought these the day before Easter! While getting clothes together on Saturday, I realized the girls really had no nice springy dresses that fit anymore, they've grown so much. Emma had no nice shoes, either, so we found pink ones she really liked, then found the same pair in Amelia's size. Emma insisted we get them matching shoes. I love that she wants to match - I hated my sister so much as a kid that I never wanted anything close to matching. Makes me sad to remember. Both of us have been far more successful in raising kids who not only love each other, but like each other. Yes, there are squabbles, but there is far more friendliness, camaraderie, and affection.

Most of my attempts to photograph Owen came out like this, he was darting around so fast!
Owen had a fabulous time, running all over, no method to his searching, pure joy every time he found an egg. Aidan and Alan hid the eggs, under dad's direction. David had just been in a fight with an inmate the day before, and was having a difficult time moving. He actually ended up home for a couple days beyond his normal days off. He's just gone back in to work this morning. I tell you what. I wish the general public could see what inmates are like! Not all, of course, there are many who are simply struggling with drug and alcohol abuse/addiction, or mental illness,  but many are just amazingly childish. This one in particular simply didn't want to go back to his cell and had a tantrum. I am hoping that David will eventually write a book.

Back to Easter, I've learned to scale back on the basket goodies - for years we struggled financially, so I learned to start putting candy and toys aside and build them up. The night before Easter, I'd pull everything out to put the baskets together, and realize I had an insanely huge amount of stuff! Nobody needed that much candy, it wasn't Christmas, it was just nuts. This year everyone got one little toy and a bit of candy. Oddly enough, everyone was very happy.

On to other news, I'm going to be a grandma!! My oldest daughter and her boyfriend are having a baby in November. She had her first ultrasound yesterday and got to see her very wiggly baby. She is nine weeks along and doing pretty well physically. I am happy for her, because I get extremely sick for quite a while with each one. This was definitely not planned, but babies are to be celebrated, and I've seen more than one relationship start off the "wrong" way and do really well. Rachel's boyfriend,  Martae is still rather new to us, but we absolutely love him. He is from Chicago and had a very rough youth. I am praying that we are who God needs us to be in his life. Why else would he have made it all the way to our tiny hick town, hahaha? He treats Rachel wonderfully, and is excited about their baby. I have to really laugh - my daughter finds a young black man from Chicago (not the usual logger/fisherman type you would find locally), and of all things, he wants to be a cop!  To explain why that's funny, my dad is retired State Police, who comes from a long line of policemen, Rachel's dad met her stepmother at the State Police Academy (mhm, we were still married, he also drives trucks now), her stepmother is still with OSP, a detective now, and my husband has been in law enforcement since college (City Police,then computer/desk job with OSP, then jail deputy - this is the one he will retire with, he really likes it), and Rachel has said she is not going to marry a cop. Not that marriage has necessarily been talked about yet, but, who knows. No matter what, we are all excited for a new baby, and watching these two become parents.

This is going to be a beautiful baby!! 

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Spring Wall Art

Sometimes it pays off to be a tiny bit of a hoarder. When we bought our house 11 years ago, one of the first things we did was rip cupboards out of the laundry room. We used a couple upstairs for a while, in my oldest son's room, but most were rather ick, and burned in the backyard. Still, even though these doors were cheap, I did like the basic look of them and stashed them in different places through the years, taking them out, eyeballing them, putting them away again. They were a funny green at the time - the last owners had a serious thing for every weird shade of green. Fast forward a decade, and I found Ella Claire Inspired , and fell in love with her gallery wall art, made with mouse traps! I immediately thought of these doors and finally made my own version. I love how they turned out, and I love being able to quickly change out pictures. There are so many pretty pictures, funny sayings, wonderful bible verses, and quotes, that my walls couldn't hold them all, and now I can just switch them out!

 I lucked out, and had "painted" numbers on scrapbook paper, so I just cut them out and glued them to the mousetraps after following Kristen's directions up until that point. Although the images for #1 and #2 are from The Graphics Fairy, The lettering for Spring, I did on my own (with the help of my 11 year old, haha!). The little bird on top is a stamp I already had. The actual paper is from Goodwill, a big stack of wonderful children's writing paper, in a lovely shade - though the above one shows my overdose of spray adhesive after being knocked down. One of these days I will screw the tops to the wall to anchor them. This is all on the top of the piano, a favorite place for kitties to curl up in the winter.

I do not remember where I got this nest, I have had it for many years now! I recently bought the roll of tickets at Goodwill - I love the faded brown color the purple has faded to - you can see where the rubberband used to be. I filled the birdcage (also a Goodwill find) with a couple packs of dollar tree plastic eggs that I painted. Actually, the bird was even a dollar tree purchase from several years ago.

These candle holders were a wedding gift, and were originally a metal look that I later painted to brighten up. They developed rust after leaving them out all summer, and although I keep putting them in the giveaway pile, they haven't made their way to Goodwill yet. I then saw these (at this point I can NOT find the blog I found them on, and I will the link in when I do!) mossy eggs and already had these giant plastic eggs and moss from...Dollar Tree. The ladies on the blog I found and lost used sheet moss on styrofoam eggs. My moss was loose instead of sheets, so I sprayed the eggs with green paint first, then brushed glue onto the eggs and packed handfuls of moss onto them. I also used a plastic bag to smush (technical word) the moss down. *edited - I found them! Heather from At The Picket Fence is the one who made the ones I saw. 

I really like how everything turned out, and I'm so happy to be finishing up some projects and sharing them!

Linking up to: Party Junk ,  Thrifty Life Thursday

Friday, April 18, 2014

This Moment

{This Moment}

A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words  - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor, and remember. 
If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your "moment" in the comments for all to find and see at Soulemama.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Pretty Parcels

Just a quick post (really!). I've received several beautiful things recently, and I wanted to show them off a bit while I'm trying desperately to hurry up and finish my other projects. These papers are the ones I won in Yvonne's giveaway from Flow, and then she added the adorable tags. Now to decide what to do with them! I'm thinking the tags would be wonderful made into a pom pom garland for my girls' room, and the papers into a bunting for my lonely inspiration board in my sewing area.

This little guy is beyond adorable!

This parcel is from Cerri, from The Little Pink Studio, and although I ordered and paid for this one, she fills her orders so beautifully that they still feel exactly like a gift!

I love the bright colors!

This parcel is the most meaningful one - blogging is not what automatically comes to mind when making friends, but it turns out to be an excellent way to do just that! It's so fun to find like-minded people all over the world. This one is from my new friend, Marion, from my two girls (hubby and I think it would be really awesome to meet them when we finally get to go to England!). I had a far better picture of these beautiful treasures, it included the wonderful packaging, too, but when I sat down to post this, I realized the pictures are just not on my camera! I don't know who messed with mom's camera, but someone sure did! And since we had to quickly clean the living room for a birthday dinner a couple days ago, I'm not sure where I put the pretty tissue paper. This picture just doesn't do these items justice. The bobbin tin is such a beautiful grey, the fabric tapes are so pretty - I'm thinking to use the bright pink one for my little paper bunting. The owl now resides on my inspiration board - cheering me on to brighten up that board! Thank you, Marion!! I have something in the works for you, too!