Sunday, January 30, 2011

Pom Pom Heart Wreath

This is the last wreath I'm going to post about. Promise.

At least until after Valentine's Day.

My other disclaimer is that I brightened this picture too much and the difference between the pom poms is not this stark. So just ignore the fact that they stand out from each other. Pretty please. I have a stinky camera.

I started out making pom poms with my largest pom pom maker. I used one strand of red and one strand of fuchsia yarn at the same time. It made it go faster plus gave it some variegation.

Then I ran out of yarn and only had 10 pom poms made. When I went to the store I couldn't find the same kind of yarn. I'm not sure they make it any more. So I bought a similar red and an already variegated pink. I used one strand of each and wrapped them at the same time. I made 10 pom poms like that.

I took a wire coat hanger and shaped it into a heart shape. I undid the top where it was twisted together so I could string (wire?) on the pom poms. I alternated them.

I twisted the top back together when I was done. Then I took the normal hanger loop and twisted it down low. I used it to hang the red strap. It's one of those velcro-closing straps that came around an inexpensive blanket.

This is Sparky's favorite wreath. It's hanging on the inside of our front door.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Felt Wreath

I made this felt wreath before Christmas and added a blue glass ornament in the middle for a little bling.

I saw the original idea on Tip Junkie with a link back to the step-by-step tutorial on The Inspired Room.

I opted to go completely with white felt and not use any of the neutral colors. I also think that my squares might be slightly smaller.

I purchased the package of white felt sold at Michael's, maybe 36"x36". It took me a little less than two packages, and I cut the squares about 2 1/2" square. There are probably about 400 on there. I started out by cutting strips in the felt and then cutting squares off. I used dental floss (waxed) to string them together.

It was time to take it down or revamp it. I opted for revamping.

I love my new pom pom makers. I can't tell you how much I love them. I made three different sized pom poms in Valentine's colors and tied them together. Then I flipped the wreath over and tied the bundle to the back where the ornament had been.

I love it!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Valentine Heart Wreath

I don't think I've ever had a wreath specifically suited for Valentine's Day.

Now I do.

I got the idea for this Ribbon Heart Wreath at Crafty Sisters. They have some great ideas!

I think mine looks a lot different, but I started with the exact same wreath that I found at Michael's. I used some curly ribbon from pre-made gift packaging in pinkish hues. I also got a small roll of silver holographic curly ribbon and cut and curled it myself. I tied the ribbon all around the wreath and on some of the loops. (I cut some of the pre-made gift packaging ribbon in half before I used it or it hung too long.)

I took two pieces of 12x12 scrapbook paper with different prints. I cut them in 1/2" strips and rolled them around a pencil. I looped them through the red pre-made loops of the wreath.

To hang it, I used a strap that came wrapped around one of those throw blankets. It has a velcro closure so I just slipped it through the loop on the back and closed it and hung it up.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Tour The Rooms — Buddy's Room

We (as in Hubby and I) bred a sports lover. It's evident in his room.

When we refer to his room with other people, we say, "It's the one with the big men on the wall at the top of the stairs."

Buddy loves red. If we'd let him have his walls red, he would have. But with the red shelves it would be just too much.

So we picked a green that reminds us of the Green Monster at Fenway Park. It's by Behr and is called Vineyard.

This is the view when you walk in the room. The denim curtain panels I recycled from old bed skirts here.

You can see all the card collecting he does. He's been at it now for just over seven years. It's even how he learned to alphabetize.

Standing in front of the window looking back toward the door wall, this is the view:

I guess we should say, "Big men on the wall and tiny men on the shelves," when we are referring to his room.

And here is a better look at the bed wall:

I just got the duvet cover at Ikea last week. Buddy had been using his duvet with no cover on it for a year. We just hadn't been able to find anything we liked. Ikea finally had a few new patterns, and this one seemed to work.

The funny thing is that Hubby brought Buddy a new pair of Razorback pajama pants home from his trip last week. They are plaid and almost match the pattern and color perfectly. We told him when he wears them he'll be camouflaged and we won't be able to find him!

I guess it would work during a game of hide and seek!

The red wall shelves and shelving units are from Ikea.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Mouse In The House

Since my humiliation obviously knows no bounds,

and since my husband said he'd hijack my blog in the middle of the night and post this anyway,

I'm sharing a short little video from Awana last night.

We have a short little Minute to Win It (there is some TV show like this or something?) during the opening each week, and once a month two of the leaders are selected. Guess who got selected this week?

Our game was called Mouse in the House. The name will be obvious.

That's Vaseline keeping it on. I still feel like it's oozing out my nasal pores today.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Airport Courtesy

If you see a famous person at the airport,

and if you make eye contact with said famous person to the point that they realize you have recognized them,

does that mean you are friends?

Hubby said if it does, he's friends now with Mike Ditka.

That makes me wonder,

if you go up and shake their hand,

do you get to have holiday dinners with them?

If it does, we won't, because Hubby just made eye contact.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Tour The Rooms — Sparky's Room

This is the color that I thought I would be painting either my living room or my bedroom. I happened to have the swatch card and it's the one that Sparky picked! I wouldn't let her do the glowing lime green like the bathroom.

She's very happy with it and thinks it brings out the green she has in the room nicely.

This is the view when you walk in her room out the front windows of the house. (None of our bedrooms are on the first floor.) Her room is slightly recessed from the doorway.

She painted the picture on the wall between the windows when she was eight years old. There was an older couple in Illinois from our church that were good friends of ours, and he taught her how to paint. She has some natural artistic ability.

This is the view to the left.

We (as in I) just hung that mirror after we got done painting. I found it for half price at Hobby Lobby about a month ago and knew it would be perfect for that spot. She has trouble getting to a mirror in the bathroom occasionally when everyone is getting ready at the same time. I couldn't hang it too high or she wouldn't be able to see in it.

This is the view to the right from the door.

She definitely has some green in here!

Her bed, nightstands, green shelves, and red dressers are all from Ikea.

Her paint color is Cloudy Day by Behr. I have a lighter color of blue for my room, but if I don't like it, I'm going with this one.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

A Trip, Ikea, My Kitchen

Yesterday Hubby took his first trip out of town since his surgery in November. I think it's like the first time I haven't driven him to the airport and still had time to drive the hour back home and get back in bed by 5:30 a.m. That alone makes this non-morning person happy.

Yesterday it was mid-morning, so Ikea was open, and if I do the loop different, it's on the way home. So of course I did the loop different and went. That makes me ecstatic.

(By the way, Hubby went to the doctor last Tuesday. They did a CAT scan of his liver and a side-by-side comparison from before the surgery. His liver is fully regenerated. He saw the original scan with the two lobes and the new one where the one lobe takes up the same space. I keep telling him to be careful carrying his suitcase even though he got cleared to do regular activities. I mean, he went out the next morning after he got cleared and decided to shovel a little snow. He's nuts! He also got in trouble with me.)

Betsy asked me what I got at Ikea in the comments yesterday. I looked at pulls and knobs for my kitchen cabinets when Mari and I were there last April, but they didn't have enough in stock. So I looked at those and they had plenty. I've started putting them up.

It's a chore! I've done five. I have lots to go.

I'm doing knobs on the drawers.

They are all a black matte finish, and some type of metal that reminds me of iron. Very substantial.

I also bought the nifty guide with holes to help you line up where to drill. At under $2.00, I consider it the best purchase of the day.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011


Several months ago I took a picture of the odometer reading on our van. It's our only vehicle. I was short a four in the front, but I guess that's a good thing. That would be a lot of miles!

Today I found the four. I wish I'd realized ahead of time how close I was to the 150K milestone so I could catch it instead, but I guess catching the four on the end was second best.

The best part is that I was in the Ikea parking lot! I haven't been there since I met Mari in April.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Do You See The Irony?

We're having Caboose's party later today. I guess you can tell what the theme is.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

First and Last

This week (as in two days from now) we have our first birthday of the new year.

This week (still as in two days from now) we have the last birthday of the family birthday bunch.

Buddy starts it off near the end of September, Hubby has his the middle of October, the girls share the beginning of December, I wrap up the end of December, and a mere two weeks later into the new year we finish up with Caboose.

Less than four full months and we cover all six birthdays and Christmas!

It's craziness, I tell you.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Modern or Not?

When I think of modern furniture, I don't usually imagine that I have any in my house.

And then I pop over to CSN Stores and see this:

And it's almost the exact same light fixture we put in the glowing green bathroom. So apparently I'm a little modern too!

Last year I had the opportunity to team up with CSN and host two giveaways. This time I get to review a product myself. I'm excited, so watch for it in an upcoming post.

And in the meantime pop over to CSN and see what's modern, and even what's not! They have some really cute dishes that I wouldn't have called modern either.

So, is your decor modern?


Growing up is hard.

Being a grown-up is hard too.

My cousin has a son that is about five weeks younger than the girls. This last fall someone he knew died after a couple of months in the hospital following a football injury. I remember wondering if any of my kids would ever go through the loss of a friend while they were younger.

Today that wonder became reality.

Two summers ago Sparky played on a local recreation league softball team. One of our neighbors happened to be her coach. Tonight Hubby saw the coach's wife in the grocery store.

There is a girl on the team that Sparky has been in touch with for the last year and a half through texting. They have had serious Biblical discussions, and Sparky has invited her to some church youth events. She just invited her to laser tag in December, but she was unable to come due to a work conflict. She promised she'd come to the next event, which was the upcoming dodge ball tournament.

Sparky texted her on Christmas and the day or so after. Hubby found out today that on December 28 this sweet, spunky girl was in a car accident through no fault of her own and never regained consciousness. She died on January 6.

Oddly enough, there is a family at church and one of the sons goes to school with her. She was mentioned last week in youth group and in prayer meeting as a prayer request. The thing is, when you play softball for a short time with someone you often just get familiar with their first name. Hubby and Sparky both thought her name sounded familiar, but they didn't realize who it was, until tonight.

Hubby had to come home and tell her as well as the rest of our family. It's been a rough evening, especially for Sparky. Three lives were saved because her kidneys and liver were given through the Gift of Life program, but Sparky is most concerned about her eternal life. She's just not sure if she was a believer, but God knows her heart.

Sparky did everything she could to reach out to her friend. But things like this always make us think about our lives here on earth and eternity, and what we are doing to reach others.

James 4:14 Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.

The KJV says we are a vapor. Whether it's a mist or a vapor, they don't stay around long. Are we, as followers of Jesus, doing everything we can during that short time?

It makes us think hard.

*I have intentionally left out the name of Sparky's friend. I don't want people coming here because they have googled her name, and I don't want it to look like we are saying something just because we knew her.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Chicken 'Aghetti

It's actually Chicken Spaghetti, but that's what our girls called it when they were little.

Chicken Spaghetti
from my cousin, Jennifer

1-16 oz box spaghetti noodles, cooked and drained
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can Rotel
1 can chicken broth
1 cup chopped, cooked chicken
2 cups shredded cheese (I used one of the 8 oz Kraft mixes plus some grated Parmesan)

While spaghetti noodles are cooking, mix other ingredients except cheese together in a large bowl. I usually add about 1/2 cup water because otherwise it seems a little thick. Drain spaghetti and mix it in with the other ingredients.

Pour into a 9x13 casserole dish. Cover with shredded cheese.

Bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes, or until bubbly around the edges and hot in the middle.

The Rotel gives it a little kick and it's different than any other Chicken Spaghetti I've ever had. Yum!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Intentional Simplification (When Our Basement Threw Up)

Into our garage.

There is a house being built on the lot next to ours now. When we open our garage door, the people working there can see in. I'm pretty sure they think we belong on the Hoarders show.

Do you also notice the lack of photos associated with this post?! Intentional.

The November weekend before Hubby had surgery, he emptied our unfinished basement onto the driveway. He was going to paint the basement floor to minimize the dust (concrete or drywall). Everything had pounds of dust all over it and it needed dusted off before it got put into the garage.

That Saturday while everything was on the driveway it started to sprinkle rain, so stuff quickly got placed in the garage. Stacked, crammed, and filled up. It wasn't pretty. (Guess who's been cleaning off the dust.)

That Sunday he used the shop vac to remove as much dust as possible from the basement before mopping the rest, then painting the floor.

Now comes the job of putting everything back in the basement.

Except we aren't.

I was so proud of myself when I went through
memorabilia and reorganized it. But I had a revelation a few days ago and Hubby was on board. The trophies and plaques, why do they need to take up two Sterilite boxes and the space that needs? We are never going to display them. Why are we going to leave them for our kids to go through someday when we aren't here anymore? That's just silly.

So they are in the trash for next Monday.

We are also getting rid of stuff. Extra toys and things that are just taking up space. Ebay has been our friend as has Salvation Army.

I've seen several people picking a word for the year. I'm not sure I could pick one. But I've seen intentional and simplify.

I'm calling this intentional simplification.

I'll show pictures when I'm done, a vehicle fits in the garage properly, and the basement is properly organized.

I'm at least halfway there.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Pom Pom Garland

I'm already getting ready for next Christmas.

I'm making pom poms. Like crazy.

In all different colors and four different sizes. I got pom pom makers for Christmas!

If you click on the picture it will take you to Amazon. (If you purchase them I will receive a small percentage from the sale.)

They didn't have the best directions, but decent enough pictures on the back that I could figure out what to do. Best of all, it was fast.

I have about four feet of pom pom garland right now. I strung the pom poms on plain embroidery thread. It's quite heavy.

I'm going to be making pom poms and garland to have them ready for next year. I'm going to make snowmen with the pom poms on skewers too. But I couldn't resist hanging the little bit of garland I had, even if it was just for a few days.

I can't wait to see lots of it on my big tree next year!

Saturday, January 1, 2011


I definitely don't like that word.

I had a nifty idea though on storing my ornament trees. I definitely did not want to have to reassemble them next year.

Take off the top glass ball and put a cork on the knitting needle. I bought corks today at the store when I was buying more plastic containers.

Decorating our tree is often a little more difficult than it should be, and we always have ornaments that we can't seem to locate that are in a box with un-like items, like maybe with stockings or the sit-around decorations. Then we have ornaments strewn all over the place because there are so many in one box, and tissue paper and bubble wrap, and chaos in general.

I knew there had to be a better way for us, and it was smaller containers. I also separated out most of the kids' ornaments into their own boxes. They will either still go on the big tree next year or on a tree in their own room. Either way, that's their box to put on that no one else touches.

I have one box that is just glass balls (special ones). It's the fabric-looking red box on the left. I purchased lots of glass balls on clearance this year that are still in boxes. I wanted them for crafting next year. They are in a couple of large plastic bins on the floor.

Our Hallmark ornaments were another issue for me. Every year we take them out and put them back in the boxes they came in. It's cumbersome. But some of them need to be there for protection. I decided that all of our Hallmark train ornaments could be kept out of the boxes and put in one small box together, simply bubble-wrapped. It will be so much faster. (I kept the boxes and put them in a larger container 'just in case.')

I labeled almost every box. I can see in them now, but next year when we get ready to put things away it will make it much simpler.

Every year when I get out the Buffalo Snow, Caboose gets out some animals and adds them in for decorating. I've taken down the ornament tree, but I'm not sure what the cat's going to do if I take away the rest. He's become rather accustomed to the comfy spot with extra heat from the fireplace. He doesn't have to wait on the vents to blow anymore.

I still have to take the lights off the tree and take it apart. And figure out what to do about the cat.
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