Friday, December 27, 2013

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

It's beginning to look a lot like...


I love this time of year. It's magical. And inspirational. And busy. I'm the type of person who thrives on busy. When my husband and I were newly married and still adjusting to one another, we were watching TV one night. I was up and down doing this and that while my husband sat and watched a favorite program. Finally he said in an amused sort of way, "Can't you just sit and relax for awhile?" My answer, "I should try that." Today I manage to relax on the couch frequently, but I'm happiest when I'm busy with a project or two. Or three.

Lately, I've been very busy. Before Thanksgiving arrived I had all the Christmas presents to our children and grandchildren bought, wrapped and shipped. I've never been so organized for Christmas. Having done it once, now I know that is the answer to having less stressful Christmas season. It's been heavenly.

We arrived home from Thanksgiving holiday, and had only a few days to decorate. I got it all finished and then last weekend we were off to the Nashville area for my grandson's baptism. We were so grateful we were able to be there with him and his family for that wonderful event. A baptism is a great way to start the Christmas season. We arrived home on Monday and today we are having new carpet installed in our basement. So excited.

We have another very exciting piece of news. Our son got engaged over the Thanksgiving holiday to a wonderful girl. We are excited to be planning another wedding reception for the end of April. I've never helped plan a spring wedding, so that should be fun.

Along with the good, our family has faced some challenges lately. Life is full of dichotomies. Sometimes I wish I could insulate my family from the trials and difficulties of this world, but that isn't possible. Life is good, but occasionally living it can be really, really hard. I've begun to realize that trials and difficulties can help us to grown and learn and become more sympathetic to others if we let them. They can also be so terribly painful. When things seem overwhelming, I've learned to lean on the Savior more fully. In return I've felt his love, peace and guidance more present in my life. I'm grateful. Celebrating His birth will be more meaningful this year.

You may have noticed (or not) that I haven't been blogging much lately. When I get busy with family and family "things" blogging is found waaaaayyyy down on the list. I never apologize for that. It's how it should be, but I've missed sharing.

I hope you're enjoying this holiday season. Since I'm at home today while they install the basement carpet, I'm going to get some baking done. Some cinnamon rolls are going to be popping out of the oven... and perhaps a cookie or two. Enjoy your day!

Friday, December 06, 2013

Friday, November 29, 2013

Friday, November 22, 2013

Monday, November 11, 2013

Lil' Boy Car Caddy...

The hubs and I are purchasing presents for 31 people this year for Christmas. Not even kidding. That number includes each other, our parents, the kids, the kids-in-law, the girlfriend, and the grandkids. Ordinarily I might feel a little overwhelmed, but I actually feel really good because I'm almost done with my Christmas shopping. Most years I scurry around at the last minute, but I plan on having everything bought and mailed before Thanksgiving.

On Friday I made two Lil' Boy Car Caddies for my two-year-old grandsons. I'd made these a couple of years ago for some of the older grands...

This little caddy (16" x 9") is a case for hot wheel cars. It's the perfect gift to help a little guy keep busy when he's out and about. There's a little "garage" for each car and a road for the cars to travel on...

To make this Car Caddy I followed the instructions at "Homemade by Jill," but I made a few alterations. I used a snap closure instead of Velcro. In addition, I didn't use felt because I wanted it to be washable, and I lined all the pieces (except the "garage" pockets) with fusible fleece to give it more durability. If there's one thing I know after raising five boys, it's that little-boy-toys need to be durable!

To store this caddy, tuck each car in a "garage" (pocket) and fold in half lengthwise...

Then fold the length in thirds and snap shut. I use a closure with a center release snapping buckle. When folded up the caddy is only 4.5" x 5".

Hopefully these Lil' Boy Car Caddies will be miles of fun for our two-year-old grandsons!

FYI: Fabrics used for this project:

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Thankful Thoughts...

 "A grateful heart... comes through expressing gratitude to our Heavenly Father for His blessings
 and to those around us for all that they bring into our lives."   ~Thomas S. Monson

Feeling grateful. 

Friday, November 08, 2013

Tuesday, November 05, 2013

Manfred Tooth Pillow Pattern...

My fourth grandchild lost his first tooth last week. I got a call and picture a few minutes later...

He was very excited, but I noticed a "deer in the headlights" expression on his little face. It's both thrilling and perplexing to have teeth fall out of your mouth. I'd made Brunhilda and Manfred Tooth Pillows for his cousins a couple of years ago, so I figured a "Manfred the Monster" tooth pillow was in order for this soon to be toothless kiddo. Here's the pillow I made for him:

Here's how this tooth pillow works. Before your toothless wonder goes to bed, his "lost" tooth is placed in the pillow (Manfred's mouth) for safe keeping until the tooth fairy visits.

The next morning when he awakens the tooth fairy has visited and left a little something in its place.

Usually that "little something" is cold, hard cash. Which makes little hearts go pitter-patter. If this little 10-inch pillow is reserved and only used when a tooth has been lost, it makes the occasion all the more special!

This pillow is getting shipped off today to my grandson.
Hopefully the little guy won't loose two more teeth before it gets there!


To receive the PDF pattern and instructions for 
"Manfred the Monster" Tooth Pillow,
simply email me with a request for the pattern!

My email address is located on my sidebar under "Contact Information."
In the subject line of your email write "Manfred Tooth Pillow Pattern."
 It is free of charge, however, if you request this pattern please be so kind as to leave a comment below. I'd love to hear you!  By requesting this copyrighted document you agree not to sell this document or sell any products using this pattern. It is for personal use or gifts only.

Friday, November 01, 2013

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy Halloween!

It's a beautiful day in Colorado. Thinking of the those in the mid part of our country today and hoping you stay safe and sound. {I keep track of the weather a little more earnestly these days since the flood last month in Colorado!} I stepped into our backyard a minute ago and took these photos of our pear and oak trees. They are celebrating Halloween in all their orangy glory! I'm feeling grateful we live in such a beautiful place.

Wishing you a happy and safe Halloween!


Monday, October 28, 2013

Herringbone Accent Wall -- Finished!

Saturday I finished an accent wall that I've been working on most of the week. It started with Plan A -- using a stencil on the wall. That plan was discarded for Plan B  -- which involved using miles and miles of painter's tape and a whole lot of patience.  The painters tape served as the lines between the herringbone pattern. Because this is a shuffled herringbone pattern, I put a little piece of tape on the sections to be painted. Then I covered those areas with white paint to seal the edges of the tape so there would be crisp lines when I added the colored paint...

Before painting I figured out the color pattern I would be using by adding a dash of paint to each block...

By Saturday I had painted the Herringbone pattern on the wall and all I had to do was wait for the paint to dry! Here's a photo after the paint was applied...

The dimensions of the project are easy. For the same pattern place the vertical tape 8 inches apart.  Then mark down every four inches for the diagonal pattern, like this...

I was a little concerned that the colorful paint would seep under the tape because our walls are textured, but when I removed the tape there wasn't much of that at all. Grateful. A teeny bit of touch up was all that was required.

Here's the finished wall...

This project was very time consuming, but I absolutely love it!

It's exactly the playful feel that I wanted for this rec room for the grandkids!

FYI: Here's some information on the paint I used. All the paint was from the Valspar "Eddie Bauer Home" Signature Collection: Island Blue, Dahlia, Taffy, Yogurt, Java, Dark Mango, & Apple Green.

Happy. Happy. Happy.

Linked to:
I Heart Naptime Linky Party
Friday Favs Party @ Naptime Crafter
The CSI Project
Handmade Tuesdays @ Ladybug Blessings 
Show Me What Ya Got @ Not Just a Housewife