Catching Up

Well, I’ve discovered that perhaps right before you head into holiday season it might not be the best time to start up a blog.  Things got crazy busy and although I completed several projects, I didn’t have any time to write about it.  So I’ll try to catch up on a few things.  Let’s start with a a fun and fairly easy one.

Last fall I volunteered to help my friend out with her daughter’s wedding.  Over the past six years I’ve planned and decorated for proms, birthday parties, family reunions and a wedding.  I’ve come to really enjoy planning and decorating for these events.  So this wedding was familiar ground.  It was great to work with my friend too.  We discussed all the plans, I got to give suggestions, she purchased all the supplies and then I got to put it all together. It was great!  The wedding theme was rustic.  I really wanted to do something special for the bride and groom.  Something that would really work for their wedding but also be able to use in their home.

I had seen several pins on pinterest of a rustic looking “welcome” sign on an easel that I really liked so I decided to do something similar. I also found on pinterest, a quote that I really wanted to use….”And so the Adventure Begins”.  It was perfect for this couple.


So to make this project I downloaded the image I wanted onto my computer.  Then I went to Block Poster (a website that will turn images into poster size…there are several different sites online you can use for free).  Once I sized it to the size I wanted I printed it out right on my home printer.  It prints it out on multiple sheets depending on how large you make it.  I pieced the sheets together to make one big poster.

I had already purchased a precut piece of plywood at Home depot for about $5 and then stained it with a stain we already had.img_1273

So then I put a sheet of transfer paper on top of the board and then the print out sheets on top of that securing it with tape so it wouldn’t slip.  Then I just traced the letters with a pencil.img_1291img_1292_kindlephoto-12555478

Once the letters outlines were transferred to the wood, I painted the letters with white craft paint.  img_1295

It turned out perfectly!  I wanted to personalize it so I added their names.img_1305_kindlephoto-12579636

Then I added a little flourish at the top.img_1306_kindlephoto-12594536

At the wedding I placed it on a wooden easel at the entrance ( unfortunately I forgot to take a picture of that 😦  ).  I couldn’t have been more pleased with how it turned out and the Bride and Groom loved it too!

Another project finished.  Time to move on to the next one.

Straight from the Heart

So when I started this blog, I was not going to use it as a monologue of my life or experiences.  Strictly fun and adventure as I pursued my pinterest project list.  But this week has been occupied with other things and tomorrow we leave to attend a “Quilts of Valor” ceremony for my brother-in-law who served a tour of duty in Iraq and one in Afghanistan. No time for a project.  And then something happened tonight that I felt I need to write about in this format.  Maybe it’s just for me, but maybe what I have to say will resonate with someone else.

I am grateful to live in this country where I am blessed with so many freedoms and I am indebted to and grateful for those, like my brother-in-law, who have sacrificed so much to ensure that we get to keep those freedoms.  This week I am especially grateful for the right we have to participate in the political process of this country.

This election has been a difficult one for this country.  The candidates we had to choose from were less than ideal.  It was very hard for many of us to decide where we would put our trust.  The campaign took America through hell.  Creating a bigger division among the people than ever before as each person began to align themselves with a candidate.  And the media had a heyday.  Pitting us all against one another.  I tried to stay away from Facebook as much as I could because I didn’t want to have my opinions of others affected by their comments or choices.  And I tried to keep my thoughts and opinions to a minimum.  They were rare.  All our feelings  ran high in this election as much for a candidate as against a candidate.

My daughter had to do a project for her civics class where she asked 25 people who they thought would win the election.  My brother said it best when he said, “No one wins.  We all lose.”

Last night I stayed up late to watch the results.  I hadn’t intended to watch.  In fact, I had planned to go to bed because it just felt like a train wreck I didn’t want to see.  But as I watch the surprise turn of events I couldn’t look away.  I was shocked to see that Trump actually pulled it off against all odds.  And yes, I did vote for Trump. Not because I think he is such a wonderful person but because I could not vote for Hillary.  But the reasons for my vote are not really important to this monologue. Yes, I was pleased by the results.

Today, I continued to be in disbelief at the outcome as I watched the news reports and the speeches given by  Hillary and Trump.  I had sympathy for the supporters of Hillary.  Afterall, it could just have easily been the other way around.

It wasn’t until this evening that I truly got riled up and I don’t get easily riled up.  It was a mistake….I should have known better…. I pulled up Facebook.  There were posts all over the place slamming Trump.  Okay, I can overlook that… until I read one that a friend had posted.  The author spent the majority of the article describing all Trump supporters as bigoted, selective, white supremacists.  I just couldn’t keep quiet.  So I commented…..

“I have to emphatically disagree with this author’s assumption of what Trump supporters believe. I voted for Trump and I absolutely do not believe in the things this guy says I believe in. Nor do any of the Trump supporters I know. I did not vote for Trump because I think he’s such a great candidate, I voted for him ( Iike many, many others) because I could not vote for Hillary. This election has done a great deal to divide the people of this country and I put the blame for that squarely on both sides as well as the media.

This country needs a lot of healing and that does not begin with Trump( although he has plenty to repair), it starts with we,the people. I am sorry for the despair and sorrow I see in those who supported Hillary. It could have easily been the other way around. What I would ask is that despite our sorrow or joy over this that we all pray, and pray hard. This country needs it, the people need it and heaven knows Donald Trump needs it. May God bless America and ALL it’s people.”

After a few back and forth comments about disagreeing with each other but we can still be friends another friend chimed in with…

“So disappointed Kim”

I should have left it there but ….

My response: ” Don’t mind that your disappointed in me. I voted my conscience and I am good with that.”

From there it just went down hill.  I felt completely and personally attacked and unfairly judged for voting my conscience, for using my freedoms to vote as I felt was best.

” But Trump? That’s a whole different level of crazy. The office of the Presidency has been forever diminished by this immoral man. And what’s crazy is you likely support him because you think he’ll be good on your issues; you have no basis for that judgement. He has no guiding values. He has no vision other then self-promotion. He’ll betray you just as quickly as it’s in his interest to do so.”

Facebook reminded me today that I had posted the following, exactly one year ago today

“Over the past several years I have noticed a shift in society. Through the sensationalism of news reporting and the increased use of social media, we seem to be a much more judgemental society. ( and this is coming from someone who will openly admit she is far too judgemental). As various stories have come out in the news and on social media, highlighting the very controversial aspect of every conceivable event and/ or comment, we as a society seem to feed on it like a pack of hungry wolves. Ready to accuse, condemn and crucify anyone or anything at a moments notice without thought for compassion or an attempt at understanding. And sometimes we even do it in the name of compassion or protection of something else, thinking it must justify our own reactions. We have truly become a society of brother against brother and frankly, I find it frightening.”

Those words still apply today and my conflict with friends this evening just shows how little things have improved in the last year.  It truly saddens me far more than the outcome of any election.



A Little Challange

This week’s project was a new challenge for me and I almost didn’t get it finished.  Partly because I hesitated on it and partly because it was a busy week.

So, I had this little bench/stool that someone gave me years ago.  On the underside it says Hibriton Co.  I couldn’t find much about the company but I think the stool might be from the 60’s.  When I got it, it had a beat up needlepoint cover on it (probably not the original cushion) but several years ago I changed the cover to a purple silky cover so I could use it for a display.  Then it ended up in my daughter’s room for years (she loves purple and it matched her room).  This week I decided to give it a new look.

First, I painted it with Miss Mustard Seed Milkpaint (Mora).  Usually I would sand the surface down a little so the paint will adhere better but this time I decided to test how chippy it would get without sanding since I wanted a distressed look.  Well, it definitely got chippy. img_1143Actually much more than I had hoped for but I decided it was still okay.  img_1144After painting I smoothed it down a bit with a fine sand paper.  This gives the milk paint a smoother finish.  Then I wiped it down with a damp paper towel.  Oops.  Probably a mistake.  The paint started chipping a lot more and flaking off.  img_1145Hmmm.  I decided to just leave it. I sanded it down a bit more and then wiped it down with a white wax finish. (Miss Mustard Seed).  Then I let it sit for a few days.  I wasn’t sure I liked how it turned out.  I decided I would completely sand the whole thing down and start over but one more look at it and I decided to just keep going forward to see how it turned out.

So, next step was to redo the padded seat.  I got some new padding, covered it with a little bit of batting and then covered the whole thing with some cheap muslin.img_1172  Then came the challenging part…  A skirted cover.

After looking through my stash of fabrics I decided to use a blue ticking I had.  The tricky part was the piping.  I’ve never done piping before but it turned out not to be too difficult.  Then I added a pleated skirt to it…Another new challenge but again not as difficult as I thought it would be.  In the end I really like how it turned out.  img_1173

Another project finished.  Time to move on to the next one.


Just a Little Light

A few weeks ago, I pinned this adorable idea.


As soon as I saw it I was so excited to make some.  Over the past several years,the kids have given me cute little painted terra cotta pots with little flowers planted in them.  The flowers are long gone ( I really don’t have much of a green thumb despite what I’d like to believe to the contrary),  but I still have all these hand painted pots that I can’t bring myself to throw away.  So when I saw this project I immediately thought it would be a perfect way to use those Mother’s Day gift pots.


As soon as I had a chance, I went out to Michael’s to get some candle making supplies.  The wax (I used soy) was more expensive then I thought it would be but I used a 50% off coupon which made it feel much more affordable.  I spent a total of about $22 for supplies.

This was so super easy.  I think I made them in about 30 minutes.  I cleaned out the pots and let them dry while I went outside and got some sticks and set out the supplies.  I used the sticks to tie the wick to so it would hold it center in the pot.(for the larger pots, I used two wicks).


I put a penny in the bottom of each pot to cover the drainage hole as directed in the original pin.  I wasn’t sure this was really gonna work but I tried it anyway.  I used a 2 cup measuring cup and filled it all the way to the top with soy wax flakes, stuck it in the microwave for about 4 minutes until the wax was completely liquefied and then poured it into the pots. I also added several drops of vanilla scented oil to make them scented candles.  Because I wasn’t so sure about the penny doing it’s job of keeping the liquid wax from leaking out, I put the pots on parchment paper so I wouldn’t get wax all over my counter.


Sure enough,  some of the wax did leak out but not too badly and it didn’t take long for the wax to harden.  I think when I actually use these, I’ll need to keep them on their little terra cotta plates in case the wax melts through again. And next time I make these, I’ll find a better way to plug the drainage holes.


I love how these turned out.


They would make such cute and easy Christmas gifts for teachers or friends.  And when you think about how much a candle in the store costs,  making several of these for just $22 dollars is pretty cheap.  I only used about half the bag of wax flakes so I can still make plenty more.

Well, there you have it, another project done.  Time to move on to the next one.

Homemade is Best?

This week I decided to try my hand at baking bread.  When I was a young wife and mother, I used to make bread on occasion and was pretty good at it as I recall.  Then there was a long period of time when I never made bread.  I just did not have the time and store bought bread was so much easier to acquire.  Eventually I tried my hand at it again but with much more disappointing results.  I couldn’t get it to rise enough and often the loaves came out looking more like a brick (and sometimes they were just as heavy too).  Truly disappointing.

Recently the desire to make homemade bread has overtaken me.  There is nothing like the smell of homemade bread baking in your house or the taste of warm bread right out of the oven.  I’ve pinned several recipes to my pinterest board that looked so delicious that I think I’ve gained weight just looking at them.  I love the idea that I know what the ingredients are in homemade bread so it seems much healthier.  Not to mention it just tastes better than the store bought stuff.  And then to add to this already budding desire to make homemade bread my oldest daughter sent me a picture of a beautiful loaf of honey oatmeal bread that she had made.  That was it!  I was determined now!

So yesterday I pulled out all the ingredients for this recipe I decided to make.  I could just taste the soft yumminess already!  You can find the instructions for the recipe I used here at this website.  It was pretty simple.  Of course right off the bat, I ran into trouble.  My yeast didn’t rise as much as it should have.  I let it sit for more than twice as long as it indicated in the recipe but still it didn’t double in volume like it said it would.  But I wasn’t going to let that bother me cause it was still more than I have sometimes had.  So I pressed on with  certainty that it would still turn out okay.  img_1098

Now the recipe calls for using a dough hook on a mixer, but I don’t have one of those so I mixed by hand and kneaded the dough myself.  So far things were going well.  It seemed a little smaller than I expected but I chalked that up to this being a recipe for just 1 loaf.  Most recipes are for 2 loaves.

So I left the dough in a greased bowl (I sprayed it with cooking spray) and covered it as directed for 1 hour.  Meanwhile, I went off for a 3 mile walk while I waited for the dough to rise (double in volume).  It was super hot outside for October and I was melting but pushed on by the thought of all that kitchen chemistry doing it’s magic while I was gone.  I returned after a little more than an hour. Hmmmm.  It was not doubled in size.  In fact I wasn’t even sure it had risen at all.  img_1099

Sooo, I decided to help it a bit.  I stuck it in the oven on warm for 5 minutes.  It worked!  It rose!  Although still not as much as I had hoped.  I punched it down shaped it into a loaf, put it in my bread pan, covered it and waited for it to rise again.img_1100


Again, it took a lot of extra time for it to rise but it finally did rise a bit.  Unfortunately, I should have sprayed the plastic wrap so it wouldn’t stick to the dough when I pulled it off.  The process messed up the smooth top a bit.img_1101

In the oven it went for 30 minutes.  Yum, yum, yum.  My house smelled so good. I was so excited to see how it was going to look and taste.  Finally the buzzer went off. I pulled the loaf out of the oven to see that once again, it looked more like a brick than a loaf of bread. Dang it. At least it still tasted good.

So there you have it.  Projects don’t always turn out the way we hope they will.  But I’m not giving up.  I will learn how to make bread!  Next time will be better!

For now, this project is done!  Time to move on to another one!