Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Farewell to Summer and Autumn Decor on the cheap


Happy Autumn Everyone!  The equinox occurred officially last night at 8:29pm and I'm just so excited about it!  I love summer and we really did have a great summer this year

Between swim lessons, library visits and summer homeschool we squeezed in lots of walks, hikes and even some camping...

...There were lazy summer mornings...


..."Fieldtrips" to aquariums, nature preserves, and other fun locations...

...Josh and I were even able to sneak away for a romantic day at the lake!

So much good stuff.  But that being said, Autumn is far and away my favorite season!  I love the
cooler weather, the crisp air, the apple harvest and the reappearance of soups and stews.  I love my boots, sweaters, jeans and scarves.  I love the crunch of the leaves underfoot and those last ditch bonfires.  Every year I look forward to the leaf-peeping drives my sweet husband surprises me with, hayrides and cuddling under blankets... Fall is for lovers :)

I wanted to decorate my house for the season this past weekend but there wasn't much room in the 'ole budget for it so I had to get a tad creative

Enter local dollar store and Target's "one spot"!

See how well they transformed?
 I'm pretty pleased with myself!

I love pumpkins, absolutely LOVE them.  If I had the money (or the garden) my house would have piles of pumpkins and gourds of varying shapes, sizes and colors everywhere inside and out!  But I have neither a garden or an endless pumpkin fund.

But I did find some fake ones at my local dollar store and inspiration hit, they weren't terribly realistic looking, but hey, look at what some paint can do!

The wreath had some felt flowers glued on, but
I cut them off and covered up the residue mess with fabric
scraps and a larger concentration of foliage and such.
I also struck gold at the dollar store with fall garlands.  These suckers get pretty pricy at Joann's and

other craft stores, even with coupons and sales taken into consideration, but my dollar store finds were pretty nice, the leaves look fairly realistic and they even have berries, pinecones and pumpkins worked into them!  I was especially excited since I had taken time to gather some pretty leaves outside and tried a pinterest tip: ironing them between wax paper to preserve them.  Verdict: FAIL, and wasted time.

So, these bargain fall leaves, paired with grapevine wreathes found in the "one spot" at Target, and then finished off with some muslin scraps I had lying around my sewing machine yielded a pretty nice wreath!  Bonus:  The dollar store garlands don't have any wire in them, so they're much easier to cut up.

This little vignette features one of those transformed pumpkins, some dollar store leaves, a chicken wire basket from the "one spot" and a cute little owl salt shaker that I scored for $1 in the seasonal section of Target.  The squirrel is an old buddy who was kind enough to pitch in here for the season.

This picture to the left is the first thing you see when you walk in my front door, and I just love it!  The window is from my ancestral home, we replaced the windows a few years ago and I was fortunate enough to be able to hold onto a couple of the old ones. 
The wreath is another of the Target finds, I left the felt flowers on and stuck in some feathers that my mom brought home from a recent trip (they're actually waiting to be turned into quills for my girls)  The cute mini pennant banner is a pinterest find!  You can download the template at the blog thirty-one thirty-one  its one of the better templates I've found.
Another wonderful dollar store cascades down the window (don't they look great for only being $1!?) and ends at a dollar store basket with another transformed pumpkin, some old silk flowers I had lying around along with some pine cones.

This lovely green jug was my only splurge (I love Target!)  and the sweet little gold fox was another dollar salt shaker!

I'd love to hear other ideas for frugal fall d├ęcor, so leave me a comment if you have some to share!

I've also got a board dedicated to the season that you can check out here

Happy Autumn Decorating!

Quick Post: Septembr 2014 Visiting Teaching Printable Message

So, this is not creative or super original but just really quick I wanted to share something I've recently started doing for Visiting Teaching (If you would like more info on the whole institution click here)  I love taking little gifts or printouts that can be displayed in the home when I go visiting teaching, sometimes I just need something as simple as the message from the Ensign.  Sometimes picking up the Ensign, even just to get the monthly VT message just seems too... overwhelming.  So, to help myself and the girls I get to visit I've started copying the monthly message onto a word document and then pasting in the scriptures that have been referenced, I've found it can really help me to study the message when I only have a stolen moment between helping with homework, running kids to ballet, and fixing dinner to look at it. 

Click here to download

So, if you feel like this would help you, please feel free to download this 2 page document and use it to spread the Word!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

I'm back!

I'm just eating up tender moments like this between my oldest
daughter (big A) and my little guy (little A)
In my last post "tough transitions" I said I was taking a little break and would be back in the fall... that was in the spring of 2012... so I'm just a year late.  Its been a rough year though.  that fall, when I should have been writing more I was laying in bed with multiples tubes in my body.  I found out I was pregnant (yea!) in August of last year and by September I was so sick I wasn't able to keep any food or liquid down.  So from late September until my son was born in April I was on IV therapy and had a feeding tube.  So, you'll forgive me if I wasn't able to do much.  Now, seven months after the birth of my boy I think I'm finally starting to feel somewhat normal.  I lost/quit my day job due to the sickness and since we were planning on me staying home after the birth anyways I get to relish time with my munchkins during the day and indulge my creative soul by night.

So anyways, its good to be back! I'm starting to add things to my shop again and business is picking up for the holiday season.  I'm really excited for 2014, my life should continue to normalize and I've got some really fun stuff planned for both my blog (philosophical, creative and random) and my shop (mostly ceramic and linen) so keep checking back.  It really has been a tough transition but everything has turned out okay!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Tough Transitions

I'll be back blogging when the leaves are golden!
I have good news and bad news...

Bad news first?

Okay.  I'm taking a little break from blogging until this fall and my shop won't be super active either...

Ready for the good news?

I'm going to be a (more or less) stay-at-home mom come July!  Crazy eh? 

So that explains the transition part.  Now you're probably wondering what is so tough about it.  I'm just going to not work anymore and sit at home right?  Dude, you are so wrong.  Let me catalog my thoughts for you.

1. I'm leaving a job in a tough economy - isn't this what economists would tell me NOT to do?  That even if my husband can score a second job that he will be at the bottom of the food chain and the first to be laid off?  I have a job with a pension & 401k and I'm giving it up?  Am I crazy - nobody gets pensions anymore!

2. I'm "making" my husband get a second job, so on top of his exhausting schedule of fire fighting he will be toiling away in his remaining hours.

3. I'm taking my girls' Daddy away from them.  Right now he is home during more of their waking hours than I am, they both worship him and routinely tell me that they love me, but they love Daddy more.  And now he will be gone more than his regular 48 stints.

4. I will NOT just be sitting at home, being Mom In Chief is a job that Josh and I have been trying to split, but it doesn't split so well, it is such a big demanding job that it really does require a full time CEO, so now I will be taking over all responsibility of the running of the household (besides the cars - if I can help it I'm still not going to be in charge of their maintenance, I'm a girl for heavens' sakes, those men don't take me seriously!)  and there are no breaks from this job.  Except when my mom agrees to take the little curtain-climbers so we can have a night away (I love you mom!)

5. I am leaving some friends at work.  And that is never easy, especially since I'm trading in regular adult conversation at predictable, regular intervals for conversations about... Dora the Explorer.

6. I'm losing independence.  I've been earning a paycheck since I was 15, that is approximately 14 years, almost half of my life, and now that I am giving that up it is making me feel oddly vulnerable.  It isn't that I don't trust my husband to take care of me - the man would do anything to make sure I'm comfortable and well taken care of - it is just a strange feeling that I have that I'm losing something, maybe just that I'll feel guilty spending ANY money on ANYTHING that would be for me.

7. I'm sure there is something else that I'm just not realizing yet.  I've recently been watching an aunt go through the transition to career woman to full time mom and it scares me.  I'm sure that there will be other anxieties that I don't foresee yet


What matters now is that monkey on the table and her sister.

With all that being said this is the best thing for me and mine.  There is nothing wrong with being a working mom, it just will not work for me anymore.  I cannot divide myself between two full time jobs, both of them demand full attention.  My children will benefit from this, even though they will throw fits that Daddy isn't home as much.  I will benefit from this - truth be told I don't like my job.  It is a high stress atmosphere, which I am just not made for, and my thoughts are always at home.  It will also enable me to spend a little more time on the money making endeavors that I do enjoy, my Etsy shop and tutoring.  Josh has confessed that he is also a bit excited to go out and get a part time job - as much as I know he loves our girls I think it is hard for him to divide his attentions too.  In the end we will make it work because our home, our family is what matters. 

Remind me later to tell you about my thoughts on mothering and history...

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Be Still My Soul

Somedays life just gets to be too much for my little mind.  All I want is to sit in a calm spa like space, or better yet go park myself somewhere in a snowy wilderness and watch the snow fall steady and silently.

treasry reflecting my mood.  check it out on Etsy - click here

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Upcycled Love!

Sorry I've been absent as of late, but I did want to spread the word that if you take a look at my latest treasury, some good may come of it :)

Click HERE to see the full page

Happy February all!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Christmas Prep... starting this year in February

Exciting note - I had my first sale yesterday!  The glass cloche from my shop is on its way to Australia.

Last week I threw a baby shower for my long time best friend, all (four) of the attendees are friends that we have retained from high school and whether they want to admit it or not, they are all very creative, talented girls.  (how was that for a run-on sentence)  As I was talking to one of them (the link to her fabric shop Yellow Bird is on the bar at the right) we were both relaying how we had wanted to do almost exclusivley handmade Christmas gifts but we hadn't started early enough to accomplish the goal.  This year the four of us who actually live within a 20 mile radius (the other currently lives about 3,500 miles away while her husband attends medical school) have decided that we are going to meet about once a month or so to work on crafts for this following Christmas.

tutorial from moda bake shop
Most of us have either dabbled in fabric arts... or are so adept that teaching at the local art institute is only logical, but there are things out there that would be fun and new.  Like braided rag rugs.  But then you have to ask yourself - just because it would be something new and it would be fun to make, would someone really enjoy receiving it as a Christmas gift???  I'm just not sure.  I mean, we could raise and shear our own sheep and then spin our own yarn, but as cool as that would be (?) I'm just not sure Grandpa  or Cousin Jane would enjoy a skein of handmade yarn.

perpetual calendar/ journal made out of
a berry container, recycled postcards, and
index cards.  Find the project here
So, the trick is going to be finding new crafts/projects that actually result in a desireable gift. 

This is our possibilities list so far:
  •  Homemade vanilla extract
  •  Lap quilts
  •  Handmade journals
  • Candle luminaries
  •  Hopscotch mat
  • Take-along doll house
  • Gifts in a jar
  •   Laptop sleeve
  • Jewelry
But, now we're facing the imense problem of finding projects that will yeild a finished project that is appealing to our men.  Any ideas anyone?  Anyone?

I love the idea of having an exclusively handmade Christmas, it really stresses me out too but then I have to remind myself that four of the gifts I did this year were handmade.  It is a good start and maybe I won't quite make it this year, but I think I can set a goal for Christmas 2013 to have 90% of what I give to either be made with my own hands, or bought on Etsy (support handmade!).  I'd like to say 100% but there are always people who just don't appreciate the work that goes into them.  And I don't think there is anything more frustrating than spending hours on a project and having the recipient not appreciate it.