Monday, January 23, 2012


busy these days.

aren't we always, though?

we've been doing some major cleaning out. and i'm finding things that i just love.

bright colors. chipped things. old wood. flowers. timeworn treasures.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

gifts 2011

UPDATE: Hate when I realize a month later that I've typed a post and not posted it or ever remembered that I typed it at all. This one should just go down as long and boring now that I reread it. Oh well. It's done and it makes me look like I actually keep up with the blog a little bit more. ;)

This year, to be economical as well as thoughtful, I made many of our Christmas gifts. I'm from a family of 4 as well as my husband and we also have 14 nieces and nephews! And grandparents and tutoring students- just makes for a lot of gifts!

For my tutoring students, I made personalized clipboards. These turned out great and didn't take much work at all. I spray painted the clipboards purple and then cut out the names with yellow vinyl using my Silhouette. Then I sprayed a coat of glaze/spray lacquer on the clipboards and while it was still wet, sprinkled glitter from about 4 feet above so it would land randomly. I think they're precious and my 10 year old girls loved them!

This gift was one of Henley's "pocket gifts" this year. A Christmas tree shirt. Just cut out a tree, used Heat-N-Bond to make it sticky. Ironed that on, the got to using the sewing machine to sew on the tree. Whew- that was TOUGH! Haven't figured out how to sew backwards or just turn off the feed dog (the thing that automatically pulls the fabric forward?) so I did a lot of using the backwards stitch feature. Then I sewed on a couple red/brass buttons with gold thread. Cute, huh? [Totally being lazy by not re-uploading this picture rotated correctly.]

My dad, also known as Pop around these parts, is a meticulous breakfast eater. A bowl of cereal, an orange, a banana, a cup of coffee- probably in that same order, every day, always, always. He eats at the same spot at the table with a dishtowel in his lap. We made him some dishtowels to make each day great. I cut each design out with the Silhouette and weeded out the actual design so the outside was left. Then I stuck that on some flour sack towels from Walmart and painted a base coat over it. Left it to dry mostly and then, Henley came along and painted over it. Mostly it just added color to the base color. Looks cute and she loved helping. We did the design on both ends of the dish cloth and then I sewed another layer to make it sturdier with a zigzag stitch.

This project is the most sentimental one for me. I had worked and worked up to the last minute to give this to my mother-in-law who ADORED her grandkids. She has my 2, two adopted from Russia from another family and 3 biological and 6 adopted and one in heaven and 2 more on the way from Ukraine from another family. Whew- that's a bunch. I made this from Pinterest inspiration but knew I would have to modify because of the number of kiddos! I painted a canvas green and waited for that to dry overnight. I cut the letters out with vinyl and applied them. Then I sprayed the whole thing generously with spray glaze. I was worried- the spray clouded up and it looked like i had ruined it but it dried clear. I took 20 clothespins- we could be adding more, right? And I glued buttons and scrapbook paper and ricrac and gold glitter glue on them. Then I glued the clothespins on with E6000 glue. It turned out really cute. So sad that she never saw it- she passed away the night before Christmas Eve. We ended up using at the memorial service and people loved looking at all the adorable kids on it. It hangs at the family ranch now and will be something special for me to remember her legacy everytime I look at it. I know she would have LOVED it.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

11 from 2011

11 from 2011:

1. My sweetest Mia was born. Ringtail tooter, bulldozer, pork chop, sensitive Sally- call her what you want.... we love this girl.

2. Fabulous trip to the coast with my favorite people. Little girl with a wedgie running in the surf, sweet husband fishing and holding my little snoozer. Couldn't be better.

3. I decided to stay home with the girls. Yahoo- so fun!

4. We got a new car- my Suburban! LOVE that thing!

5. Henley talked our ears off, got a Gator and tons of new shoes, embraced playgrounds everywhere.

6. Got a free season pass to Sea World and went a bunch! Thanks Sea World, we loooooved our times!

7. Started up tutoring sessions with local kids. Love teaching... a bit- without the hassles of grading and parent conferences and paperwork.

8. Still living on the old homestead. Changes to come but happily living here in the country.

9. Tons of family and friend get-togethers. Delicious food, lots of laughter and love. So lucky.

10. My sweet mother-in-law passed away unexpectedly. She was a wonderful lady and amazing Nana to all her grandkids. I'm so sad my girls won't get to have her around anymore- they loved her like crazy.

11. resolutions: 2012 promises to be a year of healthier living, kids running around, cleaning up and out for a simpler life, and embracing each day.

sorry for not posting in a while. be back around here more often, promise.