Friday, August 9, 2013

It's been a long time... once again

So I have no idea where the last seven months have gone.  But I can tell you it's been nutty around here.  We have spent the last four months moving.  It didn't really take us four months to move, but the whole process has been 4 months.  And five months ago, if you had told me we were moving soon, I would have told you you were crazy.

For several years we have wanted to move to a house with more land... a couple of acres.  We didn't really know what that looked like... out in the country, more land in the suburbs... we really weren't sure.  Every once in a while, I casually look online at real estate with acreage.  Well, in March I was looking and found something close by we could afford.  By the time I contacted our real estate agent to look at it, it was under contract.  But that kinda' got us started looking more seriously.  I have had friends that have taken up to 2 years to find their ideal acreage property, so I thought it would take some time.  Well, in two weeks we found the perfect place.  See, several months, or even a year or more ago we made a list.    It was a list of all things we wanted our acreage to be or to have in order for us to move there.  And we also made the "it would also be nice if it had..." list.  The house and property completely fulfilled the "must have" list and partially fulfilled the "it would be nice" list.  So we made an offer and it was accepted.

Oh, yea, we need to sell our house.  So we spent two weeks getting it ready to go on the market.  We packed stuff up, cleaned things up, painted, etc.  I would say we never would have been able to get it all done without the help of the young adult ministry from our church.  Several men and women came over on multiple Saturdays to help us get our previous house ready for the market and get our new house ready for us to move in.  We finally got that on the market and it is currently under contract.  We are impatiently waiting for it to close, but that is soon.  It took about 6 weeks for our house to sell.  Longer than we would have liked, but we are happy it sold.  We got the contract a few days before we moved out.  We have been at the new property about 7 weeks.

Oh, I guess I should tell you about the new property... the house, although a little bit smaller than our old one is pretty amazing.  The previous owner spent a lot of money remodeling and upgrading things.  The kitchen is gorgeous and the kitchen/dining/living room area is perfect for entertaining.  We've already had a 30+ people homeschool get together here.  The space we lost was mostly lost storage space.  But that's ok.  It forced me to clean things out and purge.  I got rid of 3 car loads before we moved and 17 boxes of stuff since we moved.  The cars don't fit in the garage yet, but they will soon (as soon as we build a shed).  It has 2.5 acres.  There are some trees, but it is mostly open space.  We have already planted eight fruit trees (4 apple, 2 peach, and 2 pear) and taken out 4 junk trees.  People always ask if we are getting chickens.  I don't know.  We haven't ruled it out, but we just need to see.  We are now out in the country... it is definitely rural, even though we are only 30 minutes from downtown and 20 minutes from the mall and Whole Foods.  We have found folks out in the country to be a lot different than the suburbs.  We'll just leave that at that.

So future posts... if I remember I have a blog and post, might still be about craft projects.  I am sad to have left my magnetic chalk board wall and my board and batten wall at the other house.  Saying that, though, I am not sure I will be replicating them here.   We will still homeschool, some posts might be about that.  I am still into digital scrapbooking... in fact I am starting a new class at Jessica Sprague dot com next week and I am looking forward to it.  I also might post about gardening as we've started with the fruit trees and I will continue with some raised beds next year.

I am fairly certain that I will probably be as erratic at posting as I have been.  :)

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Board and Batten Front Hall Make-Over

So, over Christmas I was browsing Pinterest on my phone... it might even have been Christmas day.  And I came across this post.  I leaned over to my husband and said, "We have to do this."  He actually agreed.  Now, I don't know if your front hall is like ours... abused.  Between kids, a dog, and lots of company, our walls look like they have been beaten up.  I thought this was a great way to add functionality and cover up some of that abuse.

Here is our front all.  It is large, so I planned a large project.  The longest board was almost 12 feet long.  I sketched out my plan on paper and then I sketched it out on my wall.  I based my plan on the fact that wall studs are 16 inches apart.  Well, it turns out ours were 12 inches apart.  I did not change my plan. We just had to use wall anchors.  With 2.5 inch boards, having the centers of them 12 inches apart would have been way too close.

After I sketched my plan on the wall, I added paintable wall paper to what will be the centers of my boards.  I did this for two reasons... visual interest and to hide some of that wall abuse.

Next we put the boards up.  My (awesome) husband did all the cutting (in the garage and it was freezing outside).  We put the bottom board on first; then the bottom uprights; then the center board; then the upper uprights, then the top board; the side boards and then the shelf.  There is also a little piece of corner round under the shelf which we put up last.  From the floor to the top is 60 inches.  The horizontal boards and side boards are 1x6 (which are really 3/4 x 5.5, I don't get that).  And the uprights are 1x3 (really 3/4 x 2.5).  The shelf is a 1x3, as well.  

The we painted the wall and the boards... all the same color as the other walls in the adjacent room.


Then I painted the insets the same color as an accent color on our main floor.  We kept it all the same color for 2 days and I felt like it needed something.

I added hooks and things to the shelf to finish it off.

The whole project was less than $100 (honestly the hooks were the most expensive part).  We already had paint, tools and hardware.  We only bought the wall paper, the wood, and the hooks.  And it didn't take very long.  On New Year's Eve I sketched the design on the wall.  On New Year's Day my husband when out and bought the wood and wall paper.  The following Saturday we got it all up on the wall.  Sunday I painted it.  Tuesday afternoon during nap time I painted the insets.  Tuesday night I went out to Lowe's and bought the hooks and Wednesday night I put them up.  We did have some teen and tween help.  Oh, and I started potty training a toddler the day I sketched the design on the wall.

We love our new functional front hall and we've gotten lots of compliments on it.

Another Pinterest project success.  

Thursday, January 10, 2013

So I totally forgot... One Little Word

One Little Word was the other scrapbooking related thing that was overwhelming me.  Two years ago I posted about it.  It's something Ali Edwards does her blog... picks a word to be the theme for the year.  Two years ago I picked Opportunity.  This year I am stuck.  I cannot decide between Serve and Content.  Most of the time, my life is all about me... my wants, my comfort, what I want to do.  But my example is Christ, who came not to be served, but to serve.  On the other hand, am I ever content?  I see something and I want it, sometimes I even get it.  Sometimes I can be a brat if I don't get my way.  I am sure no one reading this can relate.  But Paul is a great example... for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstance.  He didn't need whatever the latest and greatest craft-related thing was.

So would it be wrong to have two One Little Words?

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Are You Overwhelmed?

... because I am.  Here it is, nine days into the new year, and I am already overwhelmed.  I am overwhelmed by lots of things... some serious (can you say Government debt?) and others not so serious (say, potty training).  This post is about something not so serious.

At the beginning of the year on all the websites and message boards where I hang out, people are talking about Project Life, or photo a day, or 365 Challenge, and things of that sort.  It's overwhelming.

I have been scrapbooking for a long time.  I made my first scrapbook in junior high and two more in high school.  I scrapbooked our honeymoon almost 20 years ago and bought my first Creative Memories album in 1996.  I've kinda' always have done things the same way... chronological or theme.  And I've been happy with that.

So why do I feel the need to change and try Project Life or something else.  My only answer is peer pressure because "forced" to take a picture every day or document every week really just does not appeal to me.  Is that bad, as a scrapbooker, to say that?

I recently saw this blog post at This Is Me Challenge.  She talks about 12 different ways to document your life in the coming year.  Obviously I needed to make a decision.

One of the other things that has been overwhelming me lately is my own sin and failure (real or perceived).  So along that line I decided to do 365 Days of Thankfulness.  I took a journal that I already owned and made a cute logo (with my Silhouette) that I put on the inside cover.

Now nine days in it has already been a wonderful tool to praise God, even on days when I think I'd rather not.  Even the days where the one being potty trained has run out of underwear and pants, I can be thankful for my washing machine.  

After reading about the This Is Me Challenge, I also decided to do that... in another journal to answer the questions that she has posted about life.  I would love to have something like that from my parents or grand parents or great grand parents.  I am not sure if someone else will care as much about reading mine, but that's the topic for another post.

How are you keeping your memories or telling your story this year?

Happy New Year!!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Merry Christmas....

... and a recipe.

Do you love egg nog, but don't drink it often because it's so "bad" for you?  I would agree store bought, over processed egg nog is bad for you.  But thick, creamy, homemade egg nog could almost be considered good for you.  I am going to share my homemade egg nog recipe with you.

Here are my disclaimers, though:  It does have raw eggs.  Make sure you know where your eggs come from.  Use pastured, preferable organic eggs.  Don't eat store bought eggs raw.  The same goes with your cream and milk.  Don't use ultra pasteurized store bought milk.  Using real milk and fresh eggs, this delicious holiday treat can actually be considered good for you.

1 pint of Cream
1 pint of Milk
4 Eggs
1/4 cup (or less) Maple Syrup
1 Tbsp Vanilla

I am generous with the Cinnamon and Nutmeg and just use a little sprinkle of Cloves.  Mix it all together in your blender and enjoy.  You can use a kitchen aid or hand mixer if you don't have a blender.  You can also add a jigger or two of rum.

Let me know how you like it.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Sharing a Scrapbook layout

Since I switched to digital scrapbooking I am constantly amazed at all the cool things that can be done with a page.  In September when I was at SpragueFest (I should post about that), I watched over someone's shoulder while she made this way cool "part photo, part sketch" layout.  She directed me to the tutorial she used and I made a layout like it... and then another, and then another.  It is such a cool technique I know I will use it over and over.  You can find the original tutorial here.  If you have Photoshop Elements you can use a levels adjustment layer on step 4 to achieve that look rather then the curves (which is only in Photoshop CS).  Here is my layout:

Now go may your own amazing layout.  I can't wait to see what you make.  :)

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Thoughts on the Election

I have strong opinions about politics.  They mostly have to do with people (citizens and representatives) knowing the Constitution (and not allowing our Reps to violate it) and personal responsibility.  It seems as the people of our country want neither knowledge nor personal responsibility.  Oh well, we reap what we sow and we have sown a generation of civically ignorant irresponsible people.

If I were to change on facet of the whole election process (besides ads on TV) I would change the debate process.  There were 10 Presidential candidates on my ballot.  How come I never heard of 7 of them?  I think all the candidates should participate in the debates, at least the ones who are on the ballot in every state. ( I guess Rosanne Barr was running... she wasn't on my ballot).  Each candidate should be in a sound proof booth and each candidate should get a certain amount of time (15 minutes maybe) to share their plan and their vision for our country.  Or each candidate should field questions from the moderator.  Or like the old Lincoln-Douglass debate... the first person should get 30 minutes and then the second person get 60 minutes to reply and the first person get 30 more minutes.  They should not be allowed to attack the other person.  This whole campaign seemed to be more about how many bad things you can say about the other person, rather than "this is my plan and it's good because x, y, z."  But all the candidates should be involved, so that Americans can have a REAL choice.

There are so many more things I could say, but it would end up being a novel.  Soon I will go back to "lighter" topics.  I have been knitting and scrapbooking like crazy.  I should post some pages or knitting projects soon.