Friday, November 8, 2013

Help for the Philippines

You may or may not know that I lived in the Philippines in my early twenties.  I speak Tagalog, and a part of my heart will always remain there.

Yesterday they were hit with one of the strongest Typhoons in recorded history, and only weeks after a major earthquake left devastation in parts of the country.

 source: CNN

Please, take some time tonight to give thanks for your warm, safe, dry homes.  Then, if you have the means, donate to one of the Humanitarian Aid organizations that will be helping the beautiful people of the Philippines recover from this massive storm.

I recommend the LDS Humanitarian Aid Fund.

"One hundred percent of every dollar donated is used to help those in need without regard to race, religion, or ethnic origin."

The LDS Church has missionaries already in country who will work to help any and all people effected by this storm.  They are nearly always the first organization to respond in the wake of tragedy and natural disaster because of a strong network of leadership and volunteers.  You can read more about the Humanitarian Aid Fund here.

Maraming Salamat
(many thanks)


Friday, October 4, 2013

Crickets. . . What's good for the garden isn't so good for the blog!

Yeah, there's been a whole lot of NOTHING happening on this blog.  That is because there has been a whole lot of everything else happening in real life, so I thought I'd show you all a little of what took up some pretty major chunks of my time over the summer.

 This was our garden plot just after our final bit of planting.  We garden at a community garden, which I LOVE.

 A few weeks later. . .

  More water, more sunshine. . .

 And some of this in the mean time. . .
 And this is what our garden looked like just prior to harvest.

 For those of you who like to know what plants you're looking at.  The pictures above are all taken from the top right corner of this chart.

 We also grew onions in a raised bed on our parking strip, blueberries and herbs in our back yard, peas behind our shed, and lettuce in the flower beds at our house -  because we're crazy like that.

 All that time, effort, and water led to a lot of beautiful things like this. . .

and this. . . 

 and a lot of that lead to this. . .

 which lead to a lot of this. . .

 and some of this.

 Other parts of it lead to time spent making this. . .

 and huge messes in the kitchen. . .

 Which eventually lead to beautiful things like this. . .

and one of my favorite photos of the entire year!

It is a TON of work to grow your own food and then process and preserve it, but I am always so happy I've done it when it's all over - and of course eating delicious fresh veggies all summer long is a pretty good perk too!

I'm still working on getting all our veggies properly stored for the winter, along with prepping winter beds and planting winter crops.  Hopefully I'll be back soon with some of the furniture pieces I've finished recently, as well as other things that kept us busy over the summer. 

This year I stuck to the basics, as it turns out my family doesn't really love fancy chutneys and jams - maybe when the boys are older.  Do you can?  What's your favorite food to preserve? 

Monday, June 10, 2013

Fairy Garden

John Henry recently became enamored with fairies.  I had seen some very cute fairy gardens and I asked him if he wanted to make one.  He was all for it!  We set out to do it without buying anything.

There was an old wooden planter in our yard that I had never planted anything in.  Every year this flower (I don't know what it is, anyone want to help me out?) grows on the edge of it, and that's it.  It was practically begging to be made into a fairy garden!

We also had a cedar bird house that had all ready lost its bird perch- it's as if the fairies were wandering around our yard leaving us hints!

We perched the house up high with a tiny terracotta planter, and then made a ladder from twigs and bailing wire from the garden up to the house.  John Henry put some nice soft straw in the house for the fairies to make their beds with!

I had some scrap Sunbrella fabric that we made a bunting and a flag out of it.  Sewing something that small is no easy task, it turned out a little rough, but then fairies like little things a little shabby chic, right?

John Henry painted all the rocks and and insisted that we make a sign to let them know that this was a place for them!

We used an old canning ring to make a sand box.  We had some colored floral sand and John Henry chose to fill it with pink, red, and yellow sand.

We made them a pond out of the lid of a cocoa tin.  It's John Henry's job to make sure it gets clean water every day.  We made the beach with crushed oyster shell.

We dug some creeping thyme up from another part of our yard, added some chicks and hens (John Henry's favorite plants.)  Some pine cones and a few other little decorations finished it out.  

John Henry and I are both enchanted!

Have you created a fairy garden?  Share the link in the comments!


Sharing this post at:
CSI Project's Kids' Summer Craft Week.   
Not Just a House Wife


Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Ladybug Release

OK, so between gardening, soccer, volunteering at my son's school and life, there hasn't been a lot of time for much furniture work.  I NEED to get this dresser out of my living room, though, so it's gotta happen SOON!

In the mean time, we have a big aphid problem on our roses, so today at the nursery we picked up the solution! 

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Method to My Madness

If anyone were to see my craft/sewing room, they would be in a state of shock at the mess.  However, it's times like this, when I can 'throw together' a very special gift for a very special niece, that I'm grateful that I don't throw things away.  Dodged you this time, craft store.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Boston Love

In light of the rough week we've had in the US, a hard question. What do you normally do for someone going through extreme grief or pain? I always feel so helpless. If there's an address, I knit one of these hearts and mail them off. There are some Boston victims that will be getting one of these, from me, this week. </3

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Give Away - My Memories and Free Printables!

A few weeks ago I was contacted by a company called My Memories.  They offer a digital scrapbooking software and wanted to know if I was interested in hosting a give away for their product.

At first I though, "Um, we don't do digital scrapbooking here.  Why would I want to host a give away for that?" and dismissed it.  Then I thought about it a little more.

Printables are all the rage right now.  They are all over Pinterest and Etsy.  I've got three framed in my house right now.  They are instant, personalized art, right?  But not everyone has mad Photoshop skillz. (right, Phoebe? - that's right, I'm ratting you out.)

I wondered how well My Memories Suite would work for making printables, so I said (well typed,) "sure, I'll try it out."

YOU GUYS!  It's awesome!  It's super easy to use, it comes with a pretty good library of shapes, frames, images, and buttons.  In addition to everything that comes with the software, there is a whole ton of images, kits, and crafts that you can purchase to use within the software.  I felt like the prices were very reasonable, and there is a wide range of styles.

So, I made you all a couple of printable so you could see how great it is.  Everything I used came free with the software.

Feel free to click, download, and print.

Cute, right?  And those three took me about 15 minutes each to create.

In addition for those Silhouette users out there, you can save your files as SVGs so you can use them to cut vinyl  too! 

I also am loving some of their "craftables".

Like these cute cupcake wrappers and toppers.  (Phoebe now has even more resources at her disposal to go over the top with her birthday parties!)

and one more thing I like about My Memories before we get to the give away. . .

You can send your printable (or photos or whatever) to them to be printed, either on photo paper, or as a wall cling, or on an iphone case or on a deck or cards or . . .

I totally need that right?

OK - so My Memories has offered a copy of their My Memories Suite Software to one of my readers.  It works on both Macs and PCs (you know I'm a Mac girl, so I can vouch.) Here's how to enter:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

In addition to that, they have offered AHR readers a really great coupon.

Enter the code STMMMS28172 at checkout and receive $10 off the purchase price (regularly $39.97) and a $10 credit to the My Memories Store (that's where you can get extra shapes, backgrounds, etc.)  Nice, right?  (I'm totally going to use it myself!)

That's it!  I'll announce the winner after the give away closes on the 25th at midnight.

disclosure:  I received a free copy of My Memories Suite to try and review.  I also receive a commission on any copies of the software that are purchased using the above coupon code.  My opinions are 100% mine.   You know I'd never lead you all astray.  That wouldn't be cool at all.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Egg Birthday

My now 4 year old loves to hang out in the kitchen.  Inevitably, if there are eggs in view, he will pick one up, stare at it and daydream of throwing it at something.  He usually asks 'Mom, can I break this?  Can I throw this at something?'  I take a deep breath and gently take the egg out of his hands before he decides to answer his own question.

In response to his longing for egging someone/thing, we threw him an Egg Birthday Party. It involved breaking/smashing over 100 eggs.  We had a firing squad line-up of a select few egg producers.  An owl, a chick, a rooster (ok, this one just hatched from an egg), a penguin, and a hen.  There was also an alligator, but apparently that one needed saving for his bedroom decor.

We also had cascarones (confetti eggs).  The child guests were floored and delighted over the activities.

The buffet table included marshmallow eggs, chocolate eggs, deviled eggs, malted eggs and egg shaped sugar cookies. The cake donned a ninja, because that has everything to do with eggs, right?
We ended the party with a parrot pinata!

Happy Birthday to my E-walker!

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

The Play Kitchen

I had no idea how much of my design and decorating style and motivation were tied to the actual house I lived in.  Yes, naturally, things will change when you move from a modern town house to a log house, but what about when I moved into a non-discript, white walled, 1980's, suburban, tract house?  Well,  a total lack of inspiration from the actual house has really dampened my desire decorate it.

Also, I never really viewed this house as mine to decorate.  We were only planning on living here for a year.  Now it has been 18 months, we've decided that for now, we aren't going anywhere, and it could easily be another year or 18 months before we move. After Lincoln and I made the decision, I started to get a lot more serious about making this house our home.

I put a lot of effort into the Apple House, not only because it needed it, but because we thought we were going to be there for a long time.  In reality, we've lived in this house 6 months longer than we lived there.  So. . . it's time to start putting more effort into THIS house.  You would think by now I would have learned that you never know how long you will be in one place.  It could be 11 months, it could be 7 years, it could be for the rest of your life. . . at least for us, life is messy and complicated and so the only thing to do is make your home where you land, even if it's only for a short time.

With that, I'm going to start showing you my house as I get it decorated more to my liking.

I'll start with the boys' play kitchen, because it happens to be a corner that came together with items we all ready owned and I love the way it looks.

We don't have a dedicated play room in this house, and the boys' bedroom is tiny, so instead, there are "pockets" throughout the house where they play.  Their play kitchen is actually in our real kitchen, next to the back door.  The boys often play in it while I'm cooking.

The play kitchen is one of those old wood play kitchens that are in nearly every pre-school in America.  I think they are made by Whitney Brothers.  I got them off of craigslist from a nice lady who had once owned a preschool, had put these in storage when she closed it, and was finally selling them.

I painted them bright red and personalized them a bit!  (and yes, there is a knob missing, it's inside the kitchen somewhere waiting for me to put it back on.)

The checkerboard I just did with painter's tape and the "Wright's Diner" I did before I had a Silhouette, so I did it the old school way of cutting it out of vinyl with an x-acto knife.

This vintage alphabet posters is one of my favorite garage sale finds ever!  I paid $5, frame, glass, and all at a garage sale in Seattle when John Henry was still a baby.

It is hysterical and inappropriate in places.  Let me share a few of my favorite squares.

Yes, that's right, some of the letters don't even have words that start with the letter.  I guess it was printed before children's xylophones were widely available!  :)

The boys' art gallery is also in this corner.  It is simply a dowel (with feathers on the end) that I hung some yarn from and then we use clothes pins to attach the art work to the yarn.  The boys love moving them around and choosing what goes where.  A few times a year I clean it off, save my favorites in a file folder that I keep for each of them, and recycle the rest.  It doesn't take long for them to fill it up again, and I love being able to look at their artwork without it filling up my fridge.

You can also see the chalk board globe I made for them.  Well, I actually made it to sell, but they loved it so much that I let them keep it and made another one for the business.

And now, just to keep it real, let's have a look at what this corner usually looks like.  I took this before I cleaned things up to take pictures.

Yep, that's more like it.

Now, let's have one more look at it the way it is in my dreams.


I will be sharing at:
Domstically Speaking's Power of Paint Party
Pin It button on image hover