Friday, March 2, 2018

People. meet my PANTRY

This one was a long time coming.

I bought the boards several weeks ago
(right after we bought the wood to re-do Jeremiah's bed, actually)
and then worried about them getting ruined
before we even had a chance to paint them,
much less use them.

They weren't nailed together yet, but we had the upright and 3 shelves in place, and I was holding it all up
by pushing on the upright, while Tyler was looking at my plans, trying to ascertain what should happen next.
I was bragging about pointing out how great my plans were. I mean, I had even noted which boards needed to be nailed in,
and from which direction, and precisely where those nails should go (to avoid the shelf nailing debacle of early 2019)
I had just finished saying, "I'm so impressive" when, in my expressiveness, I knocked the ladder that was next to me.
The (brand new) little nail gun started falling off the ladder, so I turned to grab it, and stumbled,
and let go of the upright board. All of the shelves came crashing down.
Oh how we laughed and laughed at how very impressive I am 😂😂

I'd chosen MDF
since I'd decided painting would be faster than staining and sealing
and it's cheaper than plywood
and waay cheaper than dimensional lumber
and I'm really just 
ready. to. be. done.
with all this building stuff.

But since it was MDF,
and moisture could ruin it,
we shouldn't keep them in the garage 
with the other wood that's in there
waiting to be used.
And we couldn't paint in the house,
since floors were all finished,
and I didn't really want stacks of boards 
that would have to be moved elsewhere to paint
just laying around in the house
(that is about 40% construction /60% living)
but we aren't ready
to turn the old house into a paint booth
because we still have most of our crap in it.

So. yeah. I worried about my boards.

(Look at me - writing on walls like a real contractor/builder!)
This little guy sent me back to my plan.
My shelf was originally going to be a bout 2 inches lower.

we had 2 warm sunny days,
and on the first one, Tyler primed the boards
and on the second,
I painted them
(and then I laid them all out in the (new) house)
so I could finally start building my pantry!

Which would take
- like, a day -

You would think.

But you would be wrong.

I had wanted to use galvanized conduit for my upright shelf supports. We were going to cut
circular grooves in both the bottom and top of the shelves to hold the pipe in place, like we
did for the stair railing. But then we started worrying that all of them stacked on top of each
other, with the weight of loaded down shelves might cause the metal to cut into the shelves
further, so we decided no conduit.  I didn't want to go with 1x2s, because I already had the
image of  beefier supports. I thought about painting fat dowel rods silver, but I didn't want faux
metal and I didn't want stained dowels, 'cuz that just seemed weird. I decided I'd split a 2x4
in half.    The only 2x4 we had in the garage that wasn't being used to support concrete, was
one that the painters had used when they were spraying clear varnish on cabinet shelves. In
order for the board to take the stain, I had to get rid of the varnish. I sanded a ton, but obviously
didn't get it all sanded off. Which was fine, because we decided we actually really like it that way.

The pantry shelves
took me almost the whole dang week!
And the only reason they are done,
and I am typing this up,
instead of still building right now,
is beacuse
Tyler took the afternoon off work yesterday
to be with me.
And since I was building my pantry,
he helped.

And now it's done!
(except for the 2 dowel rods I need to purchase)
(what is it with me forgetting to purchase dowel rods??)
and I am so, SO tickled with it. 

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

big boy's beautiful bookshelf bed

Because we are,
not only are we building a house,
mostly by hand,
we also have eleventy-billion DIY projects, too.

Jeremiah wanted a captains bed,
and we finally found one a few months ago for a great price,
and only a little damaged,
so we bought it and stuck it in the attic
until we had time to work on it.

When we were getting really close 
to being ready for carpet in our bedroom,
I told Tyler we needed to fix and paint Jeremiah's bed,
or we might not be able to do it for awhile.
(we used our room for a lot of the staining and painting...)

Jeremiah is super patient,
but everyone else had their bed,
so we wanted to do his sooner rather than later.

On one of our trips down the stairs
with pieces of the bed,
 Jeremiah said something about his bed and a bookcase
and wouldn't that be cool?

I said, 
"We didn't buy that kind of bed."

End of story.

I forgot to snap a before picture before we started taking it apart. oops.

Except that after I looked at the bed,
I didn't really like it.

Which I sorta expected,
because I don't find it visually appealing 
when the footboard and headboard are the same height.

Tyler and I talked 
about some ways we could fix it,
and I said,
"He'd really like a bookshelf.
And if we're going to change the bed anyways,
we may as well make it they way he'd really like it."

we did.

Thanks, Love, for taking my vision,
(and my fabulous drawing ;-)
once again,
and making it a reality.

We're a good team.

Monday, February 12, 2018

one week in

The carpeting was installed
in the master bedroom last Monday.

If you need carpet installed - call these guys

I can't even describe the difference 
in how the room felt
once the carpet was in.

Of course,
it was comfortable underfoot,
but it was more than that.

I wanted to just lay on the floor 
the rest of the day
and enjoy the feeling.
there was rain in the forecast 
for pretty much all day Tuesday
and I didn't relish sharing my sleeping space 
even one more time
with a tub to catch drips,
so I wanted to move immediately.

Tyler had a meeting after work
and wouldn't likely be home before 10.

Since he couldn't help move,
 we decide to surprise him.

The kids and I 
took apart,
  carried over,
and put back together
our bed and just a few other things
that'd make our new room 
feel like home.
(and the microwave and coffee maker
and all the necessary coffee paraphernalia)

The rest could wait...

I ironed Tyler's clothes for the next day
and went to put them in the closet
where I was surprised to discover
that I still hadn't installed
(or even purchased)
hanging rods.
No matter, I just hung his clothes on a shelf....

I let the kids stay up 'til Daddy came home
(which ended up being well past 11!)
because they were so excited.

Tyler was darn near giddy
when he found not only carpet,
but also his bed
in the new house.


I know I'd said that when we moved our bed over
I was taking some time off,
but I very quickly realized that plan 
wasn't going to work,
because now that we're all in the new house,
we really need a functioning kitchen.

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Ribbon Star

It all started a few weeks ago,
when this picture showed up in my IG feed.

I thought, 
"Oh that is gorgeous! I need some!"
(Y'all know how I love Art Gallery fabrics...)

Then I remembered
that I am not the sort of person 
who purchases impulsively,
so I did not rush to Etsy 
and buy some.

But I thought about that fabric
almost every day
for over a week,
and when I decided it was no longer an impulse purchase
and looked for it,
I found a shop that was having a 25% off sale,
and I didn't want to lose money on it,
so I stuck 4 yards in my cart,
because wouldn't it make a fantastic backing?!

And then,
thinking I might need a bit more 
for pattern matching such a large print,
I added another 1/2 yard.

While I was waiting for my fabric to arrive,
and after oohing and ahhing over the gorgeous baby
in the matching sweater
I thought,
that would look really nice in some of that fusion fabric...."

But I argued with myself,
"no ~ you bought that to be a quilt back..."

But then I remembered that 
I bought an extra 1/2 yard!
(I'll worry about the pattern matching business later)
and started scheming,
and drew up a pattern.

When my fabric arrived
and I set about finding my fabrics to go with it,
I realized that my typical stash building with fat quarters
was not going to work for this quilt.
And it seemed foolish to buy more fabric,
when I already have quite a lot,
just to make this one quilt
that I really  have no use for.

So I decided that I would save all of the fabric 
for a backing
and not make that sweet star quilt.

And I was going to follow through on that plan.
Really I was.

Except that,
I had already decided how I was going to quilt it.

And when you already know how you are going to quilt something,
and you smack are in the middle of
Operation Up My Quilting Game,
it sort of seems like you should make it,
don't you think??

On Tuesday,
a little before lunch time,
I ran to Fort Smith real quick
and found a Grunge fabric that matched almost perfectly
and got to work.

By late afternoon,
And by late Friday morning,
she was ready to go in the wash.

I'm so tickled with how Ribbon Star turned out;
it's just as I pictured.

I still need to perfect my feather technique
(tips appreciated!)
but they are plenty passable.
And my swirls,
though not perfect,
look pretty great.

After I quilted the first ribbon section,
I giddily told Tyler,
"I am actually getting good at this!"
Which feels really nice.

I'm not sure yet
 if I'm going to list this one in my shop
or save it to donate somewhere else.
But I sure am glad I 
dropped everything
and made it.

Linking up with MMM's DREAMi
and Amanda Jean.

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

what's up Wednesday

Since I was (am) still low on strength and energy,
we didn't finish 
everything on our list
over the weekend,
but we did finish what we needed to 
in Brandon's room.
Bed switch-a-roos were made on Sunday
and now all 5 of the younguns
are sleeping in the new house.

We should be able to join them in about 2 weeks.


On Moday
I got to spend about 15 minutes 
playing with my friend's new longarm.

I will own one.


I pieced this little beauty.

I'm not sure yet what I'll do with it.

I'll either put it in the shop
or donate it.

color is more accurate in this picture

I'm hoping to do some more quilting today.
(without seam ripping...)

My machine is getting crankier again.
I'm thankful I was able to finish Sojourner
without too much trouble!
it'll need to go back in the shop
before I can attempt to quilt my next 'important' quilt.



Josiah has been playing the cajon
with the youth praise team.

The only instruction he's recieved
has been from Brandon,
who is not a percussionist.

Our music minister has found a man, 
who is a percussionist,
who is willing to give Josiah lessons.

He starts Sunday.


I read a few books on my Kindle 
while I was sick.
My favorite of them was The Short Drop
by Matthew Fitzsimmons.

Pretty much all of my kindle books
were either free 
or purchased for a dollar,
but now I've read them all
(all of the fiction, that is - I have a few non-fiction still,
but who wants to read about Keto and simplifying your life
when you can barely hold your head up?)
so I'm going to have to either buy a few,
or figure out how to borrow them.

Know of any good, cheap e-books??

Thursday, January 18, 2018

say this; not that

I'm in an admittedly irritable mood.

Probably something to do with being sick for days.
(I'm no longer miserable,
but I don't yet have energy to actually do much of anything,
and I assure you -
there are all sorts of things that need doing...)

But what I'm fixing to talk about 
has bothered me for almost 2 years now,
so it can't be blamed on my irritability.

The reason I'm actually addressing it 
quite possibly 
of the aforementioned mood.


Once of my Instagram friends 
shared a personal story of a long time dream
finally realized.

Most responses were a variation of 
my favorite, "I am so happy for you!"

But there was also at least one
"I'm so jealous"
which is what sent me here.

Can I just tell you,
as someone who has sacrificed greatly
and worked very hard to achieve a goal,
that is an absolutely awful response!!

Be happy with me,
don't be jealous of me!

It's not congratulatory.
It's not a compliment.
And it's not kind.

Stop saying it.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

here lately

Despite all of my precautions,
I've been flat laid out by the vile virus
that's been making its rounds.

Since I finally have enough strength to type
(not hold my head up and type,
mind you,
just type...)
I figured I'd pop in here for a few minutes.


Based on my cooking thermometer,
the kitchen was 50 degrees this morning.
That's with heaters in the kitchen, dining room and LEM
going full blast all night long.

The living room
(another heater - full blast all night)
was only slightly warmer.

I am so ready to be out of this house!!


I'm also absolutely overwhelmed
with all of the work we still have to do
for that to happen.

I told Tyler that when we moved
 - and by moved, I mean our bed; not everything -
we are taking at least 2 weeks off.

We are closer to moving today
than we've ever been.
So there's that.

(I stole that line from my sister in law :-)

Let's see.

We did all camp out in the new house 
on Christmas Eve
and woke up nice and toasty
and had a warm and peaceful morning.
Well, whole day, really.

not that I like mess or anything - but this makes me happy because there is room for mess, without Momma freaking out.

Brandon's closet is finished

I love it so so much!

so all his room needs 
in order for him to move in
is baseboards in the closet
and we need to nail, fill, caulk and paint
the baseboards that are already in place around his room.

Something to cover the window might be nice too.
And a doorknob.

Of course there's plenty more that needs doing,
but that can come later.


The kitchen cabinets are painted!!
(picture to come when I feel up to walking out there
 and snapping one)

We opted to pay (big) money to have them
professionally painted.

I wasn't overly excited about the idea,
but the thought of all that prep work
(and how long it would take!)
persuaded me.

I'm not thrilled with my color (SW Watery) choice
(or rather - how it looks on the cabinets.
I'm still bamboozled about this,
because I am good with the dot of paint on the can)
but I am choosing to be happy with them.

I'm sure I'll like it better 
when we've added knobs and pulls
a black walnut counter top
and a backsplash.


Tyler helped me get the boards ready
(seriously - the prep work on all of these projects!!)
and while he was gone on a business trip last week,
I finished staining them,
sealed 'em,
and then
Lily and I built the closet shelving in the master closet.
(she was the only non-sick kid)

the shelves look really narrow, for some reason, but they're 11 3/4". 

I left an embarrassing number of nails
for Tyler to cut off.

there were so many,
it passed embarrassing
and went to downright ridiculous. 

I told him I am losing all of my badges
in the home stretch 😖

I still need to buy the rods and rod hangers
but those aren't needed for the baseboards to go in.
Baseboards, you may know,
 mean one giant step closer to carpet.

And carpet means 
we can move the bed in!

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Sojourner, a finished quilt

This was a fun one,
and I am so so pleased with how it turned out!!

Back in April,
Billie told me she'd like to order a quilt.

That started off a flurry of messages,
and sending links back and forth
so I could get a feel for what she liked.

We ended up choosing Kathleen's Gypsy Wife quilt
as inspiration.
I thought at the time
that it was not an actual Gypsy Wife,
because her fabric choices 
made it look so different from all of the others I'd seen
but Hydee assures me it does follow the pattern.

Not knowing that, though, 
I drew up my own pattern /map.

I told Tyler and Brandon during a brain storming session
that I wanted a name that was similar to Gypsy Wife
but more appropriate for this quilt
and for Billie and Andy,
and when somebody tossed out 'sojourner',
I knew we'd found it.
You see,
Andy and Billie are currently living in Bosnia
teaching English,
using the Bible.
Not only are they currently literally sojourning,
they live their entire lives
with a Kingdom focus,
as if this earth is not their home,
so the name was doubly perfect.

I ordered lots of fabric
and even ordered a couple of jelly rolls for greater variety
(there are at least 156 different fabrics in this quilt!)

and started piecing on May 23rd,
not long after finishing up my niece's epic quilt.

and then sewed the backing.

We went with a wool batting and lawn backing
to produce an exceptionally luscious quilt

I didn't actually start on the quilting until mid September
because I quilted Sparkle first,
so I could give it to my sister sooner
and also so I could just get in more quilting practice.

Using a quilt of Kathleen's as inspiration
was rather intimidating!
I'd already told Billie that my quilting
wasn't going to look anywhere near as good as Kathleen's,
but still, I didn't want her dissappointed,
ya know?!

I watched videos
and practiced practiced practiced
a whole bunch of new to me quilting motifs.
And then,
to make sure I was ready,

All of that paid off,
and I am ridiculously proud 
of the quilting on this one!

I feel like I have grown so much as a quilter this year,
even though I was sooo busy with building 
that I only made a few quilts.

I know that Angela Walters says
that seam ripping doesn't make you a better quilter,
so you should never un-do your quilting,
but I unpicked quite a few 
less than excellent lines of quilting anyways.
It might not make me a better quilter,
but it makes the quilt better,
so it makes me a happier quilter.
And that's better ~ right?

Because I love adding scripture to quilts,
I quilted in 2 verses;
"How beautiful are the feet of them that bring good news"
Psalm 146:9
"The Lord watches over the sojourners."
How perfect is that?!
I love the image of God himself
watching over my friends.

My photographer friend, Lisa,
 was going to take pictures of this beauty for me
but I wasn't done with it at the appointed time : /

I finished sewing on the binding
about 26 hours
 before they were going to be picking up the quilt.
(and still had to make the label!)

Even though it wasn't done done,
all washed and crinkly,
the sun was out,
so I threw it down in a spot of sun 
got a few pics with my phone,
then grabbed the boys

and told them to grab something to stand on

and we quickly ran out in the 15 degree weather
and snapped a few more pictures.

I made the label after everyone was in bed,
sewed it on yesterday,
tossed it in the wash
and pulled it out of the dryer
about 10 minutes before Billie messaged me
that they were on their way.

Cutting it a bit close, eh?!

Sojourner was a joy to make
and I am so happy to get to make a quilt
for such precious people,
and to start the year off
giving a couple of machines
to Rahab's Rope!

Andy and Billie - we love ya!
Thanks for being such wonderful examples of love and generosity.
Thanks for partnering with me.
Oh, and Billie - you know how you said India
is becoming more closed to missionaries?
That's where our machines are going.

linking up with Crazy Mom Quilts