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Showing posts from January, 2011

Monday Motivation: My Favorite Storage Solutions For Your Coat Closet

If you've been following the Monday Motivations in January you'll probably be looking at a nicely organized closet in your home right now.  Am I right?  If not, it's not too late.  Just follow the instructions on the first post and the second post .  If you need some inspiration, check out my closet to see my before and after pictures. There are a few items that I'd like to purchase for my closets as my budget allows.  I thought I'd share them with you.  If you have some items that work for you, please share them in the comment section.  1.  My first wish list item is the new skinny hangers, sometimes called Velvet Hangers.  I found some at Ross for 50 cents a piece (they came in a package of 12).  If your closet is crowded, these hangers will give you a little bit of extra room on your rod.  You can also get them on 2.  Another item I like is the square utility totes from thirty-one .  I got to play around with one last Fall and found

Taming Your Wild Calendar

I want to welcome my new friends from the Living Wholly For God Seminar.  I think the ladies at Providence Presbyterian did a wonderful job setting everything up and and providing the tasty meals. I'm so glad I got to meet many of you and I hope you found my presentation to be helpful and encouraging.  A few of you asked about a quick overview of today's presentation and I thought my regular readers might like the information as well. . . so here we go . . . 1.   Priorities :  Choosing, through thoughts, words, and actions what is most important to you.          Action to take :  make a list of your daily activities and how much time you give to each activity.            A.   Our tendency towards perfectionism  can keep us from doing what God wants us to do and can cause us to "steal" someone else's blessing.            B.   Our addiction to multi-tasking can be dangerous because it keeps us from focusing on the task   at hand.  It keeps us from being fu

New Etsy Items In The Shop

Well, I've been having a fun time in my craft "studio".  Now that I have a fancy schmancy work area,  thanks to my Christmas present from Hubs, I can call my craft room a "studio".  Doesn't it sound important? I finally completed three items and was able to photograph them on Tuesday thanks to a heat wave of 45 degrees here. The first item is a cute party apron.   I call it a party apron because it has a sequin trim.  The purple and green fabric is really adorable and came from a little girl's skirt.  Of course, one must always wear one's pearls while entertaining. This red satin purse by Liz Claiborne was upcycled into a razzle dazzle evening bag.  I found the fun circles and squares in Oma Miller's sewing box.  I'm not sure what they were originally made for but I thought they dressed up the bag in an unusual way.  Since things were getting way too "dressy" in the craft studio, I decided to take things down a notch and m

Wrensday: Digging Up Treasures

My husband and son were clearing out a section of our wood storage area and they uncovered an old plywood box that had been partially buried by some of the wood.  They opened up the box to find old electrical wires and switches.  They removed everything from the box and found, at the very bottom, two old glass containers.   One of them was broken, but one was intact. The most interesting, in my opinion, is the cello shaped bottle.  One one side it says: "BY THE KINGS ROYAL PATENT GRANTED" The other side says: "ROBT TURLINGTON FOR HIS INVENTED BALSAM OF LIFE". One side says: "LONDON"   and the other side says: "JANY".  If you're interested in learning about this type of bottle, I found some info here . The other bottle (the broken one) was apparently hand blown with a hand blown hollow lid.  It still contains a mysterious black powder which spreads everywhere (ask me how I know).   Soot?  Gun powder?  Who knows.  What I do kn

My First Award

I was pleasantly surprised to receive an email from a friend (in blog life and real life) stating that I had been given a Stylish Blogger Award.  Who, me? Cindy, from Dwellings , gave me the award.  She is such a sweet person and a very talented homemaker.  Thanks for the "shout out", Cindy.  In order to receive the award, the recipient must:           1.  Be a gracious recipient and thank the awarder (and courteously link back to her blog).           2.  Share 7 things about themselves to make it interesting.           3.  Give the award to 15 other recently discovered blogs.           4.  Contact the blog authors to let them know the good news. So. . . for the 7 things about myself:           1.  Jesus Christ is my Lord and Savior.  My goal in life is to bring Him honor and glory.           2.  I've been happily married to my best friend, Skip, for nearly 30 years.            3.  We have 2 daughters, 2 sons-in-law, 1 son, and 2 grandsons. They are the

Monday Motivation: My Coat Closet Revealed

Have you been working on your coat closet this week?  Well, I have too and I'm ready to show you the "before and after".  So, here is the before. . . Yes, it was in need of some help.  I'm fortunate to have built in shelves already in the closet.  Most of our coats are short, so it works well.  I think the previous owner used the shelves for his shoes, because they were covered with dirt when we moved in! After about 20 minutes of work, this is what my closet looked like. . . I had already gotten rid of several extra coats at the beginning of the season.  Here are some of the items I got rid of this week: 1 hula hoop 2 posters from old Sunday School Lessons 2 old choir books (that were returned to church - oops) several old purses a set of floor samples was put with my staging/redesign supplies I bought the MDF crates at Michaels a few years ago.  They hold hats/gloves, purses, and light bulbs. The bottom red crate holds backpacks and tote bags.

Cleaning Out The Craft Closet

I've been organizing again.  Are you surprised?  This week, I tackled two closets.  My coat closet is done and I'll show you the before and after pics on Monday.  I also worked on my fabric closet.  I gained an extra closet when my son moved over to the apartment over our garage.  I wasted no time shoving it full of fabric for my Etsy shop. This is what happens to fabric when you shove it into a closet. . . To my credit, it is stacked into categories. First , I took everything out of the closet, sorting fabric by color, type, and purpose.  Any scraps too small to use on my larger projects were tossed into a wicker laundry basket.  The extra blanket on the shelf went into a different closet. Then , I added a hanging shelf from Walmart.  I also reused the small wooden shelf that used to hold my son's shoes.  Lastly , I loaded the fabric back into the closet, keeping categories together.  I used the hanging shelf to hold fabric by color.  The top shelf holds Chris

Elevating Decor

Sometimes when I'm decorating my home, I'm frustrated my the "smallness" of my items.  Small items seem to get lost on a table or shelf.  They also tend to seem to add to the visual clutter I see.   To remedy this problem, I combine items to make more of a statement. Below is an arrangement on my sideboard.  I've changed the items under the globe several times in the past few months, but the basic design is the same.  I used a metal pedestal from the thrift store, a cheese plate dome from the thrift store, an antique plate, some salt, a ceramic bird and a Christmas ornament together.  To the side is a silver votive holder.   Each of these items is not especially beautiful by themselves, but together, they make a nice display. On the other side of the room, near the bay window, is a cute little table that I move around a lot.  Because it it is small, I like to stack things on it to elevate it's height. I've added a stack of books and a pedestal with

Introducing Blessed Brown Wren

This past weekend I finally jumped in with both feet and started another blog.  I will still be blogging on Tidy Brown Wren 4-5 times a week but I wanted a separate place to write about what God is doing in my life. So without further babbling, I want to introduce you to . . . Blessed Brown Wren Please check it out and let me know what you think.  Shortly, I'll be moving  Tidy Brown Wren over to Wordpress too.  I figured I'd practice with Blessed Brown Wren to get the feel of how Wordpress works. I'll let you know when that change happens because you might need to "re-follow" at the new address.  

This Is The Stuff

I heard a cute and apropos song today that I wanted to share with you.  Remember, God's got the big picture.  "Stuff" is just the itty bitty details. 

Monday Motivation: Weeding Through Your Coat Closet

This week's Monday Motivation is a continuation from last week.  Have you already done the first step in organizing your entry way?  With step one out of the way we'll start step two - cleaning out the coat closet.  Because I've already blogged about this step before, I just copied it to this post (no reason to reinvent the wheel).  I've updated the links so everything should work.  I like the look of this functional coat closet from REAL SIMPLE . I think most of us struggle with keeping the coat closet tidy because during the cooler months that closet is in constant use. I think this week is a good time to purge the clutter and organize the useful. 1 . Start with the top shelf. Take everything out and sort like items with like (hats with hats, gloves with gloves, etc.) 2. Go through each pile and remove items that are worn out, don't fit, or you don't like any more. Put any items that are still useful into a bag for the thrift store or homeless sh

I've added Coconut Oil To My Diet

I've described some of the changes I've made in my diet ( here and here ) to try and be healthier.  One of the small changes I've made is to switch out the bad fats for the good fats. The only fats I use right now are EVOO (extra virgin olive oil), Organic Butter, and Coconut Oil.                                                                                                              I already knew the benefits of EVOO and I understood the importance of switching out butter for margarine , but I'd never really heard of Coconut Oil.  As I began to research it I became more and more interested in the health claims it promised.  Some of the benefits I read about are:      ~ helps you lose weight and maintain a healthy weight      ~ lowers your cholesterol      ~ improves diabetes and chronic fatigue      ~ improves symptoms of IBS, Crohn's disease, and other digestive disorders      ~is antibacterial, antiviral, and anti fungal      ~increa

10 Things I'm Throwing Away Today

                                                                                      (source) I'm really in a "tossing" mood today.  Everywhere I look, I'm finding something to get rid of.  Here's what I got rid of today. . .        1.   The owner's manuals to two appliances I no longer own.        2.   Gift bags that are too mangled to use again.       3.   Super glue tube that was dried up.       4.   A mitten whose partner was lost 3 years ago.       5.   A stack of "Christmas shopping" fliers from the newspaper that I never used.  (I found them stuffed into the glove compartment of my car)       6.   A garlic press I don't use because the holes are too large for my liking (I tossed it in my donate bag)        7.   A red sweater my Hubs has declared is "too short" for his liking (upcycling it into something for Etsy ).       8.   All the bits of paper and debris from the bottom of my purse (yuck!)        9

Baby, It's Cold Outside!

Since I can't sit here and read. . . I'll just sit here and read. . . And sip hot cocoa from this. . . What do you spend your time doing when it's too cold to go outside?

Simple Winter Mantel

Using what I had on hand, I decided to add a few things to my mantel after the Christmas decorations came down.  I left my barn stars on barbed wire hanging beneath the mantel as well as the lanterns from my daughter's wedding.    I added some pewter candlesticks I've had for 30 years and some pine cones from the yard. (Free is good!)   Oh, and a little metal bird for some whimsy. I have to be careful about what I use on the fireplace because we use it a lot in the winter and I don't want anything to catch on fire.  I'm linking up to: The Stories of A2Z

Monday Motivation: We're Starting At The Front Door

This is this first post of 2011 that deals with decluttering and organizing our homes.   Since we're moving in an organized fashion, we'll start with the front door. When people enter your home through your front door, what do they see first?  Piles?  Shoes?  Stacks of Papers?  Maybe you don't even have a real entrance, like a foyer, in your home. If you don't, can you improvise by placing a short bookcase or sofa table perpendicular to the door to make a mock entrance?    (Here is a photo I found of a bookshelf that one family built in but you could also use a freestanding one as well ) Perhaps your family enters your home through the garage or back door.  That area needs to function as well.  First impressions are important for guests, but think about you and your family too.  Does your family come home to a mess every day?  Do they have a place to put their belongings when they come home to roost?   That's what we'll work on today. Here are steps

Change is Good

Change is good.  Change keeps things exciting.  And different.  And sometimes scary. I've been a bit restless, knowing that many changes will be taking place in 2011 for me and my family.  We are preparing for my upcoming kidney transplant, changes in employment, and reduced income.  Of course, I have so many things to be thankful for.  I'm surrounded by a large group of loving people - my family, my friends, and my church.  People around the world are praying for me.  I am blessed.                                                                                                          (source) I have seen how God is at work in my life and I know He is preparing to do more.  Way more.  I guess that's why I'm feeling restless.  I want to get the party started! I've been using a notebook to jot ideas down in.  I call it "My Brain Dump".   If I don't write things down as they come to me, I either forget about them or they rattle around in my br

Silver Always Reminds Me of Winter

After the Christmas decorations are put away my house always feels a bit naked.  Part of me likes the clean slate and part of me wants to warm things up a bit.  I decided to decorate with a few silver things on the dining room sideboard.  Silver reminds me of snow and ice, crisp and clean. I found these two cute birds at Hancock Fabrics in the clearance bin.  Since they were cute and hello - birds!, I had to bring them home with me. I added them to a cloche (old cheese plate dome) and a thrifted metal pedestal.  I added some crushed glass from the dollar store.  Kinda cute!  The snowflake bucket is a votive holder I got as a gift from a student several years ago. I should probably make some boots for their feet - they look a little chilly!  Next month, I'll add some red to the display to celebrate Valentine's day. 

Why I'm Not Afraid To Move Furniture

When Summer turns to Fall and it's time to have a fire the fireplace, I like to move our furniture around to focus our attention on it. During the Spring and Summer, we go in and out of our back screened porch which leads right into the sitting area off of our kitchen (where the fireplace is).  I like to keep that area pretty clear, so I put down an indoor/outdoor rug and two of our rattan chairs from Pier One.  I covered my dark ottoman with upcycled fabric to lighten things up too. When Fall comes around, I move our upholstered chairs in front of the fireplace where Hubs and I enjoy Winter evenings in front of the fire.  I put down our dark red wool rugs and add soft pillows and throws.  This furniture is really easy to move (I can do it by myself) and it makes our home function better during different times of the year.  Our home is rather small but changing the furniture around gives us a different look and keeps things from getting boring.  I almost feel like we get

Homemade Polish For Metal and Wood

Whenever I take down my Christmas decorations, it is mandatory that I clean and polish everything in sight.  I can't rest until it's done - and it must by done before New Year's Day! As I'm trying to be careful about chemicals in my home and also trying to save money, I wanted to use a cleaner/polish that would meet those two qualifications.  I remembered a post by one of my favorite bloggers, Marian of Miss Mustard Seed .  She posted a recipe for a wood cleaner/polisher that she uses for her found treasures. It only uses two ingredients, which I already had on hand - oil and vinegar.  I shook the oil and vinegar (I changed her recipe a little and used 1/2 and 1/2) up in a jar and dipped my rag in it and carefully squeezed out the excess. Then I rubbed the cloth over the surface of my furniture and buffed it with a clean cotton rag.  It was hard to capture on camera, but if you look closely you can see where I polished on the left and where I didn't polish on t

Monday Motivation: Resolving To Set Goals

I don't like to set New Year's resolutions. If I think I need to improve on something or implement new ideas I just do it.  I can start at any time. My main goal for myself is that I want to be a better person, today, than I was yesterday.   Some of the ways I work toward that goal are: 1. Try to listen more and talk less 2.  Learn something new about healthy eating every chance I get 3. Make someone's day - every day 4.  Think beyond myself 5.  Learn to wait - and rest while waiting 6.   Learn lots of new things about blogging (I'm still not sure how it works). How about you?  What types of things will help make you a better person today, than you were yesterday.   “Goals are simply tools to focus your energy in positive directions.”