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Showing posts from March, 2012

Spring Party Favors

Several readers have emailed me asking me what I used to make the party favors for my church's women's  event.  Here is my work table ready to assemble the little pots.  I like to set everything out and precut anything ahead of time so I can move quickly - assembly line like. I bought peat pots at Big Lots - 10 pots for $1.00.  I already had a roll of green paper raffia from another project.  I think I bought it at Michaels.  I also picked up a bag of excelsior from Michaels with my 40% off coupon.  For 80 party favors I used 1 1/2 bags.  So that I didn't have to use a lot of the excelsior, I recycled some of the shredding from my paper shredder in the bottom of the pots. I tied a strip of the paper raffia around each pot and filled it half full of shredded paper.  I printed out little paper tags onto card stock.  I just used the column setting in Word, getting 8 tags on each sheet of 8 1/2 x11.  I stamped the little

What I've Been Up To Lately

I'm still alive, just crazy busy.  Doesn't it seem that life gets really busy as soon as spring arrives?  Last week I prepared for a WOW (Women of the Word) event at my church.  We had a great turnout on Saturday morning and spent a few hours enjoying fellowship and food (of course) and I was able to share some great ideas for keeping balanced in your heart, your health, and your home.  Here is a little party favor I made for each of the ladies to take home.  After we set the table, we put some little speckled egg candy in each cup.  The paper tag can be used as a Bible Book Mark.  It had our theme verse on it.  After I got home from that event, we had a little event of our own at home - our bee hive swarmed.  This time we knew it was really our own.  We were prepared with new hive supers (boxes for the bees to live in).  Now we have two bee hives! Sunday morning was worship and work (I am one of the directors of the preschool ministry at church so I wor

Monday Motivation: The Who, What, When, Where and Why Of Organizing

I'm preparing a presentation to share this coming Saturday at my church, River Oak Church, in Chesapeake,VA.   The topic? Organizing!  Actually, the title is "Spring Cleaning from the inside out - refreshing and renewing your heart, your health, and your home".  I thought I'd do a little mini presentation this week, here on the blog, to help those of you who can't attend on Saturday.  To start the week off, I'm re-posting some information from last year that I think you'll find helpful.   After several casual discussions about home organization with friends and family over the past few weeks, I've come to the conclusion that most people don't have a clear picture of what they should be doing to organize their homes. Since I'm a recovering unorganized person, I thought I'd share some of the Who, What, When, Where, and Why's of organizing and also what organizing is NOT. Who : Everyone needs some sort of organizing in th

Putting A New Finish On Old Hardware

When I refinished my bedside table, I loved everything about it except the worn out handles.  I knew they would not be easy to replace.  The shape was great but the finish was pathetic. My easy (and free) solution was to use what I had on hand to add a new finish to the handles.  In the photo below, the handle on the far left is the original finish.  It was worn and uneven.  I rubbed on some gold acrylic paint over the finish but I didn't try to get it into every crevice (middle handle).  After that layer dried, I lightly rubbed on some silver acrylic paint (far right).  I didn't worry about the finish being perfect because I wanted it to look vintage.  Lastly, I brushed on a water based sealant.  If I was using it on an often used handle, like in a kitchen or bath, I'd have used a poly product to hold up better.  I tend to jump into projects when I get an idea in my head, so I sometimes don't get around to using proper tools.  Case in point:  using my

Wrensday: What I'm Reading Right Now

Yup, it's Thursday and I'm just now posting Wrensday (which should have been posted on Wednesday).  Yup, that's how I'm rolling right now.  I always love to hear what people are reading.  You can learn a lot about a person by observing what they read.  You can also get a great lead on what your next read might be.   When I showed you my newly refinished bedside table, I purposely left my books "as is" in the photo because that's usually how it looks.  Sometimes the bigger books are precariously piled on top of the smaller books, but on this day we were living safely.  This is what I'm reading right now:   1.  Jesus Calling by Sarah Young is an amazing devotional book.  It is written, using scripture, in the first person of Christ.  I start every day with it and . . .    2.  My Bible .  I've had this Bible for 21 years now.  It's worn and weary, but I love all of the notes and dates I've written in the m

Refinished Bedside Table

After many trips to the thrift stores looking for just the right sized bedside table, I found one.  It had been in my garage the whole time.  You see, a few years ago I did a staging job for a client.  She had a lot of half-finished pieces of furniture scattered around her house and it was my job to help hide the less desirable pieces.  She was ready to get rid of several of the items because she was tired of looking at unfinished projects and ready to get her house sold and have a fresh new start.  I asked her if I could buy this piece but she insisted that I take it and refinish it.  I have a few pieces of furniture from this era and I knew it would match what I already had.  I brought it home and promptly forgot about it.  It's been sitting with my staging inventory, neglected and forlorn.  The drawers were really stuck and the finish was half off.  After pulling and tugging (and sweating) to remove the drawers, I was able to repair and sand them down to fit again.  I u

March Is National Kidney Month

March is National Kidney Month and kidneys are near and dear to me. Yup, I love kidneys - I have three of them.  One that was a gift from a friend last year and two that are sitting helplessly in my body, unable to function.  My kidney disease was inherited.  If a parent has the disease, then each of their children has a 50% chance of getting the disease - pretty high statistics.  Unfortunately, there is no test to see if you have the disease and it doesn't usually show up until you've already had children.  Bummer, I know.  My dad had a kidney transplant in 1971 and remained healthy for 30 years until he died of cancer.  One of my half-sisters (we have the same dad) died in her mid 30's after two transplants.  She left 3 children behind.  I had my transplant last year (April 2011) and I feel like a new person .  Thanks, Cathy, for my new kidney! In honor of National Kidney Month, I'd like to encourage everyone to take care of their kidneys and the kid

Our First Bee Swarm

Usually, the honeybees in our back yard are housed in a bee hive.  They are very well behaved and work hard without much ado. However, sometimes they get an itch to high tail it out of the hive and search for greener grass.  When they do, they meet for an organizational meeting at a nearby hangout until they can make some plans.  When they do this, it's called a swarm.  It's a sight to behold.  This was our first.  We're not sure if these bees were from our hive or not.  I can't imagine that all of these bees could have fit in our hive and besides, our hive is still full of bees.  We called a beekeeper from the local bee guild and she came out and marveled at the size of the swarm (the biggest she'd ever seen) and then promptly got to work removing the swarm. She simply brushed off the bees and put them into a special bee bucket.  Once the queen was in the bucket, all of the bees followed her in there and that was that.  Hubs had a great tim

Wrensday: Beauty After The Storm

Sunday afternoon was rainy and windy and even a 15 minute hail storm made it a bit noisy.  But the best part was what we saw afterward. . . All chickens, goats, and bees were accounted for and no harm was done.  The hail melted quickly because of the rain that came after it.  Yes, lots of water made for a muddy backyard and our wheelbarrows needs to recover from their tumble.   Thank you, Lord, for the rain.  Thank you for protection during the storm.  I pray for those devastated by the tornadoes that destroyed their homes and harmed their families.  I pray that you will comfort them with a peace that passes understanding.  Amen

Homemade Bathroom Cleaner

Yesterday's Monday Motivation hopefully got you to tackle your bathroom this week.  I'm always on the lookout for inexpensive cleaning products that are not full of toxic chemicals to clean my bathroom.  I clean my bathrooms every few days and try to wipe up the sinks every day after we've finished getting ready for the day.  For the everyday wipe up, I use my Sparkle Cleaner .  Up until now, for the every-other-day clean up, I've been using Borax on a damp sponge, followed by the Sparkle Cleaner.  But now (cue happy music), I've discovered a spray cleaner that cuts through the soap and dirt that shows up at my house.  I've always liked the convenience of spray cleaner, but not the chemicals or strong smell.  I need something that won't harm my septic tank too.  I've tried a variety of homemade recipes, but I narrowed it down to a simple 2 ingredient product.  First I started with a 1 quart spray bottle (I got mine in a 3 pack a

Monday Motivation: Organizing The Bathroom

Want to get your home organized this year?  The whole thing?  Well, you're in the right place.   We're going through the house, room by room.  January had us straighting up the foyer/entrance. February was the month to get the kitchen straight.  Now, in March, we're going to tackle the bathrooms.  Here are the posts from March of 2011 which showed you how to work on the different areas of your bathrooms.     Monday Motivation: Organizing The Bathroom   Most of us start our day in the bathroom. It's not really something we talk about - it's just part of our day. To me, the bathroom is the easiest and quickest room to clean and organize. Maybe not the most fun room, but definitely the easiest and quickest. I found this picture of a 1920s bathroom fixture advertisement. I wonder how many of those green fixtures are still around today? I couldn't help but notice how today's fixtures copy the lines of those from 90 years a