Tuesday, June 30, 2009

They're always watching!

As you know I am working on a couple of projects and have rearranged my kitchen.

Well, apparently the children are following suit. They have decided it is time to rearrange their play area outside.

Isn't that just the cutest??

They really are watching us aren't they? I'm so blessed that my little girls are learning to be Proverbs 31 women!

Monday, June 29, 2009

Project #2

The other project that I am working on is my front porch. I have lived in this house for EXACTLY 11 years to the day (today is our 11th wedding anniversary!!) and I have never placed anything on the west side of my porch. There are 2 lawn chairs on the east side and a small unstable and wobbly table that I wouldn't dare place one of my glasses on and that is it.

We are rural Okies. Rural Okies don't use their front door...they use the mud room door. Why would I be thinking about the front porch when the only time I'm on it is to sweep it once a (three) months?? Hubby and I used to sit out there all the time. What happened? It wasn't a comfortable place to be anymore when the table got wobbly!

Here is a picture of a front porch from Country Living:

I immediately fell in love with this picture and knew this was my porch. Someone must have sneeked over here while I was at Wal-mart, decorated it, took the picture, and then left with all the stuff! Of course, I forgot to take a picture of the before shot of my porch but I think you can all use your imagination of what "nothing" looks like! Here is a shot of my during:

The lattice was given to me by a very sweet fellow home educator. She just would not take anything for it and told me to use what I would have given her on something else for the project. Thank you...you know who you are!! There is another piece that will go behind the loveseat but we must first construct a bracket so that we don't have to damage any of the vinyl siding.

I purchased the Pier One wicker love seat off Craigslist for $40. It is still in excellent physical condition. Metal frame and still quite sturdy. As you can see it needs a paint job and the rust colored cushion is quite faded to a light pink. The cushion is still in excellent physical condition and is weather resistant. I will try dying it first. If that does not give me an acceptable effect I will re-cover it.

I found plenty of sheer fabric at the Salvation Army for $12.99. You can see it lying on the storage container. It is brand new and I would have paid double or triple for what I purchased so I am pleased overall with the price.

I have a small table like the one in the original picture and picked up some brass pots to spray paint black to hold a citronella candle and a plant.

My patio storage container will be painted white and placed on the other end of the porch. This will hold all the pillows and cushions when not in use.

Learning to Think Outside the Box!

I wanted to sell my bulky bakers rack that consumes my kitchen and gets in my way. It is a baker's rack. Baker's racks belong in the kitchen right?

Well, outside the box, you can put a baker's rack anywhere. I've been needing a folding table in my laundry room but are monies our committed to other areas right now so I just couldn't remodel at the moment.

I had an a-ha moment (no, it didn't hurt!). Can I take the upper shelves off the base and not loose the sturdyness of it? YES!!!!!!!!

So I removed the upper portion and placed the baker'r rack in my laundry room and stacked the two shoe shelves that I had in the laundry room and placed them in my kitchen! That was totally free. (The three trash cans you see are actually my recycling bins...glass, plastic, and cans.)

Now I have more room in my kitchen and can open my bottom cabinets and use the pull out shelf that I paid extra to have but couldn't use! This kitchen wall will be part of the wallpaper project. I'm just doing one wall at a time. I have found that I will get projects done if I do segments instead of trying to get it all done at once. With the 5 kids' needs I get quite a few interruptions and distractions. They are my priority during the day...not the projects. If I do one wall at a time then I only use about two hours of my day, my kitchen isn't a disaster area, and I can still function and return to the rest at a later time if needed. Baby steps.

I am tempted to spray paint the upper shelf rack from the baker's rack and hang it on this wall in a place to my liking where the baker's rack used to be. I still bake and could use the extra drying rack space. I will also be finding an old frame, painting it to my liking and have a nicer border for my VERY highly used calendar.

Two New Projects

I have 2 projects on the burner since I lost a week volunteering for VBS last week. We had over 150 children come and had 36 salvations!! God is good!!

My first project is that I am wallpapering my kitchen with some wallpaper that I found at the Ezra House in Coweta for $3. It matches perfectly with my countertops and floor.

An of course I forgot to take my before pictures so I will just have to give you one of my during pictures:

The stain glass window stays because the people who owned the house before us had this house since the 70's when they had it MOVED to the 3 acres that it is currently on. (I've moved myself many times...but never a HOUSE!). They made this window themselves so I just can't bear to part with it since it is a part of the History to this house.
The walls are real wood paneling (that were already painted when I moved here so don't shoot me!). Right now they are bluish gray. All the white stripes are the spackling that I have placed in all the grooves. I will sand those down tomorrow. It is almost time for me to cook supper so I don't want the dust around getting in my food. Since it will be cooler after supper I will be working on the other project that is outside.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

My tiny garden

About three years ago I made a huge garden in our pasture. We fenced it in and I was going to dive into having tons of veggies. Hardly anything grew.

The next year I tried again and NOTHING grew. I lost everything.

Last year I just couldn't bring myself to doing all that work and spending all that money for nothing.

This year I decided to start over again but SMALL.

This is on the side of our cellar right outstide my back door (which is off the kitchen). This garden is managable and very close by. I'm a lot more faithful to tend to it. I used garden timbers that I already had and leveled the slope from the side of the cellar. All I started with was spinach, lettuce, and tomotoes. I read on a blog that you can replant the bulbs of green onions from the store (leaving about 1 inch of the stalk) and they will continue to grow. Well they have and I have had non-stop green onions all season!

Someone's dad blessed me with a bunch of chives (with the bulbs and heads!) so I replanted those and they have done well. I have saved the seeds from the heads for next year. This year was my first year of starting tomotoes from seed (from heirloom tomotoes from a friend last year!). I started way too late and won't have toms for awhile but I am proud of my efforts anyways. I'm building good habits to grown on.

I love bunnies...until they start eating my lettuce! I built a screen from chicken wire and added a play snake to help. So far so good!

I've done it again!

How did I let ANOTHER month go by without posting??? School really has taken most of my free time. Since all my school is done online I am on the computer quite a bit so doing extra stuff on the computer has seemed like a turn off lately.

I've actually been spending time house hunting. I have not been too happy with my property since our ice storm two years ago that either killed or severely damaged our trees. The property was always so beautiful. It has been hard to look at sticks with a branch here and there.

After looking and looking I realized no location was good enough. That is when it dawned on me that it wasn't my property I was unhappy with...it was my house. It just doesn't meet our needs. We are a family of 7 built for a family of 4 with only one bathroom.

Why am I house hunting? I HAVE a house...a GREAT house. I needed to adjust my stinking thinking. If I'm not satisfied with my house then MAKE it meet our needs. I decided to start with stuff that wouldn't cost me much that would bring a smile to my face.

I love sitting at my friend's house watching the birds. She has tons! Gee...maybe because she sends them invitations with all her feeders and flowers. I love flowers so why don't I have any??? When I got home I purposed in my heart to start making the outside pretty again. I purchased another hummingbird feeder and some suet feeders.

I also made some bird feeders for free from this site out of water bottles. Then I found a suet cake recipe but didn't like the idea of feeding the birds Crisco so I made my own recipe of 3 parts peanut butter, 3 parts corn meal, 1 part flour, and 2 parts bird seed. I mixed it up, formed cakes and placed in the suet cages.

Since I make my own corn meal and flour from grain and already own birdseed then all I had to purchase was the peanut butter. It wasn't any cheaper to make than purchasing the pre-made cakes but I was able to place twice as much into the cages so in the long run it looks like it will be cheaper. Now we'll just see if the birds like it!

I've learned not to despise small beginnings. I'm changing my attitude and learning to re-love my property and my house. It is a whole lot more than many people in this world have and I need to appreciate what God has blessed us with!!