"The desire to create is one of the deepest yearnings of the human soul." - Dieter F. Uchtdorf -

Really? End of the Month Already?

I can't believe it's the end of the month already and I haven't gotten my Visiting Teaching done!  Where did the month go?
My companion is unavailable now, so I decided to just do some pop by visits by myself.  I whipped up some little loaves of banana bread today and took about five minutes to make them look cheery and springy.  One lady was out but her husband was very glad to receive it, one wasn't home so I left it between her doors, and the other one and I had a nice visit at the door.  Guess I'll be making a few phone calls tomorrow!

Banana walnut chocolate chip - yum! 
By the way, while I was making these I had three different daughters ask me if they were for us or if I was giving them away!  I guess they've learned that if mom's baking, it's usually for someone else!  Good news girls - we get to keep the two big ones and I'm only giving away the little ones.
I've recently learned that cooking loaves in foil pans seems to make them cook much more evenly - not to mention it's so much easier to get them out of the pan!  (If they're stuck, rip the pan!)

When I stamp I always do extras.  So the white tags (Close To My Heart) were already stamped - I just had to cut them out and add a springy tulip (a Stampin' Up stamp) and background paper.  It seriously only took a couple minutes.  Then I wrote a little message on the back and tied it on, and there we have it.  Hope it tastes as good as it looks!

Now I'll just look forward to a visit tomorrow with my Visiting Teachers! 
(Seems like May went by quickly for everyone!!!)

How I Find Time to Blog

People have asked me how I find the time to blog, so let me share a few of my secrets!!!  I usually sit down to blog when my baby wants to be nursed.  It's easy to work the mouse with one hand, and that is usually when I upload my photos or peruse my dashboard.  I prefer to do my typing when I have two hands available as it's so much faster.
My baby is 20 months old now but doesn't show any signs of wanting to quit nursing.  The longest I've nursed a baby was 28 months - I love that bonding, snuggling, and now, blogging time!  So if you want blogging time, get a baby!!!

This picture is typical because Lacie is usually under my feet at the desk when I'm at the computer, and Katia shows up sometimes too.  The computer desk is right at the top of the stairs, beside the bedroom, and just off the front entryway.  I pass by this spot a million times a day, so it's so easy to look and see that I have a new message or something.  And then my curiosity gets the better of me and I have to see what it is.

I love this picture . . . 
. . . see that little finger pointing.  She always loves to see the picture of her family at the beginning of my blog.  She'll often sit up and then we have to go through each person's name as she points to them.

So, I found this book that has been pretty helpful . . . 
. . . LOL!!!  Let's just say I know so much more now, but there is still so much I don't know.  Dare I admit that a few months ago I didn't even know how to copy and paste?  My kids taught me "Press apple C to copy and apple V to paste".  "Wait a minute guys - I don't have an apple on my computer.  It must be the Ctrl key."  And then I forgot for awhile and was trying to press Ctrl P to paste.  "Oh, no mom, that means Print."   "Yeah, thanks guys, I figured that out!"

I also know that "blog" comes from the term weB LOG -  I wondered where that strange word "blog" came from!!! 

Mackenzie wants attention again, and Lacie is still at my feet.
If you want to see what that picture on the screen is about, check it out HERE.
(see, I can even link now!!!) 

Ahh, love the snuggles!!!

I also blog a little at night when the kiddies are settled down for the night.  When I already have the pictures uploaded, it goes quite quickly (nice to be able to type fast!!!). 
Maybe I should mention that I don't watch TV.  We don't have TV.  We do have a TV, but it is only for watching movies - which I might do about once, maybe twice, a week.  I also don't watch anything on the internet or play any online games.  So while other people might spend time doing that kind of thing, I'm either blogging, creating, or reading!!!  And that's how I find the time to blog and still keep up with my family.

And I'm really enjoying this blogging journey I'm on!!!
I am an official MommyBlogger (if you don't know what that means, I'll loan you my book!).

Planter Makeover

I'm getting better!!!  I'm not killing plants as much as I used to!!!
I inherited this beauty from my mil a few years ago, and I'm doing such a good job with it that it needs a makeover - or at least the pot does!!!
Don't you think the pink pot is perfect with my blue/green/brown decor?  Oh yeah, that plant at the bottom is a fake piece to make it look better.  This plant consisted of two long stems - they've gotten so long they just bend over forwards - which makes it look okay from the front, but not from anywhere else. 

So the first step was to chop off the two tops.  I have them sitting in water because they love to grow roots so they can be replanted again.  Looks better already - kinda like a topiary (but only from this angle!) 
I took a tan craft paint and painted the parts of the pot that would be too difficult to cover - around the crack and inside the pot.  I should have done around the very bottom too.

When I realized that I could actually take the planter apart, that made things so much easier.  Then I started applying fabric to the planter with modge podge.  It was so simple - MP is the best stuff ever!  I smeared some on, then pressed the fabric down.  Katia was most helpful in telling me where I still needed MP.

This is the bottom part I should have painted (planter is upside down right now, so the top is the bottom!)  I did a little clipping so the fabric would lay down nicely around the curved pot.

Then I just started MPing onto the pot some of the squares I had left over from my Table Runner and my Towel Wraps

Around and around I went . . .

Until all the pink was covered.  Then I modge podged on top of all the fabric, just to protect it from fraying.

Ready to see my planter now?

Oh so much cuter!!!

And now the plant at the bottom is actually real!!!  Girls playing ball in the living room broke a chunk off a different plant.  I put it in water and nice new roots grew so now it has a new home.  And maybe the original tall plants will start sending out new sprouts where I chopped them.
So believe me when I say that it looks SO much better without any of that lovely pink shining through!

A Day of Rest

I look forward to the Sabbath - a day of rest.    While attending Church and fulfilling church callings often makes for a busy Sunday, it is certainly different from the regular routine of what I do each day.

I love to make crafts and create things, and have had a craft business in the past and hope to again.  So crafting for me is "work" and therefore I don't do it on Sunday.  The Sabbath is a day for me to rest from my labours.  So if that crafting bug hits, I'll only do it if it relates to my church calling.

So last Sunday, we had a craft fest of making Primary birthday gifts.
I became the Primary Secretary in January.  These cute little birthday printouts were already planned and I know they came from online somewhere, but I don't know where so I can't link it.  I didn't create them, I'm just assembling them!

Carlee and I in our living room work station.  We were planning to put a "church movie" on from our lovely shelf of appropriate Sunday visual entertainment (there are a ton of great and inexpensive ones from the Distribution Center), but we just chatted instead - always the best thing!

That's a tub of Ring Pops for the children and a bag of Lindor Chocolates for the teachers.

The scripture marking pencils are from the Distribution Center at $0.25 each.
"I Know the Scriptures are True" is the theme for this year.

Stick the pencil through the tag . . . 
(I write the name and date of the birthday person on the back so we know who they belong to.  Then they go in a little mailbox that gets opened during birthday time.)
and then . . .
. . . attach the Ring Pop with ribbon and curl the edges - Primary colours of course!

Teacher ones - glad I'm an adult!!!  Seriously, do you know how hard it is for me to not eat these Lindors while I make them?  I've only had one so far and that was because my baby got ahold of one (that was already attached to the card of course!) and started chewing it without removing the wrapper.  Well, it was damaged now so I had to sacrifice myself and remove the wrapper and eat the damaged chocolate!  The ring pops, however, hold no such temptation!!!

Aren't they great?  I've made 74 so far and that takes us to the end of October and then there will be 14 more after that.  I made a big batch because we are going to be busy finishing up our house (at least enough finished so we can move in) and moving in the summer.  Now they are all being stored in the Primary cupboard and that will be one less thing to think about and move.

So that's how I craft on Sunday, my day of rest.  Or sometimes I work on my Conference Project!  I don't blog on Sunday either, unless it's my family blog because I consider that Family History and keeping records - it's my journal writing with lots of pictures thrown in!
We encourage our children not to do school work on Sunday either.  They are students, so homework and studying is their "work" and they need to "rest from their labours" as well.  I know they have been blessed for their obedience to this commandment, especially during exam time when it is so tempting to study.
No one ever said obedience was easy, but it is always the right thing to do.

Towel Wraps

Aren't these the cutest things ever?

I saw them over at Sassy Sanctuary and knew immediately that I needed these . . . because . . .

. . . my towels are never where I need them to be!!!  I need them to be hanging from my stove.  And of course it's not me that moves them!

I'm not showing too much on how to make these because Krystal at Sassy Sanctuary gives such a great tutorial with measurements and everything, that I really don't need to!!!  (That and the fact that I was so excited to make them that I forgot to take many pictures!)

Basically you're sewing a tube and putting velcro on the ends.  I wasn't too careful about how I sewed my velcro because it's on the back and no one sees it anyway!  One piece is on the inside and one is on the outside so it wraps around and sticks nicely.
I love this blue plaid fabric!  It speaks to the "country" in me!

I made two for variety, but I can see that I just might need to make some for all the holidays!!!

This one used the rows that I took off from my table runner because I sewed them smaller and the squares didn't match up.  (You can read about that here.)  So now my towel and my table runner will match, as well as cushions in the great room!

The cute little button was the perfect finishing touch for this wrap.

And there they both are - love them!  Can't wait to see if they'll do their job and keep the towel in one place!!!  And obviously I'll only have one out at a time!
There are my towels - I just bought plain bathroom hand towels.  And now the towels and wraps are packed away, waiting for their new place of honour on the stove we purchased last weekend, that will be in the house that we'll be moving into at the end of July (well, we might be living in the camper for awhile!).  And that will be a new adventure!!!

Pencil Caddy Makeover

I've had this pencil caddy for years - think I got it for about a quarter at our band garage sale.  It quietly sits there on the ledge above my computer, never complaining, just doing it's job, and getting all dusty (yes, that is indeed dust!) 
But it's not very pretty is it? 

Actually, when I first got it it had all these stickers along its sides and ends.  So you see that I was thinking about doing something to it, just hadn't gotten around to it yet.

But then . . .  I follow this crafting group called . . .
Their project for this month is toolbox/caddy type things.  So after seeing all these other cute ideas, it gave me inspiration to give my little green pencil caddy a long overdue makeover.
Check it out here.

The first step was to sand it down.  Alas, where is a sander?  When you're living in transition you don't always have what you need nearby.  My guy kindly brought me home a Black & Decker sander which really gets the job done, but my hands felt like they were about ready to fall off!!!

I didn't get rid of all the colour because that would have been pretty much impossible!  But I sure smoothed it down and got rid of all the sticker glue residue.  It looked so much better already - why didn't I at least do this much years ago?

Then I painted it - just with a craft paint called Tan (how original!).  It took two coats to completely cover the green.  On the inside I only painted the very top edge, for two reasons actually:  1) the pencils don't care what colour the inside is, and 2) I'm too lazy!
Then I sanded it again.  Some of the green still showed through but I really liked the way that looked - phew!!!

Then I stained it with a Minwax wood finish stain called Provincial.  I always love this step - the way the stain makes it look and feel so good (but not smell so good!)
Then I antiqued it - another favourite step of mine.  Next picture shows the only tube I've ever used to antique and it works great.  I put a small dollop on the newspaper and then rub a smidgen into my rag and then rub it on, lightly at first, where I want it to look aged.  (See my rubbings on the newspaper?)
Burnt Umber - you can see the tube is hardly dented - you use such a little bit. 

Then I wanted to cover up the handle because honestly, I don't really like the handle!
The thought came to me to wrap it!!!  I wanted to use a hemp type twine but all I had on hand was this string.  I don't have time to run to town for things.  So I got this much done and realized that I didn't like it so I pulled it off.  Now what to do?

I decided to wrap it in fabric.  The piece on the right is the one I used - sorry the colours aren't showing up too well.  That worked out much better - and now the handle matches . . .
. . . one of the little fabric flowers I made to decorate the front.  They are just made from a long strip of fabric rolled up and glued once in a while.  The green leaves blend with the original green paint peeking through.

And it's finished!!!  And I'm lovin' it!!!

Jenna purged our pen/pencil collection - isn't it amazing how many pens we keep that don't work?  Or is that just me?

So little pencil caddy is now back at work and doing a marvellous job!!!

Now, I look up from the computer and see something so much cuter - yay!!!  Maybe it won't even be a pencil caddy in my new house.  Wouldn't it look cute in the bathroom with wash clothes in the slots? and greenery around it? or in it?

And always the perfectionist, I'm still looking at it wondering what else I could do to make it even better.  I think I'm gonna tie some fabric on each each end of the handle - just short and knotted.  It'll hide the ends better.  I think after that it will be about perfect!!!

My Kid's Create

I've got some kids who love to create just as much as I do!  Let me show you what two of them came up with for me for Mothers' Day.
Carlee (age 12) came up with this design all by herself.  She knows I love daisies so she latch-hooked me a daisy pillow with the word Mother at the bottom.  Isn't that so cute?  She did this whole project in about a week.  I had strict instructions not to go in her bedroom - guess she had stuff spread out all over.

Thanks Carlee - I love it!!! and you!!!

Jordyn (age 14) decided to do some drawings.
She got the little baby albums of each girl - those Canadian Baby Photographer albums.  Then she chose one picture of each girl and drew it.  She had them each sign their name on their picture.
Isn't that super work?  Aren't my babies so cute?

Thanks Jordyn - I love it!!!  and you!!!

Aren't my girls creative?

And I just have to throw in a picture of me and . . .
. . . the Mothers' Day flowers I got at church!
Lovin' it, lovin' it!!!