Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Tag, Awards, Boo, More Giveaways & a "Rare" Photo!

Okay, I know that's quite a collection of things to post about, but I wanted to "catch" up today on a few things on my list!

About a week or so ago, I was tagged by Mandie to tell seven random things about myself. So here goes!

1) I can't chew gum (at least not for long) because it gives me a headache every time!

2) I rarely go anywhere without my camera. And I'm much more comfortable on the taking-pictures-side-of-the-camera!

3) In'm a night owl - not so much a morning person at all - at least I tend to get more accomplished at night anyway!

4) I'be been playing the piano since I was 10 years old. I started playing in church when I was 14 years old.

5) I love log cabins and the whole pioneer era of history.

6) I love teaching kids and have taught kids in some way or the other beginning at church as a teenager. Kids just love you know matter what! I just love kids, period.

7) And should I tell this one? Okay...I hug a pillow when I sleep at night (and of course my hubby too).

Sorry it took so long, Mandie! And the rules say to tag more people, but if you want to play along and tell seven random things about yourself, I'd love to hear them! Consider yourself tagged! Oh, here are the "official rules" though.

1. Link to your tagger and list these rules on your blog.
2. Share 7 facts about yourself on your blog, some random, some weird.
3. Tag 7 people at the end of your post by leaving their names as well as links to their blog. Let them know they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.

And Wendy actually offered this award to anyone that hadn't received it. Now I wouldn't have just posted it like that probably, but I thought it was so pretty and when she left a comment telling me she would like for me to take it, she twisted my arm! :) I really appreciate it, Wendy, and I'm honored to display it, as fall is my favorite season! Thank you so much! And Happy Birthday to you today too!

And just today, sweet Karen of Homespun Simplicity awarded me with this blog award! I am very honored, Karen, and will proudly display it on my blog! Karen only started her blog in October, and I think she's doing great! She's on my blogroll and I love visiting her blog! If you haven't visited her yet, stop by for a visit! Thanks SO much, Karen! Now, I'm supposed to pass it on to 15 blogs, however, as you know Karen, it's hard to do! :) I'm going to take the easy way out, but it is my most sincere way too, and honor every blog on my blogroll with it. If you're on my blogroll, I visit your blog because I enjoy it and find it interesting and crafty. Please grab this award for yourself and display it on your blog! Really, I want you to! I'll be looking to see if you grabbed it! :)

And just today, Stephanie booed me! So if you haven't been booed, consider yourself booed too (in the nicesty way of course) and display this on your blog too!

And alot of you have probably already seen these, but there are two more giveaways I'd like to show you.

Angie from Simple Thyme Primitives is giving away THIS in honor of her birthday! Isn't it nice of her to give something away for HER birthday? Thanks, Angie! I think Olde Frosty is just adorable and doesn't he look like he wants to come home with me? :) But I guess in all fairness, I should tell you to click over there and sign up before November 3rd! :) Happy Birthday, Angie!

And another great giveaway going on is over at Simple Needs. Kim is giving away all these great Christmas goodies in honor of her 100th post! I love Christmas so much...I think these want to come home with me too! :) Congratulations, Kim, on your 100th post!

And last of all, but definitely not least, I'd like to share a picture with you taken this past weekend. You see alot of our daughter, Joy, because she's home with me all the time and a willing subject for the camera. Rarely do you see Colt on here because between college, work, a girlfriend, and friends, he just passes through here from time to time and when he is here, he's doing schoolwork and laundry (remember he's our laundry guy!) :) However, this past Sunday, we went to Alabama just for the day so his girlfriend, Amber, could go with us and meet some of our family there. We had a great day and lots of fun, although it was a quick trip. I took this picture of them. He always tells Amber that I take my camera everywhere with me, but she understands because she loves photography too!

Until next time, ya'll have a great day! I hope you get lots of projects accomplished and work completed! It seems like EVERYONE is busy these days! :)

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Homeschool Open House & a Giveaway!

Tammy, over at Lattes and Lollypops, just started up a Home School Open House where we could share what we've been up to, books we're reading, or just anything really that we'd like to share about our learning adventures. Well, today is the first day and I sure wish we had some fantastic science project or geography project to show you, but we don't. However, we're ALWAYS reading, reading, reading around I figure that's what we'll show you today!

Very rarely do you ever see the kids or me leave the house without a book in hand. We just don't want to be caught somewhere without a book!

Here's a picture of Joy, my little 4th grader, hanging out this weekend on the tire swing!

And some of you may remember from awhile back how excited we were when our Sonlight Box came in the mail full of our reading goodies! Well, Joy has both the regular and advanced readers from the Core and is a little over 7 weeks ahead on her personal reading (I mean how can you tell them NOT to read, right?). Here's what she's been reading since the second week in September on her own:

And the book that we're really into right now that I'm reading aloud to her is The Sign of the Beaver. We just don't want to quit reading, so we're ahead in that too...but we also have another motive....I have the movie that is based on the book that she's never seen.....Keeping the Promise.....and I won't let her watch it until we read the book! That's the general rule around here....first read the book...THEN you can watch the movie! And it's funny how most of the time, the movie just never measures up to the images that our minds have created for the characters in the books! :)

And she's reading this one right now. I wish I had gotten a picture of her when she goes to bed...the book is either lying on her where she falls asleep or just beside her opened up to the page where she quit for the night!

And while we're talking about books....she was on the phone with a friend the other day (Molly Grace), who was doing a book report. She decided SHE wanted to do a book report. So in her spare time, she decided to read another book, Eleanor Roosevelt, and wrote this report. Now had I given her an assignment, I would have asked for better paper and writing, but mind you...she just DECIDED to do this! So here's her report. I typed it up for her so she could share it today at our homeschool recitation. We have recitation once a month with our homeschool support group so the children get a chance to recite or perform in front of a group. She will be sharing this today during recitation.

And last of all, we have been reading and learning a bit every week about different styles of poetry.

Well last week we read about the haiku and I asked her to write one. If you remember anything about those...they are 3 lines...with the first line being 5 syllables, second line has 7 syllables and the last line has 5 syllables.

She wrote this one for her first one. (We were sitting in Colt's room at the time and the first thing she spied was his fan).

A Fan

Twirling all around,
You can hear it's whirling sound.
Summer cannot hide.

Since then, she's been on a haiku roll....she's written several more!


White, flaky, and cold.
Each one is so different.
Can't resist, must play!

Christmas Time

Baking, wrapping gifts,
Twinkling lights all over town!
Yummy smells, sleigh bells.


Kicking, yelling....Yaaa!
Breaking boards....Smash! Bang! Shatter!
I am yellow belt!

Our Cats

Polly pocket, Run!
Clawing felines want to play.
Don't be swept away!

(Our cats LOVE to play with Joy's polly pockets...they get into them all the time and drag them all over the house....they want to play with them MUCH more than any of THEIR toys!)

And sometimes situations just call for a poem I guess! She's had a cold and I've been having her take medicine (which you know how kids LOVE that) so yesterday as I told her I needed to get her medicine...she created this haiku! lol!


Have a cough and cold.
Dreaded medicine mom seeks!
Grosses me out, Yuch!

And in awhile we're off to gym for our homeschool co-op day! Joy will go to her last Art Class and I will go to the Lapbooking Class. We will then have our recitation and hope to see the robot perform that our robotics team created and then have skate day (we skate once a month on the gym floor). Then we're off to dance class!

Maybe next time, I'll have an interesting project to show you...until'll find us......on some adventure that our book takes us! :)

And I wanted to tell you all about a great giveaway in honor of Char's daughter's birthday! Char of the Pickled Pepper Patch is giving away this wonderful prim toaster cover. Click on over and sign up today!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

My Stitchery...All Framed Now!

I promised to show you the stitchery when I had it framed and ready, so this is a short post today...just the picture I promised! :)

I bought the wooden 8 1/2" x 11" frame at Dollar Tree (for $1.00 of course). I gave it a coat of Evergreen Americana acrylic paint (I love that brand, by the way..not watery at all). I then brushed back over it after it dried with watered down antiquing glaze. Then just barely glued the burgundy homespun, cut to the size of the cardboard backing of the frame, to that backing (with a glue stick on the corners and one spot in the middle)....cut the muslin down to the desired size and it just sat in the middle and stayed and didn't move...I didn't even have to tack or glue it down. And that's it! Very inexpensively done, but I love it.....Christmas colors and everything...Ready for my Christmas decor!

Have a wonderful weekend, everyone! :)

Friday, October 24, 2008

How to Get Started on Stitching

When I showed you all my first stitchery on Wednesday, I had a couple of people ask questions (this is for you Donna and Beth and anyone else that has confidence in my instructions) about how to get the patterns on the material and where to get patterns, etc.. Well I'm very far from being any kind of expert, but I can tell you exactly what I did to get started (in very simple terms) lol!

First and foremost, for what I call my primitive stitchery information for dummies (which is what I needed), just click here. Scroll down just a bit and you'll see articles for every step of stitching. And very helpful is a link there that shows videos of how to do stitches. I didn't have the slightest idea before. The stitchery I did contained 3 stitches...the backstitch (very common), the french knot, and the satin stitch. It is very simply explained and if you're like me, you can just hit play as many times as it takes until you think you've got it!

So first of all, you need to get you a pattern. If you're comfortable just drawing something on muslin or tracing something from a coloring book, you can do that. I ordered mine from Primitive Stitches (which is the same site as the tips and techniques above). There is also a free one on the side bar to click on and receive when you make a purchase there. The following places were also suggested to me the other day as great places to find patterns: Chestnut Junction (suggested by Kimberly), Cedarberry Stitches (suggested by Julie) and then I also remember that Twigs and Sprigs offers patterns as well (free ones too, I believe).

Gather the supplies that you will need. You probably won't be able to purchase your floss/thread until your pattern is in hand because you won't know the colors unless you're making up your own pattern and picking your own colors. But in the meanwhile, you'll need muslin (I purchased a yard), warm and natural (also in the fabric department). My warm and natural was cut from off a bolt but I'm told you can also get it in a bag. This goes behind the muslin for a quilted type look. Get you an embroidery hoop, your needle, scissors, and either a pencil or a mark be gone pen (it has disappearing ink). I saw this at Walmart, but I just decided to use a pencil after talking with the clerk there and it worked fine. Choose your floss/thread colors when you have your pattern.

Next you'll need to get your pattern to your muslin. It tells you in the tips and tricks at Primitive Stitches (under click here above) different ways to do this. The best way is to have a light box (which I think can be purchased from places like Hobby Lobby or Michaels), or tape your pattern to a well lit sunny window and tape your muslin over the top and trace it. Now I didn't even do that, I had a very well lit room with a bright light overhead and just taped my pattern to the table and taped the muslin down directly over it and pressed with my hand and I could see the pattern just fine. I then traced it completely with a sharp pencil. My stitches completely covered the pencil marks, so no problem with that.

Next just make sure you're familiar with the stitches (watch the videos above that I mentioned) and your pattern will tell you what type of stitch to use on various parts and sometimes will tell you how many strands of floss to use. I used 3 strands for everything on mine. Then start stitching. Make sure your muslin is on top and your warm and natural is right behind it and you stitch through both of them, so you'll want to cut the pieces into manageable sizes but leave it big enough to fit into your hoop and to work with framing afterwards.

After my stitching was done, I tea stained it by soaking tea bags in cold water for awhile and then dabbed the teabags directly over the completed stitchery in places that I wanted until I got a look I liked. You can also use coffee or coffee with cinnamon and/or vanilla. That makes it smell really good. I've used that before on lampshades. The tips above will tell you how to stain your muslin before and you can do it that way too.

Then when you're all done you can just frame it directly to a frame size that fits or you can do like I'm doing mine and will show you tomorrow....I put homespun behind the stitching as a matted kind of look and I painted and distressed my frame. I'll show you a picture tomorrow as I'm waiting on my paint to dry on the frame. Some folks stitch their's onto a pillow (I don't have a sewing machine for the pillow), or you can stitch it onto a tea towel. Really there's so many things you can do with a stitchery!

So now if I can do it, come on and give it a try because I know you can too! Then you have to show it to me, okay? Good luck and have fun and let me know if I didn't make this clear as I'm typing this at almost 1:00 a.m. and scheduling it to post!

Happy Stitching!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Crafting, Cleaning, and Co-Op Classes

What a combination, right? Well those are the things that I've been up to the past few days, besides the normal homeschooling, dance classes, doctor appointments and church activities.

It seems like I can't really get it all together on the crafting as I keep forgetting something that I need and don't have it here at the particular moment it's needed! However, I do have a huge mess on my kitchen table right now, so we've been eating at the dining room table! I've been working on some things for our fall festival at church and some Christmas crafts as well. My kitchen table tells the story!

And although there's much more to do, I have a long list of not-everyday-or-even-every-week-cleaning-projects that need to be tackled, especially before the Christmas decorations come out! I want everything just so-so before then! It seems I have the best of intentions so many days, and then it just never turns out the way I planned for some reason or another and I go to bed disappointed! Anyone else feel that way? Oh well, tomorrow's another day!

However, I did get a major thing crossed off my list! I managed to get my walk in closet cleaned out so that I could get old stuff out and make room for those little piles that seem to accumulate in little corners of my bedroom! lol! Of course, that made my closet and my bedroom look so much better! And the dust ruffle on our pencil post bed had really just about had it! It was torn loose in some places and just a collector of cat hair, it seems these days! So Jason helped me take off the mattress and box springs and I removed it, threw it away, cleaned out majorly under the bed (it had ended up as a storage of rubbermaid boxes)...and left only a baby mattress under there! It's wonderful! I actually like the look of my pencil post bed much better WITHOUT a dust ruffle too! Because of the heighth of it, I had to make sure there wasn't much under there because you could definitely see it, if there was!

You can see a "little bit" of that mattress under the bed from the angle I took this picture. One of these days, I really want to redo my bedroom into a primitive one...but it's still country....romantic country..I call it! :) It is a refreshing, calming retreat with it's colors though! I still do enjoy my bedroom's decor.

And last of all, from my title co-op classes. Every Tuesday is our "gym day" for our homeschooling group. It's the day the moms get to fellowship and exchange ideas and the kids get to play, both organized games and free play. However for the month of October, we have had co-op classes. During this time, we had several moms volunteer to do some classes. The kids could sign up for whatever they wanted. We had a combination Art/P.E. for younger and older children, a microscope class, and a lapbooking class for the moms.

By the time I got out of my class, most of the kids' classes were dismissed, so I didn't get photos, however, I did get some photos from the class I was in taught by Kim. She also has a blog that you can check out called GHomeschool. She absolutely loves anything to do with Science and is very passionate about it. As a matter of fact, she's always taught Science classes during out co-op classes, so this one was a different one for her. Now what is lapbooking you may ask....well it's very interesting. If you have little ones, even if you don't homeschool, you might be interested in doing this with your little ones. It all begins with a study on something, then collecting all your facts, and compiling them into a file folder filled with "mini books" of information. You end up with a wonderful little tool that your children will love looking back over again and again (and that's called review and they don't even realize it!) I love learning like that! In our homeschooling, we have always notebooked everything, although I had read up on this. I just wasn't confident on all the folds, even after reading a couple of books! I'm a show-me person, so I was excited about Kim's class! She SHOWED us how to make the little much easier! And Kim graciously gave me her permission to share these photos! Here she is teaching us (like a pro)!

Here's one of Kim's favorite lapbooks that she and her children made. This one is on Ancient Greece. This is the front cover.

Then you open it up to find ALL these goodies FULL of information! It's quizzes, games, all sorts of great stuff...all with little pop up and out books! Kids just love this type of stuff. It can also be incorporated into notebooks if you're not the file folder type. You just mount the little books onto cardstock and place it in your notebook. Isn't it the coolest thing? Thanks, Kim, for letting me share! :)

If you're interested in learning more about this, email me and I can send you some great links that Kim gave us to check out that shows and explains more!

And last, but not least, I did snap a photo of our homeschooling, Robotics Spirits Team, making some posters for an upcoming competition event. These are the girls helping our team by preparing posters, noise makers, etc...for the day the team presents their robot. I will take pictures next week of the robot in action and show you all what they've worked on. It's very impressive and has to do with aviation. They have all worked VERY hard and we're so proud of them!

So that's the crafting, cleaning and co-op(ing) that I've been up to...actually that would have made a great Whatcha Workin' on Wednesday, now that I think about it!

And a couple of people asked questions about stitching...actually the same types of questions that I had before I began....and although I feel so inadequate to be giving "tutorials" on stitching...I decided I can at least tell you all what I did. After all, that's all you can share is what you know, right? So, tomorrow I'll tell you my very simple instructions (it has to be simple or I couldn't have done it) on how I did my first stitchery and where I found the patterns. Thanks for all the sweet comments on my stitchery, by the way, and thanks to those of you that are interested in trying it and for asking the questions! So check back tomorrow! Until then, have a wonderful day, everyone!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

My First Stitchery

I had never attempted a stitchery before this. Years ago, I did try counted cross stitch and enjoyed it somewhat but it became time consuming and when Colt came along, I just never went back to it at all. I really loved all the primitive stitcheries I was seeing everywhere! I love them framed and I love them on pillows too!

So, I ordered a couple of patterns and decided to give it a try. I began last week while we were out of town. I had originally planned to just let Joy draw a pumpkin or something fall(ish) for me and try that first. But when I thought about spending time on something, I decided that it would be a Christmas stitchery. For some reason, I'm in Christmas mode. I'm wanting to watch Christmas movies already and actually we have watched a couple! I'm excited about having our church ladies Christmas party at our home this year, so I think that's why I've not been into as much fall decorating as I am thinking ahead to Christmas.

Anyway....I started my stitchery last Sunday. I didn't have all the colors it called for since this was a last minute decision, but between the colors I did have and my friend, Betty's, I was able to get close enough to make it work.

I didn't tea stain it until after it was done either. I know the "correct" way is to tea stain muslin before, but I wasn't prepared while on the trip, so I just stitched it anyway. Then when we came home, I just soaked tea bags in cold water and dabbed my muslin with it in random spots. I think that it turned out okay that way.

So now it's time to frame it. I would also like to sometime try putting one on a pillow, but I'm probably going to try the framing first. I'm unsure about the whole pillow thing, but I'm sure I'll learn that in time too.

I'm so excited about stitching now and I want to try all these great patterns I'm seeing and I'd like to try a few of my own. I really want Joy to do some drawings for me too, so I can stitch those. I'm now in a stitching mood and I blame all you great primitive stitchers for it! I now have something else that takes time (just what I needed)....but actually it really is a fun thing to do while sitting and watching a movie.

When I get it all framed, I'll be sure and show you how it turned out. Oh, and someone said, you can tell a great stitcher by the back of your stitchery...well let's just say that I'm not a great stitcher! :) But my philosphy is that no one should be looking at the back anyway, right?

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Decorating with Words

I have always loved the written language. I just love words. As a matter of fact when I sometimes run across a word while reading that strikes me as interesting, I'll make note of it. I don't know how normal that is...but I've always enjoying anything to do with the language arts....whether it be writing, literature, grammar, spelling or vocabulary. So really, I guess it's not surprising that I would have words all over my home. Besides the books everywhere (hmmm...that's a whole other post sometime), I have signs and decorations with words in rooms throughout our home. I walked through the house and snapped some pictures. And really this isn't even close to all of them, just some of my favorites or in my favorite rooms.

We'll start with the sunporch. The sunporch has a sort of primitive/rustic gardening/nature sort of feel as a transition from the outdoors to the indoors. It has birdhouses, sunflowers, stars, watering cans, potting bench, that's the kind of words you see here.

In the kitchen (which is still a work in progress), there's the kitchen sign up on the shelf above the bay windows. It brings out the black in the kitchen, I think.

And although it's not a sign, this is a cross stitch that my friend, Betty, made for me years ago and I've always loved it. She stitched it for my kitchen because of my cookstove that looks similiar. Right now, I have it on the new cupboard (which I will share pretty soon...still doing a little collecting).

And although this one is not technically a sign either, this is a new favorite in my kitchen. This is the home checkerboard that Kindra made for me. It's the very first thing that I see when I walk in the backdoor from the sunporch and it says Home. What better thing for it to say?

And you may remember the Home Sweet Home stained glass sign hanging in my window that I repainted recently to coordinate better in my kitchen.

This is a sign that my mom bought this past weekend on our trip. She decided it just didn't match in her house, so I'm thinking about putting it up in my kitchen somewhere above the cabinets.

Next up for my kitchen on my wish list, is a pantry sign for my pantry door.

In the dining room is one of my very favorite signs of all. I love what it says and I love the size and color of it.

Also here in my dining room is the simply sign above the bay windows in the dining room above the sideboard/buffet.

Here's a few in our living room. Right now for fall, I have a seasonal sign on the fireplace...Harvest Blessings..

And on the hearth of the fireplace...a sign I painted on driftwood years ago..

Since our living room is Primitive/Americana...there's quite a few Americana signs..

Above the piano, a God Bless America sign that I bought at a flea market quite awhile ago..

Above the couch...although not a sign, still there are words quilted in the old window frame.

Near the entertainment center is a painted gameboard sign that I found at a yard

In the foyer...walking in the front door..this is the first sign you would see, (that hangs over the staircase)...

At the stair landing, there are several Americana words in this grouping...Old Glory, Liberty...Let Freedom Ring...

At the end of the hall is another Americana one.

At the backdoor going into the sunporch..

Also out back on the way from the sunporch backdoor to the carport is the Bless Our Nest sign painted on driftwood.

This is the sign you'll find near our front door outside right now. This changes with the seasons.

This one is in our bedroom...paying tribute to my love of quilts...

And in Joy's room...her sweet letters that hang above her dresser. Her room has a cottage feel to it.

So I guess it's just a natural thing for a girl that loves words to adorn her walls and home with them too! I challenge you too to walk through your home and just notice how much of the written word you have included in your decor too!

** Update on Jason ** The Dr.'s appointment was moved to Friday, but he did get a good report. Although we may never know the original cause, his leg seems to be healing properly and he can definitely get around better on it now and without pain, just a little discomfort. He got the okay to return to work on Monday. His next appointment is two weeks from now, just to be sure all is healing appropriately. Thanks for all the concern and get well wishes and for the birthday wishes for Jason. We both appreciate them all.

And someone asked me in a comment what town we visited on our trip to the Ozarks...the town was Hardy, Arkansas. So now you'll have to let me know, if you knew the guy in the photo! :)

Have a great Saturday, everyone! :)