Farmer's Market Pick-Me-Up

This past Saturday morning, I was trying to answer emails while listening to the children bounce between fussing with each other and joining forces to make as much happy noise as possible. Jon was trying to catch up on some sleep in the bedroom since he's working such long hours now due to marching band.
I couldn't help but laugh at myself for thinking Saturday mornings were supposed to be relaxing. No one told my children that Saturdays were for lounging around. So, I decided we could use a change of scenery.
Charlotte decided to stay home with Jon because she was convinced that we wouldn't get back in time for her to go to a birthday party hours later. Evan and I loaded up into the van and off we went to the Farmer's Market.
The thing I love best at going to the market early on a Saturday morning is that you don't have to spend much money to get some really great things. It's also nice to say hi to the vendors that I've come to know a bit.
I brought home a small jar of local honey. It's a light tasting honey perfect for topping english muffins. I finally bought a small bowl to replace my Mother's Day bowl. Lastly I bought some goat's milk lotion and a bag of soap scraps. I put the scraps in a twist-tied onion bag and use it just like regular bar soap.
Evan also bought a little bag of sesame seed cookies but they were eaten too fast to snap a picture of them.
Here's the pretty little bowl with salt in it. I'm keeping this one far away from the soy sauce bottle.

I was in such a better mood when I got home. Getting out of the house for a bit and bringing home little treasures was just what I needed.

Project show and tell

Today I thought I would tell about a hodge podge of projects that have been going on around here.

Let's get started...
 Some time ago I had noticed on some blog or another someone had mentioned using their itty bitty fabric scraps to stuff cushions which they then donated to an animal shelter. Well I have never liked to waste anything and so this idea sounded right up my alley. I knew from past experience that I didn't like stuffing pillows for us with this sort of scrap so making them for animals was the bright idea.

  I called our local animal shelter to check if this might indeed be something they would like to receive as a donation and they said "Yes.". So using some odds and ends of fabric to make covers (sturdy recycled clothing) I then proceeded to stuff all my old scraps (Scraps that were to small or simply wouldn't work for even tiny quilt pieces) in them. After they were sufficiently full I sewed them up.

  The 3 pillows that resulted aren't beautiful, super cushiony,  or works of art but I took them to the shelter and they were quite happy to receive them. Now I have started saving more scraps to make some more. I like having another way to throw away less and instead use it in a useful way.

The kids had fun making a twig fort this summer. I love having them work on simple projects like this where they can enjoy God's creation and breathe in the healthy good fresh air.

I recently made Jonathan some fleece socks out of an old sleeper. He says they are quite comfortable and I am looking forward to trying some more pairs out of other old clothes. This boy wears socks out so very fast, so if I can figure out ways to make them for him I am quite happy.

 After I do some more experimenting I will plan on posting patterns and instructions.

The kids have recently been wanting to get better at baking in hopes of selling their baked goods. We had a couple baking classes lately and they made Whole Wheat yeast bread, rolls, zucchini bread and cookies. They are really doing a great job and the results were very yummy!
Their biggest challenge is learning how to spotlessly cleanup the kitchen which I decided was a requirement if they were going to turn this into a business. I am happy to see them trying to accomplish goals and learn how to do useful things.

 This last picture is a project yet undone. In our living room the slipcovers of the two chairs are quite worn out and the curtains are shrunk and faded. The walls also need new paint. It is time to do something new!
I went and found fabric the other day (That took quite a while! Finding something I liked, thought was sturdy enough and didn't cost a fortune was a hard task!) and I bought the brown and green to make slipcovers with and Unbleached muslin (to use in combination with the unfaded parts of the old green plaid curtains) for new curtains.

  I also looked at paint colors and am thinking about ragging on some tan paint (the second lightest color on the swatch I think) over the cream paint on one wall. You can see the cream color in the background of the picture- I think I will repaint in that (cream) color on most of the walls. I had thought I would try and see if I could find a color I liked in Home Depots $5 oops paint, but I think I may be to impatient to wait for that. I want to paint before it gets so cold that I can't open the windows.

 Also in the picture above is part of our couch which will stay the color it is. We also have lots of green plants and some wood furniture in the room. For those of you that like to decorate I am curious what other colors you would add to the room? I am thinking maybe I could change a little bit every season by changing pillow covers, a floral arrangement and such.

 Do you have any ideas to share? I would love to hear them.

Checker Board Quilt

This quilt was actually a request from Mrs.R. She was specific in what she wanted and how big it was going to be. She also wanted it to be in black & white and no other colour.

The black & white blocks were cut at 5" square and it was done 9 across and 11 down. The sides were 2" black strips with 2" white squares at all four corners. I used kona black & white.

Backing fabric was yet again in black & white, but this time in print fabrics. Binding was again the black & white kona in alternate strips.

Measurement : 48" W X 58" L
Made out of 100% American cotton
Status : SOLD!


What do you think of my new blog?? Isn't it wonderful?? Kristine Davidson has been working on it for me. She truly rocks!!
Let me know what you think.

Thanks for Kleenex and laughter and so much more...

holy experience
"When you have eaten and are satisfied, you shall bless the Lord your God for the
good land which He has given you." Deuteronomy 8:10
And so my thanks continues for all the good things that God has blessed me with...
#692 Little nurse Megan who happily cared for Mara when Mara had a nasty bad headache.
#693 That Mara's headache went away after a little nap out in the fresh air.
#694 Chickens
#695 I am especially thankful right now for some former pen mates of the ones pictured above whom I helped my parents to butcher and some of which are now in my freezer.
#696 Beautiful weather for butchering- nice and cool and breezy.
#697 My fun boys who like to climb trees.

#698 And the girls too!

#699 A fun family evening at the community appreciation event put on by the University.

#700 A quiet and peaceful lake.

#701 Telephones.

#702 Figuring out ways to be less busy.

#703 A fun flower design class for an upcoming wedding. (The bride and her attendants and mother all came over and I showed them how to make the wedding flowers. It was fun even though I had a cold and wasn't feeling to wonderful.)

#704 Plenty of good clean water.

#705 Lemon juice and honey.

#706 Handkerchiefs and Kleenex.

#707 Hot showers.

#708 A soft pillow.

#709 Some good books.

#710 A very scary tiger to make me laugh. (She went with Ken to an event that all of us had planned to go too but several of us stayed home because we were sick. She came back with this face and wanted to wear it to bed so she could wear it to church the next day. :-)

#711 A God who we can totally be in awe of.

#712 The promise of heaven (an amazingly wonderful place!) some day.

What are you thankful for?


 "The Spirit and the bride say, "Come!"
Everyone who hears this should say, "Come!"

If you are thirsty, come! If you want life-giving water, come and take it. It's free!"
Revelation 22:17

 Tonight at church we are planning on wrapping up our 3 months of teaching the kids from the book of Revelation on Wednesday nights. We are planning a special program to show some of the things we have learned as well as having snacks and other fun.

  As I was preparing for tonight I read the above verse and it really stood out to me as what God wants. He has so very much to give to us. He wants us to have what it good. He is offering it to anyone and it is free! We just need to be willing to take it!

  This verse is also for us who already said "yes" to God's free gift. We need to be busy telling others to "Come!". I want to do that more and I hope you do too.

  If you haven't accepted God's free gift, I highly recommend it! The bible explains all about it and if you have any troubles understanding, please feel free to e-mail me. I would love to talk with you about it.

  In my reading today I really enjoyed the entire chapter 22 of Revelation. I decided not to include all of it here as I know length sometimes stops people from reading posts but I recommend going and reading it!

"Love Grows in Cozy Little Houses"

This was all hand-painted!! By a dear friend M. Look at all that detail - so tiny-weeny-small!

It was just a square wooden box. That IKEA had many, many moons ago. Not available anymore. It is used to put your potted plant in.

Creative M decided to paint & decorate it, drill a hole at center of each side and put a braided natural fibre string as handle . . . .

. . . . all for me! As a present. I'm so loving it - TQ! TQ! TQ!

Win some cool tags!

Hang tags from UPrinting

When Luigi from UPrinting asked me what I might be interested in hosting a giveaway for, I had fun going over to UPrinting to see all the cool things they offered. UPrinting is a great place to get your online printing done and they have all sorts of neat options.

  One of the things that caught my eye was their clothing hang tags.I started imagining all the fun ways they could be put to use. I have been thinking it would be fun to open up an etsy shop, and wouldn't my items look neat when they arrived with cute little tags on them?! Or I could make tags for my wedding floral business and then attach them to the pillows and baskets I have for sale as well adding them to all the boxes of boutonnieres and corsages I deliver. I think that would look pretty smart. Another fun idea I had was to use them as gift tags for presents. You could put a verse on them, a photo you had taken, a Christmas or Birthday greeting or anything of that nature. It would be very personal (You design them!) but yet they would be super quick and easy to use.

   That is just a few ideas, I'll bet you have a lot more!

So would you like to win some?

One winner  (18 years of age or over and a resident of the US) can win! You will receive:

 250 2x3.5 Hangtags w/ Hole Drilling
14pt Cardstock Gloss

3/16" Hole Drilling

4 Color Both Sides Printing

To Enter to win:

Please leave a comment explaining how you think it would be fun to use these tags. Please also include a way to contact you if you should win.

New or Old followers of my blog can have a second entry simply by leaving a comment explaining that you are a follower.

Have fun! This giveaway will be open until  Midnight (or somewhere close) Sept 1st.

 This giveaway is sponsored by UPrinting. The are providing the hang tags but I am not paid to write this post.

New Baby

This is my layout for my own challenge at the Enchanted Scrapbooking Cybercrop. The challenge is based on the theme of the cybercrop "New Beginnings" so you have to create a layout using that theme and to include the word "new" in either the journaling or the title.

I really need to find my mojo and do a bit more scrapping, been so slack lately, so I am going to try and get the other girls challenges done.

Blue Rabbits

Remember the 'Red Rabbits Quilt' ? Well, here is its twin :-)

Made it in a similar pattern to the Red Rabbit Quilt. 2 different shades of blue in an upside down L-shape. 5 blocks across and 7 down.

After them 35 blocks, went with a 2" very lite blue polkadot on off-white fabric and finished it off with a 5" blue striped yummy fabric.

Backing fabric was again a good match and my dark blue marbled was for binding.

Simple & Nice.

Measurement : 43" W X 56" L
Made out of 100% American cotton
Price : RM220
Status : Available

Charlotte's First Day Of Kindergarten

Decked out in her fuschia outfit (turns out she already had fuschia socks and shoes), Charlotte was ready for school this morning. It has been a tradition in my family since I started kindergarten to take flowers to your teacher on the first day of school. Charlotte picked out purple mums for her teachers this year.
She loves her Dora bookbag that Jon got her in New York City a few years ago.

This just might be my favorite picture of her.

Here is Charlotte standing outside of her classroom this morning. I love this palm tree. Not only is it cute, it's also really easy for her to see down the hall so she can find her room on her own without getting anxious. (Okay, fine, it was probably me who was anxious that she wouldn't be able to find her room. What can I say, she's been my baby for so many years. It's hard to admit she doesn't need me as much as I think she does)

And here she was getting off of the bus this afternoon. After brief panic over the bus driver telling me there was no Charlotte on the bus, we found her with the help of the kids around her. The seat backs are so tall and she's so little that you couldn't see her sitting next to the window. I don't think she realized that it was her stop so she was enjoying looking out of the window. The bus driver felt bad for not realizing she was on the bus and assured me that she would look out for her next time.
Charlotte has been telling me all about her day. She's changed her favorite part of her day a few times since coming home but they include playing with playdough this morning, watching the smart board design while listening to music during rest time, and a funny scavenger hunt. She said the cafeteria was really loud but fun. Recess was hot but she liked the slide. She thought it was cool that the computer lab was upstairs. There are 4 stalls in the girls bathroom and paper towels which is good because she doesn't like hand dryers. Riding on the bus was loud and hot but she liked watching the stop sign swing out at each stop.
It's almost bedtime now and she's so tired that she has the giggles that won't stop. She can't wait to go back to school on Monday!

Enchanted Cybercrop

It is time again for our monthly cybercrop - boy has that come around fast. I am having a few issues with getting into the site so we are running it on our Facebook page this month as an extra bonus. If you have a few minutes pop on in and see if you can create some great layouts from the challenges - the theme is "New Beginnings".

Here is a link to our the Enchanted Facebook Page


Yet another fairies panel I bought from the net. A colourful one this time. Cut them up into 12 blocks . . . .

. . . . went with a 2" buttermilk yellow fabric as 1st sashing and then on to a 3" sky blue as all over 1st border. Finished it off with a 5.5" goldish yellow fabric with flower prints.

Nicely laid down.

Backing fabric complimented nicely I thought and binding was a strong yellow.

Just nice for a little princess.

Measurement : 42" W X 50" L
Made out of 100% American cotton
Price : RM 200
Status : Available

Saving money by doing less running (you know the running you do in a vehicle...)

Last night I was contemplating on what I should write about for Frugal Friday. We save money in many ways but I was trying to think of something I haven't written on before. The money saving tip that I thought of was: "Stay home more, combine errands and stay away from stores. :-)

  Okay,  maybe we don't have to completely stay away from stores though that probably would save quite a lot, but running to them less can help save money too. This is the way I was raised and I try to do that now that I am grown as well.

   My goal is to going shopping once a week at most (preferably every two weeks) and only go to the super Walmart (which is my major shopping trip), once a month. I also try to combine other errands together. For example: We are invited over to a friends home tomorrow. As we go there and back I also have come up with some other errands that need to be run such as: Pick up something at the church building, drop off recycling and buy some stuff for an upcoming wedding. That could have been 4 separate trips but instead I combine it all into one trip.

  The benefits I find in combining trips are this:
  • I save money on gas.
  • I save wear and tear on our vehicle.
  • I save time.
  • And I have less stress of rounding children up, getting them loaded and then unloaded many more times.
  Some things that help us to accomplish this a little easier are:
  • Keep a running list of things we need at the grocery store. That way when I do go I can get everything.
  • Keep a list of errands I need to run. So when I do have to go out I will remember what other errands I want to do at the same time.
  • Keep water bottles, snacks and kids magazines in the van so even if errand running gets long, the kids stay happy.
  • Avoid unnecessary trips to the store by being willing to substitute and make do. Here is a list of food substitutions you can make.
I am curious how often do you go to the grocery store? Or do you have any other tips to share for staying home more?

For more ways to save money have fun checking out all the Frugal Fridays links at Life as MOM.

Twas The Night Before Kindergarten....

Tomorrow is the big day... the very first day of Kindergarten!

Charlotte couldn't be more excited. I thought I'd show a few pictures of how we've gotten ready for the big day. We ordered her lunch box from I wanted her to have a lunch box with a matching thermos like I used to take to school. She picked My Little Pony.

Earlier this week we went to her open house.
She found her seat. She got to meet her teacher and her teacher's assistant. I was thrilled to find out that her teacher is actually a friend of mine. It's nice to see a familiar face when this transition to "big school" can be so overwhelming.

This is the school library. The school is almost brand new. Last year was it's first year open. Our school system is pretty big and her school has 900 K-6th graders! That's a big change from my little elementary school that had 200 kids.

Charlotte is VERY excited about the cafeteria. She has been ready to pack her lunch box for months now. She can't wait to eat lunch at school.
After open house we went to Walmart to pick up her school supplies. Charlotte had school money from Aunt Suzanne & Uncle Dave and Grammy and Grandpa. We gave her a little guidance but let her make the decisions on what to buy.
She bought a new outfit for the first day of school. I love that most skirts come with shorts under them for this age. She has yet to learn how to sit lady-like in skirts.

She had a lot of fun in the hair accessory department. I love fixing her hair in the morning so having a bin full of new hair stuff is pretty exciting for me too.

And of course she got her school supplies too.

Charlotte and I packed her lunch this evening and got her clothes all laid out. I'm hoping she doesn't wake up too early tomorrow morning because she has a big day ahead of her. I can't believe how grown up our little girl is.