What to do, What to do?

Next week the grandchildren are taking over the “family ranch” in Leoti, KS. This ranch has been in my husband’s family for 4 generations (including the grandkids). I told MiMi (grandma who lives the out there full time now) that I would be the back up adult for a few days. 6 kids to one adult is a little much, especial with 2 still in diapers. I would run for the pasture myself after a couple of hours, if not sooner!

So I was browsing TONS of blogs, okay maybe not 2000 plus, however; it was probably 10+. I was so inspired by Handmade Charlotte, You Are My Fave, Say Yes to Hoboken, Paint Me Plaid, Bloomize, Ambrosia Creative (many of the posts were linked through a couple of the blogs), etc.

I have come up four activities I am sure the older kids will do. The younger ones – okay let’s be honest, my son needs to be included with the younger ones despite turning five last week, will only be interested in the activities for about 3 minutes each. I think the older girls will sit for a bit.

Here is my list with links to give credit where credit is due: I *heart* Handmade Charlotte right now!

DIY Printable Sewing Cards – Handmade Charlotte

Photo from Handmade Charlotte – not my own

Print + Paint with Handmade Charlotte – Paint me Plaid via Handmade Charlotte

Photo from Handmade Charlotte – not my own.

Painting Pillows – These are fabric dolls – on madebyjoel seen on Handmade Charlotte

I am calling mine painted pillows because I will make 12″ square pillows out of painters canvas for the kids to paint on. I plan to use my Mini Cricut to cut out stencils such as animals, simple shapes and abstract patterns on freezer paper.

Photo from madebyjoel – not my own

Paint Chip Animals – Handmade Charlotte – a great and inexpensive idea!

Paint Chip Animals – not my own photo – from handmade charlotte

Another activity for just incase purposes – DIY Pinwheel Necklace by MerMag as a guest post on Handmade Charlotte

DIY Pinwheel Necklaces – MerMag for Handmade Charlotte – not my own

I think these activities should keep everyone busy for a while. This and the new “pool” (actually one of the circular “tubs” they put out in pastures to get water to the cattle) that is about 2′ deep and the new life size playhouse the grandparents got the kids. It should be a great way to end the summer break and be with family before everyone gets busy with school.

I will take photos of the projects to see how the kids responded. Wish us luck!

Humble Beginnings

So this year I really pushed my DH to build me a raised garden bed. I am really excited to see how much will survive.

Mushroom compost

Mushroom compost!

So we went with mushroom compost for the first season. I read it is not a good idea to use animal manure the first 6 months. I will add the stinky stuff in the fall to prep for next year. I wonder how many neighbors will say “what is that smell!” I know I do when I smell manure.

Is this enough soil?

is this enough soil?

So I am a big fan of MiracleGro. Other soils get all hard and turn to cement, so I am hoping this will stay loose enough to help the water get to the roots and not become so compacted.

Soon to be peas!

Soon to be peas! Yay!

Peppa - peppers

Soon to be peppers!

Grow baby grow!

Grow baby grow! I think this is lettuce in the making. They all look the same in the beginning!

Broccoli baby

Broccoli baby!

Popeye would be happy to see this Spinach growing!

Popeye would be proud to see this spinach growing!

The start of something ... lettuce

the start of more lettuce... I think!

AN UPDATE since planting the garden the end of March. We had SNOW!!!!! Of course, right after I planted the garden – MURPHY’S LAW right? Many of the plants didn’t make it and kept shriveling. I even covered it up to protect it. So I dug up many of them, I am an impatient gardener! I planted more seeds and then recently went to the garden section at Lowes and purchased broccoli and new tomato plants. I reused the containers to plant more peppers, leaf lettuce, bibb lettuce, and spinach. I have high hopes for this otherwise, I owe DH the money he spent to help me put it together. YIKES! Here’s to grey thumbs hoping to turn more green as the season progresses (I don’t have a black thumb, just grey)

Also as we were getting the garden ready, we had a little accident:

I just fell out of the tree! I can't stop crying!

I am starting to feel better. I am trying to be "strong and tough" "boy-like" - Boys can cry - it's okay

The scene of the CRIME! (He fell facing the other way on his belly) Poor guy! He is definitely more cautious climbing the tree lately.

So, You Think You Can Sew?

I am so excited!

Monday I took an introductory sewing class with my sister-in-law at one of my most favorite stores here in Denver, FABRIC BLISS! We made the cutest tote bags!

Little tote bags we made in class. Yah to my sister-in-law, this was her FIRST sewing project! Photo from Fabric Bliss Denver, Facebook page.

I LOVED, LOVED the sewing machines we used that I got one the next day. I am anxiously waiting for Amazon to ship it out!

This will be my latest baby, next to my KitchenAide mixer (from Costco at $149!)

from Amazon.com the Brother CS 6000i

This machine comes with EVERYTHING! I am so excited for it. No more 1969 Singer Touch and Sew Zig Zag machine. That heavy sucker is going back to my mom.

I will be computerized! So exciting. Check it out here.

Terrarium Inspiration

I was looking around on Teal and Lime a while back and really liked her terrariums. So that evening I went and bought all the materials I would need to make my own. (please click on the “terrarium” link, above, to go to the original tutorial and pin or look at the original photos/tutorial referenced in this blog)

I found two great glass vases/candle holders from HomeGoods (love that store) for $10 and $8.

At Lowes I picked up the following:

  • White Marble Rocks – 5#
  • Potting Soil – Miracle Grow, Moisture Control
  • Moss
  • Various plants

The layering is very simple:

Bottom layers of Terrarium

  1. White Rocks
  2. Layer of moss – to keep the soil from falling through to the bottom
  3. Layer of Soil, enough to plant the plant in and establish its roots
  4. Moss to help hold in moisture

We did not use activated charcoal because the tops were open and air could circulate. I think the charcoal is more for closed terrariums

Lastly – Add your plants. We broke ours up to split between the two vases. I am showing you the smaller of the two.

Plant for thinner vase

Here are our two terrariums (that are STILL ALIVE!!! Woo Hoo!)

Larger terrarium

Smaller terrarium

Our plants are a little larger, the selection was minimal at Lowes when I did this. It is best to look for smaller plants or ask your local nursery for terrarium appropriate plants.

Teal and Lime inspiration:

Teal and Lime Terrarium Inspiration

Layering as shown on Teal and Lime

A Place to hang my..”Jewels”..

HSo I went to the thrift store and bought an old frame. I probably won’t go back to this particular thrift store and the selection was bad and the prices were high. I paid enough for the frame let’s just say that.

I thought I had a great idea to make a menu board and put cork on it to stick things on. So I bought all the supplies:


Well as the night progressed I began measuring and cutting and fitting and gluing and HATING every minute of it. By the end of the night I had completed a “board” and stepped away from it and then five minutes later went back and tore it all apart. It was awful and only took about 45 seconds to undo everything.

So the next day, Thursday, I had a new plan. I have more of a need/want for a jewelry frame than a menu board. My husband was not into it anyways.

Here is what I did instead:

I got more supplies – Tropical Oasis Glossy Spray paint from Valspar, a metal sheet with a triangle pattern (galvanized aluminum), leather gloves, drop cloth, blue painters tape, staple gun and 5/16″ staples, and tin snips. I had already purchased Machine Gray Glossy from Ace.

I removed the paper backing and pulled out the staples that were holding the matte in the frame. It was pretty easy to pull them out.

Once I pulled the matte off I traced it on the metal so it would be the correct size for the frame.

 I cut the aluminum with the tin snips. Glad I got my own pair of leather work gloves, there were some sharp edges.

Once the piece was cut I wiped the metal down with vinegar. I was told to do this by the friendly people at Lowes. I would not have known to do this on my own. The vinegar removes the galvanization and exposes the raw metal, aluminum in this case.

I sprayed the metal with the Tropical Oasis.

I sprayed the frame with the Machinery Gray at the same time.

I sanded the frame the night before, yet there were some spaces that were not cooperating and I thought I would leave it distressed and white. I changed my mind and when I sprayed it, it had a cool crackle effect on the frame that I ended up liking.

I pulled the tape and the matte off of the metal and this was how it turned out. I really liked the blue and had to incorporate it somehow and I thought framing the jewelry would have a nice effect.

I used the staple gun to hold the metal close to the frame. I didn’t press the gun right up to the wood I held it away slightly to have them stand out. If they were too far down, I used a flat screw driver to lift them up.

Close up of the frame and metal

The finished frame.

Now it is time to go to Charming Charlies and use my gift card to get some more earrings and necklaces!

As I was leaving Lowes prior to starting this project, I was talking to a lady who works in the paint department about my project and she shared her projects and I made the comment that I feel like my projects don’t turn out how I envision them. She said practice makes perfect.

Has anyone else felt this way? With Pinterest and other DIY blogs, it seems like everyone else’s projects turn out great. Or am I just expecting to be too perfect right away (most likely)?

What’s In that Market Tote?

I have completed three sewing components for my sister-in-laws birthday gift.

The gifts are: A rice therapy pack (tutorial here from Sewmamasew), cold therapy pack (same tutorial as the rice therapy pack), and an eye pillow (tutorial found here).

I got an email on Monday that my latest purchase from Brambleberry.com is on its way. I hope I get it today or tomorrow. It has all the goodies to make bath/shower bomb/fizzies that I will post under the home beauty tutorial. I also will put a body oil recipe on there as well. I need to find a cool glass jar/bottle to put it in. I think she will be pleasantly surprised!

My mother-in-law wants me to sew THREE more Market totes for her in May for her sisters and she wants some of my bath products!

For the sake of putting this post under TUTORIALS, I am going to add my photos and the instructions from Sewmamasew with this post:

  • Rice Therapy Bag with washable cover:
  • Materials needed:
  • Fabric scraps
  • 1/4 yard of linen or other fabric (I used white linen from Joann)
  • 1/4 yard muslin
  • 2 # of medium grain or short grain rice
  • essential oil
  • 4″ of 3/4″ wide velcro
  •  Cut Fabric
  • 2 colored strips 2″ x 7.75″
  • 1 colored strip 3″ x 7.75″
  • Short linen piece 9.875″ x 7.75″
  • Long Linen Piece 14.625″ x 7.75″ for back
  • – 2 Muslin pieces 12.75″ x 7.75″




  • Sew front strips together using a narrow 3/8″ seam allowance. Press the seams how you like to the side or open, to set them.







  • Fold over 1/4″ of one end of both the back and the front pieces. Press well with an iron.







  •  Now fold the same edge over 1″ and press well. Make sure the front and the back are even.







  •  I didn’t show however – Turn the pieces right side up. Open up the 1″ crease. Center and pin the velcro to the right side of the fabric, above the crease but slightly below the top, folded edge. Pin the hook piece to one fabric piece and the loop piece to the other and carfefull sew the perimeter of the velcro. Use a short stitch to do so, so it can withstand the pulling while being opened.





  •  Pin the pieces right sides together, the velcro will help hold close, however, you can add pins if you would like to. sew around the sides and the bottom, starting at the top of one side.  (Don’t let your seams get sloppy like mine. I was lazy and didn’t go back and correct)

Trim the seam allowance.





  •  Fold the velcro edge to WRONG side using the 1″ crease mark you made earlier.
  • Sew around the top edge of the bad just below the velcro.







  •  Turn you bag right side our and press to set the stitch/seams.







  •  This is my completed rice therapy pack and my coldpack. (Follow the same instructions for the cold pack. I just altered my fabric sizes and velcro.)







  •  Sew muslin pieces, with right sides together, leaving a 3″ opening at the top to fill with rice.

Turn it right side out and fill with rice.

Stitch the bag closed.

Place the muslin in the velcro bag.




I am still waiting for my essential oil blends to mix with the rice for the heat pack. I will use Flaxseed and lavendar buds (I buy them at Vitamin Cottage here in Colorado) for the eye pillow, and buckwheat for the cold pack.


  •  This is the fabric I chose for my eye pillow with white linen at the back. It matches the tote to tie it all together.







The package may be a little late; however, I am okay with that.

If you make this please share your results or if you have made something like this please share!

Happy relaxing!

Project Motivation…

I get a lot of magazines, well according to my husband I do, to the everyday women, eh….. not so much. Okay, maybe I do. I so look forward to getting them in the mail and flipping through the shiny colored pages. I HAVE to be the first to read them, that is my rule. I don’t know why, I just don’t want others to flip through it first.

At this time I am currently getting the following magazines:


Better Homes and Garden

Marie Claire

Fitness (even though I haven’t paid for it in years. Shhhh… don’t tell anyone, they keep sending it anyway)

Good Housekeeping

Real Simple

Martha Stewart Living – digitally on my nook.

Considering getting a subscription to Country Living. (Good deal right now.)

Anyways, Better Homes and Gardens latest issue is all about COLOR. I love these types of focuses. It gets me excited to do something. Of course, I usually don’t. I just get excited with ideas. This time however, I have a few ideas that I am going  to work on and I am hoping to find some inspiration with color and the help of Pinterest and some of my favorite DIY sites. (Keep checking the featured post, as I will always update with new sites).

Tonight I would love to do a Menu board and a framed Jewelry Board. I have seen a few on Pinterest and other DIY sites. I have a tiny little notebook I write my grocery list on and it just isn’t cutting it anymore. I have a couple of thrift stores next to my house I hope to stop by on my way to pick up the kiddo from preschool.

We will see what will come of it all!

Here is some of my inspiration: