Sunday, July 17, 2011

The A-Z of Me

This post is kind of like that 25 random things note on Facebook.  I thought it would be fun to one-up Facebook and do 26!  Here is a snap-shot of my life as it is right now.  People change, and things change.  But this is me today.

A- Appreciative – I am thankful for every person, opportunity, and blessing that comes my way.  I pray that I will always remain humble and appreciative.  Selfishness is so rampant these days, and I do not want to forget “where I came from” or those who have blessed my life.

B- Books 

I have books in every corner of my home.  They are on shelves, in drawers, in cabinets, on tables, on floors, and even in my car.  I love to read them, keep them, and decorate with them.

C- Christmas – It’s my very favorite holiday!  Jesus is the reason!

D- Decorating – I am just starting to LOVE decorating.  I could look at decorating magazines, books, and websites for hours.  I don’t, but I could… I particularly love The Inspired Room.  It’s one of my faves right now!

E- Ears -  Apparently, I have a really good set of ears.  Many of my friends have picked up on the fact that I can listen to two completely separate conversations at the same time.  So, if you are nearby and trying to slip something by me…don’t!  I can hear REALLY well!

F- Family 
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Family is the most important thing in the world to me, besides my relationship with God.  I love each one of them dearly, and they are my daily inspiration.

G- Grammar Snob  I saw a card on Etsy that perfectly describes what I feel about the use of grammar these days.  I am a stickler about there and their and your and you’re.  Also, what’s up with using “meh” instead of plain old “me”?  As if we aren’t selfish enough in this country?!?  Now we need another letter to bring attention to ourselves!  Seriously!

H- Home- Home is my favorite place to be.  I am what you’d call a home-body.  I love to putter around and do this and that at home.  It’s my Nest: a place of retreat, rest, or lodging.  That’s exactly how I feel about my home.  Love this printable and have it framed in my home. 

I- Imperfect – No one is perfect, especially not me.  I like to think of our family as “perfectly imperfect”.  I think there is a really cute blog by that catchy name.

J- Jokester - I love to play little jokes on my kids.  Just little things like hiding their utensils at dinner or telling them we are having mud stew for breakfast.  I love to tell them that I am going to get out of the car; turn up the music; and dance when I drop them off at school.  They loovvee that! 

K- Kids – My kids are my world right now.  Yes, they fight and fuss and get underfoot.  But, I wouldn’t trade them for the world.  They are the best two kids a mom could wish for.  I am so proud of the Godly people they are becoming.

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L- Listener – I’ve been told that I am a good listener.  I do LOVE people and listening to their stories.  I wish I was able to do more to help at times, but I can offer a listening ear.  And sometimes, that’s what people need most…

M- Mommy - I love being a mommy!  It's the best job in the world. AND the hardest!

N- Noise – Noise is probably my #1 irritant (2nd to heavy perfume).  I need peace and quiet.  I crave it.  I do love people, but if the noise level gets too high, I get a bit jumpy.  My mother once bought my kids electronic megaphones complete with lights and beeping sounds!  Not sure if she really loves me…

woman jumping with horn


O- Overprotective – I guess I can be accused of being overprotective of my kids.  Heck, I’m overprotective of my husband, my parents, in-laws, friends, puppies, and anyone else I care about.  I feel the need to keep them from harm or bad influences.  Not a job for the weak!

P- Procrastinator- This is probably my #1 problem.  I am a huge procrastinator!  I put things off constantly and then use the adrenaline created by the deadline to get things done.  It’s an awful practice, which I do not recommend!!

Q- quiet –Again, I crave it.  I will be at home all day while my kids are in school and have NO NOISE.  No TV.  No music.  No telephone.  Just quiet…It refreshes my soul.

R- Running – Let’s get this straight right away…I am NOT a runner.  But I WANT to be!  I have started and stopped my running journey many times. I do not aspire to be a marathon runner.  I just want to be consistent and get the mental and physical benefits that running offers.  I am never so “clear headed” as I am when I am running.
This is me – In my dreams : )


S- Sewing- For those who have read my other blog posts, you know that I have a sewing machine that is still in the box.  Yes, I am intimidated by that bobbin!  But, I will learn to sew…someday.

T- Thrift Store junkie- this is a new obsession.  Just know that my husband thinks it’s the gateway to hoarding.  So, I have to keep my purchases under control, or under the guest bed…hee hee.


U- Understated- I’d consider myself very understated. I don’t like to be “on display”. I am confident, most of the time, but I don’t wear a lot of jewelry or flashy clothes, and I don’t make a big show. I am more content to stay in the background and enjoy the show that others are putting on : )  I also like to make snarky comments while I watch.

V- Vacation-  Besides Christmas, it’s my favorite time of the year.  It’s great to have my family get away from the day-to-day together and enjoy some fun.

W- Weight loss – Like  a lot of women at “my age”, I am struggling with weight loss.  I go up and down, and it’s a frustrating process.  I realize that I am not alone, but that doesn’t help me zip up those skinny jeans!


X- eXpressive- I am very expressive when I talk and when I have strong feelings about something.  My face usually tells it all, and if not my face, my hands flail about wildly if I am passionate about a subject.

Y- Youth- Again, at “this age” I am trying to hold on to my youth with everything in me.  I am gripping it tightly, as I don’t want to end up like frumpy momma.  I always want to be cool and fun!  Wish me luck!

Z- Zookeeper – “Z” was a toughie.  But we were gonna go to see Zookeeper at the theater yesterday.  But we looked up the parent reviews and decided against it.  I am a fan of the brownie story.  Read it sometime…


Friday, July 1, 2011

Drop-cloth 4th of July banner

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This has been one of my favorite craft attempts so far!  I used so many different materials, and the project just evolved as I went. 

I made this 4th of July Banner as part of the Handmade Gift Exchange over at Craftaholics Anonymous.  It’s been a lot of fun trying to come up with something that my crafting partner will like, even though I’ve never met her.  I have to admit, by the time I put so much love and thought into it, I wanted to keep it for myself!  But that’s what it’s all about.  I mean, who would want a gift that the giver didn’t think was special enough to keep for herself??

So, how did I make this beauty?

First, I started with a simple DROPCLOTH!  If you haven’t seen the drop cloth trend going on in blogland, you have really missed out.  So many things can be made out of this sturdy, versatile material.  I got mine at Home Depot a while ago for another project, and there is still so much fabric left to do that one later.

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First I made some templates from heavy cardstock.  I used 8 1/2 x 11; 6x5; and 3 1/2 x 5 inch pennants for my patterns.  I then traced the shapes onto my drop cloth material with chalk.  *Using chalk to trace is the best tip I’ve read lately! * It disappeared as soon as I had the pennants cut out and they had been handled a bit.  I didn’t have to worry about “erasing” my marks.   To make a very long story short, it is best to take advantage of the seam that is already sewn on the drop cloth if you are going to make a single layer banner.  Believe me, I learned the hard way that that seam is invaluable in keeping your banner together… So use all of the seams at the top of your banner for strength.

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Next, I cut and ironed the “flags”.  I was a bit afraid to iron them with direct heat, because I wasn’t sure what kind of materials went into these drop cloths.  I can only imagine there’s some plastic in there…  I hate ironing, but it had to be done, because this giant cloth comes folded up in an itty bitty package!  Then I took some red pom-pom fringe that I had in my stash left-over from Christmas and sewed it to the top of the pennants.  This is why the seam at the top was important.  If I’d tried to sew without that seam on a single layer fabric, it would have pulled apart, as this fabric is kind of a loose weave.

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I made the stencils for the letters and shapes on my Silhouette cutter.  Super-easy! 
I used regular craft paint and added textile medium to make the paint suitable for fabric.  This just keeps it from cracking and peeling off.  I am not sure what the name of this brush is, but it is the best thing I have found for stenciling.  You just tap-tap-tap the paint on lightly, so that it doesn’t run under your stencil. 

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I like the texture of this fabric and the way paint looks on it.  Its uneven and not really crisp.  Perfectly Imperfect ~ Just the way I like it!

Now, I have mentioned a few  numerous times that I am a procrastinator.  Well, when you are in a hurry you make mistakes.  So, here’s one to give you a chuckle:

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Yes, I painted Happy of 4th of July!  I just got my pennants out of order and was on a roll…

I was not about to unstitch that flag and cut another and stitch again!  Did I mention I stitched this whole 9 foot banner by hand?  Crazy I know!!  So, here is my solution:

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Paint over my mistake with all red.   Then I stenciled some white and blue stars over it.  Now…all better…

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Lastly, I attached about 2 feet of twine to each end for hanging.  And hung it up to enjoy photograph : )

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Close-ups of the sections

All done!
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Laura, I hope you enjoy it year after year!

Happy Independence Day everyone!


~Remember that our Freedom is a privilege, and it costs so many military families so much time away from one another.~

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