It’s Wonderful

You know there are times in life where we forget how wonderful life is.  Well I’m tired of that.  I’m tired of not remembering how wonderful things can be.  And with this being the season of gratitude I think it is pertinent that I Photo_2016-11-10_01-28-13_PMremember and be grateful for how Wonderful my life is.  So I decided to create a reminder, as you know I tend to do, here.  I have had an open space in my family room that has been driving me bonkers!  For a OCD person like myself and a picky person, like myself, I have to find something perfect or at least the perfect idea.  I went through several different ideas and nothing felt quite right.  Finally I figured it out!  A wonderful reminder.  I designed the layout of the letters not wanting to make this your typically individual letter layout.  Nooooo, that would be far to easy, the letters needed to be overlapped, and skewed, an air of imperfection because while life is wonderful it is imperfect.  After the design was made comes the engineering to make my dream come to life, which means I put my Mr. to work.  Heaven bless this man on mine.  He has a lovely friend who has connections and that’s all I will say.  My Mr. and hisPhoto_2016-11-10_01-30-04_PM friend went about figuring out how to make this light enough to hang but still sturdy.  They are geniuses so they figured out how to hollow the letters out.  Then we carefully glued and clamped the layers together.  The rest of the prep was on me, yes you guessed it.  Painting!  As if painting this, wasn’t enough this year to swear me off of painting anything ever again, why do I do this to myself?  Anyway . . . I painted each letter, or letter sections separately, multiple times, layers and layers of paint, because I apparently love to paint.  Finally it was ready to hang, which is where My Mr and Myself really shine, we are a fantastic team!  In no time we made a plan, measured, drilled and mounted the crazy project on my empty walls pace.  Oh it looks lovely, or really WONDERFUL!  I know cheesy, deal.  My Little Mr. and I even Thanksgiving’ed it up by adding the pumpkins on some of the letters, he sure loved putting them up there :).  

PSX_20161110_130636Along with the special reminder to us as a family I can’t help but think of the religious reminder, “and they shall call Him Wonderful, counselor, the mighty God, the everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace.”  All in my life is wonderful due to the blessings He gives me, or that He kindly helps me to recognize.  

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Living Room Reminder

I love this quote and I felt like I needed20160407_083149 to create a place for it as a little reminder in my home, especially since I have to work on all these traits pretty much all the time.  I followed some great pinterest tutorials on how to make large prints on the cheap.  And it turned out pretty good, not perfect but hey it still looks great and I get to have it in my home. So Check and Check!  

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Yardwork Understated

PhototasticCollage-2016-07-18-21-22-33Ok, our yard when we moved in was  SCARY and I’m really not exaggerating.  In fact it was such a jungle and a crazy mess that we had no idea how big our yard was until well . . . until we unburied it.  So IPhototasticCollage-2016-07-18-21-24-29 thought I would share a few before’s and afters with you.  Now this is just a year later and while the yard still needs work; it is actually usable now, or I should say enjoyable now.  With the over 25 trees plus bushes we had removed we suddenly realized that we were in for. PhototasticCollage-2016-07-18-21-25-56 Its been a painstaking ordeal, especially with our lack of Northwest plant knowledge.  There were weeds toPhototasticCollage-2016-07-18-21-34-15 be removed, fix the french drain, sprinkler system to repair and get working, new bark, more weeds, patch deck, add retailing wall, weed, till, PhototasticCollage-2016-07-18-21-32-00seed the lawn, make garden path, weed some more, pulling out tree roots all along the way and a dozen other projects that I honestly can’tPhototasticCollage-2016-07-18-21-47-46 even think of.  And that doesn’t even include the fun stuff like planting new plants.  I’ll let the befores and afters do the talking.  I can hardly believe how far we have come.  I remember standing on my deck last year talking to my Dad and expressing how stressed I was that this yard was in such a bad state.  Being the PhototasticCollage-2016-07-18-21-28-54wise and loving father he is he said “you know our yard took years to get it to where it is now, be patient and it will be there.”  In thatPhototasticCollage-2016-07-18-21-33-16
moment I realized he was right.  I was expecting that I had to get it all done now and while that would be really nice, it just wasn’t going to happen.  And a year later I look back on my foolish complaining and think how much more patience I need to learn.  “Be patient it will get there.”  Sound advice for many things in my life and here is just a physical example of it.  

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I’m Picky or is it Particular

20160321_120841I wanted a new console table for my front room.  I searched and craiglisted, and antiqued.  I tried to find something that didn’t cost a fortune but everything I liked seemed to only have multiple dollar signs attached, more than I was willing to spend.  When I showed My Mr. an example of what I liked he took one look and said “I’ll make it.”  What?  Really?  And really he did ladies and gents he made this beautiful solid wood table.  I think the fact that he got to go to the fancy kiln dried wood store in Seattle for some reason made it worth it.  Ok it was a cool store and our son didn’t burn it down so a successful trip! 🙂  I’m really happy with it.  My Mr. was meticulous, measuring, cutting,20160718_190242 sanding, fitting, drilling, gluing, puttying and painting.  The only thing he wouldn’t do was paint the legs, I wanted them intricate, so he said I got to paint them, and I don’t blame him they were a pain!  But hey it worked out!  And I love that he made it, Oh I love it.  He’s amazing, can I gush for just a second about him and then continue to gush about my table which yeah is beautiful!  Love the handcrafted memory, it’s really incredible to create something people.

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Grow boxes deluxe

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So I grew up in a gardening family, and one that required organization as well as weeding.  My dadPhototasticCollage-2016-07-18-20-18-03 has a big problem with us north westerners when it comes to wood.  He doesn’t know why we insist on making so many things out of wood when we get so much rain that destroys wood.  (i.e our fences, grow boxes, decks, he thinks it’s madness 🙂 ) So when it came to putting in grow boxes he refused to let us put money into wood ones.  He designed some grow boxes that are similar to the ones at his home and with my request to have them taper with the lawn we came up with something I approved of, yes I’m picky.  With that we set about our crazy project.

First came the tilling and pulling out all of the millions of roots.  Then the guys built the frame, lot of wood and screws which made our little Mr extra happy!  He loves power tools!  Once that was built began the mixing and laying of concrete.  PhototasticCollage-2016-07-18-19-56-50Yep we learned how to do that too, and now proud owners of a cement mixer, so if you need one please let us know as we have one.  My Dad worked tirelessly for 2 days to get it smoothed perfect.  My Mr meanwhile mixed all the concrete and poured it for him. Oh these men of mine I tell you.  Once we let the concrete cure my Dad set about teaching me basic masonry.  The proper thickness to make the mortar and then how much to use on each brick to ensure security.  This I soon learned would be my job, geesh no pressure.  I would get them all placed and mortared in then tell My Mr. which blocks to cut for a perfect fit.  It was a little more intricate due to the taper of the boxes, my fault so my problem.  You know working on projects can be really stressful but we have wonderful memories working togetherPhototasticCollage-2016-07-18-19-51-15.  In hard times I always think, “well if we can install cement grow boxes why can’t we do this?”  Yeah ok we’re crazy.  On the last day we worked by head lamp into the night to get them done, not wanting to come out and dry my hands out anymore with mortar.  We were desperate to be done.  Of course with two engineers heading this project they made sure that a custom sprinkler system for the boxes was put in to make for easy maintenance.  My track record and remembering to water a garden is not very good so luckily these can water themselves, which will prevent me from killing our plants, again:).  They looked great and this year we actually got to use them for our garden.  Perfection!

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Fireplace Redo 

WP_20150321_003So along with the many projects our lovely little cottage has given us, cabinet refinishing, fans, lights, walls, mud rooms etc.  There was a big, bright, red one in the room, the family room to be exact and it was staring us right in the face. Now don’t get me wrong I like brick, but I was a little overwhelmed by the intensity and attention this fireplace was taking. So I set about figuring how we could give our fireplace a “cheap” face lift. After researching  multiple options, and going over them with My Mr, who actually hadWP_20150324_001 strong opinions on this matter, he usually leave decor and style to me  And he really wanted to keep the texture. So here’s what I came up with!  A whitewashed look to take off the intensity and not destroy the texture the brick gives the room. Boy was it a lot of work, probably round 7 hours to do the whole thing. There was sponging the grout (which was the worst!), and painting the brick, then sponging the brick so it looked natural and not like there were paint brush lines. After the first section I stepped WP_20150329_21_27_34_Proback and thought “what did I just do to my fireplace?”  But My Mr. kept my confidence up, he would say “it looks good, I like it, keep going.”  So I kept at it!  I broke every nail on my hands, and I think I bruised my finger tips sponging all the grout, they were raw and sore even with gloves on. I finished, stepped back and finally caught the vision it only took me doing pretty much the whole thing and then seeing it in the light of day to love it. Nice texture, and softening of the bricks harsh color it really looks lovely now. Something we will enjoy for years to come. Whitewashing skill acquired!  I love the details of our home, there are things about it that make it so unique and beautiful. 

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Benched

91e57ddeea2640678dc37e6fb9386841Our new house has been wonderful but also brought some challenges as we re configure how we function with our furniture in our new place.  I had been toying with the idea of building a bench for our eating area.  The space just seemed to lend itself to one rather than chairs, glad I bought my nice ones, Awhh well.  Anyway I can still use some chairs so not a total loss.  Regardless I didn’t just want a un-comfy wooden bench and there were space constraints so I really had to figure this out!  While doing my usual craigslist searches I stumbled upon a tufted headboard.  I thought gosh I like that wish I had a place to use it.  Well two months later it hit me and the head board was still posted.  I enlisted my handy mans advice on how I might turn this headboard into a bench.  Which essentially gave him another crazy project to think about, he doesn’t have enough :).  So we thought it through and made a plan,  I talked the seller down to a quarter of her asking price I mean it had been up for a while, and they wanted it gone, right?  We brought it home and promptly destroyed it!  Yep I carefully cut the fabric back and we sawed the puppy down the middle, in essence making a back and seat for our bench.  WP_20151124_08_19_22_ProThen we added the fabric staples to secure the cut fabric, not an easy task but we made it work!  Then came the wood working for My Mr.  I of course didn’t want average legs, NO I wanted custom corbels.  I mocked up a general design and wished My Mr. luck.  He researched and diagrammed, cut and cut again, then finished sanded. And he created my corbels!  Beautiful!  A little paint and My Mr’s handy wall mounting skills (my little Mr. getting into the mix and learning from Dad), we tested and bounced to ensure it was secure.  Then over the Thanksgiving holiday tested it with 4 adults and well total Success!!!!  It is awesome!WP_20151124_08_19_15_Pro  It is Beautiful, It was made with love, I know I know cheesy but it was actually a really fun project for us to do together.  Now our wall seating is perfect and comfortable, even little Mr likes it, of course another place to climb on, how could it possibly fail.  So another project under our belt in 2015!

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Hankering to Hang!

I had a major dilemma on the stocking front for our family.  First the ones I tend to like cost and arm and1 a leg, and well I just couldn’t make myself pay for them, maybe in the future, but not this year.  Second; have you noticed how stocking now days seem to be the size of a small child?  I mean a kids whole Christmas could fit in some of these.  I guess I’m old fashioned that stockings are meant to be for little, simple things not a giants foot. And Third yes I am picky, possibly the pickiest person when it come to my stuff, ask my mom, which is why number one is a problem.  So between my lack of budget, size capacity and my obvious insanity I made the crazy decision to make my own.  I of course scoured the “Pinterest” universe for ideas and patterns.  Finally settling on a hybrid of a couple different stockings and making my own downsized stocking pattern.  With coupons in hand I made the drive to JoAnn’s.  Picked out my felt and started the madness.  2Special Thanks to my mother in law who helped me with the cutting and interfacing.  I also wanted these to have some unique touches.  Have you ever hear of “felt wool.”  Our little diaso market sells it and my friend Stina and I have always wanted to make something from it, “stina I did it.”  All be it simple I learned to make felt balled to act as my holly berries.  Heck if these little gals could do it like pros, maybe I could do it too.  50 tried later I had enough, geesh that was the most time consuming part, why I do this to myself I have no idea i could have slapped on some beads and called it good but  . . . . Nooooooo I have to be crazy. (sorry enough of my obvious control issues)  I sewed on my leafs, sewed the sides together, added hanging hooks and finally added those time sucking berries.  And as my little Mr would say Ta-Da!  They were done!  Now they are hung by the chimney with care.  Finally ready to be filled on that special night!  Lovely memories!

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Corky Christmas Advent

Ok, so if you haven’t heard about this amazing Advent I just have to give it a little plug.  25 Days of Christ is a really beautiful and AdobePhotoshopExpress_ef21cfe0f6f0467e8dd36342db6834a0well put together Christ centered advent with a devotional guide and scripture references, video suggestions I mean the works!  I was lucky enough to know about this because the gal who created it is in my church congregation.  Though they are sold out for this year they will restock next year, so keep it in the back of your mind, the website is here.  I got the unfinished set and loved painting and creating the ornaments with my own style.  It was a fun craft night for Mommy!  With my ornaments done I couldn’t figure what I would hang them on.  I wanted this to hang in our family hallway to be a constant reminder.  Between a rather destructive two year old and limited hallway space constraints I came up with my cork Christmas tree.  A Walmart bought cork board, with a white molding added to make a frame.  I painted a modern type tree on the cork and voila!!  We were set, clear push pins acted as our hangers.  It is now incorporated into our bed time scripture routine and my little Mr loves pushing in the pins and hanging the ornaments every night!  Along with being a fun reminder of the reason for the season, it is a beautiful addition to our hallway.  Thanks 25 days for making another meaningful Christmas tradition!

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Hear me Roar

Yeah that’s right ladies and gentsWP_20150611_09_32_25_Pro I pulled Those massive root balls out myself.  I can faintly hear “I am woman hear me roar” being played in the distance.  Though to his credit My Mr is not a slacker, he was doing a little thing like installing a central vac system in our house, Oh and did I mention that he did it for me.  Ok so maybe that now makes my root ball thing seem a little weak sauce.  But heck what can I  say we are one heck of a team, we are a never say die, full throttle family who just goes for it no matter the project.  Bring it on!  2 house projects done and the little Mr slept soundly through it all, total success.

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Modern Cuckoo

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I fell in love with modern cuckoo clocks for Little Mr’s room.  I grew up with a German cuckoo clock in our house, the only down side being the annoying bird!  I’m not a fan of working cuckoo clocks because honestly I find them noisy and after the second time that cooing bird makes his appearance the charm of him popping out is OVER and I’mWP_20140910_22_23_44_Pro ready to rip it off the wall.  Which is why in my house growing up we eventually stopped the ticking all together and it just became decorative.  So a modern clock with a decorative, and entirely UNFUNCTIONAL cuckoo would work for us.  After a little research I came to the realization that they are pricy!!  And $200+ for a clock was just not in the budget.  I asked My Mr. if he thought it would be possible to make our own?  (he’s just so handy he is always up for a picFrame (16)challenge)  The lines were simple and we could probably jig saw it if needs be.  After showing My Mr some examples and his driving force being the ridiculous costs of such simple clocks he was in!  We began a cad design deciding to use a laser cutter to make the cuts more precise.   So we designed it and set about making our little clock.  In no time we had the pieces stained to enhance the natural wood and use white to accent the roof and number lines on the face.  The pendulum is made with cut acrylic as to not distract from the clock itself but in cooperating the natural wood at the bottom circle.  That really turned out lovely!   The little, happy, blue decorative bird sits quietly perched in his hole keeping a peaceful watch over our little Mr.  The perfect cuckoo clock for us, without the cuckoo!

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Home is where you heart is 

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I have seen tons of the fun string art on pinterest but I’ve never known what to do or what I would have it say.  So I saw something that had 2 states overlapping with all the strings centered on a heart.  This struck home to me. 
We love living in Washington, it’s the garden of Eden here and we couldn’t be happier, it just feels like home and we’ve only been living here for 2 years.  But Utah will always be the place we grew up, where we met and married.  It has so much natural beauty and holds the bulk of our families.  So it is still very special to us.picFrame (9)

So with all the sentimental feeling that the project embodied I set about creating my own, with a little help from My Mr. who stained the board.  I created the state templates and outlined them and My Mr skillfully hammered every nail into place so perfectly!   I was kinda terrible at it, it took me longer to do one line than for his to do both states.   After he finished I started stringing Utah first in what I call a beehive yellow.  There was some trial and error getting the string to look right but eventually I got a rhythm going and Utah was done.  Then it was on to the light green Washington.  This came easier and I love how you can see the divot of the Puget sound on the left.  It turned out great.  It was a fun project and now sits on the mantel as a reminder of our 2 home states.

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