Thursday, March 21, 2013

Just a Little Project with T Shirts

 T-shirts are kind of on the brain right now ever since I started using them for rug weaving.  There are plenty around waiting for a new life.  So this old T shirt became a trial run on some new little applique ideas I wanted to try out.  The babe can always use little play pants and oh how nice it is to be so tiny that you can get a whole new pair of pants from a T shirt!
 One leg got the fallen tree made from T shirt scraps and the other leg got a little snail.
 I really like the snail and think it will be a new little creature in some new creations for the shop and family.
They are a cuddly pair of pants for the wee one!


I have started a weekend sale a tad early in the shop.  Just thought you may like to know;)  Have a wonderful weekend friends!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Update on the Kitchen and a Bit of Life...

We are doing just little bits on the kitchen as time allows these days.  We have finished the tiling now.  And I was a bit unsure of my choice as we were putting them up, but after the grouting was done, I was very happy!
 We have gotten almost half of the cabinet doors finished and up again.
 I made the new curtains-I may have already shared that part already, but with the cabinet doors up now, it looks so different!
 I had mentioned the fabric pack of fat quarters I received that became the color inspirations for the redo.  I am so happy with how I have been able to integrate them into the kitchen in small ways.  I recovered a stool we use in the kitchen.  And you may not see it in the photo, but I also put clear plastic over it when I recovered it.  I have seen the quick degrading of our stools all too often when they are not covered with plastic;)
 Made some new potholders-yahoo!  I have not made any for 17 years I think!
 The kitchen has been a pretty small part of life lately since we have been back to work and school.  I am honestly going through a rough emotional patch I think simply due to the lack of sleep I am getting right now.  It is just that season right now with the babe-teething, sickness, ever changing sleep habits.  Not anything that is new to me, but it still tends to bring about a sort of haze or underlying struggle mentally and emotionally when that lack of sleep starts to build week after week.  The test of patience, gentleness, self control, and just clarity and truth truly needs to be supplied by the Lord because they are naturally not happening.  And then there are those days when I cut any help from the Lord off because of just plain crabbiness.  But the Lord continues to stretch and mold our lives, adding new lessons to ones taught before.  I have gone through this stage many times, but the new elements this time-teenagers too;) And I do not say that in the sarcastic way the culture tends to label teenagers with.  I say that in the way that those quiet hours of the night time-say post 7pm when all the littles are in bed, is no longer a regrouping, restful, processing mental time any more.  We have 2 teenagers that in all reality, cannot go to bed at 7pm any longer.  They have studying to do, conversations to be had with us, etc.  They may even be babysitting for us and need to decompress after we return.  So my mental strength needs to somehow outlast them too(which honestly cannot sometimes-I will in no way claim supermom status or say it should be priority to be that-sometimes I have to honestly tell them-I need a quiet night to allow my mind to rest-and they seem to be coming to an understanding of that)  But in the midst of all of that stretching and struggle, the Lord still bestows on us good memories, growth in that struggle and even joy from pain.

After lunch yesterday, Bell asked me if she could give the rest of her apple from lunch to her pig Cocoa.  Shortly after I said yes, I heard that most painful cry from her that cocoa had died.  My tears were quick to come, I felt that broken heart more than normal, so we sat for quite awhile with cocoa bundled up ready to be buried and cried together.  I listened as Bell talked through all the things she loved about Cocoa and all of those things she was looking forward to with the upcoming warm weather that she had planned to do outside with cocoa.  Bell was so grieved.  All the girls have their own little pets, along with Noah.  And they are such good lessons for each of them.  We have gone through the loss of them many times before.  Some times we have made the kids wait to pick new ones and sometimes we do not wait.  Yesterday was one of those days we did not wait.  Matt and I took Bell out after dinner to pick a new little pig.  She just adores this new little life.  She still carries that sting from Cocoa, but just a bit lighter now.  Sometimes we cannot soothe their broken hearts, but sometimes it is a real blessing to be able to tangibly soothe that ache.

So this is the new little pig-Sweetie Bell.  She has warmed up to Bell so quickly!
 Madison watched over the little ones while we were out last night with Bell.  I came home to find her teaching arts and crafts to Israel.  Madison loves pinterest just as much as I do and has been inspired daily to try new ideas.  I was excited to see her work when we returned.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013



Wednesday, March 13, 2013

We're Getting There(In the Kitchen)...

Well it has been a little over a week since we tore our kitchen apart to make some overdue repairs.  All of the new features are in and built.  Now we are working through paint, trim, cabinet doors, flooring, curtains, and tiling the back splash.  All of those things are fun and allow us to at least use our kitchen while we wait for time to complete them.  Here are some of the pictures of our progress.
 In the basement, on my loom is the beginnings of a rug for the kitchen.  The lighting downstairs is very different from upstairs, but the colors actually do match:)  I used the fabrics I showed in my earlier post, for choosing all of the T-shirts I am using to make the rug.
 This was probably the best of all the changes as far as storage and work space for us!  This is one of the reasons we did away with the old pantry on this wall.  This would not have fit if we had kept it.  I have all of my baking supplies here, it has been heaven to bake and cook!
 This is one of my most treasured finds since we have been married!  An old farmhouse table/desk.  But we just did not have anywhere to use it any longer.  It was killing me not to have a place for it!  But now, I can use it as my island.
 And here is the best part-we added casters to the bottom to not only raise it up to a better height, but it has mobility for wherever I am needing it!  That was a $15.00 fix for giving me a needed island and keeping an heirloom piece in our home!
 Remember, there was a door here to our boy's room.  Look how awesome the wall is now!!  Thankful for professional tapers-it is like it was never there!  I can actually pull my fridge out to clean it without having to rip the door frame off first:).  Hooray!!
 We lost some obvious storage space when putting a dishwasher in for the first time as well as getting rid of the pantry.  I knew we needed to use shelving for storage and therefore needed to figure out a way to have what was out, look nice as well-all without having to rob a bank to buy nice looking storage containers!  So, we picked up 2 big boxes of large mason jars(24 in all) for under $20.00.  Now all of our daily supplies are out and lookin' pretty!
 Can I giggle here!?  We have actual drawers that fit more than a piece of paper!  And not just one drawer, there are 3!  I am using old bread pans to organize.
 Here it is, the corner that used to have the awkward pantry that made using either of the walls for anything, simply impossible.  My hutch there still is waiting to be painted.  But fits just perfectly there now!

And all of the cabinets are painted, just not the door fronts yet.  We sanded them down, primed them, and then painted them.  They are still in the process of getting sealed.  The paint people said we wouldn't need to, but we know from experience, that unfortunately is not true:)  Also-that lovely box above the microwave-a friend built it for us!  Looks like it has always been there.  Before, since we had no cabinets to attach the microwave to, it was on a crude shelf and there were exposed conduit above it along with an unfinished wall that I attempted to cover with a curtain.  I just love this new look!

So, there you have it-we are getting there!  We are loving the dishwasher, having wood counter tops, space, function, meals made at home, finished walls and the list goes on!  Thanking the Lord for the resources to do this much needed work.  I will share more after this weekend when we have more time to get some work done.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Making Some Progress...

Many of you have been following along on the changes to our home that needed to happen to when we found out we were expecting our 6th child.  For those of you who are just joining in reading this, I'll give a little sum-up:).  We own a little 3 bedroom ranch with an unfinished basement that also holds, not only our now 6 kiddos, but also my business.  Before Israel was born, we were blessed with friends helping us build a beautiful bedroom for Matt and I in our basement! It was truly a gift and has allowed us to all have a bedroom to call home.  But, to fit that bedroom, it meant really changing my studio workspace and the play-space for the younger kiddos.  It has been a year of working through finding a way to gain some of that back.  It has been such a giant undertaking that we have been doing it in smaller parts, seeing how it worked and then making the necessary changes needed.

One thing we did months ago was get some good shelving up for my handmade items.

 That worked so well, that we just recently used the same type of shelving in my workspace, which has been so wonderfully functional and it isn't an eyesore since it is within the family room space now.  Here are a few pictures.  The wall of shelves are on the outside wall of our bedroom.

 This is my current workspace.  It is so far, the best functioning space I have had as of yet. I do still have a large cutting table behind where I am standing to take the shot-but that area is still under some reworking, so I will show pics of that when it is finished. It has been so wonderful to have two of my machines out again.  I use both of them all the time and my Bell is in there with me so much of the time too, it is nice when she doesn't need to wait to use the machine.
 I was able to sand down the round table and get it painted along with my cabinets.  The white helps lighten up the basement.
 Here are the new shelves.  They are on the outside wall of our bedroom.  They are making designing so much easier!
 Here you can see how it opens up to the family room.  Keeps me with the kids while I work-A MUST FOR ME!
 My sewing table fits so perfectly back in that corner-I love it!

Now this is the other project we have been working on slowly through out the year.  This space is on the other wall of our bedroom.  It is a tiny little area that has been the overflow so often of whatever is going on in the house.  It eventually will be a 2nd bathroom for us, but that is quite a ways down the road for us(yes, it is possible to function as a family of 8 with only one bathroom-haha).  Anyways, I have been working to widdle us down around here to only having things we used regularly.  We let go of a lot of toys collecting dust, alot of "maybe some day" things, etc.  And Cole and I have worked really hard on cleaning and organizing the garage multiple times to get a good space for his weight room, which used to be down in this space.  He really prefers to work out in the garage anyways.  So, finally we had a clear space to give the younger kids a room for playing.  We were able to purchase a carpet remnant to fit the entire room and have since then, been working on a layout for the kiddos to play, more on that later:) I am so thrilled to be on our way to having this space because since our bedroom was built, it has deeply grieved me that we had no space for the kids to have sleep overs!  Cole asked me one day in the middle of a moment of frustration as I was racking my brain to figure out where to store things, why this change was so important to me.  I just broke down in tears and told him, I want you kids to be able to have your friends over again. I have missed that so much!

This is the view from the other side.  You can see my loom there in the hallway.  We have just needed to go through so many changes as a growing family, and that has meant rethinking how we use this little house.  Trying to make it every inch useful, waste nothing.  The birth of Israel certainly spurred this on, but the fact that we also have two teenagers now, has changed alot of how we function as well.  The younger kids are not so young anymore either and as their interests have changed so quickly too. Who knew we could house 8 of us, homeschooling and a business in this little ranch we bought 8 years ago!  Pretty cool!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

A Peek at What's Happening around our Home...

Usually Matt and I get away for a few days over our anniversary, with 6 kiddos and Matt being in full time ministry, it is very good for preserving our marriage-not just to get by, but to thrive.  But this year for our 17th, it just couldn't happen.  We needed the budget for braces, drivers ed and a 40 year old kitchen that was falling apart.  While we certainly miss the quiet of that trip, the slow pace and just being "US", we are making the best out of the things needing our attention.

Here is a peek at us knee deep in the kitchen repairs.

                                                This is the BEFORE....
 horrible 70's white speckled laminate that has worn away and is impossible to clean.  A gorgeous(not) brown sink and range which barely works(unfortunately the oven is the same and will not be leaving us quite yet since it still works.)
 The funky copper tiles are leaving us...

The door between the boy's room and the kitchen has been walled off for over a year but unfinished-the eyesore is going to be taped today(professionally-Matt and I stink at taping!)

We are actually closing up the pantry-it is so narrow and awkward and keeps us from using either of those walls for anything else.  We are going to bust into it from the boys room on the other side for a much needed closet!
 Here is the used dishwasher we were given years ago(hopefully it works)  we are finally cutting out a space for one-Never had one before!  The kids are thrilled-imagine that!
 Counter tops out!.....  The cabinets will be sanded down and painted a light gray.
 Butcher block wood counter in!!  All natural-I am beyond thrilled!!

The new sink is in.  Very big...very deep and I love the new faucet!  We had originally picked out an old farmhouse style apron sink at Ikea, but found it wouldn't work with our current cabinets.  This is the next best thing! And it is baby bathing heaven!!  Life still goes on in an unfinished kitchen:)

And our new range.  We have had it for a few years as well but couldn't put it in until we were ready to make the other changes at the same time.  We had purchased it at a yard sale and it works fabulously!!

 And this is my inspiration for color!!  I just received it in the mail today-perfect timing before I get ready to paint!!

Still a crazy amount of work ahead of us and the vacation time is starting to dwindle-not to mention how tired we are.  But knowing this work will be well worth it-to have a working kitchen!

Friends brought us dinner last night in the middle of a crazy snow storm, which was a huge God send! Thank you thank you thank you!  I finally went to bed at 2am last night and Matt sometime after that-we need to be to a certain point before Matt goes back to work on Friday-and we are celebrating Bell's 8th birthday tomorrow.  So today is the crazy day to get us to the finish line.

I must say-I am so blessed that Matt is willing to tackle the electrical and plumbing in this old house-makes the impossible, possible for us!  He rocks.