noun: a small piece or amount of something, esp. one that is left over after the greater part has been used.
synonyms: noun: fragment - piece - bit - shred

Sunday, January 29, 2012

A Crochet-y Baby...

Hello, Happy Sunday and Welcome to the Farm!  I hope your week has been awesome and I hope your coming week is just as great!    It's been a cold one here, with lots of ice, scraping windows and plowing snow.  Whew, we've had a break for the last couple of days and I am so happy!

Nothing like snuggling in your jammies and blankie with hot tea and just letting your mind wander wherever it wants to go.  Mine has been wandering toward many different little crafts; how about you?  

This week, however, I'd like to share a beautiful, much loved, hand crocheted dress outfit that a lovely lady named Esther crocheted for my granddaughter, Addisyn.  Esther put a lot of time and love into this creation and it is truly beautiful!  My heart is so thankful at Esther's thoughtfulness toward little Addie.  

This beautiful outfit was crocheted in mint green and white, and includes a ruffly dress, some hand mitties and a cute little hat.  Notice the ribbon in the mitties?  A super lovely touch!  And that crocheted flower on the dress?  Wow!  Ms. Esther went all out!  She even had it boxed in two lovely boxes when I received it.  Believe it or not, I almost cried when I saw it; it is just gorgeous, and all that love in it was overwhelming.  You see, Ms. Esther has never met little Addie.  She just wanted to do something special for her.  Obviously, I had to show it off before I sent it down to Ms. Addie.  Didn't want this loveliness to go for nothing!  EVERYONE had to see it!

Well, of course I had to send pics to Momma Keri so she could see it too!  I let her know little Addie was going to be getting a package soon and that she was going to love it.  Sure enough, as soon as her package got there, Addie was ON IT!  Hey, a girl KNOWS when the mailman brings something for her!  And Momma lets her open her own packages too so that was so cool!  Look at that color peeking through the box!  And Addie is ready to pull it out and see what it is!  It's a dress Addie!  Ms. Esther sent a beautiful dress just for you!  Notice the look that says, "hey, Momma, I think it might be sumpin' soft!"  You're right Addisyn!  It is!

Ms. Addie decided to take it out of the box (with Momma's help) and there it was, soft and fluffy, a little outfit, just for her!  Now, I've been told by Momma that little Addie likes soft things, and who would know better than Momma?  Addie sat and looked at the dress and felt it to see what it was.  Isn't this the sweetest picture?  

It appears that Addisyn liked the entire package, including the paper inside the boxes that were folded over the outfit.  Here, she's enjoying a high fiber snack of paper.  I'm not quite sure how it tasted, but hey, a girl can't have a cute little outfit AND a tasty snack!  Maybe that's why Momma and Daddy feed her.  LOLOL

Not only is she a crochet-y baby, but she's cute too!

Dress, Hat and Mittens by the lovely Esther Carr.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Eat Here...

Hello, Happy Sunday and Welcome to the Farm! Here's to hoping you've all had a wonderful week, with another one coming up.  I don't think asking for two wonderful weeks in a row is a bad thing, do you?  :) We have had snow this week, which was a long time coming (although not long enough for me) and not really welcome.  It did turn out not to be as bad as I thought it would, so I am extremely grateful for that.  The only upside of snow that I can see is that I can come home from work and immediately get into my jammies with no guilt at all.  No guilt is good.  :D

Although this week was a short work week, I really don't feel like I got much accomplished.  In fact, I'm pretty sure I didn't.  By the time I came home, got into my jammies, and pulled myself off of Pinterest, it was time for bed.  No house cleaning this week; sorry peeps.  Too busy doing fun stuff!

Like many of you, I am constantly trying to "cuten" up my surroundings.  I like to have a warm and welcoming home, and there is an empty nook at the end of the kitchen that is glaringly ugly, which does NOT make it warm and welcoming.  I don't even have any curtains up (haven't for four years) and the wall is that dingy gray white.  You know, the white that used to actually BE white but isn't anymore? Never fear, this icky color will not stay much longer, but until I can paint, I will just be focusing on how to make some fun, funky and cute things for my decor.  I kind of have my own style, which may or may not be a good thing, and I like to come up with things that I enjoy looking at. 

I like different, so that's a good thing.  Not to mention, I have a seriously limited talent, so I just have to beg the art gods that something will turn out.  Really, they do not smile down on me often.  That being said, I still enjoy making my home into something that reflects my quirky personality.   This week, it's an "I really wanted to be a sign but Toodie doesn't know how to make them so this is what I ended up as" type of wall art. Poor wanna be sign; it just didn't work out that way this time.

What I did come up with was fun, funky and just plain (in my own opinion) cute.  I had some blank canvases that I had a grand plan for, but couldn't find some of the things I had planned to use on them, even though I KNOW they are around here somewhere.  Those blank canvases were supposed to be a hinged sign. And the letters that I used for this project were supposed to be a phrase.  Not being able to find the hinges and not having enough room above the window for my phrase, I decided to come up with something different and combine the two.

I took three of those blank canvases and mod podged some old torn up cookbook pages to them.  I decided I didn't want to have a smooth background so I let my paper bubble before I put the sealing coat of mod podge over it. Then I panicked.  It's pretty bubbly.  I did only adhere and seal to the top of the canvas as I wanted to paint the edges.  My husband was ok until I mentioned paint; then HE panicked.  I did the same to the letters, only I smoothed down the paper so that the letters would be an opposite texture of the canvas.

Now that the canvases were completely dry, I took my scrapbook paints and painted the edges, letting the paint brush over the sides so that it was a sort of shabby, messy look.  I did like the addition of the color, so maybe I wasn't really going to dislike the end result as much as I thought.  After I finished with the canvases, I did the same to the letters.  I gave both the canvases and the letters two coats around the edges and let them dry.  Ok, I'm liking this a little better now.

Once everything was dry, I adhered the letters to the tops of the canvases with a glue gun.  I used the low temp setting as I didn't want to burn through the papers on the canvases. Then I added utensils (except to the letter A, because I did not have an old fork to use so that will have to wait until tomorrow) beside the letters and called it good.  Still skeptical, I put them in the window and stepped back to see how they looked.  The bubbled texture of the paper on the canvases combined with the smooth texture on the letters, with that pop of color, really made me happy.  I LIKED THEM!!  YAY!  They are three-dimensional and will look great above the window.

Tomorrow I will add a fork underneath the letter A and that will be that.  All in all, for a hodge podge project, it turned out fairly well, and I do like the end result. Sometimes being quirky and coming up with something different IS all it's cracked up to be!

Canvas (12x12) from Artist's Loft; Wooden letters (9 inch) from Michael's; Paper from an old cookbook; Scrapbook paint (Poppy, Sunflower and Meadow) from Making Memories; Mod Podge Matte-Mat from Plaid Enterprises.

Sunday, January 15, 2012


Poor old lonely, ugly, dusty mirror
Hello, Happy Sunday and Welcome to the Farm!  I hope you have all had a good week and were blessed with fairly good weather as well.  I was so happy that we didn't get snow!  Looks like it's coming this week though.  8-12 inches predicted by Wednesday, and that's in town.  I just happen to NOT live in town, but in a snow belt, so for me, it's more than likely 12-who knows how many inches.  Ugh.  What to do...what to do...  Oh, I know!  Stay inside and work on STUFF!  You know, the fun stuff, not the not-gonna-be-fun-no-matter-how-many-times-I-try-to-convince-myself stuff.

I've kind of gotten a head start on the "stuff" part, even though there isn't any snow yet.  Oops, my bad.  Thought there was.  Hee hee hee.  So what do I have for you today, you ask?  Well, that's a good question!  I've got several different projects in line from the thought process all the way down to the just finished it process (mostly the thought process, though; I'm kinda slow that way).  You know how it is - you start with one thing and then all of a sudden your mind goes somewhere else because of a product, method, or whatever, brings a new thought to you.  Yep, that's what happens.  This project sort of came out of the fact that I got a 4-month old puppy last week.  And the fact that I didn't want to write on my chalkboard refrigerator (remember my Chalk It because I like it too much to use it for a chalkboard. THERE'S some keen sense for you.  LOL  

Nice prettied up mirror, uh, chalkboard!
Anyhoooooo, as I was getting ready for work one morning (which, by the way, is the WORST time to come up with an idea!) I had to shut my bedroom door because our new puppy kept trying to grab my nylons.  And my clothes.  And my shoes.  Dang it!  So, as I shut the door, I'm like...WHOA!  That mirror is seriously dusty!  And you can see that for yourself in the pictures here.  Eek!  How did that happen?  I'm really not a dirty person, honest.  Well, how that happened is that this mirror NEVER gets used.  And my bedroom door RARELY gets shut.  So, with the combination of the two, I completely forgot it was there.  Yes, I do vacuum around it, but it's become such a staid fixture that I don't even remember it being there at all.  Sad, sad situation and lonely, lonely, ugly mirror.

Now, I know you're going to ask...WHY do you have a lonely, ugly, dusty mirror in the first place?  Well, it's like this.  I have had that mirror longer than my daughter has been alive (I think), and she is now 21.  Ok, that's pathetic.  It's one of those cheapy mirrors that you can find at a big box store for about $5 on sale and only about $10 not on sale.  Except way back in the day, I'm pretty sure I remember paying nothing.  I actually kind of remember it showing up on the door one day and that's really about it.  It's entirely possible that it came with a house we bought when my daughter was just a baby; that's how much I remember about it.  Pathetic indeed.  I'm guessing that it's just followed me, because I cannot remember moving the darn thing!  At any rate, it's still here with me.  And it was in some desperate need of sprucing up, looking pretty, and going out!

Vintage garlic press
So, as I was hurriedly getting dressed so Baxter (the new puppy) wouldn't chew my clothes to shreds, it came to me.  The mirror HAS TO GO.  I'm so sorry to even think it, but IT'S TIME.  BYE BYE MIRROR.  Cuz, you see, this is how it is.  Remember that fairy tale...Mirror, Mirror, on the Wall...Well, no one in this house cares because you're ugly and we don't want to talk to you.  Ew.  Get away!  All day I thought about that mirror.  What could I do?  Throw it away?  I REALLY REALLY REALLY want to, but since I've had it for so long, I feel like we're bonded in some alien-like, freaky way.  No, I couldn't throw it away.  Hmmmm...seriously, WHAT do you do with one of "those" things?

Finally, two days later, it hit me.  (I told you, I'm a little slow)  Since I refuse to write on my refrigerator, which I chalk painted for just that purpose, I could make it into a chalkboard!  It will fit on my pantry door, which is a smaller width door, and will certainly spruce it up a little.  Yay, problem solved!  Uh...not so much. I had this grand plan to mod podge some old cookbook pages around the frame and chalkboard the mirror itself.  BWAH HAHAHAHAHAHAH.  Too many ridges in the frame for the mod podge to even begin to think of adhering.  I couldn't get far enough in the grooves with my pages to have them stick.  Pooh.  Ok, I'm disappointed but I think I can handle this somehow.  DING!  I'll just paint the edges with some of the leftover paint I have that matches the living room and the maple color of the fridge.  Uh...not so much.  As I attempted to do that, it appeared that I would have to do several coats of paint just to get it to cover, and then several more just to make it sort of look like it was painted, and then...well, yeah, you get the picture.  Pooh.  There is no more disappointment in me.  Now, I'm just disgusted.  And sulking.  It did not help AT ALL that I had to sleep on the love seat because my husband was sleeping on the couch because BAXTER PEED ON THE BED and it was too late at night to care about changing the bedding.  And it is our own fault because we were gone too long and did not look when we got home to see if there were any accidents.  Did I mention Pooh.  Well, guess what...We are now past Pooh to Crap. 

Vintage cup and juicer
So, here I am, laying on the love seat with my feet hanging over because I cannot lay on the arm of the love seat with my head and neck unless I desire to look like Quasimodo in the morning and no, thank you, I do not.  Well, of course I can't there are millions of thoughts going around in my head about our trip to Home Depot that pretty much resulted in my having to rethink a couple of my kitchen projects (insert sad face here); our trip to Brown's Building Supply where I picked up three antique steel knobs and wanted that project done NOW; and, of course, this stupid mirror frame fiasco.  Hmmmph.  As I'm laying there trying to remember any new thoughts for these projects so I can write them down in the morning, it hits me...UH, DORKO, JUST TAKE THE STUPID FRAME OFF!  Well, duh.

This morning, that's exactly what I did.  I took that stupid frame off.  Oh, excuse me, I misspoke.  I RIPPED THAT STINKIN' FRAME OFF WITH A VENGEANCE AND IT FELT GOOOOOOOOD.  Yes, I mean that as evil as it sounds.  I ripped it off and I won!  I did, however, leave the backing on as it stuck out around the edges of the mirror itself about 1 inch.  That way, when I picked it up to move it, I wouldn't cut my hands on the raw edges.  Genius, I say.  The only thing to do now was to take the mirror outside and paint it. This time for paint I was using the spray chalkboard paint so I knew the mist would be in the air and I wanted a well-ventilated area to paint.  Outside was perfect.  How much more ventilated could you get?  I am so smart sometimes, I scare myself!  Following the super simple directions on the can, I sprayed away.  On this mirror, I did three coats, but that is just a personal preference.  The directions say one or two.  I did wait about 25 minutes in between coats (again, just a personal preference as I wanted to see if I'd missed any spots while it was drying) and, about 20 minutes after the last coat, I brought the mirror back inside.  I had set up two bar stools to lay the mirror on, and I just let it lay there and dry about an hour more.  You don't really have to wait that long, but I wanted to make sure there was no tackiness to the paint as I wasn't finished yet.

After the mirror was dry, I grabbed some of my trusty cardstock from my craft room.  I had a kitchen-themed paper that I thought was going to be perfect for this project!  And I think it is.  :)  The best thing about that was that the mirror was 12 inches wide so there was no cutting or measuring so it took little to no time to get the paper adhered.  My first thought was to use mod podge to adhere it on, but I decided that I didn't want to have any glue residue on the blackboard so I used some double-sided tape instead.  The tape I used was about 1/4 inch wide, but any size will do.  Simple and quick, and no messy residue.  Loved it!  I really liked the result, but still felt like something was missing.  You know that feeling...looks great, but could look just a wee bit better.  Back into my trusty craft room I went and found some thin ribbon that was green with gold edges.  Perfect!  I adhered that to the tops and bottoms of each paper, and also to the dividing line between the two bottom papers (I had added extra to the bottom as I wanted a larger area covered).  Loved it!  The result was just what I was looking for!

Then, because I just can't leave well enough alone, I went into my kitchen and grabbed a few vintage utensils off of the wall.  Yes, I said off of the wall.  I have had them hanging there for a while (ok, several years) but they just get hidden behind the dish drainer and can't be enjoyed.  I thought maybe they would be a nice addition to my chalkboard.  Simple, but visible.  You can't go wrong with that, right?  At least, I hope not.  In any event, I thought they were really cool looking so on they went.  :)  And, for one of the very few times that I've been absolutely in love with what I've done, I WAS ABSOLUTELY IN LOVE.  This turned out so much better than I thought it would, and tomorrow it will be attached to the pantry door.  

My lonely, ugly, dusty mirror was no longer.  Now, she has been all prettied up and is going out!  Out of the bedroom, that is, and into the kitchen for everyone to see!

Mirror, Mirror, on the Door - You aren't so Ugly anymore!

Chalk Board Spray Paint (Black) by Rustoleum; Double-sided cardstock (So Delish~Spice Rack and So Delish~Everything But The Kitchen Sink) by TPC Studio; Ribbon by unknown source.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Sister Scenario...

Hello, Happy Sunday and Welcome to the Farm!  I trust your year has started out on a fairly good note and that so far January has been good to you.  It has been a good start here, so I'm hoping for the same everywhere else.

With the new year, we've got all those fun ideas and resolutions on our minds.  At least I do.  There's a lot of organizing, cleaning out, crafting, etc., to be done and I probably should get a start on it.  But I don't want to.  Really, I don't.  It makes me nauseous just to think of it.

Although I am all in favor of a clean and organized house, it's much more fun to craft; however, how can I do that if I don't have a clean and organized house? It's a vicious circle and, in my opinion, a very unfair one.  Who invented that stupid circle anyway? And why?  

Since I did a LITTLE cleaning up today AND a major organization project, I think it's only fair that I get to share a craft as well.  After all, turnabout is fair play (I suppose if you're a circle).  I've been working on some more of my unfinished projects, but the one I'm sharing today was already finished.  It's one of my favorite scrapbook projects EVAH.

My little granddaughter, Addisyn, has two big sisters, Tiffani and Cierra, who just adore her.  I'm pretty sure it goes both ways since little Addie smiles and laughs a lot with them (at them?).  They're always playing with her and having fun, although there was this one time when Cierra got a taste of what it's like to feed her.  The pictures were sad.  Food on her face sad.  And food in her hair sad.  Poor Cierra, that's all I can say about that.  

Momma Keri took these pictures of the girls and, as usual, I stole them right off the computer.  hee hee hee I'm really good for that.  In fact, it's my job.  She knows I do it; that's why she posts them.  Since I don't live by them, I'm very grateful that she does.  These two pictures just brought joy to my heart.  The way they are all looking - so content and happy - that's what a Grandma wants to see.  :)  I can see so clearly how much Addisyn loves her big sisters and how much they love her.  

When I first saw these pictures, my heart just melted.  And then I started thinking of all the things they'll do together in the future; things like my own sister and I did when we were little.  Playing, talking, sharing secrets, reading to each other, supposed to be sleeping but not...  It's ok to say that; we're grown up now and we can't get in trouble anymore.  :D  I have some precious memories of my sister and I, and I know that Tiffani, Cierra and Addisyn will have some of their own.  I can't wait to hear about the fun times they have and the secrets they keep.  Like only sisters do.

Momma Keri is going to have some interesting sister scenarios as the girls grow. She just may need  Calgon for some of them!

8x20 Scrapbook Canvas and Templates from Heritage Makers.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Chairful Recovery...

Hello, Happy Sunday and Welcome to the Farm!  I hope that your Christmas holiday was wonderful and warm!  And on that note, Happy New Year to you all as well! Wow, doesn't seem like an entire year has already come and gone.  Where (really, where) does the time go?  I'm sure I  haven't even come close to realizing all my goals and projects from last year yet.  Guess I'll just have to carry them over to this year. Yep, that's what I'll do.  Glad I thought of that!

Grandma's chair (before).
Like most, if not all, of you, I have plans for reorganizing, crafting, and just making my home cozier in general. Cozy is my friend, and we get along really well. Just ask me. When folks come to my home, I want them to feel welcome, which isn't just an attitude, it's a sense. Have you ever walked into someone's home and thought, "NO WAY am I sitting on that furniture or walking on that carpet!" because it's so perfect and pristine? To me, that's a very uncomfortable feeling, and I don't want my home to send that message.

Now, my home is NOT one of those homes with brand new furniture and beautiful draperies.  The things I tend to have are things that mean something to me for one reason or another.  One of my very favorite things is my grandmother's table, chairs and buffet.  They are older than dirt, scratched and marked up, heat stained, and most definitely not in style!  But I love them.  I love them A LOT.  I think of my grandma a lot, remembering the times at the table in her house.  It's where I drank my first cup of real tea, with milk, in a real glass cup.  And where Grandma had friends and family talking and eating that wonderful Italian food.  

The only good one left!
While I hold these furniture items near and dear to my heart, I am in no way fooled that they need some TLC and sprucing up.  Because while part of them say, "hello, come on in," the chairs say, "get off me!"  I've thought for years about what to do to them, whether re-stain or paint, and have ALMOST reached a decision. Meanwhile, back at the table, our legs were getting sliced to ribbons due to the "fabric" that was on the seats of those chairs.  I don't know whether it was naugahyde, some kind of plastic, or what, but on all of them except one the covering was torn and sharp.  And yes, it actually did cut a few times. OWWWWWW.  I kept trying to love them along, but it finally got to the point that something needed to be done.  The quickest and easiest fix was to replace the seat fabric since I didn't really know yet how I was going to finish the actual wood on the pieces.  

A close up!
After getting sliced up for the very last time, I decided it was time!  Into my trusty toy box (yes, I said toy box) I went to see if I had any fabrics suitable for a chair seat.  Really?  Of course I didn't!  But I did look anyway to see if I had any small remnants of something that I could use temporarily (translation:  until I figure out what I really want to do with them, hopefully before I die).  I came across this fabric that I has purchased on clearance several years ago to make a skirt out of.  As I looked at it and thought to myself, "Seriously, you were going to make a skirt out of THAT?" I decided this fabric was destined for my butt.  Well, under my butt, that is, on the chair.  I also had some leftover batting that I used as a light cushion under the fabric, so out that came as well.

Poor hubby.  This is how it was:

Me:  I need you to help me with this, ok?
Him:  Help you with what?
Me:  This.
Him:  What is "this?"
Me:  We're going to redo these chair seats.
Him:  Excuse me?
Me:  We're going to redo these chair seats.
Him:  Why?
Me:  Because they need it.
Him:  I don't know how.
Me:  I don't either but I'm sure it will come to us.
Him:  You're nuts.
Me:  No, I'm not; I'm sure it's a really easy process.
Him:  Why do you do this to me?
Me:  Do what to you?
Him:  Never mind; give me that stuff.
Me:  It's not stuff.  It's fabric and batting.
Me:  What?

Grandma's chair (after).
And then we proceeded to work on the chairs.  Yes, it was super easy; after all, they're just seats, not the entire chair.  LOL  All we had to do was take the cushions off (they were not a fluffy cushion since they're older than dirt and dining room chairs); remove the staples and take the fabric and old lining off; use the hard surface of the seat as a template and replace the batting and new fabric (cutting the fabric larger than the actual seat surface in order to be able to stretch it over to the back); and staple it on.  Super simple, very quick, and hubby actually liked how they turned out.  

I don't plan on leaving this fabric on there forever, but it sure does look better and beats the heck out of getting cut or jabbed with that old hard stuff.  And really, it was a super easy, chairful recovery that leads people to believe they're welcome to actually sit down.