Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Pantry update

So for all of you who are wondering if we ever finished that pantry- we did! It took much longer due to life happening along the way and only having spurts of time to work on it. Here is the final product

There is still more to be done in our kitchen. We need to paint the walls. But I am so thankful to have my food all in one place! :-)

Monday, September 26, 2011

There are no steps in this house

There are no steps in this house. None at all.

We live in a 1500 sq ft ranch style home. There are no steps anywhere in it and no steps leading up to it, but more important than the absence of steps in the house is the absence of steps in our family.

If you are reading this you are probably already aware that we are a blended family. His, mine, and ours. What you may not be aware of is that the word "step" is not used as an adjective for parents, children, or siblings in our home.

When Mr. Handsome and I were engaged I began to really think about the "step" title. I had a stepdad once and never had an issue with the title. I also didn't have a relationship with him... Well, not a good one, anyway. In our discussion about our children, the first decision we made was pretty clear. My former spouse had not seen our children for almost two years. My daughter didn't remember him and my son only had two or three memories at best. So that seemed like a no brainer. I just called him (let's call him - Mr. Free Spirit - to be kind) and said, "I'm marrying Mr. Handsome. He wants to adopt the kids. Will you sign the paperwork?" and I got a very simple "yes" from Mr. Free Spirit. So Mr. Handsome adopted Gigglebox(6) and Miss Princess(3), and since July of 2010 they call Mr. Handsome, daddy.

So now we had the older children to think about. They were ages 5,8, and 9 when we married, so they definitely knew I wasn't there mom. I had no intention of trying to be. Mr. Handsome has joint custody of the older three, so we have them a literal 50% of the time. They have a mom, and I'm not it, and that's okay. Now, they also have me and the sound of "stepmom" makes me cringe. Maybe because it seems to separate family like steps separate levels of the house. May it was because I had seen too many Disney movies with evil step-mothers. Whatever it was, I had adamantly decided that was not going to be a desciption of me or anyone in that house. Gigglebox and Little Princess were no longer "steps" by adoption they were siblings. So that made things a little easier. Coming up with a different title for me was a little harder. Miss Lovenotes(6) at one point asked if she could call me mom. Although, it warmed my heart that she looks at me that way I had to decline. As a mother myself I couldn't take that title from someone who is actively involved in their children's lives. So the older kids call me Victoria. Sometimes Vickie. And if they are talking about me to someone else they call me ExtraMom or BonusMom. 

I want to have a relationship with them that says "love" without words being necessary. I love them like my own. They are part of my six kids. No separation. No "step". With the addition Smiley baby, our family is really complete. 

So if you were a fly on the wall in home for day, you would hear plenty of "brothers" and "sisters", "Victorias" and "dads", but you won't hear "step"... and more than anything else, you'll hear a lot of "I love yous". And those are my favorite. 

Friday, September 23, 2011

Friday DIY - rerun post

I'm on a "vacaction" weekend with my husband's company, so I had no time today to do the DIY. So here are five ideas that I recently contributed to another blog as a guest blogger.


Friday, September 16, 2011

Friday DIY - Who needs drawer liners?

The DIY can be used for that old end table, the dresser in your kids room, or even your kitchen drawers. Basically if you have a drawer, some scrap paper, and some basic items, you can redo any drawer you can find!

What you'll need:
  • a drawer
  • scrap paper
  • light paint
  • paint brush
  • glue stick
  • spray adhesive
  • sewing machine with all the fixins :-)

1. The drawer that needs to be covered.

2. Choose some vintage style papers from your scrap pile. You could also use coordinating colors and themes for whatever room the drawer will be in. This drawer is in a furniture piece painted to look shabby chic, so the scrap paper was in keeping with the same theme.

3. Lay white paper in the drawer and tape it together as a base to apply the printed paper. This helps the liner to fit perfectly when completed.

4. Lightly glue the papers down so they are easier to sew.

5. Do a creamy paint wash over the paper to blend the papers. Let your paper completely dry before you start sewing. Also, be sure the outside edges of the papers are glued down well, as they will not have any stitching holding them down.

6. Start stitching the seams of your papers. The zigzag stitch works well. You can set the width of your stitch according to your personal taste and what style of papers you are using. White thread was chosen to go with the light and "airy" look of the painted paper. After each seam has been sewn be sure to leave at least an inch of thread to tape and anchor to the back of the paper.

7. This is what it will look like once you have finished stitching and anchoring the stitches.

8.Turn the paper over and tape down any places, on the back of the liner, where you started and stopped stitching. You can also tie it off, but for liners taping is okay.

9. The edge of the paper should look like this when you are done stitching.

10. Use spray glue to attach your liner to the inside of the drawer. If you don't want the liner to be permanent, fallow the directions on the spray adhesive for a non-permanent hold.

11. Your finished product is a wonderful drawer liner made specifically to taste and coordination. Happy DIY Friday!

Pictures and Idea by Jennifer Griffin of Lily Mairi

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Our weekend project!

Anyone who knows us knows we are ALWAYS working on something in our house. In the 14 months we've been married we have painted three rooms and a fireplace, laid down flooring in three rooms, built a corner desk, five shelves, and a "bar" for our kitchen. Not to mention the many DIY crafts I've done around the house and LOTS of redecorating. Let's just say fitting 8 people into a 1500 sq ft 1970's house is hard... REALLY hard, sometimes. But we are determined to do the best with what God has given us in the budget we have.

Thankfully I married Mr. Handsome :-) He can make, fix, or build anything you can think of, plus he paints with acrylics and water colors, sketches, does stipple art. Basically he's just about amazing. So while our power was out on Monday, due to tornados, he decided to rip out the wall in the only spot in out house with non utilized space. Now that the weekend is here we can make it into what we've wanted to do for a year, a pantry.

For me the dream of having all my food sharing one space, instead of being scattered into 6 cabinets, is wonderful. So hopefully by tomorrow night I will be stocking my new shelves with my old food - well, my already existent food- and be a very happy lady. I'll keep you posted.


Friday, September 9, 2011

Friday's DIY - Wine glass floral arrangement

Do you have a single glass left over from your favorite set of glasses, or that lone wedding glass that hasn't broken through all of your moves? Or maybe you just found a glass you couldn't pass up at the thrift store... if so, this one's for you!

Things you'll need:
  • Wine glass
  • Silk or dried flowers
  • Floral foam
  • Moss
  • Floral picks and picking machine OR wooden picks, wire, and floral tape
  • Hot glue and gun

Step1: Get your wine (or martini) glass ready

Step 2: Cut floral foam to fit the shape of the glass at the bottom. Attach to the glass with hot glue. The hot glue is enough to hold it in place but is not permanent so you can remove it if ever you desire to.
Step 3: Cover the foam with a little bit of moss. This step is not necessary since the foam is mostly covered later by the flowers, but it gives it an extra layer for texture.
Step 4: You can either use a picking machine if you happen to have access to one, or you can attach the flowers to wooden picks by wrapping the stem and pick with wire and covering with floral tape.
Step 5: Take your three biggest flowers or blooms and place them evenly (in a triangle) around the glass. This will keep the arrangement looking rounded when it is complete.
Step 6: Evenly add in the rest of your flowers for a nice even look. Add in the leaves around the base of the arrangement and in between any flowers that you would like to stand out (rose stand out from hydrangeas, etc)
Your finished product should look similar to this. Now the items you love will be on display to add a personal touch to your home, serve as a conversation piece, and brighten your day! Happy DIY Friday!

Pictures by Jennifer Griffin of Lily Mairi
Written by Victoria

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Unintentional hiatus & an introduction to a new DIY friend...

I'm so very sorry for my unintentional hiatus! Between sickness, birthdays, diets, family in town, etc; I just got lost in all the business. I'm very excited to be back in front of my computer keyboard, especially since I get to introduce you to a crafty, creative, brilliant, friend of mine. Meet Jennifer Griffin! She sells many products under the company name of Lily Mairi.

My name is Jennifer Griffin. I have been married 15 years to Andrew. Been together for 18.5 years.
I have 3 kids Lily, 7, Liam, 5 and Lia, 3. They are the ones that inspire most of my creations. It wasn't until I had kids that I appreciated the gift God had given me in my creative artistic ability. I realized when I had kids that I would be able to serve my family with my ability to make something out of nothing. To use what I had creatively to bless my kids with craft projects, birthday parties, costumes or whatever it is that would make a memory for them to cherish. Being a homemaker and mom, my gifts come in handy in serving my husband too. I have been able to make our house a home with very little money and a bit of elbow grease. A peaceful refuge for him and myself. I am able to take thrift store/yard sale items and give them a new purpose and new life. I LOVE to repurpose/recycle, rather up-cycle, things. I have been doing that since I was a child. I am not sure how I know the things I know. I have had no formal schooling in art. I read lots and lots by others who have gone before me. I also have this thing where I try to figure out how something is put together and made. Some people try to figure out how to copy a restaurants recipe for a fabulous dish. I try to figure out how that pillow was sewn and how I could do it using what I have. Principles that apply to one art form ofter can be applied to others. Basic design principle can be applied to various art forms as well. the same idea behind fashion can be applied to home decor or paper crafting. Personally I think balance is what matters not the color you use or texture you use. I do that often in my paper crafting. My art is visual. I can not write worth a darn. Hence my blog not being up to date. Language is my husband's area of creativity.

Now that you've "met" Jennifer... I will be posting some of her DIY projects, along with my own ideas and others, every friday so that you can make something beautiful every weekend! To follow her blog, like her on facebook, or buy something wonderful from her etsy store  just click the appropriate link.

Look forward to creating with you