Sunday, February 28, 2016

Target Dollar Spot

Target puts the Dollar Spot section at the front of their stores for people like me. I can't walk past that section without getting lulled in. You know what I'm talking about, the section where everything is $1 or $3 each.
This week I spied these cute badges. A package of eight for $3. 
What couldn't I make with these? So many ideas. I bought one package...should've bought more! 
Then there was these banners. Everything you need to make a banner was right in the package for $3. I bought two packages.
When I got home, I put the banners together and stuck a badge (they have sticky on the back of them) on the top of each flag. 

What shall I put on them? I'd love any suggestions you have. It has to be short as I'm using the banner on the narrow side of the chalkboard.
I'm in the process of moving things around in the house again as usual. Wild Bill is so happy about that! 
The bunny, along with the other clutter, is moving out and Irish stuff will replace it. For now, I'm looking for shamrocks to attach to each round badge and then I'll write a St Patrick's Day saying on the chalkboard above and below the banner. I think I can write these four words in chalk without messing it up...

Kiss Me
 I'm Irish

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Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Wednesday Woes And Things I Stowe

Somewhere, squirreled away, I have a box of old quilts that are falling apart. I mean really falling apart! My Wednesday Woe is that I couldn't find them today.

When I packed them away, I just knew someday there would be something I could do with those tattered quilts, and that someday has arrived. I'll tell you more about that project in another post. Right now, I have something I want to show you.
While looking for the box of tattered quilts, ones my mother-in-law gave me a while back (because she's a hoarder like me person who saves things believing everything can be reused or reinvented), I unpacked another wonderful memory quilt that my mother-in-law's cousin Ruth made for her in 1960. 
There's a square for each person in my mother-in-law's family. The hands on the quilt were made by making a paper pattern of that person's hand. 

Each lady's hand has a ring representing her birthstone and the flowers on the square designate the flower for that month. The men of the family didn't get rings, but they did get flowers.
I say "...another..."  because, last August in this post, I showed a quilt (pictured below) made in 1936 by a small group of my mother-in-law's family and friends.
This is my favorite quilt. I'm amazed it has survived fully intact, for such a long time. This year is the 80th anniversary of its creation. Each person sewed their own square and embroidered their name on it.
Wild Bill's maternal grandmother, Mattie, held a quilting circle on Tuesdays every week at her house. Her beloved husband, Will, rigged a pulley system on the ceiling that Mattie used to store her quilting frame up, out of the way, on the ceiling. 

It got me to women still make quilts by hand any more?  
Most quilters I've known sew them with machines, which is probably a real time-saver in these harried times.
 I don't know for sure since I'm not good at sewing. But I do admire the perfect little stitches on these two handmade quilts.

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Monday, February 22, 2016

Tale Of A Before And After Fail

Here's an old 'before and after' fail of mine that you can use to remind yourself that when you think something is pretty, don't try to improve it.
I had these colorful lampshades. I loved these colorful lampshades. Because I'm afraid to go out on a limb and make some color choices, everything else in our house is monotone in shades of brown and beige. 

The pretty lampshades were one of the few colorful things that tied some of the monotone furniture pieces together and perked up the place...So what did I do? 
I lost my mind one night in Fall 2013 and started painting the lampshades white. Because, you know, like plain white lampshades are sooooo hard to find!
I thought about just leaving them 'white high-lighted' halfway through. I think it was late and I was already regretting my adventure.
The next morning when I got a glimpse of my masterpieces, I realized I had no choice but to see the act of sabotage all the way through. 
So, I got out the chalk paint again and continued on my sad journey towards plain white lampshades, which I could have bought cheaply anywhere lampshades are sold.
Lately, I've been wondering if I could just wash off the white chalk paint? I might give it a try. If it doesn't work, I might paint them black...or maybe a kicky blue color. What do you think? Anything but gray. 

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Wednesday, February 17, 2016

On Such A Winter's Day

Are you dreaming of outdoor projects on these waning Winter days? Me too! 

I was thinking of all the projects we've done so far in this builder's spec house and, of course, all the things that are still left to do. Here's a picture of the house when it was up for sale. 
That planting bed below the window started dying before we bought the house, and the plants between the blocks on the walkway couldn't withstand the Texas heat. 

We replaced it all, one at a time. The reddish mulch was replaced with rocks. Sturdier plants replaced the little pansies and other fragile flowers.

When we were looking at the house over a 2-month period, the builder dropped the price quite a bit ($29K) as he had several project houses going and wanted to make a sale. 

We bought the house in a sort of unfinished state, but with the drop in price, it seemed like it was too good a deal to pass up.  When I think back to all the upgrades that were needed, I'm not sure we got much of a deal.

The picture above shows the problem walkway and the start of the removal of the planting bed to the right of the entry, which we replaced with a patio. That block walkway was a real hazard. Plants could not survive between the blocks on the walkway and many people stumbled due to how uneven it was.

We did the patio first. We thought it would be better to work our way from inside out, one project at a time, as we saved up for each one.

Next up was a replacement walkway. I love curvy paths, so that's what we did.

Because it can get icy in the winter, we put an exposed aggregate finish on the walkway instead of a smooth finish. You can see the pebbles exposed in the pictures above.
We planned to replace the front door but, for budget's sake, Wild Bill decided to try to refinish it. 
It turned out better looking than the original finish. I was kind of sad as I thought I might talk him into painting the door if the refinishing didn't work out.
We still have more projects for the front of the house. Next up will be some kind of stone or tile inside the entry. It's always something, right? Back to dreaming of Spring...

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Wednesday, February 10, 2016

No Snow So Far This Year

We bought our current house on February 11th, five years ago tomorrow. Each year since, we've gotten at least one good snow storm. 

This was December 6, 2013's snow storm. It was a good one that lasted for 4 or 5 days...

So far this year we've had lots of rain, but no snow. I really love the look of our house in the snow. This was last year's snow, which wasn't as heavy as previous years, but still a pretty sprinkling.
We haven't given up yet though. In our old house, which was just south of Waco, we had a magnificent snow and ice storm on Easter for 2 years in a row. I've got my fingers crossed. I'm dreaming of a white...Easter.

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