A barrel of fun – two unconventional side tables

painted wood barrel chapter37

I think every room of my house needs some element of surprise…just a quirky little something that says, “Hey! I’m not a just any old room, I’m special!” In my unprofessional opinion, staying out of generic world is the kindest thing you can do to a room.  I found just the perfect touch of whimsy for my guest room with these. Aren’t they adorable? I’m guessing they were part of a store display or some such thing. I found them months ago in a local thrift store and was immediately transported into a Robert Louis Stevenson world of “Ahoy matey!” and “Avast ye land lubbers!” right there in the store. ( Why yes, my imagination does tend to wander, why do you ask?) I had them in the back of my truck before you could say “pieces of eight”! Naturally, my inclination was to paint them as I would imagine … Continue reading

Rest if you must, but don’t quit!

This poem I’m sharing today reminds me of my dad. He memorized it, and used to quote it to us kids often…with much eye rolling, huffing, and puffing on our part I might add! Quitting just wasn’t an option in our house, you had to try, and then try again. While it’s one thing to learn not to quit when it comes to chores and what not, it’s quite another when it comes larger matters. We all have something that taunts us into quitting.  “The thing” that says, just quit, I’m not worth this much trouble, stop trying so hard. It hands you “reasons”…you’ve got no money so you can’t do it, you aren’t talented enough so why try, that person will never change so why bother, nobody else thinks you can so why should you, you aren’t pretty enough so give up, you aren’t worth anything so stop trying, … Continue reading

No Pain, No Gain – The Kitchen Remodel (Part 1)

kitchen remodel chapter37

If I had to rank all the rooms in my house for which room was the most offensive when we purchased it, the kitchen would take first place. The upstairs bath with its green sinks and rotting shower would take second. The living room would come in at a close third, with its (former) red carpet and pink brick, but more on all that later. Today, we are addressing the kitchen. Hands down, the most formidable project I have ever undertaken. Someday I’m going to write a post on the top ten things I’ve learned about house remodels. Numbers one through ten will be “expect everything to take longer than you thought, be more difficult than you thought, and to cost more than you thought.” Then, when I’m done with that post, I’m going to write one about what to expect from old houses. Things like petrified contact papered shelves, … Continue reading

10 Recipes with Fall spice

Fall Decor chapter37

Cooking is not my thing. Eating, I’m quite skilled at, cooking not so much. It’s a rare day you’ll see anything about cooking on this blog. That said, when the air turns crisp in the mornings, even I get into a fit to bake a bit. And then the urge quickly dies five minutes into it when I realize what a fine mess I’m making! What’s a girl to do? Find something easy, that will smell delicious, that’s what. Half the trick to making people think you’ve cooked something good is how it smells. That’s my theory anyways. I’ve scrounged around and found ten recipes to inspire my Fall baking that are just chock full of Autumn-ish ingredients…guaranteed to make my house smell like an exquisite bakery. And if unforeseen catastrophes befall me, well then, I’ve got plenty of cinnamon and apple scented candles that should do the trick just … Continue reading

How to sew simple lined curtains

How to sew lined curtains

I quite like a thing which can do two jobs at once. Lined curtains are handy like that. They add the finishing touch of a curtain, and when closed, they can keep out the sun just like a window blind. The little girls’ room window needed curtains for cuteness and for privacy. I made this set for about $8, much much cheaper than buying a set. (They are totally cuter than store bought ones too!) To make your own, you need to measure how long you want them (add 2 inches), and how wide (add one inch). You need a fabric for the outside ( the side that shows) and a fabric for the lining. Cut your fabric into rectangles, put the wrong sides together. Sew all the way around the edges…BUT you need to leave 3 inches on both sides un-sewn. The will be your curtain rod holes. I … Continue reading

4 jewelry organizers you can make for FREE

4 Free Jewelry Organizers

Today is Monday. I understand that deep thinking on a Monday is highly non-advisable, even dangerous maybe. (For some of us, that’s pretty much every day! Ha!) So, in the interest of soothing you into a new work week with as little mental anguish as possible, here are four easy ways to organize your bangles, beads and baubles. Exhibit A. Find a frame, insert lace, hang earrings.  Exhibit B. Find a paper towel holder. Paint it orange. Slide bangles onto rod. (Orange is optional, although highly advisable.) Exhibit C. Find a glass flower vase. Fill with bracelets. Somehow shiny things look nicer behind clear glass, odd eh? (No, I’m not Canadian.) Exhibit D. Send your children into the yard to gather sticks. Spray paint sticks gold. Lodge them securely into a flower pot after you’ve killed the flowers it previously held by forgetting to water them. Hang necklaces. (Rejoice! It’s … Continue reading

Are random acts of kindness a dying phenomenon?


Every now and then, something happens in life that will stick in your memory for a good long while. One of those type things happened to me once, about this same time of the year, which I suppose is what brought it back to my mind. The Mister had just gotten out of the Marine Corps, and we were headed off to our new civilian life and all its unwritten adventures. The house was cleaned to sparkling perfection, the truck and trailer packed to the last sixteenth of an inch, and our goodbyes said. After a full day of packing, and five hours on the road, we were bone weary when we pulled into a quiet hotel parking lot in the still of the night. The Mister got out to see about a room. I waited, half asleep, in the truck with the two little girls who had long since given … Continue reading

Thumbtack Pumpkin Art

Thumbtack Pumpkin Art

Do you know why jack-o-lanterns never quarrel? Because they have no stomach for fighting. Do you know how to repair a broken Jack-o-lantern? Buy a pumpkin patch! How do you make super cute Fall art? With thumb tacks! And mind you, just because this pumpkin is made from tacks, does not mean it’s a tacky pumpkin! And I could keep going with this, but I like you, and I want you to keep reading my blog, so I’ll stop now. I thought I’d get with the program and put some Fall stuff out and about…but my “Fall” decor is synonymous with my “thanksgiving” decor so feel free to fire me on those grounds. I happen to think there’s worse things than being reminded to be thankful two months early. This is my pre-Thanksgiving/Fall mantel…I say “pre” because I highly doubt I will refrain from tinkering with it for an entire 2 … Continue reading

A duet of shelves

painted shelves chapter37

Two huge questions for you this morning. First, did you know tomorrow is Friday? I find that a legitimate cause for celebration. Only one thing I don’t like about Fridays, it’s trash day around these parts…and that means after I’ve dutifully hauled myself out of bed at 6 am for a run, I get a large tasty mouthful of rotten, rank air as I trot past every trash can out by the curb. And by going for a run, I actually mean I gallop frantically behind my large German Shepherd as she mercilessly tows me from one interesting smell and cat sighting to the next. In short, if I manage to survive the first hour, I think Fridays are wonderful. Second question, did you know the chapter37 shop carries home decor items? That’s something new for me, and I’m really excited about it. I don’t put anything in the shop unless I … Continue reading

Remembering 9/11

(source) I’m just going to skip talking about paint and fabric for a minute, if that’s OK with you. I want to talk about us, Americans. Do you know what today is? It’s September 11. Today is the twelfth anniversary of the 9/11 attack on our country, and the one year anniversary of the attack on our U.S consulate in Benghazi. Twelve years ago, I was still in high school, and I remember clearly that day. Do you remember it? I remember flags flying on cars, in yards, in windows, and on walls. For a few short weeks, it was OK even trendy to talk about God, to pray in public, to say “God bless America”, to admit we had a crises and hurt which God Himself would have to heal. Nobody screamed about separation of church and state, nobody claimed insult over flags. For once we all understood, evil is real, and … Continue reading