Thursday, December 15, 2011

Dollar Tree Ornament, Painted

How Lucy Became a Saint

My name is Lucy (means light), and it is the year 303 AD. Christians are experiencing the worst persecution yet, and I am one of them. Not satisfied with just taking food to the hungry, I gave all my money, including my large dowry, to the poor. My fiance was furious. He turned me into the Roman magistrate, who ordered me to burn incense to the Emperor. When I refused, they plucked out my eyes. When I still refused, they tried to take me away, but I was stuck fast to the spot and light shone from my eye sockets; so they beheaded me on the spot.

Italian missionaries brought my story, the story of Santa Lucia, to Sweden. My feast day of December 13th was long thought of to be the shortest day of the year. Swedes fell in love with my story and with the celebration of light on the darkest day of the year.

Growing up, my mom turned the celebration of Santa Lucia (getting up early and serving coffee and Lucia buns) into a Swedish dinner. When we got married, Daniel and I started hosting one for our friends as well. On the menu: Swedish meatballs from Ikea, Swedish flat bread, lingonberries, pan roasted potatoes, squash medley (because I happened to have it in the fridge), peas and broccoli. And for dessert, rice pudding and dairy free rice pudding (made with vanilla almond milk: it was my favorite), ginger cookies from Ikea, krumkakes, and Swedish Fish!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Same Blog

Don't worry, its the same blog, just a new name. I was getting tired of the old name but wanted to keep the same URL.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

French Braid

I figured out how to French braid my hair in a circle! I've been French braiding my hair since I was a little girl, so this was fairly easy once I figured out where to stick my elbows!

Velvet Pumpkins

I bought five plastic pumpkins for a dollar each at Big lots {Dollar Tree will have some, too}. I was able to pull most of the stems out and set them aside. Using some velvet shirts {I found slightly stretchy velvet works best for this}I cut a circle out. You have to play with what size: I used a plastic child's plate and that was perfect. I also wanted it to be pulled tight. I ran a basting stitch around the edge of each velvet circle, and gathered it lightly, popped the pumpkin inside and continued gathering. Eventually, the velvet ran out of space to keep gathering, and the pumpkin was too tall for the circle. So I tied off the loooong threads and used those to sew opposite sides of the circle together until it was snug up to the hole where the stem was. I popped the stem back in, and had four velvet pumpkins!

I did not hem the velvet, the raw edge gets hidden nicely and it would have been to bulky anyway.

The last one I painted with white pearl Martha Stewart paint.

Monday, August 8, 2011

New Sofa

Our old sofa was a free hand-me-down from my parents {Daniel asked for it}. It was very comfy, but big, ripped, and the wrong color. It overwhelmed the living room. Our new sofa is antique, bought from a friend, longer then the old one, but dainty. Someday I'm going to re-upholster it myself. We're still looking for the perfect fabric. Though now I'm OK with keeping it this way until all future babies are past the spit-up stage!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Chair Re-uhpolstering

Ikea curtain with permanent marker
I bought this chair at the thrift store while we were engaged. I knew it would be easy to re-upholster, but I didn't have a fabric picked out. About a year later, I saw a similar chair in a magazine with fabric that had French handwriting on it. I asked around at all the upholstery stores, but all they could give me was this fabric. Not what I was looking for! So, I decided to make it myself. I found curtain fabric at Ikea that was the right weight {and cheap enough!}and considered screen printing it. But the complexity of doing so deterred me. So, I skipped some steps and just wrote on the fabric with permanent marker. I tested it for water-fastness and discovered ironing it on the highest setting {this is cotton fabric} made it water and soap fast. I did not try it the washing machine, though.

The text is from Pride and Prejudice, you can find the full text online here. I copied selected portions into Google translate.

Friday, July 1, 2011


My favorite part of the week: having taught children how to throw on the wheel all week, at the end they get to teach their parents what they learned.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Frame Re-do

 I bought this frame at the thrift store, intending to make into a chalkboard for the kitchen. I like the nice wide moulding, but didn't like that it said family across the top {to trendy for me}. So I knocked them off with a putty knife and sanded the glue down. But I couldn't match the paint color or the finish or ever sand it smooth enough without messing up the surrounding areas.

Then inspiration struck! make something to cover the areas up. I originally thought of ceramic flowers, since I could make them it at work, but I would have to paint them. And then I remembered my Sculpey stash. I couldn't find chalkboard paint in a color I liked, and though I had a recipe to make some, tracking down 2 tablespoons of unsanded grout {I didn't want to buy the whole bag and then have to store it}proved difficult, so I put the glass back in with some scrapbook paper, bought whiteboard markers with an office store return, and hung it in my laundry room {the kitchen didn't have enough wall space}.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011


About a month ago, I heard about Pinterest, an online "bulletin board" and got my invite from a friend. I love saving pictures (one of the causes of clutter in our house: unfilled magazine tear-outs) and my computer is choking on all the data stored on its hardware. Enter Pinterest.

No, it won't scan all those magazine pages for you, but it does save and organize pictures from the web or already on your computer. You can also easily grab pictures that other people have posted. You can create as many boards as you need, and pin as many pictures as you want without worrying about taking over your computer's space. I have a board for clothing ideas, a board for home ideas, boards for pretty pictures...

Currently I am working on a baby shower for a co-worker, so I have a board just to save all the ideas for her shower. The theme is rainy days (shower) with lots of clouds and rainbows.

All photos are the property of their respective creators.
Most of the photos are from Bump Smitten
The rest are from various sources cataloged through Pinterst. All photo sources can be found by going to

Sunday, May 22, 2011

1 Year

Daniel and I have been married one year! We have experienced a lot of firsts this year: first holidays, first home, first pregnancy test (negative!), first garden.

In the past year:
  • Daniel passed all four sections of the CPA exam the first time (very rare) with high marks (even rarer!)
  • Greta graduated college
  • We both learned clutter has a mind of its own
  • Lots of dinners ruined
  • Even more good recipes created and discovered
  • Many dinner parties; even spur-of-the-moment, people-dropping-by parties
  • New church
  • New friends
  • First grown-up Bible study for each of us

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Craft Ideas

I just requested a $50 dollar check from Opinion Outpost, a survey company! How it works: I get emailed a link to a survey almost every day. Sometimes several a day. If I qualify for the survey; don't answer to quickly, right demographic; then I get a certain number of points. This company is great because each point corresponds to 10 cents. (More then most places do! The next best one the points are a few cents each.) So to get $50, I just had to earn 500 points. And the average survey pays 20 points.

Want to sign up? Copy this link:

I have a long list of things to get with those fifty dollars!

Fabric to make this:
From Pottery Barn, $100

And this:
Inspired by a Anthropology duvet cover

And wood to make this:

From Pottery Barn, $300

And this:From Pottery Barn, $250

And a chandelier from the thrift store to make something similar to this:

Sunday, April 3, 2011

New China Cabinet

Daniel and I found this secretary/china cabinet at an antique store one Sunday afternoon. We added French script paper to the back to cover up the gaudy gold paint.

Its a secretary because it has a drop down desk. But I store dishes and china in that part to!

Friday, April 1, 2011

April Fools!

Daniel and I continued my families tradition for April Fool's Day: strange and unusual place settings! We don't mess with the food, just what one eats the food with. I created a bag of each person's place setting so that it would be a surprise when they sat down. Sometimes I have a theme in mind as I'm picking out things: teeny-tiny (doll saucer for a plate; toothpick for a fork); giant (cutting board for a plate; meat cleaver, knife); or tea party themed. This time, though, I didn't theme each bag.

For dinner that night, we had a baked potato bar. It accommodates varying food preferences as well as allergies.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Pretty Blog

I love the design of this blog, but mostly I want to win the giveaway so I can buy these Japanese fishing floats.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011


I have been adding things to sell to my Etsy shop in hopes of making money for all my craft addictions. But in addition to selling and buying on Etsy, one can make an online inspiration board of favorite images from other sellers. I have been having so much fun doing that!

Grey Dawn

Cherry Blossoms

A Precious Piece in Pearls Bedight

Gentle Feminity

The Owl and the Pussycat Went to Sea

Monday, February 21, 2011

Homemade Gifts

Daniel may be taking a job that will be a huge reduction in salary for a while, but will be in accounting, and have lots of opportunities in a year or so. So, in the meantime, I am cutting everything extra from our budget, and planning for homemade birthday and Christmas gifts for our large families.

So while I am gathering ideas for each person, here are some things I did already: A present for my flower girl, and some baby gifts.

The doll was dressed to match the flower girl and got a little trunk to live in!

Two friends were having girls around the same time.
The onsies I dyed and embellished

The felt shoes matched a little dress I made