Clothing, Household, Organization, Closet, Cleaning

Master Suite :: Week 1

For the past several weeks I have been talking about a BIG project we are working on. And when I said BIG, I really meant HUGE! Here's the back story. We live in a 2 story home with the bedrooms on the 2nd floor. As most of you have heard at one time or another, I have arthritis in my spine that is getting worse with each passing year. Stairs are already a real bugger, and Tim and I have talked about moving into a ranch. We love our house and our property and really did not want to move. We decided that when I couldn't do the stairs anymore, instead of moving, we would add a bedroom on the main floor. Tim suggested that instead of waiting, we get started now, and so we have!

It started with us drawing up a rough plan that included the master suite, we also wanted a screened in porch. We then meet with our builder who took our ideas and did the actual design. We loved the plan! Not only did we get the bedroom and bathroom on the main level and the screened in porch, we decided to add an extension to our basement which will become Tim's woodworking shop and a bathroom in the basement. As I said... a HUGE project!

Here are the actual floor plans:

First thing Monday morning... getting ready to break ground. Notice the man in the foreground with a snow blower. Before the backhoe started, they had to shovel the area! Who knew they could build in this kind of weather!

The first scoop. Now I feel like this is really going to happen!

This is Tuesday morning. They dug the basement in just 1 day. Amazing! Here they are pouring and leveling the footings. They covered the whole area with plastic blankets before they left. I guess even cement gets cold!

It was 25 degrees today, but snow and falling temperatures are suppose to come again tomorrow.

Bug busy watching the process. What fun!

I will be doing a weekly update... more for our family's benefit than anything else... but if you'd like to follow along, you can join us here :)


Brrrr... Cold Day Project :: Mitten Line

It is bone chilling cold out there today! Our schedule has been cleared, all activities for the day have been canceled due to extreme wind chill. What to do on a snow day that is too cold to play outside... crafts of course. Here is a fun and useful project that we made a couple weeks ago on another similarly cold day... a mitten line.

Usually when the kids come in from playing outside they all try to pile their wet mittens up on the heating vent in the foyer. When their mittens were much smaller this worked fine... but now they don't all fit and we have a puppy who loves nothing more than to run off with a pair of socks or mittens. So we hung up a clothes line in the foyer that keeps the mittens off the floor, lets the mittens dry, and makes it easy for the kids to find a matching pair while bundling up to head out into the snow.

For this project you will need a clothes line hung where the kids can reach it.
Pairs of clothes pins
Acrylic craft paint

First you will need to disassemble two clothes pins.

Paint the clothes pins with acrylic paint. We painted our clothes pins in matching pairs. So 2 red, 2 yellow, 2 green, and so on. Be sure that the paint you use will not wash off when wet. You don't want the color to bleed on your damp mittens.

When all of your clothes pins have dried, carefully put them back together. You now have a fun rainbow set of clothes pins.

Hang your mittens using matching pairs of clothes pins.

Cabbage Soup and Tin Cans


I will be hard-pressed to convince Tim, who doesn't particularly like (hmmm, maybe he really dislikes???) cabbage soup, that I really was craving some and that it had absolutely NOTHING to do with the Tin Can Lanterns I shared this morning ...that required vegetable cans! Seriously ... I bought the cabbage a week ago with this soup in mind... THAT'S my story and I'm sticking to it!

So, going with the premise that I was not swayed by these adorable Punched Tin Lanterns featured on Craft Foxes...

and that it was just a "crazy random happenstance", I just finished throwing together a pot of Cabbage Soup. This is a soup often used by people following Weight Watchers because it has ZERO points, but don't let the low calories fool you. This soup is jam packed with flavor and is chockfull of yummy goodness! There are about a gazillion different recipes for this soup, but I've rather morphed into this variation:

1 head cabbage, cored and shredded - about 10 cups
8 cups of assorted veggies - green beans, peppers, tomatoes, onions, celery, zucchini, summer squash, brocolli, etc. Note: stay away from starchy veggies like corn and potatoes if you want to keep it ZERO points.
6 garlic cloves, minced
2 28 oz cans of diced or stewed tomatoes
1 28 oz can tomato sauce
2 28 oz cans of warm water
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice - when I have it
2 envelopes of Lipton Onion Soup Mix - I realize Lipton's Soup mixes aren't the healthiest choice you can make, but I do so love the flavor and it is so easy. Certainly you can substitute any brand of flavorings or forego it all together. 
6 bay leaves
1 tablespoon dried basil
1/4 teaspoon black pepper - or to taste

Mix the packets of Lipton Onion Soup Mix in the water. Put EVERYTHING in the pot, cooking over medium heat until it begins to boil, then turn down to simmer until all the veggies are tender.

NOTE: If you'd like to give this soup some protein, for a vegetarian soup, simply add thick strips of tofu and any assortment of cooked beans. For non-vegetarian soup, add cooked cubed beef or chicken.

BTW... the soup is cooking as I'm writing this. Can't wait to finish up here and have a bowl... yum!

Okay... couldn't wait! The veggies tasted so fresh and the soup was thick enough to be a stew. Also, it freezes well, so put away meal size portions so it is ready to heat up when you just NEED a bowl of Cabbage Soup :)

Okay... full belly of delicious Cabbage Soup. Now I can focus! I will be using these cans, and probably a few more, to punch and make into lanterns. You will notice that some cans have a white inside. Tomato products do. It probably has something to do with their high acid content, but the bonus is that the inside of the cans are already painted white!

If you carefully remove a label, you can use this as a template when you are creating a design you wish to punch on your can. BTW... better to remove the label BEFORE you get the can wet like I did. It tends to rip when wet.

Finally, I decided to save the lids, too. Not sure what I'm going to do with them, but I'm sure I can come up with something :)

So, there you have it. Make an easy to prepare, but oh so yummy cabbage soup, and as an extra bonus, you'll have tin cans ready to punch. Hopefully, I will get to these over the weekend. I'll share the finished project as soon as I'm done. In the meantime... start opening some can ;)

Photos - 7/12/13 and Blog Photos


Stenciled Lizard T-Shirt and Shorts

Here we are doing yet another Freezer Paper Stencil. But as you can see, this method is really a splendid way to incorporate some personality into boys' clothing. I find as a crafty mother that I am sometimes hard pressed to find ways to bestow my crafty love onto my boy in something that he will actually wear (this seems to get harder every year). The girls' closet is full of mom-made beauties, but Bug has just a few well loved items. This shirt has made it into his favorites and matches wonderfully with the shorts I made him 3 years ago... gasp! (You can find info on the shorts below)

Ok, so if you have missed the How to Freezer Paper Stencil which we covered in our Leaf Shirt Blog (oh my gosh... talk about my folks being wee) and in our Snowflake Stencil Quilt... here is a super fast run down.

I used our Lizard Applique Block for the lizard pattern. Make a copy of the pattern and enlarged it until it's the right size for the shirt you are stenciling. (Check out our blog post on Enlarging and Reducing found HERE.)

Trace your image onto freezer paper.

Cut out the inside of the stencil.

Place the stencil shinny side down where you want it on your shirt (be sure to wash your shirt first).

Iron the stencil to the shirt using a warm iron.

Place an old paper bag, cereal box, etc in the middle of the shirt to prevent the paint from bleeding through.

Use a sponge brush to apply the fabric paint in a gentle up and down motion. Be careful not to get the paint under the edges... especially around the toes.

When dry, carefully peal away the paper.


Follow the directions on your fabric paint for setting the paint. Some require ironing after it dries. Wash your shirt according to your paint's directions.

 Your wee one is now ready to wear, enjoy and explore the world!
About word about the shorts...

In the blog world you can easily stack the years side by side to see how your wee ones have grown (click here to read about the shorts). Amazingly this series of shorts (McCall's Pattern 3193) which includes the pair pictured above (photo from July 2009) and two more have been a staple in Bug's summer wardrobe for so long now. They are just now starting to show wear and have become short enough this season that he may actually need some new ones for next summer :)
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photos 6-11-12

Frayed Fabric Flower

A couple of weeks ago I shared a sweater and hat I knitted for the Little Lady. (Leaving Thursday for a week long visit :) I wanted a little embellishment for the hat, and I made a flower using the material that I will be using to make her 2 pairs of reversible pants. Although I sewed the flower directly on her hat, you could easily add a brooch pin so it could be removed. I'm a little leery of sharp pokey things on toddlers :)

To make your own Frayed Fabric Flower you will need:

woven fabric scraps
felt scraps
embroidery floss
a copy of the pattern found HERE
brooch pin (optional)

Make a copy of the pattern. Cut out a woven print and matching felt for each of the three sizes.

Using a running stitch and 3 strands of floss, sew the woven fabric flowers to the corresponding felt flowers.

Stack the 3 flowers on top of each other with largest flower on the bottom and the smallest flower on top. Tack together.

Sew a button in the middle.

At this point, you can sew a brooch pin to the back of the flower or tack the flower to a garment.

Easy Peasy... all done :)

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