Craft Room

To say I need my own space is an understatement.  With seven other people occupying this house, I know it seems impossible.  Where there’s a will there’s a way.  Several months ago, I used KariAnne from Thistlewood Farm’s consulting service.  She’s an amazing woman and I learned so much from talking to her.  I followed her advice and everything she said was true.  There was a huge problem.  I had tons of ideas, craft supplies (my family is thinking of doing an intervention), and projects than I knew what to do with.  So why .haven’t I posted in months?  No place to actually DO my projects.  Until today.   Continue reading



Since the week of August 6th, my family has spent countless hours just waiting.  Waiting for my daughter Willow’s back surgery, waiting for her to heal so she can come home, waiting for our son to arrive.  Waiting.  Since this was designed to really be a DIY/craft blog, it didn’t seem like the appropriate venue to discuss the details of our current struggles. Most of the pictures that my husband sent home of my daughter after her surgery…were gut wrenching.  It was hard to see and I am her mother.  Struggling is a common human experience and I do believe that in sharing our story, God can use it to comfort others.  That being said, sorry to keep you waiting but I am sure you understand.  Right now, my family is just trying to get back into a “normal” routine.  Normal being a relative term;)  At the end of July I had a consult with KariAnne of Thistlewood farms.  It was amazing and I can’t wait to share that experience with you.  Please be patient.  I have big plans and I would love you to be there with us as we grow.



Decorating Shortcuts: A Reveiw

Decorating Shortcuts_edited-1


Rating (Out of 5 hearts):  ♥♥♥♥


I have a thing for decorating magazines and books.  They are an incredible source of inspiration for me.  I buy them by the armload.  It’s an addiction, really.   Continue reading

Painting My Oak Island

While my computer was down and I was not blogging my projects didn’t stop.  I have pink pickled oak cabinets from the late 90’s.  They are gross.  We finally dove in and did something about it!

_MG_0500So one day, I just took out my trusty sander and got started.  The pictures don’t even show how bad it was. The stain was dirty and peeling.


It was AWFUL!_MG_0511


I think you get the gist:)


First thing I did was remove the doors, drawers, and hardware.  Lots of 80’s brass.  Yuck.


We opted to try and save money by using an Oil Rubbed Bronze finish by Rustoleum Universal.  This stuff is amazing.



Chris sanded the space inside and I sanded and spray painted outside.  After we had the cabinets sanded prepped with a liquid deglosser, we spray painted the doors with Kilz Odorless.  It is an incredible product.  It even had a “high build” effect which made the oak grain sand out.  I started with the baseboards.  Then I built up my nerve to start painting over the primer.


Obviously from the photos you can tell the grain was gone.  It did a really good job.  We used Sherwin Williams all purpose primer for the frame.


This is what color I used.  It’s a classic, beautiful color.  Annie Sloan Chalk Paint, in Chateau Grey._MG_0537


I know that Annie Sloan Chalk Paint says: “No sanding, No prep.”  If you are painting Oak cabinets and you want to minimize grain you have to.  Period.


This is the first coat of the Chateau Grey.  At $38.00 a quart, priming will also save you some money on paint .


This is two coats.   _MG_0543

It completely covered the grain.  My only words of caution.   A.) I would have sanded with steel wool after painting and B.) I would have used lacquer.  The wax went on unevenly and made the grain stand out again.  Since it’s an island it does get wet and we have developed a couple of “spots” on the wax.  More on the island tomorrow.  Here is a little inspiration…


and let’s not forget Savvy Southern Style



30 Days of Nesting

I have between 4-5 weeks left until our new son, Charleston, arrives on the scene.  The waiting is so hard.


Around here, it is all about nesting! Remember this photo?

Nest 4

It is a rare photo in my suburban life.  Not much wildlife around here…

baby birds

We watched for those little ones forever.

Alex's first bike ride and baby 036


Then they just left the nest.  Just like our own little ones do.   I featured some artwork by my favorite Etsy artist inspired by those photos.  I bought them for our anniversary in 2007.



At the time we only had 4.  Did you heart that?  ONLY 4.


Nest 2

I think she nailed it.  Please stop by her shop and show her some love.  She is so pleasant to work with.  I called and asked the price to add two more eggs to my painting.  She told me if I would pay for shipping she would add them for free.  What a sweetie!  I have several projects in the works and I am looking forward to sharing them with you this week.  Talk to you soon.



Kamikaze Computer…Part 2!

Pioneer Woman poured salt in my wounds this week.  Her post was about “pouring through her old hard drives.”  There were spectacular photos documenting her life in rural Oklahoma.  Meanwhile, in South Tulsa, my life for the past 6 months was mercilessly deleted.


In February, Willow dropped my new computer and shattered my touchscreen.   The original quote to fix it was $300.  Unfortunately, my computer’s technology was so new, they couldn’t find a new screen for less than the price of a new PC.   So a compromise ensued.  If I could be patient, they would replace my screen for the original quote by scouring the internet for a cheaper price.  I have more time than money…so I waited…and waited…and waited.  Last week, my patience paid off and I got my laptop back.  Looking better than new.  Then my hard drive crashed a week later.  Would somebody like to tell me the chances of that even happening?!?  I lost 6 months worth of pictures.

Suddenly…I had flash backs to my beginning photography class.  She kept telling us over…and over…make sure you “Print, make a CD, and store your images so you won’t lose them.”  I kept thinking: “When are we getting to how to use the right aperture and ISO?”  In fact, I have the 200+ photos from the class saved.  I just wish my kids were in them.  They turned out pretty good!

Field Trip 147


Here we were supposed to take some “artsy” ones.

Field Trip 171


You have no idea how glad I am that I have a picture of a tail light on a bus and tractor tires, instead of pictures of my kids.

Field Trip 166

Ouch.  Which brings me to my point.  We don’t print images now like we used to.  Back in the day, your my Mom stored all of your my schoolwork and pictures in boxes and FILING CABINETS!    My Mom’s house is consumed with paper clutter.  Actually, it is consumed with clutter in general.  Paper just takes up the most space;)  I shudder to think what would happen if that place went up in smoke.

Thankfully, unlike my Mom, I have Facebook, Instagram, WordPress, Twitter, and my IPhone.  So I do have some pictures.  Just not from my good camera.  Which is still heartbreaking.  So tonight, as I drift off to bed, I am only thinking of one thing.  Why the hell didn’t I back up those pictures?!?  I am also thanking God for the pictures I did save…

Landon and Willow Apr10 024

Like the time I caught Willow in the Whirlpool tub.  She had dumped an entire bottle of soap in.  The smile on her face says it all…

Sunset Hill Farm 121

There is a reason why Pioneer Woman is so successful.  Besides being a phenomenal cook.  Life in rural Oklahoma is beautiful.  These photos were taken at my father’s farm in Kellyville,  Oklahoma.

Sunset Hill Farm 078

Canon pictures 461

Joplin Avenue 591



Joplin Avenue 718

Krystiana photoshoot 001

I could go on all night.  Right now, I am spending countless hours pouring through pictures trying to figure out what is gone.  I am grateful for what I do have.  This photo is all I have left from countless pictures I took last week…

In fact, the only photos left from August’s second birthday I found in my media library on WordPress…



I am making my own wish that we can recover more pictures…






Nest 4

I took this picture right after we moved into our house.  It is beautiful in its simplicity and represents what I am doing in this phase of my life…nesting.  I loved this picture so much that I scoured Etsy for similar art work.  I found this artist…

Nancy Jean Home

Nancy Jean Tobin from Nancy Jean Home.  Check her out on Etsy.


Freebie Desk Makeover


Recently, we had some neighbors put their house on the market.  We could tell from the piles of trash and junk that they were doing some serious purging.  We all know how much I love junk.  So I was keeping an eye out;)  It paid off.  They threw out a desk…which we snagged in under 5.  Thank goodness because it started raining.  Just the few minutes in the moisture bubbled the top!  I decided to re-stain the top and chalk paint the bottom. So I took out my trusty Citristrip and went to work.  It was pretty bad…
IMG_7389This is a cell phone picture.  Also very bad.  I had stain here but it wound up looking like 80’s oak.  Not the look I was going for.  It’s the price you pay for being cheap sometimes.

 It is an oak top but was originally it was stained dark.  Which was palatable.  This was not…
The finish was dated, glossy, and very uneven.  I went old school and did Minwax Polyshades.  I wouldn’t recommend it.  It was difficult to work with and took forever to dry.  It absorbed every piece of lint and dust in the garage.  My husband recommended we just sand it down.  In the end, we wound up stripping it again and getting a new stain.  I found this article by Centsational Girl.  I was going to use the Gel Stain she recommended.  As fate would have it, Lowes does not carry it and Chris picked out another product and Wipe-On Poly.  I seriously love it.  The Shanty Sisters use it all of the time.   It is Rust-Oleum Ultimate Woodstain in Kona.  I can’t brag on this stuff enough!  We finished with  the Wipe-On Poly.  I am in LOVE with it!  I am planning on using the Wipe-On instead of wax over the Annie Sloan Chalk Paint on the bottom.  So here is the before…




and the after…



Back tomorrow with the Chalk Paint make-over.

Skeletons In My Closet…Part 1: Purging


Proverbs 31

For years, our lives have been so hectic, we were just busy trying to keep our heads above water.  There were so many things taking priority: moves, surgeries, having babies, and Autism diagnoses, just to name a few.  Major stuff.  We did routine maintenance but organizing, de-cluttering, and projects?  Forget about it.  We were in survival mode, people!

At this moment in my life I am pregnant with my sixth child, homeschooling three children, and my daughter Willow (who has Autism) is getting back surgery in the near future.  Still hectic.  It would seem like I don’t have time to de-clutter (again)…wouldn’t it?  What I have learned from the past is: if I don’t MAKE getting my home in order a priority during these stressful times it spirals…FAST!  I find it interesting that I could not find a single “wildly successful” organizing blog that revolves around a large family. Hmm.  Like most women I want an organized, beautiful home.  I want to be creative and have a home that recharges, not drains us. For a family of this size, that is easier said than done.  So I guess I have found the proverbial and ever elusive “Blogging  Niche.”  Ironic, since this is my first post since March.  Willow decided I needed to take a break from blogging and online.  She smashed my computer.  It’s was in the shop for 5 months.  How’s that for simplifying?

When you are needing to simplify there is only one thing to do: dive in!  Because if you don’t, life will happen and you won’t ever get to it.  There are several ideas that I have come across that work.  They don’t require strict, complicated schedules and charts.  I call it, simply,  “Purge, Sell, and Buy.”  Purging keeps the clutter from consuming your home (and makes your life easier), Selling generates income for your family, and buy only when prices are low.   Not waiting until you “need it” helps save you money.  This is secret to any well run home.  It has nothing to do with income and everything to do with stewardship.  My husband comes from a long line of German, Catholic women who run their homes like a well-oiled machine.  They have used this same method for generations.  Then he married me.  Did I mention how I started my blog?


1.  40 bags in 40 days -  This is something that historically happens during Lent.  Why wait?  You just get a roll of commercial garbage sacks and start loading them up.  It works.  Trust me…

2.  Three boxes - Go into each room with 3 boxes.  Label them “Keep,” “Give Away,” and “Trash.” Load them up.  Just make sure they get out of the house;)

Sell and Buy:

3.  Consign - When you are purging it is easy to make a pile of items that you could make money off of.  We have several sales here and stores.  This is especially helpful at generating income to replenish what you have.

For Furniture, Crafts, and Vintage Items:

Sell Online:

Another problem area we have is books and homeschool supplies.  I have a solution for that too.

I saved an obvious option for last.

Garage sales.  I am going to be honest here.  I never have made much money at them with one exception: our neighborhood garage sales.  I have found fantastic deals but I usually wait until later in the morning and see what is leftover.  People usually want to get rid of items and get back inside by the end of the day.  This is especially true of furniture.

I am going to do a series on this, in preparation of Willow’s surgery and the upcoming birth of our son, in late August.  I want to be like the quote from Proverbs 31 and “laughing at the days to come.”  So, if you are like me, and you are wanting a beautiful, organized, loving home to raise your family in…then join me.  If you already have that…this is not your blog and you need to email me for a guest post;)