Can't sit still.

Merry Christmas!!
Hope you're all having a lovely holiday season. 

I have 2 weeks of holidays at Christmas. Sounds nice, right? 

But as a single mom working full-time I have a really hard time taking a break and sitting still for too long. It seems like there's always something that needs doing around here and my "to-do" list never seems to have an end. 

This Christmas though I've been really trying to enjoy my time off. I've slept in several days, had coffee with some friends,  eaten lots of chocolate, had long leisurely mornings of devotions and coffee snuggled in a quilt with a cat (or 2) and watched some movies with the kids. So much fun!! 

Oh... And because I really can't sit still, I've also bought a "new" van and I've got my kitchen cabinets prepped for their first paint job. 

I'll be back in a week or so with an update on the cabinets and hopefully some great "after" pictures. 

Have a great Christmas and a very happy New Year. 

A little Christmas decorating

I always have TONS (I'm Canadian... guess I should use TONNES there instead) of ideas for decorating for the holidays. If you don't believe me just as'll tell you. What I don't have tons (or tonnes) of, is time to actually implement all the ideas I have. That's why I was particularly proud of myself for actually putting something together this year that resembled artistic decorating :)

I bought a few of these vintage light fixture glass globes on a local buy-and-sell sight and then I happened to find a few more at a thrift store having a 1/2-price lighting sale (woohoo!). The garland has been up on my upper kitchen cabinets for the past year and the middle section's lights burned out so instead of unravelling the whole thing, I cut out that section of garland and just pulled out the dead lights. Now, the shortened garland was perfect for my buffet light display. 

I'm not entirely happy with the wall display behind it's a work in progress still...but the window frame, home sign and birdcage are staying when the Christmas parts come down. Then I'll have to decide what to add to the collage. 

Inside each light fixture I have a little battery-operated tea light. It irks me a little that they glow different colours of yellow and orange so sometimes I just use the display with the garland Christmas lights. 

It makes for a cleaner white light while still reflecting off the glass globes. 

I think these might get packed away with the decorations and the tree this year an I'll try to expand on this for next year....

...OR...maybe I should put them into year-round service up on top of my kitchen cabinets now that they're garland-less. 


Who knows what might happen around here. The moments I am both feeling creative and also have time to BE creative don't line up very often but you never know. 

Merry Christmas! 

Sick Day

Today's the day.  I've been putting off taking a sick day for awhile....pushing through being way overtired....but today's the day.  Sick day.  Woke up dizzy and with a nasty headache.  I have visions of these sick days ahead of time - that I'll get better instantly after calling in sick and have these long days alone to catch up on housework and chores.  Yeah....not so much.  Went back to bed after sending the kids out the door to school and only woke up at 11:30 when my phone rang (wrong number - Grrr).  
And now I'm on my way back to bed.  Spent a little time watching old Storage Wars episodes and checking out some Christmas inspiration.  I have high hopes of getting some crafting done during my Christmas holidays in 1 1/2 weeks.....guess we'll see.  I'm pinning some ideas and  saving them for later.

But for now....back to bed :)

PS: Some scrappy contests you might be interested in:


Sick days for Moms

I have a great job. Good hours, rewarding work, amazing co-workers, and paid sick days when I need them...just to name a few of the reasons I like my job. 

But when I come home tired and "less than 100%" at the end of my workday, I still have to be Mom. No paid sick days.  In fact, not good hours either. And no co-workers at all, so that sucks too. The work is still pretty rewarding, or at least most days it is. 

But somedays I need a sick day 
So today, and I'm not ashamed to admit it: I lay in bed playing iPhone/iPod games with my boys, I let my daughter go to a friend's house for supper, I threw in a frozen pizza here at home, and as soon as supper was over, I climbed right back into bed. 
The dishes can wait. 
The laundry can wait.
I made myself a cup of coffee...
...and I just may just have a nap before bedtime :)

Win with DCWV!!

My favourite scrapbooking supply company is giving away 12 HUGE prizes.......just linking you up in case you want to be one of the "other 11."  Fingers Crossed.

Yay Pinterest!

I've had a project idea saved on Pinterest for-ev-er. Finally this week I found the perfect piece to work on to do a 1/2 painted-1/2 stained dresser. 

I bought this piece at a thrift store:
I really liked the lines and the curved top but before I got at it I wasn't sure how well it would strip down. So I started to sand it. The dresser itself sanded fairly well. Easily enough to paint nicely. But the drawer fronts took one look at my orbital sander and whatever finish was in them practically fled in fear LOL. They sanded right down to raw wood in one pass. Not just raw boring wood though. But raw with a gorgeous diagonal grain running through them. As soon as I saw this I knew they needed stain and not paint. 

The dresser itself got a couple coats of an antique white...

And I added in these great white porcelain knobs that I also found at the thrift store for $0.10 each.

And this is what the final product looks like. 

Pretty cute eh? 
I think this might be my favourite dresser so part because for a change I didn't just pin something and leave it there as inspiration...I actually did it!! 

Let the painting begin...

I'm an EA during the school year which is perfect hours for me as a single Mom but. The one downside is that there's not actually a pay cheque during the summer months then :(  So, for the second year in a row I'm diving into another hobby/job to try to supplement my EI:  painting furniture. I had so much fun doing it last year and I have had a garage full of furniture just waiting for summer to get here. 
After getting the first clean-up week of summer out of the way and cleaning house with a very lucrative garage sale, today I started painting. 
I got these 2 pieces done. They're both for sale by the way but listed on a couple local buy-and-sell sites so if you contact me about them, please know that I'll be looking at time stamps for first/second in line 

This piece is not a fancy piece but its extremely functional due to the number of shallow drawers. I think it would make a great craft/scrapbookers cupboard because the inside of the drawers measures 13.5" x 20" (perfect for 12x12 paper). Or, maybe additional kitchen storage so your spices could be easily seen.  $50 if you're local and interested. 

(first, a before shot: don't ask me what that metallic cream coloured stuff is-its not magnetic or anything. Just weird)

And after:
This wooden dresser has seen several children and now that we're done with it, I gave it a tune up and painted it out in a beautiful baby blue. I also dug out a set of vintage ceramic drawer pulls that I'd been saving for something special. Wouldn't this make a great addition to a baby boys room. It's also the perfect height to be a change table. 
$100 if you're local and interested. 

You can email me at:


This was a Saturday with all signs pointing to crafting and card-making.  Instead I spent the better part of the day (when I wasn't chauffeuring kids around), cleaning up and organizing the garage - at least this part of it.  I really, really, really wish I'd taken a "before" shot because there were shoes, boots and sports equipment everywhere. Every. Where.

No before shot - you'll just have to imagine how bad it was.
Here's the "after" shot:
A neighbour was cleaning out her storage unit and ended up giving me the shelf unit on the right - perfect depth for a pair of shoes :)  Before this all the shoes had been on the shelf on the right (at least the ones that got put away properly) and the left side was full of rubbermaid bins overflowing with basketballs, precariously perched on tippy wooden shelves screwed to the wall.  The shelf on the right is, without a doubt, one of the best second-hand purchases I've ever made.  That steel shelf has been with me for several years now and it's been in my pantry, my craft room, one of the  bedrooms for awhile and most recently here in the garage.  Today, I took some of the backs of the shelves off and put them on the front of the shelves to make a 4" lip at the front so balls can stay on the shelves and not roll off.  S.M.R.T. :)
And I combined the sports equipment that we don't use often into rubbermaid bins high on the top shelf which is still accessible but not in the way.
I'm sweaty.  And dusty.  And on my way into a hot bath.  But feeling accomplished and satisfied, even though I didn't get to make cards today.

Here's a song that has brought me to tears recently.....had to share.  Those of you who know me, will be able to guess why.  Those of you who don't, really.....just listen and soak it in :)

Getting back to work...

I've really needed to get some cards made (I keep a stock on hand because I sell at a couple of local businesses). So tonight instead of doing yard work (I'll show you that progress in a future post), I spent the whole evening with a great friend and cranked out a stack of cards! 

I have to show you this set in particular simply because my youngest son went to the LSS and specifically picked out this piece of patterned paper with the clipboards on it and also the fruit stickers (Doodlebug) just for me for Mother's Day. He's so sweet and it was fun to put his gift together into a little set of cards. 

Loving getting creative....even though I'm up WAY past my bedtime's nights like this that help center me again!

Also my first post from my iPhone. How fun is that??!?? I can see blogging being much easier this way!  


Never out of his reach

"I will not forget you!

See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands..."

I love this verse.  (These verses).  It's verses like these that have kept my head above water in the last few years as I have had to deal with some major life changes.  In all these changes though, in all the things that these last 2-3 years have brought my way, I will say:  God is faithful.  Completely.  100%.  I still don't see what the end game might be....and I still don't understand why everything happens the way it does....but God is faithful.  And good.  And in all this, I am as close as the palms of his hands.  Never out of his reach.  Never off his mind.  Never beyond his grasp.

This is just one example for today of God's grace to me.
My cozy bed. It's not always made nicely...and honestly, I've changed the headboard since this photo was taken but it's mine.  And I love it.  Still.  It's still one of my favourite places to be:  sleeping, obviously; snuggled up talking with a kid; snuggled up watching movies with 1, 2, or 3 kids; reading late at night; doing devotions with a big cup of coffee early in the morning; enjoying the sun and birds in my window mid-afternoon....whatever.  It's still one of my very favourite places to be.  I could have been completely different. It could have been a place of sadness, fear and anger.  But it's not. And I love it. See?  God's grace.  He never forgets me.

I am SO done with winter

Winter is lasting FOR-EV-ER this year.  I know I'm not the only one feeling it either....but it feels like it'll never end.  Tomorrow's May 2.  Guess what's in the forecast.....flurries.  Seriously?  So done.

Photo: (Alex) Touché.

One of the reasons it's getting to me so much, I think, is that for me....summer is my creative time.  I only work September to June and so in July and August, I have quite a bit of time to do creative things:  make cards and scrapbook,  sew and alter things,  and more recently - paint and upcycle furniture.  I LOVE redoing furniture.  Somehow all that creative stuff feeds my soul.  I's not exactly putting anyone through college $-wise....but it energizes me.  I could stay up til 3am painting something in my garage in the summer.  In winter, 8pm rolls around and I'm wishing my kids would go to bed so that I could too.  Last year I painted my first piece during Spring Break (outside, on my driveway, in shorts).  This year the weather has just not cooperated and I can feel myself getting a little anxious...and maybe more just impatient about it.

Today I gave up.  I'm not waiting for summer anymore.
I sold a dresser and a desk this evening (That is energizing for sure!) and I have one dresser which is sold but I'm painting it before it gets delivered to it's new home - housing scrapbook supplies in a LSS (a worthy calling For Sure!).  So, I pulled said dresser (and a few other pieces) into my kitchen and cracked open a new can of primer and went to town, so to speak.  Here are a few pics of what I was working on this evening....can you guess what some of these will look like when I'm done....or where they'll end up?

 This is the top piece of a 2-piece hutch that I got for really cheap.  It's not the nicest piece of furniture for sure - plain and boring....but I've used it for 5 different things which in furniture economy is pretty good :)  This photo is the top of the hutch.  You'll never guess where it ended up - holding up a Bearded Dragon tank in my daughter's room - exactly the right height to give her a bookcase headboard and a secure place for the dragon.    The doors (larger middle door and 2 side glass panels that never opened) came off and I took out the glass.  This summer I'm going to cut wood to fit inside these "frames" and paint it with chalkboard paint!

 Photo: My new craft room is starting to take shape!!
The bottom of that hutch was the perfect size to sit under my scrapbook paper shelving and raise them up to table height.  You can't really see it but it's there and it's perfect. 

 This is the lovely lady who will provide much-needed storage at a Scrapbook Store!  I'm so jealous she gets to live there full-time.  I'm giving her a simple coat of white and putting this amazing hardware right back on from whence it came :)  It's going to be stunning. 

 This frame I found at a moving sale at a neighbour's house down the street.  I guess giant canvases with ornate frames don't fit in brand new condos-for-two like they did when you had a home big enough for a family.  Their loss.  I haven't decided where to put this exactly yet.  I would love it in my scrapbook room but I'm not sure I have a wall space big enough for it.  Maybe....we'll see.  The canvas I'm selling....the frame I'm going to hang by itself so I can display different things inside the frame when the mood hits.

This long skinny shelf is one of 2 that I scored from a neighbour who found them in the crawl space of the house she just bought.  She thought they were supposed to be pantry door inserts for bottles, or little items but they weren't installed when they got the house and they had no intention of doing it.  So, for the low-low price of 3 chocolate bars, they became mine.  What am I doing with these?  I have a boy who needs some lego display shelves on his wall.  These I think will be perfect.  I'll post this again with an "after" picture when they're painted and hung.

That's it.  Back with more soon!!

Post-Sound of Music

My youngest was cast as Kurt in our community's production of The Sound of Music.  From the very first audition, to the very last curtain call - he never, ever stopped smiling ear to ear.  He was completely smitten with the whole singing/acting world and now, a week after it's over, we still start each day here with some crazy rendition of "The Lonely Goatherd" or "How do you solve a problem like Maria?"

Here are a few photos from the very last dress rehearsal and one of the performances:

 The Von Trapp family singing in the festival at the end of the play

 Egan (Kurt) singing his heart out - before I got around to fixing the buttons on the rental vest

 Everyone commented that he had a huge smile/was always smiling.  He's had so much fun becoming this character on stage!!

 Curtain clothes :) and his "father's" obvious disgust at them

 Dress rehearsal photo - the lederhosen I made for the boys before I had a chance to tighten up the straps so they'd fit better.
 Hair and make-up everynight

 Do-ME-ME, ME-so-so, ray-fa-fa, la-ti-ti

 Yodeling his line in "The Lonely Goatherd" 

 Trying to dance with Maria.  By the last performance he confided to me that he was having to consciously NOT know how to dance because he was actually getting good at it LOL.

 All the kids collapsed on Maria on the couch after first "learning to sing"

Feeling Creative again :)

It's been awhile since I've made something for fun....not for sale, but just because I have a little time to play and some new stuff to play with.  Paper Smooches banner dies & stamps - you are my creative inspiration this week!  Thank you!

Valentine's Day

So, Valentine's Day has come and gone :)
The chocolate was divvied up (and mostly eaten already during an American Idol-catch up session)
The cards were made (and delivered to both stores on time this year!!)  I'll go this weekend and see what the amounts were but I'm expecting to have sold quite a few.
And thanks to inspiration from a co-worker....we had a Love-themed supper as well this year:

Heart-shaped Pizzas :) 

Cheese pizza was the obvious choice....and we also tried a new one:  Chicken Alfredo with sun-dried tomato and basil.  

After supper, we were all very tired so we spent the evening playing Draw Something with each other and just hanging out.  The perfect Valentine's night.

Happy Valentine's Day!

A New Year

Ok, a New Year's post on January 22 isn't really considered timely, I's been awhile...but, what can you do?  Somethings give when you're prioritizing and sadly, this blog was one of them.

But, today I'm inspired to start the year off right.
I read Psalm 136 today in morning devotions.  Here's a snippet - in case you need a reminder of this great Psalm (complete text at the bottom of this post):

Psalm 136

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good.
His love endures forever.
Give thanks to the God of gods.
His love endures forever.
Give thanks to the Lord of lords:
His love endures forever.
to him who alone does great wonders,
His love endures forever.

So....I was reading this text again - like I've read it many, many times before but this time I was actually reading the words outloud.  All of them.  Even the repeated refrain "His love endures forever" which I (and I'm probably not the only one) skip over or just read in our heads.  It struck me as I read all the good, and bad things in the first parts of the stanzas that ALL of them ended with "His love endures forever" no matter how wonderful or horrible the action seemed - creating the sun, or killing kings.  

And then I wondered...WHAT IF I read my life like that.
I mean, I KNOW it in my head - that God's love endures forever; that he loves me; that he works all things together for good....
but what if I actually SAID it outloud like that - attached to the good, and the bad.

I woke up this morning wide awake and breathing.
His love endures forever.
My coffee was great and devotions were challenging
His love endures forever.
It's -43 with the windchill outside and I have to walk to school.
His love endures forever.
My van is in the garage and getting it back today will mean a big bill
His love endures forever.
My son got a part in the community play "The Sound of Music."
His love endures forever.
My daughter did not get the part she auditioned for.
His love endures forever.     

You see how this could go on and on....I could list every good or bad (in my perspective) thing that happens in my day/life....and still, His love would endure and every little thing in my life would filter through that understanding.  I think this would change my perspective on a lot of things.  I think I might start to see many more things as gifts from my loving Heavenly Father.  I also think I might begin to see HOW he's working things together for my good instead of being frustrated that I can't always see it. 

I need to mull this over a little :) 

Here's a little peek at what I'm doing Scrappy-wise this year:
  I'm starting my 3rd year of Project Life!  I'm so excited to do it again.  I have a few friends playing along this time and considering it's mid-January and I'm not too far behind yet (LOL), I'm feeling great about it!   I am hoping this is the year I can start scrapbooking and making cards for more than just necessity again too - I miss it so much and my new craft room is set up and ready to go!!  Wish me luck :)

Hugs to you! 
Happy New Year!!

As promised:  the entire text of Psalm 136

Psalm 136

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good.
His love endures forever.
Give thanks to the God of gods.
His love endures forever.
Give thanks to the Lord of lords:
His love endures forever.
to him who alone does great wonders,
His love endures forever.
who by his understanding made the heavens,
His love endures forever.
who spread out the earth upon the waters,
His love endures forever.
who made the great lights—
His love endures forever.
the sun to govern the day,
His love endures forever.
the moon and stars to govern the night;
His love endures forever.
10 to him who struck down the firstborn of Egypt
His love endures forever.
11 and brought Israel out from among them
His love endures forever.
12 with a mighty hand and outstretched arm;
His love endures forever.
13 to him who divided the Red Sea[a] asunder
His love endures forever.
14 and brought Israel through the midst of it,
His love endures forever.
15 but swept Pharaoh and his army into the Red Sea;
His love endures forever.
16 to him who led his people through the wilderness;
His love endures forever.
17 to him who struck down great kings,
His love endures forever.
18 and killed mighty kings—
His love endures forever.
19 Sihon king of the Amorites
His love endures forever.
20 and Og king of Bashan—
His love endures forever.
21 and gave their land as an inheritance,
His love endures forever.
22 an inheritance to his servant Israel.
His love endures forever.
23 He remembered us in our low estate
His love endures forever.
24 and freed us from our enemies.
His love endures forever.
25 He gives food to every creature.
His love endures forever.
26 Give thanks to the God of heaven.
His love endures forever.