Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Dollar Tree Gnomes

I’m back to making crafts for our holiday for the fall craft shows to help my 15yo raise funds for his 4-H Exchange trip to Japan next year.  One of the most popular items that sold last year were my Dollar Tree Gnomes.  I made a video on YouTube, and it remains as one of my most popular videos to date.  You can see how I made these cuties.

I wanted to share with you some close up pictures of some of the gnomes, because after making dozens of them to sell, they really each have their own personality.






Stay tuned, as I’m working on some more gnomes right now - this time in the shape of ornaments.  I just can’t get over how cute these gnomes are and, even better, that they are from my own background - Scandinavia!  

If you have a chance, please comment, like and follow my YouTube Channel while you’re watching the video.

Thursday, September 12, 2019

Making Farmhouse Bead Garland and Tassels

I am completely laid up from a logging accident for about 10 weeks, just for a start.  I’ve been antsy just sitting here, so I’ve been wracking my brains (and obsessing about Pinterest) as to what I can craft with one leg up!  I came up with these adorable Farmhouse Bead Garland and Tassels.  Not the best picture, but hey, I can’t get around right now!

I even made a video about how to make those tassels!  These are so easy! They bring me back to. Stringing beads as a Kindergartener!  So relaxing and fun.  I will be selling these at our Christmas Craft show in December and hopefully I’ll get it into our Etsy Shop.

Check out my video and let me know what you think!  Also, be sure to like, comment and Subscribe to my channel!  

Friday, June 28, 2019

Music Game Organization


This is the place that I put all my music games for the time being - I’m going to be moving into a second bin shortly, as this ones getting so full.   I love to have all of my games nice and organized or at least gathered in one place.  I’m not perfect yet, but I’m working on it!  Practice makes perfect, right?

I got this bin a few years ago as a Hostess reward and it has really been a work horse for me.  It’s sort of messing looking right now - but like I said, I’m ready to move into a second one!  The Convertable Organizer is now available again as a Hostess Reward and even comes with free personalization.  Don’t let that sound too intimidating - you can do this by placing just $200 in orders.  Organize a closet or doing your Christmas shopping early or get a new summer purse and coordinating bags and wallet and you’ll be there.  Message me if you need help doing this!

Moving on to what is in this bin.  I use the side bins for my big dice, card sets, and other smaller items.  That front pocket has ziplock bags full of my little dice (I bought a bunch of regular dice at the Dollar Tree in a Farkle game and use those for games with my music students) and also Ewako Erasers that I use for pawns.

Now for the games!
These are the plastic folders that I buy to organize.  I find them at Dollar Tree and at Walmart for $1 each.  The brand name is Jot.   I know these seem like a cheap version, but they have held up in my music studio for 3 years now.  There is a shorter version of the clear one that is nice for just card sets.

The left one is just a clear zipper pocket, but as you can see, it holds bigger things inside because it expands.  The right folder is like a two pocket folder and the front has a ziplock pocket too.

I’ve also used 2 pocket folders, but I don’t like them as much.  When I first started organizing my games, I put everything in a plain 2-pocket folder.  The game fits in the pocket and then I put the cards in a ziplock bag and put it with the game in the pocket.  This is a much cheaper version since you can get 2-pocket folders for $.10 around the back-to-school sales.
Overall, my goal is to get the name of the game, the level, and the goals of the game printed not eh front of it.  I would also like to somehow coordinate the games with actual piano lessons, so all I have to do is look at a chart and go grab the game to go with it! 

Ahh!!  It will come at some point!  How do you organize your music games?  I know that I’m always looking for new ways to be more efficient.


Monday, June 17, 2019

Painting Brick/Faux Brick


We have this very badly done brick backsplash in our kitchen!  My daughter kept calling it faux, but it’s actually real brick in the tile form.  That being said - it’s ugly!!!  Whoever installed it, didn’t use a tile cutter to put the tile into place, they broke the tiles by hand to get them to fit.  In addition to that, there’s about 2 fingers distance between the tiles on all sides and at some point, someone has gone in and painted white between the tiles to clean it up, but also painted all the edges of the tiles, making the spaces seem even bigger.
All the colors and patterns in this kitchen, added to all of the cooking we do for a family of 7, just makes my head hurt!  We plan to redo the entire kitchen at some point, but for now, I’m trying to resist painting everything that’s going to be torn out in the future.  The linoleum flooring is very busy and brown and tan, the counters are yellow, with cigarette burns in it and we have three different tones/kinds of cabinets in there.

I decided this week to break out my paint that’s on hand and whitewash the bricks to give them a more neutral look until we have the time and money to rip them out.  I should have done this the moment we moved in 2 years ago!! I love it so much, well at least as much as I can love a very bad brick/tile job!

The kitchen is so much brighter and clean looking to my eyes!  Now I’m trying to resist painting all the walls, trim and cabinets.  Not to mention, the counter tops that are driving me insane!
 Ok, I’ll try to take a breath and wait patiently while my piano studio gets finished first, but I may just paint the trim - it looks terribly dirty next to the nice clean bricks!  Please tell me what you think!


Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Bathroom sink redo

We’ve been working hard on completing our addition.  It was once a carport, which we re-poured cement and put up walls on two sides to make the area between our house and an old carriage house into a useable space.  The main area is my piano studio.  We also added a full bathroom and laundry room.

The bathroom is generally put together, except for some tiling in the top of the shower.  For some reason, the sink kept backing up and leaking when we tried to get it going.  We went ahead and dry walled and tiled the bathroom, trying not to think about the sink area too much.  Finally, after inspecting the drainpipe, we realized that the drainpipe had opened while the cement was being poured - and voila!  Completely blocked the drain!

This last weekend, Mr. Right decided to attempt taking care of the drain pipe.  Instead of jack hammering our newly poured cement, we decided to put in a new drain through the wall, and under the house to the drain.

We decided it was easier to access the pipes by cutting along the drywall seam on the outside of the bathroom. It was in a nice flat area and we were having just tons of finger prints in this hallway area.
Mr. Right was able to get the entire sheet of drywall off as a whole piece, so we’ll be able to use it again.  The great thing is that we replaced the drywall with the shiplap that we got for free.  Let’s just say, I’m determined to shiplap every surface of our house!  
Here’s a view of the hallway that enters into our house.  I’m standing next to the door to the outside to the right.  That left side will keep the fingerprints to a minimum.

Finally - running water in the sink!  We even got a mirror and an Idaho cut out up!  So exciting!


Saturday, April 27, 2019

Leftover Spaghetti

My 14yo son is doing a three year 4-H project where they raise funds and study the United States government and end with a three week trip to Washington DC.  One of the fundraisers that the group does each year is Spaghetti dinner.  It was a huge event where we served dinner for 500 people.

At the end of the night, there was a ginormous amount of spaghetti sauce and spaghetti left over.  (There were sausages, salad and bread too, but those were pretty easy to take care of.). Of course, I couldn’t turn down an industrial size pot of spaghetti sauce as well as several gallon bags of cooked spaghetti for free.

I made up dinners for my college kids and kids at home out of them.    I have two recipes that freeze very well with cooked spaghetti.  The first one is Spaghetti pie.  There are dozens of recipes on Pinterest for it, but this is what I did (I didn’t use any measurements, because I was using several different size containers):

Spaghetti Pie

  1. Spray the pan.  (I used disposable pie plates for this). I mixed an egg and 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese into enough spaghetti to cover the bottom of the pan.  The put it in pan and spread it out in the bottom.
  2. I mixed together a big container of Sour Cream, 16 ounces of cream cheese and 32 ounces of Cottage cheese for all of my recipes and then layered this cheese mixture on to spaghetti pie.  I used around a cup or so on top.
  3. Next I layered a generous amount of spaghetti sauce on top.
  4. Top with shredded cheese.
  5. To freeze, I covered with 2 layers of foil and labeled them with directions for cooking.
  6. To bake: Thaw.  Bake at 350 for 20-30 minutes until completely warmed up.
I made 4 of these pies.  I figured these would be great to give to sick singles or couples as well as giving a couple to my college student son for meals.

The next recipe I made was my own version of Million Dollar Casserole, which you can get exact measurements from Pinterest.  The only thing I left out was the stick of butter.  The better makes it wonderful, but I just didn’t know where to put it for the freezer version.  Here’s what I did:

Million Dollar Casserole

  1. Spray pans.  I used a mixture of my own 9x13 metal pans and disposable pans for my college age son.
  2. Spread a layer of spaghetti in the bottom of the pan.  
  3. Layer in the cream cheese/ sour cream/ cottage cheese mixture.
  4. Layer generous amount of spaghetti sauce (keep in mind, I’m trying to use up a ginormous pot of sauce here!).
  5. Repeat these layers another time.
  6. Top with shredded cheese.
  7. To freeze: Put 2 layers of foil on them and label for baking.
  8. To Bake: Thaw.  Bake at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes. 
For this recipe, I made 3 single serving pans for my college student son, 3-8x8 pans for my kids that are home, and 2-9x13 pans for when everyone comes home to visit.  We found the small single serving pans at our local Family Dollar three for $1.
In addition to these 12 meals, I froze the rest of the spaghetti sauce in 16 quart ziplock freezer bags.  This we will use in meals as needed.  (Wasn’t that a ginormous pot?).  

This was a great used of free leftover spaghetti and sauce!  I love it when you get free food given to you and your an reuse them in freezer meals!  What sort of things have you made from leftovers?

Saturday, January 19, 2019

Vintage Truck Painted Old Saw

My newest project!



I found this old saw at a local thrift store, and knew I wanted to try to paint it.  In fact, I found a whole pile of saws and figured I’d try one first and then go back for more if it worked like I wanted.  I actually thought it was a little speedy at $2.50, but bit the bullet and bought it. 

The first thing I did was wash and scrub this with vinegar.  It did clean it up a little, but not like I thought it would.  All the markings are character, right?

Next, I clear coated it with Clear Spray Paint by Krylon like this:


Next I used my Chalk Couture Transfers to put a Vintage Truck and “This is How We Roll” on the saw.

Finally, I used the Krylon Clear Coat to make the chalk paste permanent.

Here are the links to the Chalk Couture transfers and products I used for this project.  (I do make a small amount for all sales on my site.  Thank you for your support).


I love how this saw turned out.  Please let me know what you think in the comments!