Make it for Monday #2 with a GiVe AwAy!

Welcome to the second Make it for Monday! I'm just wicked full of inspiration for holiday decorating now that the turkey is digested. Our family is trying to do a more simplified Christmas this year...we actually say that every year, but *this* year, we mean business. I've been crafting gifts for extended family members, and I am working really hard not to spend a ton of money on decorating. It's been fun to s-t-r-e-t-c-h my brain to use stuff on hand in new, creative ways. And it didn't even hurt
This week I worked on clothespins.  Sounds fascinating, yeah? I've made them before, and got the idea from Kim at Twice Remembered. Anyway, I made an extra Christmas-y set for a Giveaway.

I mean what's a party without a door prize???

All ya need to do to enter is link up a post this week. Easy Peasy.  I think these would be so cute strung up over a doorway with different year's family Christmas picture, vintage Santa postcards, or images from past holiday celebrations.
I'm sure you uber-talented gals can come up with something.

So what's been keeping you busy this week?  Let's see what 'cha got!
(cough, fine print, cough) 
Please link only to your specific post, not just to your blog.
And don't forget to link back here 
or use my button (code on the sidebar) 
so others can come over and par-tay too.  
Can someone pass the cheese dip?

Linky-Man below opens tonight at 10 pm EST 
and runs thru tomorrow night at midnight.

I will also be partying with the following way cool chicks:

It's So Very Cheri

The DIY Showoff



Another room makeover has been sighted.

Ya know, I hate to do this to you guys again, but when the creative muse hits I embrace her with gusto.  What I mean to say is, I'm doing another complete room makeover.....nothing like the holidays and a decorating blog to get the creative juices flowing, eh? Great timing.  Sorta.  I'll be providing bits and pieces over the next couple weeks as I get stuff 'just so' regarding Christmas paraphenalia and the like.

So, this month's contestant is my family room in which the beastly fireplace resides.  Let me show you where this adventure begins:

Mind you, these pictures feature the previous owner's 'country fair' decor.  And I will also mention that I have already painted the paneling 4, count 'em, FOUR times (each time entailed 3 coats).
First I primed with 2 coats, and painted the room a pale blue/green:

Here's another view...ignore the blurry members of my family...this is the only shot I have of the room looking in from the kitchen nook.  You can see I was already experimenting with other beige-y shades in the corner by the fireplace.

I had also painted the kitchen deep taupe, but ended up painting *it* blue, and the family room became Taupe 3...and I didn't even show you the 2 other sets of couches I tried in here, but you can read all about my revolving furniture woes HERE:

Even the linen floral slipcovered loveseat, adorable hubby and Bogart the dog couldn't make me love that band-aid pink taupe.

So we moved on to a deeper taupe, which was the same color as I used in my dining room.
I loved the blue of my kitchen next to the deep taupey brown, but when I decided to do the dining room that shade, I then knew what color the family room needed to be

Did I mention we've only been in this house just over a year?  
My girls just roll their eyes when I pull out the rollers and brushes and start in again on the paneling.

Yesterday, I tackled once again the painting of all that paneling using the same shade and sheen as the trim...called Woodlawn Lace from Lowes.  The walls breathed a sigh of relief. Ahhhh.

I finally think I have a vision for this room, and I'm so excited to share the progress with you.

And because I'm me, no redo would be complete without Craig, so hubby and I drove south 30 minutes to pick up this shelob (and her ugly loveseat stepsister), which will receive new duds of dropcloth delight to match the cushion on my double rocker.

These are actually 10 year old pieces from an upscale local furniture store...weighed a ton (good sign...hardwood construction), super comfy, and only $150 for the pair.  I like the quality, simple lines (making the job of slipcovering them a bit easier), "normal" overall scale, and slight hump back.  As soon as I get them gussied up, I'll show y'all.  Until then, though, I'll use a ready made slipcover I got from Overstock on one, and some kind of throw quilt/blanket on the other until after the holidays when I can tackle the sewing project.

Thankfully, I also figured out how to get rid of the 8 ton TV we had in the armoire shown above (girls playing guitar hero) by telling hubby I needed something lower-profile.....so he finally got his flatscreen TV (!), which will be perched atop an antique dresser my mom got for me when I was young.  Love it when we all get something out of the makeover :)

Looking forward to showing you some progress for my Make it for Monday post.  Don't forget to add my button (code on my sidebar) and get the word out.  Can't wait to see all the gorgeousness you guys have slathered on your homes this past week!



Christmas Past Crafty-Craft.

I'm officially into Christmas Decorating Mode, but don't have anything finished to show you yet....so I pulled some pictures of crafty stuff I've done in years past.  These are all from my last house (which I miss *tearing up*).  Sometime I plan to show you before and afters from that place....so you know I'm not just a crazy lady taking on the redo of our current dated home....

Here's an advent calendar I made one year.  I was into happy green, apple red, and tiffany blue combos.

Here's a closer look:

I cut out the tags, and wrote bits of the Christmas story on each one and stuck them in the little bags with a stick of fruit stripe gum (remember that?)  I used those wee tiny clothes pins to hang them by the coordinating ribbons.  The kiddos took turns pulling out a tag and reading the next part of the story. Then they chomped the gum.

I also made felt stockings that year for all 6 kids and the 1 kid-in-law I had that year.  We've been using these for 4 years now, so this year I'm making new ones (plus I added another kid-in-law who needs one!)

Got most of the trim on sale, thank goodness, and this was my first all-out-attempt at using a glue gun.  I've never looked back!  Well, except when I burn my fingers using it...then I use bad words and curse it to the place from whence it came.  Anyway, this year when I make my stockings, they're gonna be smaller, 'cause as much as I love my offspring, stuffing those stockings is getting EXPENSIVE...not to mention exhausting after all the Christmas Eve festivities and the 6AM stampede.

Here's what Santa left that Christmas....this is just before the mad 6AM stampede down the stairs.

*sigh* I miss that house.  But don't tell hubby.


Ride 'em Turkey.

This is just a tad frightening, but there ya go.  Enjoy your day tomorrow!

White Wednesday #23

My old desk area when I homeschooled.  Always stacked with junk, but it was my little haven of white amidst the chaos of six kids at home.


Mi4M highlights!

 Here's some highlights from the first weekly Make it for Monday (Mi4M).  Once again I'm amazed at the talent and creativity goin' on out there.  My bookmark page is so full of inspiration, it makes me tired to even look at it.  'Course everything makes me tired lately.  Pish Posh.

So on to the highlights....if you've been featured, feel free to grab my button over there-----> and get your brag on.

Blue Creek Home used materials she had on hand to make adorable snowman ornaments.  Love these, hoping to make some similar for our tree...

The Crafty Sisters made a magnetic board to fit any old place (kitchen recipes!) using an eclectic mix of materials.  Very funky-chic!

Moody Girl is a girl after my own heart....she found a playmate for my thrift store hutch and even placed hers under her window like I did...great minds think alike :o)

Traci at Beneath My Heart (and her hubby!) took on a kitchen renovation after a pipe burst. Check out all her pictures and breath in the awesomeness of her new kitchen space!

And Kelly, the Chick 'n Charge is jumping on the tassel craze, but added a twist for display, which I really think is cool...she popped it on a pillar holder!

Thanks everyone for playing along.  I'll leave you with some mama-brag.  A few of my daughter's senior pictures we just received.   I can't believe this girl is all grown up.  




Make it for Monday #1

I haven't done much promotion for this new weekly link party, but even if I'm the only participant at least I got something done!  I'm still chipping away at projects....and I just took on a BIG project that I will talk about soon (it's a creative endeavor, but doesn't entail decorating...and no, I'm not preggers.)  So now it's even more important that I budget my time and get cracking on that cra(p)ft room.

So my project this week was itty-tiny, but fun none the less.  I picked up 4 happy red stripped cotton dish towels at IKEA for .49 ea.  Thought I'd make a pillow out of two of them, but instead I just stenciled some happy Christmas words on them.  See?


My seasonal decorating will be almost entirely white and natural elements this year with pops of red, so these will be a nice little touch.  I think.

So, link up if you've got a project, craft, makeover, cute kid, etc to show off.
Put the link to your actual post (not your blog, please) and in your post please link back to this post or add my button. Code is on my sidebar.
 Leave comment love for everyone too...we all like to feel connected :o)
Mr. MckLinky will be open 8:00 EST (Indiana).


I kissed the mailman.

Yeah, right.  But I wanted to.  Except the mailman was a she.  And she was in her oversized fisher-price mailtruck, driving pretty darn fast. 

Would ya just look at what she brought me?

Remember a few weeks back I found some giveaway love from Lori at Wildflowers?  I picked out this gorgeous necklace from Vintage Pearl stamped with my six kiddo's names.  I know, right?   Serious chic beauty for sure.  Love it!  Thanks again Lori. :)

Then my name magically jumped out over at Annie's Birdcages and Butterflies to win a set of her wooden blocks all pretty-fied and lookin' marvey!  And her tags and card are so sah-weet! Check 'em out:

Each side of each block has neato stuff....like the birdie things, words, or seasonal images like below:

Aren't they the cutest?  I'm displaying them on my bookshelves right now, but will prolly move them into the kitchen for the holidays....Thanks Annie! 

And I made it to the Flea Market and Antique Show at my local Coliseum last night.  Um, lots of sequined sweatshirts, bottles of cleaners, and knives.  There were a few booths with collectables and antique-y type stuff actually worth looking at, but rather overpriced.  I managed to only pick up the following two vintage soap advertisments from 1912 and 1914.  Since I make soap, I thought they might looks cool framed in my cra(p)ft room.

And evidently, people actually read ads 'cause there was quite a bit of verbage on them.  These days, there's maybe one sentence to 'grab' you.  Or a picture of a slightly naked woman.  *sigh*

I'm not sure it was even worth the $4 parking and $1 entrance fee.  I certainly won't go again.  The 'flea market style' represented wasn't the 'look' I'm going after, and didn't look anything like the lovely stuff I see at all the junker's sites I visit daily on my sidebar.



Tales from the Coop Keeper. A vignette of domestic bliss. And chickens.

 Since beginning the decorating blog thing, I've stumbled upon so many talented gals.  I've decided they are so awesome I will be kind enough to share them with you.  But they're still my best friends, you understand.
Just sayin'.

Today I'm gonna feature The Coop Keeper aka The Chicken Whisperer aka Counting Chickens aka Jayme.  Perhaps you've noticed I like sharp wit and humor.  Maybe?  Well I do.  I LOVE to find other funny bloggers, with funny stories to tell, with funny lives, with funny noses.  Ok, I don't really care about their noses.  Anyway, my homey Jayme fits all the criteria in a perfect storm for blogging.  If you've not hopped into the virtual world of Jayme and her 'girls', let me please introduce you to her wicked sense of humor without further delay....because the world needs more Jaymes in a bad way.  We all need Jaymes in our life to make us laugh til we cry.  I'm being serious.  I literally laughed so hard I cried one night reading some of her old posts. She lives just a couple hours from me, and I'm soooo gonna meet her for real, up close and personal.   I can't wait to introduce you.  I will stop talking now.

Please meet Jayme at Tales from the Coop Keeper, homemakin' farmgirl extraordinare
(she asks you to please ignore the rosemary up her nose)

She cooks and bakes (and shares recipes and how-tos!):

She gardens:

She landscapes:

She does Giveaways:

She drinks this with plants:

And with her cat:

She and her hubby have renovated a 140 year old farmhouse:

For example, Porch before:

Porch after:

She has one of these!!!

Lovingly called "The Squirrel" (see the squirrel?)

She entertains:

She embraces her inner vintage homemaker and plays dressup:

Pin curls and vintage earrings....swoon!

I mean, what's not to love here?  Is she livin' the life or what?

And if you can believe this, she also homeschools her 13 year old nephew Aaron.  Say hi to Aaron!

(this dude COOKS!):

 And you MUST read THIS post about puberty.  That's all I'm gonna say about that. 

Ok, now on to the main reason for my post today. Jayme also has a brood.  Like me, except hers have beaks and feathers.  And some serious personality.  I thought perhaps it would be fun to introduce them to you as well.  I interviewed each of them for this post because they have some very wise things to share with my readers. I've included links to where you can read more about each of them because I KNOW you will want to become better acquainted. Shall we begin? Yes, let's.

Stubs was injured in a coon attack, and left with disfigured feet. Nevertheless, when we sat down together she exuded confidence, and I noticed she has fabulous flappies wattles.  I asked her about how she was coping since the attack.

Me: How has your disability helped you to realize your dreams as an impressionist artist?  In what ways do you foster your self-esteem now that you have been physically challenged?

Stubs: You know Cindy, living with a disability is difficult.  There are so many things I can't do.  I can't scratch.  I can't roost.  If I'm not careful, I get depressed.  Surprisingly, I'm the top bird around here.  I have to be...if I showed the least bit of weakness, I'd be hen pecked.  The Coop Keeper encourages me though.  She's always encouraging me to do the things that I can do, like paint.  She always tells me that my eggs are her favorites.  They are a beautiful color, I must admit.  I get horribly itchy at times, and I can't scratch myself.  It's maddening.  I take my mind off of it by searching for worms.  I do have a gallery showing planned for the Spring of 2010...don't miss it!  

Here she is at work:

Ta da!

Next up we have Helen
Helen also survived a coon attack, having had her head almost swallowed.  The experience has had a profound effect on her.  She's much more humble, has taken to contemplation and even began a ministry.  Her companion Fifi was nervously sitting nearby and kept interrupting.

Me: After your harrowing near-death experience with the coon, how has your perspective on life changed?  Do you believe it's vain to fluff your feathers now as the more carnal of us do?  Does it bother you to always be last?  Does Fifi get on your nerves?  Is she too shallow perhaps?  

Helen:  Cindy, first of all, thank for taking the time to talk to me.  No one usually bothers.  Since the great coon attack of June 2009, life has changed drastically.  For me, life was all about bugs, dust baths and who could get to the water cooler the fastest.  I'm much more retrospective now.  I don't run around as much.  I still do preen.  Cleanliness is next to Godliness you know.  Fifi is a thorn in my flesh.  I'll say no more.  It doesn't bother me to be last anymore.  Sometimes I feel a little useless around here, I don't lay, and I'm blind in one eye.  The Coop Keeper loves me though.  Did you know she carried me in her jacket for two days?  She slept with me, carried me all over the yard and force fed me fresh strawberries and yogurt?  I'd be dead without her.  That's love. 
Let's quickly move on to Miss Fifi LeFew before she lights up again:
 Me:  What is the best color companion for your glorious blue green eggs?  And what's your best piece of advice for staying calm in a tense situation, besides say squawking and putting on a show?   

Fifi: Oh Dahlink, there are no better eggs than my lovely blue green eggs.  I sink zat Stubs eggs are the best to be zeen with mine.  Ze Stubbs lays a lovely golden brown egg.  Makes mine look even lovlia...Ze CoopKeeper, she is so afraid that my smoking will reduce the beauty or the frequency of my eggs, but she ez so wrong.  You see, as a lovely french bird, I smoke.  Eez no problem.  Zee other chickens, zey sink I'm, how you say 'neurotic'...zay don't know...zay should live through zee coon attack...zay would understand zen.  Zee attack, still so fresh in my mind, zee skwauking, zee running.  Zee smoking, it calms me.

Okie dokie. Moving right along.  Next are the uber-crafty gals.
Chicks after our own hearts here in the blogsphere.

and her loyal stitching buddy Mother Plumtree with a sample of her work:

Both these gals are rather soft-spoken and genteeeel, both lost their way to the porch where I was waiting for them, sipping ice tea in a rocking chair.  I tried to ask them about their hobbies, you know
....to draw them out a bit. Didn't take long.

Me:  Have either of you considered stitching up some road signs to help you get around the coop and yard?  Do you quietly gossip about the other girls when you're crafting???  Do tell.   

Mrs. P and Mother P:  Pray tell, what have you heard about us?  Landsakes we wouldn't be talking about our friends like that.  Well, maybe Fifi...and I do remember talking about Helen once or twice....like why she won't get a backbone and fight for her rights to the scratch grain....but that is it, I think....   We have stitched arrow signs, towels, and other fineries and strategically placed them around the yard, but that darn Coop Keeper finds them, and gets excited and either hangs them in the coop, or gives them away on some blog she does.  We've given up.  We just watch Helen nonchalantly and follow her....

Next in was Scooter.   Take a wild guess why:
Scooter was brought in to be the BFF to a fellow chick (who has most unfortunately and prematurely passed on to that glorious coop in the sky---RIP Sugar Pie).  She's a pretty young thing, and given to that teenage chatter that fills my own house so often.

Me:  What is it like to feel so needed, and what will be the 'got to' color for winter scarves this year?  Will you be modeling for Antropologie in the near future?

Scooter: Hi Cindy!  Actually, I just signed a two year contract with Abercrombie.  The 'got to' color for this winter I believe will be teal.  It's bright, clean and really stands out against my rust feathers.  The Coop Keeper is busy designing a new line called  'Poultry in Motion".  Cindy, I gotta tell ya, it feels pretty good to be so needed around here.  The Coop Keeper and I are like 'this' (gestures with her claw).  I have to be extra careful around here when I'm out free ranging.  My friend Sugar Pie was lifted right out of her dust bath.  Hawk.  I can't talk about it.  It was horrific.  I think the Coop Keeper would lose it if she lost me.  I see her out in the yard all the time, looking for me.  She gets a hold of me and covers me in kisses...I can't say it's my favorite thing...but it's better than the frying pan.

Here she is showing us how scarves should be worn this winter:

Lastly, let me introduce you to Scarlett (and her friend Aunt Pittypat whom I've not had opportunity to interview as of yet.  I'm told they were discussing Project Runway before being interrupted by the Coop Keeper's camera here.)  Notice the glorious always-in-fashion-and-the-envy-of-all-women red feathers. Redheads are always stunning, no?

Me: What does your morning beauty routine entail?

Scarlett:  Morning routine Cindy?  It's a daily ritual, as in it takes all day.  You don't look this good without work honey.  First things first Cindy, you need a good nights roost.  I go up early to get the best spot.  First thing in the morning, I re-hydrate by drinking alot of water.  I also go heavy on the scratch grain, for a glossy sheen to my glorious feathers.   Sure the scratch grain puts a little junk in my trunk, but what's wrong with that?  I preen a few hours a day, take a good long dust bath, and start the process all over again.

I'm told there are two more black chickens, but we are waiting for them to identify themselves as hens or roosters.
Yes, life is exciting for the Coop Keeper.

Now see, aren't you glad I brought Jayme and her crew to your attention?
Go visit her as soon as you can, but please don't ask to borrow a tree

I will leave you all with some links to some of my favorite posts from Jayme's place:  



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