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Yes, it's coming along. No thanks to me. I was out running some errands and came home to Kurt attacking the paint job. Wow.

I was on the hunt for bedding for the new bed that would match the room but I just don't have the funds to get something super fancy. I wound up at Walmart and settled for something that will do the job. Yeah, I know it's not something that I will see all the time but there is a little part of me that wants my guests to feel like they were *expected*. It always feels nice to be treated special doesn't it??

Kurt called it a night earlier than last night and this is the accomplishment. Whew! He's the man.

Kurt worked late last night on the bed and this was what I found this morning. All primed and the door just needing some sanding and then ready for primer too.

And poor Ollie (that's what the boys call our Honda Odyssey minivan) has been left in the driveway for two nights now... poor thing...
I don't know what day we're on with this whole murphy bed project that we got from Knock Off Wood. It's going remarkably well considering neither my husband nor I know what we're doing. I always feel fairly confident that if I have instructions I can do most anything. But I tend to like to be mentored along. I'm just a social kinda gal.

There was a little "adjusting" for a couple short cuts we made. (It was a typo on the cut list but Ana corrected it - so don't worry) We decided against some hinges that we got and replaced them with a standard piano hinge. There was just a little less confusion going that route.

Kurt got a chance to use his new nail gun and compressor. If he thought about it he would have done the Tim Taylor grunt but the giddy look on his face when he shot the first few nails??!?! PRICELESS.

This is the cabinet that will be attached to the wall that the mattress will be stored in. Yup, it's taking shape. And just in case you were wondering. I have been in the garage with him. Cheering him on, reading the instructions, brainstorming questions... and the monkeys encourage him too...

My mom and sister will be arriving on Wednesday so it would be ideal to get this thing done... now? Nothing like waiting to the last minute to complete a project, huh? Yeeash.
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What am I doing? I have to ask myself that *all* the time. Frequently my response to myself is "nothing". Well, that just has to change. I have been able to finagle "free time" to the point of potential excess, and well, after re-reading Proverbs 31 two things stuck out at me: 1) She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness. 2) Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the LORD, she shall be praised. Maybe this blog can keep me accountable and keep things in perspective. I'm so glad you joined me! And maybe tomorrow I'll post what the heck this photo is??!?!!
I moved into my beautiful new home two and a half years ago. I still don't have my garage clean, pictures on my bedroom walls or window treatments. But I did get around to potting my first houseplant. Can someone say, "LAME"!!

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It looks innocent enough...

We have overnight guests fairly frequently and, well, I felt reeeeeeaaaaallllllly guilty making them sleep on our resident torture device, i.e., hide-a-bed. I thought that if I bought one *brand new* that it would be better. But no. There is little or no hope for this sleeping contraption. The only real solution is to put the thin mattress on the floor and fold the thing up and act like it never pulled out in the first place. I just wanted to have a guest bed but didn't want the space that it would require. So after about six months of looking at options, my husband and I decided to do this!!

Off to Lowes to buy our supplies. This could very well be the most expensive murphy bed if we don't use the new air compressor after this project. I digress...

Here's the wood. The guys at Lowes were looking at me funny as I snapped a picture with my phone. Yeah, leave it to a girl to document this part. Oh well. We took all the seats out of our mini van and the big ol' sheet of MDF slid in there like it was custom made for a wood haul. {sigh - love my Odyssey}

That night hubby made the first cut (of several... some not right... but, hey, this is our first major build!!)

Did I mention that we were new at this kind of thing?? Because we discovered why it was a good idea to keep the garage door open while cutting MDF after this failed attempt at a picture...

Yes, that's dust flying everywhere - not a dirty lens. Well, it's dirty NOW! 

And I'll end this post with a be continued...
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I'm not trying to be a miser or anything, but I keep thinking that when I want to send a note off to someone that sometimes a card is overkill. But I still want to make it *pretty* - not just a scrap of notebook paper crammed in an envelope! (ha) I used my Extra Large Two-Step Bird punch from SU as well as the Scallop Trim Border punch. A little Certain Celery grosgrain ribbon to add a little variety to the set too. I tried out some of my Cuttle Bug embossers too. The possibilities were getting ~~crazy~~ so I stopped at that. Now... would it be cheesy to start out a note to someone on one of these with, "A little birdie told me..."? Uh, yeah. It would.

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She doesn't know it yet but I made some monogram cards for LAS. When she was here visiting she mentioned that she like fleur de lis and so now whenever I see one I think of her. And would you believe that one of the {ippity} stamps was one in the new line and I found an embossing folder... they just pop up all over the place now!!

This was my first project with my Just Right stamps too and, boy, do I dig those! I have a weird desire to personalize stuff and these sets were right up that alley. I kept this design super simple shooting for an elegant, sophisticated look. I just hope LAS *loves* them... and that she will not hesitate to *use* them!
I got my dies for the Big Shot today from Stampin' Up and got all re-energized to get back to rag quilt purse making (say that ten times fast!!).  But before that begins I have a birthday card for a special lady in my life. It's inspired by my SIL over at Scrapper-Wannabe. Can you tell the purse thing is a possible obsession?

I used the Top Note die with the Big Shot. I also got the Scalloped Border Punch and just had to try that. The stamp is from the Whimsical Words stamp set from the Sale-A-Bration promotion.
My husband bought me a set of metal stamping letters for my birthday. Wow! I was so jazzed! I had been eyeing several kits for some time but just before I committed to anything he found a starter set while we were on vacation in the Tennessee Smoky Mountains. I had some of these apple charms left over from my angel pins days and thought they were flat enough to try.

What I like about this handmade craft is that it looks handmade. Granted this is my first attempt so it's going to look like a rookie did it but, hey, don't tell anyone... I might just find some way to stamp *everything*!!!!

2 1/2 cups warm/hot tap water
1/4 cup EVOO

1 T red palm oil (if you don't have this increase the EVOO to 1/3 cup)
1/3 cup honey 
(baking with raw honey cancels out any nutritional benefit so pasteurized honey is practical in cost since raw honey is significantly higher - my friend who is a nurse and her husband was a master bee-keeper counseled me on this)
2 t kosher or sea salt
500 mg vitamin C (crushed)

I put all these ingredients in my Kitchen Aid (with the wire whisker attachment) and let it incorporate for about 4-5 minutes. Change to the dough hook attachment and add:


2 1/2 cups hard red wheat berries
1 3/4 cups hard white wheat berries
(or about 5 1/2 cups of whole wheat flour - I used Bob's Red Mill before getting my mill)

1 (heaping) T of yeast

After allowing to mix for a minute or so on low, I set the mixer on high and let it knead for six minutes. This might seem arbitrary but I discovered that the glutens in the flour needed to be process long enough and yet not too long so that the bread isn't crumbly or a brick. The mixing bowl should be fairly clean as the dough has come together in a nice ball.

Then I take the dough out of the bowl and form it into a pretty ball, spray the mixing bowl (don't bother cleaning it), and return the ball into the bowl to rise for an hour.

After that hour punch down the dough and form into two loaves and allow them to rise another hour in sprayed loaf pans.

Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes.

I used to allow only one rise but the flavor and consistency of the double rise loafs were significant enough that I felt that it was worth the extra hour.

Don't allow the bread to stay in the pans too long after taking them out of the oven because condensation will form and make the crust soggy. And I tried putting butter on the tops and it kinda messed up the top of the loaf and didn't keep well for the week. 
I think it was in 1988 or 89 that I bought my machine at the Clark County Fair (Washington), of all places. Talk about an impulse buy... Anyway, I made a jumper right off the bat (the body length was too short and was a teensy bit uncomfortable to wear) and made some stuffed rabbits. Then it was put away until a wonderfully talented quilter came into my life and offered to tutor some of us young (at the time) girls at church. So, after that venture it was put into retirement again... while the last four of my five children were added to our quiver. {makes ya tired just reading it, huh?} Until three weeks ago my machine has sat in the garage neglected and nearly forgotten until I came across these on a blog and just couldn't resist!

It's called the Margaret purse and I found the pattern and instructions here.

That went so well and I found an even *easier* pattern and went for it again, and would ya know it, but I like this one a little better. I need to make some minor personalization to it; interior organizing doo-hickies like pockets and cell phone spot.

This is a rag purse and I loosely used the pattern from here. I made some minor changes to the bag to accommodate what I had on hand and made a little more substantial reinforcements to the handles.

I think my next rag purse will be a little smaller. Instead of a nine patch face, I think I'll do the six patch. I already bought some cute fabric at Hobby Lobby yesterday and I have since purchased the Big Shot to do my cutting from me! I do know of two people who are going to provide homes for them, but I think I will do a Crazy Blessing and surprise someone too.
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I was getting just a little obsessed with getting a particular die cut machine and just about when I was going to pass out from the constant compulsive contemplation (CCC - that ought to be a new disorder, huh?) for the umpteenth time I committed. And here is my first fun creation with my new machine and, oh, do I {heart} it!!

The die cuts a rectangle and a scalloped rectangle each with a hole in the top corner to bind it. I used some matting material that I got in the framing department at the local craft shop and then used some lovely glittered design paper to cover it. I will continue to work on it and "gussie it up" (my spell checker doesn't recognize that word - but *you* know what I mean, don't you?) with tags, brads, ribbon, metal pretties and such.

Sizzix Big Shot
Rectangle Book Die
The Garden Party Stack by DCWV