Sunday, January 31, 2010


But my Sister has been booking it on her latest project! You have to go there. She is simply amazing!
She is doing all the work herself, and every post is just EYE popping!
Here is a teaser!

Saturday, January 30, 2010

I was featured this week

I entered the basket I made in a few linky parties, and I guess people liked it because I was featured.

Here, The Girl Creative


All because I turn These

Into These,
No wonder I love this community!!!

Friday, January 29, 2010

Welcome to the wonderful world of blog.

Yesterday, I featured my friend Marian's store on my blog, that was so today I could help her set up her own blog and you all would go see it! (Tricky aren't I?) So, please go visit her! Tell her how wonderful it is to have a blog and about all the great friends you have made along the way. Also, If you have any tips on how to maximize her views, followers, and merchandising online, please tell her everything!
Thank you!
You are going to love her! (my whole family does!)

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Shopping, My Favorite Pastime!

No, Literally, I am taking you shopping at Favorite Pastimes in Arlington Wa.
I stop in every week, even if I am not buying (or not intending to anyways).
It is owned by my friend Marian, and she or her daughter (my new best helper) are there every day.

Nice Family!
We went to high school together, I think she looks younger!
Anyways, Marian bought the store last year, and has added her own touch to it.
so, come in and look around.

Oh, darn, you cannot see that this is a possum bellied cabinet.
I guess my photography skills are a little lacking.
One of the things I LOVE about Marians store is that she has so many items from local artists.

This is called a fret piece. The artist carves it by hand, no lasers, and he frets over it until he feels it is finished.

framed yoyo art

The Treadle tables and refurbished lamps are built by her husband.
Now, two of my favorite artists also have items here.


Oh, and I need to hurry up and do my kitchen, cuz next time I have the few extra dollars, These really want to come home with me...
It says, "made with Love"!
So, When are you coming to Arlington Wa?
I will take you into my favorite store!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Real life gets in the way!

Oh, how I love showing you the After pictures, So I think I will!

They are so much happier than the Before Pictures!
That is the floor of my spare bedroom.
The room that is supposed to by MINE!
I want it to be my creaft room, Sewing space, Scrapbook room.
BUT IN REALITY, it is the don't know where this goes, throw it in there room.

Does it look any less disgusting if the picture is tiny?
In an attempt to clean up my act, I installed a closet system on the wall.
There is a table I painted white a few years ago. I thought it had great legs, but the top is BAD!
If I had room on it, I could use my sewing machine there!

This is going to seem like I am changing the subject for a moment, but you will get it in a minute.

I tell my sons there is always a way to earn money, you just have to be willing to do WORK!
People will often pay to have done what they don't have time or ability to do.
I don't have the ability to organize.
I have lots of time, but It just isn't easy for me to do. I get distracted, (SQUIRREL)
Remember It took me TWO DAYS to get my kitchen cleaned and organized.
and another to uncover my dining room table after cleaning and organizing my kitchen.
As a massage Therapist, my work has slowed as people are trying to meet their deductibles.
But, I still have more than most, and especially since most of my young friends cannot even get work in the fast food, retail entry level jobs. I know it isn't my responsibility to save the world, but I can help one person at a time right?

This is a sweet young friend in my life.

She works part time in her mothers store, but doesn't have a steady income, so the other day when she asked if she could do some cleaning for me, I thought for a split second and agreed.
We worked together today, organizing, labeling, sorting tossing, bagging, removing, relocating, and hanging all the extra pictures stacked, stuffed, and slipped into that room.
I found some real treasures in the bottom of that mess.
Like this...

It was hiding under the stuff boys have outgrown. It once had a place in my living room, but three rambunctious boys, it didn't last in there. Now it lights my work table.
Speaking of my work table, take a gander at this!
Yep, that is my sewing machine sitting on the table!
See those two tubs by the window? Guess what is in those?

really, it just looks like alot, It is probably enough to make 3 or 4 tote bags.

Notice the plethera of pictures in the room? I like to change the pictures in the living room  ALOT!
I have decorators ADHD
Well, Amber pulled them out of the piles on the floor and started hanging them up around the room.
DUH, Walls for pictures? Who woulda thunkit?
Alright, I think I got the better end of the deal.
I paid her a VERY fair wage, and now, my room is ready for me to start a project.
If I need to stop in the middle of a project, I can just close the door.
I don't have to clear the table to serve dinner.
Speaking of new projects, I am thinking of one that uses both the plastic bags, and the sewing machine. What is it? You are just going to have to wait and see!


Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Dreaming of change

This is my house. Well, it is an exact twin built by the same builder. A 2000 square foot split level built in 2000.
We were not in agreement over it, but it was the biggest and bestest house we could afford.
It also had the added bonus of being in the same neighborhood as my parents.
The boys were tiny and our house is directly next door and in front of community space, so we only have one next door neighbor, and a playground on the other side.
There was a huge drawback to this house though,

Like the layout of the kitchen! See the pantry, it is connected to the wall beside the refrigerator by a drywall beam. Like a fake doorway. The dishwasher is located in the island. What this diagram doesn't show is how if you open the dishwasher like this, you have to stick your booty in the cupboard behind you to stand near the sink to load it. And to unload it, you have to stack the dishes on the counter, close the dishwasher and then put them away.
Needless to say, it did not stay like this too very long...

(Picture taken from MLS but is exact replica of my old kitchen layout.)
About 6 years ago, I used an insurance settlement check, my dad, and my sister Angie to make it look like this.

By taking uff the island (peninsula?) and pushing the dishwasher and cabinet against the wall, I opened up the floor plan to give more room for loading and unloading the dishes.
Then, we removed the pantry and put it back up reusing the 2/4's in an alcove beside the refrigerator on the living room side. Where the original pantry was, we added a pony wall so we wouldn't have to move electricity. There is a plug in on each side of the pony wall and two light switches in the kitchen/dining areas.

In the kitchen, I added three new cabinets in an L shaped island. They are not an exact match to the existing cabinets, but the closest that were in my budget. Then, my big splurge...
I pulled up the linoleum (kitchen) and carpet (dining room) and installed oak floors.
Looks great, fits 6 people in the kitchen at a time, gives way more storage and counter space.
What could possibly be wrong with it?

When I reconfigured the kitchen I "borrowed" 11 inches from the dining room. You know, it is less than a foot, what difference does that make?

Even with the narrowest dining table, there is no room to walk around when everyone is seated, I actually go around the wall, into the living room, back into the kitchen or dining room if I have to go through.
The cabinet over the dishwasher is not centered, andlooks funny where it is.

Then there is the brass fixture which is no longer centered in the room.
And not one, but two seams in the laminate countertops.
and the fact that the wood floor is NOT under any of the cabinets.

I need to change something, I need to put more room in the dining room. I am willing to sacrifice one of the cabinets.
I am very tired of the oak cabinets, but the oak floor stays!
Got any ideas for me? Since I did the fireplace, I am interested in white, traditional, and crown moulding.
Oh, and my budget does not exist, so I am going to bee squeeking this out $50 at a time. ( except the floor) craigslist, and garage sales are my friends.
And so are you, so I would love to hear what you have to suggest!

Monday, January 25, 2010

A tisket a tasket, a grocery bag basket.

My sister Gina called me last week to ask a favor.
We do that,
It usually involves moving furniture or building stuff.
This time it was for a donation to her MOPS auction.
This year they are doing a "green" theme.
Not green the color,
Green the ecopsychobabble.
Yeah, I recycle, I wrote all about it here.
A Basket full of earth friendly items is what she was thinking.
And the basket should be made of recycled material.
Which is why she called me.
I have made bags, I have made a rug, I have even made a hat for fun.
But a basket? That has to stand up on its own,
It has to be visually appealing, so people will use it in public rooms.
"I don't know if I can make a basket."
"I will play around and see if it is do-able."

This is what I came up with.

Another couple of hundred bags NOT going overseas to be "recycled".
A little recognition for my bags. (I know people are going to ask my sister if they can order one.)
and some blog fodder.
Hm, not a bad couple of afternoons for me!
Thanks, Safeway, Kohls, Lowes, Target, and Fred Meyer for providing me with free materials.
If I were selling this, I would charge about $30 for it because of the time involved.
Now, I understand the store has sold out of my tote bags, so I had better keep on going.
And Easter is just around the corner, so I need to perfect the basket for sales on Easter baskets.
gotta go cut up bags.
Adding this to a few linky parties, like this one

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Blood drive.

My friend and her family wanted to do more.
So they arranged a blood drive in memory of their brother.

They were told they needed to have 28 people willing to donate in order to get the blood bank truck to come up.
I believe at last count there were 58 people who donated.
My mother made cookies.
Cannyn and I made cookies.
My sister Angie and her husband came to donate, and Mom watched Olivia who was very worried about what would happen to her while her mommy and daddy gave away thier blood.

(Mom, Angie, and Olivia)

(Childrens ministry leaders at The Commons church)
It was nice to see people from our church there donating blood, as well as people stopping right off the street.
It was set up with appointments for two people every half hour, but had spaces available for drop ins.
Each hour seemed to be filled up!

So, I continue to be amazed over the grace this family has shown in the violent death of a loved one.
Every step they make just shows that What the enemy has meant for evil, God will work for good.
I know this isn't the usual decorative fluff and stuff I have been blogging about lately, I just have been so moved by all that my friend and her siblings have done out of their grief.

My eldest and I were talking about this last night. I told him I don't think I would be able to show such grace if it were one of my boys who was murdered. I would be so filled with hatred and revenge.
So, Carbajal family, You are teaching so many of us such valuable lessons.
Thank you!

(all photos courtesy of Carbajal family members)

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Local woman found alive in Haiti

A woman who graduated from our local highschool was found alive in Haiti in the bottom of a collapsed building last week. She was doing missionary work teaching English. After graduating from college, she committed to a two year engagement with her missionary group.  Her family is well known in Arlington, and my oldest son is friends with her brother. The news was heartening and made the front page of our newspaper. But sadly, the news was released on the same day as the funeral of another Western Washington woman of the exact same age and similar situation. We will continue to pray for the families of other people with friends and loved ones in the earthquake zone. And for this young womans recovery from injuries she suffered in the earthquake.
On a personal note, I want to thank God for the miracles he continues to provide in our lives. Even in such horrible times as these, we see there is hope in him!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Blood drive

This Saturday, at Arlington City hall. It is in memory of Elliot Carbajal, the man murdered in town in December. Out of their sorrow, his siblings have organized this event to help others. Just like donating his organs, they continue to do good after such an awful event!  This event is by appointment, so If you have time, let me know, I will help you schedule your time with his sister. There are several time slots available.

Monday, January 18, 2010

All Day today...

I Worked on THIS

Nasty isn't it?
You see, while I was busy building my fireplace surround and mantel,
NO ONE was cleaning up the kitchen!
Not the able bodied 44 year old man,
Not the able bodied 17 year old almost man,
Not the able bodied almost 15 year old man sized person,
Not the able bodied almost 13 year old man sized person,
My parents came by last night while I was trying to clean it up a bit, and Mom had some good Ideas for organizing it a bit better, so I dug in, and tore it up a bit more.

Now all the baking stuff is together.

I weeded out and organized the spice cabinet. I don't remember when I bought half the spices, so out they went.

And this mess gained a few more shelves.
But, I let Cannyn do the actual construction, electric drills, nailing guns, and levels are his favorite toys.
Now it looks like this!

I used the pine board taken off of the first attempt at the mantel. and some bits and pieces of the trim my brother in law sent home with me that I didn't use for the mantel.

( I couldn't resist sticking the camera in the pantry with Cannyn and snapping a picture while he worked)

Darian came home from practice while I was washing the inside of the refridgerator, so he decided to pitch in and help me. He wiped the freezer, tossed last summers popsicles and turkey burgers, and vacummed the coils for me.
In short, if it has a surface, it was cleaned today.

I even decorated above the cabinets!
( After Darian stood on the counters and sprayed and wiped all the grime from up there.)
Hmm. Just how long do you think it will stay that way?
Shall I take bets?
Oh, every thing that was removed from the kitchen is sitting on the dining room table,
Tomorrow, I sort it, and toss, and donate whatever doesn't belong anymore.
Oh, and I guess I should pay the bills I found in that mess!
I guess today was a productive day, even though I almost spent the whole day in one room of the house!

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