Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Buttons

Ok so in my last post I mentioned I had my Grandmother's buttons.  Let's show the super cool tin they were in again.


Isn't that neat :)

Now I wanted the buttons because I wanted to make something with them for all my aunts and cousins.  I wanted us all to share them.  I didn't think it was fair if just one person got them.  And I had met someone before that had a bracelet made out of her grandmother's buttons.  So I decided that's what I would do.

I spent an entire afternoon pouring over the buttons.  I was surprised how emotional I got.  It made me cry several times.  It just brought back so many memories of my grandma.  With all my aunts, cousins, mom and sister (and me) there are 13 of us.  So I separated the buttons into 13 piles.  I tried to do it as evenly as possible.



For all the girls I took elastic and made a bracelet out of it.  I originally tried 2 inch white, but didn't like the way it looked.


I settled on 1 1/2 inch wide black elastic.  I measured out 8 1/2 inches and folded over an inch and sewed it together, making the bracelet roughly 7 1/2 inches around.  Then I spent the next week sewing on buttons.  I think I poked my fingers with a needle at least 100 times (ok that's a slight exaggeration), but you get the point.  By the end I was one mean button sewer.  Here's some of the finished bracelets.

This one is mine.
 
When the bracelets were done I flipped them inside out and used glue to secure the knots.  After I used this glue Adam read the back where it clearly states not to use on fabric...oh well.
 

Here is one all finished in it's box ready to be wrapped up.



When I got to the last two piles of buttons and I had an issue.  I have two male cousins and I didn't think they'd enjoy a bracelet but I wanted them to have some of grandma's buttons too.  So after thinking about it for some time and coming up with nothing in an act of desperation I typed in "manly buttons" into Pintrest, lol the things you'll do when desperate.  And it actually paid off.  I saw a coaster made of resin with beer bottle caps sunk into it.  And I knew what I had to do.  So I did a bunch of Pintrest research and learned how to use resin.

Then I went out and bought this from Hobby Lobby.

And I had some leftover buttons that weren't very exciting and didn't fit on the bracelets so I did two test coasters.  Now the major issue I had was that I found this idea on Thursday and had to get it done by the following Monday.  If you know anything about resin, it usually takes a couple of days to set up.  So I didn't have very long to figure out how to make these.  My main problem was finding the molds to make the coasters.  I wanted to make 4 coasters for each guy so I needed to make 8 all at once.  The craft stores nearby didn't have 8 molds and it wasn't practical to by them online because they wouldn't get shipped in time.  So started searching for anything that would make a good mold. And after a lot of searching I decided to try two of these pans.


These are muffin top tins bought from the local kitchen supply store.  The first test coasters I made I coated the tin in Vaseline and after 12 hours of curing the coasters popped right out.  The only issue was the Vaseline left swirls on the top of the coasters that will need to be buffed out.  My husband pointed out that the pans were non stick so I tested one more coaster without coating the pan with anything and again after 12 hours it popped right out.  So then it was time do the actual coasters and I was so nervous I would screw it up.  We made up a little bit of resin and coated the bottoms of the coasters(which once you flip them out is really the top) and let it harden for a couple of hours then set the buttons in so no air bubbles would get trapped between them and the bottom.  Then I had a really hard time waiting to pour the rest of the resin.  Adam said I should wait longer but I got impatient and mixed up the rest of the resin and poured in on.  In hindsight I should have waited because the buttons ended up getting pushed down and some went through the resin on the bottom.  But it's not a major crisis.




Here's what the finished products looked like.  Sorry for the poor pictures.  It was kind a of hectic time when I was finishing these.  In the end the coasters worked out and now all my aunts and cousins have something else by which to remember their grandma.

And I will have some other resin projects to share with you in the future.

God Bless
-R

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Grandma Grisamer

Earlier this year (in June) my mom's mom passed away.  She had had Alzheimer's disease for a number of years and had spent the last three in a nursing home.  So though it was a sad day to say good bye to her, it was a relief that she no longer had to live with this awful disease.  And truly if you've ever known anyone with this you know how unfair it really is.  So we said goodbye to Grandma in June, it was hard but it's a part of life.  In my family my mom has 3 sisters and all together there are nine cousins (including my sister and I).  So we have a good support system to help us get through times like this.

Now it's December and we had to take the next step in saying goodbye.  We had an auction this past Monday for all the things left in Grandma's house.  Now my grandfather passed away when I had just graduated high school in 2002 (I know I'm old) and now since grandma was gone it was time to deal with all their belongings.  Really they could have done this when grandma went into the nursing home, but it's not an easy thing to have to do and I think it just kept getting put off until it just had to be done.  Over the last couple of weeks my mom and aunts have been going through the house removing those items that they just couldn't see go in an auction.  Like dishes, and pictures, and grandma's wedding dress.  And there were a couple of things I asked if I could have out of the house, I'm sure I'm not the only cousin that wanted something to remember my grandma by.  So there were things set aside for each of us cousins.  Here are a couple of the things that were set aside for me.


I asked for this.  First of all isn't it a fantastic tin? :) but what I really wanted was what was inside.  All my grandmother's buttons.  In a future post I will show you want I did with the buttons for all my aunts and cousins.


This silly thing is a sewing duck.  I don't know if that's an actual thing or something my mother made up, but apparently it's something she made for her mother in shop class in school.  It made me smile to see it so it will go with my crafty things.



And this aluminum tray that has a glass divided bowl in the middle and is on a lazy susan.  I remember seeing it at Christmas time with pickles in it.  I will use it and think of my grandmother.

But in the end we couldn't have everything so the auctioneers came and dealt with the rest of the stuff.  My aunts and a few of my cousins and Adam and I went to the auction.  I gotta be honest, it was really hard.  It made me cry just to pull up to the house.  My grandparents have lived in that house since my aunts were in high school. So for all my life it's been my grandparent's house.  And to see other people looking through all their stuff and poking about in the bedrooms we grew up playing in made me want to scream.  I wish I had all the money in the world to buy it up and preserve it forever.  But that's not possible.

So I sucked it up and went to the auction.  Now with 4 aunts and 9 cousins there were some big ticket items in the house that just weren't fair to give one person over another so a couple of my cousins came prepared to bid on those items.  Like one of my cousins ended up getting my grandparent's bedroom furniture, another one got the piano grandma used to play on, and there were some other pieces of furniture that my aunts got through the auction.  I went not knowing if there was anything I would bid on.  But once you get there and you see people rummaging through your memories it's hard not to bid on everything.  So picked a few things out and Adam did my bidding for me.  Here's some of the treasures I will keep forever that will always remind me of my family.






This is a tea set that my grandfather sent back to my grandmother from Japan during the war.  Now I had never seen this before it must have been kept in a box so it wouldn't be broken.  But when I saw it and heard the history I just couldn't resist it.  Of course one of the plates was already broken and when we got it home somehow the tea pot had broken.  But I will glue it back together and it will still look pretty on the shelf.  And as I was taking the dishes out of the box to take a picture of them I accidentally threw one of the tea cups on the ground shattering it. :( This thing has survived 50 years; it meets me and I break the teapot and a cup, sheesh.  And yes I cried when I broke the cup.





These blue dishes are what we ate on at Thanksgiving and Christmas at my grandparent's house.  I grew up eating on these plates and I couldn't bear the thought of someone else taking them away.  I needed more dishes like a whole in the head, but I'm glad we preserved them.  Now the question is will I ever let anyone eat off them? eh maybe





These blue dishes were sitting next to the set I wanted and Adam wasn't sure which ones to bid on so he bid on both of them...ha.  So this is an extra set. They are a brighter blue then the other ones.






These beer glasses were kind of bought on a whim.  It's kind of funny considering I don't drink beer, but my aunts/ mom told me that Drewers was a South Bend brewery back in the day and I just thought they were neat.

Then there is the piece de resistance...which I don't have a picture of yet :) It's a rather large Nativity that I haven't unpacked yet. It actually wasn't supposed to go in the auction but they forgot to remove it from the house, and I wanted it to stay in the family.  My grandmother's father (my great grandfather Bogol) made this for my grandparents.  It's over 50 years old.  Up until last year it had the original Christmas lights on it, but it was a fire hazard so one of my aunts rewired it with new/safe bulbs.  When I think of Christmas at my grandparent's house I can picture this nativity.  It means a lot to me that it will now be in my house for Christmas.  When we put it up I'll make sure to get a picture of it.

I had no idea it would be this hard to say goodbye to all of this stuff.  And in the end the house and property had to be sold too.  It was a long day and we didn't even stay for the selling of the house.  I'm glad I went though.  It was a chance to get some closure and say goodbye to a house that had so many good memories.  It was also nice to get to hear my aunts talk about all the history and family memories behind everything.

So with this I say goodbye to my grandmother.  I have a few things that will always remind me of her.  I loved her very much and I miss her, but I am happy she no longer suffers from Alzheimer's and she's in a better place.  I look forward to the day when we'll be reunited.

God Bless
-R

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

God is good.

It's been a crazy month (and it's only the 9th).  But I guess December is like that for most people.  For me the craziness started back in November, well I guess it goes as far back as October.  See I've been struggling with depression for awhile now.  It's something that runs in my family and I've seen several family members live with it throughout my life.  Well for me the last two years have been an absolute hell.  Depression went from being a seasonal thing, to being something I dealt with everyday.  And even after I got medical help I wasn't the same.  Now I advocate getting medical help, because with the medicine I was able to at least function and it got me out of the really dark place where I didn't want to live any more, but I still wasn't me. I was still struggling, I couldn't find joy in anything.  For the last two years I've been searching for joy, and happiness.  And the really frustrating part is that I had no reason to feel this way.  I have a nice home, a job, and a wonderful husband, but still no joy.  The most frustrating part of this was that I knew this isn't the life God had for me.  So where was God in all of this?  Didn't God want me to have joy?  It was a very hard couple of years.

    Then in October something happened.  I don't know if I've mentioned it here, but my church is planning a return trip to Haiti (we went in February this year) and I am going on that trip.  Since we are going back to help lead a women's conference we've been going through a series of classes to get prepared.  One of these classes (in October) we had a guest pastor who was praying with people afterwards for healing (a typical pastor thing to do).  And one of my fellow trip buddies saw me crying.  I was thinking about how I was so tired of this depression, and how I just wanted to be set free from it.  So she took me up to the pastor for prayer.  It was one of the best moments of my life.  My friends all came up and laid hands on me and prayed with the pastor.  I've rarely ever felt as loved as I did right then.  And in that moment I was delivered from depression.  It's been almost two months and the depression is gone.  I haven't been on any medication since then and it's like a cloud has been lifted from head.  I know longer see the world through the film of depression.  It's a complete miracle.  And I know putting it out her on the internet I'm opening up myself to much criticism but I don't care.  If I could get up there I would shout it from the rooftop.  My God, my Jesus set me free.  How could I not share it with the world.  As I said it's been a crazy couple of months.

So as time went on and now we were in November my mind started wandering to Christmas (I'm kind of in love with Christmas) if it was ok to get ready for Christmas in July I probably would.  And I got this idea to make something for my sister's boyfriend's little girl (she's two), it was a crafty idea.  In the next couple of weeks I spent somewhere in the neighborhood of 100 hours on this present.  It kept me up at night, and I would get up really early to work on it.  And then it finally occurred to me.  I had found joy in something.  I was enjoying making this present.  It truly made me happy.  I couldn't remember the last time I had been happy like that.  Jesus had truly restored my happiness and I was able to find joy in simple things again.  What a miracle transformation.  Now I know you would like to know what the present is, but I can't share that until after Christmas for fear my sister finds out what it is.  She's a terribly hard person to surprise and so far she hasn't figured out what I made.  But after Christmas I will have the full tutorial up.

As a I write this it's 3am and I actually got up with the intention of writing a post about my grandmother.  But this is more important.  (I'll write about my grandma later this week)  I want the world (or at least the two people who read this blog) to know the faithfulness, and goodness of God.  I hope if there is anyone reading this who struggles with; depression, drugs and alcohol, or anything really that there is hope.  And the God who created you doesn't want you to be bound by that anymore.  He truly wants you to be free.  Please know that I'm praying for you, and if you'd like me to pray with you specifically send me a note.

I'm sorry if this has sounded preachy, but when you get delivered from something as overwhelming as depression you want to share it with everyone.

I love you all and I'm praying for you.

God Bless
-R

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Another Tae Kwon Do weekend

****As a note I meant to get this post up on Monday, but I've been having computer problems all week.  Luckily the man I married is a computer genius and got it all fixed up for me.***

We had another fun filled weekend.  It kind of started on Thursday.  I got to spend the day with my mom which was nice.  We bribed her with lunch so she'd come check out our sewing machine :) And of course she was able to make it work.  Then we spent about 3 hours at Chipotle, can you believe she'd never been there before?  And what was her observation?  "this is a lot of food!" haha welcome to Chipotle, mom.  And then we spent a couple of hours in Starbucks where my mother got me hooked on a silly game on my phone.  We're playing Phrase Wheel, which is basically Wheel of Fortune.  My mom, Aunt, and myself play so when I got home I convinced Adam to play too.  It's funny to hear him complain about how good my mom is at this silly game.  It's kind of becoming an obsession for us.  Friday was like any other day Adam had Tae Kwon Do after work so Pepper and I just chilled out together.  It was nice :) I love my puppy!

And that brings us to Saturday.  We got up in time for Adam to eat a healthy meal because Saturday was his belt test in Tae Kwon Do.  He went into the test as a Green belt, testing for the Purple belt.  The tournament I went to a couple of weekends ago was my first look at Tae Kwon Do, so I was wondering what the test would be like.  If you had told me it would be almost 2 hours long, I would have thought I would be bored, but I never was.  There were four people testing, two women, one young boy, and Adam.  Those four worked their patooties off.  I was impressed by everything they had to know, from forms, to wrist locks, and self defense.  And when they were completely tired their instructor came out to "attack" them and make sure they could get out of all the self defense moves, it was pretty intense.  It might be just my opinion but I thought Adam did the best job of any one.  His moves were crisp and powerful.  I was mighty impressed. 

Here are some photos from the big day.
Dan and Adam (wearing the new Purple belt!)



As you can tell everyone is happy, they all earned their new belts.  Congratulations!!!!! Everyone worked hard and truly earned their achievements.

Afterward we went home to regroup and we let the dog out for less than 5 minutes and she rolled in poop.  So I got to give her, the second bath for this week.  Then we met up with Adam's mom and brother and that group for lunch at Red Lobster.  Where apparantly their heater wasn't working, so we froze during lunch.  Afterward Adam went out to help with construction on someone's house from work.  And I decided to enjoy the time to myself.  I grabbed some groceries and a little treat for myself. 




My favorite candy bar is SKOR by Hershey, but you can't find them everywhere, so if I see one I have to buy it :) 


Also I love Hard Cider (it's kind of my drink) and at the grocery store I saw this bad boy and just had to try it.
  And just like any pressurized drink that was laying on its side when I opened it it exploded all over my hand.  So my first taste was a lick off my hand :)  But a SKOR bar and this special seasonal hard cider and of course my favorite show Frasier (especially the episode "high holidays") made for one relaxing afternoon.  Not to mention I got to snuggle with my puppy who smelled wonderful! 


God Bless
--R

Monday, October 27, 2014

The fireplace


This is the story of our fireplace.  I've kind of hated it since we moved in.  It was a faded brick color, and since we switched all the trim in the house from brown to white, the mantel really didn't work any more either.  In general I didn't think it went with our house, which has more of a modern feel to it.
This is the fireplace when we moved in, and yes the walls are a slight green color.
It was awful. 


Here it is after we painted the wall. 
And put in white trim.
I also spray painted the two brass pieces with high heat black paint. 

After some discussions and Pintrest inspiration, we decided
to paint the fireplace white. 

After looking around we decided on Kilz to paint the fireplace.
We took off the mantel and painted the whole thing white.
It only took two coats.
It was kind of a risk and it took us a moment to like it.

The mantel on the other hand took forever.
Adam got a nice piece of pine and built me a very modern looking mantel.
Then we took forever to stain it just right.
We used Dark Walnut Stain.
   
 Here's the evolution of our fireplace room.

testing out paint samples

prepping to paint

Finally the room is painted.

For a while the fireplace room was made into a sitting room.

Last year's Christmas Card

Most of the time the chairs sat on either side of the fireplace,
but this is the only picture I could find.
Like father like puppy.
Then we decided the room would be better suited as a dinning room.
This is a table we got from Adam's uncle's house...we had no chairs.

And finally an adult dinning room set, our first. (Chairs included) :)

 Finally this is our finished fireplace room.

Above the mantel the picture our guests signed at our wedding.  And the two pictures on either side Adam and I painted in a wine and paint class (in Louisville).


You can see our new finished coffee bar too and my dwarf lemon tree too:) 

Happy pintresting
and God Bless
--R

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Weekend in Review

So I meant to get this post written Sunday night...so Tuesday isn't too far off :)

We actually had a fun weekend, which is to say we normally don't have fun on the weekends ha.  We normally don't do anything but sit around and have Netflix marathons.  Our fun started on Friday night when I went over to my cousins house for a bit of a party.  I didn't know anyone there except my dental hygienist who apparently went to school with my cousin.  We had fun and I tried a butterscotch pudding shot, it made me feel young :)  Other than just having fun, I was inspired.  My cousin and her husband had just redid their kitchen cabinets.  They painted them white, and they look fantastic.  Can you guess what I will be doing soon? :) You can look forward to a post about painting kitchen cabinets.  It should be fun!

Saturday was a long day, we spent most of the afternoon at a middle school watching Adam at his first Tae Kwon Do Tournament in 12 years.  I'm really proud of him.  When we were in high school Adam took Tae Kwon Do with a certain teacher and after all these years he's found that teacher again and is enjoying taking classes with him.  Three nights a week he goes off to class and he's really been enjoying it.  It's only been a month and a half since he started again, so I was nervous about how he would do in the tournament.  Much to my surprise, and pride he got first place in both his forms and sparring.  It was really neat to watch.  I would show you the video of his form but Adam is being shy and doesn't want me to show it. :) So instead I'll just show off his trophies.
Oh I'm so proud of him!

After Tae Kwon Do we went with my parent's to a friends fish fry.  Haven't been to one of those in years, it was great and I even had a piece of blueberry pie, which was delicious.  It was also nice to spend some time with my mom and dad.  They came to the tournament too so it was neat that they got to see Adam do so well.  Then we went home (finally) and crashed.  

Sunday we skipped church (shh don't tell) and went to lunch with my sister and her boyfriend.  They made us try sushi for the first time.
I chickened out and had veggie sushi

Adam had a whole plate of sushi, for a man who won't eat anything I was impressed he ate everything on the plate.  

We are glad we tried sushi and we didn't get sick from it, but I don't know that either of us will ever have to have it again.  It did make me feel good that if I ever ended up in an Asian country I would be able to eat sushi, if it was served.  Later that day we celebrated our new experience by having a pizza :)  We prefer the pizza. haha.

I hope you all had as much fun as we did.
God Bless
-R




Friday, September 19, 2014

A new approach

Hello to all,

So I know I've been very sporadic about writing posts.  It's been kind of a rough time for me.  As I've said in the past (like last year at this time) I struggle with depression and anxiety and lately it's just kind of been a frustrating time for me.  I kind of did a really stupid thing...I take meds for both issues and I was feeling so good that I thought I didn't need them any more...So I've learned that's a terrible idea.  And now I'm fighting to get back in the right mind, but it's ok I'm coming back and it's looking good.  And I have my wonderful husband to thank for this, he's been very supportive and together we're coming back to normal :)

So enough about that! I've been thinking a lot about what I would like to write about on this blog and I've been wanting to try a bunch of new recipes.  And also I want to honor my grandmas, both of whom are wonderful cooks.  My mom's mother (Grandma G) we just lost this summer, and I have been thinking a lot about her and all the wonderful times we had with her.  Almost all my memories of her were in the kitchen and oh they are good memories :)  My mom has 3 sisters and we used to go to grandma's house with all my cousins and grandma would make chex mix or forgotten cookies, or a million other things that were wonderful.  And my dad's mom (Grandma N) is also a great cook we used to go to her house for Christmas Eve and have ham and potatoes.  mmmm  mmmm! Oh now I just want to go to my grandma's house for dinner :)  We really have a great family and my husband was thrilled to learn how wonderful my family can cook.  When my family gets together we don't even plan for dessert, everyone just brings some sort of dessert.  It's a wonderful life! :)

Since it's Friday and it's the start of the weekend I thought what could be more fun than a alcoholic beverage?  That's right the first grandma recipe I'm going to share with you is for Peacharino :)

Now this is a super simple recipe because who needs a complicated recipe on a Friday?  Not me!






Recipe:
2 peaches with the skin on
6 oz lemonade concentrate
6 oz vodka
yes I know that's 4 peaches not 2, I was just excited about peaches


Pour everything into the blender and then fill it up the rest of the space with ice.  Hit blend and in moments you'll have a frosty summertime beverage.



I hope you enjoy this as much as me and my family do.  

God  Bless and have a wonderful weekend.

--R