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

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

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

The pantry

So Adam and I love doing projects around our house. Well we like starting projects around our house. lol.  One of these projects is our pantry.  We have a tiny pantry and we've been making it work for a while, but I have realized lately that we need a better system.  I was losing items and buying them 2 and 3 times over.  Here is what our pantry looked like to begin with.

 
Adam hated the wire racks so they were replaced with plywood.

Then the first time I organized it...  it looks good but it didn't work that well. 
 

The shelves were 18 inches deep and so it was easy to lose things in the back.  Over time this is what it looked like.
 
Groceries were pretty much just thrown in wherever they could fit.  I couldn't find anything in here.

So I talked to my master carpenter (Adam) and discussed new plans for shelves.  Then came the fun part.  We pulled everything out of the pantry and put it...everywhere.

It was on the table, on all the counters, and there was even some piled up on the floor.  Our kitchen and dinning room looked like a disaster.  I would have a photo but my phone was acting up that day and I could only steal Adam's phone so much. :) This was one of the only projects we've actually completed in a day.  Adam cut the wood and put up the tracks for the shelving branches.  And when it was all done, we had lost a little bit of space, but gained a beautiful pantry with L shaped shelves.

This pantry is organized and it's easy to find everything we need.  I love it, it's exactly what I had hoped for.  We still need to paint a couple of the new shelves white, but that's a small thing.  And after a month the pantry is still as organized, and looks just as good.

Happy Organizing
and God Bless
--R

Sunday, March 2, 2014

HAITI

So where have I been for the last week?  You guessed it HAITI!!! It has been a whirlwind of a week. 

 
Let's start at the beginning...first of all I've never been out of the country before.  So I have about a million new experiences I would love to share with you. Secondly this was a mission trip we took with our church, so it was an exciting week.

We stayed with a couple of missionary couples who live in Haiti full time.  We pretty much stayed in the city of Port-Au-Prince the entire time.  It is a giant city.
 
 
Friday was spent traveling.  We drove from Fort Wayne to Indy, barely surviving the weather, and then sat in the airplane in Indy for 2 hours.  Have you ever sat in a plane that was being deiced?  It's really not fun.
Here's the view from inside the Indy Airport.
 
So deicing a plane sounds like you're going through a giant car wash, which doesn't seem like it would be scary...but it is, trust me.  After the plane was deiced we flew to Miami without incident.  Then spent the night (all 5 hours) in the Miami Hotel.  And then we were up at 4:30am to catch our next flight.  This time we were headed to HAITI.  I guess I was a little excited. ;)
 


 
I can admit to having culture shock when I arrived.  It's just so different.  First of all check out the truck we drove around in.
This truck was our transportation for the week.  As you can see there are two benches and nothing to hang on to.  Oh and the roads are terrible.  Some of the roads are paved...some of them, and the ones that are, are filled with potholes.  The ride was always an adventure and one time I even ended up on the floor of the truck, after a particularly sharp stop.
 
The first day was spent unpacking and well taking naps :)  What traveling is tiring work.  Then on Sunday we got to go to church.
 
It was an interesting experience and we were lucky to sit next to Bill who could translate for us. 
 
 
Then the week started.  This was a two part mission trip. 7 men and 5 women went.  The men spent Monday through Thursday working on the main office building for all the First Assemblies of God in Haiti.  They laid cinder blocks in the blazing hot sun all week.  It got up to 124 degrees at one point.
 

So that's pretty much all I can say about what the guys did I mean how much can you say about laying cinder blocks.

For the women Monday started two days of pampering Haitian pastor wives.  We pampered them by giving massages, foot rubs, and taught crafts.
Check this out, I taught crochet! How cool is that?
 
 
Even though there was a language barrier we managed to have fun, and even our interpreter joined in for our crafts.  Hey having an interpreter doesn't save the day when there are 20 Haitians, 8 Americans, and 2 craft tables, the other table of women were making beaded bracelets.  Lets just say we used our interpreter as much as we could.  She was a really cool woman.  She was particularly helpful when we had our teaching on who we are in Christ.  The lesson was well received.  Then we spent the afternoon praying and just loving on the women.
Here's the five us with the 3 missionary wives we were hanging out with. 
 
Tuesday was a lot like Monday; food, crafts, laughter, and the lesson.  The really cool part of the day was when all the women said they wanted to be prayed for and we spent the afternoon praying and having a wonderful time.
 
Wednesday was spent shopping, cause that's what women do :)  I managed to buy a small painting and some souvenirs for friends and family.
 
  This is at one of the shops we stopped by called the Apparent Project.  Here they make their own beads and pottery. 
 
Thursday we got the privilege of going to the beach.


This was a really rough day :)
We spent the whole day laying around the beach.  It was really wonderful.  Then at the end of the day on the way home we got to stop by the work site where the guys were working. 
And what did I find when we showed up?  My husband standing on the edge of the second story with out a railing...sure that's safe. 
 
Then it was finally Friday and we got to spend our day with the men.  We took a trip out to the middle of no where, which is where we got to meet these wonderful kids.  And help feed them lunch.

So on Thursday I had gotten sunburnt at the beach...cause I'm super white.  Anyway the kids realized that a sunburn turns white when you touch it...I quickly became a human etch a sketch...lots of fun with a sunburn. But it was fun being around those kids and I honestly didn't want to leave.
 
And that was our week in a nutshell.  It was an uneventful trip home.  And before for we knew it we were back in the beautiful U.S.A.  I've never been so happy to be home before but one last thought; I'd rather be in Haiti helping people.
 
God Bless
--R


Thursday, January 9, 2014

Pepper's Room

Pepper's New Room
 aka: using up that empty space under the stairs
 
If you haven't noticed our dog Pepper is quite spoiled.
We don't have kids so she gets all our love and attention.  It's hard to imagine life without her, and it's truly silly how much we miss her when we go on vacation.  So when it came to deciding what to do with the empty space under the stairs  Pepper won out.  We had discussed opening up the wall into the garage so Adam could have more storage in his ever growing wood shop.  But in the end we decided to give Pepper a larger place to stay during the day when we're at work (this of course was before I decided to work from home).  The only reason I don't trust her out in the house when we're gone is because she likes to chew up blankets and things with stuffing when we're gone, and I don't trust her around the furniture. 

So on with the project.  Here is the original wall.


Adam did me a huge favor and decided to cut the hole in the wall the weekend I was out of town.  He then sent me text photo updates.  Even though I wasn't there it still made me nervous to see the hole.  I was so glad I wasn't there.


The first few cuts (pepper is supervising)
 
 
Getting bigger...
 
 A look from the inside out.

 
He then laid the flooring. 


We have laminate flooring in the living room outside of Pepper's room.  We couldn't find an exact match, but I think we came pretty darn close.  The color is actually the same, the only difference is the stuff in the room (right side) has more grain in it.




Pictures from inside

 
 
 
Taking a break with Pepper. 
At this point the walls needed plywood and per fire code under the stairs needed insulation and dry wall.
 Insulation
 
 
Drywall for under the stairs.
 
Then plywood for the walls.
Once you crawl in the door you can fully stand up.  It will double as a tornado shelter for us.
 
Then to cover the door Adam built a door and a pocket for it to slide into.



After all the hard work.  Adam added trim to the outside and added trim next to it, to make it look complete.
 
 
He does good work.  And what does Pepper think...?


 
She loves it...and maybe someday she'll understand that's not a head rest.
 
Good Luck with all your projects.
 
God Bless
-R