Hey there! I am beyond blessed to be the wife of Mark Andrew and the stay-at-home-mommy of Quinn and Morgan! I love to decorate, create things, and generally make life more beautiful! Come join me, and let's see what we can make today!

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Another memo board

Miss me? I've been enjoying summer and have just returned from two weeks in Texas with my short people.  And we have returned just in time for our town's annual Swedish Days Festival, which I love!  (For all of my local readers: Come out and join the fun tonight! Last night we camped out on the courthouse lawn with several hundred other festival revelers and danced to the sweet tunes of Mike and Joe.  So.much.fun!!! We will probably go back tonight, but tonight is a tribute band called ABBA Salute, and I am not quite sure I will enjoy it as much as I did Mike and Joe, but everybody loves a little "Dancing Queen" and "Mama Mia", right? Plus, the people watching is FANTASTIC, so I am sure I will enjoy myself no matter what! Come join us!!!)

Okay.  Enough about summer.  I have been dying to show you this project that I FINALLY completed! Check out this memo board that I created for my sister!


I started with some reclaimed barn wood, various findings, chalkboard paint, and some chain.

I painted and distressed the little wicker basket and was going to use it as a catch-all for mail, etc., but I ended up not using it at all, so you won't see it in anymore pics. ;) I painted a section of one board with some chalkboard paint.  I glued some cork board onto another section.  And I started attaching my findings here and there.

I painted "keys" above the hooks.  (I know.  You're like, "Thank you, Captain Obvious.") I probably should have used a stencil, but since I was going for a very rustic and ecclectic look, I decided to freehand it.  Eh. It'll do.

But, it looked too new, so I sanded it a bit. Much better.

Then it was time to start attaching things! I embellished some tiny close pins so my sister can clip notes and photos and such to the wire.

I used some scrap fabric and old book pages to make a little rosette and banner for another section of the memo board.  I attached old, church pew bulletin holder to the bottom of the panel.  Two down and one up so that she can attach lots of goodies! Right now there is a picture of my sister and I in our flowergirl dresses at our parents' wedding.

Cute, right?  I am on the left. ;)


On the last panel, I decided to add a bunch of very small, randomly placed nails below the cork board.  This way my sister will be able to hang all kinds of little lovies on her board.  I started her off with a felfted "F" since that is her last initial.  I also added some of my favorite tin tags.  There is a fantastic store in Geneva called Cocoon.  They have such yummy items, and a DELICIOUS sale room!  These little tags were only $0.50 each!  I bought every number that they had, knowing I would use them for SOMETHING at SOME POINT. ;) But, the only numbers they had were 5, 6, 8, and 9.  Weird.  Lucky for me, my sister became my sister in 1985, so I was able to use a couple of my tin tags!

One more beauty shot.

And that's it!  What have YOU been up to?!  Whatever it is, I hope you are enjoying the Son!

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Catching up

Okay.  It's been two weeks since my last post.  I bet you think I've been sitting around doing nothing...;) Ha!  Actually, I have been working on so many things I haven't even taken time to post a fun project! Most of what I have been working on has been yardwork.  Lots of yardwork.  Ridiculous amounts of yardwork!  But I love it!  I want to show you the most recent junky memo board I created for my sister.  And the new hair clips I just made last night.  And MY fairy garden, because I loved my daughter's so much I had to make my own! And several other projects I have completed over the last two weeks, but I still need to photograph some of the them, so what you are going to get today is a random sampling of the last two weeks!  Enjoy!

Let's start with Mo's recital.  Isn't she adorable?!

I know I am biased, but, c'mon now!!!!  She is too cute!!!  Her class performed the sweetest little tap routine to 'Uptown Girls', and the audience just ate them up!!!  And, I learned that I could never be a 'Toddlers and Tiaras' mom, because I was totally stressing getting her into her little costume, making sure her headpiece was on right, adding make-up, etc.!

Now for some yardwork pics.  Our yard is almost completely covered in shade.  Shade is fantastic, until you are trying to grow some grass.  When we moved in to this house almost three years ago, I removed several trees, bushes, and randomy placed shrubs.  I added new beds and have been transplanted and dividing hostas like crazy for the past few summers.  I planted grass seed where I removed the shrubs, etc., but it has not taken.  As a result, our front yard looks pretty terrible.  That doesn't stop me from trying to add some charm, though!

Here is sad shot of part of the front yard.  (You can see the new seed that has just been spread!)

There used to be two separate beds here, and there was a "grass" walkway between the two, about four feet wide.  I use the term grass VERY loosely.  Since there was hardly any grass there, I just combined the beds a couple of years ago.  I still like to have a walk way there, so I make sure to keep it free of plants and shrubs.  However, that makes it look very bare! So, I decided to use some of my reclaimed lumber for a little garden path.

That looks better, right?!  How about some mulch?

Much better!!!  We had 15 yards of mulch delivered on Wednesday, and I estimate that I moved about 4-5 yards.  I am hardly 1/3 of the way done, and already my back and shoulders are screaming at me, and I couldn't be happier about it!  It is so lovely to be healthy and able to work hard!!!

Here is a shot from a second floor window.  It really showcases the tradgedy that is my front lawn.  Sigh.

Does anyone remember our addition barn shed? I finished painting it last fall, and over the weekend my husband helped me add some shutters and a window box.  I transplanted a little of this, and a little of that, and I think it is coming together in a very charming sort of way.

I have planted flowers in my washtubs, whiskey barrel, several pots and pails, and just about anywhere I can sneak in some flowers!

I also had to redo my porch cushions.  Again.  It's my own fault.  It was so mild this winter that I didn't pull them in.  And, if you recall, Taco and Burrito (the neighbor's cats) think the cushions are there for them, and they thoroughly enjoyed the soft place to lay on all winter!  Anyhow, the cushions were terribly faded, constantly covered in white cat hair, and honestly just awful.

Gross.  This year I went with a fabric that was a bit more whimsical.  It is still canvas, so it will hold up nicely, it's just more cheerful.  What do you think?

We absolutely love to sit on our porch, and we do sit there!!!  Everyday!!!

And we just hung a new flag for Memorial Day.  I was so happy to see that out of the ten houses on our side of the street, seven houses were flying a flag!  If you have served our country, or if you are currently serving, I thank you so very, very much for your sacrifice!  My sleepy little life and silly blog posts would not be possible without you.  Truly, thank you.

Again, this is just a sampling of what has been happening here, but I just wanted to take a moment and let you know I am still here, still plugging along, and still so very grateful for all of your support and encouragement! 

I will leave you with a silly shot of me and my little nut from the recital.

Oh goodness!  We DO have fun!!! 

Enjoy the Son! 


Fairy Garden

I have always been fascinated by miniature items.  Absolutely fascinated!  Well, with the exception of baby corn.  That is just weird and totally freaks me out!  I know.  I'm crazy.  This is not news to anyone, is it? ;) Anyhow...

A few weeks before my daughter's birthday I was trying to think of what to get her, and I decided I was NOT going to buy her any toys because she just has too many!  Do you know what Squinkies are?


Squinkies are very tiny, very colorful, very squishy, very weird little things.  And my daughter LOVES them.  And she has about a hundred of them and loads of "accessories".  You see, she is fascinated by little things, too!  She has minature tea sets, minature doll houses, minature figurines.  If it's tiny, she loves it!

I decided that for her birthday I would make her her very own fairy garden, basically just a minature garden with some small garden furniture for the fairies! Now, I am not even going to post any pics of fairy gardens that I have seen on the web, but just Google it if you want to see some, burt try not to judge mine too harshly, mmmkay?

First I had to decide what type of container to use.  I wanted it to be small so that it could stay in her room, so something like a whiskey barrel or large planter was out.  I ended up with a smallish wooden box that I picked up at HomeGoods.  I filled it with potting soil and was ready to start adding plants. (See the little furniture?!)

Here is a better pic of the gate and chair.  The chair was just a rusty tin color, but I gave it a light coat of some pink Krylon spray paint.  Of course I did.

Now, there are all kinds of minature plants that you can buy for a smaller garden or a terrarium.  I did not buy small plants.  I just used regular garden plants from Home Depot.  I am sure that this little garden will become quickly overgrown, but that is what I am hoping for!

After I added the plants, I added the furniture.  I purchased my items at the cutest little store in downtown Geneva, The Mossy Twig. I also added some river rocks to make a little path for the fairies and garden gnomes.  I'm crazy, remember? The river rocks came from Hobby Lobby.

And that's basically it!  I am considering adding some live moss to it, or I might just cheat and get some fake moss!  I'll keep you posted!

Here are just a few more fun shots to enjoy!

I just love this little gate! It really opens and closes!


Isn't that just the sweetest thing?!  Morgan LOVES it, and so do I!

It's going to be a beautiful weekend here.  I hope that wherever you are you are able to take time to Enjoy the Son. Be well, my friends!



Happy birthday, Morgan!

Today is my daughter's 4th birthday.  I cannot believe it.  Literally CANNOT believe it!

She woke up to a "fairy garden" in her room, and Grandma stopped by to drop off Perry the Platapus.  I have lots of fun pics to show you how I created the fairy garden, but, since it is my gal's birthday, I am just going to show you this one, and I will create a post later!  Enjoy the Son today!


Spring Mantle

I have had a few different vignettes on my mantle since Christmas, but I haven't taken time to share them with you.  I am thinking that next fall I will create a seasonal mantle post and highlight the ever changing displays that come and go in my living room.  For now, I want to share this vignette with you.

It is incredibly random, but I love it!


I picked up this bust at the flea market over the weekend.  If you have never been to the Kane County Flea, I highly recommend it!!!


I originally had a banner that said "Spring", but I ended up with "Bloom", and I like it!


I also picked up this little architectural piece at the flea.  It weighs about 15lbs. It's ridiculous, but I couldn't resist the chippy paint and fantastic rust!  Eeeeeeeee!!!! (That's me, squealing.)  So sweet!


Does anyone remember the family auction I went to last year? Remember how I waited and waited with all those farmers for this dear, little sewing drawer?  I still love her! ;)


I also have a number of old photographs from the auction.  I like to think that these two photos are of the same two boys.  I have no idea who they are, but I pretend that they are brothers and best of friends. Mmmmmmm....family can be lovely.


Okay.  These bird cages are REALLY random.  They started out a sort of green and gold color.  I lightly spray painted them with brown, but I like the character of the green and gold peeking through.  I had the cages sitting on the mantle, but they were empty and just looked...well...empty!  I have several different birds that would have worked in them, but that was too expected.  So, what did I end up with?  A wooden pineapple that I sprayed white for one cage, and a bunch of old, crumpled book pages for the other. I was going for "quirky", but did I miss quirky and head straight to "crazy"?  If so, I am totally fine with crazy.  ;)


When I needed something small for this vignette, I knew exactly what I was going to use. This little jar of buttons came from my great-grandmother's sewing box.  I still use her sewing box and almost everything in it--thimbles, tape, pin cushion, etc.--but this little jar of old buttons is too sweet to be disturbed.  I love that great-grandma separated out the neutral buttons and kept them safe in this little jar. I added some other jars of beads and corks that fit with my neutral theme.  **Side note: The three jars with beads and corks are just recycled jars.  Nothing special.  I think they were once a jelly jar, salsa jar, and a candle.  I like to keep small jars because you never know when inspiration will strike! When I was creating this display, I gathered several jars from my stash, and this is what I ended up with.


I really liked the way this old pail looked in the vignette, but it needed something.  I tried a few different things, and decided some pillows would add nice height and texture.  I tied a biece of burlap around a pillow form for one pillow.  Honestly, I was going to make a white pillow case for the form, but what would be the point of that?  If I hadn't told you it was a just a form with no case, would you have noticed?  Probably not!  Then I took some left over drop cloth fabric (from an abandoned project!) and quickly made a couple of pillows.  Literally, it took less than ten minutes to sew the cases, stuff them with batting, and stitch up the opening.  I embellished the small pillow with some twine and a book page "tag", and I rubbed a very small amount of distressing ink across the front of the pillow. For the larger pillow, I just added a scrap of a doily, a few rosettes, and some vintage "pearls".  Quick and lovely.  My kind of project!


 Just another shot of my sewing drawer!


And one more shot of the entire display.


Now I am off to work on a present for my sister--don't tell her, mmmmkay? What are you working on today? Wherever you are, whatever your project, I hope you enjoy the Son!