Monday, August 30, 2010


Five of our six guys hatched.

And this is what I found when I went outside to tell Johnsie.

Grammy Visit

So, I haven't been blogging a lot lately, which I am hoping to change once school starts up next week. Johnsie starts preschool and will be gone for 3 hrs, 3 days a week. Which means I get some me time to relax. HA, HA, HA, not really. The plan is to work through each room of the house, finishing projects that need to be completed. Most of it is paint touch ups and trim work and they all stick out like sore thumbs to me, so I really want to fix them. Anyway, I hope to be able to squeeze some blogging in there somewhere.

On a different note, it was so wonderful having Ryan's mom stay with us and to finally be a whole family again now that Chickie is once again under our roof.

While Gram was here we took her to some of our favorite parks. Sorry about the extra gray hairs Mom! She didn't like watching Manny riding the waterfalls or jumping off them, either.

Since Mom was leaving from Buffalo and had never seen Niagara Falls, we took her there too. Our time with Gram went so fast. Johnsie had an especially hard time after we dropped her off. He so loves his Grammy.

Thanks for driving out here with Chickie, Mom. We loved having you here and miss you so much already!

Saturday, August 21, 2010


Chickie is on her way here. Her and my mother in law are driving out here from MN. Last night they stayed in Chicago. And they should be here around 9:00 tonight.

I am so grateful for my in laws, stepping up to the challenge of taking in and living with their teenage granddaughter. They had 3 boys so, I am not sure if the knew what they were really in for. We all know how challenging teenage girls can be. Yes, Chickie, I know you read my blog, and yes, you can be challenging, sometimes. Not a lot but, sometimes.

Anyway, Chickie is moving out here and will be attending a local community college until she decides exactly what she wants to do and where she wants to go. I am so looking forward to having her under our roof once again. Even if my makeup, clothes, shoes, scissors and tape are under lock and key. Yes, I said tape and scissors. For some reason when she would use them they would get lost in her room forever. I think we own like 7-8 pairs of scissors and currently I know where they all are.

I am so excited that I couldn't even sleep last night. It was like 3:30 before I fell asleep. Now, I am off to go clean. You know my mother in law is coming here. Just kidding Mom. You are the best mother in law a wife could ask for. Love ya!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

A Handful of Trees

Awhile ago, I fell in love with some hand trees I found over at So You Think You Are Crafty.

We were finally able to make our own.

I just purchased some really cheap canvas' and covered them with burlap. Next, I spent forever cutting out leaves with my rotary tool. I folded the fabric over a few times so, that I wasn't cutting out one leaf at a time. I used mod podge to adhere the leaves and trunk.

The last one is waiting for Chickie's hand. She will be here on Saturday. I can't wait. I miss her so.

These look awesome in my dining room.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010


Just in case anyone needs a pair, at this moment, I am willing to give away my eyeballs.


My allergies are so bad right now. Zyrtec helps some, but takes a while to kick in and then towards the end of the day I am a mess again. Sneezing like crazy and my eyes, UGH. And I can't seem to find eye drops that really work.

I only have Fall allergies so,I am very thankful for that. But, come on.

I am off to go and sit with a cold washcloth over my eyes.

Quick Fix

It seems like most garbage companies out here in NY are small and independent. And for that reason, I assume, they offer us no garbage can or recycling can rental. So, that meant that we had to purchase a couple of new cans.

I priced out some that had the recycling symbol already on them and they were seriously super spendy. So I purchased 2 of the same plain old black cans. Lids connected of course.

"Who cares?" says you. Well, no one, but me really. See, we were now having issues with the fam being able to tell apart the garbage can from the recycling can and stuff was getting mixed up.

So, I printed out a recycling symbol.

Traced it out onto some contact paper.

Stuck that contact paper on one of the cans. And sprayed on some plastic friendly paint.

Ok, so my contact paper didn't stick the best and it ran a little. And, I was a little over zealous with the paint and it went over the edges of the contact paper. But, I am not complaining. It is a garbage can for goodness sake. One that will sit outside through rain, sleet and snow.

I am just happy that I won't have to sort our garbage from our recycling anymore. Here ends that debacle.

Blades of Grass

Yes, I know Fall is upon us, so, I know it's odd to decorate like spring but, oh well. Plus, up here we are in winter FOREVER, so having a little spring time decor that's permanent isn't a bad idea in my book.

I bought this little daisy tin last spring at the Dollar Tree. I have been looking for a spot for it and finally found one.

I picked up some fake grass from you guessed it, The Dollar Tree. Before cutting the grass I would make a little flat bundle, like above, tape it, and then cut it away from the big bunch.

After further dissecting the bunch, I found that a lot of the grass came in these little bundles. I just trimmed the tops to my desired height and stuck away into some flower foam. I arranged the grass so that it was just in one line across the middle of the foam, instead of all random.

And I plopped it down on this shelf that is in my mudroom. This picture hung in Chickie's room when she was a little girl. I thought that since the curtains I made for the half bath and mudroom have daisys, this picture would fit in perfectly.

So, no, I am not going to change this out for Fall decor in the next few weeks. I am going to keep my little reminder of spring around all year long.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

My Hole in the Wall

I am so excited about my little hole in the wall. I haven't measured it exactly but I think it is like 6 ft wide by 9 ft long.

This was originally going to be the bathroom but, if you notice how the drywall sticks out about a foot on the front wall. Well, that is where the septic pipes go out of the house. I know, lovely to think that when I am crafting away in my little room my family could be upstairs using the restroom and when they flush, woosh and it goes right past me.

Anyway these pipes would have taken up too much space in the bathroom so, we covered them up with drywall and mounted lights under it. My desk will fit right under here. The bathroom is in a little room right next door.

Ok, so to help me not think about poop wooshing by me, the plan is to decoupage the front wall with fun graphics and pictures. Most will come from The Graphics Fairy. I can't wait to start the process.

I am so inspired by this room in Beth's house from The Stories of A to Z. I am hoping my room will be as cute as her's.

I am hoping that if I time things just right I will be able to pick up a lot of totes, baskets and little organizers, cheap from back to school sales and clearances.

The plan is to prime the walls tomorrow. Yay for me!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Snug as a Bug

Here are 3 of our caterpillars all wrapped up. Happy and content to be all snug.

In this picture you can even see the skin this guy crawled out of. It is the dried up black thing next to him. Every time I see a chrysalis I am amazed at their beauty. I so love the little gold dots.

Mother Nature is so wow.

The other 3 guys are hanging a bit more precariously so, I didn't want to disturb them.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Family Rules

Here is another thing I had to jump on the band wagon with. I have seen these family rules signs all over the blogosphere and I wanted to make one right after I saw my first one.

I was finally able to sit down today and make mine. The most recent one I saw was made by Gail over at My Repurposed Life. She gives step by step instructions on how to make Gail‘s Family Rules on her blog.

I am not that nice. I will just tell you that I painted a scrap piece of wood I had sitting around in the garage. It was already routed because it was a piece that Ryan was playing with when he first got his router years ago.

I made a list of all of the rules I wanted and I got out my handy dandy cricut and cut away. Some of the rules did get cut out a couple of times because I made them too long. Glad I had a whole new stack of black cardstock next to me.

Then I just eyeballed the rules to center them. I wasn't going for perfection. No levels or rulers were used in this process. Mod podge was, however, used in this process. I took each letter and covered the back with my good ole mod podge and when I was all done I covered the whole thing with a layer too.

Here it is hanging in my kitchen for all to see and FOLLOW. I did try to use rules that were positive. I thought about, "chewing with your mouth closed" (Chickie!!). She would actually leave the table during dinner when her brother was eating too loud. Just you wait lady.

Anyway, I did see a lot of signs that had negative rules like, no whining, no ball in the house, etc. I wanted our rules to be constructive.

Now let's hope everyone follows them!

No Mess Painting

Valerie from Frugal Family Fun Blog shared this idea just the other day. I am always looking for fun and easy things to do with Johnsie and this activity was perfect.

It is just baby oil and paint in a ziploc baggie. It creates a wonderful marbling effect. Check out Valerie’s Blog blog for the complete directions.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

6 Big Fat Guys

Over the past few days we have found 6 different guys caught lurking around. Not all at once. First, there were 2 of them and the other 4 were slinking around by themselves. It was so creepy.

Ok, so it wasn't creepy like you were thinking. It was creepy crawly creepy.

Currently we have 6 monarch caterpillars. One guy had already made his chrysalis. We are so excited.
One of the things I was really upset about when we moved away from our house in MN was that we would have no more milkweed. We would always get a few stray plants in our garden.
Now your typical gardener would be really upset about having
this weed in their garden but, we loved it. I think every year we lived in that house the kids were able to find caterpillars and take care of them until they were butterflies and ready for release.

I was overjoyed when I found milkweed growing in our yard this spring.

Granted when I found these guys I was in the process of spraying r
oundup on our beloved milkweed. Not all of it. Don't worry. Just the stuff in front of the house. We need some grass.

I hope to post pics and video of our butterfly release day.

The only pic, of old release days, I could find was one of Johnsie back in 2008.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Trying to decorate!

I have been doing a lot of thrift store/TJ Maxx/Christmas Shops shopping trying to find fun and functional decor for the house.

I purchased these from the Christmas Tree Shops in Syracuse a few weeks ago.

The corner still needs something. It still looks empty to me. Not that I want a lot of stuff everywhere. I realize some empty corners are good.

The chair is from a used furniture store. I have been thinking of painting it black or maybe white or even purple. I want a deep purple to be an accent color in here.

Ryan was able to finish our fireplace surround. The tall urn is from a TJ's and our black marble is from Bargain Outlet in Cortland. We love the look of the marble. Now, I need to put something on the other end of the mantle. Probably a few candle sticks.

Johnsie is a huge fan of Tom and Jerry. Thanks Uncle Kirk and Aunt Yoko for introducing him to them.

I have never had a mantle to decorate so, I am so excited. All of the vases are from thrift stores. The black ones were other colors so, I spray painted them. The 2 huge marbles I found the other day at the thrift store for 80 cents each. The leather J was in a clearance bin at Michaels and the roses were a gift from my wonderful mother in law for Ryan and I a few years back. They are made from wood curls.

I fell in love with this guy instantly when I found him awhile ago at a TJ's in NJ. You should have seen the look my sis-in-law gave me when I found him. I guess she wasn't feeling my qi.

Anyway, I love him. His only issue is that the gold paint is a little sticky, which makes dog fur love him too. So, I think I might give him a once over with some spray paint too. New gold perhaps, or silver or black. Hmm ideas? If I don't do this soon I am seriously going to have one hairy frog and that is so wrong on so many levels. I guess he'd be warm this winter though.

I really don't need any decor for the house with this Batman Cowboy Clown in the house. Someone has been really having fun with his dress up clothes lately.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Johnson begins with J

So, all I see around everywhere is people using their initials/monograms as decor. Who am I to not jump on the band wagon. A few months ago I made this Monogrammed picture. Which now lives in our bedroom.

Awhile ago on a trip to Ithaca's Michaels I found a bunch of cardboard letters in the clearance aisle. Score one for me.

I bought 2 J's and almost all the letters for Johnsie's name.

For the J, I covered it with some jute and extra cording that I trimmed off our bamboo shades. Resourceful, huh? I knew I could use those cords for something.

Here it is up on a shelf next to Johnsie's ultrasound picture.

And here it is nestled in a plant. Not sure where it will end up.

Here the boys are painting Johnie's name. Green, of course.

Remember I said, I bought most of the letters I needed for Johnsie's name. Well, Michaels didn't have an R, so I improvised and bought a K and a P. I cut one of the legs off the K and glued it on to the P.

Then I just covered up the area with jute. Voila. I added some twine to a few of the other letters so, the R didn't look out of place.