Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Book Review: Two tickets to the Christmas Ball

About a month ago, I first heard about a program called Blogging for Books. In a nutshell, you sign your blog up, they send you a book, you read it and review it, and then repeat. Not really one to turn down books, I signed up. So now along with my normal craziness, you'll get to hear my literary craziness too.

My first book was called "Two tickets to the Christmas Ball."

Basic plot summery:

This book tells the story of two lonely-ish people. Cora Crowden comes from a horrible dysfunctional family, and found God and religion when she escaped and went to college. Christmas is difficult for her - more of a chore she feels she should do because she is a Christian. Simon Derrick comes from a strong Christian background, with a true love of family. He's been searching for years for someone who believes in the same core values he was raised with.

They get thrown together down a mysterious side street when they meet at a bookshop that may or may not exist. Of course they end up being thrown together again and again, begin to fall in love, end up with a snafu that throws the relationship into jeopardy, just to have it all work out beautifully in the end.

My thoughts:
Like pretty much every Christian novel I've read, this one was slightly cheesy. A touch preachy at times, it maintained a good message, was a quick fun clean read, and all in all a decent book. I appreciated how refreshingly light hearted the overall scope was. Combined with the uplifting feel, I'm not disappointed to add this one to my library.

One of my favorite aspects of this book was the entrance of real magic. The street the characters meet on was in fact closed years ago. Only some people can see the street at all. The helpers in the shops know everything, and can make anything happen. The magic and allure, which is only fully appreciated by Simon's downs syndrome sister, was a definite entertaining twist.

I would not mind reading more from this author - especially if she comes up with a follow up story about Zee. I'd love to see if the Booterbaw sisters can actually work their magic on her.

*I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Friday, December 24, 2010

wishing you . . .

Hope your holiday is full of cheer and magic!

(and yes, I LOVE my Silhouette!)

Monday, December 20, 2010

Squeal with delight!

Hey all!

So my girls' room transformation is being featured today over at Remodelaholic. Have you ever checked out her site? talk about a wealth of homey inspiration!

Go check it out.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Snow Days

Growing up, I had one of the funnest moms EVER.* She was a Mom that truly thought nothing was better than being with her kids. She was always so frustrated when August hit, because she knew we'd be going back to schools soon, and we hadn't played enough yet!

I want to be that Mom. I want my kids to look back and think that I was fun to be around, that I loved being with them more than anything, that I looked forward to spending time with them.

Yesterday was a Snow Day. If I could do that cool cross out thingy, I'd change that to say Ice day. Really, calling them Snow days is just silly, because school is rarely canceled for just snow. No, it’s canceled by the crazy ice that ends up EVERYWHERE. So crazy slippery that I couldn’t even get into my driveway. And if you’ve been to my house, that’s saying something. I think my driveway is about a 2% slope - it’s nothing!

Anyway. Girly-Lou is a bit . . . um, well obsessed with school. As in, it kills her she can’t go every Saturday too. So when I found out that school was canceled, I was a bit worried that she wasn’t going to cope so well with this fact. So I wanted to make this day extra special. Especially with it being Christmas time. Hubby didn't go to work (can't take off with that much ice anyway), Girly-Lou didn't have school, the boys I watch weren't there. It was just my little family of 5, and a day full of relaxing fun.

So what did we do for extra coolness?

We made doughnut balls. The recipe is from Lion House Desserts. I was planning on posting the recipe, but then I started worrying about copyright issues. The problem is, the book is also out of print. Can you put out of print recipes online? Hmm. Well, if any of you are fluent in copyright laws, and it'd be legal, let me know and I'll post it. Until then, you just get some pictures!

The recipe is easy to follow. Just dump 7 ingredients in a bowl and mix. Then heat some oil, drop the dough in, and let it fry.

After they cool, dump some powdered sugar in a bag with 4 or 5 balls. Seal tightly and watch your kids have waaaaaaaaaaaaaaay too much fun.

(did you know how hard it is to get a shot of your kids shaking like crazy? most of them end up like this:)

The recipe said to drop by tablespoonfuls. Either my tablespoons were too big, or my oil too hot, because after all was said and done, they were not fully cooked. But actually, I think they were better that way. I just pretended they were custard filled, and failed to tell Hubby they had eggs in them. It's no worse than eating raw cookie dough, which I do all the time, was raised on, and am happily raising my kids to do the same. Hubby on the other hand, has issues with this idea. This was totally a time of what he doesn't know isn't going to kill him, and we can both be happy!

Seriously, I want to post this recipe. These things are just too good. Or maybe I shouldn't (I'm down another pound this week!) It's not like we need more good recipes at Christmas time is it!

*so that asterisk was so long ago, I bet you all forgot about it. But along with the funnest mom, we were raised by the meanest dad. Ask him. He'll tell you. You have no idea just how grateful I am for this combination. I learned so much because my dad wasn't about to let me slide. We had consequences for our actions. And lots of fun too.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

My coolest Christmas Present

You may remember last year, when I almost got a cricut for Christmas. What stopped me, more than anything, was the continual cost of buying cartridges - just too much for my frugal self.

While I was researching, I found a similar product, called a Silhouette SD. I say similar, but it is SO much cooler! It will cut pretty much any font already on your computer, and if you want different shapes and such, most are just a buck and a quick download from their store.

I have entered literally dozens of contests in the last year trying for one. But no luck. However, the company ran an AMAZING Cyber Monday deal (as in almost $200 off the total). I gathered my courage, and actually asked my in-laws to get it for me for Christmas. My father-in-law responded that he could never deny me anything, but they were busy and I needed to order it for them, and here’s all the money for it.

Wow, if I was less than honest, this could be rather dangerous. But instead, I’ve far to big a guilt complex to take advantage of their generosity.

Anyway, this morning look what I found on my doorstep.

Isn’t she beautiful!

Set up wasn't hard. In fact, the hardest part was figuring out where to place the machine next to the computer.

I’ve been playing all day. I haven’t broken out the vinyl that was included, but instead have been cutting up all kinds of paper and fabric. Yes, FABRIC! If you back it with wonder under, it will cut thin-ish fabric too.

I whipped up these ornaments for my primary kids:

Each has their initial (cut from fabric). I also made these tags. You can design it on the Silhouette’s software, PRINT it in your printer, and then CUT it out! It can optically scan and align so no problems.

This thing is way fun. I’ve got so many things I want to do with it! So if my blog gets a bit crafty in the next while, you’ll know why!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Creative Christmas Cards

Some days alliteration just makes me happy.

Not quite a year ago, I subscribed to Kids Craft Weekly. It's an email newsletter, written by a woman that has the best rainy day activities ever. She can come up with more fun things to do with pipe cleaners and glue that I could in a year. Not that we've done many of the activities, but it's been fun to get some new ideas.

A month ago, she announced it was time to sign up for the 3rd annual Christmas Card exchange. I was intrigued. After looking into it a bit more, I totally signed up my kiddos.

Basically, you agree to make and mail 10 Christmas cards. In return, you get 10 Christmas cards yourself. The really cool thing, is this is from all over the world. Out of the 10 on our list, only 5 are stateside. The others are in Australia and India!

Last Monday I gathered all our construction paper, glue, stamps, glitter, and markers, and we got creative. Most of the ideas I came up with, but the execution was all the kids (and Hubby)

Here's the results:

(could someone please explain why some days Blogger insists on turning pictures?)

Buddy was in LOVE with the idea of snowmen (he made two of these). The little circles are from a hole punch.

Tearing up paper - soooo right up my kids' alley!

Hubby got very artistic with his:

On the inside is just a little message about our family, and wishing the recipients a Merry Christmas. I think we might have created a new Christmas tradition!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Made it!

In only 10 days, I
  • made presents for 7 sisters (and only changed my mind three times to what I was doing)
  • finished our name present
  • made something for my mom
  • finished Hubby's side stuff
  • sewed 10 table runners (sorry, not in the picture, I already gave them to Happy Mom)
  • and pieced a queen sized quilt, put it all together, and bound it too.
All while having my in-laws here for 7 days, watching 2 extra kids 5 days, and not going completely insane!

Of course, there's still more to do before I'm completely ready for Christmas, but you have no idea how satisfied I am with all that got accomplished in the last week!

*did I debate back and forth a dozen times about posting a picture of all these presents because the recipients all follow this blog. You better believe it. Apparently bragging rights won out over surprises.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Forget Maniac Shopping . . .

Around here, we're just busy maniac CRAFTING!

Yes. This is my pile of crafts that need to be done. The joyful thing - this is only the stuff that needs to be done before December 13. There's more that I'm putting off until after that.

On the table are:
  • presents for both moms
  • present for the person who's name we have for Christmas (my side)
  • presents for Hubby's side
  • 10 table runners for a wedding reception
  • fabric for a pieced quilt, also for the reception
  • a little something (that may change) for a little present for my sisters
  • presents for my primary class
Whew. All in 14 days. And my in laws are coming today for a few days. Wish me luck in my insanity!

Friday, November 26, 2010

What's your number?

Just thought I'd drop a note and let you know I've been playing with my blog. I now can number my comments! I've tried several different tutorials for this before, but none have ever worked for me. But I finally found one that did!

If you'd like to be all cool and marvelous too, check it out HERE.

(and I keep on getting more followers. Seriously. It's the oddest thing in the world that complete strangers read my randomness. But still, it is pretty darn cool to log on and see that number click up. So thanks you guys! You make me happy!)

*oh, and to answer some questions from the last few posts: if you make curtain clothes for other people, that makes you an Austrian nun. If it's for you, you're now Scarlett O'Hara. And if you want to look like you time travel, accidentally put your posting date for 20 days previously, publish your post, and then try to change it. You can change the date, but it still will publish early!)

Monday, November 22, 2010

I always wanted to be a Von Trap.

Query: Does using curtians to make your child a dress, make you an Austrian almost nun?

So, on Friday, I found this:

Isn't that a beautiful dress? I have yet to find a Christmas dress for Girly-lou, and thought this would be just perfect! In my last post, this was the project I mentioned was supposed to be super easy, but was TOTALLY NOT! Ok, that's a lie. Actually, it went reasonably well, until I tried the silly thing on my daughter. And found it was way. WAY too short.


So here's how I made this my own.

First: I totally planned on running out to pick up some fabric. But Lil was sleeping, and I was also babysitting some extra kids. So being the amazingly patient person I am, I scoured my small fabric stash instead. And found this adorable pink stuff that Happy Mom had given me when she was de-junking her stuff (thanks sis!). For the accent, I honestly and truly used the valence portion to the curtains in the girls room. I was never super crazy about the cut on these (three very VERY long triangles), but kept the stuff because I love the fabric. And off I went!

First snag: the pattern is not super easy to follow. I am no stranger with my sewing machine, but there were some steps that just were not listed! So I punted (I'm pretty sure punted wrong on some places, hence the major hiccup later).

Second snag: making the button loops. The instructions say that it's easy to turn this microscopic tube. Well, I sure couldn't do it! I needed some back up help for that part. So after a 20 minute struggle, I gave up, made some double fold bias tape, and decided I could live with seeing some stitching.

Third snag: After sewing the entire bodice - WITH top stitching, AND attaching it to the skirt, THEN I decided it needed sleeves. Phooey. I made my sleeves by cutting out a piece, 6 inches by 25 inches (for each sleeve), doing a double fold hem along one long side, and sewing up the underarm seam on with the two short sides. Then I ran a gathering stitch along the other long side, adjusted it to fit inside the arm hole, and just sewed again along the previous top stitching. Not the most ideal or perfect look, but I'm happy with it.

not going to win any ribbons, but if you're close enough to notice, you're going to be family anyway!

Fourth snag: There are really no instructions for making the sash. Seriously. So I just assumed how it was supposed to go, and think it was ok.

MAJOR HICCUP: This dress is supposed to hit mid to lower calf. When I tried it on Girly-Lou, it was hitting smack dab in the middle of her knee cap. Which first of all, looked goofy, and second of all, if she grows at all in the next month, it will be too short for her.

Triple sigh.

At first, I thought I would just make another skirt. Annoying, yes, but not too bad. But then I found out there was not even close enough fabric left over for a whole skirt. Grumble grumble. I also felt that the band was too small (that really bad punt at the first) and the sash was too big. So, I unpicked the entire band (with top stitching), and then the entire sash.

I made band into the sash, and the sash into the band, and then added a SECOND band made out of the skirt material.

that bow makes me happy.

This involved a full HOUR of unpicking. SOOO not my favorite activity. But eventually, I made it through.

back view

So, the moral of the story. If a pattern is confusing, take the extra day to email the author back and forth so you can actually understand the instructions!

I promise, it will help. And curtians really are some great sources for fabric!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

New finds I now love

1. Good Eats. This is one I've loved for years. We do not have cable at our house. We did, for one full year back in 2007, but only because it was included in our rent. Since then, we just haven't had the desire spring that much dough for that much crud. But one of the tragedies of this is the total lack of Food Network. It's been a thorn in my side for years now.

However, I just discovered that they are now posting limited episodes of the best shows. We just spent an hour watching Alton Brown teach us about tuna, oil, and crackers. I have so missed the insane amount of knowledge I glean from these. (Full confessions, I remember staying up way too late watching an entire episode about pepper. Seriously. Who knew you could talk for 21 minutes just about pepper?)

And now, my kids are walking around the basement telling each other how to combine plastic parts of chicken with one part cucumber, a pear, and to bake until golden brown and delicious!

2. Confessions of a Cookbook Queen. This one was a link of a link of a link. But after perusing her blog for an hour or so (what can I say, all those yummy pictures!), I'm a new follower. Her stories are funny, the pictures are yummy, and it's a food blog full of stuff I might actually want to make! I'm totally picking up some candy corn to whip this one up later!

3. Uncle Jay explains again, a link of a link. Basically, he posts videos every Monday talking about the past week's news. He also puts things very basically, so kids could understand it, but the little jokes and side notes are all for the adults. Very funny, very easy, very worth a bookmark.

So that's what I spent my morning on
(instead of preparing my primary lesson, cleaning my house, or working on a project that was supposed to be easy and amazing and blogged about this morning, but instead has turned frustrating, complicated, and procrastinated for another day!) What new things have caught your fancy recently?

Thursday, November 4, 2010

My Good Enough For Now Bathroom

I had a dozen different ideas for the title of this post. Here are some of my best ones:

Getting the biggest bang for no bucks

I may be certifiably insane

More signs of my DIY addiction

Dizzy Diagonals Disappear!

It's better than it was before bathroom

My own version of Trading Spaces

Back story: My house is 46 years old (coincidentally, it was built the same year as the home I grew up in, and is almost the exact same size!). Every room has been updated in the last 20 years - except the bathroom. The day I looked at this house, it was an eyesore - so OBVIOUSLY needed some TLC. But the rest of the house was marvelous, so we bought it.

I have great plans for this room. AMAZING plans. However, they involve replacing every. single. thing. in the ENTIRE room (plus moving a wall!) Since my budget is full of things like apples and diapers, that plan is a long way off. So I just lived with this:

Ummmmmmm. Yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah.

I have no idea what someone was smoking when they decided to put up real bead board panelling, on a diagonal, floor to ceiling, and add crown molding, and then leave everything natural wood. Oh, and the two toned ivy-ish stencil on the ceiling. That really changes the feel of the room. It was something, let me tell you. Hubby liked it (he thought it felt like a log cabin). Not exactly what I was wanting though.

I'd thought about painting that panelling, but I've heard just how frustrating painting bead board is, and I kind of have hopes of turning it all into an adorable real bed for my room someday, and really just didn't want to bother with it.

Last week, I'd had enough! I was between projects, I HATED this room, passionately! I'm not sure which of my inspiration friends (maybe the nester or thrifty decor chic?) have inspired me. If I hate it, whatever I do trying to make it better, couldn't be any worse, right? If horrible things happen, well, then I'm still stuck with a bathroom I hate.

So Tuesday night I picked up a pry bar from Happy Mom, and I went at it. By myself, I pulled down all that panelling (well, almost all of it.) And discovered that there was no drywall underneath. Instead there was plywood.

Hmmm. Ok. So this officially became my well-it-could-be-worse room. And I decided to see just how much change I could do WITHOUT SPENDING A NICKEL.

What do you think.

A bit different?
I reached the certifiably insane point when I decided I should also paint the cabinets, and try to get the whole thing done before I leave for Texas Friday morning (yes, that would be just about exactly 48 hours, hence the trading spaces title, even though I didn't trade with anyone, did it all myself, and did it in two days instead of one). I made it, but it was a bit more than I could really chew trying to get everything done that fast! I'm also pretty sure that the paint will end up chipping on the cabinets.

Do I love it?Well, sorta. The paint is all left over stuff. The white is from the bunk bed, the blue actually came with the house. I'm really done with my shower curtain, but I liked the idea of saying I didn't spend any money at all on this. I like the paint colors way better than I thought. However, the blue is flat paint. I really hate the way flat paint feels - an on top of plywood, it's even worse. There are also some big gaps where I couldn't get the paint in.

And taking off 1/4 inch thick paneling all across the room meant that the crown molding was now too small, so there's some great creative optical illusions going on in the room. And I didn't know how to unhook all the pluming to move the toilet and vanity to get all the board off, so there are some really raggedy places.

But I must say, it looks SOOOO much nicer in here. Much closer to the feel I want in my home.

Goodbye log cabin:

Hello spa. Well, really low budget spa anyway!

Saturday, October 30, 2010


"Time enjoyed spending is not wasted."

I truly believe that. I enjoy so many things in my life, many of which is "wasting" time. However, my wasted time is also time I can never get back. And lately I've been enjoying far too much time on things that don't matter.

Reading is one of those. I read (and read and read and read) a lot. Probably too much. I'm currently averaging almost 3 books a week. All at least 300 pages. Um yah. I think I've tipped past the hobby level into the obsession/addiction level. This is something I need to cut back on. For starters, I made the rule I am now only allowed 3 books to be checked out from the library at one time.

Along with reading books, I read a lot of blogs. Today I realized how much time I spend reading blogs. The problem is there is just so much information out there! I'm fascinated by so many things, so many wonderful ideas, so much to discover. But there are more important things in my life than the latest mythbusters results. So today I cut down my google reader. I started with 74, and managed to trim it to only 49. And since a full dozen of those post only once in a blue moon, it really could be less.

Cutting back on the blogs was an interesting process. It's kind of like de-junking anything else. I start to just get rid of everything! Do I need 6 home improvement blogs that all talk about the same thing? Nope! How about 7 scrap booking blogs that I never even read any more? Cooking blogs that I never have time to make? All gone!

One thing I spend far too much time on is wishing for other things. I find myself spending too much time on my "someday" plans, and not enough in real time. How much do you do this? "Someday" I'll be able to afford that. "Someday" I'll have enough time. "Someday" I'll do this. Recently I looked around my house and realized just how many things I've got that I've always wanted. Things for my kids, things for my house, things for my spouse. And while the list of things I would like to have is long, things get checked off at a fairly regular basis. So today my goal is to enjoy what I've got, and not stress about the things I want.

So what do I want to do with all the time that I'm "saving"? Here's what I plan on doing more of every day.

#1. Snuggle my baby. She's growing at such an amazing pace, wowing me everyday. I will take the time to rejoice in her stages, and just bask in that two tooth smile she loves to shower upon me.

#2. Think about my Hubby. Caught up in the daily grind, busy with chores and diapers, I do not spend enough time focused on my spouse. It's much harder when he's off flying, but even when he's home I don't think about him enough. Someday there won't be any noses left to wipe. If my house gets messy I will only be able to blame myself. And at that point, I don't want to find myself not knowing this man who has stuck by my side. If he is truly one of the most important things in my life, then I need to spend more time (even just mental) with him.

#3. Play games with Buddy. With Girly-Lou off at school for a ridiculous amount of time every day, Buddy gets very lonely. I want him to remember (if he does at all) these times with Mommy as special times. Not as just being bored all day times.

#4. Clean. And I mean some serious cleaning. Not just picking up. I do ok at picking up. But why don't I dust once and a while. Vacuum more than monthly. If 'Lil is eating things off the floor, I want to to be something spilled at breakfast, not something we ate last week.

Then there's my BIG 3. Praying, scriptures, and exercise. I need to spend some serious time on my knees talking to my Father. I need to study, not just read my scriptures. And I seriously need to work more on my health. I've still got 19 lbs to loose before I'm back to my pre baby weight!

I actually started a list like this back in July. But I made it too long. There were too many things to work on at once. Which meant I was not actually getting to all of them, which turned into not doing any of them way too quickly. But I'm ready to get working again. Being my crazy self, I of course had to make a cute sign to hang up to help me remember.

My goal is to make my time reflect what is most important to me. To cherish what I have. To rejoice in my life.

What's your goal?

Wednesday, October 27, 2010


I have more than one place where I write my thoughts. First I started with a private family blog. Living thousands of miles away from both sets of grandparents, this was the perfect way to let them know what was going on with the kids. It was a glimpse into our life (and SUPER helpful when I started scrap booking a year later).

Then I found an online journal site ( A place where I could write more private thoughts, that no one else could see. They even email you to remind you to write. Sitting down for a few minutes after checking my email, I could log my life into being.

Then I decided I wanted to be cool. I wanted a place where no one knew who I was. I wanted complete strangers to read my words, maybe help, inspire or touch someone else's life. Like most stay at home moms, I was looking for validation in my life. To know I was someone worth knowing, that I was doing more than just wiping noses all day long. So I started this blog. But now most all of my readers I'm related to. (although suprisingly that number is shrinking!) While that's nice, it's hard sometimes to remember that the point of writing here was to be my uninhibited self - to write like I would if no one knew who I was.

I've toyed with the idea of even writing a book. I don't know that I'd try to get published, but there are days when I have so many words just clamoring to get out.

Like most things in my life, writing seems to go in cycles. My online journal was perfect for me for about a year. Now it sees almost no use. If my family blog is suffering, I'm likely to be posting often here. If I slack off here, I'm usually good to update my family blog. And the book is nothing more than vague ideas and half formed dreams. And if I'm sleep deprived and spending all my days chasing babies and painting beds, any writing anywhere is hard to come by.

After finishing the girls' room, I've been without a major project for a few days. The first day I kind of wandered around my house in a daze, not sure what to do with myself. The kitchen was clean, laundry was done, baby was napping . . . I had time without something to do. I've felt frustrated at my lack of ideas for posting lately. It seems that when all my brain power was consumed by piecing quilts and cleaning and painting, and mom-ing, I had nothing left for this outlet. But just yesterday and today, the ideas have started to flow again.

So here's to some ideas coming back. We'll see how many of them actually end up being blog worthy. (for example, my dream last night, while it might make a really bad action/fantasy film, isn't something I'm going to subject you to). I can't promise anything profound, but rambling is almost guaranteed.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Welcome to Our Peaceful Place

Hello! So glad you could join us today. Isn't the scene refreshing?

Let's remember just where we came from:

Um. Yah. Confession time. One day, while in the middle of the dreaded sanding job, I decided to snap some before pictures of every room in my house that I wanted to change. And being the crazy impatient being that I am, I didn't even bother to clean any of them. My idea was that way the before and after would look even more dramatic. I think I need to go take some better shots! And yes, Girly-Lou is in love with paper. Every little thing she receives, every handout, every picture is a treasure and needs to be on the wall. Not so fun for me, but there you have it.

Anyway. Back to the room.

It's done! DONE!!! I've known what I wanted to do with this room for 14 months now. Really ever since we moved in. But I waited for two reasons. First, being pregnant with my third child, I didn't know if the girl room would be this larger room, or the smaller one. Second, funds were a bit low for decorating. But the first reason sounds better, so we'll stick with that.

Then 9 months ago, 'Lil was born. I knew which room to work on! Hubby got a pretty decent raise, and I started compiling.

Speaking of which, let's do a thorough breakdown (thorough because I get frustrated when people to breakdowns and leave stuff out!)

Paint: Not much to talk about the actual process. I did use the green frog tape instead of the blue, and it is a LOT better at keeping out leaks. There are 4 different colors in the room, all by Behr.
  • White is New Day Dew, 1 gal ($22) + 1 qt ($15)
  • Light pink is Shy Little Piglet, 1 qt ($11)
  • Dark Pink is Snow White Song, 1 qt ($11)
  • Green is kind of Friendly Frog, 1 gal ($23) *The real color was WAY too bright. So I grabbed my 1 qt paint cup, measured out about 1 TBSP of new day dew to every 4 oz friendly frog. That made the color much more reasonable!
  • Tape, brushes, etc, $15
Paint total: $97 (paint is WAY more money that I always think!)

  • Fabric $85
  • Batting, $20
  • Thread, $10
Quilt total: $115

I used THIS tutorial for the pattern, THIS tutorial and THAT to make bias tape, THIS tutorial for the actual binding. I also machine quilted for the very first time. If you want any tips for first time quilters, I found THIS site to be the most helpful. They won't win any awards, but I love how the quilts turned out! I don't know if you noticed, but Girly-Lou's has more pink, and 'Lil's has more green. And I even quilted their names in while doing the machine quilting.

  • forms: from old pillows already had, free
  • white fabric: 50 cents worth of thrift store pillow cases
  • other fabric, from quilts
Total: $.50

  • Actual piece, Free
  • Paint (counted above)
  • Knobs $20
Dresser total: $20
You might remember this one from months ago when I blogged about it.

Names etc.
  • Letters: $4.50, painted white
  • flowers and butterflies, scraps from quilt
Total: $4.50

I really wanted to do wood letters in this room. But have you ever priced those things? CRAZY! Then, one day I was wondering around our Michael's. They had these foam letters on clearance for only 50 cents each! SOLD! They were crazy colors, but 4 coats of paint (grumble grumble) later, I was happy with them. Attaching them to the wall was an adventure. I wanted to do a cute hanging something or other, but everything I tried just looked really lame. Finally, in desperation, I stuck a finishing nail in the back of the foam, and then nailed it in. Loved it!

This corner:

  • Paint included above
  • Fabric shapes, extra from quilts
  • Clock, actually a wedding present
Total: Free

That tree. Wow. What a process. I first saw THIS months ago, and fell in love. It would have been a fairly easy process, but I didn't have an overhead projector. So instead, it literally took me 5 1/2 hours to get the silly thing on the wall. It only took a couple of hours to actually paint it!
The birds are from here and here, just dipped in liquid starch and stuck up on the wall.

This corner:
  • Mirror, another wedding present, painted white with circles starched on top.
  • Flower pegs: $2 from a thrift store, painted white
Total: $2

  • Curtains, came with the house (but in another room) Free
  • Ties: left over from quilts
Total: free



  • Remove nasty old doors, free
  • Wing back chair: craigslist find $10
  • Boxes above, scrounged from around the house, free
Total: $10

Rain gutter Book shelves:
  • Rain gutters: $6.50
  • Brackets: $10
  • End caps $10
Total: $26.50
I used THIS tutorial, but I totally forgot to pick up the end caps. Joys of shopping with three little people! So that will come in a few more days. But I still love them!

Bunk bed:
  • Um. I'm not sure. My Father in Law wanted to pay for everything, and we made 4 trips to the store to get everything, and every time we went he also decided we needed $60 worth of clamps, or knee pads, or whatever. I think for wood was $250-$275.
Total: Free (for me! Really around $300)
Off course this is a Knock Off Wood pattern. I didn't like the ladder, so I spent a lot of time looking at dimensions online, and made up my own. Actually making the bed went super fast. Sanding and painting on the other hand . . . . Well. It's done now!

Grand Total: $275.50 (or $575, depending on how you're counting.

I'm very happy with how it all turned out. There are still a few things I'd like to change. I'd like some different curtains, I'd love to make a magnet board for Girly-Lou to put all her papers on, the blinds need replacing. If I had money out my ears, I'd refinish the floors, get a new rug, and a really cute light fixture. But we're good for now.

And Buddy's happy because now I get to work on his room next!

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