Thursday, December 31, 2015

Our Iowa Christmas

It has been a very busy couple of weeks, with work, Christmas parties, winter band concerts and just general holiday happenings. We have been so blessed in 2015 and hope that everyone had a wonderful Christmas. Here it is New Year's Eve and I am just now getting around to sharing a little bit of our Christmas here in Iowa.
 
We chose to purchase a smaller tree for our living room this year and I am so happy with it.  
I use my little woodland tree in the master bedroom.
 
 
Displayed on a side table are some silver snowflake pieces.
Some of these beauties are from Stephanie @ The Enchanting Rose I was the lucky winner of her Christmas giveaway. Thanks again Stephanie.
 


I don't think my style is very specific and my thrift store goodies in the kitchen definitely show that. I do like snowmen though.



 
 
 
This wreath gets a new look every year.
 
 
Spending Christmas Eve with my 2 favorite guys!
 
 
And my little love bug Oakley modeled his new Santa outfit for these pictures. Ha Ha...he does not care for it so much but goes along with it to make mommy happy and also to get his treat afterward.
 


 
Our New Year's Eve will consist of some movies and popcorn in the warmth and comfort of our living room and tomorrow,
January 1st, 2016 will be a big day here as we all sport our Hawkeye gear and cheer Iowa on at the Rose Bowl!
 
 
Best wishes to all of you for a Safe & Happy New Year.
Karen
 
 

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Christmas Now & Then

 
As time goes by I cherish more & more those Christmas photos when my children were small. This year I am reminded of that with this photo Brittany sent to me of our precious Ellie's first Christmas and the excitement of meeting Santa for the first time. It's always a roll of the dice whether or not the kiddos are gonna accept or reject the jolly man in the red suit.
 Ellie seemed to be very comfortable in Santa's chair and smiling so big.

 
Back in the day, we made many trips to the mall to stand in line and wait for that once a year chance to talk to Santa in person.

Chad & Santa in 1991
 

Brittany & Chad 1993
 
 
Dylan 2003
Looks like he and Santa were having a pretty serious conversation.
 
2002
Chad 12, Brittany 15, Dylan 18 months
 

Dylan age 2, when Santa & Barney tied for first place as favorite.

I so enjoy going back to Christmas past and I am also looking forward to the memories we will create for Christmas 2015.
Merry Christmas Everyone.
Karen

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Recipes and Reflecting

 
 
I was looking through one of my cookbooks to try a different dessert for Christmas dinner. It is a very special cookbook from our home church given to me by Granny for high school graduation. Many years of use have left it worn and discolored. Each time I look through it I find a new recipe but this time I came across something different, something that has been in front of me many times and now that I'm older there is more of an appreciation for these things. Even though I am not a full time housewife I have the great privilege of being raised and taught well by the strong women in my family who always put God & Family first.




I wanted to share this with all of you and dedicate it to my
Granny Clara and Granny Ora who gifted this cookbook to me.
This is a reading that is in on the back side of the cover.

A Housewife Talks With God
As I walk into my kitchen, Lord,
At the birth of each new day,
I think about your Holy Word,
And vow to walk your way.

My daily tasks will be no chore,
Not servile work to do.....
As I decide I'll like them more,
When each is done for you.

Gleaming china, silver shining,
A line of linen, blowing white
Will make a joy of future dining,
Give a loved one rest tonight.

I shall make my home a haven
A refuge of life's storm.....
Show my family that there's loving,
Always to keep them warm.

A housewife's life is not demeaning,
Not a task to make me bored,
But the best of life's gifts gleaming,
As a worker for you, Lord.


Have a wonderful day everybody.
Karen

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Happy Saturday!



Hello everyone and Happy Saturday!
The weekend is here...Yea!! I am so excited, happy and honored to be featured on Saturday Spotlight today.
Thank you Kris for inviting me to participate in your fun series.
I have had my blog up and running a very short time so if you would like to know a little more about me you can stop by and see Kris at Junk Chic Cottage.


I hope you all have a lovely weekend!

Karen

Monday, November 30, 2015

Wood Message Board

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving Day. Ours was so special, lots of turkey and even more hugs and smiles all around.
Time with family is so very precious....and thanking our Lord for all his many blessings.








I love creating gifts for family & friends. My sweet friend (Dawn) at work is like a sister to me, we share office space and a very unique friendship. Her birthday was last week and I had been struggling to come up with a gift idea. Then I remembered seeing a cute wood message board at my daughters the last time I went to Atlanta for a visit and thought...I can make one of those!!




Please excuse hot glue strings, I snapped a picture before that was cleaned up. I knew that I wanted to try to make this message board out of materials that were on hand in the garage and my craft stash.
Mr. Darling found some board that had been saved when he removed some old shelving from the basement. Once a decision was made on the size (approx. 8 1/2" x 11") he got to work measuring for the cuts.
 
 

I have not graduated to a saw like this yet so I observed and took pictures.
 
 

Next we used 5/8" wood dowel rod that he had several of.
He cut them 5" long and they will be the stands that support the message board.
 
 
 
 
 
 
We measured the back of the board to drill holes for the dowels.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
I sanded it some but not completely, leaving several stain marks might look better since this wood is pine. 
 
 
I watered down some of my homemade chalk paint to just lightly go over the surface. My daughter is a stylist and sometimes I get her old hair color application brushes. This one did a nice job.
 
 

After the first application dried it needed something else to give it more of a weathered look. I like using acrylic paints and watering them down to use like stain. I lightly brush it on then wipe it off with a cotton cloth.
 


There was no method to this, I just kept applying the two colors and wiping off  till I was happy with the way it looked. 
 
 
There was leftover burlap wire ribbon from fall bouquets and it would make a great bow at the top of the board. 
 
 
 
 Wood glue for the dowels and let it dry overnight.
 
 
 I did buy some small wood letters to paint and attach to personalize it. A clothespin was painted and attached with hot glue just below the burlap bow to hold pictures, notes or whatever she likes.
 
 
Dawn and her husband have been building a cabin in the timber for a couple of years now. Its gonna make a great getaway for them and maybe this little message board can be a nice addition to her cabin d├ęcor. 
 
 

 
She liked it a lot... I liked seeing a big smile on my dear friends face!
 
 
 Thanks for stopping by to visit.
Have a great Day!
Karen
 

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Let It Snow!

Well, it's here. The first snow of the season. Many people have been talking about how much they are dreading the impending storm. I just listen and nod my head in agreement while inside I am still like a child, fascinated and excited, especially for the first snow. After arriving home yesterday afternoon from the market not much had happened, just a few flurries.

 
There is just something about having all the errands done and settling in for the afternoon and evening waiting for the big event. It really puts me in the Holiday spirit and what a better time than a week before Thanksgiving. I guess that "spirit" prompted the purchase of a new tree yesterday for the living room (old tree is too big for the space) and plans are to set it up and start decorating after we stuff ourselves with turkey and pumpkin pie!
 
Anyway, this is what we woke to this morning.
 
 
I'm sure I was the only one outside taking pictures LOL!
I can't help it, just don't want to miss having pictures to share with all my family & buddies who still reside south of the Mason Dixon Line. They all want to know how I deal with the cold and my reply is...
just traded in my sandals for a pair of these.
 
 
They are fun and the cute fur trim gives them a little bit of a feminine flair. My little Oaks absolutely loves this time of year. He has a thick coat and enjoys the playtime in the snow with mommy.
He gives this move to the Midwest a big thumbs up!
 
 
The sun is out now so we will be back outside to enjoy some time before it turns to slush and then it's gone.
Have a Super Saturday!
Karen

Sunday, November 15, 2015

French Provencial Dresser Makeover

I have this kinda love for ornate furniture...you know the curvy lines and detail. Hmmm... just minding my own business when this little lovely called my name.


She had several coats of paint and you can see on top where there is paint missing in spots. That's where I started peeling the contact paper off of it, immediately! That's right, I was so anxious I started messing with it before taking a picture.

My darling takes me out for Starbucks and shopping pretty often and he knows my preference, not the mall but any thrift store in town. There is one in particular that has the biggest selection of furniture ever. I lost a hutch one time there because of my indecisiveness. That was not gonna happen again. We checked it over to make sure it was made well and found this tag.
I googled this name to get more info about the manufacturer on the tag. This furniture company was based in Indiana and has been around since 1883. It does not tell me much about the value of the piece but it satisfied my curiosity and looks very sturdy. There is a swivel mirror that was attached (did not have my camera) and my darling had to remove it to fit in our vehicle, talk about a tight fit...but we made it work.

I decided to mix up my own chalk paint from some paint that was saved from being thrown out. You see, I work for a commercial painting company so when a job is finished and there is leftover paint it is stacked out in the shop on pallets. If anyone wants it you just put your name on it and take it home. Pretty nice perk huh. I took two 5 gallon buckets since it is a neutral beige color. Darling said, "that's way too much paint, you will never use it all" What does a DIY chick do with 10 gallons of neutral paint??
PAINT EVERYTHING!
But first comes a lot of prep. I did not want to try to cover up the 3 to 4 layers already on it so out comes the heat gun. Time to strip it down to the bare wood. And did it ever take time...


After many hours of stripping and getting a couple of burns on my fingers it was time to start sanding. I used my darlings electric sander and got all the flat surfaces. Then a sanding sponge (medium grit) was used for all those curved edges and hard to get at places. She is now sanded and prepped for painting which is the fun part...Yea!!




 My day off was saved for the actual paint application. I got everyone out the door to work and school, put on some 80s music and got to work in the garage. Here is a close-up of the painting done on the mirror attachment.



Next in line was the back on the mirror. It looked just dreadful and like it had been removed many times over the years. I was fairly certain once removed again there would be nothing left to reattach so my darling set out for the hardware store and picked up some thin board. Honestly I don't know what its called or the actual thickness of it but it looked way better and cleaner than what was already on it.

I watched him get to work tracing the old backing onto the new board. Once he was happy with his lines it was time to use the jigsaw to cut...


and cut some more...


While he began attaching the new backing to the mirror...



it was time for me to check the drying process of the hardware I had spray painted earlier. I used an old box to stick nails in, each one far enough apart to hold the hardware up off the surface so they could be painted & dried all in one step. I used more of the oil rubbed bronze leftover from the lamp project.


Dry!! Looks like my dresser will make it to my room before the day is over. The hardware is really standing out now, don't you think?



I am just loving the way she looks now...
lots of character and detail.



My granny made this doily many years before she passed on. I think it looks very nice and I am sure granny would like it too.


My darling is quite happy with this makeover and I am very thankful for his assistance in getting it finished and moved in our room.


It's such a nice feeling to look at this piece and know it is gonna be with us for a long time to come.
Have a great day.

Karen