Monthly Archives: January 2012

January Projects: Complete!

At the beginning of the month I posted a list of projects I hoped to accomplish in January. Here is how I finished the month:

1. Cut up thrifted garments into pennant shapes Done…

and make three strings of bunting Done

2. Plan office arrangement and buy and install two desktops. Planned, but didn’t buy due to budget constraints
3. Try a cook-for-the-freezer day Hmmm, not sure this one will work for me. I still cook up big batches of ground beef and chicken and divide into smaller containers for the freezer, but making whole meals or casseroles in bulk just for the three (or two) of us isn’t how we eat anymore.
4. Finish three spray painting projects Done, but I don’t like the final result on two of them
5. Clean up garage Not even begun. I need The Professor’s help and he hasn’t had a free Saturday.
6. Gather bare branches and coat with Epsom salts for winter decor. Done: Made 50 branches with two helpers for ladies event
7. Clean out binders and make covers Done

8. Portrait session for David Done

9. Visit the Re-Store Done

10. Walk an hour a day, six days a week First two weeks it was so cold and rainy that I had difficulty finding a good time to get out there. After that, I consistently did M-F. Saturdays just don’t work for me.

11. Try out all the processes in my Vitamix Done

I also accomplished some other projects that I didn’t originally plan to do this month:

1. Cleaned out sewing supplies and got rid of tons of stuff

2. Moved sewing supplies to desk in guest room

3. Cleaned out binders of crafts ideas: reduced from 22 binders down to 9 binders

4. Hemmed four pairs of pants for a friend

5. Decorated for ladies event at church

6. Helped our church facilities manager build shelving in a new closet
7. Helped clean out the church pantry to make room for new serving pieces


Filed under Homekeeping

Decorations for Ladies Event

Last night the ladies event at church went really well. We decorated the tables in the gym with centerpieces of the white branches we made two weeks ago. Most of the branch bundles were anchored into a white ceramic vase using scoops of yard gravel. (The florist marbles we were planning to use turned out to be too lightweight to hold the branches upright. So when we found a bag of gravel in a storage room, we were quite excited.)

When we ran out of white ceramic vases, we filled in with clear glass ones. They had the nicer looking clear marbles to support the branches.

We stood each vase on a thick cross section of a log, and sprinkled sparkly faux snow on the cut side of the log. We also scattered tealights in clear glass jars around the tables. Each glass jar was half-full of faux snow.
Each centerpiece had a different clear glass decoration hanging from the branches: crystals, beads, filigree hearts, blown hearts, stars, and snowflakes.

It turned out beautifully, and we got lots of compliments on the decorations. We are so pleased that it didn’t cost much: we bought only the Epsom salts, white glue, and faux snow, which was a deal at 75% off after Christmas.

Our thanks to Mr. David for cutting up his tree into thick log slabs for us. Do you think you could cut one or two for me too?

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Filed under Decorating, Sharing

Sweetest Day Bunting

Last week the thrift store had 75% off all their clothes. Since most clothes are priced at $1, that made them only 25c each. What a deal!
I can’t seem to ever find clothes that I could wear at the thrift store, but I can find clothes that I could craft with. That day, I found 25 pieces of clothing in several color schemes, to cut up for strings of pennants (or bunting).

I planned out a patriotic theme with the red, white, and blue:
And a spring theme of greens and yellows:

Thirdly, I created a pink theme for Valentine’s Day:The pink theme is the one I focused on finishing, since V-Day is just around the corner.

I was able to cut out all the pennant shapes from all the clothes. Most pieces of clothing gave me 8-10 pennant shapes. Some, being extra large, gave me up to 15 shapes!
I have more than enough for myself, and some to share too.

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Filed under Celebrating, Decorating

Frosted Trees

Along with Heather and friend Christa, I made frosted branches to decorate the tables for an upcoming ladies event at church.
We started with looong branches pruned from my dormant crape myrtle tree. We snipped off the brittle seed pods on the ends, and any tiny twigs near the bottom of each branch.
Then we swiped on plain old Elmer’s white glue with a snippet of sponge (an old one from the kitchen). We did sections at a time since doing the whole branch at once would take too long. The glue at one end would dry before we got to the other end.Next we rolled/sprinkled/smothered the glued area in a tray of Epsom salts. Repeat and repeat and repeat until the branch is covered almost to the bottom. To dry, we stood each completed branch in a vase filled with rocks. Soon my dining room was filled with sparkling trees!

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Filed under Crafting, Decorating


Just after Christmas we bought a new Vitamix blender.

I first saw the Vitamix while I was in high school many decades ago. We watched a demo at the county fair, and I was very impressed. What I remember most was that he threw in whole eggs, shell included. The Vitamix ground it up so finely that when he passed around samples of the smoothies, we couldn’t detect even the tiniest bit of egg shell in there.

Ever since then, I have wanted my own machine, but the price always made it out of reach for us. I have been saving extra grocery money for a long time now, and when we saw them at Costco (the Costco discount makes it more affordable) just before Christmas, we knew the time had come.

I’ve been playing around with it for a week now and I love it!

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Filed under Cooking

Starry, Starry Walls

I found a couple of tin stars at a garage sale in the fall, 50c each. After a spritz of ORB paint they looked soo much better. Then Greta found smaller tin stars at Dollar Tree, but they had very ugly snowmen painted on them. Fortunately, the paint surface was flat so they got a dose of ORB too.

Now they grace the wall above the kitchen table.

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Filed under Crafting

January List

On my projects list for this cold and dreary month:

1. Cut up 25 thrifted garments into pennant shapes. Make three long strings of pennants to hang across the windows or above the porch: patriotic colors, Easter egg colors, and spring green and yellow.

2. Plan our office arrangement and buy and install two desktops.
3. Try a cook-for-the-freezer day (I never have done one).

4. Finish my three spray painting projects waiting for me in the garage.
5. Clean up the garage.

6. Gather a bunch of bare branches and coat them heavily with Epsom salts. Stand in a tall vase for winter decor.

7. Clean out my church binders and organize all three into one (new) one. Label (new) dividers, and make a pretty cover and spine. While I’m at it, make pretty covers and spines for my coupon binder and budget book too.
8. Use my Groupon for a portrait session for David.
9. Visit the Re-Store up the highway – first time ever!

10. Walk an hour a day, six days a week (off on Sundays).

11. Try out all the processes in my new Vitamix blender: juicing, blending, dry chopping, wet chopping, grinding, frozen mixtures, and hot mixtures.


Filed under Homekeeping