Monday, September 8, 2014

Sad Times for our Family

It has been a long time since my last blog post. Many of you know my sister in law has been fighting cancer. A couple weeks ago she lost her fight. It has been a huge shock to all of us..she always had such a good attitude and would say, "I've got this" when asked about her cancer. We didn't think we would lose her.
 She was 33 and had 3 children. I call her my sister in law but my husband's brother and her were only engaged..and the wedding was planned for this August. My last text messages from her were showing me her wedding dress and saying how excited she was for the wedding. She was so happy.

The picture below of Kirsten and her daughter was taken the weekend before she died.

She looked so happy and healthy. Shortly after this photo was taken she picked up an infection. Her body wasn't able to fight the infection and she died within hours. Her youngest, Jaxon, was staying with me at the time.

The kids are taking it as well as can be expected. I don't think the youngest, Jaxon, really understands what is going on. He just knows everyone is crying and he doesn't know where Mommy is.

My daughter Chantel turned 16 on the 1st of September. Though it was something to celebrate we so wished Kirsten would have been there. Who knows...maybe she was?

So we are all trying to get back to normal life. My projects are piling up all over the house and I so need to get painting. I know that Kirsten would not want me to sit and grieve and worry about the kids and not get things done so I need to get it together and get back to life.

That is what Kirsten would want for all of us.

Kirsten will always live in our hearts.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Porch Swing Cover and Cucumbers

Sewing is not my favorite thing. I am such a perfectionist and I tend to tense up when I am sewing. I wish I could learn to loosen up a bit. One thing I love about sewing though is how my projects turn out.

My Mother mentioned about a month ago she needed some kind of cover for her porch swing and she wasn't kidding.

Her cute swing was not looking very stylish.

I knew her birthday was coming and so I told her let me take care of this for your birthday! As some of you can probably relate it is so hard to know what to get your parents for their birthday. Younger people have so many things they need, but the older you get the more you have everything you need! But Mom definitely needed a swing cover.

So the last week or so I went to work on it. I was lucky to find the yellow fabric with strawberries and flowers on it at Goodwill. It was perfect for Mom! I went to JoAnn's and got a coordinating gingham because I thought a bit of a country look would be what my Mom would like. My Mom is always finding me things at garage sales and so I already had the stuffing and the lace that she had previously given me.
 I spent about 10 hours working on it (complaining to myself or anybody who would listen that I hate to hand ruffle and my ruffler attachment is broken). I was worried it wouldn't fit right and hoping that I had measured right...and then I took it to Mom's today and all that work was worth it.

It turned out just like I had envisioned and my Mom loved it. My Dad loved it too. So it makes all the effort very worth it.

So now my Mom has a pretty place to sit on her porch and have an afternoon beverage while she enjoys her pretty flowers.

Now I want a porch swing! lol

On my last post I mentioned a cucumber salad I have been enjoying and several people have asked for the recipe--so here it is...the original recipe calls for a little more sour cream but this is how I make it.

I take 3 cucumbers and peel and slice them up. In a bowl I put 1.5 teaspoons salt (the recipe calls for 3 but I don't like that much salt) and 1/4 cup vinegar. Let the cucumbers soak in the salt and vinegar for 30 minutes and then drain.

Mix together 1 cup sour cream, 4 Tablespoons sniped chives and 3/4 teaspoon dill. Pour this mixture over the cucumbers and chill for at least 30 minutes.

It is really quite yummy. My daughter Janae really likes it and is always asking me to make here you go you can make it! :)

I have been trying to eat more healthy. It is so much easier in the summer when so many good things are being brought in everyday from the garden. The more I read about cucumbers the more I have decided I am going to make sure I eat them everyday! I now keep a bowl of cut up cucumbers in the refrigerator in water and whenever I feel like a snack I grab some cucumbers. So much better than grabbing some Cheeto's--and when they are already cut up it just makes making a good food choice easier.

So I will end this post with some information about cucumbers found on the internet. 

Thanks for visiting and don't forget to eat cucumbers!

Here is a short list of the impressive health benefits that a cucumber carries:
  • Keeps you hydrated. If you are too busy to drink enough water, munch on the cool cucumber, which is 96 percent water. It will cheerfully compensate!
  • Fights heat, both inside and out. Eat cucumber, and your body gets relief from heartburn. Apply cucumber on your skin, and you get relief from sunburn.
  • Flushes out toxins. All that water in cucumber acts as a virtual broom, sweeping waste products out of your system. With regular use, cucumber is known to dissolve kidney stones.
  • Lavishes you with vitamins. A B and C, which boost immunity, give you energy, and keep you radiant. Give it more power by juicing cucumber with carrot and spinach.
  • Supplies skin-friendly minerals: magnesium, potassium, silicon. That’s why cucumber-based treatments abound in spas.
  • Aids in weight loss. Enjoy cucumbers in your salads and soups. My favorite snack? Crunchy cucumber sticks with creamy low-fat yogurt dip.
  • Revives the eyes. Placing chilled slices of cucumber on the eyes is a clich├ęd beauty visual, but it really helps reduce under-eye bags and puffiness.
  • Cuts cancer. Cut down your risk of several cancers by including cucumber in your diet. Several studies show its cancer-fighting potential.
  • Stabilizes blood pressure. Patients of blood pressure, both high and low, often find that eating cucumber brings relief.
  • Refreshes the mouth. Cucumber juice refreshes and heals diseased gums, leaving your mouth smelling good.
  • Helps digestion. Chewing cucumber gives the jaws a good workout, and the fiber in it is great for digestion.
  • Smooths hair and nails. Silica, the wonder mineral in cucumber makes your hair and nails stronger and shinier.
  • Soothes muscle and joint pain. All those vitamins and minerals in cucumber make it a powerful enemy of muscle and joint pain.
  • Keeps kidneys in shape. Cucumber lowers uric acid levels in your system, keeping the kidneys happy.
  • Good for diabetics. Patients of diabetes can enjoy cucumber while also reaping its health benefits: cucumber contains a hormone needed by the cells of the pancreas for producing insulin.
  • Reduces cholesterol. A compound called sterols in cucumber helps reduce bad cholesterol.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014


I love summer. Most of all I love the kids being out of school, the ability to spend a lot of time outdoors, the flowers, the smells...I really love summer. This summer is testing me though. It has been so hot! This is just not normal for Oregon, and I know I have complained about this already, but this is just nuts.

The sun does look pretty shining through my Ball jars--but I wish Mother Nature would just turn down the heat a bit.

At 11pm at night for it to still be this hot in the house is just crazy!

We have fans going everywhere and are drinking gallons of ice water--but this kind of heat is just not fun.

The kids put together their money and bought a pool which I decided they could get because I gave up trying to keep the back yard grass alive anyway.

It was a good purchase. Everybody has been enjoying it--even Gage who hates the sun.

When Jaxon is visiting he doesn't want to get out!

Of course, Janae's dogs want in on the action.

(photo by Janae)

Fez likes to look out the window and see what is going on in the pool.

I have been trying to keep the flowers watered...and they are hanging in there.

I put ice cubes in my vases to keep my cut flowers from wilting.

 I drink an iced mocha to keep me from wilting!

I have been enjoying the cucumbers from our garden and have made several delicious cucumber salads.

So refreshing on hot summer days!

I sold my little telephone table to a lady who is buying it for her Mother's 60th birthday.

That made my heart happy :)  It reminded me of something that Janae would do for me!

We have been having a fun summer...and I look forward to another few weeks before the kids have to go back to school.

How is your summer going? If anyone has any cool breezes to send our way...please do!

Thanks for visiting!

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Stenciling a Damask Wall

It has been a few years ago now that I did my first stenciled wall. I had won thru another blogger a gift certificate to Cutting Edge. I was just delighted with the stencil and loved how it turned out!

You can find the post for this wall here

So when Chantel decided to re-paint her room she thought it might be a good idea for me to stencil a wall for her.

She painted her room in Regal purple. She paid for the paint herself and painted it all herself too. She is a very independent 15 year old. I really like it--looks very young adult to me.
The color looks very much like the hair color she recently had.

She knows how much work it is to stencil a wall...and that I am a night owl. So she decided she should go camping with a friend while I stenciled her wall.

So while she went off to have fun I was stenciling.

It is a long process since I like to let the stencil dry between each stencil as to not make a mess. I am a perfectionist and you have to embrace imperfection with stenciling. If you ever want to finish anyway! :)

 I used acrylic craft paint in white and I thought it looks so beautiful on the purple! Very dramatic.

Sophia was my assistant. I was so worried she would get cat paw prints in Chantel's room. My nickname for Chantel is "Miss Picky Pants" so I knew Sophia better not make any messes!

It is a slow process but it is kind of fun when you see how pretty it is going to look.

 I used a foam roller for smooth surfaces when I stencil.

 To keep things level I use a level that hangs on the stencil--love it!

My stenciling assistant was quite the step stool hog.

Then she got darn right lazy.

The hardest part of stenciling is doing the edges or any place where you have to do a partial stencil. Going around the window was not a load of fun. I do think all the work is worth it though because I love the look.

The first time Chantel saw her room it looked like this...

Janae helped her and they painted it to be more to her liking...

She made her room her just perfect for a 12 year old girl.

Now that she is almost 16, Chantel has grown up so much in this bedroom. Her bedroom has grown up too. I am so happy she has made it what she likes.

Because that is what makes a house a home!

Thanks for visiting!

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Cute Little Telephone Table

I love to paint. I am so hoping I can make a small business doing what I love. I just want to make enough money to help put food on the table for our 3 hungry teenagers and help out with the bills a bit. I am so pleased with my latest remake--I think it is so cute!

I think in the time this was made it would have been called a telephone table. Now that we all have our cell phones in our pocket a telephone table is not so much of a necessitiy. I think this would be great as a small entry table or side table. I am really happy with how it has turned out! I hope it sells.

I liked it from the moment I found it at Goodwill.

I like it even better now!

I added a glass knob and a applique which really added a lot I think.

I thought it was fun that it was made in Oregon.

Thought I would share a photo of my daughters before they left for a day of shopping today.

I stayed home and started working on my next project...

This piece is more masculine than I usually do so I hope it turns out!

Thanks for visiting!