Sunday, September 11, 2011

9/11-Where were you?

We took this picture about a week after my son was born, well after 9/11 as you can see.  However, it is very different than I remember it.  I was born in NJ, but raised in GA from 3rd grade through college.  I moved back to Jersey in 1988, but didn't live there long.  However, while there I went into the city several times, many to just walk around and take in the culture.  I loved visiting NY and always will.

In 1996, I moved to Boston and then in '97 to Chesapeake, VA.  While I lived in Chesapeake, I met my husband and in '99 we were transferred to New Orleans.  In November of '99, I had my second child, my first with my husband.  I had this wonderful job, working as a real estate assistant for an amazing agent in New Orleans, Charlotte Joint-Rivet.  She let me bring my child to work with me and stay in a play pen next to my desk. 

The morning of September 11, 2001, I was at work at my desk with my oldest in school and my youngest now at child care.  Charlotte was out of town and I wasn't feeling well.  I headed home for the day.  I was crossing out of the area where Charlotte lived onto 10 when I received a call from my child care center telling me that the base we lived on was going to be closing and that I needed to come pick up my child.  I hadn't even heard anything about the attack to the first tower.  I was home and in my living room shortly after the second attack, as I was catching replay's on the TV.

I called my mother to check on all of my family.  I was concerned about my cousin, whom I thought worked in the towers for Paine Webber. Thankfully, I was incorrect.  She worked across the Hudson from it.  I did not know anyone personally who was lost in this devastation, but I know people who do.  My heart ached for them!

Seeing this all again on TV today, makes me ache all over again.  See, a lot of my life has changed since this day.  I lost my best friend and boss's friendship, I have lost my mother, my father-in-law, my sister-in-law, my "brother-in-law", my connection with my brothers, my connection with my Uncle and his children, my Grandmother, I broke both of my ankles, had gallbladder surgery, lost my home to foreclosure, declared bankruptcy,  my brother has had cancer, his wife (my sister-in-law) has cancer, my other sister-in-law has cancer, I have lived through Hurricane Irene and now the flood of my town.  I mention all this to say, I am still alive and remembering that God will never give us more than we can handle even when it feels like we can't handle anymore.

I know those families felt like they couldn't take anymore, but there is a reason for everything, even when we can't see the reason.  I am not here to say that I know the reason for this devastation, as I'm sure the reason is different for each of us.  For me, I am still trying to find the reason that God has put problem after problem in front of me.  But, I'm not giving up on my future.  I know God has a reason that I'm here and someday I will find it.  Right now, I know I am here to be a mom and wife to my children and husband. 

I hope this didn't ramble too much.  Where were you on 9/11?  What has life since then taught you?

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Vanity Project

OK, so it has been a while since I posted last. It is so hard to fit projects into work, family, t-ball, and life. You know?

Well, some time ago, I bought a beautiful desk off Craigslist thinking it would make the perfect vanity for my bedroom. However, I got it home only to realize it was way too wide from front to back. I would never be able to fit it in between it and the bed.

Please don't pay attention to my living room. Bringing this into the house caused many a thing to be strewn about.

How many of you watch those DIY shows where they just decide to cut furniture in half and make something out of it? Well, I do and I did! I cut this thing right down the middle and am going to mount to my wall in my bedroom with a french cleat.

I then painted it (definitely not a pro with that yet) and mounted the top of my cleat. Went to find out how high I need to put the bottom cleat only to find out it was too long too! Well, that is a project for another day. Here is my (temporarily) finished vanity. Yes, you see another project underneath it. I hate the color of that stool, but love the lines. So, that will be changed too!

Thank you for visiting!

I'm linking up...

Todays Creative Blog

Savvy Southern Style

Lovely Crafty Home

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Guest Post on Southern Fried Gal's Blog

I have never been so excited to make a post as I am today. When Southern Fried Gal put out that she was looking for guest posters, I so wanted to post for her blog. However, I never thought I would be chosen. AND here I am! WooHoo!!

For those of you that know my blog, I have been planning a series on vintage windows and the many things that you can make with one. So, here is my first window that I have to add to my series that I actually created.

I already owned the mail/key thing and had it hanging where this family information board now hangs with it attached. I needed a central location for my family to find out where each other is, what is going on that night, or to find out if I can drive them anywhere. This will fill all those needs.

I started out with windows I obtained for free from a Craigslist posting. Just a hint all: When the post states to make offer, be honest. This posting stated he had over 40 windows that he wanted to get rid of and to make an offer. I was honest and responded that they require a lot of work to refurbish and that I would be happy to take them off his hands, but that I wouldn't be willing to pay for them. I drove an hour to get them, but that was a very small price to pay for over 40 of these windows.

Well, ok, now onto how I did this.

Step 1 - Clean the windows as best as you can with cleaner and paper towels.

Step 2 - Either clean the glass, if using, or remove, if not.

Step 3 - Sand the window as much as you can. I recommend wearing a dust mask for this as these windows most likely have lead base paint on them and you don't need to be inhaling this. I used a palm sander for all my larger, flat areas and my Dremel with a sander attachment for around the actual window panes.

Step 4 - Paint - I chose to use spray paint on this window and it required about 3 coats. Still debating on if that was the best type of paint to use or not. Will keep you posted!

Now, at this point, you have to decide what you want to do with the window. I knew I wanted this window for this family message board. So, to accomplish that, these are the directions:

Wipe Board

I cleaned two of the original glass panes and put back in with a light scrap paper behind so that writing will show up clearly. Don't mind my messy work space. This is a makeshift spot that I was using to paint another project earlier today. Sorry

Cork Board

I thought it would be easier to have a piece of cork that went into two of the window panes rather than two separate pieces of cork in each pane. So, I removed the back of one of the cross sections.

I then attached a piece of chip board to the cork using Mod Podge. There has to be an easier way as I found this very messy. But, it worked!

Magnet Board

Almost daily, I check out a website (yes, other than Southern Fried Gal's) by a fellow blogger called Greenbean's Crafterole. Recently, she had a post about some small boards that she makes out of galvanized flashing. Well, I went out and bought a roll at my local Home Depot and it only cost me $8.48 for a 10" x 10' roll. So, I cut out some from that roll and covered with some scrap paper. I used fleur de lis as the hanger that I attached also had a fleur de lis on it (plus, it is one of my favorite things).

Lastly, I attached my key holder to the bottom (really the side, as I turned it to make it fit best) of the window. I keep my Bed Bath & Beyond Coupons as well as take out menus there. Plus, I have always found that it is so much easier to find my keys if I have a designated place to put them. It took me a while to get used to hanging them up, but wow, I would be lost without it now.

I forgot to mention that I used glazing points to hold all items into the individual window panes.

So, there you have it! That is all it took to create this great family message board:

I hope you enjoy it as much as I do and I would love to have you visit me at The Crafter's Window. Thank you so much Southern Fried Gal for having me over for the day.


A Little Knick Knack

Lovely Crafty Home

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Easter

Not much to say, except, I wish you all a very happy Easter. I hope you enjoy this blessed time with your family and friends. Here I am in Hampton, VA with my brothers and their families.

We did have a crafty night last night when we decided to try Martha Stewart's tie dyed eggs. Here are my pics of the process. It was so easy and so mess free! We will definitely be doing this again next year!

Please remember the sacrifice that Christ gave for each of us! God Bless!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Vintage Window Series

OK, I can't help it. I know I just posted one item, but I have been dying to share with you my new series. I have been trying to wait for Sarah at Modern Country Style to finish her "Define Your Blog" series.

OK, here it is...I plan on putting on a series of how many things can we do with vintage windows. I recently acquired 40 vintage (100 yr old) windows for free! So, now my plans are to see how many different things we can come up with to make out of those windows.

I have to say, ShantyGirl has an amazing project that she shared on French Country Cottage's linky party today!

I love this idea! I can't wait to try it. You all need to check her site out, let her know I sent ya!


Yes, I said it...FREE!!!

A while ago, while my husband was still active duty, the Post Office advertised to Military wives that we could get shipping boxes delivered to our homes for free. I ordered a lot, as my goal was to ship to my husband every week while he was out to sea for 6 months. Well, I went through those boxes.

Recently, I saw a post that someone did (I'm so sorry, I can't remember who), where they used the Priority Mail boxes for paper boxes. I thought this was just what I needed. So, guess what....the Post Office still sends out Priority Mail and Express Mail shipping boxes to ANYONE that orders them for free! I went out to the website and ordered shipping supplies. They have Priority Mail boxes that are 14.375x2.875x15.875, so I ordered a case of them.

They came today! I was so excited when I came home from work today to find a whole box of FREE Priority Mail shipping boxes. My husband almost died of shock to find out they were all free. I think you get something like 25 in a case. I found through trial and error that you can get two paper/magazine holders per box.

So, after I cut them apart, I put them together with the adhesive strip that is already on the boxes from the USPS. Then I just covered the outside of the boxes. Now, don't judge me here!!! I used to sell Leaving Prints scrapbook supplies. I used to buy all the big paper packs that they sold so that I would have samples for customers to look at, etc. There were ALOT of papers in there that I hated or just haven't been able to use. I thought this was a perfect opportunity to use those papers without worrying that I'm using up my "good" paper. So, it might not look pretty, but it is better than a red, white and blue print USPS box.

I just threw in some of the paper that I had around to show you how it would work. I thought I could punch a hole in the spine and add tags to organize the different types of paper. I just haven't gotten that far yet. So, not so shabby for being free, right? What do you think?

Monday, April 11, 2011

Define Your Blog Week

Well, here it is: Define Your Blog Week! What is that you ask? I really wasn't sure. I joined into this project because a new blog friend was doing it on her blog and I thought it sounded like it could help me build my blog and maybe even guide me to understand what I really want from this blog. So, who is this amazing friend who thought of this unique idea? Why it is Sarah at Modern Country Style of course!

So, Sarah states that she is going to be posting on Inspiration, Renovation, and Creation and then having her linky party on the 14th. So, if it is good enough for Sarah, it is good enough for me! Today Ms. Sarah started with shall we.....

Inspiration for my projects is usually based on a need or a found item that I just couldn't resist. Recently, I was reading a post by a blogger that I found interesting. She mentioned that she had gone junking with with a fellow blogger and her friend would only pick up items that she could place in her home or knew what project she would do with the item. However, I am so the opposite! If I find a bargain, I will usually try everything I can to get that item and then figure out what to do with it later. Probably why my studio likes like a project from the show "Hoarders".

Like my friend Sarah, once I find a project or item to work on, I search the internet for like items and/or ways to proceed. A perfect example of this was a post I did a while ago on my studio and reorganizing it. Before I ever started my project of my office, I went out to the web and pulled down tons of photos of studios that inspired me for either color, organization, etc.


Color seems to inspire me the most. I love the feel and memories that color inspires. There are certain colors that I feel I am most creative around and I try to pull pictures that show colors.


The coolness of these colors makes me feel filled with joy and ready to work.


Style of items gives me inspiration. I love vintage items. I never used to, but I am finding that as I get older and trying to get more in touch with myself, I am a vintage person!


Lastly, I try to find inspiration by looking at blog postings that show what I need. Ultimately, in this project I need organization ideas.

So, that's how my inspiration works, usually. What inspires you with your projects? Don't forget to check out Ms. Sarah's "Define Your Blog"!

Friday, April 8, 2011

How To Improve Your Blog...

Let me ask you a question....

When you get someone to finally come to read your blog and you post something that you found on another blog (i.e., a link) do you want that person to leave your blog permanently or temporarily? Personally, I would only want them to leave temporarily and then come back to read the rest of what I was writing.

I am posting this because I have found that most of us put links in that automatically take the reader to the new site on the same window or tab that our blog is in. So, I thought I would share with you a little trick to make sure that when the reader clicks on the link you want them to visit, it opens in a new window.

So, let's say that we want our readers to see what Veronica at "Life In The Thrify Lane" has posted on her blog today. The HTML code that is needed to open in a new window is: target="_blank" Therefore, your link should look like this: <a href=" target="_blank" ></a> within your "Edit HTML" tab (for Blogger at least).

I hope that helps. Have fun blogging!!!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Cinco de Mayo Baby Shower

OK, I know it isn't the norm to have a Cinco de Mayo baby shower, but when your baby is due on Cinco de Mayo, you are bound to have a partying kid! Seriously, I have a co-worker that is due on 5 May 2011 and several of us are putting together her shower and went with the Cinco de Mayo theme. So, besides all the normal Mexican decorations I added a paper sour cream container with a cute little rattle, and the cutest ever tricycle diaper cake.

I found directions to create these here: Dawns Stamping Thoughts

Now, I have to be honest, I got the great idea to create this type of diaper cake rather than the normal from Southern Fried Gal who has the greatest tutorial on her blog. When you are there, you need to look at her ENTIRE blog as she has some amazing stuff on there. Wait 'til you see the recipe for her Carrot Cake Cheesecake. YUM!!!!

Anyway, this is my creation using her tutorial. If I can do it, anyone can!

I hope you all enjoy! Thanks for looking!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Conowingo Dam

Today, I went on a Craigslist excursion. I found a gentleman on Craigslist who was willing to GIVE me something like 20 antique windows that he took out of a building on his property. It actually ended up being closer to 30 windows. Boy do I have my work cut out for me on these. I plan on redoing some for here in my house, but then to do some more to sell finished. You will notice in the pic that there are pallets behind the windows...those are for yet, another project.

Anyway (I digress), it was on this 1 hr trip up to PA, that I stumbled across this awesome beauty. Of course, I had to take my family there after I got home. I just couldn't get over the beauty of this dam. When I got home and before I took my family up there, I looked up some info on it. Conowingo Dam is one of the largest Hydroelectric dams in the US. The original town of Conowingo is located directly under the dam. They relocated the town to build the dam. Can you imagine being told that "I'm sorry, you have to relocate so we don't build on top of your house"? LOL

Apparently, dams are notorious for Bald Eagles. At least this one is.

We had a great fee day!