He gives beauty for ashes, strength for fear, gladness for mourning, peace for despair. ~Isaiah 61:3

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Artisan Bread


Around here, we love bread. I usually make a batch of four loaves of whole grain sandwich bread every two weeks. Now I haven't made bread since before Christmas--not because we've gotten over our love of bread, but because my husband has been making this.




It's a cross to bear, I tell you! 





You can find a recipe similar to what my husband has been making here. He usually adds whole wheat flour and other yummy things that up the nutrition a bit--like flax seed meal, barley flour, seven-grain cereal or oats. Try it! You won't be disappointed!


 

Monday, January 30, 2012

Inspiration Files: Modern Farmhouse, Part 2

Let's continue our tour of my fantasy farmhouse! I wasted so much time had so much fun picking the perfect style for my imaginary house's garage, laundry, mud room, kitchen, craft room/classroom, entry and living room. Here's the link to see what I dreamed up last week. Now I'm back with fun ideas for bedrooms and bathrooms.






This is the house I found with the modern farmhouse look I love. Here is the floor plan.




Last week's tour left off at the living room. Let's take a peek at the powder room just down the hall! Do I see a barn door?






Here's what the inside looks like. Ignore the tub; this is just a powder room.





If we continue around the corner we come to the master bedroom: 





Of course every dream home has to have an organized walk-in closet!



Source: houzz.com via Dawn on Pinterest



Next to that fabulous closet is the master bathroom.










As much as I'd like to poke around in the master suite forever, let's head upstairs! 






Here's the layout of the second floor as the builder has it planned:




But since this is a complete fantasy, let's just say that the bedroom on the right bottom corner and the bathroom in the middle of the right side switch places, making one biiiiig bedroom for my three boys! We can do things like that in our imaginations! Here are some ideas:



Source: ohdeedoh.com via Ellie on Pinterest




Source: plotos.com via Ellie on Pinterest







Oh man! Three boys could have a blast with those built-in bunks. I love them!


Here's the upstairs bathroom. Completely kid-friendly and fun, but with a farmhouse feel.






Let's go back across the top of the stairs (where we can look down into the entry on one side and the living room on the other--so cool!) and see this last bedroom. Now folks, I have three boys whom I absolutely adore and wouldn't trade for all the girls in the world, but for a minute will you indulge me and let me include a fun, girly space? We can call it the guest room or Grandma's Suite too, if that makes me seem less pathetic you feel better.










We'll end our tour with a glimpse of the little nook under the window. How sweet would it be to have a little reading/dreaming/thinking seat under that window! 






Hope you enjoyed this just-for-run tour of my imaginary dream home! 

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Barns of Benton County: Our Barn

I love that our property has a barn. We don't know very much about it, but it is still cool. We think it used to house sheep. I wish we knew when it was built and what it has seen. The previous owners used it to store their old junk. We've found several fun things--like enamel bowls, a toy train, an old table that I'm not sure can be salvaged... And piles of trash. 






Unfortunately, the barn isn't used much now--our tractor is out there and I think the mower is wintering there. The barn falls apart a little more every year. Its foundation is cracked and bowing on one side, and it's just not worth the money to fix. I hope it's still sound enough for my boys to enjoy climbing in the rafters and building forts and things that boys do when they're old enough. Here's to old barns! 






Saturday, January 28, 2012

Dear Picnik

I will miss you.

Blog header collage by Picnik
I'm still mad at you for announcing that you're going to close. It's not fair that you are so easy to use that I've come to rely on you for editing my blog pictures as well as pictures of my kids. 

After Picnik
Before Picnik
I thought we had something together! You help me look like I can take decent pictures and I love that you let me watermark things.

After Picnik
Before Picnik

I've said nothing but good about you and recommended you to my readers and friends. And now this?? You end it just like that? 

Collage and words by Picnik

Sure, say you're moving on to better things and want to focus your insane amounts of talent on your passions. Well, where does that leave me?! Would it really be that big of a deal to stay open?

Edited in Picnik

I wish you had taken a second to think of me and not been so selfish.

Regretfully,


Friday, January 27, 2012

365 Calendar Journal

The last few days of January isn't too late to start a new tradition, right? You know those perpetual calendars you've seen on Pinterest? The ones that you use 365 3x5 cards and jot a note about what you did each day and add to it every year and end up with a run-on sentence really cool memory journal thing in a few years?


Yeah that.


Now imagine an ugly recipe box for $2 that jumped out at me at Goodwill. Raw wood, country style painted checks and RECIPES written on the top. It might be easier to imagine if I had a picture, but I can't find it. 


Here's what it looks like now:



I sanded some and stained it 'special walnut' and mod podged scrapbook paper to the top and sides. 



I made little dividers out of more scrap book paper and stamped the months on top. Let me tell you, it's so wonderful to have easy access to my craft supplies in my new craft closet! Love it!


I assembled all of the pretty dividers in my box.


I have some catching up to do, but I figured if some days stay blank, that's ok. 


I used my new Cricut to cut out some letters for the top, then gave it a heavy coat of mod podge to seal it all in. 


For now this little sweetheart of a box sits on my kitchen counter, but real estate is at a premium in my kitchen and it might need to move to my bedside table or even in my craft closet. We'll see. 


Ugly recipe box at Goodwill: $2
Time spent on the makeover: 1 afternoon
A place to jot down family memories: PRICELESS.


Have you created something lately?




Weekend Bloggy Reading

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

My Craft Closet

It's the human condition to always want more and better than what we have. So while I dream of having a whole craft room someday, for now I have a craft closet!




We have two closets in our hall. One is my linen closet (as seen here). The other became a landing zone for games, pet supplies, a pile of stuff for Goodwill and coats that no one wears. I have yet to deal with several of those categories, but as long as no one comes to visit, they aren't hurting anybody while they live undisturbed on the guest bed!


I started by clearing out this closet when my husband refinished our hardwood floors in September. We decided to switch rooms with our boys, so I painted and painted and painted! You can see how our boys' room now looks like HERE. I did a ton of projects in our room too but have one little thing left... But you can go see our closet and our faux roman shades and our barn door headboard! After the holidays I started working on the hall. First was the linen closet, now my craft closet. Yes, I've been busy! 


I found this do-dad at Goodwill for $6. I think it's a headboard for a double bed. I painted it blue, then painted the bookshelf in the back of this picture white, and crammed 'em both in the closet.




I chose not to have built-in shelves for flexibility. As in, when I someday get my someday craft room downstairs in our unfinished basement someday, I'll want to move these things. Then we might just want to use it for a coat closet again, so it was better to not build in shelves. 


For now I can pull up a chair if I want to or get supplies out and go work at the kitchen table. I'm thrilled my scrapbooking and card-making supplies are organized enough to find what I'm looking for!


I chose to leave this shelf blank in case I want to work here, or leave a work-in-progress project here until I can get back to it.  


I sorted small items like chipboard letters, embellishments and paperclips in these IKEA spice containers. They are magnetic, so I hot-glued canning jar rings to the sides of the bookshelf. They make a great, sturdy place for the containers to hang.


I prettied-up two more clipboards (like the ones I mentioned here) for loose items, inspiration pictures or whatever!


On the left is my new Christmas present--a Cricut! I haven't been able yo use it yet, but I'm so excited! I don't have a power source in the closet, so I'll either take the Cricut to another room or use an extension cord.




Behind the Cricut, I hung the lid to a a cage-like thing that I found in the barn. Don't worry, it cleaned up well and is a fun way to display pictures or cards with tiny clothespins. And if you hadn't noticed, I had fun putting pictures of my husband and me around my little space!



The lower shelves are for storage. I used a basket for small things--like the cord to the Cricut, packs of cards and random things. Beside the basket are scrapbook papers, books of cardstock and the like. I also used a red magazine holder to coral stickers and papers that have been cut. On the bottom two shelves are my completed albums (so few!!!) and some black and white photo storage boxes from Michaels. 


I had a gift card for Michaels and these were on sale! I came home with 10, thinking that was so many! They soon filled up--chipboard supplies, card-making materials, even photos!


On top of the bookshelf and below the closet shelf are the rest of the black and white boxes. There is also a small space on the very top to leave an album open if I'm working on a page layout, or for stashing my current favorite magazines.


You can see here how I made the top shelves of the dresser into two very short shelves for more scrapbook supplies--small cutters, large cutters, a cutting mat, and a letter press.


Here you can see a little more clearly how I put the closet together. The row of shoeboxes is on the top of the bookcase, the next shelf up is the shelf that came with the closet. The blue used-to-be-headboard rest on top of the closet shelf. Clear as mud?



I used the smaller shelves up here for jars of supplies. I think three or four of them are for ribbons, one is for paint chips, another for pens and pencils, paint brushes go in another... 


The small black bags hold glue and mod podge as well as my hot glue gun. See the hot glue sticks in the one jar? I'm planning to find some magazine bins to put on the tip top of the closet, above the blue shelf, for back issues of my three favorite magazines.


So there you go! The tour of my craft closet is complete! Tell me, would you slap the doors back up on this closet to hide this beautiful mess? Striped drop-cloth curtains? 


What about you? How do you have your craft supplies organized? Do you have a room? A closet? A box in a cupboard? Strewn all over the place? 




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