Friday, 20 September 2013

Fall Wreath

It rained the other day, I mean thunder and wind and pouring rain storm.  Up until then it had been hot and dry and I was not at all in the mood for fall.  However, one cool, grey day was all it took for me to get in the fall decorating spirit.  I had pinned a wreath I wanted to make a long time ago so I was excited to finally get to it.  Here is the link so you know that I am truly not that creative.  I always need an inspiration, or starting point for anything crafty to come out of me.  However, I did put my own twist on it and am so thrilled with it.  It is fall without being orange and leafy.  It is serene and lovely if I do say so myself.

I am not going to write a tutorial, as I was so in the zone just making it that I didn't take pictures of the process.  But since I figured it out from a picture, I'm sure anyone could do the same.  I started by looking up how to make burlap flowers.  I followed a few guidelines from the sites below, however mine mostly became their own as I played.  There was a bit of sewing involved but mostly a lot of hot glue.  It only took an hour and a half to make the flowers.

I like the detail of having our family initial in the wreath - makes it more personal I think.  I had seen twine wrapped around a letter before so after thinking about it, I found a foamy letter in my kids toys and started wrapping.  It took a while but I could sit and do it while the kids played.

The majority of supplies were from Michaels, including the purple flowers in the scrap-booking section and the pearls in the beading section.  I used a roll of burlap that was on sale for $4.99 and I still have lots left.  I'd say this was easily under $20 and about 4 hours of work.

I am so excited about this, it has consumed my mind for a couple of days but now that it's finished I can rest and enjoy.

I also added a few fall decorations inside.  These were mostly given to my by my mother-in-law, found at the dollar store or using what I had at home.

I must admit, I have burlap fever and have a few more ideas of things to cover with burlap, but we'll see what I get around to (and if I have a place to put anything).  I like decorating for the seasons as long as it doesn't become clutter.  

I also really want to find some black urns and white pumpkins for my door step.  Again, we'll see if this happens within a reasonable budget.  

Thanks for stopping by to check out my page.

Here are a few variations that I made for friends - I didn't have all the same supplies so I got to be creative.  A wreath is a great way to bless someone who has been a blessing to you.

With a Bushel and a Peck of Autumn Blessings,

Thursday, 12 September 2013

Be Still and Know

I have been feeling a little unsettled the past couple of weeks.  My teacher husband and kids are back to school.  The calendar is full, but very little of it is for me.  I have a lot to remember and stay on top of, but nothing really exciting going on.  Now I should also clarify that there is nothing wrong in my life at all, so this isn't meant to be a sob story.

I was so excited for this year; on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons I have 3 kids in school and 1 napping - this is a golden schedule.  But I feel a little lost.  I am not pregnant or nursing, so I don't have an excuse to nap anymore, but a whole day at home can be a little blah.  Housework is rather uninspiring and I am not overly motivated.  Maybe it's a transition period and in a bit more time I'll get in the swing of things, but I don't want to leave it at that.  I want to use this as a learning process.  Most of the time I am busy as I tend to take on extra projects and activities throughout the year.  I tend to get anxious and overwhelmed.  I am not anxious or overwhelmed right now.  I think I feel God telling me that it's ok to not be busy.  That I am not useless when my to do list isn't full.  There is a season for everything, and I'm sure this slow season won't last.  In fact if I was smart I would be right on top of my house projects and odd jobs that I won't have time for later.  But, I don't think that's the point.  I need to learn to slow down, to "Be still and know.."

I still have 2 or 3 little ones at home most days.  I just think that they are generally good at playing on their own and my cleaning standards have dropped over the years, so I don't feel like I need to entertain them or be picking up every out of place thing.  I have always struggled to find balance and now I am in a position to enjoy the balance.  I know that I am where I am supposed to be, "my mission field at the kitchen counter" (taken from Grace Laced).  I am not going to rush out and get a job or volunteer for everything that comes my way, cause then I'm back to the anxious, overwhelmed and certainly not balanced.

My kids are young and need me and will continue to need me when they leave and come home from school, to tell someone their successes and failures, to cheer them on and to cry with them.  I want to be that Mom that is home when the kids are.  But I also have the desire to feel useful, and some days when the only thing on my to do list is "do something with a giant zucchini", it's hard to see the significance of that.  But I know that there is only one to whom I am accountable for my time, and that's not my husband (he, by the way, never demands on me or asks for an account of my time).  God is my boss and if my heart is right with Him, then I will see the importance of my task.

Now there is a basket of laundry to fold, kids to be picked up from school and dinner to start - there is still busy, but in my perspective it's a manageable busy.  If I really think about it, there are a number of ways I can fill my time to justify what I do with my day, but I think the key here is to be still, to rest, to wait and to know...God is in control, he has a plan and I have a purpose.

With a Barrel and a Heap of Balance,


Post Script - It is the day after I wrote this; I am glad I sorted through these thoughts and took the time to write them down as I know I will go through this stage again.  Life has a way of repeating itself in "seasons" or "cycles" and it is good to remember, learn and grow.  I have had a good couple of days, I feel at peace in my mind and heart. I've gone for a walk 2 evenings in a row and listened to a sermon, it was so freeing and energizing.  I got the house cleaned today but didn't get too worked up or crazy about it.  Took some time to pray and read the Bible today.  In going through my Bible I found a devotion my Mother-in-law had printed out for me shortly after we were married and it was so timely (love when God works like that).  I just want to quote a couple of lines which relate to me right now...

"The main end of life is not to do, but to become." F.B. Meyer

"Our days are wasted, or so it appears.  We feel as if we are doing nothing of lasting significance.  But God is doing what matters - we are being refined.  He is placing us into a crucible in which we acquire patience, meekness, humility, compassion, and the other "quiet" virtues our souls naturally lack.  So don't be afraid and don't fret."  David Roper

My Family from

Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Rest in the Bedroom

Our bedroom was the absolutely last room to be touched in our house with a decorative touch.  I didn't mind so much, but had on occasion longed for more of a sanctuary.

I knew that it had to start with a bed spread.  You can't pick a colour pallet until you find a duvet cover to match it to.  I don't know much about decorating but that little piece of advice is important.

Our room was very beige before.  Walls and comforter.  (Sorry no before pics).  I wanted a bed spread with a pop of colour, but something timeless.  I found one at Quilt's Etc.  Still a lot of beige but offering a colour pallet to work with.  They also sold the drapes to add colour to the window wall and we used the same blue for a feature wall.

Duvet Cover: "Flame Tree"

And then my wonderful and "learning-to-be-handy-despite-it-not-coming-naturally" husband took on the project of adding the "faux" wainscoting.  He used trim and painted it and voila - it adds a decorative wall and replaces the need for a head board.

The other inspiration I had was to have some rich wood in the room.  I have often seen pallet art that I love and wanted to imitate, but make my own. We picked up some free crate lids from an add on Kijiji - they were in decent shape but very blonde wood.  I used Minwax Red Mohogany Wood Finish - just one coat was the perfect colour.  Then I coated it with Minwax Polycrylic Clear Satin.

Now the tricky part.  The quote.  I wanted the wood to stand out so I didn't want to cover it with words.  I thought about a bedroom and thought of either Love or Rest.  My husband thought love was to cliche so I was just going to put the word Rest on it.  But he thought about it some more and being the "involved-in-the-decorating" type (which I totally appreciate), found the quote; "Our hearts are restless, Lord, until they Rest in thee." Augustine.  I planned it out using my Creative Memories software (so sad they are closing down).

Fonts used
Champagne & Limousines
I was really hesitant about the actual painting of the words.  I didn't want it to look sloppy.  I got a really stiff and fine angled paint brush.  I debated about how to get the words on to the board, either using a projector or an ink transfer which I'd seen on Pinterest and DID NOT WORK.  I ended up printing out the words in the font and size I wanted them and then rubbing the back of the paper with chalk.  Then using the end of the paint brush traced over all the letters on to the board.  This worked so well and the letters looked crisp.  But then my wobbly hand ruined that.  It was so hard.  It ended up pretty wonky and I wasn't really happy with it.  I went over it a few more times, of course it ended up bolder than I had intended, but in the end only I know the imperfections and it is satisfactory for amateur art.

 I am happy now that it is hung.  To do this my husband mounted a board to the back of the pallet and then put heavy duty hooks on it, to which he hung from screws in the studs (still praying it doesn't come crashing down on us at night).  We still have a plan for a frame wall on the other wall, but for now I am at rest in my room and of course comforted by the reminder to Rest in the Lord.

With a Barrel and a Heap of Rest,


Linking up with Grace Laced - a beautiful post about decluttering your home and mind - keeping your focus on the Lord

Tuesday, 3 September 2013

It's Back to School Time - Lunches for Both Husband and Kids

What I am about to share is not revolutionary, but it is one of those good ideas that I wouldn't have thought of unless someone else shared it with me.  I have not been very consistent at making my husband's lunch over the years.  In many homes I'm sure this is a point of contention; who does it?  But my job is to take care of my home and family and this includes his lunch.  He feels loved when I do this for him and I feel better than if he grabs fast food.  Being that he's a teacher, he has the option of using a microwave, so I have often packed leftovers, however, he is busy and the time to heat something up, especially if it's frozen, is not always the best for him.  I hate making sandwiches.  I am just getting in to having a kid in school every day so that is a whole new job to make a school lunch, but so far my son took a peanut butter sandwich every day of kindergarten (by request).  This is not husband lunch food.  I hate getting out all the condiments and what not, especially in the morning.  I know many people do this at night, but I haven't gotten in that routine yet.  Anyway, it was suggested to me to make a batch of subs to put in the freezer.  You can take them out the night before and then in the morning add any fresh toppings or put it in as is in the morning frozen and by lunch it's perfect.  My husband doesn't mind eating the same thing every day so it's been easy for me.  Here are a few steps and pics.

I go to a local bakery I like and get a dozen small sub buns (or large and cut them in half).  I get 2 types of deli meat (usually ham and turkey are his favourites).

Then assembly - pretty straight forward.  Lay out the buns.

Spread margarine on one side and cheese on the other.

Add your deli meat - I do 6 of each type of meat so he gets one of each per lunch for a little variety.

Wrap in either a sandwich bag (if the sub is the right size) or Saran wrap.

Put them all in a large bag and put them in the freezer.  

It's grab and go in the mornings.  Or like I said, take them out the night before and then open them up and add toppings like lettuce, pickles, cucumbers, etc.  I have put on mayo and mustard before freezing and it has worked fine.  This has saved me time and gaurantees my husband gets a much needed lunch every day.

On another note, with the oldest going in to Gr. 1 - I wanted to offer a little more variety than the old peanut butter every day.  So I came up with a bit of a chart to keep on my fridge and give me ideas.  Here it is.  I am not in to fancy and complicated, but I want to keep things healthy and tasty.

Hopefully this will give someone else a fresh idea and make this "chore" a little easier.

With a Bushel and a Peck of love from the kitchen,


Linking Up with the Better Mom - a great post about nurturing the friendships between your kids