Monday, June 18, 2012

Crafting with the Tiny

While Ben was busy working on his project for Daddy, I worked on one of my own. For months I've been drooling over personalized welcome signs like this one on Etsy.
Prices range from $30-$40 plus shipping for the ones I've seen. Since I'm not working anymore, I can't really justify the unnecessary expense. My lovely hubster would gladly purchase one for me if I asked but I'm trying to be frugal here so I thought I'd try making my own.

I had a wooden plaque that has been sitting in my craft storage for well over a year... maybe even two. I raided my craft supplies and pulled out some scrapbooking paper, the left over mod podge and book pages from the dresser project and some stickers. Here's where I ended up:
Not exactly the look I was going for but I'm going to hang it above our mailbox next to our front door anyway. You can't really see it in the photo (taken in our bathroom while Benjamin happily splashed away in the tub) but there are two paisley swirly gigs at the bottom center placed to look remarkably like a mustache. We Farnworths dig a good 'stache.

Father's Day

Benjamin made a fun little project today inspired by this post on Katie Bower's Blog. He loves to paint but he tends to mix all the colors together, as toddlers do, so we end up with a canvas of solid puke green. He chose his colors and I gave him only one or two at a time. This was his first coat of light and dark blue.
Since it was super cloudy, we spread out a towel and did our painting inside. In between each coat of paint, we used the hair dryer to dry the paint. He had a great time with the "blower gun". Next, we put down some stickers onto the dried paint.
He had fun picking and placing his stickers and I restrained myself from offering unsolicited assistance.
He used pink and purple for the next layer and we repeated the process again, ending with some fun green paint.

When it was all finished, we removed all of the stickers and I wrote his message to Daddy on the front.
It was a fun way to spend our afternoon making a keepsake for the best Daddy ever.


Sunday, June 17, 2012

DIY Dresser Makeover

Last summer Josh and I went to a storage unit auction. We spent $90 on a unit that was packed with mostly junk. It was the only unit we bid on and we chose it because he spotted a yellow Poang Chair from Ikea which is about $150 new ($200 at the time we went to the sale). We figured that if the chair was the only good thing that came out of the unit it would still be worth it. As we started digging through the boxes and wading through trash we found at the very back of the unit two dressers. They were heavy and very well made so we moved them into our storage unit with the intention of either bringing them home and refinishing them or selling them.

Yesterday we cleaned out the storage unit and brought the larger of the two home.
It had potential. Since I've been trying to figure out a better system for storing craft supplies, I decided to do a little experiment. I've never refinished a piece of furniture before so I was a little nervous. I'm also really cheap so I wanted to do it with stuff we already had around the house. Several years ago I scored a set of encyclopedias from the 1930's off of Craigslist for free. I've done a few art projects with the pages but I thought decoupaging with them would have a good result- especially after I saw this post on

I started with taking all of the drawers out, removing the hardware and sanding the whole thing down
Then I went into our shed and looked at my paint choices... We had maroon, bright orange (left over from our kitchen), grey and a small can labeled bright white. I chose the white having no idea where it came from or how long it had been there. I was surprised to find as I put the first coat on that it was more of a creamy yellowish color.
Here it is after the first coat. I will admit, I did have an "Oh crap, I hope I'm not making a mistake and ruining a perfectly good piece of furniture" moment when I started painting. While the paint dried I moved on to the drawers. I've never done decoupage before either so it was also an adventure.
 I used an old library card to smooth out the bubbles as I started putting the pages on. I left the edges unfinished while I put the first coat on.
Now, here's where it got a little pricey. I wasn't too stoked on the drawer pulls. I considered spray painting them, but I didn't really like that there were two different styles of drawer pulls so my hubby took me to Home Depot for some browsing. I ended up choosing some Martha Stewart pulls that were about $3.97 a pop. More than I wanted to spend, but my husband insisted I didn't look at prices and just pick what I liked best. He's so sweet. He also advised me not to be concerned about the size as he could drill new holes if necessary. Luckily, they fit perfectly in place of the old drawer pulls. I let everything dry overnight in the carport and started in again this afternoon. I put a second coat of paint on the dresser, trimmed all the excess paper off of the drawers and put a second coat of Mod Podge on. When the drawers were dry, I put the new handles on.
I'm SO happy with how it turned out!! Not bad for about $60 between the 12 drawer pulls and the Mod Podge.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

The Value of Money.... Toddler Style

This staying home stuff just keeps getting better and better. I'm not feeling the greatest today. Nauseated and a little dizzy (no, I'm not pregnant, just sickly!). Ben and I stayed in bed this morning watching Babar and eating oatmeal. Every time I asked him what he wanted to do today he would say the same thing, "I just want to stay here and cuddle with my Mommy" and then he'd hug my neck. So sweet. Daddy got off of work early so he made it just in time for a family nap. It was glorious. I only wish I woke up feeling better. Benjamin was certainly ready to party when he woke up. We've spent the last bit of the afternoon baking cookies together and playing with his new remote control car.

Speaking of his new car, he bought it himself! Sort of. About a year ago we let the kids both pick out giant piggy banks. If he does something awesome- like using good manners or helping around the house, he gets to "Feed his piggy". Most of the money comes from the laundry. Any coins (or bills!) I find at the bottom of the washer eventually end up in his pig. Since we'll be home together all summer, we talked about getting a small inflatable pool for the backyard so we have another option of how to spend our afternoons. We've been talking about the pool forever. Yesterday, Josh came home early and we decided it was time to cash in the pig and go pool shopping. I weighed it before we left. That sucker weighed almost 15 pounds! When all was said and done he ended up with a little over $100 ($101.43 to be exact!). Ben decided on a dragon pool with a spray hose and a slide. It was on sale for about $30 so we roamed the toy aisle and I told him he didn't have to spend all of his money- he could put the rest back into his piggy. His response? "Mom, I don't want to spend my money. I just want YOU to buy toys for me." Smart cookie. He ended up getting the car, a Nemo fish for the tub and an airplane... and still had close to half of his money left.

On the drive to and from Burlington one of the things Josh and I spent some time talking about was how we can teach Benjamin about the value of money and what kinds of chores are appropriate for his age so he's "earning" the money he puts in his bank. We really didn't come up with anything different than what we're already doing with him, but we got some good ideas for the future. Now that he's seen the end result of "feeding his piggy" he is SO excited when he finds money in the couch!

Saturday, June 9, 2012


I have a ridiculous amount of yarn. Really ridiculous. I've slowly accumulated it over the years and while I've done well in refraining from purchasing more in the last few months, I haven't been able to part with anything from my stash. I look at a skein of yarn and see the project I had in mind when I bought it and of course a ton of other ideas pop into my head. Now that I'm home full time and will hopefully soon have the time to get into crocheting again I would love to figure out a way to store my yarn so I can not only see all of it, but also have it out of the way but still accessible and all in one place. Right now I've got it stashed all over the place in a variety of baskets and drawers. I found a few different ideas but nothing has really clicked as being perfect yet. Hopefully I'll figure out something cheap that we can DIY... Here are some options I liked online...

I like the idea of using a wine rack but something like this would be not only expensive, but take up a ton of floor space in our tiny dining room craft area.

Here's another option I really liked but unless I found something similar online or at a thrift shop that could be painted, I have a feeling it would be super expensive. It would also take up a ton of space but I like the look of it enough that I'd be willing to sacrifice some square footage.

Something like this would be cheap and easy, but since I prefer fat, bulky yarn, I don't think it would work well with my collection. One can for each skein would be crazy.

I liked this idea too, but it just looks a little too messy for what I'm going for.

 Winner! I really like the idea of having something on the wall so it's out of the way and yarn organized by color. With the big open spaces it would be easy to fit different sized skeins together. Now all I have to do is figure out how it was made and get my hubby to help me make it! I guess I'll be adding one of these to my "Honey, can you make me one of these?" list!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Adventures in Cooking

I have always been very open about the fact that I can't cook. Baking I can do- I enjoy it even; but cooking? No thanks. The most common response I get to not being able to cook anything that doesn't come in a box is "Can't you read directions?" Well yes... yes, I can but cooking decent meals has still somehow eluded me. Now that I'm home full time part of my "job" is cooking. It is going surprisingly well! I am shocked. So far I've made homemade chicken noodle soup (which turned out mediocre- but for me, that's a miracle!) and pepper jack and chicken quesodillas (hard to screw up and apparently turned out delicious according to my cheese-loving husband). Last night I tried making dinner with (EEK!) no recipe. It was lemon rosemary chicken, garlic green beans with roasted red peppers and garlic and herb rice (the rice was courtesy of a box). Surprisingly, it was really good! A jar of minced garlic is my new best friend. With my new found confidence, I'm attempting a pot roast for tonight. I got up this morning and tossed everything into the crock pot... fingers crossed.

I'm finding that I'm actually really enjoying cooking (for the first time ever!). My husband tells me at least twice a day how happy he is to have me home full time. That helps. He's so encouraging and I love getting to not only spend the day with our awesome kid, but getting to take care of this wonderful man who has taken such good care of me. I find myself thinking a lot about the Proverbs 31 woman and really striving towards being more like her. I am so thankful for this wonderful life I ended up with. It feels like a world away from the place I was at in my life 5 years ago. Even though I still struggle with forgiveness, I am so thankful for the tough years I went through that brought me Benjamin, brought me here. Those times have made me so appreciative of where I am now. Living in a home that overflowing with so much love and so much laughter makes my heart feel like it's going to explode in such a good way. God is so good.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Today Looks Like...

Doing my nails

Making Chicken Noodle Soup

Mopping the floor with Feist

Watching my boys cuddle

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Sick Like Yuck

What a wasted weekend! This past Friday both Josh and I started feeling under the weather. I woke up with a sore throat that turned into coughing, congestion, sinus pressure, nausea, chills, body aches, the whole shebang! Josh has the same. We spent almost the entire weekend in bed either sleeping or wishing we were dead :) It has been a really long time since I felt this rotten!

We're both still not feeling very well and with Benjamin back home from his weekend away, I'm really hoping we'll both be feeling better when we wake up. Josh goes back to his regular work schedule tomorrow so it's sort of like my first day of "work" at home. I'm excited to get into my routine and I'm hoping I have enough energy to do just that! Especially since the house is totally trashed. Again. This time though it is covered in tissues and cough drop wrappers... yuck. And Charlie totally got into one of my plants. Boo!

I'm excited. It feels a little like the night before the first day of school.