Prayer Wall Project

Prayer Wall Project

When we first moved into our mini farm home, hubby brought me home an old large picture window frame. He thought it would be great for one of my photography or craft projects. I loved it! However, I couldn’t decide what I wanted to do with it. This window has leaned against the wall in our home oddly fitting in with the décor it was hiding behind. There it sat for going on 3 years.

Last week an idea popped into my head and I decided we needed a prayer wall in our home. Somewhere to post pictures of those we pray for, inspiration, big goals that seem unattainable, whatever fits. I wasn’t sure what this was going to look like, then one night a picture floated into my thoughts and it was the frame. And so, my prayer wall has taken shape.

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While cleaning the frame I became distracted by spider webs/nests. Took a few minutes to come back from my mobster mentality of killing anything spider related.  But I digress.

After cleaning the window (both sides), I hot glued mini clothes pins randomly across the glass. Next I printed some pictures I had that symbolized my prayers, and I printed them onto regular printer paper.

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Using some tags I picked up at a craft store at some point, I glued the pictures to the tags.

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I took some extra tags and wrote a few favorite scriptures. On the back of a couple of the pictures I jotted down my prayer.  Earlier a speaker at the bible study I attend gave us moms scripture cards.

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You can find those here. Those fit in perfectly.

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I’m kinda in love with this little project. Not too over the top, and fitting for my family.

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By the way, when I told hubby my window idea, he thought I was talking about the giant picture window that is the front of our house. I believe its 12 ft by 8 ft. the mental image makes me smile.

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Building a Baby Swing

Building a Baby Swing

So I’ve had a unique set of obstacles with this new baby that I didn’t have with the first. Now, with my eldest, I thought he grew so fast. He was always around the 90+ percentile for his checkups, but his weight stayed around the 60% mark. Mostly, he was tall. Now as a new/1st time mom, I thought he was a bit of a handful, but I also knew he was pretty easy, and I was lucky. I’d seen enough of other babies to know I had it easy.

Baby number two, now he’s still pretty easy, but takes a bit more entertaining. And this baby, really is a fast grower. He started wearing 18 month clothes at about 8 months. Luckily, he’s still in 18 month clothes, but the shirts can be a bit tight depending on the brand.

Initially I planned to buy him a Johnny Jumper to hang in our dining room area, but I was afraid he would jump right into a sharp corner. Instead I decided that a new swing would be good, plus this summer I will be able to move the swing and use it outside too. Baby had gotten to the point he had exceeded the weight limit on his normal swing! I thought the motor had gone out as every time I put him in I would look over a minute later & it wouldn’t be swinging. Nope, after closer exam, it just wasn’t strong enough to move him anymore.

I searched Pinterest, because odds are someone else had already had the idea. I found a couple good options. I ransacked my fabric collection. Canvas had been suggested, but I didn’t have a color I would want hanging in my house. I did however have some black fabric I previously used to reupholster my chairs, and leftover fleece from his baby blanket. Hubby had the clip I would want to use to hang up and take down the swing. All I needed was the dowels & rope. I followed this basic process/pattern.

Hubby brought in clamps and the saw, and then shortly after, he checked back in to see if I needed anything else, I got the “look”. You know the “see your projects always become my projects” look. Now I highly doubt the ¼ in I was off on cutting would really have made that big of a difference, but the part where I never considered marking the dowels to make sure the holes I would drill would line up definitely would have.

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Given I didn’t want to go back to the store; I was okay handing over the reins. I’ve come to accept that my projects become his projects, and I try to keep them small. But I am also developing a list of things I actually want to learn. I feel like I’ve learned some basics that may lead to not needing so much help someday. I may be old and retired, but someday I may finish a project start to finish all on my own.

Here is the final thing I learned in this project: Don’t wrap the rope decoratively on the swing. Baby will not leave it alone, and it won’t be cute, just chop the ends off & burn the tips to avoid fraying.

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Plank Photo Project

Plank Photo Project

Over this last year my sister has been slowly updating her home. As the sister, I get the privilege of being the main artist on her walls, and I try to make sure that whatever I give her won’t be something that is hung up out of pity. I prefer not to be the creator of the “look at that” art. The new look of her home is what I would consider rustic / country charm. She was interested in a print I did a couple winters ago, but I wanted to give her something more unique and fitting than a basic poster type print.

I saw an art print at Ranch and Home and really liked the reclaimed/rustic look of it. It seemed simple enough and of course I instantly thought “I can do that”. Sometimes I seem to have an inflated view of my abilities. But either way, I searched the internet (okay, let’s be honest, I searched Pinterest), and found a few posts on how to transfer pictures to wood. Again I thought, “see, can’t be that hard”.  So I make my list, take tips and tricks from a variety of “how to” blog posts, and set off to Lowes.

I wanted to make a plank board wall hanging, and I couldn’t find anything on how to do what I had in mind. I picked up a pack of wood planks, & some finishing nails (apparently my box of nails & screws is hiding somewhere with my hammer, and mutli-tool screw driver). I had some scrap wood I planned to use for backing, and hubby has clamps I could klepto (one of his auction finds – you can read about that here). I had the photo printed by Staples, I opted for the blue print option for printing. The best paper choice is as close to inkjet printer you can get.

As I start building the wall hanging for my project, hubby starts giving me the “you’re going to regret doing it that way” look and grunts. So of course, I respond with the standard “what?” To which he replies “where’s the wood glue?” You are using wood glue right?”

“Um, I wasn’t planning on it. Can’t I just push these together, and nail them to some boards so they stay together?”

“You can, but I wouldn’t. It’s not going to work like you think it is”.

This is where I remember his “your projects always become my projects” line, which in fairness, they do, but it’s because he is better at this stuff, and I tend to learn as I go.  But either way, I wound up going to Lowes for wood glue.

In the end, here was my process:

1. Line up planks as desired (here is what I bought). Then put a bead of glue in the grooves between each plank, and put them back as desired. Then clamp to hold in place for drying.

For diagram / printable directions click: how to – Wood Plank Photo Print 

2. Once glue is dry (the bottle will tell you how long it takes to set”, flip so the back side is up (choose which side will give the best result for your picture – try to choose the side with the cleanest surface- see step 3). Nail each precut support board approximately 3 inches in from the edges. The length will depend on the size of the board you choose to create.

3. Flip the board so it is face up. If there is any glue spots, try to sand them off, the ink doesn’t transfer well to dried glue.

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4. Coat with “Gel Medium”, it’s really called exactly that. I went into Joanne’s looking for this and really wasn’t sure what to expect. Here is a picture of what I used. Put a good coat on, think of paper mache, too much and the paper will get all nasty and tear, not enough, and the ink won’t transfer.

5. Put the print ink side down onto the boards, and smooth out wrinkles.

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6. Let dry overnight. If you’re in a hurry, you can wait just as long as it takes for the paper to be completely dry, but it’s similar to putting on a temporary tattoo, so if it’s not dry it will peal up.

7. Using a wet wash rag, scrub the paper off. I suggest getting a bowl, or small bucket of warm water, and have it sitting there to rinse the rag as you work. Another trick is to get the paper a bit extra wet like you would when putting on a temporary tattoo, and then try scrubbing. It seems to help pull the paper off better.

8. Once you believe you have all the paper off, let it dry, and re-evaluate. I had to go back a few times as paper would become noticeable again once it dried. The sky and light areas were the hardest for me.

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9. Optional: Once you are sure you have all the paper wiped off, coat with modge podge/ decoupage glue.

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Lesson’s learned:

  1. Ink won’t transfer onto wood glue
  2. Pencil will be seen through the picture – not sure how I didn’t notice it before moving forward and putting the gel on
  3. If you don’t get all the paper off, and then you coat it with modge podge, it will seal the picture, make the white paper EXTREMELY obvious, and you won’t even be able to sand that crap off. – start over
  4. If you want an exact image as you see when you took it, don’t forget to flip the image, otherwise it will be a mirror image
  5. When using the planks, keep in mind that there will be lines / gaps in your picture – placement may look funny depending on the print. You may not want lines / gaps through your loved ones face.

Print directions here: how to – Wood Plank Photo Print

Funny Farm & Auctions

Funny Farm & Auctions

Not too far away is an auction house, or at least that’s what I’m going to call it. It’s really a big chunk of property where a business is located that hosts several outdoor auctions year round. So my “house” comment may be misleading. Should you attend, and manage to stay for the entire auction, you will leave with either heat exhaustion or hypothermia. Usually the crowd is filled with farmers, ranchers, retired farmers/ranchers, hired hands, and the odd and end person that just enjoys auctions. You can buy anything from a combine to a pogo stick. The items always surprise me. We went as a family one day and my son wanted to bring home an old race car trailer. His logic was that there was also a bed it in, ummmmmm, no thank you.  It was probably a 1980s model, converted goose neck, with what would be considered by some to be converted living quarters. It was more junky mobile mechanics trailer than camp trailer. I wish I would have taken a picture. I can only imagine my son was picturing being a human version of Lightning McQueen. In fairness, the trailer was red.

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For obvious reasons, the trailer was not purchased that day. However, my son had caught the bidding fever. We told him that if he was good, then when it got to the toy part of the auction, we would see if we could get him a toy combine. Turns out there is a high demand for said toys. We stopped bidding at about $75 which was well past my comfort zone already. The bidding goes up, and my son who sees that I’m no longer throwing my hand up, starts to throw his up in an attempt to bid! Thankfully the auctioneer laughed, and I was able to hold his arms down, but we owed him a toy after we left. They ended up selling for $150 apiece. The catch was that you got your choice of tractor, and some were collectors.

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This story was really not my point, but I got caught up. You’re used to that in me by now. Ha-ha.

My actual point is, that this auction also created an auction monster in my husband. He goes with his dad, and you never know what they will come back with. One auction trip they came back with a truck and trailer load. Of course when I looked at it I was mainly confused as to what the stuff would be used for. I was given explanations like, “well I really just wanted this, but it was on a pallet with all that, and it was too cheap to pass up.” Haha. Well then!

However, this last auction turned out great. I must admit, I was a bit concerned when hubby asked how much $$ was in the checking account. Now, kudos to him for remembering that I transfer any extra money into saving almost as soon as checks hit so that the money doesn’t get absorbed. I’m not sure how, but if I don’t move money to savings right off, it seems to just disappear. The comment/question still made me nervous. However, I should give him more credit. He bought fence posts (much needed), and a 20×30 shop-ish. We have plans to build a shop, but in the meantime he has stuff out in the weather (lawn mower, trailer he’s putting a new deck on, ect.). So this temporary shop he bought is actually quite perfect.

It will look something like this:

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With getting this, the shed he previously used is now getting moved and converted into a new chicken coop / feed storage building. We will be building a wall to split the shed in half so one side will be for chickens, and the other will have the feed stored (stay tuned). Plus there will be a trap door to reach through for egg collection from the feed room side! That is the part I’m excited about. Everything is getting re-vamped to be more user friendly. I’ve always been more partial to the hooved farm animals, so anything to limit my interaction with the feathered, peck at you farm variety, I love.

So far, we’re (like how I keep saying “we” – ya that may not be accurate) still in the early stages, but the shop has started going up!

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I took baby out of a field trip to watch daddy work. It was quite entertaining. He couldn’t bend at the waist well, so needless to say, he laid down for the sled trip. At 8 months, baby is wearing 18 month old clothes, so the baby carrier I would have used was too small when I got him bundled up.

Weekend herbal garden build

Weekend herbal garden build:

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In the past several years I’ve become more and more interested in herbs. I didn’t have much exposure as a kid so my cooking with herbs has been a hit and miss trial process. My dad used to make stew and just dump a little of all the spices in…. it was awful! But over the years (despite dad’s teachings) I’ve gotten to be okay in the cooking department. I’ve kept this mainly under wraps. I’ve never minded being the wife that can’t cook. When working funky shifts it really came in handy, so I just played it up. I must have done a good job too, because when I finally made a true home cooked meal for my in-laws they were shocked and kept telling me “no, really, it’s actually good”. It was quite funny, ha-ha. Now my schedule has calmed down a lot, so I don’t mind playing the good wife role.

Anyway, back on topic. This is the first time I’ve ever had an herb garden, so I’m really not sure how this will turn out. I like using natural remedies whenever possible. Which may sound contradictive to some given I work for “the evil” Monsanto, ha-ha. No worries, I won’t go into pro GMO or anything. Anyway, I wanted to have herbs for food, basic remedies, and tea (because, I like tea).  After searching on-line I was having a hard time choosing which herbs, and finding one source for all. And honestly some were a bit extreme and reminded me of the time my dad took me to a gun show and we realized after we got in that it was not like the ones at our local fairgrounds, but more like a pro-Hitler gun club. Anyone remember the movie Rat Race and the Barbie museum? Yea, kinda like that, but I digress. So I found a set on Amazon that looked good, plus I’m a Prime member so I got free 2 day shipping. Can’t go wrong with that.

Here’s a pic:

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This can also be found at http://www.mypatriotsupply.com

Hubby built me a raised bed and we hit up some yard sales and freebees for planting pots. Some herbs help with fly control so I needed some that can move around as I need, and some herbs are an invasive species and will run wild if you let it. And honestly I’m not sure which they are for sure, so I may have to replant some if I guessed wrong.

On the raised bed I filled the bottom with these huge rocks that someone actually trucked in for “beauty”. Honestly this amazes me because this rock is so prevalent around most of Grant County you actually see rock walls made of it on people’s property.  So given my built in hatred for this rock style, I used some to take up space at the bottom of my raised bed.

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I also used a couple small old stumps I didn’t know what to do with. Once the bottom was filled about 8 inches deep I (and by I, I mean, Hubby) filled it with dirt until it was about 6 inches from the top. Next we put in garden potting soil.

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I added a few scrap pieces of wood to divide up the bed so that I could keep track of things a bit better. Then I laid out my seed packets to decide how to set it up. For now I wrote on popsicle sticks what is planted in each spot (I found a couple cute ideas on pinterest I may switch them out for later). I tried to have the tallest on the North side so that it won’t give too much shade.

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finished

Here is what I planted:

Food –

Sage

Oregano

Thyme

Parsley

Cilantro

Basil

 

Tea- (some double for medicinal)

Wild Bergamot

Anise Hyssop

Chamomile

Lemon Balm

Lemon Mint

Peppermint

 

Medicinal-

Catnip

Hyssop

Culver’s Root

Nettle

 

 

 

Planting is fun for all! Love my little helper.

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Compromise

I seem to be in project mode. But my project mode is quite different from my husbands. His looks like this:

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Mine looks like this:

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And we compromise and do this:

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I say compromise because pickled asparagus is disgusting. Actually, pickled anything including pickles completely gross me out. But I did the good wife thing and said “yes honey I’ll help”. Quickly followed by “if this makes my house stink like pickles were done”.

Now I must tell you not only do I not like pickles I absolutely hate the smell to the point that hubby only recently got pickle privileges back. Now get your mind out of the gutter, and I’ll explain.

Back in the day before we got married we were living in the cute little cottage I called the doll house. It was so tiny our living room furniture consisted of a papasan chair and a hope chest with cushions on it. So anyway, the fridge had one shelf on the door that the tray had broken on so it was just a shelf with no rail. Obviously we didn’t use this shelf. Apparently hubby was moving stuff around in the fridge and set the pickles on the shelf then not thinking about it closes the door. Is he the next one to open the fridge, oh no, it was me. As you can imagine pickle jar falls out breaks splashing pickle juice everywhere. The house stunk! It was awful. So needless to say, I banned pickles. Happy wife happy life right? He accepted my crazy and we moved on. So for reasons that may fall into crazy, I’m hesitant to bring pickled anything into my space. But, homestead-ish wife, blah blah blah.

So “we’ve” been gardening:

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pickling:

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and modifying:

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Randomness

You may or may not have noticed I haven’t posted for a bit. Things have been very hectic for me. Hubby is done working out of town for a bit, but with the Wanapum Dam combating “catastrophic failure”, he’s working a lot of OT. Actually it sounds like he will be working 7 days a week until June sometime. It’s actually quite amazing to see the river right now. It is so low that they have had to close it in this area. From what I hear there is actually quick sand, it’s very surreal. There are no docks that reach water, and Crescent Bar is screwed to say the least. But on the flip side, when people come to the area and say how “un-touched” the land is, they will be speaking closer to the truth. Anyway here’s a pic, and I’m moving on.

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Here’s a link if you’re still curious: http://www.grantpud.org/your-pud/media-room/wanapum-dam-spillway-response

The other day I was in Ephrata to take soccer team pictures. It was actually a fun experience. I was pretty worried at first, the grass was brown and the trees were still leafless, plus there were a lot of teams running around. Now, leafless trees may not sound too bad, but behind those trees are a city shop (i.e. road district equipment), a fire station, and some lesser awesome homes, one of which actually had a car jacked up in the front yard. The best bad option was the old “homestead” barn that is amazingly still standing and due to expansion is now in town.

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I was able to take the pictures from a slightly elevated angle so that I only had grass in the background, and with a little work in photoshop I was able to make the grass green-ish.

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On the way home I stopped by a little “Antique shop”, and I use quotes for a reason. The store has great finds, for cheap, but you have to combat a less than pleasant environment. But if you can get past the cat urine smell, dust and cobwebs, you can find great stuff.

This is Reiners (Ephrata, WA):

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Here are some finds:

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One thing I love about the man that owns the store is that I can go in and tell him what I’m looking for and he can find it. On my last trip I was looking for a snaffle bit to use as a dish towel holder. He found what I was looking for within minutes outside, though he did have to cut it out of the old leather bridle.

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Here is what things look like inside the store.

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