Friday, 30 March 2012

Friday's Favourites #7

Here are a few of my favourite things for this last week of March.  Enjoy!  (note: I've given up on the linky for now, but I'd still love to see what your favourite posts are, so leave any links in the comments!)


Nina from Momma Go Round wrote about confidence (while showing off an adorable outfit!).  She says, "it takes more energy to be unconfident than to just go for it"  Now, confidence is something I lack.  But I'm slowly starting to learn to "just go for it," like I did for my trip to Seattle last year.  It's been fun so far!


Ok, so I'm a little bit obsessed with names.  When I was a kid and writing, most of my "story ideas" were just families I made up.  They only existed in lists of names, ages, etc that I charted on my loosleaf paper in my messy printing.  So of course by the time I was pregnant for the first time, I had a list of nearly 200 names that I liked for my kids.  Guess what?  Kevin vetoed all of them!  The Baby Name Wizard writes about why your baby name choice is making you miseriable.  Don't worry, I really do love my kids' names!  Although I am a little bit sad I'll never have a little girl named Jane.


The SITS Girls write about Pinterest's new Terms of Use as part of a series on Pinterest and photography.  There are all kinds of links and advice on that page and I got a little lost in it all.  But I want to go back and read more when the kids aren't interrupting and I don't have an editing deadline looming.


The Nester posted her answer to a reader's question about decorating around bulky couches.  While my couches aren't exactly bulky and suit the scale of the room well, I still don't like them.  Nester's answer covers what to do if you don't like your couches, both in this post, and in a previous post about "Changing Up Your Decor"


And I got a big surprise today when I discovered that Traci from Beneath My Heart has featured my Pretty Spice Labels post as part of her best DIY projects for the month of February!

Thursday, 29 March 2012

More about Laundry

A couple of people have asked me whether the homemade laundry soap recipe I posted can be used in high efficiency front-loading washers.

I have a regular-nothing-special top loader, so I really had no idea!  But I thought I'd google it for those wondering.

ehow says yes with the exact same recipe.

Mary of Everyday Cheapskate says yes.

Exconsumer says maybe in the comments, although she hasn't tried it herself.  This post has a good price rundown, as well as a liquid detergent recipe.

don'tbuyit says yes in the comments, in hot or warm water.

If I had a high efficiency washer, I'd try it.  But I'm not telling you to try it...

Lovely Laundry

The other day I caught up with the laundry.  It was great!  Although I now have a load or two to do's never ending!  Unfortunately, my stash of homemade laundry soap was ending.  So I sat down to make another batch.  I used the easy recipe I found on Lemonade Makin' Mama's blog.

The three simple ingredients are: 
1/2 cup borax
1/2 cup washing soda
1 bar of ivory soap (grated)

My jar fits four batches, although this time I only made three so it's easier to mix.  The different shades of white look so pretty in the jar...although they're not very useful until they're mixed.

To quote my 2-year-old: "Dea. All bettah."  Just one tablespoon of the stuff does one large load of laundry.  

Perhaps you'd like to know why I make my own laundry soap?  It's simple: I'm cheap.  I hated spending so much on something that is used up so quickly.  And I couldn't buy the huge container of Tide at Costco because it gives Nick a rash.  So I was stuck buying the tiny bottles of dye-and-scent-free soap at the grocery store.  As an extra bonus, a glass jar of white powder soap looks much better than a bottle of commercial liquid.  I've always hated commercial powder laundry soap (the smell and the feel).

Plus, I love the scent if Ivory soap.  It reminds me of having a bath at Nanny and Papa's house when I was about five years old and we visited for Easter.  Nanny used to very vigorously scrub my hair with shampoo.  Maybe that's why all her kids have such thick hair.

Edited to add: If you're wondering about using this soap in your front-loading high-efficiency washing machine, You can find some info here to help make your decision.

Happily Distressed

I wish y'all could come to my house and feel the smooth finish on this chair!  I rubbed on some Antiquax after smoothing out the distressed bits with fine-grain sandpaper.  I love it!  It looks great in my kitchen.

This picture below has three different white wood finishes:  On top, the souvenir spoons are on a crackle-finished tray.  The chalkboard frame has Rustoleum Heirloom White spray paint, and the chair has a handpainted, mouse-distressed and waxed finish.

I think I'll tackle one of the aqua chairs next.  It's pretty much exactly the same colour as the kitchen walls.  I wonder how the next one will turn out?

The DIY Dreamer

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

The Little Doctor...and a Project Fail!

My little girl is so sweet!  I got a needle in the arm yesterday for vacation vaccinations, and my whole arm has been ridiculously sore...or at least I've been complaining a lot.  So Juli wanted to take care of me.  She gave me her "a touch of Jesus heals" craft that she made today ("I think I should give this to you every time you are sick, Mom.") drew me a list of instructions for what I can and can't do.

  1. "This means you can't go outside on windy days because the wind will try and move your arm."
  2. "This is something you have to do: sleep."
  3. "This means you can't set the table. But don't worry, I will do it."
  4. "And you should not move your arm."
Juli said she's practising for when she can be a real doctor.  All evening, she was asking how she could help me, and telling me not to do the dishes because she would do them.  I love that girl!


 Moving on to the project fail.  Over Christmas, we got a lot of adorable pictures from our friends and family.  I love photo cards!  And they were all on the front of our fridge.

The other day I got a little fed up with the messy look though, so  I took them all off.  I had a Brilliant Idea!  Stashed away in the basement I had a small clipboard, and some leftover craft magnets (one of which was used to make this bottle cap magnet, which I love!  I found the cap among Kevin's pile of pocket paraphernalia one day).

So I hot glued the magnets on the back of the clipboard, and clipped the pictures on.  I figured I'd spray paint it or add pretty paper another day.  I even used four of the nickel-sized magnets, thinking overkill was good.  See, it's great!

Then I put it on the fridge.

I will either scrap the idea, or go buy some super magnets one day.  Or maybe just hot glue the clipboard right to the fridge.

What do you do with your photos and cards?

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Old White Chair

I've been battling with these chairs for the past year.  I don't know what I want them to look like.  When I painted the blue bathroom, I mixed up some of my leftover paint to come up with a turquoise that I painted on two of the chairs.  The other ones eventually ended up white-ish. (one is brush-painted with one coat, the other is spray painted with one and a half coats).  And of course being in a household with children, they got a bit dinged up.

So today I'd had enough!  I pulled out my little Mouse and attacked one of the white chairs.  This is the result (the chair on the left is the unsanded one)

What do you think?  Is the distressing too much?  Not enough?  I asked Juliana what she thinks and she replied, "I think it looks old."  Well, that's kind of what I was going for!

I think I'll take some fine sandpaper and smooth it out a bit, then add some furniture wax.  If I thought these chairs were worth it, I'd paint them with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint.  Maybe if this doesn't work.  I'm so sick of dealing with these chairs!

My inspiration for super-distressed chairs came from Heather's chairs at Post Road Vintage.

Monday, 26 March 2012

Vintage-Inspired Giveway: The Winner!

After nearly two months, 56 posts, and 368 comments, we're finally ready to announce the winner of the vintage-inspired giveaway!

This is post number 500!  Thanks to everyone who supports my blog, and I wish I could send a prize to each of you!  Even though the contest is over, keep commenting!  I love to read your thoughts on my posts!

So, without further ado (yes people, it's spelled "ado", not "adieu"...sorry, one of my pet peeves sneaked out.), our winner is...

Heather, email me your address so I can send you your prize!

A Creative Legacy

Once upon a time, there lived a woman named Elizabeth.  Elizabeth was a very creative woman, and had books and magazines about all kinds of crafts!  She made doll furniture out of tin cans, crocheted and knitted, among other things.  Her granddaughter, Signe, loved to visit her and see what new creative thing Grandma Elizabeth was up to.

When Signe grew up, she had her finger in every creative pie there was!  Professionally a sign painter (inspired by her house painter father perhaps), she was also a talented seamstress, wedding cake decorator, painter...etcetera!  She made adorable matching clothing for her four children and inspired in them a passion to create beautiful things.

Signe's daughter Joanna grew up hand-sewing barbie clothes, and drawing, writing, and creating all the time.  When she married and moved out, one of the biggest changes that shocked her was not having access to craft supplies!  If she wanted to make something, she had to go out to buy the materials!  Over the years, she developed her own craft stash and indulged her creative side.

Eventually, Joanna also passed down the legacy of creativity to her children.  She sewed clothes for them, made crafts with and for them, and shared her fancy papers.

Now Juliana is beginning to carry on the creative tradition.  Her favourite thing to do is  "cutting and gluing and taping."  She made this picture below for her Grandma Signe.

And if she wants a particular toy, like a baby bottle for her doll, she will just make one.

Juliana's Christmas Dress
Nick's baby overalls

Juliana sometimes asks me to do her "cutting and gluing" with her.  This particular day, I made something for each kid.  Juliana's was a book mark using a giant ice cream cone picture cut from a magazine, and a paper doll.  Nicks was this card.  He drove his cars on the road and tracks for days until the card got lost.  It's all made of paper or felt.

This is a book I want to read on this topic.  Nurturing Creativity is written by Renee Tougas, a homeschooling mom.   Once my collection of books to read gets a little smaller, I may buy this ebook.

Sunday, 25 March 2012

A Family Gravestone

I love history.  I've been reading historical novels ever since I can remember (hello Mandie books?  Little House on the Prairie? (ok, not fiction, I know)  Anne of Green Gables?)

I also love genealogy, and I'm very proud of my heritage.  From my Scotland-born grandparents and greatgrandparents, to the Dutch-Mennonites who were chased out of Russia in a covered wagon while being shot at by the red army, to my Danish great grandfather who left his sweetheart in Europe when he came to Canada and she followed him here (Although I'm not 100 percent sure of that last story...I'll have to call up my great aunts to clarify).

This gravestone is located in Dornock Scotland.  It contains the names of five of my direct ancestors and several of their other family memebers.  The picture was taken by my second-cousin-twice-removed, Julia, who found me on the internet!  This is what it says:
Memory of Francis Gafs Hufband to Jannet Slimmon who died in Bufh Jan 12 1786 aged 42 years.alfo James Pillions her hufband he died Jan r 12th 1798 aged 28 yearsAnd Jannet Gass daughter to above Francis Gass who died 7th Janr. 1806 aged 23 years. 
Also the above Janet Slimmon who died 17th of March 1832 aged 85 years.
And James Pillans, son of the above, who died 15th Octr. 1849 aged 56 years. 
Also Janet Minto his wife, who died 9th Novr. 1859, aged 67 years.
And James Pillans their son who died 14th Octr. 1820, aged 3 years.
Also Agnes Pillans their daughter, who died the 24th April 1844, aged 24 years.

Remember that every comment on any post is counted as an entry in the Vintage-Inspired Giveaway! Of course, feel free to comment even if you don't want to enter the giveaway! Make sure I have a way to contact you if you're the winner!

Sumo's Sweet Stuff