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Category — Creative Juices

New Hobby {aka I <3 FB resell pages}

For the past several years I have thought that I would really enjoy an embroidery machine. I love the look of monogrammed & appliqued things! I always hinted to Bill that I would like one as a Christmas present, but the machines are expensive, and we don’t generally drop that much money on ourselves or our kids at Christmas (or any other time.) This year after Christmas I decided that I would really like an embroidery machine and that I would save the money I received as gifts and start saving up to buy one. Then, inspiration hit. Our attic (and some of our closets) were full of good things that we simply weren’t using. I decided to sell the items on a Chattanooga Moms Resell page on Facebook – I figured it would help me a little towards the cost of an embroidery machine. Well, almost $400 later, I bought a machine!! I couldn’t believe it.


After research and talking to friends, I decided to buy the Brother PE-770. And so far I love it! It has been easy to learn and start using. Of course, I have a lot still to learn! A HUGE thank you to my friends Emily & Kelly who helped me figure out what I needed to get started.

My first attempt at using the machine was comical. I was trying to wind the bobbin thread, did something terribly wrong, and the thread ended up wrapping around the shaft of the bobbin winder instead of on the bobbin. Thankfully, my wonderful husband came to the rescue and cut the thread off with a knife and tweezers. After that adventure, I used an old, stained onesie and some scraps of fabric I had in the attic to try it out. It was a bit of a disaster – I had to rip it out, start over, cut a hole in the onesie, & didn’t cut the fabric close enough to the stitch. Despite all of that, I was still happy with my first attempt.


My next attempt turned out a lot better. I still practiced on an old onesie and used scrap fabric, but had a much better finished product.


On the last day of Dana & my Mom’s Christmas break, Mom babysat and Dana and I headed to JoAnn. I was so excited when I remembered that Dana “owed” me some money from random things and I started a fabric stash. I got lots of cute fabrics – and the good thing with applique is that just a little fabric goes a long way.

Now I’m starting to get brave! I made a cute bird onesie for a client at Choices – she loved it. I blocked out her baby’s name in this picture for privacy reasons but it turned out great (I think.)

edited bird shirtLast night, I practiced a design that I am going to make Will, Thomas & Charlie for Valentine’s Day. I feel like you have to be careful with this type of clothing for older boys especially because you don’t want them to look too babyish but I found a manly monster truck with hearts in the back design. I practiced with scrap material I had but I think it’s going to look handsome when I make them with the right fabric.


Have you started a new hobby lately? Or rediscovered one you love? How about an awesome Christmas present that you can’t stop using?


January 10, 2014   1 Comment

Dusty the Crophopper


A couple of weekends each month, Lowe’s had “Build and Grow” workshops for kids. The first project this month was building Dusty from the movie Planes. Honey took us to see the movie the night before so it was especially fun to build Dusty the next day!

The boys had a great time building their planes, bringing home their work aprons and sewing on their completion badge! We can’t wait until the next “Build and Grow” workshop.

August 23, 2013   Comments Off on Dusty the Crophopper

EntryWay Baskets – A Guest Post at So The Cook Said

My friend, Cindy, let me guest post on her blog – So The Cook Said. Her blog is full of crafty, thrifty fun. Her ideas are SO great and doable without costing a lot of money.

I had to come up with something worthy of her blog, so here is a sneak peek

Head over to, So The Cook Said, to read about this project and see Cindy’s precious baby Hudson!

February 6, 2013   1 Comment

Another Kitchen Makeover: Part 3

The next step to beautifying our kitchen was to put up a tile back splash. There are a lot of really pretty tile options these days but what coordinated best with our cabinets and counters was a simple white subway tile – which is personally one of my favorites!

I took the boys to spend the day with my parents while Bill listened to Christmas music and worked, worked, worked on installing the tile. The next day, when Will got home, he helped with the grout.

Will is such a big helper – he is going to know how to do so many things, thanks to his Daddy!

The finished result looks amazing! It’s such a relatively small money commitment (unless you pick expensive tile!) and a couple days time commitment for a complete transformation. Plus, now I can wipe down the tile when food splatters everywhere instead of just ignoring the icky mess on the painted wall!

Here is a cleaner than normal but not “styled” for the whole world to see – after picture!  Bill did a really great job.

December 31, 2012   3 Comments

Christmas Craft

Will has never been big into “arts and crafts.” He usually comes home from church or MDO with something the teacher has made for him! But, I do occasionally try to encourage him to do something creative with his hands. Inspired by Pinterest and my friend Meredith the goal was to make hand print Christmas trees.

Will liked getting his hand painted one time – the rest may have resulted in a few tears. But, his tree turned out cute. Thomas enjoyed getting his hand painted and wanted to smear the paint all over the canvas. We couldn’t get a picture of Thomas or the paint would have been all over the kitchen.

While waiting for the canvas to dry, Will “painted” Thomas’ hand with water. Thomas thought this part was the most fun!

After the canvas dried, the boys used their “Do-A-Dot” paint to decorate their trees with ornaments. Will was very selective with his ornament placement and Thomas has to be reigned in a bit :) After the boys went to bed I painted on stars and trunks and hung it up in the living room.

A fun afternoon craft!

December 25, 2012   3 Comments

Another Kitchen Makeover: Part 2

The next thing on our kitchen “to-do” list was paint. The kitchen originally had a nice, neutral green – not bad but apparently our style is becoming more bold because we wanted a color that would really pop. We also wanted a color that would be more “modern” against the traditional color and style of the cabinets. The color winner was: Key Largo by Olympic and I love it.

I had Bill take this picture of me because painting above the cabinetry where there is no counter top was just a bit awkward!

We really like the way the cabinets and paint color look together. The new color is bold and bright and be honest I wasn’t sure that I liked it for the first day or so. I loved the color but I wasn’t sure it was “right” for the kitchen – it kind of took me by surprise every time I walked in the room. But with some other updates we have made (to be shared soon) and some art on the walls  to break it up – I love it.

December 12, 2012   1 Comment

Another Kitchen Makeover: Part 1

There was absolutely nothing wrong with our kitchen – it just wasn’t our style. I tried for weeks months to convince Bill to paint the cabinets (like in our Nashville house) but he wasn’t going for it. It is so time consuming and frankly, between working a bazillion hours and spending time with me and the boys he just doesn’t have the time. So,we had to come up with a plan that worked with our existing cabinet finish.  First up, putting up a new light fixture.

Changing a light fixture is an easy and relatively inexpensive upgrade. When Bill took down the fluorescent (these should not be allowed in homes! Ick.) we found that we needed a junction box in order to put up the new track fixture. My Dad sent over an electrician while Bill was at work and then we were ready to hang the light.

I took this picture of Bill and then the real fun began. We probably looked like a couple of clowns, both standing on the same ladder, one of us holding the light fixture in the right spot and the other putting in the screws! Then Bill attached the ends and patched the holes in the ceiling from the fluorescent light.

The next day Buzz Lightyear showed up to help Bill sand down the plaster in the ceiling.

Ah! This new light makes me smile every time I walk into the kitchen. It’s the little things people! Up next, paint, backsplash,and decorations.

December 7, 2012   2 Comments

Editating Will’s Room

For some reason, Will calls decorating – editating. It’s cute so we say it all the time!  A few weeks ago, I decided to start re-editating Will’s room. His room was fine but a little bland and we have almost been in this house for a year so it’s time to start some home improvement projects! I started by turning his bed around – it had been against the wall in the corner of the room.

Please notice how ridiculous and crazy these boys are during the entire process! I thought it might take me about 100 years to get this project done.

“Look Mom, crayons! Can I eat these?”

Bed in its new position. Thomas standing on top of the table. New {to us} bookcase in the left corner.  Toy box moved from the play room to house the bajillion stuffed animals. Projects In Progress: I am going to sand down and paint an old sewing machine table for Will to use as a nightstand. We also need to move his artwork over so that it is centered over his headboard.

Will has a corkboard, whiteboard, and his alphabet posters on this short wall next to the bookcase. Right now {after this picture was taken} Will has his calendar, days of the week, weather and his weekly Bible Verse on the corkboard plus his “Cars” magnets on the whiteboard. We use these things most days for “school.”

We are all loving the bookcase that Honey let us have. She used this in her classroom for ever! It is so easy for Will & Thomas to get books out and put them back {the best part!}

Thomas on top of the table AGAIN. I moved the bookcases to either side of  the closet door. I also went through all of the “school” stuff we have collected the past few months and put similar things together and made sure his quiet time boxes and crayons and coloring books were easily accessible.

Will is thoroughly enjoying his “new” room. Since changing Will’s bed over into a double and getting the new mattress he had been sleeping on sheets and just using  his blanket until the editating occurred. I had narrowed down the options for his bedspread down to two: one from PBKids and one from Target. I really liked the PBKids one but never could convince myself it was worth the hefty price tag. The one from Target was not cheap but it was a lot less. One night we went to Target just to look at it in person and the duvet set with 2 shams was marked down from $60 to $18!! What luck – we bought two sets :) {Saving one for when Thomas moves into Will’s room}

Thomas puts on such a sweet persona but he is really wild and crazy at home! Who even knows what he is doing here?!?!?

October 5, 2012   2 Comments