Monday, January 28, 2013


January always seems like a good time to clean and purge.  After we get the Christmas decorations down it almost seems natural to want to clean.  Add to that the fact that we often get new 'stuff' for which we need to find a spot and organization ensues.  I would love to be able to spend a couple of weeks just cleaning and organizing my  home but alas, I am bound to work.  So I take what time I can and fit it in here and there.  Over the course of the last few weekends I have tackled the cabinets under each of three bathroom sinks, my mud room, hall closet, craft room and most recently, my linen closet.  We have one lined closet in this house and it is Small!  I'm talking TEENY TINY!  Years ago, I decided to move some of the towels into the en suite cabinet. It saved having to go out into the hall to grab a towel and freed up much needed room in the linen closet.  Somehow though, this closet became a sort of catch all for anything that we didn't know what to do with.  It was bursting at the seams.  I'm talking opening it was akin to taking your life in your hands!  You never knew what might jump out at you! Something had to give.
I started by pulling everything out and dumping it on the floor.  Then I began to sort and purge.  I had sheets in there for Isabella's bed.  I sent those back home with her Mom. I also realized that there are now only two people living in this house and we had not need for all of the towels and sheets that were taking up preciouse space.  When I was done I was shocked at what was left, a couple of sheet sets and a bunch of old, worn out towels.  (Read: rags) I thought a shopping trip was in order, but my budget was severly limited.  A trip to the Home Goods clearance section was called for.  I picked up 2 washcloths, 2 hand towels and 4 bath towel for $41.00!  Yeah, me!   Because they were clearanced it was difficult to find matching items, so I bought all white.  They are really nice too.  I found that I had only one set of sheets for the guest bed and discovered a gift card from Bed, Bath & Beyond in my purse that had some money left on it.  I grabbed a coupon and picked up a set of white sheets.
Here are the results:
The top shelf holds my Queen sized sheets, jersey and flannel and the regular cotton are on the second shelf.

 I never knew what to do with my collection of candles that I tend to accumulate, so I put them there on the left side of the bottom shelf.  They are easy to find and an added bonus, the closet smells great!  Also on that shelf, two glass water bottles and glass- one for each of the guest rooms, and a basket with a couple of first aid things.
This shelf has all the new towels.

The basket on this shelf holds mismatched hand towels and next to that a couple of older towels that were in better condition.  The spare set of sheets are there too, still in the original pouch. 

To add a little pretty, I wove some blue ribbon through the wire on each shelf and the baskets. 
 The OCD side of me has is dying to run out and buy all white sheets, but the budget doesn't currently allow that!  White sheets are my favorite though because they can be bleached and I LOVE the smell of bleach! 
I must say, it makes me happy to look in there and see everything so neat and organized! 
                                                              Now, onto my next project...


Thursday, January 24, 2013

My Craft Room Reveal!

I know that I have been promising to show pictures of my new craft room, but I've been a real slacker!  I was hoping to wait until it was all finished, but since that may never be the case now is as good a time as any.
So without further ado, Welcome to my Scrapatorium!
This is the view from the door.

Here is the closet, there is a lot going on there!  Those cubby things are from EK Success but I don't think they make them anymore.  The baskets on the shelf contain my ribbon, adhesives, and rub ons. 
The ones on the lower shelf have stamps and then an assortment of different things. 
That little white thing sitting on top of the cubbies I picked up at a store closing sale for like $4., I keep all of my small paper pads on it and it works out great.

This view is from the closet looking towards my desk.  You can see that the walls are a nice neutral sand color.  This is my 4th or 5th spot for my craft space in this house and I have had 2 pink rooms and one green room, another was spice colored, so I have done the whole color thing.  I wanted a neutral pallete on the walls with color coming in from the embellishments.
The room doubles as a second guest room, so I have the futon in there with me.  It opens up to a Full size bed and when we purchased it we bought a mattress for it instead of the cushion.  It is pretty comfortable!  It difficult to see but, it has two drawers underneath and I keep the sheets, pillows and a blanket in there-convenient.
Here is a closer look at the wall gallery above the futon.  I made the mats for the three pictures in the center row and also the one on the top center.
Below is a view of the wall opposite the futon. 
My embellishments cabinet with small ledges for my stamps next to it.
I really like having as much of my 'stuff' out so that I know what I have and will use it more often. 

The little display board is from Pier 1 and the punches are on towel rods from Ikea.
My computer and Silhouette station is right below this wall.
I have lots of Papertrey Ink stamps, and they came in CD cases and the storage unit for those is from The Container Store.  My dear friend gave them to me.
My Copics are in the white bins in the corner. 

All of the white bins were purchased at Michaels.  (On sale.)  Hubby bought a lot of them for me as birthday and Christmas gifts  I love them.

The mandatory Making Meroies carosel sits atop my desk.  The little penguin I made when I took Bella to 'I Made This', she insisted that I make something too.

The picture below is looking out from my desk.  I got the shelf at Kohl's when it was on sale, marked down pretty low.  Then went back and got the nightstand too!
My other embellishment cabinet.  One on each side of the windows.  All those pretty colors make me happy!
This is how I store bunches of stamps.  I got CD sleeves at Office Max and they are the perfect size.  The sleeves are made for binders, so I got pretty pink ones.  My smaller stamps (Studio G) are in a binder in trading card sleeves. 
I want to get an Expedit shelf for under the windows and then have a cushion made for the top of it.
So that's about it.  I hope that you have enjoyed  your guided tour of my Scrapatorium!

Thursday, January 10, 2013


Did you make a New Year Resolution?  I have not had too much success in the past regarding resolutions.  Perhaps that is because they often involve giving up something that I like.  For example, dieting would require me to give up food-which I like.  Exercising would force me to forgo my afternoon nap, and that is just not an option.  (I get up very early)   So, you can see why my attempts at a resolution have been less than successful. 
This year I thought about it long and hard.  There are many things that I would like to do or not to do but at the same token, I was less than excited about jumping on the band wagon and then being met with yet another failure.  Those that know me know that I hate to fail!  At anything!  I know that failure is not on anyone's top ten list of things to do, but I take it to a different level.  When I was in school the mere thought of failing a test would make me break out in a cold sweat.(And by failing I mean anything less than a B!) I would get myself so worked up that I often psyched myself out. Once I got a 'C' on my report card and I burst into tears.  My friends looked at my report card and saw all the A's & B's and said that they'd be thrilled with a report card like that.  I was devestated!  So, I'm not about to set myself up for failure.
 What I did do, was something that you may have seen or heard others do, I decided to choose a word for the year. 
My word is Grace.
The word itself sound lovely to me.  But I didn't choose it because it sounds nice.  I choose grace because I want to try to live my life with more grace.  I need to live my life with more grace.  In my journey, my struggles and my pains, my happiness and my  joys, I have been blessed to know the love of God has been with me.  Carrying me when I could no longer walk, cheering me on from the sidelines, whispering in my ear, encouraging me all they way.  I owe it to Him to live with grace. 
I want to give more of it, accept more of it and offer more of it, to my friends, neighbors, family, co-workers and even my enemies.  In return I expect nothing.  Not really.  But I do believe that I will gain somethng in return and that is peace.  Peace, is something that we all could use more of.
Grace, Peace and God.  I will try to live up to the person that He wants me to be, the person that He knows I am capable of being and that person is me.  Just as I am, but perhaps a slightly better version.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy New Year!

New Year's Eve has never really been a time of revelry for me.  I'm really not much of a partier, never have been really.  In my teen years, I looked forward to New Year's as an opportunity to earn money babysitting.  Parents looked forward to a night out and it was usually a late night, meaning more to earn.  I think I babysat every year until I moved away from home.  That first year away from home I was working in a restuarant where I met Mr. Wonderful in September, began dating him in November, became engaged to him in December and married him in January.  Yes, it was a whirlwind courtship!  Eleven months later, on New Year's Eve day at 11:51 am, our first child was born.  After having been in labor for much of the day before and spending 10 hours at the hospital prior to her arrival, the new Daddy went home to rest and let us get some rest as well.  That evening, we had an ice storm and he was unable to make it back to the hospital and so, I spent that night in the hospital alone reflecting on the events of the past year.  There was a lot to reflect on as you can well imagine!  And so, it has become somewhat of a tradition for me to celebrate my daughters' birth and look back on the past year. 

Tonight is no different.

This past year has been a year of change and growth for me and my family.  So much change.  January found us deep in the throes of wedding planning as my darling daughter had found the man of her dreams and the answer to so many prayers in Shawn.  Jim and I were suddenly facing the empty nest syndrome and working to find our way through such a strange and wondrous time in our lives.  We celebrated 31 years as husband and wife, though our plans to celebrate with a trip turned into plans to celebrate the marriage of our daughter!

March brought the wedding and with it the beginning of Spring . The wedding was a very special time for me, as not only was I able to bear witness to my daughters' happiness, but I was surrounded by much-though sadly not all-of my family.  That day Shawn officially became a member of our family though in our hearts that had happened long before.  We are so blessed and honored to call him our Son in Law.  He is a wonderful man with a generous nature, a good sense of humor and a good work ethic.  He is a man of God, who loves his family deeply and freely.  I love the way that  he loves my girls and we are all so better for knowing him 

The wedding offered another first for us as it was the first time that Tim brought Esther home to meet the family!  They had been dating for a while, but we had not met her yet and we so anxious to have the opportunity.  We were not disappointed.  Esther is a wonderful young woman who is easy to get to know and lovely to be around.  Shortly after, they found an appartment to share and have worked to build a life together.

June came all too quickly and before we could blink, Isabella had turned eight! So difficult to believe that our little munchkin is eight.  She has grown up so fast and we cherish every moment that we spend with her.  She helps to keep us young, or so I hope, and brings so much love and laughter into our  home.  What a precious gift she has been to us all. 
We spent a lot of time taking advantage of good weather and made numerous trips to the zoo, parks, the beach and other fun places with our girl.  Jim keeps her before and after school and on days off, whenever he is not working, allowing the two of them to share lots of special memories. 

\The summer also brought with it an unexpected trip as I was forced to make a trip to the ER and then 'lucky' enough to have a 5 day, 4 night stay in the luxurious Frederick Memorial Hospital after having my gallbladder removed.  That is a memory that I would just as soon forget!

Though I have seen some decline in my overall health, I am lucky to remain mobile and active.  (Although 'active' can be a relative term.  Ha!)

We have been blessed by the love of our families and our friends who have shared with us both the good times and the difficult times. 

This year has also brought with it some tragedies that we can't forget.  We saw hurricane Sandy devestate much of the East Coast, leaving unprecedented destruction and devestation in her wake. We have had to bear witness to such horrors as the school shootings in Newtown, CT.  We have grieved as a country for the loss of so many young, innocent lives.  I am heartened though, by the Grace of God and in the fact that these young people are free and at peace with their Heavenly Father.  I want to share with you some words that were written to me by my 19 year old niece. 
She writes: "...
What happened yesterday is truly heartbreaking. It is an unbelievable example of the desperately broken world we live in. We will pray and pour our hearts out for the innocent people who lost their lives and for the ones who had to watch. I am so sad that things like this happen.

Praise God that this is our temporary home--He reigns and His Kingdom has no end. I cannot wait for a day with no more tears and no more pain. But praise God that we don't have to live up to His expectations. He knew that we could not be perfect, which is what we must be in order to be in community with Him because of He is just, so He sent His Son to be perfect for us. I know you know this, but sometimes I know I get caught up in trying to live up to something I don't have to. What wonderful grace He gives. "

In the midst of such an overwhelming tragedy, I am comforted in knowing that such a Grace exists and that someone so young feels His presence so deeply and loves Him without hesitation.  Thank you Allison, you are such a gift!

And now as I see another birthday and another year come to a close, I usher in the New Year with a grateful heart, knowing His love, the love of my family and friends and with a prayer for Peace, for Prosperity for all and clear minds for our nations' leaders, that they may come to a resolution in the New Year. 

May His Blessings be with you all, now and forever!

Happy New Year and Happy Birthday my dear daughter and now too to my darling husband.