Monday, March 28, 2011

Better than Planned.

Go here to see the first phase of the tv cabinet story. Then here and here to learn more about the four pices of artwork. I finally finished those four word canvases. I had a blast digging through bits and bobs looking for just the right accents for the silhouettes at the top. I will apologize for the picture quality. It is storming here and has been for a few days. But hello, I needed to make some sort of post. Truth be told - this on is probably my favorite. Why? Because the duck clasp came from a watch I remember my Daddy wearing. The little pendant I picked up in a parking lot somehere. And this bit of chain is from an old cheap necklace in the "metal bits" box. This fits in with the challenge to USE THE BEST STUFF.
This ones' finish was the source of much debate.

I thrifted a decrepit Bible (actually came from the FREE bin) and waffled back and forth about cutting the pages. Note the Bible is falling apart already. It is water stained and several pages are loose. I decided to simply cut a small piece of the Harmony of the Gospel section in the back. So I held my breath and I cut it. Then I turned it over and discovered that the word Easter was centered perfectly in my belt buckle doodad. Happy Accident.

What is so amazing about Grace?

The little brass bit looked like it was black when I got it. It is a column from a German clock. One of those that was under a glass dome. I snagged the remains from a dumpster at Habitat ReStore because I saw the guy toss it and I wanted the porcelain face. When I polished the piece - this wonderful vine pattern was what I found. Love this one too.

Then Peace.
I like this one - it adds to the look of the entire set. A lock and key charm from a junk bracelet. and a vintage button.
Here they all are together. The set makes me so very pleased. These are mine - all mine and here is what I did with them........

Two on either side of the newly black painted tv cabinet door panels.

Now people -- I do not know about you, but this view is so very much better than it used to be. I hung them with Command adhesive strips.

This turned out to be so much better than planned.

Now tonight will find me working on the overskirt for the prom dress. Prom is in two weeks. I do not want to be trying to finish that dress on the day of......

Happy Monday.

Friday, March 25, 2011

the tv cabinet.

We must be the last people in the USA to not upgrade to a huge flatscreen tv. But we don't think there is a need for that expense at this time. So our older - tiny little tv fits our cabinet just fine.

The cabinet is made from a cedar armoire. Now do not freak out - this was a free cabinet and the door panels were busted when it showed up on my front porch a few years back. Yes - just like a stray dog - the dang thing was on my front porch when I came home one day. Cool in and of itself.

At the time, the Man at my address converted it using shelves made from recycled wood and trim we removed from our house during the remodel. I took the broken panels out and replaced them with luan (a really thin plywood like product.) I put bookshelf wallpaper on the front of the panels and painted the inside white. In THEORY, we would keep this closed and the pretty "bookshelves" would be seen.


Then dang thing stays open all the time. Just like this........

Saturday - I dragged all the crap out and cleaned it. Straightened the stuff inside. And decided to go ahead and complete a project I had been PLANNING on doing for weeks. Actually years.

Now you guys know me - I am all about the right tools - (insert hysterically appropriate commentary here).

I grabbed a hammer and a prying device ........ yes that is a flat blade frosting knife from the kitchen drawer.

And I set up an appropriate painting table on my front porch. Yes that one is a bar stool.

And this one is a porch rocker.

Don't judge - it worked just fine.
The result - a much nicer look for the cabinet door when they are open. There is even more PLANNED for these now almost always open doors.
Even cooler - I used things I already had. No money spent. WhoHoo.
Stay tuned......
Update for some faraway friends - yes, I work in Athens, GA. Yes, there is a cop killer on the loose. The main focus of the search is focused in the area around my work. Most of it less than 5 miles from us. It is an uneasy feeling to be so close to the focus area. All of us will be very relieved when it is all over. But please friends remember the Officer Buddy Christian family in your thoughts and prayers. He leaves a wife and two small children. Funeral services will be Sunday.
I hope you all have a fabulous weekend.

Monday, March 14, 2011

I am such a packaging fool.

Wow - we had a gorgeous weekend here in Georgia. temps in the 70's and lots of sunshine.

Friday night - soccer games - then some crochet time in the car while I was waiting for the College Girl and her boy to show up for a ride home.

Saturday found me running the top of Hartwell Dam. I had not done so since September, but I took almost 5 minutes off my run time - pretty significant for an old, fat lady, missing a major organ. Plus, I finished almost a half mile in front of the man (and I came from behind). Did I make sure and let him know just how I felt about this --- well - duh.

Saturday evening was a 50th birthday dinner for a friend.

Sunday was church. Then I got home and discovered a long and assertive cane from my climbing rose was invading College Girls parking place at the house. Seems the cane and the associated thorns were regularly attacking peeps getting out on the passenger side of her car. So there I was in my church clothes, pruning shears in hand, pruning roses. This led to pruning crepe myrtles. Then to pruning the Eucalyptus tree. ALL IN MY CHURCH CLOTHES. craziness. Mom was on a roll.

It was a great weekend. For all kinds of outdoor activity.

But about the title of this post.

I love great packaging. Especially packaging that I can reuse. And sometimes a surprise package will make me giddy with absolute "OMG that's awesome" delight.

We ate lunch at a local meat and 3 place called the Tanner House. I ordered banana pudding for dessert. Then I asked for it "to go". Did they bring me one of those horrid styrofoam containers of banana pudding. NO NO NO ---

Just look how my to go order was packaged.

A cute little mason jar complete with gingham print lid.

Poor Hubby - he just looked at me with that "deer in the headlights" look familiar to bloggers everywhere - as I whipped out the phone to take pictures of said little jar.

Please tell me that at least you guys understand.

Have a wonderful day.

Wednesday, March 09, 2011


This post has been written and deleted so many times. It has been written in my mind and edited and edited. I am struggling with the words here. But I want to follow through with the post about the word challenge between me and my sweet friend, MaryAnn.

She got to choose the word for February and she chose FORGIVE. I cringed. I complained. I wanted to quit the challenge.

I have a lot to FORGIVE. Honestly people we all do.

Often it is much harder to FORGIVE the closer the person(s) are to us. And most often FORGIVING ourself is the most difficult act of all.

I worked hard on this challenge and I let go of some small things - I am still working hard on this and I am slowly letting go of some bigger things.

What I discovered about myself - sometimes hanging on to the hurt and anger becomes the comfortable way to feel. That comfy shroud becomes sort of an armour. Even a weapon. And without realizing it - I become angrier, cynical, ugly. MaryAnn pointed out that even in my blog writing of the past the sense of ugliness was there.

I went back and read many many posts. It was awful. It was ugly. I was ugly.

This is not a religious blog, but I am a Christian. I went to the scripture. I read other people's writings on FORGIVENESS. I searched blogs. I talked to friends.

I learned - FORGIVING is not a once and done thing. It is a do over and over thing. A slow release of the hurt, of the anger, of the ugly. It is an act. It is a discipline. It requires work. Focus. Determination. It allows those feeling to surface again - raw and painful - instead of being buried and covered up, tucked away to minimize the horror of it. There has even been a process very similar to grieving over some of this.

But this word - FORGIVE - this challenge set forth by my precious friend (who didn't give up on me) has been by far the most rewarding word so far.

I am still working on it.


Remember - the actual act of GOD'S GRACE AND FORGIVENESS was not a stunning, gorgeous piece of art or Jewelry. Like the bracelet pictured below.

It actually probably looked more like this ----

And this ....

But His act brings me closer. And FORGVING myself and others leads me closer to ...

FORGIVE - it is hard. FORGIVE it is necessary. FORGIVE it will make room for JOY in my life.



Thank you MaryAnn for this challenge. I am still working on it.

I have chosen an easier word for this month -- my word is PLAN.

Love -

As we going into the Lenten season (today is Ash Wednesday) Spend 40 days in the Wilderness with Jesus and know that His Sacrifice means everything to us.

Friday, March 04, 2011

Coupon Savings in my world.

This post is for Nancy. I do not see her on a regular basis, but she is the Man's cousin, and thanks to the fabulous social network called facebook, we are now able to at least communicate frequently.

I posted about my savings at the grocery store on facebook and she asked me to give her some more information.

Let's start with disclaimers - I have a real 40+ hour a week job. I have an athlete who lives at my house. I am perpetually disorganized. I do not have the energy or the inclination for extreme coupon processes. I do not have anywhere to store large amount of nonperishable goods (no 100 big ass packages of toilet paper sitting around). I have no desire to purchase some 400 dollars worth of stuff for 5.00 and I refuse to run all over town because this store has a 3 cent better price on an items. So I guess this could be called couponing for the real world.

Last year I saved approximately 1800.00 using store "bonus" cards and coupon savings. That may not seem like much to the kings and queens of the process, but it was a good number to me.

Here is my process.

1. I have the following store promo cards in my wallet. Bi-Lo (my grocery store), BigLots, Ingles (the run by store on the way home), CVS, RiteAid, Barnes and Noble (I pay 25.00/year for this one but we buy so many books and magazines that this is a luxury worth having for me). I faithfully scan them and check the little coupon printers at the appropriate stores.

2. I check the following websites often. (my gorcery store) they have the weekly ad online, so I can plan ahead.

3. I "like" several manufactures websites on Facebook.

4. I get email newsletters from my favorites, including pillsbury and hobby lobby.

5. I collect the coupon inserts from the paper and sale papers of stores I frequent.

6. If we don't eat it - I don't clip it. If I don't clip it - I leave it in a box that my local library has just for this purpose. I do clip diaper coupons for friends with babies and I share those. If I notice a special in a store ad and see a coupon I may even note that on the coupon for those friends.

My storage and working system.

We add to our grocery list all week. I don't have a printout list - honestly most of the time it is the back of a junk mail envelope - and it may be written in pen, pencil, marker, or even crayon depending on what's handy.

This is my Coupon Keeper. I made it. It makes me happy. It appeals to the artsy fartsy standards for being visually appealing. It works for me. That last statement is absolutely the most important one.

I slide my coupons into library card pockets. Each page has a picture and a quote. The pages are divided into the various groupings that made sense to me.


Note - the STORE category is for those store specific coupons - especially the ones that print on the bottom of the receipt

Note - RESTAURANT coupons go in my misc section.

Behind each coupon page - there is a pretty piece of paper. Notes to remind me to check facebook pages for specials etc.

My tracking is where I write down the date/store/ and savings.

I shop on Sunday afternoon most often - I will check the store add online and add specials for the pantry to my list - again I say - I only buy the stuff we relly do use.

I go through my coupons and stack them up to match my list. This is when I cull the ones that got away - coupons that expired. I make notes on the list about the items that I have a coupon for. I also will add items to my list that I have a coupon for that is about to expire. I paper clip the coupons to the front of the book.

Off to the store - I mark off the list - if there is a coupon note on it showing that I already pulled a coupon for an item, I pull it from the stack and tuck it in the side of the book double checking any "rules" on the coupon - such as buying two of an item. I will also add coupons from the book when I have the "oh crap that's not on the list" moments as I cruise the store.

At the check out - I put my handy reusable bags on the counter -- cha ching -- my grocery store give a discount just for that act.

scan store card - groceries - coupons - write check - load car - sit down - write savings on tracking list. try to figure out who I can sucker at my house into putting these away.

here is my pile for clipping right now.

the newpaper inserts
magazine coupons

online printout coupons

Always check packaging - thats 1.50 in the top of a box that I bought on special already -

The whole process takes about two hours time per week. Not including the drive to the store.

I also keep the coupon book in my car all the time - so I can check when I "stop by the store" on the way home.

By the way - Dollar General in my area has huge discounts available using their online site and in store promos - always check the front rack for those.

My goal for this year is to try and save 2000.00 at least - that is 167.00 per month - right now with all my tracked goodness, I am well on my way to that goal.

Any questions - I will happily answer them. There is a ton of information on how to out there. But I will share all I know about my discombobulated process.

Have a wunnerful day.

Wednesday, March 02, 2011


NOTE 1: I did this to myself last night. Jumping tires doing an obstacle style rotation at bootcamp. It is just a sprain. I clear the tire I was jumping - but screwed up the landing big time. It was not pretty and I now answer to the name GRACE. Then I picked myself up and dusted off my body and my pride and finished the workout.

NOTE 2: I ran every step of the running route tonight - every freakin' step. I am tickled that the vitamin d seems to be helping not only my energy, but my stamina as well.

NOTE 3: I met some wonderful people on Saturday at an antique mall. Emails have been exchanged and I have new friends. How cool is that?

NOTE 4: I have a smart phone - some days I hate it. However; I can upload and update and check facebook from that phone. Softball Princess has made that discovery too. So last night she asked to use my phone. I told her to wait until I updated my status and checked my notifications. Her response "Mom, that it the saddest thing I ever heard you say." My response --- LOL --- as if it were a word.

NOTE 5: I do not use text shorthand at all. I type all the words and try to use punctuation and correct grammer, but the predict mode on my loverly smart phone sometimes makes me cuss. Then I send texts that read like " love you not live you - damn predict mode"

NOTE 6: If scientists discover a link between Mexican food and cancer - I AM DOOMED. Same for dill pickles, olives, margaritas, and sweet tea.

NOTE 7: Today is Wednesday. The Man and I have fallen into Wednesday night being Mexican Night. So all in one day, I will enjoy each of those favorite foods on the list in Note 6. (I had a dill pickle and sweet tea with my lunch - the rest I will cover at dinner)

Have a wonderful day.