Orchard Barn Mug Holder

Mug holder 4

We have a new business in town, Orchard Barn Designs.  Run by Andrea Hicks and Jayne Sluss, they offer repurposed home decor.  The best part?  They offer workshops!

When I saw they were offering a workshop on how to make this adorable mug holder, I knew I had to give it a try.  I’m so glad I did!  Andrea and Jayne had all our materials pulled together and packaged very nicely, waiting on the tables for us.  I wish I had taken a picture, but naturally I tore into the materials too quickly.

Mug holder 1

They walked us through the project step-by-step, explaining everything very clearly.  We even got to use power tools!  (It’s the little things that excite me… )  I used a power saw for the first time and managed to keep all my fingers intact.  I also used a power sander and drill without any mishaps.  It was so much fun that I’m thinking about adding a saw to my Christmas list…

This is my finished project.

Mug holder 2

I just love it!  And, the mug hanging on it was our name card.  We wrote our names on them in Sharpie.  I thought that was so creative!  I’d have never thought of that, even though all my church potluck dishes have my name Sharpied on them.  

Jayne also provided iced coffee, a slow cooker apple spice cake, and scones.  Delicious!  I probably drank a little too much of the coffee, but I figure the caffeine was good for my creativity (or at least my energy level).  

Mug holder 3

If you live in this area, I highly recommend you check out a workshop. I know I’ll be doing more.  If you’re too far away, check them out on Etsy!  



Sunshine Blogger Award


I was so flattered and honored to have been nominated for the Sunshine Blogger Award by FlickBox!  Movie lovers (or movie likers for that matter!) should definitely check out this blog!  Go ahead–pay it a visit.  You won’t regret it!

Here are the rules for the award:

  • Post the award on your blog.
  • Acknowledge the blogger who nominated you.
  • Answer the 11 questions that have been assigned to you.
  • Nominate 11 deserving bloggers for the award.
  • Ask 11 questions to your nominees.

FlickBox’s Questions:

  1. What is your vision of you in the future?   In my ideal world, I would live in a small, historic town with my family.  I would own a craft store of some sort (the specifics vary by the mood I’m in!), and befriend all my fellow small business owners.  I would spend my days making some amazing crafts and interacting with and inspiring other crafters.
  2. What type of music do you like the most?  Ooh, this is a tough one.  I listen to so many different types of music–pop, country, rock, gospel, classics…  When I’m driving, though, I probably listen to late 80s music more than anything.  It brings back so many memories!
  3. If you had 3 wishes, what would you wish for?
    1. Good health and safety for my loved ones.
    2. A cure for cancer.
    3. Money.  Yes, I know that seems a bit shallow, but I think I could do a lot of good things in the region I live in with some money.
  4. If you were in the situation of Neo in the Matrix, which pill would you choose, the blue or the red one?  Why?  I probably shouldn’t confess this, but I haven’t seen the Matrix.  I’m going to go with blue, though, just because I like it better than red.  🙂
  5. Would you prefer to live in a terminator apocalypse or a zombie apocalypse?  A zombie apocalypse.  I’m a big fan of The Walking Dead, and have watched every season, so I feel pretty well prepared to fight the walkers.
  6. If you could wake up tomorrow in the body of someone else and live one day being him/her, who would you pick and what would you do?   I’ve given this some thought from time to time and I’ve never been able to come up with anyone I’d like to change places with–even for a day.  I think the realist part of me kicks in and makes it difficult to imagine being anyone else because I know everyone has their problems–some of which I’m sure are much worse than mine!
  7. If you could have one meal for the rest of your life, which would it be?  I know this is simple and boring, but I’d pick hamburgers and fries.  I love a good hamburger and could probably eat one every day.
  8. What is the question that you hate to answer the most?  Working in human resources, I conduct a lot of interviews.  One of the most common questions is “what are your weaknesses?”.  I hate that question.  There’s no good way to answer it.  Either you’re honest and risk losing the opportunity, or you try to spin what is really a good quality into a weakness (i.e., I’m too detail oriented).
  9. If you could change one event in history, what would it be?  The event that always gotten to me whenever I’ve read anything about it is the Holocaust.  I find it completely horrifying.
  10. Ugly and live forever or attractive and die in a year?   Ugly and live forever.  I enjoy life and there are so many people I care about that I can’t imagine leaving it all behind in a year just so I could spend that last year being attractive.
  11. What do you feel when you write?   I feel so many different emotions–happiness, excitement, and anxiousness.  It can be nerve-wracking to put yourself out there like that!

My Nominees Are:

  1. Hannah’s Testimony
  2. Beauty on a Budget123
  3. Living Lighter in Atlanta
  4. Paper Puff
  5. The Crafty Mummy
  6. Craft & Other Crazy Plans
  7. Cooking without Limits
  8. Eating on the Grounds
  9. SerendipiDIY
  10. Three Chatty Cats
  11. The Wee House of Crochet

My Questions:

  1. Why did you start blogging?
  2. Where is your favorite place to visit?
  3. What is your favorite book?
  4. What is one thing you would buy for yourself if money was no object?
  5. If you could live in any other period of time, when would it be and why?
  6. What do you feel is the best part of blogging?
  7. What form of social media do you use most?
  8. What person do you admire the most?
  9. What is your favorite season?
  10. If you had 3 extra hours in each day, what would you do with them?
  11. What do you find most challenging about blogging?

Be sure to visit my nominees!  They’re all great!




I See the Moon…


I see the moon, the moon sees me

God bless the moon, God bless me

I’m  not really sure where that saying came from.  I remember my mom saying it when I was growing up, and when my girls were little (and even not so little!), I said it to them whenever we saw the moon.  I think it’s one of those little things from childhood they’ll always remember.

The other night Hannah and I watched a video where mothers and daughters picked tattoos for each other.  Neither knew what the other had picked until the reveal.  I asked Hannah what she would pick for me and she said “A m0–“.   As she started to say “moon”, I jumped in and told her that’s what I would pick for her, too!  Pretty neat.  I don’t particularly want a tattoo, but I did have the idea to put this saying into a piece of matching jewelry for the three of us.

I decided to use Shrinky Dinks to make the moon, adding “I see the moon” to the charm.


I then simply added a tiny heart charm and a blue crystal to pre-made bangles.  Doesn’t get much easier!


I’m not considering a tattoo at this point in my life (it’s a big commitment, after all), but if I ever change my mind, this would be a great idea for the three of us.

What I’m Watching


Like many crafters, I like to watch television while I work/play.  It’s great when I’m working on something a bit tedious.  And, if I’m making something while I’m watching tv, I’m less likely to fall asleep or eat the house down.

I thought I’d share a few of my favorite shows–I’ll warn you, it’s quite a range!

  • The Walking Dead:  Yes, I confess I love this show.  Anyone who watches it will tell you it’s not all about the zombies.  It’s much more about the relationships between the survivors.  Of course, it wouldn’t be a zombie show without a little gore, but you quickly get past that.
  • Mercy Street:  This is a PBS show about a hospital in Alexandria, VA during the Civil War.  Since I find history very interesting, this show is right up my ally.  The show is in its second season, and has injected a humor that wasn’t there last season.
  • The Middle:  I have loved this sitcom from day 1.  It’s about a middle class family in a small town in Indiana, and is hilarious.  The show tends to have parts that mimic our life a little–maybe they have a camera hidden in our house…
  • The Goldbergs:  Another sitcom–this one set in 1980-something.  It’s so much fun to take a look back at the 80s and some of the things I remember (or have forgotten).
  • Hunted:  This show is new this year.  Nine couples are on the run from professional law enforcement agents (police officers, FBI agents, etc.).  If they make it 28 days without being caught they win $250,000.  It’s amazing to see how people react under pressure, and I’m rather amazed at the amount of information law enforcement officials can gather.
  • Riverdale:  A new show this year based on the characters from the Archie comics (Archie, Betty, Veronica, Jughead, etc.).  I was a fan of the comics growing up and this show is great.  It’s a drama–a bit dark, but very addicting.
  • The Andy Griffith Show:  An oldie but goody.  I like to come home from a hard day at work and watch this.  It takes place in a much simpler time and I love the relaxing innocence of it.
  • Texas Flip & Move:  This is a recent find and has quickly become my favorite home improvement-type show.  It’s set in Texas, and follows a few folks as they buy homes that are super cheap (as in less than $1,000), move them, and flip them for profit.
  • The Pioneer Woman:  My favorite cooking show by far.  I love watching Ree Drummond whip up some amazing recipes and share her life on the family’s ranch.  I’ve made several of her recipes, and they’ve always turned out great.  This show is part of my Saturday morning routine.  I like to watch it with a good cup of coffee.

It looks like a pretty long list, but I really don’t spend as much time watching tv as it seems!  Most of the shows are weekly, and staggered over the entire week.  Others, like the last three mentioned, are shows I like and catch when I can.

What do you like to watch while crafting?

Doggie Bandana Blanket Progress


I’ve made some progress with the doggie bandana throw I’m making for my sister-in-law in memory of her dog Max (you can read about it here).  I transferred a picture of Max to a plain white quilt square and it turned out really well.  Using the transfer paper was actually pretty easy.

I also cut the bandanas into small squares, and joined four together to make larger blocks.


My plan is to alternate the bandana blocks with blocks cut from the bone print fabric, with the picture block in the middle.  As long as my sewing machine and I get along and don’t come to blows, it should’t take too long.

I’m anxious to finish the throw!  Hopefully within the next week or two I’ll be able to show the completed project.


My Planner


I have to confess…one of my favorite parts of starting a new year is getting a brand new planner.  I know, I’m a bit of a nerd, but there’s just something about a blank book of calendars that is refreshing and full of potential excitement.  It has to be pretty, too.  If I have to look at it every day and it’s going to wind up with a bunch of work stuff and errands in it that I’m not particularly excited about,  it has to at least look nice.

I’ve tried several different kinds of planners over the years, but my favorites are the ones with plenty of space to write for each day.  I don’t care much for the ones with the tear-off lists for shopping and such on each side because I tend to not use them.

I actually jumped the gun and bought this planner last August.  I was really tired of the one I had been using, and since this one ran from August 2016 to December 2017 I figured it was the perfect time to get it.  The brand is Spartina 449, and it has a lot of features I like:

  • The cover.  It reminds me of the beach and has a cute little mermaid saying.
  • It has plenty of room for daily lists.planner-4
  • It has a full monthly calendar at the beginning of each month.planner-3
  • It also has cute sayings at the beginning of each month.  This one is from September 2017, and it fits me to a T.planner-1
  • It has several pages for to-do lists and other thoughts.planner-2

As you can see in the picture above of one week in December, I like to decorate my planner with stickers.  They just make it a little cheerier.

After using this planner for several months, I have to say it works really well for me.  But, of course, I’m always on the lookout for the perfect planner.  I noticed Michaels has planners that you can easily customize with the pages you need.  That may be the route I go next year.

If there were anything I could change about this planner, it would be that I would love to have the to-do pages after (or before) each month.  I also wouldn’t object to space for notes on each week.

Is there a particular planner you like?

Fastest Cowl Ever


I’m always on the lookout for fast projects because, as I’ve mentioned before, I don’t have the patience for anything that takes too long to finish.  Yesterday I came across the pattern for this chunky cowl, and decided to give it a try.  After all, it looked quick and easy, and I had high hopes I could finish it in an evening.

I was very pleasantly surprised to discover it worked up quickly.  I didn’t time how long it took, but I started it, fell asleep (it had been a long day), woke up, finished it, and still had the bulk of the evening left.  My guess would be it took no more than an  hour to complete.  Perfect!


I followed the pattern exactly, with the same brand of yarn, and a size P hook (instead of an O), but found that I only used just over a skein of yarn while the pattern called for 3 skeins.  It could be that I did something wrong and didn’t catch it, or it may just be that I sometimes struggle to keep my stitches loose.  After all, I spent several years bead weaving–a craft that requires much tighter tension.

Whatever the case, I really like the finished product.


I see this cowl in a variety of colors in my future!

ChapStick Holder


I confess.  I have an addiction to ChapStick.  It started many years ago and I’ve never been able to break the habit (not that I’ve ever really tried).  I can’t stand to not have something on my lips, whether it be ChapStick, lip gloss, or lipstick.  If I don’t, they feel dry and it drives me crazy.  At least it’s a safe, inexpensive addiction, right?

I found a pattern for a crochet ChapStick holder and decided I definitely needed to make some of these.  The pattern can be found here, and is very quick and easy.  There is the option to add a button, but since I didn’t have one handy I just stuck to the non-button option.


I also used a colorful s-hook in place of the hook suggested because they’re really cute (and I had several handy).

This holder will come in handy to keep me from losing my ChapStick in my purse, and also for those days when I just grab my wallet to make a quick trip somewhere.  I can just hook it on and go.


Now I just need to make one to match each purse and wallet!

Looks Iffy, Tastes Great


The other day Travis read a post on Facebook about a meal this particular couple ate a lot when they were first married and broke.  They called it “hot dog surprise”.  I hesitantly asked him what that was, and he explained that it was a hot dog with mashed potatoes and cheese on top, baked in the oven until the cheese melted.

Hmmm…we didn’t think it sounded too bad, so I decided to give it a try.  I’m glad I did!

I first broiled my hot dogs it the oven until they were nice and brown.  I then put them on a bun, topped them with my homemade mashed potatoes (I don’t like instant potatoes so I always put a little extra effort in and make them from scratch), and shredded cheddar cheese.  It was back into the oven, under the broiler, until the cheese melted.

Hannah’s reaction was priceless.  She took a bite and said “What the heck?!?  Why is this delicious?!”.   She was right–it really was good!

As for my mashed potatoes, I don’t really have a recipe, but this is how I make them.  I peel a few potatoes, cut them into small cubes, and boil them.  I then drain the water, mash the potatoes a bit with a potato masher, then add a little milk, butter, salt and pepper.  I then use a hand mixer to combine all the ingredients, leaving a few small chunks.  Afterwards, I taste them and adjust the seasonings as needed.  Sometimes I’ll throw in a little garlic powder, too.

I wish now I had taken a picture–they looked much better than “Hot Dog Surprise” sounds!

Meet Draco


Monday evening, Hannah and Katie went for a run.  They wound up at my mother-in-law’s house, where they saw an adorable black kitten that had been coming around lately.  Travis was there, too, visiting his mother, and with a little begging from the girls, he agreed to let them bring the little kitty home.  I knew nothing about this, so you can imagine my surprise when they came in with the little black kitten they had dubbed Draco (from the Harry Potter books).

I really hadn’t expected to get another fur baby, since we already have a dog (Ralph) and 2.5 indoor cats (the .5 is Raisin, who comes in and goes out as she pleases).  If you’ve been following this blog for a while, you’ll recall we adopted Buzz and Woody back in the fall after our cat, Elsa, passed away.  But…I am a bit of a sucker when it comes to animals, and Draco is absolutely adorable.  He’s a little skinny, but judging from the way he eats, he’ll fill out in no time.  He’s very sweet and likes to cuddle.

As for the other animals, they’re adjusting to having a new little brother.  I’m pretty sure if Ralph could roll his eyes, he would.  Buzz and Woody kept their distance at first, but are warming up to him little by little.  Raisin tends to be grumpy on a good day, so she usually keeps to herself.

Tomorrow is Draco’s first vet visit.  I’m a little nervous that he’ll have the feline leukemia disease that took Elsa from us, but praying he’s as healthy as he seems.

Most parents have to worry about their teenage daughters going out and meeting boys.  I have to worry about mine going out and meeting new cats!