Saturday, November 13, 2010

A Clean Pantry and Charity

This has been another busy week...will it ever stop???  However I did manage to clean out my pantry. It was past time. When you are afraid to open your pantry door, for fear of being beaned by a box of crackers, it's time!

Not only do I now have a neat, organized pantry, but I was able to put together two bags of groceries to donate to a local food pantry. I use coupons in conjunction with sales, and sometimes register rebates (at Walgreens) to get really good deals on lots of things. When I can combine deals like this and get a rock bottom price, I stock up. So I was able to give out of this stock.

I also put together a bag of toiletries to take to the homeless shelter. That, along with 3 more bags of clothes for the family we are helping, and things donated to St. Vincent's (similar to Salvation Army), constituted my tangible giving for this week.

Today I spent several hours helping a dear friend and her dear daughter, take pictures and list a vintage Louis Vuitton Suitcase on eBay.  Those things are going for unbelievable prices!  The daughter found it at St. Vincents.  So I gave of my time.  Our husbands gave their morning to work at the church cleaning up outside.  Then they came back here, where I had prepared lunch for all of us.

Once again, in giving, I am blessed.  I got to spend a wonderful day with my friend and her family.  We are both so busy, and live about half an hour apart, so that we usually only see each other on Sundays. 

If you are new to my blog, or haven't been able to keep up lately, I am participating in the 30 giving challenge. It's about being purposeful in giving of your time, talent, or resources.  In this economy, and with my husband rotating in and out of layoff, we can't give financially at this time.  But there are so many other ways to give. 

30-Day Giving Challenge

These are hard times for so many.  But if you can find ways to give, be prepared, because God is going to bless your socks off!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Industrial Magnet Board

I promised to post a tutorial on the magnet board I made for my son's room, and although I got waylaid by a funeral and life in general, I am keeping my word. Better late than never! 

It started out looking like this:

I removed the Eiffel Tower and used it on my French Bulletin Board.  First I used spray primer, then sprayed it with several thin coats of Rustoleum Specialty Metallic, in bright reflective silver. 

Even with the texture, it was a little too pristine, so I grunged it up a bit by brushing on a thin layer of black paint, then randomly wiping some of the paint back off. 

For the magnets, I fished around in hubbys cabinet full of nuts and bolts.  I found a variety of them, along with some washers I 'd bought ages ago for a scrapbooking project, but had never used.  I did buy some JB Weld, which is a permanent glue to bond metal.  It was $4.69 at my local hardware, but I used just a tiny amount.  There's lots left for future projects.

I followed the directions on the package and cleaned all the metal pieces with nail polish remover for a good bond.

Wish my nails looked like that!  I played around with the washers and nuts, until I liked them, then glued the washers to the magnets, then glued the nuts to the washers.  JB Weld comes in two tubes.  You squirt out an equal amount of each and mix them together, then work fairly quickly.  I used a very small amount so it wouldn't set up before I used it all.  It sets in 4 minutes.  I did have to mix a little more, but it's quick and easy.

I used some more nuts and bolts to fill the three holes where the Eiffel Tower was attached.

Although it's unlikely you will find a metal piece just like this, you could do this with any flat metal...maybe the back of an old cookie sheet, or you can buy a precut sheet of textured metals at Home Depot.  
I hung it on the wall ready for all his paper treasures.  When I came back a few minutes later I got a chuckle.  He had rearranged the magnets.

And so I leave you with a smile :)

I've linked this post to:

My Repurposed Life - Catch as Catch Can Party

Monday, November 8, 2010

Giving Starts at Home and a Cookie Recipe

Sometimes giving needs to start at home. I've been so busy lately with projects, homeschooling, and trying to go through the house organizing, cleaning, and decluttering, that I've been a little okay...a "lot" slack on fixing real sit down dinners, and baking snacks for the boys. They've begun protesting that there's nothing to eat! (There is, just nothing special ;)

So today I gave a good part of my morning away baking protein cookies. They love them and they are full of healthy ingredients, along with some unhealthy...but better than most! Each batch makes a lot of cookies, so I put some in the freezer for later. 

Now I will give you the recipe. It originally came from Women's World magazine and was supposed to be a "diet" cookie. You eat one for breakfast and one for lunch, then eat a healthy dinner. Yeah...right! Anyway, my boys love them and I feel good giving them something pretty healthy. There are three variations: chocolate, raisin, and peanut butter.  I've modified the recipe somewhat from the original.  

Basic Giant Breakfast Cookies
1 ¼ C gran. Sugar
¾ C brown rice syrup (or dark Karo)
2T canola oil 
1 ¼ C prune puree
3 eggs 
1 tsp. Vanilla
3 C old fashioned oats 
2 C oat bran
2 C flour (I use 1 ½ C white + ½ C high protein, like rice flour)
1 ½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt

Optional – I also add 2 tsp kelp powder, ½ C dry milk powder, ¼ C wheat germ and 1 T brewers yeast.

Note: to make prune puree, empty a box of prunes into blender, add water to equal 2 ¾ cups and puree. Makes enough for 2 batches. Can freeze half.

Oatmeal Raisin add:
½ - 1C cup raisins
1 tsp cinnamon

Chocolate add:
1/3 C cocoa powder
½ - 3/4 C semisw. chocolate chips

Peanut Butter add: 
½ cup peanut butter

Mix sugar and all wet ingredients.  Mix dry ingredients in large bowl.  Stir dry ingredients into wet.  Spray cookie sheets with Pam.  Drop scant 1/4 cup of batter for each cookie.  Bake 350 for about 18-20 minutes or until lightly golden and set.  

I often mix up several batches of dry ingredients, put them in ziploc bags and store them in the freezer of refridgerator.  It makes the process much faster.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

30 Day Giving Challenge

Today we took 3 bags of clothing to a needy family, and I took the time to talk and pray with the mom. Ladies, she needs prayer for strength, courage and wisdom. She needs practical help too. We are the feet and hands of Jesus. We must "go" (his feet) and "do" (his hands). I am doing what I can to help her and trusting God to supply the rest. Those of you who believe, would you pray with me for her?


Friday, November 5, 2010

A Loss And A Blessing

Has your life ever hit the pause button? Mine has a few times, like when my husband had a heart attack a few years ago. Well this past week my pause button got hit again. Last Thursday morning, just after midnight, my dear, sweet grandma passed into the arms of Jesus. It was a day of great rejoicing in heaven, as a dear saint entered into her reward.

As one she left behind, I will miss her greatly. Her whole family will miss her. The church and community she was a part of,  to whom she gave so generously to, will miss her. But she did her part here on earth. She was tired and hurting. She was 93, almost 94 and it was time to go home.

Upon returning home, I found The 30 Day Giving Challenge had started Nov. 1st.

30-Day Giving Challenge

I participated in a giving challenge last year and was unbelievably blessed by it.  This time I want to dedicate this giving challenge to my loving and generous grandma.  I will try to post something daily, not to bring praise to myself, but to document this journey of giving and blessing.  Any praise should be turned toward God.  All that I have is his.  I do not give to receive, but God pours out his blessing anyway. 

I just found the giving challenge today. But the past several days I've been washing, sorting and bagging clothes to give to a very needy family with 8 children. I had planned to have a garage sale this summer, but it didn't I know why. This family needs what I have. It is such a blessing to be able to truly help someone who needs it.  I have 5 bags in the back of the van, ready to deliver.

Already God has blessed.  He blesses us in many ways daily, but this one met a specific need we have right now.  My husband has been laid off for two weeks (he will go back next week), and we were between a paycheck and unemployment.  When I went to transfer money from our meager savings to checking, I found that a weeks pay had been deposited.  Ken did not realize he had another paycheck coming.  Some may say, well, it was coming whether you gave or not.  Maybe so, but I know God provided just what we needed, when we needed it.

Some who read this blog are Christians, others may not be.  I will not thump you over the head with the Bible.  But I would be remiss if I didn't invite you to find out who Jesus is.  If you are a Christian, or decide to become one,  I will personally introduce you to my grandma when we meet in heaven.  I can't wait to see her beaming smile and hear her soft, southern Indiana drawl again.

If you too, wish to take up the 30 giving challenge, click on the button above.  Try it and watch God at work.

Monday, October 25, 2010

In The Works...And Two Features!

I've been posting projects from my son's room while I took a little break from projects. I still have one more, the magnet board, which I will try to get done tomorrow. Just so you know, the break has been over for a bit. I've been working on a dresser and a vanity for my daughter's room. Here's a sneak peak of her dresser. 

While I've been busy in the background over here, some exciting things have been happening.  I've been featured on two "big name" blogs!  Jan, at Bobbypins Boardwalk, featured my PB Inspired Bulletin Board.

If you've been blogging for any length of time, you are probably familiar with Bobbypins Boardwalk.  If not, you've been missing out on projects like these:

Jan is incredibly talented and versatile.  You really, really should pay her a visit.  Tell her I sent you!

Just this morning I woke up to another nice surprise.  Amanda, editor of Home and Garden Craft Gossip, featured the Hubcap Clock I did for my son's room.

Craft Gossip is new to me, but certainly not new to the web.  There are over 4500 facebook followers...gulp!  They have several editors that take care of different catagories.  My clock is in the home and garden catagory.  They also have many other catagories such as sewing, jewelry making, stamping, and way too many more to mention here.

Basically they are a portal that lists crafts from all over the web, bringing them together in one place. From there, you can go out and visit any that interest you.  Quite convenient really.  Of course I am following them now, because they feature a lot of new crafts everyday.  Each catagory features one thing per day.  Check them out.  I think you will like it.  I already found some 'new to me' sites that I like!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Hubcap Clock

My favorite project that I did for Jared's bedroom was the hubcap clock. It was an easy enough project, but I had to make a tweak or two because of the shape of the "face."

I had a clock kit that I bought a couple years ago, but never used. I don't remember what I paid, but it was a Walnut Hollow kit.  I googled it and found them at Create for Less for 6.99.  You can buy them in several sizes (shaft length).   I had to adjust mine as you will see below.

The hubcap I found in the barn and hubby let me use it. You could probably find one pretty cheap at a car junk yard. I don't recommend taking one off your husbands car...just sayin.

The first thing I did was to shine it up with fine steel wool. There were some places where some black paint still lingered, but the steel wool took it right off. Then I marked the middle of the chevy emblem and drilled a large enough hole to insert the post of the clock works through.

Next I wrapped a plastic bag around it and taped around the emblem so I could easily paint it.  I didn't have red spray paint, so I just used the red paint I'd used for everything else in his room.  A couple of coats covered it.  

There were several little gold pieces that came with the clock works that I spray painted silver.  That was interesting.  They were so lightweight that the spray kept blowing them around.  I only needed to paint one side.

 I also painted the numbers that came with the kit.  I forgot to take a picture of that, but they came all attached together on a plastic piece, which made painting very easy. You can see what they looked like in the picture of the kit above.  After they dried, I cut them off the plastic holder, peeled off the backing and stuck them on the front of the hubcap.

Because I wasn't using a traditional wood clock face, the shaft on the clock motor was too long.  I needed something to use between the motor and the back of the clock, but it still had to stick out far enough for the hands to clear the raised lip around the middle of the hubcap.  I tried a piece of wood, but it was too thick.

I remembered a piece of dense styrofoam I'd saved. I've used pieces of it for different projects.

I shaved a small piece of it about 1/4 inch thick and sliced a hole in the middle for the shaft to go through.

Then it was just a matter of following the kit instructions to put it all together.  Easy peasy.  I used a nail with a larger head to hang it on the wall.  The rim on the back of the hubcap catches on nail head pretty well.  So far it's not fallen off!  I did hang it in a relatively "safe" corner of the room where it's not likely to get bumped.

Every time I see the Chevy emblem, I want to start singing, "Like a rock..."

Disclaimer:  In no way will the author of this blog bear responsibility for hubcaps missing from neighbor's cars nationwide.

Clock - (noun) A small mechanical device to wake up people without children.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Funky Junk Giveaway

Donna at Funky Junk Interiors is having a junk giveaway in celebration of 3000 followers.  I have to post about it for one entry in the giveaway.  It's just junk ladies.   You really don't want to enter this one.  You don't want her cool junk.

So just ignore this post.  Whaaaat.  I see you.  Step away from the button and no one will get hurt!  Arrrrgh.  You did it didn't you!  You just lowered my chances of winning!

Whirlwind Weekend and Award

I am still reeling from a whirlwind weekend!  Although it was all good, I am wiped out.  Our daughter came home for a visit this weekend, arriving at midnight Friday night.  Yipee!  It was sooooo good to see her. 

I had spent all morning baking and prepping for the next days lunch, as we were having my parents over to see Jamie.  Much of the baking was to send back with her.  I baked some of her favorites...banana bread (with chocolate chips), chocolate chip cookies and chocolate marshmellow bars.  Do you detect a theme here?

We stayed up until 1:00 a.m. talking, then got up the next morning to go to Jared's soccer game.  After that, we rushed home to get the grill going for grilled chicken, one of her favorite meals.  My parents came over and we had a nice visit.  As soon as they left, we got ready to go to Ken's sister's 40th wedding anniversary dinner.  Everyone was glad to see Jamie and we got to visit with some of his aunts and uncles that we don't see very often.

Sunday we went to church, then took Jamie and a friend of hers, as well as Tyler's girlfriend out to lunch at Pizza Hut.  After that we took Jamie over to her ride's house (friends of ours) and visited for a little bit, before saying goodbye to her. (Only 4 1/2 weeks before she comes home for Thanksgiving...Yay!)

Are you getting tired yet?  Not finished we went back to the church, picked up the church van, ran home to get changed, then drove half an hour to pick up a large family, whose car had broken down, to take with us to our church's harvest dinner at the church campgrounds.  Afterwards, we took them back home, drove ourselves home and fell into bed. Whew!!! Just writing about it wears me out.

Needless to say, I am pooped!  The boys and I slept in today, so our homeschool day went late.  I am moving very slowly today.  And I don't need to eat for a week! 

In other news, I received a lovely blog reward from sweet Courtney at French Country Cottage.  She has the yummiest blog, which is dangerous to my keyboard, because I drool all over it every time I visit it!  She posts things like this:

And this:

And this:

Go visit Courtney and drool away!  Tell her I sent you.


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