Monday, March 2, 2015

Who Will Be Like Me?



One of my little gals asked me the other day why she doesn't get to  help me get things ready to mail any more?  It took me awhile to decipher what she was asking.  She was referring to when I had two Etsy shops open!  

I was certainly surprised that she remember that.  The shelves have been empty now for sometime and I've taken the links off of my blog some time ago too.

I don't believe I'll ever sell vintage items online again, but who knows?  I do hope though to re-open at some point my shop selling photographs and hand made items or supplies for such.

I had sold some Through the Viewfinder Photographs through my shop and at local shows too. 
Here is an article about TTV Photos if you aren't familiar with them.

 These two photos have been on my mind today.

So much comparing one can do when you think you are falling short.



This prayer comes to mind:

"Lord, please bless me today just the way I am. I ask for the grace to see myself through your eyes."

Happy Monday!







Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Bedroom Makeover Update: A Little Modern Swag


In some eyes, this bedroom makeover may be a slow project.  But, for us, things are moving along pretty quickly.  My husband hung the new shelves in my daughter's room last night and we have the bed set up waiting the arrival of our new mattress.
Does anyone hate mattress shopping like I do????  How do you really know what you'll like? We did discover that you can actually return a bed after 60 days if we bought the protective cover.  So we did buy the cover this time.  The new mattress is going to our room and then ours is coming up here.  It's less than a year old too though.  We need new mattresses all through the house so it will be a process of replacing them. 

Her new bedding is just waiting!

And do you see her macrame above?


I know it may seem dark, but in person that little swag in natural jute is just adorable for a teenager's room.  A little modern swag based on a 1960s craft.  Did you know macrame is back?  It is and I'm loving it.  Right along with weaving! It was inspired by A Beautiful Mess's post here. My daughter really liked the idea of jute instead of yarn like they used, so she had to modify the knots a bit. She made it.  She loves it.  I love it!  And, I had the jute from a garage sale.  :)

We are also awaiting curtains.  We bought the fabric for them a couple of  years ago as a simple sewing project for 4H for my daughter.  Well that went by the wayside and now it was up to me to sew them.  Well.  I messed up and didn't get the fabric even when I began cutting...long story...suffice it to say that I was thrilled when I went online to JC Penney and with a sale and a coupon, ordered the sheer panels she wanted for a very reasonable price shipped to the store.  And, now I have sheer white fabric to find a use for....  I believe it will be used as a swag of some sort here....


in the toy room!  It only has one window and the fabric should be enough.  If you follow along on Instagram, you know we have been also updating the toy room.  Carpets cleaned here too and a bright sun-shiny "lemon chiffon" has replaced the coffee shop taupe that was on the walls. 
The floor is littered with toys being sorted so more pictures from this room later.

That wardrobe used to hold a tv in our bedroom years ago.  We never used the tv, so at some point, it migrated up to the toy room for storage.

This room is so happy and fresh right now.  

More later as things get accomplished!

Have a great day!

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Ash Wednesday Thoughts


Besides giving up potato chips, again, I have some spiritual exercises that I'll be doing this Lent.

One being prayer journaling.  


I have been in the practice of it off and on over the years.  More off than on.

Besides being a prayer journal, I hope to keep it accessible during the day to jot notes and thoughts. 

And, as I opened the journal this morning, I found this quote that I had written in there a couple of years back.

And, it resonated with me again.  I think it will with you too.


This really could be a good Lenten meditation.


As I thought about this, I was reminded of some instagram photos I've had printed out. 


It's a sampling of how we spend our days.


The fancy leather journal was a gift to my daughter a number of years ago.  It was too intimidating to her to actually write or draw in it, leather bound and all.  So, she gave it to me.  I've only written on two pages...I had the same problem.  It's too nice.   

This Lent I will write, scribble notes, whatever....in this journal.  It's not too nice to use.

Whether you journal or not, spending time thinking about and praying about, how you spend your day ,could bring about great blessings.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Grow Love and a Re-purposed Picture Frame



I have the most incredible collection of heart ornaments....all from one source....a dear friend of mine...hand made perfection.

So I decided this year I wanted them all displayed on a tree.  My first Valentine's Tree.  


I cut a branch from outside and stuck it in a small galvanized pail full of sand.  Shredded music paper gives it a finished look.


So this isn't technically a heart...I also hung the snow flake ornaments she has sent.  Look how evenly she stitches!


Little beads add such punch.


And, look at the little garland of crocheted hearts.


It was hard to photograph this garland as the light was a bit low and the mirror in the background makes it busy, but in person you can see it all.


Can you see the paper bag one there with blanket stitching around it?  Less fancy, but just my style!


A fabric stuffed heart with a crocheted cover and it's very own key.


This one has been starched and stiffened.


That's me. :)


That's a vintage mother pin attached to this one!


A very feminine pink one peaking from behind the bold red one.


I'd been waiting for a sunny day to take these pictures but when the sun was finally out yesterday, I forgot. :(


And, really what better metaphor than a tree with hearts for love?  Because love must be tended to, watered, pruned, set in the light (Christ), to grow.  I don't care if it sounds corny.  It's true.

This is the "card" I made for my husband this year.  Do you remember my Friday Finds a couple of weeks back?  I knew I wanted those folding frames for a reason!  They make perfect cards or "books" if you have a story to tell.

The letters and tree are stamps and I needle felted the little hearts "growing" there and glued them on.


The paper I used for the backing is from the same book we used to make the hearts for my daughter's wedding. It was a very old book on marriage and some of it was kind of..."too much" so I chose the page with a little caution, ha!  


I aged the frame a bit with Tim Holtz alcohol ink.

(The same friend made the crocheted runner this all sits on!)


I guess I can toss the branch back outside when I take this down as it will be easy enough to get another one next year.

Happy Valentine's Day to you!!!

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Easiest Coziest Afghan You could Ever Make


Over two years ago, I posted about my daughter making a snood.  Well, the yarn choice and half double crochet stitch lives on.  After I made my self a shawl with this yarn, my son wanted an afghan from it.  The shawl is the sit at home kind...very long...bulky....warm.  It's about 3 years old now so I didn't take pictures as it's starting to show it's been loved.  Just a bit.

If you'd like to make this afghan it's so very easy.

Finished afghan size is about 42" x 74".  It's soft and stretchy so kind of hard to measure.  This really is big and will cover a 6' tall adult with great ease. (My son.)

Yarn: Lion Brand Hometown USA: Cambridge Tweed: 16 skeins.  I didn't say it would be the cheapest afghan you'd make.  I got my yarn at Walmart for $2.97 per skein.  Less than Amazon and other places I looked.  I had to ask them to order in the number of skeins I needed.




Directions:
Begin with a slip stitch on the hook. 
Chain 63 stitches. Begin with a half double crochet in the third chain from your hook.
Half double crochet all the way across.  Chain two.  Half double crochet in each stitch all the way across.  Chain two.  Repeat.
That's it.

Add a new skein as needed and weave the ends in later.

It's such a great beginning crochet project because it goes quickly and there is no pattern to follow, but so very satisfying to make.  

And, now because I wanted my pictures to show how cozy the afghan really feels...I played just a bit.  


Looks like it could be a nice way to spend a little time.


Vintage tray...and cup.



To make yourself a shawl, just decrease the width to about 40 stitches and stop crocheting when you like the length.  Add fringe to it! :)  (Shawls do not need to be triangular.) You can make this long enough to sling it over your shoulder like this one here.  I just wasn't up to posing with mine. Ha!

Now, to box it up and send it on it's way!






Monday, February 9, 2015

Bedroom Makeover




I know this isn't much of a picture, I had it on my phone from 3 years ago. But, it's all I can find now of what the bedroom used to look like.  The other pictures are on a computer upstairs. Or in an album.  Or a box.  You get the idea.  Anyway, this is the largest bedroom in our house, but you'd never know it from my picture, ha!
 
My two oldest daughters shared this room for years with a double bed in it.  Then eventually one moved out to another room and another bedroom move later brought my fourth child here and she is still here.  She's 15 and I told her we could retire the vintage-y little girl print wall paper we installed when we built the house in 1996.
 
 
 A current phone picture....when we were getting ready to paint it.  Wallpaper removed, taped up and ready for some texturing and painting.
 
 
My second oldest helping to paint.  It was a family paint party!  Some of us enjoyed it more than others, ha!
 
 
 All painted.  Now we wait.  For the orders of bedding and shelving and new mattress to arrive. (We are going back to a full size bed in here.)  And, for me to clean the carpet and sew the curtains.  Pretty sure there is more on this list, but I don't want to feel overwhelmed so I'll stop with this.
 
 
From the one corner of the room you can see the much lighter color that the other two walls are.  Our color of choice throughout most of the house is Dover White from Sherwin Williams.  The door to the hall is on the right side of this picture.
 
 
 
This is the color palette she chose.  Pillows and bedding have arrived and it's all matching just like we hoped!! You can see the gray in her color palette is the wall color. 
 
 
And,  by chance or not chance, since she chose these colors too, the weaving she made last summer matches her color scheme really well.  I blogged about it here.
 
 
I had to add a picture of the desk chair in her room because I just think it's the greatest.  The desk it sits with could sure use to be refinished, but that may not happen for quite awhile.
 
Hopefully, we'll have things moving along and I can post pictures of the finished room in the near future.
 
It's a gray day here, but it's my birthday so that helps raise the gloominess.  We celebrated with all the kids yesterday and really had a nice time eating out.  Last year was my milestone, 50, birthday and it's nice to look back at that celebration and think about the past year. I posted here, here, and here about it. 
It's really been a good year and I'm so happy for all of you that have come to visit here!
 
 
 


Friday, January 30, 2015

Our Cloak Room Make Over

So first of all....a cloak room?  Yep.  I guess in the UK this may refer to the lavatory.  However, here in the USA it refers to a room for coats in a place like a gymnasium or school.  We had such cloak room when I was in the 5th and 6th grades.  I remember it well.  The dark oak panels with vintage hooks down the long room with just an overhead light.  When we built our house, I knew we needed a "cloak room".  We didn't go for the paneled walls or vintage hooks.  Budget...time... Maybe that could be an upgrade in the future. Basically, it's a walk in closet without a door.


For now, when my second daughter said suddenly on Monday that she would paint a small project for me, the cloak room came to mind.  It's been looking rough and not only needed cleaning out, but fresh paint.  This is the before with the coats already removed.

Yes, those are egg cartons.  We eat a lot of eggs. :)
And, that is a HUGE bulletin board on the right. It extends three times the width you see.  Two big office sized bulletin boards screwed into the wall.  I put them all the way to the floor so my kids could reach it to hang up their own art work and papers.


This bench was refinished before we moved into the house.  I cannot at all remember where we bought it.  But, it has been used hard over these past 18 years and needs to be refinished again.  Not happening right now.


Empty (shelves lift out) and ready to go.



Almost done!  I had to paint the trim the next day, but that went quickly.  My #5 is peaking around the paint tub waiving.


This is the vintage light fixture that we have in there.  Seems like the kind you may find in an old school cloak room.


I picked greenish blue color from paint chips I had on hand.  We weren't sure about the color at all once it was on, but now I'm liking it.  It makes the area cozy.  The paint chip was on the same color palette as the color of the other walls in the laundry room which is where the cloak room opens up to.  The rest of the room can be seen here and here.


No fancy organizing, but it seems to work well when we actually use it.  

Now, the kids hear me say, "Shelf or a hook"  when we walk in the door.


So far... they can still find the bench to actually sit on to put on their shoes.


To make it cozier in there, I hung up this bunting I made quite a few years ago.  I posted about it here.


It's been in storage for quite awhile so I'm happy it's found a new home.


This print, a gift from my oldest daughter a year ago, is so pretty in here!


Then we thought a mirror would be a nice thing to have by the door.  (ugly electrical panel...first world problems, huh?)


I have been thinking lately about a beautiful message sent to me years ago to teach your kids.  It was written in the form of a letter to your child telling them that when they go out in the world to remember who they are. It goes into detail about who you are in Christ and how you've been taught to be a Christian.  Sadly, I can't find it now.  

This is what I want to remember myself and what I want my kids to know. 

So, with my basic skills, I painted this little watercolor to remind us.


I can hear Father Volker from Christ the King Priory at the St. Benedict Center say, "First you must know that you are a beloved child of God".  Now hear that in a German accent with a loving grandfatherly tone of voice.  Makes you kind of believe it.


When I showed it to my 9 year old, she smiled big and said she liked it.  I asked her if she understood what it meant and she nodded.  I said, "It means that you are a child of God" and she said, "Oh, I thought it meat that I'm Audrey Ruskamp!"  but with a slight note in her voice hinting that there was a bit of embarrassment that she was wrong, and yet still wanting the answer to be 'Audrey Ruskamp'.  

I  said, "Yeah, you're right!"  She was.  That's the mystery of His love.  He delights in each one of us and loves each one of us in a way that is unique to each one of us.


The cloak room: martest thing we put in our home.  (I got that huge bulletin board cleaned up too!)

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