I know, I know . . . it sounds like a scam. But my son was a missionary in Tanzania for almost 3 years and this young artist, Juma Chomba, is someone he knew who is earning money on the side to likely pay for schooling. And I really loved the picture! It will arrive through a mutual friend who is traveling to the USA. Will it be slightly complicated? Yes. What if I never get it? Possibly that’ll happen, but not likely. I’ll post again once it’s arrived and framed but, in the meantime, reach out to Juma Chumba on Facebook Messenger if you’re interested in his other artwork. We used SendWave to complete the transaction securely.
I think I need to coin the hashtag #goknitting. I’m SUCH a huge knitting fan. I have never met this client but her website America’s Knitting is a great resource for yarn shops all over the U.S.A. This particular shop has cute sheep and a cute dog!
FREE DOWNLOAD. So easy and cute. I was making 20 for Ben’s class party but we had two extra packages of Capri Sun drinks and I knew I might run short at the church trunk-or-treat tonight so I fixed them up! Good thing, too, as we ran out of goodies and all the Boo Juice went first! They were a hit! If you click on the pic of the file, you can download the file from Flickr.
It’s very difficult to get knitted things, in my opinion, that will fit a small newborn. My babies were all ginormous so this wasn’t an issue for me but as I try to make gifts for friends, it’s been difficult. The neon booties are one of my favorite booties ever but since they are worsted weight yarn (the only bright neon stripes I could find), they fit about a 12 month old. These sweet, minty booties, however, fit a newborn perfectly! I can’t wait to put them on her tiny toes. They are made with 55% wool, 33% microfiber, and 12% cashmere yarn — some of the softest yarn Debbie Bliss has to offer. It was a dream to work with but the ends would split when I tried to tuck in my ends with a darning needle. Nothing problematic, really, just have to be a little careful. The yarn was not easily split, however, while knitting. If you like these, go by my Ravelry page and give them a LIKE! Thanks!
Knitted Neon Mary Janes. Could they get any cuter?! I packaged them up for a baby shower in a plain kraft box, printed a label, and added a ribbon. JUST MY LUCK — I forgot the shower was for a boy. That’s okay, though, because I actually had made these for another baby girl and was using them in a pinch because the shower is today! I might have to just do booties just to keep up with baby shower gifts for church. If you click on the template for the label, it should take you to Flickr where you can download the file as a free printable. If you like these, please give them a “like” on Ravelry.
Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Antibes plus dark wax plus an Ethan Allen solid wood armoire found at Goodwill = MERRY CHRISTMAS to me! I am thrilled with the results but I must warn you there were a couple of moments I thought it wouldn’t be salvageable. The dark wax can be tricky but once I learned to use clear wax to remove excess dark wax in spots then it worked out beautifully. Also, distressing isn’t as easy as everybody says so I decided to forego much distressing on this piece as the oak beneath showed through rather than the Graphite layer I painted beneath the two coats of Antibes green, and I did not want that.
So I haven’t started yet. Unless you count scouring Goodwills, garage sales, estate sales and thrift shops for the perfect armoire to hold linens, which, everybody knows, is the absolute funnest part other than having your project done. I’m all about envisioning and finishing. The middle stuff gets a little murky so I thought I’d document my project so I’m a little more motivated to get it done. I found this Ethan Allen cabinet for $35 at the Tulsa downtown Goodwill — the only one in the area that sells furniture. Even as the store put it on hold for me (with a sign and everything) while I still shopped, another couple went up to it and I actually heard them discussing that they could just take the sign off…and I quickly mentioned that I WAS CHECKING OUT WITH IT. Geesh. That’s a sure sign of a good find!
Then, I went to buy the paint at Canabananas at The Market at Walnut Creek in Tulsa which is an adorable selection of mini boutiques. Some great, some just okay. The staff was a bit snobbish and less-than-helpful, but I enjoyed wandering around there just the same. Next time, though, I’ll buy my Annie Sloan Chalk Paint right here in Bartlesville at the French Nest. Candi Peaster is the owner and I have met her and she is super nice and helpful. Wish me luck on the project! I think I’m going to try graphite underlayer and Antibes green with dark wax to match our black bedroom furniture and green polka dotted comforter. I hope it turns out as well as I envision it!
The world’s best designer was out of commission this year so I was asked to help decorate the refreshment room for our church’s community nativity display. I am by no means a professional but I am pleased with the results. You’d have to know what I had to start with to accurately judge, but since my goal was to PURCHASE next to nothing for this project (I like to throw money at problems when I don’t have time to deal with them!), I can honestly say I achieved my goal. The only two things I purchased: the whole bolt of chocolate brown burlap — and the two 96″ tablecloths used nearly all of that –and secondly, the teeny tiny nativity shown in the glass. It’s still too big but I was amazed at the lack of miniature creches available at Hobby Lobby in my small hometown. Rest assured I’ll be on the hunt for tiny nativities online! All in all, though, few purchases and yet a decent success. My favorite thing: the burlap camels from TJMaxx. They are adorable with or without the gold bells I put around their necks. I hope we get lots of visitors to the nativity display at the church this weekend and that all who come eat cookies and think of the true meaning of Christmas!
So we finally had some time to add some of the projects we had been hoping to for Halloween. Our front yard has such an expanse (corner lot) that it can be hard to capture the whole thing in one picture, so I tried to take closer shots so you could see some of the details. I especially love the shot where you can see my reflection in the glass on the front door…not. Oh well, I never claimed to be a professional photographer!! We put up garbage bag spider webs in one front window and on the side fence. We put up a huge rope spider web and a trash-bag-spider with glowing LED eyes crawling down off the roof. We also put up a milk jug skeleton, lots of white spiderwebs, a cheesecloth ghost, and a couple of bats. There’s also a window silhouette of a huge black ghost (four poster boards worth!) but he won’t show up until after dark. Lastly, the boys had a great time making their pumpkins — Ben got to learn to use a power drill for the first time and nobody bled!!! I call that a successful day at our house. HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!!
We quickly made up some fabric ghosts today and put them up in the yard! The boys love it. We did this many years ago in Nebraska but they were up for ONE night and somebody stole them from the front yard — sticks and all! This time, we hope they stay for awhile. I think I’m going to insert some lights on the ground like they’re gathered around a fire. I love this because it’s cute, cheap ($1.50 / yard fabric — about $15 total in supplies!), and most of all…easy!
I love this pic from our entryway toward the ghosts. You can see the inexpensive spiderweb rug we made last year and I posted about it here. If that rugs lasts through this season (which I’m sure it will!), it will have paid for itself, it was such a cute, cheap project and I love a wide oval shaped rug on the porch.
Lastly, this pic is of my FAVORITE ghost ever. I love his shape and his black felt eyes on white corduroy fabric. He has ragged edges and covers my vacuum. He was originally the smallest in a set of three that I sewed to cover upside-down tomato cages covered in lights. They blew away in a storm and this one was the only one I could save. I hope to resurrect the other two and put out the three lit-up ghosts this year, too. I’ll be sure to post pictures if I get that project done, too!
So I had a brilliant idea to take an open frame from Hobby Lobby and a perfectly sized fitting cork board (also thank you to Hobby Lobby) and made this custom framed cork bulletin board as a thank you to a fellow seminary teacher. I am really loving Hobby Lobby’s collection of glossy black ornate frames at the moment! At least I think it turned out really cute! This teacher had taught all four years so everyone knew her and she wasn’t going to be teaching another year. I had each student put a favorite memory on a doily and pinned them around a card that said “You deserve a bouquet of thanks!” I hope she liked it, but I think she did.