Friday, December 7, 2012

Bookmarks and Journals

A few months ago,  I made some bookmarks and journals for gifts.
I took photos to share with you, and then forgot about them.
But I found them yesterday!
 I upcycled a tailor's tape measure I found at Target.  
I love this color, but they also had pink.
I made bird's nest charms from tutorials I saw at Just Something I Made (she has an amazing collection of tutorials on her blog).
 I made this one based on Andrea Singarella's beautiful inspiration.
It was frustrating, because I'm finding
I need to order good craft supplies online because
stores like Michaels and Jo-Ann Fabric
have a really terrible selection. Terrible.
It turned out ok, but I would love to order some
better supplies in the future and try again.
 I bought these small journals at Target's Dollar Spot,
and just added some stamped charms.
 Target also had these little chevron bags, which I used to wrap the journal.
It turned out to be a pretty cute gift for $2.00 plus supplies I already had.

For more gift inspiration, here is my Pinterest Board for Gift ideas.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Where is the Love?

Last night I was reading a post about Christians and Politics
on The Average Advocate blog (a good place to go
to read about humanity issues like human trafficking,
 and what we can do to make the world a better place).
At the end of the post was one of my favorite songs,
so I felt the need to share it with you.

(A personal message to


"Where Is The Love?"
The Black Eyed Peas

What's wrong with the world, mama
People livin' like they ain't got no mamas
I think the whole world addicted to the drama
Only attracted to things that'll bring you trauma

Overseas, yeah, we try to stop terrorism
But we still got terrorists here livin'
In the USA, the big CIA
The Bloods and The Crips and the KKK

But if you only have love for your own race
Then you only leave space to discriminate
And to discriminate only generates hate
And when you hate then you're bound to get irate, yeah

Madness is what you demonstrate
And that's exactly how anger works and operates
Man, you gotta have love just to set it straight
Take control of your mind and meditate
Let your soul gravitate to the love, y'all, y'all

People killin', people dyin'
Children hurt and you hear them cryin'
Can you practice what you preach
And would you turn the other cheek

Father, Father, Father help us
Send some guidance from above
'Cause people got me, got me questionin'
Where is the love (Love)

Where is the love (The love)
Where is the love (The love)
Where is the love, the love, the love

It just ain't the same, always unchanged
New days are strange, is the world insane
If love and peace are so strong
Why are there pieces of love that don't belong

Nations droppin' bombs
Chemical gasses fillin' lungs of little ones
With ongoin' sufferin' as the youth die young
So ask yourself is the lovin' really gone

So I could ask myself really what is goin' wrong
In this world that we livin' in people keep on givin' in
Makin' wrong decisions, only visions of them dividends
Not respectin' each other, deny thy brother
A war is goin' on but the reason's undercover

The truth is kept secret, it's swept under the rug
If you never know truth then you never know love
Where's the love, y'all, come on (I don't know)
Where's the truth, y'all, come on (I don't know)
Where's the love, y'all

People killin', people dyin'
Children hurt and you hear them cryin'
Can you practice what you preach
And would you turn the other cheek

Father, Father, Father help us
Send some guidance from above
'Cause people got me, got me questionin'
Where is the love (Love)

Where is the love (The love)?
Where is the love (The love)?
Where is the love, the love, the love?

I feel the weight of the world on my shoulder
As I'm gettin' older, y'all, people gets colder
Most of us only care about money makin'
Selfishness got us followin' our wrong direction

Wrong information always shown by the media
Negative images is the main criteria
Infecting the young minds faster than bacteria
Kids wanna act like what they see in the cinema

Yo', whatever happened to the values of humanity
Whatever happened to the fairness in equality
Instead of spreading love we're spreading animosity
Lack of understanding, leading us away from unity

That's the reason why sometimes I'm feelin' under
That's the reason why sometimes I'm feelin' down
There's no wonder why sometimes I'm feelin' under
Gotta keep my faith alive till love is found
Now ask yourself

Where is the love?
Where is the love?
Where is the love?
Where is the love?

Father, Father, Father, help us
Send some guidance from above
'Cause people got me, got me questionin'
Where is the love?

Sing with me y'all:
One world, one world (We only got)
One world, one world (That's all we got)
One world, one world
And something's wrong with it (Yeah)
Something's wrong with it (Yeah)
Something's wrong with the wo-wo-world, yeah
We only got
(One world, one world)
That's all we got
(One world, one world)

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Cheapskate Gardening

I thought I would share a few money-saving ideas for the garden.

I've had these iron baskets for a while, but I didn't want to go out and buy coconut liners or moss.  I lined them with burlap and just inside the burlap I put a plastic grocery bag with a few holes punched in it.  Then I added the soil and the plant.  I could have skipped the grocery sack, but it helps the soil keep moisture and the holes allow for drainage.   I did this about a month ago and they seem to be doing well.
I used Swedish Ivy for the first time because it was on sale.  So far, I really love it because it is low maintenance.  It does well when the soil is dried out, but hasn't been too finicky about wet soil or the extreme heat we've had in the month since I planted them.

I really love the look of sweet potato plants in baskets and pots (it's the bright green foliage).  There couldn't be an easier, more dramatic plant to put in a container.

I'm too cheap to buy as many plants as I want, however, so I found Mr. Brown Thumb's blog post about how to propagate ornamental sweet potato plants.  It is so easy!

You just take a cutting, cut off most of the leaves and stick it in water (Check out Mr. Brown Thumb's directions for more specific instructions).  I kid you not, within 1 day the thing will start growing roots.  Within 1 week, the jar will be full of roots and you can plant it.  I have made several plants from the two on my porch.  By the way, don't eat them.

I really love hydrangeas and want more, but I'm too cheap to spend $25 on a new plant.  I suspected this would be more difficult than sweet potato propagation, and fully expected they would all die.  Nevertheless, I gave it a shot and then left for a 2 week vacation.  When I returned, they were all alive and growing.  Nice.

I found instructions on the Backyard Gardening blog.  I used 2 liter soda bottles with the tops chopped off to make little greenhouses and keep them moist.

I have had problems with weeds growing in between the stones in the back patio.  With kids and dogs running through all the time, I don't like spraying poison.  I had read once that vinegar kills weeds (plants as well, so be careful).  I tried pouring vinegar on them, but it didn't work.  So, I remembered the cleaning solution I made from 1 cup vinegar and 1 cup dawn liquid soap (I saw this on pinterest as a shower cleaner, and it works for that too).  This essentially makes a vinegar gel that stays on the plant and takes more time to evaporate.  I sprayed it on the weeds and it took about a day to kill them, but it worked.

Lastly, a gardener at a garden center told me to use epsom salt on some sale plants I was buying that looked wilted.  If you put a little epsom salt in the water after you plant them, or mix some in the dirt, it will help revive them.  I have since discovered that giving a little ES to houseplants and garden plants makes them healthier.  Rose plants especially seem to love it.  Outdoors I sprinkle the dirt below each plant with a tablespoon or two about once a month.  Indoors, I put a little ES in the watering can.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Anyone heard of Craft Gossip before? It's a great place to get all kinds of crafty ideas and I have been a fan for a long time. Well, apparently they featured my ribbon organizing idea. It's always such an honor to me when a blog or website features my ideas, when I see that someone has pinned one of my ideas on Pinterest, and when anyone takes the time to read and/or comment on my blog. Thank you Craft Gossip, and thank you beautiful readers!

They are talking about me at

Monday, March 19, 2012

Recycled Art

I got really tired of the picture hanging in my bathroom, but it just stayed because I didn't know what to do with it.  One day I snapped and painted it with chalkboard paint.  I have enough chalkboards in my house, so I turned it into a lazy subway art.
I found these letter stickers at Walmart for about $2.50.
Pretty minimal effort for the subway art, which I really like.  I can change the message any time I want, too.  I'm not sure if I'll keep it though.  What do you think?  I would also really love to do this project from Little Green Notebook with a photo from California (maybe the beach? or the boat Mr. Jones and I got married on?) or I could frame a map of California.  We'll see ... this is a better temporary solution, though.

I've been having an art "thing" lately.  Anyone else catch this bug?  Here are my art pins on Pinterest if you want to take a look.
Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

The Imperfect Wall Mirror

Have you ever thought to yourself, "That project looks pretty easy.  I could get that done today"?   That's what I said to myself after I saw the tutorial at Salvage Savy showing how to make an antiqued mirror that props up against the wall (despite the warning in the tutorial that this is not easy).  I thought I would get it done before Mr. Jones got home from work.  It has been 3 months since I started the project.  Not done yet.

I was going to blog about this project when I was done, but I saw that Nester is having an "It's Not Perfect But It's Beautiful" party, so I thought I would show you my mirror in all its imperfect glory (The other reason I'm doing this today is that I should be studying for a biology test.  Perfect day to blog).
I thought a mirror that goes above the sideboard would look better than 1 or 2 that stood against the wall, so that was my plan.  Let the problems begin:  Supplies at my Lowe's were more expensive than planned.  MDF board was way too heavy to hang on the wall, so the guy at Lowe's told me to get a thinner board despite me telling him it had to be strong enough to hold mirrors (The people at Lowe's "helping" me that day thought I was crazy and didn't try to hide that fact).  Turns out, the board he told me to get was not only too floppy to hold mirrors, but warped in light speed.  Mr. Jones told me we should just bolt the board to the wall, and then put the mirrors on the board.  The problem with that was that he would have to do something special to the board so the screws would go into the wood and the mirrors would be flush.  I absolutely did not want to glue the mirrors to the wall.  Add to all that, the fact that antiquing mirrors is a real pain in the butt.  There is a learning process, and it will not turn out exactly the way  you want.  Imperfect by nature.  Then tiles crack, chip and break because your kid threw a pillow on it (not because I left it on the living room floor for 3 months).
A week ago I was deciding whether to throw it all away or get it done.  I really want a mirror over the sideboard, so I chose the latter.  Then I had a great idea:  Hang foam board on the wall instead of the wood.  The screws just go right into it, so it's flat, and it is really light.  So I bought the foam board and screwed that sucker into the wall.  Then I tried to use the special mirror glue to start gluing the mirrors on.  I couldn't get it to come out of the bottle.  As I'm jamming on the stupid thing and trying to force it out, I keep seeing all these "WARNING: EXTREMELY FLAMMABLE" notices all over the bottle.  Just what I need to do is blow myself up trying to beat the glue out of a bottle.
So I grabbed some of those 3M tabs from my laundry room and put those on the mirror.  Purely by accident, they happened to be velcro.  This was truly incredible, because I can now pull the tiles off and stick them back on.  The first row of mirrors were a little crooked, so I ripped them off and stuck them on. 
This is what the back of a tile looks like.
There are some tiles I truly need to replace, but some of them have chips or scratches and I'm just going to use them anyway.  After all, they're antiqued, right?
Some tiles are a little too antiqued for me, but I'm still using them.  The one on the right is actually a little darker in the photo.  With the tiles that are too spotty for my liking, I sprayed the back with a silvery-gold spray paint instead of black so it looks a bit mellower.

If you are wondering why there is a towel jammed between the sideboard and the wall, I did that in case the 3M wasn't strong enough and the tiles fell off the wall.  I didn't want my dogs to get their heads chopped off while napping.

So that's it.  The project is almost finished because I have a few more tiles to fix up, but it's looking good.  We may even frame it some day.  But maybe not.
Here the link to Nester's party if you want to stop by there.  Here is a link to my Pinterest board of mirrors if you want to see that.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Happy Sunday

We studied this Bible passage in my Bible class this week, and I think it is so beautiful.  It is about God and love.  That's what it all boils down to, isn't it?  Have a wonderful Sunday!

1 John 4:7-21

7 Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. 8 Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. 9 This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him.  10 This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. 

11 Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.  12 No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.  13 This is how we know that we live in him and he in us: He has given us of his Spirit.  14 And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. 15 If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in them and they in God. 16 And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them. 17 This is how love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment: In this world we are like Jesus.

18 There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.  19 We love because he first loved us. 20 Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen. 21 And he has given us this command: Anyone who loves God must also love their brother and sister.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Monday, January 9, 2012

Grapefruit-Carrot Juice

Do you have a juicer?  I thought long and hard before buying one, and then I saved up.  It was a purchase I'm very happy I finally made. 

Here is a recipe I tried from Whole Living Magazine.  It is 2 grapefruits, 5 carrots and some ginger (I don't always use the ginger).  Seriously, it tastes just like grapefruit juice.  Mr. Jones even drinks it, which is saying a lot.

It's good to EAT fruits and vegetables, but above and beyond what you eat, juicing helps you get an amazing amount of nutrients in your body.  I feel like I'm treating my body like gold when I drink something like this.

Monday, January 2, 2012

How I Keep Track of Books

I love to read.  That set in about the same time I had kids and didn't have time to read.  Then I really wanted to.  Here's how I keep track of my books:
Part I:  My Journal ...

I moved away from my home and friends several years ago.  One of my friends from the old neighborhood moved close by recently and started a book club.  She is Wendy at Simply Brookes.  We shared lunch with some amazing ladies once a month.
Then she left.
I had this great idea to give her a journal to keep track of books she has read as a going away present.  I took some quotes about friendship and some quotes from books we had read, printed them and glued them into the journal.  I gave it to her at our last luncheon.  Guess what gift she had for the rest of us?  Yep, a journal.  She explained that when she finishes a book, she jots down the name of the book and date in her journal.  I can't remember for sure, but I think she also keeps a "to read" list on the last page of the journal and crosses them off as she goes (I need to do this).

I printed the same quotes I put in Wendy's journal and put them in mine.  I used the friendship quotes as well as the book quotes because to me, books are intertwined with friends, love, emotions, home, family ...
I love quotes (probably obvious at this point), so  in addition to writing the name of the book and when I finished, I write a quote or two from the book.
No need to be perfect about it.  Write what is meaningful, and that is what I enjoy when I flip through the journal.

My favorite books from book club were East of Eden by John Steinbeck, The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak, and Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand.  **Updated** I'm not sure how I forgot this, but I also loved Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese.  These are at the top of my all-time favorites list. 

Some other books I really enjoyed this past year:  Bossypants by Tina Fey, The Help by Kathryn Stockett, True Grit by Charles Portis, Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larson, The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, and Empire of the Summer Moon by S.C. Gwynne.

(Middlesex is in the photo above, but not my favorite.  Glad I read it, but not sure I would recommend it).

Part II:  GoodReads ...

This morning I found a website called to keep track of my books online.  I previously used a different website, but it's not there anymore.  In addition to their website, GoodReads has an iPod app and an Android app.  I have a list of read, currently reading and want to read books.  I can friend people, read reviews,  see quotes, post to Facebook or Twitter, rate books and get recommendations based on how I rated my books.  I can post directly to my blog (haven't tried this yet) and make different kinds of widgets for my blog (my favorite widget shows quotes I liked from my books).  Stop by GoodReads and friend me.

**Update** Thanks to Bonnie, whose comment reminded me that I have a Shelfari account and had completely forgotten about it.  I will have to compare it to Goodreads and see which I like better.  I'll let you know.

This afternoon I was catching up on Nester's blog and she asked how her readers keep track of books.  So I'm going to link up to her ... check out the link if you want to see what others are doing.

Have you read any good books lately?
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