Sunday, January 29, 2012

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Yarn Covered Bottles... TBD

I'm calling this post "TBD," because my opinion of this latest project is to be determined. Actually, I pretty much like it, but it's just so different than anything else I have in my house, so it will take me a little while to get used to it. Here's what I'm talking about:

These babies cost me a whopping $6.17 to make. That includes three spools of yarn, which still have a bunch left on them. I had a glue gun and glue sticks, so I'm not counting that as an expense, and I just hacked the twigs off of a tree in our woods.

The project was actually pretty simple. I saw the idea on Pinterest, but I couldn't find a tutorial, so I made it up as I went. First, I started with some empty, clean beer bottles. (Disclaimer, we are not alcoholics. We just rarely empty our recycling.)

Next, I hot glued the end of the yarn to the bottom of the bottle. I did the first few this way, and they took me about 20 minutes a piece. Then, I switched to starting at the top of the bottle, and I cut my time to 10 minutes a piece. It is definitely much easier to start at the top. 

As you go, wrap the yard around the bottle. Keep the yarn pulled tight, and you'll only need glue at the top and at the bottom. I used a couple of different methods. One of them was to hold the yard in place and spin the bottle around it. As I got more efficient, I started wrapping the yarn around the bottle three or four times, and then pushing it toward the yarn that was already wrapped, instead of going one row at a time. 

Voila! Here are some of the finished products. These were my first few. I got better as I went. 

I placed them on the top of our entertainment center and cut some twigs from a tree in our woods. I experimented with spray painting the twigs, but I liked them like this better. I may throw some polyurethane on them to make them glossy. 

Most of my living room is cream and burgundy, so I'd like to tie some red into the bottles, but I haven't quite decided how yet. Perhaps some flowers.

So, there you have it. Bottles. Yarn. Hot glue. Life is good.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Hello, cute magnets.

I didn’t even need Pinterest for inspiration on this one! (Though I’m sure it’s on there somewhere!) These magnets took 20 minutes top from the time I started until they were hanging on the fridge with dry Modge Podge.
Spray paint clothespins any color you’d like.

Place magnetic strip on the back. (I used the kind that already has adhesive, but I put a couple of drops of hot glue for extra durability.)

Place the magnet on the backside of scrapbook or other cute paper and trace. I used scraps, because it takes so little paper. Cut out the traced shape.

Cover the side of the clothespin that does not have the magnet with Modge Podge, and place your paper on it. Cover the front paper with more Modge Podge. Pardon my sausage fingers. 

Allow to dry.

Marvel in their simplistic beauty and functionality.

Making a house a home... part 2

Earlier this week, I blogged about making a house a home. I talked about my desire to have everything perfectly decorated and cozy.

And then I cleaned.

What a difference sprucing up the house with some elbow grease makes! I like to keep a clean house anyway, but there's nothing like the smell and feel of pristine floors and a scrubbed shower. I make an effort to spot clean every other day or so, but a good deep clean does wonders.

This week I tried some new recipes for supper, too.

It's not rocket science, but good, wholesome food is almost comforting. I love that Greg and I sit down for supper almost every night. We set the table, we have a meal (even if it's leftovers), we pray, and we talk about our day. It's just plain nice.

So, maybe having a "home" doesn't need to cost a fortune. Why not start with the simple stuff?

Three Classroom Tools That Make My Life Easier

I posted these pictures on my Facebook page at the beginning of the school year, but I thought I'd add them here, too. As we start the second semester, I'm reminded how much easier these make my life!

Each student has a popsicle stick with his or her name on it. The back has a magnet, so it sticks to the dry erase board. All students are "absent" until they move their sticks to the "present" section. Craft sticks: $2.48. Button magnets: $3.97. Making my life and a sub's life easier when it comes to attendance: priceless.

Weekly objectives and homework assignments.
 Behold the power of electrical tape and a dry erase board.

Happy teaching!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Making a house a home

I did a quick Google search for "making a house a home." Lately, I've been almost restless. I have this innate desire to have a perfect, Leave it to Beaver type house. Of course, my current addiction to Pinterest does little to help. 

We've lived in our home for a year and a half now. I'm really proud of how Greg and I have worked together to fix little things here and there and make it just what we want it to be. Yet, I feel like I should be doing more. 

As I Googled, blog after blog of Do-It-Yourself and home improvements came up. However, it was the fifth website that caught my attention, from It was an article titled, the Influential Woman: Making a House a Home

While I didn't completely agree with every aspect of the article, I did agree with the timeless passage from Proverbs 31:10-12:

A wife of noble character who can find?
She is worth far more than rubies.
Her husband has full confidence in her
and lacks nothing of value.
She brings him good, not harm,
all the days of her life.

Perhaps making a house a home isn't about having it decorated to a t, immaculately cleaned, or perfectly presented. At the end of the day, a house filled with love is a home. This year, I'm going to attempt to be more like the Proverbs 31 woman. 

But, I'm still not giving up Pinterest. :) 

Monday, January 2, 2012

A New Year... Time to Reflect

The family gatherings have come and gone. The Christmas tree has been taken down. I'm mentally preparing myself to return to school tomorrow. Yes, the holidays have passed. Now, it's time to look ahead. 

I love the start of a new year. There's so much potential. Anything can happen. We're all granted a fresh start. 

I usually make resolutions, only to forget about them. I remembered earlier today that I blogged about my New Year's resolutions in 2011. I looked back at them and was pleasantly surprised to see that I'd kept most of them. Nonetheless, I decided this year to keep it simple.

Our message at church yesterday was based around three simple principles: forgive, forget, and forge ahead. (You can watch the message at If I am to live a better life, I must remember this concept. 

Forgive others, forget about the past, and forge ahead.

It's going to be a great year.