Close Enough

So, are you ready to see our tiny lake house? Or, at least, take a look at a couple of rooms?  We are not completely finished, but, close enough! The complete tour would be too long for a blog post, so …

I’ll start with the most important room, and the reason we needed to build … the bathroom. The shower in the camping trailer just wasn’t cutting it for Saint. No elbow room.dscf0082Now, he has plenty. The galvanized tin walls were my idea, well, mine and Pinterest, but they weren’t exactly like I planned. The vanity, however, turned out great.

dscf0108We made this from an old desk I found on Craig’s List. I loved the original finish and hardware, so Saint just cut a hole for the galvanized bucket, which used to be new and shiny and didn’t look like it belonged before I found a way to age it by squirting toilet bowl cleaner on it and leaving in the sun all afternoon. I wanted to incorporate some family artifacts. The brick came from the chimney of an old log cabin on our farm. My great grandfather and his new bride moved into the log cabin in 1888. I don’t know how old it was then, but these bricks have been around a long time. A couple of the barn wood boards framing the mirror, a flea market find, came from that cabin, but Dad was pretty meticulous in keeping everything cleaned up around it (at Mom’s suggestion). I’ll bet if she had known what price those old barn wood boards are bringing now, she would have changed her tune.The old barn tin came from the Huffman farm bunkhouse. Other boards came from Saint’s brother’s farm, along with more of the old tin that we used on the walls. Saint was all ready to use his miter saw and 45 those beautiful boards until I told him I wanted a more rustic look. I do love the way it turned out. Here are other pictures of the spacious bathroom … well, for a tiny house! And do you see how we threw in the industrial look with the towel rod and toilet paper holder made from flanges and pipes?


In these last pictures, you can get a peek at the sliding barn door Saint made, and you can see the authentic hardware our dear friend gave us from an old barn. I left the rust because, well, who doesn’t like rust in rustic? You can also see the makeshift door (curtain) I made to hide the water heater.

Now, on to the kitchen. My mom always said if she built a house, she would leave the kitchen out. Well, we almost did. Knowing that most of the lake cooking would be done on the grill, I didn’t want to give much of our tiny space to a kitchen, but I wanted a fully functioning place to prep and clean. We continued the industrial rustic, using the same plumbing pipes to hold up open shelves. The cabinet is an old dresser I bought (Craig’s List, again) from a lady in Branson. It came with two mirrors, and I paid $80.00 for it. After cleaning and chalk painting a sparrow gray, we added a wooden counter top. The trick was finding a sink that the dresser-turned- cabinet would accommodate. I choose a dresser rather than an unfinished cabinet because I wanted a narrow piece to save space. Saint was able to work on the drawers to salvage most of them as he cut out the space for the sink and plumbing. We changed out the hardware and it’s good to go. By the way, I refinished both mirrors and could probably sell them for what I paid for the whole thing, but I may use one in the living room, later. And the brick … isn’t it amazing? Looks pretty authentic, right? Faux brick panels from Home Depot. The trick was whitewashing and blotting to get the antiqued look.





dscf0073Equipped with a small refrigerator, microwave, coffee pot, two burner hot plate, toaster oven, and crock pot, we’re all set. The galvanized tin in back of the shower makes a nice back drop for pantry items, too. And the view from the kitchen window

dscf0095makes even the tiniest kitchen picture perfect.

But, where do we eat, you ask? Mostly here.

dscf0105on the porch overlooking the lake, but if we have to eat inside, we have this cute little drop leaf table with a (I know, who needs this) TV above it.

dscf0087I still have some pieces to add and decorating to finish in the main area, and since this blog post is way longer than recommended, anyway, I’ll save the bed and living area, along with the details and how God has blessed this project for another day. Thanks for looking.

A Project and a Plan

It started as a quiet walk in the woods as Saint and I went looking for a log suitable for cutting wooden discs to turn into place cards for Christmas Breakfast.

DSC00040And it ended in this.

DSC00041As we passed the junk scrap wood pile, I noticed the legs I’d kept from a piece of furniture that we dismantled for another project. It’s hard to throw away good bones. I dragged it to the house where it sat under the deck for a few days, just long enough for it to call out to the weathered pallet propped against the wood pile. Saint and his saw soon merged the two into the “canvas.”

DSC00034This is the back side where he cut and attached the pallet wood to the frame.

I downloaded a deer silhouette from Pinterest.

DSC00033I positioned it on the “canvas” and set about using a stipple brush and some old jar of off white paint and water to whitewash the boards around the stencil.

DSC00038 DSC00037So then it was just a matter of deciding how to adorn it. I had already decided what to do with it. It looked like something our daughter-in-law would like. But then I wasn’t sure. She was coming over soon, so I told Saint we would put it on our porch; if she noticed it and liked it, it would be hers. If not, it looked pretty good right on our front porch.

DSC00042It went home with her! And she left something much better…but just for the weekend. And that’s the PLAN part of this post.

The Polar Express has long been one of my favorite Christmas read-alouds, probably beginning with the year that actress Tess Harper came to our classroom and read it to the kids. She cried. I cried. We were neither one sure the kids enjoyed it half as much as we did. Anyway, the plan was to create our little Polar Express tour of area Christmas lights with our granddaughter and her adorable friend.

I made tickets and bells. They wore their pajamas and hats…

DSC00044And we boarded the train Avalanche with blankets, snack mix, and hot chocolate.

DSC00045Saint “engineered” us to the lights.

DSC00047 DSC00048After seeing the lights in rural Rogersville and a trip by the turn of the century home where we lived for several years, the girls voted to skip Springfield in favor of the horse drawn carriage ride through the Ozark City Park light display.

20141213_183944-1And even though it was a mild 50 degree evening, we thought we needed snow. We tried to create our own using a combination of corn starch, shaving cream, and iridescent snow flakes.

DSC00051 DSC00052You can’t fool Mother Nature! It was too warm for snow. The iridescent flakes hurt the girls’ hands. The mixture wouldn’t stick together enough to make a snowman, but did manage to stick in every crack and crevice in the kitchen floor. That project was filed in…you guessed it…13.

We did successfully complete a couple of others.

DSC00055And have a fun breakfast with these DEER young ladies before our adventure ended.


The wooden discs are still waiting in the work room. We’ll see what happens. I believe! Maybe the next post.

Merry Christmas!

WIP to Finished…I think

Stick a fork in it. It is done! For now, at least.

This has definitely been a work in progress and a joint effort for Saint and me. And it has been fun. Mostly.

I have rounded up some before and after pictures to share.



































I’ll elaborate more on the blog post. Thanks for stopping by, she’ll be on the road soon!


















I know. You are wondering what this bright yellow-green tennis ball is doing in the middle of all these pumpkins, right? Well, at an antique shop the other day, I saw some pumpkins made from an old chenille bedspread. I thought an old sweater would work just as well, and I was pondering what to use as a form. I walked to the garage, and lo and behold, there was a tennis ball hanging down on a piece of fishing line. Saint put it there so I’d Know when to stop my car…to keep from running into the house, I suppose. No, it lets me know when my car has cleared the electric eye on the garage door, actually. Anyway, I asked if he had any more old tennis balls. I knew they’d be old since we haven’t played in months years a while. He found ONE! I also spotted some quilt batting, or pillow stuffing, depending upon the project. I cut out a circle that would completely encompass the tennis ball. I used both Tacky Glue and hot glue for this project, starting with Tacky, which I squeezed onto the tennis ball, pulling up the batting around it and patting it all down smoothly.







Next, I cut a slightly larger circle from the sweater and followed the same procedure.







This time, I pressed all the fabric in at the top, pushing down really hard, and hot glued the top shut. Next, I used jute twine to wrap around the form in places to create the pumpkin “creases” and tied a bow at the top. I added some bittersweet, and, voila! A pumpkin from an old tennis ball.







On the hardness scale from 1-10, this was definitely an easy 1. This is a fun thing to do with your kids. If it is too late for the Thanksgiving table, you could play around with making them into Christmas ornaments. They would add warmth and texture to your tree decor.

Junk to Joy


I’ve been working on this new little vignette on my back deck. What I really want to do is this:
I’m not sure I can convince Saint to whitewash our stained deck, but I sure love the look, don’t you? At any rate, I did want to do something different. In my pile of leftover junk stash of materials, I had some ridiculous drawers left over from a desk that was “thrown in” when I bought some end tables. Kind of like at an auction when you have to take an entire box of junk when all you wanted was one door handle. We kindled the fire with most of the parts of the desk, but I’ve seen so many uses for odd drawers on Pinterest (and these were definitely odd drawers) that I hoarded hid them away for a later use. I didn’t even bother with a before picture of the wobbly old desk.

So, this week, when my partner in crime, aka soon to be granddaughter, Elle, came over, we first worked on a project for her new room. After the wedding, Kris, Shannon, and the girls will be moving into their new house in the country. Elle said she wanted a giraffe in her new room because that was her favorite animal. Well, who knew that a giraffe is also my favorite wild animal? We didn’t go out and buy a giraffe, but we did work on these cute little canvas frames to which we paper mached (Is there really a past tense form of that word?) giraffe print scrapbook paper to the canvas, let it dry, and hot glued the letters to her name. Simple, but very cute, right? Not as cute as Elle, of course, but we think it will be perfect for the wall above her bed.DSC00212

Next, she helped me with some painted terra cotta pots. We painted chalkboard labels on so I could fill them with herbs and use them in the vignette I was planning with those old drawers. DSC00217
I didn’t get this on film, but Elle painted her pots without getting a drop of paint anywhere except on the pot. I, on the other hand, as usual, yes, the other hand, and the other hand…covered.
After Elle and I went to a little tea room for lunch, and she had to go home, I worked on the display. Using a color similar to that of the pots, I dry brushed paint across the fronts of the drawers, hardware and all. I filled the drawers with potting soil and began to add plants. I stacked them, first this way and then that, until I had the look I wanted. Next, I added a darling wire cage my daughter brought me for Mother’s Day. To it, I added some crinkled ribbon and a fabric rose and placed the spicy globe basil plant inside.



This lovely plant that our son gave me for Mother’s Day, along with a cherished plaque given to us by a friend from church fill up the table by the settee.
And I hung up two old lanterns Saint got at a local farm auction. I can’t decide if I want to keep them here or take them in the camping trailer.

Yes, it’s a far cry from the loveliness of the porch from Heart and Home, but it’s a nice change of scenery for summer, and I repurposed the old drawers. Sometimes junk can be joyful.

Redbud Ridge

Just look what welcomed us home from our camping trip.DSC00184


We enjoy time away, but are always glad to come home, especially when spring has sprung.

I had a lot of pictures and fish stories to tell, so I decided to play with a different blog host/source. I didn’t like it…not as user friendly as WordPress, and you know my limitations. I have seen an increase in demand for camping information, however, so I chose to expand to a second blog on WordPress. If you are a follower who enjoys camping tips and stories, please check out and see if you enjoy it.

Here’s a preview of the tease I left you with a few weeks ago that also welcomed us home.
I hope to show all the things I made out of that one antique bed in one post soon.

We have needed an address marker in case of a 911 emergency. Now we just need a shrub beside it. Maybe next week…unless we go camping.

DIY-Faux Screen Print Pillow Tutorial

I saw an interesting DIY about screen printing onto a T-shirt here. It looked do-able, however as I read WAIT for the Mod Podge to dry completely, I questioned if this were the technique for me. Patience is not my best virtue Watching paint dry is not on my bucket list. So then I had another brilliant idea.
I told you I wanted other pillows for the camping trailer, but decorative pillows are over priced. At the flea market the other day, I picked up some cheap thrifty navy sailcloth (four yards for two bucks) that I thought would be perfect for nautical pillows. What do you think?
Here are the easy steps to follow if you want to make faux screen printed pillows.
First, I decided what size I wanted my pillows to be and cut four panels that size, two for each pillow.
Next, I googled free printable sea creatures and found a perfect starfish and an acceptable seahorse. I printed them and cut them out.DSC00117
Then, I gathered a foam brush, some white latex paint, Mod Podge, Gel Medium, and a paper plate. DSC00116
You see, I decided I could just paint the back side of the starfish shape and “stamp” the shape onto the fabric. I placed the fabric inside an embroidery hoop to hold it in place. It worked fine, but I omitted that step on the second print, and it worked just as well. I mixed a bit of Gel Medium and a bit of water to thin the paint so that it would not be stiff when it dried.
I filled in some of the lighter areas with my foam brush and left them to dry overnight.
The next morning, Satisfied with the way they looked, I put up my trusty old sewing machine that I “don’t sew” with, and wouldn’t you know it, I had to thread the bobbin because white thread stitches on navy would not be pretty glare at me. I did it! Yep, we non-sewers celebrate the little things! I placed the painted side of the fabric facing up and placed the unpainted back panel on top of it, right sides together.DSC00122
I sewed around three sides and just a little into the fourth side. I left it mostly open so that I could stuff it.
After sewing and stuffing both pillows, I came to the hardest part of this project; getting a wiggly piece of thread through a microscopic hole in a needle. Seriously, folks. Why?! There has to be an easier way. But since I needed to hand stitch the bottom after stuffing, I had to do it. I used a blind hem stitch to finish it who am I kidding? You would have to be blind not to see those stitches, but since it was the bottom of the pillow, who cares, right?
I couldn’t wait to see how they would look in the camping trailer, so I took them right down.
I know some of you detail oriented people are dying to ask, “Are they washable with the paint on them?” Hmmm. I’d say probably not no. But, again, who cares? Do you really ever wash your pillows? Heck, no. That’s why they call them throw pillows. When they get dirty, you throw them away.

If you are really crafty, go ahead and try the screen print from the blog I mentioned earlier, but if you want the look without the work and the wait, just do this. I kind of like them.

Handmade Hearts

DSC00031Valentine’s Day…or is it Valentines’ Day? I’ve never really figured it out, but in the grand scheme of love, does it really matter? This little woven heart that I’m DIY-ing today is a great way for students, parents, spouses, or sweethearts to show people how special they are. Sure, you could spend eight bucks on a glittery card that would be treasured for life probably thrown away in a week or two. When you look through your keepsakes, you probably notice that most of them have been made or selected just for you. That’s the beauty of this simple project. You can make it as easy, inexpensive, meaningful, elaborate as you wish. Here is the basic list of materials:
Paper (construction, scrapbook, specialty, grocery bags)
Pattern to trace or copy
Accessories, if desired

Yep, that’s all. And here is the pattern with visual instructions:
woven heart
1. Copy or trace the pattern twice…using contrasting paper such as red/white, pink/red, pink/white
2. Cut carefully on dotted lines.
3. Weave the two pieces together as shown in the visual.
4. Glue tabs in place and trim, if necessary.
5. Decorate

I simply used some tissue strands and cut out the word love on the one above, but other suggestions would be to use a paper or fabric flower, (there are tons of tutorials for handmade ones on Pinterest)wire letters, glitter, decoupaged tiny hearts. The possibilities are endless. And it never hurts to throw in some chocolate…good for the heart, you know.

When Life Gives You Lemons…or White Elephants

The gifts have been opened, the mess has been cleaned up, the decorations have been put away, and the decadent leftovers have all been eaten or disposed of; all that’s left are the memories. Well, not quite!

At the Huffman family celebration, I suggested a white elephant gift exchange, instructing family members to bring something they already had and no longer needed. We would, then, do our traditional “steal the gift” game with everyone trying to get the least, least-desirable gift. Legal re-gifting, as my SIL called it. I made only one stipulation: You must take the gift you end up with home with you.

Some people just can’t follow instructions. The next morning, when I opened my cabinet to get a cup for my first cup of coffee, this greeted me.
All I can say is, my son had better be glad he didn’t put it in the refrigerator!

In their defense, it was obvious that several of my family members had not participated in white elephant exchanges before. My younger brother cleaned out an entire shelf in his hobby room and wrapped it in a box. My older brother’s wife did the same, but she was clever enough to pretty-up the package and trick her own daughter into picking it. Terri wanted to leave the whole kit and kaboodle, but I was very selective. There were two little, ugly, gold mirrors and a planter that I agreed to take. Don’t ever under estimate gold mirrors. I wish I had taken a picture of before, because it’s truly amazing what a little paint will do. I sprayed on white primer and later brushed on the sea glass blue. After it dried, I rubbed on a little antique glaze and wiped it down, leaving dark areas in the crevices.
I decided I needed to shabby it up a little, so I added some burlap strips and some woven brown ribbon.
And here are the pair of them displayed with some metal work in back and another with the burlap bookends I made last year.DSC00016DSC00014
I also shabbied up some plain Jane candle holders to add to the grouping. Some natural burlap strips, ruffled by pulling a string partly through, some jute twine tied into little bows, the new glue gun I got for Christmas,and some strips of string to match the mirrors achieved this.

Pretty chic, huh? I’ll bet my niece is going to want them back.
But what on earth am I going to do with this ancient headlamp?
Any suggestions…other than never do a white elephant gift exchange at your house again?

My first Pinterest Christmas

Black Friday has come and gone; Small Business Saturday is quickly moving into Sunday, and I have not bought much diddly squat! And, truth be told, I don’t have a single idea about what to get anyone this year.

Last year was my first year to be completely engrossed in Pinterest, and I was so inspired by all the ideas, recipes,and decorations that I wanted to try everything. Most of the things I tried I posted on my Facebook page, but I wasn’t blogging last year, so I thought you might enjoy a peek at some and, perhaps, get inspired to get on with Christmas.

I started a board entitled Wrapping Up Christmas. I planned to pin only ideas for wrapping packages…I love pretty packages, but I randomly ended up with all things Christmas on there. It really is a delightful board, so feel free to stop by and spend a minute few minutes half a day looking at the holiday stuff. Anyway, thanks to that board, we had some really pretty packages under the tree last year, and they were generally very easy to do. The first thing I learned to do was make paper flowers. The post suggested using a lunch bag. Right up my alley. I also like lunch. And bags. Here is my lunch bag flower.

And another I made from white wrapping paper.

I used these instead of bows on several packages. Here is a link to a good tutorial if you’d like to try this.
A look at my bonus grand daughter’s pins inspired me to choose this black and white wrapping paper and wide black ribbon to incorporate her taste
and use the white flower.

And here, I used brown craft paper and twig snowflakes that I made with sticks, hot glue, and embellishments. I added some deer patterned ribbon for our son, Kris-the animal/nature lover.

You can find the tutorial for the snowflakes here.
I used them as package decor, tree ornaments, and even hung some from the mirror above the mantel.

You can even use creatively wrapped packages in your grand scheme of Christmas decorating. Simply coordinate colors of wrapping paper and ribbon with your room decor and place a group of small wrapped presents as a centerpiece on the dining table. Pile gifts in the center of a bed in the guest room. I did this one year when my kids were coming for Christmas and I was also having a holiday gathering beforehand. I wrapped the kids’ presents in colors that matched each of their rooms and displayed them as part of the decor. Later, I carried the gifts downstairs and tagging them was unnecessary because they were color coded.

While I did not get any shopping done this weekend, I did manage to get my mantel done and the tree mostly decorated. Film at eleven…or when I get the mess cleaned up, whichever comes first. I’m also working on making new stockings and can’t wait to share those. In the meantime, tomorrow’s Cyber Monday. Maybe I’ll pick up a gift or two in between restocking at the flea market. The ugly cabinet turned coat rack sold. The snowmen and the mantel were purchased, as well.

Hope you are “wrapping up Christmas.”