Sewing/Craft Room Cabinet

For some months now I’ve been searching for some way to keep my laminator and Cricut close by and ready to use, but off my work table so I have more space there. The room is small, so I didn’t have much wall space or closet space to put another storage unit (and I didn’t want to keep them in the closet anyway.) I wanted something on wheels, and because the laminator gets so hot, I wanted to avoid plastic storage.

I’ve been looking at various storage units and ideas and not seeing anything that would really work, and then one day this caught my eye in W-Mart:


I had taken measurements of my work table and saw that this would fit underneath it! And it was the right width and already on wheels — perfect!

Except it was black. I appreciate black furniture in other people’s houses, but it’s just not my preference, and it just wouldn’t “go” in this room.

So, inspired by DIY projects I’ve seen on Pinterest and elsewhere online, I decided to spray paint it white. I knew it would take several coats, but otherwise it should be simple: just point and shoot, right?


I did know to paint the pieces before putting them together. At first I was holding the can too far away, so most of the paint went into the air rather than on the cabinet. (I was thinking, “Wow, there is more aerosol than paint in this thing! Then I realized the problem.) But when I got close enough for the paint to stick, then I had problems with drips, sputters, puddles, and uneven coverage. When I tried to dab off some of the drips, it took a whole chunk of paint out, down to the wood. I was SO frustrated. My husband came home at that point and took pity on me and helped me. I had been holding the button on the paint can down continuously while spraying back and forth, but he took short quick individual strokes back and forth. He sanded off some of the problems areas, and multiple coats of paint evened out everything else. I also learned the cheap 96 cent spray paint is not the best. Krylon worked the best for us.

We let the pieces cure for about a week, and then Jim assembled the cabinet for me last weekend. I had also wanted to put some decorative scrapbook paper on the back wall of the cabinet, to look something like this or this or this or this. But I just used two-sided tape because I wasn’t sure if I’d leave it and wanted it to be easy to get off or change.

So, here is the finished product:



(Kindly ignore the other junk stuff on and around the work table – I’m still working on the rest of the room. 🙂 )

I love it. I like that it’s near at hand and I can roll it out when desired and put whichever machine I’m using on top, but I can keep it all tucked here out of the way otherwise.

I may decide I want to keep the Cricut out on the table after all, but if I do, I have plenty of other things I could store here.

The pink floral paper at the back really doesn’t show up except when I use the flash on the camera: otherwise it just looks dark back there. So in a sense that was kind of a waste, but mentally I’m glad to know it’s there.

I’m just tickled that this worked so well. This room is really starting to come together and be more functional.

I’m linking this project up with:


This post will be also linked to Women Living Well.

Patio re-do

One of the house projects I’ve wanted to work on is our back patio. My husband likes to sit on our front porch some times when it is cool:

It is nice there, but I felt like the back area would be more private and I’d be more likely to go there if I wanted to sit outside for a while. Plus I thought it would be nice for everyone to be able to eat out there when he grills.

I didn’t take a “before” picture, but all we had out there was a table my husband found on sale somewhere a while back, a couple of lawn chairs, and the grill.

One of my birthday presents that he just had a chance to assemble this weekend was this swing:


Recently he bought some chairs to go with the table, and he wants to paint the table to match the chairs.


I’d like to replace the green umbrella, too, since it has some holes in it anyway, to match the canopy over the swing.

I didn’t take a “before” photo of this area, either, but the dog’s kennel had been partly on the patio and partly on the grass, so the grassy area was kind of scraggly. We sold the kennel after she died. I had been wanting to plant a hydrangea bush because I loved them at our old house, but there wasn’t a place in the front where one would really fit. Then it occurred to me it could go right here beside the patio and have plenty of room to grow. Jim planted it for me on Saturday.


I think I might put some pansies there, too, and cover the dirt with mulch.

I also took an old planter that had been out by the shed, spray-painted it, and repotted a little rose plant that Jim had gotten me for my birthday. I also replanted a little plant that had been on my kitchen windowsill — I hope it perks up out here.


And so we were able to put the patio to use for a Labor Day picnic yesterday:

It was a little buggy, but Jim defended us with his “magic wand,” the electric flyswatter. 🙂

I didn’t remember til we were half-way through eating that I had a citronella candle. Next time I’ll try to light that before we get out there.

You can see that our back yard is pretty small, and at first I was dismayed by that, but then realized that our stage of life we don’t really need a lot of space back there (plus the guys appreciate having less to mow. 🙂 )

And one thing really nice about the yard is that the back is lined by evergreen trees. Even though the fence of the neighbor behind us is just behind the trees, we still have a feeling of privacy (at our last house, once the leaves fell off in autumn, I could see from my kitchen window straight into the family room of the house behind us, where the man sat watching TV. I’m sure he was usually watching TV rather than our windows, but still, it felt creepy. I put a suncatcher there at eye level in the window, but I still felt like we were spying on each other. So I am VERY glad these trees are evergreens!)  So far I haven’t heard these neighbors right back there at the fence unless they are doing yard work.

It was especially nice last night when Jason remarked that it was so peaceful back there. I thought, “Yes! That’s exactly what I was going for!”

I’m glad to have this new area shaped up to minister not only to our family but to guests. I’m looking forward to spending some time on the swing with a good book, too. 🙂

Thanks, hon, for the hard work in putting it together! And thank you, Lord, for these gifts of peaceful spots.

Friday’s Fave Five

Welcome to Friday’s Fave Five, hosted by Susanne at Living to Tell the Story, in which we can share five of our favorite things from the last week, a wonderful exercise in looking for and appreciating the good things God blesses us with. Click on the button to learn more, then go to Susanne’s to read others’ faves and link up your own.

It has been quite an eventful week! Here are some of my favorite parts of it:

1. Freon. Our AC wasn’t working correctly, and the AC guy was able to come out before the weekend to fill it up. We were about half empty, so he suspected a leak, but we decided to just wait and see. Well — by Wed. night the AC was acting up again, and he can’t come until Friday morning. So we’ve been trying to operate without AC. It’s not too bad if we stay still under a ceiling fan, but trying to get anything else done is hard. I think I might have a good reason to ask my dear hubby to take me out to dinner tonight 🙂 (I’m writing this on Thursday afternoon.)(Update: he did. :-)) I’m hoping it is just a leak in the AC but it is possible it might need to be replaced.

2. Ladies’ Birthday Party. Our church did this last year as well, having one celebration for all the ladies of the church. We signed up by month of birth and then had to get together with others at our table to make table settings, centerpieces, etc. The months that did not have as many people joined together (Jan. and Dec. were together, April and May, etc.). They had games, door prizes, and of course birthday cake.

Here are some of the tables (please forgive the picture quality — I forgot my camera and had to use my cell phone).:

August had a nautical theme:

February’s table was sweet:

I loved the use of the little shoes for place card holders.

October/November went classy:

So did December/January:

The winners were April/May:

So cute! It was a fun time.

I probably should have made this section into a separate post…

3. Rain. We hadn’t had any for about two weeks.

4. Grandma’s 84th birthday. One time she thought she was 100, another time she thought she was turning 53. 🙂 Oh well — she enjoyed herself and her family got to show her some love in a special way.

5. Independence Day, for several reasons. I’m so thankful to live in a free country, even though it has its flaws. It was nice to have a day off — hubby grilled chicken, burgers, and turkey kielbasa and even went to the store for the food, and Mittu made potato salad, cookies, and chocolate covered strawberries. All I did was open a can of baked beans and rinse off some carrots. 🙂 And then there were fireworks. Last year we went and saw some professional ones, but when we came back we saw that our neighbors had shot off multitudes. So this year we decided to pull up lawn chairs out front and watch theirs. It was really neat for a good while there — until one of the fireworks fell over and started coming at us and caught the grass on fire in several places.

Thankfully that is by our shed rather than the house. Thankfully the neighbors with the fireworks had a fire extinguisher — I guess that would a bonus fave! We had hoped that the bit of rain we’d had earlier in the week would have relieved some of the dryness, but I guess it was not enough.

Hope you’ve had a great week and will have a good weekend!

Friday’s Fave Five

Welcome to Friday’s Fave Five, hosted by Susanne at Living to Tell the Story, in which we can share five of our favorite things from the last week. This has been a wonderful exercise in looking for and appreciating the good things God blesses us with. Click on the button to learn more, then go to Susanne’s to read others’ faves and link up your own.

Here are a few faves from the past week:

1. Good results from my annual mammogram, plus just getting that over with for another year is a fave as well.

2. Dinner for Six. I think I mention this every time we participate, but it IS a favorite every time. Dinner for 6 is a program at our church where they divide participants into groups of six people who then take turns hosting each other for dinner over the next three months. It’s a great way to get to know people beyond what Sunday morning small talk allows. We had our first dinner with a new group this past Monday and just enjoyed it completely.

3. Framed cross stitch. I mentioned a couple of weeks ago having some great framing coupons at two different stores, so I was able to get my finished cross stitch pieces framed. I just got them back this week and love how they turned out.

Now I just need hubby’s help to hang them up. I really need to learn how to deal with the drill for these things that need more than just a nail to hang upon.

4. An exercise mat. I’ve started the Biggest Loser Ultimate Workout for the Kinect (and I’m feeling it!), but was horribly uncomfortable with any of the exercises on the floor until I got this.

I like how the strap keeps it rolled up and provides a handle as well.

5. Ceiling fans. I’ve mentioned AC on FFF before, but even with that I still sometimes get hotter than everyone else, especially while exercising or cooking. Ceiling fans really help provide extra coolness in the room I’m in so I don’t have to freeze everyone else out and run the electric bill higher by turning the AC down.

Happy Friday to you all!

The Ideal House

(The House Graphic is from Graphic Garden.)

Thirteen years ago our family lived just west of Atlanta when my husband accepted a transfer with his company to western South Carolina. If I remember correctly, we had one long weekend as a family to visit our new town, interview at Christian schools we were considering for the boys, and look for a home. After a flurry of house-hunting, we decided on a home that, at least to me, wasn’t a favorite, but it was the only one that had the rooms we needed for the price we wanted.

I had only seen the house that one time before we moved in, and the first few days in our new place revealed a multitude of flaws I hadn’t seen before and accentuated the characteristics I knew I didn’t like from the start.

We had just come from a newly-remodeled home, but our new house hadn’t been updated in nearly 30 years.

The driveway from our old house led to the side of the house which opened into the kitchen, but in our new house we had to drag groceries from the car through two rooms and up seven steps to get to the kitchen.

We came from a house that had three bathrooms to a house that had 1 1/2 baths, which made morning showers more complicated. Plus the old house had a master bathroom: the new house didn’t.

The old house had a carport: the new house didn’t.

The tinkering of the former owner which we had admired turned out to be not the best quality work.

The living room had a wallpaper mural on one wall which my sons loved but I hated.

The kitchen linoleum had a blue and pink design, which I loved, but blue and orangey-peach flowers on the wallpaper. Peach and orange are some of my least favorite colors. Just the presence of that color dismayed me, but the pairing of orangeish wallpaper flowers with pink floor design jarred me.

Red is another of my least favorite colors, and the family room carpet was a red and black plaid (with burn holes from the fireplace), which definitely did not go with my blue and pink plaid furniture.

Every house we had lived in before had either an open space or woods behind us, but this house was surrounded on all sides by other houses.

Certain times of the year when the tress were less leafy, from my kitchen window I could see straight into the family room of the house behind us where the neighbor sat in his recliner.

The kitchen was very small with inadequate storage: my husband had to put shelves in the living room coat closet to handle the overflow from the kitchen, and it was very difficult for more than one person to be in the kitchen at a time.

The dining area that seemed cozy when we looked at the house was actually cramped with our table and chairs.

It may not sound so bad to others, but, honestly, the first or second day on our new home, I shut myself in the bathroom and just cried, overwhelmed and dismayed. My husband and I had discussed some of the work that needed to be done, but I tried not to let him know the depth of my discouragement at the time because I didn’t want to discourage him and because we were committed to the house for the time being anyway.

We ended up living in that house for twelve years. Gradually we repainted, replaced wallpaper and carpet, and got the house cosmetically more to our liking. We could never do anything about the crowded subdivision or the small kitchen and dining area: even if we could have afforded a major remodel to enlarge those rooms, that side of the house was nearly up to the property line as it was: there was no room to expand. And for years I planned my grocery shopping to coincide with picking the boys up from school so they could help cart all the groceries upstairs.

As we prepared to move from this least favorite of houses, once again due to my husband’s work, I reflected that most of my children’s growing-up years took place in that house. The boys were almost 14, 11, and 5 when we moved in there; they were 26, 23, and almost 17 when we left. Among their memories will be Jeremy and Jason finally having their own bedrooms, playing on the trampoline with friends, the “bamboo forest” nearby, riding mattresses down the stairs, helping with the house projects, celebrating high school and college graduations of the oldest two, the first serious girlfriend, engagement, and marriage of one, twelve years of birthdays and Christmases and board games and pizza and movie nights, visits from friends and relatives. I think once we had as many as ten people crowded around the table. They likely won’t remember as much about the particulars of the house as they will the time spent there. Many of their “remember when” stories will have occurred at that house. They won’t remember the house as much as they remember the home.

I did have to wrestle with contentment with my home often and remind myself that we were very fortunate to have such a home. But we did learn from our earlier house-hunting experience when it came time to move again. We took our time, made multiple trips to our new town, visited many houses and took multitudes of pictures to remind ourselves what the houses looked like. Our realtor was very patient with us! We did learn that there really is no ideal home: we liked the bathrooms in some, the kitchen in others, the view of others, but no one had all the best features we wanted. But we found one that we love that we’re settling into very cozily. We won’t have quite the same memories of boys growing up here that we did there, but we’ll have memories of young men coming back home to visit, and, Lord willing, bringing their expanding families with them. We have a couple of years of savoring the youngest’s last years at home before getting adjusted to an empty nest. But I trust whatever house we live in, our family will always have fond memories of home.

This post will be linked to “Works For Me Wednesday,” where you can find a plethora of helpful hints each week at We Are THAT family on Wednesdays, as well as  Women Living Well.

The randomest of thoughts

I mentioned my middle son, Jason, getting a job in a neat way after a very long wait. The day he got the news that he got the job, his wife’s car (the main one they drove) died. In fact, Jason was in the tow truck when he got news of the job. A day of highs and lows! I think I mentioned in last week’s FFF post that the Lord provided them with a new car. And now they have a new apartment — they’re moving in this weekend. So, yeah, it’s been a bit of a whirlwind, getting a job, car, and apartment all within eight days! We’ve enjoyed having them with us but I know they are eager to get out on their own.

My dear husband spent a lot of his Memorial Day weekend mowing. He took Jesse down to our old town so that he could go to graduation at his old school and meets friends for lunch. Jim had some things to do on our old house, one of which was cutting the grass. He and Jesse got back here Saturday, we had church Sunday, and then Monday they went to our old church property to cut grass. It’s been up for sale for a long while, and of course the church needs to keep up the property until it does sell. The adult Sunday School classes are taking turns cutting the grass, and this is the weekend Jim signed up for (the joke at Sunday School is that each man is praying the property will sell before his turn comes. 🙂 ) Then, of course, we had our own grass to cut, and Jason helped Jim with that.

I had a good deal of Friday and Saturday to myself, and at first thought I should probably use the solitude to work on some writing I’ve had in mind. But it was one of those times I just wanted to accomplish something, to have something physical to show for the time. So I ran some errands that had been on my list of things to do for a while, went to a thrift store to look for a couple of pieces of furniture, didn’t find those but found a few decorative items, and then went to Home Depot and got some plants for the planters in front of the house (I’ll show you those in Friday’s FFF post).

When I checked out at the thrift store, the cashier asked me if I needed any discounts or coupons. I didn’t know what she was talking about, but instead of asking, I just shook my head. Then my eyes fell on a sign saying that people 55 and older get discounts (and I think coupons — didn’t read the whole thing).

The sad thing is I will be eligible for that discount next year! Maybe by that time I’ll be glad to save the money instead of sad to be that old! 😉

One of the things I got was this little flower arrangement:

This is what I had previously on this little table:

The flower arrangement on the left had looked pretty nice in our previous living room that had more color on the walls…

New flower arrangement

But against beige walls, it just looked a little blah. But I like the touch of color the new one adds:

I also mentioned last week the bird feeder at my mother-in-law’s. We had noticed that the level of the bird seed seemed to be staying the same and no birds were coming around, and I wondered if maybe the openings of the bird feeder were stopped up, but I confess, I was leaving it for my husband to check out the next time he came. Then a few days later I saw this:

Either one of the birds brought some grass seeds or some of the seeds in the mix started sprouting. I had never seen that happen before! Jim got it cleaned out and added more seed this weekend.

Speaking of bird feeders, as I came to the sink this morning and looked out the window at ours, just at that moment a female cardinal flew from another tree to the branch near our bird feeder, and a male flew from the bird feeder to the female and gave her some of the seed. It seemed such a sweet moment — though I’m sure they were probably just taking care of necessities without any thought of sweetness. Then they flew off — too quickly to even grab the camera. But I was glad to be in on their little moment.

And those are just a few of my stray thoughts and doings lately. What’s going on in your world today?

Laudable Linkage and Cool Videos

I didn’t have quite as much time for web surfing this week, but here are a few noteworthy things I did see:

The Unsaved Christian. Someone on Facebook linked to this. At first I balked at the title because someone is not a Christian if unsaved, so this seemed like a misnomer, but the article explains what she means and gently but clearly sounds a needed warning.

Winning Your Friends to Christ, HT to Susan.

Grace Spots.

Responding to the Scandal. If you saw the recent 20/20 report on abuse within IFB churches, this is the best response I have seen, HT to my son, Jeremy. I’ve been thinking about writing a post about this issue, but this hasn’t been a week I could have extended thoughtful time at the computer. But Dr. Bauder says just about everything I would say and more, and much better.

Homemade Note Pads are presented as a Teacher Appreciation Gift, but they’d be good for anyone.

Styrofoam Wall Art. I forget where I saw the link to this. I’ve seen similar ideas using canvas, but this would be cheaper.

Timelapse Video of San Francisco-to-Paris flight Captures Aurora Borealis. Neat article and video.

This is pretty funny. I can see how they do some of it, but they do the change-out pretty fast!

Have a great Saturday! We had storms through the night and lost power this morning, but I am so glad it is back on now!

Laudable Linkage

Here are interesting things I’ve seen around the Web lately: maybe some will interest you as well.

10 reasons to break the sarcastic habit, with action plan.

So Was Jesus.

Thoughts on Modesty, not from the standpoint of causing guys to stumble, though that’s a valid concern, but as a matter of our own hearts before God.

“Dora the Doormat” and other Scary Straw Women of Complementarity, HT to Challies. Deals with some of the erroneous charges some make against proponents of complementarianism, the view that God created the sexes equal but with roles that complement one another.

Confessions of a Conflicted Complementarian, showing how gospel grace applies even in this.

One taxpayer’s response to the potential government shutdown. Heh, heh, heh.


Double Chocolate Treasures. I am definitely trying these!

Cake Balls. I usually take the easy route of just throwing cake batter in a 9 x 13 pan, but these looks so good.

Resurrection Rolls for Easter breakfast. I’ve posted my version with yeast rolls before, but this one uses crescent rolls and cinnamon. I might just try this kind this year.


Buttons on display. Really cute card made with buttons.

How to Turn Mini-Blinds Into Roman Shades, HT to Lizzie.

What guys think about modesty:

I can’t imagine all the work behind this:

Happy Saturday!

Laudable Linkage and Fun Videos

Here are a few things that stood out to me online this week:

Filling my home with the unseen, HT to Lizzie. Both the photos and the sentiments are lovely.

Pray to BLESS. I’ve heard and read a number of acronyms as a help to prayer, but I had never come across this one before. Very helpful.

The New Evangelical Virtues. Tim Challies masterfully discusses “characteristics that seem to pass as virtues today…doubt, opaqueness, and an emphasis on asking rather than answering questions.” “Humility is not found in doubting what is true, but in believing that what God says is true is true indeed.”

Spring Cleaning Your Facebook Account. No, not a discussion of purging your “Friends” list, but rather helpful questions to check our hearts. It’s not that the technology is bad, but what’s in our hearts is going to reveal itself even there.

Why Books Still Matter.

I almost labeled this “Luggage Inspectors,” but I didn’t want to be snarky. 🙂 Let’s just say don’t leave a parked car where there are monkeys:

This is amazing. I could never do this — not only because I can’t play music, but I’m sure I would knock over more than one glass.

Happy Saturday!


I’ve felt like I’ve been in a bit of malaise or brain fog the last couple of weeks, and, interestingly, I was scrolling through old posts yesterday looking for something and noticed I had a post saying about the same thing the first few weeks of January almost every year. I think a lot of it is due to transitioning back into routine after the holidays, but that was disrupted a bit due to several snow days. But after getting a lot of sleep, I think I’m back on an even keel. Yesterday brought progress in several areas:

  • Temperatures in the 40s! I didn’t have anything to do with that, of course, but after days and days of sub-freezing weather, 40 felt pretty nice, and most of the ice and snow has finally melted. Winter’s not over yet, but this little break was heartening.
  • Lists. In spite of “brain fog,” some of my problem was just laziness. I’d think of things to work on but would veg out with solitaire on the computer instead. After confessing that to the Lord, I made a running list of various things that needed to be done and got started on it yesterday.
  • I’m still working on decorating the house. It’s going slowly both because it takes me a while to decide where to put things and because I need Jim’s help for some of the heavier items — plus the holidays put all of that on hold. I concentrated on our room yesterday and got several things up on the wall, several boxes put away, and a dust ruffle and dresser scarf ironed and in place. A bit of lace and decorativeness does my heart good. I do still plan to post pictures of the house, hopefully soon. We’re still waiting on those living room chairs…

  • I’ve been able to make headway on this cross stitch project here and there during the evenings. Jason commented that I’d been working on it a long time, and a variation of the song came to mind…”Little by little, stitch by stitch…” I don’t even remember when I started it, but it’s fun seeing it come together. I’m dreading the words in the hoop, though, and left them for later. They’re the most important segment but they don’t follow the lines and squares — I may write them on with a washable fabric marker and stitch over them.

  • Anger…which is actually a regression rather than a progression. I’m not in general an angry person every day, and some times, by God’s grace, I can take things in stride. But sometimes I can get blindingly white-hot angry in a flash, and often over some stupid little thing. And it’s worse when I’m in “the right” (or else believe I am) because it’s harder to let that anger go. Such an incident happened yesterday (no, not with anyone in my family), and after the emotion cooled down I was terribly ashamed and discouraged. I didn’t really say anything, though if the other person was alert they could have picked up on it. But the roiling under the surface was neither healthy nor honoring to the Lord. I confessed that to the Lord as well, and a couple of verses came to mind (“Be not hasty in thy spirit to be angry: for anger resteth in the bosom of fools” [Ecclesiastes 7:9] was one, as was “the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God” [James 1:20]), yet I still felt shrouded in defeat. So this morning I did a brief word study on “anger” and “wrath,” mainly in Proverbs and the epistles. Several helped, but one that realy jumped out at me was, “The discretion of a man deferreth his anger; and it is his glory to pass over a transgression” (Proverbs 19:11). Meditation on that and some of the others is helping.

So, though winter will still be here for a while and I’ll always have a list of things to do and an old nature to contend with…I am encouraged to see some progress.