Oct 29, 2016

Bunny Grey

Laster-month (yeah, now more like 2 months ago) I decided to finally take the plunge and repaint the main living area of our house.


When we moved here almost 12 years ago we fell in love with a two-tone green that we saw in a model home out in Eagle Mt. We didn't buy that home but I did get the name and manufacturer of the paint they used (khaki green and grey birch). I hadn't found any colors I liked better until now.

I'd seen a photo of Stephanie Nielson's walls (aka NieNie) on Instagram. It was Nimbus Grey by Benjamin Moore. If you do a quick Google search you'll see that it plays very similar to the color you are looking at here on the bottom portion of the wall. Ah, but when I painted it on the wall it looked VERY BLUE! Pretty, but not the color I wanted.

After much looking and 2 pints of *test paint* I finally figured out the colors I really wanted... behold Bunny Grey and Sweatshirt Grey (Yeah, and I can't help it that BM doesn't spell GREY in my favorite spelling!)

Eons ago, at least 25 years, I got a very cool color-changer shirt! But since I worked on the playground for 4 hours every day it quickly lost its changer-ness. At some point at least 16+ years ago I decided that it was now my painting shirt. That dark brown is from Bekah's house when we painted her *new* house in May 2000! The pants are somewhat newer... the first time I remember relegating them to the status of work pants was when I put the laminate floor down in Palmdale, 2003! Hey, no point in getting rid of perfectly good work clothes!! And since I'm into wardrobe details, these are my first pair of Skechers Go Walks from 2014.


Anyway, I got out my trusty painting clothes and, over the week, I painted the main floor rooms. We have 11' ceilings and I was so GRATEFUL for my Little Giant Ladder! So stable, so easy to used, so stable... did I mention that it is very stable?? Previously we had a ladder that wanted to fold up if you sneezed!

I am so very pleased with the finished results of my lovely home. Since I was changing up the paint I thought it was also time to change up the decor. We had an Asian themed front room since we moved here.

I knew I wanted to incorporate this painting that hung in my childhood home over the piano. It is of Crater Lake, Oregon. I'm guessing that it is at least 75-80 years old as it is unlikely that Mom bought it after they moved to Greenville in 1946; maybe a wedding present?

When Mom died and we each took the things we wanted. Sue, by common agreement, took this painting. She had it hanging in various houses over the years but several years ago she asked if I wanted it since it was just being stored in her garage. YES!!

This is the only photo I have of it in my Greenville home. We had board and batten walls that I loved! You'll also notice that it had some *demented angel wings* (Sue's description) on the corners and center of the hand-made frame. She removed them but that left the wood showing through.

I didn't want to change the color of the frame, not only sentimental reasons, but because it was perfect with my new wall colors.

I used a silver paint plus some blue and black that I sponged on. I'm so pleased with my refurbishment!

Our new front door (and the Oakland Temple). I made new covers for the chair and got some dandy new throw rugs at my favorite Costco,

And made new covers for the throw pillow. My favorite quilt got a new home on the back of the couch instead of the dining room table.

I painted the fridge hole the darker accent color on a whim (I didn't want to have to buy more lighter paint!) Gordon suggested I do the rest of that small wall around the pantry. I love it.

Our dining room set works just fine with the new grey walls and my favorite Resurgam (Latin for "I Shall Rise Again') print looks lovely too. And my wonderful RuthAnn/Dennis handmade star would look wonderful ANYWHERE!

I added the *stained glass* film to the half-circle window above the back door. When the sun is shining through it really *blues* up the room.

So here's hoping that it will be 12 years before I decided that I want to change the paint color again! Seriously, I love the finished results and really don't mind painting!

Oct 27, 2016

Quiet Books- Mission Completed

Back in June I posted about Jude's quiet book. At the time I started his book, and through most of the lengthy process of making it, I hadn't planned on making any others. I'd even warned my other children, who have young children, that this was a special one-time project for Jude. But, by the time I finished, and had time to recover, I thought, "How can I NOT make one of these wonderful books for each of my littles?"

But since I was going to be making [a bunch] more quiet books I decided to create digital patterns that I could print on Steam-A-Seam bonding on my computer so as to avoid countless hours of tracing.

My original idea was to make one book for each of the five families (so 4 more books) who have children under age 5, but as I neared completion Camille suggested splitting the pages into two books so her two Bitties could each play with a book at the same time! (Great idea).

I spent the next two months mass producing pages. I had quite a process of making all of the elements for a 2-page spread down to a science. The land, sea and air pages were a must.

As were the shapy-shaper-tons! And this time I did used Velcro instead of the magnets to attach them to the page.

Sandcastle building was also another set that had to be repeated.

Finally, after working diligently for two months I had all of the pages finished and sorted into file folders for each of my sweet grandbabies.

And I can't decided what makes me the happiest about this photo... all of the finished pages or the folded and color-sorted boxes of fabric in my closet!

I've realized today as I have slogged through about 200 photos that I would have had a less daunting task if I had blogged about this while in the process, but I wanted many of the pages to be a surprise. (Erm... next time?)

And since my sweet grandbabies are not ONE-SIZE-FITS-ALL the books couldn't all be an exact duplicate of Jude's. I had great fun adding specialized pages for each of the littles.

Here are the pages not previously shown in Jude's book.

I knew that I didn't what to recreate the all hand-pieced Armour of God page. So I printed the pattern I purchased on fabric (sure wish my printer accepted 9" wide paper/fabric), bonded it to felt and used those wonderful tiny magnets again

In my Pinteresting I found this idea then found these fun flip-flop buttons on Etsy. Now comes the fun part... I put them on my bed scanner, scanned them and made up the matching pattern for the big flip-flop pieced from felt. I can't even remember now where I got the idea for the beach bag and smaller flip-flops, but I did the same thing here and made my own pattern. I just happened to have some random strips of hand-dyed fabric from a quilting project done years ago that were just right for the body of the bag. Since the buttons came in a two pack, there are only two of these pages (Emmy and Fiona).

Ah, but now I'd created a monster idea. As soon as I saw these darling fish buttons at WalMart I snapped them up for Miss Annabelle and then used fabric from her baby quilt as the background. I found a cool pelican idea here.

I also loved this sea-themed page. I didn't like some of the element so found ideas elsewhere for the Nemo-themed fish.

Deborah was also pretty excited about this repeat of fabric from Annabelle's baby quilt. I had to piece the little amount I had left to come up with the 2-9" pages!

This bunch of bed-jumping-monkeys caused me a great deal of stress! I knew I wanted to make a Monkeys-jumpin'-on-a-bed page but did NOT want to piece a bazillion little jumpers! I finally found this awesome FREE graphic. All I had to do was cut and paste those little monkeys... well, except... there was neither a Mama nor a Doctor. So I went totally PhotoShop crazy and cut and pasted a stethoscope and medical insignia on the Doctor (found in the plethora of clip art I've amassed over the years) and took a cake out of Mama's hands, changed the angle of her arms and gave her a cell phone. Yeah, I'm sick like that!

I played around printing different sized monkeys on paper until I got them small enough for little fingers and then printed them on fabric, bonded that to white felt and sewed it closed. Each little finger puppet is two sided.

Of course, monkeys NEED a bed to jump on. More clip art from the now defunct HugClub by PC Crafter's. The pillows Velcro onto the headboard and the quilt makes a pocket for the pillows and monkeys.

But all of this was just way-too-much for a single page. The facing page is a little zippered pouch for monkey-storage!

This Harley tic-tac-toe page was a must for the two little families that always come to Grammie's house. When Fiona hears Harley whining as she comes to the door (erm... or pulls up to the curb!) she says, "Harley says- My Nona! I love my Nona! My Nona's here!" (Grammie has taught her well.)

"I love to go to Grammie's house, to Grammie's house, to Grammie's house,
I love to go to Grammie's house, and see that Harley-dog! (repeat)
That Harley does some woofing, some woofing, some woofing.
That Harley does some woofing then we take him for a walk"
(Sung to- I love to go to Grandma's house.)

Another idea I gleaned from Pinterest was this one, but I couldn't find ANY-thing that I liked. So I just made it myself, says the Little Red Hen! I had great fun digitally painting this tree a leaf at a time, found a cute popcorn piece (I don't remember where) and the popcorns snap onto the branches. I used PhotoShop again to create the layers and printed it on fabric. I loved digging into all of the fonts and graphic elements I have to find just the right combination.

I sent Camille to my Pinterest board one night and she found this wonderful idea of adding a little envelope with a personalized note for my sweet baby-children.

I laminated the note, but saved it as well in case I need to print a replacement at some point.

Camille also found this ladybug counting page that I liked better than the counting or ladybug pages I did for Jude.

But I quickly found out that the googley-eyes and glued on dots made Little-Liam frustrated since he thought those should come off too. Bless him!

Since I was splitting two of the books I needed to add a couple more single-spread pages to go at the beginning and end of each book.

Another Camille suggestion-

The letters Velcro onto a strip of loop. I had a serendipitous find with this clearanced Velco at JoAnn Fabrics!

This little page got created on a whim! I already had the numbers printed, cute buttons, zippers, and strips from a quilting project, gone wrong, and ended up with this fun!

So here they are...


The edging is older than her mommy!


With more fabric from her baby quilt.


Fabric from my cowboy-stash!


The boy who loves RED and BLUE. He just petted the cover when I gave it to him.


With fabric from her infant car seat cover!

(And wouldn't you think I'd have a pix of the finished book? Nope, just tons of photos of how to put the binding on wrong! AGAIN!!)


Well, I don't know what this baby's name it! He/she is still a gleam in Daddy-Stuart's eyes!

Actually it is the other half of Emmy's book but her Mama is looking ahead.

All of the fabric used in these quiet books comes from my copious stash of fabric. See!! There is a good reason to hoard... erm, save all of that fabric!

And this time... I really will come back and write up a post about how to bind these up. It took me until the last 2 (of 7) before I could get it right from the start.

(It literally took me 6 hours to find, edit, upload the photos, find the ones I missed the first time, and write this blog post!!)

Oct 12, 2016

Things To Do...

Yup... that's just what we did!

We've been looking for a new door for the last while. I see the *special buys*  frequently at Home Depot. A couple of months ago I was all excited about an oak front door but then Gordon reminded me that our door faces NNW so it gets the hot summer sun AND the winter rain, snow and wind. Probably not such a good idea!

But Tuesday, when I was at my same favorite store I saw THIS DOOR-

I was immediately in love... looks like oak... but is fiberglass. I took a photo, came home, showed Gordon, told him the smokin' price and, as you see, we went and bought this beautiful door. We knew it was THE DOOR when we saw the name- FEATHER RIVER ... that is where I was raised! The Feather River Canyon in Northern (way northern) California.

I contacted our handy-dandy son, Kevin and he agreed to come install it that same night! What a guy! Kevin removed the old door and tore out the frame. It wasn't until we were *dry* fitting the new door we realized that the jamb of the new door is 2 inches smaller than our exterior walls!!

Now what?? The door frame was in pieces on the front lawn! Luckily we had a piece of siding left over from fixing the shed a few years ago so Kev screwed it up to keep out the fruit-flies and other pests!

I decided that I needed to put a note on the *new* front door today so I grabbed this paper off the pad on the fridge and laughed right out loud! I KNEW the first thing on the *things to do* list needed to say GET A NEW FRONT DOOR! Then I added the admonition to KNOCK LOUDLY!

And not too long after some poor pest pest control salesman banged on the door. I kind of like the non-approach-ability of talking through the front window! Bwahahaha!

And did you can see my freshly painted walls (which I never blogged about A MONTH AGO 'cuz I've just been too busy... and my freshly painted old door?) I love the color, but I love the color's names even more! Lighter color = bunny grey, darker color = sweatshirt grey! A bunny wearing a sweatshirt!

And a Grammie-bunny doing the painting...


Here is another funny aside... this is my 25 year old painting shirt! I have paint from many jobs including Bekah's dark chocolate milkshake walls that we painted 16 years ago when that Gotcha shirt was already old!

BTW- We are patiently waiting for a new correctly-sized door jamb to be built for our *special buy pre-hung* door.

Sep 25, 2016

Scripture Power

This is one of those times when I know that I just have to sit down and write while it is fresh in my mind... now that the dust has settled.

Today was our Primary Sacrament meeting presentation. We worked for the first 8 1/2 months of the year towards this goal. As the 1st counselor in the Primary presidency it is my responsibility to *write* the script... but actually I just organize it... the children all write their own parts. We have monthly themes and during the year, as they give their talks in sharing time, I save their talks and that becomes their part in the Sacrament meeting presentation.

But the *meat and potatoes* of the presentation is ALWAYS the music. These wonderful songs will stay in their hearts for the rest of their lives, recalling the wonderful words of testimony.

The theme this year is *I Know the Scriptures are True*. We are given an outline from the General Primary, with a topic and song each month, but we are also given some discretion in adding songs. I knew that we needed to add *Scripture Power*. I love that song, mostly because it describes how the scriptures have blessed MY life.

I love the symbols of the *Sword of Truth* and the *Shield of Faith*. As I walked and sang last January I knew I NEEDED to get a *for real* sword of truth and shield of faith to use each time we sang the song. (they just so happen to sell them at Walmart! OK... I did add the lettering!)

A couple of weeks ago Brother Paul Bartholomew came and took photos of the children for our program cover. I then took the PDF file that I used to make the bulletin boards at the beginning of the year and cut and pasted all of the individual letters onto a digital ribbon to make tiny banners like we have in the primary room. (I spent one whole Sunday afternoon doing this)
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The Junior Primary
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The Senior Primary

Because I know the limitations of my little-girl-brain I always start early and have everything written and organized so that at the last minute I can just go on auto-pilot. I'm so grateful that I've learned how to deal with my learning/processing handicaps. I always make sure the children know that Primary is a safe place. We don't want anyone to feel stressed, anxious or uncomfortable. Each year we have children who struggle, just like little-Joanie used to, and I want them to know that I have their backs.


I'm so grateful to be with these wonderful children in Primary! They were wonderful, not only today, during the presentation, but during the two practices we had this last week. I'm blessed to work with wonderful sisters (and brothers) who love and teach these sweet spirits.

Traditionally Primary presidencies are call to serve for 3 years. Sadly, it was three years ago this week that we were called. Of course, nothing is set in stone but I am sad at the thought that I might not be with the children and that, likely, this was my last program.

I've set the bar high. I expect them to be reverent, to do their best and sing their hearts out... and you know what? They always do!

But here's the other thing... I will love to serve where ever the Lord needs me... because He's always right there with me.

Sep 10, 2016

64 y 25d

A common practice on grave markers was to list the person's age in years and days. My Mama, the original Grammy, died at 64y 24d.

This day, THIS DAY, I have out lived my sweet Mama.

I've thought on this so many times this last year. In April 1976 my Mom whacked her leg on the lawn mower and got a huge hematoma on her shin. Dr Batson told her she needed to take a few weeks off work and let it heal.

I was all in a dither because Miss Amanda was due mid-May. How could I manage without my Mama there? Finally, just days before I was due, Mama got the ok from Dr Batson to travel and my mind was at ease.

Since Mom lived several hundred miles away she took off when we called her to tell her the baby was on her way. She arrived in plenty of time to *take care of HER baby while I took care of my baby* (plus Tony and Rebekah). She mentioned, when she arrived, that her *gut* was getting big. She'd recently lost weight and couldn't figure why that should be. I, being all wrapped up in myself, just thought she was imagining it... she'd been off work for 4 weeks and couldn't stay busy.

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Grammy, Bekah, Amanda and Tony
June 11, 1976

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Mom's Aunt Ester lived in Portland, Oregon (we lived in Sweet Home, Oregon) and so after a couple of weeks of taking care of us she wanted to see her only aunt. She was gone for a few days and when she returned I notice that the blouses I'd make for her were snugger across her abdomen than when she'd arrive 3 weeks earlier.

That was the beginning... the first inclination that anything was wrong. After exhaustive tests it was finally diagnosed, from a abdominal fluid test, that she had stage 4 ovarian cancer. Prognosis- 6 months to 5 years.

REALITY- she died less than a year after coming to welcome Miss Manda!

MY MAMA WAS LIKE ME! (or perhaps, I like her). SHE WAS FIT AND ACTIVE AND VIVACIOUS AND LOVED HER FAMILY WITH ALL HER HEART! AND SHE WAS GONE!! Yup, and I was only 24 years old... my Mama's Mother died when she was 14. (I just can't like this!!)

So, as I said, I've reflected on this so many times as I go on my walks, work in the yard, serve at the Temple, tend my darling grandbabies... I'm living my Mama's last year of life.

And in true Elsie-fashion, even though she was dying, she filled her last few months with as many wonderful things as she could. Her last trip was to Ann's house for Andy's baptism in March 1977. Even though she and a friend drove to Utah she had to fly home she was so ill.

So, here I am... Grammie- 64 years and 25 days and doing just the kinds of things my Mama taught me to do... being a Grammie extraordinaire!

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Fiona's #3 birthday cake
for her
Fiona's Purple Party


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And Grammy was here in spirit as I used her spatula-tor to frost cup-cake-REE-ouses!

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I love you Mama... thank you for always loving your little-Joanie!