Saturday, November 16, 2013


I got to spend the last week crafting with my mom. We spent the majority of the week in my shop working. The weekend before she came, Jody found a couch, shelf, and kitchen table at various yard sales. It made the shop comfortable and fully functional. I got so much accomplished, and it was great to have my mom along my side. She went home today and I feel so sad. I wish she didn't live so far. We will be going to visit her for Thanksgiving and for that I am grateful. She found a house she is interested in right down the road from me. Hopefully the owners don't get any offers on it, and my dad can come and see it after Thanksgiving. It would be wonderful to have them so close. So tonight I am sad and missing my mom. I can't wait for our next visit.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Shop Pictures

I've finally gathered all the pictures of my shop renovation. Here is the progress:

This is how the building looked when I bought it. It's a 13'x30' metal building. There is a back door at the rear of the building that opens to the side that you can't see in the picture. There is a little porch that it opens up to. I would eventually like to enclose the porch and turn it into a closet.

A friend of ours wired the entire shop for me. And he wired it during the hottest part of the summer. I will forever be indebted to him! We wanted to put in our own meter loop but it was going to cost $1500 so instead my in-laws were kind enough to let me tie into their box. Jody borrowed our neighbor's tractor to dig the trench to bury the line. What you can't tell is that it was about 100 outside. There is a bit of a learning curve digging with the tractor so it was frustrating for Jody. He was able to dig most of the trench though. We had to shovel out the places the tractor couldn't get to and it was HOT! I was glad when that part was finished.

I had the shop insulated with cellulose insulation. I found a local company that did a great job. They did the walls first, and after the drywall was up, they came back and did the ceiling. We had two different companies come out and give quotes for drywall. In the process we realized the ceiling would have to be framed out to support the weight of the drywall. We hired a man we have hired in the past to do odd jobs around the farm to do the framing and drywall. He did a great job framing but, I think he was a little over-confident in his drywall abilities. It ended up taking twice as long as he thought and after so long we decided to finish it up ourselves. I wasn't too worried about it being perfect. Most of the wall will be covered anyway.

Next came texture and painting. We thought about texturing the drywall to help hide some of the many imperfections. After pricing everything, I decided to try to texture using a method I found online using drywall mud as the texture. It was a lot of work, so I ended up only doing the ceiling. I don't know if it made a difference. I bought some samples of paint from Lowe's to see what color I liked best. Before painting I had to primer the walls and ceiling. It look two long coats. Then I painted the ceilings white and finally the walls a light gray color. One step closer!

Now we were on to the floor. I originally wanted to put down laminate but I realized there was too much of a slope in the floor. I looked at different alternatives. I went so far as to go to a flooring store and pick out some vinyl. I wasn't sold on vinyl though, so I Googled cheap flooring options. (Google has been my best friend during this whole process.) I saw where people made plank flooring with plywood. Eureka! I loved the look and the installation seemed easy enough so we went to work. We went to Lowe's and bought cabinet grade plywood. We had them cut it into 8" slabs. They ended up charging us for all the cuts, but it was totally worth it. We staggered the boards to make it look like hardwood floor. It only took Jody and I two evenings to get it finished. The hard part was finding two evenings to work on it.

While we were working on the floor, I'd been keeping an eye on Craigslist for some cheap cabinets. I finally saw some that looked like they might work listed in a town 45 minutes away. I was low on cash so I tried to ignore them, but that voice in my head told me to go for it. I ended up "borrowing" money from our savings to get them. They were a great deal- $160 for 5- 2 door sets of cabinet and they look like new. I'm so glad I decided to get them. With the help of Google we became proficient in upper cabinet installation. They were actually really easy to install.

The cabinets were installed and the floor nailed down.

Next came varnishing. Ugh. The instructions called for 3 coats. It hurt to walk after the first. Luckily Jody stepped in and finished the last strip of boards with the first coat, and he showed up when I was 2/3 of the way through with the second coat and finished it for me. I think I would have been in tears had I been on my own. We ended up only doing 2 coats because I was almost out of varnish and completely out of money. I think it will be ok because the floors won't have a lot of traffic and I plan to put down some rugs.

First coat:

Second coat:

All finished!

And lastly, I wanted cabinets on both sides of the wall and a cutting table in the center. I made enough money to buy the cabinets and counter for one side. I wanted to go ahead and install them so I could start using the building to sew. The man at the store gave me a deal so I was able to go ahead and buy both counters. I bought four 12" cabinets and a 12' counter for the sewing side. A friend of ours cut the base off the cabinets so they would be at a better height for sewing. Then my father in law and I installed them (with the assistance of Google yet again.)

I still need to get a picture of everything moved in and set up. I still have several projects to do. I need to buy cabinets for the counter on the other side and I need to trim everything out. I need to buy another strip of pegboard for the back wall. I also want a couch and some shelves. I have a big sale in Nebraska that I'm trying to get ready for, and I'm running low on funds so those things will probably have to wait until December or the new year. If there is one thing I've learned during this process, it's to double the cost of what you think everything will cost. I still can't believe my building is finally usable. All the hard work was worth it!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

It's ready! I finally got to sew in my building for the first time today! It's been a long journey. It felt like I was never going to get it finished. I can't believe how much time, energy and money it's taken to get it where it is now. I have to admit I got a little teary as I was moving my craft stuff in yesterday. This has been a dream of mine for a long time, and it's nice seeing all my hard work pay off. I've also had a lot of help from our friends and family. I couldn't have done it without them! Pictures of the progress will follow.

Sunday, September 15, 2013


Do you ever have those moments when you feel completely happy where things are at in your life? There are times when my cup runneth over- I'm homeschooling my kids, creating a profitable business producing products that I'm proud of, finishing a building that I can work out of, I have great friends and I have a solid relationship with the love of my life. I also have these moments where I am completely overwhelmed.

I really enjoy having my kids home with me. When their school work is finished, I feel like such a good mom. I've read with my kids, we've studied scriptures together, and I've helped them learn new things. Now in the middle of the school day, sometimes I want to pull my hair out and go hide in my room. My biggest worry is that I've taught them the things that will help them become productive, capable adults. It's hard balancing the needs of three kids at the same time, but we have slowly figured out a schedule that works for all of us. It's definitely been a big learning process.

My building is finally coming along. A friend of ours was kind enough to spend last week wiring the entire building for me. I'll be forever indebted to him for that! I also had insulation blown in the walls. I've had two quotes for drywall, but they were more than I am willing to spend. Tomorrow a man that we have hired on previous occasions to do odd jobs around the farm is coming over to give me a price. I hope it is reasonable. I've been spending a lot of time daydreaming about what I want the finished result to look like. I'm so excited to have a space of my mom that will represent me! My business is steadily picking up and I can't wait to have my own space to work out of.

I was up way too late last night finishing projects for church. I took a nap this afternoon but it's getting late and my words are starting to run together. Until tomorrow!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Summer fun

The kids and hubby are all in bed so I thought I'd take a few minutes and play catch up. It's summer time which is always a busy time of year for us. Junkin' is nonstop with auctions and yard sale season in full swing. My booth is doing great. I'm constantly working on projects to sale. I've discovered the joy of Pinterest. I've gotten so many ideas and tried so many things that I've pinned. Some of the things I've made are homemade granola bars, pedestal photo frames, a mason jar soap pump and chalkboard sayings. I have a million more things I want to make too. If only there was more time in the day...

In June, I managed to squeeze in a trip to Ocean Springs, MS with the kids. Anna and her family were kind enough to let us crash in their hotel room with them. It was fun to get away for a week. I absolutely love seeing the ocean. I think I could sit and watch it for hours. Our favorite part of the trip was going to Dauphin Island. The waves were crazy! And it's always fun to spend time with Anna and her kids. She lives too far away so I treasure anytime we get to spend together.

By the end of last school year, I had planned on enrolling Olivia in the Arkansas Virtual Academy. I just haven't been impressed with her middle school and she wanted to go back to homeschooling. Since Olivia is going to be homeschooled, Paxton wants to be homeschooled. And if Olivia and Paxton are going to be homeschooled, I'm not comfortable with Sawyer riding the bus to school alone. So I ended up signing up all the kids for the Virtual Academy. I attended the parent orientation where I realized that the Virtual Academy isn't going to be a good fit for our family. They don't refer to it as homeschooling but "home based public education". Their expectations are ridiculous and it takes the flexibility out of homeschool. So now I've been in a scramble to find curriculum for the kids for the coming school year. I have several homeschooling friends that have given me great advice. I must be a little crazy for adding such a huge responsibility to my plate. But I really feel like this is the best decision for the kids right now, and I'm excited to see where this new journey takes us.

Can I just tell you how upset I am about the death of Cory Montieth. What a tragic loss! Glee is one of my favorite shows and I just can't believe he's gone. I can't imagine the shock and sadness Cory's loved ones are going through. When they announced today that his death was the result of drugs and alcohol, it made my heart sink even more. It's so sad that his addiction ended up taking his life. I wonder what the future of Glee holds? How can the story go one without him?

I guess that is all for now. It's getting late and my bed is calling. Night!

Sunday, May 26, 2013

One potato, two potato

Every year since Jody and I got married, I have tried to plant a garden. It starts off good and then goes down hill, usually around the time I go to Nebraska for the 4th of July. I swore I was going to plant an entire garden of sugar snap peas this years because they are the only thing we actually harvested last year. Well I haven't gotten around to planting anything this year. Call it being busy, call it laziness, call it admitting defeat- this year I just haven't got around to it. A month or so ago Jody mentioned that there were potato plants growing in the woods. He showed me where several potato plants had popped up in a pile of leaves we had dumped when we cleared them from our yard. Yesterday we decided to go see if the pototoes were ready to harvest. Jody started digging and out came some good size potatoes. Sawyer soon got in on the action and started pulling them up too. We ended up getting a bowl full. I've never seen fresh potatoes pulled from a garden so I was excited. Now I'm thinking maybe we should just dump seeds in the piles of composting leaves in our woods. It looks like they may not need my TLC to survive.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Here again

Wow has it been a while! The pictures in my side bar are so outdated. I can't believe how much the kids have grown!

This frugal farmer has taken the plunge and invested in satellite internet. One of the drawbacks of country living is the lack of options when it comes to internet. We have been living with dial-up for the last 12 years. It has driven us absolutely nuts, but I'm extremely cheap and did not want the expense of our only option - satellite internet. Well we have gradually been selling more and more online and I've signed up Olivia for an online school so we had to suck it up and take on the expense. I have to say it's been wonderful. I no longer have to run to town when I need to upload a lot of listings. It takes a fraction of the time to do anything online. Yesterday I added a router to our setup and now I can use my laptop and kindle wirelessly. Amazing!

So now I don't have an excuse to not blog regularly. So much is going on right now. Change is in the air, and I'm not a huge fan of change. Maybe some blogging will be a little cathartic.