Friday, May 31, 2013

Measuring Success When Things Flop

It's hard to believe that it was already one month ago when I started the May Creativity Challenge started by Una of Good and Perfect.  Time certainly flies when you are having fun.

It's Day 31.  The challenge is SUCCESS.

At the beginning of the month, I knew this would be today's challenge.  I anticipated that I would have some awesome project finished and I would post it as my success story.

You see, I bought this chair at an auction.  I've never reupholstered anything, but this one, I thought, would be an easy starter project.

So I purchased some upholstery fabric at our local Salvation Army Fabric Fair and got to work on the chair. 

 After removing two layers of fabric and lots and lots of nails, I got to this.  It's apparently the original cushion.   

A very smelly cushion made of horsehair.  

Ohhhhhhhh . . . yuck.  

I really like the way the back looks, but it has to go.  It smells.  And there are some black areas.  I read about that.  Ick.  (Spell check says that isn't a word.  We all know it's a word.)

I pulled more nails and staples.  This cushion is tight.  It's wrapped in burlap.  I got the utility knife out and cut away at the burlap and strapping.  

It's been a couple of weeks.

It still looks like this.  I'm stuck.  No success.

It is now standing on it's feet and under the porch roof for protection from the rain we've been getting lately.  It's hard to work on it with rain showers . . . or cold and windy . . . or 90 degree heat.  I'm thinking that any of those weather conditions and horsehair flying around could get ugly.  

Add to that the fact that school is ALMOST out and there are a few things my cyber schooler and I are trying to finish up (ok -we are cramming).

So the topic today is SUCCESS and I failed to SUCCEED in reaching my goal for this chair.  

How do I talk about SUCCESS when I, myself, seemed to have failed?  Good question.  

I spent some time today looking up quotes about SUCCESS.  This one seemed fitting for my situation:
"Success is falling nine times and getting up ten" Jon Bon Jovi
I missed my goal.  It's true.  I can, however, set a new goal and try again.

A few years ago, we had the chance to tour Thomas Edison's summer home in Florida.  We toured his workshop where he worked on his inventions.  We learned about one thing he said that has stuck with us and our older son ever since.  At one point, he had been asked about the inventions that never worked.  He said:
"I didn't fail, I just found 1,000 ways that don't work."
I LOVE that.

Our society likes to measure success by social status . . . job title . . . net worth . . .  grades in school . . . even the type of car we drive.  While all of these things can be signs being successful by hard work, we can sometimes get discouraged if we don't feel as if we measure up.

I believe that we are successful simply by not giving up.  Things don't always work out the way we anticipate.  Life gives us a lot of detours that can sometimes slow our pace or even, at times, have us going in circles.  It's life.  I believe that we are successful when we learn from our mistakes, find our starting point, refocus on the goal, and try again.

So  - after I get through this next week that we call "The Last Week of School", I will take another look at that chair and try again to tear off that cushion.  I'll also set other goals for the summer months.  Some will work out fine.  Some might not.  It's okay.  I can always try again, and next time I might be successful, because I can cross out the way that it doesn't work.

Before I close, I just want to say:

THANK YOU to Una from Good and Perfect for such a fun challenge this month 
THANK YOU to my readers for following my attempts at these challenges from day to day.  

Remember - You ARE successful simply because you got back up again!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Creative Thinking for Free Items

The challenge today is to be creative with something free.  Free, to me, is something that I would otherwise throw away.  Some examples of items would be tubes from empty toilet paper or paper towel rolls, soup cans or spaghetti sauce jars.

I've been saving my spaghetti sauce and pickle jars lately.  I've had several plastic food storage container ruined because my family doesn't understand that some things are not microwavable.  Sometimes you learn that it is easier to adjust to their habits than it is to change them.  So - I'm selling my plastic food storage and replacing them with glass jars that can be put in the freezer, refrigerator and microwave without an issue.  I have a small kitchen and storage has always been an issue.  I'm hoping the glass jars will be easier to store as well.  Only time will tell, but that is my FREE solution to leftover food storage.

You can also find wooden pallets for free.  I've seen the neatest things build from wooden pallets.  you'll see ideas all over my Pinterest account.

I like this for my cabin: 

And this could be neat for my house:

It's a sofa table made from a pallet.  

How about the blown light bulb you were ready to pitch?  Have you seen the cool things you can do with them?

What about things that are in your yard?  Twigs from a tree.  Flowers.  Even fruits and vegetables can make a pretty display on the table and brighten up a room.  If they are from your garden . . . they are practically free and having healthy food out on display will help you remember to eat it before it spoils. At least . . . in my case . . .  that works better.

Last year, I got some great finds during a post yard sale drive.  Many people put their unsold, unwanted things out for free.  Here are a few items I snatched up.  A baby crib and a metal headboard/footboard.  They are still waiting for me to get them out and get to work.  I'm thinking about a bench from the metal headboard.

I also got these chairs for free when some friends were cleaning out a rental property.  

There are four of them.  I think they have potential.  The question always is . . . paint or stain?

So what can you make with all of these free items?  A while ago I created a Pinterest Board called "Repurposed:  Trash to Practical".  It has some interesting ideas for things you would normally just toss.  My "Craft Ideas" Board has a few ideas as well.

I hope the boards give you a little inspiration.

Remember -- you are only limited by your own imagination.  The more you use that imagination . . . the stronger it will become.

Where has your imagination taken you with free objects?  Share by commenting below.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Stars and Stripes: A Pinterest Roundup

That is the challenge for today.  Stars & Stripes.  Since Memorial Day is almost here, it seems like a good time to be thinking about a wreath for the front door.  I've always loved the ones that look like an aged flag draped around it.

Like this one:

I just haven't purchased the material.  I keep waiting for a sale or a thrift store find.  I've not found either.

There are lots of fun ideas for wreaths.

Here are a few more:

It's amazing to me what people come up with for materials.

This one seems to be filled with colorful leaves of some kind. I like the fullness of it.

This one appears to be simply lengths of jute string wrapped around the wreath with just a touch of stars & stripes accessories. The beauty of this one is that you could interchange the accessories as the seasons/holidays change. Wouldn't that be fun?

I really like this one made with old wooden spools. I have a collection of them from my Great Grandmother's sewing stash.

How about this fun way to recycle soda cans?  Just be careful that you don't cut yourself.  And be sure to wash the cans.  Otherwise, you could have a few unwelcome visitors at your front door. :)

I could go on and on with fun wreaths. I found some made with clothespins, felt, fabric scraps, burlap, and more. You are only limited by your own imagination. Of course, with the whole world of internet at your disposal . . . you are really only limited by someone else's imagination as well. Right?

Since Memorial Day is coming, and today's challenge is Stars & Stripes, it seems only fitting to show you a few other fun things. These are more party ideas but with one of them, you'll need to plan ahead and prepare (at least I would need to). So here are a few other fun ideas for you:

Party Drink!!

Party Cake!!

Party Ice Cubes!!

Patriotic Accessory - or, if you feel up to it -- Party Favors or Craft Activity:

I have more ideas on my Summertime Pinterest board. Feel free to take a look. Follow the board for more ideas in the near future as well.

If you have a great Patriotic Craft to share, I would love to see it.  You can post it to my Facebook Page.  You can also leave a comment for me here.

I always look forward to your posts and comments. :)

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Kids and Creativity

Day 8 Challenge:  KIDS

Today I am going to brag on my kids a little bit.  Then I have some fun kids activity ideas below.  Before I do that, let me show you what my boys created.

The first one is from my 14 year old.  He was eating my candy (little thief) and decided that he could make something from the case.  The candy container already had a large opening and a small one.  You've probably seen them labeled as "To Share" and "Not to Share".  He wanted the lids for both sides to fit together so he cut a slit in the larger side.  Then they could attach together.

Here is the end result.  A cell phone holder.  

He found flaws in his design, but I love it when he tries something.  I think it's the best way to learn what will work and what won't.  Don't you?  Anyway . . . I thought he was pretty clever.

My 11 year old decided he wanted to craft with me today.  That isn't normal, but I was thrilled since the theme for today was Kids.  I wasn't able to gather materials for the craft he wanted to do so I convinced him to help me make a bracelet.  I'm new to the jewelry making thing, but the designing is fun.

Here is his creation.  I thought he did well.

I think it is fun to see how each of us show our creativity in different ways.  My 11 year old likes to make up songs (like his mom).  They are silly songs but they make me smile.  I would have been in deep trouble if I had posted that so the bracelet is his contribution for this topic.  

Now for some creative ideas I found on Pinterest.  Some parents just have the best ideas.  I wish I had thought of some of them when my guys were younger, but I think they would still enjoy some of them. Maybe you would enjoy them as well.  Each photo should take you to my "pin" on Pinterest which will then lead you to the source.  

What kind of creative things have you done with your kids or grandkids?  Share them in the comments below.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Fast and . . . Shh! . . . Be Still

Oh . . . the good ol' US of A.  We like FAST cars, FAST service, FAST internet and FAST food.  It's become a fast paced world.  We are always in a hurry.

If you haven't noticed yet, today's challenge is FAST.

I'm one of those people who has always like to be busy.  If my calendar wasn't full, I felt the need to fill it.  Now, I have a son doing his school at home.  It was difficult for me, at first, to slow down the pace.  I still have my share of "cabin fever".  I'm just not a stay home kind of person, but sometimes we are called to a place that is a bit of a stretch for us.

The verse:  "Be still and know that I am God" came to mind when I was contemplating what I would write about today.  In our fast paced lifestyle, it's easy to get caught up in ourselves and what we are doing and forget to let God be God.  Even though my lifestyle has slowed down, I still need to be reminded to "Be Still".

Here are two songs that I love on the subject.

Let me know what you've learned by being still in the comments section below.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Cooked in the Squat and the Cooking for Others Curse

Today is Day 6 of the May Creativity Challenge with Good+Perfect.  The challenge is BREAD.

I LOVE bread.  The only issue I have with it is that it seems to give me the hiccups.  Seriously.  Does anyone else have this issue?  I find it a little annoying, but my love for bread seems to help me overcome it.  Recently my pharmacist recommended a supplement that helps with some digestion issues - and also hiccups.  Now I can eat bread in peace because 2 papaya tablets will make the hiccups go away.  Aren't you relieved for me?  LOL

Now -- let's get back to bread.

I really enjoy bruschetta and crostini.  Those toasted breads are so much fun to snack on alone or with toppings. You can go wild with toppings too.  As far as your imagination will take you.

My plan for today was to make Italian Herb Bread and do something fun with it.

I started with a bread mix.

I get this one for bread machines.  I saw that the store had a mix that does not require kneading. I might have to give it a try some time.  This time, I stuck with my fail safe mix.

I but the ingredients in my bread machine as instructed and pressed the start button.  Easy.  

When the timer went off, I was excited to get the bread out to cool and add a little something to it.

There was one problem.

The bread didn't rise.  As my grandmother and mother would say, "It squatted to rise, but got cooked in the squat."  Actually . . . that's what I said, too.

I've made this bread before and it is fine.  It only does this to me when I am making it for someone.  

I guess a blog counts as being for someone.

This type of thing happens to my mom as well.  Like getting the hiccups from eating bread, I also inherit her bad luck with things turning out correctly when it's for other people.  It's one reason why you don't see me jump at the opportunity to make a meal for someone when the sign up sheet is passed around.  Now you know my secret - I'm scared of the "company is coming curse"

I'm going to try again another time and hope I can show you my extra twist on this bread when it bakes properly.  Maybe I'll pretend I'm not making the bread for anyone but me so it turns out okay and then I'll decide to blog about it.  

Maybe if the bread doesn't know what I'm up to, it will cooperate better.

I wonder if this ever happens to anyone else.  Who else has the "company is coming so your food will turn out wrong" curse?

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Day 5: Sincere Subway Art (May Creativity Challenge)


That was the challenge today for the Good+Perfect Creativity Challenge this month. It's been fun so far. Challenging too.

I've always loved the Subway art type posters and have been wanting to create my own. Today I did just that.

That's all I have for today. I enjoyed the challenge but now I'm tired. LOL

I will be back tomorrow for bread (that's the challenge).

In the meantime, I would love to hear your sincere stories. Whose sincerity has been instrumental in your life? Share by commenting below.

Day 4: French (May Creativity Challenge)

Bon jour!

Today's challenge is FRENCH.  We use French in a lot of things.  French toast.  French fries.  French onion soup.  French braid.  French kiss.  French manicure.

I didn't get as much time to focus on this challenge today because I decided (last minute) to have a yard sale.  A few neighbors were already having one so I thought I would take advantage of the traffic that I assumed would come my way.

It was an interesting morning.  I had decided to skip the showering and "beautifying" of myself this morning to get a good start on being ready for the "mad rush" that seems to occur an hour before you are ever ready to open.  I got up at 5:15 and was filling up the driveway by 5:30.  I was feeling pretty good about how things were shaping up.  It was about 6:30 when I was satisfied with my preparations, but decided it wasn't safe to go clean up now since people are usually out for 7:00 yard sales and could drop by any minute.

7:00 am:  No people.  Not much traffic either.

8:00 am:  One person.  A whopping $1.25 (after they talked me down).

And so it went throughout the morning.  I vowed to shut it down at 10:00 if it stayed with way.

9:15ish:  A lady wants 2 of my bulky items as well as a few other things.  I give her a total and she says, "I have to go to the bank.  It's just up the road.  I will be right back to pay you."  She leaves.

10:00 am:  Things are still slow.  The lady isn't back for her things yet.  I notice that my Free tote is missing.  Not just the free stuff IN it, but the whole tote.  This yard sale is costing me more than I am making.  <sigh>

Later:  A lady comes by and wants to purchase one of the bulky items that the lady who went to the bank has on hold.  I decide to sell it to her because we all know that those "I'll be back" promises are rarely ever kept.

Later yet:  The lady makes it back from the bank.  She apparently forgot where I was so she was wondering town to find me.  I wondered if she would notice that an item was missing.  She didn't say anything.  Paid me for what was there and loaded it into her car.  While at her car, she tells me that she has the tote that the free stuff was in and wondered if it was free as well or if I had intended to keep it.  I asked for it back (oh . . . yes, I did) and felt relieved that the yard sale wasn't a complete flop.

I'm now vowing that we will close this yard sale by noon, so I begin packing up.

A lady stops.  I stop packing.  Another lady stops.  The first lady gathers a few items and realizes she needs more money from her car.  The second lady returns to her car but stops to talk to the first lady.  The first lady comes back to pay and realizes that in the distraction of that conversation, she left her keys in her car . . . and locked the door.  She calls AAA for assistance.  I bring out a chair for her to hang out with me in my garage.  AAA's faithful contract company comes to her aid.  I pack it up by 12:45.

Now . . . for my French challenge.  I didn't do much, but I did a little web surfing to learn a few things. I got inspiration at least.

First, I looked up Scrambled Tea in French.  Here it is.  My son helped me create this using Photoshop for the iPad.

Scrambled Tea looks so pretty in French.  Don't you think?  

I decided to learn how the French drink their tea.  I came up with very little on the subject.  It appears that coffee is more popular than tea, but tea is gaining popularity.  The tea shops are called salon de thé.    While it seems that the French drink the same kinds of teas that we do, when I looked up French tea, I found a few recipes.  For all I know, they could be about as French as French Fries, but we can have fun and try them out anyway.

The first one I found is on and is called Cinnamon Tea.  

A blog called Southern Plate has a recipe that sounds really good.  I didn't have all of the ingredients and couldn't get to the store today so I'm sharing it here but I will be trying it quite soon.  It's called French Mint Tea.  I added it to my Tea Board on Pinterest.

What is your favorite French inspired thing?  Share it with me in the comments below.

Tomorrow the challenge is "Sincere".  I "Sincere"ly hope you'll stop by again then.  

Until then . . .

bonne nuit 

(good night).

Friday, May 3, 2013

Day 3: Wool (May Creativity Challenge)

Baa Baa black sheep, have you any wool?  :)

It took me most of the day to remember that I had this wool sweater.

I purchased it at a yard sale last year and was excited to wear it.  Then I saw the holes.  

I had a few ideas to patch the holes.  I originally thought some fabric flower accents might look pretty.

Then I kept finding more holes.  I realized there was no way I could repair that.  With today being a wool challenge, I finally did the unthinkable.  I cut up the beautiful sweater.  <sniff>

I cut the ruffles off the sleeves.  I think if I gather them, they could be pretty flower accents on something.

With the body of the sweater, I stared cutting out these little shapes.  I need to spend time on them to improve them a bit, but when you gather it, it's cute.  

The ruffle went the whole way around the sweater.  I cut it off, leaving about 1/2" to 1" of trim.  This way I have room to attach something to it.

Here it is in a pile.  Do you know what I'm going to use this long piece for?

Can you take a guess?

It's going to be a scarf.  Maybe I can get it completed in time for another challenge coming this month.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Day 2: Yellow (May Creativity Challenge)


When I think of yellow . . . I think of Marty McFly and this scene.

Of course, this wasn't the first time, just a word caused a problem for him. It's just that normally, it was the word Chicken.

How about this collection of scenes:

These brings me to a very different thought on the word "yellow".  You all think I've lost it.  I bet you were expecting yellow flowers or paint or, well, anything but this.  Am I right?

Well . . . . so was I.  I just couldn't get past the "McFly curse".  Sorry.  But -- Marty got me thinking about how I handle conflict.  If you've seen any of these Back to the Future films, you've seen that McFly has a choice each time he's called "Yellow" or "Chicken".  He can continue to walk away or he can return to the conflict.  Each choice is life altering, and, as we see in the film, changes the family history (or future) quite a bit.

It feels as though, lately, there's a conflict somewhere around me quite often.  To be honest, we've been living with conflict for a few years now.  It seems to only ease up for a little bit before the next wave is stronger.  There are some conflicts that we need to just walk away from and there are some where we have to stand our ground and say "enough is enough".  Knowing when to do each is a constant learning process that I have not figured out yet.  Honestly . . . I handle it much better when the conflict involves me.  When the people I love are involved, this Mama Bear finds that her claws come out.  One thing I'm learning is that Mama Bear needs to sit back and watch for a bit before roaring.  All of you who are a mama - I think you can relate.

Recently I saw this scripture verse posted on Facebook.  I think I was to remember it.

So - on to a happier YELLOW topic.  JOY!  Actually, did you know that yellow is a happy color?  It makes you smile.  Years ago, I watched a home decorating show when the advised you to paint your front door yellow if you are trying to sell your house.  I am not sure if that is still the best selling front door color, but I never would have considered a yellow front door.  I decided to create a Pinterest board of Yellow things that might bring you joy.  You can click on the link below to go directly to the board.

ScrambledTea - Yellow

More Projects:

Here is the only yellow thing I own (that I can think of).  It's an old buffet table that I purchased at a used furniture store.  It is part of the cabinetry in the kitchen of our cabin.  It was an oops paint and was not the yellow I was expecting . . . but I've grown to love the pop of color in the otherwise white kitchen.

My cabin brings me JOY as well.  The yellow cabinet is just a bonus.

I've shared a few things about yellow for you.  I'm living true to my Scrambled title. Ha!

I want to hear from you.  You can post your favorite yellow inspiration or leave a comment.  To share photos, visit my Facebook page and post away.  I love seeing your photos and reading your comments.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Day 1: I Am (May Creativity Challenge)

I AM.  That is the challenge for today.  As I think about that, a lot of ideas pop into my head.


a daughter, sister, wife, mom and friend.

But that's a little generic.  It defines most of us, right?

So - how about jobs & hobbies . . . .


an image & skin care consultant, blogger, crafter, homemaker, drama director, Miss Fit Inn founder and leader, a tea drinker (you know I had to add that)

That's a little better.  It would describe me a bit better.

However, it still doesn't let you get to know ME.


thoughtful ~ caring ~ quiet (until I get to know you) ~ talkative (when I get to know you) ~ silly sometimes ~ serious a lot of times ~ full of ideas (some are good - some aren't)

BUT - I also have an identity in Christ.


a sinner who has been saved by God's unfailing grace.


a work in progress.  

My Heavenly Father is chipping away to make me who He wants me to be ~ as I allow Him to.  Sometimes that is a difficult process, but I know it will be worth it.


part of God's creation. 

part of His plan.

here for His purpose.

continuously seeking out what that is. :)

Your turn.  Finish this sentence and comment at the bottom of this post:  "I Am . . . "

Some links:

While thinking about this challenge, I decided to do a little searching online for other interesting things relating to this topic.  I learned that there was a movie called I Am.  It's now available on DVD or Netflix.  Check it out here.

Some songs entitled "I Am"