Monday, August 25, 2014

Scrapbook Paper Magic

I have to admit that I'm a sucker for scrapbook paper - and I don't even scrapbook. I love the fact that I can own a beautiful work of art for less than $1. More than once, I've been in the craft department not even looking for paper and I'll see one of those awesome fat packs of stunning sheets for $5 and I just have to own it. Needless to say, my drawer of papers has gotten pretty full.

In the spirit of using what I have, I sorted though my papers and then set out to find ways to use them in my home. After all, I wouldn't have bought them if I didn't love to look at them, so why not find some projects where I can see them all the time? The scrapbook paper wall in my studio put a big part of my collection on display while covering an ugly wall. And a few of my favorite sheets ended up framed and displayed. But I needed some new, fresh, unique ideas.

As luck would have it, I had just discovered I should say discovered and then became addicted to. Great home ideas from a huge group of creative people. I did a search for "scrapbook paper" and was amazed at the projects that came up. The sunburst mirror by Setting for Four was breathtaking and the chandelier candle covers by The Pallete Muse solved my ugly yellowed candle cover problem. Before I knew it I had a full clip board of ideas for my papers. My beautiful magic papers.

So now I have a ton of ideas that I can't wait to try. I find it hard to believe that I'm the only one with a paper obsession so if you're right there with me, head on over to and check out my clipboard. And while you're there, post your ideas. I love to see what everyone is creating!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Quick Tip Tuesday - No More Musty Drawers

Here in Western Oregon, things can get a bit musty. It's one of the trade-offs for living in such a green lush area. I used to buy those little paper sachets to tuck in drawers and closets, but often I couldn't find a scent that I really loved and they could get spendy. Not only that, but the scent didn't really last long.

I love to change the scent in my home seasonally and always have a wax pot going. I can pick up a package of little wax cubes for $2 each and they come in a huge variety. I really like the ones that combine three different scents. I'm all about scent layering. The other great thing about these cubes is that they smell great even if you don't melt them.

I'm also a big fan of scented soaps. My favorite is Yardley's Lavender and I just found out that I could buy a bath sized bar at my local $1 store. For $1. Talk about affordable luxury!

Now for a little arts and crafts. And I don't want to hear that you're "not crafty". If you can tie your shoes, you can do this. Trust me.

What you'll need:
  • Pretty Hankie, small piece of fabric, old doily (pretty  much anything with a weave that will let your scent come through)
  • Length of ribbon, string  (even a rubber band would work!) just something to hold your bundle together.
  • Wax melts or scented soap in your favorite scent

Ok, are you ready for the technical part? First, the soap sachet. Grab your favorite scented soap and unwrap it. Lay your hankie flat with the wrong side down (if it has a print) and place your bar of soap in one corner. Roll your soap in the hankie to the opposite corner (see photo). Now take the two free ends of your hankie and tie it in a knot on top of the bar. This is probably my favorite...

For this next one, I used a doily that I picked up at Michael's for $1. Since the weave was a bit open, I used a small square of tulle to contain my melts. So, pop three or four melts out of their container. Place the square of tulle on top of your doily and pile your melts in the center. Take a length of ribbon and weave it around the edge of the doily. Pull tight to gather the edge tucking your tulle inside. Finish by tying a pretty bow.

This last one, I did just like the doily only I used my lace hankie, piled my melts in the center, gathered the edges in my hand and tied with a bit of burlap ribbon. Simple.

So there you go. Pretty much an instant sachet. Now go tuck them in a drawer that needs a little refreshing. Or in a suitcase before you store it away. They would even make an awesome hostess gift if you know her favorite scent. Easy, inexpensive and a little treat for the nose every time you open the drawer!

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Thrifty Thursday - Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner

Since I made the decision to leave my regular paycheck and go out on my own, I've made it a point to be as thrifty as possible. Ken and I have never been ones to spend much on luxuries and we have pretty simple needs, but I knew there was still a way or two that we could make our money go further. I've always loved to get a great bargain and now I have the time to really look for those great deals.

I get so excited when I'm able to make a killer deal and I thought it would be fun to share my money saving finds with a Thrifty Thursday post. Every Thursday I'll share my great deals, thrifted finds and other money saving ideas.

One thing that we have been bad about is grocery shopping. I really hated to go to the store after work so either Ken or I would go in and just grab something for that nights dinner. No menu, no planning, no bargain shopping. And for the most part we didn't get out of the grocery store for less than $25. Needless to say, that really added up.

Now that I'm home, I'm working on going back to doing a larger grocery shopping every two weeks and creating a menu so I have a list to shop from. I forgot how much work that can be. But I'm getting back into the swing of it. This week, I found that Safeway had chicken leg quarters on sale for $1.39 a pound. Each leg quarter came in at around $1.50 each. Pretty thrifty in my book.

I was able to get three, maybe four meals from that one package; Fried Chicken with Corn on the Cob and Potato Salad, Creamy Chicken Pockets with Green Salad, and a nice big pot of Chicken and Dumplings (that will probably be enough for two meals) for Sunday Dinner. The first meal I just cut up and fried two of the leg quarters. I put other three in a big pot of salted water and boiled them till the meat fell off the bone. I strained the meat out of the broth divided it in half putting one half in the freezer with the broth for Sunday's dumpling dinner. The other half was made into some yummy Creamy Chicken Pockets. Just look at these....

Creamy Chicken Pockets

Perfect for a warm August night. You can get the full recipe at Seeded at the Table . A little garlic, onion and some cream cheese added to your chicken and all wrapped up in a crescent roll. Super easy. Each meal came out to $5 or less.  Yay ME!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Old Town Florence Fix

I got my Old Town fix this week. My friend Patty owns a cute little shop on Bay Street called Nana's White Hair Cottage. Once in a while, I get the pleasure of working her shop for her and getting to spend a little time in Old Town.

We're in the middle of tourist season right now and town was hopping. Good thing Patty has an assigned parking place or I would have been hoofing it a few blocks to the shop. Not that I couldn't use the exercise.

Patty's shop is a wonderful eclectic mix of old and new...

a big treat for the eyes. It's like a treasure hunt with pretty things tucked in every corner. The perfect place to find some great stocking stuffers and unique gifts for everyone.

I really enjoyed the two days I was there. So many people in from so many places. I had two women from British Columbia spend almost an hour trying on everything in the jewelry case and laughing the entire time. So much fun. I miss that part of being a business owner in Old Town. 

I'm a firm believer that the Universe puts people in our path that we're suppose to meet and on Monday one of Patty's friends came in to see her. Turns out that Sandy and I had tons in common. Both creative business owners who went to work in the banking industry when the economy turned and then, within days of each other, left our banking jobs to go back to creating. I can't wait to get to know her better.

So, today I'm back home gearing up to get a ton of work done upstairs in the studio. I've been trying to organize my work area and create a sewing area in the corner of the guest room. Lots of ideas sketched in my notebook that I'm itching to put together and share with you!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Quick Tip Tuesday- Covered Brush Bucket

There are a few chores in my life that, if I won the lottery, I would willingly pay someone else to do for me. Some of my most hated jobs? Anything that has to do with cleaning the bathroom and washing out a paintbrush between paint jobs.

I paint quite a bit around here. Anyone who's a big DIYer does. My husband is a carpenter and painting is often part of his job as well. He's the creative mind behind today's Quick Tip Tuesday; the no-splash covered paint bucket...

Super easy. Take a plastic coffee can. Cut a hole in the top just big enough for the handles to stick through. Put enough water in your can to just cover your brush bristles, put your brushes in and snap the lid back on. Or, use it for your paint when you're out painting in the sun. Just pour an inch or two of paint in the bottom of your can. Then keep the lid handy so you can snap it on to keep your brushes moist and your paint from skimming over if you have to step away from your paint job for a moment. See? Easy.

Ken likes this because he can bring his brushes from a job in town to home in the truck without getting paint all over. Then he can properly wash out his brushes in warm running water. I like this because I can shove my brushes in the bucket, put the lid on, shove it in a corner and not rinse them out until I'm ready to paint again. 

Here's another Quick Tip: It's better (much better) to be more like my husband and take good care of your brushes than to be lazy like me. Over the 14 years that we've been together, my husband has tried in vain to teach me the proper way to wash a brush and not abuse them the way I do. It's so bad that I'm not allowed to use "his" brushes anymore. So, in an effort to make up for all the paint brush frustration I've caused my husband over the years, here is the proper way to wash out a paint brush; under warm running water press and fan the bristles of your brush against the sink bottom. Keep twisting and fanning the brush (turn it over and do both sides) until your water runs clear and all the paint in the heel of the brush is rinsed out. According to my in-house expert, paint left in the heel of the brush is what ruins them (I believe this might have been said with a look of total irritation as he tossed yet another brush that I failed to clean properly in the trash). If you follow his advice (not mine) your brushes will stay supple and flexible and ready for your next paint job.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

One project at a Time

Any improvement project, whether it's home, physical or spiritual, is a  process. I admit that I'm one of those people who would prefer instant results. I eat right for a week solid and I'm shocked that I'm not down 10 lbs. (So, I have a donut to feel better...)

I left my 8-5 job on July 10th and this first month of my new life I've been a little overwhelmed trying to get things done that have been neglected for too long now. Turns out that as much as I would like to make it happen, it's not going to all get done in a day. It took months/years for things to get the way they are, and it's going to take a concentrated effort to get things back under control.

According to my son, part of the problem is that I'm easily distracted. I would never admit that his diagnosis might be right, but I have noticed that I do tend to wander from the kitchen to the studio or from the laundry room to the yard "just for a sec" and then an hour later look up and wonder how doing the laundry suddenly turned into weeding the flower bed. Eventually, things do get done, but in the process of the whole thing, I find that I'm beating myself up for all the things that I didn't get done and not giving myself credit for what I did do.

This morning I was reading over some of my saved quotes and came across this one by Brene Brown:
Engage in your life from a place of worthiness. Cultivate the courage, compassion and connection to wake up in the morning and think 'No matter what gets done and how much is left undone, I am enough'. Go to bed at night thinking 'Yes I am imperfect and vulnerable and sometimes afraid, but that doesn't change the fact that I am also brave and worthy of love and belonging.'
Funny how the Universe knows just what I need to hear and puts it right in front of me.

It's a beautiful day here at Rosehaven and as much as I would love to be out pulling weeds and reclaiming my gardens, there is work to be done in my studio so that I can support this new life of randomness that I love.

Wishing you a beautiful day and a gentle reminder that no matter what gets done, you are enough.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

New Series - Quick Tip Tuesday

Now that I'm able to dedicate more time to the things I've neglected (this blog, my house, my gardens...) I've decided to go through and change things up a bit. Part of that re-vamp will be a weekly series called "Quick Tip Tuesday". Every Tuesday, I'll post a little something that I've found that makes life a bit easier for me and that I think might help you too.

The little thing that prompted this series? A cobweb hanging off the lace curtain in the kitchen window.  I was doing the dishes at the sink when that cobweb caught my eye. When I went to brush it down, I noticed that there was an entire spider condo on the shelf above the window. Not only that, but every piece of my hobnail glass and grandma's chicken collection were covered in a thick coat of dust and kitchen grime.

I can't tell you how much I really wanted to pretend that I hadn't seen the mess and just quietly backed away. But, in the spirit of turning over a new leaf and getting my act together, I grabbed the step stool and pulled everything down. I ran a big sink of hot soapy water and started to scrub. And scrub. And all I managed to do was smear things around and tell myself "See?! This is why we don't even start these things."

The thought of spending hours trying to get all of that grime out of every nook and cranny of my collection had me looking for an easier solution. And I found it right under my kitchen sink...

Yes, I know it says Automotive. But it also says that it's non-toxic, biodegradable and non-abrasive. Since it claimed to be able to degrease an engine, I thought a little kitchen grease wouldn't stand a chance. Let me tell you, one spray on my glassware and the sticky crud just slid right off...

Talk about a life changer. In no time I had every bit of my grease covered treasures sprayed down and ready for a nice rinse in hot water. Just look at how happy and shiny they are...

This stuff is amazing. I use it on everything now. You should see the way it cuts the ring that my hard working husband leaves on the tub. It's like magic. And it's easy. My favorite four letter word! I've used it on my deck, garden chairs, and even those thrifted treasures that before I may have thought were too far gone to clean up and make useable. 

I think I bought my bottle at Fred Meyer in the auto section, but Amazon sells a selection at a good price too. And a little goes a long way so that's another bonus.

So there you go, my life changing Quick Tip for Tuesday. You're welcome....

Monday, August 4, 2014

Alaska - The Trip Home

I finally had a moment to look over my blog and get back into the swing of regular posts. Was surprised to see that I haven't posted since March. So much has happened since then. So, a quick catch-up so I can get on with other posts...

We've been home from Alaska for over four months now. Funny how time files when you have to come home to a full time job and everyday responsibilities. I would much rather spend my days making pipe cleaner crafts with a 3 year old.

Our trip home from Alaska was a long but beautiful one. We caught the ferry at the Skagway Terminal around 2:00 in the afternoon, so we were able to see a large part of Lyn Canal before it got too dark. I hated to leave my little Alaska family. This last time between visits was way too long and grandchildren have a habit of growing very fast while I'm away from them.

I always enjoy the ferry ride and I think that Mom did too. It was about a 7 hour trip and our seats were right up front on the upper deck. There are huge windows that frame the view and you feel like you're watching the big screen and some incredible movie of a fantasy place...

We got into Juneau after 9:00 p.m. and headed right to our hotel. We had an early flight the next day and arrived at the Juneau airport in plenty of time to get through security and wait. Somehow I had managed to pick the milk run as our flight home adding about 2 hours to our flight time. We weren't thrilled to be on the plane that long, but being able to fly over areas of Alaska that we've never seen was totally worth it...

In April most of us managed to make it home to John Day for Easter and a sweet little family wedding for my Niece Faith and her new husband Colin. We don't get home much so it was a full weekend trying to fit in all the visiting we could before it was time to head back home.

May and June are pretty much a complete blur. There was the happy arrival of our new great-niece Kennedy, a sweet little thing like her momma. I can't wait to spend more time snuggling her and with the life change that I made in July, time with her and my children and grandchildren might actually take place. My Mom came and spent time with me as well. I'm sure there were other things that happened, but life seemed to be moving a warp speed about then.

I had know for quite some time that I wanted to leave my 8-5 job and design a life that I loved and a good part of May and June were spent being preoccupied with that thought. I finally decided to take a leap of faith. I blogged about that over at The Wren's Cottage Nest. My last day at my old job was July 10th and I haven't looked back. My days over the last three weeks have been filled with a ton of projects and little by little, Rosehaven is starting to look like herself again. Still so much to do and I find that I need to actually make a schedule so that I don't spend all my time in the gardens and forget that now that I'm self-employed, I actually need to make sure that I do things that fill my bank account as well as my soul.

Life is good and I'm filled with gratitude and excitement when I think about the possibilities that each dawn brings. There is something so freeing (yet terrifying) knowing that my income potential is no longer limited by an employers wage policies, but by the amount of effort I put into my creations.

I look forward to spending much more time here at For the Love of Lillian. I've got a pile of notes on blog topics and site improvements as well as some new weekly series ideas that I think you'll enjoy.

Make sure to check back tomorrow for the first installment of our new series "Quick Tip Tuesday". Not that I'm lazy, but anything that makes chores go faster and easier is right up my alley. You'll find that in our new series.

Wishing you a beautiful Monday,

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