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Saturday, July 25, 2009


Over the last few months I have spent an embarrassing amount of time looking at home and craft blogs while giving minimal effort to completing any projects to display on my own such blog. I've realized that while my accomplishments are satisfying to me, in the big world of H&C blogs they are really quite pathetic. There are SO many amazing blogs and ideas out there, I began to feel grossly inadequate.

In addition, the last week or so I have felt more like sitting down and reading a book than working on home improvements or homemade bridal shower gifts. For the first time in my life I have felt guilty for wanting to read, because in the back of my mind is this sad little blog that has been horribly neglected.

While I plan to continue to give homemade gifts, and I will always have some home improvement project in the works, I want to relieve myself of the burden that this blog has become. So for the time being, SRP is discontinued. If I feel especially proud of something I've made or finished, I'll post it on my other blog. That is the blog I really enjoy contributing to, and will more directly benefit from time spent with my nose in a book.

Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, June 15, 2009


My enthusiasm for homemade gifts is waning. I'm a month behind now. I thought I found the perfect gift my very cute and crafty sister-in-law. This sun-hat.

I did a practice version for Eli, who hates having the sun in his eyes. It didn't turn out as well as I had hoped but I figured out the changes I needed to make for the final product.

Sadly, the final product went terribly wrong. It wouldn't fit on my head, or any adult's head for that matter. It will be tucked away in a dress-up tote in case someday we have a girl. I was bitterly disappointed by my failure. Sorry Brit, but I do have something else in mind!

Eli doesn't seem to mind his hat's imperfections. It is reversible afterall.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Homemade Broth

At WinCo I often buy chicken in the largest quantity possible because it is usually cheaper. When I bring it home I cook all or most of it at once. Then I divide it up and chop or shred it and put it in the freezer to use for meals later like enchiladas, hawaiian haystacks, you name it.

My mom taught me that if you season the water that you boil the chicken in it gives the chicken good flavor and the remaining "water" that the chicken was cooked in can be used as broth. I use the broth to cook with (as broth) and I also love to cook rice with the broth instead of plain water. I just freeze it in old yogurt tubs.

This picture doesn't look very appetizing, so you'll just have to take my word for it. All I use to season the water is salt, pepper, onion powder and garlic powder.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

utility room rug

We had leftover carpet after we got our new carpet installed. I decided the shaggy nature of the carpet would make for a great rug in the laundry room, which is the gateway from the garage into the house. I'm tired of door rugs that do nothing to remove actual dirt/mud substance from shoes. So I just cut a piece of carpet the size I wanted. Then I ordered the Instabind online for
$1 per foot. I'm really happy with it.

Finished Product: And it is so much nicer to stand on while doing laundry.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

in the works

I do have several projects in the works. But the exhaustion that comes with the first trimester is resulting in a slow-pace for home improvement. And I am terribly behind in the homemade birthday gift arena. But I am motivated so stay tuned.

Meanwhile, I keep busy with the first-rate pursuit of feeding myself. I love these pre-cut baguettes from Fred Meyer. They make the perfect little snack topped with gouda cheese & tomato or almond butter & avocado. Mmm.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

my garden

I posted on my other blog about planting the seeds for our garden. I wish I had taken a picture of the seedlings before the transplant, as proof that they actually existed in the likely event that they all die.
Well Saturday I transplanted all my precious little seedlings. I was telling Richard that it really does amaze me that you can plant a tiny little seed that carries the information and capability to produce a plant that will provide you with many fruits or peppers or what have you. It blows my mind, to be honest.
This year I planted everything from seed and we'll see how it goes. I'm really excited, but at the same time my optimism makes me prone to disappointment when things fail.
You may remember these cans... it is the chocolate mix I put in my skinny-boys milk to add calories. Anyway, they were piling up and I read in a book about using something similar to protect the seedlings. I cut out the bottom with my awesome Pampered Chef can opener. If there are in chilly nights in the future I can just put the lids on the cans and "Voila!" Protected.

The red stuff you see is cayenne pepper. It's purpose is to keep predators away. (In our case, it would be our dog.)

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

the clock

I re-painted this canvas to make a clock that matched my other canvases for my bathroom. Last step for the bathroom, a new shower curtain!

Sunday, May 10, 2009


We have an arched window in our living room that for the first two years we lived here had blinds hanging from over the top of the arch. I can't really explain how bad it looked, but eventually they quit closing and so when I painted the room I took them down entirely.

I couldn't decide how to handle the arch shape because we wanted blinds in the window. I finally decided to just hang blinds in the rectangular part of the window and cover the arch altogether with a cornice. My sister Lori had made a couple for her apartment and came and spent an afternoon helping me construct it.

If you really want details let me know, but here are some pictures of the process.

Friday, May 1, 2009

glad to be back

Well, since all my major life-changing events are out of the way I have the chance to get back to my second-rate pursuits.

My homemade gift challenge has been just that, a challenge. I hit a major obstacle in February with my brother-in-law's birthday. He is a married twenty-something in college. I went grass-roots and tried to think what he enjoys most in life. The best thing I could come up with was food. His wife was doing student teaching all day leaving him on his own for lunch. I put together some lunch-size meals for one and froze them. From what I've heard, it was a hit.


Homemade Chili


Wednesday, February 25, 2009


It was the birthday of a co-worker and he requested an Angel Food Cake with orange frosting. I have never had success with frosting so I went for a glaze instead. I'm not here to give a great recipe for a glaze. I just got mine from a Better Homes & Gardens cookbook.

I am just here to say what I always want to say on this blog:

If I can do it, you can do it.

Monday, February 23, 2009

just some more blocks

The homemade gift train keeps on chuggin'. These were for my brother-in-law who is a middle school teacher. I hope they can find a home in his classroom.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

card club February

Richard said this card looked very "spring-ish". I didn't do that intentionally, but I won't deny that it was probably my subconscious speaking out.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

another homemade gift

I made this apron with the help of Krista. (And the sewing machine of Krista's. Thanks.) It was pretty straight forward and I think it turned out so cute I had a hard time parting with it.

Friday, February 6, 2009


Remember these? No one told me they were ugly. But I figured it out and decided to try something different. I'm painting part of my bathroom that navy color, it is the same paint I used for my little bedside table. I'm trying to tie the brown bedroom and the blue bathroom together a little. I'll post pictures of all that later. Anyway, I repainted the canvanses navy and mod-podged some specialty paper from the scrapbook store on top. It took less than an hour if you don't count drying time. I got the idea from something similar my sister did in her bedroom.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

homemade gift #3

I have actually done this one for years for my mom for her birthday. It's a homemade calendar with pictures of family members from the previous year. Not too original. But I have gifts #4,5 and 6 this month so stay tuned!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

before & after

Well just about everyone agreed that I should paint the wall surrounding the door. I guess I am easily persuaded. It's funny, now that it's done it looks like it has always been that way.

Time for a new project. I finished one yesterday that will have to wait for posting because it is a gift.

Monday, January 26, 2009

step by step


This is Krista's post of our original wood block project. She gives a pretty good summary of how to make them. I don't think she will mind my referral to her blog.

Friday, January 23, 2009

latest installment in the holiday block collection

You might think that making these blocks gets old... on the contrary it gets better every time. These are my favorites so far.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Homemade Gifts

The original pledge I first saw by NieNie was to buy only handmade gifts for Christmas. Holli took that idea one step further and committed to personally handcraft all birthday gifts for 2009. I was inspired. So - it's a great year to be related to JoJo because I've committed to making birthday gifts for all my family members this year. (And maybe in the years to come.)

I didn't get a picture of the first gift I made, for my father-in-law but I did remember to take one of my second gift. (But yuck- I make a terrible model!)

TA-DA! It is a homemade version of the infomercial "snugglie". A blanket with arms.
So you can drape it over you and still have your hands free for sipping, knitting, blogging and the like. My mother-in-law tends to be frequently chilly and so it was perfect for her. It was quite simple and you can find directions from many online sources.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

spice it up

When Richard Bird, CPA is being Travel Warrior January through March, I find projects.

Project #1: Paint the pantry door. (I hope the Travel Warrior approves. He is a little wary of my projects sometimes.)

The green was left over from when we painted the kitchen walls. The blue I bought as a "sample" can at Lowes. It's great for small projects because you can get the custom color in a half-pint.

The secret to my AMAZING straight lines. (Acrylic Gel Medium.) It is a little pricey but one jar lasts a long time (many projects).

First tape.

Then "paint" the AGM along the tape edge to make a seal.

Once the AGM is dry, paint your color as needed.

** Special note ** Peel tape off while paint is still wet for an edge good enough to please the OCD painter.
I love the way it looks. With the exception of the hideous doorknob... need to do something about that hardware...
Do you see the white wall around the pantry? Should I paint that green like the other wall and door? It might make the white door frame stand out...

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Christmas Gift

My family does a Christmas gift exchange each year of homemade-only gifts. I could blog for weeks about all the gifts that have been created, if I had pictures of them all.

Unfortunately I didn't take a picture of the gift I made for my brother in law. But I do have pictures of the gift I received in the mail from my sister-in-law, domestic goddess in training, Brit.

You'll have to ask her for details but it is a beautiful plate/dish, handpainted. Thanks, I love it!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

work in progress

Just about every room in my house is a work in progress. That is the fun of owning a home I guess. (Even if it is worth 18% less than what we paid for it...) Here is that little table back in its proper place.

I pride myself in decorating my house with minimal cost. So when I heard everyone raving about Anthropologie I resisted, because I was determined to buy secondhand. Well then one day I found myself in that store and I was in love. *Sigh* So any money I saved by buying this little table at a garage sale, was lost when I spent $8.00 on the adorable little knob at Anthro. At least I splurge on the small items and not the big ones, right?

Besides, I got a deal on this cute little alarm clock on ebay. It turned out to be smaller than I anticipated, but it still stole my heart.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009


I was looking through old pictures tonight and came across these pictures of our living room. It is a crazy coincidence because they were taken exactly two years ago, January 6 2007.

We've come a long way living room.

At Last

Here are pictures of what I've been up to in the last... however many days since I last posted.
I can't claim that I did the floors and carpet myself... but I did paint and move furniture and clean clean clean!

Our new floors (post flood) are laminate. I'm really happy with them. Easy to clean and very durable, crucial characteristics in a house with small children.

The little hands and feet aren't some wild-modern-art, they are plaster molds of Cameron & Eli's feet and hands at two weeks old.