DIY # 1 … first project of 2017

Project #1 for the new year is now complete – and you will see it carries forward a familiar theme … adapting a new set of rolling drawers to suit our needs.

One of the most useful, inexpensive storage items we have found is a 6-drawer roll cart, made of pine. They are sold at many stores and come in a box, ready to assemble. If assembled as intended, the cart looks like this:


If you click HERE, you will see past projects we’ve done using this cart.

This time, we decided to make a cabinet for the area where I keep my Keurig coffee pot and supplies. Before this project, the area looked like this – unorganized and messy.


As you can see, there were boxes of keurig products everywhere. The TV table also didn’t provide much for stability.

So, my husband bought some lumber to make a shell for the new cabinet. He used drawers from two of the 6-drawer carts. (He has small drawers left over; they will be used in another project.)  This is the result  …


The area is much neater  …



and the coffee/tea/hot chocolate is all tucked away in the cabinet …


Now, on to the next project.

Thanks for reading. I hope you will return.





Another fun gift idea … for anyone and everyone

I don’t know if it is my age or what, but now I prefer to give fun gifts that people can really use. For co-workers, that is quite an order – since I don’t know what they like or can use. So, I decided to make it their choice by creating a new kind of gift card … one that lets the recipient decide – what and who the gift is for …

Rather than being pre-made card holders, I decided to make my own. There’s many online sites with directions, such as this one – CLICK HERE.

The first step – finding and folding paper. Finding holiday paper is a bit of a task for me because I have so much paper – and it isn’t necessarily organized.

  1.  I cut the paper into 8 3/4 inch squares, slightly larger than my directions. I found they folded better.
  2. Fold each side to the center.
  3. Fold in all four corners.
  4. Fold again to the center, tucking in the folded corners.

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Next step – finishing the folding and decorating.

  1. Turn the already folded paper to the bottom and fold up to the center.
  2. Fold the other half to the center, slightly overlapping so you can tuck in the corners
  3. Turn the folded paper over and fold the other direction (the long way). Now you have a card holder.
  4. I then made decorative strips for the cover.

I didn’t do this project all at one time. I did it in several steps – doing all of one task – such as the decorative tags (which were stamped) at one time, or all of the folding at one time.


The final step – inserting gift cards or not …

  1.  First I decorated the covers.
  2. Then – I printed notes on blank business cards that simply says “Treat yourself or someone else.” So, the recipient can pass it forward, share a treat or treat themself – whatever their pleasure.
  3. Instead of me deciding where they should get a treat, I simply inserted cash.
  4. Finally, I tied the card holder shut with a decorative ribbon.


I made several gift holders – a mini-manufacturing line on my desk.


The best part – you can do this anytime of the year. Simply change the paper to something more generic or appropriate to the season and decorate accordingly. Make several at a time so you have them on hand. Gifting treats can happen any time.

Thanks for reading! I hope you will return.









When gifting is fun … the Care Jars

I love crafting – designing and making things. This week’s mission: to create gifts for our needlecraft group – something fun but not crazy expensive  – using crafting skills. So I cut paper, stamped paper, glued ribbon, attached bows, used the computer for gift info tags, filled jars, made gift bags, and so on …

I took pictures for each step. I worked at it little by little, completing one or more steps at a time … so it didn’t become overwhelming. The results – here are my CARE JARS. Each jar takes care of your sweet tooth needs and more …

The First Step – Making gift bags – (see photo below)

1 – Out comes the traditional Christmas colored paper and the Christmas stamps. Of course, I don’t have my stamps cataloged yet so it was quite the search to find a stamp – and to find paper in the stacks (three-foot tall) of paper. I tried red, green and black ink but decided the black shows up best.

2 – After cutting out the stamped pieces, I cut contrasting striped paper for a backing and glued the stamped pieces to the striped pieces.

3 – Next I added a decoration to the tags (see the Elf in the photo) and glued a tag to plain brown paper sandwich bags.

Then I set the gift bags aside.

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Next – The care jar in progress – (see photo below)

1 – For the jars, I used a pint-sized clear canning jar. I used the lid to trace circles on Christmas paper which are then used to decorate the top of the jar.

2-  I cut all of the pieces needed for all of the jars at the same time. (You will see later, however, that I changed my choice of decorative ribbon around the top of the jar – that’s a designer’s perogative.)

3- I used a plaid/burlap ribbon to decorate the jars.

4- Mod Podge is applied with a brush to the back of the plaid part of the ribbon, then wrapped around the jar, overlapping the ends. I held the ribbon in place for just a few minutes and the ribbon was secure. I followed that by tying a piece of ribbon around the top of the jar.

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And last – Filling and bagging the jars – (see photo below)

1- Now for the fun part – filling the jar with various chocolates and other Christmas season candy. (And just a little taste testing.)

2-  Once filled, I added the jar lid, placing the paper decorative lid between the ring and the lid.

3-  The jars were then placed in the decorated sandwich bags and sealed with a festive ribbon.

filling the jars.jpg

And, the bonus – Once the candy is gone, you place an LED candle in the bottom; put the paper cover and ring back on (not the metal lid) and now you have a candle.


I hope the ladies enjoy the care jars as much as I did making them. I didn’t take pictures of my desk during this project; that’s my next project – cleaning off my desk and putting everything away – so I can start the next project.

Thanks for reading!





A Sunday morning tour …

Today is a glorious bright, sunny day with a light breeze and warm – but not too warm – temperatures — one of those perfect days that you long for when snow banks are several feet deep in your yard. Thanks to our ‘gator,’ we took a tour of the yard this morning, checking out the beauty found everywhere.

Starting on the deck, here’s the view:


Before we can go, the chipmunks need some attention. The mini-munks are so soft …

Chipmunk petting collage.jpg

We also found this beautiful creature  …

moth collage.jpg

And saw lots of color …


Along with new baby trees … Tree collage.jpg

And a few vegetables …

Vegetable collage.jpg

Ending the tour with the latest improvement project … a new fountain. The sound of the water is magical …

Fountain collage.jpg

Stay tuned for another tour in a few weeks.

Thanks for reading! 


Not as it rolls … DIY projects

Have you ever looked at a book shelf or set of drawers and wish it had been designed in a different way? At our house, we don’t just wish … we change it to suit our purpose.

We store a lot of paper forms and office supplies in our home offices. Of course, there is always a need for storage of craft supplies, too. We are always looking for new ways to organize.

One of the most useful, inexpensive storage items we have found is a 6-drawer roll cart, made of pine. They are sold at many stores and come in a box, ready to assemble. If assembled as intended, the cart looks like this:



Once assembled, they measure 26 inches high by 13.4 inches wide and are 15.4 inches deep. They hold paper 8.5 by 11 inches. So, if you want a rolling cart, they are great. Note, scrapbookers – they aren’t big enough for scrapbook paper.

As usual, however, we had other ideas. First, we adapted the cart to allow more storage by increasing the height. We simply put two carts together. The casters were removed from one of the carts and the cart was placed on top of the other cart, then screwed together. (When you look at the photos, please keep in mind that our reorganization is a work in progress.)



We also created a bank of carts using three rolling carts. My husband made the cabinet base, walls and top and then inserted the drawers. The casters were removed. This  cabinet creates a lot of storage for smaller items.



And finally, I needed more storage in my craft room – my ‘she cave.’ (I will always need more storage in my craft room.) He created under counter storage by combining two carts, side by side, and removing one of the drawers on each unit. The carts were secured together and simply placed under the counter. This unit is on casters.



The next time you go shopping for storage items, look at the item – not just for what it is, but what it can be. If you need one of these rolling carts, they are regularly on sale, so watch for the sales and plan ahead. I just went shopping for more (because they were on sale) and found they have a new style, one similar to the taller one we crafted except this one has two deeper drawers on the bottom.



Until next time, THANKS for reading.



DIY – Replacing the lawnshed … not as easy as we thought

In keeping with our year-long goal of de-cluttering, we thought we would replace the lawn shed. Nothing to it, right? Remove the old one – have someone bring a new one. Easy … or not. It turns out the easiest part was bringing the new one …

Removing the old shed

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The old metal shed was at least twenty years old. The sides were rusting along the bottom; the roof leaked – a lot. And – over the years — things were simply tossed in the shed. What a mess!  Once we ordered the new shed, we had about three weeks to prepare. Plenty of time or not. First, the job of cleaning the shed out and either finding a spot for it or tossing it. That job took a few days. Next, we had to move the shed. Our brother-in-law got that task. In short order, he jumped on his skidster and the shed was moved and crushed.

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Next, however, we needed to fill to even the site. We had ordered the fill before the shed removal, so the soil was on site. Another job for our brother-in-law.

The New Shed Arrives

Although the fill had been spread, a little more leveling was required so we took a drag and smooth the site. We also realized that the new shed – which is 10 feet by 20 feet — is much taller than the old one. So, the tall pines next to the site had to be trimmed. After a day of trimming, with only one mishap – the ladder tipping and my husband landing on the ground with the ladder, Luckily he didn’t get hurt – he was just covered in dirt!  The site was ready — just in time. The building arrived at 3:30 in the afternoon.

  • The new shed was delivered by one person. It was amazing to watch. Here is the shed sitting on the road at the end of our driveway. New lawn shed arrives 003

The  mover used a dolly to bring the shed down the road and put it in place. Amazingly, it only took an hour to put the shed in place.

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And now, we just have to fill it up!  We are looking forward to have all of the garden and other tools all in one spot. Perhaps we will be able to find things when we need them – instead of going to the store and buying another one.

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