Friday, October 26, 2012

Pickin' ain't easy and ain't Perfect

Do you ever watch "American Pickers" or go on those blogs that show this amazing transformation of a piece of garbage and just wish you could do that or think that you can? Well I do.  And even though I said I was going to take a break from furniture I sort of didn't.

I tend to bite off more than I can chew and that was the case this past weekend.  Driving through the neighborhood I found, what I thought was this amazing old hutch and couldn't believe someone was actually throwing it away.  I drove by it and thought "Nah".  The closer I got to home the more I wanted it and convinced myself that this would be the piece that changed it all. So I went back to get it and stuffed that crazy object into the back of the minivan with the help of my sidekick, Mom.  As soon as I drove away I began to suffer from "pickers remorse".  I'm not sure if that's an actual condition but that's definitely what I had. 

When I saw this piece I was so excited to bring it back to life.  Then I realized that there was a reason someone threw it out.  It was GARBAGE!!!  Turns out it was made of MDF wood and plastic and badly damaged and it smelled.  SWEET! Now what? 
 There was no way I was going to keep this in my mom's garage until next spring when bulk pickup came back around. So I did the next best thing.  I got my hand saw.  I was going to have some fun with this. Then, the battery died. So I did something even better than use my saw. I kicked it to death. It was so damaged it died within seconds.  Pickin' party over.

Next day I decided I needed to stick to my original plan of  making myself a hat and scarf.  Now that I'm over my fear of circular saws I needed to get over my fear of the circular needle. I went over it with Eve who assured me that it wouldn't be hard.  But after a couple of tries I was about to give up and just make a hat on regular needles when my friend Brett made a great point to me.  She reminded me that we are always trying to teach our children to just go for it and not worry if what they are making isn't perfect the first time.  Yet we don't try things for fear of it not coming out perfect. That was the little push I needed to finish my hat. I needed to practice what I preached.
That little statement lead me to reflect on my relationship with God. There are so many days when I wake up doing all the right things.  Then one little missed step, one small trial and I completely give up and feel like I'm not good enough to continue.  I'm not perfect and never will be in this life but I thank God for Jesus who is because it is through Him that I have the confidence to try again.

After taking that hat apart about 5 times I decided to press on. I caught up on most of Psych Season 6 and had some fun.  It's a little big, okay really big,  but it's almost perfect.  And I made it. You can find the pattern here if you're interested.
Have a blessed weekend.  I'm off to make a matching scarf.  Go make something.  Don't forget to give yourself some grace, maybe a push and press on!

S. Vanessa

Purpose of the Mystery

To me, who am less than the least of all the saints, this grace was given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ, and to make all see what is the fellowship[a] of the mystery, which from the beginning of the ages has been hidden in God who created all things through Jesus Christ;[b] 10 to the intent that now the manifold wisdom of God might be made known by the church to the principalities and powers in the heavenly places, 11 according to the eternal purpose which He accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord, 12 in whom we have boldness and access with confidence through faith in Him. 13 Therefore I ask that you do not lose heart at my tribulations for you, which is your glory.~Ephesians 3:8-13

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Trestle table!

I would like to apologize for skipping last week.  I really did want to post my progress on the Trestle table but I was so busy.  I can't really tell you what I was busy doing because frankly I don't recall.  I do know that I was too busy to get gas.  This afternoon, after I had strapped the boys in their seats I went to start my car, as I usually do when I need to go somewhere, and low and behold, it did not start.  I immediately diagnosed my car as needing an alternator.  Did you know I was a mechanic too?  Well, chaos ensued in our household and then my husband insulted me with the idea that I might not have any gas in the soccer van.  Of all the... I always have gas... I pay attention to what goes on around me...I'm not careless... 2 hours later... maybe I don't have gas.  Thank goodness for my mom who saved the day with...yup you guessed it... GAS! Sorry Marty. 

Now. What was I talking about?  Oh, right.  The trestle table.  Let me tell you about this table.  There were points during this project when I was in tears.   You see, there were angles involved in this bad boy. All I remember about angles is sine cosine tangent.  And what I remember most is that I failed that class.  You know the one with that ugly green textbook (for all you new yorkers).  I also don't have a miter saw. But I did find this great video that showed me how to cut using a carpenter square on   However, something went wrong because I lost about 2 inches in height on the table.  It probably has to do with me doing it at a wrong angle, causing the legs to be too wide.  Lesson learned.
 Now it's time to put the table top and get this ball rolling.  It wasn't wobbling. I added some extra reinforcements. Perfect! Or so I thought.
 I get the darn thing inside and wouldn't you know... I can fit my hand under one leg!!!!
 So of course that must mean that the floor isn't leveled.  Nope. Not quite.  But I battled on and just put a little piece of wood under it.  Perfect!

Then it was time to paint it. I went with Minwax wood finish in Dark Walnut.  And you know what I learned?  That finishing stinks.  No really. It does.  So the table was banished back out to the patio.  What's with the weird rectangle?
I had originally toyed with the idea of making the whole table top a chalkboard.  It eliminates paper waste right? No scrap paper.  Just write on the table.  But then the thought of touching a blackboard with my whole arm just almost made me lose my mind.  You know what I'm talking about.  My ears are aching from the thought.  My friend Mari suggested that I put the chalkboard in the middle and I thought it was brilliant.  I know you all think I'm super smart, but I get most of my ideas from other people.  Call me Steve Jobs.

 While I'm working diligently to get this table ready there is a whole lot going on behind me.  J is productive making his own little chalkboards.  And C, well, he is prepping himself for some trouble.

The table gets finished and put back in it's new home.  We officially have a home school room as per J's wishes.  I thank God for the blessing of having a spare room that we could even have this in.

 I do love the way this came out and I can't wait to try them out tomorrow.  I have to thank the ladies over at Shanty2Chic and Ana White for the plans and ideas.  Can't wait to see what else you have in store for me.  Maybe I'll make the farm table for Natalie.  Or maybe I'll just take a break and make a scarf and hat.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

The cubbies are here! And a child's prayer

Happy Thursday! The weekend is almost here.  But then in the words of Lady Grantham, "What is a weekend?"  I've been re-watching all the episodes from Season 1 Downton Abbey this week. I must be prepared for Season 3 which is just a couple of months away. Check the trailer out here.

But I do feel like weekends don't really exist. We do just as much running around on Saturdays and Sundays as we do during the week and Hubby is always in work mode.  I vow to slow down.  Maybe starting tomorrow.  There is too much to do today.

In the mist of all the busy, Hubby and I celebrated our 5 year wedding anniversary.  I feel blessed.  We didn't do anything extravagant.  We watched an episode of Psych together, which has become our favorite show and thing to do these days.  I'm so blessed to have this life.  There are so many other roads I could have taken.  But this is where I want to be.  This is where I have always wanted to be, even through all the crazy.  But more importantly this is where God has called me to be.

Back to why you checked in with me today.  The cubbies are here!  And thanks to some help from BBJ we were able to get them done quicker.  And by quicker I mean 2 weeks instead of a month.

Don't worry everyone.  The lock is on and that battery is off.  He knows the drill (no pun intended).  Ear plugs in.  Stand by the stairs.
He did learn to use a drill to make his birdhouse this week.  And thank you to Natalie for pointing out the lack of goggles.  Luckily no one was hurt and we wear them full time.

 So what do you think?
BBC was in the middle of shouting "Mommy!!! This is AMAZING!!! You're the best mom in the whole wide world!"

If you like the cubbies you can find the plans hereYou may have noticed that unlike the plans, ours don't have wheels on them.  I didn't put them on for 2 reasons.  The first is that BBJ is learning to write and I wanted to have his feet firmly on the ground, since he chose this for his "homeschool room" I wanted to make sure it was functional.  I love the multipurposeness (is that a word) of these seats.  It actually freed up a bookcase in the boys room which is great because it was getting too crowded in there.  When BBJ saw them all set up he said to me, "Wait a minute.  This is a seat and a place for my books? That is so cool!" I love that kid.  The second reason I didn't put the wheels on is that they will turn into a deadly weapon with BBC around.  I can picture us in the ER with missing toes.  So maybe next spring when BBJ is a little taller and BBC has calmed down a bit I will put them on.  

On a different note I wanted to share with you what BBJ prayed for this morning.  A couple of days ago BBC broke my glasses in half. True story.  Luckily I had a couple of pairs of contacts left to hold me over until a get a new pair of glasses.  

But I have been complaining about wishing I could see better.  Well this morning during grace BBJ asked God "to open mommy's eyes" meaning for me to see without my glasses (as in a miraculous healing because I have the vision of a wombat).  I was floored and moved because it had so many meanings to me. And to think that this came from the heart of a child proves God's love and existence so much more.   But yes, I want the Lord to open my eyes.  Open my eyes to His will around me.  Open my eyes to the needs of others and how I can help them and pray for them.

My prayer today is for the Lord to open the eyes of all those that don't know Him and his goodness. My prayer is for my country, especially during this election year.  That the Lord open our eyes and that we as a nation bring Him back into the fold and make Him the center instead of walking away from Him.  No good ever comes from turning your back on God. 

This week let's keep our country and family in prayer. 

S. Vanessa