Saturday, February 28, 2009

Crafts Around The Home

I ordered this book from Amazon last week and was surprised to get it in the mail today~very fast shipping! I haven't done any stenciling before, except for a few stars I put on a game board once. I've been looking for stencils to use on picture frames that I'm painting, and I've been surprised at the prices~oh my!

That's why I was so happy to find The Complete Book of Home Stenciling. There are 24 cards of stencils inside! There are also instructions to cut your own, as well as duplicate others. Most of the stencils are of flowers and leaves, but there are a few others, such as a duck and a rooster.
This is a book I'm looking forward to using. Do any of you have any stenciling in your home? I've read that wall paper is starting to make a comeback in home decorating and I've heard stenciling referred to as the 'poor man's wallpaper'. I can see that one would save a lot of money if you stenciled instead of put up wallpaper. And I'm thinking it might be a lot more fun than hanging those awkward rolls of paper~which I have done before. Also, you could stencil your own version of an expensive paper that is not in your current budget, or maybe duplicate an old pattern that is no longer available. Better yet, you can create your own.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Building A Cordwood Cabin Part I

Before making our move to the mountains, we purchased a mobile home. A very old mobile home. We had big dreams, but we were moving on a small budget. The mobile home was 720 square feet--about 300 square feet more than what we were living in at the time, so it seemed almost large at first. But, with two kids, several animals,and a lot of books, we filled it up rather quickly.

We wanted to build a home eventually, but time was passing quickly and money was not growing on trees. The old mobile was starting to have some problems. Okay, a lot of problems. It leaked from the roof down through the walls, no matter how many times the roof was patched and coated. The floor was beginning to rot, too. We knew we had to do something--and soon.

Buying another mobile home was an option, but our budget wasn't going to get us anything much better than what we were living in. That's when our research began. What could we build, on a very small budget, that didn't include getting a loan?

Finding a house plan that we could afford seemed like a difficult task. I grew up reading my parent's Mother Earth News magazines. And, being a family of pack rats, our storage building was full of those old magazines. One day, while flipping through a stack of them, I came upon an article about cordwood building. I had heard of cordwood masonry before, (from all those years of reading Mother Earth), but had never considered it for ourselves. We read the article and it went on the list of 'options'.

Actually the list was pretty short. 1) Buy another old mobile home, or 2) Build a low cost house--paying as we built, no mortgage. Cordwood seemed the only affordable way for us to build. After all, we lived on over 100 acres, so we had the trees, and the rest of the supplies to get the building into the dry were less than what a stick construction house would cost. For better or worse, we were in!

Our first move was to order Rob Roy's Complete Book of Cordwood Masonry Housebuilding. I believe that edition is out of print, but Rob Roy offers several more books now.

After reading through the book several times, we started to plan our house--a small, rustic cabin that would house us and keep us out of the elements, as well as satisfy our desire for an owner-built home. And that plan started with cutting down the groves of cedar trees on the property.

And so. . .the adventure began!

I've put a slideshow at the bottom of the blog--I'll add more pictures to it later.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Blogger Award

Deb over at Deb's Genealogy Room has nominated me for the Kreativ Blogger award! Thank, Aunt DJ!!! Deb is my aunt-by-marriage, and we all adore her. She is our inspiration for so much of what we've learned to do on the computer. Without her, my husband and I would probably still be staring at our desktop!

If you are interested in doing any sort of family research, I highly recommend Deb's genealogy blog--I've already gotten several great tips from her posts. She also has another blog I enjoy, Debs Room, where she shares a lot of her thoughts.

I am supposed to nominate 7 people for this award (only 7????) Hey, all of you are so creative (make that Kreativ!) bloggers that this is hard for me!

RULES: The rules are fairly simple.....1. Copy the award to your site.2. Link to the person from whom you received the award.3. Nominate 7 other bloggers.4. Link to those sites on your blog.5. Leave a message on the blogs you nominate

Here goes:

I know that's only four and the rules say seven, but so many of you already have this award--so to any of you that don't--please accept it from me!
Have a great day!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Wednesday Morning

Good morning! We are having a beautiful start our day~I have the front door open and a rooster is crowing out in the front yard. Anyone who thinks that it is quiet in the country must not have chickens. It's not unusual for them to start crowing at three a.m.

Jackie is in back of the house barking back at some dogs across the lake. I think after being in the shelter and listening to the other dogs bark all the time, that she is amazed at the sound of her own voice.

Pumpkin is enjoying her milk. She's finally strong and healthy, but she has not been spayed yet, so she is having a little bit of in-house time until she can go back out. I hope to get her to the vets sometime in the next month.

There's not much other news around the cabin. We've been enjoying some more garden research and are anxious to get planting when the time is right!

Friday, February 13, 2009


Sorry I've been away from my blog for so long. And, from visiting all of yours. I'm finally caught up with a writing project that was taking up all my time.

Jackie is improving everyday. She's always excited to see us in the mornings and she's also learned that the cats are in charge around here, LOL! She gets along with them well as long as she's not too pushy. She's learned that they have sharp things on the ends of their paws and she's pretty quick in avoiding them.

We picked up the last ingredients we were needing for our square foot beds, so now the building should begin! I'll try to take pictures as we go along and I'll be looking forward to seeing all of your gardening pictures, too.

Have a great Valentine weekend!


Wednesday, February 4, 2009

We had a busy weekend around the cabin and I'm still working on some of those projects.

The most fun thing we did was adopt a new pet! Her name is Jackie. She a one year old German Shepherd/Collie/? mix. Jackie spent half of her life at the shelter, so she is a little shy and is trying hard to adjust to being out in the 'real world'.

We've had our share of strays, but she is the first dog we've adopted from a shelter. We are looking forward to a lot of fun years with her.
I am painting some shelves today, as well as working on a writing project that I need to get finished and in the mail in a few days.

I hope all of you are having a wonderful week!