Since we have made our old bedroom into a spare room/craft room, I have been on the hunt for some kind of a bulletin board to hang above my sewing machine.  Basically so I can keep papers off the table and have more room for my projects.  Because I have a lot of them.  😉


Because this is also the spare room and we want to make sure guests feel comfortable, I wanted the bulletin board to not look so “hey-i’m-a-bulletin-board”.  I looked in a few stores like Hobby Lobby and other places, but didn’t really find anything.

Then, one evening as I walked into the house, I saw the two old chick trays I had bought a few years ago.  This past Spring and Summer I used them as decoration on our porch.  They now have a new lease on life.  And it doesn’t involve getting pooped on anymore.  They thanked me for it.  Which, in my opinion, is very fitting for this season.


I had painted them a blue-ish/greenish color which I really liked, but didn’t think it would work in the guest room.  So I went downstairs to our paint supply and brought up the blue paint used on our chicken coop.  Why?

For several reasons.

1.  I like the color.

2.  It would go nicely in the spare room.

3.  I didn’t have to buy another can of paint.

OK, side note here.  Have you ever read blogs where they say “This project didn’t cost a thing!”  I’d like to say that’s a bunch of malarchy.  At one point you would have had to buy the paint or whatever you’re using in the project.  Just admit that you’re just using what you have on hand so you’re not wasting expensive paint.

So, that’s what I was doing.  Not wasting stuff.  🙂

My first step was to wipe off the trays and then prime.


Once the primer was dry, I painted one coat of paint on the tray.  I didn’t want it to look too finished and actually liked the streakiness.  My next step was to paint the clothespins.  These came from my classroom.

See?  Not wasting stuff.

I used spray paint from another project.  Since I didn’t want to spray paint the clothespins outside, I got a little creative.  I spray painted them inside a tall shopping bag.


Adam works a lot of supplemental activities, but I didn’t realize he modeled for Hollister.  And here I thought I knew him.



I originally thought I would use the clothespins to clip on the wire, but when I saw this wouldn’t work, I decided to use my glue gun to adhere them on the tray.


Once the pins were glued, it was time to hang these bad buys up on the wall.


So what do you think?  Have you ever completed a project just so you don’t waste “stuff”?

All “Leather-ed” Up

For a few months now, I have been casually surfing Craigslist for a furniture solution to our basement family room.  Last Tuesday evening, while doing my monthly ritual, I came across a photo.  The photo showed a five piece living room set: couch, love seat, ottoman, and a large chair with ottoman.  The set looked amazing.  And what was more exciting was the fact that it fit easily in our budget.

I quickly scanned the post for contact information and I found nothing.  No phone number.  Nothing.  The only way I could contact the seller was through the Craiglist reply.  I quickly e-mailed the seller and told myself to be patient.  By Wednesday evening, I still hadn’t heard anything so I decided to e-mail again.  You know, just in case they didn’t get the first e-mail.

I still didn’t hear anything by Thursday evening.

At this point I told myself to let it go.  Another deal would come around.

The thing is I had already envisioned what it would look like with our furnishings.  Planned the lay out.  And had dreams of truly finishing this space by Christmas.  I was a bit bummed, but knew something would come along if this wasn’t the set for us.

Then Friday morning came.  I was busy with my school day morning and had a bit of a break to check e-mail.  There it was.  An e-mail from the buyer saying if I was still interested it was mine.

Breathe.  Breathe.  Jill, take a deep breath. It isn’t a done deal.  Yet.

The rest of the morning was spent e-mailing back and forth about condition of the set and size.  I was a bit fearful Adam would say the measurements weren’t going to work for our space (I’m awful when it comes to picturing how big something is.  I leave that to my pro.)  But after he did careful measurements and made me wait for what felt like forever, he thought it was a go.  Friday night I called the buyer and was surprised by a familiar last name.  We played the Mennonite game for two seconds and I learned he is a relative of our good friends.

I usually am a bit nervous when it comes to buying things through Craigslist, but this completely put my mind at ease.  He was incredibly friendly and wanted to make sure Adam and I took a look at the set before we gave a definite yes.

Saturday morning, we went by a friend’s house to pick up a trailer and made the trek to the buyer who was on the other side of Wichita.  I feel like I should mention we had my youngest cousin with us who was a champ.  We arrived at the buyers house, made introductions, and then looked at the couch.

The set looked even better in person.  Then they told us that since we drove for an hour they were going to knock another $50 off their already low price.  What?!  I tried to plead with them to let us pay what they were asking for, but they politely denied.  They even helped us tie everything down and texted to make sure we arrived home safe and sound.

So are you ready to see what made us so excited?  Oh, who am I kidding?  You probably already scrolled down.  Can’t blame you.  I would too.





This afternoon Adam took a nap on the couch, while I sat on the love seat to do some school things.  The furniture sits very well!  My Thanksgiving break list now has cleaning this space so we can use it to it’s full potential.  Woo hoo!

Has anyone else out there scored an incredible deal on Craigslist?  Or challenged themselves to find things only on Craigslist?

Christmas Photos

The next time you see Adam, please give him a big hug.  Why?  Because his weirdo of a wife received a 60% off of a Snapfish promo code that expires tonight.  No, that doesn’t make me weird.  What does make me weird is that I told him we were doing a very quick photo session Sunday evening at his parent’s house.  And it was late Sunday morning when I told him this.

But the good thing is that we saved a lot of money for some snazzy looking cards that otherwise wouldn’t have been in our budget.

Sunday evening had a beautiful sunset with the only problem being the temperature.  It was FREEZING.  In face, well below freezing.  So our photo session lasted no more than 20 minutes.  Otherwise my fingers were going to fall off.  Also, I had to get a bit creative with how we took our pictures.  It was just Adam and I at the photo shoot and I don’t have a tripod.

For one of our pictures I used a used oil drum, another a farm implement.


See?  That wasn’t going to work.  I just had to make a minor adjustment and then batta boom batta bing…


But he was too far away.  So, I did what any photographer would tell him.  Get closer.  🙂


But, then he got distracted by a cat.


This was better, but the light wasn’t what we wanted.  So we switched locations.


Much better!


Thankfully, I was able to edit our final picture, find the perfect card to represent us, and order well before the deadline.  What do you do to save a few bucks around the holiday season?


Sorry!  Had to sneak this one in…

The Day Steve Urkel left our bathroom

And it was a good day.  Not that he wasn’t a hospitable guest, but it was time he left.  What do I mean?


Shower Curtain

I had posted earlier about our shower curtain dilemma when I gave you a picture tour of our basement reno.  Because of where we wanted to hang our curtain (#tallhusbandproblems) it left our very affordable curtain with a bit of an issue.  A Steve Urkel issue.  Adam did some quick research online and found shower curtains that would fit our length quota.  The only problem was the price.  Yowza! A $100 for a shower curtain?  Not in our budget.

So I decided to make our curtain work for us.  The way I felt I could accomplish that was with the help of another shower curtain.  Let me explain.

I bought an inexpensive white shower curtain at Wal-Mart with the intention of making the bottom white stripe larger.  My first step was to wash, dry, and iron both curtains.


My next step was to ensure the shower curtains were the same width.


Then I was able to cut my white curtain.  You probably already guessed, but I used the bottom of the white shower curtain so I didn’t have to hem it.  I hate hemming. It makes my hands sweaty.




Next came pinning the new bottom piece to my existing shower curtain.



I don’t have pictures of the actual sewing process because, well, I had issues with my bobbin.  And then I spent a lot of time dealing with that issue.  Once I had both pieces sewn together, I finished off the piece by trimming the excess pieces.  After I trimmed the extra pieces, I ironed the seams to make sure it laid flat.


Then came time for the final test.

Hanging it up.


DSC_0104I think it passed.  Trust me when I say I am not a seamstress.  In fact, I am pretty sure I’m far from it.  But, I’m pretty happy with how it turned out.

So, what do  you think?  Have you ever had to modify something so you could save money?

Family Room

I need to give a big “Thank you” to the response for the Family post.  I was blown away by the comments and even seeing how many people read the post.  Whoa!  According to my stats there were over 500 people who visited the site.  Wow.  A big time wow.  Thank you so much for your support.  So very much.

So, maybe it’s only natural that I want to focus my attention to another area in our house; our family room.  Or maybe because it’s current state is drivin’ me crazy.  Which one do you think?


Can I get an amen?

A few weekends ago, I actually had some time to go through some of the piles and put a few things away.  But I was still left with a pile.  Smaller.  But a pile none the less.  Ugh.

But tonight I wanted to take some time to dream.  To dream what this room will look like six months from now.  Why six months?  I don’t know for sure.  Probably because I feel like that’s enough time to really get things accomplished in this room so we can finally use it as a family room.  Finally.

My first dream is our entertainment area.  The last time I showed you a picture I showed you I pushed the two bookcases (that Mr. Handsome made, I might add…) around the buffet.  That left a good spot for our tv to be hung on the wall.  Or set on the top of the buffet.

Entertainment Picture

Regardless, it will be set between two decluttered bookshelves.  At this point I plan on restaining the top and trying my hand at milk painting.  Oh, and the trim?  Yep.  That’s going up.  More on that in a bit.

Swinging to the left of the entertainment center is our fire place.


We would love to install a new wood insert so the fire place will actually be functional.  On nights like tonight, I can’t wait to have a roaring fire going.  Baby, it’s cold outside!

Swinging again to your left, you’ll see our desk.

Desk Storage

Don’t mind the clutter.  The bookshelf behind the desk holds all of our notebooks for committees and boards as well as other “officey” stuff.  My goal with this corner of the room is to add a sturdier shelf (this one is made out of barn wood and isn’t the best for holding heavy items.  So, I can’t sit on it…) and a larger shelf.  Plus, I would also like to get a chair for the desk that’s stylish and cheap.  Probably more on the cheap side.

Going back to trim.  Oh, the trim.

Our goal is to install trim in the room, but I found out today this is going to be more of a challenge.  Why?  Because not only will we have to glue to trim to the poured concrete wall, but also because we’ll have to pre-drill holes into the wall before screwing the trim in every few feet.  If Adam hasn’t appreciated me before, then I don’t know when he will.  What’s more fun than predrilling holes into a concrete wall?  That’s right, getting shots in your eye nothing.

Anything else I need to include in our family room?  You know, like a sports bar?  Something else I should consider?