The story of the drawer shelves

I can't even remember how it started--but a while back I became infatuated with all the many uses and reuses there are for old drawers.

Kitchen remodels yield no-longer-needed drawers that most people just discard...but why throw them out when a new life is just around the corner?

Broken down dressers and chests of drawers my have seen better days but what of the actual drawers? 

I enjoy giving new life to discarded things...a little paint and hardware...maybe some wheels.

This drawer shelf hangs in my craft space and holds a few of my favorite stamps. It was a drawer I picked up $4 at the Habitat re:Store. 

My ever-handy brother cut the wood for the shelves and belied it into place. 

I added the rope trim and painted it all. I added a patterned paper to the back.

I have written many times that I love wood-mounted stamps and while the rest of the crafty world goes gaga over photopolymer stamps, I remain steadfast in my love for rubber on wood. Little blocks of art they are...all lined up on my shelf.

I digress...

More on the drawer shelves...

I like nice hardware on the drawer shelves...glass knobs are just the right amount of sparkle.

This was a huge drawer. In one of those happy accident sort of things...my ever-handy brother placed the shelves in this one perfectly, spacing them like it was planned to be a rolling shelf for **stamps** in DVDS cases!  

There was some kind of dancing going on in the garage that day!

Drawer shelves. Who knew they could be so fun!?

Thanks for stopping by.

A little look around

So it was a festive Valentine's Day here...I did a little decorating around my paper room...

With the new house in Texas came a small bedroom for me to call my own--and store the crafty goodness and mess. A neat and tidy crafts woman I am certainly not. 

It's taken some time to get it arranged but I think I'm finally getting there...

The ladder shelf is overdone. I know. I have to let it breathe more. Not use every inch.

The ledge is a work in progress. Always.

This is the card made at stamp club last Saturday...well, I added the ribbon. No surprise there. :)

Trees are just so universally useful, don't you think? I do. I can't wait to use this tree set more.

I'm not sure how to decorate for March...spring? Cruise? Trees? 


Thanks for reading.


Ten Things I Love about Texas

In no particular order...

This boy is a much happier person.

I have a laundry room.

I get to attend my brother's auctions.

The food...particularly the Curbside Taco truck!!

This dude and his mom are just up the stairs. I see them every day. And it's not enough. 

From Dallas, you can fly to anywhere. Last weekend, Joal spent time in Belize making music. 

This. A big tree in front of the big window. With a happy boy underneath it, enjoying the glow.

Painting with my sisters...one by blood, two by marriage.

This lady right here...who had the courage to say "if you lived here this would be easier"...that set us on a path. 

Cute confections show up on the bar all the time thanks to the midnight operations of the sister/baker. She flings fondant and does the frosting shwoop like nobody's business! Watch out...if you stop moving she will frost you and add some sprinkles too.

So now you know...

Turns out there's an app for that

Blogging...it's one of those tasks I have tried to do for the past 2 years but haven't managed to do because I couldn't sit in front of a laptop for an extended period of time. My laptop travels and when it's home, so is Joal, so I would rather not be staring at a screen when I can be here with him. 

Consequently, basically no blogging has been done in forever. I have missed it.

This morning it occurred to me that perhaps Blogger has an app.

Oh look. Blogger for iPhone!! Oh my. 

Happy days!


There is always more to the story

One month ago, Joal and I closed on the purchase of our home in Texas. Five months ago, if you had dared to tell me I would be living in a new home in Texas, I would have asked you what you were smoking?

How we came to reside in Texas is a rather long and convoluted story, but one worthy of writing down, so if I'm gonna write it, I might as well share it for those who are interested, right?

In November 1991, just one month before I married Joal Devendorf in Jackson, Mississippi, my parents packed up their belongings and my siblings and headed west, to pastor a church in small town Texas. Joal and I got married and continued our schooling in Mississippi, where I had lived since I was 7.

My three siblings were still very young (my sister was only 3) when the big move happened, so for all intents and purposes, they have, since that time, considered Texas their home. When they became adults, my brothers both established themselves in Tyler, Texas. Andy went off to the Army, but Texas was his home. My sister made attempts at living elsewhere, but Texas is her home and staying away just wasn't to be.

It's vital to the story that you know--I have never lived in Texas. I have visited quite often. I have many people in Texas whom I love and adore. However, it has never been my home.

Joal's family spent some time in Rockwall when he was a teenager, so he has called Texas home for a portion of his teenage years.

For us, Mississippi was where we met, went to college and got married. It was not where we wanted to build our life together, so we moved to Nashville, Tennessee in July 1998.

We were both pastor's children...and those two particular pastors were prone to frequent relocations. As adults, we knew that we wanted to pick a place and stay there...and that exactly what we did with Nashville. We adopted it, embraced it and called it home. We both loved Nashville deeply. We have been attending Christ Community Church since our very first Sunday living in Nashville, in July 1998. Greyson Reed was born in Nashville in 2003. We bought our first home there, in Bellevue in 2004. For both of us, living in the same house for more than ten years was a true achievement--one we were both very happy about.

Over the years, we have made many trips to Texas to visit with our families. Invariably, on those trips, someone would always ask "when are you two gonna just move here?"

I would roll my eyes and say "Tennessee is my home."

Never once did we even consider moving to Texas. It just wasn't a dot on the radar of our lives.

And then came the week of Thanksgiving 2013. Julian, our oldest who was seventeen at the time, has had severe developmental delays since age three. He was diagnosed with Pervasive Development Disorder (a brand of Autism) at age 12. He has a seizure disorder that is mostly controlled by medication. Julian is a 7 year old boy in a 17 year old body.

Part of living with a child who has Julian's limits and challenges is living with someone who has a couple of driving obsessions. Julian's lifelong obsessions are Shania Twain's music, firefighting and plumbing.

Very early in his childhood he began configuring lengths of PVC pipes into contraptions, digging and burying pipes all across our yard, shopping Home Depot with every cent that has ever come his way for PVC fixtures and gadgets and the glue that keeps it all together. Julian has checked out every plumbing manual from the library at least a dozen times. He shops the home improvement section of books at McKays Used Books every single time we go there. He watches Richard Trethuey on This Old House as if Richard was a rock star. He stalks our local plumber on the grand and glorious days that he comes to our house to repair something.

Plumbing is not a hobby for Julian--it's a way of life.

He has learned to do many plumbing tasks from reading books and watching videos. He has command of an expansive vocabulary of appropriate terms related to all things plumbing as well.

He has been bribed to do many things he did not really want to do (like take a shower) by the dangling carrot of a trip to Lowes or Home Depot to visit the plumbing aisle.

Neither Joal nor I have any interest in plumbing (at all) but we are both quite skilled at discussions of plumbing, such as the merits of PVC versus copper, how to solder copper piping, weatherizing your PVC and a hundred other topics we've been subjected to over the years. Some mothers are "soccer moms". I am a plumbing mom. Some mom spend time sitting in bleachers. I sit on the pipe deck at Home Depot. Some moms buy Gameboys and Xbox games for Christmas. I buy faucets and imps and pipe dope for Christmas.

In November 2013, we started a deep renovation of our kitchen and family area. The kitchen went all the way to the studs. Appliances were relocated. Floor joists reinforced in the crawl space. Lighting was reconfigured. Windows replaced. Total gut job. It was life-altering for all of us.

It was cold and dusty and involved having many many unknown people tromping through our house. If I were doing it over again--oh wait. I would never do it over again. Yeah, scratch that. I would sooner buy a new house and move than go through that again.

Moving on.

As we began the planning and sorting of the renovation, Julian became increasingly more deeply agitated and hyper-emotional. He was wound up so tight that there was no stopping his need to be involved in the renovation work. He escalated every day, for a few weeks in early November. Keeping him from over-demolishing was a huge task and a full-time every-moment job. From the moment he awoke, he was fixated on the tools and the tasks of the renovation. He resented and resisted going to school. He was putting up fights that we were not prepared for. He was unable to take breaks from his tasks...skipping meals and sleep to keep going. It was incredibly exhausting for his parents.

We were not prepared for the hugely negative way the process of the renovation would impact all of us, but especially Julian.

On the Sunday before Thanksgiving, we got up in the morning to do what we always do on Sunday--go to church. Unfortunately, Julian had other plans. He had gotten an early start on his plumbing and demolition plans and by the time we were needing to get ready for church, he was having none of it. Attempts are redirecting and changes in course were futile and no amount of motivation or bribery was going to change his plans. At one point in the morning he screamed at me "I don't want to go to church. I'm busy."

Before the afternoon arrived, he was so deep into this need to demolish parts of our house that weren't on the demolition plan, that Joal and I knew we were headed in a bad direction. 


a study in Calypso Coral and Gray

After so much Christmas work, I needed a color break! Enter a combination I have never used before--Calypso Coral and Gray.



christmas cards

For the past three weeks, I have been happily creating Christmas cards for an arts and crafts faire I attended as a vendor last Saturday. I made about 170 cards to sell...something I have never done before.
That, my friends, is a load of cards.
I have a difficult time with repetitious activities (read: I get bored easily), so I limited each design to no more than 12.

This was one of the Christmas designs, created for the sale, but also shared at TwoPeas for a challenge. I've often been asked if I always embellish the insides of my cards--and I don't have a solid answer. Sometimes I do, sometimes not.
I do think it's important to have a space inside that's appropriate for writing a personal message, so I do always enclose a white layer on the inside to make that easy to do, especially when the base card is a color that would make it difficult to write on and read.
Occasionally, I will carry a design element from the front to the inside, like you can see in the second photo. Nothing too fussy, just a basic image. In this case, a little repitition is a good thing and easy to accomplish. I prefer to keep all the dimensional embellishments on the front of the card for the most impact.
I deeply enjoy card-making, even after such an intense few weeks of productivity. One of my favorite ways to add a touch of dimension without adding much difficulty to the mailing process is the use of self-adhesived, foam "pop" dots under certain elements.  Two of the ornaments on the front of this card are attached with foam tape to give them just a little lift off the surface. I also used a thick embroidery thread to "hang them". I'm not so fond of levitating ornaments. An ornament should be hanging from something, don't ya think? :)
If you don't want the bulk of adding thread, like on the red card, you could easily use a white ink pen to draw the hangers.

Here's one more for the road...Christmas will be here before ya know it. For the blue card, I just used a pen and ruler to draw in the hangers.
All the supplies on these two cards are from Stampin' Up! The ornament shown on the red card is from the newest holiday catalog and it has a coordinating punch to make cutting out those ornaments a breeze. The stamp set is called Christmas Collectables.

Couting the days,


summer cards

I joined a Summer card swap over at Stamp Nation not too long ago and I was completely inspired by the color yellow!
Which doesn't happen often, because yellow and I don't often get along very well...but for now, we are seeing eye-to-eye.
I love yellow when it's paired with gray or black, or navy so that's what I did.
Stampin' Up! has a yummy little stamp set called Mixed Bunch that has this awesome flower in it and of course, a coordinating punch. Love that.

The little banner that says "friends forever" came in a set of several banners--Banner Greetings. I'm going to get many uses out of this one, for sure. It's a hostess set but I found it on eBay, because sometimes a stamping girl can't wait around.

Happy stamping!


lazy cardmaking

So, I have happened upon the most delicious way to make cards without really having to think too much. It's the peak of summer and my brain might be a little fried...I need a way to make a few cards that don't require much creative energy.

The answer?

Simple Stories 6x6 paper pads--specifically the Summer Fresh one. See what the Simple Stories designers did with Summer Fresh on their blog. Awesome stuff and totally inspiring! I have noticed lately that many card-makers have embraced this fast-n-fabulous way to make cards and I wanted to try my hand at it too. The magic of the Simple Stories paper pad is two-fold. First of course, the patterns are coordinated, so I don't have to spend time hunting through the paper stash to find papers that go together. Second, there are are coordinating sheets of items intended to be cut apart and used as embellishments included in the pad.

Here are two:

Clearly, these could be used in a variety of ways, for both cards and scrapbook pages.

I started with four cards...I'm betting it would not be difficult at all to get 25 cards out of one pad of paper.
I think this one (above) may be my favorite. (I used a kraft base and added a little bit of ruffled ribbon.)

I have never done a card with a vertical sentiment before, but I enjoyed the twist of this, and it goes well with just a narrow micro-check ribbon.


No stamping today...just some layering and a few minor embellishment choices. How's that for easy?

Happy lazy cardmaking.


colorful inspiration

So not too long ago, I joined www.thestampnation.com -- the *only* website I have ever paid for content on (and probably the only one I ever will). Catherine Pooler is a super-fine Stampin' Up! demonstrator who produces a magnificent amount of crafty content every month and shares it on her website, The Stamp Nation. Her style is bold and I find her videos on par with Kristina Werner and Jennifer McGuire in terms of quality of instruction and professionalism. Speaking as one who *hates* the concept of paying for content, I do love that site. :)

Not too long ago Catherine offered up a fast and furious birthday card video that totally inspired me to go old school and stamp out a little ROYGBIV. (I can't link it up but I can tell you it was a clean and simple card with lots of wow!)

Nothing says happy like the colors of the rainbow, right. Red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet. In Stampin' Up! inks, that translates to Real Red, Pumpkin Pie, Daffodil Delight, Lucky Limeaide, Pacific Point (sometimes second generation stamping), and Rich Razzleberry. (I also found that Summer Fun makes an awesome hit of yellow and is ever-so-slightly more appropriate for ROYGBIV.)

Second generation images used for the scoops on the ice cream cone...second gen is the second image that comes out lighter than the first.
The ice cream cone and scoops are from Sweet Scoops. I'm on a quest to see what else I can use that ice cream cone for...like perhaps a vase or bowl, a light or something else entirely...stay tuned.

So, it turns out that there wasn't room for the Rich Razzleberry image on this card base...on second thought, I will use this trick for a larger card next time. I do enjoy this style of stamps that is now retired from Stampin' Up! -- putting several images in a line and sizing them perfectly for use on a card front. The line of party hats came straight out of a now retired set called *Party Hearty*. (The small "Happy Birthday" brackets are part of Pretty Petites, which coordinate with the mini-curly lable punch.)
ROYGBIV...lovin' it. Stampin' it.


big red flowers

I'm quite enamored with the big flower from Impress right now...I quite often find it relaxing to cut out flowers while watching television in the late evenings. I stamp out 20 or so flowers in all different colors and then go to town witht the super-fine tip scissors...it makes a huge mess but it's very productive.
Happy Stamping!


Impressed by Impress...every time.

This is not a commercial. I am in no way being compensated to tell you (all three of you) that I think Impress Rubber Stamps are the best stamps on the market today. You've been warned.

Truly. They are.

This post is going to be all about Impress. For just one reason.

I. Love. Impress. Stamps.

If you've been stamping for a million years like me, then you remember the days when rubber stamps were *all* mounted on wood blocks. They were all special little works of art, mounted on a block of wood. You had to be wary of shallow-etched rubber stamps or stamps without proper padding as they were cheap and difficult to stamp with. No worries with Impress stamps--the etching is a mile deep and the padding rivals any bed I've ever slept on.

Impress Rubber Stamps are wood mounted. Gasp. (I know.) In the day when so many of the best companies are giving in to the allure of clear (photopolymer) stamps because they are less time consuming and less costly to manufacture and consumers love the ease-of-storage, Impress has continued on with *actual* red rubber images mounted on wood blocks with a luxurious layer padding. This customer is *so* insanely happy that they have.

Yes. You will pay a little more for these little creative goodies but oh, they are so worth it. I've been stamping for about a month with the popsicle and the flag thank you and the chevron egg and the piece of polka dot washi tape and this beautiful oversized flower and I haven't gotten an unusable impression yet.

On my crafty bucket list, is to take a flight out to Washington State and visit the brick and mortar stores--both of them--called Impress Rubber Stamps. I stalk follow them on Facebook for their beuatiful ideas and glimpses into the most beautiful stores in the world. Oh and you can be sure that when I go to Washington, I will do so on a weekend that includes classes by the oh-so-lovely Julie Ebersole.

Sharing the love...

Happy Summer friends...