Industrial Pipe Tealight Holder + Link Party

Well, it’s that time again: time to see what you came up with for the October Random Acts of Craftiness Challenge, Hardware Store Edition! Did you forge ahead this month?

My project this month required intense focus, diligent planning, and every ounce of girl muscle that I could find.

Actually, that’s a lie. Actually, my project only took about 3 seconds to “make,” with that being a quite generous use of the term “make.”

DIY tealight holder

Yes, that is a piece of pipe, straight from the plumbing aisle…with a tealight shoved in it. If you want to get fancy, you can call it galvanized coupling with a tealight in it. But since I have no earthly idea as to what coupling is other than what the 7th graders haphazardly do in the hallway between classes, I will just call it pipe with a tealight in it.

industrial tealight holder

Like I’ve always said: great things can be accomplished in 3 seconds.*

*I’ve never said that.

Moving on to REAL projects…it’s your turn! Were you brave this month? Did you persevere? Did you make the hardware store weep, or did it make you weep? Let’s see what you’ve got. :)

To join in the fun, enter your project link below. If you’re just hearing about this challenge (or didn’t have time to make a project and didn’t want to join the Ranks of Lameness as established by my project above) but have a past project you’ve completed using hardware store odds and ends, then link up! The party closes at midnight on Friday, 11/2. Kim of Newly Woodwards, our cheerleader-of-the-month, will be choosing her favorites and featuring them on her blog on Wednesday, 11/7. View Along the Way’s Kelly has coerced her husband Andy into selecting a few projects to be given the Husband’s Choice Award, which will also be featured on Wednesday, 11/7 on Kelly’s blog.

The rules. I just ask that you share some comment love with the other participants (this was NOT an easy challenge!) AND include a text-link or button-link back to the party in your post so others can find the fun, too. Please also note that this is a link party for challenge projects only. I reserve the right to delete unrelated links. Thank you! :)


Not liking your project? That’s okay. Poke fun at it with the button found here (and check out last month’s projects!) and link up anyway. I know I appreciate you trying, no matter how it turned out!

Giveaway: By entering this link party, you are automatically entered into our monthly giveaway: one of these fun infinity scarves from the Etsy shop Thirty Something! The winner will be contacted in advance and announced on Wednesday, 11/7.

And that’s it! I can’t wait to check out all of your projects!

*Linking my project up to Serenity Now!*


Hutch, there it is.

Am I the only one who only knows the part of the song that goes “Whoomp, there it is…whoomp, there it is”? Is there more of a song? Is there an actual melody? A purpose? A message? Will scholars 100 years from now find pearls of meaning in its words and have their lives forever and irrevocably altered?

Speaking of forever altered. And things that actually matter. But not really.


In the continuing saga of projects that take nine million years to finish: meet our “new” hutch.


The paint is Benjamin Moore’s Fairview Taupe. You can tell from each of these pictures that it morphs greenish in certain light and is a muddy greige in other. It works.


On Friday, I’ll share details about cost, making the doors and drawers and trim, and our decision to “door” the whole thing rather than leave some open storage.


By the way, I am calling it a “new” hutch because it has been here all along. At least, most of it has.  Non-essential things like doors have been MIA for a while. In lieu of those features, it had star spangled drawer covers. This was to magically distract your eye from noticing that drawers were crooked and missing. See? Does your eye notice the giant gaping holes where drawers are supposed to be?

hutch makeover

I told you it was magical. 

What did you get finished this weekend? Do you have “Whoomp, There It Is”—or at least the part that you know—stuck in your head now? Any guesses about what we store behind those doors besides the obvious like giant bags of cat food and my extensive recycled bottle collection? (Oh wait.)

Don’t forget—Random Acts of Craftiness: October goes live one week from today!


A Cativersary, a Reminder, and Features (aka Three Completely Unrelated Things)

In honor of it being Friday, and Seafood Bisque Day, I’ve compiled three completely unrelated pieces of information that are also, incidentally, completely unrelated to Friday and seafood bisque.

I do what I can.

First: We recently celebrated a cativersary. And by cativersary, I mean we have had Zoe for just over a year now. And by celebrated, I mean we discussed how I could never again count on Rick to be the strong, sensible type who could turn a blind eye to homeless furry faces.


Seriously, though, the day we turned from a 2-cat household into a 3-cat household ended up being such a good thing. Zoe and Gingerbread play (and nap) together—and leave our older kitty alone. They’re friends. Well, maybe frenemies. Like some of my 7th grade female students, only more reasonable. And I’ve never seen them travel to the bathroom together.

Second: The next Random Acts of Craftiness party is in just 12 days. Raise your hand if Erin hasn’t done her project yet. (Have you?) I promise I’ll pull something together. Hardware store, here I come. Don’t forget, either, about the final prize package in April’s “My Favorite Project” link party—one lucky participant will win 30 cans of Krylon spray paint and gift certificates to Fabric.com and Cutting Edge Stencils! Go here for more challenge details. :)

blog craft challenge

Third: While I’ve done absolutely nothing, or maybe even less than nothing, in the way of fall décor this year, last year’s granny pumpkin has been featured at both Dollar Tree Crafts and Pillsbury.com. I am happy to report that the embarrassing grannified photo of me that accompanied said pumpkin was not included.


What are you doing in honor of Friday and Seafood Bisque Day?


Ombre “Heart, Soul, Mind” Print

This exact print has been floating around in my head for a reeeeally long time now. (Things That Take Forever is is apparently the theme around these parts lately.) It was high time I got it out of my head and onto paper.

free printable love the lord your god pink

I made one in every color of the rainbow. Why? Because I didn’t want to do the dishes or fold the laundry. So I can put one in every room of my house. So I can always be reminded of what I am called to do.

free printable love the lord your god orange

Heart, soul, mind: this means saying “see ya later” to my own desires and goals and plans and, instead, fully embracing the Lord’s will for my life and loving him through the good and the bad—no matter what. It’s unnatural. It’s uncomfortable. It’s exactly what he longs for and what he created me to do.

free printable love the lord your god aqua

This, of course, requires a constant reminder to daily surrender my own ambitions and give all of the glory at home and at work to God, for without His gracious and loving gifts, I’d not be able to do any of it.

free printable love the lord your god purple

I would love to share this print! Just go here and send me a message with the color(s) you want, or mention it in a comment. I’ll gladly send the PDF of the file to you via email. Please don’t be shy!

free printable love the lord your god

What did you do this weekend instead of the dishes and laundry? Who has seen the Lord working in their life lately? I’d love to hear about it. :)


Updates in the Living Room: Take 8,429 (and a Hint of Columbus)

There is a distinct possibility that our living room’s last appearance on my blog coincided with Columbus sailing to America. Give or take a few years. This lengthy absence is for many good reasons, though, among which is the excuse that for the past eon, multiple living room projects have sat at a state of approximately 62% completion.*

*I realize this is not a good excuse. 

But no more! In the words of Columbus: “Let’s do this thang.”*

*Okay, he never said that. At least, not to my knowledge.

Step one in our “Stop Watching Parks & Recreation and Finish the Remaining 48% of Your Projects Already” mission: complete the new dresser-turned-television stand. So we did.


You can see in this next picture that the bottom right drawer is a little crooked. This is because a certain cat whose name rhymes with Flingerhead decided to jump in the drawer when it was open, successfully bending the drawer glide.


As with many other furniture makeovers around this place, this one started out on someone’s curb before I rescued it and then spent many months spray painting it Rustoleum 2X Heirloom White. The handles got a coat of oil-rubbed bronze spray paint.


But if you’ve been around these parts since Columbus fought off scurvy aboard the Pinta for a while, you might remember the first dresser-turned-media stand that we remade. We decided to nix that one for two reasons:

  1. The drawers were a pain to open. I may or may not have needed to yoke a small herd of oxen to the drawers in order to yank them open and retrieve Enchanted. This is obviously unacceptable.
  2. That half of the room was not grounded. The old stand plus our two IKEA chairs, all of which were on legs, floated that entire half of the room. My untrained eye said no. I think some pieces should be off the ground and others should not be. The new dresser-turned-television stand helps with that.


That wider shot of our “new” television stand also proves that since you last saw this room, other changes have taken place, as in, nothing looks remotely similar. Here’s what that same half of the room looked like when Columbus was swabbing the deck of the Santa Maria the last time you saw it:


Since then, we have painted (for the third time). We have moved all of the furniture around because the couch in front of the window seat wasn’t working for us. Different curtains (moved from another room) blend just right with the new wall color, and honeycomb blinds replaced the sheers that afforded little privacy.

living room then and now

Slowly but surely, our living room is growing up. The end is in sight. I imagine this is just how Columbus felt as he viewed the shores of the New World.



What have you been procrastinating on lately? Thoughts on grounding a room? Who wants to be Columbus’ BFF?


The Changing Creative Outlet, and a Corny Video

I’ve always needed a creative outlet. It’s been my hobby, my relaxation.

As a smallish child, I drew pictures.


As a slightly larger child, I wrote stories. I drew better pictures. I wrote plays. I forced my friends to act out Nunsense in the backyard.




As a teenager, I made cards. I made scrapbooks. I doodled my way through classes.



All of this shifted again when we bought a house. My creative outlet turned to decorating and blogging. But I still make cards. I still doodle. I still force people to act out things in my backyard.

Say what?

Here’s the thing. I have a teacher’s heart. The Lord has given me that burden and that gift. And over the last few weeks, my creative outlet has, once again, shifted—and this time, it’s my classroom. My 7th grade students have been the force behind that. Blogging, decorating, working around the house…it’s all taken a backseat to how I can use my creativity to make English and learning more memorable for my students.

So if you want to know where my creative juices have been flowing over the past several weeks, and for all of the people who have ever commented saying they want to be my student, I’ve included a video here for you. You can be an honorary student for the day. The video doesn’t have anything to do with painting, fabric, or color schemes. Instead, think Erin singing, wearing stupid costumes, being a complete corndog in front of the video camera in her backyard…and think students asking every.single.day when they get to see the next one, and if they can be in it, and telling their parents at open house that “She’s the one who makes the ELA Files.”

Go ahead, laugh at me. You know you want to.

All this is NOT to say that I am done blogging. I know I will still need this as one of my creative outlets, and besides, I would miss all of you! I’m just going to commit myself to posting twice a week, who knows which days, and no more.

Because at the end of the day, there’s a person here with a life bigger than a house and a blog.

And that life comes first.

The end.

Come back later this week for a furniture makeover, and don’t forget about October’s Random Acts of Craftiness challenge!


Link Party Features, Winners, Cheerleaders, and Giveaways

Today, I’m wrapping up some loose ends with September’s Random Acts of Craftiness Challenge, and announcing more details about October’s!

First, September…

1. Features: September’s cheerleader, Karah of The Space Between, is sharing her favorite game-inspired projects on her blog today, and over at Décor and the Dog, Michelle’s husband Nate is sharing his “Husband’s Choice Awards.” Go check them out!

2. Winners: Well, technically that should be singular. There’s only one winner. Regardless, the winner of the Crazy Fox Studio giveaway is entry #20, Heather at New House, New Home, New Life! Congrats, Heather! I’ve emailed you with the details.

And now, October…

3. Cheerleaders: Again, only one. Darn the need for plural repetition to make my headings consistent. October’s cheerleader in the singular is none other than Kim over at Newly Woodwards. Go visit her blog and begin bribing her to feature your project. ;) (Kidding. I, of course, do not condone bribery. Only Rick does…if it involves candy.)

4. Giveaways: Giveaway. One. Sigh. Anyway, this month, everyone who enters their project in the link party (open from 10/31-11/2) will be entered in a giveaway for one of these outfit-making upcycled infinity scarves, created by Lindsey at Thirty Something.

infinity scarf 

On an unrelated note, Gingerbread escaped from the house and was missing for a good 3 hours the other night. She only came back when we shook a cup of food. No amount of me tearfully calling to her in the pitch dark while wearing my bathrobe and wandering through my neighbor’s backyard was enough to wrest her from her rat-eating.

But happy Wednesday! Let me know if you have any questions…about Random Acts. I’ve got no answers about cats who care not for their mom’s feelings or dignity. A bathrobe, I tell you. Seriously.


Unplanned Green and White Dining Room Chairs

I’m beginning to think that planning is overrated.

At least, it’s overrated when you are a novice planner who is largely accustomed to winging it. My original plan for our dining room chairs, after all, did not involve pure white with green and white seats.


To be fair, my deviance with the chairs occurred not because I am capricious and picky but, rather, because the fabric I had initially selected just didn’t work. The scale on the one was too large for the chairs and the fabric intended for the curtains was practically neon. Both options looked way more promising on the computer screen than in real life.

fabric fail

It was sort of like those pants that are lovely on a hanger, and then you put them on, and all you can think is that you’re wearing your great-aunt’s bed sheet that some well-intentioned but visually-impaired Girl Scout turned into trousers, using a penguin as their model.

But I digress.

After shipping the rejects back to Fabric.com (for free—seriously, it’s the best feature ever of online shopping) I settled on Dwell Studio Bella Porte in Watercress. Reupholstering the seats meant first wading through layers upon layers of previous fabric, each one grimier than the last. Note to self: Scotchguard seats ASAP.


The new non-grimy fabric scored major points in the kitty department. It was so nice of us to provide them with their own personal pillows.



As for the chairs themselves, I used white Rustoleum 2X spray paint after spray priming them. It cost more than hand-painting, but the finish is so much smoother and it didn’t take as long. At least, it wouldn’t have taken as long if I had finished the chairs at an approximate speed greater than 0.75/week.

shield back chair makeover

And confession time: only 6 of the 8 are actually done. We are limiting our dinner guests until I pluck up the motivation to finish off the last two. And confession time again: The word ‘pluck’ grosses me out. Why did I just use it?

white dining room chairs

Our dining room is finally growing up. Sniffle.

Whaddya think? Any other sites you know of that offer free return shipping? Who wants to come over for dinner? Space is limited, so book soon.

***Linking this up to Primitive & Proper!***

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