Why I’m MIA

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It has been really hard to stay active for the last few months because of my obligations to both the college I attend and the college where I work. I have finished all three of my chapters for my dissertation, proposed, and sent off my application to the IRB. Once I get permission to proceed, I’ll do my research then write up the rules and submit. I should be able to defend my dissertation in the fall and graduate either fall or spring.

What a relief!

Just as a little treat, I have a tutorial of a lamp I made. The lamp is cute – the tutorial is not. But . . . I always have questions about things that I see online, so having even a couple of pictures to show how things are made is helpful.

100_1563First, you will need lots of coffee filters. I bought the cheapest ones I could find at the dollar store, and I bought white. For a little more, you can buy the natural colored filters, and they would be pretty. You can also dye them, but I didn’t want to spend that much time until I knew if I could actually make a whole lamp shade.

 

Each coffee filter should be folded in half (a half circle) and then100_1553 folded again (a quarter circle). When you have folded about ten of them, fluff them a little, but make sure you keep the bottom of the triangle flat to use as a sort of handle. This is what you will glue to your lampshade.

I did about ten at a time so that I could keep the hot glue gun rolling along.

 

100_1561Start with the top of the shade and glue the first row. When you glue, make sure that the first row is glued to the inside of the lamp shade.

This picture shows the top of the lamp. The reason you want to start at the top is that you will have the least weight on your paper as you work your way down.

The next row will glow slightly underneath the first row.100_1554 It doesn’t matter how much you space, but the closer together, the tighter your ruffles will be. The other thing to watch is to try to get the ruffles as straight as possible. If I did this again, I would make lines on the lampshade as a guide, but I intended this to be a practice run where I would learn all the tricks for the next one.

You continue to glue filters down your lampshade and fluff as you go. I did a row and the fluffed.

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100_1564The lampshade has held up remarkably well for several years now. It doesn’t catch nearly as much dust as I thought it would, and I’ve been able to turn it upside down and shake it to keep it clean.

It’s not my best project by any means, but I felt bad for not keeping up better with my blog, and it’s one I had handy to share.

Soon, I will be done with my doctorate and have more time to get back to working on the things I love. Until then . . .

Have a great day!

Shannon

 

I just had the best blogday ever!

I got an email a little bit ago. It was from Joanne of Joanne Inspired (isn’t that an  adorable name?), and she just told me that she had given me the Liebster Award! It is an award given to blogs with fewer than 500 followers and is designed to help recognize and promote lesser-known blogs.

What the wha!

She chose me?!

I’m not sure I didn’t faint for a couple of seconds when I read that. I mean, I have been so busy and neglected my blog for almost three months while work and family obligations, not to mention that pesky dissertation I have to write, have consumed me. This is a shot in the blog arm if there ever was one! Thank you, thank you, Joanne!

b4765-liebsterawardThe rules for accepting the award say that I should post five random facts about myself and answer the questions Joanne proposed and then share the award with other bloggers.

Here are random facts about myself:

1. My first professional job was coordinating developmental education. I took it because it seemed like a good “foot in the door” to securing a job teaching English at a community college. Seventeen years later, I am the vice president of the college and have never had a full-time job teaching English. I do, however, get to teach part-time.

2. I love french fries. I should marry them. If there was only one food on the planet and it was french fries, I would be perfectly fine with that.

3. I have been in school for all but seven years of my life. I don’t know how not to be a student.

4. I have never cooked a whole meal in my life. I once fried an egg, put it on a styrofoam plate, and watched it melt the plate and fall to the floor. And that was probably my best cooking day ever.

5. I wrote my master’s thesis on Anne Tyler’s body of work and never, ever tire of re-reading her books.

So here are Joanne’s questions . . .

1. Why did you start your blog?

My husband is incredibly generous and has done an amazing job of renovating our home. I wanted a way to share his work and have a chance to talk about the spaces he has created for me. I found that blogging about our home also allows me a chance to talk about life in general.

2. Who has been the biggest influence in your life in terms of creativity?

My whole family. My husband is an incredible woodworker, and he taught me the value of taking my time and doing things right. He never takes short cuts or does anything half way, and as a result, his work is solid and lovely.

My mother is the best storyteller I’ve ever known, and she made me love stories, which turned into a passion for reading and writing.

My daughter made me fearless. She just finds something she likes and recreates it with her own s128ignature style. Her ability to love her own creations gave me courage to try and tenacity when I fail. Her passion for creating is incredible. She’s a science teacher, not an artist, by vocation, but you should see her classroom! (She made this adorable pin cushion for me.)

My son is a musician. He taught himself to play the guitar and ukelele, and I’ve never known anyone with as much raw talent for music as he has. He saved money and took a year and a half off from work to work on his craft, and SMEnow he plays in a band in Dallas/Fort Worth. He turned me on to the value of YouTube as a teaching tool.

3. What was your favorite DIY home improvement?

Oooh, this is really tough. I think my closet and my craft room are dead even. I mean, the two things I love, shopping and sewing, are all tied up in those two spaces. Plus, they were created by my husband just for me, so they both have a sentimental value to me.

closet 147new craft room 2 011

4. What is your favorite post you have written?

My favorite post is the one about taking our honors students to see To Kill a Mockingbird. It doesn’t fit in with the home dec theme of my blog, but it is probably the most reflective post of who I really am.

I can’t believe I get paid to go to college and hang out with these kids every day. No matter what else is going on in my life, when I step into the classroom, I get an hour and fifteen minutes off the beaten path where life is always good.

5. What is your favorite color to incorporate in home decor/design and why?

My favorite color has always been pink. But . . . I don’t decorate with pink because it is too feminine and can be too cloying at times. Blue is my favorite color for decorating and is part of my home in almost every room. It can feel rich and leathery or light and airy, but it always makes me feel cozy and calm.

6. What’s the one place in the world you would love to visit or return to?

Florence. I want to see The David. I want to stand at the feet of the statue and feel the vibrations of its power.

7. What is a favorite childhood memory?

I had a wonderful childhood with a great family, so it’s really hard to choose, but I think one of my things was in high school.

I was the feature editor for our high-school paper, and I did a layout on what it mean to be a Rebel (our mascot) that talked about how you could tell the sophomores, who walked in clusters, and the juniors, who walked in pairs, apart from the seniors, who had the confidence to walk the halls alone, but at the end of the day, we were all the same. We were all Rebels.

The principal read that piece to the entire school one day during announcements! It was so thrilling. Except that I was sick that day and had to hear about it second hand. LOL

8. What is one thing you’d put on your bucket list?

I want to publish a novel. I have one in progress that is about people who live on the same street on the weekend that JFK was killed. I have six of the stories finished, but it had to be put on hold when I started my doc program.

9. If money were no object, what renovation/design project would you tackle immediately?

I would love to open up our kitchen. We have a separate dining room, and the wall between the two is load bearing, so it is going to take some planning. However, everyone wants to hang out in the kitchen when they visit, and there isn’t enough room.

I have chosen the following blogs to recognize with the Liebster Award:

Teach Your Ass Off

D.D.’s Cottage and Design

Designing Dee

Start @ Home

A Little Lagniappe

If you’d like to accept the award, here are my questions for you:

1. How would you describe your style as it is reflected in your blog?

2. What is your favorite thing about your blog that you hope others can appreciate?

3. Who would you be most thrilled to have following your blog and why?

4. What is your profession (and I include anyone who works at raising a family!), and how is it related to your blog?

5. If you could take any class you wanted for free, what would you learn how to do or how to do better?

6.  What is your signature piece of clothing? Why is it your signature?

7.  Who (band, artist, lecturer, etc.) would you most like to see on stage?

8. If you had to choose one character from a book that you feel is most like you, who would it be and why?

9. What is the most creative thing you’ve ever done?

10. If you were to start another blog in addition to this blog, what would it be called? What would be the focus?

I’ve copied the rules from Joanne Inspired to make sure I get them just right.

“Official” Liebster Award Rules:  Once a blogger is nominated, and they choose to ACCEPT the award, they should:

1. Thank and link back to the blogger who nominated you

2. Upload the Liebster award badge to your blog

3. Post 5 facts about yourself and answer the 5-10 questions from the person who nominated you

4. Nominate and add a link to 5-10 blogs with fewer than 500 followers

5. Notify the nominees by email or leave a comment on their blog, include 5-10 questions

fabric storage at the corner farmhouse

I thought I would share a little about my fabric storage since one of my favorite things to do is look at how people store their fabric.

004This cabinet holds most of my fabric. I arranged by pattern instead of color because I kept looking for patterns. I can tell at a glance if it is cotton, denim, or upholstery grade since I don’t have too much.

022Here are my polka dots, stripes, paisleys, and toiles.  I used comic backer boards for folding, and you can find all kinds of tutorials on how to fold. If I had fabric that was bigger than what would easily pin, I used some twine/rope to secure it.

031I lined up my chevron, houndstooth, and check patterns. As best I could, I put like colors together.

038Florals, and one thing I like about the comic book boards is that the fabric is relatively the same sizes and stacks nicely. I gave my husband the dimensions based on this type of fold. I think the book lover in me finds this attractive.

046This is the top shelf, and the fabric here is fabric that is either thick or contains more yardage and folds best this way. Some of it will be used for skirts (if I can muster the courage to try that), and some will be used for home dec projects.

083My holiday stash is on the bottom shelf. I have small yardage for pillows, aprons, and other small crafts on my to-do list.

082This basket contains felt for small projects. I have yardage felt stored in a drawer. These small pieces are wonderful for applique and cutting with my cuttlebug.

063The basket next to the felt holds fabric that matches for aprons. I don’t want to use it accidentally on a different project. I don’t have much time to sew while going to school, but the aprons are a top priority when I graduate.

057These last two baskets hold fat quarters and similar pieces and some sample felt pieces for small projects.

073I have two drawers that hold fabric I want to make sure gets protected – satins, minky, etc.

182I sewed the liner for this huge basket, and it holds stuffing and foam. Sorry for the quality of the picture, but you get the idea, I think.

I hope you enjoy looking at my fabric as much as I have enjoyed looking at storage and folding techniques.

Have a happy day!

Shannon

craft and sewing organization

I love looking at people’s organization ideas, don’t you? I have gotten so many great ideas from Pinterest and different blogs, and I can never get enough. When my sewing room is well-organized, I feel inspired to get in there and get something done.

I thought I would share some of my own organization ideas with you. I’m finalizing the cabinets and closet right now, so I’ll have a new post in a few days, but for now, I hope something in my room will inspire you!

097I like to store as much as I can in these mason jars because it is so much easier to find things this way. I have two rows, so I can put like things together, too. Much of my sewing odds and ends are in these jars, and I even have some electrical supplies for a project or two.

new craft room 2 044I keep my thread on a holder so that I can keep it untangled and also know what I have on hand. For current projects, the thread I need is in this little bucket.

new craft room 2 042This tray holds my sewing supplies, and the little dish holds pins. I got this at IKEA in Dallas and put a heavy duty magnet on the bottom. I also use the little rabbit pin cushion. It’s one of my all-time favorite things!

new craft room 2 035I store some small jars and rolls of washi tape in an old Coke box. The little jars are wedding favors from Walmart, and the little cream and sugar silver set is from an antique store on 6th Street in Amarillo, which is on the old Route 66.

new craft room 2 033I love these jam jars. If you ever get a chance to try Bonne Maman jelly, you should jump on it. It is wonderful jelly, and the jars are adorable. I’m not a paid spokesperson, but I should be because we buy tons of their jelly and use it in all kinds of pastries.

new craft room 2 031This is a behind-the-door solution to lots and lots of small bottles of things. I have everything from glitter to Mod Podge to Rit Dye stored here. I stacked the two units together that I got at Michael’s with a 40% coupon. I also have a paper towel holder on the paper cart. I think it’s important to have paper towels handy, especially for painting and working with other liquids.

208I have only a few books and some embroidery software, so I keep them handy. The vintage muffin tin holds sewing ods and ends, and the green and white picnic pail holds scissors and small embroidery hoops. The pink truck is a pin cushion my daughter made for me. I cherish it because she painted it and sewed the cushion just for me.

192163I keep ribbon and flowers that I want to use for specific projects in this jar to make sure I don’t mix them up with other supplies.

162This little bunny holds cotton balls, and the trophy behind him holds ric-rac. I keep my ribbon on large craft sticks so that I can see what I have at a glance.

157I got this twine-rope holder from Antique Farmhouse, and I can’t tell you how often I used it. I will have to get more of the rope one of these days.  That little camera in the forefront is from Anthropologie, and it holds washi tape.

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to resolve or not to resolve?

I’m not big on New Year’s resolutions because I seem to forget them shortly after the new year. Or I don’t even start because New Year’s day is not conducive to beginning a new habit or tradition, and who cares what happens on January 2nd, anyway?

So here is what I resolve to do:

Be kind

As a person whose most time-consuming aspect of her job, I manage people. I don’t mean manipulate; I mean manage. And part of managing people means understanding what they need and giving it to them. One of the people I work with just needs me to listen. One always needs a hug and reassurance that we are “okay.” One needs two minutes of my time. And when he says, “two minutes,” he really does mean two minutes. I resolve to be better about giving this to them. I resolve to manage my own frustrations and giving them the time and care they need. In the long run, I expect, I’ll find that this really makes my own life easier.

Extinguish guilt

I resolve to stop agreeing to do things that I do with resentment and ill will. I will manage myself better so that I am not cultivating negativity because I failed to acknowledge that I don’t have time or simply don’t want to do something.

Delegate

I resolve to stop believing that I am the only person who can do something, nay everything. I will trust others, and I will accept their efforts, whether they meet my own standards or not, with gratitude and love.

Manage

I resolve to manage my own self as carefully as I manage others. I will do one little thing to help myself: I will spend the first five minutes of each work day with my calendar, getting a feel for what I need to accomplish at work.

happy new year 2014I hope your new year is filled with good health, happiness, and awe.

Have a happy day!

Shannon

the 13 best things about 2013

2013 brought some real challenges, especially the deaths of two of my coworkers less than a month apart. It also brought a massive blizzard that I missed, the death of one of my cats, and the retirement of several long-term, fantastic board members at my college.

But this year also brought some really great things, things I want to make sure I acknowledge and express gratitude for.

In no particular order, these are the 13 best things about 2013:

1. My daughter earned her second master’s degree and is now the most educated woman on both sides of our family for as long as we’ve tracked our families.

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2. My son got married to a wonderful, beautiful young woman who loves him like crazy.

3. My daughter-in-law (aforementioned) got her first professional job teaching high school, and my son-in-law started his master’s degree in business.

4. Breaking Bad.

Breaking Bad for blog post

5. My mother and father are still with us. As are all of my siblings and their families. I am especially grateful for our good health.

6. I celebrated my 29th anniversary with the love of my life.

7. I finished my coursework for my doctorate and will be, officially, ABD in February if I pass my comps.

8.  I saw Pearl Jam! Yep, that’s right, Pearl Jam. In Oklahoma City. And it was magical.

9. I started the corner farmhouse blog and actually made over 20 posts. That’s big, people! Big!

share with your friends

10. I reconnected with childhood friends on facebook. Kids I grew up with and went to school with all 12 years (or mostly). Still the best friends I have ever had.

11. I read To Kill a Mockingbird for the 35th time and got to meet Mary Badham, who played Scout in the movie.to kill a mockingbird honors 2013

12. I got to have lunch with Carlotta Walls-Lanier, the youngest of the students who integrated Little Rock High School in the 1950s. She is a fascinating, lovely woman.

13. I turned 50 and swam a mile on my birthday; swimming that mile was the biggest goal I set for myself this year!

The pool where I swimYikes! I'm 50!