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.

100_0428

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!

the most awesome craftroom in the history of ever, and it’s mine!

Last year, I was incredibly blessed to get a new craft room. I had a couple of spaces before, but neither were very conducive to creating. I pinned thousands of spaces, hoping to find one that felt exactly right. I found a couple of inspiration spaces that I’ll share in another post, and I began designing. My husband took my ideas, sketched out some plans and spent his whole summer making my furniture. I had one cabinet that I kept, and he refinished our old kitchen table.

I can never, never express sufficient gratitude for this work of love. It was the summer after our son moved from home for the last time (he’s married, now) and I lost my beloved beagle, Holly. The year had been particularly difficult at work, too. This room is a gift of immeasurable proportions to me.

new craft room 2 006This is the view from the door. My kitties love to craft with me.

004The cabinet is a music cabinet I bought from my college. I use it to store small notions for scrapbooking and other crafting. The cabinet beside it holds my fabric, and the cart on the other side is one I got from antiquefarmhouse.com to hold wrapping paper.

013This cabinet has large bins for fabric, pillow forms, and stuffing. The top bins hold some of my sewing patterns, backing, and other supplies. The basket in front is one I covered that holds batting and foam.

027Here is a closer look at the top shelf of that cabinet.

056This is a view from the other side of the room. I made the curtain for the closet, which has great storage space. The cabinet that holds the mason jars holds them double deep, so there are twice as many as you can see. I also have the turquoise Ikea cart to hold fabric for projects in progress. Right now I am working on a couple of infinity scarves and a new bedskirt.

097

067Here is a view of my sewing cabinet. I have a simple Brother that works great, a small Brother embroidery machine, and a large Singer embroidery machine that I got for my birthday. It has a hoop size that is enormous. I’m fixing to break that baby in with some monogrammed sheets and pillow cases. I feel a little spoiled to have a great tv, but my cute builder insisted on building a shelf to accommodate it, and now I am really glad.129This is the storage in the music cabinet. My husband found one at the high school that was headed for the trash and rescued it. He is going to refinish it since it was painted and the glass was missing, but it is the twin to this cabinet.

new craft room 2 008The cabinet in the corner holds a ton of stuff, and it has three sets of doors in case I change spaces and need it in a different configuration. I can access the entire shelf, but he made sure that it was suitable for any other space if we ever move.

The cabinet next to it is on casters to ensure that we can move it if we need to access the doorway for something big. It is an incredible cabinet that holds my cricut and my silhouette machines. The top shelf holds my ribbons, felting supplies, and smashbooks in various containers.

The table and chairs are our old kitchen table, and he completely refinished them and painted them to match the rest of the furniture.

new craft room 2 001Thanks for stopping by. I’ll be posting some storage pictures later this week to show you how I keep everything organized.

I am proud to link to Miss Mustard Seed!

Have a happy day!

Shannon

my apologies and my bedroom

I’ve been missing for the last month, trying to finish up the semester. It’s like this every semester . . . you marathon grade papers and finals and any extra credit projects, and you forget to breathe the whole time. On top of that, I was finishing my last semester of coursework and attending the winter meeting for our regional accrediting agency, SACS-COC in Atlanta. I’m having a hard time remembering to breathe still, but my little blog, and my little farmhouse are about to get some attention.

A few years ago, we remodeled our bedroom, which was a converted attic. I got a wonderful closet out of the deal, but I thought I would share some pictures of the bedroom. I’ve since changed comforters and rearranged the shelves, but it gives a good sense of the space.

100_0146100_0148The shelf with the baskets now looks like this:

320323337335326339 327341Isn’t that “C” divine?! I think it looks like perfectly aged copper, but it’s a cardboard letter from JoAnn’s wrapped in foil and painted. If anyone is interested, let me know, and I can do a tutorial. I don’t know if people like things like this, but I do. I also made a pail for cat food for our outside cats. It looks wonderfully rusted. Maybe I’ll link a picture of it soon.

I will be doing my craft room reveal around the first of the year, and I’m so excited to share it with you! In the meantime, have a joyful, peaceful holiday.

. . . and have a great day!

Shannon

craft storage ideas

I’ve been lucky enough to have three different craft spaces, the last of which is a custom built space by my awesome, awesome husband. My first craft room taught me a whole lot about storage, and I thought I would share some of my storage ideas with you. I am working on getting my new craft room cleaned and reorganized to get some pictures together for a post, but in the meantime, maybe something I’ve done can help you organize your space. I love looking at pictures of people’s storage, so I hope you enjoy these.

This is a cabinet that my husband built me for sweaters. He built it around these baskets, but then we remodeled our master suite, and I had a great space for sweaters, so I used this for crafts. The first picture is the inside, and the second is the cabinet closed.

100_1451100_1377This is an old television cabinet that I used. It was great for paper storage, and I used to do mostly paper crafts, so I had lots to store! Now it is a cabinet for linens, and I’ve painted over the green.

100_1413Here is a closer view. This cabinet held so much, and it makes me realize I probably deserved a guest spot on Hoarders.

100_1409Since my craft room was in my daughter’s former bedroom, I was able to use the closet, so I filled it with more stuff.

100_1387I took my old containers for shoes after we built the new closet and made these little boxes out of cardboard. I was so proud and thought no one had ever done this, and then I saw that someone had actually made boxes of wood. Wooah! She is way better at this than I am.

100_1389I made a place for all of my letters. I first kept them by sets, but I was always running back looking for a missing letter. This worked out much better for me.

100_1402I bought this little library drawer at a thrift store in town, and it fit my cuttlebug folders and dies perfectly.

100_1456I put all of my eyelets and brads into these little wedding favors from Michaels. I got them with a coupon, so they were a pretty good price, and they are really cute. Now I use them for small bottles of glitter.

100_1432I found this shelf at a thrift store, too, and I used jars I already had. I made the tags from my Cuttlebug with a Tim Holtz die and folder.

100_1364One of my teacher friends found two printer trays for me at a quaint little town north of my hometown, and it stored distress inks and wooden stamps perfectly.

100_1414I have a music cabinet that these craft boxes fit into perfectly, and I still use it for the same purpose. It is full of these boxes, each in its little slot. It is dreamy for people who like to organize.

100_1406I have way, way more fabric now, so this little dresser got a paint job and now holds party supplies in my den. However, I still think these rolls of fabric look so cheery.

100_1443This is a storage shelf I got from Michaels with a coupon and my teacher discount. I love these and now have two of them.

100_1366I made this little box from a kit, and it held rubber bands, sewing needles, thimbles, and other little notions.

100_1386My last picture is of my yarn storage, and this was so cute when all the yarn was rolled into balls.

100_1393I hope you enjoyed this little tour. I know I love looking at other people’s craft storage because I always find a new idea that I can use.

Have a happy day!

Shannon

 

joy and a little tree branch

joy picture 1A while back, I made this wall hanging for my office. My daughter, who is extremely creative and gutsy in her crafting, and I spent a cold day over spring break crafting. We gathered up some tree branches from the elm tree in our front yard, and I used some 1.00 frames from the Dollar Tree.

joy picture 3I cut the letters with my Cricut from the Songbird cartridge using the shadow font and the regular font. The regular font is glittered with a homemade mix of Martha Stewart fine glitter in greens and blues. I used Tim Holtz distress ink in blue and browns to age the paper and then painted the frame and used similar distress inks.

joy picture 2I made this picture for the bottom to kind of weight the whole display a little because the branch shifted since I didn’t hang the pictures perfectly.

joy picture 4I used scraps from scrapbook paper that my daughter gave me. She ran them through a shredder, and then I started gluing and stacking until I had a nest. It takes some patience, but I used a glue gun and a whole lot of paper. Using the glue gun gave me a little forgiveness in time so I could shape the nest.

The egg is a plastic Easter egg that I covered in glitter. If you ever make a glittered egg, take it apart and do each piece separately. It makes it much easier to handle. I sprayed the egg with spray adhesive and used the same glitter as I used for the letters. I sprayed and glittered twice to make sure it was well covered. After I put the egg together, I tied a piece of crinkled ribbon to hide the seam and glued it into the nest with hot glue.

joy picture 5I took a scrap of paper to make a flag and then stamped on it. I folded it so it would be kind of 3D’ish. The ribbon I used to hang it all was from Martha Stewart. I bought it several years ago on super-duper clearance at Michael’s, and the quality is incredible.

I have this hanging right across from my office desk as a reminder that to find the joy in life. When I get overwhelmed, which is most of the time, I find comfort in these words, which I hear in my heart: “Be still, and know that I am God.”

I hope your week is filled with joy, and I hope you can be still when life seems to be too much. Just for a moment, just to catch your breath.

Have a happy day!

Shannon

a happy chair

I bought this old chair at a flea market for 25.00, thinking it wasn’t that much money to spend if I really messed it up. I took an upholstery class years ago, and I remembered a few things – at least, I hoped, enough to take on this little chair.

100_1586Here she is in all of her ugly glory. All the cat hair? That’s not even from my own cat. Yuck!

100_1585However, the tufting is pretty, and the shape of elegant and feminine. The gold, of course, had to go. Now I have to admit that I am a complete novice at home dec, so I took the chair outside and spray painted it with Krylon spray paint. It worked beautifully. I don’t think Krylon intended for me to use it that way, but it has held up exceptionally well, and it took the distressing perfectly.

100_1582

I don’t have a tutorial because I wouldn’t even know how to begin to make one, and I certainly don’t have the skill to advise anyone. But I did remember that you start by taking out all of the staples. All ten thousand staples. Oh, yeah, and you save the fabric, cat hair and all.

100_1587See all of those holes? Yikes! But the good thing about a chair like this is that it is rather forgiving, and all of those holes will disappear.

100_1591I saved the fabric and laid it on top of the fabric I used and cut around it generously. Being generous is good because you have extra to pull if you need it. You can always cut it after you have stapled.

red chair reupholstered 3When I was done, I ended up with this chair. I think it is such a happy little chair. Right now it is in my office at work, but I think I’m going to bring it home for my closet. It’s rather delicate, so I don’t think I want to take a chance that anyone would topple over in it.

I used fabric and trim from JoAnn’s that I had purchased for sofa pillows. It is thin but still upholstery grade, so it’s just fine for a chair that isn’t used constantly.

Here are some closeup pictures. I love, love, love the back of this chair. It is an adorable mix of patterns, I think. (I have to say I adore JoAnn’s for their fabric patterns and colors!)

red chair reupholstered back sidered chair reupholstered 1red chair distress 2red chair reupholstered 3For the record, I was not compensated by Krylon or JoAnn’s or the crazy cool flea market where I bought the chair. I would happily recommend any of them to you if you were in the market for a cute little chair that is easy to salvage.

I am linking to Start at Home for her awesome furniture and paint linky party. She’s very sweet to newbies like me, so go check her out. You’ll swoon over her pink dresser.

I am also linking to Miss Mustard Seed because she is an awesome and creative inspiration for so many of us. She’s the person who made me think that somebody somewhere might want to see something I’ve done. ❤

I am linking to AtoZ Home Stories. I love her blog, and she is one of the kindest bloggers I’ve followed. She always has something nice to say.

Have a happy day!

Shannon