Trades to Master

  • Things to Master: Sewing (Quilting),
  • DIY,
  • Painting,
  • Remodeling,
  • Cooking,
  • Gardening,
  • and so much more

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Quotable Quotes

Hello Everyone!

Happy mid-week.  Hope it's going well for you.  If you have stalked visited around blogland for very long, you have probably come across several that have postings for Wednesday that either have words or don't.  Some are called Wordless Wednesday and just show a picture.  Some are called Wordful Wednesday and have lots of words or some other such idea.  Well, I have come across a lot of quotable quotes lately.  Since there is no day of the week that starts with Q, I'm not sure which day to share.  Should I just do it randomly or make a special day for them?  I'm still deciding that one.  Feel free to chime in an opinion if you have one.  For now, I will start on this Wednesday and see what happens from here.  So, my quote for the day is:


Just something to think about.  Those seeds of bitterness can grow to where they not only want to live in your head rent free but want to take it over and become the new owners.  That is not a fun or happy way to live.  So evict the grudges and live a happy life!

So until next time...

Have a blessed day,
maggie jane

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Weekend Finds

Hello Everyone!

Hope the weekend went well for you all.  Mine started out on Friday afternoon when the hubby met me at Lowe's to buy wood for a new desk.  Finally I will be able to move all my computer stuff off of my bar and onto a great new desk in my room.  Saturday, said hubby took my son fishing and my daughter and I went to a few yard sales.  We were all going to be back early to work on the desk.  I think we both got a little distracted.
We were supposed to go to Hobby Lobby, Michael's, Tuesday Morning and such looking for baskets for my desk.  We are doing bookshelves with baskets instead of drawers.  We did finally make it to town but you know how tempting those yard sale signs can be.  My daughter was getting a little exasperated at me when I kept saying, "Oh, just one more." or "This one looks promising.  Maybe they will have some baskets."  To my credit, we did pass up a few.  Anyway, we finally made it to town and were kind of disappointed in the basket selection.  Hobby Lobby was about out of baskets.  I'd never seen it quite so bare before.  They weren't getting more in until Wednesday.  I needed my baskets like "NOW" because we needed to know how far apart to make the shelves.  I went several places and finally came home empty handed.  Michael's had some pretty good looking baskets but their prices weren't so pretty.  I kind of had a general idea of the height so we were just going to go with it and hope that I found baskets later.  We were supposed to actually start building the desk on Saturday.  However, like I said before, we both got distracted.  I was told that the fish just kept biting.  Interpretation, "We were having too good of a time fishing to stop and come home to work."  Well, that isn't all together true, he didn't really say that but that was the way I interpreted it.  Anyway, we had plans for Saturday night and the hubby had to work Sunday so the desk didn't get started until Monday.  And, I got my baskets on Monday as well because Michael's decided to be nice to me and give me 40% off.  Well, ok, they gave anybody who wanted baskets 40% off but I kind of felt like they did it for me since I needed them so bad.
All's well that ends well.  The desk is made with just a few pieces of trim to add and I have started staining it.  I am going to paint over the stain and then sand down and distress a little.  Dumb me, I forgot to take a before picture.  Here is one of an upside down desk that is partially stained.
Hopefully, I can work on this more this week.  Wednesday is piano and "town" day so I won't get a chance then but maybe on Thursday I can get the rest stained.

So in your mind you're saying, "What did she find at the yard sales?"  Well, I'll just show you.  I had a lot of fun this time around.  I really only bought something at I think 3 sales.  And really truly, we only stopped at maybe 6 sales.  But enough talking and onto the pictures.
old wooden spools, pink enamel pan, old wire egg basket, glass bottles, chair, picture frame, sweatshirts, nightgown, dresses, shoes, old sign and a baby onsie
Some of this I will keep and some try to resale.  Does anything strike your fancy?  Keep watch on Etsy.  You just never know what you might find there.
The picture frame just got a new coat of paint today and will be made into a chalkboard.  The quilt sign I had in mind to give my sister if she's interested.  So, N. are ya?
With so many nieces and nephews, I'm always on the lookout for shoes that are cute.  These were really cheap as the lady was going half off all her clothes and shoes.  So far, none of my nieces are wearing a size 8 shoe so these will probably go in next year's JBF sale.
Sweatshirt for hubby, one for me, a nightgown for my daughter and two adorable little dresses for either above mentioned nieces or to sell at JBF.  These were new and still had the tags on them for a ridiculously low price.
Last but not least is this old wire milk crate.  I forgot it in the original overall picture.  I used it right off to cart jars of salsa to our Sat. night get together.  I got it for like a dollar or two.  I don't remember exactly.  This lady was also having a half off day.  
So there you have my finds.  I took pictures of some of the items today so I could list them on Etsy.

Overall, it was a pretty good weekend.  My niece announced her engagement this weekend also.  That was exciting but I now realize this summer is going to go by FAST!!!  I will be helping her with a few things, sewing a bridesmaid dress for one of her friends, doing projects around here (still haven't stripped all the wallpaper off of my upstairs room), getting ready for next year's schooling (ordering books), tending the house, garden, kids and my sanity.  I wonder if I could throw in a tropical vacation with the hubby?  Sigh, probably not.  Oh well, a girl can dream can't she?  Hope you all have a good week and 4th of July.  Hopefully I'll be able to share a finished office space soon.  Keeping my fingers crossed... Until next time...

Have a blessed day,

maggie jane

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Money Mondays at The Misplaced Midesterner

 Hello Everyone!

Just doing a little advertising here.  If you have an Etsy shop, a website, or a photography site you want to promote, hop on over to  The Misplaced Midwesterner  for a little free advertising.  Kim has a blog hop she calls Money Monday where you can link up your different shops or online businesses.  As long as you keep it family friendly, you can post items or services for sale.  What a great way to see what others are selling and get the word out about your things as well.  Go check it out and get selling!  Until next time...

Have a blessed day,

maggie jane

PS. I had a great weekend of bargain hunting.  Don't forget to watch my Etsy shop for some new items this week!

Hello After Goodbye

Hello Everyone!

Hope all have had a good weekend.  A few days ago, we lost a young friend in a drowning accident while he was floating a river.  I am a little late in posting this.  If you read Kensington Cottage or The Virginia House, you have already heard this news.  However, I have spent the last few days thinking about the accident, the young man, and how fragile life can be.  I have thought about the victims of the recent Joplin Tornado.  I've thought of my father who passed away almost 3 years ago now.  When death comes to those we know and love or to even just casual acquaintances it can make you really stop and evaluate your life.

I grieve for the family of the young man and am praying that they can find strength and comfort in the Lord.  The two above mentioned blogs have talked about songs that mean something to them at a time like this.  I have been thinking of a few but one especially is called, I believe, "Finally Home".  This young man never made it to the shore of the river he was floating but he did make it to shore...

"Just think of stepping on shore and finding it Heaven
Of touching a hand and finding it God's
Of breathing new air and finding it celestial
Of waking up in Glory and finding it Home..."

This is just part of the song but just think of those words.  The other song I have thought about and hence my title is a song called "Hello, After Goodbye" that was recorded by Legacy 5 when they lost one of their members and friend.  The main thought being that for a Christian, this is not the end.  We may have to say goodbye for a little while now but there will be another "hello" and then we will be together much longer than we were apart.  My brother shared this song with me when our father passed away and it has been a big encouragement to me these past 3 years.  I hope this can be an encouragement to Christians out there who have lost someone.  If you don't know the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior, today is the day of salvation.  We are not promised tomorrow, or even the next 10 minutes.  So please take the time to ask the Lord into your heart and save you from your sins and be the Lord, Savior and Father of your heart and soul.  Thank you for listening and please pray for the family and close friends of this young man.  Until next time...

Have a blessed day,

maggie jane

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Pet Bed from Aldi Box

Hello Everyone!

Hope you have had a good week so far.  I am going to show you a cheap and quick way to get a pet bed.  For us more specifically, a cat bed.  Yes, I know, my family is probably saying, "WHAT?  You have cats?!?"  Well, yes, actually, I do.  I am normally not a cat person.  If fact, I have been know to say in the past that I well, hate dislike cats.  You can't train them, they never stay home (or if they are someone else's cats they always do their business in your yard), they shed, etc., etc...  Well, that was how it was in my childhood.  Now, I don't love cats but I do think kittens are cute.  And, we live in the country where not all of the country mice have gone to live with their cousins, the city mice.  So, I believe cats can have their place.  I will not have a house cat! (Yo, Jill, you hearing me!!??)  I have a friend who is sure that they will end up in the house.  Even though these kittens have spent the last few days living in my son's bathroom.  They are now used to us and they now have a bed!  So tonight, out they go!!

I didn't do a before/after kind of thing here or a step by step tutorial but I think you can probably figure it out.  This is what I did.  I started with a good size box from Aldi.  For you who don't know what Aldi is, it's a grocery store that stocks their items in boxes.  There is no bagger so you bag your own groceries.  I always use their empty boxes and fill them so I don't have to pay for my bags or bring my own.  Anyway, I took the box and modge podged scrapbook paper on the outside and inside.  I chose some that looked like barn wood.  Then I got some fabric from Hobby Lobby and made a cushion or pillow for the bottom.  Then, I took wood lathe strips and glued them around the inside for added strength and to give the cats something to sharpen their claws on. (I know, sounds painful for us but remember, I want them to be mousers.)  Anyway, this is what it looked like after all that.

Then of course, I needed to personalize it for the little darlings. (Yes, that is said tongue in cheek.) ;)

And, yes, we have a boy and a girl.  And, no, we are not having kittens.  They are going to be fixed when they are old enough. :)
I think the names are kind of cute.  Now, my painting isn't the greatest but remember, I said this was a fast way to make a pet bed.  I wanted to get the cats out of my house!  I didn't get too fancy on the name plates.
So, do you think the cats like their new bed?  They are looking a little unsure at this point.  However,
I think they will get used to it.  So, tonight is the night.  They are on the back porch in their new little bed and I haven't heard any meowing from them yet.  Let's just hope it doesn't start up at 3:00 am!  So there you have it, a quick and fairly easy way to make a pet/cat bed.  Now if I can just get all this dried modge podge off my hands...

So until next time...

Have a blessed day,

maggie jane

Linking up to:
The 36th Avenue
Ginger Snaps

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Chocolate Wacky Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Hello Everyone!

I am going to give you the recipe I used for my daughter's 10th birthday. We had a red and white polka dot theme going and made cupcakes instead of a regular cake.  This recipe worked really well and they were yummy.

Chocolate Wacky Cake

2 cups sugar
3 cups flour
6 Tbsp. cocoa
2 tsp. baking soda
3/4 cup oil
1 tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. white vinegar
2 tsp. vanilla
2 cups water

Mix all together and pour into ungreased 9 X 13 pan or muffin tins.  Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes. 
Note:  It always took longer in my oven.  More like 30-40 minutes.  Just check with a toothpick.  For the cupcakes, you will want to bake them for less time.  I think I did mine for around 20 minutes.  We had 48 cupcakes in at the same time because we did a double batch so you will just have to watch them.  Maybe go less and check to see if you need to add more. 

This cake is very yummy cold and topped with cool whip.  For the cupcakes, I chose a cream cheese frosting that was very yummy.   Here is that recipe:

Cream Cheese Frosting

2 Cream Cheese softened
2 tsp. vanilla
Blend these together and then add:
1/2 cup butter (1 stick) softened
Blend until smooth and then add:
2-3 cups powdered sugar
Blend until smooth.

This is not the sickly sweet cream cheese frosting that comes out of a can.  It has a rich cream cheese flavor without being overwhelming.  It almost takes like cheesecake on top of these chocolate cupcakes.  YUM!

Give it a try and let me know what you think!

Now I do have to put in a word about the yucky red decorating icing we used.  I would not recommend Betty Crocker Cookie Icing that comes out of a squeeze bag.  This does not work well for decorating cakes.  We tried to do polka dots but they turned into blobs.  Then we tried to do an A and a 10 for my daughter's initial and age and it was a little better but not much.  I learned my lesson on this and hope you will not make the same mistake I did after reading this.  Here is a picture of our "blobs".
Where's the cuteness in this?  At least they tasted yummy!
So, until next time...

Have a blessed day,

maggie jane

Red & White Polka Dot Birthday Party

Hello Everyone!

Hope everyone has had a good week so far.  I'm going to tell you about a birthday party we put on for my daughter's 10th b-day.  I had about 4 days to plan and shop.  She told me a long time ago that she wanted cupcakes for her birthday.  I saw some adorable polka dotted cupcake papers/liners at Michael's and decided to buy them since I already had cups that were red and white.  So, the theme of red and white polka dots morphed into a party.  I got almost no sleep Friday night after we decided to do the party on Wednesday.  I had so many thoughts and ideas and plans going through my brain that I just couldn't go to sleep.  I hit the ground running on Saturday trying to get my daughter's 10 yr pictures taken and executing all the ideas I had come up with.  Here are a few pics of what we did.
flowers, pictures of her as a newborn, 5 yrs and 10 yrs, nuts & mints

Strawberry Lemonade in red & white "Drink" cups

Guessing game of how many marshmallows were in the jar with red Skittles.

Me and my daughter

This is just a few of the pictures.  The other pictures all had people in them and since I didn't ask permission, I didn't want to post those.  This last picture is of the cupcakes.  The liners were so cute and the icing such a disappointment.  We started out trying to do polka dots.  This icing just was too runny and the polka dots became blobs.  So then we switched to doing A's and 10's for my daughter's initial and age.  That worked a little better but they still didn't have that all-around cuteness I was going for.  Oh well.  They still tasted very yummy and so I am going to share the recipe with you.  Yay!     Ok, for some reason I can't get the cursor to go where I want it to go and it is wanting to rearrange my words.  I can't enter to go to the next line without just typing words.  I want to skip a few spaces and then do the recipe and it isn't letting me do this.  Is this Blogger or is this my computer?  I think it is Blogger as I don't have any problems in any of my other programs.  So, I am going to not share this recipe with you on this post and start a new one and see what that does.  So until next time...    Have a blessed day,   maggie jane

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Am I A Fireman, Yet?

Hello Everyone!

I was sent this story in email form to forward to 4 of my friends.  I'm not usually into "chain" emails or letters but this was too good to pass up.  Also, I didn't want to limit it to only 4 friends.  This is apparently a true story.  Hope it blesses you as it did me.  It brings life into perspective and helps me realize that life can be short and to not take for granted the days God gives us.  Also, not to take for granted those around us as we never know how long each life will be. 


If you "tear up" go ahead, who's watching?

In Phoenix , Arizona , a 26-year-old mother stared down  at her 6 year old son,
who was dying of terminal leukemia.
Although her heart was filled with sadness,
She also had a strong feeling of determination.
Like any parent, she wanted her son to grow up & fulfill all his dreams. Now
that was no longer possible..the leukemia would see to that. But she still
wanted her son's dream to come true.

She took her son's hand and asked, 'Billy, did you ever think about what you
wanted to be once you grew up?  Did you ever dream and wish what you would do
with your life?'

Mommy, 'I always wanted to be a fireman when I grew up.'

Mom smiled back and said, 'Let's see if we can
Make your wish come true.'

Later that day she went to her local fire
Department in Phoenix , Arizona , where she met
Fireman Bob, who had a heart as big as Phoenix
She explained her son's final wish and asked if it might be possible to give her
6 year-old son a ride around the block on a fire engine.

Fireman Bob said, 'Look, we can do better than that. If you'll have your son
ready at seven o'clock Wednesday morning, we'll make him an honorary Fireman for
the whole day.  He can come down to the fire station, eat with us, go out on all
the fire calls, the whole nine yards!

And if you'll give us his sizes, we'll get a real fire uniform for him, with a
real fire hat - not a toy - one-with the emblem of the Phoenix Fire Department
on it, and a yellow slicker like we wear and rubber boots.'
'They're all manufactured right here in Phoenix ,
So we can get them fast.'

Three days later Fireman Bob picked up Billy,
Dressed him in his uniform and escorted him from his hospital bed to the waiting
hook and ladder truck.
Billy got to sit on the back of the truck and help steer it back to the fire

He was in heaven.
There were three fire calls in Phoenix that day
And Billy got to go out on all three calls.
He rode in the different fire engines, the Paramedic's' van, and even the fire
chief's car.
He was also videotaped for the local news program.

Having his dream come true, with all the love and attention that was lavished
upon him, so deeply touched Billy, that he lived three months longer than any
doctor thought possible.

One night all of his vital signs began to drop dramatically and the head nurse,
who believed
In the hospice concept - that no one should die alone, began to call the family
members to the hospital.

Then she remembered the day Billy had spent
As a Fireman, so she called the Fire Chief and
Asked if it would be possible to send a fireman
In uniform to the hospital to be with Billy as he made his transition.
The chief replied, 'We can do better than that.
We'll be there in five minutes.... Will you please do me a favor?
When you hear the sirens screaming and see the
Lights flashing, will you announce over the
PA system that there is not a fire?'
'It's the department coming to see one of its finest members one more time. And
You open the window to his room?'

About five minutes later a hook and ladder truck arrived at the hospital and
extended its ladder up to Billy's third floor open window--------
16 fire-fighters climbed up the ladder into Billy's room with his mother's
permission, they hugged him and held him and told him how much they LOVED him.

With his dying breath, Billy looked up at the fire chief and said,

'Chief, am I really a fireman now?'

'Billy, you are, and The Head Chief,
Jesus, is holding your hand,' the chief said with those words, Billy smiled and
'I know, He's been holding my hand all day, and
The angels have been singing..'

He closed his eyes one last time.

Hope you enjoyed this story and it blessed you today.  Have a great rest of the week and weekend.  Until next time...

Have a blessed day,

maggie jane

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

More Etsy, New Window & Strawberry Jam

Hello Everyone!

Hope everyone had a great weekend.  We had a busy time with garage sales, Etsy posting and such. 

A friend of mine gave me a whole flat of strawberries so I made Strawberry Freezer Jam, bagged some for the freezer and stuffed our face with the rest of them. :) Actually, I gave the last bit of them away to another friend today because I was running out of time to do something with them.  They ripened fast but were super yummy!

Last night we were able to get our window replaced on the pick-up that the thieves demolished when they broke into our truck. We have a friend who is in the auto body business so he was able to order and install our window at a fraction of the cost that an actual body place would charge.  We made an evening of it and went to their house for dinner.  I took a few family pictures of them so they could update their adoption profile. (Going for child #2) :) Then he and my hubby installed the window and we finished off the evening with ice cream! 

Now I'm going to share a few of my Etsy items since I know some of you read this blog through email and don't have my sidebar to access the Etsy shop.  I've added a bunch more today and will be adding more as the days and weeks continue.  Here's a sample of what you can find at maggiejanedesigns
Linen Toss Pillow

Bicycle Graphic Mouse Pad

Sign for Boy's Room

Flannel & Chenille Burp Cloth

Blue Ceramic Bird w/antiquing glaze

Padded Ruffled Camera Strap Cover for dSLR

Vintage Pinking Shears circa 1950's

City Transit Tokens for Rochester, NY
Like I said above, this is just a small portion, sample of what is available in my shop.  If you would like to view all my items go to:  maggiejanedesigns

Well, that's all I have to offer you today in the way of news, crafts and such.  Hoping soon to add a recipe or two.  I've also listed some of the items I got at garage sales to resell on Craigslist.  I'll let you know how that all turns out.  I think I have my two big things sold already.  (High Chair & Pack n Play)  I'll keep you posted.  So until next time...

Have a blessed day,

maggie jane

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Tornado, Thieves and ETSY

Hello Everyone!

I know it's been a while.  Since the Joplin Tornado things have been a little messed up schedule wise around here.  It is going on two weeks since that whirlwind blew through.  It has been a very emotional, trying time for many people.  I'm sure it will be for a long time to come.  The news has slowed down enough that I don't feel like I have to be glued to my computer or radio to hear the latest.  Now it is time to rebuild.  I can't wait to see a better Joplin reappear! 

As I mentioned before, we escaped any damage from the tornado.  However, this last weekend we were on a little trip and, while staying at a hotel, thieves broke into our truck.  They broke out the driver's side glass and stole my daughter's purse and camera, a pocket knife of my husbands and I think my sunglasses because I can't find them anywhere!  We got to the hotel late and there was no parking in the lot.  We ended up at the back of the hotel in a parking lot of a mall that is no more.  It felt a little deserted back there and we wondered about it but there were a few other cars so we figured it would be ok.  We parked right next to a nice Suburban.  That might have been a mistake as it blocked the view of our truck from the hotel windows.  Anyway, because it was so late and we were all very tired, we didn't check to make sure we had all our valuables with us.  I'm sure the thieves were disappointed when they opened my daughter's purse and found silly bands, various lipgloss, candy and other 9 year old purse items.  She did have $5 in there that she just got from her piano teacher so she was bummed about that.  I was bummed about the camera as it technically was mine.  It was the one I had been using before I got my DSLR.  It was a pretty nice point and shoot digital and it still had some of my pics on it.  The broken window wasn't very fun either as we were 3 1/2 hours from home and had to drive with the wind in our face the whole time.  But on the bright side, at least it didn't rain. :)  We have a friend who is in the auto body business and he was able to get us a new window for around $80.  We still don't have it installed but are hoping to get it in soon.  I really hope the thief or thieves were disappointed in the "loot" that they got from us.  I really hope they felt remorse when they realized that it was a child's possessions that they took.  I'm guessing people like that really don't care but I'm still hoping.

So, onto a cheerier note...  My Etsy is up and running.  Notice the sidebar link to my Etsy shop, maggiejanedesigns.  Just like my blog, you never know what you will find there.  There is always a little of this and a little of that.  I am just getting started and will learn more as I go along.  I also have more items to list and more to make so check it out often and tell all your friends and neighbors about  I will probably try to keep you all updated as I add new items but probably won't be able to do all of them so you will have to check out the shop itself to find a complete listing of all of my items.  So have a great weekend and happy shopping! Until next time...

Have a blessed day,

maggie jane