Trades to Master

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

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

A saying turned backwards

Hello Everyone!

"Don't make a mountain out of a mole hill."  Ever heard that one?  Well, we are going backwards today.  I have made a mole hill out of a mountain.  Yep.  That would be the ironing mountain.  If you have followed me for very long, you know that the chore of ironing is a thorn in my side.  I put it off until we all have nothing in our closets.  Wellll, I guess it really isn't that bad.  But you get the drift.  I have been slaving over a hot iron for 3 days trying to get all caught up.  So let me hear it, 3 cheers for me!!!  Thank you, thank you.  I appreciate it!  Well, this was a quick post to update you all on my triumph.  Now I can go do fun things.

"What?  Is that the dryer buzzer I hear?"


"Go climb every mountain..."  (Can you hear Julie Andrews?) 

Like I said, the thorn in my side, the cross I have to bare, etc.  But hey, that's what a Mom's job is all about, right?

So until next time...

Have a blessed day,

maggie jane

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

New Table

Hello Everyone!

I finally found a table for my school room/game room.  This isn't exactly what I had invisioned in my head as the "perfect" table.  However, it is becoming just that.  One of the things to make it perfect was the price.  I stole bought it for only $20 bucks.  That was for the table and four chairs. 

This is how it all happened.  On a Friday, I stalked Craigslist for garage sales in my area that might have tables for sale.  I found a Saturday only one that listed two table sets.  I was really excited.  They said they would open at 7:00 am.  So I decided to be one of those irritating people that get to garage sales early.  (Irritating if you are the one giving the garage sale and trying to get everything out.)  I set my alarm and arrived at the sale 15 minutes early.  To my dismay, there was a pickup already backed into the driveway with a table and chairs already loaded up.  "No way!"  I guess this old man was an early riser, irritating garage saler like me.  Anyway, I thought, "Well, they advertised two tables.  Surely they still have the other one."  Well, I looked around and saw, "What?  No table?!"  So I took a few deep breaths and then sweetly asked the lady if she still had another table.  To my relief, she said, "Yes.  It's still upstairs."  So she brought it down and my first reaction was dismay.  It wasn't what I was looking for.  However, I took a second and third look and asked the price and bam! it was mine! 
This is what it looked like in its original state.  An Ethan Allen solid wood table that once was round but didn't fit their dining room so they cut two sides off and made it more oval.  It also had a leaf to make it longer.

Here are the four chairs.
So, I decided to make a go at painting and distressing this table.  The chairs will have to come later.  Unlike the desk that we just made for our bedroom, I decided to spray paint.  I still am not sure what I am going to paint in my school room/game room so I went with a neutral white.  I almost wish I had done it a color because white is a pain to cover when using spray paint.  But the bright side of all this is that I had already decided to distress it so not having the paint cover perfectly didn't become a problem.  So here is what it now looks like.
White vintagey goodness.

Styro under legs to keep the dirt and gravel off the paint.

Close-up of distressing.

spindle leg

I wish I could show you how great this looks in my school room/game room but since it still isn't finished, that will have to come at another time. That was one of my projects to get done before school starts.  Alas, it still isn't done.  However, I might be having a few friends over next week to help me get the rest of the wallpaper off, the walls washed down, and ready for paint.  Fingers are crossed on that one. 

So that's the lastest project here at Jane of All Trades.  Etsy sales have picked up so I need to replenish my stock.  I'll keep you posted on that as it develops.  Don't forget to enter the My Memories Suite Giveaway.  So until next time...

Have a blessed day,

maggie jane

Monday, August 29, 2011

My Memories Suite Giveaway!

Hello Everyone!

Have I got a deal for you today!  I was recently contacted by a representative from My Memories Suite to test out their product.  Not only did they want to give me the software for free but they also want to give one of my readers the software for free.  Is that not great or what?  That's not all.  They also want to give you a coupon for $10 to their online store.  So generous.  Anyway, let me tell you a little about digital software.  I have only tried a couple of things so I'm not expert yet but it was really cool and easy.  All you need is some pictures and you can add them to all kinds of templates.  You can add embelishments, interactive videos and music.  You can make scrapbooks, cards, pictures to frame and so much more.  It is even easy enough for a child to do.  If you go to their videos on youtube you can see how a girl did a report for school using the My Memories software.  There are a lot of templates that come with the program or you can download more from their website.  There are many free ones or some you can purchase for a nominal fee.  That is where your coupon will come in handy.  Here is a sample of a few pages I did of my daughter.  These were literally put together in about 5-10 minutes.  I really didn't put a whole lot of thought into this because I was just doing it as a sample.  However, I think they turned out pretty cute! (Even if her red outfit clashes with the pink templates.)  ;)

As you can see in the third picture down, I added my own text.  You can just do so many things.
Now wouldn't this be easier than getting out all the paper, paper cutter, ribbons, glue, pens, stamps, etc., etc.  So much cheaper too!  One great thing about this program, that I learned by watching their youtube video, is that you can burn discs of your projects.  That way, you can make one master and then share with whoever you like.  Think of grandparents and sharing the new baby, or the wedding album that you want to share with your friends and family.  Really, the possibilities are unlimited.

 So, here is what you have to do to win your very own copy of this software.

1.)  Be a follower.  Just comment that you already are a follower or have become a new follower.

2.)  Go to My Memories and see what all they have.  Then comment back as to what templates you like the best.

3.) Blog about this giveaway and comment back with a link.

That's all there is to it.  You have three chances to win.  Now here is the really sweet deal.  If you can't wait and just want to go buy it, I have a coupon code for you that will give you $10 off the purchase of My Memories Suite software plus the $10 coupon for the My Memories online store.  That's $20 worth of product they're giving away.  Or, if you enter and don't win, this code is for you. 

If you want to just go purchase this software, go to and put in this code: STMMMS96874.  It is best to copy and paste the code so you don't miss any letters or numbers.

So have a go at this fun giveaway.  The giveaway will close on Monday, September 5th.  The winner will be announced on Tuesday the 6th.  You have one week to go check out their site and to tell others about this great giveaway.  So until next time...

Have a blessed day,

maggie jane

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Almost a teenager in the house

Hello Everyone!

Boy, I feel like I've been gone forever.  I am feeling the end of the summer crunch.  I have been trying to finish up on a few projects before starting school again.  It has kept me too busy to get any posting done.  Sorry about that.

I'm even late with this particular post.  I wanted to share last week that I now have a 12 year old in the house.  My last year before teenagers!  My son turned 12 last Tuesday, the 16th.

 I forced asked him if I could take his birthday pictures early in the day.  He grudgingly agreed.  What is it about boys and getting their picture taken?  Girls seem so much more willing.  Ah well.  I'm sure it is that "Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus" type thing.
He chose to have his cousins over for dessert with a trip to the school for a game of tennis first.
It was very warm but we all had a good time.  It got us ready to go home and eat a special Frozen Oreo Dessert that my 10 year old daughter put together.  She's been dying to put this one together so she finally had an occasion to do it.

So that's all I have to share today.  I'm looking forward to this next school year.  And really truly, I'm looking forward to having teenagers also.  I just have to act like I'm dreading it. ;)  So until next time...

Have a blessed day,

maggie jane

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

One of God's Promises

Hello Everyone!

Just thought I'd share with you one of God's promises.
See these puffy white clouds?  This is what our Sunday afternoon started out like.  We have been very dry here in the Midwest.  We really needed rain.  Well, the sky turned a little darker.
And the clouds became more plentiful.  Then the rains came.  They came down pretty fast and hard for a very short time. Then we had this...

Can you see the double rainbow?  A sign of God's promise after the Flood that he would never again flood the earth with water.  Well, we don't want any flooding but we sure need more rain.  We did get some again on Monday.  Monday night we had quite the lightening show according to my husband who was out fishing.  Where was I?  Me, I was inside with the blinds closed and my ears plugged.  Not really but I will say that thunderstorms are not among my favorite things.  Several of the thunder strikes sounded very close.  I've lived in the Midwest for 18 years but I get nervous every spring and summer when it starts lightening and thundering.  As the saying goes, you can take the girl out of California but you can't take California out of the girl.  We didn't have storms like this when I was growing up.  Anyway, I do love me some pretty rainbows.  As long as I trust in God's promises, I'll be ok.  Hope you've seen some pretty rainbows lately.
So until next time...

Have a blessed day,

maggie jane

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Bridal Shower Gifts- Homemade

Hello Everyone!

Sorry I've been a little absent lately but I think I warned you that I was madly trying to finish up some gifts for my niece's bridal shower.  Well, we had that this last weekend so now I'm ready to show you all what I made for her.  First I am going to show you a couple of pictures of the table that we had set up for refreshments.  It turned out rather cute and healthy.  I'm all for healthy right now but I'll have to tell you why in another post.  Anyway, here is the table set up.
Veggie Cheese Ball and crackers, veggies and dip, and skewers with cheese, pepper, tomato and basil dredged in a vinaigrette dressing.
We also had a yummy spicy punch or a flavored tea for drinking.
Now onto the gifts.  First off is a pillow for the living room with the wedding date and their names printed on the front.  This is similar to another wedding gift pillow that I made a few months back. 
a little disclaimer.  I forgot to take pictures after I made these so I had to ask her to dig them out of her boxes of gifts so I could get a picture of them.  The pillows got a little wrinkled.
Next is the pillow for their bedroom.  I love the way this one turned out.  I made it out of chenille so it is all soft and cuddly.  

Next is a sign I made for the kitchen.  This one was fun. 
I was a little nervous as to whether she would like it since the yellow turned out so bright but I really didn't have anything to worry about.  She loved it!  
I had a bunch of old spoons from some of my ancestors and I didn't know what to do with them.  I have come up with a few projects to try but this was the first one that I used.  I didn't have any forks though so I had to hit a couple of antique/flea markets to come up with a fork.

Next is a fun project that I came across in a magazine.  It wasn't on my original list of things to make but I saw it at the last minute and decided to add it too.
A checkerboard.
Every new couple needs some games in their house, right?  I used small wood disks for the playing pieces.  The original instructions were to use buttons but have you priced 1" buttons lately?  I think 24 of them would have broken the bank.  Anyway, I had intended to cover them with cute scrapbook paper and mod podge over them.  Well, let's just say that didn't happen.  Too long of a story to go into now.  Anyway, I painted them all a mustard yellow but needed some distinction to tell whose was whose.  As a small way of explanation on the scrapbook paper idea I'll say time was limited.  That is why I decided to throw painstakingly paint 12 "B's" on half of the pieces.  The whole thing didn't turn out quite like I had envisioned but I think she liked it anyway. 

It was really fun for me to watch her to open these gifts because she was with me on one occasion when I was buying supplies for making them all.  I told her not to ask any questions but just to say "yes" or "no" if she liked or didn't like something I showed her.  It was fun to watch her see those choices come to fruition.  Kind of like, "So that is what you did with that." and so forth.  I also made her a necklace but alas, I forgot to take a picture of that as well.  I will be making more of those so maybe I'll show a picture later. 
Well, that about does it.  Now we just have to get a few more projects done for the actual wedding in October.

I am feeling a little more relaxed but ya know, there is always something to work on.  Another niece had a baby girl today and I am supposed to be making her a crib quilt.  Also, school starts soon so I have that to keep me busy.  And, as always, there is that mountain of ironing waiting to crash down on me as well.  How does it grow so quickly?  Oh well, never a dull moment around here.  So until next time...

Have a blessed day,

maggie jane

Monday, August 1, 2011

Trip to Branson, Mo

Hello Everyone!

Ok, so I am finally getting around to telling you all about our vacation to Branson.  We went in the middle of last week.  I think this was a good thing because it was less crowded than the weekend.  However, it is still summer so it was still busy.  Does that make sense?  Anyway, we started off down at the landing where there are lots of shops and a big Bass Pro Store.  This is where we split up.  Hubby and son to Bass Pro and myself and daughter to the other shops. ;)  We weren't there very long so we didn't do any major shopping.  I picked up a couple of books and my daughter spent some of her birthday money on some perfume.  Hubby picked up the trout tags he would need for fishing the next day and a few other supplies.  Then it was off to the motel to check in.  After stowing our stuff,  we headed to a late lunch / early dinner at Charlie's Steakhouse. 
We had to share our room with the kayaks. Got a bit crowded but you do what you gotta do.
Charlie's.  Not a very good picture. But the place was full of rustic, antique items.  Way cool.
So from lunch/dinner, we went to the IMAX theatre.  The show we wanted to see was about the Great Lakes but we missed that one.  It only had one viewing a day and that had been at 3:00pm.  So instead, we saw Born to Be Wild.  This one was about two women in two different parts of the world who have dedicated their lives to helping orphaned animals to be raised and re-introduced into the wild.  We really wanted to see the Great Lakes one so we bought bounce back tickets to use at a later date.  Did you know you could do that?  They are half of the original price.  Great deal.  We finished off the evening with the kids taking a dip in the pool at the motel.  Did I mention it was very hot?

The next morning, we loaded up the kayaks and I dropped my hubby & son off up at the top of Taneycomo Lake.  They spent the day floating and fishing the lake.  It is really like a big river. 
My son getting ready to push off.

I wanted to get a picture of them taking off but the river was moving fast enough that they floated away before I could get it.  I hopped into the truck and drove up the river a bit to try and get ahead of them but I didn't make it.  The above picture I took through a bunch of brush as they floated by.  Not a very good one I'm afraid.  So off they went and off we went to the outlet mall.  Did you know that outlet malls are really kind of a joke.  (my opinion only)  You can find some good deals but most of the stores there are the higher end stores anyway so their prices are still above my budget.  We did pick up a few things and there were a few sales so we did alright.  We did stop at a dollar jewelry store and had a little fun there.

Here is what we ended up with.  
Now I have to say that I loved everything I bought except for the wallet.  I think it is adorable but it just wasn't big enough for me.  It is a hard sided thing and just doesn't expand very much.  It just didn't have enough room for all the things I keep in my wallet.  I tried to take it back the next day and they told me that they didn't do returns.  I tried to find something else to do an exchange only to be told that they didn't do exchanges either.  I was a bit lot put out about that because the wallet wasn't no $1.  It was $12!  I have learned a lesson though.  Always check a stores return and exchange policy; especially if you are on vacation.
(PS. this wallet is for sale if anyone is interested.)

After doing our shopping in the heat, we decided (my daughter begged) to go back to the motel and swim.  We did that for a bit and then got cleaned up and ready to pick up the guys.  We had plans that night to go see Noah the Musical at the Sight and Sound Theater.  After a mad rush to pick them up, let them get cleaned up and a quick bite to eat, we made it to the play.  We had dinner at a really great pizza joint called Luigi's.
The pizza is good but their House Italian Salad Dressing is to die for.
Then off to the theater.  Now I have to tell you that I didn't get very many pictures here.  I was told that they don't allow pictures so I decided to leave my camera in the car.  I took this one of the outside but that was it.

I didn't realize that they had a lobby with a lot of neat photo ops.  They had a statue of Goliath that was made to his real measurements according to the Bible account.  I would have loved to have a picture of that.   I debated about asking my sweet hubby to go back and get it for me but I didn't know how much time we would have so I just skipped it.  I decided to enjoy the time without having to have a picture of everything.  (You other bloggers know how that is.  You don't want to miss any pictures!)  Anyway, it was a great show and I would highly recommend it to anyone going to Branson.  (There are some live animals.)  It is great for kids.  It is ending this year, I think in Oct., so if you can, see it before it ends. 

The next day, our last, we had to go to one of those 90 min. sales presentations where the travel companies try to take your life savings sell you the vacation of your dreams for just pennies.  We just smiled sweetly, nodded our head that, "Yes, it is a wonderful deal." and said, "No, thanks.".  We did get a great rate on this vacation but we had to endure the salespersons.  (Yes, that is plural persons on purpose.)  After that was over, we headed to Table Rock Lake for a quick dip.  (Did I mention it was hot?)  Oh yeah, I already said that.  Sorry. ;)  Then we grabbed lunch at BTBones.

This was a little like Charlie's.  It was a little pricier but good.  We learned our lesson from Charlie's and split meals this time.  I think I forgot to mention that Charlie's gives you a lot of food.  We all got a main plate and unfortunately wasted too much food.  If we had split with the kids, we all would have been full at half the price.  Anyway, after lunch it was off to IMAX again for the Great Lakes film. 
When that was over, it was time to head for home.  We were all a little tired and the money had pretty much run out.  We did stop at a used book store and Andy's Frozen Custard in Springfield on the way home.

This may seem long but believe me, this is the Cliff's Notes version.  I took a lot of pictures.  I will leave you with just a few of the more scenic ones.
One of the shows had this King Kong on the side of the building.
Another attraction that we didn't go see.
The museum shaped like the Titanic
Lake Taneycomo with the dam for Table Rock Lake in the distance.
Overlooking Branson from the other side of Taneycomo Lake.
Taneycomo Lake where my guys floated.  See, it looks more like a big river.
Hubby & kids getting the low down from one of the local fisherman.
That is it for now.  Keep checking back.  I am working on my niece's wedding gift this week.  The shower is this weekend so I've got to get busy.  I will share with you next week all her goodies.  So until next time...

Have a blessed day,

maggie jane