Monday, May 28, 2012

Yay for Tomorrow!

Tomorrow we find out if Little JCrew will have a brother or sister.

The appointment is late in the afternoon, and we have Small Group at church soon after.

How we plan to tell our small group is by the food we bring. Since we won't have time to make something, I baked cupcakes today.

It's completely normal in our house to have a tape measure on the counter while cooking!

Twelve cupcakes are blue and twelve are pink!

We'll come home and grab the appropriate colored cupcakes and dash.

Let's see what I dream about tonight!! :)

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Melt My Heart!

This picture captures a cute moment between Little JCrew and Mr. JCrew.

Getting ready for bed, Little JCrew was distracted as Mr. JCrew pulled out one of Little JCrew's favorite books and started reading it. He loves the 'Going To Bed' book by Sandra Boynton.

As Mr. JCrew started to read, Little One quickly went over to him and quietly listened.

It was so cute to watch because we weren't forcing him to listen and he came right over.

- Lindsay

Monday, May 21, 2012

Wood Project Step #1 and #2 - Cut and Stain

Last Friday I gave you a glimpse of how exciting my Friday was! I stained wood and made a cake.

My original thought was to be as cheap as I could be using would pallets I got for free.

However, my vision for my project required more wood and actual good pieces of wood. The pallets were very hard to take apart. I ended up having to cut them apart.

So, for Mother's Day,  I requested pieces of wood. My cheap project then started to cost money.

We saved money on wood by buying whitewood. It is a soft wood that is easy to stain.

Since new wood looks new and pallet wood is weathered, I had to find a way to make my newly purchased wood look like it had been outside for years. The whole reason I wanted to use pallet wood is because of the variation in color and the grey look.

A popular method I researched had two steps: Tea and Vinegar.

First things first, I sanded the wood. I only sanded one side, and I did not sand the ends. Sanding the ends would have made it difficult for the wood to but up next to each other like I wanted.

The first part is to make tea like you were to drink it. Paint it onto the wood and let it dry. I used Earl Grey tea, but I'm not a tea drinker so my assumption is a stronger tea would have done better.

The tea stain wasn't obvious when it dried, but that was okay. It's needed for the next step to react.

The next step of the staining process involved steel wool and white vinegar.

In a mason jar, you tear up the steel wool into pieces, then pour enough vinegar to cover it. I forgot to peel apart the steel wool, but it still did fine. And you have to make sure you use real steel wool, not the generic stuff.

You let the steel wool/vinegar mixture sit for at least 24 hours. Then paint it onto the tea stained wood.

After 15 minutes of drying
That's what the wood looked like after 15 minutes. It was still not the color I wanted, so I let the steel wool/vinegar mixture sit for another 12 hours. Painted a test strip and let it sit for another 24 hours. I also did a double coat to see if applying it over a previously treated area did anything. You can see my test board below.

70 hrs...                     36 hrs...                   2nd coat... 24 hours
This is the timing of how long the vinegar mixture sat in a jar.

The far color on the left was closest to the color I was trying to achieve. So, I proceeded to cut my wood to its final measurements and then painted.

I painted all the wood with my new mixture and was not feeling happy. You should be able to get your final coloration within 30 minutes. Every piece of wood was turning a different color; which is great! But some of the colors were ugly.

I liked how the wood looked best at night time. And as the boards sat longer, they started to turn orange. It was an orange that kind of dusted off. I had read that the longer you let the steel wool mixture sit, it had the chance of rusting the wool and would be on your wood. I think this was what was happening. Thank goodness it rubbed off a little.

I went back to the drawing board and remembered I read that I could use craft paint or latex paint watered down to create a new color on my wood. I mixed white, grey and brown and watered it down. I painted some boards and immediately felt happier.

It was scary to see the color go on, but I knew it would dry different. I had faith!

Some boards painted with dark mixture

I did not paint all the boards. Just trying to paint the boards that were the most orange or had an orange stripe down the middle. This made sure that the variation in color between boards was still there. This paint mixture created a very dark stain. I LOVED the color, but it was not my vision. I kept it anyway.

The next day I made a new paint mixture that had more white in it to give me that grey-weathered look. I watered it down and painted the lighter stained boards. It immediately gave the me affect I was looking for. I don't know whether it was all the steps combined or if I could have done that final step and got the color I wanted; but however I got there, it worked!!

Top board painted with white mixture

I was a much happier camper now that my wood no longer looked new. I know I could have distressed it more with hammering it and banging chains on it, but I was okay with it not having dings.

This was a process, but I'm happy with the results. I took the long route because I was being picky with the coloring, but I knew the color needed to go with the room that would be its new home, so my perfection-side of my personality kicked in.

See how pretty it goes with the carpet and wall color? I'm a happy girl. Happy Mother's Day to me!!

I'm not yet revealing what the project is that I am creating with the wood. You'll just have to stay tuned!

Check here: for the revealed project!

Friday, May 18, 2012

Spring Tour

We had a warm spell that came through in March and brought everything to life!!

Nana Jenson gave me some iris' last year before we found out the gender of Little JCrew. She said they would bloom the color of the gender (blue.) They didn't bloom last year, but this year they are!

A week later, more blooms appeared!!

The roses are doing well this year.

I just love smelling them. They are their prettiest after the first bloom of the season. This weekend I trimmed them all back and expect to see another round of blooms soon.

The fringe trees had a short bloom time this year.

And the crepe myrtles came back sooner than last year because of the heat.

I am so thankful I put in the hard work before the baby came. Now I get to sit back and enjoy!

Happy Spring/turned Summer! The heat came too early this year.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Thrifty Project #4

A new tab was added!

Onto the fourth project! This one involved assembly to take the picture. However, the actual project
won’t be complete until October of this year. There is one thing missing from this picture… the baby!

Thrifty Project #4 will be Little JCrew #2! He or she will be even thriftier than their older brother. Since
they will be 14 months apart, all the items we have for Little JCrew #1 will be ready and waiting for Little
JCrew #2.

Woohoo! I’m going to become one thrifty momma! At times it is scary to think about; yet I really am
excited! I’ve wanted to have them close in age. I think it would be great! Mr. JCrew and I have learned a
lot about ourselves in the past five years… we don’t do anything the easy way! HA! We’re willing to do the hard stuff up front to make life easier in the long run. I hope it pans out as planned!
Already got us a double stroller for our walks and soccer games!

There you have it! We’re turning this family into a real Crew now!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Thrifty Project #3

I mentioned in my spray painting of my clock post that I would be spray-painting these babies next!

They were beautiful when I put them outside nearly two years ago, but the weather has rusted them.

I had to find a spray paint for outdoor and I found oil-rubbed bronze! I loved it so much that I wanted to
find more things to spray paint that color!

Like all other spray-paint projects, you have to do a million light coats. Keep your arm moving 12 inches
away from the object. After I prepped my lanterns, I started.

Prepping is the longest, but most important step.

Spraying and waiting was the name of the game for the day. This is why I waited for good weather.

Isn’t she beautiful? This project cost me $10. Each can of paint was $5. I’m happy with it.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Happy Mother's Day!

It was a great day with my parents. They even had Wilks give me a card. Little Man gave his Mimi a card with his handprint in it.

Love you both!

You can see my teeth!!

Silly puppies caught my eye.

I'm waving!

My Mommy and Mimi

My Poppi and Mimi

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Mmm... Delish

The cake is half way gone. Oh my!

- Lindsay

Friday Night

How did you spend your Friday evening? My night was exciting, but probably not by everyone's standards.

It started off with baking a cake. Not just any cake, but a cake from my childhood; chocolate sheet cake. I can't wait to take a bite!

The other part of my night involved wood!!

There is a lot of building going on in the neighborhood lately and we gathered up some pallets. They're going to be used for my next project.

I tried so many ways to pull the wood off without splitting it into pieces. The nails kept splitting the wood. So then I decided to use my saw to cut the pallets apart.

But, the pallet wood won't be enough, so I bought my wood (my request for a Mother's Day present!) My Friday night was spent sanding and staining with Earl Grey tea.

You can't tell they are stained, but it is just step one in the "aging" process.

Next up is using a tester piece for step 2. Hopefully the rain won't interfere.

Hope you have a great weekend and all the mother's are treated special!

- Lindsay

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

A Dent In the To-Do List

My to-do list has grown much faster than the rate I can cross things off of it. Once I do one thing, I think of three more things that I'd like to do.

This weekend was a great one for me. The to-do list didn't stand a chance.

Colby got a haircut; I went through Wilks' clothes that don't fit and pulled out the bigger items; trimmed the bushes; etc. The rest of the list is boring, but it's such a good feeling!!

Friday night, we went to Mr JCrew's lil sister's pinning ceremony for nursing school. She graduated on Saturday, but received their pins on Friday. Little JCrew behaved so well! Lately he's been a chatty Cathy, so I stuck a paci in his mouth (we reserve paci time for sleep only.) on the way to the ceremony, the little boy had fun playing with his hand.

I will say, I shed a tear at the ceremony. It's awesome that my sister in law is graduating, but one of her classmates had a compelling story. As the nursing graduates were entering the stage, a young girl came in with a motorized wheelchair. The audience and her classmates broke out in applause. Then her classmates sang a song and played a tribute video for her. In December, this student was in a terrible car accident with her boyfriend. It left her on a ventilator for 6 weeks and in ICU for 2 months. She is expected to make a full recovery. I guess I got emotional at the thought of her continuing to push herself and still graduating!

And good news about 4-year old Ally. Her mom takes care of Little JCrew in the church nursery. She had open-heart surgery April 24th and is home doing really well! It all started with a heart murmur just like Wilks. It's hard to think of your baby under the knife! But I'm so happy she did well and is home getting back to life as a 4-year old!!

Oh, and I've done a few projects and even taken pictures, but I have yet to tell you. No worries, I will soon. Plus, I'm challenging myself to a big project that I'm slowly starting. It will be a couple steps, but I'll keep you posted.

Happy Wednesday!!!

- Lindsay
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