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baby smith handmade.

So now that I’m home and have tons of time on my hands until Baby Smith makes his/her arrival, I thought it would be cool to work on 9 handmade baby projects for the 9 months of pregnancy.  Consider it 9 unique gifts to Baby Smith from Mama Smith.  To name a few ideas… baby sweaters (delicate homespun cardigans in browns and naturals), vintage-styled quilts, whimsical clothes, organic blankets made on a hand loom, colorful bibs, stuffed animals from my imagination, and peculiar cloth shoes.

A part of me does not want our children to know that clothing stores and toy stores exist.  That way, they have to wear and play with what I make them.  It makes life easier because there are less options to choose from.  I think it also enables kids to think for themselves and design and create at an earlier age because they end up making their own toy creations and inventions.  Not to mention that it also makes life more interesting.  I’ve always wanted to churn my own butter…maybe someday I will.  : )

organization station.

I absolutely love this mix of organization and art.  Simple too.  Maybe when we move out of my parents house and into a place of our own, perhaps we can have a shared studio in our house where I can work on photos, sew, knit, quilt, and create, and where he can fix and restore things and make cool stuff out of wood.  Sounds like a plan to me.

See I have this thing for organization stations.  My brain is set to auto-pilot…it’s always thinking up ways to create stations that foster a safe and healthy environment for whatever the station was created for — be it a mail station, a craft station, or even a fruit station.  I think it helps me appreciate the small things even more.

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end-time practical living.

We recently had an inland hurricane and tornado visit Southern Illinois.  It’s never happened before.  The whole ordeal was pretty disasterous — bringing down huge old trees, damaging property, and cutting the whole town’s power supply for at least a week.  Now when you are out of electricity, and your stove-top and microwave run off of electricity, you have to be creative with what you have in-house in order to eat a decent meal.  The following is something Greg rigged up.  We cooked baked beans on an oven rack, held up by 4 drinking glasses, and lit by 2 candles.  I think it’s a pretty great idea, especially if you need ideas for end-time living.

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So the following photo displays what happens when you do have electricity, but you break your coffee karafe!  Glass jam jars work excellently.  It only makes one cup of coffee now, but oh well, at least there’s coffee!  Ingenious!

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restoration project #2: hundley house door.

Back in January I came across a very neat looking old door in the basement of the Hundley House — the house where we are renting an apartment.  The neat looking door was just leaning against the wall in one of the many cold and lurky basement rooms of the house.  It was narrower than most normal doors — giving it a cool factor, it was solid oak and very heavy, it had a skeleton keyhole, and it is almost about 100 years old!!!  Some of you may already know this, but the Hundley House is one of the oldest homes in Carbondale, thus making it a historic site.  The home is an old brick mansion built in 1915 by Mayor J. C. Hundley and his wife Luella.  The inside of the house is split into three apartments.  If you are interested in the history of the house, look it up, because it is QUITE interesting (murder, suspense, etc.).

I decided that I wanted the door, but I knew it wasn’t mine to take.  I told Greg about my secret desire.  Greg said that I should prayerfully ask the landlord for it.  So, I prayed and asked God that if I should have this door, let the landlord say “yes”.  But if there was to be any reason that I should not have the door, let the landlord say “no”.

The next time I saw my landlord outside the house I asked him if I could have the door in his basement.  He looked at me with a quizzical expression and asked me why I would want a door.  I tell him my reason, he gives me more of that same quizzical look and says, “ok, well whatever floats your boat.”  So I got the door!

Greg did a thorough cleaning of the door.  And now, it hangs from our living room wall.  : )

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a delightful mobile.

mobile_backI really want to make my own.  The fabrics are just too cute.  The simplicity and minimalistic styling are just darling.

“Each little birdie is made entirely by hand using high quality fabrics sourced from around the globe.  The mobiles are created using a powdercoated wire lamp shade frame with the delightful birdies hanging sweetly from the frame.”

They are from Poppies for Grace, which you can find in my Papery link section.  Too bad they are $180 Australian dollars.

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restoration project #1: kitchenette table & chairs.

Since temporarily migrating to Carbondale, Illinois, we’ve worked on several restoration projects.  To put it plainly, we love old things.  We love making old and random things usable while being creative in the process.  One of our first projects here was a small kitchenette table that would seat 2-4.

Now to give you a little history, before Greg quit his job last summer, he would bring boxes home from work for our big move from Baltimore.  One day he brought home a very large packaging tube made of very sturdy cardboard.  As soon as I saw it, my mind went racing with all the different things we could do with it.  In the end, we decided we would bring it with us to Carbondale and it would become our kitchen table there since we were SURE we wouldn’t be bringing our large farm house table for the short 10 month internship.  In order to make the table work, Greg would need to find a circular table top to place on top of the cardboard tube, and I needed to find random, but cool-looking eclectic chairs for the table.  All were accomplished within weeks of moving to Carbondale.

We found the table top at Lowe’s for pretty cheap ($24 at 50% off).  We also purchased 2 wobbly chairs from a local thrift store (4.99/piece), and 2 wobbly chairs from a local antique shop ($12/piece).  Our makeshift kitchen table and chairs were slowly coming together, but we still had lots to do to make them presentable and sustainable!  So we went to work.  We sanded the table top and stained it to the color we preferred.


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71011Once the table top was completed, we worked on the chairs.  Greg, being the great restorer that he is (I think he gets it from his Father above), took apart the chairs piece by piece and put them back together with stronger nails.  Once they were pieced back together, he bound them with strong twine so that they could solidify before we used them as our dining chairs.IMGP1587IMGP1601IMGP1595IMGP1602IMGP1600

Reupholstered 2 of the chairs with neat fabrics because they were falling apart.  We also put fabric on the cardboard tubing.  The overall finished product looks like this.IMGP1564IMGP1567IMGP1568