children + toys.


Amanda Blake Soule, author of the wonderful, “Handmade Home: Simple Ways to Repurpose Old Materials into New Family Treasures”, was interviewed by Indie Fixx.  I love what Amanda says about children + toys.  She was asked:

“Your home is so lovely and yet still kid-friendly.  I love how you make spaces that both appeal to kids and adults.  Do you have any advice for people wanting to do the same in their own homes?”

Amanda’s response:

“Thank you!  I think my one piece of advice for that would be to choose carefully the toys you bring into your home.  For lots of reasons, ‘less’ is more.  It’s better for children’s imaginations, better for creating a peaceful family environment, and it’s much easier on the space in a house.  I also think ‘beauty’ is an important factor to consider when bringing a toy into your home.  Shouldn’t children’s toys and surroundings be beautiful, too?  I think so.”

yard sales.

Greg and I visited around eight yard sales on Saturday.  It was such a sun-shiney day that there were plenty of them to choose from on almost every other corner.  We were on the hunt for a lawnmower.  We didn’t find a mower, but I did find these fantastic pottery mugs.  They were priced at $1/piece, but we only had a total of $2 on us.  I was going to just purchase 2 mugs, but Greg said I should ask the elderly man for all 6.  So I asked the man if he would do 6 mugs for $2 — he said, “yeah, why not?”

These pretty little mugs remind me of Holland for some reason.  They remind me of the time Ohio Becky went to Holland when I was a kid, and she brought me back a little porcelain clog with blue design work.  The beautiful blue design work is so typical of Hollish designs on dinnerware, jewelery, and artwork.

Love them.


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.


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.


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!