31 – Jewelry Organizer

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On Oct. 9, I told you about a new project I had in mind. I have been wanting to make myself a jewelry organizer and I found tons of drawer knobs at a fabulous rummage sale. If it turned out as well as I hoped, my plan was to make more and add them to my etsy shop.

The last 19 days have been an adventure of finding the right pieces and learning to do some things I have never tried before. Here’s the journey.

First, I spent several hours removing half of the knobs I bought from their wooden displays. Yes, half. The other half are attached with rivets and are very difficult to get off. I will tackle them as I need them, but I got enough off to get started.


I found the board that matched the vision in my head.



I measured and marked where the holes would go.



I drilled the holes, all by myself!



I tried out several paints and settled on a beautiful color with a slight sheen to it, Satin Beetle Black, and painted the board, front and back.



I went to Home Depot and found the right diameter and length of screws, again, all by myself! Then I attached those beautiful knobs.



I finished the whole project, photographed it and listed it in my etsy store.


I am so excited. It actually turned out just like I wanted it to! I have plans for lots more similar projects. I love it when a plan comes together!

31 Days – The Stage

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We live in a great house. It was originally the servant’s quarters to the oldest home in our town. It’s probably a hundred years old and it has GREAT character, including the bunks in the basement where the farmhands used to sleep.

When I first saw this apartment, I walked in to this room downstairs with 2 bunks and thought they were really cool. The image of them stuck in my head and I knew they had a different purpose for us. I woke up the next morning and thought “STAGE”! My little girl is very imaginative and loves to pretend. What could be better than her very own stage?

So I cleaned it all up (with the help of my mom!). I added 3 layers flooring mats I had from our previous apartment so the bunk would be more comfortable.

Then I hung purple curtains (that don’t fit her window in our new place) on the existing curtain rods and tied them back with pretty ribbon.

Added a shiny pink comforter and her box of dress-up clothes.

And the stage was all set!

Her reaction? “Mom, you did all this for ME? It’s wonderful!” Yup. That’s my kid.

So using only things we already had around our home, I spent no money at all and was able to give my sweetness her heart’s desire. She is thrilled and so am I.


Refreshing my Sweetie’s Room

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As many moms of 6-year-olds know, it seems a nearly impossible task to keep the kid’s room clean. Toys and books end up everywhere. And my daughter loves to make things beautiful, so she “decorates” and moves her stuff around all the time. Her room is not big and was not working as we had set it up when we moved here.

I had an idea of how to rearrange the room to make it work better. So this morning, my mom came over to help. We worked for about 3 hours, rearranged the furniture, hung a great shelf, cleaned the room and sorted all the boxes and baskets. I can’t wait for the kiddo to come home from school and see her new and improved room!



Best Rummage Sale EVER!

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I dragged my poor daughter to yet another rummage sale last weekend. She is pretty used to it by now. She actually started labeling a bunch of her toys for her pretend rummage sale a week ago.

I have this new project I want to create and list on etsy. Jewelry organizers. I saw them last week and cannot wait to create my version of them. So I have been searching high and low for the hardware I have in mind. I have been to estate sales, thrift stores and rummage sales. I had found a few that would work, but needed lots more.

So off we went to this massive yearly rummage sale that benefits a local school. I have never been to it before, but definitely plan on going again next year.

I was looking in little boxes, hoping to find a drawer knob or two. Then I turned around. Oh my word. There were TONS of sample hardware boards, filled with beautiful metal knobs and pulls. I think I gasped! Then I started sorting through them all and finding so very many that would be perfect for my projects. I picked boards and my daughter added them to the pile. Then she started choosing them too. We got so many, we had to use a wagon to take them all to the car. Not sure what I will do with the drawer pulls and some of the hooks yet, but I’ll figure something out. (We finally counted them the next day. We have 163 drawer knobs alone!)

Now I have major work in front of me. Taking all of these hundreds of pieces of hardware off their boards and organizing them. I definitely have something to spend my 31 minutes a day of etsy time on!

I tend to thrive while doing something creative. Parts of my job can be very boring. Then I find a new “something” I want to create and feel lighter than air. I love the moment of inspiration and the work afterwards to fulfill the vision in my head.

Eliminating Excuses

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With winter coming (quickly, it seems) I thought it was time to get some way to exercise at home. I am loving my outdoor walks every morning, and I hope they can continue for another month, but I want to be prepared for rain or more cold than I want to deal with. I am working hard at getting healthy and I don’t want to get derailed.

So today, I pulled out an exercise machine that went into storage when we moved. 12 years ago. Ahem. Yes, it sat in my mom’s basement all that time and finally moved with my daughter and I when we got our own place a few months ago.

I cleaned it all up, figured out how to unstick it and tried it out. Still works perfectly! I thought all that time in the basement might have made it freeze up for good.

A few days ago, I set up an old tv in the basement and now the fully functioning exercise machine is in front of it.

I am finding that as I have these goals in front of me each day, the motivation is building. I am tackling more projects (big and small) that I wanted to do, but never did.


62 Things Less!

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A pile has been building up in my closet of clothes that my daughter has outgrown and plenty of other things to donate. I even went through my closet a few weeks ago and pulled out some things I know I’ll never wear. I kept thinking about sorting through it and figuring out what I could sell to a children’s resale shop and what would be donated. But the thought of sorting it, photographing and documenting it for taxes and packing it up made me just keep closing the closet door!

Yesterday, I finally did it! I have a box ready to be sold and 62 items already delivered to St Vinny’s. WOW! I may have my closet back soon!  Only took about 30 minutes. I just had to find the motivation to get in there and do it. It feels wonderful to not have that hanging over my head anymore.

My daughter and I also spent some time outside gathering leaves for a new craft idea I saw on Pinterest. I think it will make great Christmas gifts for her to give. I’ll post it when we have one done.

So day 4 was quite a success. I met all my goals, accomplished one task I had been dreading AND spent quality time with the kiddo.

This is awesome.


Giving Myself Grace

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The first 3 days of the month went pretty well. I was amazed at all I accomplished on the first two days. Then yesterday, I got work in (yay!), had an unhappy child after school and had Bible study at night. Suddenly my goals were looming over me and I was working to finish them at 10:45 at night, while barely keeping my eyes open. Hmmm.

Once I commit to something, I am pretty fierce about completing it. I committed to this challenge and want to fight my way through it. But I also need to give myself grace. I need to acknowledge that as a single mom (or just as a mom!) things aren’t always going to go as planned. The small one may have a rough night or a terrible after school time. While I WANT to meet all of the goals I have set, I need to make sure that grace and love win out.

If my small one needs tons of extra love and I don’t have anything left in me after giving it, it’s ok to go to bed and try again the next day. If I get a bunch of work in, GREAT! I can do the paid work and put etsy and the blog on the back burner for a day. The key will be not putting them on the back burner indefinitely.

So for now, I will be my committed self and work as hard as I can at meeting these daily goals I have set out for myself. But I will try to remember that God’s grace covers all, even an exhausted momma.

Morning Walk

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There is a recreational trail about 2 blocks (if there were blocks!) from our house. I have never been on it. Until yesterday. On day one of my 31 day challenge, I decided to stop there on my way home from dropping my daughter off at school. I reasoned that if I walked for 31 minutes, I could still be home before the work day began and any clients might need me.

So off I went. I knew nothing of this trail, except that at one time it was a railroad. I had no idea what was in for.

It was a cool, slightly overcast morning. Being early October in the midwest, the colors are changing and leaves are falling. It was truly breathtaking. I heard all sort of animals scooting around in the brush, running away at the sound of me. I heard nothing but nature for most of the walk and found that after 16 minutes, when I had planned on turning around, I just couldn’t. I walked for an hour in the cool of the morning, just loving being out in God’s fabulous creation.

I went again this morning (33 minutes this time) and plan to go as often as the weather and work allow. Such a great way to start out the day and the change in perspective was just what I needed.

31 days of Focus and Refresh

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Mary at Owlhaven and her daughters (Amanda & Erika) are embarking on an adventure. The idea is to focus and refresh your life by doing (or not doing) something for 31 minutes a day or by doing something every day in October that you normally wouldn’t do.

I’m in.

One of my big struggles in having my own business is focusing. When I am on a photo shoot or have photos to process, no problem. The days in between, when there is no work flowing in? Those leave me sort of floundering. I have so many ideas I want to try, but I get stuck. Stuck in worry. Stuck in distraction. Stuck.

I am ready to get unstuck.

So here are my goals for October:

1. Study the Bible and/or pray for 31 minutes a day.

2. Exercise for 31 minutes a day.

3. Spend 31 minutes a day working on my blog.

4. Spend 31 minutes a day creating something or listing something in my etsy shop. (which is very sad with 11 things listed right now!)

5. Get rid of one thing I don’t need every day during October.


I am so excited for this adventure! I can’t wait to see what I can accomplish when I make myself focus and have tangible goals laid out. After I dropped my kiddo off at school this morning, I stopped at the trail on the way home and walked for an hour. Hopefully starting with a bang will get the momentum going!