Spa in a Paint Can

After Christmas sales of bath and beauty sets-in-a-bag-or-basket are plentiful!
In stores like Walgreens, CVS,Wal-Mart, Eckerds, they line the shelves.
The prices are excellent at 50% off!
But, the packaging is so generic and contrived.
Each gift looks like every other package in the Health and Beauty Aisle.

But what if you took another look 
at these pre-packaged goods 
and added this:


(Inspiration from BHG)

and got this?

What if you made a personal gift for a friend's birthday?
A friend who just got a new garden tub?
That's just what I did!

I gathered supplies:
  • Spa Set-in-a-bag
  • A bar of soap
  • An empty paint can from Lowe's
  • A paint can opener from Lowe's
  • A few paint samples from Lowe's
  • Scrapbook paper
  • Vellum paper
  • Double-sided tape
  • Hole puncher
  • Hammer
  • 3' Wide Ribbon

Printed labels on the Vellum paper.

Unwrapped the loofah, scrubber, pumice and soap.

Wrapped scrapbook paper and labels around each,
taped them closed.

Layered them in the can with a few other treats.
You could add candles, a wine glass, a face mask,
chocolate, lotion, oils, anything that will fit!
Put the lid on and tap gently with the hammer to seal.

Punch holes in the paint samples you'll use,
they will be the gift tag(s).

Wrap the ribbon around the can.
Attach paint can opener to ribbon.


Ta Da!

I Work for a King

I work for a King. 

He has put me in charge of his home. 
When He comes to see 
how I have managed His possessions 
and His children, 
I do not want to be found wanting. 

(Miss A and Barbie)

I want to do my best. 
Everything I have is on loan from Him. 
I have room and board and a job to do, 
but it is all for Him.

Therefore I want to dress my best 
and do my best in all my work. 

(Miss S-far right (and classmates) at her Home School Co-op Graduation 2009)

I also want to be creative, 
for this is a sincere attempt to glorify Him 
and His beautiful creation. 

How I manage my home 
is a form of worship to Him.

--Lydia Sherman

(I couldn't have said it better myself, Lydia!)

Let's remember WHO we REALLY work for.

Sunday Serenity

Each Sunday, I will feature a picture taken by one of my daughters, 
and some words of faith, hope, and love given by our Father:

You alone are my inheritance, 
        my cup of blessing.      

You guard all that is mine.

How to Cut Bamboo Blinds and Shades

Still in the kitchen.

You ever started a project--what you thought would be a simple project,
and one thing leads to another, as you discover kinks along the way?

Moving one thing means having to move other things,
painting one thing means having to paint other things?

This is what's happening in our beloved "heart of our home".

But, I am learning some things along the way.

Goody for you--I play nicely with others,
and I am going to share what I am learning with you!!

Today, I will share how, because I couldn't find the EXACT size of bamboo shade
needed for the window over the sink, I cut it to the size needed.

Neither Lowe's nor The Home Depot would help me.
They only cut the Levelor blinds, not "common" Ambria shades.

So, here we go.

How to Cut Bamboo Blinds and Shades
  • Measure your window, and decide how much shade you'd like inside or outside your window.

I DID NOT want an inside mount, 
I wanted the shade to hang outside the edges of the window 2" on each side.
That meant a 42" shade.
  • Go buy your a slightly larger shade than the width you need. Make sure the header frame mounting material is wood, or bamboo.
I got a 48" shade.

  • You will need a fine tooth hacksaw, tape measure, masking tape, a marker, and a miter box (the box is not really necessary). You can also cut the shade with an electric chop saw if you have one, but most of us don't, or are scared of them, so a hand saw is what we use.
  • Cut off the end of the plastic packaging slighly further than the width you need to cut. The wrapping will help hold the shade into a roll while you cut.
  • Divide the total inches you need to saw off in half, this is how much you will saw off each end. Mark around the circumference of the blind.
So, to make a 42" shade:
48" minus 6" divided by 2 = 3" off each side!
There! Your homeschool math lesson for the day!

  • Start sawing. It helps to have a professional work bench, like I do.

(See the aqua floral print in the picture below? 
I am in my professional shop pajamas uniform.)
  •  Keep sawing.
  • Saw some more.
  • Keep going.

  • Get a Bandaid. Owie.

  • Almost through.
  • Tamp the cut side on a flat surface, so the end will be flat/even on the other side when you cut through it.
  • Flip the blind and repeat on the other side. 
The second time, I got smart (at least to my way of thinking) 
and tightly taped the blind with masking tape, inside the cutting line. 
This helped hold it firmly, while I hacked away at it. 
Do this for both ends from the start--and maybe no blister for you.

I took a picture for you of the blind I cut, 
side by side with a blind that was fresh from the package- factory cut.
Don't they look the same?

That's more better.

You can also cut the slatted (these are matchstick) bamboo blinds this way.

As of today, my boo-boo is healed, thanks for asking!

Proverbs 31:16-17
Leslie version:

She considers a blind and buys it;
         From her earnings she covers the window.
She works out by sawing and gains strength
which makes her arms strong.

Welcome, Come on In! Our Foyer, Music Room, and Dining Room

Well, I figured since you have been patiently waiting for me to 
finish the kitchen, I would politely invite you into our house to wait.
You can sit and rest or look around and I'll send Miss S to the piano 
to play you some Mozart or Chopin.
I'll have Miss A make you some Earl Grey tea or coffee.

While you are waiting with your cup in hand,
I will finish sawing the blind that goes over the sink,
(I need a 42" blind, and so I am having to cut 3" off each end of a 48" blind--
will post about that), add more beadboard paper to the backs of the open cabinets,
and browse Craigslist once again for a faucet and rug.

Who am I kidding?
I'd offer you some tea and then drag you into the kitchen to help me.
No one sits around while I'm working!

Thought you might like to see some befores and afters.
I am warning you--We LOVE red!
Red is not for the shy or faint of heart!

When we moved in.
Builder beige. Depressing (to me).
Different angles of the foyer.
I added real wood wainscoting, by myself, thank you very much!

First decorating attempt. Meh.

I found a toile wallpaper on eBay, and went from there.
It took me 2 months to finish hanging the wallpaper.
Plugging away at it, a little bit every day.

I joke that if I didn't love the Lord and went to hell when I died,
I would be hanging wallpaper for all eternity as my punishment.
That's how much I dislike wallpapering.

The paper has snails and fruit, butterflies and scrolls.

I also found the buffalo check fabric for the curtains on eBay,
(sewed those into large, lined rectangles)
as well as one of the two matelasse bedspreads 
that I sewed slipcovers for the wingbacks out of.

The shutters (found for $1 each at a yard sale) hold sheet music.

Our front rooms were literally this bare when we moved in.
No furnishings.
My mother-in-love got remarried, and combined her and her husband's furnishings,
and shipped us the "leftovers".
28 pieces of antiques! What a blessing!
Among them are the piano, foyer dresser, nightstand between the chairs, 
Hitchcock chairs in the foyer.

The ceilings are 9 feet, and therefore the rooms were large enough to handle the bold color.
Lady Bug, Sherwin Williams. 5 coats, including primer. Ugh.
I also sewed the slipcover for the loveseat out of brushed cotton duck.

How exciting.
A blank slate.

$10 garage sale chandelier, painted black.
$5 garage sale antique mirror frame, painted and mirror added.

Found these vintage swing arm rods on eBay, too.
They were gold when we bought them.

Our garage sale hutch.
It was pine, custom-made, and I loved the curves.
This was primed, then a coat of Laura Ashley Cowslip 3 yellow was added.
Lyre-back, English $10 garage sale chairs.
I found the prints at Good Will for $2.99 each--
they must have been meant for our home, because they each had 
the flowers of the month for each of our birthdays! 
I added molding to the walls around the room, too.
Every single piece of silver or ironstone came from a garage sale or Good Will.

Below the chair rail is tin tile-looking wallpaper from Lowes.
Trestle table, a barter with a friend.

I know the flowers are fake.
I like 'em anyway.

The bird is fake, too.

The bedspread on the table was a birthday gift!

So concludes our tour!

Now get in the kitchen and hold this blind for me so I can cut it!
Or you can clean something--your choice!


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