Not sure exactly where to start this story… I could go back to May of this year or March of this year or approximately 13 years ago when we decided to move from Springfield to Harrisburg or even 15 years ago when Ryan and I got married.
Ok, I’ll make it quick. 15 years ago, we got married young. Realized we couldn’t both be in college at the same time, so we took turns. Ryan graciously allowed me to finish my Master’s Degree in Professional Counseling and then he decided to go to Oregon State University. OSU was about an hour from where we lived in Springfield.
So, we decided to move from Springfield to a small town between college and work called Harrisburg. It is less than 5,000 people and one stoplight small. We bought a house and we loved it there. And even after Ryan was done with college, we stayed. We loved our house and our small community.
Moving back had come up a few times over the 13 years we lived there. We both work in Eugene. Our church is in Springfield. Our families and friends are in Springfield/Eugene. But we just felt like Harrisburg was home. And although it added to the daily commute and made getting Kyrie to school in Springfield more challenging, moving just wasn’t on our radar. Maybe in a couple years we said. Maybe when it’s time for Jackson to go to school. Maybe.
I just have this picture in my mind of a path, a lovely steady path that really had no plans of changing. It was nice, it was comfortable, it came with a bit of a commute, but it was our path.
Then COVID-19 hit*. Similar to many others, the stay at home order meant a lot of Netflix, looking for toilet paper online, and creating a sourdough starter. Am I right? Who else has been baking sourdough? Luckily for Ryan, it also meant it was a perfect opportunity to tackle a few projects around the house.
We finished the wainscoting trim in the dining room. We changed out the vanity in our powder room. We planted three trees. We added some brickwork around said trees and in the backyard off the patio. We barked everything. We added river rock around the pool. We repainted our master bathroom.
The done list was looking amazing.
One last project, you know that dishwasher that had been sitting in the backyard for the last 5 (almost 6) years? Shameful, yes. We decided to finally make a trip to the dump and get rid of it. Yes, great weekend excursion for life in the time of corona virus.
Isn’t it interesting how God uses the most mundane moments to change our paths? A trip to the dump that we’d been putting off for over 5 years. God can use that.
After the trip to the dump and a smashed finger (poor Kyrie!), we decided to stop at Ryan’s parent’s house. We hadn’t seen them in weeks and thought it would be good to just say hello, even if it was a socially distanced hello.
And here is the moment that changed the Green family’s path. Here it is, are you ready for it…???
We were talking to Ryan’s mom, Danielle, and she apologized that Ryan’s Dad, Greg, wasn’t around and that we would miss him during our visit. But he was up mowing some different properties that the family’s trust had on the market.
Time out, side note: Ryan’s grandparents owned several properties that they rented out. After their passing, these properties have been sold one-by-one by the family trust. We knew these were being sold, but we were happy and comfortable in Harrisburg (see paragraphs 3 and 4).
Time in: Danielle began describing one of these properties.
Danielle: It has a meadow, and creek, and lots of trees, it really is lovely (other than the dumpy trailer). Anyway, he’s up there mowing today.
Ryan: Meadow, creek, trees… how big is the property?
Danielle: 3 acres.
Another side note: In the past when Ryan and I would dream about owning property someday, we always said we would want 3-5 acres.
Ryan and Heather: knowing look
Ryan: We should go look at it.
Heather: Yes, yes we should.
Yet another side note: Just so you, the reader, know, we were both only about 50% serious, maybe less. But life in the time of corona makes any excursion sound exciting. And it was almost like a game of chicken.
And so, everyone back in the van, and a couple miles up the road. Wait, actually, Ryan turned the wrong way. He nearly missed the moment, we nearly missed the new path.
Me: Hey, weren’t we going to look at that property?
Ryan: I thought you were joking.
Me: I was, but hey, why not!
Ryan whipped around and a few miles up the road and we were there. The driveway was a canopy of old Douglas Fir and Cedar trees. We hopped out and immediately saw the dumpy trailer (details), I could smell the fir/pine and cedar and rain. We could see the delightful meadow (aka front yard), we were surrounded by every shade of green you could imagine. And in the distance, we could hear the rushing water of a creek. Lovely, delightful, sweet, but someone else’s dream surely.
We went home and returned to normal.
The next day, I had decided I also wanted to repaint the powder room and had this super cool idea to do a dotted-diamond wall treatment. Ryan really is awesome at all things geometric (plus he’s super tall with long arms), so while the kids napped, I asked him to help me measure and mark the walls. About halfway done with the first wall (and at least 1 hour in),
Ryan: What did you think of that property?
Me: It was really nice, lots of potential. I’d love to have something like that someday. But we aren’t ready for step like that, right? And I love our house, we’ve done so much work lately, and I don’t want to give it up.
Ryan: Yah, it was really nice. [Insert a ton of Ryan talking about how much he loved growing up in the country. Space to run around in. You can make trails. Play in the creek. Put up a basketball hoop. Space. Build a tree house. Room to garden. Space. No neighbors looking into your backyard. No neighbors judging your lack of brilliance at landscaping. Space. I would love for our kids to grow up in the country.]
Me (nearly in tears, good tears): So what you are telling me, is you want to give our kids a lifestyle like what you grew up with? And that raising your kids in the country has always been a dream of yours? Ok, I’m in…. But the trailer isn’t livable, right? But what about our house? Harrisburg? Could we even afford something like that? Etc…
Ryan: I’ll call my dad and see if we can go back out with him and take a walk around.
So back to the picture of my path. Did it start a few months ago? Did it start 13 years ago? 15 years ago? I have no doubt in my mind that God knows exactly where this path started. But in my mind, I see a fork in the path that happened on that ordinary May day when we went to the dump.
I’m standing here writing this in an 800 square foot apartment. We sold the house. Turns out, all that work we were doing uniquely set us up to get the house on the market in about a month. Did God have a plan? Why yes, He did. The house sold in two days, the second family that walked through made us an offer. We went through the process of finding a lender and a builder.
Now we are living in this apartment while we get everything going on the build. Demo, trees, permits, etc. We spend several weeknights and most weekends up at the Lost Wood. Oh, yes, we named it. The kids already love tromping around in the woods and throwing rocks in the creek (looking at you, Liam). Each kiddo has their very own walking stick, courtesy of the Lost Wood. The property isn’t landscaped and has decades of old trees and broken branches and debris. Ryan and I have been clearing brush and raking leaves and thinning things out. Neither of us has ever enjoyed yard work, but we love this yard work. Ryan has dreams of creating walking paths, and a few patios areas, and a tree house. I’m excited for a lovely outdoor patio to enjoy the view, and to plant a bigger garden, and to watch my kids grow up in the Lost Wood.
God has showed up in other ways as well, ask me sometime about our fence, my grandparent’s legacy, apartment 84, the rats, or the unethical appraiser. We’ve already been blessed beyond measure.
The next adventure involves moving to the Lost Wood in a travel trailer. But more on that another day.
*Please don’t think I don’t take COVID-19 it seriously. I know it has been a global tragedy in so many ways. And my heart breaks for all those that have been impacted negatively.
This fall their very own cookbook released, 150+ Gluten Free Family Favorites. It was a labor of love to create recipes that even the most strict gluten free diet can handle. My sister was diagnosed with Celiac Disease over 15 years ago and has lived completely gluten free since that time. Difficult yes, but with all the awesome recipes they have created, she doesn’t have to live without her favorite foods anymore! Can you say cinnamon rolls?!!
And obviously, they needed coordinating aprons for events! Obviously.
You can get all the instructions and details from this previous post.
Here are the finished aprons at the local gluten-free expo!
And how cute is this cookbook? See the coordinating blue and white gingham, aren’t we clever?!!
Are you, or someone you love, gluten free? You can order the book at any major retailer including Amazon.
When Ryan and I were first married, my parents spent a weekend at my grandparents house getting rid of some clutter. One of the items that was on its way out was an old dining room table and chairs that originally belonged to my great grandparents.
Thankfully, my mom couldn’t bear to see them go. So, she called me! Yay!
I’m always up for a little DIY challenge and Ryan and I just so happened to be shopping for our first house. Perfect!
Mom saved the set from the landfill, Ryan and I bought a house, and the set was ours. We lovingly refinished the chairs with dark cherry stain and I re-covered the seats with a tone-on-tone red damask fabric. Gorgeous! We ended up having to buy a new table because the tabletop wasn’t salvageable (good news, we did save and reuse the legs).
Every time my parents come over for dinner, my Dad remarks fondly how glad he is that we saved the chairs. He remembers the “heart” shape backs from his own childhood. My grandmother has also been tickled to see them in our house. I love the history and stories these chairs tell. All the warm fuzzy feelings!
Now we have three little ones of our own and the stories continue. Sadly though, the red damask hasn’t loved the spilled oatmeal, applesauce, milk, ice cream, yogurt, syrup… you name it, those chairs have gotten doused in it.
I was wandering around Hobby Lobby looking for inspiration, and this is what called my name!
The chairs! Yes!
1 yard home decor fabric (Mine was from Hobby Lobby)
Pliers and screw driver (for removing old staples)
I started by removing the seats from the chairs. (Let’s be real, Ryan did that part. Thanks babe!)
I used a combination of the flathead screwdriver and pliers to remove the old staples.
I traced the seats out into the tissue paper and then added about 2.5″ all the way around to create a pattern. If you look closely (not only will you see my stylish slippers) you will also see my grandfather’s last name and my grandmother’s maiden name written on the back from when my grandparents were first married and had the chairs recovered. Family history right there!
Then I used my pattern to cut out my fabric. I also had to trim the chair foam just a bit to fit the seats.
Assembling the seats is as simple as fabric face down, foam centered on the fabric, seat (face down) on top. Then staple, staple, and staple some more. To staple, you want to pull the fabric tight, actually pressing down on the foam. Start in the center of one side, and work to the edges, leaving the corners until all four sides are done. Do the corners last, making a nicely finished edge.
Ryan put the screws back in and… voila!
Chairs full of legit family history sans oatmeal stains!
There is something so rewarding about taking an old and unexciting piece of furniture and giving it a completely new look! I love painting furniture, and our most recent project was this rolltop desk we were given. It has always lived in our office and while I didn’t love the finish, I LOVE all the little cubbies and drawers. It gives the illusion of organization at least. In our efforts to baby proof, we moved my craft table to the office, and now the desk is in our living room. Now that the desk is more visible, it really needed to be updated. So, instead of giving you the blow-by-blow, I thought these 10 tips would really cover the important points and convince you that anyone can do it!
1. Use chalk paint. Chalk paint rocks! You don’t have to spend hours prepping the surface, and it comes out with a great matte finish. There are a lot of great brands out there, but there is a local place that sells Shabby Paint and their colors are great. For this project I used Snow White, Licorice, and Sheer Vax to finish it.
2. Use spray paint.
Because I wanted to give the desk a distressed look with some “layers,” I used black spray paint (satin finish) on all the edges and corners of the desk before painting it all white with the chalk paint. So when I distressed the desk, you can see some great added dimension with the black layer. It really adds to the overall look in a big way.
In addition, I used black on the cubbies inside the desk. There really wasn’t a good way to get a paint brush into those tight areas. Just using a bit of spray paint made my life way WAY easier!
3. Take time to disassemble the desk. It might seem like a bit of a pain, but you will save yourself quite a headache if you at least take off the top of the desk, and remove the rolltop. You will be even more pleased with your result if you take the time to do this step. Make notes to yourself as you take it apart to make re-assembly go smoothly.
4. Consider a two-toned look. I really like the way this turned out. I decided I wanted the horizontal surfaces to be black. It adds interest and makes the finished desk unique. I love the contrast of black and white, but lots of other color combos would be cool. Maybe Vogue and Garfield Grey, Emily Ann and Lillian Grey, Paper Doll and Alamo White…
5. Paint the sides and inside of the drawers. In keeping with the two-toned look. We painted the inside of the drawers black. This feels so good when you open the drawers and see a nice completely finished piece. Another fun idea, especially if you are going with one color on the desk, would be to paint the insides and sides of the drawer with a fun pop of color. This extra step is worth it! BTW, we used spray paint on this step too.
6. Dry brush the rolltop piece. Every project inevitably has a lesson you learn the hard way. The good news is that you can learn from our mistake. I’m going to reiterate step 3, take the rolltop out and lay it flat. You then want to carefully dry brush this piece. It will take extra time, but you don’t want the paint to puddle between the slats. Otherwise you will end up with cracked paint you won’t be happy with. Take your time, it might take an extra coat or two.
7. Buy new hardware. This desk had wooden pulls that just didn’t excite me so we decided to update the majority of the hardware. New hardware doesn’t have to be expensive (we paid like $1.79 per pull) but it can make a big difference!
8. Spray paint existing hardware. While I didn’t love the wooden pulls, I do love the plate on the front of the rolltop as well as on the plates on outside of the little drawers. I just decided to get ride of the gold and spray paint them black. Looks super cool!
9. Have fun distressing. You work so hard to carefully paint the piece, then you spend time destroying the perfection. I oddly love this step, go figure. It actually lets you off the hook, and you can embrace any areas you felt like were “mistakes.” We can celebrate the imperfections now! I use 60 or 80 grit sandpaper on a sanding block and go to town. Concentrate on corners and edges that would normally experience wear and tear. I also like to use it as an opportunity to highlight interesting details in the piece. I just try to maintain some distressing consistency as I go along, comparing to previous sections as I go.
10. Print fun tags. Just a final touch. I picked a vintage looking (and FREE) font and had fun printing out labels for the fun little drawers. I love this finishing touch!
I’m not sure why but aprons make me feel this happy nostalgia about being a woman, a wife, and now a mother. I have this fascination with them and what they represent. Maybe it’s like instead of superhero cape, the apron signifies our womanhood and everything that entails. And when I put one on, it’s like I live in a simpler time. Don’t get me wrong, I’m super happy about like being able to vote and all, but I also love just being home, apron on, taking care of my family.
Sooo, the votes have been counted, and it was unanimous! Everyone wanted a pattern for this apron. I hope you love it, it’s definitely my fav too. Vintage inspired with a fun/flirty flounce!
Materials: -1 yard main fabric – I use a pretty sturdy fabric when I make aprons, I particularly like the home decorator fabric section of Joann’s. Also, yay for polka dots!! #rockinthedots
-1 yard coordinating fabric
-Computer/Printer/Paper/Tape – for the pattern
-Quick Turn tool (optional)
I’ve numbered your pattern pieces. Line them up top to bottom, left to right. It should be two pages wide, five pages tall. Fold on the black dotted lines to fit the pieces together.
Scotch tape your pieces together, then cut out each piece.
Lay out your pieces on your fabric, like so…
Double check everything, then cut out your pieces. Pay attention to the pieces that should be placed on the fold and which fabric you should use.
Once everything is cut out, I start with the ties. Fold in half lengthwise, and pin right side together. Then sew one end and the long edge, (½” seam allowance throughout unless otherwise stated). Repeat for all three.
Turn the ties right side out. If you don’t have a “Quick Turn” tool, you might want one at some point, they are cheap and such a time saver. But you can use a straight pin and your fingers to work it right side out. Press. Fold in the raw edges on the end, press, and top stitch each end. Your ties are all ready to go.
Next, let’s work on the main body of the apron. Let’s start by finishing the sides. Fold and press ¼”, and then again. This will give a nice finished edge that won’t fray. Sew both sides.
Next, fold and press ¼” along the top. Then fold and press 1”. We are then going to pin the top tie to the top of the body.
Sew across the top, then reinforce the tie ends by sewing like so…
Next, we will work on the flounce. Hem the bottom. It can be a little tricky to hem the curved edge, but I just carefully press it with an iron and it seems to work out fine.
Pin the flounce to the bottom of the body of the apron. This is also a little tricky because of the two odd shapes, but just use lots of pins. Sew. Press.
Almost there… Pin the two side ties, and attach.
Now for the final touch, the pocket. You can use the coordinating fabric for the pocket or the same fabric, totally up to you. I used the main fabric and embellished with the coordinating fabric along the top edge.
Fold the pocket embellishment piece in half, wrong sides together and press. Then line up the raw edge with the raw edge of the wrong side of the pocket. Sew on. Then fold over so the folded edge is on the front of the pocket and top-stitch.
On the wrong side, fold in ¼” inch around the sides/bottom of the pocket, and press. Stitch onto the body of the apron (leaving the top open).
Drumroll, please…..You now have your very own Woman/Wife/Mommy cape! Wear it proudly ladies!!
P.S. I hope you enjoy the free pattern. Please remember, it is intended for individual use only, not for resale.
I’m not sure how it happened. One day Kyrie was scoot/rolling, then literally the next day, she started crawling. Oh-no! We probably should have started baby proofing months ago, but now is good too, right?!?
So we have been rearranging furniture, moving things around, but the real problem is the stairs. And yes, she has discovered them and seems to look at them as some sort of challenge. She has a rather determined personality (that doesn’t sound familiar at all), so we need a baby gate, like yesterday.
So funny story, I thought we should run out to Target a buy a baby gate right away. But Ryan suggested we build our own gate instead. Hey, shouldn’t I have been the one to suggest that? 🙂 He did some searching online and found some ideas we liked and came up with the plan…
Part I – Construction
Materials/Tools: Reclaimed Wood (from a deconstructed pallet)
Wood Screws (1 1/4″)
Circular Saw or Miter Saw
9 back pieces: 30″ long (various widths due to the wood available)
1 long “X” piece: 30 1/4″ long, 5 1/2″ wide, cut to a “V” on each end. I put this piece over the outer frame, and used the square tool to help mark and determine where to cut.
2 short “X” pieces: 12: long, 5 1/2″ wide, again cut to a “V” on one end. See above.
2. Sand like crazy. Because this is a baby gate, we went for an extremely smooth finish. Started with 80 grit and finished with 180 grit. I spent a lot of time getting each piece perfectly smooth as the goal of this door is safety. Look at the difference…
3. In order to keep the screws hidden, I assembled it essentially from the back forward. So the outer frame side piece was screwed to a back piece (from the back side). Then I grabbed another back piece, snugged the two back pieces up, and screwed into the outer side piece. Then I lined up the outer frame top and bottom pieces, and screwed them to the back pieces. Then continued with the back pieces all the way across, finishing with the other outer frame front piece.
4. Next I flipped over the door and fitted the “X”. Again, screwed it in from the back.
Note: I pre-drilled all the holes before putting the screws in to prevent the wood from splitting.
How to: Like every other DIYer out there, I have discovered and love chalk paint. You don’t have to sand or prime your project, and it gives this great matte finish. It looks great!
1. I decided I wanted an extra layer of black paint under the Jewel color to add some dimension when I distressed it. So I started by spray painting the entire piece black. I really didn’t worry about great coverage except on the edges and corners. But I did use an entire can of spray paint.
2. After letting it dry I painted my first coat of Jewel Shabby Paint, let dry and added a second coat. The chalk paint really goes far. I used about 5 ounces of paint total. Flipped the door over and did the same on the back (2 coats). Pretty!
3. Now is the part I love/hate. I took out the sandpaper and started distressing the door. After the beautiful coat of paint, it always makes me a little sad at first, but I love the look after it is all done. I paid special attention to the areas of the door that would normally experience wear and tear — corners, edges, etc. There is no real science to it, you just sand areas until you like the way it looks. You’ll notice some areas the black paint shows through, and others I sanded down to the wood, again, all personal taste.
4. The final touch is the product they call reVax, I applied it as recommended with a damp sponge. It is a great topcoat for durability, and in this case, I used it to deepen the color and add to the distressed look of the piece. Seriously, the Hazelnut reVax was like magic, I was so excited to see it go on, it gave the Jewel a more greenish color which is exactly what I wanted. I la la LOVE this color combo!!
Part III – Installation/Finishing
More wood screws
2 Trim pieces (30 3/4″ x 1 1/2″ x 5/8″)
Antique glass doorknob
How to: 1. Almost there! We started by cutting our two trim pieces, which will be mounted to the wall on either side and the door will connect to. On the top, cut a 45 degree angle (this just makes it look a little more finished). Then we painted them to match our wall color.
2. Attach the hinges to the gate and hinges to the first trim piece (prior to installing them on the wall). Remove the pins from the hinges so that the trim piece can be attached to the wall without the weight of the gate. Once the trim piece was secured to the wall (we were sure to find a stud and used 2 1/4″ screws), we lined up the hinges on the gate and reinserted the pins. Note: The screws pictured here were used to attach the doorknob.
3. Next, we attached the second trim piece to the other side of the wall (again 2 1/4″ screws into a stud).
4. Attach the barrel bolt approximately 1″ from the top of the door (on the back), then extend the barrel and mark the spot to drill into the trim. Drill and done.
5. Attach the glass door knob (I spray painted the plate of the antique doorknob black).