Nooks and Crannies…

Where did February go?!?

Most of it went to straightening up, sorting through, giving away, tossing out, and putting back. And I’m still at it. Somewhere around the time that our girls became teenagers, and through the years of girlfriends and sleepovers, Civil War Balls and high school activities, and gentleman callers and courtships and weddings, and empty nest shufflings and me returning to college… the house got filled up with stuff. We could still squish most of it into closets and cupboards, and give it a “lick and a promise” cleaning when company came over, but in the back of my mind, I knew what was lurking behind cupboard doors and in spare rooms. Stuff, stuff, and more stuff.

MessyCupboard

This one was stuffed to the brim with homeschool resources.
Earlier today, the top shelf looked worse then the bottom.

Books

There were lots of books I used as resources for art courses…

Papers

… And lots of papers and such.

:-P

After a bazillion trips to the Thrift Shop to donate stuff, phone calls to daughters to see what is really important, e-mails to friends to see if they want any of this stuff, re-readings of all the books on my “get organized” shelf, umpteen bags of non-donatable things headed to the dumpster, and several storage box purchases at the new Dollar General down the street, I’m seeing some light at the end of the stuff tunnel. I’m down to just the stuff in various unorganized cupboards. However, when I tackle a cupboard here near the end of the battle, it seems like I pull it all out, sort it into piles, and put most of it back. Hmph.

We have a couple of rainy days heading our way…
…I’m hoping a few stay-inside-and-hibernate days will
give me the chance to conquer the clutter monster once and for all.

I am quite determined.

Do Great Things…

We all want to do great things.

To have some great accomplishment, some “I did it”
worthy of being engraved on our tombstone.

But maybe somewhere along the line, the price tags got switched,
and what is now considered “great” is really not so great,
and what is considered mundane is really pretty awesome.

I ran into this blog post this morning.

I often complain blog about my “To Do List.”

About how long it is, and how in the world
I got myself into all the things I get myself into,
and how to get it all done  on time and
before somebody calls to see if it’s done yet.

But then… maybe I didn’t get myself into those things,
but instead was placed there for a reason
by Someone who had something to teach me.

It may have been to teach me that the last “To Do List,”
the one before that was filled with really mundane things
like snotty noses and dust bunnies and piles of dirty dishes
were actually the real Great Things.

Soooo…

I guess whatever our hand is finding to do,
is exactly what we should be doing at this very moment.

And it is a Gift.

The Gift of “Now.”

Shuffling Stuff…

Seems like we’ve been shuffling quite a bit of stuff around here lately! Art supplies and picture frames. Summer clothes and Winter clothes. Suitcases and purses. College texts and library books. Weeds and sweet potato slips. And as soon as possible, I’m hoping to shuffle some furniture. Including two pianos. That will definitely make the blog.

Being quite an expert Stuff Shuffler, last night
I started The Great Blog and Website Makeover.

It was time.

It was overdue.

I had been tired of the dark, primitive look of our website and blog, and wanted to freshen things up a bit. I’d been chatting with my girls for a few months about this idea, trying to brainstorm ideas for a new look. My papercuttings and silhouettes definitely lean to the “historic” side, but I really like bright happy colors. Kate and I have been watching Etsy Success videos. Jordan and I got to skim through some magazines and play with paint chips during our trip out West. Both girls suggested I make a mood board or collage of favorite colors and images. I started that, but I think it was more in my head than on paper. I wanted to incorporate…

White space

Antique images

Lime Green

Old Time Fonts

Simplicity

Etsy

And… many hours later… I think it’s just about there.

Please excuse the dust as I shuffle lots of pictures around. One main decision we made was to move the shop over to Etsy. I’ve had a really hard time keeping up with oodles of special orders, as well as all the pages on my shop, and adding things to Etsy too. So, I figured having everything in one spot would help simplify life. We’re trying to fill up our Gallery on Tumblr with old designs, and will take orders if life is not too crazy at the time, but our goal is to have a shop with things ready to ship. So there’s still lots of picture taking and uploading  to do, but at least the main reorganization is done!

Have fun exploring…
And let me know if you find any broken links!

Just a few things…

I’ve been slowly cleaning up and reorganizing the Art Room, and am discovering all sorts of interesting things! Found a whole drawer full of rubber stamps and embossing stuff that I might use some day, a jar of kitty whiskers (Really. I had a plan for those.), and Cuisenaire Rods… just in case I need to teach basic math concepts to a random first grader. Also discovered lots of partially finished papercuttings and artwork that never made it into frames.

…And I found a whole bunch of prints that we had made a
while back, and forgot about because they were on a high shelf!

So, for the sake of making room in my creative space, I listed the prints for sale on Our Etsy Shop, as well as on our Sweet Remembrances Shop Page! Each is available as a print only, as well as “finished and framed.” Check ‘em out!

And…

Something Else…

of Great Importance…

A little friend of ours named Lilly was in a terrible car accident last summer, and suffered brain injury from the trauma. The doctors didn’t think she would survive her injuries, but she’s a fighter, and showed them they were wrong! She is doing great, but still needs daily therapy, and she and her Mom travel hours every day back and forth to the only children’s hospital in our state. We’re trying to help in a small way by selling notecards for Lilly… all proceeds, minus printing costs, go directly to her family. If you would like to purchase any of the notecards, please Contact Us, and we’ll get them out to you right away!

Set of Five Notecards & Envelopes
$8, plus $2 shipping
(Shipping adjusted for multiple packages.) 

Thanks!!!

Even Miracles Take a Little Time
~Lilly’s favorite quote from Cinderella~

Paperwork.

We’re crafters, not accountants. Hubby Dear is determined to finish taxes TODAY. (Fine way to spend a snow day!) He’s done most of the preliminary gathering, and is now trying to make sense of it all. In our efforts of avoidance, Kate has made pumpkin chocolate chip muffins and I’ve made potato vegetable chowder. On the woodstove. As we’re buzzing by, this is what the conversation sounded like…. names have been left off to protect the innocent and to keep you guessing who said what…

… What’s this charge… is it business?

… No, that’s laundry detergent.

… How about this one?

…Ummm… perfume.

…Amazon, Amazon, Amazon, Amazon

… If you spend $25 you get Super Saver Shipping!

…Where is your W-2?

… What’s a W-2?…

…Is this it?

…No, those are quarterlies. They were probably supposed to be sent in last year.

…Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Amazon, Amazon…

…I put everything that looked like taxes in the pile on the counter.

… Michael’s, ASW, Dick Blick….

… Anything that was in the pile stayed in the pile…

…Is THIS it?

… Yes, the words on the outside that say “Important Tax Return Document Enclosed” gives it away.

… Are you sure these are the only receipts you have?

…I was supposed to keep them?

…Call the number… maybe they can tell you what we bought.

…I need your assistance.

… Hold on, I’ve got to add one more thing to the blog post….

…Amazon, Dick Blick, ASW, Amazon…

…Would you like another muffin?

momscookie

A reminder from yesterday’s post.

A Christmas project or two…

Hello folks! We had a wonderful Christmas and are starting to settle into the winter routine here at the Frey house. The hustling and bustling is over for a while, and once again we’re resolving to start making presents in January! 

Remind me that I said that next year.

One of our projects was exceedingly messy, but fun. And to add to the thrill we did it on the 22nd of December. And then prayed that it would harden by Christmas. And then tried to figure out how to wrap these heavy concrete things! We do plenty of last minute, hair-brained Christmas projects, but my advice to everyone crafty out there is to try a new project out earlier in December to see how things will turn out. And also find somebody sweet enough to mix very thick concrete in small batches by hand for 5 hours straight.

You can remind me next year that I said that also.

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They ended up turning out great, though, and were such a hit that we’re going to make herb markers for the store this spring! We had some concrete left over, so Chris decided to make some more yesterday. (He must not have minded the mixing!) We just listed them on our Etsy site, which we’ve decided to use “just for fun.” We weren’t planning on selling these online because they’re so heavy, but we realized we can stuff them into Priority Flat Rate boxes and get them out at a semi-reasonable price. 

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And before I sign out, I must share with you yesterday’s “Frey Family Quote of the Day”…

Kate  came downstairs after working nearly all day in the “workroom” (this is the place upstairs that is supposed to be our craft room, but actually is a catch-all for things outgoing and incoming and everything in-between!). She said to her father, and I quote:

“Daddy, come up and see my project and let me show you what you need to do!

She is definitely her mother’s daughter!