Friday, March 23, 2012

Dear Rachel (#8)

Dear Rachel,

Lots of changes are taking place on BYU campus these days. This is the view from the south end of campus (or Cardiac Hill as we called it in my day.)
Do you recognize the route you used to walk?

The house your dad lived in when we were dating (Oz) was on this hillside. Of course in more recent years it was a parking lot, and soon it will be the home of the new Life Sciences Building.
Look! I just found an old picture of Oz (no idea how the house got that name.) Do you see your dad's baby blue VW Rabbit in the carport?
Oz, circa 1984
Several of the old Heritage Hall buildings were torn down this winter as well (those closest to The Creamery on Ninth) to make way for new and improved dorms. Maybe I will post pictures of that construction in my next letter.


Your brother finally got his driver's license. Basketball season delayed that process a bit, but now he is official. I don't think you ever saw the new-to-him car he gets to drive. Of course, it is a Honda CRX. Would your dad get anything else?


And, finally, we are trying to talk your dad into putting a garden in this year. All we ask is that he be the principal muscle behind the digging up of the yard, hauling of dirt, etc. We will do the rest. During church Abby sketched a picture of our "happy gardening family". I wonder if it will do the trick. 
Enjoy Atlanta's real spring weather for me this week. (I'm a bit jealous.)

Love you and David lots!


Saturday, March 17, 2012


These miniature daffodils are called Tete-a-Tete. They are the second flower of spring to bloom in my yard. (Purple crocus are the first.)
Whenever they poke their yellow heads through the soil I have a little tete-a-tete with my dad. It is all in my memory, of course, since he has been gone for over five years.

He was an avid gardener and enjoyed the beauty of a well-manicured yard. He gave me some bulbs (soon after he discovered the variety) and encouraged me to plant them. I did. I had the perfect place--the earthy square beneath my mailbox. They bloomed the next spring and made me happy.

For several springs I saw them bloom, and then we moved. . . only two streets away. But, it was winter. I could no longer claim those tiny springtime blossoms as my own.

I drove by our old house today and saw that they had grown into thick sunshiny clumps. Still welcoming spring with their petite faces.
A couple years ago my mom decided it was time to do some dividing, and I was the welcome recipient of a new crop of these miniature daffodils for my current home. They are offspring of the original bulbs my father bought. I love them. They make me happy.

Funny how a simple thing can stir my remembrance, reflect my mind heavenward, and still make me smile.

Happy Spring!


Thursday, March 15, 2012

Melted Bead Fun

My kids have been creating with Perler beads for years. How fun to find a new use for them via Pinterest--a melted bead bowl. (The original link is here and here along with a fun how-to video.)
Of course, when I showed Abby my pin on Pinterest she jumped at the chance to make one herself. She didn't stop at just one bowl, but made a smaller version as well.
Then, she made a plate.
Her creativity really kicked in at that point, and she cleverly came up with a way to make a cup.
We now have an entire place setting (minus the utensils, which Abby desperately tried to figure out how to do.)
We inadvertently used two different types of beads and they each melted a bit differently. One type was the original Perler beads and the other was from Ikea. (I can't remember which was which.)

Abby's first attempt at the cup was unsuccessful.
For her second attempt, we put the glass inside a mug with more vertical sides and we baked it in the oven for twice as long. Success!
This was a really fun kid-friendly craft which we never would have come up with on our own. Thanks Pinterest!

The Shabby Nest   I Heart Nap Time

Friday, March 9, 2012

$2.00 Treasure

What is it about bargain hunting that can make me feel so giddy? The anticipation, the excitement, the rush that comes from simply crossing the threshold of a store can spark it.

I remember with such fondness shopping the outlets in the Bay Area while Brian was in graduate school. These were actual manufacturer's outlets (not the outlet malls that are now sprawled across the country) like Sweet Potatoes, Mousefeathers, Esprit, Crate & Barrel, and Folkmanis Puppets to name a few.

My friends and I would plan excursions together into San Francisco (strollers in tow) to find the best possible deals. Great memories.

These days I must be content to search for bargains on the end of season clearance racks or at my local thrift store, D.I. (Deseret Industries). I used to be only a once-a-year patron of D.I., but Rachel changed all that. Atlanta is chock-full of Goodwill stores, and at least once a week she calls me with an amazing find in perfect condition. This week I got to call her.
Yes, I found a retired American Girl Doll, Samantha, at D.I. for only $2.00!

I had just walked in and proceeded to the back of the store to my usual starting place. A full cart (fresh from the back room) was waiting to be unloaded.

There she was just lying there. I let out an audible gasp and reached for her. No way! My heart was racing. I started walking in circles searching for perhaps any of her accessories? I called Rachel and she was noticeably in shock as well. I needed someone to share my unfathomable luck and fortune with and her reaction didn't disappoint.
You must understand, that people are crazy at my local D.I. As soon as carts are wheeled from their sorting place onto the floor people scurry after them and reach and grab like frantic animals. To find an almost untouched cart with such a treasure on it was a miracle--one that I relished.
Abby's astonishment when she came home from school fed my joy and even Travis wanted to buy it off me and sell it on ebay. Humph.

For now, dear Samantha is posed quietly in my room just waiting for some future granddaughter to love her like no other.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Birthday Banner

Birthdays at our home are celebrated with plenty of balloons, presents, a "cake" of choice, and a well worn paper Happy Birthday sign. In recent years this sign has become quite sorrowful looking. An update was in order.

I was so excited when I saw Leigh Anne's tutorial for her fabric pennant banner. It would be the perfect replacement.
I wanted the banner to be colorful and gender-neutral so the whole family could enjoy it for many birthdays to come. Years ago I made curtains for my then little girls' room out of a bright heart rainbow-colored motif, and I still had some leftover fabric. All I needed to do was find four other coordinating prints.
This project was super easy, quick, and lots of fun searching through the bolts of fabric for just the right prints. Thanks so much, Leigh Anne, for sharing your creative genius! (I just finished up another banner. This one's for Easter.)
Who had the inaugural birthday at our house? My sweet Kellie who is all grown up now.
Happy 22nd Birthday, Kellie!

"I'll love you forever, I'll like you for always, as long as I'm living, my baby you'll be."

Tip Junkie handmade projectsHome Stories A2Z The Shabby Nest 

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Dear Rachel (#7)

Dear Rachel,

As you know, your Dad traveled to Geneva, Switzerland and then to England last week. My only request (besides that he come home safely) was that he bring me some Swiss chocolate. He generously obliged.
I also asked him to take some photos with his iPhone while in Europe. He was pretty busy, but he tried. This one was my favorite. It is of Taunton School where he spent a day.
I bought the fabric for this pillow almost two years ago and finally finished it. Thanks for walking me through (on the phone) how to make your fabric flowers
It is meant to coordinate with the other pillows I made for my room.
Here is my newly "refurbished" reading nook. (Actually, it is where I sprawl in the mornings to play Words with Friends and where I do a bit of reading.)
There is one last thing I want to show you--a pillow cover I made from a too-small DownEast basics skirt of Abby's. Luckily, this time I didn't have to make the flowers. I carefully removed them from the skirt and basted them on.
I think I have a bit of a throw pillow obsession. Do you need any for your apartment?

Love you and David lots!