Friday, September 28, 2012

Chalkboard Friday...

I have no idea where this week went. And once again I almost forgot about chalkboard Friday.  Today I wrote on the board something that I need to remind myself of, no matter what is going on, there is always something to be thankful for.

I'll be back on Monday with the new fall bulletin board.  Hopefully this weekend I can catch up on reading everyone's blog.

Have a beautiful weekend,


Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Display Chain Tuesday....

Yes, I'm very late posting today's display chain, but I have a good reason.... It's  my 29th birthday(for the 10th time!!).

The theme that Misi of 1890 Gable House Musings came up with for today is "how do you prepare for this next season~ Autumn/Winter?".

So here is my chain....

I start preparing by decorating... which I am far from done, hardly have anything up yet, but I'm getting there...

 I stole this idea from pinterest. The one I saw used one long box. I didn't have that, but I did have 4 of the same wood boxes and I got the same effect :)

 I also gather my magazines together in places around the house for easy grabbing and reading.
 We take little road trips... it's fun to look at the beautiful scenery of changing leaves....
 Stopped here on our trip today, an old fashion drive in where they bring the food out to your car, best real chicken nuggets!
 And getting outdoors, playing soccer, riding bikes, just walking....nothing better than being outside in the cool air(I am NOT a hot weather person).
Hubby was very sweet today and took me to all the places I wanted to go.  It was a lovely birthday with sweet gifts, yummy cake and ice cream, and my most special gift came in the mail box.... a letter from Cameron(well, his drill instructor, but at least I have his address now and we can write him)!!!! It was the perfect timing for it to arrive.

With Love,


Friday, September 21, 2012

Chalkboard Friday....Birds from Heaven

I almost forgot about today being Chalkboard Friday until I was pleasantly reminded of it when I looked out the windows.

In the days following the loss of Nathan four years ago, a little bird constantly appeared in the back of our house. He would perch in different spots and we always seemed to make eye contact. That little bird lifted my spirits and from then on I have always associated special bird moments with Nathan. Some people get pennies from Heaven, I get birds :)

You all know what has been going on this week, and I miss Cameron terribly, but each day is getting easier and I found other parents in his Company that I can chat with online.  I have also started a prayer journal and write in it daily, this has been a huge help.

So, today I was in the kitchen and had a bit of sadness as I was baking cookies(knowing Cameron wouldn't get any) and I looked out the window and saw a beautiful bluebird perched on the railing.  I called Mason over and lifted him up so he could see.  Then I slowly moved to get the camera. It was too late for that shot. But the bluebird returned with his mate and they were eating the seeds from my herb pots. The camera was acting funny and apparently wasn't taking pictures when I thought it was, so I missed those ones too :(

But then, all of a sudden, birds were coming from all over the place, and all different kinds of them!!! It was fantastic feathered folly:)

Isn't this one beautiful. He was so fast when he hopped around.
 Here is the baby of the bluebird family. You can still see his pin feathers.
 The front of him...
 These little guys kept coming and going....
 He came right up to the window to look at Mason.
 I then took the camera out front... There was a pair of bluebirds going in and out of the birdhouse.
 The proud papa watching from his roost.
 If you look right in the middle of this picture you will see a small chick a dee hanging upside down.
 Baby blue bird...
 There were at least 40 of these little guys all over the ground, it looked like a swarm of field mice.
 Two different species foraging..
 Up on the roof....
 and down on the ground.
 The bright yellow gorgeous finches kept escaping my camera lens, they are such fun to watch.

I thought this verse was quite appropriate for today after having such a wonderful gift of the birds sent to me.....

Thank you all for the sweet comments on my last post. I look forward to next Tuesday's Display Chain.

Have a wonderful weekend and hug your family dearly,


Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Tuesday Display Chain

I'm joining Misi at 1890 Gable House Musings in her Tuesday Display Chain(take a look to see the other blogs' displays).  This is my first time participating, so I hope I'm doing it right.

The theme for this Tuesday is "A New Appreciation".  Here is my display interpretation.(the lighting is just so bad in this foyer that I tried day and night shots, still not quite like it is in person)
 I have a new appreciation for all the military moms out there, past, present, and future.  You let your babies go to help protect our country and all who live in it.  Thank You.
 It's a hard thing to do, whether we had control over it or not.
 I feel like I am barely holding onto my heart right now and this is much tougher than I thought it was going to be. My emotions are not hard to miss.
I did have a happy moment in the midst of all the tears. When I was digging in my fall decor in the basement for the pumpkins for this display, I realized how much I can't wait to get it all out and get the house decorated.  That needs to be on my list this week.

So military mom or not, letting our babies go is not easy and I now look at women who have done this ahead of me in a new light. Please pass on some of that strength to me.



Sunday, September 16, 2012

They Don't Warn You....

When you become a parent everyone tells you how your life will never be the same... sleepless nights, full schedules, never going to the potty alone, mouthy teenagers, endless grocery shopping and laundry...etc. Those things never bothered me, because the rewards far outweighed any negatives.  But no one ever warned me how much it would hurt to let my first baby go.

He's off to bootcamp :(

Friday, September 14, 2012

The Friday Chalkboard for YOU...

What would I do without all of you!? The pictures, ideas, and stories I get from blogging are great but what makes having a blog truly Grand is the people, you, all of you who take the time to read about my life and leave for me your own experiences, advice, words of encouragement, and prayers.  Thank you from with all my heart! Each one of you is a dear and lovely treasure:)

I'm working through my stress of Cameron leaving and I'm sure many more tears will be shed, but I know that I will get through this, it is part of life.

I decided that myself and my family needed some weekly inspiration to focus on.  So the big chalkboard found a new home in the hallway that leads upstairs, where is has it's own spot to be the center of attention.  Every Friday I'm going to write a new Bible verse or inspirational saying on it and I will share it here as well. I think I will finally take the time next week and organize my posts into categories that I will then put on my sidebar. I think it will help me keep this up if I feel the need to have posts in that category(ya, my brain works like that).

So here is today's chalkboard....
 I think this one is very appropriate for this week.

Take care all and have a wonderful weekend.

Your grateful friend,


Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Thank You.....

Thank you all for the sweet comments on my last post.  I did get a decent night sleep, which helped, the pain is still there, not as bad but tolerable.   I don't think I realized how much my first baby leaving the nest is affecting me. Seriously, just thinking about it brings tears to my eyes and heaven forbid hubby mention anything about it(which he was trying to talk to me about last night and I just didn't want to hear it).  In my head I know he will be 19 in October(he's my Halloween baby), he's smart, confident, and outgoing. I know he will be fine in the Marines... he will have room and board, a paycheck, and a career. But in my heart he is still my first born baby, how will he make it without us?~   I know he will, I did. I left home at 18(almost 19) and did fine. I thought I was an adult, and though I struggled at times, I made it. However, I do remember crying many nights those first few weeks away, I was homesick I guess.  I know he will be too, and that just breaks my heart.  Especially since the only communication will be through letters for 3 months!
Oh my goodness, I'm just a wreck, bawling as I type and Mason keeps looking at me all concerned and    saying "I love you, I love you".  He tells me this at least a hundred times a day with many of those times having the words "really, really, really, really much" following them. My little sunshine.
 I know my nest is far from empty, but this new hurdle of letting one fly is much harder than I thought it would be.
Deep breaths and it is OK to cry. I'm proud of Cameron and I know he will do well.

The picture above is from this morning, I picked 6 more jack be little pumpkins from my garden and there are still more coming.  Nature is pushing the fall decorating on me, guess I need to stop the self pity and get busy... we have a surprise party coming on Saturday and I want the house to look nice(might throw in an early 19th birthday cake too).

Thank you all again,


Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Stressed I guess....

Last night at around 7 I got the most intense chest and shoulder pain. I knew it was probably just very bad heartburn, but it was a bit concerning. Hubby ran to the store to get me some antacids, they didn't help.  The intense pain lasted about half an hour, then it followed with waves of pain that weren't as bad. I was up all night with it. It was still there this morning and was radiating into my jaw and ears. I took some tylenol for the pain, but it didn't help.  I called hubby at work and he made me call the Dr.  I went in at 2 this afternoon.  My blood pressure was low(as usual), lungs clear, heart sounded good, but he wanted to do an EKG to make sure.  It came back fine. He suspects it is bad heartburn mixed with a huge dose of Stress. I know I am under stress, have been for awhile. I talked with him about it, ended up in tears(which apparently I was the third person today to cry to him, I joked that it was him causing  the emotional outbursts).  I guess it just hit me all at once last night and my body finally said enough is enough.  Problem is, I can't do anything about the stress, which causes stress itself!  And it doesn't help that some of that stress got moved up by a week. My son told me when I got home from the Dr's that he is leaving for bootcamp this Sunday instead of the 24th. He got bumped up because someone else didn't pass the physical and he already has. Add that to the major house stress we are under right now and I just don't feel well. In fact I am still having the chest and left shoulder pains as I type this and I haven't been able to eat anything since dinner yesterday, I just feel awful. And of course I'm now stressing over the price of this Dr visit!!

Hopefully I can get a good night's sleep tonight and I will feel back to normal in the morning.


Sunday, September 9, 2012

Lamp Light...

 Yesterday was warm and very humid. The wind gradually picked up as the day went on. Finally, it blew a storm in. And at 9:16 there was a lightening flash, the lights flickered about 6 times, then the power went out.... during a NEW episode of Doctor Who!!! GRRRR! Not sure if you all know, but we are major Whovians in this house.   The power was out for about an hour, and luckily I was able to set the dvr to record the show later on in the evening(haven't watched it yet though, been busy all day).

We usually love power outages around here, the kids find them very exciting, but no one was too happy about this one. But at least the glow of the lamp flames makes the house feel warm and cozy.

 And I managed to finish another washcloth to add to my Christmas stash.
The storm cleared the air and today was absolutely gorgeous and felt like Fall was in the air. Cooler air, seeing the first flock of geese heading south, and fresh apples in the stores... no doubt about it, summer is almost over.


Saturday, September 8, 2012

Totally Unexpected....

After a morning of soccer, I took my youngest daughter up to the library to pick up two books that they had ordered for her.  I had a nice chat with a friend I hadn't seen in awhile and Mason had fun picking up fallen leaves in the grass.  When we got home I found this waiting for me....
I read the card attached and was totally taken by surprise... it was from the staff at the elementary school thanking me for all I do up there.  I don't volunteer to get rewarded with things, I do it because I enjoy it, but when something like this comes along... I certainly appreciate it.  Aren't they lovely?      Thank you everyone at Great Falls! You made my day !!! :)


Friday, September 7, 2012

How My Blog Got Its Name...

It's Friday and soccer season officially starts tonight with 3 of the boys playing and hubby coaching, weekends now through the end of October will not be our own.  Really wish I could find a craft team to join :)

Today I am taking the post challenge made by Karen of My Colonial Home, to tell you how my blog got its name and when it started.

I didn't grow up in a household that embraced technology, in fact I think it kind of intimidated my parents(they still don't own a computer or even a dvd player). We didn't have cable tv, no big stereos, and definitely no computer. Though I do remember walking in the apple store when I was about 10 yrs old and we lived out in California.  It was full of those ugly square computers, my parents and I walked in, they took about 1 minute to look around and then promptly walked right back out.  So growing up I didn't have much interest in computers(you follow your parents lead right), not even in high school. I did enjoy the electric typewriter that I got one year for Christmas though. I begged for that thing and it sure made writing papers for school much easier.
Fast forward to me getting married in 1993. Hubby was a computer geek nuclear reactor operator in the Navy.  He loved computers and had been "playing" with them for years. Within months of us getting married he wanted to buy a computer for our house.  I can remember being totally against it. Guess I was intimidated by them too, and it didn't help that I was newly pregnant and hormones were playing havoc with emotions.  Well, we did get that computer and it was the first of many, many more.

Jump ahead a couple years and a couple kids... and this thing called the internet is getting popular. I think we first logged on at the end of 95 or beginning of 96.  We had AOL as most people did. Remember that dial up sound? You hoped you got connected on the first try and it tied up your phone line while you were on. Don't miss those days!  Well, I found a wealth of information and camaraderie on the web. I was a Navy wife at home with little babies, no family or friends around, so those online bulletin boards with other moms meant so much to me.

Jump ahead again...2006 we moved back to Maine after a year in Texas. It was early fall and the kids were back in school and I was home alone with a baby in a new house.  I started googling decorating ideas for the house, I really don't remember what the exact thing was, but I ended up on a blog.  I fell in love with looking at all the pictures of her house and her crafting ventures. I then went to her side bar and discovered more blogs.  How I had I not heard of these things before?!?!  I was hooked.    I told hubby about them and apparently he knew about blogs, but not house and decorating ones, but political and geeky ones.  He even started one about that time(computer security related). 

After a few months of enjoying my new found blog friends, I was itching to make my very own.  I did, and on December 22, 2006 I made my first post. With the help of a wonderful blogger named Kim of Dear Daisy Cottage, she let others know of my blog.  I started out on typepad and you can see my original blog with the link on the left sidebar.

Are you still here?  That is a lot explaining to get you to how I came up with the name Folded Gingham, isn't it?!  When I finally decided to make a blog, I wanted a name that wasn't taken and that was different from what was out there.  I was up in my sewing room(which was in the bonus room above the garage at the time) and I started looking around for ideas.  I noticed a stack of neatly folded gingham fabrics sitting on top of the book shelf. Bingo! That would be it, Folded Gingham.  I love gingham fabrics and the name would be a bit quirky.   I suppose it is a bit misleading though, if you come here looking for gingham fabric ideas and projects. Maybe that could be a new blog venture, once a week I do a gingham inspired craft. Ya, we all know me, that will last about two weeks!!

So there you have it, how my blog got its name and how long I have been blogging, wow, going on 6 years!
I'll leave you with a picture I took from my old blog... I told you I used to have a lot more baskets!! Oh, and you see that giant French laundry basket? I brought that back from Texas when I fell in love with it at an antique mall when we lived down there. I still love it but I just don't know what to do with.   It is so big and takes up so much space. I tried it once as a coffee table, but didn't work too well. Any ideas? It's just sitting in the basement right now collecting dust.

Have a joyful weekend,


Thursday, September 6, 2012

Issues with Stuff....

I have issues. Stop laughing, I'm not talking about all my faults. I'm talking about issues with things, possessions, collections,  gifts.... STUFF!!

You see, I love to collect things, well, I used to love to. I'm now kind of over it. That's odd to say, but I really am. I'm tired of it. Making room in the house for things instead of us. Spending money on items that just sit there and serve no real purpose.  Problem is, I love the thrill of the hunt... finding that treasure for next to nothing and knowing it is worth something or discovering that elusive item that has been missing from your collection... you know the feeling, it's hard to just give that up.  But have been trying and doing better. I didn't even go to one yard sale, thrift shop, or antique store on our trip last weekend. I even avoided quilt and fabric shops(saw several of those as we drove).

So why the change in mind set you ask? Well, it's a couple of things. For one, I have been trying to simplify the house and change my style a bit... make cleaning easier and have a fresher lighter look. And the other reason, I really don't know what our future holds in the next year. I honestly don't know where we will be living. And the thought of packing all this crap up and moving it does not appeal to me and who's to say I will have room for it all.  So as much as I love to go to goodwill, the thought of bringing more stuff home just makes me sick.

But the real dilemma is, what do I do with it? I do like most of my stuff, but I don't like the look it creates.  That darn pinterest gives me too many ideas and looks that I want to try, I just don't have the space for all of it!!  What do you guys do?  If you have something you like, but you find something else you like in it's place(but still like the first thing). Do you get rid of the old to make room for the new or just pack it away?  Am I the only one who likes to change things so much.  Then I worry that I may want that old look back. I told you I have issues!   I really just want a house that is DONE and comfortable and doesn't consume me.  Maybe it's because I'm a stay at home mom(and I do stay at home most of the time) so I see these walls almost 24/7, it makes the house so much more of an issue for me.  I know so many people whose houses are just a place to go to, eat, and sleep at. They don't worry about what they look like.  But that just isn't me and I don't see that changing any time soon because I do enjoy making my house a home.  Yes, I know I am starting to ramble, sorry, I guess my mind feels as cluttered as my house does right now.

Ok, let's take a look at this collection to start with.  My egg stuff.  I like it, but I'm over it and it takes up my whole hutch in my kitchen. None of it serves a purpose other than to take up space and fill your visual view.  I could store pretty white dishes on those shelves that we would actually use.  BUT, I feel like I'm stuck with this stuff because my dad bought most of it for me.  I guess if I had more display space it wouldn't bother me so much. And I do like the look of the items, it's just with 9 people in this house I feel like the space is taken up by too much stuff(can I use that word any more!).
 I did pare down my copper collection last year, but in reality it could all go and I probably wouldn't miss it. But then I feel like I should keep it because some of it I have had since I got married and some of it was gifts.
 Wooden kitchen utensils, again, WHY?  Why do we collect things?
 Cake stands and plates, a major downfall of mine. I have lots(not all our in this picture). They are all over the kitchen, from 10 or so lining the walls on top the kitchen cupboards, to cupboards full of them, to several on the kitchen counter. But I only use one or two!!!   I always think one day I will have a grand tea party or when my girls get married I will use them.  So for maybe 3 days they will get used, but the rest of the time they will just sit there. Sounds legit right?(did I really just type that?)
 Baskets.  What can I say, I have always liked baskets.  I used to have tons, the numbers have shrunk, but still, these baskets aren't doing anything. They aren't holding things or hiding away stuff we need, again, they are just taking up visual space.
 This post is starting to sound a bit down and a tad bit neurotic, totally not my intention.  I'm just tired of stuff, but I don't know what to do with it because I'm not sure I can let it go yet.

I found this picture today on pinterest and I just love the look of it.  It's simple and clean but does still have some collectibles in it. But notice the architecture of the room? I think that's what makes the difference. The wide beadboard on the walls and the lip plate shelf around the room adds the character to the space so you don't need all the stuff.  And yes, I realize that my table couldn't look like that because we actually eat dinner at ours every night, but a smaller flower scape would work.
I don't know if this post accomplished anything with my issues with stuff, other than letting you all know that I have them!  But maybe I'm not alone out there and you have some pointers and advice on how to pare down on things and let go of stuff.

What's the word of the day.....  you got it......  Stuff!!!

Have a simple day,


Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Photo Book

I ordered a photo book of our trip through Shutterfly and then I saw that I was able to link the book to my blog, so I thought why not, it would be an easy way to make a post about our trip and share the pictures with you all.  I hope you enjoy it.

Shutterfly offers exclusive layouts and designs so you can make your book just the way you want.


Monday, September 3, 2012

The Camper Redo....

Happy Monday everyone! I hope everyone enjoyed their weekend.  We went camping in Bar Harbor and I'll share that in another post.  Right now I'm finally going to show you the camper redo that I have been talking about for awhile.  Just like the house, it's one of those things that is "never done" and a constant work in progress. Especially after our first trip in it since the makeover, I know what needs to go and what needs to change.

Our camper is not big. It's a very basic 26' model with no slideouts that we bought in Texas in 2006.  If was a safety blanket purchase.  We had just seen Katrina go through New Orleans and then we ran from Rita and realized that hotels, motels, and everywhere fills up very fast when hundreds of thousands of people are trying to escape the path of a hurricane.  A camper would at least give us a place to stay no matter where we had to park it.  Of course, within 2 months of buying it, we moved back to Maine, so it would become something we used to camp in.

Here is the floorplan of it. 
 These next two pictures are not mine. I forgot to take before pics!  But this is exactly what ours looked like, right down to the same fabrics.  Ugly right?
 I never really liked this camper, it was just the camper. Honestly, I hated it for a long time. We had to live in it for over 3 weeks when we moved back to Maine while we were waiting to close on our house.  6 kids and 2 dogs for that long in this space was not good.  I don't think I set foot in it for over a year after that.
 But moving on.  We did camp in after a few years and it wasn't bad for weekend trips.  But we always lacked on sitting space.  We never ever used the stove or oven(I sold it last month on craigslist, it went to a lobster boat), so I thought we should just do away with the kitchen(except for the fridge and microwave).    And after we discovered that some nasty little mice invaded the dinette area, hubby agreed to my plans(the whole thing had to be gutted anyway).  Here is part of the process.....

After the kitchen was taken out and starting to rebuild.
 We moved the sofa from this spot...
 The wall separating the "family room" from the master bedroom before....
 And after...  we cut and framed a hole to make the space more open.  We also replaced the flooring and painted the walls.  I would love to paint the bunkroom and master bedroom someday too, along with the cupboards, but that is on a far off "to do" list.

Now, Welcome to the makeover.... stepping into the camper.
 This small bench replaced the sofa. It provides shoe storage underneath it.
 You can see that we left the fridge and microwave in the same spots but now a bed/sofa resides where the oven and sink were.  The pullout sofa moved to where the dinette was.
 Remember that big crocheted rug I made?  I replaced the brown edging with aqua blue and it now works perfectly in the camper.
 New sofa/bed.
 Old pull out sofa.  And yes, the plant is real, and it went camping with us, I just put it in the bathtub when we were on the road.
 To change the cupboards up a bit without having to paint them, I added scrapbook paper to the inserts.  No gluing required, they just slipped in place, so no commitment and I can change them when I find paper I like better.
 I changed the shiny gold knobs with wood painted knobs.
 Here is the master bedroom.  Not a whole lot changed in here but I did make new curtains(both sets came from one vintage tablecloth and some vintage pom pom fringe). I added an old quilt as the headboard and we got rid of the queen bed and put in an air king bed with a fluffy mattress topper on it. Oh, and we replaced the maroon carpeting that covered the side stands and went under the mattress.

 You can't see it the pic, but hidden between the new sofa and the table in the corner is a foldable table  that we can use in the center aisle to  play games or eat on.
 View from the master bedroom....
 All the curtains in the family room were made with ONE vintage tablecloth and not a scrap of it was wasted. Somehow I managed(accidentally) to cut the three windows out in the right order and had enough to cover each window.
 Little sign I made.
 Small wood chair that I mod podged some print outs on.
 All the cushions(included the pullout sofa) got covered in painters drop cloths.  So under all the quilts are is a nice sturdy fabric.

 It's pretty cozy  at night with the chandelier lit(my youngest daughter donated it from her room, it's from Target about 5 years ago).
 A peek inside from outside....
Big kudos to my hubby for all the work he did on it, along with my 11 year old son.  I think it came out beautifully and now we know we can do bigger and better projects!!(bet he didn't want to read that!).

I hope you enjoyed the tour.

Have a fabulous day,