Handyman’s Holiday Hop

Handyman's Blog

A few weeks ago I happened to mention that I would be participating in a Handyman’s Holiday Blog Hop.  The challenge behind this was to take a 2inch paint brush and alter the brush for one of the fall holidays. I was a bit nervous at first, I am quite good at following directions and recreating something, but not so good at creating my own unique look.  While we were free to choose from any fall holiday, I, of course, had to pick Christmas it is my favorite holiday after all. While my paintbrush is not as elaborate as some of the others, I am good with it because I usually try to keep my work simple, with a clean look to it. I am also quite happy with this project as I used stuff I already had on hand.  Besides the paint brush, I didn’t have to purchase anything.

P1030459 I started with a basic 2-inch paint brush.  The package I purchased came with 2 brushes.  I am thinking that I might try my hand at a graduation paint brush.  Shhhh that will be a secret (here is hoping that my daughters don’t read my blog). I was trying to decide what color to paint my brush when I remembered that I had some alcohol inks left over from a project several years ago and haven’t used them since.  I used both a red and a green for the brush, I am quite happy with the finished look of the wood after using the inks. I need to remember to play with the alcohol inks more often.



P1030462I found a couple of ribbons that I thought would be fun and add to the Christmasy feel.

Next step was a few snowflake stickers to go with the snowflake ribbon and the Christmas/Winter feeling.

I continued adding embellishments and stickers that would complement the Christmas theme.


The finished front side of the brush and below is the finished back side.


Thank you for joining us on the Handyman’s Holiday Hop. Make the rounds and be inspired. The next stop is D’s Paper Studio with guest blogger Beth Williams. Anytime you get lost a list of blogs is on D’s Paper Studio at http://debbysdares.blogspot.com

Our “Be Inspired Giftaway is featured at D’s Paper Studio. Check out Debby’s blog for details. Four winners will be chosen from comments on all the blog posts in the Handyman’s Holiday Hop.

Thanks to our generous sponsors:

Quick Quotes Scrapbook Company

Heartfelt Creation


D’s Paper Studio




Trying something new tonight.  I enjoy watching unboxing video’s on Youtube, so I decided to give it a try tonight.  I tried an unboxing of the Erin Condren Seasonal Box unboxing for this fall.  If you are interested and want to watch it check out this link.

Handyman’s Holiday Hop

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In October I will be participating in a Handyman’s Holiday Blog Hop.  The goal is to alter a 2-inch paintbrush and turn it into a holiday decoration.  Currently, I am leaning towards something for Christmas, but who knows the brush may speak to me and tell me that it wants to be something else for a different holiday.  Please join me for this blog hop.  Should be fun with several creative ideas.

August just flew by

August just seemed to fly by this year.  Between getting ready for back to school, marching band camp for my youngest, taking her to Des Moines for a 14 day stint at the Iowa State Fair (I should probably take some time to write about the Iowa State Fair), two trips to the state fair myself, visiting a couple of friends in Ames, and starting back to school, I am surprised that I was able to get anything done.  Let’s check on how I did with my summer goals:

Goal # 1

I managed to read 8 books this month.  Not bad considering all of the driving I was doing, plus the days spent at the State Fair. Overall I did manage to read 21 books this summer, not too shabby considering everything else going on.  I have fallen behind my goal but should be able to get caught up with the school year starting.

Books I read were:


The Runaway Brida and the Orphaned Twins

Forever Cherished

The Christmas Play


So. B. It

A Prayer for Owen Meany

Last Summer at Eden

Goal # 2

Crafting Time: I didn’t get much crafting time at all in August, I was either on the road or just plain exhausted much of the time.  This should pick up more this fall again.

Goal # 3

DeClutter this house.  Nope, not much of that happened at all, besides the flooding of the basement in July. This seems to be an ongoing process as I slowly go through things and try to get stuff organized.

Goal # 4

Filing, I really hate to do this, but it looks like I should just force myself to sit down and get it down.  I could probably get totally caught up and a bunch of stuff thrown away which would help Goal # 3 if I would just spend a few hours doing this chore.  Anyone want to come and sit with me while I work on the filing?

Goal # 5

Writing More, totally gave up on this goal.  I did manage to get a couple of blog posts down this summer, but that is about it.  I need to tear myself away from the computer and Facebook and spend some time just writing.

Goal # 6

School stuff, I did manage to get a few extra things done and ready for school to start but no matter how hard I try, I can never seem to be 100% ready by the first day of classes.  Guess that there is always next year.

Thinking that maybe I should take some time and come up with a few fall goals, even though several if not all of my summer goals will make it to the fall goals list.


So what kinds of goals do you have for this summer.

July Recap

Okay, I know it is August 6th and I am a bit late on this recap.  I didn’t think that this would be a good month as it is county fair time.  Two county fairs, one that my daughter competes in for 4-H and I am the co-chair of the Creative Arts open adult class so a busy two weeks and then I work at another county fair selling tickets so that is 5 days there.  Basically, that left one week free and the fairs seem to zap the energy right out of me.

So how did I do?

Goal # 1 Reading.  I only read 6 books this month, but the good news is that I have already read 6 books for August.  Hopefully, things will be getting back to normal.

  1. Kingdom Keepers 3: Disney in Shadow
  2. Ranger in Time: Escape from the Great Earthquake
  3. The Handmaid’s Tale
  4. Hidden City: Lost in the Shadows
  5. Disrupting Thinking
  6. The Blessing

I read Disrupting Thinking for the Penny Kittle Book Love Book Club.  Wow, lots to think about with this book.  The online discussion was deep and full of ideas. I can’t wait to try some of them in my classroom.

The Handmaid’s Tale was for another online book club.  I really enjoyed this book, but it had a different feel to it.  I know that this was a book club for teachers, but I am not sure if I would be willing to teach all of this book in a high school class.  My daughter saw me reading the book and informed me that she to read this for one of her classes in college.  It was fun to be able to talk about a book with her.

The author of The Blessing sent me a copy of her book to review.  You can find my review below this post on the blog.

Goal # 2 Crafting Time

Managed to get a little bit done here, but not much since I was at the fair so much.  Surprisingly this tends to pick up more once fall comes.  There are many Saturdays when I am the only one home.  I will go into my craft room and play all day, one of my cats likes to join me during this time.

Goal # 3 Decluttering

The weather decided to help that goal along a bit.  A couple of weeks ago we received somewhere between 3-7 inches which of course meant water in the basement.  Thanks to this, we had to go through and get rid of things.  We were able to salvage some things, but much of the basement has been cleaned out, items washed and either donated to Goodwill/Salvation Army, thrown away, or cleaned up and taken to the storage unit.  Just a small section in the basement to go.  I hope to start redoing the basement and turning it into a family room sometime during the next school year.

Goal # 4 Filing

I did get a bunch of stuff filed and the pile was almost nonexistent until the flood, then I found 4 boxes of things that I needed to go through.  Much was trash (why do we save some of the things that we save)? but I also found the bill from the hospital when I was born and then the bill from when my oldest daughter was born almost 24 years ago.  Those were fun to compare.  Now I have some more stuff to file.

Goal # 5  to write more

Nothing happened at all on this goal sad to say.  Someday I will be able to participate more with the Teacher’s Write.

Goal # 6 School Prep

Once again not as much as I would have liked.  Actually, I knew there wouldn’t be much in July, had hoped to get more done in June.  I did do a little bit with the Interactive Notebook and spent one day this month in my classroom trying to organize and update my classroom library.  Since we go back in a week and a half, I will probably get more done in this area for the month of August.

Overall about what I predicted for the month of July.  June is usually the month that I am most able to get things accomplished.  Once fair season hits, then there doesn’t seem to be much time or energy for anything else.  We still have one more fair to hit.  I will take Kristen out to the Iowa State Fair early tomorrow morning.  She is on the State Youth Council for 4-H and will be at the fair grounds for 2 weeks.  She gets to spend the first few days cleaning out the 4-H building and getting everything set up.  Then she will spend the rest of the time either assisting with animal shows (she is excited that she gets to help with the pig release, please don’t let her bring one home) and with many of the communications events in the 4-H building.  The last two days of the fair she will give her Educational Presentation and then her Extemporaneous speech.  Sarah and I will make a trip out to Des Moines in a week for a couple of days.  Looking forward to this time with Sarah as it has been a long time since she was able to attend the State Fair. We will pop in and check on Kristen during that time, maybe even get a picture or two of her working.  Then I will be going back out on Friday after PD so that I can be there for her two communications events and of course to bring her back home for the start of the school year.

The Blessing


A few years back author Wanda Brunstetter wrote a short series of books about an Amish Women that decided to give quilting lessons.  (The Half-Stitched Amish Quilting Club, The Tattered Quilt, and The Healing Quilt).  In this series, Emma Yoder decides to begin teaching quilting to anyone that would be interested in learning.  It was a story line that I enjoyed, as it was fun to see how the seemingly unrelated people all became friends and were able to help each other out.  Now Ms. Brunstetter is doing it again but this time it is Emma’s niece Heidi Troyer that has decided to offer cooking classes.  This time instead of being an older lady whose children have grown, Heidi is a young Amish woman that longs for a family.  While she has been married for many years, she and her husband have not been blessed with a child.  Heidi decides to start offering cooking classes to take her mind of off her barrenness and also to give her something to do.  The Blessing is about her second class and the students that have signed up for this class.

I enjoyed reading about this new class of students and how Heidi is able to not only teach them how to cook but also helps them deals with situations in their lives.

A side benefit of the series is that the recipes that Heidi teaches during the 6 weeks of classes are included in the back of the book.  I can’t wait to try some of these.

I gave this book a 5 out of 5 stars.  Can’t wait for the next book in the series.

Because of You by T.K.Chapin

Because of you


I was recently honored to be contacted by a new to me author and asked if I would review his book Because of You.  Once I picked up this book, I was unable to put it down. The only thing that made me put it down was that I knew I would have to get up and teach the next morning (and that my kindle was dying). I will be checking this author out and reading more of his work.

I totally enjoyed reading this book by a new to me author.  Samantha is madly in love with her military husband Dakota.  While expecting their second child Dakota is deployed.  Sadly he never makes it home.  Samantha has to learn to go on with her life and be a single mother at the same time.  It seems that she has more than the usual share of troubles, but through it all, she keeps her Christian Faith.  This is a nice, clean romance book, one that I would have no problems handing to my young daughter or nieces.  It is refreshing to read a clean romance that doesn’t have the couple shacking up in bed before getting married, or go into detail about their sexual experience.