Countrystyle Pincushion Makeover - 5 Minute Makeover

Every now and then I take a dislike to something and I have to do something about it. Do you ever get that way too? This week I attacked my pincushion.

It's just one of those basic tomato (or maybe it's a strawberry??) pincushions. When I bought it, I thought it was cute. I don't think it's cute anymore...


I have this lovely colourful fabric I bought years ago when I actually thought I was going to sew my own quilted throw. I started off with great enthusiasm and intention and then it just died. The pieced portion is still kicking around somewhere in the house, only half sewn and I still have bits and pieces of the fabric. So let's use a piece and make this little pincushion display-worthy!

All I did was cut a square of the fabric with pinking shears and gather it up at the top of the tomato, tying the gathered pieces with a bit of raffia. Then I stuck a silk flower sprig from a candle ring in the top. I love the country look :)

It's so satisfying to do something that only takes a few minutes and looks good too. Have you done any easy peasy projects lately?

and Mr Rooster seems to be pretty happy with it too.  

Have a great day!

Home Made Frying Pan Gingerbread Granola - Easy Peasy!!!

First let's be clear, I am not a food blogger and I am not enthusiastic about cooking.  When God was passing out that gene, I must have gotten into the wrong lineup.  I think I hit the DIY lineup twice over instead. I do, however, collect recipes that are quick, easy and nutritious.  And low on sugar and "white" stuff.

I was buying granola in a box for the longest time, but it was expensive and had a lot of raisins and dried cranberries in it - both of which I am not supposed to eat while I am working on healing adrenal fatigue and hyperthyroidism... I decided to create my own recipe.

I tried the oven  baked kind, but found it a pain in the butt to make.  Then I found a couple of recipes for frying pan granola and thought - what a great idea!  Even though I had to buy a frying pan just for making it.  Oh well, small price to pay for convenience!

Here is what I do - and I've estimated the quantities since I never measure anything...

4 cups rolled oats (I used Quaker Quick Oats)
1/2 cup honey or maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla
1 tbsp ground cinnamon*
1 tbsp ginger*
1 tsp cloves*
3/4 cup butter (real butter please!)
2 cups various nuts/seeds  (I use sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, chopped walnuts, & slivered almonds)
1/2 cup Flax seed (crush it if you want, I never do)
1/4 cup chia seeds

If you want to add dried fruit, don't add it until the mixture is cooked and cooling.  And if you're super adventurous try using unsulphured molasses instead of the honey - unsulphured is supposed to be better for you, blackstrap has contaminants in it.

Melt the butter and honey in a large frying pan over medium heat.  Add vanilla and spices, mix well.  Add oats and stir until the oats are all coated well.   Add in nuts and seeds and continue stirring until oats are browned and look a little crumpled.

Cool and store in large mason jars or hermetically sealed jars. Or whatever container you want.  I prefer glass to any kind of plastic.

To serve, top with fresh or frozen berries or apple pieces and milk or yogurt.  YUM!!!  I've no idea how long this stores for, a recipe only lasts a week in my house cause I'm addicted.

*ps I usually double the amount I use for spices, but you may not love these spices as much as I do...


One Project Closer - Habitat for Humanity

I have a chance to win a prize in the One Project Closer annual campaign for Habitat4Humanity! First time I've ever been nominated to win something big! EEK!

How to Install Your Own Window and Save Big!

It's done!  I ripped through an exterior wall, framed and installed a new window over my laundry tub.  YAHOO!!  Light and a view and the tiny room looks huge now!

Ever since I moved into my little 1930s cottage, I have been struggling with the tiny windows (and lack of windows) and how dark the house is inside.  My kitchen reno moved the doorway to the 2nd bathroom from opening into the kitchen, to opening into the laundry/mudroom.  When I renovated the bathroom, I added a window and it made such an impact on the look and the feel of the space with all the light flooding in, I just knew I had to install another window in the laundry room.

Here is the door to the bathroom.  I installed a vintage door from another part of the house .  Can you tell how much brighter it is with the door open and the light from the bathroom window?  In person the difference is huge.


I wanted a laundry tub and to make my laundry room pretty - it's a main floor laundry, it should be pretty as well as functional!!   Naturally I didn't think to cut open the wall for a window when there was nothing on that wall.  Oh no, let's add to the fun by trying to install a window without having access to the lower part of the wall...  Oh well, I like a challenge!

The laundry tub wall before:

Here was my first stage of demolition, getting an idea of where the studs were so I could decide what size window to get.  I used a stud finder to locate the studs and then cut the drywall away using a multi-purpose tool that I bought specially for this job.  A Dremel would work as well.  Be careful if you do this, you don't want to hit any electrical wires!!!   Another way is to use a hammer to make holes in the drywall so you can see what is there before cutting the piece out.

At first I thought I would keep the window framing to a minimum and just put in a small window over the tub.  Then I thought, why the heck would I do this much work and have only a small window to show for it??

I pulled down most of the drywall above the countertop - two layers of it - and got rid of the yukky cellulose insulation.  EWWW hate that stuff!!!

I framed the lower part of the wall by using my shop vac to vacuum out a channel in the cellulose insulation so I could slide in the 2x4 supports.  In the ideal world, the 2x4s would not be cut at the window ledge but would run right up to the header (the 2 - 2x4s on edge that run across the top of the opening see photo below.)

(In the ideal world those 2x4s would be 2x6s but this is an 1930s house and they did stuff differently back then...)

Once those were in place, I cut the two center studs with a circular saw set to the depth of the stud.  Then I had to knock those suckers out with a hammer.  It took me about 45 minutes each one.  As I told my Facebook followers,  you wanna know why 1930s houses are still standing? Cause the builders used a kabillion nails in EVERY . SINGLE. STUD and EVERY . SINGLE . BEAM. I swear that even if the wood rotted, there would be enough nails knitted together to hold the house up regardless...

Once those studs were out of the way, it was easy to throw in the sill plate and build up from there. A window rough opening should be 1/2" wider than the actual window all around the frame - so tack on an extra inch when you're measuring your opening.

Keep in mind that you want all the windows on that same side of the house to be at the same height, so you need to measure the height of the other windows as well. Another challenge was using 3" nails to secure the side pieces (jack studs) to the 100 year old fir 2x4 studs.  Wow that wood is HARD!.  And you can't use screws, it has to be nails.  Screws are too brittle to use in framing.  UGH.  I really love my drill...

 After being choked initially at ripping out the 1" of double drywall, I realized that I could use a layer of 1" rigid insulation before adding my bead board wall covering and buy myself an extra R5 of insulation. More insulation and sound & vapour barrier to boot.  Not such a bad deal after all.

To cut through the wall to the outside edge, I used long screws and ran them in each of the four corners of the inside window frame.  You need to be able see them on the outside of the house.  Then I used my level and drew the outline of the window on the siding with a sharpie.  Then it's just a case of running a jigsaw along the lines to cut out the siding and sheathing in one fell swoop!  Just don't forget to remove your screws (or nails) before you cut.

You'll need a big drill bit to start your holes in each corner so you can slide the jigsaw in.



To prepare for the window installation, I ran a sill gasket all around the rough opening.  That is the blue stuff you see around the inner opening.  It's got a rubbery liner with a tar like sticky underside that keeps any water away from the framing.  I also ran the gasket all around the outer opening to seal the housewrap to the window.  After reinstalling the siding and the trim around the window, I sealed the two sides and top pieces on the outside of the house with silicone caulking.  Don't seal the bottom edge of the window - you want any moisture to be able to escape.

To finish the seal around the inside, I ran a foam insulator called Backer Rod all around the gaps between the window and the rough opening and then ran a bead of caulking over the top of it to seal it off.  Then I topped it off with the rigid insulation, sealed that with Tuck tape and ran bead board over the top.  The trim and a couple of coats of paint and here she is!

I had to get a little creative with my wall covering since I didn't have quite enough  bead board for the job.  This was a left over piece from my bathroom reno.  I added a crown molding from a 1x4 and a couple of pieces of screen molding.  Then I used a skinny piece of leftover bead board that I ran horizontally as a back splash.  I trimmed that out with screen molding too.

I'm pretty proud of my window sill, too.  It looks like the original sills in the rest of the house.  Notice how it wraps over the wall?  That is one length of 1x4 with the edges partially cut off to the depth of the window ledge.

If you want to see the bathroom I reno'd all by myself, click HERE   I'm pretty proud of that reno!

My tutorial on how to build a $10 rustic shutter window treatment is HERE

My finished laundry room post is HERE

Things to note:  This type of project requires a building permit, be sure to contact local authorities before beginning such a project.  Wear personal protective equipment (eye protection, construction gloves, steel toed boots and heavy duty coveralls). Learn how to use power tools properly before attempting such a project.  I am not a professional and any recommendations I make here are to be followed at your own risk.  It is definitely possible to do this type of project yourself, but educate yourself before attempting!

Have a great day!

Rosemary is for Remembrance

Someday when my blogging career is over (!) I will have this lovely sign to remind me of all the wonderful friends I've made during my blogging days.  I have to say that the bloggers and the non-blogging followers that have become my friends since I began this blog are so loyal and faithful, it has been a pleasure to be a part of this community.  I want to thank each and every one of you for following me and for your always kind and generous comments. Blogging wouldn't be any fun without you all!

Hooked on Stripes

Stripes, I love them. I seem to be getting more hooked as time goes by.

I was scrolling through my blog photo folders the other day and I began to notice just how many stripes I've painted this year. And I just finished two more striped pieces. Are you as hooked as I am? Grain stripes, beaded board stripes, striped stripes - they're EVERYWHERE!!!!!!!

It began innocently enough, I made a little sign for my laundry room and painted it up all pretty: