Tag Archives: Home

Sewing Room Reveal

For a while now I’ve really struggled with my creative needs. The triplets stopped napping soon after Peter was born, and, try as I might, I just haven’t had the time or energy to sit down and write or sew or anything. It sucked; it still sucks. Plain and simple.


One of the big struggles was every time I went to go in our unused dining room to sew, it was a project just to unearth everything. Not to mention that I was using a folding table for my cutting and a gate-leg table for my machine. Less than desired. It made creativity an impossibility.

This past winter we’ve tried to be really intentional about finishing some of the home projects that were put on the back burner after our major renovations. The two major ones were our basement and setting up a sewing room. The basement is still a work in progress, but the sewing room is  done (other than it’s been taken over by plants for the garden).

The Sewing Room Reveal

What I love most about my sewing room is the amount of light it has! Doesn’t matter the time of day, it’s always bright (probably because 3 of the 4 walls have windows). It’s a peaceful and enjoyable room to be in.

So let’s break it down…shall we?

really wanted a peg board in this room. I was so tired of things being in drawers and boxes and never where I could find them. I really wanted it to have a shelf above it too, so that I could store some baskets (that’s my grandmother’s sewing basket up there) and some jars with notions in them.

The peg board gives me a ton of storage for all of my scissors, rulers, tape measures and everything else that I need while sewing.I was all set to buy a counter top at Ikea, but then we found a piece of laminated particle board that we had saved from our old kitchen that was 9′ x 3’…it was perfect!

 

Heavy and strong enough to support the weight of two machines. Matt ripped the board town to 24″ wide and it fits both my serger and my sewing machine perfectly. Now when I’m working on garments I can roll from one machine to the other without having to stop and set things up.

 

I ended up taking some cheap pine edge molding to finish it, so that fabrics don’t snag. We mounted the board to the wall and then built a frame underneath so that it has two legs (we bought them at Lowe’s), so it looks more like a table. The best part was that other than the legs, we had all the materials, even the paint.

My spool holder became a nightmare. I got this as a gift several years ago and just never used it, because there was no place to put it. I ripped the stand off the back of it an hung it on the wall, only to find out that NONE of my spools of thread fit on the dowels. Ahhh!

I had two choices…toss it or cut all the dowels off and re-drill the holes for smaller dowels. I opted for the later.  It took me quite a bit of time, but I managed to fix 81 of the dowels to fit the new spool sizes. It was tedious. But, I’m pleased with how it came out.

The other big project we had in the room was creating me a cutting table. Try as I might a plastic folding table just wasn’t….wait for it…cutting it. My in-laws had a teak table they were looking to get rid of, so we built a base for the top (which was the perfect size, and has a side that I can lift up when I’m working with yards of fabric).

I think we spent about $40 on the wood for the base. We went with the stain-grade pine boards that they sell at Lowe’s. Now I have a place to store the projects I’m working on, as well as the fabrics that I have plans for. I also put one of those magnet strips above, so that I can put my rotary cutter and scissors right were I need them and away from little hands.

The other big obstacle in the room was my ironing board. I had always kept it up, but it was usually in the way. I ended up getting some hooks for the wall and hiding it behind the door. The iron sits on a shelf on my peg board and when I need it I pull them both out.

It’s such a nice space to work in now. I have all the things I need at hand and space to spread out when I’m working on projects. Now I just have to find the time to actually get in there.

Having a Martha Home the Mary Way {more than a review}

Having a Martha Home the Mary Way a reivew @JessicaMWhite.com

I’ve long loved the story of Mary and Martha in the Bible: One sister sitting peacefully at the feet of Jesus, the other scurrying around trying to make everything perfect for Him. There’s something about the story that touches most, if not all, of us: We all struggle to find the balance between these two women and what Jesus calls them to be.

This is such a heart-topic for me, that a few years ago I did an entire series in October {31 Days} about How to Use Your Martha to Be a Mary {Check out my series HERE}taking the every day business that we all have to do and using that to bless those around us. So often we get caught up in life that we neglect to be a Mary, that we neglect to sit peacefully at the feet of Jesus and just listen. There’s all this Martha-Busyness around us that we really do HAVE to do. This is what Sarah Mae’s new book, Having a Martha Home the Mary Way is all about!

Having a Martha Home the Mary Way a reivew @JessicaMWhite.com

Sarah Mae’s book started out, just as my series did, as a 31 days series called “31 Days to Clean”, but now it’s updated and revise:

31 Days to Clean is now Having a Martha Home the Mary Way: 31 Days to a Clean Home and a Satisfied Soul.

And this time, the battle cry is for the heart to know it can be loved and secure and identified in the One who gives us our homes and our calling. 

Having a Martha Home the Mary Way is for those of us who are still drowning a bit in housework, but who need to know that our identity is not in the work or the expectations put on us. At the heart, this book is about love, loving ourselves and others through a home that offers rest and peace and welcome. It is a move towards gentle homemaking, where we accept our limitations with grace, and offer that same grace to those who come under our roofs and into our care.

If you’ve struggled under the weight of all there is to do and be as a woman who makes a home, my hope is that you will find in this book refreshment and relief for your weary, overwhelmed soul. 

~From Sarah Mae’s email newsletter

What are my thoughts on it? I love it! The book is broken down into quick to read sections for each day of the month; a few pages of inspiration, a Mary Challenge, a journal-style page of devotions and questions, followed by a Martha challenge, with practical cleaning tasks and tips.

You can take each day as it comes, read the whole thing at once, address the Martha-housekeeping tasks, or focus on the Mary Bible-study. It’s truly fantastic and flexible, which is Sarah Mae’s entire idea. Homemaking shouldn’t be this daunting thing and it doesn’t have to be, but we also need to keep our priorities and faith in order.

The great thing about Sarah Mae’s book, and her in general, is that this is entirely a gentle approach to housekeeping. This isn’t about you need to do this, this and this, or you’re failing. This is about grace. This book is about doing the best you can and leaving the rest to God. It’s about creating a home that is filled with that grace, so that you can pour it out on those who live and visit your home.

Right now Sarah Mae is offering a special gift to anyone who purchases her book:  http://sarahmae.com/2016/03/cleaningfun/

Where can you order the book? Anywhere. You can purchase it on Amazon.com via my affiliate link {which I would so appreciate: You can read my disclosure policy here.}

*I received this book for free as part of Sarah Mae’s launch team; however, the opinions expressed here are entirely my own.

Master Bathroom Reveal

Here it is: 18 months after we moved back into our house. I can officially call the master bathroom done. Of course, there are a few little things that need to get touched up, but it’s all finished. This room was ridiculous. We went through 3 toilets. The floor was stained, then painted twice. Fixtures had to be spray painted. It was fun!
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The toilets: We originally had bought a really nice Kohler toilet, water efficient and all that. The only problem was it didn’t work. Literally there was a manufacturer’s defect and water did not leave the toilet bowl. We got another one. Then that one, for whatever reason {a child I’m thinking} had a crack along the whole back and was leaking water…flushed water. After that we were done…we waited a couple of months before buying a cheap $88 toilet, which has given us no problems and is just as water efficient as the $300 toilet.

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The vanity and sink are from Ikea {Hemnes 42″ vanity and top}. They’re great! It’s really solid, tons of counter space, and lots of storage. Until this renovation I’d never given much thought to drawers vs doors: Drawers win every time for me now!

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I could not find plain black light fixtures or shower curtain rod, so I bought basic dark fixtures then spray painted them. It worked and so far has held up fantastically.

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The faucet is Pfister’s Ashfield. I actually saw these faucets in chrome at a Cabela’s store in PA. I loved them! I came running out and asked Matthew if he’d noticed the faucets, he had. I debated spray painting this black too, but given the water and everything else figured it wasn’t worth the potential nightmare.IMG_1576

The vanity mirror was one that I got at a lawn sale for $10…I love it! It’s huge, the color was perfect, it was old. Mirrors of similar size were $200+

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The soap dish is Mary & Martha’s Grace and Gratitude Small Pedestal server. I had 3 of these, had no idea what to do with them, decided to sell them and sold all but one, then decided it was perfect with some white stones from the beach for a soap dish.

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Above the toilet we put some very basic shelves, painted the same color as the floor, to store things in a basket {still need to spray paint it}. We have no closet in the bathroom…the washer/dryer took precedence, so the extra storage is nice.

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We did put a pocket door in this and our bedroom…they are so much more forgiving with space. There’s no trying to finagle around a door to get to things. The shower curtain is from Amazon.com. It was $20 and was perfect!

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Our towel hooks are ones that my aunt gave to me for my birthday years ago…they’ve been a variety of colors and are fantastic, strong, detailed hooks. I painted them the same color as the floor.

It was hard to get a picture of the entire shower. The blue/gray tile was another issue. I had found the perfect tile from one company, couldn’t get it, found it from another, they supposedly shipped it, I never got it {even though they charged me}, called my credit card company and immediately received a letter from the tile company that they were out of stock and crediting me back. I ended up getting this tile from mosaictiledirect.com, which was good. It’s not exactly what I wanted, but it was very close {the other tile was white}.

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This is a double headed shower just as our downstairs shower is. We really like having two shower heads, because we pretty much always shower together…no one is having to stand there freezing until it’s their turn. The faucets are Pfister’s Ashfield to match the sink. The tub was a nightmare. I had ordered a Kohler cast iron apron front tub, with a left drain {per what I was told}.

When they went to install it I was told I’d ordered the wrong tub, I hadn’t, they told me the wrong tub. We can only have a right drain in this space. We ended up having to go HomeDepot and buying a Bootz cast iron tub for $200. {There were a lot of expensive mistakes in this bathroom!} Again, if I’d just done what I wanted to to begin with we wouldn’t have had an issue.

Overall, I’ve been rather pleased with how it all turned out. Of course, there are things I would’ve done differently {if money hadn’t been an issue…when is it not?!} For now, it works, I like it, and it makes me smile.

From Busy to Blessing – Blessing Your Children Through Time Together

This is one of those things that I struggle with carving out time for the most. We each have our own idea of what quality time is. For me, it’s sitting quietly together and reading countless books. For my oldest it’s doing whatever is striking her fancy at the moment. I have yet to figure out what each of our triplets’ opinion is.From Busy to Blessing How to Use Your Martha to Be a Mary For Your Children through Quality Time @JessicaMWhite.com

One thing our oldest and I can always agree on is reading, just before naps and bedtime. She’d like me to read for the entire time period, successfully avoiding sleep, while I have a bit more structure to the time frame.

The hardest thing with this is that it isn’t about us as the parent, it’s about our children and what speaks to them, what their love language is, and with children that is constantly changing, because they are c
hanging. It’s up to us, to put forth the effort to learn our children, to study them, and figure out how they tick.

I’ve lost count of how many articles I’ve read that press the importance of just being there for and with your children, particularly upon entering the teen years.

What things are you doing in the home, that you can turn into a group effort? Maybe it’s raking leaves up, cooking dinner, or folding laundry. Perhaps it’s sitting together on the floor and playing with toys or doing puzzles. While this can be a very intense and lengthy process, and make tasks take much longer, the bottom line is still the same…helping your child to feel valued and loved by you.

Click here to find more of my posts in this series: 31 Days | From Busy to Blessing

From Busy to Blessing – Lending a Helping Hand

Do you have friends that are working on a large project? That could really use the helping hands of a few more people. Do you know how to fix a leak or build a deck? Offer your services! I can guarantee you that they won’t turn down the help.
From Busy to Blessing Lending a Helping Hand @JessicaMWhite.com
Friends of ours are in the process of a huge home renovation: They’ve hosted several Work Days inviting friends and family to come and lend a hand, in exchange for food and undying gratitude.

Yea, but isn’t that kind of weird?

What’s weird about asking for help? Isn’t that something we should all do more of, instead of pretending we’ve got it all together?

How about we stop feeling like we have to have it all together and give someone else the chance to turn around and bless others! Often we feel as though we can’t let people help us, but if no one lets anyone ever help them, then no one is blessing anybody else. {Got that? A bit of jumble there.}

“Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up.”Ecclesiastes 4:9-10

I know for myself I struggle with this. And given the MASSIVE home renovation we’re thinking of taking on next year, I’ve already admitted that I’m going to have to swallow some pride and ask others to help. What’s going to work? Teamwork! {Name that show}.

We’re each given different talents by God. We sometimes just need to think outside of the box, and ourselves, to figure out how to reach out to our friends, to those who we should be able to ask anything of, but very often allow our pride to get in the way.

There are so many ways in which we can bless our friends, and the bottom line of all of it…doing something that lets them know that they are loved.

Click here to find more of my posts in this series: 31 Days | From Busy to Blessing