Building furniture, children, christmas, DIY, home life, painting, Winter, Yule

I made a Stocking Hanger/Coat Rack!

I bought a 4x4x8 from Home Depot.. had Them cut it down to 6 feet in length. I Bought 4 expensive wood corbels for the feet and another sort of expensive furniture bun-foot-thing for the top. 
Screwed and glued it all together. Let it dry overnight. Filled in all the cracks with caulking. Let that dry about an hour and got to painting!

Painted that baby two times with Killz water based primer, once with paint (letting dry between each coats and overnight between the primer and paint). I just used some chalk paint I had on hand that I had bought a while back to test the color and see if it held up in quality to Annie Sloan’s Chalk Paint. (I like the color of Annie Slaons old White Chalk Paint better, but it is really expensive!) And finished it off with a coat of Annie Sloan Clear Wax.

I measured down 6 inches from the top to screw in the upper hooks.  Measured 22 inches from the top of the corbels/base to screw in the bottom most hooks.  For the middle hooks I measured between the two sets of hooks already hung and placed them right in the middle.  

Lastly, I hung the stockings, with just a touch of care.. not too much care. Don’t want them getting used to special treatment in a house full of ragamuffins who won’t treat them with so much care 🙂 

I may end up changing the paint at a later date but for now it works perfectly! I’m actually super happy with how my overly expensive coat rack turned out!

The little kids were pretty excited too! They wanted to get dressed up and have me take their photo with the coat rack 😆 now they are having a tea party in the parlor with American Girl dolls and the tea set Miss Persephone got for her 4th birthday from Nana ❤️

home life, Instagram, journal, Social Media, Supernatural, The Hygge Journals

Hygge Journaling Course for my “It’s Always Sunny” family

The Hygge Wife has just put together a journaling course and I was gifted the opportunity to take part in it.  I’m planning on journaling here, on this very blog, for the duration of the month long course, in my attempt to keep myself accountable and on task!

“The Hygge Journals was created to help you live the intentional, hygge-centered lifestyle that you’ve always wanted to. It is the lifestyle that I have built over the last couple of years (ever since finding hygge) and that has changed my life for the better. It is a month-long journaling course in seeking hygge. Throughout this course, you will be given a series of journaling prompts and activities that will inspire you to seek hygge and live intentionally.”

“What is The Hygge Journals?

  • A 30 day, intensive journaling course to help you immerse yourself in journaling and finding hygge

  • Lessons on starting a journaling practice and using it to become more intentional

  • Activities to help you create a more hyggelig lifestyle and household

  • A course that will help you create tangible life changes towards a more meaningful life…”


I am excited to get started and to see what it is all about.. I hope to utilize this time to help keep myself and my home calm and centered, to create a real cozy atmosphere that my children will remember and want to come home to as they age and move out of the nest.  To help lead me to be more of the woman I want to be and the home I wish to have, you know,  instead of the crazed lunatic asylum we currently live in 😉  My home is like an episode of “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” without all the drugs and alcohol.. Lots and lots of screaming and yelling over one another..  I suppose that can be cozy in it’s own way?  Maybe?


I definitely need to recreate this photo with my family..


I found The Hygge Wife while perusing through her instagram page one day.  She takes very lovely calming photos.  I would not mind recreating some of that atmosphere in my own home!


Stay tuned to see if I will be joining Misha Collins with Gishwhes as I will definitely post about that as well!  Not sure if my little application was accepted or not..


p.s. I totally figured out how to add those hyperlink into the body of the text!!  woo hoo!  I’m probably going to over use this function all the time!


children, divorce, home life, Ikea, journal, painting, single parenting, Uncategorized, Visitation

I’m Wide Awake

It’s the middle of the night and I should be sleeping in my warm bed with my children.  The past couple of weeks I’ve had all 4 little ones in the bed with me.  Besides my king size bed I have a set of bunk beds in my room.  Fiammetta usually sleeps in her own bed on the top bunk but lately she has been coming up with different reasons why she should sleep with us.. Mostly it’s because she’s scared of one thing or another. I’m ok with it.. I love having them all squished in there with me.  I think it’s most uncomfortable for her and Sal.  I keep me and the baby separated from the rest with a pillow between us.  That way the kids won’t roll over and accidentaly squish him.  I’ve been having trouble sleeping this past month.  I seem to fall asleep great, and some nights I can even stay asleep for the whole night.. (as much as one can while breastfeeding a 4 month old) But then other nights I wake up around 3 or 4 am and my mind is racing, jumping from one thought process to the next.  Tonight seems to be one of those nights. I think it may be because I have been falling asleep with the kids around 7 or 8 pm so by 3 or 4 am I’ve already had about 8 hours of sleep!
Messy heap of blankets and babies

This past weekend the husband came down to visit with the kids.  He rented a hotel with a pool so the little ones would get to swim.  All three of them ended up staying over both nights with him.  That was a bit weird and sad.  I’m not used to sleeping with out them.  That was the only time besides when Valentino was born that Persephone has not slept with me.  I missed her tiny little body next to mine.  Every night she falls asleep holding my hand or putting her tiny chubby hands on my arms.  She’s very snuggly.  Last night I had her little hands on my arm and Salvatore fell asleep, next to Persephone, with his arm draped across her to hold my hand.  When I do wake up in the middle of the night I love hearing all of their soft breathing. They all have been sleeping pretty calmly.  It seems that if there is less of them in the bed that is when the wilder sleeping happens, when I will wake up with Percy upside down or laying sideways, to a little whimper, a sudden crazy scream, and less frequently there have been kicks or punches to the face from a dreaming little one 🙂  The latter three I can definitely live without!

So this Friday Alex came by to pick up the kids and take them out to dinner and they all decided they wanted to stay over night with him at the hotel.  So I packed them all up a bag and kissed and hugged my babes goodbye.  This is definitely not the way I wanted or imagined my family to be!  I knew it would be good for them, and for Alex, but it’s hard for me to let them go.  Saturday I was taking Settimio out for his early birthday date.  He wanted to go see Deadpool and I wasn’t sure it would still be out in the theatre at his real birthday a month later so we decided to go now when Alex would have the little kiddos.. Settimio and I went out to eat lunch at Anelia’s in La Conner, a Polish restaurant that two of my younger brothers work at; one as the Chef and the other as a waiter and prep cook. We had the brunch, Timio had the Joe breakfast hoagie made from french toast with bacon and home made sausage, I had a super delicious veggie omlete.  Ophelia stayed home and we took the baby with us, he had the breastmilk. After brunch before heading in to the movie we met up with Alex and the other kids at the mall.  He agreed to watch the baby for the 2 hours so I could watch the movie with Settimio.  At Salvatore’s birthday movie date in January we went to see the new star wars movie and I had to stand the whole time so the baby wouldn’t cry.  I really did not want a repeat of that so I asked Alex to watch Valentino for me so I could sit this time!  The 4 little ones and dad hung out at the mall playground for a couple hours.   The movie was pretty sweet.  Settimio covered his eyes a couple times during the less kid friendly parts 🙂 There was one sex scene, one strip club scene with boobs, a lot of crude humor and some pretty gruesome killing bits, way more than in the other superhero movies but Settimio is almost 12 so it wasn’t too terrible.  Definitely not a movie I would let the younger kids see. Overall we both enjoyed it!  After the movie I got Valentino, Salvatore and Settimio and we went home,  Alex was taking the girls to the daddy daughter dance that night!  This was his and Fiammetta’s 3rd and Persephone’s first time attending.  Little Percy has been so excited to go!  All year since the last one she’s been talking about going to the Daddy Daughter Dance.  They went out for dinner at Anthony’s, a seafood restaurant in town, one of Fiammetta’s favorite places.  After the dance they came by and got Sally so he could spend the night with them too.

I knew Sunday would be a long day!  My mom and I had plans to go to Ikea while Alex had the kids.  I suppose that is one good thing about the little ones being gone for the day, I can get a bit more stuff done!  Driving to Ikea from where I live takes about an hour and a half to two hours.  My mom drove down my brother’s empty van and I drove down my van with all seats but the the two front and the baby’s removed.  Ophelia and Settimio stayed home but we took Little V with us.  I was going down to get a couch, a rug, a bookcase and a bed frame.  We walked around and checked stuff out..It was crazy packed. I got all the crap I came for and we left.  That is the brief version because in reality that journey took all day!!  We got home just after dark and I had to unload all that heavy, heavy from the van.  Had the older two help while my mom held the baby.  It all ended up fitting in my brothers van so mine was empty.  No reason to have taken out my seats, but I’m glad I was prepared just in case!  Would have totally sucked if I didn’t take out the seats and ended up needing the room.  After we got every thing unloaded from the van and carried down the stairs into my house I realized that we grabbed the wrong size bed frame.. wah wah..  So this Saturday I will be making another lovely trip to Ikea to exchange the queen size bed for the proper king that I need.  I may buy a few candles that I passed up the first time.  When we got home Alex had already dropped the littles off and headed back up to the B’ham.  They were all watching t.v. when we arrived.  Good way to keep them preoccupied while unloading the loot.  I got the rug layed out  and the couch put together then headed to bed.. I was exhausted and my feet hurt from walking around all day on the concrete floor.

The past few days I have been getting stuff put together and painted.  I spray painted the shelf I bought a fancy gold.

 I also did the same lovely gold treatment to some letter fridge magnets I have, classin’ up the place a bit.

 The couch is in our upstairs living room.  I bought two white slipcovers for it.  That way when one is dirty, and I know it will be with my children, I can throw it in the wash and put the other one on.  I suppose we didn’t need a couch up here but I was tired of sitting on the chairs we have.
My old “couch” wasn’t cuttin’ it.. though I did paint and reupholster those babies right after Persephone was born.

They weren’t too comfortable to sit in while trying to nurse The Newborn.  That’s what all the little kids call Valentino, I hope that remains his nickname until he’s an old man!!  We still call my little Joey brother Fetus, his nickname from babyhood.
The new and improved version.. don’t mind all those canvases back there.. the gold shelf drying, the new rug nice and soft for fresh crawling baby knees, when that happens..

So now it is almost 5 in the morning.. hopefully I can fall back asleep and not feel too much like crap in the morning when I have to get up in one more hour to get the kids ready for school..

Goodnight world.  xoxo

children, christmas, home life, journal, sick kids, single parenting

We Missed Santa!

We go to Skagit Valley Gardens every year to see Santa.  I like the set up there much better than at the mall.  It’s very pretty and not too fakey looking.  Plus, inside their greenhouse they have a plethora of trees decorated for the season that you can shop from the branches.  I always seem to find an ornament or two for someone on my list!  I find many more that I want to buy for just myself too!  Last year we couldn’t make it because the weekend Santa was to attend I was on a flight to Chicago for my Grandpa’s memorial service.  I took the then baby, Persephone, with me and the other kids stayed home with Alex since he was still living with us at the time.  His mom came up to help out while he went to work.  She lives about an hour south of us but we don’t really see her much.

I planned this outing with my mom and my children all dressed up in their Christmas finery. We invited the cousins along as well.  (Not so) Little Jake and his dad, my brother Dustin, came up.  Mama had to work.  My other two brothers were working but Ben’s Girlfriend Molly came along with her son Jorn.  They are the newest additions to our family, besides baby Valentino!

Santa is supposed to attend the first two weekends of December, so I thought!  But what I didn’t find out until we arrived is that Santa actually comes the first two Sundays after Thanksgiving.. so we missed him by one week 😦  I felt really bad.  But we still ended up having a nice day.  We ate lunch in the little cafe they have on site.  I do not recommend it unless you are having the tea special.  The tea they have there is pretty good.  Lunch was not very good and way overpriced.  Like around $10 for a not very great sandwich.  It wasn’t terrible but there are definitely better places for the money!  (We’ve had tea there on a few different occasions and it has always been very pleasant!  We were disappointed about the lunch)

After lunch we walked around and took some pictures of the kids by the trees and in the spot where Santa usually sits.  I have a few photos on my phone and my friend Sara ended up stopping by on her way home from the Jingle Bell Run in Seattle.  She does photography as a hobby so she took some photos of the kids as well.

After Photos we all piled back into our cars and came back to our house for some cookie decorating and an absolutely fantastic, super delicious dinner cooked by my mom.  We had home made meatballs and Italian sausage that had been cooking all day in her home made sauce.  The sausage was so incredibly tender!  She also made some lasagna rolls, similar to lasagna, baked in a pan but each individual noodle rolled up instead of layered.  She also made some angel hair pasta for the kiddos that don’t like lasagna (Uncle Joe)…  and a nice Caesar salad with some crusty bread..  My 2 younger brothers, Ben and Joe, ended up coming over just in time for dinner and a few cookies left to decorate.  I didn’t get any photos of the kids doing cookies at home or the dinner.. was too busy helping and enjoying!

The kids all seemed to have a pretty good day.  Jorn and Molly didn’t make it over to the house after the photos.  He wasn’t feeling too good at lunch and ended up having a fever and a tummy ache.. so hopefully he gets better soon!  It’s almost Christmas!  What a terrible time for a little one to be sick!  😦


Hello! I’m little Valentino, almost 6 weeks old!


Persephone, Valentino, and Salvatore by the polar bears and snow… brrrrrr!


Sweet Jacob by the “snow”


Oh no! Persephone!! Watch out for the bears!!


Miss O playin some tunes..


3 cousins, Jacob with my boys Salvatore and Settimio.  This is the only photo of Settimio I got as he kept ducking out of the way!


Miss Molly holding our little Valentino


Persephone and Ophelia making her faces


Fiammetta and cousin Jorn being silly and enjoying some hot apple cider


Ophelia getting into the spirit of Christmas?? Valentino peeking in at the bottom


Number 1 and Number 6, Number 5 in the background 🙂


Miss Sara in her Jingle Bell Run attire, Uncle Dustin in the background


Beautiful Ophelia with the polar bears 🙂 I can’t believe how gorgeous she is! Not a little girl anymore!! (she’ll be 15 in January!)


My sweet Salamader in his handsome man suit. Salvatore will be 5 this January!


and just for pretend, Ophie is blowing a huge dandelion… ooooooo


Fiammetta/Snow White my beautiful little princess enjoying her hot apple cider in her red lady gloves


Persephone, sweet and just slightly creepy 🙂 She’s a little doll!


My eldest, Ophelia, and middle daughter Fiammetta, being as lovely as can be.   Ophelia is really tall with those heels on!


Settimio, Valentino, Salvatore, Fiammetta, Jacob, Ophelia, Jorn, and Persephone. Happy Holidays from us all!


The day wouldn’t be complete without a teenager on her electronic devices..



Starting but not finishing the girls Regency Dresses and other things

So I started this post in mid June.. but I never got around to finishing the dress/es so here this post sits along with the almost done dress for Persephone and the cut out pieces for Fifi’s dress.  Though, I didn’t finish these I have been busy!  I would say a big part of the reason these sat unfinished is because for 2 weeks we had out of town family visiting from Texas and Denmark.  So I spent a lot of time with them.. doing family things.. taking a trip to Mt. Baker and Nooksack Falls.. having lots of bbq’s.. It was over 4th of July.. Oh yeah.. my cousin, his wife and their dog came up from Portland as well!  It was really nice to see everyone again and have my 2 uncles get to meet my youngest children.  Next time they come around we will have our new little one too..

Well, I got this big giant pattern sheet put together.  That was a little time consuming but not as bad as I always imagined printing out pdf patterns to be.. After printing I trace all the pattern pieces onto interfacing to make cutting out the fabric a bit easier.. It’s easier to work with one smaller piece rather than a whole giant sheet!  Also, the interfacing is much more flexible and it’s just nicer to have one piece rather than a few sheets of paper taped together..

Tracing patterns onto interfacing

Tracing patterns onto interfacing

more interfacing/pattern tracing

more interfacing/pattern tracing

using a sharpie to trace onto interfacing all the markings on the pattern

using a sharpie to trace onto interfacing all the markings on the pattern

Got all my pattern pieces traced onto interfacing and cut!

Got all my pattern pieces traced onto interfacing and cut!

When I finally started to get the pieces sewn together I was so happy with how those cute little sleeves turned out!  I could totally picture my little biscuit wearing this dress.  I ended up lining the whole thing but I think for Fifi’s dress I will only line the bodice as both the fabrics together make the finished dress a bit thicker.. for the summer it would nice for it to be a bit more flowy.. It has been so hot here this year.. Not very pacific north west-y at all!  I miss the rain!

Getting the sleeves attached to the bodice.  I love how puffy they are!

Getting the sleeves attached to the bodice. I love how puffy they are!

I still have to hem the sleeves in and add buttons to the back.. I also wanted to make a white sash for her to wear around her waist.. I made her a size 2 but I probably should have made the size 1.  she seems to be swimming in the top without a sash tied around.. In the photos I just used a piece of scrap fabric I had lying around just to see what it would look like when I actually did get the sash done..  When I make her a smaller bodice I will probably keep the length of the size 2 because I do like that quite a bit!  I really want to get my 2 youngest girls a dress made for xmas this year.. I was going to use these as practice to see how easily they came together before I went and bought the silk for their xmas dresses..  I think I may have mentioned before there is a website that sells so many beautiful colors of silk for around $15 a yard, which is an excellent price!  So, I think that is where I will be buying silk for their xmas dresses!

I only came across one problem when making the dress.. I was pretty confused at the bit when sewing the bodice to the skirt part.. and I ended up attaching them wrong.  I was supposed to keep the lining of the bodice free, sew the skirt on to the outside fabric of the bodice then hand sew the bodice lining to the skirt to cover up all the raw edges, but I was really not understanding the instructions so I ended up just sewing it all together at once then zig zag stiching the raw edges.  After completed the dress I realized what the instructions were saying so Fifi’s dress and the subsequent dresses will be done up the correct way!  I have also learned out to use my serger since then so if I have any more raw edges I will be sure to use my serger!  (Thanks cousin Ty for showing me how to use it!!)

I have taken about 4 weeks off from the Farmer’s Market.. yesterday was my first one back.. and although it is a huge pain in the butt to wake up so early.. lug all my stuff up the stairs to the van.. out of the garage into the van… load the van and set up at the Market.. then tear it all down and bring it back into the house.. it is very nice to be out there..  It was so hot yesterday though!  I woke up a bit later than I wanted so I wasn’t quite as prepared as I should have been.. I forgot to bring water!  I think it’s so cool when I get people returning telling me how much they love something I’ve made.. how often they wear it 🙂  or mama’s with little babies who come back and say that an older sibling (of their baby) had this and that of something I made.. There are lots of new people who come stop by and there are quite a few returning people.. it’s always nice to see them and get to talk for a minute or two.. It’s funny I feel that way because I always have been pretty shy and even now sometimes I find it hard to say hi… being at the market has pushed me a bit out of my comfort zone.. but I like it!

I will be doing a few more markets then have a couple weeks off, go back for Labor Day, then I am done for the season.  Percy’s 2nd birthday is mid September so I wanted to take time off before hand to get the house cleaned up nicely for her birthday party.. Then we have Fifi’s in the beginning of October and the new little baby is due in the end of October..  So hopefully I will have enough time to get stuff done around the house before all this happens!  During my couple weeks off in August I’m hoping to drive down to Oregon to visit some family and my close friend.  It’s a very long drive though, 8+ hours, with 5 kids in a cramped hot van does not seem like such a wonderful time!  So I really have to psyche myself up a bit for that!

I got in some fabric recently and made the 2 little girls red riding hood capes.  They turned out super cute!  I used a red linen blend for the outer fabric and a navy blue polka dot for the lining.. Both fabrics are kaufman.

the finished cape

the finished cape

The lining of the red riding hood cape

The lining of the red riding hood cape

I used the pattern from Oliver & S Little Things to Sew.  I made Fifi a cape out of a pink and grey wool last year (or two) when I first bought the book.  She has worn that thing so much!  I had always wanted to make her a red one, so I finally did!  And one for little Percy too.  They took a lot longer to make than I remembered!  I had all the pieces traced out and ready to go one night.. The next day I cut out all the pieces and sewed it all together.. but it took pretty much the whole day to make 2 capes.. I don’t know why it took so dang long!

I’m getting some more fabric in the mail tomorrow to make Salvatore a Robin Hood cape.. this pattern comes from Growing Up Sew Liberated.  I’m going to be using the kaufman linen blend again, this time in an olive green like color and a brown color for the lining.. but his cape will be reversible.  The girls capes are, too, but I sewed my labels on the inside so unless I want to take those out they will only be wearing their cape one way!  😉  I doubt Salvatore’s will get used for anything but play but I’m hoping Miss Fiammetta will want to wear this one to school this year!  She still wears the pink wool one around and she has already gotten a lot of use out of the red one too (when it isn’t too hot!)  The cape pattern from Growing Up Sew Liberated looks way simpler than the one from Little Things to Sew.  So, I don’t think this one will take me quite as long to finish!  I will be making 4 though, 2 to sell at the Farmer’s Market/Etsy, one for Sally, and one to stash away for Christmas for my brothers new girlfriends son.

And this is a long one.. so I think I will end it here!  I want to try to finish up two more Red Riding hood capes today, for the Market/Etsy, and get two paintings done that I have an order for.. so I think it will be a busy day!