13 November 2015

how to make a thanksgiving cornucopia wreath decoration for your own home

As many of you know, I feel Thanksgiving to be an under valued holiday.  However, I also feel it is a silly holiday, because you should always be grateful for all of your blessings. 

Many people get irritated when Christmas music is being played - always saying that "It's not even Thanksgiving yet!"  Not that they want to celebrate Thanksgiving....  But after you have been in choirs for years you get use to the music at the beginning of October or even September, so... 

They also have a fit when the stores are filled to the brink with Christmas goodies the day after Halloween (or before), although working retail you learn to love that crazy time of the year and slightly tolerate the decor.  However, there is a good point - there are barely any Thanksgiving decorations! 

So when my Mother set out to decorate this year and felt our wall over the fireplace was very empty, I went to work.  And now I am going to share with you how to make a cornucopia wreath.

Step 1: Gather Supplies

We got the blank wreath at the hobby store.  It was cheaper than the wire one I would have had to add to.
We spent a pretty penny on this wreath, and when I first had the idea I realized that much fake fruit would cost a lot, so I stopped by the dollar store, and hit the jackpot.  Not all dollar stores are created equal, as my trip can tell.  At the first one I found nearly everything I got, the apples, grapes, pears, berries, oranges, peppers, a lemon, and even a small peach.  The second store I went in had the harvest veggies, and berries, and that was all.  But, I was able to get it all for $1 each, I figure saving at least $100.  When we went to the craft store these were at least $5 each, but we did splurge on the strawberries for $5.
This was our other splurge.  My mother wanted some leafs, and I didn't want the green ones.  After hunting for awhile in the massive selection, we found these lovelies.  I would recommend these if nothing else, because I think they are what is holding half of the wreath together.
These pine cones were free, a super good value.  I was trying to figure out where I could snag some from.  Our tree doesn't produce any, and our neighbor has torn down their pine tree.  Then we remembered that over 15 years ago we had got a bunch of pine cones from my favorite great-aunt's house before she moved and had planned to use them in some sort of craft.  Well, we used some of them for this.

Step 2: Add Leaves

I wasn't sure at all how to build this thing.  I wanted it to last, and knew that wood wasn't the best to hold hot glue to.  But, I just started with glue.  I then would weave the steams into the wreath a bit, not that it would have stayed by itself.  Well, then I brought out the wire.  I am a fan of this small wire, and would wrap and wrap it around both the steams of the wreath and the new leafs I was attaching like you would wrap together a bread bag.  I'm fairly sure that those aren't coming out any time soon.

Step 3: Add Berries

Did the same thing with the berries as I did with the leafs.

Step 4: Add Grapes

The grapes had this handy hole in the top that I was able to wire to the wreath as well.  I also would make sure and wrap both ends of all of the items I was attaching, just to be sure.  I kept adding the easy stuff first, so whatever you have that is easy, stick it on.

Step 5: Add Fruit

Before I actually put the fruit on I laid it out in a circle so that the colors and items weren't bunched together on the wreath.  Or at least that was the idea.  I forgot to take a picture of it all laid out.  As you can see, I then started with the colors red and green, and well, I just sort of ended up trying to put them in the same place, but failing and just put them wherever.  My mother loved the completely random look and how they were all so different.  The truth is, it takes a lot of work to make them so different, but at the same time is easier because you have to just not care about being a perfectionist.  I like them random as well.
While attaching I was still scared of it not holding, so I tried a bunch of different approaches.  With a lot of the items that had steams I would wrap some wire around them and then attach it.  And of course, glue the crap out of it.  I went through a small bag of glue sticks on this project, so be prepared.
The problem I kept running into was the steams were against the wreath and didn't look as cool as it could, so with a few of them I would attach the wire far down and the wrap it around so the steams were facing out.  Sure, you can see the wire when you get up close, but most people don't, and if they do they are looking to see how you made it anyways, so they are impressed.  Let them look.
And then came the rest of the fruit.  When all else failed, I just used the glue.  But, this is where the leafs come in so handy - use them!  So much of the things are glued to these lovelies, even the things that are wired in.  It not only made it more secure, but has an added dimension with some leaves coming out and covering parts of the fruit.  Made it look integrated and not like fruit on top of a wreath.  Love it.

Step 6: Add Pine Cones

The pine cones were added as a filler, mostly under the fruit and leafs, and to add that extra bit of volume, a detail that you don't need, but that enhances the overall look.  I would have added more, but had already been on my feet for over two hours, maybe three, I don't know, time kept going by and I wasn't finished.  This was not a short project, but well worth it.

Step 7: Hang on Wall and Enjoy!

Mine is hung on three nails, but I don't know how much the middle one is holding since it is kind of high, but it was already in the wall, so... I am against new holes if I can avoid it.
I seriously would just sit and stare at this thing for hours, so do enjoy it.

Thanks for stopping by!  I hope you enjoyed learning how to make this Thanksgiving Cornucopia Wreath.  If you did, make sure let me know below, and share it with your friends.  I would also love to see your own cornucopia wreaths, so let me know.  Thanks, and I look forward to sharing more with you soon!

06 November 2015

Thankful Only Once?

Once a year a time comes around, a time to be grateful for what you have.  It is a time to reflect upon what you cherish in life, what you think you couldn't live without.  Some celebrate by eating turkey, some spend time with their family, some watch football, and some get ready for the largest shopping day of the year.  But why?  Why only once?    

Everyone in the world has something to be thankful for.  It may be lots of money.  It may be lots of opportunities.  It may be a cornucopia of love ones.  It might be having a blanket.  Or maybe it is just being able to live.  Everyone is blessed in many different ways, and everyone should be thankful for those blessings.     

The following is something to ponder:  

  • If you have food in the refrigerator, clothes on your back, a roof overhead and a place to sleep ... you are richer than 75% of this world. 
  • If you have money in the bank, in your wallet, and spare change in a dish someplace ... you are among the top 8% of the world's wealthy.  
  • If you woke up this morning with more health than illness ... you are more blessed than the million who will not survive this week.  
  • If you have never experienced the danger of battle, the loneliness of imprisonment, the agony of torture, or the pangs of starvation... you are ahead of 500 million people in the world.  
  • If you can attend a church meeting without fear of harassment, arrest, torture, or death ... you are more blessed than three billion people in the world.  
  • If your parents are still alive and still married ... you are very rare, even in the United States.  
  • If you hold up your head with a smile on your face and are truly thankful ... you are blessed because the majority can, but most do not.  
  • If you can hold someone's hand, hug them or even touch them on the shoulder ... you are blessed because you can offer healing touch.  
  • If you can read this post,  you are more blessed than over two billion people in the world that cannot read at all.        

To be Thankful For.......  

  • ....the mess to clean after a party because it means I have been surrounded by friends. 
  • ....the taxes I pay because it means that I'm employed.  
  • ....the clothes that fit a little too snug because it means I have enough to eat.  
  • ....my shadow who watches me work because it means I am out in the sunshine.  
  • ....a lawn that needs mowing, windows that need cleaning and gutters that need fixing because it means I have a home.  
  • ....all the complaining I hear about our government because it means we have freedom of speech.  
  • .....the spot I find at the far end of the parking lot because it means I am capable of walking.  
  • ....my huge heating bill because it means I am warm.  
  • .....the lady behind me in church who sings off key because it means that I can hear.  
  • ....the piles of laundry and ironing because it means I have clothes to wear.  
  • .....weariness and aching muscles at the end of the day because it means I have been productive.  
  • ....the alarm that goes off in the early morning hours because it means that I'm alive.  
  • .....getting too much email bogs me down but at least I know I have friends who are thinking of me.  

Now, I want you to think of 100 things you are thankful for, go on, do it.     

Have it yet?  No, to hard?  I don't think so.  Want some help?    

Okay, here is what you do, you take some paper, or other writing surface, and make five lists. 
  1. Physical things, things you can touch. 
  2. Opportunities, things you are able to do.  
  3. People, those you love.  
  4. Things about me, or you in this case, what do you like about you? 
  5. Things about the day.   
Now write 20 things on each list.  It might take a while to get started, but once it comes, it will come.  Now, have those 100 things?  Have more than 100?  I have over 200 people.  Keep this list.  Add to it.  Share it with others.  Look at it often to remember all the things you are blessed with.    

Here is part of my list:

Physical things           

  • House to live in
  • Own Car 
  • Contacts to see with 
  • Guitar 
  • Water (so tasty) 
  • Heater 
  • Computer
  • Fingernails  
  • Phone 
  • Clothes

Things about me           

  • I can walk 
  • I can sing
  • I am organized 
  • I can read 
  • I can picture things 
  • I have a job I love   
  • I learn quickly
  • I am strong willed
  • I am passionate about this
  • I can write


  • School 
  • Work 
  • Choir 
  • Church 
  • Shopping 
  • Making Friends
  • Gym
  • LDS Insitute
  • Outdoor Recreation
  • Sleeping

Things about the day           

  • Having a bed 
  • Eating breakfast 
  • Going to work 
  • Having a car to go to work 
  • Having the internet 
  • Finishing projects 
  • Getting to watch TV 
  • Getting to see my parents
  • Getting to see my best friends
  • Being able to write this post

Take some time out of the day to ponder.  Ponder on what blessings are in your life.  Think of the things that you have to be grateful for.  Maybe even show that appreciation to those deserve it.  Remember, being thankful should come around more than once.

Go ahead and share some of the things you are thankful for below in the comments section.  I would love to hear from you!

31 October 2015

have a happy Halloween

Hope you have a great day today!

I like pumpkins, they like to decorate my living spaces during this time of year.  I most of the time just let them sit, in their natural state.  Big ones are nice, but I have a love for cute little ones.

So, I want to know, what do you do with your pumpkins?

23 September 2015

Grandma's Estate Sale, plus our own 30 years Basement Sale

I know what you are saying - VaLon, didn't you just do a post about saleing things?  Why yes I did, and now we are ready to have a big sale!

 You see, as I said before, my Grandmother recently passed away and we are selling a lot of her items, plus some of our own that have been lingering too long in the basement for sentimental value.

We will have:

*Furniture - dinning table and chairs, sofas, chairs, bookcases, coffee table (see listings for all items)

*Multiple size women clothes. From preteen to plus size. A lot of good items, mostly just outgrown.

*Jewelry (none of grandma's)

*Glasswear, including vases.

*Electronics from bygone eras (think record players and stereos.)

*Large fish tank with supplies.

There will also be Water and Soda for a refreshment during the day.

Some free items available as well.

Sale Date: Saturday 26 September 2015
Sale Time: 8-2
Sale Location: , West Jordan

Cash only please.

Look forward to seeing you there!

Make sure and check out my furniture post to see items.

18 September 2015

Why I don't like All About that Bass by @meghan_trainor

Now, I'm not saying I hate the song, I actually quite enjoy listening to it and doing a bit of stomach dancing in the car.  But, everytime I listen to it I feel like it is giving the wrong impression to girls.

For those of you who don't know, it is a song talking about how it is okay to not be a 'stick figure Barbie doll,' but it is okay to have a 'little boody.'

Now, I do agree, but I feel like there is too much in the world today of people trying to say that being bigger is okay, that we don't all need to be skinny.

I myself am floating around 200 lbs, at only 5'3", and let me tell you, I feel like crap.  My clothes don't fit like they did last year.  I can't do the things I use to be able to do.  My feet seem to constantly hurt.  And, I attribute a lot of that to my weight, and my size.  I am not as fat as other people I see, but I feel like by telling girls, oh, it is okay to be whatever size you are, you are denying them a full life.  I don't want anyone to be my size, I don't want to be.  And before you get on my back thinking it is because I want to look a certain way, I don't, it's a health issue.  I want to be able to stay on my feet for a couple of hours not in pain.  I want to be able to go for a run around the park.  I want to be able to go for a hike.  I want to be able to do some dancing.  And yes, I do want to fit into all those cute clothes I have that don't fit.  But most importantly, I want to be able to feel good again.

So no, I'm sorry, you aren't all 'perfect from the bottom to the top,' some of you could use a good makeover to be healthy and in the best shape for you.

P.S. Did @meghan_trainor tweeted @MySpace?  What? Who still uses My Space?

11 September 2015

How to Make a Camera Bag - DIY

Hello all, today I am going to show you how I made a lovely camera bag out of a nice purse.  I wanted to have something to keep my camera safe, but not look like a big bag that was holding an expensive camera to steal.  Let's get started.

First, I took some foam seat cushions.  I kept toying with the idea of what to use, but it all seemed so expensive.  I got mine at Walmart.

I then measured the bag I had.  I had found this bag at a thrift store, and it was the perfect size. I knew that it would be a custom fit for the foam, so I measured it out.

I then cut the pieces to size and rough fit them in.  It was already coming together so great!  I was able to cut the bottom and the sides the same width, and then the shorter sides to squeeze in there.  So nice.

Then I took to the material.  I had this material laying around doing nothing.  It has odd bears of something on one side, but this super soft fuzziness on the other.  I really wanted none of my stuff to be damaged, so I decided to go against the grain and use the wrong side of the fabric for the outside.  I also cut it into a square with my rolling blade.  They make these for quilting, and I am not a quilter, but have no idea how I ever cut material straight before this.

I then of course sewed it up.  A few short stitches and we were in business.  I like square things....

Making sure it fit with the fabric on it.  It took a little working with it because the material had to be bigger to allow for the bending and the sitting on top of each other and such.  But, since I put the bottom and sides together, it makes it so the stuff doesn't fall outside of the cushioning.

I then took the two shorter sides and covered them, then sewed them on the edges.  You can really be a perfectionist here, or do as I did and leave room for wiggle.  It really makes no difference after you put it in the bag.  I also had a smaller piece for the middle as shown off the the side there.  Thought it would make a nice divider, but it quickly was tossed out because it just took up too much room.

Here it is, all nice and squished in there.  It looked so good once it was done and like nothing could hurt it.

I included a small notepad for keeping notes, a pen, some nylons for special effects for the camera, some extra batteries, my extra SD cards, and some other odds and ends that are always there when I need them.

To top it all off, my camera, in the bag I made for it.  (See instructions here).  It is a very nice bag, and always up for an adventure.

05 September 2015

Utah Estate Furniture Sale #yardsale #garagesale #vintageforsale #sellyourstuff

Hello regular subscribers, pardon me, but I am selling some furniture.  My wonderful grandmother recently passed away and we are trying to sell some of her items.  I figured I could go to the hassle of posting each and every photo with a description on the ad websites, but will make this a comprehensive listing of them all.  Thanks for your patience.  And to those just joining me, welcome, enjoy your shopping trip.

Part One: Cabinets

Small TV Cabinet   - $60  $30

Front View

Brown sliding shut cabinet.  Intricate detail on doors.  46" (3.83') wide, by 15.5" (1.29') deep, by 21" (1.75') tall.  It was used as a TV stand for over 40 years.  Great shape for its age. Some edging has come off.  Comes with some wood to support the self, not sure if it is needed, we have just had it there.

I actually really like this cabinet.  It brings back a lot of fond memories.  I have always liked the paneling details, and always wanted to paint it white with that pop of brown coming through.  Still a good cabinet.

Detail of Panel

Back and Support Feet

Bookshelf Cabinet    - $175

Items on Shelf not included.

Brown wood bookcase cabinet with open shelves.  48" (4') wide, by 12" (1') deep, by 70" (5.83') tall.  It has one compartment that slides shut, and another compartment that folds out into a small desk.  Wood backing on the bottom half.  Was used as a bookcase most of its life.  Brown insert in middle of third shelf, for stability.  Excellent condition.  (Light fixtures on shelf not included.)

Sliding Cabinet.  Door is half of width and slides both ways.
Desk place closed.
Desk place open.

 Coffee Table    - $100  $75

Front View

Brown solid wood coffee table.  60" (5') wide, by 24" (2') deep, by 16" (1.33') tall.  This table has two hiding places for storing things.  Middle portion is open, but great for storing objects as well (we have been storing blankets).  Great detailing on the front.  Backside is unfinished.  Was used as a bachelors table, so some slight dings on the top, but has just been sitting mostly in storage the past 30 years.  Super durable. Stick a cushion on it, and it is great for extra seating as well.

Side Door Detail
Side Door open.  Compartment is length of table.
Top wood grain.  Has nicks in it here and there.

Part Two: Sofas

Sofa Chair - Retro    -SOLD

Super comfy sofa.  36" (3') wide, by 35" (2.91') deep, by 30" (2.5') tall.  Been in the basement, barely used, for years.  Still looks like new condition.  Has been around a while. Large flower pattern in orange, green, brown and white. Has wheels to roll around on, or could be easily taken off. Worked perfectly in with the wood paneling and orange shag carpet.  Would work with a retro theme, or could be painted.  Selling matching couch as well, discount if bought together.

I really like this chair, and matching couch.  It is in great condition and is super comfy.  The plan was keep it for when I get my own house, but it is taking up too much room to store.  If it can go to someone who will use it now, I'll be happy.

Super plush

Button detail

Rolling feet


Matching Couch

Sofa Couch - Retro    -SOLD

Super comfy sofa chair.  99" (8.25') wide, by 35" (2.91') deep, by 30" (2.5') tall.  Been in the basement, barely used, for years.  Still looks like new condition.  Has been around a while. Large flower pattern in orange, green, brown and white. Has wheels to roll around on, or could be easily taken off. Worked perfectly in with the wood paneling and orange shag carpet.  Would work with a retro theme, or could be painted.  Selling matching chair as well, discount if bought together.

I really like this couch, and matching chair.  It is in great condition and is super comfy.  The plan was keep it for when I get my own house, but it is taking up too much room to store.  If it can go to someone who will use it now, I'll be happy.

Plushy softness

Rolling feet

Flower Pattern

Matching Chair

Sofa Chair    - $75  $30

White Sofa Chair, with blue and pink ribbons.  34" (2.83') wide, by 31" (2.58') deep, by 30" (2.5') tall, arms width 5". Well loved, super comfortable.  Short legs.  Selling matching Couch as well, discount if bought together.

This is one of my favorite chairs.  I love to sit in it, all sorts of ways.  But, it doesn't go with the new living room set we inherited, so it has to go.  Sad to see it leave, but it needs to go better the life of someone else now.

Dirty Arm

Dirty Arm


Sofa Couch    - $250  $100

White Sofa Couch, with blue and pink ribbons.  80" (6.66') wide, by 31" (2.58') deep, by 30" (2.5') tall, arms width 5".  Well loved, super comfortable.  Short legs.  Selling matching Chair as well, discount if bought together.

Dirty, Un-stitched arm


Part Three: Dining Sets

Set of 4 Dinning Chairs - Retro    - $150  $75

Set of 4 chairs
Set of 4 Yellow, Orange and Brown Dinning Chairs.  Each Chair 16" (1.33') wide, by 15" (1.25') deep, by 17" (1.41') seat height having a 3" cushion, and 21" (1.75') back.  Vinyl makes for easy cleaning.  Tall backs.  Been in storage for over 25 years, untouched.  One has a front that the stuffing is coming out of, but other than that, they are in perfect shape.

I really love these chairs.  They are such nice, durable chairs.  I have fond memories of them growing up, they were always the chairs you wanted when we brought up the chairs for social gatherings.  

Single chair

Stuffing coming out of one chair

Set of 6 Dinning Chairs - Retro    - SOLD

Single Chair
Set of 6 Salmon (Pink) and Silver Dinning Chairs.  Each Chair 16" (1.33') wide, by 16" (1.33') deep, by 18" (1.5') seat height, and 16" (1.33') back. Vinyl seat covers.  Were well loved when used in the 50’s, been sitting in storage unused for over 30 years.  Half have varying degrees of cracks in them, half have none.  Would look great in a retro kitchen, or could be painted to modernize them.  Seats could be recovered to be more comfortable, or left as is.  Lots of potential. Selling coordinating table as well, discount if bought together.

I have always loved the shape of these chairs.  The back has always felt like this perfect mix between retro and modern.  They are super easy to store, as well as being nice to sit on.

Some have holes

Some have perfect vinyl

Back of chairs

Coordinating Table

Dinning Table – Retro    - SOLD

Metal Kitchen Table
Blue, Copper and Silver Dinning Table.  48" (4') wide with two 12" (1') leaf inserts (making the total width 72" (6')), by 36" (3') deep, by 32" (2.66') tall.  All metal.  It comes with two leaves to have a small table or a large one.  Legs are detachable as well.  Easy to move, could possible be done with just a car.  Was well loved when used in the 50’s, been sitting in storage unused for over 30 years.  It does have a burn on it, where the toaster use to live.  Would look great in a retro kitchen, or could be painted to modernize them.  Tabletop could be recovered, possibly in copper to match the edging, or left as is.  Lots of potential.  Selling coordinating set of chairs as well.

Burn spot

Table comes in sections

Coordinating Set of Chairs

Part Four: Toys

3 Person Raft Boat    - $50

Raft in the bag (blue tarp not included)
3 Man Water Raft from the 40’s.  Includes 38.5" (3.2') wood seats that run the width of the raft. Unsure of the condition, it was in great working order last time it was used.  It was bought and used by a heavy fisherman and water sportsman, who only bought quality.  Been sitting in cool storage for over 30 years.  Sturdy, heavy, they don’t make them like this anymore.  Comes with a carrying case, and 1 oars. Lots of fun to use in the lake or river, for lazy days or adventures, for swimming or fishing.  Could also be used as a prop for nostalgia.  Come and have a look, feel free to open and inspect, as long as you put it back.

Raft in use

I am located in West Jordan.  All items must be picked up from there.  Available to show most weeknights between 5 and 9, as well as Saturday.  Please schedule a time for showing so I can be sure to be there.  Email: seller.valon@gmail.com  Text or Phone Message: 385-220-2618. Cash only.