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Making a home

The feet of someone walking away

Hey. It’s been awhile.

Perhaps you haven’t noticed. I wouldn’t blame you- consistency isn’t one of my strengths, let’s just be honest here. But I’ve missed you. Missed this– this whole blogging bit. The planning, writing, photographing and editing, wishing I knew what I was doing… It was beginning to feel like Lost Upon A Time was gaining traction. My workflow was becoming more efficient, and I was learning SO much. One of my scrap wood designs is even going to be featured in a legitimate magazine! That’s huge to me!

But we had a change of plans.

Read more…

My DIY Book Nook

or

Sawing Off More Than I Can Chew

or

All-You-Can-DIY Syndrome

As a kid, I did it all the time. Maybe you did too. I’d pick my way through the maze of people, carefully balancing my haul. No sooner would I have set my loaded tray on the table when Mom would say “Oh, Mickelle,” slowly closing her eyes. “You’re going to have to eat all of that before you go to the dessert table. Do you hear me?”

Those All-You-Can-Eat buffet restaurants seemed to be the place to go after a church service. In those days, anyway. And Mom brought me to a lot of church. So, I had plenty of opportunities to learn my limits; or develop childhood obesity. Yet amazingly, neither caught on.

Now many years later, I find that same “eyes bigger than my stomach” tendency shows up in other areas of my life. Like DIY. As a creative soul, I’m always generating ideas. There’s a constant stream of possibilities and inspiration pouring through my mind at any given time. (Especially if that given time is after I’ve had some coffee.) What I don’t naturally have too much of, however, is reason and realism.

Can you relate?

The Idea

I thought a book nook would be the perfect solution to our aggravating home office. The room is crammed with bulky furniture, yet we never seem to have enough storage. I needed more storage, yet also more space. And I wanted an environment that was beautiful. I reaaaaalllllyyyy dislike doing anything paperwork related, so an inviting space is in order.

While scrolling through Pinterest one day, this pin popped up.

nook
(photo source here.)

And in that moment, friends, I knew. The closet in our home office room (really, just a bedroom) needed to become a book nook. Half the furniture in there was bookshelves anyway. By building a book nook into the closet space, we could eliminate most of the shelving units, and GAIN space! Using drawers underneath the bench for storing files would mean we could nix our large filing cabinet, too!

I love reading, and the thought of having a little space like that was wonderful. What reader doesn’t want an in-home library? Complete with a built-in nook???

Our home is an early 1960’s ranch, with basic closets. Our space’s dimensions where nowhere near those in the photo, but that didn’t matter. I had a vision.

Of course, a project like this wasn’t in our budget, but I was pretty sure I had most of what I’d need to pull it off. Err, build it in. Mind you, I’ve never done anything like this before. A built-in unit is an entirely different beast than say, a Christmas Tree silhouette. But as per usual,

my ambitions are bigger than my skill set.

Great Expectations

I started prepping the walls in March. They were a miserable flat color that may have been somewhere near white at one time. I knew in my mind what I was going for, so I dove right in, fully expecting to have the (entire) job completed by the end of April.

My wise and talented (and SO inspiring) sister-in-law, frequently reminds me,

“These projects always take longer than you think they will.”

Wise words, friends. Get them tattooed on the inside of your eyelids if you’re like me and frequently tend to find yourself drowning in good intentions. It’s December. Mid-December. Christmas is two weeks away and I am just now patching holes and caulking gaps, before priming this beast.

My hope now is to have it done and usable by Christmas. Okay, maybe the New Year. At least by my birthday in February… Next April???

I’ve made so many mistakes, friends. Some of them I didn’t even realize until I was far beyond the point  of no return. Several of them are embarrassing, really. But a friend of mine asked if I felt like I could do a better job if I started it again. In other words, if I’ve learned much. HECK. YES.

The book nook project, about halfway through

The truth is, these projects DO take longer. Our office looks like an episode of Hoarders, with everything shoved and piled out of the way. And it’s been that way for 9 months now! I seriously underestimated this thing – but I’m going to finish. And I’ll keep you updated.

If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook, you’ve seen some of the progress already. And to those who have encouraged me along the way, Thank You. (I am so cyber-hugging you right now.)

Stick it out, friends. Stay with your overwhelming whatever-it-is. You’ll get there. And remember, caulk and trim hide a lot of bad decisions.

~m

Close-up of my DIY house numbers display and title graphic

DIY House Numbers Display

Forethought.

Rather, lack thereof.

Wasn’t I just writing about that?! Apparently, I’m not a quick learner. Don’t get me wrong; I’m really happy with my project. It looks just the way I envisioned it… minus a few cracks. It’s beautiful, bright, and functional. Mostly. Mostly functional. ( * sigh * )

You’ve seen the cool address signs on Pinterest, right? The ones that use tons of nails or screws? Like this one: Read more…

dried sedum flower stalks painted blue, green and magenta, title text "Make a wreath from yard waste

Make a Wreath with Yard Trimmings

“Wreath maker” is not a phrase I use to describe myself. Don’t get me wrong- I love wreaths. They’re unbeatable for bringing charm to a home or workplace.

However, I can’t say I enjoy making them. My visions of creating wreath grandeur usually find themselves in the trash can, accompanied by a very sour mood. I’m just not good at it.

But still, I really like wreaths. And goshdarnit, I sure wanted needed one. Read more…

curly wild onions in soil and graphic text "Foraging and Using Wild Onions"

Wild Onions: Foraging and Using

They can look pretty weird; I’m not going to lie. Weird and fascinating. I know they sure caught my eye the first time I noticed the curly cue tendrils of wild onions jutting out of the ground.

As I write, I’ve already made my first “shopping trip” through my yard snipping wild onion stalks and dandelion leaves. Soon my wild violets will be blooming. As I roam around, filling my colander, I can’t help but think that these edibles are some sort of peace offering for enduring the cold dormancy of winter. Read more…

cream, cinnamon sticks, salt and and orange on a wooden tray

Coffee Hacks for Home

This post contains affiliate links. They help to cover the cost of running the blog without affecting you. You can read my disclosure policy here.

I’m a coffee snob and I am not ashamed. I love a smooth shot of espresso, full bodied with a thick layer of crema on top. Dark roasts, light roasts, medium roasts, and city roasts all have a place in my heart. Lattes are nice. Cappuccinos are lovely. And breves? Divine.

My love for the bean runs deep; taking root long before I worked as a barista. Even after working with expensive equipment, some of my favorite coffees are the simple drinks that can be made at home. The following coffee hacks require equipment you likely already have: a drip-style coffee maker, a blender, and a citrus zester, or grater. Read more…

making vegetable stock at lostuponatime.com

Cheap and Easy Homemade Vegetable Broth

This post contains affiliate links. They help to cover the cost of running the blog without affecting you. You can read my disclosure policy here.

Hello, Friends!

It’s soup season!

Around here, anyway. When the wind howls, the snow flies, and it feels too darn cold to even go out to the mail box, there’s often a pot of soup on our stove. Made well, it’s comfort for the soul; and nourishment for the body.

If you’re like me, you want to keep tasty, healing meals on the table for your family. But, you only have so much time and not a lot of energy. You try to balance healing foods, a teeny grocery budget, and convenience. Sure, homemade is great. It’s usually the best way to go, in terms of health and frugality. But who’s got the time? Does anyone really want one more thing to think about?

This one’s easy, friend. I promise.

 

Homemade Vegetable Broth at lostuponatime.com Read more…

lostuponatime.com

Six Tips for Better Time Management with Autoimmune Disease

Happy New Year, Friends!

Has 2016 begun well for you?

Looking back on the last twelve months, I’m pretty amazed at all that can happen in just one year. You too? Each January, I mull over the gains and losses, and lessons learned of the last twelve months. Then I look ahead to the coming months and set goals. I’m not a resolution maker. Instead, I establish priorities. I choose what I want to focus on in different areas of my life; for instance -spiritually, health-wise, business, home making, marriage, etc. There’s always some area that needs intentional growth. Okay, several. Lots. Alright, I need to grow up. Moving on.

Do you reflect back over the year before looking ahead?

One area I’m forever struggling with is in maintaining a routine. Time management can be an elusive white unicorn for anyone, I know. But it seems to come more naturally for some folks than for others. I am an “other”. Read more…

cut pieces of wood, laying on a table covered with drop cloth

DIY Snowflakes and Christmas Trees

Hello, Friends!

Sending you tidings of great joy and yuletide cheer from the land of Unrelenting Wind. Sheesh! Can you hear that? I swear my pine trees are bending down to touch their toes out there. Speaking of toes, if somehow this wind gets really ugly and I land myself in Oz, I’m hoping for a pair of ruby slippers. I mean, come on. They’re red. Read more…

avocado tree lostuponatime.com

Eulogy for an Avocado Tree

My first winter here, it wasn’t the snow that got me. In fact, I was a tad disappointed. Since my understanding of a northern winter came largely from news broadcasts, and those broadcasts showed only major blizzards, that’s what I expected. Daily. We did have some significant snow storms that year, but live in igloos we did not. Rather, it was the darkness. Read more…