Chores: It’s all on the line

Today is the first day back to school after Fall break for Lucas. So now is the time to implement his new chore system. We’ve tried a few methods before; a star chart app on my phone, a paper chart … Continue reading

31 Days To a Litter-Less Life

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. I’m updating this post with a link to each post of the series so you can come on back and find everything nice and orderly. Look at me being organized! Just scroll down to read Day 1! Day 2: … Continue reading

DIY Sunburst Mirror {Tutorial}

I’ve been loving The Nester’s blog series on “Lovely Limitations” this month! The entire series has focused on creating something under a limited medium, budget, space, or other limitation. The Nester says, “It doesn’t have to be perfect to be beautiful.” I struggle, and I mean struggle, with the compulsive need for things to be “perfect” before I will accept them as beautiful. My obsession with perfection often hampers my desire to even get started: This is a big obstacle, and a total personality flaw, for me. This week I’ve been working on overcoming that… starting with this project!

I love the new home decor trend of sunburst mirrors but I dislike the high price tag of most of them. A Google image search of “sunburst mirrors” brings up oodles of gorgeous metallic, extravagant, and modern mirrors sure to make you drool. In keeping with the concept of “lovely limitations” I got this idea to recycle (up-cycle, re-purpose, re-use, whatever) some of the bead catalogs that flood my mailbox to create something crafty…a sunburst mirror seemed like the perfect idea. Now on to the tutorial! I snapped all of the progress photos with my iPhone as I watched TV… perfection was not my goal-hence the DSLR sleeping soundly in its case until the “finished product” photos at the end!


Hot glue gun, mirror (I had a 12″ mirror from Michael’s lying around my house

Magazines or any paper you want! (I ended up using something like 150 pages)


Writing tools

Measuring tape or ruler

Poster Board (not pictured, oops)

Step 1 and 2: I used 2 different sizes of cylindrical objects (1 hot glue stick and 1 make up brush handle). I used the cylindrical objects to help me create perfect tubes of paper in 2 different diameters so that my finished sun would have a look of variety and randomness.

Step 3: Cut a piece of poster board a little larger than your mirror and glue it to the back. This is what you will start to glue your paper tubes onto on both the front and back sides. My poster board was about 1″ larger in diameter than my mirror. Then get a cute doggie to check himself out in your mirror…he thinks he’s one tasty little morsel.

Step 4 and 5: Start at the back of the mirror and begin gluing down the tubes. Place 4 tubes at the “north, south, east, west” positions of the circle. Make sure you get these even and straight. I used a tape measure stretched all the way across my mirror to help me keep the tubes as straight as possible.

Step 6: I used the larger tube size to measure out equal distances between the remainder of the tubes to fill in the back side of the mirror. The tubes were glued about a half inch inside the edge of the mirror (as marked by the pencil line)

Step 7: This isn’t actually another step, just a close up photo of step 6 to show the even spacing of the foundation row of tubes.

Step 8: Glue the larger tubes to the front half inch lip of poster board around the mirror. I used the edge of the mirror as a guide to make sure the tubes were straight. I placed a large tube in between each small tube that I had glued from the back. I generously glued these things down! Since I was using magazine paper the more generously I glued, the more stability I gained.

Step 9: This photo is also not really a step, but a close up photo of the finished row of larger tubes.

Step 10: Next place another row of small tubes. I placed 1 small tube in between each large tube. I placed a cereal bowl in the middle of the mirror (which I completely forgot to photograph) to help me place the small tubes evenly and closer to the center of the mirror than the larger tubes. Essentially a sunburst mirror has a small mirror center and a very large proportion of rays so I needed to bring the rays into the middle more.

Step 11: I added more tubes in different lengths at this point. This was a bit of a trial and error step as I added in tubes 1 row at a time until I felt there were enough rows and the fullness was to my liking.

Step 12: I cut a strip of poster board to create a smooth inner cylinder to add stability to the center of the sunburst. I liberally glued the strip of paper to each of the paper tubes to add stability. I also cute a piece of black card stock to make a 1 inch “ring” to glue over and cover up the raw edges of tubes and white card stock center.

Last Step: Spray paint! I used Rustoleum “Oil Rubbed Bronze” because I wanted the finished look to have a metallic texture. I envisioned the final color with a warmer “bronzy” undertone, but overall I’m really satisfied with it! I could always repaint it to something else if I got bored with it. I think a matte navy or glossy mustard would look pretty amazing; hammered gold or silver would probably be pretty awesome as well.

My sunburst is definitely not perfect, but I am so happy with the process I went through. It was tedious enough to push me out of my comfort zone, easy enough to work on while watching The Sing Off, and random enough to allow me to wing-it and be entertained.

In the future I think I might try using a medium with a little less flexibility. PVC pipe, wooden dowels, chopsticks, straws, kebab skewers, or even a stronger paper like card stock, would make perfect materials with a little less “bend” and a little more strength.

Pray for our Peanut

We just wanted to send out a quick update/prayer request for our little Katelynn.

We had an upper GI study done this morning. Katelynn was given some contrast to swallow through a bottle and then an x-ray was performed to watch her esophagus, stomach, and intestines function. The doctors were looking for a possible kink or twist somewhere along her digestive line but, thankfully, found none.

We have one remaining ultra sound on Friday which will check her liver for any abnormalities. There is really no indication that there is anything actually wrong with her liver (at one point in time her liver enzymes appeared elevated on her blood work, but normalized a few days later in another blood screen) but they want to just check it to make sure every possible scenario is ruled out. The doctors are confident that it will be a normal scan, but just want to verify.

At this point, due to her lack of weight gain, and the fact that we have exhausted every medicinal and dietary treatment, we now have to place a feeding tube. We will need to admit our little one for 2-3 days at Children’s Hospital to learn the process of placing a tiny feeding tube in her nose, down her throat, and into her tummy. Nathan and I have to learn how to do it so that we can place the tube back in if she pulls it out or if it needs to be replaced for any reason.

We have an appointment with our specialist to go over all of the information on Wednesday the 28th. We will find out at then when her actual date of admittance will be. We don’t know a whole lot other then the fact that this procedure is necessary. The only way to avoid it is for Katelynn to miraculously gain something like 2 lbs in the next week… and since she can’t eat a diet of pure marshmallows and chocolate (wouldn’t that be nice) it’s pretty unlikely ;-). At this point, we’re doing everything we can to help her gain weight (olive oil in her rice cereal twice a day, more frequent feedings, etc) while we wait to complete this next step.

Her tube will be in place for as long as is necessary to get her weight gain steady, and her spitting up controlled. The tube could be in for a month or 10 months…She will also continue to breastfeed throughout this whole thing thankfully. The tube is used to essentially increase her caloric intake by pushing calories into her belly in between feedings.

Nathan is relieved that this is something we can actually do, the testing and waiting period has been a little bit frustrating for him. I’m a bit more nervous about the hospital admittance. Overall we’re relieved to know it’s truly just acid reflux and we’re glad that all of her other tests have been normal…those possibilities were far more frightening then a “little ol’ feeding tube”.

So if you could keep our little one in your prayers this week, we would greatly appreciate it….

Front Porch Play {Inspiration Workshop Linkup}

I’m linking up with Gussy again for another week of her Inspiration Workshop! This week the prompt is “Front Porch” which is such a fun prompt.

We don’t have a “front porch” by definition, but we have a front yard which, as I write this post I realize, is practically an extension of our living room. Looking back through recent pictures I realize how much time we spend out there and I love it. I am so blessed by our little house and the location it’s at. It is such a little diamond in the rough, ok maybe not quite as far as a diamond but at least an imitation gemstone of sorts in the rough. It’s not everyone’s cup of tea, but I love the space to romp and roam, the horsey sounds all day long, and the old world feel of the ranch and the people who live, work, and play here.

So here are a bunch of photos of things we do on our “front porch”:

Picnics – Puppy Playtime – Orange Slice Smiles

Watch Rusty Rooster and Mimi Hen

Make Tents – Watch Tractors – Feed Chicks

Have Family BBQs – Catch Baby Lizards

Silly Pictures – Play in the Grass – Take Naps

So what things do you do on your “front porch”? Sip iced tea or lemonade? Tickle your kiddos? Kiss your sweetheart? Linkup with Gussy and share your favorite things!