Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Making a house a home

What makes a house, a home?

Have you ever thought about this question?  Really thought about what it is that makes a house a home?

2012_02070044

I'm sure if we were to ask a bunch of folks what they thought, the opinions would be many and varied.  For me, I happen to think that the time and energy I put into my house is what makes it a home, it's in the little details, the personal touches that I add here and there, the home cooked meal I serve at the table, the pretty dishes I serve it on, the cute little tablecloth or the plant on the windowsill.

It's in the freshly cleaned clothes I fold and lovingly place in their drawers, or the way I go above and beyond to make sure that everything is livable, tidy, comfortable.

Oh but there is a sure difference between having a comfy warm home and having a house to live in.  At least in my opinion there is.

As a homemaker there are still days that I'm faced with the weird looks, or the questioning glances or the straight forward direct comments "Oh you're just a homemaker".  I smile, because there is nothing on earth I would rather be or be labeled as.

2012_02060005

Housework does not mean dirty, nasty, boring, tiring, monotonous.  Yes, it is all those things and many more but we tend to focus just on the negative and completely forget about the joy of it.  I for one take great pride in everything I do in my home and I actually really enjoy homemaking, using and reusing, recipes and old remedies, turning to what I have at hand as opposed to buying what is already made because it's quicker and easier.

I try to take the chores that I have at hand as just my contribution to our home and that entails much more than the usual dish washing or laundry folding, it also means making things for the home or doing a craft with the kids or some sewing for myself.

I thought I would show you what I did around here today :)

First things first....kids and I made some of that Melted Crayon art that is all over the net lately.  I won't say it was hard to make but it wasn't exactly as easy as they make it sound either.  The whole melting the crayons process can be a little frustrating.

2012_02070003

First step of the process is to get the crayons picked out and glued on, some will want them with all the labels facing the same way and blah blah blah, but the kids just stuck them whichever way they wanted, it's their project and I'm fine with that :)

The hairdryer thing was a major pain in the behind, if you go too high the crayons start melting but also start splattering all over, but if your turn to low then it doesn't generate enough heat to melt them.  It's sort of trying to find the right exact temp.  I guess there is a technique for this, one which we haven't figured out yet.

2012_02070006

I let the kids do whatever they wanted to do.  The one above belongs to Nicholas, he picked the crayons, he glued them where he wanted and then glued on mugs and said that it was mountain dew and water pouring LOL  I love his imagination.

2012_02070007

This one above is Jasmine's and she really could care less how the crayons melted, which way they went, if they dripped or poured, she didn't care.  I happen to like the color combination and it's now hanging on her bedroom wall, she is happy with the result :)

2012_02070011

And then came mine.  I just wanted greens and earthy tones.  I tried the hairdryer and it was just not doing what I wanted it to do, so I decided to pull out a little kitchen torch and while that work MUCH better, you can see the actual thick drips, the next thing I knew the paper on one of the crayons caught on fire and I had to extinguish it using Nic's water gun LOL

It was just a mess, it went beserk and I don't know what happened....but I decided to just try and salvage it and added little flowers, I'm pretty pleased with how it turned out, not perfect but whatever, I like it :)

2012_02070017

This is the last one that I made....I think I finally had the melting crayon technique down.  I figured if I placed the crayons at different heights it would help me with the drips.  It did.....it became a tree with black little printed bird silhouettes :)  I LOVE this one :)

The next thing on my list was to start another batch of Orange and Lemon infused Vinegars for my cleaning.

I don't like chemicals, I don't like paying for chemicals, I don't like any of that stuff that says will cut grease but then really never does.  I much prefer safe cleaning agents, like Vinegar.  It's my go to cleaner for a myriad of things around the house.

I mentioned the vinegar on Facebook today and had a lot of questions about it and how to make it, so I'm going to tell you, but honestly it's so easy there really isn't a method to it.

2012_02070042

For my wood floors and tile bathroom floors, I just mix about 2 cups of the vinegar with about 2 gallons of hot water and then put in a few drops of essential oil. That's it. Just mop as usual and then I take a dry towel and dry the floors, it's a little time consuming but it does wonders and they look great :)

For all the other small cleaning jobs like kitchen countertops, appliances, fridge and stove etc, I just use the vinegar out of the mason jar as is.

To make your own infused vinegar, all you need is a mason jar and then either orange/nectarine or lemon peels, I've even used grapefruit before. Instead of discarding the peels from the fruit, just shove them in the mason jar with the vinegar, that's it. Let it sit in there for as long as you wish, there's no set time.

Plus side is that you get the great cleaning power of the vinegar plus the added citrus scent and degrease power. It's great :) And safe :)

As I walked around the house doing this and that, my eye caught on a few things that I have laying around that may not seem like much to anyone else but they really do make me and my family smile. It makes our home a HOME.

Like the crochet blankets and pillows on a chair.

2012_02070020

Or the mini bunting sticking out of a flower pot

2012_02070044

so easy to make, all you need is fabric of your choice, some interfacing (the stiffer the better), some twine and some bamboo sticks or even chopsticks.

Apply the interfacing as directed.  Then cut out the triangles from the fabric.  Next, using a hot glue gun, glue some twine to the back of the triangles and then to the sticks you're using and that's IT.

2012_02070045

It's not perfect, but I'm not looking for perfection, I'm looking for cute and homemade :)

2012_02070037

And lastly, as I stepped into my laundry room my little mason jar pincushion emergency sewing kit (that's a mouthful lol) caught my eye too.

Again, no sewing needed for this one.  I used a lid that was starting to get rusty, cut a circle of fabric about an inch bigger than the inner lid. 

2012_02070031

Then proceeded to hot glue it around, I left a small open area,

2012_02070033

stuffed it with polyfill, then glued the rest shut, popped it into the metal ring, filled the mason jar with a measuring tape, some needles, thread and that was it :)

Sits in my laundry room for those last minute mending jobs that come up :)

2012_02070035

Just stop fighting it and start embracing your housework, I promise you, you may not grow to love it but it will certainly not be such a daunting task.

Before you leave, go on over to Full Bellies, Happy Kids and get yourself the recipe for this Pasta Casserole, it's so good, so filling, I think you'll enjoy it :)

2012_02070052

Now I want to hear from you all, what makes YOUR house a home?  What do you do to make it special for your family?  :)

10 comments:

Mari said...

I really like this post! Being a homemaker is such a noble calling - you really set the tone for your home. I think keeping the house clean, having clean clothes and preparing the meals makes a huge difference in a families life - especially when it is done with a smile!

Kelley in FL said...

It's definitely the little things. For years we have rented and were limited in what we could do. Back in October we finally bought our first home. And that alone makes a huge difference. Then being able to paint the way we want to, not have to worry about nailholes, etc....it definitely feels more like our HOME and not just where we live.

Sweet Tea said...

Homemade desserts (no store bought cookies, etc).
Seasonal touches around the house.
I love being a SAHM and feel very blessed to live this lifestyle...I enjoyed this post!

April said...

Home made bread, and candles burning, each chair or sofa has a pillow and blanket. Lots of coasters so we can settle in our chairs with our pillow, blanket and hot tea!

autumnesf said...

I did a similar post recently and my answer is Who I Live With makes my house a home and the memories we share!

http://autumnaskswhy.blogspot.com/2012/01/autumn-asks-what-do-you-love-most-about.html

Modified Mommy said...

Our current rental house has really taught us that anywhere we are all together can be home (the house is really cruddy; we can't wait to move!)
We're in the process of buying our first home, and I just cannot wait to officially unpack everything and start putting in all the homey touches!

Heather said...

Thank you for this post Sandra, I get a little bit of the "winter blahs" and your attitude is inspirational to me. I feel very blessed to be a stay at home mom, just need to be reminded here and there. Hope you have a great day!

Sherry said...

What a beautiful post Sandra :) One of the many things I love about you is that you know exactly who you are and what you are supposed to be doing with your life.

I am always floundering and going in all directions!

I really think I will make those emergency sewing kits! They are so adorable and even I can make them :)

Blessings and hugs,

Sherry

Susanne said...

That crayon art is really cool! Love Nicolas' with the coffee mugs.

Suzie Thomas said...

You'll find several positive aspects of choosing a granite tile than all the other stone or wood countertops. They have all the elements of smooth finish and elegant searching surface but there are actually few items that make the granite tile far more efficient and price saving.