October 28, 2010

Simple Organizational Tip

I purchased this wall hanging system with three pockets a few years back to sort mail and coupons. But when I put things in the pockets it looked really unkempt. So I decided to make some custom folders that would hide all the unsightly papers yet keep the piece functioning as it should be. Last night I made some new folders because after several years the original folders I had made were looking a bit tattered. If you're interested in making some folders of your own all you need is a few sheets of 11 x 17 card stock, score it right down the center to make a nice clean fold line. Create your labels in whatever software you have according to your sorting and organizational needs. Print them on a nice card stock, cut them out with a straight edge and x-acto knife and attach with double sided tape or another good adhesive that you have on hand.

I'm adding the link to my personal labels so you can print them for yourself for free or you can go ahead and make your own. I chose to print mine on a nice metallic card stock.

Happy organizing!

Thanks for stopping by Blue Sky Confections!

Jenny K.

October 27, 2010

old frames, fabric scraps, a few stitches & some paint = light, bright and fresh wall decor

So today is WONDERFUL WEDNESDAY right? Except for the dog that pee's a river every morning when I come downstairs, even though he was let out an hour before by my husband. It's tough to start out the day in a good mood when having to get the scrub bucket out first thing each day! I'm going to do my best to change my attitude and not let it alter my course. I'll let you know tomorrow if I was able to do so.

On a brighter note this is a little project I've been working on this past week for butter babies room.

Have you noticed the trend towards the light & bright in home decor? Well I have, and now I feel a little left out. I've got two rooms that haven't been touched yet in the house and those are the master bedroom and bath. These two rooms will most likely get the full, light & bright treatment. As for the rooms that have already been painted, furnished and decorated... well I feel like it's time to start all over again. Shhhhh... don't tell my husband just yet.

My babies room has all the basics in place and now her room needs what I call "the jewelry". The above photo's are the beginning stages of that jewelry.

I started with this as my framework...

an old gold mirror, three little mirrors that had previously been painted white and two oval frames that housed some old artwork. The mirror is waiting to make it's debut. It requires additional layers of paint.

This is all I used to transform those old frames...

For the artwork I used some scraps of fabric, some felt and embroidery thread. I created my own little owl template and then got to work cutting and stitching. I also bought three silver door pulls at my local home improvement store. They were on clearance. I sprayed the tops with some of the same paint used on the frames and then with paper toweling rubbed in a circular motion leaving most of the color in the detail areas of the knobs.

If you can hand stitch or if you've got a sewing machine download a free template of the owl here
NOTE: This owl template is only FREE to those creating items for personal use. This owl template IS NOT FREE to those looking to sell items using this owl template. If you would like to sell items using this owl template please inquire with me and I will work out a price based on what you are making/selling. Thank you very much for being honest and adhering to the guidelines.

Tip: Don't discredit old frames and mirrors that you've got in your basement or closets. With a fresh coat of paint they can be transformed into modern day decor for just about any room in your home.

Thanks for stopping by Blue Sky Confections on this Wonderful Wednesday!

Jenny K.

October 26, 2010

spooky trees

My kids always love colorful lights. You can see my youngest butter baby peeking through the window in one of the photo's. How about your children, do they love twinkle lights?

Here's a fun project for you and your family for this "trick-or-treat" season.

What you will need to make ONE tree:
1 large planter
1 bag of sand
Black spray paint
2  - 50 - 100 ct orange lights
Sticks from the woods (on your family walks look for downed trees and branches)
Black mulch

Basic Instructions:
1. Spray paint the planters if they're not black already - I added an orange stripe to my pots.
2. Spray paint the branches black
3. When the branches are sufficiently dry wrap them carefully with the strands of lights (you don't want to break all the little twigs off. That's what gives the spooky trees character.)
4. String the lights through the drainage hole in the bottom of the pots, stabilize the branch and then add the sand. This will give the pot weight and keep your tree in place.
5. Cover the sand with black mulch. That gives it a more finished look.

Voila! Another inexpensive, seasonal delight.

...and GUESS WHAT?
I'm the lucky winner of the October Girl's Loft kit giveaway from this blog. It's one of my very favorites! I can't wait to get those lovely paper products!

Thanks for stopping by Blue Sky Confections!

Jenny K.

October 25, 2010

spice up your own home decor for the season affordably

While doing some yard clean up this week and cutting back plants that were dieing off after their summer show I had an idea. The gladiola stalks are quite lovely even when they're browning so why not use them for something else. Using what I already had and combining it with clippings from my yard I was able to create some pretty spectacular centerpieces for my dining room table.

I typically have these tall pillar candle holders on the dining table but for the autumn season I surrounded the pillars with the gladiola stocks, secured them in place with some twine and then cut a piece of chocolate brown grosgrain ribbon purely for cosmetic purposes.

Add a couple of these to your table and it makes quite a statement. I encourage you to consider what you already have in your home and in your own yard that could be transformed into seasonal decor. My cost = $0... my husband REALLY likes that!

My front porch also gets a punch of color with lots of beautiful mums and pumpkins. Rather than putting my mums in pots I purchase inexpensive burlap and cut squares large enough to wrap around the plastic containers that the mums come in. I then secure the burlap with large rubberbands or paperclips and then tie some ribbon around the burlap to conceal the bands. I've been using the same burlap and ribbon for the last three years now. The ribbon may need to be refreshed but the burlap is still holding up to the elements quite well.

In an earlier post I highlighted the pillow covers that I had sewn for the bistro set that resides on the front porch. I also made a set of covers for the pillows on the black rocking chairs. Have I mentioned that I love having a sewing machine? Well I do... and there's so much more that I want to sew. Stay tuned for those projects.

Here's a picture of the front porch from the sidewalk. I've added a few more things since this picture was taken and I may share that later. I love the ornamental cabbage in my window boxes and the moonflower vines that have wrapped themselves around the white columns. I hope you've been inspired to consider what you've already got in your own home and yard.

Thanks for stopping by Blue Sky Confections!

Jenny K.

October 24, 2010

sunday seven

Good morning...

It has been quite a while since I posted to Blue Sky Confections. When things happen that throw my concentration it takes a bit for me to get back on track. 2010 has been one of the toughest, most stressful years on record in our 14 years of marriage and in my life. I won't go into great detail but it has been. The one thing that gets me back on track is having an attitude of gratitude. Being thankful for each day I have to spend with my children and my husband. Having thankfulness in my heart makes me so much more productive.

1. I am thankful for the walks I was able to take with my youngest two, one of which was a hunt for acorns. I've got a little project up my sleeves for those. My son kept telling me, "I love acorns"!

There was a stream near by and he was throwing them in like skipping stones and saying, "I'm feeding the snakes". That was my doing. Telling him that there may be snakes in the stream was my way of keeping him out of the water.

I told my son to give his sister a kiss. The photo on the left was me trying to capture that kiss. Almost but not quite.

There's something about breathing in the fresh air and soaking up the sun that makes you happy. The kids are always more loving when they get to play outside and take in all that God's creation has to offer.

2. I'm thankful I made some more progress on that piece of furniture that I'm painting. I have to sneak in a little time here and there. The kiddo's keep me busy most days.

3. I'm thankful I was able to work on a new project for my baby girls room. I hope to post that soon.

4. So thankful for a rainy Tuesday. The kids always sleep a little longer which gives me a quiet morning to reflect and to have a cup of coffee in peace. Not to mention our water tables are going up, the rivers and streams in this area are starting to flow again which made my walks with the kids even more pleasant. They love hearing the water flowing.

5. Thankful I was able to do a little bit of yard clean up. I cut back a lot of old growth on my plants. One of the cuttings I was able to use for some fall home decor and will hopefully be posting that soon.

6. Thankful I was able to take my oldest daughter to another riding lesson yesterday. The farm is gorgeous, the weather was perfect and the horses are always winsome and majestic.

Olivia was able to ride a new horse at the farm last week. His name is "Simon Says" and he's the Palomino Quarter Horse in the photo below. I wasn't able to get pictures of that. I was running errands and my hubby took her to that lesson.

7. ...and last but absolutely not least. I had a wonderful, quiet dinner with the love of my life. Remembering that there is an attraction between the two of us. It's been a few years since we'd gone on a date. All three of our children were with babysitter's. There was good conversation, ambiance and wonderful food. Some of the best I'd eaten in a long time.

Much love to my readers until my next post.

Thanks for stopping by Blue Sky Confections!

Jenny K.

October 12, 2010

why the blogging community has drawn me in...

like a kid to a candy store!

It was probably about 2 years ago when I started following Cindy's blog. We met in college in the Visual Communication program at Ferris State University. She became a very good friend of mine along with several others in my program. Spending four years with the same group that made the tough cuts year after year you tend to form long lasting bonds. That doesn't mean we chat on the phone daily but we have kept in touch over the years and for that I'm grateful! Anyways back to her blog... she took her design talent and has channeled it into some really fabulous scrapbooking work. She's been published in magazines and books, featured on a television show and lots more. I'm proud to say, I went to school with some really talented people!

Cindy's blog, Happy Little Studio, was my introduction to this vast online creative community. There is an entire world of artist's and crafters out there blogging about their daily lives and how it coincides with their passions. That intrigued and captured me and I haven't been able to walk away. I decided to start my own blog and share my creative energy, my projects and a little bit of my family life in hopes that I may inspire someone out there with similar interests and maybe just maybe meet some new friends.

The blogging community is authentic. There are no creative directors, stylists and marketing experts putting a spin on everything before it goes out. I'm not dogging that world because I'm a part of that world, I'm a graphic designer and it's my job to make things look there absolute best before the masses are informed.

Here's where I will share a little about a freelance project that I worked on fresh out of college. A large agency in NC brought me in for a few days to paint picket signs for a political cause. My instructions were to make them appear as if they had been done in someone's garage. They didn't want them to look professional because it needed to look like a grassroot's effort. Oh yes, even if picket signs look hand done chances are they weren't done by the people holding them.

Therefore, I believe one of the reasons blogging is so popular is because the readers want to see the real deal, the vulnerable daily struggles of a mom that's trying to drive her at home business sales and do the best to take care of her family all the while forming relationships with her followers and buyers. You can't buy the kind of brand loyalty that builds.

Now every crafty girl loves Martha but lets be real, Martha does not do all of the things in her monthly publication calendar plus a magazine, a tv show, now a network, product lines, home shopping sales and on and on and on. I know she's resourceful but stop making us feel inadequate MARTHA. She's smart and she's cloned herself over and over again. I have a deep appreciation for the authentic and I'd like to share a few blogs that have held my interest for a while now.

Happy Little Studio

Second Sister


Lisa Leonard - It's The Little Things

Tatertots & Jello 

Thanks for stopping by Blue Sky Confections.

Jenny K.

October 8, 2010

burlap & barn board

Do-it-yourself headboard, draperies and more...

DIY PROJECT 1: The above barn board traveled all the way from Upper Michigan to make its second debut as a headboard in my oldest daughter's room. My father is an excavator and on occasion he takes down old structures and saves the boards for future use. Sooooooo when my brother made a trip down to visit us a year-and-a-half ago I asked that he bring some of this fabulous barn board. The possibilities are endless with this beautiful weathered wood. I must give my husband credit for building this great focal point. Didn't he do a fantastic job!?!?

My daughter wanted a barn themed room. She loves horses and everything about farms and the country side and so I set out to give her what she desired. This room is still not complete. There's a lot of decorating yet to be done but the foundational pieces are in place. I'm a budget decorator and while it's frustrating at times when I'm unable to complete an entire room all at once it can be very rewarding to create things of beauty with limited resources and a lot of creativity.

DIY PROJECT 2: The drapes are done with yards and yards of inexpensive burlap. You can find burlap at the local fabric and craft store. Make sure you measure from the point that you want the rod to hang all the way to the floor + 3 inches for finishing x the amount of panels needed. Then I purchased inexpensive white satin ribbon and black fringe. The ribbon is slightly gathered and hot glued to the window side of the burlap and then the fringe is hot glued to the satin. The ribbon and the fringe really give the burlap a feminine touch. TIP: If I was going to do this over I would sew the ribbon and fringe in place. I didn't have access to a sewing machine when these were assembled.

DIY PROJECT 3: Re-purposed finials - The rod and finial sets in my daughter's room were already there but did not fit the new design aesthetics. At first I set out to decoupage some paper squares to the blue glass globes but that was just looking sloppy. Then a light bulb went off... I grabbed a roll of twine that I usually have on hand for tying up plants and started winding it around the finial using, you guessed it, hot glue to hold it in place. Voila! It goes perfect with the new rustic barn theme.

DIY PROJECT 4: Re-purposed kitchen chair - The chair my daughter uses at her desk is actually an old kitchen chair of ours. There are three more of these little pretties that I have other plans for. I painted the chair with a pewter metallic paint and then searched online for a faux cowhide. I found this black and white pony print that has a very light pile. I bought some foam from my local fabric and craft store and then used a heavy duty staple gun to secure the fabric in place on the underside of the seat.

The bottom half of the walls are painted barn red and the top half are painted a shade of beige. The colors are separated by an inexpensive framing board that you can buy at your local home improvement store. I put a coat of white paint on the boards and then my husband secured them in place around the room with a nail gun and then added these great barn door "X's" right under the two windows in the room.

In an effort to give this tween abode a certain level of sophistication that will last the test of time I'm adding black and white elements. I'm still searching for a black and white area rug that will flow with the existing elements and I also have plans to refinish an old lamp and oh so much more. After all really good design is in the details.

Thanks for stopping by Blue Sky Confections.

Jenny K.

October 4, 2010


Completeness of order, marking the entire round of anything, is, therefore, the ever-present signification of the number ten. It implies that nothing is wanting; that the number and order are perfect; that the whole cycle is complete.

Noah completed the antediluvian age in the tenth generation from God

The Ten Commandments

The Lord's Prayer
The Lord's prayer is completed in ten clauses.

The Tithes
The tithes represent the whole of what was due from man to God, as marking and recognizing God's claim on the whole

More can be found on the significance of the number ten here.

Fourteen years ago I married a wonderful man and by doing so became part of an enormous family. I'm going to share a little about this family today. Because the story should be told but also because my husband's father has been suffering with dementia for the last several years and most recently has been bed ridden.

My husband's father, shown in the photo's above, comes from a family of TEN boys, the father of these TEN boys happened to be a minister and all TEN of his sons became ministers. His eighth son Herbert went on to have TEN children himself, 5 boys and 5 girls, with his beautiful wife, Erma also pictured above. Of course, those photos were taken before these photos...

the family continued to grow and thrive...

and celebrate special occasions, holidays,

and many weddings...

I gave you some history and now I'll say this...

This man, my father-in-law, is a great man of God. He raised all TEN of his children in a God centered home. When he was healthy and not suffering with dementia he would pray for the sick and those in need without question. He is a man that walks what he talks. A man that truly values the things of God over the things of this world. What he believes is so REAL to him and no one could EVER question his faith. I often wonder what my testimony would be if I was stricken with dementia. What would I remember? What would come out of my mouth in that condition? I can tell you this... this man, my father-in-law, has a FAITH that is unshakable even in the toughest of times. Even now, being bed ridden and his body unable to do anything it was once able to do he STILL praises the NAME OF JESUS!!! He STILL says Hallelujah, Praise be to God! Would that be your testimony? Is your faith so ingrained in you that you would remember the God you serve under these conditions? ...or would it all fade away with the temporal things of this world? To me he has an amazing testimony of a life lived to its fullest.

I want to share some more beautiful photo's of him and his family before I close this post.

Pastor Herb and Erma Kolenda and 9 of their children. One daughter was unable to attend this anniversary dinner.

Pastor Herb and Erma Kolenda with their 5 sons.

Pastor Herb Kolenda with 4 of his daughters, daughter-in-laws, and a family friend.

Pastor Herb and Erma Kolenda with myself, my husband that happens to be their 9th child and our oldest daughter.

Pastor Herb and Erma Kolenda with us.

I published this post earlier today to celebrate Pastor Herbert Kolenda's life while he was yet living. I was just recently informed that he passed away around 5:30 p.m this evening. The fourth day of the tenth month in the tenth year. Lord comfort our family in this time of sorrow.

Thank you for stopping by Blue Sky Confections today.

Jenny K.
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