Subscribe: Bird and Berry
Added By: Feedage Forager Feedage Grade B rated
Language: English
adoption  area  back  family  fire pit  fire  frame  house  made  make  paper  party  pit  project  room  things  wanted 
Rate this Feed
Rate this feedRate this feedRate this feedRate this feedRate this feed
Rate this feed 1 starRate this feed 2 starRate this feed 3 starRate this feed 4 starRate this feed 5 star

Comments (0)

Feed Details and Statistics Feed Statistics
Preview: Bird and Berry

Bird and Berry

Updated: 2018-03-05T12:05:59.786-08:00


A New Piece of Our Adoption Story


The last two years have been a wonderful, hard and crazy whirlwind for our family. We made many tough life changing decisions that required us to lean on faith and prayer more than we ever had before. We began having fertility problems, made the decision to grow our family through adoption, I had an emergency surgery and was diagnosed with aggressive stage 5 endometriosis (currently there is only a classification system of stage 1 - stage 4), we adopted Jayden, began an open adoption with his birth family, and I made the life altering decision to have a hysterectomy. So you would think that one more decision at the end of this series of major life events would be manageable given our previous practice, but it was anything but that. With a month and a half left of 2013 just as the dust had settled on our whirl wind year and the finish line of 2013 was in sight we found out that Jayden’s birth mom was expecting again. Now there are two natural reactions that most people we have privately told this news to have had. One is to roll their eyes or talk judgingly about our birth mom and her ability or lack there of to prevent getting pregnant, and the other is to happily and easily assume or say that we of course are or should adopt this baby as-well. Neither reaction is per-say inappropriate but both fail to really understand all that falls in-between both of those extremes. The fact is that adoption is the only option I have to build my family. It is not a second option in my mind or a lesser option in my heart, but reality is it is now the only option. There is not going to be a “miracle natural child” coming to this family unless I become the next Virgin Mary and I am pretty sure that is not going to happen. And guess what I am fine with that, 100%. Although the hardest thing is to realize that not everyone understands that building my family is ALWAYS going to be difficult, is ALWAYS going to be crazy expensive, is ALWAYS going to be messy, is ALWAYS going to be imperfect, is ALWAYS going to involve other people, is ALWAYS going to come with legal and financial risk, and is ALWAYS going to sound like a crazy and scary thing to do. I say this to both those that think adoption is too crazy and risky and to those that think adoption is easy and a tax write off. Thankfully I knew full well what I was signing up for entering the adoption world. I was prepared for the fact that we were situationally and racially going to become a minority family overnight, and that most people even those that are closest to us and love us the most were all of the sudden not going to understand our new relationships, our experiences, our feelings about adoption and the people involved, or have a complete understanding about exactly what we had gone through and what it had taken to make adoption happen for our family.  My understanding that not many understand is the real reason why I am writing this actually. I write none of this out of hurt feelings or disappointment and anger of things that have been said to us or for need of sympathy. I’m writing this because I am in a unique situation, possibly in even a unique situation among the adoption community and I just want to make clear how my family feels about this, and what conclusions we have come to for ourselves. That way when you see or hear things in the future that I may post you will simple know.  So with that out of the way I will head back to the bomb shell news we got in November.My initial reaction hearing this news at home by myself was that there was no way we could do it. There was no way we could financial align the planets and stars again so quickly to be able to do another adoption. I mean we had just written our last check to our lawyer like a month earlier. If Jayden’s adoption had seemed impossible in the beginning, this adoption for certain felt impossible. I was however more than thankful and honored to have gotten a call about the situation. It does not get much better than having an opportunity to adopt your child's sibling. For the sole f[...]

One Step Closer...


My heart is so full right now. Which is funny to me because nothing has happened per-say.

This adoption journey has already been the biggest blessing and miracle in my life thus far. To say I have felt the hand of the Lord stretching my heart would be a gross understatement. At times I swear I can actually physically feel my heart stretching and growing. It is a wild thing to feel and know that you are suppose to be in a certain place at a certain time with certain people, and an even wilder thing to try and make it happen. To align spiritually, physically, and financial for one cause has been a major undertaking that has taken faith, prayers, and a tremendous amount of patience. The simultaneous feeling of needing to run faster than I humanly can and quietly wait longer than I can stand all at the same time is nothing short of agony.

With our papers into a private agency and the hope that things will happen quickly for our little family I feel truly grateful, and one step closer to the little one that is suppose to join our family for eternity. It has been a true miracle to look forward into what only months ago seemed a muddy murky path that was unachievable in every way, and now see a clear and perfect path. The Lord has been pushing us and we have been pushing Him. Our hope is that our desires will shortly cross with His to create a masterpiece we could have never foreseen, but that he has always had in mind. At this point we have no idea what that masterpiece looks like, but we already know it will be better than anything we could have painted for ourselves.

Thank you for standing by us as friends and family!

This song is beautiful and exactly where I am at right now.

allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen" frameborder="0" height="315" src="" width="420">



My Little Family is Looking to ADOPT! Due to some health and pregnancy risks that I have had in the past coupled with some new fertility problems we have been experiencing we have decided to take advantage of this wonderful option that we have to grow our family. We could not be more excited about this new adventure our family is embarking on. We would love your help so please read on!We are going to be adopting through LDS Family Services and will soon have a profile viewable on their website. We are choosing to go with LDS family services because of their vast amount of resources they offer to not only families looking to adopt, but more importantly moms and fathers looking to place their children for adoption. LDS family services has impressed us with the fact that they offer counseling to both birth parents (mothers and fathers placing a child for adoption) and their families, along with covering all medical costs and often times basic needs costs incurred by birth-moms. We feel that having the birth moms emotional and physical needs met with out incurring additional worry or stress on an already difficult situation is important, and we have confidence that LDS services can provide that. Any expectant mother looking to place a child for adoption regardless of their religious background can use LDS services as their agency and advocate, and with 62 offices these services are accessible to nearly everyone. We hope as we spread the word that we are looking to adopt that friends and family will be able to help us spread the word even further increasing our chances of finding that perfect match for our family. With so many couples in the same position as us looking to adopt we want to be as proactive as possible in growing our family through adoption.We have more information about us and our hopes of adopting on our adoption website. WWW.HUTCHINGSADOPT.COM  If you have any questions or know someone that is looking to place a child for adoption please feel free to contact us at or call us at 801.709.1326 and feel free to scan and share our QR code. Thanks!You can also help us by adding our adoption button to your blog or website.[...]

Crafting for a special boy


I have a nephew who has lots of handicaps and this month his parents found out he also has leukemia. We were crushed for them and him and have been thinking about them constantly. Upon finding out about the leukemia the doctors started chemo right away, but shortly after his third treatment his body began reacting poorly to it, to the point that he had to be life flighted to primary children's. He has been in ICU there now for about two weeks and just had his sixth birthday yesterday while in the hospital. I have wanted to do something but didn't know what, but I finally decided I wanted to make buttons for them so that they could give them to friends family and nurses. I wanted them to represent Ammon and his strength and bravery. So after reading their family blog and finding out that a friend told them that his name Ammon Everett means hidden strength I made a crest with the words brave like Ammon and hidden strength on it. From there I made little paper buttons and tonight or Sunday we are going to take them to the hospital or their home.
This poor little guy needs all the prayers and love and support he can get. He encompasses all that his name means and stands for.

Where I have been & What I have been up-to


Life has been busy and here is why:Party Lights needed to go up for the two ice-cream socials I had at the house for church. My brother-in-law (lucky me) works for a Christmas lighting company, so he was able to come and custom cut the length of lights I needed. Parade of Homes needed to be attended. I just had to take my daughter and niece and nephew to the up-house. an exact replica of the movies house including furniture etc.How cute is all that?!? The garden has needed tending... and eating.Naked butterflies and dogs have needed watching. Weddings have need officiating and cake has needed to be cut.Back steps have needed to be fixed up and stained and a dinner bell needed to be installed for kid who wants treats while playing.  Invitations have been madeTears have need shedding. Funeral programs needed making. Gardenias were her favorite flower Funeral favors were made. Out of Grandma's bird seed that she would faithfully feed her blue birds.Grandmas make-up was done. If I did cosmetics for 8 years just to be able to make my Grandmother look beautiful and like her-self for those who loved her it was worth it. All hard, but worth it. Flights were made with little girls to put on a baby shower out of state.Bribes were made so passengers would be nice to us. Halloween crafts and plans have been started. More to come soon.These and a million other things that my brain will not even let me remember right now are the reasons for my less than frequent posting.So when you are wonder why I have not been posting know that it is not because there is nothing to post about. It is because I am tooooo busy doing things, and I do not have time to post. My Grandmother all though 82 passed away unexpectedly in August.  She was as beautiful on the inside as she was on the outside, and gave me the love I have for my heritage and family history. She was an inspiration to all that met her, and although we are sad for our loss we rejoice in the sweet reunion she must have had with her sweet heart whom she has been apart from for 44 years.[...]

Paper Doll Baby Shower


There comes a mile stone in every hostess's carrier when you know you must be good, and that mile stone is when you are asked to cross state boundaries to do a party. It is quite the feat to pack a party and execute  it far from home, but I can now check it off the list of things I have done in the universe of part planning. Here is the Paper Doll themed baby shower I did for my Sister-in-law. Invitations, Decorations, Food and all. Thanks to the help of a group of ladies in Arizona that have been throwing parties a lot longer than I have it went off with out a hitch.The invitations I made turned out just as I had hoped. I do have to say that was a lot of paper dolls to cut out though 3x48. I loved the pedal envelope I put the invitation itself in. And the paper doll holding a banner with her registry info on it was the perfect touch.I ended up using the concept of the yellow dots strung together in the band all through out the party.I made a cute banner for out-side that said "I'm gonna buy a paper doll that I can call my own". The lyrics to a song I found that inspired the rest of my party playlist of old time Jazz songs that were perfect for the shower theme. Party Playlist:Buttons and Bows by Dinah ShoreBye Bye Blackbird by Enoch Light and the BrigadeDidn't Leave Nobody But the Baby from O Brother Where Art Thou?Flat Foot Floogee by  Slim Gaillard, Bud Green, Slam StewartThe Glow Worm by the Mills BrothersGoodnight, My Love by Mack Gordon, Harry RevelMairzy Doats and Doazy Doats by the Merry Macs*Paper Doll by the Mills BrothersYes Sir, That's My Baby by Enoch Light and the BrigadeThis was the craft table I had set-up so that guests could stuff vintage fabric dolls and cut out magnetic paper dolls I had printed. By the end of the shower Lindsay's baby had 8 stuffed dolls and a metal lunch pale full of magnetic dolls and their clothes. All the paper doll images were vintage Betsy McCall paper dolls I found online. Here are a few more pictures of the tables details.My mom decorated this box to be a playhouse for the stuffed dolls. Look how cute the bird cage and button clock are.I made sure to have cards with directions for each craft on them, and decorated with paper doll dresses that were dressed up with glitter, mini clothes pins, vintage child care books, measuring tapes, and pattern paper.Pattern paper flowers in vases.A look at the scratch off game I made for guests. Who ever had Betsy McCalls matching dress and doll won.And this is what they won. A basket full of Utah peaches.Guests also got a little party favor that they could use when coming back to see baby. custom hand-sanatizer. The label read "Thank you! You're a doll for coming" and then had the date of Lindsay's shower.They could also fill out a fill in the blank wishes for baby card.The food table was amazing and everything tasted great. We had doughnuts, sausage, mini quiches made from scratch by my mothers wonderful friends, fresh Bear Lake raspberries from Utah, homemade raspberry muffins, assorted fruit, milk, chocolate milk, and orange juice with bay leaves and raspberry puree. Here are some additional pictures:I lined all the food trays with a cute brown and pink polka dotted fabric that I had cut to fit with a scalloped rotary cutter. I thought it looked cute and added to everything. The food signs were paper dolls I had printed, glittered up, and cut out and then attached to little chalkboards I had found at Joanne's.We used a vintage suitcase to put the drinks in and I believe the bottles are from World Market. Note the pom pom garland on the back-drop (just like the invite). I made those with some yellow yarn and a pom pom maker.Paper straws I ordered from the Sugar Diva. They had great costumer service and got me my straws fast and for no additional shipping cost. Then I just added a simple flag to them.I made little paper cup liners for every other cup to go with the [...]

Fire Pit Area and Benches


The fire-pit area and benches are now complete and ready to enjoy. I am so happy with how it turned out, and know we will be enjoying it for years to come.I was having a hard time finding a seating idea that would be good for around a fire-pit area, look great, fit into my budget, and be something we could easily build, so when I found the benches in this picture above I was ecstatic because the design seemed to fit everything I wanted. Only problem was that I was going to have to make the plans on how to build them.It only took Ryan and I a couple dozen sheets of paper, three recalculations, a bad google sketch-up, and a couple of nights standing in the backyard in the dark staring at the corner to figure it out. The wood and supplies probably cost us about $250 which was pretty good for custom made to fit outdoor benches that we could make to look exactly how we wanted.We first started by building two simple frames out of regular 2x4's and screws. Then covered the frames in 1x3 wood with spaces in-between each board to get the look we wanted, and to leave room for expansion and contraction of the wood itself. We had some extra help on this part of the project since the Missionaries living in our basement wanted to help out. One of them was a farm boy from Arkansas that has carpentry going back in his families blood for generations. I am also now convinced that there should be a farm boy work exchange for west coasters. Have a young farm boy stay with you for free during the summer in exchange for work around the house. They get to see the west and you get to get some work done by a kid who thinks your yard and projects are nothing, because he is used to building whole barns with their grandfather on a friday afternoon.We used a compound miter saw to cut all the wood and a nail gun hooked up to an air-compressor to nail in each board. Calculating everything was for-sure the more complicated part of this project the building was pretty straight forward and simple though. We did however end up using tile spacers to space out each piece of wood, so much for all our precise calculations. Sometimes you just do what works, and use what you've got to get the job done.Once the benches were built we sanded them down as best we could. The wood we used was not of finishing quality, but that is what kept our cost down.Then I used what is still my favorite tool every, my Earlex hv 3500 spray station to spray an exterior wood stain onto the finished benches.We went with a deep brown stain called Coffee Bean by General Finishes to match the color of mulch we will be using in the front and back yard, and to mimic some of the wood furniture pieces that we have inside the home. General finishes is the only brand I would trust for indoor and outdoor stains, paints, and topcoats for furniture. Their products are of such great quality and when you have worked so hard on something you do not want to throw all that hard work away, by using a bad product in the last step.Besides the stain I also opted for a semi-gloss exterior topcoat, which is not really necessary, but gave it that extra finished look I wanted.Then all that was left was just taking it around to the back, positioning the benches together, and leveling them out with the gravel around the fire-pit.I also bought two outdoor bench cushions from Walmart in a black and white demask pattern to match and tie in with the black shutters and exterior doors around the house. Then I brought in some mix and match blue outdoor pillows from Ikea that were a steal of a deal. In-fact I took back some other pillows that I had bought at Home Depot just to buy more of these, and I am glad I did. The other nifty thing I added to these benches was hinged doors in the back so that I could possibly store the bench cushions, fire pit  insert, hammock, and or Jayna's sand toys during the winter.The thing I am loving too about this p[...]

Days of 47 Celebration


Here in Utah we have Pioneer day on the 24th of July celebrating the Mormon pioneers that settled Utah. So July feels like one big party with that and the 4th of July. I love it because I can get double use out of my 4th of July decorations. I put them up at the beginning of July and they do not come down until the last week in July. So when we realized that all of Ryan's siblings and his parents would be in-town for the weekend of the 24th it seemed like the perfect excuse to have a party and go all out. Here are some pictures  of what I did.We made cheese stuffed burgers one feta and the other spicy, homemade hamburger buns, hand squeezed organic lemonade with your option of adding freshly blended strawberries, homemade mayo, homemade fry-sauce, homemade spicy pickles, corn, chunky black bean salsa, and fruit salad with homemade whipped cream. All the food was a blast to make and it tasted delicious. I figured the effort to home-make everything was worth it with the celebration being centered around the pioneers who were not afforded all our modern food preparation short cuts we have today. Personalized bottles for everyone complete with paper straws and the party logo. I actually had to add those paper circles to the straws because the straws were to short for the bottles, but I loved what it added to them. I have bun stacking skills, who would have known. Dollar store jars. I would have bought more, but I am ban from buying more jars via the husband. Burger flags. We had to have some way to tell which burgers were which. I used this old record stand that I already had to hold the plates and napkin rolls. I even had some international guests. Two foreign exchange students from China that are staying with my sister-in-law. I am pleased to announce that they both eat seconds, and I was proud to give them such an american experience. Does this mean I can officially say that people from all over the world come to my parties? The best party of all...just seeing everyone sitting around enjoying good company in my back-yard.Yes I actually weaved red white and blue 30 foot fabric banners in-between my picket fence slats. Hope you enjoy the party...I know I did.[...]

How to Make A Fire-Pit on the Cheap


(yes I know the shutters do not match, and the black plastic pipe-thing is ugly...just give me a month or two)I have been wanting a fire-pit area in our backyard since we moved into the house two years ago. I knew right were I wanted it too, and it just so happened that, that spot in the yard did not grow grass well and had tons of weeds...Bonus. This year I sneaked it into my budget by racking my brain on how to do it cheap without compromising the look or the long-term durability of everything. In this post I will give you a step by step tutorial of what we did to make our fire pit and fire pit area.Step One: We choose a place to make our fire pit area. Were the garbage can and junk is, is where I choose to make ours. The white picket fence we put in around the basement last year and the house naturally make a square section there that I thought would be perfect. It is close to the house which was a concern at first seeming as though House + Fire is something no-one wants, but I have a solution for that later.Step Two: We marked our desired spot with rope and stakes and dug it out. We did this a week or so before dumpster day so that we could ditch all the dirt. Then we loosened the ground so that we could rack the dirt around to get it as level as possible.Step Three: We bought a $99.00 camp chef gas fire ring from Walmart. It is a portable camp fire ring that hooks up to a BBQ size propane tank. It is what we will be using for our fire pit later. Walmart will do site to store delivery too so that you do not have to pay for shipping.Step Four: Once we got our fire ring we took the propane hose to a propane place and had a longer hose made. We needed a 12 foot hose and it only came with a 5 foot one. That cost me about $24.00 which was way cheaper than buying parts and a hose from the big box stores. Then we figured out where we wanted the fire pit to be located in our area and made a trench from the fire pit to where we wanted the propane tank to be. We are placing the tank in the corner and it will be behind a sectional bench we are also working on for this area. Then we placed a length of pvc in the trench with an elbow on either side to run our propane hose through. Once placed we buried it. Step Five: We covered the entire area with landscape fabric so that weeds will hopefully not grow in this area. Chances are they might, but just spray or pick 'em when you see 'em, that is what I do.  Step Six: We bought 3/4 tons of gravel from a pit and headed home and unloaded it into the fire pit area.Step Seven: We needed some edging to place between the grass and the gravel in the fire pit area which posed a dilemma for me. Last year when we made our garden area we used the thick black plastic landscapers edging that all the big box stores carry and this year after one winter it already looked like crap. I looked into metal edging, but found that no-one carries it and I was not about to use the fiberboard stuff, fake rocks, or flimsy decorative plastic. So after thinking and looking and thinking and looking I decided I wanted to use stone or a concrete composite stone. I knew it would add to the price of the project so I went as cheap as possible. Well almost as possible. I had a smaller brick sized stone picked out that was $.49 each, but then very last minute changed my mind and went with this stone at Home Depot in a charcoal that runs about $1.29 each, and I am so glad I did. Step Eight: Using the gravel and a level we placed the stones level with the ground around the edge of our dug out fire pit area making sure each one was level and in line with the one before it.Step Nine: We racked the gravel all around the area making it level with the stone. We could actually use more gravel than we got, but we are going to wait until our next gravel project to add more. Keep in mind too that it wi[...]

Invitations... Invitations... Invitations


I wish I partied like this family friend of mine that just had me make four invitations for four parties she was throwing between April and May. Now that is a serious party schedule. I had a blast making the different invitations and helping them with themes and ideas for each party. Invitation making has got to be one of my favorite things to do.Invitation One: This was for a Bridal Tea party at a fancy hotel tea room in Arizona. The invitation was made to somewhat match the hotels menu and it turned out cute with just enough fancy.Invitation Two: I did not get a picture of this one, but will share the file with you. It was for a wedding rehearsal dinner that was being held at a restaurant in a mexican-market her in Utah. I loved how it turned out. It was colorful and playful and I think it got across the atmosphere the bride and groom wanted for that night.Invitation Three: Was for a one year-olds birthday party that was going to be taking place poolside. I loved what the little beach balls added and then loved that I came up with the idea to add some texture with a "sand"paper band around each invite.Invitation Four: Was a fun retro housewife themed bridal shower that was sure to be a blast to attend. I made the invites along with recipe cards for the guests to give to the bride, a registry insert, favor tags, and a game.If you are interested in having me make custom printable invitations for your next party or event just contact me through my blog or at[...]

Everyones Mad Here


This year for our joint birthday Jayna and I decided to have an Alice in Wonderland themed tea party. It turned out great and everyone had a wonderful time in "Wonderland" celebrating with us.We sent our invitations out with little skeleton keys attached to them with direction to bring the keys back to the party. I copied the invitation idea from an Alice in Wonderland comic-con party Disney held. It was easy to find a free Alice in Wonderland font online too. The skeleton keys were a little tricky to find at first. I kept thinking I needed antique ones, but they were really expensive and ranged in price a lot from place to place. Then I tried my luck at Lowes and to my surprise they had the perfect little key. The secret is to go ask the "key making man". They were not out in packages, he just had a little box of them behind his desk. If I remember right they were like $3.00 each which was cheap compared to the $10.00 antique ones.Since my prop budget for this party was a little smaller than Tim Burton's I used lots of things I already had and made lots of things out of paper. I stuck cards in my topiary and all around the table. The Butterflies are a Martha Stewart clip-art project that you can get for free online. I changed the colors of the butterflies myself by adjusting the hues in Photoshop so that it would match the colors of my party better. Then I just printed them on card stock, cut them out, and glued them together. Simple rolled scotch tape held them to the walls.This is what the entire room looked like before the party.I used some of my antique medical bottles to recreate the shrinking potion Alice drinks. I did one big jar and one small jar to represent the shrinking. I got the colored liquid with just water and food coloring. I made sure to have random stacks of tea-cups on the table to add to the madness.Each place setting for the adults also had a teas-cup and saucer and a little stripped straw with a drink me tag on it. I just used regular paper and a stamp set I have to make the tags.I also placed stacks of books around the table with cards and butterflies adorning them.One of my favorite things on the table was these simple and easy to make crepe paper banners with the words I'm Late trailing on them. I took regular crepe paper and folded it in half and then fringed it with my scissors to get these frilly banners. Then I printed the words I'm Late out on my computer and edged the letters with glue and glitter. Then after I laid the crepe paper out on the table I hot glued the letters on.Moss carpet and rocks also joined the party to give it a touch of a woodsy feel. I also used three different table cloths to layer the table with. I didn't even bother to iron them. again I was going for Mad and I figured the Mad Hatter would not have iron his tablecloths.I also had little round cutouts with Alice in Wonderland sketches on them all over the table. Again something I just did on the computer. For desserts I made blue french macaroons with homemade blackberry jam filling and mushroom cookies. Both were perfect for the look and feel of the party. For a cake I made a big 6 layer rainbow cake all dressed in white frosting to conceal the colorful surprise awaiting inside. It tilted over night, but I figured that went with the theme too. I am not a great cake froster so I went with a more organic look or at least that is what I am going to say.The kids (and even adults) loved the cake. It is for-sure a crowd pleaser.My mom that had traveled out for the party from Arizona brought and made this cute Birthday flag banner. It even has two blank spots at the end that you could put temporary felt numbers on it, so that you could change it out ever year.For the little-ones I made a replica table just their size minus a few things they mi[...]

I am in Baking Heaven


Remember my 1940's stove I purchased this last weekend? Well guess what?!? The oven bakes amazingly accurate. After reading forums and looking at range restoration sites on-line I found out quickly that one of the most common problems with antique stoves is that the ovens are way off and need to be re-calibrated, of which I knew the husband would not be into paying for. So after we hooked up the gas-line to the stove, checked for leaks best we could (I think I will still have the gas company come out and check it too) I whipped up a batch of blueberry muffins and put them in an old pan of my Grandmothers that was just as thick and hefty as my new stove. Then I turned the oven on, match lit it and turned it up to 425, put the muffins in, and crossed my fingers.Within 10 to 15 minutes I pulled out perfectly even baked muffins. It was like I pulled them right out of the 40's myself. I think this oven will be the closest thing to a time machine I will ever have or see. I seriously have never been so excited. Okay maybe a couple of times I have been more excited, but still it was amazing. I mean what are the odds of me finding a stove like this? Let alone it has all the parts, works, and bakes great? Next I am curious to see how a regular modern pan will hold up to the heat this mama puts out. I swear you could third degree burn yourself on several surfaces while this thing is baking. The Kenmore sign on the front is also the oven vent and that thing gets hotter than hot. I also made a note-to-self to never put anything plastic in the storage area, because it would for-sure not survive the oven being on. I just have to think 1940's and what they had and used then and everything should be good. I may need a couple more pans from the Grandmother. Oh, and the compartment I thought was a warmer I am not so sure about anymore, I think it might be a broiler, but I am not so sure how to figure that out. So I think from now-on I will bake all my cakes and cupcakes down-stairs in the old oven. It is just so fun, and even more fun to say I baked it in an oven that is almost 60 years old. How crazy is that!?![...]

Something New and Something Old


There is something new at our house and this is what it is making me in-vision.Every once in awhile there are things in life that come up and make you put on the breaks and move in a different direction, and we have had one of those things come up. We just found out that in March we will be having the missionaries for our church living with us for six months. It will be either two sisters or two elders, but we are not sure yet which it will be. They will be living in our basement which works out well since it has it's own entrance, kitchen, bath, and bedroom. We have never wanted or considered renting out our basement, but when our bishop asked us if we would be willing to house the missionaries we couldn't say no. We feel like we have really been blessed in life and with our current situation, and saying no to an opportunity like this that we can so easily accommodate would have been ungrateful. I am a true believer that when you have more you need to give more. I will admit though that when we got the phone call I was in a panic. Husband had to remind me that it was just the missionaries and that we were not opening up a bed and breakfast. The next day I was on the search for appliances for the basement though and right away I found a great fridge for $100 and and a stove that really peaked my interest. A few calls to bug the husband at work and I had the fridge arranged for pick-up the next day and an appointment to go look at the stove that night. I knew I was going to have to work my magic on the husband with the stove since it was a 1940's gas range in an old house downtown. The guy selling it told me it was in a vacant duplex of which he occupied the other side and that I could just let myself in (who does that anymore?). So on our way to a fancy dinner to celebrate our 8th anniversary we made a detour to a creepy old house to look at an ancient stove. I told husband that this date was my kind of date. I always joke with him that he could buy me an old dilapidated building and I would be ecstatic. We did as the man said and walked right in to find the old stove with hand written instructions on how to start it up. We surprisingly got everything lit and the stove was actually in decant shape both visually and mechanically. With a little back and forth and some finagling (of which I will not go into to save the integrity of my marriage lol) we had the old stove in our basement by saturday night. I worked on cleaning it for most of Sunday and part of Monday and it shinned up nicely. It took a ton of elbow grease and my hands have a slight chemical burn on them from when I stupidly took my gloves off a couple of times, but it was all in the name of saving a piece of Americana. Now the missionaries by no means needed an antique stove, but I figured if I was going to buy something I might as well buy what I wanted.The only thing missing from the entire stove is the knob for the timer, which sadly does not work. I just find it amazing though that it has all the other original parts and pieces to it.  It is a Kenmore 5 burner range that has a chrome griddle which still needs some major decreasinga storage area a warmer and a little oven (that you have to match lite) that I am dying to try and bake a batch of cookies or cupcakes in. The feeling of "domesticness" when in the presence of this stove is overwhelming. It makes every fiber in my being want to make an apple pie.I even managed to repaint all the words and numbers on the oven knob too.So even though some things have been put on hold like our slide project and basement renovation, fun things are still going on here at our house.The fridge we got is just your average white amana fridge, but I am thinking some chalkb[...]

Pottery Barn Kids Light Knock Off


I just loved this light featured in a Pottery Barn playroom and wanted something similar for my Dr. Seuss playroom. So I went about trying to figure out how I could make one myself and I succeeded. Gosh I love it when ideas work out!First I searched the internet high and low until I found this tutorial on how to wire together multiple Ikea Hemma cords. I was glad to find it because it meant my idea was doable. I went to Ikea myself and bought three Hemma cords and three red lamp shades. I chose to buy blue cords since it would match the room and add that much more fun to the light itself. Then at home I bound all the lights with the shades on together so that it would be easy to figure out how long we wanted each cord. Next Husband ( he does all the electrical stuff at our house) cut the cords to the length we wanted them to hang and exposed the wires inside the cords.You can do this either with a wire cutter and stripper, or a razor blade. Than he exposed the wires even further by stripping down part of the white and black wires.For this project I also needed to purchase a ceiling light kit. I spray painted mine black to match the room since brass was the only color I could find that had a center hole big enough to fit all three cords.Once we had all the cords ready we pushed them up through the light kit. Husband is wearing gloves because I was to impatient to really let the paint dry, and he did not want black hands.At this point we wired all the black wires together and all the white wires together and then we wired it like any normal light to the ceiling. I really like how it turned out. The cords still have some wave in them, but I think over time they will straighten. I only did three lights, but more would be fun if you are willing to deal with the wiring difficulties that would cause.We had a couple of brain farts on this project though. At one point we thought we it was not working and that we had wired it wrong only to realize we had no light bulbs in the light, then the bulb we put in it was dead, but it took us a while to figure that one out. So take it from us, work smarter not harder.[...]

TV Frame: Part 2


The "TV above Fireplace" project has gone very well. The wiring was a cinch and the frame painted up beautifully.I have to give all the painting credit to my friends at Earlex though. Without their awesome paint sprayer I would not be achieving anywhere near the professional finishes that I am on paint projects. My HV 3500 sprayer also saves me tons of time on painting. I painted this whole frame with 2 coats primer, and 3 coats of paint in two nights with each coat taking me maybe 5 minutes. Now the longest part of any paint job for me is waiting for coats to dry. This frame would have taken me forever to hand paint with all the detail on it. So Earlex I bow down to you. Thank you, thank you, thank you, for making such a user friendly product. I used the "house gray" for this frame which again is San Antonio Gray by Benjamin Moore. Remember though I mix all my Benjamin Moore colors in Behr paint from the Home Depot to save money. Then I used my favorite glaze Van Dyke Brown from General Finishes to add some depth and antiquing to the frame. The frame will also be getting 2 to 3 coats of top coat from General Finishes on it, but I wanted it up in time for our little Super Bowl party so I opted to do it later when we have to take it down to patch the drywall. I love how it turned out, I am super glad I got to finally use my big frame that has been floating around for years, and I am glad the big TV is down in the basement and not blocking my family room window anymore.Eventually we will get a bigger flatter TV to go in the frame, but for now this is great. I am sure when the drywall is done and the room is more decorated I will show you pics of the entire room transformation.If you have any questions about this project feel free to contact me. Thanks!TV Frame: Part 1[...]

Fun Kids Valentine


I saw these cute kids valentines on Martha's website, and decided to make some with Jayna for her to take to her play group on Valentines Day. They turned out super cute. 

We took pictures of her facing sideways making a "blowing bubble" face which sounds simple, but was a chore to capture just right. We took the pictures against a blank wall so that they would be easy for me to cutout in photoshop, and I dressed her in a bright and colorful shirt so that there would be lots of color on the valentine.
Then I downloaded the pics to the computer, did some editing, and added some hearts and text. Jayna thought she really blew the hearts in the picture her reaction to the edited picture was great.
Then we printed them, cut them out, filled our little bags with candy, and stapled the cards onto the bags with pink staples. It was super easy and super fun to do with her.

I am in Love!


I am in LOVE, and just in time for Valentines.I saw a post about Dutch airers on Apartment Therapy the other day, and they looked so cool and seemed so dang practical for clearing up floor space in the laundry room. That is when I vaguely thought I remembered Ikea selling something similar. Sure enough they do, so I picked one up last night.I Love it! First of all it matches my laundry room perfect and I think it is so fun to use. I am already planning on purchasing a second one to put on the other side of this one. It was really easy to put together, but then again I have not meet an Ikea product yet that has made me have a nervous assembly breakdown, and I know others have. I do have a sad side note to my love story though. The rack does and did not come with ceiling hooks, and since I am really impatient I had the husband just use whatever old hooks we could find which were just little ones. So this morning when I went to try out my new toy by hanging wet jeans on it the whole thing pulled out of the ceiling and fell. Sad day! My new love already broke my heart, but it was kinda my fault. The husband said we will get bigger hooks and anchors tonight. So for now I will follow the laundry room motto and...[...]



The Hutching's project list seems to be growing by the minute around here. Half of me is trying to get as many indoor house projects done before the weather gets nice, and the other half is dreaming up a million outdoor spring and summer projects. So I am slightly working against myself these days. To see what we have been working on click the read more button.The T.V. frame is getting it's first coat of the house gray (Benjamin Moore: San Antonio Gray). And I have to say that wiring the T.V. above the fireplace has been one of the smoothest projects we have ever done. I even punched the cable through the exterior wall myself. Which Dish wanted to charge us $75 to do. The drywall will get screwed back up shortly, and my job of patching will begin. I am trying to at-least get the frame up before our little super bowl party on Sunday. The new arrangement of the family room furniture has opened up the space dramatically, and I am excited to start working on actually putting that room together. I will be shopping at Ikea tomorrow for the last couple of things for Jayna's room.I also have one project for the playroom almost finishedand a new light fixture for it in the works.The slide project has been on hold because the Blue Beauty had a flat, but now that it is back up and running I can go pick up the drywall and paneling I need for the next step.Some how in the middle of all these projects I managed to get a wild hair. I have always wanted to raise something in the backyard, my husband always says I should live on a farm, but I assure you I do not. I tell him I want an urban homestead and that this is my urban homestead. I have tossed around the idea of bees, or chickens for years now, but since I am still intimidated by the bee idea the chicken talk around here has gotten serious. I have even designed plans for a coop in the last couple days since I have been sick and laid up on the couch. I think the only reason why husband has participated in dialogue with me is because I am sick though. When I see coops like this one on the Fancy Farm Girl how could I not want chickens. Then when I found out these Silkie hens would be best for my area I was sold.So we will see how far my wild hair gets who knows.[...]

TV Frame: Part 1


Last night we started making the frame for our t.v. that we will be wiring and mounting above our fireplace. don't mind my messy garage floorWe decided to use this large vintage frame that we already have, but you could always make your own frame out of any molding you like. The frame is in no way perfect, but when I paint the whole thing it will hide a lot of the imperfections.So first we made a box out of 1x4 pieces of wood to match the measurements of the inner part of the frame that we are going to attach it to. We simply cut the wood and glued and nailed it together. I did make the big oversight of having my side pieces match up inside of my top and bottom pieces, which I should have done the other way so that when you see the box on the sides it is one solid piece of wood and you do not see any edges. Hope that makes sense.Our second step was to attach the box to the frame. We used our nail gun to nail through the frame and into the box.We will also probably end up attaching a small piece of molding at the end of the box that meets up to the wall. Sense everything is not perfectly square there will most likely be a gap somewhere between the wall and the frame when we hang it. Tonight we will be cutting the inner backing to the frame and box for Part 2...[...]

A Slide In-side


example of what we are going forI am really excited about my little side slide project Jayna and I have started on. So far it has been pretty easy, but that may be because I have only done demo.I removed the back wall and studs to this basement closet that is under the stairs. Why there was a wall there to begin with is beyond me when you could have just that much more storage. Next I need to make an opening in the side wall, move a little electrical, and finish out all the walls. I am thinking it will be easiest to just throw on some paneling and trim and paint it rather than mudding and sanding drywall. When that is finished I am going to frame out a half wall with a platform in the closet opening and make a little ladder on the back side and a spot to attach the slide. Like my sad photoshop rendition of it?So far this is the husbands favorite project since he has not had to help. I'll keep updating you as the project moves along.[...]

Project List


Here is what is in the works for the hopefully near future:* Jayna's Big Girl Room Complete With Her own Cafe*awning to entrance of cafewhich is almost finished. she just needs a table and chairs, book shelves, and a new light.*Mounting TV Above Fireplace*consists of opening up a wall, running wires, building a frame for the tv, moving current tv and entertainment center to the basement, patching drywall*Moving Basement Wall For Theater Room*love this roomthis one is going to be messy and long, take down wall, build new wall, drywall, electrical, move doors, replace carpet, too many things to list*Under-stairs Play Area With Slide*don't even ask where this project came from, it is just something Jayna and I dreamed up one day. open up closet under stairs, finish walls under stairs, make opening in wall for kids to access under the stairs, make platform with steps for stairs, make slide, yes I am going to attempt to make the slide. Crossing my fingers that these projects get finished sooner than later, but knowing better than to hold my breath. Hoping the house will not be in too big of ruin with all these things going on.We will start out tonight with the first trip of many to Home Depot. [...]

What's Cooking Good Looking?


The "Elves" finished Jayna's play kitchen tonight and it turned out great. Here are some pictures of it staged. I only wish my kitchen looked this fun. The kitchen in all it's gloryI thought the bubbles would add a nice touch for youCooking up some browniesDing... I think they are doneWe probably need some milk with thoseOh, here is someMy DIY frosting bottlesThey even squirtNeed a Demo? allowFullScreen='true' webkitallowfullscreen='true' mozallowfullscreen='true' width='320' height='266' src='' class='b-hbp-video b-uploaded' FRAMEBORDER='0' />If you have any questions about this project just leave a comment.[...]

On the 9th Day of Christmas...


*i love tilt shift photography it is so fun to play with*On the 9th Day of Christmas... Santa's elves are just about done making Jayna's present. We have been trying to squeeze in time to work on it in here and there in-between shopping, making neighbor gifts, mailing gifts out, going to a live nativity, visiting friends, and trying to catch the Christmas mouse that decided to join our family this week. But tonight all we have to do is cut the bead-board and attach it to the back of each kitchen piece. Friends and family keep asking for a sneak-peek though so here are some pictures to hold you over until I can take pictures of the finished kitchen tonight. Sink SkirtSink  Oven Door (yes, the oven has a light)Fridge HandleI have to again plug the wonderful paint products I used for this project, because without them it wouldn't be half the quality kitchen it is. General Finishes polyacrylic top coat in Satin that never fails to impress me.And the Earlex HV3500 for saving the day once again by making painting a breeze. I cannot even begin to tell you how much time this puppy has saved me on this project. If you do any regular painting at all you have got to check this out.[...]

Play with Your Food


Even though the play kitchen still needs to be finished, and the hour glass to Christmas Day is quickly running out of sand I couldn't help but make these for Jayna's Kitchen.Felt pastas!Bow Tie, Lasagna (which I just realized is spelled wrong on the tag, good thing she is only 2 1/2), and Whole Wheat Spaghetti They were so easy to make and I already had the felt, so why not. I made the labels by combining a free silhouette download and tag download that I am sorry I do not have sources for either. Although if you would like to download the tags I made click HERE.The husbands eyes are starting to roll as all the kitchen stuff from grandma and I starts popping up here and there in closets and hiding spots around the house. I think he is wondering if she will be taking this kitchen to college with her and if it really cooks things. That is how overboard it seems to him.I see where he is coming from though considering Jayna thinks a nightstand with a drawer is a kitchen.[...]

This Years Christmas Decorations


When the husband was finished getting all the Christmas boxes down from the garage I asked him what theme he wanted to do this year, of which his response was "We do themes?". Apparently he has not noticed that for the past 8 years we have had a different assortment of Christmas decorations out every year.So here is what is up and out this year at our house... The stocking are hung with care and flare,paper whites and vintage family ornaments from the 50's decorate the mantel,wish I had a nice warm fire to share with you,jars of Christmas candy of course,our countdown calender,vintage Christmas berry clusters add a nice winter touch to my topiary,the table is set,and the goose is dressed,everything sparklesribbons and garlandmore ornamentsmore sparkleand of course the treeHappy Holidays![...]