Craft Room · Gifts · Glowforge · Pazzles · Teachers

Create Display-In Time for the New School Year

I’ve always like the boards that parents and grandparents use to display and proudly show off the artwork of their little ones. This is a bit of an experiment one and here are a few things I learned: First, don’t leave the ‘good paint’ at the Oxford Cottage 3 hours away or you will have… Continue reading Create Display-In Time for the New School Year

Craft Room · Home Improvements · Pazzles · Photography · Scrapbooking

Goal Setting and Updates

The last portion of 2017 and the entire 2018 year has been crazy. We bought a 2nd home in Burwell at the end of 2017 (day after Christmas) and remodeled it the first 1/2 of the year in 2018.  It is now The Oxford Cottage Craft Retreat House, AirBNB and vacation home…more on that later.… Continue reading Goal Setting and Updates

Craft Room · Home Improvements

Piano Desk Complete

I have finished my desk.  Things went slower than planned, but eating, sleeping, family and working are things I couldn’t ignore.

Here it is:

I left the harp and strings in the piano to keep the character and charm of the piece. I am so excited.  I have actually been working at it for a few days and it is FANTASTIC.   The height of the keyboard is perfect and it is so nice having the monitor at the correct height again.  It really opened up the floor space and gave me even more room in my studio.

As I am looking at the photos, I realized I forgot to paint the board that I attached to the bottom after I removed the wheels.  It is set just slightly back, so when I painted, I missed it, but I will get them done.

Here are a few photos of removing the base and some of the big pieces.  Cleaning up the harp with the strings, etc took about 6-8 hours, because I had to use Liquid Gold on a Q-Tip to get between the strings.

in progress.jpg

I would love to hear what you think of my rescued piano desk.  If you go look at this post, you can see the clean up and the story of the mouse.


Craft Room · Home Improvements

The Piano and Mouzart

I have been looking at and just loving old piano’s that have been converted to a bar.  I love the piano and I think it is fabulous that these beautiful old piano’s that are not longer functioning are having the workmanship rescued by turning it into something beautiful.

That being said, I have been watching for an old piano that is obviously not able to be saved for the music to turn into my computer desk.   I finally found one on Craigslist for basically free, but because I needed it delivered, I ended up getting it for $80.  (They only asked $60, but it was a beast to get into my basement, so I gave them an extra $20)

Here is the photo from the Craigslist listing.  I knew it was going to have spent time in someone’s garage, shed or even a barn, so I knew it was going to take a lot of cleaning up.


Well, I got started by scraping away some of the parts of the wood that had probably been stained or something like that when it was made.  It could have been a shellac, but I just know that over the years, it was very easy to just scrap off with my Pazzles Mat Scraper.

Photo Mar 25, 1 27 21 PM     Photo Mar 25, 1 59 13 PM

Then I started removing pieces.  The right side of the keys were a mess.  They had obviously had some mice living there at some point.  I found an entire bed, but got it vacuumed out and just pulled the stuff out by hand.

Photo Mar 25, 6 48 20 PM.jpg   Photo Mar 25, 6 48 24 PM.jpg

I started to remove the keys from right to left and about 1/3 of the way through, I look to my left and there was a little mouse.   I admit, I swore under my breath, because I knew I was going to have to take care of the situation.  More on that later.

I finished removing the keys.  I threw away the ones from the right side where the mouse house was and put the ones from the left into a box for a future project.  (I have big plans…*grin)

I would take a break for an hour here and an hour there to do some work for my job.  Then I would go back to removing more pieces.

In the evening, as I turned on the Designer Chat for my job.  I was working on things with my computer and I started hearing piano noises.  I caught a little bit of it here after I saw him pop his head up to say hi.


We got a few photos of him before we went and got the humane traps from my daughter, so that we could deliver Mouzart to the country when we catch him.  I had hoped when I woke up this morning he would be joyfully waiting for me and ready for a car ride.  Unfortunately, he wasn’t.

Mouzart-1   Klo-0

I have since visited the hardware store and got some sticky traps.  My hope is that he will still find the humane traps, but if not, then I will still get him out of the house in other ways.  I may have lost the first battle, but I will win the war.

I’m not going to lie.  He is kind of cute, but it is also freaking me out a little.  Mice don’t scare me, but they scurry and that usually shoots my heart rate up pretty fast when I’m not ready for it, so I don’t like that part.  Plus, sitting here working in my studio is a little rough today, because I am on high alert.

Here are a series of the photos of the initial clean up and taking apart.  I will do a full blog on the actual process of creating the desk after I finish up here.   I got a good start, but there is more work ahead.  First, I need to conquer the smell. (I’m making progress.)

before_piano.jpgBefore I got started.


Craft Room · Home Improvements · Scrapbooking

The Organizer

Since we have moved to Lincoln, I have just not had my craft studio completely unpacked and put together.  I have had items in other drawers and cupboards in other rooms and just haven’t been able to finish getting it all organized and put away.

Part of the problem is I came from a custom craft room.  I literally was able to be there every step of the way when my custom craft room was built and it was exactly what I wanted.  If you haven’t ever seen that room, be sure and jump over to my old blog here and take a look.

This room is much bigger and I didn’t want to do built ins this time…partially because if for some unknown reason we ever have to move, I want to take it with me.  Of course, the plan is, we will never move again and it seems that is very likely.

Anyway, I realized I needed help to just get over the ‘hump’ of finishing things off.  The base is here and I have a ton of stuff done, but I just need it to be finished, so I can get on to my craft projects.  So I hired a professional organizer, Melissa from Solutions by S and S.

A few days before she arrived, I sent these photos to her to give her an idea of what we would be working on.


Melissa from Solutions by S and S is so sweet and professional.  I love that she asked me what the purpose of each area was and worked around what I envisioned.  She was just able to keep things moving a long.


Things got worse before they got better, but I totally expected that.

4 1/2 hours later everything has a place and I know where things go.  I feel so much better and I feel relaxed and able to create.  I know I will make messes as I create, but I feel so good to know where everything goes when it is time to clean up.  I love that my new custom cabinet is organized and that there is still plenty of room for other items that I’m sure I will find as time goes on.  Best of all, everything has a home.


For those in the Lincoln, NE area, I would highly recommend Melissa from Solutions by S and S and for those of you in other places that are ready to get a grasp on your craft areas or any other part of your house, I highly recommend hiring a professional to either get you started or as was my case, help you finish.

Now it is time to decide on paint colors for the tables and to add things to my walls, etc.  I can also move on with the idea of teaching classes again, but I’ll save that for another day and another blog.

Craft Room · Pazzles · Photography

My Own Photo Set Up

As a part of my job, I create and design things for the Pazzles Craft Room.  Part of that is being able to take quality photographs that can be used on the blogs.  I had been struggling with that.  I had tried the white paper, the store bought photo lab, sheets, etc. but, had an issue with each of those.

The white paper was great, if the project was super tiny and one dimensional.  You could always see the seam of where the paper came together and it just didn’t look good.

The store bought photo lab was okay, but it was so big and always in the way.  It was also quite a pain to get out and put away, plus I always seemed to have shadows.

The sheet was also a paint to get out, plus it always showed all of the wrinkles and just didn’t have a good quality.

That is when I went on a search to find something that was a nice clean white background, wouldn’t wrinkle, was large enough for bigger projects and was easy to put away.

Photo Mar 07, 2 24 56 PMI went to a fabric store and started looking around.  I was thinking their had to be some type of material that would work.  That was when I discovered what I am calling, window blinds material.  It is the black out material they use for covering windows and using with blinds.  It came on a cardboard tube, which gave me the idea of asking if they had an extra tube.  They did and they let me have it.  So, I rolled the material onto the cardboard tube and then proceeded to look for something to go through it.  I found a 1 inch round piece of PVC at the EcoStore that was just perfect.  I brought it home, figured out a place in my craft studio that would keep it out of the way, but also make it very easily accessible.  I put some cup hooks on the wall, tied some ribbon around the ends of the PVC and hung it up.

It is very easy to use. I just pull it down when I am ready to use it and then easily roll it up and out of the way when I don’t need it.  The lighting is just right and no more wrinkled fabric.

Photo Mar 07, 2 25 58 PMTotal cost was about $12.00.  I used a 40% off coupon for the fabric, the tube was free, I got the PVC for less than $1.00 and I used some ribbon I had on hand.

Craft Room · Home Improvements

The BIGGER Table Update


Well, we got the other piece in here…now to hook it together and get it painted.  I need to figure out what colors I want, etc.  There should be plenty of room to craft here.

I scrapbooked on half of it the other day and it was so wonderful to be able to stand up and work on things.  Plus, I have stools to use, so I am set.


So, leave a comment and let me know what you think.  Plus, I’d love to hear any ideas.  I have a bazillion running around in my head, but nothing is set in stone….yet and probably ever when it comes to my craft studio.

Craft Room · Home Improvements · Scrapbooking

The BIG Table

So anyone that used to follow my old blog knows about my custom craft room that I had at our old house.  I loved that room and it was so hard to leave behind, but I was also excited, because that meant I would have a new room to create and design.

This has been a little harder room to work with for me…because it is larger.  I know, I know, that does not make any sense, but for some reason, I have had a hard time with that.  The good news is, I’m getting over it and rather quickly now.

One of the things I really miss about my old scrapbook room, was my Big Counter Table.  It was a drop down table, because I didn’t have the room for it to stay out. (That was the only drawback of the table).

Anyway, I have been thinking I would build a big table, but then one day last week, Jeff and I were at the EcoStore here in Lincoln and they happened to be giving a way two ping pong tables.  I had seen them there before, but hadn’t really paid attention, because in the past they had been a whopping $5.00 for each table.  But the FREE-ninety-nine (my favorite price ever) price tag made me take a second look.  And that is when I realized I had the makings of my BIG table.  I could hardly contain my excitement as we went up and had our name put on them to come and pick back up.

Photo Feb 11, 5 48 08 PMI realize that it isn’t beautiful YET.  But I have plans, BIG plans.  In the meantime, I’m going to ‘practice’ crafting at my new table.   Oh and by the way, I will eventually have both sides of the table in my room, so it will be the BIG GIANT table then.  It will be ready for a lot of friends to come and play, so you better get your reservations in.