Lessons from 2012

Lessons from 2012

It’s that time of year again.



I love that I have my blog as record of some of the things I’ve done this year. Since I’ve only managed to produce 44 posts this year, there are obviously a lot of things that went on this year that I did not post about like this scripture bag I made for my sister but then never showed anyone.


Obviously, I was in a grey and yellow mood in January, mostly because I made a winter coat for my daughter out of the yellow wool (also something I did not blog about). Last winter was so mild she only got to wear it a few times, but she has it in the mission field with her this winter and she’s getting more use out of it now.


Without further ado, here are some of the things I did in 2012.

In January, I used leftover fabric for the bag and the wreath. I made my Sweater Wreath, which I loved and still do. It’s on my door again this month.


It has held up pretty well and I love all the fun felt flowers in it. Lesson learned from this project is that you don’t always have to know the end result when you start a project. I made this up as I went along and got a real thrill out of the creative process. It was a very fun project and I realize that I need more projects to just let my creativity loose and see what happens.

In February, I introduced you to my plan for my Master Bedroom Makeover and I also created my Fridge Chalkboard Menu.


I really liked having a plan on my fridge where I could see it, even though I didn’t always follow the plan which one son was very vocal about pointing out. He would complain that his tongue was calibrated for the scheduled item and once tongue calibration has occurred, nothing else will satisfy. I left this on the fridge at the old house for someone else to use and enjoy. I plan to cut a new one for my fridge just as soon as I find the box with my Silhouette machine in it.

March was busier with a Sister Palooza trip to Las Vegas as well as moving ahead in my Master Bedroom Makeover plans. I made some Pleated Pillow Shams for our bed.


Lesson learned: Pretty pillow shams are great, but pleated ones get wrinkled when you put them on the pillows that you sleep on. While I see no point in doing the pillow shuffle every night, I either have to resign myself to ironing the pillow shams if I want them to look pretty, or I need to make new ones for the pillows we sleep on.

In April, I worked on the bedroom in earnest. I knocked out the Custom-Designed Chair,


some Industrial Lighting for our bed wall


and the sewing project that nearly did me in, my Knock Off Pottery Barn Quilt.


Lesson learned from everyone of these projects is the same: beautiful things are worth the effort..

In May, I hand-stamped a drop cloth to make some fabric for a Bench Slipcover.


Lesson learned: Check color of drop cloth against other bed linens before diving in to project. I think I would have liked this better if I had bleached the drop cloth first. It is just slightly off in color against the cream of our matelassé quilt (shown above) and the white of the Pottery Barn Knock Off Quilt.

In June I made my Bicycle Planter, which has to be one of my favorite projects of the year.


Lesson learned: Don’t put time, effort and energy into something that isn’t yours. This bike was abandoned on the property at our old house. It was junky and hanging in the back of the barn behind a bunch of crap. I assumed since they didn’t take it with them, they didn’t want it. I was wrong. I’m on the hunt for another bike for our new house, but I still wish I could have kept this one.

In a close race for favorite project of the year is my Drop Cloth Subway Art (“This girl really likes her drop cloths,” said in her best Jim Gaffigan voice).


This one was finished days before we got the memo that we had to find a new house. Thankfully, we found a new house in Lexington so I didn’t have to add to the sign. I told Hubs that if we ever move to a different location than one listed here, I will have to start hanging hooks from the bottom with addendums to the sign.

Lesson learned: personal, meaningful items are a vital addition to one’s bedroom. Hubs loves this sign as much as I do. Since I have failed to rehang it our new bedroom, he lovingly suggested a new home for it the other day. Is there any question as to why I love this man? He gets me. He really gets me.

August was spent packing, driving all over Ohio with my niece and nephew for their visit, getting Katie back on schedule after 4 months in Utah, getting the boys ready for school and moving. I only had one post in August and that was the Pallet Board Shelf I’d made for my bedroom in July.


Lesson learned from this project was that simple, easy projects are a good thing. I love the juxtaposition of the hard, worn wood with the soft, delicate baby gown. I’m contrary like that, I guess.

In September, since I was recovering from a stomach flu like no other as well as the trials of August, I showed my Master Bedroom Reveal which was actually finished a few days before we were told we needed to find a new house. *Sigh*

I’m glad for the experience of doing faux pallet wood wall project, but I won’t be doing this project again in our new home. Our bed is in front of a wall that has plaster over brick and I’m excited to expose the brick. However, I might be persuaded to do a faux pallet wall in one of the boys’ rooms.

frou fruGAL Master Bedroom Reveal

Lesson learned: it’s okay for projects to take time to complete. It was a big undertaking to redo our bedroom. I made or painted or created nearly all the items in this project. It would not have taken me so long if I just went out and bought stuff for our room, but it also wouldn’t have meant as much to Hubs and I or had reflected our personalities and our life together so well.

This room had elements we both loved and it has things that remind us of our history together, making it a very special place for us to be together. I need to make time as soon as possible to recreate this atmosphere in our new home because it is important to live in a place that gives you joy.

October was a blur. I was sick. I was sewing. I was helping get the girl child ready for a mission. We did manage to take some family photos before the girl left and I was happy with the results.


I love my people!

By November I’d bounced back a bit and managed to take a break from all my driving to decorate my buffet. It remains one of the only places “decorated” in my house, unless you count the deer hide Hubs tacked up on the wall a few weeks ago. I do not count that.


The boys, however, have declared it “freaking awesome!” and have claimed this space as the man-cave. Since the room is clad in either brick or barn wood, it does lend itself well to the deer hide and shotgun school of décor.

Anyhoo, the buffet was fun to decorate and it reminded me that living in a house is not the same as living in a home.


We’d been living in the house since the end of August amidst boxes and stuff. It wasn’t until early November when I decorated the buffet and shelf that it started to feel a little bit like our home. We have a long ways to go, but I realized how important it is to spend time on our home.

Another lesson learned: a wide-angle lens is a must for our new home!

Finally, in December, I showed you The Girl Tree, but more importantly, I made The Man Tree.


Lesson learned – It is absolutely vital to my sanity to exercise my creativity on a regular basis. Being creative is my joy and my happy. It’s not just enough for me to clean or repair or refinish or reorganize. I have to create something. It is that simple.


So, there are the highlights of 2012. Even though we had some challenges and I have not been as creative the last half of the year as I would like, I feel so incredibly blessed for what I have been able to do this year.

I have a home and a family and the capacity to learn and grow. I have my faith in my Savior, Jesus Christ, which fills me with peace and joy through the highs and lows of my life. I have been so tremendously blessed with good friends, both in real life and online, who encourage and support me. I appreciate you all so much.

Thank you for sharing this year with me. I look forward to an amazing New Year and have some great things in store for my blog and my life.

Suesan Signature