Announcing a Giveaway…

Visit thecsiproject.com
I’m delighted to announce that my business, Windmill Words, is sponsoring agiveaway this week over the The CSI Project.  A very warm welcome to all who are visiting Windmill Words and A Trip to Holland for the first time!

Any reader of The CSI Project is eligible for this giveaway.  Go HERE to get your free entries and all the details.  The winner will receive their choice of two of my services:  2 hours of virtual assistance or a 5 button design package!

This is probably a good time for me to announce that I’m no longer working as the writer for The CSI Project.  I had a wonderful time working with Beckie Farrant and Jennifer Hadfield, the founders of the project.  I am very proud of the way the site grew during my time there as writer.  With growth came exciting changes:  The CSI Project was recently purchased and has a new owner.  (Congratulations, Dee!)  I’ll continue to be a follower of the site, and look forward to entering the weekly challenges.

In the meantime, I’m excited about some new opportunities that are coming my way.  I’ve met some terrific bloggers with great ideas and goals for their sites, and I look forward to announcing some new affiliations, soon!

I do have a few time slots available for new projects, so please feel free to contact me if you have questions about anything–what I can do for you, what my fees are, whatever you want to know about Windmill Words!

Oh What Do You Do In the Summertime?

“Oh, what do you do in the summertime, when all the world is green?

Do you swim in a pool, to keep yourself cool, or swing in a tree up high?Is that what you do? So do I!”

 Songs for Children

Great-grandpa has some of the best trees for climbing my children have ever seen.

Hunter the dog thought they were okay, too. [Read more…]

Something Special Saturday – 5/14/11

I can’t believe it is already Saturday.

Mind if I start today’s version of SSS with a bit o’ bragging?  And shameless advertising?

I think I’ve mentioned that earlier this year, I was hired by The CSI Project to do some of their writing.

Visit thecsiproject.com

The best things about my job?  I get to know who wins the weekly craft competitions before anyone else AND I get to discover all kinds of amazing home decor and craft blogs as I write up the different posts.  How amazing is it that I’m getting paid to look at other people’s blogs?!?!?!  (Trust me, Bionic Man is still scratching his head over this turn of events.)

Anywho, even if you aren’t into entering craft or DIY or home decor competitions, the weekly challenges hosted by The CSI Girls are a great way to get inspiration.  For instance, this week’s challenge:  Spring Mantels and Vignettes.  Let me tell you, as of the day this picture was taken, my own mantel isn’t up for the challenge.

How sad is that?  Let’s call it a “during” picture.  Lucky for me, I can view all the links to the competition and get some much needed inspiration.  You can, too!  Here’s a link to this week’s links.  The links stay up on each challenge post…..so if you don’t need any help with your mantel, you can go back in the archives for past challenges, like the Dollar Store Challenge or the Outdoor Decor Challenge.  Great stuff, there!

Here are my three favorites from the early entries of the challenge….head back over to The CSI Project today to find out who the Guest Judge and CSI Girls picked.

No Mantel?  Then this one’s for you: Entry #26 – Spring Vignette by Christina’s Adventures.
Enjoy your weekend!

Something Special Saturday – 5/7/11

Pretty things I’ve spotted during the last week.

1.  An absolutely over the top Butterfly Garden 1st birthday party was featured at Birthday Girl.  Ignore the fact that it really is over the top, and enjoy the prettiness.  Can’t remember how I stumbled across Birthday Girl’s blog, but it is a delightful read when you are party planning.

2.  Speaking of over-the-top parties, after I mentioned how much I liked Pippa’s bridesmaid dress, one of my readers sent me a link to a sewing pattern for it.  Thank you thank you thank you!  I will lose 40 pounds and find an occasion to wear it, and then I will make good use of this pattern.

3.  I’ve been finding a lot of great recipes to pin on my cooking board at Pinterest.  I like the ones with pretty pictures best, can you tell?  This recipe for peach cake makes me want to lick my computer screen.  I could really give my tongue a workout with 50+ recipes for homemade popsicles–in fact, these recipes inspired me to pick up some popsicle molds from the dollar bin.  And, you are going to swoon over the simplicity of raspberries stuffed with white and dark chocolate chips.


Enjoy your weekend!

Something Special Saturday – 4/16/11

It’s Saturday.  Again.  Seriously, wasn’t it just Saturday, like 2 days ago?
There just weren’t enough days in my week, this time.  That’s the only explanation.  Can I get a refund for that?
Alright, friends, I am going to freely admit that this is kind of a slacker SSS.  I spent the morning writing for The CSI Project, the afternoon trying to be crafty AND supervise bedroom cleaning simultaneously (bad, bad idea), and the evening trying to re-celebrate my birthday (also bad idea: we didn’t know it was prom night–all the restaurants were packed).  So, instead of linking you to all the things I had fun seeing this week, I’m going to show you my Pinterest pages, where I keep those fun things.  If you want more, go get a Pinterest account.  (I have a tutorial for you, here.)  Mmmmkay?
Celebrating:

Cooking:

 Designing:

 Organizing:

 Travelling (the map pins):

See anything up there that intrigues you?  Let me know in the comments, and I’ll tell you more about it in the near future.

Want to see more?  Join Pinterest.  You can find a tutorial all about it here.

Already a Pinterest member?  You can see more of my pins at Pinterest, my username is ruth_h.

Have a happy Saturday!

Something Special Saturday – 3/26/11

It’s that time again!
This week, the official week of our semi-annual Great Sort (read about it here), I have clothing on my brain.  Specifically, spring/summer dressy outfits for my girls, since I need to get going on some dresses or skirts if I am going to have them ready for Easter.
I’ve been looking at the Matilda Jane website and thinking about how to replicate this or this dress for Superkid, and this skirt for Endeavor.  Totally doable.  
Have you been to Hawthorne Threads, yet?  I {heart} this site.  To be honest, I’ve never actually placed an order, but my goodness I have a lot of fun looking and getting inspired.  One of my favorite things about the Hawthorne Threads site is their color grid.  You can click on any color in the grid, and a slew of beautiful fabrics featuring that color will appear on the screen.  Click on any fabric, and there is a group of coordinating fabrics shown below it, as well as similar patterns in alternate colors.  My sister and I had waaaaaay too much fun playing with the color grid last summer, when I visited at her house.
Here’s proof that I’ve been playing with the color grid again while I’ve been thinking about sewing for my girls.  How do you like these combos?
Enjoy your weekend!

Something Special Saturday – 3/12/11

Once again, I’m going to point you in the direction of a few special things that caught my eye this week.  Follow the links to see for yourself!

It seems like I just decorated my house for winter, but now it is time to start thinking about spring–what’s up with the seasons changing so quickly?  I had so much fun making winter accessories for my front room, that I’m going to have to do the same for spring.  Luckily, I won’t be short on inspiration, since discovering Just Another Hang-up.  Suzanne has tutorials for pillows that put mine to shame.  I will be copying.  Check out some of her creations here, here, and here.  Sewing not your thing?  Suzanne has an Etsy shop.

Speaking of pillows and Etsy…..look at these colorful pillows.  Meg of whatever… will be stocking them in her Etsy shop, soon.  I’m sure I’ve said it here before, but Meg’s blog introduced me to blogs.  I found it when we were looking for our dog…a search on “labradoodle family dog image” sent me to Meg.  I covet her kitchen with the ginormous island and chandeliers, I admire her brave use of color and vintage finds, I {heart} her sewing room, and I can vouch for the deliciousness of her recipes.  So, a shout-out to Meg, her labradoodle, her house, and those cute pillows will all the pom-pom fringe she makes.

I know it’s March, but do you think it is too late to add this snowflake pillow to my collection?  I just found it, this week.  Maybe that’s a project I can save until next year….

Enough with the pillows!  I had a goal to finish painting this winter, and I haven’t reached it.  I gotta have some help with the next stage of the Great Gacky Sage Cover-up, and Bionic Man has just been too busy.  And don’t even get me started on the subject of our Pepto Bismol Pink Girls’ Room.  {soft sobbing with head banging against desk}  While I might have found the remedy to Gacky Sage, I’m still working on a plan for the girls’ room.  Blogging to the rescue!  Just discovered a new blog, Favorite Paint Colors.  It’s full of pictures from actual homes and they accompanying paint colors in those homes.  Hooray!  A great place to start when it comes to finding the perfect colors.

Time to get to work!  I have a busy Saturday ahead of me.

Something Special Saturday on a Monday – 3/7/11

I’ve had a goal to post these little featurettes on a more regular basis.  But I have to say, this last week ran me over like a truck.  Thank goodness for Blogger’s schedule post option (lets me write in advance and publish later), or you wouldn’t have heard a word out of me last week.  So, let’s pretend today is Saturday, okay?

You know how I’m currently suffering from a slight slipcover obsession?  They’ve been on my brain.  Now that slipcovered chair #1 is sitting in all her finished, completed glory in my front room, receiving compliments from any who see her, I’m getting the itch to sew a few more.  In fact, I’m thinking of branching out from cheap canvas dropcloths, to an actual fabric.  Linen, actually.  (Note:  I have no idea how much linen costs, yet, so this could all change.)  Look at these extremely nifty slipcover/upholstery pictures I found while getting a post ready for the CSI Project:

You like?  There is a whole slide show of these over at Country Living.  (Check out that burlap footstool with the little ruffle!  I could eat it, it looks so appealing.)

Anyone else in the mood for slipcovers?  This theme for this week’s challenge over at CSI Project is slipcovers & upholstery, so there ought to be a lot of inspiration!

On a completely unrelated subject, our family recently made a discovery that has revolutionized our Sunday afternoons.  The Bionic Man and I have been able to take uninterrupted Sunday afternoon naps for three weeks in a row, thanks to The Friend online magazine.  For my readers who aren’t Mormons, The Friend is a magazine The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints publishes for children.  The online version of the magazine has slideshows, video, read-along stories, games, coloring pages, and all kinds of other activities that are Christian-based and totally appropriate for Sundays.  If you haven’t already discovered this terrific resource, go check it out!

Finally, just to go along with the rest of this random, no actual theme Something Special Day post, here is a recipe I want to try:  Garlic Stuffed Turkey Meatballs with Creamy Dill Dressing.  It was on Whipperberry, which is a site full of pretty and delicious things.

Have a great week!

Update:  Just discovered that my little embroidered canvas pillow was featured this morning on one of the sites I just mentioned, Whipperberry.  {Holding apothecary jar and weeping}  “It is an honor and a privilege to be recognized for my craft.  I’d like to thank all the canvas dropcloths that brought me to this moment.  This one is for vintage sewing machines everywhere!”  Check it out, here.

Something Special Saturday – 2/26/11

We just got a brand-new baby niece, this month.  She lives far away from us, so we haven’t met her in person…just in photos and videos.  I love pictures of newborns almost as much as I love newborns.  So, today’s special picks from the blogosphere are all centered around babies and baby pictures, as a tribute to little Stella.  (Note: I’m not including pics from the featured blogs in my post because I don’t want to infringe on the copyrights of any of the talented photographers.  Make sure you click on the links to enjoy the fun!)

Speaking of Stella, wouldn’t you love to see the portraits from her sweet newborn session?

This is what happens when one of your aunties is Kristine of KD Portraits.  Stella is beautiful.  I love that Aunt Kris took all of these photos in Stella’s own home.  They are so much more personal and real than the current trendy baby-in-a-nutshell or baby-in-an-owl-hat that you see everywhere.  Make sure you scroll down to view my personal favorite, the one with Stella’s parents leaning over the crib.  (It might make you cry.)

You already know I’m a fan of Young House Love and the Petersiks.  Do you know what I think the greatest idea they’ve ever shared, is?  Hands down, Clara’s Weekly Photo Project.  Those Petersiks are smart, smart, smart.  Every week they take a picture of their baby in a onesie, lying on a different piece of fabric.  Then they photoshop the week’s number onto the onesie.  Genius!  If someone leaves a baby on our porch, we’ll copycat the Petersiks and do this every week.  Even if you don’t like babies, you have to check out Clara’s Photo Project to admire the fabrics and get some great amateur photography tips.

Okay, these next baby pictures are just too, too good to miss.  The baby is darling, but the presentation….oh my.  I cannot explain why these baby pictures are on a wedding planner’s blog, or why I even frequent said wedding planner’s blog (actually, I could, but it would take a while, so I won’t), all I can say is that these baby pictures are indescribably awesome.  Basically, this incredibly talented and artistic mother creates little vignettes around her daughter using household objects, all while the baby sleeps!  (The photographer has her own blog, but the baby pics are scattered throughout the posts, so it is just easier to click on the first link to view the artistry.)

Finally, I’d like to make a special announcement…..that has nothing to do with babies.

Besides making pillows and curtains and cleaning like the in-laws were about to visit during my recent blogging break, I did something else, too.  I got my very first gig as a free-lance writer!  I’ve been hired by the CSI Project (Create Something Inspiring Project) to do some of the writing and editing for their site.
Visit thecsiproject.com
Have you ever visited the CSI Project?  Well, by all means, stop by and take a look, because not only is today one of my first days on the job (eeeek!), but it’s a great place to get crafting and decor ideas.  Each week the CSI Project sponsors a themed DIY competition.  Bloggers enter their handmade projects for a chance to win recognition and a special giveaway.  Guest contributors post tutorials throughout the week, and it’s always fun to find out who is judging each week’s competition.  (Past judges have included  Lindsey from The Pleated Poppy, Kate from Centsational Girl, and The Martha Stewart Crafts Department!) 
I’m very excited to participate behind the scenes.  The three bloggers who host the CSI Project are some of my favorites, too–you can find out who they are here.  

Enjoy your weekend and these links to some special things!

Something Special Saturday – 2/5/11

Here’s a little somethin’-somethin’ for your enjoyment:  a sampling of the things from blogland that have caught my eye this week.

My children think my mashed potatoes are the best.  So, you can only imagine how insanely delicious I thought this party food had to be: Mashtinins.  Lisa of Moore Minutes served up a mashed potato bar at a recent party, with the taters in plastic martini glasses.  Genius!   You just have to see it to believe it.  And her list of–get this–26 toppings is truly inspiring.

I recently discovered a terrific site, Sprik Space.  I stumbled upon this gem of a blog when doing a search for free Valentine printables.  Aimee takes free printables to a whole new level, providing readers with a multitude of color options for her free, downloadable graphics.  This is one of my favorites.

Our team won’t be playing in the Superbowl this year, but my kids are asking for a Superbowl party, anyway.  (They loved last year’s party.)  I’ve come across some excellent party food ideas, this week, but the one that is definitely on my list for tomorrow is this one for Beef Fajita Nachos from The Pioneer Woman.  I love nachos, I love fajitas, I can’t imagine a more perfect combination.  That Pioneer Woman knows what she’s doing.

Is it time for me to jump on the bunting band wagon?  I’ve been holding out, but then I came across this Valentine bunting over at Whipperberry…..and I think I might have to recreate it using my beloved canvas drop cloths. 

Enjoy the weekend, everyone!