Monday, September 30, 2013

Fall Leaves

This picture is totally Instagram filtered,  but I'm fine with that. If I had tried to get any better pictures, I may have gotten very car sick.

But I enjoyed our relaxing evening driving up the canyon with the fam. Watching the little ones play Red Rover with the big ones was cute. And I love enjoying all the beauty that surrounds me daily.

Hope you had a happy Sunday!

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Thankful Journal

I started a Thankful Journal tonight. When I'm frustrated or upset with life in general, counting my blessings always reminds me to stop complaining.

First up, this sweet fella that I get to call my husband.

Sorry, my craft room lighting is not ideal for great pictures of crafts.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Harry Potter Spell Books DIY

I've told you about how I'm making our house dress up like Harry Potter's life. I get more and more excited about it every day.

Now that my birthday is over (which was a good day!), I'm starting on all the decorations for Halloween...even though it's still September. hehehe. I'm overly excited.

The the spell books are up first on the list of things.

A craft store by my work sells butcher paper by the yard, so I went and got some of the brown butcher paper. It was $1.00 for 2 yards of paper. I was pretty surprised at the price, but maybe I am just uneducated about the price of different types of paper. I also got some black paper, but that is for a later project.

Essentially I just made up wrapping the books. I just did the covers like you do for school books. Or like wrapping half of a present, ish. I just cut it out so there were a couple inches hanging out all around the the edges. Then on the corners, I cut the paper from the corner so the corners would be clean looking after they were all folded over.

(This was a re-enactment of wrapping because I didn't take pictures when I first did this.)

Then I just folded over all the sides and taped them in place. I tried not to put the tape directly on the inside of the book cover because I didn't want to rip the inside covers when I took the paper off later.

Something to note about wrapping hard back books - it was a little tricky. I had the book's cover laying open just one side at a time to fold and tape all the paper. But then when I closed it, there wasn't enough room and the tape came off. So make sure for hard back books you leave some room around the spine so it will close all the way. It wasn't a big deal, I just had to adjust some things.

A not-so-awesome phone pic

After I covered them all, I used the ink pad to brown the edges of the books. I thought this helped make them look more used. I just used a make up sponge that I cut up for inking the edges of scrapbooking papers and did all around the edges. (I figure you could use like paper towels wrapped around your finger if you would like.) On the spine and front I inked in a little more to make it look a little more worn, if that makes sense. This was the part that does not need to be perfect. Really, I didn't think about this part very hard at all.

Then I made some titles with Microsoft Word. I just typed the title, found a font I liked that I thought matched the type of book it was, and made sure it would fit on the cover. I measured the book cover, and looked on the marks on Word to make sure the title fit in the area I measured. I inserted some shapes and Clip Art for the frames around the titles. (For the Clip Art, I just searched things like frames, swirls, flourish.)

I cut out the titles, browned the edges like I did on the books, and glued them on the book (making sure I got as close to the edge of the paper as possible. I didn't want them to peel). For the spines, I did the same process, just made them all small enough to fit.

I am still planning on making the potion book be the one that's open on the table. And I am researching easy ways to make the Monsters book that looks like a monster. We'll see what we can find. Let me know if you have any ideas for that!

Remember how I am doing this for as cheap as possible? Well here's a break down of the prices:

Books I already owned: free (woot!)
I also used tape and a brown ink pad - already on hand
2 yards of brown butcher paper: $1

And I didn't even use all the butcher paper, so it really wasn't even a dollar!! HOLLERRR!!!

I love these so much and I'm glad I started with this project. Once again, I was inspired by Melissa's post at Until Wednesday Calls. Here was her project, which was different but very similar: Until Wednesday Calls: How To: Harry Potter Text Book Covers. She has really cool designs!

This was easy enough that I was reassured that I can do this and I can do this for cheap! I'm excited to move on to the next Harry Potter project soon!!

Still would love to hear any amazing ideas anyone has for other Harry Potter themed decor!

I linked this post up at for her Work It Wednesday party. Love her blog and all the inspiration there.

The gold elephant

I saw this at JCPenney last night. It's so cute. I want it.

I like elephants. A lot. I've tried to stop collecting elephant trinkets because I already have entirely too many.

But I want this. That's all.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Long distance mugs

GUYS!! I can't believe I didn't share this with you yet! I made this quite some time ago for my mom's birthday. That was months ago.

If  you are ever on Pinterest, I am positive you have seen this pin or something just like it. The one I copied was from an Etsy store. I tried to find it from the maker, but it apparently no longer exists in their shop. But on my Pinterest, the picture is still there and is adorable.

I had wanted to try this for a long time but was too nervous because all the tutorials seemed a little sketchy, honestly. I mean, just find a random white mug, write on it with a sharpie, and bake it? I wasn't buyin' it. Then one day in Michael's I saw a mug kit that was made just for coloring on it! Dream come true time!!

I took it home, and I actually did just use one of my own sharpies instead of the small markers that came with it. And I'm glad I did. The markers were cute, but they didn't last very long. That teal color hardly lasted through those two hearts! But it turned out adorable!!!

According to my pin that I copied, the maker was Distinctly Dottys on

I love this and I'm so happy I finally found a way to make it!! :)

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Answers to small prayers

When I was younger I always thought that Heavenly Father had some sort of line-up system of "Prayers to be Answered" on his to-do list for the day. I imagined that the really important prayers were given more priority because they were more life-altering or significant in the grand scheme of things. I thought the prayers were lined up, one by one, just waiting to be responded to and sent back to us with an answer.

If that were the case, I feel like many, many people would be waiting quite some time for answers to prayers. Because we have very important prayers, but we also have prayers that are seemingly insignificant or small. Or at least we think they are small. How long would we have to wait for our answer??

Fortunately, my thoughts were somewhat wrong, as many thoughts are when we are in our innocent years of being a youngster. Over the years I learned about God being everywhere all the time. He is All-Knowing and His knowledge and presence is everywhere. He is omnipotent.

Because of this all-knowing power that our Heavenly Father has, He is able to see every prayer as important. He knows my heart's desire and what I need in any moment. When I pray, he hears it immediately. It's important to Him. When I pray asking for something that seems insignificant, He hears it immediately. He doesn't say, "Wait one moment, dear, while I answer these millions of other prayers that are more important than yours." He says, "My dear, you are important to me and I hear you."

Now, I won't go into receiving answers to prayers because it makes this topic a bit more complicated. But if nothing else, I know Heavenly Father hears my prayers. He hears them and He will answer them. I know this because of the small and simple answers I have received in response to my small and simple prayers. He is listening to us and our prayers.

He loves us dearly and simply.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

My Harry Potter Halloween adventure!!

One morning, while washing my hair in the shower (where all great ideas come to me) I had the sudden realization that making my house Harry Potter themed for Halloween would be the most amazing and grand idea in all the land! Am I right?!?! AM I RIGHT?!?!?!  I am.

I have so many amazing ideas for this and I'm super duper freaking out about it. And yes, I am going to be Hermione and Steve will be Ron!!

I will share my inspiration from what I found in the magical land of Pinterest. If you find me (Lynnette Harkness) on Pinterest, you'll see my recent deluge of Harry Potter Halloween ideas on my Halloween board. I want you to join in my adventure of DIY-ing myself through this process. And I hope I'll be able to do this on the in hopefully barely any dollars spent. (Because Steve doesn't want me to spend money on this...whaaaat?!) We'll see what unfolds. It's going to be incredible. Like really.

First up - the spell books. I plan to simply take all the old textbooks we have that we couldn't sell back after school and recover them. I'm hoping they'll look something like this from the Until Wednesday Calls blog. We'll see what I can come up with in my limited computer creation skills.

Here are the books I'll probably include (mostly from the first year):
The Standard Book of Spells by Miranda Goshawk
A History of Magic by Bathilda Bagshot
A Beginners' Guide to Transfiguration by Emeric Switch
One Thousand Magical Herbs and Fungi by Phyllida Spore
Magical Draughts and Potions by Arsenius Jigger
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them by Newt Scamander
(Or the Monsters book from later on in the series if I can figure out an easy way to make it)
The Dark Forces: A Guide to Self-Protection by Quentin Trimble

And I hope to have one spell book sitting open with spells inside it (probably the potions books because I found this cool post about it). I want it to look something like this from the Snowy Bliss blog. I'm very excited about that one!!

So I'm hoping to get on this quick so everything will be done by Halloween, obviously. Updates and pictures to come soon!

Do you have any amazing ideas you've seen on Harry Potter themes or decor??

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Thank You Card

I made this a week or so ago and thought I'd share. I'm forcing myself to use paper scraps so I don't have as many duplicates of scraps. I have entirely too much unused big paper scraps.

Once again, very simple is how I do. I love those little surf boards!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Crafting into the wee hours of the morning

Every once in a while I am unable to sleep. I try reading books until I can't keep my eyes open, then I just lay there staring at the ceiling wondering how I'm not asleep. I try to force myself to keep my eyes shut until I fall asleep. Then I usually end up thinking about all the terrible things that could happen in my life. Once I'm in that place, I'm done for. I won't be sleeping for a while.

Soooo this situation happened last night.
Reading...reading...lay there and stare at the ceiling trying to be tired.
Shut my eyes for about 25 minutes...start imagining all the different car accidents that could happen in the morning. It's like a sickness! When I can't fall asleep I imagine terrible things happening to us!
Since I knew that my brain wasn't going to calm down after that little charade, I decided I might as well do something to get some energy out of my body.

So I insomnia crafted. I decided I'd make a mini-scrapbook to kind of document our first 5 years of marriage. I love when I get in these adamant crafting moods, because it's almost always when my favorite crafts happen. I don't care if it's perfect, and I don't care if every single things matches. I'm usually a perfectionist, so these moments are very rare.

Here is a peek at what I did. I think I chose some paper that just generally went together. At least in the moment I didn't think it looked too bad together. Again, not sure about that since I was insomnia crafting. I didn't really measure anything and just went with what looked good right away.

After seeing it this morning, I think I was getting my inspiration from this mini album on Studio Calico that I saw yesterday.

So far I like it. I'm hoping to get some picture printed soon. Then I can stick them in, finish some more decorating, and journal a bit. WOO for impulsive insomnia crafting.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

My birthday

I think it's weird that Utah's state fair doesn't happen until September. I feel like it's way late for a fair. However, it is a little cooler outside, so I'll take it. Also, it always happens right by my birthday!! And considering fairs are one of my very favorite things in the world, I'LL TAKE IT!!! I always ask to go to the fair for my birthday celebration.

I didn't get too many pictures this year because it was pouring rain 95% of the time we were at the fair! Boo. But we at least got to eat all of the best things - so I guess it was a success. We'll hope for better weather next time.

Here's a quick recap.

Some bees

The big ole punkins

Watching some sheep judging.
And the best part - fair sweet corn!

Even though we went about a week before my birthday, I'd say it was a pretty great celebration. I already can't wait for next year!!!

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Why the new blog changes?

Hey, howdy, hey!!!
Welcome to my new blog (that is still a work in progress)!!

Some of you may be wondering, "So, Lynnette, why did you make some changes to your blog?"

Well, I've always kind of thought it would be cool to blog more. In fact, I think it'd be cool to blog for money. Just one step/part in my dream career. I want to reach people and share things. And I want people to share things with me (us). Wouldn't it be so great to create a community where we can be open to learning things through sharing our hearts? I think that is really one of the best ways to learn new things.

I may not be a pro blogger any time soon, and I'm totally fine with that. I will still be sharing mostly personal things here. And I will be sharing what I am learning through living life and increasing my skills/knowledge. I am just hoping that something I have to share can reach someone that needs to hear what I am saying. I want to make things relatable for everyone so it can be valuable for anyone.

As my blog grows, we'll see what changes or evolves. Even though it will be mostly personal, I hope it will share a larger message for anyone that wants to participate.

I'm very excited for where ever this journey will lead me. I am hoping my Father in Heaven leads me in the direction I need to go so this can be a positive experience.

Let's go on an adventure!!!

I am not a personal assistant.

I may look like I'm in charge, but my only responsibility is to create a gateway of the information you provide to the student. It may seem mean and tedious, but this could create some real problems in our job.

Professor:  I need to go grab something really quick from my office. Can you watch the class while they take the quiz? 

Interpreters/transcribers:  I'm sorry, no. We can't be responsible for your class. 

Professor:  It will only take a minute. Just watch them and make sure they don't open their books or anything.

Interpreters/transcribers:  I'm sorry, I can't be responsible for what they do while you are gone. You could put a student in charge... But I can't do that.

Professor:  But they have already started the quiz.

Interpreters/transcribers:  I'm sorry. You'll have to collect the quiz from them, then.

Professor:  [rolls eyes] Okay.

I am not your personal assistant!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Blog changes - part II

I am going to start the blog changes TONIGHT!!!

So, I am very sorry for any crazy things that happen. Please leave me comments to let me know everything looks normal to the outside world.

Good luck to us!!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Blog changes

Hello people that read my blog!! ...all 5 of you... I am so glad that you read my blog because it makes it feel like all my work is appreciated.

I am planning to change the name and URL of my blog very soon. I have tried to search Blogger to see how this will affect my blog. It doesn't seem to have much information about it, which (to me) means that it will not affect very much. I am afraid that it may affect anyone that reads my blog through this address. But I'm not sure.

I just wanted to make you all aware of the coming change. I will let you know exactly when it will happen in the near future. Now you can plan accordingly and not be completely surprised when it's different. Because, trust me, I know your lives all revolve around mine. ;)

Follow me to my new adventure, bloggy ducklings!

Monday, September 9, 2013

Craft room organization

Ever since we moved into our house (a little over a year and a half ago) this one spare bedroom has become a disaster area. It has become the catch-all room. Whenever we work on another project, the stuff is stored in there to be out of the way. Whenever I buy new craft things, the stuff goes in there. Whenever we are frantically cleaning before an unexpected guest comes over, everything goes in there. (This last part happens entirely too many times.)

Well, I'm done with that. Kind of. I want this to actually be a craft area where I can craft. So far it's been the craft area to store all crafty things. But when I actually want to do something, I have to drag all my stuff out to the dining area to spread it all out.

So I'm starting my organization journey in this room. I want things to have their place. If it's still a catch-all room for a while, so be it. But goodness sakes, things will have their place!!

Here is a somewhat before picture. I say "somewhat" because, once again, I forgot to take a true "before" picture. So imagine this picture with big moving boxes and bins all over the floor. You couldn't even really move when you were in this room. It was the beginnings of a Hoarders episode. There was a path to the desk and that was it.

The first part of this journey was clearing out the boxes and putting them where they belong. Some boxes have not quite finished their journey yet. The next part was fixing that shelf thing on the right. Like I said, I had already started organizing when I remembered to take a picture.

My biggest fight with craft organization is paper. I usually end up putting it all in little craft bins and hoping I remember what I have and how much of it I have. Well, obviously it never worked since I'm doing this! So I got these file folder organizers from OfficeMax. I liked them because I could stand up all my paper and actually see what I have. And then I got a smaller version to organize all my scraps. I have waaaay too many pieces of scrap paper. But it's because it was all put in a place where I never saw it, and therefore never used it.

Here is the after of that shelf of crafts. My biggest problem with those 12x12 craft bins was that they stack. I hate stacking things because then I can't get anything out when I want it quick. It's a whole process to unstack things and then restack them. So I just left them.

Now I put everything vertically so it's easy to get to without pulling the entire shelving unit apart. I'm pleased with it thus far. And I'm pleased with the price tag. For those file folder organizers, 4 small bins, and a small craft 3-drawer unit, I think we spent about $30. I know I could've gotten it cheaper, but I was on a mission one day. Gotta go with the flow. I think my goal for this room is to organize and decorate for as cheap as possible. Being resourceful is all part of being creative, right? Right.

Here is the finished product for now. TA-DA!! It has been much easier to use things since I can access them much easier. My favorite part is the paper organization. I love the suuuper easy access to the paper. Then I can use it quick. And if Steve ever needs any, he doesn't have to ask me where it all is. He just can go in a find something that works. Good times.

This shelving unit only comprises like 1/20 of what needs to be organized in the craft room. But it's a start. I am much more likely to continue a project once it's started...unless I don't like it. heehee. But I definitely like this one, because my life's wish is to be organized and never have a question of where anything is. I'm on my waaaaay!!!

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Spring cleaning/organizing updates

Earlier this year I made a goal list for spring cleaning/organizing. I wanted to update you on any progress or changes that have happened... because many have. I'll cross out the things I have done or have changed.

1. Weed/clean up flower beds (again)  This is never ending, and we finally gave up. We'll try again next year with Preen and stuff.
1a. Get the mulch and big flower pots for the flower beds  I decided against mulch this year. But I'm going for it next year. heehee.
1b. Actually plant flowers :)  I planted flowers in the pots, but not in the flower beds yet.

2. Organize our craft room and spare (guest) bedroom  I am in the process of organizing the craft room. It's looking much better. More to come on that soon.

3. Clean out/organize garage
3a. Make shelves in garage for storage bins

4. Make the tub into a shower in the pink potty
(Yeah, it's currently only a tub. So I want that functional for any guests so they don't have to go into our bedroom to shower.) This has been put off to save money for AC.

5. Start saving for/deciding on cabinets for kitchen Again, postponed until we get an AC.
5b. Put some cabinet doors back on

6. Paint upstairs living room/dining room (finally!!)  FINALLY AND IT LOOKS INCREDIBLE!!!  :D :D :D

7. Donate more clothes/shoes/accessories - really...

8. Finish painting the forgotten cabinet in the kitchen


Reading my list reminds me about my true dream of being the ultimately organized woman and wife in all the land.

We changed our priorities for what we are saving money for. After it started getting warm this spring, it got CRAZY HOT. Much worse than last year! So we decided to put all other savings on hold and save for an AC for next year. Holy Kansas we canNOT do another summer like this one!! Our swamp cooler simply couldn't keep up. 

We didn't get quite as much done this spring/summer as I hoped. But I'm really fine with that. It was seriously so HOT that I could not have handled doing more upstairs and outside. Maybe now that it's Autumn we'll get more motivation to do things. So perhaps I'll have more updates in a couple of months. I am really looking forward to the cooler months of Fall. 

Not to mention my birthday!

Thursday, September 5, 2013

To my future family

Dear future family,

There are a few things I want you to know.These things are simple (personal) truths that I have found to help me through my journey in life thus far. These simple habits and thoughts have helped me change my perspective into a more loving and accepting perspective. I am not perfect at these, but I continue to work on them at all times. I hope these can also help you when you are in a tough spot or need some guidance and love.

1. Be kind to everyone -- to their face and not to their face. 

This seems like common sense. Yet, many people in our world do not see the value in being nice to everyone. Many people only see value in being nice to the people that can get them want they want. In reality, everyone has something to offer. And everyone deserves kindness. Remember to be kind to people even when they are not there. Gossiping can tear friendships apart and hurt feelings quickly.

When you are genuinely kind to others, they are more likely to be kind in return. Some people will not return that kindness, and that is just fine. Continue being kind. If for no other reason, be kind because you want to be Christlike. He was the ultimate example of kindness and love, and we need to follow in His way.

2. Show gratitude whenever possible.

Again, this seems like common sense. Yet, I sometimes forget to say a simple "thank you." And for many people, a simple "thank you" will suffice. It doesn't matter the service - getting you a drink, taking out your trash, holding the door open, or saying "bless you" - please make sure to show your thanks.

The form may not ever be the same -- a smile, a card, a letter, a phone call, or a word. But always make sure to take that extra 2 seconds to tell your waiter, sister, friend, coworker, stranger, neighbor, mother, father, and Father "thank you." Our Father wants to hear from us often - no matter how mundane our words seem.  Those two simple words - thank you - will help your heart grow in unbelievable ways.

3. When you are frustrated, take a breath.

It is so hard when someone is frustrating you. But just take a moment and do not reply. Let aggravating moments pass by and replace them with understanding. There are many ways to interpret a situation, and I implore you to choose the more compassionate view. We do not know what battles people are fighting, what hardship people are coping with, or what terrible news a person just received.

Please note the Savior's example when dealing with difficult personalities. He served them with kindness and a heart full of love. He loves us all, no matter what mistakes we have made (or how frustrating we are). Remember Him when you need help dealing with a difficult situation or person. We are all children of God.

We are trying to start growing our family, and we hope that blessing comes to us very soon. There are so many things I wish I could tell you now before I forget. I have the strong impression to make a record of these things - including some of my testimony. Not only are these things for my future family, but I hope I will remember them in times of hardship or trial. We will continue to share these family truths with you as our lives keep growing.

We love you, future little ones.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013


I used to really enjoy scrapbooking. Lately, I have started doing more cards and mini-scrapbooks. They are easier, quicker, and more enjoyable for me.

I found some more pictures of cards I made quite some time ago. But they are quite adorable and I thought you all needed to see them. Enjoy!!

Hopefully I'll remember to take pictures of my cutest cards and post them here before I give them away! :)

Monday, September 2, 2013


Have you ever had those friends that you simply never forget? Me too. Here are a few of them. (We sure missed Chelsey!!!)

Me, Stacie, Lola, and Candice (and her sweet baby boy)
It has been probably 5-ish years since we've all seen each other. It was so great to get together and talk, laugh, and catch up on our lives. It's incredible to see ways we have changed and the ways we have stayed exactly the same. I simply love them and hope we can see each other more often. They are pretty incredible. I love and miss them lots and lots!

I hope this is legitimately his quote, but I liked it because it truly describes how we were when we were first friends.

“Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: "What! You too? I thought I was the only one.” 
― C.S. Lewis

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Owl be seeing you

Here a new sweet friend I can add to my crocheted collection. This one was so fun to do because it's easy and quick. Getting everything symmetrical can be a challenge, but it all works out. I made this one specifically for my friend that moved away recently. We have become pretty great friends over the past couple of years at work. I'm sad to see him go, but excited for him and his new journey! Love ya B-rady-Rae!!

He was promptly named Hootz.

So glad he liked his new friend. :)

Rubberband vase design

I told you a while ago that I've recently been going through old pictures that I've downloaded. When I put them all on the computer, I wasn't so great at blogging regularly. Well now that I am, I'm going to share some more fun things that I've done in the past.

Our first Christmas as a married couple, one of Steve's extended families had a white elephant Christmas party. We ended up picking a vase - which was awesome because we had very few decorations for our new apartment. It was swell. Except that I wasn't so keen on the vase design. And I'm very sad now that I completely forgot to take a before picture.

It was kind of Native American-ish. It had a cool sunset on it with feathers all the way around. It was beautiful. It just didn't go with anything I had or would ever have. So I decided to paint it. This was probably my first DIY project ever in our new house. So I was enjoying it.

Here was the vase after the spray paint primer.

Then I decided to do the rubberband trick that we've seen all over Pinterest. You just paint the "see-through" color on the vase (or object). Then you put rubberbands in whatever design you want on the vase. You the spray paint the vase with your top color (I chose a shiny black). Then when it's dry you take off the rubberbands and enjoy your fun design!

I remember being worried that waiting for it to dry before taking off the rubberbands would ruin the paint around the rubberbands. But it turned out just fine -- as you can see. I loved it and we still have it...and I still like it.

I am glad I did it and that it turned out well. Sometimes these really small and quick DIY projects are the best because of the quick results. You get to enjoy your work right away. YESSS.