Volunteering to help Foster Children – CASA

I just returned from court. It was a very good day for me there. I have been advocating for three children and today, in court, they got to return home full time. I volunteer as a CASA which stands for Court Appointed Special Advocate. CASA volunteers are appointed by judges to watch over and advocate for children in foster care, to make sure they don’t get lost in the overburdened legal and social service system or languish in inappropriate group or foster homes. Volunteers stay with each case until it is closed and the child is placed in a safe, permanent home. For many children, their CASA volunteer will be the one constant adult presence in their lives.advocating for foster children

I had often wished that there was a volunteer store where people with time would come and pick up volunteer hours to help with the foster care system. Turns out that there is such a place. In my town it was at the YWCA and in your town there is such a place, too. Simply go here and find yours.

Last year, more than 77,000 CASA volunteers helped 234,000 children find safe, permanent homes. CASA volunteers are everyday citizens who have undergone screening and training with their local CASA program. Unfortunately there are far more than 234,000 children that need CASAs. These children need you.advocating for foster children

I had assumed many things about families who have their children taken from them. I had assumed many things about foster parents. Turns out that most parents really love their children and will go to the ends of the earth to get them back. Turns out foster parents have amazing amounts of energy and patience. The social workers work very, very hard to do their best for the families, too.advocating for foster children

You will enjoy reading this lovely story about how a volunteer CASA helped a teenage girl named Jacke. With several phone calls and a few visits this CASA made all the difference for Jacke.

You do not have to be a lawyer or social worker to be a volunteer. CASAs are people from all walks of life. They are simply people who care about children and have common sense. As a volunteer, you will be thoroughly trained and well supported by professional staff to help you through each case.

It takes only a few hours of your time each month. A few hours that can make a huge difference in the life of a child. Hit that link and find your town’s CASA program. It will make a difference in your life, too.


all photos are from the CASA website



How to get people to use the vintage hand towels in the bathroom

One of the very first parties my husband and I threw when we were first married was for a bunch of his work buddies. Moments before people were due to arrive he walked out of the bathroom and asked me if we had any regular hand towels. I had just ironed and arranged some very pretty vintage linen towels and I told him we didn’t own regular ones. He shook his head and told me no one would use the pretty towels.

My mother always had “good” towels on display in the bathroom and then there was the cupboard full of towels we were supposed to actually use. I guess that was true all across the land and yet was an idea I had not adopted from my childhood. I want to use the pretty stuff. Plus I only paid about a buck for each one of those pretty embroidered linens at estates sales.

I assured my husband I would fix the problem. I went in and smushed up the towels so that they looked like someone might have already dried their hands on them giving the okay for the next person to use them as well. It worked! After the party was over I checked and those towels had all dried lots of hands. If you come to my house today and need to dry your hands you will find some smushed up linen hand towels on which to do so.estate sale linen towelsestate sale linen towels

Halloween Pumpkin-Woman

I love making people. I only ended up with one kid so maybe I’m over-compensating? I’ve made scarecrows and globe people, tiny little doll people and I even made my daughter an anatomically correct boy baby. She thinks it was gross. I think he was cute. If you come and visit me you will meet my newest people. a pumpkin lady for Halloweena pumpkin ladydetail of pumpkin lady dressMs Pumpkin

Happy Halloween (a little early)!! Come & trick-or-treat at my house this year.



Alphabet Project on Instagram T-Z

Holy Cow! I forgot to finish up reporting on my Instagram alphabet project. I was sad when it was over. My husband came home with a pocket full of horse chestnuts for our letter T. The wooden thread spools are from my grandma’s sewing box. Instagram alphabet project TInstagram alphabet project UInstagram alphabet project VInstagram alphabet project WInstagram alphabet project XInstagram alphabet project YInstagram alphabet project Z

I’ve collected them for you to see in all their glory. My favorites are the letters B, E, G, and X. I love them all, really. Which are your favorites?Instagram alphabet project poster

Where I blog at home Part 2+

Part 2 because I have already made changes. Cool changes. Plus I promised to show you a DIY for a beautiful origami light shade. I love light fixtures. I could change them every month! I googled for good directions and found this pdf. I couldn’t believe how easy it was to make. I rehearsed with regular paper first allowing me to discover that the size isn’t crucial as long as you make sure it’s longer by quite a bit on one length. No square paper in other words.making an origami light shade

Doesn’t it look pretty? I also took down the big mirror and put up some new treasures. my office nookmy office nook

In big news, for me, let me show you what I can do now thanks to a new lens on my camera. I don’t know why this wasn’t the first lens I bought but I am thankful it is mine now! I can photograph the whole room at once! So great! I haven’t actually purchased it yet. It turns out one can rent a lens to decide if it’s right! Cool!kitchen nook turned office

Where I blog in my home

I finally decided to create a dedicated spot in my home where I can write my blog. Up until now I would sit at my dining room table, on the couch or sometimes even in bed. my blogging spotThis area was once my kitchen nook. It still is but now I am calling it my office nook. Here is what it looked like a week ago:

pink ombre metal shelving unit



It is sure to change once I begin really using it. So far I love it. Currently I am typing with my computer on my lap and a cat is curled up next to me and another on my feet. I am dogsitting for my father while he and his wife are traveling in South Africa. It creates drama for the animals when there is a new girl added to the mix. The dogs just get a little more attention-hungry but the cats act like they will be killed any minute. Don’t worry. They are in no danger. It is fun to have them be more cuddly, though. You may remember our visitor, Brit, from a post I did in June.awake-Brit

Next up will be a very cool DIY I did to the light fixture. You will want to make one of these yourself! In fact my daughter already ordered two for her new house out in the woods. If you follow me on instagram you got a sneek peek.



Alphabet Project K-O

More letters coming your way straight from my instagram feed! Catch the beginning of the alphabet here and here. This week featured a K made from old Singer sewing machine parts. L was a collection of little figurines made of wood or china. Hazelnuts made my M. N was office supplies. I actually said this to my husband, “I’d give my firstborn for some paper clips”. He found me 3! Sorry, Allison. I wouldn’t really trade you for paperclips.  Great Grandma’s buttons became an O.instagram alphabet project Kinstagram alphabet project L

instagram alphabet project Minstagram alphabet project Ninstagram alphabet project OMy friend, Janet, joined in again! I love her letters. My favorite was L!instagram alphabet project friendsGuess which letters will be here next week!



Adding a little colorful fun to a tiny table (recycling tattoo designs)

I seem to come up with tattoo designs that are impossible to tattoo. I love my tattoos but some are a compromise as the original designs were rejected by many tattoo artists. This weekend I decided to use one for making a little table a lot more fun. Now I know why tattoo artists didn’t want to tattoo the design. It took a long time. But it looks great!!

I began in the daylight and only was half finished by nightfall on the first day.the process of painting a tableTwo days later I was finished and am pretty happy with how it turned out.


colorburst table top

Here it is in place looking fabulous. My mom will be glad I put the design on a piece of furniture instead of my body. Ha!colorburst-painted-table-in-place

Alphabet Project F-J

Time for another installation of the alphabet via instagram. If you need to catch up here is A-E. This week we have some friends joining in! One friend, anyway. And a fan!instagram alphabet project Finstagram alphabet project Ginstagram alphabet project Hinstagram alphabet project Iinstagram alphabet project J

alphabet project on instagraminstagram alphabet project

My friend, Janet, joined in to say “hi”!instagram-friends

It was fun opening my instagram feed to find all the little letters lined up by a follower.instagram-likes

Post your alphabet letters along with me on instagram and tag me so I can see!!




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