Dear New Family…

Last week we closed on the sale of our childhood home.

It was bittersweet.

There are so many memories and stories behind this house I felt like I wanted the new

homeowner to know a little more about the house and how special it was to a lot of people.

So, I penned this note.

I may even send a version of the letter to them.  (I just happen to know their address.)

Dear New Family,

As you start this new chapter in your life and move into your new home,

there are a few things I would like you to know.

Your house was built by my parents 60 years ago when dad was only in his twenties.

My parents happily raised their family of 5 kids in this home.

This small abode has held a lot of love and was the last home for each of my parents.

Dad lived here in this house until 3 weeks before his death at age 86

and for 5 quiet years by himself without my Mom.

So…as you settle into your cramped little kitchen,

I want you to imagine my mom cooking dinner each night for a family of seven.

(Although I won’t say she never complained.)

And as our family expanded and grew she would host weekly Sunday

dinners for up to 20 people and then some.

Because when it came to my family there was always room for one more.

When you sit in your living room and decide the best way to arrange furniture.

I want to tell you there once sat a piano that taught all 5 kids how to play.

The one and only small bathroom with the odd blue bathtub,

there used to be a blue toilet and a sink to match.

And…usually someone standing outside waiting their turn.

Those small little bedrooms, I’ve slept in them all.

The bigger one in the basement,  you didn’t get that room until the one ahead of you

got married and moved out.

The large basement laundry room with the turquoise checkered floor, those are vintage 60’s

original and used to be mom’s first kitchen while the upstairs was being built.

Dad took his time building this house trying to pay for materials it as he needed them.

(They lived the first couple years in the basement.)

The giant old maple tree out back with the swing isn’t as old as you might think.

It’s only around 45 years old.

I thought until just a few years ago that I had planted that tree.

Only to find out that mine had died and Dad had replaced it with that one.

When we were kids we played all summer and fall in the woods behind the house.

Back then there was no homes and we thought they belonged to everyone.

In your small little yard, it wasn’t unusual for it to hold half the neighborhood kids.

Mom would pass out Kool-Aid and Dad was the one who would fix things that broke.

I heard through my niece that you have a little girl.

It makes us happy to know there will be kids living here again.

Dad always said some little family will need this small house.

We also want you to know it was really hard for us to give up this place,

because while all five us kids all have homes much larger than this one,

we will always consider this our very special home.

It will always hold a special place in our hearts.

So as you learn all the nuances and get used to its smells,

we hope this home will bring you as much love, faith and laughter

as it has brought each one of us.


the middle kid who loved it a lot

P.S.  I signed my name in the attic.

The Old Back Porch Make Over

Thanks to my brother’s awesome talents and my father’s save everything mentality…

We took what could have been an eyesore and made it into an asset.

My siblings and I have spent the better part of this year sorting, cleaning, pitching, restoring,

repairing and saving memories (aka lots and lots of stuff) from our childhood home.

The end goal was getting the house ready to be put on the market and sold.  (big sigh!)

We’ve been through every inch of the house, from the attic to the basement.

It’s been quite a job.

To fully appreciate the after, you really need to see the before.

My Dad grew up in the days of screened-in back porches.

He loved being outside and close to nature.  (He also was a saver.)

As I came home one hot summer day, I noticed when entering the

back porch the familiar smell of Grandma’s old porch.

A little surprised, he told me that he’d just replaced a board using one he’s saved

from her old porch.  Funny how smells can trigger memories.

Over the years, as my parents aged, the old porch had become utilitarian.

It was a great place to hold stuff, like all the extra folding chairs for when everyone was over.

As we’ve moved from top to bottom and out the back door…

I wasn’t sure we’d ever get to the back porch.  I wasn’t sure I had the energy.

But my brother saw potential.

When my brother decided to paint the outside of the porch, I didn’t see the point.

After a little discussion, I finally saw the vision and agreed to help him.

We emptied out the porch and removed all the windows so they could be thoroughly cleaned.

What a difference that made.

The old silver screen door was taken down and replaced by the newly repainted storm door

that had previously been on the door between the house and the porch.

We also removed the extra blocks under the porch placed to keep the critters out.

Next, we added lattice and mums around the porch.

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The inside of the porch was unfinished.

My brother reused and installed old paneling that he’d removed from his house 19 years ago.

My Dad had kept the old paneling in his garage all that time intending to use it on his porch.

Born during the depression, dad grew up saving things that still had use in them.

It’s sometimes a blessing and a curse.

We also repurposed old trim we found in the garage.

(And by “we”…I mean mainly my brother.)

The trim was painted a clean crisp white and the walls a creamy off white.

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The floor was painted a nice medium gray.     (not sponsored by Valspar)

Valspar Porch and Floor Latex Satin Enamel*

I talked my brother into adding a ledge under the kitchen window that looks onto the porch.

After adding a rug and a couple of chairs for reading, I realized just how cozy it was.

I’ve sat out here several times already just enjoying the fall foliage.

We’ve all commented on how much my parents would have enjoyed it.


Thanks to Dad’s thriftiness, the whole project including mums cost us around $100.

And yes, Steve, you were right.

We put the house on the market last week.                               (picture borrowed from listing)

The new listing calls the old back porch “a charming three season room”.

It turned out pretty good if I say so myself.

This current season in our lives as we let go of the house has been challenging.

But as my youngest sister said, “I wouldn’t want to do it with anyone else but you.”

If you liked this post you might like to read “making a place for Dad’s coffee”.


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Home is Where the Heart is Stitched Sampler

Celebrate special occasions with a personalized stitched sampler.

A great gift idea for a wedding, anniversary or new home.

Home is where the Heart is products used:                      (*affiliate link)

*Disclosure:  This blog uses ads and affiliate links.  If you choose to make a purchase using one of the links, I receive a small commission (at no additional cost to you) that helps offset the costs of maintaining this blog.  Thanks for your support!

Create custom numbers to match the project by spraying numbers with glimmer mist. 

Allow numbers to fully dry before using .


  1. Cut a shapes using the picture above.
  2. The flowers were made using a simple hand drawn flower shape and traced onto the felt.
  3. Add red ink to the tips of the cream flowers with a stencil brush.
  4. Machine stitch the gray scalloped square onto the tan square
  5. Machine stitch the roof onto house and machine stitch onto the gray scalloped square.
  6. Iron numbers onto the center of the red heart.
  7. Arrange and adhere smaller pieces onto house using fabri tac glue.
  8. Hand stitch smaller pieces and buttons into place using needle and thread.
  9. Add finish piece into a shadow box frame.

Look for Joy® iron-on embroidered alphabet letter sheets at your local craft store.

“This is a sponsored post. As a member of the Creating with Joy Design Team I have been provided product and compensation in exchange for my creative ideas.  The views and opinions are my own. 


How to Mist and Stencil a Mixed Media Pillow

Home Pillow for Joy 6602

I enjoy making pillows.

Especially when it’s a quick and easy “no sew” pillow with a twist.

How about a little misting and stenciling with Tattered Angels Glimmer Mists?

Home Pillow for Joy Project Supplies Close Up 5805

I started my project off with a 12″ plain canvas pillow cover, versatile check stencil (see end of post),

Tattered Angels Glimmer Mists and large iron-on embroidered letters from Joy.

masking the stencil 5818

Using removable painter’s tape, I taped the stencil onto the canvas.

I wanted my pillow to have a subtle background so I lightly sprayed with Tattered Angels

Crushed Shells Glimmer Mist.

Because the pillow is decorative, I’m not worried about the spray being washable.

Home 5820

I used large Iron-on letters from Joy to spell out the word “Home”.

Spraying the letters5824

To customize the plain white letters, I sprayed them with Coffee Shop Glimmer Mist for contrast.

ironing 6395

Allow the letters to fully dry before arranging onto the pillow.  Cover the letters with a cotton cloth

and iron for about 30 seconds.  I ironed it again from the back of the fabric for another 30 seconds.

Burlap Flower

I added an old button to the center of a burlap flower from Canvas Corp Brands

and glued it onto the corner of my pillow with Fabri Tac Glue.

I used a 12″ pillow form from Fairfield World to stuff the pillow.

Deco Art DECADS.20 Americana Decor Stencil Versatile Checks*


This project was created for the Creating with Joy Blog and was sponsored by Canvas Corp Brands, Deco Arts, Fairfield World, Beacon Adhesives and Joy SA.

*This post uses affiliate links.

Home Sweet Home

House Mixable 1580

A quick share today to show you the Mini Album I made using Clear Scraps New Mixable Home Album.

My “Home Sweet Home” album is a 8″ x 9″ Acrylic & Chipboard mixed Album.

I used chipboard stickers from My Mind’s Eye “Sweetest Thing” collection and various scrapbook papers

to decorate my album.

House Mixable Close Up 1582

My favorite part of the album is the fence.

I love the look of a white picket fence so I sprayed the clear acrylic with white spray

paint.  Now I have a white picket fence.

(This project was created for and sponsored by Clear Scraps.)