The loss and love...

The Kitchen Aid Mixer
Well, Covered In Crafts will be on hold for a little while. On January 6th at 11:23pm a fire started in our home. The fire spread very quickly and even though the amazing people at the volunteer fire department gave it their all, almost nothing survived.

The house burned completely up to my daughter's room. The fire department got the flames out before it took her room. We were able to dig a precious few items. They are water damaged and smoke/ash filled but have been cleaned up to our best.

Even though we lost 99.9% of our things we feel so blessed because EVERYONE lived, even the pets! I will admit, I did run back into the house after Malice (black cat) and I will even go ahead and admit that I ran to my daughter's room in the midst of the black smoke and chaos for everything I could grab. To tell you the honest truth, I was going to go back in again after her dollhouse and anything else from her room that thought I could drag out but the flames were already in the kitchen and the smoke was so thick I didn't think I could make it.. Don't even start to lecture me, I lived so let's just move on, okay?

The fire inspector's official statement was that it was a result of an electrical short. Since this happened I have been telling everyone I meet to make sure they check their smoke detectors because that one act can save your family's lives. You would be outright **shocked** by how many people do not have them, have removed the batteries from theirs or have taken them down. SHOCKED I tell you.

Lesson time. Please, step away from this post this very second and go check yours. I'll wait...

When we were sitting there in the freezing cold watching our memories and treasures burn away we thought maybe we could borrow some blankets and a coat... we had nothing but the pajamas on our backs. Did you know that the Red Cross just shows up?? Apparently the fire department or 911 calls them. They gave us a debit card with some money for clothing and food. Gosh, when you have nothing.. I can't even tell you how that feels. They even gave our daughter a teddy bear. :,) To have something in the middle of watching everything disappear, well, it was powerful. That is one charity that we will support for the rest of our lives. Go Red Cross!

The outpouring of love and support we have received has been so amazing. People we didn't even know cared, heck, people we didn't even know have been so caring, giving and compassionate. We received so many cards and messages from people who had lost their homes in the past and those who have lost family members. It's so heartbreaking... and it's a good reminder that what we lost wasn't the worst that it could have been. We are so so lucky to be alive.
Crystal ball my brother got me in Japan

Another lesson, are you ready? Find out about your insurance. Do it today. We had a policy that only covered the house so we are starting over from square one by ourselves. If you rent, get renter's insurance. If you have a home, make sure your policy gives you something that you can use to start over. This is so important! I failed my family in this. Please take that as a lesson and protect yours.

Do not worry for my family. In time we will be back in a home and have things again. For now we are blessed to have family. We are staying with my wife's mother. She has given us all a room to share and a closet. Oh to have a closet! Oh to have clothes to put in that closet! If you have been through this you will understand how powerful and amazing it is to have the simple things again.

I have a few fire stories and posts to share so I'll see you soon. ;)


Mickey Birthday Cake

Y'all know I don't make cakes anymore, except as gifts. Who knows what to buy kids anymore? Surely not I!

This Mickey theme cake was given to a little buddy of mine who just loves Mickey Mouse Club House. His party was so adorable too! They had the special candles and even a shirt made for him. It rocked.

I made it using Satin Ice fondant. It's an 8" & 6" stacked. All the decoration are fondant. The ears you have to do in advance, as they need time to dry, and toothpicked in place.

Thank you for stopping by my craft and crap blog. :) I hope you have a great new year!!


$4 Tree Stand DIY

This year my daughter decided that she wanted to cut down her own Christmas tree! No fake trees for us this year. So, we took her to a wonderful place in Lonoke, AR called Schilling's Family Christmas Tree Farm.

She had a selection of types of trees but settled on this one. It's a little short for the space but we all loved how full and pretty it is. She wanted something that was about her height. This is the one you guys! The Johnson family Christmas tree for 2013!

We donated our fake tree to a local charity store, The Safe Haven Thrift Store. We haven't had a real tree in so long that we didn't even have a stand. Of course our solution had to be a crafty one! Duh!

We got a pickle bucket (FREE! My favorite!) from a friend who works for a fast food place. They toss the plastic buckets out when they are empty. What a waste for something that can totally be crafted!

We used Jute/Twine from Lowe's that is $2 a roll. I used about a roll and a third of the jute to go around the bucket, gluing every now and then with my hot glue gun. I already had the glue and glue gun so the $4 in jute is all I am out of pocket for this craft!

Then we placed the tree in the bucket and filled around it with rocks. We had a bunch left over from a garden project. They hold the tree nice and firmly in place but still allows the tree lots of water.

Not too shabby for stuff we had laying around and a bucket that usually just takes up space at the landfill!

Here's the tree in it's new home. I really want to change out the baseboards for white ones.. but for now let's just pretend it looks alright okay? ;)

From our family to yours, Merry Christmas!


Just a little reminder of the beach

The weather here in AR is starting to get a little ugly and we need something cheerful to do. While digging through my craft room I came across some tins left over from the advent calendar I made a couple years ago. They already had magnets glued to the back. So, then I began wondering what we could do with these.

I remember coming across someone using them as little miniature round shadow boxes. Who knows where this idea originated so I can't quote the source but my daughter really got into the idea!

Once we picked the pictures and printed them, all that was left to do with add some sand and sea shells we found at the beach. I used a little E6 glue to put the lid on. We don't usually have things on the fridge, because I'm a bit of a neat freak but we love this little magnets and it puts a smile on my face whenever I walk by it. Just a little reminder of the amazing vacation we had this year in Destin, Florida.

We hope you are inspired to grab a kiddo and do a  fun 10 minute craft with them. :) Happy crafting!


Mini Apple Pies as gifts for Thanksgiving

It never fails to make me so proud when my daughter cooks!

Wait, let me back up since that sounded a little less like my feminist self. I don't cook. I have never enjoyed it and it holds nothing for me. You're thinking: "LIZ! Your CAKES!" yes yes, I cake but you should know that I don't bake it. I leave that for my better half. Ladies, you would not want to eat something I cooked.

My wife is an amazing cook and she has been teaching the kiddo for years. I deeply believe that all children, boys and girls, need to learn their way around a kitchen. Why? We all eat, of course! Cooking healthy, fresh food is a life skill and I think every kid needs to learn, at least the basics.

My 12 yr old daughter and mini crafter, Aurora did these as little Thank You gifts for Thanksgiving. She got the idea from her favorite website, Pinterest. Here's the recipe she used: Mini Apple Pies (using a cupcake pan). She's so proud that she did this by herself! They are in food safe containers and placed in these adorable stamped lunch bags that she did. The stamps and ribbon are Stampin' Up!

We hope that you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving!