I took the time cleaning and organizing my room to think about the projects that I’d like to accomplish in the New Year — a task made a little easier with a couple of gifts I received from family. My sister Beth drew my name in our Christmas swap this year, so she sent me the money to buy a power drill, since I realized during the bunk bed building that I did not have the proper tool for the job (that’s where neighbors with power tools come in very handy). I’ll probably get a 12-volt Makita cordless drill driver, which should be heavy-duty enough for my projects around the house and yard. I’ve had an idea for about a year for a outdoor playhouse for my kids using pallets. And I’ve thought about adding a slide to those bunk beds.
Another wonderful present to enable my crafting addiction was a gift card to Hobby Lobby. I’m pretty diligent about my 40 percent off coupon — you can get it on an app for your smartphone — so I can put this present to very good use. And Hobby Lobby has everything I love: Fabric and notions for all my sewing (I got a 60-count thread spool holder for my birthday in early December and it’s been looking pretty bare), yarn of every color and weight for more snuggly scarves now that winter’s finally come around, and all the arts and crafts supplies you can think of. Especially glue.
I have a whole box dedicated to glue of the liquid, solid and aerosol varieties, but I really do need a new glue gun, since the stand on mine broke several years ago, so I’ve just been laying a hot glue gun on its side when I use it, which has to be some kind of fire hazard. I’m clumsy enough when it comes to using hot tools (the iron is the worst!), let alone when I have to use it improperly. If I can find one that turns off automatically, I think I’ll be set.
Another gift I received wasn’t particularly a Christmas present, but the timing was right. My friend Lacie Pinyan, a former sports editor here at The Star, brought me a stack of cookbooks last week from her new employer, Oxmoor House — publishers of Southern Living, Cooking Light and all those other magazines. She knows I’m a big fan of slow cookers and simple, quick meals — isn’t every working mother? — and these cookbooks definitely fit the bill. Now I have plenty of inspiration for meals to cook in the new year, too. Nice, easy meals that will leave me more time to get started on some of those other projects, perhaps.