Inspiration from Obession

Yes.  Sparrow is just as obsessed with Pinterest as the rest of the western world.  Searching for help on this matter.  Strangely, can't seem to find any local therapy groups for Pinteresticism.  ...

Found this the other day via the-site-which-shall-not-be-named:

From http://girllovesglam.blogspot.com/2012/03/organization-board-tutorial.html

It's the 'Get Organized Board' from Girl Loves Glam blog.  Anyone who knows Sparrow know's her love of Organization.  Within 20 minutes of seeing this post, Sparrow set out to make her own.

The challenge?  Incorperating the following onto one board:
  • Grocery List
  • Meal Planner
  • Two Seperate places for receips (one for home, one for the Band)
  • A billing schedule
  • To-Do list(s)
  • Pen Storage
  • Cleaning Schedule
  • Temporary Document Storage
The other challenge?  A budget of $50- meaning at least some of this junk would come from the Nest.  Fortunately, the Nest always has some junk to spare in these cases.  On hand, Sparrow had the World's Uglist Cork Board (3x5) and leftover paint in white and Sea Glass, along with hanging items.  After an hour's work, the Ugly cork board had a new outlook on life. 

Then it was off to the store, where Sparrow purchased the following:
  • Two Black 8x11 frames
  • Three Black 5x7 frames
  • One black bird wall hook
  • One paper pencil box
  • One small metal pail
  • One small chalkboard
  • Polka-dot craft tape
  • One box of four clips (in blue)
  • One box easy-remove mounting strips
This all came to $46.00.  Not bad (thank you Dollar Isle).

Where the most money was saved was in the organizers themselves.  Sparrow had a hangalbe grocery list on hand already (pink, but replacible in the future).  The to do list and weekly menu was available for free via glam girl's blog, and the rest where created by Sparrow. No need to buy calendars here!  The best part?  All the lists are framed and covered with glass so they're easy to write on and erase. 

After a little creative fussing, the board is 90 percent done.

See that big, empty space? There's still one empty frame left....something great will go there....eventually...stay tuned.

The pail holds extra tacks, stamps, tape- extra stuff.  While the little box has dry erase markers and an eraser.  Lovin' it.
More glamour shots:


Happy Birth..Week and Half?

Sparrow is so blessed to have loving friends and family.  SO loving, in fact, birthday gifts have already been popping up at the nest.  This came today:

A lovely collection of happy things from Casey in Texas.  Look closely, you'll find:
  • Stuff Christians Like, by Jonathan Acuff (a funny, witty, often thought provoking humor book that takes note of American Christian Culture)
  • Swedish Fish (the best candy on earth, duh)
  • One robot Tea infuser (what every tea lover/robot enthusiast needs)
  • Four LOVELY little stainless steel/enameled bird bowls (of which Sparrow is head over heels in love)
A pretty nice haul for a Monday Morning.  But that's not all on the birthday front.

Sparrow's wonderful Poppa sent a very generous envelope to the nest last week.  Huzzah for Poppas!  With cash in pocket, Sparrow and Husband set off for Ikea to start the MONSTER DESK PROJECT. 

Since moving day last May (hey that rhymed!), the extra room has been a junk room, a badly needed extra storage space while the other rooms in the nest became more functional.  Now that other storage spaces have opened up and the orphaned junk has moved to their new homes, its time to turn the junk room into the home office the nest has been lacking.

Since the room is rather narrow, two facing desks were out the question.  Sparrow set out looking on the web for inspiration:

From Lovelyish.com

From Younghouselove.com

The YHL wall to wall desk was particularly inspiring.  They used recycled hotel night tables and stained wood planks to cut costs.  Sparrow figured we could do something similar, but without space or tools for woodworking, the options were a little more limited.  Ikea provided come cost effective options that could be easily tailored to the nest's extra room, a room that is exactly 140 inches long. 

As usual, the As-Is area was the first stop.  Husband, bona-fied genius, picked out a white melamine table top measuring 68 inched long by 29 inches deep.  After some poking around in the ikea catalog, Sparrow discovered the origin of the table top:

The Ikea Meltorp Dining Table.  Fortunately, they had more in stock.  Even better, the top and the undercarriage are sold separately, saving $30 right off the bat.  With the As-Is top and a new one picked up the in warehouse, the total desktop length came to over 136 inches long (remember the wall length is 140 inches even).  Perfect!  The second phase was finding the legs.  Sparrow came prepared for this.  With the Ikea catalog in hand, there were several legs to choose from.  We chose Three kinds of legs.

The Vika Alex.  There is one of these at each end of the wall.  These units provide some nice storage for office supplies, Wallings JR CDs and even the cat box.

The Vika Annefors.  This is the center leg that holds up the other end of each table top.  This will store printer paper and printing supplies.

The Vika Adils.  Because the table tops are so long and heavy, they tend to sag if left unsupported.  There is one of these supporting the center of each table top.

Over the weekend, the whole desk  came together, along with some further de-junking and re-organizing of the closet.  The desk, despite being huge (too huge to capture in one picture), the office still feels roomy and open.

The desk has completely has changed the room.  Even without a "completed" look, the office feels homey and peaceful.  Even better, the work and hobby projects have a home.

So what did this HUGE DESK cost?

-As is Meltorp top    $9.99
-Meltorp New top    $49.99
-Two Adils Legs      $3.99 (one already owned)
-Two Alex Legs       $49.99 Each
-Annefors Leg          $40.00
Total:                        $203.95

Compare that to other deaks of the same size and built in look, and thats pretty good.  Happy birthweek Sparrow!


Let the Knitting Begin

Some of you may know sparrow is exactly one half of the folk-blues duo, The Wallings Jr.  We've been working on recording an album with a great Nashville producer, Vince Emmit.  Last year we raised some significant funds using IndieGoGo, a site that provides fund raising space online for charities and artists.  As part of the efforts we offered various gifts in exchange for certain levels of donations, two of them involving a knitted something from sparrow.  Naturally, the "Knit and Caboodle" level totally sold out, so now sparrow has 16 knitting projects due this summer. Les sigh.  At least knitting is fun.

Yesterday, the first knitting project began:

The Baby Sack, aka The Baby Snuggie

This is for a lovely couple from OKC who are about to head out to Europe as missionaries (thus the first on the list status).  They have a friend who is very pregnant, so they wanted a handmade gift to present to her before they leave.  Here is what they initially sent:
Cute, right?  Sparrow set out to find a (hopefully) free and fun pattern to match.  This is what came up:
Very cute!  This is called the 'Owlie Sleep Sack' from a great site Comfort Wool.  Here's the sack sans bebe:
 Notice the little scallops on the top that form the stretchy band?  Those are little owls that go all the way around the top.  This is a nice addition because (A) it provides a little give in the top to help hold the baby in and (B) it gives the knitter a little something extra to break up the monotony, otherwise you're basically knitting a hat.  Win!
This was started yesterday in grey (as requested).  So far, the project is about 20 rows in, and that's after about 6 hours of work.  The sack is 85 stitches in the round on size 3 needles....this is going to take a while.


Welcome to Spring

Spring has sprung in the nest.
Here, you see our seedlings.  Hopefully, with tender care, these little seedlings will grow into this year's urban garden.  Gardening in small spaces can be tricky, so sparrow has been relying on a few handy blogs and books for tips on container and small space gardening.  If you're up for the urban garden challenge, here are some helpful links:

Sparrow will be updating you periodically on the state of garden throughout the season.

Happy Gardening!


The Backlog

Hey folks,

You may notice posts popping up from the last months here in the nest.  There are around 30 posts backlogged from the past five months that sparrow just didn't have time to put up.  Now that there is a plethora of time to devote to all things crafty/cooky/cleany/painty/planty, expect lots of new things.

Check back often.

much love,



I Can't Believe I Made Real Butter!

Sparrow saw something on Pinterest today that brought up sweet (cream) memories of a childhood in Pennsylvania- making home-made butter!

The ingredients are so simple:

-heavy cream (best if raw...good luck finding that)

That's it.

The directions are almost as simple.
  1. Add the desired amount of cream to a mixer or bowl.
  2. Salt the cream to taste, if desired.  For unsalted butter, leave the salt out.
  3. Whisk or beat until the cream separates into milk fat and buttermilk.
  4. Separate the butter and buttermilk (the milky water in your bowl) using cheesecloth, a strainer, or (like sparrow did) a thin metal kitchen utensil. 
  5. Refrigerate until use.
Note: there is a point where you'll see a familiar sight...whipped cream.  Keep whipping!  You're not done until you have a big ball of butter stuck in your whisk and pool of buttermilk in the bottom of  your bowl.

You can make any amount of butter and buttermilk like this.  Sparrow used a pint (16 oz) of heavy cream and came away with roughly 8 ounces each of buttermilk and butter.

This experiment brings up so many options for the future- add herbs for savory herb butter, or sugar for a sweeter breakfast option.  Stay tuned for future butter ideas.


White Chocolate Creme Brulee: Easier Than you Think

Monday nights in the Nest are typically family nights.  With having two full time ministers in the family (Father-in-law and Husband), its schedule those nights or lose 'em to rehearsals, meetings, or who knows what else.  Mom-in-law (she's sparrow's favorite!) always makes a fabulous dinner and we top everything off with a movie or cards.  Its a great night to relax and catch up on everyones' week.  This past week, Jeff attempted to talk sparrow into making a few creme brulees for dessert, which did not go over well with anyone else (we made brownie waffles instead).  Last Monday,  Jeff was surprised with White Chocolate Creme Brulees for family night.
Brulee has an undeserved reputation for being finicky.  Most custards are a little challenging, however, creme brulees are surprisingly easy to make and even easier to customize. The recipe comes from an adapted creme brulee recipe found online.

White Chocolate Creme Brulee
Modified by paper sparrow


  • 8 tablespoons white sugar, divided (6 tablespoons and 2 tablespoons)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 5 oz white chocolate bits, chopped   

  • Directions
      1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F and assemble all the ingredients.
      2. Beat egg yolks, 4 tablespoons sugar and vanilla in a mixing bowl until thick and creamy. Set aside.
      3. Pour cream into a saucepan and stir over low heat until it almost comes to boil. Remove the cream from heat immediately.   
      4. Slowly add the white chocolate bits to the hot cream, whisking until completely melted and combined.                 
      5. Pour a little of the hot cream into the egg yolk mixture and whisk briskly.                     
      6. Pour the cream/yolk mixture into the rest of the cream and whisk. DO THIS SLOWLY to avoid cooking the egg mixture.                 
      7. Skim any foam that has collected on the top and toss.
      8. Pour the hot mixture into shallow ramekins and place in a large, steep sided pan.  Carefully pour boiling water into the large pan, avoiding the ramekins.  This is your water bath to ensure even cooking. The water should come about halfway up the ramekins.
      9. Bake 15-30 minutes, or when the centers jiggle slightly in the middle (like a jello jiggle, not a liquid jiggle).  Remove from the oven and let cool in the water bath for 20 minutes.  Chill until serving.
      10. Just prior to serving, dust the tops lightly with the remaining white sugar then torch until the sugar caramelizes.  If you don't have a torch, place the brulees on the top rack of the oven and use the broil setting.  The sugar should melt in  a matter of minutes.  Serve.
    Makes 5 individual brulees


    In the Studio

    The Wallings Jr. was in the studio last week, finishing up the vocal tracks for this summers' album.  Check out the studio video:

    The featured song is a rough cut of "On the Edge of Morning", to be included in the album.