December’s Projects…Month Four!

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When I decided to do the School Year Challenge, my original plan was to pick a different room in the house every month, identify projects I wanted to complete, learn the knowledge and skills necessary to get the projects done, and then actually do the work.

As an elementary school teacher, I know that planning is only half the battle. I recognized in the beginning that I would need to be realistic, flexible, and adjust and adapt the plan as necessary.

Slight adjustments were made in October when I made the deck a focus instead of a room in the house.

Additional adjustments were made in November when I decided to finish a leftover project from October and work on a couple other projects that were Christmas related.

December brings more adjustments as my original plan of a room a month is adapted to meet the needs of the Christmas season and get those darn Adirondack chairs done!


Adirondack Chairs

With my husband’s help in November, I was able to stabilize the chairs so they don’t lean anymore.

Using the matching table to learn how to sand, prime, and spraypaint wood furniture was a sequence of experiences that led to several self-discoveries:

  • Sanding weathered outdoor furniture is not as easy as I thought it would be and requires a lot of patience.
  • Spray painting wood uses more paint than spray painting metal.
  • The dark gray spray paint on the wood table looked REALLY dark compared to the same paint on the metal furniture and I didn’t like it.

I learned a lot about what I need to do and how to do it in November in regards to prepping and painting the chairs. With more information under my belt along with a little experience, I am ready to cross this project off my to-do list!

Chairs in October – the first month
Chairs in November – the second month

The third time on the Project Wall is the charm!

Christmas Gifts

Now, I really can’t say too much about these projects because the recipients of these gifts read the blog.

However, I can tell you there are 3 gifts I want (and need) to make otherwise these three important people in my life will have one less gift under the tree!

Holiday Apron

I love looking at quilting catalogs and my mom will often give me the ones she has already looked through. One of my favorites is Keepsake Quilting.

A little over a year ago I saw a reversible Crisscross Apron Pattern by Mary Mulari that was paired with the Michael Miller holiday fabric Holly Jolly Gnomes.

Holly Jolly Gnomes

I hinted to my mom it would be a good birthday present. My birthday month is October so I figured if I got the pattern and material I would have plenty of time to make it before Christmas of last year. Silly me!

My mom took the hint and I received the pattern and material for my birthday in 2016. However, as I’m sure you have figured out, I didn’t get it made.

This is one project I definitely want to get done this month. In fact, I want to complete the apron by December 19 because on the 20th my school campus is hosting an Evening with Santa. My team wears aprons as we greet students and their families and I would love to wear this one.

In addition, my son comes home for the holidays around the same time, and he asked me to wait until he gets home to make the different Christmas cookies that are a tradition in our family…Italian Puff cookies, Sour Cream Twists, Pinwheels, and Treasure Chests. Yummy!

The cookie recipes were my grandmother’s and she wore aprons. In fact, I often wear one of her aprons when I cook. It would be a lot of fun to make her special holiday cookies wearing my new apron!


Adding details to the huge ornaments I painted in November is another project I want to iccomplish* this month.

I’ve got the paint, supplies, and plan of action.

Douglas told me if I added the details, we could hang a few from the large tree in the front yard. That was my original vision so I have an incentive to get this done! I’m so confident I will get this project done, I brought the ornaments in from the outside so they would be room temperature when I use craft paint to add the details.

Bonus – Pillows

When searching through my stash for fabric to use on my Raggy tree skirt, I came across some outdoor fabric that I purchased about 5 years ago.

The fabric is laying on the Adirondack table.

I had taken the time to figure out the measurements and bought the pillow forms, too!

I have enough material to make two coordinating pillows with ruffles (I think).

What makes this an extra special find is the fabric I selected all those years ago looks really good with the recently painted metal table and chairs as well as with the paint color that I will use on the Adirondack chairs…this really is a bonus project!

It might be crazy to plan a bonus with so many other projects to do, but this month I will only make the pillows if I get everything else done and have time to spare. Better to have too much to do than not enough! 🙂


For the past several months Douglas and I have been keeping a household budget and tracking all of our expenses to meet financial goals.

We have been successful with our planning and met one of our goals in December!

Lucky for me, I have almost all the materials and supplies I need to complete all the December projects!

The budget for this month’s projects is $20.00. There are a few supplies l need to get in order to make one of the Christmas gifts and they should cost right around this amount.


The Project Wall is has some bare spots this month. I have the skills, knowledge, and patterns to complete all the projects. (Well, except for maybe the Adirondack chairs). The challenge for me will be to make the time to do the projects and not get side tracked by reading or putting things off until the last minute.

We are six days into December but that means there are 25 days left to get things iccomplished*!

Read the previous post in the School Year Challenge.

Read the next post in the School Year Challenge.

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One Comment

  1. I love this! You spur me on! My arm is on the way to be healed and I hope to start sewing again. Meanwhile I am organizing drawers.
    Stay safe!

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