Monday, February 28, 2011

A New Quilt

I have a new project in the works. I bought the fabric for this lap quilt about a year ago. The colors caught my eye. These aren't colors I would use in my own decor, so it will probably be put aside for a gift once it's done. I finished the stars today and can't wait to see how it looks when it's all together.

Happy sewing!
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Sunday, February 27, 2011

Storing Books

The new book slings are filled with books!

I've mentioned that I'm taking a class on creating playful spaces. Just as we were discussing reading nooks, my kids decided their rooms needed a change. They both decided to rearrange their furniture to create reading nooks. I swear, I did not even mention it to them. They came up with the idea all on their own.

After rearranging, my daughter decided she wanted to keep some books in her room. We have a central kids' library, upstairs in a little corner of the master bedroom. I was happy that she wanted a space to keep some of her favorite books, but there was no room for a bookshelf.

In reading about playful spaces, I came across this idea for a book sling.

This book sling is from Family Fun.

LOVE IT! I knew I had leftover fabric, from recovering the dress-up box. My daughter and I went to work, creating her book slings. I did the cutting and she helped me with the sewing.

We started by cutting two rectangles for each sling.  I cut one from the pretty fabric and one from cheap muslin.  The Family Fun website suggests sizes for cutting, but I didn't want to buy new fabric, so I used what I had.  We sewed right sides of the fabric together and then turned the fabric right sides out.  This made nice edges on the fabric.

We folded the edges over and sewed a little pocket for the dowels to slide through.

Then we took a trip to Lowe's for the rest of the supplies. We bought double curtain rod brackets. (The cheapest we could find.) We also bought 5/8th inch wooden dowels, in 4 foot lengths.

This was one of the easiest projects we've done in a long time.

I think I'll probably shorten the slings a little.  My daughter has short little books and they just fall to the bottom of the sling. 

Now my son wants a book sling too!  I don't think we'll be using the pink stripes in his room though.

Happy reading!

Friday, February 25, 2011

A Nice Post and Home and Family Friday

My friend, Diane, wrote the nicest post about me the other day.  It really lifted my spirits and reminded me that I'm doing something right!  Click here to see her post at Perfectly Imperfect Life Blog. (By the way, she's working her way through some beautiful changes in her home.  I'm sure you'd love to see them!)

It's been snowy and cold in the Pacific Northwest and I'm feeling a little under the weather.  I've spent the week resting.  (Well, trying to rest.  It snowed about a half an inch, so school was closed. I rested as much as anyone can, with two kids running around.)  Anyway... I'm so excited about my next project.  This book sling is from Family Fun.  I'm hoping I have enough fabric on hand to pull this off. 

Let's see what you are working on this week!  Link up those projects and show us your best work.  I'd love it if you'd grab my button and become a follower!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Creating a Home Writing Center

My kids love to write, especially my daughter.  She's always getting into my cupboards, looking for envelopes, sticky notes, or paper.  The kids have their own art cupboard, but for some reason, they like my things best.  Today we created a writing center, just for the kids. 

We started with some pegboard and a little trim from Lowe's.  The pegboard was precut to 2'x4'.  The nice people at Lowe's can cut the trim, but I just cut mine with a hand saw.

I made a frame to go around the edges.  In the interest in saving a few cents, I just used a small piece on the bottom.  No one will see the bottom and it just needs to be pushed out from the wall a little.

I drilled pilot holes in the pegboard and trim, to keep the wood from splitting.

I bought a few accessories in the pegboard department at Lowe's.

The clear wall file holders came from Staples.  I used my Silhouette to cut the vinyl letters.

I painted the board the same color as the wall.  I wanted it to blend in.

Then came the fun part.  The kids helped me add the bins.  I hit the dollar store on the way home and bought envelopes, sticky notes, blank cards, notepads, and stickers I also made a few blank books and put those in a bin.  My daughter is in kindergarten and loves to make her own books.

The two wall file bins are for paper and projects.  Blank paper is always a must in the writing center.  The project bin is for all of the works-in-progress.  We always have cards we are working on, books in progress, and letters that need addresses and stamps.

As a final touch, we added a hanger for sight words.  My daughter's teacher sends her sight word cards home as they learn them in class.  This will be a great tool to have close by!

The new writing center was used within the first 2 minutes of completion!

Happy writing!

Here are some linky parties I like to participate in.

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Thursday, February 17, 2011

A Roadside Find and Home and Family Friday

What would you do? You're driving down the road, in an SUV, with no kids in the car. Sitting along the side of the road, you see this bookshelf.

As you get a little closer, you see the sign. Yep, it says FREE.

Well, duh! You pull over, fold down the seats, and muscle the large bookshelf into the back, letting out a happy little sigh as you hop back into the driver's seat.


We're ready for Home and Family Friday.  Link up all of those great projects you've been working on this week.  I'd love it if you'd grab my button and become a follower.

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Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Sew Happy With the New Pillows!

I've always wanted to be able to change out my pillow covers with the seasons. My old pillows were in need of updating, so this was the perfect time to learn to sew pillow covers with zippers. I've made lots and lots of pillows for my house, but I've never done zippers before. I didn't even know which foot was the zipper foot for my sewing machine.

First stop, two of my favorite blogs for tutorials.
Red Door Home
Isabella and Max Rooms

Here's the finished product. I made four new pillows for the couches in the family room. The down inserts came from IKEA. The fabric came from Joann.

Twenty inch pillow inserts seem to be perfect for my sofas. I can't wait to show you their summer look!

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Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day!

Have a sweet Valentine's Day!
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Sunday, February 13, 2011

Goodwill Finds

The conversation usually goes something like this:

Me: " I have a bag to drop by Goodwill while we're out."

Hubby:  "Anything to get another bag out of my garage."

Me: "While we're there, you guys can drop off the bag in the back and I'll just run in really quickly."

Hubby:  "We don't need other people's crap that they didn't want."

Me: " It's not crap.  It's treasures, waiting to be discovered!"

Here are today's treasures.
You can find silver trays at thrift stores for about $1.99.  They are often passed by because they look filthy and disgusting.

The trays and plates I bought today were only $1.99.  What a steal!

This big bowl/tray was my splurge at $4.99.
I couldn't wait to get home and polish them up.  I like the Tarn-X.  It really smells horrible, but the results are amazing.

They just sparkle now! 

You might be wondering why I would need four silver plates.  Well, what do you do when you need to take a dessert or appetizer to a party and you don't want to lose your good platter, or you know you'll need to leave it there?  If you're like me, you run to the party store and buy something lame, plastic, and cheap.  Oh, $1.99 seems like a good price for a plastic platter.  So there you have it.  Instead of paying $1.99 and showing up with your lame plastic, you'll show up with beautiful silver!

I do use silver around the house in my decor.  This was a platter that my hubby and I received for our wedding.  It has a few scratches, but I still love it.  It sits a little table in the kitchen.

This tiny bowl was a .99 Goodwill find.  It holds antique spools of thread in the living room.

This bowl was only .79, at Goodwill, because it had personalized engraving.  No one knows, once you put a few old pocket watches inside.

Hit your local thrift store and see what you can find.  There are treasures just waiting to be discovered.  Just don't go to my Goodwill, because there aren't any silver trays left!

Happy thrifting!
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Saturday, February 12, 2011

Handmade American Girl Doll Clothes

My niece has a birthday coming soon.  This year, she wanted some clothes for her American Girl Doll.  Have you seen the prices for those outfits? $30 for one outfit? Seriously?  My  mom decided that she could make a few outfits.  She went to the fabric store and found a pattern for doll clothes.  Then she got busy sewing.

She calls this the Marsha Brady look, with the retro pants.

Here's her evening gown.
Check out the beading!

I love this little outfit.

Do you see all of those little beads?  Yes, she sewed each one by hand.

Look at the little ruffles on the skirt and shirt. Too cute!

At the end of the day, every girl needs jammies and a bathrobe.

I didn't play with dolls too much as a kid, but my daughter and I had a great time with our American Girl photoshoot.  Brooklyn (that's the doll) was totally workin' the runway!

Happy sewing!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Home and Family Friday is Back!

First off, I need to answer a few questions.  Last week there were a few questions about where I purchased things and how much they cost.  Here are the answers.  (You'd think I would get the hang of this blogging thing and just remember to put info like this right into the post. )

Click on the vacuum to take you to the Home Depot website, so you can read more about the vacuum.  It is an LG Kompressor Bagless Upright.  It is also available at Sears.  The model we bought is $299.  There is also a $399 model and a $549 model.  There are more bells and whistles on the more expensive models.  The cheaper one is just fine for us, and it really sucks.

My little photo studio is called the Quantaray E-Box Portable Photo Studio. Click on the picture to take you to Ritz camera. It sells for $79.99.  (Although my mother in law bought it for a screaming deal on the day after Thanksgiving sale.  She's a good shopper like that!)  Amazon has a few other options too.  Just google portable photo studio.

I hope that answers a few of your questions!

We're ready for Home and Family Friday.  We love to see craft projects, room makeovers, recipes, holiday projects, or basically anything you've done around your home or with your family.  Link 'em up!


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