Thursday, March 31, 2011

Sewing 102 - Pillows and More Pillows

Hey y'all. I've been busy getting ready to leave for FL very early tomorrow morning, but I wanted to get one good post in before I left. I've got a couple more ready for this weekend so you'll still see me around, and I'm hoping to take some awesome pictures to share while on vacation. :)

So a few weeks ago I wrote about my first sewing class at Joann Fabrics and Crafts. I can't tell you how stinkin' excited I am to be learning how to sew. Oh sure, before the classes I could do a little here and there, mainly a straight line, but now I really feel like I can do something. Scrappy Mom would be so proud if she could see me today. :) 

In the first class, we learned how to make pillow cases and I made this one: 


It will be going with me to Florida. :)

In Sewing 102, the pillow theme was continued and we made throw pillows using a pattern. Since my office/craft space is black, white and hot pink, I chose a bold black and white print fabric and a bright pink accent fabric. Here's how it turned out:




We learned how to mark fabric, how to use a simple pattern (it was basically just a 14 inch square, but the pillow does have a flange so we had to be able to mark where to start and stop sewing and leave a hole to insert the pillow forms), and how to sew in a pillow form. 

I gotta tell ya, in full honesty my pillow wasn't the best in the class or even remotely perfect, but unless you get really close up and I show you where the seam went all squiggly when I was sewing in the pillow form or sewing each half of the pillow closed, you wouldn't notice. I am so darn in love with this little thing. It sits in my new Ikea desk chair.

A few months ago I found some fabric that I wanted to make into pillows for our couch, but it wasn't until I took Sewing 102 that I really felt I had the courage to make them so last weekend I went and bought the pillow forms. Last night, in the midst of all the packing and planning I had a whim and had to have the new pillows on our couch. I don't know why. I just had to make them right then and there. So I did. Here's the before picture of our living room: 

(See the ugly geometric patterned pillows there? I absolutely loved them when I bought the couch and if you look closely you can see that I loved it so much, I bought the matching chair. Ah the days before I knew matchy, matchy was bad. Within the last few months I've started to hate that pattern. I want to recover the chair too. Anyone know of a place a girl can get a slipcover for a slipper chair?) 

Also, can you tell I'm totally a mid-century modern girl at heart? The coffee table as well as the end tables you can't see are original mid-mod Mersman coffee tables. I got them for FREE from a family member who had inherited them and didn't want them. They need some serious love, and will definitely get it as soon as we can.

Anyway, back to the Pillowpalooza. I decided to make some new 18 inch throw pillows to replace them. Basically all I did was cut out an 18 and a half inch square, sew it up, leaving a hole to shove in an 18 inch pillow form and voila! Here's a close up of the fabric, I just love the pattern:


I used a solid blue (the same fabric I used here) on the back to give it a little kick.


And here's the finished product:

(Please ignore my socks on the floor and Scrappy Dog's bone...only the best for y'all I swear!)

I know it's not a huge change or anything, but it has given our living room a definite pick me up and it just seems fresher now. 

I think I may be addicted to sewing now. I can't wait to get started on more!

This post is partying at the following places (you can find links on the right hand sidebar):

Wicked Awesome Wednesday @ Handy Man, Crafty Woman
Strut Your Stuff Thursday @ Somewhat Simple
Whatever Goes Wednesday @ Someday Crafts
Hookin' Up with House of Hepworths @ House of Hepworths






Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Laundry Lady Gets Creative

Need a laundry basin to soak something in? Oh sure, just go grab it off of the wall.


I gotta say, of all the things I've hung with Command Hooks, this is by far the most creative.

Pre-Trip Mania

So on Thursday, the Hubs and I are driving the insane 12 hours it takes to get to Florida to visit my family for my brother's Big 5-0. I of course have my lists made and my process of planning in full swing. Am I the *only* one out there who takes on way TOO MUCH when getting ready for a trip. I'm dying here folks. Why do I inflict this pain on myself? Right now the list is at 45 things...yeah.

So is it just me or do y'all do this too?

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Kitchen Organization - Part 1.5 Tips from Commenters

Hey guys! I'm off to tutor in a bit, but I wanted to take a moment to share some of your Kitchen Org tips. I have been so, so blown away that that little post got so much attention! I was featured over at House of Hepworths and earlier this week OrgJunkie linked to my post. If you've found me from either one of those sites, WELCOME! You cannot imagine how flattered I am! I hope you'll Follow Me and stay awhile!

But I'm not the only one with kitchen advice. Here are three tips from commenters that I thought were fabulous:


I bought the collapsible measuring cups and they are the best. Two don't take up oodles of drawer space! I'll never go back to the bulky ones again!
By Anonymous 

I love this idea. I've seen collapsibles in the store, but since I didn't want to spend extra cash, I just made do with  what we had. 

An extra spice container is great for those extra crushed pepper flakes or parm cheese from the pizza places. You can fit a ton of those tiny packets into a medium spice container and save all that space taken up by the paper.
By Haley 

Haley has a great idea here. I've used those little packets to cook with when I only needed a smidge of an ingredient, but I hadn't thought of having designated spice storage for them!

It's a bad idea to keep oil above your stove, for what it’s worth. It's too hot up there for most oils.
By Jacq 

Jacq is a personal friend who works in the food blogging/web industry so I consider her word solid. I had not realized that it got too hot over the stove for oils. I'm going to do a little research and I'll bring you guys what I find out. I just did what my mom always did by putting it over the stove.

Keep commenting ladies! You never know when I might credit you for your awesome ideas!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

So What Wednesday...

www.lifeafteridew.com

Here's what I'm saying "So What" to this week:

1. So What if I blew off mopping the floors to go to my sewing class today.

2. So What if I stayed up way too late last night blogging and reading blogs. Y'all are an interesting bunch!

3. So What if it's going to be chilly outside the rest of this week. The trees are budding and nothing is going to stop spring from pushing on through.

4. So What if I took a 2 hour nap this afternoon, I was exhausted.

5. So What if I'm not the best seamstress in the class, I'm learning new things and having fun and as long as you don't look too close at my seams we're ok. ;)

What are you saying so what to?

Freezer Paper Placemats

Edited to add cost for supplies and a few more linkies.

Recently, a friend recommended a site called Tipnut. The site is just slam packed with fun things to make and do and create. While checking it out I came across possibly the cutest placemats ever over at bloesem kids. Here are those adorable placemats:


They are made from burlap and freezer paper. I knew I had to try it.

Now, I'll fully admit I'm probably way behind on this freezer paper stenciling thing. I spent most of the creativity I had the last 5 years on teaching and working with kids in the classroom. I've missed out, but oh man am I going to catch up, so when burlap went on sale 2 weeks ago at Joann's, I snagged a yard and promised myself I'd make some. I had a coupon so I went ahead and bought the textile paint I would need as well. Here's what I did:

First, I chose the size of my placemats and made a template. I chose 15x15 squares because we have a small round table and four rectangle placemats tend to overlap more than I'd like.


I used a black marker to make a dashed outline around my template to make it easier to cut out.


Then I cut them out carefully and removed 5 or 6 strands of the burlap from each side. I'd recommend that you cut inside the selvage edge on the burlap since you won't be able to pull strands to make your border otherwise. 


Also, it won't really be 5 or 6 equal long strands of burlap. It's not easy to cut the burlap evenly (for me at least) so you'll probably have some small strands that pop off too. No worries.

Next I made my template. I wanted our placemats to look natural and rustic, but somewhat classy with a monogram. I used Microsoft Word and chose the first initial of our last name "L" and used a font size setting of 800 to blow it up. I printed it out and attached it and the freezer paper to my Fiskars self healing cutting mat plastic side down. I secured them with a binder clip and then went at it with my x-acto knife. 



Scrappy's Quick Tip: The reason I laid the freezer paper plastic side down is because my design was directional. When you iron the freezer paper to your fabric you do it plastic side down and you need to make sure your design is in the right direction while cutting out your template.

Then I ironed the freezer paper templates to each placemat. I made 4 - one for each placemat. I followed the directions on the Reynold's Freeze Paper package and made sure I had a paper bag in between the iron and the freezer paper. 

I used Jacquard Textile paint in a navy blue color and applied it with a stencil brush, but if you want fuller coverage I'd use a sponge brush or some other brush. Mine came out rustic which is what I wanted, but it's not full coverage.


Here's what they look like completed:


After I let them completely dry and removed the freezer paper (a must - let your paint fully dry before removing stencil) I flipped them paint side down and heat sealed the paint with a screaming hot iron. These placemats will be spot clean only, but considering the whole project cost me less than $20.00, I'm not worried about it.

Total Cost for supplies:
Burlap $3.99
Fabric Paint $5.29
Freezer Paper $3.50

The picture doesn't do it justice. My camera SD card was on the fritz so I used my cell phone. I'll post all 4 laid out on the table with a few other natural elements for spring soon. 

Have you tried this technique? If you have, and you've blogged about it, add your link in the comments section. :)

Linked up to the following parties (Will add buttons ASAP, it's 3:15 AM where I am, bedtime!):
Meet Up Monday @ The House Creative
Show Me What Ya Got Tuesday @ Not JUST A Housewife
Handmade Tuesdays @ Ladybug Blessings
Wicked Awesome Wednesday @ Handy Man, Crafty Woman
Show and Tell Link Up Party @ Blue Cricket Design
Whassup Wednesday @ Element Interiors  
20 Below Thursday @ Christina's Adventures
Strut Your Stuff Thursday @ Somewhat Simple
Frugalicious Friday @ Finding Fabulous

Thursday, March 17, 2011

WOW...

I was feeling kind of bummed tonight because the project I thought I could whip out quickly has turned into something that's going to take another couple of days. It's not ruined, I just didn't realize freezer paper was so hard to find. Go fig.

To console myself, I grabbed a couple five Samoas and a glass of tea and pulled up my Google Reader to catch up on the blog posts I'm behind on and lo and behold I found myself! I was featured over at House of Hepworths! I am fairly sure I woke up my husband with my giggles and squeals of excitement.

I am flat out honored and humbled and excited y'all. If you've made it over here from there I am so happy you've decided to stop by. I cannot tell you how giddy I am right now! I hope you'll stop and stay awhile.

Thanks Allison!

If you haven't yet, please check out the link to House of Hepworths on my sidebar. She's funny, down to Earth and so creative!

IhookedupwithHoHlamespice

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

So What Wednesday...

It's that time again!

Today I am saying "So What"...

- If I stayed up late last night just to get a few things done so I'd have some free time today.

- If my project link up today isn't going as quickly as planned. It's frustrating, but I'll get over it.

- If there's burlap fuzz all over my dining room table. The completed project will be super cute.

- If I'm a work in progress. I might not be where I need to be, but I'm not where I was. Progress is good. I'll get the hang of this housewifing thing eventually.

What are you saying "So What" to today?

I hope to be back later with a project, but we'll see how that goes...hehe.

Linked to:

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Some thank yous and a Sewing Class Recap...

Wow! First of all let me thank everyone for the sweet comments about my Dollar Tree frames. They are still standing and attached to the fridge and they work so well for us. Even hubby likes them. Not bad for a buck!

I'd also like to welcome the new friends who have decided to add me to their list of daily reads and follow this blog. I seriously giggle a little with each new follower (I really need to come up with a better name for that). If you've joined and feel comfortable sharing, I'd love to know how you found my blog. So many of the sites I link to have been so supportive and I'd like to thank them properly. I hope you'll stick around and enjoy what you read.

And now on to what I've been up to. Last weekend The Hubs and I celebrated our first anniversary. We ate dinner at a really nice local restaurant and as I turned the corner heading to our table I noticed these:




He'd ordered them and had them delivered to the restaurant as a surprise! I didn't even know you could do that! Sorry for the crappy cell phone picture. That's not even the pretty side. There are a ton of cute tiny roses on the other side. I'm lucky to have that man I tell ya...

Last Wednesday I had the pleasure of taking my first ever sewing class at Joann's. It was the Sewing 101 class and boy was it worth the money. I use to sew with my mom when I was a teenager and knew some of what the class covered, but since my mom passed away I thought it would be a nice refresher for me and teach me a few new skills and I was right! Sewing 101 (according to their brochure) covers "introduction to pattern reading, sewing machine tools and basics, and seams and interfacings".

Let me tell ya, I have a love hate relationship with my Singer. I can sew some and I can generally follow a pattern, but I certainly need to learn and that machine does not help one bit. It's a good machine; perfect for someone like me - read: not a seamstress, but it has a tricky, tricky bobbin and from what I learned not the "desired" one either. (She didn't have to tell me that, after one 3 hour session of trying to load the thing a few months ago, I had a hint...)

Thanks to Jamie, I now know a better way to load my bobbin and it's taken a lot of time out of setting things up. It was worth it just for that.

I also had the opportunity to make a pillowcase as the "class project" and I gotta tell ya...I've never been so excited about a pillow case. ;) I could sew a straight line before, but now I can accurately do it and keep things a bit straighter and with the right seam allowance - before I'd just eyeball it.

Here's my pillowcase:


And here's a close up of the edge:


The class cost me $35.00 plus the cost of supplies (fabric and thread, I had everything else), but I was so pleased. I am also signed up for Sewing 102 which continues to build on using a pattern to make a throw pillow. I can't wait! While there I met Danielle who has now decided to follow my blog! She herself is into all things crafty/vintage and I'm interested to speak with her more! Hi Danielle!

DISCLAIMER: I wrote singing the praises of Sewing 101 at Joann's Fabrics because I really enjoyed it at my local store. I have not been asked to write about my experience and I doubt anyone at Joann's realizes I exist. Your mileage may vary at your local store. Also: I think I'm slowly becoming a fabric junkie. I keep buying a yard of this and a yard of that. help!

Friday, March 11, 2011

The Invasion...

Edited to add shout out to The Borrowed Abode.

Happy Friday everyone!

First of all let me welcome my new followers (there really needs to be a better word) who have found me from my link ups to many, many awesome blogs. I'm working on a blog roll on the page so you can see where I like to go when I'm reading all the blogs I love. The list grows daily. I'm so glad you're here and hope you'll stick around. I'm trying to get caught up this week and if you left me a link or a comment, I'm checking out and commenting at your place slowly. I'm so excited you're here! Each new person to connect with me as been such an exciting experience. Can't wait to get to know you all!

I'd also like to add a special shout out to Jane over at The Borrowed Abode for mentioning my earlier post about decorating with trays in her blog today. I feel so honored! :) If you've found me via Jane, welcome!

Speaking of catching up, I spent all day today trying to catch up on laundry and cleaning. I'm usually pretty organized about this but I had a million errands to run this week and appointments to attend to and just got painfully behind.

While I was cleaning, I noticed something odd has happened at the Scrappy house. Our home is being invaded. It is being invaded by electronics chargers. I. kid. you. not. Take a look at this:

In the dining room:

My phone charger in the living room on the right side of the TV:


My iPad AND my old cell phone charger on the left side of the TV.


The Hubs' Nook charger:


Hubby's cell phone charger in the bedroom:


After I was done taking pictures I found two more in the bathroom alone. I'm a little afraid...help me!

I know I need to find a way to corral all of these things in a pretty and organized way, just haven't yet. Any suggestions for cheap and easy storage?



Wednesday, March 9, 2011

So What Wednesday...

Here's what I'm saying "So What" to this week:

So what if I'm 3 days behind in my cleaning routine. The last two days have been crazy busy!

So what if my "So Whats" are way late today. (I do feel bad though...) I had a sewing class this morning and just plain ran out of time. (Details and project pic soon!)

So what if we take some time for ourselves this weekend rather than running a million errands. It's our anniversary on Saturday and we deserve it.

So what if I ate Girl Scout Cookies for breakfast...I was in a rush and they were tasty! (Samoas...mmm!)

What are you saying "So What!" to today?

Linked to:

SO WHAT Wednesday
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Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Decorating Your Table "The Borrowed Abode" Way

If you haven't started following Jane's blog The Borrowed Abode then you are missing out! In her blog, Jane explores living in and decorating a rental space, but I assure you that you do not need to be a renter to enjoy what she presents. A couple of  weeks ago she blogged here about how to "scape the table" and decorate with beautiful trays. I often have difficulty with the "layering" of it all when decorating so this was the perfect blog post for me. So last week, I shot her an email and asked if she would mind if I tried my hand at decorating with a new tray I found at Ikea and then shared her ideas with you. She said to go for it, so Jane, this is for you!

First, grab yourself a tray. I found this gorgeous one at Ikea for $10.00 two weekends ago:


You can find it here.

Then you'll add the following items:
  • Magazines
  • Plants
  • Coasters
  • Candles
  • (or in our case) The remotes for your really too large television that your hubby insists on. *ahem*
Here's what it looks like on our very vintage mid-century modern tables that I love, and that need some serious TLC.




For the magazines, I grabbed some of our favorite design mags, Arts & Crafts, Style 1900 and American Bungalow. For the record, I am definitely an Art Deco and Mid-Century Modern kind of girl but I also like Arts and Crafts which The Hubs is more fond of. The vintage tables that I scored for FREE will eventually end up in my craft room/office once I have one. ;)

I stacked the mags in the middle and topped it with a candle that a friend gave me because she wasn't fond of it (again, FREE!). I threw our coasters on one end and the remotes on the other. I'm working on a vase project that will cost me literally pennies, but it's not ready yet. I'll definitely share it soon. 

I think it looks great and am so excited that we have something that seems more pulled together on our coffee table. And it's super easy to clean around. I just move it to dust and then move it back when I'm done!

Thanks for the inspiration Jane!

Monday, March 7, 2011

March Before and After: Dollar Store Picture Frame Dry Erase Boards

Hey y'all. I am sorry for the lack of posting, but I have been asleep for most of the weekend. I guess I'm coming down with something, or caught whatever The Hubs had last week. It certainly Knocked. Me. Out. I had so many crafty projects I wanted to get to this weekend but my body had other plans. Go figure.

Anyway, I did manage to get one project done that I'm excited to share with you. Recently in blogland I've seen so many DIY chalkboards and dry erase boards. I thought they were cute, and felt inspired to make one so I ran out to one of my favorite stores, Dollar Tree to pick up some of their $1.00 (of course!) document/picture frames. I had recently used these to make Christmas gifts and decided to try them out with this project. Here's what I made for Christmas:



I thought it turned out so cute! I knew I could make something else nice with them.

The Christmas project required that I sand and paint the raw wooden frames, but this time when I went they had a nice stained version that looked kind of rustic so I stuck with that.



I made sure I cleaned the glass really well with a Windex wipe (normally I would find these things wasteful, but I got them for FREE from Right at Home and they work great in a pinch when I don't want a lot of overspray).

Then I dug through my thousands (I kid you not...) of pieces of scrapbook paper and found some that would go well with our wine theme in the kitchen. I didn't want anything too matchy, matchy; just some subtle designs that would allow me to see what I wrote and look good next to each other.

Once I cut the 12x12 down to 8.5x11, I inserted them into the frames and got out my Chalk Ink Pens.


(Sorry for the dark pictures, I finally got a burst of energy after the sun set and I wanted to capitalize on it.)

 If you don't have Chalk Ink Pens, I highly recommend them. I first saw them over at Thrifty Decor Chick's blog and decided to try them out on our (less than thrifty) Smith and Hawken storage baskets similar to the ones you see in that link. It worked beautifully. I've bought them twice now and while they tend to be pricey ($12 or so? at Michaels) I've used a coupon and gotten them for less than $9. Not a bad deal.

I used the Chalk Ink Pens to add titles to each frame and do a little freehand drawing. This is what they look like now:



I used my favorite Command Hook Picture Strips to hang them. While I'm sure the weight would've been fine with just two, I added a third on the bottom for extra support when sticking them to the fridge. I do not relish the thought of shards of glass all over my kitchen floor.



Here's what they look like completed and hung on our refrigerator door. What do you think?




I've already written on them! They work great. :) 



What are you up to this week?


Linked to Thrifty Decor Chick's Before and After Party:




And Not JUST a Housewife's Show Me What Ya Got Linky Party:







And:



















As well as:


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Wednesday, March 2, 2011

So What Wednesday...

I saw this idea over at Erika's blog and loved it so much that I hunted down the blog she links hers up to. What a great way to lighten up mid-week and take yourself a little less seriously.

You can find more "so what's" over at Life After I Dew:

SO WHAT Wednesday

Without further ado...

Today I'm saying SO WHAT if...

1. I got my coffee and went back to bed this morning.
2. I don't change our bath towels daily, with two people once a week is enough and way more convenient for me.
3. I don't have a "job, job" right now. Being without one has been a blessing in disguise.
4. I wear yoga pants like a uniform, they're comfy!
5. We eat dinner at 10 PM sometimes; at least we're eating at home!
6. I screw up said dinner occasionally; I'm learning and no one is going hungry.
7. I sometimes blow off my chore list and watch Lifetime movies all day. Sometimes ya just have to!
8. I'm 31 and not a mommy yet. I will be, but as to when, that's up to God, me and the Hubs. I haven't been married a year yet (next week is our anniversary, haha)!  - And for the record, a lot of the blogs I read are written by amazing moms. I'm just soaking up all that great information for when my time comes.

What are you saying "So what!" to this week?

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Kitchen Organization - Part 1

Before I talk about my kitchen organizational ideas, I wanted to take a minute to thank you for all the sweet comments about my closet clean out. I love hearing from you and appreciate all of your feedback. :)

Now on to new business...

Our kitchen is not glamorous. It's not even "nice" by most people's standards and it's teeny tiny. I'm not exaggerating. I love our apartment. It's a nice one. The kitchen however, not so much. In future posts I'll show you the lovely *ahem* space that is our kitchen, but for now, I thought I'd share with you some of the ways I've organized the very little cabinet space we have. It's still a work in progress and as I move forward with more, I'll update you. Remember, this is a rental and we can't really do anything to solve the space issue, but we can make the best of it.

I recently got tired of opening my cabinet doors and seeing this: 



So I decided to stretch my organizational skills and utilize some cheap items to make my cabinets more functional.

I won’t even show you the plastic storage bowls cabinet. I’m that ashamed.

So I bought one of these: 


You can find this tiered rack at Target. I think mine was $12.00, but I'm not sure. I remember balking at the price, but I'll admit to you that it was totally worth it. 


We already had one of these:


This is small packet storage from The Container Store. It used to house all of my seasoning packets, but I realized quickly it wasn't up to the task if I was going to be buying in bulk to save cash, so instead it houses our hot cocoa mixes.


But I upgraded to this: 


This is the large packet storage box from The Container Store. It cost $14.00. Expensive right? Yes. Normally I wouldn't have spent this much, but it was worth it to keep me from being a victim of sauce packet avalanche every time I opened the cabinets.

 Then, since I’m short I bought two of these for the over the stove cabinetry (really? Who thought this cabinet up? No one under 5’5” can reach these.): 


This is a lazy susan from Target. It was also under $10.00 and has made reaching for things much easier since nothing gets lost in the very back of the cabinet. I didn't take a before picture of this cabinet because I was so giddy to purge and reorganize that I forgot. 

Here's what both lazy susans look like: 




I used some of that Rubbermaid/Tupperware stuff that always gets out of hand when left to it’s own devices (I’m pretty sure they reproduce in the cabinets at night) to store dry beans (a cheap alternative to canned and with a high nutritional value). I broke out my trusty label maker to label them. 



I also grabbed some command hooks from my stash (a must for anyone living in an apartment…the Hubs loves them so much he says he’d use them even if we could poke holes in every surface) to add out of the way storage for our measuring cups. I plan on doing this for the measuring spoons too, just haven’t yet. 



When I'm done purging and organizing I'll show you what the cabinets look like now and reveal the Thumbelina sized kitchen I cook in. In the meantime here are a couple more tips for organizing your kitchen:

1. I don't know about you, but we end up with extra sauce packets from fast food and take out and they end up cluttering up the cabinets or junk drawers in the kitchen. To combat this, I bought a small square container from The Container Store to corral all of them:


2. Label things. If you don't have a label maker, you can generally get one inexpensively at Target or Walmart. I've labeled the dry beans as well as the condiment storage, and the large and small sauce packets. It tends to make finding things husband proof.  ;)

What are you organizing? Do you have a kitchen organizational tip to share? What’s the current bane of your organizational existence? Leave me a comment and share! :) 

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