Monday, December 31, 2012

Easy Baby Blankets

Before my son was born I spent months knitting him a baby blanket. Now since I don't have that much time on my hands, I decided I should be fair and make my daughter a blanket too.... well I ended up making her 3 but I spent WAY WAY WAY less time on her three combined than on that single one for my son.

The most time consuming blanket I made I started with the pieces wrong side to wrong side and sewed two pieces of soft fabric together. Once almost all sewed together I flipped it right side out and then sewed a second time around the blanket with about a half an inch seam allowance.

My second and third blankets were the same concept, different cute fabric! I carefully pinned the two pieces of fabric together wrong side to wrong side so my alignment was correct on them. I then pinned double fold bias tape around the entire blanket and sewed it in place.
My careful pinning!!!
My third blanket!
I was so intimidated to actually start this project and like most projects I don't know why. This was a REALLY easy sewing project. Just a bunch of straight lines (and some might not be 100% straight!!! - I am pretty sure she isn't going to care!!!)

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

DIY Christms Card Holder

On one of my many Pinterest viewing sessions I saw this on Pinterest, but of course did not pin it and can't find it again! But here is my DIY Christmas Card Holder. It was so easy to make.

I used several clear Command Adhesive Strips and some shinny green gift wrap ribbon. Create a tree shape and wrap the ribbon until you have a shape you like! SO Easy!!! I then used little clothes pins to attach my cards to the tree! I think it could use a star on top and maybe some fancier clothes pins.... we will see if I have time.... :)

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Christmas Subway Art

I love the Subway Art I made for my living room.  As I was recently admiring it, I thought I should figure out where I bought that board so I could make another one in that size since I like the size!! It's a 12 x 24 inch board. Well...... a light bulb went off..... why not just use the back side of the board, then I don't have to store either when its not in use!!!!

SO here is my new Christmas Subway art. It works for this year, but I created my file in Silhouette Studio on my laptop using the same font I used on my black one and sent it to myself to cut out on my desktop.... and SOMEHOW the font changed!!!!! I didn't realize until I had the entire thing cut out and placed on the board... so I had extra space.... so its not as perfect as I would like it to be.... it meant I had to done some piecing together and some of the lines are not straight :) Has anyone else every had this problem???

Maybe if I am bored in the next couple weeks or next year I will re-do it!!! But just think of all of that vinyl I would waste and it works for now!!!

Friday, November 23, 2012

DIY Hand Scrubs

I was in charge of Craft Club for November and I decided we would make some fun hand scrubs that we could use as Holiday gifts! We made a Candy Cane Sugar Scrub, Gingerbread Sugar Scrub and a Honey Coconut Sugar Scrub. They all smell SOOOO wonderful and are so easy to make!! Plus they make GREAT gifts!!!

You can use any kind of baking oil for these recipes when it just calls for oil. Olive Oil works fine, but it has a stronger smell than some of the other oils. Grape Seed oil works well and doesn't have a strong smell.  These all make about 16 ounces of scrub!!
My favorite is the Gingerbread Sugar Scrub because I LOVE Gingerbread!!!!

Gingerbread Sugar Scrub
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup white sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons ground ginger
2 teaspoons ground nutmeg
1 cup oil

I also LOVE LOVE the smell of the Honey Coconut Sugar Scrub.... this one is good enough to eat....

Honey Coconut Sugar Scrub
1 cup Coconut Oil (in the solid form)
1 cup Honey
1/2 cup white sugar
Mix together the Coconut Oil in it's solid form together with the honey until they are mixed together. Add in the sugar.

We learned from experience that you don't want to melt the coconut oil into a liquid state or it will not combine with the honey!!!

Last we made a Candy Cane Sugar Scrub.

Candy Cane Sugar Scrub
2 cups white sugar
1 cup oil
Several drops of mint (to your preference)
Split into two portions and add a VERY small amount of red coloring

The first time I made this I used food coloring. While it gave a really nice red color, it also slightly stained my hands red when I used it!! We used soap colorant and that worked better, but didn't give us a bright red color. In my opinion, I prefer this to red hands....

And I am SOOO nice :) I here are the labels I used to decorate my jars with!!!!

Sugar Scrub Printable Labels

I can't wait to give these as gifts and use some myself this Holiday season!!!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Using Grommet Math to Add Grommets to your Cutains!

Nothing sounds more nerve racking than spending so much time sewing curtains only to cut huge holes in them for Grommets!! But I love the look of Grommets and I think they are easier to open and close especially if you have a bulkier fabric and they lay a bit better on the rods.

After spending hours and hours sewing curtains for my son's room that I lined with black out fabric, I was then tasked with cutting holes in my beautiful curtains for the grommets!

Adding grommets to your curtains are very easy. Besides grommets you really only need a scissors, pencil, ruler and a calculator.

Grommet Math 101

I personally think one of the hardest parts to adding grommets to curtains is figuring out the math! (And I love math!!!)

The first step is to measure the width of your curtain and determine how many grommets you want to use. My packet came with 8 grommets, but since my curtains were only 50.25 inches wide I decided to make my life easier and only use 6 of them.

Time for some grommet math!!!!

1. Measure the width of your curtain and determine the number of grommets you will be using.
2. Determine how far from the edge you want your first and last grommet to be. I ended up putting mine 2.5 inches from the end (from the center) This number is up to you and you can sort of play around with it and the next steps to make your middle spacing work out for you! You probably don't want to go any closer than 2 inches (from the center of the grommet) to about half of your spacing for your below spacing, so they hang correctly. In my case my spacing was a little over 9 inches, so I would not want my grommets to be more than 4.5 inches from the edge so it folds nicely)
3. Next subtract the end amount from your total curtain width. (5 in my case)
4.  Now take this number and divide it by the number of grommets you are using minus 1. (Because you want the inches between each grommet)
5. This is how far apart your grommets should be.

A helpful way to figure out even spacing number for your grommets is to divide your total curtain length by your grommets minus 1. In my case I get 10.05. This gives you an idea on how far apart they will need to be so you can play around with your numbers to get something that works out well and makes measuring easy!

Once you have the math figured out, it's best to layout your grommets and make sure the math will REALLY work!!

Once you have the math figured out, it's time to measure!

Packages of grommets should come with directions and a circle template. In my case I had to cut out the circle and mark the center myself on my template. 

My grommets I bought over a year ago on clearance and have since used a newer package and it came with a better template!! Marking the center makes it easier to line up your template!

The you simply line up the center of the template to your measurement and draw your circle on the fabric.

Next is the difficult part.... cutting your beautiful fabric.... it's so difficult to make that first cut!!!! Emotionally that is! It's better to make the hole small and if you need to you can always remove more.... you can't add back more fabric..... 

The hole..... it won't look pretty at this point, especially since my curtains had about 6 layers at the top with the liner!! 

Place the grommet in according to the directions of the package, but they should just snap together... SO EASY!!! 

And you are done!!!! 
Repeat several more times and then its off to hang your lovely new curtains!!! Again, here are the finished hanging curtains!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Chevron Lined Black Out Curtains

I could not find curtains I liked for Little Man's new big boy room, so I sewed my own!! AND since his room is East facing they needed to be blackout curtains!!

So here we have my first time sewing lined curtains!

I also saved some money with these curtains. Little Man's nursery is accented with Silver Sage from Restoration Hardware Baby & Child and it seemed like they were clearing out the color from their nursery lines, I did what any sane person would do!!!! I bought two 94 inch canvas curtains in Silver Sage that were lined with blackout liners for a reality inexpensive price. I planned on using the fabric for many things.... well I am pretty sure I have had the curtains for over a year and didn't touch them until I spent time seem ripping them apart for the blackout lining.....  now I just need to find the time and energy to use the silver sage canvas.....

Assembling the curtains with the liner was pretty easy, the blackout liner is just heavy so its a lot of fabric to work with!

1. Finish the bottom edge of your patterned fabric. I made mine 2 inches wide.
2. Since I was reusing blackout lining, I did not have to finish the bottom edge of my blackout lining, but if you are using new blackout fabric you should do that now! 
3. Pin the right side of the patterned curtain to the right side of the blackout curtain. Your blackout linning will be a few inches shorter than your decorative fabric.
4. Sew the first side together.
5. Repeat steps 3 and 4 for the other long side.
6. Flip your curtain so it is now right side out.
7. You should now have some over lap on the backside of your curtains of the patterned fabric. You may want to iron this edge now.
8. Sew your top edge. I made mine 3.5 inches wide.
9. Determine how you will hang your curtains, in my case I used grommets, so I then installed my grommets.
10 Hang and enjoy!!!! 

Little Man's new curtains in his room!!! Look at all of the light the grommets allow you to have when they easily open!
AND look how they actually do block out the light from outside!!!
Little Man's new big boy room is taking shape!!!! I am so excited for it to be done!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Patio Door Extra Wide Curtains

I decided I wanted to change up our dinning room patio curtains and could not find what I wanted so I sewed my own! Since it was for the patio door I wanted it to be EXTRA wide - and I wanted it to cover the entire door, so I basically sewed 3 curtain panels together into one HUGE curtain!!! It is around 150 inches wide!!!! Which let me tell you is not the easiest to pin and get all lined up when you are six months pregnant! That was a lot of on the floor time for me pinning and pinning and more pinning.

Since the pattern had to be matched perfectly I spent a lot of time pinning. A LOT!!!!

Here is the fast two second run down on what I did.

1. Sewed the left hand side of the left panel
2. Sewed the right hand side of the right panel
3. Sewed the left panel to the middle panel
4. Sewed the right panel to the middle panel/left panel
5. Sewed the bottom of the entire huge panel
6. Sewed the top edge finishing off the super large curtain panel

 Since our patio door is close to the windows in our family room I wanted to make sure they coordinated. Both fabrics are gray and white from Premier Prints, so they coordinate perfectly!!

 I do LOVE how they are still nice and full when they are pulled shut!! An advantage of using 3 panels and not 2!!! I would say it was worth the extra work!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

I canceled cable

I canceled cable!!! Our last bill for phone, cable and internet was $172 a month!!! How insane is that!

Out of the three of these we use the internet the most. I personally barely watch anything beyond local channels and my husband watches cable because its there.... not really because he needs too.

I had two big concerns about canceling cable.

1. I love DVR, how would I live without that?

2. Little man needs to be able to watch Curious George 24 hours a day.... we have 89 episodes stored on our DVR....

I was recently talking to my youngest sister about our last bill and she told me I should check out Roku.

After some research I realized Roku would help with the no DVR issue since for $8 a month you can stream anything from Hulu plus. And Hulu plus has pretty much all of the current shows available for viewing the next day! (I still have not figured out how to stream CBS shows, so if anyone knows, please let me know!)

So that brings me to the Curious George issue. Little Man has no problem watching the same episodes over and over again. Well I am also an Amazon Prime member and you can stream Amazon Prime with Roku as well. However Curious George is not one of the free shows included with that. I broke down and purchased a season of Curious George, so we now have 30 episodes to pick from (not the 89!)

So I finally made the call today and canceled cable! I wanted to cancel our phone, but was talked into keeping it for now. "Do you know 911 is much faster from a land line...." What a great thing to tell a pregnant hormonal mother who freaks out about everything!!! So for now I kept it!!! I decided after some research to stay with the cable company for internet. We have really fast internet with them and switching to someone else may have saved us a few bucks a month but the speed would have been cut in half, and I figured with all of our devices we connect to the internet and wanting to stream, keeping the faster speed was worth it!

 Probably not the best picture to show how little this Roku box is!! But it's like 3 inches by 3 inches! So small!!

The cost break down:

We previously paid $172 a month with cable
Currently pay $72 a month for phone and internet (and if I am ever brave enough to cancel phone this will only be $50 a month!!!)

Hulu Plus is $8 a month (but we have it free for the next 6 months)
Amazon Prime is $6.50 a month but you pay for that up front yearly (I am not sure if I will keep this after my year runs out!!) 

I purchased two Roku boxes for $180 which each including 3 months free of Hulu plus  (Target had this promo last week!!!)

I also had to purchase one antenna to access local channels, as we already had two. That was about $14.
And I bought one HDMI cable to connect the second Roku box to the TV (I could have just used the cable included, but decided to upgrade to the HDMI cable)

So we are at $80 a month versus $172 a month!!! That is a savings of $1,100 a year!!!!!! (Minus the $208 I spent on equipment)

Friday, October 12, 2012

My first Zipper Project

A few weeks ago I posted about my zipper fails, but I never posted my final project!

I am NOT going to even post a how to make a little make up bag like this!!!! If you want to make one check out Pinterest, there are lots of great ideas on there!!

Because after all remember how this was a major fail sewing in the zipper!!! 

BUT I was happy with how it turned out. I gave this to my sister for her birthday and asked for an update if it was holding up, but she said she had not used it yet. So hopefully it holds up for her!!

I love gray and yellow together and this fun yellow pattern seemed like the perfect pattern for the inside of this little chevron printed pouch!

I have to admit I am sort of excited to give the zipper a second chance.... when I every have time!!! Even though this took WAY longer than it should have, I am so happy with how it turned out!!

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Two big fails in my bedroom

In my bedroom I have two major fails taking up a lot of space!

I refinished this dresser for my bedroom. BUT the drawers are stuck shut!! So my dresser is unusable!

AND that TV that sits on top of it does not work.... and is causing my lots of frustration! I just want to sit in my bed and watch TV before I fall asleep!

Two big fails in my bedroom....

I hope to fix these two problems sooner rather than later!!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Planes, Trains and Automobiles 2nd Birthday

Little Man turned 2.5 on Monday, so I guess it's about time I blog his 2nd Birthday Party, right :)

I didn't want to miss a moment of Little Man's party and wanted to make sure everything was caught by the camera, so I hired a photographer, the Fabulous Karmen Linder.

First we start with the big two year old birthday boy!!!! Playing with his train table. This picture also shows the only full picture I have showing the full sweet table with its background. See those white clouds, I actually painted those to my wall.... my brilliant idea was that I would repaint my living room right after the party so it would not matter and be incentive to make me paint it right away.... well as you can guess its been 6 months and those lovely clouds are still on my wall!!

I do have lots of fabulous pictures of all of the details of the party. The nice thing about doing a planes, trains and automobile party in primary colors is Little Man already has tons of toys that work perfect as decorations!! For example I used his Fisher Price School bus to display some red and white suckers!
Wooden train tracks and trains also worked great for decorations! Check out the Oreos I turned into Railroad crossing signs by dipping them into yellow chocolate. I used a black food marker to draw the lines on. (This didn't work so well and they ended up being very light, but they got the point across!)

More Oreo cookies, they work great as spare tires! The gift buckets I made for the guests! And I turned some basic Target party hats into fun hats that matched the theme!

More of Little Man's toys! Trucks work perfect for table center pieces, napkin and utensil holders!
The cupcakes!!! I made all of the chocolate topping pieces from various molds I found, (yes it took a LONG time) and my fabulous sister made all of the cupcakes for me!! Such a nice sister!! I LOVE how cute this display turned out on Little Man's car track!!! It worked perfect to hold all of the cupcakes!!

I kept the food pretty simple. We bought a bunch of pizzas from Papa Murphy's. The one thing we did do was fruit kabobs with Railroad crossing signs on the top. Another one of my sister's cut up all of the fruit and put these together for me!! Again I have really awesome sisters! I love how bright and colorful these are!!
The kids table!!!! I bought several small individual plastic orange juice bottles and used  my Silhouette to create labels for them. I made a table cloth for the kids table out of drop cloth and simply painted a road right down the middle with fabric paint.

The kids table with 9 little kids at it! Yes it was rather chaotic but it was so cute watching all of the kids sit together....
When party planning I bought several balloons that I had my dad and father in law blow up while watching a game on TV. Since I had no plan for them, they just were left all over the floor of the basement and the kids loved playing in them! 
I also make another Rail Road Crossing sign for out side of our house!

I did most of my decorating a week before the party because the entire week before the party we were in Arizona celebrating my Dad's birthday (and Little Man's!) Little Man's party was on Saturday and we took the red eye home on Friday morning and got home around 7am on Friday morning!! SOOO my Mother-in-law asked if there was anything they could help with to prepare for the party... I am not sure this is what she had in mind, but I had wanted to make a train out of cardboard for the party, so I asked if my Father-in-law would mind making this! Well he made the cutest train out of a couple cardboard boxes!!! I am so glad I asked him to help because if I had made this with my lack of time it would have NEVER turned out like this!!!
It was such a fun party but it was a lot of work. After it was over I could have used another week long vacation!!!


Sunday, September 23, 2012

Slow Progress

I am slowly making progress on my to-do list. The biggest item is Little Man's big boy room!!! To make Little Man's big boy room I need to empty out everything that is in the office / craft room and move it all into the guest bedroom to make a combined craft room / office / guest bedroom. AND to make matters even more fun I need to figure out what to do with all of the stuff thats already in the guest room closet to make room for the billions of craft supplies I have.

It's been a SLOW process but I am slowly clearing out the craft room. From the picture below you can see it's almost empty.... I still need to move the computer to the new room and a bunch of odds and ends things I need to figure out what to do with. I am also making a big St. Vinny's donation with this transition!!
That also leaves the new craft room / guest room looking like a huge mess!!!! But again there is so much extra baby stuff that I don't know where to put until I get Little Man moved out of the nursery so I can hide it all in there until we need it in February.

I can't wait until I get to the fun part of decorating Little Man's big boy room!!! Almost there but still a lot of organizing and holes in the wall to fix.... blah blah blah .... so much to do!!!!