Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Crafting Saddle

Well, mentally I am fully ready to hop right back into the crafting saddle.  There is one thing holding me back.  What is that?  TIME .... or lack there of.  That being realized, I thought I should at least make a list. You know, a list of all the things and ideas I hope to do as soon I do find some time.  (Fully aware that few of them will actually get started and even less will be finished.)  It doesn't cost anything to dream and plan, though, does it?!

1.  Start living in an adult home.

Now, by this I mean to have a functional and decorated space for myself and my family to live in.  Looking around our home last week I suddenly realized we have lived without end tables or lamps or really any sort of home decor.  It's been this way for years.  How sad!  I've always had the excuse of moving every 2 years or less, but that is a bit ridiculus to put everything on hold for that.  Plus, I don't see a move anytime soon.  Time to get myself in gear.

2.  Make a softie pattern.

I have a great idea for a softie for my adorable little nephew.  Hoping to get that put together sometime soon and be able to share it with y'all.

3.  Van organization. 

I'm sure everyone else can relate to this problem.  Trash on the floor, crayons and books scattered, and kids always wanting something handed to them.  I need to figure out a good way to keep the kids happy on long trips and my sanity intact.  I'm sure my loving husband would be greatful not to have to pull the shop-vac out after a trip, too.

4.  Christmas presents.

Crazy to start thinking about this now, but with 11 nieces and nephews it's never too early.  Plus, I would like to have a homemade christmas for all (even my own), so I need to start early.  Several ideas rattling around inside my noggin - I-spy bags, doll clothes, felt food, coloring items..........

5. Learn how to use my serger.

I mean really use it, not just sew a straight seam.  I have visions of my kiddos running around in outfits like these or these made by me.  **sigh** Anyone have a good book to recommend?  As sweet as my husband is, sewing lessons are not going to happen anytime soon with a new baby in the mix.

6.  Get organized.

Oh, my!!! This is a loaded one!  Is there really such a state of being?!

I should probably stop here.  There is a need to be reasonable - I guess.  Why set myself up to fail!  I will be pleased as punch to get just these 6 things started if not done before the end of the year considering #1 and #6 are doozies!  I'll let you know how things go as I start posting.

Now, which one to start on first?

Monday, March 22, 2010

A Little Eye Candy

My wonderful hubby had the opportunity to travel to Switzerland for business recently.    Had I not been at the end of my pregnancy, I would have had a free trip to go with him.  I was fully supportive and pea green with envy!  The two weeks was a long time for him to be gone, but he did make it back safe and sound before the baby arrived .  (Did I mention the fact that his travels brought him home less than 48 hours before the baby arrived?)

He did have one day to go sight seeing on his own and one day was a group activity.  The rest of his time there was scheduled from 7am to 7pm every day.  I thought I would share some of the pictures he brought home.  I don't have much information about them, but some of these are just beautiful!  Enjoy!

These first few are from a train ride through the mountains from Vevay to Interlaken.  (Yep, that water is Lake Geneva!)

These next ones are from around Gruyeres.

**Sigh** One of these days.............

Thursday, March 18, 2010

My Latest Project!

Completed March 15th at 5:30 pm.  Weighing in at just over 7lb 10oz, he is perfect in so many ways.  I'm completely thrilled with the results!

What have you been up to?!

Monday, March 8, 2010

What Have I Done?

My thrift store find.  It fits me perfectly.  It even reclines!  Bones and padding are fabulous - fabric, not so much.  I can reupholster this, right?  hmmmmm........ stay tuned.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Message Board

After doing THE window valence, this was such a fun and easy project to do.  I've needed something to help me keep dates and appointments organized for so long.  Usually, I just have everything tucked around the inside and outside of my calendar frame.

I found this beauty (heavy sarcasm) when I was in Goodwill the other day.  For $3, I couldn't pass it up.

Especially, when I could cover it with a little material and ribbon and turn it into this!

This should help me stay organized, right?

Thursday, March 4, 2010

New (to me) Blog

Well, I've stumbled upon a new blog and they are doing a giveaway of 2 Janome sewing machines!  Yep!  You read right.  How exciting!

Kim and Kris have some great ideas and videos going on over at The DIY Dish.  Head over and take a look around at everything they are doing.  Don't forget to enter for your chance to win in the giveaway while you're there, too.

Can't wait to see what is to come!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

DIY Curtain Hardware

For my beautiful living room curtains, I had a VERY clear picture in my mind of the type of hardware I was going to use when putting them up.  You know how it is when you have that 'ideal' in your mind and nothing else will work.  I had such a hard time finding the pull backs in general and then the ones I found just did not go with the decor of our home.  Frustration to the max!  I did finally find a website that would ship me 13 lovely pull backs for just over $100.  Yeah - not happening! (grrrrr......)

So, of course, I started thinking, 'I can make the hardware!'  Really, how hard could it be?!  I'm pleased to say that it wasn't hard at all.  You just have to have a few things.

1. wooden dowel rod
2. whatever decorative end you want
3. paint
4. double ended screws
5. wall anchors
6. drill and drill bits
7. saw (I used a miter saw, but a hand saw will work, too)
8. adhesive (I used E-6000 and hot glue)

Measure how far you want your hardware to stick out from the wall, and cut your dowel down to that length.  (If you have enough dowel, go ahead and cut one or two extras incase you need them.)  Mine were cut to 2"each, and I was able to get 13 (+1 extra) out of one dowel length, plus some left over.

Next, drill into one end of your newly cut dowels.  Measure and mark your drill bit to the length of the screws that go in the end.  It would probably be safer to have them clamped in something to hold them while you drill.  (Safety first, ya know!)

Now you can break out the paint.  I chose to use an acrylic and a paintbrush.  If it had been warmer out, I would have just gone with a spray.  Two coats for sure; but,  I did several coats to get a little gold petina just right on them .  The last coat I used was a clear acrylic spray to give it just enough shine to match the wrought iron in our home.

Here they are drying in the sunshine.

Next comes the assembly!  First, screw one end into the drilled hole of the dowel.  Drill holes in your walls.  (Make sure you have measured and marked all this out before hand or else you will have to add drywall repair items to your list of needs!)  If your holes don't hit studs, you will need those anchors to hold the screws in the wall.  After I had all my little pegs in the wall, I put the curtains up.  (very impatient!)  To put the decorative ends on, I just used some adhesive (hot glue worked well).  

And, VOILA!  Pretty custom hardware for a custom valence!  And the grand total?  Minimal time and about $25.  Gotta love the time spent crafting and the money saved. 

Monday, March 1, 2010

Victory Valance

Okay.  I didn't name the valance this, but I feel that it is SO appropriately named!  What a victory for me to have completed this project before due date, to have minimal trouble (all me and not the directions) with sewing it and to absolutely LOVE the results!

Remember the before?

Here is the after. {squeal!}

 Please excuse the mess and the poor quality of picture.  Bad timing for my husband to take the camera out of town.

I found the tutorial here when searching online for ideas and inspiration.  Yes, it is a monthly subscription, but it was cheaper than buying a pattern at a store.  Plus, I didn't have to deal with a pattern.  It is all about a long rectangle and measurements.

Close up of material and homemade hardware.

Let me just say, I now know why custom drapes can cost so much!  I literally had thirty feet of material stretched out on my floor trying to make measurements and cuts while my little princesses thought it was their own personal red carpet to walk down.  Obviously, I used the floral (?) for the front and then I used the red solid for the lining.  Couldn't be happier with the results!


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