Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Out of the darkness, into the light

I am ready to show you the kids' bathroom!!!! It was ready yesterday actually, but I had to clean it, ha! This may be one of my favorite room transformations in the house so far, probably because it required more work than some. I know you don't want to hear another 40-year-old wall paper rant, so I'll just get on with it ;)

Remember this?
Here's that very same view now!
Ack! It looks so much better! BOTH of these rooms were completely covered in that dark wallpaper! After it was all off, I gave Layla a bath in there and she said, "why is it so light in here??" Haha!

Here's some more:

In case you're wondering:
  • The shower curtain came from Target last Summer
  • The paint colors are Baer Cottonseed and Celery
  • The stripy rug is from Ross just a few weeks ago and the big blue rug is JCPenney from when we first got married. 
  • I found the Bathing Beauties print several years ago at Hobby Lobby
Some more little touches:
Even this light switch plate had that wallpaper in it!!! I traced the template and replaced it with cute apple paper instead.

My mom has had this old produce box forever and I was determined to find a use for it because I like old stuff :)  The bottom was kind of a stained mess, though, so I put some more of the cute apple paper in there. Perfect!
Aw, all my babies.
I have a secret for keeping pictures on the walls from getting all wonky--because kids seem to be able to move objects just by looking at them, right? My pictures were always crooked until I started putting a piece of Sticky-Tack on the bottom of the frame, sticking it to the wall.  Now they always stay straight!! There ya go, there's my handymom tip for the day :)

Saturday, May 28, 2011


I know I promised a bathroom reveal, um, like two days ago, but I have learned not to make promises like that, because in reality, I probably won't have that bathroom ready until, maybe, Tuesday. But, I do have other stuff to share. Casey has had a 4-day weekend, yay! And, we bought a Denver Zoo membership, so we have had a FUN couple of days!!

Since Casey has actually been home in the daylight, I had him take some pictures of a couple dresses I've made. This is the one I wore to the zoo yesterday:
This pattern is Butterick 5348. Let me tell ya, this dress is soooo comfortable! However, it's a little big for me up top, so next time, I'll make a size smaller and also probably eliminate some of the fullness from the skirt.  I originally made this dress floor-length, but with the largeness of the print and because it is slightly too big, I felt like it overwhelmed me a little bit. So I cut it off and now I think I will get a lot of wear out of this this summer!  If you are looking for a dress pattern that is sure to fit, I truly think this is one you should try. It ties on the sides to cinch the waist, so I really think it would flatter all body types, including pregnant ones :) OH, and also, I found the zipper unnecessary because there is plenty of ease, so I left it off.

Yesterday in Target, someone complimented my dress and I resisted my usual urge to shout, "Thanks, I made it myself!!!" Very proud.

Next, I bought Butterick 5456 a few months ago and put it aside until I found a decent knit to make it with.  I stumbled upon this awesome black leopard print on the clearance table and knew it would be purrrfect (hehe).  This dress literally only took a couple of hours from start to finish and I am in LOVE with it!!! Here's the front: (I can't remember what I'm pointing at, ha!)
Pretty cute, but, oh my goodness, check out the back!
I love it and I want to wear it every day, haha!  A little note, I added some length because as is, this dress is short--I actually doubled the width of the hem band so that I could fold in half to attach it--this added a little bit of length and it eliminated the need for me to hem it--cause I don't like hemming knits.

So, after the zoo yesterday, since we had to park a bazillion miles away (note to self: don't go on a holiday weekend) and because by the time we got back to the car, my $3 Old Navy flip flops were actually feeling like exactly what they are (cheap flips flops), I determined that I will need to some good walking sandals this summer.  I bought these:
Ahhhhh, Tevas, I heart you. So much better.

Have a GREAT long weekend! And, FYI, JoAnn's is giving %20 off to military all weekend long! YES! :)

Thursday, May 26, 2011

We have a winner!

The Random Number Generator has spoken! Comment #11 is our winner so congratulations Jenn, I'll be sending the little purse your way today :)

Would anyone like to know what Kelby does when I'm not looking?
He picks the keys off of my computer.

Tomorrow I am hoping to post a big bathroom makeover reveal!!! So stay tuned :)

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Questions Answered

I have had a few questions asked me in the comments this week and since I typically can't respond via email (unless you leave that in the comments too), I will answer them here! First, though, it appears Blogger is having a commenting problem for some users, so if you have tried to enter the giveaway in the previous post and can't, don't worry! I will leave it open for plenty of time after they fix it :)

1. Where did I get my living room rug?
The rug is Pottery Barn, but I found it on Craigslist for $100, quite a chunk less than the $800 PB price tag!

2. Have I ever sewn Simplicity 3803?
The answer is yes! But it was before I had figured out my pattern size and I believe it turned out way too big for me. I still own it though and plan on giving it another try. Here's a tip, though. Whenever I use a pattern that is very gathered in the front and back skirt, I take out some of the fullness when I cut the pattern (up to 6" in front and back). This greatly helps eliminate the pregnant look on my body type :) I also leave out the interfacing in waistbands like these because I find it unnecessary and it is more comfortable for sitting when the waistband maintains a little flexibility! 
3. What pattern and what kind of fabric did I use for my Spring Top entry?
This top was Simplicity 2456 and I used a lightweight cotton. I think with this kind of sleeve, a regular quilting cotton would be a little too stiff and the sleeves might stick out like Judy Jetson, ha! 
Since we're on the topic, I am SO flattered that so many of you voted for my Spring top and even though I didn't win first prize, it was amazing to have been voted into the final four!!! So thanks :) I'll be sure and share when I know what I've won. 

4. My Easter dress--what pattern is it??

This dress is Simplicity 2591. I used a border print swiss dot and since this pattern is not lined, I cut each piece out of white muslin as well as my main fabric, then simply treated the two layers as one piece. If it weren't white, you could probably get away with no lining, but ya know...
Did I miss any questions?? I hope not, but if I did, let me know :) And don't forget to enter the purse giveaway! When Blogger gets their junk figured out, that is ;)

Monday, May 23, 2011

tutorial AND a giveaway!

Please Read: 
Thank you to SewCanShe.com for featuring my tutorial! Please note that this post is from almost a year ago and the giveaway is long over.  I've had a lot of comments to enter the giveaway, so i'm sorry if I've confused anyone!  But, please enjoy my tutorial!! :) 

**Also, it appears some of these photos are suddenly missing. I did not personally delete them from my Flickr photostream, but they are nevertheless gone and I did not keep them on my Macbook. Frustrating. One day soon I may whip up another of these to fill in the gaps, but until then, I'd be happy to help via email if something doesn't make sense without those last few photos.

For Natalie's 5th birthday, I made her some clothes for her Groovy Girl doll and a little purse to put them in. She has used this little quilted purse ever since for all her sweet little treasures and a few months ago, a sweet reader emailed me asking if I had plans to post some instructions for that purse. SO, finally, I made one up, took pictures and without further ado, here is your tutorial! Oh, and if you don't want to make this little purse, but you'd like to win one, scroll to the bottom of this post :)
I have tried to make this somewhat beginner friendly; sorry if its TMI for some of you!

Little Girl's Quilted Purse Tutorial 

You will need:
13"x20" piece of your main fabric
11"x18" piece of your lining fabric
a rectangle of cotton batting, an inch or so larger on all sides than your main fabric piece
two 2.25"x18" strips for the handles
a 13" piece of elastic (1/4 or 3/8 wide)

Here are my cut pieces:
First, we will do the quilting on the main panel. Place your main fabric right side up on top of your cotton batting.  You do not need a backing fabric to quilt it if you're using cotton batting, but I don't know if this is the case for polyester batting--it may get caught up in your feed dogs. 

Put a few quilting pins in it to keep it all together and mark your lines. On Natalie's heart purse, I quilted around the bigger hearts, but on this one, I'm going to quilt diagonal lines, 1.5" apart. Here is my marked piece:
Go ahead and quilt your lines, using a walking foot.

After it's all quilted, you can trim it down to  11"x18", to match the size of your lining piece.
Next, fold your quilted piece in half, hot-dog style (short end to short end). Pin the sides and sew them in a 1/4" seam.
So, you should have a folded bottom, sewn sides, and an open top. Turn it right-side out and set it aside for a minute. 

Take your handle pieces and fold them in half length-wise, right sides together and sew a 1/4" seam, leaving the short ends open. 
Turn those handles right side out. (I use a Fasturn, but you can also attach a safety pin to one side, then work it through the tube to the other side).  Press them flat and topstitch both sides like so:
Pin your handles to either side of your purse, 2.5" from the side seams on each side:
Baste them on there, just inside your seam allowance. Now you should have this:
Okie, dokie, set that aside and grab your lining fabric. 
Fold your lining in half just like you did your main panel and make marks on one side, one at 3/4" down from the top and another at 1 1/4" down from the top. Also mark a 3" opening toward the bottom of that same side. So, you'll be sewing the side seam, leaving a 1/2" opening near the top and a 3" opening near the bottom. See where my pins are? I'll leave open between those pins:
Sew the other side all the way up. 

Next, slip your lining over your quilted purse. The pieces should be right sides together:
Match up the top edges, lining up the side seams and sew all the way around in a 1/4" seam. 
Now you can pull your purse right side out through the 3" opening you left in the lining. Sew up the hole in your lining (by hand or machine), the tuck the lining inside the purse and press that top edge flat. 

We are going to make three rows of top stitching. One will be close to the top edge. The next will be 1/2" down from the top and the third will be 1" down from the top. These second and third rows should be on either side of the small gap you left in your side lining seam. It should look like this:

If your gap is a little off from those measurements, that's okay, just adjust the top stitching so your opening is inside the lines. 

Finally, to make the ruffle, attach a safety pin to one end of your elastic and work it through the casing you created with the topstitching, through the opening in your lining. 
Lap the ends and stitch it good.

I sure love that little stripe poking out of the top!
If any of this does not make sense, or if I have confused you, please, please, please let me know so I can fix it!!

Now, I thought I was going to make this for Layla, but I remembered too late that I have a cupcake fabric that I think she would like better. Sooooo, I am going to give this one away to one of you!!!!

To enter, all you have to do is leave me a comment on this post! There ya go. Tell your friends :) I'll leave this open for a few days so everyone gets a chance to enter. 

Saturday, May 21, 2011

some music and some random goings-on

I have bought some new music over the last few months. It had been awhile since I'd heard anything that I really liked, but I love The Wailin' Jennys' latest. Especially this song:

I've also been on the hunt for quite awhile now for some good Scripture memory music. So much of it seems to lack in melody, ya know? Anyway, I stumbled across Seeds Family Worship and really like their music a lot! And, it's all Scripture. AND, the kids and I both like it!

The kids already wander around singing these songs, which makes me very happy :)

Completely unrelated, but remember the bear carries I made the girls awhile ago? And I said I'd made Kelby one too, but he wanted nothing to do with it? Well, the other day, he dug it out of the toy box and asked me to put his puppy in it! Yay.
So cute. See, its manly enough, right??

Also, guess where we are going for our tenth anniversary!? (I said this post was random, right?)

We are both SO EXCITED! We booked two nights at the Wine Country Inn and a carriage tour of 3 wineries and a vodka distillery. So cool. This is our first ever anniversary trip. We had zero extra money for so long and I was either pregnant or nursing for 5 consecutive years. I remember one year, we went to Fudrucker's for dinner and were gone for one hour. It may sound lame, but when you have two in diapers at home, even that can be heavenly. I bet many of you can relate :)

Thank you to all of you who voted for my Spring Top!! I suppose we'll know the results soon! Really, though, all the finalists' tops are so lovely and I am still very surprised to have been one of them.

Happy weekend to you all!

Friday, May 20, 2011

I'm a finalist!!!

My Spring top is now a top-4 finalist!!! You can go vote for your top choice here today!!! Thank you for you sweet comments and voting for my top :) These other final four tops are really beautiful, I would wear any of them!
Again, this is mine:
And you can vote HERE.

Cheers :)

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Pretty please...

So, I entered a top that I made in Made By Rae's Spring Top Sewalong 2011 and my top made it to the voting round! It's on her site TODAY! If you get a chance and IF you really actually like my top, please vote for me :) It's funny because I entered the contest at the last minute and only because the deadline was extended, so I'm honored to have been chosen out of over 300 entries.

This one's mine:
Thank you very much :)

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Ladybugs and Butterflies and a tutorial

It seems a LOT of my friends are having or have had babies recently! (Before you ask, NO it does not give me the bug, I am quite happy to be moving on :)  But, it does give me an excuse to throw some fun parties! On Sunday we had a little baby shower for my friend Jennica, who is expecting her second baby, first girl, to be named Rebecca. So cute.

This is Jennica :)

Jennica is going for a lady bug and butterfly theme for Rebecca and so I tried to incorporate that into the party. Melissa made these AMAZING jumbo cupcakes, they were sooooo cute.
I and made a "Rebecca" banner...
I wanted to do a different take on Martha Stewart's tissue poms and turn them into butterflies. I sorta winged it (haha, no pun intended) and didn't know how it would go, but they turned out great! I took pics so that I can post a little tutorial here for YOU! yay.

Each butterfly needs between 3 and 5 sheets of tissue paper and one pipe cleaner. That's all!

First, stack your tissue papers and accordion fold them short-ways (hamburger way) like this:
I made the folds about 1.5 to 2 inches. So then when you have this...
...then take your scissors and round the edges like this:
Next, stand your folded strip on end between your thumb and finger like this...
And pinch it flat in the middle. The folds will look a little messy:
Now, take your pipe cleaner and fold it in half:
And slip it over your messily squished tissue paper like this:
Give a couple of twists to both the bottom stub and the top for the antennae. Add a curly-cue to each antenna and then fan out the wings a bit like so...

Lastly, slide your hand gently between the pieces of tissue paper on each wing to separate the layers a bit so they get nice and fluffy like this:
Then make a whole slew of them like this:
...and hang them from the ceiling! I looped sewing thread through the back of the pipe cleaner and taped the thread to the ceiling. Easy Peasey :)
Natalie has requested some for her next birthday--in a little over 10 months, haha!