Monday, June 27, 2016

Open Wide Zipper Pouch

Daughter #2 has been out in Idaho for a couple weeks working for her aunt and uncle with their fireworks business.  She'll be home after the 4th of July sometime but this has been a good little trial run for her of living away from home.  AND it was the first time ever that she flew in a plane.  For a girl who has some anxiety issues, she did great.  She texted and sent pics along the way, and at one point said she "was tempting fate by flying in 2 planes on the same day."  Silly girl! 

Thanks to Ms. Devyn who helped her from Minneapolis to Salt Lake City.  She sort of adopted our daughter at the airport check-in kiosk when she found out they were both flying to SLC.  It was nice that she didn't have to worry so much.  I love it when we find good people along our roads in life.

She needed some storage items to keep everything corralled since she'll be gone for 5-6 weeks.  So I made her this zipper pouch so that she can keep her AP summer homework all in the same place.

Once you make one of these you'll see how quick they sew up.
And how easy it is to make whatever size you need.
It might become slightly addicting too.


Friday, June 24, 2016

Magnetic Chalkboard Frame

This project took way more time and effort than I think it needed.
But I guess that is what happens when you are just winging it.

Finished up

 Frame and paint detail

Hanging in my entry with the real life shoes lying everywhere.

 Close-up of metal glued onto the board.
I cut the metal to shape with a pair of tin snips.
Used a jigsaw to cut the board.

 The crease on the board is what occurs when you use contact cement--don't quite get it
lined up correctly and quickly try and pull it off to reposition.
You just get a bend in your metal because it IS NOT coming off.

At this point we are calling it "character".  I didn't want to start all over.
It would have been too frustrating.

  • Originally tried to glue the metal to the board with Liquid Nails.  Ughh, thumbs down!!  As soon as I took the clamps off the pieces the metal just popped right off.  Maybe I wasn't doing it correctly, but I felt it should've been easier to use.
  • Contact cement is PERMANENT! You cannot remove it and replace like other products.  Once it is down, that is where it is going.  In hindsight we should have put the metal into the frame and then laid the glued board down on top of it to get it lined up correctly.  Since we didn't I had to go back and trim off metal or wood here and there in order to get the piece to line back up in the frame.  And we also have a little crease in the metal after trying to pull it off quickly once we realized it wasn't lined up perfectly.
  • Once I got all the coats of paint on and then seasoned the chalkboard it wasn't nearly as noticeable.  And I can always strategically place things I am hanging up.

Oh well!


You can buy sheets of chalkboard at Home Depot. They are about $10 and measure 2 x 4 feet.  That would've worked great for the size I needed except I wanted chalkboard AND magnet board combined.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Recycled drawstring backpack

Our youngest daughter headed off to girls camp this week.
She said she needed a backpack to carry stuff around in so she wouldn't have to put it in her pocket of carry it by hand.
This is what we came up with using no pattern and fabric that we already had in the stash.
You can get an idea of how big it is based on my wingback chair.
I forget to measure it before my daughter left.

A little topstitching detail

 I opted to just tie the end off into a knot and add some fray check to the ends.
I also sewed the straps down near the loop so that they would stay in place more.
I also did this at the top of the strap, when the bag was completely open to stabilize again.

It held a good amount once she loaded it up for camp.
Not sure what all she put in there, but it was full.

Peace out people!
See you at the end of the week.

She commented to me, "I'm going to have the cutest backpack at camp!"

I think I would have to agree.

  • Denim base used from cut off jean legs (that we bought to turn into shorts) and squared off.
  • Red fabric is from my stash.
  • I did line this completely, but forgot a picture.
  • Pinterest has all sorts of tutorials if you need some help making one.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Chalkboard Frame

We've been working on daughter #2's bedroom and here is one of the accessories we added to her room.

She wanted a chalkboard frame to write herself notes.

And yes this is her handwriting--freehand.
She can print in font--it is amazing!

I love the details on this frame.
It's plastic, but after spray painting it I don't think anyone would know it.


This is the window side of her basement bedroom.  We FINALLY got the orange-ish walls (check the first pic to see the previous color--sort of) painted a nice white which makes a huge difference.  I still need to get rid of the dark brown wood blinds, but I haven't figured out what other window treatment to do.  So for the moment we've added the tissue paper flowers to try and "disguise" the window a little.  It was cheap and easy until we know what we are going to do permanently.

Friday, June 17, 2016

Just because....

Once upon a time, when I was VERY young, I thought that being a photographer for National Geographic Magazine would've been the best job in the world.  I think the introvert in me would've loved that job.  But the homebody in me would probably have been done after awhile.  I sometimes feel like the Princess and the Pea--I want my bed and my pillow.

Did that photography dream become a reality? No.  Not even close.
I took one photography class in high school and majored in Zoology at BYU. 

However, every now and again I dabble.
Our yard backs up to a pond and so the #wildlifeinthesuburbs gets used on my Instagram quite often.

This guy was hiding under our firepit one morning when my son went to put it away. 
Since he was sitting so quietly and still I decided to take advantage of it.

FYI I think this is an American Toad

To dreams realized and unrealized!!
Enjoy your weekend everyone!!

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Scrappy Rectangles Quilt Version #2

I hadn't necessarily meant to make another one of this quilt pattern.  However, daughter #2 has overtaken the first one and uses it on her bed constantly.  She loves it--mainly for how large it is.  I assume that when she leaves home this is one of the quilts that she will take with her.

So as I was trying to clean out and purge part of my sewing room, fabric, and materials, I decided to start another one of these.  And it just went from there.  I'm kinda hooked on this pattern design. Normally I'm not a big fan of putzing around with small pieces, etc. but this one is good.  And really this is probably as small as I will go on cutting pieces (2 x 3 1/2) for a quilt.  I'm no CrazyMomQuilts when it comes to scrappy quilting.

This is how I start it off.  Put all the pieces in a bucket.  Then start sewing.  Then add more pieces, keep sewing.  Repeat until you have 90 blocks.

Almost completed blocks.

Finished top overtaking my basement.

So move it outside and have 2 kids help hold it for pictures.

  • See post on Version #1 for quilt pattern info.
  • This is a good quilt pattern for "ugly" fabric.  Cutting it down small enough makes it appear lovely.

Monday, June 13, 2016

Modern Improv Solids #2

The second modern improv solids quilt top in progress above.

Can I just say, once again, that I always think scrappy quilts will use up more fabric than they actually do?  Even after finishing this one I still have MORE solids I could do another top.  Not sure that will actually happen, but seriously, it is hard to purge when you know that you could get another quilt top out of those scraps.

And here it is completed--well at least the top.

Here you can get a little bit of the scale of some of the sections.

I have a pile of quilts to send out to be quilted, this being #4 now I think.  However, I need to save my pennies to get them quilted. So for now I'll just hang onto this until I sell a child (kidding) or someone I don't really know dies and leaves me all their money (completely unrealistic). 

As Leslie says, "The struggle is real." 
Too much creativity floating around in my head and not enough money to fulfill it all.

I think I know what I am going to do with some of the rest of my solids scraps--black, grays, yellows, white and red.  Equilateral triangles scattered about something like this pin.


Thursday, June 9, 2016

Repairing my freebie Adirondack chairs

I've been trying to update things in our yard this Spring and Summer.
I got a number of freebie or close to freebie Adirondack chairs last Fall sometime and a few need some TLC.  I enlisted the "help" of my #1 son.  Really I was just trying to get him to do something besides play on his electronics. 

Really all this entails is to drill some holes on either side of the connection and then pull some zip ties through and secure.  We ended up doing it through each slat because we wanted it to look like we meant to have this done, and not so much like a repair job on a few here and there.

 If you look closely you can see the crack between the slats.

When you go to use the chair without the repair you could either get pinched or just have it lean back awkwardly.  This is a cheap easy fix that I was very pleased with.

Then cut off the extra tails with some wire snips and you're done.

And here is what Son #1 loves to do when I try and take his picture. 
And when I put him to work.

He looks abused, doesn't he?!

  • Idea inspiration from this Pinterest pin.
  • 8" cable ties 20 cm 100 count package from Menards
  • 5//32 drill bit

Monday, June 6, 2016

Recycled Shutters Headboard

Remember this fun find?
Once I saw them I knew immediately that I'd be making a headboard for my daughter's room.
She was just as excited as I was about it.

Lucky for us the shutters were wood, already painted black, and in fairly good shape.

So we determined that we wanted a slightly stacked look of the headboard and laid it all out.
4 shutters was too narrow for her Queen bed and 5 too wide.  However, we decided that the too wide (by about 5 inches on each side) looked better than the too narrow option.  Plus I kind of have this thing about odd numbers being a little more pleasing to look at than an even amount of items.

I wiped the shutters all down.
Then took out my orbital sander and went to town.

This shows the sanded shutters on either side and the not-yet-sanded ones in the middle.

A little better close-up of how I roughed it up.

Once I was done sanding I wiped it all down again with some tack cloth to get rid of all the dust and residue.

We laid out the arrangement and then I used a Kreg Jig to drill holes in the back of the shutters to attach with screws to each other.


 All assembled and ready move downstairs to her bedroom.

We debated on a staggered vs. straight across look for the shutters and ultimately she liked the staggered look best.  I think I do too.

 We ended up adding some cabinet door pads to the corners of the headboard.
We had JUST painted her room white and didn't want any dings on the walls.
This also helped eliminate any movement getting in and out of bed.

I'm proud to say that the only thing hubby helped me do on this was to actually attach it to the metal bed frame.  We needed 3 people--2 to hold it in place while the one attached the screws.  He really didn't want anything to do with this project, which was completely fine. 

This may be the one and only time her bed stays made, but we're working on that.

Daughter #2 is very happy with how it turned out.
So am I, and even happier that it was free.

We have a few more details to show in her room that we'll post later on.
And I have 3 shutters left to do something else.

  • Free curbside shutters (see Friday Finds here)
  • Pinterest inspiration here and here. This is what we were thinking before I found the curbside shutters.
  • We used 5 - 14" wide shutters for her queen size bed. (4 wasn't wide enough)
  • Orbital sander to distress the shutters.
  • Kreg Jig for screw attachment.
  • Cabinet door pads

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Prom Dress.....finally

Sorry this has taken longer to post than expected.

In between making daughter #2's dress my husband tore his Achilles and had to have surgery to repair it.

And then we had computer issues and had to get a new one.

And then now today is the last day of school.

I've been a little distracted.
So here goes the big reveal.

M. and her date J.

 Their entire group that went together.
The pictures were taken at Centennial Lakes Park in Minneapolis.
Lovely place!

Such a fun and nice group of kids.

They all came to our house afterwards for some hanging out at the firepit and making s'mores.

For details about her fabric and dress you can go to this post.

I have to say that the fabric we bought for her skirt is DIVINE.  It drapes so nice, doesn't need to be ironed and washes up amazing.  She has already wore the skirt another time or too to Church because she loves it so much.


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